I want my 8th level character to become a Dervish on next level. Is it possible to get dodge and mobility without the need to get them as feats? I have several other feats, that I want to get earlier.

The best possible option would be a template.

I have around 8000 gold to spend. Availability of high level spellcasters might be a problem. No psionics may be used.

Getting LA higher than +2 is out of question.

Gestalt rules, human 8th level swordsage/fighter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and a take a look at the help center. Happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 2:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thus it's acceptable if the template grants the feats Dodge and Mobility directly instead of the character needing to use its own level-up or bonus feats, correct? What's the maximum LA of any template or templates that can be applied? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welp, we can use LA reduction variant, which is nice. However I think it shouldn't be more than +2. You know, it is shame to loose more than 2 levels :p \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


Listed items

You're out of luck for Dodge as far as items go - the only item that grants it, to my knowledge, is the Manual of the Winding Way (Dungeon 117, p78) which is sadly an artifact.

Mobility is much easier - the Magic Item Compendium features the mobility enchantment, which is a +1 enchantment that can be added to any light armour and grants you the feat.

Custom items

You can use the magic item guidelines to suss out what the price of an item that grants these feats would be, subject to DM approval.

Intelligent item

Arms and Equipment Guide lists Mobility as a power intelligent items can possess, at a cost of 10,000gp (plus the cost of the intelligent item). Page 139.

General feat item

The same book also lists suggested prices for feats, on page 128. The recommended cost is 10k, plus 10k per prerequisite - so Dodge would cost 10,000gp and Mobility would cost 20,000gp.

Continuous items of spells

This is D&D, baby! Anything you want, spells can do, and there are guidelines for permanent items of spells. The formula is spell level * caster level * 2000gp * special modifier based on spell duration. For the spell you want (heroics) that modifier is 1.5. So the cost of each item (you would need one for each feat) is 2 * 3 * 2000 * 1.5, or 18,000gp. A typical 8th level character can't afford this, since wealth-by-level for level 8 is only 27,000gp.

There are alternative spells you can use - mirror move gives both feats too, and strategic charge gives Mobility - but their durations are shorter, so the cost is higher.

Forget the items, just use a spell

There are two ways to permanently swap out some of your feats you already have for these feats. Which one you want to use depends on what's more readily available in your setting - psions, or high-level wizards and clerics.

Psychic reformation

Get punched in the brain, pay some XP, re-pick feats you previously picked. The power is from the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

Embrace the Dark Chaos and Shun the Dark Chaos

You want to get these spells cast on you in succession. Embrace the dark chaos swaps out a feat you have for an Abyssal Heritor feat. It doesn't matter which, because shun the dark chaos trades an Abyssal Heritor feat for any feat. The spells are from Fiendish Codex I.

These spells are often used to cheese free feats (for example, trading out an elf's weapon proficiencies or the Alertness from your familiar) but as long as you're using the spells on feats you actually picked out in your feat slots, there's no reason to cry foul.

Other, worse ideas

  • Kill yourself and get reincarnated until you become a Human or Strongheart Halfling, and thus get a bonus feat.
  • Sell your soul to fiends or Elder Evils in exchange for bonus feats (Fiendish Codex II and Elder Evils, respectively)
  • Use the retraining and rebuilding rules in Player's Handbook II to swap out levels for levels of Fighter.
  • Contract a strain of lycanthropy, immediately giving you a bunch of Hit Dice, and therefore new feats.
  • Chop off your leg and replace it with the Golden Dancing Pegleg from Dragon 318 (p54) for 55,000gp.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for suggestions, but there are a few problems: 1) Character will be using weightless full plate armor. Not sure, if it can be made with mobility enhancement. 2) Finding 15-th level cleric may be hard. 3) Already a human fighter. 4) No psionics may be used. 5) 30 000 gold is pretty too much for 8th level bastard. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 2:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Momonga-sama Shame about no psionics. Were psionics allowed, you could just get punched in the brain once, take a level in dervish, get punched in the brain again to go back to being pre-feat-tax you, and keep on taking those dervish levels. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good list. The only other questionable practice I might add is leveling up under laboratory conditions: while mirror move and heroics are granting the feats (or while using another method of temporary feat acquisition), gain the level of dervish. (But a strict DM may go by Complete Warrior's not-in-the-core-rules must-meet-prestige-class-requirements-continuously rule, so maybe that's not a thing.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 3:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wasn't there also a location that granted one of those feats upon visiting once a year or something like that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ There doesn't seem to be a location that grants Mobility. \$\endgroup\$
    – SPavel
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 16:58

This is borderline as an answer, but I feel that it needs to be thrown out there: have you tried just asking your DM to waive those requirements?

