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Cealocanth
2018-10-11, 10:14 PM
I'm the GM of a 5e game running a post-apocalyptic homebrew supplement. I have introduced a character that I have described as being a skilled assassin, hunter, and survivor in a world in which being any of those things is difficult and dangerous. The problem with this is that most of my assassins (or even rogues/thieves) are very, very bad at what they do and are far too easily overpowered by the party, which, to be fair, are not a weak group. However, if I'm going to have a character in the game described as being a good assassin, he should be a good assassin.

So, Playground, how would you go about planning an assassination on this player character? I am asking not because I want to kill this PC, but because I want to understand what an actually functional plan would be to assassinate the character before introducing flaws, so as to make escaping this assassin a difficult and adventure-worthy task. I am honestly at a loss as to how a single man would go about practically killing this character without access to DM power or macguffin artifacts.

In this scenario you are a single man living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with limited access to modern and near future technology and limited access to magic (magic and technology are functionally identical in this world). Vehicles, firearms, poisons, and most other things at the modern assassin's fingertips are on the table, but overkill tools such as nuclear weaponry and spheres of annihilation are not an option. Your target is a cocky, dextrous, and very persuasive and deceptive android that is a skilled swashbuckler and has access to bardic magic. He travels almost constantly with a tank-like robot fighter, a cyborg monk (can catch and deflect bullets. Sorry, snipers.), a ghoul rogue, a warlock of a malevolent AI, and a tree-person druid. No other lethal casualties should occur during the assassination attempt.

Androids are fully sentient and, in fact, contain souls in this world. They have resistance to radiation, and are immune to poison and disease. They don't have to breathe or eat, but do require a power source and must charge for 4 hours each day. They cannot be re-uploaded to a new body after they die unless they do so in very specific circumstances similar to a lich's ressurrection. Use of an EMP and similar anti-electronic technology is functionally equivalent to necrotic spells such as Inflict Wounds and is not an instant kill. Androids can be healed as usual through healing magic and technology. Androids have a distinct appearance and can usually be spotted in a crowd.

weckar
2018-10-11, 10:49 PM
So, other than what you described, what is the anatomy like? What are vital parts, what aren't? Are they susceptible to poison? Are they aware during their charging period? Where is the battery located on their body? What part of them actually stores the soul?

Mutazoia
2018-10-11, 11:10 PM
I'm the GM of a 5e game running a post-apocalyptic homebrew supplement. I have introduced a character that I have described as being a skilled assassin, hunter, and survivor in a world in which being any of those things is difficult and dangerous. The problem with this is that most of my assassins (or even rogues/thieves) are very, very bad at what they do and are far too easily overpowered by the party, which, to be fair, are not a weak group. However, if I'm going to have a character in the game described as being a good assassin, he should be a good assassin.

So, Playground, how would you go about planning an assassination on this player character? I am asking not because I want to kill this PC, but because I want to understand what an actually functional plan would be to assassinate the character before introducing flaws, so as to make escaping this assassin a difficult and adventure-worthy task. I am honestly at a loss as to how a single man would go about practically killing this character without access to DM power or macguffin artifacts.

In this scenario you are a single man living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with limited access to modern and near future technology and limited access to magic (magic and technology are functionally identical in this world). Vehicles, firearms, poisons, and most other things at the modern assassin's fingertips are on the table, but overkill tools such as nuclear weaponry and spheres of annihilation are not an option. Your target is a cocky, dextrous, and very persuasive and deceptive android that is a skilled swashbuckler and has access to bardic magic. He travels almost constantly with a tank-like robot fighter, a cyborg monk (can catch and deflect bullets. Sorry, snipers.), a ghoul rogue, a warlock of a malevolent AI, and a tree-person druid. No other lethal casualties should occur during the assassination attempt.

Androids are fully sentient and, in fact, contain souls in this world. They have resistance to radiation, and are immune to poison and disease. They don't have to breathe or eat, but do require a power source and must charge for 4 hours each day. They cannot be re-uploaded to a new body after they die unless they do so in very specific circumstances similar to a lich's ressurrection. Use of an EMP and similar anti-electronic technology is functionally equivalent to necrotic spells such as Inflict Wounds and is not an instant kill. Androids can be healed as usual through healing magic and technology. Androids have a distinct appearance and can usually be spotted in a crowd.


