I would love to get some feedback and role playing experiences from the following home rule class - based on the monk, and having a similar theme and role, may I present the veil dancer
Respected and feared across the entire Sultancy, indeed, the Great Sphere itself, are the honoured veil dancers. This secretive organisation is recognised and honoured wherever they go under the Burning Sun. They frequently form key operatives in spying or diversion for the Holy Army, and their clandestine, ‘black ops’, missions are the stuff of true legend. They do, however, occasionally perform very public services when called on. Adding to their enigma and mystery is that they can go completely unarmed, dressed in nothing more than common clothes, perhaps appearing as nothing more than an old woman in rags, and yet prove in a moment once more why they are considered to be among the most deadly assassins and warriors in history.
Clad only in seven pieces of cloth, these individuals strive for a perfection of mind, body, and soul through sacred and secretive meditation and martial techniques. Through use of their personal energy, or Sah (‘breath’), they are able to perform incredible feats of physical prowess. This includes animating inanimate cloth, such that a simple shawl in their hands can sunder steel, a rope belt pierces a wooden shield like a spear, or the curtains nearby leap about becoming an impassable sea of motion only the veil dancer herself can safely pass. While there is no gender requirement for becoming a veil dancer, traditionally, and all veildancers currently living, are female.
Role: Veil dancers make great skirmishers, doing little damage individually (usually), but excelling in combat feats such as tripping, disarming, and delaying adversaries. Their swift movement and battlefield control abilities makes them valuable allies, more especially whenever cloth is to found.
Alignment: Veil dancers tend to be lawful good, but neutral good or lawful neutral are allowed. History records few instances of veil dancers turning to evil, though some ‘rebellious good’ ones are spoken of. No penalties accrue for becoming another alignment, but the individual cannot gain more levels in veil dancer until the three iconic alignment requirements are met. Those that turn to evil are typically hunted down en-masse and hounded till death, or preferably, repentance.
Hit Die: d8.
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Table: The Veil Dancer
Veil dancers cannot wear armour. They are not proficient in shields. When wearing normal clothing that restricts their dancing in any way, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a veil dancer loses her acolyte of the cloth bonuses, veil dancer damage, dancer damage reduction, and fast movement.
AC Bonus (Ex): The veil dancer adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her AC and CMD. This bonus to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the veil dancer is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears anything other than padded armour, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.
Acolyte of the cloth: The veil dancer’s focus their training on both dancing, and dealing death using nothing more than magically enchanted clothing. Thus, while they are certainly not prohibited from wearing clothing made of metal, leather, or even stone (for disguise sake), they are typically uncomfortable when they do. They also do not get any acolyte of the cloth bonuses, veil dancer damage, dancer damage reduction, or fast movement if such attire restricts their dancing. They can wear jewellery items of any material without penalty, and frequently do.
As their level improves they gain the ability to turn their clothing into deadly weapons. Their clothes operate as magical weapons at 1/4th their veil dancer level. So at level 16 their cloth weapons are considered +4 weapons for resolving attacks, damage and overcoming DR.
While they can wear or wield anything cloth available, they traditionally carry seven kinds of cloth, each usable as a different weapon. They are considered proficient at this weapon, but may not actually use anything other than their cloth versions – they are not considered proficient in the classical version of the weapon (unless stated in a separate class or race description). While the restrictions below apply to such things as range increments, damage is applied as per the veil dancer damage below.
• A long sleeved dress (or padded armour) – capable of making slashing attacks as a scimitar.
Thus, while they can wield simple weapons, they prefer not to. They can, also, create magical weapons out of clothing at the normal cost. For example, Nethrul the level 4 veildancer purchases a +1 flaming cloth belt for 4000gp plus 300 gp for the masterwork materials of the belt. Thereafter she can use any rope belt to perform trip and grapple attempts, and her belt operates as a whip that overcomes magic, bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage reduction. If, however, she brings out her flaming belt it will do all that and attack and damage at +1, with another 1d6 fire damage.
While being wielded, the cloth weapons have a hardness equal to cloth – ie, 0. They do, however, magically possess a damage reduction equal to the veil dancer’s current level, and hit points equal to double that number. Unattended, they are as normal cloth.
At level 2, this ability develops to the point where the extra-long sleeves of their robes (or any piece of cloth for that matter, such as a table cloth) can be used as slashing weapon, as per a scimitar. When wielded by a veil dancer, the cloth can slice through such things as stone and metal, being considered steel for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance and hardness (ie, 10).
