Assassins are stealthy killers, trained by their shadowy guilds in the arts of spying, disguise, poison, and murder. Although assassins of lower level are little more than well-trained thugs, the eminences of this reprehensible profession are so feared as to be spoken of only in whispers. High-level assassins are artists of murder, and their experience with hunting highlyplaced targets, coupled with extensive education and training, often gives the sinister nobility of this class a silken, refined veneer over their true, murderous natures. This veneer, like many things pertaining to the assassins, is deceptive; survival in the higher echelons of an assassins’ guild requires animal cunning and a complete absence of mercy. Assassin characters must begin with an evil alignment.
Virtually all cities (and many towns) will have a guild of assassins operating within the city walls and in the surrounding region, made up of 6-24 assassins of varying level. Player character assassins, if they are identified by the local guild, will be invited to join (such invitations ranging from polite to violent). Joining a guild places the assassin under the command of the local guildmaster, which may be inconvenient (and will require the assassin to pay a share of his take to the guild), but assassins’ guilds take a very dim view of freelancers working in their territory. Freelance assassins—and their companions—do not ordinarily live to enjoy old age. There are, of course, benefits to joining such a guild; training costs may be reduced, and the guild may be a good source of information about potential missions or nearby enemies.
Assassins’ guilds are controlled by a guildmaster of 14th level — an assassin of lower level might take control, but would be unable to inspire the fear necessary to keep rival guilds from forming. To gain 14th level, an assassin character must take control of an assassins’ guild by killing (directly or indirectly) the existing guildmaster. Whenever the control of an assassins’ guild changes hands, most of the assassins will abandon the guild and depart the area, normally leaving the guild reduced to a quarter of its original membership.
The grandmaster of assassins (a campaign may have one or more) is a figure of legend and fear. These dark eminences usually live far from the cities, in remote and well-guarded locations—their fame is such that those who need their services will seek them out. To advance to 15th level, an assassin must find and kill one of the existing grandmasters.
The Assassin Character
- Minimum Scores: Str 12, Dex 12, Con 6, Int 11, Wis 6
- Hit Die Type: d6 (max 15)
- Alignment: Any evil
- Experience Bonus: None
- Armour/Shield Permitted: Leather or studded leather only (shields allowed)
- Weapons Permitted: Any
- Weapon Proficiencies: 3 + 1 every 4 levels
- Penalty to hit for non-proficiency: -3
- Weapon Specialisation: N/A
Assassin Level Advancement
|Level||Base experience Points Required||Hit Dice (d6)||Notes|
|4||5,750||4||The assassin may recruit assassins as henchmen|
|8||99,000||8||The assassin may recruit thieves as henchmen|
|12||600,000||12||The assassin may recruit henchmen of any class|
*Level 15 at 1,500,000 experience points is the ceiling for assassins. Any further experience points gained by a character of this level are simply lost.
Assassin Saving Throw Table
|Level||Aimed magic Items||Breath Weapons||Death, Paralysis, Poison||Petrifaction, Polymorph||Spells for unlisted categories|
Assassin To Hit Table
Assassin Class Abilities
If an assassin gains surprise (see “Combat”) he or she may elect to assassinate the victim. The assassin need not roll to hit for an assassination attempt, which is a special attack resulting in a chance to kill the victim instantly and ensure damage even if the victim is not successfully killed. The percentage chance to kill a victim is 50%, with a bonus of 5% per level of the assassin and a penalty of 5% for every two levels of the target (rounding down; in the case of monsters, substitute “hit dice” for “level”). These numbers are approximate, for the GM should modify the assassin’s chances slightly upward or downward according to the circumstances—guarded or wary targets are less likely to be killed, and unwary victims are more likely to die. If the assassination attempt does not succeed, the attack still inflicts normal damage, together with any applicable bonuses. The assassin does not gain backstab multiple damage on a failed assassination attempt, even if the assassination attempt was made from behind.
An assassin may backstab with any of the melee weapons permissible to the thief class. Backstabbing doubles the weapon’s damage at levels 1-4, triple at levels 5-8, quadruple at level 9-12, and so on. Also, an assassin attacks from behind with a bonus to hit of +4 rather than the ordinary +2.
Assassins are masters of disguise. Within reasonable limits, an assassin can make him- or herself appear slightly shorter or considerably taller, fatter or thinner, or of the opposite gender. An assassin can even disguise him- or herself as a member of another race (again, within reason). Any person observing the disguised assassin has a base 2% chance to see through the disguise, with one chance per day to do so. The base chance of seeing through a disguise increases another 2% if the assassin is posing as another class, race or gender (max 8% chance). The GM may assign additional penalties and bonuses to this check if the observer is unusually wise or intelligent (or particularly stupid), and common sense, of course, applies at all times.
Assassins are not inherently better at using poison than any other character class capable of using poison, but generally have more opportunities to gain knowledge of poisons and their effects.
The assassin has thief abilities as a thief two levels below the assassin’s level. At first level, the assassin has the thieving abilities of a first level thief, but does not gain the abilities of a second level thief until reaching fourth level.
Languages (9th level):
Ninth and higher-level assassins with Int 15+ may learn languages that it would be impossible for a nonassassin to learn. An assassin can learn an alignment tongue other than his or her own, druids’ cant, and thieves’ cant as additional languages, but can only learn a maximum of four such special languages, one for each point of intelligence above 14. Only one such language can be learned per level above eighth. Such languages are over and above any limits imposed by the assassin’s race and intelligence.
Read Scrolls (12th level):
When an assassin reaches 12th level, he or she has received sufficient training to cast spells from an arcane scroll (magic user or illusionist).