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Stacking bodyguards

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So, if character A is protected by character B and C, who each have the Bodyguard talent, can they stack the benefits of Bodyguard on A? Let's say that B has two ranks and C has one, can they both use the Bodyguard maneuver to upgrade the difficulty of attacks targeting A three times?

I don't see any RAW issues with it, but something in the back of my head screams about opening up for abuse, although I can't really think of how.

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Pretty much what they said, also it makes thematic sense as well.  Two dudes both blocking for someone are more likely to actually block an incoming attack then just one dude.    

And in case someone tries to say to you that it's too OP or broken if they do that, remember it will limit the options of 2 of the combatants in order to maintain that defensive screen.  Meaning they aren't likely to take any move actions (have to stay Engaged to the person they are protecting), and while I can't remember if the  Bodyguard thing is a direct action they have to take (meaning they aren't doing anything else that turn, thus 2 people aren't actively fighting back), it would still be using up their strain for 2 of them per turn as well.  

Again, I forget the details, but I think they would still take the damage if the attack succeeds right?  Meaning the guard would get hit instead?  If so, you're still doing damage to an enemy unit, just not the one you want.  So it's not like it's a wasted attack or anything.

Gah, wish I had my books handy to read what Bodyguard specifically does.  Haven't looked at that talent in a while.

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27 minutes ago, korjik said:

Might need some sort of limit on the number of times it can stack then. 30 rank 1 bodyguards shouldnt make someone virtually invulnerable.

Shouldn't it though?  I mean, what are the odds of hitting someone specifically at the bottom of a 30 person dogpile?   That's like trying to snipe the guy buried at the bottom of an american football pileup who has the ball, but right now some 20 odd people are on top of him.

It takes several minutes of removing people to even see him.

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1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

Pretty much what they said, also it makes thematic sense as well.  Two dudes both blocking for someone are more likely to actually block an incoming attack then just one dude.    

And in case someone tries to say to you that it's too OP or broken if they do that, remember it will limit the options of 2 of the combatants in order to maintain that defensive screen.  Meaning they aren't likely to take any move actions (have to stay Engaged to the person they are protecting), and while I can't remember if the  Bodyguard thing is a direct action they have to take (meaning they aren't doing anything else that turn, thus 2 people aren't actively fighting back), it would still be using up their strain for 2 of them per turn as well.  

Again, I forget the details, but I think they would still take the damage if the attack succeeds right?  Meaning the guard would get hit instead?  If so, you're still doing damage to an enemy unit, just not the one you want.  So it's not like it's a wasted attack or anything.

Gah, wish I had my books handy to read what Bodyguard specifically does.  Haven't looked at that talent in a while.

So, Bodyguard lets you use Bodyguard Manouver, at a cost X strain (where X is no greater than ranks in Bodyguard), and upgrades the difficulty of attacking the person attached that round X times.

But it's a Manouver, so they have to take that that every round they want to protect the target, and have to stay engaged, and it does not force you to attack the target, you can always try to take out the bodyguard instead.

Improved Bodyguard lets you take a blow for them, which is Out of Turn, but only once per session.

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7 minutes ago, Darzil said:

So, Bodyguard lets you use Bodyguard Manouver, at a cost X strain (where X is no greater than ranks in Bodyguard), and upgrades the difficulty of attacking the person attached that round X times.

But it's a Manouver, so they have to take that that every round they want to protect the target, and have to stay engaged, and it does not force you to attack the target, you can always try to take out the bodyguard instead.

Improved Bodyguard lets you take a blow for them, which is Out of Turn, but only once per session.

Thanks.  So we have a talent that still requires them to spend X strain per turn (for more than one enemy unit).   And only redirects the attack that still gets through (which is still totally possible for a skilled ranged combatant), if they take an improved version, and it's only once per session.  And said redirected attack could potentially drop the guard, depending on how tough they are, thus reducing the Bodyguard efficacy going forward.

Plus they have to spend a maneuver to do it, which means if their target of protection decides to move that turn, they're spending even more strain to move with him to keep him safe.  If not, and they all agree to stay in one place, you've effectively locked them down in one location on the combat map, while the attackers have freedom to move as they wish.

Yeah, I don't see how that's broken at all if you stack multiple people doing it.   There are tons of drawbacks to doing that if you look at the full engagement, and not just the attack upgrade.    Plus, as the above poster mentioned, having 2 people with BG Rank 1, is mechanically no different than 1 person with BG Rank 2, so it's really more just narrative flavor and visual description.

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8 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

Shouldn't it though?  I mean, what are the odds of hitting someone specifically at the bottom of a 30 person dogpile?   That's like trying to snipe the guy buried at the bottom of an american football pileup who has the ball, but right now some 20 odd people are on top of him.

It takes several minutes of removing people to even see him.

Yeah, I guess so. Especially with the way the rule reads (thanks Darzil) it does make sense. 

It should really be called 'Ablative Meat Shield' when used that way tho. I'd probably start giving obligation if the players were trying to do that tho.

