Assassins Equal Evil. Ninjas Don't?


Ninja Discussion: Round 1

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I see the problem with placing alignment restrictions on characters espically classes you take at level 1 could be oh I want to be an adventurer that was an evil ninja but saw that his ways were evil and decided to crusade for good. Losing class features would make this character less fun to play. I do not really want to play an ex anything that is not fun oh I spent levels to get this character concept and all I got was proficiencies and BAB and saves.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Assassin Class : Should be non-good, not evil, except for that 'kill someone just to get in' requirement, which is why I think they kept the 'evil only' since killing someone for no reason other than you want to get into the assassins guild is probably pretty evil. If they got rid of the 'must have killed someone just to get in' and change it to 'Must have killed a helpless opponent' for example, then I think 'non good only' would have been fine.

Ninja : No alignment restrictions should be done up on the class. There are (at the very least mythical) versions of Good, Neutral, and Evil ninjas.


mdt wrote:

Assassin Class : Should be non-good, not evil, except for that 'kill someone just to get in' requirement, which is why I think they kept the 'evil only' since killing someone for no reason other than you want to get into the assassins guild is probably pretty evil. If they got rid of the 'must have killed someone just to get in' and change it to 'Must have killed a helpless opponent' for example, then I think 'non good only' would have been fine.

Ninja : No alignment restrictions should be done up on the class. There are (at the very least mythical) versions of Good, Neutral, and Evil ninjas.

Agreed.

Personally I'm "reskinning" the Ninja for an Assassin base class. Ki becomes "Focus" or "Concentration", change in western weapons and viola. Assassin. In my game they've always been "non-good" as opposed to evil only. But they fulfill a different role in my game. An organization that moved over time (centuries) from freedom fighters to professional spy / assassins. Have to be born into it. I was never too happy with the prestige class "murderers club" 3.x assassin.


+1 to the OP, no good ninjas. [The only good ninja is a ...]


Pendagast wrote:

I think if a ninja wants death attack he has to go into Assassin PrC to get it. Ninja should not get it without going into assassin it's simple and easy.

By doing so they will level a little slower as a regular ninja, but be different and scary in their own right. I think this is fair and reasonable and more on level with a regular rogue. I think the same should be true for poison use.

I also think you could make a note in the ninja class saying that no trace stacks with stealth skill for the purposes of qualifying for the assassin PrC.

The problem here is that the ninja would be very MAD and unable to have a competitive Death Attack DC while having all the other stats they need to be decent in the ninja department.

What about only allowing Assassinate to work in the surprise round. You might also give the ninja a trick equivalent to the Surprise Attack rogue talent (or just make tricks and talents interchangeable if they go that route). Then the ninja can only use assassinate at the beginning of combat or when they decide to jump into the initiative.


Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

I think if a ninja wants death attack he has to go into Assassin PrC to get it. Ninja should not get it without going into assassin it's simple and easy.

By doing so they will level a little slower as a regular ninja, but be different and scary in their own right. I think this is fair and reasonable and more on level with a regular rogue. I think the same should be true for poison use.

I also think you could make a note in the ninja class saying that no trace stacks with stealth skill for the purposes of qualifying for the assassin PrC.

The problem here is that the ninja would be very MAD and unable to have a competitive Death Attack DC while having all the other stats they need to be decent in the ninja department.

What about only allowing Assassinate to work in the surprise round. You might also give the ninja a trick equivalent to the Surprise Attack rogue talent (or just make tricks and talents interchangeable if they go that route). Then the ninja can only use assassinate at the beginning of combat or when they decide to jump into the initiative.

Ninja are still in development, so you can change around what attribute they need for what.

Also I found another issue i never noticed, they gave death attack to the master spy PrC too.

Still, I dont think a base class should have it, at least not that early.
If you don't have to be evil to have death attack you shouldnt have to be evil to have undead following you around.


Pendagast wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

I think if a ninja wants death attack he has to go into Assassin PrC to get it. Ninja should not get it without going into assassin it's simple and easy.

By doing so they will level a little slower as a regular ninja, but be different and scary in their own right. I think this is fair and reasonable and more on level with a regular rogue. I think the same should be true for poison use.

I also think you could make a note in the ninja class saying that no trace stacks with stealth skill for the purposes of qualifying for the assassin PrC.

The problem here is that the ninja would be very MAD and unable to have a competitive Death Attack DC while having all the other stats they need to be decent in the ninja department.

What about only allowing Assassinate to work in the surprise round. You might also give the ninja a trick equivalent to the Surprise Attack rogue talent (or just make tricks and talents interchangeable if they go that route). Then the ninja can only use assassinate at the beginning of combat or when they decide to jump into the initiative.

