Machine Gun Assassin (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Author's Note: "Now you see me, now you don't. Because you're dead."


Introduction[edit]

Throw up to 16 shurikens every 6 seconds as touch attacks while adding Sudden Strike to each one. Due to making touch attacks, you should be able to easily hit with every attack.

Can't apply sudden strike to each attack unless it is the first round of combat and you move first. Shurikens are destroyed once they hit due to them being ammo (phb). Invisibility is only useful for the first attack in a round due to the minute you attack it drops and you lose your invisibility which no longer removes opponents dex to AC. This build is a good first round combatant but due to weapons being destroyed after hitting you end up not having many weapons after the first round or two and having to spend 200,000gp every combat to get new shurikens made.

  • edit: sudden strike damage gets applied to every attack in a round that you are using the ninja ghost step ability. It functions as greater invisibility per the faq

References[edit]

  • Flaws (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Complete Adventurer
  • Complete Scoundrel
  • Complete Warrior
  • Magic Item Compendium

Game Rule Components[edit]

Progression[edit]

Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): (Assuming 32 Point Buy) 12 18 12 10 14 8

Race (Templates): Halfling

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Features
Special
Fort Ref Will
1st Ninja 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting Ki Power, Sudden Strike +1d6, Trapfinding
2nd Ninja 2 +1 +0 +3 +0 Ghost Step (Invisible)
3rd Ninja 3 +2 +1 +3 +1 Weapon Focus: Shurikens Sudden Strike +2d6, Poison Use
4th Ninja 4 +3 +1 +4 +1 Great Leap
5th Ninja 5 +3 +1 +4 +1 Sudden Strike +3d6
6th Ninja 6 +4 +2 +5 +2 Rapid Shot Acrobatics +2, Ki Dodge
7th Ninja 7 +5 +2 +5 +2 Sudden Strike +4d6, Speed Climb
8th Master Thrower 1 +6 +2 +6 +2 Quick Draw Thrown Weapon Trick: Palm Throw
9th Master Thrower 2 +7 +2 +7 +2 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Evasion
10th Master Thrower 3 +8 +3 +7 +3 Thrown Weapon Trick: Two With One Blow
11th Master Thrower 4 +9 +3 +8 +3 Snatch Arrows
12th Master Thrower 5 +10 +3 +8 +3 Expanded Ki Pool Thrown Weapon Trick: Weak Spot Build reaches full potential
13th Ninja 8 +11 +3 +9 +3 Ghost Strike
14th Ninja 9 +11 +4 +9 +4 Sudden Strike +5d6, Improved Poison Use
15th Ninja 10 +12 +4 +10 +4 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting Ghost Step (Ethereal)
16th Ninja 11 +13 +4 +10 +4 Sudden Strike +6d6
17th Ninja 12 +14 +5 +11 +5 Acrobatics +4, Improved Evasion Master Thrower's Evasion gets boosted here
18th Ninja 13 +14 +5 +11 +5 Improved Precise Shot Sudden Strike +7d6
19th Ninja 14 +15 +5 +12 +5 Ghost Mind
20th Ninja 15 +16 +6 +12 +6 Sudden Strike +8d6

At level 20: Ninja 15 / Master Thrower 5

Items of Note[edit]

  • +5 Teleporting Shocking Frost Flaming Corrosive Shurikens
  • Goggles of Foefinding (Get this ASAP to ignore soft cover)
  • Gauntlets of Extended Range
  • Add Sizing +5,000gp (MIC) to shurikens to modify damage after thrown from 1 to 1d8.
  • Teleporting is only useful when you miss with your shurikens and they aren't destroyed via 50% destruction due to them being ammo. This build is a one shot wonder.

Highlights[edit]

