Is the rogue a better swashbuckler than the swashbuckler ?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 88 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really love the idea of the swashbuckler and I'm always playing dex-fighter daredevils in most games. There's something enthralling about being able to fight your way through with panache and wit.

However, I'm not quite convinced the swashbuckler does this better than the rogue.

WEAPONS
They both get about the same weapon skills, though the ruffian can play with a longspear for some reach. They both get expert, master, weapon spe at same level.

AC
They both get the same light armor (though the ruffian can get medium). The swashbuckler has some feat support for the buckler, but then the rogue can use a regular shield.

DAMAGE
Without panache, swashbuckler has nothing. With it, he gets +2 damage every attack and, once per round, can use a finisher for +2d6. Those numbers get +1/+1d6 at levels 5, 11, 13, 17. Unless you have a very specific setup (you had panache the previous round and kept it for a burst), you cannot get more than one finisher in a round.

On the other hand, the rogue has +1d6 for every attack if the target is flat footed. As long as you have one other martial in the team, you can get it easily (either through Mobility to get in position, or at level 6 it's free with Gang Up). The progression is the same, but the rogue can potentially attack 3 times and get 3 times the sneak attack. Third attack is less likely to hit, but even if two attacks hit, that's still a big gap in damage.

Also, the thief has dex to damage, while the swashbuckler has to invest in STR if he wants to deal more damage, which means gimping his other stats. I cannot picture a swashbuckler without charisma, so that's a tough act to balance.

SKILLS
Rogue is way better, with way more boosts and skill feats - even if the swashbuckler has some free in acrobatics or his special skill.

FEATS
Swashbuckler gets great feats, but they come very late - around level 10 - with free buckler rise or bleeding finish. Meanwhile, the rogue has great debilitations to help himself or his team, so it's kind of a wash.

So, why would anyone play a swashbuckler mecanically ? I mean, they're really cool, but I can play a rogue with 18 DEX and 16 CHA out of the box, use a rapier, and buckle my swash better than a swashbuckler.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.

But the main difference is that while rogues can pile on the damage as well as any martial, they are pretty squishy and have poor defenses. The Swashbuckler is as sturdy as the fighter or ranger.


I mean, there's a wide variety of interesting features for the Swashbuckler.

Their mobility is one. The Swashbuckler's going to outspeed anyone but a Monk, whose speed it matches (while in Armor at that). That's not even including a bevy of feats designed to keep you moving around the battlefield. Swashbuckler was advertised from early on as being the mobility class.

They have a built in Expanded Crit with Keen Flair, which is useful.

While their finishers are less frequent than a sneak attack, there's a lot of good choices for them that make them rather useful (and the level 19 feature making it where you still deal damage even on a failure on all Finishers, not just the default one, is quite handy).

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

What does being a Swashbuckler mean to you? Because the answer to your question really depends on that.

Swashbuckler is much more mobile than Rogue is, more durable due to extra HP and potentially bonuses on Saves, and as built-in incentives to use debuff non-attack actions like Demoralize (or Feint, or whatever) every round. It also occasionally gets a solid DPR buff from Opportune Riposte, which is worth noting.

A Swashbuckler will do better than a Rogue at darting in and out of battle, delivering debuff effects with Skills, and unloading single big attacks with special effects.

Now, often a Swashbuckler will only be making one attack per turn, using their other actions for other things. If you want to be making more attacks than that, Swashbuckler is probably not the class for you and you should look elsewhere for what you want. But that one attack is gonna be better than a single attack from a Rogue, so if you want to be only attacking once per turn and otherwise doing other stuff like moving or using Skills, Swashbuckler is better for that.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.

But the main difference is that while rogues can pile on the damage as well as any martial, they are pretty squishy and have poor defenses. The Swashbuckler is as sturdy as the fighter or ranger.

From my games, it seems much (MUCH) easier to get flat-footed than panache. For one thing, panache NEEDS a roll, and those can fail - while flat-footed is a direct thing. Friend flanking, bam, flat-footed.

Also, a rogue will probably be better at feinting than a swashbuckler (easier to get high Charisma + easier to get high skill) as a backup.

As for the sturdy part, I don't really see it. Sure, the swashbuckler has 10 hp/level instead of 8 and that's great, but that's about it. AC are the same, and Mobility/Skirmish strike/Nimble roll/Defensive roll are plenty to help.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing your argument, I really wanna be convinced. It's just that I don't see it.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.

But the main difference is that while rogues can pile on the damage as well as any martial, they are pretty squishy and have poor defenses. The Swashbuckler is as sturdy as the fighter or ranger.

They gave the rogue tumble behind to help trigger flatfooted so they can now use acrobatics to provide flatfooted at L1 (similar to a swashbuckler). They have a variety of other feats to let them get flatfooted, so I don't think I'd be overly concerned on that front as positioning is enough to get you flatfooted without too much trouble, whereas making a check against a enemies DC is difficult without very targeted investment to the detriment of other things.

That being said, people I think keep seeing the swashbuckler as 1 strike per round finisher style combatant. That may be one way to play and after you get the L2 feat "finishing follow through" that is a really good way to play against lower CR creatures (high likely hood to hit and finish them off to maintain your panache). But against CR equivalent or greater enemies (e.g., mini bosses or big bosses) I think that is a tactical mistake. Because the DC to regain your panache is so high against those kinds of foes, you're better to hold the panache so you get the straight damage and maintain all the benefits of having panache (e.g., speed or other kinds of actions from class feats).

I'm not a paizo developer, but I believe the 'math' behind a swashbuckler's +2/2d6 starting damage is so it provided parity with other martials from levels 1-5 assuming a 18 DEX and 14 STR to start. Beyond that it starts doing more damage then other martials like the rogue because that static value gets larger and damage isn't based off your primary stat. Taking away level, proficiency, weapon specialization, etc. except base stats and precise strike what you see is:

L1 - +4 Att./+4 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +4 Att./+4 Dmg. (Rogue)
L5 - +4 Att./+5 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +4 Att./+4 Dmg. (Rogue)
L9 - +4 Att./+6 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +4 Att./+4 Dmg. (Rogue)
L10 - +5 Att./+7 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +5 Att./+5 Dmg. (Rogue)
L13 - +5 Att./+8 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +5 Att./+5 Dmg. (Rogue)
L17 - +6 Att./+9 Dmg. (Swash) vs. +6 Att./+6 Dmg. (Rogue)

The swashbuckler with a 14STR gets +2 extra damage from stats AND bumps at L5, L9, L13, and L17 (assumed a stat belt to dex in both cases at L17 as well).

There will be feats on either side to get better attack combos or what have you, but at its base chassis design swashbucklers are better martials IMO.

Barbarians get rage to increase damage but take a penalty to AC. Rangers get flurry or the extra precision damage. Rogues get SA but less hp and tons of skills. Fighters get accuracy for crits/weapon specialization. Monks get action economy to be in the right position and potentially cause debuffs on stunning fists. Swashbucklers get a slowly scaling damage and versatility to spike damage when they want to.

