I rated Piranha Strike higher because it works better with the class and its general stat priorities than Power Attack does, not because it's a better feat overall. You get Weapon Finesse gifted, and light weapons work with everything you do(though you can't apply Slashing Grace to them), after all. I'll lower its rating a bit, though.
Also, updated to include the ACO archetypes! Unfortunately, I can't find any good Swashbuckler Feats from the book on the SRD other than Fencing Grace. I'm likely just missing them, or they've not been added yet, so if you notice any, bring them up!
I do mention in the line for the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, the section for the Rhoka Sword, urumi, and katana, AND the section on the cutlass, rapier, and scimitar that, if you can't get one of the Exotics for free, it's generally not worth spending a feat on. I'm not sure where else I could add it in that it's not already mentioned, really; is it that easy to miss?
Note again that the weapons are only rated by their stats in conjunction with the class, without factoring in their convenience or ease of acquisition. If that was taken into account, then, yes, the cutlass, rapier, or scimitar would be the best choice.
I'll add in the Longsword and Aldori Dueling Sword, and should make a note of Fencing Grace, too, now that it's on the SRD.
The reason the Rhoka Sword, Urumi, and Katana are blue despite not being as easily accessible is simply because I rated the weapons based solely on, well, their use as weapons, not necessarily how easy it is to get or use them. So, the 18-20 crit range and higher damage makes them blue. Of course, there's really not a world of difference between 1d6 and 1d8 damage. Also, I did make note of the Agile quality and the fact that you'd have to bring up Slashing Grace with your GM when talking about the Wakizashi, and the Rapier since Fencing Grace wasn't a well-known thing when I wrote the guide.
On Power Attack: this came up earlier in the thread - it isn't a bad feat to take, but it requires that you spread your stats thinner, meaning you'll likely have less AC, Panache, skill points, or HP. Also, it lowers your chance to Parry, since the effects last until your next turn.
In any case, guide amended once again!
You should change all of the Point Blank Shot/Precise Shot/Rapid Shot feats to Red* - they only work with ranged weapons (and daggers are melee weapons that can be thrown, not ranged weapons).
-As near as I can tell-, thrown weapons are effectively ranged weapons. The javelin, for instance, is a weapon you throw, not shoot or sling, and it's listed under ranged weapons. Then, there's this paragraph:
Weapons are grouped into several interlocking sets of categories. These categories pertain to what training is needed to become proficient in a weapon's use (simple, martial, or exotic), the weapon's usefulness either in close combat (melee) or at a distance (ranged, which includes both thrown and projectile weapons), its relative encumbrance (light, one-handed, or two-handed), and its size (Small, Medium, or Large).
So, the ranged category should include thrown weapons. I'm not sure if this is the official stance, but I've yet to encounter a different ruling.
As a Kitsune? Yes, you do - but your Caster Level for it never increases(Dancing Lights has no CL-dependent variables, so they just left that out), and Arcane Strike runs on CL to determine its bonus. You'd have to take the Light-Bringer trait or something to get a scaling Caster Level, RAW. A GM might let it slide, depending.
Guide updated! I actually did mention Flagbearer in the guide; it's good, but, well, you're not a Bard...
It's not that the Kitsune is bad, Helicon, it's just that other than their Ability Scores, they don't offer much for Swashbucklers. Agile is nice, though, so I think I will rate it Green, even if it's very much on the border.
Also, to clarify: I don't think the Mouser is an outright bad archetype at all, especially given the various Halfling "I murder things bigger than I am" feats. I wouldn't say it's an optimal choice, though, which is why it's orange(mostly only because it gives up Opportune Parry). I'd like to play it one day and see how it pans out.
Updated to include some info about Dares! I probably missed them because they're only on the Gunslinger page on the SRD. That said, I don't have to feel too bad about it, they're pretty subpar choices... But hey, comprehensiveness, right?
@Jorshamo: Unless I'm mistaken, Opportune Parry won't be available when you're relying on Frantically Nimble. Even with Signature Deed, you'd need to have at least 1 Panache to use OP&R. Although, it might be useful with Plumes of Panache, which seem to not technically give you Panache, but substitute it in place of yours for a Deed...
Everything taken into account, and the guide updated to reflect it! I don't know how I managed to forget about Deadly Aim, having built a lot of ranged characters...
