Revised Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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This thread is for discussing the REVISED version of the Swashbuckler. It should be used as a central location for feedback on the class as a whole. Discussion on specific topics and rules should receive their own individual thread in this forum.

Once you have had a chance to playtest the revised version, please be sure to update your survey results, which can be found HERE

Keep it civil and polite folks. Remember we are all here to make this book the best it can be.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Scarab Sages

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I like all of the new the Charisma synergy, though I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a "Disciplined Duelist" archetype or somesuch that changes all of the CHA-based abilities to INT or WIS.

Specifically, in TVTropes language, for the finesse duelists who favor "The Technician" over "The Performer".


So now a swashbuckler can use a javelin better than he can use most swords by default. Still, at least you can actually take a feat to let you use swords other than rapiers and short swords with this class (only counting core books). Parry is better, but until higher level it's still a waste of an attack of opportunity and a panache point - odds are your AC is high enough that you'll only rarely block an attack that wouldn't have missed anyway. Not to mention that most GM's roll while declaring the attack, leaving very little room to mention that you're parrying. I'd still suggest that for a panache point and an attack of opportunity, you should at least get to pick after knowing whether it'll hit you rather than before.

Superior Feint is still only useful against lightly armoured targets as part of a full attack or else when partnered up with a rogue. Dizzying Defence is vaguely useful when outnumbered, but it doesn't let you kill anything quicker and you get it at a level where AC is all but moot anyway. Perfect Thrust might be useful if you're up against a target with DR that you couldn't otherwise get through, but again, at that level AC is mostly moot, making a touch attack for a panache and a full round action fairly pointless unless a single hit would be enough to kill your target anyway.

Charmed Life is nice though, and gives you a reason to not dump CHA. I still don't see any reason not to go STR main though - I get more damage, I get more out of Parry/Riposte (especially since I can only do the latter once), and DEX 14 will let me pull of two Parries. Not to mention I only need one feat for chain and by the time Nimble makes any real difference I'll probably be wearing the mythril stuff anyway.

Scarab Sages

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Chris Parker wrote:
So now a swashbuckler can use a javelin better than he can use most swords by default. Still, at least you can actually take a feat to let you use swords other than rapiers and short swords with this class (only counting core books). Parry is better, but until higher level it's still a waste of an attack of opportunity and a panache point - odds are your AC is high enough that you'll only rarely block an attack that wouldn't have missed anyway. Not to mention that most GM's roll while declaring the attack, leaving very little room to mention that you're parrying. I'd still suggest that for a panache point and an attack of opportunity, you should at least get to pick after knowing whether it'll hit you rather than before.

Avoiding the hit isn't the only bonus though. I can think of plenty of scenarios in which I would parry an attack that probably wouldn't hit me anyway, just to get the free Riposte.

Plus, it really punishes anyone who decides to try to send all of their iterative or TWF attacks at the Swashbuckler, which seems to me to be very theme-appropriate - some hulking Barbarian or Fighter sort tries to go toe-to-toe and full attack the Swashbuckler, they get one hit in, and then the Swash blocks the next attack and pokes them with Precise Strike.

Once you've got Combat Reflexes and Weapon Training, if you're using a high-crit weapon like Rapier or Scimitar, you could be generating a LOT of Panache - I can see mid or high-level Swashbucklers generating 1 Panache a round semi-consistently, which means that Parry/Riposte inches closer and closer to being an additional attack per round at your highest BAB with full Precise damage added in.

Lantern Lodge

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So if I grab a whip proficiency, I can use whips with my swashbuckler. That alone makes me happy.

I'm not entirely sure if charmed life makes up for lack of a fort save however... I'll have to see how it plays out.


I like the fix to the saves (use cha to a save several times per day), moving finesse to lvl one (and making count as the actual feat), but remain disappointed in being forced into single weapon combat.

Please tell me there will be a two weapon archetype for this when the book comes out. Rapier and Dagger is such a classic look that it should be supported.


Good job with combining Parry and Riposte into one move.

My problem is one that I know was mentioned in regards to the survey - but the Swashbuckler class still has 0 decisions to be made in terms of class features. The bonus feats are nice, but doesn't actually address the issue that a martial class that's already defined by a specific combat style also has the least number of choices of any class, being the only one in Pathfinder that doesn't make a single decision beyond their feats.


