Prime Attribute: Dexterity
Assassins can be either heroes to the downtrodden or knaves reviled by the elite. They stalk unwary victims through grim city streets or gilt palaces, striking them down. They can lay in hiding for days, weeks, months or even years awaiting the perfect opportunity to slay their targets. The assassins serve both the weak and the strong, the good and the evil. They are killers who walk the shadows as the poor man’s justice or the wealthy man’s retribution.
Like mercenaries assassins seldom have motives of their own beyond collecting a reward. Although they are not necessarily evil, they are typically indifferent to the world around them. They view life and death as the natural course of things, and think little on the matter, if at all. Though not all assassins kill without regret, they do kill for a reason. Whether for pay, duty, revenge or mere pleasure assassins carry out missions that others find impossible and immoral.
Quick reflexes and swift movements are essential to the assassin’s trade. They must be able to move with speed and grace when going for the kill to avoid being detected and giving the victim a chance to react. The best of assassins are highly intelligent and focused individuals, capable of undergoing extreme duress and great stress to perform their missions. Whether working in disguise or slinking down alleys, it is patience, intelligence and speed that are the assassin’s stock and trade. Whether these actions are for the greater good or altogether evil, assassins kill without hesitation and with little or no regard for the consequences of their actions. Assassins are usually blind to the moral and ethical quandaries their profession engenders in the minds of other, more thoughtful, people.
The assassin’s weapons of choice are many and varied. Many are chosen for a particular job or victim while others reflect their own skills or profession. Of particular note is an assassin’s reliance on poisons to accomplish the tasks set before them. There is no hesitation to use this most abhorrent of weapons. Whatever the case, assassins are well trained in all weaponry.
However, the most important and valuable weapons in the assassin’s arsenal are guile, deceit, patience, will power, swift action and cunning movements. With these, the assassin becomes the most lethal killer in all the world, and the most feared and dreaded of foes.
Assassins must be prepared to wait in hidden places for long hours and move swiftly and quietly when attacking. Heavy armor that is uncomfortable, noisy or bulky precludes optimum performance. An assassin may wear leather armor, a leather coat, or padded armor, and can employ small shields without any penalty to the use of the character’s abilities. They may also wear leather helmets. An assassin may wear any other type of armor, but the character may suffer a penalty when using class abilities and wearing these armors as noted in the ability description. The penalty is equal to -1 for each point above armor class 12 those armors confer. Restricted helmets and shields cause the assassin to suffer a –1 penalty to all abilities. All penalties are cumulative.
CASE TARGET (WISDOM):
Using this ability, the assassin can determine information and weaknesses about a potential opponent or target through detailed observation and deductive reasoning. An assassin must spend 1d3x10 minutes observing an opponent before a check is allowed. A successful check results in knowledge of the approximate level or HD of the opponent within 10%, alignment, hidden weapons or unusual items, distinguishing habits and mannerisms, and any other details that might not be apparent to normal observation. The CK must decide what the assassin can learn about the target and deems appropriate to convey. This check can be adjusted by the level or hit dice of the observed creature.
This ability is unaffected by wearing armor not on the assassin armor list but is affected by helmets
This extraordinary ability allows an assassin to climb up, down, or across a slope, wall, steep incline (even a ceiling with handholds), or unusually angled natural or man made slope or incline that others would find impossible to climb. When doing so, the assassin moves at one-half the character’s normal speed. A failed climb check means that the character makes no progress. A check that fails by 5 or more means that the character falls from the currently attained height, and must suffer falling damage. Assassins can not carry anything in their hands while climbing. When climbing typical natural slopes and man made inclines, such as a cliff faces or steep steps, an assassin does not need to make an attribute check to climb the surface.
If an assassin studies a victim for 3 rounds and makes a sneak attack (see below) that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack can potentially kill the target instantly. While studying a victim prior to an attack, the assassin can undertake other actions, but must stay focused on the target. If the target knows the assassin is present, a death attack is not possible. The victim of such an attack must make a constitution saving throw. If the saving throw fails, the victim dies instantly. If the saving throw succeeds, the attack is treated as a normal sneak attack.
