|Jason Nelson RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games|
The artist that did most of the work on this product, Mike Lowe, is on vacation until the 17th, but when he gets back I'm going to inquire about whether he could do a sheet of building counters to include with the print edition we are planning for Ultimate Rulership.
Woo! Congrats to Jim and Pedro on their Legendary debut!
This hefty adventure clocks in at 24,000 words, about as long as the adventure portion of an AP module and longer than the adventures in the old Gamemastery line. It includes seven sections, two appendices, numerous sidebars, adjusted rules for caravan combat, advice for running the adventure with and without the caravan rules... the list goes on and on!
Just for a fun preview, here are the chapter titles:
Part 1: Goblins on the Road
Check this one out!
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
All fair points. I think a rule like this would be reasonable:
If placed in the same lot as a Cistern or Mill, an Everflowing Spring increases that improvement's Stability bonus by 1. If placed in the same lot as a Monument or Park, an Everflowing Spring increases that improvement's Loyalty bonus by 1.
I figured the 12 hex improvements that I wrote up in Ultimate Campaign covered the major bases with Aqueduct, Bridge, Canal, Farm, Fishery, Fort, Highway, Mine, Quarry, Road, Sawmill, and Watchtower. There comes a time in every product when you just have to say STOP even if you have more ideas, because there are is a limit to how much you can put in one product and because there are always other products to do. But what doesn't come up in one place may resurface in another.
For what it's worth, BoRN's list has 11 hex improvements, 5 of which are already included in the list above. The remaining six improvements are the Apiary, Herbal Cultivar, Royal Reserve, Reservoir, Signal Tower, and Winery, and certainly you could use those along with the from UCam.
That is correct. If it says 6 BP/3 months, that means 6 BP paid each month for 3 months.
A. Why do some buildings cost more when spread out over time but others don't?
If memory serves, that only ended up happening a few times, when the math didn't come out to make a neatly divisible monthly cost. I think one of the official buildings costs 58 BP. How do you divide that up into 8 or 10 identically sized portions?
In those cases, I nudged the price a few BP to make it come out in a nicely divisible number.
B. What happens if the city halts construction for a month or more?
Then the building doesn't get built until they finish. Not much different than real life, where you may end up with vacant or half-done buildings sitting idle when the developer pulls out or abandons a project. Some get finished. Some never do.
I suppose to be REALLY realistic, I could include a rule about vacant half-done buildings attracting Squatter or Vandal events, or about depreciating your investment for every month the project languishes.
And in regard to populations, it seems far reduced from the original rules . Right now my players have a town that went from a population of 3500 to 350. This also means that when they change to a "city" they will have around 1000 people, which according to the settlement rules places them in the small town category, and when they would have multiple district they may still only have the population of a small city. Is this an error or is this intentional?
This is intentional.
It's intentional to help you replicate something much closer to the actual cities and towns described in adventures and supplements. Look at a town like Tatzlford in Blood for Blood - in the adventure, it's a village of 186 people. But it has a Brewery, Brothel, 4 Houses, an Inn, Library, Shop, Smith, Tavern, Temple, Town Hall, and Tradesman. By the official KM rules, that would be 16 squares of buildings, making Tatzlford a small city of 4,000 people.
Now, even with our rules it's still going to come out with more than 186 people, but it's not going to be over 20 times that population number.
My intent was to shrink the physical size (suggesting town lots 200 x 200 feet instead of 750 x 750) and population size of the cities created using these rules to something that felt more typical of a medieval village, city, or town.
If you want to boost the population numbers, you could rule that in a metropolis the population triples instead of doubles as in a city. You could also start packing your cities with more houses and tenements with neighborhood business buildings and you'll start increasing your population density.
Thank you again for this book. The new edict rules are fantastic as well as the exotic settlements and the everything else. I will definitely be giving this high reviews when the product store comes out!
Glad you are enjoying it. Looking forward to seeing your review!
Quiche Lisp wrote:
Does this pdf stand on its own, or does it need the Ultimate Campaign book by Paizo to be of use ?