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I like a lot of the changes, but I still wish there was a meaningful way to combine mobility and swordplay. Derring Do is kinda odd for the sake of being odd but none of the Swashbuckler's mobility-themed ability really let you Sword while you do them.

Designer

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Grey Lensman wrote:
Please tell me there will be a two weapon archetype for this when the book comes out. Rapier and Dagger is such a classic look that it should be supported.

There will be a a great deal of build support outside the standard swashbuckler in the final book by way of both archetypes and feats.


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Feat taxes are lame, mmkay?

I like what Charmed Life is attempting to do...but not sure if it works. It fixes the "Let's dump Cha!" problem a bit, but it still doesn't really make up for the horrible saves IMO unless the Swashbuckler pumps Cha to the max (which cripples him in other ways), and even then only 3x a day...

Yeah, I dunno about that one.

Scarab Sages

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The Monk synergies are melting my brain a little. MAD thought it may be, I can't help but think that there's room in the world for a few Monk1/Swashbuckler X's.

Specifically, a Maneuver Master who picks up Improved Dirty Trick, Disarm, or Trip, and then goes "all in" to Swashbuckler. Every full attack includes a bonus maneuver, which is very in-theme.

Or for the Swashbuckler who doesn't mind using Monk weapons, there's always the option of picking up one or two levels of Monk and then going all Swashbuckler, in order to flurry with a light piercing Monk weapon.

Designer

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Rynjin wrote:
Feat taxes are lame, mmkay?

I agree.


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Rynjin, the save boost increases every few levels until it reaches 7 uses per day.


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I for one love the new revisions! Good job Stephen and the PDT! I will be making a halfling swashbuckler tonight to check it out!

Scarab Sages

Huh, just noticed the throwing weapons bit in Precise Strike. Technically javelins are probably the better choice by one die step for 100% optimization, but I really like the support for the traditional ranged weapon of the Swashbucking hero - throwing knives!

Is it too meta of me to consider the possibility that the de-emphasis on strategic build options and the heavy emphasis on short-term, tactical choices is actually a deliberate decision based on the idea that most heroic Swashbucklers of film and literature would prefer to keep their options open and improvise rather than ponder and plan?

Edit: Designers, feel free to shoot this one down, and no accusation/insult/presumption intended towards anyone. Just a wacky conspiracy theorist thought that popped into my head, thought I'd share.

Reading this class makes me want to play one. A lot.


Love the changes to make charisma something the class benefits from.

Still a little iffy on a high dexterity score playing second fiddle to strength.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Superior Feint (Ex): wrote:

At 7th level, a swashbuckler with

at least 1 panache point can spend a standard action to
purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit
with a light or one-handed weapon melee attack. When
she does, that creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC
until the start of [/b]her[/b] next turn.

Please clarify if with that bolded her the creature or the swashbuckler is meant. I would say it means the swashbucklers next turn, but it still invites debate. Would be a nice thing to avoid that.

You could just say:
This denies the creature it´s Dexterity bonus to AC untill its next turn.

Or:
This denies the creature it´s Dexterity bonus to AC untill the swashbucklers next turn.

No words or space lost.


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Also, I'm glad the parry penalty for small races was reduced. It makes parry useful to small races, but I'd still rather see it disappear entirely. But yeah, while strength should be an option, it shouldn't be the better option, which it currently seems to be.


Grey Lensman wrote:
Rynjin, the save boost increases every few levels until it reaches 7 uses per day.

It does, but it's still likely only a +2 or +3 to the save. That pushes it up to ALMOST good progression, I suppose.

Like I said, I'll have to see how it plays out in practice, I'm not sure on it yet.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

By the way, finally a class that really lends itself to halflings!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the feat you guys put in! Now I can use light or one-handed slashing weapons!


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Hmmm, with the Black Cat Feat of the Catfolk...
Attack hits...make the opponent reroll, but before he does so, say you will Parry the blow; he rerolls at -4 To Hit, making your Parry that much better!


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That feat is nice. Still, I'd like to see an archetype show up specifically for two handed swords. I can live with exotic one handers that are martial two handers being pointless other than for flavour, but I'd still like to see at least one class support them, and with them being lighter than full sized two handers, this seems like the best candidate.