In order for him to catch and/or deflect bullets, he has to actually know they are coming... and then he can only catch/deflect bullets aimed at HIM, not his android companion.

So, first, some required information....

How magnetic are his parts? An electromagnet (such as an old junkyard crane) may be able to play havoc with his systems, or at least disable the robot for a time.

How does he recharge? I assume he can't just plop down and plug into a socket whenever he feels the need. How does he recharge when in the wilderness, if he has to recharge at least 4 hours a day?

Sub questions to the above: How insulated are his circuits against power fluctuations/power spikes? What exactly IS his power source?

He travels almost constantly with the above mentioned companions....when does he NOT travel with them?

Does he and his crew stick to a certain location, or are they known to travel about the wasteland?

How shielded his he against radiation?

Does he need to breath and/or eat? (you mentioned poisons, so I assume he is vulnerable to them in some fashion)

What are his audio and visual range and capabilities? Does he have thermal vision or low-light/night vision. If so, how fast does his vision adapt to sudden light level changes? Can he hear into the subsonic range?

Does being an android grant him any special protections from known magics/technologies? Is he constructed from any special material. If so, what are the known strengths and weaknesses of said material?

Does he have an actual "off" switch (such as Data does)

Does he have any habits or observable behavior patterns? Does he chase women? Does he gamble? Does he drink (alcohol) to excess (get's drunk...CAN he get drunk).

Are he and his group mercenaries that have been known to take dangerous contracts, or are they just wandering brigands?

Sermil
2018-10-11, 11:35 PM
Obvious thing: You need to separate him from his companions. 1 against 7 is just never going to work unless they are Xykon-level powerful.

How about this: At some point, the party is crossing a desert. There's only one source of water in miles, so of course the party will make camp there. (Or a swamp, with only one piece of dry land, or whatever -- the point is, there's a clear point where travelers are going to set up camp.) The hunter, knowing the area well, gets there well in advance of the party and sets up a trap. The important thing here is that the hunter can set up this trap because it's obvious where the party will be sleeping.

In the middle of the night, PC is standing watch while the others sleep / recharge. As he patrols the camp, he takes a step -- and falls right through the ground. It was an illusion - but the hunter had put a rock right under the illusion so that no one fell through until the PC was standing watch. The PC tries to cry out, but a simple silence spell keeps his voice from being heard.

At the bottom of the pit are metal spikes that act as tasers, keeping the PC immobilized while damaging them. Or the hunter can just shoot at them from a well-protected ledge several feet too high for the android to jump to.


This doesn't require particularly powerful spells -- neither a static illusion nor a silence is more than 3rd level. What it does require is knowledge of where the party will be, and lots of time to set up. And a lot of patience to wait for that one really good opportunity.

Remember that many real-world assassinations, especially of well-guarded targets, rely on knowing what the target is going to do and lying in wait for them. That's why you always hear potential targets being told to vary their routine and never take the same route home twice.


Another possibility -- track them until they get into a serious fight with a beast or other random thing, and then attack them while they're weakened and out of spells / mana / etc. Again, a good hunter has patience.

Coretex
2018-10-12, 12:06 AM
I'm going to suggest ways he could kill the android unfairly. Because to my mind why would an assassin going up against a group ever choose any other way.

Bait a trap: Lure the group to a location of your choosing (detailed below) and spring a trap

Lure the group into a cave or bank vault where there is a pervasive slow EMP effect (for as you have described necrotic damage). Lock them in with as much overkill as needed and let the android die. Heck, you can even rescue the others if they are struggling to get out and then you are their hero even as they grieve their friend.

Have an urchin lead them down an alley (or a treasure map, whatever) and set yourself up with a grille under the road + escape route. Fire at/Skewer the target from below, escape.

Rig a table/bed/charging station (whatever is appropriate for the android to rest near) with some weapon that can kill him instantly. Set up a secluded building on their path as a (legitimately) great resting place, rudimentary fortifications and all. "It looks like someone had set up to defend this place before eventually moving on". Seed the trap with the death device (spring loaded spear, emp grenade at head height, remote triggered gun) and wait.

