Dragon 391: Essentials Assassin...

139 posts / 0 new
Last post
DnDi_Large.pngDragon 391
Essentials Assassin: A Player's Essentials Playtest Class

by Rodney Thompson

Meet the executioner assassin—30 levels of back-stabbing, poison-wielding excitement.

Talk about this Article here.

391_pe_assassin.jpg

This article has me liking essentials. This assassin build is awsome! It feels exactly like an assassin should feel.
I agree, and I love the low damage weapons on at wills that do 2w...

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Hmmm. One thing I don't like, as it gets to its higher levels the build seems to offer less options and more fixed "at this level you gain this ability" entries. I much prefer options. Still, this is damn cool! I would love to play one of these.

P.S. The build needs more epic level poison options. You end up learning 3 25th level poisons of your choice. But, there are only 3 level 25 poisons that exist. That is lame. It order to give the build more replay value it needs more epic level poisons (so that you end up having to choose a few poisons that you can not have on any given play-through).
It's fairly nice, I'd have to study it more. I would miss teleporting around and gaining insub if I converted my LFR Assassin, but the added features might make up for it. Seems like this would really shine a lot more in a home campaign, but that's cool too. Has some nice utilities to poach in any case. Shrouds are a mechanic I'm not sure I'll miss, though many Assassin feats are dependent on the shroud feature. Speaking of which, there isn't any new feats to support the new features.

Problems though: You can only gain 15th level poisons (seems to be the equivalent of normal Assassin dailies) via the Paragon Executioner path. However, the level 25 Epic Poisons and level 29 Epic Poisoner let you use level 15 poisons, you just don't know any and can't replace them with level 1 poisons. Kind of weird. Also it's unclear if you get a level 16 utility if you don't paragon into Paragon Executioner (could just be a common feature of Essentials Paragons). Probably could use another usage of Assassin's Strike later in the progression. As I gather, a Slayer can eventually get 4 uses of Power Strike for 3[W], so 12[W] spread out. An Assassin gets 7d10, but it is in one burst, but I'm sure somebody can do the math on that.
So far, so good.  I actually may like this as much or better than the regular Assassin.
It's fairly nice, I'd have to study it more. I would miss teleporting around and gaining insub if I converted my LFR Assassin, but the added features might make up for it. Seems like this would really shine a lot more in a home campaign, but that's cool too. Has some nice utilities to poach in any case. Shrouds are a mechanic I'm not sure I'll miss, though many Assassin feats are dependent on the shroud feature. Speaking of which, there isn't any new feats to support the new features.

Problems though: You can only gain 15th level poisons (seems to be the equivalent of normal Assassin dailies) via the Paragon Executioner path. However, the level 25 Epic Poisons and level 29 Epic Poisoner let you use level 15 poisons, you just don't know any and can't replace them with level 1 poisons. Kind of weird. Also it's unclear if you get a level 16 utility if you don't paragon into Paragon Executioner (could just be a common feature of Essentials Paragons). Probably could use another usage of Assassin's Strike later in the progression. As I gather, a Slayer can eventually get 4 uses of Power Strike for 3[W], so 12[W] spread out. An Assassin gets 7d10, but it is in one burst, but I'm sure somebody can do the math on that.


This is the best technical feedback I've seen so far, you outlined what may really be a non-intended side-effect. Please, serve the community and send it as feedback as explained in the article!!

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

On the first glance it looks like a nice essentials class, but it definetly isnt a "revamped assassin in Dungeons & Dragons® Essentialsstyle", it rather looks like a different type of brutal rogue.
We get attack finess, wich is a solid strikermechanic, still it yet misses feat support and doesnt work in any way like an "essential" shadows shroud.
We get some "at will" powers associated with a special weapon that either dont deal damage at all, but have controll effects, or try to compensate the low weapondamage by adding an additinal +1[W].
Additional Hit Points, the loss of movement at will teleport and the requirement of beeing hidden for some features will change the gamestyle massively i think.
Some of the classfeatures however look like they were simply added to to compensate the damagemechanic of this class. Death Attack for example and later on Vital Strike look like they were added to kompensate some of the damagedifferences to other strikers. Especially death attack looks like it has to avoid that an assasin needs one additional attack to deliver a killing blow other strikers achive without a boost.
The poison powers are nice, but i cant see how they make this class easier to play for beginners.
The whole "essentials style" of presenting new classes might be nice for those new to the game to follow a "red string", i personally dislike it. The class somewhat looks bloated to me and it takes more time to figure out the core features if i have to read over fairly common knowledge like "ability score increases", "gain a utility power at level x", "take a new feat"... . Its like cooking with a coach behind you allways telling you "now add salt, water..., while you allready have it in your hand, ready to add it.
So my quint essence of this essentials assasin: You get a nice sort of brutal rogue with solid powers and pinch of the old assasin in it.

Edit: Since this class isnt finished yet and some of the developers might actually read this id like to add some questions/critics.
  • Why is this class Dex and Cha based in the entry? Infact i havent found a single use of charisma in the mechanics. Ok bluff and streetwise are related skills, but same goes for perception and insight which are wisdom based for example and quite usefull too.

  • Why the plain +1d6 damage boost each tier? This is as simple as it could be (hey essentials) but still it also makes the lowest sense. Even the fluff text isnt really appealing. So an assasin has to kill his targets fast, therefore he deals more damage by making acurate strikes. My question: And what about all the other stikers out there? Arent they trying to kill the target as soon as possible and with the hightest accuracy they have? Any other class has some sort of caracteristic here, why not add one that fits an assasin better?

  • Doing poison effects is nice, but the way it is now, it destroys much of the "simplicity" the class hass by adding x different poisons usable x times a day. Why not adding an encounter feature like assasins strike instead with some improoving poison effect?

  • Vital strike: Why ad this playstyle related mechanic so late to the build? So until level 16 an assasin fights mainly as he likes to and at that point he better starts getting CA every turn?

  • Where did all the shadow fell fluff go to? It was the main feature of the original assasin, why not this one?

  • Ki foki? Why does this class has ki foki, it has no implement powers. This is a balast from the old assasin mainly added in fear of loosing its connection to the old version. It works fine to compensate the disadvantages of those weapon related powers you get from your guild, but it is merely a backdoor to make the idea of an assasin using tons of special weapons work, it has no real story nor implement background anymore.