A feat with Weapon Finesse as a prerequisite called Two Handed Grace that allows a one handed slashing weapon wielded in two hands to count as a one handed piercing weapon for all class abilities requiring one would probably do the job right there. Between that and giving the class a feature or two that incentivise DEX primary builds, and you give weapons like the Katana and Bastard Sword a reason to exist.

You may be wondering why I don't mention the Elven Curve Blade. That's because that'll probably get an archetype anyway.


Have to say at first glance I'm liking some of the changes.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

AHHH!!! Katana Swashbuckler!!!

Liberty's Edge

xevious573 wrote:
AHHH!!! Katana Swashbuckler!!!

Katana nothing! Dwarven Waraxe, baby!


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Quote:

Swashbuckler Finesse (Ex): At 1st level, a swashbuckler

gains the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat with light
or one-handed piercing melee weapons, and she can
use her Charisma score in place of Intelligence as a
prerequisite for Combat Expertise. This ability counts as
having the Weapon Finesse feat for purposes of meeting
feat prerequisites.

Awesome. Now I can take all the maneuver feats I want without having to worry about int!

Quote:

Improved Disarm

Prerequisite: Int 13, Combat Expertise.
Quote:

Improved Trip

Prerequisite: Int 13, Combat Expertise.
Quote:

Improved Dirty Trick

Prerequisite: Int 13, Combat Expertise.

awwwww.

Otherwise, I like the changes. I like the option of using a long sword or some other slashing weapon with a feat.

Haven't really gotten to pour through the Deed changes, but I really like the change to parry/riposte at first glance.


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May want to specify that CHA counts as INT for all combat manoeuvre feats. I imagine that was the intent, but they forgot...


AWOOOOOOGA. Chainsaws got a huge point there.


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I really like the direction this class is going... Unfortunately, it's not enough.

The Good:

- Swashbuckler Finesse at 1st level. Cool.
- Charmed Life. An incentive to boost Cha. Nice.
- Parry & Riposte is more useful. The -2 penalty is still unnecessary and will easily add up to -6 or more at higher levels, when creatures get bigger and bigger. If you really want to add a penalty (and I honestly don't see the point, since it should be easier for the SB to deflect attacks from hulking brutes), make it an static -4 against all creatures who are at least 2 size categories bigger than the SB.
- Bonus to Acrobatics! Very minor, but still nice.
- Cha instead of Int to fulfill prerequisites for Combat Expertise!!! AWESOME!!! Unfortunately, RAW, it doesn't apply to Improved Trip/Disarm/etc. Only Combat Expertise. So, unless they add "...and all feats with Combat Expertise as a prerequisite", it's still worthless(Combat Expertise sucks).
- kip Up is nice.

The Meh

- Evasive is still "all or nothing" and still requires Panache. Why? Give the SB Uncanny Dodge at 3rd, Evasion at 7th and Improved UC at 11th. Remove the Panache prerequisite too. There, a fun ability that scales with level instead of taking forever to come into play.
- 4 skill points per level still doesn't feel like a skilled character, IMO. Just an average guy.

The Bad

- It's saves are still awful. Charmed Life won't help much. Why not create a feat or class feature that allows the character to Add Cha instead of Wis to their Will save? What's the problem with that? Why not simply give it a good Fort save?! Both Fighters and Gunslingers have good Fort save! I'll say it again having Reflex as their only good save will make this class pretty much unplayable at levels 11 and higher.
- Weapon Selection is still incredibly limited. Instead of a feat Tax, why not allow Swashbucklers to use Finesse with Slashing weapons from the very beginning? Or better yet, why not simply give him the Weapon Finesse feat? Easy, simple, functional.
- Derring-Do is still worthless.
- Target Strike still requires a full round action.
- Precision Strike. Still unnecessarily complicated. Still precision damage for a martial class.
- Superior Feint is still pointless. What's the difference between it and simply feinting in combat? Both take an standard action anyway.

It's considerably better than the original, but still underwhelming...


Chris Parker wrote:
Not to mention that most GM's roll while declaring the attack, leaving very little room to mention that you're parrying.

