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Thread: [3.5] Ninja

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    Default [3.5] Ninja

    A friend of mine wants to play a Ninja. As we all know, the actual Ninja in Complete Adventurer sucks rocks. Swordsage makes an excellent Ninja, but the player in question does not want to learn Tome of Battle, and in general does not want a "complex" class. Rogue would work ok, but again the player doesn't want to deal with the hassle of wands, and thus would have a hard time keeping up with the more veteran players in the group.

    So this homebrew is an attempt to resolve this issue. Making a simple, fun Ninja. This is my current result:

    The Ninja


    Hit Die: d6

    Skills Per Day at 1st Level : (8 + Int) x 4

    Skills Per Day at Each Additional Level : 8 + Int

    Class Skills: The Ninja's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (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).

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ninja are proficient with all simple weapons plus the bastard sword (katana), hand crossbow, kama, nunchaku, sai, siangham, shortbow, short sword and shuriken. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

    {table=head]Level | BAB | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special | Ki Power
    1st | + 0 | + 0 | + 2 | + 0 | Trapfinding, Bonus feat, Ki Power, Ninjutsu | 2
    2nd | + 1 | + 0 | + 3 | + 0 | Sudden Strike 1d6, Uncanny Dodge | 2
    3rd | + 2 | + 1 | + 3 | + 1 | Ninjutsu | 3
    4th | + 3 | + 1 | + 4 | + 1 | Sudden Strike 2d6, Poison Use | 4
    5th | + 3 | + 1 | + 4 | + 1 | Ninjutsu | 5
    6th | + 4 | + 2 | + 5 | + 2 | Sudden Strike 3d6, Sense Chakra | 6
    7th | + 5 | + 2 | + 5 | + 2 | Ninjutsu | 7
    8th | + 6 | + 2 | + 6 | + 2 | Sudden Strike 4d6, Evasion | 8
    9th | + 6 | + 3 | + 6 | + 3 | Ninjutsu | 9
    10th | + 7 | + 3 | + 7 | + 3 | Sudden Strike 5d6, Elude Detection | 10
    11th | + 8 | + 3 | + 7 | + 3 | Ninjutsu | 12
    12th | + 9 | + 4 | + 8 | + 4 | Sudden Strike 6d6, Conservation of Ninjutsu | 14
    13th | + 9 | + 4 | + 8 | + 4 | Ninjutsu | 16
    14th | + 10 | + 4 | + 9 | + 4 | Sudden Strike 7d6, Improved Uncanny Dodge | 18
    15th | + 11 | + 5 | + 9 | + 5 | Ninjutsu | 20
    16th | + 12 | + 5 | + 10 | + 5 | Sudden Strike 8d6, Improved Evasion | 22
    17th | + 12 | + 5 | + 10 | + 5 | Ninjutsu | 24
    18th | + 13 | + 6 | + 11 | + 6 | Sudden Strike 9d6, Mind Blank | 26
    19th | + 14 | + 6 | + 11 | + 6 | Ninjutsu | 28
    20th | + 15 | + 6 | + 12 | + 6 | Sudden Strike 10d6, Incomparable Speed | 30
    [/table]

    Class Abilities:

    Trapfinding (Ex): As per the Rogue ability.

    Bonus Feat: At 1st level a Ninja may select either Weapon Finesse, Quickdraw, or Exotic Weapon Proficiency as a bonus feat, even if they do not otherwise meet the pre-requisites of the feat.

    Ki Power (Su): Each Ninja gains a pool of energy created by their personal life force and experience, which they may use to fuel their Ninjutsu abilities. This pool increases as they gain additional Ninja levels (see chart above). Refilling the Ki Power pool requires spending 10 minutes of meditation and rest during which they may not expend Ki Power points or take any any action more stressful then walking.

    Ninjutsu (Su): At every odd Ninja class level the Ninja selects a new Ninjutsu ability from the list below. If an ability requires a Saving Throw, the DC is 10 + 1/2 the Ninja class level + his Dexterity bonus. Unless otherwise noted, a Ninjutsu is an Immediate Action to activate. The Ninja may choose to use a Move or Standard Action during their turn instead of an Immediate Action to activate a Ninjutsu if they wish.
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    Abundant Step (Minimum 11th level): For every point of their Ki Power that the Ninja expends to activate this ability, the Ninja may instantly teleport 10 ft (20 ft if they expend 2 points, 30 if they expend 3, etc) to any unoccupied space within line of sight. After using this ability, you canít take any other actions until the start of your next turn, including Immediate Actions and attacks of opportunity. You can bring along objects as long as their weight doesnít exceed your maximum load. You may not bring any other creatures along. If you attempt to teleport into a solid object, the ability fails and the points of Ki Power are wasted. If activating this ability was in reaction to an attack, and it moves the Ninja completely outside of the area of effect, range, or reach of the attack, then that attack fails.

