PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Appropriate Guard Setups



Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 07:44 PM
I've been undergoing alot of tedious recordkeeping lately as a result of my last campaign, whose PCs were irritatingly indifferent towards the law. As a result I've had to create a fully developed City Guard.

So far I have two standard guards; normal and heavy.

Normals are just your average 1st level fighter (I don't use NPC classes except for commoner) with an 8-hour shift. Equipped with a shortsword and a shortbow.

Heavys are 3rd level, fullplate-and-tower-shield SWAT analogues. They're only used when someone's really ticked off the guard.

My current setup is that throughout most of the city there is one guard every other city block (a city block being 1000x1000 feet). In the Slums there's a guard on every block, and the Manor District has blocks of 2000x2000 feet, but still only one guard every other block, plus two guards with nonpatroling stations on each block, one of which is instructed never to leave their post.

All guards patrol their respective blocks, a process that takes about 14 minutes (136 rounds, to be exact). In the Manor District, it takes 27 minutes (272 rounds).

If a guard is in a fight he doesn't think he can handle (basically anything above a mugger, to be realistic) he fires off a signal. At night this is a flare, in the day its a smoke signal. The signal can be seen everywhere within 2 miles, but smoke signals can't be seen when your back is turned and a flare's illumination is only visible within half a mile to those with their back turned.

A guard who sees such a signal is instructed to run to the source to render aid, but is also instructed not to bother if they can't get there within 10 minutes (at that point there's no chance of either helping with the battle or intercepting the perpetrator.) In terms of the average setup, this means that 6d6 guards will be headed towards the source of any seen signal.

If a perpetrator escapes and a guard lives to see it, or they find some evidence of the perpetrator's identity, expect a dozen Heavies at your door within 24 hours. Either way, security within the relevent area (that is, any block within 10 minute's hustle of the crime scene) will double for one week or until the perpetrator is caught.

If the heavies are eliminated, the guard has a "secret weapon" in the form of a 5th level Brute Barbarian. (see the [Frozen Immortals] link in my sig to see what a Brute is.) Said Brute will proceed to bring the hurt.

So, where does all this rambling go? Well, my question is "is this an appropriate setup," and regardless of the answer, "can you think of anything to improve it?"

CTLC
2010-02-01, 08:01 PM
what level are the PCs?
we had a really intense campaign a year ago, when the entire pc group would have at best a 50/50 chance of killing a pair of guards. I think thats a wee bit too much, but i think that if the guards are sad fodder then something stronger may be in order. another options is of course the anti magic field/the group with bows only/the artillery.

i think if the group is really being too evil then switch them to an eviler alignment, and make them deal correspondingly.

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 08:03 PM
They'll be starting at 1st level. As they level I'll be moving the plot to locations that can handle them. I have a particularly nice arctic prison island staffed by 10th level fighters as guards... might want to make a PrC for them.

CTLC
2010-02-01, 08:04 PM
then that sounds perfect. only never underestimate the OMWTHBBQNOOOOOOO
effect that i personally enjoy when something invisible stabs a pc in the back

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 08:17 PM
I was considering throwing in state-sponsored assassins, yes, but those kinda become irrelevent when you have what ammounts to the Hulk hanging out in your basement. Who needs assassins? I have a living, breathing, angry TANK.

CTLC
2010-02-01, 08:29 PM
well, random abduction is always good. hopeless pcs are always funny.
just have someone shadowwalk behind them, grab someone, dump him in a cell, and repeat. there was an npc in an older campaign that could pop out anywhere and kill something with one shot every three rounds. i love the invisible assassins, and snipers. hence every character ive ever made.

Harperfan7
2010-02-01, 08:36 PM
They seem like an effective city guard, but why not have a city watch? People with skills and good will saves (experts) to see/hear/interrogate/use-heal-to-determine-how-someone-died, know local, gather info, urban track, and what not.

Also, what about spellcasters? You could have a police guild of enchanters and diviners for your watch, and evoker/sorcerer counterspellers for your guard.

Rogues make the best anti-criminals.

In a very nasty city in my campaign, the biggest local gang has a similar secret weapon for anybody causing them lots of trouble.

Graal the Strangler He's an orog (half ogre orc) rogue/barbarian/reaping mauler
with boots of springing & striding, gloves of fearsome grip, and +1 studded leather w/+1 wounding armor spikes. He's usually drugged up to make him crazier, stronger, tougher, faster, and more resistant to enchantment.

Because of powerful build, he's effectively large but can still qualify for reaping mauler, and his racial strength bonus is +8, so he's not going to be losing any grapples anytime soon.

jiriku
2010-02-01, 08:37 PM
Given the power curve players climb when they level, it might be appropriate have protocols allowing the guards to triple or quadruple the patrols when a serious threat is identified. Also, the town will need more than a single 5th level barbarian to handle unruly adventurers. I'd add in a level 4 batman wizard to support the barbarian and elite guards, plus a couple of 3rd-level rogues operating as undercover cops to track down crooks who are effective and clever enough to leave no witnesses.

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 08:44 PM
Also, the town will need more than a single 5th level barbarian to handle unruly adventurers.

Its a 5th level BRUTE Barbarian. Brutes are a race of homebrewed outsiders with 10 RHD.

Anywho, since I'm rather disdainful of magic-users, I'm trying to keep this campaign as low-magic as I can, including via the fact that arcane spellcasters are basically second-class citizens.

A city watch might be nice though. But again, I don't use NPC classes other than commoners. However, I should at least set up a witness system...

Eldariel
2010-02-01, 09:00 PM
I don't think 1st level guards are suited for scenarios where combat is expected; I'd place them at level ~3 at least if the world is at all as dangerous as your average D&D world; when guard might have to deal with demons and hedgemages and evil cultists and Rogues as their daily chores, it'd be a murder to send level 1-level folks onto the streets. Let alone all the monsters that exist.

Level 1s still fit to be trained even though gaining the first class level supposedly portrays finishing your training. Also, I'd always give 'em at least one level of Urban Ranger (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rangerVariantUrbanRang er) for the awareness skills that somehow aren't in-class otherwise (which is fairly retarded) along with Sense Motive, Gather Information and Knowledge: Local; FE: Human (or whatever the majority of the population of the city consists of; given they're most likely threats, chances are the guard is trained to especially deal with them) also makes all sorts of sense as does Urban Tracking.

Ignore Wild Empathy-crap and it's a perfect fit. Since guards also tend to act as the police force, chances are they've got some kills in judging character, figuring out crimes and such. Unless you want to invoke Police are useless (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PoliceAreUseless) to make PCs do everything, of course.


But yeah, I'd use level 2-3 guards as regulars, with 4-5 as the "SWAT" along with the regulars' leader level, and maybe a handful of 6-10s in medium towns (let's face it, people who do combat in D&D gain levels fast) with some even in the teens in larger cities.

I'd also use guards in pairs, always. One man is blind to his rear and cannot enter any dangerous locales safely, but two men can do so, so much more; in the army, you never act alone and I see no reason that wouldn't carry over to guards. Of course, everyone should also have a ranged weapon (Crossbow or Longbow depending on the race, strength and type of unit, I'd wager) along with sword & board, a sap (or some other non-lethal weapon) for common use, tanglefoot bags to slow down threats they cannot personally deal with along with potions, and the flare you mentioned; great idea.

Maybe if there are any mid-level (say, level 5) Wizards/Clerics employed by the guard, Chain Greater Magic Weapon and Magic Vestment on their equipment. Given how inexpensive it is in the long run to have one caster in those levels along with Lesser Rod of Chains and Pearls of Power compared to actually acquiring enhanced items for the whole guard, seems logical every single guard would do that (especially since guard shift is unlike to be longer than 5 hours meaning it'll last the guards their whole shift), especially since it makes lost items less of an issue.


And if possible, at least the SWAT teams definitely need at least one caster per team. Actually, I'd imagine casters would be quite widely employed by the guard seeing how efficient they are at capturing people unharmed and taking down even highly dangerous individuals (stuff like Color Spray is perfect) and how they are by far the best protection against rogue mages.

Though I'm not sure if SWAT teams should really be more of Rogue-types rather than "superheavy Fighter"-types; I think if they're meant to deal with spellcasters and very tough Rogues, stealth and awareness are at least as important features as their physical defenses, probably far more so. They should probably just have rather high dex (out of training) and use mw. Chain Shirts instead of Plates with access to Tower Shields, but primary use of ranged weapons, some exotics and such.

