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View Full Version : "What, You Want to Fight Me?" "No. I'm Here to Kill You!" (3.5 Base Class, WIP PEACH)



NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 12:34 AM
The Assassin

Design Note: Forget everything you think you know about assassins. First of all, I hate rogues. Secondly, there is nothing I can brew that will be better at stealth than my darkstalker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228746) is. So this is not going to be some precision-damage Dex-based stalk and death attack guy. This assassin is simply that: an assassin. The class is all about killing creatures, and nothing else.


Abilities: Assassins are martial combatants and rely on Strength to incapacitate creatures in order to finish them off. Constitution is useful for the assassin to endure hits that he will probably take, and Intelligence is nice for the skill points.

Role: The assassin has one job: kill his targets. The assassin is remarkably skilled at quickly dispatching a single foe, but he has neither the hit points nor the power necessary to take on an army, as a crusader or a barbarian. The assassin is not a skill-monkey or a party face, though he has enough skill points and Charisma-based skills to pursue that route as a secondary role if he wishes.

Alignment: Any evil. Lawful assassins tend to leave calling cards with their trademark on their victims' corpses, in order to throw suspicion off their clients. They proudly take credit for their kills. Neutral assassins often take on powerful marks, so that they can add impressive victories to their roster, which allows them to charge substantially more. Chaotic assassins, unlike the other two, tend to have little reservation about attacking people who hold a vast amount of influence and power. Generally speaking, if a powerful noble, king, or captain of the guard was taken out, it's a chaotic assassin who did it.

HD: d8
Class Skills: The assassin's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), Listen, Move Silently, Profession (Assassin), Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.
Skill Points: 4+Int per level, x4 at first level

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+0|Stunning Blow, Bloody Slaughter +4d10

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+0|Poison Use

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+1|Binding Specialist, Bloody Slaughter +8d10

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+1|Swift Murder

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+1|Bloody Slaughter +12d10, Aggressive Combat +2

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+2|Good Night Strike

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+2|Bloody Slaughter +16d10

8th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+6|
+2|Improved Poison Use, Aggressive Combat +4

9th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+6|
+3|Bloody Slaughter +20d10

10th|
+7/+2|
+7|
+7|
+3|Sever Nerves

11th|
+8/+3|
+7|
+7|
+3|Bloody Slaughter +24d10, Aggressive Combat +6

12th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+8|
+4|Binding Specialist

13th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+8|
+4|Bloody Slaughter +28d10

14th|
+10/+5|
+9|
+9|
+4|Horrifying Massacre, Aggressive Combat +8

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+9|
+9|
+5|Bloody Slaughter +32d10

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+10|
+5|Broken Soul

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+10|
+5|Bloody Slaughter +36d10, Aggressive Combat +10

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+11|
+6|Slit the Throat

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+11|
+6|Bloody Slaughter +40d10

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+12|
+6|Macabre Festival
[/table]


Class Features: All of the following are the assassin's class features.

Weapon and Armor Proficency: Assassins only train with weapons that are powerful enough to deliver a true final blow. An assassin is proficient with all simple and martial weapons that have a x3 or x4 critical multiplier. An assassin is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Bloody Slaughter (Ex): As the assassin stands over his helpless prey and lifts his scythe, he shows absolutely no mercy. One blow. That's all he needs. That's all he ever needs. When an assassin delivers a coup de grace to a creature, he deals an additional +4d10 damage. This damage increases by +4d10 at each odd level, to a maximum of +40d10 at 19th level. The extra damage from Bloody Slaughter is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Stunning Blow (Ex): In order to take his enemies down, an assassin employs powerful attacks that subdue and slow reflexes. Once per day per class level, an assassin may declare one of his attacks to be a Stunning Blow. He must do this before he makes his attack roll, a missed attack wastes the daily use. If his attack hits and deals lethal damage, the creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 assassin level+the assassin's Strength modifier) or be stunned for 1 round. A creature that is immune to critical hits is immune to the effects of Stunning Blow.

Poison Use (Ex): Poison is a funny tool. It can incapacitate creatures, kill them, or weaken them. Assassins train themselves to apply these swiftly and without error. Starting at 2nd level, an assassin may apply poison to a weapon as a move action, and is never at risk of accidentally poisoning himself when he does so.

Binding Specialist (Ex): Once an assassin has his prey off their guard, he just needs to start tying them up. Once he's started doing that, it doesn't matter how long it takes him, the creature won't be able to break free. Beginning at 3rd level, an assassin may draw rope, chains, and other materials used to perform Use Rope checks from a bag, satchel, or extradimensional storing case that he has on his person as a swift action. A creature who is unable to oppose his first attempts to bind the creature (generally due to being incapacitated, such as a stunned or dazed creature) takes a -5 penalty to its Escape Artist checks to resist being bound by the assassin for 1 minute.

Swift Murder (Ex): Six seconds to kill someone? Ridiculous. That's three seconds the assassin could spend cleaning blood off his scythe. At 4th level and higher, an assassin may coup'de'grace helpless creatures as a standard action, though he still provokes an attack of opportunity for doing so.

Aggressive Combat (Ex): An assassin may not be a stealthy character, but when the time for battle is on, the assassin is the first to react and catches his prey by surprise. A 5th level assassin receives a +2 bonus to his initiative checks. This bonus increases by another +2 at 8th level, and every 3 levels after that, to a maximum of +10 at level 17.

