Ninja vs. Rogue, what do you prefer?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

The title pretty much sums it up. I was curious about why people play one over the other. I prefer ninja because it has a ki pool and tricks that let you turn invisible, walk on walls, and levitate at higher levels. also it has more combat oriented class features like poison use.

Scarab Sages

I'd go for Rogue, but my choice is for flavor rather than mechanics.

I just don't like the idea of Weeaboo classes in a (mostly) medieval fantasy world.


I prefer the Ninja for the statistical superiority, and I'd let anyone play a Rogue with the same bag of tricks.

Scarab Sages

Sorry if I came off as an a%%&$$$ :(

I can understand the appeal of Ninjas & Samurai, it's just not for me.


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It's just a label, Macona. You can play a Rogue / Wizard hybrid character but use the Ninja's stats for the concept.

Really, the generalization of "weeaboo" is as bad as the people who assume a Barbarian is ALWAYS a viking or a hun or a ...


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Personally I prefer the Rogue. Three reasons. First the Rogue is a core class and acceptable at all tables while the Ninja (and Samurai) are labeled "Alternate" classes (table of contents, UC) and not necessarily welcome at every table.
Second, I prefer the "everyman" theme of the Rogue class over the "Elite Assassin" theme of the Ninja class. While I understand these themes are not set in stone they effect how the classes are perceived by others (Players & GM's) which is always worth consideration.
Third, I have had numerous Rogues play in my games and there has been no perceived weakness displayed in the class whatsoever in years of playtesting. They fulfill their role as they always have. As elite skirmishers.
So...I would go with a Rogue over a Ninja almost any day (Obviously some campaigns would warrant an exception) were I considering to play a skirmisher in a game.

Just my $.02 and humble opinion.

Best of Luck,
Weslocke of Phazdaliom


Ninja for a few reasons.

1. they can do EVERYTHING a rogue can, SA, find traps/disable.

2. access to rogue/ninja tricks (vanishing and forgotten tricks being the best early tricks)

3. feat access to unarmed striking, ninja level 20 effective level 16 monk unarmed dmg,never be w/o a weapon,(off the top of my head level 16 monk unarmed is 2d6 or 2d8 and or size) which is better than a 1d8 katana and adds a bonus to combat maneuvers.

4. access to style feats (this alone make ninja superior (rp wise) to rogues because of the customization that can be placed on combat styles and the imagination being placed into the characters background)

5. semi-exotic weapons (ninja weapons)

6. best multi-classed with a monk imo (flurry with shuriken big bonuses when you can poison each shuriken differently and apply poisons to your unarmed strikes)

The Exchange

they are the same class. there are no rules saying you have to wear pajamas and keep a secret identity. The core rogue already had magic abilities, this just added a few more options.


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Ninja, because Batman

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I'm a big fan of the ninja. Currently playing one in a game and I'm having one of the best times I've had in a campaign. The rogues I've played just weren't as fun.


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why choose? use the super genius games talented rogue


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Macona wrote:

I'd go for Rogue, but my choice is for flavor rather than mechanics.

I just don't like the idea of Weeaboo classes in a (mostly) medieval fantasy world.

That's funny, my ninja is a whirling dervish from the deserts of Qadira.

I don't understand why people get hung up on class names for the oriental classes. Does everyone expect a fighter from the Lands of Linnorn Kings to be the same as a fighter from an upper class Oppara family to be the same as a fighter from the Mawangi Expanse? Then why do they expect all ninjas to wear black pajamas?

Shadow Lodge

ninja, its just so much better. the only thing you lose out on is finding/disarming magical traps, but that's why i have detect magic glasses and a wand of dispell magic.

Liberty's Edge

MajikNinja81 wrote:

Ninja for a few reasons.

1. they can do EVERYTHING a rogue can, SA, find traps/disable.

Ninjas don't get trapfinding, or evasion as early.

Dark Archive

I wanted to make a woad-marked Kellid 'witch-knife' who combined some sneaky fighting tactics with some witch-ly themed stuff. A ninja seems like a decent chassis for that. The more supernatural ki tricks, like turning invisible or ghost stepping through walls, fit someone who is tapping into supernatural forces, and the shuriken I wanted to focus on could be described as spike shuriken, and then flavored as 'hex nails' that the character throws to impose conditions (using bleeding attack or pressure points).

On the other hand, someone who wears black pajamas and runs around *saying* that they are a ninja?

Unless you are Sterling Archer, you *don't tell people you part of a secret organization.*


Rogue. Because Ninjas can't do the archtypes.


Thematically, I prefer Ninja above most anything else, period.