I hadn't thought about this, but that's a really good point. The ability basically requires Swashbuckler-like reflexes on the player's part.

Anyhow, maybe my first read-through was just pessimistic, but I think a lot of the mechanical problems are still there. In terms of flavor, at least cutlasses become a viable option, even if it takes a feat tax for a Swashbuckler to use a cutlass as effectively as she would a heavy pick. I still think a specific list of weapons is much more sensible than one-handed piercing weapons, if the goal is to enforce the use of thematically appropriate weapons.

I still think the fact that the class can't really fight by using its environment and improvised weapons is a huge problem. I'd like to see the ability to force others to treat an area as difficult terrain, use the empty hand to wield improvised weapons and shields with some form of benefit, and so on. For me, being a Swashbuckler isn't about the number in the box next to "Dexterity" on my sheet or even the weapon I'm using so much as the actual manner in which the character fights.


Lemmy wrote:
- Superior Feint is still pointless. What's the difference between it and simply feinting in combat? Both take an standard action anyway.

Except you are missing some key points! There is no Bluff check required, it is automatic! You spend your Standard Action and they lose their Dex to AC, and not just from you. You are automatically setting up a rogue in your party for Sneak Attack without having to Flank. It is more of a team ability that automatically works..


Lemmy wrote:

The Bad

- It's saves are still awful. Charmed Life won't help much. Why not create a feat or class feature that allows the character to Add Cha instead of Wis to their Will save? What's the problem with that? Why not simply give it a good Fort save?! Both Fighters and Gunslingers have good Fort save! I'll say it again having Reflex as their only good save will make this class pretty much unplayable at levels 11 and higher.
- Weapon Selection is still incredibly limited. Instead of a feat Tax, why not allow Swashbucklers to use Finesse with Slashing weapons from the very beginning? Or better yet, why not simply give him the Weapon Finesse feat? Easy, simple, functional.
- Derring-Do is still worthless.
- Target Strike still requires a full round action.
- Precision Strike. Still unnecessarily complicated. Still precision damage for a martial class.
- Superior Feint is still pointless. What's the difference between it and simply feinting in combat? Both take an standard action anyway.

It's considerably better than the original, but still underwhelming...

Derring-Do isn't worthless. It isn't super awesome great, but for a first level ability when you get a stack of other first level abilities it is fine. Tumbling to avoid AOO can be rough at higher levels and I'd certainly appreciate an extra exploding d6 from time to time.

Targeted Strike looks functionally identical to the Gunslinger version. More for utility than anything else. Notice that there is no save. Full round action to trip or disarm a foe is pretty powerful in the right circumstances.

Superior Feint is NOT pointless. Feint makes the target flat footed against your attacks until the next round. Superior Feint makes the target flat footed against all attacks until the next round. This isn't for the Swashbuckler, it is for the Swashbuckler's allies. Namely his Rogue friend.

I think Precision Strike is fine.

I agree with you about Evasive.


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My players and I approve of pretty much everything altered in the revision. Kudos to the design team on their work on the Swashbuckler.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The wording on Slashing Grace makes me think that the feat is supposed to make weapons like Longswords usable with Precise Strike... yet, not with Weapon Finesse? Am I correct in that assessment?

Also, Swashbuckler Weapon Training. Are Gloves of Dueling usable with it?

Targeted Strike still doesn't allow a saving throw. <sigh> I guess it is more balanced that with the damned Gunslinger, since at least the attack isn't against touch AC.

I'm still unhappy with only one good save, although it is somewhat by Charmed Life.

Overall, I am vastly amused how much similarities are there superficially with my own take on a 20 level Swashbuckler I created last year, although this version of course uses the "limited use ability per day" mechanic much, much more than I did. I am also amused by the fact that my version chucked many of the things which are still used here, due to cries of "overpowered!" by my local gaming group. ^^


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ChainsawSam wrote:
Derring-Do isn't worthless. It isn't super awesome great, but for a first level ability when you get a stack of other first level abilities it is fine. Tumbling to avoid AOO can be rough at higher levels and I'd certainly appreciate an extra exploding d6 from time to time.

1 Panache point for 1d6? It's worthless. Spending your precious Panache for what may be a +1 bonus is a terrible deal. A better mechanic would simply be allowing the character to add his SB level to the check.

