This Everyman Mini clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
On the introductory page, we have a new feat available for both the standard and the unchained ninja: Without a Trace. This feat requires the no trace class feature, and does something that stealth-based classes like rogue et al. should have as class features, namely the option to use Stealth to avoid automatic detection due to blindsight etc., and the feat as such is pretty damn cool.
The pdf then proceeds to present 8 different ninja tricks: Conditioning nets a +2 competence bonus to two types of effects chosen from arcane spells, curses, environmental effects, diseases, poisons or psychic spells. Odd that divine spells are not included, but that may be intentional. Darkfall lets the ninja spend 1 ki to activate darkness as a standard action, lasting for Cha-mod rounds. The trick gets interaction/CL et all right. Nice. Dashing blade lets the ninja spend 1 ki as part of an attack to move 10 feet, allowing for controlled skirmishing steps – very cool! Extrasensory block allows the ninja to reduce sneak attack damage to prompt a save to temporarily negate a variety of special senses, depending on the amount of sneak attack dice foregone. This doe include stuff like mistsight and thoughtsense. Cool! Extrasensory suppression builds on that and allows for the substitution of ki instead of foregoing sneak attack damage dice, and for a longer duration. Improvised ninjutsu nets the dispatchment class feature and has synergy with Catch Off-Guard. Instant reactions nets +2 to initiative as well as +10 ft. movement to all movement speeds during the first round of combat, and quick retrieval lets the ninja use ki to make thrown weapons come back instantly, allowing for full attacks. And yes, the latter requires Quick Draw.
Okay, so far so cool – do the master tricks hold up? 4 are provided: Dashing finish lets the ninja move 10 feet when reducing a target to 0 hp, and for 1 ki, said movement doesn’t provoke AoOs. Incredible leaper nets fly speed with average maneuverability, save that you need to land or fall – and you can do this for as long as you have ki. WuXia fans will like this, and it has proper and sensible prerequisites noted! Ki detection lets the ninja blindsight for 1 ki in a 30 ft. radius for a singular, instant detections. Ranged maneuvers, finally, does what it says on the tin, but uses Dexterity and has a proper range limit, so no cheesing there.
Finally, we have 8 ninjutsu arts: Advancing Assault nets bull rush; Battering Knockout a free disarm or steal; Maneuvering Strike nets reposition – these would be the maneuver combo arts. Cascading River Plunge compares Acrobatics to the foe’s CMD, and on a success, deals sneak attack as though the foe was flatfooted. Note that this does NOT render the target flatfooted, which is important to note re balancing, as skills are ridiculously easy to blow up, bonus-wise. If the attack would already qualify for sneak attack damage, we get bonus damage instead. Dancing Lead Twirl compares Escape Artist to CMD to determine whether an opponent gets AoOs versus her movement, and also ignores difficult terrain in the opponent’s space, which is an interesting design decision here. Fade From Plain Sight triggers after the final attack of a full attack. Stealth vs. DC 10 + highest observer’s total Perception skill bonus or highest CMD, whichever is higher – on a success, the ninja teleports up to 100 ft. away into a position of cover, using the Stealth check result. The limitations here are important. Minor complaint: This should probably be classified as a conjuration (teleportation) effect. Gentle Jab nets 3 additional attacks instead of one, but all do minimum damage and must target the same being. Now, this one may be problematic and cheesable, depending on the ninja. I certainly know one power-gamer build that would make this one…nasty. Big time. Finally, Galeforce Strike upgrades all attacks in a full attack to full BAB, provided the first hits – but the ninja may not attack the same target more than once. Important: If the first target was flanked, ALL targets count as flanked, and same goes for being denied Dex to AC. I like what this does…but could you hold my tied-up kitten while I flank it? Ok, okay…I concede. No one is gonna do that…right? Right??
Editing and formatting re very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column full-color standard and the pdf has a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Sasha Hall’s unchained ninja options rock hard. They make the ninja more versatile, a better skirmisher, and provide some tricks that I really enjoy. While I will never become a fan of using overinflated skills in conjunction with attack-relevant aspects, these are kept in check here. The tricks provided often are genuinely cool and useful – you know, stuff you can and will employ time and again. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this supplement. While two arts have me a bit weary, they can’t really tarnish what I’d consider to be a very good addition to a ninja’s arsenal. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.
You can get these cool ninja options here on OBS!
Missed the unchained ninja? You can find it here!