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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    I want to know: What are the "must-have" spells for an assassin? level 1-4, if you please. Any official source, no third party please!
    Got to write up a quick villain for next week, you all get to help me out! I know you are excited.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    True Strike. There's nothing worse than a buildup on an actual assassination mission(because frankly, most of the time, you'll be just stabbing people with the rest of the party), and then missing the shot. Plus, it's a solution for the occasional ridiculously buffed guy.

    Disguise Self is another excellent choice for 1st level. It's just incredibly useful.

    Feather Fall would be a good choice, since when you need it, you really need it, but it's situational enough to be better in scroll form.

    Invisibility is a must at 2nd level, at least until you get it's greater cousin.

    Glibness is amazing, and freedom of movement/dimension door never get old.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Pretty much everything above

    Blur can help too

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_Ruadrik View Post
    I want to know: What are the "must-have" spells for an assassin? level 1-4, if you please. Any official source, no third party please!
    Got to write up a quick villain for next week, you all get to help me out! I know you are excited.
    Honestly? My spells would be Sorcerer/Wizard spells, because I'd have class levels in Wizard instead of Assassin. A Wizard can do a pretty good job of being an Assassin and can do more than the Assassin can. That wasn't exactly what you were looking for though....

    There's a spell in Complete...Scoundrel? I think. It adds damage when you make a Sneak Attack. That's helpful. Iron Silence from Spell Compendium negates your Armor Check penalty for sneaking in armor, so if for some reason your guy is wearing big armor he can still be sneaky. Find the Gap (Spell Compendium) is good if you're doing a Spring Attack from HiPS Assassin.

    Dimension Door (SRD) is a really solid spell, as is Wraithstrike (Spc).
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Why choose? 1st and 2nd level spells are cheap on scrolls. Get them all. This doesn't work too well for feather fall, so feather fall goes nicely on your spell list. The rest don't matter much, but might as well pick ones that you'll use daily like invisibility to save a little money.

    For 3rd and 4th I'd pick some of the detection / avoid detection spells depending on my assassination style: misdirection, nondetection, clairaudience/clairvoyanc, dimension door (to reach the guy you detected), glibness, greater invisibility, locate creature, modify memory. Or in a party I'd pick some good combat spells like false life, freedom of movement, or greater invisibility. But if you're in a regular hack-n-slash party that doesn't work with your assassination, then there are better options than assassin.

    A lot of other spells I left out because they aren't that useful by the time you get them. Magic items replace them, it's a low level spell for the party caster who will be with you in situations where you might need it, etc.
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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    Honestly? My spells would be Sorcerer/Wizard spells, because I'd have class levels in Wizard instead of Assassin.
    That's not actually helpful advice.

    Assassin has a few good spells, specially in Spell Compendium and Book of Vile Darkness. In my game, one player uses Fire Shuriken to get bonuses from his Jade Phoenix Mage stances.
    We had a game today and this character actually made a trivial case of an otherwise 'very difficult' (as per DMG rules) encounter by using spider climb, invisibility and obscuring fog. She also got her second ever successful death attack in. She only survived because of Devoted Spirit from her JPM levels, though.
    But I digress. My favourite assassin spells from all levels:
    1- Disguise Self, Feather Fall, Obscuring Mist and True Strike are all really good spells. Healer's Vision (Complete Scoundrel) is simply too cool to be cool, though unfortunatelly being a standard action to cast, it's not very good.
    2- Invisibility and Alter Self are pretty good.
    3- Wraithstrike (SC), because it is wraithstrike. Nondetection might help you sneak into warded places. It should even protect you from some traps, since you shouldn't trigger them, but I bet your DM won't remember that (I always forget). False Life is a very under-rated buff that is a bit decent. Masochism/Sadism (Book of Vile Darkness) stick out as the best available spells in this level, though.
    4- Freedom of Movement and Dimension Door are very good for obvious reasons. Heartripper (SC), because it's awesome. It's not good, really - you alreayd have death attack, after all. But this reminds of Killua's crowning moment of awesome in HxH. Sniper's Eye (SC) is pretty good, actually allowing you to snipe-kill. I love Cursed Blade (SC) but it's not really good. Assassin's Darkness (Complete Scoundrel) is very nice and I love it. Kind of like 3.0 darkness, except better.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    From Spell Compendium

    Snipers Shot. If it worked with Death attack it would be better...It is still good though.

    Critical Strike. Swift action goodness.

    Snipers Eye.

    Cursed Blade

    Shadow Form.

    There are a few good spells in Complete Mage as well.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    That's not actually helpful advice.
    Well...it is and it isn't. It's helpful in that it's how to possibly make a better assassin.