I mean, they should of course have the gear to go "tank in, take everything down", but the kinds of threats that are more common in D&D and way too much for regulars to handle are really the kind that you can't solve through tank setup, so while it could be an option, I don't think that's the equipment they should regularly use. They should definitely have some kind of anti-magic training at least; I'd say two levels in Martial Rogue for Evasion and the skills, and Resolute Fighter ACF [CChampion] to boost their Will-saves so they don't fall before every magic-user ever, along with Shield Ward with Extreme Shield [RoS] to give them respectable Touch AC. I'd say something like Fighter 2/Martial Rogue 2/Ranger 1 or such.


That's my take, anyways. Take it as you will.

illyrus
2010-02-01, 09:00 PM
Give each guard a tanglefoot bag, thunderstone, 50 ft. of a rope, grappling hook, manacles made to prevent finger movement, and gag. Have one guard in each group have improved grapple to deal with the lower level spellcasters.

As they level up you may need to eventually consider at least some magical items or magic users, even if you stick a single rogue class guard with the ability to use UMD to cast silence onto a sword and then walk up to the spellcasters with it.

Acero
2010-02-01, 09:07 PM
look here for guard types and tactics

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Guards

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 09:10 PM
The ideas I'm liking so far;

-3rd level common guards, 5th level Heavys. It did occur to me many times while designing my system that these guys were total chumps who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near serious combat.
-All guards carry manacles. MAYBE tanglefoot bags. Kinda iffy towards alchemy, but I like it better than magic.
-Guards always travel in pairs. On the downside, since the city I'm using as my prototyping system has only 300 guards (total population is about 10000) this will also severely limit their ability to have a wisespread presence.

Due to the bug up my ass in regards to using source books I don't own, many of your ideas Eldariel, while interesting, are simply not possible. If I don't have the book in meatspace I'm not using it. Just one of my rules.

I'm, again, iffy towards spellcasters in the guard, but at the very least have anti-magic tactics set up and maybe one cleric per Heavy team.

CTLC
2010-02-01, 09:19 PM
the dedicated rooftop archer is always a nice and simple option, it also helps with the flare idea, as they have a better view from the rooftops

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 09:20 PM
Guard Marksman was another model I was considering rolling up, though they'd mostly be assigned to the city's walls.

RandomNPC
2010-02-01, 09:29 PM
My city game has five major guard stations that train five different ways. There are sword and board, two handed weapons, ranged, casters, and net/trident guards.

There's always atleast three different types in a patrol, no less than five in a patrol. Yes, patrols are less common because of the large manning, but you're not going to stand up against the guard when they catch you like you would if it was just one level one.

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 09:37 PM
One thing I did notice while working on this is how ineffective patrols seem. Sure, it gives you better sightlines, but as I mentioned in my first post, a single lap around a guard's patrol path takes nearly 15 minutes. They're so easy to avoid its almost comical.

And I've also been trying to RP less insane guards, too. The first time I had to use one, prior to actually working out this system, they were a pack of lunatics who'd chase targets across rooftops, and answer every offense with; Step 1) Ask them to come quietly. Step 2) When they refuse, stab them to death.

One failed to make the jump across an alleyway, fell and broke his arm. Fortunately his target was dumb enought to a) have a signature mask and b) wear it the next day, in the same part of town. Needless to say said PC was left out of the next sidequest on account of being in jail.

Eldariel
2010-02-01, 09:57 PM
The ideas I'm liking so far;

-3rd level common guards, 5th level Heavys. It did occur to me many times while designing my system that these guys were total chumps who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near serious combat.
-All guards carry manacles. MAYBE tanglefoot bags. Kinda iffy towards alchemy, but I like it better than magic.
-Guards always travel in pairs. On the downside, since the city I'm using as my prototyping system has only 300 guards (total population is about 10000) this will also severely limit their ability to have a wisespread presence.

Due to the bug up my ass in regards to using source books I don't own, many of your ideas Eldariel, while interesting, are simply not possible. If I don't have the book in meatspace I'm not using it. Just one of my rules.

I'm, again, iffy towards spellcasters in the guard, but at the very least have anti-magic tactics set up and maybe one cleric per Heavy team.

I'd imagine having them in extremely small number of spellcasters would be alright, particularly divine casters. They could also be responsible for the alchemical items and potions in use by the guard; they're perfectly capable of crafting them. And well, the only things I suggested from books other than Core sources and SRD (I trust you at least use the free contents from SRD?) are from PHBII, Races of Stone & Complete Champion.

