Alternate Swashbuckler Weapons


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So I was having a discussion the other day about how I like the Swashbuckler as a base for all sorts of lightly armoured melee types, and we spitballed a few concepts - mostly gladiator types.

Then we watched an episode of vikings, and it struck me that Swashbuckler might be a good base for ol' Ragnar - lightly armoured, charismatic, hard as nails. Trouble was the weapon requirements - until I realised that a boarding axe was P/S with a x3 critical. Not optimal, maybe, but it works.

Anybody have any other interesting swashbuckler weapons that aren't straight-up Errol Flynn?


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The Shortspear...
I know it is a somewhat subpar weapon but... There is a character in an anime I watched some time ago who was a lightly armored bodyguard that wielded a Shortspear with uncanny mastery. She struck me as a perfect example of a non-sword wielding swashbuckler.


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Had a daring champion concept that had his banner on a trident, slightly reflavored, used it for a back up weapon.

Slashing grace opens up alot of space, still no hammers, but axes and bastard swords come into play.

Cestus would work, nice pitfighter feel,


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Shortspear's certainly Viking-y. Got a definite Oberyn Martel vibe too.

From memory the Cestus isn't the only gladiator weapon that works either. Keep forgetting about slashing grace too!


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Just pictured a backalley thug type with a kukri, little bit of an assassin vibe, hmmm...


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Morning Star! You have a skeletal bad guy laughing it up and then bam! Ball of spikes to the face!


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A spiked shield is a light or one-handed Piercing weapon, so shield swashbuckling could be a thing.


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Scizore is a one handed piercing weapon.

Kobold tail attachments are considered light, and there is a piercing one.


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Spiked shield and axe is rapidly leaping towards my favourite combo here...

Throw in some barbarian levels for additional anti-Errol fun.


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My in-development swashie has a Greataxe for a weapon and 18 strength. He wears spiked gauntlets (of alternate materials) and uses them to parry and reposte. I'm toying with the idea of making him a grappler, all the better to make use of that boosted precision damage and and free weapon training while locking down a VIP.

I feel like a dip would be cheating, but I kinda want to dip Fighter for heavy armor profiency and some bonus feats.


Suppose it depends on the game and the players. I'm all about the mental image when it comes to characters - if I thought they'd be cooler in full plate I'd dip fighter in a heartbeat :)


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My all time favorite Swashbuckler weapon is using Slashing Grace with the Spine Flail.

Just look at it... It's beautiful...


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That's awesome, but is it a legal pick? It's not technically a weapon, but a wondrous item that functions like a weapon.

Sovereign Court

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I convinced my friend to go with a heavy pick for his Daring Champion. I certainly enjoyed the mental imagery.


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Azten wrote:
That's awesome, but is it a legal pick? It's not technically a weapon, but a wondrous item that functions like a weapon.
Spine Flail wrote:
A spine flail functions as a +2 flail that deals slashing damage and has reach. Unlike most weapons with reach, a spine flail can be used

Emphasis mine.

In pathfinder rules, "functions as" means "is" for all associated rules.

It's the GM's call, but I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be legal.


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BrazenRogue wrote:
Shortspear's certainly Viking-y. Got a definite Oberyn Martel vibe too.

I suggest a doru instead of a shortspear.


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Klar?

Just a plain old Dagger. You can surprisingly build a solid frontliner with DEX based single dagger fighting. And no one bats an eye at someone without bulky muslces, armed with just a leather coat and belt dagger.


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swordbreaker dagger, punch dagger (to echo Torbyne)


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Play a Fighter (Polearm Master)3 / Swashbuckler who goes around shirtless, wearing a billowing red cape (SPARTA!).

If your DM argues that your polearm never stops being a two-handed weapon, play a strength-based "SwashBasher" who uses a Morningstar two-handed.


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Just noticed that (aside from generally favouring Dex builds), the only Swashbuckler class ability dictating armour is Nimble.

That's gotta have some potential. Everyone loves plate...


BrazenRogue wrote:

Just noticed that (aside from generally favouring Dex builds), the only Swashbuckler class ability dictating armour is Nimble.

That's gotta have some potential. Everyone loves plate...

The class lends itself surprisingly well to a strength based, charisma dumping style. All you need is a dip to cover armor proficiency and Extra Panache.


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Not sure I could bring myself to dump Charisma - half the appeal for me is the idea of a fighter who can pull off some Face tricks.

But you definitely could!


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The Sideromancer wrote:
A spiked shield is a light or one-handed Piercing weapon, so shield swashbuckling could be a thing.

Even a heavy shield wih the Shield-trained trait.


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Soooo many great ideas. :)


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With a sohei monk dip for flurry & slashing grace a temple sword looks kind of attractive mechanically.

