Sell me on Ninja


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Shadow Lodge

I see a lot of people say Ninja > Rogue.

Sell me on it.

Explain why the Ninja is better. As I see it, the only things Ninja get over Rogue is EWP and an extra attack using Ki. Rogues are up on Evasion and Trapfinding.


Czrenobog wrote:

I see a lot of people say Ninja > Rogue.

Sell me on it.

Explain why the Ninja is better. As I see it, the only things Ninja get over Rogue is EWP and an extra attack using Ki. Rogues are up on Evasion and Trapfinding.

They're not much better, if at all. The argument would be: Charisma is a more useful secondary stat than intelligence, because it modifies a whole host of social skills.

And Forgotten Trick is a better talent than anything rogues get.

-Cross

Shadow Lodge

Crosswind wrote:

They're not much better, if at all. The argument would be: Charisma is a more useful secondary stat than intelligence, because it modifies a whole host of social skills.

And Forgotten Trick is a better talent than anything rogues get.

-Cross

If a rogue can get any Ninja Trick they qualify for, they could in theory get Ki and the Forgotten Trick unless I'm missing something.

Silver Crusade

Rogues get evasion and trap finding.
Ninjas get the ki pool and Vanishing Trick, and I don't think I've ever seen a ninja who didn't get that as their first or second trick. It's kind of a defining ability for the class, even though it's theoretically optional.

Yes, rogues can take those ninja things, but on a much more limited basis, just like ninjas can eventually get evasion. Rogues can't use the ki to get an extra attack the way a ninja can, and it takes a rogue two rogue talents to get Vanishing Trick instead of one ninja trick.

Mostly, they overlap so much that it's a matter of personal taste. I've got one of each in PFS.


Also: Batman


Flavor wise ninja's can do cooler stuff. ie air walk and unbound steps. they also get a better death attack than the assassin. I do not usually run rogues I have played a few ninjas in 3.5 I like it so far...I also dont like the rogue talents they just dont make me go "aw kewl" the ninja tricks do.


Czrenobog wrote:

I see a lot of people say Ninja > Rogue.

Sell me on it.

Explain why the Ninja is better. (...)

As mentionned, before not better just different.

You can also think of the Assamite theme with the "ninja" class.


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Slime wrote:
Czrenobog wrote:

I see a lot of people say Ninja > Rogue.

Sell me on it.

Explain why the Ninja is better. (...)

As mentionned, before not better just different.

You can also think of the Assamite theme with the "ninja" class.

This. Not better. Just different. Mechanically, they are virtually interchangable. Therefore the people on this forum whose sole existance revolves around maximizing DPR, action economy, etc...will tell you there is no point to having both classes.

But if you, well, I dunno, ROLE PLAY, their roles are entirely different. Their motivations are normally different. Their educations and backgrounds are different.

I find myself playing a rogue completely differently than when I play a ninja. My ninjas are all about stealth. Making the kill without being seen or detected. Having access to the invisibility and presdidigitation spells, but still using a physical disguise kit, accents, makeup, and facial ticks or limps as a part of the character. They follow a code of honor in combat. Perhaps not as goodly as the Samurai would, but they have their own code and stick to it.

My rogues are opportunists. Turn away and face the fighter, and I stab you in the kidneys. Party not paying attention? I palm a few gems from the chest before telling them how much I found. Sell out a hated party member to save my own skin? You better believe I will. But I'll have a backup plan so I can blame it on my captors if you save me.


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Trapfinding just isn't that great in a game where traps have been nerfed to hell and other classes can do it just as well (Ranger archetype). Though this really depends on how you see traps in your game. Poison Use is a really nice ability to have when you actually use poisons, but I think it's a fair trade.

As far as ki goes, Rogues don't get to apply their level where the ninja does, does not get an extra attack, get half the bonus to speed when using ki to boost speed (rogues only get 10ft, where ninja get 20ft) does not get to use it to improve stealth, does not get a reduction on acrobatic checks, and must use wisdom (which most players don't bump up very high on a rogue, they'd rather have a charismatic rogue).

