[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Alori Sai on October 7th, 2012, 10:00 pm



I don't know, there seems to be a pattern here Jules. What were YOU thinking?

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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Gillar on November 11th, 2012, 9:53 am

It's long past time again for another item of note that I have begun referring to as, Creator's Insights. This time around I have been thinking of the Mortanis and of assassins and assassinations in general. I will begin with the idea of assassins. Originally, I was a little uncertain as to whether or not I should acknowledge them as a listing in the Income section of the Price List. I was also hesitant to acknowledge them period. The reasons behind this come from past experiences in roleplaying; both tabletop and computer-based. These experiences, just about every one of them, involved a character who claimed to be an "assassin" yet they lacked the basic skills and knowledge required to be an effective killer. The characters (there have been enough of them over my years of roleplaying to create an average) would be created and billed as deadly assassins who are unmatched in their skill and ability. Funny thing is that these characters would usually only possess skills related to assassinations at levels equivalent to Mizahar's L1 skills and even then only at the low end of L1. It indeed was laughable.

In fact, I remember playing an old Shadowrun game where one of the other players was playing what he referred to as a Corporate Assassin. We were in a situation where our group was taking refuge in an abandoned gas station when a rival corporation of the one we were working for surrounded us with at least a dozen men. I was playing a Decker; effectively a hacker character focusing primarily on technical skills. We had a few others in our group who were moderately combat oriented but when the enemy began firing on the gas station and then moved in to storm the place, I remember turning to the guy playing the Corporate Assassin and asking him when he was going to actually do some killing. The player then looked at me and said, "I don't have the right skills to help get us out of here." I was pissed because I'd worked hard on building my character up and it looked like he was going to bite it. The player of this Corporate Assassin had been going on all night in-character and out-of-character about how much of a badass the character was and now when we actually needed him, he didn't have the skills to back up his concept.

I channeled my anger into my character and immediately raised my submachine gun and fired off an entire clip into the Corporate Assassin's head. Mind you my skill with the gun was low (yet still higher than the Corporate Assassin) and my initiative roll wasn't great as I had few bonuses. The damn Corporate Assassin didn't even have more initiative bonuses than me. I turned his head into red mashed potatoes. We ended up escaping the gas-station scenario and the player of the Corporate Assassin was pissed at me for the rest of the night (he eventually got over it).

My point to this story though is that when I was thinking about assassins as part of income I figured that it would have to be one of the few occupations that required at least some skill in areas that relate to assassins. Mind you, it is still terrible low but I see it as a base. Not all starting assassins are going to be successful. They will have to struggle to eliminate their target and it won't be pretty. There will be little finesse to it and more often than not, the beginning assassin will be taking jobs that require little skill to perform.

Moving on, a truly capable assassin here on Mizahar, one that should be feared and respected, is NOT a character with L1 in Poison, Larceny, Stealth, Intelligence and Intimidation with an L2 in Dagger. Such a character would likely only be capable of killing in a manner similar to a thug in a bar fight or a prisoner stabbing another with a shiv and then quickly walking away. There is no real skill in what they do. Honestly, a character who wants to become an assassin will likely begin with developing their skills long before engaging in any actual assassinations.

I see any character that wants to lay claim to being an assassin as having AT LEAST the following skills:

A Weapon Skill or Poison (L3 in one, L2 in the other)

Stealth, Impersonation, Subterfuge or Seduction (L2 in all or at least 3 out of 4)

Blind Fighting, Escape Artist, Forgery, Cryptography, Intelligence, Unarmed Combat (L1 in all)

Note that I said, AT LEAST. My reasoning behind this is that your average city guard will likely have a weapon skill of some sort at L2. If you're an assassin with only an L2 in either a weapon or poison or both, the average city guard will be something of a match for you. Depending on the city and the training of their guards, they will also have other skills such as unarmed combat, investigation, observation and such which will put an "assassin" with anything less than I mentioned above at a disadvantage or at least make his job more difficult than it would be for a REAL assassin. If the assassin isn't more skilled than those hunting him down, he is no assassin. Also remember that the above mentioned skill set is for a starting assassin; an assassin who has taken a bit of time and effort to build some skills before engaging in assassinations.

