Swashbuckler Custom Class

Written by Grunts Ghosts.


by Grunt's Ghosts


Notes: I haven't been able to playtest this yet, so feed back is everything. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Only you can help prevent unbalance class design...

Updated February 1, 2019... At last 


 The Sea sang of a song only he could hear. It's rhythm guided his feet, trued his blade, and protected him from harm. While the city guardsmen stood unsteady on the swaying ship, The Swashbuckler danced on it, pressing the attack, moving in ways that seem unnatural to his combatants. And when it was done, the guards laid on the docks, disgraced and defeated while the Fool's Luck sailed off with it's treasure, the Governor's beautiful daughter.




Play Style: The Swashbuckler is a dancer, although you'll never hear him say it. Movement is the key to victory, and fancy blade work is for show. Everything in a Swashbuckler's life is fast, and so too is his fighting style. The Swashbuckler is designed so that you can focus less on remembering a long list of spells and more on creating moments when you can take advantage of your environment and keep your opponents on their toes. Think of them as the middle ground between the stealthy rogue and hard hitting barbarians. Then take a few steps sideways.


Ability Score: Dexterity is the first and foremost the highest score. Movement is life and this helps you continue living. Your next score should be Intelligence then Charisma. Swashbucklers fight smart and sometimes throwing a verbal jab is a great way to unsettle an opponent. But striking at critical spots is sometimes even better than brute force.

Swashbucklers gain a +2 to either Dexterity, Intelligence, or Charisma as long as it isn’t the same ability you increase with your +2 racial bonus.


Races: Humans are the most common Swashbucklers with Gnomes surprisingly enjoying the sea life themselves. Dark Elves have a class similar to the Swashbuckler called a Shadow Dancer that some of the Swashbuckler's talents can be reflavored to fit for those whose stories happen on land.


Backgrounds: Salty Sailor, Sky Pirate, Shadow Dancer, Slum Thief, Nimble Sellswordsmen.


Icons: The Prince of Shadows finds that Swashbucklers are capable thieves and helps them every now and again. Druid's fighting style is much like the Dark Elves' Shadow Dancer at times and if you rename the class as a Druid Sword Singer or something similar you might find a positive relationship with her. Swashbucklers in the traditional sense are the enemies of the Emperor, as they are normally pirates and thieves raiding the coastal cites and eluding his ships.




Swashbucklers keeps things light, preferring daggers, short swords, and rapiers over greatswords, war hammers, and shields. Few might use a short bow or crossbow, but if you setting allows it, all Swashbucklers carry a small pistol or two for last resorts or first strikes. Keeping with the light theme, Swashbucklers also wear light armor as the chances of them falling into the sea is great and it doesn't hinder their movement.


Basic Attacks


Melee Attack


Target: One enemy

Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC

Hit: WEAPON + Intelligence damage

Miss: Damage equal to your level


Ranged Attack


Target: One enemy

Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC

Hit: WEAPON + Intelligence damage

Miss: -


Swashbuckler Armor and AC


Base AC

Attack Penalty














Swashbuckler Melee Weapons

One Handed

Two Handed


1d6 knife or dagger


1d6 club or hammer

Light or Simple

1d8 short sword or rapier


1d8 Polearm or spear

Heavy or Martial

1d10 (-2 Attack) longsword, scimitar


1d10 (-2 Attack) Greatswords, Tridents


Swashbuckler Range Weapons






1d4 dagger


1d6 hand crossbow





Light or Simple

1d6 spear


1d8 light crossbow


1d8 short bow


1d8 Pistol

Heavy or Martial



1d10 (-2 Attack) heavy crossbow


1d10 (-2 Attack) longbow


1d12 (-3 Attack) Rifle


Swashbuckler Stats


Ability Bonus

+2 Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma (different from racial bonus)


Dex mod +2 + level

Armor Class (light armor)

12 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + level

Physical Defense

11 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + level

Mental Defense

11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + level

Hit Points

(7 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)


(probably) 8

Recovery Dice

(1d8 x level) + Con mod


8 points, max 5 in any one background

Icon Relationship

3 points


3 (see level progression chart)