I'd say their fairly balanced. The Swashbuckler looks super fun because I'll always be engaged in combat mentally to see whether keeping panache or spending it is the right decision every round. Its very much a risk/reward style of play and will have more ups and downs vs. other kinds of martials. The rogue on the other hand provides me the confidence to have fun in some of those PFS skill challenges that are being put into every scenario (whereas, combat will probably typically look like get flank, strike, get flank, strike). I think they are liable to engage different styles of play/players and enable different character concepts. Both seem like lots of fun... so I'm going to go play with both and have fun!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't really like the "Swash has incentive to Feint, Demoralize, etc" line... Because so does the Rogue, when they can't get FF any other way, they can Feint to setup equivalent damage and get their own special effects. That also goes along with CHA being easier pickup for Rogue, that they can actually leverage more (magic feats, perhaps ideal for STR/CHA Ruffian who can neglect DEX while using spells for ranged sneak, + CON/WIS).

I think the Swashbuckler looks alot stronger when you DON'T invest in CHA at all, while it's a reasonable pickup for Rogue. Which is weird in that Swashbuckler has plenty of opportunities for CHA tie-ins, but I think avoiding that is stronger over-all for them. A Swashbuckler is incentivized to have good STR and DEX both (since they lack DEX->DMG or Medium Armor) while Rogues tends to minmax one and neglect the other, but that means Rogues are less likely to be strong in both STR and DEX skills. I think that STR/DEX binary for Rogues does allow them to more easily achieve highest CON, which undercuts Swashbuckler's advantage in HP... although with how stat boosts work (as well as max HP/level), that will tend to decrease over time/levels (to Swashbuckler's advantage).

I get that the OP was referring to proficiency progression, but I think it's unhelpful to portray them as comparable in weapons... Swashbuckler getting all martial means they do have superior selection of weaponry... Since DEX is fixed as Key Stat, they will tend to prefer Finesse weapons on the ~half of levels where DEX>STR, which reduces the discrepancy VS Rogue weapons alot (but not completely), but I see Swashbuckler's leveraging Shifting weapon to instantly swap into Finesse weapons when superior, and vice versa. Swashbuckler's profusion of freehand/2WF feats is a potential factor, but even just 1H martial is still better than Rogue (esp. including 1+ Hand weapons), and those feats can be avoided if using 2H weapons often.

Stuff like After You and Finishing Follow-Thru (free Panache) is important to assessing Swashbuckler... especially as it leads into Derring-Do (2x rolls for Style skills). [EDIT: that relates alot to Red Griffin's above points about advantage of keeping panache, i.e. starting/getting ahead lets you spend more freely while still recovering to keep ongoing benefits) Impaling Finisher and Dual Finisher is cool for 2x1 (and I believe Impaling's 2nd target doesn't need to be in normal weapons range?).

But I do tend to feel that other classes can too easily grab all of this via Multiclass (other than higher damage dice/speed scaling, which other classes' base abilities more than make up for), with not enough kept unique to base class itself... So I think they didn't "hold back" enough abilities, and/or should have granted more exclusive abilities...?


I like the idea of the fencer using Goading Feing along with a +2 AC option to try to fish for ripostes.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.

But the main difference is that while rogues can pile on the damage as well as any martial, they are pretty squishy and have poor defenses. The Swashbuckler is as sturdy as the fighter or ranger.

Rogues and Swash have the same saves and the same AC. The Swash get 1 hp more per lvl. So the defenses are the exactly the same and Swash get at most 20 more HP. Not exactly squishy.


Rogues also have relatively few good defensive feats. Swashbucklers have a bunch (including a +2 for bucklers, empty hand, and dual wielding with a later upgrade to have that cost no options, +2 on any save, etc.)

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Erk Ander wrote:
Rogues and Swash have the same saves and the same AC. The Swash get 1 hp more per lvl. So the defenses are the exactly the same and Swash get at most 20 more HP. Not exactly squishy.

It's +2 HP per level, actually (so +40 HP eventually, a pretty meaningful number). Swashbucklers also have vastly increased mobility...which translates directly into getting attacked less if you use it right.

They also have much better defensive Feat support (specifically, Charmed Life is a great Save buff, and they have a bunch of high level defensive stuff, most notably Dueling Dance and Incredible Luck).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Erk Ander wrote:
Rogues and Swash have the same saves and the same AC. The Swash get 1 hp more per lvl. So the defenses are the exactly the same and Swash get at most 20 more HP. Not exactly squishy.

It's +2 HP per level, actually (so +40 HP eventually, a pretty meaningful number). Swashbucklers also have vastly increased mobility...which translates directly into getting attacked less if you use it right.

They also have much better defensive Feat support (specifically, Charmed Life is a great Save buff, and they have a bunch of high level defensive stuff, most notably Dueling Dance and Incredible Luck).

Sorry +2. The Rogue is more likely to have a higher CON than the Swash due to being a very SAD class and not needing str for damage.

Vastly is a exaggeration, yes the class is faster on par with the monk. And yes Charmed life is nice and its big brother (incredible luck) even nicer. Though it forces the class to upgrade CHA (at least 14) just to use those feats.. But that pretty much it in terms of saves. Dueling Dance is a multiclass feat or 2 away.And its decent.

But if get down to it the Rogue gets debuff that aid the entire party something insane.

The point still stands the class-chassis is only slightly sturdier than rogue. However I belive its much to early to say that Rogue is objectively better. Lets things marinate


Ya, the Swash is pretty MAD. It's added HP is pretty easily counterbalanced by it not being able to invest as much in con because of that.

Also, Flat Footed is super easy to get most of the time. So, needing that is not really a mark against the rogue.

End of the day though, the Swash seems like a fun class. If you don't obsess over balance, you can play it and be effective.

If you want a reason to play it, it's that the mechanics more actively support a very specific style of roleplay.


If you play your swashbuckler right and are willing to invest a little bit of risk its actually easy to get 2 finishers per turn

of course rogues can theoretically do 3 sneak attacks per turn but from what I've gathered so far it is a much mor risky tactic for them


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think vastly better mobility is a fair statement. If you have the ability to move even 5ft further than a foe with a single action then you can trade one of your actions for two of theirs. That 8s vastly better.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

As someone who is looking at playing a rogue in an upcoming game because there already is a swashbuckler I find a lot of the “pro rogue” arguments here to be all over the place. They are very inconsistent

The OP draws on both the Ruffian and Thief as examples of why the rogue is better. But you can’t be both

Indeed a lot of the discussion on ruffian is that you can “neglect dex”. Now I am not saying one of the main purposes of a rogue is sneaking and disabling traps but it is probably what lots will expect if you play one. So ruffian potentially puts aside a really useful role to lean into combat damage that it is going to be behind many other classes on

No mention of Scoundrel in the debate which makes me sad as i enjoy the concept. I guess it really is considered vastly inferior to the other two originals which is a shame as it really was the route i was considering going

That said my part might have a Wit swashbuckler . A success on Bon Mot might really help synergise with Feinting . But the same would apply to demoralise on ruffian as it lowers will and perception ...