Set up a trap somewhere they are headed. EMP floor or acid pool or something. Set up the flying-fox to use and make it fairly easy to get across. When the android heads across remotely detach the mechanism and he falls to his death.


Create an opportunity: Use other circumstances to help you win.

Pay some schmuck to challenge the monk or the android to a duel of honor. Shoot the android with a sniper rifle while they are separated.

Same thing but during some other battle. Follow them about till they get distracted and busy. Shoot.

Get saved by the party from some monsters. Stab the android to death while it sleeps that night.


Mind games: Manipulate the android into getting himself killed.

Drop a book that only the android can read containing "secrets" of android power ("if you incorporate a robot's brain chip and a cyborg's heart you can achieve fantastic power! (stat it out so it seems legit). Drop the same book but translated a day later and make sure that someone other than the android reads it first. Use party-wide distraction to kill the target.

Disguise yourself as a pretty lady (or a dude if he is into it). "Fall" for the android, then either stab him in the night or run off distraught so he follows you out alone and you can kill him.

A virus (of whatever sort would work) attached to a file that only he can open.

Sabotage the charging device so that he dies of "exhaustion". Or put a virus in it. Or overload it. The charging device is a huge weak spot. (it'd glow red in the digital game adaptation).


The trap options are most likely to lead to obvious failure points where it is the party being "That good" as opposed to the assassin screwing it up. If they notice something, if they can dodge or catch in time. The main thing to be wary of is that to show how scary an assassin is they need to almost succeed. But if you use a roll to determine things like perception and reflex then you have to hope the dice don't just kill the guy instead.

Have fun!

Mr Beer
2018-10-12, 12:24 AM
Yeah what does this party do? Because if they go around hero-ing, the assassin can set up a fake hook which requires some heroes. That at least lets him manipulate his target where he wants him.

Probably a combination ambush/trap in favourable terrain would be ideal.

So get the party to a choke point in difficult terrain, set off claymores or explosive mines, then start sniping from a long way away. 'Sniping' with some kind of artillery sounds better - paint him with a laser designator and have mixed EMP/hi-ex/frag shells come flying in. If the assassin has access to minions or allies, have them open up at closer range with heaviest weapons available. If there is any kind of de-buffing/save-or-suck area effect weapon that can be triggered on the party as well to make their lives harder, so much the better.

The assassin should be concealed and/or camouflaged and have an escape vehicle and at least two escape routes, both covered with some kind of booby trap. That way if the party kills the mooks and starts storming over, he can just get away and plan something better for next time.

Pleh
2018-10-12, 07:38 AM
My mind goes back to the Fallout series. The answer to being a great hunter, assassin, and survivor in that scenario seems to be taking no chances and flagrant disregard for collateral damage. There's no beating the odds for a post apocolyptic survivor. You hire an assassin, they're not gonna have the luxury to be discretionary in their kills. I mean, normal day to day people who aren't killing for a profit don't always get the luxury of being discretionary with lethal force. Why would a hired killer have MORE discretion than the average joe?

We're looking at Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men here. He's psychotic, patient, and somewhat narcissistic as well. He's very knowledgable in how to use tools that are commonplace so they are difficult to trace, but also are reliably available in any circumstance. He'll have magic in this setting, which is terrifying.

Everyone else here is right, though. The real problem is how he's going to get ahead of them to lay a trap. How famous/infamous is the party? How many people know them or where to find them? Sure, the assassin is likely using sone divination, but it's likely not enough by itself. He needs to know where they will be, not just where they are.

Cealocanth
2018-10-12, 09:16 AM
So, other than what you described, what is the anatomy like? What are vital parts, what aren't? Are they susceptible to poison? Are they aware during their charging period? Where is the battery located on their body? What part of them actually stores the soul?

