Dazzling Swordsman (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Several dazzling swordsmen battle against a dastardly swordsman with blades flashing and tongues lashing.

Dazzling Swordsman[edit]

[This class] will teach you to harness
your natural charm to turn you into a
real bonafide wise-cracking, swashbuckling,
damsel-saving action hero!
—Capt. Julio Scoundrél, The Order of the Stick, 2006

All the world's a stage, and none know this better than the loose conglomeration of Dazzling Swordsmen. They know, from deep in their heart of hearts, that every battle is a farce; every magic item, a plot device; and every villain, an inevitable victory. A Dazzling Swordsman, (or Dazzler, as they are sometimes known,) draws from his deep understanding of theatrics and applies it to the world at large. Dazzling Swordsmen are larger than life.

Becoming a Dazzling Swordsman[edit]

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any nonevil.
Base Attack Bonus: +4.
Skills: Bluff 5 ranks, Perform 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.
Feats: Dodge, Improved Feint, Mobility.
Special: The character must spare the life of a person or creature of evil alignment.

Table: The Dazzling Swordsman
Hit Die: D8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Detect villain, dynamic entry, weapon savvy
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Smite villain 1/day, you look feint
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Best foot forward +2, dazzling dispensation
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Razzle dazzle +1d6
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Cunning defense, smite villain 2/day
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Pithy protagonism
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Razzle dazzle +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 Razzle dazzle +3d6, smite villain 3/day

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
The Dazzling Swordsman's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Table: The Epic Dazzling Swordsman
Level Special
13th Razzle dazzle +4d6, bonus feat
15th Smite villain 4/day
16th Razzle dazzle +5d6, bonus feat
19th Razzle dazzle +6d6, bonus feat
20th Smite villain 5/day

Class Features[edit]

. All of the following are class features of the dazzling swordsman prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dazzling Swordsmem are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the whip. A dazzling swordsman gains no other armor or weapon proficiencies.

Detect Villain (Sp): From their deep understanding of theatricality, dazzling swordsmen come to the realization that they are the protagonists of their own life stories. The trouble comes from finding the antagonist. For this reason, Dazzlers have developed the ability to detect evildoers and their auras in the same manner as Clerics and Paladins. At will, a dazzling swordsman can use detect evil as a spell-like ability, replicating the effect of the detect evil spell.

Dynamic Entry (Ex): In a dazzling swordsman's line of work, bursting heroically through windows and walls is a fact of life. All dazzling 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, dazzling 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 dazzling 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 dazzling 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 Villain (Su): Dazzling swordsmen are heroes, and heroes have but one job. They smite villains. Once a day, a dazzling swordsman of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite an evil creature with one normal melee attack.

He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. If a dazzling swordsman accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.

At 5th level, and again at 10th level, a dazzling swordsman may smite evil one additional time per day.

You Look Feint (Su): The dazzling swordsman makes witty banter and casts one-liners on the field of battle, distracting and demoralizing his opponents. While feinting, a dazzling swordsman may add his class level to his Bluff check. A dazzling swordsman with five or more ranks in Perform (act) receives a +2 synergy bonus to this roll.

Best Foot Forward (Ex): A hero is the first one into the fray, and dazzling swordsmen are heroes through and through. At 2nd level, a dazzling swordsman gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks.

At 8th level, the bonus increases to +4. This bonus stacks with the benefit provided by the Improved Initiative feat.

Dazzling Dispensation (Su): Dazzling swordsmen know that the hero of the story is never meant to get hit. A dazzling swordsman applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus on all saving throws.

Razzle Dazzle (Su): Dazzling swordsmen turn the battlefield into a stage, and their movements amount to choreography. If a Dazzler's movements catch an opponent off guard, he has the opportunity to inflict extra damage while using dramatic effect to confuse and disorient his opponent.

If a dazzling swordsman attacks a foe that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not,) the dazzling 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). Razzle dazzle 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 dazzling swordsman's razzle dazzle, that creature is dazzled for 1 minute unless it makes a successful Fortitude save. Creatures struck by a dazzling swordsman with 5 or more ranks in Perform (dance) remain dazzled for an additional 1d4 minutes. Sightless creatures, as well as creatures already dazzled, are not affected by this ability.

Razzle dazzle, 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 dazzling swordsman adds 1 point of Charisma bonus (if any) per dazzling 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.

Pithy Protagonism (Sp): A dazzling swordsman's heroics and inspiring truisms can lift the spirits of oppressed party members. At will, a dazzling swordsman can use remove fear as a spell-like ability, duplicating the effect of the remove fear spell.

Very Parry (Ex): At 7th level and higher, if a dazzling 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 dazzling swordsman he has.

Get to the Point (Ex): A dazzling swordsman's understanding of theatrical timing allows him to draw his weapon and attack at the optimal time for maximum damage. When a dazzling 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 dazzling swordsman level + his Charisma modifier as a free action. Dazzling 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:

Table: Get to the Point
Roll Result Extra Damage
10-14 +1d6
15-19 +2d6
20-24 +3d6
25-29 +4d6
30-34 +5d6
35-39 +6d6
40-44 +7d6
45-49 +8d6
50+ +9d6

This damage is not cumulative with razzle dazzle damage, sneak attack damage, or similar abilities if the dazzling swordsman has them.

Quick Draw: At 9th level, a dazzling 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 dazzling 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 dazzling swordsman gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dazzling swordsman feats) every other level after the tenth.

Epic Dazzling Swordsman Bonus Feat List:

Ex-Dazzling Swordsman[edit]

A dazzling swordsman who becomes evil in alignment may not progress in levels as a dazzling swordsman, though he retains all his extraordinary abilities. Ex-dazzling swordsmen lose all spell-like and supernatural abilities gained as dazzling swordsmen.

Fallen Dazzlers may be interested in joining the number of Dastards by becoming evil-aligned dastardly swordsmen.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dazzling Swordsman[edit]




Dazzling Swordsmen in the World[edit]

Looks like you brought a dagger to a swordfight, Nale...
Which I'm sure Sabine has said to you in the bedroom more than once.
—Elan the Bard, The Order of the Stick, 2006

NPC Reactions:

Dazzling Swordsman Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can research dazzling swordsmen to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Local)
DC Result
11 Dazzling swordsmen are cunning fighters, aided by their wit.
16 Dazzling swordsmen can dazzle their foes with brilliant martial displays.
21 Dazzling swordsmen can slay their opponents with a simple combination of wit, choreography, and theatrics.
26 Dazzling swordsmen are thwarted and plotted against by the evil dastardly swordsmen.

Dazzling Swordsmen in the Game[edit]


Sample Encounter:

EL whatever:

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