General allies, sometimes called followers, henchmen, or sidekicks, are generally subordinate to the PCs. Minions, thugs or mooks are followers who are expendable; generally, minions are a villainous trope, although some PCs have command of an army or organization that would grant them minions.
Hirelings or mercenaries are paid assistants or specialists.
Patrons or employers are generally superior to the PCs, and provide them with aid, assignments, or resources.
Dependents are NPCs whom the PCs must take care, such as sickly aunts, young children, and the like.
Contacts have information or specific skills.