Talk:Ninja (5e Class)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Wouldn't ninja be better as an archetype of rogue? --Redrum 13:44, 30 July 2016 (MDT)

A full, thorough explaination can be found here. Long story short though, rogues don't act very much like ninja. Neither do monks. Both lean heavily toward a different sort of play style. --Kydo (talk) 01:35, 31 July 2016 (MDT)
I'm pretty sure Azernath was trying to bait someone into making a ninja class for him... but I was thinking about it anyways, and his conversation got me brainstorming, so... I bit. In any case, I work at a snail's pace, because I'm always working on so many things at once. Right now I'm super distracted with research for the Dungeon Mastering guide we have. If he wants this class playable, he'll be waiting a long while! XD You're welcome to make a ninja archetype though, we do have categories and preloads for that. --Kydo (talk) 01:42, 31 July 2016 (MDT)
The main reason I asked is why do we really need a new class for ninja. There is an monk archetype that can be used for a ninja. We can make an archetype for the rogue that acts like a ninja. It is simply all in the mindset. --Redrum 18:33, 3 August 2016 (MDT)
You know, I linked you to that so I wouldn't need to repeat myself in thorough... but OK. First, we do not "need" any particular class, no class is any more "necessary" than any other. In order for the game to function, you need, bare minimum, one non-specific class. Any particular class included in a game exists as a want, primarily as a tool of genre emulation and personal expression. The game does come pre-packaged with a few extremely flexible classes which are capable of representing many fantasy tropes very well. However, they do not cover everything well all the time. For example, a core rules necromancer (a type of wizard) does a particularly terrible job at genre emulation, even at high level. That is why I began working on a necromancer class.
A ninja is a good example of an idea that is poorly represented by the core classes. The monk only works if you want a magic ninja- the demon assassins in the dark you see in anime. If you want to play a stylistically realistic version of a ninja, the monk is a terrible choice. They are loud, flamboyant, energetic- hardly the masters of subtlety and subterfuge a ninja were. Remember, ninja were more than soldiers, they were scouts and spies, saboteurs, double-agents! Meanwhile, if you go for a rogue, although they get some ninja-like features, they always tend toward being very thiefy-scouty.
If you restrain yourself to only "play like a ninja" with either class, you are effectively handicapping yourself, by choosing not to utilize some portion of your class features. You are basically choosing to "play stupid" for the sake of role play. A player should not be mechanically restrained due to a system's inadequacy. So, it makes sense to fill the gap with a class that can play the style in full, without resorting to drift in play style.
Because the core classes are so flexible, any time you go to add a new class, you are engaging in a competition with the other classes. You are competing for the opportunity to represent the player's ideas. The competition is not to always be chosen by every player because your class is the best class. The objective is to always be chosen first over alternatives to represent a specific play style derived from the player's vision. The objective isn't to be faster than a monk and sneaker than a rogue, but to be more like a ninja than either of them.
However, for something to be a full class, it must be just as flexible as its competition- that's just part of what it takes to be competitive. So, a ninja class must be capable of representing far more than just a "ninja" by name. For example, I have already begun to incorporate features that allow a ninja-class character to emulate most any type of professional spy- something else the other classes do very poorly.
Finally, a full class must be original. Every class has a significant class feature which changes the way they play the game. A defining characteristic that is unique to themselves. I, rather cynically, call it the class gimmick. (Barbarian=Rage, Sorcerer=Sorcery Points, Rogue=Sneak Attack, etc.) The class gimmick of the ninja, as I've designed it thus far, revolves around gear. This is unique from all of the other classes packaged with the game, though it is complicated to balance as a feature. (The design difficulties behind such a class are probably the main reason the developers did not pursue such a mechanic themselves) A character of this class could play a charismatic spy, a james-bond style character. I'm still working on how to open up more doors for representation. --Kydo (talk) 22:23, 3 August 2016 (MDT)

I say not every concept needs to be represented by a class or an archetype. If it does, the system could explode.-- 13:11, 6 August 2016 (MDT)

