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    Default Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Inspired by BG2.

    Basically, it's a rogue with 6 skill points, 1d8 sneak attacks, poison use at 1st, and death attack at 10th instead of the first special ability.

    Thoughts? Win? Fail?

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    Inspired by BG2.

    Basically, it's a rogue with 6 skill points, 1d8 sneak attacks, poison use at 1st, and death attack at 10th instead of the first special ability.

    Thoughts? Win? Fail?
    Simple and remarkable accurate to the source, though you should give them some more poison related feats Like there is that one in some book(complete scoundrel maybe?) that makes the DCs tougher for your chosen type of poison(contact, inhaled etc) Perhaps as another replacement special ability.

    Though only 6 skill points while fairly accurate to the source is a pretty hefty drawback. PHB assassins work with 6 skill points but they have spells to make up for that.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Instead of that, I think you could actually just add Death Attack to the list of possible Rogue class features at level 10 plus, perhaps with certain requirements, that alone should work, and then give another ACF which replaces a few skill points on one level with poison use. I think that would still be about balanced.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I've played in games where a PC was allowed to be a base-class assassin as a rogue alternative.
    It wasn't broken, and it was kind of fun. Traps and locked stuff were overcome by the wizard and cleric, so the party balance was maintained.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    If you want to give them something like assassin spellcasting, let it be a 10th level general rogue substitution level. Instead of a special ability you gain, spellcasting. If you feel that it's a bit powerful either add a few negatives to the level or make it into an ACF that replaces all special abilities (I have played Baldurs Gate 1, but never got further than those kobold mines. Mages need more spells).
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    What would the DC of the death attack be? 10+1/2 rouge level+int mod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Though only 6 skill points while fairly accurate to the source is a pretty hefty drawback. PHB assassins work with 6 skill points but they have spells to make up for that.
    What else would you cut back on to make it balanced?
    Last edited by Zaakar; 2009-12-02 at 12:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaakar View Post
    What would the DC of the death attack be? 10+1/2 rouge level+int mod?


    What else would you cut back on to make it balanced?
    Yes, and I don't know. Maybe Trapsense or Uncanny Dodge?

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    Yes, and I don't know. Maybe Trapsense or Uncanny Dodge?
    You would give up trapsense!?



    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I've played with this idea before. I can't wait to see how this turns out. You might want to look to the ranger, hexblade, or spellthief class for spellcasting ideas.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    Basically, it's a rogue with 6 skill points
    That sounds good. I'd use the same skill list as the assassin PrC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    1d8 sneak attacks
    I don't think the 1d8 sneak attack is a good idea, though. Both the rouge and PrC assassin use 1d6, so it's probably best to stick with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    poison use at 1st
    I believe the Drow of the Underdark book has a drow rogue racial substitution class that replaces trapfinding with poison use. So that sounds fine to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    death attack at 10th instead of the first special ability.
    I also intended to use the death attack instead of the 10th level special ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harperfan7 View Post
    Thoughts? Win? Fail?
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    ... And you just solved a problem that's been dogging me since the beginning of my deployment. Bless your cold, black heart.
    My latest homebrew: Majokko base class and Spellcaster Dilettante feats for D&D 3.5 and Races as Classes for PTU.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by TabletopNuke
    Both the rouge and PrC assassin use 1d6, so it's probably best to stick with that.
    Doesn't the rouge get a spank ability?
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    Doesn't the rouge get a spank ability?
    I think assassins can spank with their sneak attack too (I assume that's what you are referring to). Lemme check my DMG... Here we go. According to page 180 of the DMG, an assassin's sneak attack functions exactly like a rogues, and I assume that includes spanking.
    Keep 3.5 alive!
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by TabletopNuke View Post
    I think assassins can spank with their sneak attack too (I assume that's what you are referring to). Lemme check my DMG... Here we go. According to page 180 of the DMG, an assassin's sneak attack functions exactly like a rogues, and I assume that includes spanking.
    Referring to the Rouge Base Class

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    So what exactly stops me, from dipping Rogue at first level for eight extra skill points, +2 Reflex and SA +1d6?

    I take second level base-class Assassin and I have +4 base reflex, +1d6+1d8 sneak attack, 8 extra skill points, poison use and trapfinding.

    Also:
    I get spellcasting at the measily cost of 2 skill points per level (which I don't really lose for four levels because of the 8 skill points).

    Sweet beans.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2009-12-03 at 03:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Ok this is what i would suggesst for the Assassin kit for BG2. Feel free to debate ofc any of the points i made in the spoiler tags.


    Assassin Rogue Variant

    Table: The Assassin
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    | Sneak Attack +1d6, trapfinding, Poison Use.

