Assassin Diaries

115 posts / 0 new
Last post

Just thought I'd give a first hand account of Assassin playability and how they work/don't work in combat. I'll try to update this twice a month (as thats how often we play) if people are intersted. Here is my build.


You can also follow my posts in this thread on my blog:


community.wizards.com/vengeful_deity/blo...


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Vahn, level 1
Changeling, Assassin
Guild Training: Night Stalker
Birth - Among Another Race: Among Another Race (Human)
Background: Arcane Mercenary, Birth - Among Another Race, Occupation - Bounty Hunter, Society - Poor, Geography - Mountains (Diplomacy class skill)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 14.


AC: 16 Fort: 13 Reflex: 14 Will: 15
HP: 24 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +9, Streetwise +8, Acrobatics +9, Diplomacy +8, Bluff +10, Thievery +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +2, Heal +1, History, Insight +3, Intimidate +3, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion, Athletics -1

FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin encounter 1: Nightmare Shades
Assassin daily 1: Targeted for Death

ITEMS
Greatsword, Leather Armor, Adventurer's Kit, Crossbow, Crossbow Bolts (40)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

About my build


1) I took Sneak of Shadows for roleplaying reasons. I wanted to free up a Skill slot to take Diplomacy as granted by my background and retain all my Roguesque skills.
2) I took Executioners Noose because I saw my character as using a Crossbow if he was ever not in melee, and Executioner's Noose has nice flavor.


 


Party


Rageblood Barbarian
Shielding Swordmage
Wis Artificier


 


The first encounter was kind of a bust for my Assassin. We were minion flooded and I was having a hard time picking out the standard creatures. I racked up a few minion kills, but I was easily trumped in the DPR department by our Barbarian who found a standard creature fairly early (in a place I couldn't easily get to) and unloaded with an Avalanche strike.


Second encounter was a bit better for me. I entered combat hidden during the surprise round, so I got a Sneak Attack with a crossbow and did ~25 damage in the surprise round. Round 2 I applied a shroud and moved closer to my shroud target, but attacked a lone creature (minion) with my crossbow. Round two I invoked with my Greatsword and missed Cry but the auto damage was still enough to make me feel like I was doing something. The star of the show that round was the Artificer who cleared 3 guys (minion and bloodied standard) with his Daily Caustic Ramparts. The Barbarian was unconscious for one round and missed on his Avalanche Strike so our DPR was fairly similar it seemed. I didn't have any big rounds as after the first invoke, I invoked every 2nd Shroud.


 


The third combat, i really shined. I entered combat hidden again in the suprise round. I missed my crossbow attack, but was able to stealth in the first round (Total Concealment from being night and several squares away) and attack again to get my sneak attack. Another easy 25 damage. By round 2, I moved up behind the Swordmage. The barbarian would have had to run to get to the fight and was still licking his wounds and was afraid of granting combat advantage (low defenses). I set up a 1-2 Combo with Nightmare Shades for a 4 Shade invoke on the Elite, the Artificer buffed me with Magic Weapon.


Round 3, Shadow Storm 1d10+4d6+Dex+Cha+Cha+3(adjacent Creatures)+3(Artificer Wis). 41 Damage, the biggest hit of the session. Round after that, I used Targeted for Death, missed but had 4 shouds for the next round and hit for 38 damage.


Conclusions


I felt I was mobile enough, I was always able to get to a position of relative saftey behind our defender thanks fo Shadow Step, and I was only bloodied once. Making sure you've got enough time to invoke your shrouds before a target dies is more difficult than I had expected, but added a level of strategy that I enjoyed. High damage was not garunteed, but was good for one or two big hits per encounter.


I <3 Shadow Storm


I didn't use Shade Form, but it was my mistake. I could have used it to defend myself while I was surrounded, but I used an action point to escape with Shadow Step instead; it is a lesson learned.


I was worried about my choice of Sneak of Shadows at lvl 1, but as mentioned before, I needed it for roleplaying reasons. I was plesantly suprised as it upped my damage in between invoking my shrouds and you don't lose it on a miss. I have a feeling that finding ways to improve my damage during shroud stacking rounds is the way to make my DPR more reliable.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Thanks for sharing this, I found it insightful!


