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  • File : 1272569659.jpg-(45 KB, 333x388, Assassin's Shroud.jpg)
    45 KB Fixing the Assassin Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:34 No.9510598  
    Since Dragon has yet to feat tax the Assassin into viability as a class, what houserules do you think are necessary to make it usable in normal play? (i.e. able to pull its weight in a party of players who know what they're doing, but aren't total optimization whores.)

    Personally, I would suggest overhauling Assassin's Shroud with the following changes:

    -Your shrouds only vanish from the target when invoked if you miss, otherwise they carry over from round to round.

    -When an enemy subject to your shrouds is reduced to 0 HP or less, you may immediately place one shroud on another enemy in burst that you can see as a free action.

    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:36 No.9510620
    It seems to me that assassin's shroud is exactly like hunter's quary, at least in terms of damage output.

    Am i wrong?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:38 No.9510655

    Yes, you are wrong, for two reasons.

    A. Quarry dice can be enhanced to d8s, while Shrouds can only be enhanced to Brutal 1. (Brutal 2 would be mathematically equivalent.)
    B. Hunter's Quarry is NOT the Ranger's primary damage-increasing feature, multi-attacks are.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:42 No.9510716
    In practice, Assassin's Shroud is a strictly worse Sneak Attack.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:50 No.9510827
    What they really need is a ranged build so that you can be a sniper with them.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)15:52 No.9510854
    remove assassin from the game

    they bring little style or flavor not covered by rogue and ranger
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:13 No.9511164

    That's like saying the existence of the fighter and paladin makes the swordmage redundant.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:14 No.9511175

    ah, right, yeah the Swordmage should get some shadow based DEX driven powers

    then assassin is uneeded
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:15 No.9511199

    They have completely different combat roles.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:15 No.9511210

    Brutal 2 would be better then d8s.

    because it would be more consistent.

    Of course, I play an avenger as I really fucking love being consistent.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:18 No.9511256

    d6 brutal 1 = 2-6, average 4
    d6 brutal 2 = 3-6, average 4.5
    d8 = 1-8, average 4.5

    Your perception may be different but they're mathematically identical.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:19 No.9511268
    d8s would be better than Brutal 2.

    because they have potentially greater burst damage.

    Of course, I play a ranger as I really fucking love burst damage.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:21 No.9511314
    They have the same expected value, but that doesn't mean they're identical.

    d8s have a higher max and lower min, and a higher std. dev.

    Personally, I like d8s, but you can make arguments for both.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:22 No.9511337

    It does, however, mean they're identical for purposes of game balance, and that giving Assassins only brutal 1 was a fucking stupid oversight.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:22 No.9511338
    Are there any assassin powers that get better the more shrouds the target has?

    Because just from the feature, I'm never seeing a reason to invoke more than a single shroud at a time.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:24 No.9511375

    Not really, no.

    You can sometimes start shrouding an enemy before combat starts and open with +4d6 on your initial attack, but that's highly situational.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:24 No.9511379
    It may be the case that if you really do all the math a higher or lower damage spread ends up being superior to the other.

    Almost certainly not to the extent that Brutal 1 is balanced against d8s, though. That was dumb and WotC is dumb.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:26 No.9511411
    Assassins: we have crazy coup-de-grace damage! Too bad this will never come up in game.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:28 No.9511449
    there's a Rogue prestige class called Shadow Assassin right?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:29 No.9511463
    assassins use chi right?

    I figure just scrap the class and bring back the shadow powers as a potential path in the Psychic Ninja class.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:29 No.9511469

    This. Shrouds were an attempt to port over the old Assassin's Death Attack.


    But even fucking Death Attack had advantages over Shrouds. Namely, it was undetectable without shilling out a Feat, and actually had even the tiniest chance of taking an enemy out of the fight (if their Fort save was total shit or something).
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:30 No.9511484

    Assassins are Shadow power source, not Psionic.

    Chi as a power source was dropped because WotC realized that "Asian is a superpower" is retarded.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:30 No.9511485
    >>9511463 psychic ninja

    Monks are a completely different thing.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:31 No.9511505

    yeah, chi is now psychic power with the Monk, that's what I meant.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:34 No.9511562

    The idea of a striker class that can escalate their damage by focusing on a single target for several rounds is solid, it just needs to actually be useful in typical group combat situations. Hence my suggestion that shrouds stay until you miss.

