Skald (Character Creation)

'In a meadow, in the woods, on a midsummer's night,
There I play to fairies' dance, 'neath starry sky so bright,
An ancient song of wind and mist, with fairy fire' alight,
In the meadow, in the woods, on a midsummer's night.'

Singers, and musicians, actors and storytellers. It doesn't matter whether you are in Westmark, Mittland or the Stormlands, everybody apreciates a good entertainer. And Skalds are so much more than mere entertainers. They carry news, and tell stories of times gone. It doesn't matter it it's done by music or spoken word, they aim to tell a story. And that story is worth to be told.

Class Features
As a skald, you gain the following class features.
Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Skald level.
Hit Points at 1st level: 8 + your Constitution modifier.
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution
modifier per skald level after 1st.

Armour: Light armour.
Weapons: Simple weapons, broadswords, long swords,
Tools: Two musical instruments of your choice.
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma.
Skills: Performance, choose any other two.

You start with the following extra equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your culture.

  • a) a longsword, b) a broadsword or c) any simple weapon
  • Hardened leather armour and a skalm
  • A musical instrument
Level Proficiency Bonus Features
1 +2 Skald’s Gift (d6),
Ever Watchful
2 +2 Jack of All Trades, Campfire
Tales (d6)
3 +2 Talented, Skald Expression
4 +2 Character Improvement
5 +3 Skald’s Gift (d8), Dauntless
6 +3 Distraction
7 +3 Expression Feature
8 +3 Character Improvement
9 +4 Campfire Tales (d8)
10 +4 Talented, Skald’s Gift (d10)
11 +4 Expression Feature
12 +4 Character Improvement
13 +5 Campfire Tales (d10)
14 +5 Nor Weariness, Nor Endless
Barren Miles
15 +5 Expression Feature, Skald’s Gift (d12)
16 +5 Character Improvement
17 +6 Campfire Tales (d12)
18 +6 Commanding Voice
19 +6 Character Improvement
20 +6 A Light When All Other Lights
Go Out

Skald’s Gift
You can inspire others through stirring words, through music or by your presence alone. To do so, use a bonus action on your turn. Choose one creature other than yourself that is within 60 feet of you and who can hear you. That creature gains one Gift die, a d6. Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the Gift die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll or saving throw it attempts. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Gift die, but must decide before the Loremaster says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Gift die is rolled, it is lost. A creature may have only one Gift die at a time. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses after a long rest. Your Gift die increases in size when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 10th level and a d12 at 15th level.

Ever Watchful
Skalds make a point of keeping up with the latest news both local and from afar, as well as making an effort to know the wise and the powerful. If you can freely travel about an area talking with locals and passing travellers for a few hours, you can make a DC 12 Intelligence (Investigation) ability check with advantage. Success indicates that you hear all the latest useful rumours, including news of trouble. Failure means you hear all the latest rumours and news, but cannot discern the true from the false. On a success, you can also glean the names, hereabouts and general appearances of all local influential individuals, households and factions, as well as what livery, colours and heraldry they typically  bear, if any.

Jack of All Trades
Skalds tend to know a little bit about everything. Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus.

Campfire Tales
Beginning at 2nd level, you can help revitalise your wounded allies during a short rest. If you tell tales during a short rest, then you and any nearby friendly creatures listening to your tales gain an additional 1d6 hit points per Hit Die spent. The number of extra hit points gained increases as you gain Skald levels: to 1d8 at 9th level, to 1d10 at 13th level and to 1d12 at 17th level.

At 3rd level, choose two of your skill proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you
make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies. At 10th level, you can choose another two skill proficiencies
to gain this benefit.

Skald Expression
Also at 3rd level, you choose the way in which your Skald talents will express themselves. Choose between Advisor, Fool, Svaerd and Warden (all are detailed at the end of the class description). Your choice of expression grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 7th, 11th and 15th level.

Character Improvement
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, or you can take a Cultural or Open Virtue.
As normal, you cannot increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Beginning at 5th level, you regain all of your expended uses of Skald’s Gift when you finish a short or long rest.

At 6th level, you can use your sharp wit and knowledge of the terrain to distract, confuse and otherwise sap  the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see  within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Skald’s Gift, rolling a Gift die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the Loremaster determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it cannot hear you or if it is immune to being charmed.

Nor Weariness, Nor Endless Barren Miles
Starting at 14th level, when you make an ability check, you can expend one use of Skald’s Gift. Roll a Gift die and add the number rolled to your ability check. You can choose to do so after you roll the die for the ability check, but before the Loremaster tells you whether you succeed or fail.

Spirit of Fire
At 18th level you are amongst the greatest Skalds in the world. You may replace any Charisma check you make with a 15 (before adding modifiers). You may do this a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

A Light When All Other Lights Go Out
At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Skald’s Gift left, you regain one use.