Can't help you with Races of Stone or Complete Champion, but PHBII material is available for free online (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060501a&page=4). Shield Ward & Shield Specialization in particular are spelled out completely in the list. Others that could be of interest to you are Crossbow Sniper (if some subset of sniper guards specializes in Crossbows) and Steadfast Determination (for high-Con types with low Wis).


Resolute...well, Iron Will will do just as well on the levels guard acts on. And Extreme Shields...well, I suppose they'll do alright with Heavy and Tower Shields. And if you don't use SRD or other online sources (and don't own Unearthed Arcana), standard Ranger will do almost as well as Urban Ranger (just, the fluff is a bit off and the skills are a tad less appropriate but that's hardly crippling; I'd assume you could switch the skills around manually for this purpose). Shield Ward will just be something you'll have to make do without, but that's not really the end of the world. Just seems like a fitting feat for guards given using shield to block people from grappling them/tripping them and also blocking spells is just the kind of thing guards would need shields for in a fantasy universe.

And yeah, Unarmed/Grapple-training isn't really a horrible idea either; it's a good alternative for detaining particularly heavily armored individuals and with guards having full BAB and respectable Str (probably), it should be rather efficient especially if they happen to have an Enlarge Person-potion or two in the pocket for when they meet some Orc Barbarian wreaking havoc (and once one guard succeeds in grapple-check, others can join in and make breaking it practically impossible). Disarm is obviously another potentially key skill; dunno about Sunder as the guard breaking peoples' stuff feels a bit wrong. I think guards should especially excel at using numbers to overwhelm tough individuals and this certainly fits the mold.


But yeah, I envision guards having tactical range of options depending on what they're dealing with:
- Just close into melee and bash 'em unconscious. Perfectly functional in majority of the cases.
- Skirmish at range. When outgunned or engaging targets at long distance. Blunt arrows/bolts (dealing subdual damage) would be optimal here, though they of course need lethal rounds available for really bad situations and various monsters.
- Reach melee range and grapple; shuts down many of the opponent's tactical options and circumvents most problematic defenses.
- Disarm/Destroy spell component pouches/holy symbols/weapons to render the assailant less dangerous.
- Distract while backup arrives. Probably with ranged skirmishing, but aimed at staying alive and distracting rather than subduing the target.

Things like being able to use Tower Shield for total cover and throwing Tanglefoot Bags or Thunder Stones along with using few choice potions can go a long way towards making the various tactics more functional in various circumstances.


One thing I did notice while working on this is how ineffective patrols seem. Sure, it gives you better sightlines, but as I mentioned in my first post, a single lap around a guard's patrol path takes nearly 15 minutes. They're so easy to avoid its almost comical.

Without magic, it's really difficult to effectively monitor a large city with the appropriately-sized police force. However, if there's a number of undercover guards and informants around the city, and if the guard has access to some degree of clerical divinations, it becomes a world easier (even simple Zone of Truth completely changes the matter of finding culprits).

The patrols' purpose may not be to catch every criminal in the act and to keep an eye out on the whole city at all times, but to create a street presence so that:
1) To prevent crime in the first place with their existence.
2) To have some men at least nearby when something happens so if there's a witness or an informant or whatever, there are men who can get there in time.
3) To ensure that reinforcements are available.

If the patrol routes are somewhat irregular with varying time tables, it can be quite possible to keep any would-be crooks guessing and pre-emptively stop crime with the very threat of patrol happening to be there at that time even if it's far from a guarantee.

With 300 officers, maybe 50 patrols constantly would be doable; two shifts effectively, with about 100 men in stationary guards at guardposts, undercover and in reserve.


With the efficiency and resources of this kind of a fantasy guard compared to what it was back in the day, people would most likely also trust in the guard and have no qualms reporting crime as they can be quite confident the culprits are caught.

Basically, I'd go for what modern police does, except with the improved tools fantasy magic enables.

deuxhero
2010-02-01, 10:15 PM
I prefer level 3 focused casters as the "base" myself, because it is really silly when your guards can't take a housecat.

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 10:24 PM
Alright, this question is jumping momentarily from simply tactics to build;

5th level Heavys, what feats should they have? Again, their intended purpose here has basically become "okay, we're done being nice, so now we're going to bust in, break everything, and IF you survive we arrest you so you can rot in a nice high-security cell for a few years."

Current:
Endurance
Diehard
Weapon Focus (Shortsword)
Improved Toughness
??? [None picked yet]
??? [None picked yet]

EDIT: Oh, and I should have mentioned this earlier, these are the books I own (and by extention am willing to use):

Players Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Monster Manual
Libris Mortis
Draconomicon

I'd have more, but no job = no money = no books.

