Like its companion book, Samurai with Katana, I suspect Ninja with Ninjato (1985) was released to capitalize on the success of Oriental Adventures for D&D. Despite the top bar on both books indicating it was part of a larger series of “Heroes and Monsters of Medieval Japan,” no further installments appeared.

Unlike the Samurai, who is a conventional combat character, the Ninja, of course, comes with a number of trick cards — blinding powder, caltrops, itching powder, kusari-fundo, poison, shuriken, sleeping powder and a smoke bomb — that can be used in place of typical attacks. These draw on a special pool of gimmick points and give the Ninja…I don’t want to say unfair advantage, but like the spells introduced in the Tome of Red Magic, they introduce tactical problems that are challenging to nullify.

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