Where the fighter specializes in trained martial combat and the barbarian in channeling the primal spirit of battle, the swashbuckler serves her helping of front-line hurt through an intricate system of artful flourishes and tricky feints. A less capable soldier than her distant relatives the fighter and barbarian, she compensates for her mean training by perfecting dodges, cartwheels, leaps, lunges, and lies. The swashbuckler has an eye for her opponents' weaknesses and exploits them cheerfully at every opportunity, spouting taunts and provocations as she does.

Role: Adventuring comes more naturally to swashbucklers than to any other. They easily feel restlessness and wanderlust, and those who become too sedentary tend to be those most prone to tavern fights and duels in the streets. On the road, however, the swashbuckler is at peace. She can scamper around, enjoying the diverse environments in which she trains her acrobatic prowess, and her panache can manifest itself more fully than it can within the confines of a settlement. The swashbuckler is brave, often recklessly so, but is most effective when she follows these instincts—usually straight into the heart of battle. She is tough enough to handle a melee-focused role, though she makes a better skirmisher than tank.

Alignment: any.

Hit Dice: d10.

Class Skills

The swashbuckler's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table 1-1: Swashbuckler

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Acrobat, dastardly strike, light fighter
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Nimble +1, rogue talent
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Combat Expertise, uncanny dodge
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Bonus feat
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Underhanded +1
6th +6 +2 +5 +5 Nimble +2, rogue talent
7th +7 +2 +5 +5 Tactical acumen
8th +8 +2 +6 +6 Bonus feat
9th +9 +3 +6 +6 Combat acrobat, underhanded +2
10th +10 +3 +7 +7 Nimble +3, advanced talents, rogue talent
11th +11 +3 +7 +7 Dashing strike
12th +12 +4 +8 +8 Bonus feat
13th +13 +4 +8 +8 Underhanded +3
14th +14 +4 +9 +9 Nimble +4, rogue talent
15th +15 +5 +9 +9 Acrobatic charge
16th +16 +5 +10 +10 Bonus feat
17th +17 +5 +10 +10 Underhanded +4
18th +18 +6 +11 +11 Nimble +5, rogue talent
19th +19 +6 +11 +11 Bluff mastery
20th +20 +6 +12 +12 Acrobatic combat mastery, bonus feat

Class Features

The following are class features of the swashbuckler class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A swashbuckler is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, whips, and nets. She is proficient with light armor and with bucklers, but not with any other armor or shields.

Acrobat (Ex): At 1st level, a swashbuckler does not suffer any armor check penalties on Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, or Sleight of Hand skill checks while wearing light armor.

Dastardly Strike (Ex): Swashbucklers are experts at throwing their opponents off balance—and striking before that balance is regained. Beginning at 1st level, the swashbuckler gains a +2 bonus per point of Charisma bonus (if any) per swashbuckler level on melee damage rolls against creatures who are confused, cowering, dazed, entangled, exhausted, fascinated, fatigued, frightened, helpless, nauseated, panicked, shaken, sickened, or have lost their Dexterity bonus to AC. This is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit. Swashbucklers may only benefit from this ability when using Weapon Finesse and wearing light or no armor.

Light Fighter: The swashbuckler's style emphasizes speed and accuracy over brute force. At 1st level, the swashbuckler receives Agile Combatant and Weapon Finesse as bonus feats.

Nimble (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a swashbuckler gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC while wearing light or no armor. Anything that causes the swashbuckler to lose her Dexterity bonus to AC also causes her to lose this dodge bonus. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd level (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level).

Rogue Talents: As a swashbuckler gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. At 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a swashbuckler gains one rogue talent. A swashbuckler cannot select an individual talent more than once. Swashbucklers must choose from the following talents:

Charmer, combat swipe, combat trick, convincing lie, deft palm, expert leaper, fast getaway, firearm training, getaway artist, grit, hidden weapons, hold breath, ledge walker, nimble climber, peerless maneuver, poison use, positioning attack, rogue crawl, rope master, stand up, strong impression, strong stroke, surprise attack, survivalist, swift poison, wall scramble, and weapon training.

Combat Expertise: At 3rd level, the swashbuckler receives Combat Expertise as a bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet its prerequisites.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 3rd level, a swashbuckler gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A swashbuckler with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

Bonus Feats: At 4th level, and again at 8th level and every four levels thereafter, a swashbuckler may select a bonus feat from the following list: Acrobatic Steps, Catch Off-Guard, Dazzling Display, Deflect Arrows, Improvised Weapon Mastery, Janni Rush, Janni Style, Janni Tempest, Lunge, Monkey Moves, Monkey Style, Nimble Moves, Snake Fang, Snake Sidewinder, Snake Style, Weapon Focus.

The swashbuckler must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal, with the following exception: if any feat listed above lists Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite, the swashbuckler ignores that prerequisite. If the feat benefits unarmed strikes, or only functions when the swashbuckler has a free hand, it instead benefits weapons that can be used with Weapon Finesse, or only functions when the swashbuckler wields such a weapon.

Underhanded (Ex): Swashbucklers excel in bravado, cheap tricks, and deceitful maneuvers. At 5th level, the swashbuckler receives a +1 bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Sleight of Hand skill checks, and on Dirty Trick, Disarm, Steal, and Trip combat maneuver checks. At 9th level, and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +4 at 17th level.

Tactical Acumen (Sp): Swashbucklers can infrequently tap an inner reserve of tactical insight and share it with nearby allies, briefly dominating the battlefield with superior positioning. At 7th level, the swashbuckler gains the ability to cast tactical acumen once per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this effect is equal to the swashbuckler's level.

Combat Acrobat (Ex): At 9th level, the swashbuckler adds her underhanded bonus on all Acrobatics, Climb, and Escape Artist skill checks made in combat.

Advanced Talents: At 10th level, and every four levels thereafter, a swashbuckler can choose an advanced rogue talent in place of a rogue talent. Swashbucklers may only pick from the following advanced talents:

Another day, deadly cocktail, defensive roll, fast tumble, getaway master, opportunist, redirect attack, rumor monger, slippery mind, and unwitting ally.

Dashing Strike (Ex): At 11th level, the swashbuckler gains the benefits of her dastardly strike ability whenever she charges or uses the Spring Attack feat, regardless of the state of her target.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): At 15th level, a swashbuckler gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain. Acrobatic charge can be used only if the swashbuckler is wearing light armor or no armor.

Bluff Mastery (Ex): At 19th level, the swashbuckler has achieved perfection in the arts of deception. She may take 10 on Bluff skill checks at any time, even if it would normally not be allowed. In addition, she can feint in combat as a move action (or as a swift action if she has Improved Feint).

Acrobatic Combat Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, the swashbuckler is the master of running and ducking, swinging through rigging, brachiating, and more generally scrambling around a complex battlefield. As long as she is wearing light or no armor, she gains a climb speed equal to her base land speed and always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. She may take 10 on Acrobatics skill checks at any time, even if it would normally not be allowed.

Finally, she may make two attacks instead of one when making a charge or Spring Attack action. Both attacks must be made against the same target, and each uses the swashbuckler's full base attack bonus, but is made at a -2 penalty. Both attacks add the swashbuckler's bonus damage from dastardly strike.