Revised Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Finally built and played a swashbuckler today and I feel to need to ask, why isn't slashing grace a combat feat? As currently stands the swashbuckler cannot even take this feat as a bonus feat, it needs to be a combat feat.

Silver Crusade

Googleshng wrote:
...one of us is seriously misreading dizzying defense.

How do you read Dizzying Defence?

Grand Lodge

Hrothdane wrote:

I haven't read the entire thread to check if this has already been brought up, but I have a question about the dueling sword and the aldori dueling mastery feat as they apply to the swashbuckler.

The text of Aldori Dueling Mastery says:

"Although the dueling sword inflicts slashing damage, you treat it as if it were also a piercing weapon when determining the effects of weapons used by a duelist."

The wording sounds rather vague, and the feat does predate the swashbuckler class, but it sounds to me like it should allow a swashbuckler to treat the dueling sword as a piercing weapon for the purposes of his abilities without having to take Slashing Grace. Considering the flavor and substantial feat tax, I think it would be an appropriate and balanced interpretation, too.

Interesting... would be interesting to see some clarity here on if it counts. I think it should. I think this topic has gotten an airing in other threads (and this one) too.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I've never said Swashbuckler is too strong at level 5. I said chasing AC is good. By level 5, you don't have enough money to start chasing AC anyway, so I assumed you meant once WBL was high enough to really make choices.

I was still talking in the context of fighting a bunch of ghouls in Rise of the Runelords. Only way you're really pushing AC there is if it's coming at the expense of everything else.


Lord_Malkov wrote:
I showed my work, I am not sure how misleading that can be. I also pointed out that the swashbuckler is alright "at higher levels". I gave the fighter a 16 con to start and the swashbuckler a 14... so MAD also accounted for. (16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10 is a good array, and it goes dex, con, str, cha, wis, int with a +2 in dex from race)

I don't think Rynjin meant to imply that your numbers are biased or inaccurate, LM.

However, this is one of the situations where math makes something look better than its.

The problem is that being hit likely won't take you out of the fight, so if the fighter can consistently make his saves, he'll be fine. A Swashbuckler may be hit less often, but if each time he's hit he's likely to fail his save, then it means he's one attack away from being neutralized.

The Fighter's disadvantage (AC) allows for secondary defenses too, such as DR and HP. So if he can consistently make that Fort, he's more likely to survive than a Swashbuckler, because there are no secondary defenses to failing a save. You fail, you're out.

AC is usually easier and cheaper to boost than saves too, so it's easier for a Fighter to raise his AC than for a SB to raise his saves.

And of course, there is the fact that you have to reach the high levels in the first place... Being hit a little more often will probably not kill you, but failing a single Fort save may do it.


Trout wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

I think the swashbuckler should tie extra damage to moving. Like the 3.5 scout's Skirmish ability. For example, maybe they should only get Precise Strike damage if they move 10 or more feet prior to the attack roll.

This would also synergize well with high Dex builds, since the SB would need to use Acrobatics to tumble to avoid AoOs for moving.

I like the idea of being rewarded for movement on the battlefield (same goes for fighting multiple opponents). But I wouldn't want it to become a "must do" and have it end up denying you full attacks.

I know accuracy is not a big issue here, but fencing is actually quite a static combat style. Yes, swashbucklers move very nimbly to a fight scene, but they are not exactly skirmishers. I feel the usual attack mechanic covers this quite nicely.

I really do want them to have some additional ability to move, tumble, climb and swing while keeping their Dex mod, and such.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Trout wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

I think the swashbuckler should tie extra damage to moving. Like the 3.5 scout's Skirmish ability. For example, maybe they should only get Precise Strike damage if they move 10 or more feet prior to the attack roll.

This would also synergize well with high Dex builds, since the SB would need to use Acrobatics to tumble to avoid AoOs for moving.

I like the idea of being rewarded for movement on the battlefield (same goes for fighting multiple opponents). But I wouldn't want it to become a "must do" and have it end up denying you full attacks.

Thanks.

I made a homebrew version of the swashbuckler that caused extra damage under certain circumstances, like if the SB moves 10 feet, or is flanking, or the target is shaken, or flat-footed, etc. etc.

Basically, the SB chooses one special "Combat Strike" at 1st level, and additional ones at levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, plus 2 at 20th as a capstone.


To encourage mobility, assuming the swift action for a dizzing whatevers doesnt work like we think it might, consider a 1/2 or 1/3 level worth of D6 to a single hit after moving at least 10 or 15 feet? Call it "Run Them Through" or some such?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe "Blade Dance" 1d6 at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, 19?

Or keep the same as Precise Strike, but let it double on a crit.


I don't know if just one or two extra d6 for the majority of a characters career is a big incentive to be mobile... but maybe if precise strike doubled on a charge? Or,really thinking about how a rapier works, every three to five levels let a swashbuckling ignore a flat 1/- DR? That's not a mobility thing, just a thought about piercing weapons.


Ooh! Even better, make it part of precise strike; "A swashbuckler may forgo three points of precise strike damage to ignore one point of DR, a swashbuckler may give up any multiple of three to increase this DR bypass. Bypassed DR is not a precession effect."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

...maybe I'm missing something, but can't I already give up just one damage to ignore one point of DR?


I am thinking of enemies that are immune to precise strike, swashbuckling damage plummets against those or in darkly lit areas, this would let you switch over that lost damage potential to something at least. If it creates a bleed effect for DR or natural armor though I would go for that too. Isn't there a feat in the dragon slayers book to drop natural armor with a crit? There's something to consider for the class...


Googleshng wrote:


Stop right there. You only have a handful of uses of charmed life a day. They are enough to get you through a day's worth of charm spells and such just fine, but seriously, the ghoul fight that keeps killing all my test swashbucklers? In one small area where they can reasonably get a surprise round, there are six ghouls. Each ghoul gets 3 attacks per round. Each attack calls for 2 fort saves. These aren't the only ones you'll end up fighting, nor the only ones you've fought that day. They're also too low on HD for panache to refill on kills.

true about them being to low to get panache back. also true about them needing an 18 or 19 to hit a swashbuckler. assuming they're flanking that drops 16 or 17. also, I'm not sure how you're calculating/assuming that they "reasonably get a surprise round", as they get +7 to stealth and even a swashbuckler with a 10 wis is going to have +8 to perception at 5th level if they're trained for it.

Googleshng wrote:


You are going to be taking more than enough hits to run out of charmed life real real quick. Also, I'm really not sure what you mean by "the difference being that a swashbuckler has the option to break up a creature's flank, parry away their attacks, or improve the save if he does get hit." Are you talking about Dodging Panache? Because "This movement is not a 5-foot step; it provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the one who triggered this deed." Plus it's panache limited. At level 5, you've only got one attack per round, so panache is not yet flowing like water, and you can't count on it.

ya, I'm talking about dodging panache and parry and riposte. and if you look at the build I posted earlier, you would see that I took combat reflexes at 1st, thus having 4 AoOs. again, assuming all 6 ghouls magically jumped on my poor swashbuckler (as opposed to spreading the love around), I could still parry a percentage of their attacks (assuming I didn't just decide to let them swing on me.) it's true that dodging panache provokes from everything else. it's also true that they are statistically unlikely to hit me.

Googleshng wrote:
You're also overestimating stats and AC.

I don't see how I could be overestimating stats and ac. in the first place, your example was using 5th level characters, not 3rd. but even assuming a 3rd level character, you would have 3000 gp to spend, which I would spend on a +1 cloak of resist and +1 armor before a +1 rapier. and that's not even talking about the character who starts with an 18 dex (my build was a 16) and just decides to wear a lamellar cuirass and carry a buckler. throw in dodge or shield focus and you're looking at an 18 ac without any magic stuff. sticking a +1 on his armor, and you've got a 19. fort and will saves are higher too, because I'm not sacking wis and con to get a 13 strength.

