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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Hey guys,

    I hear a lot of flack about the Asssassin subclass. That it requires finicky mechanics (the surprise mechanic), that it promotes 'selfish' gameplay, i.e. - going out alone, and that it's 9th and 13th level features are 'more or less' fluff features. It seems the other Rogue subclasses are just, well, better.

    All that being said however, has anybody played a single class Assassin character for any length of time? I'd love to hear your opinions on it. Did you enjoy it, or regret playing it? Did you spend the whole time wishing you had chosen something else, or were you frequently able to feel like a 'cool' assassin character? Was your DM happy to accommodate you and your assassin-y ways?

    There are probably a load more questions - I just thought I'd try and get a little discussion going on the matter!
    Last edited by Forechosen; 2020-01-17 at 12:35 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I did. I did not enjoy it. Single class rogues of every subclass are extreme garbage to me.

    Especially don't be a ranged rogue. There's nothing more boring in all D&D than a guy who's entire combat round every turn is rolling one or 2 d20s then damage. No movement, no options, no fun.
    Last edited by DarknessEternal; 2020-01-17 at 12:53 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Played No. I did DM for one up to lv 14.
    This particular game had a larger than normal focus on complex social play so alot of his assassination attempts where approached that way.
    The lv 9 and 13 features don't stack but In more courts and shady business dealings they are not ribbons by any means.

    I wouldn't recommend it for a pure dungeon hack n' slash game but it does a good job at filling the iconic mundane one shot killer.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessEternal View Post
    I did. I did not enjoy it. Single class rogues of every subclass are extreme garbage to me.

    Especially don't be a ranged rogue. There's nothing more boring in all D&D than a guy who's entire combat round every turn is rolling one or 2 d20s then damage. No movement, no options, no fun.
    I can somewhat understand what you're saying with the ranged Rogue - I don't love Ranged martial characters myself, for more or less the same reason.

    But I played a Thief Rogue around a year ago - only up to level seven, but I absolutely loved it. It felt like there was always something to do - Fast Hands really encourages you to be inventive, and there were frequently very fun and 'thiefy' moments.

    Why would you say they're garbage to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    Played No. I did DM for one up to lv 14.
    This particular game had a larger than normal focus on complex social play so alot of his assassination attempts where approached that way.
    The lv 9 and 13 features don't stack but In more courts and shady business dealings they are not ribbons by any means.

    I wouldn't recommend it for a pure dungeon hack n' slash game but it does a good job at filling the iconic mundane one shot killer.
    Wow level 14 is pretty high, did your player enjoy playing their Assassin?

    I can imagine in a more social game it is much more fulfilling, but then again, did you not have a problem incorporating the entire group (rather than just the assassin) into 'an assassination attempt' as you put it?
    Last edited by Forechosen; 2020-01-17 at 01:11 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forechosen View Post
    Wow level 14 is pretty high, did your player enjoy playing their Assassin? I can imagine in a more social game it *is* much more fulfilling, but then again, did you not have a problem incorporating the entire group into 'an assassination attempt' as you put it?
    I would say the player in question enjoyed it. At the time they were brandnew to DnD and TTRPGS in general so they really didn't have much in terms of expectations past fullfilling the concept.

    I should say I don't cater to my players from the game world perspective. So I never made encounters with players' class/subclass in mind so when it came to the party figuring out how to pull off X it was as organic as possible.
    The majority of the times the party decided that an NPC needed to be eliminated for whatever reason they would come up with some crazy plan resembling some of the old mission impossible episodes. (The show not the mobile)

    Near the end of the campaign the assassin had something like 35 aliases and was replacing 12ish important NPCs with imposter. Ended up retiring due to age and having enough wealth to buy a small nation.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I played an Assassin Rogue 1 to 9 in Curse of Strahd. He was a crossbow wielding ranged rogue and overall I enjoyed him.

    What irritated me:
    1) we didn’t find any magical crossbows, so in later levels, a lot of my strikes were half damage. Even with this, I felt I was pulling my weight DPR wise (though two of the remaining characters weren’t very effective in combat).
    2) I completely screwed up in the personality department, so even if the Rogue had Face skills, he rarely used them.

