A Case for the Assassin as a Class

When it comes to determining which concepts get classes, important considerations include:


1. Unique mechanics


2. Unique place in the game/world


3. Tradition


I think assassin can and should be given a class based on those criteria.


Sure, it’s easy enough to give a rogue the right skills and call him an assassin, and it makes perfect sense. It’s just a job title.


However, similar logic would allow any class to be an assassin. Fighter, wizard, etc. You kill people for a living—you’re an assassin. Good enough.


But...it’s not. Although there was a lapse in 2e, in every other edition since 1e AD&D the idea of a unique class to represent the iconic assassin has been there.


1. In every instance unique mechanics were applied, many of which carried over. I’m only minimally familiar with the 4e assassin, so I won’t mention it much. But here are a few things that I see as iconic D&D assassin features.


a) Poison usage. They are better with poison than other classes.


b) Minor magical abilities. They study arcane magic to support their other abilities.


c) Rogue-like in combat, but better than a rogue (through an expanded weapon selection, better HD, whatever)


d) Special ability to perform better death/critical sorts of attacks.


That seems about as distinct from rogue as ranger is from fighter.


2. When we talk about assassins, we primarily mean the kinds of people who will be sent on the job by an assassin’s guild (and their corollaries who may work for any organization or individual). If you go to the local guild, this is what you expect to see. They are trained specifically in killing—more so than a rogue. They are better at it. They focus on techniques (such as poison) or death attacks that kill more easily than a rogue. They learn whatever they can—including dabbling in arcane magic at higher levels—to make them better at what they do.


The archetype has expanded beyond D&D into the fantasy genre in general. It’s found in books with no direct connection to D&D, MMOs, PC games, console games, etc. Few of these attempt to squeeze it together into a thief or rogue class or category—despite the fact that it could be done easily enough.


I get excited about playing an iconic assassin with unique mechanics, spellcasting at higher levels, and clearly distinct from rogue.


I’m not saying that assassin can’t be done “well enough” with rogue. What I’m saying is that it deserves to be treated with enough respect to be given its own class, just like rangers, paladins, and other traditional D&D classes.
I want, badly, to agree with you, but given the semi-flexible nature of skills and feat acquisition, I'm not sure what could be logically "reserved" for an assassin class. The obvious candidate would be the signature quick-kill move, but how to implement it without over powering? Coup de grace on a crit, or on surprise? It's a lovely, flavorful character concept, but I'm thinking it may not merit a class. I'd love to be proven wrong.
I can't decide whether i agree with you or not.
My argument for both sides:
For assassin being it's own class
 - A fighter can be good at picking locks, but this doesn't mean he's a rogue. similarly, just because a rogue is trained to kill people in a sneaky manner does not make him an assassin.
 - A rogue may be able to kill things really well, have a whole network of underworld allies, and be really sneaky but he will never be able to have the assassin's spell casting, which is a critical part of the class (to me)

Against the assassin being it's own class
- An assassin is just a job. i can have a fighter who is part of an order of palladin's, and therefore is a palladin even if he has no divine powers.
- if the rogue can do everything the assassin can except for spell casting, what is the point of having a seperate class at all? you may as well go rogue/srceror or wizard or warlock or whathave you and end up with the same result. if we just added spellcasting onto a fighter we would not get a new class, we would get a fighter that could cast spells.

Overall i think i would rather see the assassin as it's own class, because if you want you can alwauys ignore it completely and not use it at all if you think that the rogue just does the same thing.

Conclusion: The assassin is the class we deserve, but not the one we need right now.
IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/hB3M2.gif)
If rogue numbers were done right .. it would not need a separate class... James Bond is the only reason I can even see rogues being the skill meisters. Instead of just Deception Masters.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Yeah, everything that I see about the Assassin usually makes me think that it's just a better Rogue. A Rogue who uses illusions and magic to become invisible rather than hiding, who just has a way better version of sneak attack, and so on. The only way that I think the Assassin has a shot at being something really unique is if what we really end up with is two classes that are very mechanically distinct. For example, I'd love to see the Rogue use expertise dice and combat maneuvers while the Assassin instead uses shadow spells (death attack? poison use? all handed through spells). Same general concept but with extremely different mechanical execution, pun intended.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!

Assassins also had an excellent skill system for disguises that was unique to them. I would much rather see the Assassin as a class than warlord, warlock, Sorcerer, or bard (the last is just personal preference). But I don’t think it will happen.We will however probably see detailed poison and disguise rules that can be implemented within the rogue archetype.  

