Make Guarding Fun

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This is hugely based off Yanfly's video.

Guarding in RPG Maker MV and RPG Maker MZ typically only does one thing, make the guarding battler receive 50% less damage for that turn. Cool. But that's often perceived by the player as uninteresting and a potential waste of a turn if the battler in question is not the target of attack. In turn-based battle systems, wasting a valuable action to reduce the potential of being attacked is as good as giving your opponent a free turn and many players would consider guarding not a valuable action to perform if that's all it did.

So what can we do? Let's take a look at the potential ways to change up guarding to make it more strategic and fun.

ArisuAvatar2.png This is an article written by Arisu.

Ways to Change Up Guarding


First off, let it be known that you can edit the Guard action inside of the skills database. You can change it up to whatever you like. You can even change it to an attack if you want, but let's stick to some simpler ideas that stay closer to the true nature of guarding.

Keep in mind if you change the Guard skill, everybody's guard action gets changed to that. If that's okay with you, cool. If that isn't okay with you, we recommend using the Weapon Unleash plugins. There are variants for MV and MZ:



With these plugins, you can change up the guard skill individually for actors via the <Replace Guard: id> notetag.

Idea 1: Recovery



One of the easiest ways to change up guarding is to recover HP and/or MP to the user. The amount of HP/MP recovery is up to you, but since there is now a healing and/or restoration component to it, the feeling of "wasting a turn" is now reduced. HP recovery is especially helpful for characters that are missing HP healing skills and MP recovery is great for characters that consume a lot of MP.

Of course, this aspect becomes a bit trivial if your game provides healing potions and mana potions, but at least the HP/MP recovery is free and there's the potential to reduce damage, too.

Idea 2: Adding Buffs



Guarding can be used as a means of charging up and self buffing. You don't have to add every single buff type. Just the ones you want and for how long you want. This kind of thing allows for warriors to go into a frenzy or mages to concentrate their magical power.

Idea 3: Self Cleanse



Guarding can become a reactive measure, too, rather than a preventative one. If a character becomes afflicted with a status effect, how about guarding can cleanse the user? Poison would be removed. Blindness will be recovered. Silence can be undone. Etc, etc. This also has the added bonus of making status effects less annoying as there's always a way to deal with it.

Of course, like with recovery, this bonus aspect can become trivial if your game provides access to status removal items, but at least the cleanse is free.

Idea 4: Elemental Shields



Guarding can self-apply a status effect that also lowers elemental damage received. This is a great way for characters with elemental weaknesses to suppress those weaknesses temporarily. Though this still means there's the potential to not be attacked and potentially "wasting" the character's turn, added bonus effects like such are rarely perceived as such and feels more like a deterrent for enemies from using those attacks against said characters.

Idea 5: Barriers



Sometimes gaining a barrier (that hopefully lasts more than one turn) is also helpful. In addition to reducing damage received, there's the ability to soak up and block some of it, too. Barriers aren't an innate part of RPG Maker MV and RPG Maker MZ. You will need to enlist the help of plugins to use them.

For RPG Maker MV, you will need to use Absorption Barrier.

For RPG Maker MZ, you will need to use Anti-Damage Barriers.

The MZ variant gives more than just damage blocking barriers, too, including a variety of ways to mitigate damage. Use them however you like.

Idea 6: Taunts



RPG Maker doesn't really give you much in the way of directing attacks towards yourself except through the "Target Rate" trait. The problem with this is that it affects every type of attack and only through chance. If you're okay with that, create a state with increased an Target Rate, have the Guard skill self-apply the skill to the user, and you're good to go.

Otherwise, it's best to use Taunt effects. There are different types of Taunts and these can range from drawing physical attacks only, magical attacks only, or some combination of them. However, Taunt effects aren't a part of RPG Maker MV and RPG Maker MZ by default so you will need to use plugins to achieve these effects.

This way, defender-type classes that cover for the party can "take one for the team" and intentionally become a target themselves in order for the other party members to be safe from direct attacks for the duration of the Taunt effect.

For RPG Maker MV, you will need to use Taunt.

For RPG Maker MZ, you will need to use Aggro Control System.

The MZ variant also gives way to Provoke and Aggro, too.

Equipment Determined Effect



You can even have changing the Guard action become a game mechanic. Through the usage of the Weapon Unleash plugins for RPG Maker MV and RPG Maker MZ, the notetag <Replace Guard: id> can be applied to equipment like shields to change up the Guard action.

If done, players are given agency and control over how their characters guard in battle and what kinds of bonus effects they get with guarding. This adds a strategic element to the game where sometimes the best shield isn't the one that gives the best stats, but instead, the shield that gives the best Guard option for the fights coming in the near future.


There's many ways to make Guard a more interesting mechanic than just receiving half damage and "wasting a turn" to your players' eyes. By incorporating various mechanics to the Guard action, it stops being an afterthought to the battle system and becomes a more strategic option that players gain access to. This especially becomes true when equipment that can change up the Guard skill are involved, too. Find ways to have fun with Guard and make it a less boring way to reduce damage.

End of File

Doktorarbeit Writer