Skald (5e Class)
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Skalds are poets, historians, and keepers of lore who use their gifts for oration and song to inspire allies into a frenzied rage. They balance a violent spirit with the veneer of civilization, recording events such as heroic battles and the deeds of great leaders, enhancing these stories in the retelling to earn bloodier victories in combat. A skald's poetry is nuanced and often has multiple overlapping meanings, and they apply similar talents to emulate magic from other spellcasters.
Creating a Skald
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- Quick Build
You can make a Skald quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Strength and Constitution.
As a Skald you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Shortbows, Battleaxes, and Greataxes
Tools: 2 Musical Instruments of your choice
Saving Throws: Strength, Charisma
Skills: One skill of your choice, History, and one from the following: Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Religion, Perception, and Survival.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A Martial weapon or (b) Any two simple weapons
- (a) Four Javelins or (b) A short bow and 20 arrows
- (a) Leather Armor or (b) Chain Mail Armor
- (a) An Entertainer's Pack or (b) An Explorer's Pack
- A musical instrument you are proficient with
|Features||Spells Known||Cantrips Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Spellcasting, Raging Song, Unarmoured Defense||-||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Extra Attack, Spell Kenning||4||3||4||2||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Skaldic Path Feature||4||3||4||2||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||5||3||4||3||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||7||4||4||3||3||—||—|
|14th||+5||Skaldic Path Feature||8||4||4||3||3||1||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement, Boisterous Occupation||9||4||4||3||3||2||—|
|18th||+6||Source of Inspiration||10||4||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||11||4||4||3||3||3||2|
At 1st level you have learned to untangle and reshape the fabric of reality in harmony with your magic and rage. A skald's spells are drawn from the bard spell list. They can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time. Every skald spell has a verbal component—these verbal components can take the form of song, recitation, or even non-verbal music like percussion.
You know two cantrips of your choice from the bard spell list. You learn additional bard cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Skald table.
- Spell Slots
The Skald table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the bard spell list. The Spells Known column of the Skald table shows when you learn more bard spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the table. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the bard spells you know and replace it with another spell from the bard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your skald spells. Your magic comes from the rage you pour into the performance of your music or oration. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a bard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
- Spellcasting Focus
A skald uses instruments as an arcane focus
A skald is trained to use music, oration, and similar performances to inspire their allies to feats of strength and ferocity. At 1st level, a skald can use this ability for a number of rounds per long rest equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier. For each level thereafter, he/she can use raging song for 2 additional rounds per long rest.
As a bonus action on your turn, you start singing a Raging Song. The song is maintained each round as a free action. A raging song can be disrupted, and it ends immediately if the skald is killed, paralyzed, stunned, silenced, incapacitated, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action each round to maintain it. Only one song can be sung at a time (Unless otherwise stated). Changing to a new song requires use of a bonus action on your turn. Spells or rituals that require concentration or have a casting time longer than 1 action cannot be used in conjunction with Raging Song.
A raging song has audible components, but not visual components. The range of Raging Song is 30 feet. Affected allies must be able to hear the skald for the song to have any effect. The song has no effect on allies that are incapacitated or deafened. In addition, undead, elementals, and constructs are also not affected by Raging Song. Should the skald for some reason be unable to sing a song (i.e. having their tongue cut out), an instrument can be used. If an instrument is used in place of singing, maintaining the song costs a bonus action on the Skald's turn.
If a raging song affects allies, the raging song's effects last for the entire turn. While using Raging Song, the Skald has disadvantage on all Stealth checks.
- Raging Songs
1) Song of Strength - All allies within range gain a +2 to Strength saving throws and Athletics checks.
2) Marching Tempo - All allies within range take no penalties to movement speed while moving through difficult terrain.
3) Spiritual chant - Each turn, all allies within range gain 1d4 temporary hit points until the song ends, or they fall outside the range. At 7th level, this increases to 2d4, and to 3d4 at 14th level.
4) Ferocious melody - Once per turn, all allies within range can add 1d4 to any damage roll made with a melee weapon. At 7th level, this increases to 2d4, and to 3d4 at 14th level.
While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Strength modifier + your Charisma modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
At 2nd level, the skald gains advantage on saving throws against being deafened. At 9th level, the skald becomes resistant to thunder damage. At 16th level, the skald's resistance to thunder damage becomes an immunity.
At 3rd level, you choose a path that shapes the nature of your skills, detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, and 14th levels.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 5th level, a skald is learned in the magic of other spellcasters, and can use their own magic to duplicate those classes' spells. Choose any 3 spells on the bard, sorcerer, or wizard spell list with a casting time of 1 action. These spells do not count towards your number of spells known. You cast these spells using a bard spell slot of the same level, and the spell must be cast at its lowest level. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
At 11th level, you can use this ability twice before finishing a long rest. At 17th level, you can use this ability three times before finishing a long rest.
Beginning at 15th level, your raging song is so fierce that it effects carry on even if you can't. Should the skald become unable to maintain raging song (paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, fall asleep, or die); roll a 1d4. The effects of the raging song used last carry on for 1d4 turns. If the skald starts a new raging song while Ringing Encore is in effect, the effect ends.
Source of Inspiration
Beginning at 18th level, your Raging Song effects you as well as your allies.
At 20th level, a skald's mastery of song and oration allows them to combine the effects of their inspiring bardic magics. Choose any two Raging Song effects to apply when using Raging Song.
Path of the Warrior
Followers of the Path of the Warrior favor their barbaric strength over their bardic cunning, seeing brute force as the best solution to every problem.
- Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level when you take the Path of the Warrior feature you gain proficiency in Athletics checks and all martial weapons.
- Target Acquired
At 6th level While you are raging, you have advantage on an attack with a thrown weapon on an enemy within the range of your Raging Song.
- I Don't Feel Fear
At 14th level while raging, the skald gains a +2 bonus on all attack rolls and saving throws, and is immune to being frightened.
Path of the Artist
Followers of the Path of the Artist favor their bardic cunning over barbaric strength, seeing musical inspiration and acting as a means to solve problems.
- Mark of the Performer
When you reach 3rd level, you gain Proficiency in Performance, Acrobatics, and with disguise kits.
- Boastful Taunt
At 6th level while raging, the skald can incite a creature to attack them by making an Intimidate check to demoralize against their Wisdom save. If the target fails, the target has disadvantage on melee attacks against the skald as long as the skald is visible and raging or until it lands a successful melee, ranged, or spell attack against the skald.
- Extended Performance
Starting at 14th level, the number of rounds you can use Raging song increases to 4 for each level. You regain all your uses of Raging Song after a short rest.
Path of the Orator
Skalds that follow the path of the Orator use their songs to compel with stories of great heroes and civilizations of the past.
- Oratory Skills
When you take the Path of the Orator feature, you gain Proficiency in Persuasion and Deception skills, and learn two languages of your choice.
- Booming Voice
At 6th level, while using Raging Song, the range of Raging Song is doubled to 60 feet. You gain the use of the Thaumaturgy cantrip. It does not count towards your number of cantrips known.
- Linguistict Knowledge
At 14th level, you learn the Tongues spell and can cast it at will without expending a spell slot. This spell does not count towards your number of spells known.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Skald class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma 13, Strength 13
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Skald class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, One Martial Weapon of your choice, Two Musical Instruments of your choice.