Atop the Shoulders of Giants
The Ninja class is not mechanically changed from its presentation in standard D&D 3.5 – however its development and background is quite different.
The techniques of this class were developed on the Obsidian Isles, but later adopted by the Nada’Athi Empire as a fighting style to teach to imperially-sponsored assassins. The late 1100’s and 1200’s Nada’An saw the greatest numbers of these assassins, their numbers dwindling significantly with the death of Habar Nada Karim and the ascent of Safir Abdul Nada Karim to the station of Emporer.
Never-the-less the techniques, believed to have been developed by the Obsidian Blade, still exist but are not widely taught or used. The techniques combine stealth, infiltration, reconnaissance, and combat skills with a form of weak sorcery that is accessed through a form of meditation. This sorcerous aspect does not allow practitioners a great deal of versatility, but rather is tailored very specifically to synergize with the other skills that go into this type of training.
Ninjas are quite rare. Over the years very few people have bothered to preserve these practices in light of the rising popularity of wizardry and membership in paladin orders. Those few who have these skills are likely to have learned it as part of a long, family or community tradition, or upon joining an organization such as the Obsidian Blade.