  • Assumed stats at level 20:
    • Dex: 18 (Base) + 2 (Racial) + 5 (Level) + 6 (Item) + 5 (Tome) = 36 (+13)
    • Attack Bonus: 16 (BAB) + 13 (Dex) + 1 (Weapon Focus) + 1 (Point Blank Shot) + 1 (Size) + 1 (Racial) + 5 (Magic) = +38/+33/+28/+23 (Touch attacks)
    • Damage: 1 (Small Shuriken) + 4d6+5 (Magic) x2 (Palm Throw) + 8d6 (Sudden Strike) = 16d6+12
      • Errata of Complete Warrior clarifies that precision-based damage (like Sudden Strike) is not doubled with Palm Throw
    • Full attack array (Rapid Shot + Greater Two-Weapon Fighting): +34/+34/+34/+29/+29/+24/+24/+19
    • Total damage per attack comes out to 68 (on average). Should all attacks hit (and attacking touch AC, they're bound to), that's 544 damage.
  • If two foes are adjacent, you can deal this to both with the Two With One Blow weapon trick.
  • If you finish off one foe, you can continue your attack chain on another within range.
  • Can only get precision damage on first attack unless it's the first round of combat and you go before enemies. Invisibility drops off imediately after the first attack no longer negating the targets dex bonus to AC, so your damage average above is incorrect.
    • the above statement is incorrect, the ninja ghost step ability functions as greater invisibility.


Combat Sequence[edit]

  • Full attack enemies while under Ghost Step (Invisible) at range. Should two enemies be adjacent to each other, take -4 to hit both at the same time.
  • You'll take no penalties to attack rolls when within 20', but when within 30' you'll take -2 due to range.
  • If an opponent has the ability to see you while you're invisible, instead shift to the Ethereal Plane (using Ghost Step (Ethereal)), take a 5' step underground (See Invisible doesn't let you see through the ground) and then full attack using Ghost Strike to hit them from the Ethereal Plane. Downside: Take 1d6 damage coming out of Ghost Step.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

  • Replace Expanded Ki Pool with Dead Eye (Dragon Compendium) to add your Dexterity modifier to damage.
  • Pick up a Ring of Blinking to make anything that doesn't have See Invisible denied dex to AC permanently. You don't have a 20% miss chance, however, due to the daggers leaving your body (and thus the blinking effect) once you've thrown them. (In the same way that inappropriately sized items fall off of you when Enlarge Person might wear off.) See the discussion here for more information about the legality of this.
  • Replace the two-weapon feats with Multiweapon feats, play as a race with 4 or more pairs of arms, resulting in 52 attacks per round with 8 arms, or more if you have even more arms. Granted the other arms will have to make due with normal shurikens, but it's still a significant boost.

Limitations[edit]

  • Creatures immune to Sudden Strike, creatures with a high Touch AC.

DM Counters[edit]

  • Defenses apart from AC (illusions, concealment, etc)
  • Keep enemies at a distance greater than 30' so they can't be affected by Sudden Strike.
  • Limit the player's access to enchanted thrown weapons by running wilderness adventures or large-scale dungeon crawls.

Variants[edit]

  • If the DM throws a lot of creatures with Blindsight, Tremorsense or the like, pick up the Darkstalker feat from Lords of Madness instead of Expanded Ki Pool.
  • The water elemental variant (Deceptive Mist, Dragon Magazine #354, page 87) is a good alternative if you face many foes with See Invisbility, since it creates an actual barrier to sight around you.
  • Take a level of Swordsage after the 5th level of Master Thrower for +2d6 Sneak Attack (Assassin's Stance), and an extra Invisibility once per encounter (Cloak of Deception) if your game uses Fractional BAB. Doing this without Fractional BAB causes you to lose your last iterative attack, stopping you from being epic-ready.
  • If you get exotic weapon proficiency(Halfling Skiprock) you could ricochet off of one target and hit another up to 5' away. If both are flatfooted, you will do sudden-strike damage to both. combined with the two-with-one-blow, you can hit each of them for double sudden strike damage at only a -2 on the ricochet attack. Also skiprocks do more damage. (silentmaster101)
  • you could use flick of the wrist to make them flatfooted, which deny's dex, which lets you apply sneak attack dmg, with out the pesky having to go invisible and/or underground...

flick of the wrist- "if you draw a weapon and attack with it in the same round your opponent is flat footed for the first attack" since you are drawing a wepon and attacking once with it, then drawing another, this works over and over for the full round... (LokiTheHarvester)

> I don't think flick of the wrist would work, by the rules, because the end of the description of the feat says this: "You may use this feat only once per round and once per opponent in any single combat encounter." <

  • take pixie as the character race; pixies have +4 level adjustment and preferred class sorcerer, however they can fly 60 feet (good), have damage reduction 10/cold iron, cast greater invisibility (self) at will, have ability adjustments –4 Strength, +8 Dexterity, +6 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, +6 Charisma, and have some other nice things. If there are multiple enemies to deal with or the enemy has great initiative, this is awesome.

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