All along the crooked way - An Assassin's Handbook

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I would have to agree that changelings should be dark blue rather than light based mostly off of terrible racial support; they are good assassins, the number of times I wished mine was a drow though...

Another issue I'm not sure of: Hidden Insight requires you to be hidden from your target in order to be effective, I'm fairly sure that by RAW this wouldn't apply to the circumstances of an infiltration such as with Changeling's Disguise.


Another issue I'm not sure of: Hidden Insight requires you to be hidden from your target in order to be effective, I'm fairly sure that by RAW this wouldn't apply to the circumstances of an infiltration such as with Changeling's Disguise.



You're right I think. Another thing about using changeling disguise to get your quarry alone rather than sneaking in the window while they sleep is that A) you can take your fullblade through the window with you and B) they'll be asleep; that means a 4-shroud coup de grace (and as they're asleep I don't believe you even need Hidden Insight to do this).

These are relatively minor things, but they're things nonetheless. I'm balancing it out when DMing for a changeling assassin currently by allowing the changeling to get in relatively easier with bluff (perhaps with one or two checks, at least one of which may be heavily modified by the racial), which in turn counteracts the fact that they probably won't be able to find their enemy helpless or bring that fullblade in there with them. Just a thought anyway! 
Gnolls should be dark blue, despite having only the one feat. Stats align perfectly for Bleak Disciples.
Hello to all,

the races part is taking me quite some effort (more than I expected). I hope to finish it this evening. I'm happy that the ratings i put up so far do not seem to be too much off the mark, with some comments on my side and some one shade off. I tought quite a while before giving Light Blue to halflings as nightstalkers, but have seen no comments so far. I would be interested in getting some opinions about it.
BTW: the Gnoll will be dark blue for sure. With some more feat support it would definitely be light blue.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

There should not be any gold. No race is a must have.

The only sky blue for me is Drow. They make the best choice for the best build option. I can maybe see Githzerai (or Revenant Githzerai) sky blue also.

Most other Dex races and humans are probably blue, except Razorclaws. They have nothing going for them other than dex, and should probably be black.

Dwarf could be upgraded to black. The existence of revenant does not invalidate the choice of a dwarf. Not every game allows revenants, and dwarves with both their offensive and defensive tools are a solid choice for bleak disciple. They will have to start with 18 dex, but with 16 con, 18 dex, 13 wis, they don't really need much else.

Half-elves should be blue. Don't forget they can take human feats which can lead to some nice fast stacking of shrouds. Nab Careful Attack from the Ranger or Sly Flourish from Rogue, and you make a pretty good crossbow/implement assassin.
There should not be any gold. No race is a must have.

The only sky blue for me is Drow. They make the best choice for the best build option. I can maybe see Githzerai (or Revenant Githzerai) sky blue also.

Most other Dex races and humans are probably blue, except Razorclaws. They have nothing going for them other than dex, and should probably be black.

Dwarf could be upgraded to black. The existence of revenant does not invalidate the choice of a dwarf. Not every game allows revenants, and dwarves with both their offensive and defensive tools are a solid choice for bleak disciple. They will have to start with 18 dex, but with 16 con, 18 dex, 13 wis, they don't really need much else.

Half-elves should be blue. Don't forget they can take human feats which can lead to some nice fast stacking of shrouds. Nab Careful Attack from the Ranger or Sly Flourish from Rogue, and you make a pretty good crossbow/implement assassin.



I second most of that, though I am of the opinion that Revenants should also be sky blue, what with being the best race for the other build. Changelings are also an excellent choice, bordering on sky blue, but the lack of feat support hurts them a lot...
If someone could let me know how to add spoiler tags, I'll post an item wishlist I wrote for my two assassins which might be helpful (want to avoid the 'wall of text' effect).

One thing assassin guides seem to really lack is good item suggestions.
(sblock=name here)(/sblock) is how you do it, replacing the ()'s with []'s.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Thanks!

Armor

Shadowflow (13+) - Concealment is very useful for assassins moving around open areas with shade's form and an untyped bonus to stealth is always good.

Armour of Dark Deeds (14+) - Gaining concealment is nice to have as a generic combat bonus, especially with the mobility shadow step provides to gain flanking. No use to sneaking though.

