View Full Version : 3.5 Assassin revision

The Rugi
2010-09-08, 05:52 PM
These are changes I want to make to the SRD Assassin prestige class for this campaign I want to run.

Requirement Changes
Alignment requirement changed to nonchaotic and nongood. You still can't feel remorse or pity to those you assassinate, and it can't be without purpose. You can assassinate for reasons other than evil intent, just not good intent.
BAB requirement of +6. Rogues were able to become assassins a bit too early for my tastes. They should at least be competent in a fight before trying to stealthily murder someone.
Feat requirement: Quick Draw. An assassin using a disguise should be able to draw a blade, kill a target, and make a run for it in one swift motion. Like a walk-by death attack or something.
Rather than having to kill someone in cold blood, you should have killed someone who didn't anticipate your attack and could do nothing to fight back. This could be for any reason, it doesn't have to be in cold blood.
Removed Class Features
No Hide in Plain Sight class feat. I always felt this should be a unique Shadowdancer ability, and sort of destroys one of the reasons to play a Shadowdancer if an Assassin also gets this ability.
No spells. I always felt the ability to cast spells to be somewhat awkward. I don't imagine an assassin to be a spellcaster. Also, spontaneous casting using Intelligence is just weird too.
New Class Features
Silencing Attack at level 4: Death attack can now silence a target. Silencing lasts for 1d6 rounds + 1 per assassin level. Spellcasters will be able to continue casting spells with verbal components after 1 round, but still cannot speak normally. The point of this ability is to stop targets from shouting alarms or screaming. Silencing doesn't allow a save.
Shadowy Attack at level 6: You can replace a death attack with a normal sneak attack and Hide vs. that target immediately after attacking with no penalty. You still need cover to hide though. You take a -5 penalty to Hide vs. other creatures in the same room. This is like a replacement for Hide in Plain Sight, except more limited in usage.
Stealth master at level 8: You can take 10 for Hide and Move Silently against a single target, even when you normally couldn't. You can pick a new target once every round during your turn. When studying a target for death attack, stealth master can only be used on that target. You can also take 10 when making a Disguise for the purposes of sneaking up on someone and killing them. The point is to be able to do exceptionally well at sneaking up on a specific target.
Sudden Death Attack at level 10: 1/day you can make a Death Attack when sneak attacking, even if you normally couldn't death attack. You do not need to study the victim when using this.
Sniping: You can make Death Attacks with a ranged weapon in place of Sneak Attacks. You must study the victim longer when making Death Attacks from range. You must study for 6 rounds at 30 feet, and an additional 3 rounds every 30 feet after that. Targets with cover are immune to death attacks at range.
Death Attack with Touch Spells: You can use death attack with melee or ranged touch spells using the same rules above, but they must be used as normal attacks instead of touch attacks for that to work.

Overpowered? Underpowered? Retarded?

Edit: Changed the wording a bit to clear things up.

2010-09-08, 06:02 PM
Stealth Master
This should be more open; giving a flat 10 for everybody present would be better, sans when attempting a death attack, which makes sense for it. Not that I'm approving a total flat 10, but it's more of a suggestion over the current lame sauce version.

Silencing Attack
Kind of weak, really - would be better as just a side effect from all death and sneak attacks made.

Have you considered giving him Crowdwalk? I think it was an Urban Druid Ability from Dragon Compendium...of course, the idea is that he's just that good at blending in.

Without the handy spellcasting, he really needs to improve how well he can move in, assassinate, and move out; maybe give them death attacks at some point from 30 ft or less? That is, as a singular advancement on the death attack at level 10.

The Rugi
2010-09-08, 09:58 PM
Hmm...Then how about level 4 is sudden death attack 1/day, and level 10 is sudden death attack 3/day, and stealth master is take 20? Or take 10 on everyone. I made it a flat 10 since that's the average roll on a d20, and I have never seen anything other than take 10s and take 20s in the official rules, so I thought that was normal. :smallconfused:

2010-09-09, 01:05 PM
Well a flat 10 on everyone is generally best; he needs it on everybody in the room, so it seems doable - the sudden death attack allotment is nice, and I can deal with it. I can see this being viable without spellcasting.

2010-09-09, 01:17 PM
This seems much weaker; it's harder to enter and loses its two best abilities in order to get a few sudden death attacks, which isn't a bad thing, but isn't all that great (since death attacks, in general, aren't all that great; getting faster death attacks is pretty nice, but spellcasting and HiPS are both much nicer).

2010-09-09, 09:51 PM
Too bad spellcasting makes no sense for it; there's no problem sacrificing senseless power for fluff - because unless I'm mistaken, we play games for fun.

2010-09-09, 10:24 PM
Too bad spellcasting makes no sense for it; there's no problem sacrificing senseless power for fluff - because unless I'm mistaken, we play games for fun.

Except the assassin spells do make sense, and are perfectly reasonable fluffwise.

Also, stormwind fallacy; fluff and crunch do not have to affect each other. You can have balanced crunch regardless of the fluff, and good fluff regardless of the crunch; you don't have to make the class weaker than it is (I assume the point of this is to keep the assassin at the same power level) for fluff reasons, especially not when the spellcasting makes a good deal of sense.

2010-09-10, 01:06 AM
Hey, I'm really good at killing!

I think I'll start casting a limited list of spells!

No but seriously, everybody has a different opinion; you think it makes sense, and I don't. That's fine and dandy, but what about when a person wants a non-casting assassin? You can't just say *It's underpowered and doesn't work* and blow him off. {Scrubbed}

The Rugi
2010-09-10, 03:49 AM
I appreciate the sentiment, but let's try not to start a flame war here.

But you're right, though. When I think of assassin, like in movies and video games and such, I see them as experts at killing people due to raw skill, rather than reliance on magic, especially literal arcane magic like the default assassin class here. I know a lot of the spells are useful and I'm cutting out quite a bit, but it just seems like a bastardized version of an Arcane Trickster than really something an assassin might do. Hide in Plain Sight, also, is a Shadowdancer ability, and one of the main reasons someone might become one. I know people who ignore Shadow Jump and all those other nice feats and only take 1 level of Shadowdancer simply for that feat. An assassin should be good at being sneaky, but not quite as good as a Shadowdancer, the way I see it.

2010-09-10, 04:48 AM
This looks like it's a lot weaker than the original, since you've removed the main features of that PRC. I'm not that good with coming up with stuff, that's why I don't brew myself, but I think that you need to give this a bit more oomph for it to be competitive.

The quick death attack could (should) be changed to 1/encounter. 1/day things mostly suck anyway.

And regarding the spells vs. skill I'd like to mention that famed assassins have been described as being able to preform impossible feats, like walk through walls, turn invisible and similar stuff. It's in many, many books, tales and stories. But, as always, this is but a single interpretation of the archetype.