I want to use intelligent, organized factions more in dungeons, though. So I want to think out how they might react to incursions ahead of time, so they will have plans and goals that are seperate from me, the DM, before players even encounter them.
First, if you know of any good posts or articles please let me know. Second I was thinking a good approach might be to think of questions before they need answering the way Jeff's 20 questions for a campaign does. So here are some questions:
- Where are guards posted?
- Who are these guards-- how loyal, capable, experienced?
- How do guards react to noise?
- How do guards react to smoke or strange lights or smells?
- In other words, when will they leave their posts?
- Is there a way for them to communicate with each other, other than just shouting?
- If reinforcements are sent, how long does it take them to reach different locations?
- Is there a general plan of defense or perhaps, evacuation?
- Is the goal to investigate, eradicate, or imprison interlopers?
- Who are they expecting trouble from?
- What kind of battle tactics will they use-- are they straight up fanatics? Will they attempt to kill mages first? Will they target any missile users? Use shield walls?
- Who is ultimately in charge?
- How will that person be affected by battle results? In other words will they be afraid, outraged, or impressed if players have killed guards?
- How long does it take, if even possible, for guards lost to battle to be replaced?
- How flexible are they, how willing to adjust tactics? In other words, will they learn and adapt to losing battles to pcs?