    What I liked:
    1) a ranged rogue can get away with a meh Str and Con. I had High Dex, Int and Cha and was the undisputed skill master of the group.
    2) High risk high reward playstyle: I would scout a couple of rooms ahead of the group and regularly get off a sneak attack before running like a lunatic back to the group. I was sufficiently close to the group that I could yell if I tripped a trap.
    3) I got to play a character who was essentially “a guy with a crossbow and his ingenuity”.

    In short, I would take the stuff you read on the boards with a grain of salt.
    Last edited by patchyman; 2020-01-17 at 03:49 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I dm for a player 0-11 as rogue, subclass assassin.

    He enjoys the group, enjoys the sessions. He plays a very troubled character, so the meld away fits right in. They’ve split the party before in social situations, with the bard taking one side an he the other.

    I do think he suffers from a general lack of playability after round one of combat (though perhaps I would feel differently if the player was more interested in the game. He doesn’t pursue advantage, nor does he often use his cunning action.)
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Currently running a level 10 Mastermind.

    I don’t have much experience as an assassin but I went for a well rounded build, using either a crossbow at range or a rapier/ dagger in close quarters.

    He is good at traps, spotting hazards, and social interaction. Not too shabby at lore checks either.

    It feels like there is always something I can do, and he is so maneuveable.
    The tactics angle and social skills pushed him into a party leader role.

    I love it.
    I have really enjoyed how dynamic Rogues can be in this edition. Once you hit level 11, and if you have picked up some extra proficiencies along the way, there is so much you can do outside combat.

    In battle, you can go wherever you want, avoid enemies, and pursue side objectives at your leisure, or pick a target and put on a pretty good level of hurt without expending resources.

    Rogues are fun.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I played one for a good while when phb was all their is.

    It gets old pretty quick.

    Level 3 is ok, but surprise is not as easy to come by.

    Level 9: why do you need an ability for this? That is just a few skill checks and some forgery. Anyone can make a false identity. Also if it takes that long, someone else can just do it faster than the subclass ability.

    Level 13:
    Again, you can just do that anyway. Deception or performance does this. Or just take the actor feat.

    The high end is about like level 3, great on that rare occasion it works.

    I just don’t see the reason to ever play an assassin unless you just want that one big surprise crit, double damage sneak attack maybe once a campaign.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterwhisper View Post
    I played one for a good while when phb was all their is.

    It gets old pretty quick.

    Level 3 is ok, but surprise is not as easy to come by.

    Level 9: why do you need an ability for this? That is just a few skill checks and some forgery. Anyone can make a false identity. Also if it takes that long, someone else can just do it faster than the subclass ability.

    Level 13:
    Again, you can just do that anyway. Deception or performance does this. Or just take the actor feat.

    The high end is about like level 3, great on that rare occasion it works.

    I just don’t see the reason to ever play an assassin unless you just want that one big surprise crit, double damage sneak attack maybe once a campaign.
    Lv 9: key word is unfailingly here. Only limit is it can't be someone that already exists. The only limits are time and money.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I personally have not, but I did play with someone who started as an Assassin for Storm King's Thunder. We went from levels 1 to 10...and in the end he had multiclassed as a Wizard. His thoughts could be summarized as "This is a good subclass on paper, but its a poor execution". Throughout the entirety of SKT, we only managed to ambush and Surprise enemies once, so he only ever really used half of his 3rd level Assassin ability. Though I will admit, level 9 Assassin wouldn't have been much help since we mostly dealt with Giants, and its hard to disguise yourself as a Giant.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by sithlordnergal View Post
    I personally have not, but I did play with someone who started as an Assassin for Storm King's Thunder. We went from levels 1 to 10...and in the end he had multiclassed as a Wizard. His thoughts could be summarized as "This is a good subclass on paper, but its a poor execution". Throughout the entirety of SKT, we only managed to ambush and Surprise enemies once, so he only ever really used half of his 3rd level Assassin ability. Though I will admit, level 9 Assassin wouldn't have been much help since we mostly dealt with Giants, and its hard to disguise yourself as a Giant.
    You just need 2 pc stacked on top of each other and a really tall trench coat.