    It also makes sense fluffwise, as becoming increasingly honed in on an enemy's weaknesses as you fight them.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:36 No.9511591

    Monk and Seeker were the only chi classes they could think up, right?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:37 No.9511619

    How would a "nature archer" ever be a Chi class? What the fuck are you smoking?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:38 No.9511639

    Think it was originally supposed to be a miko-type thing. Imbue your arrows with chi instead of nature.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:39 No.9511647

    Seekers aren't a Ki class, just Monks and Assassins. Together with the Artificers and Runepriests, they make up a subdivision of classes with the power theme of imbuement.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:39 No.9511654



    Instead of Kagome we got arrows made of BEEEEEES, so I call it an improvement.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:40 No.9511659

    and that's what Rangers do

    or Rogues
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:42 No.9511702

    No, they don't. Rangers are focused on novas for obscene single round damage, Rogues on opportunism and non-combat utility.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:43 No.9511713

    The bee arrows are awesome, yes.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:46 No.9511765

    Has anybody tried the strength based seeker with thrown weapons instead of bows? Doesn't seem like it would be much better, especially since all of the good thrown weapons are military melee.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)16:59 No.9511967

    Paragon Path, actually, but yes.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)17:19 No.9512289

    Thrown weapons are kind of impractical in general. Unless you could build an Eladrin one around Javelins, I suppose.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)17:21 No.9512313


    you just need one magicial one, and you don't worry about reloads.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)17:26 No.9512418

    Simple: they aren't as good as bows or standard melee weapons.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)17:39 No.9512725

    That arguably makes sense, because if thrown weapons were as powerful as melee-only weapons there would be no reason to take an Executioner's Axe over a Throwing Executioner's Axe.

    It does create problems when classes arise that rely on the things though.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)17:58 No.9513175
    That would be a good change, and would probably get their damage output to where it should be, but it wouldn't fix the other problem that their defenses and health are absolute SHIT.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:12 No.9514568
    Hmm... I've been trying to work out what the average damage per round for this would be, and it's proving to be a rather non-trivial problem. In general, strikers can get about a 70% hit chance, which makes the damage per round from Shrouds be... fuck. I think it requires drawing up a logic tree.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:17 No.9514656
    I take it you mean if they don't disappear?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:17 No.9514664

    Yes. If the OP changes were made.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:24 No.9514784
    I got about 2.7 damage/round with a 50% hit chance (I can post the math if you want).

    Gonna work it out for 70% now.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:25 No.9514793

    I'm most of the way through 70% right now, but if you want to work it out and compare notes that would be fine as well.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:27 No.9514850
    The bit where the math gets sketchy is that you could have drastically higher-than-average returns against a Solo if you could avoid missing it after your shrouds maxed out.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:32 No.9514950
    Oh wow...

    I get almost exactly 4.5/round.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:34 No.9514970
    I'm imagining a paragon half-elf assassin with at-will Righteous Brand.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:35 No.9514986
    Alright, at 70% accuracy I get an average of 3.6 additional damage per round from shrouds. That's assuming Heroic tier and no brutal shroud feat.

    To make matters even worse for the Assassins, their shrouds actually get comparatively worse further up, since they get a flat 3+1d6 and 6+1d6 per shroud at paragon and epic rather than multiple dice, and those values are below the expected average.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:36 No.9515020
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    The current issues that plague the assassin class that are easily identifiable are as follows:

    • Frailty. The assassin is arbitrarily burdened by wizard-level hit points. How, pray tell, is a magician whose body and soul have been fortified by the essence of the Shadowfell itself less hardy and durable than a wiry rake from the streets?

    • Unnecessary feat tax. Melee Training is required by the assassin for viable charge attacks and opportunity attacks, and for whatever reason, Hidden Insight is required for your shrouds to be imperceivable by your victim.

    • Low striker damage. A 1d6/1d6+3/1d6+6 progression is severely wanting, and it does not help that the feat to upgrade this damage, Brutal Shroud, simply increases its average damage by a diminutive 0.5 per d6.

    • Shroud dispersal. An assassin is encouraged to build up four shrouds on a single target and then unleash them for a spike of damage that shall prove devastating on a hit and respectable on a miss. This is the crux of its advertised damage per round values. However, this process is all too disruptable; it can, for instance, be veritably shattered by another party member finishing off the enemy with four shrouds before the assassin does, or by the assassin somehow being rendered incapable of attacking through debilitating conditions.

    • Lack of power support. This is admittedly something that can be amended only through constant acknowledgement by the writers of Dragon Magazine.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:36 No.9515021

    Was that with the Brutal Shroud bit included?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:38 No.9515048
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    Should you wish to repair the assassin class through homebrew errata, the following are my proposed solutions to the first four issues:

    • The assassin's hit point should equal 15 + Constitution score at 1st level, with an additional 6 hit points gained at each subsequent level. Its healing surges per day should equal 7 + Constitution modifier. This places it on par with the avenger with regards to hit points and healing surges.

    • Designate Executioner's Noose as a ranged basic attack and Inescapable Blade, Leaping Blade, and Shadow Storm as melee basic attacks. These powers are not quite on the level of striker powers such as Howling Strike, Piercing Strike, and Sly Flourish, and so I do not believe that they would be overpowered as basic attacks.

