Character Class
Guile, the Warforged Ninja



Characters with Class discussed the ins and outs of playing a ninja; from this column:

The popular image of the ninja is a stealthy killer who can materialize out of nowhere like a ghost and loose a storm of blades or fists. Once she has devastated her foe, she moves on as mysteriously as she came.

One of the more famous ninjas--at least to this website -- includes our creature competition's Warforged Ninja, who narrowly lost out to 2nd-place winner Jannys Shadowgaunt. We wanted to offer suggested stats for this shadowy assassin and help showcase how ninjas might be built across multiple levels.

Stolen from the Cannith foundry at creation by agents of the church of Shadow, the warforged that later came to be known as Guile was taken to a remote temple located in the Byeshk Mountains. There he was awakened and educated in the precepts of the church, while at the same time he was trained by professional assassins as well as the clergy, so that he couldlater carry out difficult missions on their behalf. As an agent of the Shadow, Guile started as an errand-boy and messenger, tirelessly transmitting messages and other such deliverables over long distances during the war.

As he continued to be successful in his missions, his power and faith in the Shadow grew, and Guile was given more complicated missions. In some, he was charged to slip across enemy lines to find enemy leaders and dispatch them at the worst possible times. The deaths of these leaders threw enemy forces into chaos as they attempted to reestablish their chain of command amidst a sneak attack that was invariably coordinated to occur at the same time as Guile's attack. Though Guile rarely saw the front lines of mass combat, his role in these missions continued to throw enemy troops into chaos and confusion, a state that pleased the clergy of Shadow greatly.

As the war drew to a close, enemy forces sacked the temple where Guile was based. In an attempt to throw off their attackers, which were comprised mainly of Brelanders and Cyrans, Guile was sent on a long-term mission to eliminate the rulers of both lands. Failing in either attempt, and having no place else to turn, Guile disappeared into the Mournlands, which had been newly created out of the aftermath of Cyre's destruction. While what happened to the canny warforged assassin is a mystery, a popular theory among his former masters is that the Lord of Blades found and recruited him at war's end. Now, they theorize, he serves this new master, while maintaining his faith in the Shadow. It is hard to say when and where Guile will appear next, but if he is indeed a servant of the warforged messiah, there is no true measure to the chaos that he might cause as he works to assist in the elimination of the "flesh-and-blood" races of Khorvaire.

Combat

While he truly enjoys the chaos that is the result of the successful completion of one of his missions, Guile knows and appreciates the value of a well thought-out plan. Cold-blooded, methodical, and thorough, Guile approaches the planning of the mission with as much care as the mission itself. He always avoids mass confrontations, though he is capable of sowing confusion in a large-scale diversion. He always attempts to eliminate his targets one at a time, and he retreats as soon as he is in a situation where he cannot do so. Without the capacity for fatigue, Guile most frequently uses this to his advantage, attempting to eliminate his mark whenever they are resting or known to be exhausted.

Guile (2nd Level)

At this stage in his career, Guile is little better than a successful messenger and delivery service. He can maximize on his ability to move tirelessly and silently into areas that are thought to be hostile, or at best unfriendly. Not a particularly capable combatant, he attempts to flee at the first opportunity whenever he meets resistance. However, he isn't above taking out an unwary guard if it serves his purpose and can be done quietly and draw little or no attention to his activities.

Guile CR 2
Warforged ninja 1/cleric 1 (Shadow)
NE Medium construct (living construct)
Init +6; Senses Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Common, Goblin, Orc

AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13; light fortification (25% chance to negate critical hit or sneak attack)
hp 13 (2 HD)
Immune disease, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, energy drain, breathe
Resist healing at half effect
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +3 (+5 when ki pool isn't empty)
Weakness unusual physical construction (ECS 23); cannot heal lethal damage naturally

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee mwk short sword +1 (1d6/19-20) or
Melee slam +0 (1d4)
Ranged mwk shortbow +3 (1d6/x3)
Base Atk +0; Grp +0
Atk Options Blind-Fight
Special Actions rebuke undead, sudden strike +1d6
Combat Gear 2 scrolls of shield
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 1st):
1st -- cause fear (DC 12), obscuring mist[D], shield of faith
0 -- detect magic, guidance, light
D: Domain spell. Deity: The Shadow. Domains: Magic, Shadow.

