From the Skill Request Line — JackofHearts, this is for you!
The players have been giving the task of guarding a noble giving a speech in front of his subjects. This noble is mostly beloved, but he has enemies who seek to end his speech with the noble’s death. The party must seek out the assassin and then stop him.
The problem? There’s not one assassin –there are many. Unless they can all be found and contained, at least one will find their mark.
Complexity: open-ended (accumulate 8-12 successes (GM’s choice) with as few failures as possible)
Encounter Level: PC level + 1
Goal: Find all the assassins lurking in the area while accumulating as few failures as possible.
Any skill check with the result ‘Assassin Caught’ allows the players to interrogate or simply have the assassin arrested by the local guards.
If the party interrogates the assassin, they get a +2 bonus to their next Perception or Insight check as they are able to get some sense of the assassins’ motivation and what the party should be looking for.
If the player have the assassin taken prisoner and move to finding the next assassin, they can remove one failure as they waste no time looking for the next assassin. Time is of the essence.
Staging Tip: The first assassin the player catch can give them the information that there are more assassins, so the party doesn’t rest after having found the one assassin.
Perception(hard DC): Peering amongst the enthralled masses, you spot someone who seems to have ill intentions towards the noble. Succeeding at this check enables the following for the next skill check:
- Insight (moderate DC): You study the body language of this person of interest to confirm or deny what his intentions. +2 to your next check, and make another check from this list.
- Intimidate (hard DC): You approach the would-be assassin, and force him to surrender. Assassin Caught.
- Athletics (moderate DC): You chase the assassin through the crowd. You won’t let him get away. Assassin Caught.
- Stealth (hard DC, counts as two successes): You give no warning to the assassin of your advance as you work to remove him without giving advance notice to any of his companions. Assassin Caught.
Insight (hard DC): To foil an assassin, you must think like one. What are the best spots to strike from in this scenario? With what weapons? At what time? You use these thoughts to track your quarry. Succeeding at this check enables the following for the next skill check:
- Perception(moderate DC): You can see the cutthroat right were you thought he would be. He’s as good as caught. +2 to your next check, and make another check from this list.
- Intimidate (moderate DC): You’re in the mind of this criminal, so you rattle his brain from the inside. Assassin Caught.
- Athletics (moderate DC): You lead the party in a run almost before you can see the assassin. He will be caught. Assassin Caught.
- Stealth (moderate DC): You’re in place almost before your quarry is. He won’t escape from the web you’re weaving. Assassin Caught.
Streetwise (hard DC): You are familiar enough with this town that you can spot someone as an outsider with little effort. You move amongst the crowd with your sense of what should and shouldn’t be turned up to its most sensitive. Succeeding at this check enables the following for the next check:
- Insight (hard DC): You know what the best spots for an assassin to be are. +2 to your next check, and make another check from this list.
- Diplomacy (hard DC, counts as two successes): With cleverly spoken, well chosen words, you turn the crowd against the cutthroat. The chaos should distract the other assassins enough to make your job easier. Assassin Caught.
- Athletics (moderate DC): You take chase, but it’s a doomed affair for this thug; you are too intimate with these surroundings for him to evade capture. Assassin Caught.
- Stealth (hard DC): You plan a careful trap to ensnare the assassin before he is even aware. Assassin Caught.
Success: depending on how many failures the players accumulate, the following scenarios play out upon success.
0-1 failures: It’s a close call, but it is clear that by the time the noble has finished his speech and moved on that they were able to catch all the assassins lurking in the area
2-3 failures: The party spots an assassin before he strikes and is able to emit some sort of warning. The noble and his bodyguards take action, and the noble gets away with a painful but survivable wound. The noble is bloodied.
5+ failures: You aren’t able to move through the crowd fast enough. An assassin emerges and strikes the noble down. The noble is killed. If a player wishes, he can make an Athletics check (hard DC) to sacrifice himself in place of the noble. If that player does so, then he is reduced to 0 hitpoints instead of the noble.
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