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Pseudo-guide to the Skald, or How to be Metal


Advice


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Let's clear the air a bit before we start this guide for the Skald. This is a pure discussion here about the theoretical and practical uses of a class and it's features. There will be some opinions, and I plan to debunk a few myths going about about the class. As such, there will not be a link to any kind of Google Drive or cloud saved document. No graphics to entice. This is bare bones. And now that that is out of the way ...

Welcome to the Skald! We need to discuss what the Skald isn't before we get to what it is. It is neither a bard nor a barbarian. That seems odd, considering that these two classes are what were made to create the class. The Skald may have abilities akin to both of the parent classes, but it is more than the sum of those parts. That's something that people are forgetting when it comes to making Skalds. They are thinking that it's just a Bard that makes parties have Barbarian rage.

Now, onto the qualities of the Skald.

Skills: Skalds have access to the vast majority of the combined skills of the bard and barbarian, with one important caveat. Skalds, as of the recent FAQ update, have only five Perform skills available to them. Oratory, Percussion, Sing, String, and (now) Wind Instruments. However, that large list has one drawback. The Skald has only 4 + Int Mod skill ranks per level, instead of the Bard's 6 + Int Mod skill ranks. This makes choosing skills a very meticulous endeavor. The Skald will not necessarily be the knowledge monkey that the Bard can be, and Perform skills will oddly be at a premium. We will get to this later.

Hit Points: The Skald uses d8 hit dice, which does put it at Bard HP. You'll have powers and perhaps feats help you get around these limitations, but you will not be the tankiest guy who ever lived. I'd have been happier with d10 hit dice, as it would represent the warrior poet angle the Skald was meant for a little better. But we take what we can get.

Base Attack Bonus: We're looking at a 3/4 BAB class here, like the Bard. Unlike the Hit Points, this is something that fits a bit better with the class design. You are reasonably certain that you can hit on average, especially in melee. This is fairly important, in that the Skald was seemingly designed to be in melee combat.

Saves: Skalds have excellent Fort and Will saves, and one of their class features make them both exceedingly better than most anything. That is incredibly important to know. At higher levels, a Skald at full tilt will reasonably be expected to resist most save-or-suck spells. Reflex is naturally the weakest save as a result, but Skalds can work around this limitation.

Weapons and Armor: Skalds are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, which gives them a diverse selection of ways to beat faces in. They also have proficiency with light and medium armors, as well as any shield that isn't the tower variety. That's a very nice selection of armor, as it does allow you to be a bit more flexible in your stat allocation.

Spellcasting: Skalds have practical access to all Bard spells, and are a 6 level spellcasting class. A class ability gives them theoretical access to nearly every 6th level or lower spell in the game, but this will be expanded upon later. They are also capable of casting in medium armor starting at 1st level without penalty. That is a very important thing to note for what is essentially an arcane caster. Even the Magus can't cast in medium armor at 1st level without failure chance. They do have the bardic limitation of a verbal component in all spells.

Class abilities:

Bardic Knowledge: Skalds will need to rely more on Bardic Knowledge for most of their knowledge checks than the Bard. This is entirely due to the drop in skill ranks compared to the Bard. You might want to have a few knowledge skills trained anyway, as the bonus is a nice boost.

Raging Song: This is the big one. The beginning of the major differences between the Bard and the Skald. Raging Song does act a lot like Bardic Performance, with the same scaling activation cost and interaction with feats that require Bardic Performance. Raging Song is a purely audible power, so deaf Skalds have failure chances and deaf characters are totally immune to it. However, the Skald has only 5 songs compared to the much larger number of Bardic Performances. Also, all allies that would be affected by Raging Song can choose whether or not to accept the benefits. That is a vast difference from the Bardic Performance, and allows the party to dynamically adapt to changing battlefield conditions.

Inspired Rage:
Inspired Rage is the main Raging Song you will rely on as a Skald, unless you take the Magic Warrior archetype. I'll get to that archetype later when I discuss each of them. What Inspired Rage does is give a lesser rage like effect to allies within range of you, but without any fatigue after it ends. Will save bonus starts at +1 and goes up at 4th level and every 4 levels afterwards. The Str/Con bonus however starts at +2 at first level, and it goes up by 2 at 8th level and 16th level. AC penalty is only a -1, and never gets worse as level goes up. Barbarians and Bloodragers can note that they can instead take their own rage bonus, but cannot gain any other benefit such as rage powers or bloodrage powers from their own class. For those classes, this can be a slight benefit because they effectively have a free pool of extra rage rounds that do not fatigue them. Inspired Rage is also what helps make a Skald an effective melee combatant.

