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Advice on Ninjas and NOT appearing like a fanboy


Advice

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I've been reading through the core books recently because I still have to make a new character (our gaming group still hasn't reconvened due to the holidays), and I'm torn. I was going to go with monk, but reading (and developing a serious headache from) this thread, I've kind of been soured on the idea. And determining not to play a caster (do to another semi-related headache nightmare) I started looking for non-caster classes that already haven't been filled in my group.

Here's where I ran into my current problem. I read through the ninja's class features, and I love them, but I hate ninjas. This hatred mostly stems from the popularization of Naruto. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that I'm dead set on playing a Kitsune (or possibly an Oni descended tiefling)

So tell me, is their anyway I could play a kitsune ninja without other people viewing me as a Naruto fanboy?


Give yourself levels in gunslinger and look like a StarFox fanboy


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't know anything about Naruto, but...

Have you looked at (bear with me!) the Ranger with the Urban and Skirmisher archetypes? No magic!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

On a more serious note, which parts of Ninja do you like?


Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
Give yourself levels in gunslinger and look like a StarFox fanboy

Hey! Starfox 64 was a classic. Right up their with Mario 64, Mario Kart, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Shadows of the Empire. Tthe N64 was a great system (I was raised on the thing).

Any who, gunslinger are banned in are group, though I'm not really sure why.


An Oni-descended teifling (which is a brilliant idea, I must steal it for my oriental-themed campaign) as a ninja would not resemble Naruto very much at all. In fact, Naruto in general doesn't resemble the ninja from pathfinder very much. I don't think you'll have much of a problem. Just focus on what it is and ignore the associations.


Well, i like that its based of charisma, and the sneak attack is good. But its mainly the ninja tricks. They're just.....well.....cool. And personally, I'm a big fan of the asian fantasy theme. I'm not one of the guys who love something just because its japanese. I actually appreciate the aesthetics and traditional legends and such.


Hhmmmm, good advice. I'll think on it.

On a related note, I need to learn to type faster.


If you are interested in playing the ninja then play the ninja. Rename some powers and change the flavor a bit and you could easily describe yourself as some sort of shadow-powered assassin or living incarnation of the cunning and trickery of the fox. Heck, you could even describe yourself as being a monk of some sort, with a background describing some sort of order with a bent for emulating the fox/shadows/whatever. Never refer to yourself as a ninja in game and roleplay in a way that doesn't coincide with an orange clad moron. Have fun with your new character!

Silver Crusade

If you want so badly to play a Kitsune-like ninja character, I've got an archetype up my sleeve that could maybe slip outside of "official 3PP work", depending on what the publisher does or doesn't want and which probably (this being an understatement) would fit your thematic...

Cheapy will understand. He probably already did when reading "kitsune ninja".


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Just play a ninja and if they start making fun of you just tell them off.


It would be wierd, but how about a Kitsune Rogue with a 2 level dip in Paladin? Charisma-based, sneak attack, and talents. (since rogues and ninjas can get each others talents)


Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
It would be wierd, but how about a Kitsune Rogue with a 2 level dip in Paladin? Charisma-based, sneak attack, and talents. (since rogues and ninjas can get each others talents)

Also no disrespect to the N64. I was just kidding. xD


Be Puss in Boots -- plenty of the tricks work for such a thing.

Shadow Lodge

Just reskin the ninja. Don't call it a ninja, call it a skirmisher, or a montebank, fop, or whatever fits your character. If you're playing a kitsune plop a large feather in your hat , woo the women (or the men), snag alter self, and vanish at the drop of the hat.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Be Puss in Boots -- plenty of the tricks work for such a think.

Ooh! A Catfolk Lorewarden/Duelist?


Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Be Puss in Boots -- plenty of the tricks work for such a think.
Ooh! A Catfolk Lorewarden/Duelist?

Actually I'm trying to convince myself I can do it with paladin/monk(sohei), then duelist... but I think I'm currently failing. I'm wanting to use the Adlori Dueling Blade too... I'm thinking to use Imodae as the deity since the Adlori can be used as a long sword.


DONKEY MOUNT!


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Naruto doesn't resemble any ninja ever, in fact, the characters of that series by and large are only called ninjas because that's what the author wanted to call them. They could just as easily be Jedi or some other kind of bizarre magic warrior with incredibly unsubtle magic.

Yes they use some tricks associated to ninjas (shadow clones, shuriken, that specific variant of throwing dagger, and several of their movement shenanigans), but let's be honest, when your best technique is a giant ball of brightly-glowing, swirling, energy, then obviously you are a bit closer to a mage or Dragon Ball Z character.

