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Akhôrahil

Humakti and Sense Assassin

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I had a sudden revelation thinking about Sense Assassin. It's almost certainly not a new one, and may well have been written down in canonical sources, but it's mine, okay, even if it's old hat to everyone else?

Why do Humakti have Sense Assassin? The obvious answers are that it's a misuse of Death, that it's dishonorable, that they can sense the killing intent, yadda-yadda-yadda, and that may well be part of it. But then there is this: Humakti sever their relationship to the clan. They're outside the wergild system. Not only do they kill bunches of people, it's also really hard to get recompense for it - I mean, bring it up with the god of death if you have a problem with it [1]

This means that if you want payback or revenge for someone the Humakti killed, you have to go get the Humakti. This is a problem in itself, in that they're really tough. So what you do is you gather some of your friends and try to bushwhack the Humakti instead. And this is why Humakti have Sense Assassin - they have to have it to stay alive when otherwise they would be revenge-killed in ambushes. It's necessary for the entire thing to even work.

[1] He doesn't listen. That's Humakt, strong on his mountain!

Edited by Akhôrahil

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hmmmm, hard for me to remember this one as the explanations in question were back in the 1980s, but I seem to remember that a particular antagonism exists at the mythic level between Humakt and I-can't-for-the-life-of-me-remember-which-assassin-god. (but it wasn't Black Fang, it was someone much nastier who stole Death and went around permanently killing many gods to send them howling down into the Primal Chaos Void, lost forever)

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3 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

I seem to remember that a particular antagonism exists at the mythic level between Humakt and I-can't-for-the-life-of-me-remember-which-assassin-god

The assassin god would be Krarsht.  From Cults of Terror p.76: "Cultists fear the Humakti, who have proven adept at spoiling many of the cult contracts with their Sense Assassin ability."

However, the permanently killing/destroying gods sounds more like Vivamort, for whom Humakt also has particular antagonism. The Death Rune/sword remains particularly powerful against the Undead god.

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25 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

The assassin god would be Krarsht.  From Cults of Terror p.76: "Cultists fear the Humakti, who have proven adept at spoiling many of the cult contracts with their Sense Assassin ability."

However, the permanently killing/destroying gods sounds more like Vivamort, for whom Humakt also has particular antagonism. The Death Rune/sword remains particularly powerful against the Undead god.

The archetypical God-Destroyer is Kajaboor, but he isn't worshiped.

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

This means that if you want payback or revenge for someone the Humakti killed, you have to go get the Humakti. This is a problem in itself, in that they're really tough. So what you do is you gather some of your friends and try to bushwhack the Humakti instead. And this is why Humakti have Sense Assassin - they have to have it to stay alive when otherwise they would be revenge-killed in ambushes. It's necessary for the entire thing to even work.

Sounds about right. There are enough reasons to find ways to attack cult members  just based on its raison d'être  The reasons can not be avoided without changing the cult (not going to happen) so there may as well be ways to help avoid some of the more obvious hazards.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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Humakt isn't just about being a super powerful warrior. A big part of his deal is the responsible ownership and usage of Death. Their domain is death outside of the traditional and acceptable forms of murder for the orlanthi, so they have a mythic tie to stopping the misuse of death in dishonorable ways. Also it's a big truth rune thing: secret murder is dishonorable and they generally swear an oath to protect the chief. If you want to get into mechanics it's useful as well since it gives humakti PCs a useful trick in a more political campaign. Plus as much as I hate that gming style you can always say "hey Harmast Oathsword, can you gimme a roll for Sense Assassins? No reason" and get a good reaction.

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4 hours ago, Wrestlepig said:

Plus as much as I hate that gming style you can always say "hey Harmast Oathsword, can you gimme a roll for Sense Assassins? No reason" and get a good reaction.

That's why, when I GM, I don't... I roll passive perception checks, or ask them to roll without saying why.

To clarify, I've had too much "player knowledge" negatively impact games I've been a part of to trust.many with that now.

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For me, Sense Assassin senses when an assassination attempt is about to be made. It doesn't allow a Humakti to sense that someone is an Assassin in a different environment, So, Columbo the Humakti couldn't wander along a line of people and sense which one is an assassin. It is part of Humakt as a Bodyguard, for me.

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38 minutes ago, soltakss said:

For me, Sense Assassin senses when an assassination attempt is about to be made. It doesn't allow a Humakti to sense that someone is an Assassin in a different environment, So, Columbo the Humakti couldn't wander along a line of people and sense which one is an assassin. It is part of Humakt as a Bodyguard, for me.

Ah! That explains his dead eye!

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