Here are a couple of random tables that you will probably need if you are going to run some Guild Assassins.
Where is That Sneaky Assassin Hiding Now? [d6]
1. In the walls, watching through a painting.
2. In a baby carriage.
3. Buried in the garden, breathing through a snorkel and watching through a periscope.
4. On the rooftop, camouflaged as a chimney covered in pigeons.
5. In a rain barrel, watching through a knothole. The water is just a tray, 6 inches deep.
6. In a cunning disguise, right next to you.
What Does The Poison Do? [d6]
1. Save or die!
2. 3d6 damage across 3 rounds on a failed save, or 1d6 damage across 1 on a successful one.
5. Berserk. +2 to melee attack and melee damage, must melee attack someone each turn for 1d6 turns.
6. Paralysis + invisibility for 1d6 minutes.
|from Ninja Scroll 2|
More Assassins [d6]
1. Yersina Yersina - A woman who famously killed and ate her five twins (fellow sextuplets), Yersina is known for her saffron robes and shaved head. Her tongue is split. She has six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Whenever she takes damage, she splits into two identical copies. So if you cut off her nose, then two noseless Yersinas will be standing in front of you.
She uses this to her advantage in combat, and will often cut herself a few times to make more duplicates before launching into combat. It is possible for her to duplicate herself so much that she completely fills the room she is in, and crushes herselves (and anyone else in the room). After ten minutes of beginning to use this power, all of the Yersinas shrivel into grey stains except for the one with the most HP (if there are ties, roll randomly). She fights with a bident.
She is heralded by the delivery of an apple, freshly split down the middle and held together with a black ribbon. Inside the hollowed out apple is a small envelope, containing a bisected worm
2. Wizened Grudlow - Horrible old man with a clock for an eye and a silver hand. He stinks of cinnamon. All creatures within 100' are affected by slow, no save. He uses this ability to kill people, often by setting them on fire (since the victims effectively have half as much time to put it out). He also has an easy time staying out of reach. He is heralded by the deliver of an envelope full of sand, broken glass, and a bit of twisted brass (the remnants of a smashed hourglass), together with a proclamation of assassination. Is a mid-level fighter.
3. Timelord Larpok - Throughout the day, you will start having flashbacks to an alternate past. This is because Timelord Larpok is jumping back in time and fucking with you, all of which leads to a dramatic showdown at sunset.
The basic idea is that the PCs start accumulating various disabilities and mutilations and no one notices at first. Then someone points it out ("Hey, Olaf, have you always had one arm?") and spurs a moment of bilucidity ("Of course, I lost it when I was a kid and. . . wait, no I didn't. . . wait, yes I did.)
Then you, the DM, will have a flashback scene to the player's youth, where Timelord Larpok is trying to kill their child self. Resolve this with a single dice roll, so that the player can discover if they indeed lost their arm in that unfortunate rockslide or if it was merely maimed. Everyone, it turns out, has a weird memory of the Time Lord trying to kill them in their youth. A sweaty, rushed, distracted Time Lord.
What did the party member lose? Success / Failure [d6]
- One eye. (-1 to melee, -2 to ranged.) / Both eyes.
- One hand. / One arm.
- One leg. / Two legs.
- Their nerves (-4 to initiative.) / Their mind. (Gain a phobia of Timelord Larpok.)
- Their confidence. (Lose one level of class abilities.) / Their will to live. (Lose all class abilities.)
- A semi-vital organ. (Reduction to max HP.) / Their life. (That PC is dead. The player controls an NPC immediately.)
No one else will remember anything else except the altered history. In all cases, the altered timeline-memory will end with Timelord Larpok promising to kill them at sunset. All their (altered timeline) life, they've wondered which sunset, but now it is becoming clear.
After the PCs have spent the day running around trying to prepare for sunset while gradually turning into a party of cripples (a process that nobody else notices, the characters are dimly aware of, and the players are keenly aware of), Timelord Larpok will appear and try to kill them. He is a high-level wizard who does not fight very intelligently. He is an obese man who has dyed his skin neon pink. He flies through the use of his jockstrapping, gas-jetting body harness, which is the only thing he wears.
4. The Third Satan - Because Centerra has several prime antagonists, who rise and fall with the calendar. He/she does this just for shits and giggles. Even though he is forbidden from interacting directly with humans, a few dead adventurers are so minor that they don't really count. (Satan will not show up if the PCs are in good standing with the Church, but how likely is that?) Satan is heralded by himself/herself, who just walks up dressed impeccably (as a noble/dominatrix/pirate captain/whatever Satan feels like that day) and announces their intention to kill the players after 12 hours.
Satan has all of the powers and abilities of Superman, except that his/her kryptonite is holy stuff. Satan leaves once he/she takes a single point of damage (which amuses Satan and endears the PCs in Satan's eyes), or if he/she gets bored (this takes two hours and makes Satan irritated, unless there is significant cleverness involved). He/she begins combat by standing outside of wherever the PCs are and insulting them until they come out and fight. Satan does this mostly just to see what the PCs will do. If they do nothing, Satan will start burning stuff down, starting with the building they are in.
5. Skeletrox - Iron-plated skeleton duelist. He is accompanied by a pair of clumsy skeleton archers that he has assembled from the mismatched bones of the people that he has slain. His biggest gimmick is that he loves to burst out of ridiculous ambush locations. [d4] 1 = water barrel, 2 = newly plastered stucco wall, 3 = the roast pig being served for dinner, 4 = the ground where your boots tread.
He is heralded by skull with magic mouth cast upon it, pulled by a pair of crawling skeleton hands (which attempt to strangle the PCs as soon as the message is declared).
6. The Great Tremolo - a.k.a. the Puppetmaster. You can probably figure this one out.
The herald is the discovery of a collection of dolls, each crafted to exactly resemble one of the party members, and each with a noose around their neck.
The puppetmaster kills people by puppeting them. You'll be talking to the barmaid and all of a sudden she'll start talking about how she can't control her limbs and scream for help while she tries to stab you. Cutting the invisible steel strings above her is not as difficult and noticing them. (The puppet strings are looped over a pulley-laden cloud, constructed for this purpose.)
You can find the puppetmaster by following the strings. And the puppetmaster is a weird dude in an alley with an organ grinder and a monkey that is actually a clockwork monkey. But of course, this isn't really the puppetmaster, this is just another puppet, and when you attack him you will realize this when his chest pops open and 4 attack puppets pop out (each one is statted similar to a different 1 HD mephit).
You can keep following the puppet strings to try to find the real puppetmaster, but it's puppets all the way up.
It's easy to think about ways this could be expanded. If the PCs have earned the enmity of some powerful group, it's possible that a steady stream of freakish assassins will be continually arriving at their doorstep.
This sounds fun, because (a) each assassin is different and ostentatious, and (b) the players have at least 12 hours of warning each time, so they can prepare, research, and engineer the situation somewhat. And (c) if they want to avoid assassins altogether, they can just avoid the city.
A couple of these assassins (Tremolo and Timelord Larpok) could easily be expanded into major NPCs or villains, complete with larger plots revolving around them.