Assassinate: aware of your presence needs clarification...

I agree. I have seen different DMs rule this different ways. A clear and concise definition is needed for this.
I know this is just my personal opinion. When I think aware of your presense it means that have no idea you even exist. So it's a first attack burst damage type thing.

Even if you hide later, they still know you are around somewhere.
I agree, this is unclear. When I read it, I assumed it meant that assassinate would only be able to be used once (at least against any particular opponent) in a combat.

"Grr. I don't know where you went, but I know you are out there somewhere."  

If you can use it multiple times, how is it not simply a way better version of sneak attack?  
I know this is just my personal opinion. When I think aware of your presense it means that have no idea you even exist. So it's a first attack burst damage type thing.

Even if you hide later, they still know you are around somewhere.



Agreed.
I am aware that someone, at sometime, may possibly try and assassinate me.

Now that i acknowlaged that, i'm immune.  



Also, i'd be fine with hidden.  Hidden is harder then advantage, and can be worth more then sneak attack. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

That makes some sense ;)  The paranoid noble is very difficult to assassinate.  You need to catch him at a moment when his guard is down.

If you can use it multiple times, how is it not simply a way better version of sneak attack?  



Because it is easier to just gain advantage than becoming hidden. In fact, with the right feats, you can have advantage every attack. 

If you can use it multiple times, how is it not simply a way better version of sneak attack?  



Because it is easier to just gain advantage than becoming hidden. In fact, with the right feats, you can have advantage every attack. 



Yep. Feats and skill tricks..Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

it's very 2e AD&D backstab, but weirdly enough they managed to be even more vague than that. I'd rule it more toward 2e's "the target can't be aware of the attack."


That way they can know you're out there but not know when you'll attack, which meets the rubric for backstab assassinate.

That makes some sense ;)  The paranoid noble is very difficult to assassinate.  You need to catch him at a moment when his guard is down.



The Wild Bill Hickok Syndrome
Well...

Look at the illusionist wizard. He can detect the presence of invisible creatures but the invisible creature is still invisible. Basically the illusionist still knows the invisible creature is there.

So I think assassinate requires the target to not know of your existence in the area. So it is once per encounter unless the target actually thinks you are gone. At which point you can attempt another assassination with another check.

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!

This is going to sound harsh, but I don't really care what any of you thinks... that isn't to say that I think any of your readings are illegitimate! On the contrary, I think all of your readings are legitimate. There is no way to read this rule that is more or less correct, objectively speaking. It could be either or. That is the problem. That is why it needs clarification! So, posting what you individually happen to think it should be, based on the current wording, is besides the point...

OK, so how do you expect us to explore that? If it doesn't require exploration, why bring it up in a forum? If it needs clarification, what's wrong with us sharing our ideas of what we think it might mean in order to facilitate what that clarification might be?


Seems to me that you're entirely missing the point. Maybe it needs it and maybe it doesn't but the way we can establish whether it does or not is by assessing how different the opinions are about it and then deciding on a compromise between the two.


Basically we've moved past your original point and are getting to the solution, and folks are being pretty constructive about it.

There is no solution but clarified wording on the part of WotC. The solution must come from WotC. This post is just to bring attention to this problem (so that it will get fixed). There are lots of reasonable responses, but saying what you think it means isn't really one of them. One person can think it means a, another can think it means b, and neither will ever be more or less correct than the other. No amount of debate will ever make one argument more reasonable than the other. WotC must make the intent more clear. 

I assume Hidden personally.

Side note: Assassinate + Poison Use concerns me  about the fate of the Assassin class ...
I assume Hidden personally.

Side note: Assassinate + Poison Use concerns me  about the fate of the Assassin class ...



Yea. There doesn't seem to be much room for an assassin class anymore. Personally, though, I don't mind. I prefer fewer classes with more internal options than more classes with fewer internal options...

the dialogue helps people clearly define their own issues with a thing and make up their own minds.


WOTC can rot, as far as I'm concerned, because it's through discourse and gameplay that I will make my own determination about something. WOTC's wording might matter to the extent that it provides me with a starting point, but it's discussions like this one that really effects a change in my game.


