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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Battle Dancer Rework (Base Class) (PEACH)



LoyalPaladin
2015-11-20, 01:12 PM
Hello everybody,
I know this has been done before, but I wanted to tackle the Battle Dancer class and see if I could make it worth playing. This is my first base class, but I think it came out alright! Give me some constructive feedback, I'd love to make this class worth playing.

Battle Dancer
Hit Die
d8

Requirements
Hit Die: d8
Alignment: Any Chaotic
Starting Gold: 5d4x10

Class Skills
The Battle Dancerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
4 + Int modifier.



Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Class Features
Unarmed Damage

1st
+1+0+2+0
AC Bonus, Skirmish (+1d6), Improved Unarmed Strike1d6
2nd
+2+0+3+0
Quick Footwork, Bonus Feat1d6
3rd
+3+1+3+1
Dancer's Grace, Skirmish (+1d6, +1AC)1d6
4th
+4+1+4+1
Bonus Speed +10, Evasion1d8
5th
+5+1+4+1
Dance of the Blinding Assault, Skirmish (+2d6, +1AC)1d8
6th
+6/+1+2+5+2
Dancerís Strike, Bonus Feat1d8
7th
+7/+2+2+5+2
Skirmish (+2d6, +2AC)1d8
8th
+8/+3+2+6+2
Bonus Speed +20, Improved Evasion1d10
9th
+9/+4+3+6+3
Skirmish (+3d6, +2AC)1d10
10th
+10/+5+3+7+3
Dance of Burning Passion, Bonus Feat1d10
11th
+11/+6/+1+3+7+3
Skirmish (+3d6, +3AC)1d10
12th
+12/+7/+2+4+8+4
Bonus Speed +30, Defensive Dancing2d6
13th
+13/+8/+3+4+8+4
Skirmish (+4d6, +3AC)2d6
14th
+14/+9/+4+4+9+4
Bonus Feat2d6
15th
+15/+10/+5+5+9+5
Dance of the Hurricane, Skirmish (+4d6, +4AC)2d6
16th
+16/+11/+6/+1+5+10+5
Bonus Speed +402d8
17th
+17/+12/+7/+2+5+11+5
Skirmish (+5d6, +4AC)2d8
18th
+18/+13/+8/+3+6+11+6
Bonus Feat2d8
19th
+19/+14/+9/+4+6+11+6
Skirmish (+5d6, +5 AC)2d8
20th
+20/+15/+10/+5+6+12+6
Dance of Destruction, Bonus Speed +502d10


Class Features
All the following are Class Features of the Battle Dancer base class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Battle Dancers gain no armor or weapon proficiencies.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a Battle Dancer loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and Quick Footwork.

AC Bonus (Ex)
At 1st level, a Battle Dancer may add her charisma modifier as an untyped bonus to her AC.

Skirmish (Ex)
At 1st level, a Battle Dancer gains the Scout's skirmish class feature.

Improved Unarmed Strike
At 1st level, a Battle Dancer gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.

Quick Footwork (Ex)
At 2nd level, a Battle Dancer with ranks in Perform (Dance) may take a 10 foot step instead of the normal 5 foot step.

Bonus Feat
At 2nd level, a Battle dancer may choose a bonus feat off the the Fighter Bonus Feat list. She must qualify for the feat before taking it.

The Battle Dancer gains an additional bonus feat every 4 class levels thereafter.

Dancer's Grace (Ex)
At 3rd level, a Battle Dancer may use her Perform (Dance) skill in place of all Tumble checks.

Bonus Speed (Ex)
At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, a Battle Dancer gains an additional 10 feet of movement speed.

Evasion (Ex)
At 4th level, when a Battle Dancer is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.

Dance of the Blinding Assault (Ex)
At 5th level, a Battle Dancer with 5 or more ranks in Perform (Dance) has learned the art of fighting in close quarters. As a move action, she may enter an opponentís square and fight unimpeded. The opponent is considered flat-footed against all of her attacks and anyone attempting to attack her suffers a 50% chance to hit the target of her dance instead.

