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    Iituem's Avatar

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    Default The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Insult Swordsman
    "How appropriate. You fight like a cow."

    The style of insult swordfighting was supposedly perfected on Melee Island, an obscure atoll along the south-eastern coasts. Commonly favoured by pirates and nobles alike, the insult swordsman combines the traditional arts of fencing, swordplay and duelling with straight-out badmouthing one's opponent. Wielding tongues as sharp as their blades, the insult swordsmen strike at hearts and minds, piercing soft spots in their targets' emotions to get them to expose their flanks. The insult swordsman is the master of the bluff and the feint, armed with wit honed enough to cut through steel.


    Abilities: Charisma allows insult swordsmen to execute their most important tactic; feinting. It hones their insults to the point where they can repeatedly throw an opponent off guard. A good Wisdom score helps them fight off insults against them and potentially get a retort in and high Dexterity always helps with dodging attcks.
    Alignment: Any, though chaotic characters often favour a class that allows them to provoke their opponents repeatedly and with relatively little more consequence than they were planning to bring upon themselves anyhow.
    Hit Die: d6

    The Insult Swordsman's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (all skills, taken indiviually), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope.

    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

    The Insult Swordsman

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

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Insult, scathing remark +1d6, guarded commentary +0,

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Retort

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Scathing remark +2d6

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Evasion, rapier wit +1

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Scathing remark +3d6, guarded commentary +1

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Quick Tongue (move)

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Scathing remark +4d6

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Rapier wit +2

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Scathing remark +5d6

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Guarded commentary +2, Quick Tongue (free)

    11th|
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Scathing remark +6d6

    12th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Improved Evasion, rapier wit +3

    13th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Scathing remark +7d6

    14th|
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |-

    15th|
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Scathing remark +8d6, guarded commentary +3

    16th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Rapier wit +4

    17th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Scathing remark +9d6

    18th|
    +13
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |-

    19th|
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Scathing remark +10d6

    20th|
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Guarded commentary +4, rapier wit +5

    [/table]

    Class Features


    Proficiencies: The insult swordsman is proficient with light and medium armour and shields. He is proficient with all simple weapons as well as the short sword, longsword, rapier, scimintar, falchion, kukhri and bastard sword.

    Insult: The insult swordsman may execute a feint using an insult rather than body language. The effect still uses the Bluff skill and otherwise works as a feint would.

    Scathing Remark: On any attacks following a successful feint (for as long as the subject would be denied his Dex bonus to AC) the insult swordsman can follow up with a string of insults that throw his opponent further off guard and allow him to do extra damage. This will not work upon creatures immune to critical hits, with no discernable anatomy or concealment. Unlike the rogue sneak attack ability, this cannot be used on any creature denied his Dex bonus to AC - only a subject of a feint. This does include a flanked or flat-footed character with Uncanny Dodge, provided he has made a successful feint against them. Scathing remarks cannot be made using bludgeoning weapons (including weapons like morningstars that also do piercing damage).

    Guarded Commentary: The insult swordsman makes a series of minor comments on his opponent's appearance, actions and other details that might not throw him off his guard but do throw him off his attack. The insult swordsman may apply a Dodge bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier plus a certain amount per level (0 at 1st, 1 at 5th etc) against a single opponent. If he has the Dodge feat, it is the same opponent to which that Dodge bonus applies. He may switch the opponent to which he gains the bonus on any action he takes.

    Rapier Wit: The insult swordsman gradually becomes more proficient at striking the opponent's weak spots, both physically and emotionally. He develops a sense of what really ticks a person off and can employ this to increase the accuracy of his attacks. Against an opponent he has successfully feinted, the insult swordsman may add a certain bonus to his attack rolls. This does not grant him additional attacks but will stack with any other bonuses to attack he may have.

    Retort: If an opponent attempts to feint the insult swordsman in melee and fails, the insult swordsman may make an immediate free feint against the character as an attack of opportunity. This counts towards his number of attacks of opportunity for that round and cannot make a retort if he has already taken an attack of opportunity.