    • Delete the Brutal Shroud and Hidden Insight heroic feats.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:38 No.9515066
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    • Replace the Assassin's Shroud power with the following:

    Assassin’s Shroud, Assassin Feature
    At-Will ✦ Shadow
    Free Action (Special), Close burst 10
    Target: One enemy you can see in burst
    Effect: You subject the target to your shroud. If any of your shrouds are already on the target, you subject it to an additional shroud, up to a maximum of four. The shrouds last until you use this power against a different enemy or until the end of the encounter.
    Before you make an attack roll against the target, you choose to invoke either all your shrouds on it or none of them. If you invoke your shrouds, the attack deals 1d8 damage per shroud, minus one shroud if the attack misses, and all your shrouds then vanish from the target. This damage roll never benefits from bonuses to damage rolls, and is in addition to the attack’s damage, if any. If the target is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer and it still has your shrouds on it, you can transfer those remaining shrouds to an enemy within 10 squares that you can see.
    A creature from which you are hidden is not aware of your shrouds.
    Level 11: 2d8 damage per shroud.
    Level 21: 3d8 damage per shroud.
    Special: You can use this power only on your turn and only once per turn.

    • Additionally, assassins should receive a replica of the rogue's Cunning Sneak class feature. It would only be sensible for a master of stealth and shadow.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:47 No.9515236

    With Brutal Shroud, I see 4.1 DPR, meaning they're still fucking sub-par even with that change.

    If you were to change Brutal Shroud to granting Brutal 2, though, you'd get 4.6 DPR.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:51 No.9515289

    I would be interested in seeing the math on this, since your numbers differ from mine by a notable amount.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:53 No.9515310
    >When an enemy subject to your shrouds is reduced to 0 HP or less, you may immediately place one shroud on another enemy in burst that you can see as a free action.

    Assassins: killing one minion per round, every round, forever.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:53 No.9515318

    One of us has done something wrong, then. Posting my math:

    One way to get four consecutive hits, with a probability of .7^4, in which shrouds contribute 35 damage. 1 * .7^4 * 35 = 8.4035

    Two ways to get three consecutive hits, with a probability of .7^3*.3, in which shrouds contribute 21 damage. 2 * .7^3*.3 * 21 = 4.3218

    Two ways to get three hits, only two consecutive, in with a probability of .7^3*.3, in which shrouds contribute 14 damage.

    Three ways to get two consecutive hits. with a probability of .7^2*.3^2, in which shrouds contribute 10.5 damage. 3 * .7^2*.3^2 * 10.5 = 1.38915

    Three ways to get two hits, not consecutive, with a probability of .7^2*.3^2, in which shrouds contribute 7 damage. 3 * 7^2*.3^2 * 7 = 0.9261

    Four ways to get a single hit, with a probability of .7*.3^3, in which shrouds contribute 3.5 damage. 4 * .7*.3^3 * 3.5 = 0.2646

    8.4035 + 4.3218 + 2.8812 + 1.38915 + 0.9261 + 1.38915 = 18.18635

    18.18635/4 = 4.5465875 damage/round from shrouds over four rounds.

    Where have I gone wrong?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)19:59 No.9515407

    Ah, I think the problem is that you're overlooking the damage done on a miss, and the time to build up shrouds again.

    My estimate was done via listing all 16 possible outcomes of a 4 round attack sequence, HHHH through MMMM, and calculating the shroud damage, so my numbers ranged from 35 (all hits) to 0 (all misses).
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:02 No.9515475

    That actually brings up a good point. If an Assassin has two shrouds on a minion, and fails an attack roll against them, does the minion die or not?

    It states that Shroud damage applies even to attacks which do not normally do damage, but I could see it being ruled either way due to "a missed attack never damages a minion".
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:05 No.9515539
    Including damage done on miss should only make the number higher, though, and that's not the problem.

    And I'm assuming the assassin places a shroud. then attacks invoking each shroud, each turn. With a miss resetting the shrouds to zero, so I'm shouldn't be ignoring the need to build up shrouds again.

    I've also checked, and counting the case where you land no attacks, I'm covering sixteen possibilities (1 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 1).

    In your case, how did you weight each of the sixteen outcomes?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:09 No.9515615
    The wording is "the attack deals 1d6 damage per shroud..", so my assumption is that the damage on a miss would be ruled as adding a Miss: line to the attack, and wouldn't affect minions.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:10 No.9515630

    Ah, that's the problem on my end, I was inadvertently running the 50% numbers because I forgot to weight the possibilities of each case before averaging.

    Give me a minute and I'll see if we still have a disparity.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:18 No.9515763
    Adding in miss damage (kind of haphazardly), I am now at 4.89, or almost 5 dmg/round.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:28 No.9515926

    ...And I'm at 3.8, using the same weightings for the cases.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:31 No.9515988

    (reads description of assassin's shroud)

    I can't even begin to list the ways this shit makes no sense.

