Thursday, January 2, 2020

To the Death (Class: Monk)

This is a Mortal Kombat ninja, (sort of), inspired by the OSR Discord.

Class: Palette Swapped Ninja

    You are a follower of the Do-Cide, the Many-Colored Art, the Way of Mortal Combat. Its students learn how to crush bones and tear meat with their bare hands. The brightly colored gi of the devotees are a form of aposematism, warning that interlopers will have to face the terrible chromatic fists of the Palette Swapped Ninja.
    You get +1 to Stealth for every template you have in this class. You also gain one Chi Die and one special move every time you level up. If you have at least one template from this class, you can never fumble while using staves, knives, flails or shortswords. You can wear light armor only.

Skills: 1. Interpretive Dance, 2. Rope Climbing, 3. Poisoning

Starting Gear: Brightly colored gi (as leather), matching mask, grapnel on 30 feet of rope (see below), one additional element of Ninja Gear.
  • A: Gi, Chi, Low Strike, +1 HP
  • B: Block, Throw, +1 To-Hit
  • C: Fatality, High Strike, +1 HP
  • D: Chameleon, Secret Technique, Extra Attack

    Choose or roll from the following list:
  1. Red, representing the element of Force.
  2. Yellow, representing the element of Fire.
  3. Green, representing the element of Lizards.
  4. Cyan, representing the element of Ice.
  5. Blue, representing the element of Death.
  6. Magenta, representing the element of Lightning.
    These are the six colors of the world and the six elements which make up the world. Every material object is constructed from them, and every immaterial object represents them.
    Every Palette Swap wears a gi and a mask in one of the six sacred colors. You need to be wearing both the gi and the mask in order to access your special moves or your Fatalities.

    Kung-fu, the ancient physical art taught to mankind by the g_ds. Chi, the primal energy which fuels it. You have a pool of eight-sided Chi Dice equal to your level which you expend when executing a strike or a special move. These return to the pool with one minute of restful and undisturbed meditation.
I don't know how you should recover CD.
I'm waffling between "one minute of meditation" and "like MD but also you get them all back with an hour". The first is better for out-of-combat moves; the second would mean you could do more kung-fu in a fight. You may wish to tweak recovery if you use this class.

Low Strike
    A kick, a knee, or a jab at the gut. When you make an unarmed attack or an attack with a light weapon (including throwing), you may choose to expend one or more CD. If you hit them the attack deals damage equal to the highest die result. This is never lethal if you don't want it to be.

    While less useful in longer fights, a well-timed block can be the difference between survival and a fatality. When you are targeted by an attack, you can reduce incoming damage by expending any number of CD. Roll them all, returning them to the pool as appropriate, and reduce incoming damage by 2 for every die rolled.

    Sometimes punching people to death is impractical. Sometimes it's better to toss them into the gigantic flaming acid sawblades which they keep in their living room. When you hit an enemy with an unarmed attack, you can move them five feet in any direction for every CD you invested.

     Once per day you may execute a legendary martial art which scholars refer to as a Fatality. In a perfect world these would be reserved for tournaments and ceremonies, but an employer or companion may have a more profane use for your sacred techniques.
  1. Red: Telekinetic Slam
    A single target makes a Save with a bonus equal to their HD. If they fail, they are lifted off the ground and slammed back down, repeatedly. They are incapacitated and take 1d8 damage a round for four rounds.
  2. Yellow: TOASTY!
    You remove your mask and breathe a line of fire thirty feet long from your mouth. Everyone in that line makes a Save with a bonus equal to their HD. If they fail, they take 4d8 fire damage and are on fire.
  3. Green: Tasty Meal
    You remove your mask and attempt to devour a single target. They make a Save with a bonus equal to their HD. If they fail, they take 4d8 damage from your horrific teeth. If this damage kills them they are swallowed whole and you heal 4d8 hitpoints.
  4. Cyan: Ice Skateboard
    A single target makes a Save with bonus equal to their HD. If they fail, they are frozen solid for one minute. They cannot take damage while in this form but they can be picked up and carried.
  5. Blue: Spine Rip
    A single target makes a Save with a bonus equal to their HD. If they fail, you rip their head off with the spine still attached. Everyone who has a reason to be afraid of you makes a Morale check. This move can only be used on humanoids with 4HD or fewer.
  6. Magenta: When Lightning Strikes
    You select up to four targets within two-hundred feet. Four lightning bolts strike, each dealing 1d8 damage. These lightning bolts can be assigned to any of the targets and a Save (with a bonus equal to HD) is made for each.
    The names may sound a little silly translated, but they strike fear into the heart of the well-versed scholar.

