Class recommendation for an "assassinations" campaign.


Hey guys!
so i'm no veteran just yet, i only played 2 APs as a player and one as GM/DM.
My friends and i are starting a new AP with assassinations (no idea what that means) called "Culling the weak" and im having trouble choosing a class. so far we have a: Witch, Slayer and a fighter (Going to be Eldich Knight)

what i can't/wont take:
Summoner - played it, owned with it.
Paladin archer - played in carrion crown and OMG owned with it
arcane trickster - helped a buddy build when i was GM

What im looking for:
interesting race (no dragons or ogres) - i've always taken Human so if it works with the char i'd like to give a cool race a shot
a character without a companion that needs to be manged every turn (Eidolon)
something that would utilize a prestige class early and powerfully - this campaign is up to levels 16-20, so a powerful carry would work here and i never played a prestige class
if possible - something that is slightly less item dependent and strong because of correct feat/abilities combination choices) as much as possible ofc.
if possible - high charisma/diplomacy (since the others skipped it) but its not a must.

That's it!
any help or even a nudge in the right direction would help!

If you want a good prestige class there are a few that might work. I'm guessing that with that name for the campaign - I don't think that's an adventure path - that good aligned PrCs will not work however.

For example, the veiled illusionist PrC is excellent for sneaky adventures and has no awkward alignment requirements. Implicitly if not explicitly you have to worship Sivanah, a true neutral deity. It would be best used with a full caster which doesn't otherwise get access to the sorcerer/wizard spell list and which doesn't have huge amounts of class features to advance, since as with most, this PrC advances only casting and its own features. i.e. Cleric, or some types of oracle - especially a heavens mystery oracle.

The living monolith is a fairly defensive PrC which can be full-BAB, or 3/4 BAB with spellcasting advancing on 9/10 levels. It might work for a full caster who wants to be better at melee or a non-casting melee type who isn't enthused by their later class abilities. As with most PrCs it's poor for partial casters.

The one prestige class which does work for partial casters is the evangelist. it sacrifices one level of advancement in your original class, then continues advancing class features while giving you a few skill-based class features and earlier access to divine boons from the divine obedience feat.

One question. Why do you want a prestige class exactly? If you didn't have one in mind in the first place it's an odd thing to aim for in PF.

avr wrote:
One question. Why do you want a prestige class exactly? If you didn't have one in mind in the first place it's an odd thing to aim for in PF.

Well, it's a good question and it actually doesn't HAVE to be a PrC, i thought it may offer more variety and options when leveling.

After reading up some more between the time of creating my post and now, i'm pretty sure i seek a ranged class, but not specifically a caster, they main focus on spells is not something i find very appealing. so maybe something between a ranged paladin (High dps, high DR bypassing) and a stealth character?

Zen archer seems interesting, but:
1. it seems like after a few levels Flurry of Blows is totally wasted
2. if i get Sneak Die later on, can that damage be incorporated into the attacks?

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human unchained rogue (scout, sniper archetype)

1.Weapon Finesse, Point-Blank Shot, Dampen Presence
3.Precise Shot
4.Expert Sniper
5.Rapid Shot, Master Sniper
7.Deadly Aim
9.Ranged Feint

I suggest a kineticist. Start with the Aether element -> you get invisibility at-will at level 6; expand into Air for extra range and mobility (240' touch attacks at will at level 7; later 960' touch attacks at will); you have a limited amount of options, so it is much less complicated than a spellcaster.

If you want, you could ask your DM if he allows VMC(Rogue) as that allows your character to telekinetically disable traps and be a much better rogue than the normal rogue.

Ranged sneak attacks can be done as Dr. Okkam points out, but it's difficult enough to rarely be worth it. Unless you can get greater invisibility or similar then you generally only get sneak attack damage on the very first attack. Okkam's example can get two such attacks but no more.