A scorpion whip gives reach which might work well with dodging panache.

Silver Crusade

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Agreed that Swashbucklers should have more weapons, they should be considered the Gladiator class if one wants to play it that way. Performance feats are a bit fiddly for me though.

Can we make a trident and net Swashy? Assume they have proficiency so they can actually use the weapons out of the gate.


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0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Agreed that Swashbucklers should have more weapons, they should be considered the Gladiator class if one wants to play it that way. Performance feats are a bit fiddly for me though.

Can we make a trident and net Swashy? Assume they have proficiency so they can actually use the weapons out of the gate.

Tridents are one-handed piercing, so the issue is with the net. Is there a barbed variant net out there?


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snag net would be interesting

Grand Lodge

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Nunchucks, because there is no way Maxi is a monk. Sadly not supported in any way.


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grippli have net proficiency. im playing a grippli swashbuckler currently in shattered star.

Sovereign Court

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War Razor: Mr. Smee
Hook Hand: Captain Hook

...both are Swashbucklers with Slashing Grace. The former can give you a good shave too!

Shadow Lodge

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9mm wrote:
Nunchucks, because there is no way Maxi is a monk. Sadly not supported in any way.

Homebrew archetype. I was thinking of coming up with one for a staff.


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Would you be willing to dip into kineticist? You might lose the use of deeds that require you to be wielding or holding a weapon, but a 1-level dip into elemental annihilator can get you a free 1d8+1.5Con weapon from devastating infusion (using it as a 1H "held" in both hands), and you can stack the overwhelming soul archetype with it to use Cha for damage instead. It has to be used with aether, earth, or wood, since those are the ones that offer a piercing simple blast. If you take a 2-level dip instead you'll also net yourself elemental defense, granting you DR 1/adamantine, +1 enhancement bonus to your natural armor bonus, or 2 temporary hit points that regenerate at a rate of 1 per minute, depending on your elemental choice (not a major boon, but any of them could help you get by in a pinch). Keep in mind that this would need to be a build focused on Vital Strike, since devastating infusion (as worded at least) can't be used for a full attack or a charge, though you might want your GM's opinion on it before you dedicate yourself to such a build.

Another option might be taking a 5- or 6-level dip in just overwhelming soul, making sure to pick up kinetic blade at 1st. This gives you a 3d6+3 1H piercing weapon that has a little added utility as a 30 ft. ranged weapon (120 ft. if you also take extended range). If you take 6 levels you could take a 2-burn infusion or tack a 1-burn substance on your attack once per day, as well as a little extra to-hit on your melee blast and a little more damage on a ranged blast. Aether is probably the best option in this situation, but earth is still quite viable.

Of course none of these options is without major downsides you'd need to consider. For the EA/OS, unless you only do a 1-level dip, you're losing your 19th level deeds, and if you go with the 6-level OS, you're also losing your 15th level deeds. None of these builds will get the benefits of swashbuckler weapon mastery, nor can they benefit from Improved Critical granted by swashbuckler weapon training (though you could potentially grab it as an actual feat) or from the superior feint or dizzying defense deeds or any other effect that requires you be holding or wielding your weapon, as a kinetic blast is considered to be neither (additionally, subtle blade is utterly pointless since you have no physical weapon that an enemy could disarm, steal, or sunder anyway). You'd be stuck with what's essentially a 20/2x weapon on a class that needs those crits. Without the EA archetype you'd lose the ability to make attacks of opportunity without a backup weapon or the kinetic whip infusion (which an OS could only keep up for 1 round out of the entire day). You'd also need to check with your GM to see if you can use your kinetic blast with some of your deeds such as precise strike or targeted strike (as worded they should work fine, but it's worth it to know if the GM sees it otherwise).

To be fair, this really isn't the most ideal of options, especially compared to some of those noted by others, but if you're not looking to min-max for the absolute best swashbuckler around ad you're willing to multiclass, then using weapons made of roiling stones or layers of force would be interesting options.


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Gandessa is worth mentioning, as a 2d4 base dmg one handed slashing weapon, though, not exactly the image of a classic swashbuckler weapon, but could be an interesting point of divergence, as swashbuckling is as much a fighting/lifestyle, as it is a class.

Could do some interesting background stuff explaining the why, where, and how such an odd class/favored weapon combo came to be part of the characters life.


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My Dwarf swashbuckler character (haven't had a chance to use him, but written out) uses a Dwarven war axe. One handed slashing weapon, yay slashing grace.


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Sure'n I'm graceful...see how gracefully my axe cleaves ye through?

I like it!

Shadow Lodge

Paths of the Righteous just came out and has a feat called bladed brush. It makes a glaive finesseable as long as you're good with Sheyln.


