Assassin (3.5e Class)

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Assassin
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The Assassin[edit]

The assassin is an unfailing assailant; most of his targets never see him, and fewer still survive his first assault. The assassin stays in the shadows until the time is right. When it is, he takes a single step, transporting his way to his target, and unleashes a lethal flurry of attacks before making his way back to safety. Those few that survive this attack are generally unable to find their assassin, who has blended perfectly with the shadows by that point. Even if they do, they may find that he is quite capable of short bursts of hand-to-hand combat - long enough to finish off the weakened foe, but too short for the assassin to take damage.

The assassin is a subtle character, not wasting time hefting huge weapons to bring to bear or casting spells to destroy large portions of an area. Instead, he is best against a single target, taking little time to make his attacks.

The assassin's skills also focus on being able to survive while beyond the aid of his teammates, as he may well be beyond the healing ability of the party's cleric while waiting for an opportune moment to strike.

The assassin's abilities come at a steep cost: while he is an expert in the use of daggers and has excellent mobility, he is unable to use any other weapon or any armor heavier than light (and, indeed, loses nearly all of the benefits of this class if he violates these restrictions).

Note that this assassin is not a literal translation from the Assassin prestige class into a base class; rather, this is an assassin stylized for combat without the alignment restrictions of the original and with new combat abilities. Additionally, this class should not be used in any campaign where the Deadly Assassin prestige class is used.

Adventure: Many assassins quest for payment or to exact vengeance for some slight (real or imagined) on their honor. Some of them, however, put their abilities to use in the fight for good; indeed, the demon lord Ahzalakh was struck down by a pair of blades belonging to the assassin who fought in the name of Pelor.

Characteristics: Many assassins are quiet, as there is no way to be sure of a kill if your target knows where you are. Some are contemplative as a result, curious as to the rights and wrongs of their profession. As they gain in power, some become cocky, while others become more and more quiet. It is a common joke among their companions that an increase in power for the assassin comes with the cost of muteness.

Alignment: Most assassins are in some way chaotic, with lawful characters being quite rare.

Religion: Many assassins identify with Nerull or Wee Jas, though Olidammara, Erythnul, and Vecna receive a significant amount of worship from members of this class. From the more holy deities, Heironeous is a common choice, though perhaps not among the more chaotic assassins. Those that focus on their form of spellcasting sometimes revere Boccob.

Background: Assassins are generally trained in secret by one already knowledgeable of the trade. They can live and grow with their masters, or they may move out after learning the basics; very few evil assassins live long with one another, however, due to the lack of trust between each other.

Races: Humans and Half-elves make good assassins due to their versatility, eagerness to succeed, and willingness to do whatever they need to to gain power. Some elves take this class, but few dwarves, or half-orcs do. Gnomes neither prefer nor reject the way of the assassin, but halflings generally tend to favor the rogue.

Other Classes: Assassins get along well with Rogues and Ninjas, sharing similar abilities but different ways of using them. Likewise, they often conflict with Paladins, not understanding their restrictions to the "code of honor". However, they appreciate their brute force in battle as a distraction from themselves, along with the same abilities in the Fighter and Samurai. Arcane and Divine spellcasters are always appreciated for support and healing.

Role: The assassin works best as a melee support character. He works best when the enemy is distracted, slipping in just long enough to add to the battle before getting out. As he must avoid being targeted with attacks, the assassin is not a strong frontline character. The assassin gains some durability at higher levels, but never as much as the Fighter or Paladin. Thus, the assassin is still best when he is not expected.

Game Rule Information[edit]

Assassins have the following game statistics:

Abilities: Dexterity helps the assassin immensely, as it increases his low AC, his combat ability with daggers, the effectiveness of his Critical Strikes, and his ability to stay hidden from his enemies. Wisdom increases the power of his Shadow Arts, and Intelligence assists his spellcasting and Deadly Arts.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Age: Complex.

Starting Gold: 4d4 × 10 gp (100 gp).


