PDA

View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other My own variant of a Shadow Dancer



Tau'ri
2017-05-23, 03:54 AM
This version was inspired by trying to find a version that included sneak attack, but also trying to tone down the obviously broken version found I found that acquires 4 Rogue Special abilities in 4 levels, with Slippery Mind and Improved Evasion together at 4th level. So I set to work and I present for opinions my version of the Shadow Dancer that keeps some Sneak Attack dice, and not as broken ability gains, with a few changes here and there


Shadow Dancer

Hit Die: d8

Requirements
Skills: Move Silently 8 Ranks, Hide 10 Ranks, Perform (Dance) 5 Ranks.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility

Class Skills
The shadowdancerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level
6 + Int modifier.

Shadow Dancer Leveling Table


Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Reflex Save
Will Save
Special


1st
+0
+0
+2
+0
Hide in Plain Sight, Shadow Jump 20 ft.


2nd
+1
+0
+3
+0
Darkvision, Sneak Attack +1d6


3rd
+2
+1
+3
+1
Improved Uncanny Dodge, Shadow Jump 40 ft.


4th
+3
+1
+4
+1
Opportunist


5th
+3
+1
+4
+1
Sneak Attack +2d6, Shadow Jump 60 ft.


6th
+4
+2
+5
+2
Darkness


7th
+5
+2
+5
+2
Improved Evasion, Shadow Jump 80 ft.


8th
+6/+1
+2
+6
+2
Sneak Attack +3d6


9th
+6/+1
+2
+6
+2
Shadow Jump 100 ft.


10th
+7/+2
+3
+7
+3
Deeper Darkness



Class Features

Hide in Plain Sight: A Shadow Dancer can use the Hide skill even while observed, as long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, A Shadow Dancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot however, hide in her own shadow.

Shadow Jump: At 1st level, a Shadow Dancer gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell as a swift action. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. The Shadow Dancer can move a maximum of 40 feet per day, however every jump is considered a minimum of atleast 10 feet. The maximum distance that can be moved per day is doubled every 2 levels of Shadow Dancer.

Darkvision: At 2nd level, a Shadow Dancer can see in the dark as though she were permanently under the effect of a darkvision spell.

Sneak Attack: As with the Roguelike ability of the same name.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: A Shadow Dancer of 4th level or higher can no longer be flanked; she can react to opponents on opposite sides of her as easily as she can react to a single attacker. This defense denies another opponent the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does. The levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Opportunist: Once per round, the Shadow Dancer can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the Shadow Dancerís attack of opportunity for that round. Even a Shadow Dancer with the Combat Reflexes feat canít use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

Darkness: At 6th level, the Shadow Dancer can use darkness as a spell-like ability 3 times per day. At 10th level, this upgrades to Deeper Darkness and she gains the ability to use Darkness as a swift action.

Improved Evasion: This ability, gained at 7th level, works like evasion. A Shadow Dancer takes no damage at all on successful saving throws against attacks that allow a Reflex saving throw for half damage. Whatís more, she takes only half damage even if she fails her saving throw.


So, just to discuss a few decisions I had made, I wanted to keep sneak attack dice, but though they shouldn't remain at every 2nd level, but rather every 3rd, as that would limit the power of the class a bit. As well I included what are in my opinion the most useful of Rogue Special Abilities, and distanced them apart far enough in levels to be appropriate (I think). I toned down the distance of the Shadow Jump ability from what I found in most other versions, simply because I didn't believe it needed to double every opportunity, just go up by a steady amount. However I did want Shadow Jump to be used as a swift action, so that it could be used, and then the Shadow Dancer could make an attack action, while this may be overpowered, I think it is appropriate given the flavor of the prestige class. I included the Darkness as a spell like ability and limited it to a strict 3 uses per day while other versions I've seen allowed for ever increasing daily useage counts because I felt that 3 per day was more than enough, especially considering at 10th level it can be done as a swift action. As far as Improved Uncanny Dodge at 4th level, I am assuming that any character that goes down this PrC is very likely to already have Uncanny Dodge, so placing it two times in the chart felt unnecessary.

My one final thought is that if making the Shadow Jump a swift action is too powerful, then I could see a movement action being possible

any thoughts or feels would be appreciated.

SecondCid
2017-06-10, 07:57 AM
I'm not sure why the narrative on shadowdancer is that it is broken. The illusion spells are probably what make it strong, not the rogue special abilities.

The problem is broader than the PrC. The base rogue--and the shadowdancer by extension--have quite a few areas of significant weakness:

The rogue is bad at hitting things: -5 BAB is a huge deal in determining his ability to hit with normal attack rolls and can't be underestimated. You can offset this with flanking, denial of Dex (in some cases) or using the previously mentioned liberal interpretation of the rules to apply Sneak Attack to a thrown alchemist's fire (thus making it a touch attack and therefore much easier to hit). Not only that, but creatures immune to Sneak Attack make the rogue a sad panda, leading me to my next point.
Use Magic Device makes the rogue strong: The skill is the base rogue's primary saving grace. Wand of gravestrike or golemstrike lets you SA creatures normally immune, which is crazy good. And because UMD is a skill, it can't be attributed to the rogue class itself. Without it, the rogue is in many situations actually weaker than fighter, due to all the other issues I am pointing out here.
Sneak Attack isn't actually that great of damage: Yes, 10d6 looks big and scary, but it's really not. On average it only comes out to 35 damage on a successful hit when you meet its conditions. When you factor in your chances of hitting with normal attacks (see my first bullet), the chances of you ever actually hitting with all of your iterative attacks is slim to none. So saying that if you hit with everything you do X damage is a very disingenuous claim to make, since anyone who has ever played D&D knows it doesn't go down that way. If you actually calculated your hit chance against a reasonable target AC and adjusted your theoretical damage output accordingly, the rogue's damage is not very good unless you compare it to the steaming pile of garbage that is the base Monk (but let's not go there).
Lack of survivability: d6 HD and the lack of any kind of effective tank in 3.5e SRD makes the rogue very vulnerable if he is anywhere near melee.

As a result of these things, I feel like this concept of nerfing the shadow dancer should be a non-starter. It doesn't need a nerf, it needs a buff, although those buffs would probably be better served going into the rogue chassis rather than a prestige class.