Swashbuckler

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L'escrimeuse (The Swordswoman) Jean Béraud (1849–1935)

L'escrimeuse (The Swordswoman) Jean Béraud (1849–1935)

Originally Posted by

Shadowfoot of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

With elements posted by

DaveoftheRave of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

Adventure is in their blood. Whether heroes or bandits, gentlemen or pirates, swashbucklers all have adventure in their hearts. They survive with cunning and personality – and deadly skill with weapons.

Swashbucklers are most often humans with a thirst for style and adventure.

Game Rule Information

Swashbucklers (Swa) have the following game statistics.

Abilities: The swashbuckler lives by personality and a knack for avoiding defeat. Dexterity is vital to the swashbuckler, as it enhances his Armor Class, fuels his Finesse, and contributes to many class skills. Charisma, the foundation of his Bravado and many class skills, is also important. The swashbuckler also benefits from high Intelligence for skills and high Strength for melee damage.
Base Attack Bonus: Good (as a fighter).
Hit Die: d8.
Saves: Good Reflex / Poor Fortitude and Will.

Class Skills: The swashbuckler’s class skills are Appraise (Intelligence), Balance (Dexterity), Bluff(Charisma), Climb (Strength), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy, Disguise (Charisma), Escape Artist(Dexterity), Gather Information (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Jump (Strength), Knowledge (Local) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Move Silently (Dexterity), Perform (Charisma), Profession (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity), Sense Motive (Wisdom), Sleight of Hand (Dexterity), Spot (Wisdom), Swim (Strength), Tumble (Dexterity), and Use Rope (Dexterity).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier (x4 at 1st level).

Alignment: Any
Starting Age: As a bard.
Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10gp.
Favored Class: Swashbuckler is favored class for humans.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (illustration of the Appleton edition)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (illustration of the Appleton edition)

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the swashbuckler.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Swashbucklers are proficient with the all Simple weaponsas well as light martial weapons, the cutlass, rapier, sap, Scimitar, shortsword, and one of the following: crossbow (any hand or light), longsword, Spiked Chain, two-bladed sword, warstaff, or Whip. They are proficient with Light armor but not with shields.

Swashbuckler
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Bravado, Weapon Finesse
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Combat Style
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1  
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Uncanny Dodge
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Personality
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +2 Improved Combat Style
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Daredevil Athlete
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +2 Improved Uncanny Dodge
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Acrobatic Charge
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Personality
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Combat Style Mastery
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Special Ability
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4  
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4  
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Defensive Combat Style, Personality
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5 Special Ability
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5  
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Slippery Mind
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Combat Style Improvisation
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Personality, Special Ability

Bravado: The swashbuckler excels by sheer force of personality. He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to all saves against fear spells and effects. In addition, he may designate a single foe each round; he can add his Charisma modifier (if positive), up to +1 per swashbuckler level, as a Dodge bonus to his AC against that foe's melee attacks. He loses this bonus if caught flatfooted or incapacitated. This is extraordinary.

Weapon Finesse: A swashbuckler gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. This benefit does not apply when she is wearing medium or heavy armour, or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Combat Style [2nd/6th/11th/15th/19th level]: The swashbuckler specializes in a specific fighting style, such as Fencing or Two-Weapon Fighting. At 2nd level, he selects one of the combat styles listed below, receiving the indicated feats at the appropriate levels, even if he does not otherwise qualify for the feat granted or selected. At 6th level, he advances in his chosen style, gaining Improved Combat Style. At 11th level, he masters this style with Combat Style Mastery. At 15th level, he learns defense as well as offense, gaining his choice of feats from the Defensive Combat Style. And at 19th level, he utilizes his chosen combat style in new ways, gaining his choice of feats from Combat Style Improvisation. The benefits of a chosen style apply only when the swashbuckler wears light or no armor, except those feats noted by an asterisk, which he enjoys regardless of any armor worn:

New Combat Styles

Bolts A'Blazing: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

The Bolts A'Blazing combat style focuses on quick and deadly combat with crossbows.

