Dashing Swordsman (3.5e Prestige Class)
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- 1 Dashing Swordsman
- 2 Role-playing Style
|“||Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.||”|
|—Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride|
|“||Always remember, Elan: It doesn't matter if you win or lose, as long as you look really cool doing it!||”|
|—Capt. Julio Scoundrél, The Order of the Stick, 2006|
Will Turner, Westly, Inigo, Jack Sparrow, Robin Hood, Guybrush Threepwood, Elan, and many other great fighters have been almost as Charismatic as they were Strong. While the dwarven fighters fight like tanks, and have charisma scores of 6, the Dashing Swordsman have taken a different approach. Using the techniques discovered by a certain man known only as "The Burlewster", they have learned how to turn their coolness into power.
Becoming a Dashing Swordsman
|Base Attack Bonus:||5|
|Base Save Bonuses:||Reflex +3|
|Skills||Any 3 Charisma based skills 8 ranks.|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Feinting Flair, Dramatic Entrance 1|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Heroic Heart, Catch Phrase 3/day|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Dramatic Entrance 2|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Can't Touch This|
|Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)|
Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, Use Magic Device, Tumble, Jump, Balance, Climb
Feinting Flair (Ex): Dashing swordsmen are adept at using witty banter to distract and discourage opponents. While feinting, a dashing swordsman may make a flair check with a bonus equal to his dashing swordsman level plus his charisma bonus. The Dashing swordsmen may add half of his base ranks in Perform (act) to the roll. If his flair check surpasses his target's AC, the swordsman may add his Charisma bonus in addition to his Strength bonus to the damage he deals on that attack. This only works when the Dashing Swordsman is using a rapier.
Dashing swordsmen may only make a number of flair checks per day equal to their charisma score.
Dramatic Entrance 1 (Ex) : Dashing Swordsmen are good at entering battle with surprise, bursting through a window. They are thus immune to damage from debris (such as broken glass) when making an entrance, and can shatter through any window, wall, or barrier with a hardness less than 1. They also use their flair check instead of a skill check to hazardously enter, such as swinging from a rope or chandelier.
Hero's Health (Su): The Dashing Swordsman is now the protagonist in the adventure. Since the Protagonist never dies, the Dashing Swordsman can add half his Charisma modifier to all his saving throws as a luck bonus. Fortunately for the Dashing Paladin, this stacks with Divine Grace! Unfortunately, it only works when the Dashing Swordsman is wearing light armor or no armor.
Dueling Parry (Su): Dashing swordsmen are privy to a secret few else are: dashing swordsmen aren't very good fighters. To mask their poor ability to take hits like other fighters, dashing swordsmen have developed techniques to avoid getting hit at all. As long as he is wearing light or no armor, a dashing swordsman may ready a swift action to parry an enemy attack in addition to his attack each round. When attacked, a dashing swordsman with this action readied may make an opposed attack roll against his opponent as though disarming them. A dashing swordsman may make a flair check against his opponent's AC to add his Charisma bonus in place of his Strength bonus to this roll. If the dashing swordsman beats his attacker this way, the attack misses and the dashing swordsman takes no damage.
Heroic Heart (Su): The Dashing Swordsman now receives a bonus equal to his class level on saves vs. any mind-affecting effect originating from an Hostile source.
Catch Phrase (Su): 3 times per day, the Dashing swordsman may spout a clever catchphrase as a swift action. This increases Flair damage by 1d6 per 2 class levels, but only if the target is flat-footed.
Dramatic Entrance 2 (Su): Dashing Swordsmen have incredible timing, and can always arrive at a battle in the nick of time. They are always given a surprise round upon entering the battle, as long as they enter heroically. This gives them a bonus to their initiative on the 1st round of battle if they beat a flair check of 10 + the challenge CR. They gain an initiative bonus of +1 per 3 ranks in a skill which could be used for the entrance, such as climb, jump, or tumble.
Skewer Opponent (Ex): With a little flair, the Dashing Swordsman can turn the opponent's movements against him. As a feint action, the Dashing Swordsman may make a flair check instead of a feint check. If it succeeds, the opponents AC drops by 1 point for every 5 ranks the Dashing Swordsman has in Bluff, and the opponent is considered feinted. The drop in AC lasts as long as the feint.
Improvise (Ex): Skill is the key weapon of the Dashing Swordsman. With a Flair Check DC of 20, The Dashing Swordsman may use any skill trick, even ones he does not know. However, he must have the prerequisites for it. The Dashing Swordsman may add his Charisma bonus to any prerequisite skills in order to qualify, and may use his Charisma bonus in place of the skill trick's normal key ability score, if it has one. (Skill Tricks are part feat, part skill. They can be found in Complete Scoundrel.)
Greater Flair (Ex): The Dashing Swordsman's Feinting Flair ability now adds his full ranks in Perform, plus any extra bonuses, except his Charisma bonus (which is already being added).
