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The description for the Swashbuckler rogue (SCAG, p. 135; XGtE, p. 47) says:

A Swashbuckler excels in single combat, and can fight with two weapons while safely darting away from an opponent.

How? The sentence does not seem to relate to any specific mechanics.

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The next paragraph reads

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to land a strike and then slip away without reprisal. During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can't make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn. -SCAG pg. 135

It further goes on to clarify in a blurb on the next page

This allows you to use your bonus action to fight with two weapons, and then safely evade each foe you attacked. -SCAG pg. 136

So while holding two weapons, if you are surrounded you can make two attacks against up to two different creatures and get away unharmed. It doesn't specifically state that it needs to hit, just that the attack be made.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do note that the Swashbuckler also appears in XGtE, where the further explanatory blurb is not included. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 28 at 16:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is why I specifically cited which book I was referencing \$\endgroup\$ – Seidr Apr 28 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ This exactly explains my puzzlement. I had surmised that the point was that a swashbuckler could use their bonus action to attack, then use fancy footwork, but it seemed strange that it was not spelled out. My DDB online reference lacks the blurb you mention in the subtype description, although it is in in the online version of SCAG. Perfect answer, thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Apr 28 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Seidr sure. I'm just calling it out explicitly as that provides context to readers as to why this may not have been obvious to the OP. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 28 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer I appreciate that. In fact, had I seen that blurb I wouldn't have had the question. I would delete it as useless except others might look at XGtE or some other reference (such as the DDB one), and make the same mistake. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Apr 28 at 20:10
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This is probably a reference to the Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork feature:

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to land a strike and then slip away without reprisal. During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can’t make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.

A non-swashbuckler rogue who wants to make a hit-and-run attack without provoking opportunity attacks has to use their bonus action to Disengage, but a Swashbuckler Rogue doesn't need to use their bonus action (since the target of their attack cannot make OAs against them, whether the Swashbuckler hits or not) and so they retain the use of their bonus action and can use it to two-weapon fight.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This explains it so much better than the accepted answer \$\endgroup\$ – András Apr 29 at 7:36

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