Uncle Splinter leads the way

Jeff Rients has an awesome Gameblog where he talks about roleplaying games and associated ideas. I’ve mentioned him once before, in the context of his essay titled “How to Awesome-Up Your Players”.
Now, there’s yet another (of many) reasons to go visit his blog. He’s training ninjas.
As it happens, Jeff’s nephew has discovered his God-given ninja nature. Cute as this is, the feeling of invulnerability it engenders had the unfortunate side effect of making him completely oblivious to “stranger danger.” What’s a mother to do?
Call in uncle Jeff:
My first line of attack on this problem was to appeal to his ninja virtues. “A wise ninja must avoid unnecessary danger,” I tell him. But he doesn’t really seem to buy it. So I go for the carrot approach. Ever since he discovered my plastic minis collection he’s been dying to try Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve held off. One of my concerns is that I needed to be sure he and his cousin (my daughter) were sufficiently literate and numerate to play. Elizabeth can count to 20 now so the last big educational barrier has recently been removed.
“Alright, here’s the deal then. If you can go four weeks in a row without talking to strangers, your mom and I will schedule a game of Dungeons & Dragons. But it won’t just be ordinary Dungeons & Dragons. It will be Dungeons & Ninjas. But listen up, dude. You know I check in with you and your mom every week, right? You have to get good reports four weeks in a row.”

With that mission in mind, design has already started on that most awesome of games, Dungeons and Ninjas:
I don’t have anything resembling a working draft yet, but I see the Top Secret Dungeons & Ninjas Player’s Manual (the Top Secret part is really in the title) as breaking down into 3 major parts. Part 1, “Congratulation! A Ninja is YOU!” is a reworking of Basic D&D character generation. The biggest change will be in the classes. There will be four: Ninja Warrior, Ninja Wizard, Shadow Ninja, and Mystic Ninja. These classes will correspond closely to the traditional Fighter, Magic-User, Thief, and Cleric, except that they all wear pajamas and masks.
Jeff’s rapidly earning his way into Uncle Valhalla with his heroic deeds.