D&D 5E Split the Assassin from the Rogue back into its own class

Should the Assassin be made into its own class again?

  • Yes, the Assassin should split from the Rogue and be its own class

    Votes: 15 15.2%
  • Yes, the Assassin should split from the Rogue and take the Thief with it

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Yes (Other)

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • No, the Assassin should stay where it is

    Votes: 65 65.7%
  • No, the Assassin should stay where it is. Someother subclass should split from the Rogue

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • No, just make more killy Rogue subclasses

    Votes: 5 5.1%
  • No (other)

    Votes: 8 8.1%
  • A THIEF is a THIEF! An ASSASSIN is an ASSASSIN! No Rogues.

    Votes: 5 5.1%
  • I'm about to be Sneak Attacked

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • (Currently hiding)

    Votes: 3 3.0%

  • Poll closed .

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean, I'd say the reasonabl3 compromise Ground is what we have now already with 13 Classes in 5E, instead of 4 with robust Subclasses as D&D Next started with.
I loved the number of classes and prestige classes 3e offered. Between them and feats, I could realize pretty much any character concept exactly as I envisioned it. I can't do that with 5e, and I won't accept a bastardized version of my vision. That's why I'm heavily in favor of more classes, subclasses and feats.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I loved the number of classes and prestige classes 3e offered. Between them and feats, I could realize pretty much any character concept exactly as I envisioned it. I can't do that with 5e, and I won't accept a bastardized version of my vision. That's why I'm heavily in favor of more classes, subclasses and feats.
Yeah, having started with 3E, I don't share the nostalgia for that, particularly when it contributed to killing the Edition.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yeah, having started with 3E, I don't share the nostalgia for that, particularly when it contributed to killing the Edition.
Nah. The insane rate of release coupled with the poor quality levels killed the edition. There was a sweet spot that was present for a very long time where you could make pretty much everything you wanted and it wasn't filled with horrible options. They just needed to slow it down a bit and put out better quality work.
 

Irlo

Hero
I loved the number of classes and prestige classes 3e offered. Between them and feats, I could realize pretty much any character concept exactly as I envisioned it. I can't do that with 5e, and I won't accept a bastardized version of my vision. That's why I'm heavily in favor of more classes, subclasses and feats.
At some point over the years, I've turned a corner away from that and I'm quite comfortable making adjustments at my table to accomodate players' visions. It feels like that gets better results than trying to find a published class or feat to meet our needs. But then, my players aren't particularly experimental. I wish they'd stretch more.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Nah. The insane rate of release coupled with the poor quality levels killed the edition. There was a sweet spot that was present for a very long time where you could make pretty much everything you wanted and it wasn't filled with horrible options. They just needed to slow it down a bit and put out better quality work.
Well...isn't that what they've done with 5E? There are over 100 general types of character, that can be customized and refluffednto cover basically any character that I can imagine, and the rate of publishing has slowed down to the point that 5E is coming up on 8 years, the publication time of 3E and 3.5 combined.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well...isn't that what they've done with 5E? There are over 100 general types of character, that can be customized and refluffednto cover basically any character that I can imagine, and the rate of publishing has slowed down to the point that 5E is coming up on 8 years, the publication time of 3E and 3.5 combined.
No. 5e didn't slow it down "a bit." 5e looked at a turtle and said, "How can we release crunch even slower than that?" figured it out, and then made it twice as slow. :p

It is better quality, though.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
No. 5e didn't slow it down "a bit." 5e looked at a turtle and said, "How can we release crunch even slower than that?" figured it out, and then made it twice as slow. :p

It is better quality, though.
Hey, slow and steady wins the race.

I haven't had trouble in finding a way to build a character concept in the past 8 years: reflavorijg mechanics to fit a concept goes a long way in 5E.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hey, slow and steady wins the race.

I haven't had trouble in finding a way to build a character concept in the past 8 years: reflavorijg mechanics to fit a concept goes a long way in 5E.
I've found that in 3e I could envision just about anything and then make it. With 5e I can't do that. Instead I have to go to a class and subclass and then try to come up with a concept that fits in that box. For whatever reason, reflavoring existing mechanics has never done it for me.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Hey, slow and steady wins the race.

I haven't had trouble in finding a way to build a character concept in the past 8 years: reflavorijg mechanics to fit a concept goes a long way in 5E.
Again this only works if you don't care bout playstyle or mechanics. 5e is a "pretend ketchup is BBQ sauce" edition. The rogue is bland meat with tons of sauce options.

I mean there is a middle ground between bloat and doing nothing. If the fighter could be split into 4 classes, the rogue could be as well.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The several times when I've discussed tiers with people, I am reminded that the Rogue class in 5th edition is the only class of this family. The Rogue is the only Rogue class now. Only the Expert sidekick class officially is in the same area. Every other skills based class goes the Warrior or Spellcaster route. All the other roguish and skilled archetypes are pushed within the Rogue class.

And every time I remember this, I ponder about returning the Assassin to full class form. I look at the class and think that its aspects could be shifted down in level, scaled over time, and properly balanced per level. I remember the spellcasting assassins of past editions and assassins of various media.

And I think about having another nonspellcasting base class.

