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Haomaru Makoto by GENZOMAN
Powerful and greatly respected, war dancers are among the fiercest warriors on Torar. They are the elite of the elves’ armies and their presence alone has been known to route opposing forces. War dancers are agile, lightly armored dealers of death that specialize in fighting against overwhelming odds. However, because they spend so much time focusing on martial perfection and discipline, they are generally of little use off the battlefield. A war dancer can form the core of the damage dealing potential of a party easily, and can function as a backup damage soaker as well.

AdventuresEdit

War dancers are almost monk-like in their devotion to combat perfection, and frequently adventure in order to test their skills or learn new katas. This can lead them to adventuring for financial gain in order to afford more powerful magical enchantments or the services of a unique tutor. Evil war dancers adventure to maximize the slaughter they can reap.

CharacteristicsEdit

The arts they study, for such mastery can be called nothing less than art, require a tremendous amount of mental discipline. It is therefore very rare to encounter a war dancer that is not insightful to a near instinctual level. The amount of agility and grace they also require tends to make them unconsciously move with a fluid grace that borders on the supernatural.

However, since war dancers spend so long being trained in Kazuyuki, they can be oblivious to social queues, especially subtle ones.

AlignmentEdit

All alignments are represented in the ranks of the war dancers, though most tend to be lawful as chaotic souls don’t often have the necessary focus to complete their rigorous training. Good war dancers are paragons of the people, constantly fighting against injustice and evil. Evil war dancers are often seen as insane butchers and frequently spawn stories of entire villages laid to waste behind them.

ReligionEdit

War dancers are not typically religious as they focus too greatly on their training. Those that find the time or inclination to worship a deity most often choose deities of strength, war, and death. Some try to find divine patrons that are known to specialize in the war dancer’s bonded weapon.

BackgroundEdit

Since all war dancers come from the ranks of the elven people, most are chosen from just after birth to begin their training. They come from all backgrounds, as any newborn might show the signs of necessary mental and physical agility required to succeed in their order. Being recruited into the Order of Wardancing is considered a tremendous honor, and costs the family of the recruit nothing. The recruit is taken to Kazuyuki where they spend the next few decades being trained in the rigorous disciplines a war dancer needs.

RacesEdit

Elves only train other elves in their ancient, ancestral techniques. Only elves have the combination of quick wits and quicker reflexes necessary to achieve excellence in this profession. But beyond that, war dancing is almost a genetic memory for the elves. The ancient meiva were the originators of this martial art, and it has played a key role in the survival and development of the elven culture throughout the eras. The most well-known elven empress, Zafara the Indomitable, was a war dancer… and some say a goddess of battle.

Other ClassesEdit

War dancers often see the strengths that any other class can bring to the party, and appreciate them based on that virtue. They will try to prove that they are foremost among any melee combatants, frequently challenging them to duels and otherwise proving just how superior their singular devotion to fighting makes them in that regard.

Game Rule InformationEdit

Abilities: Dexterity is the primary ability score for war dancers. They need to be graceful and agile to succeed. The discipline required to achieve such high levels of martial excellence means that Wisdom is also a high priority for war dancers. Being melee fighters, war dancers benefit from having high Constitution scores. Other abilities are less important.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10 gp.

Starting Age: Complex (+40% of adulthood).

Class Skills: The following are the class skills (and the relevant ability for each) of the war dancer class: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (military tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (dance) (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The War DancerEdit

Level

Base Attack

Fort

Ref

Will

Special

1

+1

+2

+2

+2

Weapon Bonding

2

+2

+3

+3

+3

Battlegrace, Least Kata

3

+3

+3

+3

+3

Wardance

4

+4

+4

+4

+4

Least Kata

5

+5

+4

+4

+4

Whirlwind

6

+6/+1

+5

+5

+5

Least Kata

7

+7/+2

+5

+5

+5

Improved Battlegrace

8

+8/+3

+6

+6

+6

Lesser Kata

9

+9/+4

+6

+6

+6

 

10

+10/+5

+7

+7

+7

Trance, Lesser Kata

11

+11/+6/+1

+7

+7

+7

Ascendant Skill

12

+12/+7/+2

+8

+8

+8

Improved Kata

13

+13/+8/++3

+8

+8

+8

Improved Wardance

14

+14/+9/+4

+9

+9

+9

Improved Kata

15

+15/+10/+5

+9

+9

+9

Ascendant Skill

16

+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+10

+10

Greater Kata

17

+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+10

+10

 

18

+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+11

+11

Greater Kata

19

+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+11

+11

Ascendant Skill

20

+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+12

+12

Supreme Kata


Class FeaturesEdit

The following are the class features of the war dancer class:

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

The war dancer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with her bonded weapon (see below). She is proficient with light armor.

