Revised Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:
Dispari Scuro wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:

I don't think Dex-to-damage is worth a feat, let alone two, for the same reasons I don't like Dervish Dance. Why?

Imagine there were two feats that replaced Dex with Strength for your reflex saves, AC (following the same armor limitations as Dex), and Initiative. Would you take them?

Barbarian says hello.
Really? Cause I could go for two extra helpings of Extra Rage Power on any Barbarian build I can think of. And even then, I'd only take them after I'd gotten the essentials like Power Attack and Combat Reflexes (which requires decent DEX anyway). Those two hypothetical feats would be much better on a Fighter (who has more feats than he knows what to do with anyway) and they'd be low-priority at best.
For a Human Two-Handed Fighter, I would definitely start at 1st level with Power Attack and these two feats, before weapon focus. This is because I would be building a much lower Dex than I currently do, probably 10 or 7 Dex, so I would want to minimize the pain. Furious Focus or Weapon Focus at 2nd level and the other at 3rd.

Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.


ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:
Dispari Scuro wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:

I don't think Dex-to-damage is worth a feat, let alone two, for the same reasons I don't like Dervish Dance. Why?

Imagine there were two feats that replaced Dex with Strength for your reflex saves, AC (following the same armor limitations as Dex), and Initiative. Would you take them?

Barbarian says hello.
Really? Cause I could go for two extra helpings of Extra Rage Power on any Barbarian build I can think of. And even then, I'd only take them after I'd gotten the essentials like Power Attack and Combat Reflexes (which requires decent DEX anyway). Those two hypothetical feats would be much better on a Fighter (who has more feats than he knows what to do with anyway) and they'd be low-priority at best.
For a Human Two-Handed Fighter, I would definitely start at 1st level with Power Attack and these two feats, before weapon focus. This is because I would be building a much lower Dex than I currently do, probably 10 or 7 Dex, so I would want to minimize the pain. Furious Focus or Weapon Focus at 2nd level and the other at 3rd.
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.

I'm not sure I understand that sentiment, because Swashbucklers can already get dex-to-damage: Dervish Dance. Without a change it just means that all Swashbucklers will be wielding scimitars. It's a much more intelligent approach to A) open up more weapon options so not every character feels they have to pick up a scimitar, and B) expect that people are going to have dex-to-damage either way, and design the class for it.

I don't think the damage between the two options is too high. It's still a lot less than most dedicated damage dealers offer.


ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.

Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.

It's quality of life streamlining and a way to make the class work to its concept.


Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.

So if its not having an effect why is it needed?


ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?

To make the class that is supposed to rely on speed, agility, and panache actually rely on speed and agility. Otherwise There's no point in having dexterity over strength.


ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?

Reduces MADness. Allows us to have a Dex Based fighter that is actually a Dex Based Fighter.


ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?

That's not what he said. As for the reasons it's needed, seriously, just read the thread. I've repeated myself over and over again.


Scavion wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?
Reduces MADness. Allows us to have a Dex Based fighter that is actually a Dex Based Fighter.

Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. It would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike (as it currently stands) + Dex to damage might be a bit much.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really feel like the Swashbuckler needs mobility to play an increased role in their actual combat strategy. By this I mean that the class is missing an actual incentive to use its Derring-Do, Swashbuckler's Grace, Swashbuckler's Edge, plus feats like Spring Attack, etc.

I'd really like to see something from this class making moving around a meaningful and viable tactical option instead of lining up and exchanging broadsides like Fighters and Barbarians. In D&D 3.5, the Scout had an ability called Skirmish which gave a bonus to damage and AC, but only if the Scout moved at least 10 feet on their turn. I'm not necessarily suggesting that the Swashbuckler copy this mechanic (although it's an interesting option), but I do think that the Swashbuckler's list of Deeds could be expanded to include options that make moving around the battlefield a powerful option.

I'd personally like to see the following (or something similar):

Advancing Thrust: At 5th level, after moving at least 15 feet, a swashbuckler may spend 1 panache point as part of an attack action to roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total. This multiplier increases by 1 every 4 levels (for example, the swashbuckler will roll the weapon's damage dice three times at level 9) to a maximum of five times the weapon's damage dice at level 17. This works the same way as and does not stack with the bonus damage caused by the Vital Strike feat.

Cautious Advance: At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 point of panache may spend a move or double move action to move at half speed to gain the benefits of the Mobility Feat for one round. If the swashbuckler already possesses the Mobility feat, the dodge bonus to AC granted while using a cautious advance increases to +6.

Reckless Charge: At 11th level, a swashbuckler may spend 1 panache point as part of a charge to gain the benefit of the pounce special ability for that charge. Using a reckless charge provokes an attack of opportunity from the target, even if the charge would not normally result in the Swashbuckler leaving a threatened space.

Dance of Death: At 15th level, while wielding a light or one-handed piercing weapon in one hand, a swashbuckler who moves at least 15 feet may spend 1 point of panache as a swift action to triple the threat range of the weapon for one round. This does not stack with the Improved Critical feet, the Keen weapon enhancement, or other similar effects. For example, a Swashbuckler using a dance of death with a +3 keen rapier would have a threat range of 12-20.


