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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Assassin Optimisation

    Bet you never thought someone would be stupid enough to try this, but I want to play an assassin (as in the PRC), and yes I have my heart set on this.

    I just need to know how to get the most out of it (anyone posting "Dropping the idea and go wizard/druid/whatever will be glared at)

    It's my backup for a level 15 game, 25 point buy or roll off.

    I know that UMD is my friend, and that Bracers of murder are a must.

    I was thinking Thinaun weaponry to help stop annoying enemies getting back up from the dead (probably a fleshgrinding thinaun dagger) in addition to normal gear.

    I'm playing the class because of fluff, and because I want to see how much I can do with this whipping boy of a PRC.

    my current notion is Rogue 5/ assassin 10, maybe go ninja instead of rogue.

    My character concept is very much in league with "walk in, avoid unneeded guards, poison others, death attack target, steal soul, add to collection/take to employer".

    My main reasoning (which you will probably hate me for) is that I like the assassin spell list and their flavor.

    once again, fluff is done, but crunch is lacking.

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Take Ability Focus: Death Attack.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Assassin isn't bad...the biggest problem I see with players of it(it's wildly popular in my area) is that everyone gets enamored with the death attack. That's very situational...it's frankly not worth bothering with unless it's how you're initiating combat. Don't leave your allies fighting alone for three rounds just so you can get a death attack in.

    Get some magical form of concealment. Blink is my favorite. Sure, you'll eventually get hide in plain sight, but this is priceless until then, and even later, it'll add survivability.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Don't even bother with the death attack. It's just too sucky; you need to dump feats and gear into it in order to make it viable when you could be using those feats and gear to be able to drop someone faster in the first place.

    Instead get ways of making full + sneak attacks, like being invisible or pounce + high initiative. Rogue3/Something2/Assassin5/Swordsage2 would be a good start. Fill in the Something2 with two full-BAB classes if you can, or just +1d6sneak if you must.

    By 12th level with that you should be doing somewhere along the lines of 17/17/17/12/12/12 each doing ~10d6+20 damage. That's with Craven, Shadow Blade, a pair of Shadow Hand weapons, Assassin's Stance, Fangs of the Vampire, and some source of haste.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    The Spell Compendium adds a lot of good assassin spells. Check it out.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Hey, I like assassins!

    Anyhow, it's important to find another PrC you like that also advances death attacks along with assassin. There are probably 6-7 of them spread across various splatbooks - I like the Black Dog from Eberron's Dragonmarked book, since it's all about poisoning people. And I like poisons.

    Another thing to do is to look for assassin-only spells and expanded assassin spells. The PHB II has a few (including 1 that lets you death attack as a standard action, and death attack with a ranged weapon), and the spell compendium has a bunch more. Those will make the assassin much stronger and versatile.

    Check out drow of the underdark too - there are some assassin-specific items and spells there, as well as a ton of feats that could benefit an assassin.

    As others have said, don't invest fully in death attacks - I suggest optimizing them (don't lose death attack levels!), but optimizing sneak attack and skills is just as important. Especially at level 15, when full casters are slinging about Mazes and quickened Enervates.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Indeed. Assassin is a fairly decent Rogue PrC, it's Death Attack that is fail. Don't waste any resources on it unless you're playing a solo campaign - the Assassin Spells, particularly those in Spell Compendium, is where it's at.

    If you are going so, max Death Attack all the way - Ability Focus, Bracers of Murder, the spell that lets you make one after 1 round of study...the DC can get pretty high.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2009-10-27 at 09:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    That's with Craven, Shadow Blade, a pair of Shadow Hand weapons, Assassin's Stance
    Those are vital to you. Craven is in Lords of madness and adds +1 to your sneak attack damage per HD you possess. Yes, at 20th level it's +20 on each Sneak Attack, and yes it gets multiplied by Crits.

    The others are in Tome of Battle. Shadow Blade is a feat that will let you add you Dex to damage as long as you are in a Shadow Hand stance, which you will always be since Assassin's Stance will grant you +2d6 Sneak Attack.

    Also you have to make sure the Wizard casts Improved Invisibility on you.

    Edit: YOu might want to get the Spell Compendium if you don't already have it. Find the Gap is pretty awesome.
    Last edited by Cedrass; 2009-10-27 at 09:57 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrass View Post
    Those are vital to you. Craven is in Lords of madness and adds +1 to your sneak attack damage per HD you possess. Yes, at 20th level it's +20 on each Sneak Attack, and yes it gets multiplied by Crits.
    IIRC, it's from Champions of Ruin, not LoM.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Craven is indeed from Champions of Ruin. I would also recommend adding some Unseen Seer to net yourself Hunter's Eye. Sure, you're caster level won't be terribly high, but having a few more sneak attack dice can help. Also, it might not be a terrible option to start with Spellthief, grabbing Master Spellthief ASAP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    kentma57's Avatar

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Assassins are fun though I prefer the base class to the PrC, when playing them.