The anatomy is basically a computer (located in the head) attached to a robotic system. You can detach limbs and parts with little to no problem besides the caveat that he can't use them anymore, but destroy the hard drive and you will be hard pressed to bring him back from the brink. They are immune to poison. Charging period acts as a replacement for sleep in this system, mostly because of the game mechanics that revolve around sleep and not anything realistic, so no they are not aware. For this particular android, the battery is located in the chest area, and can be changed by disconnecting and replacing it as usual. The soul is stored on the cloud/the internet, which serves as a kind of afterlife for robots and droids in this world.


In order for him to catch and/or deflect bullets, he has to actually know they are coming... and then he can only catch/deflect bullets aimed at HIM, not his android companion.

So, first, some required information....

How magnetic are his parts? An electromagnet (such as an old junkyard crane) may be able to play havoc with his systems, or at least disable the robot for a time.

How does he recharge? I assume he can't just plop down and plug into a socket whenever he feels the need. How does he recharge when in the wilderness, if he has to recharge at least 4 hours a day?

Sub questions to the above: How insulated are his circuits against power fluctuations/power spikes? What exactly IS his power source?

He travels almost constantly with the above mentioned companions....when does he NOT travel with them?

Does he and his crew stick to a certain location, or are they known to travel about the wasteland?

How shielded his he against radiation?

Does he need to breath and/or eat? (you mentioned poisons, so I assume he is vulnerable to them in some fashion)

What are his audio and visual range and capabilities? Does he have thermal vision or low-light/night vision. If so, how fast does his vision adapt to sudden light level changes? Can he hear into the subsonic range?

Does being an android grant him any special protections from known magics/technologies? Is he constructed from any special material. If so, what are the known strengths and weaknesses of said material?

Does he have an actual "off" switch (such as Data does)

Does he have any habits or observable behavior patterns? Does he chase women? Does he gamble? Does he drink (alcohol) to excess (get's drunk...CAN he get drunk).

Are he and his group mercenaries that have been known to take dangerous contracts, or are they just wandering brigands?

He's mostly made of aluminum, although some of the tougher parts are steel. An electromagnet may have an interesting effect on him. I'm thinking something in the psionics area of magic effects.

If a working socket is available, he absolutely can plug himself in. However, in most cases one is not. He can gain power by 'doping' it from other electronics, and is savvy enough to obtain power from common renewable sources such as solar, wind, thermal, etc. These take some prep time, though. Currently he gains power by a fold-out solar array he keeps on his body.

He's as subsectible to power spikes and fluctations in energy as a normal human is, meaning he has some pretty resillient circuits. Lightning damage deals lightning damage.

He is known to seperate himself from his companions when he feels safe, such as in protected cities and towns, and inside of friendly locations. He will also occassionally seperate himself from some of his companions when traveling by vehicle, as often a small caravan is required to transport the whole group.

The group is known to travel throughout the wasteland. They are currently cetralized on the de-facto capital of the wasteland known as Junktown.

Unless he's exposed to some seriously ionizing radiation, he's virtually immune to the effects of fallout and similar radiation.

He doesn't need to breathe nor eat. However some corrosive gasses, such as chlorine, as well as corrosive liquids such as rust monster saliva, can serve as de-facto android poisons.

He has good eyes and ears by human standards, but nothing superhuman. He cannot see in darkness, and cannot hear outside the possible hearing range of humans.

No special protections besides the aforementioned. Android is a PC race. That's specifically for balance reasons.

He does not have a kill switch nor an off switch. Plenty of robots and droids to, but his is a special case.

He likes to pry for information, throw his weight around, and use his reputation as a pirate to gain special permission and go into places that he wouldn't normally be allowed to. He is known for his silver tongue (and totally abuses the Persuasion and Intimidation system, although not as bad since I started considering it correctly). He is a casual gambler and may make bets on gladitorial fights and similar events, especially if one of his companions are a contestant. He has a tendency to demand to speak to the leader or the boss, and feels like he deserves the attention of the highest man in the land.

The party are a freakshow that are together by circumstance. They have their own goals and their own things. The madness the wasteland throws at them is not so much their choice to run across as it is a part of living in this world. They don't exactly go a hero-ing, but they will chase treasure or prizes of some kind, and definitely chase plotlines if they have something to do with their character's personal goals.

Pleh
2018-10-12, 09:36 AM
The party are a freakshow that are together by circumstance. They have their own goals and their own things. The madness the wasteland throws at them is not so much their choice to run across as it is a part of living in this world. They don't exactly go a hero-ing, but they will chase treasure or prizes of some kind, and definitely chase plotlines if they have something to do with their character's personal goals.

Well there. Pick the party member with the least loyalty to the group (or just the target), offer to help them with their personal goal in exchange for a favor that might involve separating the droid from the rest of the group at a specific time and place.

M. Arillius
2018-10-13, 01:37 PM
He likes to pry for information, throw his weight around, and use his reputation as a pirate to gain special permission and go into places that he wouldn't normally be allowed to. He is known for his silver tongue (and totally abuses the Persuasion and Intimidation system, although not as bad since I started considering it correctly). He is a casual gambler and may make bets on gladitorial fights and similar events, especially if one of his companions are a contestant. He has a tendency to demand to speak to the leader or the boss, and feels like he deserves the attention of the highest man in the land.

This line in particular is what I would focus on. If he wants to speak to a boss, have the Assassin bribe (or threaten) a gang into making contact with the guy. The plan is simple...

1. They contact him, acting as if they want to offer him something or get him involved in something, but are a bit stand offish. The liaison talking to him doesn't want to bring him to the boss.
2. The PC decides that ain't going to cut it and insists on seeing the boss. After a few back and forths the Liaison gets 'fired' and a new guy shows up apologizing for the last guys attitude and brings him right to the boss.
3. They go, alone, perhaps even saying that this is a deal for him, not his friends, and when they're alone with the boss, in a nice and secret sound proof room, the new liaison Sneak Attacks him in the back, having been the Assassin.
4. The gang is working for the Assassin. They're not especially strong, since the Assassin plans on killing them when he's done to, but they're under the belief that they're going to get a lot of money when this guy is dead. These guys will do their best to keep this android here, in this soundproof little building, because it's the biggest score of their lives. Their job is to keep him from running, so arm them with lots of restraining weapons.

The Assassin has been studying this guy. That's the key to any good assassin. They don't just strike, they learn the in's and out's of a guy and then take him down with what they know. In a fantasy saying that comes in the form of knowing his weaknesses, like how he always insists on speaking to bosses himself, feels safe enough to go it alone in towns, is prideful and likes money and gambling, and is immune to regular poisons but a gold, platinum or chromium knife that can't rust coated in Rust Monster Saliva would work wonders. Sure, the weapon would normally suck but with a bit of magic you can fortify it and use that poison to dangerous effect. Spend a lot of money on a couple doses of this poison with a really high DC. You want it to work on every hit you get on this guy.

A few notes.
-The Assassin will be very good at hiding his weapons, lying and quick drawing to surprise enemies. Find every way you can for him to hide it so the PC never notices them, believes their lies and strikes quick. Have him drink a lot of temporary magic potions before this fight (before meeting the PC), including something to hide that he's buffed to heck with magic in case someone gets suspicious and tries to detect magic. Remember, he planned for this fight, he knows what the group is capable of.
-Rogue (Assassin) 3/Fighter 5 gets you 2 attacks in a surprise round. Combined with Action Surge, you get 4 attacks in a surprise round, all of them crits with sneak attack thanks to Assassinate.
-Surprise as the effect doesn't end until the PC's first turn. With a high initiative bonus (which you want) the Assassin gets another 2 attacks that are auto crits with sneak attack. Give this guy a few 1 use items like potions that super boost his initiative to guarantee he gets first. He planned for this fight, remember?
-High DC on the poison is better then high damage on the Poison. The poison is an additional thing, it helps, but it's only part of what's killing this android. And if he does manage to break free but can't save himself from the Rust Monster Saliva in his spine, slowly eating away at him after all the damage he took, he's dead.
-You now have six Surprise Sneak Attacks that are all critting, each one coated in Rust Monster Poison on a Rust Proof magic sword, dagger, whatever. If your PC is not dead, you did something wrong.

