View Full Version : [3.5] Alternate Swashbuckler - NOT MINE

2010-05-04, 01:13 PM

I found this on the WotC boards about 3 years, and I liked it a lot, so I saved it. I didn't save the name of the author, and I can't find any record of this on the internet (otherwise, I wouldn't be making this post).

Now, I want your opinion: is this class overpowered or not? Is it too weak, well balanced, breakable (i.e. a munchkin could abuse it), or broken (i.e. a 3-year old could abuse it)? If my DM allows it, I would play this in the next campaign, but I won't even ask him if I feel the class is too powerful and will overshadow the rest of the party.

Now, it is quite obviously more powerful than the regular swashbuckler, but in my opinion, the regular swashbuckler is no good at all, and I'm in a high-power campaign that includes psionics, so keep that in mind.

Alternate Swashbuckler:

Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence are very important to swashbucklers, who rely on their agility and wits to protect them in combat, and to augment many of their skills Charisma is frequently an important ability for swashbucklers, who are often portrayed as a dashing, suave individual out to woo members of the opposite sex. Strength can be important to any melee combatant.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Gold: 5d4x10

lvl BAB F R W Class Abilities
1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Swashbuckler’s Style, Dodge +1 / 1 opponent, Weapon Finesse
2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Riposte
3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Swashbuckler’s Guile +1d6, Insightful Strike
4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Bonus Feat
5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Dodge +2 / 2 opponents
6 +6 +5 +5 +2 Uncanny Dodge, Celerity
7 +7 +5 +5 +2 Swashbuckler’s Guile +2d6
8 +8 +6 +6 +2 Bonus Feat
9 +9 +6 +6 +3 Dodge +3 / 3 opponents, Movement Mastery
10 +10 +7 +7 +3 Thousand Cuts (1 round), Acrobatic Charge, Elaborate Parry
11 +11 +7 +7 +3 Swashbuckler’s Guile +3d6, Improved Celerity
12 +12 +8 +8 +4 Bonus Feat
13 +13 +8 +8 +4 Dodge +4 / 4 opponents
14 +14 +9 +9 +4 Thousand Cuts (2 rounds)
15 +15 +9 +9 +5 Swashbuckler’s Guile +4d6
16 +16 +10 +10 +5 Bonus Feat, Greater Celerity
17 +17 +10 +10 +5 Dodge +5 / 5 opponents, Thousand Cuts (4 rounds)
18 +18 +11 +11 +6 Weakening Critical
19 +19 +11 +11 +6 Swashbuckler’s Guile +5d6
20 +20 +12 +12 +6 Bonus Feat
Class Skills
The swashbuckler’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are appraise (int), balance (dex), bluff (cha), climb (str), craft (int), diplomacy (cha), disguise (cha), escape artist (dex), gather information (cha), handle animal (cha), intimidate (cha), jump (str), knowledge (nobility and royalty)(int), knowledge (local)(int), perform (cha), ride (dex), search (int), sense motive (wis), spot (wis), swim (str), tumble (dex), and use rope (dex)

See Player’s Handbook Chapter 4: Skills for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Class Features
All the following are class features of the swashbuckler.
Weapon and Armor proficiency: Swashbucklers have proficiency with Basic Weapons Group and three other weapon groups of their choice. They are proficient with light armor and bucklers, but not with any other armor or shields.

Swashbuckler’s Style: Many of a swashbuckler’s class abilities are only available when they fight in a certain way. All class features are accessible when she uses a one-handed piercing weapon or any light weapon.

Weapon Use: If she uses a two-handed grip on a weapon, she does not gain any bonuses from Swashbuckler’s Guile, Insightful Strike, Celerity, Elaborate Parry and Thousand Cuts.

Armor Use: Whenever a swashbuckler uses a shield other than a buckler or wears armor heavier than light, she loses access to Dodge, Swashbuckler’s Guile, Insightful Strike, Celerity, Canny Defense, Movement Mastery, Elaborate Parry, and Thousand Cuts.