WOTC's provided me with a starting point. i don't need them anymore.

Fair enough. Though, their starting point might change once they realize that the intent was not clear. In any case, I think that either ruling makes an equal amount of sense, and either ruling would be balanced. Personally, I like the "aware of the attack" method. It supports lurker style play, which some people really like. I don't see any reason why someone should not be able to hide and then use the power again. 
I don't like either interpretation really.

"Hidden-Assassinate" completely takes over the lurker role from Sneak Attack as it is almost strictly better if you are planning the hide-stab-hide routine.

"Never detected-Assassinate" is still very powerful but to "all-or-nothing" and it is too tempting to as a DM to let the rogue get away with another assassinate after the first... which is too powerful to be allowed.

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 guess the requirements are much the same as the requirements to get a surprise round.

so maybe change it to:
you can use assasinate against targets who where suprised and haven't acted yet. 
Fair enough. Though, their starting point might change once they realize that the intent was not clear. In any case, I think that either ruling makes an equal amount of sense, and either ruling would be balanced. Personally, I like the "aware of the attack" method. It supports lurker style play, which some people really like. I don't see any reason why someone should not be able to hide and then use the power again. 



Yeah I'm leaning that way too. Forcing it into "hidden" narrows its application and stifles player creativity. They'll basically get wrapped up in being hidden and not so much interested in the nuances of whether their opponent is aware of their attack (which could mean a number of things).


For example, I could assassinate someone in the face with a switchblade and a good initiative roll if all they need to be is unaware of the attack.

I don't like either interpretation really. "Hidden-Assassinate" completely takes over the lurker role from Sneak Attack as it is almost strictly better if you are planning the hide-stab-hide routine. "Never detected-Assassinate" is still very powerful but to "all-or-nothing" and it is too tempting to as a DM to let the rogue get away with another assassinate after the first... which is too powerful to be allowed.



I thought the whole purpose of assassinate was to be the hide-stab-hide ability. It didn't bother me that they would be assassinating rather than sneak attacking.


And if the rogue is really creative about an ambush and use good tactics then I don't see any problem at all with them getting more than one assassinate, though probably it'd be almost impossible for anyone to not be aware of the attack after the second shot. A bit like how a sniper can get away with a couple of shots before people clock where it's coming from, even if the person is still hidden.

I guess the requirements are much the same as the requirements to get a surprise round.

so maybe change it to:
you can use assasinate against targets who where suprised and haven't acted yet. 



i like this.
I don't like either interpretation really. "Hidden-Assassinate" completely takes over the lurker role from Sneak Attack as it is almost strictly better if you are planning the hide-stab-hide routine. "Never detected-Assassinate" is still very powerful but to "all-or-nothing" and it is too tempting to as a DM to let the rogue get away with another assassinate after the first... which is too powerful to be allowed.




I can mathematically prove to you that it is not overpowered to use assassinate as a hide-stab-hide routine. In fact, it is VERY balanced. A fighter will still have a slightly better DPR than a rogue who uses assassinate to hide-stab-hide (though it will be very comparable). If it is an all-or-nothing use it once ability it might actually be underpowered. Still attractive, fun, and neat (for a quick burst of nova damage). Not game breakingly weak. I would have to run the numbers to double check. But it isn’t going to be anywhere near as great as you claim. 


This is my big problem with the playtest. Too many people see a single big number and the fail to actually do the work to contextualize what a rogues end DPR looks like. If a rogue hide-stab-hides with assassinate he will have to give up advantage every time he uses assassinate. He will also have to give up one attack every other round. That loss of damage ends up netting him a DPR that is a bit lower than the fighters. Sure, when the rogue does hit he will be hitting for much bigger numbers than the fighter. But, over time, he won’t be any better. He will just have a different pattern of dealing damage (in big spikes instead of constant output).


Sneak attack, on the other hand, is really hard to justify. It is quite weak at the moment. Maybe it is worth it against low AC foes. But, I doubt I would ever take it instead of any of the other options. They did a much better job on assassinate. Hell, I sort of feel like they should just get rid of sneak attack and call “assassinate” sneak attack (or backstab). 