Edit: reread Bon Mot . It gives a penalty to Will *Saves* and Perception. So I read that as synergy with Feint but not demoralise as that targets as Will D.C. and not a save . Stacks with level 2 scoundrel feat


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lanathar wrote:
Edit: reread Bon Mot . It gives a penalty to Will *Saves* and Perception. So I read that as synergy with Feint but not demoralise as that targets as Will D.C. and not a save . Stacks with level 2 scoundrel feat

The DC is the save+10. So that part's automatic.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Seisho wrote:
If you play your swashbuckler right and are willing to invest a little bit of risk its actually easy to get 2 finishers per turn

I'm curious how, since

Quote:
Once you use a finisher, you can’t use actions that have the attack trait for the rest of your turn.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Understand me guys, I really, really want to like the swashbuckler. I think the ideas are awesome. I just find it kind of weak.

Here's an example of how I picture a fight. Feel free to correct me, since I didn't play a swashbuckler yet. I did, however, play a rogue.

Enter Swashy and Roguy, the awesome twin brothers

Here could be their stats, quickly put together at level 11 (since that's where they both get a bump). They'll be human since it can't go more vanilla than that.

Roguy, level 11 rogue (thief)
Relevant equipment: +2 striking shortsword, +2 resilient leather armor

Movement: 25 feet.

STR 10, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 19

Perception: 20
Fortitude Save: 19
Reflex Save: 23
Will Save: 19
AC: 30 (32 with nimble roll on first attack)
Attack: +22 for 2d6+7 (+3d6 when sneak attacking).

Feats
Nimble dodge
Overextending feint
Mobility
Skirmish Strike
Nimble roll
Precise debilitation

Skills: Acrobatics +22, Athletics +13, Deception +21, Diplomacy +17, Intimidation +21, Medicine +16, Stealth +22, Survival +16, Thievery +22
More skill feats than I can count.

Swashy, level 11 swashbuckler (fencer)
Relevant equipment: +2 striking rapier, +2 resilient leather armor

Movement: 25 feet (45 feet with panache)

STR 16, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 19

Perception: 17
Fortitude Save: 19
Reflex Save: 23
Will Save: 16
AC: 30 (32 with buckler)
Attack: +22 for 2d6+5 (+4 with panache, +4d6 when using a finisher).

Feats
Buckler expertise
Goading feint
Charmed life
Vexing Tumble
Bleeding finisher
Buckler dance

Skills: Acrobatics +22, Athletics +16, Deception +21, Diplomacy +17, Intimidation +21, Stealth +20
Some skill feats.

Of course, you could choose other feats but those seemed solid enough for this tryout.

Now let's get into action. Both brothers are in a standard group, with say one melee fighter and two ranged (wizard, cleric, archer...).
Oh, no, some barbed devils are attacking the party ! (They're level 11 and thematic, feel free to switch with whatever).

The rogue could actually shoot a bow or something since opponents are flat-footed if he rolled stealth, but let's assume he'll run in so we can compare it to the swashbuckler, who has no incentive to use a bow.

Roguy strides to barbed devil (flat-footed first turn), hits with his shortsword, then SKirmish Strike away. That's two attacks at +22/+18. Barbed devils have AC 30 so that's 28 flat-footed.
First attack will give a debilitation, either enfeebled 1 for extra defense on the whole team, or +2d6 precision damage just because.
Damage on this first round is: (1/2*24 + 1/4*48) + 1/4 (1/2*24+1/20*48) + 3/4 (1/2*31+1/20*62)= around 41 damage. We're also away from the mob now, forcing him to come and get us.

Swashy strides to the barbed devil, then uses a goading feint. That's a +21 against the devil's +34 perception DC. If the Swashbuckler fails the roll, he's SOL - and 60% of failing is really hurting. He can try again, giving himself altogether 64% chance of succeeding - or he can try to hit for a piddly 2d6+5. Since the opponent is not flat-footed, his odds are actually worse than the rogue.
Sure, the swashbuckler could try to tumble through instead. Odds are better there, +22 acrobatics against +30 Ref DC, but that's still 35% chance of failing... and also, that's kind of annoying since feinting is so much better for him.
But hey, let's assume EVERYTHING goes as planned. Swashy succeeeds on his feint despite the odds, and now has panache. In order to land his blow, he'll probably make the opponent flat-footed instead of overextending him. Then he'll be at +22 against 28 AC for 6d6+5.
Average damage would be (1/2*26+1/4*52) so 26 damage. Also, I assume he'll use Bleeding finisher that's kind of awesome, and the monster has now a 4d6 (av 14) bleed on him. Pretty nifty.

So, if EVERYTHING goes in the swashbuckler's way and including his bleed, he'll be averaging the same damage as the rogue.
But wait, you say, a swashbuckler is sturdier, he has buckler dance and stuff.
True, true. But he's also standing next to the mob like a sitting duck. Said mob will rip into him with a vengeance. 2 attacks at 24/19 and a harm are coming the swashbuckler's way. He has 32 AC with his buckler, so the damage from the hits are (1/2*26+3/20*52) + (9/20*26+1/20*52), not even including good damage or bloodletting. That's 35 damage average.
If a single of those hit, the swashbuckler has to succeed at a wisdom save and, even with charmed life, it's not that easy (16 will + 2 charmed life=18 vs DC 27). If a single of those crit, he's now bleeding.
And then there's the harm. 3d8 damage DC 27.

On the other hand, the rogue is safely away. The barbed demon will have to stride/step once to hit. Then the rogue will use nimble roll and roll away, avoiding the third strike or the harm altogether. He's got the same AC as the swashbuckler for this single attack, then he's safe.

"Okay", you say, "what about the other rounds ?".

Well, our melee friend should have come now, so opponent will be perpetually flat-footed thanks to gang up. Rogue can strike, demoralize or run around in circles, now enjoying the full +2d6 from the debilitation - or permanently enfeebling it to alleviate the pressure on the group and himself. Meanwhile, the swashbuckler still has to succeed at pretty hard checks in order to be relevant.

So, yeah, a swashbuckler has a lot of mobility, and can probably run to the backlines to maul the evil mage quicker than everyone but a monk. But is it their only shtick ? When I envision a swashbuckler, I see a daring, witty fighter, not a sprinter.

Feel free to correct me and tell me how to better use the swashbuckler feats and chassis, like I said, I WANT to like it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blue_frog wrote:
So why would anyone play a swashbuckler mechanically?

Whether it's better to go Rogue or Swashbuckler will, of course, depend on what kind of thing you want to excel at. But there are a lot of builds which the Swashbuckler excels at that aren't really viable with a Rogue.

  • Example 1: Suppose you want a character built around combat maneuvers, like disarming, grappling, tripping, and so on. (Perhaps you're going to play a city watch guard, and you want to focus on ways of taking enemies out of the fight without harming them -- so disarming them, and grappling them and putting them in handcuffs.)

    The Swashbuckler excels at this. At level 10, you can automatically get panache at the start of the fight (After You), substantially improve the efficacy of attempt to disarm (Disarming Flair), and perform all of these maneuvers with a +1 circumstance bonus *and* rolling twice and taking the better result *and* making these maneuvers effectively agile (Agile Maneuvers, Derring-Do).

    A Rogue isn't going to be as nearly as effective at doing this.

  • Example 2: Suppose you want a character built to draw the enemies attacks, withstand these attacks, and keep the rest of your party safe.