Ninja are still in development, so you can change around what attribute they need for what.

Also I found another issue i never noticed, they gave death attack to the master spy PrC too.

Still, I dont think a base class should have it, at least not that early.
If you don't have to be evil to have death attack you shouldnt have to be evil to have undead following you around.

10th level is 4 levels later that the assassin gets it. Do you think that's too early?


Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

I think if a ninja wants death attack he has to go into Assassin PrC to get it. Ninja should not get it without going into assassin it's simple and easy.

By doing so they will level a little slower as a regular ninja, but be different and scary in their own right. I think this is fair and reasonable and more on level with a regular rogue. I think the same should be true for poison use.

I also think you could make a note in the ninja class saying that no trace stacks with stealth skill for the purposes of qualifying for the assassin PrC.

The problem here is that the ninja would be very MAD and unable to have a competitive Death Attack DC while having all the other stats they need to be decent in the ninja department.

What about only allowing Assassinate to work in the surprise round. You might also give the ninja a trick equivalent to the Surprise Attack rogue talent (or just make tricks and talents interchangeable if they go that route). Then the ninja can only use assassinate at the beginning of combat or when they decide to jump into the initiative.

Ninja are still in development, so you can change around what attribute they need for what.

Also I found another issue i never noticed, they gave death attack to the master spy PrC too.

Still, I dont think a base class should have it, at least not that early.
If you don't have to be evil to have death attack you shouldnt have to be evil to have undead following you around.

10th level is 4 levels later that the assassin gets it. Do you think that's too early?

yes it's too early if there are no alignment restrictions on it, other PC classes do not have similar abilities at 10th level.


Pendagast wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

I think if a ninja wants death attack he has to go into Assassin PrC to get it. Ninja should not get it without going into assassin it's simple and easy.

By doing so they will level a little slower as a regular ninja, but be different and scary in their own right. I think this is fair and reasonable and more on level with a regular rogue. I think the same should be true for poison use.

I also think you could make a note in the ninja class saying that no trace stacks with stealth skill for the purposes of qualifying for the assassin PrC.

The problem here is that the ninja would be very MAD and unable to have a competitive Death Attack DC while having all the other stats they need to be decent in the ninja department.

What about only allowing Assassinate to work in the surprise round. You might also give the ninja a trick equivalent to the Surprise Attack rogue talent (or just make tricks and talents interchangeable if they go that route). Then the ninja can only use assassinate at the beginning of combat or when they decide to jump into the initiative.

Ninja are still in development, so you can change around what attribute they need for what.

Also I found another issue i never noticed, they gave death attack to the master spy PrC too.

Still, I dont think a base class should have it, at least not that early.
If you don't have to be evil to have death attack you shouldnt have to be evil to have undead following you around.

10th level is 4 levels later that the assassin gets it. Do you think that's too early?
yes it's too early if there are no alignment restrictions on it, other PC classes do not have similar abilities at 10th level.

Similar assassin/rogue-ish prestige classes? Are there any? Master Spy is definitely a skill based class, not too strong in the combat department (not a problem for me), so I can see this class getting Death Attack much later.

Also why is alignment a balancing factor? My take on assassins is that the alignment restriction is there to keep them mostly an NPC prestige class, and because of DnD posterity (such as in forgetten realms where they all worshiped Bhaal). Honestly I could see it disappear under the right conditions, say a political intrigue campaign, where everything is shades of gray, or perhaps just shifted to "any non-good".

edit- shadow dancer is a bit of an odd duck. They don't really have that many offense based abilities. Its mostly an "i am batman" class, focusing on stealth.


Doing a little more cost benefit analysis, it seems that a lot of prestige classes get comparative powers at 8th level/12th character level. Master Spy gets death attack. Shadow dancer gets shadow power/shadow evocation. Assassin gets hide-in-plain-sight.

But since Assassinate is supposed to be less powerful than death attack, inferred by Jason's comments on the flanking. Then is there an issue with it being available 2 levels "early" on the ninja, assuming that death attack for a ninja, along with the master spy, is not the class' primary focus?


Sleep-Walker wrote:
Classes do not have moral pre-requisites.

*coughPaladincoughMonkcoughBarbariancough*

Quote:
You also mention that the American army does not require its soldiers to kill before signing up, however, many of the armies in Africa now force new troops to execute someone before they pass their probabtion. The number of kills linked to a soldier in many parts of the world is used as part of assigning promotions and so on. Alexander did require that the captains of his phalanxes killed, as did the Persians, as did the Spartans; in order to join the elite fighting forces of those armies you were required to kill and no-one is saying that those armies were all comprised of evil men.

