All along the crooked way - An Assassin's Handbook

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Quick note:  My post actually did look at it on a per round basis (check it).  I only said what I said because draco claimed there was no reason not to invoke your shrouds every time - I was pointing out that there was indeed a reason, and noted in my post that there were however countervailing reasons that weighed against that reason.




You're right, and I hadn't done the math. I'll probably change the way I handle shrouds too, but not by much. 2 shrouds pre-bloodied, expend every round post-bloodied.

One thing I do like a lot about shrouds in general, though, is that you can throw them on something you're not necessarily attacking for up to four rounds and not lose the DPR. Also, you can save the spike for when you get bonuses from a leader to hit. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd like to see in the guide something more about how to get the most out of shrouds.



There's not much to be said. Remember that if you miss you lose only one shroud. The effect of a leader's bonus on your shroud damage will be very small.
Say you get to four shrouds and the leader gives you a +2 bonus, thus increasing your chance to hit by 10%:
at heroic this will influence your shroud dpr by (3,5*0,1)/4: 0,0875
at epic it will be: (9,5*0,1)/4: 0,2475.
Not really worth to plan for it. If it happens fine, if it doesn't no big change. The fact that you get a fairly reasonable part of the shroud damage even if you miss reduces the need for optimization.
In the thread there's some discussion about critting chances and shrouds (mostly about the Shadow Fire power) and I did some analysis about it. The result is that shroud damage is not really influenced by optimization as long as you can get to two/three shrouds before invoking.

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


There's not much to be said. Remember that if you miss you lose only one shroud. The effect of a leader's bonus on your shroud damage will be very small.
Say you get to four shrouds and the leader gives you a +2 bonus, thus increasing your chance to hit by 10%:
at heroic this will influence your shroud dpr by (3,5*0,1)/4: 0,0875
at epic it will be: (9,5*0,1)/4: 0,2475.
Not really worth to plan for it. If it happens fine, if it doesn't no big change. The fact that you get a fairly reasonable part of the shroud damage even if you miss reduces the need for optimization.
In the thread there's some discussion about critting chances and shrouds (mostly about the Shadow Fire power) and I did some analysis about it. The result is that shroud damage is not really influenced by optimization as long as you can get to two/three shrouds before invoking.



That's really disheartening. 

There's not much to be said. Remember that if you miss you lose only one shroud. The effect of a leader's bonus on your shroud damage will be very small.
Say you get to four shrouds and the leader gives you a +2 bonus, thus increasing your chance to hit by 10%:
at heroic this will influence your shroud dpr by (3,5*0,1)/4: 0,0875
at epic it will be: (9,5*0,1)/4: 0,2475.
Not really worth to plan for it. If it happens fine, if it doesn't no big change. The fact that you get a fairly reasonable part of the shroud damage even if you miss reduces the need for optimization.
In the thread there's some discussion about critting chances and shrouds (mostly about the Shadow Fire power) and I did some analysis about it. The result is that shroud damage is not really influenced by optimization as long as you can get to two/three shrouds before invoking.




That's really disheartening. 



I think it's fantastic, honestly. While optimization won't get you much, that also means that using your resources for other things won't hurt you much.
Now, of course, with the low power based damage of the assassin, to-hit optimization is probably still worthwhile, as is crit opt, I would imagine.
Probably, though, this just make damage opt like Venom Hand Master, and the like, noticably more important than to-hit opt.

Now, what does this mean for Hybrid Assassins? Particularly Hybrid Assassins whose other class has high damage powers. For instance, a hybrid Assassin|Ranger/Avenger wouldn't be all that hard to build. (After racials) Put str at 18, dex at 16, wis at 13, and whatever con you can get. You'd be able to qualify for chainmail prof feat, your accuracy would only suffer in your assassin powers, and shrouds make that less important, and you'd have oath of emnity to do fun things with your multi attack ranger powers.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Well, the Class Acts is kind of disappointing.  No new attack powers before level 13 (and only two dailies and two encounter attacks total).  Some of the utilities are decent.  Murderous Shadow looks fun but has some serious problems.  The intrinsic attack not only isn't party-friendly, it's randomly targeted.  Plus, it has no intrinsic movement so as soon as the enemy walks away from it, you'll have to use your actions to keep it in place, and the rewards for doing so are mediocre at best.  Blood Shadows is maybe the highlight of the new powers.  4[W] and a decent effect is better than we've come to expect from dailies.

The new Paragon Path (Gloaming Dancer) seems uninspired.  There's some interesting mechanics at work, but once again it's a set of powers and features which are mostly about increasing survivability rather than increasing damage.  Just because we've got the worst hp of any striker doesn't mean we need every paragon path, feat and power to wrap us in bubble wrap so we don't get bruised!

On the feat end, there's not much to see.  Spirited Shadows is interesting, but I can't see myself wanting to spend one of my precious feat spots on it.  Death's Pall, on the other hand, is pretty excellent, and a good reason to stack shrouds on a single target.  Untouchable Shade is decent, though at epic assassins have enough ways to be insubstantial that we didn't really need another one (albeit a very reliable one). 

So.. disappointing.  All the great stuff we hoped for wasn't really there, and we just got more of the same.
A completely missed opportunity.  I was hoping for some increased damage, or a reason to use smaller, fluffier, more concealable weapons.  The article adds neither, and in fact adds a whole lot of nothing that assassins couldn't already do plenty of.  Namely hide real good while their allies do all the work.

Honestly, I'm very dissapointed.  This class is starving for some decent crunch, and the new article doesn't seem to give them any nice things.

And untouchable shades doesn't work as written, because it has no listed duration.  Are you insubstantial vs. your shroud target just during the teleport?  for the next attack?  start of your next turn?  one year and a day?  Meh.  Fluff seems meh too.  "favor the use of light blades"?  not in any of the powers you published with it.  Kill their enemies slowly as a sign of respect?  Not sure how that works, exactly.

