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Whirling Dervish [3.5 Whirlwind PrC] (PEACH)

Game design for the d20 system

Whirling Dervish [3.5 Whirlwind PrC] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:59 pm

This is largely unrelated both to the VUACS Dervish and the Complete Warrior Dervish, though obviously all three are named after dervishes in real-life and in fantasy. In reality, dervishes were mystics and priests, not warriors, but I'm Irish*, not Sufi, and in Ireland** we*** have a saying: "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."****

* Irish-American.
** I visited once.
*** By which I mean my family, by which I mean my father.
**** I have no idea what the origin of this saying is.


It dices, it slices, it circum- wrong rhyme. They whirl, they twirl... something girl, something curl? Yeah, I don't know. I don't feel like writing real fluff right now.

  • Base Attack Bonus
    • +4
  • Feats
    • Combat Expertise
    • Dodge
    • Mobility
    • Spring Attack
    • Whirlwind Attack
Yeah, that's it. That's "it," because at this point your character is hideously shafted for life; you've (hopefully?!) taken two levels of Fighter (or, if you're clever, Psychic Warrior), just to make all of these feats happen in something like a reasonable amount of time. You're currently looking at five feats (not a one of which is any good); a human not getting any as bonus feats is 10th level when starting this class, and at that point... I'm sorry, I've got nothing for you now. A non-human can't even finish the silly thing.

Class Features

HD — d8.

Skills — 4 + Int per level; Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

LevelBase Attack
FortRefWillSpecialExisting Class
1st+1+0+2+0Battlefield Tactician, Dervish Dance (1)Special;
see text
2nd+2+0+3+0Dancing Blade
3rd+3+1+3+1True Mobility
4th+4+1+4+1Surprise Attack
5th+5+1+4+1Dervish Dance (2)
6th+6+2+5+2Hurricane Slash, Immediate Whirl
7th+7+2+5+2Centrifugal Force
8th+8+2+6+2Bounding Assault
9th+9+3+6+3Dervish Dance (3)
10th+10+3+7+3Storm of Swords

Armor and Weapon Proficiency — The Whirling Dervish gains no new proficiency in any weapons or armor.

Existing Class Features — Levels in Whirling Dervish improve upon one of a variety of class features. At 1st level, a Whirling Dervish must select one of the class features below that she already has, and from then forth her levels in Whirling Dervish will improve that class feature. The details on how the feature is progressed varies from feature to feature; see the spoiler below.

Levels on which each feature lists a "+1 level", stack with an existing class that grants that feature. Levels that list a "—" do not progress that class feature. See the spoilers below for particular rules for each feature; if a feature does not have its own spoiler, then it simply stacks the levels listed for that particular feature; a Whirling Dervish gains no other feature of the level that the original class would have gained.

A Whirling Dervish may choose only one feature, and one class that has that feature, to advance; this choice is made at 1st level and cannot be changed once made. A Whirling Dervish may not choose a class feature unless they already have levels in a class that grants the feature (even if they do not yet have it; for example, a Fighter 2/Druid 3/Dervish 1 could choose Wild Shape, even though he does not get Wild Shape until Druid 5).

Bardic MusicBonus FeatsFavored EnemyManeuversManifestingMonk FeaturesMysteries
1st+1 level
2nd+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 known+1 level+1 level+1 level
3rd+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 readied+1 level+1 level+1 level
4th+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 known+1 level+1 level+1 level
5th+1 level+1 level+1 stance+1 level
6th+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 known+1 level+1 level+1 level
7th+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 readied+1 level+1 level+1 level
8th+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 known+1 level+1 level+1 level
9th+1 level+1 level+1 stance+1 level
10th+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 level+1 known+1 level+1 level+1 level
LevelPactsPrecision DamageRageSmiteSpecial
SpellcastingTruenamingWild Shape
1st+1d6 damage+1 level+level+1 level
2nd+1 level+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level+1 level
3rd+1 level+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level
4th+1 level+1d6 damage+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level+1 level
5th+1 level+1 level+level+1 level
6th+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level+1 level
7th+1 level+1d6 damage+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level
8th+1 level+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level+1 level
9th+1 level+1 level+level+1 level
10th+1 level+1d6 damage+1 level+1 level+level+1 level+1 level+1 level
If a Whirling Dervish decides to advance Bardic Music, the 3/4 of her Whirling Dervish level stacks with her existing class in order to determine what songs she may perform and how powerful they are, as listed in the table. In addition, every Whirling Dervish level stacks with her existing class level to determine how many times per day she may use Bardic Music.
A Whirling Dervish with levels in any class that grants Bonus Feats may choose to have her Dervish levels enable her to gain those feats. She effectively adds 4/5 of her Whirling Dervish level to that class to determine when she gains Bonus Feats, as detailed in the table above.

