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Swashbuckler, STDoc Variant (3.5e Class)

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Original Creator: Leziad
Date Adopted: October 7, 2009
Status: Complete
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Balance: Wizard

{{#set:Summary=A swashbuckler who is actually playable after level 3. }}


Swinging from chandeliers, besting a champion fencer, seducing the daughter of the local magistrate. All these things are normal, everyday occurrences to the Swashbuckler. Whether he is a Dashing Swordsman, a Cunning Blade-Mistress, or a Wizened Veteran, the Swashbuckler is a Versatile Swordsman (or Swordswoman) on the front lines of combat. With his unparalleled grace, the Swashbuckler is just as deadly on a rickety bridge as he is on a flat plain.

Making a swashbuckler

The Swashbuckler is adept at locking down multiple melee combatants for short periods of time. His High AC is countered by his mediocre hit dice, but his selection of Skills sets him apart from the rank and file soldier.

Abilities: Dexterity obviously. Also Intelligence for Skills (also for Smart Swashbucklers), Wisdom (for Zen Swashbucklers) and Charisma (for Charming Swashbucklers).

Races: Any. Of the common races; Humans, Elves, Half-Elves, and Halflings are the most likely candidates to become Swashbucklers. It is uncommon for Gnomes and Dwarves to join this class, and almost completely unheard of for Half-Orcs to become Swashbucklers

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 4d6×10 gp (140 gp).

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Swashbuckler

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Style, swashbuckling 1d6, weapon finesse
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 AC bonus
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Stylish trick
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Swashbuckling 2d6
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Sidestep
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Stylish Trick
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Acrobatic Charge, Swashbuckling 3d6
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Evasion
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Stylish Trick
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Swashbuckling 4d6
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Supreme Charge
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Stylish Trick
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Swashbuckling 5d6
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Duelist Spirit
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Stylish Trick
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Swashbuckling 6d6
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Swashbuckling a Rock
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Stylish Trick
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Swashbuckling 7d6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Swashbuckling Supremacy

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local, Nobility) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Swashbuckler.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:.A Swashbuckler is proficent with all Simple and Martial Finessable weapons, and Light Armor. Swashbucklers are not proficient with shields of any kind.

Style: At 1st level, a Swashbuckler chooses her particular style of Combat. Once her choice is made she cannot change it. In addition, Duelist must use a light or one-handed weapon in one hand and nothing in the other, or lose the use of the class abilities below (Unless noted otherwise). She may select one of the following styles:

Charming Swashbuckler: A charming swashbuckler focuses on guile and charms over raw skill. She's a silver-tongued devil with a wit sharper then her blade. She may add bluff, diplomacy and disguise to her swashbuckler class skill list.

Smart Swashbuckler: A smart swashbuckler is a logical fighter, using intellectual power to overcome her foe. Being smart and tricky pays off, a smart swashbuckler adds any two intelligence-based skills to her class skill list (Knowledge skills are taken separately).

Zen Swashbuckler: A Zen swashbuckler is a wise and well seasoned swashbuckler. A Zen swashbuckler's years of practice in the Zen Arts have given her an enhanced attunement to her surroundings and the feelings of others. She may add sense motives and survival to her Swashbuckler skill list.

Swashbuckling (Ex): When attacking with a light or one-handed weapon in one hand and nothing in the other, a Swashbuckler deals 1d6 extra damage on every attack made with the light weapon or rapier. The extra damage increases by 1d6 every 3 levels thereafter (as seen on the Swashbuckler table above). This damage does not affect creatures immune to critical hits. The Bonus damage gained from the Swashbuckling ability is not multiplied by critical hits. Swashbuckling can only be used if the Swashbuckler is wearing light or no armor.

Weapon Finesse: At 1st level, a swashbuckler gains the Weapon Finesse feat.

AC Bonus (Ex): At 2nd level, a Swashbuckler gains an AC bonus. The amount of this bonus depends on her style and a particular ability score. The bonus is an untyped bonus, and does not stack with AC bonuses generated from the same ability score. Thus, a Ninja/Zen Swashbuckler gains a Wisdom bonus to her AC once, not twice. However, a Charming Swashbuckler/Ninja adds her Charisma and her Wisdom modifier to her AC. A Swashbuckler only gains this bonus if she wears light or no armor.

Charming Swashbuckler: A Charming Swashbuckler adds her Charisma modifier to her AC.

Smart Swashbuckler: A Smart Swashbuckler adds her Intelligence modifier to her AC.

Zen Swashbuckler: A Zen Swashbuckler adds her Wisdom modifier to her AC.

