SHINOBI (Spy)

 

    Shinobi are perhaps the most enigmatic and mysterious class of Zaidan. While some Shinobi are little more than assassins, true Shinobi are masters of exotic weapons, tools of stealth, and strange powers. Shinobi are the stuff of legends. Some refuse to believe they exist. Shinobi move through the shadows, striking down the unwary and vanishing again with ease. Shinobi 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 Shinobi 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.

    Shinobi undertake missions for a variety of reasons. A loyal Shinobi might do so at her lord’s command, using her abilities of stealth and subterfuge to ferret out his enemies or recover powerful treasures to be used in his service. A mercenary Shinobi might seek only treasure and fame, while a more idealistic Shinobi might seek to thwart a growing evil. Most Shinobi prefer anonymity to fame, and they go out of their way to disguise their profession and abilities. A rare few, however, revel in the mysterious reputation that surrounds Shinobi and their training, making known their abilities and their role as a famous adventurer. As Shinobi grow in wealth and power, their goals often change, and their ability to uncover secrets and kill stealthily can shape the plans of entire nations. Rulers both fear and covet the skills of the Shinobi, and high-level Shinobi whose identities are known often find missions coming to them rather than the converse.

    Highly skilled spies and assassins, Shinobi can master a broad range of skills and combat techniques. Nearly every Shinobi perfects the arts of moving quietly and remaining hidden, and her secondary skills define her role in an adventuring party or a community.  Many Shinobi hone skills that help them become better spies, mastering the arts of social interaction and disguise. Others take on the role of cat burglars, practicing skills that help them find and bypass traps and locks.

    In combat, a Shinobi can deal out devastating blows if her opponent doesn’t know she’s there, but she’s not quite as adept as a Gorotsuki is at delivering such attacks in a prolonged battle.

    Shinobi jump and climb farther and faster than members of most other classes, and they are skilled acrobats as well. Shinobi also receive special training in the use of poisons, and many Shinobi employ poisonous weapons in combat.

    Even with these impressive skills, a Shinobi’s most dangerous and remarkable powers involve the ability to step briefly into the Ethereal Plane. By focusing her ki, a Shinobi can vanish from sight, walk through solid walls, and deal devastating attacks even when not physically present at the scene. As a Shinobi advances in level, she can turn this ability to defence, causing blows that would otherwise hit to pass harmlessly through her body.

    Although Shinobi have a reputation as dangerous assassins and deceptive spies, they follow many different philosophies and ideals and can be of any alignment. For every dangerous mercenary who uses her Shinobi training to kill for money, an honest and loyal Shinobi stands guard over a just lord. Most Shinobi follow their own beliefs rather than the dictates of a noble or magistrate, and therefore more Shinobi are chaotic than lawful.

    Shinobi are members of a secretive Shinobi clan, the head of which holds absolute authority over the Shinobi’s life and death. They are sworn to secrecy to protect the identities of their clan members and must never reveal that they are Shinobi. Despite their inclination to evil, Shinobi believe strongly in a code of honour, and risk offending their family (and earning a death sentence) if they break that code of honour. Shinobi are often a mysterious force acting in opposition to the plans and goals of player characters. The objectives of a Shinobi clan are often inscrutable, but they rarely coincide with those of the rulers of Zaidan.

    These warriors, whether deployed in the service of an honourable lord or sent to serve as mercenary assassins, carefully conceal their identities and origins. These Shinobi weave complicated webs of disguises, strike only from hiding, and deal through intermediaries whenever possible. Because of their strong ties to their clan, these Shinobi must often put aside personal preferences or goals to serve their lord or clan, but in return they gain the support of a powerful political force and access to the clan’s many safe houses and hideouts.

    Although most Shinobi come from such isolated clans, exceptions exist at every turn. Some Shinobi receive specialized training from a single mentor, perhaps even a retired adventurer who wishes to pass along his skills. Others train alongside monks and other ascetics in a peaceful monastery. It is even rumoured that some unscrupulous nobles have set up their own Shinobi training centers. One of these centers might consist merely of a single teacher with a handful of students; another might be a full-blown Shinobi school that progresses students through a rigid series of tests, ranks, and trials.

 

DOMAIN-LEVEL INFORMATION

RP Collection: Shinobi collect RP from the following holding types at the indicated rates:

-          Province: Full

-          Law: Full

-          Guild: Full

 

Class Action: Espionage (including all versions) or Rule Holding: Law.