Dodge and Mobility are extremely weak feats. In my experience, most players forget to even use them, they’re so minor. Worse, they tend to show up as requirements for folks who don’t really want or need them: a sneaky mobile type is never going to have high enough AC that squeezing in another +2 or +4 is going to make a huge difference, but they are quite likely to have other abilities or skills (e.g. stealth or Tumble) to avoid getting attacked in the first place.

In my games, these feats simply don’t exist. Anything that required them, doesn’t. No one has ever missed them. And I have yet to find anything that required them, that was so powerful that I worried about people getting it without having to burn two feats first.

For dervish in particular, the class is quite difficult to use. All four required feats are very, very weak, and that is likely to be all of your feats at that level. Combat Expertise is probably the best of them, and that’s saying a lot, but it’s also the most problematic because of the Int 13 requirement. Weapon Focus is awful, so much so that I use this homebrew version in my games. Dodge and Mobility we’ve already discussed.

And then once you get into the class, you get some minor bonuses. The AC Bonus is tiny; you’re better off ignoring it and just using a chain shirt. Slashing blades works out to a +1 damage bonus if you use a scimitar over some other light weapon, Spring Attack doesn’t work with the iconic dance of death and is weak besides, elaborate parry doesn’t even work with the Combat Expertise feat that the class makes you get, and so on.

The dance of death and a thousand cuts are the only notable class features. Dance of death is decent, ish, because you get multiple attacks while moving. On the other hand, you’re forced to spread those attacks around, when it is almost-always much better to focus on one target and eliminate them as a threat. It’s also sharply limited in how often you can use it; by the time you can use it in each of the standard four encounters per day, you’ll be 15th level. The class also focuses on a combat style (many weaker attacks) that just about requires bonus damage of some sort (e.g. sneak attack), but the class is also 10 levels of not getting any of that.

A thousand cuts, which you’d get after full-casters have 9th-level spells, doubles your attacks; that’s pretty good. There are, however, vastly cheaper ways to achieve that, like two-weapon fighting, the master thrower’s palm throw, or the splitting magic weapon property (though it does stack with each of these, doubling any of them, which is pretty nice).

So you might seriously ask your DM if you could waive some of the requirements. This is not a high-power approach you’re taking; four terrible feats is a lot of burden for a path that is at best “decent.” I would certainly much prefer a player ask me to waive some feats than to show up to the table with a character that relies on some of the shenanigans suggested here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ My character is strongly dependant on aao and it really needs mobility's +4 to AC. This is not the answer to the question that I asked. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there an errata for either A Thousands Cuts (melee attacks) or the Splitting weapon enhancement (missiles) that would allow you to combine them? I'd love to be able to have a Splitting Scimitar but despite your comment that the two stacks I do not see how. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. Point; there are probably shenanigans you can pull to combine them (that elven sword-bow thing, maybe), but you’re right. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 21:49

If Unearthed Arcana is on the table, then taking the Intermediate Bloodline Elemental Fire will give you both Dodge and Mobility for free:

Character Level        Bonus
 2nd                   +2 on Tumble checks
 4th                 > Dodge
 6th                   Dexterity +1
 8th                   Pyrotechnics 1/day (Sp)
10th                   Fire Elemental Affinity +1
12th                 > Mobility
14th                   +2 on Listen checks
16th                   Resistance to Fire 10 (Ex)
18th                   Constitution +1
20th                   Spring Attack

Unfortunately, there is no Major Bloodline for Elemental Fire, where you would have gotten Dodge at 2nd level and Mobility at 6th level, so Mobility comes a bit late... but fear not:

If you already have a feat that a bloodline provides as a bonus feat, you may choose a different feat. For example, the minor celestial bloodline grants Alertness as a bonus feat at 8th level, If a character with this bloodline already has Alertness by the time he reaches 8th level, he can choose any other feat instead (subject to normal prerequisites, of course).

Thus, if you can pick Mobility prior to 8th level, at level 12th your bloodline will grant you a feat of your choice.

Another use of Bloodlines would be to create a custom Bloodline; there are also rules to create custom Bloodlines in Unearthed Arcana. For example, starting from the aforementioned Elemental Fire and swapping Pyrotechnics and Mobility would give you Mobility at level 8.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't competely understand bloodlines. I must spend two levels to get the bloodline's bonuses, and I get other bonuses on further levels, correct? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Momonga-sama: Bloodlines are the opposite of LA with buy-off rules, with LA you have all advantages upfront and an increase of ECL until you finally pay it off, with Bloodlines you gain advantages little by little but in exchange you don't have an increase of ECL. For example, imagine a Wizard with an Intermediate Bloodline. From level 1 to 5, it just evolves naturally. At level 5, it must spend 2x the XP to get to level 6, then evolves naturally until level 11. At level 11, it must spend 2x the XP to get to level 12, then evolves naturally forever after. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2016 at 12:21

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