|Doesn’t this look way more fun
than just another Assassin?
Right now, Turbine devs MadFloyd and Eladrin are hosting a discussion about upcoming changes to the enhancement system. One set of changes involved racial prestige enchancments, such as Elven Arcane Archer and Dwarven Defender: every race is going to have a similar link to a prestige enhancement.
Sounds great! Until one realizes that they are planning for the halfling racial PrE to be Assassin.
I have several ideas that I believe make way more sense, but first, a bunch of reasons why assassin does not:
- D&D: There is no racial inclination toward Assassin in any D&D source book going back to Chainmail
- Fantasy literature: There is no tradition of halflings as assassins in any book ever (AFAIK anyway but I read a lot)
- Racial synergy: Assassin in DDO is an INT class, but halflings are a DEX race
- Roleplaying: Assassins must be evil. Halflings are jolly! well, all except one
- Balance: Assassin will not balance with other racial PrE’s as all of the other proposed racial PrEs will be useful at end game but Assassin will not
- AP synergy: Halfling APs focus on stealth and sneak attacks which are already less useful at end game
Yes I am making that last point twice (with nuances!) because it is really key.
Now lets look at better choices:
- In Tolkien, hobbits are burglars. That is closer to Acrobat than it is to Assassin
- In Forgotten Realms and other D&D fiction, halflings are generally rogues. That is closer to Mechanic or Acrobat than it is to Assassin
- In the 3.0 and 3.5 Players Handbooks, the template rogue is a Halfling. Still closer to Acrobat or Mechanic
- In Eberron, halflings are nomads and barbarians. That is not at all close to Assassin. Suitable nomad/barbarian PrCs include ravager, rune-scarred berserker, Prarie Runner, or any of a number of possible nomadic or barbarian PrCs
- In D&D 3.0 and in D&D 3.5 there is already a halfling-preferred Prestige Class: Halfling Outrider!
Admittedly, adding an all-new PrE is possibly more work than just re-using one that already exists. But this is about big plans, right? Also, the Halfling Outrider in particular is a tougher fit since we don’t have mounts, although one suspects that the Artificer companion style of solution could be re-used here too.
If we may only select from existing PrEs, Acrobat is a better fit than Assassin, especially if Acrobat were modified to allow quarterstaff as a finesse weapon that does damage based on DEX modifier.
Any of these would be far better and more suitable than Assassin, which just feels like a tack-on added only because all the other races are getting a PrE, and hey, halflings are backstabbers right?
🙂 😀 🙂