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Topics - SleepyShadow

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Board Discussion / Thank You!
« on: June 26, 2017, 02:02:58 PM »
I'll do what I can to bring my stuff back over, and maybe get around to writing that Favored Soul guide I always meant to do.

Resource & Handbook Submission / The Quintessential Ninja Handbook
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:48:47 PM »
The Quintessential Ninja Handbook
Hi there, I'm SleepyShadow. I've been a fan of ninjas for a long time, whether they are in books, movies, or other media. Except for certain television shows, of course. Ninjas are stealthy assassins, they should not wear orange. Why, if I had a dime for every shredded character sheet one of my players has shown me with their attempts at statting up that orange pajama wearing idiot ...


As I was saying, welcome to The Quintessential Ninja HandbookTM! Why is it the quintessential handbook, you ask? I'll tell you. I looked around for quite some time, but never have I found a handbook dedicated to these most wonderful and entertaining classes.

"But SleepyShadow!" you would say. "There's only one ninja class!"

Wrong! There are in fact three ninja base classes that I have discovered: The NinjaCA and the Rokugan Ninja. The third ninja base class belongs to Big Eyes Small Mouths d20, and only a DM willing to cry tears of bloody frustration have goofy fun would ever allow BESM d20 and D&D 3.X to mingle. Trust me, I've been there, done that, wept for three days enjoyed the heck out of it.

Because this is a handbook about ninjas and not just an old man's rant about them, I'll get down to business. I'll use this to denote good choices, this color to denote average/moderate/mediocre choices, and this to denote bad choices.

To start, let's examine the NinjaCA and what it has to offer:

  • Average BAB - Okay, we aren't winning any awards here, but you could be doing worse.
  • 6 Skill Points per Level - Alright, now we got something to work with. Your skill list isn't bad either, though you might wish Use Magic Device was a class skill.
  • d6 HD - You need hit points to survive in combat. You do not have much hp. Watch out.
  • Good Reflex Saves - Great! Dodge those pesky fireballs with ease!
  • Bad Fort and Will Saves - Ouch. Two bad saves is a bummer. These two as your bad saves make you sadly vulnerable to instant kill spells and the like.
  • AC Bonus - Wisdom mod to AC is nice, especially since you have no armor proficiency. It also slowly increases as you level up. Unfortunately, not fast enough.
  • Ki Power - This is what fuels your ninja powers of awesome. It also gives you a small bonus to your will saves as long as you haven't used up all of your ninja powers for the day.
  • Sudden Strike - Alright! We get sneak ... wait, no you don't. Sudden Strike only applies to opponents that are denied their dex to AC. No flanking. Means you must get creative, or keep reading.
  • Trap Finding - Always useful, and with your skill points and skill list, this means you are a skill-monkey in addition to being a shadowy assassin. Versatility is good.
  • Ghost Step - Congratulations! Your first real ninja power! Swift action invisibility is very nice, especially since at level 2 you likely don't have anything else that's swift action.
  • Poison Use - I rank this at standard black because it's nice if you use poison, useless if you don't. Obviously.
  • Great Leap - Quite useful outside of combat, and if you're clever you can use it in combat, too. The classic sky-high ninja jumping.
  • Acrobatics - Never say no to skill bonuses, but always ask for more  ;)
  • Ki Dodge - The second ninja skill you learn seems lackluster compared to Ghost Step. It's only 20% miss chance, and only for 1 round. My advice: Go Invisible!
  • Speed Climbing - What ninja can't run walls? Well, now you can. Not quite spiderclimb, but unless you need to cling to the walls this will be good enough.
  • Ghost Strike - Fight ghosts on equal ground. More importantly, land a Sudden Strike on an ethereal caster.
  • Improved Poison Use - This moves up to black if you're a dedicated poison user, but otherwise you typically have better things to do with your move actions. Like move.
  • Evasion - Whoo! No fireball damage! Wait ... this is at level 12. A nice ability, but comes late. You will likely have already purchased a Ring of Evasion by now.
  • Ghost Mind - So now you're dodging scrying spells. Handy, but if you're doing your job the enemy should have no reason to think about scrying for you.
  • Ghost Sight - Not quite true seeing, but certainly covers the basics.
  • Greater Ki Dodge - A nice late game benefit, but one I still advise to use as infrequently as possible by not being in a position that requires dodging attacks in the first place.
  • Ghost Walk - If you made it to level 20 in this class, congratulations. Your capstone ability: A 7th level wizard spell that has likely been seeing use for a while now.

For your stats, I recommend Dex>Wis/Con>Int>Str>Cha.

So as we've seen, some good, some bad. That's to be expected of a non-caster class though. Now we need to make the most of what you've got. After all, being a ninja isn't an easy thing to do. I like to view the NinjaCA as the thinker's Rogue. You can't just flank with the Fighter and mindlessly sneak attack you way to victory. However, if you're willing to put forth the effort, you may find you achieve greater results than the average skill monkey.

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