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What stats are needed for an assassin?

To make the best possible one.
Also recommended race?

Comments

  • FrostyFrosty Member Posts: 190
    Half-Orc 19 STR 18 dex, Extra damage from best possible STR. ELF 18STR 19DEX, Bonus to hit with swords best possible DEX with out a STR penalty and bonus thief skills.

    TressetStormvessel
  • MetalcrazeMetalcraze Member Posts: 5
    Would a half elf be good?

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    A half-elf would be fine, however would be inferior to the above two setups.

  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    edited March 2013
    Half-orc - 19 str, 18 dex, 0 racial bonus bonus to stealth.
    Elf - 18 str, 19 dex, 15 racial bonus bonus to stealth.
    Halfling - 17 str, 19 dex, 25 racial bonus bonus to stealth, shorty saves.
    Gnome - 18 str, 18 dex, 10 racial bonus to stealth, shorty saves.

    The difference between 18 and 19 dex is a 10 bonus to stealth. Once you acquire the dex tome the difference between 19 and 20 dex is reduced to a 6 bonus to stealth.

    The difference between 17 and 18 str is small, but once you acquire the tome is chapter 6 the difference between 18 and 19 is massive. That is, if you don't give it to a warrior. The str damage bonus doesn't multiply in a backstab, it's more important for the thac0 bonus.

    I don't think any other race is worth considering.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,705
    An Assassin can distribute only 15 thieving skillpoints per level, 40 at the start, so I think any additional points are useful. They are useful in both cases: if your assassin is the single thief in the party and if your assassin is only a backstabber and you use another thief.

    At 15 DEX there're no adjustments to thieving skills. Any DEX that is higher gives adjustments.

    DEX Pick Pocket Open Locks Find Traps Move Silently Hide in Shadows Set Traps
    16 +5
    17 +5 +10
    18 +10 +15 +5 +10 +10 +5
    19 +15 +20 +10 +15 +15 +10
    20 +20 +25 +15 +18 +18 +15

    So, it's better to have 19 DEX at the start so that during the game it can become 20 DEX.

    Only halflings and elves can have 19 DEX at the start.

    Not only DEX adjustments are important because there're racial adjustments as well. Here're starting thieving skills for all races.

    Race Pick Pocket Open Locks Find Traps Move Silently Hide in Shadows Detect Illusion Set Traps
    Human 15 10 5 10 5 0 0
    Elf 20 5 5 15 15 0 0
    Half-elf 25 10 5 10 10 0 0
    Gnome 15 15 15 15 10 10 5
    Halfling 20 15 10 20 20 0 0
    Dwarf 15 20 20 10 5 5 10
    Half-orc 15 10 5 10 5 0 0

    So, halflings and elves have the most attractive racial adjustments that combined with their 19 DEX leads to choosing one of them as your Assassin.

    An Assassin will obviously use Poison Weapon and will backstab often so you'd like to have him hit enemies more often. That's why STR is also important.

    Halflings have -1 STR penalty while elves have -1 CON penalty.

    For thieves the difference between 17 and 18 CON in terms of HP is not important (everything that is higher than 16 doesn't increase your health - only fighters have bonuses from it).

    But the difference between 17 and 18 STR can be important if you're planning to use a certain manual (a book) to make it +1 later in the game.

    You get +1 melee THACO at 17 and 18 STR but +3 melee THACO at 19 STR. Also the damage is increased from +1 at 17 STR (+2 at 18 STR) to +7 at 19 STR.

    I see THACO as more important than damage for a backstabber as this additional damage is not multiplied - it is only added to you overall damage if you attack from the shadows.

    Also, halflings get bonus shorty saving throws based on CON (max +5 at 18 CON) and saving throws from their race (+2) but as we talk about an Assassin I see THACO and damage more relevant than bonus saving throws.

    Moreover, elves get +1 THACO to all attacks with swords (and right now it's not only short and long swords but any swords in the game, katanas included). Elves get +1 THACO to all attacks with bows - it can be useful too as you can Poison you arrows.

    So, I'd take an elf as an Assassin and try to give him 18 STR and 19 DEX.

