General Prestige Class : Ninja of the Crescent Moon

Some monks seek only enlightenment. Others are tempted by more shadowy pursuits.

The Ninja of the Crescent Moon is a mercenary clan whose members engage in sabotage and other covert missions for an outlandish fee - if the job meets their own inscrutable moral code. The ninja are a thorn in the side of both evil tyrants and just nobles, and no one outside the upper hierarchy knows what their real aims are. Their bases and safehouses are unknown to any outside the Crescent Moon, and would-be patrons contact them only through a long chain of contacts.

But once the Ninja of the Crescent Moon are hired, they generally complete the job by the next crescent moon (hence the name). The black-garbed ninja typically infiltrate their target, reveal themselves in a whirlwind of violence, then slip away into the shadows of the night.

Most ninja were once monks who heard the whispered promise of the ninja's esoteric secrets. Curious, they began to research the Crescent Moon, following half-remembered rumors to their source. Any monk (or occasionally rogue or fighter) who manages to track the ninja back to their source are typically offered membership. Those who turn the Crescent Moon down are marked for death.

NPC ninja appear seemingly from nowhere, striking without mercy. They are often hired to steal a valuable item, kill a powerful rival, or infiltrate a besieged fortress as a precursor to an attack.


To qualify to become a Ninja of the Crescent Moon, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The ninja's class skills are Balance, Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Swim, and Tumble.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Monklike AC Bonuses: When the ninja is wearing no armor or shield, he receives the AC bonus listed in Monk. This bonus stacks with any AC bonus he previously received as a monk. Furthermore, the ninja applies Dexterity and Wisdom bonuses to AC if unarmored.

Sneak Attack: If a ninja can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Any time the ninja's target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the ninja's attack deals +1d6 points of damage. This extra damage increases by an +1d6 points every other level (+2d6 at 3rd level, +3d6 at 5th level, and so on). Should the ninja score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is nor multiplied. This class ability stacks with any other sneak attack the character possesses.

It takes precision and penetration to hit a vital spot, so ranged attacks only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less.

A ninja can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Additionally, any creature immune to critical hits is similarly immune to sneak attacks. Also, the ninja must also be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. The ninja cannot sneak attack while striking at a creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach. If a ninja gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.

Improved Evasion: At 2nd level, a ninja's evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragon's breath weapon or a fireball, but henceforth she only takes half damage on a failed save.

Kuji-kiri: By making mystical hand gestures as a standard action, the ninja can render opponents helpless as if he would cast hypnotic pattern. The ninja can affect 2d4 +1 per ninja level HD with kuji-kiri, and subjects must make Will saves against DC 12 + the ninja's Charisma bonus to avoid the effect. The hypnotic pattern lasts as long as the ninja continues to gesture, plus one additional round. The ninja can use this power once daily for each level of ninja.

Poison Use: Ninjas are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.

Fast Climb: The ninja can scurry up a wall at unbelievable speed. With each successful Climb check, the ninja can move half his speed as a move-equivalent action or his speed as a full-round action. Furthermore, he retains his Dex bonus to AC while climbing.

Silencing Attack: If the ninja successfully hits a flat-footed opponent with a melee attack, the opponent is unable to speak for one round. This prevents casting spells with a verbal component and shouting warnings or alarms.

Fast Sneak: When using Move Silently and Hide, the ninja can move at his normal speed without suffering a penalty to those skills.

Invisibility: The ninja can turn invisible (as the spell invisibility, but targeting himself only) once daily for each level of ninja.

Opportunist: Once per round, the ninja can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the ninja's attacks of opportunity for that round. Even a ninja with the Combat Reflexes feat cannot use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

Gaseous Form: You can assume gaseous form, as the spell, once per day for 1 round per class level. Using this ability requires a full round action.

Improved Kuji-kiri: The ninja's swirling hand gestures are harder to resist. Kuji-kiri now affects 3d6 +1 per ninja level HD of creatures, and the Will save DC is 15 + the ninja's Charisma bonus.

Blindsight: Using non-visual senses, such as sensitivity to vibrations, scent, acute hearing, or echolocation, the ninja maneuvers and fights just as well in darkness as in light. Invisibility and darkness are irrelevant, though the ninja still cannot discern ethereal beings. The ninja's blindsight extends for 60 feet.

Always Sneaky: The ninja is always taking 10 on Move Silently and Hide. Unless the ninja wants to be seen or heard, make opposed Spot and Listen checks to detect the ninja's presence.

Ethereal Jaunt: By focusing his ki, the ninja can become ethereal for a moment or two. Three times a day as a free action, the ninja can make an ethereal jaunt (as the spell of the same name, except the duration is only 1 round).

Ninja of the Crescent MoonHit Die: d8
1st+1+2+2+2Monk-like armor bonuses, sneak attack +1d6
2nd+2+3+3+3Improved evasion, kuji-kiri
3rd+3+3+3+3Poison use, sneak attack +2d6
4th+4+4+4+4AC bonus +1, fast climb, silencing attack
5th+5+4+4+4Fast sneak, sneak attack +3d6
6th+6+5+5+5Invisibility, opportunist
7th+7+5+5+5Gaseous form, sneak attack +4d6
8th+8+6+6+6Improved kuji-kiri
9th+9+6+6+6AC bonus +2, Blindsight, Sneak Attack +5d6
10th+10+7+7+7Always sneaky, Ethereal jaunt

Source: Sword and Fist

General Prestige Classes