Skald Expression

Every skald is unique, prefering different methods of entertainment, both for their own and for others. Some are warriors, some are scholars, some are nobles and some are drunks. But most fit in one of these categories.

The Advisor

Your voice is your weapon. You have the ear of heroes and lords, and can accomplish more with a whispered word
than with a drawn sword.

Bonus Proficiency
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in a single Charisma or Wisdom skill of your

Also starting at 3rd level, through carefully chosen words and the force of your personality, you have an uncanny ability to lower the guard of potential enemies and sway them towards parley instead of violence. Choose one creature within earshot and make a Charisma check with advantage. Your opponent may make a Wisdom saving throw. If you succeed, then that creature is considered friendly towards you. The skill you use for this Charisma check depends on the type of discourse that you wish to engage in: if you are  trying to trick your opponent then you use Deception; if you are using your strength of arms to make your enemy stand down then you use Intimidation; if you are trying to convince a neutral party to join you then you use Persuasion; and if you simply wish to occupy your opponent’s attention for a while then you use Performance. In short, any Charisma-based skill can be used as long as there is a reasonable basis. 
A friendly creature actively tries to help you so long as it or its allies aren’t threatened; any attack against a friendly creature or its allies obviously ends the discourse! If you ask a friendly creature to commit a Misdeed, do something that would force it to defy its orders, or otherwise upset someone above it, then at the Loremaster’s discretion it is allowed to make another Wisdom saving throw. It takes a lot out of you to think quickly and find the best words to lower your opponent’s guard. Once this feature is used, it cannot be used again until you have taken a
short rest.

Worthy Counsel
By 7th level, you are particularly good at giving advice. When you grant a creature a Gift die, if they use it to make an ability check following your guidance, they also have advantage on the roll. Alternatively, you can give bad counsel, and give them disadvantage on the roll, but only if the creature already trusts you and accepts your advice at face value.

At 11th level, your knowledge and experience almost give you a sixth sense when it comes to anticipating things that might go wrong. Once per long rest, if you have spent at least half an hour pondering a course of action, the Loremaster gives you some insight on one or more likely problems with your contemplated course of action. This could be a particularly stubborn diplomat, an insufficient number of troops to accomplish a goal or even the lack of an ally’s resolve to see a plan through. This feature does not give you access to any information
that you would not reasonably know beforehand.

For example, if your enemy secretly bolstered his troops with Arken mercenaries, then you would not have access to that knowledge; however, the Loremaster may inform you that your enemy would never make a move against you at his current strength, so the fact that he is moving against you must mean that something has changed, something that is likely to impact your own forces…

At 15th level, you are widely respected. No matter how hostile an enemy, your summons will bring that enemy to the negotiating table to hear your pleas or proposals. This is done under a flag of truce and there will be no deception on the part of those whom you have summoned. During this period of negotiation (usually about an hour) you have advantage on any ability checks made against your enemy. While this may not result in the enemy agreeing to your demands, you may have at least bought some time to get better prepared or learn more about your foe. Note that even the forces of the Hrimjotn will heed such a summons. Though they may choose to spend the hour mocking you, you can still glean much between their threats and insults. You can only enforce an audience with an enemy once during any particular Adventuring phase, although the Loremaster may waive this limitation for particularly complex plots or long wars.

The Fool

The fool uses lowbrow stories, daring acrobatics, and cutting jokes to entertain audiences, ranging from the crowds in a rundown dockside pub to the nobles of the High King's court. Where other skalds seek forgotten lore or tales of epic bravery, fools ferret out embarrassing and hilarious stories of all kinds. Whether telling the ribald tale of a brawny stable hand’s affair with an aged duchess or a mocking satire of a knight's cloying innocence, a fools never lets taste, social decorum, or shame get in the way of a good laugh. Fools are loyal to only one cause: the pursuit and propagation of the truth. They use their comedy and innocuous appearance to break down social barriers and expose corruption, incompetence, and stupidity among the rich and powerful. Whether revealing a con artist’s treachery or exposing a jarl’s plans for war as driven by greed and bloodlust, a jester serves as the conscience of a realm.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with thieves’ tools. You also gain proficiency in Sleight of Hand and one additional skill of your choice. If you are already proficient with thieves’ tools or in Sleight of Hand, choose another skill proficiency for each proficiency you already have.

Tumbling Fool
At 3rd level, you master a variety of acrobatic techniques that allow you to evade danger. As a bonus action, you can tumble. When you tumble, you gain the following benefits for the rest of your turn:
• You gain the benefits of taking the Dash and Disengage actions.
• You gain a climbing speed equal to your current speed.
• You take half damage from falling.

Fool’s Insight
At 7th level, your ability to gather stories and lore gains a supernatural edge. This takes the effect of you casting the spell detect thoughts up to a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, but without it counting as an actual spell. You regain any expended uses of this ability after completing a long rest. If a creature resists your attempt to probe deeper and succeeds at its saving throw against your detect thoughts, it immediately suffers an embarrassing social gaffe. It might loudly pass gas, unleash a thunderous burp, trip and fall, or be compelled to tell a tasteless joke.