Meh.  So dissapointed.
Agreed on the disappointment.  The article is not bad, but it does not get at what I feel the class really needs or what we were told to expect this year.  Every time an Assassin article shows up on the calendar, I hold my breath for a month, waiting for some more attack powers or a new build.  Every time I let out a small sigh of disappointment.

Again, the article is fine and it's nice to have the options.  Unfortunately most of these are not options that I feel any of my Assassin builds really need.

Hopefully they're not saving all the substantial content for the new Shadow book.



On a side note, I completely agree with erleni.  The Assassin's shroud damage is not very sensitive to % chance to hit.  If you get  a boost, go for it, but it's not worth dragging the Leader around to be your buffer.

In all my analysis, I sometimes forget that my Heroic Tier Assassins get a +3-4 bonus to damage from Nigh Stalker.  I should really start to factor that in to my calculations a bit more.  With a good Shadow Step, it's relatively easy to get the bonus damage.  With that factored in, Assassins almost catch up to a Heroic Rogue (without SA optimization) in the Striker bonus damage department.
Wait guys. We need some more time to evaluate.
Shadow Knifes is by far the best encounter power I've seen so far.
First of all you can go with Frostcheese on it (you can do that once for turn, so you can subject to Lasting Frost all the targets you hit).
Covenant Agents can apply Shadow of the Gods to each target hit (as long as they use a radiant or necrotic weapon). A covenant agent with Halo of Isolation can go for:
Standard: Well of Shades to bring some enemies in
AP: Shadow Knifes
Everytime it hits it dazes and slows. Enemies can try to attack him but do that at-5 (as they are blind) or move away out of the area. If they move you get an OA, if they shift they'll not get out as they are slowed and start adjacent to you, so you can delay next round and potentially get some more free attacks as their turns start again.
If you can Shadow step out and then teleport in again (you can do that easily with two objects from the Eldritch Panoply) you can even hide, get a +2 bonus to AC and Reflex from Cloak of Teleportation (that you can use once a day to recharge Shadow Knifes) and be now at whopping +7 against attacks that target AC (Shadar-kai may want to use their racial to teleport, to be insubstantial too).
This is quite effective against teleporting creatures as they will have no line of sight (being blind).

Spectral Assailants is pretty good too and can be teamed with Shadow Knifes as well.

An interesting Epic build will be:
Perfect Slayer ED (CA on your shrouds target and eventually your shrouds do not disappear at 30th level.)
MC Warlock and Long Night Scion PP (with some little Int).
Shadowrift Blade (low level) in off-hand and Sword of Black Ice in main hand
Two-Weapon Opening
Scavenger Bird Ki Focus

You'll get a nightmarish number of teleports. Everytime you hit move your shrouds to the next target as a free action (scavenger bird ki focus) to get CA and teleport if you hit for slashing damage. Sword of Black Ice (that you'll use to attack) adds the cold keyword so you can get Lasting Frost in and enjoy cold vulnerability on both your attacks and slashes (and at 30th level four shrouds on each hit as long as you keep hitting). By the way with Shadow Knives you teleport if you miss too, so you can get anyway some slashing damage.


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

I don't know. I might take Darting Shade. With Assassin's escape, it can be a great way to get out of a really bad situation. A few of the powers might take up power slots that don't really have anything impressive. The Paragon Path would have been better as a new build called Shadow Dancer. I think the main value of the article is to give you different ways to do things you already have a couple ways to do. It might (I haven't given it a detailed analysis yet) allow you to do more in house that people are making mc builds for, which could be valuable in itself. If you don't need to mc for it, you can instead mc for better damage, for instance.

I'd have a better idea of how I feel about it if I had it in the builder. Which I'll have updated fairly soon, since a friend is starting a new campaign, and wants the most recent version.

They really need to just listen to the community, though, and put out some basic damage increase, real control powers that, like most striker control powers, don't target allies, and (if they really love us) some class support for using thematically appropriate weapons. I mean, it's powers and feats, possibly even just powers. It's literally the easiest thing to add to a class....

Flickering Shadow seems like it would be an awesome power, if it were at least 5 levels lower than it is. I like the way it works, and another encounter insubstantial is cool, but at level 20, it just seems like it could have a bit more kick.

Penumbral Leap...just, meh. I know weakened can be a very useful effect to lay on someone, and minor action teleport isn't exactly a bad thing. If the power was 2[w] I'd probably like it.

Shadow dance is ok, but seems to be what the whole PP does, so it doesn't feel as awesome alongside the rest of the PP as it would somewhere else.

Shadow Blend seems like it would rarely, if ever, get used. I mean, combat advantage and concealment against one target(hardly difficult to get as an assassin)  vs 2d6+6 damage? The hell? Add in the fact that in order to have three shrouds on the target you had to spend three turns building them, and well, screw that.

Sinister Shadows would be tasty candy, if it were paired with a solid PP. It's the kind of feature that is just great as an added bonus. +2 to stealth and an extra square of teleport isn't anything to scoff at, but it isn't enough to pick a PP based on it.

Same thing with Dancing Action. Basically, the entire PP should be scrapped, and the component parts put into the main class, and/or made a part of a new build.

Gloaming Call is almost exactly the same as a suggestion I made in a recent RL conversation concerning making the Shadow Dancer a full class, and making it a mostly melee controller, with shadow conjurations, and a teleport abillity. Basically, make it a class feature, at-will, minor action to produce one Gloaming, and give the class some powers that are based on the Gloaming's sqare.

Blood Shadows is pretty damn cool. My assassin will probably be taking it.

Same with Shadow Knives. Erleni already covered why. Honestly, though. Even without frostcheese or the like, that's just potentially a lot of attacks in a short period of time, and the attack you're making a bunch of times is better than I would expect from such a power, once you take into account everything you get to do. teleport into a group of enemies, use shadow knives, and hit every single one at the start of it's turn. I love it. You don't even have to cheese it for it to be worth taking. My Covenent Agent is drooling with anticipation, tbqh.