Song of Marching:
At 3rd Level, Song of Marching can convert a single round of Raging Song to make one hour of hustle that is treated as a walk. It affects allies within 60 feet that can hear you, so it might be useful in caravans. Reduces fatigue quite a bit for long travels at low levels. It does work quite well before you have a wizard gain access to mass transit magic. It's a nice utility song, and one that you may end up using in some campaigns.

Song of Strength:
At 6th Level, Song of Strength allows your party to add half your Skald level to Strength checks and Strength-based skill checks. Like Song of Marching, this affects allies within 60 feet of you. I like to call this, "The Song of Kicking Down the Door."

Dirge of Doom:
This is the same thing as the Bardic Performance of the same name, just two levels later. If you aren't sure about the applications of this song, just check out a number of Bard guides to this. This is honestly kind of a lackluster effect, especially when you have access to some spells and feats that do the same thing or better.

Song of the Fallen:
Oh, this is the goods right here. At 14th level, you have a Raging Song that can resurrect allies in combat. It has a heavy cost though. One round of Raging Song per ally, per round. And when the song ends, they return to being dead. And it has the same limitations as the spell Raise Dead. But let's be honest with ourselves. It's an excuse to break out The Flight of the Valkyries in the middle of a climatic boss fight. It can save the party when it matters most by bringing back that one big hitter to really mess with the BBEG's day. This is the true capstone ability of the Skald. Don't think it is an excuse for recklessness, but it can save the day when the dice just come down on your group.

Scribe Scroll: Hey, a bonus feat at 1st is nothing to sneeze at. Just remember that in PFS, this changes instead to Extra Performance. That means 6 extra rounds of Raging Song at 1st level.

Versatile Performance: This works mechanically just like the Bard's Versatile Performance, but it only works with the Perform skills the Skald has available to it. Also, you only get to choose at 2nd level and every 5 levels afterward. The optimal approach to this seems to be to pick one social skill to have actual max ranks in and to pick two Perform skills to cover the others. The amount of overlap makes focusing on more than two Perform skills a bit of a hassle.

Well-Versed: At 2nd level, the Skald gains the same resistance to sonic effects that a Bard tends to get. +4 to saves vs. Bardic Performance and all sonic or language-dependent effects. Not a major power, and easy to replace with certain archetypes.

Rage Powers: This one is going to take a bit of explanation. At 3rd level and every 3 levels afterward, a Skald can gain barbarian rage powers. These rage powers can only be used with Inspired Rage, which means they can affect the whole party.

Using Rage Powers and Restrictions:
Skalds can choose which powers apply to their Inspired Rage as they start the performance. Rage powers use the Skald's level in place of the Barbarian level for all effects depending on it, and affected allies use the Skald's ability modifiers for any rage power whose effects rely on it.

Rage powers that require "spending a standard action" or costing rounds of rage to activate cannot be chosen. At all. So Terrifying Howl can't be picked up (as it costs a standard action to use), but Knockback (which is made in place of a melee attack) can be chosen. Skalds cannot, unless otherwise stated, take the same rage power more than once.

Rage Powers from other sources:
Here is where I have to dispel a major myth. As written, the Skald cannot apply the rage powers of any other source to the party as part of an Inspired Rage. [u]This also counts the feat Extra Rage Power.[/u] I had to emphasize this because of a poster who has been claiming that there are two trains of thought regarding it. The supposed second train of thought was that it only applied to rage powers from other classes. That statement was recently disproven when the pregen Skald for PFS came out. In the 7th level version of the pregen, the Skald had Extra Rage Power. The stat block and accompanying text flat out said that the rage power granted by the feat (Witch Hunter) could not be shared with the party. Therefore, rage powers coming from feats and other classes cannot be shared during an Inspired Rage.

In contrast, a Skald with levels in Barbarian or Bloodrager can apply his Skald rage powers to the Barbarian Rage or Bloodrage. As they would only affect himself in that instance, it is allowed.