ChainsawSam wrote:
Targeted Strike looks functionally identical to the Gunslinger version. More for utility than anything else. Notice that there is no save. Full round action to trip or disarm a foe is pretty powerful in the right circumstances.

Way too situational IMO. Gunslingers get to do it from distance and targeting touch AC, so it's not as bad for them.

ChainsawSam wrote:
Superior Feint is NOT pointless. Feint makes the target flat footed against your attacks until the next round. Superior Feint makes the target flat footed against all attacks until the next round. This isn't for the Swashbuckler, it is for the Swashbuckler's allies. Namely his Rogue friend.
Swashbucklersdc wrote:
Except you are missing some key points! There is no Bluff check required, it is automatic! You spend your Standard Action and they lose their Dex to AC, and not just from you. You are automatically setting up a rogue in your party for Sneak Attack without having to Flank. It is more of a team ability that automatically works.

Extremely situational. 99.9% of the time, you'd be better off attacking and let the Rogue get his SA through flanking. Now, SB could get the ability to feint as a free action whenever they confirm a critical. that would be cool. Especially since they don't get much extra damage from critical hits anyway.

ChainsawSam wrote:
I think Precision Strike is fine.

Until your full-BAB martial class loses most of his damage when fighting an elemental, protean or any other creature immune to Precision Damage...


Lemmy wrote:
Extremely situational. 99.9% of the time, you'd be better off attacking and let the Rogue get his SA through flanking.

Good thing it's just a drop in the bucket of abilities this class dumps on you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As others said, the INT 13, combat expertise and some combat maneuver feats are a tangle already. This should be clarified.
If it´s only about combat expertise, well ok. Not a big deal then.
The follow up maneuvers are much more important though than fighting defensively.
All others would go crane style for defense probably.

Alternatively, just FAQ out that INT 13 requirement of the combat maneuvers and combat expertise follow ups. That would give the Lore Warden some head-ups too!

Slashing grace should be incorporated into the finesse.
Swashbuckler Finesse + dervish dance are far superior else.
A feat just to use a cutlass or other weapon with that class feature seems a bit heavy and is far more a flavor thing as a mechanical thing.
Therefore you would restrict flavor with this feat, which is kind of weird.
Also aldori dueling swords should be accounted for with a level of aldori sword-lord.

It´s a box of pandora, but a class feature or feat that would give DEX on damage might be a thing to consider here. Else i see a legion of dervish-dancing or sword-lording halfling and tengu swashbucklers flooding Golarion next year.


Lemmy wrote:
Extremely situational. 99.9% of the time, you'd be better off attacking and let the Rogue get his SA through flanking.

This also works very well for those opponents who have Improved Uncanny Dodge, and again, as stated above, doesn't require a Bluff check whatsoever!


Swashbuckler wrote:
Superior Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 panache point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a light or one-handed weapon melee attack. When she does, that creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the start of her next turn.

Is this decided before or after rolling for to-hit? That is, does the attack actually need to hit, or is it enough that it has the (possibly remote) ability to hit on a very good die roll.


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Quick first impressions of the changes here...

Swashbuckler Finesse- First, obviously, glad to see it moved to level 1.

Cha based combat expertise I'm a little iffy on, because this really just doesn't feel like a class that should be even more free to dump int than a fighter. That said, every feat requiring combat expertise has an otherwise redundant 13 int requirement, so this needs slight rewording.

Counting as weapon finesse for feat requirements is reasonable in general principle, but... aside from this new slashing grace feat, the only feats that require weapon finesse are the elephants in the room- dervish dance and piranha strike. So on the one hand, someone who wants to use a scimitar or a pair of knives while maining str has an easier time of it, but anyone who just wants to play a high dexterity swashbuckler with a rapier and buckler is still out in the cold, and one who wants to use a cutlass is just flat out getting the middle finger because a weapon with the same exact stats gets greater benefit from a feat with more or less the exact same requirements.

[b]Charmed Life- This is nice to see, but it isn't enough to offset the bad fort save. This is a frontline melee class. It's constantly going to be getting hit with things that call for fort saves. Many creatures have nasty effects that call for them on every attack they make, sometimes even more than one for separate effects. Flip the fort and reflex saves though and this is a nice solution to some of the issues this class has with stat dependencies though. Also, as written, this stacks with a paladin's divine grace. 2 levels in each class and you have double-cha to your saves.

