One of the great pleasures of this hobby is taking a crack at old fan-favorites and drafting them into 5th edition, making them work within existing schema in imaginative ways.
This in mind, the ninja is a shadowy roguish archetype that uses Ki, same as a monk, to activate quasi-spiritual abilities while straight-up assassinating folks.
Sounds fun? Of course it does, it's a ninja. Let's see what it can do:
- Choice of two of four ki-based abilities at 3rd, 9th, and 13th level, focusing on utility, combat, and utility respectively.
- Deliver a Deathblow to reroll Sneak Attack dice at 17th level by spending Ki.
- A 1/3 caster Ki system, based on the class assumption of the monk as a half-caster.
- Ki abilities cost either 1 ki or 3 ki, which I figure is a good general representation of their utility, but may be too bland or not balanced correctly - it's hard to tell.
- Class options that have a "choice of" abilities can end up having a lack of flavor, as with early drafts of my Vampire PrC. I don't think that's the case here, but I could be wrong.
- I make the assumption that the monk is approximately a half-caster in regards to ki - a fair assumption given how much punching monks do, but also one that could be wrong.
- Ki is mostly a damage resource to monks, but to ninja it is mostly a utility resource. I don't see this as much of an issue, but it could have ramifications I haven't thought of.
- 10 + total character level for a saving throw is kind of odd and unprecedented, but I specifically didn't want to tie the saves to a secondary stat. Save-using options for this archetype are few and far between, and a player could easily avoid taking them to avoid having to put points in a secondary stat, so I didn't want to disincentivize the options in that way.
WHAT I LEARNED:
- Making 1/3-caster options out of alternative resource systems is possible. I wonder what else I could apply that idea to.