Table: The Assassin

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Deadly Arts Known
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Sneak attack +1d6, Dagger Finesse, Shadow vision, Death attack
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Two-dagger fighting, critical strikes +1
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Evasion, sneak attack +2d6
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Shadow run, Shadow step 1
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Uncanny dodge, critical attack 1
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Shadow walk, sneak attack +3d6, Dagger defense 1
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Critical strikes +2, critical attack 1
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Improved uncanny dodge 1
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Critical attack, sneak attack +4d6 1
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Critical Strikes +3, Improved Two-Dagger Fighting 1
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Shadowy dodge, critical attack 1 1
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Critical strikes +4, sneak attack +5d6 1 1
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Improved evasion, critical attack 1 1
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Dagger mastery, Greater Two-Dagger Fighting 2 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +4 +9 +4 Sneak attack +6d6, critical attack 2 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Double striking 2 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Critical strikes +5, critical attack 2 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Shadow displacement, sneak attack +7d6 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Critical attack 3 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Critical strikes +6, sneak attack +8d6 3 3

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

The following terms are used in the description of the assassin: ( you do not get the following automatically as class features, unless specified )

Bleeding: Some assassin attacks cause bleeding. A bleeding character loses 1d4 health at the beginning of his turn. A Heal spell or similar effect will remove this affliction. The target is allowed a Fortitude save after taking damage to remove the bleeding every time he takes damage from it (the result is applied after the damage).

Multiple bleeding effects do not stack; the effect with the longest duration supersedes the others.

Buff: A buff spell is a type of deadly art that causes a positive effect on its target. Buffs can be ended in any way that other magical effects with durations can be ended. Other spells (such as Haste) may be considered buffs as well, as determined by the dungeon master.

Death Attack: If an assassin studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (assassin’s choice). While studying the victim, the assassin can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the assassin or recognize the assassin as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the assassin’s class level + the assassin’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the assassin. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

Daggers: For the purposes of this class, all of the following weapons are considered to be "daggers": Dagger, Dirk, Kama, Kukri, Punching Dagger, Sai, and Siangham. The dungeon master may determine that weapons similar to these will also qualify as daggers for this class.

Deep wound: A character with a deep wound has his current and maximum health reduced by 20%, and suffers a -2 penalty to constitution. In addition, all healing on the character heals for 20% less hit points (other effects are unaffected; thus, a Heal spell still removes all afflictions, including this one, but heals for 20% less health than is stated). At the end of his turn each round, including the one in which the deep wound was applied, the victim is allowed a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the assassin’s class level + the assassin’s Int modifier) to remove the wound.

Disoriented: A disoriented character cannot effectively focus his mind to cast spells, manifest powers, or perform similar acts. Such acts take twice as long to perform (a swift action becomes a move action [but still counts toward the limit of one swift action per turn], a move action becomes a standard action, and a standard action becomes a full-round action) and any Concentration checks to complete the action automatically fail. The target automatically fails a concentration check to maintain any such action being performed when it becomes disoriented.

Elite ability: Some assassin abilities are more powerful than others. As such, they are marked as "elite abilities". The assassin can use a number of elite abilities per day equal to one-half his class level plus his wisdom modifier. Some deadly arts are elite abilities.

Hex: A hex spell is a type of deadly art that causes a negative effect or condition on its target. Hexes can be ended in any way that other magical effects with durations can be ended. Other spells (such as Slow) may be considered hexes as well, as determined by the dungeon master.

Poison: Poison from this class works differently from normal poison. A poisoned character takes 1d6 damage at the beginning of each of his turns. This poison never deals ability damage. The assassin's poison is affected by spells, immunities, and so forth as though it were normal poison. The target is allowed a Fortitude save to remove the poison every time he takes damage from it (the result is applied after the damage).

Multiple poisonous effects do not stack; the one with the longest duration supersedes the others. However, assassin poison stacks with normal poison.

