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Daring Swordsage[]

This build provides a good balance of combat ability, while still providing a lot of options for skill use outside of combat. This is not, as the name implies, primarily a BoNS build. It is primarily a swashbuckler build that splashes swordsage and a few other classes.


  • For a 32 point buy system: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 8
  • For a 28 point buy system: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 8


   Lvl   Class        cl  BAB  HD    Feat                        Special
   1     Rogue        1    0    6    TWF, Imp Buckler Defense    Sneak 1d6, Trapfinding
   2     Barbarian    1    1    12                               Rage, Pounce
   3     Rogue        2    2    6    Able Learner                Evasion
   4     Rogue        3    3    6                                Sneak 2d6, Trap Sense +1
   5     Swashbuckler 1    4    10                               Weapon Finesse
   6     Swashbuckler 2    5    10   Daring Outlaw               Grace +1, Dodge +1, Sneak 3d6
   7     Rogue        4    6    6                                Uncanny Dodge
   8     Swashbuckler 3    7    10                               Insightful Strike
   9     Swordsage    1    7    8    Shadow Blade                Quick to act, Weapon Focus
   10    Swordsage    2    8    8                                Wis to AC
   11    Swashbuckler 4    9    10                               Sneak 3d6
   12    Swashbuckler 5    10   10   ITWF    
   13    Swashbuckler 6    11   10                               Sneak 4d6, Dodge +2
   14    Swashbuckler 7    12   10                               Grace +2, Acrobatic Charge
   15    Swashbuckler 8    13   10   Gloom Razor                 Sneak 5d6, Improved Flanking
   16    Swordsage    3    14   8        
   17    Swashbuckler 9    15   10        
   18    Swashbuckler 10   16   10   GTWF                        Sneak 6d6
   19    Swashbuckler 11   17   10                               Dodge +3
   20    Swashbuckler 12   18   10                               Sneak 7d6


  • This character should have good Hide and Move Silent, to take advantage of flat footed opponents.
  • Tumble is a very useful skill to activate flanking
  • Able Learner is in place to allow the build full ranks in UMD. UMD is important, because there a select number of low level buffs that are very useful to this build, and they can be accessed via wands.


  • Lvl 9 (IL 5) : Island of Blades Stance (flanking), Flashing Sun (extra attack), Cloak of Deception (invis), Sudden Leap (free move), Fountain of Blood (prereq), Distracting Ember (flanker), Moment of Perfect Mind (Will save)
  • lvl 10 (IL 6) : Assassin's Stance (sneak attack), Shadow Jaunt (movement)
  • lvl 14 (IL 9) : Dancing Mongoose (more attacks)

UMD spells[]

The following spells are a few very beneficial to a this build. They all are level three or less, which means they can be activated from wands. This isn't an exhaustive list, but there are a few key ones to note.

  • Heroics : This grants any fighter bonus feat the target qualifies for. Martial Study and Martial Stance are both fighter bonus feats. This gives the build access to any maneuver or stance that it qualifies for, and the duration is a long 30 minutes. Very flexable.
  • Blur : Good synergy with Gloom Razor
  • Assorted Ranger Spells : Many Ranger spells offer large bonuses to skill use. Since this build will have less skill points than a standard Rogue, this can supplement many important skills.
  • Darkvision : There is no sneak attack damage against targets with concealment
  • Bite of the were(Rat/wolf) : Just plain good. Can be helpful with skill checks, too.


  • Trade out Improved Buckler Defense for Improved Init. Less defense, but getting an attack off in the surprise round could be very beneficial.

Houserule note[]

This build does ignore the XP penalty for selecting multiple base classes. Many CO builds do so, but you should be aware of this. If this is a problem, you could use Barb 2/Rogue 3/Swordsage 3/Swashbuckler 12. This would require some serious re-jiggering of feats and class order, but it may be possible to work out something viable without xp penalty.


Original post and discussion thread here. Please make any comments on that thread.