Traditional Ninja (3.5e Class)
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An unarmed and unarmored warrior who strikes from the shadows, silently leaving behind a trail of victims. 20 1 Moderate Good Good Good Other Partial
Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil
In whispers, some nobles speak fearfully of those known as the ninja. Legends surround the ninja, including those believing that they have the power to see in the dark, breathe in or walk on water, climb ceilings, and even fly. But these warriors are very real, and practice the very real ninjutsu, or the way of the ninja.
The ninja’s training assumes that he is not as strong, smart, fast, or as wary as his opponent. To best his opponent, the ninja must learn to use his techniques to use his enemy’s weaknesses against him and use his own strengths to their full potential. A ninja is trained in armed and unarmed combat, stealth, and most of all, patience and mental toughness.
Making a Ninja
Abilities: The ninja can use any part of his body effectively for an attack, although he prefers to use specialized melee weapons or poisoned shuriken to defeat his enemies. The ninja's favored weapon and fighting style abilities increase his combat ability with certain weapons and combinations of weapons. With the silent strike ability, he can take out enemies with little noise. And cross-training allows the ninja to have interesting and unique combat abilities. His taisubaki allows him to have ultimate choice over combat placement, making the ninja a strategic melee combatant. At higher levels, he gets abilities that, while still nonmagical, reinforce the ninja's almost superhuman ability.
Races: Humans are most often ninja, because ninjutsu is a secret art and was created by humans originally. Outside of humans, it is most often taught to half-elves, because they are the most related to human stock. Elves have the patience and, most importantly, the time, to make some of the best ninja. Other races do not have the correct body size to learn normal ninjutsu, although halflings and gnomes have formed schools that are geared towards their smaller sizes.
Alignment: Ninjutsu is a demanding art on physical and mental levels. For this reason, the discipline of a lawful character is required for a character to be a ninja. Evil ninja are uncommon, as morals are usually stressed in ninja training, but some schools do not tie their hands in this way.
Starting Gold: 5d4x10 gp
Starting Age: As ranger.
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Taisubaki, ninjutsu taijutsu, silent strike +1d6, loner|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Favored Weapon 1, Improved Grapple|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Cross-training 1, speed climb|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Evasion, fighting style 1, focus, silent strike +2d6|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Inspire fear, focus|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Favored weapon 2, terrain training|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||Focus, light step|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Improved taisubaki, fighting style 2, silent strike +3d6|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Favored weapon 3, focus, eyes of darkness|
|11th||+8/+3||+7||+7||+7||Eye of the hurricane|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Improved evasion, fighting style 3, silent strike +4d6|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Expert taisubaki, focus|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+9||+9||Favored weapon 4|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+9||+9||Cross-training 3, power of ignorance|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Fighting style 4, focus, silent strike +5d6|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Power of ignorance|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+11||Favored weapon 5|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+11||Focus, power of ignorance|
|20th||+15/+10+5||+12||+12||+12||Fighting style 5, silent strike +6d6 unnatural spirit|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Ninja.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The ninja is proficient with the dagger, sickle, dart (bo shuriken), shortspear, quarterstaff (roku-shaku bo), club (hanbo/sanjaku bo), spear, javelin, blowgun, sling, kusari-gama, handaxe, sap, ninja-to, trident (as a pitchfork or farm implement), longspear, naginata, longsword, scythe, longbow, composite longbow, shortbow, composite shortbow, kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken, chain (manriki-gusari), chiijikiri (flail), fukimi-bari, kau sin ke, kawanaga, and shikomi-zue. Ninja are not proficient with any armor or shields. When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a ninja loses his AC bonus, as well as his taisubaki, evasion, light step, and mystic appearance abilities.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the ninja adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, a ninja gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five ninja levels thereafter (+3 at 10th, +4 at 15th, and +5 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the ninja is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.
Silent Strike (Ex): This ability is identical to the rogue’s sneak attack special ability, except that if the victim of a melee silent strike is killed or knocked unconscious as a result of the attack, nearby enemies require a Listen check (DC 20 + the ninja’s base attack bonus + the ninja’s Dexterity modifier) to hear the attack. With a nonlethal, unarmed silent strike, the ninja can force a Fortitude save (DC 15 + damage dealt) to make an enemy fall unconscious as a result of the activation of a nerve point, or pressure point. The ninja call these points “strike points”. Silent strikes impose a penalty on Mass Damage saves against the attack equal to the ninja’s class level.
