Sublime Ninja (3.5e Class)

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The Sublime Ninja[edit]

Masters of the Sublime Way’s unseen arts, the sublime ninja are the deadly warriors of stealth, subterfuge, and the supernatural. Their mastery of the Sublime Way has expanded their already considerable abilities to a sharply tapered point. Experts in the art of silent death, the sublime ninja is perfect for anyone with a taste for stealth, thievery, or deception that comes with a mystical touch.

Making a Sublime Ninja[edit]

Of all martial adepts, the sublime ninja is the consummate utility man. They learn plenty of maneuvers, have a long list of skills, and the most skill points of any martial adept. However, they are also the frailest of all the adepts. The sublime ninja's true strength lies in his ability to move quickly, picking apart the enemy little by little. In all, the sublime ninja is best defined as an opportunistic combatant with a knack for contributing to the party at key moments, both in and out of combat.

Abilities: Dexterity and Wisdom are both vitally important to the sublime ninja. Both increase AC, which the ninja may be short on early, and boost their respective saves, but Wisdom is also needed for refreshing maneuvers and powering some of his abilities. Intelligence is also helpful because of the extra skill points and the boost it can give to some of the sublime ninja’s important skills, such as Search. Constitution is also beneficial, not just for adding additional hp, but also for offsetting the ninja's bad Fortitude save. Sublime ninjas can get away with an average Strength score. A sublime ninja wishing to practice the ways of deception will need a high Charisma score.

Races: Most sublime ninjas are human, but that does not mean other races are unwelcome. Many clans accept elves, and such elves become legendary, using their long lives to obtain incredible accolades and mountains of knowledge to use and pass on to ninja of future generations. As such, half-elves are also accepted. Halflings have proven capable sublime ninja. Changelings, with their shapechanging abilities, are very useful for the clans, while the shifters have proven effective at using their lycan heritage to the sublime ninjas’ benefit. Warforged, with their abilities, prove helpful to the sublime ninja, as well.

Alignment: Sublime ninjas are trained to have focused minds and an inner calm. Thus, they can be of any alignment. Many chaotic characters display such an extreme lack of self-control and significant amount of impulse, they cannot be trained efficiently as sublime ninja. Lone sublime ninja are often chaotic, though most ninja belong to clans, with most of them being lawful. Most sublime ninja are neutral, as worrying about moral extremes interfere with training and disrupt their focus. However, there are more good than evil ninja, as the good sublime ninja’s ability to achieve inner peace comes much more easily and effectively to such a ninja.

Starting Gold: 4d4 × 10 gp (100 gp)

Starting Age: As a ranger

Table: The Sublime Ninja

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Maneuvers
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Ki charge, sudden strike +1d6, trapfinding 4 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Spiritualism 4 3 2
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Sudden strike +2d6, Poison Use 5 3 2
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Evasion 6 4 2
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sudden strike +3d6 6 4 3
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Favored maneuver 7 4 3
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sudden strike +4d6, Speed Climb 8 4 3
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Call of the shadow 8 5 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Sudden strike +5d6 9 5 4
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Improved spiritualism 10 5 4
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Sudden strike +6d6 10 6 4
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Favored maneuver 11 6 4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sudden strike +7d6 12 6 4
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Call of the night 12 7 5
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Sudden strike +8d6 13 7 5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Greater Spiritualism 14 7 5
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sudden strike +9d6 14 8 5
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Favored maneuver 15 8 5
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sudden strike +10d6 16 8 5
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Call of the devouring darkness 16 8 6

Class Skills (8 + 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), Martial Lore (Int), 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 sublime ninja is proficient with all simple weapons, as well as the foot spike,kama, kukri, nekode, ninja-to (short sword),nunchaku, sai, shortbow, shuko (hand claws), shuriken

Sublime ninja are not proficient with armor or shields.

AC Bonus (Ex): When a sublime ninja starts his career, he unlocks a sixth sense, an ability based around intuition that enables him to anticipate even attacks he might not be prepared for.

As long he wears no armor that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, carries no shield, and does not carry a medium or heavier load, a sublime ninja adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to AC. This does not stack with the monk's or swordsage's AC bonus. This AC bonus applies to all forms of attack, but not when immobilized or helpless.

Disciplines Available: A sublime ninja can learn maneuvers from the Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, and Shadow Hand disciplines.

