View Full Version : Starting stats query

06-16-2014, 04:31 AM
Hello all

Im in the process of planning my final heroic life to get Completionist and have a question about starting stats for an Int/ Dex sneaky Assassin.

He will level to 20 only and then TR so need to plan for Epics

Why sneaky beaky assassin in Heroic some may ask?

Well, Ive spent my last 15 lives hacking, slashing, bashing, pulverising, blasting, melting, FoDding, CoDing, Wailing etc, etc and so on and so forth and I fancy a change of pace. I like the idea of being a sneaky.
In groups I know this wont be possible and Ill adapt, but when I solo.......

Ive looked at the main Assassin builds that are floating around at the moment so Ive got the Feats and Enhancements covered.

The current Assassin builds all seem to dump Str and build for 21 Dex to get ISA.

My concern is the low Strength and what effect it could have on levelling.

Considering Im not going to Epics and wont be taking ISA could I drop a bit of Dex to bump Strength?
Or am I worrying about nothing and a combination of Stat gear, tomes and lesser restore pots will see me through ok?

Some things to help you to help me -

I will only be taking L18 and holding
I have +5s across the board
Max sneaky
Max assassinate
Max SA
Either Halfling, Drow or Human (in that order of pref)

Just to re cap, I know the Feats I'll take as they're pretty standard, its just the starting stats Im interested in given that a) Im TR'ing at 20 and b) my (possibly unjustified) concern about the low Strength.

Im really looking forward to this life and want to make sure I get it right and will appreciate any advice that is offered.

Many thanks

06-16-2014, 03:25 PM
Check out my build (link in sig) it might give you some ideas, I still play mine now and then and have a blast while playing it. Having low STR can be a little tricky in the early levels but you can drink Bull's Strength pots until you get up high enough to equip a decent STR item as which point things do get a lot easier. If you go with my build then look in to taking Weapon Finesse at level 1 since that will allow you to use your DEX for to-hit and damage and will make early levels easier, the build does need updating which I am looking it to doing though :)


06-16-2014, 05:10 PM
Short answer, it probably doesn't matter too much. The benefits of going either str or dex based are considerably less in heroics. You don't have access to the multitude of ways to boost str, so the difference between max str and max dex during heroics is not going to be anything significant. So either way your dps isn't going to suffer.

Having low str is not a problem really. Just have a str item equipped and you'll be fine. On a str dumped halfling, however, you may need to leave behind some of the heavier loot that you'll find (e.g. full plate, etc.). I've never had any problems with ray of enfeeblement, just carry lesser restore pots and you'll be fine. Just for the sake of confirmation, I am speaking from experience. I played a str dumped halfling assassin back when the level cap was 20. Interesting side note, there is a noticeable difference in the ability to sneak as a halfling. You really can get into smaller spaces and take better advantage of the terrain as a result. It's a lot of fun actually, but I've seen/smelled more hezrou butt than I care to remember, so I hope to never return as a halfling. :)

The benefit of going dex based (higher reflex) is also not as valuable in heroics, but it will make some difference. Going fully dex based you can completely ignore anything that you can evade, but as str based you'll have to be more aware of the limits of your reflex save.

As an assassin who only intends to get to level 18 and then TR, you also don't need to max int to have an effective assassinate DC. I'd max dex personally.

Once you hit 12 you get knife specialization. I'd use daggers exclusively at that point. Before then, I'd agree with Stoner81, take weapon finesse so you can choose from a larger variety of weapons and still use dex for attack and damage.

I would also add that the biggest benefit of human is the extra feat, and you really won't need it with your goals.

I know you said you had feats covered, but here is the build I would do if I had your goals.

Put all level ups into dex.
If you're really concerned about having a starting str of 6, then just drop con, int, or both by 1-2 points and put those points into str.

1 twf
3 weapon finesse
6 precision
9 itwf
12 imp crit pierce
15 gtwf
18 toughness

Hope that helps.

06-17-2014, 02:09 AM
Thank you both for the replies.

Yours are two of the builds I have been studying in preparation for my Rogue life.

I saved my Rogue life until last before Comp as I wanted it to have the benefit of all of the PLs I have done and its the life I have most looked forward to doing.

If I enjoy it immensely theres a small chance Ill take him to L23 just to prolong the fun a bit before TR'ing into his "career" class as a Wiz.

Weapon wise, I have been collecting "lacerating", "Suns Fury" and flame touched (which I'll craft into holy/ bleed etc) variants of short swords, rapiers, light hammers etc, but I seemed to have missed out on named items. Is there any weapob I should really, really look to get or are they all much of a muchness?


