July 7, 2015


Bardic College
Comments from the Finger: This is one of our favorite 3.5 classes for adding flavor to bards, though unfortunately it provided very little function. In the past edition, the full 1-20 Battledancer class was an under-powered mess, which could be accomplished more easily with the Dervish prestige class for much of the same flavor, with some powerful mechanical benefits as well. As a result, this class borrows heavily from the Dervish class mechanics.

College of Battledancing

Graceful, exotic, and lethal, the rare bards who commit to learning battledancing are nimble combatants, revered in legend. Their motions appear to be as random as they are agile, but those are the steps of a lethal dance played out according to their own rhythm. It is a beautiful dance of predator and prey, of whirling blades and hapless victim.

Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the scimitar. Additionally, you gain proficiency in Performance. If you are already proficient in this skill you may choose another skill proficiency from among those bards can choose at 1st level.

Dervish Dance
Beginning when you select this college at 3rd level, you may enter a Dervish Dance as a bonus action by expending a Bardic Inspiration die. Your Dervish Dance lasts a number of rounds equal to the amount rolled on the die + 1. You can't perform a dervish dance in medium or heavy armor or while carrying a shield. During your Dervish Dance, your armor class increases by 2 and enemies have disadvantage on opportunity attacks against you. You must move at least 10 feet on each on your turns to continue Dervish Dancing, otherwise you stop when you end your turn.
     When you take an Attack action while you are Dervish Dancing, you may make a melee attack against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you, with a separate attack roll for each target.

At 6th level, when another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one Bardic Inspiration die to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your Bardic Inspiration die + your Dexterity modifier.

Thousand Cuts
At 14th level, as an action while you are Dervish Dancing, you can attack a single creature numerous times in a flash of blades. You suffer a -1 penalty on your attack for each time you successfully hit. You may continue to attack until you miss, to a maximum of 6 attacks. After using this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again.

Changelog: 7/13/15: No longer gains extra attacks while dervish dancing at 6th level.


  1. Noticed an error, Bards already have proficiency in longswords.

  2. Blue-mage Half-Orc battle-dancer with his blue quarterstaff and expertise in performance puts on the greatest pole dancing performance known to the material plane. His dervish dance is sewn with magic and wonder as he slaughters his enemy's in a truly amazing performance.

  3. does this mean you can attack as many people as you can as long as you have move speed to get to them or is the people 5 ft from you on activation

    so is it swing > move > take aoo > swing > move > take aoo > swing > move > take aoo until your out of move speed

    1. It says when you make the attack action. Unless ypu have more then 1 of those, which you usually don't, there is only 1 of those per turn. Extra attacks count under the same attack action or a bonus action.

  4. Quick question. If a bard with Derivsh Dance multi-class to say, a fighter, makes it to level 5 and does the dervish dance, does he get an extra attack against ALL of his targets or only one of them?

    1. One melee attack against each creature, regardless of other features, though admittedly I should have worded that better.

    2. So...What if he uses two-weapon fighting? Since that lets you do an extra attack as an bonus action with an attack action, and since you describe the dervish dance as "When you take an Attack action while you are Dervish Dancing, you may make a melee attack against any number of creatures within 5 feet of you, with a separate attack roll for each target." We played it out as him getting a SINGLE bonus attack against a single target. That's fine right?

    3. You got it, that's exactly how I intended to to work!

    4. Okay good. That answers all of our groups current questions. In our current campaign we're playtesting the Battledancer and the Entropy Domain cleric, so I'll keep you posted about any questions or problems we see with the classes.

    5. I'll be here if you have any questions at all!

      Also, I'm interested as to how those two classes are balanced in actual play (in broad strokes.) Leave me a comment or drop me an email if you sense any grave imbalances after a few sessions.

  5. I kind of want to make a bard-barian with this. It seems like it might be pretty strong. The natural bulk of the barbarian from resistances and unarmored defense combined with hard hitting attacks would be terrifying.

    Not sure if that would be broken, but it definitely sounds fun :D

    1. I just realized that the third level ability is kind of like the ranger's (hunter archetype) whirlwind attack granted at 11th level. It might mean that the ranger is weak or the battledancer is strong, but it seems one of those needs to be balanced.

    2. Don't forget that the Ranger also has spellcasting and other utility abilities- giving a purely melee combat focused class a melee ability earlier isn't so bad.

    3. Also, I've now seen Dervish variants/options for...

      And even a full standalone Class.

      This is NOT making it any easier to figure out how to build mine!