Linnorm Death Curses:
Linnorm Death Curses are a special subset of rage power introduced in the Advanced Class Guide. As Skald rage powers, it allows allies to have an interesting effect. In most cases, the Linnorm Death Curse will grant you and your allies a single point of specific damage types to melee attacks. The real fascinating thing involves the second power of the Linnorm Death Curses. When a player affected by it is knocked unconscious or killed by an attack or spell, the attacker/assailant will have to make a Will save or be affected by the Curse. Each curse is named after a different Linnorm, and thus has different curse effects. Several produce vulnerability to an energy type, although the Tor Death Curse also permanently staggers the opponent. The Cairn Death Curse causes Con damage and ages the cursed one year per day. The Fjord Death Curse makes the opponent drown easier in the water. And the Tarn Death Curse flat out makes an enemy completely unable to heal in any way until the curse is removed. No healing spells, and no ability to heal naturally from rest. That makes the death curses something special when things go wrong, but you may see them more in NPC villain characters.

Uncanny Dodge/Improved Uncanny Dodge: This is self-explanatory here. Works the same as for Barbarians, and scales the same as the Rogue. Solid ability to keep the Skald from being in some bad situations.

Spell Kenning: This is the ability that at 5th level gives the Skald a truly unique situation. Starting at once per day, the Skald can take one of his spell slots and cast any appropriate level spell from the Bard, Cleric, or Sorc/Wiz spell lists. As I said in the spell section, the Skald has theoretical access to near every 6th level or lower spell in the game. At 11th and 17th level, you gain an additional use of this power. There is a catch though for this unprecedented spell access. No matter what the spell cast by this ability will be, you have a minimum cast time of one round to cast it. That's been seen as a major failing, but is largely irrelevant in certain circumstances. Any spells that already have one round or longer cast times are unaffected by this drawback.

Lore Master: This is the same ability that Bards get, but only scaled back to being two levels behind the Bard. So that means you get it at 7th level, and it improves at 13th level and 19th level.

Damage Reduction: The Skald first gains DR 1/- at 9th level, and it increases by one at 14th and 19th levels. This can be further improved with the Improved Damage Reduction rage power, but only during an Inspired Rage.

Master Skald: The official capstone of the Skald, Master Skald does a lot at 20th level when using Inspired Rage. AC Penalty is completely removed, even though it was at that point a negligible thing. Barbarians and Bloodragers can gain the full benefit of their raging if they choose to use the Inspired Rage as the source. So Dragonic Bloodragers will turn into dragons, and they can cast their spells while under the Inspired Rage. Finally, all players under the effects of Inspired Rage can make one extra attack while full attacking as if under the effect of haste. Not too bad, as far as level 20 capstones go.

In development: Races, Archetypes, Builds, Traits, Feats, and Assorted Things. Right now, I had to get the pertinent information dealt with and dispel a myth. Took a while to write everything while reviewing my references. It's important to first get things that are known out and remove doubt as to other things.

Grand Lodge

Spell Kenning is one of my favorite features of the Skald class, though I haven't played one yet. I think this class has so many interesting possibilities!

I love this analysis, but I think that you should transfer it to a google doc -- illustrations are NOT necessary, but the ability to edit it later is. <g>

If you need any help on that, ask. I am totally cool with serving as google compiler if needed.

Hmm


Dotting. Just busy atm.


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Before I continue onto the Races, I realize I need to take care of analyzing the relevance of the ability scores. Because trust me, the Skald has MAD issues. Pretty serious ones at that.

Strength: Barring the use of the Spell Warrior archetype, Strength is likely to be your highest or second highest ability score. Skalds are more likely to be in the front line to wade through combat. Your Inspired Rage can supplement lower Strength scores, but you generally want at least a 14 Strength to start. A 16 would be better.

Dexterity: Dexterity governs a few things for Skalds. A few skills key off of Dex, as does Initiative and some of your Armor Class. Helps with ranged combat, which is often going to be the route you'll want to take with the oft mentioned Spell Warrior. For a melee build, you can typically get away with a 12 Dexterity. But you'll want a 15 for a Two-Weapon Fighting if you plan on going that route.

Constitution: You are not dumping this, ever. This governs your HP, your Fort save, and how long you can make saving throws until death. The Skald's Inspired Rage already buffs this up a bit, so you will often have some extra HP to help you out. You can have this as low as about 12-13 if you feel like it.