06-17-2014, 02:35 AM
Man, I did the same thing my first rogue life. It lasted almost an hour before I got tired of trying to sneak around at a snails pace (this was when faster sneaking took a few levels to acquire). I ended up splashing monk, taking stunning fist and stunning blow and demolishing stuff with sneak damage.

As far as going dex based twf for a heroic past life. At low levels your sneak dice is going to be negligible and because rogues get lower BAB you wont get gtwf til 15 or so. Acrobat does not have these issues, and thf clears mobs faster.

Assassin doesn't shine til later heroic levels.

If you really want to do assassin anyway, level up as an acrobat at low levels, take the twf feats and fix your enhancements later on.

06-17-2014, 06:26 AM
Gear is the most important factor for a rogue. If you plan to assassinate reliably in heroics your best bet is to get some INT gear. You'll have to keep it on the whole time for assassinating, which can be tricky. Best case imho is a 6 INT/Good burst/+2 ins INT Radiance 2 rapier for off-hand, if you can spare the mats. Radiance is also the rogue's best friend for heroics, until you get Improved Deception item (lowest atm is Ring of lies from Reaver).

If you want to have an easier time leveling - go STR instead of DEX or INT. Your reflex against traps is already high enough for heroics and if memory serves me right - mobs' search/spot DCs aren't that high in heroic, so +/-5 points to Hide and MS from having less DEX isn't going to be a big deal. Power Attack will make your leveling process much easier for low levels, esp if you (have to) solo often.

If you already have some good shortswords and rapiers stashed, drow might be your best bet. Stats for a heroic STR build might go like:
STR 16 + level-ups
DEX 16 (you want TWF early)
CON 14
INT 16
CHA 10

For DEX heroic-only build I'd go:
STR 12 (for PA, +5 damage is a huge deal early on, also, need to carry all the loot!)
DEX 18 (spending 6 points for 2 DEX is not worth it for a past-life build)
CON 14
INT 17
CHA 10

Either way, leveling a rogue is a blast. Even if you plan to sneak a lot, don't forget to bring (Improved) Deception or Rad2 weapons/items in the cases you grab agro. Fell Shiv(?) from the Assassin tree is also a good way to lose the heat.

06-17-2014, 08:27 AM
Weapon wise, I have been collecting "lacerating", "Suns Fury" and flame touched (which I'll craft into holy/ bleed etc) variants of short swords, rapiers, light hammers etc, but I seemed to have missed out on named items. Is there any weapob I should really, really look to get or are they all much of a muchness?

I liked Garos' Malice back in the day. The Sky Pirate's Dagger and Tiefling Assassin's Blade are better options now, but any of those three will be excellent choices for low levels.

For mid levels, nothing is going to beat dual greensteel radiance daggers. They'll basically guarantee that you're always getting sneak attack damage and nothing will live long. Get yourself a couple of Rad2's and play your rogue like a barbarian. :) If you don't have the option of greensteel, then Guardian of the Liturgy will be your best option by far, you'll just have to manage agro better to ensure that you're getting sneak attacks. There are a few other decent dagger (e.g. polycurse dagger, just carry curse pots) and non-dagger (e.g. envenomed blade) options for mid levels, but rad2 or guardian of the liturgy if you don't have greensteel are the best imo.

Ancient Vulkoorim Daggers are great against giant type mobs.

07-03-2014, 03:25 PM
Not really going to mention weapon wise, because the guys here have mostly covered that, but you could always just play it like a barb. Just use daggers and kukris instead of axes and whatnot. Pure rogue still, but instead of dex/int based, go str/int based.

Str 16
Dex 14
Con 16
Int 16
Wis 8
Cha 8


1. Power Attack
1. Cleave
3. Two Weapon Fighting
6. Great Cleave
9. Past Life feat of your choice or insightful reflexes if you want to highly dive into int.
10. Imp Evasion
12. Imp Crit Pierce or Slash
13. Opportunist
15. Imp TWF
16. Slippery Mind
18. Greater TWF
19. Skill Mastery

As for stat lvl ups, if you put 1 into dex you can take Imp TWF at 9 instead of 15, but for me 9 is where I would put completionist.
Seeing that I would go for the overwhelming crit, i'd put 2 points into str, and 2 into int. The other one is up to you.

(P.S I'm an Hp addict, and love tanking things on a rogue) I.E my SneakATank build. (Pure Rogue)