Help GM Understand 10th Level Ninja


Advice


Looking for some advice on making sure I understand the strenghts and weaknesses of my players ninja build. I want to offer him good challenges rather than throw things at him he can easily defeat....

Human Ninja 10
STR 10
DEX 20
Con 12
Int 8
Wis 12
Cha 14
Fort 4
Ref 13
Will 4

AC 18
CMB +7
CMD 23

Feats
Dodge
Mobility
Shadow Strike
Spring Attack
Vital Strike
Weapon Finnesse

Traits
Deft Dodger
Ease of Faith

Special Abilities
Acrobatic Master
Fast Stealth
Improved Uncanny Dodge
Ki Attack Speed
Ki Movement
Ki Pool
Ki Stealth
Light Steps
No Trace
Poison Use
Sneak Attack 5d6

Spell Like
Invisible Blade DC17
Shadow CLone
Vanishing Trick

I know he will eventual take Assassinate as well - he is bragging that he will be able to kill things with one hit.

I don't want to take advantage of my player, but I am not nearly as up on the tactics as he is. One thing I do notice is the low Saves - this would make him suseptible to spell attacks would it not?

Thanks for the advice.


Basically if he can be invisible he will do okay damage. You should provably ask him the goal for vital strike. He also doesn't have evasion so while he likely will make his saves there he still takes damage.

Invisibility purge or see invisibility is his bane. Basically he's a rogue that can do more fantastic acrobatics and has better opportunities for sneak attack. Without that he's squishy.


Make him fight a diviner wizard, who always acts in the surprise round.

Pump up his initiative, and use a save or die will save on the ninja, such as baleful polymorph. He isn't so tough as a squirrel imo


Yes, I remember him talking about being invisible - He will be invisible all the time and can make attacks and jump around into any position he wants.

So vs creatures without see invisible, there will not be much they can do against him.....Maybe some kind of area effect spell would do something?

How would you handle this as a GM? Would you change what your creatures have in the module to offset your players abilities?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

By level 10 invisibility is still pretty good, but monsters become more likely to have super senses of some sort such as tremorsense, blindsense/sight, and so on. He should be able to pull off his invis most of the time, but it shouldn't be too hard to find a foe that can beat it even without spells.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There are different ways to detect invisible opponents. Equipment trick feat with heavy blade scabbard for example comes to mind:

equipment trick wrote:


Find the Hidden (Blind-Fight): You can use your scabbard to probe for hidden dangers. As a move action, you may sweep your scabbard through an adjacent square where you suspect there is an invisible creature; make a touch attack and roll the miss chance normally. If it hits and you have an available attack, you may attack that target once with a –2 penalty and no miss chance for invisibility. All other attacks you make against that creature (whether in that round or otherwise) do not gain this benefit (though you can sweep again on your next turn).

I wouldn't really change the abilities of the creature in the module, considering at higher level plenty of monsters have ways to see invisible creatures, its a trick that would only work for a little while. Once he attacks, he is out of invisibility too and during that round, that's usually all it takes to disable him.

Battlefield control spell still work, a druid casting entangle for example around him protect him from being caught by the ninja who will still need to roll the reflex save to pass through the entangle area of effect at half-speed or even not at all if he fails his save.

A wizard casting fly or levitate to be out of reach is fine too. Or even having any spells which give the wizard concealment make him immune to sneak attacks.


He will be ok vs. guys that dont see invisible he may hope to double all the sneek dices with vital strike(that is not possibl) by level 10 lots of baddies have ways to see invisible guys.
I think you need the player to tell you hus plan because i dont see how this is amazing.
He may be smarter than me( some folks are) but he may also have some alternate interpretation of some rules.

Liberty's Edge

A few notes on Assasinate to head off future problems. All of the following must be true for Assasinate to work.
1. It takes two rounds. The first being a standard action to study target.
2. The target has to be denied dex.
3. The rogue has to successfully land a sneak attack.
4. The target cannot be aware the ninja is a foe.
With all those restrictions Assasinate isn't actually that usefull in a combat environment.


James Fenix wrote:

A few notes on Assasinate to head off future problems. All of the following must be true for Assasinate to work.

1. It takes two rounds. The first being a standard action to study target.
2. The target has to be denied dex.
3. The rogue has to successfully land a sneak attack.
4. The target cannot be aware the ninja is a foe.
With all those restrictions Assasinate isn't actually that usefull in a combat environment.