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    | evasion Track,

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    | Sneak Attack +2d6, trap sense +1 Master of Poisons.

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Uncanny dodge.

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | Sneak Attack +3d6

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |trap sense +2 Master of Poisons.

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    | Sneak Attack +4d6

    8th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    | Improved uncanny dodge.

    9th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    | Sneak Attack +5d6, trap sense +3 Master of Poisons.

    10th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    | Special Ability

    11th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    | Sneak Attack +6d6

    12th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |trap sense +4 Master of Poisons.

    13th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    | Sneak Attack +7d6, Special Ability

    14th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |Backstabber.

    15th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    | Sneak Attack +8d6, trap sense +5 Master of Poisons.

    16th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    | Special Ability.

    17th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    | Sneak Attack +9d6

    18th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    | trap sense +6 Master of Poisons.

    19th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    | Sneak Attack +10d6, Special Ability

    20th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Backstabber[/table]

    Alignment
    Any. Any except Lawful Good

    Spoiler
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    I believe you can justify any alignment, though the book of exalted contradictions disagrees, and assassins in bg2 can be any alignment except lawful good. I put any bar lawful good simply to stay true to the source material. Any Evil is unfortunately more in line with the rules. Though Any works core only.


    Hit Die
    d6.

    Class Skills
    The rogue’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

    Spoiler
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    Most of the default rogue skills would be useful for an assassin, some more so than others depending on what type of character you decide to be but appraise was the most steal stuff get goldz skill so that got taken out in favour of Survival which is essential for tracking


    Skill Points at 1st Level
    (8 + Int modifier) ×4 (6 + Int modifier) ×4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level
    8 + Int modifier 6 + Int modifier.

    Spoiler
    Show
    BG2 assassins get less thief skills for greater backstab progression and a scaling poison. With death attack based on intelligence and a great focus on the assassination instead of general skill-monkeying 6 isn't bad though it does hurt a little bit. Hopefully the rest makes up for it


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the rogue assassin.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Rogues Assassins are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. Rogues Assassins are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

    Sneak Attack
    If an rogue assassin can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

    The rogue’s assassin's attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue assassin flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue assassin levels thereafter. Should the rogue assassin score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

    With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, an rogue assassin can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

    An rogue assassin can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue assassin must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An rogue assassin cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

    Backstabber
    Assassins have learnt to take the art of sneak attack to a new whole level, all previous and future sneak attack bonus damage dice increase by one step from d6 to d8.

    At 20th level the assassin's sneak attack bonus damage dice increase an additional one step from d8 to d10s.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I did the greater sneak attacks this way to try avoid any confusion about how it stacks with other classes that grant sneak attack die. And giving them at later levels is closer to the bg2 assassin. Starting with the same sneak attack potential but eventually going beyond it. The chosen levels are just to fill in the gaps and give it something of a capstone ability.


    Trapfinding
    Rogues (and only rogues) can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

    Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

    Rogues (and only rogues) can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

    A rogue who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.


    Poison Use
    Assassins are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.


    Spoiler
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    BG2 assassins are users of poison, no reason not to have this as without they risk poisoning themselves. Removing trap finding may hurt a little but if you've played the bg2 assassin.. especially during bg1 with the tutu or trilogy mods you know it takes a long time before you can function in the sole thief role


    Evasion (Ex)
    At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.


    Track
    An assassin gains Track as a bonus feat.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Basically they get this because an assassin should have this. It's no good accepting a contract to kill someone if you're too incompetent to find their front door. BG2 lacks this but then its so combat focused it doesn't need it


    Trap Sense (Ex)
    At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

    Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.


    Master of Poisons
    An assassin gains Poison Expert as a bonus feat. If the assassin already has Poison Expert she may select Poison Master for any poison she meets the prerequisites for as a bonus feat.


    Spoiler
    Show
    This is to represent the BG2 assassin's scaling poison weapon ability. Although in BG2 it's only equivelent to Injury poisons there's no reason why they wouldn't be experts in any other type of poison. Again that's mostly the translation-license from hack 'n' slash crpg to PnP rpg. The feats are in Complete Scoundrel but i also copied them in the next spoiler tag


    Spoiler
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    Poison Expert
    Your skill at crafting and delivering toxins has made you a more deadly poisoner.
    Prerequisite: Craft (poisonmaking) 4 ranks, poison use.
    Benefit: Choose a type of poison (contact, ingested, inhaled, or injury). The DC to resist both the initial and secondary damage of poisons of this type that you create and use increases by 1.
    This feat has no effect on poisons used by other creatures, even if you craft those poisons. It also has no effect on natural poisons (those exuded from a creature’s body).
    Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effect does not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of poison.