The Exchange

I still want to know if precise strike would work for a swash/monk since it is considered both manufactured weapon and natural weapon and that ability says it doesn't work for natural weapons


Andrew R wrote:
I still want to know if precise strike would work for a swash/monk since it is considered both manufactured weapon and natural weapon and that ability says it doesn't work for natural weapons

It counts as both, but really only for the good bits (besides the fact that the AoMF suuuucks). It can have Feats and class abilities that apply to both, it's not meant to restrict the Monk even further than he already is.


I hope their isn't going to be any complications involving the interaction between slashing grace and the new dex to damage feat. It may make people cranky if they have to jump through too many hoops to make their play style work.


Rynjin wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I still want to know if precise strike would work for a swash/monk since it is considered both manufactured weapon and natural weapon and that ability says it doesn't work for natural weapons
It counts as both, but really only for the good bits (besides the fact that the AoMF suuuucks). It can have Feats and class abilities that apply to both, it's not meant to restrict the Monk even further than he already is.

I should also mention, unarmed strikes are not considered natural attacks. If you dig through the rules, unarmed strikes are specifically exempted from being considered natural attacks, and any time there is language that benefits both weapons, it is always, without fail, called out as 'natural weapons and unarmed strikes'.

Why? So Monks can't take Improved Natural Wepaon (unarmed strikes). Basically, Monks can't have nice things. Only druids can.


Tels wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I still want to know if precise strike would work for a swash/monk since it is considered both manufactured weapon and natural weapon and that ability says it doesn't work for natural weapons
It counts as both, but really only for the good bits (besides the fact that the AoMF suuuucks). It can have Feats and class abilities that apply to both, it's not meant to restrict the Monk even further than he already is.

I should also mention, unarmed strikes are not considered natural attacks. If you dig through the rules, unarmed strikes are specifically exempted from being considered natural attacks, and any time there is language that benefits both weapons, it is always, without fail, called out as 'natural weapons and unarmed strikes'.

Why? So Monks can't take Improved Natural Wepaon (unarmed strikes). Basically, Monks can't have nice things. Only druids can.

Well Monk Unarmed Strikes ARE actually considered Natural Weapons (and Manufactured weapons) for anything that applies to.

They still can't take Improved Natural Attack though because:

Quote:
Choose one of the creature's natural attack forms (not an unarmed strike).


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Googleshng wrote:


Stop right there. You only have a handful of uses of charmed life a day. They are enough to get you through a day's worth of charm spells and such just fine, but seriously, the ghoul fight that keeps killing all my test swashbucklers? In one small area where they can reasonably get a surprise round, there are six ghouls. Each ghoul gets 3 attacks per round. Each attack calls for 2 fort saves. These aren't the only ones you'll end up fighting, nor the only ones you've fought that day. They're also too low on HD for panache to refill on kills.
true about them being to low to get panache back. also true about them needing an 18 or 19 to hit a swashbuckler. assuming they're flanking that drops 16 or 17. also, I'm not sure how you're calculating/assuming that they "reasonably get a surprise round", as they get +7 to stealth and even a swashbuckler with a 10 wis is going to have +8 to perception at 5th level if they're trained for it.

Did you see everything I laid out about how a swashbuckler is stuck setting their stats? With a 15 point buy, you are going to dump int, period, and it's pretty darn hard to swing any wisdom. Perception is a luxury you can't really afford.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Googleshng wrote:


You are going to be taking more than enough hits to run out of charmed life real real quick. Also, I'm really not sure what you mean by "the difference being that a swashbuckler has the option to break up a creature's flank, parry away their attacks, or improve the save if he does get hit." Are you talking about Dodging Panache? Because "This movement is not a 5-foot step; it provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the one who triggered this deed." Plus it's panache limited. At level 5, you've only got one attack per round, so panache is not yet flowing like water, and you can't count on it.
ya, I'm talking about dodging panache and parry and riposte. and if you look at the build I posted earlier, you would see that I took combat reflexes at 1st, thus having 4 AoOs. again, assuming all 6 ghouls magically jumped on my poor swashbuckler (as opposed to spreading the love around), I could still parry a percentage of their attacks (assuming I didn't just decide to let them swing on me.) it's true that dodging panache provokes from everything else. it's also true that they are statistically unlikely to hit me.

No, you can parry one attack. Maybe two if you're lucky. It costs a point of panache to parry. You have 2 or 3 max, and since you get one back on a crit, you're generally keeping one spent at all times, and the other held in reserve to keep the passive deeds on. Unless you just got up, or you just finished a fight by landing a crit, you're going to be walking around with 1 panache. Doesn't really matter how many AOOs you're packing unless you have managed to squirrel away a huge reserve of extra panache or taken signature deed. You won't have done so at level 5. Plus it's not going to have that much of an effect on your effective AC even when you do use it if you're focusing on defense.

Also, did you just describe (worst case scenario) 5 AOOs which hit on a 14 as "statistically unlikely to hit you?" Because that's simply not true. Odds of stepping aside without a single hit would be 11% by my math with the character and situation you're describing here.

A more likely variation, you're looking at to 25% chances and one 35% chance to hit you gives you a 36% to come away clean. Again, likely that you will be hit.

And this isn't even getting into the odds that you won't have the best init in the room, and be flatfooted against any of these attacks.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Quote:

Googleshng wrote:

You're also overestimating stats and AC.
I don't see how I could be overestimating stats and ac. in the first place, your example was using 5th level characters, not 3rd. but even assuming a 3rd level character, you would have 3000 gp to spend, which I would spend on a +1 cloak of resist and +1 armor before a +1 rapier. and that's not even talking about the character who starts with an 18 dex (my build was a 16) and just decides to wear a lamellar cuirass and carry a buckler. throw in dodge or shield focus and you're looking at an 18 ac without any magic stuff. sticking a +1 on his armor, and you've got a 19. fort and will saves are higher too, because I'm not sacking wis and con to get a 13 strength.

I would very much like to see the full stats of this character you're talking about, because from the sound of things, you somehow managed to get a 14 in 4 different stats without dumping anything with 15-point buy.

Also, 19 isn't a lot of AC. Any front line melee character can swing that sometime around level 2. If you have access to full plate and have at least 12 dex, you've got 20 right there.

Also seriously, why are you arguing for swashbucklers to be the only class in the game meant to sit on the front lines with a bad fort save?


Rynjin wrote:

Well Monk Unarmed Strikes ARE actually considered Natural Weapons (and Manufactured weapons) for anything that applies to.

They still can't take Improved Natural Attack though because:

Quote:
Choose one of the creature's natural attack forms (not an unarmed strike).

I think you're mistaken about this Rynjin... Natural Weapons are those that can be used "outside" of BAB. Unarmed Strikes can't do that. And they are certainly not considered manufactured weapons, although some effects that apply to manufactured weapons also apply to unarmed strikes.

On an unrelated note...

I'm seriously disappointed that the Swashbuckler ended up being "Mr.DPR" instead of a mobile combatant... Instead of getting cool mobility and maneuver options, most of what the class got was extra damage and AC...

Weapon Training, free Improved Critical, Precise Strike, Nimble, access to Weapon Specialization...

And what does mobility get? Kip-up (which is nice, but not impressive), minor bonus to Acrobatics and Derring-Do, which is awful.

Swashbucklers are basically "Fighters with better skills and awful saves". They may even have higher DPR and AC.

Another boring class with big numbers...


Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.

Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?


A little of both.

Swashbuckler has some painfully obvious holes that a couple of monk levels can paper over, and MoMS has early access to some feats that complement the Swashbuckler too well to pass up (Crane and Dragon especially, but Snake offers some interesting options), along with the only way I can think of to use more than one of those options at a time.

