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Dervish Dance... Scimitar only... why, exactly?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dukai wrote:
Personally, this feat makes absolutely no sense to me. Can someone please explain why you would want to use dex to damage when you can't use dex for attack? You still need decent strength in order to hit

The whole point of a dervish dancer munchkin build is to make Dexterity the one attribute you need to melee, so that you can dump strength and use the point buy pool to pump up Dex. Dex becomes the attribute that can do it all, AC bonus, Initiative bonus, To Hit, To Damage, as well as boosting reflex saves.

It is one of the reasons that I consider Dervish Dance to be one of the worst feats Paizo has coughed up for this game. I understand that it was intended for a small subgroup of characters, but it should have been seen that this was one feat that dex munchkins would not pass up on.


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Quandary wrote:
Sure, I don't think you're a bad player for that :-), but if we ARE going to have Feats/etc with so obviously flavorful names and cultural contexts (DD is Qadira-specific campaign setting material, not generic crunch), I think it's reasonable to recognize and respect that as a design intent of said material. To just go and blatantly ignore that intent just seems to lower the level of the game.

I disagree. If anything, it makes the game bigger, richer and more versatile. Having more options is a good thing. Limiting character concept to the developer's intended fluff is needlessy restrictive.

Quandary wrote:
Re: your character, I don't see a big problem there at all because Absalom and most of the Inner Sea region (and more) is reasonably familiar with Qadira, and so it would hardly be unusual for Qadiran fighting styles to have gained popularity (along with other cultural traits that may be popular). In-game-world, most knowledgeable people would recognize such a Fighting style as having Qadiran roots in some sense, leaving a Role PLay opening to explain an actual personal connection to Qadiran culture, or leave it as something that has just been broadly 'commoditized' meaning your character MAY have an 'authentic' Qadiran connection to boast about, or may not (and thus may be looked down upon as ignorant of the true heart of Dervishdom, by old-school adherents).

Sorry, but my character knew nothing about Qaddiran fighting styles at all. He learned his fighting style from his older brother, who created it. (He didn't create Dervish Dance, just a fighting style who relies on speed instead of strength, and DD was the only mechanical way to represent this and still be a viable).

No relation to Qaddiran martial arts at all. I like the character's background story, but had I followed official fluff, I'd not be able to do it.

Another (admitedly more extreme) example of changing/ignoring official fluff for the sake of the player's fun is one of my friend's character, who was playing a human Rogue/Shadow Dancer, but we had a long campaign hiatus. In the mean time, UC brought us Ninjas and ARG made Fetchlings more common.
So the player rebuilt hits character as a Fetchling Ninja, but it's fluffed as a human-rogue who dwelled too far in shadow magic. We also let him keep trapfinding, because he likes disarming traps, so I guess this is homebrewing as well as reskinning.

Again, I like Golarion and most of its regions, and more often than not I really like the official fluff given to us.
But I don't want it to restrict my characters.
That's why I enjoy it when official fluff is a suggestion or explanation, but not an actual requirement for a feat.


my ninja with weekly william uses dervish dance with a Wakazashi. as long as the weapon can be considered a sword that deals slashing damage and uses one hand to wield (whether or not it is light), it is generally allowed if you can produce the right flavor case.

want to dervish dance a longsword? cross out the word 'longsword' and write 'Jian'.


Pendagast wrote:
isnt there actually a feat that lets you switch weapons from main hand to off hand to use twf off hand attacks with same weapon..... what a crazy fun build

You're thinking of the Weapon Swap feat from the Pathfinder Beta Test. It was left out of the finished product because it allowed TWfighters not to have to pay double magic weapon costs to still be worse than two-handed fighters.

/sarcasm

Osirion

LazarX wrote:


The whole point of a dervish dancer munchkin build is to make Dexterity the one attribute you need to melee, so that you can dump strength and use the point buy pool to pump up Dex. Dex becomes the attribute that can do it all, AC bonus, Initiative bonus, To Hit.....

I prefer to add both Dex and Int to all those rolls, why limit myself to bonuses from a single stat.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
isnt there actually a feat that lets you switch weapons from main hand to off hand to use twf off hand attacks with same weapon..... what a crazy fun build

You're thinking of the Weapon Swap feat from the Pathfinder Beta Test. It was left out of the finished product because it allowed TWfighters not to have to pay double magic weapon costs to still be worse than two-handed fighters.

/sarcasm

REally? weapon swap hasn't existed in that long? scary..... that was like an echo memory.