Taisubaki (Ex): Whenever an opponent misses a ninja with an armed melee attack, the ninja has the option to make a Tumble check (DC the opponent’s attack roll) to move 5 feet in any direction. If the ninja chooses to move 5 feet in any direction, not provoking any attacks of opportunity. A ninja can even do this from a sitting, crouching, or prone position. At 8th level, the ninja can move 10 feet and also gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saving throws. Also at this level, if the ninja is targeted with a spell effect that requires a Reflex saving throw, he may make an identical Tumble check to move the same distance, thereby possibly avoiding the effect of the spell or gaining a saving throw bonus from a piece of cover. At 13th level, he can move 15 feet and the bonus to Reflex increases to +5.
Ninjutsu Taijutsu (Ex): At 1st level, a ninja gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A ninja’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a ninja may even make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a ninja striking unarmed. A ninja may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
Usually a ninja’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A ninja may use his Dexterity modifier on unarmed attack rolls in place of his Strength modifier, whichever one is higher. A ninja’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons. A ninja also deals 1d6 points of damage on a successful attack, rather than 1d3 points of damage.
Favored Weapon (Ex): At 2nd level and at 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level, the ninja can choose a weapon to be particularly well-trained in, chosen from the following list: Chain (manriki-gusari), chiijikiri (flail), hanbo, kama, kawanaga, kusari-gama, ninja-to, nunchaku, roku-shaku bo, shuriken (including bo shuriken).
The ninja gains the Weapon Finesse feat with the weapon he chooses, even if the feat would not normally apply to the weapon due to its size. The benefits of the various weapons are shown below:
Manriki-gusari (chain): The ninja receives an extra attack with the weapon at his highest base attack bonus each round that he makes a full attack with it. The ninja receives a bonus on Trip attempts with the weapon and halves the penalty for using it as a double weapon.
Chiijikiri (flail): The ninja receives an extra attack with the weapon’s hilt at his highest base attack bonus. This attack deals 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage with a x2 critical hit chance. The ninja can attack an opponent and disarm him in the same round.
Hanbo (club): The ninja can use the hanbo while grappling, and receives a +4 bonus on grapple checks when using a hanbo. The ninja can initiate a grapple with a normal melee attack or an attack of opportunity, rather than a touch attack. When an enemy misses the ninja with a melee attack, the ninja receives an attack of opportunity with the hanbo, which can immediately start a grapple. The ninja receives a +1 Dodge bonus to Armor Class when using the hanbo. Kama: The ninja receives the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for free when using two kama simultaneously. The ninja can make a trip attempt with a normal melee attack rather than a touch attack, and he can also make a trip attempt with one weapon while attacking with the other. The ninja can use two kama simultaneously to grant him a +2 bonus on Climb checks (using the sharp blade to hook onto protrusions he can’t reach on his own).
Kawanaga: The ninja can wrap the kawanaga around an opponent’s neck, strangling him. This requires a normal attack that deals damage, followed by a grapple check. Each round an opponent is held in this way, at the end of the round he takes weapon damage and must make a Constitution check (DC 10 + damage dealt this round + 1 per round of strangulation) to avoid suffocation. On the first round of suffocation, he is reduced to -1 hit points and dying. On the second round, he is reduced to -3 hp. On the third round, he dies.
Kusari-gama: The ninja gains the ninja’s flurry of blows ability with the kusari-gama, with the same alternate base attack bonus progression as the ninja. When wielding a kusari-gama, the ninja halves the penalties for using it as a double weapon and gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class. The ninja gains the Combat Reflexes feat when using the kusari-gama, and treats opponents as flat-footed against attacks of opportunity with the weapon (leaving them vulnerable to his silent strike). Ninja-to: The ninja may use his Dexterity modifier to damage in place of his Strength modifier. He gets a +2 bonus to attack rolls in the first round of combat, and on the first round of combat, he can make a Sleight of Hand check opposed by his opponent’s Spot check to angle his blade to look like a dagger, treating the opponent as flat-footed for that first round. The ninja gets a +4 bonus on Iaijutsu Focus checks with a ninja-to. The ninja gets one extra attack per round at his lowest base attack bonus with the ninja-to.
Nunchaku: The ninja can do nonlethal damage with nunchaku with no penalty. The ninja receives the benefit of the Two-Weapon Fighting and Two-Weapon Defense feats when wielding two nunchaku. If the ninja hits the same opponent two times or more in the same round, his opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or be stunned for 1 round.
Roku-shaku bo (six-foot staff/quarterstaff): The ninja gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC when wielding the bo. He can make trip attacks with the roku-shaku bo and also gains a +2 bonus to opposed attack rolls to disarm an opponent.
