Heroes or companions are unique troops with individual names, stories, skills, attributes, and equipment (all of which can be chosen by you). Like the player character, heroes never die and are only knocked unconscious. You can never station them in garrisons.
Every Hero likes one other Hero and hates two others (they will usually tell you this after a battle) and also likes/dislikes certain actions. Often, they will talk to you when you are doing something which they do not like, such as failing quests or running low on food. They will also talk to you when you reach a certain point on the map, and tell you a bit about their history and how that particular location relates to it.
Their locations are random and they will change from time to time so it is important to check back at taverns regularly.
Many of them require money before they join your party, but some will join for free.
There are several ways to (temporarily) lose a hero:
- If you voluntarily part ways with a hero (via the dialog option or by not taking them back in after a mission), you can just pick them up again (no recruitment cost). You can ask a Traveller in the tavern for the position of each hero that once was in your group, so it is advisable to recruit them all once and then release them if you cannot use them right away.
- If you are taken prisoner, you have to wait until you are free. When freed, some heroes might be freed with you, but may also be captured and you will need to see a Ransom Broker to get them free for money (in which case they will come to you within 1-2 days), or have to free them like every other prisoner. If one has escaped on their own, were not captured, or released due to a peace treaty, they can be found in taverns as usual.
- If you keep heroes with dislikes against other heroes in the same group, those heroes might eventually leave "to go back home" or "settle down". They can not be found via traveller as they do not respawn right away. Instead, it takes several weeks before they respawn, at which point they can be found again.
The table below lists all of the heroes available to the player. Robbing refers to pillaging villages as well as robbing caravans, although demanding protection money from caravans and stealing cattle from villages is not objectionable. The 'Skills' column shows each Hero's best skills (usually level 3). The 'Nationality' column refers to the type of troops the hero prefers to recruit if made a lord, not to their in-story origins. The N/A nationality means that the hero will recruit any troops available.
|Alayen||Yes||Ymira||Marnid, Nizar||Failing Quests, Baheshtur as emissary||300||Power Strike, Weapon Master, Riding||Male||Vaegir||Good Natured or Upstanding|
|Artimenner||No||Lezalit||Jeremus, Klethi||Hunger, Failing Quests, Heavy Casualties, Katrin as emissary||300||Engineer, Trade, Tactics||Male||Geroian||Calculating|
|Baheshtur||Yes||Rolf||Katrin, Marnid||Hunger, Not Being Paid, Retreating, Heavy Casualties, Ymira as emissary||400||Power Draw, Weapon Master, Horse Archery||Male||Khergit||Martial|
|Borcha||No||Marnid||Deshavi, Klethi||Heavy Losses, Alayen as emissary||300||Tracking, Pathfinding, Spotting||Male||Khergit|
|Bunduk||No||Katrin||Lezalit, Rolf||Robbing Villages, Heavy Casualties, Nizar as emissary||200||Ironflesh, Weapon Master, Power Strike||Male||Rhodok||Good Natured or Upstanding|
|Deshavi||No||Klethi||Borcha, Rolf||Hunger, Heavy Casualties, Bunduk as emissary||Free||Pathfinding, Spotting, Tracking||Female||Nord||Pitiless|
|Firentis||Yes||Jeremus||Nizar, Katrin||Robbing Villages, Failing Quests, Rolf as emissary||Free||Athletics||Male||Swadian||Good Natured or Upstanding|
|Jeremus||No||Firentis||Artimenner, Matheld||Robbing Villages, Returning Serfs, Klethi as emissary||Free||Wound Treatment, Trade, First Aid, Surgery||Male||N/A||Calculating|
|Katrin||No||Bunduk||Firentis, Baheshtur||Hunger, Not Being Paid, Lezalit as emissary||100||Ironflesh, Trade||Female||Swadian||Martial|
|Klethi||No||Deshavi||Borcha, Artimenner||Marnid as emissary, Retreating||200||Power Throw, Path Finding, Spotting||Female||N/A||Debauched|