It was less with big numbers and more the straight maximization and chance of doubling damage internally with the rogue. I didnt do exact calculations so I could be wrong.

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!

It was less with big numbers and more the straight maximization and chance of doubling damage internally with the rogue. I didnt do exact calculations so I could be wrong.



When you hit you will hit for very large numbers. But, dealing damage only once every second round, your DPR will still end up being lower than a fighter who uses every round to attack. Likewise, some rounds that fighter will end up with advantage. Some rounds you will fail to hide. Those rounds will further put the column in the fighter's favor. The end result is fairly balanced. The rogue's numbers are a teeny bit lower than the fighters, but I am ok with that. They get other neat things. Things between the two look very well balanced right now, assuming that you can hide-assassinate-hide. Sneak Attack might be underpowered. I am not 100% yet. It doesn't look very attractive to me, in any case, but that might just be subjective. Feint is awful. It is a trap option. Same for glancing blow. 
I think on issue is also how we look at games.  Comparing number outputs is fine and dandy (and I'm certainly glad some of you folks do it) but it doesn't relate to my play style.  If I'm playing a rogue, vaporizing my target outside of combat is my objective.  I do it I quick and quiet, and infiltrate on to the next victim.  I'm not concerned what my damage output in a meat grinder is.  Combat isn't always going to be ENCOUNTER similar to what some of us experienced with 4 e.  

for my few copper, assassinate seems to do what I think it should do; major damage outside of/prior to combat starting.  I would not be adverse to seeing 4 es "if you damage a target and it only has x hit points left, you can drop it" for in combat.  I always liked that mechanic.
I don't think they need to add anything to it. I just think they need to reword it so that it reads "anaware of the attack." You should be able to hide-assassinate-hide if you get stuck in a fight (playing like a lurker style assassin). I think everything will work given that wording. It will also allow people to use assassinate with a surprise attack from a bluff instead of forcing people to hide to pull it off. 
@Cyber-Dave

My issue is not between a Hidden Assassinate Rogue and a Fighter.

My issue is with the Hidden-Assassinate Rogue and the Sneak Attack Rogue OR a OnceperEncounte-Assassinate Rogue and a Sneak Attack Rogue. They both sorta take up the same niche and one just feels better.

And it would be weird if the sneaky rogue prefers not to take Sneak Attack.

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!

There goes my desire for specialty assassin's weapons having special maneuvers attached to them.  As well as my desire for utility shadow magic powers on an Assassin.  Rogue seems to have eaten it.  Not cool WotC. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

There goes my desire for specialty assassin's weapons having special maneuvers attached to them.  As well as my desire for utility shadow magic powers on an Assassin.  Rogue seems to have eaten it.  Not cool WotC. 

I still see room for that.

Rogue can take martial sneak->kill.  Leave the shadow magic sneak->kill for the assassin class.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I just love the fact that non lurkey type rogues can still deal competitive damage, ergo: Sneak attack and assassinate are not required to work well. This to me is something rogues have needed for a long, long time. It makes SA and Assassinate a playstyle option instead of a core feature
My two copper.
There goes my desire for specialty assassin's weapons having special maneuvers attached to them.  As well as my desire for utility shadow magic powers on an Assassin.  Rogue seems to have eaten it.  Not cool WotC. 

I still see room for that.

Rogue can take martial sneak->kill.  Leave the shadow magic sneak->kill for the assassin class.



What about poison use and assassinate?  Am I to believe that they will include those abilities on both classes?  Right now it seems like they want to eliminate the Assassin altogether, or relegate it to a Rogue-specific build and a Prestige Class.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I just love the fact that non lurkey type rogues can still deal competitive damage, ergo: Sneak attack and assassinate are not required to work well. This to me is something rogues have needed for a long, long time. It makes SA and Assassinate a playstyle option instead of a core feature



Now they just need to do that with the skill mastery and extra skills...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
@Cyber-Dave My issue is not between a Hidden Assassinate Rogue and a Fighter. My issue is with the Hidden-Assassinate Rogue and the Sneak Attack Rogue OR a OnceperEncounte-Assassinate Rogue and a Sneak Attack Rogue. They both sorta take up the same niche and one just feels better. And it would be weird if the sneaky rogue prefers not to take Sneak Attack.




