So what are we doing about Dervish Dance?


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Shadow Lodge *****

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We seem to have a bit of a split in the community on dervish dance

Dervish Dance:
Benefit: When wielding a scimitar with one hand, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls. You treat the scimitar as a one-handed piercing weapon for all feats and class abilities that require such a weapon (such as a duelist’s precise strike ability). The scimitar must be for a creature of your size. You cannot use this feat if you are carrying a weapon or shield in your off hand. emphasis mine

So every magus joins up with the church of saranrae (their doors are always open. In no small part because they keep redeeming thieves who subsequently steal the doors)

Then slashing grace comes out. Magi skip the dance lessons and pick that up instead. Then the faq closed that off

slashing grace faq:
What exactly does it mean that “You do not gain this benefit while fighting with two weapons or using flurry of blows, or any time another hand is otherwise occupied?” Can I use a shield? What about a buckler? Can I use flurry of blows? Brawler’s flurry? Two-weapon fighting? Spell combat? Attack with natural weapons? What if I throw the weapon? What about swordmaster’s flair?

Slashing Grace does not allow most shields, but bucklers work because they don’t occupy the hand. Flurry of blows, brawler’s flurry, two-weapon fighting, and spell combat all don’t work with Slashing Grace. Attacking with natural weapons beyond the weapon you chose for Slashing Grace also does not work. Slashing Grace only works with melee attacks, not thrown attacks with a melee weapon. Swordmaster’s flair should have a sentence added to it that says “Carrying a swordmaster’s flair counts as having that hand free for the purpose of abilities that require a free hand, though you still can’t hold another object in that hand.”

No problem. PFS gave everyone with slashing grace a much needed free rebuild. Everyone back in the church of saranrae right....?

Well, maybe not. People seem split on whether dervish dance should work with spell combat now, and spell combat is kind of a big deal to magi. Unlike slashing grace if you took dervish dance to get your magusflurry on you're stuck with it.

Why it should work: Dervish dance shuts off if you are carrying a weapon or shield in your off hand. Magus flurry (the interaction of spell combat and spellstrike) has a spell in your other hand, not a weapon or shield. It's not only not a weapon , its not carried, the other hand is just being used to cast a spell which your sword arm uses.
Magusflurry won't work with slashing grace because your other hand is "otherwise occupied" with casting a spell not because it's a weapon.

Why it shouldn't work The entire point of dervish dance is the same as slashing grace: to give fencing, a historically important fighting style, some unique advantage in a world of two handed weapons, monk flurry magus flurry and two handed fighting. There's no point in writing an faq specifically to stop magi from using it with spell combat but allowing it to work with it's good twin dervish dance. Using your other hand to cast a spell or two weapon fight violates the intent of keeping a weapon or shield out of your other hand, which is to keep you from two weapon fighting.

Full disclosure, i do not think that it should work. I tend to be more intent based in my rules readings than some and find that technicalities rarely work out the way people pointing them out hope. If people had dervish dance pre errata i realize they're stuck with it and had no reason to think it shouldn't work but post errata that should have been a really big warning sign.

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As I have been so often reminded, each FAQ question must be read in a vacuum and cannot be applied to other rules issues.

Normally I'd tend to agree with you, and say that precedence says they should work the same.

But until someone clarifies it, I don't think a PFS GM should be extrapolating FAQ answers that don't exist.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd be surprised if a more limited version of Dervish Dance wasn't eventually reprinted in a hardcover. But until that stops being hypothetical, I'm pretty sure that dervish dance continues functioning just as it always has.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, California—Los Angeles aka Neume

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The advent of Two-Weapon Grace makes me pretty sure Dervish Dance doesn't work the way people want it to. There is no way 1 feat = 2 feats that were created AFTER the first.

Spoiler:
You can gain the benefit of the Fencing Grace, Slashing Grace, or Starry Grace feats while fighting with two weapons. Your penalties from two-weapon fighting increase by 2 on all attack rolls you make when doing so, and you can’t decrease the penalties to less than –2 even if other abilities would reduce the penalties further. Add 1/2 your Dexterity bonus to damage with your off-hand weapon instead of 1/2 your Strength modifier. If you attack without using your off-hand weapon, you can use the aforementioned feats despite your other hand being occupied.

In addition, Two-Weapon Grace counts as Double Slice for the purposes of qualifying for the Two-Weapon Rend feat.

