PDA

View Full Version : The Assassin Class



wbrandel
09-18-2009, 11:31 AM
Recently I saw an article in Dragon about the Assassin character class.
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20090911
I found the class as presented quite good and I am planning to present it to my players as a character option.

The powers of the Assassin are all based on the Shadow power source and they have a ki focus which if I read the article right (and remember it correctly) lets the assassin us any wielded weapon as an implement (including unarmed strikes). I have not finished compareing it to the other character classes yet but the assassin powers appear to be in line with the other classes, except one the Assassin's Shroud. one target can take upto 4d6 damage in one round from it (it is an at-will power), but the time it would take for that balances the damage I believe. The Assassin's Shroud is a standard action and to get the 4d6 damage it would take 4 rounds to do that (unless you spent an action point to put two on a target in one round). At higher levels the assassin can actually form a weapon out of the shadows and can Shadow Walk as a class feature. Basically this is a limited teleport of 3 squares with concealment until the end of your next turn.

Wizards has not finished the class yet it only goes to the paragon level and I have not finished a complete exam of the class yet. I would like to know who else has read about the assassin class and what you think of it.

Windstar
09-18-2009, 12:57 PM
I have read it and love it, they finally made it its own class. But must confess I am not happy with the ki stuff, mostly because I don't quite understand it yet.

Q-man
09-21-2009, 06:28 AM
Is it something they are building from the PHB3 power source? I thought the Psions and Monks were using the Ki power source.

I haven't read the Assassin class yet, but I gotta admit a Shodow power source sounds like it could be really interesting.

WhiteTiger
09-21-2009, 08:15 AM
It sounds as if it's more like a Ninja than anything. They are just using a more generic name rather than tie it to a more specific genre.

wbrandel
09-24-2009, 01:58 PM
The Assassin's Shroud is a standard action I was wrong it is a free action and several other powers allow you to place two shrouds at once on a target. Another class feature is shade form It allows you to become insubstantional for a turn unless you attack a creature. Many of its attacks are based off dexterity and do a low amount of damage but allow you to do other things to the target or deal ongoing damage.

I have entered in a game that will be starting soon and the DM is allowing me to run an Assassin class so i will be seeing how it functions under normal game conditions.

Dr.Dead
11-12-2009, 12:37 AM
I think the assassin is over powered because they can kill any humaniod in one strike at high levels. they have to examine the NPC/Character for 3 rounds then the assassin attacks and hits from behind it instently kills you.

WhiteTiger
11-12-2009, 07:28 AM
I think the assassin is over powered because they can kill any humaniod in one strike at high levels. they have to examine the NPC/Character for 3 rounds then the assassin attacks and hits from behind it instently kills you.


It's the same problem in Pathfinder as well and not only that but raise dead won't work. only true resurrection does.

wbrandel
11-13-2009, 03:10 PM
originally posted by:Dr. Dead

I think the assassin is over powered because they can kill any humaniod in one strike at high levels. they have to examine the NPC/Character for 3 rounds then the assassin attacks and hits from behind it instently kills you.

The 4e assassin does not have that problem. The class has been balanced out to remove the death strike, instead you have the assassin's shroud which is similar to the sneak attack of a rogue. Each assassin's shroud lets you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage when you activate them. After activating the shrouds they are used and must be replaced before they are used again, with the limit of no more than 4 per target and you can place shrouds on one creature. If you put a shroud on a different creature any prior shrouds become void and you can't use them.

Ishcumbeebeeda
11-15-2009, 05:38 PM
I have read it and love it, they finally made it its own class.

I should probably read farther before putting in my two cents(in case someone already said so) but they there was an assasin base class for 3.x. I think it was it was a Power Class or maybe Master Class book... I can't remember now... something third party at any rate. It seemed like a neet option, but I kept having the problem of what exactly is a first level assasin? I mean, do they take out small town mayor? Idk, part of my really liked the idea of a class that was just a straight assassin, but then another part of me couldn't wrap my head around the concept in roleplay terms... If anybody tries this one out, or has tried out the 3.x one, I, for one, would be interested in knowing how that went in game. Party dynamics and such.

Grandore The Giant Killer
11-21-2009, 09:59 AM
So wait this is going to be in PHB 3? I thought that book only had Divine, Primal, and Psionic in it. To be perfectly honest It's an interesting concept but I am more interested in Elemental power source for PHB 4 that is going around.