Good Night Strike (Ex): With a carefully-aimed strike, an assassin can render a creature helpless. Starting at 6th level, an assassin can, as a standard action, consume a daily use of Stunning Blows to make a single melee attack with a -4 penalty. If his attack hits and deals lethal damage, the creature must make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 the assassin's class level+the assassin's Strength modifier) or be knocked out. A knocked out creature drops whatever it is holding and falls prone. It is helpless and non-responsive. A knocked out creature is not asleep, and resistance or immunity to magical sleep effects do not apply against Good Night Strike. However, the creature is not unconscious either, and any method that would wake a creature up from sleep also removes the knocked out status. A creature that is immune to critical hits is also immune to Good Night Strike. After an assassin has performed a Good Night Strike, he must wait 5 rounds before he may attempt it again.

Improved Poison Use (Ex): An assassin's knowledge and skill with poisons allows him to spread them across his weapon better and faster, in order to really push the toxins into the wound. Starting at 8th level, an assassin may apply poison to his weapon as a swift action, and when he does so, he rolls 1d6 and adds the result to the DC of the poison's saving throw.

Sever Nerves (Ex): An assassin can slice a creature's nerve endings and prevent the creature from being able to move or function properly. Beginning at 10th level, an assassin may consume a daily use of Stunning Blows to make a melee attack at his highest attack bonus as a standard action. If his attack hits and deals lethal damage, the creature must make a Reflex save (DC 10+1/2 the assassin's class level+his Strength modifier) or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds. After using this ability, the assassin may not attempt Sever Nerves again for 5 rounds. A creature that is immune to critical hits is immune to Sever Nerves.

Binding Mastery (Ex): Starting at 12th level, an assassin may take a -10 penalty to his Use Rope checks made to bind a creature. If he does so, he may bind the creature as a full-round action, rather than the normal required time of 1 minute. This ability applies even if the creature does not or is not able to resist the assassin's binding.

Horrifying Massacre (Ex): An assassin's handiwork is bloody, gruesome, and just plain scary. Starting at 14th level, when the assassin coup de graces a creature and brings it to -10 or below hit points (or the creature dies as a result of failing its Fortitude save), all enemy creatures within 60 feet who can see the assassin and the creature he killed must make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 the assassin's class level+his Charisma modifier) or become afraid for 3 rounds. The level of fear is based on the creature's relative Hit Dice compared to the assassin's. A creature with equal or fewer Hit Dice than the assassin cowers, while a creature with more Hit Dice becomes shaken. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Broken Soul (Ex): The assassin's blade cuts deep, and causes so much pain and agony that it literally rends a creature's soul. Beginning at 16th level, any creature who is killed by an assassin's coup de grace cannot be restored to life by the raise dead spell or spells that mimic it. Not even limited wish, wish, or miracle can bring the creature back. The only way to restore to life a creature that the assassin killed with his coup'de'grace is through use of the true resurrection spell.

Slit the Throat (Ex): An assassin who is capable of surprising his enemy is able to devastate them with full-blown force. Starting at 18th level, if an assassin attacks a flat-footed enemy during the surprise round, he may coup'de'grace that creature as if it were helpless.

Macabre Festival (Ex): An assassin's confidence is able to severely boost his ability to fight. Starting at 20th level, the assassin begins keeping track of each creature he kills. For every 20 HD of creatures the assassin kills after reaching 20th level, he receives a permanent +1 morale bonus to all weapon damage rolls, as well as to the DC of his Stunning Blows, Good Night Strike, and Sever Nerves class features, with a maximum of a +5 increase to the bonus per 24 hours. These bonuses are permanent.

At the moment, that's all I've got. Any suggestions for the later levels?

Kane0
2012-02-26, 12:55 AM
Hmm, paralysis might work if you want to throw in a higher level ability.
Maybe a bonus to the first attack in a round at a cost to the others?
Bonus to confirming critical hits?
Avoiding miss chance and whatnot?

Hope these helps.

ScrambledBrains
2012-02-26, 01:00 AM
From what I've seen thus-far, I rather like it...that's really all I can say. Though, I am curious as to your reasoning for Strength being a primary skill but not Dex. I mean, I know this isn't a stealth based class, but Dex. also upgrades AC, and this class could stealth if it so chose.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:12 AM
From what I've seen thus-far, I rather like it...that's really all I can say. Though, I am curious as to your reasoning for Strength being a primary skill but not Dex. I mean, I know this isn't a stealth based class, but Dex. also upgrades AC, and this class could stealth if it so chose.

Dex doesn't make sense. You're knocking someone out with a pseudo-critical hit. It has nothing to do with how fast you are. There is a very good reason that Dexterity is the very least often used ability score when it comes to determining save DCs for official material. Dex is a self-centered ability score. Like Constitution, Dexterity focuses on improving your character more than on how you can affect other characters like being strong, being smart, being influential, and being wise can.

So...yeah. This class is a brute-force striker who renders creatures helpless with devastating blows and then coup de graces them. No reason that being fast would help him.

