Sunday, 24 February 2019

Celebrity Bodyguards (Night's Black Agents)

So who wants to keep the world safe for pop stars and billionaire's daughters?

The Night's Black Agents main book suggests a number of different agent archetypes, from your basic thug (the Muscle), to your thug with pyromaniac tendencies (Bag and Burner), and other assorted nutjobs. It also gives you carte blanche to create your own variant agent - and it occurs to me that the celebrity bodyguard is a flexible enough archetype to fit in with the amateur Van Helsings that normally populate the vampire spy genre.

Why play as this kind of agent? Well, this is the character archetype that has literally seen and done it all, from high-speed chases in the dead of night, to getting the client's wayward child out of some downtown sleaze pit, to keeping the press at bay during a red carpet event. Tonight Monaco, tomorrow Macau, or anywhere in between. You can justify pretty much any Jason Statham moment you care to name. If that's not a reason to do it this way, I don't know what is.

Much of the information for this piece is taken from this article found on

So what exactly is a celebrity bodyguard? Well, they're personal protection agents tasked with keeping the target both secure, and happy. That last bit's important. Most bodyguards just want to keep the target secure. Happiness is far down the list of priorities. These folks don't just have to worry about physical harm to the target; they have to think about keeping the target safe from embarrassment, from legal issues, from publicity. They have to be able to think about, and act on, several different things at once, very few of which will have anything to do with someone pointing a gun at their target's head.

"Statistically speaking," says a bodyguard speaking anonymously to Cosmopolitan writer Peggy Truong,"The client is much more likely to trip over a wire backstage and suffer a sprained ankle than get descended upon by snipers." So Notice seems a likely core ability.

They need to have good people skills. They'll be interacting with people at all walks of life, from highest to lowest. '“Tip every valet like you’re having a love affair with them,”' suggests Richard Davis, 'So they keep the area free for celebrity security and the client never has to wait for parking. Treat restaurant staff right and tip them right. These people know their workplaces and if anything’s out of the ordinary. “Everybody should be part of your team.”'

In game terms, that suggests High Society and Flattery are core abilities. Intimidation probably is too, but perhaps not as important as you might think, given the nature of the profession.

The paycheck's solid, at $100/hour minimum, and you can pull down as much as $500K/annum, depending on skills and seniority. If ever an agent is going to start with Excessive Funds or special gear, this one will - but that's the Director's call. Someone in this line of work is probably at the top of their game, in terms of skillset, so they were most likely senior law enforcement or had military experience before they took up the role. Any abilities that would apply to one of those archetypes also applies here.

With all that in mind the likely beginning stat block for a celebrity bodyguard is:

Bullshit Detector 1, Flattery 1, High Society 1, Intimidation 1, Notice 2

Possible alternates include Military Science, Languages (all that travel), Negotiation.

Moving on to General abilities, while most ex-military types would probably have high scores in abilities like Shooting or Hand-to-Hand, the celebrity bodyguard really isn't that type. They're much more likely to encounter paparazzi and stalkers than snipers or assassins. With that in mind:

Athletics or Driving 8, Sense Trouble 4, Shooting or Hand-to-Hand 6.

As always, the one sentence:

Christine Pham: Photogenic former cop turned celebrity bodyguard, who made the mistake of opening the package she'd been tasked to deliver.

Finally, a hook:

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems.

An Instagram post to hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide causes problems, when it transpires that the expensive jewelry bought at an exclusive Parisienne couturier is of interest to the Conspiracy. In a Dracula Dossier setting this might be one of the many rings, cameos or other items significant to Dracula or Edom; otherwise, pick your McGuffin as you see fit, Director. Now the immensely wealthy celebrity has to be protected against more than the usual stalker, as Renfields and Conspiracy-connected con men and burglars descend upon the client. Then the client's daughter goes missing, and it's anyone's guess as to whether this is to do with the McGuffin, or the client's jealous ex. Or perhaps the daughter just took an illicit stroll ...  


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