1 per level


Swashbuckler Level

Total Hit Points

Total Feats

Class Talents

Level-up Ability Bonus

Damage Bonus from Ability Score

Level 1

(7+ Con mod) x 3

1 adventurer



ability modifier

Level 2

(7+ Con mod) x 4

2 adventurer



ability modifier

Level 3

(7+ Con mod) x 5

3 adventurer



ability modifier

Level 4

(7+ Con mod) x 6

4 adventurer


+1 to 3 abilities

ability modifier

Level 5

(7+ Con mod) x 8

4 adventurer

1 champion



2 x ability modifier

Level 6

(7+ Con mod) x 10

4 adventurer

2 champion



2 x ability modifier

Level 7

(7+ Con mod) x 12

4 adventurer

3 champion


+1 to 3 abilities

2 x ability modifier

Level 8

(7+ Con mod) x 16

4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic



3 x ability modifier

Level 9

(7+ Con mod) x 20

4 adventurer

3 champion

2 epic



3 x ability modifier

Level 10

(7+ Con mod) x 24

4 adventurer

3 champion

3 epic



3 x ability modifier


Class Feature

All Swashbucklers have this class feature.

Today Is The Day You Almost Caught Me! 
No one holds you down. Unless you want to be held... 
You gain a +5 towards disengage checks and +5 towards breaking free from bindings such as ropes, shackles, handcuffs, collars, ect. as long as you have the right tools to break free. 
Adventurer Feat: You ignore the penalty for disengaging from more than one enemy at a time. 
Champion Feat: You automatically break free from bindings, but can choose when to do it. 
Epic Feat: You can remove the stuck condition once per session.
Lighting crashed above the two combatants, each fighting for what they believed in, neither ready to lose.
Once per round, when you make a Swashbuckler melee weapon attack against an enemy engaged with none of your allies, you can deal extra damage if your attack hits. 
Dualist Extra Damage
Level Damage
1 +1d3
2 +1d4
4 +1d8
6 +2d6
8 +2d10
10 +3d10
Adventurer Feat: You always gain your Duelist damage against mooks.
Champion Feat: Your Duelist feature also works against who are confused, dazed, stunned, vulnerable to your attack, or weakened.
Epic Feat: Once per battle when you miss with an attack that would have allowed you to deal Duelist damage, replace the normal miss damage with your full Duelist damage.
Thanks MartinK for letting me steal this.
Snap Back In
The blow to the back of his head cause stars to appear in his vision, but he couldn’t lose focus. He shook his head and spun to face his attacker.
Once per battle, you can remove a confused, dazed, stunned, or weakened condition on you as a quick action.
Adventurer Feat: You can also remove the hampered and fear conditions.
Champion Feat: You can remove conditions twice per battle.
Epic Feat: When you remove a condition from you, your next attack deals the maximum damage it can if the attack hits.

Class Talents

Choose three of the following class talents.


Flip Behind

With a quick jump, you flip over your enemy's head and strike them where they are exposed.

When you are engaged to a single opponent, you may make an disengage check. If you succeed, you move behind the target and gain Cha mod damage towards your next attack against the target until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer Feat: Target is dazed (-4 attack) until the end of its next turn.

Champion Feat: You may use this Talent even if you are engaged by multiple targets, but you must succeed against all disengage checks first before flipping over the target.

Epic Feat: You may take an extra move action after you attack.


Parry and Riposte

His enemy thought he had a sure hit just before his sword when wide and the swashbuckler's blade struck truer.

Once per battle, when a enemy rolls a natural even melee hit against you, roll basic melee attack. If your roll is higher, you hit him first then your enemy's attack is resolved if he's still alive. You deal no miss damage with these attacks.

Adventurer Feat: You now deal normal miss damage with missed Parry and Riposte attacks.

Champion Feat: Use this Talent Once per Battle when any melee attack would hit you.

Epic: You may use Parry and Riposte three times during a battle.


Advantageous Ground

“You sacrificed your footing for a killing blow...”

This action counts as all your actions during a round. If you successfully make all disengage checks, you may move to a Far distance. Along the way, you may create an obstacle that slows them down and makes it so they must spend their whole turn moving through it to reach the other side.

Adventurer Feat: You may create a trap (DC 15 + your level to detect) on the fly with Advantageous Ground that counts as a basic range attack and is removed at the start of your next turn.

Champion Feat: Your traps may last until the end of the battle and spun when you want them to.