Dancer's Strike (Ex)
At 6th level, a Battle Dancer may add her charisma modifier to her hit and damage during any round that she moves at least 10 feet.

Improved Evasion (Ex)
At 8th level, when subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a Battle Dancer takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.

Dance of Burning Passion (Ex)
At 10th level, a Battle Dancer with 10 or more ranks in Perform (Dance) can, as a move action, make a Perform (Dance) check opposed by a sense motive check. Any opponent that fails to beat her check, is considered flat-footed against her until her next turn.

Defensive Dancing (Ex)
At 12th level, a Battle Dancer gains a deflection bonus to her AC equal to half her battle dancer level while using Perform (Dance) or any of her dances.

Dance of the Hurricane (Ex)
At 15th level, a Battle Dancer with 15 or more ranks in Perform (Dance) can move a distance up to her maximum movement speed and make a single attack against any targets she provokes an attack of opportunity from.

Dance of Destruction (Ex)
At 20th level, once per day a Battle Dancer with 20 or more ranks in Perform (Dance) may enter a state of heightened physical power. While in this state, she is considered under the effect of haste, her unarmed strikes are considered wounding weapons, and she gains a +10 to Strength and Dexterity. She may maintain this dance for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier and is exhausted for 1d4 hours after it is over.

Eno Remnant
2015-11-20, 07:18 PM
Ah, the Battle Dancer. One of those classes that always looks like itíd be fun to play, but usually only ends up as a dip for Charisma to AC; and if you remember my handbook, thatís something Iíve done quite a bit of. So letís get into this.

The chassis is the same as the original Battle Dancer. Nothing wrong with that, full BAB and a d8 hit dice are good for a skirmisher class. I also noticed that you added a couple of class skills, and I approve (though Craft and Profession are missing. On purpose?). Gives you something to spend the points on, that youíre not putting into Tumble.

Youíve dropped the extra AC increases from the original class in favour of just Charisma, but itís not that much of a loss, really.

Adding Skirmish was inspired. The Battle Dancer should be about movement, and the original class even encouraged dancing around in the enemyís threatened area. It also ties in nicely with Dance of the Hurricane, which is going to provoke a lot of AoOs.

Quick Footwork is neat, and tied in well with Skirmish. Being able to make a full-attack with Skirmish damage is potent, and fits the Battle Dancerís style well.

Iíll be honest, the bonus feats seem a little like filler. I mean, bonus feats are always nice, but whenever you see them you think about the Fighter, with its utter lack of innate ability, and it seems a little uninspired. Again, nothing wrong with it, and I would absolutely be making the most out of those feats, but itís just a thing WotC did when they didnít know what to put in a class to bulk it up.

Dancerís Grace is kinda cool. Invalidates the purpose of having Tumble as a class skill (which youíve already removed, nicely done. Also, youíve typoíd Perform), gives you some more skill points to spend in other areas. It also brings the Battle Dancer back the roots of what itís meant to be about, rather than keying the dancing class off of Tumble.

Evasion is very nice. Not sure if it should come in that early (Iím looking at Rogue and Swordsage and wondering if it shouldnít be a couple of levels further along), but nobodyís gonna complain about low-level Evasion. Same notes stand for Improved Evasion. Though something to note for Evasion is that it would be very tempting for a player to make a four level dip, grab the bonus speed, AC bonus and Evasion, and then go into Bard or Paladin of Freedom or something (totally not what Iíd do at all, honest).

Dance of the Blinding Assault is a better Dance of the Crushing Python at a much lower level. I approve heartily, but feel as though an ability thatís better than standard miss chance (even if itís only for a long as your enemy stays there), and the fact that itís better than most miss chance at that level, is a little overpowered. You balance that out with the AoO provoked by entering an opponentís square, and the aforementioned time limit, but itís still 50% to hit a teammate instead of the Battle Dancer, and it makes the target flat-footed. This may need to go to a higher level, or increase marginally (for example, starting at 20% chance to not hit the Battle Dancer and going to 50% at a higher level, or making the miss chance 5% per two class levels). You may also want to clarify the wording, because a friend of mine read it and is now freaking out over whether it lets you teleport into someone's square using a move action, does it actually provoke AoO, etc.

