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J.Gellert
2009-06-03, 01:47 PM
Since I am picking Leadership, I am rolling up a bodyguard character as a sidekick to my caster. I am trying to find bodyguard-themed abilities and feats.

Of course he will have sneak attack, but other than that... I was expecting a little searching to help, but apparently all I could find was the Devoted Defender class that hasn't even been updated to 3.5.

It's an old concept really, so if anyone knows of any feats or class combinations that can help, I'd be happy to hear it.

Glimbur
2009-06-03, 01:52 PM
There's a Thayan Knight PrC in Complete Warrior. They're supposed to be totally loyal to Red Wizards of Thay and be helpful to them. I don't recall how much bodyguarding they do, and how much murdering they do though.

There's a ToB maneuver called Shield Block or some such. Really, a straight Crusader would be ok as a bodyguard.

Berserk Monk
2009-06-03, 01:54 PM
dwarven defender

Zaq
2009-06-03, 01:54 PM
I would say a Knight, a Crusader, or some combination of the two would be your best bet.

There's also a couple feats in Drow of the Underdark that essentially let you take a hit for an ally, but I don't have the book open so I forget the specifics. Still, might want to check them out.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-03, 01:55 PM
Knight, PHBII. Has various abilities to force enemies to attack him over his allies. Can't SA(has a Code that prevents Flanking), but is generally pretty useful.
Crusader, ToB. Gets a variety of abilities to protect others, soak damage, and similar, but IMHO is too complicated for a Cohort, and is less defensive than the knight, though less restricted, and has more viable S&B.

Also, why is SA obviously needed?

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-03, 01:59 PM
I don't see where sneak attack comes into play.

You could make him another arcane spellcaster who goes into IotSV. Those barriers, combined with the various spells to hamper foes, make it very hard for people to approach the leader.

Common responses in this thread will include crusader and knight, which are both melee classes that have class features that make it hard to get past them and/or hit allies near them. These are probably the best things a melee'er could be.

For race for melee, you could do neraph if your main is an arcane spellcaster. That way, you get to polymorph him into the outsiders, who are quite fierce. Another thing you could do is play an incarnate construct maug or an amphibious anthropomorphic giant squid. These large creatures are tremendously powerful, and also give access to the Large and in Charge feat. Large and in Charge combined with a spiked chain makes it very hard for foes to approach.

J.Gellert
2009-06-03, 02:08 PM
Sneak attack is there so that he can flank and take down anyone that turns his back on him.

Knight would do alright but I don't want to steal the show from the group's meatshield with my cohort :smalltongue: Doubly so with Crusader.


There's also a couple feats in Drow of the Underdark that essentially let you take a hit for an ally, but I don't have the book open so I forget the specifics. Still, might want to check them out.

Checked them out, they are excellent! Thank you for the help :smallsmile:

Animefunkmaster
2009-06-03, 04:26 PM
I too am thinking sneak attack might not be a good option if you want him to focus on guarding you (power attack on the other hand could be good and could get more use than sneak attack). I will share a few methods I found to be useful.

Methods of successful body guarding:
Classes
Fighter/Psychic Warrior, srd/phb/Xphb, the idea here is to make the classic spiked chain tripper/standstill. Feats like combat reflexes + Improved Trip or stand still and Improved Bullrush + Knock back with a huge threatened area (expansion or a naturally large race) to essentially control all movement in your threatened area. Synergisizes well with Warmindís ability to hit adjacent opponents.
Crusader, Tome of Battle. Capitalizes on Attack of Opportunities with the thicket of blades stance but also has a few interesting abilities to use as a body guard (and healing) and a huge HP pool.
Knight PHB2. I only include this to better complete your list of options. I donít find this to be a worthwhile class for anything but npcs.


Prestige Classes
Devoted Defender in Sword and Fist (Remember things that werenít updated from 3.0 are fair game in 3.5). 3 levels will give 3 useful abilities at the price of weapon focus (ick) and alertness (double ick), but can be useful.
Order of the Chikai in Secrets of the Phoenix (probably donít have the book, but its from the l5r rpg). 1 level is all you need for a very good ability. Enemies provoke an attack of opportunity from you when moving INTO your CHARGES threatened area. The best part is this specific kind of AoO doesn't count toward the number of AoOs you can make per round. Downside you need 5 feats (3 of which are your choice from the phoenix clan list, and the other two give you something akin to 3 action points) and earliest entry is 12. While this class ability seems great, it comes very late at a huge cost.

