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A swordmaster meditates to strengthen her spiritual connection to her blade. She strives to perfect her skills by mastering six deadly trances.

The swordmaster is an archetype of the fencer class, available only to yagudo fencers.

Trance (Ex)

At 3rd level, a swordmaster learns to focus her martial prowess using an intense meditative trance. Under the influence of a trance, the swordmaster can perform fantastic martial feats. Entering a trance is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. The swordmaster can maintain the trance for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Charisma modifier. At each level beyond 3rd, she can remain in the trance for 1 additional round. She can end her trance as a free action. Following a trance, the swordmaster is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to 2 × the number of rounds she spent in the trance. A swordmaster cannot enter a new trance while fatigued but can otherwise enter a trance multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a swordmaster falls unconscious, her trance immediately ends.

At 3rd level, the swordmaster chooses one trance from the list below. She chooses another trance at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level. She can only use one type of trance at a time.

Crane Trance (Ex): The swordmaster’s blade rises and falls with the graceful sweeping arcs of the mountain crane. When in this trance, a swordmaster takes only a –2 penalty on attack rolls for fighting defensively. While using this trance and fighting defensively or using the total defense action, she gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to her Armor Class.

Dragon Trance (Ex): Like the dragon, the swordmaster has honed the steadiness of her mind and body. When in this trance, a swordmaster gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against sleep effects, paralysis effects, and stunning effects. She ignores difficult terrain when she charges, runs, or withdraws. The swordmaster can also charge through squares that contain allies. In addition, she can add 1-1/2 times her Strength bonus on the damage roll for her first melee attack on a given round.

Leopard Trance (Ex): Using the swiftness of the leopard, a swordmaster can strike back at enemies who attack her when she moves. When in this trance, when an opponent makes an attack of opportunity against the swordmaster for moving through a threatened square, she can spend a swift action to make a retaliatory melee attack against that opponent. The swordmaster’s attack is resolved after the triggering attack of opportunity.

Monkey Trance (Ex): As the monkey springs, the swordmaster is nimble and unpredictable, full of ground rolls and short leaps. The swordmaster adds her Charisma bonus on Acrobatics checks. While using this trance, she takes no penalty on melee attack rolls or to AC while prone. In addition, she can crawl and stand up from lying prone without provoking attacks of opportunity, and she can stand up as a swift action if she succeeds at a DC 20 Acrobatics check.

Serpent Trance (Ex): Like the serpent, the swordmaster watches her foe’s every movement and then punch through its defense. While in this trance, when an opponent targets the swordmaster with a melee or ranged attack, she can spend an immediate action to make a Sense Motive check. She can use the result as her AC or touch AC against that attack. The swordmaster must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed.

Tiger Trance (Ex): Emulating the strength and ferocity of a wild tiger, the swordmaster strikes out with swift strikes. While in this trance, a swordmaster gains a +2 bonus to her CMD against bull rush, overrun, and trip maneuvers. Whenever she scores a critical hit, her opponent also takes 1d4 points of bleed damage at the start of his next two turns.

This ability replaces elaborate parry.