You’re living proof that the sword is mightier, speedier, and more stylish than, well, just about everything. In the time it takes the plodding knight (p. 8) to strike his first blow, you’ve struck two, and with more flair – and although you respect the precision of the martial artist (p. 9), you would never bring fists to a swordfight. You like nothing better than to leap and tumble through battle, blade a blur, deftly covering the party’s flanks and rear.
Advantages: Combat Reflexes (15); Enhanced Parry 1 (Weapon of choice) (5); Luck (15); Weapon Bond (Any starting weapon) (1); and Weapon Master (Weapon of choice) (20). • Another 40 points chosen from among ST+1 to ST+6 (10/level), DX+1 to DX+3 (20/level), Basic Speed+1 or Basic Speed+2 (20 or 40), Basic Move+1 to Basic Move+3 (5/level), Alcohol Tolerance (1), Ambidexterity (5), Appearance (Attractive, Handsome, or Very Handsome) (4, 12, or 16), Charisma (5/level), Daredevil (15), Enhanced Dodge 1 (15), Enhanced Parry 2 or 3 (Weapon of choice) (5 or 10), Extra Attack 1 (25), No Hangover (1), Perfect Balance (15), Rapier Wit (5), Serendipity (15/level), Signature Gear (Varies), Striking ST 1 or 2 (5 or 10), or replace Luck (15) with Extraordinary Luck (30) for 15 points or with Ridiculous Luck (60) for 45 points.
Disadvantages: -15 points chosen from among Code of Honor
(Pirate’s or Gentleman’s) (-5 or -10), Obsession (“Become the best swordsman in the world!”) (-10*), Vow (Use only weapon of choice) (-5), Vow (Never refuse a challenge to combat) (-10), Vow (Challenge every swordsman to combat) (-15), or Vow (Never wear armor) (-15). • Another -15 points chosen from among those traits or Impulsiveness (-10*), Overconfidence (-5*), Short Attention Span (-10*), or Trickster (-15*). • A further -20 points chosen from the two previous lists or Chummy (-5) or Gregarious (-10), Compulsive Carousing (-5*), Compulsive Spending (-5*), Greed (-15*), Jealousy (-10), Lecherousness (-15*), One Eye (-15), Sense of Duty (Adventuring companions) (-5), or Wounded (-5).
Primary Skills: Jumping (E) DX (1)-10; Fast-Draw (Knife) and Fast-Draw (Sword), both (E) DX+1 (1)-11†; and Acrobatics (H) DX (4)-11. • Either Thrown Weapon (Knife) (E) DX+1 (2)-16 or Throwing (A) DX (2)-15. • One of these three melee skills packages:
- One of Broadsword, Rapier, Saber, Shortsword, or Smallsword, all (A) DX+3 (12)-13; one of Shield (Buckler) (E) DX+3 (8)-13, or Cloak or Main-Gauche, both (A) DX+2 (8)-12.
- One of the sword skills in option 1 at DX+4 (16)-13; one of Shield (Buckler) (E) DX+2 (4)-12, or Cloak or Main-Gauche, both (A) DX+1 (4)-11.
- One of the sword skills in option 1 at DX+5 (20)-15
Secondary Skills: Brawling (E) DX+1 (2)-11 or Boxing (A) DX (2)-10; and Wrestling (A) DX (2)-10.
Background Skills: Stealth (A) DX-1 (1)-9; Savoir-Faire (High Society) (E) IQ+1 (2)-11 or Streetwise (A) IQ (2)-10; and Carousing (E) HT (1)-10. • Seven of Fast-Draw (any other) (E) DX (1)-10†; Climbing (A) DX-1 (1)-9; First Aid, Gesture, or Seamanship, all (E) IQ (1)-10; Connoisseur (any), Fast-Talk, or Gambling, all (A) IQ-1 (1)-9; Hiking or Sex Appeal, both (A) HT-1 (1)-9; Intimidation (A) Will-1 (1)-9; Scrounging (E) Per (1)-10; or Search (A) Per-1 (1)-9.
- Multiplied for self-control number; see p. B120.
† Includes +1 for Combat Reflexes.
The swashbuckler is built around one sword skill. Be sure that Enhanced Parry and Weapon Master agree with that choice, that Weapon Bond is with a suitable blade, and that any sword acquired as Signature Gear is similarly appropriate. If selecting the Vow pertaining to weapons, it should match all of this as well.
Obviously, this makes the swashbuckler a real weapon specialist – a lot like the scout. The difference is that the swashbuckler has great latitude with advantages. It’s possible to create completely different characters by focusing on offense (more ST, Extra Attack, Striking ST, and Signature Gear for fine swords), defense (more Basic Speed, Enhanced Dodge, and Enhanced Parry, not to mention extra Luck), or dash and flair (Appearance, Charisma, Daredevil, Rapier Wit, and Serendipity).
An interesting choice of background skills is equally important. Some swashbucklers are fops with Savoir-Faire and every known Connoisseur specialty. Others are rakes or pirates with Climbing, Fast-Talk, Gambling, Streetwise, and possibly Seamanship – and of course Search for looting dead bodies! Most swashbucklers would benefit from sacrificing the 5 points they get from quirks to acquire the money for a nice sword. Those with Signature Gear won’t need this, though, and may prefer to buy higher weapon skills or a few skills borrowed from the thief.