All the cool ninja tricks require ki, which the rogue will have very little of (about half as much as the ninja). The rogue gets the stripped down version of ki which requires them to have the wisdom of a cleric to actually be worth it.

A ninja can also take Evasion after 10th level as a trick, thus only really missing out on trapfinding.

And the 20th level ability (which to be fair doesn't come up in most games) is much better. They get the ability to become completely undetectable even by see invisibility, or even true seeing for 2 minutes, and with every sneak attack they can deal ability score damage (no saves). Where with the rogue's master strike the enemy gets a save which is determined by the rogue's intelligence.

tldr,
What it really it just comes down to: Ninja ki > Rogue ki


Agreed, ninjas have style! No one has a clear definition of what a 'rogue' is. Some people say a thuggish bonebreaker, some people say a stealthy assassin, others say spy, saboteur, con artist, gentleman thief, ect. My point is, rogues are not very defined. A ninja is defined by their stealth and their intense focus that made them deadly instruments of their clan/master/party. Also, rogues require no real discipline to master their abilities, but a ninja does, hence their monk-like ki pool and ki abilities. A ninja and a rogue are not very different in most regards, but ninjas are much more defined than a rogue, at least in my very humble opinion. I suppose that's why it's an alternate class, rather than a full core class.


Ninjas are usually a bit too 'eastern' in flavor for a lot of my concepts, though. I like the Rogue because it has no "style". Hence, perfect to mold and shape to my character's concept.

I especially like the 'Investigator' variant.


It all comes down to personal preference in my opinion.


Fromper wrote:

Rogues get evasion and trap finding.

Ninjas get the ki pool and Vanishing Trick, and I don't think I've ever seen a ninja who didn't get that as their first or second trick. It's kind of a defining ability for the class, even though it's theoretically optional.

Yes, rogues can take those ninja things, but on a much more limited basis, just like ninjas can eventually get evasion. Rogues can't use the ki to get an extra attack the way a ninja can, and it takes a rogue two rogue talents to get Vanishing Trick instead of one ninja trick.

Mostly, they overlap so much that it's a matter of personal taste. I've got one of each in PFS.

I've been making a ninja for PFS lately and I found myself not wanting to take vanishing trick if I could help it. I want to use other tactics to capitalize on my character's stealth skill, use camouflage, ghillie suits, any alchemical tricks I can muster, get into the minutia of using stealth. Don't know how it will fare, but that is the goal.

Sudden disguise, however, nom nom nom nom.

The Exchange

The Silver Prince wrote:
Agreed, ninjas have style! No one has a clear definition of what a 'rogue' is. Some people say a thuggish bonebreaker, some people say a stealthy assassin, others say spy, saboteur, con artist, gentleman thief, ect. My point is, rogues are not very defined. A ninja is defined by their stealth and their intense focus that made them deadly instruments of their clan/master/party. Also, rogues require no real discipline to master their abilities, but a ninja does, hence their monk-like ki pool and ki abilities. A ninja and a rogue are not very different in most regards, but ninjas are much more defined than a rogue, at least in my very humble opinion. I suppose that's why it's an alternate class, rather than a full core class.

Some could note, however, that because the Rogue is bland they are superiour. If I play a ninja that's exactly what I'm playing. A ninja. If I play a Rogue, I could be playing a Barfighting Cad who breaks bear bottles for his choice in weapon, or a maid who is really good a cooking and knows what is or isn't good for the body to consume, or even a classic thief. The flexability of the class is what makes it so nice.

Granted, some of the things that a ninja can do is freaking awesome, and they can do it easier than a Rogue, but that doesn't mean they're superiour.

Nice idea on a thread, btw.

Sovereign Court

Skull wrote:
Also: Batman

plus: invisibility + sneak attack.

Grand Lodge

The superiority of Ninja over Rogue is entirely dependent on what you want out of the character. I would say if you trying to focus on using Sneak Attack then Vanishing Trick makes things considerably easier for the Ninja. Want to be a social skill monkey, again Ninja. Want to be a general skill monkey or a trap master then Rogue is a better choice.


