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    Default Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Angel of Death

    Fiiza, angel of death

    HD: d8

    Requirements
    BAB: +4
    Feats: Adaptive Style and either Falling Sun Attack or Shadow Blade
    Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Martial Lore 2 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks
    Maneuvers: Ability to use 3rd level maneuvers and stances of the Shadow Hand or Setting Sun disciplines.
    Special: Must successfully commit an assassination in the past two years of which you have not been caught or punished for, or authorities have given up all hope of solving.

    Class-skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Listen, Martial Lore, Move Silently, Open Lock, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Swim, Tumble and Use Rope
    Skill-points per level: 6+Int modifier

    {table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special
    1st|+1|+0|+2|+0|Weapons of choice, sneak attack +1d6
    2nd|+2|+0|+3|+0|Stance of death
    3rd|+3|+1|+3|+1|Open wound, sneak attack +2d6
    4th|+4|+1|+4|+1|Combat acrobat
    5th|+5|+1|+4|+1|Sneak attack +3d6
    6th|+6|+2|+5|+2|Unseen strike
    7th|+7|+2|+5|+2|Sneak attack +4d6
    8th|+8|+2|+6|+2|Hide in plain sight
    9th|+9|+3|+6|+3|Sneak attack +5d6
    10th|+10|+3|+7|+3|Angel's edge stance
    [/table]

    {table="head"]Level|Man. Known|Man. Readied|Stances Known
    1st|1|0|1
    2nd|0|1|0
    3rd|1|0|0
    4th|1|0|1
    5th|0|1|0
    6th|1|0|0
    7th|0|0|1
    8th|1|1|0
    9th|1|0|0
    10th|0|0|1
    [/table]

    Maneuvers: At each level except 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th, an angel of death gains new maneuvers known from the Diamond Mind, Oncoming Storm, Setting Sun or Shadow Hand disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full angel of death levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.
    At levels 2nd, 5th and 8th, you gain additional maneuvers readied per day.

    Stances Known: At 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Diamond Mind, Oncoming Storm, Setting Sun or Shadow Hand Disciplines. You must meet the stances prerequisites to learn it.

    Weapons of choice (Ex): At first level you pick several weapons which are your main personal arsenal. Pick as many melee weapons(such as short sword or scimitar) which you are proficient with as your intelligence modifier at this level. These weapons are now your weapons of choice. When using a weapon of choice, you gain a +1 to attack and damage rolls and a +2 to attack and damage rolls when initiating a martial strike. Once these weapons are chosen they cannot be switched out.

    Sneak attack: As the rogue class feature, in the PHB.

    Stance of Death (Ex): At 2nd level you become capable of entering a stance that makes you a master combat assassin. You take a swift action to lose the benefits of any stance you're in to gain the benefits granted by this stance. When you're in this stance, you may make a full attack action against a flat-footed opponent. f two or more strikes in the full attack action hit the victim must make a fortitude save versus instant death (DC 10+angel of death level+your Wis modifier) or becoming paralyzed and unconscious for 1d3 hours if you so choose. A passed save only leaves them stunned for one round. Creatures immune or capable of avoiding critical hits has equal opportunity to avoid dying from this attack.
    This stance also gives you the poison use class feature, identical to the assassin class feature.

    Open Wound (Ex): You become adept at slashing open pre-existing wounds you've just delivered at 3rd level. Whenever you make a full attack action against an opponent and two strikes that round hit they take an additional 1d12 points of damage. If three a round hit, they take 2d12 extra damage. If 4 hit they take 3d12 extra damage.

    Combat Acrobat (Ex): At 4th level you become a very skilled acrobat in the face of combat and out. When you are making a jump check you are always treated as having a running start and the Run feat, even if jumping from a stand still. Your jump check is also not limited by your base land speed.
    Whenever you make a balance, climb or swim check you may at your full speed, but all DC's remain the same.
    Additionally, all armor check penalties are reduced by half your angel of death level(rounded down).

    Unseen strike (Ex): At 6th level you learn how to hide a strike from those staring directly at it. If you have concealment(including in large crowds of people) you make make a sleight of hand check as a free action opposed by the spot checks of everyone in line of sight. Anyone who fails their spot check does not see you deliver the blow to your intended target.
    If the victim them self failed their spot check they're considered flat-footed and in addition to sneak attack damage, they take another 2d6 points of damage. If the attack hits or not, they have on idea it was you that struck them.
    Because of how precise the motions of this attack are, you cannot use unseen strike in conjunction with any martial maneuver.

    Hide in plain sight (Su): At 8th level, an angel of death can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an angel of death can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow.

