Swashbuckler

Creating a Swashbuckler

As you create a swashbuckler, think about why they are buckling swashes. Are they fighting to correct some perceived injustice? Are they trying to impress others? Are they hoping to prove themselves? Are they doing it for personal gain, or for the benefit of others, such as king and country or family?
Swashbucklers tend to be good characters, often bound by some code or sense of honor or duty—though notably, not always. Ask yourself what code the swashbuckler holds themselves to, and what it would take for them to break that code. Do they only fight if someone attacks them first? Do they only fight “worthy” opponents? Have they sworn never to tell a lie or to never betray their companions? Or are they simply seeking gold and glory?

Class Features

As a Swashbuckler you gain the following class features.
Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d10 per Swashbuckler level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Swashbuckler level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor, Buckler shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, rapiers, longswords, short swords, crossbows (Variant: swap crossbows with firearms, if your campaign allows them)
Tools: One gaming set, Thieves’ tools, and one Instrument
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose Five from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand and Stealth

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) a rapier or (b) a whip
(a) a hand crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) a buckler shield
(a) a burglar’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
(a) studded leather armor or (b) padded armor
(a) thieves tools and 60 gp or (b) fine clothes and documents for an alias (signet ring and tools to make any necessary documentation) and 60 gp

Table: The Swashbuckler

Level Proficiency Bonus Features Swashing Points
1st +2 Artful Swordplay, En Garde (1)
2nd +2 Idiot Savant, Swashbuckling Maneuvers 3
3rd +2 Archetype Feature (1), Braggadocio 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4
5th +3 Duelist, Extra Attack (1) 5
6th +3 En Garde (2), Swashbuckler’s Swagger, Ability Score Improvement 6
7th +3 Archetype Feature (2) 7
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 8
9th +4 Duelist (2) 9
10th +4 Archetype Feature (3) 10
11th +4 En Garde (3), Witty Repartee 11
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 12
13th +5 Extra Attack (2) 13
14th +5 Blade Mastery, Ability Score Improvement 14
15th +5 Archetype Feature (4) 15
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 16
17th +6 Grandstander 17
18th +6 Duelist (3) 18
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 19
20th +6 Archetype Feature (5) 20

Swashing Points
An expression of your natural talents and innate abilities, these points may be expended for various swashbuckling abilities. Swashing Points are completely restored following a short or long rest.

Artful Swordplay
Whenever you make an attack with a melee weapon you are proficient in, you can add your Charisma modifier to your Attack and Damage modifier.

En Garde
While wielding a rapier, longsword, or other weapon you are proficient with in one hand, you gain +2 to AC, and gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws against being disarmed.
At level 6, the bonus increases to +3, and you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws against being knocked prone. At level 6 you have advantage on all Acrobatics checks. At level 11, the bonus increases to +4, and you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws against being incapacitated.

Idiot Savant
Your countless adventures and escapades across the land have either given you vast worldly experience, or incredible dumb luck…nobody is quite sure which. Starting at 2nd level, you can spend 2 Swashing Points to receive a single bonus 1d10 to any Skill Check, Saving Throw or Attack Action of your choice. You can only spend up to 6 points on bonus dice per Short Rest.

