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5E Swashbuckler fighter subclass

Voranzovin

Villager
As to d’Artagnan, he sprang toward Jussac himself.
The heart of the young Gascon beat as if it would burst through his side--not from fear, God be thanked, he had not the shade of it, but with emulation; he fought like a furious tiger, turning ten times round his adversary, and changing his ground and his guard twenty times. Jussac was, as was then said, a fine blade, and had had much practice; nevertheless it required all his skill to defend himself against an adversary who, active and energetic, departed every instant from received rules, attacking him on all sides at once, and yet parrying like a man who had the greatest respect for his own epidermis.
This contest at length exhausted Jussac’s patience. Furious at being held in check by one whom he had considered a boy, he became warm and began to make mistakes. D’Artagnan, who though wanting in practice had a sound theory, redoubled his agility. Jussac, anxious to put an end to this, springing forward, aimed a terrible thrust at his adversary, but the latter parried it; and while Jussac was recovering himself, glided like a serpent beneath his blade, and passed his sword through his body.


Swashbucklers are a common martial archetype in adventure fiction. However, I don’t believe we have a really good way to represent them in 5e (or in any other edition of Dnd, for that matter). Sure, we have Rogue/Swashbuckler, and this does a good job modeling trickster-swashbucklers like Zorro, who use mobility and trickery to confound their opponents. But what about the swashbuckling archetype embodied by characters like d’Artagnan, Scaramouche, Inigo Montoya, Alan Breck Stuart, or the Grey Mouser? These characters are as focused on face-to-face combat as any other martial archetype, just with a different style and emphasis. They feel more like Fighters than Rogues, and Rogue abilities don’t really fit them.

You can model these sorts of characters as a Fighter/Battlemaster, and it works well enough, but it doesn’t feel entirely right to me. Battlemasters have ribbons that emphasize a Knight/Samurai/master-of-war feel, and their abilities are built to allow them to nova and do a large amount of damage in a short period of time, which honestly doesn’t feel very swashbucklery. I’ve also taken a look at Swashbuckling classes available through DMsGuild, but I’m not sure the concept needs its own class. I think there’s room here for a Fighter subclass that fits the archetype better, and is different enough not to step on the Battlemaster’s toes. So I took a stab at it (so to speak).

This draft is more of a thought experiment than anything else: I don’t really have time to playtest and refine it. But I’d be curious what people think of it.

First of all, what is a swashbuckling fighter (in my conception, at least)?
  • A clever fighter who uses unconventional and creative swordplay to outwit opponents.
  • An underdog. A swashbuckler is always facing opponents that are stronger and better equipped, often with official backing from a corrupt lord/government/organization. In the context of combat, this often means being unarmored and unprotected against better armed and armored foes.
  • Reactive. Swashbucklers aren’t soldiers or assassins*, and they don’t generally go for the kill right away. Sometimes this reticence to attack has a moral dimension--the swashbuckler only considers it honorable to give you a fair fight, maybe even tossing your sword back to you after you stumble--but just as often they’re just waiting for you to make a mistake they can take advantage of.
  • Brave, sometimes to the point of recklessness. Many swashbucklers hold their own lives pretty cheaply, quite willing to die over a minor point of honor--it’s how you live that matters, not if you do. Of course, somehow they usually end up surviving anyway.
  • Infuriating. Since Swashbucklers are always punching up, if you’re fighting one you probably think you should be able to beat them easily with your superior capabilities. Why won’t they just stand still so you can kill them already?!?

Goals:
  • The subclass should offer a fighter with lots of tactical options that expresses the swashbuckler concept, but without stealing the Battlemaster’s thunder.
  • It should allow the creation of a viable unarmored front-line combatant.
  • It should offer versatility in combat over power.
  • It should allow frequent use of it’s capabilities--swashbucklers don’t just swashbuckle occasionally--without being unbalanced relative to other Fighter subclasses.
  • It should not be too narrowly defined, ie. the image of the swashbuckler is often a nimble fighter with a rapier, but not all swashbucklers necessarily need to fit that mold perfectly--Porthos, for instance, would be a Strength-based swashbuckler. Some swashbucklers might wear light or medium armor, or use a longsword, or dual wield.