Not sure how a dex based mucnkin is worse than a wizard or a strength based fighter who gets double the damage without having to spend a feat. in D&DN the dex to hit and dex to damage is a freebie of all finesse wepaons. All DD is dodin is making people who would use a light weapon do is use a scimitar instead.

DD doesn't exist in my game, I just let PCs spend a feat for dex to damage with weapon finesse as a prereq. DD may be a problem with Piranha Strike or whatever its called (power attack for dex builds) buyt Paizo took two handed weapons which obsoleted everything else martial in 3.5 and made them better via power attack, vital strike, and the two handed option which adds +100% stength odifer bonus to damage.

2d6+8 damage at lvl 1 vs 1d6+4 (assuming dex to dmage and hit) isn't that bad. The real offenders here are power attack, rapid shot and its varients for dex and archers and the damage bonus for using two handed weapons (+50 or 100% damage).

You need DD to keep up with two handed weapons and archery.

Every good strength based and archer build since 3.0 has been using power attack and rapid shot. For good reason they are just better than the other feats. Paizo improved archery and two handed weapon use even more than what they were in 3.5.


Gignere wrote:
Nicos wrote:


there is a lot of people complaining about power attack. they say that feat should be just a a free option for melee guys.
It shouldn't some melee builds lose DPR at higher level with power attack.

This is a fun thread, but I'll start here. What melee builds lose DPR from power attack? That just doesn't make sense to me.

Also, yes, my 1st PF(S) character, a ranger, is doing some pretty lethal damage with rapid shot, +1 bow with +2 strength dam, deadly aim, almost always point blank. At level 5 now, my two attacks against are usually +8/+8 dealing 1d8+8 each, or +12/+12 dealing 1d8+12 each vs undead, +10/+10 and 1d8+10 each vs human. Without having to get into melee. Just wish I had known about the Int to dmg for ranged weapons feat before building this character.

One other thing, rapiers with agile and keen, very nice, but very expensive. Each only +1 advancements though, so building a DEX character with this in mind, sure, no early feat for damage from DEX, but in your choice of order you can get both and +2 for 2000/8000/18000/32000gp plus the base 320gp. That's level 8 average wealth for the full +2 keen agile, if you buy nothing else. Can you get a +0 agile rapier for 2320? If you don't spend gp on anything else first, that's a 2nd level purchase, then just keep bumping it. If it needs to be +1 first, then more towards the end of 4th lvl, which is actually a bit of a handicap for the build as you won't be contributing fairly to the party until then.


Zardnaar wrote:
Not sure how a dex based mucnkin is worse than a wizard or a strength based fighter who gets double the damage without having to spend a feat.

probably it's in the also applying to Initiative, AC/TouchAC/CMD, Reflex, Skills, AoO's w/Combat Reflexes, Ranged to-hit, that sort of thing.

(and STR doesn't do 2x damage when used like DD, it only gets 1.5x when you use BOTH hands to wield one weapon)

Quote:
in D&DN the dex to hit and dex to damage is a freebie of all finesse wepaons. All DD is dodin is making people who would use a light weapon do is use a scimitar instead.

you might ask those people using light weapons with 2wf whether they want to either waste a feat on DD that doesn't work with 2wf, or waste all their 2wf feats to be able to use DD. DD is a feat, so if you want this specific benefit, you are giving up others. maybe you don't like that, but you aren't really acknowledging the reality of the ability.

DD does work with 2wf, but only if you keep your off-hand empty, i.e. use UAS as the off-hand, or Armor Spikes.


Dex to damage doesn't bother me if they are spending feats on it. Yes dex has other uses but the THW is still got around double the damage and a 2 feat advanatge over the high dex character. Thtas power attack and weapon focus right there or power attack and furious focus.

The two handed weapon user and archer are not doing a little bit more damage than someone using DD, they are doing alot more damage espicially at level 1-5 which is quarter of the game or even half if alot of people do not play PF at high level. The feat is no more abusable than power attack or rapid shot and alot less abusable than a wizard/cleric/druid.

Power attack, furious focus level 1. 2d6+10 damage or 2d6+8.

Weapon Finesse+ feat allowing dex to damage with a light weapon.
1d6+4

Assuing 18 dex and strength in both builds. ACs will be similar so its a trade off for the other benefits of high dex.


rangerjeff wrote:

If it needs to be +1 first, then more towards the end of 4th lvl, which is actually a bit of a handicap for the build as you won't be contributing fairly to the party until then.

right, but Mr. Dex Rapier can have just as high of a STR as Mr. Dex Archer,

and can also be taking 2wf feats to get equivalent extra attacks... (train out of them later once you get Agile if you want)
Lower STR mod to DMG on off-hand, but better Crit range, and eventually can get more off-hand attacks via 2wf feats.
I don't see ANY Archer player, whatever the class, complaining they don't have DEX to DMG,
and they have a whole feat chain of 'feat tax' to not be shut down, well, certain spells still shut them down anyways.

but i don't really have any problem with DD as a feat, even if it seems especially optimal with Magii.