Oh, and the Tiefling thing is due to Half-Elves and Half-Orcs being allowed to take Race-related items from either of their forebears; you're right, RAW, that FAQ doesn't apply to any races besides those two, but RAI and common sense is less clear. Tieflings are, after all, half-human by default, exactly the same as those two races. Added a note about asking your GM, though. Always a safe bet.
I might bring up comparisons to the Daring Champion, Magus(especially the Kensai), and Dawnflower Dervish Bard later, when I have more time.
Drat, I'd figured Perfect Thrust to be a sort of souped-up Vital Strike. That ruling makes much more sense given past versions of things similar to it, however. A shame.
Quick Draw synergy noted; it's better than I thought, especially for Flying Blades.
And all right, I've adjusted Power Attack some. I do still believe Piranha Striking with an Agile(if your GM doesn't let Slashing Grace work with light weapons) Wakizashi is better for a damage-focused Swashbuckler, though, due to the inherent MADness associated with a Finesse fighter using Power Attack.
I knew I'd miss stuff when it came to magic items, so that comes as no surprise! There's just so many of the things. And some of those are insanely good.
Everything taken into account, and the guide amended to reflect it!
And so here we have it, what hopes to be a relatively comprehensive and understandable guide to playing a Swashbuckler. Races, Feats, Archetypes, you name it. Takes into account material from most everything Paizo, including the core books, companions such as the Advanced Race Guide and Inner Sea World Guide, and so on. If it's on the SRD, I've probably taken it into account. That or completely missed it, which is entirely possible; if you see anything obvious(or obscure) that needs adding or alteration, or disagree with some of my ratings, point it out!
With that said, here it is: The Dashing Daring Dandy's Dragoman, a guide to the Swashbuckler.
Spivey's speeds are listed as 30 ft overland and 80 ft flight, the norm for a Lyrakien, but since she's a Cleric with the Travel domain, shouldn't these be increased to 40 ft and 90 ft respectively? Just a minor thing, but I was wondering if there was something preventing the ten-foot boost from being factored in.
I've thought up a few minor modifications to a small number of classes, and figured I may as well post them here. Who knows, maybe some of you won't think they're all that terrible. Some of these are common changes, and some, especially one of the Rogue changes, I think I've seen in other threads, but I can't find them. If it was you, no offense intended. Anyway, onto the changes.
A Paladin's alignment can be within one step of their Deity's, but MUST be Good.
An Antipaladin's alignment can be within one step of their Deity's, but MUST be Evil.
Rogues get 10+Int mod Skill Ranks/level, instead of 8.
At level 1, Rogues may choose either Weapon Finesse or Weapon Focus, and gain this feat as a Bonus Feat. They do not need to meet any of the prerequisites of this feat.
At level 1, a Rogue may choose one Wisdom- or Charisma-based skill. The Rogue may apply her Intelligence modifier when using this skill, instead of the usual modifier. At level 6, and every four levels thereafter, the Rogue may select one additional skill to substitute.
Starting at level 5, a Rogue may add her Intelligence modifier to attack and damage rolls, in addition to her Strength(or Dexterity) modifier.
None of these changes apply to the Ninja.
Fighters are proficient with exotic weapons.
The Fighter's Bravery bonus is renamed "Determination" and applies to all fear saves(if there ARE any that aren't Will-based), as well as saves against the Sickened, Nauseated, Fatigued, Exhausted, and Confused conditions.
Fighters get 4+Int Skill Points/Level, and their Class Skill list is changed to:
Monks are dedicated to their cause, and cannot multiclass.
The Monk's Flurry of Blows is no longer treated "as if using Two-Weapon Fighting." Thus, a Monk may benefit from both simultaneously. A Monk may also make all of his Flurry of Blows attacks with just one weapon or fist(or elbow, or knee, or what-have-you).
As a Full-Round Action, a Monk may spend 2 Ki Points in order to move once at his full speed, and then attack using Flurry of Blows. This does not apply to the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain.
Sorcerers get their bonus spells one level earlier.
The Ninja's No Trace bonus is now equal to half her Ninja Level.
Thoughts on these? Any other changes you guys commonly apply to classes? I'd like to see some ideas, maybe I'll pitch them to my GM or, gods forbid, actually run a good game one of these days.