Here’s the first draft of the subclass features:

Unarmored defense

When you are not wearing armor and are not carrying a shield, you add your Intelligence modifier to your AC. If wearing light or medium armor that allows you to add some portion of your Dexterity modifier to your AC, you may choose to substitute your Intelligence modifier instead. In addition, the Defense fighting style applies even when you are not wearing armor.

Swashbuckling dice

At third level, you gain six Swashbuckling dice. These dice represent your ability to draw on inner reserves of wit and daring to perform extraordinary feats. You cannot use a Swashbuckling die if you are wielding a weapon with the Heavy or Two-handed property, or if you are carrying a shield or wearing heavy armor.

Your swashbuckling dice are d8s. They become d10s at level 10 and d12s at level 18. You gain an additional Swashbuckling die at levels 7, 10, and 18.

All Swashbuckling dice are regained on a long or short rest.

Daring Do

Your irrepressible spirit allows you to perform incredible stunts. You may roll a Swashbuckling die and add the results to any of the following:

  • A Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
  • A Dexterity save.
  • Your jump distance for one round.
  • Your climb speed for one round.

Creative Swordsmanship

You have learned to bait your opponent into making mistakes, and take advantage of those mistakes with unconventional swordplay. When you are hit by an opponent with a melee attack, you can spend a Swashbuckling die as a Reaction and add the result to your AC. If this causes the opponent to miss, you can follow up with a Swashbuckling Counter as part of the same Reaction. Most counters call for a save, and the save DC is 8 + your Strength or Dexterity + your Proficiency bonus. The following counters are available to all Swashbucklers:

Riposte
You take advantage of the momentary gap in your opponent’s defense for a quick counter attack. Make a normal attack against this opponent as part of your Reaction, but do not add an ability modifier to the attack’s damage.​
Throw
Your opponent is off-balance, so it’s a great time to pull them off their feet, leg sweep them, or kick them over. Your opponent must make either a Dexterity or Strength saving throw. On a failed save, your opponent falls prone. You may make the opponent fall into any space within five feet of their previous position.​
You cannot use this Counter if your opponent is more than one size category larger than you, or if they are a quadruped.​
Disarm
You flip your opponent's weapon out of their grasp. Your opponent must make a Strength or Dexterity save--on a failed save, the weapon they just attempted to attack you with flies from their hand. It lands in a square of your choice ten feet away from your opponent.​
You cannot use this ability against opponents wielding weapons with the Heavy property.​
Note that both Disarm and Throw works differently then the Battlemaster’s disarm and trip, because you are not performing it on your turn--if it merely made the opponent drop their weapon or fall prone, they could simply pick it back up/get back up on the beginning of their own turn and you would have gained very little.
Distract
Your opponent’s failed attack gives you an opening to throw sand in their face, pull their hood down over their eyes, slap them, or in some other way discombobulate their attacks. Your opponent must make a Dexterity save. On a failed save, your opponent suffers disadvantage on attacks for the remainder of their turn, and cannot take reactions until their next turn.​
Reposition
You avoid your opponent's attack by sliding under them, leaping over them, or ducking under their weapon. You move directly through your opponent’s space, ending up in a square of your choice within five feet of your opponent. Your opponent must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, they lose their Reaction this round and therefore cannot take an attack of opportunity against you.​

Laugh in the Face of Danger

At 7th level, you are so used to throwing yourself into danger that you have become inured to fear. You may add the result of a Swashbuckling die to any save made to resist being Frightened.

Ingenious Swordsmanship

At 10th level, your swordplay is supremely creative and unpredictable. Once per short rest, you can use a more powerful version of one of your Counters when using your Creative Swordsmanship ability. You can choose to use this ability to improve the effect of your counter after you know whether or not your opponent has succeeded on their save against your counter.

