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Below are some suggestions for movies and books that provide an inspirational source. If you have any recommendations of your own, don't hesitate to send them to me.

For recommendations of White Wolf publications, go to the Essential Books.

Fiction Books:

  • Point of Impact, by Stephen Hunter - A Vietnam veteran is framed by a covert operations team. A sniper extravaganza that'll keep you turning pages well after midnight.
  • The Heat of Ramadan, by Steven Hartov - The Mossad vs terrorists in a true cloak & dagger game of espionage and assassination.
  • The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, by Richard Zimler - A mystical thriller set in Lisbon during the 16th century. Despite (or because of) its Renaissance setting it provides an exquisite example of Assamite sorcerers and scholars at work.
  • 1To Reign in Hell, by Steven Brust -  An alternate story of Lucifer's fall, this is a pretty darn good tale of how near-omnipotent beings can find themselves on that slippery slope despite the best of intentions.  I was fortunate enough to find an old copy of this in a used bookstore about a year before the most recent re-issue, and was reading it around the time I wrote the history chapter of the CBRev. Cast Haqim as God, and extrapolate from there...
  • 4Tuareg, by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa - The history of a tuareg warrior (also called "imohag") that is forced to face western influence and domination in his country in the decade of 1930.

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Non-Fiction Books:

  • 1A History of the Arab Peoples, by Albert Hourani - This historical and cultural overview of Southwest Asia starts with the birth of Islam and continues forward to the present day.  It provides a good view of how Islamic religion and culture are inextricably linked, with a decent amount of Koranic verse quoted to illustrate specific points.
  • 1Bravo Two Zero, by Andy McNab -  This is the true (allegedly, I haven't cross-checked) story of a British SAS patrol in Iraq during the Beach Party with Guns in 1991.  Good for a decent depiction of what modern elite forces do, what they don't do, and how a well-planned op can go completely to hell as a result of one wrong decision.
  • 1Book of the Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi -  Another warrior philosophy, somewhat at odds with both Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, but no less deserving of examination.
  • The Art of War, by Sun Tzu - The essence of the book is to defeat your enemy without resorting to violence. A true must-have for the tactical thinkers among us.
  • 1The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam, by Bernard Lewis -  While I trash on this one a lot, it's not a bad book.  Its primary sin, in my eyes, is in being the apparent sole resource that was used for the initial views of the Assamites.  This covers just what the title says: a radical sect.  It thereby completely ignores the vast majority of Islam, and thereby should not be taken as representative of the whole.  However, if you want to see where the Web of Knives came from, check this one out.
  • 1The Howdunit series, by Writer's Digest Books -  This series is a writer's guide to crime, both the commission and the solution thereof.  Highly recommended for anyone who intends to play a character who stands out on either side of the law.
  • 1The Middle East, by Bernard Lewis -  Ironically subtitled "A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years," this book takes the birth of Christianity, rather than that of Islam, as its starting point.  It's a bit lighter on history than the previous one, but heavier on modern cultural perspective.
  • The Prince, by Nicollo Machiavelli - A renassaince thinker explains the intricacies of politics and power to his liege. If you want to portray an elder Vampire, this book must be read.