Tactics/Combos:
The HP Pool: This general revolves around having a body guard/group of body guards and items/spells/powers of share pain and shield other to make things that hit you diffuse the damage to those that can take it. I have seen casters use this with their familiar and seen it with a Dvati (Dragon Compendium) Crusader to have more hp then they will ever need.
Spiked Chain tripping: Snow Savants original tactic for making a worthwhile fighter is still the best way for a warrior to guard someone, but add in things like stand still and knock back (races of stone) so you can push them around or force a fort save if tripping is unlikely.
Evasive Reflexis + Reach Weapon + Combat Reflexes+ Improved unarmed strike or gauntlets (or short haft or spiked chain): This ability, depending on positioning will mimic to a certain degree what the Devoted Defender should do. When an enemy leaves your threatened square to move around you to go to your caster you get an AoO (which specifically goes off before the action that triggered it). You use the AoO to make a 5 foot step into the square the opponent was moving into. He enters your square and provokes a second AoO, ending his movement, you get to attack and he moves back to his original square.

Shpadoinkle
2009-06-03, 06:41 PM
A crusader could make an excellent bodyguard. One example right off the top of my head is a counter they have that gives one adjacent ally the crusader's shield bonus to AC +4, which is like a level 1 or 2 maneuver. They also have stances and maneuvers that allow them to heal themseles or an ally.

Blackjackg
2009-06-03, 09:27 PM
I would say a Knight, a Crusader, or some combination of the two would be your best bet.

There's also a couple feats in Drow of the Underdark that essentially let you take a hit for an ally, but I don't have the book open so I forget the specifics. Still, might want to check them out.

Ok, that's creepy. Not one minute ago, I was thinking about a build for a bodyguard-type, and that's exactly what I came up with. Specifically, a Knight 6/Crusader 3/Knight 11 build, with all those groovy Devoted Spirit moves. It might need to be re-fluffed slightly, but the crunch is solid.

And yeah, those DotU feats are pretty much ideal.

Curmudgeon
2009-06-03, 09:40 PM
Whatever you do, get a pair of Friend Shield rings. Have the bodyguard soak up half of any damage that actually gets to you.

Grommen
2009-06-03, 10:10 PM
Ya I'm gonna have to go with Knight for several reasons.

#1 they can with some feats (that are in PHBII I think) pretty much take hits for your wizzie. They also have taunts, challenges, and stuff of that nature to tie up anyone that gets to close to your person.

#2 Your hiring personal protection here you want him to act, look, and behave like an 800 pound gorilla. That way the bad guy does not see you as the major threat until it's to late.

#3 Knights generally don't accept bribes to turn on their boss. Nothing is worse than said 800 pound gorilla deciding to change teams in the middle of a fight.

He is not gonna out shine your teams meat shield because he is at least two levels behind you and the rest of your party (I'm assuming here), and he is not dedicated to the party. He is dedicated to you, and saving your ass and no one else, unless this is beneficial to you as well. You also control the bodyguard (again I'm assuming here), so you decide when and where he does anything. So let your meat shield do what he is supposed to, and you keep your bodyguard close to you.

I also don't get the sneakatting. Any two people can flank another, you don't have to have sneak attack. Ya it helps when you do flank someone but in your case the person your flanking is going to be tied up with an 800 pound gorilla wile your spellcaster whoops up some nasty mojo to take him out.

Just do what I have always done to the meat shield/wizard protector when I play a wizard. Buy him a ring of major elemental resistance, and wile he is engaged in melee with the other team begin dropping nukes on them both :)

J.Gellert
2009-06-04, 03:22 AM
All this is very tempting, and you are all being very helpful, but I'd just rather have a rogueish sidekick. I just enjoy the style, and you have to admit there is some synergy ('Oh, I am sorry, did that spell stun you? Sneak attack.'). My mage is a big guy with a sword, he won't hide behind another big guy - rather, as was a line in Total War, 'It's hard to imagine that the man in his shadow is a real threat'. Besides, ninja eventually get the ability to blind people without a save - and our campaign is very humanoid-focused.