I think the Persians did some pretty evil stuff, though...and the Greeks and Spartans weren't exactly shining pinnacles of human goodness. Then again, who has been?

Never mind.

Quote:
The differences in our beliefs are fairly simple. You believe that because the assassin has killed to recieve this training and membership in a guild he must be evil. I believe that one murder is not enough to shape an entire alignment. I believe that an assasins rapid death attacks rather than slowly beating someone to death features mercy. In addition, the assasin, once he was in the guild could select his targets carefully [and I would always select my opening target carefully as well] so that those they remove benefit the world.

...now I have the Death Note theme in my head.

Okay, copypasta attacks aside, I honestly think that the assassin should have a "non-good" alignment, and maybe have an "un/holy assassin" that follows church precepts and stuff. It'd make a good character concept, or a good recurring villain. My reasons? The assassin may be allowed to choose his employers, but he's gotta eat - he can't do research on everyone that is his would-be target to find out what they're doing that's so wrong. So maybe the player would be required to talk to the GM about why he wants to be an assassin so bad. If the answer is "so I can kill better" or something similar, bam, evil. If the player comes up with a good, in-character reason, he and the GM must agree on whether that's neutral or evil - and the player might be willing to take on the evil stigma for some plot reason.

The ninja...let's see. Ninja = rogue. Rogues make GOOD assassins, but they're NOT assassins. QED. A ninja could be hired for theft as much as assassination - though to be honest, an assassination was probably the most common reason. If anything, a ninja should be non-good except in extreme circumstances, such as if he's a ninja for a church.

...that sounds awesome...ninja of Lamashtu fighting ninja of Iomedae...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Does killing in the name of a church mean they are good? Perhaps the church is simply using a tool for their own purposes.

I still have not seen a convincing argument to have a good ninja. I still think that ninja and assassins were historically one and the same. In my own humble opinion Assassin/ninja should be non-good alignment since they have a death attack and thus are built in their class to kill others. Whether it be for a good cause or not they are hired to kill others I dno't think that can be a good act.


Ninja did what they were told, screw morality.
There is a difference between evil, and an absence of morality.
Lawful Neutral.

Silver Crusade

My perfect, undefeatable argument for good-aligned ninjas.

Liberty's Edge

Gruumash . wrote:

Does killing in the name of a church mean they are good? Perhaps the church is simply using a tool for their own purposes.

I still have not seen a convincing argument to have a good ninja. I still think that ninja and assassins were historically one and the same. In my own humble opinion Assassin/ninja should be non-good alignment since they have a death attack and thus are built in their class to kill others. Whether it be for a good cause or not they are hired to kill others I dno't think that can be a good act.

The prob with Pathfinder/DnD is that there aren't many moral gray areas in the rules (flavor/setting is another thing entirely) - paladins are always LG, monks are always L, inquisitors and clerics aren't so much a tool of their church as a representative of a living god that they can (on occasion) contact directly.

So you end up with things like the Slayer of Domiel PrC, 'good' ninjas, and 'evil' assassin's. Chalk it up to abstraction and the many, many simplifications and abstractions inherent to the rules. If you go down the road you're on, pretty much all fighters can't be good, unless they're pugilists or specialize in subdual damage. You can say they only kill 'monsters', but then what is an inherently 'good' or 'evil' monster, and why couldn't you just say the same about a particular ninja?


Mikaze wrote:
My perfect, undefeatable argument for good-aligned ninjas.

This makes me happy, so much win


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Shadow_of_death wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
My perfect, undefeatable argument for good-aligned ninjas.
This makes me happy, so much win

Wasn't there a parody called Adolescent Freak Samurai Toads or something like that? Now I have this image of one of those frog men from the Bestiary 2 in a samurai armor with a Katana riding a giant toad singing the chorus of the cartoon's theme song.

Shadow Lodge

I hope Pathfinder v2.0 does away with alignment altogether, and at the very least gets rid of any alignment restrictions on classes.


Kthulhu wrote:
I hope Pathfinder v2.0 does away with alignment altogether, and at the very least gets rid of any alignment restrictions on classes.

True alignment has always been silly and abstract.

You could still have paladins who followed their code (just write it down, like it used to be) and samurai/cavalier with their edicts.... alignment is stupid.
and you can still have the abstract ideas of pure evil and good, so the detect evil and protection from evil spells would still work. (this temple radiates strong EVIL, etc etc)


Sadly the "silly and abstract" should probably stay.

The problem with the whole alignment thing is that you can have the "concept" good and evil, but that is subjective to a culture, then you have debates on one society's evil vs another society's evils. Hence this board. Even giving a temple a strong aura of evil is actually subjective. The cold blooded killer might find it like home, all warm and fuzzy.

