Need help building a mage-killer assassin


Advice


After a long absence, I am returning to Pathfinder and am a little rusty. I need some help building an antagonist for my new campaign.

She's an elven Nocticulan assassin who specalizes in killing mages and who is going to be a constant terror for the Alliance Mage Corps in the city that my players are going to be in. However, Im at a loss on how to build her. I know I want her to be Level 12, but am not sure of class or fighting style. I was thinking either Slayer or Vigilante, as goining undetected between kills is a big thing for her. So I ask the optimizers here, what can I do to make this lusty, stabby elf girl a terror to remember?


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I suspect Vigilante will work best for you, although I am not familiar enough with all of the options to advise on an exact build.

One of the difficulties of making a memorable assassin, is that generally other then the kills they leave behind, they aren't visible at all, and when they are finally tracked down, they aren't necessarily all that formidable (being able to sneak in and kill someone isn't the same thing as being able to succeed in a straight up fight against multiple opponents.)

Vigilante could help a lot with that, letting you have 'the assassin' be part of the game in their social guise (what if the hard bitten elven detective investigating these crimes for the Mage Corps is actually the killer, driven to revenge for one too many excesses by the Mage's.) There are tons of available options, and I think the best would be if the social identity was able to provide the party information and clues about the assassin (careful to not provide too many, but things like motives, 'getting the message out'.) That could actually help focus on the assassins nature and make her memorable as well as the fun of a npc the party thought was helpful was actually the enemy. One caution though, you need to have at least a couple of other prominent NPCs with a similar relation to the party, or the 'helpful' one will stand out too much.

I'd also look at the Red Mantis Assassin prestige class. Obviously your assassin isn't going to have this exactly, but I think it is one of the 'best', by which I mean most dangerous assassin packages against a single foe. The prayer attack in particular is quite vicious. I could see a special set of religious feats or vigilante powers that you build for this NPC or reflavoring the Red Mantis into a Nocticulan based prestige class (seductive attack anyone?) Another possibility would be a magic item, probably an intelligent one, that granted an ability somewhat like this.


Slayer with Witch Killer archetype


Dave Justus wrote:

I suspect Vigilante will work best for you, although I am not familiar enough with all of the options to advise on an exact build.

One of the difficulties of making a memorable assassin, is that generally other then the kills they leave behind, they aren't visible at all, and when they are finally tracked down, they aren't necessarily all that formidable (being able to sneak in and kill someone isn't the same thing as being able to succeed in a straight up fight against multiple opponents.)

Vigilante could help a lot with that, letting you have 'the assassin' be part of the game in their social guise (what if the hard bitten elven detective investigating these crimes for the Mage Corps is actually the killer, driven to revenge for one too many excesses by the Mage's.) There are tons of available options, and I think the best would be if the social identity was able to provide the party information and clues about the assassin (careful to not provide too many, but things like motives, 'getting the message out'.) That could actually help focus on the assassins nature and make her memorable as well as the fun of a npc the party thought was helpful was actually the enemy. One caution though, you need to have at least a couple of other prominent NPCs with a similar relation to the party, or the 'helpful' one will stand out too much.

I'd also look at the Red Mantis Assassin prestige class. Obviously your assassin isn't going to have this exactly, but I think it is one of the 'best', by which I mean most dangerous assassin packages against a single foe. The prayer attack in particular is quite vicious. I could see a special set of religious feats or vigilante powers that you build for this NPC or reflavoring the Red Mantis into a Nocticulan based prestige class (seductive attack anyone?) Another possibility would be a magic item, probably an intelligent one, that granted an ability somewhat like this.

Thank you for the reply. I do plan on having the players interact with her a lot, as they're all playing soldiers part of the occupation force for the city. She was defitenly going to be a helper NPC and Vigilante seemed like a good class to pick.

I will defitenly look more at the Red Mantis Prestige class and see if I can make a more Nocticulan version for it.


I would recommend incorporating some form of grappling into the build. Concentration checks to cast spells while grappled is extremely difficult.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Have you seen the Serial Killer archetype, KaiserBruno? It seems like exactly what you're looking for.

Also, if you do go the grapple route, I'd suggest this feat: Throat Slicer
Otherwise, ranged Vital Strikes readied against casting are every caster's bane.


Level12 eh? Well i will sound like a damn broken record at this point but i actually did make a lvl20 assassin at some point.

I was trying to make a Red Mantis Assassin.
The way for me to try to kill anyone is the mobility to get in, do your damage and then get out again, for me i used Horizon Walker for 3 levels to pick up Astral Terrain Dominance that gives 3 + wis dimension doors each day and then go for the dimensional agility tree with savant that makes me teleport, full-round attack, Flank and sneak attack my target and then retreat with my remaining movement.

The earliest i have managed to get this online is by level 7 as you get 3rd level Horizon walker and just retrain previous feats into the dimensional agility.

So you could go Vigilante + Horizon Walker + Red Mantis, but personally i think this could be a fit for someone that want to take down a mage and get out fast.


i would say the full bab vigilante


I think you have to have some kind of magic to make this work. One way which is compatible with being a vigilante is to take the psychometrist archetype, which gives you some of the focus powers an occultist would get though not their spellcasting. Make sure she has abjuration (for dispelling magic) and conjuration (for teleportation) implements.


avr wrote:
I think you have to have some kind of magic to make this work. One way which is compatible with being a vigilante is to take the psychometrist archetype, which gives you some of the focus powers an occultist would get though not their spellcasting. Make sure she has abjuration (for dispelling magic) and conjuration (for teleportation) implements.

conjuration is blocked for psychometrist, unfortunately ...

Lantern Lodge

I would suggest a full blown ninja. From level 2 ninjas are the best martial Mage killers because they can go invisible. This lets you get behind enemy lines and position next to the Mage. At level 10 you now have improved invisibility so it’s game over.

Your elf can pull this off using a mithril breastplate for decent AC and two-handing an elven curved blade. Power attack and using ki for extra attacks will turn mages to mince meat.

After level 10 I would probably just stick with ninja or go a four level dip in fighter weapon master so you can use gloves of dueling. Or if there are some stalker abilities you like go for a 10/10 ninja stalker.

For tricks grab pressure points to disable casters quickly. If you choose to go mono ninja then your lvl 12 can be ghost step for added mobility. Vanishing trick and greater vanishing trick give you invisibility.

Also this gives your character some magic flair as you flavor the ninjas abilities to come from magic rather than ki.

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