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My younger brother got the game Dark Souls a while ago. I have always said "the game seems too slow for me" but after seeing some gameplay and having my brother explain some of the things about the game, I want to start playing.

What I want to do is have some sort of "assassin" or "stealth" build. I say this because I do not know the term for Dark Souls. I know you can get bows, daggers, and short swords, but what I want to know what character to start with and what stats to build. What is it I should do to make this character effective?

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What you do in character creation doesn't really matter. The only difference between starting characters is their equipment (spellcasters have an advantage that can last a while). You'll be able to smooth over the difference in stats very quickly.

For a fast, finesse-centric (not stealth! There are only a few opportunities to sneak up on or past enemies in the game, although there may be some magical aid hidden somewhere) character, get some form of short sword, dagger or rapier/foil for your main hand and a parrying dagger or buckler for off-hand. Basically, give each new weapon you find a few test swings to see which feel best to you. Light weapons tend to scale with Dexterity, so invest in that.

Use light armour and keep your equipment load low. You get a mild penalty to your rolling speed at 25% maximum weight, and a heavy one (that makes rolling A Very Bad Idea) at 50%.

Keep in mind that even though such methods are quick by Dark Souls' standards, the game in general still has relatively slow and methodical combat, so expect to fight defensively, keep your distance and try to parry blows a lot. Also, don't ignore other weapons entirely. A long stick and a heavy shield can make certain areas a great deal easier, even if they aren't your best weapons.

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    +1 For specifying that there really is no such thing as a stealth character in Dark Souls. Stealth opportunities are very limited in the game, and rather than pure sneaking, stealth involves mostly pulling enemies from a distance with a bow, picking them off one at a time, and parrying/riposting at every possibility. You definitely want to practice the timing of your dodge rolls, as well as that of your parries. They're useful skills for any character but indispensable for a rogue. – JMcMinn Dec 10 '13 at 14:20
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As mentioned, the most important thing for a stealth build is to keep your equipment load below 25% as this gives you access to the improve dodge, which really does work much better than the typical heavy dodge.

  • Get the black "ninja" style armor from Mid-Blighttown, not far from the first bonfire in Blight Town. This is very light and gives you strong resistance to poison, plus you look like a bad dude
  • Thief starts with Bandit Knife. This knife has excellent critical but will begin to lose effectiveness in the mid-to-late game even while upgraded. Therefore, you will want to switch to a katana-style sword or another fast weapon sometime before this happens. Most weapons swing remarkably slowly (compare the morning star or zweihander to the dagger and you'll see what I mean.)
  • For ranged weaponry, a bow and arrow makes a lot of sense, so grab the Composite Short Bow from the end of New Londo, above the lever
  • Fast, stealthy characters tend to be good in PvP but weak against bosses because they do very little damage with critical. However, a +10 Uchijigakatana or Ioiato (also in BlightTown) with Golden Pine Resin actually does a lot of damage with high Dex
  • Get the Wood Grain Ring by killing the Ninja that hangs out with Shiva of the East in the Haunted Woods (you'll usually end of killing Shiva in the process, so make sure there's nothing you want to buy from him.) The Wood Grain ring improves your dodge even further and is the most essential thief item
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    I'll add: in lower Undead Burg, before you fight the Capra Demon, you can find the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring, which makes your footsteps silent (and unfortunately makes you look really dumb). You can also get the Ring of Fog by trading a skull lantern with Snuggly the Crow; this one makes you almost invisible. In reality these rings are less useful than some alternatives, but they come in very handy with certain situations and are good for roleplaying an assassin. – JMcMinn Dec 10 '13 at 14:17
  • Good call on the Slumbering Dragoncrest ring. It is surprisingly effective and you can get it very early by killing Griggs of Vinheim. – Code Whisperer Dec 10 '13 at 14:28

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