Source: The Complete
Attached to: Thief
Requirements: Strength 12, Intelligence 11, Dexterity 12
To abandon this kit, the character must go at least three levels without
using their non-thief weapon proficiencies and without using poison first.
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 as
Assassins: trained killers whose service are for hire.
In the AD&D 2E PHB, the idea of an assassin, a hired killer, has been divorced from any particular class. Indeed, a character can be any class and still be an assassin; this thief kit simply shows how a thief can be converted into an efficient, discreet killer. Characters of other classes can (and often will) be assassins, so it would be best not to let down one's guard...
Skill Progression: Assassins favor the skills of move silently, hide in shadows, detect noise, and climb walls. They also make occasional use of the pick pockets skill--not for lifting purses, but for similarly delicate tasks, such as slipping poison unnoticed into a target's goblet of wine.
The Assassin 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.
Most Assassins are of evil alignment. However, it is conceivable that one might be of a neutral (but not good) alignment. A PC might be the agent of some monarch, paid to arrange the discreet demise of those who threaten the kingdom's safety. While this certainly is not good (in the moral sense), the PC might regard it as a justifiable evil because of the deaths the action prevents by obstructing rebellion, invasion, or whatever.
Many Assassin thieves belong to guilds. The guilds use them to serve their own needs, and act as an intermediary for outsiders who wish to take out a contract on someone's life.
Weapon Proficiencies: Because of their specialization in the art of killing,
Assassins, unlike other thieves, are permitted the use of any weapon. An
Assassin often selects one favored weapon, such as a garroted or serrated dagger
(or even something exotic, such as blowgun darts with an exotic insect poison
from a distant jungle), to use for his killings. If the Assassin achieves
infamy, the marks of this weapon may become known as a sort of "calling
Nonweapon Proficiencies: (Required) Trailing, Disguise. (Recommended) Alertness, Herbalism, Land-Based Riding, Tracking, Voice Mimicry.
Assassins are familiar with and make frequent use of a wide array of
deadly devices. See the DM for details on all sorts of special items, such as
blade boots, death knives, folding bows, and so forth. Equipment to help their
preferred skills, such as clawed shoes and gloves and camouflaged clothing, is
If the DM permits, poison is also available and frequently used by the Assassin. The Assassin may purchase poison (expensive and usually illegal), or attempt to manufacture or extract it himself (which can be dangerous as well; see the DM for more information).
Because of their training and experience with the use
of poisons, Assassins also can identify poisons used by others. The base chance
of doing so is the Assassin's level multiplied by 5%.
Assassins with INT of 13-15 get a +5% bonus on the attempt; 16-17, a +10% bonus; and 18, +15%. Further adjustments depend on how the Assassin attempts the identification: sight , smell, taste, or symptoms.
Sight means examination of the poison or poisoned article. Many poisons have a distinctive appearance, or they may have a corrosive or discoloring effect on metals, foods, etc. Identification by sight has a -20% modifier. Its advantage is that the Assassin needn't worry about poisoning himself in the process.
A poison may also be identified by its odor. This carries a -15% penalty. Furthermore, if it is an ingested or contact poison, there is 10% chance that the Assassin will be affected by the poison, though at half-strength (i.e., no effect if the saving throw is successful, and if it's not, normal save damage is applied).
Taste is a fairly reliable, if dangerous, method of identifying a poison. If carries a -5% penalty. After dabbing a bit on his tongue, the Assassin spits it out. There is still a chance that the poison will affect the Assassin: 25% for injected poison, 75% for ingested poison, and 100% for contact poison. The poison's effects, if any, are half strength.
The most certain way of identifying a poison is by its symptom (no penalty on the attempt). The drawback of this method is of course that you need a poisoned character to examine.
An Assassin with herbalism proficiency gets a +5% identification bonus because of his knowledge of toxins extracted from plants. An Assassin with healing proficiency gets a +10% bonus in any case. These bonuses are not cumulative.
An attempt to identify a poison takes one round; be sure to keep track of time elapsed and the onset time of the poison. If one method of identification fails, the next may be tried. If none of the four produce an answer then the poison will remain a mystery to that Assassin. (The Assassin could attempt identification again after he's gained a level, but this is not normally of any help).
Identification of a poison also means knowledge of its antidote (if one exists); it does not mean that the antidote is available, however. An Assassin with herbalism proficiency may attempt to make an antidote from scratch.
Because of the time they spend on weapons and poisons,
Assassins advance more slowly in thieves' skills than other thieves. They start
with only 40 discretionary points to allocate at 1st level, and with each level
gained they only receive only 20 points to distribute among their skills.
Assassins are generally eared and shunned. Therefore an Assassin suffers a -4 reaction penalty with non-evil NPCs who are aware of his profession.
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