Assassin (Prestige Archetype) (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

This page describes the assassin prestige archetype. For the rogue archetype, see Assassin.

A mercenary undertaking her task with cold, professional detachment, the assassin is equally adept at espionage, bounty hunting, and terrorism. At her core, an assassin is an artisan, and her medium is death. Trained in a variety of killing techniques, assassins are among the most feared classes.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype.

Prestige Class: Assassin.

Build Class: Rogue.

Role: Assassins tend to be loners by nature, seeing companions as liabilities at best. Sometimes an assassin's missions put her in the company of adventurers for long stretches at a time, but few people are comfortable trusting a professional assassin to watch their backs in a fight, and are more likely to let the emotionless killer scout ahead or help prepare ambushes.

Alignment: Any non-good. Due to its necessary selfishness and callous indifference toward taking lives, the assassin class attracts those with evil alignments more than any others. Neutral characters sometimes become assassins, frequently thinking of themselves as simple professionals performing a job, a pretense that rarely holds all the way. More common is the neutral assassin doing evil deeds for a good cause.

There is no penalty for an assassin trying to maintain a non-evil alignment, the act of assassination just naturally gravitates towards evil. An assassin can never be of good alignment.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The assassin's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The assassin has the class features of the rogue, except as follows.

Hidden Weapon (Ex)

At 1st level, an assassin becomes a master at concealing her identity and hiding weapons on her body. She adds half her assassin level (minimum +1) to all Disguise checks and to Sleight of Hand skill checks made to prevent others from noticing hidden weapons or to surreptitiously use poison. This replaces trapfinding.

Poison Use

At level 2, assassins are trained in the use of poison and cannot accidentally poison themselves when applying poison to a blade (see Poison). This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 2.

At 3rd level, the assassin gains a +1 saving throw bonus against poisons. This bonus increase by +1 every three levels after level three. She also gains this bonus on Craft (Alchemy) checks to brew poisons and on Sleight of Hand checks to surreptitiously apply a poison. At 3rd level, she can apply poison to a blade or poison a consumable as a move action. At 9th level, she can apply poison as a swift action. At 18th level, she can apply poison as a free action on her turn. This replaces trap sense (or danger sense for the unchained rogue).

Death Attack (Ex)

If an assassin of 4th level or higher studies her 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). Studying the victim is a standard action. Once the assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, she must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds. The death attack fails if the target detects the assassin or recognizes the assassin as an enemy (although the attack might still be a sneak attack if the target is denied her Dexterity bonus to her Armor Class or is flanked). If the victim of such a death attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ 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.

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 she can attempt another death attack.

This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 4.

Quiet Death (Ex)

At 6th level, whenever an assassin kills a creature using her death attack during a surprise round, she can also make a Stealth check, opposed by Perception checks of those in the vicinity to prevent them from identifying her as the assailant. If successful, those nearby might not even notice that the target is dead for a few moments, allowing the assassin to avoid detection. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 6.

Nondetection (Sp)

At 8th level, an assassin can use nondetection as a spell-like ability once per day as a wizard of her assassin level. At 12th level and 18th level, the assassin gain an additional daily use of the ability. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 8.

True Death (Su)

Starting at 10th level, anyone slain by an assassin's death attack becomes more difficult to bring back from the dead. Spellcasters attempting to bring a creature back from the dead using raise dead or similar magic must make a caster level check with a DC equal to 16 + the assassin's class level or the spell fails and the material component is wasted. Casting remove curse the round before attempting to bring the creature back from the dead negates this chance. The DC of the remove curse is 11 + the assassin's class level. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 10 and advanced rogue talent.

Angel of Death (Su)

At 12th level, the assassin becomes a master of death. When the assassin kills a creature with a death attack, he can cause the target's body to crumble to nothing, as the disintegrate spell. This prevents raise dead (although resurrection and true resurrection works as normal). This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 12.

Resurrection Sense (Su)

At 14th level, a assassin senses if a creature he has slain has been restored to life and approximately where this happened. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 14.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su)

At 16th level, an assassin can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, an assassin can hide herself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 16.

Swift Death (Ex)

At 18th level, once per day, an assassin can make a death attack against a foe without studying the foe beforehand. She must still sneak attack her foe using a melee weapon that deals damage. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 18.

Soul Bind (Sp)

At 20th level the assassin can use soul bind once per day as a wizard of her assassin level. This is a free action when used against a target the assassin has just slain, and also has the effect of the angel of death ability. The assassin needs an appropriate sapphire gem to hold the soul. This replaces the rogue talent gained at level 20.

Table: Assassin

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Finesse training, hidden weapon, sneak attack +1d6
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Evasion, poison use
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Poison use +1 (move), finesse training, sneak attack +2d6
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Death attack, debilitating injury, uncanny dodge
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Rogue's edge, sneak attack +3d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Quiet death, poison use +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak attack +4d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Improved uncanny dodge, nondetection
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Poison use +3 (swift), sneak attack +5d6
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent, true death
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Finesse training, sneak attack +6d6
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Angel of death, poison use +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak attack +7d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Resurection sense
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Poison use +5, rogue's edge, sneak attack +8d6
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak attack +9d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Poison use +6 (free), swift death
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Finesse training, sneak attack +10d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master strike, rogue's edge, soul bind

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the rogue are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Rogue Talents (all)
  • Trap Sense
  • Advanced Rogue Talent

See Also

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