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    Default Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    So the Swashbuckler has a big problem, very similar in nature to most non-casting classes in D&D 3.5: It's labeled as a full class, but lacks the features necessary to compete. While it has a couple of really neat features, they're spread too thinly across 20 levels for the class to be competitive. This results in it being a 3 level dip for add int to damage, and nothing more. This is an attempt to fix that.

    The core of the fix is to condense all of the major features and feel of the swashbuckler into a 5 level prestige class. It gains a new feature, and a couple of features got buffed, on the other hand, Insightful Strike got nerfed some (now replacing strength rather than adding to it, making the quick dip for bonus damage less attractive, but making the class still desirable for a high intelligence fighter type).

    This prestige class is intended to mesh well with a revamped duelist which I am also working on and will post soon, so between the two someone could play a int/dex focused melee character and be somewhat competent, as opposed to the failure that the concept is in RAW.


    Swashbuckler

    Becoming a Swashbuckler
    Entry Requirements
    Skills: Jump 5 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks
    Feats: Weapon Finesse, Dodge
    BAB: +5
    Proficiency: Must be proficient in at least one martial or exotic light or one handed weapon.


    Swashbuckler
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Grace +1, Insightful Strike
    2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Acrobatic Charge, Improved Flanking, Lucky
    3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Grace+2, Weakening Critical, Acrobatic Skill Mastery
    4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Wounding Critical, Slippery Mind
    5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Grace+3, Supreme Critical

    Hit Die: d10
    Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level.)
    Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information(Cha), Hide(Dex), Intimidate(Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).


    Class Features
    The following are class features of the Swashbuckler

    Grace (Ex): The Swashbuckler gains a +1 competence bonus to reflex saves and AC at first level. This bonus increases by 1 for every two levels of Swashbuckler she possesses. The swashbuckler may apply 5 times this bonus as a bonus to all Tumbling and Jump checks. A swashbuckler loses this bonus while wearing medium or heavy armor, or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

    Insightful Strike (Ex)
    A swashbuckler is able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. She may choose to apply her intelligence bonus instead of her strength bonus to damage with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that may be used with Weapon Finesse, such as a Rapier or Whip. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor, or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

    At third level, the swashbuckler gains the ability to retain half of his strength modifier to damage, in addition to his intelligence modifier. At 5th level, this is improved again, allowing the swashbuckler to retain their full strength bonus in addition to the intelligence modifier.

    Acrobatic Charge (Ex)
    A swashbuckler of second level can charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking her path. This ability enables her to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, or to stumble over tables to get to her target. Depending on circumstance she may still need to make appropriate cheks (Jump or Tumble checks in particular) to successfully move over terrain. Additionally, when a swashbuckler charges, she may add 4 times her grace bonus as a bonus to damage on the charge.

    Improved Flanking (Ex) A Swashbuckler of 2nd level or higher who is flanking an opponent gains a +4 bonus on attacks instead of a +2 bonus on attacks. (Other characters flanking with the swashbuckler don't gain this increased bonus.

    Lucky (Ex) Many swashbucklers live by the credo "Better lucky than good". Once per encounter, a character with at least 2 levels of swashbuckler may choose to reroll any failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw. The character must take the result of the reroll even if it is worse than the original roll.

    Acrobatic Skill Mastery (Ex): A 3rd level swashbuckler becomes so certain in the use of her acrobatic skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Jump or Tumble check, a swashbuckler may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

    Weakening Critical (Ex): A 3rd level swashbuckler who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the creature.

    Slippery Mind (Ex): When a swashbuckler reaches 4th level, her mind becomes more difficult to control, if the Swashbuckler fails her save against an enchantment spell or effect, she can attempt the save again 1 round later at the same DC (assuming she is still alive). She gets only this one extra chance to succeed at a certain saving throw.

    Wounding Critical (Ex): When a swashbuckler reaches 4th level scores a critical hit, she also deals 2 points of constitution damage to the creature. (This damage is in addition to the strength damage dealt by weakening critical.

    Supreme Critical (Ex): At 5th level Swashbuckler critically strikes more often, increasing his base critical hit threshold by 1. For example a weapon that normally crits on a 19-20 would now have a crit rate of 18-20. This effect stacks with other effects that improve critical strike rates, such as the Improved Critical feat, or the Keen enchantment.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2014-04-04 at 01:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    I like it.
    Giving +5 to Jump and Tumble at each level it gets Grace might be excessive. A whatever 6/ Swashbuckler 5 with no strength bonus or other investment in Jump whatsoever is guaranteed to make every jump of 25 feet or less, and with a bit of effort ridiculous feats of parkour become extremely easy. You might want to scale it down to +3 per level of Grace. On the other hand, having really high Jump doesn't break anything, and having really high Tumble just lets you invest your skill points in actual skills instead of in moving without dying.

    I'd prefer it with the BAB prereq reduced to +5 (since I find it annoying that so many fighter PrCs aren't accessible until 7th level when so many other PrCs are accessible at 6th level) and leave Insightful Strike adding to strength, but neither are big objections.

    On the whole, its prerequisites are relevant and proportional to the benefits it gives, every level gives something interesting and worthwhile, and I'd definitely want to play it in an actual game. Good job.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Giving +5 to Jump and Tumble at each level it gets Grace might be excessive. A whatever 6/ Swashbuckler 5 with no strength bonus or other investment in Jump whatsoever is guaranteed to make every jump of 25 feet or less, and with a bit of effort ridiculous feats of parkour become extremely easy. You might want to scale it down to +3 per level of Grace. On the other hand, having really high Jump doesn't break anything, and having really high Tumble just lets you invest your skill points in actual skills instead of in moving without dying.
    I originally was going to do it as +3, but honestly? The bonus is a competence bonus. +15 competence bonus items are dirt cheap. Like you noticed, it doesn't break anything, and as it is the bonus is high enough to discourage buying a ring of tumbling or whatever, though at higher levels that may still be an attractive option regardless.

    I'd prefer it with the BAB prereq reduced to +5 (since I find it annoying that so many fighter PrCs aren't accessible until 7th level when so many other PrCs are accessible at 6th level) and leave Insightful Strike adding to strength, but neither are big objections.
    My problem with Insightful Strike adding to strength is it becomes very dipworthy. On the other hand, this class has no real bonus damage. I was considering something like half your str bonus kept. But keeping the full amount of both feels like too much. I also wanted to discourage the swashbuckler from having strength as any sort of priority, with Int/Dex being priority 1.

    As for the prereqs, I could see dropping the BAB another one. My intention was to have it enter-able a bit later than Duelist (which is being dropped to a level 5 entry), but really, giving the player a choice which class to go for first isn't a bad thing, so it wouldn't really hurt anything to make the class able to get in at level 5.

    On the whole, its prerequisites are relevant and proportional to the benefits it gives, every level gives something interesting and worthwhile, and I'd definitely want to play it in an actual game. Good job.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-04-24 at 06:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    My problem with Insightful Strike adding to strength is it becomes very dipworthy. On the other hand, this class has no real bonus damage. I was considering something like half your str bonus kept. But keeping the full amount of both feels like too much. I also wanted to discourage the swashbuckler from having strength as any sort of priority, with Int/Dex being priority 1.
    Frankly, this class isn't dipworthy at all, simply because it's good enough to stick with for the full five levels - I suppose that isn't a traditional form of dip protection, but it works nonetheless. Really, the solution to dipping woes doesn't come in the form of rearranging class abilities to make it less rewarding, it comes in the form of banning it outright - the rule that comes to mind is "one prestige class per base class, but once you have it maxed, it doesn't count against you any more." As far as I know, Supreme Critical is the only stacking critical enhancement in the game, so a 5th level prestige swashbuckler is either critting on nearly every hit or has a quite high likelihood of a x3 crit. I wouldn't worry too much about making it in addition to Strength - especially if you give the half strength at level 3 and full at level 5. This would also grant synergy with Shadow Blade (which also replaces strength) by level 5, making it even more attractive to, well, swashbuckling characters.

    I'd also drop the BAB to +5, simply because there's no reason to keep players from taking the class from 6-10, and it prevents players from accidentally shorting themselves of a full 10-level PrC afterwards simply because they were unfortunate enough to not plan their build in advance (not everyone does, you know).

    Oh, and if you're intending the class to be used with Duelist, I don't think there'd be any harm in specifically allowing stacking between the two classes' Grace abilities - you could even let the Duelist's grace add to the Swashbuckler's skill bonus from it without worrying too badly about balance issues. On the other hand, that might seem like an attempt to force players into using both.

