14 thoughts on “Okay. PDF’d it. Still need to iron things out. Still looking for feedback.”

  1. DW classes are specific by design. While I love the writing of the Dashing Hero, I think the rules have some flaws. I wrote the Swashbuckler specifically because I thought other variations had issues.

  2. I still wouldn’t use the specific name of another class as a descriptor

    “What matters is where you’ve learned to become such a dashing hero”

    Other points/suggestions

    •  It has a lot of bonds, which is good for a social character, but does it need as many as the bard?

    • Water Dance should probably be +1 armour

    • “When an NPC asks that you make a promise in parley, they will always accept just a little bit less.” Due to the absolute nature of some promises, this may be very hard for the GM to figure out what is a “little bit less”

    other than that it looks pretty good!

  3. It certainly reads like a character that would be fun to play at the table. But it definitely feels like a rogue/thief/bard type of class. Which leaves its HP and Damage dice seeming way too high. 10d/8HP plus high armor capability and easy to get damage boosts puts it right in with the Fighter/Paladin, 2 of the most turtley high damage classes. Yet its skills are not nearly so focused on damage/defending. I would say 6/6 for damage and HP just like the Bard class. Perhaps 8/6 at absolute most like the Thief. And as Hannah has mentioned Water Dance feels too overpowered too. So basically, it feels good, but stats feel inflated for what it is, essentially a bragging showoff who also happens to swing a sword. Get the mechanics to reflect the fiction and I think you’ve really got something.

  4. Love it, especially the Swashbuckler’s Creed. Scathing Words, Redirect, Dazzle and Disarm, Dirsrobe are all great at conveying what the class is about!

    It seems to me that it is a bit hard to get bravado, but maybe it’s not so at the table. Maybe a move to get as much bravado as you would get holds (1-3)? 

    A suggestion :

    – I would change one option for Flip Tables, Swing on Chandeliers. Instead of “You arrive nearby unscathed”, I’d go with something like “You don’t put yourself on a spot”. Maybe it’s just me, but arriving unscathed is a given for “such a dashing hero”; not landing in the middle of the fight or just in front of that angry berserker, not so much! 🙂 I also would add an automatic “you gain 1 bravado” for a 10+, maybe remove the option. 

  5. Some awesome feedback here, exactly what I needed.

    Mike, the big difference here is that the thief and particularly the bard have more utility than the swashbuckler. While the class FEELS like the Thief/Bard, it is in fact meant to fill the roll of a Fighter/Paladin.

    Comparing damage, a Paladin with a Longsword starts with 1d10+1, a Fighter can get as high as +2 or +1 with 2 piercing. The Swashbuckler has 1d10 with 1 piercing and the ability to use bravado to add +Cha. That feels to me roughly comparable. A swashbuckler at its core is an expert swordsman, a Thief or Bard is not.

    On Armor, Paladins and Fighters both can easily start the game with 3, a Swashbuckler can make small equipment sacrifices to get 2 with the option of spending bravado to get to 3 in an emergency. So it is comparable to Paladin/Fighter, but quite not as good. As such, Water Dance is an option for a Swashbuckler who would like to be able to step in and tank, but perhaps didn’t choose the buckler and leather armor. Only having Water Dance grant 1 armor would be silly when Iron Hide and Holy Protection add +1 armor, bringing their potential armor to 4.

    Overall its easiest to put the swashbuckler side by side with the paladin. I Am the Law and Scathing Words are comparable. Quest is a better version of Swashbuckler’s Creed. And where the Paladin has higher survivability and healing, the Swashbuckler gets some utility bonuses.

    About “”What matters is where you’ve learned to become such a dashing hero.” I didn’t really intend to use that name, it just felt like it fit. I may decide to change it up.

    About Hard Bargain, that was a late addition because I wanted more non-combat related moves. I need to think about it more before I decide if it works. I like the concept, but I can see how it would be tricky to execute.

    The 6 bonds may be too many as it sort of steals some of the bard’s class-defining aspects. I will probably bump it down to 5, any suggestions on which one to cut?

    Jordan, so to go back in time a bit, bravado was always the core of the class. For many revisions there was a move like “When you enter a dangerous situation, Roll+Cha. 10+ 3 bravado, 7-9 1 bravado.”