Weapon Bonding (Ex)

A war dancer considers her weapon an extension of herself, and it is partly this intense familiarity that allows the war dancer to perform such extraordinary feats with her weapon. The war dancer has trained extensively in the use of a single weapon, and it is with this weapon that all war dancer abilities must be performed. The war dancer chooses her bonded weapon at 1st level, and it cannot be changed once the choice is made. The bond affects all weapons of that type, not just that specific weapon (i.e. greatswords, flails, quarterstaffs, etc). The bonded weapon must be a melee weapon.

The war dancer may add her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength to attack and damage rolls made with her bonded weapon.

Each time the war dancer gains a feat through increasing her level (i.e. at level 1, level 3 and every 3 levels thereafter) up to and including level 18, she also gains a bonus feat that she meets the prerequisites for (she is considered a fighter of equal level for the appropriate feats) from the following: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Sunder, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Weapon Focus, Improved Weapon Specialization, Quick Draw, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization.

Additionally the bonded weapon is considered both natural and manufactured. The war dancer can never be disarmed when wielding her bonded weapon.

Battlegrace (Ex)

The war dancer is a graceful and deadly presence on the battlefield. She is always moving and weaving, flowing from one move to another. By constantly moving in this way she is able to easily dodge incoming attacks. At 2nd level the war dancer adds half of her class level to her AC as a dodge bonus. Additionally the war dancer may move her full speed when making Tumble checks to move without provoking attacks of opportunity through threatened squares. Finally she gains the Uncanny Dodge feat for free, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.

At 7th level, the war dancer gains the Evasion feat for free, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.

Katas

Beginning at 2nd level the war dancer can use her incredible focus along with her dancing abilities to perform unbelievable feats of skill and grace. A war dancer may perform a number of katas per day equal to her Wisdom modifier + ½ of her class level. Each kata requires a certain amount of effort to perform, as indicated by its Form, which equates to the action type the kata requires (swift, standard, full). The difficulty class for any saves related to katas is 10 + Wisdom modifier + 2x the kata’s complexity.

The war dancer needs a minimum Wisdom score of 12 to perform least katas, 18 to perform lesser katas, 22 to perform improved katas, 26 to perform greater katas, and 30 to perform supreme katas. Katas take an amazing amount of discipline and focus to perform. Each time the war dancer gains a kata ability, she must choose one of the below katas to learn. She may learn a kata from that complexity or any lower complexity. The war dancer may perform any kata she knows.

Wardance (Ex)

At 3rd level the war dancer has mastered fighting against greater numbers, and is able to compensate for such a disadvantage. The war dancer gains a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls with her bonded weapon, and to her AC, for each adjacent foe after the first one. These bonuses may not exceed her Dexterity or Wisdom modifier, whichever is lower.

At 13th level the war dancer gains an attack of opportunity against any foe that attacks her in melee combat and misses. This does not allow her to gain more attacks of opportunity per round or per creature than she normally could have.

Whirlwind (Ex)

Having studied and trained in the ways of fighting multiple foes at once, the war dancer gains the Whirlwind Attack feat at 5th level regardless of whether she meets the prerequisites.

Trance (Su)

At 10th level the war dancer gains the ability to enter a deep trance when embroiled in combat once per day. A war dancer in her trance is a terrifying force on the battlefield. Entering the trance is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, but cannot be interrupted. Once entranced the war dancer usually undergoes some kind of superficial physical change. This change is different for each war dancer, and is generally considered an expression of her personality. Some change skin and hair colors, other grow scales and small fangs, while others may become covered in strange tattoos. The exact form of the change is up to the player, but it never grants any mechanical bonus except as noted here. Once its form is chosen it cannot be changed.

While entranced the war dancer gains a circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks equal to her class level. Her land speed improves by +5 ft. per 2 class levels (rounded down). The first time she enters an enemy’s threatened square each round she is allowed an attack of opportunity against that creature and does not provoke attacks of opportunity for entering or leaving threatened squares while entranced. She is immune to movement-impairing effects (such as caltrops or the web spell) as well as mind-affecting effects while entranced.

The trance will last for a number of rounds equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier, though she may end the trance at any time during her turn. When the trance is ended, the war dancer becomes exhausted.

Ascendant Skill (Ex)

At 11th level the war dancer’s skill at arms has reached near-divine levels. She must choose at this point to follow the offensive or defensive path. Once the selection has been made it cannot be changed.