Shadow Step: A shadow step is similar to a teleport; however, it only affects the assassin and any gear on his person. Whenever the assassin shadow steps, he disappears from his current location, travels through the Shadow Plane, and reappears in the new location. Bursts of shadow appear in both squares affected. Unless otherwise specified, shadow steps have unlimited range, but must begin and end on the same plane. If the assassin shadow steps to an occupied square, he is shoved towards the nearest space large enough to hold his body mass (which may or may not be within the same square, depending on what now occupies it). Shadow Step can only be used as part of a move action.

All of the following are class features of the assassin.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The assassin is proficient with light armor and all daggers.

Sneak Attack (Ex): If an assassin can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. This extra damage does not apply if the assassin wields a weapon other than daggers or if he wears a shield or armor heavier than light.

The assassin’s attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the assassin flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every assassin level divisible by three thereafter. Should the assassin score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

The assassin cannot take a -4 penalty to deal nonlethal damage with a sneak attack.

An assassin can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The assassin must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An assassin cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Dagger Finesse: The assassin gains the Weapon Finesse feat for any dagger he chooses, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. He loses this benefit if he wields a weapon other than daggers or if he wears a shield or armor heavier than light.

Shadow Vision (Ex): All assassins train in darkness due to their affinity with the shadows. As a result, an assassin gains low-light vision. If he already has low-light vision, he may choose to gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet or to double the effectiveness of his low-light vision. If he already has darkvision and low-light vision, he may instead choose to retain a semblance of color in his darkvision.

The assassin also gains a +1 bonus to any spot checks he makes, as his eyes have become slightly more fine-tuned due the stress of learning to see in what is normally too dark for him to see.

Two-Dagger Fighting: At 2nd level, the assassin gains the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. He loses this benefit if he wields a weapon other than daggers or if he wears a shield or armor heavier than light.

Critical Strikes (Ex): At 2nd level and above, the assassin has a critical strikes score of one. This score increases by one for every five additional class levels the assassin has. Whenever the assassin successfully makes a critical hit with one or more daggers against a target with a Challenge Rating no less than his own, he adds this number to his critical strikes pool. In addition, the threat range of any dagger the assassin wields is increased by one-half this level. These critical strikes points fade at the end of the encounter, and his critical strikes pool cannot exceed his class level. The assassin must have at least one point in his critical strikes pool in order to use a critical attack (see below). The assassin loses these benefits if he wields a weapon other than daggers or if he wears a shield or armor heavier than light.

Evasion (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, an assassin can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. The assassin loses this benefit if he wields a weapon other than daggers or if he wears a shield or armor heavier than light. A helpless assassin does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Shadow Run (Su): At 4th level, the assassin learns the first of his Shadow Arts: the ability to be captured by the shadows at a later point. When the assassin activates this ability, his maximum speed increases by 10 feet for a number of rounds equal to his class level + his wisdom modifier. After those rounds pass, the assassin shadow steps to the square in which he activated this ability.

Deadly Arts (Sp): An assassin does not prepare or cast spells in quite the same way that other arcane spellcasters do. Instead, his training focuses on what are known as "deadly arts" - unique spells with different mechanics. (Because of the way they are used and the wide variety of abilities they cover, deadly arts are sometimes "cast", "used", or "activated", and may be referred to as "skills", "spells", or "abilities", though in truth they are always a combination of all of these.) These compliment the assassin's other talents, making him far more effective in battle. Daggers thrown in the process of using a deadly art are created as part of the casting. An assassin can use any deadly art he knows at will, with the following qualifications:

An assassin's deadly arts are spell-like abilities; using a deadly art is usually a move-equivalent action that provokes attacks of opportunity, though some may be attacks. A deadly art can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. An assassin is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an deadly art if he is hit by an attack while casting, just as a spellcaster would be. An assassin can choose to use an art defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. An assassin's deadly arts are subject to spell resistance unless an art specifically states otherwise. An assassin's caster level with his deadly arts is equal to one-half his class level.