Fool's Smile
At 11th level, your charm becomes as sharp and dangerous as your blade. As an action, you can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by a creature’s Wisdom (Insight) check. The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language. If you succeed on the check and the creature is hostile, it must target you with any attacks it makes and cannot willingly move farther away from you. This effect lasts for 1 minute or until you move more than 60 feet away from the target.
If you succeed on the check and the creature is not hostile, it is charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed, it regards you as a friendly acquaintance.

Fool’s Luck
Fools seem to have a knack for pulling themselves out of tight situations, transforming what looks like sure failure into an embarrassing but effective success. At 15th level, you can expend one use of Skald's Gifts after you fail an ability check, fail a saving throw, or miss with an attack roll. Roll a Skald's Gifts die and add the number rolled to your attack, saving throw, or ability check, using the new result in place of the failed one. If using this ability grants you a success on the attack, saving throw, or ability check, note the number you rolled on the Skald's Gifts die. The DM can then apply that result as a penalty to an attack or check you make, and you cannot use this ability again until you suffer this drawback. When the DM invokes this penalty, describe an embarrassing gaffe or mistake you make as part of the affected die roll.

The Svaerd

Named from the the Thronelandic word for sword, svaerds entertain through daring feats of weapon prowess. They perform stunts such as sword swallowing, knife throwing and juggling, and mock combats. But though they use their weapons to entertain, they are also highly trained and skilled warriors in their own right.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor and with scimitars.

Fighting Style
The svaerd emphasizes mastery with weapons, granting you access to the two-weapon fighting option for the Fighting Style class feature.
Two-Weapon Fighting - When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Blade Flourish
At 3rd level, you learn to conduct impressive displays of skill with your weapons. When you use the Attack action on your turn and attack with a dagger, skalm, longsword, scimitar, or broadsword, you can attempt one of the following flourishes.
Defensive Flourish - You spin your weapon around you in swift circles, creating a hypnotic display. As a bonus action, you expend one use of Skald's Gifts, rolling a Gift die and applying the number rolled as a bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn.
Trick Shooter’s Flourish - This favorite trick of knife throwers allows you to expend one use of Skald's Gifts as a bonus action. Roll a Gift die and apply the number rolled as a bonus to the next ranged attack roll you make with a dagger this turn. If the target of the attack is an unattended, inanimate object, the bonus equals double the die roll.
Unnerving Flourish - Your deadly display of combat prowess unnerves your opponents, leaving them cowering in fear and at your mercy. Whenever you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, you can use a bonus action to expend one use of Skald's Gifts, and instead leave the creature at 1 hit point. The creature is frightened of you for a number of minutes equal to your Charisma modifier. It must also make a Charisma saving throw with a DC equal to your spellcasting DC + a bonus equal to the roll of your Gift die. If the creature fails this saving throw, it answers truthfully any questions you ask it and obeys your direct orders while it is frightened by this effect.

Extra Attack
Beginning at 7th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Sword Dancing
At 11th level, your skill with the sword is as close to dance than it is to fighting. While fighting with two weapons, you add your Charisma modifier to your AC.

Master Duelist
At 15th level your mastery of the blade lets you turn failure to success in combat. If you miss with an attack, you can choose to roll the attack again with advantage. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

The Warden

Wardens are warriors as well as scholars, advocating for a cause that can motivate others and fighting for their beliefs. They actively stories and songs to make sure no story is completely forgotten. Wardens seek to witness great deeds of valor first hand and sing of what they have seen to others, to inspire them in turn.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in medium armor, shields and martial

Songs of Slaying
The songs of battle resound where wardens are present. Also starting at 3rd level, you may expend one of your
Skald’s Gift dice to give all of your allies within 30 feet an additional d4 on their next attack roll. Alternatively,
any creature that has one of your Skald’s Gift dice may roll the die and add the number rolled to a weapon
damage roll that they just made.

Extra Attack
Starting at 7th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Break Resolve
At 11th level, your steely gaze causes lesser foes to falter before you. As an action, you may attempt to instill fear
in one creature within 30 feet of you that can see you by making a DC 15 Charisma (Intimidation) check. The
affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals the result of your Charisma check) or gain the
Frightened condition. You may use this ability only once, regaining it after a short rest.

An End Worthy of Song
At 15th level, your stirring words help your allies stand against any challenge, even if it is to be their last stand. As
an action, you can speak words of hope and valor that move you and all of your allies within 30 feet, granting each
of you a +2 bonus on all attack rolls, a pool of temporary hit points equal to your Skald level and immunity to
being Frightened. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier +1 (minimum of 1). When
this ability ends, all those affected lose any remaining temporary hit points they gained from this ability and
suffer one level of exhaustion. You must take a long rest in a Sanctuary before you can use this ability again.

Skald (Character Creation)

Trudvang for 5e Tedeman