Combat Style: Rapid Reload.

Improved Combat Style: Rapid Shot.

Combat Style Mastery: Greater Weapon Focus (Any light or hand crossbow).

Defensive Combat Style: Defensive Shot or Deflect Arrows.

Combat Style Improvisation: Boltslinger, Improved Rapid Reload, or Ranged Pin.

Desert Moon: Combat Style [ranger] [Swashbuckler]

A style native to desert dwelling civilizations, Desert Moon is common among the corsairs, swashbucklers, and Arabian knights.

Combat Style: Weapon Focus (Scimitar).

Improved Combat Style: Cleave.

Combat Style Mastery: Improved Critical (Scimitar).

Defensive Combat Style: Blind-Fight* or Combat Parry.

Combat Style Improvisation: Expanded Finesse (Scimitar), Great Cleave, or Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (with Scimitars). [* enjoyed regardless of armor worn]

Exotic: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

Favored by the more curious and cosmopolitan swashbucklers, the Exotic combat style specializes in unusual weapons.

Combat Style: Exotic Weapon Proficiency*.

Improved Combat Style: Weapon Specialization (Any Exotic weapon).

Combat Style Mastery: Greater Weapon Focus (Any Exotic weapon).

Defensive Combat Style: Combat Expertise or Defensive Shot.

Combat Style Improvisation: Combat Precision, Exotic Weapon Proficiency*, or Power Attack. [* enjoyed regardless of armor worn]

Fencing: FENCING Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

The gentlemen's combat style is commonly practiced by aristocratic and more elegant, studious swashbucklers.

Combat Style: Weapon Focus (rapier).

Improved Combat Style: Lunge.

Combat Style Mastery: Improved Critical (rapier).

Defensive Combat Style: Combat Parry or En Garde.

Combat Style Improvisation: Combat Precision, Improved Disarm, or Piercing Jab.

Fisticuffs: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

Fisticuffs is the combat style of pugilists, brawlers, and brutes.

Combat Style: Improved Unarmed Strike.

Improved Combat Style: Improved Unarmed Might.

Combat Style Mastery: Power Fist.

Defensive Combat Style: Clever Wrestling or Combat Expertise.

Combat Style Improvisation: Earth's Embrace, Prone Attack, or Stunning Fist.

Happy-Go-Lucky: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

Equal parts enthusiasm and luck, the Happy-Go-Luck combat style is practiced by optimistic heroes and lucky warriors.

Combat Style: Have at Thee.

Improved Combat Style: Combat Enthusiasm.

Combat Style Mastery: Improved Combat Enthusiasm.

Defensive Combat Style: Blind-Fight* or Luck of Legends*.

Combat Style Improvisation: Allied Zeal, Greater Combat Enthusiasm, or Lucky Strike. [* enjoyed regardless of armor worn]

Iron Snake: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

Iron Snake combat stylists perfect their martial prowess with the chain.

Combat Style: Weapon Focus (Spiked Chain).

Improved Combat Style: Chain Finesse.

Combat Style Mastery: Improved Critical (Spiked Chain).

Defensive Combat Style: Combat Expertise or Improved Two-Handed Defense.

Combat Style Improvisation: Combat Precision, Improved Disarm, or Improved Trip.

Reckless: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

The Reckless combat style is commonly practiced by hotheaded and impulsive swashbucklers.

Combat Style: Reckless Offensive.

Improved Combat Style: Improved Charge Attack.

Combat Style Mastery: Improved Rapid Strike.

Defensive Combat Style: Mobility or Reckless Defense.

Combat Style Improvisation: Have at Thee, Power Attack, or Spring Attack.

Stick: Combat Style [ranger] [Swashbuckler]

The Stick combat style focuses on the quarterstaff and other simple sticks.

Combat Style: Weapon Focus (club, quarterstaff, or Warstaff).

Improved Combat Style: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting.

Combat Style Mastery: Weapon Specialization (club, quarterstaff, or Warstaff).