The save DC for a deadly art (if it allows a save) is 10 + the assassin's caster level + the assassin's Intelligence modifier. The assassin cannot cast a deadly art if he does not have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + spell level.

Deadly arts cannot benefit from Metamagic feats, since they aren't strictly spells. However, they can benefit from feats that deal with spell-like abilities.

Deadly arts are subject to arcane spell failure caused by armors, unlike other spell-like abilities. This applies to all kinds except for light armors, since the somatic components required for invocations are relatively simple. All deadly arts have a somatic component.

Deadly arts normally have a range of 100 feet. Some deadly arts have half the normal range; thus, their range is 50 feet. A few deadly arts have a range of touch or personal.

There are two levels of deadly arts. At 11th level, the assassin may choose to trade out any first-level spell he knows for another first-level spell.

The assassin only ever learns a limited number of deadly arts spells. He learns deadly arts according to the progression on Table: The Assassin above, plus bonus deadly arts according to his Intelligence modifier. These bonus deadly arts known are earned the same way bonus spells per day are earned, with one exception: The assassin may never have more than one bonus deadly art for each level.

The assassin chooses his deadly arts known from the Assassin Deadly Arts Skills List, below.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 5th level, an assassin can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. He retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Critical Attack: At 5th level and every odd-numbered level thereafter, an assassin learns one critical attack. Each critical attack costs him at least one point from his critical strikes pool. Some critical attacks are elite abilities (see above); if so, this is mentioned in their entry as seen below. The assassin cannot learn elite critical attacks unless he already knows three or more other critical attacks.

Critical attack entries follow the following format: Name of attack: Elite (if elite) damage type (if applicable) type of critical attack. Description of the attack.

Critical attacks fall into one of three categories: primary attacks, followup attacks, and final blows. A critical attack cannot be used if the assassin does not have a number of points in his critical strikes pool at least equal to the number of points the critical attack would use. Double striking never applies to critical attacks.

An assassin must attempt to deal the correct type of damage with his critical attack (slashing or piercing); thus, daggers that can deal either type of damage (or one dagger in each hand with one dealing slashing and the other dealing piercing damage) are extremely beneficial, as they may prevent the assassin from taking a -4 penalty on his attack roll. If no damage type is indicated, the assassin can choose to deal either type of damage (but cannot choose to do bludgeoning damage unless the attack description specifically states otherwise). The assassin cannot deal nonlethal damage with a critical attack unless the attack's description specifically states otherwise.

Any critical attacks that "fail" simply miss. A failed or incomplete critical attack still consumes points from the critical strikes pool, as does one that misses normally. A critical attack fails if its prerequisites are not met or if it does not strike a foe that is affected by the required attack type or hex. (Therefore, attempting to use a chain of critical attacks out of order will result in numerous attacks that do not hit and drain the assassin's critical strikes pool.)

The following are prerequisites of any critical attack: The assassin cannot make more than two critical attacks in one round, and never consecutively. The assassin can only make critical attacks with one or more daggers of any type, and only when wearing light or no armor and not wearing a shield. Critical attacks must always hit a foe that was hit in the previous ten rounds by the prerequisite attack type defined by the critical attack. If a critical attack requires the assassin to be buffed or to hit a hexed foe, these two restrictions do not apply so long as the assassin and/or his target are affected as required.

From 15th level onwards, the assassin can instead choose any rogue special abilities that he does not already have. He may not choose a feat in place of this special ability.

Critical attacks are chosen from the following list. The dungeon master may approve the use of additional critical attacks in the campaign, or disallow the use of certain critical attacks, as he sees fit.

Black Lotus Strike: Followup attack. Must strike a hexed foe. If this attack hits, you gain points toward your critical strikes pool as if you had landed a critical hit. (You do not deal critical damage with this attack unless you actually land a critical hit.) This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool.