Intelligence: Given the relatively low number of skill ranks a Skald receives, this should not be dumped at all. A base 10 is also not recommended. It's just too low for a class that has a number of skills it wants to have ranks in. A 12 should be the magic minimum number, but 14 is the most you'll want to go without magic item assistance.

Wisdom: Despite it affecting your Will save, Wisdom is your only genuine dump stat as a Skald. Your Inspired Rage will be able to make up the difference in that regard. Won't help much with Perception, but it is thankfully a class skill for the Skald.

Charisma: Let me put it as blunt as I can. The base minimum Charisma for an effective Skald is 14, no less. It governs your spells, your rounds of Raging Song, and the DCs of any ability you get that need it. It helps you perform to the best of your ability, even at the worst of times.

Well, that takes care of that boring part. Now we get to have fun picking apart the races. As this is a more rudimentary guide, I'm focusing solely on the base races. Less headaches are involved.

Dwarves: Dwarves have beards, which makes them typically manly and capable of a ZZ Top impersonation. If I could only determine what makes a good Skald with that, then these guys would be close to the top of the heap. But it would be a disservice to the vikings that inspired the Skald if I did that. Dwarves do not make very good Skalds. They get Darkvision, Hardy, and an expanded weapon selection. They can bump up the Con, which is nice. However, they get an increase in our dump stat and a decrease in a stat we must never let go below 14. That's a bad sign, because we must then make the Skald overall weaker just to accommodate that. Coupled with a bad Favored Class Bonus that takes 10 levels to give you heavy armor with only a slightly lesser arcane failure chance, and I can't recommend it as a Skald.

Elves: Elves are lanky, long haired folk who look like they might have been in a few 80s hair bands. They are only slightly metal. They give an increase to Dexterity and Intelligence, while having a dip in Constitution. That isn't as bad as you might think. Just a simple re-allocation of stats and it becomes manageable. Racial traits aren't too shabby either. Bonus to Perception, saves vs enchantment effects, low light vision, and even to spell penetration checks. And you can get rid of that last one to give yourself a few extra spell like abilities per day. The only drawback to that is on the Favored Class Bonus, which can improve the Well-Versed ability by 1 point every 4 levels. Other than that, I'd only recommend the Elf for archer Skalds.

Gnomes: The closest thing to a metal Gnome is the 1980s version of Alvin and the Chipmunks, or perhaps the Oompa Loompas in the Tim Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gnomes don't have manly beards, nor big enough hair to make a hair band. Stat wise, it's a mixed bag as well. Strength gets dipped, but Con and Cha go up. Favored Class Bonus is simply a bonus to concentration checks for your Skald spells. Other racial traits aren't that impressive either. It's really suited for a caster Skald, which sort of goes against the grain for the class. It might be good for a certain archetype when I get to them.

Half-Elves: Half-elves can have the long hair of the elves, or be at more reasonable hair length. And they can be more muscular than the lanky elves. So these guys could have fit in an 80s metal band. They get a floating bonus that may end up in Strength more often than not. They do get a free Skill Focus, which could go into making their primary perform skill. They also have the resistance to sleep and enchantment, as well as the buff to Perception. And best of all, they have the best Favored Class Bonus. They can add more rounds of Raging Song. That's more time for the band to perform. That's encores. When a half-elf plays Stairway to Heaven, they are never denied.

Half-Orcs: Half-orcs are metal. They are thrash metal incarnate. The loudest headbangers known to man. Dethlok would want one of these guys just because they fit the motif of their place. Racially, the half-orc is practically ideal to the Skald. Same floating bonus as the half-elf, and they get a number of great abilities. They get a bonus on Intimidate checks, Darkvision, and Orc Ferocity. If that wasn't enough, they can switch things up by getting rid of Darkvision for extra skill ranks or the Ferocity for a luck bonus to all saves. By the way, that bonus to saves comes in the form of tattoos. So everything is so far screaming metal here. And on top of all that, they get the same Favored Class Bonus as the half-elf. So the half-orc will have more rounds of the heaviest metal this side of Brutal Legend.