Swashbuckling Maneuvers
Starting at 2nd level, you may spend a Swashing Point to add flashy maneuvers to your combat style (one per attack):
Cheap Shot: Who said anything about fighting clean? When you make a weapon attack, you may spend one Swashing Point to attempt some dirty tactics. Roll a Sleight of Hand check against your opponent’s Passive Perception. If your roll is equal-to or higher, you successfully perform any one of the following tricks: an “Ear Slap” (deafen), “Eye Poke” (blind), “Foot Stomp” (immobilize), or “Low Blow” (stun, male only). Status effects from Cheap Shot last a single round, and are only effective if the target has the necessary body parts.
Disarm: Whenever you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may spend 1 Swashing Point to attempt to disarm the target, forcing it to drop one item of your choice that it’s holding. The target must make a Strength Saving Throw (DC equal to 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your Proficiency Modifier)—if successful, they keep hold of the item. On a failed save, they drop the object you choose.
Distraction: When you successfully hit a target with a weapon attack you may spend 1 Swashing Point to distract that creature and give your allies an opening. The next attack roll against the target by an attacker other than you has advantage if the attack is made before the start of your next turn.
Flourish: Rather than make an attack, you may choose to spend 1 Swashing point making a brilliant flourish with your weapon in an attempt to dissuade your opponent from attacking. Your attacker or attackers must succeed at a Wisdom Saving Throw (DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your Proficiency modifier)—if they fail, they cannot make an Attack action against you on their following turn.
Feint: You may spend 1 Swashing Point to use a bonus action on your turn to feint. Choose one creature within five feet of you as your target. You have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature.
Heartseeker: When making an attack against your opponent, you may spend 2 Swashing Point to aim your blade for the target’s most vital area, and turn a regular successful strike into a critical hit.
Parry: When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you may use your Reaction to spend 1 Swashing Point and reduce the damage you receive by your Attack modifier.
Play Dead: After receiving a damaging hit, you may spend 1 Swashing Point to channel your inner Hamlet, and pretend to die a vivid and melodramatic death. Falling to the ground and considered ‘Prone’, use your Reaction to make a Performance Check against your attackers—if successful, they assume you have been brutally slain, and must choose another target.
Riposte: When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you may use your Reaction to spend 1 Swashing Point and make a melee weapon attack against that creature.
Rush: Preparing for your first strike of the round, you may choose to spend 1 Swashing Point to turn your elegant attacks into a flurry of blows. For that round, your total number of Attacks is doubled.
Trip: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may spend 1 Swashing Point to attempt to knock the target down. If the target is large or smaller, it must succeed at a Strength Saving Throw (DC equal to 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your Proficiency modifier) or be knocked prone. Targets with a size above “Large” are unaffected.

Braggadocio
Your supreme confidence in yourself shows—and it can’t wait to come out. Starting at 3rd level You may spend a Swashing Point to give yourself Advantage on any Charisma Saving Throw, or any Intimidate, Performance, Deception, or Persuasion Check.

Duelist
Mano-a-mano is the way a true gentleman fights…how better to show off your skills? Starting at 5th level you gain +1 to attack rolls and saving throws made while fighting one-on-one against a single opponent.
This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level and +3 at 18th level, but is lost if any other friend or foe interferes with your duel.

Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 6th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. You can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack
At 5th level you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.
The number of attacks increases to three at level 13.

Swashbuckler’s Swagger
Starting at 6th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your Reaction once per round to roll an Acrobatics Check against their Attack roll. If your roll is higher, you take no damage—if it is equal to or lower, you take full damage.

Witty Repartee
At 11th level, you can use a Bonus Action to let loose a string of witty insults and provocations at any number of targets within earshot. All affected targets turn their attention toward you and must make a Charisma Saving Throw (DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + Proficiency modifier)—if they fail, they must use their next turn to attack you with Disadvantage.
Any targets that are deafened or that do not understand you are unaffected. Ability is usable once per Short or Long Rest.

Blade Mastery
At level 14, extensive training and experience has made you a master of swordplay. You cannot have Disadvantage on attack rolls made with melee weapons that you are proficient in.

Grandstander
By level 17, showboating and crowd-pleasing has become second nature—even if you haven’t done anything yet. When you roll Initiative with fewer than 4 Swashing Points, your starting total is reset to 4. Additionally, whenever you strike a killing blow against an enemy or roll a natural Critical Hit, Check, or Save, you regain 2 Swashing Points.

Archetypes

Bravazzo
A charming entertainer and prodigy with a blade, the sharpness of the Bravazzo’s tongue is matched only by the sharpness of his sword—and he knows it. Trained in the finest sword techniques and taught the importance of spectacle, most are considered to be master performers, playing to the crowds as they charismatically dispatch their foes with unparalleled elegance. A rare sight in most cities, a true Bravazzo is always a treat for those who encounter him during his adventures, whether he be seeking fame, fortune, or freedom. Arrogant but exceptional, the Bravazzo is never one to be underestimated—especially not by his enemies.

La Destrezza
When you choose this archetype at level 3, you have mastered ‘La Destrezza’…the philosophy of battle, the science of swordsmanship—literally, the ‘Art of Combat’. You gain proficiency in the Performance skill if you do not already have it, and can now either; add your Charisma modifier to your damage rolls again, or Armor Class. You must choose one of these benefits at level 3 and it can never be changed.