    Acrobatics: For every point of their Ki Power that the Ninja expends to activate this ability, the Ninja gains +5 enhancement bonus to their Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, and Tumble checks for one minute. The Ninja may expend a maximum of four points of Ki Power on this ability, for a maximum enhancement bonus of +20. While this ability is active the Ninja does not take any penalties for moving at full speed or running for these Skill checks, and if you do not get a running start your Jump checks do not have their DCís doubled.

    Bleeding Strike (Minimum 5th level): By expending two points of their Ki Power, for one minute whenever the Ninja damages an opponent with a Sudden Strike, the enemy takes 1 additional point of damage each round at the stat of the Ninja's turn until they receive any form of healing (including magical healing, Fast Healing, Regeneration, or First Aid from the Heal Skill). Damage from multiple bleeding strikes are cumulative.

    Chakra Cripple (Minimum 9th level): By expending four points of their Ki Power, for one minute whenever the Ninja damages an opponent with a Sudden Strike, the enemy also takes 1 point of Wisdom damage. Damage from multiple Chakra Cripples attacks are cumulative.

    Death Attack (Minimum 7th level): By expending four points of their Ki Power, the Ninja may make a Death Attack. This ability is the same as the Assassin ability of the same name (requires observation of the target for 3 rounds and the target must not perceive the Ninja as a threat), with the exception of the fact that it uses the Ninja's Dexterity based Save DC, and requires an Immediate Action and the expenditure of Ki Power in order to trigger when the Ninja makes the Death Attack.

    Invisibility: By expending one point of their Ki Power the Ninja becomes Invisible until the start of their next turn. Attacking does not dispel this Invisibility. If the Ninja expends three additional points of their Ki Power, then creatures who are capable of detecting Invisible creatures (such as those with See Invisibility, Tremorsense, etc) must make a Spot or Listen check (their choice) opposed by the Ninja's Hide or Listen check (as appropriate) to bypass the Ninja's Invisibility.

    Fast Movement: For every point of their Ki Power that the Ninja expends to activate this ability, the Ninja gains +10 ft bonus to all of their base movement speeds for one minute. (+10 if they expend one point, +20 if they expend two, and so on).

    Flash-Bang: By expending two points of their Ki Pool, the Ninja may create a 10 ft radius explosion of light within a range of 60 ft. This explosion deals no damage, but creatures within the area must make a Reflex Save or be Blinded for 1 round.

    Genjitsu: For every point of their Ki Power that the Ninja expends to activate this ability, the Ninja gains +5 enhancement bonus to their Bluff, Disguise, and Sleight of Hand checks for one minute. The Ninja may expend a maximum of four points of Ki Pool on this ability, for a maximum enhancement bonus of +20. As part of the Immediate Action which triggers this ability, the Ninja may immediately make a Disguise check to change appearances, and hide (or reveal, if previously hidden) the magic auras of any item they are carrying as if they had cast the Magic Aura spell. Anyone who can see the Ninja at the time they take this action can see that they have changed appearances though, so Ninja will often wait until they are alone, Hide, or go Invisible first.

    Ghost Step (Minimum 11th level): By expending two points of their Ki Power the Ninja becomes Incorporeal during any movement that they take until the start of their next turn. This allows the Ninja to move unseen, without provoking attacks of opportunity, move directly through walls and enemies, and move across non-solid surfaces or vertically as if walking on air. This ability does not allow the Ninja to attack or take any other actions other then movement while Incorporeal, even if it is done as part of or at the end of movement (such as Flyby Attack, Spring Attack, or a Charge).

    Ghost Strike: By expending one point of their Ki Power, for one minute all attacks made by the Ninja gain the Ghost Touch property and count as magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. By expending an additional four points of their Ki Pool, the Ninja may also ignore the miss chance from any source (magic, psionics, Ninjutsu, concealment) for the duration of this ability.

    Nature Manipulation (minimum 3rd level): Choose one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic). By expending one point of their Ki Power, for one minute the Ninja may convert the bonus damage from their Sudden Strike into that type of energy. Once the energy type is chosen the choice is permanent. However, the Ninja may choose the Nature Manipulation Ninjutsu more then once if they wish, gaining a new Energy type each time. This ability allows the Ninja to damage creatures who are otherwise immune to Precision Damage (plants, undead, constructs, etc), assuming that they are denied their Dexterity bonus, which is still required to trigger Sudden Strike. Other effects triggered by Sudden Strike (such as Feats like Craven or Ninjutsu like Bleeding Attack) continue to function normally when Nature Manipulation is used.

