Some of the other bloggers are focusing on assassins this month, and I always have an opinion.
I respect that there are the sneaky, poison using bad guys willing to knock off a target or two, but history shows assassins in a different light. Obviously modern assassins use firearms, but I do like using the sniper crossbow guy. They only work if your critical rules allow for called shots - or extreme poisons, but nothing beats a bolt appearing in the king’s throat as if from no where. I’m also a big fan of the duelist who finds a reason to challenge the target to a duel and then kills him in a “fair” fight.
But I think the most useful assassin in life and in games is going to be the bruiser. Call it assassination, call it “saving the world”, call it execution - whatever; the best way to off somebody is to have some huge guy come barreling through the door and kill him with some massive amounts of damage. You know all those missions where the “good” characters go racing into the temple of some “evil” god and slaughter the priests, especially the high priest. Yeah - that was a “mission” and not an assassination. Whatever you call it, someone was paid to kill someone else.
I know what you’re thinking - This guy has it all wrong. We’re the good guys. Assassins are a whole different thing. But think about it really. If you are paid to go and kill someone, you are an assassin. Even if the bad guy is a dragon or a giant - you are still an assassin. Oh, we can dress it up in different names, but it’s still there. Just because you had to cut your way through forty guys and traps to get to in, you’re still an assassin.
So when you’re thinking about the rules that assassins follow - You need to be thinking about the entire range of hired killers, and not just the sneaky ones with poison.