Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow
The One True Faith (so-called by its adherents, and few others) of al-Qadim, far to the south of Faerun, has a stormy history in the Realms. First introduced into Calimshan and the lands of the Shining South centuries ago by conquering Qadimi armies, their presence has been marked by almost unending war – first against the tyrannical I’frit lords whose rule they ended in Calimshan, and then by the other faiths of nearby lands, whose adherents were often converted at sword-point by fervent and expansionist holy warriors. The organized “Reconquista” mounted by the Church of the Holy Triad has resulted in generations of holy war, which in turn has given birth to a number of potent warrior traditions. The Dervishes of Calimshan are among the most feared and respected champions of the One True Faith – at once dedicated to destroying evil (demons, undead, etc), and to defending and spreading their religion against other holy faiths.
Holy Warrior Lens: Whirling Dervish (50 points)
Attributes: plus 1 DX (20).
Secondary Characteristics: plus 0.75 Basic Speed (15).
Advantages: Combat Reflexes (15); High Pain Threshold (10); Style Familiarity (Calishite Dervish) (1); Weapon Master (Broadsword) (20). • Spend only 20 points (instead of 25) on optional holy warrior advantages; add Basic Speed plus 1.00 (20), Enhanced Dodge 1 (15), Luck (Defensive, -20%) (12); and the Style Perks and Power-Ups of the Calishite Dervish style to the choices.
Disadvantages: Fanaticism (The One True Faith) (-15); Social Stigma (Minority) (-10).
Skills: Instead of the listed melee skill packages, melee skills are Broadsword (A) DX+4 (16)-18 and Dancing (A) DX+2 (8)-16. • Drop Physiology and Psychology; improve Theology to (H) IQ (4)-12.
Power-ups: For the purpose of power-ups, Calishite Dervishes are holy warriors with the swashbuckler lens. They can always buy Enhanced Dodge up to 3 (15/level), Luck or Ridiculous Luck (Defensive, -20%) (12 or 24), and the Style Perks and Power-Ups of the Calishite Dervish style.
Dervishes are always “generic” holy warriors (i.e. using the standard Holy Might abilities from DF1, as opposed to other, deity-specific lenses and realms), and cannot buy the New Realm power-up – they serve Ao, whom they hold to be the “One True God,” and consider all other divinities to be infidels, pretenders, and usurpers. They can buy the cleric lens (DF3, p. 26) to upgrade Holiness to Power Investiture (Holy) and learn (generic) clerical spells, but can’t take any lens or power-up that gives them another form of divine talent or Power Investiture (Druidic, Shamanic, Unholy, etc). Likewise, they can’t buy any lens or power-up that gives them any form of chi or magical abilities, including Chi Talent, Eldritch Talent, Magery, Trained by a Master, or any casting/power talent (Bardic, Elemental, etc). The knight lens (DF3, p. 27) costs them 15 points less than the listed price, since they already have Combat Reflexes; other appropriate lenses include the barbarian (there’s no zeal like the converted!) and the scout (to add some stealth and ranged damage to their already considerable combat abilities).
Fanaticism (The One True Faith)
All Dervishes are fanatically loyal to the One True Faith, and will willingly give up their lives, limbs, property, and/or prosperity in its defense. Those who depart Calimshan in search of adventure tend to leave the holy war behind them; in most places throughout Faerun, where the Faithful are a tiny minority among many diverse religions, they’re content to protect those few who share their faith from persecution, and to spread the word through good deeds (e.g. slaying unambiguous evils, helping the helpless, etc) rather than through coercion or proselytizing.
Calishite Dervish Style
As closely tied with their fervent faith as anything, the wild and deadly style of the Dervishes has stricken fear into the hearts of Infidels across the land. Using long, curved Calishite scimitars in one or both hands, the dervish spins and arcs the blades in whirling patterns, swooping unpredictably around and over defenses. A primarily offensive style (for they believe that those who die in holy battle will be reborn unto Paradise), it focuses on fast and furious attacks from all angles; defenses take the form of wild, dance-like movements.
Style Skills: Broadsword; Dancing; Theology.
Dancing Feints (6 points for Level 1; 9 points for Level 2)
You can use your style’s unpredictable movements to take your foe off-guard. At Level 1, you can make a Feint using Dancing+4; at Level 2, use Dancing+6.
Perks: (Level 1) Skill Adaptation (Dancing Feints) (1). • (Level 2) Technique Mastery (Dancing Feints) (1).
Techniques: (Level 1) Feint (H) Dancing+4 (5). • (Level 2) Feint (H) Dancing+6 (2).
Dual-Sword Attack (6 points)
Two-Weapon Fighting (DF11, p. 13) for a scimitar (Broadsword) in each hand.
Perk: Off-Hand Weapon Training (Broadsword) (1).
Technique: Dual-Weapon Attack (H) Broadsword+0 (5).
Timed Defense (3 points)
Prerequisites: Weapon Master (Broadsword).
Once per turn, you can ignore the penalties to Dodge for a flanking or runaround attack. See p. MA89.
Technique: Timed Defense (H) Dodge+0 (3).
Whirling Strike (4 points)
Prerequisites: Weapon Master (Broadsword) and Dancing Feints.
You can make a Spinning Attack (p. MA79), but instead of using Spinning Attack (Broadsword) for the initial Quick Contest, use Feint (Dancing). The subsequent attack uses full Broadsword skill.
Perks: Unique Technique (Whirling Strike) 1.
Technique: Whirling Strike (H) Broadsword+0 3.
Whirlwind Attack (6 points for Level 1; 12 points for Level 2)
Prerequisites: Weapon Master (Broadsword); Dual-Weapon Attack (Broadsword) for Level 2.
You can make a special All-Out Attack in order to strike every adjacent foe with your scimitar. At Level 1, use the normal rules for a Whirlwind Attack (p. B232); at Level 2, you can employ a second scimitar in your other hand to make two attacks at each eligible target — but any critical failure (or critical success on an enemy’s defense) forces you to roll on the Critical Miss table for each remaining attack with both weapons.
Perk: (Level 2) Unique Technique (Double Whirlwind) (1).
Techniques: (Level 1) Whirlwind Attack (H) Broadsword+0 (6). • (Level 2) Double Whirlwind (H) Whirlwind Attack+0 (5).
Style Perks (1/perk)
Ecstatic Dance – By performing a spinning, whirling dance, you can enter the trance-like states achievable with the Autohypnosis skill. You must first dance (requiring an open space, free of obstacles or enemies) for at least a minute, and make a normal Dancing roll. If this succeeds, you can then make a Will-based Dancing roll to achieve any one of the effects listed for Autohypnosis (p. B179); this roll is at the same penalty as it would be for normal Autohypnosis (i.e. -2 for Increased Will, -4 to Negate Pain/Fatigue).
Flourish (Broadsword) – See DF11, p. 11, or PU2, p. 15.
Moral Strength – You can make a Will-based Theology+2 roll to resist magic spells, psi powers, and anything else that Mental Strength (p. B209) would normally help against.
Sure-Footed (Uneven) – See p. MA52, or PU2, p. 8.
Whirling Dance – You can attempt an Acrobatic Dodge (p. B375) using your Dancing skill in place of Acrobatics; you can attempt Evading (p. 368) using Dancing in place of DX; and you can make kicking attacks using Dancing-2.