What PP are you aiming for? And do you think you will be swapping in more rogue powers as you progress?

"Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery! " "The Medusan Lords' Gambit" - Discord - Level 15 Iron Soul Monk


Thanks for sharing this, I found it insightful!


What PP are you aiming for? And do you think you will be swapping in more rogue powers as you progress?





I haven't decided on Obsidian Stalker or Soul Thief. Both fit my character concept well, and as this is a new DM I'm not sure which will come in more handy. I'm leaning toward Soul Thief as from a pure mechanics point of view Soul Thief is practically necissary to keep your DPR up. An extra shroud or two in a around can give you back to back 4 shroud invokes pretty early and let you eliminate a target quickly or get a leg up on stacks on a new target.

I am thinking about some Rogue powers. In particular I think Cameleon. Assassin is probably already the best stealth class in the game and I think Cameleon would put them well ahead of the pack. I may consider swapping an encounter power for a Ranged attack that targets Ref so I can have a better shot at unloading my Sneak Attack in the suprise/first round when it makes the most sense to use my Crossbow. Would also be nice to have once I get Hidden Insight for a bit more reliability on my opening attack with 4 shrouds and Sneak attack.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Second Session
Level 1


The first encounter started out like a lurker's dream. Killed a solitary patrol in one round before he could alert the camp of kobolds. Two coup de gras kills before they knew we were there. Unfortunately, I took quite a beating in the first two rounds of combat and soaked up all the heals quickly. Once my party got into position I was able to get to a more easily defended area and the Swordmage started taking the hits. Missed my big 4 shroud invoke, but still did 10 points of damage. Despite missing, it felt like my DPR was on par with the Barbarian.


Second encounter was against two elite dire wolves (I think they were custom monsters). Started combat stealthed, but without a suprise round. I spent two rounds making ranged attacks from a safe distance, hiding behind large rocks to gain CA. By round 3 I had positioned myself to enter melee by getting behind the Barbarian and using Nightmare Shades. Round 4 I used Shadow Step to teleport next to my shroud target and invoke for 39 damage. The Barbarian's big hit that encounter was 32 with Avalanche Strike. By keeping myself in a defensive position and using Shadow Step to keep from being adjacent to more than one enemy I only took 9 damage for the whole fight. I successfully used Shade Form to deter an attacker due to being Insubstantial.


The 3rd encounter was much like the 2nd. This time it was zombies. Shadow Step again played a big role as our Artificier used his Acid wall to create an obstacle for the zombies (and kill the minions) and I teleported into a position where I could reach the baddies without drawing OAs.


The 4th encounter we did really well and I felt like my Assassin was a star player. We came down a hallway into a rectangular room with 8 enemies in it, 4 on each side. I stealthed up and scouted the room without being noticed. We set ourselves up with the Barbarian/Swordmage on either side of the 3 wide hallway beind two pillars so that there was only one square from which the enemies could enter melee without some sort of teleport or push/pull. I was just behind them readinging a range basic for a particular baddie to become visible without cover. The Artificier got their attention, I got off a sneak attack for 22 damage, the barbarian/Swordmage killed a minon that walked into the hall way. Round 2 I used Targeted for Death on my previous target, and round 3 I invoked on a ranged basic with 4 shrouds and dealt 38 damage, killing my target.


By that time the minions had been cleared and the Barbarian swift charged out of our bottleneck to get to the archers in the room proper. I used Nightmare Shades on the last melee standard enemey and teleported into to a flank with the Swordmage. During the round I took 26 points of damage and went down, but was right back up thanks to the Artificer. I invoked with 2 shrouds the next round and did 17 damage, the Artificier finished him off and ran to heal the Barbarian who the Archers had dropped. I ran for the archer on the other side while the other 3 finished of the other one. My target started to run, but I caught him with a 2 shroud Executioners Noose and he was dead the next round.


Conclusions


I felt like the Assassin has some real kill Potential. I've sotra created a standard operating proceedure for combats that I don't intend to use my daily on.


1) Try to get some sort of input from the DM on which enemies are minions, even if they don't say "minion" outright, asking "who looks like they're in charge here" is a good way to know for sure about at least one enemy. Wasted Shrouds are wasted damage.


