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MASTER NINJA (3.5 Class)
Ninjas move through the shadows, striking down the unwary and vanishing again with ease. Ninjas walk where others cannot. They blend their training in stealth and assassination with a focused mind. Their rigorous preparation sharpens their minds and bodies, giving them supernatural abilities of stealth and making them phantoms in the eyes of many. Although ninjas in battle lack the staying power of martial characters such as fighters or barbarians, they excel at making combat occur on their terms—appearing and disappearing seemingly at a whim.
Historically, ninjas came from clans of assassins and guerrilla warriors in feudal Japan. In a fantasy setting, they blend a gift for stealth and infiltration with devastating surprise attacks and supernatural means of avoiding blows. Although the specific abilities of the class differ from those attributed to the historical ninja, they mirror the ninja’s fearsome reputation as a spy, assassin, and martial artist.
Making a Master Ninja
The ninja are like the rogue in the fact they rely on quickness and stealth to take out their enemies. However, the ninja go about it in a much different way. Harnessing the power of their inner spirits, the ninja obtain the ability to disappear from an enemy's sight completely. Combine this with various abilities that border on otherworldly, and people will see how the rogue and ninja seperate themselves.
Abilities: Dexterity and Wisdom are the chief skills among ninja. Dexterity allows them to get the drop on the enemy, while Wisdom allows them greater ability in harnessing the power of their ki. Despite their bountiful skill points, a high Intelligence can give even more skill points, something no ninja can have too few of.
Races: Ninja are mostly human, but they are not hesitant to welcome new blood. Elves are rare, but those that join are revered and feared, being viewed as great masters of legend. Half-elves, halflings, and warforged are also accepted. Some clans even see the occasional shifter or changeling. Half-orcs, with their lack of emotional control, and dwarves, with their desire for money and regard for family, never become ninja, though they are not unwelcome.
Alignment: A ninja’s life is quite various and thus they can be of any alignment. Of course, since the dictates of their clan (and clanmates) come before their personal interests or others, ninja are more commonly neutral. Neutral ninja are most common, but there are plenty of good and evil ninja as well. Though lawful ninja are more frequent than chaotic ones, the chaotic ninja are still disciplined. They simply have a lower regard for rules than others, making them a bit more reckless, but nonetheless devoted.
Table: The Ninja Hit Die: d6 Level BAB Fort Ref Will AC Bonus Special 1st +0 +0 +2 +0 +0 Ki power, sudden strike +1d6, trapfinding 2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 +0 Ghost step (invisible) 3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 +0 Sudden strike +2d6, ninja special ability 4th +3 +1 +4 +1 +0 Evasion, poison use 5th +3 +1 +4 +1 +1 Sudden strike +3d6 6th +4 +2 +5 +2 +1 Acrobatics +2, ki dodge, ninja special ability 7th +5 +2 +5 +2 +1 Sudden strike +4d6, speed climb 8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 +1 Ghost strike 9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 +1 Sudden strike +5d6, ninja special ability 10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 +2 Ghost step (ethereal) 11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 +2 Sudden strike +6d6 12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 +2 Acrobatics +4, ninja special ability 13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 +2 Sudden strike +7d6 14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 +2 Ghost mind 15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 +3 Sudden strike +8d6, ninja special ability 16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 +3 Ghost sight 17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 +3 Sudden strike +9d6 18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 +3 Acrobatics +6, ninja special ability 19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 +3 Sudden strike +10d6 20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 +4 Ghost walk
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level) 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), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The ninja is proficient with simple weapons, as well as the sai, shuriken, kama, nunchaku, shortbow, ninja-to (short sword), kukri, kodachi (broadblade short sword),hook-swords, Katana, "Wakizashi"(masterworked shortsword), foot spike, and "shuko" (hand claws). If the ninja uses the foot spikes and shuko for Climb checks, this is treated as a climber's kit.
The ninja is not proficient with armor or shields.
