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You're going to laugh . . . but I need some info for a Dungeons & Dragons game.

AmbroseHoneysuckle

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#1
Yep, not kidding. I've got a certain situation that I'm trying to portray realistically (as "realistically" as things ever are in a D&D game) and realize that I don't have even a shred of knowledge of what I'm trying to portray. (I've been trying for days now to post this in Ask an Expert, but that forum seems to be broken -- it won't let me post.)

Here's the situation in a nutshell: There is an ambassador (female) traveling in a mixed group of 14. Seven of the 14 are her own people; the other seven are outsiders providing an escort so that the delegation won't be attacked on sight where they're going. However, one of her people (male) is a close-protection bodyguard, because even with the escort, her people still want her protected by one of their own. There is no relationship, except professional, between the ambassador and the bodyguard. He takes his job seriously and knows what he's doing. (Our player characters are the escort; the ambassador and her group, including the bodyguard, are non-player characters. If that means nothing to you, don't worry about it!)

The setting is quasi-medieval, as in, the most advanced weapon anyone is likely to have is a crossbow or a fine steel blade. No gunpowder weapons yet. However, wizards can attack people with magic spells.

For the first part of the story, the group of 14 will be traveling, mostly across open countryside and through wilderness, rather than by road. In the second part, they will be staying in a city -- where they stay might be anything from a flophouse to a typical inn to guest rooms in the home of an aristocrat (depending on players' decisions).

Here are some of the questions I've realized I don't know the answers to:

1. Where would the bodyguard position himself relative to the ambassador and the rest of the group of 14? Suppose that one of the escort group is a wilderness guide who's accustomed to taking point. Would his positioning differ if the group were under attack, as opposed to just traveling? (They will be attacked by monsters at some point.)

2. When the group camps in the countryside, would the bodyguard want to dictate who takes which overnight watch, or would he go along with whatever the whole group decided? Would he insist on taking watch the whole night? If he did take just one watch, which one would he be most inclined to choose?

3. If the bodyguard is the ambassador's only specially designated bodyguard (that is, there is no protection team, just him), when and where does he sleep? Will he ever sleep at the same time as the ambassador?

4. Under what circumstances would the bodyguard allow other members of the escort group to assume some or all of his protection responsibilities?

5. When the group takes lodging in the city, what would be his preferred arrangement? Would he allow another member of his own group to share a room with the ambassador, would he share a room or suite with the ambassador, or would he insist on her having a private room of her own? Again, when and where would he sleep? What if the only lodging available were bunks in a common room? What if there were only single rooms available?

6. As flavor, it makes sense for the bodyguard to be armed with a greataxe and javelins. But does it make sense tactically? Given the weaponry available in the setting, are these stupid choices, and if so, what other weapons would make more sense?

Thanks very much in advance for any knowledgeable advice.
 

AmbroseHoneysuckle

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#4
Bumping again . . . I know the topic is a year old, but we're finally starting this adventure next week, and I never was able to find answers to my questions elsewhere.
 

MrBlonde

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#5
Sounds like a laugh, so I'll play along

The biggest issue with all of this though is there are too many variables. On a real job you'd have far more detail around purpose, destinations (so you can plan primary and secondary routes, safe havens and places of support, choke points to avoid etc), overnight stays would be fairly well organised in advance and so on, but based just on the below...

Here are some of the questions I've realized I don't know the answers to:

1. Where would the bodyguard position himself relative to the ambassador and the rest of the group of 14? Suppose that one of the escort group is a wilderness guide who's accustomed to taking point. Would his positioning differ if the group were under attack, as opposed to just traveling? (They will be attacked by monsters at some point.)
The BG would be within arms distance of the protected person at all times. You'd probably have 4 people travelling at the fringes (front, rear, left and right) looking out for trouble and acting as early-warning, staying within easy shouting range (and ideally visible depending on terrain) but far enough out to give a bit of notice of an attack. The rest would be loosely around the VIP, formation dependant on the terrain (open ground, narrow passage, woods etc).
One thing to consider though is will the VIP be obvious? One of the best defences would be to have them look and act just like any other traveller, potentially not the centre of attention to an onlooker, or maybe even have a decoy?

2. When the group camps in the countryside, would the bodyguard want to dictate who takes which overnight watch, or would he go along with whatever the whole group decided? Would he insist on taking watch the whole night? If he did take just one watch, which one would he be most inclined to choose?
BG runs the show so dictates everything (unless the VIP has other ideas, they generally win). The BG is no use tired so would need to get some rest too so there'd need to be watch from trusted individuals, 2 at a time - to keep each other awake, support each other and to try and mitigate against the one person being on watch who is actually a bad guy biding time to assassinate the VIP when all are asleep.