That said: fans of many a tv show/game/whatever are crazy (as such are also quite annoying), after all fan is short for fanatic.

If you want to not appear to be a fanboy, act like an actual ninja: be subtle, have your character dress to look like an ordinary adventurer, don't try to draw attention to yourself, when the spotlight is on you, give it to someone else, be prepared for emergencies, and have a profession other than murderhobo. Don't announce to the group that you are a ninja, don't use your powers in front of them, use notes to the GM to tell him when you ARE using your powers, and simply let your group make any assumptions they want to make.

Shadow Lodge

To offer a tangent, subterfuge and (counter-)assassination ARE what the shinobi of Naruto do, it's just that the main character is laughable at both and the series diverged to the cast iron shonen format of fight-training-fight-training at some point, besides the whole tracking the Sasuke team down part of the manga. I digress, however, the fans are abysmal and you could do well to look at something more mature for inspiration.

For instance, there's been a fair amount of differet media renditions of Yamada Futaro's book Kouga Ninja Scrolls that might be right up your alley. I think the author is basically the one to blame for popularizing the archetype of the ninja as a silent but coldly charismatic assassin. These guys were agents of state, sure they were freaks too(like the vishkanya woman), but still professionals.

Another option is playing a self-styled diplomat in the vein of a modern hired killer, such as the fictional example of Agent 47 from the Hitman series of games(and one horrible movie). Show how appearances can be decieving. Not necessarily by constantly changing disguises, but by appearing harmless and part of the background. Smooth talk when confronted, only to be as treacherous and deadly as possible. You can be a party face easily, since charisma is very important for ninjas, unlike rogues. Starting confrontations, if possible, with talks can assure you get surprise rounds to throw shuriken(style them as small iron knives if you wish) or to stick a sword down someone's throat.

A traveling monk, a mousy-looking scholar, a jovial leper(easy to hide your heritage as a fiend-blooded human), we've had these kinds of characers(most of them rogues and inquisitors though) in PFS and as long a you get to do your social shtick, they can be wonderful. If you can't, well, just flip out and kill people. Won't be too hard, since the ninja is much better off defensively and offensively than a rogue.

Or you can try being Ryu from Ninja Gaiden, which does require a few levels in your back pocket to function though. Good luck with it. :P


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I meant what I said on an individual basis Muser, yes their job is to act as spies, assassinate people, and the like, but individually they share nothing with traditional ninjas.

Vishkanyas aren't freaks, they're tragedies, most of them really didn't get a choice in the matter, they were raised to kill people. The whole poisoned bodily fluids thing was a result of years of effort, that I'm pretty sure any vishkanya would have said "Nuts to that" if asked "would you do that again".

Shadow Lodge

Blue Star wrote:

I meant what I said on an individual basis Muser, yes their job is to act as spies, assassinate people, and the like, but individually they share nothing with traditional ninjas.

In the case of the main character I agree, but rest of the cast are pretty professional, stealthy-minded martial artists who work well as a group. Then again, we likely have a different idea on what it means to be a traditional ninja. Historically, you are spot on in that the kind of special forces wearing special sandals approach the manga took was nothing like the legendary hired poisoner and saboteur image of the ninja, but in terms of popular culture, the Naruto shinobis seem pretty traditional.

Blue Star wrote:
Vishkanyas aren't freaks, they're tragedies, most of them really didn't get a choice in the matter, they were raised to kill people. The whole poisoned bodily fluids thing was a result of years of effort, that I'm pretty sure any vishkanya would have said "Nuts to that" if asked "would you do that again".

I know, I know, this will be a cheap shot, but how come someone with poisonous bodily fluids is not considered a freakshow? She might be a tragic freakshow, but a she is still a result of a strange kind of body-bending experiment and can kill people by breathing on them. Pretty freaky.


@Muaser:I've never seen a ninja hurling balls of ki or fire at their enemies before Naruto, and the main characters aren't the only one who do this, one of the satellite characters is this fat guy who can blow up like a balloon and roll around like a human monster truck, and that's not even the most egregious example amongst the rest of the cast.


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Firstly, do not wear a Orange Jumpsuit.

Secondly, don't dump intelligence.

Thirdly, avoid frogs.

Fourthly, don't indulge in lengthy fan fiction about your character that has absolutely nothing to do with your campaign and try to convince people that it really happened in game.

Fifthly, no whisker tattoos or spiral tattoos on your belly.

Sixthly, never eat ramen.

Seventhly, don't get into a bromance with the BBEG.


+1 for Oterisk

Also no levels in Ragechemist/Master Chymist.


