D&D 5E Why Is The Assassin Rpgue?

14 and proficiency hit DC 15 50%, DC 10 is 75%, most DCs I’ve seen for items, PC abilities at lower levels, and DCs listed in adventures, are between the two.
Yep - the guidance in the DMG on setting DCs is pretty decent.

IMO, the adventures probably should not list DCs at all - it goes against the whole premise of Ability Checks. For example, the DC of a locked door should depend on the approach the characters are taking to attempt to bypass said locked door. By giving the door a DC, the adventure has essentially told the DM "do not allow an auto-success on this one regardless of what the players propose as a course of action". Smashing the door down vs burning the door down vs picking the lock vs disabling the hinges vs something else... should not all be a DC X. To be fair, I believe that sometimes the adventures give two DCs - one for lockpicking, one for smashing down. Still... each approach proposed by the players should be evaluated by the DM on their own merits given the details of the situation. Not to mention, sometimes that very door is the path to continuing the adventure and failure will... er... lock the players out of the adventure - in that vain, it would be nice to see a little sidebar now and then about employing the concept that Failing an Ability Check can be adjudicated as Success with a Setback.

Yeah I’ve been fighting that mentality since my group started playing together, at the beginning of Star Wars Saga Edition. At least there and in 4e the skills are very specifically described, but still.
I think at least some of these restrictive DMs are channeling their past edition "skill check" experience rather than following the advice in the DMG on 5e Ability Checks.


PS - my apologies to the OP, this is a bit of a tangent...
 

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I'm going to be honest, the Assassin is IMO the worst designed subclass in all of 5E, tied with the Four Elements Monk and the OG beastmaster.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That's the exact problem. It means that, any time it's even vaguely "well...this should require SOME kind of check..." it immediately defaults to Medium. Meaning, as soon as you actually need skill rolls, you need to be a specialist just to have a modicum of success, let alone actually consistent success.
Wait what? Why would that be the case?
Dude I’m sorry your experience with 5e is so full of people literally running the game wrong. I mean that genuinely, no snark.
I just think it's stupid that the best possible expert fails around a quarter to a third of the time on tasks that are only moderately challenging.
Thats a whole conversation, yeah.

In my own game master level experts have a very low chance of failure, while noobs are going to almost always get either total fail or mitigated fail. But, both can spend a game’s main limited resource to push a failure of any kind to a partial success, and either get some of what they wanted or get the whole bag but with consequences.

Star Wars Saga Edition has much lower chance to hit with attacks than 4e or 5e D&D, and it drives me up the wall. We played recently after a years without doing so and it was so frustrating to play a game with 1 attack per turn and a dynamic where each attack does a lot of damage but has a lower chance to hit that my wife basically just said no.

I have yet to see favorable circumstances apply to players. Maybe--if you have a truly excellent plan and a thorough explanation of exactly how impressive your effort is--maybe you'll be graced with Advantage. That's about it. I haven't seen DMs so tight-fisted with bonuses/benefits/favorable circumstances since I played Labyrinth Lord.
Yikes.
That is genuinely bad DMing that ignores the way the game is built to be played. That really sucks, and I hope that clearer guidance in new core books helps with that long term.
And, for the record? If you're rolling at +2, even with Advantage, you still fail more than a third of the time (36%, to be precise.) Even if the DM is outright breaking the rules and adding the prior-edition DM's Best Friend (+2 for a favorable situation on top of Advantage), you're still failing that "Medium" check 25% of the time!
Yeah 70%+ success is good for someone with either no training or no natural aptitude. The only issue I have with that is that D&D lacks ways to bump your rolls on even just a basic and limited basis, like Star Wars force points or something.

You have 5+1/2 your level Hero Points. When you fail a check or want to try for a higher tier of success, you can spend a Hero Die to add 1d6 to the roll. If the check still fails, the Hero Point is not spent. You regain Hero Points equal to your proficiency bonus with a long rest, and regain all spent Hero Points when you gain a new level.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yep - the guidance in the DMG on setting DCs is pretty decent.

