Shinobi (3.5e Class)

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A Shinobi is one who refines stealth, intelligence gathering, powerful combat techniques, and mystical body control into a deadly science of warfare and espionage. When the odds are unfavorable or dishonor threatens, the Shinobi can bring victory and restore a measure of peace. Shinobi adhere to a strict code of honor.

Making a Shinobi[edit]

The Shinobi are like rogues or scouts in relying on quickness and stealth to take out their enemies, along with the body-control qualities of monks, due to their dedication to their training. Harnessing the power of their inner ki, they obtain the ability to disappear from their enemies' sight completely. Combine this with various abilities that border on otherworldly, and people will see how the Shinobi have the best of both.

Abilities: Dexterity and Wisdom are the chief skills among complete Shinobi. 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 them even more skill points, something no Shinobi can ever have enough of.

Races: Humans of the oriental subraces are the most common, however they welcome new blood. Elves are rare, but exceedingly powerful due to their grace and skill in the combat arts. 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, almost never become Shinobi.

Alignment: Some form of neutrality is required to achieve the mastery of the inner ki that marks a Shinobi. These abilities also take great discipline to master. Therefore any Neutral or Lawful alignment is acceptable for Shinobi. At creation the Shinobi must choose one of the two to be governed by. this becomes the effective part of their alignment for determining whether the Shinobi can continue gaining levels as a Shinobi.

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp)

Starting Age: As rogue.

Table: The Shinobi

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special AC
Ki Bonus
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Shinobi Code of Honor, Flurry of Throws, Ki Power, Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding +0 +2
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Ghost Step (invisible) Evasion +0 +2
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Sneak Attack +2d6, Shinobi Special Ability +0 +2
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Great Leap, Poison Use +0 +2
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Sneak Attack +3d6 +1 +2
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Ki Dodge, Shinobi Special Ability +1 +2
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Sneak Attack +4d6 +1 +2
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Ghost Strike +1 +3
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Sneak Attack +5d6, Shinobi Special Ability +1 +3
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Ghost Step (ethereal), Improved Poison Use +2 +3
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Sneak Attack +6d6 +2 +3
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Shinobi Special Ability +2 +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Sneak Attack +7d6 +2 +3
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Hundred Faces +2 +3
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Sneak Attack +8d6, Shinobi Special Ability +3 +4
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Meditation +3 +4
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Sneak Attack +9d6 +3 +4
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Shinobi Special Ability +3 +4
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Sneak Attack +10d6 +3 +4
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Ghost Walk +4 +4

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography), (Nobility), (Bearuacracy), (Local), (Nature) (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).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shinobi is proficient with simple weapons, as well as the sai, shuriken, kama, nunchaku, shortbow, kasuri-gama, kunai, ninja-to (shortsword), kodachi (broadblade short sword), kukri, hook-swords, katana (masterwork bastard sword), wakizashi (masterwork short sword), foot spike and shuko (hand claws). If the Shinobi uses the foot spikes and shuko for Climb checks, this is treated as a climber's kit.

The Shinobi is not proficient with any armor or shields.

AC Bonus (Ex): A Shinobi is highly trained at dodging blows, even unanticipated ones. When unarmored and unencumbered, the Shinobi applies his Wisdom bonus to AC. Also, the Shinobi gains an additional +1 bonus to AC at 3rd level and every 3 Shinobi levels thereafter.

This AC bonus applies to all attacks unless the Shinobi is immobilized or helpless, or is armored or encumbered.

Shinobi Code of Honor: Shinobi live by a strict code of honor, similar to that of a Paladin, Knight or Samurai. Once a Shinobi accepts a job, swears fealty, or otherwise commits themselves through word or contract, to a course of action, they must pursue that end to whatever extent they are capable. Shinobi are crafty and cunning and will usually only give an oath of service for proper compensation. If the employer of the Shinobi in any way breaks the terms of the contract or agreement, the Shinobi is released from service. This can include, but is not limited to, attempting direct harm to the Shinobi herself or her comrades, lying about the terms or conditions of the agreement, or otherwise interfering in the Shinobi's ability to perform her tasks. If a Shinobi can make an honest case, free of deception, then she can release herself from the agreement without sacrificing her honor. A Shinobi will usually feel free to portray the facts in her own favor and may present a liberal version of the truth, so long as it remains the truth. if a Shinobi is released from an agreement without fulfilling the conditions, then she will refuse compensation of any kind if it is offered.