Razor’s Edge 1
At level 3, your sword has become an extension of your body, more than just a weapon—and you treat it as such. Through hours of practice and technique, you have learned how to sharpen your blade to a near razor’s edge. While wielding a rapier, longsword, or other blade one handed with no other weapon or shield in the other, the weapon’s damage die increase by a dice size [1d6 becomes 1d8, 1d8 becomes 1d10].

Fancy Footwork
At level 6, after studying La Destrezza, you become the physical embodiment of grace and agility. Your movement speed increases by 15 feet, and Disengage no longer requires any Action. Dash can be taken as a bonus action for 1 swash point.
Your movement speed increases by 5 feet for every level you gain until level 11.
On a different note, you are also considered quite an extraordinary dancer.
With age comes Experience
At level 7, the Bravazzo gains six extra swash points in addition to the seven granted to him at that level.

Swordmaster’s Techniques
Starting at level 10, the Bravazzo is able to effectively use several ‘master’ techniques (one per attack):
Coup de Jarnac: After a successful attack, you may spend 2 Swashing Points to sever the hamstrings or Achilles’ tendons of your opponent. This crippling blow reduces the target’s movement to 0, rendering them immobile on its following turn. The opponent can make a Constitution Saving Throw (DC save equal to 8 + Dexterity Modifier + Proficiency Modifier) at the start of each subsequent turn—upon success, the effect ends. Creatures of sizes above “Large” roll with Advantage.
Coup de Grace: When your opponent is on their last legs, you may spend up to 3 Swashing Points to combine all of your turn’s Attacks (one point per attack) into a single devastating Action as you attempt to quickly end their suffering. Make a single Attack roll against the target—if it hits, roll all Attacks’ damage separately, including modifiers, add them together, and double the result. If the attack is a critical hit, the rolls are calculated at maximum damage.
If the damage from a successful Coup de Grace does not kill the target, you are considered ‘Stunned’ on your next turn.
Hanging Guard: As an action, you may spend 2 Swashing Points to assume an elaborate defensive posture, preparing for your opponents’ upcoming attacks. While in Hanging Guard, you receive an additional +2 AC, and can use Riposte free of cost—however, you are unable to take any other Action while holding this position.
Manchette: On a successful attack, you can spend 2 Swashing Points to target the opponent’s weapon arm. Cutting deep into the muscle and severing its attachment to the bone, the target’s damage with that arm is halved on its following turn. This includes damage from two-handed weapons, but for dual-wielders, damage from the other arm is not affected. The opponent can make a Constitution Saving Throw (DC save equal to 8 + Dexterity Modifier + Proficiency Modifier) at the start of each subsequent turn—upon success, the effect ends. Creatures of sizes above “Large” roll with Advantage.
Raffine’s Invitation: On a successful attack, you can spend 2 Swashing Points to turn the attack into a highly skilled provocation. Striking the target in an exceptionally painful area, you couple the attack with a scathing insult, and return to a seemingly-indefensible stance. On the next turn, the target must use its action to attack you with disadvantage. During that round, for each of the target’s missed attacks, you may make roll a Deception check—you get a free Riposte for each success.
Remise: After one of your attacks misses, you can spend 2 Swashing Points to quickly turn the miss into a hit. Circling your blade tip around your opponent’s defenses, you successfully return your sword to the target area and deal the damage you meant to the first time. Does not affect “Coupe de Grace”.

Razor’s Edge 2
At level 15, your sword has become an extension of your body, more than just a weapon—and you treat it as such. Through hours of practice and technique, you have learned how to sharpen your blade to a true razor’s edge. While wielding a rapier, longsword, or other blade one handed with no other weapon or shield in the other, the weapon’s damage die increase by a further dice size [1d6 becomes 1d10, 1d8 becomes 1d12].

Legendary
At level 20, word of your glorious deeds have spread far and wide, and your fame has reached ears across the Seven Seas. Books have been written and songs have been sung of your exploits, and have finally made you into somewhat of a celebrity. Your Dexterity and Charisma caps increase to 22, and you gain 2 points in both stats. Additionally, most people seem to recognize you, or at least know of you—which can be both a blessing and a curse.

Dread Pirate
You choose to fight out and in the open, whether it’s on board a deck on the high seas or a tavern or city street you stand tall with your weapon at the ready.