D&D Outsider since Nov 18th 2010, if you wonder about the little red dragon, this one is dedicated to the great VT community.
@Kartesh

There's basically only one thing that I think you got wrong on an objective level: the fact that Essential = Easy/Beginner's.
It is true for the Red Box (which actually has *simplified* versions of Essential classes), and maybe for the first book too, but the concept of Essentials per se is that they represent the most essential builds: the builds that better represent the classes, and that better express the feel of their D&D iconic identity.
Mike Mearls discussed this in an interview I can point to you if you want (it's been published by the Escapist website).
So I think we should eliminate all the criticism focused on the "difficulty" of the class. This is the new directions of all the next builds we're getting, and it is not associated to difficulty level, it's just different so that a different feel can be added to classes that would have otherwise remained pretty much the same until the next edition.

So, for example, I'm perfectly fine with the poisons, I actually think it's the best feature of the class, adding depth, flavor, and role-playing hooks.

Same for Ki foci. They finally stated that they're not going to be physical object, so it's really a natural (shadow) magic reservoir of Assassins. I agree it would need flavor text that explains some more about the relationship of Executioners with the Shadofell, though so I agree with you about this point.

Vital Strike is a PP feature. And is okayish for a PP, I'm even sure there's an exactly equal feature in another published PP. Maybe it shouldn't be named Vital Strike, since "vital strikes" is all the assassin has been doing since level 1. But the problem is just the naming.

Cha as secondary stat is just a typo IMO. This is a class meant to leave freedom regarding your choice of secondary stat. And I like that, I guess it's an Essentials thing, meant to let you choose ability scores a bit more basing your choices on flavor and character development than pure mechanical reasons.

The plain +1d6, as you might have guessed from my other opinions, is also very good IMO, because it makes the class really feel competent in damage-dealing. They deal more damage always, with all attacks. As stupid as it sounds, I think it's well thought out for this particular niche.

So all in all, I would just adjust the flavor in order to explain more about the shadow power-source, and the training of the Executioner (especially pointing out differences with Rogues/Thieves and Rangers/Scouts). And I would correct the Cha mistake, and possibly even two other mechanical problems others found out (one has to do with the Brutal-like mechanic acquired later on and its loop-hole when combined with Vorpal weapons (creating INFINITE damage) and the other would be the balancing of poisons per level that @fugacityD pointed out above.

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

Meh, I seem to be unable to bring myself to read the class in detail due to the Essentials format(whether that i because of a fault of the format or my own personal grudge I don't know). So about the only thing I can comment on is my dislike of the idea of a dual power source class and or build, but I'm clearly not the target audience of WotC anymore, so I doubt they give a damn about my feelings on that. *sigh*

Incidently, yes I do see the irony in having the Assassin be dual-power source.
@Kartesh

There's basically only one thing that I think you got wrong on an objective level: the fact that Essential = Easy/Beginner's.
It is true for the Red Box (which actually has *simplified* versions of Essential classes), and maybe for the first book too, but the concept of Essentials per se is that they represent the most essential builds: the builds that better represent the classes, and that better express the feel of their D&D iconic identity.


I give you that point here, essentials isnt beginner only material but a new way to design classes.
However the way essential classes are presentet at the moment contains a lot of things an experienced player doesnt need and in my case, doesnt want for it disturbs me trying to figure out a classes main quallitys at first sight.
Essential class articles are similar to a blueprint or better a checklist. Each one containing the main rules of character creation again and again imbedded in it. This is nice to have for all those who dont want to invest much time into improving their character, and instead only have to pick one of maybe 3 features once in a while. It looks nice at the moment, but it limits a specific class by making hard to freely add features like the old system did.
If i look at the general rules for character creation in the PHB, i have to say those look more like "essentials" than the new classes do. Everyone reading those rules knows when all classes gets: a feat, armor/attack boni, powers, ablility points... . Essentials doese this over and over again only related to every class they design, which is nothing more than a "copy / paste" maske in which they include the new classes features.
Not my style, but i can live with it and there seem to be people out there liking it.


I'm perfectly fine with the poisons, I actually think it's the best feature of the class, adding depth, flavor, and role-playing hooks.

Same here, i like the association of assasins and poisons, i just dont like the particular mechanic, but that might be my generall disliking for "x times a day" features. It leaves me with the feeling of "Oh id like to poison that guy over there but hey i only can make x number of poison doses each day for i get bored to easy and normal poisons are to expensice".
If it was me, i whould have given the striker mechanic of the new assasin a poison flavor, it whould have been the style i associate with assasins.

Same for Ki foci. They finally stated that they're not going to be physical object, so it's really a natural (shadow) magic reservoir of Assassins. I agree it would need flavor text that explains some more about the relationship of Executioners with the Shadofell, though so I agree with you about this point.


Still this statement looks to me like an easy whay to make game mechanics work out well, rather than something they allways had planed for ki foki.
In the end they give this class several "at will" powers each related to a different weapon, so in order to make those powers koexist with item distribution, they changed the implement character of the ki foki to what it is now (by the way how do i improve/buy a ki focus, do i swallow the gold and get more focused to shadowarts that way?).

Vital Strike is a PP feature. And is okayish for a PP, I'm even sure there's an exactly equal feature in another published PP. Maybe it shouldn't be named Vital Strike, since "vital strikes" is all the assassin has been doing since level 1. But the problem is just the naming.


As for now, calling the level 11-20 features a paragon path, seems to me like squeezing D&D 3.5content into the 4.0 system (you know the picture of the baby hammering the cube into the cylinder slot?).
It is an exclusive assasin (executioner) PP that is poorly visible to anyone new to the system, since all the PP mechanic in inbedded into the general class level system. Anyone new to D&D and not willing to pick this PP will have some problems integrating a different one, for he has to figure out wich of those level checkpoints he has to replace.

The plain +1d6, as you might have guessed from my other opinions, is also very good IMO, because it makes the class really feel competent in damage-dealing. They deal more damage always, with all attacks. As stupid as it sounds, I think it's well thought out for this particular niche.


The mechanic is solid, fore sure it just looks rather "naked" compared to those of most other strikers. It seems to me like: "Hey we need some sort of striker mechanic that deals atleast 1d6 of damage or more if we add some restirictions." "Why not do a plain 1d6?" "Hey great idea we didnt have that yet, it was infront of our noses alle the time and we didnt see it. You are a genius dude!" "Thanks i know."

After all it is mainly a question of personal favors, which makes me wonder, what do you think this new class is for you? Do you think it is an essentialsversion of the 4.0 assasin, or do you agree with my opinion of beeing something different (i dont mean the definition of the word assasin here, it sure fits that one)?
D&D Outsider since Nov 18th 2010, if you wonder about the little red dragon, this one is dedicated to the great VT community.
I'm still curious why Bard, Monk, Barbarian, Sorcerer are not getting Essentialized.

Aside from that and on topic, this playtest does intrigue me. I have a player interested in Assassin for DDE3 and I think I'll request he use this playtest so that we can all get a look at how it plays and integrates with a group, particularly a full group.

I'm enjoying the additional perspective of class designs available through Essentials, but I am dismayed that Cleric thusfar is the only leader. Though Druid will be a leader, I think that 4e brought in additional classes that are archetypal even if they are not from the original classics.

Despite the original plan of only developing 10 Essentials products, I'd be pleased to see additional archetypal classes given this new perspective of designing a class. It could really create a wide variety of material to draw upon for creating campaigns. The Essentials are also an easy way to create a few stock NPC classes that are quick to build and easy to manage from behind the screen. It would be fascinating to see Warrior, Adept, Aristocrat, Expert, Commoner developed for generic NPCs that one might run across and occassionally include in adventures.
Problems though: You can only gain 15th level poisons (seems to be the equivalent of normal Assassin dailies) via the Paragon Executioner path.



 Also it's unclear if you get a level 16 utility if you don't paragon into Paragon Executioner (could just be a common feature of Essentials Paragons).



Not all the paragon tier features are tied to the paragon path. The ones that do are marked as Guild executioner paragon path feature in the writeup, and (guild executioner) in the paragon tier table. So Advanced Poisons (the feature granting 15th level poisons) and the level 16 utility wouldn't go anywhere if you took a different path.

As I gather, a Slayer can eventually get 4 uses of Power Strike for 3[W], so 12[W] spread out. An Assassin gets 7d10, but it is in one burst, but I'm sure somebody can do the math on that.



I don't have the Slayer in front of me, but does the 4th use of Power Strike come from the slayer paragon path? If that were the case, the difference wouldn't be so pronounced, given that Assassin's Strike gains an extra 2d10 from the assassin path. Anyway, concentrated damage is usually more valuable than damage spread out across turns, particularly since it makes it easier to exploit maximized dice from critical hits or coups de grace.

Finally, I'd like to mention that I've fallen deeply in love with the Death Attack feature. I think it more than makes up for the boring +d6 to damage feature, as it truly turns you into an Executioner. Damage-wise, it's probably worth around 5 extra damage / tier each time it triggers (since enemies should have anywhere from 1 to 10 damage at heroic, you can average), so it's nothing to sneeze at, either.
My blog about 4e rules and news: Square Fireballs The Magic Item Reset: A standalone set of items for 4E
One of my fellow players asked if I'd had a look at the Essential Assassin, so I came here to have a look and hree is what I thought. Keeping in mind I'm quite against Essentials to begin with as nothing I have seen thrills me overly much. Most of it harkens back to 3.5e and throws away so much of what I liked about 4th ed (e.g. the parcel system).

Attack Finesse
Great so I get melee training for free.

Quick Swap
Awesome, I get yet another feat for free. So at level 1 I get two free feats. Oh wait a minute. No I don't. I only get 1 feat for free. The other feat is preselected for me. So instead of getting to chose a feat I want, I'm instead forced to take quick draw. That gives me so much more customisability.

Assassin's Guilds
I actually approve of these in general. They appear to encourage players to use non-standard weapons which always adds variety. However for my "assassin" in particular, I'm not a member of a guild. I'm a member of a secret temple to the Raven Queen. So any flavour this might have introduced is made moot immediately.

Assassin's Strike
So instead of "studying an enemy" which I've had quite a bit of fun with and sunk a few feats into it to add flavour and utility, I get a single encounter power. I can see why the Essential assassin is called "martial". Apparently its inherited some of the fighter's boring by giving the players little to no choices.

Ki Focus
This is about the only thing I actually recognise from 4th ed Assassin's.

Conclusion
Some interesting elements, but most of it is bland. Where my assassin has quite flavourful powers (reaching into his own shadow to pull out a noose) and also has powers which introduce interesting roleplaying opportunities and tactical choices (keeping a monster busy by turning invisible and the monster then rampaging through the room looking for me), the Essential version offers me some bland options that while it might do more damage, isn't as much fun to roleplay.

Given how much people complain about how the assassin isn't a real striker (I certainly have fun with my assassin), I was interested to see how they updated it. But they haven't actually updated the 4th ed Assassin. They've simply created a new class and tacked on the same name. This only affirms my dislike for Essentials and my decision to stick with 4th ed instead of moving onto the new edition.

And it is a new edition. They've swapped out any and all references to the PHB and replaced it with Essentials books which are suppose to be optional rather than required.



I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread for this article.  If you choose to create a thread before I do it, thats fine.  But please try to follow the model we've established for initializing an article discussion thread.  Thank you

DnDi_Large.pngDragon 391
Essentials Assassin: A Player's Essentials Playtest Class

by Rodney Thompson

Meet the executioner assassin—30 levels of back-stabbing, poison-wielding excitement.

Talk about this Article here.

391_pe_assassin.jpg



AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Meh, I seem to be unable to bring myself to read the class in detail due to the Essentials format(whether that i because of a fault of the format or my own personal grudge I don't know). So about the only thing I can comment on is my dislike of the idea of a dual power source class and or build, but I'm clearly not the target audience of WotC anymore, so I doubt they give a damn about my feelings on that. *sigh*

Mostly agreed, and I've otherwise been generally excited about the Essential classes/builds.  The formating is just a pain to read through.  The constant intro texts in front of every single power is just a distraction from the meat of the class.  Having to reprint features at each tier to increment their damage instead of just laying the progression out when it is first gained makes judging the class's overall potential difficult.  Finally, I do not need basic advancement rules, like stat increases, included in class progression, even for newbie players that seems like excessive hand holding.

As for the duel power source, I'm not really in favor of it, but I'm not greatly opposed either.  However, I am sorely disappointed by this new Assassin, who seems to have lost most of what made him special.  Stripped of most of his shadow magic he seems more like a modified slayer/thief than a new build of the original class.

The only thing I truely like is the daily poisons instead of daily attacks, though I can't shake the feeling that they would have made a better pseudo-class (like spellscared) than an actual class specific feature.  However, only a single encounter power even if it is really powerful bugs me, and I'm not sure Death Attack and extra at-wills make up the difference.

Not all the paragon tier features are tied to the paragon path. The ones that do are marked as Guild executioner paragon path feature in the writeup, and (guild executioner) in the paragon tier table. So Advanced Poisons (the feature granting 15th level poisons) and the level 16 utility wouldn't go anywhere if you took a different path.

Yeah that's definitely a big problem I have with the Essential presentation format.  Beyond the needless repetition and bloated descriptive text, having the paragon path built directly into the class progression makes it difficult to tell what's what with only a cursory glance.  The labels help, but are easily missed as they tend to disappear into the overall blurred haze of text.


Attack Finesse
Great so I get melee training for free.

Quick Swap
Awesome, I get yet another feat for free. So at level 1 I get two free feats. Oh wait a minute. No I don't. I only get 1 feat for free. The other feat is preselected for me. So instead of getting to chose a feat I want, I'm instead forced to take quick draw. That gives me so much more customisability.




Can you explain this?  You get the equivalent 2 free feats and one of your choice at first level.  Im not sure where you are getting the preselected feat form.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Not all the paragon tier features are tied to the paragon path. The ones that do are marked as Guild executioner paragon path feature in the writeup, and (guild executioner) in the paragon tier table. So Advanced Poisons (the feature granting 15th level poisons) and the level 16 utility wouldn't go anywhere if you took a different path.

Yeah that's definitely a big problem I have with the Essential presentation format.  Beyond the needless repetition and bloated descriptive text, having the paragon path built directly into the class progression makes it difficult to tell what's what with only a cursory glance.  The labels help, but are easily missed as they tend to disappear into the overall blurred haze of text.



Perhaps some kind of color coding would help here? Just a bit of different color for the paragon path features might be enough to tell them apart at first glance.

My blog about 4e rules and news: Square Fireballs The Magic Item Reset: A standalone set of items for 4E
I'm with others on the not a big fan of the Essentials layout.  It works for the red box, and for these books.  But I really hope once we're past Essentials they go back to more like the old layout.  Just to further clarify, I love the material, just not the presentation.

Here's the feedback though, that I sent on the Assassin in particular:
[sblock Feedback Submitted]
Increase in Hit Points is good, it'd be nice if this applied to the original assassin as well.

Assassin's Strike, I don't think needs the helpless information, since it's just reiterating what you do with a Coup de Grace action.

Proficiency in Unarmed attacks does not exist as far as I know.. Or at least there's no proficiency bonus for it, so it has no meaning.  Which means Unarmed Throw is effectively Implement vs. AC attack, so its going to be very inaccurate most of the time, should be reflex, or there needs to be some improved unarmed attack proficiency (similar to the Monk's Unarmed Strike)

Unseen Spearhead I foresee lots of problems, since by treating them as helpless you can Coup de Grace, which is auto-crit, which equals insane damage (especially given the encounter power to max all those d10 dice).  Imagine Crit-Fisher builds, that no longer have to fish.

Poisons applying until an extended rest, are a good idea, but might lead to some odd things.  It'll put a lot on the DM to either outright disallow their use in some cases, or the assassin will be trying to figure out on any preplanned fight how to get the poison ingested by the BBEG.

Flawless Disguise - If the Assassin isn't trained in bluff... this is worth less than an additional skill training would be.
[/sblock] 

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

Hex Grid UserPopcorn InitiativeAndroid UserD&DMapTools

DungeonScape

Some interesting elements, but most of it is bland. Where my assassin has quite flavourful powers (reaching into his own shadow to pull out a noose) and also has powers which introduce interesting roleplaying opportunities and tactical choices (keeping a monster busy by turning invisible and the monster then rampaging through the room looking for me), the Essential version offers me some bland options that while it might do more damage, isn't as much fun to roleplay.

+50. I'll keep my shrouds and shadow powers. To me, this iteration of the Assassin takes away everything that was exciting. Now, it's just another damage maxxer like the Avenger. Plus, this type of assassin always struck me more as a rogue, anyway.

Gamma World Origins Half-Sheets: Horizontal (FiFG) Vertical (GW) FiFG coming soon
Ok, I just double checked, and you guys are wrong. Advanced poison is not tied to a paragon path feature, which means all assassins gain access to it. The only powers in the article which are labeled as paragon path features are blindside, devastating assassination, executioners action, daring escape, vital strike, and poisoners secrets (which come at the regular levels for paragon features, at 11, 12, 16, and 20).

I really like almost all the mechanics of the class. The ki foci works well to allow the class easy bonuses to hit and damage (via feats) to all weapons. This class is very much about regularly switching up the weapons it uses in order to use the best weapon for any given job. The fact that all of its at-wills are tied to a different weapon really gets that feel across! And using poisons for daily powers, and shadow abilities for utility powers, really helps to peg the flavor and feel of this class. It is great! I love it!

However, there is one thing I really HATE about this class. In terms of poisons, it has too few options. I mean, it gets the right amount of poisons, and the right amount of options in terms of what it can use while it is being played. But it gets very few poisons to choose from after its batch of 1st level poisons. If I counted right, of its epic level poisons it will eventually be forced to choose all three of them. It learns 3 25th level poison recipes by 30th level, but only 3 25th level poison recipies exist! That is REALLY lame.

What this class needs to polish it off is more poison options. 4e does not need a return to the days of 3e where you got "4 different options" at 4 different levels, but only 4 options to choose from total (which means you never really got a different option, just a choice at which levels you would gain which options). Please, create more level 15 and 25 poison options in order to give this build more replay value. There should always be a few poisons you are forced not to gain in order to choose the ones you do gain. That gives a class more replay value.


I am not entirely sure why, but I sincerely feel that "re-iterations" such as these are gutting the best parts of 4th edition. I loved the original assassin and while I may incorporate some of these aspects into my character I feel like we are loosing a big part of the general concept which defines D&D. D&D is by its nature complex. It is supposed to have an unbelievable and slightly overwhelming amount of customization because it is (in my very unprofessional opinion) to give the best possible roleplay options possible. We are not playing a hack and slash video game, we are creating, layer by layer, and immersive roleplaying experience which we can delve into for a few hours a week. I enjoy the playtest options but I really wish we could get back to regular 4th edition.. 
What this class needs to polish it off is the return of its 26th level utility power option, and more poison options. There is no reason to remove the utility power. Every class gets an epic destiny power at that level. There is no reason the assassin should get only an epic destiny power and not a utility power as well at that level.

You might want to double check.  I'm looking at the full list of level 26 utility powers in the Compendium right now.  They are all tied to a specific destiny, not one is class power.  The Executioner says "You gain a power associated with your epic destiny," and that's all any character of any class ever gets at that level.  I don't see any problem.

And 4e does not need a return to the days of 3e where you got "4 different options" at 4 different levels, but only 4 options to choose from total (which means you never really got a different option, just a choice at which levels you would gain which options). Please, create more level 15 and 25 poison options in order to give this build more replay value. There should always be a few poisons you are forced not to gain in order to choose the ones you do gain. That gives a class more replay value.

This I agree with, but this is only the playtest, so limited options is to be expected.  It wouldn't surprise me to see a wider variety of poisons available come the finalized version in November.
What this class needs to polish it off is the return of its 26th level utility power option, and more poison options. There is no reason to remove the utility power. Every class gets an epic destiny power at that level. There is no reason the assassin should get only an epic destiny power and not a utility power as well at that level.

You might want to double check.  I'm looking at the full list of level 26 utility powers in the Compendium right now.  They are all tied to a specific destiny, not one is class power.  The Executioner says "You gain a power associated with your epic destiny," and that's all any character of any class ever gets at that level.  I don't see any problem.



Good catch! You are correct, and I was wrong. All I want then is more poison options and this class is good to go.
I am not entirely sure why, but I sincerely feel that "re-iterations" such as these are gutting the best parts of 4th edition. I loved the original assassin and while I may incorporate some of these aspects into my character I feel like we are loosing a big part of the general concept which defines D&D. D&D is by its nature complex. It is supposed to have an unbelievable and slightly overwhelming amount of customization because it is (in my very unprofessional opinion) to give the best possible roleplay options possible. We are not playing a hack and slash video game, we are creating, layer by layer, and immersive roleplaying experience which we can delve into for a few hours a week. I enjoy the playtest options but I really wish we could get back to regular 4th edition.. 



What a load of bologna. This class does get just as many options as any other class. A regular class, without an epic destiny or a paragon path, gets 2 at-will attack powers, 3 per encounter attack powers, 3 per day attack powers, and 5 utility powers. This class gets 5 utility powers just like any other class. It gets 3 per day powers just like any other class, and actually gets to know roughly 6 per day powers (choosing which powers it wants to use on any given day after an extended rest). It gets 4 at-will powers, which is 2 extra options. It gets no per encounter powers to choose from, which leaves it at a net loss of 1 option over a regular class. In return it gains extra class abilities, including one fixed encounter power. Claiming that this guts options from the assassin class, or is a hack and slash build compared to other D&D builds, is totally fallacious. The only real problem this class has is that it gets too few daily powers to choose from.




I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread for this article.  If you choose to create a thread before I do it, thats fine.  But please try to follow the model we've established for initializing an article discussion thread.  Thank you

Dragon 391
Essentials Assassin: A Player's Essentials Playtest Class

by Rodney Thompson

Meet the executioner assassin—30 levels of back-stabbing, poison-wielding excitement.

Talk about this Article here.







Sorry about that. I fixed the first post. I am not much of a coding guru, so I didn't know how to set up the first post properly without an easy quote->cut and paste.
Not all the paragon tier features are tied to the paragon path. The ones that do are marked as Guild executioner paragon path feature in the writeup, and (guild executioner) in the paragon tier table. So Advanced Poisons (the feature granting 15th level poisons) and the level 16 utility wouldn't go anywhere if you took a different path.

Yeah that's definitely a big problem I have with the Essential presentation format.  Beyond the needless repetition and bloated descriptive text, having the paragon path built directly into the class progression makes it difficult to tell what's what with only a cursory glance.  The labels help, but are easily missed as they tend to disappear into the overall blurred haze of text.


Yeah, thanks for that catch. Damn reading Essentials entries is confusing.

I'm still not sure the loss of shade form and shadow step is a good trade off for more straight damage (though damage output was the major complaint of the old assassin). Still need to think about this one. 
This is a dramatically changed class from the original... it looks like it could be fun to play.  Some things I noticed:
  • The article itself seems to be missing the by-line.  I had to check the web page to see who made this version.


I really hope that the first Assassin gets his class updated to be Martial/Shadow - there are too many feats in the old assassin article (Dragon 373) that required a martial class to take them.
  • Are the powers listed here Exploits or Hexes?


Did the Slayer or Knight get the basic hitpoints and hp per level changed from the baseline fighter?  Should we expect the old Assassin to get 1 more HP per level?
  • Page 79 and page 77 differ on what weapons the Assassin is proficient with.  Page 77 matches the old build's set up, page 79 looks like the Essentials' version, minus the Guild training.


Will all of the Guilds be available to both versions of an Assassin?  It looks like the two guilds in this Essentials article could work with the old build, giving the old Assassin characters three new weapon-specific At-Wills instead of temp hit points or free bonus damage.  I'm not sure about the other way - the article says that the Executioner Assassin can choose between the two Guilds listed in this article.   It seems like they could take one of the other guild choices, but would be greatly weakened for doing it.
  • All of the At-Will powers are lacking a level number. 

  • Are the Guild-specific At-Wills available to a Half-Elf as a Dilletant power or a Human Assassin from a different Guild?


The Poisons being a Consumable replacement to a Daily Power are a really cool idea, it is a great way to get Dailies back for Martial Essentials classes.   Are these meant to only be available to the Executioner Assassin?  It looks like an Executioner Assassin is the only one with the Poison Use feature, and is thereforethe only one who can create the poison, but it could be shared with anyone else - giving a Leader flavor to an Assassin with Poison Use.  Perhaps the Feature needs to specifiy that only an Assassin can use the poisoned weapon without getting harmed.
  • Can Poison Use become an Assassin-only feat?

  • Will the Quick Swap Feature become available as an Assassin-only feat, or retrofitted to the old Assassin?  This could be incredibly useful to the older version as well as this version.

  • Carrion Crawler Brain Juice and Nitharit Poison both are applied to a weapon or one piece of ammunition and have an effect that goes through the Encounter.  This essentially makes these two poisons totally ruined for League of Whispers Guild members.  Maybe it can be applied to all of your ammunition, but it will wear off in 5 minutes.


Powers:
  • Distracting Illusion - Should the Illusion be made with a free Bluff check at creation, or a new Free Action Bluff check anytime someone tries to see through it?

  • Silent Stalker - It looks like this Utility Power allows an Assassin to throw away the requirements for being Hidden, replacing them with "within 2 squares of an enemy".  Is this really the intended effect, because it is AWESOME!

  • Nimble Drop - an unleveled (because it is At-Will, perhaps?) Utility power at level 4 is really atypical.  Would this Utility Power be available to any Assassin at level 6?


That is all I have for now, based on a read-through of the build.  Obviously, I have not had time to play it!  I hope it was helpful.
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
The new Assassin has been an interesting read this morning. After finishing it up I'm kind of in the middle about this class. It has little to nothing in common with the Assassin 1.0 beyond a name. Kind of sad as I was hoping it would be more cross compatible and not a totally different class.

The Good:
  • Increased HP and Surges is always good. Still a glass cannon but its tempered glass now.

  • Attack finesse, its better than Shrouds but also more open to abuse once you start going after multi-attacks.

  • A reason to use one handed weapons is nice. Never felt that the Fullblade was an Assassin's weapon.

  • Poisons that are somewhat useful? Is this still 4e? For the most part these are nice alternatives to daily powers. They aren't as versatile or as powerful as a real daily power, but being able to pick 1 or 2 that you do like and just use them multiple times a day is flavorful.

  • Assassin's Strike is nice. Seems a little overly cautious on the "Thou shall not recharge" but whatever. An eventual feat that lets you use it twice per encounter would be nice.

  • Death Attack is nice, but assumes you're making the last blow on the target. I'll have to play test and see how often it comes up. Seems a little unpredictable so its usefulness may vary.


The Meh:
  • Some of the weapon attack powers are underwhelming. Kukuri Lunge seems kind of silly, but that just may be me. I don't see Kukuris as piercing charging weapons but rather as a "slice your throat" type of weapon.

  • Unarmed Throw should be vs Fort or Reflex.

  • Some powers come with free moves which is nice, but I'd rather have Shadow Step.

  • Your guild type determines which weapon powers you can use. It would be nice to have both a Spear and a Hand Crossbow. Not sure what the balance issue here is since there seems to be nothing else distinguishing the two builds as they don't require a secondary stat.

The Bad:
  • No Shade Form or Shadow Step? While many complained of how weak the Assassin 1.0 was the Assassin 2.0 got rid of perhaps the two best and iconic features of the Assassin. Was it too shadowy that the baby needed to be thrown out with the bath water?

  • The odd part is how some of the powers require that you be hidden yet there don't seem to be more way to help you hide which Shade Form and Assassin powers actually helped with.

  • Needs more At-will powers per guild. By level 7 I have 3 out of 4 at wills. By 17 all 4 of them. I guess if you want to carry around a bunch of weapons and only use Ki Focus thats okay. But take for example the Red Scales Unarmed Throw, i guess its a nice control options but there are better ways to push and knock prone and still get damage. If I saved that as my level 17 at-will i haven't really gained anything. If you can take at-wills from the other guild type (or if the guild types mixed up melee and ranged powers) it would feel a bit more useful.

  • Blindside is too situational unless you're a gnome.

  • Paragon and Epic levels need more utility powers.

  • The Essentials format for class layout or whatever is cluttered and annoying. 11 pages into the article and I'm still on level 1 features. Fluff is nice... too much is just bloat.


The Ugly:
  • Flawless Disguise is pointless if you don't have Bluff trained. Some campaigns may not even find this useful at all. Make it a utility power and give a better level 8 feature.

  • Shadow Coffin is cute for RP and what not but has little or no value for a level 13 feature when most classes gain an encounter power. Also the power should be called "Proof of Purchase".

  • No new Feats? WTF?

  • No new Magic Items or Ki Foci?


Final notes I'd like to make. Make this its own class, maybe even change the name. I can see why WotC wouldn't just so the class can take utilities and feats from the Assassin 1.0 but really this is a completely different class. If anything maybe make it another Rogue build thats Martial/Shadow. Let it pick up Rogue feats. Or you can always change the name of the old Assassins to whatever, point is there's nothing in common between these two classes.

Which now brings me to the old Assassin 1.0: When are are going to see more support for that? Or is that officially a waste of digital space now?
  • Lvl 13 Shadow Coffin power..

    what happens if you bottle a creature that normally animates or re-animates a round later?

    1) They are trapped untill you let them out
    2) They are automaticly released

  • Essentials style layout.. this is horrible for anyone that wants to take a seperate Paragon or Epic Destiny, now you have to check the paragon & epic destiny section for your class, filter out the stuff that does not apply, and add in the new path abilities that you earn. PLEASE, combine the class features, you are wasting word count just to fill up the pages.

  • Lvl 11 Blindside (PP Feature).. this is worthless, replace it with the abilty to regain your assassin strike when you action point.

