Swashbuckler versus Daring Champion

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Hey all,

I have come across the topic of the daring champion archetype being more powerful than the swashbuckler class itself on multiple threads but no discussion threads on why?

I don't have a great deal of experience with either class yet, some of my players have some low level swashbucklers but we haven't got into deeper levels yet so ya little experience in the class. Cavaliers I have played with before so I know them reasonably well.

So in conclusion I was wondering what peoples opinions were on the matter?

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The main thing is that you take the existing Swashbuckler damage and add Challenge to it. It was an extension of my complaint about archetypes that steal the entire class, just like the Exploiter Wizard does to the Arcanist.

One of the main advantages for Daring Champion is that it has a good Fort Save class vs Swashbuckler's good Ref Save. Fort saves are considered stronger by many due to the many Save vs Die/Suck spells/effects requiring a Fortitude save. Reflex saves typically only do hit point damage which can get healed easily. Getting blinded permanently or baleful polymorphed takes one out of the fight immediately and remedying that effect can be a pain.

Daring Champion still has medium armor proficiency so not having a parry mechanic at early levels doesn't hurt as much. Also the class has the advantage of not needing as high a Charisma modifier as Swashbuckler since they don't have charmed life. They still get the essential panache deeds at level 4, so even if they only have a 7 or 9 Charisma, for example, they'd still get a minimum of 1 panache point to activate Precise Strike or Parry.

Daring Champions still have tactician teamwork feats that when used smartly, can be team life savers.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Yeah. It's... pretty ridiculous. :/

Daring champion is pretty much swashbuckler+. It gets the most essential swash features(finesse, dodge bonus, the most useful deeds) in exchange for the cavalier mount related abilities(which are only used in games that feature open field battles). Its like having a swash with challenge, order, and tactician.

A good way to look at this for comparison is, "What does the swashbuckler get that the Daring Champion doesn't that you really want?" And it really is a little lackluster, you get some bonuses at lv5, and charmed life.

The daring champion does get some good swashbuckler deeds but he doesn't get as much as I thought. I still think the swashbucklers niche is still there, especially at higher levels where he gets uncanny dodges, and evasions all in one lump sum.

Sovereign Court

As a whole class - Daring Champion is somewhat superior. (Challenge & Precise Strike stacking? Yes please.)

As a dip, the Swashbuckler is better as its abilities are a bit more front-loaded.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:

As a whole class - Daring Champion is somewhat superior. (Challenge & Precise Strike stacking? Yes please.)

As a dip, the Swashbuckler is better as its abilities are a bit more front-loaded.

I can't argue with you on that, the challenge plus precise strike is gravy, especially if your campaign doesn't allow for a lot of mount usage.

Dark Archive

Check out the infiltrator archetype, which if it works as I think it does replaces charmed life with bonus feats and a bluff bonus. This makes it pretty good for high feat builds without needing to be a fighter.

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1. Damage.

The Swashbuckler gets Precise Strike (the level later matters little overall) paired with Challenge, offering insane damage potential. The Swashbuckler gets Precise Strike paired with Swashbuckler Weapon Training, meaning +4 to hit/damage and Improved Critical at maximum. Note that the Daring Champion's order can add +4 to hit if he picks that way, so realistically we're comparing Improved Critical to having a major damage bonus cut down by 75%. Yeah, not hard to figure out the stronger pick there. Challenge is limited per day, but Extra Challenge solves that one pretty handily to give it to you when you need it.

The other advantage of the separate damage bonuses is that it's much easier for the Daring Champion to do something like ignore Precise Strike. At higher levels you can actually profit off two-weapon fighting this way, while pulling a trick usually reserved for double weapons and doing just fine on single attacks because Precise Strike kicks back in. That gives the Champion much more build potential than the Swashbuckler can ever have: a TWFing Swashbuckler is probably about as useful as a Rogue.

2. Defenses. The Daring Champion gets Light and Medium Armor; the Swashbuckler only Light. This means that the Champion can more easily make use of things like Mithril and Celestial Armors, especially at the lower levels, to improve AC. The Champion also gets good Fort save instead of a good Reflex save, meaning that if he pumps Dex he's packing two solid saves, whereas the Swashbuckler just has one really good save and it's the least important one in the game.

3. Deeds.

Put bluntly, the Daring Champion gets all the important ones. It misses Derring-Do (a joke), Kip Up (a joke), Menacing Swordplay (useful but nichey and won't be missed outside of somebody trying to build an Intimidate Champion. Which is... doubtful), Swashbuckler's Grace (nichey), Bleeding Wound (eh... somewhat useful, but at the level it kicks in at it's a bit slow), Evasive (the first really good one that's lost), Perfect Thrust (just why), Cheat Death (is dying really a problem at level 19?), Deadly Stab (the Champion probably killed them outright with a Challenge), and Stunning Stab (see above).

So a bunch of terrible deeds, two useful but situational deeds, and one good deed lost. Not a lot of harm done.

4. Other class features.

Charmed Life is rather terrible, meaning that aside from the above deeds, the only real loss to the Champion is a bonus feat every four levels.

Instead, the Cavalier gets some variably-useful Order abilities (at least as good as Charmed Strike and probably as good as a feat or two on top of that), Banner (okay that one kind of sucks, but it's something to do with the off-hand), three bonus feats (gee, so at this point two less feats than the Swashbuckler... kind of hard to see a downside).

Oh, and Tactician. Which is obnoxiously useful if you pick it to cater to your party.

The Swashbuckler does have better class skills so... there's that? It has a free trait since the Champion took Seeker? Woo?

Swashbucklers do qualify for fighter-only feats which are occasionally useful, but yeah, Daring Champion has a lot more going for it.

Agree with the above analysis about the daring champion being better. And two words: chain challenge.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Can you use Chain Challenge if your target goes unconcious on your turn? Usually you can't take immediate actions on your turn

Uh, where are you seeing that restriction on immediate actions?

Immediate Action wrote:

Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time—even if it's not your turn. Casting feather fall is an immediate action, since the spell can be cast at any time.

Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed.

Bolding mine. It just says it counts as doing your swift action if you do it on your turn.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was misremembering the rules (has there been an FAQ clarification recently?) and possibly confusing things with some of the restrictions on free actions

Aren't most restrictions on free actions up to the GM? As in, "no you may not take a fourth free action this round".

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In general I thought you can only take free actions during your turn (with speaking being specifically noted as a free action you can take outside of your turn)

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Otherwise, for example, you could take the free action to drop something as a reaction to something like disarm or steal. (Burning disarm specifically lets you drop something instead of taking the damage)

Barbarians entering rage is a common case where this could matter. Especially if they have rage powers that are protective.

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