Can't Touch This (Ex): When the Dashing Swordsman is fighting Multiple villains, he may make a Flair check. If he beats a DC equal to (The creatures' combined CR - the Dashing Swordsman's base ranks in Tumble), he may attack while tumbling, and can move as if he had the Spring attack feat. This effect can be used at will. This allows breakdancing on the battlefield-use it.
Smite Villain (Su): Once per day, the Dashing Swordsman may choose to smite a villain instead of skewering him. This is a full-round action, and requires expending at least one daily catch phrase. The Villain must be truly diabolical, the grandmaster of the bad guys, and the BBEG of your current adventure. (BBEG stands for Big Bad Evil Guy) If the Flair Check DC (BBEG's CR + AC) is beaten, the Dashing Swordsman automatically rolls a natural 20. The Flair Check has a normal Bonus, + the Dashing Swordsman's BAB. However, you must be locked in a one-on-one duel with the villain in order to succeed, and the duel must have been going on for 3 rounds at least. This power is the great secret of the Dashing Swordsman, and makes for a very good Campaign climax.
Skill Points Per Level
All the following are class features of the Epic Dashing Swordsman
Flair (Ex): The Epic Dashing Swordsman continues to gain a bonus to Flair Checks equal to his Dashing Swordsman level + His Charisma + 2 for 5 ranks in every Chairsma based skill and Tumble.
Bonus Feat: At each of these levels, the Epic Dashing Swordsman gains a bonus feat.
Playing a Dashing Swordsman
Combat: Dashing Swordsmen do not plan like other classes do, or take hits like a barbarian does. Instead, the dashing swordsmen will take on enemies solo, going for the enemy and engaging him in a mano-a-mano duel. The Dashing Swordsman has ever greater interaction skill than anything else, and thus they can be useful in rounds and encounters that involve mainly social interaction. Having the right friends gives the swordsman a small advantage when it comes time for actual combat, and they are very good at exploiting their little advantages and giving them the encounters they want the most. Depending on skills, or intelligence, or wisdom, they may take on extra roles. They could be the party spokesperson, planner, philosopher, or gut instinct. They can fill these roles even more clearly via DnD Dashing Feats.
Advancement: In addition to Dashing Feats, Dashing Swordsmen do well with feats such as Spring Attack, Combat Expertise, or anything that is good for a flimsy fighter. They usually start as bards or rogues, but occasionally have an odd Paladin or sorcerer level in there.
Resources: Dashing Swordsmen have no gifts from their fellow dashing swordsmen with the exception of heirlooms given to them by their first mentors, usually at the moment they learn the class. They often create their own resources outside of combat through natural charm, and that is usually enough.
Dashing Swordsmen in the World
|“||It was the most pathetic moment of my career as an evil villain. I've used every trick I knew to buff my AC, spells, attack options. I could slay a gold dragon at level 3! An Angel at level 7! I caught that stupid singer sneaking into my lab after wooing my assistant, but before I could nail him with a cone of cold, he cut my chest open with that puny little rapier of his. Guys like me aren't supposed to lose to guys like him.||”|
They have been the under-dogs for years. Getting by entirely on Role-Playing, they have been the jokes of the more optimized classes and the minor annoyances of the major campaign villains. The sudden transition from skill to power thrills the Dashing swordsmen, and makes them some of the most audacious-and fame seeking-adventurers in the world.
Things are not all pleasant for the Dashing Swordsmen, however. They must frequently contend with an evil organization of munchkins called the Optimizers Guild. Sometimes fallen Dashing Swordsmen will join this guild in the pursuit of power, usually emerging 5 years later with nearly omnipotent powers, but no soul. Dashing Swordsmen, who hold character to be more important than sheer strength, are the natural opponents and bane of this Guild, which constantly tries to crush them like insects.
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs who knew the Dashing Swordsmen before they became powerful are shocked, amazed, and occasionally bitter towards the Dashing Swordsmen. Others simply fawn over them, especially characters of the opposite sex.
Dashing Swordsmen Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Plot), or Knowledge (Theatrics) can research Dashing Swordsmen to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Dashing Swordsmen are powered by their dramatic Flair.|
|16||The Dashing Swordsmen are the rivals of the Optimizers Guild, an evil organization devoted to the pursuit of power at the expense of character nuance.|
|21||The Dashing Swordsmen were founded by a strange enigmatic figure named Mr. Burlewski, who has been missing the last 25 years.|
|26||Characters who get this result can know the names and locations of specific Dashing Swordsmen and items related to them.|
Dashing Swordsmen in the Game
The Dashing Swordsman serves the purpose of lifting the weaker classes into a position where they can pose an actual threat to their more Optimized counterparts. As such, it is important that the levels of the character before becoming a Dashing Swordsman consist of weak classes.