I can't decide whether i agree with you or not.
My argument for both sides:
For assassin being it's own class
 - A fighter can be good at picking locks, but this doesn't mean he's a rogue. similarly, just because a rogue is trained to kill people in a sneaky manner does not make him an assassin.
 - A rogue may be able to kill things really well, have a whole network of underworld allies, and be really sneaky but he will never be able to have the assassin's spell casting, which is a critical part of the class (to me)

Against the assassin being it's own class
- An assassin is just a job. i can have a fighter who is part of an order of palladin's, and therefore is a palladin even if he has no divine powers.
- if the rogue can do everything the assassin can except for spell casting, what is the point of having a seperate class at all? you may as well go rogue/srceror or wizard or warlock or whathave you and end up with the same result. if we just added spellcasting onto a fighter we would not get a new class, we would get a fighter that could cast spells.

Overall i think i would rather see the assassin as it's own class, because if you want you can alwauys ignore it completely and not use it at all if you think that the rogue just does the same thing.

Conclusion: The assassin is the class we deserve, but not the one we need right now.

Have to agree with this post and especially with the bolded part.


When it comes to determining which concepts get classes, important considerations include:


1. Unique mechanics


2. Unique place in the game/world


3. Tradition


I think assassin can and should be given a class based on those criteria.


Sure, it’s easy enough to give a rogue the right skills and call him an assassin, and it makes perfect sense. It’s just a job title.


However, similar logic would allow any class to be an assassin. Fighter, wizard, etc. You kill people for a living—you’re an assassin. Good enough.


But...it’s not. Although there was a lapse in 2e, in every other edition since 1e AD&D the idea of a unique class to represent the iconic assassin has been there.


1. In every instance unique mechanics were applied, many of which carried over. I’m only minimally familiar with the 4e assassin, so I won’t mention it much. But here are a few things that I see as iconic D&D assassin features.


a) Poison usage. They are better with poison than other classes.


b) Minor magical abilities. They study arcane magic to support their other abilities.


c) Rogue-like in combat, but better than a rogue (through an expanded weapon selection, better HD, whatever)


d) Special ability to perform better death/critical sorts of attacks.


That seems about as distinct from rogue as ranger is from fighter.


2. When we talk about assassins, we primarily mean the kinds of people who will be sent on the job by an assassin’s guild (and their corollaries who may work for any organization or individual). If you go to the local guild, this is what you expect to see. They are trained specifically in killing—more so than a rogue. They are better at it. They focus on techniques (such as poison) or death attacks that kill more easily than a rogue. They learn whatever they can—including dabbling in arcane magic at higher levels—to make them better at what they do.


The archetype has expanded beyond D&D into the fantasy genre in general. It’s found in books with no direct connection to D&D, MMOs, PC games, console games, etc. Few of these attempt to squeeze it together into a thief or rogue class or category—despite the fact that it could be done easily enough.


I get excited about playing an iconic assassin with unique mechanics, spellcasting at higher levels, and clearly distinct from rogue.


I’m not saying that assassin can’t be done “well enough” with rogue. What I’m saying is that it deserves to be treated with enough respect to be given its own class, just like rangers, paladins, and other traditional D&D classes.


I totally agree with everything in this post.
Probably go for Specialty rather than a class -

Level 1: Poison Use
- require Non-Good alignment

Level 3 : Minor Spell use - one first and one second level spell (choose from 3 different 1st and 3 different 2nd)
- require Int 11

Level 6: Ambusher
- require Dex 11

Level 9: Stealthy Escape
- require Dex 11

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

I want, badly, to agree with you, but given the semi-flexible nature of skills and feat acquisition, I'm not sure what could be logically "reserved" for an assassin class. The obvious candidate would be the signature quick-kill move, but how to implement it without over powering? Coup de grace on a crit, or on surprise? It's a lovely, flavorful character concept, but I'm thinking it may not merit a class. I'd love to be proven wrong.




How many threads on this topic need to exist? Fans of the class have put forth a dozen different ways to make a fully fledged assassin, with it's own niche and everything, in at least 3 or 4 threads on these forums.

Yeah, everything that I see about the Assassin usually makes me think that it's just a better Rogue. A Rogue who uses illusions and magic to become invisible rather than hiding, who just has a way better version of sneak attack, and so on. The only way that I think the Assassin has a shot at being something really unique is if what we really end up with is two classes that are very mechanically distinct. For example, I'd love to see the Rogue use expertise dice and combat maneuvers while the Assassin instead uses shadow spells (death attack? poison use? all handed through spells). Same general concept but with extremely different mechanical execution, pun intended.



The assassin doesn't need skill mastery type stuff, can instead settle for more focused/limited skill set, should be better at poisons than anyone that doesn't take a poisoner theme, and have some quick kill moves, and possibly expanded/improved use of unique thematically appropriate weapons. some magic (preferably shadow magic) is important to me, but not to others. I do think it would help make the class stand out, though.