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ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?

It is having an effect. Just not the one some people are so worried about.

The effect is that you can do as much damage building for dex as you previously could building for strength, not more, so you can afford to focus on dex and charisma and play the class as it seems intended.
It makes the dexterous and agile fencer work better focusing on dexterity than focusing on strength.
And it means you can do that without having to choose between being pigeonholed into a scimitar and dervish dance, a dueling sword and dipping swordlord PrC, or the Agile enchantment.

ArenCordial wrote:
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. It would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

Precise Strike + Dex isn't going to be any more than Precise Strike + Str at the same ability value.

It just lets that ability be the one the class is supposed to focus on instead of the one the Fighter is supposed to focus on.


ArenCordial wrote:
Scavion wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?
Reduces MADness. Allows us to have a Dex Based fighter that is actually a Dex Based Fighter.
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. It would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

If that's true then so also is str-to-damage + Precise Strike, and on that I disagree. Dex-to-damage wouldn't allow you any more damage than you can get now, it would just be more convenient for builds.


ArenCordial wrote:
Scavion wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?
Reduces MADness. Allows us to have a Dex Based fighter that is actually a Dex Based Fighter.
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. I would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

It isn't however. The Dervish Dance routines have been play tested. Dex to Damage is already a staple of several builds in PFS. You still need a 13 Str for Power Attack if you want good damage.

All Precise Strike pays for is the sub-optimal fencing style.

A 2hander gains so much more from power attack and Strength.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

ArenCordial wrote:
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. I would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

It could be, but at least now we know that the designers are looking at the potential combination of the two, and it's much better for them to design a feat that allows for dex-to-damage with a wider variety of weapons than the current narrow feat option.

I'm sure they have the numbers for how many copies of the ISWG they've sold, and what percentage of their players have access to the feat.


ubiquitous wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. I would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

It could be, but at least now we know that the designers are looking at the potential combination of the two, and it's much better for them to design a feat that allows for dex-to-damage with a wider variety of weapons than the current narrow feat option.

I'm sure they have the numbers for how many copies of the ISWG they've sold, and what percentage of their players have access to the feat.

It's on the srd website. No purchase necessary.

Silver Crusade

Googleshng wrote:
Precise strike is not a bonus to damage. It is a compensation for a weak style, which is currently not pulling its weight due to how crits work with it.

Amen brother!

ArenCordial wrote:
Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding.

If you have, say, an 18 and a 12 to assign to Str and Dex, if you assign the 18 to Str then you get +4 damage (+6 two-handed!).

If you assign the 18 to Dex instead, and one of your class special abilities or one of your feats is burned to let you do Dex to damage instead of Str, then you get +4 damage....exactly the same as the Str build, but at the cost of character build resources.

It doesn't do more damage than before, so there's no need to nerf the already nerfed damage from Precise Strike.


Scavion wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Scavion wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Throne wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:
Rogue Eidolon's thoughts mirror my own here. Frankly if Swashbuckler gets Dex to damage then Precise Strike gets way too good.
Dex to damage is not an increase in damage potential. At all.
So if its not having an effect why is it needed?
Reduces MADness. Allows us to have a Dex Based fighter that is actually a Dex Based Fighter.
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. I would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

It isn't however. The Dervish Dance routines have been play tested. Dex to Damage is already a staple of several builds in PFS. You still need a 13 Str for Power Attack if you want good damage.

All Precise Strike pays for is the sub-optimal fencing style.

A 2hander gains so much more from power attack and Strength.

How sub-optimal is it really? Did the test account for AC differences? Because the playtest I recent ran with some friends(and yes Dex to AC) the Swashbuckler was phenomenal as a melee combatant. He did good damage, had a good AC, and frankly was a very solid build. Granted we ran it at 11th level. He could gain more offense or defense with panache as needed. The only complaint was some of the Deeds were things that would barely if ever get used. (genuine question not trying to be a you know what.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To use it in PFS, a purchase is very well necessary.
Also, if you like and want more stuff like that, high sales numbers might be an indicator for the design team.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Throne wrote:
It's on the srd website. No purchase necessary.

It's not in the official prd, so it's not one of their "core assumptions" that all the players have access to. It's setting-specific, whereas the ACG will be in the Core line of books.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

I am totally fine with more feat options for dex to damage--it opens the way for others beyond 'bucklers! so not every magus and their mother will have a scimitar in-hand anymore!

though i hope it's a tad more flexible in what you can pick for it, and not just another "this weapon and ONLY this weapon", because then you'd simply be turning those magi from the scimitar into magi with whatever the new weapon is--i'd love to see some variance.

Silver Crusade

@Stephen Radney-MacFarland: is it really better for the swashbuckler abilities to key off 'light/1H piercing weapons', rather than a 'swashbuckler weapon group' as a fighter weapon group?