After completing 3 rounds of study, the assassin must attack within the next 3 rounds to use this ability. If a death attack is attempted and fails because the victim succeeds at the saving throw, the assassin cannot make another attempt at a death attack in this circumstance because the victim will almost certainly be aware of the assassin’s status as an enemy. If the assassin attacks and misses (and the target is not aware of the attack), or if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before attempting another death attack.
With a successful check in this ability, assassins can disguise themselves or impersonate people. The ability allows the assassin to impersonate general types of people, as well as individuals. For example, a human assassin might impersonate a taller elf mage, or perhaps a traveler, even though the assassin is a local.
For a general impersonation such as a beggar or merchant, the effort requires a few props, makeup, and 1d3x10 minutes of work to complete. Where specific individuals are being impersonated, at least one month’s preparation time is required to avoid detection. A disguise can include an apparent change of height or weight of no more than one-tenth the original height or weight of the assassin. The Castle Keeper makes the character’s disguise check secretly so that the character is not sure of its success. The following penalties are applied to a disguise check when appropriate: sex difference -2, race difference -2, and a -2 for an age difference of more than ten years.
A successful disguise does not fool an observer in all instances. Success indicates that the assassin is disguised well enough to fool normal, non-suspicious observers. If a suspicious individual observes the assassin, the CK may allow the observer an intelligence check to see through the disguise. If an assassin is impersonating a particular individual, all who know that individual are permitted to make an intelligence check to detect the disguise. If the observer would recognize the impersonated individual on sight, the check is made at +4. If the observer is a friend or close associate, the check is made at +8 and if intimate, the check is at +12.
Assassins use this ability to conceal themselves from others. A successful check means that the assassin is hidden so well as to be almost invisible. The assassin can move up to one-half normal speed and remain hidden. Hide checks suffer no penalty in this circumstance. At more than one-half and up to full speed, the character suffers a -5 penalty to the check to remain hidden. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while running or charging.
If the character is being observed, even casually, they can’t hide. If observers are momentarily distracted however, the character can attempt to hide. While the observer averts its attention from the character, the character can attempt to get to a hiding place. This check, however, is at a –10 penalty because the character has to move quickly to the hiding place. An assassin cannot hide if there is nothing to hide behind or conceal oneself with. Deep shadows can count as concealment at the Castle Keeper’s discretion.
Assassins cannot hide and move silently at the same time until they reach 3rd level. At this level and beyond, an assassin can attempt both but must make a successful conceal and move silent check at -5. In this case, movement is reduced to one quarter the normal movement rate.
This ability is affected by wearing armor not on the assassin armor list.
An assassin can use this ability to listen intently and hear noises that others might not detect, even through an obstacle such as a door. Success indicates the assassin can hear soft sounds, like a whisper or cat stalking, while outside or in the open and up to a range of 30 feet. It also indicates success if the assassin is listening for sounds on the other side of a door, but the assassin must be adjacent to the door. However, exactly what is heard is up to the Castle Keeper’s discretion as each case is unique. If listening through a stone wall, the assassin suffers a -10 penalty to the check. For other materials, vary the penalty as appropriate. An assassin can retry this ability once a round.
This ability is affected by wearing a metal or large helmet.
MOVE SILENTLY (DEXTERITY):
This ability allows an assassin to move so silently that others cannot hear the movement. The assassin can use this ability both indoors and outdoors. An assassin can move up to one-half the character’s normal speed at no penalty. At more than one-half and up to the character’s full speed, the character suffers a -5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.
To move silently and hide, see the hide ability. This ability is affected by wearing armor not on the armor list for the assassin.
An assassin can identify and make poisons and antitoxins. An assassin can identify a poison or antitoxin on a successful check. To make a poison or antitoxin, the assassin needs some alchemical equipment and raw materials costing one third of the street value of the poison or antitoxin to be made. An assassin’s training in the use of poison means that an assassin never risks accidental poisoning when applying poison to a blade. Moreover, assassins train with poisons of all types, and they slowly grow more resistant to their effects. This is reflected by a +1 bonus to saving throws versus poisons gained at 3rd level. Some common poisons, their effects and costs are listed below.