At level 3, they develop the ability to use rope and threads as piercing weapons, with standard rules for reach, number of hands required, range increments and crit ranges. They can also use a rope (or equivalent) as a long or short spear. They can throw individual threads as per daggers, and they traditionally prefer to carry about a small line of decorative threads for the purpose. They have little difficulty piercing hardwood doors clean though with this ability.
At level 4, their cloth weapons are considered magical (+1) for the purposes of attack, damage and overcoming damage resistance. This bonus overlaps (does not stack with) any other magical powers and properties the cloth may have due to weaver of magic ability, or such spells as greater magic weapon. They must have at least 1 Sah point (see below) for this and any further abilities to function.
At level 6, their cloth weapons wound fey as easily as any human, granting them cold iron ability (but, obviously, not transmuting the clothing into any form of actual iron).
At level 7, their cloth damages demons and lycanthrope as easily as humans, gaining the silvered ability for overcoming damage reduction.
At level 9, their impressive devotion results in their cloth weapons being considered mithril for the purpose of overcoming DR and Hardness, ie, 15.
At level 11, the innate goodness of their hearts imbues their weapons with the good trait for overcoming damage reduction. If they are not good aligned, there is no measurable benefit.
At level 13, their pure obedience to law lawful manifests in their cloth weapons as the lawful ability for overcoming damage reduction. If they are not lawful, there is no benefit.
At level 14, their cloth damages ghosts as easily as humans, gaining the ghost touch ability when attacking incorporeal beings.
At level 16, their absolute devotion to cause resonates within their soul, granting their threads the adamantine property for overcoming damage reduction and hardness.
At level 20, if they haven’t built cloth weapons of a +6 total bonus already, any cloth weapon they now wield is treated as epic for overcoming damage reduction.
Dancer’s damage reduction: Due to the magical nature of their clothing, the veil dancer has a damage resistance equal to their veil dancer level, which is overcome by chaotic weapons. This ability is only functioning while the veil dancer is in brisk motion, i.e., dancing, has no armour other than padded and is carrying nothing more than a light load.
Speaker of the weave (SA): AKA ‘weave whisperer’, this mystical ability allows veildancers to create standard clothing and cloth- based equipment out of anything that could reasonably be woven into threads, and is sufficiently large. While the raw materials are magically cleaned and purified, the item will carry over any particular weaknesses or benefits of the base material. For example, clothing and equipment (rope) has been woven from spider silk, while previously blocked pathways have been cleared. Beaten flax can be formed into robust bedding, or a demon’s hair into fire proof gloves. Legends speak of epic veil dancers who have even woven items from dreams, lies or rainbows.
Also, the veil dancer cannot transmute materials with this skill (ie, they do not spin straw into gold). The veil dancer must first roll a profession – weaver or profession seamstress check, the result representing the final quality of the item they have made.
A normal needle (knitting or sewing) is a required material component for this ability, and it requires a full round action per item (beds, for example, have several items). The DC increases by 20 if you want to do it all in swift action, which may seem useless, but grandmaster veil dancers have used this power to weave up a coat from materials lying around, and then used that coat to choke the life out of their enemies.
Bonus Feat: At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a veil dancer may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, at 6th level the following feats are added to the list: Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple, Improved Trip and Mobility. At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Snatch Arrows, Agile Grappler (not grappled while grappling, Spring Attack. At 14th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Critical (cloth only), Shape Spell, and Whirlwind Attack. A veil dancer need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.
Combat Charisma (Ex): Using a combination of esoteric training regimes, raw magic, and mystical dance, the veil dancer may use her charisma bonus in the place of her dexterity when resolving ranged attacks, and in the place of strength for calculating melee attacks.
Manoeuvre Training (Ex): At 3rd level, a veil dancer uses her veil dancer level in place of her base attack bonus when calculating her Combat Manoeuvre Bonus. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.
Sah Pool (Su): At 4th level, a veil dancer gains a pool of Sah points, supernatural energy she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a veil dancer’s Sah pool is equal to 1/2 her veil dancer level + her Charisma modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point in her Sah pool, she can make a Sah strike, explained under ‘veil dancer damage’. Without at least 1 Sah point, the veil dancer can only do piercing, bludgeoning and slashing damage (plus whatever bonuses are previously woven into her cloth via weaver of magic abilities, see below).
By spending 1 point from her Sah pool, a veil dancer can make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus when making a full round attack. In addition, she can spend 1 point to increase her speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, a veil dancer can spend 1 point from her Sah pool to give herself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A veil dancer gains additional powers that consume points from her Sah pool as she gains levels.