In addition, the sublime ninja can also take maneuvers in a fourth discipline. Choose Desert Wind or Tiger Claw discipline

Maneuvers: A sublime ninja has knowledge of 4 maneuvers when he begins his career. As he attains levels, he gains knowledge of additional maneuvers, as shown in the Table: The Sublime Ninja. A sublime ninja must fulfill all prerequisites for whatever maneuver he wishes to learn before taking it.

A sublime ninja’s maneuvers (and stances) count as extraordinary abilities unless otherwise noted. Maneuvers are not subject to spell resistance or antimagic fields (unless the maneuver is supernatural), and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

In addition, when a sublime ninja reaches 4th level, and every other level after, he can exchange one maneuver for another. The new maneuver does not need to have the same level as the old maneuver, but he must observe the restriction on the highest-level maneuver he knows, and he must meet all other prerequisites before selecting the new maneuver.

Maneuvers Readied: Starting at 1st level, a sublime ninja is able to ready 3 of his maneuvers. In order to ready them, he must spend 5 minutes in a meditative state. A sublime ninja can change his maneuvers during the day if he wishes, but he must meditate for 5 minutes in order to do so.

When an encounter begins, the ninja has all of his maneuvers, unexpended. These maneuvers can be initiated once per encounter, and does not regain them until the end of the encounter unless he refreshes them (See Below).

Stances Known: At 1st level, a sublime ninja can select a 1st level stance from one of the available disciplines. At 2nd, 5th, 9th, 14th, and 20th levels, he can select additional stances. Like with maneuvers, he must meet all prerequisites when selecting a new stance. These stances are available at all times, and he can initiate or change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. Stances count as extraordinary abilities (unless stated otherwise).

Ki Charge (Refreshing Maneuvers): Like many martial adepts, many of the sublime ninja’s abilities, such as his maneuvers, are driven by his inner spirit. Through sheer force of will, he can re-memorize a maneuver, but in a different way from other martial adepts. This ability is what sublime ninja call the ki charge.

During an encounter, a sublime ninja can refresh a maneuver he has expended by taking a move action to do nothing but simply refreshing the maneuver. As part of this move action, he may take a 5-ft. step. This ability can be done a number of times equal to his Wisdom bonus (Minimum 1) per encounter and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. However, this ability cannot be used to refresh a maneuver he used in the same round.

If a sublime ninja has used his maximum number of ki charges for the encounter, he may refresh a maneuver by taking a standard action to do so. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity, but he cannot take a 5-ft. step as part of the action.

Trapfinding (Ex): At 1st Level, the ninja can use the Search skill to locate traps of DC 20 or more. The DC to locate a magic trap is 25 + the spell’s level. Ninjas can also use the Disable Device skill to disarm traps.

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 that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, carries no shield, and does not carry a medium or heavier load.

Poison Use (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a ninja never risks accidentally poisoning herself when applying poison to a weapon.

Sudden Strike (Ex): At 1st level, and every other level after, if the sublime ninja can catch an enemy off guard, he can strike a vital point for extra damage.

When a sublime ninja's target is denied its Dexterity bonus (if any) to AC, he deals an extra 1d6 points with his attack. The ninja cannot use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.

This extra damage applies to ranged attacks, so long as they are made within 30 feet of the target. In addition, if the ninja makes a critical hit and a sudden strike, the extra damage from sudden strike is not multiplied.

The sublime ninja cannot use sudden strike to deal nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage do not deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike.

Sudden strike can only be used against enemies with discernible anatomies-undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, creatures immune to critical hits, and creatures whose vitals are out of reach are immune to sudden strike.

Sudden strike counts as sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for feats, prestige classes, or anything else requiring a minimum number of sneak attack damage dice.

Spiritualism (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a sublime ninja's time in meditation has served him well, making him spiritually stronger than many others.

The sublime ninja gets a +2 bonus to Will saves. This bonus applies at all times, so long as he has one readied maneuver that has not been expended.

Evasion (Ex): At 4th level, if the ninja makes a successful Reflex save against an attack that would deal half damage (such as a Fireball spell or a dragon's breath), he takes no damage instead, so long as he wears no armor that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, does not carry a shield, and carries no more than a light load. A helpless ninja does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Favored Maneuver: (Ex): When the sublime ninja reaches 6th level, and every 6 levels after, he chooses one of his known maneuvers. Once per encounter, if the favored maneuver is readied, he may initiate that maneuver without expending it.

