November 24, 2017

Ghost-Faced Killer (Redux)

Roguish Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Next stop on the redux train: the first rogue I adapted from 3.5 to 5e! In retrospect, the old Ghostface Killa wasn't broken, necessarily, but it certainly wasn't as fun to play as our more recent creations, which is something the redux seeks to fix. Moreover, we wanted to cement the whole 'stealthy, scary murderer' angle, rather than just making it a vaguely mystical rogue. Let us know how we did!

Ghost-Faced Killer

The Ghost-Faced, depending on who you ask, are either an order of assassins or specters of death itself. The members of this guild preserve ancient techniques, passed down through generations, by which a man becomes a spirit, and how that spirit can kill. Inducted members are given a porcelain demon masks of ghostly white to hide their identities and their first mission: to slay a man in broad daylight, and escape invisibly into the air.

Ghost Step
Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, as a bonus action, you can become invisible until the beginning of your next turn, or until you make an attack or cast a spell. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
     Starting at 9th level, you can use this ability three times, and regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. Then, starting at 13th level, you become ethereal while you are invisible, and you can move through creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain.

Frightful Attack
By 3rd level, you strike terror into your victim's heart when you appear out of thin air to deliver a precise, killing blow. Whenever you hit a creature with a sneak attack that ends invisibility on yourself, you can cause the target to make a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier) or become frightened of you. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the effect on a success. Once a creature has been frightened by this ability, it can't be frightened by it again for 24 hours.

Deathly Silent
By 9th level, you have trained yourself to make almost no noise while stalking your targets. You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks involving sound, and you cannot be detected by creatures using tremorsense.

Ghost Sight
At 13th level, no target can hide from your sight. You gain the effects of the see invisibility spell at all times.

Dread Strike
Starting at 17th level, you are expert in the art of dealing death. When you make a sneak attack with a weapon that isn't heavy, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you can add 4d6 to the sneak attack damage.


  1. I really like the new changes. True Ghost Step was too complicated and Deathly Silent makes way more sense and doesn't also take up a bonus action. I also really like that you made Frightful Attack its own thing instead of tacking it onto Dread Strike, making both more useful and easier to use.

  2. My friends rougue is now gettin nerfed

  3. A technical critique, but I think the sneak attack already requires the weapon used to be a finesse weapon or ranged. If that's a case, specifying that the weapon needs to not be heavy is a touch redundant (unless you want them to otherwise have the ability to use sneak attack with heavy weapons).

    1. I think it's for some of their own content, with the exotic weapons that they pumped out for the Craftsman. Additionally, this also removes Longbow and I believe(?) Heavy Crossbow.

    2. It's more like waterproofing. I don't want that feature to ever stack with Great Weapon Fighting (since they're basically the same ability.) Even if there aren't ways to make that happen now, I'm trying to ensure that weapons released in later books (our and Wizards') don't enable that later.


  4. I gotta day, not that I am your harshest critic, I'm pretty impressed with this one. My only concern is the number of uses ghost step. I am all for limiting it, but I think that limiting ghost step to a once per short rest (at the least) might be a little too infrequent. Without ghost step, the rogue is left with no edge where all the published WOTC Rogues have an easy and reliable access to their features. Even in the case of Arcane Trickster, they have at least cantrips and Ranged Legerdemain to fall back on.

    If I may, I would propose something like, "the next time you roll initiative, you regain one use of ghost step." Of course, that's up to you.

    1. Or possibly, at least letting frightful attack trigger with all sneak attacks on surprised creatures so they have something to use even when Ghost Step is not available.

    2. To be fair, the advantage of becoming invisible as a bonus action is quite potent, as opposed to the other base rogue abilities. An Assassin's, I would argue, is far more limited, as it only functions on surprised targets, as well as on the first turn of combat. A thief's intro abilities only add an extra form of movement, really, as well as some vague item utility. Even the arcane trickster is a tad limited in what spells can do, and rarely will their spells lead to sneak attacks, especially given that they don't have the ability to deal sneak attack damage with their cantrips.

      All in all, I think that this is a fine limiter, at least until later levels where it becomes 3 uses, given that this will almost invariable grant you sneak attack damage, plus the additional abilities that synergize so well with the intro feature that are provided by this archetype.

    3. Ultimately, it's a tight resource, but it's important for it to be fairly limited. After all, in the context of a rogue, even one round of invisibility is free sneak attack with advantage -- if you removed the idea of invisibility altogether and wrote a feature that offered free advantage plus a frighten effect, a once per short rest limitation seems pretty reasonable (for a subclass feature.)