    But that wasn't what the OP wanted, which was why I listed a few good Assassin spells as well.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    For sneaking around, Shadow Form is pretty bad ass, depending on how many ranks in Escape Artist you have (The spell itself allows you to pass through barriers depending on how many ranks in E.A. you have; the final tier allows you to pass through barriers of force), plus it gives you some nice Hide bonuses and other stuff.

    Wraithstrike is amazing. Hands down. Make your next attack a melee touch attack as a swift action? Check, please. >.>

    If you're doing stuff like espionage and need to lie to someone, Glibness is pretty sweet.

    Swift Invisibility is nice too, if you need a Sneak Attack right then and now.
    Last edited by Ashram; 2010-08-29 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Amorphous form[SpC] (IMO) serves as a grea oh s*** button when you have to escape and there are no obvious or easy escape rutes

    +1 to Wraithstrike, touch attacks are awersome.
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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    I like choosing Assassin-only spells whenever possible. Some of them are pretty badass.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    Well...it is and it isn't. It's helpful in that it's how to possibly make a better assassin.
    Let's say you walk into a comic book store and ask for a Superman comic. The guy on the booth just says 'oh, no, Superman sucks, take Scott Pilgrim instead'.
    Would you like that?
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-08-30 at 06:31 PM.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Well, if that Scott Pilgrim-fellow might perhaps really be better at entertaining you than another adventure of Superman, it might be so.

    However, objectively, the wizard or the sorceror are indeed superior assassins compared to the assassin, as is the cleric.

    Nonetheless, Chambers did mention a few good spells for somebody who is set on playing a character with the assassin prestige class.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    The OP didn't say that the NPC was going to be using the Assassin prestige class or not. It asked for must have spells for an assassin. This could be taken to imply that the assassin is either a) going to be done using the Assassin prestige class or b) have access to spells regardless.

    Now, what kind of spells I gave the assassin would depend on how long I expected him to stay in a prolonged direct confrontation with the PCs. My normal assassins would try to sneak in, get in a few good hits on the PCs, and then try to escape.

    You also have to consider: How much time has the assassin had to study his target? What kind of weaknesses do the PCs have that he could potentially exploit? Answering these questions generally tells me what spells he is probably going to employ.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    well....

    Very interesting posts everyone!
    Our NPC assassin is going to have a couple methods, all of which I intend to use on the PCs, barring lucky rolls or creativity that render my assassin impotent.

    1.) studies the PCs, and then attacks when they are vulnerable, i.e sleeping or out of spells for the day and such.

    2.) stalks them, and attacks while invisible during an unrelated combat encounter.

    3.) harasses them, and baits them into a trap after getting the PC's to follow him.

    4.) Anything I missed ,that you all come up with.

    Right now, He is a Rogue 3/ Ranger 2/ Assassin 5. I gave him the Arcane Hunter variant Ranger feature to help out. IF he survives, he will be a recurring character, whom the PC's will run into again later, hence, my asking for Assassin spells of all levels.

    I understand that wizards and clerics make better assassins than the Assassin PrC. But, then again, Wizards and clerics make a better anything than any class you care to name, with few exceptions. However, I don't want to outright kill the party. Maybe pick off one of them, to catch the party's ire.

    The point of the game is to tell the story of the party and their adventures, their successes and failures. To kill off the entire party with a uber wizard assassin defeats the purpose of the game. However, to have recurring run ins with a character who is sneaky, and has a few good spells (such as those that the Assassin PrC grants access to) is perfect. And that, my friends, is what I aim to do. I find the assassin PrC gives a decent balance of stealth, combat capability, and spells to a character that could have been nothing more than a rogue/ranger. The PrC has the flavor i desire for this NPC.

    After spending time to research this PrC and its spells, I would even consider using it for an actual Player Character in a semi optimized game. Everyone decries the Death Attack as useless, but I see it as useful, not for destroying actual targets, but for removing sentries, bodyguards, and other such lackeys. It also gives an otherwise normal Rogue character access to a small, but very effective spell selection, while still giving acces to disable device, UMD, open lock, and other such stealthy scout oriented skills.

    In short, this PrC is not useless as everyone claims... It just requires more subtlety and imagination to be useful. True, I would not consider it easily (if at all) optimized, but still useful.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_Ruadrik View Post
    In short, this PrC is not useless as everyone claims... It just requires more subtlety and imagination to be useful. True, I would not consider it easily (if at all) optimized, but still useful.
    Dude. You seriously rock. You do.
    Totally agree.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Very few people claim that the Assassin is outright useless. It's Rogue+ spells, and +spells makes anything better - Assassins in particular got a lot of love in Spell Compendium. What people argue is that Death Attack is useless...which, for the most part, it is.
    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.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Very few people claim that the Assassin is outright useless. It's Rogue+ spells, and +spells makes anything better - Assassins in particular got a lot of love in Spell Compendium. What people argue is that Death Attack is useless...which, for the most part, it is.
    Thing is, everytime a thread like this comes up, a few people always come up and say 'use a wizard, they do it better'. That's what he was adressing, I suppose.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    That happens regardless of what class is being discussed though, it has nothing to do with Assassins - wizards can do any other class's job better than it can. A thread discussing spell selection for a wizard would probably get people saying 'play a wizard instead'.
    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.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    That happens regardless of what class is being discussed though, it has nothing to do with Assassins - wizards can do any other class's job better than it can. A thread discussing spell selection for a wizard would probably get people saying 'play an wizard archivist instead'.
    FTFY IIRC with enough cheese you can get any printed spell with an archivist

