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    bc56's Avatar

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    Default Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Half-Orcs get a bonus to critical damage, assassins get guaranteed crits when they surprise enemies. Despite bad ASI synergy, I think this could work well. Any thoughts?

    P.S.
    If you are up to it, I would like to see an optimized build, but I want a general opinion on the concept first.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by bc56; 2018-01-03 at 06:15 AM. Reason: To fix grammar

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    It works just fine, except for two things.

    1) If you go for a STR build, you need to have a good DEX (14+) for stealth and initiative. If you go for a DEX build, Half-Orc's STR bonus is useless.

    2) Surprise is rare, and in some campaigns it might not happen at all.
    Last edited by Specter; 2018-01-02 at 10:19 PM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Depending on which way you want to deal damage (brute with STR or finesse with DEX, a mix of both), I'd advise picking Sharpshooter if you intend to sneaky crit from a distance, 60' reach with Daggers is not shabby.

    Dip 1 or 2 level in Fighter to get a glimpse of fighting potential, and even the Shield proficiency (+ 2 AC is + 2 AC).

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    It works just fine, except for two things.

    1) If you go for a STR build, you need to have a good DEX (14+) for stealth and initiative. If you go for a DEX build, Half-Orc's STR bonus is useless..
    I am aware of this, and would be relying on a good roll to get a sufficient DEX for my build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    2) Surprise is rare, and in some campaigns it might not happen at all.
    I didn't think about this. In the campaign I run, surprise is very common on both sides of combat, as the players are normally careful to always move stealthily, and the rogue has a +12 bonus to stealth anyway.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardakan View Post
    Depending on which way you want to deal damage (brute with STR or finesse with DEX, a mix of both), I'd advise picking Sharpshooter if you intend to sneaky crit from a distance, 60' reach with Daggers is not shabby.
    I would use a STR build, but rogue's Sneak Attack only works with finesse and ranged weapon attacks, and Half-Orc's Savage Attacks only affects melee weapon attacks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gardakan View Post
    Dip 1 or 2 level in Fighter to get a glimpse of fighting potential, and even the Shield proficiency (+ 2 AC is + 2 AC).
    I actually was thinking of doing that, but intending to do it for the Dual Wielder fighting style. However, Dueling wouldn't be a bad choice either, and the shield would be nice.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    So use a finesse weapon (a Rapier, say) with strength. Itís what my Barbarian/Rogue is using to get both rage damage and sneak attack.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    First, the quick thought:
    You already add 4d6 to all your attacks, 8d6 on crit. What difference will the 9th d6 do?


    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    I would use a STR build, but rogue's Sneak Attack only works with finesse and ranged weapon attacks, and Half-Orc's Savage Attacks only affects melee weapon attacks.
    Finesse works with Str, this includes thrown daggers.

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    I actually was thinking of doing that, but intending to do it for the Dual Wielder fighting style. However, Dueling wouldn't be a bad choice either, and the shield would be nice.
    Your second (TWF) attack adds around 40% DPR (mostly missed SA), you need extra attack before a shield.


    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    In the campaign I run, surprise is very common on both sides of combat, as the players are normally careful to always move stealthily, and the rogue has a +12 bonus to stealth anyway.
    It only takes a single missed stealth to negate surprise. Even if it's you who rolled the lowest (of a party of 4), that's only 16* on average. And it's pretty sure a defender will roll close enough to that.

    Seen another way, 0.85^4 ~ 0.52... You have a 50-50 chance of one of the 4 players rolling 1-3 on the stealth check.

    Ambush doesn't happen unless your DM is lenient.


    * neat math trick:
    - lowest of 2d6 is (1^2 + 2^2 + 3^2 + 4^2 + 5^2 + 6^2) / 6^2 ~ 2.53
    - lowest of 4d6 is (1^4 + 2^4 + 3^4 + 4^4 + 5^4 + 6^4) / 6^4 ~ 1.76
    (aka 4d6 drop lowest is 14 - 1.76 = 12.24)
    - lowest of 4d20 is (1^4 + 2^4 + ... + 20^4) / 20^4 ~ 4.52
    Last edited by bid; 2018-01-03 at 12:38 AM.
    Trust but verify. There's usually a reason why I believe you can't do something.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    I'd struggle to find the strength build viable without doing some multiclassing into barbarian or something. By choosing to buff strength over Dex you nerf all of the things that are beneficial to the character type - Evasion / dex save interaction, AC, initiative, Acrobatics / Stealth / Slight of Hand checks. Maybe viable isn't the word as you can certainly do it, but it'll be markedly worse than a straight up dex build given how 'meh' strength is when you're a skill-monkey class - and you basically have to MC if you want non-garbage armor class. If your campaign is long enough where you won't miss the levels, then fine - but I'd urge you to think about all the goodies you delay access to by MC'ing out of rogue before 7 or 8 levels in. If you're really jonesing for that bonus die just run an elf and snag booming blade. Or Vhuman Magic initiate and grab a familiar to boot.

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    Imp

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    If surprise is relatively common, I believe the preferred build is Barbarian 5/Assassin 3/Barbarian X and use a Greataxe. Three levels of Rogue gets you all the Stealth you might require and the all important Assassin feature. Ignore Sneak Attack on the 1st round, except for ranged attacks and focus on the 6d12+2(Str+Rage) damage you'll be dealing in that 1st round (1d12 base+1d12 Crit+1d12 H.Orc, twice because Extra Attack). After the 1st round, leave your axe buried in whatever poor sod took it to the face and draw your Rapier to utilise Sneak Attack.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    As an example using point buy:

    STR: 16
    DEX: 13
    CON: 14
    INT: 8
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 10

    ...and another using standard array:

    STR: 16
    DEX: 15
    CON: 14
    INT: 8
    WIS: 12
    CHA: 10

    Go your first level in Fighter, mostly for the little bit of extra HP, but the saves are also nice and fit the character you're going for a bit more imo. You already have the Intimidation skill from going Half-Orc; take Athletics and Perception as well. Finally, take the Criminal or Urchin background to grab Stealth; I'd suggest Criminal, because Deception is a lot more useful than Sleight of Hand in most games. Since backgrounds are meant to be customizable, see if your DM will let you switch out the useless thieves' tools proficiency for something else, even just an extra language. Disguise kit or healer's kit might be useful; musical instrument could be flavorful. (Or, of course, just make your own Background if allowed, but be sure to grab Stealth!!) When you get Expertise, choose Perception and Stealth first, and when you get it again you'll probably want to choose Athletics; go ahead and choose whichever of your other two skills you like best.

    Take the Resilient (Dex) feat at your earliest convenience to wind up with all three of the major saving throw proficiencies and go from +2 to +3. You're going to get a total of 5 ASI/feats before you're done, because...

    My proposed build is Rogue/Fighter, and you have a few options here.

    Spoiler: Cut for length
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    Assassin 17/Samurai 3 is very good, as it nearly maxes your Sneak Attack damage, gets you access to Death Strike (which, if surprise is fairly common at your table, will be amazing for you), and the Samurai's Fighting Spirit feature, which lets you use your bonus action to give yourself advantage for the rest of the turn three times per long rest. Another source of advantage is always going to be good for you, and of course the Fighter levels give you all of the goodies that three levels on Fighter always does.

    Assassin 15/Samurai 5 is also very good, as it still gets you 8d6 of Sneak Attack damage and takes you up to getting Wisdom saves. You do lose Death Strike, but you get the Extra Attack, which is obviously always good and makes your Fighting Spirit feature even better.

    Or you can go the other way around and make Fighter your primary class, going Samurai 11/Assassin 9 (or Samurai 12/Assassin 8 for an extra ASI). At this point your Sneak Attack damage is down to 4d6 or 5d6, which might not be what you're looking for, and you lose Reliable Talent and Blindsense. You don't lose Wisdom saves, however, since Samurai also gets them, and you're guaranteed at least one use of Fighting Spirit every combat, and of course, best of all, you get access to a third attack. This makes your Assassinate critical hits go kind of insane.