Scarab Sages *****

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jon-Enee Merriex wrote:
The advent of Two-Weapon Grace makes me pretty sure Dervish Dance doesn't work the way people want it to. There is no way 1 feat = 2 feats that were created AFTER the first.

Until that's actually clarified, or its clarified that casting a spell is considered "holding a weapon", then we don't get to make that decision. Especially since Dervish Dance has been interpreted working a certain way for years. Once the developers FAQ it, then we can have that discussion.

**

As someone who is thinking about rolling up a magus, without dervish dance, a dexterity-based magus is impossible, right?

Shadow Lodge *****

pjrogers wrote:
As someone who is thinking about rolling up a magus, without dervish dance, a dexterity-based magus is impossible, right?

Its possible to shocking grasp your way to level 6-7 and then pick up agile on your weapon.

Black blade dex magi would be high and dry as far as I know.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've never allowed it to work. Just because it's popular in Guides doesn't mean it's correct.

The Slashing Grace FAQ really solidified it for me.

FAQs are not meant to be read in a vacuum. Nothing in Pathfinder is.

But even with that aside, Spell Combat being treated like Two-weapon Fighting nixes Dervish Dance, since you are carrying wielding a weapon in your off-hand.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, California—Los Angeles aka Neume

2 people marked this as a favorite.
pjrogers wrote:
As someone who is thinking about rolling up a magus, without dervish dance, a dexterity-based magus is impossible, right?

I'm lost as to why people think this... Agile and Weapon Finesse are real things that exist.

As someone who plays a class much more feat starved than the Magus, I'm always amazed that it has become a Dervish Dance or bust class. It is a very powerful class as STR based and with a small nuance of determination it is a very powerful class as DEX based.

So you go a few levels without adding DEX to damage until you pay for Agile, boo-hoo, you get a free attack at level 2. You should be able to swing Agile by level 5 when everyone else gets their extra attack. AND GOOD LORD don't get me started on shocking grasp.

I think many of us roll our eyes at this because of all classes, the Magus and the Gunslinger are the most powerful and those players tend to be the most cheesy and vocal about being denied their cheese.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
People seem split on whether dervish dance should work with spell combat now

Are you asking whether is should work (for reasons of game balance, etc) or whether it does work by RAW?

Grand Lodge **

5 people marked this as a favorite.

The rules are very clear on whether it works. Whether you think it should work is another matter, but RAW it works. It says WEAPON or SHIELD. It's extremely specific in saying that's all it cares about.

I absolutely agree that if Slashing/Piercing Grace don't work that it's a bit silly that this does, but that's how it was written and we have no Campaign Clarifications stating otherwise. Spellcasting is not holding a WEAPON or SHIELD in your offhand.

You can even carry some rope or your favorite potion in your other hand while using Dervish Dance since it only cares about weapons or shields which the Grace feats don't allow. It just cares about different things than Slashing/Piercing Grace.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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nothing has changed for dervishes, it's working now like it always has. Magus don't carry weapons or shields in off hands since that would also stop their spellcombat and that's all that dervish needs to work.

And we've been told by DEVs that FAQs are about their items only, if it's supposed to be broad it'll say it's broad. The slashing grace FAQs don't touch or mention dervish dance, nor say that they are general rules for more than slashing grace.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Jon-Enee Merriex wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
As someone who is thinking about rolling up a magus, without dervish dance, a dexterity-based magus is impossible, right?

I'm lost as to why people think this... Agile and Weapon Finesse are real things that exist.

As someone who plays a class much more feat starved than the Magus, I'm always amazed that it has become a Dervish Dance or bust class. It is a very powerful class as STR based and with a small nuance of determination it is a very powerful class as DEX based.

So you go a few levels without adding DEX to damage until you pay for Agile, boo-hoo, you get a free attack at level 2. You should be able to swing Agile by level 5 when everyone else gets their extra attack. AND GOOD LORD don't get me started on shocking grasp.

I think many of us roll our eyes at this because of all classes, the Magus and the Gunslinger are the most powerful and those players tend to be the most cheesy and vocal about being denied their cheese.

The real issue at hand here are Dex-based Bladebound Magi who never hand the option of Agile and no longer have the option of any of the Grace feats.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, California—Los Angeles aka Neume

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Black blade dex magi would be high and dry as far as I know.

Ah, yes, this is true. But then again, they get an intelligent weapon.

Shadow Lodge *****

Matthew Downie wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
People seem split on whether dervish dance should work with spell combat now
Are you asking whether is should work (for reasons of game balance, etc) or whether it does work by RAW?
Jurrasic Pratt wrote:
The rules are very clear on whether it works. Whether you think it should work is another matter, but RAW it works. It says WEAPON or SHIELD. It's extremely specific in saying that's all it cares about.

