Duelist (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Duelists represent the pinnacle of elegant swordplay. They move with a grace unmatched by most foes, parrying blows and countering attacks with swift thrusts of their blades. They eschew bulky armor as their grace allows them to dodge their opponents with ease. While others flounder on treacherous terrain, duelists charge nimbly across the battlefield. They thrive in melee, where their skill with the blade allows them to make sudden attacks against clumsy foes and to cripple opponents with particularly well-placed thrusts of the blade. This is a martial arts style of the Way of the Mind.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Duelist.

A duelists is a fighter that specializes in light armor and weapons.

Role: Duelists fight in the forefront alongside fighters, barbarians, and other melee combatants, deftly avoiding the blades of their opponents while expertly targeting their vulnerabilities.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The duelist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Swim (Str),

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

These are all the class features of the duelist.

Armor and Weapon Proficiency

Duelists are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor and shields (excluding tower shields).

Canny Defense (Ex)

When wearing light or no armor and not using a large or tower shield, a duelist adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per duelist class level as a dodge bonus to CMD and Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. An unarmed duelist cannot use this ability, even if she has natural attacks or knows the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. If a duelist is caught unarmed or is flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus to armor class, she also loses this bonus.

Weapon Finesse

A duelist gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level. If she already knows this feat, the duelist can select any combat feat she fulfills the prerequisites for instead.

Precise Strike (Ex)

A duelist gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, adding her duelist level to her damage roll.

When making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield. A duelist's precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is also immune to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.

Dodge

A duelist gains Dodge as a bonus feat at 2nd level. She need not fulfill the prerequisites. If she already knows this feat, the duelist can select any combat feat she fulfills the prerequisites for instead.

Bravery

Starting at 2nd level, a duelist gains a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond three.

Improved Reaction (Ex)

At 3rd level, a duelist gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks. This bonus stacks with the benefit provided by the Improved Initiative feat.

Parry

At 3rd level a duelist learns to parry the melee attacks and combat maneuvers of other creatures. To parry, the duelist makes an attack roll at her best attack bonus. If this roll is greater than the attack/maneuver roll of the attacking creature, the parry succeeds and the original attack misses. The duelist declares the use of this ability after the attack is rolled.

At 3rd level, the duelist can parry one attack per round. For every 5 levels past level 3, the duelist can parry an additional attack each round, to a maximum of four parries per round at level 18.

A duelist denied his Dexterity bonus to armor class cannot use parry. On her next turn after a duelist made one or more parries, she is staggered, and this cannot be prevented or removed in any way.

Mobility

A duelist gains Mobility as a bonus feat at 4th level. She need not fulfill the prerequisites. If she already knows this feat, the duelist can select any combat feat she fulfills the prerequisites for instead.

Riposte

At 5th level, when an attack the duelist parried misses, she can make an attack of opportunity on the attacker if she is within reach. It is possible to parry attacks that would otherwise have missed, just to trigger a riposte.

Grace (Ex)

At 6th level, a duelist gains a +2 competence bonus on all Reflex saving throws. This ability functions for a duelist only when she is wearing light or no armor and not using a shield.

Cunning Opportunist

At 7th level, the duelist may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to her Intelligence bonus. This stacks with the benefits of Combat Reflexes.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex)

At 9th level, a duelist gains the ability to charge in situations where others cannot. She may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement. Depending on the circumstance, she may still need to make appropriate checks to successfully move over the terrain.

Bonus Feats

At level 10, and every 4 levels thereafter, the duelists chooses a combat feat as a bonus feat. She needs to fulfill the prerequisites of these feats as normal.

Enhanced Mobility (Ex)

Starting at 11th level, when wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, a duelist gains an additional +4 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity caused when she moves out of a threatened square. This stacks with the benefits of the Mobility feat.

Elaborate Defense (Ex)

At 12th level and higher, if a duelist chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, she gains an additional +2 dodge bonus to AC. This improves to a +3 bonus at level 18.

No Retreat (Ex)

At 15th level, enemies adjacent to the duelist that take a withdraw action provoke an attack of opportunity from the duelist.

Aggressive Defense (Ex)

At 16th level and higher, if a duelist chooses to fight defensively or use total defense, she can make an attack of opportunity against any opponent within reach who misses her with a melee attack.

Deflect Arrows

At 17th level, a duelist gains the benefit of the Deflect Arrows feat when using a light or one-handed piercing weapon. The duelist does not need a free hand to use this feat.

Duel Mastery (Ex)

At 19th level, as long as she wields a melee weapon, the duelist gains DR 5/-.

Crippling Critical (Ex)

When a level 20 duelist confirms a critical hit using a light or one-handed piercing weapon, she can apply one of the following penalties in addition to the damage dealt:

  • Reduce all of the target's speeds by 10 feet (minimum 5 feet)
  • 1d4 points of Strength or Dexterity damage
  • –4 penalty on all saving throws
  • –4 penalty to Armor Class
  • 2d6 points of bleed damage.

These penalties last for 1 minute, except for ability damage, which must be healed normally, and bleed damage, which continues until the target receives magic healing or a DC 15 Heal skill check.

Table: Duelist

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Canny defense, precise strike, Weapon Finesse
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Dodge, bravery
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Improved reaction, parry 1/round
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Mobility
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Riposte
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Grace
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Cunning opportunist
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Parry 2/round
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Acrobatic charge
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Enhanced mobility
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Elaborate defense
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Parry 3/round
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Bonus feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 No retreat
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Aggressive defense
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Deflect Arrows
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Bonus feat, parry 4/round
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Duel mastery
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Crippling critical

Notes

For a full development of this concept, see the fencer.

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