2) You'll always have enough time for 4 shrouds on your first target as long as your whole party isn't attacking them, choosing your shroud target that is least likely to be attacked or calling them out is optipmal.


3) Invoke ASAP if your target becomes bloodied, don't stack shrouds on a bloodied target. Again, wasted shrouds are wasted damage.


4) Set up your invoked attack. Use Shadow step to disengage in the round you place your 3rd shroud so that you can reach your target as you place your 4th. Combat Advantage is essential and easy to come by.


I think through 4 encounters there was only twice that I didn't get my Night Stalker bonus, not including minion kills (who cares). The fast solo kill of a standard creature in encounter 4 made it feel very much like the Save or Die Assassin of 3rd edition. Of course I had to use a Daily to do it, but it should get easier with more feats and features as I level, which I'm very hopeful about.


Again, I very much enjoyed Sneak of Shadows as opening combat stealthed is fairly easy to do as I'm usually sneaking ahead of the party, and opening combat at ranged with a Crossbow is also very easy to do. I can't wait to try out Lurking Shadow's invisibility as we just hit level 2. It seems like it shouldn't be too difficult to maintain at least for a few rounds in a fight.


I'll post again in two weeks and let you know how it went.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

If you guys appreciate this, post and let me know otherwise I won't bother.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

I appreciate this thread.

Also appreciated, I dont have an assassin yet but I like to get anothers read on it and see where the potential lies. silly question, what is the primary and secondary stat for an assassin?

Was really getting into your take on the assassin THANX! OP keep going.


I am a co-dm, so on the other side unfortunately, and a prominant NPC i use is an assassin - love the way i can now see it working, when i finally unleash him

Please keep going. I'm playing a 1st level Bleak Cabal Assassin and can get some good advice from you.

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

Okay, sweet. I'll try to take more detailed notes next game.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Please continue posting!


Also appreciated, I dont have an assassin yet but I like to get anothers read on it and see where the potential lies. silly question, what is the primary and secondary stat for an assassin?





Dex Primary, Con/Cha secondary. My character is a Charisma secondary Assassin.
Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

I appreciate it, too!

"Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery! " "The Medusan Lords' Gambit" - Discord - Level 15 Iron Soul Monk

I enjoyed reading another persons Assassin is in fact entirely diffrent than mine.


I use a shortsword and tend to pull less stealth and more dirty fighting.(Dazing someone and then turning invisible so he has to provoke to get an attack)


I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

This thread is a lot of fun, and very informative/educational in terms of getting a feel for how Assassins can be at the gaming table. I'm sure we've all had our experiences where we've found that a particular class didn't play how we expected them to. Threads like this shed a lot of light on actual play experience. I love the format, and the fact that you outline particular situations and actual damage totals, as well as comments about how you felt during encounters. The commentary is just as vital to what this thread is as the reporting.


Thanks for this.

I've decided to keep my posts in a blog as well, which I think you can find here:


community.wizards.com/vengeful_deity/blo...


(Let me know if the link doesn't work)


I'll keep this thread active too, but since the updates will come slowly (bi monthly) I thought it might be easier for people to subscribe to the blog if you're interested in following this. Thank you all for the feedback, I see it as a mandate to continue.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

 


Background


For those of you that are interested, I decided to elaborate on my character’s background which should shed some light on some of my build choices as well as why I chose Assassin in the first place.


Childhood


Vahn grew up a changeling boy in the city of Hariasa, orphaned by exodus to Anton during the last war. By the age of 10 he had learned to hide his true nature and to use it to his advantage. He lived off of the families of those left behind, taking the appearance of local children to gain access to their parent’s pantries. At 14 his luck ran out and he found himself in the stockades.


The Stygian Brotherhood


It was luck that Vilmoth de Shiva, Master of Arms of The Stygian Brotherhood happened upon Vahn, hunched down with his head and hands clasped in the stocks. It was that luck which set Vahn upon his current path of adventuring for Good instead of languishing in some city dungeon.


The Stygian Brotherhood is an ancient order. Written histories site them as far back as two millennia ago, though they are currently on decline, reaching their epoch roughly 500 years ago. They are secretive; in recent times they mostly remain in Shar’toril, colloquially referred to as Duskwatch Keep, a hidden stronghold high in the Hariasa Mountains. It is Duskwatch where they take their new conscriptions to train them, mold them, poison them with their concoctions, and bind their souls to the Shadowfel.


It is commonly understood among the noble lords that The Brotherhood performs these rituals to mischievous ends. These claims are false. It was learned long ago by order’s forbearers that creatures of the night and those that would do evil do not fight by the same laws of honor and chivalry of those that oppose them. These rituals are means to create what is called a Stygian Shade, a nomadic slayer, one who willingly goes into the shadow where nightmares await.


Coming of Age


Vahn has become the first Shade in four generations; the hope of his order rests upon his shoulders. Though the concoctions of the Grand Apothecary Satervath do extend the life of those who partake, The Brotherhood is dwindling. It is the hope that Vahn will prove to the throngs of this land that the Shades still have a place among them. Those protectors of the weak. Those stalkers in the night. Those valiant assassins.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Changeling and Last War references? Eberron game, or just similarities? I'm a big Eberron fan. I DM'd in mostly homebrew settings over the last 10 years (after using FR before that), and moved into Eberron games as my default setting after falling in love with it with the 4e releases.


I love the background. A little pulp, some grit, and one of my favorite themes as a central thread-- the redeamed criminal and/or 'nobody' who becomes a force in the world, and a face of hope for a select few. There are some parallels to my current Avenger's backstory. My interest is even more piqued.


Looking forward to further posts!


Changeling and Last War references? Eberron game, or just similarities? I'm a big Eberron fan. I DM'd in mostly homebrew settings over the last 10 years (after using FR before that), and moved into Eberron games as my default setting after falling in love with it with the 4e releases.


I love the background. A little pulp, some grit, and one of my favorite themes as a central thread-- the redeamed criminal and/or 'nobody' who becomes a force in the world, and a face of hope for a select few. There are some parallels to my current Avenger's backstory. My interest is even more piqued.


Looking forward to further posts!




Actually, the similarities are coincidence. The DM is a new DM (actually a fairly new player) who has never experienced Eberron before. The campaign he is running is homebrew, but I bet it would be very easily transfered into that setting.


My inspiration for the character was from Andrzej Sapkowski's character The Witcher. I loved the idea of a mercenary monster hunter that is shunned by society. The assassin seemed like a natural fit to that type of character, and their connection to the Shadowfel gave it a darker tone.


The DM liked my character background enough that he redesigned part of his world to fit it in and gave the Stygian Brotherhood the task of being the keepers of the Shadowfel Gate, which I think will have some sort of prominence in the story.


My second choice for class would have been Avenger, but then the Assassin came out =P


The greatest thing about Vahn, imo, is that he doesn't deserve the stigma of his order, or his race. He truely is a good person. Though he is trained in theivery, he would never use it to steal from an Innkeeper. Though, once someone has shown that they work for evil ends he'll do whatever it takes to make sure that person feels every bit of the suffering they have caused.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Nice stuff, VD.


Hrm... another parallel? Your character is undeserving of the stigmas he suffers from, because of being a good person. And... here you are, seemingly a good guy, and undeserving of the stigmas associated with 'VDs'.


Nice stuff, VD.


Hrm... another parallel? Your character is undeserving of the stigmas he suffers from, because of being a good person. And... here you are, seemingly a good guy, and undeserving of the stigmas associated with 'VDs'.




LAWL!


That's actually why I kept the 'VD' initials for alot of my forum accounts. My first foray into MMOs was with a super hero in City of Heroes named The Vengeful Death (Spines/Super Reflexes Scrapper, if anyone cares). Lots of jokes about what kind of VD would be called "vengeful death". Deity came later. =P

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Love your Post. And played a Katana/regen char based on tony the tiger in COH myself.

Wow lovely posts! =)


I played my first session with my drow assassin last monday. Pretty similar to your guy but definately not good :p


I took toughness 1st for survivability but might train that out for sneak of shadows+ the one handed hand x-bow feat at 2nd.


 


Any way we're playing in a customized Punjar city adventure.


First encounter was in a small allyway up towards the enterance to our targets residence (purposely trying to be vague here so I dont spoil the adventure if any of you are running it too).


I sneaked up to the doors looking for signs of the place being inhabited by anything but rats!


My temporary (?) allies (pawns? ) followed making way too much sound as usual.


The deathpriest closest to me suddenly got attacked by some thugs on a ledge using nets and spears to give him a nasty welcome.


I used executioners noose pulling one of them down. then switched to longsword shadowstorms. Invoked every 2nd turn missing once then critting for 26! (no nightstalker bonus due to cramped fighting area).


While we rested afterwards we were attacked by some thugs. I shrouded the leader and attacked the closest one. I then shadowstepped near the leader invoked and critted again (:D) for 30 points (inkl nightstalker bonus).


Lessons learned:


I should always invoke when target shrouded twice, due to the secret assassin feature that makes those attacks crits! :p


The assassin did indeed feel different, hard striking and highly mobile. Using a shield actually put my AC on par with our defender and due to toughness and shadowform I felt reasonably sturdy (rolled stats with 14 con helps too ). However I'll have to remind myself not to take uneccessary risks though as assassins work as well from a safer close ranged distance and HP will lag behind in time (esp. if retraining toughness).


Hope to hear more you your continued experiences!


Cheers


Sven

 



Wow lovely posts! =)


I played my first session with my drow assassin last monday. Pretty similar to your guy but definately not good :p


I took toughness 1st for survivability but might train that out for sneak of shadows+ the one handed hand x-bow feat at 2nd.


 


Any way we're playing in a customized Punjar city adventure.


First encounter was in a small allyway up towards the enterance to our targets residence (purposely trying to be vague here so I dont spoil the adventure if any of you are running it too).


I sneaked up to the doors looking for signs of the place being inhabited by anything but rats!


My temporary (?) allies (pawns? ) followed making way too much sound as usual.


The deathpriest closest to me suddenly got attacked by some thugs on a ledge using nets and spears to give him a nasty welcome.


I used executioners noose pulling one of them down. then switched to longsword shadowstorms. Invoked every 2nd turn missing once then critting for 26! (no nightstalker bonus due to cramped fighting area).


While we rested afterwards we were attacked by some thugs. I shrouded the leader and attacked the closest one. I then shadowstepped near the leader invoked and critted again (:D) for 30 points (inkl nightstalker bonus).


Lessons learned:


I should always invoke when target shrouded twice, due to the secret assassin feature that makes those attacks crits! :p


The assassin did indeed feel different, hard striking and highly mobile. Using a shield actually put my AC on par with our defender and due to toughness and shadowform I felt reasonably sturdy (rolled stats with 14 con helps too ). However I'll have to remind myself not to take uneccessary risks though as assassins work as well from a safer close ranged distance and HP will lag behind in time (esp. if retraining toughness).


Hope to hear more you your continued experiences!


Cheers


Sven




I strongly considered Two-Fisted Shooter, simply because I dislike spending actions to swap weapons. I had always envisioned my Assassin to spend 1/3 of fights at range and 2/3 in melee, so Hand Crossbow/Bastard Sword was (and still is) an option for me. However, I'm sure that I'll hit a level where I won't particularly care about the Utility power (and already poached my Rogue utility) so that I can snatch up the Theivery Skill Power that lets you swap weapons as a free action.


Do you not feel like your damage is high enough?


My strategy has been to bide my time in the first 4 rounds, picking up extra damage with Shadow Storm or by takeing buffs from the Artificer, then attacking my shroud target with 4, hoping for a fast kill. And I'll do what I can to make sure I have combat advantage ect for that Invoked attack to land all the damage I can.


If things keep up they way they have in the last few games, I'll be getting Hidden Insight at level 4 and putting off Expertise until 6th. Starting combat with a 1d10+Dex+Cha+4d6+2d6 suprise round sounds outstanding.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

I think he did very good damage actually borderline making me a bit ashamed ;)


Im going with the feat heavy but cool and drow thematic hand x-bow+ rapier over the long run I think, so I can use drow fighting style aswell.


From an optimization stand point that might not be optimal but I think he'll do decent damage still and I dont mind the -1AC (shield) and loss of toughness. As long as I dont get reckless (as I sometimes do) I think he'll do fine =)


That will probably mean I wont be able to pick up low slash powerswap though which is a bit of a shame.

My favorite thing about the Assassin so far has been the utter lack of danger adventuring poses to someone who can teleport AND turn invisible! I mean, I have by far the lowest AC in my party and I barely get a scratch in combat.(26DMG over 6 sessions!)

I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.

Lvl 50 Kinetics/radiation/psy defender here...


LOVE the thread...where's that "FAV" button again?


I actually just started playing an assassin myself in LFR--just moved and haven't found a local group yet.  I enjoy reading other people's accounts of their characters, and it gives me some food for thought for my character.


I went a bit different way than you did.  Being an Eladrin, I took Eladrin soldier as my level 1 feat.  Yeah, I have a melee at-will with a range of 4, 1d10+2 damage  :P  Greatspear FTW!


I never really thought about using a crossbow and taking sneak of shadows...that's a great idea!  It would also free up a skill for me...lol.


Looking forward to hearing more!


TBP

yeah, take sneak in the shadows and two fisted shooter. I'm really thinking about doing that myself and dropping my sheild. Then taking all the shadow dart-esc powers.. then i get an extra attack after i crit.

I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.


yeah, take sneak in the shadows and two fisted shooter. I'm really thinking about doing that myself and dropping my sheild. Then taking all the shadow dart-esc powers.. then i get an extra attack after i crit.




I think I mentioned before that was my origional idea and it may be something I'll migrate to later I don't really think Assassin DPR drops much when you switch to a smaller [W], especially as a Night Stalker build, since they're more likely to pick up the Implement powers anyhow.


For now, I enjoy my greatsword (kinda fits with my concept) and I'm sure the fullblade will be just fine.


I envision my character walking from town to town looking for work and monsters to kill for gold. He strolls into town, finds a nice shady spot and sets up a tripod with a banner on it. The banner is of the Stygian Shades. He sits on the ground in front of it, cross legged, with this pack propped up against the tripod, and his giant ass sword on the ground infront of him, wrapped from hilt to tip in cloth. He'll wait there until someone offers him work (in the game the NPCs all know legends of the Shades and know what he does).

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread

Great visual/concept with the 'looking for work' piece, VD. I like the extra levels of detail like that relating to who a character is. Habits, hobbies, quirks of personality, etc. all add a lot of texture and investment that makes the game so much more fun.


Despite never being a LARP guy or a high school thespian, I like putting in small at-the-table things to help keep my head in the character. As an example, my Avenger is a very tactile person, and has a habit of absent-mindedly/loosely gripping the pommel of his Fullblade and tracing his thumb over the grooves of the grip. It's not a menacing thing, just something he does that's akin to nailbiters, head scratchers, etc. So, I'll sit at the table with a pencil in my right hand, running my thumb over the eraser fixture groove (no menacing/glowering face, just the tactile tie-in).


In one of the games I DM'd, we had a player whose character was a recovered alcoholic, so the guy sat a canteen on the table full of water. When everyone else was drinking soda, he'd just drink water the whole time and occasionally eye the sodas enviously. It was pretty funny without being one of those "you're trying too hard, man" things.

4 more encounters some of them linked w-o rest last night. Mobilty in close quarters is awesome but less so for spread out fights where you have to move quickly. No biggy though. I took quite a lot of damage mainly due to our fighter and cleric (our only meleers) both were low on surges so I entered melee a bit more. Shadow storm is a very nasty at will but executioners noose seems a solid 2nd choice esp. for night stalkers. Pulling enemy leaders/artillery next to the fighter is fun! Targetting fort works well for them too.


 


I continued my crazy crit rolls doing 44 points of damage with targetted for death and another big ex noose hit.


 


Fun times!


Notes:


I've always pictured Vahn wielding a Fullblade. There just something about a lightly armored sneak brandishing a big two-handed sword. Fortunately, it is also one of the more optimal choices for an Assassin. There is a possibility that I might switch my weapon choice to Bastardsword/Hand crossbow TWF at some point down the line. I may get bored with the Fullblade. We'll see.


Lurking Shadow is something I've very much been looking forward to trying in combat. I'm sure my party would have prefered the one that lets me share my Stealth Skill, but the potential for staying invisible for the majority of an encounter is just too good to pass up. Expect alot of comments about this power when I make my post tomorrow night.