And houserules for mooks is average HP, no skills.

Altima
2010-02-01, 10:35 PM
Well, I'm personally never a fan of using mass multi-leveled NPCs in my campaign, so my suggestions may be taken with a grain of salt.

Firstly, you have more guards in your slums than in your 'normal' districts, which I find odd. Slums are slums, mostly, because those in charge don't really give a rat's ass about it. I'd think that there'd be even less guards, and the ones who are there would be the bottom of the barrel and corrupt as can be.

I'd actually use the town guard as a guard force--level 1s whose main purpose is to maintain a presence, prevent petty crimes, and the like. PCs are supposed to be powerful and rare--you don't want to dilute their 'specialness' by making them subpar. If you want to include more dangerous NPC guards, have a few level 2s who are retired army waiting to finish out their contracts.

Now, if the PCs do cause trouble, you can have a system where the guard can request aid from the nation's army. Those you can make nasty. If the PCs are powerful enough, you can set up several squads at nodal locations who can react to any sitings of the PCs--perhaps even more than one group coming in on them from opposing directions.

Eldariel
2010-02-01, 10:41 PM
Alright, few questions before delving into the builds:
- How much do you care for class fluff? Barbarian, Monk, Ranger & Rogue all offer various, fitting abilities for a guard in addition to Fighter, but the fluff is off on many parts (particularly Monk has key-abilities like Evasion, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple & high Will-save but has weird fluff).
- Is SRD included in the "if I don't have the book, I won't use it"-limitation?
- "No skills"; does that mean they don't have Spot/Listen/Search/Intimidate either, or will you assign bonuses to those as if they had skills regardless of class?
- What kind of stat generation would you want for the guards? Standard array? Elite array? 25pb?


I'd actually use the town guard as a guard force--level 1s whose main purpose is to maintain a presence, prevent petty crimes, and the like. PCs are supposed to be powerful and rare--you don't want to dilute their 'specialness' by making them subpar.

This part I disagree with; in my view PCs are supposed to be special in their potential and ability, but this is presented by them having superior ability scores and being able to reach higher levels. They aren't supposed to be superhumans right off the bat; that's what levels are for. Level 1 PCs are people just starting in their profession, finishing the pre-X training.

It's hardly a vast suspension of disbelief that guards would be trained to the point where they're actually ready for the field (note that D&D-world is very lethal compared to ours with otherworldly monsters, aberrations, magic-users and such), while PCs might start off a bit early. Are the PCs supposed to be superior at the very beginning of their career?

I always took it as PCs' potential is the really special thing about them; their ability to gain dozens of levels means they will eventually outpower even the local guard. But if every level 1 character with PC class could outpower the local guard, the guard would be completely useless. They'd mostly quiver in fear of housecats. And also, if the PCs could threaten the guard already on level 1, that'll take away the sense of accomplishment as they grow in levels.

There's a great feeling when you realize that those who could once kick your ass to moon and back would now stand no chance in combat with you. If you can kick an average trained warrior's ass on level 1, where's that accomplishment? You're already the best on level 1, you keep getting better, but who is there to compare yourself to?

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 10:42 PM
I actually have the opposite opinion towards PCs; they're nothing special, they've simply received an exemplary level of skill and repute by having balls the size of coconuts. They don't have anything that anyone else doesn't other than the will to go do the crazy things that will get them that powerful that quickly. The tradeoff is the lowered life expectancy.

So a 3rd level character, at least in this campaign, equals somone whose got the standard skillset of their profession (e.g. your average soldier will be 3rd level, your average arcane scholar will be 3rd level, your average priest will be 3rd level.) A 1st level character denotes someone who has more or less just come of age. (e.g. just finished basic training, just graduated from the arcane university or whatever) A 5th level character is on the upper end of competant (SWAT, Green Beret, whatever) while a 10th level character is well into the badass category (Spartans, for example). Much higher and you're pretty much beyond what any organization's training can give you.


Alright, few questions before delving into the builds:
- How much do you care for class fluff? Barbarian, Monk, Ranger & Rogue all offer various, fitting abilities for a guard in addition to Fighter, but the fluff is off on many parts (particularly Monk has key-abilities like Evasion, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple & high Will-save but has weird fluff).
- Is SRD included in the "if I don't have the book, I won't use it"-limitation?
- "No skills"; does that mean they don't have Spot/Listen/Search/Intimidate either, or will you assign bonuses to those as if they had skills regardless of class?
- What kind of stat generation would you want for the guards? Standard array? Elite array? 25pb?