·Offense

<Three-Weapon Fighting: Requires Two-Weapon Fighting. At 11th level the offense ascendant path grants the war dancer the ability to wield three of her bonded weapons by keeping one constantly in the air, embedded in her foes, balanced on her back, and otherwise in flux. She may make one attack per round with her third weapon. When triple-wielding however she suffers a -8 penalty to all attack rolls and may only add half of her Strength or Dexterity modifier to damage rolls.

Improved Three-Weapon Fighting: Requires Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. At 15th level the war dancer may make a second attack each round with her third weapon, with a -5 penalty to the attack.

Greater Three-Weapon Fighting: Requires Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. At 19th level the war dancer may make a third attack each round with her third weapon, with a -10 penalty to the attack. The war dancer may take Perfect Three-Weapon Fighting as a feat in the future if she has Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting. She may also take Three-Weapon Mastery as a feat if she has a Dexterity of at least 30, which removes the -8 penalty for fighting with three weapons.

·Defense

Combat Mastery: Requires Combat Expertise. At 11th level you may exchange any amount of your base attack bonus and add it to your AC.

Light Armor Mastery: At 15th level you never suffer any skill check penalty, movement penalty, arcane spell failure, or any other penalty or negative for wearing light armor unless the armor itself bestows a negative effect (such as armor made of lava).

Baptism by Fire: At 19th level for each round that you are fighting the same opponent after the first you gain a +1 cumulative insight bonus to AC against that opponent. If you attack another creature, you lose all accumulated bonuses against any other creature. 


War Dancer KatasEdit

Least Complexity KatasEdit

Blood in the Water

Complexity: Least (1).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of encounter (base kata).

This is known as a base kata. The performance of this kata continues through the dance, even when performing other katas, by changing the fundamental way you flow through your forms. It only ends at the end of the encounter or when you activate another base kata. Each time you score a critical hit while this kata is active you gain a cumulative +1 unnamed bonus to attack and damage rolls. If you go more than 10 rounds without achieving a critical hit, you lose all accumulated benefits.

Gazelle’s Flight

Complexity: Least (1).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of turn.

Until the end of your turn you gain a +10 ft. enhancement bonus to your land speed.

River Flows Downhill

Complexity: Least (1).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of turn.

This kata must be performed on your first round of the current encounter. All enemies that have not yet had a turn this round are considered flat-footed toward you until the end of your turn.

Toad Snatches the Fly

Complexity: Least (1).

Form: Full.

Duration: Instantaneous.

As part of activating this kata, make a full attack action. You may make an additional melee attack during this round at your highest attack bonus. All attacks that you make this round, including the extra attack granted by this kata, are made with a -2 penalty.

Wind Through the Willows

Complexity: Least (1).

Form: Standard.

Duration: Instantaneous.

As you perform this kata, you make two melee attacks against two different enemies that you threaten. Resolve each attack separately.

===Lesser Complexity Katas

=Edit

Dance of the Hummingbird

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Swift.

Duration: Instantaneous.

You gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against a single attack. You must choose to use this kata after the attack roll but before damage is determined. This kata is usable any time you are attacked, not just on your turn.

Eagle Rakes its Prey

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Standard.

Duration: 1 round or more; see text.

Saving Throw: Fortitude negates.

As part of performing this kata make a single melee attack. If this attack hits the target must make a Fortitude save or suffer a -4 penalty on attack rolls and AC for a number of rounds equal to your bonded weapon’s critical multiplier. The target still suffers normal damage from the attack as well. This penalty will not stack with itself. This kata only functions against creatures vulnerable to critical hits.

Erupting Volcano

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Standard.

Target: One creature.

Area: Variable spread; see text.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Saving Throw: Reflex half; see text.

You channel the power of your discipline into your strike and disrupt your foe’s animating force. In addition to dealing normal melee damage with your attack, you cause an explosion of force energy from your enemy’s body in a spread. The radius of the spread is 5 ft. for Small or smaller enemies, 10 ft. for Medium sized enemies, and +10 ft. radius for each size category above Medium the enemy is. All creatures in the area suffer 1d6 points of force damage per 2 class levels (maximum 10d6), with a Reflex save for half. You are immune to the damage done by this explosion. This kata is a supernatural ability.

Lion Roars at the Rhino

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Standard.

Duration: See text.

Select one spell, effect, or other condition currently affecting you that has a duration of 1 or more rounds or minutes. That effect ends immediately. You also surge with confidence, gaining a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

Lightning Strikes Twice

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Swift.

Duration: Instantaneous.

