Weaponry: Stabby Stabby
First off, we'll be using the Warblade's Aptitude Focus to exchange Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Hand Crossbow) for Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Gnome Quickrazor). It makes a good substitute for the hidden blade. We'll then exchange one of the Swordsage's Weapon Focuses for Weapon Focus (Gnome Quickrazor), giving us a handy +1 attack bonus for no real cost.
Combat: Counter My Blows!
Ezio has two main forms of attack: one is the dead-before-you-knew-better surprise attack, while the other is a counter-based combat system. The Stalker in the Night and Cloak of Deception maneuvers grant him the first style's anonymity, letting him strike down enemies while moving between bodies of cover and concealment amidst a crowd. The use of Assassin's Stance and Iaijutsu Focus make this style all the more deadly.
As for his counter-based combat, Ezio uses a few things. After entering combat with Assassin's Stance, he blocks the first attack made against him using Wall of Blades. The Master of Nine's Counter Stance ability lets him change stances when he uses a counter (like Wall of Blades), so he trades Assassin's Stance for Pearl of Black Doubt (granting him +2 AC for every attack which misses him in a round). Riposte grants him +1d6 bonus damage and +1 AC against enemies who have attacked him in the last round. From there, he uses maneuvers like Avalanche of Blades, Manticore Parry and his Tiger Claw maneuvers to pick off enemies in a battle of attrition.
Leadership: Where My Buddies At?
Ezio has the Leadership feat. He gains 20 leadership points from levels, 1 from his Charisma and 3 from the Guild Thief's Reputation ability. With a leadership score of 24, Ezio gains one 17th level cohort, 110 1st-level followers, 13 2nd-level followers, 7 3rd-level followers, 4 4th-level followers, 2 5th-level followers and 1 6th-level follower. His 17th level cohort is Leonardo Da'Vinci, an Artificer who creates all of Ezio's magical items. Leonardo also possesses the Leadership feat, and his cohort is an assassin organiser who himself has the Leadership feat. This process continues until Ezio has multiple high-level assassins and numerous low-level cohorts, each a trained assassin.
Leaps of Faith: Skydiving Without A Parachute
Ezio is well-known for the use of viewpoints and his repeated Leaps of Faith, and I did my best to replicate them. I think I've done so.
The tallest viewpoint in Assassin's Creed II is Giotto's Campanile, with a height of 280 feet (rounding up, as you do in DnD 3.5e). While no ordinary man would survive such a fall, Ezio is no ordinary man. Here are his tricks:
Death From Above: The Assassin Way
- Get the Landing enchantment (MIC), ignoring the first 60ft of the fall. Since falling damage is blunt damage, pick up the Hammerblock enchantment (MIC) to ignore another 5 points of falling damage (it's 1d6 per 10 feet, reducing it to a mere 1 and only 1/6 times).
- Get the Boots of Landing (MIC), ignoring 2d6 falling damage (equivalent to 20ft).
- Use the Jump skill to reduce the falling damage. It's a DC 15 check to reduce the falling damage distance by 10 feet, and the Roof-Jumper feat lets us treat it as -20ft instead. Ezio's 23 ranks in Jump make this an easy task.
- Use the Tumble skill to reduce the falling damage. For every 15 in the check result, the distance is treated as 10ft shorter. Ezio has 23 skill points in Tumble, a +2 bonus from his dexterity and a +2 synergy bonus from his Jump ranks for a +27 modifier baseline. Let's start adding items.
If we add in some Gloves of Dexterity +6, the new dexterity modifier increases the baseline from +27 to +30. Ezio can now easily ignore the first 20ft of a fall without fail.
If we add in a Belt of Ultimate Athleticism (MIC), we can take 10 on the check for a +40 modifier.
If we add a materwork item of tumbling, that's another +2 for a total modifier of +42.
If we add single-use +10 Shards of Tumbling (XPH), we can get an additional +10 bonus before taking a large jump. This increases the modifier to +52, which is enough to ignore the first 30ft of a fall. This lets him reach a solid 140 feet of no-damage falling distance.
- Use a Dorje of Catfall with an (easily passed) UMd/UPD check, clearing an additional 10ft per manifester level. With a ML 14 Dorje of Catfall, we can ignore the next 140ft of falling damage and reach the Campanile's 280 feet.
We can go even further by increasing the manifester level of the Dorje to 20, giving us 200ft of falling distance instead of 140ft. This give us a total of 340ft of risk-free falling, which is enough to jump off the highest building in Assassin's Creed II: St Mark's Campanile, which stands at ~325 feet.
