Fixing the Bodyguard feat chain


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Read the rules carefully, and you might be confused.

Aid Another wrote:


In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you're in position to make a melee attack on an opponent that is engaging a friend in melee combat, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

It turns out, according to the rules the best way of protecting someone isn't by being next to them. It's by being next to the person attacking them.

I could almost buy that, except that the following feats use Aid Another as a core mechanic-

Bodyguard

In Harms Way

So now we have a problem.

A guy with a shield is a bad bodyguard. What you want is a guy with a polearm! You don't want your bodyguard next to you. You want them in the middle of as many enemies as possible! Their ability to protect you is contingent on how many people they Threaten with their weapon, not on weather they are between you and someone trying to stab you! Someone should probably tell the Secret Service they're doing it all wrong.

Bodyguards are also completely helpless against ranged weapons. There is no such thing as "taking a bullet" for someone. It can't happen. It doesn't even matter if the bodyguard is threatening the shooter. All they can do is take a normal AoO and hope that shot they couldn't stop wasn't an Arrow of Slaying.

Basically, Bodyguard and In Harms Way are counter-intuitive and bad.


An even worse offender is Archon Style, which tries to protect allies, but only works when you are adjacent to the attacker and the ally you want to help. It takes a standard action. So, if you want to protect someone, you can waste your turn, and then hope the one bad guy you target with it doesn't step away from you before they smack your friend.


And then there's Suicidal, which is perfect. Its exactly what Archon and In Harms Way are trying to be, and it's a trait. The only drawback is the once per day tag. The existence of this trait is practically insulting to anyone who wants to build a bodyguard character.

You can do what you want your character to be able to do, but only once, and then you need a nap.


So there's my rant, and here's my Fix-

New Improved Aid Another wrote:


In combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you are adjacent to an ally you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

That's it. Super simple. Drop the part about melee combat (because seriously, protecting people from arrows really is possible. I promise), and drop all the nonsense about where the bad guys are.

The only thing that should matter is if you are next to the person you're trying to keep safe. That fixes Bodyguard and In Harms Way, and solves the bullet problem.

Silver Crusade

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You seem to think that the RAW interpretation Option 2. is the correct way to interpret Bodyguard, which makes it a lame and stupid feat. Either interpretation can be strongly argued correct, depending on which one has a better lawyer that day. Just go with Option 1. Problem solved. That seems to be what most GMs choose, when they must make a ruling.

Also, it is open to RAW interpretation whether or not Bodyguard and In Harms Way allows you to deflect/intercept missile weapons. I allow it, but other GMs may differ.


To be honest, the part is that each one always involves 2 creatures, when each should only involve 1.

That section needs an entire re-write for it to make sense IMO. Here's what I propose...

Aid Another wrote:

In combat, you can defend an ally by interfering with an oncoming attack. If you are adjacent to an ally, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your ally gains a +2 bonus to AC and CMD against the next attack or combat maneuver made against your ally, as long as that attack or combat maneuver comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

Similarly, you can assist an ally's attack by distracting or disrupting an enemy's defenses. If you are adjacent to an enemy, you can make an attack roll against AC 10 as a standard action. If you succeed, the next attack or combat maneuver made against the designated enemy gains a +2 bonus. Multiple characters can disrupt the same enemy, and similar bonuses stack.


Magda, Option 1 is exactly what I do when I GM. Unfortunately I'm not always the GM.

Darksol, that's a great fix. Very concise.

Silver Crusade

So point your GM to that thread. Anyone in doubt point to that thread and encourage them to vote. Last time I checked the numbers are 13:1 in favor of Option 1.. If you are unfortunate to have a GM who, after due consideration and after observing that hardly anyone rules that way, prefers option 2. then, well, you are &*!*&£^ed.

It's something one needs to clarify with your GM before taking the Bodyguard feat. Have them read the thread, notice the current vote, and provide a ruling. Then decide whether you will take the feat chain.


Limiting my post just to Bodyguard...

Adjacent to the ally (bodyguard)... threatening the attacker (aid another). Provide ally +2 AC. Expend AoO.

Where's the issue? Attacker could be using melee, range, spell, etc... Doesn't really seem to matter. You're not taking the "bullet", just making it less likely to hit.

It's next on my feat list, just vetting it out.

My real question is... How many allies can you attempt to protect in a single round?


Markus the Librarian wrote:
My real question is... How many allies can you attempt to protect in a single round?

As long as they are adjacent to you, as many as you have 'attacks of opportunity'.

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