The Assassin

A member of the rogue class category, the assassin is similar in many ways to a thief. While the thief focuses totally on stealth and stealing, however, the focus of the assassin is on efficient, discreet killing. Their abilities reflect this; though their thief skills are initially weaker and they take longer to level up, assassins gain several abilities to help them kill their enemies before they have a chance to respond. The ability to assassinate a foe they have studied instead of backstabbing them - forcing the victim to make a saving throw or instantly die - improves the lethality of their strikes from the darkness, and their skills in disguise and poison lore allow them to kill stealthily and infiltrate their enemies to get close to their mark - which is especially useful at low levels, when their stealth skills alone are not enough to carry them. Assassins start with the same amount of gold as a fighter, and may if they wish buy Class A poisons with their starting money.

Experience Hit Dice
0 - 1,500 1
1,501 - 3,000 2
3,001 - 6,000 3
6,001 - 12,000 4
12,001 - 25,000 5
25,001 - 50,000 6
50,001 - 100,000 7
100,001 - 200,000 8
200,001 - 300,000 9
300,001 - 425,000 10
425,001 - 575,000 10+2
575,001 - 750,000 10+4
750,001 - 1,000,000 10+6
1,000,001 - 1,500,000 10+8
1,500,001 and Over 10+10
Minimum strength of 9.
Mininmum dexterity of 12.
Minimum intelligence of 9.
d6 hit dice, as thieves.
Thief THAC0 and Saving Throws.
Same NWP selection as thieves.
Same number of weapon proficiencies and nonproficiency penalties as fighters.
Same weapon proficiency selection as fighters.

Poison Lore: Many, but not all assassins are well versed in the arts of poison. Any assassin who takes Herbalism as a nonweapon proficiency can identify a poison's type (A, B, C, etc.) with a proficiency check; they may also be able to identify the specific poison if it is common to their area. Penalties may be imposed for rarer or non-native poisons. At the DM's discretion, they may start with knowledge of the manufacture of a few weak poisons (Type A or B), though depending on the poison in question this may require some specialised tools or possibly even an alchemist's laboratory. Assassins who do not take the NWP at first level do not gain this knowledge if they take the NWP at later levels unless they are trained by an assassin or another who is so versed. Regardless of whether they have the Herbalism NWP, all assassins are skilled in applying poison to edged weaponry without any danger of accidentally poisoning themselves.

Assassination: Assassins can backstab just as thieves do, and the damage scales at the same rate. However, an assassin may also attempt to assassinate a target, giving them a chance to kill instantly. In order to do this, the assassin must carefully plan and prepare the assassination. They must also study the target for 3 rounds within 10 rounds of attacking to attempt an assassination. You can attempt an assassination in the same circumstances as a backstab (in which case you get the +4 bonus to-hit); you can also attack from the front if the victim trusts you, or with a ranged weapon if within short range and concealed.

If you score a successful hit, the target must make a saving throw vs. death with a -1 penalty for every 3 levels of the assassin, or immediately die. If they pass, they only take normal weapon damage.

Disguise: For each point of intelligence an assassin starts with above 14, they may learn an additional spoken language to blend in with their marks. The languages available can even include secret or little-used languages such as the Thieves' Cant or the Druidic Tongue. Assassins are skilled in the art of disguise, and so long as they have materials available, they can outfit themselves very convincingly. All assassins receive the Disguise nonweapon proficiency for free at first level, with a +4 bonus to boot.

Thieving: The assassin works primarily through stealth, but their focus on the killing arts causes them to gain thief skills at a slower rate than a normal thief; they gain only 20 discretionary points per level to spend on their thieving for the first three levels. From level 4 onwards, they get 30 points per level just as a normal thief does.

Individual Experience Awards

The criteria for gaining individual class experience for an assassin is similar, though not identical, to that of a thief.

When an assassin successfully assassinates a target, they gain 10 experience points per HD of the target, multiplied by their level. They must have assassinated the target through use of their class ability to be eligible for this award.

When an assassin receives pay for an assassination, they gain 2 experience points for every gold piece they receive in payment. It is not necessary to have assassinated their target to be eligible for this award; they gain this experience for receiving pay for killing someone.