The answer is not merely raw/not raw its a matter of where you set an semi arbitrary persnicket meter when reading the many various rules that could impact the decision.

Weapon or shield in your off hand if you set the persnicket meter high it works because the spell isn't a weapon or shield, but

This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. (... and i meant to have this line in the opening post. kinda important)

if your persnicket meter is set that high you what you're doing is explicitly called out as two weapon fighting and that spell works like a weapon, so dervish dance should shut off.

Grand Lodge **

Nefreet wrote:
But even with that aside, Spell Combat being treated like Two-weapon Fighting nixes Dervish Dance, since you are carrying wielding a weapon in your off-hand.

Can you show where it ever says you're wielding a spell?

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

BNW did, just before your post.

Shadow Lodge *****

6 people marked this as a favorite.

My ninja fu is so strong i cite rules before they're asked for...

KIYA>....

*faceplants into a post*

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
But even with that aside, Spell Combat being treated like Two-weapon Fighting nixes Dervish Dance, since you are carrying wielding a weapon in your off-hand.
Can you show where it ever says you're wielding a spell?

Even if it shows you are wielding a spell, can you show how that should translate to carrying a weapon?

Wield != Carry

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mind you, I don't know what level of persnicketiness that falls under, but the first time I encountered it, just as a casual reader, I determined that it wouldn't work.

Now, years later, with a much better understanding of the rules, I'm certain of it.

Grand Lodge **

Disagree. Much like TWFing.

If we go with your interpretation can I take weapon focus [spells] since I can wield spells as a weapon? What about weapon specialization [spells]? That interpretation where you're wielding the spell as an actual weapon rather than it's simply clarifying that it's like the off-hand for penalties creates wayyy more problems.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
But even with that aside, Spell Combat being treated like Two-weapon Fighting nixes Dervish Dance, since you are carrying wielding a weapon in your off-hand.
Can you show where it ever says you're wielding a spell?

Even if it shows you are wielding a spell, can you show how that should translate to carrying a weapon?

Wield != Carry

Carry is imprecise and poor wording, and we know this to be true. Dervish Dance was printed not under Pathfinder, but D&D.

We must take that into account when interpreting its meaning.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Disagree. Much like TWFing.

If we go with your interpretation can I take weapon focus [spells] since I can wield spells as a weapon? What about weapon specialization [spells]? That interpretation where you're wielding the spell as an actual weapon rather than it's simply clarifying that it's like the off-hand for penalties creates wayyy more problems.

Weapon Focus (weapons) isn't valid, but you can indeed choose Weapon Focus (ray).

Grand Lodge **

I genuinely wish the PFS board had a Campaign Clarifications button instead of an FAQ button so we had a better chance of getting this cleared up.

Until today I have literally never, and I truly mean never, heard of someone denying magus Dervish Dance.

Nefreet wrote:
Weapon Focus (weapons) isn't valid, but you can indeed choose Weapon Focus (ray).

You're right, that was too broad. Weapon Focus (Shocking Grasp) or Weapon Focus (Touch Attacks) then.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also, this has been debated ad nauseum, and is nothing new. You can find these points hashed out in the Rules Questions Forum.

What BNW is asking is whether a Campaign Clarification can be introduced to make it work.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Nefreet wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
But even with that aside, Spell Combat being treated like Two-weapon Fighting nixes Dervish Dance, since you are carrying wielding a weapon in your off-hand.
Can you show where it ever says you're wielding a spell?

Even if it shows you are wielding a spell, can you show how that should translate to carrying a weapon?

Wield != Carry

Carry is imprecise and poor wording, and we know this to be true. Dervish Dance was printed not under Pathfinder, but D&D.

We must take that into account when interpreting its meaning.

Where does it say this?

Carry is clear to mean hold in hand. Wield is very unclear and sometimes maybe means hold in hand for pathfinder.
I would NEVER assume that carry was supposed to translate to wield, that's working the wrong way, carry is one possible meaning for wield.
So I'm going to need some support for "Carry is imprecise and poor wording" to "know this to be true" for pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge *****

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Disagree. Much like TWFing.

You can take weapon focus in some spells (rays are specifically called out)

Even if you don't agree that it shouldn't work, surely you can see where a dm can legitimately question it.

the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast
its therefore and offhand weapon in your off hand
So dervish dance shuts off.