Sovereign Court

Some things I've noticed playing swashbuckler at first and second level.
Stats are:
Str -13
Dex-18
Con-12
Int-8
Wis-12
Cha-14

1: I feel I've been Very lucky so far with fort saves. The GM is converting the old Temple of Elemental Evil for us (as we have always wanted to play it). Many of the creatures we've fought so far have had some kind of poisoned attack or other fort save ability, and I currently have very bad fort and will saves, (although my will saves are slightly better due to having taken the latent scion trait). If charmed life cost panache instead of an action this would be better. In addition I think if it Scaled a little better I wouldn't feel forced into dumping int. Currently the warpriest in our party deals far more damage, has higher saves, and higher ac.

2: I'm not seeing a problem with the way opportune parry/reposte works currently. I've had good luck with it, admittedly, but in my experience panache comes back fairly often with the good threat range on my weapon and a little focus on the nooks from time to time.

3: 1st and second level my damage is very much a problem. Dealing 2-3 damage on a low roll is just pathetic for a front line Melee class, but without pumping strength at the expense of dex and cha I can see no way around it.

4: I enjoy derring-do quite a bit. The bonus helps me accomplish things that I couldn't otherwise do, and I feel that it allows me to try checks I wouldn't normally attempt. I feel as if perhaps it allowed you to use charisma mod in place of the typical modifier for a given ability or set of abilities, it would make it that much easier to alleviate some of the reliance on strength.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Googleshng wrote:
Did you see everything I laid out about how a swashbuckler is stuck setting their stats? With a 15 point buy, you are going to dump int, period, and it's pretty darn hard to swing any wisdom. Perception is a luxury you can't really afford.

I've read every post on this thread and the last. I think you go a little far in a few things (Piranha Strike for any weapon?), but I agree the Fort save situation as is will lead to dead, frustrated swashbucklers (although halflings and half-orcs can get some nice save boosts without a Cha penalty or feat dumps).

All of that said, how are you not affording Perception?

Here is my 15pt buy array for you if it helps:

Human Swashbuckler STR 13 DEX 17 CON 12 INT 8 WIS 10 CHA 14

This still gives me 4 skill points per level. Sure, I don't have a Wisdom bonus to Perception rolls, but I still get +3 for class skill. Why would I not max out Acrobatics and Perception again? If I could only have two skills because I dumped Int to a 7 on a non-human I'd take these. Perception isn't really a luxury, it is one of the most commonly rolled skills in the game. Also really handy when ghouls are sneaking up on you...

Speaking of your level 5 ghoul fight where a ton of ghouls drag down the swash, have you run that encounter the same way with a 15pt buy fighter? Just how much better is their Fort save? +2 base, so not a lot there. The fighter can dump Charisma and afford a better Con, but they are prioritizing Strength so maybe 1 or 2 points there. Since the Swashbuckler in your tests hopelessly dies every single time, do me a favor and run it with a +4 Knick bonus to Fort saves and see how it does. Something tells me that 5 ghouls running a (surprise every time for no apparent reason) train on a solo melee martial is going to manage a victory based upon the volume of dice rolls. But hey, if that +4 makes all the difference, then maybe you have a point. Still, I have seen the builds you posted and we differ on how to go about things.

Ultimately, how the swash does all by his onesies against anything really doesn't matter to me. It is a group game played with groups of player characters. I guess if the swash is dying in the surprise round every time, that could be concerning, but in the games I play, there are probably 3 other characters around to help fight those monsters, usually with a diverse skill set.


MechE_ wrote:
Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.
Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?

The problem is more likely to be Crane Style.

The number of classes that "have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny" is pretty damn long. However I think it is just another symptom because they're not going into MoMS for class features or even for styles in general. It's almost always for Crane Style. If more than that, then it is Crane Style + X style.

Certainly no one is diving in there for Stunning Fist and Still Mind.


Well, I will get to test drive a totally unscientific playtest of seeing if the frightening dex to damage thing is too powerful. My new character is a SGG fusilier (panache gunslinger variant) who will be using the swashbuckler panache from the playtest instead of the standard stuff. We are only level 5, and to further muddy the waters, we use a 25 point buy (but stat boost items are not to be found at any price or feat combo) instead of the base 20/15.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
ChainsawSam wrote:
MechE_ wrote:
Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.
Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?

The problem is more likely to be Crane Style.

The number of classes that "have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny" is pretty damn long. However I think it is just another symptom because they're not going into MoMS for class features or even for styles in general. It's almost always for Crane Style. If more than that, then it is Crane Style + X style.

Certainly no one is diving in there for Stunning Fist and Still Mind.

Agreed.

Liberty's Edge

ChainsawSam wrote:
MechE_ wrote:
Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.
Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?

The problem is more likely to be Crane Style.

The number of classes that "have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny" is pretty damn long. However I think it is just another symptom because they're not going into MoMS for class features or even for styles in general. It's almost always for Crane Style. If more than that, then it is Crane Style + X style.

Certainly no one is diving in there for Stunning Fist and Still Mind.

True enough, but in this case everyone will be after the saves, crane might be a little redundant since we can already parry, even though crane is better. I would use it for dragon, and maybe another for mobility, if there is one. I haven't looked in forever.


Googleshng wrote:


Did you see everything I laid out about how a swashbuckler is stuck setting their stats? With a 15 point buy, you are going to dump int, period, and it's pretty darn hard to swing any wisdom. Perception is a luxury you can't really afford.

conversely, I'd argue that a swashbuckler is a character that you can't afford not to have perception with. since you don't get uncanny dodge until 11th level, and since your defensely is (at least largely) dex based, I don't know why you'd skimp on the skill that would let you see people coming.

Googleshng wrote:


And this isn't even getting into the odds that you won't have the best init in the room, and be flatfooted against any of these attacks.

because your ghouls have the chance to surround me before I even get to act, even though most likely some of them would have the provoke to do so (don't forget that combat reflexes let's you take AoOs while flatfooted)? let's see here: my math on ghoul statblocks says that they have a +2 bonus to initiative. assuming (as many gms I've seen like to do) that they roll initiative as a group, that means that I have at least a decent chance of beating them (bare minimum even odds).

Googleshng wrote:

I would very much like to see the full stats of this character you're talking about, because from the sound of things, you somehow managed to get a 14 in 4 different stats without dumping anything with 15-point buy.

Also, 19 isn't a lot of AC. Any front line melee character can swing that sometime around level 2. If you have access to full plate and have at least 12 dex, you've got 20 right there.

okay, i'll rise to the challenge, even though I've never played in or seen a game where the gm uses 15 point buy for stats. additionally, what is that stat build of your 3rd level character with no magic weapon against such a combat? if he's spending 2 of his 15 points on dex, he's probably not going to have a 16 con. none-the-less, here is my build of such a character at level 3:

vrog's swashbuckler::

str 10
dex 16 (includes racial +2)
con 14
int 10
wis 10
cha 14

race: human
hp: 13
fort: +4
ref: +7
will: +3 (including trait bonus)

initiative: +5 (including swashbuckler's initiative)

feats: combat reflexes, (weapon finesse), dodge, extra grit
traits: fencer, indomitable faith

equipment: +1 lamellar cuirass, mw rapier, cloak of resistance, mw buckler

attack: +7 to hit (8 w/attacks of op.); 1d6+0(3 w/precise strike) damage
ac: 19 (3 dex, 1 buckler, 3 armor, 1 feat, 1 nimble), touch 15, ff 14

skills: acrobatics +9, perception +6, sense motive +6, diplomacy +8, swim +6

panache pool: 4

Googleshng wrote:


Also seriously, why are you arguing for swashbucklers to be the only class in the game meant to sit on the front lines with a bad fort save?

because I feel that the logic behind it is being powered by an incorrect idea: namely the idea that just because something has been a tradition for a while, we should reject a new idea out of hand.

edit: forgot to throw initiative into my build.


Steven_Evil wrote:
ChainsawSam wrote:
MechE_ wrote:
Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.
Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?

The problem is more likely to be Crane Style.

