Battle Dancer (3.5e Class)
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A Battle Dancer is an elegant warrior who pairs martial arts with graceful maneuvers in battle.
Making a Battle Dancer
Good close range combatant, Ambusher, Scout and Diplomat.
Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma are the key ability scores for a Battle Dancer. Their Strength and Dexterity scores can be applied interchangeably to attacks with their Dance Weapons, and Charisma powers many of their other class abilities.
Races: Elves, Half-Elves, fey and humans.
Starting Gold: 5d4x10
|1st||0||0||+2||+2||Dance Weapons, Leaf on the Wind, Run|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Skirmishing +1d6, Improved Unarmed Strike|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Uncanny Dodge, Snap Kick,|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Bonus Speed, Leap Up, Dance Weapons: Two-Weapon Fighting|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Skirmishing +2d6, Dance of the Vexing Snake|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Fleet of Foot, Dance Weapons: Superior Two-Weapon Fighting|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Dancing Leap, Dance Weapons: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||Flawless Stride, Dance of the Floating Step|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Skirmishing +3d6, Dance of the Warring Snowflake|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Dance Weapons: Improved Damage.|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Dance Weapons: Spring Attack, Dance of the Pouncing Tiger|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Improved Snap Kick|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Skirmishing +4d6, Dance of the Dervish|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+9||Dance Weapons: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Dance Weapons: Brilliant Dodge|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Dance Weapons: Strike As One|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Dance of Death's Embrace|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Dance Weapons: Practice Makes Perfect|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Battle Dancers rely on speed, grace, and dancing. If they are wearing any armor, carrying more than a light load, or are using a weapon that isn't light or in the dance weapon list, they lose all combat and movement related abilities. All of the following are class features of the Battle Dancer.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Chakram, Dagger, Dart, Emei piercer, Fighting fan, Naginata, Quarterstaff, Rope dart, Scimitar, Shuriken, Siangham, Sling. A battle dancer gains no armor proficiencies.
Dance Weapons(ex): The Battle Dancer is trained to incorporate certain weapons into her dance. Any class feature with the word "dance" in it requires her to use only these weapons. The Dance weapons are: Dagger, Fighting Fan, Quarterstaff, Scimitar, and Unarmed Strike. A Battle Dancer with 3 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) may use their Dance Weapons as if the Weapon Finesse feat was applied to them.
At 4th level, a Battle Dancer with 7 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) gains the benefits of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, but only while using her Dance Weapons.
At 7th level, a Battle Dancer with 10 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) may reduce their penalties when fighting with two weapons by a further 2 while using only her Dance Weapons. Thus, attacks made with her main hand take no penalty, and attacks made with her off hand take only a -4 penalty.
At 8th level, a Battle Dancer with 11 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) gains the benefits of the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, but only while using her Dance Weapons.
At 11th level, a Battle Dancer with 14 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) adds either her full Strength bonus or one-half her Dexterity bonus to damage with her off-hand attacks made using a Dance Weapon. The score used must match that used for the attack made(thus, a Battle Dancer cannot use Weapon Finesse to apply her Dexterity bonus to an attack but her Strength bonus to damage.)
At 12th level, a Battle Dancer with 15 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) may move both before and after making a melee attack with her Dance Weapons, as if using the Spring Attack feat.
At 15th level, a Battle Dancer with 18 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) gains the benefits of the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, but only while using her Dance Weapons.
At 16th level, a Battle Dancer with 19 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) may, as a free action, designate a single foe on their turn. They gain a Dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to their Intelligence bonus against that foe, so long as they are only using their Dance Weapons. This bonus is separate from that of the Dodge feat, and the foe designated need not be the same.
At 17th level, a Battle Dancer with 20 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) that is wielding two Dance Weapons may strike with both weapons anytime she could hit with one, such as a Spring Attack, attack action, or attack of opportunity.
At 20th level, any Dance Weapons a Battle Dancer with 23 or more ranks in Perform(Dance) wields are treated as if they had the Speed and Keen weapon properties. A Battle Dancer loses this benefit when flat-footed, immobilized, or similarly restricted.
Leaf on the Wind A Battle Dancer can't fight well in armor, and so has learned that it is better to be elsewhere when a blow comes. When unarmored, unencumbered and moving by her own power, the Battle Dancer adds her Charisma bonus (if any) as a dodge bonus to AC. She uses the captivating and confusing movements of the battle dance to evade her foes' attacks. This bonus reflects the battle dancer's intense training in unarmored combat.
Skirmishing: A Battle Dancer relies on mobility to deal extra damage. She deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks she makes with her Dance Weapons during any round in which she moves at least 10 feet by her own power. The extra damage applies only to attacks taken during the Battle Dancer's turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 for every four levels gained above 2nd (2d6 at 6th, 3d6 at 10th, 4d6 at 14th, and 5d6 at 18th level). The extra damage only applies against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. The Battle Dancer must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot.
Snap Kick: When a Battle Dancer makes a melee attack with a Dance Weapon (including a standard attack or a full attack), she can make an additional unarmed attack at her highest attack bonus. This attack, as well as all other attacks made in the same round, take a -2 penalty.
Practiced Agility: The Battle Dancer moves with speed and agility earned through countless hours of practice, physical training, and study of the precise, fluid movements of her battle dances. At 1st level, she gains Run as a bonus feet. She gains a +5 foot bonus to speed at 4th level. She gains an additional +5 foot bonus at 10th level.
Leap Up: A Battle Dancer can jump to her feet as a free action on her turn without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Dance of the Vexing Snake: A 5th-level Battle Dancer with 8 ranks in Perform(Dance) and Tumble gains the ability to dodge her opponent's blows with her sudden, unpredictable maneuvers. She can use the Tumble skill to move at her normal speed without penalty, and she can Tumble a distance up to her current speed.
