Assassins Equal Evil. Ninjas Don't?


Ninja Discussion: Round 1

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To be an assassin and have Death Attack and have poison use you must be Evil.

To be a Ninja and have Assassinate and have poison use there is no alignment restriction?


Flavor-wise, the Assassin represents the hired killer that does things for his own profit. The Ninja has always been more of a "for king and country" kind of person. Similar skill, but overall, different motives.

Liberty's Edge

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)


Mahorfeus wrote:
Flavor-wise, the Assassin represents the hired killer that does things for his own profit. The Ninja has always been more of a "for king and country" kind of person. Similar skill, but overall, different motives.

Agreed. The Assassin PrC has always been about someone who KILLS for the soul purpose of PROFIT. Not going by the idea of political assassin which is about king and/or country.


Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Mahorfeus wrote:
Flavor-wise, the Assassin represents the hired killer that does things for his own profit. The Ninja has always been more of a "for king and country" kind of person. Similar skill, but overall, different motives.
Agreed. The Assassin PrC has always been about someone who KILLS for the soul purpose of PROFIT...

Or the fun of it...

Lantern Lodge

Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Mahorfeus wrote:
Flavor-wise, the Assassin represents the hired killer that does things for his own profit. The Ninja has always been more of a "for king and country" kind of person. Similar skill, but overall, different motives.
Agreed. The Assassin PrC has always been about someone who KILLS for the soul purpose of PROFIT. Not going by the idea of political assassin which is about king and/or country.

Ninja's never kill for profit? Really? Isn't the whole historical basis for a ninja wrapped around the idea of villages or clans making a living through hiring themselves out for espionage missions as spies or assassins?

I will say the original poster brought up a very interesting point here, and one that's not easily answered. Ask 10 people and everyone will have a different opinion on the whole alignment issue.

I see no easy answer


For the record, I don't think Assassin should have an alignment restriction either, but Paizo decided that Assassin should keep its Evil alignment restriction. I'm just looking for some continuity.

Ninja's as loyal Hands should be willing to do whatever they are told to, including poisoning a towns water-source and killing women and children. I actually think Evil is more of a requirement for Ninjas than for an assassin. Just doing what you are told does not free someone from alignment restrictions.

Ninja's also do not have a class disadvantage which says they have to be loyal to king and country. Nor does it say that a ronin style Ninja loses any abilities or gains any alignment restrictions.

I understand why people see a difference, but why the things people are relying on to make a difference are optional, they don't really make a difference.


Sleep-Walker wrote:

For the record, I don't think Assassin should have an alignment restriction either, but Paizo decided that Assassin should keep its Evil alignment restriction. I'm just looking for some continuity.

Ninja's as loyal Hands should be willing to do whatever they are told to, including poisoning a towns water-source and killing women and children. I actually think Evil is more of a requirement for Ninjas than for an assassin. Just doing what you are told does not free someone from alignment restrictions.

Ninja's also do not have a class disadvantage which says they have to be loyal to king and country. Nor does it say that a ronin style Ninja loses any abilities or gains any alignment restrictions.

I understand why people see a difference, but why the things people are relying on to make a difference are optional, they don't really make a difference.

Following orders is lawful, how you follow them dictates good or evil, do you use a quick kill poison to minimalize suffering or do you charge in and wantonly slaughter everyone in a sadistic glee. Not necessarily good either way, but neutral or evil.

Lantern Lodge

Kierato wrote:


Following orders is lawful, how you follow them dictates good or evil, do you use a quick kill poison to minimalize suffering or do you charge in and wantonly slaughter everyone in a sadistic glee. Not necessarily good either way, but neutral or evil.

The idea of whether or not the person committing the act knew it was wrong has always weighed heavily in my personal perception on what constitutes an evil act.

Yes the king may order you to poison the town's well, and yes, being a good law abiding citizen you obey your boss, but deep down inside you know its a terrible thing to do, regardless of your societal justification.

Of course there's a million exceptions, and i'm sure everyone will be quick to point them all out, but in general thats how I handle it with my own characters.