 

GAME RULE INFORMATION

Alignment: Any.

 

Status: Low (Taking levels in Shinobi is a major Dishonourable Deed for characters of High Status).

 

Hit Die: d6.

 

Class Skills: A Shinobi’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Jump (Str), Open Lock (Dex), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

 

Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) × 4.

 

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

 

TABLE: THE SHINOBI

Level

Base

Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

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, poison use

4th

+3

+1

+4

+1

+0

Great leap

5th

+3

+1

+4

+1

+1

Sudden strike +3d6

6th

+4

+2

+5

+2

+1

Acrobatics +2, ki dodge

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, improved poison use

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, evasion

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

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, greater ki dodge

19th

+14/+9/+4

+6

+11

+6

+3

Sudden strike +10d6

20th

+15/+10/+5

+6

+12

+6

+4

Ghost walk

 

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Shinobi.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Shinobi are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, kama, kukri, ninja-to, nunchaku, sai, short bow, short sword, shuriken. Shinobi are not proficient with any type of armour nor with tessen or tate.

 

AC Bonus (Ex): A Shinobi is highly trained at dodging blows, and she has a sixth sense that lets her avoid even unanticipated attacks. When unarmored and unencumbered, a Shinobi adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her Armour Class. In addition, a Shinobi gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five Shinobi 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 Shinobi is flat-footed. The character loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armour, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

 

Ki Power (Su): A Shinobi can channel her ki (a difficult word that translates as “care”, but implies a combination of willpower and spirit) 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 Shinobi is wearing no armour and is unencumbered.

    As long as a Shinobi’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 Shinobi’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, highlighted in red text.

 

Sudden Strike (Ex): If a Shinobi 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 Shinobi’s target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armour Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the Shinobi deals an extra 1d6 points of damage with her attack.

    This extra damage increases by 1d6 points for every two Shinobi levels thereafter. A Shinobi 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 Shinobi can’t make a sudden strike while striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are out of reach.

    A Shinobi can’t use sudden strike to deliver non-lethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only non-lethal 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.

Sudden Strike and Sneak Attack

    For the purpose of qualifying for feats, prestige classes, and similar options that require a minimum number of sneak attack extra damage dice, treat the Shinobi’s sudden strike ability as the equivalent of sneak attack.

 

Trapfinding (Ex): A Shinobi 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 (A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it).

    Finding a non-magical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

    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 her party) without disarming it.

 

Ghost Step (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a Shinobi can spend one daily use of her ki power to become invisible for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    At 10th level, a Shinobi can become ethereal when using ghost step instead of becoming invisible.

 

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

 

Great Leap (Su): At 4th level and higher, a Shinobi 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 for details. This ability can be used only if she is wearing no armour and is carrying no more than a light load.

 

Acrobatics (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a Shinobi 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 Shinobi can spend one daily use of her ki power to cause an attack against her to miss when it might otherwise hit. When a Shinobi 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 Shinobi 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 Shinobi needs only one free hand to use this ability. This ability can be used only if a Shinobi is wearing no armour and is carrying no more than a light load.

 

Ghost Strike (Su): At 8th level and higher, a Shinobi 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 Shinobi, as long as that attack is made before the end of her next turn.

 

Improved Poison Use (Ex): Starting at 9th level, a Shinobi can apply poison to a weapon as a move action.

(Normally, applying a poison is a standard action, like applying an oil.)

 

Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 12th level, a Shinobi can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save (such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a fireball), he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a Shinobi is wearing no armour and is carrying no more than a light load. A helpless Sekko (such as one who is unconscious or paralysed) does not gain the benefit of evasion.

 

Ghost Mind (Su): At 14th level, a Shinobi gains a special resistance to spells of the scrying sub-school. To detect or see a Shinobi with such a spell, the caster must make a caster level check (DC 20 + 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 do not work at all if the check fails.

 

Ghost Sight (Su): At 16th level and higher, a Shinobi can see invisible and ethereal creatures as easily as she sees material creatures and objects.

 

Greater Ki Dodge (Su): Starting at 18th level, a Shinobi’s ki dodge ability grants total concealment (50% miss chance).

 

Ghost Walk (Su): A 20th-level Shinobi 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 Shinobi’s class level.

 

Based on the Ninja class from The Complete Adventurer and the Ninja Spy Prestige class from Oriental Adventures.