Created and submitted by the one and only, Bluud Thirsty!
After a long day of pilfering the corpses of hapless orcs I settled down at a table in the Lumberyard, the finest drinking establishment in Highpass, for a tall and frothy one. I was not even a sip into me drink when I detected a foul odor in the air, something unusually rank. I looked about but no culprit was to be seen, so I hunted the ripe aroma and it led me to a dark corner of the bar. A hulking figure dressed in black was curled up in the shadows and was clearly out for the count. Always the opportunist, I decided to check his purse for a little extra drinking money. In a mere moment it was like the shadows had engulfed me. I felt cold steel at my neck and the most vile gauntlet coated with dried blood and torn flesh over my mouth.
With a heavy shove in the back the figure sent me careening across the room into an unoccupied table. As I used a turned chair to right myself I noticed suddenly the bar was empty. I rose to my feet as the shadowy figure sluggishly took a seat and stuck a blade deep into the surface of the table. Then in the tongue known only to robbers and thieves he said to me ďcmere youngin, Iíll buy ya a brew with yer own moneyĒ. A quick check confirmed my belt pouch gone, the straps cut clean. We spent me dry over the course of a few hours. It turns out this hulking northman was no common highway robber but instead was the infamous Bluud Thirsty, a paid killer whose reputation proceeded him. I would have easily paid ten times the coin I did for the grotesque stories I was to hear alone, but the knowledge he passed onto me was just simply priceless. Now I will share it with you, my dark cloaked brothers for a small coin donation.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
First and foremost a potent killa arms for the job. When ya live by the Blade, make sure itís a good one. So always invest in the finest artillery you can getcha hands on. No assassin worth his salt needs help when it comes to selecting weapons, so I will leave this subject untouched. Just remember that ya want a good backstabber for pvp, as this will be your big finisher when the fights turns in yer favor. Nothin beats the sadistic joy of planting yer blade deep in tha back of some panicked victim as they run. Some particularly nasty fellas will even keep a big backstabber close at hand while they fight with smaller more precise blades. All ya need to do is drop that baby into yer favored hand for the openings you are given then cycle it out when no backstab is available. This activity is tedious for the novice but becomes second nature for the seasoned stabber.
As an ole timer I cannot say enough about trinkets that protect one from magics. Of all spells, the ones leaving you immobilized are by far the most dangerous to a determined killa. The assassinís life is one of ambush and then relentless assault. The thirst for blood must be almost savage if one is to get ahead in this biz, so being halted must be avoided at all costs. I swear by items that improve ones resistance to root, snare and entrancing magics (MR). Load up on these first and foremost, as they will be your greatest allies. Secondly I will always go for resistance to fire, it tis the preferred weapon of many disciplines of caster and a high resistance to it will often buy you much needed time. Note some shamans can create elixirs that raise these key resistances and to stock up on them can never hurt.
It is always good to prepare for the worst. Journeyman boots are key to running down a scared gimp or ducking out of a bad scenario. Remember, a smart rogue knows when to bolt and a dumb one is a dead one. Also note that working the magic of the boots against a dispel happy opponent will protect other more valuable buffs, so it is good to have the boots at yer fingertips for just them scenarios. Another priceless tool is the pumice or golem wand. These items serve many purposes and I cannot stress enough that a savvy slaughterer of innocents should always be able to summon up such magics in a pinch. When rooted or snared you must be able to free yerself instantly and remain in melee range. When facing a damage shield a fast and free stabber must be able to remove it in a blink. Last but not least in the great outdoors some will be able to summon animal speed, this must also be removed if kills are to be scored Ė and removed quickly. Not to mention if yer sure a target gots the ability to see invisible bestowed upon them it is always a good choice to take that away. There is a trick where ya sell a charged pumice or golem wand to a vendor then buy the sucka back two fold. Tis costly, but will keep a mayhem minded murderer alive when it counts.
A rogueís life is full of surprises, hopefully more of opponents then the cutpurse himself. It cannot be stressed enough that the rogue must add the unseen into the battle rather then have it whipped out on him. For this reason, shaman potions are a priceless commodity. Stacks of cure disease and cure poison are simply a must have. I also strongly suggest every young killer save up and purchase a few gate potions for when times go bad. Nothing steals the spirit of a target with money on his head more then a vanishing rogue who leaves no corpse to lament over. A lizard in the ole temple of Cazic Thule drops such a potion that is quick Ė instant to be exact. In addition, there is a quest in the icelands of Velious that will also provide such an elixir.
I cannot say enough about poisons. Perhaps its me age, but I cannot apply them as quickly as I could before. Nonetheless, with good use of the shadows a slick stalker can stick an opponent with envenomed blade twice. Tis always good to stock up on these lethal liquids. The variety is a matter of preference, but I go with a mix myself selected based on the target of me blade.
THE ASSASSINS BEST FRIEND
What is the assassinís best friend? Hmmm? Well this ole timer thinks it is knowledge. Tis good to pick the time and place of a fight. If one thing were always in me corner I would want it to be a flawless knowledge of the terrain were I plan to unleash my deadly handy work. The assassin overwhelms his opponent with damage and in order to do this properly it is important to contain ones prey for easy stabbin. The best way I have found to do this is work an area ya know, preferably a dungeon with tight corridors that a target would not want to run and would be easy to track even if he or she did. Using the art of stealth a rogue can get about anywhere so a dungeon is his friend while the outdoors favors the fleet footed casters. Not to mention if ya must escape a dungeon ya know well will usually do the trick. Casters donít usually rely on runnin the corridors when things turn bad, they gate. So caster targets are often sitting ducks when deep in a labyrinth.