It is a supplement to the kingdom-building rules in UCam. There are some parts of it that could be useful in a campaign that does not use those rules, but the majority of it is devoted to expanding those rules.
Quiche Lisp wrote:
I already own the Book of River Nations, and I was wondering how this pdf compares to it, too.
The BoRN book was created as a compilation of the original kingdom-building and (if memory serves) mass combat rules James Jacobs wrote for Kingmaker. It essentially reprinted the articles from AP #32 and AP #35, as well as culling additional fan-created material from the Paizo message boards, including some contributions from me that I posted to the boards and for which I received a free copy of the book from Dale McCoy by way of appreciation after he asked if he could use them in the book and I agreed.
Ultimate Rulership is a supplement for the revised kingdom-building rules that appear in UCam. Those new rules represent a combination of those original designs from 2010 with my authorial reinterpretation, revision, and expansion of those rules. That redesign took into account insights from many people's comments about using the original rules and my own experience running a Kingmaker campaign with them for 2-1/2 years. Ultimate Rulership takes my authorial vision for the kingdom rules a step further and is about the same length as the entire kingdom-building section in UCam, effectively doubling the amount of text devoted to the new edition of the kingdom-building rules with a you have available designed for the new edition.
Those who have purchased Ultimate Rulership were also the first ones to see the initial preview of the next product in this line, Ultimate War, targeted for a July 1st release, which will do the same for the mass combat rules as Ultimate Rulership does for the kingdom-building rules.
BoRN is 52 pages, black and white, simple layout and line art, and includes short sections on feats (some personal, some kingdom-related), magic items and spells (ditto), and two PrCs. A total of 16 pages are devoted to kingdom building rules.
Ultimate Rulership is 40 pages, full-color, rich layout and art, internal and external hyperlinks, and a total focus on kingdom-building, rulership, and management.
Perhaps the key difference is that BoRN was designed for a rules system that was current 3 years ago, whereas UR is designed for the kingdom-building rules as they exist now. There are still places where you may find use for many of the rules in BoRN, as even a product called Ultimate Rulership can't possibly cover everything, but many other rules from that product don't apply with the new rules, or have been superseded by changes in the rule set upon which the product was based.
TL;DR - BoRN retains some utility, and I liked the book enough when it was being produced that I contributed to it, but if you want the best enhancement to the revised kingdom rules in Ultimate Campaign going forward, I think you have to give the edge to Ultimate Rulership.
Quiche Lisp wrote:
Anyway, thanks to Legendary Games for broadening the players' and GMs' options. More options is good !
Thanks for the vote of confidence! I hope you enjoy all of our great products!
Is it just me or the mass combat rules are kinda... too simple? Acording to them, 200 mentally challenged lepper peasants using rotten clubs as weapons have the same stats (besides HP) of 200 lvl 1 warriors using heavy armor, shields and long swords...
Not quite. The aforementioned lepers would be lower than normal CR due to their subpar equipment, which means instead of being CR 1/3 they'd be CR 1/4, and since their weapons are also broken and they are mentally challenged you'd probably drop them to CR 1/6.
Contrariwise, the 1st-level warriors you describe above have too much gear for their WBL; in fact, they actually have more gear than a 1st-level PC would have (a long sword, heavy shield, and splint mail, the cheapest heavy armor, would cost 222 gp, which is well over the average for a 1st-level fighter (175) and close to the statistical maximum), and PC-level gear usually warrants a 1-step CR upgrade, so your CR 1/3 warriors become CR 1/2.
So, your army of lepers would need to be 600 strong to be equivalent to 200 heavily armed warriors.
I'd still put my money on the warriors in a real fight, but 3-to-1 odds is a far cry from there being no difference between them.
It needs some HEAVY modding to actually become usable.
That depends on one's definitions of HEAVY and usable, but by all means mod to your heart's content! I know I do in my campaign, and so should everyone to find the right balance of granularity and fun value.
