Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Str 12, Dex 12, Int 11
- Alignments: Non-Good
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: Any
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Rogue
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Disguise, Trailing
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Begging, Blind-Fighting, Bribery, Gather Information, Herbalism, Intimidation, Land-based Riding, Observation, Poison Use, Reading/Writing, Somatic Concealment, Spellweaving, Tightrope Walking, Toxicology, Tracking, Tumbling, Venom Handling, Voice Mimicry
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
- Pick Pockets: +5%
- Open Locks: —
- Find/Remove Traps: +5%
- Move Silently: —
- Hide in Shadows: —
- Hear Noise: —
- Climb Walls: —
- Read Languages: -5%
Overview: In any reasonably corrupt culture, there are those who wish to eliminate someone whose very existence stands in the way of their plans. To serve them there are Assassins: trained killers whose services are for hire.
Assassins are characters who profit from their art by selling their services to the highest bidder. However, the services they sell are very specific-they use their talents to kill. Wielding their swords, magic, and poison, assassins take contracts for merchant houses nobles, and kings, earning fortunes if they’re good at what they do.
Description: Assassins, more so than any other character, dress to blend in. There is no distinct appearance for an assassin.
Role-Playing: Assassins are paid killers. They care nothing about fair play or honorable combat, wishing only to carry out their contracts in the safest and most secret ways possible. While some assassins are dedicated to evil, others are just cynical or mercenary; a few might see their work as a necessary evil for a greater cause, particularly if they slay only evil-aligned beings. The assassin’s goal is to remain unknown and unseen.
Assassins sell their abilities to society’s elite, eliminating a merchant’s competition, a rival noble, a pushy cleric, or an adventurer who just doesn’t know when to back off. Most assassins never reveal their true nature, not even to their adventuring companions. They travel the realms with these companions, slipping away when necessary to handle a job, then returning to continue their adventuring careers. Assassins are often in high demand, but even the best isn’t called upon to perform more than three or four slayings in a year.
Thugs and bounty hunters may be seen as close relatives of the Assassin. It is important, then, to understand their differences, and what makes their roles distinct. Thugs typically serve as crude muscle, using bullying and intimidation. The Assassin, on the other hand, thrives on anonymity, on surprise—on his victim not even realizing that he is a target until it is much too late. A clever Assassin might never be seen by his victim. Here, too, the Assassin differs from the Bounty Hunter, for the hunter often seeks his quarry alive, and typically must bring back his prey (or the corpse thereof) as proof of his project’s success.
- An assassin, regardless of class, is able to Move Silently as a Ranger of equal level. An assassin that would gain this ability from a class that uses discretionary points for thief skill advancement automatically improves the skill at the listed rate, without the need to spend any points on it.
- If an assassin surprises an opponent, is not himself surprised, has a melee weapon in hand, and is within melee range, the assassin can automatically hit his opponent once and do double damage; this is in addition to his normal attack. This ability works only against humanoid-shaped creatures of small or medium size, and it assumes that the assassin does not require a magical weapon of greater power than he has in hand to hurt the target.
- An assassin starts play with a patron, a specific noble or merchant lord who retains his services. This translates into help when the assassin is within the patron’s sphere of influence, a ready supply of resources while in the patron’s good graces, and a contact to exploit when involved in his own adventuring endeavors.
- Because of their training and experience with the use of poisons, Assassins also can identify poisons used by others. The base chance of doing so is the Assassin’s level multiplied by 5%. An attempt to identify a poison takes one round; be sure to keep track of time elapsed and the onset time of the poison. If one method of identification fails, the next may be tried. If none of the four produce an answer then the poison will remain a mystery to that Assassin. Identification of a poison also means knowledge of its antidote (if one exists); it does not mean that the antidote is available, however. An Assassin with Herbalism proficiency may attempt to make an antidote from scratch.
- Assassins with Knowledge of 13-15 get a +5% bonus on the attempt; 16-17, a +10% bonus; and 18, +15%.
- Further adjustments depend on how the Assassin attempts the identification: sight, smell, taste, or symptoms. Sight means examination of the poison or poisoned article. Many poisons have a distinctive appearance, or they may have a corrosive or discoloring effect on metals, foods, etc. Identification by sight has a -20% modifier. Its advantage is that the Assassin needn’t worry about poisoning himself in the process.
A poison may also be identified by its odor. This carries a -15% penalty. Furthermore, if it is an ingested or contact poison, there is a 10% chance that the Assassin will be affected by the poison, though at half strength (i.e., no effect if the saving throw is successful, and if it’s not, normal save damage is applied).
Taste is a fairly reliable, if dangerous, method of identifying a poison. It carries a -5% penalty. After dabbing a tiny bit on his tongue, the Assassin spits it out. There is still a chance that the poison will affect the Assassin: 25% for injected poison, 75% for ingested, and 100% for contact. The poison’s effects, if any, are half strength (see above).
The most certain way of identifying a poison is by its symptom (no penalty on the attempt). The drawback of this method is of course that you need a poisoned character to examine.
- An Assassin with Healing, Herbalism, Poison Use, Toxicology, or Venom Handling proficiency gets a +5% identification bonus because of his knowledge of toxins (these bonuses are cumulative).
- Assassins are generally feared and shunned. Therefore an Assassin suffers a -4 reaction penalty with non-evil NPCs who are aware of his profession.
- The assassin’s main drawback is the unlawfulness of his trade in most locations. If found out as an assassin and captured, he can expect no mercy from the law. If an assassin is identified but not captured, a bounty of 1d100 x10gp will be placed on his head.
- The patron also translates into the assassin’s hindrance, as the assassin must perform at least three assassinations for the patron in a given year. When a assassin agrees to a job, he must concentrate on that job until he gets it done. Otherwise, he may find himself the object of a bounty hunter who has been hired to cancel his contract.
- Because of the time they spend on weapons and poisons, Rogue assassins advance more slowly in thieves’ skills than other members of their class. They receive only 2/3 the normal number of discretionary points to spend at each level (round doan). Thus a Thief assassin gains 40 points at 1st level and 20 points each level after that, and a Bard assassin would gain 13 points at 1st level and 10 points each level after that.
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