Giving Magus access to heavier armor earlier in their career would probably shut Dervish Dancer feat out. If someone wants to tank around in heavy armor casting from a narrow spell list let them. Druid can do that core. The stupid part of DD is restricting it to scimitars.


well, if it's 'stupid' to suggest there is a group of dancing mystics associated with a certain deity, who have a certain weapon emblematic of their combat and dancing, sure... (there's two separate archetypes both keyed into the dervish dancer concept, it's not just some generic 'weapon focus' like feat)

Andoran

No one seems to have mentioned the requirement for ranks in Perform (Dance). It seems to me that the dance training would be limited to one specific weapon. I might allow a player to take the feat multiple times for multiple weapons, but then I would require two additional ranks in Perform (Dance) for each time the player takes the feat.
The player would also have to seek out a teacher. Just taking ballet lessons would not suffice to learn to fight more effectively.
EDIT: I wonder whether Weapon Focus should also be a prerequisite for Dancing Dervish as it is for Aldori Dueling Mastery.


well, many people may run it that way, but Perform:Dance /IS/ the specific choice for the Perform skill.
the Dance part IS in-line with the specific cultural flavor aspect of it for me...

Andoran

Quandary wrote:

well, many people may run it that way, but Perform:Dance /IS/ the specific choice for the Perform skill.

the Dance part IS in-line with the specific cultural flavor aspect of it for me...

It probably would not be too difficult to find a teacher, in the area where that particular fighting style is common.


Quandary wrote:
well, if it's 'stupid' to suggest there is a group of dancing mystics associated with a certain deity, who have a certain weapon emblematic of their combat and dancing, sure... (there's two separate archetypes both keyed into the dervish dancer concept, it's not just some generic 'weapon focus' like feat)

I'm glad you understand exactly why it's stupid to do so.

We don't need feats to tell us how to apply fluff in our games. Had they chosen to leave the fluff out of the decision making the feat would be far more varied and bring far more to the game in terms of the ability to roleplay, instead it just made the scimitar the default weapon for anyone who wants to build a character that isn't strength-centric.

And presuming that DD is actually game breaking is laughable to say the least so the premise that it is a purely mechanical limitation is absolute bull.


gnomersy wrote:
And presuming that DD is actually game breaking is laughable to say the least so the premise that it is a purely mechanical limitation is absolute bull.

hmm... game breaking. Just played with a guy with DD, 2 levels of Monk for Crane Style, at level 5 he had 29 AC, and 1st attack triggered a riposte, and with combat reflexes like 5 AoO's (another DEX feat). And his to hit was ridiculous, too.

And while it was the first time I'd seem it, several of the other players at the table, GM included, commented repeatedly at how "great a build" that was, didn't hear "broken", but close enough with all the praise and adulation being thrown around.

It did make for funny when the Wizard of the party enlarged him a couple times and he had to go "damn, DEX -2 and AC a further -1 sucks, stop doing that!" although the extra reach he got and so extra chances for AoO's was pretty handy in balance...

Edit:

In fact, the scenario we were playing had the last encounter with a bajillion nasty bugbears and an even worse BBEG where after the 1st round he would challenge the toughest PC to a 1 on 1... and yeah, at that point the DD/monk totally broke the game. Could only be hit on a natural 20 on the 2nd attack, and got 2 attacks per round including the riposte.


rangerjeff wrote:

hmm... game breaking. Just played with a guy with DD, 2 levels of Monk for Crane Style, at level 5 he had 29 AC, and 1st attack triggered a riposte, and with combat reflexes like 5 AoO's (another DEX feat). And his to hit was ridiculous, too.

And while it was the first time I'd seem it, several of the other players at the table, GM included, commented repeatedly at how "great a build" that was, didn't hear "broken", but close enough with all the praise and adulation being thrown around.

It did make for funny when the Wizard of the party enlarged him a couple times and he had to go "damn, DEX -2 and AC a further -1 sucks, stop doing that!" although the extra reach he got and so extra chances for AoO's was pretty handy in balance...

So he was doing 1d8+5 per round with another 1d8+5 for riposte assuming the DM tosses the mobs at him which he may choose not to while his build is effective particularly at the level in question since you don't have to deal with ridiculous hp and multiple attacks from monsters yet it falls off a bit in the long run probably. Now that said I'm glad that he made his build work for him because that is the very core of a good roleplaying system that ideas be achievable through the system.

