Swashbuckler First Impressions (Combat Testing)

Swashbuckler Playtest

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Full disclosure: I've been wanting to move my weekly War for the Crown game over to 2E for a while, now, but I've been a bit reluctant to do so because one of my players is playing a Swashbuckler, and was very firm with me that he couldn't get the "feel" of the character right with a fighter or a rogue in 2E, so he didn't want to convert until we had a suitable class.

So when the APG classes were announced, I was excited, and as soon as the playtest dropped, we converted his 1E character over as best we could and launched into a series of test-case combat encounters to see if he could get a proper feel for it. To help out, I converted the rest of the party (cleric, rogue, bard) as well, and ran them as a whole party using the sort of tactics the players had used in the combat encounters of our game.

The encounters I ran were against a variety of foes, including undead, goblinoids, giants, and gnolls - I tried to find foes that made thematic sense together, but also different threats and styles of combat.

This was conversion of a 7th level party, and the results were positive:

There was only one encounter where the party were seriously outmatched, and that included a succubus that the swashbuckler immediately engaged while the rest of the party dealt with her gnoll thralls. The swashbuckler was immediately shut down by the succubus' Embrace and Passionate Kiss abilities and my careful consideration was that the passionate kiss is overpowered.

Every single other encounter, whether against foes with ranged attacks, melee attacks, special abilities, whatever, the result was that the swashbuckler danced around the battlefield almost at will, setting up and delivering finishers to deadly effect, and utterly blitzing in teamwork with the rogue.

This is not to say that there weren't challenges: in one battle, I rolled something like 4 natural 20s over the course of three rounds, and none of the PCs rolled above a 10 on the dice (we play using Roll20 and I had rolls set publicly, there was no fudging or cheating on this at all).

The fact that the swashbuckler went haring off on his own created a few problems, not least that it meant the cleric had a hard time getting close enough to heal him (and he really needed it on occasion).

My conclusion from this set of test encounters is that the swashbuckler fits into the roll of melee specialist extremely well. The cycle of ability use to sustain panache works very well, and means that the bonus damage from precise strike isn't overboard, though we did feel that finishing follow-through could be a feature of panache rather than a feat and not unduly unbalance things.

Since I started writing this, my players have told me that they're happy to convert to 2E, so we'll see some real play in the not-too-distant future.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks so much for the feedback on playing the swashbuckler in a variety of combat scenarios! Also, I know Ediwir and I have experience converting WftC to 2nd edition, so hit us up on the boards or on discord and we might be able to give some advice (Ediwir I think may also have a few creature write-ups too, but I always produce minor notes quickly that allow for instant conversion but never materialize into a full write-up).

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks Mark.

I’ll definitely hit you and Ediwir up for advice!

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest / Swashbuckler Playtest / Swashbuckler First Impressions (Combat Testing) All Messageboards
Recent threads in Swashbuckler Playtest