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On the subject of experience points, the rules suggest that the referee should consider to what degree the character acts as a ninja as opposed to acting as a member of his other profession. This decision is not always clear (but see M. J. Young's Dungeons & Dragons Materials, Special Rules, Experience for Ninja Split Class for a simplified approach).
Ninja gain a full d2 hit points per level through level 9 as a ninja, and one point per level above that, with no constitution bonus in this class. They receive half of their normal hit points in the other class per level, but receive the full appropriate constitution bonus in that other class. This is distinct from the normal treatment of hit points for multiclassed characters. They always save as thieves, and attack according to their other class. They may use any weapons permitted to the other class plus those especially intended for ninja. The use of such weapons will not detract from his honor (although it may call attention to his profession). It is expected that he will use his ninja proficiencies (of which he begins with two) for weapons and skills related to his ninja profession, and his other class proficiencies for non-ninja weapons and skills; there could be an honor penalty for using proficiency slots from the other class for learning ninja weapons. (Martial arts skills are neither ninja nor non-ninja proficiencies, and may be used in either class. The only martial arts useable ninja weapon is the shikomi-zue.)
Any armor which may be worn by the other class may be worn by ninja, but certain types of armor may interfere with certain ninja skills.
The character can move silently provided he is not wearing metal armor. Important people may have "nightingale floors" built into their homes, designed to squeak when walked on, which will reduce the chance of success by half.
A ninja can hide in shadows if he is not seen doing it. This roll is made in secret by the referee, so the character is not certain whether he is hidden.
As a thief, he can find and remove traps of the smaller gadget devices. This does not include the type of construction work traps found by dwarfs, nor magical traps, but tends toward the needle in the lock type, or possibly the rigged door. This roll is also made by the referee.
The ninja can climb walls and other surfaces by grasping small cracks and bumps. This can be done in chain mail, but not in any other metal armor. Generally the check is made at the midpoint in the climb, although on long climbs the referee may require several rolls.
As an assassin, the ninja is able to disguise himself as another person, either generally or in particular.
Also as an assassin, the character can assassinate another character. This is more fully discussed in the material on the assassin.
Much as the thief-acrobat, the ninja can tightrope walk. This cannot be done in metal armor. There are numerous other restrictions and modifiers on this skill.
The character can also pole vault with a running start.
He can fall in a way similar to a monk, although his distances are different for this skill. It cannot be done in metal armor other than chain mail.
He has skill to escape from ropes and chains and similar bindings. It cannot be done while the character is watching, for it is obvious and easily prevented if observed.
The ninja can backstab for multiple damage as a thief.
He can also open locks as a thief. Book rules require the DM to keep track of any attempt to open a lock, so he knows which locks the character has successfully opened. (MyWorld finds this an unnecessary burden, especially in view of the fact that the rules originally suggested that unattended doors would be found locked when the characters returned. Thus MyWorld rules allow any thief to attempt to open any lock encountered at the time encountered, with success or failure applying only to that attempt.)
(In a peculiar oversight, the description of the ninja neglected to include the pick pockets skill; however, the description of the yakuza specifies that they can pick pockets "as a ninja", and the dexterity adjustments include those for picking pockets, so it clearly was intended. MyWorld rules assume that this ability is the same as that for the thief.)
The ninja also has three ki powers.
At level one, the character can hold his breath for a number of rounds (minutes) equal to his level, once per day.
From level 5, the ninja can walk across water, 5' per level, 30' per round. It can be used a number of times per day equal to the character's ninja level, but requires concentration which is broken if the character is injured during the attempt.
At level 12, the character can pass through walls. It requires 3 rounds of concentrated preparation before beginning, and the character moves 1' per level for one round. He cannot use any other ki power that day.
As a ninja, the character must carry out his mission and obey all orders of the clan. Failure to do so makes the character a nukenin, who may be a hero to the people, but is a target for multiple assassination attempts by the family and requires twice the experience points to advance in level. His only escape from this is to kill the head of the family and install himself as leader.
Honor is extremely important to the ninja, who must include completion of his mission and secrecy among his objectives. Failure to complete the mission or to keep his identity secret results in severe loss of honor. His honor must be kept above that of his family, or he offends the family, and will be assassinated.
The mission of the ninja is assigned by the head of the family--a non-player character controlled by the DM. It is recommended that the DM avoid creating missions which will set player characters against each other. (One possible approach to this problem is to assign the ninja to observe and report the activities of one of the other characters, such as a samurai or a ninja from a rival clan.)
These abilities acrue to the ninja:
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