The swordlords follow no singular path to dueling mastery-some of those who take up the blade only dabble in its use, while others explore swordplay with the dueling weapon in unconventional ways. But those who seek to most closely emulate these traditions usually do so by taking levels in the swordlord prestige class. When one hears of an swordlord traveling the back roads, confronting bandits and defeating braggarts by challenging them to single combat, that swordlord has very likely pursued this path.
Due to this prestige class’s emphasis on mastering numerous feats, swordlords often have levels in the fighter class; many of these are humans with above-average intelligence, which helps them swiftly fulfill the skill requirements, but this is far from the only route available. Ranger, rogues, slayers, and swashbucklers also seek to master this signature sword-fighting art by gaining levels as an swordlord, even though, in most cases, they must wait longer to qualify for the class than fighters.
This prestige class also works well in conjunction with the defender archetype, though neither the archetype nor the prestige class require the other.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Hit Die: d10.
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+1||+0||+1||+0||Deft strike, quick draw|
|2nd||+2||+1||+1||+1||Display weapon prowess|
|3rd||+3||+1||+2||+1||Defensive parry +1|
|4th||+4||+1||+2||+1||Adaptive tactics 1|
|7th||+7||+2||+4||+2||Defensive parry +2, dexterous duelist|
|8th||+8||+3||+4||+3||Adaptive tactics 2|
|9th||+9||+3||+5||+3||Greater saving slash|
Prerequisites[edit | edit source]
To qualify to become an swordlord, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
- Feats: Dazzling Display, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (dueling sword), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (dueling sword).
- Skills: Mobility 3 ranks, Persuasion 5 ranks, Knowledge (World) 3 ranks, Perception 3 ranks.
Class features[edit | edit source]
All of the following are class features of the Duelist prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency[edit | edit source]
Duelists gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Deft Strike[edit | edit source]
A swordlord can add his Dexterity bonus (if any) to damage rolls made with a dueling sword instead of his Strength bonus. This bonus on damage rolls applies whether the swordlord is wielding a dueling sword one-handed or two-handed. A swordlord cannot use this ability if he is wielding a shield or using an off-hand weapon (including armor spikes, unarmed strikes, or natural weapons).
Display Weapon Prowess[edit | edit source]
At 2nd level, an Aldori swordlord adds a bonus equal to half his class level on Persuasion skill checks made to intimidate. He also gains an additional +1 bonus on Persuasion skill checks made to intimidate while using Dazzling Display with a dueling sword for each of the following feats he has with the dueling sword: Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Weapon Focus, or Weapon Specialization.
Defensive Parry[edit | edit source]
At 3rd level, an Aldori swordlord gains a +1 bonus to his AC against melee attacks when making a full attack with a dueling sword. This AC bonus increases to +2 at 7th level. If an Aldori swordlord is also a fighter with the Aldori defender fighter archetype, levels in this class stack with his fighter levels when determining the AC bonus from this ability.
Adaptive Tactics[edit | edit source]
At 4th level, an Aldori swordlord learns to adapt his fighting style to counter his enemy's strengths. An Aldori swordlord reduces the attack roll penalty for fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise by 1 at 4th level and by 2 at 8th level.\nIn addition, after a creature attacks an Aldori swordlord for the first time, he attempts a Perception check (DC = 10 + the opponent's base attack bonus). If successful, the Aldori swordlord gains a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls and to his AC against that creature until the end of combat.
Shatter Confidence[edit | edit source]
At 5th level, an Aldori swordlord attempts a Persuasion skill check to intimidate and demoralize his target as a free action after he confirms a critical hit or succeeds at a disarm, or sunder combat maneuver with a dueling sword. If his target is already shaken, the Aldori swordlord can once per round attempt a Persuasion check to Intimidate and demoralize the target further after any successful melee attack or combat maneuver. If he succeeds at this check, the target suffers an additional -1 penalty on attack rolls and saving throws, and loses all morale bonuses to these checks.
Dexterous Duelist[edit | edit source]
At 7th level, an Aldori swordlord does not provoke attacks of opportunity when standing up from prone.
Greater Saving Slash[edit | edit source]
At 9th level, an Aldori swordlord's saving slash has a 50% chance of reducing a critical hit to a normal hit.
Confounding Duelist[edit | edit source]
At 10th level, the penalty from Aldori swordlord's shatter confidence increases to -2. The target also loses all insight and competence bonuses to these checks.