    The Swashbuckler excels at this. They can fascinate opponents during combat (Focused Fascination), forcing them to direct their attacks and spells at you, or demoralize them and force them to direct their attacks at you in order to overcome it (Antagonize). And they can use various abilities (Nimble Dodge, Goading Feint, Dueling Parry, Dueling Stance) to boost their effective AC, various abilities (Charmed Life, Nimble Roll, Incredible Luck) to boost their saves against spells and effects directed at them, and increase their resilence by giving themself temporary HP boosts (Vivacious Bravado). And they can protect nearby allies from getting hit when attacks are directed at them (Guardian's Deflection).

    There are other classes that can also play this role well, like the Champion. But Rogues won't be able to do anything like this as nearly as well.


  • Yeah, I do see some issues. The big damage for Swashbuckler is only triggerable once per turn, which generally means rogue is going to be better than the Swashbuckler at damage output. This, by itself, I have no issue with, if the Swashbuckler did have better defenses than the rogue.... BUT...

    Rogues are just as capable of using a shield as are Swashbucklers, and they have the same scaling armor proficiency. The one advantage Swashbucklers have is they can use a buckler to the same effect as a regular shield, so they have a hand free at all times! Nice, but has some issues. First, the stance they have, Buckler Dance, has as a requirement: "You are wielding a buckler." This means that as soon as they do anything with the hand, wield a weapon, or carry something of non-light bulk, they drop out of the stance. Maybe this doesn't happen all the time, but it's pretty unfortunate. The 10hp per level is nice, but it doesn't add up to an overall better defenses. However, Charmed Life does, in fact, shine.

    Still, yeah, give me rogue any day as overall just better than a swashbuckler. I don't think they did a good job of planning out this class TBH.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    tivadar27 wrote:
    Still, yeah, give me rogue any day as overall just better than a swashbuckler. I don't think they did a good job of planning out this class TBH.

    It was the best received of all sixteen playtest classes, so I think it's fair to say that it's doing what a lot of folks are looking for in terms of swashbuckling.

    Rogue is mostly flank 'n shank, maybe with some feinting. It's skillful and uses a rapier, but some folks didn't feel like that was swashbuckly enough. Swashbuckler is a class that's there for you if you want your Spidey combat quips to actually do something, or if you plan on demoralizing to help your allies, or if you are set on using combat maneuvers. It's even there for you if, for some reason, you want to tumble through enemy spaces. It also offers a beefier frame with defensive options, riposte to stylishly punish incompetence, and better movement.

    If none of those things are integral to playing a swashbuckler to you, if you are happy to let quips and jibes pass without mechanical reinforcement, if you do not need to make enemies fear to take a third iterative against you, and if you are content to fill in your own dramatic "Aha!"s… then yeah, you can roleplay the swashbuckling aspects just fine, and you might as well get a ton of skills and feats to focus on those options.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    All those points are pretty interesting, but it still looks very clunky to me. Either you keep panache in order to be efficient at demoralizing/tripping/disarming/tumbling/whatever, or you use your finishers and can't guarantee you'll get panache when you want.

    The class would look MUCH better to me if you got all those nifty bonuses to tumbling and feinting even without panache. THEN you would have less chance of just miserably failing to gain panache because you didn't roll well enough on your feint.

    But this is just me theorycrafting. I would really love to see someone who actually plays a swashbuckler chime in and tell us how his fights go, in a round by round basis. This might help get a feel for the class ^^


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Blue_frog wrote:
    All those points are pretty interesting, but it still looks very clunky to me. Either you keep panache in order to be efficient at demoralizing/tripping/disarming/tumbling/whatever, or you use your finishers and can't guarantee you'll get panache when you want.

    In my opinion, you need to get Panache at the end of your rounds, not at the beginning. As such, if you have Panache, you can guarantee you have Panache when you want :D


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

  • Example 3: Suppose you're going to be the only melee combatant in your party. (The other party members are a Witch, an Angelic Sorcerer, and a ranged Ranger.)

    The Swashbuckler is a good choice. You don't need any melee support to get off your main attacks, and have a number of defensive options to keep you standing (Nimble Dodge, Goading Feint, Charmed Life, Nimble Roll, Dueling Stance/Buckler Dance/Twinned Defense, etc), as well other abilities (Attack of Opportunity, Antagonize, Guardian's Deflection, Focused Fascination) to punish or prevent opponents from going after your allies.

    There are other good choices - Champion and Fighter, for example. But the Rogue isn't a great choice here. They're not terrible - they can go Scoundrel rogue to get a source of flat-footed (for one attack, at least) that doesn't require melee support, and at 8th they can pick up Sly Striker to do a bit more damage even when the opponent isn't flat footed. But they don't have as nearly as many defensive abilities, or abilities to prevent opponents from targeting allies.

  • Example 4: Suppose your party already has the resources to easily deal with lower level opponents (a Giant Barbarian who can easily crit low level opponents, a Wizard with plenty of AOE spells, etc). But your GM often pits you against high level solo opponents with insane AC and saves, and the party would really benefit from another source of reliable damage.

    The Swashbuckler is a good choice. You can use things like One For All to get panache without having to overcome your opponent's saves, and you have Confident Finisher (and at 6th Precise Finisher) to do substantial damge even when you miss.

    There are other classes that are good against such opponents (like the Fighter, and any class that can cast Magic Missile). But the Rogue isn't going to be so great here, since there's not a lot they can do against opponents they can't hit.

  • Now, if what you're looking at is "maximum DPR under optimal circumstances" - namely, against low AC opponents and with plenty of melee support - then I agree that the Rogue is probably better. (Partly because they can get their damage boost to all of their attacks when flanking, and partly because the Opportune Backstab the Leave An Opening feats are massive boosts to DPR with the appropriate melee support.)

    But that's only one metric (damage), and in one particular kind of situation. The Swashbuckler can get a large boost to their DPR with Attacks of Opportunity and Opportune Riposte even with no melee support, and deal substantial damage with One For All and Precise Finisher even against high AC opponents they can't hit. And damage aside, the Swashbuckler can do a number of things (maneuvers, defense, "agro") that the Rogue isn't great at.

    TLDR: Whether the Swashbuckler or the Rogue looks better is going to depend on what you're building for, and what the rest of your party is like. But there are a number of roles and party compositions combat roles in which the Swashbuckler is going to do better than a Rogue.

  • Liberty's Edge

    8 people marked this as a favorite.

    That example is flawed in several different ways.

    Most notably, the Swashbuckler lacks Skill Items for their Skills they use to gain Panache. That's...pretty bad, actually given that such items are commonly available and she should have +2 to all relevant skills at that level. Ignoring that makes the mechanical analysis actively counter to reality. Now, the Rogue would have these, too, but they're obviously much more relevant for the Swashbuckler.

    A Duelist Swashbuckler without Feat support is also, sadly, probably the single weakest Swashbuckler option while a Thief Rogue is probably strongest, after all most Swashbucklers inflict a debuff but you have this one doing the one that is redundant with flanking (which is as easy for them as a Rogue...maybe easier). A Braggart inflicts an additional -1 on enemy AC any time they gain Panache, just as one example. Goading Feint actually fixes this, making a Duelist quite solid, but not in a way that helps their offense (it's a potent defensive buff, though, and helps set up Opportune Riposte) and you assume it isn't actually used for some reason despite putting it on the build.

