Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Muscle 12, Aim 12, Reason 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 Larceny
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Disguise, Poison Use, Trailing
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Begging, Blind-Fighting, Bribery, Gather Information, Herbalism, Intimidation, Land-based Riding, Literacy, Somatic Concealment, Spellweaving, Tightrope Walking, Toxicology, Tracking, Tumbling, Venom Handling, Voice Mimicry
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
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 gains a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the assassin is not in metal armor. Even then, the assassin must either be alone or 90 feet or more away from his party to gain this bonus. If he fulfills these conditions, he moves so silently that opponents suffer a -4 penalty to their surprise die rolls. If the assassin must open a door or screen to attack, this penalty is reduced to -2. If the assassin gains similar abilities from another source, such as being an Elf or a Thief, the penalty is increased by 2.
- 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.
- 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, assassins learn non-weapon proficiencies more slowly than other members of their class. They receive new non-weapon proficiency slots 1 level later than they otherwise would (thus a Thief Assassin would gain new slots every 3 levels, instead of every 2). Their initial non-weapon proficiency slots are not affected.
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