Home > Classes > Core Classes > Thief > Archetypes (Thief) >


A thief undertaking his task with cold, professional detachment, the assassin is equally adept at espionage, bounty hunting, and terrorism. At his core, an assassin is an artisan, and his medium is death. Trained in a variety of killing techniques, assassins are among the most feared killers.

The assassin is an archetype of the thief class.

Class Skills

An assassin adds the Survival skill to his class skill list and loses the Disable Device skill as a class skill.

Poison Use (Ex)

Beginning of 1st level, assassins are trained in the use of poison and cannot accidentally poison themselves when applying poison to a blade (see Poison).

This ability replaces mark and trapfinding.

Save Bonus against Poison (Ex)

At 3rd level, the assassin gains a +1 saving throw bonus against poisons. This bonus increase by +1 every two levels.

This ability replaces danger sense.

Hidden Weapons (Ex)

At 3rd level, an assassin becomes a master at hiding weapons on his body. He adds his assassin level to all Sleight of Hand skill checks made to prevent others from noticing them.

This ability replaces measure the mark.

Death Attack (Ex)

At 5th level, if an assassin studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (assassin’s choice). Studying the victim is a standard action. The death attack fails if the target detects the assassin or recognizes the assassin as an enemy (although the attack might still be a sneak attack if the target is denied his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class or is flanked). If the victim of such a death attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half the assassin’s class level + the assassin’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the assassin. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the assassin has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

This ability replaces improved theft.

True Death (Su)

Starting at 7th level, anyone slain by an assassin’s death attack becomes more difficult to bring back from the dead. Spellcasters attempting to bring a creature back from the dead using raise or similar magic must make a caster level check with a DC equal to 15 + the assassin’s level or the spell fails. Casting dispel the round before attempting to bring the creature back from the dead negates this chance. The DC of the dispel is 10 + the assassin’s level.

This ability replaces skilled liar.

Quiet Death (Ex)

At 10th level, whenever an assassin kills a creature using his death attack during a surprise round, he can also make a Stealth check, opposed by Perception checks of those in the vicinity to prevent them from identifying him as the assailant. If successful, those nearby might not even notice that the target is dead for a few moments, allowing the assassin to avoid detection.

This ability replaces mug.

Swift Death (Ex)

At 15th level, once per day, an assassin can make a death attack against a foe without studying the foe beforehand. He must still sneak attack his foe using a melee weapon that deals damage.

This ability replaces theft mastery.

Angel of Death (Su)

At 20th level, the assassin becomes a master of death. Once per day, when the assassin makes a successful death attack, he can cause the target’s body to crumble to dust. This prevents raise dead and resurrection (although true resurrection works as normal). The assassin must declare the use of this ability before the attack is made. If the attack misses or the target successfully saves against the death attack, this ability is wasted with no effect.

This ability replaces master strike.