This kata may be performed any time you make an attack roll and miss. You may reroll your attack roll with a +2 bonus to it. You must take the result of the second roll, even if it is worse.

Snarling Tiger Whirls

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Swift.

Area: 30 ft. radius burst centered on you.

Duration: 1 minute.

Saving Throw: Will partial; see text.

You may only perform this kata after you have reduced an opponent to -1 hit points or less during your turn. All enemies within the area must make Will saves or be shaken (-2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks) for 1 minute. Each opponent you drop during your turn before performing this kata increases the DC of the save by 1.

Wind Reaps the Field

Complexity: Lesser (2).

Form: Standard.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Make an attack roll against all opponents adjacent to you. You gain a +2 bonus on each of these attacks, which are otherwise made at your highest attack bonus. Resolve each attack separately.

Improved Complexity KatasEdit

Respite of the Lizard

Complexity: Improved (3).

Form: Swift.

Duration: Instantaneous.

You heal hit points up to 2x your class level. This kata cannot heal you beyond your maximum hit points.

Serpent Strikes the Rat

Complexity: Improved (3).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of encounter (base kata).

This is known as a base kata. The performance of this kata continues through the dance, even when performing other katas, by changing the fundamental way you flow through your forms. It only ends at the end of the encounter or when you activate another base kata. While this kata is active your reach with your bonded weapon increases by 5 ft. during your turn. It does not increase your reach when it is not your turn, such as when you attempt an attack of opportunity.

Star’s Twinkle

Complexity: Improved (3).

Form: Swift.

Range: Up to 100 ft.

Duration: Instantaneous.

You instantly appear in any unoccupied square adjacent to a creature in the kata’s range that has attacked you with a melee or ranged attack, regardless of whether the attack hits you, after resolving the enemy’s attack. If you cannot move adjacent to the creature, this kata fails but is still considered expended. This kata is a supernatural ability and is usable any time you are attacked, not just on your turn.

The Spider’s Hidden Web

Complexity: Improved (3).

Form: Swift.

Duration: Instantaneous.

This kata may only be performed when you are targeted by a melee attack before you know the results of the attack. This kata cannot be performed against unarmed attacks, natural weapons, or touch spells. It may be performed when it is not your turn. Make an attack roll with your highest attack bonus. If your result is higher than your opponent’s attack roll, you deflect the attack and redirect it to another creature adjacent to you. Use the original attack roll to determine if the attack hits the new target.

Wolf Circles its Victim

Complexity: Improved (3).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of encounter (base kata).

This is known as a base kata. The performance of this kata continues through the dance, even when performing other katas, by changing the fundamental way you flow through your forms. It only ends at the end of the encounter or when you activate another base kata. While this kata is active, each successful melee attack you make allows you to move 5 feet. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity against the creature you struck (but might against other nearby creatures, as normal). You cannot move more than your speed each round from using this kata. ===Greater Complexity Katas

=Edit

Boar Crashes Through Brush

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Standard.

Area: 30 ft. long line.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Saving Throw: Reflex half.

You make a single melee attack roll and throw your bonded weapon. You deal damage to each creature in the kata’s area equal to your normal melee damage (including damage from your Strength modifier, feats, magical abilities on your weapon, and so forth), plus an extra 12d6 damage. Each creature in the area can attempt a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to your attack roll. Your bonded weapon automatically returns to your hand at the end of this round.

Deception of the Ribbon

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Standard.

Duration: 1 minute.

Saving Throw: Fortitude half.

As part of performing this kata you make a single melee attack. If the attack hits it deals damage as normal. In addition the target takes 1d8 points of Dexterity damage and a -10 ft. penalty to speed for 1 minute. A successful Fortitude save halves both the Dexterity damage and the speed penalty.

Eye of the Storm

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Standard.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Make two melee attack rolls against all opponents adjacent to you. You gain a +4 bonus on each of these attacks, which are otherwise made at your highest attack bonus. Resolve each attack separately.

Horsetail Swats at Flies

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of encounter (base kata).

This is known as a base kata. The performance of this kata continues through the dance, even when performing other katas, by changing the fundamental way you flow through your forms. It only ends at the end of the encounter or when you activate another base kata. While this kata is active you gain damage reduction 5/- against any opponent that does not catch you flat-footed and only while you are wielding your bonded weapon.

Prey on the Weak

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Swift.

Duration: End of encounter (base kata).

