D&D 5E Why Is The Assassin Rpgue?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And just to note it - several classes have the "one big round and then just participate without your most powerful element":

For example, warlocks get to cast two spells per short rest - or about 1 per combat. and fighters get just 1 action surge per short rest. Assassins often get to assassinate more than fighters action surge or warlocks cast spells- if run intelligently and with a DM that is open to surprise rounds occuring.
Warlocks are a lot more than thier spells, and it is such a common problem that people don’t feel like they can use thier spell slots that they’re redesigning the class to deal with it.

Those are also classes, and we are discussing subclasses. A class can be designed to just always hit a certain efficacy benchmark, rather than having peaks and valleys. The Rogue indeed is pretty much that.

The Assassin subclass isn’t.
Dictating to others that it can't be an ok subclass based upon your views when others find it fine is ... an odd choice.
It would be, if I had done that. You have come in and acted like your experience renders all others moot, as if your opinion is fact, however.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Again, telling us you have done nothing to understand optimization, then turning around and lecturing on it ... is an odd choice.

However, as a reminder, the definition of optimization is the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource. As such, it is about the single, one, best option. Thus, it is about the one option that is best. If it is either optimal or not, it is, in fact, binary.
Optimizing is the act of seeking the optimal. An optimized option is the best option. The assassin I played was efficient ... but far from optimal.That is one hard sentence to parse. I think you're saying that I, as a player that has tens of thousands of hours of play experience, and much more than that in discussing the game, planning for games, etc... don't understand anything because I think an optimized build would be one that is the best for a given purpose rather than just one that does some stuff pretty well, but could be better. If so ... well, good luck.
The fact that you are this far off the mark that you’re trying to use a general definition as an argument (at all but especially) in a discussion where the term has a different jargon meaning, is hilarious.

Optimization is comparative, in either case, by the way. Making a thing more effective is optimizing it. Thing A can be more optimized than thing B but less than thing C.

This is fundamental gaming discussion, here.

That you can’t seem to get past your need to falsely nitpick a word rather than addressing the point doesn’t encourage anyone to listen to you.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Anyway, now that my view of the thread isn’t so cluttered…

@EzekielRaiden Can you restate briefly where you’re at with the subclass? I am interested in your thoughts here.

For context, I loved the 4e assassin so much that I spent hundreds of hours on the wotc boards figuring out the most elegant solutions to its shortcomings without changing its nature. Executioner bypassed a lot of issues and ran great with the feat or whatever to use shrouds instead of the normal executioner damage boost.

My assassin class can force a dex save on an enemy as a reaction to rolling initiative, to swap places in initiative with that creature, and can place a shroud as part of rolling initiative.

Subclasses will have different round one ambush type stuff, but the base class sets up very fast strikes as well as the “move kill move” feel that assassins should have.

What would you do if you have to rewrite the phb assassin rogue?
 

jgsugden

Legend
..."The DM...likely could use some suggestions to improve their game" has been by far the most common experience I have ever had with D&D 5e. I have attempted to provide those suggestions. I've learned not to bother with most DMs: more than half the time, they patronizingly "listen" and then ignore you, and more than half of the remainder they become outright hostile. They will run the game into the ground their way, and you are either adorable or a problem if you suggest otherwise.
Might I suggest that you're playing with too small a band of DMs? While I have encountered these people - I do not play in their games long. My approach has been:

1.) Make suggestions.
2.) Demo the suggestions by offering to run a one shot and asking them to give me feedback on what they liked.
3.) Encouraging them when they try the things I suggested.

If those steps fail, or I am cut off from being able to take the next step, I don't tend to play in their games (where the issue is serious). I've played long campaigns with scores of DMs over the years. I've walked away from far more tables.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Check. You don't know anything about optimization....

Mod Note:
By now, you should be well aware that making things personal is going to cause problems, and get a moderator to look at you and consider if maybe you need to be removed from the discussion.

So, please refrain from taking digs at people. Your point should be able to stand on its own merits, without the insults.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So borrowing from my assassin full class, here are some ideas:

Lethal: Right out of the 4e executioner, not a big boost but it feels great. If you reduce a creature below X hp with an attack, you instead reduce them to 0hp. My assassin gets this at 5th level and it’s 2x assassin level, but it would work as a level 3 secondary ability.

Shadow Moves: Adding to cunning action that you can use a cunning action or make a BA attack as part of the same attack action where you reduce a creature to 0hp. For rogue, the attack part would need review.

Assassin’s Mark: my assassin gets this by placing a shroud on he target, and basically if the target has 2 shrouds they have advantage on attacks against the creature and can crit on 19-20

Vulnerable Mark: used to have some extra deadliness against creatures that have a shroud on them and you are hidden or have surprised them. This could be the “if you crit you hit” ability, requiring putting a Mark on the target and attacking from hiding or with surprise.

For utility, my Shadow Moves include stuff like “you gain a climb speed and ignore difficult terrain until the start of your next turn” and “you slip into a the background, and take the hide action while only lightly obscured by other creatures or by every day objects like a market stall”

Killer Instinct: When you roll init, you can force a creature to swap init with you if they fail a Dex save

Obv a subclass can’t get all of that.
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Might I suggest that you're playing with too small a band of DMs? While I have encountered these people - I do not play in their games long. My approach has been:
This has been "any DM I could find online that offered a game that sounded even remotely like what I might enjoy." Well, that would accept my application, anyway.

1.) Make suggestions.
2.) Demo the suggestions by offering to run a one shot and asking them to give me feedback on what they liked.
3.) Encouraging them when they try the things I suggested.