If you want a ranged, stealthy character without too much magic and with a prestige class then I'd suggest guide ranger 6 / horizon walker 10 / ranger +4. Horizon walker can get you many odd abilities to choose from, and the first 6 levels of ranger can set you up as an archer. Feats might go like this over the first 10 levels:

1: point blank shot
Ranger combat style 2: precise shot
3: rapid shot
Ranger bonus 3: endurance
5: weapon focus (longbow)
Ranger combat style 6: improved precise shot or point blank master
7: clustered shots or manyshot
9: manyshot or clustered shots

This doesn't require any race in particular though one with a dex bonus would be a sensible choice, and I prefer to have natural darkvision when making a stealthy character. A strix has flight as well as these. A kitsune has low light instead of darkvision but the shapeshifting makes up for it. You might choose dandy instead of guide as an archetype to take advantage of a kitsune's charisma bonus but it is a minor hit to your combat ability.

Remember to spend a trait or two adding social skills to your class list if you want to be the face and you're not taking the dandy archetype.

Fetchling Oracle with the Shadow mystery. Maybe play with the notion of shadow as the balance between light and dark/good and evil and whatnot. I probably wouldn't dilute things with a prestige class

Your group could use the divine based casting support, but the mystery remains thematic and appropriatand to the sort of campaign you're looking at. CHA based so you can get Diplomacy and related skills going. The shadow spells should also offer quite a bit of versatility.

Ranged Bard. Bards are always a force multiplier--your slayer and fighter will love you--they have magic but not too much, they can have diplomacy in spades, and infiltration is the name of their game. Just grab the usual suite of ranged feats plus arcane strike and you'll be deadly.

Acting is the performance you'll want, mechanically and thematically. Coordinate with the witch player about what kind of spells you select--if he or she is going for illusions or enchantments, no need to put them on your list. Get Glibness asap.

Dark Archive

A bow-wielding Inquisitor might be just up your alley. Pick something like the Conversion domain for Wisdom to the social skills, and later a free daily Dominate. Bane/Greater Bane can get you 4d6 extra damage per arrow when you need it so it's more reliable than Sneak Attack. And if you go with the Sanctified Slayer archetype, you lose your judgments but get the Slayer's Studied Target and Sneak Attack die. Teamwork feats like Covering Fire / Enfilading Fire are pretty great, since you get to use them even if your allies don't take them.

I was unable to find Culling the weak, so I'm unclear as to whether the PC's are assassins or assassin hunters.

If the PCs are assassins, I'd go alchemist. Not only do they get solid poison use, but discoveries like Sleeper Agent, Greater Alchemical Simulacrum, Doppelganger Simulacrum, Cytillesh Bomb, and Tainted Infusion (skinsend, anyone?) would be amazing in this sort of game.

The only "downside" is that those all heavily encourage straight alchemist.

If you're insistent on a PrC, though, Beastmorph Vivisectionist into Master Chymist is always a fan favorite, and the dual identity is sure to be helpful, while still allowing you to take plenty of excellent discoveries.

Doppelganger Simulacrum can be brutally effective. It's not immortality, rather it's as many meat suit you's as you can afford. Kit out your minion selves with mostly mundane gear and sally forth. You can die by the bucketloads and you won't care (much), so long as you've figured out a way to keep 'the real you' very safely stashed away elsewhere on the same Plane (Material or otherwise).

This becomes utterly hilarious if you research an alchemist version of blood money, letting you 'respawn' on the cheap.

wow! so many awesome options.
ill start looking into all of them! so many leads!

thank you!!!

I think a diviner would be awesome for story reasons.

Edit: perhaps a wizard diviner, an oracle, or a cleric with divination could be great for predicting assassinations or preparing for a mission.

A sorecerer or rebirth discipline psychic. Cull the weak by possessing them. It's great for assasinations because it does not require line of effect or line of sight. You can attack them as long as they are in range. Once you have possessed them, they are at your mercy. You could teleport out and the have your new body killed in a remote location or you could just coup de grace yourself on the spot.

If 3rd party is an option. I would suggest Marskman class from DSP, It does archery wonderfully as the whole classes idea is to be ranged, and it gets more than few psionic powers that are wonderful for assasination purposes.