Stalker's Armour (18+) - Keeps concealment once you have it; shadowflow is probably better though.


Weapons

Rhythm Blade (3+) - Allows access to sneak attack and improves defenses as well as a light shield. Implement powers can take advantage of this without a fall to the poorer weapon die.

Dynamic Weapon (6+) - A fairly generic weapon enchantment with some potential uses for those making use of ki foci. Especially good for when attempting an infiltration.

Spiderkissed Weapon (7+) - Not sure on this ruling but the poison damage property can be applied and then a Ki focus used to gain more aggressive properties while still allowing access to the poison damage to trigger Venom Hand Killer.

Sunblade (4+) - Working on the same basis as the above, only applying radiant damage to access damage from Siberny's Shard of Radiance, general undead bashing and critical enhancement paths such as Student of Caiphon.

Rain of Hammers Ki Focus (3+) - The property isn't overwhelming (unless you're surrounded by minions) but it and the item power are quite aggressive.

Iron Body Ki Focus (5+) - Big crit dice and a good defensive property. Especially good for Bleak Disciples who manage to isolate an enemy.



Arm Slot:

Iron Armbands of Power (6+) - No surprises here.

Foot Slot

Boots of Stealth (3+) - Item bonus to the key skill

Boots of the Fencing Master (7) - Defense bonus for those times when you can't Shadow Step.

Eladrin Boots (16) - +2 bonus to teleports? Shadow Step for 5 is sexy. I would keep these for the rest of my career.

Lighstep Slippers (21) - big item bonus to stealth and invisibility to anything you come across that relies upon tremorsense.


Hand Slot

Gauntlets of Blood (4+) - somewhat lacklustre but not really much else to get. Bonus to damage

Shadowdancer's Gloves (11) - Can aid in taking down something nasty if you have Hidden Insight.

Gauntlets of Destruction (18) - Surprise, surprise.


Head Slot


Cannith Goggles (1) - Perception item  bonus that can save your bacon when you scout ahead

Eye of Deception (8) - Item bonus to bluff and stealth, especially useful for changelings.

Coif of Mindiron (8) - You don't like to charge therefore being dazed can suck.

Hat of Disguise (10) - Lets you infiltrate as well as a changeling.

Shadowdancer's Mask (10) - Shadowdancer's Regelia bonus is nice to have as an assassin. The power can be a life saver as well (although less useful if you have a DM rolling your stealth checks).

Helm of Vision Unclouded (11) - Item bonus to insight/perception with a backup of being able to see invisible creatures for a round a day; helpful when something disappears with lots of shrouds on it.

Goggles of Night (14) - Nothing gives you away quite as much as making sure you can see; now you can.

Cyclops Helm (18) - Helm of Unclouded Vision's bigger brother.

Hood of the Wolf (20) - Lots of item bonuses and the abilty to strip an enemy of its invisibility for an encounter

Trickster's Mask (20) - Double roll stealth and thievery and take 20 once per day.


Neck Slot

Talon Amulet (3) - Item bonus to damage with combat advantage and the ability to make hitting you unattractive and quite nice for an assassin

Amulet of Life (5+) - Extra surge spending.

Shadowdancer's Cloak (9+) - Decent effect, the real boost is the set bonus.

Cloak of Translocation (9+) - an untyped bonus to AC and Reflex for using Shadow Step? Yoink.

Assassin's Cloak (14+) - Double roll stealth and a fun daily item power for nightstalkers.


Rings

Ring of Giants (13) - Generic supercrit ring

Eladrin Ring of Passage (14) - Boost to shadow step. This could become obscene with a pair, matching boots and an eladrin assassin.

Chameleon Ring (16) - Hefty item bonus to stealth and handy daily item power.

War Ring (16) - Generic super-supercrit ring.



Waist Slot

Belt of Vigor (2) - More surge value is a big thing, especially for nightstalkers who get very few to work with.


Diamond Cincture (10) - Surgeless healing and a bonus to fortitude are always welcome.


Belt of Breaching (19) - Nice failsafe and fun interaction with Cloak of Translocation and Shadow Step if you get another item from the set (Dimensional Gauntlets (20) being quite a decent choice).


I agree with the sentiment about not giving races Gold ratings. While Drow do have the stat synergy, their support isn't quite that much more for an assassin than any other class/role. Two feats, that's it.