    Nature Release (requires Nature Manipulation): By expending three points of their Ki Power, as a Standard Action the Ninja may make an elemental attack. This attack deals damage equal to the total amount of Sudden Strike damage that they Ninja is capable of dealing, plus any additional effects from other Feats and Ninjutsu triggered by Sudden Strike such as Bleeding Attack and Chakra Cripple (if they are active). The type of elemental damage it deals and the form of the attack that the Ninja can make depends on the type(s) of energy they are capable of using with Nature Manipulation:
    • Acid: Any 4 contiguous spaces targeted within 60 ft of the Ninja.
    • Cold: 30 ft cone.
    • Electricity: 60 ft line.
    • Fire: 20 ft radius burst, targeted within 60 ft of the ninja.
    • Sonic: 15 ft radius burst centered on the Ninja.

    In each case, the Ninja never takes damage from their own Nature Release attack. A target which is hit by a nature release attack may make a Reflex Save. If they succeed on this Save they take half damage, and do not suffer any additional effects from other Ninjutsu or Feats triggered by Sudden Strike from this attack.

    Phantom Sound: By expending one point of their Ki Power, the Ninja may create a sound, which emanates from any space (including occupied spaces) within 50 feet of the Ninja for up to one round. The sound can be anything that the Ninja is familiar with - talking, singing, shouting, walking, marching, running, a door slamming, a sword being drawn, creature noises, etc., as long as the volume of the sound is not louder that which can be produced by an average human. Each creature which hears the sound is entitled to a Willpower Save to disbelieve it, and if they succeed they realize that it was a false sound created by the Ninja. If the Ninja attempts to create a sound which mimics a specific creature (for example, false orders which emanate from the enemy's leader), each creature which hears it is also entitled to a Sense Motive check (opposed by the Ninja's Bluff check) to realize that it is false. By expending one additional point of their Ki Pool, the Ninja may instead make a very loud noise (up to a the volume of 20 humans shouting), which will also Deafen any creature who is in the space that the sound emanates from for the duration of the sound (up to one 1 round). A Fortitude Save negates the Deafen effect. This is a mind-affecting effect.

    See Chakra (Minimum 7th level): By expending four points of their Ki Power, for one minute the Ninja expands their ability to sense chakra to the point that they can detect and pinpoint the thoughts of living beings within 100 feet. This allows the Ninja to "hear" the surface thoughts and strong emotions of creatures within range, and to pinpoint the exact square that they are in, even through walls and other solid objects. The Ninja also gains a +10 Insight bonus to all Sense Motive checks against any effected targets. Each creature within the area is entitled to a Willpower Save. Passing this Save allows the target to elude all of the effects of this ability for one minute. This is a mind-affecting effect.

    Shadow Clone: For every point of their Ki Power that the Ninja expends to activate this ability, the Ninja creates a shadow clone. This ability duplicates the Mirror Image spell, with the exception that the number of clone/images created is equal to the number of Ki Pool you expend to create it, and the effect only lasts for 1 minute. If the Ninja becomes Invisible while this effect is active his clones also become Invisible (and thus have no effect on enemies), but they reappear when the Invisibility effect ends.

    Smoke Bomb: By expending two points of their Ki Pool, the Ninja may create a 10 ft radius explosion within a range of 50 ft. This explosion deals no damage, but creates an area of thick smoke within it's area of effect for one round. Anyone within the smoke or attacking through it has total concealment (50%). If the Ninja is within the area of smoke, then as part of this action,the Ninja may also make a Bluff check (opposed by the Sense Motive check of observers) to create a distraction in order to Hide, even if they are being observed.


    Sudden Strike(Ex): Against enemies that are denied their Dexterity bonus, the Ninja deals extra damage. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and it increases by 1d6 every two Ninja levels thereafter. Sudden strike damage is never multiplied by a critical hit or other effect. Sudden Strike only functions on attacks against enemies within 30 feet of the Ninja. Creatures that are immune to Sneak Attack are also immune to Sudden Strike. Sudden Strike may be used to qualify for and trigger any feat or Prestige Classes in place of Sneak Attack.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As per the Rogue ability. If the Ninja has or later gains Uncanny Dodge from another class or prestige class (but not a magic item), he instead gains Improved Uncanny Dodge, and his levels of Ninja stack to determine the effectiveness of the ability.

    Poison Use (Ex): Ninja are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon. A Ninja may apply one dose of any poison he is carrying to any weapon that he is holding as an Immediate Action. If he chooses, as part of this action he may attempt a Sleight of Hand check (opposed by the enemies' Spot check) to conceal that he is doing this.

    In addition, as a full round action that provokes and attack of opportunity a Ninja may extract one use of poison from a dead creature that normally produces poison in life. The creature must have been killed in the last 24 hours, and the extraction process may only be done once per dead creature. This poison has the same effects as it did for the creature it was extracted from.

