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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Basement Cat's Avatar

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    Default What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    My paladin is on the side plot-wise while so I was thinking of breaking out of my box when I'm done DM'ing and playing something different from what I normally do.

    I got with my DM and discussed my coming up with a rather amoral character (I'm typically a goodie-goodie) and have since decided to play a church trained assassin who 'deals' with the Temple's shadowier problems. Think Leliana in Dragon Age--she's a Sister and Left Hand of the Divine (spymaster).

    The catch is I don't want to play a cliched Rogue to do so. I want to build a character who functions as an Assassin but isn't one class wise--kinda like Miko being a samurai by title but not by class.

    An Assassin is a professional killer: That's pretty much the description of most player characters. But it doesn't have to be a thief type to get the job done. Moreover someone with spells can be far more terrifyingly effective than your typical Mr. Knifey Shivdark, I figure.

    Initial ideas are pretty bare: I figure having someone who can use weapons would be good--Fighter, most likely. And then follow up with either Shadow Monk (ninja at level 6!) or Wizard levels. Maybe all of the above, even.

    I'd appreciate ideas. Especially weird ones.

    Oh, and this time it doesn't matter what race I'll play. It would be simpler as a human, of course, but not required. PHB races only, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    When the best outcome of a plan is 'an evil Lich obtains supreme power and conquers most of if not all the world,' you need a better plan.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    "Eeeek!!!!"

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Trickster Cleric?
    I have a LOT of Homebrew and a Patreon for it

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Really any class can kill people. It is basically what the game is about. What you have to decide is what conditions do you want to do it in. Do you care if everyone knows you did it? Do you care about colateral damage? Are you willing to kill any others who get in the way? Are you legally allowed to do this or do you have to keep a low profile? These questions will help you decide what kind of abilities you want. You can go anything from a sneaky monk or bard up to a paladin boldy walking in crying for their condemnation as he slaughters all around him.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Basement Cat's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellack View Post
    Really any class can kill people. It is basically what the game is about. What you have to decide is what conditions do you want to do it in. Do you care if everyone knows you did it? Do you care about colateral damage? Are you willing to kill any others who get in the way? Are you legally allowed to do this or do you have to keep a low profile? These questions will help you decide what kind of abilities you want. You can go anything from a sneaky monk or bard up to a paladin boldy walking in crying for their condemnation as he slaughters all around him.
    The basic idea is that he serves a temple in some fashion--layman or clergy is up to me--and occasionally does dirty work for it. On the quiet side in order to maintain appearances.

    I don't want to play an evil character. Essentially he's someone who occasionally gets assigned "unofficially sanctioned" jobs for the good of the faith. Dunno which faith. He's like a soldier, I'm thinking: His superiors give him a job and he does it but would object to something generally considered 'dirty' like wiping out innocents in order to get the bad guy.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    When the best outcome of a plan is 'an evil Lich obtains supreme power and conquers most of if not all the world,' you need a better plan.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    "Eeeek!!!!"

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Shadow monks can stun targets until they're dead, and are good at sneaking. This may suit your idea.
    Breaking BM: Revised - an updated look at the beast-mounted halfling ranger based on the Revised Ranger: Beast Conclave.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Then it sounds like you want to stay in the sneaky catagory. I would suggest a monk or bard. Possibly a trickery cleric, but that would depend on what kind of diety you want to serve.

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Sorceror with subtle spell and stealth proficiency, yo.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    It's probably somewhat level dependent. Obviously, if I had no budget limitations and I needed someone dead in a D&D world, I'd hire a 20th-level wizard. Not as good a choice if I can only afford a low-level wizard.

    Hold Person and up-cast Inflict Wounds is nasty. At 13th level, any cleric gets Etherealness, allowing them to reach and surprise a target almost anywhere. Go in ethereally and surprise target, Hold Person then high-level Inflict Wounds with advantage and auto-crit, Word of Recall out.

