Kapenia Dancer


Rules Questions


13 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a question about this archetype. It says that they start with no armor proficiency, which I understand, but it doesn't say whether or not it changes the magus earning armor proficiencies as they level which happens, IIRC at 7th level, anyone have an idea on how to handle this?


Giving it a quick look over it does not say they "start" without proficiency. It says they are "not" proficient. It has no wording indicating that proficiency gained past first level is somehow different.

On top of that normally one can not go from no armor proficiency to medium and skip light. Now of course spsifice trumps general but there is no wording that gives any indication that this bypasses that.

This is how I see it anyway and seems to be to be RAW and RAI.

EDIT- Thinking on it more though there is a rule that when the first part of a advancing class feature is replaced without the next parts being replaced then it just sets the feature back a step.

So at 7 they may get light armor and then latter medium? Great now I am as unsure as you.


Seems like they can use medium armor at lvl 7


Interesting. I just plugged this in to Hero Lab to see what it says, and at level 7 the character gets Medium without getting Light. Which is probably an error, but it would lead to the strictly-by-RAW interpretation above. We should FAQ this and see what the devs say.


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kapenia Dancer really needs errata, because of what i saw the wording is really poor and doesn´t explain a lot of things where you are left to wonder how it functions. It´s pretty similar to a Kensai Magus, only that those get much more.
Also even if you get medium armor proficiency, there is still stated that you suffer normal ASF when casting while wearing armor.

Looks like someone got a working version into printing and some others did a real good editorial job. On splatbooks like this it´s happening quite often, especially with such local archetypes. A pitty.


FAQed. My money is on ether no armor pro ever or set back a step. Going from none to medium makes no sense.


As a houserule, I would probably give the Kapenia dancer some sweet abilities in place of Medium/Heavy armor prof. Something like..

Dancing Arcana:
At level 7 choose either Elasticity or Spirit Fingers. You can activate this arcana for free.

At 13th level choose Kapenia Curses or Spirit Step. You can activate this arcana for free.

IMO, Kapenia Dancer is a little on the weak side (especially comparatively to Kensai), and activating it's core arcana for free would not make it overpowered. Especially considering your weapon is a d6/x2 without reach.. Sooo exotic :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the bladed scarf had reach once, untill there was this big discussion about spiked chain and the like, ya know.


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Okay, here's my personal ruling.

Ultimate Combat rules on archetypes wrote:
If an archetype replaces a class feature that is part of a series of improvements or additions to a base ability (such as a fighter's weapon training or a ranger's favored enemy), the next time the character would gain that ability, it counts as the lower-level ability that was replaced by the archetype. In effect, all abilities in that series are delayed until the next time the class improves that ability.

So, does armor proficiency that develops over time count as a progressing feature? I say yes, because going from no proficiency to Medium only makes no sense. Although a standard Magus starts with Light armor proficiency and no arcane fail chance while in same,

Ultimate Magic, Magus wrote:
Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.

However, when he reaches 7th level,

Ultimate Magic, Magus wrote:
a magus gains proficiency with medium armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.

So, clearly this is the progression of an ability. Since the Kapenia Dancer starts with no proficiency, but the Medium/Heavy abilities aren't mentioned by name, I would say that at 7th and 13th, the Kapenia dancer gets Light and Medium Armor respectively, both without arcane failure chance.

This is RAW, unless I'm missing something. Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume this is how PFS should treat it, and I'll drop Hero Lab a line about same.

However, as for RAI, this doesn't quite fit. The Light Armor proficiency makes sense; one can still use Canny Defense with Light armor. However, Medium armor removes the first level class feature that makes AC so high, so that's a stupid power at 13th level. Flavorwise, I don't think the Kapenia Dancer is meant to wear armor at all. So for house rules I'd say do something else, and if the devs decide to take a look at this issue, I'd like to recommend alternate features (such as the ones recommended by Dunebugg, above).

Sovereign Court

It certainly makes sense that they would receive Medium and Heavy Proficiency; otherwise, they're just losing even more class features without commensurate compensation. As it stands, however, medium armor won't benefit them overly much, since their Dex bonus is likely to be very high, thanks to canny defense. This may, however, turn into another archetype like Aldori Swordlord; the original idea is a nimble dancer in normal clothing, but the most optimized build is a heavy tank in full plate.


I would give them the abilities from the spell dancer elf archetype. They get +3 Insight bonus AC for the medium armor and +6 Insight bonus AC for the heavy armor. I upped the bonus to defense because the Kapenia Dancer has no armor while the Spell Dancer can wear light armor. I would say that they get this bonus only while wielding a bladed scarf. But since the class is called Kapenia DANCER I would also give them the Acrobatics and Perform(Dance) in replacement of Intimidate and Ride. I would also think about trading their Weapon Focus for Weapon Finesse because otherwise the archetype just seems like a bad specialized version of a Kensai. I would also change the Canny Defense ability so that it counts Magus level divided by two to determine how much Intelligence applies to Dexterity.


Also thinking about it it might make more sense that they gain partial at 8th and total concealment at 12th. They get this after anytime they cast a spell for a number of rounds equal to the spell level cast.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Just for some thread necromancy: this is marked as having been answered in errata but for the life of me I can't find said errata. Does it actually exist and, if so, what does it say?

