Assassin vs Mercenary

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Assassin vs Mercenary

Postby Verilian on March 13th, 2012, 1:38 am

What is the Difference?
Assassin vs Mercenary

So my friend and I were talking today about Miz, as I always do with him because I am trying to convince him to join, and I started talking about someone (wont say names) who wanted to be an assassin, yet they didn't want to get the skills necessary to do it. So, we began to discuss what the difference is between and assassin and a mercenary. (Please note, this is my interpretation of things. If you don't agree, too bad. :p )

First of all, a Mercenary can and sometimes does do assassinations. That doesn't make them an assassin.

Let's look at the skill requirements. A mercenary requires at least one combat skill, two if you want to be considered advanced. An assassin requires both a weapon skill or poison, and intelligence. Now intelligence is where we usually hit the barrier. People don't want to do the intelligence threads, and yet they think they can be an assassin?

If you bust into a place and hack everyone to bits, eventually getting to your target and taking them out, you are a mercenary. If you had a plan at all, it probably went something like this:

1) Kick in door.
2) Kill some bitches.
3) Get my monies.

If you spend weeks stalking a target, learning his eating habits, his bathing habits, where he goes to work, the people he talks to, what time he goes to bed, what the inside of his house looks like, the size of his shoe, his favorite wine, his sister's favorite color, his mother's maiden name, how often he takes a shit each day.. and then you kill him, without anybody realizing you were there, often making it look like one of his hated rivals did it.. well, if you did all that, then you are an assassin.

So, if you ask to be an assassin and I say no, don't bitch at me. If you want to be an assassin, do the things I just mentioned. If you want to be a mercenary who sometimes assassinates people, then do that. But don't complain when I give you a mercenaries salary and not an assassin's salary.

Now.. salary. That's another difference between mercenary and assassin. A mercenary makes 1-3gm for basic missions, and 5-7 for advanced. An assassin just plain gets 5-7. Now, lets look at this in more detail. The reason that an assassin makes more money than a mercenary is due to the types of missions they do. An assassin earns a large sum of money to kill one man. So it seems like they make a lot of money, but when you take into account the amount of time it takes them to finally get around to killing that man (or woman) it's really not that much money. A mercenary on the other hand gets paid a smaller amount, but usually kills lots of people, and gets to loot their corpses. Assassins usually don't get to loot. So really, a mercenary can make just as much money as an assassin, maybe even more, depending on the type of mission he does.

So.. Assassin vs Mercenary. If you want to be one of these professions, please know what it is you actually want to be.

Assassin - You take the time to get to know your enemy before finally taking them out in a way of your employer's choosing.

Mercenary - You get to kill lots of people, monsters, go on quests, ect.

Assassin - You are a creature of stealth.

Mercenary - You are whatever the hell you feel like being.

Assassin - You usually stay inside the city limits.

Mercenary - You can find work anywhere.

Assassin - You rarely work on the side of the law (though there are exceptions to this)

Mercenary - You can work with the law, against it, or anywhere in between.

Anyway.. I'm sure there are a lot of other differences I could list, but I'm done for now. If you'd like to input, feel free, since this is the discussion forum. If not, well, this was food for thought.
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Assassin vs Mercenary

Postby Alea Davenport on March 19th, 2012, 3:36 am

Would things like Cryptography and Forgery also be potentially useful for an assassin? Is there yet another difference between assassin and spy?

(I am toying with the possibility of making an assassin (or budding assassin?) based in Ravok.)
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Assassin vs Mercenary

Postby Gillar on March 19th, 2012, 8:09 am

I agree with everything Verilian has said.

The way one carries themselves is also important in knowing the difference between an assassin and a mercenary.

A mercenary wants to get as much work as possible and make as much money as possible. They advertise, spread the word around of their exploits and make themselves known to everyone. They are often (though not always) braggarts and blowhards. They build themselves up so that people will hire them. There are of course those who don't need to do all that as their skill and exploits speak for themselves but those are usually the ones who are highly skilled, been around for awhile and know what they are doing.

An assassin doesn't walk around bragging about their abilities or the fact that they can be hired to kill. Often, they find work through contacts or word of mouth. They may even hang out around the local taverns where they listen to others talk. Perhaps a drunk lets on that a friend is looking to have someone killed or maybe a slighted husband has a few too many and begins talking about how he wants his wife and her new lover to die. The general public doesn't know who is an assassin and who isn't. If they did, the assassin would likely be imprisoned or killed as such an occupation isn't highly regarded in most cities.

Now, I made the assassin occupation require at least L2 in a combat skill or poisons and L1 in intelligence to help discourage people from trying to be an assassin with little to no skill. I have seen people try to be an assassin with skills like this:

Weapon: Longsword 15
Unarmed Combat: 10
Horsemanship: 5
Tracking: 5
Magecraft: 5
Reimancy: 5
Detection: 5
Poison: 5
Riding: 5

Even if a character has an L2 combat skill or poison and L1 Intelligence and find a job as an assassin, that doesn't mean they are good at it and certainly doesn't mean they are accomplished killers. The required skills just get someone in the door. By contrast, here are the skill requirements for someone wishing to join the Mortanis, the assassin cult of 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

Now a character with the above skills would be considered a true assassin. These are the skill levels one should strive for if they are wishing to become an assassin.

Someone wishing to be a "badass assassin" who has killed countless people doesn't do it with an L1 or L2 combat skill and few if any high level related supplementary skills. Even if someone has the requirements to gain access to the assassin occupation, they are not considered to be highly proficient or deadly. If someone with just the requirements tries to kill someone else, that someone else better be a common person with no combat training or else the assassin better catch the target seriously off-guard. If you look at most city guard, they are pretty accomplished at defending themselves against the likes of an assassin. Some shopkeepers are also rather dangerous and as skilled or more so than a base level assassin.

Personally, if I were to want to play an assassin, I would try something else, perhaps even a mercenary for awhile to gain better skills so that I don't risk ignorantly killing my character because of not having the skills to backup how badass I thought I was.

As for Cryptography and Forgery, both would be useful skills for an assassin wishing to cover up their deeds and/or direct suspicion or blame elsewhere. There is indeed a difference between a spy an assassin as spies generally don't engage in assassinations. While they still may do so, their primary task is to gather information and/or possibly sabotage.
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Assassin vs Mercenary

Postby Archelon on March 19th, 2012, 3:33 pm

Oooh am I finally glad to see the Mortanis up :). Such interesting possibilities.

As is, I agree on the differences in assassins vs. mercenaries. People wouldn't believe how many times this came up amongst sunberth's players in the past. So here's my thing:

Assassin vs. Mercenary.

Assassins tend to be more active in city's that have the means to keep them on the payroll as in less well to do cities that are more violent people are more likely to just take matters into their own hands and off their spouse etc.

Mercenaries tend to gravitate towards being able to play anywhere there is a bit of strife or conflict.

In order to balance the two in an any area I imagine one who wanted to play either well would work hard to have IC connections and resources in each area.

That's basically my two cents to add, :) have a good one.
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