Today's post has been inspired by a recent thread on the RuneQuest mailing list that has focused on the garrote, an assassination weapon infamously used by the Thugs.

I don't know if this has any historical bases (sorry), but in The Celestial Empire, the garrote would ideally be used by assassin retainers (cìkè 刺客, as described on p49 of the rule book) because it is a weapon that can easily be hidden on oneself.

Now there is a word for garrote, in Chinese: 絞死 (jiǎosǐ), so the idea of cìkè using it may not be as far-fetched as it seems.

The 'stats' (there isn't much) for garrote are on p253 of BRP. Basically, the table refers the reader to the effects of choking on the victim, which are described on p218 of BRP.

I would like to add the following, as inspired by the RuneQuest version of the weapon:
  • In melee, the hit location rolled must be the head or no damage is done, but if the victim is completely unaware of the attacker, the head will be hit automatically. Once hit, the garrote stays in place turn after turn, but successful attacks must be made to do additional damage. Give all successive attacks a +20% chance to succeed.
  • To dislodge the attacker, compare the STR+DEX of the victim against that of his or her opponent, and make a successful attack on the Resistance Table. If 20% of the score needed is rolled, the garroter is thrown to the ground. If the victim fumbles, the garroter may roll additional damage against the victim.
  • Once the garrote is in place, the attacker has the option to immobilise the victim rather than kill him or her, as per the entanglement rules on p196 of BRP.

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