*still waves my Kenku flag*
A few notes:
  • As others have pointed out, no race should be gold. Gold implies that any other choice would be a subpar choice. And while its true that Drow and Revenants have the best support and synergy that doesn't mean they should be the only Assassins.

  • Revenants - Don't forget humans! Human Soul offers an untyped +1 to NAD's that can be stacked with other feats, items, etc. Also opens up other great human feats (Action Surge, Crimson Eye Action, etc). Also opens up one of the best Racial Paragon Paths in the game, Adroit Explorer. A Revenant (Human) Assassin/Soul Thief with Action Surge should almost never miss when they spend an AP.

  • There are an awful lot of Blue and Light Blue races. It's going to be a challenge but there really needs to be a way to delineate why races are ranked the way they are and stat synergy alone doesn't cut it. For instance, Elves are Light Blue even though they only align with the main stat (Wis is only a Tertiary stat for Bleak Disciples. Night Stalkers may not be able to afford to keep Wis and Cha.) Githzerai are only light blue because their racial feats are bloated, so be sure to point out that playing a Gith means you'll be spending 2-3 feats slots on racial feats to justify being Light Blue. Be sure to point out that Goliath's are only blue because of their Assassin racial feat which lets them add Str to their damage (Goliath Great Weapon feat actually kind of sucks compared to other racial weapon feats). Razorclaw Shifters are at best black since their racial stuff comes up at bloodied, which for an Assassin means you're 1-2 hits away from dead.

  • In the end those choices are up to you but with so many "good" races you'll need to distinguish them a little better (I can see why the races section would be hard for this class, I don't envy your task).

  • Goblins, Kenku, Bladelings and any other MM race should never go higher than blue until they get some feat support. Good news is Assassins are so feat starved that these races won't miss racial feats too much. 

Thanks all. The races part is very difficult because there are a lot of nuances and catching them all is not an easy task.


Answering to Awesomologist who collected many open points:


Gold races: I feel that Drow and especially Revenant are by far the best races for assassin. If you look at the builds around the CO there are almost only revenants and drow. The main reason why I gave them gold is that the showcase the spirit of the two guilds. If there is a general agreement about not having Gold races I will return them to sky blue level, but I honestly feel they are a step above.

Revenant (humans): good point. My encounter combo assassin/avenger is human exactly because Action Surge is needed to hit with one crucial power.

Awful lot of light blue and blue races: it's true. The points I use in evaluation are:

Bonus to DEX: very important as it influences everything
Bonus to CHA or CON: important but not so much. At low levels has an impact but at high levels it doesn't really matter. The +1 to damage you get for a Nightstalker gets overshadowed by static bonuses for example.
Feat selection: I try to evaluate the efficiency of the most interesting feats. Revenants have the best score here as they can get feats from another race and get a slew of feats that increase their staying power.
Racial powers: I get preference to powers who either educe damage taken or help to avoid it by invisibility/darkness over feats who increase damage over other feats.

I would also like to share here a little about my vision of the assassin (without multiclassing/hybriding), to better show why I value some things more than others.
At heroic level you can play it as mobile spike striker and it will be absolutely fine. From paragon onwards you'll not be able to do that. Spike damage will soon become low compared to several other strikers (rangers and barbarian namely) and with DPR-wise things will even be worse. I played an assassin up to 26th level so far and another up to 19th. Running the striker race will leave you with the short stick. But there is an area where you can shine (or at least find your niche) and that is bleeding off the monsters over the long term and either resist their damage or avoid it by being invisible/hidden/whatever. Shaka's Mrs. Tough Guy showcases perfectly where an assassin can do good. My 26th level assassin tends to be the last man standing and has often avoided TPK in the party, while dealing reasonable damage over the long term.

That's for example the reason I gave Light Blue to halflings. Honestly who cares if you're small. You can grab a bastard sword two handed if you want with the same feat expenditure a medium character has to take a fullblade. This will influence your DPR by something between 0,5 and 1 as you'll usually need less than 11 to hit (1 and 2 DPR at epic). Your +1 to damage from the Nightstalker Guild Training will very often offset this compared to races who do not have a CHA bonus. You get a racial power that may negate an hit every encounter (or maybe reduce a crit to a normal hit) and this I rate high based on the considerations above.
Some feats are also useful in that direction (phantom blade evasion, lost in the crowd).

