July 26th, 2016

Joshua Zaback

Best in Class Archive

                Underwater Week rolls on with a new archetype for the swashbuckler class: the mako, a warrior at home on land and in the sea, which is perfect for those looking to do some actual underwater combat.


New Swashbuckler Archetype

                Makos are amphibious warriors, at home on land and in sea. They spend about as much of their time below the waves as above them, and are the next best thing to aquatic. As such, makos are superb swimmers who specialize in fighting underwater, employing a number of specialized techniques.

Deeds: A mako gains the following deeds, each of which replaces an existing deed.

Swift Swim (Ex): The mako is an exceptional swimmer, able to cross great distances of water quickly. As long as she has at least 1 point of panache remaining, she can move up to her full speed as a move action while swimming, or twice her speed as a full-round action, instead of the normal rate of movement when using the Swim skill. Additionally, whenever she moves while underwater, she may spend 1 point of panache. If she does, her movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity for that action.

This ability replaces the derring-do deed.

Underwater Action (Ex): At 3rd level, the mako can effectively deliver deadly and precise strikes while underwater. As long as she has at least 1 point of panache remaining, a mako never suffers a penalty to attack or damage for being underwater, regardless of what type of weapon she is wielding, and even if she fails her Swim check.

This ability replaces the menacing swordplay deed.

Drowning Blow (Ex): At 7th level, the mako is able to inflict a rapid strike to her opponents that makes it extremely difficult to hold their breath. By spending 1 point of panache, the mako can make a single melee attack with a light or one-handed piercing weapon against a creature that is holding its breath underwater. If the attack is successful, the target suffers damage as normal and the number of rounds that the target can continue to hold its breath before being forced to make checks to avoid drowning is decreased to 0. If the creature is already making checks to avoid drowning, the DC of all such checks increases by +4 until the creature stops holding its breath.

This ability replaces the targeted strike deed.

Underwater Acrobatics (Ex): At 11th level, the mako is able to perform amazing feats of dodging and weaving while underwater. As long as she has at least 1 point of panache remaining, the mako adds 1/2 her swashbuckler level to all Swim checks, and can take 5-foot steps while underwater. Additionally, whenever the mako is attacked underwater, she my expend 1 point of panache to gain a circumstance bonus against that attack equal to 1/3 the number of ranks she has in Swim. She must declare she is using this ability before she knows the result of the attack roll.

This ability replaces the evasive deed.

Mako Strike (Ex): The mako can swim through the water in a brutal charge, delivering death with her weapon. At 15th level, as long as she has at least 1 point of panache, she can use the charge action while underwater. When she does, she gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls, rather than the normal +2, and if she hits, she may expend an additional point of panache in order to deal double damage with the charge attack.

This ability replaces the dizzying defense deed.

As the Waves (Ex): At 19th level, as long as she has at least 1 point of panache, the mako gains a swim speed equal to three times her land speed. Additionally, by spending 1 point of panache while underwater, the mako can act with such speed that she can make make an additional move action each round, or alternatively make an additional attack at her highest base attack bonus whenever she makes a full-attack action. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces the stunning stab deed.

Breath Reservoir (Ex): A mako is a practiced free diver and is rarely caught short of breath. At 2nd level, she adds her Charisma score to her Constitution score for the purposes of determining how many rounds she can hold her breath. She can also perform actions other than moving while underwater without having to consume two rounds’ worth of held breath.

This ability replaces the charmed life class feature.

Aquatic Defense (Ex): A mako is most at home in the water and knows how to use the ocean to defend herself from attack. Beginning at 3rd level, the mako suffers no armor check penalty on Swim checks. Additionally, while in at least 5 feet of water, she gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC. At 7th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by a further +2 (to a maximum of +10 at 19th level).

This ability replaces the nimble class feature.