Thank you for clarifying this James - much appreciated....


Well, if you're invisible, then the target is not aware of the ninja as a foe. I think that makes it possible to use in combat.

Some more issues to be aware of:
You can't target an invisible opponent with many of the spells that target saving throws. Similarly, an invisible character can't easily benefit from allied buffs / heals if the ally can't see them.
Make sure you know the difference between blindsense (know what square an invisible enemy is in but still get 50% miss chance and can be sneak-attacked) and blindsight (can see all invisible creatures as if visible).
Know which creatures are immune to sneak attacks (oozes, elementals, swarms). Constructs and undead are not immune to sneak. Incorporeal undead are immune to sneak unless he has a ghost touch weapon.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Well, if you're invisible, then the target is not aware of the ninja as a foe. I think that makes it possible to use in combat.

Some more issues to be aware of:
You can't target an invisible opponent with many of the spells that target saving throws. Similarly, an invisible character can't easily benefit from allied buffs / heals if the ally can't see them.
Make sure you know the difference between blindsense (know what square an invisible enemy is in but still get 50% miss chance and can be sneak-attacked) and blindsight (can see all invisible creatures as if visible).
Know which creatures are immune to sneak attacks (oozes, elementals, swarms). Constructs and undead are not immune to sneak. Incorporeal undead are immune to sneak unless he has a ghost touch weapon.

Cool good post. Kind of like a mini guide to dealing with invisibility.


Do not change the enemies with truesight. Just tell him beforehand that he needs to have a backup plan like raising UMD and using wands.

I would also like to suggest that if he starts at teh campaign at 10th lvl he should be focusing at throwing as many shurikens as possible with TWF, ITWF, point-blank shot, precise strike, rapid shot and the trick flurry of stars, and use a shortbow when he is out of range of the shurikens. Sniper Googles will be your friend for such tactics.

Liberty's Edge

Use and abuse smoke, fog, darkness and mists in all their forms.

If he cannot see them either, the fight gets more even ;-)

Also he likely needs some light to see in most dungeons. Local creatures are likely to spot him before he sees them.

Dark Archive

Also remember that a target with the Blind-fight feat is immune to his invisibility powered sneak attack. Give them scent (either the feat or an animal companion/mount or squirrel in a cage) and he'll automatically know when the target comes to attack him and can counter attack.

Invisibility has enough weaknesses that any build entirely focused around it is doomed.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Also remember that a target with the Blind-fight feat is immune to his invisibility powered sneak attack. Give them scent (either the feat or an animal companion/mount or squirrel in a cage) and he'll automatically know when the target comes to attack him and can counter attack.

Invisibility has enough weaknesses that any build entirely focused around it is doomed.

Yes, and as GM, it is my responsibility to know what those are and to use them responsibly.

The words of advice here are greatly appreciated.


You can use the environment to challenge him. Create a battle ground where he has to use skills to get into position (the key to making the game fun for any skilled class). Rooftop battles, on docks or ships, put him on the run so he has to escape capture, these are all fun and, if you have enough encounters worked in, he has to manage his ki use. Lots of quick single enemy encounters in succession.

As far as challenging enemies. Anyone with uncanny dodge or good grappling ability will be a good surprise. A rival ninja clan would get you familiar with good tactics to use, and maybe they are now led by a necromancer and they are are skeletons, zombies, and ghouls which all require different tactics.

Shadow Lodge

In a campaign I just ran, we had a ninja character. He was fine through level 9, then power spiked at level 10. Let him enjoy it for a while, maybe a level or two. Then start mixing in enemies specifically design to take him down (but just a handful).

Don't forget, your player has likely been waiting his entire adventuring career to get Invisible Blade. If suddenly every enemy has glitter dust and blindsight, he's going to get really annoyed (and rightfully so). Make sure that there are some fights where invisibility isn't useful... but, more importantly, make sure that there are some normal fights where he will still rock.


I should point out a Wizard gets access to Improved Invisibility at level 7 and he'll cause way more havoc than a ninja ever will.


The real question is, how did he ever survive to level 10 with such lousy Fort and Will saves?

His Invisible trick has a very limited number of uses: he'll run out of ki sooner rather than later. Ninjas suffer more than most martials from the 5 minute work day, so if he shows to be too strong, make sure he gets 4 fights or so a day. Personally, I doubt it'll be an issue, as he'll die to spells soon enough.

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