Posted by : David Guyll December 21, 2010

The finalized, non-accidental executioner class is available for download. Having read over the class for like the third time I think, my original opinion still stands: I like it a lot more than the shadow-only assassin. This is based on the fact that when I compare them side by side, the executioner just feels like more of an assassin. This is partially due to the fact that the assassin has plenty of specialized attacks that let them roll out an assload of damage--assassin's strike and attack finesse for starters--but also because the executioner regularly utilizes poisons, something I have yet to see any of my players do in any edition of D&D.

Having seen the assassin in play up to 6th-level in a Scales of War campaign, I can say that it's mechanically sound, but conceptually I have a hard time working something together in a satisfactory manner. Shrouds aren't well explained, and the class seems to focus on utilizing shadows to tear, stab, and poison your opponents. Also, the idea of trading part of your soul for "shadow-power" seems better suited for something like a necromancer or warlock, while the assassin as written makes me think more of Pride.

Really, I don't want to reiterate most of what I'd said in the past (which is what I'd be doing if I tried to go into detail again). Most of the class features and powers were very similar to the playtest versions, with some formatting and balance tweaks here and there. I found the accompanying Design & Development article to be an interesting read, as you get to see why R&D did what they did with the dual-power sources, assassin's strike, poisons, situational at-will attacks, etc. Whether you're pleased or pissed at the direction they went, it might inform you about their reasons for doing so.

It just sucks that they didn't update Character Builder with the executioner, yet. >_>

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. While I agree that it is more like a real assassin, I just don't like duel power source >.> Even when I make a hybrid or multiclass I almost never duel power source. Something about just make me stray away from it. Hate the new rangers and their all over the place powers, and now we got an assassin like that too. GRRRR I wantz moar shadow classes!

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  2. If your DM allows third party content, i can show you my dread necromancer class that i made a while back. it was the first class i ever made for 4e so it may have some balance issues.

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  3. I would love to see it! I wanted a necromancer for so long (You can only go so far as a wizard) that I even got excited when I saw a necro was going to be in the new player book. Sadly, that is just a build for the mage! Can't wait to see what you did with it.

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  4. Now that there's so much more content for 4E, I think it would be relatively simple to balance it all out.

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  5. http://www.box.net/shared/orfd1zozg9 here is the link. Feel free to email me with balance issues.

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  6. A few problem I have. First, not a big fan of the melee powers. You say to make strength your primary stat, but it is not one of the primary ability scores. That could be really confusing, and now that you have literally recommend every stat but Dex, you have made it very difficult for someone to dabble in the powers they want. They have to pick a build and now only get 1 choice for powers each level. The Str also never really gets used besides for the natural use for melee atks. Every single power uses Cha, so that Wiz, Str, and Con are never used internally within the class itself. The at-will powerfor summoning a skeleton is over powered. At first level second turn with only using at-wills, I can do up to 24 dmg a turn, and we have not used a single encounter or daily. I really like the fluff, and I can see you had some great ideas. I would love to see you go back and do a major over haul.

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  7. indeed, the class has many issues. If you have any suggestions feel free to email them to me!

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