Henchmen seem to live in this weird alternate universe from the rest of the party in the campaigns I've played in or run. Even when they are there, they are often forgotten, which admittedly is probably the most effective way to keep them alive.
As a player, I've been in few campaigns that have actively used them. I'm not saying the players didn't have henchmen, it's just that they rarely came into play unless half the players failed to show up for the session in question.
As a DM, I've noticed that those looking for henchmen are the arcane caster types - the squishies in need of a meat shield. Even then, both myself and the player in question constantly forget he has henchmen - maybe I should give the party a portable hole so they can store their henchmen in there.
I can't imagine a party of 8 PCs with 16 henchmen and an unknown number of torchbearers, porters and the like. Actually, I can imagine it, but it swings the game more towards it's wargaming roots then I'm personally comfortable with. Ever notice that Indiana Jones' supply train and guides tend to abandon him and his friends when they get to and enter the ruins? ;)
So, how do you see henchmen? Do you use them? Are they an integral part of your campaigns or something you avoid?
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