But more importantly 29AC? +5 from dex maybe, +3 from wis, +1 from monk bonus, +4 from crane defensive. I only add up to 22 tack on +2 and +1 from a ring of prot. and a nat armor bonus hits 25 .... plus mage armor maybe? Even so with a 20 in dex and a 16 in wis his other scores probably aren't anything special.

Edit: Blah scenarios just make everything wonky though I mean when you don't have the option to rejigger the match ups to make things a bit tougher on a party there are plenty of builds that just get situationally ridiculous.


Dervish dance scorpion whip FTW!

Osirion

gnomersy wrote:


But more importantly 29AC? +5 from dex maybe, +3 from wis, +1 from monk bonus, +4 from crane defensive. I only add up to 22 tack on +2 and +1 from a ring of prot. and a nat armor bonus hits 25 .... plus mage armor maybe? Even so with a 20 in dex and a 16 in wis his other scores probably aren't anything special.

I hit a 32 AC at level 5 on my DD bladebound kensai once I've fully buffed myself (reduce person, cat's grace, mage armor, shield.) The spells are decent duration so I gradually increase the number of buffs I'm running as we get closer to the BBEG. Just the buffs account for 12 AC.

I'm doing 1d4+11 for damage, but most of that is coming from sources other than my baseline dex of 17 (+3 black blade, +2 arcane strike, +6 dex, arcane pool(I run +1 enhance and keen)).

The +6 dex from cat's grace + reduce person are equivalent to the +6 strength + reach you would get from bull's strength + enlarge.

For gear, I have a +1 ring and a +1 amulet. Everything else is class features, stats, and spells.


Quandary wrote:
well, if it's 'stupid' to suggest there is a group of dancing mystics associated with a certain deity, who have a certain weapon emblematic of their combat and dancing, sure... (there's two separate archetypes both keyed into the dervish dancer concept, it's not just some generic 'weapon focus' like feat)

It is stupid that nobody has developed a similar form for other weapons except the Aldori dueling sword, which for no good reason is a lot harder to learn.

Dervish Dance is 2 feats and 2 skill ranks. Dex to damage with an Aldori dueling sword is 4 feats, 14 skill ranks, and a class level.


Artanthos wrote:


I hit a 32 AC at level 5 on my DD bladebound kensai once I've fully buffed myself (reduce person, cat's grace, mage armor, shield.) The spells are decent duration so I gradually increase the number of buffs I'm running as we get closer to the BBEG. Just the buffs account for 12 AC.

I'm doing 1d4+11 for damage, but most of that is coming from sources other than my baseline dex of 17 (+3 black blade, +2 arcane strike, +6 dex, arcane pool(I run +1 enhance and keen)).

The +6 dex from cat's grace + reduce person are equivalent to the +6 strength + reach you would get from bull's strength + enlarge.

For gear, I have a +1 ring and a +1 amulet. Everything else is class features, stats, and spells.

I don't doubt the effectiveness of a buffed up anything really. I almost never count buffs in my static AC though unless I can reasonably assume that they'll be up all the time(like say haste effects which is only not on if a fight is trivial or you run out of spells that day, or in your case the abilities you can start for free like the pool/blackblade/arcane strike/mage armor(1hr/lvl is sufficient to be up more or less all day for a small expenditure)) whereas I often wouldn't put in most spell bonuses because casting 4 spells precombat would be unrealistic in most situations.

But in my GM's game anything with less than a 10min/level duration is almost certainly 1 fight or maybe you could eek out a second if you already knew what was ahead of you and you just needed to jump into the next room, of course 90% of the time any fight like that just winds up coming to you because of the commotion we're making murdering their underlings.

As for the equivalent quantity of dex->str your equation neglects the fact that you can two hand the str weapon making the effective static bonus a +9 to your +6 but there are obvious advantages and disadvantages to such a route.


James Jacobs wrote:
To a greater extent, I'm still pretty frustrated that there's not really a core option to play a full-on swashbuckler—AKA a fighter who favors 1 weapon, no shield (or just a buckler), and light armor. The only options to make that character as they exist now is to build it as a rogue (which sacrifices attack power and adds some flavor—sneak attacks and trap stuff—that doesn't really fit with a swashbuckler's themes) or as a fighter (and simply be at peace with the fact that your chosen fighting style means you'll have a lower AC and do less damage than any other fighting style affords).

I've been saying that for YEARS. Hell, I even made a custom 20 level Swashbuckler class. I hope you guys come up with your own take for the next player options hardcover.