IMO, the adventures probably should not list DCs at all - it goes against the whole premise of Ability Checks. For example, the DC of a locked door should depend on the approach the characters are taking to attempt to bypass said locked door. By giving the door a DC, the adventure has essentially told the DM "do not allow an auto-success on this one regardless of what the players propose as a course of action". Smashing the door down vs burning the door down vs picking the lock vs disabling the hinges vs something else... should not all be a DC X. To be fair, I believe that sometimes the adventures give two DCs - one for lockpicking, one for smashing down. Still... each approach proposed by the players should be evaluated by the DM on their own merits given the details of the situation. Not to mention, sometimes that very door is the path to continuing the adventure and failure will... er... lock the players out of the adventure - in that vain, it would be nice to see a little sidebar now and then about employing the concept that Failing an Ability Check can be adjudicated as Success with a Setback.


I think at least some of these restrictive DMs are channeling their past edition "skill check" experience rather than following the advice in the DMG on 5e Ability Checks.


PS - my apologies to the OP, this is a bit of a tangent...
As OP, I’ll allow it 😂

Seriously though, yeah, I really hope the new core books do a better job of making this stuff clear and easy to find and reference.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
I'm going to be honest, the Assassin is IMO the worst designed subclass in all of 5E, tied with the Four Elements Monk and the OG beastmaster.
It's not that bad. At worst, "Assassinate" is overly-circumstantial, and the disguise stuff doesn't see any use in a campaign, and you have a character who simply does what literally any rogue could. That's not great, but the Way of the Four Elements tempts inexperienced players with a promise of "Play a bender from Avatar!", then actively entices them to spend their character's actions and ki doing remarkably ineffective things.
 

jgsugden

Legend
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...

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...
This is not an experience you should be repeating over and over. I mean that as in you do not deserve it, and it should not be happening so often to you.

If there are any DMs running games that can give ER a better experience that is more collaborative, it would be great for the opportunity to play be extended. I'd offer, but I am running only live games right now and the ones in which I play online are overfull.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Seriously? You are getting surprise every single combat?

I genuinely struggle to believe that that is the case. Like I'm not trying to say it wasn't your experience, but I can count the number of times I have ever had surprise while playing 5e on one hand.

For a number of years, I could have counted it on no hands.
One thing to note is that in my campaign getting surprise with a rogue relied on consistently scouting ahead of the party, enough that the dm would initiate combat with just me, meaning only my stealth roll mattered.

Scouting ahead like this comes with its own risks, so perception and extra speed were important as well. It probably wouldn’t have worked nearly as well in a cramped dungeon environment either.

Allies can easily put a kibash on assassinate as well by Leroying everything, or refusing to let you scout ahead alone, etc.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's not that bad. At worst, "Assassinate" is overly-circumstantial, and the disguise stuff doesn't see any use in a campaign, and you have a character who simply does what literally any rogue could. That's not great, but the Way of the Four Elements tempts inexperienced players with a promise of "Play a bender from Avatar!", then actively entices them to spend their character's actions and ki doing remarkably ineffective things.
Eeeehhhh elements monk with a few things turned into attacks or bonus actions, ability to make unarmed strikes elemental, and the ki point costs brought down to what every other monk sub spends on spells, and it would be excellent.

Just do the last part and allow the Tasha’s feature to US when you spend ki as an action, and you’ve got a solid subclass.

Assassin in a game with a DM and party that aren’t going out of thier way to accommodate them is, to quote Zero Puncuation’s Yahtzee, “Crispy fried puke right down to the ____ bone marrow.”

Half its features rely on surprise to do literally anything, and the other half are just “do literally what these skills and tools exist to do in the first place”.
 

Horwath

Legend
Assassin needs extra +1d6 sneak attack damage at levels 3,6,10,14,18
That would give 50% extra sneak attack damage over regular rogue 15d6 vs. 10d6.
and it represents assassins mechanics perfectly.

That should be it's 3rd level ability in addition to extra proficiency(RP ribbon feature).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Assassin needs extra +1d6 sneak attack damage at levels 3,6,10,14,18
That would give 50% extra sneak attack damage over regular rogue 15d6 vs. 10d6.
and it represents assassins mechanics perfectly.

That should be it's 3rd level ability in addition to extra proficiency(RP ribbon feature).
I mean this with respect...but good lord no. I could see a situational ability to deal extra damage equal to half your sneak attack damage, requiring like marking the target and being hidden or making them vulnerable in some other way. That is in line with the phantom rogues.
 

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