Abilities Str 11, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 6
SQ ki power, trapfinding, warforged traits
Feats Blind-Fight [B], Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +4, Concentration +5, Disable Device +6, Hide +6, Jump +4, Listen +1, Move Silently +6, Open Lock +6, Search +6, Spot +1, Tumble +6
Possessions combat gear plus masterwork short sword, masterwork shortbow and 20 arrows, silver holy symbol, spell component pouch, thieves' tools

Ki Power (Su): Guile can channel his ki to manifest special powers of stealth and mobility. He can use his ki power 2 times per day.

As long as Guile's ki pool isn't empty (that is, as long as he has at least one daily use remaining), he gains a +2 bonus on his Will saves.

Note: At this level, Guile doesn't possess any ki powers that require him to use his ki pool, and so he benefits only from the bonus to his Will saves, which is already figured into the total bonus given above.

Sudden Strike (Ex): If Guile can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever Guile's target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), Guile deals an extra 1d6 points of damage with his attack. Guile can't use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.

Guile (7th Level)

Guile has become an accomplished operative, and while he still avoids large-scale confrontation, he can handle himself capably as an assassin, and he frequently employs every advantage when doing so. Waiting until his mark is sleeping or unaware, the warforged ninja always does his best to catch his prey off guard. Using his hat of disguise, he has also been known to pose as a friendly traveler in search of a warm fire and some friendly chatter before he dispatches his mark.

Guile CR 7
Warforged ninja 4/cleric 3 (Shadow)
NE Medium construct (living construct)
Init +6; Senses Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Common, Goblin, Orc

AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 15; light fortification (25% chance to negate critical hit or sneak attack)
hp 40 (7 HD)
Immune disease, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, energy drain, breathe
Resist healing at half effect
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +7 (+9 when ki pool isn't empty)
Weakness unusual physical construction (ECS 23); cannot heal lethal damage naturally

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee+1 short sword +8 (1d6/19-20) or
Melee slam +7 (1d4)
Ranged mwk shortbow +8 (1d6/x3)
Base Atk +5; Grp +5
Atk Options Blind-Fight, Death Blow
Special Actions rebuke undead, sudden strike +2d6
Combat Gear 3 scrolls of shield, 5 +1 human bane arrows
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 3rd):
2nd -- darkness[D], hold person (DC 15), sound burst (DC 15)
1st -- cause fear (DC 14), cure light wounds,obscuring mist[D], shield of faith
0 -- detect magic, guidance (2), light
D: Domain spell. Deity: The Shadow. Domains: Magic, Shadow.

Abilities Str 11, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 6
SQ ghost step (invisible), great leap, ki power, trapfinding, poison use, warforged traits
Feats Blind-Fight [B], Death Blow, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +7, Concentration +11, Disable Device +11, Hide +9, Jump +9, Listen +2, Move Silently +9, Open Lock +11, Search +9, Spot +2, Tumble +12
Possessions combat gear plus +1 short sword, masterwork shortbow and 20 arrows, periapt of wisdom +2, hat of disguise, silver holy symbol, spell component pouch, masterwork thieves' tools

Ghost Step (Su): Guile can spend one daily use of his ki power to become invisible for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Great Leap (Su): Guile always makes Jump checks as if he were running and had the Run feat, enabling him to make long jumps without a running start and granting a +4 bonus on the jump.

Ki Power (Su): Guile can channel his ki to manifest special powers of stealth and mobility. He can use his ki power 5 times per day.

As long as Guile's ki pool isn't empty (that is, as long as he has at least one daily use remaining), he gains a +2 bonus on his Will saves.

Sudden Strike (Ex): If Guile can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever Guile's target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), Guile deals an extra 2d6 points of damage with his attack. Guile can't use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.

Guile (11th Level)

An operative of the Lord of Blades, Guile walks among the free people of Khorvaire in whatever guise suits him best at any given time. He is constantly on one mission or another, whether he is gathering information for some unknown purpose or making back alley deals on behalf of his new leader. Accomplished in deception, stealth, and dealing death, Guile rarely allows those unfortunates who discover his true nature to tell anyone about the encounter.

