|Richard and Meatshield Courtesy|
of Looking For Group
Meatshields (from the folks who brought you Barrowmaze) is a cool little online utility for quickly....and I mean quickly generating a list of possible NPC hirelings. There are only two generator options: size of locale and paying for a town crier. Don't bother fleshing out NPCs just to have the party decide to not hire them. Instead use Meatshields to list what is available and do the work, if needed, after the party decides who to hire.
The only qualm I have with Meatshields, and this is minor, is that you cannot easily go back to the initial page to change parameters. There is a "Recruit More" button, which is great, but if you roll on that a few times and then the party goes, "Screw it, we'll hire a crier." or "Let's try the next village or a larger city." then you have to either hit "back" on you browser a bunch of times or just close out the browser and open a new one. A simple button to reload the beginning page would be much appreciated.
This is an example of efforts in a small village using a crier, which costs 10gp:
|Click for larger view|