The decision was made to keep the basic mass combat structure light and not uber-detailed, like the original KM mass combat rules. If you want mass combat with a HEAVY increase in individual variation between units, this may not be the best system to suit your tastes.
That, or you might look forward to 3rd party rules expansions to the kingdom-building rules. This product, for instance, has much more detail about military recruitment and overall militarism and military readiness of a kingdom. As for the actual conduct of battle... stay tuned.
Weapons, armor, attributes, they don't matter.
Sure they do. See above. They don't matter hugely on their own (other than providing bonuses to OM and DV), because in a mass battle abstract combat system the particular weapons used don't matter much whether they're axes, maces, swords, or guisarme-voulges, or bows or crossbows or guns. The system is purposefully vague on those points because it's designed to be a quick-play mass combat diversionary game, not a mass battles miniatures simulation.
Shouldn't a dwarf army be more resilient than a elf one (same base stats, numbers and class). Also, no armor is better than full plate, shields don't exist, daggers are your friends... I expected more, really =/
Their racial traits will be a bit different, though not hugely different. I'm not sure what you mean by the armor and daggers comments.
Is there a more detailed version of this rules created by the community? Or I'm better of houserulling the s-word out of it?
See above. Check out other systems to see if you find one more to your liking, or wait a few weeks for the release of another 3rd party product that covers a lot of this ground in much greater detail and with some alternate ways to deal with mass combat in ways that keep all the players involved.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the book!
Trace has it right on the money. We had originally planned to call it the "Kings and Kingdoms AP," a mundane but clear enough name like the "Gothic AP" for CC and the "Far East AP" for JR, but Clark suggested Kingbreaker as a name. We kinda liked it. It rhymes with the Paizo AP's name, evokes the feel of it, and sounds a lot more interesting than "Kings and Kingdoms"!
Hope you enjoy the Heroes!
If you're looking to implement the new kingdom-building rules with your KM campaign, you really should look into the new Ultimate Rulership product from Legendary Games, which has a metric ton of ideas I wasn't able to fit into UCam. Should be available for purchase tomorrow, barring any last-minute layout issues.
It's something we've thought about in the past, but the amount of work involved does make it a significant risk. Still, Fire Mountain has done very well with their AP, so clearly success is very possible.
Meanwhile, another piece of the puzzle.
Amen, Louis. How is more cool gaming product a bad thing?
Also, unlike the latter days of 3.5 we generally see Paizo supporting new products that they put out. On top of that, you've got terrific product coming from any number of 3PPs that expand Paizo's products directly and indirectly, adding variation and replay value to what you already have and adding all kinds of opportunities to go beyond the published product in directions and campaigns entirely your own!
I think that is Newton's Fourth Law of Motion, isn't it?
First law: An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by a force. An object in motion remains in motion, and at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.
Second law: The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the net force acting on the body, and inversely proportional to its mass. Thus, F = ma, where F is the net force acting on the object, m is the mass of the object and a is the acceleration of the object.
Third law: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.
Fourth law: Always blame Cosmo. :)
I would humbly submit the Legendary Games adventures Cold Mountain by Jason Nelson (already available) and the upcoming Horns of the Hunted by Matt Goodall (previewed here and here) as excellent resources to work in foreshadowing for active (and often hostile) fey involvement. Cold Mountain does not directly implicate the spoilered BBEG but does have a section dedicated to its connections to the AP as it presages a much more active role for the fey as well as giving PCs a resource in learning more about the land and the spirits within it (including the prime movers of Kingmaker #3 as well as the final end villains). Horns of the Hunted is more directly connected to the machinations of that final boss and her servants, having them run around making trouble much earlier and much more directly than in the published AP.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
The basic principle at work is that the magic item economy isn't about crafters working for you and selling stuff to profit the kingdom. It's about crafters working for themselves. They sell the items and they keep the money, which they then invest in crafting more things. The items are there for anyone to buy if they want them, but they are now a feature of the cities where they exist rather than an engine to profit the kingdom.
