Swashbuckler (3.5e Class)

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Adopter: Genowhirl (talk)
Original Author: SisterAcacia (talk)
Date Created: October 16, 2009
Status: Ver 2.0 Complete
Editing: Working on it
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The flashy nautical type who radiates personality and sexiness, and fights with flash and panache while dashing all over the place.

Making a Swashbuckler[edit]

Abilities: You want high dexterity and charisma. Constitution and Intelligence help, too.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 8d4×10 gp (200).

Starting Age: As rogue

Table: The Swashbuckler

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Fencing, Your Opponent Is Me!, Witty Repartee: Thrust
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Combat Climbing, Tie-Down
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Acrobatic Charge, Witty Repartee: Retort
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 I'm Not Left Handed, Combat Sidle
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Power Slide, Witty Repartee: Banter
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +2 Evasion, Close Quarters Fighting
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Distraction, Witty Repartee: Double-Entente
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +2 Swashbuckler's Slide, Ridiculous Attire
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Master of Escape, Witty Repartee: Deadly Insinuation
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Whirlwind
11th +11/+6/+6 +3 +7 +3 Control Ropes and Rigging, Witty Repartee: Au Contraire
12th +12/+7/+7 +4 +8 +4 Dread Pirate Tales, Mass Tie-Down
13th +13/+8/+8 +4 +8 +4 Catch Me If You Can, Witty Repartee: En garde!
14th +14/+9/+9 +4 +9 +4 Arm's Length, I'm On a Boat
15th +15/+10/+10 +5 +9 +5 Booty Seeker, Witty Repartee: Rapier Wit
16th +16/+11/+11/+11 +5 +10 +5 Razor Wind
17th +17/+12/+12/+12 +5 +10 +5 Razor's Edge, Witty Repartee: Touche!
18th +18/+13/+13/+13 +6 +11 +6 Bladestorm
19th +19/+14/+14/+14 +6 +11 +6 One More Thing, Witty Repartee: Cliche!
20th +20/+15/+15/+15 +6 +12 +6 The Immortal Dread Pirate Lives On!

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Swashbuckler.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Simple and Martial Weapons and any 1 Exotic Weapon, Light Armour

Fencing (Ex): Swashbucklers are good at protecting themselves from injury. With an Immediate action, a Swashbuckler may make a melee attack roll when attacked. If the Swashbuckler rolls higher, the attack is parried and she is safe from harm. This does not work if she is wearing armor she is not proficient with.

Your Opponent Is Me! (Ex): you have to pay attention when fighting the Swashbuckler - focusing on someone else results in a loss of kidneys. Whenever the Swashbuckler successfully attacks a foe in melee combat on her own turn, the foe must either successfully attack her or take the Full Defence before their next turn. If they fail to do this, she has the Edge against them and denies them their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.

Witty Repartee (Ex): Every odd-numbered level, the Swashbuckler gains various abilities that fall under the title of "Witty Repartee". These all work only when directing all attacks against one foe that round, and prevent her from making Attacks of Opportunity against other opponents until her next turn:

  • Thrust: all attacks gain +1 to hit and damage
  • Retort: the damage bonus increases to equal her Charisma bonus
  • Banter: she may add her Charisma bonus to her Armour Class against that foe
  • Double-Entente: the damage bonus increases to equal her Bluff modifier
  • Deadly Insinuation: she may make Bluff checks instead of attack rolls - these do not auto-fail on 1 or auto-succeed on 20, but can still threaten critical hits
  • Au Contraire: she may make one Bluff check and, if it is higher than her Armour Class, it replaces her Armour Class against that foe
  • En garde!: the damage bonus becomes a Bluff check. On a critical hit, the d20 is not multiplied, as normal, but the Bluff modifier is.
  • Rapier Wit: her critical threat range and multiplier are both doubled
  • Touche: she may replace her Saving Throws with Bluff checks, but only against effects from that foe.
  • Cliche: all attacks deal 2 Strength, Dexterity and Constitution damage

Combat Climbing (Ex): the second-level Swashbuckler gains a Climb speed equal to her Land Speed, along with all the benefits of a Climb Speed. She needn't even hang on with her hands, and can fight just fine hanging upside-down. When she fights while climbing, enemies who lack a Climb speed take a -4 penalty to attack rolls against her, due to being unaccustomed to her strange fighting style. This ability does not work if she is wearing armor with which she is not proficient.