    For all-rounders, a bard with the right selection of skills and magic secrets would probably be the best at a pretty wide range of levels.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Druid with a Poisoners Kit. Wildshape into a tiny creature, poison some food or liquor, Wildshape out. With the criminal background no one should ever see you in person form on a mission. You can add ranger or monk levels to become more stabby.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Sorceror with subtle spell and stealth proficiency, yo.
    Seconded. If you want a fun/weird build, drop 3 into Evoker so you can fireball yourself, and nobody knows it's you that cast it.

    Edit: 2. I always forget wizards pick archetypes early.
    Last edited by Scathain; 2017-08-13 at 10:54 AM.

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Sorceror with subtle spell and stealth proficiency, yo.
    Honestly a cool build. If UA is allowed, a favored soul with trickery domain is great for this.
    Breaking BM: Revised - an updated look at the beast-mounted halfling ranger based on the Revised Ranger: Beast Conclave.

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    A warlock with mask of many faces and the charlatan background comes to mind.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Shadow monk/battle master fight would be interesting
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    If you can, revised ranger - favoured enemy humanoids and with the abilities you can get at start of combat you will get that burst potential. Add in a couple of fighter levels for action surge (great for have 2 attack actions with an extra attack on turn 1). When I did this I added a little rogue later for the expertise in stealth and a bit of sneak attack (cunning action is also great). Very nasty burst damage without the rare, rare conditions needed for the assassin archetype.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Enchanter wizard is probably the coolest assassin that you can do. You can trick your victim in performing dangerous actions that you oreviously set up to be lethal.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Weird suggest, Paladin is an Alpha Strike beast. Devotion can power out your to hit. Drop Smites into each attack. Attack as many times as you can in a round. At 11 you add Charisma bonus to each attack that hits. Assassins outside of normal adventuring wouldn't mind dropping half their resources for day into one attack and rest into the get away. Summon Steed helps you get away. Do a background that gives you sneakiness. Charisma isn't wasted on the character so sneaky charisma based skills to get to targets are a great idea. Paladins don't always have to wear heavy armor. If you don't multiclass you can be Dex focused rather than Strength focused.

    If you are looking at multi class then 3 Rogue Assassin is good, but expected. Bard or Trickery Cleric add spells for stealth and higher level spell slots . Sorcer dip could add Subtle metamagic in the same vein. Cleric might be bad because it ads both Wisdom and Strength at 13.

    The Oaths don't have to be hangups, they can actually force you to kill and assassinate enemies in the eyes of your Oath and/or Faith.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Play a Fighter with a long-range weapon.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombra View Post
    Enchanter wizard is probably the coolest assassin that you can do. You can trick your victim in performing dangerous actions that you oreviously set up to be lethal.
    Ooh I love this one. If your DM allows it, play a Zendikar vampire. The bite attack works on incapacitated enemies. Health regeneration is nice, zombie minions are even better!

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Dex-based Vengeance Paladin, sworn to strike from the shadows at any who have power and the intention to use it. Black cloak, rooftop chase, alleyway dropdown sort of character.
    Yes, it's impossible. Now shut up and do the impossible.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    A warlock with mask of many faces and the charlatan background comes to mind.
    I was thinking this as well. Going GOO would help as well. Mask of Many Faces + Friends is impressively effective at getting in and out of places. Using poisons you can take out targets discreetly and Prestidigitation can cover smells or flavors it might add as well. At later levels the GOO ability to be immune to having your thoughts read can be very nice and Detect Thoughts can work wonders for getting information when talking to people in their head. If someone says "don't think about dogs" a great number of people will think about a dog before they can stop themselves. Won't even need to force your way deeper into their mind in many cases to get information.

    Where a rogue or monk would hide in the shadows, you hide in plain sight. Where they would sneak through a window, you stroll in through the front door. Where they must wait for the target to be isolated, the target invites you in to their private study. Where they must conceal their face, you simply borrow someone else's and leave it for all to see.