- require Non-Good alignment



No.



Seconded.


and not just because I detest alignment requirements.


The non good alignment restriction for assassins has always been a steaming pile of BS, and it always will be.
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 want, badly, to agree with you, but given the semi-flexible nature of skills and feat acquisition, I'm not sure what could be logically "reserved" for an assassin class. The obvious candidate would be the signature quick-kill move, but how to implement it without over powering? Coup de grace on a crit, or on surprise? It's a lovely, flavorful character concept, but I'm thinking it may not merit a class. I'd love to be proven wrong.




How many threads on this topic need to exist? Fans of the class have put forth a dozen different ways to make a fully fledged assassin, with it's own niche and everything, in at least 3 or 4 threads on these forums.

Yeah, everything that I see about the Assassin usually makes me think that it's just a better Rogue. A Rogue who uses illusions and magic to become invisible rather than hiding, who just has a way better version of sneak attack, and so on. The only way that I think the Assassin has a shot at being something really unique is if what we really end up with is two classes that are very mechanically distinct. For example, I'd love to see the Rogue use expertise dice and combat maneuvers while the Assassin instead uses shadow spells (death attack? poison use? all handed through spells). Same general concept but with extremely different mechanical execution, pun intended.



The assassin doesn't need skill mastery type stuff, can instead settle for more focused/limited skill set, should be better at poisons than anyone that doesn't take a poisoner theme, and have some quick kill moves, and possibly expanded/improved use of unique thematically appropriate weapons. some magic (preferably shadow magic) is important to me, but not to others. I do think it would help make the class stand out, though.

- require Non-Good alignment



No.



Seconded.


and not just because I detest alignment requirements.


The non good alignment restriction for assassins has always been a steaming pile of BS, and it always will be.



the word Assasin is acociated with a person who will kill any target if he gets payed enough for it and has a Evil/Negative load to it.

the same reasens why goverments and law inforcement don't realy use the word assasin.
even if they talk about a person sent to infiltrate a drug cartell and take out one of the big drug barons.
instead they use descriptions like "A agent higly trained in covert operations"

not talking about that he assasinated the target instead saying he nutralised the treat.



the word Assasin is acociated with a person who will kill any target if he gets payed enough for it and has a Evil/Negative load to it.


The Assassin's Creed Assassins are almost certainly Chaotic Good. They don't kill people for money, either, but ideology.
To me, the assassin's justification for being a class hinges on the rogue's weapons and Sneak Attack.

If the rogue is made so soft and reliant on trickery, then you need a deadlier faster and tougher assassin class to fill the gap. The October rogue is too weak to serve as an assassin but the August rogue had more ability to assassinate.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

To me, the assassin's justification for being a class hinges on the rogue's weapons and Sneak Attack. If the rogue is made so soft and reliant on trickery, then you need a deadlier faster and tougher assassin class to fill the gap. The October rogue is too weak to serve as an assassin but the August rogue had more ability to assassinate.


Nah. You can still have an Assassin class while still having a fully-functional Rogue. You just need to focus on making it distinct, by focusing on poison, instant-death attacks, and limited spellcasting.
My point is the rogue's deadliness would have to be on par with the fighter or even greater during assassination for the rogue to be able to swallow the assassin as a class. Therefore the October rogue is too soft.

The assassin would be the logical go to for killing. So what class it is or is part of must have the tools to kill.

So the assassin class's existence hinges on the other class not having enough to be assassins themselves.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I see the assassin as a sublcass for rogues, trained in disguise, poison use and instant-kill attacks. I don't see them using magic (except via magic items).

When surprising someone, the assassin could have a chance to instantly kill its target. It could be a percentage that is modified by the level of the assassin and the level of the target as well as other factors to be determined (or a D20 roll modified by these same factors). It would require a surprise attack, but not a flanking advantage. The assassin in a fight would hide in the shadows to prepare to assassinate his intended target (the more the assassin observe its target, the greater the chance to intantly kill it or do a devastating attack.)

But the class should not be more powerful than the rogue in order with the risk of creating an unblancing situation. Why indeed make a rogue if you could play an assassin that is way better.
To me, the assassin's justification for being a class hinges on the rogue's weapons and Sneak Attack. If the rogue is made so soft and reliant on trickery, then you need a deadlier faster and tougher assassin class to fill the gap. The October rogue is too weak to serve as an assassin but the August rogue had more ability to assassinate.


Nah. You can still have an Assassin class while still having a fully-functional Rogue. You just need to focus on making it distinct, by focusing on poison, instant-death attacks, and limited spellcasting.