ScrambledBrains
2012-02-26, 01:15 AM
Dex doesn't make sense. You're knocking someone out with a pseudo-critical hit. It has nothing to do with how fast you are. There is a very good reason that Dexterity is the very least often used ability score when it comes to determining save DCs for official material. Dex is a self-centered ability score. Like Constitution, Dexterity focuses on improving your character more than on how you can affect other characters like being strong, being smart, being influential, and being wise can.

So...yeah. This class is a brute-force striker who renders creatures helpless with devastating blows and then coup de graces them. No reason that being fast would help him.

Fair enough. Continue on. :smallbiggrin:

vasharanpaladin
2012-02-26, 01:21 AM
Anyone at a disadvantage to the assassin is going to die. I would suggest at some point this gets to apply Bloody Slaughter to flat-footed opponents, or some such. :smalleek:

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:29 AM
Anyone at a disadvantage to the assassin is going to die.

Is that not how it should be?


I would suggest at some point this gets to apply Bloody Slaughter to flat-footed opponents, or some such. :smalleek:

Nah. If I wanted that to happen, I would have added it in from the beginning. Bloody Slaughter's massive damage comes from the assassin being able to take his time and deliver one serious, final blow. Actually, the entire idea started from "What if I made a base class that was all about the coup de grace?"

Anyway, update. Added Binding Mastery and Horrifying Massacre.

Demidos
2012-02-26, 01:37 AM
...Why would you EVER need +40d10 damage on a coup-de-grace? Thats a dc 230 Fort save......withought any weapon damage! :smalleek::smalleek::smalleek:

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:39 AM
...Why would you EVER need +40d10 damage on a coup-de-grace? Thats a dc 230 Fort save......withought any weapon damage! :smalleek::smalleek::smalleek:

Indeed. Why should the class that is dedicated to ruthless slaughter be worse than a wizard at save-or-dies? Granted, the wizard has the advantage of being able to do it as a single standard action, but the assassin's DC will be unbeatable. If you are able to render a creature helpless before an assassin, it will die. Period.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:45 AM
Added Broken Soul at 16th...just two more levels to go, and then I might start filling in the odd levels with some fluff and weak abilities.

Lord_Gareth
2012-02-26, 01:46 AM
....You are aware that the thing you've created here has no meaningful player options, very little choices round-to-round in combat, minimal out-of-combat utility (all of it focused around its limited skill set), The Rogue Problem (critical hit immunity shuts them down entirely) and caps out at about tier 5? You could honestly have made some [Ambush] feats involving manacles (binding) and incapacitation rather than attempting a twenty-level class; conceptually, it just...doesn't pan out.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:49 AM
....You are aware that the thing you've created here has no meaningful player options, very little choices round-to-round in combat, minimal out-of-combat utility (all of it focused around its limited skill set), The Rogue Problem (critical hit immunity shuts them down entirely) and caps out at about tier 5? You could honestly have made some [Ambush] feats involving manacles (binding) and incapacitation rather than attempting a twenty-level class; conceptually, it just...doesn't pan out.

Ambush feats aren't really that great, since the rogue is so feat-starved (One of the very very many reasons the rogue is a terrible class). Also, to use Ambush feats would require the character in question to play a rogue, and really, no one should be required to do that, especially not to play an assassin.

And yes, the class I've made is about Tier 5. I acknowledge that. Is that really a problem? It's basically exactly what I set out to make: a class based entirely around killing creatures and coup de gracing.

Edit: Alright, no more dead levels. Added in Slit the Throat and Macabre Festival. Now I just need some flavorful, but not too powerful abilities for the odd levels.

Idhan
2012-02-26, 02:48 AM
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say macabre festival is broken, but I'd say it is a little bit oddly exploitable. Say the dude gets a part time job, say, slaughtering 3 HD cattle at an abattoir. Say he does 10 cattle a day for a week, or 210 HD total. +10 morale bonus to weapon damage, etc, for a week's honest, boring work.

Also, I realize that you have a very specific concept in mind with this assassin class, but are you sure that the assassin should be so totally mle focused? When I picture an assassination in my head, I picture someone sniping the target with a rifle or crossbow or something. I suppose there are exceptions, like Assassins can use bows, since they have a 3x critical multiplier, but the features seem to be designed exclusively for up-close and personal.

Kane0
2012-02-26, 02:56 AM
Exchange the word kill for assassinate in that case. Still exploitable, but then again most assassins dont do honest, boring work :smallamused:

Yitzi
2012-02-26, 07:55 AM
Stunning Blow might not be that useful, as Stunned is not Helpless and does not allow a CDG.

Deepbluediver
2012-02-26, 08:49 AM
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say macabre festival is broken, but I'd say it is a little bit oddly exploitable. Say the dude gets a part time job, say, slaughtering 3 HD cattle at an abattoir. Say he does 10 cattle a day for a week, or 210 HD total. +10 morale bonus to weapon damage, etc, for a week's honest, boring work.
I dunno, that sounds to me like it could make the perfect cover for an assassin. The hard work wrestling bovines explains your unusually muscular build, and the butchering covers your clothes in blood, and by working with knives and panic-y animals would probably cause you to end up with some unusal scars, etc, etc, etc.
I mean, we can't all spend our down-time lounging about in castles or extra-dimensional fortresses. :smallamused:


Since this is a class that's all about fighting, and more importantly, killing, why does it only have a medium BAB progression?

