In Way of the Sword, the shinobi player class is a offensive support class whose abilities can enhance game strategy.
During early Japanese history, Tang Dynasty officials from China traveled to Japan and spread Chinese ideas of war to the Japanese. Among these was the use of skilled assassin warriors, known as shinobi or, modernly, ninja. This Chinese influence eventually evolved into the fighting style of stealth and efficient killing, ninjitsu, that arose as a type of irregular warfare pioneered in the 12th century.
Initial ninja clans consisted of former samurai who had become ronin and subsequently renouced their titles and the bushido code. Often, the restraint of the bushido code on acting samurai would lead them to actively hire the un-bound shinobi to do the work.
Women were also accepted into the rank of the shinobi, proving to be useful spies and even assassins.
The arsenal of the shinobi was crafted by both circumstance and purpose. Although shinobi often turned utilitarian items into weapons, such as sickles and other farm tools, they would use anything and everything they could to complete a contract. The kusarigama, a ball and chain with a grappling hook, proved useful for climbing as well as war . By using innocuous items, the shinobi would avoid incrimination if they were captured.
Other shinobi weapons included shinobigata, medium length swords; naginata war staves; and the tessen, a metal war fan.
Weapons and AbilitiesEdit
Shinobi may use any weapon except for a shield.
- Rank 1: light armor
- Rank 2: 'Hide' - a shinobi can run off of the established boundaries of the playing field and reenter at any time. The shinobi has no limit to how many times this can occur during a game.
- Rank 3: 'Poison' - a shinobi has the ability to instantly kill any player by striking them in an unarmoed part of the body with a bladed weapon under a foot and a half long with a green band of tape, yelling "poison" to inform the player.
Game functionality and mechanicsEdit
While a team may operate successfully without a shinobi, often times the addition of a player of this class can have a profound impact on the strategems being employed during the battle. Due to a shinobi's 'hide' ability, the player can circumnavigate the battle and appear on the other side of the field undetected, sometimes backstabbing unwitting players. The addition of a hiding shinobi can split the lines of an opposing team into two foci of battle, enabling the shinobi's team to have more control of the battlefield, even if the shinobi never scores a kill.
The shinobi's 'poison' ability can also kill heavily armored players if an unarmored spot is struck. Even if the shinobi dies in the effort, the dispatching of an armored player, especially a bushi, would be a large loss for their team.
- Official WotS Corp SME Rule Set Ichi 3.0 Advanced, Sakura Moon Empire, 2010