Should all "ninja's" be evil? No

Can "ninja's" be evil? Oh most defiantly so

Is Paizo's Ninja variant (with an assassinate ability) evil? It doesn't "feel" evil to me, but I need to think on it a bit more.


The method an assassin uses could be evil or neutral. All of these arguments back up my main point.

So my goodly aligned ninja with holy weapons, celestial armour, poison, and assassinate doesn't bother anyone??


Sleep-Walker wrote:

To be an assassin and have Death Attack and have poison use you must be Evil.

To be a Ninja and have Assassinate and have poison use there is no alignment restriction?

then, what if we change her name to Spy, or something like that...?

Lantern Lodge

Sleep-Walker wrote:

The method an assassin uses could be evil or neutral. All of these arguments back up my main point.

So my goodly aligned ninja with holy weapons, celestial armour, poison, and assassinate doesn't bother anyone??

Here's an interesting question, If the ability had other flavor text, instead of the word "assassinate" how would everyone view it? Monk's have Quivering Palm, wizards have Power Word: Kill. Does having the ability make you evil, or is it how you use it?

If it was simply called "Quickened Coup-De-grace" would it still have the same stigma?

I always pegged Assassins as evil, as their life is dedicated to the cold blooded murder of their victims, and the prestige class is based on that central idea.

If a Ninja chose to do the same, then that ninja would be evil, but I wouldn't say the CLASS was inherently evil. There are many other types of ninja's and I think the proposed ninja class is varied enough to not require an evil descriptor

Dark Archive

Kassegore wrote:
Sleep-Walker wrote:

The method an assassin uses could be evil or neutral. All of these arguments back up my main point.

So my goodly aligned ninja with holy weapons, celestial armour, poison, and assassinate doesn't bother anyone??

Here's an interesting question, If the ability had other flavor text, instead of the word "assassinate" how would everyone view it? Monk's have Quivering Palm, wizards have Power Word: Kill. Does having the ability make you evil, or is it how you use it?

If it was simply called "Quickened Coup-De-grace" would it still have the same stigma?

I always pegged Assassins as evil, as their life is dedicated to the cold blooded murder of their victims, and the prestige class is based on that central idea.

If a Ninja chose to do the same, then that ninja would be evil, but I wouldn't say the CLASS was inherently evil. There are many other types of ninja's and I think the proposed ninja class is varied enough to not require an evil descriptor

+1

Assassin is focused almost solely on the death attack mechanic. The Ninja has it as an aside, but by no means is it the focus of the class. Poisoner rogues have poison use as do alchemists but they are NOT evil as well. Its about the central focus of the class. An assassin is dedicated to the quick and effortless elimination of the opposition. A ninja is dedicated to being the perfect tool for their "master".

You tell me where the difference lies and then tell me again why the alignment restriction is deserved.

Liberty's Edge

What about an assassin that dedicates his life to infiltrating the strongholds of tyrannical leaders and warlords in order to assassinate them for the good of the people?

Like I said, neither assassins or ninja should have an evil only restriction in my opinion.

Non-good? Maybe ... but not evil only.


Inquisitors and rogues get a death attack too. They should be evil.

Most people get access to coup de grace at first level! They should be evil.

I noticed that wizards can cast spells like phantasmal killer. Evil!

I don't think ninjas should get "Better Death Attack Why Would You Be an Assassin Lol" at all, if you're wondering about my stance on the subject.


I don't think Ninja should get a death attack that early. I mean let people by the silly Ninja with out it and if they want to play assassin let them take the prestige class.

Since i don't care how you think of it yourself killing people is bad enough, being an assassin is even worse. I don't care why your an assassin or who you kill. Murder is still murder and an assassin likes his murder in cold blood.

Dark Archive

Marc Radle wrote:

What about an assassin that dedicates his life to infiltrating the strongholds of tyrannical leaders and warlords in order to assassinate them for the good of the people?

Like I said, neither assassins or ninja should have an evil only restriction in my opinion.

Non-good? Maybe ... but not evil only.

You'd have a good point...

...except for the prerequisite to take a level of assassin.

You must kill a sentient being for no other reason than to join an organization that will teach you how to become an assassin. You know, that little thing that most DM's hand wave?