    Poison Master
    The toxins you create and use are particularly virulent.
    Prerequisite: Poison Expert, Craft (poisonmaking) 8 ranks, poison use.
    Benefit: Choose a type of poison (contact, ingested, inhaled, or injury) for which you have selected the Poison Expert feat. The initial and secondary damage dealt by poisons of this type that you create and use increases by 1 point per die of damage (or by 1 point, if it deals a fixed amount of damage).
    For example, lich dust used by a character with Poison Master (ingested) would deal initial damage of 2d6+2 Str and secondary damage of 1d6+1 Con plus 1d6+1 Str. If a poison doesn’t deal damage, this feat has no effect.
    This feat has no effect on poisons used by other creatures, even if you craft those poisons. It also has no effect on natural poisons (those exuded from a creature’s body).
    Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effect does not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of poison for which you have selected Poison Expert.


    Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
    Starting at 4th level, an rogue assassin can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

    If an rogue assassin already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
    An rogue assassin of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked.

    This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does.

    If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Yeah i can see assassins being paranoid, and skilled enough to avoid falling for the same tricks they themselves employ. So that's why I kept the uncanny dodge line over the evasion line


    Special Abilities
    On attaining 10th level, and at every three levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th), an rogue assassin gains a special ability of her choice from among the following options.

    Crippling Strike (Ex)
    An rogue assassin with this ability can sneak attack opponents with such precision that her blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.

    Defensive Roll (Ex)
    The rogue assassin can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the rogue assassin can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the rogue assassin must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll—if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, she can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the assassin’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

    Evasion (Ex)
    The assassin can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the assassin is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless assassin does not gain the benefit of evasion.


    Improved Evasion (Ex)
    This ability works like evasion, except that while the rogue still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.


    Death Attack
    If an assassin studies her victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (assassin’s choice). While studying the victim, the assassin can undertake other actions so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the assassin or recognize the assassin as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1\2 the assassin’s class level + the assassin’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, he dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per two levels of the assassin. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, she must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

    If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes his save) or if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before she can attempt another death attack.


    Opportunist (Ex)
    Once per round, the rogue can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the rogue’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a rogue with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    Skill Mastery
    The rogue becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions.

    Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A rogue may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.


    Hide in Plain Sight (Su)
    An assassin can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an assassin can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.


    Slippery Mind (Ex)
    This ability represents the rogue’s ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a rogue with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

    Feat
    A rogue may gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Death Attack and Hide in Plain Sight show a greater focus on killing foes and stealth, both major parts of the BG2 assassin. Losing the skill monkey aspect makes skill mastery an easy one to cut in favour of hide in plain sight and without evasion though useful for an assassin no doubt uncanny dodge seemed a better fit thematically, less versatility greater killing power with access to death attack
    Last edited by Latronis; 2009-12-03 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Added Evasion as Special Ability

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I'd still dip a level as rogue for trapfinding. Extra d6 sneak attack, reflex and skill doesn't hurt either.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Assassin Rogue Variant
    Nice job, man. Nice. I really, really like this variant.

    My only issue with the class as-is, is the lack of evasion. Perhaps allow it as a special ability?
    Last edited by Chrono22; 2009-12-03 at 06:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    BoED has its own Lawful Good assassins, and 4th ed Dragon Compendium makes the case that Lawful Good and Assassin can coexist- if the cause is sufficiently just.

    If you chuck away "poison causes excessive suffering" (or at least, restrict it to the sort of poisons that arguably do (mustard gas? Platypus venom?)

    then (even with a BoED-centric alignment system) you could have a Lawful Good class with a death attack, who uses "assassin-type" tactics- but not for profit, but for Good reasons.

    That said, Rogues in 2nd ed were- "any except Lawful Good" and isn't BG2 more 2nd ed than 3rd? Or 2nd with a few 3rd ed classes imported into it?
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerInPlayground View Post
    I'd still dip a level as rogue for trapfinding. Extra d6 sneak attack, reflex and skill doesn't hurt either.
    If you were allowed too. Generally Variant, especially very similiar variant classes and ACF or Substitution levels don't allow multiclassing with the original. I Would say this is one of those times. You either play as the PHB Rogue or This 'Assassin' Variant of the Rogue base class. Going back to BG2 You choose to play as a thief(rogue) and may then pick a kit(swashbuckler, assassin, bounty hunter or true class) you don't get to be a thief class and an assassin class you are a thief who is an assassin so this would be an option you can take INSTEAD of being the default rogue, not an extra class you can use alongside the standard rogue.