Guile CR 11
Warforged ninja 6/cleric 5 (Shadow)
NE Medium construct (living construct)
Init +7; Senses Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Common, Goblin, Orc

AC 19, touch 17, flat-footed 16; light fortification (25% chance to negate critical hit or sneak attack)
hp 62 (11 HD)
Immune disease, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, energy drain, breathe
Resist healing at half effect
Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +10 (+12 when ki pool isn't empty)
Weakness unusual physical construction (ECS 23); cannot heal lethal damage naturally

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee+1 keen short sword +11/+6 (1d6+2/19-20) or
Melee slam +10/+5 (1d4+1)
Ranged+1 human bane composite shortbow +11/+6 (1d6+2/x3) vs. humans +13/+8 (3d6+4/x3)
Base Atk +7; Grp +8
Atk Options Blind-Fight, Death Blow
Special Actions rebuke undead, sudden strike +3d6
Combat Gear 3 scrolls of shield
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 5th):
3rd -- dispel magic[D], protection from energy, water walk
2nd -- darkness[D], hold person (DC 15) (2), sound burst (DC 15)
1st -- cause fear (DC 14), cure light wounds,divine favor, obscuring mist[D], shield of faith
0 -- detect magic, guidance (3), light
D: Domain spell. Deity: The Shadow. Domains: Magic, Shadow.

Abilities Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 6
SQ acrobatics +2,ghost step (invisible), great leap, ki dodge, ki power, trapfinding, poison use, warforged traits
Feats Blind-Fight [B], Death Blow, Improved Initiative, Mobile Spellcasting, Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +13, Concentration +15, Disable Device +13, Hide +12, Jump +15, Listen +2, Move Silently +12, Open Lock +14, Search +11, Spot +2, Tumble +17
Possessions combat gear +1 keen short sword, +1 human bane composite shortbow (Str bonus +1) and 20 arrows, gloves of dexterity +2, periapt of wisdom +2, hat of disguise, silver holy symbol, spell component pouch, masterwork thieves' tools

Acrobatics (Ex): Guile gains a +2 bonus on Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks. This bonus is already figured into his total skill bonuses.

Ghost Step (Su): Guile can spend one daily use of his ki power to become invisible for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Great Leap (Su): Guile always makes Jump checks as if he were running and had the Run feat, enabling him to make long jumps without a running start and granting a +4 bonus on the jump.

Ki Dodge (Su): Guile can spend one daily use of his ki power to cause an attack against him to miss when it might otherwise hit. When Guile activates this ability, his outline shifts and wavers granting him concealment 20% miss chance) against all attacks for 1 round. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

See invisibility has no effect on concealment granted by the ki dodge ability, but true seeing negates the miss chance. This concealment does not stack with that caused by other effects that grant concealment or by spells such as blink or displacement.

Ki Power (Su): Guile can channel his ki to manifest special powers of stealth and mobility. He can use his ki power 6 times per day.

As long as Guile's ki pool isn't empty (that is, as long as he has at least one daily use remaining), he gains a +2 bonus on his Will saves.

Sudden Strike (Ex): If Guile can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever Guile's target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), Guile deals an extra 3d6 points of damage with his attack. Guile can't use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.

Additional Feats from Complete Adventurer

Death Blow: You can perform a coup de grace attack against a helpless defender as a standard action. Doing this still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. (See page 106.)

Mobile Spellcasting: You can make a special Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level) when casting a spell. If the check succeeds, you can cast the spell and move up to your speed as a single standard action. (You can't use this ability to cast a spell that takes longer than 1 standard action to cast.) If the check fails, you lose the spell and fail to cast it, just as if you had failed a Concentration check to cast the spell defensively.

You still provoke attacks of opportunity for casting spells from any creatures who threaten you at any point of your movement. You can cast defensively while using this feat but doing so increases the Concentration DC to 25 + spell level.

About the Author

Chris Lindsay plays at Wizards of the Coast during the day and spends evenings with his lovely wife and kids in not-so-sunny Renton, Washington.


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