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35 minutes ago, korjik said:

Yeah, I guess so. Especially with the way the rule reads (thanks Darzil) it does make sense. 

It should really be called 'Ablative Meat Shield' when used that way tho. I'd probably start giving obligation if the players were trying to do that tho.

Ablative meatshield is the squad rules. Only the leader matters; everyone else is just ablative Wounds.

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1 hour ago, korjik said:

Yeah, I guess so. Especially with the way the rule reads (thanks Darzil) it does make sense. 

It should really be called 'Ablative Meat Shield' when used that way tho. I'd probably start giving obligation if the players were trying to do that tho.

I'd say if a group manages to get 30 stacks of a talent, that should be a challenge in itself, why penalize it?

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Theorycrafting here, but what about a Minion group or two with the talent? They'd have to take wounds to activate as they don't have strain. The group(s) would need to be milling about in engaged range to activate also, which would get difficult with more than two groups. On the up side as minions drop they are no less effective if their job is to bodyguard, not until the last one drops.

 

Also, as a GM, would you rule that to maintain 100% coverage, essentially the target and guard couldn't move, as they'd each have to act out of sequence? Personally, if the bodyguard spent a maneuver to activate the talent, and the other to say that they would maintain distance with the target, I'd probably all the target to spend one maneuver on moving without outpacing the guard. A second maneuver would distance the two though.

Edited by Roderz
Added a question/thought

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Edit - Minions cannot voluntarily take strain, so you can't use Bodyguard as a Minion.

And every time I see this thread title I wonder how many bodyguards you need to stack up to count as cover.

Edited by Darzil

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2 hours ago, Darzil said:

Edit - Minions cannot voluntarily take strain, so you can't use Bodyguard as a Minion.

And every time I see this thread title I wonder how many bodyguards you need to stack up to count as cover.

As a rule of thumb I'd say that a stack of bodyguards provides about as much cover as a pile of dead bards.

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3 hours ago, Darzil said:

Edit - Minions cannot voluntarily take strain, so you can't use Bodyguard as a Minion.

And every time I see this thread title I wonder how many bodyguards you need to stack up to count as cover.

Can't they take wounds instead? I don't remember.

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For PCs, I would ask the two with the Bodyguard talent why they are playing similar roles and if each one is okay with sharing this very specific niche with another character.

For NPCs, that's a lot of tomfoolery to mess with and would rather use the squad rules instead.

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55 minutes ago, kaosoe said:

For PCs, I would ask the two with the Bodyguard talent why they are playing similar roles and if each one is okay with sharing this very specific niche with another character.

For NPCs, that's a lot of tomfoolery to mess with and would rather use the squad rules instead.

Two characters that use Body Guard (the talent) to protect one another can be very effective.

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6 hours ago, kaosoe said:

For PCs, I would ask the two with the Bodyguard talent why they are playing similar roles and if each one is okay with sharing this very specific niche with another character.

For NPCs, that's a lot of tomfoolery to mess with and would rather use the squad rules instead.

For PCs, it's very possible to have characters that are "bash brothers" and always act in such a way to cover their buddy's back in a fight.  For instance, the McManus brothers from Boondock Saints, or even Obi-Wan and Anakin during the later part of the Clone Wars; you could say that in the opening rounds of their 2-on-1 fight with Dooku in RotS they were each using Bodyguard so that no matter who Dooku went after he'd have a rough time of it.

For NPCs, using two or three Rivals with Bodyguard provides a way to protect an important NPC similar to how a squad does, but where as squad rules can lead to frustration on the part of the players (especially if the GM keeps shunting damage into the minions) using a small group of Rivals (three at most, as any more than that starts getting nuts) gives players the option of either trying to get that lucky shot against the main target, or make notable progress in whittling down the guards and thus lessen the main target's protective wall.  Plus, it'd be fairly easy to have the Rivals make the occasional attack (especially if they've got blasters) to keep the players more on their toes than how a squad would.

In a fairly early one-shot I ran during the early EotE post-Beta days, I had an encounter set up with a minor crime boss who was not combat-savvy at all (no combat skill ranks, no ranks in Adversary) who had a pair of female Twi'lek bodyguards (set of Rivals, each with the Bodyguard talent), and it worked quite well to frustrate the players that they just couldn't get a clean shot at the crime boss, but also gave them a notable sense of satisfaction once they started going after the Twi'leks.

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I think people misunderstood me. I do not explicitly disallow that sort of thing, nor do I care if they do it. I just like to make sure all characters are comfortable having a shared niche.

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11 minutes ago, kaosoe said:

I think people misunderstood me. I do not explicitly disallow that sort of thing, nor do I care if they do it. I just like to make sure all characters are comfortable having a shared niche.

I took it as a fun game where one person plays a politico and the others play their retinue.  Or sub in a hutt fort he politico.  There are lots of instances where this sort of game would come up and it's always wise to talk about it ahead of time. 

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