3. If the bodyguard is the ambassador's only specially designated bodyguard (that is, there is no protection team, just him), when and where does he sleep? Will he ever sleep at the same time as the ambassador?
Sleep right next to the VIP

4. Under what circumstances would the bodyguard allow other members of the escort group to assume some or all of his protection responsibilities?
The BG would enlist any help they can get, from people providing eyes on approaching potential threats, to decoys to diversions to extra protection. The BG is the 'last line of defence' for the VIP so you use anyone and everyone to help, they don't even need to have a clue you're doing it - throw someone to the lions if it buys you time to get the VIP to safety.

5. When the group takes lodging in the city, what would be his preferred arrangement? Would he allow another member of his own group to share a room with the ambassador, would he share a room or suite with the ambassador, or would he insist on her having a private room of her own? Again, when and where would he sleep? What if the only lodging available were bunks in a common room? What if there were only single rooms available?
There's a big group of you so take over a whole establishment if you can, or a whole floor.
BG and VIP in the same room. If you have to include more people in the same room then they're all part of your group, nobody you don't know is in there or else find somewhere different. If it's a single room the BG takes the floor.

6. As flavor, it makes sense for the bodyguard to be armed with a greataxe and javelins. But does it make sense tactically? Given the weaponry available in the setting, are these stupid choices, and if so, what other weapons would make more sense?

Thanks very much in advance for any knowledgeable advice.
The BG is more effective if they go unnoticed to any outsider or threat (until it's too late) and they need to be mobile and agile, so a small concealed weapon - as mentioned above they are the last line of defence and not the first, they don't need large or long-range weapons, if all goes to plan they never need to engage a threat anyway, the others do that while the BG whisks the VIP to safety.
 

MrBlonde

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#6
A couple of people have asked why no SAP Advance or Counter Attack Team during travel - personally i think you'd struggle to make them work as there's no comms and you'd just be spreading your numbers thin, there's no advanced weapons so its all close-quarter where you need strength in numbers.
And dont forget, its a fantasy game, stop taking it so seriously :)
 

AmbroseHoneysuckle

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#7
I take it seriously to make the experience maximally immersive for my players, so that *they* have fun. :)

Anyway, thank you very much for your reply! This is exactly the kind of information I needed, and just enough.
 

littlewoman

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#8
The BG is more effective if they go unnoticed to any outsider or threat (until it's too late) and they need to be mobile and agile, so a small concealed weapon - as mentioned above they are the last line of defence and not the first, they don't need large or long-range weapons, if all goes to plan they never need to engage a threat anyway, the others do that while the BG whisks the VIP to safety.
Small? Depends what you mean by small. Unless the rest of the party have swords, I'd go for sword down the back concealed under the jacket and some throwing knives. Or as it is fantasy mediaeval, disguised as a priest carrying a cross (or other big religious stick) that has a concealed blade or two. Even if a big axe could be concealed, they are very much a battle weapon, not agile enough for close protection.
 

GI0VANNI

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#9
Is it any LARP or just board D&D?

Just as a default any D&D character will have knives swords or be a magician so, count with everyone you encounter being armed, such as your group unless clerics that may use wooden shafts.

The main danger is a arrow/ poisoned dart on the road, assassins on the locations/poisoned drinks.
Give it as a sure thing that the court was full of spies so the "enemy" know who you are and 99% will have a lead on you.
Use magic/birds to set you allies on the road on time sending messages (as the enemy will do, keep an eye for ravens and pigeons).
On the road avoid caves, mountain passes, narrow bridges, the usual ambush locations.
The main bodyguard will be a well known and skilled veteran, so going undercover is discarded from my point of view, he should be armed with some magic sword, protective enchantments /charms and maybe speed boots/spells to be able to flee with the VIP when shit happens (it is D&D, it will!).
Keeping all your people on a room but the ambo will help you to discover who the mole is/are.
A healer of absolute trust should be part of the group (BFF of the ambo for example, they met as children when his/her dad was massacred by orcs and the ambo´s family.... so later when he /she discovered his/her gifts pledged loyalty and...)
While in the wilderness set some meetings with hunters to spike the nerves a little, farms with a stubborn ride blocking the road... so when the attacks come they will be caught by surprise.
Get other non characters to try to join the group, helps you if someone dies (giving him the new character and keeping him on the ball) and gives you the chance to infiltrate more enemies.
Get some "side quests" ready to explain if a character leaves the group also and to offer them regrets for failing to pursue the golden pot and save the princess...