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    The thing is, no matter what, there will always be the Big Five: Wizard, Cleric, Archivist, Artificer and Druid.

    If everyone took the class that was best for their perceived role in the party, you would have a party that looks like the above. ^ That lacks flavor.

    Because, yes, truly, these classes do everything better than everyone else. Then again, every adventuring party would look the same, every fantasy army would look the same, and there is no fun in that.

    I enjoy making NPC's and PC's that have few, if any spells. And I will do my best to optimize those characters, within those bounds. it is a challenge. I know that I can break the game with one of the above mentioned classes, or any one of the plethora of prestige classes that help to achieve that end. However, I do not find it a challenge, nor terribly fun.

    I do find sneaking around and trying to outwit a force five times my size fun. I like the game of wits, not the game of making a character that has 2-3 base classes, followed by a string of prestige classes/prestige class dips, with no skill points and a bizarre backstory. (if any)

    So, that is why I am building this character the way I am: It's easier to keep track of, and is more fun. Your experience may vary from what is advertised.

    BTW: @ True Shinken: Heh, thanks.
    Last edited by Duncan_Ruadrik; 2010-09-01 at 02:13 AM.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    If I got to pick just one spell, it'd be Polymorph. It mostly does anything; sneak? Polymorph. Fight? Polymorph. Assassinate? Polymorph. Fly? Polymorph. Swim? Polymorph. Burrow? Polymorph. Disguise? Polymorph. Can't quite make you invisible but close enough.
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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Very few people claim that the Assassin is outright useless. It's Rogue+ spells, and +spells makes anything better - Assassins in particular got a lot of love in Spell Compendium. What people argue is that Death Attack is useless...which, for the most part, it is.
    If nothing else, a one level assassin dip is usually awesome. +1d6 sneak attack on first level. Some spells. No real downside from rogue. Poison use is minor, but could be handy if you come across any good poisons.

    Death attack is weak, and is not worth waiting out rounds of combat to use. However, it's of some use when you are initiating combat. Start studying asap whenever you even suspect combat might come up. The save is low, and there's not a ton you can do to optimize it viably, but hey, 1's do happen.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Death attack is weak, and is not worth waiting out rounds of combat to use. However, it's of some use when you are initiating combat. Start studying asap whenever you even suspect combat might come up. The save is low, and there's not a ton you can do to optimize it viably, but hey, 1's do happen.
    Yup. Building around death attack is kinda pointless, but when it does work, it's really helpful. If you are scouting in stealth-mode, opening a fight with Death Attack is always a good idea.
    It's the best time to use any save-or-die anyway - before you do anything else.

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    From Comp Mage:

    1st: Catsfeet: Reroll a Balance, Climb, Jump, or Move Silently check with +5 bonus.

    1st: Critical Strike: Ignore miss chance from concealment; deliver sneak attack against foe with concealment.

    2nd: Animate Weapon: A weapon animates and fights for you.

    3rd: Toxic Tongue: Generate poison that you can place on any weapon as a Swift Action. The spell lasts minutes per level, and you can create 1 dose per minute. So if a 6th level Assassin casts the spell while Hiding, he can make 5 doses of poison, put them each on a weapon, store all but one of weapons, study a target, make a Death Attack, and then Quickdraw out the additional weapons as needed to poison others (although the poison dissapates at the end of the duration of the spell).

    4th Level: Deathsight: Make death attack without spending rounds in observation. It's a Standard Action though, so you'll need a Belt of Battle or build a Factotum 8/Assassin X for it to be useful.


    Also, from lots of personal experience as a DM I've found that using Assassins, Uberchargers, and no Save magic generally leads to poor encounters.

    Me: "Bob, make a Fort Save."
    Bob: "18. What happens.
    Me: "You're dead."
    Bob: "Well, that sucks. You could of at least let me get past the Surprise Round. I guess I'll go play X-Box until someone resurrects me."

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    Default Re: IF you were an Assassin... what would your spells be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    From Comp Mage:
    1st: Critical Strike: Ignore miss chance from concealment; deliver sneak attack against foe with concealment.
    I like this spell, but for the concealment problem, I tend to prefer True Strike. Sure, if you already in combat, Critical Strike is a better option.

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