The number of classes that "have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny" is pretty damn long. However I think it is just another symptom because they're not going into MoMS for class features or even for styles in general. It's almost always for Crane Style. If more than that, then it is Crane Style + X style.

Certainly no one is diving in there for Stunning Fist and Still Mind.

True enough, but in this case everyone will be after the saves, crane might be a little redundant since we can already parry, even though crane is better. I would use it for dragon, and maybe another for mobility, if there is one. I haven't looked in forever.

The best style feats to go for, are Crane, Dragon, Panther and Snake. Any combination of those four styles lets the Swashbuckler feel more swashbuckley.

Crane Style gets you a better parry/riposte mechanic that isn't consuming class features.

Dragon gets you some nice mobility boosts, and if you're dragon/snake with strength prime, you can get some good damage boosts too.

Panther lets the swashbuckler run through a bunch of enemies, and counter-attack all of them. Very thematic, and goes well with any of the above three.

Snake is, in my opinion, almost necessary for the swashbuckler. They tend to have high AC and good damage, so any attack that misses, becomes a free attack in turn.

Personally, I'm all for the Crane/Snake combo. Two deflections, and a riposte, and a ton of counter-attacks. Between those two, a Swashbuckler could have a stupid high AC while maintaining a good offense, and be able to make almost 2 full attacks to the enemies 1.

The downside is it is very feat intensive. Humans can pull off the whole thing by level 9, while every one else has to wait until 10th to do it.

The build depends on where the Dex to Damage feat comes into play, but I'm going to assume it will have an unavoidable pre-req like Dervish Dance does (perform dance 2 ranks) and put it in at 3rd.

1) Swash 1 Combat Reflexes (swashy's finesse)
2) Swash 2
3) Swash 3 Dex to Damage (aka MacFarland's Maneuver)
4) Swash 4 Bonus: Dodge
5) MoMS 1 Snake Style (Bonus: Snake Sidewind)
6) MoMS 2 Bonus: Snake Fang
7) Swash 5 Crane Style
8) Swash 6
9) Swash 7 Crane Wing
10) Swash 8 Bonus: Crane Riposte

If human, you can pull this off by level 9, thanks to that extra feat at first for Dodge.

Side Note: The name MacFarland's Maneuver for the Dex to Damage feat is really growing on me. Anyone else?


Googleshng wrote:

I'm still not seeing swashbucklers as inherently having higher AC than fighters. At low levels, a fighter has a nice cheap edge because breastplates and platemail have a higher AC/max dex cap than anything the swash can wear with less than a 26 Dex.

If you really focus on maxing your AC out, a swashbucker eventually gets hit fewer enough times to balance out her bad fort save against a fighter who's neglecting his AC but... so what? Death is kind of a slap on the wrist at higher levels, but if I drop in this here low level ghoul swarm before I hit that point, I have to roll up a new character. Plus maintaining that high AC requires pretty frequently selling her current armor and buying something new. Plunk down the cash for a +1 set of studded leather? Half the money you invested is gone when you upgrade to mithral. Trade that for darkleaf? Half that cash is done. Get dex to the point your best bet is just bracers? Say goodbye to have the money that went into that. The fighter meanwhile spends maybe a couple hundred getting to the suit he's going to use for the rest of his life, then armor training grows it with him.

Also, if I was really so inclined, I could just as easily crank up a fighter's AC like that, and keep the good fort save. A dex build works just as well for a fighter as I understand it. 2 feat commitment, but the fighter gets bonus feats the swash doesn't at levels 1 and 2. You probably don't really even need that though. Boost your dex up with a belt (the swash is going to want more str later too, if only as a buffer against damage) and you can keep up with armor training making full plate roomier all the way up to 20. If you aren't playing up to 20, that's less dex you need to start with. You can't use precise strike, but you can get a way better shield than just a buckler. Hit people with it when they don't have a crazy high attack roll (you have the feats to spare) and you make up for that just fine, and it gives more AC out the gate. Heck, if you want to go real nuts, you can...

Well.. again.. my math only showed the swashbuckler having an advantage over a two-hander fighter at levels past 10th. I didn't show any other numbers, so I haven't drawn any other conclusions.

I did this, however, because the Two-handed fighter is often seen as viable... rarely will you see an argument that says the fighter is screwed if he doesn't use a shield. So if the build is meant to be viable, and the Swashbuckler can surpass it when dealing with on-hit fort saves via a good AC, then that is something to consider.

It is NOT the entire breadth of the argument. The good fort save is mathematically superior all the way up to level 10 (the bulk of many campaigns) even with a fighter that is NOT prioritizing AC with anything beyond the standard armor/RoP/AoNA (as shown). It also does nothing to help the swashbuckler against auras (of which there are quite a few) or spells (of which there are a ton).

As for a swashbuckler having an inherently higher AC. Well they sort of do. Which is to say, that the swashbuckler gives up absolutely nothing to be built in the way that I was describing. THe fighter, OTOH would be giving up a lot of damage and/or a ton of feats to keep up with the swashbuckler's AC. Certainly a shield-bashing fighter can be very good after level 11, but up to that point they will deal less damage than a swashbuckler while maintaining a higher AC. We already know that Precise Strike does a fair job of making up for not using a two-handed weapon, so we can compare the two builds as having a reasonably close offensive output.

But it is very wrong for people to keep suggesting that the "secondary" save that is only one part of an on-hit fort save is somehow inherently more important than the primary check (AC). It is a statistical fallacy. Suggesting the the swashbuckler "will eventually get hit" is fine, as long as you also accept that a fighter "will eventually fail his save" and that neither changes the mathematical results.

Again, though, the fighter is better from 1-10, the fighter is better against all forms of auras or spells which do not require attack rolls, and the fighter is better if it decides to use a shield or prioritize dexterity.

And also again, I believe that Charmed Life should be a static bonus to Fort saves. It would take a very high charisma (18-20) to equal the fighter's strong fort, and it wouldn't help with will saves... but aside from the barbarian, most martials have weak will saves.. so that should be acceptable for the swashbuckler as well (in fact it almost seems thematically appropriate... seems like swashbucklers are prone to alcoholism, provocation, taunting and certainly the charms of the opposite sex)


Just a little addendum, to Lord_Malkov's post, the other thing it doesn't cover is the riders on failing the initial fortitude save, like from poisons or diseases. A Fighter could make those secondary saves, while a Swashbuckler will more easily miss them.

Liberty's Edge

Tels wrote:
Steven_Evil wrote:
ChainsawSam wrote:
MechE_ wrote:
Okeikkk wrote:
Swashbucklers have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny.
Question: Is this a problem of the Swashbuckler or a problem of the MoMS monk?

The problem is more likely to be Crane Style.

The number of classes that "have so much incentive to do a 1-2 level MOMS monk dip it's not even funny" is pretty damn long. However I think it is just another symptom because they're not going into MoMS for class features or even for styles in general. It's almost always for Crane Style. If more than that, then it is Crane Style + X style.

Certainly no one is diving in there for Stunning Fist and Still Mind.

True enough, but in this case everyone will be after the saves, crane might be a little redundant since we can already parry, even though crane is better. I would use it for dragon, and maybe another for mobility, if there is one. I haven't looked in forever.

The best style feats to go for, are Crane, Dragon, Panther and Snake. Any combination of those four styles lets the Swashbuckler feel more swashbuckley.

Crane Style gets you a better parry/riposte mechanic that isn't consuming class features.

Dragon gets you some nice mobility boosts, and if you're dragon/snake with strength prime, you can get some good damage boosts too.

Panther lets the swashbuckler run through a bunch of enemies, and counter-attack all of them. Very thematic, and goes well with any of the above three.

Snake is, in my opinion, almost necessary for the swashbuckler. They tend to have high AC and good damage, so any attack that misses, becomes a free attack in turn.