    4e is amazing. Every time you think it's become the worst game it can be, it reaches a new low.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:34 No.9516030
    4e, like 3e before it, has absolutely shit fluff. Just refluff like fucking crazy. It's what makes 4e great. The people playing it HAVE to refluff the total crap stuff, so they're willing to refluff anything - an admirable characteristic.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:37 No.9516085
    Alright, here's my math on the matter. We take a 4 round sample of time in which the Assassin shrouds and attacks the same target one time each round. There are 16 possible outcomes, the percentage listed next to the outcome is the approximate probability that it will occur and the number is the expected shroud damage from that outcome.

    HHHH(24%): 35
    HHHM(10%): 31.5
    HHMH(10%): 21
    HHMM(4.5%): 17.5
    HMHH(10%): 17.5
    HMHM(4.5%): 14
    HMMH(4.5%): 10.5
    HMMM(2%): 7
    MHHH(10%): 21
    MHHM(4.5%): 17.5
    MHMH(4.5%): 10.5
    MHMM(2%): 7
    MMHH(4.5%): 10.5
    MMHM(2%): 7
    MMMH(2%): 3.5
    MMMM(1%): 0

    This could of course be extended across >4 rounds for a more accurate measure.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:42 No.9516167

    What about it doesn't make sense? The Assassin studies a target and finds its weaknesses. This lets him do additional damage, and if he has several rounds of prep time to hone in on a target, can make it so that even an "unsuccessful" attack was actually a powerful hit, just not quite as good as he'd hoped.

    tl;dr it's the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception but not completely bullshit h4x.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:42 No.9516179
    >What about it doesn't make sense?
    shrouds lol
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:45 No.9516222

    And? Shrouds are just the mechanical term for an Assassin's supernatural ability to see the weaknesses of a target.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)20:46 No.9516248
    The one thing all this math has made perfectly clear is that the current assassin is Absolute. Fucking. SHIT as a striker.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:01 No.9516515
    So, if you have 70% accuracy, shroud like this would do ~5 additional damage per round.

    Do Assassins really have 70% accuracy though? In practice I think that's more like what Avengers get, and they're made to be the most accurate.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:04 No.9516557

    By comparison, a twin-striking Ranger with 70% accuracy would be averaging 4.1 bonus damage JUST from quarry, ignoring the fact that he has all those other fucking damage bonuses.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:07 No.9516607
    >>9516557 ignoring the fact that he got to hit twice
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:07 No.9516609
    This is confusing me.

    First, your values for miss damage seem too high. HHMH should deal 3.5 (1 shroud) + 7 (2 shrouds) + 3.5 (2-1 shrouds) + 3.5 (1 shroud) = 17.5 damage, not 21, for example.

    Second, the numbers you posted seem to give a dpr of 5.4, not 3.8 (Which, I guess, is consistent with miss damage being too high).

    35*24 + 31.5*10 + ... / 100 = 5.4. Unless I've failed at entering numbers into a calculator? (It would not be the first time!)
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:14 No.9516755
    Looking through the MM2 and assuming the assassin starts with 4 in his stat and raises it every level, uses a +2 proficiency weapon, has level appropriate gear, and takes weapon proficiency...

    ...no, he doesn't reach 70% *at all*
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:16 No.9516798

    HHMH deals

    Add 1 shroud, hit dealing 1 shroud of bonus damage.
    Add 1 more shroud, hit dealing 2 shrouds of bonus damage.
    Add 1 more shroud, total 3 shrouds, miss dealing 3-1=2 shrouds of damage and resetting shroud count to 0.
    Add 1 shroud, hit dealing 1 shroud of bonus damage.

    Also, using more accurate percentages rather than the rounded ones I typed up there, it's about 5.2 average damage per round. Not sure what I did to get the 3.8.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:17 No.9516839

    Assassins will generally use +3 Proficiency weapons.

    And if not 70%, what accuracy can they get to? Because that will have a major effect on the math.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:24 No.9516980
    It depends on the AC of their target, but I'm seeing between 45 and 60 (50-65 with +3 proficiency, which is I guess fairly close to 70) most of the time, with the occasional 40. Again, I'm just randomly sampling the MM though. I have no idea if there's a better way to do this.

    But even if their unoptimized accuracy isn't awesome, at least from my math, the suggested change to Assassin's Shroud scales *very* well with attack bonuses. An Assassin with Hero of the Faith (Or the Righteous Brand dilettante assassin), would probably wreck most solos.

    Then again, I was under the impression that truly staggering single target damage was the *point* of an Assassin.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)21:27 No.9517031
    Oh yeah, you get to add a shroud before you miss. Derp.