Halflings: Halflings are in the same boat as the Gnomes as far as how metal they are. And their stats just don't help. Bonus to a mostly irrelevent stat and your casting stat, and a penalty to one of your primary stats do not make a solid Skald. It might be fine in an archery build. The racial traits are a little okay, with the bonus to all saves and a further bonus versus fear. Favored Class Bonus is sadly the nail in the coffin here. Just a bonus on critical confirmation rolls for a very small number of weapons. At best two weapons, and it doesn't stack with Critical Focus.

Humans: Humans brought forth the viking, one of the inspirations for a number of metal songs. Seeing as the Skald is my excuse to play Manowar or Blind Guardian at the table for a buff class, it's fitting to say that humans are the inspiration for metal. They have the same floating bonus that the half-elf and half-orc get, but they also get a bonus feat and extra skill ranks. The Favored Class Bonus for the human is actually a bit disappointing and bland, as it is merely bonus to spells known. Spell Kenning already makes that mostly useless, unless you take an archetype that removes it.

The continuation of this quasi-guide will involve Archetypes, relevant Traits, relevant Feats, and perhaps an example of some of the builds.

And Hmm, I wouldn't mind that little bit of help. I'm just doing a lot of typing.


In no way is a 12 int the minimum. You can easily make a skald with a 10 int. the only skills you need are climb, preform, some knowledge, perception, UMD, and spellcraft. Depending on party line up you might need social skills to be the face. But you dont even need to max out climb or knowledge so you could fit in a diplomacy or bluff with an int of 10 once you get a few lvls. Some builds might want more int, but you can deal with 10.

Grand Lodge

And here is your link: Pseudo Guide to the Skald: How to be Metal

Some recommendations:

1) I'd like you to flesh out the other PFS legal races, if there are any good ones.

2) I am going to suggest that every Skald be a worshipper of Shelyn. Here's why:

Persuasive Performer Feat Take this feat. Take Performance Sing as your first Performance skill with Versatile Performance and you get Diplomacy, Bluff and Sense Motive all off the same perform skill. This will make those limited skill points go along way.

Shelyn's Deific Obedience Compose music one hour a day, gain a +4 bonus to all your perform skills. This is better than skill focus perform for you!

Or if you don't want to use the feat, get Shelyn's Blade of Three Fancies for the same Perform bonus, plus a cool weapon that you can use. You can even color spray lower level opponents if they show up.

Hmm


Those are some awesome suggestions, and definitely something I'll include when I get to the right sections.

Working on the other PFS legal races, what few might work.


Following this with great interest...


My Skald, Heike Roflsmao, is a proud Ulfen Human and is truly metal. Spirit Totem, Lesser brings out the hardcore, with spirits assailing all living enemies because of my song. If the dead are helping you because of your music, you must be quite metal.

Dark Archive

dotting


Gnomes are punk rock, not metal. Isn't it obvious from the hair colors? Mohawk all the way.

Elves and half-elves I imagine more likely sing stuff like Pretenders, Laura Branigan, Pat Benatar, or Scandal. Heavy base, but you can still understand what is sung.

Got to match the music to the race!

Grand Lodge

By the way, our chronicler of metal bands is rapidly adding races and archetypes to the new document.

It's rocking out!

Hmm


Current progress: Added in a number of PFS legal races that also have valid ways of being a Skald. Finished two of the four archetypes available for Skalds: Fated Champion and Herald of the Horn. Will get to the other two soon enough. Just need to take care of some errands and cool the brain before getting back to work on the other two.


DOT

Shadow Lodge

Added to the Guide to the Guides


If the part about the two train of thoughts was about me, then I did say that but keep in mind that:

It was before origins
I had made two different threads in the rule section asking for that, only AFTER people told me that the feat should work, and both threads had more people saying that it should rather than it shouldn't.

My own personal opinion, if you check the threads, was always that it shouldn't btw.

Nice guide so far, when you get to feats section, there is one more, major, reason for being half orc:
Amplified rage
Pick up a ring of tactical precision
Pick up war leader's rage

Enjoy an extra +5str/+5con for you+1ally

(Also, with tusks you can legitimately bite bats!)


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Amplified Rage would be nice, if it weren't a Teamwork Feat. There is no ability that the Skald possesses that gets around that problem. Warleader's Rage is a feat that works, since it doesn't require other party members to be Half-orcs with the same feat.

Current progress: Finished the Archetype section, and next I'll work on the Traits.