    Angel's Edge Stance (Ex): The Angel's edge stance is the finest thing in the art of death. You may drop the benefits of any other stance you know to gain the benefits of this one as a swift action. When in this stance, your weapons of choice count as being under the effects of the Improved Critical and Telling Blow feats.
    Additionally, the first strike you make in combat a round counts as a death attack (DC 10+angel of death level+Wis modifier), even if the opponent is flat-footed or not, but opponents are still capable of avoiding dying if they are immune or resistant to critical hits.
    Finally, if you make a full attack action against an opponent while in this stance and at least 2 attacks hit, they take 1d8 damage to any one physical stat of your choice with no save. You cannot do more damage to any one stat in a day higher than your Wisdom score.
    Last edited by Krimm_Blackleaf; 2008-12-13 at 07:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Really? No one has an opinion?
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Looks good to me but I have no experiance with stances.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Bit of a nitpick, but never be caught? Do they need to wait until after the end of time to meet that requirement? If they get discovered can they no longer be an assassin?

    Maybe change it to "must have killed someone who is unarmed"? Maybe "someone who is not hostile towards you"?
    I don't think you get it.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuincherguixe View Post
    Bit of a nitpick, but never be caught? Do they need to wait until after the end of time to meet that requirement? If they get discovered can they no longer be an assassin?

    Maybe change it to "must have killed someone who is unarmed"? Maybe "someone who is not hostile towards you"?
    I suppose it doesn't make much sense, but it's more of a flavor thing. I can probably alter it a little.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Coming from DnD .5, I thought that the assasins poison use was weaksauce, and removed it. Instead, craft: poison took its place.

    I boosted the sneak attack damage to d8's. (Gradually, at lvl 1, 1d8 + xd6's) untill the assasin does straight d8's in sneak attack.


    I don't have any experiece with stances either, but I like some of your ideas. Have you tested this?

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Combatant View Post
    I don't have any experiece with stances either, but I like some of your ideas. Have you tested this?
    Not just yet, but I plan on playing with a group from levels 1 to 20 in a series of adventures in which I plan to play a swordsage/angel of death.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Hey, Krimm. Check your PMs, why don'tcha?

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Iames Osari View Post
    Hey, Krimm. Check your PMs, why don'tcha?
    Done. Also, filler.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    So perhaps you could make it "Don't HAVE GOTTEN caught and it must have been at least 2 years" or "Have investigators give up all reasonable hope of figuring out/catching the perpetrator OR Punish someone you framed."
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    The class looks pretty cool, but it strikes me as somewhat overpowered. Full base attack + full sneak attack + nearly full swordsage maneuver progression + very strong unique class features + hide in plain sight? I mean, I've played a high-level ninja, so I know how easily stealth-based characters can get screwed over in the late game, but this is all a bit much. This class can dish out tons of damage just from the weapons of choice ability alone (assuming they're going TWF - and they'd be insane not to).

    Say, for example, we have a Swordsage 6/Angel of Death 6. We can probably assume he has a dex somewhere around 24, and is weapon finessing with two magic weapons (let's say +1 short swords with some other enhancement on them - the one that gives +3 to attacks while in a shadow hand stance would be good). This gives us 4 attacks per round at +22/+17, with an average of 24 damage on each (assuming sneak attack) without any boost augmentation (throw on burning blade, for example, and it jumps to 39 damage each). That's already damn impressive, but you also almost certainly get to throw in a save versus death and a couple extra d12s of damage just for fun. Alternatively, you could easily get 50 damage or more using unseen strike in conjunction with a decent martial strike.

    Basically, my point is that a TWF-using swordsage with shadow blade is a powerful build already, and giving one sneak attack, higher BAB, and extra bonuses to hit and damage at almost no cost is overpowered for much the same reason that most full-casting PrCs are overpowered.
    Last edited by CthulhuM; 2007-11-09 at 05:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    I was thinking weapons of choice was a little strong for a first level ability. Maybe instead of +half angel of death level it could just be a flat +1 to attack and damage. That's not too powerful.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    I changed one little detail with unseen strike, just tacked on one little sentence at the end of it.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    I changed one little detail with unseen strike, just tacked on one little sentence at the end of it.
    you could just make it a maneuver itself. that might save you from having to make explanations for it. as it goes, i don't really buy the 'too precise' explanation cuz there are *plenty* of maneuvers that are precise, and you can still use a sneak attack with a maneuver, which is precision damage.

    just my nitpic. other than that, as i have already mentioned: stellar prc, krimm.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    you could just make it a maneuver itself. that might save you from having to make explanations for it. as it goes, i don't really buy the 'too precise' explanation cuz there are *plenty* of maneuvers that are precise, and you can still use a sneak attack with a maneuver, which is precision damage.

    just my nitpic. other than that, as i have already mentioned: stellar prc, krimm.
    Well, it's not just the sneak attack damage, it's hitting someone right in front of them without them seeing you do it. But I could just make it a maneuver, that would probably just make it easier on all of us.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Uh, am I the only person here that thinks at-will save or dies based on just hitting stuff is overpowered? Stance of Death and Angel's Edge stance both strike me as ridiculous, but Stance of Death perhaps even moreso because it is available at 8th level. If you get into the PrC as a Warblade (entirely possible as a Human), you have full BAB, and Stance of Death. This seems crazy good.

