The Ninja

By Art Franklin

The Ninja is a warrior from far off Nippon (and sometimes Cathay).  A secret cult of shadow warriors that are experts in assassination and espionage, these warriors are feared throughout the East as the most dangerous humans to ever walk the Warhammer World.  They come forth from the shadows striking entire armies when hopelessly outnumbered; always without fear, these warriors are super beings which there can be no survival from if ever encountered.

They are in fact human.  Though the government of Nippon has allowed their existence for political advantages, they are few in number; but those who are Ninja , are machines of death and mayhem.

Some that emigrate to the Old World may be hired to retrieve some ancient artifact or to assassinate.  Their skill is the best that money can buy, and you are right to fear these individuals.

STARTING AS A NINJA

Ninjas start with the following profile:

Wounds   

1d6 + 6

Move   

4

Weapon Skill   

3

Ballistic Skill   

  5+/4+ with Shurikens  

Strength   

3

Toughness   

3

Initiative   

5

Attacks   

1

Willpower   

4

Pinning   

3+

Save vs. Death  

13

Save vs. Spell   

15

Weapons

Ninja To (Sword) does 1d6+S damage.

Shurikens do 1d6+(S-2) damage, ignoring 1 point of armor.  The Ninja starts with 9 of them.  They can be thrown up to 6 squares, for each square over that, -1 to hit.  Must be retrieved after all monsters in the room are dead, by spending one round doing nothing but retrieving.  A Ninja can throw as many per round as he has Attacks.  He is also considered to be specialized at throwing these weapons and therefore always hits as if he has a higher Ballistic skill than he really does (by 1).

Shinobi Tanto (Knife, as normal) 1d6+(S-2) damage.

Equipment

Smoke Grenades:  (9 of ‘em)(covers a 4x4 square are with smoke, no other model may move if in the smoke, and no model may shoot of strike anyone in the smoke except the Ninja.  Fades away after 1 turn; may be thrown.)

Grappling Hook:  Attached to hook is 30’ (4 squares) of rope.  Can be thrown to cross chasms as well as get out of pit traps.  Appropriate Initiative or Strength tests must be made for any characters trying to perform difficult tasks with the rope.  (Such as crossing the Fire Chasm hand-over-hand while being peppered with Goblinoid arrows.)

Special Skills

Dodge:  6+

Assassinate 6+:  Any time Monsters arrive, and the Ninja makes his roll, he gets on free immediate Attack(s) that ignores Toughness and Armor if it connects.  In addition, if the Ninja rolls 6 for damage, he gets an opportunity to stick his Tanto into a vital area as well.  Roll to hit for the knife and ignore Toughness and Armor on that attack as well.  If Monsters also have the Assassinate skill, or if they ambush, do an opposed roll using Initiative to see who goes first.  If the Ninja loses, he still gets his attack(s), but it does not ignore Toughness and Armor; if the Monsters lose, they still get to Assassinate the other Warriors, but their attacks on the Ninja will not ignore Toughness and Armor either.

                When a Ninja:       Assassinate 5+
                Ninja Adept:         Assassinate 4+
                Death Master:       Assassinate 3+

Ninjas and Treasure

The Ninja may use any treasure usable by the Barbarian with these exceptions...  Two-handed melee weapons, bludgeoning weapons, axes, shields, and helms.  A Ninja will never wear any armor other than padded.

*ADVANCED RULES*
NINJAS AND SETTLEMENTS

When visiting settlements, a Ninja may visit all the standard locations such as the various traders and the following special locations:  The Alchemist, Gambling House, Temple, Fighting Pit, Alehouse (no modifier), Outlaw Trading Post, Assassin’s Guild, and the Thieves’ Guild (on a 9+).  When the Ninja is shopping in a Black Market, he may be able have additional smoke grenades created for him.  However, this is not common knowledge in the Old World, and the stock roll will be 11 and the cost will be 125g each.  Luckily they will be available in lots of 1d6.

The Ninja is an outlander, and is treated as such even by the Assassin’s Guild, where he trains (unless actually IN Cathay or Nippon).  Therefore he may only use the Rumour Network on a 6+ (Add Battle-Level-1 to die roll to represent clout).  As the Ninja levels up, the Guild will be more likely to assign him a task they think only he will accomplish.  Therefore treat a die result of 3 on the table as a 6.

The Ninja tends to disguise himself as an ordinary peasant in Settlements, though those that look close realize that he is foreign.  Therefore he must still roll Settlement Events, though he has the option of escaping by making an Initiative check to disappear from the situation AND the settlement.  (For example, a Ninja not wishing to join the watch may agree, but then disappear from his bunk sometime within the next few days.)