Tie-Down (Ex): at second level, the Swashbuckler can keep an opponent locked up, unable to run off and attack anyone else. Anyone she strikes in melee combat during her turn must make an Escape Artist check, opposed by her Attack roll. If they fail, they are Entangled until the start of her next turn. If they fail by 10 or more, they are also Anchored for the duration.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): starting at third level, the Swashbuckler need not charge the shortest distance or even in a straight line - she may turn corners, zig-zag, charge foes other than the nearest and so on. Doing so requires a DC 15 Tumble check, and cannot be attempted if she is wearing armour with which she is not proficient.

I'm Not Left Handed (Ex): at level four, the Swashbuckler gains the Two Weapon Fighting feat. If she already possesses this feat, she may expend Attacks of Opportunity for additional Parries each turn. She may, at a later date, spend a feat on Two Weapon Fighting (even though she now has it) so as to gain this added benefit.

Combat Sidle (Ex): starting at level four, any time an adjacent foe makes a 5' step of adjustment, the Swashbuckler may also do so. Additionally, her own 5' steps of adjustment increase to 10', and may be improved to 15' with a DC 25 Balance check. This ability does not work when wearing armour with which she is not proficient.

Power Slide (Ex): whenever hit by a physical attack, the fifth-level Swashbuckler can elect to slide back to halve the damage. She moves back 5' for every 5 damage negated in this way, directly opposite the attacker. If she cannot complete the movement due to something being in the way, she suffers 1d6 damage for every 5' she doesn't complete. This ability cannot be performed in armour with which she is not proficient.

Evasion (Ex): If a swashbuckler makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Does not work if heavily encumbered or wearing medium or heavy armour.

Close Quarters Fighting (Ex): as long as the sixth-level Swashbuckler is not wearing armour with which she is not proficient, she does not suffer penalties for fighting in cramped conditions, and is not denied her Dexterity bonus to Armour Class when in a grapple.

Distraction (Ex): starting at seventh level, the Swashbuckler is good at keeping people distracted. If anyone is in a square she threatens, she is considered to be Flanking them even if she isn't. Additionally, any time she strikes a foe, everyone else has the Edge on that foe until her next turn.

Swashbuckler's Slide (Ex): starting at level eight, the Swashbuckler is used to sliding about on slippery surfaces of rocking ships with hazards everywhere. When using Power Slide, she needn't move directly away from the attacker and can even change directions - she simply has to end further away from the attacker than she started.

Ridiculous Attire (Ex): all pirates are required by law to dress in a ridiculous manner, with the exception of female pirates, who have to dress ridiculous and sexy. Starting at level eight, in the first round of any combat, all foes take a penalty to hit the Swashbuckler equal to her Charisma modifier.

Master of Escape (Ex): the ninth-level Swashbuckler can never be Pinned down. Any Escape Artist check may be made as a Standard action that does not provoke, and she may make Epic checks at the following DCs: Extremely Tight Space (a chimney, a glass jar, someone's anus) DC 30, Walls of Force DC 40 or Caster Level + 5, whichever is higher. She also gains a +8 bonus to escape a Grapple. None of this applies when wearing armour she is not proficient with.

Whirlwind: The swashbuckler receives this as a bonus feat. If she already has this feat she may select another [Combat] feat instead.

Control Ropes and Rigging (Su): starting at eleventh level, the Swashbuckler can animate and control any rope as though casting the spell Animate Rope. She can also throw rope up to 50' away with no range penalty.

