The swashbuckler embodies the concepts of daring and panache. Favoring agility and wit over brute force, the swashbuckler excels both in combat situations and social interactions, making her a versatile character indeed.
Swashbucklers adventure for a variety of motivations, based on their alignment and background. Some seek to right injustices, while others seek only fame and fortune. All swashbucklers, however, share a tendency to leap into action when the call comes, regardless of their personal views.
The swashbuckler combines skill and finesse with sheer combat prowess. Though swashbucklers can't dish out quite as much damage as a typical fighter or barbarian, they tend to be more agile and mobile than most melee combatants. When she can pick her battles carefully, a swashbuckler becomes a very deadly opponent (not to mention hard to pin down). Swashbucklers also hold their own in social situations, unlike most fighters.
Like rogues, swashbucklers tend to be diverse in their outlooks, and thus in their alignments. Those who chafe under societal restrictions tend to be chaotic, while those who uphold honourable traditions may well be lawful.
Many swashbucklers come from affluent backgrounds, but anyone valuing finesse over force can become a swashbuckler, regardless of background. A common shared element among swashbucklers' backgrounds is life in an urban environment, whether the back alleys of a slum or the cultured halls of royalty. Swashbucklers tend to see other swashbucklers as rivals rather than allies, even when sharing similar goals. The swashbuckler's need for attention often outweighs her better judgment, leading either to friendly competition or even outright distrust and antipathy.
Swashbucklers are most often humans, elves, or half-elves. Humans and half-elves tend to have the daring nature required of a swashbuckler, and the natural grace of elves makes them well suited for the class. Halflings and gnomes often have the temperament to become a swashbuckler, though their slower speed works against them. Dwarves tend to prefer fighting in heavy armour with big weapons, and thus rarely become swashbucklers. Among the savage humanoids, swashbucklers are virtually unknown.
Swashbucklers prefer to work with other quick, lightly armoured characters. They get along best with rogues and bards, and appreciate the agility and combat talents of the monk (though chaotic swashbucklers may chafe at the monk's ascetic nature). Lawful good swashbucklers often share the paladin's honourable nature, but otherwise the classes tend to clash in their approach to life. Swashbucklers have no particular distaste for spellcasters (apart from potential prejudice, fear or wariness stemming from The Longest Year), and they appreciate the utility of a cleverly chosen, well-timed spell. They don't interact with barbarians, druids, or rangers very often, since these characters tend to prefer natural settings to the typical urban environment of the swashbuckler.
The swashbuckler is an able melee combatant, particularly when paired with a fighter or rogue. They can also make a fine party leader or spokesperson, thanks to their access to Charisma-based skills.
Alignment Restriction: None
Hit Die: d10
Proficiencies: Swashbucklers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor. Some of the swashbuckler's class features, as noted below, rely on her being no more than lightly armored.
Skill Points: 5 + INT Modifier
Class Skills: Barter, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Discipline, Heal, Intimidate, All Knowledges, Parry, Perform, Sense Motive, Taunt, Tumble.
Primary Saving Throws: Fortitude & Reflex
Base Attack Bonus: +1 / Level
Weapon Finesse, Uncanny Dodge I
Opportune Parry and Riposte
Uncanny Dodge II
Mobility, Acrobatic Charge I
Opportunist, Opportune Parry and Riposte II
Uncanny Dodge III, Acrobatic Charge II
Opportune Parry and Riposte III
Spring Attack, Acrobatic Charge III
Uncanny Dodge IV, Bewildering Flurry I
Opportune Parry and Riposte IV, Uncanny Dodge V
Defensive Roll, Acrobatic Charge IV
Bewildering Flurry II
- Precise Strike: At 3rd level, a swashbuckler becomes able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. They applies their Dexterity 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. This bonus cannot be more than the ½ the swashbuckler level. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or while using a shield. This bonus only applies to the swashbuckler's main-hand weapon.
- Opportune Parry and Riposte: The swashbuckler readies their blade to counterattack. The swashbuckler adds half their Dexterity modifier as a bonus to AC for the next attack made against them. If this attack misses the swashbuckler immediately strikes back at the opponent with a single attack at their highest base attack bonus. At first this ability only has one use, but gains an additional use for every 4 levels of swashbuckler. A use of this ability is regained every 3 rounds up to the maximum. This ability has no effect if used while already active. Instant cast. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or while using a shield.
- Guile: A swashbuckler combines wit with skill when dueling opponents. Starting at 5th level a swashbuckler gains a dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to their Intelligence modifier. This bonus cannot be higher than ½ the Swashbuckler level (to a maximum of +5 at level 10). A swashbuckler loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or while using a shield. This ability does not stack with other Intelligence to AC bonuses such as that from Bladesinger.
- Acrobatic Charge: This ability grants the swashbuckler a 50% bonus to move speed and freedom of movement. This bonus lasts for 1 round. It can be used once every 16 minutes at level 7, with the cooldown reducing to 12, 8 and then 5 minutes at levels 10, 13 and 17 respectively. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or while using a shield.
- Bewildering Flurry: The Swashbuckler applies Keen to their main-hand weapon and gains an additional attack per round for three rounds, however after the effect ends they suffers-4 STR and -4 DEX for three rounds. This ability is usable once every 20 minutes. At level 18, the cooldown reduces to every 10 minutes.