Otherwise the mentioned inqusitor and bard archers are good choices as well. I would lean on the bard because of your party composition.

Urban druid might be a thing that works as well. As it does get wildshape but at -4 level, it can still be used for sneaking about, and it gets thousand faces at level 6

And since you requested an interesting race as an option. Ifrit, +2 and +2 Cha (-2Wis though). Still works with archery and you had a minor request for Cha. But the reason you would want this is the firesight feat combined with smoke arrows. This allows you to essentially make your target blind or forced to move and it does not make things worse for you. I would also combine this with the mentioned Archer bard as it has pyrotechnics on it's spell list, added benefit of the stat bonuses working well with the bard.

I would also recommend an inquisitor. Your party is lacking in divine magic although the witch can get some spells that are traditionally divine spells. Inquisitors are in simple weapons, their deities favored weapon and most ranged weapons. If you choose a deity with a good melee weapon you will be covered for both ranged and melee combat. The inquisitors class abilities are non-weapon specific and work equally well with both forms of combat. This allows you to fill either roll without any difficulty.

One thing an inquisitor is very good at is being able to buff himself up given a small amount of time. By casting the right spell, and choosing the right judgement before activating bane he becomes very powerful. Most of his buffs are different types so they all stack with each other. Getting all of them up and running is often a limiting factor, but for an assassin campaign this should not be a problem. You can also take the sanctified slayer archetype to trade out judgements, but I would avoid that. Judgements are incredibly versatile and you already have a slayer in the party so that may be overlapping a little.

An Oni-Spawn Tiefling would make a very good inquisitor. Take the Conversion inquisition and you can dump CHA and still be the party face. Max out intimidate and use the tieflings favored class bonus to boost up your intimidate and monster lore. Take power attack and cornugon smash to get a free intimidate against anything you attack. Getting alter self once a day as a spell like ability also works very well for an assassin.

Ratfolk Investigator.

Your party is short on the knowledge skills and you can still be good at socal skills. Plus there's something sneaky and underhanded as you scurry about.


How about an iroran paladin (or enlightened paladin, as it is called on some sites with copyright issues).

This is the 'monk' archetype for paladins... but if you give up unarmed attacks (little support for the, and you keep your normal weapon proficiencies), you can actually do a light armored, more neutral friendly paladin.

So, things you get:
-you can add cha adn dex together for AC when in light/no armor. There is a mod/level limit... but that is meaningless after level 2 usually. Anyway, you can easily hit the max dex of light armors with 14/14 stats, investing little.
-Smite evil is traded away for a +1-+7 thing. But it is a 'self challenge', which means it is more about yourself- so it works on neutral and good enemies. Also, you can spend ki to ignore the target's DR. This overall means you are great against golems- a dreaded enemy for most paladins.
-you keep most of the paladin's tanky stuff- cha to saves, lay on hands, mercies, spells, etc.
-you are encouraged to write your own paladin code (irori doesn't see only a single path to enlightenment). This can make things.... flexible. Which is useful if you assassinate people.

Overall, it is tanky, but it is light armored and stealth friendly. You do not lose out on much if you decide to take a dip into something like shadow dancer (most people only take 1 level shadow dancer, for hide in plain sight, or 3 for the shadow; it is basically not worth it after that).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Are there any monk archetypes with early access to Quivering Palm?

Maybe a class with lots of Save or Die or Save or Suffer spells?

Are you going to be assassins, anti-assassins, or members of rival guilds doing Player versus Player shenanigans?

Maybe an archetype of Cavalier that trades out the mount for something fun? It would have Social Skills, good combat ability, and maybe you can choose a Teamwork Feat that will let you coordinate attacks and actions with your allies so you can kill opponents in 1 round. Bards and Inquisitors and Skalds can do this too. Are there any Investigator archetypes that use Teamwork?

