Giants and other large races make excellent bodyguards, serving all manner of masters. They excel in this career not because of any altruistic tendencies or protective instinct, but because of their sheer size and tendency toward blind loyalty. Bodyguards have a fanatical devotion to their masters, and will often fling themselves blindly into harm's way without thinking twice. Like all Prestige Classes, they retain the original class's Prime Requisite, in this case, Strength. Bodyguards often become Berserkers after the death of a particularly beloved master, albeit at a higher level than a normal Warrior. They can become Paladins earlier than warriors can.
Bodyguards in General
Bodyguards share much in common with their Warrior parent class. They still receive Fourth Attack and double-weapon skills. While they can learn Fortitudes, Foci and Awen, spell and skill selection is quite limited. On the upside, since Bodyguards typically have low intelligence and racial spellcasting penalties, they will not miss many of these skills too much.
Bodyguards receive in-class skills that allow them special bonuses in and before combat. With Alertness active, they can use the Watchful Eye skill to change Monitor targets during combat, allowing them to rescue small group members more easily. At hero level 101, Bodyguards can learn Intercede, a skill which is activated when the Bodyguard's monitor target is aggied. Instead of attacking the Bodyguard's target, the Bodyguard steps in and tanks the mob themselves. The skill works automatically, as long as alertness is activated and the Bodyguard is not in the midst of combat. At hero level 250, Bodyguards receive Payback, which allows them to gain a damage bonus after interceding.
Overall, Bodyguards are an excellent alternative for large, Warrior-oriented races on whom the large majority of spells that hero Warriors receive are wasted on. In addition, the ability to automatically protect smaller group members allows them to effectively use their Hp to benefit the group when they run as hitters and tanks.
The Bodyguard class requires warriors of large to extra large size and of low intelligence (15) to join the ranks. Upon level 50, a player meeting this criteria should seek out Gruuntak (portable), protector of the Dwarven Ambassador, and see his aid in becoming a bodyguard.
There is a small loophole of sorts whereby you can meet the intelligence requirements by simply not training your intelligence past (15). Any relatively intelligent brute race that meets the size requirements and wishes to prestige to bodyguard should be very careful about how much intelligence they train (tip: alias train to emote or say something once you're finished training your other stats).
Intelligence is not the only requirement. Character needs to learn armor optimization, otherwise a message saying (though it does not check rescue and vitality): Gruuntak exclaims 'You lack skills! Must know rescue! Must know armor like your own smell! Must be vigorous!' appears.
Bodyguards at Hero Tier
Though Strength is the prime attribute for Bodyguards, Bodyguards are advised like all classes to train Wisdom and Constitution first, which will maximize both practices and hp. While strength will improve a Bodyguard's hitting and carrying capacity, typically low wisdom may push off training strength to max until after hero level 101.
With their limited selection of skills and spells, practicing is typically easy for bodyguards, hindered only by their low intelligence. Hero bodyguards will want to take note that they will need to save up many additional practices for Sanctuary and its prerequisites, which they can learn at sub-level 45. Since Bodyguards usually worship gods that increase the number of practices they need to adept, they can leave many spells at 94%, since failure rates on most Bodyguard races is very high.
Hero bodyguards can also learn Iron Monk which has fewer prerequisites, but you will need to get sanctuary at some point anyway. Also, remember everyone loves a warrior who brandishes.
Bodyguards at Lord Tier
Bodyguards have pretty much the same function as warriors at lord. A couple differences:
- They only receive 1x mana multiplier, so they need to get a bit of mana gear to help out with planeshift.
- They don't receive Gemcrafting at lord 800, so they can't embed without chance of failing.
- They don't get any area spells, so gear rooms are a bit more problematic.