Dancer (3.5e Class)
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The Dancer is much the bard of motion; instead of singing and playing upon their instrument, they use their finely toned and developed motions to sway and entice with the powers of the humanoid body. While Dancers share similar abilities to a Bard, they are more skill and assistance-focused, placing less emphasis on spells and abilities.
Making a Dancer
A Dancer excels in areas similar to a Rogue and Bard. Hit and Run tactics effectively create the Dancer's power niche in the middle of a confrontation. Furthermore, much like a Bard's ability to inspire allies and demoralize foes with Bardic Music, a Dancer can utilize their dances to create powerful effects.
Abilities: A Dancer's highest abilities should be their Charisma and Dexterity scores. Otherwise, Strength and Intelligence are suitable mid-number scores, while Wisdom and Constitution can be neglected safely.
Races: Many races gifted with grace, and ease of movement easily take up the mantle of Dancer. Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves most likely enjoy the benefits of this class, others, however, are not so rare as to be non-existant.
Alignment: Any non-lawful.
Starting Gold: As Bard.
Starting Age: Simple
|Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Dancer's Guise, Dancer's Knowledge, Dancing, Knight's Armored Defense, Fascinate||+0||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Sneak Attack +1d6||+0||0||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+2||Wizard's Thoughtful Guidance||+1||1||—||—||—|
|8th||+6/+1||+ 2||+6||+2||Sneak Attack +2d6||+1||1||0||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+3||Immortal Carving Magic Strings||+1||1||0||—||—|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+4||Blade Dance, Sneak Attack +3d6||+2||1||1||1||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+5||Flight of Feints, Bonus Feat||+3||2||1||1||1|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||Sneak Attack +4d6||+3||2||2||1||1|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+6||Bonus Feat, Sneak Attack +5d6||+4||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Dancers use their guile, looks, and rigorous training to give themselves an advantage over their foes. All of the following are class features of the Dancer:
Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a dancer gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, which are drawn from the bard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time.
To learn or cast a spell, a dancer must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a dancer’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the dancer’s charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Dancer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Dancer. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score. When Table: The Dancer indicates that the dancer gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Charisma score for that spell level.
The dancer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. At fourth level, a dancer learns two 1st-level spells of their choice. Every few new dancer levels, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Dancer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a dancer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Dancer Spells Known are fixed.)
Upon reaching 6th level, and at every second dancer level after that (8th, 10th, and so on), a dancer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the dancer “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level dancer spell the dancer can cast. A dancer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
As noted above, a dancer need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the Dancer adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a Dancer gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five Dancer levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the dancer is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.
If the Dancer has levels in any class other than dancer, this AC Bonus is limited to the maximum number of dancer levels the character has.
Dancer's Guise (Ex): Dancers may always take 10 on any Disguise checks to appear as any type of dancer, or a similar character, such as harem-maidens, gypsies, and prostitutes. All dancers are gifted with the exceptional ability to confuse and entice those into believing they are an entertainer.
Dancing: A heroic dancer is much different than normal dancers of the world, and are capable of employing their art in a manner that inspires allies and demoralizes foes.
Once per day per dancer level, a dancer can use her skill and grace to produce magical effects on those around her (usually including herself, if desired). Each ability requires both a minimum dancer level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform (Dancing) skill to qualify; if a dancer does not have the required number of ranks in the Perform (Dancing) skill, she does not gain the dancing ability until she acquires the needed ranks.
Starting a dancing effect is a standard action. Some dancing abilities require concentration, which means the dancer must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Dances that require concentration are considered to equivalent to casting spells, and thus are subject to concentration checks. Even while using dancing that doesn’t require concentration, a dancer cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). If disoriented in some way or blinded, a dancer has a 20% chance to fail when attempting dancing. If she fails, the attempt still counts against her daily limit. Most dancing abilities, unless otherwise stated, last 1 round per dancer class level.
Knight's Armored Defense (Su): A dancer with 3 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dance to inspire her allies against attacks. Knight's Armored Defense gives all allies a +2 morale bonus to AC, and this bonus is raised by +1 at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.
Fascinate (Sp): A dancer with 3 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dancing to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with her. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see the dancer, and able to pay attention to her. The dancer must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a dancer attains beyond 1st, she can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a dancer makes a Perform check. Her check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the dancer cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and watches the dance, taking no other actions, for as long as the dancer continues to dance and concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per dancer level). While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the dancer to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.
Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Fighter's Insight (Su): A dancer of 3rd level or higher, with 6 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dance to inspire her allies, granting them more accurate attacks. Fighter's Insight gives all allies a +2 morale bonus to Attack rolls, and this bonus is raised by +1 at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.
Wizard's Thoughtful Guidance (Su): A dancer of 6th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dance to inspire her spellcasting allies to greater heights. Wizard's Thoughtful Guidance allows all allied spellcasters to cast spells as if they had a caster level of one higher; this bonus is doubled at 12th level. This dance requires concentration.
Immortal Carving Magic Strings (Su): A dancer of 9th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dance to distract enemy spellcasters, breaking their concentration. Immortal Carving Magic Strings requires all enemies within 60 feet attempting to use spells or spell-like ability to succeed a concentration check as if they had been injured (DC 10 + dancer class level + effective level of the spell being cast). This dance requires concentration.