That's interesting. A glaive swashbuckler could be all sorts of fun.


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A Spiked Gauntlet is a Light Piercing weapon. Combo it up with the Shield Gauntlet Style from the Weapon Masters Handbook and punch people with style.


Not gonna lie, it's tempting to re-flavour the spiked gauntlet as a sorta clawed glove, pair it with a boarding axe and make a sorta fantasy version of Huron Blackheart...

Just need to add a flamethrower :D


Surprised to see so many mentions of the spiked gauntlet and none of the cestus. The latter is almost the same thematically but a straight upgrade mechanically.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Surprised to see so many mentions of the spiked gauntlet and none of the cestus. The latter is almost the same thematically but a straight upgrade mechanically.

Cestus doesn't work with shield gauntlet style but bough.


Shielded Gauntlet Style already needs a little bit of GM finagling to even work (e.g. "Is Weapon Focus Gauntlet even a thing? Can you enchant gauntlets?) you could probably just ask "can this just work with cesti instead? It's much simpler this way?"


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Shielded Gauntlet Style already needs a little bit of GM finagling to even work (e.g. "Is Weapon Focus Gauntlet even a thing? Can you enchant gauntlets?) you could probably just ask "can this just work with cesti instead? It's much simpler this way?"

Given that they were talking about spiked gauntlets those concerns don't really apply tho.


BrazenRogue wrote:

Not gonna lie, it's tempting to re-flavour the spiked gauntlet as a sorta clawed glove, pair it with a boarding axe and make a sorta fantasy version of Huron Blackheart...

Just need to add a flamethrower :D

Presenting the tekko-kagi!


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Shielded Gauntlet Style already needs a little bit of GM finagling to even work (e.g. "Is Weapon Focus Gauntlet even a thing? Can you enchant gauntlets?) you could probably just ask "can this just work with cesti instead? It's much simpler this way?"

Given that there exists unique magical gauntlets prior to this feat, and that the feat states you can take it, I'm just going to say yes you can and it's silly to argue otherwise (and yes, there was that FAQ, that I seemingly cannot find anymore, that tried to conflate gauntlets with unarmed strikes. But that FAQ completely ignores several years of content and is absolutely ridiculous and contradictory and has no basis in existing content. Gauntlets are in the close weapon group as a separate weapon from unarmed strikes for crying out loud).


Azten wrote:
BrazenRogue wrote:

Not gonna lie, it's tempting to re-flavour the spiked gauntlet as a sorta clawed glove, pair it with a boarding axe and make a sorta fantasy version of Huron Blackheart...

Just need to add a flamethrower :D

Presenting the tekko-kagi!

The tekko-kagi is almost worth the EWP tax. If they had given it a 19-20 crit ratio then we'd probably talk about it with as much enthusiasm as the falcata.


I'm trying to make it work for catfolk since they got a new trait in Blood of the Beasts that makes the tekko-kagi a martial monk weapon for them, as well as treating them like a set of claw blades, but I'm not finding anyway to make the damage dice go up. :/


A scimitar Swashbuckler is easy with the Whirling Dervish Archetype, and Whirling Dervish's Whirlwind Dance Deed is pretty cool.

A Phalanx Soldier 3/ Swashbuckler can use any polearm as a one-handed weapon, so you could use any big piercing polearm as a Swashbuckler weapon while you have a buckler equipped with it, which is pretty cool.

A Swashbuckler can use Slashing Grace with a temple sword or a badass 9-ring broadsword... and then they can pick up Ascetic Style to use unarmed styles like Dragon or Outslug with their sword. For a STR-based Swashbuckler, 9-Ring Dragon is pretty stylish - a level of Master of Many Styles gets Dragon Ferocity and Ascetic Style working quickly.


BadBird wrote:

A scimitar Swashbuckler is easy with the Whirling Dervish Archetype, and Whirling Dervish's Whirlwind Dance Deed is pretty cool.

A Phalanx Soldier 3/ Swashbuckler can use any polearm as a one-handed weapon, so you could use any big piercing polearm as a Swashbuckler weapon while you have a buckler equipped with it, which is pretty cool.

A Swashbuckler can use Slashing Grace with a temple sword or a badass 9-ring broadsword... and then they can pick up Ascetic Style to use unarmed styles like Dragon or Outslug with their sword. For a STR-based Swashbuckler, 9-Ring Dragon is pretty stylish - a level of Master of Many Styles gets Dragon Ferocity and Ascetic Style working quickly.

The Temple Sword is a Monk weapon, but not part of the Monk Fighter Weapon Group. So using Ascetic Style with a Temple Sword requires 5 levels in Monk or the Weapon Training (Monk) class feature.

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