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Arkuth - Unofficial 2E Assassin

The Assassin


Ability Requirements: Strength 12, Intelligence 11, Dexterity 13
Prime Requisite: Dexterity
Hit Die:
Races Allowed: Humans, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Half-Orcs and Bugbears

Class Restrictions:

  • Armor; light armors only, may use any type of shield
  • Weapons: none
  • Alignment: any non-lawful
  • XP: assassins do not gain any experience bonuses for having high ability scores.

Class Abilities: Backstab as thieves, assassination, thieves cant, scroll use, disguise, poison use and all standard thief abilities.


Assassins are the ultimate killers. Through cunning and guile they slay their victims by any means necessary. They can be either heroes or villains. It is all a matter of perspective as they stalk unwary and undeserving victims through grim city streets or gilt palaces, striking them down from behind or poisoning corrupt and evil nobles whose
fat fingers dip too far into the public’s coffers. Although they are not necessarily evil, they are typically indifferent to the world around them. They view life and death as the natural course of things, and think little on the matter, if at all. Though not all assassins kill without regret, they do kill for a reason. Whether for pay or personal morality, assassins carry out missions that others find impossible and immoral.

Quick reflexes and swift movements are essential to an assassin’s trade. They must be able to move with speed and grace when going for the kill to avoid detection or a victim’s reaction to their attack. The best of assassins are highly intelligent and focused individuals, capable of undergoing extreme duress and great stress to perform
their duties. Whether working in disguise or slinking down back alleys, patience, intelligence and speed are an assassin’s stock and trade. The assassin’s weapons of choice are many and varied. Their most important and valuable weapons are guile and deceit, patience and willpower, swift action and cunning movements. With these, assassins become the most lethal killers in the world and the most feared and dreaded of foes.

General Info:

Just as other rogues do, assassins have six-sided dice (d6) for determining their total hit points. Assassins are generally evil in alignment (perforce, as the killing of humans and other intelligent life forms for the purpose of profit is basically held to be the antithesis of weal).

Assassins start with 2d6x10 gold pieces, 2 weapon proficiency slots and 3 non weapon proficiencies slots. After such time they receive 1 additional weapon and non-weapon proficiency slot every 4 levels. Assassins may select proficiencies from the general, rouge and warrior lists.

They may use any magical item usable by thieves, as well as any magical weapon or shield.

The Assassin is a subclass of the the thief, and they have the functions of the latter as well as their own. An assassin character need not be a member of a guild of the town or city he/she dwells in, but all NPCs' are members of such guilds. There is one such guild in most towns and cities, and each controls an area of from 10-100 mile radius around the headquarters town or city. Any assassin discovered in a guild area who is not a member of the local Assassin's guild will be invited to join, thus coming under the authority and command of the guild master assassin. The assassin character need not join, but he/she will be under sentence of death. If the character performs an assassination while not a guild member.

The primary function of the assassin is killing. They may use poison - ingested or insinuated by weapon. Poison ingested must be put into the food or drink, and the character performing this action must detail exactly when, where and how the poisoning will be done. The DM will then adjudicate the action. Poisoned weapons used run the risk of being noticed by others. All non-assassins within a 10' radius of the bared weapon have a 10% cumulative chance each per melee round of noting the poison and attacking the poison-using assassin and/or calling for the city watch (there is a 20% chance for attacking the assassin, 50% chance for calling the watch, and a 30% chance for shouting for the watch and attacking the assassin.

The secondary function of an assassin is spying. This mission can be coupled with the stealing of an item. Tertiary functions of assassins are the same as thieves.

Assassins attack on the same combat tables as thieves do, including back stabbing. However, if they have studied and have successfully surprised their victim, they may attempt to Assassinate them (see below). Note: The assassin must declare their attack mode to the DM before each round: assassination, back stabbing, or normal melee combat.

Performing an assassination will gain XP points for the character - awarded for both the fee paid and the level of the victim. These awards are determined by the DM (The DM can refer to the Dungeon Master's guide)

In order for an assassin to gain experience levels beyond 13th level (prime assassin), he or she must have the requisite experience points and then either assassinate the local Guild master Assassin (14th level) or challenge him her to a duel to the death. Likewise, a 14th level assassin may journey to the 15th level assassin's headquarters and slay him or her by assassination or in a duel.

