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Though anyone can devote themselves to swordfighting, a swordsman truly and wholly dedicates herself to blade work, and its art. Not many can stand to a swordsman martial prowess with a blade, and many tremble in fear at their presence.

Role: A swordsman's focus is entirely on her abilities with a sword, meaning her main focus will be on getting up close and personal with enemies she may be facing.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The swordsman's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Swordsman
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Sword Training I
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Uncanny Dodge
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Bonus Feat
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Nimble +1
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sword Training II
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Evasion
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Bonus Feat
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Nimble +2
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Sword Training III
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Improved Uncanny Dodge
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Bonus Feat
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Nimble +3
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sword Training IV
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Improved Evasion, Kick-Off 30 FT
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Bonus Feat
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Nimble +4
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sword Training V
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Kick-Off 60 FT
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Bonus Feat
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Sword MasteryNimble +5

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the swordsman.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Swordsman are proficient with all simple weapons. In addition to this, they are proficient with any "sword" weapon. They are proficient with light armor, light shields, and bucklers.

Sword Training I (Ex)

At 1st level, the swordsman becomes adept in a certain style of swordplay, choosing her path to dueling. She selects one of the "Styles" below.

Savage Style: The swordsman becomes adept with two-handed weapons and is able to wield them with ease. The swordsman gains Power Attack as a bonus feat.

Fencing Style: A natural with rapiers and using her quick wit. The swordsman gains Opportune Parry/Riposte as the Swashbuckler deed, and a panache pool equal to her intelligence modifier.

General Style: Adept with wielding her blade and nothing else, the swordsman gains the benefits of weapon focus with the weapon she's wielding if she has a sword in one hand and nothing in her other hand.

Rodelero Style: Sound when using a sword and shield, the swordsman can wield one-handed weapons in two hands while she is wielding a shield or buckler in her other hand, though she cannot use this with a two-handed weapon.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 2nd level, a swordsman gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to armor class if immobilized. A swordsman with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to armor class if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

If a swordsman already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Bonus Feat

At 3rd level, the swordsman gains bonus feats. These feats must be combat feats or style feats. She counts as already having combat expertise when determining prerequisites for style feats, however she may only use these style feats with a sword unless she has combat expertise as a feat.

Nimble (Ex)

At 4th level, a swordsman gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC while wearing light or no armor. Anything that causes the swordsman to lose her Dexterity bonus to AC also causes her to lose this dodge bonus. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 4th (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level).

Sword Training II (Ex)

At 4th level, the swordsman selects a new style of swordplay to add to her growing collection of styles.

Eastern Style: As a full round action, the swordsman makes an attack roll at her highest attack bonus to a single enemy. This single attack gains an additional amount of d6 added to the damage equal to the swordsman's intelligence modifier. This attack can be done a number of times per day equal to 3 + Intelligence modifier.

Afterimage Style: Three times per day, the swordsman can gain a free feint attempt upon an enemy before her attack rolls. The Combat Maneuver can substitute her charisma with her intelligence modifier using whichever is higher.

Defensive Style: A number of times per day equal to the swordsman's intelligence modifier, the swordsman can attempt to negate one enemies' attack to her. The enemy must make a will save to continue with their attack. (DC 10 + half swordsman level + intelligence modifier).

Chained Style: As a full round action, the swordsman makes an attack roll against a single enemy. This damage adds the swordsman's intelligence modifier. If the attack is successful, she can continue her attack to an opponent adjacent to her and finish the attack on them, dealing half of her original damage if the second attack hits. Opponents who are immune to precision based damage are immune to her intelligence modifier being added to the damage.

Evasion (Ex)

At 6th level, a swordsman can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a swordsman makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a swordsman is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless swordsman does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Sword Training III (Ex)

At 9th level, the swordsman chooses an additional style to add to her arsenal.

Critical Style: Choose one type of enemy that is immune to critical hits (aeons, elementals, incorporeal, ooze, or protean). Once selected this cannot be changed later. The enemy type is able to be critically hit by the swordsman now.

Large Blade Finesse: Choose one two-handed sword that cannot be used with the Weapon Finesse feat (examples: Falchion, Greatsword, and Two-Bladed Sword). This sword can now be used with weapon finesse.

Deadly Style: While wielding a sword, the swordsman gains the Improved Critical feat.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 10th level and higher, a swordsman can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the swordsman by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has swordsman levels.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Sword Training IV (Ex)

At 13th level, the swordsman picks an additional style to add to her arsenal.

Gunblade Style: The swordsman can turn her blades into gunblades. If the sword is light or one-handed it uses a one-handed firearm's stats. A two-handed sword uses a two-handed firearm. (Example: A longsword can double as a double barreled pistol, using the double barreled pistol's stats for ranged attacks). Transforming the sword into a firearm takes a full-round action. Turning a sword into a gunblade requires the swordsman to pay for the firearm's cost + double the sword's base cost in order to turn it into a gunblade. Below are some guns that can be added to swords. Technological firearms can be put into the weapons at GM's discretion.

One-Handed Firearms: Pepperbox, Pistol, Double Barreled Pistol, and Dragon Pistol.

Two-Handed Firearms: Blunderbuss, Culverin, Musket, and Double Barreled Musket.

Spell Bat: If a swordsman passes her reflex save against a single area of effect spell (such as fireball or lightningbolt) she can reflect the spell back at the caster, making a ranged attack roll against the target's touch AC. This can only be used once per round.

Moving Attack: Once per day, the swordsman can make a single attack roll against an enemy within their reach. If the attack hits, the swordsman can begin moving forwards, pushing the enemy along with them.

Draining Pierce: If the swordsman is wielding a piercing weapon, she can pool all of her attacks into one. Making a single attack roll at her highest attack bonus, the enemy must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + half the swordsman's level + intelligence modifier) or take 1d4 points of Strength and Dexterity damage along with her regular damage. Enemies immune to precision damage or ability damage are not harmed by this.

Improved Evasion (Ex)

At 14th level, a swordsman's evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless swordsman does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Kick-Off (Ex)

At 14th level if the swordsman is falling and next to at least one wall, she can kick off from said wall as a move action in any direction except for the direction of the wall. At 18th level, this increases to a 60 ft speed. If the swordsman ends up at the ground by the end of the movement, she negates any falling damage she might have taken.

Sword Training V (Ex)

At 18th level, the swordsman gains amazing styles that make her swordsmanship peerless.

Light Blade: Gain +5d6 sneak attack damage.

One-Handed Blade: Gain an insight bonus to attack rolls equal to half swordsman level (minimum +9), this can be used a number of times per day equal to her intelligence modifier.

Two-Handed Blade: While using Power Attack, once per day they can ignore any penalties imposed by this feat.

Sword Mastery (Ex)

At 20th level, the swordsman increases the critical multiplier of the sword he's wielding by x1, and along with this she can wield any sword two-handed as a one-handed sword and does not take any penalties while doing so.

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, she must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

Table: Swordsman Archetypes / Alternate Class Features

Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Weapon & Armor Sword Training Uncanny Dodge Nimble Evasion Improved Uncanny Dodge Improved Evasion Bonus Feats Kick-Off Sword Mastery
I II III IV V +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 3 7 11 15 19 30 FT 60 FT
Black Flame Studios
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X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed