Friday, August 12, 2011

The Swashbuckler (New Base Class)

After the Swashbuckler archetype for the new Gunslinger class, here’s my Swashbuckler base class. The Fighter represents the heavy-armored combatant, while the Rogue isn’t suited to withstand combat in melee range, face-to-face. The Swashbuckler was created to fit the niche of the full-fledged light-armored warrior that, while not as resilient as a Fighter, is capable of surviving combat on her own.


Swashbuckler (Base Class)

Alignment: Any.
Hit Dice: d8.

Level

Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special


Maximum
Prowess
1st
+0
+2
+2
+0
Prowess Pool, Sneak Attack +1d6
+1
2nd
+1
+3
+3
+0
Knack
+1
3rd
+2
+3
+3
+1
Panache
+1
4th
+3
+4
+4
+1
Evasion, Knack
+1
5th
+3
+4
+4
+1
Bonus Feat
+2
6th
+4
+5
+5
+2
Knack, Sneak Attack +2d6
+2
7th
+5
+5
+5
+2
Panache
+2
8th
+6/+1
+6
+6
+2
Knack
+2
9th
+6/+1
+6
+6
+3
Bonus Feat
+2
10th
+7/+2
+7
+7
+3
Bonus Feat, Knack
+3
11th
+8/+3
+7
+7
+3
Panache, Sneak Attack +3d6
+3
12th
+9/+4
+8
+8
+4
Improved Evasion, Knack
+3
13th
+9/+4
+8
+8
+4
Bonus Feat
+3
14th
+10/+5
+9
+9
+4
Knack
+3
15th
+11/+6/+1
+9
+9
+5
Panache
+4
16th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+10
+5
Knack, Sneak Attack +4d6
+4
17th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+10
+5
Bonus Feat
+4
18th
+13/+8/+3
+11
+11
+6
Knack
+4
19th
+14/+9/+4
+11
+11
+6
Bonus Feat, Panache
+4
20th
+15/+10/+5
+12
+12
+6
Maestro, Sneak Attack +5d6
+5

Class Skills
The swashbuckler’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Performance (Cha), Profession (Wis),  Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis) Sleight of Hand (Dex), Survival (Wis) and Swim (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
The following are class features of the swashbuckler:

Weapons and Armor Proficiency
Swashbucklers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light armors and bucklers.

Prowess Pool
A swashbuckler is capable of executing incredible stunts during combat. This distinct style of fighting, equals parts daring, luck and aptitude, are represented by the Prowess Pool ability.
A swashbuckler starts at 1st level with 1 point in his Prowess Pool and gains additional points at every level. The abilities of the Prowess Pool only work if the swashbuckler is using a one-handed or light weapon, light armor or no armor or shield (except buckler). She must also be unencumbered.
Prowess Pool points are used to power special actions called Knacks and are recovered on a roundly basis. At the start of a swashbuckler’s turn, his Prowess Pool is reset. Activating Knack is a free action (unless a particular Knack says otherwise).
A swashbuckler can never apply more Prowess Pool points to any one Knack than her Maximum Prowess.
All swashbucklers start with the following two basic Knacks:

Dashing Strike: A swashbuckler can spend points from her Prowess Pool on her attacks rolls. She gains a +1 bonus to all attack rolls until her next turn for each point spent. Each points spent also gives her a bonus on Dirty Trick, Disarm, Feint, Reposition, Steal and Trip combat maneuvers. This benefit lasts until the swashbuckler’s next turn.

Fencing: A swashbuckler can spend points from her Prowess Pool to better her defense. She gains a +1 bonus to AC until her next turn for each point spent. Each point spent also increases her CMD against Dirty Trick, Disarm, Reposition, Steal, Sunder and Trip combat maneuvers; besides improving her DC against Feint. This benefit lasts until the swashbuckler’s next turn.

Knacks
At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter a swashbuckler gains one additional Knack, chosen from the list below that represents new techniques, stunts and tricks that can be fueled with her Prowess Pool.

Thrust: A swashbuckler can spend Prowess Pool points to increase the damage of her next attack roll. Each point adds +1d6 precision damage. The swashbuckler must spend the points before rolling the attack. This Knack accumulates with the Sneak Attack ability.

Cunning Footwork: A swashbuckler can spend Prowess Pool points to increase her CMD against all combat maneuvers not covered by Fencing. Each point spent increases her CMD by 1. This benefit lasts until the swashbuckler’s next turn.

Flourishing Distraction: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point to pick one item from her equipment as a free action. She can spend 2 Prowess Pool points to drink one potion or apply one oil on herself. Both actions don’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

Swashbuckling: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point to attack with a weapon while using a buckler without suffering any penalty and without losing the shield bonus; she can also spend 1 Prowess Pool point to reduce the penalty for Two-Weapon Fighting by 2.

Virtuoso Style: At the beginning of her turn, a swashbuckler can spend Prowess Pool points to gain temporary hit points. These temporary HPs last until her next turn and represent luck and daring. Each Prowess Pool point spent gives her +1d4 temporary hit points. As usual, temporary hit points aren’t cumulative.

