Campaign of the Month: June 2021
Curiosities and Acquisitions
The Swashbuckler is the sophisticated, witty, lightly armed and armored hero in a sophisticated city-based campaign—a la The Three Musketeers. He’s fully capable of putting on heavy armor, picking up a bastard sword, and soldiering alongside other tank warriors—but he shines in comparison when the heroes are adventuring in the city, in light armor and with light weapons.
To be a Swashbuckler, a character must have an Intelligence and Dexterity of 13 or better.
Role: In a campaign, the Swashbuckler is the happy-go-lucky hero with the ready wit and the flashing rapier. He’s happiest when he’s in the big city, but can be an imposing warrior anywhere—enemies often underestimate him because of his charming manners and don’t realize that he can plate on armor and wield heavy weapons as well as anyone else. The Swashbuckler, because he’s bright and well-spoken, often becomes party leader . . . or at least the leader’s spokesman.
The Swashbuckler can choose his own Secondary Skill. Good choices include: Navigator (if he’s in with a band of pirates, especially), Gambler, Jeweler, Scribe, and Weaponsmith.
The Swashbuckler receives two extra weapon proficiency slots which must be devoted to weapon proficiency with one of the following weapons: stiletto*, main-gauche*, rapier*, and sabre*. (The “*” symbol denotes new weapons to be found in the Equipment chapter.) Throughout his career, he must devote half of his weapon proficiency slots to those four weapons. Once he has achieved proficiency in all four of those weapons, he may freely choose where the rest of his weapon proficiency slots go.
Bonus Proficiencies: (General) Etiquette, (Rogue) Tumbling. Recommended: (General) Artistic Ability, Dancing, Heraldry, Languages (Modern), Riding (Land-Based), Seamanship, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Gaming, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Musical Instrument, Reading/Writing, (Rogue) Appraising, Disguise, Forgery, Juggling, Musical Instrument, Tightrope Walking, (Wizard, double slots unless Ranger) Reading/Writing.
The Swashbuckler must buy the weapon in which he has specialized, but except for that limitation may spend his gold precisely as he pleases.
The Swashbuckler has three special benefits. First, when using up his Nonweapon Proficiency slots he doesn’t have to devote double the normal number of slots when choosing Rogue proficiencies. Second, when he’s wearing light or no armor (i.e., no armor, leather armor, or padded armor), he receives a –2 bonus to his AC (that is, an AC of 7 would become a 5); he’s so nimble that he’s very hard to hit. Third, the Swashbuckler is such a romantic figure that he always receives a +2 adjustment on his reaction roll from NPC members of the opposite sex.
Trouble seeks out the Swashbuckler. This is something that the DM will have to play very carefully if the Swashbuckler is to be as hindered as all the other Warrior Kits. When there’s another Swashbuckler around, intent on proving that he’s the best swordsman in the world, it’s the PC Swashbuckler he settles upon and challenges. When a certain young lady is being pursued by the king’s guards, who are intent on stopping her from revealing secrets in her possession, it is the Swashbuckler she stumbles across when fleeing. When a prince is too drunk to attend his own coronation, miraculously he looks just like the Swashbuckler. Life conspires to make things difficult for the Swashbuckler, and the DM should always throw just a little more good-natured bad luck at that Warrior Kit than at any other.
The Swashbuckler receives the standard 5d4x10 gp starting money allotment.
Any demihuman who’d look elegant in foppish dress, wielding a narrow blade, will work fine as a Swashbuckler, especially elves, half-elves and halflings. Dwarves and gnomes are not entirely inappropriate, but are likely to have to defend themselves from plenty of jokes at the expense of their curious looks.