1 as close to the ambo as possible some steps after usually, but in a fight some steps before.
2 he will try but the 7 from the ambo will not trust him (he will neither trust them) so a 1+1 people pattern will have to be set. Remember there are no clocks and after walking/riding all day a 2 hour stag is enough.
3 he will try to sleep with the ambo, it is up to her. He will try to sleep as much as he can if trusts his men and the ambo´s 7, if not go for potions but as long as the ambo is inside a closed door he should be confident to sleep (magic if another thing).
4 NEVER, if he sacrifices himself to give them time ok, but he is the famous and trusted and honored one with the task.
5 D&D, love and steel, he will try to share room with the ambo, sleep (or pretend he is) as much as he can, money buys single rooms, will gets people blocking parts and not allowing pass to single rooms converting it in communal rooms. TOILETS are not by default in D&D, use the situation on your advance ;).
6 Already answered.
Have fun, get them trilled and next time go for "call of Cthulhu", I prefer it as an introduction to REAL role playing, helps you realize not all is magic, steel heroism and surviving against all odds.
 

AmbroseHoneysuckle

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#10
It's tabletop D&D, not a LARP. The ambassador, her bodyguard and her other five companions are all orcs (!) from the "civilized" orc kingdom of Many-Arrows. The other seven are the player characters (now six, actually, since one of our players is unavailable), traveling with them as their escort since the orcs can't approach human cities by themselves without being attacked on sight. There's really no disguising the bodyguard as anything else -- he's a huge fighter -- but all the other suggestions have been very useful. Thank you for your comment about terrain features to avoid.
 

Imperium

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#11
The Awkward moment when I use to DM in dungeons and dragons...

1. Where would the bodyguard position himself relative to the ambassador and the rest of the group of 14? Suppose that one of the escort group is a wilderness guide who's accustomed to taking point. Would his positioning differ if the group were under attack, as opposed to just traveling? (They will be attacked by monsters at some point.)

Depends on what Class and race you've picked a Gnome or Halfling would not really be escourting up front you have to take consideration that a Paladin would be somewhat positioned differently than a cleric.

2. When the group camps in the countryside, would the bodyguard want to dictate who takes which overnight watch, or would he go along with whatever the whole group decided? Would he insist on taking watch the whole night? If he did take just one watch, which one would he be most inclined to choose?

The bodyguard can easily decide but ultimatley the DM can decide you fall asleep while taking guard and are ambushed by a pack of goblins just go with the flow of the game and it'll be more fluid asking questions will just ruin your experience just improvise it and go along with the DM.


3. If the bodyguard is the ambassador's only specially designated bodyguard (that is, there is no protection team, just him), when and where does he sleep? Will he ever sleep at the same time as the ambassador?

You'll have to decide this while playing could do a perception role to see if the cost is clear before you sleep roll a d20

4. Under what circumstances would the bodyguard allow other members of the escort group to assume some or all of his protection responsibilities?

as said before all depends on what class you're playing and what they are playing ambassadors been attacked does the cleric heal because you play a rogue with no healing spells? does someone have higher perception or dexterity for the dice rolls? what are the stats of other players character cards.

5. When the group takes lodging in the city, what would be his preferred arrangement? Would he allow another member of his own group to share a room with the ambassador, would he share a room or suite with the ambassador, or would he insist on her having a private room of her own? Again, when and where would he sleep? What if the only lodging available were bunks in a common room? What if there were only single rooms available?

ultimetly in the DMs hand he could say you walk in to an Inn and theres only one room what do you do? you could sleep in there but then bang bandits attack and attack your friends who are waiting outside.

6. As flavor, it makes sense for the bodyguard to be armed with a greataxe and javelins. But does it make sense tactically? Given the weaponry available in the setting, are these stupid choices, and if so, what other weapons would make more sense?

Depends what class you're playing having a greataxe and a Javelin I'd say a barbarian? If so you're stupid anyway and just want to smash things (depending on int level)

Cant believe I'm talking about D&D on a bodyguarding page haha if you want to go in detail can give me a ring it was only a few months ago I gave it up as work the doors on D&D night now.

P.S. I hope your ambassador gets eaten by a Gelatinous Cube
 
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AmbroseHoneysuckle

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#12
I've just now realized that I wasn't clear at the outset: I'm the DM in this game, and I'm running the ambassador, the bodyguard and the rest of the delegation as NPCs. My players' characters are the escort.

It may seem crazy, but one of our rangers is a halfling, and the other is a dwarf. I'm planning some fun interactions between the enormous orc bodyguard and the halfling ranger, with the horrible scars the halfling received from a previous encounter serving as an icebreaker.

I do not plan for there to be any gelatinous cube in this adventure. Gnolls, gricks, green hags and assassins, though . . .
 
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