We had a campainge in Ebberon about five years ago where we all worked for Argonessen. We all came from the barbarians, or had some degree of draconic ties and at the start we all were told alighnment was to go by a very draconic standard. Being elietist, they didn't veiw the harming lesser beings as quite so bad, more casualties of what was going on. This would have worked fine save for the one player who came from Khorivaire. The DM switched the standard of "good vs. evil" around without telling us saying later that it was nessesary because we had a traditional mortal mentality in the group. Without telling us that our actions were in violate, nearly all of us became neurtal and some closer to evil.

The silly and absrtact exists as a standard put in place to give everyone a definition of society's dictates on the matter. In the game it is a universal dictate viewed by the players, not nessiarily the characters. I mean, really, what nation proudly claims to be the "evil capital of the world"?

Simply put- if you don't like the established standard, change it or do away with it, but not everyone is ready (or willing) to give up on the concept of heroic (westernized) good vs. evil and traditional morality.


Ronin Pi wrote:

Sadly the "silly and abstract" should probably stay.

The problem with the whole alignment thing is that you can have the "concept" good and evil, but that is subjective to a culture, then you have debates on one society's evil vs another society's evils. Hence this board. Even giving a temple a strong aura of evil is actually subjective. The cold blooded killer might find it like home, all warm and fuzzy.

We had a campainge in Ebberon about five years ago where we all worked for Argonessen. We all came from the barbarians, or had some degree of draconic ties and at the start we all were told alighnment was to go by a very draconic standard. Being elietist, they didn't veiw the harming lesser beings as quite so bad, more casualties of what was going on. This would have worked fine save for the one player who came from Khorivaire. The DM switched the standard of "good vs. evil" around without telling us saying later that it was nessesary because we had a traditional mortal mentality in the group. Without telling us that our actions were in violate, nearly all of us became neurtal and some closer to evil.

The silly and absrtact exists as a standard put in place to give everyone a definition of society's dictates on the matter. In the game it is a universal dictate viewed by the players, not nessiarily the characters. I mean, really, what nation proudly claims to be the "evil capital of the world"?

Simply put- if you don't like the established standard, change it or do away with it, but not everyone is ready (or willing) to give up on the concept of heroic (westernized) good vs. evil and traditional morality.

no what i meant is you can still be good or evil without an alignment written on your paper.

How would you define your own life and ideals? can you sum it up in a dnd alignment? If you can your probably a pretty dry person (not that people like that dont exist)

Ive looked at myself, using alignments as a defination and sometimes i come up with lawful evil and sometimes chaotic good.
Chaotic neutral is the only one that fits, but i have a high regard for laws a rules, im interested in their spirit (intention) more so than twisiting the letters, but sometimes I dont care about how other people feel and they should just go along with the law whether it works for them or not and quit whining, but then i like to see unjust things righted, which as sometimes unjust because of a stupid (or i see as stupid) law or situation.

So sometimes a law should be broken or ignored for the good of one, but one sniviling whining person should shut up and deal with it because its the law. Its complicated.... (basically i dont like people who cry about every little thing that doesnt meet their ideal of "freedom", but i believe those who are honestly incapable of championing themselves, need to be championed, even if it means opposing the law/government...but as mentioned above, that is relative from on civilization to another)

What is right and what is the law of a particular land are not always the same.


Pendagast wrote:


So sometimes a law should be broken or ignored for the good of one, but one sniviling whining person should shut up and deal with it because its the law. Its complicated.... (basically i dont like people who cry about every little thing that doesnt meet their ideal of "freedom", but i believe those who are honestly incapable of championing themselves, need to be championed, even if it means opposing the law/government...but as mentioned above, that is relative from on civilization to another)

What is right and what is the law of a particular land are not always the same.

Exactly! As a person I couldn't agree with you more. The point that I was trying to make is that just as it changes between cultures, so too does it change between players. What you and I view as "just" or "right" is not what my DM, co-workers, or even wife would call it. We can all view ourselves as good, evil, or indifferent, but that won't just change from our criteria, but from our teammates criteria. Everyone has the right to decide for themselves what these mean (and oh do they) and everyone will make different definitions. I think that is the only reason to keep the standard. So when it comes to a circle of protection spell your teammates know if it will effect them as well.


Mikaze wrote:
My perfect, undefeatable argument for good-aligned ninjas.

Argument... accepted.