Mechanically? Alchemist, Wizard, Ranger, Bard, inquisitor, (Synthesist) Summoner... I'd take any of those before Ninja or Rogue. If I had to pick between two of the 3 worst classes in the entire game? I guess I'd go with Rogue since it's much more dip-friendly (archetypes), and dipping is all I'd be doing.


Shadowdweller wrote:
Rogue. Because Ninjas can't do the archtypes.

Which archetypes?

It can do 50% of them.


really for me it comes down to 'do i want to play a rogue with mystic stuff' if i do i'll look at ninja. I can think of multiple reflavoured themse ninja can filll.

But if i didn thave a mystical theme in mind then i wouldnt touch the Ninja. Really i think they are both fine tho Ninja favours a combat heavy game.


I prefer the ninja, mainly because the rogue 'pays' for Trapfinding as if trap-filled Gygaxian dungeons are the norm, even though most APs and modules barely use traps at all.


Ninja is a Rogue archetype.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Shadowdweller wrote:
Rogue. Because Ninjas can't do the archtypes.

Which archetypes?

It can do 50% of them.

Quality > quantity.

All the good rogue archetypes replace trapfinding and trapsense.

Because paizo over values them, remember?

Shadow Lodge

Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Ninja is a Rogue archetype.

Ninja is an Alternate Class of the rogue.


It would vary depending on what kind of character I was making.

Ninja's get Poison Use, a Ki pool based off of Cha, some exotic weapon proficiency, and a good capstone ability but from what I hear people say on the messageboards not many even get that high level.

Rouges get trapfinding, trapsense, and get evasion quicker, proficient with more likely easier to find weapons, can get a Ki pool based off Wis, access to Archetypes, and what seems to me a good capstone ability but not as good as the Ninja.

To me that makes them pretty even.

Shadow Lodge

ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Ninja is a Rogue archetype.
Ninja is an Alternate Class of the rogue.

An alternate class is nothing but an archetype that gets a full writeup, instead of just listed the changes.


It's mostly the same debate as the whole 'martials vs casters' thing. Ninjas are better...up until they run out of Ki.


Dread Knight wrote:

It would vary depending on what kind of character I was making.

Ninja's get Poison Use, a Ki pool based off of Cha, some exotic weapon proficiency, and a good capstone ability but from what I hear people say on the messageboards not many even get that high level.

Rouges get trapfinding, trapsense, and get evasion quicker, proficient with more likely easier to find weapons, can get a Ki pool based off Wis, access to Archetypes, and what seems to me a good capstone ability but not as good as the Ninja.

To me that makes them pretty even.

Again, Access to more archetypes is what Rogues get.

Ninja can be rakes, Scouts, etc

Liberty's Edge

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I like the ninja better. Now if only we could get a race of humanoid turtles... ;)


Cerberus Seven wrote:
It's mostly the same debate as the whole 'martials vs casters' thing. Ninjas are better...up until they run out of Ki.

Thing is, aside from Trapfinding and getting evasion a bit later, the ninja still gets everything the rogue does after he runs out of ki. And the ninja has better weapon proficiencies.

Unless you're running in 1E-vintage Gygaxian dungeons, a ninja with an empty ki pool is 95% as good as a rogue ... and way better as long as he has ki.


Rogue has better proficiencies if you care about finesse fighting.

Because it's not like Ninja is the most MAD class in the game or anything...

-----------------------------

And why do people keep comparing ninja to a wizard, in this thread and many others? A ninja's ki point at best does the same as spell, most often it does far less. And the wizard gets far more spells than the ninja does ki points. And better other class features. It's getting really annoying. Yes, Ninja is better than a rogue. It's still the undisputed 3rd worst class in the entire game, and it comes with several major problems of its own. Most notably again, the horrific MAD. Even the poor monk can flip off his charisma stat... You need dex, you need cha. If int is below 10, you're literally throwing away the whole skill monkey thing that lead you to the class in the first place. Con is critical for a combat class w/ middling HD and poor fort saves. Wis is needed to cover the poor will save. Str is needed at least until you can get an Agile weapon, but...oh wait, ninja gets gimped on finesse weapons, too.

Ninja is a cool class.
...For a 30 point buy game...

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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The best Rogue Talent is Combat Trick. That's telling, IMO.

Silver Crusade

Depends on the campaign. Expecting traps? Rogue. Purely combat focused? Ninja. Somewhere in between? Well, what about the rest of the group? Fuji apples and Granny Smith apples (instead of apples and oranges) comparison.

Personally, the ability to disable magical traps is something I feel can't be overestimated, but then again, I have GM's who are fond of 'glyph of warding, Poison, Con damage' and other, meaner, variants. (Such as one BBEG that the PC's found out about, found where, and then found out what his primary defense was -a permanent, reseting Symbol of Death that was warded to hit everything in the room but the BBEG-and decided 'oooh heck no, no way can we get that guy').

