So lately I’ve been getting back into old school pencil-and-paper tabletop roleplaying. Specifically, I’ve been playing in a fantasy game on Tuesday nights. I’m playing a character named Sasha Black, a terrifying fashionista assassin. The most succinct description of her is “Sociopathic Disney Princess”.
She’s inspired by several characters; she’s got a bit of the Mercenary from Oglaf, a rather large chunk of John Wayne Cleaver, and a thin yet adamantine coating of Rarity tying everything together. Warning: Oglaf is NEVER safe for work. Even for adult entertainment industry workers. Porn stars and prostitutes reading Oglaf can’t think about sex without laughing, which is bad for business.
Speaking of prostitutes, that’s part of Sasha’s… charm. Her official listed profession is ‘fluid extraction specialist’. You name the fluid (and the body it’s currently stored in), she names the price, and if you’ve got the gold, she extracts the fluid. So far in the course of the game, she’s managed to get the party passage on two ships, get the target of an assassination alone and unarmed, and most importantly (from her point of view) double the size of her wardrobe in an hour, all without spilling blood. The blood spilling got us all kinds of mad cash. Which she mostly spent on clothes.
Did I mention half the party’s gear, by weight, is Sasha’s clothes? Or that she’s had the entire party stop and look the other way so she could change, because her dress got ripped? I’m sure I haven’t yet noted that, while gallivanting about dungeons and forests and typical Lord of the Rings style adventure areas, she’s wearing fashionable evening attire. Think Belle in the dancing sequence. Because anything else would just be gauche. As noted, she’s a terrifying fashionista. My favorite use of said terrifying nature was, when the only two priests in a town capable of exorcism were themselves possessed, she leaned over to where they lay and whispered ‘get out’ in their ears. The demons fled in terror.
The primary cause of the scary is due to her being… just not right in the head. I’m playing a sociopath, but one who desires, in a manner similar to John Wayne Cleaver, to not be a monster. In a fantasy world, monsters get killed, which impedes the ability to buy, wear, and look good in dresses. Inspired by JWC and Jethro Gibbs, I’ve been making a list of rules Sasha follows in order to survive, thrive, and yet remain non-monstrous. Without further ado, the list referenced in the title of the post; Sasha’s Rules:
Rule Number One
– Trust No One
– People will be true to their nature, not their word
– A scholar will betray you for knowledge, a thief will betray you for gold, a priest will betray you for his god. A monk will betray you for enlightenment, a knight for honor, and a paladin because it’s the right thing to do. The only honest one among them is the thief, because he’s the only one who will call it betrayal.
Rule Number Two
– Get paid in advance
– You may die, or the client may die, or the client may like musicals
– Whatever the job is worth, get that much before you start. A client may die before you finish, a client may choose not to pay you, or your job may not be possible. If you have payment in hand, the first doesn’t matter, the second isn’t possible, and the third leaves the decision in your hands.
Rule Number Three
– That costs extra
– Give nothing away for free
– When you give someone something, they do not value it. Set your price high, and people will value you. Set your price low, and people will discard you. This is true at every level from a kiss to a kill. If others do not value you, you will not value yourself, and you lose that you do not value. Neither Death nor Debauchery should ever be lost.
Rule Number Four
– Finish the job
– Your word is your bond. Without your word, you are nothing.
– If you don’t finish the job, word will get around. When that happens, no one will hire you again, and you will become worthless. If the job can’t be completed, return the payment.
Rule Number Five
– Don’t do partners
– Your partners are part of you.
– Never betray your party. The cost is not worth the reward; no sane person will trust you after, and no insane person trusts anyway. Your party is an extension of yourself, almost as important as your clothes or your sword.
Rule Number Six
– Balance the scales
– Never let a debt go unpaid
– When you owe someone, whether a fortune or a favor, it lessens you by the value of the debt. Never let a debt go unpaid, a loan go uncollected, a favor unrewarded, or a slight unpunished. Do so often enough and you become worthless, a thing of bits and rags belonging to everyone and no one.