Well both have strengths and share weaknesses. Neither one are good past a 2-5 dip max, so it all depends on what you are multiclassing into.


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Allow me to demonstrate why trapfinding isn't such an important thing to have. (thus shouldn't weigh much in your decision between rogue and ninja)

Ways to get trapfinding:
1) 1st level rogue (a bunch of archetypes give that up)
2) 3rd level urban ranger
3) 1st level trapper ranger
4) 1st level seeker oracle*
5) 1st level seeker sorcerer*
6) 1st level crypt breaker alchemist
7) 2nd level detective bard*
8) The 2nd level bard/alchemist/wizard spell Aram Zey's focus (too bad the duration is only 1 minute per level)
9) 2nd level archevist bard*
10) 6th level archeologist bard*
11) 1st level sandman bard*

*those 6 get trapfinding in everything but the name

PS. To the above add that in PF anyone can found any kind of trap and you only need trapfinding in order to disable magical traps.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Having played both a rogue and a ninja recently, I found the ninja to be far more versatile and fun in general. There was quite a level gap, but I find both low and mid level groups to be fun.

The things that pushed the ninja over the top for me were these:

Vanishing Trick and Invisible Blade both help tremendously in getting into situations where you can bring Sneak Attack to bear, spending the rounds to get into position are a thing that happens rarely. The concealment that invisibility gives you comes it very handy as well, its almost better than DR.

Ki attack speed allows you to sneak that extra attack in there when its badly needed and has saved both mine and my companions butts on multiple occasions.

Ki jump, great for getting into position when you need to.

Light Steps is an amazing ability, cross the river, bounce from tree to tree, difficult terrain is simply non-existent to you for the most part. Sure, it requires a full round action, but it's well worth the round for positioning.

Ghost Step is another amazing ability for a someone who sneaks. Combine these with Gloves of Reconnaissance and Invisibility and you can have a great time.

The rogue I played couldn't come anywhere near these abilities and the fun suffered greatly because of it.


The person running the PF game that I will be starting in, and playing a Ninja, described Ninjas as 'like rogues, but more killy'.


Zhayne wrote:
The person running the PF game that I will be starting in, and playing a Ninja, described Ninjas as 'like rogues, but more killy'.

That statement alone would have sold me. :D


trollbill wrote:
Want to be a general skill monkey or a trap master then Rogue is a better choice.

Sadly, most of the rogues skill related abilities aren't that amazing or are things that you can already do. Charlatan's main class feature for instance is spreading gossip, and a situational +2 to bluff. Anyone can spread gossip and +2 isn't a lot.


Barry Armstrong wrote:
Slime wrote:
Czrenobog wrote:

I see a lot of people say Ninja > Rogue.

Sell me on it.

Explain why the Ninja is better. (...)

As mentionned, before not better just different.

You can also think of the Assamite theme with the "ninja" class.

This. Not better. Just different. Mechanically, they are virtually interchangable. Therefore the people on this forum whose sole existance revolves around maximizing DPR, action economy, etc...will tell you there is no point to having both classes.

But if you, well, I dunno, ROLE PLAY, their roles are entirely different. Their motivations are normally different. Their educations and backgrounds are different.

I find this a rather limited view of roleplaying.

The defining characteristic of a ninja isn't having ninja written on the class line on your character sheet or any of the abilities that the ninja class offers. It's acting like a ninja. Rogues can act like ninja. So can rangers. And alchemists. And, with the right archetype, barbarians.

The defining characteristic of a rogue isn't having rogue written on the class line on your character sheet or any of the abilities that the rogue class offers. It's acting like a rogue. Ninja can act like rogues. So can pretty much everyone else who can act like a ninja. Actually, pretty much anyone can act like a rogue. It's a very broad concept.

Mechanically there may be no need to have both, but from a role play perspective there's no need to have either.

Silver Crusade

Ninjas get a vastly (yes, vastly) better set of weapon proficiencies. Ninjas get proficiency with the best light and one-handed weapon. Ninja tricks are also more powerful than rogue talents, on average. Somebody upthread described ninjas as "more killy" and I think that's an accurate description. Ninja tricks are almost all combat oriented while rogue talents seem to be more social oriented.

