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    Default Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Alright, so here I go charging again with completely bizarre revampings to classes that are fan favorites but bad for optimizing. Hope this helps a bit.

    Say...remember the Monk? No, not the original one nor the slight retouch done later on. The Monk I speak was a revamping that I did to make it a bit more attractive while keeping that idea of Wuxia, retain the mechanical concepts of the system so that it kept working with the existing system, and fix some of the eternal problems the Monk usually had. Well, there were some stuff I considered adding the Monk that I scrapped because they weren't thematically fit, but that would work quite well with the Ninja. So, trying to stick to that concept, I decided to revamp the Ninja as well.

    I'll attempt to repeat what I did last time. I'll take the existing Ninja class (the one from Complete Adventurer, not the one from Legend of the Five Rings or such) and try making it more effective than it can possibly be. There'll be some good stuff and some bad stuff. I'll explain (as I did before, with a liberal use of spoilers) the entire thought process and the justification for all the added, revamped or replaced class abilities. As a general idea: when I made the Monk, I took the concept originally existing from the Ninja and added some fitting abilities. This is essentially returning the favor to the class.

    As an added point: there's a very, very, very good rendition of a Ninja that serves as the theoretical inspiration for this revamp, and that's the Shinobi-no-Mono that heretic8888 made a long time ago. Part of his inspiration was clinging to the traditional abilities of the ninja. While respecting that aspect, I wanted to give the same supernatural feel I gave the Monk but going through that line of thought. I expect to believe I at least managed to succeed on that.

    NINJA

    By Xia. Original appears in http://idrawgirls.blogspot.com

    "To infiltrate. To spy. To escape. That is my task. That is my life." - mantra recited by the clan of the Whispering Wind.

    MAKING A NINJA (or, how it has - or hasn't - changed)
    Spoiler
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    Abilities: The CA Ninja has a very limited form of MAD, mostly depending on Dexterity and Wisdom for all abilities. Since they are of the roguish kind, Ninjas don't depend much on Strength as other classes would. Wisdom is now more important than ever, given the fact that it influences more than just the Ki pool. Dexterity still remains an important score, but it stands between equal to lower compared to Wisdom. Constitution remains a strong third choice.
    Races: Humans are best fit to become Ninjas, given their bonus feat and extra skill point. Halflings are also a good choice, since they can do a very strong amount of damage and have a solid boost on Dexterity. Oddly enough, Elves with their Dex bonus and Martial Weapon Proficiencies find themselves an interesting choice.
    Outside of Core, a race with high Dexterity and no Wisdom penalties (or viceversa) make a fine Ninja. Oddly enough, Githzerai make perfect Ninja given their abilities and ability score choices, as well as both Aasimar and Tiefling. Goblins also make reasonable choices.
    Alignment: Any. I could be tempted to go with Lawful or non-Good, but Ninjas work on all trends. A Ninja can be loyal to a feudal lord or merely hold a sense of respect (but not attachment) to its clan and teacher. The arts of the Ninja can serve both good and evil. So there's no point on limiting the alignment of the class to fit a certain choice.
    Starting Gold: as base Ninja
    Starting Age: as base Ninja


    Class Skills
    The Class Name's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information, Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) and Tumble (Dex)
    Skills Per Day at 1st Level : (8 + Int) x 4
    Skills Per Day at Each Additional Level : 8 + Int

    Spoiler
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    Yes, the Ninja list is this long. There's some skills that may seem a tad odd but fit perfectly if you consider the 18 arts of Ninjitsu:
    Hensōjutsu: disguise and impersonation. Hence, Bluff and Disguise.
    Shinobi-iri: stealth and entering methods. Hide and Move Silently pretty much exemplify the stealth, but to make a proper entrance, locks have to be deactivated; hence, Open Lock. Disable Device is meant for mechanical traps, but I declined giving the Ninja a specific ability that's best left for the Rogue. Climb is also meant for entering, amongst other things.
    Bajutsu: horsemanship. Or, as known in D&D, Ride.
    Sui-ren: water training. This one is a bit tough, but it can be interpreted as a skill in aquatic movement or combat; if so, Swim meets nearly all the requirements.
    Chōhō: espionage. This is best represented by Gather Information and Knowledge (local), since information gathering is the entire basis of espionage, no?
    Intonjutsu: escaping and concealment. Hide and Move Silently also represent this, but there's other class abilities that best represent this particular Ninja art.
    Tenmon: meteorology. The closest thing to a meteorological prediction is through Knowledge (nature).
    Chi-mon: geography. This pretty much means Knowledge (geography) is added to the list.

    As for the other skills, they are part of the old CA Ninja and hold pretty considerable strength. Two odd skills the Ninja has is Use Magic Device and Use Rope: the former is to represent the odd knowledge of Ninjas using magic from scrolls, and the other is general knowledge with a rope.

    And yes, I know pretty much no one puts points on Use Rope.


    Given the controversy regarding UMD, I decided to remove it from the list. I really liked the skill, if only to replicate the fantastic idea of taking a scroll with magic and unleashing some "ninja magic" on your enemies. However, the benefits far outweigh the intent, and UMD seemingly grants far much power to a Ninja than it intends to.

    Use Rope, on the other hand, was plain weird.


    Hit Dice: d6

    Table: The Ninja
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|
    Slow Fall distance
    |
    AC Bonus
    |
    Speed Bonus

    1st|+0|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Unarmed strike, ki power, sudden strike +1d6|
    0 ft.
    |
    +0
    |
    +0 ft.

    2nd|+1|
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Evasion, ghost step (invisibility 1/round)|
    0 ft.
    |
    +0
    |
    +0 ft.

    3rd|+2|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Sudden strike +2d6, art of poison|
    0 ft.
    |
    +0
    |
    +10 ft.

    4th|+3|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Leap of the clouds, ki strike (magic), art of disguise, slow fall|
    20 ft.
    |
    +1
    |
    +10 ft.

    5th|+3|
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Sudden strike +3d6, uncanny dodge|
    20 ft.
    |
    +1
    |
    +10 ft.

    6th|+4|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Ghost step (invisibility 1/round), phantom image (blur)|
    40 ft.
    |
    +1
    |
    +20 ft.

    7th|+5|
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Sudden strike +4d6, art of exhalation|
    40 ft.
    |
    +1
    |
    +20 ft.

    8th|+6/+1|
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Walk the clouds, ki strike (ghost touch)|
    40 ft.
    |
    +2
    |
    +20 ft.

    9th|+6/+1|
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Improved evasion, improved uncanny dodge, sudden strike +5d6|
    60 ft.
    |
    +2
    |
    +30 ft.

    10th|+7/+2|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Death attack, ghost step (greater invisibility)|
    60 ft.
    |
    +2
    |
    +30 ft.

    11th|+8/+3|
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Sudden strike +6d6, art of explosions|
    60 ft.
    |
    +2
    |
    +30 ft.

    12th|+9/+4|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Phantom image (mirror image), hide in plain sight|
    80 ft.
    |
    +3
    |
    +40 ft.

    13th|+9/+4|
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Sudden strike +7d6|
    80 ft.
    |
    +3
    |
    +40 ft.

    14th|+10/+5/|
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |Ghost step (ethereal), ghost mind|
    80 ft.
    |
    +3
    |
    +40 ft.

    15th|+11/+6/+1|
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Sudden strike +8d6, expanded precision|
    100 ft.
    |
    +4
    |
    +50 ft.

    16th|+12/+7/+2|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Ghost sight|
    100 ft.
    |
    +4
    |
    +50 ft.

    17th|+12/+7/+2|
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Sudden strike +9d6|
    100 ft.
    |
    +4
    |
    +50 ft.

    18th|+13/+8/+3|
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Phantom image (shadow image)|
    any
    |
    +5
    |
    +60 ft.

    19th|+14/+9/+4|
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Sudden strike +10d6|
    any
    |
    +5
    |
    +60 ft.

    20th|+15/+10/+5|
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Mastery of ki|
    any
    |
    +6
    |
    +60 ft.
    [/table]

    Spoiler
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    First thing you'll notice is, evidently, the Ninja has acquired many of the Monk's goodies. While I might not incline much towards fast movement, I do incline towards the unarmed damage and slow fall abilities, which are preeminent on both classes.

    The HP of the Ninja is on tune with the Rogue, which has a Hit Dice in the low threshold. This makes the Ninja's HP be a priority, as well as attempting to evade combat as much as possible. BAB is like Rogue, considering that the Ninja is a stealth-based class and not a solid warrior.


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the ninja.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ninja are proficient with all simple weapons plus the hand crossbow, kama, kukri, kusari-gama, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, short sword and shuriken. Ninja are not proficient with any armor or shields
    When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium load, a ninja loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement, slow fall, and all her ki abilities.

    Spoiler
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    The difference between the Monk's choice of weaponry and the Ninja choice of weaponry lies upon the short sword and the short bow. I would be inclined to add kusarigama and even perhaps spiked chain, but the former isn't legal unless you have Oriental Adventures or a book tha has it. The closest equivalent is the spiked chain, which is a weapon I have already added to the monk.

    In any case, if your DM allows the kusarigama, consider this Ninja proficient in it.


    UPDATE: Kusari-gama is in (thanks Cie)


    AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the ninja adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a ninja gains a +1 bonus to AC at certain intervals, as shown on Table: The Ninja. The bonuses are not cumulative.
    These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the ninja is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

    Spoiler
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    Look at my Monk revamping for opinions over this. It's mostly the same.


    Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a ninja gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. As well, a ninja’s unarmed strikes may use her Strength or Wisdom modifier for her attack and damage rolls, whichever is the highest.
    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 her hands full. Exception: a ninja may not use unarmed strikes if she holds a weapon in each hand (or a double weapon) if she is using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. She may, however, use unarmed strikes with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat if she holds only one weapon or none (in the case of none, treat each unarmed strike as a separate weapon for purposes of qualifying). There is no such thing as an off-hand damage penalty for a ninja striking unarmed, she may thus apply her full Strength (or Wisdom) bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.
    Usually a ninja’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
    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 more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would. She deals 1d6 points of damage with each strike; this damage does not improve.

    Spoiler
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    Alright, this may look odd to you until you get the gist of it. At first glance, it seems the Ninja copied some stuff from the Monk, but weaker. This is intentional for various reasons.

    One of the 18 arts of Ninjutsu is Taijutsu, or the art of barehanded combat. You could expect that a Ninja should be, at best, quite proficient in unarmed combat so as to hold her ground. Given her dependance on Wisdom (or Dexterity), her unarmed attacks (and only unarmed attacks) can be influenced by Wisdom.

    But, why weaker? Well, the Ninja already has a method to deal greater damage, so in theory you'd be dealing a solid amount of damage by combining unarmed strikes with the extra damage die to be presented soon. An unarmed ninja isn't a weak opponent, but someone meant to be dangerous. This should exemplify the idea.

    EDIT: Given that it seems giving a better progression for a Ninja makes using weapons a bit of a pointless affair, I decided to make the Ninja deal only a specific amount of damage. It's pretty much like the Monk's base unarmed damage, but the Monk's damage increases while the Ninja's damage remains stationary. Of course, add Sudden Strike and watch the sparks fly!


    Ki Power (Su): A ninja can channel her ki to enhance her mobility, defense, and special attacks through a variety of powers. She can use her ki powers a number of times per day equal to half her class level plus her Wisdom bonus (if any). Ki powers can only be used if the ninja is wearing no armor or shield and carries no more than a medium load. As long as a ninja’s ki pool isn’t empty, she may use all of her supernatural abilities (except Slow Fall, Ghost Step, Leap of the Clouds and ki strike which are always active). A ninja’s ki powers are described under separate entries below.

    Spoiler
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    Copied almost verbatim from the old CA Ninja, except for what happens when you waste your ki pool. Of course, some abilities have to remain active nearly all of the time; the remaining abilities should allow your character to escape if it goes nova.


    Sudden Strike (Ex): If a ninja can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever a ninja’s target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target has a Dexterity bonus or not), the ninja deals an extra 1d6 points of damage with her attack. This extra damage increases by 1d6 points for every two ninja levels thereafter. A ninja can’t use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.
    This damage also applies to ranged attacks against targets up to 30 feet away. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sudden strike. A ninja can’t make a sudden strike while striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are out of reach (for purposes of definition, treat a creature two sizes higher than the ninja as having its vitals out of reach).
    A ninja can’t use sudden strike to deflect nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage don’t deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike. A ninja’s unarmed strike can deal sudden strike damage only if the damage is lethal.
    The extra damage from the sudden strike stacks with the extra damage from sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target.

