Like millions of people worldwide, I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed games for a long time. One of the big draws of the games is all the cool gear you get to use, and I often bounce a few ideas around the inside of my skull about how this stuff would look on the tabletop. This is my first attempt at actually writing it down. In this post in particular we’ll look at the equipment used by Altaïr in the original Assassin’s Creed, using GURPS stats.
There’s one obvious Cool Gadget here, and we’ll get to it eventually, but the rest of the equipment is surprisingly mundane considering the crazy stuff that appears in later games.
Clothing And Armor
Altaïr and the rest of the Assassins don’t seem to wear too much in terms of armor, which makes sense since they’re portrayed as valuing stealth and mobility. Armor is a mainstay for the opposition in this game, and it seems to be portrayed in a historically accurate manner: check out GURPS Loadouts: Low-Tech Armor p. 27-29 for a very detailed breakdown. In short, both the Templars and Sarracens tend to wear DR 3 or 4 mail, with metal helmets.
The infamous hooded outfit (AKA the Menacing Hood) is probably not very historical, since looking cool was a greater priority in its design than being period-appropriate. There’s a million jokes out there about how absurd it is that Altaïr can hide amidst the crowd at all while basically dressed as Medieval Batman, but that’s clearly something the Assassins are supposed to be able to do in-setting.
It would make sense for Assassin characters in a tabletop game to wear Undercover Clothing (Low-Tech, p. 100). Altaïr’s iconic outfit isn’t quite bulky enough to count as a Long Coat (Low-Tech, p. 99), but wearing one in addition to the undercover clothes would definitely make sense for PC Assassins. The total +5 or +6 bonus to Holdout would make hiding all those weapons much easier!
Assassin’s mostly fight with period-appropriate weapons. All the one-handed swords seen in the game would use the stats for a broadsword (and the Broadsword skill). Altaïr also gets access to a Long Knife, and to Small Throwing Knives. The opposition uses the same sort of sword. Those enemies posted as rooftop guards tend to carry Light Crossbows as well. You can find stats for these and many other suitable TL 2-3 weapons in the Basic Set, Low-Tech, or Martial Arts.
But that’s not what you’re here for, is it?
The Hidden Blade
This marvel of Fantasy Tech-style engineering is a pure assassination weapon unsuited to open combat. It consists of a leather and metal bracer with a built-in, retractable knife blade. The spring-loaded mechanism is controlled by a ring around the hand’s little finger, and the blade is concealed along the underside of the arm. The model used in the original game can only be used by someone who had amputated the ring finger on the corresponding hand.
The bracer is mostly leather covered with light metal plates that give DR 3 to that forearm. While the blade is retracted, the user has a +5 bonus to Holdout to conceal its nature as a weapon unless the people doing the searching know exactly what to look for. Extending the blade usually takes a Ready action, but the user can make a Fast-Draw (Knife) roll to do it instantly. Retracting the blade is a free action: just relax your hand!
Stabbing with the Hidden Blade uses the Knife skill. It cannot parry, and counts as Cheap quality for other breakage purposes. It’s different enough from a plain old knife to inflict a -2 unfamiliarity penalty to both Knife and Fast-Draw on users who haven’t trained with it before. Such a newbie would also probably lose their ring finger the first time they extended the blade!
|3||Hidden Blade||thr imp||C||No||$150||1kg (2 lbs.)||6|