    You also assume the Swashbuckler doesn't start the battle with Panache and only analyze the first round...which is probably the worst round for the Swashbuckler under those circumstances. Heck, you don't even use Vexing Tumble, which allows moving and gaining Panache as a single action, so you're using the Rogue's action economy enhancers to your advantage but ignoring the Swashbuckler's as well as assuming the worst possible situation for the Swashbuckler.

    You also made a mechanical error in regards to Swashbuckler movement. They keep half their movement bonus (rounded down to the nearest five feet) even when they lack Panache, so that Swashbuckler should have 35 feet of movement...45 with Panache. This matters quite a bit. Especially since they could casually add Fleet on top of that (very relevant for things like Vexing Tumble that allow them to move half their speed).

    You also ignored the Deadly on the Swashbuckler's rapier, which, with a 1/4 chance to crit, is actually a pretty relevant damage bonus, though not an amazingly high one.

    You also just say 'On the other hand, the rogue is safely away.' which is just false in its implications. Nimble Roll (which is also a Swashbuckler Feat, by the way, so using a Rogue with it and a Swashbuckler without it to show a Rogue 'advantage' is odd), does allow the Rogue to avoid the second and third attacks of the foe...but the first does the lion's share of the damage.

    And, in point of fact, Swashbucklers love it when people try and use -10 attacks on them, and don't mind much when they use -5s. If they've set up Goading Feint and Buckler Dance, a -10 attack critically fails on a 10 or less, meaning it provokes an Opportune Riposte, while only hitting on a 20. That's a great attack for a Swashbuckler to receive. Even the -5 hits on a 16+ and crit fails on a 5 or less, so odds are about even whether they'll get hit or get an extra attack.

    Barbed Devils also get a free AoO on anyone who attacks them, so both of the people in question get targeted with another full attack every turn, making the percentage of damage the Rogue avoids by doing this even smaller, while the Swashbuckler's AC advantages (both real and artificial via Goading Feint), and extra HP, are more relevant.

    So...what does the Swashbuckler's turn actually look like? Assuming they lack Panache, they probably Vexing Tumble into melee and flanking, then if that doesn't work use Goading Feint, and if it does start their Buckler Dance, and then attack performing a finisher. They don't move because they don't want to, they're probably getting attacked twice either way and they'd love it if they got targeted with the third one, too.

    In future rounds after Buckler Dance is up, if they get Panache on their first try (probably generally a Goading Feint), they'll immediately use a Finisher and try for more Panache in some way with their third action, and can start using their mobility to deny the enemy multiple actions now that the enemy knows about the risks of critically failing on attacks against them.


    First of all, thanks for this long answer. I learned quite a bit, especially how to use Vexing Tumble. Like I said, I have no experience with a swashbuckler so I just assumed it was used, like a rogue mobility, to avoid AOO, without realizing it also gave a way to move AND get panache. That's very interesting.

    Deadmanwalking wrote:


    Most notably, the Swashbuckler lacks Skill Items for their Skills they use to gain Panache. That's...pretty bad, actually given that such items are commonly available and she should have +2 to all relevant skills at that level. Ignoring that makes the mechanical analysis actively counter to reality. Now, the Rogue would have these, too, but they're obviously much more relevant for the Swashbuckler.

    I agree, I should have given them skill items. A +2 is a big deal, but my point still stands: even with 24 acrobatics and 23 deception, you still fail a vexing tumble 25% of the time and a goading feint 50% of the time against the demon.

    Deadmanwalking wrote:


    A Duelist Swashbuckler without Feat support is also, sadly, probably the single weakest Swashbuckler option while a Thief Rogue is probably strongest, after all most Swashbucklers inflict a debuff but you have this one doing the one that is redundant with flanking (which is as easy for them as a Rogue...maybe easier). A Braggart inflicts an additional -1 on enemy AC any time they gain Panache, just as one example.

    I didn't mention the braggard, true, because feinting seemed better to me than demoralize: you either get the opponent flat-footed (hence +2 to hit) or you goad him and he gets -2 to hit you.

    But as a braggard, you would have +21 intimidate (+23 with a skill item) to beat 30 will. Again, it's a 35% chance it works.

    Deadmanwalking wrote:


    You also assume the Swashbuckler doesn't start the battle with Panache and only analyze the first round...which is probably the worst round for the Swashbuckler under those circumstances. Heck, you don't even use Vexing Tumble, which allows moving and gaining Panache as a single action, so you're using the Rogue's action economy enhancers to your advantage but ignoring the Swashbuckler's as well as assuming the worst possible situation for the Swashbuckler.

    My bad about Vexing Tumble, I'll keep that in mind.

    However, please remember that the first round is ALSO bad for the rogue who didn't put his debilitation yet. Once it's done, it's a free +2d6 damage per attack, or a -1 to hit cumulative with other debuffs.

    Quote:


    You also just say 'On the other hand, the rogue is safely away.' which is just false in its implications. Nimble Roll (which is also a Swashbuckler Feat, by the way, so using a Rogue with it and a Swashbuckler without it to show a Rogue 'advantage' is odd), does allow the Rogue to avoid the second and third attacks of the foe...but the first does the lion's share of the damage.

    Well, the swashbuckler could have it, but would he take it since nimble dodge (the prerequisite) isn't cumulative with buckler dance, and he'll probably want his reaction available for riposte or charmed life. But sure, he could get it. However, he would also get an AOO from the mob if he were to use it since it's specifically a stride. Only the rogue with mobility can really take advantage of this.

    However, this was a very interesting answer. I didn't think the swashbuckler would try to stand toe-to-toe with a monster; since his mobility is vaunted, I thought it would be more of a hit and run. I see I was mistaken. Also, I didn't see the value of vexing tumble.

    Liberty's Edge

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Blue_frog wrote:
    First of all, thanks for this long answer. I learned quite a bit, especially how to use Vexing Tumble. Like I said, I have no experience with a swashbuckler so I just assumed it was used, like a rogue mobility, to avoid AOO, without realizing it also gave a way to move AND get panache. That's very interesting.

    No problem. Happy to be of assistance. There are a lot of additional ways to gain Panache in the Swashbuckler Feats and making sure you have some good ones is an important part of building an effective Swashbuckler.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    I agree, I should have given them skill items. A +2 is a big deal, but my point still stands: even with 24 acrobatics and 23 deception, you still fail a vexing tumble 25% of the time and a goading feint 50% of the time against the demon.

    Sure, but if you try both, their success chances are effectively cumulative. And, in fact, since both are vs. DC 30, the chances of success are 75% on the Vexing Tumble and 70% on the Feint...which makes for a total odds that one of them succeeds of 92.5%. That's not a sure thing, but it's good odds.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    I didn't mention the braggard, true, because feinting seemed better to me than demoralize: you either get the opponent flat-footed (hence +2 to hit) or you goad him and he gets -2 to hit you.

    True, in isolation. But if you get flanking, the Feint becomes a total of -2 AC, -2 to-hit on the enemy, while the Demoralize becomes a total of -3 AC, -1 to everything else for the enemy. Both are good, but Braggart is better offensively while Duelist is better defensively.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    But as a braggard, you would have +21 intimidate (+23 with a skill item) to beat 30 will. Again, it's a 35% chance it works.