    Sense Chakra (Su): Ninja have an intuitive sense capable of detecting chakra. This ability allows them to continuously discern the general direction of any living creature within 100 feet, even through walls and other barriers (but not their exact space). It also allows the Ninja to discern the general power level (very strong, weak, etc) and general intent (hostile, friendly, resting) of creatures within range, assuming that they are not trying to convince or deceive the Ninja of something (in which case the Ninja would have to use Sense Motive as per the normal rules).

    Evasion (Ex): As per the Rogue ability. If the Ninja has or later gains Evasion from another class or prestige class (but not a magic item), he instead gains Improved Evasion.

    Elude Detection (Su): Ninja are extremely well versed in avoiding detection and misleading their enemies, as if under a continuous Nondetection effect. This ability also prevents detection from the Sense Chakra and See Chakra abilities of other Ninja, which require a level check (d20 + Ninja level + Ninja's Dexterity bonus) to function normally.

    The Save DC to detect a Ninja with any such effect is 20 + their Ninja class level. If any such check fails by 5 or more, then the Ninja may provide false information if they wish (providing the wrong location, an incorrect alignment, false thoughts, etc).

    Conservation of Ninjutsu (Ex): In any fight with a highly skilled Ninja, it seems as if there is only a finite amount of martial ability available to each side in a given encounter. As a result, one Ninja is a deadly threat, but an army of them are cannon fodder. At the start of each round count the total number of enemies that the Ninja is fighting, and then subtract the total number of allies that the Ninja currently has fighting with him (including the Ninja himself). If the result is positive, the ninja gains it as a Dodge bonus to his Armor Class until the end of the round, up to a maximum bonus of his Ninja class level. Dodge bonuses do not apply when the Ninja is denied their Dexterity bonus. Enemies which are not directly fighting against the Ninja's party (such as enemy combatants on another part of the battlefield, or enemies who are watching or are otherwise in close proximity but not acting against the Ninja or his party) do not count in this calculation.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As per the the Rogue ability.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): As per the Rogue ability.

    Mind Blank (Su): The Ninja's ability to hide has expended to the point where they are under a continuous Mind Blank effect. The Ninja may activate or suppress this ability at will as an Immediate Action.

    Incomparable Speed (Ex): The Ninja gains one additional Immediate or Swift Action each round (for a total of 2 such actions).



    I'm interested in any and all commentary.
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2013-07-23 at 08:29 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Why not replace "sense chakra" with detect thoughts at will? It would still give you the sensing life force thing, and detect thoughts is a suitably ninja-like ability.

    Conservation of ninjutsu is pretty ridiculous and kind of a lame capstone. I would give them infinite ki points at level 20.

    I really like the various ninjutsus. Good work!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    its a nice class really. as a sugestion u can add some feature to give him some flat dmg bonus like wisdom insightfull strike?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    I agree that it's a bit of a lame capstone, but otherwise it all seems solid!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    As a fellow Ninja 'brewer, it's certainly an interesting take.

    The first thing I like is that you dealt with ki as a renewable resource, which does merit the duration of its abilities being shorter than one minute. I always found ki abilities lasting for one round was really a bad idea, and the way they tried to fix that was really, really wrong (spend two points of ki, the ability lasts for 2 rounds?). While the idea of 1/2 your Ninja level for ki abilities seems kinda low, the fact you could add your Wisdom to that ability was a good saving grace. Part of what I found when dealing with ki abilities was that "going nova" (as in, expending all your ki points) could be dangerous, given that some of their abilities were expected to be linked to the ki pool itself. I notice that you wouldn't attempt to use your ki abilities at 1st level, since your sole use of ki would leave you pretty much defenseless (having light armor apply is good, but the loss of Wis at any moment can be a tad devastating if you're in the heat of battle, flanked or otherwise unable to escape), and later on the idea of losing one of your coolest abilities because of ki expenditure can be downright fatal (remember that every 2 points of Wisdom becomes a 5% chance to prevent being hit, so having at least a 14 Wis and then losing your Wis to AC means you'll be hit 10% more, which is bad for a Roguish character). I'd suggest ninja level + Wis modifier (much like before), since that will make the character slightly Wis dependant BUT will allow you to have a decent pool for when you use the ki-hogging abilities.

    Going with Ninjutsu, I find that some of the abilities still cause troubles. Invisibility, which is quite evidently their chief ability, is better at the beginning but starts to fail real quick when you start finding ways to gain Greater Invisibility. Also, not very sure if 4 points of ki really merit the benefit of Darkstalker, since you could otherwise get the feat and ignore the use of ki anyways (and you can take Darkstalker from 1st level, so you'd be saving a feat slot for a near-permanent higher expenditure of ki). 4 points of ki should buy you a minute or so (I'd say 10, because while you can recharge the ability you'll be running out of Invisibility real fast and depending on your natural Hide, which without Darkstalker means you might ping on magical senses without much trouble.

    I find a bit odd that Genjutsu doesn't grant a (Nystul's) Magic Aura effect; it might seem a bit of fluff over crunch, but if you're going to make a Disguise check you might as well want to make it as effective as possible. Having your entire set of items remain undetectable upon magic sensors does a LOT to aid your Disguise, since you would read to their senses as a commoner, or any other non-magical creature or job you're trying to hide as. Nothing can be worse as suddenly finding yourself with all your magic items revealing you're more than the commoner you seem to be. It's also a nice trick for assassinations, which the class seems to be fond of.

    I oddly perceive some of the special attacks are too similar to those from Naruto (mention of chakra which is a Hindi/Buddhist term, for example), when the fluff harkens to ninja flicks. Recall that chakra is already used in-game for Incarnum, which might cause fluff dissonance (unless the idea is to blend the fluff of ki and Incarnum as two parts of the same ability), and Naruto isn't the best example of Ninjutsu, going quite far into the magic territory. Sense Chakra could be refluffed as Sense Lifeforce (since what you're doing is essentially Lifeforce) and Chakra Cripple could be renamed Mind Cripple. I say this because you've done a nice work trying to distance a bit from Naruto ninja fluff aside from that.

    All in all, it's still a bit too far from Tier 3, since while you can do a lot more than before it's still not enough. You have more chances to land Sudden Strike, but still depend on its reading which means you can't flank at all (in fact, you could have gotten rid of Sudden Strike altogether and just go Sneak Attack, because you'd be only capable of doing so via Invisibility and a few one-hit tricks); the abilities are good, fluffy and worthwhile but their use is quite limited (at 4-5 uses of ki per turn, you'll be running out of abilities real fast, and without UMD you'd be no better than a Rogue at its work), and while not treading upon the Rogue's work, you don't have enough abilities to compensate the utility of a good Rogue, or the flexibility of a Swordsage, to really call this Tier 3. Probably high Tier 4 (you are a master of killing, but only on limited occasions before having to rest) or low Tier 3, but not mid-Tier 3 which I feel is your target build goal. Maybe reconsidering the amount of ki you can have at once or the ki expenditure might aid a lot in raising the utility of the class.

    Also, a question: how "complex" your player doesn't want his Ninja to be? Tally of ki points is enough bookkeeping to make the class a bit complex, plus all the sudden boosts to bonuses. I can admit Swordsage can be a bit complex sometimes (what with all the maneuvers you know versus the maneuvers you can ready, and with the flawed recovery mechanic that really begs for Adaptive Style), but Rogue isn't that complex if you think about it (even with UMD).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Oskar, I really must dispute one claim on your end; to Americans, Naruto is going too far into magic territory, but the same isn't true of the Japanese. Ninjas were the boogeyman of that culture for awhile, and even today legends credit ninjas with being able to summon their allies from nowhere, slay (or summon) demons, teleport, kill without touching you, et cetera, so forth. For the Western equivalent, think Witches/Warlocks; they can do anything, because they just can.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Conservation of Ninjutsu (Ex): In any fight with a highly skilled Ninja, it seems as if there is only a finite amount of martial ability available to each side in a given encounter. As a result, one Ninja is a deadly threat, but an army of them are cannon fodder. At the start of each round count the total number of enemies that the Ninja is fighting, and then subtract the total number of allies that the Ninja currently has fighting with him (including the Ninja himself). The ninja gains this result as a Dodge bonus to their Armor Class until the end of the round, up to a maximum bonus of +20. Dodge bonuses do not apply when the Ninja is denied their Dexterity bonus. Enemies which are not directly fighting against the Ninja's party (such as enemy combatants on another part of the battlefield, or enemies who are watching or are otherwise in close proximity but not acting against the Ninja or his party) do not count in this calculation.
    As others have stated, this ability is fairly weak, even at earlier levels. Encounters that will grant the ninja more than a +2 or +3 to AC will be unusual, and instances that actually give the ninja a penalty to AC (which is possible by the current wording) will be far more common.

    Another issue with the wording: The sentence "The ninja gains this result as a Dodge bonus to their Armor Class until the end of the round" could be interpreted to mean that this bonus is added to the entire party's AC. I recommend changing "their" to "his" to keep it consistent with the rest of the text and eliminate possible confusion.

    I agree with others that an expanded Ki pool would be a pretty sweet capstone. Double would probably suffice if you don't want to go with the unlimited that has been suggested.

    Sudden strike does cause something of a conundrum. Without it, the Ninja is going to be doing diddly squat for damage (even with poison, which a lot of thing are immune to), which is further complicated by Str being something of a dump stat. With it, a player is going to want to activate it as often as possible, which means getting invisibility-related ninjitsu stuff, no questions asked. This means that everyone will choose that option, which makes it a "mandatory option." I would either make it easier to activate or provide the class with other options for setting it up.

    This class still suffers from the MAD issues of its predecessor. It needs Str for non-sudden strike damage, Dex to help its poor AC and so it can go first, Con because everyone (especially front-liners like the ninja) needs Con, Int is tempting (though not strictly necessary) due to the number of skills available, and Cha is probably the least important but still desirable due to the number of social skills on its list. Granting Zen archery as a bonus feat causes more problems than it solves, I think, because it tricks players into thinking they can dump Dex, which means that both their initiative and already low AC will suffer. And when they run out of Ki points (which will inevitably happen), their AC is going to suck even harder. I'm not sure how to fix this, but I felt it was important to point out.

    Other stuff: Poison use isn't shown on the table. Why don't they get proficiency with the katana that is shown in the picture? A lot of the Ninjitsu abilities don't describe the type of action it takes to activate them. What if they got see invisibility before they got true seeing (to help detect other ninjas for epic invisible ninja battles)? How about some teleport Ninjitsu stuff to help deal with battlefield control (Ghost Step also seems like an ability tax and doesn't solve problems like forcecage)?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Oskar, I really must dispute one claim on your end; to Americans, Naruto is going too far into magic territory, but the same isn't true of the Japanese. Ninjas were the boogeyman of that culture for awhile, and even today legends credit ninjas with being able to summon their allies from nowhere, slay (or summon) demons, teleport, kill without touching you, et cetera, so forth. For the Western equivalent, think Witches/Warlocks; they can do anything, because they just can.
    This having a lot to do with the idea that people who broke the rules of society and defied the emperor must be magically powerful.

    That and the fact that ninja is basically used in Japanese fiction as a term for bandits and their fairy derivatives [or equivalent] from European lore.

    Chakra, incidentally, means "Wheel" in Sanskrit [in a specific tense] and is still used in sort of lay-medicine terms to describe places where many blood/lymph vessels or many nerves meet in parts of India.

    Sense Ki would probably be a valid name, but then again, i can't really see an issue with the character sensing Chakras...everyone has them, it's just that Incarnum users have opened them [which is a mystical transformation in itself] and it's not supposed that animals truly have them [as animals can't achieve enlightenment].
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    thats one hawt ninja
    Anyway, except for the capstone I really liked it.
    But I'll have to dispute that the Ninja from CA is actually decent, my first charecter was one and I got to level 10 without any problems, in fact it remains my faivorate char to this day
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Ki Pool formula simply being "class level" means most players will never use their Ninjutsus 'til level 3-5ish. This makes a very boring early class. Because you're going for renewable Ki, I'd use the CAdv ki pool formula: half class level (minimum 1) + wis bonus. This would mean the typical ninja would start with 3-5ish and end with 15-17ish vs starting with 1 and ending with 20.

    Re: capstone. Read the thread in the Roleplaying Section to understand where he's coming from.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    Re: capstone. Read the thread in the Roleplaying Section to understand where he's coming from.
    I get the joke, but that doesn't mean it can't provide a more exciting benefit. Heck, you could even keep it the way it is, it just needs to be moved to a [much] lower level. The argument is that a small bonus/penalty to AC is hardly worth staying in a class until 20 for, not that the joke isn't funny.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurd Juris View Post
    Why not replace "sense chakra" with detect thoughts at will? It would still give you the sensing life force thing, and detect thoughts is a suitably ninja-like ability.
    Something like that would be a good idea for a Ninjutsu. My goal was to keep the continuous abilities (Uncanny Dodge et al) separate from the Ki abilities (Invisibility et al). But I think I'll just add a Ninjutsu which expands the use of Sense Chakra, and give it a level requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurd Juris View Post
    Conservation of ninjutsu is pretty ridiculous and kind of a lame capstone. I would give them infinite ki points at level 20.
    Yeah, I agree with you and others that it needs work. I'll probably move Conservation of Ninjutsu to a much earlier level, and think up a new capstone.


    Quote Originally Posted by pilvento View Post
    its a nice class really. as a sugestion u can add some feature to give him some flat dmg bonus like wisdom insightfull strike?
    I might work something like that in. I want to avoid the jumble of having too many bonuses to damage. But I agree with you and ArcanistSupreme that I need to clean up the MAD.


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    The first thing I like is that you dealt with ki as a renewable resource, [snip]
    I agree that I need to smooth it out.

    Ideally, I want the Ninja to be able to use it's powers every combat, but without going nova. Specifically, at some point in it's progression a Ninja can essentially have Greater Invisibility for the majority of combat. This creates several DM headaches, like having to use a lot more area of effect attacks, have enemies with magical counter measures, super high Spot, etc. For a Complete Adventurer Ninja it's level 2, although it's limited to one or two combats per game day. I'm thinking it's appropriate ECL 7-8ish, when a Wizard can use Greater Invisibility regularly.

    I think I'm going to add a separate Ki pool column on the character chart. Start them with 2 Ki, have it progress slowly, and then increase rapidly at higher levels.


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I find a bit odd that Genjutsu doesn't grant a (Nystul's) Magic Aura effect;
    That's a very good idea. I'll add it.


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Fluff
    RE: Fluff, I fully admit that I SUCK at it. I'm great at crunch and a solid DM, but my creative writing is severely lacking. So if people have suggestions for renaming things and any other fluff text, I would appreciate it.


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Also, a question: how "complex" your player doesn't want his Ninja to be?
    Ideally it would be simpler then ToB, but more interesting then a Rogue. ToB isn't that complex in theory - pick maneuver and stance cards, use each combat, renew using some mechanic - but in practice having a hundred or so maneuvers to choose from renders it too complex for a new player.

    The goal for my Ninja is to essentially distill down the best parts of being a Ninja into 20ish thematically appropriate abilities, and have all of them be either continuous or run off of the same Ki pool or some other easy to follow mechanic. I don't think that keeping track of one energy pool is that complex.

    But if people have an alternative methodology, I'm open to it. Perhaps I should just rewrite the abilities so that they're ToB maneuvers, and make the use/ready/recovery mechanic as dirt simple as possible?


    I'm going to take in all of the commentary and do a rewrite, which I'll post in the next few days. Thank you to everyone. Any additional discussion is most welcome.
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2011-02-08 at 04:14 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    OK, a mostly new version is up. I've incorporated most of the very helpful comments into it. Highlights:
    • More Ki points.
    • Class is now entirely Dexterity dependent. Although Wisdom fits for fluff, mechanically it made little sense. Also, I wanted to differentiate the Ninja from the Swordsage, Monk, and Psychic Warrior.
    • Virtually all Ninjutsu are an Immediate Action to activate. This gives the Ninja more flexibility, and a more unique mechanic to play with.
    • Ninjutsu were added and reworked to incorporate comments.
    • Brand new capstone and abilities.


    Again, any and all commentary are welcome.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Overall, great! I like all the ninjutsu, I like how you've reworked the ki pool, I like it a lot! But ... Well, let's see what this new capstone allows you to do, assuming you're only 20th level. You can now activate two ninjutsu abilities/round or use a scroll of a spell that takes a swift action. A good ability, and something I think they should get, but as a capstone? Meh.

    Give me something powerful! Something ninja-y! Something flashy, if that's the ninja you're going for, or something stealthy if not. This should be a reward for not multiclassing or PrCing in twenty whole levels! Make me completely undetectable by divination, even from Divine Salient Abilities! Let me be able to Hadouken a couple times a day! Maybe something like:

    Ultimate Ninja Art: You are the ninja apotheosis. The apex of stealth, magic and speed combined. From this point forward, you may treat any hide, move silently, search and disable device roll as a 20, even under pressure. In addition, you may pick one ninjutsu technique you know, and reduce its cost by (#) points, to a minimum of zero.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Overall, it looks much better. MAD is gone, and the ki pool looks nice. The capstone is moving in the right direction, but I still feel like it's not quite enough. What about spending 15 points to take another turn as an immediate action?

    Some other comments:
    • Invisibility is still a ninjitsu tax if anyone wants to use sudden strike. What about a flashbang ability that's an AoE blind for X rounds? That way, it also gives teammates the benefits of flat-footed opponents and it's another way to set up SS even for enemies that have see invisibility.
    • Give the ninja proficiency with the bastard sword so it can use katanas
    • Poison use is not on the table.
    • The ninja still has no method of dealing with crowd control spells except for ghost step. Some kind of short-range teleport would be cool.
    • The wording of conservation of ninjitsu is still confusing. See my previous post.
    • Does smoke bomb create nonmagical smoke that follows the normal dispersion rules, or is it magic smoke with a different duration?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    A Dimension Door Ninjutsu would be cool. "Wait, where'd he go?" *Gurk*

    'Sides that, very cool. I have a player who played a CA Ninja for a while. We all saw first-hand how it really was awful. This is much more interesting and significantly more useful.

    /approve
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    What about adding the Autohypnosis skill to their list of class skills (as long as the monk gets it too)?

    What about spending a Ki to gain the Dark template (Tome of Magic) for a short while?

