I was thinking of a team mate (her original team, at least) for Shiori could be a character I played long ago that could be adapted as an NPC... A blind swordsman. The original concept was that he was from an independent ninja family in Otogakure before Orochimaru took over. His clan had an unspecified but powerful doujutsu... and while good ol' Snakeyes was killing his parents, their kid blinded himself on his father's orders. Thus he was useless as a potential host and eventually found refuge in a friendly village. Of course this needs to be adapted a little.. and I'm not quite sure how. But yeah, he's pretty debilitated by blindness rules. So.. he might be a bit Lee-esque in these exams. He might fit the passionate role in Shiori's original team.. or the genius (since he is one..) but a disabled genius that has to work hard to overcome his disability.
I think it could work out. I think a blind character is very workable in this system with some liberties taken. Here some unofficial rules that look pretty good to use on this basis
. And the Blind-Fight feat is really good, as it reduces the miss chance in half, effectively (down to 25%). I'd also look into adapting Pathfinder's Blind-Fight feat tree. Naruto d20 has even more aid for such a character. If he has Doton affinity,Ninpou: Chisendou Tanchi
can give him tremorsense for up to 60 ft for a minute or so at a time. Even if he isn't, the Relics Repository offers Earth Sense seals are available for a Foot slot that gives up to tremorsense for up to 40 ft twice a day. It also offers the Blindfold of True Sight, which would be the perfect item for him (granting blindsight 30ft), but it's an epic item. You might be able to have one at a lesser level that grants Blindsense instead. I'd think Mist Fighting training would apply just as well for blind characters. I think you could also develop a unique set of techniques that grant some kind of "chakra sight" that senses others via their chakra signatures. Requires the Keen Senses feat, but I think you could do something like that.
Yeah, that could be neat. It could be an interesting contrast to Shiori herself, comparing their respective conditions. I sorta see him more as the "genius" member of the team more than the passionate one. I think calm, serene and tactically calculated works for a blind swordsman. I could see Shiori getting rather attached to him, both as a talented shinobi and someone who she could help (if not even more). It's a very different kind of genius, one that's quite different from the examples in the series. I like the idea.
I've actually been looking at Sacred Fist. It's an interesting class, but a little underwhelming.. I thought it let you use your wisdom score for attack rolls in the stance, but I was wrong. Therefore it still kind of demands you split your ability scores between Wisdom and either Str or Dex. If you took 2 levels of Taijutsu Master, you could use your wisdom score both for attack rolls and for the additional bonus to defense you can get at 3rd level of Sacred Fist... but that's basically spending 2 levels (which you can't at ECL 6 anyways) to replicate an effect Weapon Finesse and some armor can do.. Maybe. I dunno. Just some musings on it.
It is a little underwhelming. It's not a bad class, though. I just think it's not very exciting. Aside from the higher unarmed strike damage, the Wis to Defense, and Evasion, it's kinda bland. That said, stats-wise, it's a pretty solid class. d8 HD, 3/4 BAB, fantastic progression for all three saves, and a moderate defense progression. It's not as optimal as your typical Taijutsu master, but it doesn't suffer the typical weaknesses either. Will saves are usually the bane of a Taijutsu specialist, but not so with this class. It's probably your strongest save, and that's saying something.
That said, the class could definitely use some flavor. But, again, that's Way of the Master is for. The Exalted One is a high-level prestige class for Sacred Fist, in the same way that Exemplar is for Taijutsu specialists, Devastator is for Ninjutsu and Genjutsu specialists, and Exarch is for Medical-nin, and it offers some really neat tricks for them. One of them, Peaceful Master, lets you use your Wisdom modifier for attack and damage rolls while in the Sacred Fist stance, which basically means you get to eventually use Wisdom for damn near everything that's important to you (Will saves, Taijutsu calculations, attack, damage, defense, chakra if using Will over flesh, you're just missing HP, really, so make sure to have at least 14 Con). On top of that, the Kyushojutsu
style of Taijutsu techniques is made for them, and it's a pretty unique style of Taijutsu, focused heavily on status afflictions and debuffing the opponent, leaving them wide open for your bigger strikes. It really makes them feel different than your standard DPR focused Taijutsu Master.
So, seeing as that's the end game, you don't focus much on Strength (10-12), run with a good Dex score (14+, always useful as a secondary stat, even after Way of Expertise, as it still adds to your defense, initiative and reflex saves), solid Con (14 will do), and max out Wisdom as high as possible (16+). That shouldn't be too hard to arrange. Take Weapon Finesse and Pressure Secrets as early as possible, three levels of Devoted Hero (pick up Faith if possible, awesome ability for Wis-builds), three levels of Sacred Fist, and two levels of Taijutsu Master to pick up Way of Expertise (maybe two more later for Weapon Specialization). After that, you make sure to go at least five levels of Sacred Fist (any more than that is optional, really), and bide your time with whatever until Exalted One becomes available. At level 15, you are the Grand Master Monk of Legend. Granted, you're going to struggle at low levels, but by as early as level 8, you could be rocking it pretty hard. Your strikes don't do as much as a Taijutsu Master at that point, but you have fewer weaknesses, and the Pressure Points style really can even the score with the right techniques.
But, you're right that it's probably a rough road to go for this game in particular. You won't really come into your own until level 8 or so, at the end of the game, although I think you could do reasonably okay through most of it, seeing as by level 6, you're at least getting Wisdom to Defense.
As I said, some of the Jounin might be around for the first and third part of the exam.. Indeed, they'll likely be helping you train for the month between the 2nd and 3rd stage. I was planning on either having the 'generation Boruto' people fill these rolls.. or for non-Konoha players, their Jounin might be loosely related or associated to the canon characters. Hell, the theoretical lovechild of Samui and Darui... :p
To be honest, that's more me being lazy... making characters with some loose connection to the canon rather than having to create entirely new ones because it's so far removed from the last event displayed in the canon.
Heh. Well, you could do that, I suppose. Certainly makes sense for the Konoha-nin (and the Kumo-nin, for the latter example). But, I'd like to take some liberties with some of us from lesser known villages. There are lots of neat idea to run with, and I certainly don't mind working with you to create a Jonin concept for Shiori's team, at least.