Now, getting to the deeds...

Dodging Panache- Easier name to remember. Still very situational and requires a lot of complex gamey tactical thinking to make proper use of. And I still say the distance needs to scale up to account for reach just increasing across the board at higher levels.

Opportune Parry and Riposte- Kind of a mouthful, and I still think it should be after the attack roll, only usable if it's blocking a hit, but it's basically fixed, so yay.

Kip-Up- Cool, I like it.

Swashbuckler's Grace- This... negates a penalty I wasn't actually aware existed, so that's interesting. That said though, I don't really see when a swashbuckler is even going to have need of it. You're already using light armor, so you can hop over someone's head if they're nearby. You don't have sneak attack, so there's never a rush to get into flanking position. It's just something of a novelty. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, except that it seems to be replacing...

Pommel Swipe- This was the only deed I ever considered spending panache on besides precise strike. It needed the wording cleared up, but it generally struck me as an interesting risk/reward option against certain creatures, that gave the class something nobody else could quite do, and a way to actually make at least a small contribution if the party ever found itself fighting an ooze. Why pull it?

And while they haven't been changed...

Menacing Swordplay still feels like it costs too much as a swift action, particularly when this class puts such a high demand on them with everything else. Superior Feint is still worthless unless you're partnered up with a rogue/ninja and want to waste your whole turn setting them up... but even then, you're already setting them up with flanking. I suppose lowering their touch AC might also help certain party members, but I can't see it being a bigger help than you just attacking. Targetted Strike is in the same boat. I might be willing to give up my second attack now for a free trip, but if I'm level 11, or have haste, there's no way I'm going to waste a whole turn for any of these effects when I can just work the appropriate maneuver into my attack chain instead. Evasive could stand to be broken up and spread around some. Dizzying Defense and Swashbuckler's Edge come along well past the point where they'd be useful. Swashbuckler's Edge is not something I can conceive of any real use for. Stunning Stab seems redundant with Deadly Stab, and 10+1/2 level for abilities you don't gain until level 19 is both silly to handle as a formula and too low for anything to really fail at that point.

Overall Reassessment:

There is a really fun class buried in here, but it's being choked to death. What it feels like more than anything is that someone sat down and looked at everything in the rules that held someone back from properly making a wiry little nimble fighter, came up with some very smart tradeoffs to solve those problems, but then saw the list of abilities they'd written down to balance out all the negatives, forgot that they'd already been paid for, and started looking for ways to undercut the class to balance them out.

There are so many problems baked into the class that the effort and resources you would spend customizing any other full BAB melee type are consumed just trying to keep up.

You get comparable AC to a fighter with decent dex, but only if you prioritize it above all else, otherwise you're just an incredibly easy target at low levels. Prioritizing dex in this fashion though means neglecting str, hurting your damage.

Pump str instead and you do comparable damage to a fighter under ideal circumstances... but that isn't the baseline. Barbarians, paladins, etc. all significantly outperform fighters under ideal circumstances, with the fighter's edge being their incredible versatility making all circumstances more or less equally ideal. Swashbucklers get the generalist's output only under some pretty specialized conditions, otherwise taking a real massive hit... and reaching even that point requires making sacrifices somewhere else.

Plus, all these other classes get some cool tricks on top of their baseline combat effectiveness. Barbarians get all those fancy rage powers. Paladins and rangers get spells. Fighters get the crazy versatility that comes from getting a feat every level and more freedom with stats since they have no special powers to power with them. Gunslingers get do do all their damage through ranged touch attacks and a variety of weird unique novelty abilities that emulate a few spells. Cavaliers get a bunch of stuff to bolster their party and whatever their order gives.

What does the swashbuckler really bring to the table? They might go first, but that doesn't really help them. They can stand up if they get knocked over without an AOO, and then can give up their extra damage from a critical hit along with their whole turn to emulate a few feats. They can take 10 on physical skills at levels so high it's not an issue anymore.