Redirect
As Riposte, but you can use the damage die of your opponent's weapon instead of your own, and you can make the attack against any opponent within five feet of both you and your opponent.​
Thow Into
As throw, but you may direct your opponent into the space of any other opponent within five feet of your opponent. The second opponent must also make a Strength or Dexterity save. If they fail the save, they are also knocked prone.​
Snatching Disarm
As Disarm, but if your opponent’s weapon is a light or finesse weapon you may snatch it in your off-hand as part of your disarm. You may now use the weapon as an off-hand weapon if you would otherwise be able to do so.​
Humiliating Distraction
As Distract, but your opponent is also humiliated. You cut the buttons from their coat, steal the feather off their helmet, tweak their nose, or in some other way make them look foolish and incompetant.​
Your opponent takes disadvantage on any of their remaining attacks this round, and loses their reaction, as normal for the Distract counter. At the beginning of their next turn, the opponent must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, they fly into a rage and attack you without concern for their own safety.​
The opponent gains the Reckless Attack ability as a Barbarian for one round, and must recklessly attack you this round. Of course, the opponent may well not have the durability of a raging Barbarian to go along with the reckless behavior…​
Under most circumstances, this ability can only be used against humanoids. At the DM’s discretion, it may also be applied to non-humanoids who have a human-like sense of self that would allow them to experience embarrassment.​
Slashing Reposition
As the Reposition counter, except that if your opponent fails their Dexterity save you can also use the Riposte Counter as part of the same reaction, slashing your opponent as you go by.​

Relentless Swordsmanship

At 18th level, if you do not have a Swashbuckling die at the beginning of combat, you gain one.


The idea here is to invert the Battlemaster--instead of dice that you get to add to damage (with a rider) here you have dice you get to add to AC (with a rider).

I’m giving them more Swashbuckling dice then a Battlemaster has Superiority Dice both because they can use them for more things, and because they (I think) have less direct impact on the outcome of a fight. The idea is that the Swashbuckler has flexibility and survivability, but not accuracy or depth--none of the Counters improve your attacks or damage the way a Battlemaster’s Maneuvers do. They could be devastating under the right circumstances, but you have to choose those circumstances well, and you don’t just get to pull one out any time you want to--they’re triggered by the actions of your opponents. That’s the idea anyway.

Some questions:
  • The Swashbuckler uses Int for defense, but not for anything else. This might make the class too MAD for not enough benefit, and emphasizes enhancing Int at the expense of Cha, which is also thematic for Swashbucklers. On the other hand, while Swashbucklers are often pretty charismatic in fiction, this doesn’t seem to be where their fighting abilities stem from--Andre Moreau, say, is a pretty charismatic guy, but he’s good with a sword because he practiced a lot.
  • Is the Swashbuckler actually survivable enough to be a viable unarmored frontline fighter? AC won’t be as high as someone in plate armor, and indeed shouldn’t be, since the Swashbuckler’s main ability keys off of being “hit.” But does being able to negate one attack a round (assuming you have the Swashbuckling dice for it) actually provide enough survivability?

* To forestall quibbles: obviously some swashbucklers actually are supposed to be soldiers or assassins. They just don’t act like it. The musketeers, for instance, seem to regard their actual job as an occasional distraction from intrigues and dueling. The only vocation swashbucklers really seem to take seriously is Pirate.
 

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Greg K

Adventurer
Hi,
I know that you are going for a subclass, but have you seen Khaalis's Light Armor variant for the Fighter that he posted on ENWorld? By starting with a variant of the Fighter class based upon the Battlemaster, and starting at first level, he accomplishes several things:
1. He address the Int issue you mention by making it one of the class's two save proficiencies (Dexterity being the other)
2. He has a has class skill appropriate for light armored fighters (including the Swashbuckler archetype) at first level and grants 1 additional class skill choice (which is appropriate given the archetype of light armored fighters).
3. He gives the Int bonus to AC at first level (when not wearing armor, but shields can be carried). In exchange, characters with this variant lose proficiency in medium or heavy armor.
4. He also keeps a more flexible base for the light fighter archetype by providing three new Fighting Styles (Brawling, Firearms, and Precision), three new Maneuvers (Gibing Insult, Plunging Strike, Incapacitating Strike), and new feat (Firearms Expert) and then allowing for archetype specializaiton
with the addition of seven subclasses including the Corsair, Duelist, Gallant, Musketeer, and Swashbuckler (the other two are the Brawler and Kensai)

At the least, I think that it would be worth looking at for ideas.