Gloaming Dance is pretty cool. It seems worth taking. I'm not upset at the idea of my assassin's missed attacks being even less of a big deal. :P

Unless there's something terribly impressive at level 13, Spectral Assailants seems like a good chioce for assassins that want some added control.

Darkening Veil could be amazing in some situations, less so in others. Which I'm actually perfectly ok with in a daily utillity power. I want my encounters to be useful in every encounter, if possible, dailies, I can just not use in an encounter that has nothing for them.

Converging Shadows I don't see so much as another way to stay alive longer(more bubble wrap, as it were) but rather as a new, different way to do so. Adding new ways to stay alive isn't a bad thing, because each one allows you to use other resources on other things. At a given level, you can either up your damage or up your survival, and with more survival options, more levels have decent chioces in the two. We definately have a greater need to up damage right now, though. It's not that hard to stay alive as an assassin, in spite of the low hp. Even a Nightstalker with both melee and ranged powers can be built to take fewer hits, and mitigate a few of the ones they do take, than other strikers, making the lower hp less of a real issue.

Anyway, I like the article, I just think it was put out at the wrong time. Yes, I'd like to make an assassin that focuses on animating shadows in different ways, maybe mc shaman for some extra shadow summoning fun(with reflavouring of what the spirit companion is), and some extra teleport utillity. That sounds like a blast.
First, though, we need more support for the weaknesses of the class.

Oh, almost forgot: Untouchable Shade. So far as I can tell, you're insubstantial against attacks from your shroud target for as long as they're your shroud target. So, basically, most of the encounter you're insubstantial against a target. If you use defenders and other creatures to (via shadow step) never be right next to the target in between turns after invoking, when you don't have a shroud on the target, you should be never be hit for full damage by the target, if it's a melee. Ranged creatures will be able to hit you anyway, but you'll still be insubstantial for over half the time that creature is on the board. On the off chance you get a crit against you in the short period of time when you aren't insubstantial, well, hopefully you were smart enough to take assassin's escape. :P
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Just finished my personal review of the article and I can tell you that looking deeper it's much better than I thought, but we need to take a shift in our mindset about the assassin. Control is taking over and we need to look more at "area" damage than single target.
Let's wait for the compilation, tough, as something may change there.

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

Just finished my personal review of the article and I can tell you that looking deeper it's much better than I thought, but we need to take a shift in our mindset about the assassin. Control is taking over and we need to look more at "area" damage than single target.
Let's wait for the compilation, tough, as something may change there.


I'd be fine with assassin encounter and daily powers focusing more on control.  I like that kind of aspect in playing a Warlock.  But what the Assassin still lacks is a good striker at-will.  Having that frees up the need for encounter and daily powers to focus solely on damage.  As it is, Assassin's really lose out in comparison to other strikers, even the Warlock, in the damage dealing department by the time they hit paragon.  This is why I was still pretty disappointed by the article.
I agree completely with Squad.  The control secondary for Assassins has been apparent from day 1 and one of the aspects I really liked about the class.  This article is good in that it supports that aspect even more.

Unfortunately many of us were looking for something to prop up the Striker primary a bit more.  We had been told to expect a 3rd build for Assassins early 2010 and were also looking for that.  I think the most significant disappointments with the article are based on those two reasons.

Assassins are great,  but they have a relatively narrow path if you want to be a successfull primary party striker.  Hopefully we will see that aspect of the class expand a bit.
this is off the current topic a bit, but on topic for the thread.

Would it be possible to use a monk|assassin hybrid to make something so close to an actual controller as to make little to no practical difference?

Along the same vein, assassin|warlock? I know that it would be a little more difficult in stat allocation, but I figure that since assassins are either dex cha or dex con, and warlocks are either con or cha, it wouldn't be totally brutal.

Just something that's been percolating in my headspace for a while.

I suppose assassin|rogue could do it too, since most of the strong control powers for assassins are impliment, so what weapon you're using for it is mostly immaterial.


Other random thought, has Traveller's Harlequin been evaluated at all for assassins? I figured that some of the crazy mc things people do with assassins could be more fully explored, or combined or whathaveyou with the extra mc feat, and removed mc restrictions of the PP, and the cherry pick a daily bit could be really interesting. Not to mention that getting what pretty much amounts to a changlings racial abillity, without being a changling, is pretty sweet for assassins. (which isn't to say that changlings don't make great assassins, but with this PP, you could be dex/con, and have the shapechanging abillities of a changling. :P)
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
this is off the current topic a bit, but on topic for the thread.

Would it be possible to use a monk|assassin hybrid to make something so close to an actual controller as to make little to no practical difference?

Along the same vein, assassin|warlock? I know that it would be a little more difficult in stat allocation, but I figure that since assassins are either dex cha or dex con, and warlocks are either con or cha, it wouldn't be totally brutal.

Just something that's been percolating in my headspace for a while.

I suppose assassin|rogue could do it too, since most of the strong control powers for assassins are impliment, so what weapon you're using for it is mostly immaterial.


Other random thought, has Traveller's Harlequin been evaluated at all for assassins? I figured that some of the crazy mc things people do with assassins could be more fully explored, or combined or whathaveyou with the extra mc feat, and removed mc restrictions of the PP, and the cherry pick a daily bit could be really interesting. Not to mention that getting what pretty much amounts to a changlings racial abillity, without being a changling, is pretty sweet for assassins. (which isn't to say that changlings don't make great assassins, but with this PP, you could be dex/con, and have the shapechanging abillities of a changling. :P)



Actually I forgot to rate Traveler's Harlequin, even if I was the forst one to mention it in the thread (it was a suggestion for Psk20 and his CdG build using Every Trick in The Book). I'll put it in in the coming days.

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

Per changing mindsets: I don't know.  There's the making lemonade out of lemons argument, and that's all well and good.  Still, if the designers keep heaping control powers on the assassin they might manage to make it a decent class, but they will never make it a decent assassin class that way.