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Hi

    my favorite character is an assassin halfling
    it isn't so much the class as the character that i like though
    the surprise round double damage has only come into effect a few times
    but when it does it makes for some cool battles
    he hides behind his half-orc friend with cunning action
    and then sneak attacks the bad guy the orc is fighting
    and sometimes the half orc pitches him at the enemies
    the infiltration and impostor are extremely useful for roleplaying too
    all in all I would say that assassinate and death strike have limited use,
    but the other class features are some of my favorites

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    The base rogue is very strong.
    Cunning action
    4 skills expertise
    Sneak attack
    Reliable talent.... see current thread on this.

    IMO arcane trickster and swashbuckler are the most chosen archetype by seasoned players.

    Recently I had my players run a 1 shot breaking into a castle. They had to kill and keep quite archers on the roof. Each player grabed 1 archetype each.

    Arcane tricksters use of minor illusion to create a decoy replacement guard was great.

    Rakish audacity... even an extra +1 on your initiative is helpful

    Mastermind.... bonus action help.... awesome especially to the other rogue who did get expertise in athletics and is scaling a 90ft wall.

    The assassin killing guards with 1 attack... pretty strong.

    I think as DMs we make surprise rounds tougher to occur than they really are.


    Players can set up ambushes. A high level rogue can beat a high passive perception.

    Player......I'll wait for the guard to pass. I will then sneak up and stab him.

    DM.... I want 3 stealth checks... 1 to hide from view as he moves... 1 to stay quiet moving from hiding spot... oh throw in an athletics check too... And another... walk behind the guard.... oh and the guard heard a noise before so they have +5 to their passive perception check

    You can't do it in combat but a DM can set up something to allow a players skills to shine.

    Otherwise the 9th and 13th can be fun in games but 5E has made these campaigns yet. Where it's about intrigue and deception and subtly.

    The assassinate ability isn't always useful like the other rogues... very true. But you still have the basic rogue package and that is strong.

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessEternal View Post
    I did. I did not enjoy it. Single class rogues of every subclass are extreme garbage to me.

    Especially don't be a ranged rogue. There's nothing more boring in all D&D than a guy who's entire combat round every turn is rolling one or 2 d20s then damage. No movement, no options, no fun.
    Arcane Trickster can get sneak attack by himself (find familiar is an ally that will if on your shoulder will always be within 5 ft of enemy, thus sneak attack. Or can use help action.).

    Besides magic, even with low slots, is useful. Get a few scrolls and rock the world.

    True, multiclass ones are better, but not bad ability/utility.

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Played an Assassin up through about level 8. Other people's game environments/DMs may differ, but I personally found it to be tremendous fun. I've always viewed Rogues as a class that encourages you to make your own challenges and to be creative, and the Assassinate feature, for me, motivated me to try all kinds of things to gain that valuable surprise round. The class theming drove me to pick up the actor feat, which lead to my character impersonating a king for a session. Only regret is the campaign not making it to level 9, for that lovely Infiltration Expertise.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    I played many Rogues.

    In 5E I have played with an Assassin Rogue and I have played a Knowledge Cleric 1 / Arcane Trickster 11+.

    My advice: Ignore combat when looking at the Rogue class. They are good enough at combat but they don't care because they get something better. Skills, Expertise, and Reliable Talent are the main benefits of a Rogue.

    My advice for Assassinate in particular: Forget about it. It will occasionally happen but it sounds more impressive than it is. Combats are either trivial or last several rounds.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2020-03-01 at 03:24 PM.

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    Starbuck_II's Avatar

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Expertise makes you a fantastic tripper though (push action can trip someone with athletics check, 2x proficiency means you get pretty great fast. Trouble is str is less used by Rogues).