The Sah pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive. By the mystical laws of the multiuniverse, Ki and Sah pools may be pooled.
Web of threads: As an immediate interrupt action, veil dancers can command all threads in one piece of garment or material to explode outwards in random directions. Attended or held magical items receive the standard saving throw. This ability destroys the object, though the carefully gathered threads can usually be sold for half price again. If the item is being worn at the time, and it is at least half the creatures size (ie, a shirt, and not a sock) the wearer must make a saving throw as if under the effects of the web spell (see entry). If the item was Large (ie, a curtain, or a section of carpet) it is able to affect anyone in the usual area of a web spell. Aside from destroying the enemies clothing, this spell has saved a falling veil dancer more often than has been counted.
Dancers leap (Ex): At 5th level, a veil dancer adds her level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, she always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from her Sah pool as a swift action, a veil dancer gains a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.
Master of the weave: From level 5 as a standard action, and for the cost of a Sah point, the veil dancer can command every unattended cloth item within a 30’ radius to animate for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier. Maintaining the effect is a free action, magical abilities the cloth have are negated during the spell, and the cloth thereafter magically reverts to its previous form. If there is insufficient cloth in the area, and the veil dancer cannot provide them from her own clothing or abilities, this spell may fail or only affect an area equivalent to the cloth available (typically, a 10 foot square per medium creatures outfit). The exact effect can be decided by the dancer herself, and each five foot square within may have a different ability, yet the veil dancer must take appropriate feats if she wants to learn how to exclude allies from this effect. The DC is 10 + ½ the veil dancer’s level + the veil dancers charisma.
Weaver of Magic: At 6th level veil dancers can weave special runes using mystical materials into their clothing or other cloth possessions to give them any benefit or power usually conferred on normal weapons (within normal restrictions). Fire resistance is a very common choice. For example, Saffron the level 9 veil dancer finds a +2 flaming dagger. Using her mystical powers she draws it out into ultra-fine threads which she weaves into her clothing. With the help of a wizard friend (who has the ‘craft magical items’ feat and is willing to work for free), she weaves the threads into her handkerchief at no cost (having raw materials and a talented, generous friend already at hand). Her handkerchief now functions as a +2 flaming weapon with the same statistics as a +2 flaming dagger when she or any other veil dancer wields it. Otherwise, it functions as a handkerchief.
Wholeness of Body (Su): Veil dancers are really fit. At 7th level or higher, a veil dancer can heal her own wounds as a standard action. She can heal a number of hit points of damage equal to her veil dancer level by using 2 points from her Sah pool.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 8th level, a veil dancer’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless veil dancer does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Evermoving (Ex): At 9th level, a veil dancer is immune to grapple unless swallowed – all that dancing is really starting to pay off.
Weave Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a veil dancer can slip magically between articles of unattended cloth, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 1 point from her Sah pool. Her caster level for this effect is equal to her veil dancer level. She cannot take other creatures with her when she uses this ability, and this ability will not work unless there is unattended cloth at both ends. Acolytes new to this ability typically take some of threads of the exiting cloth with them, colouring their normal clothes several times until they gain a level of experience.
Rider of the cloth (Su): at 15th level the veil dancer can animate any ten foot square of fabric to become a functioning magic carpet. The spell lasts for as many hours as they have veil dancer levels, and has DR and hit points as described in acolyte of the cloth.
Simplify combat manoeuvres - possible take them out and make them direct attribute checks (with bonuses) instead. We don't need *another* rule set (i.e. combat manoeuvres) when we can use attribute or attack checks instead.
Make clerics more powerful and useful. Give them better buffing powers, more divination spells, more skill ranks. Just because they have armour! They need to reconceptualise the divine classes as intrinsic to society, powerful, trusted (or feared), with spell lists that justify their influence. They get treated like armoured band aids who occasionally make things glow and scare away undead. No: They are trusted advisors to kings, shepherds to the souls of humanity, the only access many feel they have to commune with the Gods. Clerics should be *SCARY!*
(pending heresy) we *could* make druids simply clerics with the shape change and animal companion domains.
*Many* more skill ranks per class. My players aren't happy that there's no use, at high levels, to roll sense motive unless they've taken full ranks in it - or any skill for that matter. Fact is, the fighter who slays dragons can't spot a ladybug on the back of her hand. It's no fun.
We changed Climb for Athletics (which includes climb, jump, and other strength based skills)
Leaving dex based skills for Acrobatics (including tumble, juggle, etc)
New class: The Veil dancer.