    BoED has its own Lawful Good assassins, and 4th ed Dragon Compendium makes the case that Lawful Good and Assassin can coexist- if the cause is sufficiently just.

    If you chuck away "poison causes excessive suffering" (or at least, restrict it to the sort of poisons that arguably do (mustard gas? Platypus venom?)

    then (even with a BoED-centric alignment system) you could have a Lawful Good class with a death attack, who uses "assassin-type" tactics- but not for profit, but for Good reasons.

    That said, Rogues in 2nd ed were- "any except Lawful Good" and isn't BG2 more 2nd ed than 3rd? Or 2nd with a few 3rd ed classes imported into it?
    That's one of the problems i have with that book... You can't just say poisons are evil because they cause excessive suffering. Then go and rename said poisons slap an only works on evil clause and allow the goodest of the good to go and cause the same damn excessive suffering while somehow not being evil.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Note that it doesn't say "Ability damage causes excessive suffering" - otherwise using any spell that does ability damage would be evil.

    Only poisons(excepting drow sleep venom, and oil of taggit).

    Maybe the intent is that ravages are "less painful" than poisons, hence excusable.

    it's poorly done- but the concept that some things are "excessive" is pretty common.

    Which is why chemical/biological weapons AKA poisons/diseases, are so despised.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    They even decribe how these ravages and afflictions cause excessive suffering:

    magical traumas that turn the moral corruption of evil creatures into physical corruption that wracks their bodies.

    Raging Desire: This affliction causes insatiable sexual desire
    while preventing any possible fulfillment of that desire.

    Depraved Decadence: This affliction causes ravenous
    hunger and causes the victim to grow progressively
    weaker from hunger.
    There's another word for Ravages and Afflictions too.... Torture.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Afflictions in particular are nasty- possibly done as an excuse to have "wrath of deities" plagues, without making the deities look malevolent.

    It was probably one of the biggest mistakes in the book- given that the rest of the book (and FC2) makes it clear it is not OK to torture beings.

    I'd say trim back on the "poison is evil" concept- reserving it for ones that are absurdly painful- and maybe chuck ravages and afflictions out altogether.

    Seeing as BoED is one of the only books that says "there are some things not even evil beings deserve as a rule".

    There is nothing in PHB expressly forbidding torture for example- only BoED and FC2- and numerous players who insist it is not evil at all, citing "ticking time-bomb scenarios"

    DMG doesn't really describe diseases and poisons and their effects in any depth- if it had, using descriptions more graphic and unpleasant than for ravages/afflictions, this might make more sense.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Afflictions in particular are nasty- possibly done as an excuse to have "wrath of deities" plagues, without making the deities look malevolent.

    It was probably one of the biggest mistakes in the book- given that the rest of the book (and FC2) makes it clear it is not OK to torture beings.

    I'd say trim back on the "poison is evil" concept- reserving it for ones that are absurdly painful- and maybe chuck ravages and afflictions out altogether.

    Seeing as BoED is one of the only books that says "there are some things not even evil beings deserve as a rule".

    There is nothing in PHB expressly forbidding torture for example- only BoED and FC2- and numerous players who insist it is not evil at all, citing "ticking time-bomb scenarios"

    DMG doesn't really describe diseases and poisons and their effects in any depth- if it had, using descriptions more graphic and unpleasant than for ravages/afflictions, this might make more sense.
    That's true but in many cases poisons and diseases come from natural sources, ravages and afflictions seem to be solely manufactured to punish, disable and kill. It seems to be one of those issues that arises when you try to define the objective morality. I'd be inclined to judge a character's actions by intent(well aware it's not strictly RAW) Using one of these be it a poison or ravage to deliberately cause suffering = bad. Using one because direct confrontation would be suicide = not so bad. Especially given that there's nothing in the core books that describes using such as evil.

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I would have called the second example context rather than intent- but the principle is pretty sound.

    Intent matters a lot- but (at least in BoVD, BoED, FC2, Champions of Ruin, Exemplars of Evil, etc) it isn't always enough.

    Torturing the prisoner because you like it- Evil

    Torturing the prisoner because you think they deserve it as a punishment- Evil

    Torturing the prisoner because you need life-saving information and they have it- Evil

    Torturing the prisoner because it's the only way to trigger an effect that will save the world- Evil.

    However- some people might make intent determine how evil it is- "Torture for Saving the World" being the least evil, barely meriting a slap on the wrist, and so on down the scale.

    Tolkien in Morgoth's Ring argued that it was not OK to torture orcs, not even for information- but also said this was a rule not always heeded.

