5E Assassins, Alignment, and Archetypes

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No, it's got potential. It doesn't synergize with bleeds though. Maybe move and attack on a critical starting at 5th level?
I like the general idea more than a second attack. Helps separate the class a little and it emphasizes the move and strike thing.
Yeah we gotta be careful not to make every feature a moving part, too. Reading Mercer’s Blood Hunter gives me a headache, trying to imagine tracking all those active features.

but yeah, I’d love for a normal round for an assassin to include moving and either Hiding or attacking as part of the attack action after making an attack. Maybe on a crit or drop? Maybe even a drop or an attack where you invoke shrouds, so you have some control over it?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay, so

HD: d8
Weapons: Simple, all the light weapons, Hand Crossbow, Shortbow
Armor: light
Skills: 3 of [mix of ranger and classic rogue skills]
Tools: 2 of Disguise, Poison, Alchemist, Tinker (trust me. The class needs some social and exploration stuff. Badly.)

Level 1: Shrouds (1), Ribbonish thing related to social stealth
Level 2: Bleed Feature, Lethal
Level 3: Assassin’s House
Level 4: ASI
Level 5: Defense/Riposte Feature, Move and Attack/Hide Feature
Level 6: House Feature
Level 7: Evasion
 
That looks about right, yeah. The social stealth thing - how about a solid bonus to deception specifically for use with a disguise? Also, are we looking to steal expertise here for this class or not? Maybe not, just to keep things separate.n

Moving after an an attack requires special rules, something like "after a hit in melee, the assassin may use any remaining movement to disengage without provoking attacks of opportunity". That part could be a low level bit, and then at a higher level you add in the "on a crit (or whatever) the A may use his reaction to move X and make an additional melee attack against a different target" part.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That looks about right, yeah. The social stealth thing - how about a solid bonus to deception specifically for use with a disguise? Also, are we looking to steal expertise here for this class or not? Maybe not, just to keep things separate.n

Moving after an an attack requires special rules, something like "after a hit in melee, the assassin may use any remaining movement to disengage without provoking attacks of opportunity". That part could be a low level bit, and then at a higher level you add in the "on a crit (or whatever) the A may use his reaction to move X and make an additional melee attack against a different target" part.
True. The second attack could be at level 5. I do wonder if maybe making a “Extra Attack, but situational” is a bad idea, though, the more I think about it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
For social stealth, the idea is to allow the assassin to just...slide up to the folks at a fruit stand and examine some fruit or sit next to someone on a bench, or walk with a small crowd, and be hidden. Whether that should be deception or stealth, idk.

I wonder if there is room in the base class for tools, by the way. Gadgets. It feels like all assassins have specialized tools to some degree, but idk where to put such a thing.
 

Coroc

Hero
Arya is a great Assassin.

edit: I’d even say she should be part of the inspiration for the subclass that focuses on disguise. Maybe using mystical arts to become something like a changeling.

oh! What do we all think about using “monsters” as inspiration for the names of the subclasses?

Assassin of the Doppelgänger/Wraith/Displacer/Manticore Enclave/School/Guild?
Agreed. But she is a very skilled front end fighter also, check her training sessions wiht Brienne from Tart.

She uses her skill to infiltrate without having to resolve to stealth. But unlike a normal assasin (like in AC i think you would have to run if to many guards approach) she could stay and fight it out.
For me that is a big difference. If she would just hide for a moment put on another face and escape that way, then it would be more like the D&D class.
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
I kinda skipped a lot of posts so I don't know if this has been brought up but:

Traditionally, the issue with assassins in DnD is the game assumes being an adventurer and part of an adventuring party. Assassins are traditionally not part of a team (at least while on mission) and usually only go on one very specific kind of adventure. Bridging the gap is tricky, otherwise this would have been solved long ago.
 

Coroc

Hero
I skipped some posts, but I think Creed of__________ (creatures) sounds so badass I might get it tattooed after work latter today :p .

...
Do you always go to the body shop if you get any good ideas at work?