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Kalvit wrote:

Amplified Rage would be nice, if it weren't a Teamwork Feat. There is no ability that the Skald possesses that gets around that problem. Warleader's Rage is a feat that works, since it doesn't require other party members to be Half-orcs with the same feat.

Current progress: Finished the Archetype section, and next I'll work on the Traits.

Read my post again.

Ring of tactical precision.

Basically, you enchant it with a teamwork feat you have, and you give it to a party member


I recommend the feat Raging vitality if you're really looking out for those extra hitpoints. While not technically a toughness feat it still lends the skald and hopefully at least one other character an extra +1hp/level. In total the skald's bonus hp output to the party isn't anything to scoff at.

of course, you need at least a 15 vitality for that... Can be built around as my current party need a tank badly, so every bit helps!


New archetypes are pretty good, also the new trait.

Dark Archive

Upon second look at the Belkzen War Drummer, it's actually not as bad as I originally thought if you're okay with giving up the knowledge aspect of the class: in essence, playing up the orcish heritage of Belkzen Hold. And it stacks with Fated Champion, which is the bee's knees.


Sorry, I've been still sorting through some of the traits. I'll soon include a few more traits and make a note for the ones from Advanced Class Origins. I have added the new archetypes into the document though.

Grand Lodge

Kalvit, I updated your table of contents and added a link back to this discussion in the document. Do you want me to add a section for feats, or leave that to you?

Hmm


I wouldn't mind the bit on feats. I can sift through it later as I go through builds at a later date. Right now I'm dealing with network issues, so I won't be of much use till at least Friday.

Grand Lodge

I added a little bit on Deific Obediences. I included Gorum, Shelyn and oddly enough, Irori. I thought about Calistria in this section, since the bonus to that particular Obedience was pretty darn amazing, but the Obedience is rated R, and it feels off to me for a Skald to pursue it each night. I see them as more forthright than that.

I haven't done anything else with feats...

Hmm


Is this still a thing? If so, I might have some few things to add (probably common knowledge, but it is not in the guide, so..)

This has been mentioned quite a bit on the boards already, but would there be a point in adding a bit about multiclassing, specifically the benefits of a 1 level dip in Bloodrager?

For the cost of 1 caster level and slowed spell progression you gain:
+ No loss in BAB progression
+ Fast Movement or a bonus feat off a specific list
+ A separate rage pool that increases your personal bonuses from raging song to +4/+4
+ A familiar (thanks Familiar Folio!), which together with the Valet familiar archetype provides a way to make Amplified Rage work consistently - giving you +8/+8 at level 2. Hell, couple it up with Moment of Greatness and you are looking at +16 STR when you really need it - and your familiar can make good uses of the boosts as well. Pick a metal goat and watch it wreck face with 18 strength.

Also, when it comes to traits, I think Community-Minded is worthy of a mention as well - not only does it make your raging song last for longer, but it makes the bonuses stick for those that would not benefit from raging. Coupled up with things like the superstitious rage power it seems really neat, as the penalties fade if the song ceases, but the raw morale bonuses to saves and stats remain. Seems like a good one for the Skald.


Do I miss anything critical from the people claiming +8/+8 with bloodrager?
I mean sure you get that, but only when bloodragig whicheans only 5-6 rounds fatigue, no spelkasting, no giving raging sdogto allies and etc

Also community minded and the new morale/intimidate FAQ seems to imply that now both negatives and positives of song continue since now the whole song is a "morale effect"


shroudb wrote:

Do I miss anything critical from the people claiming +8/+8 with bloodrager?

I mean sure you get that, but only when bloodragig whicheans only 5-6 rounds fatigue, no spelkasting, no giving raging sdogto allies and etc

Also community minded and the new morale/intimidate FAQ seems to imply that now both negatives and positives of song continue since now the whole song is a "morale effect"

"If an ally has her own rage class ability (such as barbarian's rage, bloodrager's bloodrage, or skald's inspired rage), she may use the Strength, Constitution, and Will saving throw bonuses, as well as AC penalties, based on her own ability and level instead of those from the skald (still suffering no fatigue afterward). However, inspired rage does not allow the ally to activate abilities dependent on other rage class abilities, such as rage powers, blood casting, or bloodrager bloodlines; the ally must activate her own rage class ability in order to use these features."

