Posted by : David Guyll July 10, 2011

It has been awhile since the assassin got any support, and this article provides about two pages each of flavor and crunch content. While the black flame zealot was a prestige class in 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms, this article thankfully provides setting-neutral story information, in addition for some tips on incorporating them into Eberron and ironically into Forgotten Realms (which gets its own sidebar). Much of the information paints them as "sith" assassins, channeling their hatred and fury, which fits the theme of the shadow power source.

The real highlight is being able to swap out shade form with black flame form, which gives you damage resistance, a damage bonus, and you can use your shrouds for free. Like shade form you can sustain it. There is also a handful of feats that increase shroud damage (I thought we already had a feat that increased shrouds to a d8), keep shrouds after critting, move them to other targets after killing them, gain combat advantage against shrouded creatures, and a damage bonus with ki focus powers.

A pair of magic items thematic to assassins helps round things out: one is a level 16 arm slot that increases your crit range on targets with three or more shrouds, while the other is a level 10 rare ki focus that adds necrotic damage to fire attacks (and vice versa), with an encounter attack kicker that deals scaling ongoing necrotic and fire damage, in addition to stopping the target from regaining hit points. To top it off, the crit damage is both d10s and adds on necrotic and fire damage, making it very hard to resist.

I think a better assassin article would expand upon this theme more and provide additional power options to help differentiate them, like the blackguard. Eh, baby steps I guess.

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. according to the prestige class index, the BFZ, appeared in unapproachable east (forgotten realms) and in complete divine, giving it a more generic feel to it back in 3e.

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