Epic Feat: Obstacles now completely blocks the path. Obstacles and traps made with Advantageous Ground now have a DC of 20 + your level to remove or detect respectfully.


Gentleman’s Duel

“You and I have some unfinished business to discuss.”

At the start of the battle, you may choose one enemy to be your target with this Talent. From this point on, anyone attempting to attack either of you while you two are engaged will take a -2 towards that attack, while you two will take a -4 to attacks against another target. The target also takes a -5 penalty towards disengage checks against you.

Adventurer Feat: You may choose to keep the -2 Attack ability even when you two are not engaged as long as your target is still alive.

Champion Feat: The attack debuff on enemies not your target becomes a -4 Attack.

Epic Feat: Gain +4 AC until the end of the battle when you make the killing blow against the target.


Defy Gravity

Nothing was going to keep him out of the Lady's bedroom. Not a wall, or a locked window, or a jealous husband.

With this Talent, you may move across areas you couldn't move before, such as along walls, or move up to higher areas without having to make a climbing check, even in battle. You must end your movement on normal ground and all engagement and movement rules for combat still count against you.

Adventurer Feat: If interrupted while moving, the enemy takes a -2 attack penalty until the end of your turn.

Champion Feat: You may make one basic melee or ranged attack while moving using Defy Gravity Talent.

Epic Feat: You may end your movement in an area you normally couldn't as long as you start your next turn moving into an area you can normally stand on.


Poison Wit

And then I told him “Are you sure you are a sword fighter? From what I hear, you're more of a sword swallower!” That upset him.

With this talent, you may enrage an enemy with your words. This is a Charisma vs. Mental Defense attack. An Enraged enemy takes -5 to attack rolls but gains your Char mod for damage until the end of your next turn. You may only enrage an enemy once per battle.

Note to GM: Don't just let the player say he's using this attack. Have him come up with something witty and/or offensive (depending on how your group works). This attack can work on non-intelligence creatures too as they will perceive it as a threatening growl. And because Fate can wield it that way.

Adventurer Feat: You may use Poison Wit twice against a single target during the same battle.

Champion Feat: Enraged enemy takes -10 to attack rolls and no longer gains your Char mod for damage.

Epic Feat: You can use Poison Wit against all targets within hearing distance at the same time. Because you really never learned to be quiet...


Present for an Ally

The swashbuckler locked blades briefly with the guard before spinning him towards his much larger friend.

When you are engaged with a single enemy, you may make a disengage check then push him into an nearby ally who is not engaged with anyone. That ally can make a free basic melee attack against the enemy.

Adventurer Feat: Your ally can add your Int mod towards his free basic melee attack.

Champion Feat: The enemy is dazed (-4 Attack) until the start of your next turn.

Epic Feat: You may use this Talent against a single enemy when you are engaged with multiple enemies.


Duel Wield Specialty-

With one blade, he was deadly. With two, he was a terror that painted the ground in blood.

When you are engaged with two enemies, you may treat them as one when it comes to engagement rules. When you attack, you may split the damage between both targets, as long as the attack roll beats both target's defenses.

Adventurer Feat: Gain +2 to defenses when engaged with two enemies.

Champion Feat: You may roll damage for each target instead of splitting the damage between them.

Epic Feat: You can now use this talent when engaged with two or three enemies.


Quick Point Blank Shot

The last thing anyone expects in a sword fight is a pistol barrel poking them in the ribs.

When you roll a natural 18+ on a melee attack, you may make a basic ranged attack as a quick action against a target engaged with you without drawing an opportunity attack from that target.

Adventurer Feat: You may add your Int mod to the attack's damage.

Champion Feat: You may use this talent on a natural roll of 16+

Epic Feat: If you could have used this talent but the melee attack killed your target first, you may use the range attack on any enemy within range.


First Strike

When the first action is the only action that you need to take.

When you make a melee or ranged attack against an enemy who hasn't acted yet in the battle, you may deal an extra +1d6 per level damage to the target.

Adventurer Feat: You now deal +1d8 damage per level damage to the target.

Champion Feat: Gain +4 to your Initiative.

Epic Feat: The target hit with your First Strike attack will need to roll a Will Save against a DC 20+ your level or they will attempt to flee from battle or hide until the battle is over.

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