    You should decide if he needs 16 CON or you can have 15 CON at the start and increase it +1 with a certain manual later - it only matters if you plan to give him a certain Claw (-1 CON) so that in the end he'll have 16 CON for max HP. But I think this Claw is better for your fighter.

    The rest stats are irrelevant for an Assassin (except maybe Charisma - but you can always use someone else to buy and sell items, talk to the people, etc).

    I prefer not to roll very long - I try to take a not OP character, so 80 points is enough.

    Tl;dr: an elf is the good choice with 18 STR, 19 DEX, 15 CON, 10 INT, 7 WIS, 11 CHA.

    Mirandel
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    dstoltzfusIecerint
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,294
    As others have said, the choice pretty much comes down to Half Orc and Elf.

    Elf probably being the more appropriate choice due to higher starting dex (effects skill points which will be few due to assassin class limits), bonus to "swords" and constitution penalty not really being a factor due to thieves not benefiting from more than 16 anyway.

    I will say that Half Orc does have the high strength and high con. With 20 con, you can get regeneration - if not the bonus hitpoints that a fighter would get. However, you will be severely gimped by skill points for a long time before you can even get hide/MS up high enough to use (much less if you wanted to open locks, or anything else). Suggest loading up on invisibility potions if you can find them.

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,740
    A lot going on in this section about assassins lately...

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    You don't get any extra damage from strenght when you backstab. So other than making it easier to hit in normal combat it doesn't give you much.

    18 (19 if elf) Dexterity.
    16 constitution.

    The rest is up to you, do you want to be able to dual class? go intelligence if you want to be a mage or wisdom if you want to be a cleric.

    If you're staying pure assassin then i would max strenght as nothing else is really important.

    I would go with : Elf (If pure) Human (If dual)

    18 strenght
    18/19 dexterity
    16 constitution
    10 wisdom
    11 Intelligence (Mind flayers drain with -5)
    10 charisma.

    That's 84 points and wouldn't be that hard to get. Anything else you put into stats from here on isn't important.

  • MetalcrazeMetalcraze Member Posts: 5
    Wow,thanks guys this really helps.
    Probably go with an elf then.

  • TyranusTyranus Member Posts: 268
    Despite what everyone is saying, get 17 Con. Anything over 16 doesn't matter, but you'll want to get the +1 Con tome and equip a certain cursed item that gives you -2 Con.

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited March 2013
    Just want to say that if you're planning on going to BG2 do not get 18 con for the claw. The claw is useless in BG2 as there are many better alternatives. And it would go better on an NPC if you're going with a party in BG1. The claw is nice and all but it's not worth taking the extra con if you're going to play BG2 aswell.

    Oxford_Guy
  • NocturneNNocturneN Member Posts: 123
    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    SionIV said:

    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

    Not true. You do get the damage bonus from strength, but it is not multiplied by your backstab multiplier.

    Oxford_GuyQuartz
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

    Not true. You do get the damage bonus from strength, but it is not multiplied by your backstab multiplier.
    So it's useless. If you deal 90 damage as an assassin or 93 its the same.

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Bhaaldog said:

    To make the best possible one.
    Also recommended race?

    Completed full trilogy with a Halfling assassin (character roll 83). Play whatever you feel is the most fun is my advice...
    A Gnome Assassin is also surprisingly good...

    monico
  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    SionIV said:

    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

    Not true. You do get the damage bonus from strength, but it is not multiplied by your backstab multiplier.
    So it's useless. If you deal 90 damage as an assassin or 93 its the same.
    It'll be a long time before an assassin is doing 90 with a backstab (not counting critical hits). At lower levels (such as those in BG1), you're probably going to be doing more like 30 on average, so having, say, +5 from high strength will make a difference. If you want to talk late game instead and assume you're doing 90 damage with a backstab, then you'll probably be able to do a lot better than the +3 damage from strength that you mentioned (probably more like +10).

    I'm not saying strength is vitally important for a backstabbing character or anything, but I wouldn't call it "useless".