|Lezalit||Yes||Artimenner||Ymira, Bunduk||Retreating, Borcha as emissary||400||Power Strike, Weapon Master, Trainer||Male||Geroian||Self-righteous|
|Marnid||No||Borcha||Alayen, Baheshtur||Robbing Villages or Caravans, Failing Quests, Returning Serfs, Matheld as emissary||Free||Trade||Male||Geroian||Good Natured or Upstanding|
|Matheld||Yes||Nizar||Ymira, Jeremus||Retreating, Firentis as emissary||500||Weapon Master, Athletics||Female||Nord||Martial|
|Nizar||No||Matheld||Firentis, Alayen||Retreating, Jeremus as emissary||300||Ironflesh, Power Strike, Weapon Master, Athletics||Male||N/A||good friend|
|Rolf||Yes||Baheshtur||Deshavi, Bunduk||Retreating, Artimenner as emissary||300||Athletics, Tactics||Male||N/A||Martial|
|Ymira||No||Alayen||Matheld, Lezalit||Robbing Villages, Leaving troops to cover, Retreating, Returning Serfs, Deshavi as emissary||Free||Riding, First Aid, Trade||Female||Rhodok||Good Natured|
Eight heroes can be recruited with no conflicts. Since there are two distinct loops of conflict, you can choose one group of heroes from each loop, with two possible choices each.
|Groups of five:||
|Groups of three:||
* means they are Noble.
In addition to avoiding conflicts, each group of five has a pair of heroes who like each other (Deshavi and Klethi, Artimenner and Lezalit); the other three members of each group of five like someone in a group of three -- although the groups aren't "matched" (Jeremus likes Firentis and Ymira likes Alayen, who are from one group-of-three, while Bunduk likes Katrin, who is from another. Borcha and Matheld like Marnid and Nizar, respectively, but Rolf likes Baheshtur, who is in a different group).
There are a total of six noble heroes, all on the left column of the table above. So if you name all nobles as Lords and recruit all the remaining heroes, almost all of them will get on well. Borcha will have a dislike factor of -1 (which may be manageable) and Artimenner will have a dislike factor of -2 (which is not manageable).
Heroes have the same leveling process as the player, allowing them to increase in stat proficiencies and weapon skills. You also have the ability to change the heroes' equipment for your tactical needs. To manage this, go to the party screen (Hotkey: P) and talk to the hero. Ask to "know about them" or ask to "see their equipment" to change these options, respectively. Stats rely on the heroes' performance in battle/experience and their equipment relies on items in your inventory. Both create a domino affect, requiring one to get the other. For example, an armor that requires 9 strength requires more stats. However, a decent weapon is required get enough experience in battle to get that stat required for the better armor.
Each Companion leans toward a specialization. Certain skills will contribute to the party as a whole. However, others are personal or a leader-only specialty, which would be good if they are a Vassal in your kingdom. When a Hero's health falls to 30%, or below, the name will be shown in red text and any of their skills that were aiding the party will not work until they heal back to above 30%. Those with healing abilities should be kept at the bottom of the party list to ensure that they see less battle and therefore are less likely to be wounded too badly to heal others. Common Specializations (note that very high level characters will be able to expand into another specialization):
Heavy Hitter (Strength based): Ironflesh, Power Strike, Power Draw. Uses heavy armor and 2 two-handed weapons plus bow and fights on foot (unless there are points for agility/horse archery left over). Alternatively variants include using a Crossbow instead of bow (to save skillpoints in Power Draw) or using a Shield+throwing weapons.
Weaponmaster (Agility based): Weapon Master, Shield and Riding or Athletics or Looting. Has just enough strength to enable decent armor and the better one-handed weapons. Fights on foot (Athletics & Looting builds), using a shield and one-handed weapons. A crossbow is also a good idea for the foot variants. The looter in particular should be left in the back with the archers, while the other two can be at the front as Infantry or Cavalry respectively.