High Strike
    A snap-kick, a flying knee, a blow to the jaw. Your unarmed attacks deal +1 damage for every CD invested.

    You can change schools as easily as changing your clothes. In fact, you do this by changing your clothes. You can wear any color of gi you own, and you gain all the features of that color.

Secret Technique
    Invent a sequence of three strikes, throws and special moves. Once a day you may execute this sequence as a single attack. Negotiate with your DM and come up with a goofy name.

Special Moves (D8):

Think of these as spells you can cast many times a day, with no chance of mishap, and without as much flash. You use these by expending Chi Dice.
  1. Flying Leap
    A long distance jump where you soar as if carried aloft by wires. Takes you [best]*10 feet across and [dice]*5 feet up. You have to shout "Yyaaaaaaaa!" in real life, or else it doesn't count.
  2. Rope Trick
    A thrown grapnel will stick to any surface for [dice] rounds. A rope attached can hold any weight without breaking. Anyone climbing the rope will move at triple the usual speed, even if the rope has no knots, even if it's free-hanging.
  3. Cling
    To scale a glass window, leap around on power lines, or hang upside-down by your toes. You can grab onto any surface as if it were a ladder for [best]+[dice] rounds.
  4. Vanish
    Slam your fist into your palm and disappear with a puff of smoke. You reappear in an area you plausibly could have reached in [dice] rounds.
  5. Waterwalk
    Treat water as if it were solid for [dice] rounds. Note that a large wave is much more dangerous if it's a solid block of heavy material collapsing on you, so it's probably best to save this one for moats and ponds and such.
  6. Shuriken
    Toss [dice] ninja stars at opponents within thirty feet. They only deal 1 point of damage each, but they're so surprising that you have +[best] to-hit. Roll a separate attack for each star. They appear from nowhere and disappear after a few minutes.
  7. Divert
    You can alter the flow of chi in another's body. With time and patience can use this ability to heal, restoring [dice] HP to a willing target with ten minutes of pressure-point massaging. If you are in a hurry, and not trying to heal your target, you can stun them for [dice] rounds with a successful attack roll. All attacks against a stunned target are rolled with advantage and the stun end when they take any damage.
  8. Neck Snap
    If someone is totally unaware of your presence, you can attempt an instant-kill twist on their precious vertebrae. Make an attack and roll your CD. If the attack hits and [sum] is greater than the target's HP, you break their neck silently. If you miss or [sum] is too small, you grab their head and yank while they panic and yell. 
Each of the six colors of ninja have access to a unique, more combat-focused special move. You get this special move automatically at the first level.
  • Red: Teleport Punch
    Choose a target within [dice]*20 feet and roll an unarmed attack. If it hits, you teleport behind them and roundhouse-kick them to the ground as a low strike. If it misses, you teleport immediately in front of them with your back turned and they get a free attack against you.
  • Yellow: Spear
    A serpent-like coil of chain shoots out of your wrist. Make a ranged attack against someone within forty feet of you; if it hits, they take [best] damage and are pulled [dice]*10 feet towards you.
  • Green: Acid Spit
    You can focus your chi into the throat chakra and vomit a stream of toxic slime at a point or a target within forty feet. When used against a person, this is a low strike at range which deals acid damage. When used on a point, the acid lingers for [dice] rounds and deals 1d8 damage to anyone who passes through it.
  • Cyan: Ice Blast
    You can make two ranged attacks against two targets within forty feet. This is a low strike at range and deals cold damage.
  • Blue: Ghost Ball
    You project a wave of graveyard energy at a target within [dice]*5 feet. They are overwhelmed with a horror of death, and can not attack during their next turn. Ineffective on anyone immune to fear.
  • Magenta: Mind Control Orb
    You conjure a small sphere of crackling energy and toss it at someone within forty feet. If it connects, you can command their legs to move them [dice]*5 feet in any direction

And now, the ninja gear:
  1. Brightly Colored Gi. Something like a silk tabard. Light, breathable, easy to move around in. Costs 10 gold to replace if it is damaged or if you want a new one. While carried: 2 slots. While worn: 0.

  2. Brightly Colored Mask. A wooden or ceramic mask and a silk hood which conceal everything except the eyes. The mask should match your gi if you want to benefit from your special moves. Costs 5 gold to replace if it is damaged or if you want a new one. 

  3. Grappling hook and thirty feet of rope. One slot each.

  4. Nunchuks. A light club with +1 to-hit in melee. On a fumble you take 1 damage from smacking yourself with the damn thing. 1 slot.