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    Zombie

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombra View Post
    Enchanter wizard is probably the coolest assassin that you can do. You can trick your victim in performing dangerous actions that you oreviously set up to be lethal.
    A bard with expertise in deception and perception + their magic could do this pretty well too. Plus bard and the entertainer background is like a magic key into lots of strongholds.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    I'm running Shadow Monk/Trickster Cleric (dip) and it's probably the best infiltrator I've ever seen. There's nowhere you can't go.

    You don't really have the HUGE NOVA DAMAGE one might expect of a combat assassin, but in terms of actual assassination (eg getting into the king's castle and slipping poison into his wine) you're the king.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    If you UA is allowed I think the Mystic Soulknife fits what you are looking for pretty well. With the right selection on discipline you this makes a near perfect assassin.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by polymphus View Post

    You don't really have the HUGE NOVA DAMAGE one might expect of a combat assassin, but in terms of actual assassination (eg getting into the king's castle and slipping poison into his wine) you're the king.
    Yeah I guess it depends on what your DMs world is like. Does everyone important have 15 class levels and 200 hp? Or do kings have stats similar to commoners? Does he allow instant death by fictional positioning (ie cutting throats in sleep) or must you follow 5e's mechanics (damage all the HP's)? This will really change how important stealth over damage is.

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    I love how every darn class gets recommended, and they're all correct.

    I came here to suggest Moon Druid as an unconventional assassin ("kicked by his own horse? must have been his own fault, what a fool!"), and it's delightful to see so many other classes presented as valid options.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Yeah I guess it depends on what your DMs world is like. Does everyone important have 15 class levels and 200 hp? Or do kings have stats similar to commoners? Does he allow instant death by fictional positioning (ie cutting throats in sleep) or must you follow 5e's mechanics (damage all the HP's)? This will really change how important stealth over damage is.
    I think there's a really interesting debate to be had about the 'mechanical assassin' (somebody with stealth proficiency and high single-target nova damage) and the 'flavour assassin' (somebody who acts like an IRL assassin would).

    Both are valid interpretations of the word, but vary massively. From a purely mechanical perspective, the best assassin is almost certain a barbarian with the criminal background -- stealth proficiency to get into the building, then just rage and hit them with your axe. Flavour-wise though, that seems super weird.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by polymphus View Post
    I think there's a really interesting debate to be had about the 'mechanical assassin' (somebody with stealth proficiency and high single-target nova damage) and the 'flavour assassin' (somebody who acts like an IRL assassin would).

    Both are valid interpretations of the word, but vary massively. From a purely mechanical perspective, the best assassin is almost certain a barbarian with the criminal background -- stealth proficiency to get into the building, then just rage and hit them with your axe. Flavour-wise though, that seems super weird.
    Maybe it seems weird, but even in real life or would be pretty effective. Also how is this that much different than the person who sneaks in to kill the king with no expectations of coming out alive
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Sorcerer with subtle spell and stealth proficiency, yo.
    This, forever. Just walk by a tavern, Fireball everything and walk away. Neither your targets nor your victims will have proof against you.

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Subtle sorcerer takes my vote.

    Runner up is Paladin + Fighter + Warlock + Sorcerer. Elven accuracy if you can get it. Works with Str or Dex focus.
    Paladin + Invocation smite using GFB/BB, quicken for another one and action surge for a third one. Burns slots like Taco Bell but it's a nice round 1 attack. You could drop the sorcerer bit and use a smite spell or hex with your bonus action but that isn't as impressive. Battlemaster also gets to add superiority dice if you want to get even more ridiculous.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2017-08-14 at 01:24 AM.
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    Basement Cat's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's a Good Non-Rogue Assassin Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    I love how every darn class gets recommended, and they're all correct.

    I came here to suggest Moon Druid as an unconventional assassin ("kicked by his own horse? must have been his own fault, what a fool!"), and it's delightful to see so many other classes presented as valid options.

    I know, right? Aside from Barbarian I don't think any class has gone unmentioned. It would be interesting to see someone work a berserker into this.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    When the best outcome of a plan is 'an evil Lich obtains supreme power and conquers most of if not all the world,' you need a better plan.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    "Eeeek!!!!"

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