Black Spider Strike: Followup attack. Must strike a hexed foe. If this attack hits, the target is poisoned for seven rounds. The assassin gains a +3 bonus on this attack roll. This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool. The Fortitude DC is 10 + one-half the assassin's class level + the assassin's Wisdom modifier.

Critical Strike: Final blow. Must follow a followup attack. This attack results in a critical hit. This attack uses three points from the critical strikes pool.

Disrupting Stab: Piercing primary attack. If this attack hits, any spell being cast by target foe is automatically lost as though the caster had failed a concentration check. This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool.

Falling Spider: Piercing followup attack. Must follow a primary attack. This attack fails if it does not strike a prone foe. The assassin gains a bonus on this attack's damage roll equal to his class level (maximum +12). If this attack hits, the foe is poisoned for 5 rounds. This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool. The Fortitude DC is 10 + one-half the assassin's class level + the assassin's Dexterity modifier.

Fox Fangs: Followup attack. Must follow a primary attack. The assassin gains a bonus on this attack's attack roll equal to his class level (maximum +12) and damage roll equal to one-half his class level (maximum +6). This attack ignores the target's shield bonus to AC and uses two points from the critical strikes pool.

Golden Fox Strike: Piercing primary attack. You gain a bonus to this attack's damage roll equal to two-thirds your class level (maximum +16). If you are buffed, you gain a bonus on this attack's attack roll equal to 1 + one-half your assassin class level (maximum +12) and this attack ignores any shield bonus your target has to his AC. This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool.

Golden Phoenix Strike: Slashing followup attack. Must follow a primary attack. If you are not buffed, this attack misses. The assassin gains a bonus on this attack's attack roll equal to his class level (maximum +15) and damage roll equal to one-half his class level (maximum +8). This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool.

Horns of the Ox: Piercing final blow. Must follow a followup attack. The assassin gains a bonus on this attack's damage roll equal to two-thirds his class level (maximum +15). If this attack hits, the target is knocked prone. This attack uses three points from the critical strikes pool.

Jagged Strike: Slashing primary attack. If this attack hits, the target begins bleeding for four rounds. This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool. The Fortitude DC is 10 + one-half the assassin's class level + the assassin's Dexterity modifier.

Moebius Strike: Final blow. Must follow a followup attack. This strike does damage equal to you class level (maximum +15). Also, if the creature is at less than half his maximum hit points, you gain critical strikes points as if this was a critical hit. This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool. You cannot learn this critical attack unless you could learn an elite critical attack.

Nine Tail Strike: Slashing final blow. Must follow a followup attack. This attack fails if you cannot make a full attack when you make this attack. You attack four times, each with a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool.

Palm Strike (Su): Elite followup attack. This attack fails if you do not have at least one hand empty (except for a gauntlet, glove, or similar object). You can use the Quick Draw feat to sheathe a dagger before making this attack and draw it out again afterwards, and your Dagger Finesse applies to this attack. Make a melee touch attack against target foe. If that foe is hit, you deal 1d8 damage for every two class levels you have in assassin to that foe, plus your Wisdom bonus (if any). You deal one less damage for every two dice of damage you deal. This damage is not susceptible to reduction of any form. This attack uses three points from the critical strikes pool.

Punishing Blow: Elite primary attack. The assassin gains a bonus on this attack's attack and damage rolls equal to one-half his class level (maximum bonus +12). This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool.

Shattering Assault (Sp): Elite final blow. Must follow a followup attack. This attack is made with a +1 bonus and ignores any shield bonus to the target's AC. If it hits, the target is affected as though by a targeted Dispel Magic effect; however, the assassin can remove no more than two magical effects on his foe with this attack. His caster level for this purpose equals his class level. This attack uses three points from the critical strikes pool. After using this attack, you cannot use it again for 1d6+2 rounds.