-I like fluff. Though how well it will last I'm not sure. I've gotten so frusterated with the fluff contradicting what I'd like to do with a class, then you pile on minor bits like "this class ability is usless/nonsensical" I'm sorely tempted to just homebrew a complete class list by myself. I've already got the whole spellbook on my "to do" list.
-I do not use SRD. Again, it's just a thing I've got. A pet peeve, perhaps, but that doesn't seem accurate. If I can't hold the physical book in my hand and turn the pages, I don't like using it.
-"No skills" means that Mooks (MOOKS, specifically, not NPCs, which are always handcrafted) only get skill modifiers.
-Stat generation is the standard array from the DMG.

Eldariel
2010-02-01, 10:51 PM
-I like fluff. Though how well it will last I'm not sure. I've gotten so frusterated with the fluff contradicting what I'd like to do with a class, then you pile on minor bits like "this class ability is usless/nonsensical" I'm sorely tempted to just homebrew a complete class list by myself. I've already got the whole spellbook on my "to do" list.
-I do not use SRD. Again, it's just a thing I've got. A pet peeve, perhaps, but that doesn't seem accurate. If I can't hold the physical book in my hand and turn the pages, I don't like using it.
-"No skills" means that Mooks (MOOKS, specifically, not NPCs, which are always handcrafted) only get skill modifiers.
-Stat generation is the standard array from the DMG.

Alright, would heavies fall under "mook" or "NPC"-rules here? They're "special generics" so I could see either. And yeah, I'd definitely want to use Monk with those builds as it offers many things they'll definitely want anyways with relatively little effort and more importantly, bypasses the stat requirements that are otherwise an absolute pain for standard array characters (gl getting Improved Disarm or Grapple when your highest stat is 13).

Drakevarg
2010-02-01, 10:55 PM
Heavies are mooks. Basically anyone not important to earn a name is considered a mook. Being promoted to NPC gains you independantly rolled ability scores and HD, and skill points.

And scratch my earlier remark; I use the elite array for mooks. I hadn't actually bothered to look up the difference.

By the way, first HD is maxed. Always. No 2 HP commoners to be found, unless they were unlucky enough to be born with 6 CON.

Eldariel
2010-02-01, 11:27 PM
I could definitely see Barbarian 1/Monk 2/Fighter 2 (screwing the alignment rules; Barbarian just for the speed increase, Rage need not be used - Ranger 1 is another decent option) Heavies.

Stats:
16 Str (15 base + level-up)
Rest are harder.
14 goes to Dex or Con; this depends on your armor choice.
13 goes to Dex/Con or Int; this depends on whether you want them to access Combat Expertise-line and particularly Improved Trip
12 goes to Dex/Con or Wis; if your 13 went to Int, this should go to Dex/Con. Otherwise, to Wis.

10 and 8 are interchangeable. Well, no 8 in Wis; otherwise it doesn't matter.

This ends up with:
16 Str/14 Dex/12 Con/13 Int/10 Wis/8 Cha (Expertise, lighter armor)
16 Str/12 Dex/14 Con/13 Int/10 Wis/8 Cha (Expertise, heavier armor)
16 Str/14 Dex/13 Con/8 Int/12 Wis/10 Cha (lighter armor, no Expertise)
16 Str/13 Dex/14 Con/8 Int/12 Wis/10 Cha (heavier armor, no Expertise)
Feats:
M1. Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike
M2. Deflect Arrows
F1. Weapon Focus: Melee Weapon
F2. Blind-Fight (theory being, if faced with difficult opponents, they can use e.g. Smokesticks and the Blind-Fight benefits to win)

1 & 3-level feats can contain either generic stuff like Iron Will/Improved Toughness, or Expertise/Improved Trip. Weapon Focus could also become Power Attack if you envision them using two-handers.

