Rogues & Assassins

Step into the shadows

Lore

Some deeds are too sensitive or nefarious to be done in the open. When discretion and subtlety are of foremost importance, one must rely on cunning and expertise to achieve the desired result. Rogues are unparalleled in their skills and cleverness, hable to outwit foes, evade detection, and achieve their goals without leaving a trace of their presence. Their particular set of skills often brings them at odds with the law, working amongst criminals and performing acts of questionable morality in the shadows. Among their ranks, assassins are specialists, dealing in death as a most refined craft. They are not simple bounty hunters or killers for hire. They are bringers of death, unseen artists for which fame is the most undesired reward.

The archetype of the rogue finds its root in countless places, for it has great diversity. Burglars, spies, thieves, secret operatives, or assassins, numerous occupations are related to this idea of the rogue, which finds a lot of echoes in history as well as classic fantasy. Nevertheless, tales of assassins’ guilds and secret organisations find no strongest origin than in the history of the Ḥashashin, a Persian-Arabic religious and military order that was in control of a serie of strongholds scattered between Iran and Syria the 11th to 13th century. They were famous for their use of targeted assassinations against key enemy figures, infiltrating courts and organisations to dispose of dangerous foes before having to face them on the battlefield, or simply weaken their political rivals. They are rumored to have performed hundreds of high profile killings over the centuries, including three caliphs, their fearful reputation being so widespread that their name became synonym with the practice they so famously used to eliminate their enemies.

Characters

In a LARP setting, rogues share a lot in terms of skills and methods. They are a pragmatic lot that will use any advantage they can get to achieve their goal, and don’t hesitate to rely on ruse, stealth, and deception to get closer to their victims. Where they differ radically is in their motives. Two characters can appear quite similar at first glance, but couldn’t be further apart when one begins to understand the driving force behind their actions. It is expected for rogues to get their hands dirty, but for what end? 

In the case of the iconic rogue, the criminal, they could steal to obtain the wealth and comfort that have been denied to them by their birth and origins. Their pursuit of gold may arise from urgent need, or selfish greed. But maybe wealth isn’t as important as their reputation and pride. Thrill seekers are common among burglars, and big targets bring more than wealth in many cases, they bring respect. Also, even criminals can have principles, from a guild’s honor code to a personal disgust for violence.  Does your rogue have any moral compass? Is your rogue a gentleman thief, a cynical pickpocket, or a ruthless cutthroat collecting blood soaked loot?

Furthermore, many rogues and assassins have little to no ties to common crime. Spies and assassins often work in the service of their country or for a cause greater than themselves. From government's agents, to vigilante, military commandos, holy avengers, or revolutionaries, many of those that dwell in the shadows may be motivated by a mission they deem righteous and noble, worthy of the lies and spilled blood they often spread in their path. Such rogues may be more willing to sacrifice their life for the cause, or to fight against unwinnable odds. 

LES ARTISANS D'AZURE

THE OUTLAW ARMOR

Discover the Outlaw armor

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THE ASSASSIN ARMOR

Characters

The rogue’s fantasy archetype popularised a particular look for such characters in LARP. Hoods, scarves, masks, and bandanas are often used to protect the anonymity of the one that dwells with theft and assassination. As rogues are expected to use stealth and discretion, they must remain mobile and nimble enough to escape capture. For that reason, they tend to adopt practical clothing, light and not too brightly colored, so they can blend better with their surroundings. Commoner’s clothes can also be used to hide in the crowd and avoid unwanted attention. Armor is kept at a minimum, with leather and gambeson being favored over bulkier and noisier chain or plate. If successful rogues or thieves of noble origins can be quite fashionable, they will favor subtle displays of wealth over heavily ornamented clothes and glittering jewelry. 


Rogues also need the tools of their trade. In many cases, it means they keep lockpicks, poison vials, and other accessories at hand using easy to access pouches and bags. Hidden pockets are also frequent among their ranks. Such secret pouches are used to hide secret orders or stolen items. Their weapons of choice are short, quick, and easy to hide. Daggers are particularly iconic for rogues and assassins, but they can wield any short blade, or even one handed bludgeons for a less lethal way to dispatch their foes. Bows and crossbows are also very often used by rogues that prefer to fight from a safe distance, snipping enemies from cover. Yet, throwing knives are better suited to catch a foe off-guard with a quick ranged attack.