Skald

To Medieval Classes To Norse Prestige Classes

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Illustration for Olav den helliges saga, Heimskringla 1899-edition.Christian 
  Krohg (1852,1925) Illustration for Olav den helliges saga, Heimskringla 1899-edition.Christian Krohg (1852–1925) 

Originally on the Terra Viejo Website

These Nordic keepers of ancient lore are responsible for passing on the knowledge of the ages. This takes on two forms, oral tradition and the special runes of Norseland. Skalds also compose sagas about new heroes and new adventures. Steeped in the lore and myths that they are the guardians of, skalds are religious figures of a sort, and have some of the same powers as a priest. Skalds are also said to be able to take on animal form, a power they are said to share with certain berserkers of their homeland. More warrior-like then bard or priest, skalds often find themselves participating in the very stories they keep.

Norse bards often seek to become skalds, as do some Norse fighters and barbarians. However no class or nationality is excluded, as long as a would-be Skald shows a knack for keeping the lore, and adding to it. Many skalds are trained in Skálholt, home to the greatest source of Skald learning and lore. The Skalds of Skálholt have even begun recording some of the ancient tales and legends using the Latin alphabet.
True power is still only passed along orally or in runes.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Skald, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Alignment: Any Non-Evil
Feats: Clarity
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, Perform (oratory) 9 ranks, Survival 3 ranks, Speak Language (Norse)
Weapon and Armor: Proficient with longsword and Battle Axe or warhammer, Light Armor and Shields.

Other: Pagan

Hit Die: d8
Class Skills: The Skalds class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Decipher Script (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Gather Information (Charisma), Knowledge (any skill, taken separately) (Intelligence), Listen (Wisdom), Perform (Charisma), Profession (Intelligence), Runecraft (Wisdom), Sense Motive (Wisdom), Speak Language, Spellcraft (Intelligence), Spot (Wisdom), Survival (Wisdom), Swim (Strength), and Use Magic Device (Charisma).

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4+Intelligence Modifier

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Bard Spells per Day Domain Spells Known, Wisdom Spells
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Nordic Lore, Armored Casting +1 level  
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Animal Shape +1 level  
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Domain, Wisdom Spells +1 level 1st level
4th +3 +4 +1 +4   +1 level 2nd level
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Animal Shape (2/day) +1 level 3rd level
6th +4 +5 +2 +5   +1 level 4th level
7th +5 +5 +2 +5   +1 level 5th level
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Animal Shape (3/day) +1 level 6th level

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Skalds are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the battle axe, longsword, short sword, short bow and warhammer. They are also proficient with light and medium armor and shields.

Bard Spells per Day: The Skald casts spells like a bard of the same level. If already a bard, each time the Skald gains a level, their casting level and spells per day increase as if their bard level increased by one.

Nordic Lore: The Skald may know obscure things about the Aesir, Vanir, Norse Heroes, or other aspects of Norse culture. The Skald can make bardic knowledge checks involving Norseland, including history, heroes, religion and mythology. The Skald adds his Wisdom modifier and Skald level to the other modifiers for the check.

Armored Casting: The Skald’s percentage chance of arcane spell failure when casting spells with somatic components while wearing armor is reduced 20%. The standard penalty for using a shield still applies.

Animal Form: At 2nd level a Skald is allowed to select one animal form from the following: bear black, wolf, raven or goat. The Skald may assume this animal form once per day and may return to normal at any time. This transformation is the same as being polymorphed by the spell, so hit points remain the same as the Skalds, however the Skald gains the natural attacks, average physical stats, and sensory abilities of the animal. The Skald also gains the healing of a standard polymorph. In addition the Skald can freely mix and communicate with the animals of which shape he has taken. At 5th level the skald can take the form of this animal twice per day, at 8th level three times per day.

Domain: At 3rd level, if the Skald has a Wisdom of 11 or higher they gain a Domain like a cleric. They can choose from an “Aesir” Domain: Battle, Knowledge, Strength, or War, or a “Vanir” domain: Animal, Charm , Music, Plant or Water. They gain the special powers of the Domain-treating their levels in Skald as levels in cleric for purposes of the Domain ability- and, can cast 1st level Domains spells as bard spells of the same level, though to cast a Domain spell they must be able to cast bard spells of the same level and have a Wisdom equal to 10 + spell level. The spell is still considered a divine spell, and the Skald a divine spell caster. Each time they gain a Skald level they can cast a higher level Domain spell, as indicated on the table.

Wisdom Spells: The Skald can receive 1st level bonus spells from Wisdom in addition to those received for Charisma. At each additional level the Skald can receive bonus spells of a higher level, as indicated on the table. These bonus spells can used to cast any known spells of the relevant level, whether they are Domain or bard spells.

ranger and druid Skalds: ranger and druid Skalds add their Skald level to their ranger or druid level to determine the properties of their animal companion and when using the wild empathy ability.

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