This is known as a base kata. The performance of this kata continues through the dance, even when performing other katas, by changing the fundamental way you flow through your forms. It only ends at the end of the encounter or when you activate another base kata. While this kata is active, whenever an opponent within 10 ft. of you drops to -1 or fewer hit points , whether from your attack, an ally’s strike, or some other cause, you can immediately make an attack of opportunity against any opponent within your threatened area. This kata does not increase your maximum attacks of opportunity per round or per creature.

Steel Flows Like Water

Complexity: Greater (4).

Form: Swift.

Duration: See text.

If the first melee attack you make during this turn hits, you can immediately make a free attack at your highest attack bonus against a different enemy that you threaten. You can only gain one free attack each round in this way, no matter how many successful attacks you make this round. ===Supreme Complexity Katas

=Edit

Strike of Perfect Clarity

Complexity: Supreme (5).

Form: Standard.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Make a single melee attack as part of performing this kata. If your strike hits, it deals an extra 100 points of damage in addition to your normal melee damage.

Time Stands Still

Complexity: Supreme (5).

Form: Full.

Duration: Special; see text.

As part of this kata you can use a full attack action two times in succession. Take your first full attack as normal. Once you have resolved those attacks, you can then take another full attack action. You must resolve these actions separately. You cannot combine the attacks provided by both actions as you wish. Instead, you must take them separately and in order as normal for a full attack.

Viper’s Flight

Complexity: Supreme (5).

Form: Full.

Duration: Instantaneous.

Saving Throw: Fortitude partial.

You must be adjacent to your intended target of this kata. As part of the kata make a Jump check against a DC of your target’s AC. If the check succeeds you may then make a single melee attack against your foe, also as part of this kata. The target is considered flat-footed against this attack. If the attack succeeds, the target must make a Fortitude save or instantly be slain (reduced to -10 hit points). If the save is successful, you deal an extra 20d6 points of damage to the target in addition to your normal weapon damage. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the death effect of this strike. If the Jump check fails you may make a single normal melee attack against the target, though the kata is still considered expended.

War Dancers in 5th Edition Edit

In 5th edition, the War Dancer is a martial archetype for the Fighter class.

War Dancer Edit

The archetypal War Dancer is a master of two-weapon fighting and shines when battling multiple opponents. Generally more dexterous than other archetypes, the War Dancer flows across the battlefield with deadly grace, and can even enter a martial trance that often proves fatal to her foes.

Battlegrace Edit

At 3rd level the War Dancer learns how to gracefully move and flow, weaving her way from one attack to another while dodging her foes' attacks. While wearing Medium armor the War Dancer's maximum Dex modifier to AC is increased by 1. Additionally, when wearing Light armor the War Dancer's AC granted by the armor is increased by 1. Melee weapons without the two-handed quality are considered light weapons for the purpose of two-weapon attacking for you.

Wardance Edit

At 7th level the War Dancer has mastered the ability to face greater numbers, and is able to compensate appropriately. For every opponent within 5 feet of her after the first, the War Dancer gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and AC. This bonus cannot exceed the War Dancer's proficiency bonus. Additionally, the War Dancer cannot be flanked unless her opponents are 4 or more levels higher than her War Dancer level.

Improved Battlegrace Edit

At 10th level the War Dancer's Battlegrace bonuses when wearing Medium or Light armor increase from 1 to 3. Additionally, the War Dancer gains proficiency in Dexterity saves.

Greater Wardance Edit

At 15th level whenever the War Dancer has at least a +1 bonus from her Wardance ability, if an opponent attacks and misses her in melee combat she may make an Opportunity Attack against that opponent. She can only make one such Opportunity Attack per round.

Trance Edit

At 18th level the War Dancer is capable of entering a deep trance-like state, making her an even more terrifying force on the battlefield. Entering trance causes the War Dancer to undergo a physical transformation. The transformation is different for each War Dancer, and is generally considered an expression of her personality. Some change skin and hair colors, others grow scales and fangs, while others may become covered in strange markings. The exact form of the change is up to you, but all trances grant the same effects as noted here. Once the form of the trance is chosen it cannot be changed unless the War Dancer experiences a dramatic personality shift.

While entranced, the first time an opponent sees the War Dancer it must make a Wisdom save (DC 16) or be frightened until the effect ends. She gains the ability to spend 5 ft. of movement to instantly appear adjacent to any opponent she has line of effect to and can see, and may make an attack against that opponent. Moving in this way does not provoke Opportunity Attacks. She may continue moving and attacking this way until she runs out of movement for the round, or chooses to stop. Entering the trance and making these movement/attack actions consumes the War Dancer's entire round. The trance lasts until the end of her round, after which she gains a level of exhaustion. Exhaustion caused by entering trance may only be removed by a long rest.

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