A Shinobi who breaks an agreement or contract of this nature loses her honor. If a Shinobi loses honor, then she loses all Shinobi class abilities, but retains base attack bonus, saving throws, weapon proficiencies, skills, feats and any other abilities that did not come as a result of being a special feature of the Shinobi class. She can no longer gain levels of Shinobi until she regains her honor. This can be done by: completing the tasks she was given if capable without receiving any compensation, experience rewards or loot: performing one week per Shinobi class level of humble service, during which she takes vows of silence, poverty, and chastity, and will spend any free time in meditation on her actions: or an atonement spell cast by a spell caster of higher level than the dishonored Shinobi herself.

Ki Power (Su): At 1st level, a ninja gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the ninja’s ki pool is equal to 1/2 her ninja level + her Charisma modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point in her ki pool, she treats any Jump skill check as if she had a running start. At 10th level, she also reduces the DC of Jump skill checks by 1/2 (although she still cannot move farther than her speed allows).

By spending 1 point from her ki pool, a ninja can make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus, but she can do so only when making a full attack. In addition, she can spend 1 point to increase her speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, a ninja can spend 1 point from her ki pool to give herself a +4 insight bonus on Hide, and Move Silently checks for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A ninja can gain additional powers that consume points from her ki pool by selecting certain ninja tricks.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 6 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive. If the ninja possesses levels in another class that grants points to a ki pool, ninja levels stack with the levels of that class to determine the total number of ki points in the combined pool, but only one ability score modifier is added to the total. The choice of which score to use is made when the second class ability is gained, and once made, the choice is set. The ninja can now use ki points from this pool to power the abilities of every class she possesses that grants a ki pool.

Starting at 1st level, the Shinobi also gains a +2 bonus to Will saves. This bonus increases by +1 at every seven class levels thereafter (+3 at 8th level, +4 at 15th level, and so on).

Sneak Attack (Ex): At 1st level and every other class level thereafter, if the Shinobi can catch an enemy off-guard, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

When the Shinobi strikes an enemy that is denied its Dexterity bonus (if any) to AC, he can deal an extra +1d6 damage. He can also use sneak attack against a opponent he is flanking. The Shinobi can also use sneak attack for ranged attacks as long as the target is within 30 feet. If the Shinobi makes a critical hit while making a sneak attack, the extra damage is not multiplied.

With a sap, blackjack or unarmed strike, a Shinobi can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, even with the usual -4 penalty.

Sneak attack can only be used against creatures with discernible anatomies; constructs, undead, plants, oozes and incorporeal creatures are immune to sneak attack. Sneak attack cannot be used against creatures immune to critical hits or against creatures with concealment or whose vitals are out of reach.

Sneak attack counts normally for the purpose of qualifying for feats, prestige classes or anything requiring a minimum amount of sneak attack damage die. Also, the bonus damage from sneak attack from Shinobi levels stack with sneak attack from other classes if they apply to the same target and all other conditions are met.

Trapfinding (Ex): At 1st level, a Shinobi is able use his Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20. He can also use Disable Device to bypass or disarm traps.

A Shinobi who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Flurry of Throws (Ex) A Shinobi may throw twice the amount of thrown weapons that she would normally be allowed to throw. The projectiles must be light weapons designed to be thrown such as shuriken, kunai, throwing daggers, darts, or other like weapons. The Shinobi treats these weapons as ammo for the purposes of drawing them. Shinobi accomplish this by throwing two at a time with one hand. Both weapons must be thrown at the same target. a separate attack roll is made for each weapon, at the same attack bonus. If the Shinobi has a feat that allows her to make more attacks that normal, such as Rapid Throw or Two Weapon Fighting, then all rolls are affected normally. This ability can be used to sneak attack but only one of the weapons from each throw will get the bonus damage. The other does damage as a normal attack. This rule also applies to any ability, spell or effect that augments the attack, damage, or effect of a thrown weapon.

