Dastardly Swordsman (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I gave you a chance to join me. But you'd rather stay with these fools?
Well, I can't very well allow you to continue breathing after an insult like that, now can I?
|—Nale, the roguish fighter-sorceror, The Order of the Stick, 2004|
All the world's a stage, and none know this better than the loose conglomeration of Dastardly Swordsmen. They know, from deep in their heart of hearts, that every battle is a farce; every magic item, a plot device; and every hero, an inevitable victory. A Dastardly Swordsman, (or Dastard, as they are sometimes known,) draws from his deep understanding of theatrics and applies it to the world at large. Dastardly Swordsmen are larger than life.
Becoming a Dastardly Swordsman
Villains are made, few see themselves as the bad guy those that do become Blackguards, a Dastardly Swordsman has a starting place... long ago I was like you. Still it takes more than a turn of back luck to turn bad intentions into a rightful bastard. A Dastardly Swordsman needs panache and training.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+4.|
|Skills:||Bluff 5 ranks, Perform 4 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks.|
|Feats:||Dodge, Improved Feint, Mobility.|
|Special:||The character must slay a person or creature of good, or really want to. alignment.|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Detect hero, dynamic entry, weapon savvy|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Smite hero 1/day, You Look so Feint|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Best Foot Forward +2, Dastardly Dispensation|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Cunning Defense, Smite Hero 2/day|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+2||Diatribe +2d6, Very Parry|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Best Foot Forward +4|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Get to the Point, Quick Draw|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Diatribe +3d6, Smite Hero 3/day|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
|13th||Diatribe +4d6, bonus feat|
|15th||Smite hero 4/day|
|16th||Diatribe +5d6, bonus feat|
|19th||Diatribe +6d6, bonus feat|
|20th||Smite hero 5/day|
All of the following are class features of the dastardly swordsman prestige class.
Detect Hero (Sp): From their deep understanding of theatricality, dastardly swordsmen come to the realization that they are the antagonists of someone else's life story. The trouble comes from finding that someone. For this reason, Dastards have developed the ability to detect do-gooders and their auras in the same manner as Clerics and Blackguards. At will, a dastardly swordsman can use detect good as a spell-like ability, replicating the effect of the detect good spell.
Dynamic Entry (Ex): In a dastardly swordsman's line of work, bursting through windows and walls in villainous fashion is a fact of life. All dastardly swordsmen are treated as having damage reduction 5 when taking damage as a result of breaking an object with hardness 1 or less, or when hit with broken glass from any source. Additionally, dastardly swordsmen may take ten on rolls to break objects with hardness 1 or less, even while threatened or distracted.
Weapon Savvy (Ex): The ability that sets dastardly swordsmen apart from any other swordsman is their ability to put on a stunning performance in any battle. With a light weapon, rapier, whip, or spiked chain made for a creature of his size category, a dastardly swordsman may use his Charisma modifier instead of his Strength modifier on attack rolls. If he carries a shield, its armor check penalty applies to his attack rolls.
Smite Hero (Su): Dastardly swordsmen are villains, and villains have but two jobs. First, to take over the world. Second, to take out all those pesky heroes that stand between them and their first job. Once a day, a dastardly swordsman of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite an good creature with one normal melee attack.
He adds his Charisma modifier (if any) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. If a dastardly swordsman accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.
At 5th level, and again at 10th level, a dastardly swordsman may smite good one additional time per day.
You Look Feint (Su): The dastardly swordsman makes witty banter and casts one-liners on the field of battle, distracting and demoralizing his opponents. While feinting, a dastardly swordsman may add his class level to his Bluff check. A dastardly swordsman with five or more ranks in Perform (act) receives a +2 synergy bonus to this roll.
Dastardly Dispensation (Su): Dazzling swordsmen know that the key to being a recurring villain is to avoid dying. A dastardly swordsman applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus on all saving throws.
Diatribe (Su): Dastardly swordsmen turn the battlefield into a stage, and their combat taunts amount to expository monologues. If a Dastard's speeches catch an opponent off guard, he has the opportunity to inflict extra damage while using dramatic effect to cow and discourage his opponent.
If a dastardly swordsman attacks a foe that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not,) the dastardly swordsman can deal extra damage. This extra damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and it increases by +1d6 every third level beyond 4th (7th and 10th). Diatribe damage works the same as sneak attack damage, except that it can be used only against foes that are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC. Additionally, if a creature is dealt damage by a dastardly swordsman's diatribe, that creature is shaken for 1d4 rounds unless it makes a successful Fortitude save. Creatures struck by a dastardly swordsman with 5 or more ranks in Perform (oratory) remain shaken for an additional 1d4 rounds. Sightless creatures, as well as creatures already dazzled, are not affected by this ability.
Diatribe, sneak attack, and sudden strike damage all stack if they apply to the same target.
Cunning Defense (Ex): When not wearing armor or using a shield, a dastardly swordsman adds 1 point of Charisma bonus (if any) per dastardly swordsman class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a dazzler is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
Artful Antagonism (Sp): A dastardly swordsman's threats and disparaging comments can shake and demoralize opponents. At will, a dastardly swordsman can use cause fear as a spell-like ability, duplicating the effect of the cause fear spell.
Very Parry (Ex): At 7th level and higher, if a dastardly swordsman chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, he gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to AC for each level of dastardly swordsman he has.
Get to the Point (Ex): A dastardly swordsman's understanding of theatrical timing allows him to draw his weapon and attack at the optimal time for maximum damage. When a dastardly swordsman makes an attack roll immediately after drawing a weapon and his target is flat-footed, he may make a special quip check with a bonus equal to his dastardly swordsman level + his Charisma modifier as a free action. Dastardly swordsmen with 5 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) may use their uncanny understanding of the effects of proper timing to gain a +2 synergy bonus on this roll. The results of the roll determine the amount of additional damage done, as shown on the following table:
|Roll Result||Extra Damage|
This damage is not cumulative with diatribe damage, sneak attack damage, or similar abilities if the dastardly swordsman has them.
Quick Draw: At 9th level, a dastardly swordsman gains quick draw as a bonus feat. He can draw a weapon as a free action instead of as a move action. He can also draw a hidden weapon (see the Sleight of Hand skill) as a move action.
A dastardly swordsman with quick draw may throw weapons at his full normal rate of attacks (much like a character with a bow).
Bonus Feats: .
The epic dastardly swordsman gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dastardly swordsman feats) every third level after the tenth.
Epic Dastardly Swordsman Bonus Feat List:
A dastardly swordsman who becomes good in alignment may not progress in levels as a dastardly swordsman, though he retains all his extraordinary abilities. Ex-dastardly swordsmen lose all spell-like and supernatural abilities gained as dastardly swordsmen.
'Fallen' Dastards may be interested in joining the number of Dazzlers by becoming good-aligned dazzling swordsmen.
Playing a Dastardly Swordsman
Combat: These play the same role as a rogue slash fighter
Dastardly Swordsmen in the World
|“||My Machiavellian plan is beginning to come together.||”|
|—Nale, the roguish fighter-sorceror, The Order of the Stick, 2004|
Dastardly Swordsman Lore
Characters with ranks in can research dastardly swordsmen to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Dastardly Swordsmen in the Game