    The "intent matters" applies, I think, to all spells, including those with the Good descriptor.

    Walk into a crowded room and cast Holy Word because "only good people deserve to live- evil people must die and neutral ones are collateral damage at worst"- Evil.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I was thinking more like the commoner serving girl slipping a little something into the tyrant kings mead before dinner.

    It may be painful (or alternatively it might be something that makes him fall asleep and never wake up) But the excessive suffering aspect of it was more merely a side-effect. Even the word torture is loaded implying intending the suffering in which case i can see how people can slap an evil tag on it(in which case it should also apply to ravages or at least the nastier ones) But if she truly just needs to finish off the vile man and this is the only means she really has at her disposal would you truly consider her evil?

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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    BoED has an entire assassin prestige class (Slayer of Domiel) devoted to this sort of thing- killing the villain by stealthy means, when its the least worst option.

    Domiel is described as the "Foe of Tyrants" suggesting these are a possible preferred enemy.

    So I'd say, dropping the "poison is evil" trait would probably make sense in this context.

    Whether it is excessive suffering or not can be dependant on the context- but the general rule, that suffering, even of villains, should be minimized wherever possible, seems like a good one.

    In the same way, societies that use excessively painful and prolonged methods of execution (Luskan, Prisoner's Carnival, which is basically Death by Slow Torture) should be considered to be committing evil acts.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    While BoVD says "murder is evil" as does "FC2" BoVD also defines murder as

    "killing for nefarious reasons"

    This is a bit vague though- but arguably an "assassin for a noble cause" might never be committing murder at all, in the BoVD sense.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    In the end I slapped the Any but lawful good alignment restriction on it, because that's what it was in BG2. Whether the kit existed in PnP before that I don't know. If anyone was too use it the alignment is th most muteable aspect anyway. Any, Any Non-Evil, Any except Lawful Good. All could work with a little DM convincing. Since I tend to DM if i were to use it. I'd let any slide.

    EDIT: Well Murder is a legal term, generally meaning something along the lines of unlawful killing.

    So some kind of government sanctioned assassin.. think ninja or james bond... perfectly legal.

    Which is irrelevant for the good vs evil debate.

    I don't think we really need a term for an 'Evil Killing'

    Although then you do need to consider that generally if you are an assassin you are killing people for money, be it contracts or a government issue income. So that kinda taints the whole noble cause thing.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    I was thinking of the term "assassin" in the general sense of "person who carries out an assassination, rather than the specific sense

    "person who assassinates as a career"

    The difference between a D&D assassin and an adventurer who carries out paid "quests" that end in the killing of the intelligent target, seems awfully narrow.

    Elfshadow (Elaine Cunningham) adventurer Arilyn Moonblade even goes so far as to call herself this- with the distinction that she fights every target face to face, rather than poisoning them or killing them in their sleep.

    The combination of

    "evil implies killing others"
    "evil people kill if doing so is convenient" and
    "good implies respect for life"

    : All in the PHB, seems to suggest that, in D&D, killing is something that the player does have to provide a justification for.

    While I hear a lot of claims of:

    "target is evil- that is the only justification you need- you don't need to know anything they've done or plan to do"- especially from people claiming AD&D alignment was better than 3.5, I find this a bit implausible.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2009-12-03 at 08:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Assassin as a rogue variant (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I was thinking of the term "assassin" in the general sense of "person who carries out an assassination, rather than the specific sense

    "person who assassinates as a career"

    The difference between a D&D assassin and an adventurer who carries out paid "quests" that end in the killing of the intelligent target, seems awfully narrow.

    Elfshadow (Elaine Cunningham) adventurer Arilyn Moonblade even goes so far as to call herself this- with the distinction that she fights every target face to face, rather than poisoning them or killing them in their sleep.

    The combination of

    "evil implies killing others"
    "evil people kill if doing so is convenient" and
    "good implies respect for life"

    : All in the PHB, seems to suggest that, in D&D, killing is something that the player does have to provide a justification for.

    While I hear a lot of claims of:

    "target is evil- that is the only justification you need- you don't need to know anything they've done or plan to do"- especially from people claiming AD&D alignment was better than 3.5, I find this a bit implausible.
    People are going to argue about alignment aslong as it exists. I went and removed alignment as a mechanical aspects of character altogether (only applies to outsiders and Those connected to cosmic forces such as clerics and warlocks)

    I think any class actually called Assassin would generally refer to your chosen vocation.. killer for hire or for a cause or on a payroll etc rather than merely a title a killer might use. Although then it get's confusing because it's certainly possible for someone to be an assassin as career without having an assassin styled class.

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