... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Assassin Class

Reese suggested in a comment that thief variants, like the Assassin or Acrobat, could be handled similar to the martial arts monk, with combat styles that work like those described in the martial arts post. That’s certainly possible, although traditionally assassins aren't modeled after monastic orders. They could be, but probably I’d just let assassins study martial arts styles that seemed useful for stealthy killing. For example, I've been thinking that the Thief default weapon would normally be the dagger or short sword (close-quarter weapons that can be easily concealed,) but the Assassin default weapon should probably be a crossbow, and they could study the Bow Master style and its secrets. Another option would be an Unarmed Master style with a variant Superheroic Secret based on the “quivering palm”.

I did an Assassin before, when I talked about modifying the Delving Deeper Thief to get an Assassin and a Monk. But I didn't do a formal write-up in my new class template.


Concept: Professional trained in the secrets of killing. I haven’t played those “Assassin’s Creed” games (not that into video games, remember?) but I’m guessing that assassin is a lot like this, too.

Alignment: Neutral or Chaos, although a Lawful variant that focuses on supernatural evils might be interesting…

XP/HD: XP as Fighter, HD as Thief. Technically considered a Thief with extra abilities, hence the higher XP needed. Prime ability is lowest of Strength and Dexterity.

Weaponry and Armor: Weapons purchased when character is created.

Abilities: As Thief, but also has a Disguise ability (treat as Stealth/Hide in Shadows.)

Styles: Mastery of one of the three basic martial arts styles (see Martial Arts Monk.) Typically learned from a master assassin, rather than a monk; the Vow usually required is a cut of the assassin’s “action”, perhaps with obedience to an assassin’s order and a harsh code.


  1. Oh my, a shout out! Glad to hear you found some merit in my idea. My implementation would be a bit different though. I wasn't suggesting that the Assassins are a monk at all, but rather that you could use your "style" system as a way to introduce subclass variants across the board.

    So, instead of an assassin class who chooses a martial arts style as you've done above, I'd have the PC use the thief as their base class then choose the Assassin style (or Acrobat, or Mountebank, etc). That would give the character a base ability of disguise initially, perhaps, with a Heroic secret of Poison, and then Superheroic secret of.. something better. Appropriate vows if you'd like, to their guild or family.

    For that matter, you _could_ martial arts style ala ninjutsu to gain those abilities as well.

  2. Other lawful examples of assassins might be spies or special agents, like James Bond.