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How Classes Work: In my book, a mysterious pulse of energy sent a young man named John into another world called Alendyias. This event resulted in John becoming Rorjon, a bluish ghost-like being (Kanyeri) that acts as a force of good, guiding, advising, and blessing the people of his new world (Alendyias). One of these blessings was based on John's love of RPGs like DnD, namely Classes. All Classes magically enhance one's potential (capacity), but only within the limits of their held Class. The level of this enhancement increases as the Class-holder grows and gains experience in their Class, and this increase is measured by Levels.

This question is about the Dancer Class, which falls into the Speed and Support categories. Like all Classes, this Class is almost invariably inherited or granted at birth, magically enhancing the holder's potential. However, the Dancer Class's enhancements concern agility (particularly balance and gracefulness), flair, performance, and beauty.

A Dancer's performances are so moving, they can even affect someone's strength or energy (buff or debuff), even if they aren't looking at her (most Dancers, namely 90%, are female). It's as if her motions set off ripples in the arcane. (If this makes you think of a Dnd Bard, that was not intended.)

Here are some examples to help you:

  1. Mesmerizing Dance-All viewers (those looking at the Dancer) are mesmerized; everything else fades out of focus. If such a person is injured, they may not feel the pain (like if they step on a nail), but a guy with a sword coming toward them will most likely break the spell. This trance usually leaves viewers who aren't attacked by someone (AKA betrayed; their focus was made a distraction) bewitched. (Think celebrity worship or inspiring passionate fandom.)
  2. Inspiring Dance-This dance empassions allies within six feet. They gain increased motivation and may or may not gain inspiration.
  3. Frenetic Dance-The Dancer's frantic movements inspire urgency in everyone connected to them (AKA their allies) and speed their movements drastically as long as they are within six feet. Oddly enough, they consume as much energy as they were before for as long as the Dance is ongoing.

The number of Dances out there is incredible; a Dancer's dances aren't spells per se, but the effects they have can be truly magical.

Since an Aura Dancer can manipulate auras (emotions/spirits), and that Class is just an upgrade of the Dancer Class, your answer should include them too.

So my question is: What role would Dancers (Aura or otherwise) have in fantasy society?

For clarification: I know Dancers would be entertainers, what I'm looking for is what else they can do.

  1. First Example: With their Dances, a Dancer can give valuable and potentially lifesaving Buffs to soldiers on a battlefield or adventurers fighting monsters. However, I'm not sure if their inherent frailty and low combat utility makes that unfeasible.
  2. Dancers could be involved in rituals, as the magical effects triggered by their dances could enhance the result, boost the participants, or even add additional effects. In fact, these Dances are rituals of a sort in and of themselves, and I can see a Dancer using Frenetic Dance to hasten the pace of workers. I'm wondering how much society would utilize such Dances.
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  • $\begingroup$ If extra details are needed, I can add them. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 1 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ What is your goal for the class? Dancers are entertainers, not combat specialists. History would suggest they'd make good spies (consider Mata Hari), but IMO terrible warriors - and yet all of your class specializations are combat specializations. Frankly, it's as if you're married to the word "dancer" but what you really want to create is a combat class. What roll does a combat class play in society? Soldier, cop, etc. It's my opinion that you put the cart before the horse. I believe you should start with the social role, then work toward building the class, not the other way around. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 1 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your input JBH, but as I put above, Alendyian society is fierce due to a lot of monsters and that's why there are so many combat specializations. Also, the Aura Dancer and Dervish Classes are combat specializations? I can see why you'd think that for a Dervish, but an Aura Dancer? Please explain. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 1 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ I missed one, Alendyias... it doesn't change my point. Nor does the idea that your society is plagued by monsters (so is real life... gangs... crime...). A dancer's role would be entertainment. If that isn't the answer you're looking for, then you need to explain why the word "dancer" is important - because what you've created is a combat class. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 1 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ this is going to depend on what they can, which you really haven't described in much detail. And to provide enough detail you are going to have to break each subclass down into its own question. your best bet is to write out a list of what they can do and you will mostly answered your own question. just think about how that action is useful in society. the more they can do the more roles they can have. Asking about just dancers would be fine but with all the subclasses it is too much for a single question. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 1 at 4:40
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What constitutes dancing depends on many things. It can be somewhat acrobatic like ballet and street dances (which already vary wildly), it can be about precision, temperament, showing off beauty, sexual appeal, portraying emotions and more. There is even a fightingstyle that was promoted as a dance form and is still practiced.