I always thought that the less-than-best BABs where because the class advanced in some other way, like better skills or more versatility, but as far as I can tell, this assassin gets none of that, and doesn't CARE about getting any of that.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 09:14 AM
Stunning Blow might not be that useful, as Stunned is not Helpless and does not allow a CDG.

Of course. Stunning Blows is only there to allow you to begin binding the creature with rope without provoking an attack of opportunity. I can't give the assassin an ability that renders a creature helpless at level 1, that'd be ridiculous.


Since this is a class that's all about fighting, and more importantly, killing, why does it only have a medium BAB progression?


First of all, coup de graces auto-hit, so there's no need for high BAB (and you're only allowed a single attack, so no need for iteratives either). The second reason is all the special attack options that let you render the creature useless. That -5 penalty to your BAB is another way of defending the creature from your nice abilities. Makes it more fair.


Also, I realize that you have a very specific concept in mind with this assassin class, but are you sure that the assassin should be so totally mle focused? When I picture an assassination in my head, I picture someone sniping the target with a rifle or crossbow or something. I suppose there are exceptions, like Assassins can use bows, since they have a 3x critical multiplier, but the features seem to be designed exclusively for up-close and personal.

In D&D, bows are not good at long range, at least, not for delivering powerful attacks. That's why you can't use precision damage or death attacks with ranged attacks unless you're within 30 feet of your target.

Since the assassin is all about killing a creature in one blow, the only way I could make him a ranged character was if I actually granted him a Death Attack, which would require him to use his Intelligence modifier or something for the DC (which increases the MAD of the class), and still has all the problems of ranged attacks (cover, concealment, needs a ton of feats to be useful when you're not Death Attacking, etc).

Archery is just not worth bothering with unless the entire class is about it.

Lord_Gareth
2012-02-26, 09:21 AM
Ambush feats aren't really that great, since the rogue is so feat-starved (One of the very very many reasons the rogue is a terrible class). Also, to use Ambush feats would require the character in question to play a rogue, and really, no one should be required to do that, especially not to play an assassin.

Assassin's Stance. Suddenly, everyone is a rogue, but especially Swordsages with the feats to burn.


And yes, the class I've made is about Tier 5. I acknowledge that. Is that really a problem? It's basically exactly what I set out to make: a class based entirely around killing creatures and coup de gracing.

Yes, it matters. It matters to players wanting to explore the concept who don't understand why their character is going to be useless in the majority of encounters past level eight. It matters in terms of people actually using your class instead of just looking at it. It matters because it's sloppy design that doesn't help you grow as a homebrewer or add anything new/significant to the game environment. Your concept ('killing through coup de grace') is so narrow that there's no excuse for it to be taking up twenty or even ten levels. At most, this is a five-level PrC, not an entire base class.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 09:31 AM
Assassin's Stance. Suddenly, everyone is a rogue, but especially Swordsages with the feats to burn.


Yeah, and Assassin's Stance only gives you +2d6 Sneak Attack. Ambush Feats require you to give up Sneak Attack, remember?



Yes, it matters. It matters to players wanting to explore the concept who don't understand why their character is going to be useless in the majority of encounters past level eight. It matters in terms of people actually using your class instead of just looking at it. It matters because it's sloppy design that doesn't help you grow as a homebrewer or add anything new/significant to the game environment. Your concept ('killing through coup de grace') is so narrow that there's no excuse for it to be taking up twenty or even ten levels. At most, this is a five-level PrC, not an entire base class.

*shrugs* So it's a bad class. So what? You win some, you lose some. Doesn't mean I'm going to change my original design goal just to give the player some out of combat versatility. And as for the majority of encounters past level 8 being useless, well, that's only if your DM has no sourcebooks and is narrowly focused. There are at least three books of monsters that have absolutely no creatures immune to critical hits (Lords of Madness, Tyrants of the Nine Hells, and whatever the Abyss book is called), so there are plenty of CR 8 and above creatures that are not immune to critical hits. And guess what, it's up to the DM to adjust your encounters to play to strengths and weaknesses at his option. If you're playing an SRD rogue in a low-magic game where wands do not exist, it's up to your DM to decide when to gimp you by sending you against something immune to Sneak Attack and when to let you shine by sending you against something that's not.

And seriously, saying that a Strength-focused melee character has "the Rogue problem" is just short-sighted. The assassin can still Power Attack and Shock Trooper just like a fighter or a barbarian can. He has less BAB to work with, but with Shock Trooper that's not really an issue.

Cieyrin
2012-02-26, 11:27 AM
And yes, the class I've made is about Tier 5. I acknowledge that. Is that really a problem? It's basically exactly what I set out to make: a class based entirely around killing creatures and coup de gracing.

The problem is its too focused on coup de grace, something that the class isn't able to really create conditions for by itself till 6th level, which is a long time to wait to be useful. Plus the fact that sneak attack does the job Bloody Slaughter does while being more generally applicable. Sudden Strike does better. In any case, CdG has never been about the damage, it's the save that's hard to survive. Damage outpaces saves from level 1, so you're overkilling it by a large degree with just the 1st level. You seriously don't need to progress beyond that, since anything that doesn't care about the save is immune to crits and thus coup de graces, anyways.