Inspirational Proficiency: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point to ignore the –4 penalty for attack with improved weapons; or 2 Prowess Pool points to ignore the –4 penalty for attack with exotic weapons. This second use of the Knack doesn’t grant any secondary benefit granted by exotic weapons.

Lightning Strike: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point to gain one extra attack at his highest attack bonus when executing a full-round attack. All his attacks suffer a –2 penalty. Spending 2 Prowess Pool point allows the swashbuckler either to ignore the penalty. This Knack can only be used once per round.

On Your Feet: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point, as a free action, to recover from the prone condition. If she spent 3 Prowess Pool points, she can recover from prone and execute a Feint as a swift action.

Fencing Lunge: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point, as a free action, to increase the reach of her weapon in 5-ft. for her next attack. If she spends 3 Prowess Pool points, she can recover from prone and execute a Feint as a swift action.

Slip Through: A swashbuckler can spend 1 Prowess Pool point to ignore 4 points of armor bonus on her next attack roll; or 3 Prowess Pool points for her next attack roll to be a touch attack.

Repartee: A swashbuckler can spend 2 Prowess Pool points, as an immediate action, to execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent in melee range that just attacked her and failed. Only one attack of opportunity can be made each time. This Knack doesn’t grant extra attacks of opportunity to the swashbuckler. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 5th level.

Deadly Strike: A swashbuckler can spend 2 Prowess Pool points to increase the threat range of her next attack by +1. Only 2 points can be spent per attack. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 5th level.

Weapon Trick: After hitting an enemy, a swashbuckler can spend 2 Prowess Pool points, to roll a Combat Maneuver against the same target as swift action. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 5th level.

Crossing Blades: A swashbuckler can spend 2 Prowess Pool points to be able to make attack rolls with her weapons, without penalties, while grappled, prone or fighting in tight spaces. This benefit lasts until the swashbuckler’s next turn. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 5th level.

En Garde: A swashbuckler can spend 3 Prowess Pool points, as an immediate action, to execute a special attack of opportunity against an opponent in melee range that attacks an adjacent ally. If the swashbuckler succeeds, the enemy’s attack automatically fails. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 10th level.

Cape Dancer: A swashbuckler can spend 3 Prowess Pool points to gain a 25% miss chance against all melee attacks that she’s aware of while using a cape. This benefit lasts until the swashbuckler’s next turn. This Knack can only be taken by a swashbuckler of 10th level.

Sneak Attack
See Rogue Class Feature.

Panache
Swashbucklers appear to live their lives with wide abandon and superb aplomb. Fortune seems to smile to their daring actions. This is represented by their Panache. At 3rd level a swashbuckler choose one feature from those listed below. At every 4 levels she chooses a new one.

Bravo: The swashbuckler adds her Charisma Ability Score modifier (if positive) on Will saving throws against fear effects and to the DC of all demoralize rolls made against her.

Charming Bastard: A swashbuckler is quick of tongue and wits. Once per day, she can use Diplomacy to change a creature’s attitude toward her as standard action. Or she can roll a Diplomacy check for the same purpose after failing either an Intimidate or Bluff skill check. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants an extra use per day.

Impetuoso: Once per day, when rolling Initiative, a swashbuckler can choose to add her Charisma Ability Score modifier to the total, after rolling. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants an extra use per day.

Fool’s Luck: Once per day, when called to roll a saving throw, a swashbuckler can choose to add her Charisma Ability Score modifier to the total, after rolling. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants an extra use per day.

Hanging from the Chandelier: Once per day, if a swashbuckler fails any physical skill check she can reroll, adding her Charisma modifier to the reroll. She must accept the second roll’s result. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants an extra use per day.

Roguish Talent: Choose one rogue talent for which the swashbuckler meets the prerequisites. The swashbuckler can’t choose an advanced talent. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants another talent.

All Legs: Once per day, a swashbuckler gains one extra move or standard action as a free action. This panache can be bought more than once. Each time it grants an extra use per day.

Bonus Feat
At 5th, 10th, 15th and 19th a swashbuckler gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained by normal advancement. These bonus feats must be combat feats.

Maestro
A true maestro appears to be bigger than life, a walking legend. At 20th level, the swashbuckler can, once per round, gain double the benefit for spending Prowess Pool points on one Knack. For example, if she spends 5 points on dashing strike, she gains a +10 bonus on all her attack rolls that round.
The first time each encounter that a swashbuckler rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll, saving throw, ability or skill check, she gains an additional daily use of one of her Panache abilities. The Gamemaster can deny this additional Panache if the natural 20 was rolled on an easy or routine check.
Finally, luck is always on the side of a swashbuckler and a natural 1 isn’t an automatic failure anymore for her.

The Prowess Pool Design

This signature class feature was inspired by the Rogue’s Sneak Attack pool of d6s. I started the swashbuckler in an attempt to create new uses to the Rogue’s Sneak Attack ability. In fact, the first draft of the class used a progression of Prowess Dice, not Points and was an archetype built for the Fighter, removing his Weapon Training and Armor Training abilities, replaced by the Prowess Dice pool.