Skald (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||"There have been a thousand battles fought just like this one. The Troksim Warriors have never lost."||”|
|—Telendur, Human Skald, The Epic of Oskii|
Skaldr combine the power of a barbarian with the versatility of a bard. He uses epic poems to influence others.
The skaldr are a long line of warrior-poets, storytellers, and heroes. They bring the lore of past wars, ancient monsters, and forgotten kings wherever they go. They can compose poetry, and recite ancient epics to inspire their comrades, as well as allow themselves to become a conduit of pure emotion. Their study of ancient rhymes isn't focused and rigid, but fluid, and ever changing. They focus as much on the emotion that poems inspire as much as the poems themselves.
A skald combines the support abilities of a bard with the combat prowess of a barbarian. He may not be as powerful as a barbarian or as versatile as a bard, but he can dish out damage as well as help his friends in battle or otherwise. If nothing else, skaldr are heroes by their own hands. They attempt great deeds simply for the sake of doing them, and are often seen as boastful and arrogant.
Skald do not use music to convey emotions, but simple spoken poetry. It can be a retelling of an ancient battle, the story of how a king came to power, or even a list of his own exploits. If one word could describe their presence and tone of voice, it would be 'awesome'. Good skaldr seek to have their deeds listed among gods, evil ones want to be feared throughout the realm. All skaldr recognize each other as both friends and rivals, even a good and an evil skald can meet peacefully, comparing each others' endeavors.
Becoming a Skald
Adventurers often becomes skaldr because one of their parents or family members wanted them to carry on the tradition, or a simple interest in legends and war.
Strength and Charisma are the most important stats for skaldr. A skald should be able to hold his own in battle, and should be able to inspire people with great poems. Constitution and intelligence can also be important, depending on whether the skald would rather lean toward melee combat, or the use of skills.
|Alignment:||Any chaotic. skaldr rely on emotion, which is itself very chaotic and unpredictable.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+4|
|Race:||Any. All races can become skaldr, but humans are the most likely to.|
|Skills:||Preform(Oratory) 6 ranks||Knowledge(History) 6 ranks|
|Spellcasting:||Able to cast first-level arcane spells|
|Special:||Ability to rage, Bardic Music|
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+2||Burning Ambition||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+2||+0||+0||+3||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+3||+1||+1||+3||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+4||+1||+1||+4||Burst of Emotion||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+5||+1||+1||+4||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|6th||+6/+1||+2||+2||+5||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||+7/+2||+2||+2||+5||Heroism||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+8/+3||+2||+2||+6||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|9th||+9/+4||+3||+3||+6||-||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+10/+5||+3||+3||+7||Legacy||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the skald.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
The skald does not gain any proficiencies which he did not already have before taking levels in skald.
Burning Ambition (Ex):
The skald is part of an ancient line of poet warriors, men who view both combat and poetry as equal art forms. Tales of heroism inspire the skald to live up to this heritage.
The skald adds his or her skald level when calculating the number of rages per day, as well as his or her bardic knowledge and bard music abilities.
Burst of Emotion (Ex):
At fourth level, the skald's rages are no longer confined to anger. All emotions now flow freely, a mix of love and hate that allow him or her to compose poems naturally and spontaneously.
The skald can use the preform skill while raging. In addition, the skald gets +4 to Charisma while raging.
At seventh level, the skald is completely immune to fear effects.In addition, the skald grants an additional +2 to skill checks when using inspire competence.
At tenth level, the Skald's name is legend, it will be remembered for eternity by the skaldr that proceed him. The skald is known far and wide, he is a figure of destiny, a god among men. His personality reflects this.
The skald gets +2 to Charisma.
A Skald's power comes from his untainted emotion. If he or she becomes neutral or lawful, he loses all skald abilities, and cannot cast spells granted by his skald levels.
Skaldr are a group of loosely affiliated storytelling travelers. They don't feel bound to one another, but they enjoy sharing stories of their exploits, often having contests of who has accomplished greater deeds.
Playing a Skald
Combat: Skaldr are versatile combatants, able to take on opponents in melee as well as fall back for group support and spellcasting.
Advancement: Skaldr often pursue their path until they become legends, or die trying. They may take levels in sorcerer if they would rather have more offensive spells.
Resources: Skaldr don't tend to go out of their way to help each other, as each one's end goal is to become famous. Most skaldr tend to travel with non-skaldr, as they can support each other without stepping on each others' toes.
Skaldr in the World
|“||He told them that he had chopped a dragon in half while falling from a mile high mountain, just to be rescued by a giant eagle he had shared fish with the day before. And they believed him?||”|
The skaldr are often seen as the kind of person you want to hire for any and all dangerous ventures. They are generally reliable, though that reliability comes from pride. On the other hand, they are a very bad choice of person to annoy. When they aren't busy boasting about their latest accomplishment, they are searching for a new task.
NPC Reactions: NPCs usually either treat skald with admiration and respect, or disbelief and skepticism. Some dismiss them as blowhards, while others simply see them as a source of income, "Could you maybe mention my shop next time you recite at the Tavern?" is common.
Other skaldr are invaluable sources for tactical information and legends from long ago, and a king is lucky to keep one as his confidant. Unfortunately, the skald's restless nature keeps him from remaining in the same place for extend periods of time.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(history) can research skaldr to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Skaldr are travelers that often tell stories of their own exploits.|
|16||Skaldr can call upon pure emotion to influence listeners with their poetry.|
|21||Skaldr are very capable combatants, and most of their wild stories are actually true.|
|26||Becoming a skald is a very old tradition, that used to be passed down among family lines. Nowadays, skaldr simply study the works of skaldr before them, in hopes of achieving the same level of greatness.|
Skaldr in the Game
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A skald can be the wayward glory seeker, trying to make his own name above all. He can also be an important source of information, or simply entertainment for those who can interpret his metaphor.
Adaptation: A skald in your campaign could be a warrior from the north that has visited town to tell of their exploits and look for work, or possibly a horrifying and legendary enemy that has slain many, and haunts the dreams of children.
Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPC of this class->