"While under the effects of inspired rage, allies other than the skald cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration."

The way I read it, it seems like the enhanced bonuses are still provided by inspired rage, so the skald should still be free to cast spells, give bonuses to allies, and not be fatigued. Keep in mind, I might be missing something key, so correct me if I'm wrong!

EDIT: Oh, I think I get your question/concern - I guess the main issue boils down to if allies with Rage/Bloodrage etc can use their bonuses for free under the effects of raging song, without spending any rounds of rage themselves? I could get that, but the last sentence of inspired rage implies (at least to me) that they get the boosts for free, but if they want their personal rage powers etc they have to burn off their own rage.

Also, would you mind linking me to the FAQ? I always struggle with finding the relevant ones.


Reckless Rage is (IMO) terrible, you invest a feat that is power attack without the scaling. I'd much rather have Harmonic Spell, lingering performance or invest in a measterpiece.

Paizo FAQ 2015 wrote:

What makes something a fear effect? What about a morale effect?

Fear effects include spells with the fear descriptor, anything explicitly called out as a fear effect, anything that causes the shaken, frightened, or panicked condition, and all uses of the Intimidate skill. Intimidate, in particular, is a mind-affecting fear effect, so fearless and mindless creatures are immune to all uses of Intimidate.

Morale effects, unlike fear effects, so far have not had a descriptor or a call-out. Anything that grants a morale bonus is a morale effect. For example, the rage spell grants a morale bonus, so a creature immune to morale effects would be immune to the entire spell, including the –2 penalty to AC.

Wow, so that now brings up a whole bag of worms. If all my moral effects are increased via courageous weapon property and the -2 AC is a morale bonus, can I negate the penalty and even eventually get a +1 AC if my +4 courageous/furious weapon is in use? Probably no, they'd say you don't get bonuses to morale effects, just morale bonuses.


courageous weapon affect bonuses, not penalties or effects. so i wouldnt count on it effecting the -2 to ac.

i was more worried about not-casting, superstition and rage powers and etc.

someone accepts raging song.
later on, he wants to cast something, so he doesn't accept the song. But due to community minded, the whole effect, with drawbacks and postives, continues for another 2 rounds, that he has to wait out to actually cast his spell.

or something along those lines.

i'm pretty certain that rai is that if he doesn't accept, all morale bonuses and penalties shut down immediatly, but there is no such language.

Dark Archive

I like the idea of this class a lot, but it seems like a lot of rage powers aren't good to give to the average party. Any suggestions on which ones would be good, in general?
I get that it'd depend on the party makeup, but I don't have any barbarian experience, and any existing guide on rage powers focuses on the barbarian specifically. A lot of rage powers good for a barbarian aren't good for everyone else (ie: come and get me).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good rage powers to give everyone are:

- something that they get no matter what they do

- Lesser Spirit Totem is a FREE attack while they are raging (even if they don't attack at all) and it is only against foes and is negative energy (which helps against most things but may be a drawback in a few rarer cases)

- Lesser Celestial Totem means that everyone gets more healing from stuff like channels - between that and the CON bonus from the rage means that getting party members that go down back up is easier

- many of the other totems are pretty decent. The Blood Rage powers are also worth a close look I'm sure a few of them are nifty when the whole party has them

- Savage Dirty Trick (must be level 6 to take) - basically lets everyone do a dirty trick in place of a melee attack (which otherwise takes a feat to do as dirty tricks are usually standard actions), that attempt doesn't trigger attacks of opportunity AND the opponent gets a save or an additional 1 round penalty is imposed (which has to be removed before the initial effect can be removed). Rather good especially since folks will have an increased BAB from the effects of the raging song!