    Evasion: If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, the insult swordsman takes no damage with a successful saving throw. Evasion can only be used if the insult swordsman wears light or no armour. It is an extraordinary ability.

    Quick Tongue: At 6th level the insult swordsman can make a feint as a move-equivalent action rather than a standard action, potentially allowing him to get a free strike at the character. The feint's benefits still extend into the next round. At 10th level the insult swordsman can make a feint as a free action at the start of his turn, although the benefits of the feint only apply within that round.

    Improved Evasion: Works as evasion, save that on a failed save the insult swordsman only takes half damage (he still takes no damage on a successful save).
    Last edited by Iituem; 2007-02-17 at 11:54 PM.
    Various Homebrew: Why not check it out? You're unlikely to be disappointed.

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    Lord Iames Osari's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    I would make scathing remark not work against mindless creatures as well as creatures immune to critical hits and without discernable anatomies.

    Also, I fail to see the point of the Insult ability: it's pure fluff with no mechanical benefit at all. I think it should give the Insult swordsman that ability to make a feint as a swift action in addition to the fluff elements.

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    Iituem's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Insult is purely fluff. The swift action power is given in Quick Tongue. I purely put Insult in to clarify that you could feint with an insult rather than purely body language or saying 'look behind you'. If it were anything other than pure fluff, the number of abilities at 1st level would be a bit overpowered.

    Agreed on the mindless thing, though. Editing.

    Edit: Actually, that's a given. You can't bluff anything without a mind, so you can't feint it either. Since you can only use scathing remark against something you've feinted, you could never use it against mindless creatures.
    Last edited by Iituem; 2007-02-18 at 12:58 AM.
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Also: creatures who don't speak his language and creatures who don't hear (or can't hear) the insult swordsman are similarly unaffected by his abilities. That all seems pretty limiting; much more so than the limits on a rogue's sneak attack ability imho, since there are going to be lots of creatures against whom he is essentially going to be a sneak-attackless rogue.

    Given that, I think he needs some kind of boost. Maybe HD to d8? Or better yet, allow the ability to work on intelligent creatures who are normally immune to sneak attacks, like vampires and liches.

    Otoh, in a campaign in which the opponents are usually intelligent humanoids, it's not so necessary...

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    RangerGuy

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    Post Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Like the class, but, as I think someone else here mentioned, a character whose limited (but definitely useful/interesting) powers depend on dealing with humanoid (usually) enemies that speak the same languages as the character may not be right for all campaigns.

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Hmm. That one needs a work-around.

    Heh. I could give him a Rude Gesture ability that transcends language barriers. I was considering letting him get sneak attacks in on creatures that didn't have true anatomies, provided they had an Intelligence score at all (so constructs would still be out, but not smart undead or elementals - all vermin would be immune, however) and could hear or, in the case of Rude Gesture, see his insults. Hmm.

    Let's see if these rules seem to work:

    Scathing Remark: On any attacks following a successful feint (for as long as the subject would be denied his Dex bonus to AC) the insult swordsman can follow up with a string of insults that throw his opponent further off guard and allow him to do extra damage. This will not work upon creatures with no intelligence (mindless creatures) or creatures that cannot hear the insult swordsman or understand his language. Unlike the rogue sneak attack ability, this cannot be used on any creature denied his Dex bonus to AC - only a subject of a feint. This does include a flanked or flat-footed character with Uncanny Dodge, provided he has made a successful feint against them. Unlike a rogue's sneak attack ability, this can be used against any creature with intelligence, including intelligent undead and elementals but not constructs, oozes or vermin. Scathing remarks depend not upon a knowledge of anatomy but upon one's opponent revealing his weak spots to you directly. Scathing remarks cannot be made using bludgeoning weapons (including weapons like morningstars that also do piercing damage).