How would I do it?
Probably by cutting out Cunning Action. Free up the bonus action. Possibly just letting the Assassin make a single attack when they Dash, Disengage or Hide. This weaker version of the class feature would allow the disguise and poison stuff to shift down in level position and upgrade better.

What subclass would it have?
Sublasses dedicated to stealth, disguise and poisoning individually. Plus a straight up fighting subclass. And a spellcasting one for the nostalgia and Magic.

  1. Chameleon (Disguise Based)
  2. Poisoner (Poison Based)
  3. Shade (Stealth Based)
  4. Executioner (Fighty Assassin Assassin's version of Swashbuckler)
  5. Shadow Stalker (Magic Assassin, Assassin's Caster subclass)
  6. Holy Slayer (Get some Cleric in your killer. Heal up after everyone is dead)
What do you think?
So, my WIP assassin base class focuses on a Shroud mechanic wherein you choose a target, spend a shroud from a limited pool (roughly 1/assassin level), and do extra d10s of damage to the target when you hit and expend the shroud on them. The other features of the class involve being able to strike and move efficiently, use one kill to set up the next kill, dissapear as a wagon rolls between them and their pursuers by slipping into the crowd and becoming part of it, etc.

The subclasses are named for guilds that take inspiration from certain monsters, such as the Guild of The Manticore which specializes in poisons, or the Guild of The Doppelganger which specializes in infiltration, or the Guild of the Wraith which has spellcasting and a heavy focus on shadow magic, becoming insubstantial, etc.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Again this only works if you don't care bout playstyle or mechanics. 5e is a "pretend ketchup is BBQ sauce" edition. The rogue is bland meat with tons of sauce options.

I mean there is a middle ground between bloat and doing nothing. If the fighter could be split into 4 classes, the rogue could be as well.
Yes, the middle ground is where 5E stands.

Again, mechanics aren't flavor. They can be reinterpreted easily.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I've found that in 3e I could envision just about anything and then make it. With 5e I can't do that. Instead I have to go to a class and subclass and then try to come up with a concept that fits in that box. For whatever reason, reflavoring existing mechanics has never done it for me.
It can be very effective in 5E, given how little flavor is enforced by any mechanic.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Because it's a combat focused game. If you take away sneak attack from the rogue you have to give them some other way of being really good at killing people. In early editions rogues where bad at combat, but you had to take one anyway since they where the only character who could open locks and disarm traps. This was almost universally called BAD DESIGN.
Bad design, or simple unwillingness to play differently?

Each character should bring its own unique strengths to the party, and not all those strengths need to be combat-related. In fact, if more classes' strengths were out of combat maybe parties wouldn't always make combat the immediate go-to solution for everything they meet. (this also ties in with making combats faster, so that non-combat characters have more chance to do their things and not be playing second fiddle all the time)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Oh, and since this is a 5e forum: you'd need to find a way to make poison useful if you want to build a class around it. For example, all undead are immune to poison, which significantly limits its utility.
Trivially solved. A class feature that allows them to make poisons that bypass resistance and downgrade immunity to resistance. Eventually this would upgrade to fully ignoring immunity as well, as well as the ability to choose to deal extra damage when you poison.

But also not all Assassins even use poison.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Blech. The entire premise of D&D as a system is miniatures combat coupled with roleplaying.
In the days of Chainmail and, later, 4e I'd agree with this. 3e and 5e skew that way but not as much, and 0e can't make up its mind. Basic-1e-2e intentionally moved away from the Chainmail model toward more of a roleplaying-first idea, with varying degrees of success.

5e seems to be designed to allow either the minis combat or the roleplaying to become a table's overall priority, in that a table can almost completely eschew one or the other and still be more or less playing 5e.
Having intricate fights is kinda the point.
That seems very much a 3e-4e perspective.
If we wanted to get past the combat stuff as quickly as possible, I'd play a different RPG that handwaves a lot of it... especially if that speeding through combat just results in the player characters dying left and right.

Yeah, I know many old-school players find the idea of creating 27 different PCs for themselves over an entire campaign to be a good time, but to me that's just nothing more than really playing a typical board game where every session you're just starting over. If I wanted just a token on the grid that I had no attachment to and didn't care that they died, I'd play RoboRally. ;)
I don't usually try to put any personality into my RoboRally robots but I do my best to keep them alive. :)

Also, even though I-as-player might go through a few dozen characters in the process, the game's story still rolls along. RoboRally ain't got that aspect and never really will.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
In early editions rogues where bad at combat, but you had to take one anyway since they where the only character who could open locks and disarm traps. This was almost universally called BAD DESIGN.
I pretty much disagree with this wholeheartedly.

Rogue were mediocre at front-line combat, but backstabbing was great. The assassin's Assassination Table was stellar for the game as well.

Perhaps it was bad design to you, but hardly "universal." ;)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I like the thought but I'm tempted to say every other turn; the Assassin spends one round lining up the kill and the next round carrying it out; repeat as needed.

I'd add in that any crit on one of these attacks should be an insta-kill regardless of current h.p. total unless the target is at least 5 levels/HD higher than the Assassin.
What we came to in another thread was a sort of “destroy undead” style feature. Gained at the same level tier as destroy undead, but lower CR to account for not be restricted to one creature type.
 

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