    Uh...that's a 7 or better, which makes for a 70% chance of it working, just like the Feint.

    Blue_frog wrote:

    My bad about Vexing Tumble, I'll keep that in mind.

    However, please remember that the first round is ALSO bad for the rogue who didn't put his debilitation yet. Once it's done, it's a free +2d6 damage per attack, or a -1 to hit cumulative with other debuffs.

    Totally true. I do think it's worse for the Swashbuckler than the Rogue, though I suppose I could be mistaken.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    Well, the swashbuckler could have it, but would he take it since nimble dodge (the prerequisite) isn't cumulative with buckler dance, and he'll probably want his reaction available for riposte or charmed life. But sure, he could get it. However, he would also get an AOO from the mob if he were to use it since it's specifically a stride. Only the rogue with mobility can really take advantage of this.

    Fair enough, this trick is probably better for most Rogues than it is for most Swashbucklers.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    However, this was a very interesting answer. I didn't think the swashbuckler would try to stand toe-to-toe with a monster; since his mobility is vaunted, I thought it would be more of a hit and run. I see I was mistaken. Also, I didn't see the value of vexing tumble.

    Depends on circumstances. With greater movement they certainly can dart in and out, and probably should vs. slow foes who are busy beating on their Paladin friend, but provoking at-level or lower monsters into trying attacks at -10 (so you can riposte against them) is also a pretty solid strategy if you have AC buffs going (and the Swashbuckler build you posted is very defensive, having invested three Feats into upping AC in one way or another).


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Also, getting the enemy Flat-Footed (before level 14) is not that easy for a Rogue. Of course (and luckily) it happens often. But it is highly party dependent (a Monk using his mobility to avoid damage will rarely give you the flank). And the messier the fight and the harder it is to get it (and tough fights tend to be messier).
    I've seen Rogues attacking enemies without the Flat-Footed bonus more than once, I've seen Rogues delaying to get the Flat-Footed bonus more than once. It is far from a given.

    The Swashbuckler ways of getting Panache are more random than the way the Rogue gets Flat-Footed but they are also always on. And you can retry if you ever fail and use the Panache for the next round so even when the dice are not with you you'll get Panache eventually.

    And it also looks like you forgot one thing in your analysis: Confident Finisher does half damage on failure. It's a pretty big deal.


    I mean, if I were playing a Swashbuckler, I'd probably always be using After You. Going last is a small price to pay for always starting an encounter with Panache.

    As was noted above, keeping Panache with Finishing Follow-Through is good too.

    "Finishing Follow-Through Feat 2
    Swashbuckler
    Source Advanced Player's Guide pg. 89
    Finishing a foe maintains your swagger. You gain panache if your finisher brings the target to 0 HP (or brings the highest-level target to 0 HP, if your finisher attacks multiple targets)."

    Wit Swashbuckler would be my choice. Bon Mot is a fantastic skill feat to use and it gets you Panache if you succeed, which is probably one of the easier ways to gain Panache. Plus up to -3 on Will Saves and Perception checks on a foe for a minute? Yes please.

    It also lets One for All be an option for gaining Panache while helping an ally, though it needs a decently high roll.

    SuperBidi wrote:
    And it also looks like you forgot one thing in your analysis: Confident Finisher does half damage on failure. It's a pretty big deal.

    And if you take Precise Finisher, Confident Finisher does full damage on a failure.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Mewzard wrote:
    And if you take Precise Finisher, Confident Finisher does full damage on a failure.

    No, only the Precise Strike damage (which is a nice portion of a Finisher anyway).


    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    And, in fact, since both are vs. DC 30, the chances of success are 75% on the Vexing Tumble and 70% on the Feint...which makes for a total odds that one of them succeeds of 92.5%. That's not a sure thing, but it's good odds.

    The demon has a 34 perception DC so the feint has more chance to fail, but I see your point.

    Deadmanwalking wrote:


    Uh...that's a 7 or better, which makes for a 70% chance of it working, just like the Feint.

    Whops, my bad, meant the other way round ^^

    SuperBidi wrote:
    And it also looks like you forgot one thing in your analysis: Confident Finisher does half damage on failure. It's a pretty big deal.

    Well, I thought bleeding finisher was way more interesting, but I might be mistaken - especially against a high AC monster.

    Mewzard wrote:


    Wit Swashbuckler would be my choice. Bon Mot is a fantastic skill feat to use and it gets you Panache if you succeed, which is probably one of the easier ways to gain Panache. Plus up to -3 on Will Saves and Perception checks on a foe for a minute? Yes please.

    It also lets One for All be an option for gaining Panache while helping an ally, though it needs a decently high roll.

    Upon reading it, I thought the exact opposite: Wit seems to be the weakest of all swashbucklers, which is a shame since it was the one I was excited about the most.

    Bon Mot has the Linguistic tag ("An effect with this trait depends on language comprehension. A linguistic effect that targets a creature works only if the target understands the language you are using.").

    This means it doesn't work against all beasts and animals, and against all monster that don't speak your language.

    Also, the debuff is pretty heavy but if I understand correctly, the opponent can sacrifice an action to take the debuff away. An action for an action is a good tradeoff against a boss, less against a mook.

    OTOH, there is no immunity after being victim of Bon Mot, and the level 9 finisher effect of the Wit Swashbuckler is probably the best of all (-2 to attack against you, no string attached).


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    SuperBidi wrote:
    Mewzard wrote:
    And if you take Precise Finisher, Confident Finisher does full damage on a failure.
    No, only the Precise Strike damage (which is a nice portion of a Finisher anyway).

    Yeah, full Finisher damage, which is what I meant.

    Blue_frog wrote:

    Upon reading it, I thought the exact opposite: Wit seems to be the weakest of all swashbucklers, which is a shame since it was the one I was excited about the most.

    Bon Mot has the Linguistic tag ("An effect with this trait depends on language comprehension. A linguistic effect that targets a creature works only if the target understands the language you are using.").

    This means it doesn't work against all beasts and animals, and against all monster that don't speak your language.

    Also, the debuff is pretty heavy but if I understand correctly, the opponent can sacrifice an action to take the debuff away. An action for an action is a good tradeoff against a boss, less against a mook.

    OTOH, there is no immunity after being victim of Bon Mot, and the level 9 finisher effect of the Wit Swashbuckler is probably the best of all (-2 to attack against you, no string attached).

    You could always grab Multilingual, one skill feat for two languages known can minimize those who would be immune (especially handy if you know what common enemies you can expect to face).

    Also, yeah, making a boss give up actions to not be suffering big will debuffs is handy (plus, every time it's used, you get Panache back on a success). Also, perhaps less importantly to some, but great to me is that the enemy needs to retort your insult. We're going full Monkey Island Insult Sword Fighting, and I love it.

    That -2 for the finisher effect is so good, and makes you all the more likely to end up in a scenario where you can take an Opportune Riposte.

    Liberty's Edge

    Blue_frog wrote:
    The demon has a 34 perception DC so the feint has more chance to fail, but I see your point.

    My bad, there. Still, the two are cumulatively an 87.5% chance even then.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    Whops, my bad, meant the other way round ^^

    Check. Just saying that the odds are good.