Shuriken/Bo shuriken: The ninja can throw shuriken more accurately, increasing the critical threat range with shuriken to 18-20 and the threat range and multiplier of bo shuriken to 19-20/x3. The ninja can throw two shuriken per round when he would normally only get one attack. This second attack gets a -5 penalty, however.->
Improved Grapple (Ex): At 2nd level, the ninja gains the benefit of the Improved Grapple feat when not wearing armor or shields or carrying more than a light load.
Cross-Training (Ex): A ninja comes across many different types of martial arts during his time spent traveling. At 3rd level, and every 6th level thereafter (9th and 15th), a ninja may choose a school or art to pick up some skill in from the list below:
Karate Training: The ninja does 1d8 points of damage with a successful unarmed strike attack, and receives a +1 bonus on all unarmed attack rolls.
Jujutsu Training: The ninja gains a +2 bonus to Escape Artist, Grapple and Trip attempts. This bonus is doubled against samurai-trained characters.
School of the Soaring Eagle: The ninja gains a +2 bonus to Climb, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks. When a ninja drops over 5 feet onto an opponent, the ninja can make an attack (with a silent strike bonus to damage, if applicable) that does double damage and forces the enemy to make a Fortitude Save (DC 15 + 4 per 5 feet dropped onto enemy) or be knocked prone. Keep in mind that both the ninja and the victim of the attack take falling damage, although the ninja may make Jump and/or Tumble checks to avoid some or all of the damage.
School of the Mosquito: The ninja never provokes an attack of opportunity from an enemy he is aware of, and gains a +2 bonus to Jump and Tumble checks.
School of the Roaring Lion: The ninja gains Power Attack as a bonus feat. While using this feat, can create a powerful kiai, or shout, to frighten his opponents. Enemies within hearing distance must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the ninja’s class level + the ninja’s Charisma modifier) or be shaken for 1d6 rounds.
Shaolin Monk Training: The ninja gains a +6 bonus to Perform (weapon drill) checks and gains it as a ninja class skill. The ninja increases his unarmored AC bonus by 1 and gains a +4 bonus to Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (religion) checks.
Tae-Kwon Do Training: The ninja gains the Flying Kick feat (Complete Adventurer), and the monk’s flurry of blows ability. This has the same alternate base attack bonus progression as the monk, but only with unarmed strikes, and furthermore, only when using kicks.
Speed Climb (Ex): At 3rd level, the penalty for moving faster while climbing is halved.
Fighting Style (Ex): At 4th level, and at every 4th level thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level), a ninja may choose a style of fighting from the following:
Acrobatic Attack: The ninja may charge across difficult terrain and make turns during the charge (such as avoiding walls or obstacles). The ninja may make a DC 25 Tumble check on a charge. If he succeeds, his opponent is treated as flat-footed on the charge.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, Tumble 6 ranks, Weapon Finesse
Hidden Star: If a ninja fights with a one-handed or light weapon in his hand and a shuriken (or bo-shuriken) in the other, he can make a Sleight of Hand check opposed by his enemy’s Spot check to palm the shuriken, treating his enemy as flat-footed for one shuriken attack this round. This only works once for each enemy per combat.
Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting
Nerve Strike: With an unarmed strike, a ninja can deal 2 points of Strength or Dexterity damage as an alternative to the normal effect of Stunning Fist.
Prerequisites: Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse
Reverse Grip: The ninja gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls with a ninja-to or wakizashi held in a reverse grip (the tip faces downwards when the sword is held straight out). He can make piercing attacks with the ninja-to or wakizashi. These attacks have a critical range and multiplier of 20/x3. Slashing attacks with these weapons have a crit range of 18-20. The ninja can throw daggers underhanded, making opponents flat-footed against thrown attacks with daggers. This only works once per enemy per combat.
Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse or Favored Weapon ninja ability with the appropriate weapon (ninja-to, wakizashi, or dagger. (The ninja gets the bonuses with only the weapon he has qualified for).
Push Kick: When using a nonlethal unarmed strike, a ninja can make an opposed Strength check with the target to push him back 5 feet. Whether the enemy succeeds or not, he must make a Balance check (DC 10 + nonlethal damage taken) or fall prone.
Stiletto Punch: Twice per day, the ninja may reroll an attack roll with a missed unarmed strike.
Sweeping Kick: The ninja gains the Improved Trip feat as a bonus feat, when used with an unarmed strike.
Focus (Ex): At 4th level, the ninja gains the Combat Focus feat as a bonus feat. This feat can be found in the Player’s Handbook II. At 7th level, 10th level, and 13th, 16th, and 19th level, the ninja gains an additional feat in the Combat Focus tree.
