View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Martial Archetype: Battle Dancer [PEACH]

2016-07-26, 07:42 PM
New interpretation of the battle dancer. I know there are at least two other battle/blade dancer homebrews in the forum or elsewhere. With this version I strove to keep features streamlined and relatively simple. It would be very easy to put this as a bard college, and I hope someone does make a "college of dance;" it would be awesome.

In lieu of that my version is a quarter caster(-ish) gaining spellcasting at 7th level to reflect the ability to produce magical effects with a dance. Very similar to an eldritch knight, except Charisma is your spellcasting modifier. By way of a dance ritual you may use your weapon (only one) as a spellcasting focus and give it magical properties.

I wasn't sure how to go about the spellcasting abilties so I made two versions. The second is featured at the end of the page and uses a warlock spellcasting table as reference.

You can add your charisma modifier to certain rolls once per short rest, and the capstone, I hope, is interesting and captures the potential power of a battle dancer.

Enjoy (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/HkJ4cLh8)

2016-07-27, 10:14 PM
Nobody? Uninteresting? Overpowered? Feedback would be nice, thanks.

2016-07-28, 07:30 AM
I do not know the Battle Dancer from other editions (and the image in my head is more like a Monk than a Fighter), but from what I can see, this class seems pretty damn underpowered right now.

Let's break stuff up and see why it's UP.
Battle Dance
So this basically:
-Allows you to Disengage as a Bonus Action (by using up 5 feet of movement)
-Gives you +1 AC at the cost of 5 feet of movement
-You can wear only Light armor, and can't use reach weapons
-Once per short rest, and has a limit of "per long rest" too

Okay, so the part about disallowing light armor and reach weapons means that this is specifically DEX figher only. What!? Real men can dance even in heavy armor! And its abilities are geared towards melee combat, meaning Archers are still better going Eldritch Knight. It's understandable, but it needs something to compensate for these restrictions... so, let's see.

First of all, by RAW, the example you showed of the orc figher doesn't work.
At the beginning of your turn, as a bonus action, as you move, you can sacrifice five feet of movement to avoid an attack of opportunityThis means that you can disengage from only the guys that are adjacent to you at the beginning of the turn.
In the example it says "As you approach the orc's attack range", which means that the character isn't adjacent to the orc at the start of the turn. So, yeah, it currently doesn't work.

I would fix it to simply "Use 5 feet of movement and you can't be hit by opprotunity attacks this turn" or something like that. Right now it's really inferior to any Fighter/Rogue multiclass.

The second +1 AC ability is neat, and can stay as it is. Especially since light armor = bit lower AC.

What bugs me is that it has restrictions both on "1/per short rest" and "X/per long rest". I think the latter is unrequired.

Actually, let me re-phrase that, I think both are unrequired.

Let this guy dance all day.

BUT +1 AC IS OVERPOWERED!!! No, really, it isn't. Let's give this guy something that shines, because otherwise no one will use it. My first thought is that the idea of a "Battle Dancer" who can't dance after dancing once till he first gets an 1-hour break is very not cool.
This is a problem similar to that of the Battle Master, but in their case, I like to think it this way - "it's not that the Battle Master can use a maneuver only X times per short rest, it's that he knows that maneuvers work only in certain special chances. The number of maneuvers represent the 'luck' concerning finding that weak spot, the special timing suitable for activating the maneuver. And as the BM levels up, he gets more skillful, allowing himself to find more 'suitable timings' and such".
This doesn't work with... you know...
...Starting a dance during combat.

Also, I think that since the idea of a fancy dancing warrior cutting through enemy frontlines is pretty cool, I'd also add:
-You can spread out your Extra Attacks among multiple creatures as you move.

This is because, by RAW, since "Extra Attack" is an "action", if you kill the enemy character with your first attack and no enemies are adjacent to you, you can't attack any other creatures for the rest of your turn, even if you left over the extra attacks. This is really stupid and I fix this problem in my games anyways with DM authority, but this needs to be "written" to have the more hard-headed guys understand.
This is just my personal preference, but still, figured I should state it.

Bonus Skill Proficiency
Okay, that's cool.

