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November 6, 2005, 1:21 am

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Secret Life of the Assassin


A double life as a city guard and a master assassin may prove the most difficult of all when a PC is asked to solve a murder he committed.

By day Nicco is a city guardsman valued as much for his agility and strength as his astounding ability to solve crimes. By night he works for La Mace d’Ars (mafia-like organisation) paying off an old debt, as their chief assassin. He doesn’t relish his second lifestyle, but does it out of fear of his powerful mafia creditors. When one of his missions goes badly wrong and he mistakenly kills an innocent family this double life backfires on him and he is asked to solve his own crime.

The innocent family in question is that of Franco di Minisco, a very influential merchant in the city’s upper echelons. He makes it clear to the special investigation branch of the city guard (the PCs) that he will not be satisfied until the killer is found. He has so much sway that he could easily get them sacked (or even hung, if it’s a particularly sadistic campaign world) for inefficiency if they failed to solve the crime.

The other city guards (PCs) suspect nothing and he must lead them off his trail while the GM places tantalising clues pointing to his guilt. Even when the other PCs find out, will they really grass him up, will they be forced to arrest someone they know to be innocent, or will they simply admit defeat and risk losing their jobs?

There are many ways out of this situation, foremost being to find someone with a grudge against Franco di Minisco and get them to murder him (I’m not saying these ways are morally scrupulous, just possible). Or the PCs could elope from the city, which would have the unfortunate consequence of making them look guilty.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

September 27, 2002, 17:03
I think I would use this as a first adventure type thing. Pick one of my players that I can trust to pull it off, and give him the history of Nicco and let him play the part. Moral dilemma of telling his friends (in character and out of character), keeping it from them, lie, throw them off the trail, hide some evidence.

Everybody will know something is going on, or do they, but will they figure it out? A good one where any conversations about the game would be in characters since "Nicco" has to keep up his story and the others don't have a clue to what is going on exactly. Sounds like a lot of fun.
August 8, 2003, 4:21
I realy like the idea and all, however, I am afraid it is next to impossible to create the situation for this event to occur.

Even though there is a lot of players who like to stick around a certain city or point in a campaign world, many also like to travel. If I look at the characters I like to play, they would never make good guardspeople, not even special brigade guardspeople.
Also I feel that you put the PC who is playing Nicco in a impossible situation. He either gets hanged for killing the people or he gets hanged for not finding the killer... (or he can flee the city)

Personaly I would set this up with Nicco being a NPC, that way, I would be much easier to pull of I feel.
August 8, 2003, 4:33
I agree. Nicco should be in the NPC section. Perhaps when you do you can link the two posts together.
Barbarian Horde
November 10, 2003, 15:19
Good idea. Needs some working to be usuable for me.
January 24, 2004, 2:39
Well, in response to Ylorea...

If your characters want to move around, then this is a fine story to begin with...assuming they don't give up their man or accuse an innocent, they will most likely sneak away. This could lead to a good fugitive background to link them together.

Or, just have the man get them fired. Then they are free to seek employment that will take them out of the city.
Barbarian Horde
February 20, 2004, 2:38
Nice plot idea reminiscent of Philip K Dick's "A Scanner Darkly".

It would make an ideal start to a campaign but I can see it could be tricky to pull off in an already ongoing game.

To make the latter work, have the 'Nicco' character wake up one morning murder weapon in his possession (preferably in his hand) with the entire neighbourhood abuzz with the news of the horrfic murders nearby. He has no recollection of anything happening in the night naturally. To make it even more interesting, make it the character that is the most disliked in the party.

And of course the murdered family were all friends to the PCs, perhaps a recurring helpful NPC from the past to make it more personal for everyone.

This way the characters will have a good incentive to investigate the crime, the 'Nicco' character will have enough incentive to hide his role from the others until he has figured out what has happened and you can have further complications to add to your campaign: perhaps Nicco has been framed, perhaps Nicco's weapon is cursed and similar crimes will happen in the future, perhaps Nicco has been geased or otherwise coerced without his knowledge. Then you have other ends to throw in, like if Nicco isn't behind it, who is...?
Voted Mourngrymn
July 19, 2006, 16:13
Oddly enough I have a player who is portraying an assassin at night and a student by day. He has joined a guild that could easily ask him to do jobs and help the local militia. This fits well, but I agree that it is a very situational plot and has to be worked real hard into a setting.
Voted valadaar
May 4, 2011, 11:57

This sounds like a good scenerio for a LARP!


Voted Kassy
April 16, 2012, 17:11

Great way to start a campaign.

murder mysteries are always fun.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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