    Of course, it's also not ever a terrible idea to just go straight Rogue, without multiclassing at all. It kind of optimizes itself; you get the full 10d6 of Sneak Attack, you get Death Strike, you get Elusive, you get Stroke of Luck, you even get a sixth ASI/feat. These are all pretty powerful things.

    Speaking of ASI/feats, I'd recommend maxing out your Strength, getting to Dex 16, and grabbing Medium Armor Master. If you're using the standard array, this leaves you one more ASI to play with (or two, if you're going straight Rogue or doing the Samurai 12/Assassin 8 split). You can either grab +2 Wis, and that might be useful, or you can snag one more feat that catches your eye. Defensive Duelist could work out well for you, as could Lucky, as could Magic Initiate. Savage Attacker might fit well with the flavor of the build you're going for. Shield Master wouldn't be bad for you. Skulker could be really helpful for you. And finally, Tough would actually give you more HP overall than just giving yourself +2 Con with that ASI.

    Of course, if you roll for your stats, those examples I gave are just there to give you an idea as to how you should arrange your stats, priority-wise. Str > Dex > Con > Wis > Cha > Int. Try to put an uneven number into Dex, but if that doesn't work out, put one into Con instead and take your first level in Rogue rather than Fighter, taking Resilient (Con) later instead of Resilient (Dex).

    Finally, for weapons and armor, grab half plate and a shield when you can, and in your other hand you should normally be wielding a rapier. For a Fighting Style, either Defense or Dueling would work for you, but Dueling might fit what you're going for best.

    Despite my detailing the splits and what you'd get from them at lv20, this shouldn't be impossible to make work really well at lower levels. Assassin 3/Fighter 2 is good. Samurai 5/Assassin 3 is also good, if you're going that far into Fighter. Etc. Just think carefully about what you'd gain, not just every level when you're leveling up, but in the levels soon to come. If you're going all the way to Fighter 11, you might want to prioritize that third attack over any more Rogue levels, but you might also want to get to Uncanny Dodge, or your second Expertise, or Evasion. But the higher you go into Rogue, the more you put off that third attack, too. A good way of looking at it is to figure out what you'd ideally want your "capstone" to be. Another good way is to figure out what features you absolutely want to get to in the event that your campaign ends before lv20. If it ends at lv10, for example, either by design or by chance, and you'd definitely been wanting to get Extra Attack and play around with Fighting Spirit, it would be better for you to be at Samurai 7/Assassin 3 than at Assassin 8/Fighter 2.
    Last edited by MxKit; 2018-01-04 at 04:31 AM.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    It only takes a single missed stealth to negate surprise. Even if it's you who rolled the lowest (of a party of 4), that's only 16* on average. And it's pretty sure a defender will roll close enough to that.
    That's why your scout always goes ~60' ahead of the party, to negate and/or organize surprise by its own, but still close enough to the group in case something bad happens. In close quarters like dungeons, that may not be possible, of course.

    In larger parties we sometimes even had a rear scout as well as a front scout, and they help things a lot.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2018-01-03 at 07:45 AM.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cespenar View Post
    That's why your scout always goes ~60' ahead of the party
    That doesn't really help IMO. Either the assassin will be the only one attacking in round 1, or the rest of the party will have to close and risk detection.
    Trust but verify. There's usually a reason why I believe you can't do something.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    You need Fighter 2 for action Surge, a 5th level Martial for a second Attack (I would go either Barb for Survivability or Ranger[Gloomstalker] for extra offense), then the rest can be Rogue.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Rogue (Assassin)

    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    That doesn't really help IMO. Either the assassin will be the only one attacking in round 1, or the rest of the party will have to close and risk detection.
    The rest of the party can close up 30' and use their ranged attacks/buffs/crowd controls. It's only worse than the alternative if the whole party is pure melee only.

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