- Celestial Blood Rage (lessor) - all melee attacks considered Good aligned AND deal 1d6 extra damage to evil outsiders.

lots of other good choices - depends a bit on your party


elemental blood (air) can give the whole team flight for 3 rage powers (plus some damage and resistances)

superstition is good but situational depending on the party (since they can simply refuse the song when they want buffs or to be healed and etc) (but with good hope you already can give morale bonuses to saves so... depends?)
the powers next in line with superstition are also awesome, especially group wide ghost touch and group wide dispels.

strength surge is quite flexible especially when coupled with some of the maneuvers powers (but even standalone, wizard accepting song and using str surge to break out of a grapple with insane+str bonuses from both the song and your level p.e)

lesser celestial totem coupled with Path of glory spell is imba for lvl+1 group wide healing for rounds/lvl

scent is universally good, both for utility (darkness, invis, etc) but also coupled with pheromones arrows for a stacking +2/+2 bonus to the whole party


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hadn't noticed this before but if you are building for PFS looks like the Celestial Totem chain of rage powers isn't PFS legal (which is disappointing as it is very nifty especially for Skalds)

Grand Lodge

As to Amplified Rage... check out the Bardic Masterpiece "Battle Hymn of the Peoples Revolt"

So after round 2 you can grant Amplify rage to the whole party at the cost of an extra raging song use per round. With warleader's rage (already mentioned) you can keep this up after people move away from adjacent. Uses a level 2 spell slot or a PRECIOUS PRECIOUS feat...

Req. Percussion 4 ranks.

After level 7 when performance is a move action... for 2 rounds of rage you have it going in round 1.

Also, once per day Shoanti Spirit Singer will let you get your rage song going in the surprise round.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is highly discussed about having a masterpiece up with your normal performance and currently the rule is that you can't have them up at the same time normally

Grand Lodge

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After close reading, raging song does not have the bardic performance text where it ends if you start another raging song or performance.

It states that raging song counts for effects and feats, and that skalds can use masterpieces...

I have been waiting on the FAQ request for masterpieces, but it seems a clarified ruling is only needed for bards, not for skalds...

Sovereign Court

By the by, Heroes of the Streets introduced the Urban Skald, which creates some new possibilities;

- Going Dex-based, with perhaps a dip in Inspired Blade swashbuckler and a Dex-to-Damage rapier.
- Since you can be Dex-based, halfling and gone skalds become a lot more viable.
- Controlled Inspired Rage doesn't stop using people from using "smart" skills, although it doesn't remove the part about blocking "concentration" on say, spellcasting.
- Granting dexterity through performance may be useful to many more PC classes than granting strength.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spell Kenning. Where do I begin?! How do these barbaric bard wannabes have the ability Bards should have had? Just so wrong to think the more cosmopolitan, wide-ranging, wandering minstrel has no such (other than Arrowsong's Lament, the new masterpiece from Arcane Anthology, which is very nice but no access to Cleric spells...) class ability.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm finding Flexible Fury to be a great utility spell. Having the option of Lesser Celestial Bloodline or Ghost Rager to let your group overcome DR/Good or Incorporeal can be huge. There are probbaly solid uses for Lesser Elemental Totem (Air, Earth or Water) all have utility.

I'm mostly posting this for future people like me last night: Ghost Rager was errataed to not require Superstitious. It would have dramatically simplified a fight last night, but I couldn't tell on the fly whether to trust Nethys or d20pfsrd.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When the FAQ for Weirdwords in the Sound Striker Bard Archetype came out (March 2015?), I sent the update to both d20pfsrd and Nethys. Apparently, I was ignored by d20 as they have not updated it (and never replied) and Nethys very promptly replied and updated (I included the referenced FAQ so as to be trusted). While an FAQ may not exactly be errata, it is very near to it.
Just my experience with the two. As a result, I trust Nethys over d20pfsrd.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That was my inclination at the game, too. Partially trusting Nethys a little more and partially just taking the most conservative version.

In this case, Nethys was wrong (missing the Ultimate Combat Errata) and d20 was right, so my group spent a few more rounds beating up an incorporeal blob than we needed to. :)


Pathfinder PFS RPG Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
Spell Kenning. Where do I begin?! How do these barbaric bard wannabes have the ability Bards should have had? Just so wrong to think the more cosmopolitan, wide-ranging, wandering minstrel has no such (other than Arrowsong's Lament, the new masterpiece from Arcane Anthology, which is very nice but no access to Cleric spells...) class ability.

Because vikings pillage and steal, spells included.

I thought I would add to the Amplified Rage shenanigans, in Ultimate Intrigue there's now an archetype called the Battle Scion who grants teamwork feats. But it requires prerequisites, so they have to be orcs too. Does it also require them to have the Rage class feature as well? I guess it's excellent if you're leading a party of orc barbs (throw in a rage prophet for balance), but otherwise not...

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