When I will move to the powers you'll probably see many "strange ratings", as for an assassin the control function becomes more and more important at high levels.

What I can is (as suggested by Awesomologist) to expand a bit the description of the races to better explain what I see behind them (I hate races!!!).

Anyway thanks for feedback, I'm learning something at every step here.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)



Half-elves should be blue. Don't forget they can take human feats which can lead to some nice fast stacking of shrouds. Nab Careful Attack from the Ranger or Sly Flourish from Rogue, and you make a pretty good crossbow/implement assassin.



Half-elves should definately be blue. without a doubt. three feats and once per encounter, if you have an action point, you can throw down all four shrouds in one turn, and then use a good daily and invoke shrouds.
possibly even sky-blue for multi-classing rogue or possibly bard, although I won't want to mc a non damage boosting class much as an assassin until there's better support for paragon and epic assassins. also, if you're willing to use a light shield and a bastard sword as an mc rogue, and focus on not getting hit rather than high con, guiding strike may be worthwhile for half-elf nightstalker/rogues.

another nice things about goliath assassins: it's very easy to qualify for mc barbarian, chainmail, and heavy blade feat goodness. for me, unfortunately, I really don't like bleak disciples. I recognize their place, but they just don't excite me at all.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Races are up for comments. I eliminated gold and had thus to reshuffle a bit some ratings.

I'll go working into the Guilds.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I just skimmed through it and you seem to be pretty much on the mark. Well, here's to hoping that Changelings and Kenku get some feat support soon.

(also, you colored the first letter of the description in the minotaur, and in the warforged although the race is colored purple/magenta/whatever, the ":" are colored green; just some minor things I noticed)
Thanks Sn0wm4n. The colour errors are now cleared. The section about guilds is up, except for a formatting problem I have. I would like to format the title in a different way, but every time I try I get the full text formatted (even if I select the title only).

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Good job describing the guilds, and I concur with the at will evaluation.

As for the formatting problem, have you tried altering the code directly in html and closing all the tags in the right places? Because that shouldn't be happening...

Thanks for the tip Sn0wm4n! It's sorted out.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I like the encounter ratings, but I'm not convinced on Shadow Darts. True, it has more chances to crit, but you say the damage ends up being comparable or slightly lower than the other encounters. This, coupled with the fact that all the other powers have a light controlling effect, makes me think of it as a slightly worse choice.

Also, while I greatly enjoy the explanations you gave at the end of the power listing, I'm worried that by doing across all the selection points, it will create an undesirable wall of text effect...I would suggest the use of sblocks, but having heard about problems with them in these boards, I'm not sure what to recommend... 

I agree that maybe Shadow Darts could be rated one shade below. I thought for a while about it. The main advantage compared to Gloom Thief and Smothering Shadow is range. If you have some defender buddies between you and the target you can inflict this damage from a safe position. Nightmare shades has a comparable damage including the extra damage on an action on your next round, so they are really matched at first level. Maybe I'll downgrade it to Green. Let me think over it.

I will not add all these explanation at all power levels. I did it for the first level encounter ones because seeing four equal ratings can be a bit puzzling for those who read. Are there really no differences? To me the choice of first level encounters (once you've chosen your guild) is really a matter of personal taste.

Regarding sblocks: my html-fu is very bad. I hear that sblocks can be a problem so I try to avoid them. Thanks for all the feedback.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Ah, When I first read it I thought you weren't taking into account the extra damage from Nightmare Shades. Well, after this explanation I can see why you would give it the same rating as the others. 

Well, since these extended explanations won't come up that often then, you don't need sblocks. Probably better this way. And I'm happy to help.

I just skimmed through it and you seem to be pretty much on the mark. Well, here's to hoping that Changelings and Kenku get some feat support soon.

(also, you colored the first letter of the description in the minotaur, and in the warforged although the race is colored purple/magenta/whatever, the ":" are colored green; just some minor things I noticed)



And the shadar-kai! I mean, they're from the shadowfell, they already teleport, flavor-wise they should be great assassins, and they are decent, but they need just one or two decent assassin feats.

