Prestige Classes


Wild, exotic, and as dangerous as her whirling blades, the dervish epitomizes speed, quickness, and abandon. Her motions appear to be as random as they are graceful, but the steps of her lethal dance play out according to their own rhythm.

Nearly all dervishes belong to nomadic cultures. These nomads are not simple wanderers with no roots to call their own - they have their ancient traditions, and their societies simply do not consider permanent settlements an important part of their nature. They are gypsies, keeping their own traditions and forging their own familial and societal bonds while they move throughout the world. Often, these tribes adopt the attitudes and even some of the laws of the lands they live in - for the sake of expedience, if nothing else. The dervish treats fighting styles the same way. A dervish learns the dance of war as she grows up among her family and her tribe. She watches others as she travels, however, and brings new steps to the dance as she goes.

Fighters, rangers, and monks often take up the role of the dervish. Many paladins look at the wildness of the dance and assume it has some roots in chaos, but those who look past the seeming randomness can find things to learn. Barbarians seldom choose to learn the ways of the dance - the dervish depends on subtlety more than brute force. The way of the dervish has been known to appeal to some druids, bards, and even sorcerers - those who wish to learn a type of fighting that does not rely on heavy arms or armor find the class interesting.

Halflings and elves make good dervishes, and many nomadic halfling tribes have dervishes as their primary protectors.

NPC dervishes seldom wander without their tribes. They can be sent on missions, or serve as scouts in new lands, but the dervish is too important to the tribal unit to go off on her own for extended periods of time. Some dervishes balk at this responsibility, however, so exceptions to this rule do show up occasionally. A dervish found wandering alone is usually seeking new challenges and new knowledge.

Hit Die: d10.


To qualify to become a dervish, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Perform (dance) 3 ranks, Tumble 3 ranks.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Focus (any slashing melee weapon).

Class Skills

The dervish's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Dervish

Level Base
Attack Bonus
AC Bonus Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 +1 Dervish dance 1/day, movement mastery, slashing blades
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 +1 Fast movement +5 ft.
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 +1 Spring Attack, dervish dance 2/day
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 +1 Dance of death
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 +2 Fast movement +10 ft., dervish dance 3/day
6th +6 +2 +5 +5 +2 Improved reaction
7th +7 +2 +5 +5 +2 Elaborate parry, dervish dance 4/day
8th +8 +2 +6 +6 +2 Fast movement +15 ft.
9th +9 +3 +6 +6 +3 Tireless dance, dervish dance 5/day
10th +10 +3 +7 +7 +3 A thousand cuts
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dervish prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dervishes gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

AC Bonus (Ex): A dervish gains this bonus to Armor Class as long as she is wearing no armor or light armor and not carrying a shield. This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the dervish is flat-footed. She loses this bonus when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor heavier than light, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Dervish Dance (Ex): A dervish can become a whirling dancer of death a certain number of times per day. While in this dervish dance, she can take a full attack action (for melee attacks only) and still move up to her speed. However, the dervish must move a minimum of 5 feet between each attack when using this ability, and she cannot return to a square she just exited (though she may return to that square later during her full attack). The dervish is subject to attacks of opportunity while dancing, but may tumble normally as part of her move. A dervish prevented from completing her move is also prevented from finishing her full attack.

If a dervish wields a slashing weapon while in a dervish dance, she gains a bonus on her attack and damage rolls. This bonus is +1 at 1st level, and it increases by an extra +1 at every odd-numbered level thereafter.

A dervish may only perform a dervish dance while wielding a slashing weapon (she may use a double weapon, or multiple weapons, only if both ends of the weapon or all weapons are of the slashing type). She cannot perform a dervish dance in any armor heavier than light or if she is using a shield. While dancing, a dervish cannot use skills or abilities that involve concentration or require her to remain still, such as Move Silently, Hide, or Search. A dervish with the bardic music ability can, however, sing while she dances, and a dervish can also use the Combat Expertise feat while in a dance. A dervish cannot perform a dervish dance while under the effect of a rage or frenzy ability.

A dervish can perform a dervish dance only once per encounter. A dervish dance lasts 1 round for every two ranks of Perform (dance) that the character has. At the end of a dervish dance, the character becomes fatigued for the duration of the encounter (unless she is a 9th-level dervish, at which point this limitation no longer applies).

Movement Mastery (Ex): A dervish is so certain of her movements that she is unaffected by adverse conditions. When making a Jump, Perform (dance), or Tumble check, she may take 10 even if stress and distraction would normally prevent her from doing so.

Slashing Blades: A dervish treats the scimitar as a light weapon (rather than a one-handed weapon) for all purposes, including fighting with two weapons.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a dervish gains an enhancement bonus to her speed. A dervish in any armor heavier than light or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this bonus.

Spring Attack: At 3rd level, a dervish gains the Spring Attack feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites.

Dance of Death: At 4th level, a dervish gains the benefit of the Cleave feat while performing a dervish dance, even if she does not meet the prerequisites for the feat. She does not have to move 5 feet before making the extra attack granted by this ability.

Improved Reaction (Ex): When she attains 6th level, a dervish gains a +2 bonus on initiative rolls.

Elaborate Parry (Ex): When she attains 7th level, a dervish gains an extra +4 bonus to Armor Class when she chooses to fight defensively or use all-out defense in melee combat.

Tireless Dance: When a dervish reaches 9th level, the character no longer becomes fatigued for the duration of the encounter at the end of a dervish dance.

A Thousand Cuts (Ex): When a dervish reaches 10th level, once per day she may double the number of melee attacks she makes while performing a full attack action (whether in a dervish dance or not). If a dervish uses this ability in conjunction with her dervish dance, she can make up to two attacks between moves.

The dervish also gains the benefit of the Great Cleave feat with slashing weapons while performing a thousand cuts, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. She does not have to move 5 feet before making any extra attacks granted by this ability.

A dervish using this ability can receive an extra attack from the haste spell, but the bonuses provided by the spell do not stack with the bonuses granted by the class.