Personally, I'm all for the Crane/Snake combo. Two deflections, and a riposte, and a ton of counter-attacks. Between those two, a Swashbuckler could have a stupid high AC while maintaining a good offense, and be able to make almost 2 full attacks to the enemies 1.

The downside is it is very feat intensive....

II honestly don't know why some of those abilities weren't baked into the class to begin with. Those are all of the style feats I have on my monk/ninja, and they work beautifully together. If some of the deeds mirrored those, the class would be, thematically, perfect. On my swash build, I have all of those but crane. I'm trying to make parry/riposte work just as well, but crane is just... Better. I might drop panther, if only because I have to do unarmed attacks with it, and I'm going to test the new Dex to damage feat. I don't think I'll have two slots open to take it twice. (once for my weapon, and once for my fist)

Silver Crusade

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You know, rather than having the extra feat tax of Slashing Grace (which really hurts them), why not just make swashbucklers automatically proficient with aldori dueling swords and falcatas and capable of using them with their weapon finesse ability? They fit the flavor of the class (Taldan Duelist even uses a buckler) and the feat chains for each weapon could really use a boost.


Tels wrote:
Just a little addendum, to Lord_Malkov's post, the other thing it doesn't cover is the riders on failing the initial fortitude save, like from poisons or diseases. A Fighter could make those secondary saves, while a Swashbuckler will more easily miss them.

That is actually one case where Charmed Life is a little more effective... since you know that the saving throw is coming. The issue with teh immediate action as it stands is that there is a pretty good chance that you will use an immediate action to riposte or dodge in that round and then get hit with a save.

At least with the recurring saves, you know to save the action.

(PS not saying more effective than a strong fort, just more effective than it usually is since you have foreknowledge)


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Lemmy wrote:


I think you're mistaken about this Rynjin... Natural Weapons are those that can be used "outside" of BAB. Unarmed Strikes can't do that. And they are certainly not considered manufactured weapons, although some effects that apply to manufactured weapons also apply to unarmed strikes.

I am very most certainly not mistaken on this one.

Quote:
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Not all Unarmed Strikes are, but we're talking about a Monk/Swashbuckler combo.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hrothdane wrote:
You know, rather than having the extra feat tax of Slashing Grace (which really hurts them), why not just make swashbucklers automatically proficient with aldori dueling swords and falcatas and capable of using them with their weapon finesse ability? They fit the flavor of the class (Taldan Duelist even uses a buckler) and the feat chains for each weapon could really use a boost.

That's why I think the SB should have a Signature Weapon class feature at 1st level. It would have 3 options:

1. Select a melee weapon you are proficient in. You can use Weapon Finesse with the selected weapon.
2. Gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency in an exotic weapon that you can use Weapon Finesse with.
3. Gain Weapon Focus in a melee weapon with which you can use the Weapon Finesse feat.

Then, at levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, you would gain Swashbuckling Weapon Training in the selected weapon. Or call it Signature Weapon Training. And you would have a selection of special abilities to choose from, in addition to the +1 on attacks and damage, such as early Improved Critical, early Critical Focus, Dex to damage, confirm crits vs touch AC, Charisma to CMB & CMD with the Signature Weapon, the ability to throw the Signature Weapon, the choice of an additional Signature Weapon, gain an amount of panache back equal to the critical multiplier of your Signature Weapon when you crit, etc. etc.


Don't forget with Panther and Snake, the extra attacks you get have to be unarmed.
While mechanically that's ok, since snake will let you do piercing unarmed, it doesn't feel entirely 'swashbucklery' to me.
Worse still is Panther's dependence on Wisdom for your extra attacks. Last thing you want is another ability score necessary to your build.


Throne wrote:

Don't forget with Panther and Snake, the extra attacks you get have to be unarmed.

While mechanically that's ok, since snake will let you do piercing unarmed, it doesn't feel entirely 'swashbucklery' to me.
Worse still is Panther's dependence on Wisdom for your extra attacks. Last thing you want is another ability score necessary to your build.

Well, I'd still dump CHA (there's really no incentive to keep up with it imo, when you can instead be a dwarf and tank it at 5, you get better saves from the monk dip and being a dwarf), and then you can focus either STR or DEX, but not both (assuming the feat to apply DEX to dmg with unarmed will be applicable); personally, I'd go STR because there's no replacement for Dragon style for DEX but you could just ignore that... Anyway, that's another dump.

Liberty's Edge

A dwarven swashbuckler/monk with no charisma or dexterity.... Please tell me his backstory. It has got to be hilarious.


Lemmy wrote:

I'm seriously disappointed that the Swashbuckler ended up being "Mr.DPR" instead of a mobile combatant... [...]

Another boring class with big numbers...

Well, that already exists in multiples - monk, ranger, rogue (scout especially). So just mix in as much of those classes as you feel you are missing. The swashbuckler is a full-bab class. Making their damage movement-dependent doesn't fit at all for me.


SmiloDan wrote:
Hrothdane wrote:
You know, rather than having the extra feat tax of Slashing Grace (which really hurts them), why not just make swashbucklers automatically proficient with aldori dueling swords and falcatas and capable of using them with their weapon finesse ability? They fit the flavor of the class (Taldan Duelist even uses a buckler) and the feat chains for each weapon could really use a boost.

That's why I think the SB should have a Signature Weapon class feature at 1st level. It would have 3 options:

1. Select a melee weapon you are proficient in. You can use Weapon Finesse with the selected weapon.
2. Gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency in an exotic weapon that you can use Weapon Finesse with.
3. Gain Weapon Focus in a melee weapon with which you can use the Weapon Finesse feat.

Then, at levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, you would gain Swashbuckling Weapon Training in the selected weapon. Or call it Signature Weapon Training. And you would have a selection of special abilities to choose from, in addition to the +1 on attacks and damage, such as early Improved Critical, early Critical Focus, Dex to damage, confirm crits vs touch AC, Charisma to CMB & CMD with the Signature Weapon, the ability to throw the Signature Weapon, the choice of an additional Signature Weapon, gain an amount of panache back equal to the critical multiplier of your Signature Weapon when you crit, etc. etc.

Or they could just add all 1-handed slashing weapons to the list of weapons useable with Swashbuckler's Finesse... because there is almost zero mechanical benefit.

I get the concern about theme when you add in all the 1-handed axes.... but we already have morningstars and heavy picks... sooooo... yeah

The only reason to take Slashing Grace is really to be able to use a cutlass or a longsword or whatever for a flavor choice.

The bastard sword will still take an extra feat, so no issues there. And the dwarven war axe is then the only decent non-thematic choice... but it ALSO takes a feat unless you are a dwarf, in which case it probably IS thematically appropriate.


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Steven_Evil wrote:
A dwarven swashbuckler/monk with no charisma or dexterity.... Please tell me his backstory. It has got to be hilarious.

Belongs to a dwarven monastic order who above all else revere the Dragon Brew, a potent alcoholic mix that, aside from being an adequate replacement for paint thinner, is one of the "alchemical potions" Dragon Style refers to that can be imbibed to unlock the power of the dragon inside a martial artist.

Members of the order can be identified by them smelling like a distillery, talking in riddles that, quite honestly, even a zen buddhist couldn't take straight while sober, and being able to poke holes into steel sheets with their fingers if they suspect there's alcohol on the other side.

This introvert, overly muscular initiate had been ridiculed so much for his patchy beard (a result of a tragic incident in which many a dwarven beards were lost to an explosion while experimenting with the spicy and extremely volatile Red Dragon Brew) that he decided he'd challenge everyone to a duel who dared to ridicule him, like Bravebeard the Brash, hero of dwarven folktales, and went abroad to take some fencing lessons from some fancy elves (keeping the nature of his voyage a secret of course). While he didn't exactly learn elven fencing he learned something, and armed with this knowledge even won some tournaments.