Ronin Pi wrote:
Pendagast wrote:


So sometimes a law should be broken or ignored for the good of one, but one sniviling whining person should shut up and deal with it because its the law. Its complicated.... (basically i dont like people who cry about every little thing that doesnt meet their ideal of "freedom", but i believe those who are honestly incapable of championing themselves, need to be championed, even if it means opposing the law/government...but as mentioned above, that is relative from on civilization to another)

What is right and what is the law of a particular land are not always the same.

Exactly! As a person I couldn't agree with you more. The point that I was trying to make is that just as it changes between cultures, so too does it change between players. What you and I view as "just" or "right" is not what my DM, co-workers, or even wife would call it. We can all view ourselves as good, evil, or indifferent, but that won't just change from our criteria, but from our teammates criteria. Everyone has the right to decide for themselves what these mean (and oh do they) and everyone will make different definitions. I think that is the only reason to keep the standard. So when it comes to a circle of protection spell your teammates know if it will effect them as well.

however DnD DEFINES good and evil. so protection from evil means stopped undead and devils and evil descriptor spells you can still have all that, without alignments.


Pendagast wrote:


however DnD DEFINES good and evil. so protection from evil means stopped undead and devils and evil descriptor spells you can still have all that, without alignments.

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying. It IS alright to define energies and types of beings as evil or good, but not to define characters and NPCs by their actions as good or evil? I'm not trying to be prickish, just want to understand your view.

Stepping back into the "grey" again and the start of the thread, with that view can demons who repent by actions (like good ninjas and assassins) enter into such circles or are they forever doomed to be blocked by a spell that resonates to their past and not their present?

This could lead to some interesting plot twists in my current campaign...


Ronin Pi wrote:
Pendagast wrote:


however DnD DEFINES good and evil. so protection from evil means stopped undead and devils and evil descriptor spells you can still have all that, without alignments.

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying. It IS alright to define energies and types of beings as evil or good, but not to define characters and NPCs by their actions as good or evil? I'm not trying to be prickish, just want to understand your view.

Stepping back into the "grey" again and the start of the thread, with that view can demons who repent by actions (like good ninjas and assassins) enter into such circles or are they forever doomed to be blocked by a spell that resonates to their past and not their present?

This could lead to some interesting plot twists in my current campaign...

Im saying PCs should be able to play their characters however they want, according to their desires. If PC A) views himself as a 'hero' fine, while in game if he does things that are not hero-like it may affect his rep.

But if he decides to break laws there shouldnt be a "that would be a chaotic act!"

Like wise i dislike aligned weapons and attacks that target (law or good or chaos or evil)

One evil/selfish act doesnt make your home "evil"
But centuries of atrocities and sentient being sacrifice, demon worship and being home to all manner of undead creatures could be construed as "evil"

I dislike colored dragons by alignment as well.

Cant a Red colored dragon breathe ice and be good?

Things, places, even NPCs can be 'good' or 'evil' as described for plot purposes and certain spells but PCs and even general NPCs should not be constrained by the alignment system.
REAL people aren't.
Was Hitler insane? Evil? Both?
Could his equivalent in Pathfinder be Chaotic Neutral??


Again I have to agree with much of what you said. In our games we don't restrict dragon's alighnment by color, nor do we define one evil act as making a player evil. Everyone slides from time to time, everyone has the "moments of weakenes" or situational tendencies. Our players are free to play as they like, and alighnment doesn't seem to phase them as much as what are the other characters going to do to them if they find out (just like real people). No one calls "chaotic act" when someone breaks in, cheats a vendor, or disobeys orders. That is all role play. We use the descriptors to determine what energies flow more freely in a character and thus what types of magic hurt them as a result (like evil spells and outsiders).

I also love playing (as npc and character) those who would be typed as evil (undead, demons, ninja, etc) who's actions say that they aren't, and have lost the evil descriptor as a result.

Sadly Hitler is an example for both sides of the debate. He can only be defined by a cultural standard. Merely saying

btw, why are undead automatically evil? Is it the negative energy. If so then why can neutral clerics wield it in channeling.


Ronin Pi wrote:

Again I have to agree with much of what you said. In our games we don't restrict dragon's alighnment by color, nor do we define one evil act as making a player evil. Everyone slides from time to time, everyone has the "moments of weakenes" or situational tendencies. Our players are free to play as they like, and alighnment doesn't seem to phase them as much as what are the other characters going to do to them if they find out (just like real people). No one calls "chaotic act" when someone breaks in, cheats a vendor, or disobeys orders. That is all role play. We use the descriptors to determine what energies flow more freely in a character and thus what types of magic hurt them as a result (like evil spells and outsiders).

I also love playing (as npc and character) those who would be typed as evil (undead, demons, ninja, etc) who's actions say that they aren't, and have lost the evil descriptor as a result.

Sadly Hitler is an example for both sides of the debate. He can only be defined by a cultural standard. Merely saying

btw, why are undead automatically evil? Is it the negative energy. If so then why can neutral clerics wield it in channeling.

neutral clerics can choose negative (evil) or positive (good) energy to channel.

I am a big fan of the "hero necromancer" idea.
Was aragorn evil by summoning an undead army to defeat the orcs of mordor?

I dunno, more grey.


Ninja's true alignment is Lawful Neutral. They follow their clan's codes. They can be sent to protect or kill people. Some acts may look evil and good, so in the end, they are lawful neutral or just true neutral.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Kastafer wrote:
Ninja's true alignment is Lawful Neutral. They follow their clan's codes. They can be sent to protect or kill people. Some acts may look evil and good, so in the end, they are lawful neutral or just true neutral.

I can buy that ... but wouldn't we say an assassin could be the same? I guess the argument I am making is that Assassins should have that same ability and they don't need to be evil.

On a personal note I think all ninja have to be evil because I am a pirate and thus I hate the ninja. Standard story ninja killed my family I was raised by pirates to fight against the evil ninja and thus they have become my mortla enemies.


Ninja's are more good and lawful than paladin's. There morality and virtue are pure. They take the lives of the enemy to their clan and community. Ninja's do not kill randomly or for personal gain. They may not know the full details of their mission. But they have faith in the judgement of their leaders who have earned that faith. Many times an assassination may be to prevent a greater war or destroying a tyrant who oppresses the people. I definitely see these guys as the good guys. But for me, taking a life is not immoral, and may be very very moral under the right circumstances. In fact not killing certain people is very immoral, allowing people who destroy the innocent to live is the greatest immorality in existance and killing them is a moral virtue.


Arnwolf wrote:
Ninja's are more good and lawful than paladin's. There morality and virtue are pure. They take the lives of the enemy to their clan and community. Ninja's do not kill randomly or for personal gain. They may not know the full details of their mission. But they have faith in the judgement of their leaders who have earned that faith. Many times an assassination may be to prevent a greater war or destroying a tyrant who oppresses the people. I definitely see these guys as the good guys. But for me, taking a life is not immoral, and may be very very moral under the right circumstances. In fact not killing certain people is very immoral, allowing people who destroy the innocent to live is the greatest immorality in existance and killing them is a moral virtue.

Stop trying to 'typify' ninja.

the term ninja is more or less synonymous with assassin or special operative or commando in western spheres.

They came from different places, houses and clans, all with different motives and purpose.

Many ninja were samurai by day, but not all, and the ninja changed over time just as everything around them did.

this concept of oriental honor was used more of an excuse to not publicly challenge them when caught in a lie or misdealing than anything.
US Army Rangers have an honor code, doesn't make them any more or less honorable than samurai, ninja or jedi knights.

Are some army rangers good people? yes. are some bad? yes.
This is also true of ninja.
stop using 'legend' to state a truth.

A paladins powers are restricted to only one alignment/code.
Similarly druids must be neutral, barbarians must be non lawful.
As far as the ninja is concerned his/her powers are not tied to a way of thinking, so if one starts out good and becomes bad (say the shredder) he's still a ninja and still has all the abilities and powers.
thats why there is no alignment restriction.
Whether a good ninja WILL use poison or assassination is up to that good person, but he still has the knowledge and skills.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Arnwolf wrote:
"I was only following orders."

:)


I am kinda shocked no one tried to make this argument yet.

In my campaigns I have always made this House Rule to the Assasins. They can be any non-good alignment to continue gaining class ranks. They WILL become the evil alingment upon entering the class due to the prerequisite of killing a person for the sole purpose of entering being a completely evil act. If they change alignments to one of the three non evil nuetrals, then they may keep taking class levels, fine by me.
One evil act does not make you evil forever, that is something many people I play with are quick to forget. Does the consequences stay with you forever? certainly.


fallenvash wrote:

I am kinda shocked no one tried to make this argument yet.

In my campaigns I have always made this House Rule to the Assasins. They can be any non-good alignment to continue gaining class ranks. They WILL become the evil alingment upon entering the class due to the prerequisite of killing a person for the sole purpose of entering being a completely evil act. If they change alignments to one of the three non evil nuetrals, then they may keep taking class levels, fine by me.
One evil act does not make you evil forever, that is something many people I play with are quick to forget. Does the consequences stay with you forever? certainly.

Finally.

Alignment (at least for non-outsiders) is neither a straight-jacket nor a prom dress. You aren't 100% bound to it, nor are you able to ditch it at a moment's notice.

A paladin is lawful good, but that doesn't mean he can't break rules to see justice done. He respects them, but respect doesn't mean not breaking them if it is necessary to prevent a tragedy.