Finally, at least one media portrayal of Zorro, is best fit with a Fighter (using the light armored variant), a Swashbuckler Archetype, and the criminal background! ;)
 
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Worrgrendel

Explorer
Few things I see are not getting unarmored defense until level 3. So you are a regular heavy armor guy until level 3 and then you suddenly shed it all at level 3 and go “what was I thinking? Let’s get nekked!!!” All other unarmored defense are built into the class at level 1. Second thing is this could be worth a 3-4 level dip in fighter for a Bladesinger Wizard, who at level 6 (Fighter 4/Wizard 2; Dex 16, Int 18, ASI into Int) would have an AC of 21 (26 with Shield) or 22 with Protection fighting style (27 with Shield) all the while adding a d8 (then d10, d12...) if you don’t want to blow the spell slot on Shield? Seems a bit much. I know that’s a niche build but I’d take it for a spin!
 

delph

Explorer
No one mentioned it? Swashbuckler is a Charisma-based person! Nothing to do with Inteligence. Not in the way DnD uses intelligence.
First way is, as Flamestrike said, combination of Battlemaster and Swash buckler rogue or Bard. Second - using new subclass.

And this is not a good way. It's weakened Battlemaster and nothing more to compare it. And truth to say - nothing swashbuckling.
I'm not a native English speaker and I'm not thinking about swashbuckling right, but I see it as a little bit Bardic way.

what about "vicious mockery" attacks with melee attacks. Using Swashbuckling dices to "get in enemies head" - get advantages, disadvantages, or losing their actions by "WTF effect", an inspiration for companions. (Finally can see inspirative leader feat with fighter)
 

Looks interesting. I would probably just go for BM if I wanted to do a Swashbuckler fighter, but this seem to achieve what you were trying to do.

Just a note: you should change the Unarmoured Defense ability to match the calculation that all the other classes use. (Set AC as 10 + Dex mod + Int mod ) rather than Int mod as bonus.
Otherwise as written a Swashbuckler Monk could stack Int with their Wis and Dex for example.

Personally I might suggest changing to Proficiency rather than Int mod. - base it more off skill and practice and reduce MAD.
 

All I see is a battlemaster with a certain fighting style and somw custom maneuvers. That does not varant a new subclass in my opinion.

Swashbuckling fighting style:

While wearing no armor and not using a shield, your AC is 10 + int + dex. Also you add double your proficiency bonus on saving throws against fear.

Then for the battlemaster, invent swasbuckling maneuvers that use INT as the relevant stat.

Of course you could make a dedicated swashbuckler. I really liked the fighter scout which used superiority dice for certain maneuvers. That could be a model for the swashbuckler too. I just don't see the sense behind inventing swashbuckling dice that are basically superiority dice with a different name. Those abilities play better with each other if they are equivalent. So the martial adept feet taken by the swashbuckler will use d8+ instead of d6.
 

Few things I see are not getting unarmored defense until level 3. So you are a regular heavy armor guy until level 3 and then you suddenly shed it all at level 3 and go “what was I thinking? Let’s get nekked!!!” All other unarmored defense are built into the class at level 1. Second thing is this could be worth a 3-4 level dip in fighter for a Bladesinger Wizard, who at level 6 (Fighter 4/Wizard 2; Dex 16, Int 18, ASI into Int) would have an AC of 21 (26 with Shield) or 22 with Protection fighting style (27 with Shield) all the while adding a d8 (then d10, d12...) if you don’t want to blow the spell slot on Shield? Seems a bit much. I know that’s a niche build but I’d take it for a spin!

I don't see how a 3 level dip is really worthwhile. Different armor calculations don't stack and so the most you get is +2 AC over mage armor and IIRC you even get light armor as bladesinger which by level 15 or so might be 15 AC anyway. All that at the cost of 2 spell levels seems like a bad trade (if that is the only reason for taking levels in fighter).