Again, it's not a matter of "need" at all. The game has everything it "needs" without any classes at all! (It would be horrifyingly boring, but you could still run it.) --Kydo (talk) 14:15, 6 August 2016 (MDT)
I think he is trying to say is that he wants the system to remain relatively simple. --Redrum 18:38, 24 August 2016 (MDT)
In that case, Ill just point to the list of over 3,000 classes this website currently contains, which he is not using in his games. I dont work for WotC, (nor would I ever want to) and what I invent and share for the game is about as meaningful to the game itself as the swarf on the bottoms of my work boots. Please, everyone, feel free to disregard my inventions completely if you wish! I share for those who may like to use or improve my ideas. (And also because this website is oddly more permanent than my own physical notes.) I have no interest in foisting my playstyle or design beliefs on others. (Which is why my work on the 5e class guide has been suspended- I do not want to be the only voice) Please take me with a grain of salt, and as AURYN says, "DO WHAT THOU WILT" --Kydo (talk) 19:19, 24 August 2016 (MDT)

Source Materials and authenticity[edit]

Ninjas are far more versatile than you might think, I recommend you take a look through the Which Ninja series on YouTube by Gaijin Goomba since it will give you a great breakdown of things and even give you a list of gear and equipment ninjas were actually known for having. Looking at the historical sources, and not just whatever popular media is feeding you as entertainment,can actually lead to some stuff that's actually more interesting than you think. My favorite Which Ninja episode goes over several techniques, the must-have gear, and tactics for ninja, found here, - Dracone


First of all, sorry for editing before coming here I missed that part due to just wanting to read over what was already up, it was just a minor edit really. -Dracone

Name Game[edit]

Would a Hobgoblin ninja be called an Iron Shadow? --Redrum 17:07, 1 March 2017 (MST)

Eh. Maybe? Their big thing is unarmed combat, and I never intended this class to make unarmed strike deal meaningful damage as a weapon. I suppose you still could anyways, because it's just a heap of fluff, but it seems to me that they were very heavily leaning that description toward a shadow archetype monk. --Kydo (talk) 09:45, 2 March 2017 (MST)
Actually, if they took the deadly fists manual, they could totally pull it off by the letter. But that might change. I'm struggling to think up good manuals. --Kydo (talk) 09:56, 2 March 2017 (MST)


Would a ninja "costume" by treated as Common Clothes or Traveler's Clothes? -- 23:31, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

In my campaign, what passes for a ninja uses the "costume" for massed combats only. Therefore, I treat it as leather armor. --Redrum 23:44, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


This page is a WIP- Work in Progress. I found this page abandoned and decided to take it upon myself to finish it. I’ve always thought it’d be cool to have a pure ninja class, there are similar class options with the Monk’s Way of the Ninja but I’m planning on making sure that the Ninja class is unique Dishonor0nYoCow (talk)

Looking forward to it! ~ BigShotFancyMan (talk) 22:22, 1 November 2018 (MDT)

Thanks! ~ Dishonor0nYoCow (talk) 22:28, 1 November 2018 (MDT)

My Experience With this class.[edit]

So, I don't know if this is the best place for this, but here goes my rating. So my player played a 2nd level ninja, 3rd level ranger, and the rest of his levels were rogue, all the way to 13. He took the art of the crane thing, and the whole game has been kinda annoying. By level 10, he was dealing an average of about 80 damage/turn without using a single resource. This was because he was duel wielding with two "Katana's" And thusly, attacking up to 4 times a turn, each attack averaging 20 dmg. (He was convinced (and I couldn't convince him back) that jumping and attacking was a bonus action. But other than that, this is a p cool class. I think it was more on my part that was failing to run it properly.

Are you sure this is the right ninja page? This is missing loads of info. What katanas were they using because this class gives no info for that? Flying crane only effects jumps and lets player use attack action in the middle of their jump. I am confused how they got four attacks since nothing gives them extra attack, therefore, they could make one attack and use their bonus action to make an off hand attack. There's nothing that says you can jump and attack as a bonus action. ~ BigShotFancyMan (talk) 06:40, 25 February 2019 (MST)


I’ve just begun a new campaign and one of my players is going to be playing this Ninja class, I’ll let you know how things are going with the class in future updates ~ Dishonor0nYoCow (talk) 10:56, 3 May 2019 (MDT)

I have just begun a campaign and one of my players is using this class. I will let you know how things go and any comments or concerns I may or may not find. ~ Lordochaos (talk) 7:58, 1 July 2019 (EDT)

Awesome Lordochaos! DishonorOnYoCow, how has your playtesting gone? ~ BigShotFancyMan 06:20, 2 July 2019 (MDT)
Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!