Cutthroat Mariner
You are now more comfortable on water than dry land. When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with water bound vehicles. Further, you are able to use the rocking of the ship to your advantage. When on water bound vessels you gain a single D6 of sneak attack damage. All the normal rules for sneak attack apply, including the need for advantage and only applying to a single attack per round.

In the Rigging
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you become more adept at climbing, climbing no longer incurs a penalty to movement. On water bound vessels you have a climb speed equal to your movement and you have advantage on acrobatics checks.

Captain
At level 7 you have learn that combat on the high seas is about more than who can spill the most blood. When on a water bound vessel you now have advantage on intimidate and persuasion checks. You also have become a natural mariner and a vessel is now almost a part of your body, albeit a slow and cumbersome part. This has the following effects, the speed all water bound vehicles which you captain increases by .25% [4mph becomes 5mph]. In addition the maneuverability of these vessels increases, allowing them to make turns that would be otherwise impossible.

Buckaneer’s Tricks
At level 10 you gain access to the following advanced swashbuckling maneuvers.
No Quarter: You have learned that the only way to fight is for your life, sometimes the most reckless attack is the only way to win. By Spending two swashbuckling points you receive one additional attack, while taking minus 2 to your AC. In addition you may trade two more points of AC for an additional attack. You may take up to minus 4 AC in this way. This penalty lasts until the start of your following action.
The Black Spot: The Black Spot is the most feared curse of the high seas, the mark of death. Spend 1 swashbuckling point to make a melee touch attack. A successful attack results in you placing a small scrap of paper with a black spot on the adversary. They must make a wisdom save; DC equal to 10 + Intimidate bonus. IF the attack is successful the victim loses their main action in the next round of combat, they can still take a normal movement action and bonus actions. This action deals no damage and is considered your main action for the round.
Ahoy: A ship’s crew can only work as a unit. Spend a swashbuckling point to give allies within 20 feet an attack of opportunity on your round.
Iocaine: You may spend a swashbuckling point to have advantage on Constitution saving throws against poison and to resist the effects of poisons.
Fearsome Reputation: You are the terror of the seas! Spend a swashbuckling point to make an intimidate check to demoralize opponents within 10 feet as a bonus action in combat.
Parlay: A wise mariner knows how to best an opponent both with steal and the word. While in combat you may spend a swashbuckling point to attempt a diplomacy check (DC to be set by DM) success of this diplomacy check causes your opponent to use their next action as ‘ready action’ to respond to further hostility while also becoming willing to engage in a dialogue, attacking your opponent will cause them to use their held action to retaliate.
At level 15 you have acquired such a reputation and way of carrying yourself that can intimidate all on its own. You may expend one swashing point and make an intimidation check, all creatures opposing you must succeed a charisma saving throw with a DC equal to your roll -5 or become frightened. Any creature that fails can repeat the saving throw at the beginning of each round to overcome the effects.
Your intimidation check becomes equal to your roll at level 20.

Lucky Break
By level 20 success seems to come easy to you. If your attack misses a target within range, you can expend one swashing point to turn that miss into a hit. Alternatively, if you fail a saving throw or ability check, you may expend one swashing point and reroll, you must accept the new result.

Pimpernel
Donning a mask and fighting injustices behind a secret identity, you are that masked man.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the disguise kit and thieves tools

Secret Identity
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level you can develop a costumed alter ego. All creatures that aren’t aware of the disguise have disadvantage and a -3 penalty on any attempts to discern your true identity.
If a nearby creature ever discerns your true identity, you can expend one swashing point and make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw, if successful the target no longer believes that you and your secret identity are one and the same.

Second-Story Work
At 7th level You gain the ability to climb faster than normal; climbing no longer costs you extra movement. In addition, when you make a running jump, the distance you cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.

Shield of Blades
At 10th level you’ve become adept at defending yourself with light weapons, you may expend a swashing point to gain a +2 bonus to AC for each weapon you are wielding with the “light” or “finesse” category (up to 2, or up to the number of usable limbs for some homebrew races) for one round.
This bonus increases to +4 at level 15

Elusive
At level 20 you have become so evasive that attackers rarely gain the upper hand against you. No attack roll has advantage against you while you aren’t incapacitated.