The Murderous Assassin (villain class)

Thanks to everyone on the Iron Heroes forum who contributed, in particular Alexander "Haelis" Sol, Dalfen, Nic "Hydromaster113" Quimby, and Ian Watt. Love the First Strike idea, Haelis. Thanks to Jasin Zujovic for suggesting the class in the first place.

The murderous assassin is a character who specialises in taking down opponents by underhanded means, and when they least expect it. Murderous assassins are at a disadvantage in a fair fight, but their skills at stealth and deception ensure it should be difficult to pin them down. Lesser assassins are often no match for an experienced party, even when encountered in groups; but more capable assassins can be very dangerous foes.

The murderous assassin can fill a number of roles in a campaign.

Class Statistics

Creature Type: You can add levels in murderous assassin to any existing creature to represent a particularly stealthy monster. Use the base creature's stats as normal.

CR Range: A murderous assassin's Challenge Rating ranges from 1 to 15. While they can be formidable opponents for a lower-level or unprepared party, in the end they are usually somebody else's minions, rather than leaders themselves.

Abilities: A murderous assassin's Challenge Rating determines its ability scores, as shown in the table below.

CR

Strength

Dexterity

Constitution

Intelligence

Wisdom

Charisma

1

12

16

12

10

12

10

2

12

16

12

10

12

10

3

12

16

12

10

12

10

4

12

16

12

10

14

10

5

12

18

12

10

14

10

6

12

18

14

10

14

10

7

12

18

14

10

16

10

8

14

18

14

10

16

10

9

14

20

14

10

16

10

10

14

20

14

10

18

10

11

14

20

16

10

18

10

12

14

20

16

10

18

10

13

14

22

16

10

20

10

14

14

22

16

10

20

10

15

14

22

16

10

20

10

Skills: A murderous assassin gains ranks equal to its CR + 3 in Bluff, Climb, Disguise, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble. Apply its ability score modifiers to its total skill bonuses as normal.

Feats: Murderous assassins gain Quick Draw, as well as the base Weapon Finesse and Precise Shot mastery feats. This allows them to use their Dexterity modifier with their melee weapons, and to ignore the penalties for firing into the melees they cause. A murderous assassin gains no other feats, nor does it gain mastery ratings.

Hit Dice: A murderous assassin has hit dice equal to its CR. It uses d6 for hit dice and gains 3.5 hit points per hit die on average. Add the murderous assassin's Constitution modifier to this total as normal; these are included in the numbers below.

CR

HD (hp)

Base Attack Bonus

Base Defense Bonus

Fortitude

Reflex

Will

1

1d6 (4)

+0

+1

+0

+2

+2

2

2d6 (9)

+1

+2

+0

+3

+3

3

3d6 (13)

+2

+3

+1

+4

+3

4

4d6 (18)

+3

+4

+1

+5

+4

5

5d6 (22)

+3

+5

+1

+6

+4

6

6d6 (33)

+4

+5

+2

+7

+5

7

7d6 (38)

+5

+6

+2

+8

+5

8

8d6 (44)

+6

+7

+2

+9

+6

9

9d6 (49)

+6

+8

+3

+10

+6

10

10d6 (55)

+7

+9

+3

+11

+7

11

11d6 (71)

+8

+10

+3

+12

+7

12

12d6 (78)

+9

+10

+4

+13

+8

13

13d6 (84)

+9

+11

+4

+14

+8

14

14d6 (91)

+10

+12

+4

+15

+9

15

15d6 (97)

+11

+13

+5

+16

+9

Class Abilities

A murderous assassin has the following class abilities.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Murderous assassins are proficient with all light and finesse weapons, all projectile weapons, and light armour.

Sneak Attack: Murderous assassins gain the sneak attack ability, as given in the following table. At CR 1, they deal an additional +1d6 points of damage on applicable attacks. This increases by +1d6 points every 3 subsequent CRs.

First Strike: A murderous assassin gains this ability at CR 2. If a murderous assassin's first attack on a flat-footed opponent is successful, it can deal an additional +1d6 points of sneak attack damage on that attack. This increases by +1d6 points every 2 subsequent CRs. Feats and abilities that prevent sneak attack damage also prevent first strike damage. This ability only applies to one attack.

Fleet of Foot: A murderous assassin can use the Hide and Move Silently skills at no penalty while moving at their full speed.

CR

Sneak Attack

First Strike

Special

1

+1d6

Fleet of Foot

2

+1d6

+1d6

 

3

+1d6

+1d6

Assassin ability

4

+2d6

+2d6

 

5

+2d6

+2d6

 

6

+2d6

+3d6

Assassin ability

7

+3d6

+3d6

 

8

+3d6

+4d6

 

9

+3d6

+4d6

Assassin ability

10

+4d6

+5d6

 

11

+4d6

+5d6

 

12

+4d6

+6d6

Assassin ability

13

+5d6

+6d6

 

14

+5d6

+7d6

 

15

+5d6

+7d6

Assassin ability

Assassin Ability: At CR 3 and every 3 CRs thereafter, a murderous assassin gains a special ability. The possible abilities are listed below; each ability can be chosen once. Some of these abilities can be used only once per encounter. If the murderous assassin has multiple such abilities, it can use more than one in a round, but only one such ability can be activated on any given attack.

Equipment

A murderous assassin is typically equipped with the gear appropriate to a thug, assassin or similar underhanded type. Armour will be light (leather or studded leather), and weapons will allow the murderous assassin's Dexterity to be used to advantage. Appropriate weapons include a dagger and either a shortsword, scimitar or rapier, or a longbow or crossbow. Higher-level murderous assassins, or those in certain cultures, might use bastard swords or shurikens.


Last updated: 18 Apr 2006

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