@Oterisk Sir, u'r awesum.

Andoran

Here's where I ran into my current problem. I read through the ninja's class features, and I love them, but I hate ninjas. This hatred mostly stems from the popularization of Naruto. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that I'm dead set on playing a Kitsune (or possibly an Oni descended tiefling)

So tell me, is their anyway I could play a kitsune ninja without other people viewing me as a Naruto fanboy?

Wow. This is the definition of ironic. Further exacerbated because the mirror image ability is one of the coolest trade mark abilities next to vanish that the class has which is the classic technique he uses in the series all the time. Truthfully, I alway felt that the writer who developed the class in its current form HAD to have been a Naruto Fanboy.

So you want to spice it up to appear to be something different.... I think somebody mentioned gunslinger in one of the posts earlier, and I think this might be where you want to go. Take one level of Gunslinger, possibly gun tank archtype for the armor proficiencies and completely westernize your character. Go ahead and take the rest of your class levels as a ninja, but use all of the martial wpn proficiencies gained with the gunslinger to build an Assasin's Creed type character instead. Same features as a ninja, different application. Plus, I don't think any of the Ninja's abilities are restricted by armor.

Silver Crusade

If I may, this is the archetype I spoke about. I can make it public now since it doesn't follow the "no japanese fluff" guideline of the 3PP publisher, so maybe it could interest you.

Also, easiest way not to be treated as a ninja fanboi : write "rogue" on the sheet.

Or "umbral assassin".

Or "shadow warrior".

Or "shinobi".

And avoid the red-headed stupid ninja tropes evoked earlier in the thread.


Western themed rogue alternate...

+1 on "write 'rogue' on the sheet."

SGH


Never yell out at the top of your lungs: "I'm a ninja!"


No, orange jumpsuits are out. Try a yellow jumpsuit and carry a harpoon...

Sorry. To get it right, try thinking of a few key points. As a ninja, your world is centered around the clan, that is, your family. In return for your training, they get your obedience. Your duty to your clan is paramount. More than that, you want the clan to flourish. The day to day routines are no stranger than any soldier's, you stand watch, you train, you plan, you do your job, even if it entails assassination. At the time when you start playing, you will have assisted in several dangerous jobs, as lookout, spy, or a diversion.

During play, you do not tell anyone you are a ninja. You fight well enough, and sneak well enough. The first rule is, you don't talk about ninja. Have a fake background and stick with it. Adapt when you need to. Lie if necessary to protect the job you are on. Do not grow too close to anyone outside the clan.

Think it through, and you are good to go.


Sissyl wrote:

No, orange jumpsuits are out. Try a yellow jumpsuit and carry a harpoon...

Sorry. To get it right, try thinking of a few key points. As a ninja, your world is centered around the clan, that is, your family. In return for your training, they get your obedience. Your duty to your clan is paramount. More than that, you want the clan to flourish. The day to day routines are no stranger than any soldier's, you stand watch, you train, you plan, you do your job, even if it entails assassination. At the time when you start playing, you will have assisted in several dangerous jobs, as lookout, spy, or a diversion.

During play, you do not tell anyone you are a ninja. You fight well enough, and sneak well enough. The first rule is, you don't talk about ninja. Have a fake background and stick with it. Adapt when you need to. Lie if necessary to protect the job you are on. Do not grow too close to anyone outside the clan.

Think it through, and you are good to go.

This is pretty accurate to the history of the ninja.

Just remember that they were also more likely to dress as workers who had a reason to be somewhere than in black jumpsuits. They preferred disguise over fancy stealth techniques.

Shadow Lodge

Maxximilius wrote:

If I may, this is the archetype I spoke about. I can make it public now since it doesn't follow the "no japanese fluff" guideline of the 3PP publisher, so maybe it could interest you.

Also, easiest way not to be treated as a ninja fanboi : write "rogue" on the sheet.

Or "umbral assassin".

Or "shadow warrior".

Or "shinobi".

And avoid the red-headed stupid ninja tropes evoked earlier in the thread.

Or Lurk

Or Stalker

Or Onmitsu

Or the name of (Insert cover job here) Such As Tailor, Steward, or Blacksmith.


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Eighthly, use a bigger weapon than a throwing knife.

Ninthly, crossdressing is out.

Tenthly, don't let people know that your mentor wrote erotica.

Eleventhly, orphans are overused.

Twelfthly, experiment with heir colors other than yellow.

Thirteenthly, pick up on social clues.

Fourteenthly, don't punctuate every sentence with "...and that's MY way of the ninja!"