I made one tough SOB shadar-kai nightstalker. His damage output wasn't quite as high as, say, a drow, but he was from calimsham(calimshan?), and had the cold and necrotic dr racial feats(and the action point one, but that has nothing to do with being tougher to kill), so he had resist 4 fire, resist 5 cold and resist 5 necrotic, and then the transolacation cloak and a mithrendain steel dagger to go with his spiderkissed bastard sword. I haven't gotten to play him, outside of a couple playtests with my roomate, but he was pretty cool. I'd probably do some things differently if I were to look him over before playing him in a campaign. It just bums me out that there was no assassin racial feat for him.

quick question, would those feats and background resistances stack with resistance from an item?
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Just thought I'd include some maths for shadow darts and crits, because I was interested in it.

Assuming 545% chance to hit, 5% chance to crit, level 1, 1 shroud will do
6*.05+3.5*.55=2.2
and 4 shrouds will do
24*.05+14*.55+10.5*.4=13.1

46% chance to hit, 14% chance to crit, level 1 would mean
6*.14+3.5*.46=2.5
while 4 shrouds does
24*.14+14*.46+10.5*.4=14

So using your shadow darts with a 4-shroud gives you .9 points of expected damage, per encounter. That's not a huge amount.
and I really think that half elves are about as good a choice as humans. Having the potential to drop all four shouds in one turn, and then hit with a daily and invoke is pretty damn nice. dilletante can be used in a multitude of ways depending on build and whether or not you mc. half-elves are a very good choice for a damage spike build, especially is that build involves mc rogue, but still awesome without the mc.

EDIT: gah. i quoted myself rather than editing my post. sigh.

anyway, I think shadar-kai might hit sky blue with the right feat support.
that and their racial PPs seem better than the assassin class PPs on a casual perusal, and can stay within the desired flavour.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

quick question, would those feats and background resistances stack with resistance from an item?



No, you would apply only the highest resistance.

quick question, would those feats and background resistances stack with resistance from an item?



No, you would apply only the highest resistance.



ok, that's what I thought. thanks for the conformation.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Regarding half-elves. the four shroud in one round combo is good at heroic. At epic it won't change anything. Since everybody can take Killer's Insight we really look at 2d6+12 per encounter (23 in average) extra damage which is less than the damage you'll make with one at-will attack. You'd better spend two feats to stay alive.
Dilettante is a different issue. I really hope the third build will use Int as a secondary. If it does then taking Thunderwave with Dilettante and Versatile Master could be very interesting for many reasons.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I see your point with thunderwave, but I guess well just have to wait until they release something about it

I think shadowed legion deserves a blue rating. While i mostly agree with your assessment, i'm currently in a pat where everyone is trained in stealth and i still took shadowed legion because all of their stealth checks are 8-11 points lower than mine nonetheless. So if you've tweeked your stealth score it will still be good.

Not if the rest of the party have also tweaked out their Stealth score. It's a very party-dependent power, which is why erleni didn't rate it (remember that black doesn't mean baseline in this guide), and I'll have to agree with him there (kind of reminds me of Oath of the Relentless Hunter).

@ erleni - you'll want to take a look at the text in Terrifying Visage. I think there's something wrong where you're bringing up Grave Spike's ongoing damage when comparing Terrifying Visage to Strangling Shadow


Not if the rest of the party have also tweaked out their Stealth score. 



That hardly seems common...
I think it's entirely fair to assume for class guides that your character has a niche within the party. Typically, someone in the party will have a terrible stealth score. I mean, otherwise, shouldn't the cleric guide rank healing feats/powers black because IF you're in a party made up entirely of leaders, then that extra healing is going to be entirely redundant..?
I've exaggerated a little, but only a little, I think.

Stealth is a great skill but it's (normally) made much less good by the fact that you're only as stealthy as the least stealthy nearby party member. Having a single party member trained in stealth allows for reconnaissance. Having a party with universally tweaked stealth scores allows for much more.

EDIT: that response of mine lacked context. I just went back and read erlini's power description and though I think that very few powers indeed are truly able to be rated in a vacuum, I still agree with his assessment. My point is merely that the majority of parties have a clanker in them, so although it does depend on the party, most parties benefit greatly from the power. 