    The issue here is that that move doesn’t actually DO anything. You gain bravado, but nothing really just happened. I wanted to trigger gaining bravado from actually DOING things.

    I like the option of showing off on a 7-9 for Flip Tables, Swing on Chandeliers. The fictional idea that the character might be tumbling up onto a table or simply standing on a chair and waving their blade around expertly. They are just showing off.

    Whew, hope that covers things. I could really use some advice on advanced moves, that is where I feel I am most stuck.

  6. Lots of good explanations. Thanks Pete! I’ll just say that one of the things I really like about DW is that the fiction is the driver of the mechanics. This class feels very much like the mechanics are the driver. i.e. “I want a high damage/tank class that doesn’t look and feel like one so I’m going to describe the fiction of a lightly armored mid damage class but the numbers will not reflect that”. That just doesn’t jive with DW as i understand it. If it doesn’t look and feel like a high damage tank, the stats should not make it one IMO. I expect a lightly armored roguish character not to have stats that function like a Paladin. This is a class I would expect to see in the grid design paradigm of a game like 4E D&D where the designers make classes to fill slots like, “Ok, we need a dex based class that has high damage output and high armor”. And the results will always feel out of sorts with what would actually make sense in the fiction.

     In my opinion, if you feel the class lacks utility, I would give it more utility, not more damage and armor to make up for it. Otherwise, you’re really just beginning down the hell road to optimization.

  7. Honestly the damage and armor come completely from the fiction. A Swashbuckler, to me, is always an expert swordsman. If a Thief is a d8, a Swashbuckler is just logically higher.

    The fiction for the armor is such that it seems logical that a Swashbuckler would be comfortable wearing lighter armor and potentially carry a buckler. When they use bravado it could be fiction’d as such: “I do a deft twirl to avoid the attack.” or “I bend over backwards and limbo beneath the blade as it swipes above me.” I feel like it is a common pulpy device that the knight in heavy armor can’t seem to hit the quick, bouncing lightly armored swashbuckler.

    Water Dance takes that to the extreme. They are always bouncing and bobbing on their feet and can quickly avoid being hit at all.

    Moving back from the fiction to the mechanics, mathematically a Fighter or Paladin has quite a bit more survivability. Higher HP and they can accumulate up to 5 base armor. A Swashbuckler with Master of the Water Dance only gets 3 and would have to spend bravado just to earn 4. So in that regard they are close, but not quite as tanky.

    Again, mechanically, the Cleric gets the following Advanced move:

    Divine Protection

    When you wear no armor or shield you get 2 armor. (Upgraded to 3 past level 5)

    Basically identical to Water Dance. Mechanically a Swashbuckler is about as good of a tank as a Ranger/Druid/Cleric. 

    I think if I were to make one change, I might drop their base HP down to 6+Constitution, but the damage and armor mechanics would remain the same.

  8. I think we just view Swashbucklers differently. In my understanding, they’re not heavy damage dealers at all, and certainly not armored up tanks. They use light blades and mostly just make cuts that barely cut the fabric and break skin (at least that’s how it always is in the movies), to embarrass, escape, or make a point more than to actually kill stuff. Nothing like what a fighter or pally would be doing wading through a horde of orcs/undead cleaving limb from limb. I imagine swashbucklers to be swinging around from the rigging, occupying and embarrassing 10 pirates but killing no one, using their skills to confound and evade, or most likely make a hasty escape. Swashbuckers feel like master swordsman sure, but not in a brutal damage dealer way. Only in that they artfully parry, dodge and swing around on stuff, always annoyingly out of reach. Not that they can take a lot of damage like an armored combatant. Armor is absorbing damage. I don’t imagine a swashbuckler to be taking hits absorbing damage. Other games abstract armor and armor class to mean whatever you want, but I don’t feel like armor in DW is doing that. The mechanics of this class create a conundrum with any incoming attacks with the piercing tag. Does a spiked hammer with piercing somehow overcome your limbo? Because fictionally (and therefore) mechanically, it should be penetrating armor. I expect Swashbucklers to be staying just out of reach as best they can deflecting attacks to others than themselves (LOVE! Redirect for this reason) rather than absorbing damage. They just don’t seem tanky to me.  But thanks for the explanation! 🙂

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