HowwwwL
11-29-2009, 11:02 AM
I heard the Assassin was not going to be in PHB and was a Dragon Magazine only release to promote their DDI supporters.

wbrandel
11-30-2009, 01:03 PM
Yep that's what I heard as well-the assassin is available only on DDI. but all you have to do is find a friend that has access then you can get it.


I have read it and love it, they finally made it its own class.

In Advanced Dungeons and Dragons the assassin was their own class as well. I found that out when I was going over some of my AD&D books trying to get Ideas for the next adventure.

Valdar
11-30-2009, 05:47 PM
Yes, Assassin was a Thief subclass in 1e, but was removed along with lots of other things when the game was sanitized in response to the fundies' outcries, along with "Demon", "Devil", and even "Thief".

I'm interested to see how the Assassin plays out, but I don't think that "Ki" and "Hexes" really belong with it- the "Assassin" was originally West Asian/ Middle Eastern in character (the word "Assassin" comes from "Hashish", didn'tcha know)- if they wanted to have Ki be part of this class, shouldn't it be called "Ninja" instead? And "Hexes" make me think witchcraft rather than stealthy killin'. (Ok, "hexes" actually makes me think of GURPS, but nevermind about that).

wizarddog
12-02-2009, 09:00 AM
The class does have more of the "Ninja" feel (compared to the 3.5 ninja), but then, the rogue in 4e feels(can be played) like a ninja as well; throwing stars, acrobatics, etc.

Low level assassins do make for interesting concepts. Perhapse he starts out as a hitman for moneylender on those who fail to pay and targets their family. Or since he is now an adventurer, that was his/her old job and now he/she is a fortune hunter.

The old 1e assassin was peculiar class: it could use any weapon, only leather, studded leather armor and didn't receive thief skills till like 3rd level. I always thought d20 system was better for such a character because it allows you to design the assassin as a sneaky type or a charismatic scoundrel.

Valdar
12-03-2009, 04:35 PM
One thing I'm noticing with the Assassin and other classes is the disparity in the number of trained and available skills to each class. Earlier editions had a tradeoff between combat ability and skills (Rogue and Bard got a huge skill loadout, but paid for it in combat)- 4e has retained the skill disparity even as the combat abilities of characters became balanced.

Assassin is on the "skill-heavy" side of classes (5 trained, 10 class), along with Ranger (5/8), Rogue (6/10), and Bard (5/14!); all other classes have four, except Fighter (3/5) and Barbarian (3/7). Fighter is especially hampered by having the lowest count of both categories and no knowledge skills at all- also notice that all Divine classes are short-changed by being required to take a skill based on a dump stat (Religion/Int)- a Wizard or Swordmage will typically have a higher untrained Religion score than a Paladin or Cleric as a result...

Anyway, off-topic, but has anyone seen any articles or discussions that explain why skills weren't balanced along with combat?

Otakar
01-03-2010, 11:59 AM
I have entered in a game that will be starting soon and the DM is allowing me to run an Assassin class so i will be seeing how it functions under normal game conditions.

I would like to hear how your game goes. I think the Assassin class is spot-on! It could be conceived that it has over-powering advantages but that balances out role-play for the general disdain that the character could suffer depending on the campaign. Also, it makes for a great one-on-one game for the DM who only has one D&D buddy available.

I played 1ED and didn't appreciate 2ED taking out the Assassin (as well as thieves, devils and demons). I was also tracking with Valdar's comment about appeasing fundamentalists. All of those things are in the Bible, (well, not so much assassins as assassinations) so I don't fear challenging my fellow Born-Agains with them. ;)

emblasochist
01-06-2010, 01:50 PM
I am also curious as to how well the assassin class plays in 4th. They seem to be extremely short-changed in combat seeing as how they are a cloth/leather class with a bunch of melee touch powers. I DMed a game with a 4th edition assassin that found out the hard way that assassins cannot charge. It was sad, but the assassin was the first person taken out, and after successfully coming back, was knocked down again and was the cause of the party's TPK. That, coupled with the fact that the damage output of the assassin doesn't seem to match up with other strikers in terms of damage range or damage consistency makes it hard to see how one could be an effective party member in a 50% combat 4th edition game.

