A quick self-serving note that my first two official pieces for D&D have been published. In August, an adventure I wrote for the Chaos Scar series was published in Dungeon magazine called “Rumble in the Valley,” involving an evil party luring the heroes into a trap. Even though it was written as part of the Chaos Scar series and draws on some history of that series, it is designed so that you can swap in villains and situations from your own campaign easily.
Today, my first Dragon magazine article was published: “Class Acts Assassin: Secrets of the Ninja.” This article, as part of the Kara-Tur theme of this month, brings PC ninjas back into D&D as a build of the Executioner Assassin introduced in Heroes of Shadow.
A number of us freelancers and bloggers were offered a list of articles upcoming in Dragon and Dungeon magazines, and asked to submit for the ones we were interested in writing. (That’s why you see more bloggers showing up in its pages recently, like our very own ChattyDM’s 0th level rules and adventure.) The article on ninjas was at the very top of my list. In fact, it’s almost on the list of geek dream projects to be the guy who brought ninjas into the current version of D&D (and I talk in a sidebar about ninjas in all previous editions as well.) I remember buying a copy of the 2nd edition Complete Ninja’s Handbook for my friend The O for his birthday. Of course, it wasn’t entirely selfish, as I wanted to read it too…
I tried to give them an interesting backstory of how ninjas came to be in Kara-Tur and various snippets of roleplaying advice for ninja characters, something that given my own experiences playing them and running them in campaigns is often overlooked. Additionally, I was able to build onto one of my favorite 4e classes in a natural way that didn’t add on too many new pieces. The Assassin was already pretty ninja-like, I just gave it a few more tools. Now I just have to wait for it to make it to character builder!
As one final trick, I was able to write the art order to finally give the ninjas revenge for the 1st edition Oriental Adventures cover. In the original, the samurai has the drop on the ninja, out in the open. In my article, the ninja finally gets the drop on the samurai.
I hope you enjoy the article as much as I had fun making it. Plus, this isn’t the first ninja class I designed for 4e, and that just amuses me to no end.