I mean, do you have tattoos like "I should suggest go to the next football game to my buddies"
or "the garden needs another tree in the NE corner".

Do not forget love ends, but the tattoo stays, eve nif yo uget old and wrinkly :p
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Assasins are the true bad guy of the D&D classes, although I would like some piece of "anti-villain".

Usually assasins are a stealth class for populated urban zones, not in nature regions. They haven been trained neither to explore dungeons or the underdark nor to face groups of enemies.

Subclasses? Easy, you only have to see the archetypes for the slayer class in the pathfinder SRD.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Agreed. But she is a very skilled front end fighter also, check her training sessions wiht Brienne from Tart.

She uses her skill to infiltrate without having to resolve to stealth. But unlike a normal assasin (like in AC i think you would have to run if to many guards approach) she could stay and fight it out.
For me that is a big difference. If she would just hide for a moment put on another face and escape that way, then it would be more like the D&D class.
See, for me, that is just something that an assassin should be able to be built to do, or not. As always, past editions are just inspiration, not something I feel beholden to at all, so I don’t worry about whether past dnd assassins could survive a standup fight. I worry about if my inspirations in general can or not. And the answer is, some of them.

Take AssCreed. Altair can’t, Ezio can sometimes, if you’re very good, and Connor can fight a horde of redcoats singlehanded and limps halfway through Delaware or whatever at th e end of the game while bleeding out, because he is a force of nature.
 
Take AssCreed. Altair can’t, Ezio can sometimes, if you’re very good, and Connor can fight a horde of redcoats singlehanded and limps halfway through Delaware or whatever at th e end of the game while bleeding out, because he is a force of nature.
When assessing the characters' abilities we have to take into account the degree to which the Assassin's Creed games are single-player power fantasies, and D&D is not. The franchise itself presents a very different picture of assassins once it introduces multiplayer.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When assessing the characters' abilities we have to take into account the degree to which the Assassin's Creed games are single-player power fantasies, and D&D is not. The franchise itself presents a very different picture of assassins once it introduces multiplayer.
No, I don’t really think we do.
Conan is also a individualistic power fantasy. Aside from his being a high level character, he isn’t all that hard to model in dnd. (Other than the fact you have to roll high stats)

Altair, Ezio Auditore, and Ratonhnhaké:ton are all entirely within the bounds of a dnd party.
 
No, I don’t really think we do.
Conan is also a individualistic power fantasy. Aside from his being a high level character, he isn’t all that hard to model in dnd. (Other than the fact you have to roll high stats)

Altair, Ezio Auditore, and Ratonhnhaké:ton are all entirely within the bounds of a dnd party.
That's not what I'm getting at. We shouldn't look at Ezio's ability to slaughter small armies of mooks and conclude that that's what an assassin class should be good at. Some things like his lethal ripostes are mechanics of the game genre more than assassin abilities -- Kratos, Batman, Link, the Darksiders Horsemen, etc. all have the same counterattack system in their own franchises.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That's not what I'm getting at. We shouldn't look at Ezio's ability to slaughter small armies of mooks and conclude that that's what an assassin class should be good at. Some things like his lethal ripostes are mechanics of the game genre more than assassin abilities -- Kratos, Batman, Link, the Darksiders Horsemen, etc. all have the same counterattack system in their own franchises.
I never suggested the assassin should be able to take on armies of mooks by themselves, I used the assassins as examples of 3 varying degrees of direct combat ability, as part of an argument that assassins in general should vary in how direct combat capable they are.

And the riposte is absolutely a fitting ability, which is all it needs to be. It’s also something few dnd characters can reliably do, and it makes the assassin dangerous in a melee in a way that others just aren’t.
 