Feels like some terrible wolverine parody.  "I'm the worst there is at what I do, although I can do what that other guy does pretty well."  Single target elimination should be the singular goal of the assassin class.  That it isn't is a fundamental failure of design, like a barbarian with nothing but healing powers.  No amount of better healing powers would make such a character a better barbarian.
Gotta say I agree with malisteen here. The ability of assassins to confound their enemies is cool, but it should come second to their ability to pick one foe and make them dead, quickly. 
this is off the current topic a bit, but on topic for the thread.

Would it be possible to use a monk|assassin hybrid to make something so close to an actual controller as to make little to no practical difference?

Along the same vein, assassin|warlock? I know that it would be a little more difficult in stat allocation, but I figure that since assassins are either dex cha or dex con, and warlocks are either con or cha, it wouldn't be totally brutal.

Just something that's been percolating in my headspace for a while.

I suppose assassin|rogue could do it too, since most of the strong control powers for assassins are impliment, so what weapon you're using for it is mostly immaterial.


Other random thought, has Traveller's Harlequin been evaluated at all for assassins? I figured that some of the crazy mc things people do with assassins could be more fully explored, or combined or whathaveyou with the extra mc feat, and removed mc restrictions of the PP, and the cherry pick a daily bit could be really interesting. Not to mention that getting what pretty much amounts to a changlings racial abillity, without being a changling, is pretty sweet for assassins. (which isn't to say that changlings don't make great assassins, but with this PP, you could be dex/con, and have the shapechanging abillities of a changling. :P)




Actually I forgot to rate Traveler's Harlequin, even if I was the forst one to mention it in the thread (it was a suggestion for Psk20 and his CdG build using Every Trick in The Book). I'll put it in in the coming days.



Right on. I must say, building a Traveler's Harlequin can be annoying, if you end up with a ton of 20th level power options. :P
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Funny thing about Traveller's harlequin is that you get Bard MC essentially for free. Take the MC feat and then pick up multiclass mastery, and you get two bonus feats, essentially paying back the cost of taking the feats.
By the way, am I missing something, or is Rogueish Killer pretty much a no brainer for assassin|rogues, and possibly even assassin/rogues?

requires rogue, assassin, assassin's shroud power.

If you miss an attack in which you invoked two or more shouds and the target grants you CA, you can apply your sneak attack damage.

Since you'd probably want to switch back and forth between assassin and rogue powers, to get the most out of your shrouds, this feat will come up pretty much every time you miss with an assassin attack power.

Makes me wonder about an assassin|rogue/avenger covenent agent. (ok, I was already playing around with the idea. this just makes it more interesting to me. ) covenent agent build might invalidate the usefulness, though. Certainly would be one way to allow yourself (even further) to not have to worry about optimizing for to hit bonus, and pay attention to other things.


Also, psk, if you're reading.

How would you build your scimitar covenent agent, if you were making a human?
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I posted this in the Assassin article thread and thought I'd post it here so that all of the Assassin guru's can see it.

The DPR is a calculation of average damage,  only of the quarry or shroud, over 10 rounds.

Twin Strike is shortened to TS for ease

Assumptions

Attack  Bonuses:
Level 30: +32 vs AC (45% hit chance, 5% or 10% crit chance)
Level  20: +23 vs AC (50% hit chance, 5% crit chance)
Level 10: +15 vs AC  (60% hit chance, 5% crit chance)

The ranger has a crit range of  19-20 thanks to a feat yet the Assassin can only have a 20 crit range,  unless you take a jagged weapon (this will not be calculated as it is  pretty sub-optimal). In these Epic tier calculations the Ranger is  always assumed to have a 19-20 crit range.




Epic  DPR without Lethal Hunter or Brutal Shroud:

3d6 quarry (TS  every round)
0.6975*10*10.5 + 0.19*10*18 = 107.4375

3d6  quarry (TS every other round)
0.6975*5*10.5 + 0.19*5*18 + 0.45*5*10.5  + 0.1*5*18 = 86.34375

3d6 quarry (not using TS)
0.45*10*10.5 +  0.1*10*18 = 65.25


1d6+6 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.45*5*19  + 0.05*5*24 + 0.5*5*9.5 = 72.5

An Assassin has more DPR with his  shrouds, as standard, than a non Twin Striking Ranger. As this is rare  however we can assume that the Assassin is behind.




Epic  DPR with  Lethal Hunter and Brutal Shroud:

3d8  quarry (TS every round)
0.6975*10*13.5 + 0.19*10*24 = 139.7625

3d8   quarry (TS every other round)
0.6975*5*13.5 + 0.19*5*24 +   0.45*5*13.5 + 0.1*5*24 = 112.25625

3d8 quarry (not using TS)
0.45*10*13.5   + 0.1*10*24 = 84.75


1d6+6 Brutal 1 shroud (invoked every 2  turns)
0.45*5*20  + 0.05*5*24 + 0.5*5*10 = 76

This is where  the gap clearly shows. Even a Ranger not using Twin Strike ever is  getting more DPR out of his striker feature.
 





+1/+2/+3  shroud damage feat:

Heroic tier (+1 damage feat)
1d6+1  shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.6*5*9 + 0.05*5*14 + 0.35*5*4.5 =  38.375

1d6+1 Brutal 1 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.6*5*10 + 0.05*5*14 + 0.35*5*5 = 42.25

1d8 quarry (TS every  round)
0.84*10*4.5 + 0.0975*10*8 = 45.6

+1 shroud damage,  along with Brutal 1, in heroic is too much. It is almost on par with a  twin striking ranger. Granted a twin striking ranger adds more in terms  of item damage but thats another issue.