Dodge: Swashbucklers learn to dodge many foes in the chaos of melee. She may designate a foe once per round as a free action. Against the designated foe, she receives a +1 dodge bonus to armor class. As a swashbuckler advances in level, her mastery of dodging blows in combat increases. At level 5, she may designate 2 foes and she gains a +2 dodge bonus to armor class against both designated foes. At level 9, this becomes 3 foes and a +3 dodge bonus to armor class. At level 13, this becomes 4 foes and a +4 dodge bonus to armor class. At level 17, this becomes 5 foes and a +5 dodge bonus to armor class. This ability counts as having the feat ‘dodge’ for the purposes of meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

Weapon Finesse: Swashbucklers receive weapon finesse as a bonus feat.

Riposte: A 2nd level swashbuckler learns the art of the riposte; the ability to counter-strike when an opponent misses. If all of an opponent’s attempts to hit the swashbuckler during its turn miss, that opponent provokes an attack of opportunity that the swashbuckler (and only the swashbuckler) may take.

Swashbuckler’s Guile: At level 3, the swashbuckler learns to fight more effectively while making various cinematic moves. She adds 1d6 damage to any successful attacks if she meets the following criteria in that round:
She makes a successful tumble check to avoid attacks of opportunity (remember, counter-tumble rules are in effect, see below);
She makes a successful balance check if she is standing on a surface that requires one (such as a slippery slope or the pitching deck of a ship);
She makes a successful long jump of at least 10 feet;
She makes a successful high jump of at least 3 feet;
She makes a successful climb check to move along a surface she is climbing;
She makes a successful bluff check to feint in combat;
She makes a successful intimidate check to cower an opponent;
She makes a successful disarm attempt;
She makes a successful trip attempt;
She intentionally drops down a distance greater than 10 ft. before striking her opponent.
She successfully strikes her opponent when making a riposte (see above).
The swashbuckler is encouraged to engage in appropriately cinematic moves to meet one or more of these criteria.

This counts as precision damage and does not apply to opponents that are not affected by other forms of precision damage (such as sneak attack). Thus, undead, oozes, plants, creatures immune to critical hits, and creatures without discernable anatomies are immune to this bonus damage.

She gains an extra 1d6 of damage at levels 7, 11, 15, and 19.

A swashbuckler may also forego this precision damage in order to gain a bonus to hit. She may choose to “lose” a die of Swashbuckler’s Guile damage until the beginning of her next turn. For each die she chooses to lose, she gains a +2 insight bonus to hit until the beginning of her next turn.

Sidebar: “Appropriately cinematic moves”
A swashbuckler that feints in combat, tumbles past an opponent, is fighting while climbing a ship’s rigging, or jumps down from the top of a moving carriage onto an opponent is engaging in “appropriately cinematic moves” and meets the criteria for Swashbuckler’s Guile. A swashbuckler that stands in one place making 3 ft. high jumps is not engaging in “appropriately cinematic moves” and is unlikely to meet the criteria for Swashbuckler’s Guile. As always, DM discretion is advised.

Insightful Strike (ex): Beginning at level 3, a swashbuckler may add her intelligence bonus (up to her class level) to the damage with any melee attack or thrown weapon attack.

Bonus Feats: Beginning at level 4, and at every 4 levels after, a swashbuckler gains a bonus feat from the following list:

Player’s Handbook: Acrobatic, Agile, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, Whirlwind Attack), Combat Reflexes, (Mobility, Spring Attack), Endurance, Diehard, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Investigator, Mounted Combat (Mounted Archery, Ride-By-Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample), Negotiator, Persuasive, Point Blank Shot (Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Shot on the Run, Improved Precise Shot), Quick Draw, Run, Weapon Focus)

Complete Warrior: Close Quarters Fighting, Defensive Strike, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Fleet of Foot, Hamstring, Improved Combat Expertise, Karmic Strike, Prone Attack, Ranged Pin, Throw Anything

Player’s Handbook II: Acrobatic Strike, Bounding Assault, Rapid Blitz, Combat Acrobat, Combat Tactician, Defensive Sweep, Fade into Violence, Leap of the Heavens, Robilar’s Gambit, Telling Blow, Tumbling Feint

Complete Adventurer: Combat Intuition, Danger Sense, Deft Opportunist, Dive for Cover, Expert Tactician, Force of Personality, Goad, Jack of All Trades, Quick Reconnoiter, Staggering Strike

Complete Scoundrel: Daring Outlaw

Note: All feats with sneak attack, skirmish, or sudden strike as a prerequisite may instead use Swashbuckler’s Guile to qualify for that feat.