Upon returning to the monastery, he had found that an evil gnome merchant, Goldenose had bought out the monastery through legal shenanigans, and is selling alcohol at prices that most dwarves can hardly afford. Some dwarves couldn't even afford to get drunk every night! An unfortunate few not even on the weekends! Seeing this, he decided he'd keep his training a secret, and pretend to be the unassuming monk returning home after a journey to visit his family abroad.

But at night, he dons a hat, a mask, and a fake beard, and becomes Bravebeard, a shining beacon of hope to all dwarves oppressed by sobriety. He may not swing from chandeliers, make quips, or romance the ladies, but he barrels through walls like the coolaid man and drinks whole barrels of beer in one gulp before releasing a burp so great it stuns most lesser beings... which for dwarves works just the same.


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Starfox wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I'm seriously disappointed that the Swashbuckler ended up being "Mr.DPR" instead of a mobile combatant... [...]

Another boring class with big numbers...

Well, that already exists in multiples - monk, ranger, rogue (scout especially). So just mix in as much of those classes as you feel you are missing. The swashbuckler is a full-bab class. Making their damage movement-dependent doesn't fit at all for me.

Rogues don't count. They are neither mobile or damaging. They are just awful. Monks are also not very mobile... They have fast movement... That's it. Barbarians OTOH, are a good example of a mobile combatant with great damage... Fast Movement and Pounce. They can actually move without sucking.

I don't want SB's damage to be "movement-dependent", I just wish they had put more mobility and less extra damage... Rangers and Paladins work really well and are not all about damage.

I think this class is a missed opportunity...


Lemmy wrote:
Starfox wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I'm seriously disappointed that the Swashbuckler ended up being "Mr.DPR" instead of a mobile combatant... [...]

Another boring class with big numbers...

Well, that already exists in multiples - monk, ranger, rogue (scout especially). So just mix in as much of those classes as you feel you are missing. The swashbuckler is a full-bab class. Making their damage movement-dependent doesn't fit at all for me.

Rogues don't count. They are neither mobile or damaging. They are just awful. Monks are also not very mobile... They have fast movement... That's it. Barbarians OTOH, are a good example of a mobile combatant with great damage... Fast Movement and Pounce. They can actually move without sucking.

I don't want SB's damage to be "movement-dependent", I just wish they had put more mobility and less extra damage... Rangers and Paladins work really well and are not all about damage.

I think this class is a missed opportunity...

Rogues actually are more mobile... but not for any good reasons...

Any rogue using the scout archtype or trying to flank will end up moving around a lot more than most full-BAB classes (short of the barbarian) just to be able to get sneak attack.... because without sneak attack the rogue is terrible, and their 3/4 BAB progression means that they have far less to lose by giving up a standing-still-full-attack than a true martial does.

Monks are the opposite of mobile despite their description in the core book. They have some acrobatics tricks, but if they just stand still they get to attack twice as many times with flurry and use a full BAB... so monks, arguably, are the least mobile.

And that is all it really comes down to... what do you lose by moving instead of full attacking. Monks lose their psuedo full bab and half of their attacks, most other martials lose their additional iteratives.

The swashbuckler is in that second boat. A Pouncy-Barb loses nothing by charging around. A pouncy druid OR a vital striking single attack druid lose nothing by moving either. A rogue loses extra iteratives, but those are weaker than a full-BAB class's and often their movement enables sneak attack, which makes it worth it.

Action economy is always the thing, and to be considered mobile you need to lose less or gain more by moving than other classes. As it stands, the swashbuckler is no more mobile than a fighter.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like the idea of axe-wielding swashbucklers, like tomahawks, or Jean Tannen from Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.


SmiloDan wrote:
I like the idea of axe-wielding swashbucklers, like tomahawks, or Jean Tannen from Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Yeah... I just don't see what would be problematic about just allowing one-handed slashing weapons in their entirety under swashbuckler's finesse. I really can't see how it would change anything except to allow some other flavorful options like the Cutlass...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

REVISED ADVANCED SWASHBUCKLER

BAB: +1
Good Saves: Fortitude and Reflex
Hit Dice: 1d10

Class Skills: Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge history, Knowledge local, Knowledge nobility, Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Swim.

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier.

Swashbucklers are proficient in all simple and martial weapons, whips, light armor, and shields (but not tower shields).

LEVEL ABILITY
1. Deeds, Grit, Signature Weapon, Weapon Finesse
2. Charmed Life 3/day, Nimble +1
3. Deeds
4. Bonus Feat
5. Signature Weapon Training +1
6. Charmed Life 4/day, Nimble +2
7. Deeds
8. Bonus Feat
9. Signature Weapon Training +2
10. Charmed Life 5/day, Nimble +3
11. Deeds
12. Bonus Feat
13. Signature Weapon Training +3
14. Charmed Life 6/day, Nimble +4
15. Deeds
16. Bonus Feat
17. Signature Weapon Training +4
18. Charmed Life 7/day, Nimble +5
19. Deeds
20. Bonus Feat, Signature Weapon Mastery

Deeds (Ex): At 1st level, 3rd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the swashbuckler learns to perform feats using his grit (see below). At 1st level, the swashbuckler selects 3 deeds from the 1st level category. At 3rd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the swashbuckler selects 3 deeds from that level’s list of deeds. A swashbuckler may select a lower level deed in place of one of his new level’s deeds.

1st level deeds:

Combat Strike (Ex): At 1st level, 3rd level, and every 4 levels beyond 3rd (7th , 11th, 15th, and 19th), the swashbuckler learns one of the following combat strikes. A combat strike is only effective if the swashbuckler has at least 1 point of grit and is wielding a weapon that qualifies for use with the Weapon Finesse feat. The swashbuckler can only use one combat strike at a time.

Ambush Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent after he has moved at least 10 feet from his previous position. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and add his Charisma modifier to the attack roll when making an Ambush Strike.

Betraying Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls against an opponent that has the Friendly or Helpful attitude towards him. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and add his Charisma modifier to the attack roll when making a Betraying Strike.

Charging Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent after he has charged into combat. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and add 5 times his Dexterity modifier to his speed when making a charge.

Cruel Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that is sickened or nauseated. If the swashbuckler hits a sickened opponent, he can spend 1 grit point as a swift action to make his opponent nauseated for 1 round.

Fearsome Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that is shaken, frightened, panicked, or cowering. If the swashbuckler hits a shaken opponent, he can spend 1 grit point as a swift action and make his opponent frightened for 1 round. If the swashbuckler hits a frightened opponent, he can spend 1 grit point as a swift action and make his opponent panicked for 1 round. If the swashbuckler hits a panicked opponent, he can spend 1 grit point as a swift action and make his opponent cower for 1 round.

Flanking Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that he is flanking. The swashbuckler’s level stacks with rogue levels for the purposes of overcoming an opponent’s uncanny dodge or improved uncanny dodge; as a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to increase his effective rogue level by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier for 1 round.

Hidden Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he draws a hidden weapon immediately before making the attack. The swashbuckler must have succeeded on a Sleight of Hand check to hide the weapon on his person against his target’s Perception check to use this combat strike. The swashbuckler cannot make a Hidden Strike with an unarmed strike or natural weapon. The swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to draw a non-hidden weapon as a free action (as if he had the Quick Draw feat) and make a Hidden Strike attack against an adjacent opponent.

Nightmare Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that is fatigued or exhausted. If the swashbuckler hits a fatigued opponent, he can spend 1 grit point as a swift action make his opponent exhausted for 1 round.

Opportunistic Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits while making an attack of opportunity. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and make a number of attacks of opportunities equal to his Charisma modifier for 1 round.

Surprise Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that is flatfooted or otherwise denied its Dexterity modifier to its AC against the swashbuckler. The swashbuckler’s level stacks with rogue levels for the purposes of overcoming an opponent’s uncanny dodge or improved uncanny dodge; as a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to increase his effective rogue level by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier for 1 round.

Tumbling Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent after passing through his opponent’s space. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 point grit and add his Charisma modifier to his Acrobatics check to tumble through his opponent’s space.