    ...maybe I should build an Assassin/Assassin...
    Last edited by kentma57; 2009-10-27 at 10:52 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    No, man! Stop! Down that path lies Dragon Dragon Revolution Madness.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-10-27 at 11:01 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    No, man! Stop! Down that path lies Dragon Dragon Revolution Madness.
    And that's just the mild form. Beware of Draconic Half-Dragon Dragonkin Dracoliches!
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

  14. - Top - End - #14

    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Quote Originally Posted by RelentlessImp View Post
    And that's just the mild form. Beware of Draconic Half-Dragon Dragonkin Dragon Shaman Dragonfire Adept Dragonheart Dragon Disciple Dracoliches!
    Fixed it for you.
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-10-28 at 02:08 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Telfammar Shadowlord (Unapproachable East) meshes very well with assassin and fits the theme of jump in death attack jump out. Something like Rogue 5/ Assassin 9/ Telfammar Shadowlord 6 is a very simple build. Otherwise Rogue 5/ Assassin 7/ Swordsage 2/ Telfammar Shadowlord 6 is very nice for acquiring Shadow Jaunt to activate Shadow Pouncing (access to Shadowblade and Gloom Razor feats are not too shabby either).
    Last edited by gorfnab; 2010-06-16 at 12:05 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Make sure both your weapons have wand chambers (dungeonscape). Put a wand of swift or improved invisibility in one, wraithstrike in the other.

    Oh, and if your DM lets you, be a Marrulurk (sandstorm). Sneak attack + free feats + special abilities + huge stat boosts are all win for an Assassin.

    Do not go ninja instead of rogue. The only thing ninja does that is important that rogue can't do is to become invisible. You have wands that do that (better).

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Definitely consider swordsage as an option for base class, maneuvers from Shadow Hand will be invaluable to an assassin, and also consider the Invisible Blade PrC from Complete Warrior for better sneak attack shenanigans.

    Something like Swordsage 5/Assassin 3/Invisible Blade 5/Assassin +7, for example. It's probably not optimal, but it's something to consider.

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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    I've seen spell compedium's list, that's one of the main reasons I liked Assassin.
    thus far everything sounds cool, I was planning on going full assassin for the DC boost on death attack, especially with the 1 round death attack, but ultimately it'll be DM's approval for me to change the DC formula (he already changed spell DC formula, so I'm in with a chance).

    feat allocation will depend on whether I can get the houserule through, but craven's almost must.

    I was contemplating spellthief, mainly because I was tempted to get spellcraft and a ring of spellbattle.
    Always funny when the archmage's meteor swarm is sent back by the assassin

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulture View Post
    I was contemplating spellthief, mainly because I was tempted to get spellcraft and a ring of spellbattle.
    Always funny when the archmage's meteor swarm is sent back by the assassin
    I would also recommend the luck feat that allows you to take allies' hits. Archmage catches on to your trickes and starts hitting your friendlies instead? Make him hit you anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ernir's Avatar

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    If you go Spellthief/Assassin, Master Spellthief (Complete Scoundrel) is a must. Assassin is an arcane spellcasting class, so the feat allows you to stack the Assassin and Spellthief levels for determining the maximum level of spells you can steal and a few other things.
    And you'll have much better Sneak Attack progression than a regular Spellthief.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Random NPC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin X is good, taking Daring Outlaw at 6th.

    Also, int synergy!

    EDIT: Although Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin 8/Swordsage 2 is probably even a little bit better.
    Last edited by Random NPC; 2009-10-28 at 11:17 AM.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Factotum from Dungeonscape as a Base Class will help, using IP to make sure Death Attacks connect. You can pump Intelligence higher because it's now also important for Initiative and all Str. and Dex. skill checks, which means a higher Death Attack DC as well as better Assassin spells.

    Also, Sneak Attack. Not as much as a Rogue, but you can decide the amount of d6 you throw next to your Assassin precision damage.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Assassin Optimisation

    Factotum is a distinct possibility, though spellthief seems the most likely option since I thoroughly enjoy annoying casters.

    Anyone know a way of changing spellthief casting to intellect rather then charisma short of houserule?

    Any suggested hardware to get magic item wise?
    I know to get weapons with wand holders, get a ring of spellbattle, custom silence item, numerous wands of wraithstrike and a greater invisibility item.
    Probably going to get a gnomish steambow too, because it'll be useful for death attacks (letting me add the 3 bonus effects while I wait.) and an eager, deadly precision, keen rapier (with the assassin dagger effect, if I can). Maybe even a hand crossbow with quickloader and retrieval for utility.
    And bracers of murder....

    And don't worry, I intend to perhaps open with death attack if I can, if it's not the most efficient way of screwing with the casters I'll just stab them to death the old fashioned way....with their own spells.

    Note: decided to go with the hand crossbow and rapier style (I know, oh so prevalent nowadays, but it's a useful combo) rather then dual melee, as dual melee tends to weaken damage output rather then imrpove it (mainhand is going to be expensive for what I have planned.) also chose to get combat reflexes and subsequently the feat in Drow of the underdark that allows me to swap places with my target as an immediate action.
    Last edited by Kulture; 2009-10-30 at 09:58 PM.

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