Defensive Combat Style: Combat Expertise or Improved Two-Weapon Defense.

Combat Style Improvisation: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Staff Sweep, or Stunning Blow.

Sword and Cloak: Combat Style [Swashbuckler]

One of the more stylish combat styles, Sword and Cloak employs the cloak to distract and disable your opponent.

Combat Style: Sword and Cloak Fighting.

Improved Combat Style: Veiled Attack

Combat Style Mastery: Greater Sword and Cloak Fighting.

Defensive Combat Style: Cloak Dance or Greater Cloak and Shadow.

Combat Style Improvisation: Cloak Finesse, Improved Feint, or Improved Veiled Attack.

Two-Weapon Fighting Combat Style [ranger] [Swashbuckler]

combat stylists specialize in fighting with a weapon in each hand.

Combat Style: Two-Weapon Fighting.

Improved Combat Style: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting.

Combat Style Mastery: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting.

Defensive Combat Style: Dodge or Improved Two-Weapon Defense.

Combat Style Improvisation: Off-Hand Might, Targeted Two-Weapon Attack, or Whirlwind Attack .

Whip: Combat Style [ranger] [Swashbuckler]

The Whip combat style is rarely practiced except by more dashing and stylish warriors.

Combat Style: Cutting Lash.

Improved Combat Style: Improved Whip Strike.

Combat Style Mastery: Greater Weapon Focus (Whip).

Defensive Combat Style: Combat Expertise or Dodge.

Combat Style Improvisation: Combat Precision, Whipcrack, or Whip Finesse.

Uncanny Dodge [4th level]: The swashbuckler can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He is no longer subject to flanking and retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker, unless immobilized. If he already has Uncanny Dodge from a different class, the swashbuckler automatically gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead. His swashbuckler level stacks with levels in any class granting Uncanny Dodge to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank him. This is extraordinary.

Personality [5th/10th/15th/20th level]: The swashbuckler has panache, flair, and style. At 5th level and every five levels thereafter, he may select a bonus feat from the following: Artist, Buffoonery, Charlatan, Coldhearted, Cosmopolitan, Confident, Dancer's Grace, Dandy, Deceitful, Diligent, Eloquent Speaker, Empathic, Fiery Temper, Good Manners, Hard to Fool, Intrepid, Mercantile Background, Musician's Ear, Negotiator, Noble Warrior, Nobody's Fool, Performer, Persuasive, Seafarer, Skeptical, Sly, Smooth Talk, Songbird, Sophisticated, Street Smart, Thespian, Thug, Unsophisticated, Warmhearted, or Wily.

Daredevil Athlete (Ex): A swashbuckler of 7th level or higher can perform amazing death defying stunts. Three times per day, you can choose to gain a +5 luck bonus on a single Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Ride, Swim, or Tumble check. The swashbuckler loses this ability while wearing medium or heavy armour or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Improved Uncanny Dodge [8th level]: The swashbuckler can hold his own even when surrounded by enemies and can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the swashbuckler has rogue and swashbuckler levels. If the swashbuckler already has Improved Uncanny Dodge from a different class, he automatically gains Evasion instead. This is extraordinary.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): At 9th level, a swashbuckler gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain. Furthermore she does not suffer the normal -2 to AC for charging.

Special Ability [12th/16th/20th level]: The swashbuckler learns unusual maneuvers or acquires uncanny abilities. At 12th level and every four levels thereafter, he may select one of the following special abilities:

Bonus Feat: The swashbuckler can select any feat for which he qualifies as a bonus feat. This Special Ability may be taken multiple times.

Derring-Do: His personality is a force. He adds his Charisma bonus to all Will saves.

Defensive Roll: He can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per day each time this Special Ability is selected, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat from a weapon or other blow, he can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, he must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, he takes only half-damage from the blow; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to executive a defensive roll - if he is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, he can't use this ability. Evasion does not apply to Defensive Roll.