-You learn 2 Cantrips from the Sorcerer list.
-You can cast "Shield" twice per long rest. This number increases to 3 at level 8, 6 at level 12, 7 at level 16, and 9 at level 20".

Okay, actually you might cast Haste instead at level 20. Level 2 slots can also be used for Hold Person. But really, that's about it.

Now, you mentioned Bards. Why not make the spell list Bards? Sorcerer spells are generally created as a Blaster-ish character, but Blasters and melee fighters are not a mix I want in a single character. Bards, being skilled field manipulaters and controllers, are more like it.

I'd change the spell list to "All Bard Spells" instead of "Sorcerer spells of a certain school".

Weapon Focus
It's a pretty cool, neat, and fancy ability.
It's also an ability that should be given at level 7.
Otherwise, spellcasting for this guy will be dreadful from levels 7 to 9. And it's not like low-level spellcasting was ever overpowered.
I say change this to a level 7 ability and, at level 10, add a new dancing ability. Dunno what it should be - maybe base it off the Battle Dancer from previous editions?
Or it could be related to spellcasting, like "you can concentrate on 2 Battle Dancer spells at the same time" (which honestly isn't that overpowered).

Grace under Pressure
Yeah, pretty graceful, as long as you dart your eyes way from the fact that the Paladin has both Bless and Aura of Protection from level 6, giving these merits to both himself and his friends... for almost all of the time he's on the battlefield.
"Gain advantage on something, you can use this ability X times per long rest (X = your CHA mod)" will be more like it, I think. You decide how to re-balance it. At least, right now, it's... not bad, just... not really good either.

Dance with Death
At 18th level your skill with the battle dance has increased to the point that it seems death cannot touch you as you whirl across the battlefield.
Okay, awesome description.
Once per long rest, you can start a battle dance and don't need to sacrifice movement to avoid attacks of opportunity. The duration of your battle dance lasts for an amount of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier

Okay, so, um.

...Good description.

The problem is that the description doesn't match the actual ability. This is your capstone. Your friggin' CAPSTONE. Take a look at the capstones of Paladin, they're pretty darn awesome, aren't they? Those are what Capstones are supposed to be. I'm not telling you to be an Archdruid, but this is just way too miniscule. Why shouldn't I use a Figher/Rogue (Swashbuckler) instead? I mean, Swashbucklers don't need a bonus action to disengage, and they don't use their movement either. Why should I go with the Battle Dancer over that?

Personally, I'd give it something like:
Super Mega Ultra Awesome Dance
You start a 1-minute dance that resembles Michael Jackson. During this time, each hostile creature that starts its turn within 30 feet of you and can see you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed until the dance ends. It also repeats the saving throw whenever it takes damage from you. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to this dance for 24 hours.

And even that wouldn't be too much.

All in all, I can understand that you tried hard to not make this overpowered, and that's a good thing. But you overdid it to the point where right now, it has nothing it can boast to the other classes and sub-classes. What's the merit of choosing this guy? Is there even a merit of choosing this guy? Right now, sadly, there's no reason to go this path except "fluff".

Not to mention, I fail to see what's so "definitive" of this class. The "definition", the "selling point". What's its main theme, mechanic-wise? What's it better at doing than other classes? Right now it's a really mixed bag, and most of what it seems to do is worse than a Battle Master + Swashbuckler multiclass.

I think that being underpowered and lacking a selling point was actually the reason why nobody commented on this hombrew. It's easy to give advice to an overpowered class - "undertone this like that, so it still keeps the concept but remains balanced". But it's difficult to give advice to something that you can't really see "what it's meant to do", because it's difficult to advice how to make it stronger.

I think you need to re-think and empower a lot for this class to become an "interesting option for a character".

2016-07-29, 07:38 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the critique. Yours is what I was looking for in trying to balance this thing and make it interesting.

The concept is not necessarily dancing, but being nearly untouchable during attacks.

If anyone has read Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series, dance with death should be familiar. Richard Rahl was the general effect I was going for.

Graceful and deadly in combat. Yeah, Drizzt basically.

Thanks again and back to the drawing board.