A barbarian may not be lawful, but that doesn't mean he can't be disciplined and reliable, or follow the traditions of his tribe. Its just that when push comes to shove, he will let his fury command him, instead of the other way around.

A monk must be lawful, but that doesn't mean a monk has to obey the rules of the land he is in. It doesn't mean he can't reward himself for a hard day's adventuring by having a drink with his friends. It just means he will be out there in the morning, meditating, stretching, and practicing his art, even with a killer hangover.

And as for the people saying the D&D alignment system doesn't work in the real world, because on any given day they might be Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, or any of the other seven alignments?

YOU ARE NEUTRAL. Like the vast majority of humans. We have a generally (emphasis generally) positive outlook because we all want the neighbor next door to not be a psychopath. The vast majority of humans are neutral. A rare few are one step away. And a handful of a few driven people are actually an extreme like LG or CE.

People assume that because you did a good deed, you are now Neutral Good. Just like they assume a reprehensible act makes you Neutral Evil. Hardly. It takes work, dedication, and effort to ACHEIVE the status of Good, Chaotic, Lawful, or Evil.

I have done things that have brought pain to others. But I am not evil. I have brought laughter and joy to many, helped many who needed it. But I am not good. I have broken laws. But I am not chaotic. I have obeyed laws. But I am not lawful. I am an average human being. I am neutral. And 99% of the people reading this are as well. We like to think of ourselves as good, but that is just a falsehood we hide behind to protect our self worth.

To bring this back onto it's tracks, I'll point out something fun about Assassins, which Fallenvash has already mentioned in a sideways manner. Assassins do not need to stay evil to level beyond 1rst. There is no paragraph dictating what powers they loose access to if they change their alignments, like there is with Paladin, Monk, and Barbarian. The prestige class section says nothing about what happens if you should no longer meet the requirements for the class; the only statement is what is required to BECOME a PRC, not to REMAIN.

Heck, in one of my games, I reversed the paradigm. The Crown Assassins of a kingdom were pulled from the city's jails. Common men who, for varied reasons, had committed murder and been sentenced to death. A select few, who met the appropriate mental and physical criteria, were spared the executioner's axe in return for a hidden life in service to the crown.

No alignment choice should stop a character from taking a level of Ninja. But being a ninja may, like every other class, put a character in situations where they will make choices that could affect their alignment.

And I am done with this thread.


Aside from calling LG and CE "extreme" alignments, I agree with everything you just said.

I don't use Assassins in my games. Every class ability the Assassin gets is either a Rogue Talent or an Advanced Rogue Talent. (Same with Shadowdancers.) I'm going to do the same thing with Ninja.

There's simply neither a need nor a reason for any of these to be a separate class.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

I agree 100% with the original poster.

Of course, I've always felt that the assassin should not have the evil alignment restriction. We always remove it in any of our games.

A restriction of 'any non good' I can accept though (for both eh ninja and the assassin)

WOTC removed all alignment requirements for the Assasin in 4th edition.


Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.


Alignment is a spectrum of colored crystals in this game you can have the red light saber and be evil or the green light saber and be good but at the end of the day that florescent death stick will still be used to hack apart whatever gets between the player and his new +1 boots of butt kicking .


The argument about "they should be evil because they get a death attack" is silly, lots of folks in Pathfinder get ways to kill folks. The reason they should be evil is that their job is to sneak into other people's houses and murder them in their sleep. They're trained murderers. Their whole point is to murder. Not to duel, not to war, not to ever let their quarry see them at all. To murder.

If the class's whole point is to murder, then it should have an evil alignment restriction. Doesn't matter who they're murdering for. Murder for Country is still murder.


I can see limiting the death attack option to certain alignments, but not poison use.

Poison use is not evil. There are a number of non-killing poisons that a ninja (or anyone) could use when trying to capture an opponent alive or when taking an assignment. Likewise, lethal or nonlethal posions can be used to defeat some rampaging monster that the lives of the local villagers. It is how poison is used that makes it EVIL.

From what I am familiar with, historically, ninjas were more commonly spies than assassins. There is even some evidence that some samurai families were familiar with the "ninja arts," which they used as military scouts and bodyguards.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
beej67 wrote:

If the class's whole point is to murder, then it should have an evil alignment restriction. Doesn't matter who they're murdering for. Murder for Country is still murder.

Hey. Just want to point out that murder is defined as the "unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought" and as such killing for Country is not murder. Depending on circumstances it may be a war crime, but never murder.