Edit: also you can't use protection fighting style if you wear no armor at all.
 

I don't see how a 3 level dip is really worthwhile. Different armor calculations don't stack and so the most you get is +2 AC over mage armor and IIRC you even get light armor as bladesinger which by level 15 or so might be 15 AC anyway. All that at the cost of 2 spell levels seems like a bad trade (if that is the only reason for taking levels in fighter).

Edit: also you can't use protection fighting style if you wear no armor at all.
As it is currently written above, it is a bonus to AC not a different armor calculation. So it would stack. AC would be 13 (mage armor) + 3 (Dex) + 4 (Int) for 20 total. No defense style bonus since you're not using armor.
That is why others have suggested changing to to be 10 + Dex + Int instead, so it wouldn't stack with other things.
 

As it is currently written above, it is a bonus to AC not a different armor calculation. So it would stack. AC would be 13 (mage armor) + 3 (Dex) + 4 (Int) for 20 total. No defense style bonus since you're not using armor.
That is why others have suggested changing to to be 10 + Dex + Int instead, so it wouldn't stack with other things.

Oh. You are right. I read it that way, because in 5e that is the usualmethod to apply such bonuses, and for good reasons.
 

When you are not wearing armor and are not carrying a shield, you add your Intelligence modifier to your AC.

I don't understand this. This is a very common mechanic for swashbucklers but it just doesn't make sense. Porthos would get nothing from this, for instance. I also don't like double dipping stats. Couldn't they just get a flat bonus, perhaps +1 or +2 to start, that increases with level? Swashbucklers tend to need Charisma anyway (along with their high Dexterity).
 

Voranzovin

Villager
Thanks for your comments!

I know that you are going for a subclass, but have you seen Khaalis's Light Armor variant for the Fighter that he posted on ENWorld? By starting with a variant of the Fighter class based upon the Battlemaster, and starting at first level, he accomplishes several things:

Thanks for pointing it out--it sounds really interesting! Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to find it on ENWorld or through a google search. Would you happen to have a link?

Few things I see are not getting unarmored defense until level 3. So you are a regular heavy armor guy until level 3 and then you suddenly shed it all at level 3 and go “what was I thinking? Let’s get nekked!!!” All other unarmored defense are built into the class at level 1. Second thing is this could be worth a 3-4 level dip in fighter for a Bladesinger Wizard, who at level 6 (Fighter 4/Wizard 2; Dex 16, Int 18, ASI into Int) would have an AC of 21 (26 with Shield) or 22 with Protection fighting style (27 with Shield) all the while adding a d8 (then d10, d12...) if you don’t want to blow the spell slot on Shield? Seems a bit much. I know that’s a niche build but I’d take it for a spin!

That's a good point--in the campaigns I play in we often start at level 3, but it would indeed be weird to transition into this at 3rd level. Maybe that suggests that this really should be a separate class after all.

Also, as many people here have pointed out the Unarmored Defense should read 10 + Dex + Int, not an Int bonus--that was just an oversight on my part. And it would not apply when using a shield.

No one mentioned it? Swashbuckler is a Charisma-based person! Nothing to do with Inteligence. Not in the way DnD uses intelligence.
First way is, as Flamestrike said, combination of Battlemaster and Swash buckler rogue or Bard. Second - using new subclass.

This seems to be a common opinion, but it's one I'd like to question--are swashbucklers, in fact, defined by charisma? They are certainly often portrayed as very charismatic, but the same is true of many fighting characters in adventure fiction. Just off the top of my head, Aragorn, Sanjuro, John Carter, and Robin Hood are all extremely charismatic figures, but if you were to try to model them in Dnd (which you probably shouldn't, since Dnd does not actually represent any literary genre very well, but bear with me) you would be unlikely to come up with a charisma-based build. It looks to me more like the swashbuckler's reputation for charisma is part of the overall trend in adventure fiction for characters who are both highly charismatic and very skilled at fighting--a trope that Dnd sometimes struggles with since charisma is not a "useful" stat for a Fighter in strict white-room terms, but that's a problem that isn't in any way unique to swashbucklers.

I'd say that swashbucklers are more defined, in terms of the capabilities they rely on in a fight, by cleverness. They defeat seemingly superior opponents (sometimes lots of them!) through wits and skill. Int seems like the closest thing we have to representing that in Dnd. Even d’Artagnan (look, I know I'm referring to him a lot but he's extremely iconic!) is described as someone "for whom swordsmanship is like chess," even though he's illiterate.

All I see is a battlemaster with a certain fighting style and somw custom maneuvers. That does not varant a new subclass in my opinion.

Perhaps not. I do like the idea of the Swashbuckling Counters as this feels more like outwitting an opponent to me then most Battlemaster maneuvers do, but of course Battlemasters maneuvers also sometimes apply on a Reaction and these could potentially be turned into them and work similarly. There's still the question of Battlemasters being too "deadly" for my conception of the archetype (as stated above, dealing lots of damage in a burst doesn't feel very swashbucklery to me) but that could just come down to your maneuver selection.

I don't understand this. This is a very common mechanic for swashbucklers but it just doesn't make sense. Porthos would get nothing from this, for instance. I also don't like double dipping stats. Couldn't they just get a flat bonus, perhaps +1 or +2 to start, that increases with level? Swashbucklers tend to need Charisma anyway (along with their high Dexterity).

Applying an additional attribute to AC seems to be how 5e does unarmored defense, but it indeed makes the subclass awfully MAD. (I also think that Porthos is more low Wis then low Int but that's a matter of stat interpretation and nobody seems to be able to agree on what stats mean to begin with, so I'll grant that it's more a matter of opinion then anything else)

In any case, I've come to the conclusion that this really would need to be either a separate class, or just some alternate Battlemaster maneuvers. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Thanks for your comments!
Thanks for pointing it out--it sounds really interesting! Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to find it on ENWorld or through a google search. Would you happen to have a link?
Here you go. Near the top right is the download button. The class variant itself, probably, could have been written in a few paragraphs, but I like having it in full class format for ease of reference. The archetypes, fighting styles, maneuvers, and feat all just take it to a higher level. Personally, I prefer this variant and the subclasses, to anything in any 5e WOTC supplement and almost every subclass in the PHB- others miileage may vary.
 
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delph

Explorer
Thanks for your comments!

This seems to be a common opinion, but it's one I'd like to question--are swashbucklers, in fact, defined by charisma? They are certainly often portrayed as very charismatic, but the same is true of many fighting characters in adventure fiction. Just off the top of my head, Aragorn, Sanjuro, John Carter, and Robin Hood are all extremely charismatic figures, but if you were to try to model them in Dnd (which you probably shouldn't, since Dnd does not actually represent any literary genre very well, but bear with me) you would be unlikely to come up with a charisma-based build. It looks to me more like the swashbuckler's reputation for charisma is part of the overall trend in adventure fiction for characters who are both highly charismatic and very skilled at fighting--a trope that Dnd sometimes struggles with since charisma is not a "useful" stat for a Fighter in strict white-room terms, but that's a problem that isn't in any way unique to swashbucklers.

I'd say that swashbucklers are more defined, in terms of the capabilities they rely on in a fight, by cleverness. They defeat seemingly superior opponents (sometimes lots of them!) through wits and skill. Int seems like the closest thing we have to representing that in Dnd. Even d’Artagnan (look, I know I'm referring to him a lot but he's extremely iconic!) is described as someone "for whom swordsmanship is like chess," even though he's illiterate.



Perhaps not. I do like the idea of the Swashbuckling Counters as this feels more like outwitting an opponent to me then most Battlemaster maneuvers do, but of course Battlemasters maneuvers also sometimes apply on a Reaction and these could potentially be turned into them and work similarly. There's still the question of Battlemasters being too "deadly" for my conception of the archetype (as stated above, dealing lots of damage in a burst doesn't feel very swashbucklery to me) but that could just come down to your maneuver selection.