Paragon  Tier (+2 damage feat)
1d6+5 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.5*5*17 + 0.05*5*22 + 0.45*5*8.5 = 67.125

1d6+5 Brutal 1  shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.5*5*18 + 0.05*5*22 + 0.45*5*9 =  70.75


2d8 quarry (TS every  round)
0.7975*10*9 +  0.0975*10*16 = 87.375

2d8 (TS every other round)
0.7975*5*9 +  0.0975*5*16 + 0.6*5*9 + 0.05*5*16 = 74.6875

2d8 (not using TS)
0.6*10*9  + 0.05*10*16 = 62

The Assassin catches up here even beating the  non twin striking Ranger



Epic Tier (+3  damage feat)
1d6+9 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.45*5*25 +  0.05*5*30 + 0.5*5*12.5 = 95

1d6+9 Brutal 1 shroud (invoked every  2 turns)
0.45*5*26 + 0.05*5*30 + 0.5*5*13 = 98.5

3d8  quarry (TS every round) = 139.7625

3d8   quarry (TS every other  round) = 112.25625

3d8 quarry (not using TS) = 84.75

The  Assassin again stays ahead of the non twin striking Ranger


I  think that a +2/+3 bonus to shroud damage seems, to me, very fair if you  could gain it in paragon tier. What you have to also rememeber is that  the Assassin is the only class, without feats, that can cause damage on a  miss, and that shroud is very constant and so cannot get close to  quarry or curse damage otherwise it will be too powerful.




Change  damage to 1d8/1d8+4/1d8+8 feat:

Heroic tier (1d8  shroud damage)
1d8 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.6*5*9 +  0.05*5*16 +  0.35*5*4.5 = 38.875

1d8 Brutal 1 shroud (invoked  every 2 turns) 
0.6*5*10 + 0.05*5*16 + 0.35*5*5 = 42.75

1d8  quarry (TS  every round)
0.84*10*4.5 + 0.0975*10*8 = 45.6

Slightly  more damage than the +1 feat damage counterpart and so for that sense  I'm going to say that it is too much.



Paragon   Tier (1d8+4 shroud damage)
1d8+4 shroud (invoked every 2  turns)
0.5*5*17 + 0.05*5*24 + 0.45*5*8.5 = 67.625

1d8+4  Brutal 1  shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.5*5*18 + 0.05*5*24 +  0.45*5*9 =  71.25


2d8 quarry (TS every  round)
0.7975*10*9  +  0.0975*10*16 = 87.375

2d8 (TS every other round)
0.7975*5*9  +  0.0975*5*16 + 0.6*5*9 + 0.05*5*16 = 74.6875

2d8 (not using  TS)
0.6*10*9  + 0.05*10*16 = 62

The Assassin catches up here  even beating the  non twin striking Ranger. This is an even better "fix"  in terms of DPR than the +2 feat bonus.



Epic  Tier (1d8+8 shroud)
1d8+8 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.45*5*25 +  0.05*5*32 + 0.5*5*12.5 = 95.5

1d8+8 Brutal 1  shroud (invoked every  2 turns)
0.45*5*26 + 0.05*5*32 + 0.5*5*13 =  99

3d8  quarry (TS every round) = 139.7625

3d8   quarry  (TS every other  round) = 112.25625

3d8 quarry (not using TS) =  84.75

The  Assassin again stays ahead of the non twin striking  Ranger


I  think that a  change to shroud damage (1d8+4/1d8+8  seems, to me, very fair if you  could gain it in paragon tier. What you  have to also rememeber is that  the Assassin is the only class, without  feats, that can cause damage on a  miss, and that shroud is very  constant and so cannot get close to  quarry or curse damage otherwise it  will be too powerful.


Comparing the two feats  above


Comparing the two feats above you can see that the only  difference between them is that the 1d8 change has a 0.5 higher DPR than  that of the +1/+2/+3 fix. This is due to it doing more damage on a  critical hit. Both ways "fix" the Assassins DPR and so either is a good  candidate to be a feat.



By the way, am I missing something, or is Rogueish Killer pretty much a no brainer for assassin|rogues, and possibly even assassin/rogues?

requires rogue, assassin, assassin's shroud power.

If you miss an attack in which you invoked two or more shouds and the target grants you CA, you can apply your sneak attack damage.

Since you'd probably want to switch back and forth between assassin and rogue powers, to get the most out of your shrouds, this feat will come up pretty much every time you miss with an assassin attack power.



It is pretty awesome like that. You'll want to use assassin powers every time it has two shrouds on it. With that build the only time you won't be doing damage is if you miss with a rogue power. Th problem is you'd be doing more damage by missing with an Assassin power than you would by hitting with it.

By the way, am I missing something, or is Rogueish Killer pretty much a no brainer for assassin|rogues, and possibly even assassin/rogues?

requires rogue, assassin, assassin's shroud power.

If you miss an attack in which you invoked two or more shouds and the target grants you CA, you can apply your sneak attack damage.

Since you'd probably want to switch back and forth between assassin and rogue powers, to get the most out of your shrouds, this feat will come up pretty much every time you miss with an assassin attack power.





It is pretty awesome like that. You'll want to use assassin powers every time it has two shrouds on it. With that build the only time you won't be doing damage is if you miss with a rogue power. Th problem is you'd be doing more damage by missing with an Assassin power than you would by hitting with it.




bolding mine

It's not so much a problem, it's just something to take into account. a miss, by teir without the backstabber feat or brutal shrouds, will do 3d6/4d6+3/6d6+6 damage, as opposed to a hit: 2d6/2d6+6/2d6+12. Statistically, on average that's equivilent to your misses doing 1d6/2d6/3d6 more damage mechanic damage than a hit.

(2d6+6 is actually a little better than 3d6 for average damage, so the difference in average damage is slightly less, technically.  the reason shrouds aren't as good as SA in paragon is that SA is getting that 2d6 every round, not because the damage numbers themselves are better. assuming no feat, of course. However, I'm not doing that calculation, or looking it up, right now.) 

You also have to remember that on a hit you'll be doing at least 1[w]+dex mod. In heroic, and paragon, that will even them out, at least. In epic it should still be about equivelent, since you'll be doing at least 2[w]+dex.