Brain in a Jar wrote:

I don't think Ninja should get a death attack that early. I mean let people by the silly Ninja with out it and if they want to play assassin let them take the prestige class.

Since i don't care how you think of it yourself killing people is bad enough, being an assassin is even worse. I don't care why your an assassin or who you kill. Murder is still murder and an assassin likes his murder in cold blood.

All adventurers kill. That is how the game is played. By your statement, all adventurers are evil.


assassin,s hit men, mechanincs, etc all kill for pleasure, for money.

ninjas were supposed to act as spies, thieves, assassins and a few other things I'd reckon.

I agree though, the assassin should loose the evil deal...... though I also think the assassin should be heavily errattad, but to what I can not say


Kierato wrote:


All adventurers kill. That is how the game is played. By your statement, all adventurers are evil.

It's pretty common knowledge adventurers are bastards. The Church of Erastil has them in low standards for a reason.

The PCs are VERY often played as happy go lucky adventurers killing everything that looks like it may be "evil" and then promptly stripping their corpses of any valuable loot and then moving on to the next incident, likely killing several innocents and ignoring moral choices.

It's what adventurers do, they also often f!@$ up, horribly. In some opinions, yea, it is evil.

They are selfish, only caring about loot and ignoring the needs of others unless it gives them something in return.

That is the fundamental concept of evil.


Kierato wrote:
All adventurers kill. That is how the game is played. By your statement, all adventurers are evil.

I was speaking of assassins strictly being evil. I made mention that killing is bad enough, taking somethings life isn't good, but that doesn't mean all adventurers are evil.

I meant that to be an assassin is to murder people in cold blood. You kill them when they are helpless and haven't a clue they are going to die. It doesn't matter if the man you murder is a bad guy its still murder.

Doing a bad thing for the right reasons doesn't make the bad thing good.


Heretek +1


Brain in a Jar wrote:

Kierato wrote:

All adventurers kill. That is how the game is played. By your statement, all adventurers are evil.

I was speaking of assassins strictly being evil. I made mention that killing is bad enough, taking somethings life isn't good, but that doesn't mean all adventurers are evil.

I meant that to be an assassin is to murder people in cold blood. You kill them when they are helpless and haven't a clue they are going to die. It doesn't matter if the man you murder is a bad guy its still murder.

Doing a bad thing for the right reasons doesn't make the bad thing good.

That is a matter of "the ends justify the means" or "the means justify the ends", pure a matter of opinion.


Please no alignment restriction on the class.

Alignment is just annoying to enforce, a pain to keep track of, and never needed because it conflicts with some player idea at some point.


So would you allow a Ninja in your games who used poison and assassinate to be goodly aligned?

I think the biggest problem here is actually the Evil only requirement of Assassin and not the Ninja at all.

Dark Archive

Sleep-Walker wrote:

So would you allow a Ninja in your games who used poison and assassinate to be goodly aligned?

I think the biggest problem here is actually the Evil only requirement of Assassin and not the Ninja at all.

I'm going for bold here to underline what everyone is completely ignoring in favor of this.

Yes, i would allow good aligned ninja, because being trained to kill does not equate to evil.

The Assassin is evil because you must kill a sentient being for no reason other than to join the assassin's guild. That's right, there is no greater good as a part of it, you are committing cold blooded murder for no reason other than to get the assassin's guild to look at you and say "hey he's a good guy to enlist". You are committing cold blooded murder premeditated and everything, just to get into the prestige class. Emphasis mine.

It's amazing what DM's hand wave without considering the implications of. If Assassin loses it's alignment restriction you better drop the prerequisite as well, because you WILL not keep that neutral alignment if you consider killing someone for no reason other than presenting a resume to an organization an acceptable idea.


I think you are crazy.

If I get into the assassins guild then I get mad assassin skills which I can use to save the world. Hence Greater Good. Killing peasant Joe [who could already be old/have cancer/ be cursed/doomed] gets me death attack which I use to kill Hitler. It is always situational.

Anything can be twisted via the tyranny of the eloquent.

So in your opinion, the ONLY think which says that assassins have to be Evil is one prequsite line? It isn't the poison, or the murder?