    At the very least definitely get rid of the "paralyzed and unconscious for hours even if I do save" part. Because that's just dead next turn instead of this turn.

    But seriously... get rid of Stance of Death entirely...

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    Uh, am I the only person here that thinks at-will save or dies based on just hitting stuff is overpowered? Stance of Death and Angel's Edge stance both strike me as ridiculous, but Stance of Death perhaps even moreso because it is available at 8th level. If you get into the PrC as a Warblade (entirely possible as a Human), you have full BAB, and Stance of Death. This seems crazy good.

    At the very least definitely get rid of the "paralyzed and unconscious for hours even if I do save" part. Because that's just dead next turn instead of this turn.

    But seriously... get rid of Stance of Death entirely...
    It's not like it's anything like "Every time you hit someone, they're dead." They have to successfully make two attacks, and that on a flat-footed opponent(entirely doable, but flat-footedness comes far less often than you might think). Though overlooking the end results of a passed save, I realize that's a little powerful.
    And I really have no desire to get rid of the stance of death, because I made this class to be what the assassin PrC wasn't, and that is what makes this class a good assassin.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    that on a flat-footed opponent(entirely doable, but flat-footedness comes far less often than you might think).
    Oh, thank god, somehow I missed that. Yes, it should be perfectly fine then.

    Though overlooking the end results of a passed save, I realize that's a little powerful.
    Yeah, that has to go completely the way of the dodo. Make them take automatic critical damage on a failed save, but NOT paralyzed OR unconscious.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    Oh, thank god, somehow I missed that. Yes, it should be perfectly fine then.



    Yeah, that has to go completely the way of the dodo. Make them take automatic critical damage on a failed save, but NOT paralyzed OR unconscious.
    I altered it so you can choose to kill or paralyze, and on a passed save they're stunned for a round. Still a little punch at them, but they're still not once-a-round.
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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    I altered it so you can choose to kill or paralyze, and on a passed save they're stunned for a round. Still a little punch at them, but they're still not once-a-round.
    That works for me.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Ehh, I know this is thread necromancy, but the rules are laxer in these parts, right?

    Anyway, for stance of death, its actually pretty easy to make opponents flat-footed. Grease anyone? Even if you don't have a caster, you could just toss some marbles at the dude's feet. You could literally kill someone every round if you did have a caster on your team. Stance of Death is kinda broken for the level you get it at.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazddndfreek View Post
    Ehh, I know this is thread necromancy, but the rules are laxer in these parts, right?

    Anyway, for stance of death, its actually pretty easy to make opponents flat-footed. Grease anyone? Even if you don't have a caster, you could just toss some marbles at the dude's feet. You could literally kill someone every round if you did have a caster on your team. Stance of Death is kinda broken for the level you get it at.
    Right, so, first, you need someone to spend a standard action making them flat-footed (Grease allowing a save and/or a skill check to resist, and Marbles I assume allowing a save or skill check), and then you have to spend a Full-Attack, meaning you have to be directly adjacent to the enemy at the start of your turn (unlikely at level 7, especially if Tome of Battle is being used), and then if two of those attacks hit, *then* they have to make a saving throw that is based off of a possibly non-primary stat in a MAD class, and *then* they are paralyzed or unconscious, requiring a second full-round action to coup-de-grace them.

    That's overpowered? At 7th level minimum, whereas a 7th level caster is already getting Save or Dies that cost one standard action and are at range?
    Last edited by Xefas; 2010-08-31 at 11:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Sudden leap, move your speed as a swift action. Wizard casts grease, you full attack. With TWF you're likely to hit with at least two attacks. Also, you have it wrong, you can opt for paralyzing/unconscious for 1d3 hours instead of normally killing them instantly. Although you sort of have a point about the low DC. However, you'd still be stunning them every round even if they succeeded, thus rendering them incapable of hitting you back.

    EDIT: This is just second level on top of a full bab, d8 HD, and 6 SP per level. Even if it doesn't compare to spellcasting, you can do this at will, while the wizard can do his 4th level save-or die 2 times per day. I like the class, but that stance is a little broken.