    I'd give them slippery mind, so they can qualify for more PrCs out there that require it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Change log:
    • Flash-Bang Ninjutsu added. It's an Immediate Action Save or Blind effect. This gives the Ninja another option for Sudden Strike in addition to Invisibility. It has the added benefit of helping your allies, but has the down side of allowing a Save.
    • Bastard sword (katana) added to default weapon proficiencies. I was reluctant to add it because at first level they're already a fairly strong class (strong Skills, limited bonus feat, Trap Finding, and a fairly potent list of Ninjutsu which can be used 2 rounds of every combat assuming that you can rest 10 minutes between them). But hey, it's a bastard sword. An extra 1-2 points of damage isn't that big of a deal compared to the added fluff value.
    • Poison Use is on the table. It's the 4th level ability (early, when Poison is still useful). Also, I'm of the opinion that non-Evil characters should be allowed to use poison (is it really more painful bludgeoning/stabbing/burning a person to death?) But if people have some alternative or addition for Good Ninja, I'm open to ideas.
    • Removed Skirt (extra 5 ft step), and added the superior Abundant Step (Dimension Door). Unlike the Monk's Abundant Step, it's an Immediate Action, which allows you to use it to avoid attacks. It also has a more limited range, though obviously you can use it a lot more often.
    • Reworded Conservation of Ninjutsu: Now explicitly only applies if you are outnumbered (and gain a bonus), and it only applies to the Ninja.
    • Smoke Bomb: Clarified that it only lasts for one round. I know that's short, but again keep in mind that it's an Immediate Action. If timed and aimed correctly you can give your entire party 50% concealment for one round, which is a fairly strong option, especially at low levels.
    • Added Autohypnosis as a class Skill.
    • I decided not to add Dark template as an option, as most of it's abilities would be redundant, and you can buy the Dark template with a magic item.
    • I didn't include Slippery Mind because it's redundant with Mind Blank, and because at mid levels I want the Ninja to actually have a few weaknesses. Andion, what PrC require Slippery Mind? I couldn't think of any.


    I'm thinking through various capstone options. I agree that the Ninja should have something amazing, but I don't want them to be completely un-Spot-able.

    Thanks again. Additional commentary is always welcome.
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2011-02-11 at 10:37 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    I dunno if you could add anything more (aside from more Ninjutsu). The way I see the chassis organized, adding a new class ability would effectively break that symmetry, unless it was added at 11th level where you'd be capable of retaining some sense of symmetry between abilities. However, it might be a tad hard to figure what ability to add.

    While not a capstone option, I have an ability I haven't released yet within my retools, intended for a PrC (*coughcoughAssassincoughcough*), which aids a bit on properly using Hide and Move Silently beyond 10th level or so, by reducing the penalties to both skills when moving. I perceive it as a class ability (quite probably at 11th level would work, since the idea is to make Hide better), but you decide whether it's good for Ninjutsu or not. Anyways, here's how it's redacted:

    Improved Stealth (Ex): At 5th level, an assassin may move at her full speed without taking a -5 penalty on Hide or Move Silently checks. Furthermore, an assassinís penalty for running or charging while using Hide or Move Silently are reduced by 10, as well as attacking while hiding.

    Oh yeah, I also remembered: Autohypnosis = Kuji-kiri. Nice one.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-02-11 at 11:07 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ei/20030418a is one that comes to mind.

    How about retaining your dexterity bonus to AC while climbing?

    What about ignoring the penalty for accelerated movement while balancing, or reducing the penalty for accelerated tumbling?

    How about spending Ki to make a full attack against a flat-footed target as a standard action as an ability?
    Last edited by Andion Isurand; 2011-02-11 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Ch-ch-changes!
    Awesome. This all looks really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I'm thinking through various capstone options. I agree that the Ninja should have something amazing, but I don't want them to be completely un-Spot-able.

    Thanks again. Additional commentary is always welcome.
    Other capstone ideas:
    • Double the numerical effects of ninjitsu abilities
    • Steal the capstone of T.G. Oskar's ninja
    • Automatically kill enemies below a certian number of hitpoints (EDIT: this ability would, of course, be called "Finish Him")
    • Ninja weapons always treated as coated with a specific type of poison
    • Look at the SRD for epic skill uses
    • Something else more original than the ideas I've come up with
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2011-02-12 at 08:50 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    I really like the current capstone, though. It may not scream "best flavored capstone of 2011", but as a crunchy player, I like the idea of thinking up all the neat crap I could pull off.

    Poison emulation is cool, though.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ninja

    Great build! The only flaw is Ninjutsu Conservation: be a Good ninja and loose a bag with 20+ fiendish rats before battle. They will attack you and voŪla! +20 AC
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