D&D (2024) Maybe this is a bit late, but let's talk about Rogue's Niche, and What Rogue Should Be.

Aldarc

Legend
It looks that way cause they use theater fencing for sword play. They fence with arming swords like they would with rapiers. And in movie, most of baddies he fences are not armored at all. Robin is archer, first and foremost.
No joke, Sherlock. Are you gonna tell me next that it's just Hollywood? I'm talking about depictions in popular culture. Big Screen Robin Hood, historically inaccurate Hollywood or not, informs our sense of the dueling swashbuckler.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It looks that way cause they use theater fencing for sword play. They fence with arming swords like they would with rapiers. And in movie, most of baddies he fences are not armored at all. Robin is archer, first and foremost.
I feel the no or leather armor Duelist/swashbuckler is a look many seek that D&D 5e refused to support initially due to oversampling of grognards who wanted the Fighter to be best as a simple strong idiot in heavy armor and a greatsword or longsword and shield.
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
No joke, Sherlock. Are you gonna tell me next that it's just Hollywood? I'm talking about depictions in popular culture. Big Screen Robin Hood, historically inaccurate Hollywood or not, informs our sense of the dueling swashbuckler.
It's 85 y old depiction you took as counterpoint to my argument why swashbucklers don't work in quasi medieval fantasy setting. Every "historic" movie from that era looks like swashbuckling portray, cause they use, surprise surprise, swordsmanship techniques from fencing, which was based on 18/19 century fighting style. If you wanna take Robin Hood as an example, none of the new movies depict him like swashbuckler. Swashbuckler is anachronism in d&d.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
D&D, as a system, isn't really suited for classic swashbuckling fantasy. Swashbuckler doesn't work well next to knight in full plate. They are both fighters, but from very different eras. Classic d&d is mix of late medieval and early renaissance. Three musketeers are 17 ct, so baroque period. Zorro is even more modern, depending on media depiction, from late 18 to early-mid 19 century. Scaramouche takes place in late 18 century. Swashbuckler is a fighter, but fighter from age of gunpowder where firearms are norm, armor is less prevalent, and it moves to standardized military formations with muskets and artillery. In short, swashbuckler is best when used in dedicated swashbuckling genre and with dedicated system like 7th sea where you actually have mechanics to reward flashy shenanigans.

If we look at probably most famous Assassin from d&d novels, Artemis Entreri, we see he isn't really rogue/tief. In 2ed he was dual classed high level fighter/thief. In 3e he is mostly fighter (Fghter 12 / Rogue 4 / Ranger 1/ Assassin 1). Jarlaxle Baenre was mostly characterised as a rogeuish swashbuckling type. He is drow fighter 18 in 3e and fighter 17 in 2e.
DnD is one of the most anachronistic mish-mash mess of time periods and aesthetics around, i cannot take this argument that 'the swashbuckler is from a different era so DnD isn't suited for it' seriously.
 

Aldarc

Legend
It's 85 y old depiction you took as counterpoint to my argument why swashbucklers don't work in quasi medieval fantasy setting. Every "historic" movie from that era looks like swashbuckling portray, cause they use, surprise surprise, swordsmanship techniques from fencing, which was based on 18/19 century fighting style.
Stop talking down to me as if I didn't know this already. The point is that Hollywood's Robin Hood informs the popular culture swashbuckler. Recent years have shied away from it mostly because of recent fads in terms of "realism" or providing a sense of "grittiness" or "behind the myth," much like some media depictions of King Arthur.

Swashbuckler is anachronism in d&d.
No, it's not. D&D is a hodge-podge of different historical eras and pop culture. D&D is pop fantasy. We have Iron Man as an Artificer subclass and you are arguing that the Swashbuckler is somehow out of place? Much like @CreamCloud0, I find it hard to take this selective argument of anachronistic elements of D&D seriously.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
DnD is one of the most anachronistic mish-mash mess of time periods and aesthetics around, i cannot take this argument that 'the swashbuckler is from a different era so DnD isn't suited for it' seriously.
While true that it's a mismash, it becomes somewhat reasonable to point it out the clash when the history of an 85 year old theater fencing production should be used as inspiration when it was ancient history even when gygax & them were starting to make d&d.

By that logic they might as well use this similarly named 2018 movie that was almost certainly originally written to be about a soldier returning home from Afghanistan or something to justify the addition of riot police as a class or something.
 

Aldarc

Legend
While true that it's a mismash, it becomes somewhat reasonable to point it out the clash when the history of an 85 year old theater fencing production should be used as inspiration when it was ancient history even when gygax & them were starting to make d&d.

By that logic they might as well use this similarly named 2018 movie that was almost certainly originally written to be about a soldier returning home from Afghanistan or something to justify the addition of riot police as a class or something.
These were films of Gary Gygax's childhood. If there was a movie list that accompanied Appendix N, you can bet that Errol Flynn's Robin Hood most definitely would have been on it.
 

Remathilis

Legend
DnD is one of the most anachronistic mish-mash mess of time periods and aesthetics around, i cannot take this argument that 'the swashbuckler is from a different era so DnD isn't suited for it' seriously.
Yesterday my party, which consisted of a druid, samurai, and skald bard took down some minotaurs, an Oni and a frost giant and we came to the conclusion that anachronism is a bit rubbish, isn't it?
 


GrimCo

Adventurer
Gygax was slightly younger than my grandma. By the time my mom was kid in 60s, those films were old and pop culturally irrelevant for the most part. Just like movies from 90s are irrelevant for kids today.

Yes, d&d is hodge podge of everything. And because of that, it just plainly sucks at some things. It trying to encompass to much. Be too general. It works best when it sticks to pseudo medieval to early renaissance period inspired fantasy.

As swashbucklers go, most culturally relevant movie depiction these days are Pirates of the Caribbean movies and, i'm serious, Puss in the boots cartoons. And Three musketeers, but those are based on literary classic, plus there is new movie that came out last year and this year (Three musketeers: Milady pt 1&2) and probably some character from anime.

In 5e, imho, best way to create classic swashbuckler, mechanically at least, is to take 2 levels of fighter for dueling FS and then bladesinger all the way. Mage armor gives you ac without wearing armor, bladesong gives you mobility and int to defense so you can go toe to toe, plus you are faster and you have advantage on acrobatics (for swinging on chandeliers).
 

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