Everyman Archetypes: Skald (PFRPG) PDF

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Rock on with Everyman Archetypes: Skald! From the mind behind Everyman Archetypes: Swashbuckler and introducing all-new author Justin Whitley, Everyman Archetypes: Skald provides all new options for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game's heavy-metal performing class. Within Everyman Archetypes: Skald, you will find:

  • Six all-new skald archetypes, including the chivalric harbinger, the blood singer, the jarl extoller, and the unarmored canter. In addition, the jarl extoller has a second, unchained version herein to make it compatible with the unchained skald from Everyman Unchained: Unchained Rage.
  • 16 new equipment tricks, called instrument tricks, for use with the Equipment Trick feat. Instrument tricks allow a skald to use his instruments in new and exciting ways and include four tricks available to all instruments as well as additional tricks that can only be specifically used with skald-favorite instruments like the horn, the drum, and the COW BELL!!!!!!!!!!
  • And much, much more!

With Everyman Gaming, innovation never has enough COWBELL!!!!!!!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This installment of the Everyman Archetypes-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This book begins with clearly stated explanations of the design-intent, ultimately helping not only the reviewer, but also, and more importantly, the reader - and soon afterwards, we dive into the archetypes. The first of these would be the Blood Skald, who replaces Scribe Scroll with Blood Vigor. More importantly, at 9th level, the archetype gains the ability to spend rounds of raging song in favor of temporary regeneration equal to the blood skald's Str-mod. The intriguing component here, if that does not sound impressive, would lie in the additional benefits regeneration offers over fast healing and similar healing options. Furthermore, action-economy-wise, starting this as a move action (at 14th level: swift action; 19th: immediate action and spend 2 rounds for double effect) renders it a valid set-up that can be used quickly. This ability replaces DR. An interesting alternative - not something flavor-wise awesome, but the mechanics are interesting and change the way the class plays in an adequate manner.

The Chivalric Harbinger gets an order, but must necessarily adhere to the order's tenets. On the rather cool (but also borderline "too powerful for some games") level would be the fact that the skald gets order's song, which lets him not only share teamwork feats via the song (provided he has Tactician), it also extends the order's challenge benefit to the respective allies. While fitting in a high-powered game without cavaliers, this does somewhat cheapen the cavalier's signature challenge's effects, so please beware when using this guy - I know my players would be annoyed by having their unique tricks being made available easily to other characters. Additionally, 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter nets an order ability instead of spell kenning. All in all, a per se cool archetype that may be overshooting the target by a bit, also since being a bit front heavy.

The Jarl Extoller is interesting in that we get two variants of the archetype - one for the base skald and one for the cool unchained version introduced in Everyman Unchained: Unchained Rage. Instead of Scribe Scroll, both get a better aid another. At 4th level, the jarl extoller gets extolling song, which may duplicate inspired rage, controlled inspired rage and song of the fallen, but this special song is limited to one target - the song cannot be maintained at the same time as a regular raging song and draws on the same resource. Activation will scale from standard action to swift action, though inspired rage provides +2 Str and Con in addition to the regular effects when used thus: Basically, you focus on one target and increase the potency of your song. This ability, then, obviously is also one of the abilities that changes appropriately in the unchained version, instead pertaining to temporary hit points and melee attack bonus. Similarly, the 8th level nets an improved controlled inspired rage for the class, including appropriate scaling mechanisms depending on the chassis used. These abilities are paid for with (improved) uncanny dodge. All in all, a nice one - no complaints on my part, added flexibility - I like it!

The Rage Baiter gets Perform (Comedy) and can use it via versatile performance. At 6th level, the archetype may use raging song to antagonize enemies unwilling to be subject to the song's benefits -while not required per se to use this archetype (this works on its own), I love the rules-aesthetic synergy with the stellar psychological combat-rules first premiered in its own pdf, now expanded and collected in Ultimate Charisma. This type of holistic design is really appreciated.

The showboat skald emphasizes acting and comedy over instruments via the modified skill-list and may extend the benefits of the Performing Combatant-feat to allies subjected to the inspired rage raging song. The showboat thus also gets a variation of versatile performance and performance combat feats that can be woven into the effects of the respective raging songs, also enhancing the checks by Str-mod at higher levels. I love this archetype - it's inspired and absolutely flavorful in both style and execution.

The Unarmored Canter may add a scaling, Cha-mod-based (but also tied to the level regarding its scaling) bonus to AC (and CMD), gets no armor proficiencies, fast movement and better drumming/marching song. A cool one in theme and I like the archetype's elegant scaling, but I still wished it had a bit more unique active tricks.