Hassashins were able to decline requests posed by the Old Man in the Mountain. They didn't normally but they could. Ninja were not permitted to decline. They were programmed to obey. An Assassin ala Leon with a no women no children policy is a lot less evil than a ninja working for a master who requires him to kill children even if it causes him all sorts of inner turmoil.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've always thought that assassins are of evil alignment. It isn't just that they kill, it's the method and the consistency of the method.

The idea of that with an assassin, a professional one there's no fair fight, no way to defend yourself and he/she is killing you in a way that most advantageous to them and least advantageous to you to defend from.

When I think assassin I think of the guy who's been in your apartment before you and has placed a small shaped charge under your bed. He lets you get settled into your routine and let you think that you're safe as you lay their reading and then detonates it.

The guy who has set up his rifle two or three buildings away and is watching you go about your business at work before popping you in the skull right before your first morning coffee.

The gal who has studied your morning routine and knows what coffee that you take on tuesday with just how much milk and sugar and has laced all three with a poison that only acts when all three elements are mixed.

Now that I think about it, I think that the evil alignment requirement should be lifted, because it is possible to have an assassin that kills for "the greater good". But an assassin because of his methods should NEVER be good aligned.

My favorite thing about the film SERENITY was the character of the OPERATIVE. He's an assassin/killer/troubleshooter for the Alliance and it's his speech to Mal Reynolds midway through the movie that rings the truest to me about so called "good" assassins in ANY GENRE.

The Operative: I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I don't murder children.

The Operative: I do. If I have to.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Why? Do you even know why they sent you?

The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

The Operative: I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster.What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

My point is this: Do what you do. Admit that you do what you do. But if you're assassinating a target i.e committing cold blooded murder? You're committing an act that is in no way "good". You may be able to go back in time and murder baby hitler in the crib, but you're still MURDERING A BABY. You may have been hired to assassinate those slavers and yes they may even deserve it, but then again, in the words of a wiser man than I
"...deserves got nothing to do with it". Only a pure sociopath would try to rationalize cold blooded murder as a "good act". Unfortunately, I've met more than my fair share of justifiers in the RPG hobby...

Obviously this is just my opinion.


ShinHakkaider wrote:
I've always thought that assassins are of evil alignment. It isn't just that they kill, it's the method and the consistency of the method. The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

How does the same not apply to a poison toting Ninja who sneaks in kills you and the VANISHES?

Besides no one is saying the Assassin should be good, more that Neutral assassins should be possible. And good Ninjas should lose Poison use and Assassinate.

I agree that Assassins are not good. But I don't believe that Ninjas are good either.

To Dissinger:
What do you think the Ninja did in order to be taught how to assassinate someone?


Sleep-Walker wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:
I've always thought that assassins are of evil alignment. It isn't just that they kill, it's the method and the consistency of the method. The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

How does the same not apply to a poison toting Ninja who sneaks in kills you and the VANISHES?

Besides no one is saying the Assassin should be good, more that Neutral assassins should be possible. And good Ninjas should lose Poison use and Assassinate.

Not every ninja need do that. But for those that do, it does apply.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dissinger wrote:
Sleep-Walker wrote:

So would you allow a Ninja in your games who used poison and assassinate to be goodly aligned?

I think the biggest problem here is actually the Evil only requirement of Assassin and not the Ninja at all.

I'm going for bold here to underline what everyone is completely ignoring in favor of this.

Yes, i would allow good aligned ninja, because being trained to kill does not equate to evil.

The Assassin is evil because you must kill a sentient being for no reason other than to join the assassin's guild. That's right, there is no greater good as a part of it, you are committing cold blooded murder for no reason other than to get the assassin's guild to look at you and say "hey he's a good guy to enlist". You are committing cold blooded murder premeditated and everything, just to get into the prestige class. Emphasis mine.

It's amazing what DM's hand wave without considering the implications of. If Assassin loses it's alignment restriction you better drop the prerequisite as well, because you WILL not keep that neutral alignment if you consider killing someone for no reason other than presenting a resume to an organization an acceptable idea.

THIS AS WELL.

I know alot of people here would be feel differently if you put this in actual world context.