In my experience running Kingmaker for 3 years, even having reduced the amount of BP significantly that PCs earned from magic item buildings, those magic item buildings still dwarfed the rest of the economy.
Take just one Waterfront, for example (2 minor, 1 medium, 1 major item, and a +4 Economy bonus, though it hardly mattered). In the original rules, one major item was worth 15 BP. Given that you could rapidly get to the point where actual Economy checks were a formality, just trying to avoid a natural 1, numerical bonuses to Economy checks essentially just meant 1/5 of a BP per +1. At that rate, selling a single major magic item was effectively a +75 bonus to Economy. The BP revenue from selling just two major items added up to more than the entire rest of the kingdom's non-magic-item economy combined. And then we kept rolling for the rest of the items.
Even reducing the BP to a third the original level (or to make it round BP numbers, say 1 BP for minor, 3 BP for medium, 5 BP for major), each major item is effectively a +25 bonus to Economy. It reduces the payoff vs. the original rules, true, but it just curbs the problem, not fixes it. It's still vastly to your advantage to farm item-producing buildings to build your treasury. Even with minor items and buildings, and even with a reduced payoff for selling items, why build a Shop for 8 BP (+1 Economy) when you can build a Shrine for 8 BP (+1 Loyalty, -1 Unrest, and a minor item, which if it can be sold for 1 BP is pretty close in value to a +5 bonus to Economy)?
Decoupling the magic item economy from the rest of your economy allows it to operate more organically. Magic items are no longer drivers of your economy. Instead, they become background flavor and potential resources to access. Want to know what items are available in a city? Here you go! Want to have magic shops? Go for it! Have casters in your kingdom making and selling their magic items. Just know that it's not going to make you an overnight economic superpower.
Most item-producing buildings do provide some bonus to Economy, so it's not like these buildings have no effect on your kingdom's ability to grow its treasury. It's just that they now don't have a crazily disproportionate effect on your economy. Now you build a Caster's Tower or a Temple because you WANT to build a Caster's Tower or a Temple, not because it's the only sane rational choice if you want to maximize the BP your kingdom generates.
As an aside, I always wondered who was buying all this stuff. I mean, what is the implied economy where wandering adventurers are just cruising through your towns EVERY MONTH scooping up medium and major magic items that, for most of their careers, your player characters themselves couldn't afford to buy, and they're supposed to be the rulers of the kingdom! Why don't these nameless, faceless NPCs just kick the PCs out of the palace and take over, if they have that much money to toss around every month? :)
TL;DR - In my experience, even reducing the BP takeaway from magic item buildings didn't really solve the problem of item farming as an optimal strategy for kingdom-building. My solution in this chapter was to separate them completely. Not everybody will agree that's the best solution, but that was my thinking anyway.
It was a big loophole in Kingmaker, where savvy players exploited that the best way to make endless BP was to build lots of magic item generating buildings, which spiraled the economy completely out of control and made most of the checks and balances of the system obsolete. Paizo got a lot of feedback about that, so I'd probably think that they worked out those kinks. I just wanted to ask if you could confirm, but no problem if you never heard of the issue before. I'll just wait for someone who played Kingmaker and noticed those problems. :)
In the revised kingdom-building rules, selling magic items that your buildings produce gives the kingdom no BP.
All selling a magic item does is clear the item slot for you to generate a new/different item that someone could buy. You can buy an item with your own cash and donate it to the kingdom for BP, which is no different from donating any other valuable property to the kingdom for BP.
Thanks for the review!
In response to your comment about magically removing the effects of chirurgical procedures, that is always a tough spot to navigate between what magic can and can't do vs. what mundane operations can and can't do. In the end, we decided to go with the notion that magical remedies would work to fix chirurgical procedures, though you had to use the right one.
If you'd like to go the other route, however, and make them more difficult to fix, I think a simple rule addendum might be this:
If you wish to make chirurgical procedures more difficult to remove by magic, and more reliant on finding a helpful chirurgeon to repair the horrors wrought by a mad doctor using chirurgery to harm, you may use the lowest result of the three skill checks used to complete the procedure as the target DC for a caster level check when using the appropriate spell to remedy the procedure. If the caster level check fails, the magical remedy fails as well.