Arguing that that's not legitimate (not THE legitimate conclusion, but A legitimate conclusion) requires a technical definition of carry which the game doesn't have. Wield doesn't really have one either but thats abother 5 threads...

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Indeed. One side obviously must be wrong. We just disagree as to which side that is.

I stamp my approval requesting a Campaign Clarification.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Nefreet wrote:

What BNW is asking is whether a Campaign Clarification can be introduced to make it work.

A few people have had bad experiences walking into each other blind on this one. I would like to get everyone on the same page, whichever one that is.

If it doesn't work the dervish dancers need the same rebuild that the slashing gracers got, because that is a very important cog in the watch.

If it works the saranite tabernacle choir can go back to calling people that don't allow it dms and I'll fire up another kitsune in the litter called Flare de'Bonaire. And grumble about paizos inconsistent persnicket levels.

Grand Lodge **

Tbh I don't even really like magus that much and would probably do a str based one if I ever played one. It's just such an iconic build that was seemingly accepted by the majority of players that it would be weird to me if it truly didn't work the entire time.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Banning an incredibly popular combination that's been around for 7 years, would be an absolutely asinine decision. Especially if it's not accompanied by changes to make the already-struggling-magus more playable.

*

Disk Elemental wrote:
Banning an incredibly popular combination that's been around for 7 years, would be an absolutely asinine decision. Especially if it's not accompanied by changes to make the already-struggling-magus more playable.

It happens. Look what they did with the Lore Warden.

With that said, it would be nice to know if they intended to nerf this when they hit every other option that did the same thing, or if Sarenrites are somehow special.

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Disk Elemental wrote:
...to make the already-struggling-magus more playable.

When folks make comments like this, it makes me go googly-eyed. I'm not sure how you can consider the Magus "already-struggling". Its one of the more powerful classes out there, even if you don't do a Dex-based version.

Shadow Lodge ****

Tallow wrote:
Its one of the more powerful classes out there, even if you don't do a Dex-based version.

Magus isn't a powerful class by any metric.

However the AM-MAGUS build is strong enough to give the illusion that the class is in a good spot. It accomplishes this by having several key pieces that all syngergize; perfectly with each other. Removing any one of those pieces results in that illusion crumbling, and the class tumbling down into borderline uselessness.

The Exchange ***

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The witch hunt to nerf content continues.

Scarab Sages *****

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Disk Elemental wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Its one of the more powerful classes out there, even if you don't do a Dex-based version.

Magus isn't a powerful class by any metric.

However the AM-MAGUS build is strong enough to give the illusion that the class is in a good spot. It accomplishes this by having several key pieces that all syngergize; perfectly with each other. Removing any one of those pieces results in that illusion crumbling, and the class tumbling down into borderline uselessness.

Sure... hyperbole away if you like. Anecdotal evidence at the table has shown me, at all levels, that the Magus (dex, str, black blade, whatever) is extremely strong and competent. I've seen several, all of them slightly different across the gamut of types of magi you can make. I have never heard arguments such as you are making.

Therefore, I can only conclude that your supposition that Maguses struggle is just wrong.

***

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Yeah, I'm solidly in the "no" for a campaign clarification.

If we have to petition for more campaign clarifications, how about we make crappy things better rather than good things useless for once*?

We're never going to get a defining consensus on "wielding" as the nerf that was implemented to nuke slashing & fencing grace is mutually exclusive with the ruling of "wielding" that was required to prevent defending armor spikes and shields from being always on. It's OOTS "levels" without the humor.

*Prone Shooter change not withstanding.

Shadow Lodge ****

Tallow wrote:

Sure... hyperbole away if you like. Anecdotal evidence at the table has shown me, at all levels, that the Magus (dex, str, black blade, whatever) is extremely strong and competent. I've seen several, all of them slightly different across the gamut of types of magi you can make. I have never heard arguments such as you are making.

Therefore, I can only conclude that your supposition that Maguses struggle is just wrong.

Yes, please, flippantly dismiss my point without engaging with it.

The fact the vast majority of Magi gravitate toward one specific weapon, speaks to a fundamental flaw within the class.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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More and more I think that in 99% of the game "wielding" just means holding it properly, so that you could use it if you had an action. It's pretty much only the defending weapons that seem to mess that up.

Grand Lodge **

Magi isn't the crazy powerful class it's made out to be.....unless you build in once specific way (Dervish Dance, Magical Lineage + Wayang Shadowhunter for Shocking Grasp, Intensify, Maximize, and Empower metamagic feats).