So a Rogue then.
My point is the rogue's deadliness would have to be on par with the fighter or even greater during assassination for the rogue to be able to swallow the assassin as a class. Therefore the October rogue is too soft. The assassin would be the logical go to for killing. So what class it is or is part of must have the tools to kill. So the assassin class's existence hinges on the other class not having enough to be assassins themselves.



wel one feature a assasin no matter if it is a seperate class or a build for the rogue should have in a high maic level campaign is the folowing.

death attack : the target can not be raised or resurected.

in 4th edition they said you needed to have a destiny to be able to be raised.
But in older editions this was not the case, i hated when a adventure started with a assasination and the first thing the players try is resurecting the person that was assasinated.
Forcing the DM to come up with reasons why this could not be done.

 
I wouldn't mind if the assassin was more of a "ritualist". In that it didn't have any magic spells to cats in combat, but it had "dark secrets" that it could apply with a few minutes' time and materials. Essentially, assassins operating in a world of magic would learn a few tricks to even the playing field, even if they weren't casters. Poison lore would fit in nicely here. So some dark secrets could include...

Soul-Reaving. Using a prized possession, hair, or blood from his target, the assassin enchants a weapon so that if it inflicts the killing blow *whether by the assassin or another), the target cannot be raised or resurrected, and the body cannot be the subject of divination (including speak with dead). The assassin can have only one application at a time. Unless magically obscured, the weapon will radiate as magical (abjuration) and an identify spell will determine the nature of the enchantment. The effect lasts 24 hours.

Death attack: Using a prized possession, hair, or blood from his target, the assassin imbues himself with the power to kill a creature with fewer maximum hit points than the assassin's maximum hit points. The effect last 24 hours. If the assassin hits his target before the target has acted in combat, the target takes damage as normal and must make a Constitution Saving throw against a DC equal to the damage inflicted (a natural 20 always succeeds). Failur emeans death.

Undetectable: Assassins can learn how to render themselves and the objects they carry as immune to divination. This dark secret requires ten minutes to invoke and lasts one hour/level. At 2nd level or more, the assassin can transfer an hour of duration to other creatures. (I.e., a 4th level assassin can make himself undetectable for four hours, or four creatures undetectable for one hour). At fifth level, the assassin can actually customize the aura they radiate so that, rather than be undetectable, they can detect falsely. (I.e., the assassin can detect as lawful good, or that his carried armor and weapons are magical even if they are not.)

Poison Farm: Assassins learn alchemical secrets that allow them to replicate a base poison of the assassin's level or lower. The resulting copy is weaker and less stable. It can be maintained only for 24 hours and is rendered inert if handled by anybody but the assassin who created it. The assassin can create a number of poison doses equal to twice his level. This allows the assassin to use poison without it being a complete drain on his purse.

Poison Use: An assassin is skilled at applying poison to a weapon or in food, drink, even candles. An assassin can use a posion of his level or lower without fear of poisoning himself. A poisoned weapon loses its poisoned quality after the first successful hit by that weapon.  There should be a variety of cheap poisons that simply inflict damage, giving the assassin the ability to inflict additional damage akin to a fighter's expertise die. 

Smoke Bomb: An assassin can concoct smoke bombs which when released with an action, grant instant concealment and allow an assassin to take one move action completely unseen.

With the use of "Dark Secrets" the assassin can occupy an iconic role in the class without appearing too "shadow mage"  and while still distinguishing himself.  Create about 20 or more dark secrets and let the assassin start with three (poison use and poison farm would almost definitely be two of them) and learn an additional dark secrets every level.
While I appreciate the OP's arguments for a separate class, I'm not conviced.

The Rogue is all we need to make an effective Assassin. The Assassin lives in a Rogue Scheme and possibly Augmented by a Background and Specialty.

The Assassin is to the Rogue as the Illusionist is to the Wizard.

And if you want the Assassin to be more magic-inclined, then multiclass with Wizard (or perhaps Warlock/Socerer).

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

While I do think that the devs should knock out as many classes as they can whilst we are playtesting, I feel some classes would need some good advocates in order to justify their existence as a seperate class.  The assassin does feel like it can be covered as either a specialty or a rogue theme.  Claims of magic use or instant death abilities to seperate it as a class from rogue make me leery.  But if the devs decide to do an assassin and it's good, by all means lets have an assassin.
My concern is becoming that they will have to start creating mechanics for the sake of creating unique feeling classes. Having a different thought process is good to a certain extent but this could spin out of control and all of us are on this same plane!!! If it comes down to just gut instinct I would rather see just the 4 classes made mechanically distinct, and have everything under the sun plugged into one of those 4 templates. I guess its a good thing that I'm not a game designer who is accountable for his statements =-)


Normal
0


false
false
false







MicrosoftInternetExplorer4


Assassin is about as entitled to its own class distinct from rogue as ranger and paladin are entitled to their own class distinct from fighter.