And of course, you should have static damage boosts from items and feats. I think what actually ends up happening is that, except on missed rogue attacks, you do roughly equivelent damage on any d20 roll other than 20. :D

Anyway, I'd kind of prefer something that works in the other direction, using shrouds to mitigate misses with rogue powers(and thus provide miss mitigation on every miss over your entire carreer), but this is pretty damn cool, as it is. Having somewhere around half of your misses do damage  roughly equivelent to hitting with an at-will attack and invoking is pretty sick. The average DPR must be pretty awesome with this. Your [w] damage would be d10s at most, with versatile duelist and a bastard sword, but then again you could afford to use a broadsword. :P mc avenger, focus your oath on multi attack rounds with rogue attacks, use scimitars, and do the normal crit optimizing...more crits, less misses, most of your misses do the same damage as a hit...yeah. That'd have to be some pretty sweet DPR. I'd probably fit in venom hand goodness, use piercing strike as my rogue at-will(have probing strike as well, if human, for when I want a to-hit bonus with assassin dailies) and optimize for getting and keeping CA.

Gonna have to play around with this a bit. 


Kais: Thanks for the detailed analysis. The d8 feat, available in paragon, works rather well. With such a feat, certain assassin builds could actually outshine a run of the mill ranger, which is good. A covenent agent scimitar crit build, and the right item choices, might actually compete with optimized rangers.

By the way, this is probably a silly question, but did you calculate the miss mitigation into the DPR for the assassin? i know it's probably a pain, since it involves predicting how many of the assassin's misses will be on attacks where shrouds are invoked, but if there's a reliable calculation for it...
no worries if you don't want to deal with that, though.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Kais: Thanks for the detailed analysis. The d8 feat, available in paragon, works rather well. With such a feat, certain assassin builds could actually outshine a run of the mill ranger, which is good. A covenent agent scimitar crit build, and the right item choices, might actually compete with optimized rangers.

By the way, this is probably a silly question, but did you calculate the miss mitigation into the DPR for the assassin? i know it's probably a pain, since it involves predicting how many of the assassin's misses will be on attacks where shrouds are invoked, but if there's a reliable calculation for it...
no worries if you don't want to deal with that, though.





1d6+6 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.45*5*19  + 0.05*5*24 + 0.5*5*9.5 = 72.5

In this equation the 0.45 is hit chance.
The 5 is the amount of times the shroud is activated in 10 rounds.
The 0.05 is the crit chance.
The 0.5 is the miss chance.

So to answer your question: yes I did factor in damage on a miss.
Kais: Thanks for the detailed analysis. The d8 feat, available in paragon, works rather well. With such a feat, certain assassin builds could actually outshine a run of the mill ranger, which is good. A covenent agent scimitar crit build, and the right item choices, might actually compete with optimized rangers.

By the way, this is probably a silly question, but did you calculate the miss mitigation into the DPR for the assassin? i know it's probably a pain, since it involves predicting how many of the assassin's misses will be on attacks where shrouds are invoked, but if there's a reliable calculation for it...
no worries if you don't want to deal with that, though.






1d6+6 shroud (invoked every 2 turns)
0.45*5*19  + 0.05*5*24 + 0.5*5*9.5 = 72.5

In this equation the 0.45 is hit chance.
The 5 is the amount of times the shroud is activated in 10 rounds.
The 0.05 is the crit chance.
The 0.5 is the miss chance.

So to answer your question: yes I did factor in damage on a miss.



sweet. thanks for the quick response.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Kais: Thanks for the detailed analysis. The d8 feat, available in paragon, works rather well. With such a feat, certain assassin builds could actually outshine a run of the mill ranger, which is good. A covenent agent scimitar crit build, and the right item choices, might actually compete with optimized rangers.


Just to be clear - the d8 feat is really a d8/+1/+2 feat as opposed to a +1/+2/+3 feat.  I think we might as well focus on the latter version of the feat.  From a design standpoint, the +1/tier is not only simplier but is also more consistent with feats that offer a scaling bonus to damage.

The only reason offered so far for favoring the d8/+1/+2 feat is this: "+1 shroud damage,  along with Brutal 1, in heroic is too much. It is almost on par with a  twin striking ranger. Granted a twin striking ranger adds more in terms  of item damage but thats another issue."  The main problem with this analysis is that it involves comparing a Ranger with 1 Feat (d8 quarry) to an Assassin with 2 Feats (Brutal and the +1/tier feat).  I would hope the presence of an additional feat would bring the Assassin closer to Ranger level.  Also, as noted in the quote above, Twin Strike will pull ahead once you include item damage.  Finally, even if there's a feat that increases Shroud damage to d8, it still wouldn't be worth taking Brutal Shroud.  That feat is practically worthless for an Assassin, because even at epic level you're only rolling 1 die per shroud.  Any comparison of how new shroud feats alter the striker damage of the Assassin should NOT assume that one is taking Brutal Shroud.
Kais: Thanks for the detailed analysis. The d8 feat, available in paragon, works rather well. With such a feat, certain assassin builds could actually outshine a run of the mill ranger, which is good. A covenent agent scimitar crit build, and the right item choices, might actually compete with optimized rangers.



Just to be clear - the d8 feat is really a d8/+1/+2 feat as opposed to a +1/+2/+3 feat.  I think we might as well focus on the latter version of the feat.  From a design standpoint, the +1/tier is not only simplier but is also more consistent with feats that offer a scaling bonus to damage.

The only reason offered so far for favoring the d8/+1/+2 feat is this: "+1 shroud damage,  along with Brutal 1, in heroic is too much. It is almost on par with a  twin striking ranger. Granted a twin striking ranger adds more in terms  of item damage but thats another issue."  The main problem with this analysis is that it involves comparing a Ranger with 1 Feat (d8 quarry) to an Assassin with 2 Feats (Brutal and the +1/tier feat).  I would hope the presence of an additional feat would bring the Assassin closer to Ranger level.  Also, as noted in the quote above, Twin Strike will pull ahead once you include item damage.  Finally, even if there's a feat that increases Shroud damage to d8, it still wouldn't be worth taking Brutal Shroud.  That feat is practically worthless for an Assassin, because even at epic level you're only rolling 1 die per shroud.  Any comparison of how new shroud feats alter the striker damage of the Assassin should NOT assume that one is taking Brutal Shroud.