    I could re-do mine with correct miss damage, but 5.2 sounds about right. I will assume we've come to the same number.
    >> ಠ_ರೃ 04/29/10(Thu)22:05 No.9517715
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    How does the first hit in this sequence both deal shroud damage and not reset the shroud counter? What am I retarding about this feature?
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:08 No.9517750
    We are considering a change in which shrouds do not get removed on a successful hit, since the assassin is pretty much pure terrible otherwise.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:09 No.9517760

    The calculations being discussed are based on a suggestion for how to alter Assassin's Shroud to not totally suck. See the OP's post for the suggested rule change.
    >> ಠ_ರೃ 04/29/10(Thu)22:21 No.9517946
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    Righto. I for some reason thought you were crunching the assassins dpr as it currently exists to prove just how badly it is in need of a boost.

    I only chime in as one of my players has recently started an assassin and I'd like to nip upcoming issues in the bud. I should have polished up on my reading comprehension before assuming you were rehashing what I'm sure beardier necks have already done ad nauseum at the Wizards forums.

    Please, carry on.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:29 No.9518100

    The Assassin's Shroud DPR as it currently exists is much simpler to calculate because you don't have to do all that order-dependent round-to-round bullshit.


    Yeah, if you put one on a team with a Warlord or whatever to raise their hit % and used abilities that ramp up Shroud placement they would be quite capable against solos, possibly even a match for Rogues in the same situation. They'd still be strictly and far worse than Rangers though.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:44 No.9518387
    Apart from how difficult it is to figure out the DPR from the way OP suggests it be changed, and apart from how this increases damage variance (which is generally more frustrating than not to player and DM alike), my inclination would be to fix it simply by amending the damage and feats. I'm not sure why this shouldn't be so.

    It does less than HQ. Slightly. So increase it slightly. It needs only to gain +0.5 damage at paragon and +1 damage at epic. The feat that increases it should increase +1/tier.

    The argument that "rangers' damage-adding mechanic is not HQ" is both incorrect and irrelevant, since pointing out that ranger powers are good in no way means that Assassin class features (features NOT being the same as powers) are what needs to be fixed about the class. If the powers need to be made better, then this is a separate issue.

    If the damage is adjusted as indicated, then Assassin's Shroud will be strictly better than HQ as well as Warlock's Curse and single-target Sorcerer bonuses (though not multi-target) because of its possible application on a miss.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:49 No.9518464

    Actually, if you read the estimate for the 50% hit odds, the suggested change would put it exactly where it should be damage-wise. And you're rolling the same number of dice you would be anyway.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)22:57 No.9518598

    By contract, THF's suggested change at >>9515066 would result in rolling 9-12d8 every turn, because epic tier assassins go Perfect Slayer, which lets them ramp their shrouds to 4 instantly and NEVER drop them. (Speaking of variable damage amounts...)
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:06 No.9518757
    Only against a single enemy. The utility power is Encounter, not At-Will.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:07 No.9518776
    Assassin is a faggy class anyways.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:07 No.9518778

    True, but there are enough other ways to ramp up your shrouds that it'll basically go 4 4 4 dead 2 3 4 dead 2 3 4 dead etc.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:09 No.9518798

    Perhaps, but that's no excuse for it to also be a terrible class.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:10 No.9518823
    Most monsters die after 2 rounds anyway. It's not as bad as you think.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:11 No.9518842
    Actually, with THF's change it really would be 4 shrouds constantly, because Perfect Slayers never have their shrouds disperse, therefore when the enemies dropped they would still have 4 shrouds on them, which would then instantly transfer to another enemy.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:17 No.9518926
    Since THF only plays online, I don't think he realizes how inconvenient it is to use that many dice that often.

    Also note: "Contrast" and "contract" mean different things.

    I see the estimates but they make certain assumptions which may not always hold true (particularly in focusing the class more on single targets than they already are) and I see no reason to do something so complicated. This is not a complex problem.
    >> Anonymous 04/29/10(Thu)23:27 No.9519118

    That, and he somehow didn't consider the synergy he was giving it with Perfect Slayer.


    And I disagree that this is an overly complex solution, because it tackles several problems at once. Shroud dispersal, damage problems, and the more insidious issue of their damage feature encouraging them not to fight. I also find it more flavorful, though that's of course a matter of personal taste.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:13 No.9519983
    >they make certain assumptions which may not always hold true

    What assumptions, exactly, do you have a problem with?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:43 No.9520450
    >And I disagree that this is an overly complex solution, because it tackles several problems at once.
    Tackling several problems with one change is an indication that something IS a complex issue, not the reverse. And just looking at the math in this thread (and the uncertainty of it) is another clear indication.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:46 No.9520494

    Complex problem, yes, because Assassins suck on so many levels. However, when a two sentence change can fix several problems at once, that is not a complex solution.

    Sure, it took a while to make sure the math was correct and we weren't hideously overpowering them or something, but that's beside the point.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:47 No.9520518
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    Between the hassle of rolling copious amounts of damage dice and being swindled out of increased critical damage, the former is the lesser of the two evils. The current incarnation of Assassin's Shroud makes critical hits significantly less appealing to an assassin, as opposed to, say, a rogue whose 5d8 Sneak Attack dice at the epic tier is maximized into a considerable 40.