Horse Archer (Agility based with Strength inclusions): Weapon Master, Riding, Horse Archery. Also needs decent power draw or power throw skill. A riding archer. Bow+Arrows or 2 throwing weapons stacks, 1 Hand weapon and Shield. The trickiest part is balancing between Strength (for the weapon requirements) and agility. If you use crossbows instead don't forget they can only use the lightest ones, which do not pack that much punch.
All Intelligence Heroes: One thing about them is that they have about twice the skillpoints as other builds, as each point of intelligence gives one extra skillpoint. What to do with them depends on your overall situation. Training is never a bad idea, as this allows you to quickly upgrade new units without need for combat. You can also make their skills overlap with other heroes, as often you have enough intelligence heroes. They are not very good fighters, so you should level them towards 10 strength, give them a Siege Crossbow and use them as archers. Or totally leave them out of combat and train them via trainer skill/shared experience only.
Pathfinder (Intelligence based): Pathfinding, Spotting, Tracking. Allows you to move a lot faster on the strategic map than without them and see enemies before they see you. Very important role for hunting bandits and certain quests. For best effect, combine them with other speed increasing measures.
Siege Tactician (Intelligence based): Engineering, Tactics, Training. If you need a castle taken or fief improved, he/she is your man/woman. Since their primary focus is on one Skill, they get the largest amount of spare Skillpoints, which also makes this a good choice for those heroes that already are high level.
Doctor (Intelligence based): Surgery, First Aid, Wound Treatment. These guys keep your people alive or get them back on their feet. Surgery greatly reduces the need to recruit and train new troops, while the other two get your heroes back on their feet faster.
Leader (Charisma based): As Charisma contains 2/3 Leader Skills, you have two options. Focus on trading only and invest overflowing skill points into other skills, making this hero a trader with wide (but shallow) skill set except for the trading skill. Or groom him/her to become your Vassal later, where Leadership and Prisoner Management are quite useful skills to have.
In Mount&Blade: Warband, your companions can be made into lords and given towns, villages or castles. However, other vassals may dislike having a commoner holding a fief. Therefore, the best companions to make into a vassal should be a noble (you can look more closely at their story). If a hero is made into a lord and defects from your faction, and said faction is then defeated, they can again be found in taverns and recruited to your party, but will retain their own coat of arms, their title, and the equipment they had as a lord.
Be careful when choosing to appoint a companion as lord, as they replace their body armor with Heraldic Mail with Tabard, shield with Knightly Kite Shield, mount with Courser, and weapons to Arming Sword and Light Lance. They will not replace these items if their current equipment is superior (e.g., if a companion is currently wearing Plate Armor, they will keep it rather than replace it). However, they will always keep the head, hand, and leg armor they currently have equipped.
Dislike (Hero) As EmissaryEdit
Sending heroes out to convince other lords that you should be the rightful ruler of Calradia can have a negative impact on morale for other heroes. The "dislike as emissary" system is a single loop. Each hero in this list dislikes the person immediately after as emissary.
Alayen → Baheshtur → Ymira → Deshavi → Bunduk → Nizar → Jeremus → Klethi → Marnid → Matheld → Firentis → Rolf → Artimenner → Katrin → Lezalit → Borcha → Alayen
This event only occurs in the Warband expansion.
It is possible to marry a hero, but only for female characters. It requires the following steps:
- Start your own kingdom.
- Appoint a male hero to a vassal.
- After male lord declares to be your most ardent admirer, gain relation.
- Propose and marry.
Court Minister and EmissariesEdit
As a monarch, appointing companions to be your minister is highly recommended, as a prominent citizen is never skilled in politics, and will not give you many options which you can use to manage your realm. All companions have the same capabilities, so choose someone not very useful in your party.