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

    Not true. You do get the damage bonus from strength, but it is not multiplied by your backstab multiplier.
    So it's useless. If you deal 90 damage as an assassin or 93 its the same.
    It'll be a long time before an assassin is doing 90 with a backstab (not counting critical hits). At lower levels (such as those in BG1), you're probably going to be doing more like 30 on average, so having, say, +5 from high strength will make a difference. If you want to talk late game instead and assume you're doing 90 damage with a backstab, then you'll probably be able to do a lot better than the +3 damage from strength that you mentioned (probably more like +10).

    I'm not saying strength is vitally important for a backstabbing character or anything, but I wouldn't call it "useless".
    Also if you start with 18 Str in BGEE, you can get to 19 Str by the end of the game (and therefore from the start of BGEE) and +3 to hit and +7 damage is pretty significant... This is why I'm not so keen on halfling thieves, as they can only have max 17 starting strength. Go gnome or elf...

    JuliusBorisovmonico
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    TJ_Hooker said:

    SionIV said:

    NocturneN said:

    Do backstabs benefit from +STR bonuses? I think I read that it doesn't, but I am unsure. :)

    If they do, then Half-Orc! But honestly, any char with good STR (17+) will do serious damage with a large weapon (Long Sword/Katana) and the x7 multiplier.

    I think I'd go for Halfling or Elf myself because of the lack of points. Halflings also get amazing Saving Throws, which the Thief class somewhat lack.

    You only get the Thac0 from strenght when you backstab, not the damage.

    Not true. You do get the damage bonus from strength, but it is not multiplied by your backstab multiplier.
    So it's useless. If you deal 90 damage as an assassin or 93 its the same.
    It'll be a long time before an assassin is doing 90 with a backstab (not counting critical hits). At lower levels (such as those in BG1), you're probably going to be doing more like 30 on average, so having, say, +5 from high strength will make a difference. If you want to talk late game instead and assume you're doing 90 damage with a backstab, then you'll probably be able to do a lot better than the +3 damage from strength that you mentioned (probably more like +10).

    I'm not saying strength is vitally important for a backstabbing character or anything, but I wouldn't call it "useless".
    18 Strength -> 2 damage.
    19 Strength -> 7 damage.

    The highest you'll get on low level is +7 if you take the tome for yourself instead of giving it to a NPC that would get alot more use for it (Ofcourse if you're going to BG2 and don't use trilogy keeping it to yourself is a possibility) .

    It's not 'useless'. But you could give that tome to someone else that would get alot more out of it, and the difference between 10 strength and 18 is 70 or 72 damage on a backstab. It's first when you get 19+ strength that you'll get a decent amount of damage, but as you gain more multipliers from backstab it'll be more redundant.

    Also it's Base damage + Proficiency bonus + item bonus, bard song etc) x backstabbing multiplyer + strength bonus ) x critical hit + additional weapon damage. For anyone interested.

  • MetalcrazeMetalcraze Member Posts: 5
    Does the elf +1 sword thing apply to scimitars?

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    I'm pretty sure the elf to hit bonus applies to all swords (everything from a shortsword to a 2-handed sword).

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Oxford_Guy
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Bhaaldog said:

    Bhaaldog said:

    To make the best possible one.
    Also recommended race?

    Completed full trilogy with a Halfling assassin (character roll 83). Play whatever you feel is the most fun is my advice...
    A Gnome Assassin is also surprisingly good...
    Probably would go for an Illusionist / Thief if taking the gnome route...
    Yes, actually I'd agree there, a gnome Illusionist/Thief is awesome

    monico
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    TJ_Hooker said:

    I'm pretty sure the elf to hit bonus applies to all swords (everything from a shortsword to a 2-handed sword).

    Yes it does, though really it should only be to shortswords and longswords according to PnP. It's possible the Devs may change this at some point, I guess.

  • MetalcrazeMetalcraze Member Posts: 5
    I got 94 stat points woot.

  • ear2earthenear2earthen Member Posts: 6
    Do daggers add to back stab damage or is it better to just use a 1d10 katana or somthing is there any specific daggers that complement assassins aside from the venom dagger? Interesting combos broken mechanics

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 394
    Daggers tend to be poor backstabbing weapons, because they don't do much physical damage. In a backstab, you take the weapon's damage (including enchantment), add flat damage bonuses such as the assassin kit's +1 or the +2 from gauntlets of specialization, and multiply by your character's backstab multiplier (up to 7 for an assassin).