Rangers and paladins will have a little magic, a couple of unique abilities, and a place in the world that could easily be filled by a fighter with the right specialty or multiclass combination.


Assassins can have a little magic, a couple of unique abilities, and a place in the world that could easily be filled by a rogue with the right specialty or multiclass combination.


All three classes have a unique flavor and D&D tradition, have identities that have expanded beyond D&D, and inspire character concepts.


If ranger and paladin get a class (and they should), the assassin should also. The defense rests its case.







/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}



Normal
0


false
false
false







MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Sword of Spirit, this was a great case, and you have swayed me over to the side of the Assassin.  In the past, I have felt that the Assassin's concept could be realized through background and specialty.  But you make a strong and convincing argument that made me think about other classes.

Anyone can learn to fight, but not everyone is a Fighter.
Anyone can join a church, but not everyone is a Cleric.
Anyone can join a thieves' guild, but not everyone is a Rogue.
Anyone can study arcane lore, but not everyone is a Wizard.
Anyone can join a monestary, but not everyone is a Monk.

In the same way, anyone can be an assassin, but not everyone is an Assassin.  The capital A means you trained specifically with one of the specialized guilds and learned the true art of being an Assassin, mixing martial skill with shadow magic (I like that better then just giving them wizard spells).

So while a Rogue could make a fine assassin with the right skills and training, they still wouldn't be the same as an Assassin.  To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson's character from Jackie Brown:

"The Assassin. The very best there is.  When you absolutely, positively got to kill every [CENSORED] in the room, accept no substitutes."
I wouldn't mind if the assassin was more of a "ritualist". In that it didn't have any magic spells to cats in combat, but it had "dark secrets" that it could apply with a few minutes' time and materials. Essentially, assassins operating in a world of magic would learn a few tricks to even the playing field, even if they weren't casters. Poison lore would fit in nicely here. So some dark secrets could include...

Soul-Reaving. Using a prized possession, hair, or blood from his target, the assassin enchants a weapon so that if it inflicts the killing blow *whether by the assassin or another), the target cannot be raised or resurrected, and the body cannot be the subject of divination (including speak with dead). The assassin can have only one application at a time. Unless magically obscured, the weapon will radiate as magical (abjuration) and an identify spell will determine the nature of the enchantment. The effect lasts 24 hours.

Death attack: Using a prized possession, hair, or blood from his target, the assassin imbues himself with the power to kill a creature with fewer maximum hit points than the assassin's maximum hit points. The effect last 24 hours. If the assassin hits his target before the target has acted in combat, the target takes damage as normal and must make a Constitution Saving throw against a DC equal to the damage inflicted (a natural 20 always succeeds). Failur emeans death.

Undetectable: Assassins can learn how to render themselves and the objects they carry as immune to divination. This dark secret requires ten minutes to invoke and lasts one hour/level. At 2nd level or more, the assassin can transfer an hour of duration to other creatures. (I.e., a 4th level assassin can make himself undetectable for four hours, or four creatures undetectable for one hour). At fifth level, the assassin can actually customize the aura they radiate so that, rather than be undetectable, they can detect falsely. (I.e., the assassin can detect as lawful good, or that his carried armor and weapons are magical even if they are not.)

Poison Farm: Assassins learn alchemical secrets that allow them to replicate a base poison of the assassin's level or lower. The resulting copy is weaker and less stable. It can be maintained only for 24 hours and is rendered inert if handled by anybody but the assassin who created it. The assassin can create a number of poison doses equal to twice his level. This allows the assassin to use poison without it being a complete drain on his purse.

Poison Use: An assassin is skilled at applying poison to a weapon or in food, drink, even candles. An assassin can use a posion of his level or lower without fear of poisoning himself. A poisoned weapon loses its poisoned quality after the first successful hit by that weapon.  There should be a variety of cheap poisons that simply inflict damage, giving the assassin the ability to inflict additional damage akin to a fighter's expertise die. 

Smoke Bomb: An assassin can concoct smoke bombs which when released with an action, grant instant concealment and allow an assassin to take one move action completely unseen.

With the use of "Dark Secrets" the assassin can occupy an iconic role in the class without appearing too "shadow mage"  and while still distinguishing himself.  Create about 20 or more dark secrets and let the assassin start with three (poison use and poison farm would almost definitely be two of them) and learn an additional dark secrets every level.




