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For a Swashbuckler with class features like

Panache

Each time the swashbuckler confirms a critical hit with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon...

Menacing Swordplay

...when a swashbuckler hits an opponent with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon,...

Does changing the type of damage dealt (for instance, with the feat Weapon Versatility "your weapon deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage instead of the damage type normally dealt by that weapon") change the type of weapon in use, or does weapon type =/= damage type?

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I would allow it as a GM.

Strict-RAW, the answer would be yes; the weapon is still a piercing weapon even if you are doing things to change the damage you deal with it. Weapon Versatility doesn’t change the weapon, it changes the damage you deal with it, so the weapon is still compatible with the swashbuckler features.

But then, I would also allow a swashbuckler to use Weapon Versatility with a non-piercing weapon to use those class features. Actually, I would probably allow a swashbuckler to use any weapon he or she likes with those class features.

And I would do that because the swashbuckler is an extremely weak class that needs all the help it can get. And ultimately, that is the most important consideration to me: what makes for the best game? The limitation here is not adding anything, and is potentially frustrating an already-weak class. Expanding the capabilities here is thus an improvement to the game.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For a fighter, a 1-lvl dip in swashbuckler is far from being "weak", especially if you can use whatever weapon you want. -1 for subjectivity. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 8 '17 at 9:38

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