However, the ki-invisibility is as good as you make it, much like a ring of invisibility. It's mostly a flavor thing, with a few key mechanical differences. A rogue can, with the 'ninja talent' rogue talent, gain much of the Ninja specialties, although the Ninja is, of course, going to be better at his own specialty.

YMMV. No one quite wins overall, they're just different. Again, comes down to the individual circumstances.

The Exchange

Petty Alchemy wrote:
The best Rogue Talent is Combat Trick. That's telling, IMO.

nope the best rogue talent is offensive defense. OK it is my opinion, but it is a strong contender.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Rogue has better proficiencies if you care about finesse fighting.

I don't see any finesse weapon on the rogue's list that beats the wakizashi's stats.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
The best Rogue Talent is Combat Trick. That's telling, IMO.

Or that part of the benefit of Swashbuckler archetype is getting to take it twice. "Yay, that's one less talent that'll go to waste!"

Or how the fact that you can use Ninja Trick to gain combat trick again by strict RAW is seen as abusive and cheesy.

If the other talents were actually on par with "feat from a big list," people wouldn't care so much about that, would they?

Chengar Qordath wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Rogue has better proficiencies if you care about finesse fighting.
I don't see any finesse weapon on the rogue's list that beats the wakizashi's stats.

Fair enough, I forgot about that one.


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Whenever I see "ninja" I have an almost primal desire to run a pirate


selunatic2397 wrote:
Whenever I see "ninja" I have an almost primal desire to run a pirate

To fight the concept of ninja?


Natrim wrote:

Depends on the campaign. Expecting traps? Rogue. Purely combat focused? Ninja. Somewhere in between? Well, what about the rest of the group? Fuji apples and Granny Smith apples (instead of apples and oranges) comparison.

Personally, the ability to disable magical traps is something I feel can't be overestimated, but then again, I have GM's who are fond of 'glyph of warding, Poison, Con damage' and other, meaner, variants. (Such as one BBEG that the PC's found out about, found where, and then found out what his primary defense was -a permanent, reseting Symbol of Death that was warded to hit everything in the room but the BBEG-and decided 'oooh heck no, no way can we get that guy').

However, the ki-invisibility is as good as you make it, much like a ring of invisibility. It's mostly a flavor thing, with a few key mechanical differences. A rogue can, with the 'ninja talent' rogue talent, gain much of the Ninja specialties, although the Ninja is, of course, going to be better at his own specialty.

YMMV. No one quite wins overall, they're just different. Again, comes down to the individual circumstances.

Yep, for combat, ninja is the star, for traps and skills, rogue.

But PF APs emphasize combat WAY over traps.

Thus, for PF, it's ninja.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Dread Knight wrote:

It would vary depending on what kind of character I was making.

Ninja's get Poison Use, a Ki pool based off of Cha, some exotic weapon proficiency, and a good capstone ability but from what I hear people say on the messageboards not many even get that high level.

Rouges get trapfinding, trapsense, and get evasion quicker, proficient with more likely easier to find weapons, can get a Ki pool based off Wis, access to Archetypes, and what seems to me a good capstone ability but not as good as the Ninja.

To me that makes them pretty even.

Again, Access to more archetypes is what Rogues get.

Ninja can be rakes, Scouts, etc

Ninjas can't be Rakes because Rakes give up Trapfinding.

Ninja's can't be any archetype that replaces or alters Evasion,Rogue Talents, Trapfinding, or Trap Sense because Ninjas don't get those.

So, out of about two dozen archetypes, Ninja's have access to: Bandit, Burglar, Scout, and Trapsmith. That's it.

That is, of course, assuming that Alternate Classes can take Archetypes. I don't know where it is stated that they can.


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Quantum Steve wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Dread Knight wrote:

It would vary depending on what kind of character I was making.

Ninja's get Poison Use, a Ki pool based off of Cha, some exotic weapon proficiency, and a good capstone ability but from what I hear people say on the messageboards not many even get that high level.

Rouges get trapfinding, trapsense, and get evasion quicker, proficient with more likely easier to find weapons, can get a Ki pool based off Wis, access to Archetypes, and what seems to me a good capstone ability but not as good as the Ninja.

To me that makes them pretty even.

Again, Access to more archetypes is what Rogues get.

Ninja can be rakes, Scouts, etc

Ninjas can't be Rakes because Rakes give up Trapfinding.

Ninja's can't be any archetype that replaces or alters Evasion,Rogue Talents, Trapfinding, or Trap Sense because Ninjas don't get those.

