Friday, August 30, 2013

Campaign Design - Base Classes: Swashbuckler

(from Complete Warrior)

The swashbuckler embodies the halfling concepts of daring and panache. Favoring agility over brute force, the swashbuckler excels both in combat situations and social interactions, making her a versatile character whether serving on a halfling pirate vessel or working for one of the many halfling merchant houses.

Abilities: The lightly armored swashbuckler depends on a high Dexterity for her Armor Class, as well as for many class skills. High intelligence and Charisma are also hallmarks of a successful swashbuckler. Strength is not as important for a swashbuckler as it is for other melee combatants.
Race: Halfling.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d10.
Luck Die: (d4 + 1).

Class Skills
  • Skill List: The swashbuckler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft: Any (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Jump (Str), Profession: Any (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
  • Note: Because the Three Worlds campaign uses the Skills by Character house rule, the list of class skills given here is only included for the sake of completeness, and is not used by characters in the campaign setting.
  • Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Intelligence modifier) x4.
  • Skill Points at Each Additional Class Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the swashbuckler:
  • Base Attack Bonus: Good. A swashbuckler gains +1 base attack bonus per class level.

  • Fortitude Base Save Bonus: Good. A swashbuckler gains a +2½ base Fortitude save bonus at first level, and an additional +½ base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Reflex Base Save Bonus: Poor. A swashbuckler gains +13 base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Will Base Save Bonus: Poor. A swashbuckler gains +13 base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Swashbucklers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor.

  • Weapon Finesse (Ex): A swashbuckler gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level, even if she does not qualify for the feat.

  • Grace (Ex): A swashbuckler gains a +1 competence bonus on Reflex saves at 2nd level. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level, and to +3 at 20th level. A swashbuckler loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying medium or heavy load.

  • Insightful Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, a swashbuckler becomes able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. She applies her Intelligence bonus (if any) as a bonus on damage rolls (in addition to any Strength bonus she may have) with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that she could use with Weapon Finesse, such as a rapier, whip, or spiked chain. Targets immune to sneak attacks or critical hits are immune to the swashbuckler's insightful strike. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying medium or heavy load.

  • Swashbuckler Defense: A swashbuckler is trained to defend herself against her foes. At 5th level she must choose one of the following two abilities. This choice may not be changed thereafter.

    • Swashbuckling Dodge (Ex): A swashbuckler is trained at focusing her defenses on a single opponent in melee. During her action, she may designate an opponent and receive a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class against melee attacks from that opponent. She can select a new opponent on any action. This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels after 5th (+2 at 10th level, +3 at 15th level, and +4 at 20th). A swashbuckler loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying medium or heavy load. If the swashbuckler also has the Dodge feat, this bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the feat.

    • Shield of Blades (Ex): A swashbuckler with this ability is adept at defending herself when wielding a pair of light weapons. She gains a +2 shield bonus to Armor Class whenever she attacks with at least two light weapons during her turn. She may use any light weapons and gain the benefit of this feat, including unarmed strikes or natural weapons. This Armor Class bonus lasts until the start of her next turn. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 levels beyond 5th (+3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level). She loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

  • Acrobatic Charge (Ex): A swashbuckler of 7th level or higher 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 the balcony, or to tumble over tables to get to her target. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks (Jump or Tumble checks, in particular) to successfully move over the terrain.

  • Improved Flanking (Ex): A swashbuckler of 8th 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 do not gain this increased bonus).

  • Lucky (Ex): Many swashbucklers live by the credo “Better lucky than good”. Once per day, a swashbuckler of 11th level or higher may 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): At 13th level, a swashbuckler becomes so certain in the use of her acrobatic skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Balance, 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 swashbuckler of 14th level or higher who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the creature. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to this effect.

  • Slippery Mind (Ex): When a swashbuckler reaches 17th 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 one extra chance to succeed at a certain saving throw.

  • Wounding Critical (Ex): A swashbuckler of 19th level or higher who scores a critical hit against a creature also deals two points of Constitution damage to the creature. (This damage is in addition to the Strength damage dealt by the swashbuckler's weakening critical class feature). Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the effect.
Weapon Finesse
Grace +1
Insightful strike
Swashbuckler defense
Acrobatic charge
Improved flanking
Grace +2, lucky
Acrobatic skill mastery
Weakening critical
Slippery mind
Wounding critical
Grace +3

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