How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start?


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Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 19:05

How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start?

I want to win with all species, and I've currently won 10, I've got
  Code:
 Unwon species for Vajrapani: Barachian, Deep Elf, Demigod, Felid, Formicid, Gargoyle, Halfling, Human, Kobold, Merfolk, Naga, Octopode, Ogre, Spriggan, Tengu, Vampire

these species left to win, and some particular species, like Kobold,Halfling,Spriggan and Vampire, could benefit from the assassin start more than my usual Fi/Gl/Mo starts, and I am particularly intrigued after spectating Yermak's BaAs win, so I'd like to know how people play this particular background.

Do you level throwing/stealth or is it just a melee guy with a blowgun? Is throwing even required for the blowgun to be effective in earlygame? How does the blowgun compare to a Fighter's shield or a Gladiator's nets?
16/26 on the way to GreaterOctopode (Win all backgrounds as an Octopode)

Progress so far : OpFi, OpGl, OpWn, OpAr, OpCK, OpMo, OpBe, OpHu, OpVM, OpAM, OpWr, OpFE, OpEE, OpNe, OpTm, OpSk

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 19:29

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

On a stealthy char (octopodes my favourites) you use the start stealth to good advantage. On anyone else, its not just blowgun, its especially the curare needles. Otherwise, yes, pick up the first weapon and go to town with that.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 20:13

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

I remember watching a youtube series where this guy was trying to win as an Octopode caster. Eventually he just went Assassin just to have a starting blowgun and transitioned to caster after he got his first random spellbook, which is how he eventually got his win.

However, this was before needles got nerfed; poison needles used apply as much poison at Throwing skill 0 as they do in the current version at skill 8.2 I believe. The upside is that if you invest more into Throwing you can get more poison damage out of them than you could in the past.

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 23:49

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Gladiator - Throwing Nets + Blowgun with Curare = Assassin
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/scoring/players/papilio.html

Done 15-rune wins with all playable species, backgrounds, gods!

Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 05:57

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

short blade + throwing + dodge + stealth

you can train one skill at 40% and the other three at 20%.

Train other skills when short blade and throwing are at ideal levels. I don't see an assassin every not training dodge/stealth as high as possible.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 12:13

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

I tend to get short blades to 5. Then get stealth, then throwing. 5 short blade + 10 or so stealth can 1stab anything dangerous up to like... komodo dragon. Use needles liberally, curare is like a get out of jail free card and poison to take out stuff like ogres/giants. Depending on race/loot i may go heavier on short blade, stealth or throwing, but generally some combo of those three into dodging+magic is nice.

As is one of the best starts imo. Having a +2 starting dagger AND blowgun+needles is amazing.

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Vajrapani

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 14:20

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

What ARE the new needle effects as a function of Throwing skill?
Won (48). Remaining (15): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 6 Backgrounds: Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 3 gods: Jiyv, newNem, WJC

Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 15:13

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Vampires are better at being Transmuters while Halflings are just tiny MiBes.

Spider Stomper

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 17:59

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

MainiacJoe wrote:What ARE the new needle effects as a function of Throwing skill?

I think the primary effect is that it is more likely to apply non-poison needle effects. IIRC you still need to do damage to have any effect, so the damage boosting isn't 100% irrelevant.

For poison or curare, I think it increases effect duration.

Both of these might not be correct.
I'm with tasonir on this one.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 00:15

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

A powerful strategy for assassins is to use short blades early (supplemented with throwing); worship Kiki; use undead, pain brand, and Necromancy spells through the first few runes; then consider training up a bigger weapon (e.g. demon blade/whip/trident) late for pain-resistant nasty monsters.