Thank you for all the great advice though! I've already picked the DotU feats and the Friend Shield ring. I'd definitely get a look at the Order of the Chikai as well but I don't have the book either...

JackMage666
2009-06-04, 03:30 AM
All this is very tempting, and you are all being very helpful, but I'd just rather have a rogueish sidekick. I just enjoy the style, and you have to admit there is some synergy ('Oh, I am sorry, did that spell stun you? Sneak attack.'). My mage is a big guy with a sword, he won't hide behind another big guy - rather, as was a line in Total War, 'It's hard to imagine that the man in his shadow is a real threat'. Besides, ninja eventually get the ability to blind people without a save - and our campaign is very humanoid-focused.

Thank you for all the great advice though! I've already picked the DotU feats and the Friend Shield ring. I'd definitely get a look at the Order of the Chikai as well but I don't have the book either...

The thing is, with a Rogue-ish sidekick, he's going to have a hard time really being a bodyguard. So, maybe you're wanting a different term, since when I hear body guard, I'm thinking someone who protects and takes hits for you.

The best I can offer as a fusion of the two would be a Sneak Attack Variant Fighter - All the armors proficiencies of a Fighter, as well as the HP, but no Bonus Feats and rogue's Sneak Attack. After that, maybe Swashbuckler, since they have decent HP as well.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-04, 05:12 AM
I'd get a Dragon Shaman (PH2), probably make him a Dragonborn of Bahamut if it wouldn't lead to any conflicts or issues. Use Entangling Exhalation whenever possible and focus on using fear effects.

Arctic Elf (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/environmentalRacialVariants.htm#arcticElves) Dragonborn of Bahamut Dragon Shaman 20, Shield Specialization and Shield Ward if Flaws are available, Skill Focus: Intimidate (Otyugh Hole), Never Outnumbered skill trick, Entangling Exhalation (1), Recover Breath (3), Imperious Command (6), Frightful Presence (9), Double Draconic Aura (12), and Ability Focus: Frightful Presence (15). Focus on Con and Cha, AC, and Intimidate bonuses. Always use Entangling Exhalation, use Intimidate to demoralize anyone who tries to engage the PC, use Intimidate if neither breath weapon is available. Your early aura choices should be Energy Shield, Presence, and Vigor.

derfenrirwolv
2009-06-04, 06:57 AM
Cleric.

Protection from evil, resist elements, and they can heal you faster than you'll take damage. At higher levels can also freedom of movement you out of a grapple. In terms of pure meat shield they effectively have higher hit points than any fighter.

mikej
2009-06-04, 07:09 AM
Cleric.

Protection from evil, resist elements, and they can heal you faster than you'll take damage. At higher levels can also freedom of movement you out of a grapple. In terms of pure meat shield they effectively have higher hit points than any fighter.

I'd have to agree with this suggestion. Druid could also be usefull, between it's already powerfull wildshape, full-caster progression ( including it's summons ) and it's animal companion. Though if you're using Leadership all that paperwork may become annoying. Cleric is still a really strong choice, In case of the envitable, why not eventually have a bodyguard that could revive you?

Epinephrine
2009-06-04, 07:20 AM
The Tactical Soldier from miniatures handbook has some nice abilities, e.g.

Interpose (Ex): A tactical soldier gains this ability, usable three times per day, at 3rd level. When an enemy threatens her in melee and makes a successful attack against an adjacent ally of hers, the tactical soldier may take the damage (and other effects) of the blow as if she had been hit instead.

Defensive Shield (Ex): Starting at 4th level, whenever a tactical soldier fights defensively, she provides up to two adjacent allies with a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class, though their attack rolls do not take the normal Ė4 penalty (but her attack rolls still do).

There are others abilities too, but they are all in the same vein. :)
Give him Shieldmate+Improved Shieldmate, possibly pick up some martial maneuvers? Iron Guard's Glare as a stance is pretty awesome.

Another example is the Knight Protector from Complete Warrior.