Silver Crusade

Doing some thread necro on the off chance it gets us an answer.

I'm trying ti convince myself that a Kapenia Dancer/Spell dancer is legal. I think that it is, My main argument is that the Kensai has the IDENTICAL wording for armor proficiency but gets something cool at L7 and 13. So they didn't think that he automatically lost the ability.


pauljathome wrote:

Doing some thread necro on the off chance it gets us an answer.

I'm trying ti convince myself that a Kapenia Dancer/Spell dancer is legal. I think that it is, My main argument is that the Kensai has the IDENTICAL wording for armor proficiency but gets something cool at L7 and 13. So they didn't think that he automatically lost the ability.

Well, not sure if it helps, but the d20pfsrd version says this. Not willing to dig through errata today myself.

D20PFSRD wrote:
A bladed scarf dancer is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers the normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

Doing some thread necro on the off chance it gets us an answer.

I'm trying ti convince myself that a Kapenia Dancer/Spell dancer is legal. I think that it is, My main argument is that the Kensai has the IDENTICAL wording for armor proficiency but gets something cool at L7 and 13. So they didn't think that he automatically lost the ability.

Well, not sure if it helps, but the d20pfsrd version says this. Not willing to dig through errata today myself.

D20PFSRD wrote:
A bladed scarf dancer is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers the normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.

(Zombie thread revived by suddenly needing this answer myself)

The base class for Magus also says "Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure." at first level. But at 7th level, it says "At 7th level, a magus gains proficiency with medium armor." and it overrides the original 1st level statements.

As written, it sounds like the Kapenia Dancer gains Medium Armor at 7th level since nothing says you lose that ability. There's no mention of the feat, only "You're proficient", so I see no reason to mention pre-reqs to that feat. Is that intended? Almost certainly not, but it's definitely what's written.

I also just checked the PDF of the book in My Downloads. Last update is from before the original post here was made. No errata that I see either. Where is the errata?

How To Use The Rules Forums, Sticky wrote:

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Sometimes a player finds a problem in an older printing of a book and flags a question about that text. If Paizo has fixed the problem by changing that text in a later printing, the staff clears that FAQ candidate from the queue and marks the question as “Answered in errata.” You can download free errata for Paizo books from the My Downloads section of the website


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I think I figured out a solution to the Medium/Heavy Armor issue with the Kapenia Dancer archetype, but it is clearly not obvious to me or to anyone else who has discussed this archetype in these forums.

Why do we see a problem with the Kapenia Dancer getting medium armor proficiency and the ability to cast spells in medium armor without risk of arcane spell failure at 7th level? Because they lack the implied prerequisite ability of having proficiency in light armor and ignoring arcane spell failure in light armor -- and the base Magus class does not call that out as a separate earlier stage of this ability but buries it in the armor and weapon proficiencies.

So, in the absence of any other replacement abilities, the thing to do would seem to be to grant this archetype proficiency with light armor and the ability to ignore arcane spell failure in light armor at 7th level and the Medium Armor ability of the standard Magus at 13th level. Now if we could only get Paizo to either make an official statement to that effect or propose something more useful (since the Medium Armor ability and Canny Defense do not play nicely with each other).


I'm looking at building a Kapenia Dancer myself, and someone pointed out that the archetype seemed "incomplete" due to the lack of clarity over the Medium and Heavy Armor issue.

A Kensai has those replaced, so they never get to wear armor without taking a penalty.

The Kapenia Dancer seems like it should follow the same lines as the Kensai, but there's no replacement option offered, so a lot of people have been house-ruling replacements.

I rather like dunebugg's suggestions:

dunebugg wrote:

As a houserule, I would probably give the Kapenia dancer some sweet abilities in place of Medium/Heavy armor prof. Something like..

Dancing Arcana:
At level 7 choose either Elasticity or Spirit Fingers. You can activate this arcana for free.

At 13th level choose Kapenia Curses or Spirit Step. You can activate this arcana for free.

IMO, Kapenia Dancer is a little on the weak side (especially comparatively to Kensai), and activating it's core arcana for free would not make it overpowered. Especially considering your weapon is a d6/x2 without reach.. Sooo exotic :P

It's a very flavorful archetype, even if it's not as strong as a standard Magus or Bladebound Magus.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

One of my players is playing a Kapenia dancer in my run of Rise of the Runelords and just sprung this on me tonight. As noted above, despite the post being marked as answered in errata, there is no errata for Varisia: Birthplace of Legends. Does the answer exist, and if so where is it?


Long overdue for a bump on this - since still the reported 'errata fix' has never happened. And when investigating elsewhere, I did find that they put a campaign clarification in PFS on how to deal with this. It reads as such:

PFS Campaign Clarification wrote:
A kapenia dancer is not proficient with armor or shields. He does not have the magus's ability to ignore arcane spell failure from armor; however, if he becomes proficient in light armor, he automatically gains the magus's ability to ignore the arcane spell failure chance from light armor. If he becomes proficient in medium armor, at 7th level he ignores medium armor's chance of arcane spell failure. If he becomes proficient in heavy armor, at 13th level he ignores heavy armor's chance of arcane spell failure. This replaces the magus's normal armor proficiencies, including those gained at 7th and 13th level.

Not exactly errata, but it seems to be at least a source of an 'official' fix for this.

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