Without this build it's not crazy powerful. Seriously, try a str based magus without those traits on shocking grasp. You'll be decent, but not insane.

Alternatively, try a dex based magus with Dervish Dance, but without those traits. Same deal.

A well-built inquisitor or warpriest can easily be far more powerful than a magus unless you take that one specific build.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

for the sake of argument let's take the negative case, a spell in the off hand prevents the use of Dervish Dance.
Transferring the spell to your weapon hand is a free action by FAQ and then allows you to use Dervish Dance. This proves that Dervish Dance is usable in both cases.

Grand Lodge **

Wait....Is all of this solved by just casting the spell before you hit with you scimitar? Because once the spell is done, the hand is empty right?

This doesn't work with the Grace feats because they specify they don't work with TWFing and similar abilities (and the FAQ even goes as far to explicitly list Spell Combat).

Shadow Lodge *****

Stephen Ross wrote:

for the sake of argument let's take the negative case, a spell in the off hand prevents the use of Dervish Dance.

Transferring the spell to your weapon hand is a free action by FAQ and then allows you to use Dervish Dance. This proves that Dervish Dance is usable in both cases.

No. Thats like arguing you can two weapon fight with 1 weapon by switching it between hands because thats also a free action and strengthens the case for intent heavy reading

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Magi isn't the crazy powerful class it's made out to be.....unless you build in once specific way (Dervish Dance, Magical Lineage + Wayang Shadowhunter for Shocking Grasp, Intensify, Maximize, and Empower metamagic feats).

Without this build it's not crazy powerful. Seriously, try a str based magus without those traits on shocking grasp. You'll be decent, but not insane.

Alternatively, try a dex based magus with Dervish Dance, but without those traits. Same deal.

A well-built inquisitor or warpriest can easily be far more powerful than a magus unless you take that one specific build.

As I have said, I've seen Magi built in several different ways without all the power-gaming monster builds. And they've all been incredibly strong.

But I'm more than willing to accept your assertion that they aren't as crazy powerful as they are cracked up to be, than "they are useless." Which is patently false.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Tbh I don't even really like magus that much and would probably do a str based one if I ever played one.

This is what I did.

Playing a Magus really helped me understand the class and its abilities.

Scarab Sages *****

Disk Elemental wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Sure... hyperbole away if you like. Anecdotal evidence at the table has shown me, at all levels, that the Magus (dex, str, black blade, whatever) is extremely strong and competent. I've seen several, all of them slightly different across the gamut of types of magi you can make. I have never heard arguments such as you are making.

Therefore, I can only conclude that your supposition that Maguses struggle is just wrong.

Yes, please, flippantly dismiss my point without engaging with it.

The fact the vast majority of Magi gravitate toward one specific weapon, speaks to a fundamental flaw within the class.

I didn't see a point wroth engaging with other than to say its a false assertion. Hyperbole is hard to engage with anyways, because there is usually no basis for such an over-exaggeration. And thus no statistics or even anecdotal evidence to discuss.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Slashing Grace is a horrifically designed feat that arose from a long series of band-aids to poorly thought out design decisions. It originally had nothing to do with adding your Dexterity modifier to damage rolls. That was tacked on late at the last minute.

Dervish Dance has clear, unambiguous language. There's absolutely no good reason to change a feat that has worked well in organized play for 7 years.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:

for the sake of argument let's take the negative case, a spell in the off hand prevents the use of Dervish Dance.

Transferring the spell to your weapon hand is a free action by FAQ and then allows you to use Dervish Dance. This proves that Dervish Dance is usable in both cases.
No. Thats like arguing you can two weapon fight with 1 weapon by switching it between hands because thats also a free action and strengthens the case for intent heavy reading

TWF specifically calls out that it has to be with different weapons thus preventing the swapping of weapon to other hands.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Cyrad wrote:


Dervish Dance has clear, unambiguous language.

Two problems with that. With regards to the magus no one saying this is responding to the list of things people find ambiguous/ opposed to your view. So if im posting ambiguities and you say they re not there this really isn't much of a response if any....?

The second is that taking the statement literally goes completely around any intent the statement might have.

Grand Lodge **

Did my post about just casting the spell before you attack get passed over? Once the spell is no longer in your hand Dancing Dervish works fine, unlike the Grace feats which specifically call out not working anytime you use TWFing and abilities like it (even specifically calls out not working with Spell Combat).

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