    I had not considered the synergy between my proposed patch to the Assassin's Shroud class feature and the Perfect Killer level 30 feature of the Perfect Slayer epic destiny, but I have no objections whatsoever to this hypothetical combination. If avengers, rangers, and rogues can wreak havoc as Punishers of the Gods with maximized damage dice at level 30, I do not see the issue with an assassin doling out an additional 12d8 damage once per round at that level as well.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:54 No.9520629
    >>9520518 increased critical damage


    Goes what math just got even more complicated?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:56 No.9520660
    >>9518926 particularly in focusing the class more on single targets than they already are

    Uhm, which part of "Assassin" did you not catch?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)00:59 No.9520726
    Hang me if you will but I like the idea of the Assassin having to study his target to add more shrouds. I don't like the idea that they disappear though. That's just retarded.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:03 No.9520776

    That's what he'd be doing regardless. It's just a question of whether they stick or not.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:04 No.9520791
    Oh hey, this is still going.

    1) The math was uncertain because I derped-up the damage dealt on a miss. If I could read, I would've got it in one. Probably.

    2) Dealing with the math in-game is a whole lot easier, since you're only exploring one branch of the problem space (Unless you perform 2+ rounds of minimax by hand or something during your games).

    Regardless, I like the OP's idea because otherwise Shrouds are, in almost every situation, pretty much exactly the same as a regular bonus to your damage rolls. That's not exactly bad (It's what everyone else gets), but the alternative also rewards the assassin for sticking on a single target, which is a nice bonus.

    If there were more existing incentives to build up a stack of shrouds on one guy, maybe I would go the other way, but there aren't.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:12 No.9520918
    The other question to consider is what impact this change would have on the Assassin's metagame.

    As I see it, the fact that an Assassin's damage escalates the longer it is in combat with a single target means that enemies now have a strong incentive to get the fuck away from them, making all those "get back here" powers and the fear theme the class possesses actually make sense. They would also now legitimately be glass cannons, rather than glass flyswatters.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:20 No.9521025
    If it were a realistic assassin of any sort he would flee the moment his target failed to die from the first attack. OR he would be a standard fighting class who was paid to kill someone. None of this has any relevance to the game.

    >Dealing with the math in-game is a whole lot easier, since you're only exploring one branch of the problem space (Unless you perform 2+ rounds of minimax by hand or something during your games).
    One of us has failed our communication check, as I have no idea what you're saying here.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:22 No.9521050
    It is a lot harder to find how much on average shrouds contribute to damage over x rounds then it is to calculate that damage over those rounds in game, since in game you don't care about the other ways the fight could have.

    (Parenthetical joke about how this is not the case if you play the game in an unreasonable manner)
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:24 No.9521070
    >One of us has failed our communication check, as I have no idea what you're saying here.
    He was talking about an AI technique used to determine the best possible move to take. It involves minimizing your opponent's gain while maximizing yours, hence minimax.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:25 No.9521089

    He's saying that while performing the crunch to make sure that the modified Shroud fell within typical striker damage expectations was time consuming, the crunch needed to use it in-game will be no more difficult than it is presently.

    Also, Assassins are in fact well-served to teleport/stealth/etc. their way out of danger if their initial attack on a target misses.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:26 No.9521091
    I really dislike the assassin in my current party. Not only is he yet another striker when we could really use another defender or leader to shore up the lines, but he has an uncanny knack for critical failures which usually result in the GM deciding he's gone and thrown his sword halfway across the field, possibly hitting somebody who's actually getting shit done.

    Fucking Butterfingers the assassin.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:28 No.9521119

    Yeah, I'm playing a pretty terrible one myself, though that was done intentionally to give the DM a break after my last two characters were both ridiculously powerful vs. the rest of the party.

    The best part has to be how often I totally botch while using "Inescapable" Blade.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:30 No.9521155

    is you a hybird assassin?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:32 No.9521181
    please tell me that is a fake ability?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:33 No.9521193

    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:33 No.9521197

    Yes. Assassin/Bard.


    It's real. Why?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:34 No.9521226
    It's from Dragon.

    So it's LIKE a fake. And it's like a real class. But it isn't quite either.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:37 No.9521276
    You know, Butterfingers has made the same comment a few times as well. "IT'S CALLED FUCKING INESCAPABLE BLADE. HOW THE HELL DO I KEEP MISSING?"
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:39 No.9521304
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:41 No.9521363

    Yeah, about that... it's very difficult to roleplay an assassin when you cannot effectively kill things.

    It'd be like if Fighters couldn't wield weapons.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)01:50 No.9521503
    Ah, I see.

