Killing For A Living – A Review of Silencers

Silencers

Author: Sue Savage
Publisher:  Savage Spiel
Page Count: 2
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – Pay What You Want
(Suggested $1.17)

Sue Savage is best known for her game, Matrons of Mystery. However, you may be unaware she authored another game shortly before Matrons was published—Silencers. Like Matrons of Mystery, Silencers is an independently published game; it was also her first officially published game.

Silencers is a game about a team of assassins who must execute their assignment with precision. However, nothing happens in life happens without complications. Luckily, assassins are accustomed to complicated working conditions. Employing simple mechanics, Silencers is easy for veterans and novices alike to grasp with relative ease. The game easily accommodates one to three players along with the Gamemaster.

Assassins have four things they are good at: shooting, knife throwing, close combat, and one other skill related to the job (defined by the player). They simply suck at everything else, which is reflected in the target number when resolving an Action.

Actions are simple to resolve—simply roll a d6. Success ranges from 2–6 depending on if it is one of the four “assassin” skills noted above (2+), they have an advantage (4+), or neither case applies (6). An advantage is something situational that the assassin uses to their advantage when taking actions.

Setting up a job involves identifying a target for the assignment, the motivation or why they are the target and a starting point for the mission. A set of mission generator tables is provided to help speed up the process or to inspire the Gamemaster’s creativity.

The gameplay lacks the finite structure of more traditional games. Instead, relying on a mixture of minimal structure and freeform through player-introduced elements. Therefore, game lengths can vary depending on the complexity of the unfolding narrative. The game ends when the players overcome any and all complications that stand in their way and complete their assigned objective.

Presentation

Silencers is a single-sheet (two-sided) game and is only available in PDF at DriveThruRPG. It has a simple and clean layout that is easy to read. The threecolumn landscape format is designed to be a tri-fold which lends itself to portability.

Final Thoughts

With its simple mechanics, this rules-lite game has the hallmarks of a great convention or filler game. While it will not, in my opinion, stand up to long-term play with the same group, returning to it time and again between other games seems like a great compromise. Its minimalistic design and resulting narrative structure may be a challenge for some, but I think it lends itself to the theme quite well and allows for lots of creative flexibility on everyone’s part.

Silencers is well positioned as a great convention game because of its simple mechanics and straightforward narrative.

Concise and minimalistic, Silencers is a gem worthy of your time and attention.

~ Modoc

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