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Thread: A good assassin?

  1. #1
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    Cool A good assassin?

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    One thing that has always irked me about the assassin prestige class is the requirement of an evil alignment. Many players will play an evil character in a good party, just to reap the benefits of this class. What about the neutral assassin, who is out for personal profit, but doesn't necessarily relish in the kill? Or even more interesting, a good assassin, devoted to destroying evil by stealth and subterfuge?

    After all, even paladins are allowed to kill people. I don't mean to say a good assassin should have a religious focus, although it could.

    For a twist on the assassin, I would consider the following changes:

    Alignment: Any lawful (adhering to the assassin's code)
    Assassin's Code: -Never kill an innocent
    -Breaching the code would violate the assassin's alignment, like a paladin's code of conduct

    These are just some initial ideas; any further input would be great!
    Last edited by Dr Berry; 10-27-2009 at 02:51 PM.

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    you would need to change some of the hard mechanics of the class too. Like the assassin's spells have a definite "dark" feel to them. Something a good character wouldn't use.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    good assassin

    I think its ok to have a good assassin as long he is a caotic good assassin because the assassin has some evil spells so lawful good would not do.

    another good thing is to have a ring or something magical to hide your alignment because good our bad, your going into enemy grounds disguising your self as one of them.

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    Think Leon from the Professional would be the best arguement for a Good/Neutral Assassin type. He worked for money.
    He also provides the 'Lawful' aspect of it too. "No Women/No Kids"

    It isn't to hard to adjust it D&D terms.
    Far as the 'evil' nature spells, change them out to similar 'good' ones.
    Bill
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    Alignment Discussion Warning!

    Make sure you have a very good idea of what your DM calls "evil" before you consider it an obstacle to playing assassins. My guess is that an assassin is required to be evil because they have higher regard for money than human life. I'm having a hard time picturing what "neutral" or "good" would mean, if they could be applied to someone whose profession involves regularly ending the lives of others.

    As far as paladins being allowed to kill - that probably depends heavily on whom the paladin serves. If the paladin's granted abilities are any indicator - healing hands, remove disease, inspire courage - hurting others really isn't in his repertoire. Sounds more like a helpful guy. Wearing heavy armor is good for defense, and the judicious use of martial weaponry might just be intended for soulless creatures - vermin, undead, demons - and not people.

    I say 1) don't use prestige classes, but failing that, 2) take Assassin no matter what your alignment is. Who's gonna tap you on the shoulder and make sure you're following your alignment restriction? The worst thing that could happen is you lose some spellcasting because an evil deity, who was granting you the spells, doesn't think you're being evil enough.

    "Just one calorie. Not evil enough."
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    Maybe I'm old fashioned or just a grognard, while other classes are allowed to kill, the Assassin's whole point of existance is to kill. Paladins kill, but exist to spread and enforce their God's will, as do clerics. Rangers kill, due to being the last true fronstiersman hunting out dangers that would otherwise provide an overwhelming threat to civilized lands. No other class is designed to be a killer, except perhaps the Fighter. However, as the name implies - Fighter, this character is good at fighting, either because he chooses to be for his own ends or for the benefit of others. The assassin is the only class in which killing is the whole point to exist. So, I'd have to say 86 it for a 'good assassin'. At best I could see at best any alignment except good. Good characters kill, but not if they can avoid it.

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination

    As most should be aware, This rundown is fairly accurate. As it states, that the assassin origin was either political in nature, or thru religious beliefs. Not necessarily evil. If you believe in something so much that youare willing to kill or die for that ideal or such, is that evil? Not really. Too hard to tell, and as I am not a god, too hard to judge. Maybe they are just misguided? who knows. Ever watch Dexter? Is he evil? quite possibly. Definitley an assassin, even if he is a dranged serial killer... and he does have a code. Kill only killers. I have played a chaotic good assassin before. I loved it. No women nor children, and i made sure my char investigated the mark and see if he deserved it before accepting the contract.. made for excellent story twists and roleplay opportunities...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneaksta View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination

    Too hard to tell, and as I am not a god, too hard to judge.
    Referencing Wiki? Obviously not a god. Otherwise you'd reference yourself, or some other credible source.

    I'd like to refer the reader to Zoolander. It makes a case for models being the ultimate assassin, and they're obviously too stupid to be evil. Not explicitly good, either. Kind of like animals, which are always neutral.

    Sneaksta, you should try DMing if you haven't. It's like a little taste of godhood.
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    I think that there has always been something of a mistake in the name here. Assassin is a profession and literally anyone could be one for something specific. A paladin sent to bring in or kill some rogue brother might be an assassin for a time, but the class suggests some codified unity. In that case we have ruthless killers with no qualms about killing others for profit for a career choice. This is very different indeed, skulking in the darker parts of cities taking contracts from whomever can pay. Although they are all unique they do share some commonalities and I think we can all agree that after even a small amount of time would fall irrevocably into such malaise and depravity that they could not be anything other then evil. Anyone of a lesser alignment would not take certain jobs, not be cutthroat enough, or hesitate during their training and become a liability to the organization that needed to be killed. They just knew too much.



