Assassin 1.0

Grendal: Dark Heresy Warhammer 40k Assassin by David-Kegg
Source: David-Kegg on DeviantArt

The Assassin has now reached playable status. Hurray! I’ve made a couple changes to the starting and advanced moves and then added the looks, gear, alignments, stats, and bonds. I’ll start by explaining some of the changes I made to the moves and then go into the rest of the class info.

The full text of the Assassin at time of this writing is on GitHub here.

Changes to the Moves

I recently picked up a bunch of supplemental Dungeon World PDFs from the Bundle of Holding. One of my favorites was the Grim World book which features some monsters, fronts, and a bunch of cool new classes. You can see their 2013 Kickstart here. One of the compendium classes in the book is the Assassin, by Peter Johansen. I’ve changed the Backstab move to incorporate his idea of deceit and subterfuge into it. Here’s the next version of Backstab, renamed to Unsuspecting Strike.

Unsuspecting Strike

When you get close to your target to make a surprise attack, roll+DEX if you use stealth or speed, or coll+CHA if you use deception or charm.
On a 10+ choose two.
On a 7-9 choose one.

  • You don’t get into melee with them
  • You deal your damage+1d6
  • You create an advantage, +1 forward to you or an ally acting on it
  • Reduce their armor by 1 until they repair it

The main change is that the move triggers when your target doesn’t see the attack coming. This could be because you snuck up behind them, or because they think you’re a friend. I like that this move allows you to roll either with DEX or with CHA based on how you approach it.

The next thing I did was remove Poisoner. Not all Assassins are going to empty a vial of boiling green liquid into your mug when you aren’t looking, so I didn’t think it should be a starting move. It may come back as an advanced move later on.

I also created two new related advanced moves for the Assassin. The first one forces you to choose between two specialties, and the second allows you to take the other option once you reach level 6+.

Advanced Training

You have focused your training on either the blade or the rifle. Choose one:

Blademaster: Once per encounter you may reroll one d6 of a Hack & Slash or Unsuspecting Strike roll

Sharpshooter: Once per encounter you may reroll one d6 of a Volley or Called Shot roll

Jack Of All Trades

Take one more option from Advanced Training.

I like two things about these moves. The first is rerolling just one d6 of a regular roll. It gives you quite a bit of control over the move, and rolling dice is fun. The second is the limitation of this move, forcing you to focus either on melee combat or ranged combat when you take it. Limitations can be fun, but play testing will see if this move is better if it’s two advanced moves that can both be taken at early levels.

I also made a small change to Vindicare Shot, which allows your headshots to use the Tearing tag that I talked about  in this post about weapons.

These changes can be seen in full in this commit on GitHub.

Adding in the Rest


Choose one from each:

Dead eyes, charming eyes, angry eyes

Black bodysuit, plain clothes, dirty rags

Buzz cut, elaborate hair, tattooed head

Slim body, athletic body, huge body


Your maximum HP is 9+Constitution.
Your base damage is d8.


Your load is 9+Str.
You start with leather armor (1 armor, worn, 1 weight), adventuring gear (1 weight), and rations (5 uses, 1 weight). For your weapons choose one:

  • Lasgun (near, far, long, clip 4, 2 weight) and dagger (hand, 1 weight)
  • Laspistol (near, far, clip 3, 1 weight) and Rapier (close, precise, 1 weight)

The choice I’m going for here is pretty evident: big gun and little blade, or big blade and little gun. I’m not sure the Lasgun/Laspistol choice is the most Assassin-like choice, and I may change to projectile based weapons later.


Make a brutal show of a kill after the fact.

Take out a threat before it harms another.

Dispatch of an enemy before they know you’re a threat.

I wrote up these alignments pretty quickly but I’m quite pleased with the result.


I have trusted ______ with a secret about me.

______ knows some tricks that could be useful to learn.

When I was originally writing this post I stopped at bonds and was going to come back to it. I’ve played a few sessions since then and I’ve come to like bonds less and less. I may remove bonds altogether and use a different system for representing the relationship between characters.

The looks, stats, bonds, gear, and alignments were added in this commit here on GitHub.

Next up I’ll be working on getting the Guardsman up to version 1.0.

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