Say... a gang initiation where the potential recruit had to kill some innocent person at random to join said gang. Place it in that context, especially in a different social or racial group then that person becomes a reprehensible animal. You have no idea WHY this person is joining this organization. They could be planning to take the skills learned from this group and help get rid of an EVEN WORSE gang that preys on his people. He can go away and get actual military training (and yes our gov't does let gang members and white supremacists into its ranks...) come back and train other gang members to be more efficient killers. All in the name of what? Protecting his people?

Doesnt matter. To most of you he'd still be an evil animal.

But a fantasy assassin? He's got kewl powerz and he's fighting for the "greater good" so he's cool. Once youve spilled innocent blood in the name of the "greater good' you've tainted your cause. Not destroyed it or ruined it. But you've tainted it by association.


Unfortunately, before gygax and other big dumb westerners (myself included) got ahold of the concept, "ninja" was japanese for thief and "shinobi" was closer to rogue.
Spy, thief, infiltrator, poisoner, assassin, etc; all the dirty work your average 1E thief did, only in a different language :D And the village was VERY loyal to a single master. Otherwise, he had the whole village executed. (and usually its neighbors for good measure)Rogue shinobi were hunted by the clan to save the clan's lives. Instant obediance is the code; it is for the highers to determine "good" and "evil"; they know more and have access to info the foot soldier/spy/thief doesnt.

So, should "ninja" be evil or some other alignment restriction? Only if you limit rogues the same way


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sleep-Walker wrote:

I think you are crazy.

If I get into the assassins guild then I get mad assassin skills which I can use to save the world. Hence Greater Good. Killing peasant Joe [who could already be old/have cancer/ be cursed/doomed] gets me death attack which I use to kill Hitler. It is always situational.

Anything can be twisted via the tyranny of the eloquent.

The act is still evil, even with literary sophistry attached to it.

Sleep-Walker wrote:


So in your opinion, the ONLY think which says that assassins have to be Evil is one prequsite line? It isn't the poison, or the murder?

It is not the line, it is the deed it describes.

Sleep-Walker wrote:
Hassashins were able to decline requests posed by the Old Man in the Mountain. They didn't normally but they could. Ninja were not permitted to decline. They were programmed to obey. An Assassin ala Leon with a no women no children policy is a lot less evil than a ninja working for a master who requires him to kill children even if it causes him all sorts of inner turmoil.

Yeah, and those Ninjas would be evil. However, one can imagine that there are still Ninjas who do not have to do this kind of stuff.


Also, just tossing this out there, but 3.5 did have an assassin PrC for good chars, Slayer of Domiel. They were awful... but they did exist.

"Assassins, of course, are evil by their nature and the
nature of what they do: committing murder for money
is a completely evil act. However, sometimes the skill
set of an assassin is required for more noble purposes.
Claiming the power of the paragon archon
Domiel, the slayers of Domiel are a disciplined,
secretive order of stealthy spies and—when
the need arises—assassins who serve the
cause of law and good. Rather than relying
entirely on stealth and poison, the
slayers of Domiel use supernatural
means to dispatch evil foes."

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Sleep-Walker wrote:

To be an assassin and have Death Attack and have poison use you must be Evil.

To be a Ninja and have Assassinate and have poison use there is no alignment restriction?

The reason is because you pay an Assassin to kill anyone, and they go out and do it.

Ninjas flip out and kill people because they are awesome. Where does Evil come into it?

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:
Sleep-Walker wrote:

To be an assassin and have Death Attack and have poison use you must be Evil.

To be a Ninja and have Assassinate and have poison use there is no alignment restriction?

The reason is because you pay an Assassin to kill anyone, and they go out and do it.

Ninjas flip out and kill people because they are awesome. Where does Evil come into it?

==Aelryinth

THIS MAN SPEAKS THE TRUTH!


If Ninja was a prestige class with a requirement like that it would be:

[Do something that you disagree with just to prove to your master that you will obey him in all things regardless of personal moral compass etc etc etc]

Is Death Attack Evil???

Is Poison Use Evil???

Is Assassinate Evil???

Can a goodly aligned character use Death Attack, Assassinate, Poison without breaching their alignment?