Well James you took 3.5 two handed weapon use and made it better in PF. Thats a large reason why the duelist is sub par in PF. It was an ok concept with some builds in 3.0 and has sucked since 3.5.

3.5 gave more feat support to other fighting styles. PF gave the best feat support to archery and wo hande wepaons. Styles that did not need it.

Andoran

My STR5 Halfling meleist loved Dervish Dance for the additional damage.

Then he got hooked on the Agile property for his AoMF.

He will reunite with his first love when he uses Flame Blade, even though the additional damage disappears.

Shadow Lodge

Atarlost wrote:

It is stupid that nobody has developed a similar form for other weapons except the Aldori dueling sword, which for no good reason is a lot harder to learn.

Dervish Dance is 2 feats and 2 skill ranks. Dex to damage with an Aldori dueling sword is 4 feats, 14 skill ranks, and a class level.

I did a while ago, trying to make the Dervish Dance into a Feat Chain based on the Monk Fighting Styles. Some people said it was too powerful, and honestly I nevr tested of finished it, but I did add a specific note that allowed other Deity Favored weapons (reasonibly) to be used instead (working with DM's). I think the specific examples I mentioned where the Spiked Chain for Z-K, Dagger for Phar., and Starknife for Des.

Shadow Lodge

Dervish Dance style
Prereqs: Proficiency with Scimitar, Perform Dance: 3
Benefit: You may use a Scimitar to deliver either Piercing or Slashing Damage. You must choose which one, (not both) before each attack. As long as you do not hold a weapon or shield in your off hand, are wearing Light or No Armor, and carrying less than a Medium Load, you may also add your Dex Mod to Attack rolls with the Scimitar, instead of Strength. Additionally, your Base Speed increases by 5ft.

Dervish's Sting
Prereqs:Dervish Dance Style, Proficiency with Scimitar, Perform Dance: 4
Benefit: As long as you have made some movement on your turn, you may add either your Dex mod to Damage with a Scimitar instead of your Str mod. Additionally, your Base Speed increases by 5ft.

Dance of Faith
Prereqs:Dervish Dance Style, Dervish's Sting, Proficiency with Scimitar, Perform Dance: 6
Benefit: As long as you have moved at least 10 ft since the beginning of your last turn, you gain a +2 Sacred bonus to AC, and can treat the Enhancment bonus to a wielded Scimitar as a Shield Bonus to AC. If you are held, bound, or similarly restricted, you lose this bonus. Additionally, your Base Speed increases by 5ft.

Dance of a 1,000 Cuts
Prereqs:Proficiency with Scimitar, Perform Dance: 8
Benefit:
Similar to Spring Attack, the Feat allows you to interpose a Single Movement and a Full Attack as a Full Round Action. You may only use a Scimitar for the Full Attack, and must move at least 5ft before the initial attack, and 5ft after the last attack roll is made. After the First attack, make a Perform: Dance check. The DC is 15, and increases by 5 for each additional attack. You may make an additional attack each time you succeed on the check, to a max of 5 attacks. This ability does not stack with Haste, or similar effects. As long as you do not move more than 5ft at a time, (though you can if you wish), each movement is concidered a 5ft step for purposses of Attacks of Opertunity. Additionally, your Base Speed increases by 5ft.

<Side Note>: This Feat Chain is designed for followers of Sarenrae. However, other deities might aslo fit very easily into the concept, in particular Desna, Calistria, Cayden, Pharasma, or Zon-Kuthon. In fact, any weapon with a light or finessable weapon, and whose followers might use a blend of perception, agility, and mysticism could easily work just as easily. In such a case, simply change the required Weapon Proficiency to that deities Favored Weapon. For two-handed weapons, it is permissable to use that weapon in your off hand while using the Dervish Dance Style. Additionally, Evil deities will offer a +2 Profane Bonus rather than Sacred for the Feat Dance of Faith.


I still don't get why people are fixated on the idea that Dervish Dance (and any other ability based on it) should work on light/finessable weapons. Scimitar is neither of those. It's a 1-h martial weapon that is not finessable. It should be for 1-h martial/exotic weapons that cannot be finessed because finessable weapons already have something to add dex to damage; the Agile Enhancement.

Shadow Lodge

Mostly because that's already part of the build and makes sense. Scimitar is the exception in Dervish Dance's case, but adding any weapon is a large stretch. If your refering to my stuff above, it was really designed to go with the 3.5 material and the Dervish Dancer Prestige Class, sort of a way to update and replace some of that material and work on Non-Monk fighting Styles.

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