Ninja (3.5e Class)
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A Ninja fit for Tome games. 20 0 Moderate Poor Good Good Sneak Attack Full Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil
The ninja is a deadly and feared assassin, master of unorthodox warfare, stealth, espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and strange mystical powers forged from their inner ki. Dressed in black they stalk the night, unseen by all.
Making a NinjaEdit
|Tome of Prowess|
|This class is designed to be compatible with the Tome of Prowess rules. Any class abilities that have different rules under Tome of Prowess will be marked by a ToP: label.|
Races: Any race can be ninja, but they are most common in the small and the nimble folk.
Alignment: Any. While many are lawful, the rogue ninja are often the tales of legend, heroes, and villians.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).
All of the following are class features of the Ninja.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ninja are proficient with all simple weapons, as well as assassin needles, bolas, jian, kama, katana (bastard sword), net, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, shuriken, siangham, sling, wakizashi (short sword), and whip. And, of course, unarmed strikes. We're not monks.
Ninja are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Everything Kills (Ex): As a swift action, a ninja can turn any improvise weapon or object in their hand into a capable weapon. It gains the statistics of the closest weapon they are proficient in (pool cues become quarterstaves, broken bottles are daggers, and so forth). In their hand it is as dangerous as a real weapon and they take no penalty for its use. This effect lasts for 10 rounds.
Improved Unarmed Strike: The ninja is always armed, even when disarmed. They gain Improved Unarmed Strike or any appropriate variant as a bonus feat.
Ki Powers: The ninja is said to possess mystical powers, and this is partly true. Through a combination of cleverness, tools, and use of ki to bolster their body and occasionally defy physics they can perform several magical effects at will, though they all draw from the ninja's ki pool. The ninja has a ki pool equal to her 2 + her class level. You regain ki points each round equal to your class level divided by four, rounded down (minimum zero). You immediately regain all of your ki points after a minute of rest.
At first a ninja can only use 1st level ki powers, but at 4th level and every three levels beyond the ninja gains access to a new tier of powers, up to 6th at level 16. See below for the list of ki powers.
Ninja count as arcane spellcasters for the purposes of prestige classes. If you ever take a level in a prestige class that advances spellcasting, you may consider your ki powers advanced appropriately. Ki powers count as arcane spells for the purposes of feats, and a ki power of a given level counts as an an arcane spell of the same level.
Finally, when using a spell completion or spell trigger magic item through use magic device, you can as a non-action expend a number of ki points equal to the spell's level. If you do this, it is considered a ki power, meaning it has a caster level equal to your class level and a DC equivalent to a normal ki power.
Sudden Strike: This is exactly like the NinjaCV ability of the same name. If you ever take levels of a class or prestige class that grant Sneak Attack dice, you may at your option count them as Sudden Strike dice instead.
Weapon Finesse: The ninja must be nimble and quick, and this applies to her weapons as well. At level 2 they gain Weapon Finesse or any appropriate variant as a bonus feat.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a ninja can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ninja is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless ninja does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Trapfinding: A 2nd level ninja gains trapfinding like a rogue.
Poison Use: At 3rd level a ninja is trained in the use of poison and will never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level a ninja can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
Improbable Acrobatics (Ex): At 5th level a ninja has mastered the art of "the ability of lightness". She is able to set her apparent weight to almost nothing as a free action, allowing her to walk upon water and dance on the end of a needle. This has the effect of making the ninja immune to all falling damage, and allowing her to walk upon liquid or otherwise unsuitable surfaces (though they may still require a balance check if the surface is too thin in width or is in motion). In addition, it makes her acrobatics much easier to pull off. She may take 10 on Balance, Climb, Jump, Swim, and Tumble checks even if in a stressful situation.
- ToP: A 5th level ninja treats all abilities within the acrobatics skill as if they had a rank requirement 2 points less. This grants them immediate access to the Light as a Feather and Run on Water abilities, and early access to every subsequent ability. Additionally, they may take 10 on any acrobatics or athletics abilities as soon as they possess the (possibly reduced) minimum ranks required to use them, and may take 12 on them as soon as they possess 4 more ranks than the (possibly reduced) required ranks.
