View Full Version : PrC: The Fencer

2005-07-29, 11:23 PM

I would like some input on a PrC that one of my players had me build for my next campaign. It's very-much based on the duelist PrC but with a focus on defense rather than offense.


To qualify to become a Fencer, the character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Tumble: 4 Ranks
Balance: 4 Ranks
Feats: Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Rapier), Expertise

Class Skills:
Balance (DEX), Bluff (CHA), Diplomacy (CHA), Disguise (CHA), Escape Artist (DEX), Innuendo (WIS), Jump (STR), Listen (WIS), Move Silently (DEX), Perform (CHA), Search (INT), Sense Motive (WIS), Spot (WIS), Tumble (DEX)

Skill Points at each level: 4 + Intelligence Modifier

Level BAB Fort Reflex Willpower Special Bonus
1st +0 0 2 0 Parry + 1, Imp. Disarm
2nd +1 0 3 0 Lunge +1d6
3rd +2 1 3 1 Imp. Reaction +2
4th +3 1 4 1 Riposte 1/day
5th +4 1 4 1 Parry +2
6th +5 2 5 2 Remise, Lunge +2d6
7th +6 2 5 2 Riposte 2/day
8th +7 2 6 2 Imp. Reaction +4
9th +8 3 6 3 Parry +3
10th +9 3 7 3 Lunge +3d6, Riposte 3/day

Class Features:

Fencing Stance:
A fencer is considered to be in a fencing stance when his weapon is drawn, he is in light armor (or no armor) and his offhand is free. Additionally, any time a fencer is denied his dexterity bonus to AC, he is considered out of his stance and unable to use certain abilities.

The parry is a defensive move that allows fencers to protect themselves with their blade. As long as he is in the fencing stance, the fencer gains a dodge bonus to his AC. The fencer must declare which target he is parrying against and may parry against one additional target every 4 levels (to a max of 3). At level 1 this bonus is +1, at level 5 this bonus is +2, and at level 9 it increases to +3.

Starting at level two, a fencer may lunge at his opponent, making a single attack at full attack bonus and adding 1d6 damage. At level 6 this bonus damage increases to 2d6, and at 10 it reaches 3d6. The opponent must possess vital areas on its body in order for this attack to succeed. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be lunged at. This ability can only be used when the fencer is in the fencing stance.

Improved Reaction:
At level 3 the Fencer gains +2 to initiative rolls, at level 8 this bonus increases to +4.

Imp. Disarm
As the Improved Disarm feat.

Starting at level 4, the fencer may riposte once per day, allowing him to immediately make a single attack at his highest attack bonus after an opponent’s failed attack roll. The fencer gains an additional riposte every 3 class levels thereafter. This ability can only be used when in the fencing stance. Only one riposte may be applied toward an individual attack.

At level 6, the fencer can reroll a failed standard attack roll once per day. Special attacks and abilities such as Lunge and Riposte may not be remised. This ability can only be used when in the fencing stance.

Please post your thoughts :)

EDIT: original post modified to reflect feedback.

2005-07-30, 12:23 AM
What's the story behind the Prc? Is this a school of fencing taught by famous master? Some special organization?
The mechanics seem pretty good to me but a couple questions:
Is the character considered to be in his Fencing Stance when flat-footed or flanked?
Is Parry effective against all attackers or is it like Dodge where it is effective only against a single specified opponent? Would it stack with Dodge?
I would probably increase Tumble and Jump requirements to 5 ranks each.

2005-07-30, 01:43 AM
Ah, fencing. The sport of gentlemen. Requiring a quick mind, nimble body, and a wire hockey mask for the face.

Anywho, I've looked over your class, and I like what you've done. It really captures the spirit and feel of fencing (and I know, as I fence a bit myself). I paticularly like how you got the right names for the abilities. Lemme just go over it...

Requirements: As it stands, your choices are right on. However, I have noticed something: A fighter could take this feat at Level 5. Usually, a PrC should not be available to classes until they are going on level 6 (aka. Level 6 is their first level in the PrC). I agree with MaN that the Tumble needs to be increased to five, though you can keep Jump as is. I'd also like to suggest 3 ranks in Balance, as fencing is an extremely dexterious sport and requires such skill. If you add that in, a Fighter can still achieve this class by Level 5, but at the exclusion of all his other skills. (Balancing it)

BAB and Save Progression: I'd start BAB off at +0, but let it progress all the way to +9. This isn't supposed to be an offensive class anyway. Otherwise, looks good.