Mark Hall
2018-10-13, 01:49 PM
I'm the GM of a 5e game running a post-apocalyptic homebrew supplement. I have introduced a character that I have described as being a skilled assassin, hunter, and survivor in a world in which being any of those things is difficult and dangerous. The problem with this is that most of my assassins (or even rogues/thieves) are very, very bad at what they do and are far too easily overpowered by the party, which, to be fair, are not a weak group. However, if I'm going to have a character in the game described as being a good assassin, he should be a good assassin.

So, Playground, how would you go about planning an assassination on this player character? I am asking not because I want to kill this PC, but because I want to understand what an actually functional plan would be to assassinate the character before introducing flaws, so as to make escaping this assassin a difficult and adventure-worthy task. I am honestly at a loss as to how a single man would go about practically killing this character without access to DM power or macguffin artifacts.

In this scenario you are a single man living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with limited access to modern and near future technology and limited access to magic (magic and technology are functionally identical in this world). Vehicles, firearms, poisons, and most other things at the modern assassin's fingertips are on the table, but overkill tools such as nuclear weaponry and spheres of annihilation are not an option. Your target is a cocky, dextrous, and very persuasive and deceptive android that is a skilled swashbuckler and has access to bardic magic. He travels almost constantly with a tank-like robot fighter, a cyborg monk (can catch and deflect bullets. Sorry, snipers.), a ghoul rogue, a warlock of a malevolent AI, and a tree-person druid. No other lethal casualties should occur during the assassination attempt.

Androids are fully sentient and, in fact, contain souls in this world. They have resistance to radiation, and are immune to poison and disease. They don't have to breathe or eat, but do require a power source and must charge for 4 hours each day. They cannot be re-uploaded to a new body after they die unless they do so in very specific circumstances similar to a lich's ressurrection. Use of an EMP and similar anti-electronic technology is functionally equivalent to necrotic spells such as Inflict Wounds and is not an instant kill. Androids can be healed as usual through healing magic and technology. Androids have a distinct appearance and can usually be spotted in a crowd.

1) Separate him from his companions.
2) Separate him from his power source (assuming it's external). If "recharge" is equivalent of "sleep" (i.e. entirely internal), this doesn't work.

Rabidmuskrat
2018-10-13, 03:58 PM
First I am going to answer your question, then I am going to answer the question you should have been asking :smalltongue:

To kill a PC, I would target their resting. If you don't let PC's get rest, they rapidly get worse. Watch them, have something small and worthless attack whenever they try to rest (this is true in pretty much all games). Prevent them from getting sleep, prevent them from recharging abilities, and most of all prevent them from rolling directly against YOU. Any roll they make against you, is a chance for you to lose. All rolls they make should be made from a point where even if they win the roll, you have already accomplished your goal.
Hire some mooks to break his solar panel. Smash any possible sources of power he can reach. Wear him out.
Once he starts losing effectiveness, you start laying traps. Boobytrap a charging point. Tripwire linked to a shotgun. Weapon lying on an armed grenade.
Only then do you start taking potshots at him. Never a straight fight. Always ambush and retreat. Eventually, you will simply wear him down.

Now, the question you actually want to be asking, considering this is a TTRPG, is how do I run a plot arc about a super deadly assassin that actually scares my players?

You start with knowledge. They hear this guy is in town. They hear his reputation. They don't know who he is (nobody does), but they hear someone has been asking questions about them.
Then you have a probing attack. Bunch of useless gangers or something straight out brag that someone hired them to kill the players before they get slaughtered. Players laugh, haha, this guy is useless if this is the best he could do. Meanwhile, he is watching and learning. But from the gangers actions and who they focus, it should be reasonably clear who the target is.
Next you bring them an actual warning from someone they trust. "This guy is after the android. Run." Players laugh since so far this guy has been a joke.
Now comes the part that should really scare them. Boobytrap the Android's charging point. Give him a roll to spot that it has been tampered with when he goes to charge. If he succeeds, have him find that the point has been rewired to pour about 500 megawatts through his system if he plugs in. Instant death.
If he fails the roll, you dont want to kill the character, so just have it explode or something for a bunch of damage to the entire team. The goal here is to have the characters realize that this is a guy who wont play fair.
Keep leaving boobytraps in their way. Have them find one of their contacts tortured to death. Make them hate the guy.
Eventually they will try to track him down. Have their investigations lead to a small, plain looking man who bursts out in tears when confronted. The hitman kidnapped his family and have been using HIM to gather information on the party as a proxy, but have him help the group in exchange that they free his family.
Now here is the kicker. Mr. Small and Plain is the actual hitman. But no amount of rolls or truth spells will be able to reveal that, since he himself doesnt know it. The hitman uses a kind of self-hypnosis to make him believe his own story 100%. That is his only real special ability. After the PCs start to trust him, some kind of trigger brings back all his memories and he simply attacks the android in his charging cycle, probably via some kind of virus upload to permanently destroy his soul or something.