Tomb Titivator

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 00:33

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

That sounds like so depressing way to try to win.
Spellcasting penalties, Armour skill, and strength
15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Rast

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 05:39

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

What you call depressing, I call fun.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 07:21

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

I think assassin can branch into any non conjuration style schools pretty easily. Summons work great with stealth I think.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 09:55

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Think of assassin as a specific case of hunter. Like hunter, you have a launcher so you have an overpowered offensive option in the early game, at the price of a crappy stat and skill distribution. You also don't have enough ammo to use on everything. The main differences are that you're forced into throwing instead of getting to pick a ranged weapon class, your melee weapon is a little better, and I guess you have 1 more AC between the start of D:1 and Lair or so (you'll find something equal to or better than +0 leather before you find a cloak).
Trying to make a stabber out of As is unironically one of the worst things to try to do with the background. The background has none of the tools for it. No hexes, not even meph or summons, no needles of confusion/sleep/paralysis. I can't imagine I would ever train stealth on it, I'm not even sure I would recommend training short blades on it unless you intend to go Kiku, since a +2 dagger is good on D:1 but loses to literally any venom/draining/elec weapon even if there's a big skill difference. It's much more reliable to make a generic melee or launcher character like you would with Fi/Gl/Hu, you have a blowgun and curare so the margin for doing so is generous.

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nago, prozacelf, Rast, Utis, Vajrapani

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 20:09

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

duvessa wrote: a +2 dagger is good on D:1 but loses to literally any venom/draining/elec weapon


The good news is those brands are super common on daggers in the first few levels, so you'll have a head start on your skilling!

What some players don't understand about non-spellbook backgrounds is that they are just a set of tools to keep you alive until floorgod provides a good weapon. Example:

use short blades early (supplemented with throwing); worship Kiki; use undead, pain brand, and Necromancy spells through the first few runes;

If you want to build that character, feel free. But don't think that the assassin background is especially well suited to that sort of build, or that the best path to that build is starting as an assassin.

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prozacelf
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 07:30

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Also worth noting that you can often train the first long blade you find and keep using the venom dagger you found off of that jerk kobold on d:2 and the cross-training works.

But in my experience it's not productive to think of assassin as a "stealth" build, because the only effective stabbers in the long run use hexes. Rast and duvessa covered most of this, but if you don't start with a book, you should probably think of your starting role as some sort of variant on fighter.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 09:59

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

prozacelf wrote:But in my experience it's not productive to think of assassin as a "stealth" build, because the only effective stabbers in the long run use hexes.

Unless you like that kind of challenge. It's ok to play a stealth stabber of Dith and shadow step anything dangerous (if you enjoy that kind of thing), but of course you must have a backup plan for when that does not work...
...{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz
{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMo
HuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 02:29

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Assassin gets Throwing, and there are net stabs. I feel, though, that nets do not reliably appear in the quantity needed to build around this (there's that one trap-filled Ossuary where you can sometimes get several). I don't recall Trog or Oka ever giving me any. Is a net stabber feasible?
Won (48). Remaining (15): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 6 Backgrounds: Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 3 gods: Jiyv, newNem, WJC
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 08:23

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

I think you'd have to be incredibly lucky to get enough nets to make a real habit out of net stabs. They get destroyed too easily, and have the additional problem of not working at all on anything above a certain size, which happens to include a lot of things you'd like to stab.

You can get a decent number of nets in shoals, but by that point you probably have enough other ways to deal with monsters that a net stab is more of a luxury than a tactic you'd want to lean on.

Also, you *can* do a stealth stabber of Dith and shadow step, dangerous stuff, but I don't know why you wouldn't pick up some hexes at that point unless they're simply unavailable. Pretty much every race with good stealth has a decent to great hexes apt except for Ghoul, and you should probably be using UC with them anyway, rather than short blades.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 10th February 2017, 14:37

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

Dithmenos' shadow bonus is very useful for various attack forms that typically originate with other classes. So there is still that when you start branching out into other things, if you go with Dith.

For example, more frequent missile attacks is nothing to laugh at with a good bow, especially one with speed.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 10th February 2017, 20:26

Re: How do you leverage the advantages of the Assassin start

I have lots of naga assassins: :)
MfAs^Trog
KoAs^Trog
NaAs^Dith
VsAs^Dith(15 runes)
NaAs^Dith
NaAs^Dith(15 runes)
NaAs^Dith
NaAs^Chei(this one is more like transmuter)

duvessa wrote:Trying to make a stabber out of As is unironically one of the worst things to try to do with the background... I can't imagine I would ever train stealth on it, I'm not even sure I would recommend training short blades
contrary to what duvessa said I did train stealth and short blades and I did stab dudes, it is fun with Dith.
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