If there is a specific rogue archetype you like, play a rogue. Otherwise, play a ninja. I am paticularly partial to Str-nased ninjas and Dex-based knife master rogues.


Vanishing Trick, Invisible Blade, Forgotten Trick and a massive ki pool.

The ONLY reason to play a pure rogue is disabling magical traps, which several classes can do and do it much better.

Grand Lodge

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Ninjas get a vastly (yes, vastly) better set of weapon proficiencies. Ninjas get proficiency with the best light and one-handed weapon.

With one notable exception. Rogues get Sap, Ninjas don't. So if you want to do non-lethal sneak attack damage a Ninja has to spend a feat or trick to do it or invest in a merciful weapon, or use a sap without proficiency.

Silver Crusade

trollbill wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Ninjas get a vastly (yes, vastly) better set of weapon proficiencies. Ninjas get proficiency with the best light and one-handed weapon.
With one notable exception. Rogues get Sap, Ninjas don't. So if you want to do non-lethal sneak attack damage a Ninja has to spend a feat or trick to do it or invest in a merciful weapon, or use a sap without proficiency.

Never mind. Wording of Bludgeoner feat confused me.


The ninja is better in the sense that a wakizashi is better than a rapier. Otherwise, the classes are almost interchangeable. The ninja can deliver an extra attack using a very limited resource when they full attack. The rogue gets evasion. That's about it.

Vanishing Trick is overrated. Eventually, you want greater invisibility. At lower levels, there are plenty of methods besides invisibility to render a foe flat-footed. Vanishing Trick is resource intensive, and ultimately leaves you quite vulnerable when you are standing visible next to your opponent after having performed a full attack.


Invisible Blade lets them do full attacks with Vanishing Trick though, It's greater invisiblity for 50+rounds aday.

Grand Lodge

Vivisectionist is better at sneak attack.

Inquisitor can do the sneaking/scout/assassin thing better.


Invisible blade is a master trick. By that point, a rogue can just use a greater invisibility scroll. 28 rounds, minimum, with no swift action required.


RJGrady wrote:
Invisible blade is a master trick. By that point, a rogue can just use a greater invisibility scroll. 28 rounds, minimum, with no swift action required.

UMD isn't a class feature. It also tends to get very expensive. Its also more action economy effective to use a swift action for vanishing trick than to use a move to pull out a scroll and a standard to cast.

Silver Crusade

If I want to use a single weapon, I go ninja and use a katana or nodachi (costs a feat). If I want to dual-wield, I spend a feat on kukri proficiency and go knife master rogue, although dual-wielding wakizashi will be almost as much damage.

Sczarni

Whenever I look at the rogue list, I read through the rogue talents and can't find anything that I'd ever want to take. The ninja trick list definitely has more meat on it.

Also, I was under the impression that a rogue could only choose one ninja trick total (because he can only get ninja tricks through a rogue talent, and each rogue talent can only be taken once) while a ninja has full access to both classes' trick/talent lists.


Ninja Trick can be taken multiple times. There also isn't an "extra trick" sort of feat to my knowledge. I wouldn't want most rogue talents myself. Some aren't even a bonus.


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Sell you on ninja? Well ffinding a buyer shouldn't be hard, I know a guy that knows a guy that knows a guy. The harder part will be stuffing you inside the ninja. Maybe if I just put you on top of the ninja it counts? He would have to carry you arund, but ninjas are strong. Now to find a ninja...
Sorry, grammar joke, I will stop now.

MrSin wrote:
Ninja Trick can be taken multiple times. There also isn't an "extra trick" sort of feat to my knowledge. I wouldn't want most rogue talents myself. Some aren't even a bonus.

Ninjas can get rogue talents too, if they really want it. There is one or two that might be good.

Ninjas get an often overlooked trick: Pressure points. One point of str or dex damage with each sneak attack. Every full attack a ninja does gives a -1 to attacks and damage or to ac. Given enough attacks, and TWF is immensely better when you have at will invisibility, the ninja may nerf someone into a weak clumsy baby, to be killed at leisure. That is Kenshiro levels of acupunture there.