*shrugs* So it's a bad class. So what? You win some, you lose some. Doesn't mean I'm going to change my original design goal just to give the player some out of combat versatility. And as for the majority of encounters past level 8 being useless, well, that's only if your DM has no sourcebooks and is narrowly focused. There are at least three books of monsters that have absolutely no creatures immune to critical hits (Lords of Madness, Tyrants of the Nine Hells, and whatever the Abyss book is called), so there are plenty of CR 8 and above creatures that are not immune to critical hits. And guess what, it's up to the DM to adjust your encounters to play to strengths and weaknesses at his option. If you're playing an SRD rogue in a low-magic game where wands do not exist, it's up to your DM to decide when to gimp you by sending you against something immune to Sneak Attack and when to let you shine by sending you against something that's not.

Why not improve the class, then, so it tracks on the high side of Tier 5, rather than on the low end and fighting with CW Samurai for which is better? The class is seriously one dimensional and could use some work, as I can one up most of this with Justiciar or Ghost-Faced Killer. Give it some options for outside of a city and dealing with humanoids.


And seriously, saying that a Strength-focused melee character has "the Rogue problem" is just short-sighted. The assassin can still Power Attack and Shock Trooper just like a fighter or a barbarian can. He has less BAB to work with, but with Shock Trooper that's not really an issue.

Fixing your class with feats when you can grab a class with good features, like Barbarian, and do the same isn't saying much for what you have.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 11:38 AM
The problem is its too focused on coup de grace, something that the class isn't able to really create conditions for by itself till 6th level, which is a long time to wait to be useful. Plus the fact that sneak attack does the job Bloody Slaughter does while being more generally applicable. Sudden Strike does better. In any case, CdG has never been about the damage, it's the save that's hard to survive. Damage outpaces saves from level 1, so you're overkilling it by a large degree with just the 1st level. You seriously don't need to progress beyond that, since anything that doesn't care about the save is immune to crits and thus coup de graces, anyways.

You can bind a creature easily, actually. Use Rope checks are ridiculously easy to pull off, since you get a +10 bonus to the check when you attempt to bind someone, and it's opposed by one of the rarest class skills in the game. Use Rope to bind is basically auto-succeed, even from level 1.

As for the hard focus on coup de grace, well, the class isn't finished yet. I'm still thinking about what to put in at the odd levels. Haven't really decided yet.



Why not improve the class, then, so it tracks on the high side of Tier 5, rather than on the low end and fighting with CW Samurai for which is better? The class is seriously one dimensional and could use some work, as I can one up most of this with Justiciar or Ghost-Faced Killer. Give it some options for outside of a city and dealing with humanoids.


Again, please note the WIP in the title. The class isn't done yet, and I'm looking for specific ideas for how to improve it.

"Some options for outside of a city"? :smallconfused: What does that mean?



Fixing your class with feats when you can grab a class with good features, like Barbarian, and do the same isn't saying much for what you have.

The barbarian doesn't have "good features". It has rage, and it has damage reduction, and the rest of its levels are practically dead. Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge are...decent, but passive, abilities and Trap Sense is a joke. The DR is too low to be useful unless you're shelling out a bunch of gp to get some adamantine armor to stack with it, and even then, it doesn't compare to the abilities you can get from prestige classes.

Hyudra
2012-02-26, 12:59 PM
I like what you did here.

Some suggestions:

Rename the class to something like 'Murderer', 'Cutthroat' or simply 'Killer'? Something that divorces it from ideas and connotations already tied to the assassin. I kind of like Cutthroat, myself.
Stunning Blow progresses perhaps a little too fast. You get this funky midway point where you have enough uses as you get to level 12-14 that you can use one with every attack, but then it drops off when you pretty much stop going up against foes that can be stunned. Stun is powerful; perhaps limit it to something like 'once per day for every point of Str modifier you have, or once a day for every level you have in the class, whichever is less.' Else you just get a pattern where your combat routine breaks down to stunning blow, then coup de grace. Or just stunning blow every encounter & let your allies mop up.
Swift Murder as a class feature kind of doesn't work unless the person using the homebrew has that material & the DM allows it. Perhaps give an option between that or something else, or a class feature that does something very similar?
Rather than an arbitrary 'once per five rounds' use on Good Night Strike (an ability I rather like, btw) - what if a foe that had seen you do a Good Night strike was automatically too wary to fall victim to the same thing?
Don't like sever nerves. It's sorta redundant.
I'd say that Horrifying Massacre might flow better if enemies with a CR lower than your ECL were panicked, enemies with a CR matching your ECL were frightened, and enemies with a CR higher than your ECL were shaken. It just stops some more ridiculous scenarios from occurring. Similarly, you run into the 'rat in a cage' issue. Picture a scenario where the cutthroat brings a rat in a cage or burlap sack, murders it, and scares an ogre magi so much that the ogre runs in an incoherent terror.
Macabre Festival really shows up too late to truly impact most campaigns.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:11 PM
I like what you did here.

Some suggestions:

Rename the class to something like 'Murderer', 'Cutthroat' or simply 'Killer'? Something that divorces it from ideas and connotations already tied to the assassin. I kind of like Cutthroat, myself.