    Blue_frog wrote:
    Well, I thought bleeding finisher was way more interesting, but I might be mistaken - especially against a high AC monster.

    Bleeding finisher is sweet, but yeah, vs. high AC enemies Confident can be a better choice. I actually think it's probably not vs. the Barbed Devil, who you can hit on a 6.

    Blue_frog wrote:

    Upon reading it, I thought the exact opposite: Wit seems to be the weakest of all swashbucklers, which is a shame since it was the one I was excited about the most.

    Bon Mot has the Linguistic tag ("An effect with this trait depends on language comprehension. A linguistic effect that targets a creature works only if the target understands the language you are using.").

    This means it doesn't work against all beasts and animals, and against all monster that don't speak your language.

    Also, the debuff is pretty heavy but if I understand correctly, the opponent can sacrifice an action to take the debuff away. An action for an action is a good tradeoff against a boss, less against a mook.

    OTOH, there is no immunity after being victim of Bon Mot, and the level 9 finisher effect of the Wit Swashbuckler is probably the best of all (-2 to attack against you, no string attached).

    Wit is the Swashbuckler that plays best with others. They're very likely to succeed at Bon Mot, and will be doing it a lot, and that allows any allies with effects that target Will Save to really wreck whoever they're using it on.

    It probably is the weakest in complete isolation (at least until 9th level, where as noted the effect is great), but -2 or -3 to Will Saves verges on broken if you have someone else to take advantage of it.


    What's really nice for high level Swashbuckers is that at level 19, all Finishers and Opportune Riposte get the failure effect of Confident Finisher (including Precise Finisher), so they're doing damage a lot of the time even against hard to hit foes.

    Let's not forget they're the only class that gets Expanded Crit if I'm not mistaken:

    "Keen Flair Level 15
    You inflict particularly devastating attacks on even well-defended foes. When you Strike with a weapon or unarmed attack with which you have master proficiency, if you roll a 19 on the die and the roll is a success, you critically succeed instead."

    More Crits are always good in my book.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.

    What game are you playing? It's way way easier to get flat-footed than Panache. Panache always requires you spend an action and roll a successful skill check, whereas if you move around an enemy to flank them, you require no rolls, and that flank can potentially continue on into the next turn. In the worst-case scenario for a Rogue, they can roll to Feint, which is equivalent to what a Swashbuckler would have to do. In the best-case (typical case) scenario for a Rogue, they take feats like Dread Striker and Gang Up, so they almost always have their opponent flat-footed without any actions or rolls at all.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Bleeding finisher is sweet, but yeah, vs. high AC enemies Confident can be a better choice. I actually think it's probably not vs. the Barbed Devil, who you can hit on a 6.

    Finishers have to be your last attack, and making 2 attacks in a round is in general a good idea. So, I can't run the number on Citricking's tool as he doesn't have the Swashbuckler yet, but I think using a Confident Finisher (maybe even with Precise Finisher) on your second attack will give you the maximum amount of damage from these 2 attacks.

    Also, due to the extra dice of damage Swashbuckler has over Rogue, you deal as much extra damage with 2 attacks (one with the +1s and one with the +1d6s) than the extra damage from 2 Sneak Attacks.

    It's a bit hard to run all the numbers considering the complexity of the new Swashbuckler, but at first glance it looks pretty neat and balanced.
    Actually, I even think it's a class that can be quite abused.
    Investigator Dedication for Devise a Stratagem looks crazy good on the Swashbuckler, as you have very different strategies between a nat 20, a success and a failure.
    And you can also make a Strength Swashbuckler. Ok, you lose a bit on your main attribute, but having both a Greatsword and sharp teeth allows you to switch between normal attacks and finishers. So you don't have the limitation of the Dexterity Swashbuckler who doesn't deal damage without a finisher.


    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Swashbuckler is much more mobile than Rogue is, more durable due to extra HP and potentially bonuses on Saves, and as built-in incentives to use debuff non-attack actions like Demoralize (or Feint, or whatever) every round. It also occasionally gets a solid DPR buff from Opportune Riposte, which is worth noting.

    How can you say they're more mobile when they're wasting so many actions gaining back panache? If you compare Swashbuckler to a Rogue, the Swashbuckler is going to spend an action to gain panache, whereas the Rogue is just going to spend that action to move around and flank the enemy instead. Who moved more in that scenario? You think that a measly +10 speed makes you faster when you sacrificed a potential move action to get it?

    Liberty's Edge

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Strill wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.
    What game are you playing? It's way way easier to get flat-footed than Panache. Panache always requires you spend an action, whereas if you move around an enemy to flank them, that flank can potentially continue on into the next turn. Panache always requires you pass a skill check, whereas Flat-footed does not always require that. In the worst-case scenario for a Rogue, they can roll to Feint, which is equivalent to what a Swashbuckler would have to do. In the best-case (typical case) scenario for a Rogue, they take feats like Dread Striker and Gang Up, so they don't even have to spend an action or roll at all to get Flat-footed.

    I don't know what your table plays like, but it's clearly very different from my own because keeping Flat-Footed on a PC or NPC for more than half an initiative round without MULTIPLE characters spending actions to make it happen is extremely challenging.

    Does your group just move into melee and the martials & monsters just turret on one another until combat ends? Flat-Footed is one of the easiest conditions to clear or avoid unless you're being MAJORLY focused to the point where your attackers have dropped their own defenses.

    Beyond that, you're trying to say that the Swashbuckler having to spend an action to get Panache is somehow more taxing than needing to maintain constant pinpoint tactical positioning and teamwork. It doesn't add up to me.


    Themetricsystem wrote:
    Strill wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.
    What game are you playing? It's way way easier to get flat-footed than Panache. Panache always requires you spend an action, whereas if you move around an enemy to flank them, that flank can potentially continue on into the next turn. Panache always requires you pass a skill check, whereas Flat-footed does not always require that. In the worst-case scenario for a Rogue, they can roll to Feint, which is equivalent to what a Swashbuckler would have to do. In the best-case (typical case) scenario for a Rogue, they take feats like Dread Striker and Gang Up, so they don't even have to spend an action or roll at all to get Flat-footed.

    I don't know what your table plays like, but it's clearly very different from my own because keeping Flat-Footed on a PC or NPC for more than half an initiative round without MULTIPLE characters spending actions to make it happen is extremely challenging.

    Does your group just move into melee and the martials & monsters just turret on one another until combat ends? Flat-Footed is one of the easiest conditions to clear or avoid unless you're being MAJORLY focused to the point where your attackers have dropped their own defenses.

    Beyond that, you're trying to say that the Swashbuckler having to spend an action to get Panache is somehow more taxing than needing to maintain constant pinpoint tactical positioning and teamwork. It doesn't add up to me.

    What pinpoint tactical positioning? Have you looked at Rogue feats? They make it trivial to maintain flat-footed.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Well, frightened takes an action to inflict and "gang up" doesn't function with hit and run tactics from your melee buddies.

    "After You" makes gaining Panache literally free.