Right now, trident/morning star/heavy pick are swashbuckler weapons, but sabre/cutlass/whip aren't. A swashbuckler weapon group would not only solve that weirdness but also fit neatly into an already extant game mechanic, and avoid the need for a separate feat to allow slashing weapons.


Aren Cordial wrote:
How sub-optimal is it really? Did the test account for AC differences? Because the playtest I recent ran with some friends(and yes Dex to AC) the Swashbuckler was phenomenal as a melee combatant. He did good damage, had a good AC, and frankly was a very solid build. Granted we ran it at 11th level. He could gain more offense or defense with panache as needed. The only complaint was some of the Deeds were things that would barely if ever get used. (genuine question not trying to be a you know what.)

What kind of damage were you doing? 1d6 + 11 for level +3 enhancement +2 weapon training +2 specilization?


AndIMustMask wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

I am totally fine with more feat options for dex to damage--it opens the way for others beyond 'bucklers! so not every magus and their mother will have a scimitar in-hand anymore!

though i hope it's a tad more flexible in what you can pick for it, and not just another "this weapon and ONLY this weapon", because then you'd simply be turning those magi from the scimitar into magi with whatever the new weapon is--i'd love to see some variance.

From a magus standpoint, scimitar is still probably the best option (although rapier and cutlass are essentially identical and might start to show up). But it would probably still open up some more options for people. Not everyone flocks to the d6/18-20 weapon, some might be more interested in trying a 4x crit pick, or a battleaxe (assuming that's an option). Or even a longsword.


Throne wrote:


How did you find Charmed Life and Parry/Riposte competed for your Immediate action?
Especially considering everything else needing your swift/immediate, did you ever find you weren't able to function because you were essentially paralysed?
(This is going to be largely dependant on what sort of test you were playing, but having to choose between Dodging Panache's mobility -which really should be a signature of the class-, Opportune Parry and Riposte, double precise strike, and not having terrible saving throws, feels like you're being force to choose how to suck rather than getting to choose how to excel, to my eye)

I know this is late for a response, and so I apologize, but we did 3 different encounters. I found that I used those three class abilities mostly depending on who I was facing. We fought about 15 of low level creatures, where Parry was most useful. A giant with class levels, where I used the Dodge initially, then parried against a second iterative attack, provoking a riposte for the kill, and then a Witch where Charmed Life was crucial.

To me, they felt a bit like Power Attack, and Expertise. Having them both makes you very versatile, but using them both at the same time wasn't really necessary. I felt more that hording panache was an issue than action economy, but I could see where in different encounters (say with a handful of enemies with high to hits, and a spellcaster leader: I would have perhaps wanted to use more of them.

I agree with you on Dodging Panache as the signature.


Dispari Scuro wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

I am totally fine with more feat options for dex to damage--it opens the way for others beyond 'bucklers! so not every magus and their mother will have a scimitar in-hand anymore!

though i hope it's a tad more flexible in what you can pick for it, and not just another "this weapon and ONLY this weapon", because then you'd simply be turning those magi from the scimitar into magi with whatever the new weapon is--i'd love to see some variance.

From a magus standpoint, scimitar is still probably the best option (although rapier and cutlass are essentially identical and might start to show up). But it would probably still open up some more options for people. Not everyone flocks to the d6/18-20 weapon, some might be more interested in trying a 4x crit pick, or a battleaxe (assuming that's an option). Or even a longsword.

true, not everyone flocks to those. i was more talking about things like knives, shortswords, rapiers, katanas, swordcanes, etc.--even if they're not the best, i'd love to see things like that (generally finessable weapons) get the option to be DEX'able on-par with what a basic character with no feat investment gets with their strength.

I'd MUCH prefer it be built into the system from the start, but I'll take what I can get.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seing cutlass, sabre, trident and whip, maybe even that katana/wakizashi as swashbuckler weapons would be awesome. Therfore i second the idea of a swashbuckler weapon group.

Then archetypes using net and trident and whips would be super awesome!
Finally some class that is not a fighter with interesting mechanic and the feats to pull those feat chains! Would need some panache regain help though probably.

Just imagine that Undine swashbuckler with net and trident^^

Silver Crusade

A lot of the swift/immediate action bottleneck can be easily fixed.

Charmed Life shouldn't be an action at all.

Riposte shouldn't be an immediate action (bottleneck) or an AoO (it gives many more effective attacks to those with Combat Reflexes); it should just be, 'Once per round after a successful parry....'

The reposition thing that isn't a 5-foot step....should just be a 5-foot step that doesn't use an action.

The thing that used to be called swift but used a standard (feint)...could actually be swift/immediate...or should be in place of any attack (with a SB weapon while you have 1 Panache....).

At the moment, because of the swift action bottleneck, it doesn't feel like the class gives you six cool abilities; it feels like the class denies you five cool abilities!

Also, absolutely hate the mechanic that makes you spend Panache when it probably only has a 10-30% chance to make a difference. Both Derring-Do and Parry should allow you to see the roll before you decide to spend the Panache. The d20 roll, not necessarily the result.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

Just please please please be sure to make it for the absolutely-not-a-damned-scimitar. The best fencing weapon needs to be something else.

