I have something to say about the death attack abilities in this game. I do not like how an assassin has to wait three rounds to assassinate. For a class that focuses at a one hit kill I find it weak by the time your a level ten prestiged assassin and say six levels in something else your fort save at character level 16 is only 20. By level 16 almost all powerful creatures make the save making the assassin power very weak considering you have to wait three rounds just to use the power. If the ability is going to be this weak I would make a person just wait one round. But I offer another rule variant to make assassins wanted characters in a party. The way I see it most things with humanoid anatomy have similar biology to have to study for three rounds makes almost no sense the brain is where it is vital points are always where they are. So what if an assassin gets something decent a fist level gunslinger could gain a double hack but and at 2d12 be doing as much as a level 20 monk. I just make the class more fun and create more longing to be it.
Death Attack- once per day for every three assassin levels can choose any attack he has to make it a death attack.
1st level assassin if an assassin meets rules for sneak attack and hits hit is critical roll critical damage that is all.
3rd level assassin- after you roll damage the opposing character must make fort save versus damage or die.
5th level assassin- can assassinate while hiding and remain hiding if invisible remain invisible.
7th level assassin- raise dead no longer works on victims need more powerful raise spell
9th level assassin-plus two to the DC save from assassinate.
10th level assassin- The insanity death attack the victims crumble to dust no ressurection can bring back victims but wish can supersede this. In addition as long as the character has cleave he can cleave with the death attack as long as the first attack was a successful kill blow.
As it stands I loathe to play assassins. change it to a variant of this calibre and it brings it to a power level that people want to play
I never felt the death attack was designed to be a monster slaying/big boss killing ability, it's effective in certain situations but requires planning and opportunity, to play an assassin effectively you would need a game with fewer monsters and would have to play smart in order to get the chance to land a death attack. If every attack the assassin makes is a "death attack" or if he can make 10 death attacks a day it loses it's meaning and potency, that's why we have sneak attack after all.
|Chris Lambertz Paizo Glitterati Robot|
what good is the death attack when almost every higher level monster can beat the dc vs death. It virtually makes assassins useless to anything with a decent fort save. A paladin can smite as much as he wants and can be a massive damage dealer, a wizard can power word kill, a summoner can have a four legged eidolon that can charge and get full round attacks every round and to move to the next monster and get full round attacks. That is a major combat advantage. Why not give the assassin a decent kill ability that is the sole meaning of the class. I didnt say ten death attacks a day i said one every three levels that is a total of 3 for a maxed out assassin. You still roll the dmg dice and if there low rolls the opposing creature still has a good chance to make the save. Not like power work kill, or a wizards ability to use various spells to affect all different saves not to mention certain spells like evards tentacles or glitterdust that completely by pass spell resistance. I opt to give the assassin one vs save ability. And I offer to make it decent. Rogue type characters may get sneak attack but they have to move to the forefront of battle and move to flanking position. Against huge creatures that is challenging there have been many battles in our party of gnomes where the rogue rolls one damage die because he cant get into the battle to move around the npc to get sneak. And then since hes a ninja he can go invisible certain number per day but once his three uses are used up he has to try to circle the npc. Circling an Npc puts into the forefront of battle and when your getting into monsters with power sometimes you dont want the rogue in the forefront of battle thereby leaving him in the back not doing sneak. The death attack for the ninja, assassin and other classes need to be looked all i'm saying
Death attack isn't a coup de grace: hence, the need for study, to be able to strike down a non-helpless target-in-motion.
And, hmmn, let's see... 10+(assassin level)+int mod. Wide range of variables there, I admit, but a 5th level assassin with an intelligence of 16 has a DC of 18 on the fortitude save. And a fifth level assassin is a minimum 10th level character (given the prereqs for the PrC). If you're trying to assassinate foes of your level, you've got a decent chance looking at the flat Fortitude bonus of even the good fort save classes (+7). Obviously, they'll have some save bonuses due to Con/magic items, maybe class features. Obviously, this works better on poor fort save classes.
Nevertheless, you can build toward higher DCs -- more Int, headband to buff Int, etc. And if you haven't been poisoning your weapon, you should be. Given the stealth capacities of the assassin (should be equal to Character Level, since why on earth would you stop advancing stealth when you hit the PrC?) you should also be looking into pre-poisoning your target with some Con-damaging poisons to lower that fort save.
The Death Attack of the assassin is not meant to be a combat buff: assassination is, ideally, the culmination of a long-term, careful plan, not 'oh, look, he's shopping; I'll go whack him.'
I am, of course, speaking of the Assassin-As-Written... if you can find a GM who will let you modify it, go have fun.
But -- hide in plain sight, poison use, hidden weapon... looks like plenty to be going on with, frankly.