This out of the way, things get truly interesting -the final two pages of the pdf are devoted to equipment tricks for bells, drums, horns and general music instruments: From lucky bells to drumming on shields or the still-attached skulls of your fallen foes to detecting burrowing creatures via your drumming skills, these two pages are where the book truly shines: Not only are these tricks AWESOME, they increase the versatility of not only the skald. What about e.g. infusing a horn with a splash weapon? Yeah, this section is pure gold! The book also provides two solid traits.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, as I've come to expect from Everyman Gaming. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the piece of artwork by Jacob Blackmon is nice - and this time, I'm positive the guys's not a kitsune! (Or at least, he's incognito...) ;) The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alexander Augunas and Justin Whitley deliver herein what I'd call function-archetypes - basically, we get archetypes that are less defined by a cool flavor or intricate web of new abilities, instead focusing on significant, but pretty much self-contained tweaks of the skald-class's mechanics. This is not a bad thing in itself and the archetypes herein can be combined with others for that effect. The content provided in this book is solid and does its job well - and some of the mechanics are downright awesome to see. At the same time, they did not blow me away to the same extent some of Alex's designs manage and I'm a bit weary of some choices made. This, however, is offset by the excellent equipment tricks-section; in fact, I liked the new tricks here so much, I'd consider them worth the very fair and low price of admission alone. So yeah, if you want to put more emphasis on the instrument, these two pages alone will more than justify this book for you. If, on the other hand, you are less interested in them, you'll lose perhaps the coolest part herein, one of which I admittedly would have loved to see more of. In the end, I will settle on a rating of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Everyman covers the Skald

4/5

Everyman Archetypes:Skald is a ten-page PDF covering new rules and archetypes for the Skald. It consists of one page for cover, credits, OGL, preface and table of contents. This leaves six pages of crunchable content, and here it is.

We get seven new archetypes. First is the Blood Singer, who gets the Skald's Vigor feat at first level and later gets regeneration in place of DR. Nice and simple and different enough to work.

Next is my personal favorite, the Cavalier-focused Chivalric Harbinger. They get a Cavalier order and order abilities, as well as a new raging song, Call to Unity, that allows the harbinger to share their bonuses from their order's challenge with their allies. It also allows anyone with the tactician ability to share their feats with everyone affected by the song. The harbinger also gets teamwork feats in place of rage powers that they can grant with the Call to Unity --- very nice! Great archetype for anyone who wants to play a commander type who rallies and inspires troops without turning them into berserkers.

Next is the Jarl Extoller, who can provide improved Aid Another bonuses as well as singing 'Extolling Songs'. The latter work for only one ally but they provide increased bonuses beyond the normal raging songs. As a nice bonus we also get a version of this archetype for the Unchained skald.

The Rage Baiter uses rules from Everyman Games' Psychological Combat PDF. It basically turns your skald into one of those comedians, an annoying jerk that can needle and mock an opponent into a rage centered on the skald. You give an opponent your inspired rage bonuses and in turn they zero in on you. This one is great for anyone who likes manipulating their enemies. Just try not to get hit.

Another amazing archetype is the Showboat. Basically what a gladiator should be, they are specialists in performance combat. They also gain performance combat feats and a few others in place of rage powers and can provide a bonus on performance combat checks equal to the strength bonus from their inspired rage. Very nice! It should really place the crowds at Tymon.

The Unarmored Cantor is an expert with the drum that also gets increasing dodge bonuses so long as they don't wear armor. They also get increased speed and can share it with their allies, as well as bonuses on saves against nonlethal damage from hunger, thirst, heat, and cold.

Next is the Equipment Trick feat with some ideas for how it can be used with the instruments a skald tends to play. You can learn how to make your opponent's armor or helmet ring like a bell; beat out a drum tune on shield or the like; increase the morale bonus of an army you command in mass combat; or use your horn to blow a splash weapon over every enemy in a 10-foot cone.

All that and much, much more!

It ends with two new traits. One allows for improved Perform skill along with the ability to select the Equipment Trick feat at first level. The other, War Dancer, improves Perform (dance) and allows you to use it with versatile performance if you have that class feature.

This is a very fine collection of character tools for anyone who wants to play a skald. The Chivalric Harbinger especially strikes me as a great idea for anyone who wants to do something other than the 'barbaric' skald. For $1.99 it's an amazing buy, but mostly of use to skald characters. I'll go with four stars, five if you're playing a skald.


Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Somehow missed this going live. Oops.

I was thrilled to work with my good friend, Justin Whitley, on this product. This is his Pathfinder RPG freelancer debut, so I hope you enjoy this crazy little product that we cooked up together. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like it quite a bit, and just did a review for it. The Chivalric Harbinger is an especially great idea!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:

I like it quite a bit, and just did a review for it. The Chivalric Harbinger is an especially great idea!

Thanks, I'll pass this along to Justin! He'll be pleased; the Chivalric Harbinger is his baby. He slaved over that archetype for several days before he was happy enough with it to move onto the next one.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

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