Geode
01-07-2010, 12:09 AM
SQUEEEEE! Must... get... DDI! *spazzy fit*

jonnyrockshard
01-12-2010, 02:08 AM
First things first: free teleport makes them kings of mobility. You should be coordinating with the party's Defender so that you can flank enemies that the Defender marks, allowing you increased accuracy and keeping you safe as well. If an assassin charges in combat and gets downed then thats their fault for playing the class incorrectly. The Assassin is a melee striker with the least amount of HP per level with relatively low defenses. There are lots of opportunities for high damage within the class, and if you're worried about survivability, the Bleak disciple build is a great idea. The key is learning how to play the class. A melee squishy is definatly not the easiest class to play, that much is certain, however, with teamwork and smart playing, it can be quite deadly.

Otakar
01-12-2010, 08:41 AM
I appreciate posts like that, Jonnyrock. I feel that good gaming goes hand in hand with good role playing. Keep the tips coming. I plan to play an assassin at some point.

wbrandel
01-19-2010, 12:36 PM
The Assassin I am playing uses a rapier as his primary weapon (yes I burned a feat to use it) and have found that although the damage is low for a striker (even with the shrouds because to get the most out of them you need to hold off on useing them until there are 4 on your target) the mobilty of the class can tie up large amounts of creatures because of the shadow step power (creature to creature 3 squares) you can actually bounce around the battlefield and threaten quite a few critters (and drive your DM nuts). For any one starting an Assassin character I would recommend a diffrent weapon and to be careful when selecting powers, and don't expect to drop creatures by yourself as often as the other striker classes. The assassin is one class that must work as part of a group to survive.

Blydden
01-21-2010, 03:46 AM
The rapier is such a great weapon. Problem is I don't see enough difference between the rapier and the longsword for the rapier to be truly useful.

Ok, back on topic.

My friend, Kori, plays and assassin and she plays it well. (She uses a greatsword, FYI.)

She hasn't used he shadow step much yet, and prefers to use her assassin's noose. One thing I saw myself when I looked at the assassin is that there isn't much at-will power variation and the at-wills are quite situational, and a little weak. (For a striker I mean, but I guess this defers to the what I see of the rogue's problem, but I am digressing once more.)

Otherwise, I find to assassin to be more controller-y than striker-y. But, other than what has been stated, I love the assassin.

I pray they release the Shadow power source in a book and more assassin powers! :D

(My advice. Use a greatsword, or if you don't mind a feat burn, a fullblade.)

emblasochist
01-21-2010, 08:08 PM
If you haven't played a rogue with a rapier, you wouldn't notice the difference. A rogue can use a rapier for his striker mechanic, and with other feats, can use it even in some cases where he wouldn't have CA. That makes all the difference in the world for the rogue. But if you don't get pigeon-holed into a weapon-type, longsword is better because its the same weapon without the feat cost, and has the versatile property. Hell, it only weighs two more pounds than the rapier, so, unless you are a rogue, it really doesn't make sense to take the feat... But, it is just a feat... And sometimes it is kinda nice to be wielding a rapier and a parrying dagger together, Artemis Entrei style...

Valdar
01-22-2010, 11:01 AM
The other advantage of a Rapier is that it isn't versatile, so Small races can wield them one-handed.

Midnight Genius
02-21-2010, 04:19 PM
I played an assassin in a level 30 one-shot and loved it. Its combat is nice, and runs very smoothly. I believe the PH3's 'main' power source is shadow, though I may be mixing that up with something else my boyfriend told me. I would recommend this class as an underrated and fun play style. It does seem a little weak at first, but in practice it's quite alright.

wbrandel
02-22-2010, 12:37 PM
The rapier is such a great weapon. Problem is I don't see enough difference between the rapier and the longsword for the rapier to be truly useful.


True there isn't much differnce between a rapier and a longsword. It was a personal choice due to my character's background and the fact when he is in town he puts on the persona of a weathy merchant or a low ranked noble (with the paperwork to back his story).


Otherwise, I find to assassin to be more controller-y than striker-y. But, other than what has been stated, I love the assassin.

Yes the assassin is more a controller than a striker by damage. what the assassin excels at is selecting one target and eliminating it or playing mobile and bouncing from creature to creature allowing combat advantage bonuses.

In the game where I play an assassin I work with the rogue to allow him to get his sneak attack bonus after I attack with an at will and shrouds. If we can identify the BBEG we work together to take him out. The rogue will coordinate his attacks with me when I have 3 or 4 shrouds on the target to try to remove it as soon as possible. So far those tactics have worked for us.