Fleet of Foot: A 7th level Battle Dancer gains Fleet of Foot as a bonus feat.
Dancing Leap An 8th level Battle Dancer with 10 ranks in Jump can take a 10 foot step that provokes an attack of opportunity in place of a 5 foot step. She can Tumble normally while using this ability.
Flawless Stride: Starting at 9th level, a Battle Dancer can move while ignoring impediment by her environment. This ability functions as the Woodland Stride class feature, but the Battle Dancer can use it in any environment so long as the terrain is non-magical and doesn't require a skill check to move through.
Dance of the Floating Step: The Battle Dancer moves with such grace and speed that she can dance across water. Starting at 9th-level, if she has 12 ranks in Balance and Perform(Dance), she can cross the surface of a liquid, such as water or magma, without taking damage or sinking below the surface. If she ends her movement on such a liquid, she takes damage and sinks as normal. The Battle Dancer must begin her movement on a stable, firm surface.
Dance of the Warring Snowflake Starting at 10th level, a Battle Dancer may, as a full-round action, attempt a DC 20 Perform(Dance) check to enter a deadly style of combat known as the Snowflake War-Dance. If this check succeeds, she may add her Charisma modifier to her attack rolls with any Dance Weapon for a number of rounds equal to her ranks in Perform(Dance). On a failed check, the Battle Dancer is considered flat-footed for one round. Regardless of success, a Battle Dancer becomes fatigued for 10 minutes after using this ability. This ability cannot be used while fatigued or exhausted.
Dance of the Pouncing Tiger Starting at 12th-level, a Battle Dancer with 14 ranks in Dance Jump and Tumble can spring upon an opponent with the ferocity of a feral beast. When charging, she can attempt a Tumble check with a DC equal to the target's AC. If she succeeds, she may make a full attack rather than a standard attack as part of her charge. A failed attempt ruins her charge.
Dance of the Dervish A 14th level Battle Dancer can become a whirling dancer of death once per day. While in this dance, she can take a full attack action (for melee attacks only) and still move up to her speed. However, she must move a minimum of 5 feet between each attack when using this ability, and she cannot return to a square she just exited (though she may return to that square later during her full attack.) She is subject to attacks of opportunity while dancing, but may Tumble normally as part of her move. If prevented from completing her move, she is also prevented from finishing her full attack. Dance of the Dervish lasts a number of rounds equal to 1/2 her ranks in Perform(Dance). At the end of the dance, the character becomes exhausted for 10 minutes, and fatigued for a further 10 minutes thereafter. This ability cannot be used while fatigued or exhausted.
Improved Snap Kick: Whenever making the extra attack granted by Snap Kick, only the Snap Kick attack is made at a -2 penalty; other attacks are unaffected. The Snap Kick also adds her full Strength bonus to damage rather than half, as if she had the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.
Dance of Death's Embrace A 19th-level Battle Dancer with 22 ranks in Perform(Dance) and Tumble can perform a vicious, deadly dance to defeat her opponent. Before using this dance, the Battle Dancer selects a single target within 30 feet. As a full-round action, the Battle Dancer performs an elaborate dance that requires a DC 35 Perform(Dance) check to complete. If she succeeds, any time she makes a successful attack against her designated target she deals an additional 2d6 points of damage. In addition, any critical threat the Battle Dancer makes against her designated target is automatically confirmed as a critical hit. This ability lasts a number of rounds equal to 1/4 her ranks in Perform(Dance). The Battle Dancer becomes exhausted for 20 minutes after this ability ends, then remains fatigued until she completes a full rest.
Epic Battle Dancers
Epic Battle Dancers gain a bonus feat every 2 levels beyond 20th and may add an additional weapon she is proficient with to her Dance Weapon list every 5 levels. In addition, they gain a further 5 foot bonus to their movement speed every 10 levels beyond 20th.
Playing a Battle Dancer
Religion: Due to the secular nature of their profession, Battle Dancers are fairly diverse in their religious beliefs. Some lean toward worshiping deities of performance or diplomacy, while others may favor a more warlike patron.
Other Classes: Battle Dancers will often find themselves working closely with both front-line combat classes such as Paladins and Fighters, and scouts such as Rogues and Rangers. Therefore, it tends to be in their best interest to form a positive relationship with these classes. Most Battle Dancers are indifferent to long-ranged combatants, spellcasters, and similar supportive characters, though some may see such indirect combat as cowardly. It is not uncommon for a Battle Dancer to find themselves compared to Monks, due to the similarity of their fighting styles. This can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on the character.
Combat: Battle Dancers should typically remain on the front line of combat, engaging foes in a hit-and-run manner similar to the Monk. They can also use their naturally high mobility and dueling prowess to run down and engage single, dangerous targets. Low-level Battle Dancers will frequently struggle against groups of enemies due to their dodge-focused survivability, making temporary hit points and smart positioning a great boon.
Advancement: The base kit of a Battle Dancer is diverse enough to function without multiclassing. However, it also finds natural synergy with levels in Bard for a more supportive option, Swashbuckler for improved dueling, or even Fighter for additional combat prowess.
Battle Dancers in the World
|“||"The dance of battle is always played to the same impatient rhythm. What begins in a surge of violent motion is always reduced to the perfectly still."||”|
Daily Life: When not adventuring, low level Battle Dancers often spend their time in a tavern or in the town square dancing for a little extra coin. At high levels, she may try to work for a nobleman as a bodyguard with her deadly talents hidden behind an ornate fan and a graceful bow.
NPC Reactions: Battle Dancers tend to get noticed, but underestimated. Commoners may look on a high-level Battle Dancer's flashy and fluid combat with awe, whereas more cynical knights often see these flourishes as unnecessary or frivolous.