Darkstalker: At 6th level a ninja cannot be detected by anything, even by extrasensory perceptions. They gain the Ghost Step feat.
- Nonscaling Games: If your game does not use scaling feats, you can substitute this with the Darkstalker feat from Lords of Madness.
- ToP: As the extrasensory detection abilities of this feat have been placed in the stealth skill itself, the ninja instead gains the Traceless Stalker feat.
Death Attack: At 6th level a ninja can kill with a single blow. If a ninja studies her victim for 3 rounds and then makes an attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals sudden strike damage, the attack has the additional effect of either paralyzing or killing the target (ninja's choice). While studying the victim, the ninja can undertake other actions so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the ninja or recognize the ninja as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Int) against the kill effect, they die. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the ninja. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sudden strike attack. Once the ninja has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.
If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes their save) or if the ninja does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): At 8th level a ninja can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, a ninja can hide herself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.
She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A ninja of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
This defense denies another sneak attacker the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more sneak-attack granting levels than the target does.
If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level required to flank the character.
Rapid Death Attack: At 9th level a ninja's death attack can be rushed at the expense of its save DC. For every round you shorten the duration by, the DC drops by -2 points (minimum -4 points for 1 round of study).
Shadowy Concealment (Ex): At 10th level a nija is almost invisible while in the shadows. When in shadowy illumination they have total concealment. When in complete darkness, they blend in so well that even creatures with extrasensory abilities (darkvision, See in Darkness, blindsight, etc.) suffer a 20% miss chance from concealment anyways.
Untraceable (Ex): At 12th level a ninja is impossible to follow. The ninja has no scent, leaves no tracks, and all mundane attempts to track her fail. Even magical abilities and divinations designed to locate beings such as locate creature or find the path struggle. They must succeed on a caster level check against the ninja's HD + 10 to function normally. If they fail the spell goes nowhere, leading into dead ends or giving impossible and obviously false information.
Eternal Motion (Ex): At 14th level a ninja moves with such grace that few things can slow her down. She ignores difficult terrain, and is immune to entangling, paralysis, and stunning. Effects which would make her move at half speed do not slow her speed at all, and effects which reduce her speed to 5 ft. (such as with solid fog) instead only halve her speed. She is still susceptible to other hazards of the terrain beyond movement penalties, and can still be grappled to immobilize her.
Sudden Death Attack: At 15th level a ninja becomes so quick as determining the weak point she can kill before you knew she was there. She may make death attacks against any flatfooted creature who has not yet acted in battle or is in a surprise round, regardless if she had studied or not. In addition, she gains a new ability to death attack: the ability to hold off the effects of death or paralysis of any victim who failed their saving throw until later. Thereafter the ninja can try to slay the victim at a later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her class level. To make such an attempt, the ninja merely wills the target to die or enter paralysis (a free action) as if the death attack had just occurred. This is a supernatural ability and a powerful curse that requires break enchantment or greater to remove before it takes effect. A ninja may only keep one victim in waiting like this at one time; if she sets a new victim, the old victim is freed of his curse.
Obscured Existence (Su): At 17th level a ninja has become so good at hiding she hides from reality itself. The subject is protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. This spell protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects, even foiling limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subject’s mind or to gain information about it. In the case of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, such as arcane eye, the spell works but the creature simply isn’t detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject automatically fail, returning information as indicated in the Untraceable ability.
Creatures who see the ninja have a hard time recalling what they just saw. Anyone who witnesses a ninja and then tries to recall that information after the ninja has left must make a Will save DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Int. On a successful save they remember as normal and may do what they wish. On a failed save their memory becomes hazy. They recall the activities and words of the ninja, but not who it was or any details beyond a foggy blackish shape.