Temple Strike (Ex): Elite bludgeoning finishing blow. Must follow a followup attack. This attack deals damage as though you were one size smaller, and you take a -4 penalty on this attack roll because you are using the pommel of your dagger handle or the flat of your blade to deal nonlethal bludgeoning damage. If it attack hits, the target is blinded and disoriented for a number of rounds equal to the number of additional points the assassin spends on this attack from his critical strikes pool. If no additional points are invested into this attack, there is no additional effect. This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool. After using this attack, you cannot use it again for a number of rounds equal to the number of extra points you put into this attack. The target is allowed a Fortitude save to negate the blindness and disorientation with a DC of 16 + one-half the assassin's class level + the assassin's Strength modifier.

Twisting Fangs: Piercing final blow. If you cannot make a full attack against your target with two different daggers, this attack fails. You make two attacks against your target, each with a +2 bonus on their attack rolls. If the first attack misses, so does the second one. If the first attack hits, your target begins bleeding. If the second attack hits, your target suffers from a deep wound. Both of these have a duration of a number of rounds equal to 2 + (your attack roll - your target's AC)/3. This attack uses three points from the critical strikes pool. The Fortitude DCs for this attack equal 10 + the assassin's Dexterity modifier + one-half the assassin's class level. The target takes a -2 penalty on its saving throws if both attacks hit.

Unsuspecting Strike: Slashing primary attack. This attack's damage roll gains a +3 bonus. If your foe's health is above 85% of his maximum, you deal extra damage equal to your class level plus five (maximum +30). This attack uses one point from the critical strikes pool. After using this attack, you cannot use it again for 1d4+2 rounds.

Wild Blow: Followup attack. This attack must attempt to sunder one shield the target is wielding, if possible. If the sunder attempt hits, you deal +2d6 damage and the target is disarmed of that shield automatically. If the target is not wielding a shield, this attack is made normally with a +3 bonus on the attack roll and you deal +1d4 damage per two class levels you have (maximum +10d4). This attack uses two points from the critical strikes pool and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. After using this attack, you cannot use it again for 2d3 rounds.

Shadow Walk (Su): At 6th level, the assassin learns more of his affinity with the shadows. For a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier, he may shadow step to a square adjacent to a foe for five rounds, shadow stepping back to where he was at the end of the fifth. After using this skill, the assassin cannot use it again for five rounds.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): An assassin of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked.

This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Dagger Defense (Ex): At 8th level, the assassin has practiced using his daggers so much that he can quickly block any attack made against him. As long as the assassin has at least one dagger drawn, he gains a +2 shield bonus to AC. He gains an additional +2 bonus if he has two daggers drawn, and an additional +1 bonus for each dagger drawn after that. The assassin gains this benefit even if he is flat-footed, so long as he has at least one dagger drawn and his arms have the mobility to move the daggers to block attacks (thus, if he is paralyzed or immobilized, he loses the bonus). However, the assassin loses the benefits of this ability if he is wearing medium or heavy armor or wielding a shield.

Shadowy Dodge (Su): At 11th level, the assassin learns how to pull shadows around himself to hide his position. He gains a number of Shadowy Dodge points equal to three × his Wisdom modifier. By spending any number of Shadowy Dodge points, he gains concealment for the same number of rounds or total concealment for half that number of rounds. Shadowy Dodge points are regenerated after 24 hours.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 13th level, the assassin gains improved evasion. This ability works like evasion, except that while the assassin still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless assassin does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Dagger Mastery: At 14th level, the assassin is one with his daggers. Henceforth, he gains a +2 bonus on all attack rolls he makes with daggers, and the critical threat range of all daggers he wields increases by 1. In addition, he may use his sneak attacks and critical attacks to deal nonlethal damage at no penalty (effects other than damage do not apply to these attacks, however).

An assassin with this ability gains the Weapon Specialization feat with all daggers even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

Double Striking: At 16th level, the assassin's daggers are mere flashes of steel as they strike his foe. Every time he makes an attack with his daggers (other than a critical attack), he has a 20% chance to make two attacks instead. These attacks deal damage as weapons one size smaller, but can score critical hits normally.

