Old School: Dazzling Duelist

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation DayTodd Colstrom provided this entry into the Old School contest.

Dazzling Duelist

The Dazzling Duelist uses elaborate moves and showmanship to confuse and defeat his opponent. One must apprentice with a master to learn this art, and finding one can be difficult. They often work as fencing instructors in mundane academies or for royal families and will only pass on their specialized knowledge when they find a pupil worthy of it. The character must be proficient with a rapier and a dagger to receive this training.


  1. Quick Strike: The student learns to use finesse and speed to fight. When using a rapier or dagger, the student may now use their Dexterity in place of Strength to determine to-hit bonus.
  2. Flourish: The student learns to use elaborate moves to confuse opponents during an attack (-1 on next attack roll). Can be used once on each opponent per combat.
  3. Nimble: The student may ignore 10 feet of difficult or cluttered terrain when moving in combat.
  4. Quick Parry: The student gets a +1 bonus to armor class when using a rapier or dagger.
  5. Impressive Flourish: Similar to Flourish except it causes the student’s opponent to lose their next action.
  6. Defensive Stance: The student may not make any attacks that round, but gains +4 to armor class (in addition to the +1 for Quick Parry).
  7. Arrow Parry: The student may deflect one small projectile (arrow, dart, etc.) per round.
  8. Acrobatic: As nimble, but the student ignores up to 20 feet of difficult terrain in combat.
  9. Quick Blade: After a successful attack, the student may make a second attack roll at -4.
  10. Grand Display: Similar to Flourish except the student causes all opponents able to see him to lose their next action. Can only be used once per combat.


Overall I quite like it. I might make a couple of small changes (replace “Impressive Flourish” with “Riposte: when an opponent misses you because of your Quick Parry or Defensive Stance, you can make a free attack against that opponent”, and perhaps have Grand Display cause opponents to become shaken instead of unable to act for a round), but that’s more a matter of taste than anything. I could use this as written.

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