At 1st level, 4th level, and every 4 subsequent levels after, the Shinobi's range for thrown weapons increases by 10 feet, to a maximum of +60ft. at 20th level. This effect does not stack with the far shot feat beyond the first 10 ft.

At 6th level and every 6 subsequent levels, the Shinobi may throw one extra weapon of the same type with each throw, under the same conditions.

Ghost Step (Su): Starting at 2nd level, by using his inner ki, the Shinobi can fade from sight for a brief time. He can expend one daily use from his ki pool to become invisible for one round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Starting at 10th level, the Shinobi becomes ethereal instead of invisible when using ghost step.

Evasion (Ex): When a Shinobi succeeds on a Reflex save that would deal 1/2 damage (such as a fireball spell), he takes no damage instead.

Shinobi Special Ability: Starting at 3rd level and every third level thereafter, the Shinobi can select an ability from the following list:

Acrobatics (Ex): The Shinobi gains a +3 bonus to Climb, Jump and Tumble checks reflecting the great body control he has acquired through dedicated training.This ability cannot be taken unless the Shinobi has one Shinobi Special Ability.The Shinobi can take this ability twice, increasing the bonus each time.

Armor-Ki Synergy (Ex) The Shinobi retains the use of all class features as long as he wears armor or carries a shield that does not incur an armor check penalty greater than zero. The Shinobi still loses the noted class features if his armor check penalty is greater than zero, or if he is encumbered.

Bleeding Attack (Ex) A Shinobi with this trick can cause living opponents to bleed by hitting them with a sneak attack. This attack causes the target to take 1 additional point of damage each round for each die of the Shinobi’s sneak attack. Bleeding creatures take that amount of damage every round at the start of each of their turns. The bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or the application of any effect that heals hit point damage. Bleed damage from this ability does not stack with itself. Bleed damage bypasses any DR the creature might possess. The Shinobi must have 2 other ninja tricks before selecting this ability.

Bonus Feat (Ex): The Shinobi can select a bonus feat from the following list instead of one of these abilities. The Shinobi cannot select a bonus feat unless he has two Shinobi Special Abilities. He need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Shinobi Bonus Feat List: Improved Grapple, Stunning Fist, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus, Quick Draw, Improved Feint.

Bonus Ki (Ex): The Shinobi has spent so much time focusing his Ki, he may use it more times per day, adding his wisdom modifier again to his total pool.

Choking Bomb (Ex): Whenever a Shinobi throws a smoke bomb, all living creatures in the resulting cloud must make a Fortitude save or become staggered by the choking black smoke for 1d4 rounds. The DC of this saving throw is equal to 10 + 1/2 the Shinobi’s level + the Shinobi’s Charisma modifier. The Shinobi can decide to create an ordinary smoke bomb or add poison to this smoke bomb as normal. The Shinobi must have the poison bomb Shinobi trick before selecting this trick.

Instinct (Ex): The Shinobi's instincts and his sixth sense share a stronger connection. He can now apply his Wisdom bonus (if any) to Initiative, as long as he is unarmored and unencumbered.

Shunshin (Ex): Known as the 'Body Flicker' to bystanders, the Shinobi learns to move more effectively, becoming able to move his body more quickly due to greater leg strength.The Shinobi's base land speed increases by 10 feet. This bonus only applies if the Shinobi is unarmored and unencumbered.The Shinobi can take this ability twice, increasing base speed by 10 feet each time. He must have a Dexterity score of 15 to take Shunshin.

Ghost Mind (Su): The Shinobi gains a special resistance to spells of the scrying subschool. To detect or see a Shinobi with such a spell, the caster must make a caster level check (DC20 + the Shinobi's class level). In the case of scrying spells (such as arcane eye) that scan the Shinobi's area, a failed check indicates that the spell works but the Shinobi simply isn't detected. Scrying attempts targeted specifically at the Shinobi don't work at all if the check fails.

Darkvision (Ex): This trick allows the Shinobi to use her ki to enhance her sight, granting darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. Using this trick is a standard action that costs 1 ki point. The enhanced senses last for 1 hour.

