What are your feelings on plucky sidekicks/hirelings with no practical skills aside from lightening the mood with their charming naivete? Are they the necessary annoyance they're sometimes made out to be? Is it a phase all upcoming would-be heroes go through?
I love sidekicks, plucky or otherwise. Training in unarmed combat is an absolute
must in the off chance that you find yourself in a situation where you are surrounded by evil and have no suitable weapons to defeat it with. On top of that, if you train with a good monk, sidekicks
can do a surprising amount of damage. One good sidekick to the ribs and you could knock a villain out cold! In conclusion, yes, though unarmed combat may seem like an annoyance it is a necessary evil
for all good would-be heroes to go through.
Ah yes, the ever popular side kick. Generally, I would not recommend them to first-time heroes as the general point of having one is to have someone who is less experienced, that you can pass your superior skills on to. If you are not sufficiently skilled, you run the risk of the sidekick being more skilled than yourself and looking like a buffoon. A good hero never looks like buffoon.
On the other hand, if you are significantly skilled, your experience when compared to their inexperience makes you look good. And when you look good, people are more likely to trust you and give you the sweet jobs. As pesky as they may seem, this is not an insignificant trade-off.