So, out of about two dozen archetypes, Ninja's have access to: Bandit, Burglar, Scout, and Trapsmith. That's it.

That is, of course, assuming that Alternate Classes can take Archetypes. I don't know where it is stated that they can.

Agree there and to be honest I don't think they can take base Class Archetypes since Samurai actually got the Sword Saint Archetype saying it's one for the Samurai class; my guess is that would need it's own Archetype(s) in order to take one.


The whole greater invisibility thing the ninja has going for it is pretty sexy.

I can make a ninja that I would want to play. I'm still trying to figure out a rogue build that suits me. Once I find it though, rogue would be my preference.


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
selunatic2397 wrote:
Whenever I see "ninja" I have an almost primal desire to run a pirate
To fight the concept of ninja?

Yup! Yarrr!


Rogue all the way.


DrDeth wrote:
Yep, for combat, ninja is the star, for traps and skills, rogue.

Aside from trapfinding and related abilities (Like Trap Spotter), I'm not aware of any big skill advantage that the rogue has over the ninja. They both get 8+Int Skill points/level, and the only difference in their skill lists is that the rogue gets knowledge (dungeoneering) while the ninja gets knowledge(nobility).

Well, I suppose rogue talents are a bit more skill oriented, but most the skill-oriented rogue talents like Ledge Walker and or Nimble Climber are highly situational and not all that good even when their ideal circumstances do come up.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yep, for combat, ninja is the star, for traps and skills, rogue.
Aside from trapfinding and related abilities (Like Trap Spotter), I'm not aware of any big skill advantage that the rogue has over the ninja. ...

"Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?". Yes, other than the most important and singular abilities, they are about the same.


DrDeth wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yep, for combat, ninja is the star, for traps and skills, rogue.
Aside from trapfinding and related abilities (Like Trap Spotter), I'm not aware of any big skill advantage that the rogue has over the ninja. ...
"Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?". Yes, other than the most important and singular abilities, they are about the same.

Well, you said they're better at traps and skills. It's sort of like saying. "Well, the Paladin is better than the fighter at spells and BAB."


Honestly, again with the whole traps things, rogues are not that good. Why? Because the traps from Paizo are not that good. Disarming Traps is a largely situational and useless ability. Why? Because unless your party consists of Wizard, rogue, fighter, barb then you can heal the damage away. So for a Ninja va Rogue, the rogue trades away combat ability for... a situational ability at best? Honestly at that point I would prefer to run the Ninja and take a bite from traps, after all, combat tends to be EXTREMELY more prevalent than traps...


Noireve wrote:
Honestly, again with the whole traps things, rogues are not that good. Why? Because the traps from Paizo are not that good. Disarming Traps is a largely situational and useless ability. Why? Because unless your party consists of Wizard, rogue, fighter, barb then you can heal the damage away. So for a Ninja va Rogue, the rogue trades away combat ability for... a situational ability at best? Honestly at that point I would prefer to run the Ninja and take a bite from traps, after all, combat tends to be EXTREMELY more prevalent than traps...

Indeed. I really get the feeling that the rogue's trap abilities are overvalued on account of edition disconnect. Trapfinding was a vitally important role in First Edition, so a lot of people still think it's a huge deal in Pathfinder. However, Pathfinder traps tend to be far less dangerous that the old First Edition ones, and traps just aren't very common in most Pazio-made APs and modules.

It also probably doesn't help that, thanks to perception being Pathfinder's most-rolled skill, just about every PC is going to have a passable perception score anyway. When I've played or run games that included a trapfinder rogue, their bonuses against finding traps often felt redundant when the non-rogues in the party also met the perception DC to find the trap.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
The best Rogue Talent is Combat Trick. That's telling, IMO.

Or that part of the benefit of Swashbuckler archetype is getting to take it twice. "Yay, that's one less talent that'll go to waste!"

Or how the fact that you can use Ninja Trick to gain combat trick again by strict RAW is seen as abusive and cheesy.

If the other talents were actually on par with "feat from a big list," people wouldn't care so much about that, would they?

Chengar Qordath wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Rogue has better proficiencies if you care about finesse fighting.
I don't see any finesse weapon on the rogue's list that beats the wakizashi's stats.
Fair enough, I forgot about that one.

Perhaps scarier I was throwing together a theoretical rogue build after SLAs were FAQed to qualify for arcane strike and wound up putting Terrain Mastery in five times. I was looking at the advanced talents list and asking "is this better than another +2 to initiative, stealth, and perception in my favored terrains and another favored terrain at +2?" and answering myself "no, favored terrain is less situational."

The Exchange

Terrain mastery is best spent heading into the horizon walker prestige class.

also traps that do damage are lame. traps that close options or start neat encounters are way better.

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