Why not include shadow magic options in those, so people who want their assassin in a fantasy setting to use shadow magic can, and those who don't don't have to?
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



the word Assasin is acociated with a person who will kill any target if he gets payed enough for it and has a Evil/Negative load to it.

the same reasens why goverments and law inforcement don't realy use the word assasin.
even if they talk about a person sent to infiltrate a drug cartell and take out one of the big drug barons.
instead they use descriptions like "A agent higly trained in covert operations"

not talking about that he assasinated the target instead saying he nutralised the treat.







I hope you don't mind if I'm blunt, but if you think stuff like that weighs more in the minds of people likely to play this game than things like assassin's creed, books like the Night Angel Trilogy, etc, then you are simply wrong. And almost no historical group of assassins with any popularity in the minds of the general populace were the "kill anyone for the right price" type. Look at both Ninja and the Hashashin.

Further, and more importantly, call him what you want, but that person you describe is an assassin. The fighter that takes coin to kill a merchant is almost certainly just a mercenary and/or a thug. The person that takes that same coin, and then infiltrates the merchant's home, poisons his brandy, and leaves no trace of his actions is also an assassin, of course.

Conclusion? Assassins run the full gamut of alignments. The non-good only restriction has always been completely preposterous.

To me, the assassin's justification for being a class hinges on the rogue's weapons and Sneak Attack. If the rogue is made so soft and reliant on trickery, then you need a deadlier faster and tougher assassin class to fill the gap. The October rogue is too weak to serve as an assassin but the August rogue had more ability to assassinate.


Nah. You can still have an Assassin class while still having a fully-functional Rogue. You just need to focus on making it distinct, by focusing on poison, instant-death attacks, and limited spellcasting.


So a Rogue then.



How is that a rogue?

Are you trying to make the rogue as unfocused and lacking in a real identity as the fighter?


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 honestly despise the idea that certain things are "entitled to be a full class" because of that status in the past.  If it can't stand as a class on its own two legs now, within the current framework, why force it?


That said, I honestly do not care anymore whether there is an assassin "core class", so long as the Assassin doesn't "carve its niche" out of the Rogue's abilities.  This is something that came up a lot in the PT3 Sneak Attack maneuver discussions - "It's okay that the Rogue doesn't spike damage, because it makes room for the Assassin."  Don't strip down the Rogue to make space for another class.

Especially if the Assassin class emphasized supernatural or shadow whatever (which I would agree is a good direction to go, if they want to make a distinct class out of it).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I would prefer that an assassin not have magic as was the case in 1e. An assassin should have either an instant kill attack, a SoD ability, or an increased chance of making a critical hit.

 
What if what makes an Assassin unique is their ability to kill outside of combat?

Assassin's are all about getting the drop on people, not fighting. So why give them combat abilities? Sure they can fight, but so can a Wizard. That's not what makes them deadly. What makes them deadly is that they can kill you without you even knowing that they're there. What makes them deadly is that by the time you see them, you're already dead. That's an Assassin. 

Anyway, that's the Assassin I want to play, and that's the Assassin you can't play no matter how much you try with a Rogue.

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

Anyway, that's the Assassin I want to play, and that's the Assassin you can't play no matter how much you try with a Rogue.


... What?  Why can't that be a Rogue?  I mean, it can't (as easily) be the current Rogue, because Sneak Attack is screwy, but in general?
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I wouldn't mind if the assassin was more of a "ritualist". In that it didn't have any magic spells to cast in combat, but it had "dark secrets" that it could apply with a few minutes' time and materials.


Why not include shadow magic options in those, so people who want their assassin in a fantasy setting to use shadow magic can, and those who don't don't have to?


For me the spellcastign assassin isn't what an assassin should be about. But I do like the idea of an assassin knowing certain tricks of a magical or quasi-magical nature.  It nicely ties in the assassin's poison use with the minor magic previously asociated with an assassin.  

The idea for me is a rogue improvises, but an assassin prepares.

I would have no problem with "shadowcaster" as a Specialty that gives some shadow-based spellcasting and could be taken by any class who wants to show how they've dabbled in the dark arts.

 
Looking at the 3e assasin's spell list, the vast majority of them are stuff the assassin would have cast before combat. Disguises, detection, nondetection, ability buffs, etc. Allowinf the assassin ritual use (or the dark secrets I proposed earlier) would take care of most of this.

The spells that are made to be used in combat can be divided into three categories:
Replicate athleticism: jump, feather fall, invisibility, greater invisibility, true strike, pass without trace,  false life, freedom of movement, and glibness.  This could be replaced with some sort of Sneak Attack dice or XD system that other martial characters get.