I don't think Dervish Dance is unbalanced compared to other options, my problem with it is that it makes the best finesse weapon one that normally can't be finessed, and only that one thing.


slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
We fought about 15 of low level creatures, where Parry was most useful. A giant with class levels, where I used the Dodge initially, then parried against a second iterative attack, provoking a riposte for the kill.

This reads as though you used Dodging Panache against the 1st attack, Parry against the second, Riposted and killed him?

The problem there is that the Dodge and the Riposte both use an immediate action, so can't be done in the same turn (and lock you out of anything needing a swift action on your next turn). Which I guess answers my question.

How do you think you'd have managed if the Witch was in the same fight? (or if you'd needed to make a fort/will save at all during the Giant encounter)


Lord_Malkov wrote:

For Mobility:

New Deed

Dramatic Charge

At 7th level, as long as the Swashbuckler has at least 1 Panache point in his pool, the Swashbuckler can ignore difficult terrain when making a charge. During a Dramatic Charge the Swashbuckler can spend 1 Panache Point to do one of the following:
-Make an acrobatics check to move through an single enemy's space in the path of the charge with no penalty for moving more than half speed.
-Make an Acrobatics check to jump over an obstacle in the path of the charge.
-Make a single turn of up to 90 degrees along the path of the charge.
If the Swashbuckler fails any of these acrobatics checks, the Swashbuckler stops in the square where the acrobatics check was attempted and the charge fails.

I like this.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Any possibility of SBs getting a good Fort save?

What about a feat that replaces Wisdom with Cha for saving throw? That would open so many character possibilities, it'd be awesome!

To be honest, probably not. I also don't think you will see that feat, but the book is still in development.

I beg you to reconsider. Saving throws become extremely important past 7th level or so and a matter of life and death past 11th level. Having Reflex as their only good save will make SBs very easy to neutralize. There are just too many SoL spells that target Fort and Will. Besides, being a front liner, the SB is likely to be constantly targeted by effects such as poison and disease.

I'd hate to see SBs easily neutralized by the first spell thrown at him. Seeing that happen to Rogues is bad enough.

The Cha-to-Will save feat would be nice... It'd finally make charismatic Fighters viable. I'd love to make a Fighter that is actually capable of leading people, or a /rogue who can be charismatic without making his atrocious saves even worse...

Grand Lodge

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yeti1069 wrote:
Lord_Malkov wrote:

For Mobility:

New Deed

Dramatic Charge

At 7th level, as long as the Swashbuckler has at least 1 Panache point in his pool, the Swashbuckler can ignore difficult terrain when making a charge. During a Dramatic Charge the Swashbuckler can spend 1 Panache Point to do one of the following:
-Make an acrobatics check to move through an single enemy's space in the path of the charge with no penalty for moving more than half speed.
-Make an Acrobatics check to jump over an obstacle in the path of the charge.
-Make a single turn of up to 90 degrees along the path of the charge.
If the Swashbuckler fails any of these acrobatics checks, the Swashbuckler stops in the square where the acrobatics check was attempted and the charge fails.

I like this.

Yeah - I think its a winner and it fills the Mobility niche.

Grand Lodge

Lemmy wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Any possibility of SBs getting a good Fort save?

What about a feat that replaces Wisdom with Cha for saving throw? That would open so many character possibilities, it'd be awesome!

To be honest, probably not. I also don't think you will see that feat, but the book is still in development.

I beg you to reconsider. Saving throws become extremely important past 7th level or so and a matter of life and death past 11th level. Having Reflex as their only good save will make SBs very easy to neutralize. There are just too many SoL spells that target Fort and Will. Besides, being a front liner, the SB is likely to be constantly targeted by effects such as poison and disease.

I'd hate to see SBs easily neutralized by the first spell thrown at him. Seeing that happen to Rogues is bad enough.

The Cha-to-Will save feat would be nice... It'd finally make charismatic Fighters viable. I'd love to make a Fighter that is actually capable of leading people, or a /rogue who can be charismatic without making his atrocious saves even worse...

I am in this boat but can live with Charmed life... if it becomes a Free action that can be used out of turn. As it is now? Its a choice of 'do I riposte or do I wait for the possibility of a suck or save situations... and Cayden save me, I hope there is only a single suck or save attack or I am screwed!'


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
ArenCordial wrote:

I just got back from playing with some friends. Man can the Swashbuckler bring the pain at later levels. My Slayer could have not shown up compared to this guy. Even the always hasted Bloodrager felt shown up.

Quick question: Do gloves of dueling work for Swashbuckler Weapon Training?

Not sure.

As it is written right now...no. I'm considering changing the wording of the class feature based on this questions but I need to do more thinking and research on the ramifications. It may be just easier to design similar magic items for the Advanced Class Guide that do work with swashbuckler weapon training.