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A good ninja: Kaede Nagase from Mahou Sensei Negima. She's the tall girl with eyes that are always closed. Aside from being 5'11", while in a Japanese Junior High(!), and probably having a weird hair color (green, but sometimes shown as gray) she doesn't stick out very much.

She's calm, quiet, wise, fairly smart (though it doesn't translate into being book-smart, her grades are rubbish) and incredibly deadly in a fight.


I am a Narutard, and I approve this thread.

Lantern Lodge

if you don't mind the heavy magical focus in her portrayal. Enma Ai is also a fairly good example of a ninja. She works through the underground (Teenagers advertising a website to one another that the cops can't prove), is subtle (more like undetectable unless she wants to be found), works as an assassin of sorts (taking lives on contracts), gathers information on her mark (though it's through seemingly magical means), loyal to her "family", and fairly dangerous in a fight. though she is more of a caster with save or die spells, she is close enough.


Hhhhmmmm.....originally I was going to make a female character, but now that I think about it, maybe I could take the ninja rules and rename some stuff after the actual assassins (the middles eastern ones). I could make some kind of 'old man of the mountain character', although starting in the old age category might be a bad idea.

Any thoughts?

EDIT: oh and Squawk, I wasn't offended by the starfox jab. I was just joking. (Although it was a good system)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A couple of non-Asian examples of ninja characters....

The Shadow - The original version, not so much the Alec Baldwin movie version.

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg - Yes, I know they're supposed to be powerful witches, but they rarely actually do any powerful magic. Most of what they do (especially in a book like Maskerade, where Granny does a straight up ninja vanishing trick) is be cleverer and more observant than everyone else, then use what they know to mess with everyone's heads.

James West and Artemis Gordon - The original versions, not the Will Smith movie version.

Shadow Lodge

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Blue Star wrote:
Never yell out at the top of your lungs: "I'm a ninja!"

Actually, do. Since no one would ever expect a ninja to do that, its a great way to convince people you're not a ninja.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
Never yell out at the top of your lungs: "I'm a ninja!"
Actually, do. Since no one would ever expect a ninja to do that, its a great way to convince people you're not a ninja.

That's either brilliant or stupid. I can't decide.


If you have enough disguise ranks and/or sudden disguise it won't matter you knows you are ninja. If you are constantly changing appearances its likely they won't recognize you the next time they see you in any case. It also helps if you get opening sneak attacks/assassination attempts.


Why do you have to prove anything to them? Play the character you want to play (without ruining the fun of others). You're among friends, or at least mature players, right? I wouldn't expect anything more than playful jabs from people that I like to play with.

I'm not going to stop referring to Shadow Clones as KAGE BUNSHIN in OOC though.


Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
Never yell out at the top of your lungs: "I'm a ninja!"
Actually, do. Since no one would ever expect a ninja to do that, its a great way to convince people you're not a ninja.
That's either brilliant or stupid. I can't decide.

Depends on the people around you. I said that to help avoid being freaking annoying.


Zephyre Al'dran wrote:
Truthfully, I alway felt that the writer who developed the class in its current form HAD to have been a Naruto Fanboy.

Don't be absurd. If the developer had been a Naruto fanboy Ninja would be an alternate class of Summoner, not Rogue.

Andoran

Kazarath wrote:
So tell me, is their anyway I could play a kitsune ninja without other people viewing me as a Naruto fanboy?

If you're a bard at 1st level, you're a bard your whole life in the eyes of everyone else.


You're not a ninja. You're a spy, assassin, or fixer. :D


What about starting with a level or two of monk? They're pretty front loaded with bonus feats and having been a monk first you can use whatever characterization you had planned before you got discouraged by the monk bashing thread.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I played a 3.5 Ninja in a game, and nobody knew it. I played like a rogue, rolled 'sneak attack' even when I didn't get it, and just told the GM both the normal and SA damage so he'd know just to use the normal damage.

My invisibility was a ring I 'stole' in the opening of the game, which had an anti-magic aura cast as well. (basically just a MW ring I paid 50gp for).

Do the same thing, as suggested above. Portray yourself as something else. You're actually a Spy/Elite Bodyguard/Assassin/Whatever. But you take some talents that let you mimic some class features, use UMD on wands, other things and basically leave everyone guessing what you actually are.

On your character sheet, right in 'Rogue' or 'Ranger' or whatever you want everyone else to think you are. Just make sure the GM knows it.


Ravingdork wrote:
You're not a ninja. You're a spy, assassin, or fixer. :D

He's a red spy. You're a blu player. Nice knowing you ._.

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