Use whatever parts are interesting, throw away/replace whatever isnt.

M. Arillius
2018-10-13, 04:23 PM
First I am going to answer your question, then I am going to answer the question you should have been asking :smalltongue:

To kill a PC, I would target their resting. If you don't let PC's get rest, they rapidly get worse. Watch them, have something small and worthless attack whenever they try to rest (this is true in pretty much all games). Prevent them from getting sleep, prevent them from recharging abilities, and most of all prevent them from rolling directly against YOU. Any roll they make against you, is a chance for you to lose. All rolls they make should be made from a point where even if they win the roll, you have already accomplished your goal.
Hire some mooks to break his solar panel. Smash any possible sources of power he can reach. Wear him out.
Once he starts losing effectiveness, you start laying traps. Boobytrap a charging point. Tripwire linked to a shotgun. Weapon lying on an armed grenade.
Only then do you start taking potshots at him. Never a straight fight. Always ambush and retreat. Eventually, you will simply wear him down.

Now, the question you actually want to be asking, considering this is a TTRPG, is how do I run a plot arc about a super deadly assassin that actually scares my players?

You start with knowledge. They hear this guy is in town. They hear his reputation. They don't know who he is (nobody does), but they hear someone has been asking questions about them.
Then you have a probing attack. Bunch of useless gangers or something straight out brag that someone hired them to kill the players before they get slaughtered. Players laugh, haha, this guy is useless if this is the best he could do. Meanwhile, he is watching and learning. But from the gangers actions and who they focus, it should be reasonably clear who the target is.
Next you bring them an actual warning from someone they trust. "This guy is after the android. Run." Players laugh since so far this guy has been a joke.
Now comes the part that should really scare them. Boobytrap the Android's charging point. Give him a roll to spot that it has been tampered with when he goes to charge. If he succeeds, have him find that the point has been rewired to pour about 500 megawatts through his system if he plugs in. Instant death.
If he fails the roll, you dont want to kill the character, so just have it explode or something for a bunch of damage to the entire team. The goal here is to have the characters realize that this is a guy who wont play fair.
Keep leaving boobytraps in their way. Have them find one of their contacts tortured to death. Make them hate the guy.
Eventually they will try to track him down. Have their investigations lead to a small, plain looking man who bursts out in tears when confronted. The hitman kidnapped his family and have been using HIM to gather information on the party as a proxy, but have him help the group in exchange that they free his family.
Now here is the kicker. Mr. Small and Plain is the actual hitman. But no amount of rolls or truth spells will be able to reveal that, since he himself doesnt know it. The hitman uses a kind of self-hypnosis to make him believe his own story 100%. That is his only real special ability. After the PCs start to trust him, some kind of trigger brings back all his memories and he simply attacks the android in his charging cycle, probably via some kind of virus upload to permanently destroy his soul or something.

Use whatever parts are interesting, throw away/replace whatever isnt.

That's an interesting plot but personally I prefer assassins who don't have reps, not in the circles you know about. Someone who just comes out of nowhere and nearly succeeds at killing an NPC, and then vanishes, seems much more terrifying to me. If you do it right, the villain isn't the Assassin. The Assassin's just a force of nature or a weapon pointed at you. The Villain is the person who hired the assassin, who you need to track down before this guy succeeds at what he's trying to do.

