Looking for opinions on Vangaurd vs Bodyguard

Looking for people opinions on Vanguard vs Bodyguard for a Gank character.

At first I thought Bodyguard would make a perfect match for a Gank. Vanguard looks more interesting, but not sure how it matches up with a Gank character background.

The only reason why I would lean towards Bodyguard over Vanguard is the amount of talents that are based on improving a characters durability. Durable is a great talent to boot. Defensive stance and Side step increase a characters sustainability during combat while hard headed is great in and out of combat. Vanguard is a good mix of sustainability and close range combat, whereas Bodyguard is straight sustainability. Depending on where you want to go with a Character you may want one over another. There’s also nothing wrong with taking one to start and then buying into the other. Just make sure you take the one that you want free ranks in the specialization skills.


I second much of what @SwirlyOfficeChair said, and add that you might want to consider building two different ones to compare.

Which is “better,” however, depends on what you want to do with it.

I think Vanguard is a better choice if you specifically want the Body Guard Talent, since it has the same number of ranks plus Improved and Supreme. Additionally, the close-combat talents will be useful more often than the long-ranged talents or Brace, and with Body Guard you don’t really need Side Step or Defensive Stance, since while they give you more options, they each cost a Maneuver and Strain, meaning you’ll generally only be able to use one of them and only fairly rarely (and I’d suggest Body Guard for that, since it’s more thematically interesting most of the time).

If you do choose Vanguard, for a second spec I would suggest Heavy, not Bodyguard.
Heavy provides the same durability as Bodyguard (Armor Master and Enduring are virtually the same), and then also provides Heroic Fortitude and Heroic Resilience, the latter of which synergizes nicely with Supreme Body Guard.

Then it also provides Side Step (but only one), Barrage, and Brace, with some other nice talents. The only drawback is that Rain of Death only applies to Auto-fire, but it’s easy to not purchase that one.

If you choose Bodyguard instead, I’d suggest Mercenary Soldier or Enforcer, depending on which tack you want to take. Both increase your ranks in Side Step or Defensive Stance (respectively), and provide a new niche for your character as well as some generally nice talents.

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I guess I’m leaning towards Vanguard. Looks like heavy would work well as a second career. But was thinking about how well medic would work for the 2nd. If the party already has a doc medic won’t be important.

I played a Vanguard-Medic once (very briefly, game went under, sadly), though I chose Medic as my starting spec for the 2 free ranks of Medicine. Here’s his sheet if you’d like to take a look at my build: Ijaat Shonar | SWSheets

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I do like this character, thank you for sharing. I will use some of your ideas if you don’t mind. Great job on the background.

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No problem! Thanks, I’m glad you like him.

If it’s for flavor purposes, I would go Bodyguard spec, since it’s a Hired Gun career, and less “formal” than the Soldier career.

Vanguard does bodyguarding better, sadly. Heck, even Instructor does it better (they both get Improved Bodyguard, and Vanguard gets the Supreme version) . Bodyguard DOES get that one rank of the Enduring talent though.

I think the final call should be whether the character is the type to sacrifice themselves in order to protect their client? If so, then Vanguard or Instructor. If the character is willing to shove someone out of the way of danger, but not willing to take the hit themselves, then Bodyguard.

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So after looking at P-47 Medic/Vanguard Mandolorian. I was thinking of a Bodyguard/cyber tech Gank. I think this would work. Because it will be a new character I was thinking of starting will Bodyguard. When he has enough experience then add cyber tech.

Do whatever you think is right for the character. I personally wouldn’t suggest going into Cyber Tech, especially with a Gank, since 1. it doesn’t add all that much for you unless you really want to go hard into cybernetics (and the Toughened/Durable is just more ranks, not new), and 2. virtually every Gank has the Cyber Tech career. In fact, the only characters I’ve seen take the Cyber Tech career are Ganks. Unoriginal doesn’t mean bad, but it is unoriginal.

Cyber Tech basically does three things:

  1. Craft cybernetics/tiny bit of Mechanics
  2. Install cybernetics/little bit of Medicine
  3. Use cybernetics

So if you want to go hard into Cybernetics, it’s the right tree. Otherwise, I’d suggest diversifying your skillset with more broadly useful trees like the aforementioned Enforcer and Mercenary Soldier specs (which, plus, are in-career), or Medic/Doctor if you’re in need of a good medico.

When choosing a second spec, also consider what your Characteristic spread will be (and remember that you can get +1 from Dedication). You aren’t going to want to buff a Characteristic you won’t use until ~300 EXP, but you also may not want to wait and buff a new Characteristic with Dedication right before taking a new tree (mostly for narrative reasons).

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I do agree that Vanguard and Instructor do a better job at Bodyguarding than the Bodyguard Tree.
But Let´s not forget the unmatched Protection signature ability of the Hired Gun Class.
Once you invest in it you can do some very heoric bodyguarding stuff.

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Unmatched Protection is a great Signature Ability. That was one of reasons I looking into taking Bodyguard over Vanguard.

On a side note, both of the Signature Abilities Unmatched Protection and Last One Standing. Seem to be some of the best Signature Abilities in the RPG for Combat orientated characters. This is a major draw to using Hired Gun Class over others.

I do agree with you here.
However, in my opinion, the The bigger they are signature ability of the Soldier Class is one of the most overpowered ones which can take out almost every target in a blink of the eye.

Yes the bigger they are signature ability of the Soldier Class is amazing. Good at taking down a single tough opponent at a time. Where as last one standing ability is focus on groups minions.

To be honest, as a GM, I do like the Bigger they are signature far less.
Luckily for me, my group does not much care buying into the signature abilities due to the cost and circumstances limitation of much of them.

I can see why it’s a problem for the GM. Having the big end of campaign confrontation with the main nemesis and party blast him away in one round.

After playing several SWRPG games. I never took the signature ability. Always went for new career or skills increase.

That’s probably why the party is always split up at the end of Star Wars movies lol

EDIT: I didn’t know about the Unmatched Protection ability. Looks like the devs grabbed part of that to make the other guarding specs better via the Improved and Supreme talents? Or did the signature ability come out after the Vanguard and Instructor specs?