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Killshot: An Assassin's Journal RPG's video poster

A roleplaying game of professional assassination using an original, fast-paced dice pool mechanic. Play an assassin or be the Director. Read more

Renfrew, Canada Games
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pledged of $800 goal
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This project was successfully funded on February 24, 2012.

A roleplaying game of professional assassination using an original, fast-paced dice pool mechanic. Play an assassin or be the Director.

Renfrew, Canada Games
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About this project

UPDATED: February 21, 2012

  • NEW PERK: If we reach 150% of our original goal ($1200), all backers will receive free PDFs of The Killshot Files, an ongoing series of jobs and bonus features supporting Killshot. Based on some of the feedback and ideas for marks from our Directors, The Killshot Files will allow the game to expand in new directions and keep all Directors out there busy with enough material to keep their killers active through an entire career. If we reach $1200 in less than 4 days (that's just $85), all backers will receive free copies for the lifetime of the product.
  • All additional funding above our goal will go towards additional artwork for Killshot, including additional supplements such as Killshot: Direction.
  • The $10 reward has been revised and includes all backers who contribute at least $10 towards this project.
  • Additional products in the Killshot line have been announced on the Broken Ruler site. Funding for this particular product only relates to An Assassin's Journal at this time, though some of the artwork may also carry over to this additional products (particularly Killshot: Direction).
  • All backers will be listed in Killshot: An Assassin's Journal and Killshot: Direction as backers/playtesters and receive access to the Killshot private forums and all Playtest Drafts for An Assassin's Journal and more... because it doesn't end here.

It's a little project I like to call Killshot: An Assassin's Journal, a dice-based roleplaying game developed using something called the Optional System. For now, just call me the Warden. That's how we do things around here, no real names and no evidence. Everything I can tell you here and now is just the tip of the iceberg; there's more on this website, but we'll get into that later. Right now, I'm looking for some backers to put this out on the market with original artwork and some more feedback. This project's going to happen one way or the other, but what I'd like is to gain a little exposure and some extra cash to give it the push it deserves.


Players take on the role of assassins with two goals: getting paid and collecting training points. All of them have a mark, the one who must be dead in order to get paid. Every job is separated into objectives determined by the needs of the clients, such as finding the mark, surveillance, planning, and getting away without being caught. There's more to these jobs than just pulling the trigger, planting the bomb, or dropping poison in his coffee; you need to walk away without leaving evidence you were ever there. Whether the client wants the mark's death to look like an accident or a public execution sending a message to others, your secondary goal is to never get caught.

You'll work together as part of a Team, all of you pooling your options together and sharing them in whatever fashion you like to get the job done. Each Team can freely choose who goes when and pass their bonus options to each other without limitation. This makes for a fast-paced, dynamic game so you better be ready to handle it.

The Mechanics

Like I said, Killshot uses a dice mechanic called the Optional System I've been working on for the past year. Everything you do (and everything done against you) uses options. If you want to shoot someone, you use an option. While there are base options available to all characters, you can learn new ones through training points accumulated over the course of a career or spending just enough to do the job in one night.

But it gets better. Whenever you roll to accomplish an option and succeed, you gain a bonus option to use right away. That's right, if you keep winning your dice rolls, you keep kicking ass. Fail a roll and your turn's over.

Rather than build something with a target number, everything's determined using opposed rolls against another character or the Director, the one calling the shots. It uses all the standard RPG dice - d20s, d12s, d10s, d8s, d6s, and d4s - each divided into sources available to your characters. Every killer, mark, and thug in this game has access to these dice groups and can build a reserve of them to call upon at the right moment.

Oh yeah, all these dice can explode. Whenever you roll the highest number on a die, you roll it again and add the amount to your total. No limits. So if you have to beat your opponent's result of 29 with only a d20, it's totally possible. Hell, you can theoretically beat a result of 78 with just one die and some damn good luck. Anything's possible.

How Much Do I Need?

The bulk of the cash will go towards paying for the artwork and any production costs for Killshot to be available by the summer, including mock-ups for the print-on-demand, sign-up costs for online distribution, and making sure Kickstarter gets their cut of the action. All profits from the book will be used to pay the author - none of it will be used from this Kickstarter fund.

Are You In or Out?

Like I said, what I need are some backers to help me get this project up and going. If you're interested, I've got a bunch more stuff you can look at on this website. But if you're ready to climb aboard, then you have a chance to get in on this operation from the ground floor.

Killshot: An Assassin's Journal is currently slated as a PDF, ebook, and Print-On-Demand through Lulu and OneBookShelf. It has everything needed to run a game (or an entire career) as the Director or step into the role of an assassins as a player, including character creation, expansion, rules, equipment, options, training, and some optional rules to increase the difficulty of the game to go with the group. The game's been written and is currently going through playtesting right now and this is your chance to help develop it to its true potential. More importantly, I'd like to raise some funds for original artwork, $600 should do the trick. There's a list of rewards to the right. And if we raise more than that, Killshot will only get bigger and better (but we'll get to that when the time comes).

Everyone who contributes anything to this project will receive a free PDF copy of Killshot: An Assassin's Journal available as soon the the game goes on sale. Guaranteed.

So the question remains: are you in or out? Can you pull the trigger when the mark stands in the crosshairs? Do you think you have what it takes to thrive in the world's second oldest profession? There's only one way to find out...


  • Right here. (…) This link provides a non-editable PDF containing the Rules chapter for Killshot, detailing the core mechanics of the game.

    Last updated:
  • A Tracker is a tool used by Directors in Killshot to keep tabs on all the Teams involved in a series (AKA rounds), including which Team has the Edge (initiative), how many actions each Team has, and whether a Team declared a defensive option. Normally, Trackers are printed on paper with poker chips... Anyone who offers at least $100 will receive a limited edition version of the Tracker permanently printed on whiteboard. Details are still being worked out and I'm hoping to have photos of a mock-up shortly, but suffice it to say these will only be available to backers and production members of any Killshot product. These will NEVER be sold by me.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    9 backers

    You are a Client, those seeking the services of a professional killer. All Clients will receive free digital copies of the first 3 Killshot volumes, including An Assassin's Journal, Direction, and Reloaded. (Expected Value = $20) Reloaded will not be available until 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    15 backers

    You are a Thug, one of the nefarious bodyguards attempting to stop assassins before reaching their objective. In addition to the Backer rewards, you will receive a softcover print edition of Killshot: An Assassin's Journal shipped for free.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    1 backer

    You are a Mark, the targets of every assassin's job and the livelihood of the profession. In addition to the previous rewards, you will receive a signed copy of the artwork drawn exclusively for Killshot: An Assassin's Journal.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    4 backers

    You are an Assassin, one of a handful of dangerous figures prepared to do what others can not. You will receive a Limited Edition hardcover copy of Killshot: An Assassin's Journal signed by the author.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    7 backers Limited (1 left of 8)

    You are a Director, those crucial and dedicated people calling the shots from behind the scenes. Along with all the other rewards listed above, you will receive a Limited Edition Tracker, have an online game of Killshot: An Assassin's Journal directed by the author (through Skype only), and be written into Killshot as a character of your choice (you could forever be killed by assassins the world over).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)