Underfoot Strike: The swashbuckler adds his class level to his damage rolls if he hits an opponent that is 2 or more size categories larger than him. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point use his Underfoot Strike ability against an opponent that is only 1 size category larger than him.

Derring-do The swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 when making an Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Stealth, or Swim skill check. In addition, his speed is not reduced when using the selected skill, nor does he suffer any penalties for moving his normal speed when using the selected skill.

Head Start: The swashbuckler adds his Intelligence modifier to initiative rolls as long as he has 1 grit point. He can spend 1 grit point and roll his initiative twice, selecting either of the results.

Parry and Riposte As long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, whenever he is struck in melee, he can spend an immediate action and force his opponent to reroll the attack roll that hit him; the swashbuckler must accept the results of this reroll, even if the results are worse for him. As part of the immediate action to force the reroll, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and subtract his Charisma modifier from the results of his opponent’s reroll. If the opponent misses the swashbuckler due to the reroll, it provokes an attack of opportunity from the swashbuckler. The swashbuckler can use this ability more than once a round by spending 1 grit point for each previous use of the Parry and Riposte in that round; these additional uses of Parry and Riposte do not require the expenditure of additional immediate actions, and the swashbuckler can only make additional attacks of opportunity if he already has the ability to make multiple attacks of opportunity in a single round, such as from the Combat Reflexes feat.

Sudden Step: As an immediate action, the swashbuckler can move 5 feet without provoking an attack of opportunity. This can be done when an opponent attempts to hit the swashbuckler with a melee attack; the opponent’s melee attack has a 50% miss chance if the this movement positions the swashbuckler out of his opponent’s threatened area.

3rd level deeds:

Acrobatic Master: At 3rd level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he gains a bonus equal to his class level on all Acrobatics skill checks. He treats all Acrobatics checks made to jump as if he made a running jump. He can spend 1 grit point to take 20 on an Acrobatics skill check.

Barrier of Blades: Beginning at 3rd level, an opponent that begins its turn in the swashbuckler’s threatened area treats all the squares that he threatens as difficult terrain. If an opponent attempts to use the Acrobatics skill to move through the swashbuckler’s threatened area or his space without provoking attacks of opportunity, the Acrobatics skill check to tumble DC to avoid provoking his attacks of opportunity increases by an amount equal to the swashbuckler’s level.

Clever Cover: Beginning at 3rd level, when the swashbuckler has a cover bonus to AC, he increases it by an amount equal to his Intelligence modifier.

Clever Opportunist: Beginning at 3rd level, the swashbuckler may make an additional number of Attacks of Opportunity per round equal to his Intelligence modifier as long as he has 1 grit point. He can spend 1 grit point as an immediate action and add his Intelligence modifier to his attack rolls on Attacks of Opportunity until the end of his next turn.

Dauntless: Beginning at 3rd level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he adds his Charisma modifier to his Will saving throws; this bonus is doubled against fear effects. If he makes a Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he can spend 1 grit point as an immediate action and instead avoid the effect entirely.

Distraction: At 3rd level, as a swift action, the swashbuckler can knock over an unattended object or perform a similar action and make a square difficult terrain. By spending 1 grit point, he can increase the number of squares of movement the difficult terrain costs to traverse by an amount equal to his Intelligence modifier.

En garde: At 3rd level, as a swift action, the swashbuckler spends 1 grit point and chooses one target within sight to challenge. The swashbuckler gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls against the target of this challenge. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. He also gains a dodge bonus equal to his Charisma modifier against the target of his challenge.

Fast Movement: Beginning at 3rd level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, his speed increases by 10 feet if he is wearing light armor or no armor and is lightly encumbered. He can spend 1 grit point as a swift action and move a distance equal to his speed. He also gains a +2 bonus initiative. When he rolls for initiative, he may spend 1 grit point and roll twice, selecting either result.

Main-gauche: When the swashbuckler is two-weapon fighting and has at least 1 grit point, he can choose to forgo making any attacks with his off-hand weapon and instead gain a shield bonus to his AC equal to his Intelligence modifier. As an immediate action, he can spend 1 grit point and gain a deflection bonus to his AC equal to his Intelligence modifier for 1 round.

Menacing Swordplay: At 3rd level, while he at least 1 grit point, when a swashbuckler hits an opponent with a melee weapon, he can choose to use Intimidate to demoralize that opponent (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 99) as a swift action instead of a standard action.

Team Leader: At 3rd level, the swashbuckler may select a teamwork feat in place of a combat or grit gained as a bonus feat level 4, 8, 12, 16, or 20th level. He treats his allies as if they possess any teamwork feat he has when determining if he benefits from his teamwork feats. The swashbuckler may spend 1 grit point as a move action and grant any allies who can see or hear him the benefits of a number of teamwork feats he possesses equal to his Intelligence modifier for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier.

Utility Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, if the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he can perform all of the following utility strikes. Each utility strike can be applied to any single attack with a melee weapon that is usable with the Weapon Finesse feat, but the swashbuckler must declare the utility strike he is using before making the attack roll.

Jam Mechanism: The swashbuckler may make an attack roll and use its results to sabotage a simple mechanical device, as if using the Disable Device skill. This ability cannot be used to open locks or disarm traps. The swashbuckler’s weapon is left in the mechanical device if successful; anyone can remove the weapon as a move action and restores the mechanical device back to working order.

Legerdemain Maneuvers: The swashbuckler may make a Sleight of Hand skill check in place of using his CMB when attempting a dirty trick, disarm, or steal combat maneuver. He may use the Sleight of Hand skill in place of the Bluff skill when feinting in combat.

Scoot Unattended Object: The swashbuckler makes an attack roll against a Tiny or smaller unattended object adjacent to him. A Tiny unattended object has an AC of 5, a Diminutive unattended object has an AC of 7, and a Fine unattended object has an AC of 11. On a hit, the swashbuckler does not damage the object, but can move it up to 15 feet farther away from its origin. On a miss, the object remains stationary.

7th level deeds:

Critical Maneuvers: At 7th level, when the swashbuckler makes a CMB roll, he uses his weapon’s critical threat range on the d20 roll as long as he has 1 grit point. If the d20 roll falls within his critical threat range, he may roll a second d20 and add the results to his CMB roll.

Grace: At 7th level, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point as a swift action and avoid all attacks of opportunity for moving for 1 round.

Lunging Opportunist: At 7th level, when wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon, the swashbuckler’s reach for the purposes of determining his threatened area increases by 5 feet, as long as he has 1 grit point.

Pommel Swipe: At 7th level, the swashbuckler can as a swift action spend 1 grit point to make a surprise melee attack with the pommel of a light or one-handed weapon he is wielding. The swashbuckler is considered proficient with this weapon attack. The attack deals bludgeoning damage, and gains a bonus on the attack and damage equal to the enhancement bonus of the weapon. The damage dealt by the pommel swipe is determined by the size of the weapon being used. Small weapons deal 1d4 damage, while Medium weapons deal 1d6 damage. Regardless of the weapon’s size the critical multiplier of this attack is 20/×2. If the attack hits, the swashbuckler can as a free action attempt a combat maneuver check to knock the target prone.

Quick Thinker: At 7th level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he can make a number of immediate or swift actions per round equal to his Intelligence modifier; these extra actions cannot be used to cast a spell or use a spell-like or supernatural ability.

Quickness: At 7th level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, his speed increases by 10 feet and he adds his Charisma modifier to his initiative rolls. Once per round, he can spend 1 grit point to gain an extra move action, 2 grit points to gain an extra standard action, or 3 grit points to gain an extra full round action.

Rapid Blades: Beginning at 7th level, as long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, as a full attack action, he can make an extra attack at highest base attack bonus, but all attacks (including the extra attack) take a -2 penalty to their attack rolls. By spending 1 grit point as a free action, he can negate this penalty to attack rolls for 1 round.