While I agree with most of that, I still think that the best feat would be the one that changes your shrouds to 1d8/1d8+4/1d8+8. Mostly because due to crits, and that it functions more closely to other feats that increase striker damage mechanic damage output. Not much of a difference, though, so I wouldn't complain either way.

Mostly, I'm perfectly fine with the scaling damage boost being +1 per tier, available in heroic. The twin striking ranger will benefit more from any static damage bonus, even if all he takes is weapon focus. Further, the actual weapon damage from twin strike will be greater on average than assassin at-will attacks, so the assassin would probably still need optimization to outdo a ranger using twin strike, with minimal static damage bonus support. And the ranger can get away with not using the biggest damage die weapon available to him, while the assassin still really can't.

 


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
So, I had an idea involving human assassin|ranger with a decent amount of the powers from the gloaming dancer article, throw and stab + marauder's rush, and a few choice feats, but apperently throw and stab doesn't let you charge, and marauder's rush requires a charge to be used as a melee basic attack.

Did it get errata'd, or has it always been that way?
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
So, I had an idea involving human assassin|ranger with a decent amount of the powers from the gloaming dancer article, throw and stab + marauder's rush, and a few choice feats, but apperently throw and stab doesn't let you charge, and marauder's rush requires a charge to be used as a melee basic attack.

Did it get errata'd, or has it always been that way?



If I remember well it was errata'd exactly for that issue.

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

Here's an idea for a Warforged Assassin. I originally created a 3.5 Warforged Fighter/Rogue but his flavor works better for Assassins in 4th Ed. Some of the choices are for flavor so he probably won't be considered optimized. Also, it's only Level 1 for now because I'd love to use him in a campaign so I'm making the assumption that he'd have to start at Level 1. It may not be the best but I figured I'd toss it in.

His background is that he was re-activated 100 years after the Great War, his mind essentially erased by the mage that re-activated him, intending to use him as his minion. He set the Warforged up with the Shadowfell and has been sending him out on missions dispatching prominent political figures since. The Warforged has been tricked by his new "commander" that a new war is coming and so he performs his assassinations without question.

========================================
Unit 73K, level 1
Warforged,  Assassin
Build: Bleak Disciple Assassin
Guild  Training: Bleak Disciple
Deity: Currently Unknown
Align: Unaligned


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str  14, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 11.


STARTING  ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 14, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 11.



AC: 15 Fort: 14 Reflex: 13 Will: 13
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6
TRAINED  SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Endurance +5, Perception +6, Stealth +8, Thievery +8


UNTRAINED  SKILLS
Arcana +0, Athletics +2, Bluff +0, Diplomacy +0, Dungeoneering +1, Heal +1, History +0, Insight +1, Intimidate +2, Nature +1, Religion +0, Streetwise +0


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blades, Ki Focus) or Assassin's Escape, just not quite sure. :/


POWERS
Assassin  at-will 1: Inescapable Blade
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Assassin  encounter 1: Smothering Shadow
Assassin daily 1: Grave Spike


ITEMS

Leather  Armor, Adventurer's Kit, Thieves' Tools, Greatsword, 2 Daggers (one embedded in each arm/hand slot), Climber's Kit
At first level I would recommend Assassin's Escape of the two feats.

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

Better to stay alive early on, eh? Otherwise I might not live long enough to reap the benefits of Versatile Expertise.
So, I had an idea involving human assassin|ranger with a decent amount of the powers from the gloaming dancer article, throw and stab + marauder's rush, and a few choice feats, but apperently throw and stab doesn't let you charge, and marauder's rush requires a charge to be used as a melee basic attack.

Did it get errata'd, or has it always been that way?




If I remember well it was errata'd exactly for that issue.



Yeah. I suppose that makes sense. First time I read the power(along with the new build options, and the other new option that replaces prime shot), I thought "Damn. I finally want to make a ranger again."
The whole throw with one hand stab with the other style seems really fun, and throw and stab + marauder's rush made me think there was finally a reason to make a ranger without twin strike, as long as you could keep your mobility up enough to be able to charge most rounds.

I suppose it's still pretty good, and the build would still be more fun (IMO) than your run of the mill TS spammer.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Mech: later on, you'll have a lot of options available to you to help you stay alive. First couple levels can be rough, though.

Which is why I'm pretty happy that my current co-DM campaign, we're hopping everyone from 4(where we started) to 8(+whatever xp was earned before jumping) once we've all gotten at least a couple chances to play a session, and get used to our characters.

After a few times, it's nice to take a break from the bulk of heroic.


Speaking of my assassin for that campaign...

advice welcome, campaign details inside


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Banmarden Velderan d'Tharashk, level 8
Human, Assassin
Build: Bleak Disciple Assassin
Guild Training: Bleak Disciple
Background: Inquisitive (+2 to Streetwise)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 17, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 15, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10. I could drop the str, since chainmail doesn't up my AC, but I want to swap melee defense with heavy blade opportunity (the one where you can use an at-will with OAs) and take scimitar dance. Neither of those is essential, I just think I'd get a lot out of them.


AC: 24 Fort: 21 Reflex: 22 Will: 19
HP: 55 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 13

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +8, Perception +10, Stealth +14, Insight +10, Acrobatics +14, Thievery +14, Streetwise +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +3, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +7, Heal +5, History +3, Intimidate +4, Nature +5, Athletics +5

FEATS
Human: Disciple of Divine Wrath
Level 1: Mark of Finding
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Double Scimitar)
Level 4: Assassin's Escape
Level 6: Melee Training (Dexterity)
Level 8: Acolyte Power

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Bonus At-Will Power: Inescapable Blade
Assassin encounter 1: Smothering Shadow
Assassin daily 1: Grave Spike
Assassin utility 2: Shadowed Legion (retrained to Holy Blessing at Acolyte Power)
Assassin encounter 3: Cloaking Mist
Assassin daily 5: Twilight Assassin
Assassin utility 6: Darting Shadow
Assassin encounter 7: Shadow Jack

ITEMS
Climber's Kit, Identification Papers with Portrait, Inquisitive's Kit, Thieves' Tools, Travel Papers, Arcane Signet Ring, Riding Horse, Glass Cutter, Cloak of Translocation +2, Bracers of Brachiation (heroic tier), Hunter's Kit, Distance Hand Crossbow +1, Dagger (3), Final Sleep Ki Focus +2, Veteran's Leather Armor +2, Double Scimitar

So, the campaign has a bit more of a roleplaying focus than our last  one, which is why I feel comfortable taking up a feat slot with mark of  finding. The bracers are there because my character is an infiltrator,  who doesn't have athletics trained. That makes things hard. I still have  1200 gold unspent, and can't really think of anything to use it one,  particularly.