If the ninja exchanges a favored maneuver with a new maneuver, he may select a new maneuver to consider favored, but the new favored maneuver must be one level lower than the highest level maneuver the Ninja has.

Call of the Shadow: (Ex): When the ninja reaches 8th level, he feels the shadows beckoning him to join the blackness.

Once per round, when the sublime ninja initiates a favored maneuver, he gets an effect depending on his alignment:

Good: The ninja gains a bonus to his next attack equal to one-half the favored maneuver's level. This attack must be made before the end of the sublime ninja's next turn.
Neutral: The ninja gains a bonus to all skill checks equal to one-half the favored maneuver's level until the end of his turn.
Evil: The ninja gains a dodge bonus to AC equal to one-half the favored maneuver's level until the beginning of his next turn.

Call of the shadow will not function if the sublime ninja wears any armor that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, carries a shield, or carries a medium or heavier load.

Improved Spritualism: (Ex): When the ninja of the Sublime Way reaches 10th level, his acuity with his sixth sense grants him a stronger sense of his surroundings.

The sublime ninja gains a +2 bonus to initiative as long as wears no armor that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, carries no shield, and does not carry a medium or heavier load.

Call of the Night: (Su): At 14th level, the shadows call even more strongly to the ninja. Even as he becomes one with the dark, his enemies become clearer to him.

Once per round, when the sublime ninja initiates a favored maneuver, he gets an effect depending on his alignment:

Good: The ninja gets a +5 bonus on Spot checks, and can see invisible creatures as if under the effect of a see invisibility spell until the beginning of his next turn.
Neutral: If the ninja has concealment or total concealment, he may add (1/2 the favored maneuver's level * 5%) to the miss chance. This effect lasts until the end of the ninja's next turn.
Evil: The ninja gains the benefit of the shadow form spell until the beginning of his next turn, but cannot use this effect to move through solid objects. See the spell description, Complete Adventurer, p. 156.

The ninja cannot use call of the night if he wears any armor that has an armor check penalty greater than 0, carries a shield, or carries a medium or heavier load.

Greater Spiritualism: (Ex): Beginning at 16th level, the sublime ninja's days spent on achieving clarity and enlightenment have strengthened him spiritually, so much so that when the time comes, his heart does not sway.

When the ninja makes a Will save that would result in a lesser effect on a successful save (such as "Will partial"), he does not suffer any of the effect (as if the save was "Will none").

Call of the Devouring Darkness: (Su): Once a ninja of the Sublime Way reaches 20th level, he becomes able to not only become one with the night, but he can also use it as a deadly weapon, so much so that when an enemy is caught in the darkness by a Ninja, they are completely incapable of defending themselves.

As a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the sublime ninja can consider a creature within 30’ stunned until the beginning of the creature's next turn.

When the ninja uses call of the devouring darkness, he loses the use of one of his maneuvers he has readied for the encounter, as if he initiated it (but he does not gain its effect). If the ninja loses a favored maneuver and has not used the favored maneuver's effect, the ninja gets an additional effect based on alignment:

Good: The creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + the maneuver's level + Wis modifier) or become petrified.
Neutral: The creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + the maneuver's level + Wis modifier) or become unconscious for 1d2 minutes.
Evil: The creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + the maneuver's level + Wis modifier) or die. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect.

Call of the devouring darkness is usable a number of times per day equal to the sublime ninja’s Dexterity bonus (Min 1).


Like a member of any other class, a sublime ninja may be a multiclass character, but multiclass sublime ninjas face a special restriction. A sublime ninja who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her sublime ninja level, though she retains all her sublime ninja abilities.

Epic Sublime Ninja[edit]

Table: The Epic Sublime Ninja

Hit Die: d6
Level Special
21st Sudden strike +11d6
22nd Bonus feat
23rd Sudden strike +12d6
25th Sudden strike +13d6
26th Bonus feat
27th Sudden strike +14d6
29th Sudden strike +15d6
30th Bonus feat

8 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Sudden Strike (Ex): The sublime ninja's sudden strike increases by +1d6 at every odd numbered level.

Maneuvers Known: The epic sublime ninja gains knowledge of an additional maneuver at 21st, 24th, 27th, and 30th level.

Maneuvers Readied: The epic sublime ninja can ready an additional maneuver at 23rd and 28th level.

Stances Known: The epic sublime ninja can select an additional stance at 25th Level.

Bonus Feat: The epic sublime ninja gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic sublime ninja bonus feats) at 22nd level and every 4 levels after.

Epic Sublime Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Combat Archery, Distant Shot, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Extended Life Span, Great Dexterity, Great Wisdom, Improved Sudden Strike, Instant Reload, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Trap Sense

Human Sublime Ninja Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Ninja-To (1d6, crit 19-20/x2, 2 lbs, light, piercing)

Dagger (1d4, crit 19-20/x2, 1 lb, light, piercing or slashing)

Shortbow (1d6, crit x3, range inc. 60 ft., 2 lb., piercing)

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Balance 4 Dex +0
Disable Device 4 Int
Hide 4 Dex +0
Listen 4 Wis
Move Silently 4 Dex +0
Open Lock 4 Dex
Search 4 Int
Sleight of Hand 4 Dex
Spot 4 Wis
Tumble 4 Dex +0

Feat: Point Blank Shot.

Bonus Feat: Precise Shot.

Gear: Pouch belt with waterskin, trail rations, sunrod, flint and steel, quiver of 20 arrows

Gold: 2d4 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Sublime Ninja[edit]

Warblades strive for strength, crusaders for piety, and swordsages for clarity. For a ninja, it is not about having skill; it is about becoming skill. Through this philosophy, mastery becomes only a word, a word the swordsage flaunts, the warblade does not fully understand, and the crusader leaves to fate.

You can use your abilities more often than the other adepts, and when you do, you become stronger for it. One might say that the ninja's very soul is tied to the Sublime Way. True or not, they have stronger ties to their maneuvers than the other martial adepts. In fact, the power of darkness beckons more strongly to the ninja each time he uses his skills. Of course, many in history felt this was the road to evil, but only the ninja knew the truth: The darkness is nothing more than a gateway through which the ninja could either fight evil, use evil, or become evil.

Religion: Worship and religion are not things a ninja of the Sublime Way practice often. Usually, ninja will make private prayers to their respective deities. Elves and other non-humans tend to stick to their racial deities, while some ninja have no deity at all. However, many sublime ninja will at least make the occasional prayer to Olidammara, the god of thieves.

Other Classes: The need for a ninja to remain in the shadows makes it difficult for them to establish good relations with other classes. They seem to have respect for rogues and rangers, viewing their abilities with a strange synergy. They also respect the healing powers of the clerics. They do not like paladins, but will work alongside them if they must, and they admire the barbarian’s strength, but have little respect for their lack of foresight.

Combat: You have the lowest HD of all martial adepts and no proficiency with armor, but you have more proficiency with ranged weaponry than the swordsage or warblade. In that regard, the ninja do best by starting combat at range, using bows or crossbows to get in sudden strike in the first round.

Many of the sublime ninja's strikes involve a melee attack, so he serves himself best by executing a maneuver quickly, then moving away. By doing so, he can keep the enemy on their toes and minimize his time in melee. Because sudden strike does not work against flanked enemies, the ninja have even less of a reason to jump into melee for more than few rounds. Under these circumstances, a sublime ninja should take plenty of boosts and counters to allow them some leeway in combat. Ranged maneuvers, such as shadow garrote, are often taken by ninja because it does not require a melee attack. Many ninja often consider them favored maneuvers, as well.

Advancement: All ninja of the Sublime Way were trained by another who has (or had) traversed the same path you are about to go down. Most of these ninja began their training at a very young age, picking up the skills of steel and the supernatural before they lose their first tooth.

Strangely enough, some ninja have been trained by the very killers of their own family. In one instance, several decades ago, a high-ranking ninja, using his mastery of the Shadow Hand discipline, quietly assassinated a high-ranking daimyo in his sleep. When the daimyo passed, the ninja heard a crying baby behind him. Turning around, he saw something in the child's eyes: A fire, unlike any he had ever seen, especially in an infant. Instead of killing the child, the ninja swept the baby and fled with the child into the night, never to be seen again by common eyes. What became of the child is uncertain; many scholars have speculated the child became a ninja master, but no one really knows.