Deadly Range (Ex): A Shinobi with this Shinobi trick increases the range at which she can deal sneak attack damage by 10 feet. A Shinobi can take this trick more than once. Its effects stack.

Fast Stealth (Ex): A Shinobi with this trick can move at full speed using the Move Silently skill without penalty.

Feather Fall (Ex): As an immediate action, the Shinobi can slow her descent as if using feather fall. This ability uses her Shinobi level as the caster level. Each use of this ability uses up 1 ki point.

Hidden Weapons (Ex): A Shinobi with this ability can easily conceal weapons on her body. The Shinobi adds her level on opposed Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal a weapon. In addition, she can draw hidden weapons as a move action, instead of as a standard action.

Ki Charge (Su): A Shinobi with this trick can invest a portion of her ki into a single thrown weapon, such as a shuriken, and throw it as a standard action. The thrown weapon explodes on impact in a 5-foot burst, dealing 1d6 points of fire damage plus 1d6 points of fire damage for every four levels of the Shinobi above 2nd, to a maximum 4d6 at 18th level. Creatures caught in the blast receive a Reflex save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is 10 + 1/2 the Shinobi’s level + the Shinobi’s Charisma modifier. If the thrown weapon hits a creature, that creature takes a –2 penalty on the saving throw. If the thrown weapon misses, treat it as a thrown splash weapon. Using this ability expends 1 ki point from her ki pool. This ability cannot be used in conjunction with Flurry of Throws.

Poison Bomb (Ex): Whenever the Shinobi throws a smoke bomb, she can decide to include 1 dose of any inhaled poison she possesses. This poison affects all creatures in the smoke and lasts as long as the smoke lasts. She must pay for the poison normally. The Shinobi must have the smoke bomb Shinobi trick before selecting this trick.

Pressure Points (Su): A Shinobi with this trick can strike at an opponent’s vital pressure points, causing weakness and intense pain. Whenever the Shinobi deals sneak attack damage, she also deals 1 point of Strength or Dexterity damage, decided by the Shinobi. Unlike normal ability damage, this damage can be healed by a DC 15 Heal check. Each successful check heals 1 point of damage caused by this trick. A Shinobi with this trick receives a +10 insight bonus on this Heal check.

Rogue Talent: The Shinobi can select a rogue talent in place of a Shinobi trick. The Shinobi cannot select a rogue talent that has the same name as a Shinobi trick. The Shinobi can select this talent multiple times.

Shadow Clones (Su): The Shinobi can create 1d4 shadowy duplicates of herself that conceal her true location. This ability functions as mirror image, using the Shinobi’s level as her caster level. Using this ability is a standard action that uses up 1 ki point.

Slow Metabolism (Ex): The Shinobi has a slower-than-normal metabolism. She can hold her breath for twice as long as normal before needing to make Constitution checks (four times her Constitution score). In addition, whenever the Shinobi is poisoned, the time between saving throws (the poison’s frequency) is doubled. Thus, a poison that has a frequency of “1/round for 6 rounds” would instead be “1/2 rounds for 12 rounds.”

Slow Reactions (Ex): Opponents that are damaged by the Shinobi’s sneak attack can’t make attacks of opportunity for 1 round.

Smoke Bomb (Ex): This ability allows a Shinobi to throw a smoke bomb that creates a cloud of smoke with a 15-foot radius. This acts like the smoke from a smokestick. The Shinobi can center this smoke on herself, or throw the bomb as a ranged touch attack with a range of 20 feet. Using this ability is a standard action. Each use of this ability uses up 1 ki point.

Snatch Arrows: A Shinobi who selects this Shinobi trick gains the Snatch Arrows feat as a bonus feat. The Shinobi must have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat and the Deflect Arrows feat before taking this trick

Sudden Disguise (Su): As a swift action, a Shinobi can change her appearance for 1 minute per level. This ability functions as disguise self. Each use of this ability uses up 1 ki point.