Which is why I said that sneak attack and assassinate should probably be rolled into one mechanic (called sneak attack, but which uses the mechanics of assassinate). The actual mechanics of sneak attack seem very... sub-par. I need to run the math to see if they are actually underpowered compared to the fighter. They might not be. But the only way to use sneak-attack effectively is to go dual wielding so that you can take the feat that allows you to gain advantage with every attack. Anything else and it is 100% for sure sub-par. Which makes assassinate a much better designed ability. It isn't that assassinate is too strong, it is that sneak attack is not designed very well right now. But, they are both so conceptually similar that I don't see any reason for both to exist...


Alternatively, they could rewrite sneak attack so that it gives you a flat +Xd6 damage to your attack roll, once per turn, whenever you attack a target who grants you advantage or who is adjacent to one of your allies. That might be more what they were going for. It wouldn’t force you to give up advantage, but it would also allow you to attack without advantage. It is still sneaky, but it is not quite as much of a lurker ability as assassinate. It wouldn’t force you to take one particular feat progression for the ability to be useful. With a small amount of damage the power should be worth it without becoming overpowered compared to assassinate. (Say +1d6 at level 1, 5, and 10, for a total of +3d6--that might actually be too much. They would need to do some stress testing, +1d6 at level 1 and + 2d6 at level 10 might work better. Maybe a 3rd die could be added at level 20...)  


Conceptually, I like the idea of an Assassinate/Backstab option that is distinct from a Sneak Attack/Dirty Fighting option.
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)
@Cyber-Dave My issue is not between a Hidden Assassinate Rogue and a Fighter. My issue is with the Hidden-Assassinate Rogue and the Sneak Attack Rogue OR a OnceperEncounte-Assassinate Rogue and a Sneak Attack Rogue. They both sorta take up the same niche and one just feels better. And it would be weird if the sneaky rogue prefers not to take Sneak Attack.




Which is why I said that sneak attack and assassinate should probably be rolled into one mechanic (called sneak attack, but which uses the mechanics of assassinate). The actual mechanics of sneak attack seem very... sub-par. I need to run the math to see if they are actually underpowered compared to the fighter. They might not be. But the only way to use sneak-attack effectively is to go dual wielding so that you can take the feat that allows you to gain advantage with every attack. Anything else and it is 100% for sure sub-par. Which makes assassinate a much better designed ability. It isn't that assassinate is too strong, it is that sneak attack is not designed very well right now. But, they are both so conceptually similar that I don't see any reason for both to exist...


Alternatively, they could rewrite sneak attack so that it gives you a flat +Xd6 damage to your attack roll, once per turn, whenever you attack a target who grants you advantage or who is adjacent to one of your allies. That might be more what they were going for. It wouldn’t force you to give up advantage, but it would also allow you to attack without advantage. It is still sneaky, but it is not quite as much of a lurker ability as assassinate. It wouldn’t force you to take one particular feat progression for the ability to be useful. With a small amount of damage the power should be worth it without becoming overpowered compared to assassinate. (Say +1d6 at level 1, 5, and 10, for a total of +3d6--that might actually be too much. They would need to do some stress testing, +1d6 at level 1 and + 2d6 at level 10 might work better. Maybe a 3rd die could be added at level 20...)  





What if sneak attack just granted advantage on a flank? I mean you are already dealing xd6 damage anyway advantage just means more hits more often. Combined with Two-Weapon Fighting you could make a pretty nice skirmisher Rogue...Smile
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
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I actually love it Lokiare... sneak attack should just grant advantage to any attack against an enemy that is adjecent to one of your allies. 
I agree that Assassinate seems inherently better than SA. Maybe SA could become the dirty-fighting option, granting extra damage when you have advantage, and Assassinate becomes the stealth-kill option. Although I agree that it's weird how Assassinate is better than SA for sneak attackers...
I actually love it Lokiare... sneak attack should just grant advantage to any attack against an enemy that is adjecent to one of your allies. 


This is a good idea.
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