Some deeds are too sensitive or nefarious to be done in the open. When discretion and subtlety are of foremost importance, one must rely on cunning and expertise to achieve the desired result.
Rogues are unparalleled in their skills and cleverness, able to outwit foes, evade detection, and achieve their goals without leaving a trace of their presence. Their particular set of skills often brings them at odds with the law, working amongst criminals and performing acts of questionable morality in the shadows. Among their ranks, assassins are specialists, dealing in death as a most refined craft. They are not simple bounty hunters or killers for hire.
They are bringers of death, unseen artists for which fame is the most undesired reward. The archetype of the rogue finds its root in countless places, for it has great diversity. Burglars, spies, thieves, secret operatives, or assassins, numerous occupations are related to this idea of the rogue, which finds a lot of echoes in history as well as classic fantasy.
Nevertheless, tales of assassins’ guilds and secret organizations find no strongest origin than in the history of the Ḥashashin, a Persian-Arabic religious and military order that was in control of a series of strongholds scattered between Iran and Syria the 11th to 13th century. They were famous for their use of targeted assassinations against key enemy figures, infiltrating courts and organizations to dispose of dangerous foes before having to face them on the battlefield, or simply weaken their political rivals.
They are rumored to have performed hundreds of high-profile killings over the centuries, including three caliphs, their fearful reputation being so widespread that their name became synonym with the practice they so famously used to eliminate their enemies.
In a LARP setting, rogues share a lot in terms of skills and methods. They are a pragmatic lot that will use any advantage they can get to achieve their goal, and don’t hesitate to rely on ruse, stealth, and deception to get closer to their victims. Where they differ radically is in their motives.
Two characters can appear quite similar at first glance, but couldn’t be further apart when one begins to understand the driving force behind their actions. It is expected for rogues to get their hands dirty, but for what end?
In the case of the iconic rogue, the criminal, they could steal to obtain the wealth and comfort that have been denied to them by their birth and origins. Their pursuit of gold may arise from urgent need or selfish greed. But maybe wealth isn’t as important as their reputation and pride. Thrill-seekers are common among burglars, and big targets bring more than wealth in many cases: they bring respect. Also, even criminals can have principles, from a guild’s honor code to a personal disgust for violence. Does your rogue have any moral compass? Is your rogue a gentleman thief, a cynical pickpocket, or a ruthless cutthroat collecting blood-soaked loot?
Furthermore, many rogues and assassins have little to no ties to common crime. Spies and assassins often work in the service of their country or for a cause greater than themselves. From government agents to vigilante, military commandos, holy avengers, or revolutionaries, many of those that dwell in the shadows may be motivated by a mission they deem righteous and noble, worthy of the lies and spilled blood they often spread in their path. Such rogues may be more willing to sacrifice their life for the cause or to fight against unwinnable odds.
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THE OUTLAW ARMOR
This full armor was designed for a true warrior. Realism being the priority, it truly protects the torso by not revealing the throat.
Very comfortable, the bustier and solid leather corset allows not only greater flexibility , but also a better fit thanks to the possibility to vary the size of the pieces separately: thanks to this it is possible to adapt the armor to any kind of waist and chest.
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THE ASSASSIN ARMOR
This vegetable leather armor is dyed in dark tints and engraved with complex patterns on the borders of each armor plate for an effect evoking refinement and elegance. With its great level of details and the luxurious Strasbourg-Flora fabric inside the hood, skirt and cloak, this armor inspires power and prestige. The asymmetrical design of the pauldron and cloak only add to the sense of refinement and poise given by this set. Light and mobile while offering full torso and back protection, this armor will certainly be the centrepiece of any assassin, aristocrat, vampire, dark elf, noble or baroque duelist in LARP.
The rogue’s fantasy archetype popularised a particular look for such characters in LARP. Hoods, scarves, masks, and bandanas are often used to protect the anonymity of the one that dwells with theft and assassination. As rogues are expected to use stealth and discretion, they must remain mobile and nimble enough to escape capture. For that reason, they tend to adopt practical clothing, light and not too brightly colored, so they can blend better with their surroundings. Commoner’s clothes can also be used to hide in the crowd and avoid unwanted attention.
Armor is kept at a minimum, with leather and gambeson being favored over bulkier and noisier chain or plate. If successful rogues or thieves of noble origins can be quite fashionable, they will favor subtle displays of wealth over heavily ornamented clothes and glittering jewelry.
Rogues also need the tools of their trade. In many cases, it means they keep lockpicks, poison vials, and other accessories at hand using easy-to-access pouches and bags.
Hidden pockets are also frequent among their ranks. Such secret pouches are used to hide secret orders or stolen items. Their weapons of choice are short, quick, and easy to hide. Daggers are particularly iconic for rogues and assassins, but they can wield any short blade or even one-handed bludgeons for a less lethal way to dispatch their foes. Bows and crossbows are also very often used by rogues that prefer to fight from a safe distance, sniping enemies from cover. Throwing knives are often better suited to catch a foe off-guard with a quick ranged attack.