Applying an additional attribute to AC seems to be how 5e does unarmored defense, but it indeed makes the subclass awfully MAD. (I also think that Porthos is more low Wis then low Int but that's a matter of stat interpretation and nobody seems to be able to agree on what stats mean to begin with, so I'll grant that it's more a matter of opinion then anything else)

In any case, I've come to the conclusion that this really would need to be either a separate class, or just some alternate Battlemaster maneuvers. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

You'v quoted many chars with "charisma" but many of them just arn't "swashbucklers". Aragorn and Carter are probably the most opposite characters to swashbuckler. Yes they can be "characters with rollesd stats" and have 16+ in all stats, but most of them dosn't use charisma to "dominate battlefield" Inteligence in DnD mean - study hills of book. You can do things really clever, but no one counts you because you are the weird one when you have low charisma. Charisma is "I'm here. Lisen me. Focus on me. Do what I want" thats why is paladin, warlock and sorcerer based on charisma. And thats why swashbuckler rogue subclass use charisma. And thats why I thin You shoud use charisma fot fighter subclass. The clever subclass of fighter is Eldritch knight.
Every swashbuckling skill is based on charisma - persuation, deception, intimidate,...

and yes, they can't be really silly, but not depend on int. They arn't inventors, engeneers, sages. They are entertainers, bards,... when I'm writing this I found really good "swashbuckler" in source books - Bard college of Sword. Use light max medium armor, one hand armor, can inspire their companions, confuse enemies and still they are really good with weapon.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
You'v quoted many chars with "charisma" but many of them just arn't "swashbucklers". Aragorn and Carter are probably the most opposite characters to swashbuckler. Yes they can be "characters with rollesd stats" and have 16+ in all stats, but most of them dosn't use charisma to "dominate battlefield" Inteligence in DnD mean - study hills of book. You can do things really clever, but no one counts you because you are the weird one when you have low charisma. Charisma is "I'm here. Lisen me. Focus on me. Do what I want" thats why is paladin, warlock and sorcerer based on charisma. And thats why swashbuckler rogue subclass use charisma. And thats why I thin You shoud use charisma fot fighter subclass. The clever subclass of fighter is Eldritch knight.
Every swashbuckling skill is based on charisma - persuation, deception, intimidate,...
Charisma skills are important, but one could argue that Intelligence is required for cunning and quick wit required for banter. Plus, one's source of inspiration for the Swashbuckler is also important. Don Diego Vega (later Don Diego de la Vega) whom is better known as Zorro, was a Spanish gentleman educated in Madrid or Barcelona (which depends on the source material used). In the Banderas version, Don Diego, in teaching Alejandro to be classy and fit in among the Dons, would have given him some education lessons.
 

delph

Explorer
Charisma skills are important, but one could argue that Intelligence is required for cunning and quick wit required for banter. Plus, one's source of inspiration for the Swashbuckler is also important. Don Diego Vega (later Don Diego de la Vega) whom is better known as Zorro, was a Spanish gentleman educated in Madrid or Barcelona (which depends on the source material used). In the Banderas version, Don Diego, in teaching Alejandro to be classy and fit in among the Dons, would have given him some education lessons.

Once again - They shouldn't be stupid (in term of DnD You shoudnť dumb Int stat to 8). That's okay. But Inteligence in DnD is really scholastic ability. When you really need to use cleverness, then use Wisdom. But they really needn't know history, books secrets of the universe,... And said Zorro studied some schools... that's same as my cousin is really good professor of theoretical physics and "by the way" is good volleyball player. And I say to anyone next who want to be theoretical physic scientist - You have to be good in volleyball because one good scientist play volleyball.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
... And said Zorro studied some schools... that's same as my cousin is really good professor of theoretical physics and "by the way" is good volleyball player. And I say to anyone next who want to be theoretical physic scientist - You have to be good in volleyball because one good scientist play volleyball.
The original Zorro did not just study some school. He went to a university
 

delph

Explorer
The original Zorro did not just study some school. He went to a university


and what he studied there? How he use his education with his rapier close combats? Or talks with enemies? Swashbuckler can be educated, but it isn't base to be a swashbuckler.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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