    Quandary wrote:
    I don't really like the "Swash has incentive to Feint, Demoralize, etc" line... Because so does the Rogue, when they can't get FF any other way,

    When would a Rogue not be able to get flat-footed in any other way? Is there some enemy that knocks the party back every round to invalidate gang-up?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Strill wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    It's easier to get Panache than it is to inflict Flat-Footed, FWIW.
    What game are you playing? It's way way easier to get flat-footed than Panache. Panache always requires you spend an action and roll a successful skill check, whereas if you move around an enemy to flank them, you require no rolls, and that flank can potentially continue on into the next turn. In the worst-case scenario for a Rogue, they can roll to Feint, which is equivalent to what a Swashbuckler would have to do. In the best-case (typical case) scenario for a Rogue, they take feats like Dread Striker and Gang Up, so they almost always have their opponent flat-footed without any actions or rolls at all.

    Always requires an action and a successful skill check? After You lets you always start with Panache by simply choosing to go last.

    If you have Finishing Follow-Through, then taking out a foe with a Finisher means you never lose Panache in the first place.


    i do not believe that Swash can compete with rogue in pure damage.

    so, then the question changes to what he can offer instead of raw damage, and that actually gives a lot of answers filling slots that rogue cannot fill:

    imo, maybe the most powerful feature of Swash is Derring-do at 10, as a basic example Wit Swash's can give up to +4 to an ally attack (or Ac vs 1st attack, or skill check), with 1 action, at range, and they get to roll twice at +4 to achieve that. With another action he rerolls twice (albeit only at +1) to offer up to -3 to will saves until opponent spends an action.

    same thing with rolling twice for critical Intimidation for braggards (maybe alongside stuff like Antagonise and goading for a trully "antagonise tank" of old). Forceopponents to attack you with penalties and capitalise on your counterattack. Finishers here should almost only be used to refresh intimidates imo, and secondary for the bit extra damage.

    and that also applies for Athletes having the ability to roll twice on their maneuvers. Although here finishers do add a substantial amount of damage.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Well, frightened takes an action to inflict and "gang up" doesn't function with hit and run tactics from your melee buddies.

    What do hit & run tactics accomplish? They make the enemy spend one action to move towards your team? And in exchange you're sacrificing two actions from each of your melee characters, plus some more actions from your ranged characters whenever they end up too close? So with two melee characters, that's a sacrifice of four actions per round minimum, maybe 5 or 6 actions if some ranged are out of position, and in exchange you eliminate one action of the enemy's? And that only works if the enemy doesn't have Attack of Opportunity or a ranged attack? That's a poor trade on your team's part. Can you not think of any other way of eliminating the enemy's actions?

    As far as Frightened is concerned, it can be inflicted by a caster, whose third action is worth less than a a martial character's. Frightened depends on team composition, but it's one of multiple options for Rogues to get free flat-footed, which is my point. Between all the different ways, Rogues don't have to worry about flat-footed.

    Quote:
    "After You" makes gaining Panache literally free.

    After You is garbage. If your initiative modifier is equal to the enemies', then Sacrificing initiative is equivalent to sacrificing half a turn's worth of actions on average, or more actions if your initiative was better than the enemies'. That's not worth gaining panache.


    Mewzard wrote:
    Always requires an action and a successful skill check? After You lets you always start with Panache by simply choosing to go last.

    Initiative is worth about half a turn's worth of actions on average, if all initiative modifiers are the same. If your initiative modifier is superior, you're sacrificing even more actions on average. After You is a net loss in action economy.

    Quote:
    If you have Finishing Follow-Through, then taking out a foe with a Finisher means you never lose Panache in the first place.

    If there were other ways to get free panache throughout the fight, I might give that feat some credit, but on its own, it's too unreliable to compare to Gang Up, and the Rogue's other free flat-footed options.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Strill wrote:
    What do hit & run tactics accomplish?

    Do you never play with monks? A monk can spend one action to enter melee, one action to hit you twice (possibly inflicting slow or stunned or prone), and then one action to get so far away from you that you would take 2 or more actions to reach them.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Strill wrote:
    What do hit & run tactics accomplish?
    Do you never play with monks? A monk can spend one action to enter melee, one action to hit you twice (possibly inflicting slow or stunned or prone), and then one action to get so far away from you that you would take 2 or more actions to reach them.

    In a 1-player game, that works fine, but if you have a party of four players, it doesn't matter how far away the monk is, it matters how far the closest party member is. The whole party has to be two strides away for that tactic to waste two of the opponents' actions instead of one.

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Strill wrote:
    How can you say they're more mobile when they're wasting so many actions gaining back panache?

    Well, firstly, they're certainly more mobile per action they spend on movement since their movement rate is just higher.

    Secondly, they only usually need to make one attack, which means that their other two are free for other stuff...if one gains Panache, that leaves a third for movement.

    Thirdly, as was noted in my longer posts above, Vexing Tumbler is an excellent example of an action that both moves you, and gains you Panache. But in fact, that's true even without that Feat because Tumble Through is another way all Swashbucklers can gain Panache and involves moving your speed. So...you can literally move your speed as part of the action to gain you Panache.

    Strill wrote:
    If you compare Swashbuckler to a Rogue, the Swashbuckler is going to spend an action to gain panache, whereas the Rogue is just going to spend that action to move around and flank the enemy instead. Who moved more in that scenario? You think that a measly +10 speed makes you faster when you sacrificed a potential move action to get it?

    Is the Rogue spending two actions moving? No? Then they're not more mobile. Heck, even if they are they aren't more mobile if the Swashbuckler wants to move.

    A lot of the time, both will probably spend similar numbers of actions moving if the Swashbuckler prefers, say, Feinting to using Tumble Through...but the option to move with your Panache gain action is always there, and they often have a third action to move as well, both of which will have a meaningful speed buff over a Rogue.

    So a Swashbuckler can, when they desire, spend two actions moving, probably gain Panache, and attack all in the same round pretty readily. That's more mobile than a Rogue can be and get two attacks, and past the very earliest levels they need two attacks to match the Swashbuckler's finisher damage.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Strill wrote:
    After You is garbage. If your initiative modifier is equal to the enemies', then Sacrificing initiative is equivalent to sacrificing half a turn's worth of actions on average, or more actions if your initiative was better than the enemies'. That's not worth gaining panache.

    So, 1.5 actions on average in a vacuum. Getting Panache costs some number of actions on average greater than one, but success generally comes with some advantage, so we'll call that one action. So what about that remaining .5 actions you're apparently throwing away? For risk-averse people like me, spending a theoretical half-action to avoid a couple gambles is a good deal. Having panache is fun, so I'm going to guarantee that I start every combat with something fun.

    If the enemy is more than one move away at the start of combat, After You is pretty much always a good idea. You'll get guaranteed extra movement, and they might move closer. If you save one action that would be spent on moving, After You has just become +0.5 actions.

    If you've got a buff character on your team, there's some value in going after them.

    If the enemy is ranged and you're within one move of them when initiative is rolled, sure- pass on using After You. Your first turn can be move up, try for panache, and stab.

    (And, of course, After You means that to the limited extent possible, you can "dump" initiative. It doesn't give you much, but you can pick a more useful exploration activity than always stealthing around to get Dex to initiative.)

    1 to 50 of 88 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Is the rogue a better swashbuckler than the swashbuckler ? All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.