Depends. If you want some general slaugter to get done, get a red mantis. They have tricks that help them also stand in open combat and dish out damage in several directions.
If you want a specific target to be dead, and dead for good get an assassin, because that's the one who can prevent people being brought back from death with anything other than true resurrection, wish or miracle.
Maybe have a rogue with the scout archetype before going into assassin? Easier to get sneak attack.
I know that if you are detected or seen as an enemy, death attack doesn't work, but the problem comes when you are hiding, beginning to study for your attack, but your less stealthy peers are found out. The enemy would then not be flatfooted, since they are fighting the guy in large, clanging plate mail. Scout would allow you to do sneak attack without having to wait for an opportunity to flank (since if they needed you to do death attack that badly, they might not live long enough to set up a flank)
Ruin all dramatic tension. Ignore the discussion about assassination and just play angry god.
So putting aside just changing the laws of causality to get rid of the guy, can anyone suggest wizards spells useful to an assassin. More constructive suggestions rather than simply playing "wizards are just better" card. Maybe suggestions that could be gained through a slight amount of multiclassing.
Here, let me start: invisibility, to get up there without being seen, and not having to ask a party member to cast it for you. Summoning to get something good at assassinations.
Arcane trickster is also good, since they have both sneak attack and spells. Better than a regular wizard at traditional assassinations since they can use both silent and still spell for free a few times a day. Never let them see the fire ball coming.
For other traditional assassin prestige classes, I guess we have to include shadow dancer and master spy. Shadow dancer is good for a dip, and at third level you get summon shadow. Dealing strength damage to your target is useful, and if you enemies do not have a magic user, it might be impossible for them to properly take on an incorporeal for. Master spy gets death attack as well, but uses bluff and disguise rather than stealth. Anyone more familiar with the master spy to help better sell them than me?
Fighter 2/Rogue 3 Red Mantis Assassin is kinda cool build, you get your pre-requisites feats in time for you to qualify for the Red Mantis Assassin at level 6. Although you might have to tailor your traits to qualify for the skills.
The fascinating prayer Attack is cool, save or die. However not really effective in a large party as the enemy you fascinate gets multiple saves vs it due to see hostile enemies approach him/her.
Items to consider
Ring of invisibility= any assassins wet dream
Mantis Mask Aura faint divination; CL 3rd Slot head; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Upon becoming a Red Mantis assassin, a new recruit is gifted a mantis mask by his superior. These masks cover the entire face, and give the assassin the well-known look fostered by the organization over the years—an assassin is expected to wear his mask at all times while on a job. A mantis mask has three daily charges. The wearer can spend a charge to gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet, the effects of see invisibility, the effects of deathwatch, or a +5 competence bonus on Perception checks. Once a charge is spent, the effect granted persists for 30 minutes before fading. Multiple effects can be active simultaneously. Charges used replenish after 24 hours.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision, see invisibility, deathwatch; Cost 3,000 gp, 240 XP
Hmmm...just thought about something: can the magus spellstrike count for sneak attack and death attack? I know, you would have to do silent spell and still spell to keep them from noticing, but could the attack delivering the touch attack be precision damage?
If so, I guess you would have to look for touch spells that can be used to lower the enemy's fort save. It could make the death attack all the harder to resist. Maybe throw in at least three levels of arcane trickster to make doing the spell easier. Throw in the magus arcana "arcane accuracy" to make the attack more accurate.
Can someone with more experience tell me if this is possible, and if so, what spells to use for this idea?
Red Mantis Assassin all the way. Absolutely brutal Death attack. Add in the spellcasting and the all the free weapon feats and you have a solid build. Everything else they get is just gravy (Like the level draining attacks you get from your shift ability).
Baring that I would do Ninja 5/Assassin 10/Master Spy 5. Master Spy adds their level to the DC of the Assassin's Death Attack so thats an extra 5 to the DC.
Personally I dont like (or allow) death attacks. Saver or Die is a really crap mechanic imo. Either it works and ruins the encounter(or kills your player in my case), or its a wasted action. I rarely if every throw them at my party, and advise them to avoid using them as players.
"chancellor, good to see you again.""yes, yes. let's continue this inside before the sun gets us."
"right away, sir."
"...do you hear that noise?"
"what noise, sir?"
though that'd end up more as a kidnapping/assassination instead of a regular assassination.
Here is one I thought up.
Magus 5/Assassin 3/Arcane Trickster 10/Assassin 2.
Cast Greater Invisibility.
Studies Target for 3 rounds.
Gets within 5 feat and waits till next turn.
Lets say he uses a +5 Keen (or you have Imp Crit)Rapier
Cast a touch attack first. Make the free spellstrike a Death Attack (DC 15+int) and deals...
1d6 + 5 + Str + 15d6(Empowered Intensified Shocking Grasp) + 8d6 + Weapon Enhancement
Then if he doesn't die you can full attack.
You can Death Attack/Full Attack and use Spell Combat to teleport away. Kill and gone before anyone even sees you lol.