[QUOTE]
Stunning Blow progresses perhaps a little too fast. You get this funky midway point where you have enough uses as you get to level 12-14 that you can use one with every attack, but then it drops off when you pretty much stop going up against foes that can be stunned. Stun is powerful; perhaps limit it to something like 'once per day for every point of Str modifier you have, or once a day for every level you have in the class, whichever is less.' Else you just get a pattern where your combat routine breaks down to stunning blow, then coup de grace. Or just stunning blow every encounter & let your allies mop up.


Stunning Blow also powers Good Night Strike and Sever Nerves, so the daily uses remain helpful throughout mid levels. On the point of "too many per day", it's a more limited version of Stunning Fist, which is already a level 1 core class feature, so I don't see the argument for why it needs to be toned down.



Swift Murder as a class feature kind of doesn't work unless the person using the homebrew has that material & the DM allows it. Perhaps give an option between that or something else, or a class feature that does something very similar?


Sure, I'll just make the ability the same as the feat.



Rather than an arbitrary 'once per five rounds' use on Good Night Strike (an ability I rather like, btw) - what if a foe that had seen you do a Good Night strike was automatically too wary to fall victim to the same thing?

That's not how it works. You're not a rogue, you don't rely on catching someone off-guard. You hit them so hard they get knocked unconscious. A creature can't mentally brace itself against that kind of thing. My current cooldown: that such an attack takes a toll on an assassin's muscles and thus he has to take a breath before he can use it again, makes much more sense.



Don't like sever nerves. It's sorta redundant.

Reflex saves are the lowest, best to target. The duration is longer, which gives you more breathing room if you're fighting multiple enemies. You can drop one guy with Sever Nerves and leave him for a few rounds while you stun and knock out the others, then start the coup de grace festival.



I'd say that Horrifying Massacre might flow better if enemies with a CR lower than your ECL were panicked, enemies with a CR matching your ECL were frightened, and enemies with a CR higher than your ECL were shaken. It just stops some more ridiculous scenarios from occurring. Similarly, you run into the 'rat in a cage' issue. Picture a scenario where the cutthroat brings a rat in a cage or burlap sack, murders it, and scares an ogre magi so much that the ogre runs in an incoherent terror.

Seems good to me. Though the thing about the assassin's Bloody Slaughter is that it is supposed to allow the rat in a cage scenario. You're not afraid because the assassin is so strong he took out one of your equally powerful buddies. You're afraid because the assassin has no remorse, no hesitation, and no mercy. He just slices creatures open in the most painful and devastating ways.



Macabre Festival really shows up too late to truly impact most campaigns.

It's a capstone. I could really say the same thing about Mighty Rage or Perfect Self.

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 01:13 PM
I like what you did here.

Some suggestions:

Rename the class to something like 'Murderer', 'Cutthroat' or simply 'Killer'? Something that divorces it from ideas and connotations already tied to the assassin. I kind of like Cutthroat, myself.

[QUOTE]
Stunning Blow progresses perhaps a little too fast. You get this funky midway point where you have enough uses as you get to level 12-14 that you can use one with every attack, but then it drops off when you pretty much stop going up against foes that can be stunned. Stun is powerful; perhaps limit it to something like 'once per day for every point of Str modifier you have, or once a day for every level you have in the class, whichever is less.' Else you just get a pattern where your combat routine breaks down to stunning blow, then coup de grace. Or just stunning blow every encounter & let your allies mop up.


Stunning Blow also powers Good Night Strike and Sever Nerves, so the daily uses remain helpful throughout mid levels. On the point of "too many per day", it's a more limited version of Stunning Fist, which is already a level 1 core class feature, so I don't see the argument for why it needs to be toned down.



Swift Murder as a class feature kind of doesn't work unless the person using the homebrew has that material & the DM allows it. Perhaps give an option between that or something else, or a class feature that does something very similar?


Sure, I'll just make the ability the same as the feat.



Rather than an arbitrary 'once per five rounds' use on Good Night Strike (an ability I rather like, btw) - what if a foe that had seen you do a Good Night strike was automatically too wary to fall victim to the same thing?

That's not how it works. You're not a rogue, you don't rely on catching someone off-guard. You hit them so hard they get knocked unconscious. A creature can't mentally brace itself against that kind of thing. My current cooldown: that such an attack takes a toll on an assassin's muscles and thus he has to take a breath before he can use it again, makes much more sense.



Don't like sever nerves. It's sorta redundant.

Reflex saves are the lowest, best to target. The duration is longer, which gives you more breathing room if you're fighting multiple enemies. You can drop one guy with Sever Nerves and leave him for a few rounds while you stun and knock out the others, then start the coup de grace festival.



I'd say that Horrifying Massacre might flow better if enemies with a CR lower than your ECL were panicked, enemies with a CR matching your ECL were frightened, and enemies with a CR higher than your ECL were shaken. It just stops some more ridiculous scenarios from occurring. Similarly, you run into the 'rat in a cage' issue. Picture a scenario where the cutthroat brings a rat in a cage or burlap sack, murders it, and scares an ogre magi so much that the ogre runs in an incoherent terror.

Seems good to me. Though the thing about the assassin's Bloody Slaughter is that it is supposed to allow the rat in a cage scenario. You're not afraid because the assassin is so strong he took out one of your equally powerful buddies. You're afraid because the assassin has no remorse, no hesitation, and no mercy. He just slices creatures open in the most painful and devastating ways.