If she later takes more levels in the class she advances with Whirling Dervish, she does not gain any Bonus Feats she has already gained, though she may gain Bonus Feats from higher levels. Thus, a Ranger 4/Whirling Dervish 3 who chooses to advance Bonus Feats would gain Improved Combat Style, but if she then took two more levels of Ranger (Ranger 6/Whirling Dervish 3), she would not gain Improved Combat Style again. If she took three more levels of Ranger (Ranger 9/Whirling Dervish 3), however, she would then gain Combat Style Mastery, in addition to the Evasion class feature usually available to Rangers at 9th level.

A Whirling Dervish may also take Alternate Class Features that would have replaced her class's Bonus Feats, provided the Alternate Class Feature may be traded for the Bonus Feat she is giving up. Also, a Fighter or Warblade may add the same 3/4 of her Whirling Dervish levels to her effective Fighter level for the purpose of prerequisites.[/table]
As listed in the table, a Whirling Dervish who advances her martial maneuvers gains a maneuver known at every even level. These maneuvers are selected from the Desert Wind, Iron Heart, Tiger Claw, and Holy Word disciplines. In addition, she gains an extra maneuver readied (and granted, if applicable) at 3rd and 7th, and an additional Stance (chosen from the same four disciplines) at 5th and 9th. Any save DCs offered by maneuvers gained from Whirling Dervish class levels may use Intelligence in place of their usual ability score. She also adds Martial Lore and Truenaming as Whirling Dervish class skills.
In addition to gaining levels of manifesting, a Whirling Dervish who advances manifesting also adds Knowledge (Psionics) and Psicraft to her Whirling Dervish class skills list.
A character who has levels in a class with its own Unarmed Strike Damage progression, such as Monk, may stack all but the first level of Whirling Dervish with that class for the purpose of determining her Unarmed Strike damage. If the class also has an AC Bonus progression and/or Fast Movement progression, as the Monk does but the Unarmed Swordsage, for example, does not, these features may also stack all but the first Whirling Dervish Monk level. She also adds Concentration, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot as Whirling Dervish class skills.
In addition to gaining levels of an existing mystery-using class for the purpose of determining her mysteries, a Whirling Dervish who advances Mysteries adds Concentration, Knowledge (The Planes), Spellcraft, and Spot to her class skills list.
In addition to stacking some of her class level with her existing Pact-making class, a Whirling Dervish who advances Pact-making gains Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (The Planes), Knowledge (Religion), and Sense Motive on her class skill list.
A Whirling Dervish who has access to a form of precision damage (such as Skirmish, Sneak Attack, or Sudden Strike) may choose to have her Whirling Dervish levels advance her precision damage, as listed above. Her Whirling Dervish levels always add damage, even if (as in the case of Skirmish) the precision damage ability would not have added damage every time.
In addition to gaining caster level, spells known, and spells per day as if gaining additional levels of an existing spellcasting class, a Whirling Dervish who advances spellcasting gains Concentration and Spellcraft as class skills, and any Knowledge skills that she had had as class skills previously.
In addition to counting her class levels as levels in a Truenaming class, a Whirling Dervish who advances Truenaming also gains Concentration, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Truespeak, and Use Magic Device as class skills.
In addition to advancing Wild Shape, a Whirling Dervish who chooses it adds Survival to her class skill list.

Battlefield Tactician (Ex) — A Whirling Dervish may apply his Dodge feat (and any other features based upon it, such as Mobility) to a number of enemies up to his Intelligence modifier. She also adds her Intelligence modifier to her Initiative (minimum 1).

Dervish Dance (Ex) — When using a Spring Attack, a Whirling Dervish may replace any single attack with a Whirlwind Attack (as per the feat).