  5. Tiger's Hands. Gloves with spikes covering the palm. You can climb trees and embankments like a ladder, but you can't use or hold anything that requires manual dexterity. Takes one minute to don or doff.

  6. Blowpipe and 10 darts. As a shortbow -1, but can be concealed in a sleeve. 1 slot each.

  7. Swordcane. A light blade concealed in a walking stick. It takes about thirty seconds to unscrew, and anyone who picks the cane up will immediately notice that it is much too heavy. Can also be used as a light club. 1 slot.

  8. Centipede Poison. This isn't centipede venom. Centipede venom is totally different. Centipede poison is made out of stewed centipedes, and causes violent hallucinations for 1d6 rounds upon ingestion, no save. Armed victims may attack bystanders. Three doses.

  9. Pepperer. A six-inch length of bamboo filled with caustic substances. If you blow into it, everyone in a fifteen foot cone (including you) must save or become blind for 1d6 hours. If you know it's coming and close your eyes you get +4 bonus to the save.

  10. Glass Poniard. A light weapon which breaks the first time it deals damage. If the blade is lodged in flesh, the victim takes 1d6 damage every time they roll a d20 (attacks, ability checks, move checks &c). 1 slot.

  11. Dog Call. A glass whistle which can be easily crushed under a boot. The sound is irritating to animals, supernatural creatures and small children. Adults can't hear it. Elves must save or attack the source of the sound.

  12. Calligraphy Set. Brushes, inks, parchment, all the necessary bric-a-brac to assemble a nice set of scrolls. Doesn't give you the ability to write. 1 slot.

  13. Iron Fan. Can be used as either a shield or a light club. Cannot be thrown. 1 slot.

  14. Chain Kama. A strange combination of a flail and a sickle which must be used in two hands. Counts as a pair of light weapons. The chain can be used to make grapple attempts at a distance of 10 feet. 2 slots.

  15. Dulcet Wires. A complicated little lamellophone that is held in the mouth. Makes your voice much softer and higher. If held in the mouth backwards and upside down, makes your much voice rougher and lower. Someone with a high enough voice could mimic a child and someone with a low enough voice could mimic an orc.

  16. Vessel Breaker. A poison which causes horrendous bleeding from every orifice within twenty-four hours of ingestion. A casting of restoration can save the victim; otherwise, exsanguination is certain within another twenty-four hours. The punishment for carrying this substance is death by flensing. Three doses.

  17. Weighted Net. A fine mesh net filled with small lead weights, throwable as a light weapon. Allows for grapple attempts at range. 2 slots.

  18. Face Paint. A set of paints in the six sacred colors. They bind to human skin for twenty-four hours or until removed with alcohol. 1 slot.

  19. Smoke Bombs. A small bag of ten smoke bombs. These produce a cloud of smoke in a five-foot cube when thrown. The smoke lasts for a round. Anyone who breathes in the smoke must save or become a little bit dizzy maybe for 1d6 rounds. More smoke bombs can be purchased cheaply from any alchemist.

  20. An oddity from the storerooms of your distant mountain temple. Roll 1d6:
    • 1. The Tao. You aren't supposed to be able to write this thing down, but somebody managed it and now the masters don't know what to do with the scroll.
    • 2. Centipede Venom. Causes horrific swelling and necrosis, reducing every stat by 1d6. Must be injected by a piercing weapon. You have to squeeze about fifteen-thousand centipedes to get a dose of this stuff. One dose.
    • 3. Solid Gold Katana With Gems Studded Along The Blade. This legendary and expensive weapon is far more dangerous than even a masterwork bastard sword. As a large weapon, but deals 2d6 instead of 1d10 damage. You must pass a Charisma check to draw the blade; otherwise, the blade doesn't think the fight is illustrious enough to participate in. 4 slots (this thing is fucking heavy). 
    • 4. Left thumb of the Buddha. Someone ambushed him while he was on a walk and killed him. Again, the masters don't really know what to do.
    • 5. Cosmic Egg. A sapphire as big as a human brain. Tradition holds that it will hatch into the next universe. Worth 100 gold to the right collector. 2 slots.
    • 6. Three-Part Staff. Some idiot tried to fix a walking stick with rope. Now it's just too much of a nunchuk. One slot.


  1. Laughed the whole way through while also wanting to play one.

    1. I'm glad the post gets across that these are not particularly intimidating ninjas. Thank you for your comment.

  2. A world made of lizards and lightning finally makes sense! :D