- ToP: At their discretion, a ninja may allow the False Thoughts ability of the Bluff skill to be excluded from the defenses granted here. If they do so the false mind may still be detected, but it may not be breached.
Super Speed: Any of a ninja's Ki Powers that take longer than a swift action to activate now take a swift action. At the ninja's option, they can use their original action cost instead.
No Witnesses (Ex): At 19th level a ninja can observe a whole room full of people... and murder everyone forever. The ninja can observe any number of creature in a 30 foot radius, taking no more than the usual 3 rounds of observation. Once observations are complete, they may make a single death attack attempt against one of the targets in range, and all marked creatures in the 30 foot radius are subject to the death attack as if you had rolled the attack roll against them. In a flash, a mere six seconds, dozens of people can be executed in a single fell swoop.
Instant Death: When a ninja uses their Sudden Strike ability, the target is also affected by the ninja's Death Attack. Any target can only be affected by this at most once per five rounds.
One with the Shadows: At 20th level a ninja becomes a magical creature. Her type changes to outsider, and she counts as a member of her original type and as an outsider, whenever beneficial. She appears always blended into her surroundings, giving her a constant 50% concealment which is not bypassed by true seeing. Unlike other outsiders, the ninja can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.
List of Ki PowersEdit
Ki powers consume ki from the ki pool equal to 2 + a ninja's class level. Each power uses ki points equal to its level to activate. 1st level powers use 1 ki point, 4th level powers use 4 ki points, and so forth. Though many produce effects which defy logic, ki powers are extraordinary by default unless marked otherwise. When you gain access to a new level of ki powers, you know and are able to use all of them at will, ki points provided. The saving throw for all ki powers is DC 10 + 1/2 HD + the ninja's Intelligence modifier.
1st Level Ki PowersEdit
Frog Leap (Ex): As a standard action you imbue your body with unnatural spring, granting your class level + 10 competence bonus on jump checks and you're always treated as having a running start. This lasts until the end of your next jump, and can be made as part of a jump check.
- ToP: You do not gain a competence bonus to your jump check, but instead increase your total jump distance by 10 + your class level feet.
Moon Hare Dash (Ex): As a swift action, gain a +10 foot bonus to speed for 1 round. At 4th level and every three levels beyond, the bonus rises by another +10 feet.
Ninja Vanish (Ex): As a swift action you become invisible as the spell and are rendered completely silent as if affected by a personal silence spell for 1 round. At 6th level the duration increases to 1 minute, and at 11th level it increases to 1 minute/level.
Smoke Bomb (Ex): As a standard action you produce a smoke bomb which produces a 10-foot cube of smoke similar to a fog cloud spell. At 4th level and every four levels beyond, the cube grows by +10 feet (20 ft cube, 30 foot cube, etc). The smoke lingers in the air for 5 rounds before dispersing. You can always choose to smoke a smaller area than your level allows. This bomb can be targeted at an individual square up to close range away from the ninja. Any occupant of that square must make a Fortitude save or be nauseated for one round. The cloud itself maintains its normal area, but does not force anyone occupying other squares to make such a save.
2nd Level Ki PowersEdit
Kitsune's Trickery (Ex): As a full round action you gain the benefits of disguise self, which lasts until you change disguises or dismiss the effect. This is a result of clever use of makeup and minor facial positioning, and so is not detected by true seeing.
Muramasa Spirit (Ex): As a swift action just before making a death attack, you focus your mind on the kill granting +2 to the DC of the death attack and an extra +1 point of damage per class level.
Where Was I? (Su): As a standard action, you can trade positions with an ally or enemy within close range (Will negates). At 9th level this increases to medium range.
3rd Level Ki PowersEdit
Ears of the Bat (Ex): As a standard action you focus you senses, granting blindsense out to 30 feet. At 10th level this upgrades to blindsight. The benefit lasts for 1 minute.
