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4E- King's Bodyguards

   
The 4e DMGII has a section on Monster Themes that confer thematic monster groups with special synergistic powers. Both "Goblin Allies" and "Legion of Avernus" have militant-themed powers and would be worth looking at for a model.

I'd give them synergistic Tattoo powers. There might also be a Divine or Location Boon that could be altered to represent something the King's priests or mages conferred to his elite guard.

I would consider giving the elite guard the equivalent of an extra +1 on their weapons and defenses, represented as magical arms and armor that confer an additional bonus to troops that have either sworn a particular allegiance, or are within 500' of their King, or are within the grounds of the palace, etc. This way the guard can benefit from the full bonus, but players defeating them get only level-appropriate bonuses on the captured items.

IMHO:

The Soldiers Should: Be able to lock-down the PCs in the way a player Defender can (making them Soldiers or Controllers, most likely). Have synergistic bonuses from being near other members of the Legion. Should be a small number of Elites rather than a bunch of Standard monsters.

The King Should: Be of the Leader Subtype, and depending on if you want him to cast spells or not, be either a Controller (no spells) or an Artillery (Spells). Should have some capacity to transfer the damage dealt to him to adjacent allies.

Make the encounter a couple levels above the PCs to make it challenging. However, instead of using Standard monsters of higher levels, keep them as monsters of their level, but Elites to make them more difficult to fight without making them difficult to hit at all.




 

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