 


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Vahn, level 2
Changeling, Assassin
Guild Training: Night Stalker
Birth - Among Another Race: Among Another Race (Human)
Background: Arcane Mercenary, Birth - Among Another Race, Occupation - Bounty Hunter, Society - Poor, Geography - Mountains (Diplomacy class skill)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 14.


AC: 17 Fort: 14 Reflex: 15 Will: 16
HP: 28 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +10, Streetwise +9, Acrobatics +10, Diplomacy +9, Bluff +11, Thievery +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +1, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance +3, Heal +2, History +1, Insight +4, Intimidate +4, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +1, Athletics

FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade)

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin encounter 1: Nightmare Shades
Assassin daily 1: Targeted for Death
Assassin utility 2: Lurking Shadow

ITEMS
Greatsword, Leather Armor, Adventurer's Kit, Crossbow Bolts (40), Prime Shot Crossbow +1
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
Cool concept VD.
I enjoy reeading Vahn's progress. Keep them both alive  ...(the Thread, and your Assassin ! LOL)

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Awesome work, I can't wait to see how it progresses, I may add in my own as well if that's ok? As soon as I get my assassin re-done, I'll let ya know how it turns out.

Session 3


Unfortunately due to some scheduling issues, the party only ended up being a party of two. Not wanting to waste the day, the DM ran a short side adventure for the Artificer and myself. We shared any XP with the missing players, but have gotten loot and gold that they will miss out on.


The first bit of the game consisted of us sneaking through the halls of the ruined temple we found ourselves in, trying to find a way around a barred door. After some searching we found a fountain supplied by a natural spring, we pulled off the grate and proceeded into a small cavern filled up to our knees in water.


Encounter 1 – Kruthik


They appeared out of burrows on small patches of land and leapt at, catching us in the middle of the room, the water created difficult terrain so positioning –would- have been difficult if it weren’t for Shadow Step. Round two brought the death of the first creature with a 2 shroud invoke for  21 damage. A second standard monster and an Elite jumped out at as. I began stacking shrouds on the elite in round 3, used shadow step to flank the standard monster and Shade Form to protect against the beating I thought I was going to take. Unfortunately it didn’t come. I picked at the standard again, both hits were around 15-17 damage, the artificer ended up killing it off. The rest of the fight was Nightmare Shades => 3 Shroud Invoke + Scouring Weapon (-2 AC, Artificer) for 1d10+3d6+4+3+3+2 =26 damage. And then staggered 2 shroud invokes until it was dead. We both ended the fight bloodied.


Encounter 2 – Rat Swarm


This fight took place on descending platforms; the rats were at the bottom (distracted) while eating a Kruthik corpse. I snuck down  - Crossbow Sneak Attack : 19 damage. I then retreated and gave the Artificier room to put up his Caustic Ramparts. It was a really quick battle, just one standard. Only had enough time for a single 2 shroud invoke for 22 damage.


Encounter 3 – Abyssal Marauder(s)


I’m beginning to see a pattern where the last encounters of the night is my best (probably because I know the game is ending so I go ahead and use my daily). We were inspecting corpses in the corners, when an Abyssal Marauder charged out of a portal (Some sort of story point, I guess. Something about the temple and what it was used for). It surprised us and charged with a longspear. I went last =(. Artificer opened up with Scouring Weapon, mmm…-2 to AC.


Nightmare Shades – 14 damage
Action Point – Targeted for Death – 18 damage
Free – 2 Shrouds
Move, I circled around behind the Artificier (my crossbow was out)


The Artificer missed his attack, was charged, was attacked.


RBA – 1d8+4d6+2d6+Dex+Cha+Cha = 38 damage, killed the creature. I guess the DM was intending more to come out in staggered intervals, but we killed it so fast that the Artificier was able to complete the small Skill Challenge to close the rift before more could come through. Pretty sweet…


Comments


It didn’t take long before the DM realized that my HP and Defenses were low, but I unfortunately didn’t feel like I could play defensively, because there were only two of us running around. I’m not sure I would suggest playing an Assassin in a small party unless everyone has a comparable Stealth skill. I was however able to quickly duck out of melee when I felt threatened to let the Artificier take the heat. I don’t think it would be as much of an issue, once I get a few abilities that have Invisibility riders, etc.


I didn’t use Lurking Shadow (not that I didn’t have the opportunity). Again, I was trying to share the damage with the Artificier so we wouldn’t die. I’ll be looking forward to this next game.


I’m beginning to see a pattern where the last encounter of the session is my best. I blame caution and Targeted for Death, I tend to hold onto it waiting for a Solo creature or something identifiable as an elite (without trying to metagame). I’ll generally blow my daily when its getting late in the session if I haven’t used it. That one power is such a damage booster, it is hard to imagine that I’ll replace it at higher levels until/if there is another that has the same or better effect line.


All in all it was still fun, despite not having a full party to use party tactics with. My power choices really set me up to do well without always having someone to flank with. Plus Vahn found a Fullblade! Time to pull out the d12.

Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
Awesome work, I can't wait to see how it progresses, I may add in my own as well if that's ok? As soon as I get my assassin re-done, I'll let ya know how it turns out.



Be my guest! The whole point is to get a thread going where peole post overviews of encounters, what worked what didn't work, opinions on playstyle, and comparisons to other classes. I know probably the hardest thing for me to do when starting a campaign is settling on one class...I never know how they work in combat or outside of combat, and I'm always afraid I'll pick something that I don't like....and then I have to make that inevitable plea for the DM to let me re-roll.
Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
If I can find my Assassin build, would you mind helping me finish it?
Pardon my ignorance, can you detail a bit more your moves? It is interesting for novices and those not playing the class. For example it took me a while to understand this:

Nightmare Shades => 3 Shroud Invoke + Scouring Weapon (-2 AC, Artificer) for 1d10+3d6+4+3+3+2 =26 damage

I suppose you invoked Nightmare Shades in previous round, no damage details. Then action point (or next turn) and Shadow Storm for 1d10 (greatsword) + 3d6 (shrouds) + 4(dex) + 3(cha) + 3(cha again from NS) + 2(SS with 2 creatures).

I'm trying to understand how to pull some high damage with my human assassin. In particular I've seen on posts from other people some high damage reports but no details (50 hp at level 2), so I am going to figure out.

Thanks!

Really enjoying these posts. I've started an assassin of my own recently so figured I'd offer my experiences and/or get any build recommendations. Our party lacks a controller so I am trying to fill that as a secondary role.

The rest of the party is: Dragonborn Paladin, Genasi Warlord, Genasi Cleric, Kalashtar Warlock, Elf Sorcerer.

We started at 3rd level and have had 1 game so far which I will detail in the next post.

Naerlan, level 3
Revenant, Assassin
Guild Training: Night Stalker
Choose your Race in Life: Shadar-kai
Background: Netheril

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16.


AC: 19 Fort: 15 Reflex: 17 Will: 16
HP: 32 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 8

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +10, Perception +6, Acrobatics +10, Thievery +10, Bluff +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +1, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +5, Heal +1, History +1, Insight +1, Intimidate +6, Nature +1, Religion +1, Streetwise +4, Athletics +1

FEATS
Level 1: Killer's Insight
Level 2: Grave Dust Assassin

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin encounter 1: Nightmare Shades
Assassin daily 1: Targeted for Death
Assassin utility 2: Shadowed Legion
Assassin encounter 3: Nightshade's Kiss

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Greatsword, Magic Ki Focus +1, Leather Armor of Resistance +1, Hand Crossbow, Longsword, Dagger, Crowbar, Climber's Kit, Lantern, Camouflaged Clothing, Talon Amulet +1, Thieves' Tools, Light Shield


The working (and abreviated) backstory is that he is the fifth son of a Shadovar nobleman in the Shade Enclave (Forgotten Realms) who was subjected to some less than legal experimentation on manipulating Shadowfell energy by his father. He escaped but was found by the city guard and pursued to the edge of the floating city where, rather than be recaptured, he took a swan dive off the edge and fell to his death on the rocks below. Some quirk in the shadowfell energy that was forced into him restored him to life as a revenant. He is now working for the lords of Waterdeep in an attempt to learn what happened to himself and to get some revenge against the Shadovar.