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Rogue, Assassin

By Artemisia Gentileschi - Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain, Rogue, Assassin
By Artemisia Gentileschi – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain,

In the criminal underworld, the assassin is a deadly tool that strikes with the precision of a scalpel, neatly slicing away a troublesome rival or a rabble-rousing, ambitious underling.

The Quintessential Rogue
Author Michael Mearls
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

The classical assassin is a silent, highly accomplished killer. He strikes in cold blood, his ethics and morality as easily bought and sold as his loyalty.

Adventuring: No assassin springs onto the scene fully trained in the art of murder, his combat skills honed to a razor sharp edge. Many begin as simple thugs who manage to pick up a few tricks here and there. Others begin as adventurers, testing themselves against monsters, traps, and other hazards in order to prepare themselves for their chosen vocation. More see adventure as simply another opportunity to accumulate
wealth – after all, most assassins work not for a love of killing but because of the tremendous fees their unique skills demand. Some rare assassins adventure as a cover for their assignments. A killer hired to take out an orc warlord may ally with a band of heroic paladins, using them as unwitting bodyguards and helpers to fulfil his contract.

Role-Playing: Killing for money is an inherently evil act, and while an assassin does not have to be a murderous, unstable psychotic, it’s the rare assassin that does not have a strong, greedy, self-centred streak. Assassins tend to look at people as things, rather than individuals. Their work requires a certain detachment from others. The assassin is a murderer, an important distinction from the heroic paladin who slays an evil priest or the fighter who rides to war in his liege’s name. He kills not for ideals or a belief but for his own gain. Thus, assassins are often cold, detached, and calculating. They are liable to look at others purely in terms of their value as allies and only rarely develop true friendships.

Bonuses: The assassin focuses fighting skills to a greater extent than the typical rogue. Weapons are the tools of his trade, and he must be adept at their use in order to fulfil his foul vocation. The assassin is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, shields, and light armour. He also gains Alchemy as a class skill. The assassin’s sneak attacks deal an additional 1d6 damage to humanoid creatures as the assassin studies humanoid anatomy in order to learn its weaknesses.

Penalties: Because assassins focus on weapons training, they are not as flexible as most rogues. The assassin has fewer class skills than the rogue does. He does not count the following skills as class skills; Appraise, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Forgery, Intuit Direction, Perform, Search, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device. They all count as cross-class skills. Furthermore, the assassin starts with 6 plus Intelligence modifier times 4 skill points and gains 6 points plus his Intelligence modifiers at later levels.

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