My notes about the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons Assassin prestige class peg it as a Spectral Sneak, but I’ve had the opportunity to review the States and what they’re supposed to represent, and I think I’ve changed my mind a bit. Before I’d have looked at the Assassin spells, and categorized it as Spectral because it uses Arcane magic.

That… doesn’t really work.

First things first, alignment has no place in the Seven States cosmology, if not for the fact that alignment causes as many arguments as it does, then for the fact that Norvendae is largely a Grey and Gray and Greigh setting, occasionally bordering on White and Grey. You have generally good people working at cross purposes.

So, the Assassin only requires skills to qualify, even though it grants arcane spells. It utilizes poison, Sneak Attack, and even the spells it grant are fairly mundane in application, and used to hide the assassin’s identity, enhance their physical abilities, or locate their target. Important to note however, is that they kill their target.

An Assassin doesn’t toy with the target (unless they’re evil), doesn’t wound them or cause them undue suffering (unless they’re evil), and they don’t strictly do it for the money (unless they’re evil). So, my new assessment puts them at either Natural or Primeval (depending on their powers) Sneak. More “magical” ones are Primeval.

Of course, what this does for them, since the Sneak is based on Deception, is it actually makes them more competent across the board, like international superstar secret agents instead of mere shadowy cutthroats. As an archetype, they specialize in the concealment of objects and information rather than ending lives.