I probably exaggerated in saying that the party could have stealth tweaked out, but I was merely trying to make a point (though I agree it was probably not the best way to express it). I do agree that more often than not the party you're in will find this utility helpful, but I believe the fact that it can be not just less effective, but completely useless in some (admittedly rare) lineups justifies erleni's stance on not rating it 

Yeah, plus, all anyone need do is read the text for that rating (I hadn't done it when I first posted my response) and they'll see that he's provisionally rated it blue. So no biggie.
Regarding half-elves. the four shroud in one round combo is good at heroic. At epic it won't change anything. Since everybody can take Killer's Insight we really look at 2d6+12 per encounter (23 in average) extra damage which is less than the damage you'll make with one at-will attack. You'd better spend two feats to stay alive.
Dilettante is a different issue. I really hope the third build will use Int as a secondary. If it does then taking Thunderwave with Dilettante and Versatile Master could be very interesting for many reasons.



I suppose you have a point. Honestly, though, in that case I'd still just take the feats and then retrain them later. mostly because, well, epic isn't everything. the goal should be a character that is useful at each tier, even if you have to change focus at some point in the progression to do it. even if it only makes a real difference up to about halfway through paragon, that's half the character's life. if you have a plan for after that point, it's irrelevant if the option you're switching out of would continue to make a difference. It only matters if it was useful when you had it.
and two feats are pretty damn easy to change.

If that is enough to derank the half-elf, ok, but so far as I can tell, it doesn't harm the usefulness of the race for assassins. it just makes the race a bit more of a thought required option.  and, honestly, at every level of play, there are other classes with at-wills that will be better than what the assassin has, which makes versatile master very worthwhile.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

I could see a half-elf assassin poaching Eyebite or Hellish Rebuke, or maybe even a burst power from the monk (don't have anything on the monk with me, so not sure about this one).

Regarding half-elves. the four shroud in one round combo is good at heroic. At epic it won't change anything. Since everybody can take Killer's Insight we really look at 2d6+12 per encounter (23 in average) extra damage which is less than the damage you'll make with one at-will attack. You'd better spend two feats to stay alive.
Dilettante is a different issue. I really hope the third build will use Int as a secondary. If it does then taking Thunderwave with Dilettante and Versatile Master could be very interesting for many reasons.



I suppose you have a point. Honestly, though, in that case I'd still just take the feats and then retrain them later. mostly because, well, epic isn't everything. the goal should be a character that is useful at each tier, even if you have to change focus at some point in the progression to do it. even if it only makes a real difference up to about halfway through paragon, that's half the character's life. if you have a plan for after that point, it's irrelevant if the option you're switching out of would continue to make a difference. It only matters if it was useful when you had it.
and two feats are pretty damn easy to change.

If that is enough to derank the half-elf, ok, but so far as I can tell, it doesn't harm the usefulness of the race for assassins. it just makes the race a bit more of a thought required option.  and, honestly, at every level of play, there are other classes with at-wills that will be better than what the assassin has, which makes versatile master very worthwhile.



I see your point too about the feats and agree. Infact I think I will rate them ok and explain that you may have to retrain them later on in your career. But here I was evaluating the race and you can't retrain that. Versatile Master is interesting. The warlock at-wills for example can be looked into and the Rogue ones as well. Twin Strike (ranged) can be an interesting option for a crossbow user. Once I will get to the multiclass section I would loke more in details into powers from other classes and maybe come back to the half-elf rating.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Remember that Heart of Dust is a poison power, so if you're fighting undead it probably won't do you much good. I'm not sure if it's enough to change the rating of the power, but if it's not I think you should at least include a note in there

You're right. i'm so fond of Venom Hand Master that sometimes I take it for granted....

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I would personally say that Army of the Night doesn't deserve a blue rating for Nighstalkers (I just retrained it out for Gloom Thief). The problem I found with it was that it was difficult to gain any extra attacks from the target but also, those attacks were generally very weak, especially since monster groups often use attacks that deal the same type of damage as they resist.

The only thing I'd say it has going for it is the weapon vs will accuracy insanity.

I actually concur with the rating in that, if the DM plays ball with you on the enemy movement, it's blue. If he doesn't, however, I'd say it's black at best (or green, in this case). Nonetheless, I think that is exactly what erleni said in the text.