Skills

When a Ninja wishes to train, he will enter the local Assassin’s Guild and quietly make it known that he has gold available for any bold enough to teach a potential rival.  
Only on a roll of 5+ is the guild able to put him in contact with a Ninjitsu master, another assassin with training in the Cathayan or Nipponese arts, or even a Clan Eshin Skaven.  
On a 3-4, the Ninja is able, after self-training and meditation, to internalize and fully comprehend training he received while in Nippon that has never quite fallen into place until now.  
On a 1-2, the Ninja is unable to find a proper teacher and elects to settle for training from an Arabic or other local Assassin.

On a 1-2, roll 2d6 on the Assassin’s skill chart, treating a result of Evade as the same skill listed below.
On a 3-4, roll 2d6 and consult the chart below.
On a 5-6, roll 2d6 and consult the chart below, but add or subtract 1 to the die roll as you please.

1.  Catch

If a Ninja is hit by a normal missile (arrow, throwing star, etc.) and makes his Dodge save (not Evade!), he can make an Initiative test at Difficulty 11 to catch the item and hurl it immediately back at the shooter.  The return throw is made at the same Strength as the hit he would have received (due to inertia) but the Ninja’s Damage Dice still come into play because that represents the accuracy of his abilities.  (For example, a hapless goblin fires his crappy shortbow at Kage, a Level 5 Ninja Adept.  Amazingly, his aim is dead on.  However, the wily assassin reflexively spins at the last moment, snagging the small missile out of midair and sending it unerringly towards the Goblin’s staring right eyeThe resulting hit does 2d6 +2 Wounds of damage.)

If he fails his Init check, the weapon nicks his hand for an automatic Wound of unmodified damage. 

2.  Improved Assassination

The Ninja becomes more adept at finding an opponent’s weak spots, targeting vital organs even when the target is alerted to his presence.  The Ninja can now use his Assassinate skill at any time, not just when a new group of Monsters arrives on the scene.  The only conditions are:  The target cannot be facing him directly; and the Ninja cannot Assassinate a creature that is only targeting him. 

3. Parry

Swoosh, ching!

The Ninja is able to use his Ninja To and Tanto to parry.  If your roll beats the Attack roll from the enemy’s melee weapon, you have successfully parried the attack!  A Warrior may not parry attacks made with double his Strength - they are simply too powerful to be stopped!  Note that melee attack rolls of 6 can also not be parried.

4.  Poison Knowledge

That little thing cannot do me much harm.... Ugh!

All the weapons of the Ninja get a coat of poison (it is assumed he applies this before venturing into a dungeon).  Now after the first turn the weapon (Shuriken, Tanto or Ninja To or whatever bladed weapon the Ninja may carry) does damage, then the opponent that has been struck suffers -1W for each turn thereafter.  (Undead and Demonic creatures are immune) A creature that makes a Toughness test of Difficulty 7 plus the Ninja’s rank will stop taking damage from Poison.  (e.g. a Ninja Adept would require a Monster to make a Toughness test Difficulty 10 to shrug off the effects of Poison.)

5.  Vanish

“Hey, where’d he go?!”

The Ninja has the uncanny ability to vanish when he uses his smoke bombs, after you have used one of your smoke bombs in an adjacent or same square then you can remove the Ninja from the board, and in the next round put him on ANY board section (that has already been explored and which the Ninja could conceivably have reached in double movement) you wish!

6.  Shadow Lurker

“I thought there were four of you a little while ago, where’s the ...  Guah!”

Once per turn, the Ninja may attempt to hide from his attackers in the depths of the shadows.  Roll 1d6, on a 2 or greater the Ninja slinks into the darkness; he may not move or attack from this position, but he also may not be attacked during the Monster phase.  Monsters are not pinned by him and all he can do is drink potions and the like.  On a roll of 1, the Monsters notice his attempt and the Ninja simply loses his attack(s) this turn.  He may not attempt to hide again this battle.  Once hidden, he may stay hidden as long as he likes , but must roll to see if he is discovered.

(RPG:  The Ninja now has a +1 to escape undesirable situations.)

7.  Perfect Strike

Swooosh!

The Ninja is able to concentrate his strength at one strike so that it becomes powerful and accurate enough to cut through stone or even metal!  This strike takes away all other attacks and actions that the Ninja will make in his turns; therefore he cannot move nor do anything else.  The strike does 1d6+Battle Level+6 damage base.  For every turn the Ninja charges this attack, it is +1 to hit and +1 to damage.  This skill can be used in conjunction with missile weapons only if both the Ninja and the target do not move farther than a 5-foot step.

8.  Evade

The Ninja’s footwork is nothing short of amazing, allowing him to avoid even the most accurate of attacks.  This skill adds a 6+ save that can only be used if there is an adjacent square to move to.  This skill can be taken more than once, upping the save by 1 each time.  This skill can be used in conjunction with the Acrobatics skill to allow the Ninja to try to leap to safety 2 squares away upon a difficulty check of (5 + the enemy’s WS).  Failure means the Ninja has not only been hit, but knocked prone until the end of the round.  Dodge saves are made BEFORE Evade saves, always.