One can train companions to be good emissaries by increasing their Persuasion skill, increasing the chance of success. Ymira could be trained in such a way. When she is in your party, she could be a medic next to Jeremus and Katrin, but she could be sent out as emissary from time to time. Note that kings will very often reject truce or goodwill regardless of Persuasion level, even if the skill is at 10.
The Raiding PartyEdit
If you get sick of playing the nice-to-peasants honorable knight, you probably want to have "heroes" that don't object to the frequent razing of villages in your party. It's also highly profitable, so the incentive for being evil is there.
This chart consists only of like minded heroes should help pick your party:
Depending on your morale management skills, a -1 dislike factor should be easily manageable.
An Early Troop Set UpEdit
The following is an example of a possible hero set up which will work well with early players. All these people will not have problems with each other, and most will willingly raid villages without protests. Additionally, many of them are nobles, allowing you to bestow fiefs upon them from your kingdom later in the game. Using them in your party for the early portion of the game makes them exceptionally powerful as they fight their own battles as your vassals.
- Alayen: The first early hero that is a blank slate. Could be made into either of the agility or intelligence heroes.
- Artimenner: A siege tactician.
- Baheshtur: An amazing horse archer (Starts with horse archery and power draw). A horse, bow, arrows, and two-handed sword is a practical equipment choice.
- Borcha: Pathfinder Hero. Comes with some riding skill, but otherwise mostly a low level blank slate to be shaped however you need it.
- Lezalit: While highly skilled with all weapons, his high intelligence makes him a good candidate as the party doctor. However his high initial level means he gets his skills a lot slower. Alternatively you can use him as an agility hero.
- Matheld: One of the best heroes available, but also one with the hardest decisions to make; she has existing skillpoints for the heavy hitter with Crossbow, any agility (except looter) role. Or you could skill her to become a vassal later (Charisma Hero).
- Firentis: An excellent heavy hitter or agility hero. His only problem is he is the only hero in this initial group who objects to raiding villages. Simply send him on a reconnaissance trip if you are going to be involved in such dirty work. Obviously not a good choice for looting skill agility variant.
- Rolf: Joins you on a pretty high level. Good Intelligence, but the only Intelligence role that fits would be Siege Tactician (due to low Skillpoint requirements). Might also pull off leader build. Ideally suited as either Riding, foot Agility Hero, or Strength Hero. As ranged weapon, consider using throwing weapons.
Once you have begun your own kingdom, cycle these heroes out of your party and replace them with the others in the game, who are not nobles and thus make a better second-half party.
A Second-Half PartyEdit
The following is an example of a possible hero set up which will work well in the second half of the game. While possible, it is not recommended that you begin with this team as its members are weaker and many have issues with raiding villages, a key source of early income.
- Nizar: Will eventually be one of your best fighters, but can be a bit tricky in the beginning due to his low ability scores.
- Katrin: While the weakest hero in the game due to her high starting level and wasted skill points in Inventory management, she can become a respectable fighter with enough experience. Recommend equipping her with a crossbow rather than bow so as to save skill points in Power Draw.
- Marnid: A blank slate character with Merchant Background. Intelligence is high, so he can be the Siege Tactician or he could be another doctor/pathfinder. Alternatively he could be Leader type, but don't forget he is not Noble if you plan to make him a vassal. He, Katrin, and Nizar should be the first part of your team that you pick up when you make Alayen, Firentis, and Baheshtur vassals of your burgeoning kingdom.
- Ymira: Another blank slate character with high intelligence. Has some pre-existing doctor skills making her very viable as replacement doctor.
- Jeremus: Should be used the way he is, as a siege crossbow-wielding doctor.
- Deshavi and Klethi: One of these two should be the pathfinder. The other can be a any agility hero or a backup pathfinder as you choose.
- Bunduk: Resist the urge to leave him with a crossbow, instead raise his Power Draw skill to match his already substantial Power Strike and Riding abilities to make him a solid fighter.