Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

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Ndreare
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Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#1 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:54 am

Not wanting to derail another thread I am putting this hear.
JackMann wrote:Unfortunately, most RPGs don't really let you be a bodyguard, mechanically. They don't have great mechanics for letting you stand between an enemy and your buddy. Things like attacks of opportunity can help a bit, but it's still not something most tabletop games let you do.


Perhaps this is best done with two small adaptions, a new maneuver and some edges?

Combat Option: Interpose
A character may use her action to provide cover for their ward by placing them selves between the attackers and their ward. To do this the protector assumes the same location (square) as the ward and uses their own body for cover.
The attackers receive a +2 bonus to hit the protector. however, the ward gains a one step increase in cover (minimum -2).


Edge: Bodyguard
Requirements: Novice, Notice d6, Streetwise d6
Type: Professional Edge
The character has learned how to spot trouble coming, investigate backgrounds, and understand when things are going to go bad. The character received +2 to Investigation, Notice, and Streetwise rolls related to investigating backgrounds, observing threats and predicting danger. (This edge always applies to Danger Sense rolls.)
In addition the character may take the Danger Sense edge in a non-weird setting.


Edge: Active Protector
Requirements: Novice, Fighting d6, Notice d6
Type: Combat Edge
The character has learned how to protect her ward and keep them moving. When this character performs the Interpose maneuver attackers do not receive a bonus to hit the character.

Edge: Improved Active Protector
Requirements: Seasoned, Active Protector
Type: Combat Edge
The character has is even better at keeping the target moving.
When using the interpose maneuver: The character's ward may now move on your initiative card, the ward takes no leaving engagement attacks and when running in tandem the two may use the higher running die result of each other. This cannot allow a character to run further than their maximum running​ die result.
Last edited by Ndreare on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ValhallaGH
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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:09 pm

I'm trying to understand what this brings to the game that tactical positioning and First Strike don't already achieve.
If someone is charging your ward, and you use First Strike to make them Shaken, then the only way they get to attack your ward is if they immediately spend a Benny to remove Shaken. At which point, plot control* has been used to allow the attack attempt to happen.
This tactic is defeated by people charging in from the opposite (unprotected) direction or a canny sniper, both of which fit within the real world and narrative expectations of such scenes.
So, I wonder, what does this bring to the game that tactical positioning and (Improved) First Strike don't already achieve?


*Bennies are a form of limited narrative control. They can be used to re-attempt the first try at an action, mitigate or negate damage in a scene, or other effects as negotiated with the GM or dictated by Edges and Setting Rules. Using a benny to do something indicates that the something is an important element of the plot, to that player.
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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#3 Postby JackMann » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:59 pm

One issue with first strike is that after the initial go, there's nothing stopping them from just stepping around you. In the real world, you can keep moving to keep yourself between your ward and the enemy. Because SW switches from one side to the other, there's nothing to allow you to keep protecting someone from the start.

My question with interpose is similar. What if they move around you until you're no longer directly between them and your ward? Does the bonus vanish?

How about giving allies a parry bonus when adjacent to the bodyguard? Or maybe the bodyguard gets bonuses to attacking enemies who just tried to hit his friends (taking advantage of them ignoring him).

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#4 Postby Matchstickman » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:57 pm

Why not the opposite of the Gang Up bonus? -1 to hit per ally next to you. A Body Guard edge could increase that bonus (like the SPC Team Player Edge).
Also, I am reminded of the Adventure Card where you suffer the damage instead of the (adjacent) target, I don't know that it is so powerful that it should be restricted to just a card, could it not be an edge too? An improved version could also add in the Take The Hit Edge, but for interposed damage only.
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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#5 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:18 pm

To clarify I intended Interpose to state the protector is in the same square as the ward. I will edit it to reflect as much.

There are lots of ways to play with our adapt the edges, they are not play tested. They are simply trying to start a conversation in the direction JackMann mentioned.
Right now there is no way to give cover to a ward, and no way to move on the same action ensuring you are together.

This is based off the assumption the main role of a bodyguard is to prevent and predict danger. That is covered in the perception related bonuses and investigation bonus. The Bodyguard sees the danger and keeps the ward from going there.

The secondary role is to get you out of famer as soon as possible. That is covered in the other maneuvers. The TV style gun fight would get your ward killed and is the worst possible situation.

If someone wants to play a TV style bodyguard there are a dozen combinations that cover that already. But that sucks when people are shooting your ward and you are behind them to come close so you can use first strike, or worse you leave your ward so you can move into a group and use sweep. Leaving the ward to get shot.