    Plus, 2x proficiency in athletics means you are a great jumper/climber.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forechosen View Post
    All that being said however, has anybody played a single class Assassin character for any length of time? I'd love to hear your opinions on it. Did you enjoy it, or regret playing it? Did you spend the whole time wishing you had chosen something else, or were you frequently able to feel like a 'cool' assassin character? Was your DM happy to accommodate you and your assassin-y ways?
    I've played an Assassin Rogue (splashed with a single level of Hexblade at character level 6) up to level 12 between Tomb of Annihilation and Tales from the Yawning Portal. The thing is, everything rides on the level 3 feature. The level 9 and I suspect 13 feature can literally be replicated with a background feature from Charlatan and having Expertise in Bluff and the Disguise Kit. Now, because I had a Bladesinger, a Beastmaster Ranger, and an Eldritch Knight and the DM was nice enough to let us roll group stealth checks for the Zealot Barbarian and Light Cleric we were stealthier than a lot of parties. But at the end of the day, dropping the hammer with a single-shot 12d6+7 sneak attack simply isn't that impressive. It's certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it's not a show-shopper the way a, say, Zealout Barbarian with Action Surge can be.

    I strongly recommend picking Thief or Arcane Trickster instead. Thief is so dang good in a world of bounded accuracy, especially if you get some of the choice magical items. One of my friends who played a Thief in AL has a Headband of Intellect and a Staff of Power. He's disgustingly effective.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Anybody played a single class Rogue - Assassin for any length of time?

    Did not play a single class Assassin Rogue. I did play an Assassin Rogue 8/Moon Druid 4 multiclass (I know right?) It was on a 5e conversion of Pathfinder's Carrion Crown. And while I was doing a lot of 'alone' stuff, it was almost always warranted, like, I wasn't amazing in combat by any stretch (I got a bit better after the dm decided to let me have sneak attacks in animal form, yay dm) But when it came to infiltration I was basically always great at it, always to the benefit of the party, even if I had to go alone. (Of course being able to turn into a tiny spider and cast Pass Without Trace helps a lot with that, pretty sure I had an effective 20+ to my rolls with it up)

    I actually liked playing this quite a bit, and if I had to make any changes I'd say going to Druid 3 or 4 would be a good stopping point if you just want to nab shape shifting and Pass Without Trace for greatly aiding Rogue stuff. Probably go with Land tho.

    As for being an Assassin in general? It's actually hard to say, I didn't play like I was playing an Assassin. I only ever did 1 actual Assassination (though it was using Purple Worm Poison which instantly killed the guy I was assassinating, which was pretty cool) I would definitely say you need to lean into the Poisoner's Kit, since in terms of raw combat, you get nothing interesting. Both Infiltration Expertise and Imposter would have been garbage to me, and not to mention I never bothered to try and sway my party into setting up ambushes to let me try and deal more damage. Because mainly, it's never worth it, since you can't ever really get surprise on your 'big bad boss monsters' Like, when do you just ambush the boss of an area, sure you might get the first attack, but 9 times out of 10, you don't ambush high priority targets, mainly just out of practicality since it takes too much time and effort to set up that increased damage.

    And the worst thing, is that Assassin Rogue's don't get anything to assassin better with. An Assassin Rogue is going to be just as good as getting the drop on the enemy as any other type of Rogue, and are even worse than Arcane Trickster (Who can cast Invisibility on themselves) or Thief's (who can eventually use magic items to possibly cast invisibility on themselves) So if you tasked and Assassin Rogue, and a Arcane Trickster to get to X target, Arcane Trickster will more reliably be able to get to that target on their own, while Assassin will just be able to hit the target harder if nothing goes wrong.

    If you want to get the most out of Assassin, I'd only recommend playing it with a party who's willing to be sneaky, or with party members who can guarantee your sneakiness. (I was playing the druid/rogue with a Trickster Cleric who gave me advantage on my stealth rolls, though with the +20 I hardly needed it)

    I will say that I was constantly wishing I was more useful in combat. (this was more to do with my multiclass than being an Assassin tho)
    Last edited by elyktsorb; 2020-03-02 at 09:22 AM.

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