    Rude Gesture: The insult swordsman's repertiore of angering his foes has expanded beyond the verbal. So long as he has at least one free hand with which to make it, the insult swordsman may substitute a rude gesture that transcends language barriers to execute his feint. The subject must be able to see him and have an Intelligence score. If the insult swordsman wishes to insult his foe whilst using a shield or second weapon, unless he has a third hand he will need to do so verbally.
    (7th level)

    Polyslight: The insult swordsman has insulted so many people and creatures of so many ethnicities that, although he has no working knowledge of their actual language, he has picked up an assorted pidgin of countless slurs, slights and inciteful comments. His verbal insults need no longer depend on the target understanding his language.
    (14th level)

    Paralytic Rage: The insult swordsman may take a full-round action, without provoking an attack of opportunity, to let loose a barrage of insults of such sheer vitriolic incitement that the target becomes paralysed with rage. The target may attempt a Will save against a DC of 15 + the insult swordsman's Charisma modifier to resist. On a failed save, the target is paralysed for a number of rounds equal to half the insult swordsman's level. If he recovers, however, he gains the benefits of a barbarian's rage (+4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, a +2 morale bonus on Will saves and a -2 penalty to AC) and immediately attacks the insult swordsman. The rage lasts until either he or the swordsman is dead. If the target survives, he is then fatigued for an hour. The insult swordsman may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.
    The insult swordsman may execute scathing remarks upon a foe paralysed by rage, but not after he has recovered from his paralysis (during which time he may attempt to feint him as normal).
    This is an extraordinary, mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.
    (11th level?)
    Last edited by Iituem; 2007-02-20 at 12:29 PM.
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    Iituem's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    (Could use balance comments on these. )
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    EvilElitest's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    His insults could raise teh ablities of his friends, even against mindless monsters. An ooze is scary untill you reveal that it is only a moving pile of musturd or somthign to that effect. Also, as a high level abiltiey you can insult people just by the tone of your voice, and mabe lower their chrisma and int mondifeir. What if you have an ablity that makes them go into rage, regarless of class. Works for enemies and friends. Or an abilty that makes them stunned (aka, crying from the emotional scars you gave them.
    In real life, insults are one of the greatest weapons invented
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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    I love the class. One thing it needs is a bonus if the player can come up with a good insult.
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    Beholder

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Don't use the rage thing, but I definitely like the ability to transcend language barriers. That will help a lot.

    It seems like a pretty good class. You pretty much took the rogue and tweaked it a little here and there with fluff. I like it, and think it is quite balanced (but take out that rage part. doesn't seem to fit with the character concept)
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    I also like the idea of the DM being generous with circumstance bonuses on all sorts of rolls (attacks, feints, skill checks, etc; maybe even dmg sometimes) based on the quality of insults the player can come up with (as long as they keep the insults in character, something which is not always easy to do).

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    I like the idea of the insults not only improving damage, but adding increasingly powerful buffs for allies or debuffs for enemies- giving a morale bonus ala a bard's inspire courage, or making the opponent shaken, etc. That paralytic rage is a fine example. It might make the I.S. a sort of bard without spells but more direct buffing.

    Other than that- wonderful! I had a PC bard who once had ranks in perform (insult) and used it to become a vigilante-type. It was fun.
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    I completely concur.

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    Keep the rage thing. As sombody who is very insulting, i know every person has a "Breaking point" where they no longer care about the consquences and simple attack. A good insulter knows when to back off unless they are ready for a fight. Ever person has that ground where you just don't go, and will not tolerate any insult. An orphan for example could take offence on sombody saying "Why don't you run back to mama, wait you don't have one" (not my personal opintion, just an example) the person being insulted will often attack blindly. The same should be true for the insult swordsmen will have the same effect, possible making his alllies go into a rage or making thier enemies irrerational. Only a few times per day though, as it takes a great deal of thought to find the most insulting thing.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The Insult Swordsman (Base Class)

    The rage thing works with the class, it could be a double edge sword... as if they fail the will save, they're paralyzed, but then get out of with rage enhanced stats... and if they make the will save... oh man, the insult swordsman is rather SOL; as in they become enraged... go after it. If this was put like a level 10 or level 15 ability with the capstone to actually move the focus of the rage to someone or something else at level 20, it would awesome. This would definitely change out the feel of a really talkative rogue to something wields insults as weapons as much as his rapier.

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