A grimoire or tome detailing the more beneficial side of nonmagical medicine in a fantasy world is on the drawing board, but in our current focus on launching our Kingbreaker AP products it's uncertain when we'll have time to bring it to completion. It's on the list!
I could have misheard, but I was pretty sure they said the Extremis enhanciles were heating up to 3000 degrees Celsius as well (which, as you said, is about 5400 degrees F, which seems hot enough to melt through titanium pretty readily.
More to the point, the movie does go to considerable lengths to talk about how Tony is:
I don't think the notion that this giant pile of suits isn't completely up to snuff of his core suit is all that far-fetched, or that JARVIS remote-piloting all of them at once is less combat-efficient than Tony piloting one with Jarvis' help.
Long story short: It didn't tweak my suspension of disbelief while watching the movie or afterwards. YMMV.
You didn't think we were only doing one preview, did you? Prepare for yet another onslaught of amazing previews, courtesy of your friends at Legendary Games! Yesterday, we unmasked the upcoming Coldwood Codex as one of our first releases for the Kingbreaker Adventure Path Plug-Ins. Today, we pull back the curtain a bit further and show unveil the first five creatures that will be appearing in this product. CR, type, description... and one more amazing illustration of the fearsome CHERNOBOG. Check it out now at the Legendary Games website!
At Legendary Games, we've worked with artists from the U.S. as well as from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. It's a small world with the internet these days, and people are wherever they are.
We haven't made a special effort to look for artists outside the U.S. as perhaps Louis has, but we've followed recommendations from friends, colleagues, and contacts and found people in lots of places. As long as they can turn in good work, on time, with good communication, they can be from Texas or Timbuktu.
Yay John, thanks for posting those up. The Way of Ki turned out to be such a popular product, I thought it would be good to get those ki feats into wider circulation, not only for monk and ninja players but also for anybody who wants to incorporate ki into ALL of the core and base classes for Pathfinder.
Only one problem: The author in the product citation at the botton is incorrect; should be yours truly. :)
As to the OP's question, there is also some ninja goodness in To Serve a Prince Undying, one of our Gothic Grimoires line of products, which was just reviewed by the inimitable Endzeitgeist on his website!
Since my name has come up a few times in this thread, I thought I would just chime in.
Since I've written a lot of stuff in the various Paizo hardbacks, when people ask questions I'm happy to offer my opinions on the subject at hand. However, I'm always careful to point out (as has been noted in the spirit totem case cited above) that my opinions speak only to my authorial intent. I can hit the "flag this post" just like everybody else, but that's it. Any posts I make are not the FAQ and are not related to it, unless Sean, Stephen, or Jason B happen to agree and post the same thing of course. :)
As a freelance contributor, once the manuscript hits Paizo Central, it enters another layer of development and editing. The fine folks there may change nothing, a little, or a lot, but the final word on interpretation or explanation at that point is theirs, not the author's. I am happy to tell you what I was thinking as I wrote a rule, and how I think it should work, and why I phrased it the way I did. Sometimes I'll even offer up alternate wording for a rule that, on discussion with people on a thread, better captures the meaning I intended or helps clarify unintended ambiguity, like the shaman druid wild shape question or the titan mauler's jotungrip and oversized weapons abilities. My answers, though, or those of any other freelance contributor on their products - rules, monsters, adventures, whatever - don't constitute official rulings by Paizo.
If you're running or playing in a home game, my unofficial authorial intentions could carry some weight with whomever is the GM, and if you take that as a rules fix, awesome. Happy to help and have fun!
If you're playing PFS or a game where only official RAW applies, then you'll have to wait for Sean, Stephen, or Jason B to address the issue in an official capacity.
