I’m starting up my third campaign of AssassinX this weekend, and a few of the players from my Dungeons & Dragons game are “possible” shows, so I figured I would make a few characters to have on hand in case one or more show up late.
For those not in the know, AssassinX is a violent, bloody RPG that was written and published as part of the “24 hour RPG challenge” – where the goal is to design, write and publish a full RPG in 24 hours. There are a number of excellent games that have come out of this challenge, but this one seems to have caught many of my players attention and we routinely pull it out for a violent massacre around the table.
Half of the appeal of the game is in the examples of play – every ability score is described in some nasty way like the following entry for Sneak: “A sneaky killer can get in and out without leaving a sign of having been there, except the bloody viscera of his victim smeared from the bathroom sink to the basement laundry“.
Finally, what makes the game a breeze to run is the second half of the book, which is a random assassination mission generator with modifiers for three types of campaign play – players either playing as professional hitmen working for a secret organization, professional freelancers, or crazed murdering cultists.
You can pick up a free copy from 1km1kt.net – the character sheets are awesome and are some of the few I actually print out in colour for my games because the blood splatters help set the tone of play. At one point the publisher had a form-fillable PDF version of the record sheet on the product website, but the site is no longer around and I’ve lost my copy.
AssassinX is a throw-back to 80’s style gaming in a lot of ways. The first is character creation, which is mostly random. We roll 4d4 for each stat (although optionally you can use a 60 point point-buy system for the six attributes). With rolls of 11, 13, 7, 10, 15 and 6, we get an initial attribute set of:
- Cool (ability to stay cool under stress) – 11
- Hunger (need to kill) – 13
- Beef (size and strength) – 7
- Finesse (coordination, speed & agility) - 10
- Fellowship (the most disturbing trait for a killer – niceness) – 15
- Eyes (awareness) – 6
This then determines the character’s secondary attributes (which are averages of primary attributes)
- Quick (reaction time) – 11
- Target (ranged weapons) – 9
- Rip (automatic weapons) – 9
- Splatter (melee) – 10
- Freak (intimidation) – 12
- Sneak (stealth) – 8
- Ease (social subterfuge) – 13
- Blood (hit points) – 20
From this I have Gordon. Mr Berezovenko’s highest stat is Fellowship followed by Hunger. This makes him a pretty nice guy who is easy to get along with, probably always has a smile on his face, but has an incredible urge to kill that he has a hard time keeping under control.
Mr Berezovenko used to work for the KGB “back in the day” but then changed over like many of his fellows to working for the russian mob until a job brought him to America. Once he got off the boat in Boston, he switched sides again and now works as a freelance hitman on the US East Coast. If anyting, Gordon breaks a lot of classic stereotypes about russian hitmen. He’s not a big man, and although his presence is noted in a room, it’s usually in a pleasant fashion – most people tend to like him on first meeting him. It’s only after you’ve had a chance to talk to him that the underlying urge for carnage can make his acquaintances uncomfortable.
As a starting character, Gordon starts with no signature equipment, but is assumed to have the tools of the trade needed to perform his jobs (wheels, guns, something to gauge nasty chunks out of people, etc). With a few good jobs under his belt, his hope is to acquire some snappy clothes (to increase his Ease) and a nice russian folding submachine gun (to increase his Rip).
Name: Gordon Berezovenko
Background: ex KGB, ex Mafia
Campaign: Freelance Professionals
Successful Jobs: 0
Botched Jobs: 0