Inspire Fear (Ex): As a free action, a 5th-level ninja can make an Intimidate check after killing an opponent in melee. This sets the DC for Will saving throws for all enemies within 20 feet. Enemies with half the ninja’s HD or less are panicked if they fail their saving throws. Enemies with less than the ninja’s HD are frightened, and enemies with more HD than the ninja are shaken. These effects last as long as the ninja is visible to the victims of the fear effect, plus 1d4 more rounds. This effect is completely nonmagical and is only the result of the ability of the ninja to frighten opponents with his clothing, weapons, and actions.
Evasion (Ex): At 5th level, a ninja can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ninja is wearing light armor or no armor and is carrying a light or no load. A helpless ninja does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Terrain Training (Ex): At 6th level, the ninja ignores movement penalties from difficult terrain. He is not flat-footed while climbing. Also, he gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls while coming out of water to surprise an opponent on land. When completely or partially submerged in water, he gains a +4 bonus on Hide checks.
Light Step (Ex): At 7th level, the ninja is treated as two size categories smaller for the purpose of tracking DCs.
Eyes of Darkness (Ex): At 10th level, the ninja has trained his eyes to be so used to the night that he gains the low-light vision special ability.
Eye of the Hurricane (Ex): At 11th level, the ninja has gained the ultimate calm and comfort in combat. He gains a +4 bonus on saving throws versus enchantment effects. He is never flat-footed, and therefore, he is never vulnerable to sneak attacks unless he is sneak attacked by a ninja or rogue of four levels higher than he is. He can also never be flanked.
This ability counts as the Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge abilities for the purpose of qualifying for feats or abilities.
Power of Ignorance (Ex): At 15th level, the ninja can ignore certain adverse effects. He gains a +4 bonus to Fortitude saves against poisons and disease. He also gains Damage Reduction 5/-. At 17th level, his Damage Reduction increases to 7/-. At 19th level, it raises again to 10/-. In addition, at this level, he can ignore any effect that would decrease him to 0 or less hit points or knocks him unconscious. He can do this twice per week.
Unnatural Spirit (Ex): At 20th level, the ninja has discovered a part of his mind that he withdraws into when he is in a fight that blocks out all other distractions. He can put himself under an effect that copies the spells mind blank and nondetection at will (CL 20th). He can also enter an effect similar to the barbarian’s rage. This lasts a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier. During this effect, the ninja gains a +2 bonus to Strength, +6 to Dexterity, +2 to Constitution, +4 to Wisdom. He gains a +4 dodge bonus to AC. During this time, he is immune to poison and disease. All adverse spell effects are immediately canceled during this time. After this is over, however, all these effects (poison, disease, and spell effects) resume working as normal, with no time decreased from the duration.
When a ninja becomes a nonlawful alignment, he loses all of the Combat Focus bonus feats that he gained, any power of ignorance abilities, and the eye of the hurricane and unnatural spirit abilities. Furthermore, he cannot gain any more levels in the ninja class.
|22nd||Favored weapon 6|
|24th||Bonus feat, fighting style 6, silent strike +7d6|
|26th||Favored weapon 7|
|28th||Bonus feat, fighting style 7, silent strike +8d6|
|30th||Favored weapon 8|
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Cross Training: The ninja gains another cross training ability every 6 levels, until he runs out of options. At this point, the ninja simply simply gains a bonus feat whenever he would instead gain another cross training ability.
Favored Weapon: The ninja gains one additional fighting style every 4 levels until he runs out of weapons to choose from. At this point, the ninja simply gains a bonus feat whenever he would instead gain another favored weapon.
Fighting Style: The ninja gains one additional fighting style every 4 levels until he runs out of styles to choose from. At this point, the player can develop his own fighting styles, with permission of the DM.
Silent Strike: This ability continues to increase at the same rate, with an increase of one die per 4 levels.
Bonus Feats: The epic Ninja gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Ninja bonus feats) every 4 levels after 20th.
Epic Ninja Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Combat Archery, Damage Reduction, Dexterous Fortitude, Dexterous Will, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Dodge, Epic Endurance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Epic Will, Exceptional Deflection, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Low-Light Vision, Improved Manyshot, Improved Sneak Attack, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Keen Strike, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Legendary Rider, Legendary Tracker, Legendary Wrestler, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Health, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Polyglot, Reflect Arrows, Self-Concealment, Sneak Attack of Opportunity, Storm of Throws, Superior Initiative, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy, Vorpal Strike.
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Class Ability||Other +|
|Class Ability Progression||Partial +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||1 +|
|Rated By||MisterSinister +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Escape Artist +, Heal +, Hide +, Iaijutsu Focus +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||An unarmed and unarmored warrior who strikes from the shadows, silently leaving behind a trail of victims. +|
|Title||Traditional Ninja +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|