Dancerís Strike is very good. Charisma to attack and damage always gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling (though that may just be how good-looking the character is). Iím vaguely disappointed that it removes the ability to overcome DR that the original had (the Battle Dancer is strapped for options as-is; it also reminds me of the time I was in a no-magic campaign with a Battle Dancer/Swordsage, and was banking on Dancerís Strike to deal with DR), which means you have to spend more resources if you want to bypass it. Which, realistically, you could do with a two level dip into Swordsage or just Martial Study to get Mountain Hammer, but that also spends valuable resources. Still, the class feature is definitely an improvement on the old one.

Dance of Burning Passion feels a little underpowered, honestly. Sure, you make your enemies flat-footed, but it costs you a move action to do it. Itís more of an ally support ability than something you can use yourself, which is fine, but any class that canít take advantage of its own features is a tad silly, if you ask me.

Defensive Dancing sets you up nicely for Dance of the Hurricane, gives you a nice bonus to your capstone, and makes Dance of the Blinding Assault just plain unfair, but otherwise isnít doing much for you (since your third dance only lasts as long as the action spent to use it, and you donít provoke AoOs doing it). Though I suppose spend a round dancing is better than spending a standard on total defence. Which, coincidentally enough, isnít as powerful for this version of Battle Dancer due to the lack of Tumble ranks (remembering that Dancerís Grace only affects checks, not pre-reqs. Sadly also excludes the class from Dervish, which can sometimes be half the fun of skirmish classes). Also, on top of your existing AC bonus, it's going to make the Battle Dancer nigh-untouchable.

Dance of the Hurricane is great. Itís exactly what you want a class like this to have. Your other class features even lend themselves to making you harder to hit while doing it. My only issue is that it comes in too late. The problem with a lot of melee classes is that theyíre front-heavy, and then everything at the other end of the spectrum is kinda lacklustre (really, lacklustre? Iíve used British English all my life and that still looks weird). This fix seems to suffer from that a little, but nowhere near as badly as the original.

Dance of Destruction is neat. I donít really have anything else to say about it. Itís about as powerful as a melee capstone should be, with the drawback being a lot less severe than things like Snowflake Wardance and Dervish Dance.

My closing thoughts are that, while an improvement on the original Battle Dancer, this fix could still use some work. It loses a lot of the options the original had (flight, DR bypass and the awesome wuxia ability to run on water/lava. All features that lower item reliance and are just plain cool), and some of the class features come in either too early or too late. Personally, I would consider reintegrating Dance of the Floating Step and Dance of the Soaring Eagle, maybe with some modifications. I would increase the levels for Evasion, Improved Evasion and Dance of the Blinding Assault to make the class less top-heavy, and lower the levels of Dance of the Burning Passion and Dance of the Hurricane to give the class more options at low-mid level. None of the increases or decreases need to be by too much, just a level or two. As it stands, I would probably take no more than eight levels, and then just dip for pounce and move into Bard into Sublime Chord to be a kick-ass gish. Skirmish is the only real incentive to stay in the class any further than that.

And I think that just about covers everything. Hope it helps, Loyal.

LoyalPaladin
2015-11-24, 11:47 AM
The chassis is the same as the original Battle Dancer. Nothing wrong with that, full BAB and a d8 hit dice are good for a skirmisher class. I also noticed that you added a couple of class skills, and I approve (though Craft and Profession are missing. On purpose?). Gives you something to spend the points on, that youíre not putting into Tumble.
The original chassis wasn't in terrible shape, but now with the addition of the AC buffs and skirmish I think it'd be too much for a d10.

Class skills are still a work in progress at their best.


