7 Tips to Being a City Guard in a Fantasy World

Steiner from FF9

The life of a city guard is rife with peril, disrespect, and iffy pay.  Nobody really knows how much a city guard makes, but it probably isn’t much considering how many of them need to make extra money gambling.  Anyway, it can be a steady gig and you get some perks like free lodging and functional gear.  What are some things to keep in mind if you choose this thankless path?

  1. Never leave home without a healthy breakfast.  You have to march around with heavy armor and weapons regardless of the weather, so you need energy.  Last thing you want is to have a rumbling stomach while chasing down a thief who is ridiculously skilled and lucky.  If you can’t eat before you leave them bring the food along.  Unless you have a helmet with a visor, you can still eat while at work.  Just don’t use your sword like a butter knife.
  2. If you’re looking for a promotion then you might want to put quality over quantity.  It might seem like a good idea to take a bunch of shifts and show that you’re a real go-getter.  Yet, you’ll wear yourself down and run a high risk of making some pretty bad mistakes.  Senses dull and energy low, you probably won’t be notice that assassin sneaking into the royal party as a suit of clunky armor.
  3. Think twice before rushing into a battle with someone that is strong enough to require adventurers as enemies.  Seriously, you can tell who is out of your league and only the foolish become fodder.  If the threat to the city is a towering giant then you’re sword isn’t going to be much help anyway.  Instead of throwing your life away, focus more on the evacuation effort.
  4. When helping with an evacuation, do NOT take time to hit on any single men or women that catch your attention.  Yes, the adrenaline is running high and there are stories about romances being born from fear, but there’s a time and place for everything.  Perhaps it’s smarter to woo them with the sight of doing your job instead of the lines you wrote on a bar napkin over the weekend.
  5. The only gear you’re going to get is basic, so don’t expect to get anything else.  You can’t request it either, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for what you get.  One option is to save up money to get some higher quality or magical gear, which might take a while.  You can also do some local adventuring on the side and see if you get even an enchanted dagger from that.  Either way, you need to improve yourself by your own hands.
  6. Never indulge in taunting a prisoner.  That always results in some type of comeuppance, especially if they turn out to be a great hero in the making.
  7. There may be a day where you run into an adventurer and discover that you want to travel with them.  The life of a city guard will be left behind or put on hold as you follow this new path.  In preparation, create a large goal that can only be met by wandering the world.  Seek a specific weapon or a legendary place.  Vow vengeance on someone who hurt you or wish to slay a great beast.  Don’t be that party member who is only there to pad out the numbers because that will get you killed.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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24 Responses to 7 Tips to Being a City Guard in a Fantasy World

  1. All were excellent but I liked the advice contained in number seven. Convinced me to stay home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a romance writer #4 jumped out at me 🙂
    These are good, Charles!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. L. Marie says:

    I actually think number 4 would make a great story. But great tips all. I think the life of a city guard is worth exploring. What a noble profession (unless the character is a complete sleaze; I can’t help thinking of Harry the gatekeeper in Fellowship of the Ring who was in cahoots with the Dark Lord).


  4. That guy looks pretty grumpy. Must be those shoes.


  5. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from the Legends of Windemere blog with 7 Tips to Being a City Guard in a Fantasy World


  6. I think Charles is right about #4, though a comforting word or daring rescue can indeed be the start of something beautiful. #7 is a harder sell unless your commander/lord/etc is really obnoxious.


    • Not necessarily with #7. There are times when a guard might just get the itch or think the adventure will help his/her leader. They can see it as an honorable path if the situation is put in the right light.


  7. V.M.Sang says:

    Good ones. It’s sowed the seeds of a story.


  8. Pingback: 7 Tips to Being a City Guard in a Fantasy World | Dragons Rule OK.

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