Sublime Ninja in the World[edit]

We are shadow. We are night. We are the devouring darkness.
—Shirogetsu, human sublime ninja, last line of the poem "Who We Are"

Ninjas of the Sublime Way are people one would not expect to see often in a campaign. This stems more from their desire to remain unseen and unnoticed than the regions where their operations are conducted. Though seeing, even interacting, with a sublime ninja is not unheard, it is rare enough that some still believe the ninja do not exist.

The sublime ninja do not mind participating with other groups, especially when some of these fellow comrades are willing to stick their neck out there and be showy. This gives the sublime ninja a much greater chance to have the anonymity he so craves and, if need be, carry out his personal objectives.

In all, ninja of the Sublime Way prefer anonymity over fame. They do not mind others taking credit for their deeds for it only makes their jobs easier.

Daily Life: Most of the sublime ninja's duties are to the clan, so most of their time is spent on missions. They use these missions as opportunities to apply their training in the real world. Though well-trained, the ninja's true gift is experience. Genin, the lowest rank of ninja and the bulk of the clans, normally carry letters and take simple theft missions. Chuunin, the middle-ranked ninja, spend much of their days training the Genin, monitoring their progress closely and silently. Their mission often include theft and assassination. The exceptional Chuunin receive training from Jonin. The Jonin are the strongest of the ninja. They are a few in each clan, but they have skills far above Chuunin. They take the most dangerous and most difficult missions.

A ninja's free time is sparce, but writing and drawing are common activities, with journal entries and ideas for stronger techniques being the norm.

Lone ninja are likely to wander the land, looking for ways to test their skills. Ironically, these ninja are most likely to become true masters of the Sublime Way because the structure of the clans and the rule sets can actually hold back ninja, preventing them from achieving their full potential.

Notables: Twelve centuries ago, there lived fraternal twins: Yaiba and Saya, members of the ancient Hitou ninja clan. Yaiba was a quiet and reserved man who rarely spoke, while Saya was beautiful and social. However, when the time came for a mission, the twins were cold as ice. Able to perform daring feats of acrobatics, thievery, and assassination with deadly precision, they created a secret discipline that would make them legendary. However, it would be seen until The End of The Gemini.

It was only a matter of time before the leader of the clan, Jin, would appoint a successor. However, while the twins were equal to each other and unmatched by the rest, the clan decreed long ago that only one could lead. Therefore, a duel between Yaiba and Saya was held to determine a successor.

The twins fought hard for what many believed an eternity, relying on the attacks and weapons taught to them by their masters. However, when the twins were exhausted, and only one attack was left in them, something occurred: When they charged, swords at the ready, Yaiba stayed his blade at the last second, becoming run through by his twin sister. Distraught he had given up, Saya asked why Yaiba stopped, wih her brother simply saying: "You were meant for it", and passing away. In his final moment, Yaiba realized he was not fit to be a leader, but he also knew a duel must end in death, so he gave his life for his sister, the one person he ever loved.

Saya was historic among the Hitou ninja for she the clan's first female leader. She honored her brother's memory by teaching the secret discipline perfected in secret by herself and her brother. She passed on the discipline that would make the twins legends: The Shadow Hand.

Organizations: The only ninja clan scholars have a veritable record of is the Hitou ninja clan. Believed to be the precursors of the Shadow Hand discipline, the clan was lead by several notable ninja, but it disbanded eight hundred years ago. To this day, no one knows why the clan dissolved.

NPC Reactions: As befitting their shadowy nature and lack of true knowledge of their existence, people have varying opinions of the sublime ninja. Nobles and monarchs have a subtle fear of them, seeing a dangerous, shadowy folk, not unlike assassins. Assassins themselves hate the ninja, viewing them as usurpers of their craft. However, thieves and scholars actually like the ninja for different reasons. Thieves like them because they can be bought to do something they could not, and sometimes, they can use the ninja as scapegoats for their exploits (though many thieves who have done this have died under mysterious circumstances). Scholars like the ninja because their intentional obscurity makes them an area of interest for those scholars with an inquisitive streak.

