Jan 092012
Click the image for a full-sized Halfling Outrider
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?

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  10 Responses to “Halfling racial prestige enhancement. Assassin? I think not”

Comments (10)
  1. I agree with you. I would rather see some kind of Dino riding PRE to go with their nomadic barbarian Eberron nature. But I bet it went along this line of thought.

    Okay so Halfling race based PER….Well Rog clearly.

    What is the most popular Rog PRE, that can be glued on to any other class?

    Assassin, clearly. Done.

  2. Though I have not checked, I guessing (hoping?) that you have voiced this in the forum thread.

    No matter what they end up doing, I’m hoping they will do away with the “progress” requirements altogether (as they are stup…er, unnecessary).

  3. I think it would be fun and hilarious to run around stormreach riding a dog!

    Until now I hadn’t put much thought into a halfling being an assassin.

    I can see why DDO would choose it-already in the thief prestige class-players think assassins are great.

    Here is where I have a confession to make. I prestiged my halfling into an assassin because it looked more fun than picking locks for a living, or rolling around on the floor. So maybe I should reincarnate and go with mechanic πŸ™ I do have fun trap making and blowing things up.

    Sides I haven’t much played him lately since I’ve been using my wizard.

  4. Just imagine a Halfling Outrider artificer, riding around on his metal mutt and putting gaping holes into everything with his repeater…

    If they *did* go with the Halfling Outrider option, there’d be a race to be the first named Sir Didymus, I suspect.

  5. Acanthia thinks having a llama to ride around on would be cool. And she doesn’t like the assassin idea at all. She prefers to walk right up to stuff and then kick the crap out of it.

  6. Dunno, with the Archer Bias, I wouldn’t be surprised if you get warsling sniper instead.

  7. I love the way you think Geoff

  8. I’d definitely take Warsling Sniper over Assassin πŸ™‚

  9. course then they would have to make slings…

  10. @oskar – you say that like it’s a bad thing

What do you think?

%d bloggers like this: