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Grimmshade

Assassins?

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Are there assassins in Glorantha? It's not a profession option, but that doesn't mean much. The way the cultures break down into tribes, clans, and rely on blood feuds,etc., I'm uncertain wether professional assassins would be a thing.

I ask because, if they are, a Game of Thrones "Many-Faced God" type cult would seem a good fit to the world.

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There's the Black Fang Brotherhood in Pavis, certainly.

http://www.glorantha.com/docs/black-fang-brotherhood/

http://glorantha.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Fang_Brotherhood

I shouldn't be surprised but constantly am how little info there is on something so long in canon.

There's a brief writeup in Pavis and Big Rubble, including badass rune spell shattering:

Shattering
160 meters, Instantaneous, Non-Stackable, Reusable
1 point  

This spell acts as 4 Disruption spells at once, all directed at one target. As it does an average of 8 points of damage when it hits, all to one area, it is a very lethal spell. The target will resist.

 

I think I saw something about it in some other resource, can't recall though.

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There's some mention of Lunar assassins wiping out the House of Sartar, and of Red Earth assassins trying to kill Queen Samastina in the Core book, but no rules text that I'm aware of. I could definitely see the Lunars having trained, professional assassins, but those mentions could also be "this warrior was sneaky, so he's an assassin."

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I think "assassin" in Glorantha is a function of how you act.  It is a surprise attack (not necessarily combat, e.g. poison) upon your specific target(s) in a context where the target would have every expectation of NOT being in a combat (or other deadly) situation.

Anyone, from a soldier to a spy to a sage, who acts this way is an "assassin."

 

Edited by g33k
Typo

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10 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

Assassins are definitely prevalent in the board game Dragon Pass with each side possessing an assassin unit.

Actually, three assassin units, as the Tarsh Exiles also have a unit of these (for the three players game).

Argrath reacts very badly to the assassination at his entry to Pavis and/or Boldhome, but he probably employs the Black Fang folk from Pavis.

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56 minutes ago, g33k said:

I think "assassin" in Glorantha is a function of how you act.  It is a surprise attack (not necessarily combat, e.g. poison) upon your specific target(s) in a context where the target would have every expectation of NOT being in a combat (or other deadly) situation.

Anyone, from a soldier to a spy to a sage, who acts this way is an "assassin."

 

This, mostly. But given that most 'ways' have a Cult in Glorantha, there are 'support structures' for people explicitly seeking this path in life. The Black Fang Brotherhood has been mentioned, and given the size (and concomittent ability to specialise) of the Lunar Empire, there's probably at least one or two schools of sneaky death-deliverance of different flavours in there.

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52 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Actually, three assassin units, as the Tarsh Exiles also have a unit of these (for the three players game).

Argrath reacts very badly to the assassination at his entry to Pavis and/or Boldhome, but he probably employs the Black Fang folk from Pavis.

yes, as I said, each side has assassins.  Though to be clearer I probably should have said every side has assassins.

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2 minutes ago, womble said:

This, mostly. But given that most 'ways' have a Cult in Glorantha, there are 'support structures' for people explicitly seeking this path in life. The Black Fang Brotherhood has been mentioned, and given the size (and concomittent ability to specialise) of the Lunar Empire, there's probably at least one or two schools of sneaky death-deliverance of different flavours in there.

There is the cult of Fjordaur in the Lunar Empire.  Formerly Carmanian assassins who were turned to the Lunar Way.

There are the infamous Blue Moon Assassins, unarguably the best and most organized assassin guild in Glorantha.

There are the Black Fang Brotherhood.

There is the group employed by the Exiles.  Probably recruited by the Thieve's Arm.

Edited by Pentallion
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15 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

yes, as I said, each side has assassins.  Though to be clearer I probably should have said every side has assassins.

In the diplomatic 2-player games, the additional assassin is great to hunt down and eliminate enemy exotic magicians like the Crater Makers, Earth Shakers etc.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

In the diplomatic 2-player games, the additional assassin is great to hunt down and eliminate enemy exotic magicians like the Crater Makers, Earth Shakers etc.

