DMs Guild Review – The Dancer Class

A new martial support class, with over 20 unique dance moves and seven subclasses.

A review copy of “The Dancer Class” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Taron PoundsNate Butler

D&D Fifth Edition prefers subclasses over completely new classes, and rarely is there a third party class that wouldn’t fit better as a simpler subclass. But Pounds has proven to be an excellent full class designer (see the Merchant Class), and The Dancer Class is no exception, offering a unique style of supportive gameplay in a class that’s frankly a much better realization of the Bard.

The 20-page class supplement features full levels 1-20 class progression, seven subclass specializations, and over 20 dance flares, the Dancer’s signature moves that help define it as a martial support.

The Dancer is in low-middle range on HP with a d8, no armor proficiencies, and only simply weapons, leaving them a poor fighter. They also completely lack spellcasting. How does such a class even work? Primarily through two unique features, Dance Flares and Step Up.

At 1st level the Dancer can select three different dance flares from a list of over 20, gaining a new flare every odd level thereafter (until tier 4 when it becomes every level). A 10th level Dancer has seven flares at their disposal. Take that Battle Master/Arcane Archer/Warlock!

Flares include an awesome variety of offensive, defensive, supportive, and utility effects, with only a few that include level prerequisites.

Bolstering Bolero grants temporary hit points to nearby allies while the Dancer weaves around the battlefield. The Electric Slide leaves a trail of electricity, damaging enemies whom the Dancer passes through them. Mesmerizing Twist can deal physic damage and confer confusion, and Succor Chase can permit an ally an additional saving throw to end an ongoing effect, such as paralyzation.

My favorite is Bewildering Grace, a flare clearly inspired by the Wild Magic table. Roll a d20 and see what crazy thing happens, including summoning a demon, enlarging yourself, creating a lighting storm, or rendering everyone unconscious on a failed CON save.

Best of all, these flares don’t operate on a limited basis. There’s no resource system for limiting their usage, or anything having to recharge on a rest. Dancers should be using their custom flares constantly, and that’s further encouraged by Step Up.

dancer blade

At second level, the Dancer can use Step Up as an action to grant an ally another action (including moving up to their speed). Granting allies an additional turn is a nice nod to the dancer class in old Fire Emblem games, but when you’re controlling only a single character, I’d wager it’s a bit less attractive to spend your entire turn letting someone else do a thing.

Thankfully the Dancer solves this at level five with Double-Time, granting the Dancer a use of a flare as part of the same action as Step Up. Now you’ve become a supportive powerhouse, granting allies an additional action while still using your turn to pull off a cool buff or debuff, or AOE attack or heal.

Other features include the Rogue’s Evasion at level 7, and using the Dancer’s scaling Flare Dice in place of d20’s when rolling for advantage at level 15.

The top end abilities aren’t nearly as exciting, however. The 18th level Elusive grants complete immunity to enemy advantage, which is powerful but a bit boring. And the 20th level Curtain Call grants additional buffs to Step Up. Not bad, but certainly not worth the 20 level investment.

The Dancer includes seven subclasses, called Choreos. The Choreoes allow the Dancer to fulfill near-multiclass roles into fighting and spellcasting, with most featuring fun abilities and great role-playing opportunities.

The Brandished Blade is the clear offensive fighter, gaining Fighting Styles, martial weapon proficiencies, and Unarmored Defense that scales with DEX and CHA. I love that at 6th level the Blade can transform a weapon into their very own Dancing Blade!

The Rallying Harbinger is also more melee-focused, but specializing in defense, with defensive fighting styles, light armor, and the unique Rallying Stomp flare that expands crit ranges and grants damage reduction, scaling to proficiency bonus.

The Sylvan Mirth ups the controller aspect with the Hedonistic Revel flare, locking down enemies with charm, frighten, or sleep effect, and quickly moving around the battlefield with the teleportation or invisibility of Pixie Tricks. And then there’s the Weave Teaser for those who just have to cast spells, though it uses a unique spell charge system that looks like a cross between Warlock spell slots and Sorcery Points.

I honestly love that the class is built entirely without traditionally spellcasting, which is pervasively overused in 5e. Dance flares and action-granting abilities create a pure support class without spells — which is exactly how I wish the 5e Bard was designed. It’s all wrapped up in a great-looking, professionally designed package, and makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, D&D 5e could use some new classes after all.

Pros:

  • Over 20 dance flares that uniquely define the Dancer’s actions and bonus actions.
  • Seven subclasses cover a range of specializations, from frontline warriors to spellcasters and controllers.
  • Professional layout and design.

Cons:

  • High-level Tier 4 abilities aren’t very exciting.

The Verdict: The Dancer Class is everything I want in a full class design: filling an underserved role with unique gameplay that doesn’t fall back on spellcasting, and plenty of subclasses to further specialize and explore the class’ full potential.

A review copy of “The Dancer Class” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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