IRL, look at assassination videos, with bodyguards and success or fail, you generally see the bodyguards trying to get their ward out of the scene. It is critical IMO.

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#6 Postby Freemage » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:23 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:I'm trying to understand what this brings to the game that tactical positioning and First Strike don't already achieve.
If someone is charging your ward, and you use First Strike to make them Shaken, then the only way they get to attack your ward is if they immediately spend a Benny to remove Shaken. At which point, plot control* has been used to allow the attack attempt to happen.
This tactic is defeated by people charging in from the opposite (unprotected) direction or a canny sniper, both of which fit within the real world and narrative expectations of such scenes.
So, I wonder, what does this bring to the game that tactical positioning and (Improved) First Strike don't already achieve?


*Bennies are a form of limited narrative control. They can be used to re-attempt the first try at an action, mitigate or negate damage in a scene, or other effects as negotiated with the GM or dictated by Edges and Setting Rules. Using a benny to do something indicates that the something is an important element of the plot, to that player.


One key problem is that, given the ease of movement in SW, positioning against more than one attacker is nigh-impossible in anything other than a narrow corridor. Especially given the difficulty of trying to be even remotely sure of interrupting someone else's actions--assuming the bodyguard and the attacker have equal Agility, using Hold-and-Interrupt tactics have a 50/50 shot of even getting a chance to get that opportunity.

Meanwhile, First Strike is worthless if the attacker moves in even the slightest arc around the bodyguard (again, assuming the attacker isn't stupid enough to make their move in a narrow corridor).

So the goal is to have bodyguard-types who can actually have at least a solid chance of intervening in an attack.

Personally, I believe the best route for this is a different Edge. Start with keeping the Bodyguard Edge, above--it's a solid Professional Edge for a protector:

Interpose (Novice, Agility d8, Notice d8, Bodyguard Edge)
You may declare a single defended charge. While you are adjacent with the charge, you may, as a response to the charge being targeted by a Fighting attack, swap positions them. This motion does not trigger a withdrawal attack against either you or your charge. Your Parry is lowered by 2 until your next action. The attack that was aimed at your charge now targets you, with the reduced Parry. You may only do this once a round.

Improved Interpose (Veteran, Agility d8, Notice d8, Interpose, Bodyguard Edge)
You now may use the Interpose maneuver without the -2 Parry penalty.

Block the Shot (Seasoned, Agility d8, Notice d8, Interpose, Danger Sense)
If you succeed at a Danger Sense roll, you may use the Interpose Edge against a ranged attack.

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#7 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:31 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:I'm trying to understand what this brings to the game that tactical positioning and First Strike don't already achieve.

I think you are miss understanding what I am attempting here. The goal is to keep someone else alive. Not kill someone, so firststrike is not helpful. What this does is actually make your ward harder to hit.

If someone is charging your ward, and you use First Strike to make them Shaken, then the only way they get to attack your ward is if they immediately spend a Benny to remove Shaken. At which point, plot control* has been used to allow the attack attempt to happen.
This tactic is defeated by people charging in from the opposite (unprotected) direction or a canny sniper, both of which fit within the real world and narrative expectations of such scenes.
So, I wonder, what does this bring to the game that tactical positioning and (Improved) First Strike don't already achieve?

Actually providing protection and getting your ward out of danger. Killing bad guys who come in melee is not the goal. Many attackers are not going to come into melee at all. In modern settings, they will definitely not. Protecting your ward is the goal.

*Bennies are a form of limited narrative control. They can be used to re-attempt the first try at an action, mitigate or negate damage in a scene, or other effects as negotiated with the GM or dictated by Edges and Setting Rules. Using a benny to do something indicates that the something is an important element of the plot, to that player.


I don't see how this accomplishes any of the goals mentioned reliably. You are not trying to soak your own damage, you are trying to protect someone else.
This really just means you can offer a Benny to the GM and hope your GM buy in. But it cost you one of your uses of the most valuable resource in the game.

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#8 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:45 pm

Ndreare wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:I'm trying to understand what this brings to the game that tactical positioning and First Strike don't already achieve.

I think you are miss understanding what I am attempting here. The goal is to keep someone else alive. Not kill someone, so firststrike is not helpful. What this does is actually make your ward harder to hit.

Dead people don't attack other people. (Barring necromancy, but I'm ignoring that for the moment.) Heck, SHAKEN people don't attack. Which makes First Strike highly relevant to your goal.