RJGrady wrote:
Invisible blade is a master trick. By that point, a rogue can just use a greater invisibility scroll. 28 rounds, minimum, with no swift action required.

Yeah, it only requires a move and a standard plus 700g for 7rounds. Much better.

Remember that unless your wizard is making scrolls for you the scroll spell's caster level is always the minimum level required to cast the spell for the character who scribed the scroll. And Greater Invisibility is rounds per level.


Many people prefer turning invisible and having minor illusion powers. That doesn't mean that's necessarily better. It doesn't burn any kind of points to flank. Sure, a ninja can turn invisible and burn ki for an extra attack, which is cool, but since you're burning two points a round, I'm not sure that's actually better.

Keep in mind, too, that if a ninja with Vanishing Trick fights something that can invisible, they might as well have one less trick on their character sheet (two, if they have Invisible blade).

Contributor

But as we all know, Super Genius Games' talented rogue is better than both the Ninja and the Rogue classes, because it literally combines the two into an awesome talent system a la Star Wars Saga Edition!


RJGrady wrote:

Many people prefer turning invisible and having minor illusion powers. That doesn't mean that's necessarily better. It doesn't burn any kind of points to flank. Sure, a ninja can turn invisible and burn ki for an extra attack, which is cool, but since you're burning two points a round, I'm not sure that's actually better.

Keep in mind, too, that if a ninja with Vanishing Trick fights something that can invisible, they might as well have one less trick on their character sheet (two, if they have Invisible blade).

Usually magic is better. You could always turn invisible and then flank without provoking AoOs because your invisible for a single ki point. The foes are also flatfooted if you have invisibility, which is a nice thing especially since neither rogue nor ninja have ways to up their own attack.

If a regular rogue fights things that are invisible he's in the same shape. Ninja may have better UMD because he's charisma based. What would the rogue take instead? Coax information? Ki Pool? Ninja trick?

Shadow Lodge

leo1925 wrote:


Ways to get trapfinding:
1) 1st level rogue (a bunch of archetypes give that up)
2) 3rd level urban ranger
3) 1st level trapper ranger
4) 1st level seeker oracle*
5) 1st level seeker sorcerer*
6) 1st level crypt breaker alchemist
7) 2nd level detective bard*
8) The 2nd level bard/alchemist/wizard spell Aram Zey's focus (too bad the duration is only 1 minute per level)
9) 2nd level archevist bard*
10) 6th level archeologist bard*
11) 1st level sandman bard*

*those 6 get trapfinding in everything but the name

A 6th level archaeologist bard gets evasion, they never get trapfinding. They get trap sense earlier on, but that's not comparable.


Avatar-1 wrote:
A 6th level archaeologist bard gets evasion, they never get trapfinding. They get trap sense earlier on, but that's not comparable.

Actually, they get this. They just can't disable magical traps until 6th. Edit: Another difference is rogues perception bonus specifically finds traps. This one is general.

PFSRD wrote:
At 2nd level, an archaeologist gains a bonus equal to half his class level on Disable Device and Perception checks. He can disable intricate and complex devices in half the normal amount of time (minimum 1 round) and open a lock as a standard action. At 6th level, an archaeologist can take 10 on Disable Device checks, even if distracted or endangered, and can disarm magical traps.


leo1925 wrote:

Allow me to demonstrate why trapfinding isn't such an important thing to have. (thus shouldn't weigh much in your decision between rogue and ninja)

Ways to get trapfinding:
1) 1st level rogue (a bunch of archetypes give that up)
2) 3rd level urban ranger
3) 1st level trapper ranger
4) 1st level seeker oracle*
5) 1st level seeker sorcerer*
6) 1st level crypt breaker alchemist
7) 2nd level detective bard*
8) The 2nd level bard/alchemist/wizard spell Aram Zey's focus (too bad the duration is only 1 minute per level)
9) 2nd level archevist bard*
10) 6th level archeologist bard*
11) 1st level sandman bard*

*those 6 get trapfinding in everything but the name

PS. To the above add that in PF anyone can found any kind of trap and you only need trapfinding in order to disable magical traps.