A seasoned killer not only knows his territory, but also his opponent. It is good to be able to predict ones opponentís actions. Where he or she will run and if they will run. What magics they will toss and how to counter them. If yer facing a shammy or necro then be absolutely sure to have antidotes for poison and disease magics on ya and ready in a pinch. Also build those resists with gear, but always secondary to yer magic resistance. If yer facing a magician, wizard or druid then be absolutely sure to predict their primary offense. If they are of the season to toss cold, build for cold. If they are of the season to toss fire or magic, prepare accordingly. When facing a melee ya gots to get the upper hand early. Think proc, think poison. Be sure to remove what buffs ya can early and snare or root if ya can. Work yer thrown weapons if the opportunity arises and test their ability to see invisible early in the fight. A tank with no gift for sight of the invisible should definitely eat poison dose after poison dose, not to mention plenty of good backstabs and lots of disarms. Some melee opponents have never faced a disarm and do not have the right inventory setup to recover quickly, be sure you do. It can make or break a confrontation. I cannot say enough about the use of muscle lock poison against melee, try it.
Stack yer buffs. Get the top few canceled and keep em that way. Spells that kill ya over time are every bit as dangerous as the quick variety. A smart swashbuckler knows when to play offensive and when to play defensive. Defense should almost be instinctive it should be so quick. Counter the enchanterís tash with cure poison. Counter every slow working magic as soon as ya can. If ya know you must to live then do it sooner then later. I have seen many a panicked noobie killa ignore a slow magic way to long. If yer going to spend the time to counter do it immediately and save yer health, you will need it.
WORK YER SKILLS
A lazy rogue is a dead rogue when it comes to the arts o killin. If ye donít max yer skill set then expect to take many a quick dirt nap in the future. Key is poison use and disarms. Both absolutely must be honed to perfection. Disarm and a quick counter for it using creative inventory spacing is pinnacle. Many an unseasoned melee just never use their ability to empty an opponents hands. Why, I do not know it can make or break any match up, even one with a caster.
Poisons are expensive but provide the element of surprise. It will amaze some how a good rogue poison can slip by even the most intimidating of resists, always open with yer best and pick em wisely. If ya get a chance in a fight dose that blade a second time and stick it deep. It is hard to believe so many a dagger wielder ignores the art of making deadly decanters and applying them quickly. Donít be one of them, harness this power and use it to surprise yer victims.
An oft-overlooked skill is the ability to instill doubt. Long ago this worked on the actual victims themselves, but these days the gimps seemed to have wised up a bit. Nonetheless a foolish pet is still very vulnerable. While it is always a good idea to turn all yer attention to a pets controller times will come when you absolutely must deal with the minion. Try to spook it, they are dumb and more oft then not might take off a runnin.
Of course the ability to hide and sneak cannot go unmentioned. No rogue worth his or her salt would ever neglect this ability, but curiously enough few tap its full potential when givin the blade to some gimp with a price on his or her head. An assassin should always emerge from the dark with a full head of steam and most know this much. Just the same there are times when a battle will get tough and the shadows may be used to buy a moment or two for some underhanded activity. This ole rogue will always test an opponentís ability to see me hidden early and abuse it to the end if they cannot. I will poison em twice or more in some cases, hurl boulders in others and buy a few extra backstabs when I can. I will also tinker with me inventory or even rub off a charge of the pumice or chug a potion if I can. Removing casters sight magics will often permit some serious advantages. A caster without fluid targeting will often be six feet under before they know it to a shifty rogue with quick and quiet footwork, melee will often end up swingin at the air while ya plant a blade in their back.
THINK LIKE A KILLER
A killer donít piss around with smack talk and other prefight antics. A killer stalks his or her prey and strikes quickly and focused. A killer stays on his or her target and if attacking with others makes that target well known. Now there are a variety of foolhardy hooligans out there that will never think about their own hide. These maniacs are not assassins, they are gimps. An assassin knows when the battle is turning on them and ducks out. An assassin will think of the resources of an opponent, or group of opponents, and will time his or her attack or attacks accordingly. At times it is almost good to drain a healers mana on a wimpy and easy to damage robed caster in a victims group then return not a moment later to kill the manaless healer. Tis a trap, ya see, and that should be a rogue specialty. Hit and run definitely favors the rogue. When looking to cap a group of individuals send em to their grave in a patient and timely manner. Take em one at a time healers first, soft targets second and melee last (in most circumstances). Consider using weakness poison on casters deep in a dungeon, especially if ya see em lootin allot of coin. Consider using blind poison on a caster that ya know will gate on ya, it may buy ya enough time. Consider using slow poison on a tough melee, it will take some of the bite out of their swings. A rogue is no warrior, and one who thinks he is should find a new profession. Use what yer guildmasta taught ya and ya will make yerself a good livin. Be ruthless, be mean and always wipe yer blade off on the body of yer victim not yer pant leg.
Well thatís the brunt of what the grizzled fiend said to me. I got a bit tipsy over the course of the drinking and was in a bit of a stupor near the end. It was late when the band of dwarven miners entered the bar. The old Shank did not afford them any warning and before I knew it there were bodies everywhere, his not among them. I searched the pockets of his victims but as I expected they were bare. Nonetheless, I stumbled out of that bar a richer rogue then when I entered. I was coin poor but knowledge rich, now I plan to take me a couple jobs and earn money the Bluud Thirsty way Ė with my blades.