That said, I don't think your plot idea is bad (quite the opposite, I think it's quite good), it's just a difference in style. I'd use your plot for someone whose attempting to openly challenge the PC's or take them down rather then a knife in the dark, like a rival pirate or something who wants their name to get bigger for doing it. Technically still an assassin but a very different kind.

Mutazoia
2018-10-14, 12:54 AM
Is his aluminum bits exposed, or covered by "skin"?

Either way, hit him with a big bag of Iron Oxide (rust) and then a fireball (or other fire attack) and watch him turn into a walking, talking (screaming) chunk of thermite. (Which can't be put out by normal fire fighting methods, so he's pretty much slag automatically.)

Brother Oni
2018-10-14, 01:37 AM
Is his aluminum bits exposed, or covered by "skin"?

Either way, hit him with a big bag of Iron Oxide (rust) and then a fireball (or other fire attack) and watch him turn into a walking, talking (screaming) chunk of thermite. (Which can't be put out by normal fire fighting methods, so he's pretty much slag automatically.)

This is unlikely to work for a couple of reasons:


Thermite takes a lot of effort to ignite - you need a couple minutes with a propane torch at ~2,800 C. The typical method is to use a magnesium fuse so a simple xd6 fireball that only hits maybe 1,500 - 2,000C wouldn't ignite it.
The reaction would only occur where the iron oxide would touch the aluminium - in a powder contacting a solid surface, that's not much reaction surface area (there's a reason why thermite is a powder of both materials)
The aluminium surface is going to be passivated, either by treatment or by contact with atmospheric oxygen, so the surface layer that's visible will be either aluminium oxide or another inert aluminium compound, not actual bare aluminium.


If you're going to use thermite, just throw a thermite charge at him.

As for killing them, a simple car bomb seems sufficient (ie attach an explosive device to their vehicle then wait until they're inside before triggering it).

Alternately lure them out to a remote dungeon then while they dungeon crawling, destroy their vehicles and setup claymores facing the entrance - when they enter the kill zone, detonate them. The assassin can then harass them at his leisure during the long walk back - my suggestion is shoot and scoot using supersonic rounds from a sniper rifle as by the time they hear it, it's already hit them and the sniper is long gone; that cyborg monk can't protect the entire party all the time unless they all fit inside a 5ft square (which they shouldn't do now that they know the assassin uses area of effect attacks).

TeChameleon
2018-10-14, 02:39 AM
One simple, low-level transmutation spell could make life absolutely miserable for your android PC: Heat Metal.

You'd have to DM handwave some of the effects, but the general gist of it would probably be that the android basically just... spontaneously combusts at random. It wouldn't necessarily kill him, but it would likely shake them up pretty well, especially if the assassin chose his time and place carefully- ideally, in a crowded area where the party couldn't locate him or flee quickly or easily.

Then just turn the screws- every time the party goes out, the android bursts into flame. Don't describe it as anything other than pretty much that- after a few rounds of that, the party will be jumping at every shadow and too paranoid to leave the inn :smallamused:

Incorrect
2018-10-15, 03:32 AM
The classic remote bomb or EMP sewn into a victim, who is sent to the group.

Chemical "poisons" could work. Check youtube for aluminum chemical reactions, there is a lot of stuff that could really hurt him.

Lure them into a large building or a mine, and bury them alive.

I think its important for this assassin to have a trade. Is he into guns, bombs, poison or knives? Precision or collateral damage?

Jackaccount
2018-10-16, 01:08 AM
Have the assassin fight dirty, drive the players into a minefield, tear down a load bearing wall while they sleep, incite an angry mob of innocent civilians with some sort of rage toxin, frame them for a murder and join up with whatever passes for law enforcement. Just never let the players face the assassin in a straight up fight, if the assassin challenges the players to a duel, have a sniper sitting a block away, a getaway vehicle ready to run the players down, and shoot them before they wake up in the morning.

ATHATH
2018-10-16, 03:05 PM
Who hired this assassin, and why? What'd the android do to earn the ire of someone who would hire an assassin?

If you can tell us the answers to those questions, I think I can cook up an assassination scheme that's related to whatever the android did to make the assassin hirer mad at him. Poetic "justice", of a sort.