Have you ever watched a movie full of swashbuckling goodness and thought, "This would make a great game?" I know I have, and long before I played RPGs. As a kid, I loved Errol Flynn and Tyrone Powers. Many a Saturday was spent pretending to be Captain Blood, Robin Hood, or Zorro. And let's not forget the Three Musketeers, Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver, and, yes, even Don Quixote.
The roleplaying aspects of the swashbuckler genre work well-enough with any game system. Tongue-in-cheek humor and traded bon mots don't require game mechanics. Swashbuckling combat must be fast-paced, highly mobile, and full of flashy attacks. Unfortunately, the world's most popular roleplaying game's combat system doesn't score high marks in these areas.
Fencing & Firearms (F&F) respects the core mechanics of the game but still addresses widely perceived problems with the combat rules. F&F doesn't change racial traits, class features, or skills. It has as little impact on core rules feats as possible. Our primary goal is that DMs can take this book and drop it into their games with a minimal amount of work. F&F focuses on:
* speeding up play,
* keeping each player involved even when it's not his turn,
* providing all players with more combat options, and
* making combat maneuvers easier to use.
And this is just the first part of F&F. The second part deals with black powder weapons and how to use them with your game.