In truth, that was my intention. There *IS* no real grand destiny, but good luck convincing the sangoi of that. Like any good conspiracy nuts, every argument against them is in their minds only *MORE* evidence of the conspiracy at work.
Their solution to that? Be EVEN MORE horrible!
2. I think your reviews are awesome in their thoroughness, but while I selfishly enjoy them for that reason I also see on a meta-level that you could probably do a lot more different reviews if you kept them shorter. How much shorter? Who knows? There is a certain point at which you spend more time cutting down from what you originally wrote than if you had just gone with the longer version, so you'd need to calibrate your analysis and writing style to find the sweet spot. If you want to keep doing long reviews, though, I won't complain. :)
3. I use facebook and post up announcements for Legendary Games there, but it's just one of several places I post up information. I think it would be pretty easy to use Facebook in a modest way, even if it was just to announce when reviews were completed, and that could help draw in folks who use FB regularly to read your site. I think the point about not taking your site COMPLETELY over to a FB platform is valid, but I don't think you need to approach it as "FACEBOOK R EVUL DO NOT TOUCH WRONGBADFUN" either. I think you can make Facebook work for you without too much effort, and it can only help your exposure.
4. I don't click any of the links.
5. I most often read them here. Sometimes on your site. Occasionally on DrivethruRPG.
Thanks a million for all of the incredible work you do. It is always appreciated!
Glad you're interested. I must confess, however, that because of several late-night writing sessions this product has grown beyond a Grimoire and instead will be full-sized product a la the Cultic Cryptomancia or Mad Doctor's Formulary. A bit more of a sneak peek on our website, but this should be available exclusively on our website starting next week, with wide release to follow through Paizo and our other sales partners thereafter.
P.S. Two words: EMBRYONIC SHOGGOTH
Hey! We already talked about putting up the alchemist discoveries from On the Inverse Calculus of Unseen Refraction!
While we're at it, though, why don't we go one better. Since The Way of Ki has been so successful for us, why don't we put up the ki feats from that product and from Meditations of the Imperial Mystics on your site.
Monks and ninjas will have a lot more toys to play with, and if folks are excited and delighted they can check out the other fine details in those products. Delightfully interesting background and history and innovative alternate rules, including for combining ki and magic together, manipulating body and soul, and how to open up the world of ki to EVERY CHARACTER CLASS.
Legendary Games is starting to branch out in this direction, though not extensively thus far. We did include the Lord of Darkness antipaladin archetype from Fire Mountain Games (by way of d20pfsrd) in our supplement To Serve a Prince Undying. Hopefully more to come!
Blackbloodtroll asked me to cruise by and offer some unofficial authorial insight on this, but unfortunately I have none to add. While I did write the barbarian sections for the APG and UC, there were some rage powers already written up when I got the original APG assignment. The spirit totems (and beast totem, for that matter) were were among those. Having not created them, I don't have any better idea of their original intent than you.
As far as my impression of the lesser spirit totem or my opinion of how it should work just as a fan, I'd stick with my general policy on rules interpretation: It says what it does, and it does what it says. To wit:
1. It attacks with your BAB plus CHA mod. It's not a creature, so it can't be affected by anything that affects creatures (like inspire courage, bless, haste), and it's not an object so it can't be affected by things that affect objects (like magic weapon or keen edge). It could benefit from a situational modifier like higher ground, flanking, attacking a prone opponent, or mayyyybe the circumstance bonus from aid another.
2. It says the "spirits make a slam attack." It doesn't say "you" make a slam attack. Therefore, while it's certainly possible for *you* to choose to substitute various combat maneuvers, etc. for an attack, it's not you making the attack; it's the spirits. The power says they make a slam attack, so they make a slam attack. Period. It doesn't even say whether you get to choose which living foe the spirits attack; it's ambiguous as to whether you choose it or the spirits choose randomly. I think inferring that you can command the spirits to do things other than make a slam attack isn't really supported by the rules text.