    Overall, it's great, and I'd definitely use it in a game.
    Last edited by CaptainPlatypus; 2011-04-24 at 07:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Here's my imput

    Supreme Critical (Ex): At 5th level Swashbuckler critically strikes more often, increasing his base critical hit threshold by 1. For example a weapon that normally crits on a 19-20 would now have a crit rate of 17-20. This effect stacks with the Swashbuckler's Improved Critical Feat.
    You don't mention improved critical anywhere in this class, so this ability makes no sense. Either add improved critical, or change how this ability works.

    Also, I agree with CaptainPlatypus about the INT replacing STR feature. You should be able to add STR back as the class progresses.

    Otherwise, It looks perfectly good to me.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Omeganaut View Post
    You don't mention improved critical anywhere in this class, so this ability makes no sense. Either add improved critical, or change how this ability works.
    The feat's a requirement for the class.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    now I feel stupid. Sorry.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Omeganaut View Post
    now I feel stupid. Sorry.
    Don't, I made the same mistake, I just checked the requirements before posting.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    The BAB and skill requirements don't mean much if the feat requirements set the PrC past either of those. Improved Critical requires a BAB of +8.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    The BAB and skill requirements don't mean much if the feat requirements set the PrC past either of those. Improved Critical requires a BAB of +8.
    Heh, there is that. Problem.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Str being added back in slowly as the class progresses would work. I think I'll go with that, and reduce the BAB req as suggested.

    On supreme crit being the only stacking crit bonus in the game, I think you may be right (though there may be another prestige class out there that does it. Maybe exotic weapon master?), I don't think it coming as a class feature is too strong. The big problem in 3.0 was that everyone and their brother could have the feat + weapon enchantment and go from a 18-20 down to a 12-20, no matter what class you were.



    Slightly off topic:
    As for the grace stacking with duelist bonuses, that will be taken care of, but the duelist will likely ultimately be a much more radical change than the prestige swashbuckler. For this prestige class basically all I had to do was cut out a whole lot of dead levels and do some tweaking. The Swashbuckler already had a pretty solid set of abilities, it was just far too spread out, being packaged as a full 20 level class rather than a prestige class.

    The duelist on the other hand as a whole is pretty well... bad. On the other hand I really like the concept. Currently I'm looking at having a variant of knight's challenge (the duelist's name implies one on one combat, yet has nothing to encourage that), better mobility (likely at least an extra 5 foot step), and a larger focus on reliable precision damage and probably a capstone involving bypassing crit immunity (there's several spell effects that do this for specific creature types, yet no way I can think of for a mundane to do it. And given the duelist will be giving up the option of two weapon fighting, I think a more powerful set of features is justified).

    edit:
    The BAB and skill requirements don't mean much if the feat requirements set the PrC past either of those. Improved Critical requires a BAB of +8.
    Ouch, good catch. I had forgotten the feat's prereq was so high. The problem of playing with house rules. I'll modify the prereqs accordingly.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-04-24 at 08:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    No, there are other crit-stackers. Streetfighter Barbarian, Psychic Weapon Master, and Disciple of Dispater (though that's a holdover from 3.0).
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    I stand corrected. But yeah, sounds great all around. :)

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    The changes mentioned should now be reflected on the first post. If there was anything I missed, let me know. Other feedback of course welcome.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    I'd move Lucky back to 2nd level, since having 1 special ability at 2nd level and 4 special abilities at 3rd is inelegant. Otherwise, looks good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    I'd move Lucky back to 2nd level, since having 1 special ability at 2nd level and 4 special abilities at 3rd is inelegant. Otherwise, looks good.
    I just realized that Improved Flanking wasn't listed in the table, which means there are 2 abilities at 2nd level, and 3 abilities plus grace advancement (which I don't consider an ability personally) at 3rd. Still think that it needs to be bumped down?


    edit: Just realized that with insightful strike it's actually 2 advancements, so I went ahead and bumped luck back.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-04-25 at 06:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    I like this class quite a bit. The only comment I have is the wording on insightful strike is a bit weird if you think about how it interacts with off-hand weapons. It should be obvious what was intended, but I might think about trying to reword it none the less.

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    Default Re: Prestige Swashbuckler [D&D3.5 PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by cooperflood View Post
    I like this class quite a bit. The only comment I have is the wording on insightful strike is a bit weird if you think about how it interacts with off-hand weapons. It should be obvious what was intended, but I might think about trying to reword it none the less.
    How would you suggest rewording it?
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