Why is an assassin who kills someone in order to be accepted more evil than a necromancer who uses necromancy to create undead or a summoner who makes pacts with demons.

Lets Look at the Circles of Hell:
First Circle: Limbo: Unbaptized, Honorable Pagans
Second Circle: Yielded to Lust
Third Circle: Yielded to Gluttony
Fourth Circle: Yielded to Greed [Assassins who kill only for coin???]
Fifth Circle: Yielded to Anger
Sixth Circle: Heretics.
Seventh Circle: External: Those who commit violent acts [punished by dunking in a river of boiling blood. The more violent a person had been, the more of his body that is immersed.]
Seventh Circle: Middle: Violence against Self:
Seventh Circle: Inside: Violence against God.
Eight Circle: Fraud/Sorcery/Pandering
Ninth Circle: Traitors

DnD used to have all of these absolutes for alignment and most of them have been removed as we the players stopped thinking in terms of black and white. Any DM with a brain would make sure that an assassin who killed painfully and often without cause or solely for coin would be Evilly aligned. In the same way any DM with a brain would make sure that a Ninja who committed horrific acts of murder and violence without thinking about consequences would be Evilly aligned. So why does Paizo feel the need to say Assassins must be evil and ninjas don't need to. Have they started trusting DMs on the alignment scale since copying Assassin's alignment from 3rd Ed.


Since we are talking poison use and death attack I put this to you-

The alchemist not only gets poison use, but gets it better than anyone else. Eventually they may apply it as an immediate action. Is using poison in and of itself in combat evil, or is it no worse then useing a better weapon.

The same with death attack. All that is required is observation to recognize your opponent's weak point, and then strike at it, the essence of most combat. This just takes a bit longer and has a more immediate effect.

I agree with Sleep-Walker. The constant acts of murder and violence are evil, regardless of class. If either of them did it they would be evil. It is the aplications of the training that make a character, not class evil.


Poison use, does not automatically mean evil.

It depends on which poison one uses.
Dragon Bile = does str damage, not death.
Drow Poison = does unconsciousness
Giant wasp poison = does dex, not death
Id Moss = does Int, not death
Insanity mist = does wis, not death
Large scorpion Venom = does str, not death.

My point being that, there are a lot of poison that do not kill. The make the target unconsciousness, incapable of moving, or paralyzed.

............................

Poison is a weapon, like any other. How one uses that weapon, will be dependent on there alignment. How that weapon is used, will slid the person to one alignment shift or another. But knowing how to use poison, does not determine what your alignment is.

Poison use, could be a Doctors feature as well, from my point of view. It really depends on how it is used.

............................

Assassin learn poison use to kill = poison use is not evil, the assassin is evil, and use poison use for evil purposes.

Ninja learn poison use as a weapon = poison use is not evil, how the poison is used, will be dependent on the ninja goals and alignment.

Doctor learn poison use as a skill = poison use is not evil, the doctor uses the skill to save lives, by revealing/numbing pain, paralyzing creature to perform surgery, and placing the creature to sleep to rest.

............................

Again, please, please, please do not saddle the ninja with a alignment restriction. That is just going to muddle things up, for character concepts.

Ninja were also know as scouts, rogues, spies, soldiers, and just plain martial artists.

I already find it dumb to have Drunken Monks as Lawful, and Brave Indian barbarians as chaotic.

Please no alignment restriction !!!

Shadow Lodge

I am SO making a lawful stupid ninja to mess with my GM. "HEY BADGUYS, IM STEALTHED OVER HERE!!! COME GET ME YOU CURS!!!!"

Ok so not really, but I do fall in the camp of ninja's do not need to be evil.

Dark Archive

Sleep-Walker wrote:

To Dissinger:

What do you think the Ninja did in order to be taught how to assassinate someone?

Sleep-walker, it is quite obvious you convinced yourself that you are right and I am wrong. This argument has left the realm of logic long ago and has probably entered the Protean Realm of Limbo exactly five posts before you threw out this farce of an argument.

If being trained in how to kill required you to actual kill someone, then the US Army would have half the numbers it currently does, because half the recruits would have to die, to effectively train the other half how to kill under your lunacy that you call training.