I don't see how that's a comparable level of versatility to any other full BAB class, even without factoring in the choice of sacrificing offense or defense just to catch up to everyone's baseline before factoring in their special combat edge.

Also, aside from the Sophie's Choice Str/Dex issue there really aren't any decisions to be made to really customize this class. You're pretty much pidgeon-holed into a single weapon if you aren't opening it up with feats. You're given a standard issue set of abilities, more or less no wiggle room with stats. Having int as the only dumpable score means you don't really end up with any skills to play with...


Feinting may be great for rogues to get that coveted "easy-to-hit" and subject to sneak attack target, but lots of folks around here (who play much higher level campaigns than me, I have to admit) say that the higher you go, the bigger the foes are. Larger targets almost always have smaller Dex scores.

I'm not in the party with the Dex-to-Damage folks, but it would be nice for Dex-based character builds to have something going for them late game other than high touch ACs and decent initiative mods. The Swashbuckler does have some of the most interesting combat mechanics in the game so far, but it still feels like it's going to fall short. It looks much better now, but still needs polish. I'm rolling one up for testing, but I'm not sure if or when it will happen with finals going on.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Is it my imagination, or does Swashbuckler Finesse let you use DEX to hit with morningstars and such? And the same when you take the new Slashing Grace feat?


I think you have to actually hit on the die, and then choose to miss.


I really dont get why the GUNSLINGER gets DEX to damage and this guy doesnt... While this class is slightly better than the previous iteration, I'm kind of dissapointed. It seems like all the classes that interested me (save the bloodrager) are turning into something else.


Googleshng wrote:
Superior Feint is still worthless unless you're partnered up with a rogue/ninja and want to waste your whole turn setting them up... but even then, you're already setting them up with flanking. I suppose lowering their touch AC might also help certain party members, but I can't see it being a bigger help than you just attacking.

Good point, and that in addition to the point I made, this does really cheapen feinting as an option.

Also, it just occurred to me how metagamey feinting is. Obviously you're not going to waste precious action economy on an enemy that the player knows out of character isn't going to be affected by it? It shouldn't be metagamey, but I feel like it is. I guess a reasonable DM would work out a way for the player to know if it was a tactic his character would consider (and the *character* should know when to at least consider using a particular skill he has).

Pretty much all of Googleshng's post is spot on. It verbalized my complex feelings about the class much more eloquently than I did with my abstract remarks above and gave me other things to consider as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Is it my imagination, or does Swashbuckler Finesse let you use DEX to hit with morningstars and such? And the same when you take the new Slashing Grace feat?

No, only piercing weapons. Slashing Grace adds ONE one-handed slashing weapon.

That´s actually a real bad feat the more i look at it. One weapon really? Not even a weapon group?


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Honestly, I reckon DEX to damage shouldn't have been a Mythic feat; it should have been just a regular feat that anyone could take, with Weapon Finesse as a prerequisite. Still, they could always make a regular feat that only allows it to apply to one weapon. Sure, it'd be another feat tax, but you could always give it the Swashbuckler on one of the more boring levels. Or just make it a part of Swashbuckler weapon training, like it is for Gunslingers.


This class seems extremely front loaded. It would be interesting when combined with an paladin - especially an archer paladin. The charisma synergy (and dex if archer-based) looks pretty strong.

A Paladin 8 who takes 3 levels of Swashbuckler instead of 3 levels of paladin (level 11)

Loss:
~3 hit points
Aura of Justice
Mercy (Curse/staggered/nauseated/frightened)
Smite 1/day
Divine Bond 1/day
-If weapon is chosen, max bonus is +2 instead of +3.
1 third level spell
1 second level spell
LOH 1/day and 1d6
3 smite damage

Gain:
6 skill points (+class skills)
Weapon Finesse
Panache (charisma synergy)
Dodging Panache (charisma to AC, stacks with smite, works with Grace spell)
Kip-Up
Menacing Sword-play (demoralize on melee hit)
Precise Strike (3 damage, effectively replacing lost smite damage if melee)
Swashbuckler Initiative (+2 initiative)
Charmed Life 3/day (stacks with Divine Grace)
+2 reflex
Nimble+1 (+1 AC)

By RAW, you can use a spiked gauntlet, composite longbow, and buckler all with no penalty.

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