Assassin houserules [peach]

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I would appreciate some feedback on the oAssassin house rules I am planning on using.

Assassin’s Shroud

When placing an Assassin’s Shroud, you do not pick a target to place the shroud upon.  Instead, all shrouds stack on you until you choose to invoke them.  At that time, choose a target and invoke the shrouds; all shrouds then transfer to the chosen target and you deal extra damage as normal.

♦ Once you invoke your shrouds, the number of shrouds you have is reduced by 3.

♦ Each shroud deals 1d8 damage. This damage increases to 1d8+4 at level 11, and 1d8+8 at level 21.

Assassin Fighting Style

When creating an assassin you gain the Assassin Fighting Style class feature at first level. Your choice will give you benefits when using certain weapons or weapon combinations.

                Dancing Hornet Style: When you have a weapon with the off-hand property in each hand, all your weapon attacks deal additional damage equal to 1[W] (off-hand weapon) + ability modifier damage associated with your guild training. No other bonuses apply to this additional damage. Example: a power that deals 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage would now deal 1[W] + 1[W] (off-hand weapon) + Dexterity modifier + Charisma or Constitution modifier damage. You may give up this additional damage to reroll the attack, but you must use the new result, even if it is lower.

                Lurking Cobra Style: When you have a weapon in one hand and have your other hand free (not carrying a shield, an off-hand weapon, a two-handed weapon, or anything else) your shrouds are reduced by 2, instead of 3, when you invoke your Assassin’s Shroud. In addition, your Assassin’s Shrouds gain the brutal 2 property.

                Striking Wyvern Style: When you use a two handed weapon you deal additional damage equal to the ability score modifier tied to your guild training. If you miss with an attack while invoking your shrouds, the attack misses as normal, but you deal damage equal to all shrouds on you, instead of shrouds minus one.

                Skulking Rat Style: All of your improvised weapons gain +2 proficiency bonus, deal 1d8 damage, and gain brutal 2 and off-hand properties. Whenever you invoke all 4 shrouds, you can score a critical hit on a roll of 18-20.

I would like to know how each fighting style stacks up against other styles, and if they are overpowered when combined with new shroud mechanics.

I have never seen a super nova go off, but if it is anything like a Chevy Nova it sure will light up the sky! IMAGE(
I think the shrouds you propose fix many of the problems with the Assassin, and the styles are certainly fun and flavorful. However, one of the root issues with the Assassin is the lack of palatable powers post-Paragon. That would be something to address in future edits, or even posts, I would think.

Dancing Hornet looks nice and useful (and promotes moving away from the Fullblade Ossassin archetype), but Skulking Rat Style is frankly underwhelming. I don't think of Ossassin as the improvised weapon "type" (that title belongs to the Monk IMO, though I may be watching too many Jackie Chan movies ), and 4 shrouds is just too long to wait for real Striker damage, which is at its best when dealt on T1.
I adapt the current shroud mechanics with the following class feature:

Born Ready
"When you roll initiative and you are not surprised, place 4 shrouds on one creature you can see."

The rest functions as written.

The problem I was having, the assassin felt she needed to sneak up to every fight and drop shrouds for four rounds in order to be effective.  This allows her to do that without the feat tax of the "secret shroud" feat, or whatever the devil it's called, and lets me stop saying "yeah, right you do that, 4 shrouds, got it."  It made her pretty competitive with other strikers IMO, fairly big chunk of DPR right up front then slowed down afterwords, but wound up in acceptable striker damage territory over a 4-5 round combat.
Thanks for the input. I like your rule Damon, I think I will try it.
I have never seen a super nova go off, but if it is anything like a Chevy Nova it sure will light up the sky! IMAGE(
For me, increasing the damage of the shrouds is enough to offset many of the problems with the Ossassin.  We also have to bear in mind that other strikers can equal that damage with a feat but the brutal shroud feat improves assassin shrouds too so it probably works out ok overall.

You also have to bear in mind that most people think that Ossassins perform well at heroic tier.  Any fix you propose should really kick in at paragon and epic.

Personally, I'm fine with assassins picking a target to study - it's an iconic pre-requisite of their death attack.  I'm also ok for the target to sense shrouds without a feat, although the designer now says that he'd be happy to retcon the need for the feat out.  Allowing any remaining shrouds to transfer to a new target can then be a minor action that could be adjusted to a free action with a feat. 

I think allowing 4 shrouds automatically every encounter is a bad thing but a feat that allows you to add one extra shroud automatically and/or add Cha/Con modifiers to shroud damage on a surprise round and/or on shroud damage you inflict before that target has acted in the round might be ok as it would reward the sneaky and speedy assassin.

The fighting styles are a good idea but some look a bit overpowered.  The dancing hornet seems to be allowing twin strike damage with ability modifiers x2?  Considering how overpowered most people think twin strike without ability modifiers can be and bearing in mind that the style looks as though it would also apply to basic attacks, you need to adjust it.  I would have said just adding Cha to damage would be good enough.  If you modify the benefits to be on par with each other and perhaps limit the benefits to daily powers that might be ok.
I see what you are saying about Assassins lacking in damage at higher tiers of play.

Would adding extra 1[W] (or more) to all paragon and epic powers do the trick?
I have never seen a super nova go off, but if it is anything like a Chevy Nova it sure will light up the sky! IMAGE(
I like the idea of the fighting style on top of the guild training. Good job with this stuff. One other thing to add, I would like to suggest another fighting style.

Lunar Hunter Style: While holding a weapon in each hand, you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls for each shroud you are subjected to. This bonus increases to +2 at level 11 and to +3 at level 21. In addition, you gain Two Weapon Defense as a bonus feat. You do not need to meet the requirements.

To me this suggests that your style is something akin to building up for the big nova attack, gaining momentum all the way. Also, I would like to applaud anyone that gets my subtle reference to a certain assassin that has been described as having a style of fighting like this.

If you must know,
check this out

His name is Artemis Entreri. As most people know, Artemis is the greek goddess of the moon and the hunt, thus Lunar Hunter. Hehe. Artemis Entreri is the creation of the author R.A. Salvatore, the author of the Legend of Drizzt series. Artemis is Drizzt Do'Urden's equal in combat, which is effing amazing considering Drizzt's skill. His first fight ever described in the series describes him as starting off relatively slow, parrying and generally avoiding anything more than minor cuts on his opponent. He gains speed and momentum while his opponents tire. He slips in more lethal attacks at this point, up until he just outright kills his opponents.
Think the Ossassin sucks? Think again! Check out my attempt at a fix!