Now many consider murder Malum in se, or "evil in itself", but if Pathfinder shared this view than all heroes would be evil. By this definition the very act of killing is evil, even if in self-defense or defense of another. As basically all that a character does in Pathfinder (or any game for that mater) is kill things then this becomes a problem. Especially if you consider murder the killing of any intelligent creature.

As such I would consider "any non-good" to be the best alignment for Ninjas and Assassins. I will withhold my own views on whether or not murder is evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
beej67 wrote:
If the class's whole point is to murder, then it should have an evil alignment restriction. Doesn't matter who they're murdering for. Murder for Country is still murder.

*writes 'Any Evil' in the alignment space of the Fighter class*


Sleep-Walker wrote:
Just doing what you are told does not free someone from alignment restrictions.

But he was just following orders.

:P

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've always thought that PC Classes should be completely separate from anything in-game. For example, you can be a member of a company of rangers without actually taking class levels in ranger. You could join the thieves guild as a rogue or a bard. You can be a member of the city guard or a soldier in the army with any number of classes, such as paladin, warrior, fighter, ranger, barbarian, etc.

So I don't get why the rule trying to tie the Assassin's Guild to the Assassin prestige class. The skills themselves are just that - skills. It's a tool, and can be wielded for either good or evil. Your combat stats on your character sheet don't in any way force you to be either. In my mind, it was a mistake to leave the 3.5 enforcement of an Evil Alignment and to kill an innocent just to take the prestige class. Requirements to join an actual in-game or campaign organization? Fine. But keep it out of the rule book.

It's honestly one of the few things I dislike about PRPG, and would hate to see the Ninja PC Class so tied with anything that only has its business in a campaign setting book.

Classes should be sets of skills that support a wide variety of diversity in character and play types within those bounds.


Count Buggula wrote:

I've always thought that PC Classes should be completely separate from anything in-game. For example, you can be a member of a company of rangers without actually taking class levels in ranger. You could join the thieves guild as a rogue or a bard. You can be a member of the city guard or a soldier in the army with any number of classes, such as paladin, warrior, fighter, ranger, barbarian, etc.

So I don't get why the rule trying to tie the Assassin's Guild to the Assassin prestige class. The skills themselves are just that - skills. It's a tool, and can be wielded for either good or evil. Your combat stats on your character sheet don't in any way force you to be either. In my mind, it was a mistake to leave the 3.5 enforcement of an Evil Alignment and to kill an innocent just to take the prestige class. Requirements to join an actual in-game or campaign organization? Fine. But keep it out of the rule book.

It's honestly one of the few things I dislike about PRPG, and would hate to see the Ninja PC Class so tied with anything that only has its business in a campaign setting book.

Classes should be sets of skills that support a wide variety of diversity in character and play types within those bounds.

+1 agree

Grand Lodge

I think that something we're forgetting is that ninja's have the option of using assassinate. Yes, it is a class feature but the class isn't based solely around it, like the assassin.

Yes, the police have guns and know how to use them. But that doesn't make them evil for having the ability to.

Yes, a person driving a car can drive up onto the sidewalk and mow down pedestrians. But that doesn't make them evil for having the ability to.

Yes, many contires have nuclear weapons and could end human existence. But that doesn't make them evil for having the ability to.

Point in fact, yes, ninja's have the chance to exercise their class feature of assassinate, but that doesn't mean they use it. Hence they shouldn't have to be evil. Further more this is why there can be good ninjas.

You could argue that this works for assassins too, but the fact they have to murder someone just to become an assassin puts them in the evil category. Yes, I believe there can be non-evil asassins but the waving of that requirement would be part of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Oliver McShade wrote:
Count Buggula wrote:

I've always thought that PC Classes should be completely separate from anything in-game.

...

Classes should be sets of skills that support a wide variety of diversity in character and play types within those bounds.

+1 agree

+2

Down with 'Only One Character Per Class'!


OK, I admit I can't be bothered to read through 98 previous posts so I'm going off the headline and my main comment is:

Ninjas are fictional. They never existed in the form portrayed in fantasy literature and media. So you can interpret them in any way you like.

The only reason they've got such a following is the cool black pyjamas and shiruken throwing stars. Personally, if someone in one of my games wanted to play a ninja, I'd hand them the assassin template with 'assassin' crossed out and 'ninja' inserted. But then, I'm a bitter old hag who remembers the ninja nemesis of Iron Fist in 1970s Marvel Comics, which was long before everyone jumped on the band wagon.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oliver McShade wrote:
Count Buggula wrote:

I've always thought that PC Classes should be completely separate from anything in-game.

...

Classes should be sets of skills that support a wide variety of diversity in character and play types within those bounds.

+1 agree

+2

Down with 'Only One Character Per Class'!

+3

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