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The shinobi class for 5e Oriental Adventures. A note on shinobis.  In Japan, shinobi and ninja are interchangeable terms.  However, in this particular instance, shinobi is more of an upfront fighter than a ninja using some stealth but otherwise taking opponents head-on.

The line in the sand is the ninja is more magical/supernatural while the shinobi is more material/tool based.


Only a chosen few ever become true shinobi, as mastering the art requires a level of dedication that leaves most daunted and gasping for air. The shinobi are master infiltrators and deadly assassins, that has near-mythical status in the Orient. Should a shinobi be detected, however, their immense speed, superhuman agility, and mastery of misdirection, making them near impossible to catch or harm.

Shinobi, like ninjas. follow the Iron Code of the Shinobi. Failure to uphold the code results in the expulsion from their family – and potentially execution if the infraction was heinous enough:

  1. To maintain a strong body, with loyalty, bravery, stratagem, skills, and belief.

  2. To be gentle and faithful with less desire, to value academies, to remember obligations – in particular to one’s master.

  3. To be eloquent, to read domestic and foreign books, to be wise enough not to be cheated by anyone.

  4. To know providence, to master the teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism, and to realize one’s destiny.

  5. To respect ancient, domestic and foreign ethos, to wear a heroic temper.

  6. To be called a good man usually without arguing with anyone.

  7. To have a tidy family and relatives, never to betray anyone and abuse ninjutsu.

  8. To travel around all countries, and to know the customs and manners of each land well.

  9. To have a talent for literature, to excel in writing and to possess a talent for and a keen understanding of military affairs.

  10. To acquire artistic accomplishments like singing and dancing, traditional Japanese music, making impressions of others, and to utilize them when necessary.

The shinobi uses the battle master archetype with the following changes.

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with eggshell bombs and Dexterity (Stealth).  Eggshell bombs never break in your hands and you may add your proficiency bonus to the DC and/or damage of the bomb as a flat bonus. You also lose proficiency in medium and heavy armor relying on your stealth and blade for your defence.


Starting when you choose this fighter archetype at 7th level, while you are in dim light or darkness you gain the following bonuses:

  • You are permanently under the effects of the jump spell
  • You gain 10 feet of movement
  • You gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet (shinobi eyes)
  • You can take the Hide action as a bonus action

This replaces “Know your Enemy”.


You gain the following additional maneuver options:

Your training and mental endurance allow you to use your focus to overcome physical challenges. You can expend a superiority die when you fail a Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution saving throw, and reroll the saving throw and use the new result. This consumes your reaction or bonus action.

Drawing upon your Ki reserves, you bolster your physical wellbeing. As an action, you may expend a superiority die and heal yourself for 1 hit die + your Constitution modifier + the superiority dies used for every 1 superiority die used, expending any hit dice you use.

While tumbling away from danger, your blade bursts forth in a sudden thrust. Attacking this quickly shouldn’t be possible. When you use the Disengage action, you may spend a superior die to make a single weapon.  If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Through focus and expert aim, you make a mighty attack against your foe, leaving him temporarily knocked senseless by your attack. When you hit a Large or smaller creature with a melee weapon attack, you can attempt to daze the target. The target must succeed a Constitution saving throw or lose its ability to make opportunity attacks until the beginning of your next turn. If you hit, you can add up to two superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Infusing an attack with your Ki, you strike out at all surrounding enemies with superhuman speed. You expend four superiority dice and as your n action, you may empower one attack to try and hit all enemies within 5 feet of you. You use the same attack and damage rolls for all affected enemies.  If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

You slice into your opponent’s legs, leaving him hobbled and stumbling about. When you hit a Large or smaller creature with a melee weapon attack, you can attempt to cripple the target. You expend two superiority die and the target must succeed a Dexterity saving throw or have its walking speed halved until the end of your next turn. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

You manifest your Ki to move with superhuman speed throwing dozens of shurikens at once which then bounce between enemies. A line of these shurikens 5 feet wide and 30 feet long bursts from your hand in a direction of your choosing, piercing through any creature in its path. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes force damage equal to your level + your Charisma modifier on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. You may expend up to four superiority dice to increase the damage of this attack.

You strike forward as if you were wielding a yari, extending yourself almost beyond your ability to maintain your balance. When you make a melee weapon attack, you can increase your reach for that attack by 5 feet by expending a superiority die. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

You enter a meditative state that makes your body blend into your surroundings,
making it hard to pinpoint your exact location. When you would be hit by an attack, using your reaction and expending a superiority die you can force the attacking creature to miss you instead.

Posted in Class, Oriental Adventures

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