Ninjas don't HAVE to do anything, in fact they were often deployed against Samurai who had taken their position of power over the peasants and abused them. Many ninja were in fact peasants who the samurai caste had abused as well for this very reason. No character HAS to do anything, they can always chose not to and deal with the repercussions.

Just like you can always choose not to kill someone just to get an assassin guild's attention, but no matter how hard you try, your GM should never allow you to become an assassin because you have skipped a pivotal part of the process.

However that prerequisite is your resume to the assassin's guild. When you become an assassin you are not only saying killing is alright, but it is something you want to make a career out of. No other class in the game other than the Anti-Paladin forces this kind of moral choice. There is a reason Anti-Paladin's are evil too.


Dissinger,
Firstly I apologise for calling you crazy, I meant it as a turn of phrase not an insult, but by the time I went back to edit it someone else had posted and I couldn't. I don't however believe that any of my posts, points, or arguments are farcical.

I have not convinced myself that I am right and you are wrong, although it is my strong belief that someone could play a neutral assassin.

Classes do not have moral pre-requisites. However, if they did, I honestly believe that a class like Ninja would include a certain moral flexibility which would not suit a goodly aligned character.

I have studied oriental history. Although it is not my area of specialty. It is important to consider both the popular miscomprehension of ninjas and the historical truth. The fact that ninjas are permitted to use katanas suggests that we are looking at the fictionalised ninja and not the ninja offered to us by history.

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.

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. No women and no children for example, no humans, and so on.

I believe that in order for a Ninja to have trained in the use of poisons and to have learned how to assasinate someone they are no longer goodly aligned [part of this includes the willingness to use the aforementioned abilities]. You could have a ninja who doesn't use poisons and who doesn't assasinate still be good, as long as his master was goodly aligned. However if someone uses poisons and assasinates people, I believe their moral compass is no longer pointing due Good.

It seems strange to me that you believe that an assasin should be evil, but someone who assasinates shouldn't be. Is to assassinate not the purview of an assassin? Is someone who assassinates not an assassin?

For the record, I do not want an alignment restriction added to the Ninja. I would like to see one lifted from Assassins, non-good seems more accurate than Evil only. If an alignment restriction were added to Ninja, I would add it only to certain traits, like assasinate which could also say only available to non-good ninjas.

Assasins don't seem to see much play as it stands, I think ninja will mean that assassin sees even less play.

Thanks for debating this with me.

Lantern Lodge

Sleep-Walker

Can neutral assassins exist in the world? Like the aforementioned government agent?

-- Perhaps, but in very restrictive circumstances. Also I imagine the longer you do it, and as you make a career out of it, you would become more jaded and probably eventually become evil. Lawful evil perhaps, but still evil. The Hellknights are a good example. People go in with good intentions, but rarely are able to maintain those ideas in such an organization.

Now can a character taking the "Assassin Prestige Class" be non-evil?

--No. As Dissinger pointed out, the prerequisites for the class are formulated in such a way that to take the class is to become evil. No matter you reasoning. No matter what your alignment was beforehand, Of your own free will wholeheartedly giving yourself to the act of murder, for the sake of murder, is an utterly evil act.

The ninja class has the capability, but not the context. Are there evil ninja assassins? Sure. Are all ninja evil murderers? Of course not. As stated by numerous posters, the ninja class itself is not based upon the act of murder. The Assassin Prestige Class is.

Lantern Lodge

Maybe its just because I play video games, but the political assassin always pops into my head as well.

Has anyone else ever touched the Assassin's Creed genre?

Those assassins did what they did for the greater good. I'm not saying to use that as a basis for turning them around into a good aligned class, but after having played those games, I removed the alignment restriction on the Assassin PrC. If my players chose to play an evil Assassin that only killed for profit or fun, then so be it. But if they also chose to play an Assassin who does it for the greater good, then that'd be alright as well.