If those steps fail, or I am cut off from being able to take the next step, I don't tend to play in their games (where the issue is serious). I've played long campaigns with scores of DMs over the years. I've walked away from far more tables.
I would never run 5e by choice, so #2 is out, and even if it weren't, there's genuinely probability 0 that any of the aforementioned DMs would assent to joining the proposed one-shot to demo anything. Finally, #3 is impossible, as that would require that they actually try anything I suggested in order to then encourage them for doing so.

Essentially every time, I've not needed to walk away. The game has folded before any bright lines were crossed. After like the fifth or sixth completely unrelated DM who was either blithely dismissive or actively hostile to any suggestions or efforts at discussion (like "is it possible that we could start at a higher level? In my experience, level 1 is extremely fragile" or "It feels like skills are really limited, could we talk about ways to make them more useful?"), I gave up trying. If one out of seven DMs actually listens to me, then my time is better spent figuring out how to enjoy what game I can get, rather than wasting my time talking to a brick wall.

Anyway, now that my view of the thread isn’t so cluttered…

@EzekielRaiden Can you restate briefly where you’re at with the subclass? I am interested in your thoughts here.

For context, I loved the 4e assassin so much that I spent hundreds of hours on the wotc boards figuring out the most elegant solutions to its shortcomings without changing its nature. Executioner bypassed a lot of issues and ran great with the feat or whatever to use shrouds instead of the normal executioner damage boost.

My assassin class can force a dex save on an enemy as a reaction to rolling initiative, to swap places in initiative with that creature, and can place a shroud as part of rolling initiative.

Subclasses will have different round one ambush type stuff, but the base class sets up very fast strikes as well as the “move kill move” feel that assassins should have.

What would you do if you have to rewrite the phb assassin rogue?
I do not recall actually saying I would re-design the Assassin subclass, but I'll give it a look. Currently doing dinner stuff and then working to onboard a new player for my DW game, so I won't really be able to do it right away. But I might have time later, new player goes to bed earlier than I do (time zone differences.)

But as a preliminary thing, I would probably either:
1. rewrite the level 3 bonus so that it is less dependent on favorable DMing (e.g. maybe instead of damage bonuses only on surprise rounds, it could be an ability to "shroud" yourself, allowing yourself to hide in plain sight and get bonuses when attacking while Shrouded, but this ends the Shroud on you)
2. replace it entirely with some kind of poison-related feature, since assassins are strongly linked to poisons

And then also offer unique/distinctive fighting styles that reference various real-world "assassin"-type things, e.g. kusarigama, hidden weapons, kunai-throwing, maybe some kind of poison thing (whether or not option #2 above is in place).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This has been "any DM I could find online that offered a game that sounded even remotely like what I might enjoy." Well, that would accept my application, anyway.


I would never run 5e by choice, so #2 is out, and even if it weren't, there's genuinely probability 0 that any of the aforementioned DMs would assent to joining the proposed one-shot to demo anything. Finally, #3 is impossible, as that would require that they actually try anything I suggested in order to then encourage them for doing so.

Essentially every time, I've not needed to walk away. The game has folded before any bright lines were crossed. After like the fifth or sixth completely unrelated DM who was either blithely dismissive or actively hostile to any suggestions or efforts at discussion (like "is it possible that we could start at a higher level? In my experience, level 1 is extremely fragile" or "It feels like skills are really limited, could we talk about ways to make them more useful?"), I gave up trying. If one out of seven DMs actually listens to me, then my time is better spent figuring out how to enjoy what game I can get, rather than wasting my time talking to a brick wall.


I do not recall actually saying I would re-design the Assassin subclass, but I'll give it a look. Currently doing dinner stuff and then working to onboard a new player for my DW game, so I won't really be able to do it right away. But I might have time later, new player goes to bed earlier than I do (time zone differences.)

But as a preliminary thing, I would probably either:
1. rewrite the level 3 bonus so that it is less dependent on favorable DMing (e.g. maybe instead of damage bonuses only on surprise rounds, it could be an ability to "shroud" yourself, allowing yourself to hide in plain sight and get bonuses when attacking while Shrouded, but this ends the Shroud on you)
2. replace it entirely with some kind of poison-related feature, since assassins are strongly linked to poisons

And then also offer unique/distinctive fighting styles that reference various real-world "assassin"-type things, e.g. kusarigama, hidden weapons, kunai-throwing, maybe some kind of poison thing (whether or not option #2 above is in place).
I definitely dislike the fantasy assassin’s overdone reliance on poison. My class can choose between poisons, disguises, and hidden weapons. Every assassin might use any of them, but each specializes and has thier own specialised tools.

But yeah the rogue subclass could have less DM dependence for sure.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I definitely dislike the fantasy assassin’s overdone reliance on poison. My class can choose between poisons, disguises, and hidden weapons. Every assassin might use any of them, but each specializes and has thier own specialised tools.

But yeah the rogue subclass could have less DM dependence for sure.
In that case, definitely taking option 1 and including a "Poisoner" fighting style--that way, anyone with the Assassin subclass can be a poisoner, but none have to be.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
There is no such thing as a failed (sub)class, only failed players.

It is deceiving to judge a single ability in a vacuum, better to try and see how that ability adds to the base attack capabilities of the character.

Also, it is quite normal that a player will think "I am an assassin, I an supposed to easily kill anyone I want in one shot". The reality is that if you are a 3rd level Assassin , you're supposed at best to easily take down low-level guards only, certainly not a BBEG.

In addition, players tend to think that their specialty should mean an enormous advantage compared to other characters who don't have it. Like it or not, this is NOT a design principle of 5e. Everybody wanted an edition where everyone can try everything and have a chance. The flip of the coin is, that the specialized character is only marginally better than the non-specialized, but not tremendously better.
 

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