Except that trap DCs in APs especially are geared for classes with trapfinding AND high perception checks. Trapfinding is worth having by at least one party member. Without them you will be encountering hardmode opposition that ambushes you after you sprung a trap that didn't necessarily kill you, but does pave the way for TPK.

The designers of written adventure know that rogue-like characters are a beloved trope and craft indiana jones moments to make them shine. Devalue trapfinding at your own risk.


Oh and the same goes for evasion. Playing at the end of the Runelords AP, I was running a character with a low reflex save and a mediocre dex, and boy did I envy the way the rogue got to ignore a whole buncha damage. It may not look like much on paper, but having evasion/improved evasion is nice.


Anburaid wrote:
Oh and the same goes for evasion. Playing at the end of the Runelords AP, I was running a character with a low reflex save and a mediocre dex, and boy did I envy the way the rogue got to ignore a whole buncha damage. It may not look like much on paper, but having evasion/improved evasion is nice.

By that level you can take it as a master trick, and improved evasion in case your paranoid.


Anburaid wrote:
Oh and the same goes for evasion. Playing at the end of the Runelords AP, I was running a character with a low reflex save and a mediocre dex, and boy did I envy the way the rogue got to ignore a whole buncha damage. It may not look like much on paper, but having evasion/improved evasion is nice.

Ok i have run and finished the RotRL (first half original and second half anivversary edition), where exactly does evasion/improved evasion saves your ass? Use spoilers so we don't spoil anyone.

Silver Crusade

Please if you're going to post spoilers about RotRL, do it behind a spoiler tag. I am currently playing it and do to want anything given away.

Grand Lodge

RJGrady wrote:


Vanishing Trick is overrated. Eventually, you want greater invisibility. At lower levels, there are plenty of methods besides invisibility to render a foe flat-footed.

Plenty of methods? Really? Name them. Flanking works but maneuvering into position and even just being in that position can be highly risky for a squishy rogue. Plus it only works for melee attacks. Surprise is okay but it only works for 1 1/2 rounds at most. Outside of sometimes giving you surprise, Stealth in PF is nearly useless for Sneak Attack. If you happen to have a friend with Improved Trip and a Seven Branched Sword, good for you but they aren't exactly common. So what other means short of Invisibility are available, especially for a ranged rogue?


The thing for me is that the Rogue is meant to be the trapfinder and disarmer. Why are other classes being played to muscle in there? Let the Cleric be the Cleric and the Bard be the Bard. Focus on what your class should be for not trying to steal the role of another.

Grand Lodge

Seeker Oracle with the Wrecker Curse.

Best trap breaker.


leo1925 wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Oh and the same goes for evasion. Playing at the end of the Runelords AP, I was running a character with a low reflex save and a mediocre dex, and boy did I envy the way the rogue got to ignore a whole buncha damage. It may not look like much on paper, but having evasion/improved evasion is nice.
Ok i have run and finished the RotRL (first half original and second half anivversary edition), where exactly does evasion/improved evasion saves your ass? Use spoilers so we don't spoil anyone.

Sure.

Spoiler:
Mokmurian and any dragons were the big moments. But much like traps, one can absorb breath weapon damage or a damaging spell, a fair amount of the time. It was this damage in combination with various giant-thrown rocks, or just an unlucky move into a giant's threat range that it became very dicy.

Lets say you end up soaking a full attack from one of the various giants. In our group at any given level, that would usually be 1/2 to 3/4's of your total hp. Then a dragon or mokmurian using dragon form, swoops by and strafes with dragon's breath. The party rogue could dance around it, but the party robot? (I was playing a converted warforged artificer) Not so much.

Incidentally Mammy's farm is what convinced me that trapfinding was pretty boss, and even though my character had trapfinding I didn't have a maxed perception, so we ate a few of those scissor traps and the like. Mind you the traps also alert the hillbilly ogres that there are adventurers to play with, so its not just the damage from the scissor or spikes that trapfinding prevents, its also a lost opportunity to ambush with party buffs.

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