The swashbuckler is a romantic fantasy staple,
a warrior that relies on his agility and wits rather
than heavy armor, shields and crushing weapons.
The swashbuckling style is particularly suited to
environments where heavy armor would be a
liability, such as in deserts, tropical locales, and
the high seas. Swashbucklers are also prevalent
in advanced societies, where gunpowder or magic
has made the wearing of armor less desirable.
Swashbucklers have a reputation for seeking
adventure. Some, especially noble swashbucklers,
become duelists. Others take to the high seas as
pirates or privateers. Some seek justice for the
oppressed (or at least give it lip service), while
others use their abilities against jealous lovers
when pursuing adventures of a salacious sort.
Many bandits are swashbucklers, as their training
involves taking down opponents quickly and having
the mobility to flee.
Swashbucklers are warriors, although like rangers
they tend to be more dexterous and light on
their feet than their armored fighter cousins. A
swashbuckler also relies on his wits, as he often
prefers to negotiate his way out of situations
rather than fight. Don’t mistake parley for
weakness, however. When pressed,
the swashbuckler is a formidable
all walks of life. Freedom-
loving swashbucklers tend
to be chaotic, often traveling
the wilderness or high seas to seek their fortunes.
Lawful swashbucklers are often bodyguards or
duelists, upholding the law and protecting the
Many swashbucklers come from civilized
backgrounds, where technology has advanced to
the point of making good light weapons and urban
society frowns on carrying heavy weapons and
armor. Such swashbucklers tend to be affluent,
learning new techniques from fencing masters or
even a swordsman school. Other swashbucklers
learn their tricks for more practical reasons, such
as serving aboard a naval or pirate ship. These
swashbucklers tend to come from lower class or
It is said that swashbuckling began as an elven
fighting style. Swashbucklers are also common
amongst half-elves and humans. Halflings also tend
to be swashbucklers rather than fighters. Gnomish
swashbucklers are almost unheard of and the class
tends to be shunned by the dwarves. Half-orcs
raised in human societies sometimes choose to be
swashbucklers, especially on the high seas.
Swashbucklers work well with bards and rogues,
especially in pirate settings. Swashbucklers also
make good leaders, as their social skills are often
more developed than other martial characters in
Hit Die: d10.
The swashbuckler’s class skills (and the key ability
for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha),
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape
Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha),
Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis),
and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int
Table: The Swashbuckler
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Evade +1, Weapon Finesse
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Thrust +1d6, Uncanny Dodge
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Bonus Feat
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Evade +2
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Evasion, Thrust +2d6
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Bonus Feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Improved uncanny Dodge
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Find the Mark, Thrust +3d6
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Bonus Feat, Evade +3
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Improved Evasion
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Thrust +4d6
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Bonus Feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Deflect Arrows
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Evade +4, Thrust +5d6
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Bonus Feat
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Improved Mark
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Thrust +6d6
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Bonus Feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Evade +5
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Thrust +7d6
All of the following are class features of
the swashbuckler. Class features with
an asterisk (*) cannot be used if the
swashbuckler is carrying a medium load or
greater or wearing any armor heavier than
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A
swashbuckler is proficient with all simple
and martial weapons and light armor.
Evade (Ex): A swashbuckler is a fluid
combatant, relying on quickness rather
than heavy armor to deflect blows. When
wearing no or light armor, the swashbuckler
adds his Evade bonus to his armor class.
This is considered a Dodge bonus and
whenever the swashbuckler is denied his
Dexterity bonus to armor class he also loses
his Evade bonus.
Evade may be substituted for the Dodge
feat as a prerequisite for other feats (for
example, a swashbuckler with Evade +1
need not take the Dodge feat in order to
select the Mobility feat).
Weapon Finesse (Ex): While proficient in all
martial weapons, dexterous swashbucklers
are particularly effective with light weapons.
The swashbuckler gets weapon finesse as
a bonus feat.
Thrust (Ex): At 2nd
level, the swashbuckler
learns how to exploit an opening, dealing
extra damage. The swashbuckler may
thrust whenever his opponent is denied her
Dexterity bonus to her armor class (whether
the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or
damage is indicated on the Swashbuckler
Table. Should the swashbuckler score a
critical hit with a thrust, this extra damage is
A swashbuckler may only thrust with a
piercing melee weapon that is covered
under the weapon finesse feat. The thrust
bonus stacks with the rogue’s sneak attack
and similar abilities.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex):At 2nd
level the swashbuckler
retains his Dexterity bonus to armor class even
when he is considered flat-footed.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd
level and every 3 levels
thereafter, the swashbuckler gains a bonus feat
from the following list:
Blind-Fight, Catcht Off-Guard, Combat Expertise,
Combat Reflexes, Dazzling Display, Deadly
Stroke, Double Slice, Greater Two-Weapon
Fighting, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater
Weapon Specialization, Improved Disarm,
Improved Critical, Improved Feint, Improved
Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Two-Weapon
Fighting, Improved Vital Strike, Improvised
Weapon Mastery, Intimidating Prowess, Lightning
Stance, Mobility, Quick Draw, SpringAttack,Throw
Anything, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon
Fighting, Two-Weapon Rend, Vital Strike, Weapon
Focus, Weapon Specialization, Whirlwind Attack,
The swashbuckler must meet all prerequisites in
order to select a bonus feat.
Evasion (Ex): At 5th
level the swashbuckler is
adept at avoiding unusual attacks. If he makes a
successful Reflex saving throw against an attack
that normally deals half damage on a successful
save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can
only be used if the swashbuckler is wearing light or
no armor. A helpless swashbuckler does not gain
the benefit of evasion.
receives weapon training as per the fighter special
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 7th
swashbuckler’s uncanny ability to dodge is honed
to the point where he can no longer be flanked.
Find the Mark (Ex): At 8th
level, the swashbuckler
increases his threat range by one when using any
melee weapon with which he has Weapon Finesse.
A weapon that would threaten a critical on 20 would
now do so on a 19 or 20, and one which threatens
on a 19 or 20 would now do so on an 18 to 20.
This ability works with other abilities which increase
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 10th
swashbuckler’s evasion improves. In addition
to taking no damage on successful saves, the
swashbuckler now takes only half damage on failed
DeflectArrows (Ex): At 13th
level, the swashbuckler
may use any weapon covered under the weapon
finesse feat to deflect ranged attacks. This ability
functions exactly as the feat of the same name,
except that the swashbuckler uses a weapon
instead of his bare hands.
Improved Mark (Ex):At 16th
level, the swashbuckler
becomes even more adept at finding marks.
The threat range now improves by two when the
swashbuckler uses his Find the Mark ability.