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Wolf Head

A wolf head is a particularly dangerous kind of outlaw or vagabond who specializes in assassination and spying, employing poisons and hidden weapons in lands where such items are considered particularly unsavory and dishonorable. While wolf heads sometimes band together to form assassin guilds or mercenary bands, most often individual wolf heads prefer to work alone depending on (and trusting) no one. A wolf head generally does not reveal his identity even to those he works with, instead using an assumed name (and often a mask or similar face covering) for “professional” contacts, and maintaining a seemingly law-abiding persona for day-to-day use. Some cunning wolf heads actually operate openly as adventurers or mercenaries, reserving their masked identities for the most forbidden and illegitimate of activities.

Wolf heads get their name from one common punishment levied against those who are discovered and tried. They are branded with a wolf head, and legally considered to be no more than deadly animals. A wolf head can be killed by citizens without the act being considered murder, and cannot use the legal system to press for justice for crimes committed against them. Most cities don’t allow wolf heads within their walls (just as they would not allow wild wolves), or at least require a significant sum of money to act as a guarantee of the wolf head’s good behavior.

Unlike typical ninja, a wolf head does not have a strong Eastern flavor, and is appropriate in campaigns that don’t otherwise allow ninja or other Asian-style classes.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Wolf heads are proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons, light armor, and all shields (except tower shields).

Primal Cunning (Ex)

While a wolf head lacks the focus and training to access a ki pool, he does have an honed sense of primal, animalistic cunning that allows him to draw on reserves of puissance and tenacity that border on the supernatural. This acts as a ki pool (and qualifies as a ki pool for prerequisites), but it contains only a single ki point. However, even if the wolf head expends this ki point, he is able to use tricks that require him to have at least one ki point. Along with ruffian, this ability replaces the ki pool ability.

Ruffian (Ex)

At 2nd level the hard life and fierce determination of a wolf head grants him bonuses to Fort and Will saves, and bonus hit points. A wolf head gains a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves, and his maximum hit points increase by +2. The wolf head gains these bonuses again at 4th level and every even level afterwards, to a maximum of +10 to Fort and Will saves and +20 hit points at 20th level. Along with primal cunning, this ability replaces the ki pool ability.

Wolf Head Tricks

A wolf head can only take ninja tricks that are extraordinary abilities (such as bleeding attack or smoke bomb) or that grant feats. A wolf head cannot take ninja tricks that are supernatural or spell-like abilities. A wolf head can take rogue talents without this restriction (though he cannot use rogue talents to take supernatural ninja tricks). Wolf heads gain access to new ninja tricks, outlined below.

Knife Master (Ex): The wolf head gains a +1 bonus to damage dealt with light weapons.

Reputation (Ex): Word of the wolf head’s deeds and vicious nature have preceded him, making many folk feel more generous toward him in negotiations, either in the hopes he will treat them well, or out of surprise he isn’t attempting to strong-arm them. The wolf head may make an Intimidate check in place of any Diplomacy check.

Savage Growl (Ex): When the wolf head successfully delivers a sneak attack or critical hit, he may make an Intimidate check as a swift action to demoralize the target of the attack.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ultimate Options: Power of the Ninja © 2011, Rogue Genius Games, LLC; Author: Owen K.C. Stephens.