Fencing Stance: You really do need to answer MaN's questions here. I would believe that a charcter is in Fencing Stance if they meet your criteria and are not denied their Dex bonus. They should still be able to mainatin the Stance flanked, however.

Parry: Same idea. You can parry attacks if you aren't denied your Dex. bonus.

Lunge: Nice. Keep it as is.

Imp. Reaction: See above.

Imp. Disarm: And again.

Riposte: Eh...I have a bit of a problem with this ability. What it does is fine, but gaining that many attacks is a bit much (high AC characters would have a field day with this), especially if they get to use their highest attack bonus. Might I recommend applying a -2 modifier to each attack, and if they miss once with a Riposte then they may not continue? (IE. if they can make two Ripostes, but miss with the first one, then they may not use the second)

Remise: Nice. I assume it can't be used in conjunction with Riposte, as that would be a bit unbalanced (and negate my suggestion).

Comments aside, you did an excellent job capturing the spirit of the sport in a class form. Good job. Hope my input helps.

2005-07-30, 09:05 AM
The fencing stance was just a condensed way of saying that, in order to make use of their abilities, they have to be wearing no heavier than light armor, their weapon must be drawn, and they can't be using anything in their offhand. So my initialy reaction is to let them be in the stance as long as they are not denied their Dex bonus.

Originally parry was a bonus to AC whenever the fencer was in his fencing stance, but it looks like it would be better to change it so that they can't use it when they're denied their dex bonus (I didn't even think of that) but also maybe I should limit it to being able to parry one opponent for each 'level' of parry, up to a max of 3.

Dropping the BAB progression sounds like a good idea.

If I increase tumble to 5, wouldn't that mean that a Fighter couldn't take a level in the class until level 8? (5*2 = 10, 10-3 = level 7 for 5 ranks of tumble). I wanted the class to be available at level 6 initially.

For the skill reqs, how about I increase Tumble to 4, and replace Jump with a Balance requirement of 4. That would mean a fighter would have to spend his base 2 skill points every level on Jump and Balance and would meet the requirement at level 5, allowing them to take it at 6.

A clarification on Riposte, when the fencer uses this ability they only make 1 attack, but it is made at their highest attack bonus. And I should clarify that only one Riposte can be made against any given attack. (But if the enemy attacks twice in a round than each can provoke a seperate Riposte). Also keep in mind that it can only be used 1/2/3 times per day. Would it be better to only allow one Riposte attempt per round?

A clarification on Remise, this only applies to regular attacks, any special ability like a disarm or Riposte or Lunge can't be rerolled.

Thanks for the input! More is always welcome :)

2005-07-30, 09:09 AM
Ok, what weapon and armor proficiency does the Fencer get upon attaining first level?

Is he allowed to where armor aside from light armor?(traditionally I've never seem a fencer in anything more than say padded armor)

I agree with what the people above have said, good job, I may ask if it's ok to write an article on this later on, just warning you

2005-07-30, 10:43 AM
From a traditional standpoint Rapiers are the only weapon really suited for use by the fencer. I suppose I forgot to mention that in the original post (there are sabers and epee's and such but those aren't in the martial weapons lists, plus I'm not the fencer IRL, my friend is so I don't know how different styles translate to the PrC, it was designed with a rapier user in mind). They have proficiency in light armor and can use heavier armors but they cannot be in their fencing stance with any medium or heavy armor.

2005-07-30, 01:31 PM
On the styles, there is little difference between epee and foil, but saber has more cuts and slashes than the other two. Traditionally, a parrying dagger was used in the offhand. Sabers would be like a cutlass and epee would still be a rapier. And armorwise, not really any. You were bound to be kinda cut up. But padded or leather were exceptable except that they hampered movement.

2005-07-30, 11:26 PM
Argh...this is what I get for typing late at night (after work).

I want to make a few changes to my original post. First, I thought Tumble was a class skill for Fighters. So, my mistake there. However, the requirements that you listed in response work nice. Balance 4 and Tumble 4 work very well with class.

Second, I misread Riposte. Since it is only useable X amount per day, then it doesn't need any restrictions on bonuses. However, one shouldn't be able to use more than one Riposte per round. That's just a few more attacks at once than what should be possible in a round.
(Three attacks of your own, switch to opponents, they miss every one of theirs, and you could get three more at once. Wow.)

Otherwise, everything is on the money.