Shadow Displacement (Su): At 18th level, the assassin is nearly a complete master of the shadows. As a swift action, he can shadow step to any creature that he can see within 100 feet, appearing in an adjacent square. When he chooses to end this ability (a free action), he shadow steps to the square where he activated this ability. This effect ends automatically after one hour. Should he use this ability again before dismissing it or its duration expires, it activates normally, but the square where the assassin returns to is reset to the new location. This is an elite ability.

Assassin Deadly Arts Skills List[edit]

1st level arts[edit]

Blinding Powder: Target foe and all adjacent foes are blinded for 1d6 rounds.

Caltrops: Target foe and all adjacent foes move 50% slower for 1d6 rounds. This skill has half the normal range.

Critical Eye: Buff spell. For 1d6 rounds, you have an additional 10% chance to land a critical threat. Whenever you successfully land a critical hit, you add one additional point to your critical strikes pool. After using this skill, you cannot use it again for 2d4 rounds.

Dancing Daggers: This spell fails if you cannot make a full attack when you activate it. You throw three daggers formed of acid at your target. Make a ranged touch attack for each. These daggers strike for 1d3 acid damage + your intelligence modifier each. This art uses one points from the critical strikes pool and counts as a primary attack. After using this art, you cannot use it again for one round.

Dark Prison: Hex spell. Shadow step to a square adjacent to target foe. That foe's movement speeds are reduced by 33% for 1d4 rounds. After using this art, you cannot use it again for 2d8 rounds. A successful Will save negates this hex (but you still shadow step to an appropriate square).

Entangling Asp: Must follow a primary attack. Target foe is knocked prone and is poisoned for a number of rounds equal to your intelligence modifier. A successful Fortitude save negates the prone effect and halves the number of rounds the target is poisoned. This spell has half the normal range.

Shadow Refuge: Buff spell. For three rounds, you gain 1d6 health for each point of intelligence modifier you have (maximum 3d6) at the beginning of your turn. At the end of the third round, if you attack, you gain an additional 2d6 health + your intelligence modifier. After using this spell, you cannot use it again for eight rounds.

Shameful Fear: Hex spell. For five rounds, target foe moves 10% faster than normal. At the end of each round, if that foe moved, he takes 1d4 damage. Each time the foe takes damage, he is allowed a Will save to remove this hex.

Way of Perfection: Buff spell. For 2d6 rounds, whenever you land a critical hit, you gain 1d6 health. After using this skill, you cannot use it again for 3d6 rounds.

Way of the Lotus: Buff spell. For three rounds, the next time you hit with a final blow, you add 1d4 points to your critical strikes pool.

2nd level arts[edit]

Assassin's Promise: Hex spell. For 3d4 rounds, if target foe dies, all of your "recharging" abilities (those that you cannot use for a stated number of rounds) are recharged and you add a number of points to your critical strikes pool equal to your intelligence modifier (maximum 5). This is an elite ability. After using this art, you cannot use it again for two minutes (although you can use this hex to recharge itself).

Enduring Toxin: Hex spell. At the start of target foe's next turn, he takes 2d6 damage + your intelligence modifier (Fortitude half). If that foe moves during that turn, Enduring Toxin is renewed unless the target succeeds at a Will save.

Impale: Must follow a final blow. Target foe takes 3d6 damage + your intelligence modifier (Fortitude half). That foe takes an additional 1d3 acid damage for each point of intelligence bonus you have and suffers a deep wound for a number of rounds equal to one-fourth your intelligence modifier. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again for 1d4 rounds.

Iron Palm: Target touched foe takes 2d6 damage and is dazed for two rounds. A successful Fortitude save negates the dazed effect. This counts as a primary attack and uses one point from the critical strikes pool, but after using this skill, you cannot use it again for 4d6 rounds.

Mantis Touch: Must follow a primary attack. Make a melee touch attack against target foe. That foe's movement speeds are reduced by 50% for 1d3 rounds unless that foe succeeds at a Fortitude save. After using this skill, you cannot use it again for 1d6 rounds. This counts as a followup attack and uses one point from the critical strikes pool.