Youíve dropped the extra AC increases from the original class in favour of just Charisma, but itís not that much of a loss, really.
With the addition of the Skirmish AC and Defensive Dancing I thought the AC increases would be a little too absurd, but I didn't want to take away from the charisma to AC. It's just too unique and fitting!


Adding Skirmish was inspired. The Battle Dancer should be about movement, and the original class even encouraged dancing around in the enemyís threatened area. It also ties in nicely with Dance of the Hurricane, which is going to provoke a lot of AoOs.
I'm glad you like it! Battle Dancer just felt like it should be moving around all the time and Skirmish offered itself so freely to that idea.


Iíll be honest, the bonus feats seem a little like filler.
My main reason for the bonus feats is that, without a lot of optimization, Unarmed Strike is so very lackluster. So if you can pick up a couple nice bonus feats along the way, it should spice up your class a little.


Dancerís Grace is kinda cool. Invalidates the purpose of having Tumble as a class skill (which youíve already removed, nicely done. Also, youíve typoíd Perform), gives you some more skill points to spend in other areas. It also brings the Battle Dancer back the roots of what itís meant to be about, rather than keying the dancing class off of Tumble.
I never understood why Battle Dancer keyed off of Tumble. So I figured I could maintain it's usefulness while bringing it's main skill in line with it's concept. (I'll fix my typo ASAP!)


Evasion is very nice. Not sure if it should come in that early (Iím looking at Rogue and Swordsage and wondering if it shouldnít be a couple of levels further along), but nobodyís gonna complain about low-level Evasion.
I'll look into this.


Dance of the Blinding Assault is a better Dance of the Crushing Python at a much lower level. I approve heartily, but feel as though an ability thatís better than standard miss chance (even if itís only for a long as your enemy stays there), and the fact that itís better than most miss chance at that level, is a little overpowered.
I'll look into this as well. Perhaps the scaling would be best if it gained 10% miss chance for every 4 levels of Battle Dancer. That way you got to 50% by level 20. I'm all for mundanes getting nice things.


Dancerís Strike is very good. Charisma to attack and damage always gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling (though that may just be how good-looking the character is). Iím vaguely disappointed that it removes the ability to overcome DR that the original had (the Battle Dancer is strapped for options as-is; it also reminds me of the time I was in a no-magic campaign with a Battle Dancer/Swordsage, and was banking on Dancerís Strike to deal with DR), which means you have to spend more resources if you want to bypass it.
I really wanted to make this class as SAD as possible. Monk fails for being MAD and it seems you need so many abilities to be a successful unarmed fighter.

As for the DR, I do generally design classes with a standard fantasy setting (Forgotten Realms) in mind. So I expect people to have ways of bypassing DR, just like a fighter would by buying a different type of sword. But I understand why you're sad to see it go!


Dance of Burning Passion feels a little underpowered, honestly. Sure, you make your enemies flat-footed, but it costs you a move action to do it. Itís more of an ally support ability than something you can use yourself, which is fine, but any class that canít take advantage of its own features is a tad silly, if you ask me.
Do you have a suggestion to make this ability better? Honestly, it's my least favorite of the dances and it shows.


Defensive Dancing sets you up nicely for Dance of the Hurricane, gives you a nice bonus to your capstone, and makes Dance of the Blinding Assault just plain unfair, but otherwise isnít doing much for you (since your third dance only lasts as long as the action spent to use it, and you donít provoke AoOs doing it). Though I suppose spend a round dancing is better than spending a standard on total defence. Which, coincidentally enough, isnít as powerful for this version of Battle Dancer due to the lack of Tumble ranks (remembering that Dancerís Grace only affects checks, not pre-reqs. Sadly also excludes the class from Dervish, which can sometimes be half the fun of skirmish classes). Also, on top of your existing AC bonus, it's going to make the Battle Dancer nigh-untouchable.
I won't lie. I'm fairly proud of how the class features tie in with each other. Sort of like a father on his kid's first day of school. Proud that his child treading into school, but worried that the other kids are going to poke fun at his kid.