Blade Dance (Su): A dancer of level 12 or higher, with 15 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dancing to inspire allies to greater ferocity. Blade Dance grants the all allies an additional 1d6 damage while this dance is being performed. This bonus increases to 2d6 damage at 16th level, and 3d6 damage at 20th level. This dance requires concentration.
Flight of Feints (Su): A dancer of 15th level or higher, with 15 or more ranks in a Perform (Dancing) skill can use her dancing distract her foes, feinting to put them off guard. The Flight of Feints dance subjects all enemies with 20 feet of the Dancer to a feint. Any enemy who fails is considered flat-footed toward the Dancer for 1 round plus an additional round for every five levels of dancer. This dance cannot be maintained; It must end in the round it is started.
Spellstep (Su): At 18th level, a dancer with 15 or more ranks in Perform (Dancing) gains the ability to drastically expand her spell list. Spellstep grants the Dancer the ability to mimic a spell from the Sorceror, Wizard, Cleric, or Druid lists. This dance is a full-round action that lasts for only one round. The spell takes up the same level slot in the dancer's spells per day, and therefore, the dancer can never cast anything greater than a 4th level spell. The spells duration, if it has one, continues as long as the dancer continues to perform this dance. This dance requires concentration.
Bonus Feats: Dancer's may choose Bonus Feats from the same table as Fighters at every five levels, as long as they meet the pre-requisites for the ability.
Sneak Attack: Starting at 4th level, if a dancer can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The dancer’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the dancer flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and it increases by 1d6 every four dancer levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a dancer can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.
A dancer can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The 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. A dancer cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
A Dancer who becomes lawful in alignment cannot progress in levels as a dancer, though she retains all her dancer abilities.
|24th||Sneak Attack +6d6|
|28th||Sneak Attack +7d6|
|30th||Bonus Feat, Dancing Amidst the Gods|
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Dancing Amidst the Gods: A 30th level Dancer's Perform (Dance) skill checks can cast spells from the 9th, and below, level Cleric, Bard, and Wizard/Sorceror lists. She determines the spell, and must make a DC of 15 + Spell's Level VS her Perform (Dance) skill. (Example: Cheron has a Perform (Dance) of 10, and attempts to cast "Cure Moderate Wounds" a 2nd Level Spell. She must roll at least a 7 to succeed in casting the spell.) Spells with material components must be paid in gold, or she may not cast that particular spell.
Bonus Feats: The epic Dancer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Rogue bonus feats).
Elf Dancer Starting Package
Weapons: Dagger, Whip
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
|Sleight of Hand||4||DEX||—|
Feat: Improved Intiative
Gear: Bedroll, Flint and Tinder, Dancer's Outfit
Playing a Dancer
Religion: Dancers are a diverse lot regarding religion, some follow their bardic brethren in the pursuit of path and riches, while others simply find an atheist view.
Other Classes: More often than not, the only classes who tend to disapprove of the Dancer's ways are the strictest of Paladins and Clerics, finding their sometimes unsavory ways offensive, crude, and dishonorable.
Combat: Dancers typically hold up the rear in combat, darting in and out of quick strikes while supplying assistance to their comrades.
Advancement: Dancers most easily join in the Shadow Dancer ranks, or take levels in Rogue to become more effective in combat. Though, some choose the life of an Assasin, and become some of the world's most suave, and sexy shadows of death.
Dancers in the World
|“||"I spent a night with a Lord once, he got what he gave his gold for."||”|
|—Narella Omia, Half-Elf Dancer|
Dancers are a fit in amidst seedy cities, and caravans of gypsies. Entertainers of all kind may be Bards, or Dancers.
Daily Life: Dancers are as hectic as their Bardic brethren, and seek their path in the world, whether with greedy lust for gold, or with an enthusiasm for their arts.
Notables: Narella Omia, a Half-Elf Dancer who has since rose into sovereignty due to some... messy... business practices.
Organizations: Dancers as groups tend to be traveling bands of gypsies, or bandits. Small groups of Dancers can be found almost anywhere in this fashion.
NPC Reactions: NPCs most often find Dancers as they find Bards, entertaining, or annoying.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Local) can research Dancers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Dancers are just that, individuals who go through life performing dances for gold and glory.|
|10||Dancers often travel in groups of gypsies, or as bandits. As such, they are generally less trusting when a group of them are present.|
|15||Dancers may reach into the planes and arcane arts with their dances to produce spells as if from thin air.|
|20||Characters who gain this level of knowledge may know any local groups or important people of note within the Dancer class.|
Dancers in the Game
Dancers may be either Player Characters, or Non-Player Characters as to your needs as a DM or Player.
Adaptation: Dancers may also be Entertainers, Harem-Girls, or Prostitutes.
Sample Encounter: ECL7
EL5: Narella Omia, and her guards may be encountered upon the road, being ambushed by vandals and bandits, or perhaps even in their home city. Narella is not a gifted combatant, and at best puts up a meagre, and dirty fight while her guards chip away at the adventurer's health and equipment. ((To Be Finished))