How would designing a similar magic item be easier than rewording Swashbuckler's Weapon Training to work with an existing item be easier?

Also, if you DO add a Dex-to-damage feat, it should be a little cheaper than Dervish Dance, since DD, in addition to providing Dex-to-damage, also allows Weapon Finesse to be used with a non-finesse weapon AND allows the normally slashing scimitar to be treated as a piercing weapon for class features and feats.

The only way to make it cheaper, though, is to remove the Perform (dance) 2 ranks requirement, which opens it to being an option for characters to take at level 1 if they have the feats for it. That's a good thing.

Removing the empty off-hand requirement might put it on even footing, making level 2 or 3 the target point reasonable. It should definitely not come with this restriction.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Aren Cordial wrote:
How sub-optimal is it really? Did the test account for AC differences? Because the playtest I recent ran with some friends(and yes Dex to AC) the Swashbuckler was phenomenal as a melee combatant. He did good damage, had a good AC, and frankly was a very solid build. Granted we ran it at 11th level. He could gain more offense or defense with panache as needed. The only complaint was some of the Deeds were things that would barely if ever get used. (genuine question not trying to be a you know what.)

What kind of damage were you doing? 1d6 + 11 for level +3 enhancement +2 weapon training +2 specilization?

I wasn't the player. I *think* (key word there)1d6+25

1d6
+5 dex
+3 enh
+2 weapon training
+2 weapon specialization
+2 gloves of dueling (this was wrong currently after asking Stephen but at the time the DM ruled it in and according to Stephen may be on the table )
+11 precise strike

Axe to Grind might have been in there also not sure. I arrived late and didn't get a look at everyone's sheet so I could be off and of course it doesn't count the times he actually spent Panache or Power Attacked.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

While I'm pleased as punch that many people will potentially see their dreams come true with Dex to damage (DtD? D2D?), I think it's worth noting that rapier-using, Dex-based swashbucklers really do just fine in the setup as is. My 10th level playtest build (using the standard array, so it's comparable to DPR Olympics characters) is running 1d6+25 on a typical swing, at an attack bonus of +20/+15. It's entirely functional at that level.


Out of idle curiosity, what's the breakdown on that look like?


Does anyone disagree with what I said earlier about Derring-Do, Menacing Swordplay, Swashbuckler's Init, Superior Feint, Targeted Strike, Dizzying Defense, Perfect Thrust, and Stunning Strike being garbage nobody's ever going to want to use, so those deed slots can be freed up for other things? Not a lot of time left in the playtest, and the list of deeds really needs a lot more attention than it's been getting.

Dex instead of str with the same requirements and restrictions as slashing grace seems like the easiest way to go. It applies to everything swashbuckers use, which is a lousy selection for most other classes, and requiring a separate feat for each weapon would help a little with how much better off you are with two-weapon swashbucklers. You can have a rapier and shortsword, where one has the full crit range and one hits harder, or you take just the two shortswords, have all the damage you want, but only a 20% chance of getting your panache back on each hit, instead of 30% on the main hand... or you can take the feat twice, on top of all the others you need.

Throne wrote:

Piranha Strike's main problem for the Swashbuckler is the light weapon limit.

That said, str 13 for anyone wanting to use a 1-hander rather than a light isn't too onerous. You're going to need to carry stuff anyway.

I'd like to see a str-free variation of Piranha Strike out there that works with just rapier. I personally wouldn't likely ever use it because as I keep saying, you need at least enough str to qualify for power attack if you want to actually wear your armor, carry your weapon, use a buckler, and actually wear clothing. If someone is crazy enough to try a truly str dumping build though and hop around without any armor for a few levels, why not throw'em a bone? Even if they're unwise options, there should be at least a little wiggle room with this class' stats.

ArenCordial wrote:
Sure and I get that. The feat idea doesn't bother me at all. It would be good for a ton of builds. What I said is Precise Strike (as it currently stands) + Dex to damage might be a bit much.

I have literally pulled out the math that proves otherwise something like 20 times now, but here it is again. It looks like a lot, because normally these bonuses are spread around a few different places, but really, even with dex to damage, power attack, weapon specialization, weapon training, and if critical hits worked normally, any fighter with as much str as you have dex who also took power attack and weapon specialization does pretty well close to exactly the same damage. A few points higher at low levels, where a few points more is really double the damage, a couple points higher in the very high teens, when it's barely noticeable and most campaigns have already ended. Tied somewhere around level 15.

Same as it's always been, since the playtest started, and everyone was trying str builds.

Plus, again, as currently written, no swashbuckler in their right mind is going to use it. Two weapon fighting is better for them, and works exactly as well as it does for anyone else. Which is to say it sucks compared to a big ol' two hander. So relax.

Also, test a swashbuckler from level 1. If you start at 11, there are a lot of issues which plague the class at low levels that have just vanished. Issues it's impossible to just live with until they drop away, like being able to wear armor without losing all your AC.

Face_P0lluti0n wrote:
Would Charmed Life be better or worse as a Deed that cost Panache instead of actions and its own resource pool?