Stylish Trick: At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, a Swashbuckler may choose from the special abilities on the list below. She may only choose abilities offered to her chosen Style. Each ability may only be chosen once, unless otherwise noted.


Bonus Feat: The Swashbuckler gains a bonus feat for which she meets the prerequisites. This Feat must be chosen from the Fighter Bonus Feats list. This ability may be chosen Multiple Times.

Skillful or Lucky?: The Swashbuckler may choose one of the following bonus feats: Daring Outlaw, Daring Warrior, Deadly Defense, or any Luck Feat.

Charming Style:

Fan Club (Ex): The Swashbuckler has a fan club - it seems she's attracted the attention of the crowd. She gains the benefit of the Leadership feat. She gains +2 to her leadership score for the purpose of attracting followers of the opposite gender. Only Swashbucklers of 6th level or higher can take this trick.

Flamboyant Strike (Ex): When successfully feinting in combat, the Swashbuckler may add her Charisma modifier as extra damage on all her attacks, but only if the Target is subject to her Swashbuckling Damage.

Seducing the Crowd (Ex): As a standard action once per encounter, the Swashbuckler may attempt to change the attitude of everyone within 40 feet. She may attempt a special charisma-based check (DC10+1 per targets), If she succeeds, all targets' attitudes improve by one step for 1 minute per point of Charisma Bonus. Any targets who were Hostile to the Swashbuckler must succeed on a Will Save (DC10 + 1/2 Swashbuckler level + Swashbuckler's Charisma modifier) or be Frightened for 1 round per Point of the Swashbuckler's Charisma Mod.

Undress Opponents: When making a full-attack action, the Swashbuckler may Forfeit one of her Attacks during a full attack to Reduce the Target's Armor Class bonus by 4 points (To a minimum of 0). This ability only reduces bonuses provided by equipment and wearable items.

Unnerving Strike: When a Charming Swashbuckler with this ability downs an opponent, she may as a free action make an Intimidate check vs. All foes within 30 ft.

Silver-Tongued Blade: Each day, a number of times equal to her Swashbuckler level, she may add her Swashbuckler level to a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check.

Smart Style:

Anticipate (Ex): Once per round as a free action, the Swashbuckler can negate one attack of opportunity made against her. The attack is treated as a Miss.

Intelligent Assault: Once per round as a free action during a full attack, the Swashbuckler may treat one of her attacks as a touch attack.

Cunning Feint(Ex): The Swashbuckler may add her intelligence modifier to Feint checks. Additionally, if she successfully Feints she may automatically make an attack of opportunity against the Feinted opponent.

Lore of Many Places: The Swashbuckler gains use of the Bardic Knowledge Ability.

A Mind as Sharp as Their Blade: The Swashbuckler chooses two skills. Those two skills are treated as having the Skill Focus Feat. This ability may be selected multiple times. Each time, the Swashbuckler chooses two different skills. This ability does not stack with Skill Focus.

Quick Reflexes, Quicker Wit: Once per Encounter, the Swashbuckler may add her Intelligence Modifier as a bonus to a Reflex Save.

Zen Style:

Zen Defence (Ex): When fighting Defensively or taking taking a total Defense action, the Swashbuckler may double her Wisdom AC bonus for one round.

Intuitive Strike (Ex): Once per Round, the Swashbuckler may add her Wisdom bonus as an Untyped Bonus to her Attack And Damage Rolls for a single attack she makes.

All Things Are One (Ex): Once per Encounter, the Swashbuckler may substitute her Wisdom Modifier for any other modifier for a single skill check she makes.

Willful Resilience: The Swashbuckler may replace her Constitution modifier with her Wisdom modifier for the sake of calculating Fortitude Saves.

Eyes in the Back of your Head: The Swashbuckler gains use of the Uncanny Dodge ability. If she already has Uncanny Dodge, she instead gains the Improved Uncanny Dodge ability, and her levels in both stack to determine the Minimum level a rogue needs to be in order to sneak attack her.

Life is an Illusion: The Swashbuckler is always entitled to a Will Save to disbelieve an Illusion, even if she has no reason to disbelieve. In addition, the Swashbuckler gains a +4 Bonus to saves vs. Illusions.

Sidestep (Ex): At 5th level, once per round as a free action, a Swashbuckler may make a 5 ft step. This ability do not count on the limit of 5 ft steps she can make.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): At 7th 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.

Evasion (Ex): At 8th level and higher, a Swashbuckler can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the swashbuckler is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Swashbuckler does not gain the benefit of Evasion.

Supreme Charge (Ex): At 11th level, a Swashbuckler may change direction at will during a charge. She may do up to a 90 degree turn at once.

Duelist Spirit (Ex): At 14th level, when a Swashbuckler makes a successful Will Saving Throw against an effect that would have a Partial effect on a successful save (such as half or partial), she instead ignores the effect completely. Duelist Spirit may only be used when the Swashbuckler is conscious.

Swashbuckling a Rock (Ex): At 17th level, a Swashbuckler gains a mastery of Swashbuckling so incredible, so unbelievable, so awesome that she can do things only others can dream of. She may totally ignore any critical hit immunity or resistance for the purpose of landing a critical hit with a light or one-handed weapon.

Swashbuckling Supremacy (Ex): At 20th level, a Swashbuckler rises to the pinnacle of her art. She may choose two of the following effects:

  • Take 10 on any one attack during a full-attack action.
  • Double the critical hit range on any light or one-handed slashing or piercing weapon she is wielding (stacks with keen and improved critical).
  • Gain proficiency and weapon focus with every melee light or one-handed slashing or piercing weapon in existence.
  • Increase the critical multiplier of any weapon she wields by one step. (x2->x3, x4->x5)

Epic Swashbuckler

Table: The Epic Swashbuckler

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat
22nd Swashbuckling +8d6
23rd Versatile Stylish Trick
24th Gain Additional Swashbuckling Supremacy Ability
25th Swashbuckling +9d6
26th Versatile Stylish Trick
27th Bonus Feat
28th Swashbuckling +10d6, Gain Additional Swashbuckling Supremancy Ability
29th Versatile Stylish Trick
30th Bonus Feat

6 + Int modifier skill points per level. Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local, Nobility) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Bonus Feat: The Swashbuckler may choose a bonus feat from the Epic Fighter Bonus Feat list.

Versatile Stylish Trick: The Swashbuckler may learn a Stylish Trick from another Swashbuckling Style normally not available to her.

Swashbuckling: Swashbuckling Damage Bonuses continue to rise every three levels after 19th.

Gain Additional Swashbuckling Supremacy Ability: Gain another ability from the Swashbuckling Supremacy List. When you have all of them, this becomes an Additional Bonus Feat.

Human Swashbuckler Starting Package

Weapons: Rapier.

Skill Selection: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Balance 4 Dex -2
Climb 4 Str -2
Escape Artist 4 Dex -2
Hide 4 Dex -2
Jump 4 Str -2
Listen 4 Wis -
Move Silently 4 Dex -2

Feat: Weapon Focus (Rapier).

Bonus Feats: Skill Focus (Move Silently)

Gear: Chain Shirt, Bedroll, 50' Rope, 4 Day's Trail Rations, Waterskin.

Gold: Average

Campaign Information

Playing a Swashbuckler

Religion: Most Swashbucklers revere gods of Cunning and Combat. Some good aligned, battle-oriented Swashbucklers may Revere Kord or Tempus.

Other Classes: Swashbucklers tend to get along very well with Rogues and Rangers as they appreciate a desire for Finesse rather than pure force. Fighters tend to view Swashbucklers as rather puny, while Swashbucklers see Fighters as uglier, less intelligent versions of themselves. Paladins and Lawful Clerics tend to be annoyed by a Swashbuckler's flamboyant ways, and Monks seem rather indifferent towards them - "Pride goeth before a fall," they might say.

Combat: Swashbucklers, regardless of style, tend to stay on the front lines of combat. They put their High AC and BAB to good use in extended Melee, but can be stealthy enough to assist the Rogue in her Endeavors.

Advancement: Some Swashbucklers take levels in Fighter to expand their repertoire of available weapons, while others take levels in Rogue to put extra emphasis in their stealthy abilities.

Swashbucklers in he World

Ha Ha! The Mask Smiles upon us this day! To Arms!
—Hector Zassal, Human Swashbuckler

Swashbucklers tend to be either Greedy Rogues or Chivalrous Anti-Heroes. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground for these Fencers.

Notables: Hector Zassal, Human Swashbuckler 6

Organizations: Swashbucklers have no formal organization, however, some have been known to band together to form impromptu guilds.

NPC Reactions: Most people are either unnerved by the Swashbuckler (and rightly so, if she's there for their gold) or enjoy her cavorting nature.

Swashbuckler Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Swashbucklers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (History)
DC Result
5 Swashbucklers are Fighters who wear little or no Armor
10 Swashbucklers are Accomplished Fencers
15 Swashbucklers practice one of three styles, Charming, Smart, or Zen.
20 Some Swashbucklers can learn Tricks from Other Styles

Swashbuckler in the Game

Sample Encounter: The Party is waylaid by a duo of Swashbucklers, each carrying Obviously Magical Rapiers. The Swashbucklers mean to Rob them.

EL whatever: CR 4 x 2 = ECL 6

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