Ndreare wrote:
If someone is charging your ward, and you use First Strike to make them Shaken, then the only way they get to attack your ward is if they immediately spend a Benny to remove Shaken. At which point, plot control* has been used to allow the attack attempt to happen.
This tactic is defeated by people charging in from the opposite (unprotected) direction or a canny sniper, both of which fit within the real world and narrative expectations of such scenes.
So, I wonder, what does this bring to the game that tactical positioning and (Improved) First Strike don't already achieve?

Actually providing protection and getting your ward out of danger. Killing bad guys who come in melee is not the goal. Many attackers are not going to come into melee at all. In modern settings, they will definitely not. Protecting your ward is the goal.

... Apparently we don't mean the same things with the words "protection" and "getting your ward out of danger".
My meaning: Bad guy attacks, I punch bad guy (First Strike), bad guy stops attacking (Shaken or Incapacitated), the ward was protected and on the ward's action (or mine if the ward acts on my action) the ward can move out of the danger.
Alternate: Bad guy attacks, I am positioned such that I provide Medium Cover (-2) to the ward, attack misses due to Cover so the attack strikes Cover, I take damage, the ward is protected and moves out of danger.
Alternate: Bad guy attacks from direction I am not protecting from, ward is struck (not protected), and I am a bad bodyguard because I refused to work with a team (and I was obviously trained by movies).
You take issue with that explanation, defining Protection and Getting Your Ward Out of Danger in that fashion.
What do you intend those terms to mean in the context of "being a body guard"?

*Bennies are a form of limited narrative control. They can be used to re-attempt the first try at an action, mitigate or negate damage in a scene, or other effects as negotiated with the GM or dictated by Edges and Setting Rules. Using a benny to do something indicates that the something is an important element of the plot, to that player.

Note the asterisk (*). In this context, that indicates the statement is a footnote of the earlier comment marked with an asterisk.
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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#9 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:07 pm

I don't think we are having the same conversation. Becauce of that your responses are addressing my concerns. I am sorry my post is not clearer.

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#10 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:16 pm

Freemage wrote:Snip...

Personally, I believe the best route for this is a different Edge. Start with keeping the Bodyguard Edge, above--it's a solid Professional Edge for a protector:

Interpose (Novice, Agility d8, Notice d8, Bodyguard Edge)
You may declare a single defended charge. While you are adjacent with the charge, you may, as a response to the charge being targeted by a Fighting attack, swap positions them. This motion does not trigger a withdrawal attack against either you or your charge. Your Parry is lowered by 2 until your next action. The attack that was aimed at your charge now targets you, with the reduced Parry. You may only do this once a round.

Improved Interpose (Veteran, Agility d8, Notice d8, Interpose, Bodyguard Edge)
You now may use the Interpose maneuver without the -2 Parry penalty.

Block the Shot (Seasoned, Agility d8, Notice d8, Interpose, Danger Sense)
If you succeed at a Danger Sense roll, you may use the Interpose Edge against a ranged attack.


I like this. But, at the same time how would you handle the untrained mother who grabs her 9 year old son, wrapping herself around him and takes the mauling from the bear so he lives and she dies?
I think everyone should have some interposed option, even if it drops their Parry to 2. It is just to common in real life. Heck I am a big fatty with minimal combat training and have have shielded my daughter from stuff. Taking the bruises to my leg from a rolling lumber cart at Home Depot rather than the broken leg her tiny body would have experiencedone. So a fit character should have some option?

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#11 Postby Ndreare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:22 pm

Matchstickman wrote:Why not the opposite of the Gang Up bonus? -1 to hit per ally next to you. A Body Guard edge could increase that bonus (like the SPC Team Player Edge).
Also, I am reminded of the Adventure Card where you suffer the damage instead of the (adjacent) target, I don't know that it is so powerful that it should be restricted to just a card, could it not be an edge too? An improved version could also add in the Take The Hit Edge, but for interposed damage only.


I agree, about the edge, but how do we get one that works?
I think these discussions are a key first step. How would you suggest writing it up?

PS: I am not familiar with the card.

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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#12 Postby Jounichi » Mon May 01, 2017 1:23 am

There's the Guardian Edge from Pirates of the Spanish Main. So long as you're near enough to someone, you can take the hit for them for a chance at a benny.
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Re: Bodyguards in Savage Worlds

#13 Postby Ndreare » Mon May 01, 2017 1:48 am

Jounichi wrote:There's the Guardian Edge from Pirates of the Spanish Main. So long as you're near enough to someone, you can take the hit for them for a chance at a benny.


Thanks I will have to look into that one. Never read it.


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