Exorcism Blade (Su): As a standard action you make all your weapons ghost touch weapons for 1 minute. You can end the duration early as part of an attack action, discharging the effect in the form of a banishment spell.
Jackal Step (Su): As a move action you become invisible and move up to your speed. You leave behind a major image of yourself at your starting position, which you control. These effects last until the start of your next turn.
Spiritual Poison (Su): As part of an attack with a poisoned weapon you can use this ability. The poison now ignores poison immunity, although they gain a +4 bonus on their save.
Whispers in the Night (Ex): As a swift action, you can use greater invisibility, which lasts for 1d4+1 rounds. You are also rendered completely silent as if affected by a personal silence spell for the same amount of time.
4th Level Ki PowersEdit
Amnesia Dust (Ex): As a standard action you can blow a mixed dustcloud of various drugs into the face of others. All creatures in a 15 foot cone must make a Will save or forget the last 5 minutes. If they are in the middle of combat, they are instead confused for 1d4 rounds as they try to remember what they were fighting for. Once someone has made a save against amnesia dust, they are immune for 24 hours after.
Maelstrom of Blades (Ex): After using one of the ninja's movement powers, you may use this ability as a bonus action. If you do, you may make a full attack. Using this ability immediately ends your turn.
Reflective Arrangement (Su): As a standard action you duplicate the effect of mirror image, but the copies can roam on their own away from you as long as they remain within medium range of you. Every round, you can switch position in which copy is the real you, and which are duplicates as a swift action. This effect lasts for 1 minute.
5th Level Ki PowersEdit
Silent Takedown (Ex): As a standard action, if you make a melee attack against a flatfooted opponent who is unaware of your presence you can perform a silent takedown. They must make a Fortitude save or immediately take nonlethal damage equal to their maximum hit points +1, falling unconcious silently without the sound of a falling body or scream. You can now move the body elsewhere while it remains unconscious. If they succeed on the save, they take no damage but are grappled and muffled, preventing speech but not soft noises. Subsequent rounds use typical grapple rules to maintain a grapple and other effects.
Single Stroke Rush (Ex): As an immediate action, if an opponent charges you you can immediately charge them, moving up to your movement speed and passing by your opponent. You may make a charge attack to counter their charge attack; if your attack roll is higher then the attack against you (if any) is negated. They take damage from your charge attack as normal if you hit.
Telekinetic Pressure (Su): As part of an attack action, you may use the Violent Thrust option of telekinesis on an attacked creature. There is no weight limit, but anyone above the spell's normal weight limit has their movement quartered.
6th Level Ki PowersEdit
Shadow Form (Su): You are immune to any spell that respects spell resistance. You are immune to critical hits and reduce any form of incoming damage by 20. You can move around as if you were in gaseous form. You cannot attack, cannot cast spells, use spell-like abilities, or use spell-completion or spell-trigger items. This ability can be enabled or disabled with a full-round action.
Shadow Images (Su): As a standard action, you may use major image. The images are made from real shadow pulled from the Plane of Shadow, and as such are not mind-affecting figments and are not foiled by true seeing.
A ninja can choose to gain special abilities by being part of a clan, tradition, spiritual influence, whatever. These are represented by a feat. A ninja may only ever take a single ninjutsu feat.
Aspect of the White Dragon [Ninjutsu] Inspired by white dragons of legend, your ninja moves chill people to the bone.Benefit: You have cold resistance equal to your class level. At your option, your Sudden Strike can deal cold damage instead of whatever weapon damage it normally would.
You gain the following abilities as ki powers of the given level:
- 1: The Floor is Ice (Su): Duplicate the effects of entangle in a 10 foot radius (close range) as people get frozen to the floor.
- 2: Frozen Sinew (Su): Make a single attack as a standard action. If this attack deals any cold damage, the target is slowed for three rounds (no save).
- 3: Ice Dagger (Su): As a standard action, you may create and throw a dagger made of ice. This deals normal damage for a dagger (including sudden strike or your death attack), but also deals 3d6 Dexterity damage (Fortitude negates).