Assassins are capable of quick and deadly strikes upon unsuspecting targets. When an opponent or victim is aware of the assassin, but unsuspecting of any attack, this ability can be used. For example, an assassin could casually walk next to a target, quickly stabbing him with a poisoned blade. These situations do not necessarily require a previously successful hide or move silently check, although the Castle Keeper could require success in one or both skills, depending upon the circumstances. The opponent is not allowed to roll for initiative until the round following the attack.
An assassin making a sneak attack gains a +2 bonus to hit and a +4 bonus to damage. Ranged weapons can be used for sneak attacks if the target is within 30 feet. An assassin cannot aim with deadly accuracy from beyond that range.
This ability is affected by wearing armor not on the assassin armor list.
An assassin may use this to do one of the following: find, disable or set traps. Each use requires a separate attribute check and each check may be made only once in a given circumstance.
To find a trap, an assassin spends time intently studying and searching an area to deduce possible trap locations. It takes one round to locate a trap in a specific area such as a lock or a doorknob, and one minute to locate a trap in a 10 by 10 foot area. A successful check indicates the assassin finds one trap, if any are present. The trap discovered is the simplest or most obvious trap in the area. If multiple traps are in an area, multiple successful checks are required to find them all. An assassin can find magical traps with this ability, although it may be much more difficult than finding mundane traps. The Castle Keeper determines any penalties to the check basing those penalties on the level or hit dice of those who set them.
To disable a trap, an assassin must first know its location. Once a trap is located, a successful check means the assassin has disarmed the trap. The attempt can only be made once and failure indicates that the assassin set off the trap. An assassin can disarm a magic trap, although it may be much more difficult than disarming a mundane trap. In most cases, assassin’s tools are needed to disarm a trap. Generally, it takes 1d4 rounds to disarm a trap, depending on its complexity.
To set a trap, or to reset a previously disabled trap, an assassin must make a successful traps check. If an assassin is resetting a trap that they previously disabled, the assassin gains a +5 bonus to the check. The amount of time required to set or reset a trap depends on the complexity of the trap, typically taking 1d4 rounds.
Locating traps is not affected by the armor worn, however, disabling and setting traps is affected by wearing armor not on the assassin armor list.
PRIME ATTRIBUTE: Dexterity
HIT DIE: d6
ALIGNMENT: Any non-good
ARMOR: Leather armor, leather coat, and padded armor (See special)
ABILITIES: Case target, climb, death attack, disguise, hide, listen, move silently, poisons, sneak attack, traps
Lvl HD BtH EPP
1 d6 0 0
2 d6 +1 1,751
3 d6 +1 3,501
4 d6 +1 7,001
5 d6 +2 14,001
6 d6 +2 25,001
7 d6 +2 50,001
8 d6 +3 90,001
9 d6 +3 150,001
10 d6 +3 200,001
11 +2 HP +4 350,001
12 +2 HP +4 500,001
13+ 150,000 per level
TYPES OF POISON
I: Mild poisons that cause skin irritation, drowsiness, nausea and similar effects.
II: Mind altering concoctions that cause hallucinations, confusion, memory loss and similar effects.
III: Serious poisons that impair abilities and cause minor damage.
IV: Severe toxins that can incapacitate, cripple, or cause major damage.
V: Deadly poisons that cause permanent damage or kill.
VI: Rare potions or substances that cause massive permanent damage or kill.
COST AND POISON EFFECTS
Name Cost* Successful save** Duration Failed save Duration
I 5gp no effect Not applicable -1 physical attributes, -1 initiative 1-3 days
II 15gp no effect Not applicable -1 mental attributes, -1 initiative 1-3 days
III 45gp 1d4 dmg, -1 all secondary attributes 1-2 days 1d8 dmg, -2 all primary attributes 2-6 days
IV 150gp 1d8 dmg, -1 all attribute checks 2-4 days 2d8 dmg, comatose 3-9 days
V 900gp 1d10 dmg, perm. lose 1 point 1-6 days Death*** or 2d12 dmg & perm. lose 2 week
from class’s secondary attribute 2 points from class’s primary attribute
VI 1800gp 4d10 dmg, perm. lose 1 point from all Instant Death Permanent
primary attributes, 2 points from all
* Cost per dose.
** Saves are made against constitution, all attribute and level bonuses are added.
***Requires second save against constitution, failure means death, success means damage.