All of the above IMO, YMMV, of course. :)
When your design decisions are in Neil Spicer's hands, rest assured you're getting pregens done right. These aren't "elf from the forest" or "dwarf from underground" or any other tired caricatures and stereotypes when it comes to story and characterization, and they aren't "I have a greataxe and Power Attack" or "I have a chain shirt and a rapier and Weapon Finesse" when it comes to mechanics. Inventiveness, creativity, detail, craftsmanship, and top-notch production values are what we are all about, and we think you'll be very pleased with what you find in these pages.
Or should that be, "the Imperial Heroes *are* here"? :)
Either way, Neil Spicer's latest contribution to making the gaming world just a little bit more awesome is here at last. The long-awaited follow-up to his hit Gothic Heroes, Imperial Heroes likewise brings you face to face with eight mind-blowingly detailed NPCs. Not just stats, not just a personal history, but connections between one another and the primary NPCs in the Far East AP, scaling notes for 20-point and 15-point buy, level advancement notes up through 4th level, feats, traits, equipment, archetypes... are we excited yet? ... all woven together with the deft skill of a master of his craft, a real, live Superstar.
We're excited to bring this product to you, and just as excited at what's coming next. More previews just keep coming (last night was our 16th in a row, every business day), more new product next week. It's a good time to be in the market for awesome gaming materials, because you've come to the right place!
As always, Make Your Game Legendary.
While as always my authorial opinions are simply that, and not official errata in any way for the purpose of RAW, PFS, etc., if you'd like to know what was in my head while writing those feats the answer is this:
Bodyguard is intended to require you only to be adjacent to the ally you're defending, not to require you to threaten their attacker. Requiring you to threaten the attacker makes the feat MUCH less useful, since then you can't block ranged attacks or reach weapons or attacks against targets with concealment or cover or anything else that would prevent an AoO. My intention with tying it to the AoO mechanic was simply to make it an ability you could use more than once per round, rather than wanting to tie it specifically to all the implied mechanics of AoOs. I had thought about just making it an immediate action, but that limits it to once per round and takes your im/swift action. I figured that was an appropriate mechanic for In Harm's Way, but the defensive bonus of AA was modest enough that I thought it entirely fair to not limit it that way.
As an side, I should say that for both feats, as well as the shield feats and shield-based archetypes I wrote, I thought that defender characters needed a little extra love in the rules, whether evil emperor bodyguards or altruistic protectors.
It's possible I had misremembered the mechanic for Aid Another, thinking that AA to add an attack bonus required an attack roll vs. AC 10 against the target while AA to add to AC required an attack roll vs. AC 10 against the defender. I can't really say for sure about my thought process 3 years ago, but that could have been the root of the problem.
So, if you're looking for a suggestion to solve the problem, you could perhaps use a rewording of the benefit section of Bodyguard to read something like this.
A short option:
Benefit: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to grant your ally a +2 bonus to AC, as if you had successfully used the aid another action.
or a longer option:
Benefit: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to attempt the aid another action to improve your ally's AC. You do not need to threaten the attacker to use this action; you need only be adjacent to the target and make a successful attack roll against AC 10. You may not use the aid another action to improve your ally's attack roll with this attack.
I think either of those should convey the desired effect (that you *can* take a bullet or jump in front of a reach weapon or even a trap) for your home campaigns, though again if you're playing PFS or other RAW, you are out of luck, as I think by RAW the strict requirements of making an AoO would have to apply, and you could only use Bodyguard against a foe you threaten.
The inclusion of the magic item slots for animal companions was something I advocated in writing my sections of the book, as something that I felt the messageboard community had long wished for some clarity on and I'm glad people like that part. Ask and ye shall receive... at least sometimes. :)
And, since this expands on the previous preview about the Mad Doctor's Formulary, I'll just put this right here for your further amusement and horrification. Psychic triggers and cyberphrenic tadpoles and CRANIAL DISSECTIBOTS, oh my!
For your horrified amusement, we present our fifth preview of our upcoming products, this one for the diabolical treatise on pseudoscience and magical manipulation of mind and flesh alike, the Mad Doctor's Formulary.