After all, I'm not going to rule that my party's Assassin is evil when his entire contract states to take out the BBEG.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

As being a pirate and hating ninja's to begin with they are evil so assassins and ninja are one in the same. In all seriousness I think both ninja and Assassins should have a non-good alignment not necessarily evil. I really view both classes the same. Ninja were in most cases assassins to begin with. Just one humble pirate's thoughts.


ninjas were not always used as assassins though.....

spy and sabatours too


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

In my opinion the ninja should not need to be evil, but neither should the assassin. In both cases I could see arguing "any non-good" for alignment. You may be killing for the good reasons, but the classes abilities incline them towards a "ends justify the means" approach that makes being good difficult.

I can go either way on whether or not either should be considered evil for their poison use. Paladins are strictly forbidden from using poisons by their code of conduct, which inclines me to believe that Pathfinder views it as evil (this is not necessarily my view). It should depend on whether the poison is used to disable, or kill. Besides, Alchemists get tons of stuff towards poison use and have no alignment restrictions.


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.


Ninja aren't evil because they are the "rogue" archetype for the oriental type settings. Any given ninja Might be evil- just like any given rogue or fighter or whatever might be.. but the ability to use poison or to kill someone in one hit doesn't make you evil. It just makes you someone who knows how to use poison, or kill someone in one hit.

The Assassin is Evil because of backward compatibility.

-S

Liberty's Edge

Severed Ronin wrote:

Maybe its just because I play video games, but the political assassin always pops into my head as well.

Has anyone else ever touched the Assassin's Creed genre?

Those assassins did what they did for the greater good. I'm not saying to use that as a basis for turning them around into a good aligned class, but after having played those games, I removed the alignment restriction on the Assassin PrC. If my players chose to play an evil Assassin that only killed for profit or fun, then so be it. But if they also chose to play an Assassin who does it for the greater good, then that'd be alright as well.

After all, I'm not going to rule that my party's Assassin is evil when his entire contract states to take out the BBEG.

Well, you could just stat out Altiar, Ezio and the rest of there oddball assassins as either Rogues or Ninja, since while Yes they are stealthy killers knowing there motivations they could be aligned as either Lawful Good (Altiar's personal honour code, a heck of a stretch but plausible) Neutral (Just fighting for there cause, where I put Altiar) or Chaotic Good (Where I'd put Ezio: In game Ezio refuses to kill a high profile target after he beats the living tar out of him as he is no longer a threat, as well as refuses to kill the guards who are preventing him from taking the bodies of his father and brothers so he can give them a proper burial) [and for both, to keep in sync with the memory you MUST NOT kill any of the noncombatant NPC's]

But the subject of fictional characters alignments and classes/levels is subjective as all get out. To me Altiar is a mid to high level(Fighter8/Rogue80 while Assassin's Creed 2/Brotherhood covers Ezio's career from level 1 (Aristocrat, my take or Rogue) to High level Guild Master of the Order (Aristocrat 1/Rogue 10/Duelist 6 as a quick @$$ pull) Either way I type them as Rogues, NOT the EVIL ONLY Assassin Prestige class because I don't see them as evil. Of course I also tended to play them combat heavy so there was very little premeditated murder involved.

But an equally valid interpretation is that either or both of them are somewhere along the evil axis and each have 10 levels of Assassin, different valid interpretations.

Where I'm going with this is not all Rogues are evil, not all Ninjas are evil, but the Assassin's Guilds in both the Greyhawk and Pathfinder settings are Evil Organizations that require an act of premeditated murder as your job application. And if you're playing under me, you can bet money that it will be roleplayed, and it will be a truly despicable, evil act you must undertake to take the class, and get all the abilities and restrictions that the class brings (what you think the guild won't assign you missions from time to time?)

As for the Death Attack nonsense the same logic makes the sneak attack ability an evil act, as you are sticking a sharp pointed object into a necessary piece of someone's anatomy for the express point of killing them, so that follows all rogues are evil too, by that logic.

Adventurers kill, its the why not the how that determines the alignment. I'll leave the 'all adventurers all kill for money' thing out of the equation for now but for a quick explanation of how I and only I feel on the subject: Ninjas death attack is one of those quick, presumed painless martial arts neck breaks you see often done in combat by heroes in martial arts films, where as an assassins would be a slice along a major artery leaving the victim to slowly and messily bleed out.

Wow I ramble, hope this makes sense to people.

Holt

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