Utterly worthless. Panache isn't a real point pool, it's got its own crazy thing going were the instant you get a point you're spending it, although you then get it back soon enough. Does not work at all in terms of keeping a point in your back pocket to block with though.


I'm all for DEX to damage being a feat instead of a class ability. That way it is balanced with Dervish dance and hopefully allows rogues and other dex based characters to shine (unless the feat requires panache or other swashbuckler specific requirements, which would suck).

I have a concern about the limited weapon selection of the swashbuckler. I'm ok that the swashbuckler must spend a feat if they want to finesse with a longsword or other weapon not normally allowed with weapon finesse, but I think all swashbucklers should be able to use their abilities with one-handed slashing weapons that already allows the use of weapon finesse.

I'm also in the ballpark that swashbucklers need more mobility based abilities. I'm surprised that the swashbuckler doesn't already have the acrobatic charge ability of the duelist prc or something similar, since the ability to charge through a crowded room using furniture, ropes and chandeliers to get to their target is one of the most iconic images of a swashbuckler I can think of.

As for two-handed weapons compatible with weapon finesse, I think these should require a feat or even more fitting an archetype.


OK, I'll admit I'm impressed. Kudos to the design team for being willing to consider dramatic changes (esp. Dex-to-damage). I think it takes quite a bit of courage to do so.

The reason I say this is because fear is the primary motivator of so many decision-making groups (well beyond RPGs... talk to anyone who has ever worked in a bureaucracy!)... fear of unexpected repercussions. You have to figure that the design team is super cautious... they would have to be. In fact, there were several posts right after the first ACG playtest document came out that lamented that the design team didn't "push the envelope" or create "totally new mechanics" in the guide. Upon reflection, though, this makes perfect sense. It only takes one "new" mechanic to wreck a careful class-balance... and once it's in the Core, it'll be the devil to fix. And let's face it, the munchkins will spend way more time and effort (they have more collective "eyes") than the design team possibly could looking for ways to break the mechanics in their favor.

So this really is a gutsy move. Bravo!

For the folks who (for whatever reason) are afraid of a swashbuckler class that is decent dealing damage, you have to realize that the reality of the situation made this move inevitable (not to diminish the courage of the design team for doing so; getting ahead of the curve on your terms is always a better move than being reactionary). Dex-to-damage is ALREADY in Pathfinder. Any PFS game is mandated to allow it (so long as the player has the splat book)! And the demand for it is so great that people will compromise their character concepts in order to get it (scimitar and Sarenrae... blech). You might as well argue against metamagic feats or barbarian rage at this point. It's in.

So Dex-to-damage is already the reality. The only question is whether the developers were going to try and use only role-playing considerations as the trade-off for it (which will never stop a munchkin), or whether they would shape the mechanic themselves to enforce fair trade-offs. And an additional feat granting limited weapon-choice for Dex-to-damage seems like a pretty good trade-off. Perhaps other classes will benefit (here's looking at the rogue) from this as well.

This is very encouraging! Now about all those swift/immediate actions *cough* *cough*...


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I spent some time with the new swashbuckler rules today and came to the same conclusions that I see others have posted regarding the interplay of dervish dance and the class. It will be a huge blunder, in my opinion, if the most effective weapon for a swashbuckler isn't a rapier/cutlass.

I agree with Malachi that a swashbuckler weapon group is an excellent option that would allow for future feats to key off of the group. This would also focus the base class so that it represents the iconic light blade-wielding combatant. From that base, archetypes can tease out variations with other weapons, florentine-style, sword and pistol, etc.

Dex bonus to damage for this weapon group does square the class up with str fighters and I could see removing Nimble to compensate for the increase to ac and reflex that the focus on dex brings.

Aside from this, I am really happy with this version of the class.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Throne wrote:
Out of idle curiosity, what's the breakdown on that look like?

Str 13 (+1 at 8th), Dex 15 (+2 racial, +1 at 4th, +4 belt), Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14 (+2 headband).

Fort +9, Dex +16, Will +8

AC 27 (touch 18, flat-footed 19)

Feats: Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Greater Weapon Focus (rapier), Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (rapier), Weapon Specialization (rapier)

Equipment: +3 rapier, +2 mithral shirt, +2 buckler, mw comp longbow, belt of Dex +4, headband of Cha +2, cloak of resistance +3


Dispari Scuro wrote:
If 3 damage isn't worth a feat, were you also planning on skipping both Weapon Specializations as well? And with that criteria, Power Attack starts to become a questionable feat too.

Honestly? Yes. Both Weapon Specializations (and weapon focus for that matter) are squarely in the category of "things to take if I don't have any better ideas for things I can qualify for at this level." The return on power attack is much better than weapon specialization + greater because power attack scales, and scales much better when two-handing. If you're a Barb with Reckless Abandon you can offset the penalty by taking it to your AC instead. Weapon Specialization is better than power attack at level 1 (too bad you can't take it at level 1 eh) but the bonus becomes irrelevant soon enough. Things that give you more attacks, scale with level, or multiply your damage are much more efficient than flat bonuses when playing in the DPR race (Which is only worthwhile to the point where you can drop anything level appropriate in one round anyway).