None the less, I think that this gives the BD a relatively unique set of combos. I shall miss Dervish though. Perhaps I can tweak Dancer's Grace.


Dance of the Hurricane is great. Itís exactly what you want a class like this to have. Your other class features even lend themselves to making you harder to hit while doing it. My only issue is that it comes in too late.
I wanted it to be like a pseudo "Dance of Death" without having to bind Paimon. It's good, but I'd worry it'd be too good if it came in any earlier.


And I think that just about covers everything. Hope it helps, Loyal.
It did help! Thank you very much for that in-depth review of my class rework!

Eno Remnant
2015-11-24, 05:54 PM
My main reason for the bonus feats is that, without a lot of optimization, Unarmed Strike is so very lackluster. So if you can pick up a couple nice bonus feats along the way, it should spice up your class a little.

I certainly donít disagree on that point. You can pick up Martial Study and Martial Stance, embrace the wuxia. And with a change to Dancerís Grace, you can use those feats to fill in the needed bonus feats for Dervish (which is a ridiculous amount of bad feats, as well as the Versatile Unarmed Strike you need to enter unarmed, but is worth it for the fun you can have), so itís worth having.



Perhaps the scaling would be best if it gained 10% miss chance for every 4 levels of Battle Dancer. That way you got to 50% by level 20. I'm all for mundanes getting nice things.

Actually, maybe you can keep it at this level, or at least close to it. Iíd forgotten one of the most important rules of creating class features with similar effects to spells Ė find what level a Sorcerer gets it at. Blink is a 3rd level spell, so a Sorcerer can take it at level 6. Your version is better than Blink in terms of effect, but is more situational and less likely to last once the enemy realises whatís up, so Iíd say it comes out at around the same power, a little higher when you take into account that you do it at-will. Moreover, like you said, mundanes deserve nice things. So just one or two levels higher, Iíd say.



So I expect people to have ways of bypassing DR, just like a fighter would by buying a different type of sword.

I suppose you can always buy multiple pairs of gauntlets, but that a) takes away from the concept of an ascetic character, which the Battle Dancer kinda is, and b) is less efficient than a Fighter switching swords, because you canít just drop gauntlets, which are technically both weapon and armour (even if you donít get an AC bonus from them). I know thereís a wondrous item that lets your natural attacks count as adamantine, and aligned attacks are easy to pick up, but the special metals are gonna be tricky. Then again, most classes donít get DR bypass, and Charisma to attack/damage is worth much more than it anyway, so it doesnít hurt that much.



Do you have a suggestion to make this ability better?

HmmÖ Iíve had a couple of thoughts, but nothing solid. Iíll let you know if I have an epiphany on the subject.


It's good, but I'd worry it'd be too good if it came in any earlier.

Letís put it into caster terms: itís effectively an AoE with the Sculpt Spell metamagic feat applied, or a line spell with the ability to bend the line. In the case of the prior example, if we take the classic Fireball, itís a 4th level spell. Sorcerers get it at 8th level. In terms of the latter, I know thereís a spell that deals damage on a line and you move the length of the line, I just canít think what levelÖ so weíll still with Bolt of Lightning, which is a 3rd level spell, Sorc 6. If we increase the spell level of each to include your ability to move in addition to applying damage, itís still Sorc 8 and Sorc 10. I think youíre safe to lower the level.

In fact, Iíd almost suggest a new dance progression, a reordering of some of the dances, and a couple of new dances. For example, one every four levels, with Dance of Burning Passion at 4th (with some changes, of course. Maybe bonus fire damage and single target flat-footed? Or even a ranged fire attack that makes enemies flat-footed if it hits?), Dance of the Blinding Assault at 8th, Dance of the Hurricane at 12th, and a new dance at 16th (though gods only know what thatíd be. Maybe something with Freedom of Movement).


It did help! Thank you very much for that in-depth review of my class rework!

It was my pleasure :smallbiggrin: