View Full Version : My attempt at making a working Bodyguard PRC [3.5/MV]

2011-08-17, 01:53 PM
Please ignore the prerequisites and slightly odd way of phrasing some things; it's intended for my adapted 3.5 system, Mecha Victoriana, but i'll attempt to convert stuff back in time.

Shield Block and MV shields in general:
Shields in MV have the same bonuses as in D&D or at least similar ones. The difference is implementation. They can be used in up to three ways:

The first is as cover. By spending a Swift action or Move action, you gain a cover bonus to your defence equal to the shield's bonus. This doesn't stack with normal cover.

Second, you may spend Attacks of Opportunity to put the shield between yourself and an attack. Doing so adds the higher of your Strength modifier or the shield's bonus to your defence against that attack only. This is a cover bonus but stacks with one other cover bonus, either from the passive use of the shield or actual cover.

Finally, if you use the Combat Expertise feat, your Dodge bonus to Defence from the feat is doubled [like damage from Power Attack on a two handed weapon]


Important people need protection; this is a universal truth. Sometimes, it is because they are incapable of defending themselves, but at other times, it is more because they have more pressing matters to attend to than defending themselves; peace treaties don't negotiate themselves, you know.

The most famous group of bodyguards are known as Guardians and are trained by a detective agency called Angels' of London. They are not necessarily the best bodyguards in the business but certainly the most imitated; their uniform, middle grey suits with very high necked waistcoats [actually Masterwork Impermeables], oddly altered sleeves and slightly tinted glasses intended to keep the sun out of their eyes, being the modern symbol of efficiency.

Guardians rely on brutal simplicity in disabling their foes before they can kill the target. They work hard on security to attempt to minimise the need for their combat skills and try to remain as unobtrusive as possible so as to get the drop on anyone suspicious.

In order to become a Guardian, one must find a tutor and meet the following requirements:
Skills: Athletics 7 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Observation 7 ranks
Feats: Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Fisticuffs/Martial Arts

{table]Level |
Def |
Fort |
Ref |
Will | Notes

1 |
+ 1 |
+ 1 |
+ 2 |
+ 2 |
+ 0 | Body Shield, Eliminate Threat, Mark (1)

2 |
+ 2 |
+ 2 |
+ 3 |
+ 3 |
+ 1 | Critical Space (5ft), Intercept

3 |
+ 3 |
+ 3 |
+ 3 |
+ 3 |
+ 1 | Efficient Takedown, Gifted Aid

4 |
+ 4 |
+ 4 |
+ 4 |
+ 4 |
+ 2 | Defensive Shuffle, Mark (2)

5 |
+ 5 |
+ 5 |
+ 4 |
+ 4 |
+ 2 | Critical Space (10ft), Playing for Keeps, Ruthless Defence[/table]

Hit Dice: d10
Class Skills: Athletics (Str), Disguise (Cha), Escapistry (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Str/Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Observation (Wis), Tumble (Dex)
Skill Points per level: 4 + Int per level

Class Abilities:
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Guardians are proficient with all Simple and Martial weapons, Light and Medium armour and with Shields.

Body Shield [Ex]: When adjacent to your Marked character, you may replace their defence score with your own barring any cover bonuses you possess. Further, any cover you grant to them using your body is considered to be one grade better than normal.

Eliminate Threat [Ex]: Your entire purpose in the field is to keep your mark alive. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to brutally eliminate those that pose a threat to him. The first attack you make each round against any target that has attacked your Mark since the beginning of the round deals +1d6 Mangle damage per level of Guardian you possess. This may apply to multiple attacks if they are directed at multiple suitable targets but never more than once per round against a single target, no matter how many times he attacked your mark.

Eliminate Threat dice count as Sneak Attack dice for qualifying for an delivering feats that require or sacrifice Sneak Attack dice.

Mark: The Angels agency refer to the subjects to their protection, rather unflatteringly, as "Marks." As a result, most other agencies do too. It takes ten minutes to designate a character as one of your marks and most Guardian class features function only when protecting a character so marked; only those of your size or smaller may be Marked. You may protect one character at a time at first level, rising to two at fourth level. Some other agencies or individual guardians refer to their protectees as "Principals." It means the same thing.

Critical Space [Ex]: You have trained to split your attention between the environment and the area directly around the mark. Very little occurs within this space without you knowing it; as long as you remain in a square adjacent to the mark, your threatened area is treated as originating from your mark rather than yourself and you gain Blindsense within your threatened area.

At 2nd level, this grants only your normal threatened area from around the Mark. You lose your conventional Threatened Area when you use this, leaving you slightly vulnerable.

At 4th level, when he gains his second Mark, you gain the ability to expand your threatened area from all those that you are both adjacent to and marked.

At 5th level, your Reach increases by 5ft, but only when using your Critical Space ability, meaning that you can sense and defend in an area 10ft around your Marks.

Intercept [Ex]: Attacking a Guardian's target is not wise. At 2nd level, if someone attacks your Mark from inside the Critical Space, you may make an Attack of Opportunity against them. This takes place simultaneously with the attack and does not affect the enemy's attack in any way. Eliminate Threat may well function on this ability.

Deflect [Ex]: A trademark of the Guardians is the use of a shield to deflect weapons fire and attacks from their Mark. The majority of the Angels wear folding shields under their shirts and jackets as a result. From 3rd level, you may make Shield Block actions to defend your Mark from incoming attacks. Further, you may nominate one of your Marks as the recipient of your shield's cover bonus rather than yourself, if you take a Defence action.

Efficient Takedown [Ex]: Guardians are all trained to disable their target as fast as possible and removing the ability to fight is easier to achieve than crippling in many cases, plus it can allow for interrogation and the possible elimination of the source of the threat. Strictly, this ability does not grant any specific effect, instead enhancing a selection of feats that are not prerequisites of the class. You gain a number of the following feat enhancements up to their class level that they possess the base feat for:
Butting In: You may perform these attacks with your shield or with unarmed strikes.
Improved Disarm: When you successfully disarm a target, you may then follow up with an Unarmed attack as a Free action.
Improved Shield Bash: If you strike a foe with your shield, you may compare your attack roll to the target's Tussle; if you beat it, the target is knocked prone in his square.
Improved Trip: You may slide your target up to 10ft rather than making your free attack.
Improved/Greater Spellhunter: When you use Eliminate Threat on a Critical Area attack, you count as using the above feats.
Mobility: You may Shift through the spaces of your enemies as long as you end your move adjacent to your Mark. You automatically Tumble when doing this, which does not slow you down.
Occult Breaker: Your mutterings do not apply to your Marks.
Parry: If you use Intercept to stop an attack using your weapon, you may then riposte by making a normal Attack of Opportunity against the attacker
Point Blank Shot: As long as you have a ranged weapon readied, you may treat your Critical Space as being equal to your close range bracket but only if the enemy attacks with a ranged weapon.
Rapid Shot: You may accept double the normal penalty to add additional attacks to your Critical Space attacks with ranged weapons. Obviously, you'll probably need Point Blank Shot. This also applies to the improved versions of the feats.
Safehouse: When you prepare a safe house, you may prepare two instead.
Shield Specialisation: Whenever you use your shield to gain a cover bonus, it applies to both yourself and your Marks.
Spellhunter: You may add your Strength bonus to the penalty you inflict on checks to cast defensively.

Gifted Aid [Ex]: Working in close contact with VIPs and henging out their aids forces a 3rd level Guardian to learn to perform a wide array of tasks efficiently, basically becoming the entire office himself. When you use Aid Another to assist your Mark, you double the modifier. This does not apply to attack rolls and cannot exceed half your Mark's own modifier.

Defensive Shuffle [Ex]: A 4th level Guardian has gotten over any sense that respect is more important than the Mark's life. You have mastered the art of shoving them out of the way and taking their place. As an Immediate action, you may Slide your Mark 5ft and Shift 10ft yourself.

You must end up closer to the attacker than the Mark. You use this technique mostly to push your Mark into cover or to position yourself between them and a blast to take advantage of the Evasion effect.

Playing For Keeps [Ex]: Crippling pain is an efficient way of stopping people attacking your Mark. From 5th level, when you use your Eliminate Threat ability, you may reduce the number of Mangle damage dice deal by 5 to inflict a Wound [negative level]. There is no save against this ability.

Ruthless Defence [Ex]: You shoot to kill at anyone who even looks at your Mark funny. You may use Eliminate threat on all attacks you make against targets that attacked your mark in the last round, not just the first.

2011-08-17, 05:46 PM
I get the impression that you use a radically modified system, so I'm not really sure what to compare this against, but it seems to be very limited - your abilities basically only function within your threatened space, and your movement is incredibly constrained since you must remain adjacent to your mark at all times. Does your game world include guns? I could see the bodyguard being much more effective if he was packing heat. You might also consider some provision for enhancing speed, as a bodyguard who can't keep up with his mark is only slowing him down and making it more likely that they both get killed.

Also, you have fluffed the class as focusing on stealth and security, to eliminate the need for combat, but the mechanics really don't seem to shape the class in that direction.

Grammar on Efficient Takedown needs some work.

2011-08-17, 06:25 PM
One of the ironies of this forum is that basically everyone plays a modified version of the game but no-one knows enough about the others to say much.

I'm very reticent to publish it anywhere online, both for the vague and abiding hope of being able to publish the damn thing and also the fact that i'm not sure anyone would read it, let alone play it for all the effort needed to publish it online.

You make a good point on movement. Do you think causing the mark to move or the mark pulling you along would make more sense?

I left the concealment and security in the skills because if i designed mechanics for it, it would likely be too setting tied [the MV base has also been applied to samurai games without issue, just without the extra tech].

I'll take a look at that there grammer.

2011-08-17, 11:29 PM
Idea that I've considered in terms of the meatshield role: Allow move actions to be readied as move actions. That way, he can ready to keep himself between the guy he's protecting and the guy he's protecting him from, and still have a standard action available to do stuff.

2011-08-18, 05:49 AM
Well, much depends on how your in-house mechanics work, but I'd think you'd probably want to act at the same time as your mark. Maybe...

Keep In Step (Ex): When the bodyguard and his mark roll initiative, either may choose to use the initiative result of the other. When they act on the same initiative count, the bodyguard and his mark perform their actions simultaneously. For example, if they begin their movement adjacent to one another and move to a position where they are still adjacent, they are considered adjacent throughout their move. If the bodyguard has two marks, both receive this benefit.

Keeping up also implies being able to move at the speed of more lightly armored characters, so, I'd also recommend Medium Armor Mastery, as the knight class feature (no reduction to speed in medium armor).

If the non-combat benefits are contained within skills, you might consider adding class level as a competence bonus to those skills (perhaps only when used for specific tasks, or when used on behalf of the mark).