When new Dungeons and Dragons players think of a Rogue, the character they would describe is often a DnD Assassin. These Rogues are slick, stealthy killers, as adept with poisons as they are with a well-placed dagger. The Assassin 5e subclass is all about disguises and surprise strikes – and this guide will help you learn how to play one.
Below you’ll find all you need to know about this dastardly DnD Rogue. We’ve summarized all the DnD classes features that are unique to the Assassin. Plus, we can even recommend some DnD races and 5e feats to flesh out your DnD character build.
Here’s everything you need to know about the DnD Assassin 5e subclass:
Assassin 5e features
Here’s each Assassin 5e feature you’ll get with your DnD level ups:
As an Assassin, you’re naturally proficient with a disguise kit and a poisoner’s kit. Sneaky kills and stealthy escapes are your bread and butter. Just make sure you’ve swotted up on the crafting rules in the Player’s Handbook and the section on Poison in the Dungeon Master’s Guide if you want to be a master poisoner.
Your Rogue has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet, and any successful attack against that target is a critical hit. Basically, at the very start of battle, you can swoop in for one major blow.
This feature allows you to create convincing fake identities for yourself, as long as you have seven days to spare and 25 gold pieces to spend. The work is worth it though – with the right clothing, documents, and backstory, others will believe you are who you say you are, no rolls required.
However, if you give them a reason to doubt you, you’ll be in hot water – no disguise is good enough to excuse a bit of Murder-Hobo-ing. You must also follow one set rule: the disguise can’t be of any exsiting, known person.
If you spend three hours studying a person, you can learn to perfectly recreate their speech, behavior, and handwriting. An unsuspecting civilian won’t see through your mimicry, and you have advantage on Deception checks against anyone who suspects a ruse.
If you successfully hit a creature that’s surprised, it must immediately pass a Constitution saving throw or take double the attack’s damage. The DC for the roll is eight plus your proficiency bonus and Dexterity modifier.
Best races for Assassin 5e
If you want to choose a D&D race from the Player’s Handbook, we recommend two choices. The first of these is the Variant DnD Human. You’ll only get a +1 in your most important stat (Dexterity), but you get a free feat from the get-go. And there’s one standout choice – Alert.
Alert gives you a +5 bonus to Initiative rolls, which will be essential for squeezing some extra damage out of your Assassinate feature. Plus, you’re much harder to surprise, and hidden foes don’t get any advantage against you – which is always nice.
If you’d prefer to buff your stats, choose the DnD Elf for their Dex buffs. Darkvision will come in handy for all that sneaking around you’ll be doing, and proficiency in Perception gives you a neat extra skill. We’d choose the Wood Elf subrace for its extra five feet of speed and the Mask of the Wild trait. This lets you hide when you’re lightly obscured by natural phenomena.
If the core races feel too basic, there are also plenty of options among the rarer races. A DnD Bugbear has an extra five feet of reach with melee DnD weapons, as well as Darkvision and proficiency with Stealth. More importantly, their ‘Surprise Attack’ ability deals an extra 2d6 damage if the target of your attack hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet – now that’s synergy.
We also recommend building a Harengon 5e Assassin. This race lets you add your proficiency bonus to Initiative rolls (knock knock, Assassinate calling). Plus, you’re proficient in Perception and able to jump a long distance as a bonus action.