Is the slayer going to be melee or ranged? Is the fighter taking just 1 level in fighter and 5 levels of wizard to be an eldritch knight? You might have to be a primary melee or ranged combatant to protect the archer and spellcasters. Maybe a reach cleric to do healing, battlefield control, tanking, and divinations. If the slayer is melee, s/he is going to want a flank buddy, too.

You seem to be missing a Divine Caster in your group.

A Inquisitor, Warpreist or Evangelist Cleric would be a great addition to this party make up. The Inquisitor seems to be the big winner here being able to work in a grey area and offers a LOT of skills and damage potential while still being able to use wands/Scrolls to help the group recover.

How about a Sanctified Slayer inquisitor of Shax with some levels of Holy Vindicator PrC thrown in? The demonic obedience ups your sneak attack damage and synergizes well with HV's stigmata ability. Plus, Shax is the demon lord of murder. He'd be a perfect fit for assassinations.

Ratfolk Arcanist
Feats: Spell Focus+Greater(transmutation), Heighten Spell + Focused Spell, Improved Familiar, Spell Specialization(Disintegrate), Quicken spell, Spell Perfection(disintegrate), preferred spell (full pouch) for wizard
Key Spells: Full Pouch, Disintegrate, Invisibility, Mind blank, All the gather information divination spells and their counters, Alchemical Tinkering, Haste, Baleful Polymorph
Discoveries: Familiar, Dimension Slide, Potent Magic, School Understanding

Early Levels: gonna be rough lv1-3. Use a crossbow/cantrip and try to stay stealthed and behind cover. Start to pick up some alchemy items but avoid using them if possible. Post 4 you gain significantly more options with full pouch
Mid Levels: Grab some drow poison and mass produce it with full pouch. Use unseen servants to apply it to everyone's weapons. Have your familiar follow along with a scythe for when they inevitably fail a save. Since a wand works well enough for unseen servant and full pouch is mainly used before bed, have fun with your spell slots
Late Levels: Your a full arcane caster. You should be able to disintegrate anything on level and plenty of things above your level. Work with your witch to force a failed save. By lv16 your impossible to find and firing 2 maximized, focused, empowered disintegrates per round

For bonus points grab an indirect fire siege weapon and snipe people from 4000ft away with your ranks in knowledge engineering. Can magic it up: named bullet, true strike, reloading hands, energy siege shot, ricochet shot, magic weapon greater, quieting weapons

Focused Spell does not appear to work on disintegrate, as it can only modify a spell that affects or targets more than one creature.

Yeah noticed several mistakes in my post..... Dismiss most of it please

Let me see...

I think that in your situation, I'll pick a Sandman Bard.
Very high stealth, ability to cast hidden spell, able to put opponents into sleep without a limit in HD... so you can assassinate them with a Coup de Grace.

This is just because I would be curious to see if you could pull it off precisely because it is weak, if thematic:

The Assassin Prestige Class.

I would enter it from Bard (gives you some useful spells like undetectable alignment and invisibility - really, it is a shame that Pathfinder took spells away from the assassin prestige class). You could either go Bard 5/Assassin 10/Master Spy 5 or perhaps Bard 5/Assassin 2/Master Spy 10/Assassin 3. Master Spy is almost unique in that its death attack class feature stacks with the Assassin's even before you technically would get it qua Master Spy, were to you to go into Master Spy directly. It is a minor advantage for the Assassin, so you might as well get it.

As for race, perhaps halfling (with the feat that lets you disguise yourself as a human child?).

The challenge would be finding situations in which you can pull off: a) getting to study an opponent for three rounds, b) making the death attack, and c) getting the hell out of dodge (or at least getting to the safety of your party) if the death attack doesn't work.

Rouge, Magus, Arcane Trickster can hit hard and fast. they can cast true strike or vanish all day. They get scorching ray and a sneak attack per ray. Magus get prescient attack so as long as they hit they can get a free sneak attack next round. with Hexcarfter and poisoner for archetypes they can do some serious ability damage as well. You cast Vanish or True strike first round with Prescient Attack. they lose their Dex next round and hit them with Scorching Ray and that usually the end of most foe

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