A warrior with a touch of finesse with some focus on talents on locking enemies in combat to hold the front or parry attacks none other could withstand.
The duelist is an archetype of the sword saint class.
One-Handed Specialization Talent Tree (Su)
Combining the finesse of a fencer, and ruthlessness of a knight, the sword saint can become a ruthless warrior with one sword in hand, locking enemies in combat and parrying blows made against him.
- Deadlock: At the cost of 10 stamina points, as a standard action, the sword saint can make a combat maneuver check on an enemy in reach and, if successful, enter a state of Deadlock. Deadlock works much like grappled except they do not take a -2 to Attack rolls and combat maneuvers during deadlock. Effects that gives bonus to grapple does not apply to deadlock. Furthermore, creatures cannot be pinned or dragged like a normal grapple and cannot make attacks against each other even if using a one-handed weapon. When the sword saint is successful at deadlocking an enemy, he may, as part of deadlock, perform a free Bull Rush, Dirty Trick, Disarm or Trip combat maneuver on his enemy. If successful, deadlock ends and the sword saint may make an attack on his enemy as a swift action at his highest base attack bonus. If unsuccessful, the deadlock remains. However, if the opposing creature breaks the deadlock, it may become the locker and perform the combat maneuver and the free attack if successful or simply end deadlock. If neither are successful, the deadlock remains. The sword saint can instead choose to keep the enemy deadlocked gaining a +5 insight bonus per round to maintain the deadlock much like a grapple. The sword saint and the creature he has deadlocked can choose on their turns as a free action to simply break the lock backing off, however in doing so they provoke an attack of opportunity from the other.
- Superior Lock: The sword saint gains a +1 bonus to deadlock an enemy and all combat maneuvers associated with it. This increases by 1 for every four sword saint levels. The sword saint can also deadlock with enemies up to two size categories larger than himself. Prerequisite: Deadlock
- Ultimate Lock: If the sword saint is attacked by another enemy while deadlocked and the attack fails, he can choose to deadlock with both enemies, taking a -1 penalty for all rolls for each enemy deadlocked this way. Any time the sword saint performs a combat maneuver or attack during deadlock it applies to all opposing creatures deadlocked. If at least one enemy fails or ends the deadlock against the sword saint, deadlock ends for everyone. Prerequisite: Deadlock, Superior Lock
- Shield Gauntlet: As a swift action, the sword saint may activate this as a sustained mode. The sword saint gains a +1 shield bonus as long as he keeps his offhand empty and doesn’t use two weapon fighting. This bonus increases by 1 for every four levels of sword saint. While in this mode, the sword saint’s gauntlet is treated as a buckler for the purposes of feats and abilities. This mode uses up 20 stamina points of the sword saint’s maximum stamina pool.
- Parry: At the cost of 5 stamina points, the sword saint can negate a melee attack by rolling an opposed attack roll, DC = the opponent’s attack roll. This uses one of the sword saint’s attacks of opportunity (if he has more with Combat Reflexes) for the round in which it is used. He receives a -5 penalty to his Attack roll every time he uses this after the first and must spend 5 stamina points each time as well. He must have a melee weapon in hand, and he must be aware of his foe and not flat-footed. Prerequisite: Shield Gauntlet
- Counter: At the cost of 5 stamina points, as an immediate action, the sword saint can make an attack against an enemy they have successfully parried this round. Prerequisite: Shield Gauntlet, Parry
- Magic Parry: At the cost of 10 stamina points, the sword saint can parry range touch magical attacks that target him through the parry talent. He receives a -5 penalty to his Attack roll every time he uses this after the first and must spend 10 stamina points each time as well. Prerequisite: Shield Gauntlet, Parry, Counter
- Magic Counter: At the cost of 10 stamina points, as an immediate action, the sword saint can redirect the magic attack back at his attacker, making a ranged touch attack with a -10 penalty to the attack roll using the caster’s bonuses for the attack. Prerequisite: Shield Gauntlet, Parry, Counter, Magic Parry
- Sucker Punch: At the cost of 5 stamina points, as a swift or immediate action, the sword saint can reroll a deadlock combat maneuver check or any combat maneuver made during deadlock, he must take the second result even if it’s lower. He may also cause an opposing enemy to reroll his combat maneuver checks this way as an immediate action. He can only do this once per round while under the Shield Gauntlet sustain mode. Prerequisite: Deadlock, Shield Gauntlet
- Strong Arm: The sword saint is treated as two-handing his weapon for the purpose of bonus Strength damage from his base Strength score, the Power Attack feat, and using the two-handed sword saint talents. This ability applies to his swordplays as well. Prerequisite: Shield Gauntlet
- Parry Lock: At the cost of 10 stamina points, when the sword saint successfully parries an enemy, he may choose to enter deadlock as part of the parry. Prerequisite: Deadlock, Superior Lock, Shield Gauntlet, Parry
This ability replaces the sword saint’s weapon and shield talent tree.