In essence your dancers can perform any damn role they please as long as it requires the movement of their entire body and not standing in place. Some of these will be excellent fighters, shifting and swaying between their opponents while slashing with weapons or grappling their opponents during the dance to unbalance them or move them. That would be especially nice since the dancer cant actually stop and has to continuously move across the battlefield, slowing down to rest or let others catch up using slow dances.

Some dancers will be helping people concentrate and learn. From simple classrooms to the courts of the highborn where state leaders use the buffs provided to better rule their lands.

Some will make excellent sailors, using a slow methodical dance to reach each task on a ship and complete it.

Some will make excellent overseers and managers for things like construction, logistics or even administration where they move from one place to the next, guiding, listening and ordering to get everything running smoothly.

Your dancers will also inspire, distract, control through allure and a lot more.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, thank you! I never imagined Dancers having so many roles in society, but thanks to you, now I can truly see their potential. I'd ask why dancing would involve sexual appeal, but I feel I already know.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 1 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Go to a dance club and look around. Dancing there is as much about social connection as a potential interlude to sex. Look at music video's where the singers are almost always trying to use sex appeal in their dances to get more attention, or if you've ever seen them you can have those cages where mostly half-clad women can dance to entertain the crowd. Dancing is pretty much a mating ritual for humans, a good or bad performance during the dance can make or break an attempt to hook up. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Jan 2 at 7:56
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Gladiators

So lets give this a shot, I agree with what JBH said about entertainment, so why not lean into it? Other than the base class and the aura off-shoot, all of these upgrades (evolutions?) share two things, and ability to move a crowd, and a flair for violence. and as a once great (fictional) man once said, "I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me." While dear Proximo didn't far so well in the later part of that movie, he did get the idea right.

And so, gladiators. Attractive (I'm assuming, but please correct me if I'm wrong), young-ish (again, assuming, how long does it take to get an advanced class?) women and men, giving emotional, and stirring performances in battles to the watching John Everyman who wouldn't normally survive witnessing such an encounter. As it was said, "Are you not entertained?"

As for the Aura Dancer, that right there is a politicians best tool. Rulers, religions (if there are any organized enough), and every other shady wannabe would absolutely an Aura Dancer or ten on staff. The ability to sway a crowd, if I'm understanding this right, without their knowledge or even tacit consent, is huge. Every group that has to keep control over another would hire someone like that in an instant. Even if their power isn't all that strong, a truly good orator would only really need the crowd to be a bit more open minded in order convince them that yes, in fact, the kingdom really doesn't want to raise taxes again, but those bloody heretics over in the neighboring kingdom are doing something and we must all be prepared.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is very helpful, thank you! The only problem is, the power of an Aura Dancer works best if they are seen; their power is drastically weakened if there's not an audience. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 1 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, but they would be seen! Think of a guy giving a speech, or instead singing a song, with background aura dancers. They would be right there in plain view. The king could hand down edicts through Bards. Every decent Bard needs a background dancer or two. $\endgroup$ – Teak Jan 1 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ I see your point! However, that may result in deep anti-Aura Dancer sentiment, suspicion and prejudice. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 1 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, it does turn out to be the shadier of the dancer upgrades that way, but every class needs to have a shady side. And there could be some who try to change the image of the aura dancer's muddy name, trying to make it respectable again. $\endgroup$ – Teak Jan 1 at 5:42

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