Faerûnian Prestige Class : Dancer of Sharess

by Julia Martin & Eric W. Haddock, Dragon #290

Dancers of Sharess seek pleasure at every opportunity and live life as one endless revel. They value being footloose and fancy free and resist restrictions of any kind - cultural, emotional, mental, or physical - placed on them by others. They love to dance, and most are accomplished singers and play one or more musical instruments. Dancers find evil ugly and repugnant, and they hate undead, viewing them as a violation of the dead's peaceful rest and an offense against the vibrancy of the positive energy of life.

But dancers of Sharess also draw from an eclectic set of mandates and traditions passed down through the evolution of their goddess and her church. Their hatred of Set comes from their goddess's ancient history as Bast, of Vhaeraun from her merger with Zandilar, and of Shar from her captivity by that deity in her recent past as Sharess. Their affiliation with felines also grows from their goddess's history as Bast, who subsumed Felidae, and their accomplishments in dance from Zandilar the Dancer. Bast also lends them a tradition of fighting skills that few realize exists behind the dancers' pleasure-sodden existence.

Clerics most often become dancers of Sharess, with druids and rangers being less common choices. Sharess's philosophy so chafes under restriction that it cannot accommodate the lawful nature of paladins and monks.


To qualify to become a Dancer of Sharess, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The dancer of Sharess's class skills are Balance, Climb, Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Jump, Knowledge (religion), Move Silently, Perform, Spellcraft, and Spot.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the dancer of Sharess prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dancers of Sharess are proficient with all simple weapons. They gain no new proficiency with armor or shields.

Cat Familiar: Upon gaining her 1st level as a dancer of Sharess, a dancer of Sharess gains a cat familiar. This familiar does not require a day of effort or the expenditure of magical materials costing 100 gp (it chooses the dancer of Sharess by Sharess's grace), but in other ways the familiar is identical to the familiars that sorcerers and wizards can obtain.

Calculate the familiar's special abilities based on the table on page 51 in the Player's Handbook using the dancer of Sharess's character level (as opposed to her class level).

Cat Sight (Ex): Dancers of Sharess gain low-light vision at 1st level.

Grace of the Goddess (Su): Dancers of Sharess have a portion of the cat-like grace and flexibility of their goddess, along with a measure of her force of personality. They gain a +2 bonus to all Dexterity and Charisma checks and Dexterity-based and Charisma-based skill checks, and a +1 bonus to Reflex saving throws.

Familiar Shapechange (Su): When a dancer of Sharess reaches 3rd level, her cat familiar can, as a standard action once per day, shapechange into a cheetah, leopard, or lion. At 6th level, her familiar adds the forms of a tiger or dire lion to the repertoire for this ability and can shapechange twice per day. At 9th, her familiar adds the form of a dire tiger to its repertoire and can shapechange three times per day.

This ability functions as the shapechange spell cast by a spellcaster of the dancer of Sharess's character level. Thus, the familiar can remain shapechanged no more than 10 minutes/class level per day of the dancer of Sharess. The amount of time spent shapechanged need not be continuous. (In other words, the familiar of a 3rd-level dancer of Sharess could be a cheetah for 1 minute, then return to being a cat, then be a lion for 4 minutes, then return to being a cat, and so on, up to a total of 30 minutes in shapechanged forms in one day).

Favored Enemy (Church of Shar, Vhaeraun, or Set): The dancer of Sharess gains a +1 bonus to Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against agents of one of the listed churches (pick one). Likewise, she gets the same bonus to weapon damage rolls against agents of the chosen deity. A dancer of Sharess also gets the damage bonus with ranged weapons, but only against targets within 30 feet. This bonus doesn't apply to damage against creatures that are immune to critical hits. At 9th level, the bonus associated with this ability goes up to +2 for the first enemy, and the dancer of Sharess gains a new favored enemy bonus of +1 for agents of one of the churches not selected at 4th level. (This bonus works the same as for rangers in the FORGOTTEN REALMS that select an organization as a favored enemy, with the organization in this case being one of the respective churches.)

Tongue of the Diplomat (Ex): The dancer of Sharess has had ample experience persuading people to do as she wishes and has learned exactly what to say and do to wrap someone around her finger. She gains a +4 competence bonus to Diplomacy checks.

Touch of Sharess (Su): A dancer of Sharess has the ability to stun a creature she touches with an unarmed caress (melee touch attack that requires a free hand) by supernaturally overloading its perceptions of pleasure. She does not provoke attacks of opportunity from armed opponents when she uses this ability. The dancer of Sharess can use this ability once per round, but no more than once per two dancer of Sharess levels per day. The dancer of Sharess must declare she is using the touch of Sharess before making the touch attack (thus, a missed attack roll ruins the attempt). A foe touched by the dancer of Sharess is forced to make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the dancer of Sharess's character level + her Charisma modifier). If the saving throw fails, the opponent is stunned for 1 round (see stunned condition). Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected by the touch of Sharess.

At 10th level, the ability becomes even more potent. The duration of the stun effect lasts for 1d4+1 rounds if the target fails his Fortitude saving throw.

Wiles of the Pleasure Queen (Su): Dancers of Sharess are both supernaturally charming and difficult to charm. Add +2 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells from the Enchantment school they cast. They also get a +2 bonus to caster level checks (1d20 + caster level) to beat a creature's spell resistance for an Enchantment school spell they are casting, a +2 bonus to dispel checks to counter Enchantment spells, and a +2 bonus to their saving throws against spells from the Enchantment school.

Dance of Zandilar (Su): A dancer of Sharess can use dance to substitute for the verbal component of a spell of the Enchantment school. The dancer of Sharess must succeed at a Perform (dancing) check (DC 15 + spell level); if she does, it is cast as if she had prepared it with the Silent Spell feat. However, the spell does not use up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's regular level as is normal for a silent spell. If the check fails, the spell fails and is ruined.

Dancer of SharessHit Die: d6
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1st+0+2+0+2Cat familiar, cat sight+1 level or existing class
2nd+1+2+0+2 Grace of the goddess+1 level of existing class
3rd+1+3+1+3Familiar shapechange (cheetah, leopard, lion)+1 level of existing class
4th+2+4+1+41st favored enemy, tongue of the diplomat+1 level of existing class
5th+2+4+1+4Touch of Sharess (unarmed)+1 level of existing class
6th+3+5+2+5Familiar shapechange (tiger, dire lion)+1 level of existing class
7th+4+5+2+5Wiles of the pleasure queen+1 level of existing class
8th+4+6+2+6Dance of Zandilar+1 level of existing class
9th+4+6+3+62nd favored enemy, familiar shapechange (dire tiger) +1 level of existing class
10th+5+7+3+7Improved touch of Sharess+1 level of existing class

Source: Dragon #290

Realms Prestige Classes