AC Bonus (Ex): A ninja is highly trained at dodging blows, and she has a sixth sense that lets her avoid even unanticipated attacks. When unarmored and unencumbered, a ninja adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her Armor Class. This ability does not stack with the monk’s AC bonus ability (a ninja with levels of monk does not add the bonus twice). In addition, a ninja gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five ninja levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when a ninja is flat-footed. The character 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.
Ki Power (Su): A ninja can channel her ki to manifest special powers of stealth and mobility. She can use her ki powers a number of times per day equal to one-half her class level (minimum 1) plus her Wisdom bonus (if any). Ki powers can be used only if a ninja is wearing no armor and is unencumbered.
As long as a ninja’s ki pool isn’t empty (that is, as long as she has at least one daily use remaining), she gains a +2 bonus on her Will saves. A ninja’s ki powers are ghost step, ki dodge, ghost strike, greater ki dodge, and ghost walk. Each power is described under a separate entry below.
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 actually 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 strikes. A ninja can’t make a sudden strike while striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are out of reach.
A ninja can’t use sudden strike to deliver nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage don’t deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike.
The extra damage from the sudden strike ability stacks with the extra damage from sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target.
Trapfinding (Ex): A ninja can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and she can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player’s Handbook.
Ghost Step (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to become invisible for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action (see Swift Actions and Immediate Actions, page 137) that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At 10th level, a ninja can become ethereal when using ghost step instead of becoming invisible.
Poison Use (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a ninja never risks accidentally poisoning herself when applying poison to a weapon.
Acrobatics (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a ninja gains a +2 bonus on Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks. This bonus increases to +4 at 12th level and +6 at 18th level.
Ki Dodge (Su): At 6th level and higher, a ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to cause an attack against her to miss when it might otherwise hit. When a ninja activates this ability, her outline shifts and wavers, granting her concealment (20% miss chance) against all attacks for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
See invisibility has no effect on concealment granted by the ki dodge ability, but true seeing negates the miss chance. This concealment does not stack with that caused by other effects that grant concealment or by spells such as blink or displacement.
Speed Climb (Ex): A ninja of 7th level or higher can scramble up or down walls and slopes with great speed. She can climb at her speed as a move action with no penalty; however, she must begin and end the round on a horizontal surface (such as the ground or a rooftop). If she does not end her movement on a horizontal surface, she falls, taking falling damage as appropriate for her distance above the ground.
A ninja needs only one free hand to use this ability. This ability can be used only if a ninja is wearing no armor and is carrying no more than a light load.
Ghost Strike (Su): At 8th level and higher, a ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to strike incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were corporeal. She also can use this ability to strike foes on the Material Plane normally while ethereal (for example, while using her ghost step ability).
Activating the ghost strike ability is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. It affects the next attack made by the ninja, as long as that attack is made before the end of her next turn.
Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 12th level, a ninja can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. (See the monk class feature, page 41 of the Player’s Handbook.) A ninja’s use of evasion differs slightly from a monk’s use in that a ninja can use evasion only if she is wearing no armor and is carrying no more than a light load.
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 (such as arcane eye) that scan the ninja’s area, 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.
Ghost Sight (Su): At 16th level and higher, a ninja can see invisible and ethereal creatures as easily as she sees material creatures and objects.
Greater Ki Dodge (Su): Starting at 18th level, a ninja’s ki dodge ability grants total concealment (50% miss chance).
Ghost Walk (Su): A 20th-level ninja can spend two daily uses of her ki power to enter the Ethereal Plane for an extended period of time. This ability functions as the ethereal jaunt spell with a caster level equal to the ninja’s class level.
Master Ninja special abilities
Great Leap (Su): At 4th level and higher, a ninja always makes Jump checks as if she were running and had the Run feat, enabling her to make long jumps without a running start and granting a +4 bonus on the jump (see the skill description, page 77 of the Player’s Handbook). This ability can be used only if she is wearing no armor and is carrying no more than a light load.
Improved Poison Use (Ex): Starting at 9th level, a ninja can apply poison to a weapon as a move action. (Normally, applying a poison is a standard action, like applying an oil.)