This brings me to the Mortanis. I wanted an organization that would be fitting for characters of the darker mindset who possess high levels of skill and are looking for a more exclusive "club" of sorts. I also wanted to provide an example of what a true assassin would look like on Mizahar. The Mortanis are vision of "badass" in that they have the skill and the mentality to turn killing into an art. To compare what I see as a starting assassin with the ideal end result, here is an exert from the Mortanis in Lore that shows the requirements (skill-wise) for becoming a member:

3 Gnosis Marks from Krysus

At least one of the following skills at Master Level (76+): A Weapon Skill, Poison or Torture

At least one of the following skills at Expert Level (51+): Stealth, Impersonation, Subterfuge or Seduction

At least two of the following skills at Competent Level (26+): Blind Fighting, Escape Artist, Forgery, Cryptography, Intelligence, Unarmed Combat


While an equally skilled assassin need not have 3 Gnosis marks from Krysus, those marks make their job so much more efficient. Notice that the primary skill or skills of a Mortanis assassin are at L4/Master Level. They also have a secondary skill of at least an L3/Expert Level.

So if a character has skills comparable to that of the beginning Mortanis, they have every right to lay claim to the title of Assassin. One may ask why I didn't just place the requirements for the Assassin Income as being at a Mortanis level or at least higher than what it's at now. I would counter that it would be too restrictive and nobody would ever pursue such a line of work. Even though I have yet to see true assassin PCs roleplayed in any roleplaying game I have ever played, I wanted to keep the occupation and character concept open to players who may one day create a well thought out, well built character that fits the title of Assassin.

So in closing, rule of thumb when playing an assassin type character, if the average city guard is a threat to you, you are no assassin. If a blacksmith with an L2 using their forge hammer as a weapon poses a threat to you as far as skills are concerned, you are no assassin. If the only poisons you know how to use do not in some way disable your target or at least make your target easier to kill, you are no assassin.
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Phoenix on November 11th, 2012, 6:16 pm

So..... What you're saying is.... Since Aidara is a L3 seductress she is an Assassian?! SWEET!!! Changing all my pictures to Assassians creed stuff and going to go buy me a dagger.
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Rayage on November 11th, 2012, 6:38 pm

I think you are missing an important part. The L4 skill :P
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Gossamer on November 11th, 2012, 6:47 pm

*goes to look up the skillset of a beginning mortanis* I'm so stupid sometimes.

3 Gnosis Marks from Krysus

At least one of the following skills at Master Level (76+): A Weapon Skill, Poison or Torture

At least one of the following skills at Expert Level (51+): Stealth, Impersonation, Subterfuge or Seduction

At least two of the following skills at Competent Level (26+): Blind Fighting, Escape Artist, Forgery, Cryptography, Intelligence, Unarmed Combat


You aren't even close, Aidara. Go stuff it because your never going to get seduction points crawling in bed with every Dek you find hot even if they drool and don't have any teeth. Or wait.. is that Sira? I get confused. No.. no.. its GOD you find attractive. That's it. I saw that dream thread. I did!

I don't even have anything anywhere close either with a pc. This makes me sad. I have Competent in Unarmed. So that's not going to fly. Not at all.

*sniff* I wanted to be an assassin too!
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Aidara on November 11th, 2012, 6:49 pm

Me and my +5 in intimidation are going to go find cool people elsewhere and bully them into being my friends.
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Xalet on November 11th, 2012, 8:37 pm

I think a lot of times people have ideas for characters in their heads, and the character in this idea is a cool badass. Which is fine, who wouldn't want to be a badass? What gets lost along the way is that long road from A (schmuck with a dagger) to B (B for Badass). Every badass started out as a schmuck with a dagger. Sometimes people get so caught up in wanting to be badass right now that they forget the feeling of triumph when you look back at what your character used to look like, and what they look like after a year or two of dedicated RP. That's the rub, of course. It takes time and effort to become badass. Even an insanely dedicated player can expect to take at least a year in order to get their applicable skill levels in order. Sometimes folks just can't handle the commitment.

That said, we do need some dedicated bad guys. I need people to beat up when Priskil and I are spreading light and happiness over the world.
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Gillar on November 17th, 2012, 7:40 am

I agree that having some dedicated "bad guys" would be a great thing. There is a severe lack of player characters with not only the drive and design but the skill and ability to serve as true threats.
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Aidara on November 17th, 2012, 8:08 am

I think one of the things that scares people off from playing bad guys is the idea that they are going to be killed off. People don't want to put that much effort into a character to lose it just because they are on the opposing side as everyone else.

A bad guy can be played just as well and survive just as well as the "good" guys if you think about it and play to your skills, but I don't think a lot of people are really willing to develop a bad buy, instead wanting them to start off on "Badass" status.

What I'm trying to say is I don't think bad guys necessarily have to be putting themselves in harms way at every turn like people seem to think they do, therefore increasing the chance that they'd be offed. Lots of bad guys use little minions and expendables to do all their evils.

Just my two cents. :)
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[Gillar's Scrapbook] Diary of a Madman

Postby Gillar on November 17th, 2012, 8:25 am

Another creator insight for you all. This time a bit on Krysus.

When I created her I wanted her to reflect a bit of her creation in her personality. She is the product of betrayal and murder brought on by Rhysol. While she isn't his daughter in the literal sense, she would not be if not for him. The fall of Sylir caused the remains of an ancient dead god to awaken in the form of Krysus, Goddess of Pain and Murder. As a result of Rhysol's influence in her creation, she came into being having the propensity for severe mood swings and tantrums much like a teenager rebelling against everything around her. She can be loving and sweet one moment, the next she is merciless and brutal. She is a sadist, masochist and voyeur who enjoys playing with her toys ("followers"). She takes great pleasure in experimenting with new ways to torture and kill however she usually does such things with a calculating mind. Except for when she falls victim to her own tantrums and unstable moods, she thinks out and plans her methods of bringing pain and murder into fruition. This is expected also of those she considers marking or has already marked as having a bunch of mindless killers running around isn't as fun as having intelligent, thoughtful ones that consider every detail of what they are doing.

She likes to be in control of things which is why when she lays her mark upon mortals, it is a mixture of a gift and a curse. This works much like a drug which she uses to keep those she marks in line.

As for those she marks, she usually has a purpose for them. Those who gain the mark at birth and are still allowed to live, are usually marked as punishment to the parents for some transgression against Krysus, real or perceived. Those who gain the mark later in life, usually do so because they somehow gained Krysus' attention. This happens when someone commits an especially heinous murder or has caused significant, prolonged pain to others; be it mental or physical. Insane or otherwise mentally unstable simpletons hold little use for Krysus however. She tends to mark only those who knowingly and willfully commit such acts that are done with purpose. This purpose could be revenge, hate, fear or any number of driving emotions but there must be a purpose to it all. Krysus wants to be acknowledged as having power and influence in the divine realm and it would not serve her own purpose to have a bunch of crazed killers running around killing and maiming for the sheer thrill of it all. If that were the case, her marks would have less effect on them and thus she would have less control. She would also be seen as nothing more than a divine child in need of a spanking, something she wants no part of.

So with a little insight into those she doesn't mark, who then does she mark? She will mark average people who have a desire to cause others pain or death if said people are free from extreme mental instability. The abused wife who finally decides she has endured too much and turns on her husband, making him suffer and die as she has all those years. The exploited child slave who grows up knowing only servitude and abuse yet retains the desire to free themselves and make their masters pay for what was done to them. The mercenary who doesn't make it a habit of killing others for money (that would be an assassin) yet takes a bit of pleasure in doing so when he needs to. The desperate nuit in need of an intact body who studies, stalks and kills another in order to gain a new shell. People in positions of influence who, upon being marked, can cause significant pain upon those around them by being marked are also candidates. And yes, the paid assassin who kills for money. These are all examples of individuals who may gain Krysus' attention and thus become marked.
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