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Ganara
2010-08-29, 04:23 PM
A few months back, a friend showed me the Dragon Magazine. I looked through it, saw some things I liked, and some things I didn't. One thing I noticed was the Battle Dancer, and while I liked the concept, its actual usefulness disappointed me. Because of this, I took the Battle Dancer concept, mixed in a few class concepts (yes, monk and barbarian) to create a new version; the war dancer. I've asked around, but I haven't yet had an opportunity to test this. I would rate it either a tier 4 or 5 (for those of you who have seen the tier system, likely a lot of you). If anyone would like to give it a whirl and tell me what they think it should be rated as, I'll be glad to hear it. And if you don't like it, just... Keep quiet. I don't wanna know, man.



War Dancer

In the ancient history of the elves, a select group of well trained warriors would lose themselves in a wild dance, becoming blurs upon the battlefield as they cut apart the ranks of their foes. These warriors were known as the war dancers, who valued both fury and speed over strength and toughness. Since the ancient elves, this traditional fighting style has nearly died out, but still a few manuscripts and teachers remain who know well the elven war dance.

Adventures: War dancers fight for many reasons, but they all have one thing in common; they refuse to be ruled. As such, war dancers typically fight for their own causes, which could be anything from protecting the village from bandits to forming a gang of bandits and raiding a village. However (even in the case of forming a bandit gang), war dancers have a tendency to fight alone.
Characteristics: Though unarmored, war dancers do not shy from melee, but rather typically relish it. With tremendous speed and uncanny agility, they are experts at manuevering the battlefield. Mid- to high- level war dancers become more in touch with their chaotic nature over time, and begin to use it to their advantage.
Alignment: A war dancer's life centers around the emotions they unleash during their dance, and as such, do not lead structured lives. War dancers are always chaotic, for to dance as a war dancer, one must throw him or herself into a dance of pure, furious passion.
Religon: Most war dancers gravitate toward the deities of chaos for guidance, such as Corellan and Olidammara, as it further aids many of them to understand their own dance. Evil war dancers may choose to turn to Erythnul. Some, however, choose not to worship a deity, viewing the idea as shackling their personal ideals.
Background: War dancers are typically born into simple lives, and they learn their battle dance through contact with elves who remember or who can read the steps of the dance. To become a war dancer, one must surrender the possibility of a settled or structured lifestyle, and learn to tap in to their innermost primal emotions. As such, the life expectancy of a war dancer is usually very short.
Races: Elves make up the majority of war dancers. Elves' natural grace and history with the dancers makes them naturals for the class. Humans make good war dancers, as the class calls for speed, agility, and passion all in a mix, which many humans have in a bundle. Halflings can make good war dancers as well, though their naturally slow speed may make things difficult. Gnomes usually don't have the necessary affinity for this class. Dwarves, with their gruffness, preference for heavy armor and a structured life, make poor war dancers, and half-orcs often lack the required passion for the class (though they tend to have plenty of fury suited for the barbarian, a very similar class in this situation). Among the savage races, the elegant, passionate, and volatile, yet incredibly traditional war dancers are unheard of.
Other Classes: War dancers, with their more primal emotions and untamed mindsets, make great companions for barbarians and bards. They typically view the barbarian with respect for their rage, and especially admire the bard's free spirit. War dancers also get along well with chaotic rogues and rangers, though the more lawful characters (monks and paladins especially) can get under a war dancer's skin. They especially tend to feel competetive with monks, whose teachings are the exact opposite of their own. War dancers also have a kinship with sorcerers, who master magic intuitively, but may scoff at the wizard's constant learning and re-learning of spells. They may have a tendency to chuckle at the fighter's heavy armor, and outright laugh at the druid and cleric's dependency on another force entirely.
Role: The war dancer is a fast-moving, speed- and agility- based melee fighter, usually with a reasonable armor class and attack bonus, and can hold well many different front lines at the same time. Their speed means that they can drop foes quickly, and move to protect the less martially skilled party members should they need assistance.

Game Rule Information

Abilities: The war dancer's agility and speed rely heavily on dexterity, and can suffer if lacking a high score in it. Their armor class is also affected by charisma, which means a high charisma score is also beneficial. Constitution helps for those times when the war dancer must trade blows with the enemy. Strength is often less important to war dancers than it is to other melee classes.

Alignment: Any chaotic.

Hit Dice: d8.

The war dancer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level
(4 + Int modifier) ◊4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level
4 + Int modifier.

Base Attack Bonus: Equal to class level (as Fighter)
Saves: War dancers have good fortitude and reflex saves, but poor will saves.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency
War dancers are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, kukri, longspear, sickle, short sword, shortbow, shortspear, spear, and sling (and unarmed strike, for all you silly RAW people).
War dancers are not proficient with any armor or shields.


Furious Dance: Once per day per four war dancer levels, a war dancer can begin a furious dance. As a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, a war dancer may begin their dance, gaining a +4 bonus to their dexterity, a +2 dodge bonus to their armor class, and a +2 bonus to reflex saves. A war dancer can not use any charisma-, dexterity-, or intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Perform, and Tumble), the Concentration skill, or any skill that involves patience or concentration, nor can they cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. They can use any feat they have except item creation feats and metamagic feats. A furious dance lasts for a number of rounds equal to one-fourth their Perform (dance) check result (rounded down, minimum 1 round). At the end of the dance, the war dancer loses the dance benefits and is fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity, cannot charge or run) for the duration of the encounter.
A war dancer may begin a furious dance only once per encounter. They may not begin a furious dance if they are fatigued or exhausted.
Hastened Dance: At 11th level, a war dancer may benefit from haste, as the spell, once per day. This effect must begin when the war dancer begins a furious dance. It lasts until the furious dance ends.
Effortless Dance: At 15th level, a war dancer is no longer fatigued when their dance ends.
Dance of Chaos: At 20th level, the war dancer's attacks count as chaotic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction, and the war dancer benefits from the chaotic mind feat (see the Chaotic Mind feat in the psionics section on www.d20srd.org) for as long as they continue their dance, except that the benefits of chaotic mind during the dance apply to all insight bonuses against the war dancer.

