Forgotten Realms: Birthright
The assassin is the master of dealing quick, lethal blows. Assassins also excel at infiltration and disguise. Their training in anatomy, stealth, and poison allows them to carry out missions of death with shocking, terrifying precision.
To qualify to become an assassin, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
- They must have a flexible moral compass, have no qualms about killing, and few emotional attachments to people.
- They must be of either the Thief or Bard class, or be multi / dual classed in one of the two.
- The must have the following minimum ability scores: Dexterity 12, and Intelligence 11.
An assassin thrives on anonymity, on surprise – on his victim not even realizing that he is the target until it is too late. A clever assassin might never be seen by his victim. One the other hand, others enjoy cultivating a feared persona or alias, one that inspires fear. Killing for money is by definition a corrupt act, and morally questionable. It requires a certain level of sociopathy to carry out such acts of murder. However, characters often justify their actions in one way or another, say, by only killing a certain group of people, or ones they feel deserve death. This is a morally grey area for the player to explore.
Because of their specialization in the art of killing, assassins are permitted to use any weapon. They are not automatically proficient in them, but are not limited to the list given to regular thieves or bards. Overly large weapons tend to be avoided, as they are hard to conceal, and hinder movement.
Additionally, they automatically become familiar with a group of 6 weapons called ‘Murderous Implements’. This group varies based on how the assassin was trained. Each guild or clan has different weapons it favours. It can be treated as a cultural weapon group for the purposes of purchasing fighting styles or other benefits. This weapon group is determined by the DM.
In addition, an assassin using any of his Murderous Implements receives a +1% bonus to the Assassination class feature for every 2 levels of Assassin. He can of course still use the feature with other weapons.
Assassins will often select a favoured weapon, such as a garrote, serrated dagger, blowgun, or kukri. If the assassin achieves infamy, the marks of his weapon may become known as a calling card.
Animal Lore and Alchemy are considered class proficiencies for this kit, and therefore only cost 1 slot each. (This is related to the gathering of poison materials, and the fabrication of poisons)
Recommended: Disguise, Information Gathering, Prestidigitation, Herbalism, Animal Lore, Alchemy.
- Because of their training and experience in the use of poisons, assassins can identify poisons used by others. The character must use the appropriate non-weapon proficiency to do so (Herbalism, Alchemy, or Animal Lore). The assassin gets +1 bonus per level on any such roll.
- Assassins do not suffer the 5% chance to accidentally poison themselves when handling, identifying, applying or creating poisons.
- Assassins receive a bonus to saves vs. poison equal to 1 every 2 levels.
- Assassins can gradually make themselves immune to certain poisons by micro-dosing themselves. At 5th level and every 5 levels after that (10th, 15th, 20th, etc), the assassin can select one poison. From that moment on, he is completely immune to the effects of that toxin.
- Assassins can assassinate their targets starting at 5th level. If an assassin makes a successful backstab, he can instead try to kill the target instantly. The chance for an instant kill is 50% against a target of the same level as the assassin. Increase this chance for lower-level targets and decrease for higher-level targets. Other modifications may apply, depending on circumstance, target’s precautions etc., as determined by the DM. Even if the assassination attempt fails, normal weapon damage applies.
- If the assassin achieves infamy through the cultivation of an alias, his weapon, general appearance, and name will become known to the local population. Wearing or flaunting any identifying features of this persona confers a +4 to intimidate bonus in regions where he is wanted. Other underworld figures may react positively or negatively to such an identity. Confer with your DM to decide what these features are, and how much is known about the character.
This feature is not of use to those assassins that choose to make their kills look like accidents. Those that take great pains to leave no trace of their presence. These assassins benefit from something else: Underworld reputation. This gives assassins with high kill counts a +4 to reaction adjustment when dealing with potential employers. This means the assassin can demand bigger purses for his kills.
The assassin can only have one or the other.
- Assassins are generally feared and shunned. Therefore they suffer a -4 reaction penalty with most people who are aware of his profession.
- Assassins are professional killers, but they are also fallible, especially in the beginning of their careers. As a rule, murder is illegal in most regions and cities. When creating an assassin character, the player must select two Regions or City States in which the assassin is wanted for murder (justified or not). This means that if the character is caught by the authorities for whatever reason in those Regions, he will suffer the consequences of a murder charge. It is safe to say that in those territories where murder is illegal, it often carries a severe penalty. As long as the character remains outside of the regions or cities in question, he or she is not at risk of being caught, unless the story dictates otherwise, due to further actions by the character. Consult the DM when creating the character to determine the background of these charges, and the regions in which they took place. It only makes sense if it fits in with the character’s background and origin story. It is naturally a great opportunity for roleplaying.
- If an infamous Assassin successfully kills anyone using a signature weapon, their method of killing can be recognized by a suitably trained or naturally talented investigator. The investigator and any law enforcement body the investigator is aligned with gets a bonus to track the Assassin, and that bonus is doubled in regions where the Assassin is wanted. The DM will decide how effective these investigators are.
An assassin with an underworld reputation should not, if successful, raise any suspicion with law enforcement. Due to their reputation, they will catch the eye of powerful individuals who may not wish to be exposed, and like to tie up loose ends. There is always a risk that a powerful client betrays the assassin. Especially one not operating with the protection of a guild.