    Spoiler
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    I know, I know. Why on heavenly tarnations I went with Sudden Strike over Sneak Attack? Well, it already exists as one of the ninja abilities, and I won't go angry for it. The reason why I didn't felt like replacing SS for SA is mostly because you'll be expected to be invisible, taking opponents one by one; not working flanking opportunities. At first, it may seem like pointless to attempt SS, but eventually the chances of denying a Dexterity bonus to AC will improve.


    Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher if a ninja 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 a ninja is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless ninja does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Spoiler
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    Nothing new. The main difference is that the ninja now gets Evasion right at the moment where the Monk and the Rogue get it.


    Ghost Step (Su): A ninja has mastered the art of hiding and escaping with such depth that she is almost considered invisible to the naked eye. She moves like a ghost, unseen and untouchable only until the blow has been dealt. She may add half her ninja level as a competence bonus to all Hide checks.
    Starting from 2nd level, a ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to become invisible for one round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At 6th level, the invisibility lasts for 1 round per ninja level, or until she makes an attack, and at 10th level she can remain invisible for the duration of the ability even if she makes an attack.
    At 14th level, a ninja can become ethereal instead of becoming invisible.

    Spoiler
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    Ghost Step is almost part of the iconic Ninja abilities, almost quite literally the art of hiding in plain sight. This goes straight with Intonjutsu, but with a mystical flair towards it. At first, the ability is meant to be reasonable yet stringent; limiting the invisibility to one round and making it as the typical invisibility (which means you lose your status once you attack). 6th level is the moment where you can pretty much prepare the character for a beating; again, perhaps it won't seem reasonable, but you can use that invisibility for better uses. 10th level is when things finally improve, where the Ninja can remain invisible for a much longer period of time and makes SS actually viable. Finally, 14th level makes the Ninja ethereal instead, which becomes a mighty defensive tactic.

    Also, Ghost Step makes your Hide checks a cinch. The intention is that no one gets where you are, so why not make it the main benefit of the class ability?


    Fast Movevent (Ex): At 3rd level, a ninja gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on Table: The Ninja. A ninja in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

    Spoiler
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    Same as Monk. This means the Ninja can move at surprisingly fast speeds, and make more of that round of invisibility.


    Art of Poison (Ex & Su): At 3rd level, a ninja learns the art of proper poisoning, which allows her to cripple or kill her opponents in a painful and lethargic way. A ninja never risks accidentally poisoning herself when applying poison to a weapon. Furthermore, she can apply a poison as a swift action instead of a standard action.
    By expending a daily use of her ki power, a ninja can make her poison especially virulent. She may add up to half her class level plus her Wisdom modifier to the Difficulty Class of any ingested or injury poison she uses. This increase in DC affects both the primary and the secondary effect of the poison.

    Spoiler
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    This is an improvement to the class ability Poison Use. By 3rd level, poisons should be well used by sneaky classes, and the Ninja is no exception.

    The ki enhancement granted to the Ninja in the use of poison is, in my opinion, a needed one. Poisons become nearly all but useful at higher levels, and it is often considered that poison is worthless. This should make the poison a bit more potent at later levels, making Ninjas with concealed poisonous weapons a veritable challenge


    Slow Fall (Su): At 4th level or higher, a ninja takes damage from any fall as if it were shorter. The amount of distance reduced by this ability is shown on Table: The Ninja. As well, a ninja may expend one daily use of her ki pool as an immediate action to gain the effect of a feather fall spell.

    Spoiler
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    Please take a look at the revamped Monk so that you get an idea.


    Leap of the Clouds (Su): At 4th level and higher, a ninja always makes Jump checks as if she were running, enabling her to make long jumps and high jumps without a running start. Furthermore, she may add half her class level as a competence bonus to all Jump checks

    Spoiler
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    This is mostly an enhancement to the class ability of similar name that the Ninja possesses. It makes Jumping (and Jump-based damage builds) much better. There are uses for Jump, and this makes those uses better.


    Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a ninja’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s ninja level. At 8th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as ghost touch weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to incorporeal creatures.
    By expending daily uses of her ki power, a ninja’s ki strike temporarily improves. At 4th level, the ninja may spend one daily use to grant her unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement to attack and damage rolls, as if using a +1 weapon; this enhancement bonus increases by 1 every three levels, up to a maximum of +5 at 16th level. At 8th level, the ninja may spend two daily uses to grant her unarmed strikes the ability to attack creatures in the Material Plane while being ethereal (or while at the Ethereal Plane). These enhancements are cumulative (a ninja need only spend two daily uses for all effects), and last for a period of rounds equal to half her class level. If the ninja gains an enhancement bonus to her fists, or the ability to attack creatures while ethereal, she need only spend one daily use of ki to gain the remaining enhancement.

    Spoiler
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    Much like the enhancement of the ki strike done to the Monk, Ninjas already have stronger unarmed strikes, so this is meant to make those unarmed strikes better.

    Ghost touch is something I have to explain. Since by 14th level you can be expected to face incorporeal creatures, and you'll have the ability to go ethereal, having the ghost touch special ability and it's logical enhancement makes sense. You can take the battle into the Ethereal Plane and cause all sorts of mayhem, making Sudden Strike just as useful as Sneak Attack, with the added damage of your own unarmed strike.


    Art of Disguise (Ex & Su): At 4th level, a ninja improves her ability to assume the identity of an individual, or to pass as an inconspicuous individual with great ease. She may add half her class level as a competence bonus to all Disguise checks.
    By expending a daily use of her ki power, a ninja can improve her disguise with a transformation effect as if using the spell alter self, except her transformation is purely illusory (Will save for disbelief equal to the ninja’s Disguise check). Her effective caster level for this effect is one-half her ninja level (rounded down).

    Spoiler
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    Much like what Ghost Step did to Intonjutsu, this ability does to Hensōjutsu. Ninjas are meant to be master artists in the art of disguise, so they gain the extraordinary ability to make their disguises already better by increasing in the class. The ki enhancement is meant to work on making superb disguises but not granting the literal power of Alter Self, which can be easily abused.


    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 5th 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.
    If a ninja already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Spoiler
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    I find it odd that the Ninja doesn't has this class feature. It's nothing out of the ordinary; just gaining a defense from the kind of damage she can potentially deal. It makes sense that, if you know the tactic to deal greater damage, you must also know the defenses against it. Hence, Uncanny Dodge.


    Phantom Image (Su): At 6th level, a ninja’s supernatural agility causes in her opponents difficulty to follow her position. If she moves more than 10 feet in one round, her outline shifts and wavers, granting her concealment (20% miss chance) against all attacks for one round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. By spending one daily use of her ki power, her image distorts for a longer time, lasting for a number of rounds equal to half her class level. At 12th level, she gains total concealment (50% miss chance) from this ability, and she can expend two daily uses of her ki power to generate a series of illusory images of herself, as if using the mirror image spell, with an effective caster level equal to half her class level.
    Spells such as see invisibility have no effect on the concealment and mirror image effects granted by this ability, but a true seeing spell negates all miss chance effects and allows to ignore the images.
    At 18th level, her illusory images are constructed instead from shadows, and become partially real; the images gain an AC equal to your own, and have an amount of effective HP equal to one-half your current. The images are not automatically destroyed with a single attack unless the attacker succeeds on a Will saving throw (DC equal to 10 + half the ninja’s character level + the ninja’s Wisdom modifier). If a creature succeeds on the saving throw (or has true seeing), the images are treated as one-fifth (20%) real for terms of HP, and their AC is reduced to that of the image produced by the mirror image spell. Creatures with blindsense, tremorsense, blindsight must also succeed on the saving throw or treat all images as real.

    Spoiler
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    Phantom Image is what you get when you see Ki Dodge and you notice "gee, this ability kinda sucks!". By remaining in movement, you get concealment; this not only plays well with the feeling of the class, but it also gives the impression of the Ninja having supernatural agility and prowess (and it works much better than, say, Mobility; +4 AC isn't as strong as 20% miss chance you can activate with a mere Tumble).

    The Mirror Image ability is one that I consider usually the kind of trick you'd expect from a Ninja. Either as Bunshin (a mere double image), or Utsusemi (a rather literal version of Mirror Image), this ability got stuck to the Ninja and makes sense to add. It reinforces the evasive-defensive abilities of the Ninja, allowing her to remain in close combat with the safety that few attacks will actually hit and lower her precious HP.

    The 18th level ability takes the power of Mirror Image to higher levels. This ability should be enough to fool such forms of preternatural sight such as blindsight, mindsight and so on. It isn't enough to fool True Seeing, but it helps to save ki points by making the images more resilient. If it becomes harder to take a shadow down, and you can reshuffle your position as easy as a free action, then it makes your survival much better. Of course, even though the images are partially real, the intention is to make them decoys, not summoned creatures under your control.


    Art of Exhalation (Su): At 7th level, a ninja gains the ability to hold in her mouth a diverse number of liquids, such as poisons or alchemical fluids, and spew them in a small cloud that can affect a small area. As a full-round action, a ninja may fill her mouth with the contents of a flask of liquid such as a contact or inhaled poison, acid, holy water, alchemical fire and similar effects without activating the effect (thus, a ninja never gets poisoned, nor suffers acid or fire damage). She cannot talk nor use any ability that requires a verbal component while holding the liquid in her mouth. As a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, a ninja can spew the liquid into a fine mist that affects a single creature within 5 feet of her if it succeeds on a melee touch attack. She can use this ability as part of an attack, but she cannot use her sudden strike (or sneak attack) extra damage even if the creature is denied her Dexterity bonus with this ability.
    By expending a daily use of her ki power as a swift action, a ninja can expel the liquid at full strength at a larger distance. The range of the cloud increases to a 15-foot cone, and every creature within the range must instead succeed on a Reflex saving throw (DC equal to 10 + half the ninja’s caster level + the ninja’s Wisdom modifier) or take the full effect of the liquid; a success implies half damage.

    Spoiler
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    Much like what Art of Poison did with poisons, this does for alchemical items (and whaddya know, poisons too, believe it or not!). This allows you to get an extra attack of a specific element as a free action, or strengthen the power of the alchemical item by making it a ranged weapon. This is based partly on Kayakujutsu (the art of explosives and gunpowder), but also on certain modern "warriors" that enjoy using the move (such as Tajiri with his "green mist"). While it may make a Ninja look like a coward, such is the Ninja's way of combat; pure trickery and surprise.


    Walk the Clouds (Su): At 8th level, a ninja is capable of leaping and moving with such grace that she seems to move through the air. She may move through the air up to a distance equal to her character level plus any ranks in Balance horizontally through the air, and rise up to a distance equal to half her character level plus half of any ranks in Jump at a degree of 45, both at their nearest 5-feet equivalents (round down). Her total movement may not exceed her land speed. A ninja must concentrate (as a move action) to remain aloft or fall to the ground.
    If she instead expends two daily uses of her ki power, she may move instead up to her land speed and half her land speed, respectively, as if under the effects of an air walk spell, with a caster level equal to half her ninja level.

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    This is like the ability of the same name from the Monk revision I made. In a nutshell, it's like Air Walk but not at full strength, in order to make it permanent. The ability of Leap the Clouds doesn't work with Walk the Clouds, however.


    Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a ninja’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless ninja does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

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    It makes no sense that the Rogue and the Monk have Improved Evasion, but the Ninja doesn't. Let's fix that.

    And yes, the Rogue doesn't get it as a granted ability, but as a special ability. It is the second best, after the bonus feats. So...eh, one level earlier at the bare minimum.


    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A ninja of 9th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
    This defense denies rogues the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does.
    If a character already has uncanny dodge 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 rogue level required to flank the character.

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    If the Barbarian, of all people, can have it why not the Ninja? After all, you deny a Rogue its best ability much like not being able to flank denies yours. Time for some comeuppance, don't you think?


    Death Attack: If a ninja studies her victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sudden strike with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sudden strike has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (ninja’s choice). While studying the victim, the ninja can undertake other actions so long as his 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 + half the ninja’s class level + the ninja’s Wis modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. 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. Once the ninja has completed the 3 rounds of study, she must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.
    If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her 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.

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    So...not only does it dabble from the Rogue, it also steals from the Assassin? Oddly enough, the Ninja is one of the few people that can do this right: stay invisible for 3 turns, then all of a sudden surprise with a death attack. Using Wis instead of Int was a reasonable choice, since you won't expect to make the Ninja MADder than it already is, right? Besides, Wis deals with perception and Heal is based off it; makes much better sense.

    This effectively raises the danger of this class from high to lethal. If you succeed, you can either kill or paralyze an opponent. Even worse, you can do it as a good creature, watching the repercussions of a swift and painful death. Good creatures could never have an ability such as death attack until now.

    So...does this mean an Assassin has no reason to live? It has...it just means you don't have to take 10 levels of Ninja to get the same ability, or that you don't need to multiclass as a Ninja. That's pretty much about it.


    Art of Explosions (Su): At 11th level, a ninja acquires the ability to expend greater amounts of poisons or alchemical liquids to expand the range of their effect without losing their potency. She can extend the range of her thrown splash weapons by an amount of feet equal to 5 ft per class level. By using two flasks of any splash weapon (such as acid or alchemist’s fire, for example), she can deal equal damage to a creature regardless of whether it is the target of the attack or not. She may add her Wisdom modifier to the save DC of any splash weapon she uses, regardless of whether it deals damage or not.
    By expending one daily use of her ki power as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, a ninja can expand the range of the weapon and make it harder to evade. The effect of the weapon increases to a 30-feet radius burst centered on the target of the splash weapon, and the save DC of the attack is further increased by adding half her class level. A ninja need only to use one flask (instead of the two) on this attempt. This effect persists for one round, and it affects all splash weapons thrown during it.
    A ninja only applies her sudden strike (or sneak attack, if any) extra damage to the target of the attack, but she does not increase the damage to any other creature in the area of effect. The sudden strike damage is of the element of the weapon (in the case of acid, for example), or affects only the right amount of creatures (in the case of holy water, for example), but it does not count as ability damage or similar special abilities.

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    Remember when I mentioned Kayakujutsu? Well, this is what you'd expect from knowledge of explosives. This essentially further improves poisons and alchemical items to nearly similar levels.

    The ki enhancement turns your splash weapons into different variants of Fireball, as at-will as your ki and loot allow you. It still doesn't make alchemical weapons all-powerful, but makes them reasonable choices for weapons. You can already add your extra dice of damage to a single target, so it's not bad.


    Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): At 12th 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.

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    Again, stealing from the Assassin. With the probably high Hide bonus because of the class plus ranks and Dex, combined with an excuse to use it, means you can pretty much go out of sight at the right moment, unable to be revealed by magic aside from scrying. That allows you to save your ki points for when they're needed, and enhance your chances of pulling Sudden Strike.


    Ghost Mind (Su): At 14th level, a ninja gains a special resistance to spells of the scrying subschool. To detect or see a ninja with such a spell, the caster must make a caster level check (DC 20 + the ninja’s class level). In the case of scrying spells that scan the ninja’s area (such as arcane eye), a failed check indicates that the spell works but the ninja simply isn’t detected. Scrying attempts targeted specifically at the ninja do not work at all if the check fails. If the ninja is hiding, the caster must also succeed on a Search check in order to have the spell work; if the caster fails any of the checks, the spell is automatically dispelled. If the ninja is under the effect of invisibility or has turned ethereal, the spell always fails to detect her (as if it had failed the check). If the ninja is disguised, the caster must succeed on a Spot check; failure implies the spell fails (in case of specifically targeted spells), the ninja is not identified as such (if the ninja uses the Disguise skill normally), or the ninja is considered a specific person (if the ninja is using the Disguise skill to impersonate a particular individual). This resistance fools even true seeing and similar spells.
    By spending two daily uses of her ki power, a ninja blocks her mind from any intrusion, as per the mind blank spell, except the range is personal, she retains her resistance effects (whichever is most beneficial), and the duration is limited to 1 hour per two class levels.

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    This is an enhancement to Ghost Mind, the class ability with the same name presented on the Complete Adventurer Ninja write-up. The base benefit is mostly the same, except that it accounts for hiding, invisibility/etherealness and disguise; each of the three allows a different portrayal that makes more sense than what's presented. You shouldn't be found while hiding, and this ability helps you prevent that. Being invisible or ethereal allows you to prevent scrying with True Seeing (note: prevents scrying; if you're there with True Seeing, you're still seen). And disguised allows you to fool the caster into believing something you are not; it's worse to not suspect anyone than to be "betrayed" by the person you trust.

    The ki enhancement completes what Ghost Mind offers. Mind Blank allows you to be undetectable to divination spells, including scrying spells, plus immunity to mind-affecting effects. Ghost Mind offers one of the three immunities; makes sense that by enhancing that ability with your own ki, you gain immunity to the other two. However, if you are under the effect of Mind Blank and disguised, your ability supersedes the Mind Blank benefit (to your benefit, of course)

    The intention is that you're still revealed by True Seeing. Or Invisibility Purge. Just...you need to get closer, right where the ninja wants you.


    Expanded Precision (Su): At 15th level, a ninja’s gains the ability to enhance her precision in striking vital spots to unimagined levels. By spending two daily uses of her ki power as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, she can use her sudden strike ability even when the opponent is not denied its Dexterity bonus to armor class, and she can use her ability at any range, for one round.

    As well, if she is using her arts of exhalation and/or explosion, the sudden strike extra damage dice applies to all creatures within the area. Creatures that fail their saving throws against the splash weapon still take half damage from it (unless the creature has the evasion or mettle abilities).

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    This is quite probably the best ability the ninja will have. This makes the Ninja's Sudden Strike officially better than Sneak Attack, as it always applies. Heck, it even applies to your alchemical weapons, so now these weapons become even more dangerous. This is meant to combine with anything that enhances or adds to the extra damage dice, so it mixes with Craven, Assassin's Stance, and so on.

    UPDATE: Apparently, this was just a *tad* too good to be true. Making it of a 1-round duration should make it more balanced.


    Ghost Sight (Su): At 16th level, a ninja can see invisible and ethereal creatures as easily as she sees material creatures and objects, as the effect of the see invisibility spell.
    By expending one daily use of her ki power, her vision becomes clearer. She is treated as if under a true seeing spell, with an effective class level equal to half her class level.

    Spoiler
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    While already a bit late, you get permanent See Invisibility, with a chance for temporary True Seeing. No one can fool you; you're the one that fools everyone instead.


    Mastery of Ki (Su): At 20th level, a ninja’s mastery of ki reaches a pinnacle. She may reduce the cost of all abilities that require daily uses of her ki power by one. As well, she does not lose her supernatural abilities if her daily uses of ki power are completely expended.

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    On the Monk revision thread, I mentioned I wanted a fitting capstone ability for the class. After some time, I found this as a fitting capstone; your uses of ki power are reduced, and some suddenly become "at-will" abilities. I figure this is a reasonable capstone for staying 20 levels in a single class, one that isn't strictly necessary but that isn't a bad idea to take nonetheless.

    I decided to introduce it here. Later on, I'll add it to the Monk properly.


    I'll go with a shorter version of what I did with the Monk thread: this is a draft, although an improved and revised draft based on what I thought for the Monk. The development of the Ninja also refined the Monk, so these classes are closer to proper completion than ever before. Please make suggestions and recommendations, or a simple critique of the work. While I might be slow to answer, be sure I'll take your suggestions under consideration.

    Ninja revisions:
    1.0 (10/7/2009): Original version
    2.0 (11/24/2009): Removed some skills, reduced unarmed damage, reduced duration of Expanded Precision
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2010-11-06 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Ninja revision 2.0
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    "Art of Disguise" says like alter self but just an illusion. Doesn't this basicly mean the possible forms are limited to alter self? Seems really odd to limit a ninja's illusions to his native type only.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    "Art of Disguise" says like alter self but just an illusion. Doesn't this basicly mean the possible forms are limited to alter self? Seems really odd to limit a ninja's illusions to his native type only.
    It's half and half on the matter. The idea is that the broad amount of possibilities offered by Polymorph are a bit too much compared to the simplicity offered by Alter Self. I chose the spell because it was pretty simple, although in that matter Disguise Self is much easier.

    The concept behind it is that the Ninja uses the ability to enhance her disguise, but not to appear something she can't possibly be. Imitating a member of her native species is very easy enough, since she has the knowledge to pass quite well as a normal member of the species (much like Ninjas knew how to resemble anything from an ascetic monk, to a lowly commoner, to a prestigious noble). Resembling anything else (such as resembling an European merchant) should be difficult. Resembling an animal should be next to impossible. This reflects somehow in what I wished to seek: she can appear as a member of her native species pretty easily, a member of a humanoid-shaped and sized creature with some difficulty, and non-humanoid shaped or sized creatures should be next to impossible. Alter Self only allows humanoid shapes of up to 5 HD, but it stands right at the middle of what I seek.

    Now, I do desire to extend it a bit more (cover such stuff as aberrations, fey, monstrous humanoids, perhaps even the smaller forms of giants such as Ogres), but not extend it to the level of Polymorph (so that you don't assume the shape of dragons, oozes, vermin and magical beasts, since an illusion of that magnitude is beyond the entire purpose of the ability. I might think removing the HD cap and expanding the amount of forms the Ninja can adopt in between Alter Self and Polymorph (and quite probably include outsiders and the chance of allowing ninja of non-included species to emulate their own as well)

    Thanks for pointing that out, though; I worked on this mostly alone and I tend to write some stuff with only the littlest bit of a general idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    ...Wow. I'd actually consider playing a Ninja now. Probably my first choice for a wuxia class, too, after ToB. By the way, d'you know if heretic's Shinobi survived somewhere? Your link's dead.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found it.
    Last edited by vasharanpaladin; 2009-11-19 at 10:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    First Impression: Tries to do way too much, but generally with a degree of synergy between it's abilities. Which leads me to believe it's like too strong.

    I'd actually have to run some numbers and theoreticals before I actually make that a statement though.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    First Impression: Tries to do way too much, but generally with a degree of synergy between it's abilities. Which leads me to believe it's like too strong.

    I'd actually have to run some numbers and theoreticals before I actually make that a statement though.
    The reason why it may seem too strong is because it looks like a Monk, which has loads of special abilities, but in the end none of them are particularly strong.

    First, the damage. Sudden Strike has always been considered the weak alternative to Sneak Attack, since it doesn't have the added benefit of flanking. SS growth is exactly the same as the Rogue's Sneak Attack, but the most common tactical ability (flanking) is still denied, so you'll have less chances. Also, anything that traditionally ignores or is immune to critical hits also ignores or nulls Sudden Strike. This includes Undead, Constructs, Plants, Oozes and incorporeal creatures.

    Second, the abilities. Most of them, except the higher levels of Ghost Step, are roughly similar to 3rd level spells. The first few versions of Ghost Step are weaker than an Invisibility spell, and only at level 10th does it really has some use (and at 14th you go ethereal, but then again by that moment Ethereal Jaunt is online and working fine). Phantom Image starts as Blur, and ends on a stronger version of Greater Mirror Image (which is a 5th level spell IIRC), with the main difference of making the images shadowy. Art of Exhalation is far weaker than Burning Hands (a 1st level spell), Art of Explosions basically replicates a Fireball but very weakly, and only at 15th level does the two earlier abilities grow in power (and even then to the limits of a Fireball, which at its most is 10d6).

    Third, the worrisome abilities aren't as worrisome. Death Attack and Art of Poison affect Fortitude, which is the most common and usually the highest save of most monsters; as it stands, only Art of Poison actually has a chance of working, and this is great since poisons as they stand now suck. Badly. Going the unarmed strike path makes for much greater damage, and this is quite intended. AC Bonus is a gift because they can't equip armor, Fast Movement won't do much since they don't have an ability that allows them to move and full-attack (although if they want, they can go Spring Attack), and they are pretty close to a Monk so Slow Fall is a given.

    Fourth, the rest of the abilities serve mostly as utility. Walk the Clouds isn't a real flying spell, but an Air Walk ability limited by skills and movement speed; Art of Disguise is, as it says, for a disguise. Leap of the Clouds is a bonus to Jump, and Ghost Step + Hide in Plain Sight makes Hide useful, but aside from that it doesn't break the game any further.

    And finally, abilities such as Ghost Mind, Ghost Sight, Walk the Clouds and the improved Ki Strike are meant to reduce the Ninja's dependency on magic items, by providing much needed abilities for all melee classes (mostly, a flying method, immunity to mind affecting, magic weapon special abilities and a way to observe invisible creatures) Ninjas still can use and would take a lot of advantage from magic items, but are less dependent than they did before.

    There is still some area for change and fine-tuning, but as it stands, it should do an admirable job fulfilling most of the things you'd expect a semi-mystical ninja to do (not, as mentioned above, as bright-color uniform ninjas) As usual, input is always welcome.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Just curious, how does Monk's Belt and Superior Unarmed Strike interact with the Ninja's unarmed damage? I would assume it simply raises the character's level by the deisgnated amount for the purposes of the Unarmed damage, but you haven't specified so...
    Last edited by Krazddndfreek; 2009-11-22 at 01:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazddndfreek View Post
    Just curious, how does Monk's Belt and Superior Unarmed Strike interact with the Ninja's unarmed damage? I would assume it simply raises the character's level by the deisgnated amount for the purposes of the Unarmed damage, but you haven't specified so...
    I specified it somewhat on a previous Monk retooling I worked on earlier, specifically the Monk's Belt. However, if you're going mostly with using only the Ninja and the base rules, this is a good way to deal with it:

    Monk's Belt will interact with the Ninja on terms of unarmed damage AND AC bonus. In that case, it grants an unarmed strike damage dice and a bonus to AC equivalent to that of a Ninja 5 levels higher.

    Superior Unarmed Strike would treat your damage as that of a Ninja of 4 levels higher (or, exactly as designated for the Monk, except using the Ninja dice calculation)

    Remember there's also the Monk's Tattoo (which, IIRC, is on the Forgotten Realms books, most notably Magic of Faerun), which grants the same benefits as a Monk's Belt (but does not stack with it) without using an item slot, but it's costlier.

    I'd recommend, if you're willing to use the class, to compare with the retooled Monk and see if it's also worthwhile to include as well. This retooled class and the retooled Monk are essentially companions to each other, using a similar unified mechanic, and differing mostly on their method (Monk is a more physical and endurable class, yet it retains some mobility; Ninja is stealthier and sneakier, but still keeps some endurance). The feat revision should work with the Ninja almost exactly as it should with the "errata'ed" feats, with a singular distinction: aside from Stunning Fist (which must be still acquired later), a Ninja isn't treated as a Monk in terms of early qualification. In case of Stunning Fist, a Ninja behaves as a Monk in terms of uses per day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Oh, yea I read up on your Monk and I thought it was great. I must not have read too thoroughly on either, though, because I guess I probably wouldn't have had to ask that question.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    One thing of note is that the kusari-gama is in the DMG, pg. 145, so you wouldn't need OA to get it.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Slow Fall still isn't worth a 20 level class feature, it costs 2000 something gold to replicate (and 2000 gold does it better!).

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Slow Fall still isn't worth a 20 level class feature, it costs 2000 something gold to replicate (and 2000 gold does it better!).
    Feather Fall is so slow, though. With Slow Fall, you get there just as soon as just falling with less damage, no 60 feet per round. If I'm going to fall 100 feet, I'd rather get there in one round, rather than waiting till next round to do so.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Looks pretty good, actually.

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    I think it's quite well done. I'm not an expert on ninjas -- I'm just your typical nerd who sees them sometimes in anime clips and I've watched Deadliest Warrior's thing of Spartan vs. Ninja -- but if there's a whole ninjitsu code thingy out there that you've faithfully infused into the class, all the power to you, that's great.

    Main criticism though:
    Too much.

    This class looks to me like a rogue that decided to kick more ass and gain a whole bunch of useful spell abilities as swift actions. You even bumped the amount of skill points gained from 6 to 8. You even gave the use magic item skill. Then you decided to curve-stomp the assassin PrC by giving away their trademark ability, and the PrC pales in comparison to this.

    I can see the argument here for the abilities to stay. They all fit the ninja theme, so why not? Isn't death attack and using poisons ninja-y? Striking from the shadows and all that? I believe so.

    However, my question would be, is the rogue / assassin classes bad enough to warrant merging them together to make something even greater than the sum of its parts? Maybe for the assassin PrC. I don't think so for rogues though. The only thing a rogue has going for it here is trapfinding, which is a very situational skill at best, and if you absolutely need it then it's just a 1 level dip. You could say that assassins have spells, but I'm looking at the spells and they ain't that great compared to when your ninja would be getting some of their later abilities.

    I would tone things down. Drop the amount of skill points and skills known. Do ninjas really need to do alot of talkie-talkie, or just focus on stealth / scouting? I'm talking mechanics, this steps on rogue's toes too much. I would also further limit the amount of ki points available a bit, since they're meant to go in, overwhelm the target with their abilities, and get out. Prolonged battles should hurt. And then I'd nix Use Magic Device. The last part is the big one.

    A word on Use Magic Device: it's by far the most powerful skill in the game. Very very few classes have it. I would strongly urge caution when giving it to a class. That said, I do believe it fits a ninja theme, because I see the skill as basically deceiving an item to trigger, and deceit is in the ninja's repertoire. Another example of use magic item being deceit is that warlocks have it, and then eventually get an enhancement to it called Deceive Item. However, like I said, it's very powerful. I wouldn't give the class such powerful base abilities and then give them this too on top of it. Use Magic Device fits very nicely with the rogue theme, but mechanically it's crucial because at higher levels because all their ranks in Hide and Move Silently mean diddly squat when spells like Silence and the Invisibilities become readily available. Rogues need it to keep their core mechanics functional. Ninjas have these spells built into the class, thus Use Magic Device is not crucial.

    On the same note, I loved your warmage homebrew, but I thoroughly disagree about the Use Magic Device there too for the reasons pointed above. Deceiving items to trigger is not a very warmage thing to do, and it defeats the purpose of having limited spell pools. If a wizard, a crusty old fart that studies ancient knowledge every day but can't manage to wave a wand of cure minor wounds, I really don't see how or why a warmage could.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter. I don't mean to be harsh, but constructive. I agree you have a very flavorful class, but I just wanted to raise my concerns about mechanics. I don't think this class is cheese, but I do think it's pushing it a bit.

    EDIT: I was looking at the class a bit more, and recalling my own experiences playing a Ninja at level 8.

    Like I said before, I think the vast majority of the abilities are fine. However, I still think that it's stepping on a rogue's toes far too much. This is my revised suggestions:

    1) Lower amount of skills known. Bad news bear when you have more skills than a rogue.
    2) Lower amount of skill points to 6.
    3) Take away these competence bonuses to skills. You've set up ninjas to out-skill rogues with more skills known, just as many skill points, and then competence bonuses to actually make them better than a rogue could be at its main schtick.
    4) Remove Use Magic Device skill.

    That's about it. If that was all done, you'd be end up with a better Assassin which is fine, but you wouldn't be absolutely stomping rogues as is the current situation.
    Last edited by Delandel; 2009-11-23 at 06:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Slow Fall still isn't worth a 20 level class feature, it costs 2000 something gold to replicate (and 2000 gold does it better!).
    Yeah, but later on, you can:
    1) Get another ring on that slot instead of a 2000 gp item. Something perhaps more worthwhile.
    2) Recover 1000 gp. Perhaps not enough, but consider that, for much of your time, you'll be using an item that could be replaced with something else.

    Furthermore, it all depends on how you fall. Slow Fall can be combined with the Tumble ability to reduce damage, so I feel it's reasonable enough.

    Besides, what's with protesting about free stuff? :P

    [QUOTE-Delandel; 7369655]Main criticism though:
    Too much.

    This class looks to me like a rogue that decided to kick more ass and gain a whole bunch of useful spell abilities as swift actions. You even bumped the amount of skill points gained from 6 to 8. You even gave the use magic item skill. Then you decided to curve-stomp the assassin PrC by giving away their trademark ability, and the PrC pales in comparison to this.

    I can see the argument here for the abilities to stay. They all fit the ninja theme, so why not? Isn't death attack and using poisons ninja-y? Striking from the shadows and all that? I believe so.

    However, my question would be, is the rogue / assassin classes bad enough to warrant merging them together to make something even greater than the sum of its parts? Maybe for the assassin PrC. I don't think so for rogues though. The only thing a rogue has going for it here is trapfinding, which is a very situational skill at best, and if you absolutely need it then it's just a 1 level dip. You could say that assassins have spells, but I'm looking at the spells and they ain't that great compared to when your ninja would be getting some of their later abilities.[/QUOTE]

    The Rogue class is great at what it does, and it can do a pretty lot. The Assassin, sadly, is on a state of confusion where it was unnecessarily nerfed in order to justify its existence as a Prestige Class. Save bonus vs. Poison? Instead of...perhaps, immunity against Poison? Don't think I'm saying this in a bad way, but rather, something that wasn't even thought of when the developers began making classes here and there.

    And even then, I wouldn't ditch the Assassin's spell list. It's by far its best ability, and they're no slouches on what few spells they've got. For example: Alter Self doesn't need too much of a CL to work (5 at max), and it can be exploited to good measure. Feather Fall is invaluable for a fall, which can be the best way to escape (at least until Dimension Door). Obscuring Mist is a great way to provide an escape route, or in the case of a one-on-one fight, to somewhat even the odds. Invisibility lasts minutes per level instead of rounds per level (the Ninja doesn't ever get beyond rounds per level). Spider Climb pretty much obviates the need for Climb, ever (that's one skill of the many skills of a Rogue or Ninja replaced entirely). Cat's Grace for a Dex-based class is invaluable, perhaps right until they get a Gloves of Dex +6, and even then it can be invaluable. Magic Circle against Good might not be the best protection, but if you're going against a Good-aligned Enchanter, it is insanely good (perhaps if they had MCaE, they would rock, but then again that is a function of alignment...). Dimension Door has a lot of uses, from escaping to tactical movement to even a simple distance shortening move. Freedom of Movement is perhaps one of the best spells around, and it has myriads of uses. Greater Invisibility is more like what the Ninja eventually has, with the same rounds/level cap, but the Assassin gets more potential uses of it than a Ninja ever does, given the nature of the ki pool.

    And that's without adding the few spells they get every new splatbook. Assassins don't get much love, but spells are one way in where they get some love.

    Rogues, on the other hand, have their builds already worked. They get Sneak Attack (which is far better than Sudden Strike, if only because you only need to flank the opponent to make the ability work, instead of finding a way to reduce the Dex bonus to a creature in order to make the ability work. That's another plus the Rogue has. The special abilities they get at later levels are also great enough, but they show a devotion to the Rogue class, one devotion that is quite enough broken. They also get Trap Sense (which is great if you're going to be the main trap-disabler, since Ninja's can't do that very well, even with trapfinding) Finally, the Rogue has something that the Ninja would only dream of, and that this retooling mostly dealt with: virtually no MAD. You only need Dexterity to make a Rogue work fine. Ninjas need both Dexterity and Wisdom to work well, and with a fine balance since both abilities have equal importance. Rogues could either work their Intelligence (both recommended AND granting them more skill points), or Charisma (if they want to be social creatures), but Ninja don't have that much of a benefit.

    I understand your concern, and I'll deal below with why I reached those conclusions.

    I would tone things down. Drop the amount of skill points and skills known. Do ninjas really need to do alot of talkie-talkie, or just focus on stealth / scouting? I'm talking mechanics, this steps on rogue's toes too much.
    A Ninja that doesn't know how to talk is a bad Ninja. The art of disguising and gathering information required a great deal of acting and knowing how to talk. Ninjas were required to know a lot of dialects (which isn't shown in here): Japan at that time was full of different dialects that could mess up the information; equally, the D&D world is full of various languages and various dialects and even various methods of speaking within each other that would reveal a disguised person in their deceit. Besides, you would have expected a Ninja to be disguised as a peasant, speaking to bar patrons about X and Y thing than being all "stealthy and silent" and stuff. They only got "stealthy and silent" in their actual assassination job.

    Undoubtedly, and as you'll see. Ninjas step on the toes of Rogues quite a lot. Mostly, since Ninjas were pretty much the Japanese variant of Rogues, and because WotC didn't got Rogues right. At all. As a bare minimum, Rogues were supposed to have all skills on their list.

    If you want to know, thematically speaking, the Factotum is more akin to the original concept of a Rogue than a Rogue does. If you can get a book about picaresque, which is from where the Rogue archetype perhaps emerged, you'll see that they learned to do just about everything.

    I would also further limit the amount of ki points available a bit, since they're meant to go in, overwhelm the target with their abilities, and get out. Prolonged battles should hurt.
    I'm using the actual progression given by WotC. I haven't changed that one.

    At first level, assuming a good Wis (18), that's 5 uses of ki per day. However, you could get less than that depending on your actual starting Wis (since there's few if none 0 LA races with a Wis bonus, you'll not get much higher than 18 starting up, unless you scavenge a lot) At 2nd level (which still would imply 5 uses of ki per day), that means 5 rounds of invisibility; hardly game-breaking, since you don't get much to work with.

    Later, it only gets more complicated. You get abilities that use two daily uses of ki per day, and you get a myriad of abilities. Furthermore, you lose some of your supernatural defenses if you waste all of your ki points, so you need to have at least one.

    I find the uses of ki to be rather balanced, considering that what really killed the original Ninja was their very limited use. Your first battles or so would have been a cinch, but later on, you'd need a spellcaster or you'd be left useless (since you can't even flank to use your extra damage dice).

    And yes, I noticed you scratched that down. Still worth an explanation, no?

    And then I'd nix Use Magic Device. The last part is the big one.

    A word on Use Magic Device: it's by far the most powerful skill in the game. Very very few classes have it. I would strongly urge caution when giving it to a class. That said, I do believe it fits a ninja theme, because I see the skill as basically deceiving an item to trigger, and deceit is in the ninja's repertoire. Another example of use magic item being deceit is that warlocks have it, and then eventually get an enhancement to it called Deceive Item. However, like I said, it's very powerful. I wouldn't give the class such powerful base abilities and then give them this too on top of it. Use Magic Device fits very nicely with the rogue theme, but mechanically it's crucial because at higher levels because all their ranks in Hide and Move Silently mean diddly squat when spells like Silence and the Invisibilities become readily available. Rogues need it to keep their core mechanics functional. Ninjas have these spells built into the class, thus Use Magic Device is not crucial.

    On the same note, I loved your warmage homebrew, but I thoroughly disagree about the Use Magic Device there too for the reasons pointed above. Deceiving items to trigger is not a very warmage thing to do, and it defeats the purpose of having limited spell pools. If a wizard, a crusty old fart that studies ancient knowledge every day but can't manage to wave a wand of cure minor wounds, I really don't see how or why a warmage could.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter. I don't mean to be harsh, but constructive. I agree you have a very flavorful class, but I just wanted to raise my concerns about mechanics. I don't think this class is cheese, but I do think it's pushing it a bit.
    A very reasonable concern. UMD has more than its reasons to stay here, but indeed, it's kinda taboo to speak of it. The problem isn't really the Ninja having UMD (even cross-class is magnificent), but that UMD is really, really powerful. And, even then, the Rogue for a few reasons becomes actually better than a Ninja at UMD. UMD isn't exactly a Rogue-specific ability (Open Lock and Disable Device are), and it delivers a lot of power to the Rogue, but it's not the be-all end-all ability of the Rogue.

    First, how Rogue can be better. Rogues have less of a need for optimal stats than a Ninja does. Rogues, as mentioned before, need only Dex to be worthwhile; you could argue Con, but then again, everybody needs a good Con score. Strength is unnecessary: between Weapon Finesse, Sneak Attack, and Bags of Holding, you don't need Strength at all. Wisdom for Rogues could be used if they want to be better at Spot or Listen, but they don't need Wisdom at all. Charisma is great since they get a lot of Charisma-based abilities, and Int equally since they get more skill points per level. So, they can get their second best skill and add it at either Charisma or Intelligence, in whatever they need.

    Ninja, on the other hand, require a very balanced Dex and Wis to work well. One granted thing is that they need a bit more Wis than Dex: it strengthens their attack, damage and AC, so they'd be Wis primary, Dex secondary. That leaves either Charisma or Intelligence as tertiary, so the Rogue has a distinct advantage score-wise.

    Second, Ninja don't need UMD too much. Sure, they can get a good scroll or two, but the reasons why they need it are scarcer than for a Rogue. However, and this is crucial: without UMD, Ninja's Sudden Strike would suck even more than a Rogue's Sneak Attack than it currently does, since it would deny them the benefits of the SA/SS defense-bypasses (Grave Strike and equivalents, Wraithstrike)

    Third, and why Rogue can get a much better UMD than Ninja:
    1) Can choose Charisma as a secondary score. That's about 1 or 2 points above a regular Ninja in UMD, which can make it worthwhile.
    2) They can multiclass without losing too much. If a Ninja multiclasses, it can lose a few things, including and not limited to their marvelous 20th level capstone. A Rogue is almost forced to multiclass before level 19 since they don't have a capstone at all, and what they get is pointless: only multiclassing or PrCing to a class that provides d4 Hit Dice, no BAB and no Saves would be bad. A Rogue can get a very decent benefit even if they eventually lose some skill points on the exchange (and by that point, losing 1 point wouldn't matter that much)

    I can understand that UMD is insanely good, and that it serves mostly as a deception rather than anything else. I *could* work on that, but in theory, the real problem with UMD is UMD itself. A Ninja can already turn invisible and ethereal, and gets quite a lot of damage, so their uses of UMD are more limited in scale, albeit not limited in importance.

    EDIT: I was looking at the class a bit more, and recalling my own experiences playing a Ninja at level 8.

    Like I said before, I think the vast majority of the abilities are fine. However, I still think that it's stepping on a rogue's toes far too much. This is my revised suggestions:

    1) Lower amount of skills known. Bad news bear when you have more skills than a rogue.
    2) Lower amount of skill points to 6.
    3) Take away these competence bonuses to skills. You've set up ninjas to out-skill rogues with more skills known, just as many skill points, and then competence bonuses to actually make them better than a rogue could be at its main schtick.
    4) Remove Use Magic Device skill.

    That's about it. If that was all done, you'd be end up with a better Assassin which is fine, but you wouldn't be absolutely stomping rogues as is the current situation.
    Upon your revised suggestions:
    1) This is the current Ninja's skill list:
    Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information, Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex)
    That's about 29 skills. Each skill, even Use Rope, has its justification. (I also noticed that I placed Craft twice...

    This is the Rogue's skill list:
    Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
    That's about 29 skills. About the exact same skills as a Ninja, and the Rogue can still do things that a Ninja can't. A Rogue isn't interested in meteorology or geography, a Rogue can still forge documents (about the only truly exclusive skill for a Ninja), a Rogue can do Open Lock or Disable Device just as well, a Rogue can Appraise (which is great to determine the price of stuff)

    For comparison, this is the original Ninja skill list:
    Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) and Tumble (Dex)
    That's 20 skills. From those:
    --Knowledge (nature) is justified as the Ninjitsu art of Tenmon. It's perhaps one of the few best skills they have over Rogue, since they can identify many creatures
    --Knowledge (geography) is justified as the Ninjitsu art of Chi-mon. As it stands...well, you can't use Know (geography) that much, since it doesn't provide info about monsters.
    --Diplomacy has its roots on the Ninja being the servant of a feudal lord. You could expect that at least some of the Ninja's missions weren't assassination or spying, but rather diplomatic missions. Also, a diplomat could also serve as a spy, so why not give him the tool that he needs to make his acting better?
    --Knowledge (Local) is justified as the Ninjitsu art of Cho-ho. If you don't know jack about the area, how are you expected to blend in? Gather Information can tell you much, but you'll have to do it as a stranger. Plus, it gives info on humanoids: the classic target of a Ninja.
    --Ride is justified as the Ninjitsu art of Bajutsu. More often than not, Ninja were also Samurai of their Shogun (or, to make it clearer: a Samurai usually learned the arts of Ninjitsu to better serve their lord in terms of espionage and sabotage, but they still served their lord in battle as a Samurai). The classic skill of a Samurai, and indeed an important skill to have to escape is the ability to ride a horse or similar suitable mount. Not having that skill usually meant the Ninja needed a method of extraction, or was always on its own to escape.
    --Profession is pretty odd that it's absent from the Ninja when it's pretty much one of the few skills that anyone can have as a class skill. Well...I mean, pretty much every single class has Profession. Plus, it works great when you need to provide a suitable excuse for your disguise.
    --Perform is the equivalent of Profession to a musician. Ninja don't have much need of it, true, but then that means you couldn't hide out as a traveling musician, and that meant absolutely no access to the hearts of bar patrons and pubs. Yes, it's fluff, much like Profession above.
    --Use Rope is oddly justified, as Ninjas were skilled on ropes for entry and capture. Don't trust me; I got most of that from Wikipedia.
    --Use Magic Device is mentioned above. That's mostly the one skill that really gets troubling.

    I'll go to the second point to illustrate this a bit clearer:

    2) As the list currently stands, a Ninja with 8 skill points, as a Human, and with an average Int (12-14) would cover about 1/3rd of the entire skill list. With 6+Int skill points per level, you'd cover just around...3/5ths of the list. A Rogue with roughly the same except a much better Int (16) would cover around 3/4ths of its own list. The original Ninja, in comparison, using 6+Int skill points per level, would cover almost half of its own list, using average Int. With 16 Int and human, it would cover half of its own list.

    Why these weird proportions? A Ninja, dealing in proportions between list size and skill point, covers more skills than a Rogue with slightly better stats, using the same race and covering both 6+Int and 8+Int. By comparison, using direct amount of skills, a Ninja and a Rogue with 8+Int would be roughly equal, only depending on race and Int, and a Rogue has a higher chance of getting more Int than a Ninja. You'd need three high scores compared to the Rogue's two. So...skill point total is, or should be, proportional to the amount of skills that a class possesses. I can't reduce the amount of skill points if the class is both a skill-monkey and having a large skill list. I could if I do reduce the skill list, since it wouldn't be so necessary, but as it stands, giving them 6+Int would make them really bad skill monkeys.

    3) Competence bonuses to Hide, Disguise and Jump are a tad hard to explain, but they should be easy to understand once I explain. Compared to the Rogue, a Ninja has supernatural powers which it can use to enhance its abilities. From those three, only Disguise is an extraordinary ability: the other two skills are Supernatural, which means that on an AMF a Rogue and a Ninja are pretty much equal, except that Sudden Strike is weaker than Sneak Attack and the only real competence bonus that remains is the Disguise bonus...which IS one of the hallmarks of the Ninja (get a good look at the Wikipedia page, it's pretty decent even though further study might be much better). Even at a non-AMF circumstance, here's part of the rationale behind this:
    --Jump, as it stands, sucks. Long jumps are cool and whatnot, but high jump are nearly impossible. A competence bonus equal to 1/2 class level won't do much, aside from adding perhaps two, almost three feet to the Jump. Meanwhile, both of them might eventually disregard the skill once they get a flying method. Ninja has an added "flying" method, which is Air Walk; Rogue doesn't, but it's not like it can't fly at all (and if it does, it won't be Air Walk, you can be sure of that).
    --Hide, on the other hand, is invaluable for a Ninja. Part of their largest training is knowing how to Hide, and the class provides for several enhancements to Hide than a Rogue does. In fact, a Rogue may not need Hide that much, since it doesn't get the skill that an Assassin and a Ranger of all people get (Hide in Plain Sight). As the competence bonus starts, a Rogue is much better at hiding than a Ninja (since it'll probably have a better Dex bonus than a Ninja), but that slowly shifts eventually. And also...by the moment they both get Invisibility, Hiding can be also left pretty worthless. Unless you get True Seeing or an anti-invisibility ability, in which case you really want the master of Hiding to be screwed completely?
    --Disguise is the other key skill of a Ninja. They NEED to be masters of acting and disguise in order to complement their hiding in plain sight abilities. That is why the competence bonus in Disguise is an extraordinary ability: because they need to be that good. In fact, the ability that complements Art of Disguise isn't pretty mind-breaking either: it behaves like Alter Self, but it works as Disguise Self, to the point that it only makes disguising easier. Those two are meant to provide the Ninja with one of their most valuable skills at a more than competitive rate (at an insuperable rate). The Rogue, on the other hand, might not need to Disguise that well as a Ninja does.

    So...with one skill bonus being a gift to a skill that eventually becomes useless, and two skills in which the Ninja has to be beyond competitive, it can be easy to understand why a competence bonus is a gift for them. In much easier terms, it's not that with competence bonuses I make a Ninja better than a Rogue at what it does (skill-monkeying), it's that a Ninja HAS to be better than a Rogue in at least Hide and Disguise, period. And Jump? Well...where haven't you seen that a Ninja makes awesome jumps? Seems like a given.

    4) I'll think very carefully about UMD. I wish to consider it carefully, since I still believe that they could make a great use of said ability, but that the ability itself is troubling and problematic (yes, I was deliberately redundant)

    As for Ninja stomping Rogue: while the supernatural abilities are clearly stronger than the Rogue's extraordinary ones, I don't think the Ninja is overtaking the Rogue's job. The Ninja and the Rogue have very specific niches, which they don't overlap unless they multiclass into each other. Aside from the UMD situation (which is the one I'm most critical about), the Ninja competes very well to a Rogue (giving the impression that it outfights the Rogue in its own game), but it's very ability-dependant. The Rogue, however, has various abilities which make it equal, if not stronger, and one of them is multiclassing. The Ninja is very dependant on its class level, and just moving yourself from that line dents all of the Ninja's abilities: two, and you get dented even harder (since in that occasion, DC modifiers and 1/2 class level-based abilities get hit as well). The other is sheer simplicity, in which you don't need to do much to be a good Rogue, and most of what benefits a Ninja could benefit a Rogue (Ring of Freedom of Movement, Ring of Blinking, Ring of Evasion, Gloves of Dex, etc.), while a Ninja needs a bit more to be roughly as competitive as the Rogue (Periapt of Wis, for example; also, a Ninja can't equip armor) Think of that.

    I won't say I won't think about this (I did say I was going to think about the future of UMD). I thank you for exposing some strong points, and I'll meditate about them. However, I consider I have strong reasons to, aside from UMD, keep it as-is. Ninjas are also skill-monkeys, comparable to Rogues (which is the intention), but also quite different.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    And even then, I wouldn't ditch the Assassin's spell list. It's by far its best ability, and they're no slouches on what few spells they've got.
    Of course. Their class abilities are rather underwhelming. However, the biggest problem here is the action economy. Swift actions versus standard actions. This is where the ninja really wins out.

    Rogues, on the other hand, have their builds already worked. They get Sneak Attack (which is far better than Sudden Strike, if only because you only need to flank the opponent to make the ability work, instead of finding a way to reduce the Dex bonus to a creature in order to make the ability work.
    Definitely a plus, no argument there. Denying DEX isn't terribly hard though. If you haven't got access to any of the many magic items that help with it, then there's also feats, and my memory is fuzzy but isn't there also a skill trick that does this in complete scoundrel? Anyway, yes, bonus.

    Oh, wait a minute. At level 15 their sudden strike gets hands down better than Sneak Attack? Nevermind.

    They also get Trap Sense (which is great if you're going to be the main trap-disabler, since Ninja's can't do that very well, even with trapfinding)
    This is a bad, incredibly situational ability. Not all campaigns are in dungeons laced with traps. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that most aren't. Even if a campaign does have traps, there's far less that feature traps prominently throughout the campaign. Further, magic can trivialize traps in such wonderful ways. If your group has access to Unseen Hands you've basically covered the vast majority of them.

    On the occasion that you are in a campaign in a dungeon with traps and everyone fails to spot the trap and you trigger it, this may be useful, maybe not.

    I'd rate this ability as less useful than spitting poison in a person's face for burning hands damage. At least you can do that for kicks whenever you want.

    Finally, the Rogue has something that the Ninja would only dream of, and that this retooling mostly dealt with: virtually no MAD. You only need Dexterity to make a Rogue work fine. Ninjas need both Dexterity and Wisdom to work well, and with a fine balance since both abilities have equal importance. Rogues could either work their Intelligence (both recommended AND granting them more skill points), or Charisma (if they want to be social creatures), but Ninja don't have that much of a benefit.
    I agree with this as well. Rogues have one less stat to worry about than Ninjas. Therefore Rogues can be a little better at some of their skillchecks than Ninjas (but not as good at the ones you gave competence bonuses for).

    So here's a comparison chart:

    Rogues get: a damage mechanic that benefits from flanking, slightly more skill points, trap sense, ability to wear armor and thus special enchantments (we're assuming unlimited wealth here though, or else the ninja's free AC scales pretty competetively with the rogue's armor), and let's say 3 bonus feats (special abilities minus improved evasion since ninjas get that)
    Ninjas get: stronger unarmed strikes, equal to and higher hide checks, swift action invisibility, fast movement, higher AC, swift action poisons, slow fall, jumps without running starts, ghost touch, blur / mirror image / better mirror image, equal to or higher disguise skill checks, alter self, ranged poison use / alchemy, pseudo air walk, death attack, fireball, hide in plain sight, protection from detection with any divination magic, mind blank, ability add Sudden Strike to any situation and thus negate the minor sneak attack advantage entirely, see invisibility and true seeing

    Something does not seem balanced here. Are you sure about Use Magic Device still?

    If you want to know, thematically speaking, the Factotum is more akin to the original concept of a Rogue than a Rogue does. If you can get a book about picaresque, which is from where the Rogue archetype perhaps emerged, you'll see that they learned to do just about everything.
    Rogues can do just about everything too. That's the wonder of Use Magic Device. Factotums can just do everything without even having to wave a wand or read from a scroll, a limited amount of times per day, and focus on whatever they want. Rogues, however, have more of a niche than a jack of all trades.

    UMD isn't exactly a Rogue-specific ability (Open Lock and Disable Device are), and it delivers a lot of power to the Rogue, but it's not the be-all end-all ability of the Rogue.
    I'd argue it's one of its biggest ones. Without it, the rogue starts falling apart to thing immune to sneak attack, or situations where it can't hide, etc. Basically all those things you fixed with inherent ninja abilities, rogues need to do with that skill. I'd say it's quite end-all in that regard.

    Open Lock? Meet adamantine weapon. Done. This is easily accessible to anyone.

    These "what is rogue" and "what is ninja" is looking very arbitrary to me. You could also make a case for ninjas having this skill too. Following the logic of what the ninja "needs," you could say that the ninja needs the Open Lock skill as well, since he'll need to open locked doors stealthily in order to reach his target or open locked chests to steal important documents for his noble.

    I'm getting the distinct feeling that you're placing Ninja as basically an oriental rogue who loses trapfinding to gain an insane amount of wicked combat abilities. And where does this overlapping end? You could make an argument that ninjas need trapfinding too, because undoubtedly some of the more powerful targets would ward their palaces with traps to deter assassins, and is something a ninja would need to overcome.

    This is why I'm arguing on the grounds of mechanics and balance, not on fluff. You're simply out-rogue'ing rogues way too much. Without UMD, ninjas would still be much better out of the box, but at least the rogue has the chance to even the playing field if he has access to the magical scrolls and wands that he wants (aka a character made for a mid-high level campaign).

    With the rogue with UMD and the ninja without, the rogue could spend his wealth on wands of true seeing / swift invisibility / ghost strike / blur / mirror image / etc., gaining many of the ninja's built-in abilities, though not all as powerful due to standard action vs. swift action, and some unable to replicate like protection from true seeing. On the other hand, the ninja could spend the equivalent wealth the rogue has to spend to acquire those many things to simply purchase an ability enhancement boost +6 and be better at the only skill checks the rogue had over him.

    Not balance, but close.


    That leaves either Charisma or Intelligence as tertiary, so the Rogue has a distinct advantage score-wise.
    Yes, so they have access to a bit higher skills (except Hide and Disguise). On the other hand, look at all the abilities that WIS grants the Ninja in my little comparison above -- no sane player would play a rogue and have access to a bit more skill points instead of getting all that. That's the problem.

    However, and this is crucial: without UMD, Ninja's Sudden Strike would suck even more than a Rogue's Sneak Attack than it currently does, since it would deny them the benefits of the SA/SS defense-bypasses (Grave Strike and equivalents, Wraithstrike)
    You already gave ninjas the abilities to "force" sudden strikes by expending ki points. You could always take it one step further and allow temporary X-strikes by expending ki, though it should be expensive (since it's yet another tacked on ability).

    The fact that they get some limited yet crucial use out of the most powerful skill in the game doesn't justify simply giving it to them, with all that extra power, when there's an easy workaround.

    Third, and why Rogue can get a much better UMD than Ninja:
    1) Can choose Charisma as a secondary score. That's about 1 or 2 points above a regular Ninja in UMD, which can make it worthwhile.
    1 or 2 points matters at the low levels. Not mid-high.

    2) They can multiclass without losing too much. If a Ninja multiclasses, it can lose a few things, including and not limited to their marvelous 20th level capstone. A Rogue is almost forced to multiclass before level 19 since they don't have a capstone at all, and what they get is pointless: only multiclassing or PrCing to a class that provides d4 Hit Dice, no BAB and no Saves would be bad. A Rogue can get a very decent benefit even if they eventually lose some skill points on the exchange (and by that point, losing 1 point wouldn't matter that much)
    Okay, so a rogue can dip into another class for 1 level without losing anything (as long as it's full BAB class or else they lose 1BAB). Nice, but let's start seeing examples of this awesomeness.

    Unless you get True Seeing or an anti-invisibility ability, in which case you really want the master of Hiding to be screwed completely?
    You already gave ninjas the ability to beat out True Seeing and anti-invisibility flat out at higher levels. Nobody even has such a powerful ability, rogue or not, and UMD won't even cover this.

    The Rogue, on the other hand, might not need to Disguise that well as a Ninja does.
    Why is this? I'm going by rogue's PHB class description and it calls them stealthy thieves, silver-tongued tricksters, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. Why does suddenly the Ninja need these things more than a rogue?

    In much easier terms, it's not that with competence bonuses I make a Ninja better than a Rogue at what it does (skill-monkeying), it's that a Ninja HAS to be better than a Rogue in at least Hide and Disguise, period.
    What? Why? I need to take a look at your reference for defining rogues, because at this point it seems to me you think Ninjas are PHB rogues, and rogues are people who just open locks and fail to disarm traps.


    The Ninja and the Rogue have very specific niches, which they don't overlap unless they multiclass into each other.
    Refer to the PHB description of the rogue class. I think you just subconsciously ignored it and shoved rogues to the "i pick locks" side.

    The Rogue, however, has various abilities which make it equal, if not stronger, and one of them is multiclassing.
    So far the only ability you pointed out that the rogue has over the ninja is some more skill points to play with. Even the sneak attack > sudden strike point becomes thoroughly muted by you level 15 ability. Multiclassing is not a strong argument. A rogue becomes less of a rogue when he leaves the class, rogue20 is very viable. This is not a wizard / cleric / sorcerer that dips away after level 5. The only level where dipping is recommended is level 20, and you're losing at least 1BAB if you're not going for a full BAB class.

    The other is sheer simplicity, in which you don't need to do much to be a good Rogue, and most of what benefits a Ninja could benefit a Rogue (Ring of Freedom of Movement, Ring of Blinking, Ring of Evasion, Gloves of Dex, etc.), while a Ninja needs a bit more to be roughly as competitive as the Rogue (Periapt of Wis, for example; also, a Ninja can't equip armor) Think of that.
    You've just pointed out that rogues require far more items to do what a ninja does than for a ninja to do what a rogue does. The rogue would be burning a very large hole in his pocket for all that to be on par with all the ninja's abilities. The ninja? Well, without armor his AC is most likely going to be higher than the rogue's (+10 armor bonus is equal to a +5 mithral breastplate, nothing to scoff at), but sure, he misses out on the possibility of unique armor enhancements. But he certainly doesn't need a periapt of WIS to even be competitive with a rogue unless he has an absolutely atrocious WIS score and cannot use his abilities, which is unlikely. This is like a wizard "needing" a headband of INT (they don't).



    Your arguments had the reverse effect -- by defending them you pointed out more inherent balance issues between the rogue and the ninja. I think it's pretty clear at this point that Ninja thoroughly trumps rogue here. Some more skill points versus a plethora of powerful abilities.

    Ya, UMD has to go.
    Last edited by Delandel; 2009-11-24 at 04:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    How does Art of Exhalation work exactly? Does the target still need to save against the substance as normal after a successful touch attack?

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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by Delandel View Post
    Of course. Their class abilities are rather underwhelming. However, the biggest problem here is the action economy. Swift actions versus standard actions. This is where the ninja really wins out.
    You do know the Assassin has swift-action spells, do you? In fact, if you count Feather Fall, you have an immediate action spell right from Core...well, pretty much. When the concept of Swift and Immediate Actions were made, that was one of the few things they stated (Feather Fall is an immediate action) So it's not like the Assassin doesn't have any swift-action spells to work with.

    Definitely a plus, no argument there. Denying DEX isn't terribly hard though. If you haven't got access to any of the many magic items that help with it, then there's also feats, and my memory is fuzzy but isn't there also a skill trick that does this in complete scoundrel? Anyway, yes, bonus.

    Oh, wait a minute. At level 15 their sudden strike gets hands down better than Sneak Attack? Nevermind.
    As said mostly before: Ring of Blinking (Ninjas get the ability to both turn ethereal and strike from ethereal pretty late; the Ring is pretty much always available), scrolls/wands of Invisibility, Ring of Invisibility... Feint isn't a very good move unless you could do it as a swift/free action, given that you force another roll and you pretty much limit yourself to a single action.

    Also, I've noticed the level 15 ability is a *tad* too strong for what it's meant. Someone pointed me out it's pretty much worth for an entire day's worth of encounters (if going by Core recommendations of 4 encounters/day), so I considered reducing the ability for 1 round.

    Still...if by level 15 you still need to depend on flanking to do SA, you're probably playing Rogue wrong in the offensive area. Just pointing that out.

    This is a bad, incredibly situational ability. Not all campaigns are in dungeons laced with traps. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that most aren't. Even if a campaign does have traps, there's far less that feature traps prominently throughout the campaign. Further, magic can trivialize traps in such wonderful ways. If your group has access to Unseen Hands you've basically covered the vast majority of them.

    On the occasion that you are in a campaign in a dungeon with traps and everyone fails to spot the trap and you trigger it, this may be useful, maybe not.

    I'd rate this ability as less useful than spitting poison in a person's face for burning hands damage. At least you can do that for kicks whenever you want.
    You can change it, if you want to. Whether the Complete Mage ability that exchanges trap sense for spell sense is better or not is left to your choice. Still, it is a class ability that the Ninja doesn't have, and Fort-wise Ninjas and Rogues are similar.

    Trap Sense being trivialized isn't my act, it's mostly a design flaw in which they gave a Cleric the Find Traps spell and they gave the Wizard the Unseen Servant spell, and later on people found that Summon Monster X was a good method to locate traps. Or that traps, in most ways, are mechanically deficient.

    Still, the Rogue was designed in part with traps in mind. Dungeons were designed with traps in mind; some are more effective than others (perhaps Mimics, or a Young Adult Green Dragon in a room only 5 feet bigger than itself on all sides). For campaigns that don't have them, there's ACFs for that in mind. In a sense, that's one of the reasons they exist.

    I agree with this as well. Rogues have one less stat to worry about than Ninjas. Therefore Rogues can be a little better at some of their skillchecks than Ninjas (but not as good at the ones you gave competence bonuses for).

    So here's a comparison chart:

    Rogues get: a damage mechanic that benefits from flanking, slightly more skill points, trap sense, ability to wear armor and thus special enchantments (we're assuming unlimited wealth here though, or else the ninja's free AC scales pretty competetively with the rogue's armor), and let's say 3 bonus feats (special abilities minus improved evasion since ninjas get that)
    Ninjas get: stronger unarmed strikes, equal to and higher hide checks, swift action invisibility, fast movement, higher AC, swift action poisons, slow fall, jumps without running starts, ghost touch, blur / mirror image / better mirror image, equal to or higher disguise skill checks, alter self, ranged poison use / alchemy, pseudo air walk, death attack, fireball, hide in plain sight, protection from detection with any divination magic, mind blank, ability add Sudden Strike to any situation and thus negate the minor sneak attack advantage entirely, see invisibility and true seeing

    Something does not seem balanced here. Are you sure about Use Magic Device still?
    Forgot about the Rogue's alternate class features, as well as racial classes? Chameleon Rogue, for example, has 10+Int skill points on what little levels it exists. Those can be considered potential points for the Rogue, you know, since Ninjas can't use those replacements.

    Also...a bit of a pointer in here. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's best to get a bit away from the idea of making a class less spectacular than a Core class. Neither Rogue nor Ninja can do too much in terms of what real spellcasters can do, so they won't be insanely powerful or unbalanced. Indeed, the Ninja is quite stronger than the Rogue, but mostly because it requires to dig its own niche, while being mechanically solid and also effective.

    However, indeed it's clear that UMD would tip the power of Ninjas a bit too far.

    Rogues can do just about everything too. That's the wonder of Use Magic Device. Factotums can just do everything without even having to wave a wand or read from a scroll, a limited amount of times per day, and focus on whatever they want. Rogues, however, have more of a niche than a jack of all trades.
    And still...Factotums do Rogues better than Rogues do, since they have roughly the same amount of skill points, access to all skills, and while they can use a good Dex score, they are pretty much SAD: Int is all they need. Even without Font of Inspiration, Factotum make better Rogues than the Rogue itself. The only thing that doesn't progress that well is Sneak Attack, and they got three methods to gain it temporarily.

    That seems to be a breach in the Rogue's niche.

    I'd argue it's one of its biggest ones. Without it, the rogue starts falling apart to thing immune to sneak attack, or situations where it can't hide, etc. Basically all those things you fixed with inherent ninja abilities, rogues need to do with that skill. I'd say it's quite end-all in that regard.

    Open Lock? Meet adamantine weapon. Done. This is easily accessible to anyone.
    Then the problem lies not on the skill, but the system. Rogues still need Open Lock, as objects usually don't get the benefit of Sneak Attack.

    These "what is rogue" and "what is ninja" is looking very arbitrary to me. You could also make a case for ninjas having this skill too. Following the logic of what the ninja "needs," you could say that the ninja needs the Open Lock skill as well, since he'll need to open locked doors stealthily in order to reach his target or open locked chests to steal important documents for his noble.
    Of course it'll be arbitrary. When one person thinks of the entire concept and presents it with little to no help at all (and in this case, I barely if ever had any help), it's evident there will be some arbitrariety.

    Also...they have Open Lock. Dunno if you've noticed... And I also gave a reason why that happens.

    I'm getting the distinct feeling that you're placing Ninja as basically an oriental rogue who loses trapfinding to gain an insane amount of wicked combat abilities. And where does this overlapping end? You could make an argument that ninjas need trapfinding too, because undoubtedly some of the more powerful targets would ward their palaces with traps to deter assassins, and is something a ninja would need to overcome.
    Umm...didn't you argue most campaigns usually don't need traps? In case they do, they'll probably go for mechanical traps, not for magical traps, which the Ninja can find (Search) and disable (Disable Device). Magical traps is a bit out of their game, tho.

    Still, that's a point I don't think you've considered. Ninjas, as they stand, are pretty much the equivalent of a Rogue on an oriental setting. Or, perhaps, it's vice-versa: the Rogue works way too well as a Ninja on an oriental setting. The Ninja's skills are meant to overlap a bit too much with the Rogue, as they cover mostly the same. The Rogue, on the other hand, loses a bit of flavor since it was a bit too generic: notice how it doesn't make much of a good swashbuckler, or a good thief? Swashbucklers exist as a class, and while not that good, exercise some points a Rogue kinda misses (Weapon Finesse, dodge bonus, I think even Int to damage but I might be wrong). In the case of thievery, it was subsumed along with natural prestidigitation and hidden weaponry into Sleight of Hand. I could remove Sleight of Hand of the Ninja's list, but it would mean it loses the skill to hide and draw hidden weaponry. On the other part, I could keep it, and all of a sudden the Ninja can steal just as well as the Rogue.

    This is why I'm arguing on the grounds of mechanics and balance, not on fluff. You're simply out-rogue'ing rogues way too much. Without UMD, ninjas would still be much better out of the box, but at least the rogue has the chance to even the playing field if he has access to the magical scrolls and wands that he wants (aka a character made for a mid-high level campaign).

    With the rogue with UMD and the ninja without, the rogue could spend his wealth on wands of true seeing / swift invisibility / ghost strike / blur / mirror image / etc., gaining many of the ninja's built-in abilities, though not all as powerful due to standard action vs. swift action, and some unable to replicate like protection from true seeing. On the other hand, the ninja could spend the equivalent wealth the rogue has to spend to acquire those many things to simply purchase an ability enhancement boost +6 and be better at the only skill checks the rogue had over him.

    Not balance, but close.
    Recall I told I would consider that. I won't hide to you that I don't want to strip the Ninja of UMD mostly because of the imagery of using ancient scrolls or tablets and invoke some magic. However, it opens a bit of a Pandora's Box that perhaps it's a bit too much to leave open.

    Still...that doesn't mean they can't use martial scrolls...

    Yes, so they have access to a bit higher skills (except Hide and Disguise). On the other hand, look at all the abilities that WIS grants the Ninja in my little comparison above -- no sane player would play a rogue and have access to a bit more skill points instead of getting all that. That's the problem.
    Pretty much no sane player would play a melee character. A Sorcerer of all things out-rogues a Rogue in pretty much all it does. Summon Monster find traps for you, Knock opens locks, Invisibility makes you hide much better, plus you get several other bonuses.

    If I don't make it strong enough, no one would want to play a Ninja, Which is kinda the intention.

    But I'll expand a bit more: the idea of adding Wis to attack, damage and AC was drawn straight from a Monk retooling I made. In a way, Monks and Ninja work on a similar trend, where they both manipulate a supernatural power (ki) to enhance themselves, albeit on different methods (Monks tend to go for endurance and physical/mental strength, while Ninjas go for stealth, subterfuge, and the many ways to kill). I had to draw back a bit the power of a Ninja's fist, but I considered that they still needed a good reason to go unarmed. Perhaps it's too strong a reason, but it's not like they'll have such a weak unarmed strike when they are somehow disarmed or left unarmed.

    I might consider making the Ninja's fist deal only a fixed amount of damage, albeit higher than a normal fist. That way, it keeps with the concept of Taijutsu but doesn't step on a Monk's steps.

    You already gave ninjas the abilities to "force" sudden strikes by expending ki points. You could always take it one step further and allow temporary X-strikes by expending ki, though it should be expensive (since it's yet another tacked on ability).

    The fact that they get some limited yet crucial use out of the most powerful skill in the game doesn't justify simply giving it to them, with all that extra power, when there's an easy workaround.
    Actually...perhaps that wasn't so clear. Although it allows you to deal Sudden Strike damage, it was meant to still follow the rules: thus, if you're immune to Sneak Attack damage, you're still immune to it. The ability wasn't ever meant to bypass that immunity, ever.

    1 or 2 points matters at the low levels. Not mid-high.
    You'll never know when that may be of utility. You may never know when you may fail that score because of a 1, or the crucial moment where you can't take 10 because you're 1 or 2 points lower.

    Okay, so a rogue can dip into another class for 1 level without losing anything (as long as it's full BAB class or else they lose 1BAB). Nice, but let's start seeing examples of this awesomeness.
    You could always take a level of Factotum ;) Why you would require +1 BAB, when you can have your Int on attack or damage rolls, at various encounters? You can even replace those feats for Font of Inspiration and make more of it.

    Exemplar is also a decent choice, if only because of having one extra Skill Mastery. Besides, if you were to replace a few more, you can get better benefits.

    Even a dip to Wizard or Sorcerer would do wonders. Since...you'll already have UMD, but you won't need to use it so many times: you'll have access to the Wizard or Sorcerer list, which affects your use of UMD for the better. Plus, some of those utility spells ain't so bad, either.

    You already gave ninjas the ability to beat out True Seeing and anti-invisibility flat out at higher levels. Nobody even has such a powerful ability, rogue or not, and UMD won't even cover this.
    If I didn't gave out those resistances, the Ninja would have pretty much useless abilities. That "powerful" ability isn't powerful because it's game-breaking: it's powerful because True Seeing is game-breaking.

    Besides...Phantom Image doesn't really beat True Seeing. It only reveals those are shadows, which can be taken with a single area attack. Or a fog, if it worries you. They don't have Spell Resistance, and there's area attacks that grant no Reflex saves.

    Also...Phantom Image is only meant to fool using other kinds of sight to detect the real one. It is still meant to be invisible, and that invisibility can be dispelled and/or detected.

    If it's because of Ghost Mind...keep in mind this only affects spells of the (scrying) subschool. Using Invisibility Purge (which is Evocation!!) still knocks the Invisibility down. True Seeing on an Invisible or Ethereal Ninja should still reveal it.

    Perhaps you've meant Mind Blank? If so, Mind Blank is far much more powerful, though I don't think that Mind Blank defeats True Seeing for purposes of revealing the truth.

    Besides, Dust of Disappearance. It is far more broken than the Ninja's ability, and it's insanely cheap.


    Why is this? I'm going by rogue's PHB class description and it calls them stealthy thieves, silver-tongued tricksters, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. Why does suddenly the Ninja need these things more than a rogue?
    1) Ninjas are not thieves. Blame Sleight of Hand for collapsing thievery with hiding weaponry.
    2) If Ninjas can't lie, they are found, hence they fail on their mission.
    3) Ninjas are meant to infiltrate
    4) Ninjas are spies
    5) Ninjas need to know how to speak, how to convince people. They don't do it via intimidation, y'know...
    6) Since when is a Ninja a thug? They don't have Intimidate, the quintessential ability of a thug...

    Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Complete Adventurer, Ninja class, Characteristics, page 9
    Highly skilled spies and assassins, ninjas can master a broad range of skills and combat techniques. Nearly ever ninja perfects the arts of moving quietly and remaining hidden, and her secondary skills define her role in an adventuring party or a community. Many ninjas hone skills that can help them become better spies, mastering the arts of social interaction and disguise. Others take on the roles of cat burglars, practicing skills that help them find and bypass traps and locks.

    In combat, a ninja can deal out devastating blows if her opponent doesn'tk now she's there, but she's not quite as adept as a rogue is at delivering such attacks in a prolonged battle.

    Ninjas jump and climb father and faster than members of most other classes, and they are skilled acrobats as well. Ninjas also receive special training in the use of poisons, and many ninjas employ poisonous weapons in combat.

    Even with these impressive skills, a ninja's most dangerous and remarkable powers involve the ability to step briefly into the Ethereal Plane. By focusing her ki, a ninja can vanish from sight, walk through solid walls, and deal devastating attacks even when not physically present at the scene. As a ninja advances in level, she can turn this ability to defense, causing blows that would otherwise hit to pass harmlessly through her body.
    Bolded points are things that the Ninja is meant to do, and do well. The only italic part that's not ki is something which I know I failed to do (since the 15th level ability completely obviates that). That wasn't me, that's quoted from source, penned by the fluff-writers of D&D.

    However, to make it a bit more like a Ninja, I added something from this and mostly from this.

    If anything, the two abilities that wouldn't fit are Use Magic Device and Use Rope.

    What? Why? I need to take a look at your reference for defining rogues, because at this point it seems to me you think Ninjas are PHB rogues, and rogues are people who just open locks and fail to disarm traps.

    [..]

    Refer to the PHB description of the rogue class. I think you just subconsciously ignored it and shoved rogues to the "i pick locks" side.
    They also are supposed to steal better, be a swashbuckling kind of character that knows how to disarm with a weapon amongst other things, and be intimidating thugs. I think I've explained this a bit more.

    If we are to compare the Rogue description and the Ninja description I provided above, there seems to be a fundamental problem between the two, no? Rogues are also supposed to be master throwers, master jury-riggers, good at appraisal and whatnot.

    If anything, it seems WotC looked at the Ninja and the Rogue and thought they were a bit too similar. I just...well, took it a step further.

    So far the only ability you pointed out that the rogue has over the ninja is some more skill points to play with. Even the sneak attack > sudden strike point becomes thoroughly muted by you level 15 ability. Multiclassing is not a strong argument. A rogue becomes less of a rogue when he leaves the class, rogue20 is very viable. This is not a wizard / cleric / sorcerer that dips away after level 5. The only level where dipping is recommended is level 20, and you're losing at least 1BAB if you're not going for a full BAB class.

    1) You've spent 19 levels of your class, let's say most of your adventuring career so as to not make a reference to metagaming. You decide to gain the skills of another, different class.

    Except for Paladin and Monk, which have those stringent restrictions, taking one level of another class doesn't mean you're less of a rogue than a Rogue 20. If anything, there's a chance you might become more of a Rogue, or perhaps taking your levels specializing a bit beyond that niche, but for all purposes, you're a complete Rogue. Aside from that +1 to BAB (which, if you stated before, apparently don't mean a thing, since you already got the iteratives you'll ever get), you don't get much: a hit die which is only moderately better than the worst, one point in Reflex, 8 skill points. That's about it. By 19th level, you've probably gotten all you will get as a Rogue.

    Of course, you can go Rogue 20. That's not saying it's bad, it's just not as mechanically strong as Rogue 19/Other Class 1. You get an extra point in an ability score, which...you get anyways. And, well...you get to enter epic Rogue levels. At level 21. Which...if you reach that point, congrats since you're meant to be awesome. Here's your reward.

    You can do a viable Fighter 20. Does that still mean any levels more than Fighter 6 are worthwhile? Don't change a thing. Rogue 20 is quite much like a Fighter's odd levels.

    You've just pointed out that rogues require far more items to do what a ninja does than for a ninja to do what a rogue does. The rogue would be burning a very large hole in his pocket for all that to be on par with all the ninja's abilities. The ninja? Well, without armor his AC is most likely going to be higher than the rogue's (+10 armor bonus is equal to a +5 mithral breastplate, nothing to scoff at), but sure, he misses out on the possibility of unique armor enhancements. But he certainly doesn't need a periapt of WIS to even be competitive with a rogue unless he has an absolutely atrocious WIS score and cannot use his abilities, which is unlikely. This is like a wizard "needing" a headband of INT (they don't).
    And for a good reason. You see...the Ninja has a slight advantage in that it doesn't need magic items with the importance than a Rogue does. This is fundamental, since after a certain level, the game expects you'll have magic items. Virtually all monsters will have DR X/magic, high saves, and a plethora of other defenses which are meant to be defeated by the judicious use of magic items. If I were to let the Ninja depend on magic items as a Rogue does, it would be deficient.

    Now, UMD may seem like a dependance on magic items, and for good reason: it is dependance on magic items. Which is why I said I'd give it a good thought. I did wanted to state points showing its advantages and debating that, since making a change without even attempting to argue against it seems rather poor. I argued, and after some convincing, I decided to let Rogues keep UMD almost exclusively (doesn't mean other classes don't get it).

    However, one of the points was that I wanted to ease the dependence of a class on magic items. You can still get a better method of flight, after all, Air Walk isn't the best method of flight. But, it'll cost you. However, if you desperately need a method of flight, you can depend on that method of flight. In a way, it's the same with Invisibility, Blur, and most of the other abilities I gave the Ninja. As they stood, they were weak, and made you run out of ki points so fast, by the time you were around the 3rd or 4th encounter you'd be worthless. Unless you spent your money wisely, in which case those abilities were worthless from the beginning.

    Another point was to make formerly unattractive choices a bit more attractive. Spitting poison is a cool move, but if the DC doesn't scale up as needed, then using it is pointless. Same with the pseudo-breath weapon and the pseudo-grenade.

    If the Ninja has so much abilities, it's because of those two or three reasons. In fact, it isn't even half of the amount of abilities a real spellcaster gets, or heck, even a ToB or spontaneous spellcaster or Binder or psychic gets. But it is the amount of abilities I felt the class needed to be competitive and useful and fun.

    Thanks to you, I fine-tuned some concerns regarding power balance, which I considered after some thought: removing UMD, reducing the 15th level ability duration to 1 full round while keeping the cost and the parameters (and explaining a bit better how it works), amongst other things. Others, I ain't so keen on replacing, either because I desire to remove some taboos (such as no other class than a Rogue having 8+Int skill points, or having a huge skill list) or because I feel they fit more (such as the competence bonus on Hide and Disguise), or because they were meant to make abilities of the earlier class worthwhile (the competence bonus on Jump checks to improve the Great Leap original ability, or the poisons-as-swift-action to get semi-rid of Improved Poison Use which was pointless by the level you got it).

    Your arguments had the reverse effect -- by defending them you pointed out more inherent balance issues between the rogue and the ninja. I think it's pretty clear at this point that Ninja thoroughly trumps rogue here. Some more skill points versus a plethora of powerful abilities.

    Ya, UMD has to go.
    Factotum trumps Rogue as well. Other classes trump Rogue as well. Those balance issues aren't mine, those are balance issues ingrained in the game.

    One final thing: I wish to excuse myself if I sound a bit harsh when responding. For some reason, I feel a similar vibe from your answers, so I somehow got into a defensive mentality. I think I've expressed my thanks that you've pointed those concerns, as they only serve to tweak the class a bit more.

    I hope this serves as a pleasant answer. I still have some stuff to attend to, such as:
    Quote Originally Posted by Krazddndfreek View Post
    How does Art of Exhalation work exactly? Does the target still need to save against the substance as normal after a successful touch attack?
    If it's a poison, of course. Poisons have their save DC.

    If it's an alchemical compound that deals damage, it doesn't. You hit with ranged touch, you deal damage. Since you essentially spit it, you don't expand the range of the alchemical weapon but rather collapse it.

    The cloud ability created by expending ki does not require a touch attack; instead, it only requires a Reflex save. This does have the unfortunate circumstance that you must do two saves against an exhaled poison, or another liquid that grants a saving throw; if the Reflex succeeds, you still get the effects of the poison, but at half power. It's like making the effect of any exhaled liquid SV:Reflex (half). Which means anything with Evasion defeats it.

    Hope this explains it a bit further.
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    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    You argued well, so I'm not going to make a huge rebuttal of any sort (it also takes too long). I'll admit the rogue could be better. Having the ninja class restrained to a rogue-level ceiling is wrong for that reason, so the ninja has some leeway in regards to power.

    You've taken away UMD, which was my only nitpick to the class. Other than that, like I've said before, it is a very well done job of homebrewage. I hope you don't think I only looked at UMD skill being there and that was it. I looked at all aspects of the class, and really the rest looked fine and balanced, which was the reason I never brought them up.

    If I came across as harsh with my response, I'm sorry, I didn't intend it to be. After all, would I post in a homebrew thread if: 1) I didn't think the idea was good 2) I didn't want to give the thread a bump?
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: Revamping the Ninja (without making references to bright orange ninjas at all)

    Quote Originally Posted by Delandel View Post
    You argued well, so I'm not going to make a huge rebuttal of any sort (it also takes too long). I'll admit the rogue could be better. Having the ninja class restrained to a rogue-level ceiling is wrong for that reason, so the ninja has some leeway in regards to power.

    You've taken away UMD, which was my only nitpick to the class. Other than that, like I've said before, it is a very well done job of homebrewage. I hope you don't think I only looked at UMD skill being there and that was it. I looked at all aspects of the class, and really the rest looked fine and balanced, which was the reason I never brought them up.

    If I came across as harsh with my response, I'm sorry, I didn't intend it to be. After all, would I post in a homebrew thread if: 1) I didn't think the idea was good 2) I didn't want to give the thread a bump?
    We never intend to be harsh, but sometimes nitpicking gets the best of us.

    But yeah, that prompted some discussion and made me realize UMD was a tad too much for what the Ninja could do. Again, I still feel a bit bad I can't replicate the "ninja scroll magic" ability, but the benefits far outweighed the intention (a bit of a reversal, where instead of the penalties, it's the benefits that cause the trouble)

    As for the Rogue, it already can be good, but it requires having the player knowing how to use him. Most of the good stuff of the Rogue is letting him have UMD without being a magic-inclined class of any sort, but there's several things that make the Rogue good without requiring UMD for them.

    Also, posting on a homebrew thread and speaking that the idea is not good can be, ironically, good for the class. It involves having the 'brewer think again of the class, think about what it can be done or what it must be removed for the sake of mechanical effectiveness and ties to archetype. So yeah, that's why I usually say "speak what you like, even if what you wanna say is 'the class sucks more than a black hole sucks light'"; because it serves as an opposing point that needs to be solved.

    Also, bumps are never bad :P
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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