    However, the mess I was referring to--the additional difficulty--was balancing the mechanic. And do not think that the math as has been presented in this thread is in any a complete analysis of the change suggested by the OP. With the original, you only needed to examine four situations--corresponding to how many shrouds you placed before consuming them. With this, you need to consider the chances of encountering an enemy that will last X rounds for all X until the values converge, the average DPR increase for each of these, and finally the general DPR increase for an infinite series. Necessarily, you've made the math substantially different between weaker and stronger enemies, while before it was only different between minions and non-minions (who tended to last ~5 rounds).
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:09 No.9521736

    Expanding the series from what's already been done just consists of adding more turns onto the sequence. Which can be done quite simply. Hell, I could write a program to perform the calculations out to any arbitrary point.

    And really, how many rounds do you think a solo lasts in the first place? Unless we're going with the unfun ones from MM1, it's not that many turns.

    If anything, I'd say the larger balance concern would be the as-yet-undiscussed second change, which might give the Assassin an unexpectedly high tempo.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:24 No.9521918
    A corner case to consider:

    An Assassin has remained hidden and shrouded a target 4 times prior to combat, leaps forth and uses a super-accurate attack like Shadow Darts, gaining 4d6 bonus damage from shrouds, then follows up with an action point and second attack.

    Without the proposed change, the Assassin can use Killer's Insight and minor actions such as racial powers to subject the target to 2 or 3 more shrouds before attacking the second time. With it, they can simply make a second attack with the full 4d6 bonus.

    Is this a problem, or simply the class doing what it is supposed to anyway, but effectively?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:26 No.9521953

    All of the other stricker class features are either melee only (avenger), or are limited to extra damage once per round (rogue and warlock).
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:28 No.9521987

    The Assassin's isn't. Read the power.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:29 No.9521999
    Sorcerer here. You're a cocknuzzler. Now nuzzle my cock.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:32 No.9522030

    what do you mean?

    You can only shroud once a turn normally.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:32 No.9522040

    How does that have to do with anything mister triples?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:37 No.9522089

    I say no, it's not a problem, because the whole point of Assassin's Shroud being written the way it is is because it's supposed to function similarly to Death Attack against enemies you have the drop on.

    Also, as noted, it's an average difference of about 5 damage, and it's a rare situation in the first place.

    Anyone have any opinions on the second change?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:41 No.9522133

    1. Out of combat, start shrouding an enemy while hidden.
    2. Attack, invoking 4 shrouds on them.
    3. Use a free action to drop 2 shrouds on the enemy via Killer's Insight.
    3b(optional). Use your minor action to use Darkfire (or another racial power which lets you apply a bonus shroud), dropping an additional shroud on the enemy.
    4. ACTION POINT! Attack and invoke three shrouds on the enemy.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:46 No.9522186
    You're ignoring the principle point I was making, which is the need to determine probabilistically the number of rounds an enemy will last. If you don't multiply the given DPR by this you aren't getting a value which is comparable to mechanics free of this context (which is all of them).

    No, you're right. Making the shrouds not consume when they're used to cause damage removes the once/round restriction from properly limiting the damage in the way that every other striker (apart from sorcerer) has their damage limited.

    >Also, as noted, it's an average difference of about 5 damage, and it's a rare situation in the first place.
    It's a difference of ~14 damage at level 1 just by using an AP.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:47 No.9522200

    Basically, this feat-intensive nova (which is, of course, significantly inferior to a Ranger's) is made less feat-intensive and given a slightly better end result by the OP's suggested change. Nothing to worry about.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:49 No.9522228
    >>9522186 ~14 damage

    Where the hell did you get that number from?

    It's 4 shrouds then 4 shrouds vs. 4 shrouds then 2 or 3 shrouds, which is an average difference of either 7 or 3.5.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:53 No.9522261
    >>9522186 the need to determine probabilistically the number of rounds an enemy will last

    Standardized monster HP quantities exist for precisely that reason.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:54 No.9522282

    Assassins never HAD a once/round restriction.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)02:56 No.9522300
    Actually, if you really felt like working with Markov chains or something, you could come up with the expected bonus from the shroud feature for any arbitrary round (Since the shrouds cap at four). Then the number of rounds an enemy lasts is only as relevant as it is against any other striker.

    I really don't feel like doing that, though, and I'd probably fuck it up anyway.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:02 No.9522381

    The number of rounds a normal monster is expected to last in single combat against a Striker is less than 4.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:13 No.9522486
    It's 4 shrouds then 4 shrouds versus 4 shrouds then no shrouds. And yes, I have every read post in this thread relevant to this particular point.

    Some monsters are brutes. Some are soldiers. Some are standard. Some are elite.

    In the feature description. At the bottom.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:17 No.9522539
    The other guy was assuming Killer's Instinct was part of the nova, which should make it 4 then 2, instead of 4 then none.