  • Lvl 11 Executioners Action (PP Feature).. change the wording "deal 4 damage instead or 1, 2, or 3 when you roll a 1, 2 or 3 on a damage die" this eliminates the infinite damage of vorpal weapons.

  • Poisons: these are described as items, but no mention of Common/uncommon/rare status or cost to create them. You need to have creation costs so "permenant" versions of the poisons can be crafted.

  • Ki strike, move the ability to add ki strike to poison attacks out of the individual poison powers and into the ki strike class feature. This will allow assassins to increase the accuracy with standard poison secondary attacks.

  • Items/weapons: poisoners kit has no listed cost.

  • League weapon attacks: remove the league requirement, this gives more flexability on character build.. I dont want to be forced into those specific 4 attacks powers.

  • Leage weapon attacks: these should have Assassin level 1? (that way they are swapable with standard assassin powers)

  • You currently have NO powers that use shortbow or generic 1h military/simple.. which you are proficient in.. those weapons will never be used if you at-will attacks dont allow them.

  • I suggest converting the "specific" weapon requirements on the at-wills into "melee or ranged weapon" requirements.

This assassin does not need a name change. Part of what essentials does is create new class builds that vary dramatically from the parent class. See the slayer. It is a fighter that is not a defender, has no mark mechanic, and has striker style class features. See the knight, it is a fighter that gets full plate armor from the outset. The fact that this assassin build varies drastically from the original assassin is fine. And the way this class is designed, the name "assassin" is 100% the best fit. Hell, the name assassin fits this class better than it did the original 4e assassin class!

And the original assassin build has not disappeared. This build does not replace it. It is, for all intents and purposes, a new class. It is just a new class that can share feats and (some) paragon paths with the old assassin. The old assassin is not a waste of digital space. Anyone who wants to play a more "shadowdancer" style assassin, complete with shade form and shadow step, will opt for the older assassin. Someone who wants to opt for a more "dagger and poison" style assassin, with just a few utility hexes to help them get to their target, will opt for this build of the assassin.

Which, by the way, is why I am totally ok with this assassin not getting shadow step or shade form. I like the fact that both the old assassin and the new assassin have their own shtick. I like the fact that the new assassin does not get shadow step and shade form. It keeps the old assassin competitive. This assassin has better damage output, that assassin has better utility, both have a place in the game.
There will need to be clarifications with how Assassin's Strike/Attack Finesse works with the no damage at-wills. 

a) They work all the time (which doesn't jive with how I understand extra damage works)
b) Neither trigger with those attacks
c) Assassin's Strike can trigger, since it's based off of a Hit and not dealing damage.
d) Assassin's Strike can trigger, which in turn triggers Attack Finesse, which seems shady since it's somewhat out of order.
A reason to use one handed weapons is nice. Never felt that the Fullblade was an Assassin's weapon.


i couldn't agree with you more.  smart move, wotc.

Poisons that are somewhat useful? Is this still 4e?


lol.  i feel your pain.

No Shade Form or Shadow Step? While many complained of how weak the Assassin 1.0 was the Assassin 2.0 got rid of perhaps the two best and iconic features of the Assassin. Was it too shadowy that the baby needed to be thrown out with the bath water?


i wonder whether a more dedicated shadow dancer is in the works.  perhaps one whose striker boost in damage comes directly from its shadow "porting".  something along the lines of becoming infused with shadow energy (either (i) untyped or (ii) necrotic at low level and cold/necrotic at higher level) during the 'port and then releasing that energy with an attack.  the shadow porting could be deemed a charge; one that gains more flexibility with levels/feats.

If anything maybe make it another Rogue build thats Martial/Shadow. Let it pick up Rogue feats.


that is a very good idea for this build.
There will need to be clarifications with how Assassin's Strike/Attack Finesse works with the no damage at-wills. 

a) They work all the time (which doesn't jive with how I understand extra damage works)
b) Neither trigger with those attacks
c) Assassin's Strike can trigger, since it's based off of a Hit and not dealing damage.
d) Assassin's Strike can trigger, which in turn triggers Attack Finesse, which seems shady since it's somewhat out of order.



Both of those features mention "extra damage", so based on existing precedent I would think that neither is usable with no-damage powers.

One thing I would like to see in this class build would be more martial options at higher levels, so that an executioner assassin who chooses to eschew shadow powers can do so throughout his career.  In the playtest version, that is only possible through 9th level -- at 10th level, all available choices are shadow powers.  It gets a little worse at 13th level, where the class grants -- no choice -- a particular shadow encounter power.



Is this new Assassin build legal for this upcoming season of D&D Encounters?
This assassin does not need a name change. Part of what essentials does is create new class builds that vary dramatically from the parent class. See the slayer. It is a fighter that is not a defender, has no mark mechanic, and has striker style class features. See the knight, it is a fighter that gets full plate armor from the outset. The fact that this assassin build varies drastically from the original assassin is fine. And the way this class is designed, the name "assassin" is 100% the best fit. Hell, the name assassin fits this class better than it did the original 4e assassin class!


You're right. it doesn't "need" a name change. My point is that it simply doesn't have much in common with the Assassin 1.0 (beyond fluff).
*If it were up to me the Slayer, Knight, and Thief would also be their own classes, but its not up to me and thats a topic for another time.


And the original assassin build has not disappeared. This build does not replace it. It is, for all intents and purposes, a new class. It is just a new class that can share feats and (some) paragon paths with the old assassin. The old assassin is not a waste of digital space. Anyone who wants to play a more "shadowdancer" style assassin, complete with shade form and shadow step, will opt for the older assassin. Someone who wants to opt for a more "dagger and poison" style assassin, with just a few utility hexes to help them get to their target, will opt for this build of the assassin.


Eh the old Assassin needs a lot of love. I'd love to see the old Assassin drop the shroud mechanic and add in Assassin Strike and Attack Finesse. That to me would be a real improvement to the original class. I'd even keep it with the lower HP and surges.


Which, by the way, is why I am totally ok with this assassin not getting shadow step or shade form. I like the fact that both the old assassin and the new assassin have their own shtick. I like the fact that the new assassin does not get shadow step and shade form. It keeps the old assassin competitive. This assassin has better damage output, that assassin has better utility, both have a place in the game.


