Assassin Instinct


I’m having a little trouble with my Assassin’s Instinct and was hoping to get a little advice/help. Her Instinct is currently “Always use your opponent’s wants and needs against them.” Does this seem like a functional Instinct to you guys? I’m having trouble making it work. The character’s specialty skill is Manipulator, but, at first glance, it seems like the Instinct would be kind of flexible and open-ended, able to apply to multiple skills. (That was my original intention and is my GM’s current opinion.) My biggest problems with it is that it relies on opponents to implement and lacks a specific trigger. (Her teammates’ Instincts are less dependant on opponents and have more defined triggers. “Find a written text, read it.” “Take every chance to display acts of strength.” “If the party gets hungry, feed them.” Stuff like that.)

Does the “needs/wants” Instinct seem functional as is? If so, how would you make it work? I read on the forums somewhere that Instincts should trigger at least 2-3 times a session. I struggle to find even one chance some sessions. I find that most occasions come during conflicts and that doesn’t work. It does have obvious triggers on occasion, but most of the time, I struggle to find them. Am I playing it wrong? Am I missing something?

If it doesn’t seem functional as is, how would you tweak it but keep the spirit of the Instinct? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Right now, I’m just thinking of going with a “camp/create alchemy” Instinct.

Or, if you have any other ideas for a Manipulator/Assassin type Instinct, I’m open to new suggestions.


Tie it to an action or use of a skill that normally takes time.

“Always toy with the emotions of my victims” or “Always seduce my victims” — would enable her to perform Manipulator tests in town without incurring lifestyle and in adventure/camp phase, without taking a turn.

Interesting thought on actions that take time. Hadn’t thought of it that way. That and the suggestioned Instincts give me something to think about. Thanks, Jared.

Or better yet: figure out what you’re always trying to do each session but lack the time/checks to do. Make that your Instinct.

Another good suggestion. She’s always making poisons, but rarely gets a chance to use them. Would it be plausible for the Instinct to be “Always poison my opponents when they are least aware”? Like tossing a Exhaustion gas in their midst before a fight? Or slipping them an Angry poison in their drink before a Convince conflict?

Or, as my GM just suggested, “Never pass up an opportunity to poison my opponent.”

Instincts are a little more mechanical in tb than in bw. they’re more about what you do, what you’re good at than they are about who you are or what motivates you. so whatever your character has the most practice doing, and thus they spend the most turns and checks doing, should probably be their instinct.

I’m learning that. Thanks for the advice, guys.

“Always keep my blades poisoned” might allow you to make an Alchemist test to make and coat your weapon with a poison while in camp or apply a weapon bonus before a fight starts. A dagger with +1s to Maneuver? Yes, please.

“Always lob a grenade at my opponents” might allow you to make a Fighter test to impose a condition before the conflict starts (like casting a spell).

“Always use caution when dealing with poisons” might give you a free Health or Will test to resist the effects of poisons—which would be very good if you’re making particularly nasty poisons yourself and you fail the Alchemist test.

Oh, and remember you can use Alchemist to create magical potions by apply prayers to a potion base.

Damnit! Quit giving me great ideas! I’d already settled on the “Never pass up…” idea and now you’re throwing this crap at me! You’re making my head hurt!

(Just kidding. I’m more mad that my tunnel vision focusing on deception Instincts kept me from considering ideas like these. All great ideas giving me even more to think about. I guess that’s why you guys get paid the big bucks.)