New Class: Gentleman (or Noble, or Sword Jockey, or...)

Imagine a young man from Romeo and Juliet: he is streetwise, charismatic, and witty. He is no fighting man by trade nor great adventurer, but he always wears a sword and can "quarrel" with the best of them. He will fight for honor, he will fight for a lady, and he will look good doing it.

Mechanically, he is like a bard. The magical abilities (both actual arcane casting and the singing ability) have been neutered and he is proficient in fewer weapons. In their place, he has better combat stats and abilities. The class skills are very similar, with a focus on communication, persuasion, information gathering, and acrobatic movement. This class would have no alignment restrictions and, in all those statistic kind of things where classes are generally considered either combat or non-com (i.e. BAB, feat frequency, etc) this class is treated as a combat class.

Verbes does not fit in perfectly with the standard image of a cocky foppish swordsman, but he does fit the actual mechanical profile very well, and if he lacks the swagger and wealth of an ordinary member of the class, he makes up for it with a graver and more mature charisma and depth of commitment.

  • 1d8 hit die
  • Class skills: Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).1
  • 6+int modifier skill points
  • Normal feat progression (unlike, say, a fighter) though perhaps with a few bonus feats
  • Proficient in all simple weapons, short sword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, and non-tower shields and light armor
  • Strong fort and reflex, weaker will save
  • BAB +1 every level
  • Perhaps, if equipped with a dagger in the off-hand, two-weapon fighting and two-weapon defense (gained at certain appropriate levels)? Verbes wouldn't use it but this kind of character will often use a dagger to parry rather than a shield to block.
  • No magic or very limited magic.
  • Bonus combat feats, if any, designed for good nimble swordplay, with dodges and flips and disarms and rather than power smashery.
  • Perhaps automatic weapon finesse? Perhaps. And/or perhaps automatic Negotiator feat? And/or Persuasive?
  • Might even include a limited instance of the bard song ability. Or maybe even a choice of limited performing or very limited magic, kind of like the ranger chooses between two-handed or ranged? Or something. I dunno.
  • Something like bardic knowledge? Maybe. Possibly.
  • Perhaps the ability to defend other characters? We could call it "Chivalry" or something. It wouldn't be the ability like some classes have of redirecting attacks toward themselves since this is not a tanking class. Maybe, if the Noble is not flat-footed, and is standing next to a party member, he adds his Dex bonus to the party member's AC? The idea being he uses his own sword to intercept attacks on his companion. It would have to be limited somehow but that could be cool. Either he designates one party member to defend, or maybe he can use it automatically for party members with lower hit dice than his own. Or something. If there's an existing ability like this in the supplemental books, we could also use that instead.
  • Perhaps the ability to duel with one opponent, gaining increased melee attack and defense against that target and decreased against all others. This one I'm almost sure exists in some form in the supplemental books.

Well, 'tis a start. The exact character and progression of bonus feats (if any) will need to be specified, as will any special class abilities, and I'm sure there are balance issues that need to be addressed. Thoughts?

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