Scorpion Wire: Hex spell. For 1d6 rounds, whenever there is more than 100 feet between you and target foe, you shadow step to that foe and that foe becomes prone. This spell has half the normal range. A successful Will save negates this hex.

Shadow Prison: Hex spell. Shadow step to target foe. That foe's movement speeds are reduced by 66% for 2d4 rounds + your intelligence modifier. This is an elite ability. A successful Will save negates this hex (but you still shadow step to an appropriate square).

Shroud of Silence: Hex spell. For three rounds, you cannot cast spells or similar abilities (including, but not limited to, deadly arts, meldshaping, psionics, and epic spells, but not including attack-based spell-like abilities such as the Shattering Assault critical attack). For 1d4 rounds, target foe cannot cast spells. This is an elite ability. After your spells and similar abilities recharge, you cannot use this ability for 2d6 rounds.

Siphon Strength: Hex spell. For 1d3 rounds, target foe does half damage with his attacks and all your attacks have an additional 20% chance to land a critical hit against that foe. This is an elite ability.

Way of the Empty Palm: Buff spell. For a number of rounds equal to one-half your intelligence modifier, followup and final blow critical attacks do not drain points from your critical strikes pool. This is an elite ability. After using this ability, you cannot use it again for 3d6 rounds + your intelligence modifier.

The Epic Assassin[edit]

Table: The Epic Assassin
Hit Die: d6
Level Special
21st Critical attack
22nd Critical strikes +7
23rd Critical attack
24th Critical strikes +8
25th Critical attack, bonus feat
26th Critical strikes +9
27th Critical attack
28th Critical strikes +10
29th Critical attack
30th Bonus feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.|

Class Features[edit]

Critical Attack: The assassin continues to gain critical attacks as normal. If he chooses, he may instead research his own critical attack (subject to approval by the dungeon master).

Critical Strikes (Ex): The assassin's critical strikes ability continues to improve as normal, although he cannot have a chance of critical striking greater than 45% from this ability.

Bonus Feats: The epic assassin gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic assassin bonus feats) every five levels after 20th.

Epic Assassin Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Dexterious Fortitude, Dexterous Will, Epic Dodge, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Epic Weapon Focus1, Epic Weapon Specialization1, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Sneak Attack, Lingering Damage, Overwhelming Critical, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting), Self-Concealment, Sneak Attack of Opportunity, Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative, Two-Weapon Rend.

1The assassin can only choose for this feat to apply to a type of daggers for which he meets the prerequisites.

<-Sample race of your choice-> Assassin Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: <-Weapon selection for starting at 1st level with this class.->.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbrieviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->

<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->

Feat: <-1st-level feat selection->.

Bonus Feats: <-1st-level feat bonus feats due to class or sample race. remove this section if this sample doesn't get any bonus feats at 1st level. ->.

Gear: <-Starting armor and other equipment outside of weapons.->.

Gold: <-Starting gold using this package.->.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Assassin[edit]

Religion: <-description of how this class typically (but no exclusively) approaches religion including likely portfolios it would worship->.

Other Classes: <-How this class typically interacts with other classes and how characters of this class interact with characters of other classes->.

Combat: <-Typical role in combat->.

Advancement: <-Typical advancement options for characters with this class. Include desirable multiclass options->.

Assassins in the World[edit]

What I have done cannot be undone
—<-NPC name->, <-race-> <-class->

<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world.->

Daily Life: <-day in the life of a character of this class->.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: <-info on what, where, when, and how characters of this class congregate and assemble->.

NPC Reactions: <-How NPCs react to PCs of this class->.

Assassin Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in <-the appropriate skills-> can research Assassin's to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.


<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 <-common knowledge->.
10 <-not so common knowledge->.
15 <-rare information->.
20 <-very rare information->.

Assassins in the Game[edit]

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.



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