Assassin Class

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Havard
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Assassin Class

Post by Havard » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:21 pm

From what I understand this was a rather controversial class back in the days. Do you allow Assassins in your campaigns? What do you think of the class in general?

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Re: Assassin Class

Post by Boneguard » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:49 pm

Havard wrote:From what I understand this was a rather controversial class back in the days. Do you allow Assassins in your campaigns? What do you think of the class in general?

-Havard
Well the assassin class was an interesting rogue class. You HAD to be evil, so right there it was out for a lot of game. They had access to all weapons, and had slower thief skill progression. Their 2 main strength were assassination and spying, which, to be effective, was time consuming and not really suited for campaign.

IMHO it was much better as a NPC or solo campaign class, where you can fully use its abilities.
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Re: Assassin Class

Post by BotWizo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:43 pm

I will second what Boneguard mentioned;

In our campaign we typically played good characters so that made Assassins npcs.
We talked about letting it be for any alignment, but no one really wanted to play assassins anyway, our campaigns were more straight up fights and ambushes, but other classes were better suited for that style of combat, we felt the assassin was more of an urban and intrigue style campaign class.
The class was never really controversial for us back in the 80s and 90s
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Re: Assassin Class

Post by Big Mac » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:53 am

I once read a D&D novel that featured a "good assassin" (or at least an assassin who was working for good). I can't remember the name of the novel, or the name of the character, but the assassin was a woman. She might have been human, but again I'm not sure.

I thought it was a little bit convoluted, but it was just about possible to have a non-evil assassin. I guess that you could have an evil empire, with assassins working to take down the elite in order to make a revolution easier or something of that ilk, where ordinary options for PCs would be much less effective.
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Re: Assassin Class

Post by ghendar » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:45 am

Back in 1984 my group played an evil party. I remember that we had an anti-paladin (from an issue of Dragon) and an assassin. Don't remember the rest of the party configuration. It was a very short lived campaign but since all PCs were evil it seemed to go okay. I can't imagine using an assassin with a good aligned party. In general, I think they should only be NPCs. I've always found it interesting and extremely odd that it was allowable as a PC (rules as written)
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Re: Assassin Class

Post by Boneguard » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:06 pm

Big Mac wrote:I once read a D&D novel that featured a "good assassin" (or at least an assassin who was working for good). I can't remember the name of the novel, or the name of the character, but the assassin was a woman. She might have been human, but again I'm not sure.

I thought it was a little bit convoluted, but it was just about possible to have a non-evil assassin. I guess that you could have an evil empire, with assassins working to take down the elite in order to make a revolution easier or something of that ilk, where ordinary options for PCs would be much less effective.
With novels it'seems always iffy to tell but, 2 things come to my mind in this case:

1) She could have had a change of her Alignment over the course of her career (possible but hard in 1st and 2nd Ed. And never lightly undertaken).

2) Is she an assassin (profession) or an Assassins (class). Anyone from any class could technically be in the first group, that is to be hired and have a steady employment of assassinating people for money...the Assassin class is just better at it.
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Re: Assassin Class

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:16 pm

The one time I played 1ED, I played a LE half-orc cleric/assassin. It was a one-shot, "You've been temporarily raised from the dead to defend the dwarven temple the party died in 20 years ago when they were in college. Yes, you're new. Go!" It was fun.

When the one-shot became a campaign, we retooled to 2ED. Og became a half-orc cleric/thief (shadow; the thief kit from CompHum). He was an enforcer for Wee Jas, doing the temple's dirty work.

Evil characters can work in a mixed group. I ran him has more concerned with results than worried about consequences and side effects that mustache-twirling "for the evuls." Ran him more like Dr. Doom than Snidely Whiplash.

If my 2ED rogues' campaign ever happens, I'll definitely include assassins. It's too archtypical to not include.

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Re: Assassin Class

Post by Blackleaf » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:21 am

Never liked them and was glad when 2e removed them and then more clearly made them a kit or sublcass of the rogue/thief. The assasination mechanic in 1e was OP from what I remember. Always seemed kinda random like the acrobat to me and one of my brothers played one and killed other players and kinda just ruined the game for the rest of us (we were kids and teens).

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Re: Assassin Class

Post by genghisdon » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:00 am

Havard wrote:From what I understand this was a rather controversial class back in the days. Do you allow Assassins in your campaigns? What do you think of the class in general?

-Havard
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I had many, many played in my games (& they are still common whenever we play 1e, often multiclassed with fighter). Never was any controversy with us, although from how some handle it so poorly, I get it being a problem for some.

As to alignment change, in 1e, there is nothing truly keeping the class evil (and this was later explicitly stated in 1.5e), although trainers are going to be evil 99.9% of the time, and guild issues, not taking jobs as are possible, etc, will really crimp their style. Nearly all played under me (and they were as common as all the other classes!) were evil & remained so.

However, changing alignment in 1e, as long as it done early on, is no problem. "Change of alignment will have an adverse effect on any class of character if he or she is above the 2nd level." DMG pg 25

So, if you really need to not be evil (which makes me laugh, as many online seem to play good the same as evil), well, assassins need to start off evil, but that's all (albeit killing random folks for $ is always going to be evil).

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