. The DM should prepare a character sheet with all relevant statistics for each new follower. The DM, not the player, controls the actions of the follower.
In general, human and demihuman followers should be of 1st to 4th level when they appear; a 15th-level fighter has better things to do than tag along after a 10th-level ranger. Additionally, the follower should be of good alignment; except in rare cases, rangers won't tolerate neutral or evil followers.
The age of the follower is also unimportant, although because of their low levels, most followers will be relatively young.
Impressionable youths, curious scholars, impulsive vagabonds, and orphaned wanderers all make good followers. Interesting quirks or personal problems make followers more fun for the players, and also provide springboards for adventures.
Chapter 12 of the
offers suggestions for creating NPC
personalities, which are also suitable for followers.
Just as he may do with animal followers, the ranger may dismiss or release his human and demihuman followers. Released followers may rejoin the ranger at a later time. Human and demihuman rangers who are dismissed or otherwise lost can't be replaced.
Human and demihuman followers may also abandon their rangers. Situations that may trigger abandonment include reckless endangerment, continual verbal abuse, or inattention to the follower's needs. If the ranger commits an act of cowardice or otherwise violates his code of honor, a follower may become disillusioned and abandon the ranger in disgust. The DM might make morale checks to determine if a follower stays or goes, he may resolve the situation by role-playing (the follower requests an explanation for the ranger's cowardly behavior; the follower stays if the ranger offers a reasonable justification), or in extreme cases, he may have the follower simply disappear without explanation.
The principle of training hunting birds is that all food comes from the trainer, otherwise they are likely to fly off. They will be very dependent on the trainer; failure to feed them for 24 hours is pushing their limits. If more than 36 hours pass, the birds will likely die.
Birds should be flown and exercised daily. Their health will deteriorate if they are not flown once at least every 3-4 days.
Flying multiple birds at once is nearly impossible, as species dominance instincts take over; the higher status bird will let the lower status bird do the dirty work, then come in and steal the kill. Rarely, a species will hunt in family groups--one main hunter and several others to flush out the prey. A real-world example of this behavior is the Harris hawk.
No falconer will fail to wear a heavy leather gauntlet on his catching arm (the "off" arm, usually the left). The gauntlet will not be metal, which is uncomfortable for the bird. It will cover the forearm, perhaps extending as far as the elbow. Carrying birds like this is tiring, so a perch of some sort (as on a staff) is desirable.
Hunting birds are never carried on the shoulder. Their natural instinct is to take out an eye or ear (which they can do with unbelievable speed) and their training reinforces the