Swift Feint: At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 grit point can spend a swift action to use the Bluff skill to feint in combat. When he does, that creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the start of his next turn. As a free action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to add his Dexterity modifier to her Bluff skill check made to feint in combat.

Targeted Strike: At 7th level, as a full-round action the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to make a single light or one-handed weapon melee attack that cripple’s part of a foe’s body. The swashbuckler chooses a part of the body to target. If the attack succeeds, the target takes the following effects, depending on the part of the body targeted. If a creature doesn’t have one of the listed body locations, that part cannot be targeted. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are immune to these effects. Items or abilities that protect a creature from a critical hit also protect a creature from a targeted strike.
Arms: On a hit, the target takes no damage from the attack but drops one carried item of the swashbuckler’s choice, even if the item is wielded with two hands. Items held in a locked gauntlet aren’t dropped on a hit.
Head: On a hit, the target is damaged normally and is confused for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Legs: On a hit, the target is damaged normally and knocked prone. Creatures with four or more legs or that are immune to trip attacks are immune to this effect.
Torso or Wings: Targeting the torso causes the target to be staggered for 1 round.

11th level deeds:

Bleeding Wound: At 11th level, when the swashbuckler hits a living creature with a melee weapon attack, as a free action she can spend 1 grit point to have that attack deal extra bleed damage. The amount of bleed damage is equal to the swashbuckler’s Dexterity modifier. Alternatively, the swashbuckler can spend 2 grit points to deal 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution bleed damage (swashbuckler’s choice) instead. Creatures immune to sneak attacks are also immune to these types of bleed damage.

Daring Acrobat: At 11th level, a swashbuckler gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain. He adds his Charisma modifier to the Acrobatics DC to tumble through his threatened squares or his space. He can spend 1 grit point as a free action and add his level to his AC against attacks of opportunity for 1 round.

Evasive: At 11th level, while a swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he gains the benefit of the evasion, uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge rogue class features. He uses his swashbuckler level as his rogue level for improved uncanny dodge.

Path of Blades (Ex): At 11th level, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and move up to his speed while making a full attack action. He can split up his movement between targets. For example, he can move 10 feet, attack one opponent, move another 10 feet, attack a second opponent, and move his remaining 10 feet and attack a third opponent.

Subtle Blade: At 11th level, while a swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he is immune to disarm, steal, and sunder combat maneuvers made against a light or one-handed melee weapon he is wielding.

15th level deeds:

Dizzying Defense: At 15th level, while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in one hand, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point to take the total defense action as a swift action instead of a standard action.

Path of Destruction: At 15th level, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and move his speed and attack each opponent he passes once at his highest attack bonus. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Perfect Thrust: At 15th level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he can as a full-round action make a perfect thrust, pooling all of his attack potential into a single attack made with a light or one-handed weapon. When he does, he makes the attack against the target’s touch AC, and ignores all damage reduction. The swashbuckler must spend 1 grit point to perform this deed.

[I]Strike True: At 15th level, the swashbuckler can spend 2 grit points as a swift action and add 20 to his next attack roll, ignoring any miss chance.

Swashbuckler’s Edge: At 15th level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, he can take 10 on any Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, or Swim check, even if he’s in immediate danger or distracted. He can use this ability in conjunction with the derring-do deed.

19th level deeds:

Cheat Death:[I] At 19th level, whenever the swashbuckler is reduces to 0 or fewer hit points, he can spend all of his remaining grit (minimum 1) to instead be reduced to 1 hit point. Effects that kill the swashbuckler outright without dealing hit point damage are unaffected by this ability.

[I]Deadly Stab: At 19th level, when the swashbuckler confirms a critical hit with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon, in addition to the normal damage, he can spend 1 grit point to inflict a deadly stab. The target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + 1/2 the swashbuckler’s level + the swashbuckler’s Dexterity modifier) or die. This is a death attack. Performing this deed does not count for regaining grit.

Lucky Strike: At 19th level, as an immediate action, the swashbuckler can spend 1 grit point and increase the threat range of his weapon for a single attack by an amount equal to his Dexterity modifier; this increase stacks with any increase to the weapon’s threat range, such as from the Improved Critical feat or the keen weapon special ability.

Stunning Stab: At 19th level, when a swashbuckler hits a creature with a light or one-handed melee weapon, he can spend 2 grit points to stun the creature for 1 round. The creature must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + 1/2 the swashbuckler’s level + the swashbuckler’s Dexterity modifier) or be stunned for 1 round. Creature that are immune to critical hits are also immune to this effect.

Grit (Ex): At 1st level, the swashbuckler gains a pool of grit points equal to his Charisma modifier plus his Dexterity modifier; this pool may rise and fall throughout the course of the day, but cannot exceed this total. The swashbuckler regains 1 grit point whenever he scores a critical hit or causes an opponent with a CR of at least half his level to drop below 0 hit points.

Signature Weapon (Ex): At 1st level, the swashbuckler selects 1 melee weapon that he is proficient in as his signature weapon. If the selected weapon may be used with the Weapon Finesse feat, he gains Weapon Focus in the selected weapon. If the selected weapon cannot normally be used with the Weapon Finesse feat, he may use the Weapon Finesse feat when wielding his signature weapon. Alternatively, the swashbuckler may select an exotic weapon that may be used with the Weapon Finesse feat and gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency in the selected weapon.

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

Charmed Life (Ex): At 2nd level, the swashbuckler gains a knack for getting out of trouble. Three times per day, as an immediate action before attempting a saving throw, she can add her Charisma bonus to the result of the save. She must choose to do this before the roll is made, and may only apply one use of charmed life on a given save. At 6th level and every four levels thereafter, the number of times she can do this per day increases by one (to a maximum of 7 at 18th level).

Nimble (Ex): At 2nd level, the swashbuckler gains a +1 dodge bonus to his AC. At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1. In addition, if the swashbuckler is not wearing any armor and he is lightly encumbered, he increases the dodge bonus to his AC by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier.

Bonus Feat (Ex): At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the swashbuckler gains a combat or grit feat; he must meet the requirements of the selected feat. The swashbuckler‘s class level counts as fighter levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats.

Signature Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, the swashbuckler gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with his signature weapon. This bonus increases by 1 at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter. In addition, at 5th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the swashbuckler gains one of the following abilities when using his signature weapon.

Signature Weapon Training Abilities:

Bountiful Grit: When the swashbuckler confirms a critical hit with his signature weapon, he gains an amount of grit equal to his signature weapon’s critical hit damage multiplier.

Confident Combat: The swashbuckler adds his Charisma modifier to his CMB and CMD when wielding his signature weapon.

Critical Focus: The swashbuckler gains Critical Focus as a bonus feat when wielding his signature weapon.

Improved Critical: The swashbuckler gains Improved Critical in his signature weapon as a bonus feat.

Merciful Blade: The swashbuckler does not suffer the normal -4 penalty to cause non-lethal damage when wielding his signature weapon, and he adds his Charisma modifier to his damage rolls when causing non-lethal damage with his signature weapon.

Piercing Critical: The swashbuckler increases the critical multiplier of his signature weapon by 1 (x2 to x3, x3 to x4). The swashbuckler must be at least 17th level to select this ability.

Signature Edge: The swashbuckler adds his Dexterity modifier to his damage rolls when wielding his signature weapon.

Swift Strike: The swashbuckler can make an attack at his highest base attack bonus as a swift action when wielding his signature weapon.

Touché: When the swashbuckler rolls to confirm a critical hit while wielding his signature weapon, he rolls against his target’s touch AC.

Signature Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, when a swashbuckler threatens a critical hit with his signature weapon, that critical is automatically confirmed. As long as the swashbuckler has at least 1 grit point, his critical hits cause maximum hit point damage. Furthermore, the swashbuckler gains two signature weapon training abilities.


They can make a decent standard action stab though by doubling their precise strike damage

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