9.  Move Silently

Stealth is a virtue, and if that is so, the Ninja is a saint.  The Ninja can quietly maneuver himself to get a better strike at his opponent.  From Battle Levels 1-3, the Ninja must roll a 6 to gain +1 to hit his opponent.  Then, from BLs 4-7, he must roll a 5 or above to gain this bonus.  Finally, the highest level Ninjas do so on a 4+.  This is rolled once for every turn the Ninja declares he is moving silently.  This ability can only be used if there are not any Monsters currently targeting the Ninja.  In addition, he is at half Movement so that the surprise attack is a sudden burst of speed.

Ninjas that can move silently and also have the Shadow Lurker skill can also use this ability to sneak through rooms inhabited by monsters/enemies.  First the Ninja makes his roll to see if he thinks he’s moving silently, then the Monsters have to roll equal to or under their Initiative to spot him.  They are +1 to this test if the Ninja is at least Battle-Level 4 and +2 if he is BL 8 or higher.  However, creatures that have exceptional sense of smell or other heightened perceptions may get a -2 to their roll at the GM’s discretion.

10. Acrobatics

“How can he jump around like that, huh?”

The Ninja is able to use his acrobatics so that he is able to dodge more easily; add +1 to the Dodge roll up to a maximum of Dodge save of 2+.  This skill can be earned more than once!  However many ranks of this skill the Ninja has, that is also his bonus to any Initiative tests to climb walls and similar tests.

11. Wu Xia

Gravity is not only defied but taunted as the sleek form flips through the air, lashing out at opponents before they even know what is hitting them.

The Ninja may now make a Leap test to fly over any number of opponents as long as there is a square to land in on the other side and he has enough Movement to do so.  If the test is successful, he gets the opportunity to trade in all Attacks for a single attack on each Monster jumped over at -2 damage.  The Ninja also now has a +1 to hit flying creatures, as they usually don’t expect humans to be able to reach them so easily; and a +1 to break pinning. 

Further, if the Ninja also has the Acrobatics skill, he can conceivably bounce off walls and such with increased difficulty modifiers to the test, allowing him to pinball past allies.  [Note on Initiative tests:  The Ninja must follow the Leap rules in the Roleplay book (i.e. break pinning), but has the advantage of making all tests as an Elf with similar Init.]

12. Mysticism

The Ninja, through sheer self-discipline, learns to harness arcane energies as he has seen others do.

The Ninja gains the use of a Wizard spell, which he rolls 1d6 on the Magic table to obtain, as if he were a Wizard rolling for a new spell.  A Ninja still has no inner Power, but rides the Winds of Magic, adding +1 to the Power Die instead of his Battle-Level.  This skill may be gained more than once, adding another dice of spells and another +1 to the Power roll each time.  (e.g.  a Ninja gaining this skill for the third time rolls 3d6 for spells and has +3 to the rolled Power each turn.  A Power roll of 1 is still just one Power available of course, and the Ninja in this example would have a casting level of 3 for any spells that rely on Battle Level in their equations.)  The Ninja may choose any of the Special spells from casting nos. 1-6 as well as Feign Death and Invisibility.

13  Ninja Adept

A master of the Way of the Serpent is visiting the Guild and agrees to spread more influence in the world by passing on his teachings.

Roll twice more on this table, rolling again if necessary, but do not further modify die rolls.

NINJA STATISTIC ADVANCE TABLE

NOTES ON THIS PROFESSION

This profession for Warhammer Quest is at least the third one that has been published that I know of.  In fact, I’d like to acknowledge that I borrowed heavily from one version, but the author is completely unknown to me now, and I couldn’t find the file last time I looked.  In my home games, people enjoy playing rogues, but most that I see aren’t quite balanced amongst each other.  Therefore, this character is designed to be played alongside the Assassin and Outlaw characters that appear in the Deathblow magazines as well as the human Thief character which I have adapted.  That said, this profession is still slightly buffer than those and that’s because the point is to play the kind of fantastic character you see in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and have him sneak and fly around relying on his skills and agility to survive.

I don’t include notes on role-playing because I believe everyone should use their imagination and also the player’s choice of skills may have bearing on the character’s personality.  However, everyone has their own perception of a fantasy ninja and I personally recommend the Japanese anime Ninja Scroll, as I find the quiet but intense character you see in that to be a classic example.  The Crucible game is not one that I have played, but I use their ninja miniatures as a model, seeing as G.W. won’t go there.  I’m sure you could also find Reaper minis or something from the Clan Wars range to represent your character.

In case you’re wondering, I include Save vs. Death and Spells in the stat charts because I adapted them from AD&D 2nd Edition and use those mostly to determine if heroes or monsters have been critically hit.  I adore crits but don’t let the action get bogged down by them.  If crits are rare, then my players won’t mind me going through many a chart to see what their gruesome fate is!

written and adapted by Art Franklin