Building the perfect mercenary group in Wartales can be tough if you’re having trouble finding the right people. One trick to finding more potential members is learning how to recruit prisoners. If you’re not sure how to get prisoners, you’ll want to check our guide on how to capture people first.
Since obviously before you can bother with recruiting prisoners, you’ll need to learn how to capture them. Unless of course, you’re just visiting the Tiltren Jail and recruiting people from there. But, this guide focuses on the more complicated process of what to do with your prisoners.
How to Recruit Prisoners in Wartales
Preventing a Prisoner From Escaping
Having prisoners in your party after a battle can be tricky if you want to keep them around. This is because they’ll try to escape every time your party rests unless you make it difficult. For those that don’t know, you can check a prisoner’s character sheet to see their chance of escaping.
Check the final attribute at the bottom of their stats for “Escape Ability”. You can hover over this stat to see more information about what’s increasing or decreasing their ability. Here are some ways to reduce their chance to escape:
- An injured prisoner has a 20% less chance to escape.
- Each companion/member nearby decreases their chance by 20%.
- Having an active Watchkeeping Stool reduces their chance by 10%.
- Assign them to the Stocks camp building for 100% less chance.
By default, a prisoner has a base value of 100% chance to escape. So it’s in your best interest to lower that as much as you can if you want to keep them around. Whether you’re using them to fill a job role, to sell at the Tiltren Jail, or in the case of this guide, to recruit.
This can be annoying if you’re trying to keep your party members doing certain jobs. Since the best way to stop a prisoner from escaping is by surrounding them with your people. With that said, you can place the prisoner next to members that are already assigned jobs. This can at least prevent removing one job.
How to Increase Prisoner Trust
Before you can recruit prisoners, you’ll need to build trust with them. This is why the Wartales achievement for recruiting a prisoner is named, Stockholm syndrome. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be deceptive in doing so. There are plenty of ways to build trust so they’ll want to join your party, such as:
- Keep your party well-fed each rest.
- Treat prisoner injuries if they have any.
- Don’t surround a prisoner with animals.
- Use the Barber Kit to change a prisoner’s hair. You can buy these from Hamick at the Stromkapp, Three Hares’ Market.
Your prisoner is more likely to join your party if you continue to build positive interactions with them. By following the above bullet points, you’ll need to keep them in your party for around 15 rests. I can’t say for sure if there’s a guaranteed amount of time or rests, but this is how long it took me.
If you want to check how they’re feeling about recent events, you’ll need to open up their character sheet first. Afterward, click the symbol near the bottom left corner of a set of chains. This will open the Trust window where you can see positive and negative interactions.
Aside from building trust with your prisoner, there’s at least one more thing you can do to speed things along. Depending on how much you’ve played Wartales, you may know that characters can develop traits. One of them is the Altruistic trait which has the description, “Increases the chance of recruiting a nearby prisoner.”
Having this character near a prisoner you’re trying to recruit is bound to speed up the process. If you’re trying to get the Altruistic trait, it seems to develop as long as you have prisoners in your party. I had two characters get it across the last 15 rest span in recruiting one.
How to Finally Recruit a Prisoner
Now that you’ve made it this far and have a prisoner who trusts you, it’s almost time to recruit them. I’ve noticed some people in the Wartales community have wondered what the difference is between Dismissing and Releasing a prisoner. Funnily enough, neither option seems to make a difference and they don’t matter for recruiting.
The unfortunate reality is that if you want to recruit a prisoner, you pretty much have to wait now. If you’ve got some time in Wartales, you may have encountered random tiny events in your camp. This is represented by a character with a question mark above their head.
It’s almost always something simple about how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking about, or a recent event. Then, you get a few choices that may have good or bad outcomes. Regardless, this is the same case for recruiting a prisoner in Wartales. They’ll eventually have a question mark above their head and ask to join.
Don’t worry about missing the question mark since you can’t leave the camp without completing all question mark dialogues. By clicking the camp button to leave, it’ll automatically enter each event. Once you get your chance, you can spend Influence to recruit them or refuse. It once cost 150 Influence for me and another time 160.
One of the benefits of recruiting prisoners in Wartales is that they’ll have the Freed Slave trait. This reduces their wages by 50% so you won’t have to pay them as much. And if you’re lucky, they may even have the Volunteer trait reducing wages by another 10%.
Before recruiting a prisoner, you may want to inspect them as much as you can. It’s important to understand what traits they have, what their class is, and any specializations they can get. For example, I have a Merchant Ravager that only has two specializations. Compared to normal members that have a ton of choices.
The last thing you want is a civilian that has literally no specialization choices. Especially since you won’t be able to decide what armor types they can wear. In the case of my Merchant Ravager, I can’t choose, but they at least can wear light and medium armor.
That’s all there is to this long in-depth guide on how to recruit prisoners in Wartales. Similar to capturing people and animals, there’s a lot to discuss if you want to know how it all works. The main thing is to keep working at that trust system!
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.