Replicate poison/alchemy: sleep, deep slumber, darkness, modify memory, poison. This could be better served with a robust poison system.

Escape:  dimension door. I don't really think this needs to be part of the assassin's arsenal.
I am for an assassin subclass for each of the core four class.

Executioner Fighter
Assassin rogue
Deathbringer deity cleric
Shadowcaster Wizard

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I think of this guy now, whenever I think of an "Assassin Full Class" - especially in light of 4e's first Assassin class (to me, the "executioner" felt far more like a Rogue - or a Rogue "sub-class" - than anything like 4e's original Assassin).



Corvo is an excellent example (for me) of a shadow-magic-wielding, martially-capable, "gadget"-equiped, stealthy, sneaky, murderous, and potentially any-alignment, Assassin.

(EDIT: That said, I could also easily see "building" Corvo using multiclassing amongst several different classes, with different emphasis depending on how you "built" and played Corvo during Dishonored.  My Corvo, despite the shadow-magic-awesomeness, could still be covered almost entirely by "A Rogue with a bit of multiclassing (or some spells-via-feats)".)
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Somthing that is also problomatic with a asassin might be the playstyle.

people give dishoners and assasins creed as examples, and in both you go solo.
In my mind if you play a asassin your talking about a single person infiltrating or sneaking to get to their target.

if you try to make a assasin like character more of a team player he starts filing the same niche as the rogue.


so maybe the asassin should be introduced in a expansion that focusus on 1 player 1 dm play and maybe play by post, where it is no problem taking up a few hourd of Dm time for your solo infiltration.
Somthing that is also problomatic with a asassin might be the playstyle.


Certainly a concern, though 4e's original Assassin class worked fairly well (well, when its mechanics weren't being all screwy) in that regard. 

And, honestly, if the Executioner had been done better, it would have presented its abilities as options for the original Assassin, such as making the "One massive (potentially killing) blow per encounter" something the normal Assassin could take (bonus points if it interacted with its normal Encounter powers - wait, I think I wrote an adaptation of it that did do that, now that I think of it).

Anyways, my point is: I agree that it's problematic, but I think it can be made functional.



EDIT: Kind of an unrelated note, but tying into your "where it could go in modules" idea: I would really like to see some solid guidelines for adapting "enemy difficulty / experience value" on the fly to player actions.  By which I mean having something to look at when you want to say "He got the jump on this 'boss monster', and I want to let him just kill it, but I want to adjust the XP to fit the actual challenge."  Though really, it could be as simple as  "If it takes a lot of work to get a one-hit kill, give them full XP.  If the whole thing is just easy, reduce the XP.  If it was actually harder to do it this way than just fighting the monster, give more XP."  So... maybe I'm just braindumping.

EDIT2: I'd also point at Zero from Borderlands2 as a functional "assassin-on-a-team" (though again, could be done via Rogue, mostly), or the Spy (or Sniper) from TF2.  All just gameplay-wise though, obviously.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I think a purely martial assassin could be well handled by the rogue, and that the assassin name could be given to either a background or rogue scheme.


But...


I think their is room for a hybrid stealth/shadowcaster.  Mainly because its been done so many times before, I propose the name Nightblade, exhibitting an extreme lack of originality on my part.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/10.jpg)

I'm all for the assassin being released as a class...eventually.

I just don't think it's unique ENOUGH to warrant inclusion in in the initial PHB.  The classes that have traditionally been a part of the PHB need to be there: Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard, Ranger, Paladin.  Classes I HOPE to see in the PHB would be Monk, Warlock, Druid, Sorcerer, and Barbarian (all but druid and barbarian are very likely as of right now, since we already have had playtests for them).  The assassin has enough of a place in D&D that I think it warrants it's own class, though. For sure.
Here's a concept for the assassin i built awhile ago. Could be a decent way to get those who do want the assassin  as a class the type of assassin they want.



Creating an Assassin


Ability Score Adjustment: +1 to your Dexterity, Intelligence or Strength


Starting Hit Points: (see Assassination Style)


Armor Proficiency: Light Armor


Weapons Proficiency:
Basic weapons, finesse weapons, and all simple and martial missile weapons


 


 


Level: Attack Magic Dice Class Feature


    1      +2       +2    1d4  Assassination Style
    2      +2       +2    1d6 -
    3      +2       +2    1d6 -
    4      +2       +2    2d6 Maneuver
    5      +3       +3    2d6 -
    6      +3       +3    2d6 -
    7      +3       +3    2d6 Maneuver
    8      +3       +3    2d8 -
    9      +3       +3    2d8 -
   10     +4       +4    3d10 Maneuver


 


Assassin Spells Per Day
 -Spells per Day-
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5
    1   3 1 - - - -
    2   4 2 - - - -
    3   4 2 1 - - -
    4   4 2 2 - - -
    5   4 2 2 1 - -
    6   4 2 2 2 - -
    7   4 2 2 2 1 -
    8   4 2 2 2 2 -
    9   4 2 2 2 2 1
   10  4 2 2 2 2 2



Level 1: Assassination Style
Benefit: Choose an Assassination Style, the two options presented here are the Poison-Master
and the Shadow Caster.