A character may not use a rage or frenzy ability while performing a furious dance.

Flurry: At 1st level, the war dancer gains the ability to flurry their attacks. As a part of a full attack action, a war dancer may elect to receive an extra attack at their highest base attack bonus. All attacks made this round impose a -2 penalty. This penalty lasts for the full round, meaning it affects attacks of opportunity as well.
When making a flurry, a war dancer may only use light weapons. A war dancer may add the extra attack to each weapon they wield (meaning a war dancer with two-weapon fighting could add an extra attack to both of their weapons. The -2 penalty from a flurry stacks with the penalties associated with two-weapon fighting).
Mad Flurry: Upon reaching 8th level, a war dancer's flurry improves. They gain an additional attack at their highest base attack bonus (for a total of 2 extra attacks). All attacks made in this round suffer the normal -2 penalty.
Mobile Flurry: Upon reaching 13th level, a war dancer's may make a full attack at the end of a move, provided that they only move as far as their fast movement bonus (40 feet at level 13). This fast movement bonus only includes the bonus given by the war dancer class. This ability may be used in conjunction with the spring attack feat, provided that the total distance moved both before and after the attack does not exceed the war dancer's fast movement bonus.

Dancer's Grace: At 1st level, the war dancer adds their charisma modifier to their armor class. This bonus applies to touch attacks. It is lost whenever the war dancer is denied their Dexterity bonus to armor class (but not when flat-footed, if the war dancer has uncanny dodge), when they use armor or a shield, or when they are carrying a medium or heavy load.
At 5th, 11th, and 17th level, a war dancer gains a +1, +2, or +3 bonus to their armor class when unarmored, respectively.

Evasion: At 2nd level or higher if a war dancer makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a war dancer is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless war dancer does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement: At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, a war dancer gains a bonus to their base land speed. This bonus is +10 at 3rd level, +20 at 6th level, and so on.

Expeditious Dodge: At 3rd level, a war dancer gains expeditious dodge as a bonus feat.

Uncanny Dodge: At 4th level, a war dancer retains their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) even if they are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class if immobilized. If a war dancer already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Mobility: At 6th level, a war dancer gains mobility as a bonus feat.

Focused Chaos: At 7th level, a war dancer adds 1/2 their class level to all Will saves against enchantment spells and effects, and against all attempts to discern information by reading the war dancer's mind.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: At 9th level, a war dancer can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the war dancer by flanking them, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has war dancer levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Spring Attack: At 9th level, a war dancer gains spring attack as a bonus feat.

Improved Evasion: At 10th level, a war dancerís evasion ability improves. They still take no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth they take only half damage on a failed save. A helpless war dancer does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Special: A war dancer who is no longer chaotic loses the ability to use a furious dance, but retains all other class features.

Milskidasith
2010-08-29, 04:29 PM
This needs a table.

Anyway, it seems to have the monk problem; increased movespeed while requiring it to make a full attack to use a flurry. It's defensive options are limited, and it has absolutely no real bonuses to attacks, which makes it rather exceedingly weak at dealing damage.

It's also front loaded, since past tenth level it gains practically nothing.

Zaydos
2010-08-29, 04:40 PM
1st: Go here http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313 find the place where it tells how to put things in a table and put the class into a table it will make it easier to read.

2nd:
Do they get a monk's unarmed strike damage? As written they don't and they're rather a disappointing class. There dance gives them (assuming weapon finesse) a whopping +2 to hit and +4 to AC and Reflex saves and except for gaining Haste it doesn't noticeably improve. Other than that they have... well they have Charisma to AC when unarmored making them a useful sorcerer dip. If they get unarmed strike they are probably a little better than monk. As is the whole class is dead after 12th level and something that even taking it that fall would seem strange. Flurry helps damage but they get no reduction to the penalties, nor any means to boost two-weapon damage (favored enemy, sneak attack) and therefore no means to do serious damage. Its AC still won't be too high (needs a +11 total between Dex and Cha to equal Full-Plate) and that's its best asset.

I'd put this in Tier 5 definitely, no where near Tier 4.

The Anarresti
2010-08-29, 05:24 PM
I really like the idea of this class, but it has a surprisingly small amount of weapon proficiencies. Given it's status as a warrior class, I'd give it proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, and increase its HD to d10. Also, I'd give it weapon finesse as a bonus feat at first level, as well as letting it flurry as a standard action.

Jergmo
2010-08-29, 05:55 PM
You should just play a Swordsage with [splatbook-specific light weapon]!

FlamingKobold
2010-08-29, 06:31 PM
I read through the class, and I barely even realized that it was a base class, since it only gets ability upgrades (that don't really help, like, at all) past 10th level.

Yeah, this is basically a different version of the core monk; it has basically all the same problems. Try to give it abilities that will let it do things in combat, rather than (marginally) larger numbers.

Also, get a table.