And the riposte is absolutely a fitting ability, which is all it needs to be. It’s also something few dnd characters can reliably do, and it makes the assassin dangerous in a melee in a way that others just aren’t.
I disagree. It makes the assassin reactively dangerous when they, perhaps more than any other class, should be proactively dangerous. An assassin, a "blade in the dark", is at their strongest when you have no idea they're there. If you're facing them and swinging a sword at them, that is... exactly the opposite of that. When that regrettable situation occurs, it's not time for the assassin to strike, it's time for them to back off and think about a new plan. So something like "move half your speed without provoking opportunity attacks" would be a fitting reaction. But a riposte? That's for battlemasters and berserkers who stride boldly into the melee and dare you to come at them bro.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I disagree. It makes the assassin reactively dangerous when they, perhaps more than any other class, should be proactively dangerous. An assassin, a "blade in the dark", is at their strongest when you have no idea they're there. If you're facing them and swinging a sword at them, that is... exactly the opposite of that. When that regrettable situation occurs, it's not time for the assassin to strike, it's time for them to back off and think about a new plan. So something like "move half your speed without provoking opportunity attacks" would be a fitting reaction. But a riposte? That's for battlemasters and berserkers who stride boldly into the melee and dare you to come at them bro.
Eh, I'm done with this particular argument. The entire notion that assassins should be made to run away and find shadows to strike from is bunk, IMO. Assassins should be trained to fight, because no plan is so perfect that it cannot fail, and fights will happen, even to the absolute apex paragon of assassination. Period. You don't fail to kill your target simply because the vaguries of luck and timing caused them to see you before you were able to strike the killing blow from hiding. You train in efficient killing well enough that their every move against you creates opportunities for you to kill them.

And "reactive" deadliness isn't counter to "proactive" deadliness, even in balance terms. What matters in balance terms is deadliness over the course of a round, combat, and day.

Watch John Wick, or Jason Bourne, or any other assassin movie. When an enemy or mark tries to attack them, they counter and the enemy or mark dies. Often, the counter and the killing stroke are basically the same motion.

There is no such thing as "not getting in fights". The assassin is deadly in or out of a fight. THey're deadly when put on the defensive, and when allowed the offensive.

Assassins should be even deadlier when they can watch and wait and strike at the perfect moment, which is what Shrouds do. They should also be deadly the rest of the time.
 
Assassins should be trained to fight, because no plan is so perfect that it cannot fail, and fights will happen, even to the absolute apex paragon of assassination. Period.
This is already covered by proficiency with martial weapons. Giving them a riposte ability doesn't just say "trained to fight", it says "trained to fight as well as a battlemaster".

And "reactive" deadliness isn't counter to "proactive" deadliness, even in balance terms. What matters in balance terms is deadliness over the course of a round, combat, and day.
Put it this way: if you give the assassin a class feature at level X which triggers when they are attacked, then they are not getting a class feature at level X which they could use to kill their target proactively.

Watch John Wick, or Jason Bourne, or any other assassin movie. When an enemy or mark tries to attack them, they counter and the enemy or mark dies. Often, the counter and the killing stroke are basically the same motion.
We're back to the "any class can be an 'assassin' " problem. Maybe John Wick and Jason Bourne fight so well because they're... fighters? What makes you think that a new class is most appropriate to capture what these characters do? (Apart from the gunplay and other accouterments of modernity, which I think we can agree are outside the scope of this thread.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This is already covered by proficiency with martial weapons. Giving them a riposte ability doesn't just say "trained to fight", it says "trained to fight as well as a battlemaster".


Put it this way: if you give the assassin a class feature at level X which triggers when they are attacked, then they are not getting a class feature at level X which they could use to kill their target proactively.


We're back to the "any class can be an 'assassin' " problem. Maybe John Wick and Jason Bourne fight so well because they're... fighters? What makes you think that a new class is most appropriate to capture what these characters do? (Apart from the gunplay and other accouterments of modernity, which I think we can agree are outside the scope of this thread.)
Yeah, honestly, we’re done on this topic.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
That's exactly my take on the assassin too. I think the ''one shot, one kill'' assassin is fun, but a slayer able to actually finish the target mostly on its own quickly if the first hit isnt enough is a must. So yeah, somewhere between a fighter and a rogue.
 
I don't get this thread. It's been made pretty plain which fantasy trope is being worked. That might not be everyone's pick, but that's the one we're working. If you really prefer a different look, feel free to go build it.
 

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