    I can see exactly what everyone above is referring to as Good/Nuetral, but I think its mixing up a profession with a class. The class in my opinion is more like a small group of professionals that train and compete in a very tight market, not some random fighter or rogue that has taken a few coins to kill bad guys. Just ask yourself if your character ever leaves a city, unless they are hunting anyone? Do you ever turn down contracts? Does your entire life revolve around your profession and reputation/ Would you ever kill to protect either? Are you killing for a reason beyond pay?

    http://elvis.rowan.edu/~klassen/gaming/classes/assassins.html
    (an excellent site detailing some great arguments and history of the character class that likely lead to its current state)
    Last edited by mnemenoi; 10-29-2009 at 11:47 AM.

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    Is it just me, or are you guys/gals missing the obvious? Killing for money is EVIL! You can't rationalize or justify it. To be a good aligned killer for hire is an absurd idea and if a player comes up with such an idea I think the DM should try and work with the player to figure out what he or she really wants to play. I realize that a neutral or undecided character might swing both ways but if the door repeatedly swings to "Killing for Money" the door is stuck at evil. The good(ish) alternative would be a Vigilante. Their motive for killing is a moral rather than a monetary one, though, however misconceived it may or may not be.

    For one I think that alignment restrictions on certain prestige classes make perfect sense. Secondly it's important to remember that it is not really a problem for good and evil characters to work together as long as the good character does not violate his moral beliefs and the evil character is able to exploit the arrangement to her benefit.

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    As for the Wiki, it is close. I have read accurate historical accounts of the origins of the assassin, as well as the definition.
    as⋅sas⋅sin

      /əˈsæsɪn/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-sas-in] Show IPA
    Use assassin in a Sentence


    See web results for assassin


    See images of assassin

    –noun 1.a murderer, esp. one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons.2.(initial capital letter) one of an order of Muslim fanatics, active in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1272, whose chief object was to assassinate Crusaders.

    Origin:
    1525–35; < ML assassinī (pl.) < Ar ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish

    But also, in and out of game terms, assassin is what someone does and is trained for, yes. If the party is hired to go kill a group of kobolds that have not attacked the town paying, but they might some day, wow, how easy it is to become an assassin..... But it doesn't have to be for money or even personal gain, why people cannot see past that, i don't know. As for that, the US armed Special Forces, Black ops, etc. are tactically and emotionally trained assassins, the only difference is, for political reasons, national safety, the greater good, blah blah. But that is not all they do. It is one facet that may or may not come up ocassionally. Shall we just smack an assassin label on them and call them evil? Hardly. Even with that, I am behind these individuals doing for our country whatever needs to be done. It all comes down to semantics, shemantics..
    Last edited by Sneaksta; 10-30-2009 at 12:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneaksta View Post
    But it doesn't have to be for money or even personal gain,
    Didn't the definition you posted say that it has to be for monetary gain, or fanaticism, which could be considered personal gain?

    I would say that someone called an "assassin" is either responsible for a particular assassination, or someone whose profession is assassination. Since most US troopers are not single-target, lone-acting specialists, I would hardly call them assassins. Their profession is better considered "unconventional warfare operator" than "assassin." Although some troopers are directly responsible for assassinations, making them "assassins" in that sense. (Anyone remember Iraq's Zarqawi?)

    As long as this thread is using different definitions for "assassin," let's try a different approach:

    I want to take the Murderer prestige class. Must I be evil for that?
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    Here's why good and being an assassin is just not something can happen, at least from my perspective:

    1.to kill suddenly or secretively, esp. a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.


    This is taken directly from Dictionary.com. Take note of the 4 words after the semicolon - murder premeditatedly and treacherously.

    Murder, as defined at Dictionary.com:
    1.Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder.

    Also:
    {verb} to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.


    BY the above defination of assassination, murder premeditated, meaning killing with malice afterthought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation.

    Treacherously = deceit.

    So, an assassin, who performs acts of assassination are setting out to commit deliberated kills or premeditated slaughter through deceit. Hmmm, based on that, my stance stands, or more succinctly, while their may be assassins that are good at what they do - premeditated murder, there is no such thing as a GOOD aligned assassin.

    While other classes kill, it is not the basis, the foundation or core of their class.

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    Murderer class? Not necessarily evil.. tho we can be talking SERIOUS derangements here. LOL

    just kidding. I am totally not down with " Oh I was abused!" or " everything compounded till it was too much, I had a lapse of insanity!" CRAP. Still comes down to free will. The abuser you had not seen in 20 years didn't make you do it, You Chose too.... It's called free will for a reason.
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    Being a DM that ran a "no Evil" campaign in 3.5, i allowed a player to have an assasin. He was allowed by me to take the class due to a deal: His char was not evil but had been once. I also allowed him to continue in the class.

    I would do the following with teh assassin class:

    1) Open it up to all alignments. The assassin class is just made to describe someone who kills someone else. So it could be used for a good character and they could be a vigilante. In fact taht class (vig) is nothing than a good version of the assasin one. I believe that it would be fine to allow individuals to take te class.

    2) The Assasin's Code: Make a code not to be broken to remain a member of the class/guild. If it gets broken, people die. Most professional assasins don't let things get personal and they usually have some kind of code about what targets/contracts they won't accept.

    In V For Vendetta, V (Hugo Weaving's char i think) kills people and does it in a way an assasin might. He happens to be neutral though, or atleast feels that way to me. Even good at times. That makes me believe you could have good assassins.

    If the assassin had a code to follow, you could have them be good aligned. its what i would do as a DM.
    Last edited by russdm; 10-30-2009 at 05:05 PM.

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