Ninja, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Master of stealth and the deadly arts, the ninja is everywhere and nowhere.

Making a Ninja[edit]

The ninja is the ultimate infiltrator. He can sneak in, get what he wants, or kill who he wants. Nothing can stop him, no one can see him.

Strong points: many skills, many abilities and weak points: bad fortitude and will saves, only 3/4 BAB progression (slightly varied), and best with rogues, who they see as similar, if not inferior, since they both specialize in stealth.

Abilities: Dexterity is the most important for their moves. Next would be Wisdom for their chi. If your ninja wants skill points, use Intelligence next, but the rest is just a toss-up.

Races: Humans- what can't they be? but they are the most dedicated for this sort of thing . Elves- though they are whimsical, some find the path of the ninja everything they need, and the dexterity bonus helps them a lot. Halfling- though they prefer the rogue, some choose to be a ninja, though very few.

Alignment: any.

Starting Gold: 1d4 x 10 (Average 25).--> gp).

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Ninja

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Jumping Leap, Side Step
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Bonus Feat. Evasion
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Quickened Step, Shadow Hiding
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Found Critical, chi reserve
5th +4 +1 +4 +1 Sacred Blade, Off the Walls
6th +5 +2 +5 +2 Scamper
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Entrance
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Double Stab
9th +7/+2 +3 +6 +3 Improved Critical
10th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Fast Throw
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 chi dodge
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 chi stab
13th +10/+5 +4 +8 +4 Reverse Cleave
14th +11/+6/+1 +4 +9 +4 Aimed Attack
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Opportune-less Evasion
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Masterstroke
17th +13/+8/+3 +5 +10 +5 Release
18th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 One in the Shadow
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Three Enemies
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Beautiful Blade

Class Skills ( + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

Class Features[edit]

. All of the following are class features of the .

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple, exotic and martial weapons. None with any armor and shield.

Jumping Leap -the ninja can jump, without a running head start, and still get the +4 jump bonus. The ninja also gains a natural +2 on a jump bonus.

Side Step -If an enemy attacks you for the first time, you can roll a save ( D20 + reflex bonus + dex mod) against his attack for no damage.

Bonus Feat -the ninja gets a bonus feat, non-item creation or metamagic.

Evasion -if the ninja no longer wants to fight his current enemy, as a move action he may jump away and the opponent must roll an attack of opportunity, if not successful the ninja gets full damage, if he is, he must wait another turn before attacking another enemy, and his current enemy can no longer attack. If fighting more than one enemy, anyone who succeeds their AoO can hit the ninja, and if anyone does hit the ninja, the ninja must stay in the fight.

Quickened Step -the ninja gains a +10 land speed and +1 jump.

Shadow Hiding – the ninja can move to a nearby shadow and sit still being completely unnoticeable by his enemies for 1 round / 3 levels or 1 min / 5 levels in non-combat.

Found Critical – the ninja is trained to kill instantly and so knows where to hit, the weapon you hold critical's doubles.

chi Reserve - the ninja taps into the mystical power of chi. He gets 1 chi point per level + his wisdom mod

Sacred Blade - having mastered the basics, the ninja is given a special blade, worthy of only the best of ninjas.

Off the Walls - the ninja can, as a move action, jump off a wall or the ground and stab the opponent using his Sacred Blade, hitting the opponent flat footed, and having an additional +3 attack. Uses one chi point

Scamper – the ninja learns to crawl on walls of (dex mod) rounds or (dex mod) minutes (non-comabt)

Entrance – the ninja can enter any place it wants. +3 open lock, +3 disable devise, and trapfinding +2 like the rogue skill.

Double Stab – if the first attack with your Sacred Blade hits, you gain an immediate second attack to the same opponent with the same attack roll.

Improved Critical the Sacred Blade’s critical range doubles

Fast Throw – As an immediate action, the ninja can throw what is in any of his hand, with the same accuracy as if he had taken a standard action.

chi Dodge – the ninja becomes a haze, gaining 25% miss chance and -1 on enemies attack rolls for 1/round a level. Uses 2 chi points, at the end the ninja must rest for one round

chi Stab – using three chi points, the ninja can stab an enemy with his sacred sword and deal an extra 3d8 damage to a 10 ft radius area.

Reverse Cleave if a ninja hits an opponent, they can hit a nearby, in reach opponent even if they do not make the first enemy drop. If it does, then nothing happens.

Aimed Attack – by waiting one round and using four chi points, you can for 1 round/ level have +4 attack rolls.

Opportune-less Evasion - like Evasion except no attack of opportunity

Masterstroke – the ninja jumps 8 feet in the air and jams his Sacred Blade into the opponents skull. Uses three chi point and deals 5 d8 damage with +1 crit. Flatfooted.

Release – you release all of your chi and everything in a 10ft radius is affected by the disintegrate spell. Use your chi left as your spell caster level.

One in the Shadow – while hiding, no matter where, a shadow comes and gives you total concealment. You basically become invisible, un-hearable and un-smell able.

Three Enemies – the ninja seeks out at least three enemies, uses a standard action to creep towards them unnoticed. (move silently check, you gain a +10 for this occasion only). Expend one chi point per enemy, and in a razzle-dazzle move, you do a whirlwind like action, catching everyone flatfooted, and getting a +2 on your attack and damage. You hit every enemy in 10 ft radius.

Beautiful Blade – the ninja’s blade now becomes one with the ninja. As an immediate action, the ninja can sheath and unsheathe the blade anywhere, either in the sheath or his body. The blade can be used to defend, giving a +2 to your AC. The swiftness of the blade gives the ninja a +1 initiative, and the stats improve even more.


When a ninja takes a class as a barbarian, they loose their chi skills. They find the sheer brutality of the barbarian so repulsive that they become ex-ninjas, they can no longer progress in levels. Fighters, Rogues, Rangers, Scouts however, have enough poise to be an "okay" classes, even though some ninjas may frown upon such a multi-class.

Epic Ninja[edit]

Table: The Epic Ninja

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Dexterity +1
23rd Dexterity +1
25th Dexterity +1
27th Dexterity +1
29th Dexterity +1
30th +2 chi

<6> + Int modifier skill points per level.

Elven Ninja Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longsword.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor

Feat: Stealthy

Gear: None

Gold: 25

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Ninja[edit]

Religion and Class Structure: Ninja are a secretive people, so it is uncertain just what gods they worship. Rumors from centuries ago whispered of a goddess who actually gave birth to the first shadow. Another told of a cloaked figure who wore an outfit that was dyed in the blood of his enemies. Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess, as no one has seen a ninja in decades, let alone a ninja worship.

Most ninja operate in clans, but there have been historical instances of lone ninja, trained by elders and retired shadow warriors, being part of ninja legend. Such ninja are uncommon, but not overly rare. Such ninja do not have knowledge to the ninja’s alleged secret gods, but lone ninja, if they do have a patron deity, tend to worship Olidammara.

Other Classes: Being secretive, ninjas have difficulty dealing with other classes, seeing as how they need to keep their secrets secret. However, lone or unaffiliated ninja tend to form minor relations with monks and clerics, and sometimes rangers and rogues. They tend to avoid paladins because of their contrasting natures, and they try staying away from barbarians, viewing them as fools who think two steps behind.

Combat: The ninja's role in the party varies from situation to situation. In combat, they function primarily as mystical strikers, using their amazing powers of stealth and subtlety to make an opportune strike against a foe. Their hefty skill points also allow them to fulfill the rogue's role as a skill-monkey very effectively, even though the ninja has a slightly smaller skill list. The ninja can also function as a mysterious wild card if the occassion calls for it.

Advancement: Most ninja have families that have lived as part of a clan for several generations. Some of these ninja will often feel a strong sense of duty, believing the precepts of the clan override any personal objective. Of course, not every ninja was born into a clan. Some in fact, were born in poverty, finding a clan through fate, though some may say sheer coincidence. Others still were taught by those who fled their clan, earning the eternal ire of anyone these missing ninja have trained.

Ninjas in the World[edit]

If you want family, find your parents. If you want love, get married and have children. If you want friendship, find a bum lying in the street and confide in him. If you want forgiveness, find a priest and confess your sins. If you want warmth and comfort, grab a blanket and sit by the fire. We cannot offer you such things. However, if you need a reason, a way, then follow us, and we will show you one.
—Unknown Ninja

The ninja is a class that can fit in many worlds. Their eastern origins and exotic flavor make them appealing to anyone who likes the mysteries of the Orient. In fact, it is possible to apply the ninja to the many medieval realms via the use of cultural diffusion. Remember: Nothing is impossible, especially for a ninja.

Daily Life: The life of a ninja can be quite diverse. Though most are devoted to their clan, they are not with their fellow clansman very often. Usually, they will roam the shadows, blending into the environments of the areas they must become a part of. Their missions force them to adapt, improvise, and blend. Any time a ninja is not off on a mission, they likely spend their time in meditation or training, using the time to strengthen their minds and bodies. Ninja who are not affiliated with a clan sometimes work as hidden mercenaries or bodyguards, becoming a valuable asset for a noble fearing for his life. For them, having their own knife in the dark means the other blades will quickly drop.

Notables: One of the most famous ninja was a rat-man originally born with no name. Born in Telflamm without a name to call his own, the rat-man slept in the streets, abandoned by the parents he would never know.

When he was in his teens, he met Ulysses Farlon, who trained the young rat-man in guerilla warfare. In time, he served under Ulysses as a military scout. When his officer was killed, the nameless rat-man was discharged. He eventually took ship to the eastern realms of Kara-Tur, hoping to make a new life.

In time, the nameless rat-man caught the attention of the Kuroyaiba ninja clan, a small clan devoted to the destruction of the Nine Golden Swords. Viewing a potential ally against the evil yakuza, the clan took in the rat-man. Training him in the ways of mystical silence, the nameless one became a strong ninja in his own right. Combined with his tactical abilities from his scouting days, the rat-man ninja became a bane of the Golden Swords, destroying shipments, slaying family members, and sabotaging the yakuza's various operations. During his days with the clan, the rat-man was taught the value of life, being taught never to kill unless necessary. In time, he was finally given a name: Nezumi Tatsujin, meaning "rat master".

After ten years of service to the clan, a rugged and hardened Nezumi learned of the Nine Golden Swords' operation to extend their influence in Faerun. Seeing Telflamm as the easiest place to strike from, Nezumi departed the clan with their blessing. Returning to the city he grew up, he saw the eastern influences of Kara-Tur had blended into many areas of Telflamm. Setting up a small base of operations, Nezumi took up a secret crusade to destroy the Golden Swords from within. However, the actual exploits of Nezumi are unknown as various guilds and groups have taken credit for many anti-yakuza attacks.

Organizations: The Kuroyaiba and Akaryu ninja clans have been sworn enemies for over 200 years, but the Kuroyaiba are the younger (and smaller) clan.

It all began when the Kuroyaiba, originally a band of courageous samurai, were defeated by the yakuza. After learning the location of their secret locations, the samurai, disguised as Akaryu ninja, infiltrated the Akaryu clan's temple in the mountains of Kozakura and stole the clan's Scroll of Secrets. Within the Scroll contained the skills and mystical powers the Akaryu obtained over several generations. Using the scroll as a baseline, the samurai eventually instilled in their children the power of surprise and subtlety. Eventually, the Kuroyaiba became like the Akaryu in all ways but one: Where the Akaryu served the Nine Golden Swords and killed all who got in their way, the Kuroyaiba clan opposed them and killed those who would slay the innocent.

Now, the clans still wage their secret war in Kozakura. Since few in the region are willing to stand against the Nine Golden Swords, the Kuroyaiba clan has far fewer members than the Akaryu. Nevertheless, the Kuroyaiba continues to fight to see the end of the yakuza, and 200 years of combat has not wavered their courage or convictions.

NPC Reactions: The perceptions people have of the ninja have normally come from storytellers, soldiers, and scholars, and these perceptions are often less than educated. These people usually view the ninja as silent cutthroats, willing to kill for money and power. In reality, the ninja are far more complicated.

Though some of them have this attitude, many ninja are also scouts and bodyguards. Some others work as thieves and saboteurs for military organizations. Others still will protect the innocent. Unfortunately, these truths do not ease the tension and hesitation people have about the ninja, so most will approach them with caution.

Ninja Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (history) can research the ninja to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (history)
DC Result
10 The ninja are a silent lot, believed to be ruthless assassins and thieves.
15 The ninja are a group of exotic origin, said to have mysterious powers of stealth.
20 Ninja harness the power of their inner spirits, becoming able to disappear completely.
30 Any PC who succeeds on this check can learn info about a specific ninja clan.

Ninja in the Game[edit]

The ninja can fulfill the role of a rogue well, but they do it differently. While the rogue uses extraordinary skill, the ninja use supernatural abilities to fight their enemy. Nevertheless, the ninja still fight in much the same way as the rogue, waiting for the best moment to strike down an enemy. Despite a shorter list of skills, the ninja are still a versatile and flexible group with a variety of useful abilities.

Adaptation: The easiest substitute for the ninja is, of course, the rogue. Since their sneak attack does more damage overall than the ninja's stealthy strike, so they can do the ninja's job well. Taking out the rogue special abilities and putting in the path I walk abilites that don't rely on ki power can make a good substitute to the ninja. Additionally, a beguiler with a medium base attack bonus works fairly well, too.

Sample Encounter: Even though they are not the hardiest combatants one would meet, the ninja are still a group that requires caution. Their knack for causing confusion and disruption, combined with their mystical abilities, make them formidible enemies. The element of surprise is a powerful weapon, one the ninja can use with deadly effect, whether it be to kill a target, steal a valuable diamond, or guard a just lord from the blackness of the dark.

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