Macabre Festival really shows up too late to truly impact most campaigns.

It's a capstone. I could really say the same thing about Mighty Rage or Perfect Self.

Venser
2012-02-26, 02:25 PM
...Why would you EVER need +40d10 damage on a coup-de-grace? Thats a dc 230 Fort save......withought any weapon damage! :smalleek::smalleek::smalleek:

Because someone watches too much anime and plays too many bad rpgs xD

Seriously, there is not a thing in the game that can roll such a save so it is pointless.

PEACH
2012-02-26, 04:07 PM
Well, this class is basically entirely "If I hit with an attack, you make a save or die," so... I don't really know how to comment on it. That's basically the design intent, and from sixth level onward, that's pretty much all you can do. I mean, it's not bad at doing that, but that is still basically all there is to the class, and I can't see any real exploits that weren't intended (rat in a cage).

Besides that, all I can say is that the capstone needs to be reworked, if only because granting (essentially) +infinity to your save or dies is poor design. Seeing as you can easily level it up by slaughtering wild animals (I was gonna say undead, but their crit immunity actually renders most of the class non functional) or civilians, the feature is a little bit weird. Maybe make it on a per day basis, which at least somewhat minimizes the huge bonus you can get.

Deepbluediver
2012-02-26, 04:20 PM
First of all, coup de graces auto-hit, so there's no need for high BAB (and you're only allowed a single attack, so no need for iteratives either). The second reason is all the special attack options that let you render the creature useless. That -5 penalty to your BAB is another way of defending the creature from your nice abilities. Makes it more fair.


Ok, I guess that makes sense. But since you already admitted that you're not going for a traditionally balanced layout, why not push to make this class really good at the few things that it can actually do? Right now it seems to have fewer attack options than most other melee'rs, and fewer enemies it would be effective against.
It's your class and you can do what you want, but I would seriously consider pushing it up to full BAB, which as you point out won't change its CdG, but would help it better in a stand-up-fight. That way rather than having this odd class that no one is sure what to do with, it comes off looking more like a fighter-alternate, like the swaschbuckler.

Idhan
2012-02-26, 04:39 PM
Rename the class to something like 'Murderer', 'Cutthroat' or simply 'Killer'? Something that divorces it from ideas and connotations already tied to the assassin. I kind of like Cutthroat, myself.

I think "executioner" might be a good name. That seems to be the fundamental role. His executions may be summary and extrajudicial, but they are still basically executions more than assassinations. (I think of this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0435.html) as more of an assassination attempt, until Belkar foils it.)

(How many assassinations can you think of which involved CDGing the target? Most assassinations I can think of (Kennedy, Martin Luther King, etc) were ranged, but even with the occasional close-ranged assassination (Julius Caesar) the target is perhaps flat-footed, but not helpless in the unconscious/paralyzed/bound sense. Execution seems like a more apt term.)

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 06:49 PM
I like what you did here.

Some suggestions:

Rename the class to something like 'Murderer', 'Cutthroat' or simply 'Killer'? Something that divorces it from ideas and connotations already tied to the assassin. I kind of like Cutthroat, myself.

[QUOTE]
Stunning Blow progresses perhaps a little too fast. You get this funky midway point where you have enough uses as you get to level 12-14 that you can use one with every attack, but then it drops off when you pretty much stop going up against foes that can be stunned. Stun is powerful; perhaps limit it to something like 'once per day for every point of Str modifier you have, or once a day for every level you have in the class, whichever is less.' Else you just get a pattern where your combat routine breaks down to stunning blow, then coup de grace. Or just stunning blow every encounter & let your allies mop up.


Stunning Blow also powers Good Night Strike and Sever Nerves, so the daily uses remain helpful throughout mid levels. On the point of "too many per day", it's a more limited version of Stunning Fist, which is already a level 1 core class feature, so I don't see the argument for why it needs to be toned down.



Swift Murder as a class feature kind of doesn't work unless the person using the homebrew has that material & the DM allows it. Perhaps give an option between that or something else, or a class feature that does something very similar?


Sure, I'll just make the ability the same as the feat.



Rather than an arbitrary 'once per five rounds' use on Good Night Strike (an ability I rather like, btw) - what if a foe that had seen you do a Good Night strike was automatically too wary to fall victim to the same thing?

That's not how it works. You're not a rogue, you don't rely on catching someone off-guard. You hit them so hard they get knocked unconscious. A creature can't mentally brace itself against that kind of thing. My current cooldown: that such an attack takes a toll on an assassin's muscles and thus he has to take a breath before he can use it again, makes much more sense.



Don't like sever nerves. It's sorta redundant.

Reflex saves are the lowest, best to target. The duration is longer, which gives you more breathing room if you're fighting multiple enemies. You can drop one guy with Sever Nerves and leave him for a few rounds while you stun and knock out the others, then start the coup de grace festival.



I'd say that Horrifying Massacre might flow better if enemies with a CR lower than your ECL were panicked, enemies with a CR matching your ECL were frightened, and enemies with a CR higher than your ECL were shaken. It just stops some more ridiculous scenarios from occurring. Similarly, you run into the 'rat in a cage' issue. Picture a scenario where the cutthroat brings a rat in a cage or burlap sack, murders it, and scares an ogre magi so much that the ogre runs in an incoherent terror.