Dread Pirate Tales (Ex): starting at level twelve, the Swashbuckler is so infamous that if she makes it known who she is, she can immediately make an Intimidate check against everyone in the vicinity. For those who would merely be impressed, not scared, she can instead make a Diplomacy check. Any given person can only be affected by this once per day.

Mass Tie-Down (Ex): at level twelve, the Swashbuckler is masterful at using rope. As long as she has enough rope to reach out to Short Range (25' + 5' per 2 levels), she can spend a Standard action making a Use Rope check. Everyone (friend and foe) within Short Range must beat this with an Escape Artist check or be Entangled until the start of her next turn. If they fail by 10 or more, they are also Anchored for the duration. If she lacks sufficient rope, she can still do this, but the range is capped by the length of the rope.

Catch Me If You Can (Ex): starting at thirteenth level, the Swashbuckler gains a +10' bonus to her Base Speed. When Retreating or Running, this increases to a +50' bonus. Additionally, with a Move-Equivalent action, she gains the benefits of Freedom of Movement for a round.

Arm's Length (Ex): at level fourteen, the Swashbuckler is such a skilled duellist that entering a square she threatens provokes Attacks of Opportunity from her. If the attack hits, the target is forced back 5' and their movement ends.

I'm On a Boat (Su): at fourteenth level, the Swashbuckler just flat-out has an awesome galleon with cannons and crew. Honestly, the game should lead up to this happening, rather than "I woke up and there was this ship here."

Booty Seeker (Ex): at level fifteen, the Swashbuckler just has a lot of treasure, at least a hundred thousand GP worth of coins, gems and similar. Furthermore, she can innately sense any gathering of wealth valued at more than a quarter-million GP within 1 mile and any Artefact within 10 miles. Also, if trying to pick up, such as in a bar, she automatically finds attractive partners - and gains a +10 bonus on Gather Information checks to track down targets/get information on people who are considered attractive.

Razor Wind (Ex): starting at level sixteen, the Swashbuckler moves like a very sharp wind. Any time she uses any of the abilities granted by Whirlwind (as opposed to just the bonuses), she may make a Trip attempt against every target she hits. This does not function when wearing armour she is not proficient with.

Razor's Edge (Ex): at level seventeen, those who cross the Swashbuckler are in even worse peril. Whenever her "Your Opponent Is Me!" class feature applies against a foe (she hits them and they fail to hit her or take the Full Defence), any attacks she makes against them deal an additional 4 Strength damage, and leave the foe Staggered for one round if they fail a Fortitude Save (Dexterity-based).

Bladestorm (Ex): at eighteenth level, the Swashbuckler can unleash a furious flurry of strikes. With a Full Round action, she make one Full Attack against every foe she threatens. She also gains a total number of bonus attacks (at her highest attack bonus, to be distributed amongst the targets as she sees fit) equal to her Charisma bonus.

One More Thing (Ex): starting at nineteenth level, the Swashbuckler is good at putting the boot in. For all of her foes, being Tripped, Entangled, Disarmed, Bullrushed, Grappled or hit by Witty Repartee provokes an Attack of Opportunity from her.

The Immortal Dread Pirate Lives On! (Su): at level twenty, the Swashbuckler becomes Ageless - she is always in the prime of her youth, will not die of old age, and does not get bonuses or penalties for age. If slain, she still fights on for one minute, functioning just as normal, but with a Hardness rating for being a corpse. After the minute, she dies properly, but becomes a Ghost for free, with all equipment worn at time of death becoming Ghost Touch.


Open taverns in ports and tell sea-faring tales of derring-do and possibly provide a setting for the next generation of Swashbucklers to begin their epic careers of buckling swashes.

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AdopterGenowhirl +
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorSisterAcacia +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionGood +
Class AbilityOther +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
RatingUnrated +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillBalance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Disable Device +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +
Skill Points6 +
SummaryPirates are awesome. Play a class meant to actually show that! Say hi to Cap'n Sparrow when you run into him... +
TitleSwashbuckler +
Will Save ProgressionPoor +