Duelists represent the pinnacle of martial melee traditions, elegant combatants who with unmatched grace as they parry blows and counter attacks with swift, telling swings of their blades. Sometimes considered obsolete in the age of lasers and heavy weapons, duelists incorporate thousands of years of martial tradition and technique into their craft, honed so that even the most skilled gunman struggles to accurately strike them as they charge headfirst into the fray.

This isn’t to say that all duelists completely eschew weaponry of the modern era. Many duelists wade into battle with both blade and blaster at their side, striking at foes defensively from afar with small arms as they close the gap before switching to their trusted melee weapons. Duelists prefer to wear light armor for the mobility it provides them, as it allows them to more gracefully dodge blows when engaged in the heat of battle. Of all classes, those that rely on light or melee weapons make the best duelists, especially envoys and operatives. In recent years, however, an increasing number of solarians have begun to walk the path of the duelist, combining ancient warrior techniques with the mysterious knowledge of celestial bodies to create a deadly fighting style few can surpass.

Alternate Class Features

The duelist grants alternate class features at 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 12th level.

Uncanny Defense (Ex) - 2nd Level

Whenever you fight defensively, you take a –2 penalty on your attack roll instead of the usual –4 penalty. In addition, you increase the AC bonus that you gain from fighting defensively by 1 at 6th level, 12th level, and 18th level. This ability doesn’t stack with other class features or alternate class features that adjust the bonuses or penalties for fighting defensively, and you don’t gain this AC bonus while wearing heavy armor or powered armor.

Parry (Ex) - 6th Level

You can parry the attacks of other creatures, causing them to miss. Whenever you use a full action to full attack with a melee weapon, you can elect not to take one of your attacks. At any time before your next turn, you can attempt to parry an attack against you or an adjacent ally as a reaction. To parry an attack, you make a melee attack roll with the same bonuses as the attack you chose to forgo during your full attack. If the result of your attack roll exceeds the result of the attacking creature’s attack roll, the attack automatically misses. You must declare that you are parrying an attack after the attack is announced, but before the result of the attack is revealed.

You can use this ability to parry melee and ranged attacks made by weapons, spells, and other abilities. You can parry any attack that is made against you, provided your opponent rolls an attack roll to hit you. Abilities that don’t require attack rolls (such as a magic missile spell) cannot be parried.

Riposte (Ex) - 9th Level

Whenever you successfully parry an opponent using the parry alternate class feature, you may immediately make an attack against that opponent as if you were making an attack of opportunity against it. This attack is part of the reaction to use the parry alternate class feature.

Crippling Critical (Ex) - 12th Level

You gain a special critical hit effect that you can use whenever you critically hit an opponent with a melee weapon rather than the weapon’s typical critical effect. When you confirm a critical hit with a melee weapon, you can inflict one of the following penalties of your choice onto your opponent:

»» Reduce all of the target’s speeds by 10 feet (minimum 5 feet) for 1 minute.
»» Deal 1d6 points of bleed damage.
»» Bestow a –4 penalty to attack rolls for 1 minute.
»» Bestow a –4 penalty on saving throws for 1 minute.
»» Bestow a –4 penalty to AC for 1 minute.

Duelist Feats

While the following feats compliment the duelist archetype, any character who meets their prerequisites can select them.

Perfect Defense (Combat)

You can enter a defensive stance that allows you to parry enemy attacks more often.

Prerequisites: Bodyguard or parry alternate class feature, character level 7th.

Benefit: As a full action, you can enter a defensive stance that enables you to block multiple attacks. When doing so, whenever you use a reaction to use the parry alternate class feature or the Bodyguard feat, you may use either ability against a total number of attacks made against you or your allies equal to 3 + 1 for every 4 levels beyond 7th that you possess (four times at 11th, five times at 15th, and so on). This ability also allows you to use your parry alternate class feature against attacks that target allies that are within your reach.

Furthermore, if you have the In Harm’s Way feat, you can use that feat whenever you use Bodyguard or the parry alternate class feature to protect an ally from an attack and an attack hits, you may use In Harm’s Way to redirect a total number of attacks to you equal to 3 + 1 for every 4 levels beyond 7th that you possess, even if you’ve already used In Harm’s Way once this round.

During any round that you use this ability, you cannot use Combat Reflexes to make additional attacks of opportunity.

Combat Reflexes (Combat)

You can take advantage of lapses in your opponents’ defenses more often than most.

Prerequisites: Character level 3rd.

Benefit: Whenever an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to make an attack of opportunity against that opponent, even if you’ve already taken a reaction during this turn. Spending Resolve Points in this manner doesn’t require an action. Additionally, attacks of opportunity you make do not suffer any penalty for having already made a full attack.

Star Log.EM-007: Duelist from Everyman Gaming
Archetype Duelist
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