Further, whenever a Whirling Dervish makes a Whirlwind Attack (whether as part of a Spring Attack or not), she gains an Insight bonus to AC and damage rolls equal to her Intelligence modifier (minimum +1), an Insight bonus to her movement speeds equal to 5 ft. times her Intelligence modifier (if any), and she may also add her Intelligence modifier to her Listen, Perform (Dance), Sense Motive, and Spot skills (minimum +1 to each). These bonuses last only one round; however - she must continue whirling to continue to enjoy them. A Dervish may also whirl outside of combat for these same bonuses, but this counts as hustling without any movement speed bonus, which may fatigue her. If she whirls multiple times in one round, this does not increase any of these bonuses.

At 5th level, a Whirling Dervish may replace another attack during a Spring Attack with a Whirlwind Attack. At 9th, she gains a third. She also gains a fourth if she has BAB +19 and the Rapid Blitz feat. However, she when she whirls, she must move at least 10 ft. before she can whirl again.

Dancing Blade (Ex) — Beginning at 2nd level, a Dervish may make an additional attack during a Spring Attack. This attack may be against the same target as the first, or against another target marked for Dodge (as per Brilliant Tactician). Finally, the number of targets she may mark with Dodge increases by 1.

Despite the description of the feats, Quick Blade stacks with Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz, so the Whirling Dervish may attack three times on a Spring Attack if she has Bounding Assault, and four times if she has Rapid Blitz.

True Mobility (Ex) — At 3rd level, a Whirling Dervish no longer gains a bonus on Attacks of Opportunity made by those she has marked with her Mobility feat — she simply does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity from them at all.

Surprise Attack (Ex) — A 4th level Whirling Dervish who attacks from hiding with her Spring Attack may immediately re-hide provided her Spring Attack movement returns her to a location she could otherwise hide from. Any targets who were unaware of her before her attack cannot follow her movements, she is so quick, and therefore do not count as directly observing her.

Hurricane Slash (Ex) — A 6th level Whirling Dervish can sweep her twirling weapons across large foes, dealing grievous damage. Whenever she uses a Whirlwind Attack, and threatens multiple squares occupied by a Large or larger foe, her damage is automatically multiplied by the number of squares she could hit, as if on a critical hit. If she actually scores a critical hit on such an attack, add the weapon's critical multiplier to the number of squares to determine the total multiplier. However, she may not count squares that are behind other squares occupied by the creature (as the creature's body is effectively providing cover for those squares), even if she would normally threaten them.

Immediate Whirl (Ex) — As an Immediate Action, a 6th level Whirling Dervish may replace an Attack of Opportunity with a Whirlwind Attack. This still counts as using her Attack of Opportunity. She may not use this action unless an Attack of Opportunity is provoked, and she must attack the one who provoked it. If relevant, she may consider this a Martial Counter, but not one of any particular level or discipline.

Centrifugal Force (Ex) — An 7th level Whirling Dervish may treat any weapon as a reach weapon that can also attack adjacent squares for the purposes of attacking those she has marked with her Dodge feat. This means that she threatens these targets, in addition to anyone whom she could have normally reached, and can hit all of them with a Whirlwind Attack.

Bounding Assault — At 8th level, a Whirling Dervish gains Bounding Assault as a Bonus Feat.

Storm of Swords (Ex) — The ultimate ability of the Whirling Dervish, Storm of Swords, becomes available at 10th level. Once per day, a Whirling Dervish may move up her move speed, making a Whirlwind Attack at her initial position, and again every time she moves 10 ft. Against those she has marked with her Dodge feat, any threatened criticals automatically confirm.

Image Credits
Image slightly adapted from Gerudo Sword Dancer by Nephtis. All credit to her for the creation of the image.

Yeah, I know. "Haven't I already burned enough feats on this?!" This is for multiclassing, really.

Vortex Training
Choose one class in which you have levels, and which has class features that might be advanced by the Whirling Dervish prestige class.
  • Dancing Dervish class feature
This feat allows you one of two options: if you have chosen the same class chosen for the Whirling Dervish's Existing Class Feature advancement, you may now advance all class features of that class that you could have chosen for Whirling Dervish's advancement. For example, a Ranger/Whirling Dervish with this feat would advance his Animal Companion, Bonus Feats, Favored Enemy, and Spellcasting, each as listed in the table. Alternatively, choose one feature of one other class to advance.
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