Other feats to consider would include Diehard, Dodge, Weapon Focus: Whatever Ranged Weapon They'll Use, PBS > Rapid Shot and such.
For equipment, I see couple of options:

Armor:
1. Chain Shirt + Heavy/Tower Shield (probably depending on task; can be dropped as necessary): Has somewhat less AC than other options, but means they can use their Evasion and Barbarian Speed

2. Breastplate + Heavy/Tower Shield: Bit more AC, loses Evasion and goes to 20' base speed (30' with Barbarian).

3. Full-Plate + Heavy/Tower Shield: Max AC, but loses Evasion and Barbarian Speed. If you want to use this as their primary config (as heavies, they probably know what kind of target they've got and can choose equipment appropriately for the task), the Barbarian-level should probably be Ranger for Favored Enemy.
Melee Armament:
1. Longsword: Old standby, decent damage, crit range, quite efficient, goes with shield. Makes for an iconic primary weapon.

2. Greatsword: Something to use when you need to take something out. Highest damage out of any melee weapons, gains increased bonuses from Strength, very efficient.

3. Glaive: If you figure they need to take on something larger than themselves, or if bringing the opponent down is necessary.


I'd probably toss them both, a two-hander for tough-to-kill, and a one-hander for less tough targets.
Ranged Armament:
1. Composite Longbow (Str +3): They've got 16 Str; this is notably more efficient than any Crossbow or any other bow. I don't think there's any question about this being their primary ranged weapon.

2. Alchemist's Fire: Sometimes getting through armor is hard. However, hitting the guy isn't. This could be exceedingly useful in those scenarios.
Other Equipment:
Tanglefoot Bags
Smokesticks
Thunderstones
Alchemist's Fires
Acid
Potions of Cure Light/Moderate Wounds
Potions of Enlarge Person
Oil of Magic Weapon (for when dealing with DR/magic creatures)
Manacles

Splendor
2010-02-02, 06:26 AM
I guess I do things a bit differently...

If the PCs look like something my 1st level Guards (warriors) can't handle they get back up. Back up shows up with Brown mold oil (dr322), sleep smoke (waterdeep), tangle foot bolts (dr 349) and maybe even a spell caster to cast silence on the tangle foot bolt.

Brown mold oil: 2d6 non-lethal Cold damage on a direct hit. All creatures within a 5 radius of the hit location take 1d6 non-lethal Cold damage. (alchemical fire catches buildings on fire)
Sleep Smoke: DC 15 Fort or unconscious for 1 min, 10' radius round 1, 20' radius round 2
Tangle foot bolt: Sticks them to floor if DC 15 reflex is failed, and if it's silence they can't cast spells.

Higher level PCs get assassins and wanted posters. Then they have to deal with other higher level characters who will prepare and ambush them, when their at their weakest (like coming out of a dungeon or after fighting a group of other bad guys).
Usually I'll let them catch the first assassin who "nearly" kills one of them with a death attack while their sleeping and on the would-be assassin will be the PCs wanted posters with a list of the crimes they committed.

Calimehter
2010-02-02, 05:29 PM
The actual levels of the regulars and heavies is pretty setting dependent. My E6 campaign has plenty of Level 1 Warriors (w/o max HP even!) on patrol in bigger interior cities, and for there they suffice. I am, however, well aware that they wouldn't last past the first initiative tick in a place like FR Shadowdale. And even in my lower-powered campaing world, there are plenty of higher level types helping the Level 1's in the more dangerous (i.e. XP rich) areas of the world.

Some other thoughts:

- I like halberds, saps, and a couple of javelins as a good basic city watch weapons package. The halberd acts as a nice visible symbol of authority and has decent damage (esp. w/ elite array giving the +3 damage STR bonus to a two-hander). Halberd trips and saps are good for non-lethal takedowns, which any watch will want to do from time to time. Dedicated snipers with their own specialized gear are a good idea, but its nice for the others to have a round or two of something to do if their opponent happens to be on a rooftop or otherwise just out of reach, hence the javelins. The whole kit is effective and inexpensive.

- Now, since your guys are Level 3's and (presumably) have loads more money for gear than my poor Level 1's, my first thoughts would be adding some nifty alchemical goodness to their arsenal (tanglefoot bags come to mind) and upgrading the javelins to crossbows, as well as getting better starting armour.

- I rotate feats for my Level 1's, but you could have a pretty complete set at Level 3. Weapon Focus (Halberd) and Toughness are obvious choices from the core books(as is Improved Toughness, but I don't have that book). One less obvious one I like is using either Negotiator or Skill Focus: Sense Motive. Yes, its totally unoptimized, but it just always made sense to me that city watch would have at least a modicum of skill at weeding out basic lies. Its more of a fluff thing, though once in a very great while it does cause the PCs problems with a low Bluff check.