    Also, oh no, the *Assassin* gets a big nova against a target he managed to observe for three rounds.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:20 No.9522566

    No, it is not. See >>9522133. You spend FOUR OUT OF COMBAT ROUNDS getting your initial shroud count up to 4, attack as your first action of the combat turn, then drop multiple shrouds via powers and feats and attack again, invoking your shrouds once more.

    The final line of the feature limits you to 1 Free Action shrouding per round, but does not limit you to one shroud invocation per round.

    (And if it did limit you to one shroud invocation per round, then the entire argument would be moot to begin with because you could get 4 shrouds on your next shroud-eligible attack regardless.)
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:21 No.9522580
    The Assassin getting a big nova against a target he's spent time observing is the entire point of the feature.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:28 No.9522637
    I didn't want to ask here but I don't see a D&D 4ed general so...

    Do any of you fine gentlemen have rules and/or list of firearms and/or a class that focus on them?

    Or should I just re-flavor de Ranger and be done with it?

    Also pictures of gun-wielding characters in a fantasy setting would be much appreciated.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:29 No.9522650

    They would be functionally identical to Magical Crossbows.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:33 No.9522679
    Except that most characters get big novas against characters every round without the waiting around.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:34 No.9522700

    Hence the proposed change to the feature, so that they can at least get a semblance of the damage they are intended to deal in actual practice.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:48 No.9522847
    Alright, I'm going to bed now. Thread better still be here when I wake up.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)03:49 No.9522857
    Maybe you only burn one shroud on a hit or something?

    How's that for an idea?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)10:54 No.9526409

    Doesn't really help, you'd still have to sit around not using them for turns and turns in order to get your damage.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)10:56 No.9526425
    Not to mention that would make the bookkeeping worse.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)11:01 No.9526470
    >comparing any class with the overpoweredness of the ranger

    Hahaha oh wow.
    I'm not disagreeing that the assassins aren't the short end of the stick, but at least compare them to the rogue.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)11:31 No.9526796

    If you want to do (or find someone who's done) the crunch on average Sneak Attack damage per round, you're welcome to it. It's a less simple case for comparison than hunter's quarry though, because Sneak Attack is situational and Rogues have a +1 class feature attack bonus to factor in.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)12:41 No.9527772
    Good read, if anyone is still around I'm wondering what people are betting for the other Shadow classes.

    I'm seeing:
    Striker: Assassin
    Defender: ??
    Leader: ??
    Controller: Shadowcaster or Necromancer
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)12:48 No.9527869
    I'm still hoping for Blackguard as the Shadow Defender.

    They have some pretty interesting options for leader, too (Entropomancer maybe?), but we'll probably get Shadow Lords or some crap.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)12:53 No.9527938
    Blackguard would work as Defender, though it treads on the Paladin.

    Shadow Dancer might be suitable Leader.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)12:59 No.9528025

    We might finally get a working hexblade.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:40 No.9528625
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    I'm more interested in how they're going to fluff them. Infuse your soul with Death so that you can see weaknesses works great as an explanation for Assassins, less well for everyone else.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:42 No.9528654

    Blackguard doesn't tread on Paladin any more than Warden or Swordmage does.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:44 No.9528680

    Despite being... ya know... an anti-Paladin.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:47 No.9528712

    What, fluff can't change?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:49 No.9528747
    Doomlords, then.

    And then call the controller a Noctumancer instead of Shadowcaster, and they'll all be based on old prestige classes.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:52 No.9528778
    Does it come with a skull mask and a blue cloak?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)13:52 No.9528782
    That picture is very 'wat' to me, since Shiki can't see lines or dots the way Shiki can. Shiki just sees colors, IIRC.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:01 No.9528921

    Be that as it may, Shiki's a fag, and the basic principle still applies.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:27 No.9529270

    So, uhm, is this conversation actually comprehensible to anyone?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:28 No.9529285
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:32 No.9529345

    Everyone is Shiki?
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:39 No.9529459
    Shiki's had sex with a vampire capable to ripping him limb from limb, AND an immortal nun.

    Meanwhile I have no idea what Shiki's done, aside from having a fake left arm and eating strawberry ice cream.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:41 No.9529491

    Not been a colossal Gary Stu.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)14:43 No.9529515
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    There are two people named Shiki, with similar abilities. Ryougi, and Tohno.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)16:10 No.9530761
    Looks like a decent fix to me. Elevates Shroud to be on par with Sneak Attack in normal combat and situationally better when it's supposed to be (i.e. when you're actually murdering someone rather than battling them).

    Might still have to do something about its terrible scaling by tier though.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)16:15 No.9530856
    Hadn't thought about Hexblade. I'd be tempted to say Hexblade as the defender, but we'll see.
    >> Anonymous 04/30/10(Fri)17:05 No.9531689

    Hexblade could work as either a defender or controller, depending on how they did the class.

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