    EDIT 2: Last thing, it looks like you didn't know that you need at least 5 ranks in balance to not be flat-footed while balancing, as per the description in the skill. Most creatures won't have ranks in balance, so grease almost completely shuts them down. Although, by mid-levels things start flying really easily, its true. Something to think about.
    Last edited by Krazddndfreek; 2010-08-31 at 12:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazddndfreek View Post
    Sudden leap, move your speed as a swift action. Wizard casts grease, you full attack. With TWF you're likely to hit with at least two attacks.
    Sudden Leap doesn't allow you to move your speed as a swift action. It allows you to make a Jump check as a swift-action. So, for this combo to work, you're saying, you also need to take a specific maneuver (of a discipline that this class doesn't support) and invest heavily into the Jump skill (which won't be all that good considering Swordsages tend to focus primarily on Dex and Wis and dump Strength, if not, then they're even more MAD).

    Even then, lets be super-generous and assume the Swordsage has 10 Strength *and* he's maxed out Jump. He'll get an average of 20ish on the roll. Without a running start (which would make you unable to use the stance), you'd jump 10 feet. Yeah, not exactly that useful.

    Also, you have it wrong, you can opt for paralyzing/unconscious for 1d3 hours instead of normally killing them instantly. Although you sort of have a point about the low DC.
    You're right, I didn't notice that.

    Even if it doesn't compare to spellcasting, you can do this at will, while the wizard can do his 4th level save-or die 2 times per day.
    Even if your opponent happens to only be 10 feet away, and thus the Sudden Leap strategy actually works, you still couldn't do it at will because a Swordsage requires a full-round action to recover his maneuvers.

    Last thing, it looks like you didn't know that you need at least 5 ranks in balance to not be flat-footed while balancing, as per the description in the skill. Most creatures won't have ranks in balance, so grease almost completely shuts them down. Although, by mid-levels things start flying really easily, its true. Something to think about.
    I didn't remember that, no. Still, you're requiring:

    One standard action and spell slot from a teammate. A maneuver slot. 10 skill ranks. One full round action, of which two attacks must hit. And a (low) saving throw. And even with all that, the target still has to be within 10 feet at the start of your turn for it to work.

    Versus a spellcaster's one standard action to Save or Die. Not to mention, on off days, the spellcaster can just switch that Save or Die with Scrying, or Minor Creation, or Animate Dead, or a million other utility spells across dozens of books. The Swordsage does not have that option.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    Sudden Leap doesn't allow you to move your speed as a swift action. It allows you to make a Jump check as a swift-action. So, for this combo to work, you're saying, you also need to take a specific maneuver (of a discipline that this class doesn't support) and invest heavily into the Jump skill (which won't be all that good considering Swordsages tend to focus primarily on Dex and Wis and dump Strength, if not, then they're even more MAD).

    Even then, lets be super-generous and assume the Swordsage has 10 Strength *and* he's maxed out Jump. He'll get an average of 20ish on the roll. Without a running start (which would make you unable to use the stance), you'd jump 10 feet. Yeah, not exactly that useful.
    Investing one maneuver into it at level one isn't that big a deal. Although, I have no idea what possessed me to think that you could use it to jump for you base land speed. Sorry about that

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    Even if your opponent happens to only be 10 feet away, and thus the Sudden Leap strategy actually works, you still couldn't do it at will because a Swordsage requires a full-round action to recover his maneuvers.
    I meant that you could keep doing it on the same guy until he dies. Which, at 8th level, could definitely make things die quicker than normal.

    Also, there are a host of other things that would help with this. Wolf Fang Strike comes to mind. 2 attacks with TWF as a standard action. A dip in barb also earns them Pounce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I didn't remember that, no. Still, you're requiring:

    One standard action and spell slot from a teammate. A maneuver slot. 10 skill ranks. One full round action, of which two attacks must hit. And a (low) saving throw. And even with all that, the target still has to be within 10 feet at the start of your turn for it to work.

    Versus a spellcaster's one standard action to Save or Die. Not to mention, on off days, the spellcaster can just switch that Save or Die with Scrying, or Minor Creation, or Animate Dead, or a million other utility spells across dozens of books. The Swordsage does not have that option.
    It's not too much to expect a wizard to use a low level spell slot for you. It saves him resources to use later. A full-round action is not that hard to get in, unless your combats last one round, in which case, you should probably not be using a melee alongside your tier 1 buddies. Even still, as I mentioned, there are many other options you can take to give yourself multiple attacks after moving.

    Also, while obviously not up to par with batman, this class and still that stance specifically, is much stronger than most melee classes, especially for the level it can be gained at.

    EDIT: Also, Oncoming storm has a stance that you can feint with as a free action, and a strike that allows an extra attack among other things.
    Last edited by Krazddndfreek; 2010-08-31 at 01:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Another take on the Assassin [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazddndfreek View Post
    Ehh, I know this is thread necromancy, but the rules are laxer in these parts, right?
    The Mod They Call Me: No, they are not. There are slightly different rules regarding thread necromancy in this subforum, but they are clearly defined by the forum rules.


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