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  • American Psycho - Wallstreet yuppie goes on a killing spree, and gets away with it. As much a social critique as it is a serial-killer film.
  • Blade - A half-vampire with a grudge bags a few dozen vampires before he faces off against the Big Boss. An explosive mix of action, rebellion, mysticism and vampires. Don't take the film too seriously though.
  • Blade 2 - An even darker and grittier sequel to Blade. Fantastic action sequences. The movie has an example of a wartime coterie, where you could easily fit an Assamite or two in.
  • Crying Freeman (live action version) - An average joe is turned into a master assassin by an ancient Chinese cult. The film that inspired me to create my longest-lasting Assamite character. A must-see.
  • Ghost Dog, Way of the Samurai - A lone killer living by the code of the Samurai is betrayed by his Mafiosi master. A leisurely-told tale of a modern assassin.
  • 1Grosse Pointe Blank -  A lighter look at the world of professional assassination, and one hit man's effort to reconcile what he does with who he is.  Not serious in the typical sense of the word, but it does raise some points.  For fun, make John Cusack a warrior caste Assamite with some serious Schismatic leanings, Minnie Driver his one-time Toreador paramour from a Camarilla infiltration early in his career, Dan Aykroyd as his Loyalist hardliner sire, Joan Cusack as his ghoul, and the NSA guys as wannabe archons out to score Status.
  • Hannibal - After a decade of hiding, the ultimate serial killer returns to center stage. Hopkins' portrayal of the gentleman-killer is highly entertaining and quite inspirational.
  • Hard Boiled / The Killer / Face Off - John Woo flicks extraordinaire. Fantastic fight scenes woven together by standard plotlines. They provide inspiration for Assamite warrior characters as well as ways of spicening up a fight scene in your story.
  • Heat - A group of professional criminals tries to get away with a major heist while being pursued by a group of equally professional law enforcers. The film provides a quality example of a crime coterie. De Niro and Pacino thrown in with superb action and an intricate plot.
  • 2The Jackal - A ruthless assassin (Bruce Willis) has been hired by international cutthroats to eliminate someone at the very top of the U.S. government. His price: $70 million. Constantly on the move, changing his identity and location, everything about this hitman, including his sinister timetable, is a secret. He is known only as the Jackal. This is a great movie of an Assamite working solo. It also illustrates the planning necessary to undertake an assassination and the many skills an Assamite must have. I'd recommend this for both standard Assamites and Web Of Knives characters.
  • La Femme Nikita - A naieve girl from the streets is abducted by a covert government group and turned into an assassin. The original French version has the English remake beat several times over. Excellent fodder for stereotypical assassin-type characters.
  • Lawrence of Arabia - An epic tale of the Great War in the Middle East. A stereotypical portrayal of Arabs, but it does give some insight into the fractured structure of the region.
  • Predator / Predator 2 - Alien hunter kills both good and bad guys by the dozens. Part one is set in a jungle, part two takes the same tale to a modern city. These testosterone-laden action flicks show an assassin at its best.
  • 1Ronin -  As with Heat, this is an excellent example of a crime coterie - in this case, a group of ex-military and ex-intelligence service personnel hired for an op in Europe.
  • The Crow - Not only a true World of Darkness movie, it also shows some new and creative ways of dispatching your opponents. A young man returns from the grave to avenge his murder, and the murder of his fiance.
  • The Mummy & The Mummy Returns - Who cares about the plot? Special effects take center stage here. Despite their many flaws both movies succeed in painting a thrilling setting of deserts, mysticism, lethal enemies, and magic.
  • The Ninth Gate - A young and ruthless book trader is sent on a mission by a wealthy client to uncover the truth about a book of demonic origin. Devilish and compelling, inspired me to create an Assamite Sorcerer character.
  • 5The Professional - Sure the assassin dies, but he damn sure takes out the person that did him in. Shows the ethics and theory of assassination contracts, explains how an Assamite Neonate might work their way down the learning process.
  • 5The Way of the Gun - This movie is a gritty, messy, bloody, dark kidnap B-flick in which the entire cast of characters is somewhere between wanton and downright evil. Shows great gunplay with everything from small arms pistols to shotguns and assualt rifles.
  • 3The Wild Geese - An older film (1978) starring Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris, about a group of mercenaries being hired to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. The movie is hard to find these days.

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  • 1Rudyard Kipling's Barracks-Room Ballads collection -  While a bit dated, this is a  good look at both military life and war in Southwest Asia, as seen through Western European eyes.

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1 = Submitted by Clayton Oliver
2 = Submitted by John
3 = Submitted by Mase
4 = Submitted by Felipe de Oliveira
5 = Submitted by Rich Shirk




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