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Thread: PrC Contest VIII: Bow down to my Fist!

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    Dec 2006

    Default Re: PrC Contest VIII: Bow down to my Fist!

    ASTRAL DANCER



    Impressive defense, but your flaw lies in expecting the orthodox.

    Astral dancers are martial artists who make use of the githzerai's unique discipline, astral dancing. While originally created to capitalize on the astral plane's subjective gravity, the art evolved into a complex series of moves designed to use the user's mobility as well as the shape of the battlefield as the deciding factors in a fight. The discipline considers the use of artificial weapons to be burdensome and unnecessary; speed is paramount. Fists, knees, kicks, elbows and even bites are preferred for their speed and tactile benefits. The first dancers were banished githzerai who were forced to adjust to the Prime Material's unidirectional gravity. The discipline has survived through tradition and the work of an occasional master ever since.

    BECOMING AN ASTRAL DANCER

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Skills: Tumble 8 ranks, Jump 8 ranks, Spot 8 ranks
    Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility
    Special: Must have fought unarmed on the Astral Plane or against a trained githzerai, must have a speed at least 10' more than a normal member of your race.

    Class Skills
    The Class Name's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are The Astral dancerís class skills are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d8

    ASTRAL DANCER

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Monastic Training, Tactician

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Jaunted Leap

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Uncanny Dodge

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Twisting Flurry

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Slip the Bonds

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Astral Leap, Improved Uncanny Dodge

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Peerless Tactician

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Pivoting Charge

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Cyclonic Flurry

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Astral Freedom[/table]

    Proficiencies: An Astral dancer gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

    Monastic Training: When an astral dancer level is gained, the character continues to advance his unarmed strike damage, AC bonus and movement speed abilities as if he had gained a level in the monk class. This only applies to abilities already gained; an astral dancer does not gain additional monk abilities if he did not already possess them.

    Tactician: Astral dancers are more aware of the battlefield than most. They double the quantifiable bonuses they gain from conditions related to terrain such as bonuses to hit from higher ground. Furthermore, if an astral dancer studies a battlefield for an hour, he gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 to all attack rolls while fighting on it. This studying must be done within 24 hours of the fight or else the benefits are lost.

    Planar Leap: When an astral dancer jumps, he shunts himself to the astral plane for an instant, carrying him across farther distances than he could normally manage. In any round when an astral dancer makes a Jump check, he gains a +10' unnamed bonus to his base speed. Furthermore, an astral dancer may make a Jump check during a charge to avoid obstacles or difficult terrain, effectively allowing him to charge through such squares. If he fails, the charge automatically stops.

    Uncanny Dodge: At 3rd level, an astral dancer retains his Dexterity and Wisdom bonuses to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses these bonuses to AC if immobilized. If an astral dancer already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead. This ability only functions while the dancer is unarmored.

    Twisting Flurry: At 4th level, astral dancers can slip quick attacks in at nearby enemies while running at the cost of damage. When a dancer makes a double move or charge action, he may make a single unarmed attack against each enemy he passes. He does not apply any modifiers to the damage from these attacks.

    Slip the Bonds: Astral dancers can invoke certain properties of the astral. A number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier, an astral dancer may ignore gravity as if he were on the astral plane. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half of his Hit Dice (round down.)

    Improved Uncanny Dodge: At 6th level and higher, an astral dancer can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has monk/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. This ability only functions while the dancer is unarmored.

    Astral Leap: A dancer's leaps carry him farther with practice. The bonus from an astral dancer's Planar Leap ability increases to 20'. If the Jump check was part of a charge action, the astral dancer deals an additional +2d6 damage and automatically confirms any critical threats against the charge target.

    Peerless Tactician: The astral dancer only needs to study a battlefield for a full minute to gain the benefits of the Tactician ability. He may also ignore any penalties imposed by non-magical terrain such as thick undergrowth, minor obstacles and difficult terrain.

    Pivoting Charge: Astral dancers can alter course without losing momentum, enabling them to charge from unexpected avenues. During a charge action, an astral dancer may make up to two changes in direction.

    Cyclonic Flurry: When an astral dancer makes attacks with his Twisting Strike ability, he may make two attacks per enemy instead of one.

    Astral Freedom: At 10th level, astral dancers reach their peak. They are no longer subject to gravity and instead always treat gravity as subjective as if they were on the astral plane.

    PLAYING AN ASTRAL DANCER
    Astral dancers move. They charge (over land, sea, air, walls, canyons, rubble, treetops and any other thing you can imagine charging on.) They perform run-by attacks easier than any other class. They can easily be played as skirmishers, support damage for frontliners or infiltrators by breaking past the enemies lines to the casters/other important targets.
    Combat: The role of the astral dancer changes depending on which abilities he has access to. In the early levels, he fills the role of a typical monk with the added benefits of improved defensive options with the Tactician ability and Uncanny Dodge. Towards middling to higher levels, the astral dancer becomes a skirmisher, flitting into and out of battle rapidly, striking as many foes each turn as he can reach. He is geared more towards attacking multiple foes than felling a single opponent, though he can do this effectively as well.
    Advancement: Astral dancers have two main options in combat: hit and run or charge (and hit). Their mobility allows them to use either option effectively.
    Resources: The astral dancer's primary resource is his speed. It forms the backbone of this class which allows him to use it more effectively than a normal monk would.

    ASTRAL DANCERS IN THE WORLD
    Eh, he's an impressive acrobat, sure, but so's the troubadour in the king's court. And that guy can tell a joke.

    Because they are so rare, astral dancers are generally only known by those who see them firsthand. Like most monks, dancers are not known for their likability. Even when social opportunities present themselves, dancers fade into the background despite their impressive skills. Unless an astral dancer manages to impact the lives of those around him in impressive ways, most people treat him as they would any other adventurer.
    Daily Life: The life of an astral dancer is made up of thousands of exercises and self-imposed tests. Impossible stretches, impossible mind games, impossible levels of strategic thought surrounding every movement--the more difficult the task, the more integral it is to the daily routine. Dancers don't master the art for the sake of it. The difficulty inherent in the discipline comes part and parcel with several themes laid down by many monastic sects including the loss of self, self-improvement above all else and the preservation of rare arts. Paramount to each of these is the highest self-discipline, which requires such tests to maintain.
    Notables: Those who delve deeply enough into any mythology is likely to find at least one dancer's presence, especially in areas of high astral activity. Their roles are minor, usually delegated to humorless sidekicks at best. The few high profile heroes are just champions (or demons) of the cause, spreading word of the art and taking up followers when they could, though these stories are often embellished for dramatic effect. While the names of the true heroes of the art have long since been lost, one, Myllyysh (the gith word for a Prime Material dweller), the first astral dancer to apply the art on the Prime Material, is known throughout the astral empires for spreading the culture of the githzerai abroad.
    Organizations: Most dancers live, adventure and die alone, having never met another who followed the same path. Those who do are likely to have settled down and trained a new generation of dancers. Unfortunately, the difficulty of the art prevents many who would follow from doing so; such monasteries are known for being short-lived or forsaking astral dancing, eventually understanding it as a fabled pursuit.
    Last edited by thegurullamen; 2009-01-30 at 06:15 PM.
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