    Daggers tend to have low physical damage but powerful on-hit effects, like the dagger of venom's poison or the Pixie Prick dagger's sleep effect. For backstabbing, you instead want a weapon with more physical damage, like the long swords Varscona and Namarra. Katanas are competitive here, but they don't stand out; they're limited to relatively low enchantment values of +1 in BG1, +3 in SoA, and +4 in ToB, so they don't do more damage than long swords or scimitars. The one weapon type that really stands out and does more damage? Staves. A Staff of Striking, or later the Staff of the Ram, deals more physical damage than anything else. Note here that the +1 damage from two-handed style is multiplied in a backstab.

    Of course, for an assassin, you can't specialize in any one weapon. You'll have plenty of proficiency points to spread around, and choose whatever's best at the time.

    StummvonBordwehrmonicoAerakargorgonzola
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 398
    edited October 2019
    The assassin is, actually, not the best backstabber in the game until very very late game, and even then, not by much and not reliably.

    The best would be a kensai dualed to thief, for two reasons:
    - the +1 dmg every 3 level is multiplied
    - kai allows for max damage

    Quick comparison in BG1:

    Assa lvl9 (x4 backstab) equiped with Striking Staff (1d6+9), 1 pip in 2 handed weapons (+1 dmg), Legacy of the Masters (+2 dmg) not taking strength into account:
    - Average backstab dmg is [12,5 (average wpn dmg) + 1 (kit) + 1 (pip) +2 (gloves)] x4 = 66 dmg average, max 76

    Kensai (6) dualed to thief (9) for max backstab in BG1 (dualed to 7 would be better for ApR, but only gets you to lvl8 and x3 backstab), 4 pips in staves, no gloves though:
    - Backstab dmg = [15 (wpn with kai) + 2 (kit) + 1 (2handed pip) + 4 (staff pips)] x4 = 88 damage

    In fact, if dualed at Kensai (7)/Thief(8), that is [15+2+1+4]x3 = 66 dmg, still equaling the average damage from the assassin.

    If BG2 is taken into account, you probably dual your Kensai at lvl9 for better damage, APR, and HP. Assassin will only get x6 backstab multiplier at 1,5 Million XP, x7 at 2,4 million XP, which means it will be worse than any fighter/thief combinaison until then.

    At 1,5 mill XP, with +4 staff (Staff of the Ram is at the end of Watcher's keep, and upgradable only in ToB):
    - Assa backstab = [8 (average wpn) + 1 (kit) + 1 (pip) + 2 (gloves)] x6 = 72 (average) or 90 (max dmg)
    - Kensai (9)/ thief = [11 (wpn with kai) + 3 (kit) + 1 (2handed pip) + 5 (staff pips)] x5 = 100 damage

    And in ToB, with lategame gear (kensai can use it with UAI), and upgraded Staff of the Ram:
    - Assa backstab = [15,5 (av wpn) + 1 (kit) + 1 (pip) + 2 (gloves)] x7 = 136,5 (average) ; 154 (max)
    - Kensai (9) / thief = [18 (wpn with kai) + 3 (kit) + 1 (2handed pip) + 5 (staff pips) +2 (gloves)] x5 = 145 damage


    So, unless your assassin makes perfect damage roll, you only overpower a Kensai/thief backstab after lvl21 and 2,4 million XP. And that is without even talking about thac0.

    And your kensai/thief will be able to keep fighting after backstabing, while the assassin won't. And since Poison Weapon has been nerfed, becoming unreliable, the assassin is not even a really good assassin anymore.

    StummvonBordwehrgorgonzola
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 398
    Sorry, double post : obviously, this comparison makes no sense, since almost every enemy will die from a single hit once you start doing 90+ damage.

    I prefer the fighter/thief (dualed or multi) since those classes have great synergy, it makes the thieves skill scaling a bit more useful throughout the game (a single class unkitted thief will mostly have all needed skills covered by the end of BG1, the rest is just icing on the cake), and they can keep fighting out of stealth.

    Another very powerful backstabbing combo is cleric/thief multi (with cleric buffs and use of sanctuary), or thief/mage for Mislead abuse and infinite backstabs for the duration of the spell.

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