Archives of Nethys

Prestige Classes

Aldori Swordlord

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 20, Paths of Prestige pg. 4 (Amazon)
The Aldori swordlords follow no singular path to dueling mastery—some of those who take up the blade only dabble in its use, while others explore swordplay with the dueling weapon in unconventional ways. But those who seek to most closely emulate the traditions created by Sirian Aldori usually do so by taking levels in the Aldori swordlord prestige class. When one hears of an Aldori swordlord traveling the back roads, confronting bandits and defeating braggarts by challenging them to single combat, that swordlord has very likely pursued this path.

Due to this prestige class’s emphasis on mastering numerous feats, Aldori swordlords often have levels in the fighter class; many of these are humans with above-average intelligence, which helps them swiftly fulfill the skill requirements, but this is far from the only route available. Rangers, rogues, slayers, and swashbucklers also seek to master this signature swordfighting art by gaining levels as an Aldori swordlord, even though, in most cases, they must wait longer to qualify for the class than fighters. Many of an Aldori swordlord’s abilities rely or build on rules presented in Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, which includes rules for duels. This prestige class also works well in conjunction with the Aldori defender archetype presented on page 22, though neither the archetype nor the prestige class require the other.


To qualify to become an Aldori swordlord, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Feats: Dazzling Display, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Aldori dueling sword), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Aldori dueling sword).
Skills: Acrobatics 3 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks, Knowledge (nobility) 3 ranks, Sense Motive 3 ranks.

Class Skills

The Aldori Swordlord's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perform (Cha), and Sense Motive (Wis)..

Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Hit Die: d10.

Class Features

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+0+1+0Deft strike, quick draw
2nd+2+1+1+1Display weapon prowess
3rd+3+1+2+1Defensive parry +1
4th+4+1+2+1Adaptive tactics 1
5th+5+2+3+2Shatter confidence
6th+6+2+3+2Saving slash
7th+7+2+4+2Defensive parry +2, dexterous duelist
8th+8+3+4+3Adaptive tactics 2
9th+9+3+5+3Greater saving slash
10th+10+3+5+3Confounding duelist

The following are class features of the Aldori swordlord prestige class. Unless stated otherwise, the following benefits apply only when a swordlord is wielding an Aldori dueling sword (see page 24) and carrying nothing in his other hand.

Deft Strike (Ex): An Aldori swordlord can add his Dexterity bonus (if any) to damage rolls made with an Aldori dueling sword instead of his Strength bonus. This bonus on damage rolls applies whether the swordlord is wielding an Aldori dueling sword one-handed or two-handed. An Aldori swordlord cannot use this ability if he is wielding a shield or using an off-hand weapon (including armor spikes, unarmed strikes, or natural weapons).

Quick Draw: An Aldori swordlord gains Quick Draw as a bonus feat. If the character already has this feat, he instead gains Aldori Dueling Mastery (see page 24). If he already has both feats, he instead gains a combat feat of his choice as a bonus feat. The Aldori swordlord must meet all prerequisites of the selected combat feat.

Display Weapon Prowess (Ex): At 2nd level, an Aldori swordlord adds a bonus equal to half his class level on Intimidate checks while using Dazzling Display with an Aldori dueling sword. He also gains an additional +1 bonus on these Intimidate checks for each of the following feats he has with the Aldori dueling sword: Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Weapon Focus, or Weapon Specialization. The bonuses stack with each other (the total bonus is considered a competence bonus).

When involved in a duel, an Aldori swordlord’s mastery of elaborate strikes and stances grants him a bonus equal to half his class level on performance combat checks (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 154). These tricks can also be of great help in countering an enemy during a duel, granting him a bonus equal to half his class level on rolls to attempt a dueling parry or to use dueling resolve (Ultimate Combat 152).

Defensive Parry (Ex): At 3rd level, an Aldori swordlord gains a +1 dodge bonus to his AC when making a full attack with an Aldori dueling sword. This AC bonus increases to +2 at 7th level. If an Aldori duelist is also a fighter with the Aldori defender fighter archetype (see page 22), levels in this class stack with his fighter levels when determining the AC bonus from this ability.

Adaptive Tactics (Ex): At 4th level, an Aldori swordlord learns to adapt his fighting style to counter his enemy’s strengths. An Aldori swordlord reduces the attack roll penalty for fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise by 1 at 4th level and by 2 at 8th level. In addition, after an Aldori swordlord uses his Aldori dueling sword to attack a creature he attacked during the previous round, as a swift action he can attempt a Sense Motive check (DC = 10 + the opponent’s base attack bonus). If successful, the swordlord gains a +2 circumstance bonus either on attack rolls or to his AC against that creature until the beginning of his next turn.

Shatter Confidence (Ex): At 5th level, an Aldori swordlord can attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize his target as a swift action after he confirms a critical hit or succeeds at a disarm, reposition, or sunder combat maneuver with an Aldori dueling sword. If his target is already shaken, the swordlord can attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize the target as a swift action after any successful melee attack or combat maneuver. If he succeeds at this check, any morale bonuses the target has are suppressed for a number of rounds equal to the Aldori swordlord’s class level. Suppressed effects are not dispelled, and they resume after this time elapses if their duration has not expired. Suppressed morale bonuses include those gained from a barbarian’s rage ability; however, this ability doesn’t end rage, nor does it suppress other effects of rage or rage powers that do not provide morale bonuses (thus, it doesn’t cause a barbarian to become fatigued unless the barbarian chooses to end the rage during the suppressed duration, in which case fatigue from rage affects the barbarian normally).

Saving Slash (Ex): At 6th level, when wielding an Aldori dueling sword, an Aldori swordlord can use an immediate action to try deflecting a melee critical hit targeting him, reducing its damage to that of a normal hit, with a 25% chance of success. This does not stack with the fortification special ability of magical armor or similar effects.

Dexterous Duelist (Ex): At 7th level, an Aldori swordlord with at least one free hand is not denied his Dexterity bonus when attempting Acrobatics or Climb checks, nor does he provoke attacks of opportunity when standing up from prone. Greater Saving Slash: At 9th level, an Aldori swordlord’s saving slash has a 50% chance of reducing a melee critical hit to a normal hit. In addition, he can attempt a saving slash against ranged critical hits, including those from rays and other ranged touch effects, with a 25% chance of success.

Confounding Duelist (Ex): At 10th level, an Aldori swordlord who successfully uses shatter confidence also suppresses the target’s competence and insight bonuses.