Now, let's not have all of this falling distance go to waste. The Roof-Jumper feat lets us deal bonus damage to enemies we attack while falling, granting 1d6 damage for every 10 feet fallen past the first 10 feet. Thus, if Ezio was to fall from 140 feet (his distance without the use of the Catfall dorje), he would deal an extra 13d6 damage on his attacks that round. If Ezio was to fall from the full 340 feet, he'd deal an extra 33d6 damage. While he'd normally only get one attack since jumping is a move action, Ezio has the Sudden Leap maneuver and a few other pounce-lite abilities; he's more than capable of receiving multiple attacks in a single round.
Let's go for the ideal scenario here. Ezio is at the top of St Mark's Campanile, some 325 feet above some unsuspecting schmuck on the ground. He uses his Dorje of Catfall as a swift action, waits until the next round, then jumps off the top of the Campanile. Characters in DnD 3.5e fall at 500ft/round/round, so he'll be there before the end of the round. Out of his four attacks (two at full BAB, plus two cumulative -5 iteratives), it seems reasonable to assume that only three will hit.
- Thanks to Roof-Jumper, the poor schmuck will be taking 31d6 bonus damage thanks to Ezio's falling distance.
- Assuming that the schmuck doesn't have a ludicrous spot check which lets him see Ezio from 340ft high (Which would be against Ezio's hide check, made with a -34 penalty for distance), the poor schmuck will be flat-footed. This means that his Sneak Attack and Assassin's Stance activates, granting a combined total of 5d6 bonus damage. It also means that his Iaijutsu Focus damage triggers, dealing an additional 4d6-7d6 bonus damage.
Result: A minimum of 1d4+40d6 damage on every attack that round. This averages out to 142.5 damage each, and that's not counting his strength bonus (for an easy +5 to each) or Power Attack+Leap Attack (for up to -13 to-hit for +39 damage each).
By comparison, a level 20 NPC Warrior gets 20d8 hit points, plus whatever his constition score can muster - let's say 16 to be kind, for +60 bonus HP. This gives him 150 base hp on average. If Ezio takes a -1 penalty to his attack rolls from Power Attack, he'll be dealing a total of 150.5 damage on average. All Ezio needs is one hit to reduce the NPC into a fine, red paste.
French Parkour: Only In Florence
Ezio is also well-known for his parkour skills - not just climbing, but also jumping and balancing. Funnily enough, there are skills in DnD 3.5e which do that. The Roofwalker and Roof-Jumper feats also give us some snazzy tricks.
I've already covered falling, but what about jumping? He has 23 ranks, and he has about +6 from his Strength. The Belt of Ultimate Athleticism lets him take 10 on the check, for a baseline of +39. Add on a masterwork tool for +2 and Ezio can jump 10ft in the air or 40ft in any direction (although he's limited to 30ft thanks to his movement speed). Don't forget to use Leaping Dragon stance for an extra +10 to Jump checks and the ability to consider every jump a running jump.
Roof-Jumper gives us something fancy atop that, though. As long as he's adjacent to a wall when he jumps down, Ezio can move 5ft horizontally for every 10ft fallen, with a limit equal to his land speed. Moving 60ft in a round through the (ab)use of windowsills and the like isn't too bad, is it?
Balancing is easy enough. It's a DC 20 check to cross a surface less than 2 inches wide, and Ezio's dexterity is high enough than he could do so even if the surface was made of ice. Roofwalker makes it even better, letting him move across these narrow surfaces at full speed without penalty.
Climbing is a tricky beast, but Ezio has a few tools for such an occasion.
- He has 23 ranks in Climb.
- He has a +6 bonus from his unmodified strength score, giving us a baseline modifier of +29.
- He can pick up some Armbands of Might (MIC) for an additional +2, for a total of +31.
- He can get a Ring of Improved Climbing for another +10, for a total of +41.
- He can get a masterwork item of climbing for another +2, for a total of +43.
- He has a climb speed equal to half his land speed, granting him a +8 bonus on the check and letting him take 10. This gives him a total modifier of +61.
As-is, Ezio can climb "an overhang or ceiling with handholds but no footholds" at 30ft/round (double speed, for a -5 penalty) in the rain (-5 penalty for a slippery surface) with no risk of failure.
If he's still using the Belt of Ultimate Athleticism, he can use its power to receive a natural 20 on one roll/day; this replaces the take 10 check with a result of 20, granting a total of 71. The DC to climb a" perfectly smooth, flat, vertical service" is DC 70. Ezio is now the ancestor of Spider Man.