View Full Version : Swashbuckler Prestige Class (PEACH)

2011-07-25, 08:03 AM
Let me start this off by saying that my intention wasn't to recreate the swashbuckler or duelist classes entirely, just tweak them slightly to make them better and worthy prestige options. This class is aimed primarily at the rogue and bard classes to make them better damage dealers, although fighters with high Dexterity and Intelligence can also benefit. Anyway, here is the Swashbuckler Prestige Class:

The Swashbuckler

The swashbuckler embodies the concepts of daring and panache, favoring wits and agility over brute force. Swashbucklers excel in both combat situations and in social interactions, making them very versatile and a worthy addition to any adventuring party. While they are not as durable as a warblade, barbarian, or a paladin, the swashbuckler is a capable melee fighter.

Most swashbucklers can be found in the Kingdom of Arc, where dueling is rather commonplace. Many sailors train as swashbucklers, as dexterity and cunning are oftentimes more useful at sea than strength alone.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements: To qualify to become a swashbuckler, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +6
Skills: Balance 4 ranks, Tumble 4 ranks
Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse

Class Skills: The swashbuckler’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at each Level: 6 + Int Modifier

{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Canny Defense, Fast Movement, Grace +1

+0|Improved Reaction +2, Insightful Strike

+1|Dodge Bonus +1, Enhanced Mobility

+1|Improved Flanking, Lucky

+1|Grace +2, Precise Strike (+1d6)

+2|Acrobatic Charge, Dodge Bonus +2

+2|Elaborate Parry, Weakening Critical

+2|Acrobatic Skill Mastery, Improved Reaction +4

+3|Dodge Bonus +3, Flourish, Wounding Critical

+3|Grace +3, Precise Strike (+2d6)[/table]

Class Features: All of the following are class features of the swashbuckler class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Swashbucklers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and bucklers. Some of the swashbuckler’s class features, as noted below, rely on her being no more than lightly armored and unencumbered.

Canny Defense (Ex): While wearing no armor or light armor, a swashbuckler adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per swashbuckler level to her Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a swashbuckler is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.

Fast Movement (Ex): A swashbuckler’s land speed is faster than the norm for her race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when she is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the swashbuckler’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Grace (Ex): A swashbuckler gains a +1 competence bonus on Reflex saves. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th level and to +3 at 10th level. A swashbuckler loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Improved Reaction (Ex): At 2nd level, a swashbuckler gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks. At 8th level, the bonus increases to +4. This bonus stacks with the benefit provided by the Improved Initiative feat.

Insightful Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, a swashbuckler becomes able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. She applies her Intelligence bonus (if any) as a bonus on damage rolls (in addition to any Strength bonus she may have) with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse, such as a rapier, whip, or spiked chain. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Dodge Bonus (Ex): A swashbuckler is trained at focusing her defense on a single opponent in melee. During her action, she may designate an opponent and receive a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class against melee attacks from that opponent. She can select a new opponent on any action. This bonus increases by +1 at every three levels after 3rd (+2 at 6th and +3 at 9th). A swashbuckler loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

The swashbuckler need not designate the same target for this ability as for the Dodge feat (if she designates the same target, the bonuses stack).

Enhanced Mobility (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when wearing light or no armor, a swashbuckler gains an additional +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity caused when she moves out of a threatened square.

Improved Flanking (Ex): A swashbuckler of 4th level or higher who is flanking an opponent gains a +4 bonus on attacks instead of a +2 bonus on attacks (other characters flanking with the swashbuckler don’t gain this increased bonus).

Lucky (Ex): Many swashbucklers live by the credo “Better lucky than good.” Once per day, a swashbuckler of 4th level or higher may reroll any failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw with a +5 luck bonus. The swashbuckler must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll.

Precise Strike (Ex): At 5th level, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed weapon, gaining a bonus to her attack and critical confirmation rolls equal to her Intelligence bonus and gaining an extra 1d6 points of damage added to her normal damage roll. When making a precise strike, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield (she may carry a shield, but she sacrifices its bonus to her AC until the start of her next turn). A swashbuckler’s precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike. At 10th level, the extra damage on a precise strike increases to +2d6.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): A swashbuckler of 6th level or higher can charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking her path. This ability enables her to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, or to tumble over tables to get to her target. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks (Jump or Tumble checks, in particular) to successfully move over the terrain.

Elaborate Parry (Ex): At 7th level and higher, 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 level of swashbuckler she has.

Weakening Critical (Ex): A swashbuckler of 7th level or higher 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.

Acrobatic Skill Mastery (Ex): At 8th level, a swashbuckler becomes so certain in the use of her acrobatic skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Jump or Tumble check, a swashbuckler may take 10 even if stressed and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

Flourish (Ex): Starting at 9th level, whenever the swashbuckler scores a critical hit against a creature, she deals extra damage equal to her Charisma bonus (if any). Creatures immune to critical hits are still subject to the extra Charisma-based damage.

Wounding Critical (Ex): A swashbuckler of 9th level or higher who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Constitution damage to the creature (this damage is in addition to the Strength damage dealt by the swashbuckler’s weakening critical class feature). Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect.

Author's Notes:

Admittedly it's not all that different than the Duelist class from the DMG, but that was my intention. After attempting to recreate the Swashbuckler base class, I realized (thanks to you fine folks) that it was better to take the good class features from the Swashbuckler (and there are many, that's not the issue with the class) and make a prestige class out of them. I originally kicked around the idea of making a 5 level prestige class, but then decided to hybridize the duelist with the swashbuckler and make a 10 level prestige class.

Most of the class abilities were left unchanged, with a few exceptions. Precise Strike was very underpowered, as it can't be used with two weapons or a sword and boarder (or perhaps more accurately, a rapier and buckler-er?). So I also added in the Int bonus to attack and critical confirmation rolls, which brings it up to speed and also works with the flavor more, since it is supposed to be a more accurate, precision strike (not a sneak attack to the kidneys). Of course, the power might be a little overpowered now, but that's why I'm posting here, for constructive feedback and help.

I also added the Flourish ability to make the class beneficial for high-Charisma types as well as high-Intelligence types. It's not a super powerful ability, but it's still nice to have around for a few extra points of damage.