Adaptation: The general idea is to introduce the Dashing swordsman as a character who the PCs have already met, but who has grown since then. The other option is to introduce the Dashing Swordsman as a mentor and celebrity, who will, if the PCs ask, reveal his former weakness and offer to instruct the PCs in the art of the Dashing Swordsman.
Sample Encounter: Ilhegiera Ligriv is a well-known celebrity in the city of Silvaria. After crushing the wicked Lord Snivellus and his mutant cactus-zombies, adventurers and townsfolk are flocking to gain his autograph. As one reporter for the town crier asks him how the fight went, Ilhegiera proposes to demonstrate the fight before the audience. "Who wants to play the part of Lord Snivellus?" He asks. As hands raise in the audience, he points his finger at a PC and says, "How about you?"
EL 13: Ilhegiera Ligriv is a CG catfolk ranger 2/bard 6/Dashing Swordsman 5 with a CR of 13 and ECL of 14.
|Male Catfolk Bard 6|
|Chaotic Good M Monstrous Humanoid|
|Init/Senses||+5/low-light vision; Listen +8, Spot +6|
|Languages||Common, Feline, Halfling, Sylvan|
|AC|| 25, touch 17, flat-footed 18|
(+7 (+3 mithral shirt), +1 deflection, +1 natural armor, +5 Dex, +1 Dodge)
|hp||66 (6d6 + 7d8 + 13 HD)|
|Speed||50 ft. (10 squares)|
|Melee||+ 17 +1 shock rapier or|
|Melee||+ 17 +1 frost short sword|
|Special Actions||Flair, spells, catfolk pounce|
|Abilities||Str 12, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 22|
|SQ||Low-light vision, Wild Empathy, Dashing Swordsman stuff, bardic knowledge|
|Feats||Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, Catfolk Pounce, Two-Weapon Fighting, Track|
|Skills||Bluff + 25, Perform (eyes) + 25, Perform (poetry) + 25, Diplomacy + 25, Tumble + 21, Balance + 13, Jump +9, Climb + 9, Hide + 11, Move Silently + 13|
|Possessions||+3 mithral shirt, boots of striding and springing, ring of protection +1, 5 potions of cure light wounds, +1 shock rapier, +1 frost short sword, Cloak of Charisma +2, 20 gp, circlet of persuasion|
It should come as no surprise that these characters are very good for role-playing. Why not? They are a class founded by people who were better at roleplaying than anything else. They often live lives driven by passion and purpose, for a bland life makes a bland character. Whether driven by Revenge, heroism, True love, or alcohol, the Dashing Swordsman must have some sort of passion in their lives. If you don't like Passionate role-playing, you should have been Pun-Pun or a Beholdermage or something.
Attitudes toward Other Classes
Dashing Swordsman often are paladin-rogues, or sorcerer-fighters, or pure bards. The number of different dashing swordsman in the world is very varied. As such, they hold no prejudice against any other classes. Barbarians are generally subject to some prejudice (for the Swordsmen look down on Tank fighters) but often become trusted companions later on. The Dashing Swordsman love to go solo, but always find some reinforcement useful. They are, all in all, some of the most accepting people in the world.
Often, though, they will get into rivalries. The rogues, bards and paladins who do not take up the dashing swordsman path may find themselves scorned slightly. Thus, Dashing Swordsmen occasionally clash with Sublime Chords, tank paladins, and especially assassins.
These men can flow from the Lawful good Inigo Montoya to the Chaotic Neutral Captain Jack Sparrow. They cover all ends of the spectrum. However, they must always be interesting and filled with soul-and can never be evil. After all, a completely selfish view of the universe gives one a small, shallow and meaningless life-one devoid of anything motivating enough to inspire the Dashing Swordsmen. Dashing Swordsmen who do become evil generally lose all their powers, but often Multiclass later into ridiculously broken prestige classes such as Ur-Priest or something.
Although they have no code of Conduct like the Paladin does, the non-evil Dashing Swordsmen often show grace and nobility in their actions. Even when working as mercenaries, they may take moments of Compassion, or give their opponents a fighting chance. Still, the more Chaotic ones may seldom abide by any code or rules at all. If you look at the stunts they pull when they get skill tricks at 7th level, they don't even consistently follow the laws of physics.
Dashing Swordsmen are not as fixed to a certain deity as members of other classes are. That being said, they usually follow the deity that they followed as a result of their earlier classes. Dashing Swordsmen's religions are completely up to the players, and if they want to worship the god of Spoons, let them. However, it should be noted that the more philosophical dashing swordsmen may take their faith more intellectually seriously.
Dashing Swordsmen do not plan like other classes do, or take hits like a barbarian does. Instead, the dashing swordsmen will take on enemies solo, going for the enemy and engaging him in a mono-a-mono duel. Other combat approaches usually depend on the secondary abilities of the dashing swordsmen. Depending on skills, or intelligence, or wisdom, they may take on extra roles. They could be the party spokesperson, planner, philosopher, or gut instinct.