- 4: Ice Creation (Su): As a standard action you create any mundane object you know about out of ice. They may be created in the air or in a square of your choice within close range, up to five pounds per class level. Hardness is equal to 10 + ½ class level + Intelligence modifier. The object melts away in one minute in non-freezing temperatures unless it is kept cold through other means. Knowledge checks may be called for creating complex items.
- 5: Icy Grave (Su): When you successfully confirm a critical hit, you can activate this power. You deal no bonus damage, but instead affect with the enemy with a flesh to ice spell. This can only affect a single target up to once per round.
- 6: Dragon Form (Su): You can turn into a creature resembling a white dragon. You grow one size category, gain the Cold subtype, and gain +12 Strength, +8 Constitution, +4 Natural Armor and -4 Dexterity (do not apply normal size modifiers to stats). You gain two claw attacks (1d8 + Str) and a bite attack (1d10 + Str x 1.5). These natural attacks all have Improved Grab. Your hands are replaced by the claws and they are unusable for fine motor skills, such as holding and attacking with manufactured weapons. You also gain a breath weapon out to a 120' line; it can deal either 1d6 Cold damage per character level (Reflex half) or 3d6 Dexterity damage (Reflex negates). You must wait 1d4+1 rounds between uses of this breath weapon. Your base land speed improves by 20'. You do not gain wings. Remaining in this form is taxing, and you do not recover ki points while in it.
Playing a NinjaEdit
Religion: Like the monk, the ninja does not focus on the religious and the divine but rather the self. In the self, enlightenment is found. Peace, power, and all aspects are within you.
Other Classes: Ninjas and monks have much in common, as they have a similar degree of dedication. They can appreciate rogues, though some may prove too undisciplined for them. They would appreciate the dedication of the paladin, but for some reason paladins don't like sneaky assassin types. Go figure.
Combat: You play the role of the rogue, the glass cannon, but for you hiding and setup is even more important. You're at your best when you've got a plan and you're on the offensive. However even when surprised and in a straight up fight, a ninja can hold her own through the powerful kuri-in ninja arts to augment his attack power.
Advancement: Rogue-friendly classes work wonders with the ninja, as well as monk classes and initiators such as the SwordsageToB.
Ninjas in the WorldEdit
|“||Huh? Did you see something?||”|
|—Every Dead Guard Ever|
Daily Life: A ninja is not obvious about who she is or what she does. When seen in public, she is just another commoner working the fields, or the local baker, or the cook for the local baron. But at night out of the public view she dons a suit of black and reshapes the world through paranoia, fear, and a sharp blade.
Notables: A defected drow known as Araushnee has taken up the role of a hunter of evil spirits for a local church which has granted her sanctuary from a world she cannot return to.
Organizations: It is said ninja do gather in large number for unknown and mysterious actions against unknown and mysterious targets, but since none have seen such and lived, none can really be sure of this fabled "organization of ninjas".
NPC Reactions: A commoner would never guess the cat lady from down the street was a hardened killer. For some reason, knowing such things makes them terrified. Must be the weapons... yeah.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Nobility can research ninja to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Ninja warriors are capable of near-magical feats and nimble fighting with a vast array of exotic tools.|
|15||They say not even a dragon can find a hidden ninja. They flicker in and out, finding places of vanish right before your eyes and defying all logic.|
|20||Powerful ninja are like shadows, never quite there, not entirely real. And yet they can slaughter a whole room in seconds... their reality is unquestionable, even if you cannot see them directly.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can research specific ninjas, their motives, whereabouts, and other data. Of course, most ninjas keep their real information even more secret than most...|
Ninjas in the GameEdit
Adaptation: Several powers and abilities have a strong shadow theme. They could be warriors who blend shadow magic with reality and form a semi-real whole.
Sample Encounter: By some mix-up the PCs have been labeled as ghosts possessing dead bodies. Now they have a hunter on their trail who will not listen to reason...