I know a prof. fullblade would be more optimal than dbl scimitar,  perhaps retraining it later, but I'd like to avoid it, because the  fullblade really clashes with both the specific character, and my vision  of the class. If there's a third option, that would be better for the  next few levels, I'd be willing to listen to it.

Any gear I'm missing? Gear I should definately get soon, etc?

Also, I know I should probably get expertise. I know. If my hit ratio  starts seeming too low, I'll figure something out to retrain. The  dragonmark is a big part of the character, RP-wise, the melee training  seems like it would be a rather big loss, the mc is essential to the  build and to the character fluff, and assassin's escape is  about half of what makes me live as long as the barbarian.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
For 520 gp I would recommend Acrobat Boots. You don't really have use for your minor actions so you'll basically get to stand up from prone for free once a round. I used them well into paragon.

A question: why did you take a magical hand crossbow? For the distance issue? Otherwise you can Ki Focus enhance a non-magical crossbow and save money.

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

[snip]
What you  have to also rememeber is that  the Assassin is the only class, without  feats, that can cause damage on a  miss, and that shroud is very constant and so cannot get close to  quarry or curse damage otherwise it will be too powerful.



Actually Fighter's have an auto-damage attack, the at-will power Reaping Strike from the Player's Handbook does Half Strength modifier damage (or Strength modifier when using a 2-handed weapon) on a miss. Mighty handy when fighting tolls if your fighter has a flaming weapon since it guaratees it take fire damage every round. Not even that kind of variability to the type of auto-damage is available to an assassin.
Lenny Zimmermann
Mech: later on, you'll have a lot of options available to you to help you stay alive. First couple levels can be rough, though.



So are you suggesting I go with the Versatile Expertise and grab an escapey-type feat later?
Mech: later on, you'll have a lot of options available to you to help you stay alive. First couple levels can be rough, though.




So are you suggesting I go with the Versatile Expertise and grab an escapey-type feat later?



I guess it's the other way around. He suggests to take Assassin's Escape because it will help you at low levels when you don't have many options to mitigate damage. Later when you get them you can take other feats.

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

Oh, okay.
[snip]
What you  have to also rememeber is that  the Assassin is the only class, without  feats, that can cause damage on a  miss, and that shroud is very constant and so cannot get close to  quarry or curse damage otherwise it will be too powerful.





Actually Fighter's have an auto-damage attack, the at-will power Reaping Strike from the Player's Handbook does Half Strength modifier damage (or Strength modifier when using a 2-handed weapon) on a miss. Mighty handy when fighting tolls if your fighter has a flaming weapon since it guaratees it take fire damage every round. Not even that kind of variability to the type of auto-damage is available to an assassin.




That is true but clearly the fighter is locked into spamming the same At-will over and over. The Assassin can use whatever powers he wants to and every 2 rounds he is guaranteed damage. That is a preety impressive reason to play the class. But yes adding damage types to the shrouds would be cool.
Mech: later on, you'll have a lot of options available to you to help you stay alive. First couple levels can be rough, though.





So are you suggesting I go with the Versatile Expertise and grab an escapey-type feat later?




I guess it's the other way around. He suggests to take Assassin's Escape because it will help you at low levels when you don't have many options to mitigate damage. Later when you get them you can take other feats.



Precisely. Depending on how much you feel you can dedicate to survival in terms of powers, you could exchange it for another feat, or you could just keep it, and put less into survival from powers. A good combination of direct damage mitigation and concealment and the like can make you pretty damn hard to kill.

It's pretty sick to have signifigently less HP than the barbarian, with both of us in melee for the entire encounter, and still use fewer surges, and have more HP at the end of an encounter than he does. Right now, in early heroic, our damage is comparable, as well. Not looking forward to falling behind him. Hopefully the Cov. Agent build will help.

anyway:

For 520 gp I would recommend Acrobat Boots. You don't really have use for your minor actions so you'll basically get to stand up from prone for free once a round. I used them well into paragon.

A question: why did you take a magical hand crossbow? For the distance issue? Otherwise you can Ki Focus enhance a non-magical crossbow and save money.



Oh, good one. Thanks. As to the crossbow, pretty much. It was a small amount of coin, for the occassional "ah crap! it's out of the range of everything I have." Situation. Anytime the target is within the normal range of the crossbow, I use the ki focus for it's enchantment.

Speaking of ki focuses. Would you say that any of the new ones from the revenant assassin article are worth using over a weapon enchantment? Right now I've got the final sleep ki focus because it's the same crit bonus as a vicious weapon, and I can use it on whatever I pick up. And it's got a power.

Basically, I just made the easy choice. :P

Anyway, I could ditch the magical crossbow, and get another magic item, or some consumables, or somesuch. whetstones and poisons can be fairly useful. :P

I haven't gone through all the boons and tattoos, yet, either. I figure I'll wait to get a radiant damage boosting dragonshard augment until level 11, because it would go to waste until then.

That's all I can think of right now. I really think he's going to be a lot of fun to play, and he should stand up fairly well. Can't wait to take a couple of the new powers from the gloaming dancers article. Shadow Knives is pretty sweet.

Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Scavenger Bird Ki Focus is pretty good if you use a Weapon as your main attack magical item, to avoid wasting shrouds. To be honest I also used Final Sleep until paragon when good weapon options become available.

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