Canny Defense (ex): At level 5, the swashbuckler may add her intelligence modifier (up to her class level) as a dodge bonus to armor class.

Celerity (ex): At 6th level, swashbucklers become more practiced at using Swashbuckler’s Guile. When she meets the criteria for Swashbuckler’s Guile, the swashbuckler may make a single extra attack that round at –5 to hit. When she uses this ability, she may not make more attacks than her base attack bonus would normally allow.

Uncanny Dodge: At 6th level, the swashbuckler reacts to danger with uncanny swiftness. She retains her dexterity modifier to armor class even when flat-footed… blah, blah, blah.

Movement Mastery: At 9th level, the swashbuckler’s acrobatic style becomes second nature. She can take 10 on balance, climb, jump, and tumble checks even when distracted or threatened. She retains her dexterity bonus to armor class when balancing or climbing.

Acrobatic Charge: At 10th level, the swashbuckler is no longer impeded by rough terrain that would normally slow her movement.

Elaborate Parry: At level 10, the swashbuckler learns to fight defensively better. Her bonus to AC when fighting defensively increases by +4.

Improved Celerity: At level 11, when the swashbuckler gains an extra attack due to her Celerity class feature, she may make a second additional attack, but this one is at –10 to hit.

Thousand Cuts: At level 14, a swashbuckler’s skill with her weapon allows her to increase the number of attacks she may make. Any time she successfully meets the criteria for Swashbuckler’s Guile, she may double the number of attacks she may make that round. She can use it for two rounds per encounter, though they need not be consecutive rounds. Swashbuckler’s Guile applies to each successful hit as normal. The extra attacks granted by her Celerity class feature can be doubled, but the extra attacks from other sources, such as haste, are added after the doubling occurs. At the end of the encounter she is fatigued until she can take 10 minutes of non-strenuous activity.

Greater Celerity: At level 16, when the swashbuckler gains an extra attack due to her Celerity class feature, she may make a third additional attack, but this one is at –15 to hit.

Thousand Cuts (su): At level 17, a swashbuckler’s Thousand Cuts ability increases to four rounds per encounter.

Weakening Critical: At level 18, when a swashbuckler threatens a critical hit, she gains a +4 bonus to the confirmation roll**. If she confirms the critical, she may choose to deal 2 strength or constitution damage in addition to dealing critical damage.

This counts as precision damage and does not apply to opponents that are not affected by other forms of precision damage (such as Swashbuckler’s Guile). Thus, undead, oozes, plants, creatures immune to critical hits, and creatures without discernable anatomies are immune to this bonus damage.

2010-05-04, 01:24 PM
Ah. Otto the Bugbear's old work.

He's pretty reliable, if my memory serves.

You can find his work here. (http://sites.google.com/site/dsenchuk/home)

I was actually a critique-giver and contributor to this particular project back when I went by Gideon_Gideonson (I helped with the Fighter, Hexblade, Barbarian, and Swashbuckler), and can vouch for a LOT of work being done on them. They were made prior to ToB, so might not stand up to those or the Tier 1 & 2 classes, but they shouldn't be overpowered.

2010-05-04, 02:23 PM
Ah, and there it is. Strange that google failed me.

That's quite an impressive list of changes, but is this Swashbuckler balanced on its own, when playing against regular 3.5 characters? I feel that in particular, Dodge and Thousand Cuts might be a little too powerful. I guess it depends on what is "appropriately cinematic". If the DM allows this to be triggered too often, the class might be a little too powerful.

But I trust that a lot of work was put into it.

2010-05-04, 02:30 PM
Consider Dodge to be similar to the Monk's AC bonus: a way to make up for a sub-standard AC in a front lines combat class.

Thousand Cuts is only 1-4/encounter. Even then, it's only particularly useful on a full attack, and really will rarely turn the tide of a fight (in reality, it usually will equate to 1-3 more attacks hitting). Tome of Battle and spells are both more useful.

It should remain balanced against other 3.5 classes.