Poison-Master:
HD: 1d8
Starting HP: 8 + con mod.
HP gained per Lvl: 1d8(5) + con mod
Benefit(Expertise)- You forgo the bonus to Magic Attacks and all Spells in exchange for
Expertise Dice as noted per level in the table above. Choose two maneuvers from the Assassins
Maneuver List(below(no, not really, i'm not building that right now) You automatically receive
the (insert poison based maneuver here.)
Skills: move silently, hide, and Herbalism Lore.
Trait: You know how to create basic poisons. It doesn't matter if you prefer poisonous plants,
animal poisons, or your own unique mixes you can, with the assistance of your DM, create custom
blends with a variaty of effects.


 


Shadow Caster:
HD: 1d6
Starting HP:  6+ con mod.
HP gained per Lvl: 1d6(4) + con mod
Benefit (Spells)- You forgo Expertise Dice, Maneuvers, and the Attack Bonus in exchange
for Spells per day per the table above.
As a Shadow Caster you a familiar with all the spells you have access to at each level,
you can cast any of them spontaneously at the cost of one of your spell slots.
You use Intelligence for all your spells.
Skills: Arcana Lore, Hide, Move Silently
Traits: You know how to magically pull shadows around your form, you gain advantage to all
checks meant to prevent you from being noticed while in shadows, low-light, or similiar
vision reducing situations(as determined by the DM)
As many times per day as your class level you can assume a "Shadow Form" for 5 minutes.
You become ethereal and you can not be harmed or harm others while in Shadow Form.


 


Expert Marksman:
HD: 1d6
Starting HP: 6 + con mod.
HP gained per Lvl: 1d6(4) + con mod
Benefit (Expertise)- You forgo the bonus to Magic Attacks and all Spells in exchange for
Expertise Dice as noted per level in the table above.
Choose two maneuvers from the Assassins Maneuver List.
You also gain the Maneuver Precise Shot as a third maneuver.
Skills: (Pick One) City Lore, Nature Lore, Dungeon Lore.
Move Silently, Hide, Spot
Trait: When you spend a round doing nothing but taking aim at a target that is
not aware of you while hidden and not in combat you gain advantage on the attack.
If you hit your attack automatically becomes a critical hit. If the target was restrained,
unmoving, or otherwise motionless your attack is instead a Coup De Grace.
By spending 1-2 hours customizing a ranged weapon you can make it collapsable.
A collapsable weapon can fit into a backpack or similiar sized container after
spending 1 round to collapse the weapon into individual, small sized parts.
Another round can be used to rebuild the weapon loaded and ready to fire.
You also gain proficiency in all ranged weapons.

Anyway, that's the Assassin I want to play, and that's the Assassin you can't play no matter how much you try with a Rogue.


... What?  Why can't that be a Rogue?  I mean, it can't (as easily) be the current Rogue, because Sneak Attack is screwy, but in general?

I guess it could be the Rogue if they rebuilt it, but I'm suggesting that they build the mechanics so that the Assassin has deadly non-combat abilities. Right now, the Rogue doesn't have any of those, and I don't see a good reason why they should have any.

An Assassin, on the other hand, is all about killing without a fight. And in order to do that, you need specific mechanics that aren't available right now, which is why I'd be best if those mechanics were regulated to a particular class/playstyle.

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

I guess.  I still don't see anything in your previous post that shouldn't be available to the Rogue once Sneak Attack is "fixed", and poison is made a "thing" (not a class-specific-because-hey-we-need-a-class thing, either).

"Killing them before they even know you're there" is kind of the ideal sneak attack, just like "killing them before they can do anything about it" is kind of the ideal every-other-kind-of-attack.  I see "before they even know you're there", and I think skills.


EDIT: Y'know, this might entirely be tied to my own preferences on the Rogue.  I don't care for the "deal extra 'sneak attack' damage every round" type of Rogue - I feel like other classes do "damage every round" spectacularly well already, and more thematically.  I prefer more of a "deal massive amounts of damage with a 'sneak attack', maybe once or twice per combat" approach, and would like to see that be an option within the Rogue class.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)