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Googleshng wrote:
Does anyone disagree with what I said earlier about Derring-Do, Menacing Swordplay, Swashbuckler's Init, Superior Feint, Targeted Strike, Dizzying Defense, Perfect Thrust, and Stunning Strike being garbage nobody's ever going to want to use, so those deed slots can be freed up for other things? Not a lot of time left in the playtest, and the list of deeds really needs a lot more attention than it's been getting.

Not much disagreement.

I've already said that Derring-do is unimpressive and almost never worth the point of Panache it requires. I mentioned a few pages back, I think, that it's problem is that it doesn't facilitate characters doing something MORE than they normally could, but instead only gets used when someone is nervous about something that they can almost do. No one is going to use D-d to leap across that 15-foot chasm with a +9 jump check in the hope that they will roll a 6, and certainly no one would attempt a 20-foot chasm in the hopes that they roll a 6 and then a 5+. The only thing people will use it for are when they are just a point or two shy (a +13 jump for that 15-foot chasm), and for Acrobatics checks through threatened squares where they are screwed if they don't make a high enough roll. That this is yet ANOTHER ability that you have to use before you see the results of your roll just makes it even worse.

I'd prefer Derring-do to encourage daring action. Right now it doesn't. One of my suggestions was for D-d to grant an extra move action any time you rolled a 6 and "exploded" the die. This could be used to move and get a full-attack, or to cover more ground, or to do a bunch of cool Acrobatic things in one turn.

I think Menacing Swordplay looks cool, and was thinking about building around it a bit, but I hadn't noticed the Swift action on the first read-through. Basically worthless in that case.

Why don't you like Swashbuckler's Initiative?

Superior Feint is terrible. There's nothing "superior" about it, other than that it doesn't require two feats to perform.

Targeted Strike looks okay. I think it could stand to be changed to a Standard action, have targeting Wings change to its own effect which causes a creature to fall from flight, and targeting arms should deal damage. Otherwise, essentially getting a bunch of feats for free isn't so bad, even if their usage is a little restricted.

Agree on Dizzying Defense. If kept, and moved to lower levels, I'd prefer it to be a Free action when making an attack.

Perfect Thrust is rather poor. If this were changed to a standard action, it wouldn't be terrible (but still not very good, either).

Stunning Strike isn't bad, it just comes too late and is available at the same level as Deadly Stab, although Deadly triggering on a crit, and Stunning triggering on a hit separates them a bit. And, I suppose, if you're desperate you could spend 3 Panache on a crit to force two saves, one vs. stun, the other vs. death.


I hope I am not blowing anyones secret nefarious plans here but how does this work with a swashbuckler?

Martial Versatility (Combat, Human)

Prerequisites: Fighter level 4th, human.

Benefit: Choose one combat feat you know that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus). You can use that feat with any weapon within the same weapon group.

Special: You may take this feat more than once. Each time it applies to a different feat.

Coupled with any one handed slashing weapon from this group:

Blades, Heavy: bastard sword, elven curve blade, falchion, greatsword, longsword, scimitar, scythe, and two-bladed sword.

especially considering a new dex to damage feat... accidentally leading to finessing and dex to damage with dreaded two handed weapons.


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Is there any chance of Swashbuckler Initiative being changed? I'd love to see it renamed to something like "Grand Entrance" and being modified to Cha bonus to Initiative. It'd be so much more flavorful and create a real incentive for raising Cha.

Inqusitors and Kensai Magi already get to add Wisdom and Int to Initiative, so it's not unprecedented or unbalanced. If dipping is a concern, it could be limited to Swashbuckler level, though I don't think it's necessary.


Torbyne wrote:

I hope I am not blowing anyones secret nefarious plans here but how does this work with a swashbuckler?

Martial Versatility (Combat, Human)

Prerequisites: Fighter level 4th, human.

Benefit: Choose one combat feat you know that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus). You can use that feat with any weapon within the same weapon group.

Special: You may take this feat more than once. Each time it applies to a different feat.

Coupled with any one handed slashing weapon from this group:

Blades, Heavy: bastard sword, elven curve blade, falchion, greatsword, longsword, scimitar, scythe, and two-bladed sword.

especially considering a new dex to damage feat... accidentally leading to finessing and dex to damage with dreaded two handed weapons.

The Swashbuckler feat only works with one-handed slashing weapons. The human feat doesn't remove prerequisites. If it did you could pair it with Dervish Dance and add dex to damage with whatever you wanted. The feats don't work that way.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Torbyne wrote:

I hope I am not blowing anyones secret nefarious plans here but how does this work with a swashbuckler?

Martial Versatility (Combat, Human)

Prerequisites: Fighter level 4th, human.

Benefit: Choose one combat feat you know that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus). You can use that feat with any weapon within the same weapon group.