I'm not opposed to both classes existing. I just think this new one fits in more as a Rogue "build" (a la Thief) than the original Assassin 1.0.
I mean come on, wouldn't you love to access Rogue feats and Paragon Paths with this build? What are you taking from the old assassin besides maybe the Venom Hand feats? 
This assassin does not need a name change. Part of what essentials does is create new class builds that vary dramatically from the parent class. See the slayer. It is a fighter that is not a defender, has no mark mechanic, and has striker style class features. See the knight, it is a fighter that gets full plate armor from the outset. The fact that this assassin build varies drastically from the original assassin is fine.

Not really.

The knight gets full plate, but it's still a close range martial defender.  The slayer is a striker, but fighters were always quite effective sub-strikers.  Both the fighter's new builds are still thematically the same as what came before them, this new assassin however is not.  Mostly martial with very little mysticism, it has more in common with the rogue.

You're right. it doesn't "need" a name change. My point is that it simply doesn't have much in common with the Assassin 1.0 (beyond fluff).
*If it were up to me the Slayer, Knight, and Thief would also be their own classes, but its not up to me and thats a topic for another time.



Ok. Well, that is a subjective opinion. You are welcome to it. My subjective opinion differs.


Eh the old Assassin needs a lot of love. I'd love to see the old Assassin drop the shroud mechanic and add in Assassin Strike and Attack Finesse. That to me would be a real improvement to the original class. I'd even keep it with the lower HP and surges.



I would like to see the old assassin get some love. I am not against that. I would rather it get love by having its shroud mechanic fixed, and brought up to par with what other strikers are capable of.


I'm not opposed to both classes existing. I just think this new one fits in more as a Rogue "build" (a la Thief) than the original Assassin 1.0.
I mean come on, wouldn't you love to access Rogue feats and Paragon Paths with this build? What are you taking from the old assassin besides maybe the Venom Hand feats? 



The assassin utilities. This class is all about using shadow magic utilities. That is why it is grouped together with the old assassin class. That is why I like it as a "martial/shadow" mixed power source class. Martial attacks, shadow utilities, and poison. And for the sake of more shadow based utilities, I prefer this class as an assassin build than a rogue build. It also, via its utilities, has more in common with the mechanics of the assassin than the rogue.

Not really.

The knight gets full plate, but it's still a close range martial defender.  The slayer is a striker, but fighters were always quite effective sub-strikers.  Both the fighter's new builds are still thematically the same as what came before them, this new assassin however is not.  Mostly martial with very little mysticism, it has more in common with the rogue.



Subjective value judgments are subjective. We will have to agree to disagree. I think this class has as much to do with the assassin as the slayer does with the fighter. I think via its shadow themed utility powers it has more similarity with the assassin class (both thematically and mechanically) than any other class in the game. I like it as is...
I personally dislike the idea of creating different versions of existing classes by addapting some of their features and putting them into a new concept of charactercreation.
Since those classes will allways have to live up to the expectations of those players comparing them to the original version. Most of this can be avoided by giving those new classes a different name, which is still in some way connected to the old class.
This new class fits the definition of an assasin, in terms of class mechanic it might even be closer than the original, but as i allready stated in a prior post, it is definetly not a "revamped assassin in Dungeons & Dragons® Essentialsstyle".
His utility powers might have the shadow keyword and this surely is a shadow class, but i dont like the idea of making this new class compatible to the old assasin, for they are really different in 90% of their core features, which in my oppinion will lead to many changes in existing assasin feats and items to match both classes.
Giving the new version its own feats whould be the best solution. Honesty what is so bad about making this new essential classes independent?
D&D Outsider since Nov 18th 2010, if you wonder about the little red dragon, this one is dedicated to the great VT community.
I'll admit, I like this build, very flavorful even though I skipped the majority of the fluff and stuck to the mechanics. It does feel a little too martial and not enough shadowy though, but I do really like the bulk of it.

Likes:
  • More HP/Surges: Extra toughness is something the assassin needed.

  • Single Ability Dependence: Gives flexibility in Ability scores, a place I typically find lacking in 4e.

  • Small Weapon Focus: The Quick Swap and Guild Weapon Attacks do a good job of emphasizing stealthy and thematic weapons... with exception (see below).

  • Poisons As Daily Powers: Very flavorful, very thematic, a nice way to tackle daily powers.

  • Martial Power: Expands feat selection with some nice options even without multiclassing feats (though I suspect alot of folks to multi into Rogue).

Meh:
  •  Melee Basic Attack: Its solid, but as a primary attack, optimizers are already seeing an advantage to getting proficient in the Full Blade or other big [w] weapon for damage output. Maybe creating a feat to allow you to do 2[w] damage with guild weapons on MBAs would be a thematic alternative (but causes a problem with Kukri Lunge, see below).

  • Kukri Lunge: It looks solid but can be rendered effectively obsolete with a single weapon proficiency feat or alternative I mentioned (see above). Maybe add a little extra to it for flavor and to keep it relevant, like a slow effect, combat advantage, or not provoke attacks of opportunity; something, anything to keep it as flavorful as the rest.

  • Some Basic Feat and Item Support: specific to this build would be appreciated to help round things out.

Dislikes:
  •  The Light shield: I like the bonus to AC and Reflex, but it doesn't fit the theme well. Maybe a shadow based feature that approximates a light shield or grant concealment as long as the assassin keeps a hand free.

  • Flawless Disguise could use an alternative for those Assassins who don't want to bother, and/or allow a successful disguise count as being hidden for purposes of those very flavorful guild attacks that require it (as DM I'd allow that anyway, but mechanically it may not count).

Beyond these few nitpicks and some mechanical problems others have seen this one of the most delicious striker builds I've seen to day... I'd love to try it with a Changling in a social/city based campaign.


He who should not speak...
... it is definetly not a "revamped assassin in Dungeons & Dragons® Essentialsstyle"...



Yes, it is. An "essentials style" revamp often has nothing in common with prior builds from the same class except for utility powers, some feats, and some paragon paths. That IS what an essentials style revamp is. It is a clever way of creating new mechanics for a prior existing class concept, allowing the two classes to coexist, and allowing the new class to leach off some of the older classes abilities in order to highlight their common thematic foundation.