Undetected Sabotage (Su): Whenever a Shinobi with this trick uses Disable Device to sabotage or disable a device, she can make a Slieght of Hand check with a bonus equal to her level. Anyone who inspects the device does not notice the sabotage and assumes the object works unless he beats the Shinobi’s check with an opposed Spot skill check.

Ventriloquism (Su): As a swift action, the Shinobi can throw her voice as if using the spell ventriloquism. She can use this ability for 1 minute per Shinobi level. Each use of this ability uses up 1 ki point.

Wall Climber (Su): A Shinobi with this ability gains a climb speed of 20 feet, but only on vertical surfaces. This ability cannot be used to scale perfectly smooth surfaces or to climb on the underside of horizontal surfaces.

Spider Foot Climber (Su): A Shinobi with this ability is affected as by the Spider Climb spell for one round. Each use of this ability uses up 1 ki point. The Shinobi must have the Wall Climber Shinobi trick before selecting this trick.

Ghost Sight (Su): The Shinobi can see invisible and ethereal creatures as easily as he sees material creatures and objects.

Great Leap (Su): The Shinobi can make all Jump checks as if he already had a running start and the Run feat, effectively gaining a +4 bonus to Jump checks.

Poison Use (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, the Shinobi becomes proficient at applying poison to his weapons. He never risks injuring or poisoning himself while applying poison to a weapon.

Ki Dodge (Su): At 6th level, the complete Shinobi's body starts to blur and haze, as if his enemies are seeing a mirage.

By accessing his inner ki, the Shinobi can spend one daily use from his ki pool to gain concealment (20% miss chance) for 1 round. The concealment given by ki dodge cannot be used to make Hide checks. Using ki dodge is a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

At 18th level, the Shinobi's ki dodge ability grants total concealment (50% miss chance).

Ghost Strike (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, the Shinobi can spend one daily use of his ki pool to strike incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were corporeal. He can also strike foes on the Material plane while ethereal or invisible (from using his ghost step ability).

This ability is a move action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. It affects the next attack made by the Shinobi, as long as that attack is made before the end of his next turn. That next attack adds the sneak attack additional damage die.

Improved Poison Use (Ex): When the Shinobi reaches 10th level, he can use poison with near inhuman quickness. He can apply poison to a weapon as a move action instead of a standard action.

Meditation (Ex): Beginning at 16th level, the Shinobi uses the comforts and blessings of meditation to bring greater clarity and focus.

Once per day, the Shinobi can spend 1 minute in a meditative state. If he does, he regains a number of uses of his ki pool equal to 1/2 his Wisdom bonus (minimum 1). This ability cannot be used to increase the maximum of daily ki pool uses the Shinobi can have.

Ghost Walk (Su): When the Shinobi reaches 20th level, his control over his inner ki becomes more refined, allowing him to remain ethereal for extended periods.

By expending two uses of his ki pool, the Shinobi becomes ethereal, as if under the ethereal jaunt spell. His caster level is equal to his class level. Using ghost walk is considered a swift action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.


The Shinobi may freely multiclass into the monk, rogue or scout classes. However, if he takes levels in any other classes or not maintain some form of neutrality or lawfulness in his alignment, he can no longer take any levels in the Shinobi class, but he retains all class features he has gained.

Human Shinobi Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Ninja-To (1d8, crit 19-20/x2, 2 lbs, light, piercing)

10 Shuriken (1d2, crit x2, range increment 10 ft, 1 lb, piercing)

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 9 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Balance 4 Dex +0
Climb 4 Str +0
Disable Device 4 Int -
Escape Artist 4 Dex +0
Hide 4 Dex +0
Jump 4 Str +0
Listen 4 Wis -
Move Silently 4 Dex +0
Open Lock 4 Dex -
Search 4 Int -
Spot 4 Wis -
Tumble 4 Dex +0

Feat: Combat Expertise

Bonus Feats: Combat Reflexes

Gear: Waterskin, pouch belt with thieves' tools, flint and steel, and trail rations.

Gold: 2d4 gp

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shinobi[edit]

Religion: .

Other Classes: .

Combat: .

Advancement: .

Shinobi in the World[edit]


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Shinobi Lore[edit]

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

DC Result
5 .
10 .
15 .
20 .

Shinobi in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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