Special: You may take this feat more than once. Each time it applies to a different feat.

Coupled with any one handed slashing weapon from this group:

Blades, Heavy: bastard sword, elven curve blade, falchion, greatsword, longsword, scimitar, scythe, and two-bladed sword.

especially considering a new dex to damage feat... accidentally leading to finessing and dex to damage with dreaded two handed weapons.

If you get Dex-To-Damage with a 2-handed weapon, it wouldn't be 1.5*Dex like it is 1.5*Str. Secondly, a 2-handed weapon doesn't interact with Precise Strike. The only positive is slightly bigger damage dice, and that elusive extra point of damage from Power Attack.


ArenCordial wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Aren Cordial wrote:
How sub-optimal is it really? Did the test account for AC differences? Because the playtest I recent ran with some friends(and yes Dex to AC) the Swashbuckler was phenomenal as a melee combatant. He did good damage, had a good AC, and frankly was a very solid build. Granted we ran it at 11th level. He could gain more offense or defense with panache as needed. The only complaint was some of the Deeds were things that would barely if ever get used. (genuine question not trying to be a you know what.)

Running the DPR on that vs a two hander with a slightly higher strength (because they don't need to be a well rounded bowling ball with their stats) they look REALLY close (27 vs 27 and change), which I think puts it around where it should be if dex to damage is in the equation. The swashbuckler has a few tricks and out of combat utility, but a tweaked out two handed fighter should be able to pull away

Mind you, 11 is where this guy really starts to take off. It looks like a fighter for high level play.


So, let's do some quick testing here. A few changes have been made, so let's add a new member to the Debug family. This is Diva Debug, at level 1. Her stats are 13 16 12 7 9 16. Still a 15 point buy like Debbie. Debbie as you may recall had 9 18 12 13 7 14. Diva's trying out a higher cha, sacrificing 2 points off her dex for it, and scoring the enviable ability to put some freaking clothes on, and grab that power attack she's read about in all the papers. Well... she hasn't really read about it, because she's as dumb as a post. With a 7 int, Diva has only two skills- Acrobatics and Intimidate. She has those because they help in combat. She can't climb or swim at all, which is probably going to be a problem, she doesn't have any of these fancy charisma skills that are honestly vital to the concept, and she can't even hold a conversation if you don't make sure to use short simple words, but she's cute enough to get by at low levels and her oafish grunts can scare people away.

I'm cool with 4 skill points if I can manage at least a 12 in int to cover the bare essentials. Loading this class down with skill points and keeping int as a dump stat wouldn't really be ideal. 6 skills might be an interesting compromise, because the bare essentials both to fit the concept and generally survive are acrobatics, climb, diplomacy (OK not needed to survive), intimidate. It's pretty hard to get by without also taking swim, and if we don't have bluff we can't convince Wallace Shaun that he won when drinking our poisoned wine! 6 points would let Diva at least cover the real basic bases, and let someone who can afford a 10 grab those other two. Past that, you're pumping points into int and getting nothing out of it but skill points (asuming that oversight about combat expertise was an oversight), but hey, there's plenty more I'd like to take.

Diva's Con Wis and Cha are set up the way they are as an experiment. I'm going to try and get some actual use out of this Charmed Life thing. It's not replacing my normal save stats, so I can't totally neglect them. I'm dumping wis a little because usually with martial types, I like a 14 there. For con, I also like to try and swing at least a 14 (don't we all), and that's with a good will save. At level 1 I'm up to par on both if I am able to used Charmed Life on every save. Will's going to stay on course. Fort is going to wobble through levels 2 and 3 then consistently drop off. I'm incredibly skeptical about this whole thing, but we'll see.

Incidentally, if fort and reflex were switched, and Charmed Life proves itself far more reliable than I'm expecting, I'd probably be willing to drop con down a tad, HP and all, and undo Diva's lobotomy. As it stands, without str-free power attack and a willingness to be a nudist, this is as good as it gets with 15 points.

So! Level 1! Diva doesn't suck at this level! Debbie was throwing darts at goblins and sitting out a fight with skeletons. Diva's got +3 to hit and damage, plus power attack to make that +2/+5, AND three points of panache to spend on the now usable parry/riposte, which works out real well on things that hit worse than she does. Her AC is still a point shy of where it should be, and her main stat's only 16 after racial adjustments, but this is a totally viable first level character.

Level 2 might change that. We'll find out... tomorrow. My actual game I GM for is starting right now. How time flies.


Dispari Scuro wrote:
The Swashbuckler feat only works with one-handed slashing weapons. The human feat doesn't remove prerequisites. If it did you could pair it with Dervish Dance and add dex to damage with whatever you wanted. The feats don't work that way.

At first glance this looked like a case of specific trumps slightly less specific. But i see your point. Still useful to add versatility to Half-Elf, Half-Orc and human Swashbucklers.

Also, i kind of knew you wouldn't get 1.5 DEX but you would still get a 1:3 on power attack, no? Not enough to miss out on precise strike though... could it be that it is still balanced?!

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