The headquarters of a guild must be within a large city or town. It must not be a noticeable fortress or an ostentatious place. It is typically a warehouse or other nondescript structure, with safeguards and traps added.

Additional Abilities:

Assassination: Assassins also have the ability to assassinate a human, demi-human or humanoid victim, causing massive damage in a single blow. The assassin must have studied the victim for at least 3 consecutive rounds within the past 24 hours to make this attack. The assassin must then surprise the victim and make a successful attack roll. If the attack roll succeeds, the victim must make a save vs death, modified by -1 if the assassin is 4th-7th level, -2 if the assassin is 8th-11th level and so forth. Failure means the victim dies (immediately brought to 0 hit points, or -10 of using the hovering on death's door optional rule). If the victim makes the saving throw, normal damage occurs.

Disguise (Charisma): With a successful check, assassins can disguise themselves or impersonate people. The ability allows the assassin to impersonate general types of people, as well as individuals, so long as the impersonated human or demi-human is of the same size category as the assassin. The effort requires a few props, makeup, and 1d3 turns of work for a general impersonation. The Dungeon Master makes the character’s disguise check secretly so that the character is not sure of its success. The following penalties are applied to a disguise check when appropriate: sex difference (-2), race difference (-2), 10% height or weight difference (-2), and age difference (-2 per age category of difference).

If an assassin is impersonating a particular individual, all who know that individual make a perception check to detect the disguise. If the observer recognizes the impersonated individual on sight, the check is made at +2. If the observer is a friend or close associate, the check is made at +4. To aid in their use of disguises, assassins who select knowledge (language) skills may learn languages that are normally barred to other characters. They may learn the following “secret” languages in addition to those typically available to characters of their race and class: cant, druidic, and other, campaign-specific, secret tongues.

The knowledge of these secret or esoteric tongues can prove useful in affecting an effective disguise and an intelligent assassin is wise to learn them.

Poison Use (Intelligence): An assassin with this ability can identify and use poisons and antitoxins. An assassin can identify a poison or antitoxin on a successful check. An assassin’s training in the use of poison means that an assassin never risks accidental poisoning when applying poison to a blade. Moreover, assassins train with poisons of all types, and they slowly grow more resistant to their effects. This is reflected by a + 1 bonus to poison saving throws that is gained at 3rd level. This bonus increases by 1 point at levels 9 and 15. At 9th level, an assassin gains the ability to make poisons and antitoxins. To make a poison or antitoxin, the assassin needs some alchemical equipment and raw materials costing one half of the street value of the poison or antitoxin to be made.

Scroll Use: Assassins can use wizard and priest scrolls starting at level 12, with the same chance of success as a thief 2 levels lower.

Thieves Cant: Assassins may learn thieves' cant if their intelligence gives them the available language slots.

Thief Skills: Assassins begin with all thieves skills listed on page 29 of the Player Handbook. They begin with 20 discretionary points that they may add to these base skills in any fashion. The assassin gains 20 additional discretionary points at levels 2 and 3, after which 30 discretionary points are gained per level just as a thief.

Experience Table

Level Experience Hit Dice (d6) Level Title
1 0 1 Bravo
2 1,500 2 Rutterkin
3 3,000 3 Wag halter
4 6,000 4 Murderer
5 12,000 5 Thug
6 25,000 6 Killer
7 50,000 7 Cutthroat
8 100,000 8 Executioner
9 200,000 9 Assassin
10 300,000 10 Expert Assassin
11 425,000 10 + 2 Senior Assassin
12 575,000 10 + 4 Chief Assassin
13 750,000 10 + 6 Prime Assassin
14 1,000,000 10 + 8 Guildmaster Assassin
15 1,250,000 10 + 10 Grandfather of Assassins
16 1,500,000 10 + 12 Grandfather of Assassins
17 1,750,000 10 + 14 Grandfather of Assassins
18 2,000,000 10 + 16 Grandfather of Assassins
19 2,500,000 10 + 18 Grandfather of Assassins
20 3,000,000 10 + 20 Grandfather of Assassins

Assassins gain 2 h.p. per level after the 10th.

*This class was created using a combination of the 1E assassin, AD&D 3 assassin (by Chris Perkins) and the Scarlet Brotherhood assassin to give us a great 2E assassin class*.

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