Being as those are large groups like 200 magicians strong IIRC, that represents a huge assassination team or some Heroic assassins.

Edited by Pentallion

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30 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

Being as those are large groups like 200 magicians strong IIRC, that represents a huge assassination team or some Heroic assassins.

I'd assume small strike teams of not quite hero level assassins, but they're still experienced enough to be assigned national level missions, so probably Rune Lords. If they're part of an organized cult they're probably provided by it with special equipment and/or spells to help finish the job. You don't need a lot, they just need to be smart and resourceful.

Edited by Richard S.

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44 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

Being as those are large groups like 200 magicians strong IIRC, that represents a huge assassination team or some Heroic assassins.

Poison their well or their food, bring down an avalanche on their camp, or just go in dressed as camp followers

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In RQG any meaningful assassination team would have at least one with the Peace spell.

"Whups, sorry, only Rune Lords can act within 1km, everyone else lays down their weapons"  LOL.  Certainly would simplify a lot.

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11 minutes ago, styopa said:

In RQG any meaningful assassination team would have at least one with the Peace spell.

"Whups, sorry, only Rune Lords can act within 1km, everyone else lays down their weapons"  LOL.  Certainly would simplify a lot.

I think a proper regiment of magicians would have very few non-rune levels in it. You may need to rethink your strategy :P

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14 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Poison their well or their food, bring down an avalanche on their camp, or just go in dressed as camp followers

Or mind control their Wyter and make it use their ritual connection to drain all the Magicians' POW to zero.

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48 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I think a proper regiment of magicians would have very few non-rune levels in it. You may need to rethink your strategy :P

Not saying it would make it EASY, just easier that the chaff wouldn't be able to participate.

And no, I doubt any military unit is mostly Rune Lords.  I'd see Rune Lords more or less as leaders - the leaders of a warband, or officers of an organized unit.  Unless that unit were commandos...or ASSASSINS!

MartinH would be the guy here who could give us the scoop on that.

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As a general point on making up your own cults, Glorantha is pretty big and there are a lot of migrations and upheavals going on. It's quite possible entire cults and ethic groups might show up in Nochet, Karse, or Pavis (or all three) from distant and unfamiliar corners of Glorantha. If you have an idea for a cult or secret society or whatever just have them be refugees from Kralorela, the East Isles, Fonrit, etc. You don't necessarily have to bend and twist your idea and bend it to fit into a pre-existing Glorantha shaped mould.

So for example you could come up with a political faction that has had to flee Fonrit in Pamaltella. There have been Fonritan enclaves in the Holy Country from before the Closing and recently this faction has come over and now they make up the majority of Fonritans in the greater Dragon Pass area. So you have Some Fonritans who have maintained their traditional heritage but somewhat assimilated due to have ancestry living in the area for many generations, while there are many newcomers all from this one faction. This new faction can have whatever religious, magical or cultural traits you want to introduce. Faceless man death worship, peculiar school of sorcery, whatever. It could also explain why your PCs aren't familiar with Dragon Pass culture and practices, since your players are new to Glorantha.

It's your game, own it. Glorantha has a very specific flavour and lots to offer, but it doesn't have to crush your own ideas under the weight of it's uniqueness. There's an old saying round here, your Glorantha will vary.

Edited by simonh
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Krarsht has Assassins, Black Fang is a cult of Assassins, Blue Moon had Assassins but I can't think of any more.

 

We played Humakti Assassins in Balazar, in RQ2 days. We were always honourable, generally didn't ambush or use poison, but we kiled people for money. Humakt is the god of death and killing people, after all.

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There's the classic "Obvious the Assassin". Rides a black horse, dresses in black, with black armour, carries a black crossbow that has black bolts and slings a black greatsword across his back. Doesn't so much sneak up on someone as have his horse kick down the castle gate and skewer or decapitate the target as they flee in terror... or stand and face him with knees like water and the inescapable conviction that their Time Has Come.

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