View Full Version : Optimized Death Attack: Help Me Make This Useful

2010-11-15, 11:22 PM
I attempted to get the highest possible Death Attack DC. Here's my efforts:
LE Deep Imaskari Wizard 1/ Ranger 1/ Imaskari Vengeance Taker 10/ Assassin 8. 20 Intelligence, other stats don't matter.

1 Wizard: takes 2 flaws, Precocious Apprentice, Heighten Spell, and Sanctum Spell to be able to cast a 3rd-level spell.
2 Ranger: gets Track and meets the IVT skill prereqs.
3-12 Imaskari Vengeance Taker
13-20 Assassin

His Death Attack DC is 44. 10 (base) + 18 (levels in death attacking classes) + 13 (Int is 20 base, +5 levels, +5 tome, +6 enhancement for 36 final) + 2 (Bracers of Murder, from DotU) +1 (Assassin's Dagger, from core).

Said character would always carry a wand of Deathsight (CMage, lets you make Death Attacks without the rounds of observation), and use Metamagic Spell Trigger with Quicken Spell so he can just walk up to people and insta-shank them.

But, of course, Death Attack isn't very reliable. It utterly fails against things that can't be sneak attacked (even if you have Gravestrike or suchlike, since it requires a Fort save), anything immune to death effects, and so on.

So, what can I do with this build to either Death Attack normally-immune opponents or develop good options for when Death Attack fails?

Akal Saris
2010-11-16, 12:14 AM
If you're interested in optimizing death attacks, then you might look into the Strifeleader (Faiths and Pantheons) PrC as well. Strifeleader is a cleric PrC that advances casting as well as Death Attack. Black Flame Zealot (CDiv) does the same, but worse.

Getting on to your build, you've got 6th level wiz casting, 8th level assassin casting, 4d6 Sneak Attack, some OK divination abilities, and poison use. All somewhat useful.

Spell Compendium has a few terrific spells for assassins. One lets you attack without studying and makes it ranged - I forget if this is the same as Deathsight. Ranged attacks means you can use improved invisibility and fire a ranged touch spell that is far more likely to hit. Your wiz casting means that you can cast vinestrike/deathstrike/etc to add your wimpy 4d6 SA against creatures immune to death attack as well.

Suggested feats would be Craven (Lords of Darkness, add character level to SA) and Darkstalker (Lords of Madness, hide against blindsight, tremorsense, etc).

Otherwise, I'd use poisons a fair bit. Even 1 more level of wiz would be good for 4th level spells too.

2010-11-16, 01:14 AM
The feat Ability Focus will boost DC by 2. A Deep Riddled Spellhoarding Kobold (venerable, loredrake). While made entirely of the ripest of cheeses, starts with 31 int and +2 wizard caster levels and the ability to add ANY spell to its spells known, it can get a truly nasty DC for death attacks.

Akal Saris
2010-11-16, 01:28 AM
Found an old thread with a similar idea as well:


Death Attack of "79", though actually 55 before save reducers.

2010-11-16, 02:16 PM
Damn, that's impressive. And I can't believe I forget ability focus. And that, once again, Kobolds Do Everything Better. Thanks!

Last Laugh
2010-11-16, 02:28 PM
I'm a tad AFB at the moment but it might be worth looking into Binder. I know that they have one vestige with a death attack and 2 vestiges with auras that have -2. (perhaps mix in some paladin of tyranny/blackguard for -8 enemy saves.)

Keld Denar
2010-11-16, 02:36 PM
Yea, reducing your foe's saves is the same as increasing your DCs. I think you need 3 levels of Binder + a feat, since Foculor is a 3rd level vestige. There is also Hexblade4 with Dark Companion + Hex (-4 total), Pally of Tyranny3 or Blackguard2 for Aura of Dispair.

If you use something like Ghost Faced Killer to scare someone you Sudden Strike, would you also be able to Initmidate them fast enough before they make the save vs Death Attack? Is that too many class levels? LOL!

2010-11-16, 04:17 PM
My original thread about death attack with normal formatting. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=7841.0) It's pretty cheesy though.