Elaborate Parry (Ex): If a swashbuckler chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, she gains an additional +1 Dodge bonus to AC for every 2 levels of swashbuckler she has. This benefit does not apply when she is wearing medium or heavy armour, or when carrying a medium or heavy load. This ability cannot be used when fighting with any weapons not compatible with the Weapon Finesse feat.

Evasion: He can avoid certain magical and unusual attacks. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half-damage on a successful save, the swashbuckler instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the swashbuckler is in light or no armor and not helpless. If this special ability is taken twice he gains Improved Evasion. This is an extraordinary ability.

Luck: Lady Luck smiles upon him. He can reroll any failed attack roll, saving throw, or skill check that he just made, taking the better of the two rolls. He can benefit from this extraordinary ability once per day each time Luck is chosen.

Panache: He receives a +1 bonus to all Charisma ability checks and Charisma-based skill checks.

Masterful Finesse: He selects two one-handed melee weapons, such as the longsword and warhammer. His Weapon Finesse feat now extends to these weapons. Masterful Defense can be taken multiple times.

Weakening Critical (Ex): A swashbuckler who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the creature. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect. This ability cannot be used when fighting with any weapons not compatible with the Weapon Finesse feat.

Wounding Critical (Ex): A swashbuckler who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Constitution damage to the creature. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect. This ability cannot be used when fighting with any weapons not compatible with the Weapon Finesse feat.

Innuendo: A Swashbuckler may attempt to goad their opponent into making a mistake, DC equal to Bluff check + 1/2 Swashbuckler class level (minimum 1), Will negates. An opponent who fails the saving throw receives a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and AC against the Swashbuckler until the end of the next round, this penalty increases to -3 at level 10, -4 at level 15, and -5 at level 20.

Slippery Mind (Ex): When a swashbuckler reaches 18th level, her mind becomes more difficult to control. If the swashbuckler fails her save against an enchantment spell or effect, she can attempt the save again 1 round later at the same DC (assuming she is still alive). She gets only this one extra chance to succeed at a certain saving throw.

Epic Swashbuckler: The epic-level swashbuckler continues his Hit Die, skill point, and Personality progressions. In addition, he receives bonus epic feats at 23rd level and every three levels thereafter (23rd, 26th, 29th, 32nd, etc.); he may select as epic feats Special Abilities and virtual Defensive Combat Style and Combat Style Improvisation feats.


New Equipment

CHAIN [Two-Handed Martial Weapon]
Proficiency with the Spiked Chain grants automatic proficiency with the simple chain, whose only difference from the exotic weapon is the absence of the added spikes. A simple chain has reach, so you can strike opponents 10 feet away with it. In addition, unlike most other weapons with reach, it can be used against an adjacent foe. Because the chain can wrap around an enemy's leg or other limb, you can make trip attacks with it. If you are tripped during you own trip attempt, you can drop the chain to avoid being tripped. When using a chain, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an opponent (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails). You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with a chain sized for you, even though it isn't a light weapon for you.

Cost: 30gp. Damage: 1d6 (M), 1d4 (S). Critical: 20/x2. Weight: 2 lbs. Type: Bludgeoning.

REPEATING HAND CROSSBOW [Exotic Ranged Weapon]
The repeating hand crossbow holds 3 crossbow bolts. As long as it holds bolts, you can reload it by pulling the reloading lever (a free action). Loading a new case of 3 bolts is a full round action requiring both hands that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Cost: 650gp. Damage: 1d4 (M), 1d3 (S). Critical: 19-20/x2. Range Increment: 30 feet. Weight: 3 lbs. Type: Piercing. 3-Bolt Clip: 1gp, ½ lb.

WARSTAFF [Two-Handed Martial Weapon]
A thicker, heavier, and more powerful version of the quarterstaff, the warstaff is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature wielding a warstaff in one hand can't use it as a double weapon-only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round. Warstaffs are reinforced or gilded in metal.

Cost: 5gp. Damage: 1d8/1d8 (M), 1d6/1d6 (S). Critical: 20/x2. Weight: 10 lbs. Type: Bludgeoning.

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