Seems good to me. Though the thing about the assassin's Bloody Slaughter is that it is supposed to allow the rat in a cage scenario. You're not afraid because the assassin is so strong he took out one of your equally powerful buddies. You're afraid because the assassin has no remorse, no hesitation, and no mercy. He just slices creatures open in the most painful and devastating ways.



Macabre Festival really shows up too late to truly impact most campaigns.

It's a capstone. I could really say the same thing about Mighty Rage or Perfect Self.

Doorhandle
2012-02-26, 09:06 PM
I think this class should be called the executioner. Assassin implies stealth, rather than obscene brute force.

Edit: ninjaed. Also, it's other abilities also fit. Everyone fears an executioner, and tying up/knocking out the target seems to be important if the execution is to go smoothly.

Witty Username
2012-02-26, 09:53 PM
on slit the throat, why does the assassin need to wait, the attack would be less clunky if it simply replaced damage with coup de grace and more reasonable at that level
Horrifying massacre is good flavor but counter-productive. paralyzed (mind-affecting fear affect) would better fit slaughtering a room of enemies
needs more defense, or movement based abilities

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 10:20 PM
on slit the throat, why does the assassin need to wait, the attack would be less clunky if it simply replaced damage with coup de grace and more reasonable at that level

Because an automatic critical hit against creatures who are flat-footed (ignoring Bloody Slaughter, just considering all the enchantments and feats that trigger of a supposedly random occurrence) is just unfair. Besides, a coup de grace is supposed to require a full round action due to its difficulty. Yes, an assassin gets Death Blow, but that only lets you coup de grace helpless creatures as a standard action. I just don't see a creature being unaware of you as being the same level of defenseless as helpless, even at that level.


Horrifying massacre is good flavor but counter-productive. paralyzed (mind-affecting fear affect) would better fit slaughtering a room of enemies

An AoE paralysis effect? No class gets that, not until mass hold monster, which is an 8th level spell and allows a saving throw each round to negate. That's an extremely powerful ability, and not one that I'd be comfortable using (especially since it doesn't make sense)


needs more defense, or movement based abilities
Like what?

NeoSeraphi
2012-02-26, 10:29 PM
The system is not showing my post so I'm trying to force it out.

Witty Username
2012-02-28, 12:53 AM
I see your point with horrifying massacre, and I noticed cowering would fit the idea I was thinking. my problem is having to chase down all the panicked mooks.
slit the throat would be powerful, but the assassins only ability is killing. he should do it the best.

fast movement and initiative bonuses was my line of thinking for getting into melee

DaragosKitsune
2012-03-10, 01:48 AM
My major problem with this class is that its core feature can be replaced be a single skill. Profession (executioner) can already do the "kill a helpless enemy instantly" schtick.

Steward
2012-03-10, 01:55 AM
Is that really true, about profession? I thought it was only good for flavor and earning money!

Wavelab
2012-03-10, 08:51 AM
Well I started reading the post then I got bored and skipped ahead. Lazy me.

Anyway Seraph you know I'm a fan of both your homebrew and power so I like to see the two match together and this class has some real potential.

May I suggest an ability that allows to character to sacrifice his daily use of stunning blow to Coup de Grace an enemy that he can AoO?

And maybe even one that allows him to Coup de Grace an enemy and then instantly Coup de Grace another enemy he threatens?

Let's start with these two and we will make a monster out of this yet.

Oh and am I correct in saying that the class in based on your avatar? The "...lifts his scythe..." suggests so.

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-10, 11:39 AM
Well I started reading the post then I got bored and skipped ahead. Lazy me.

Anyway Seraph you know I'm a fan of both your homebrew and power so I like to see the two match together and this class has some real potential.

May I suggest an ability that allows to character to sacrifice his daily use of stunning blow to Coup de Grace an enemy that he can AoO?

And maybe even one that allows him to Coup de Grace an enemy and then instantly Coup de Grace another enemy he threatens?

Let's start with these two and we will make a monster out of this yet.

I dunno...I kind of lost my enthusiasm for this class. I'm just sort of ready to let it go and call it a failure at this point.



Oh and am I correct in saying that the class in based on your avatar? The "...lifts his scythe..." suggests so.

Nah. I plan to make a class about Haseo eventually. It will be called "The Terror of Death", and it's a PvP prestige class.

Wavelab
2012-03-10, 05:28 PM
I dunno...I kind of lost my enthusiasm for this class. I'm just sort of ready to let it go and call it a failure at this point.



Nah. I plan to make a class about Haseo eventually. It will be called "The Terror of Death", and it's a PvP prestige class.

A shame, but I do look forward to seeing "The Terror of Death".

Lord_Gareth
2012-03-10, 07:46 PM
Nah. I plan to make a class about Haseo eventually. It will be called "The Terror of Death", and it's a PvP prestige class.

There are so many things wrong with this statement, but I'll attempt to illustrate this with one question: in what significant way are NPCs different from PCs that you can somehow make a class that can discriminate between them?

NeoSeraphi
2012-03-11, 12:09 AM
There are so many things wrong with this statement, but I'll attempt to illustrate this with one question: in what significant way are NPCs different from PCs that you can somehow make a class that can discriminate between them?

Guess you'll find out when I make it. I'm still working the kinks out myself.