Ninja Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Gather Information (DC 15 or less) or Knowledge (history) (any DC) can research the sublime ninja to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Gather Information or Knowledge (history)
DC Result
10 The sublime ninja are warriors of the shadow reputed to have mystical abilities.
15 Like other martial adepts, the ninja walk the Sublime Way. They use it as an invaluable tool to bolster their strength, knowledge and understanding of the path.
20 The ninja use their abilities to gain an edge in combat. Their knowledge of the Sublime Way is second only to the swordsage.
30 PC's who make this check can learn information about a specific ninja clan

Sublime Ninja in the Game[edit]

One popular saying about the sublime ninja states: "Do not find us. We will find you." If you are looking for people to carry out an unsavory task, such as theft, and do it with a special kick to it, the ninja are the way to go. Since they have most skills of all martial adepts, they have the most flexibility when it comes to doing a job. Their sudden strike ability also allows them to fulfill the rogue's role fairly well, though with less versatility.

A ninja who is your ally will rely on you to help him remain hidden. By doing so, the ninja will have enough time to get in position to use his sudden strike, along with any necessary maneuvers, to wear down the enemy, perhaps even kill them. Such a character will be useful in getting heavy damage when the need presents itself.

An enemy ninja is a truly dangerous foe. Because of their high skill points on top of the additional bonuses they recieve, they will be a dangerous figure, stalking you in the shadows, waiting for the moment when you will let down your guard for them to strike. Once they have struck, they will retreat back into the shadow, seeming as if they were never there.

Adaptation: The sublime ninja's sudden strike ability is not unlike the rogue's sneak attack, except sudden strike does not work on flanked enemies, but the similarities are enough that rogues, with some dabbling in the Sublime Way, would be a viable alternative to the ninja. Getting rid of trap sense and putting in the ninja's or warblade's maneuver progression would make a strong character. Of course, if you believe magic is better, the beguiler can always be used. Losing the armor proficiency and giving a medium base attack bonus can make a fair substitute for the ninja of the Sublime Way.

Sample Encounter: The ninja of the Sublime Way prefer stealth over direct confrontation, so you will not often see them when they pop out, assuming they ever do. One must be careful with ninja for, despite their frailty and armorless bodies, they are quick and can hurt you surely and suddenly. Since many sublime ninja take the same jobs as rogues and assassins, you could encounter a ninja during such a task, or they could be secretly protecting a person from the shadows.

EL 8: The elven ninja called Komen Kuroshiro was betrayed by the very clan he once devoted his life to, the Shirotatsu ninja clan. Bitter at this betrayal, but ever vigilant in his progress down the Sublime Way, the ninja continues his training on his own, using his various skills to surprise and defeat his opponents. Now a rogue ninja, Komen must train harder than ever to evade the eyes of his old clan.

Komen Kuroshiro

CR 8

Male high elf sublime ninja 8
N Medium humanoid (elf)
Init/Senses +4/low-light vision; Listen +13, Spot +14
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic, Sylvan
AC 22, touch 18, flat-footed 18
(+4 armor, +4 Dex, +4 Wis)
hp 32 (8 HD)
Immune sleep
Resist evasion
Fort/Ref/Will +2/+10/+5 (+7 against enchantments)
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 ninja-to +11/+6 (1d6+1/19–20) or
Melee mwk dagger +11/+6 (1d4/19–20)
Ranged shortbow +10/+5 (1d6/×3)
Base Atk/Grp +6/+6
Atk Options sudden strike +4d6, favored maneuver (shadow garrote)
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds
Maneuvers and Stances Known (IL 8th):
Stances—child of shadow (1st), flame's blessing (1st), pearl of black doubt (3rd)
Strikes—emerald razor (2nd), shadow garrote† (3rd), bounding assault† (4th), hand of death† (4th)
Boosts—cloak of deception† (2nd)
Counters—fire riposte† (2nd), counter charge (1st)
Other—shadow jaunt (2nd)
Disciplines: Desert Wind, Diamond Mind, Shadow Hand
† Readied maneuver
Abilities Str 10, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 8
SQ able to notice secret or concealed doors, shunshin, spiritualism, trapfinding
Feats Combat Reflexes, Quick Draw, Weapon Finesse
Skills Balance +15, Climb +8, Disable Device +13, Hide +15, Jump +10, Listen +13, Move Silently +15, Open Lock +15, Search +13, Spot +14, Tumble +19
Possessions combat gear plus +1 ninja-to, 20 arrows, mithral chain shirt, goggles of night, masterwork dagger, masterwork thieves' tools, periapt of wisdom +2, shortbow

Komen had the following ability scores before racial adjustments and ability score increases: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 8.

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