Revised Skald Discussion


Class Discussion

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Scavion wrote:
A form of Inspire Greatness on the Skald would be wondrous.

Inspire Greatness suck. Period.


Lord_Malkov wrote:

Aaaaand that is still the big problem with the Skald.

Inspire Courage = Good for everyone in some way
Rage Song = Good for fighters.

Rangers lose spell access and the ability to use Handle Animal (if they have a companion)
Pretty much all 6 level and 9 level casters are going to say no thanks so they can cast spells.
Any feint based rogues are out.
Ranged builds are getting a small benefit as long as they don't cast spells... none of the really attractive rage powers work with ranged attacks.

So really, it just helps fighters.

Letting the Barbarian take his own rage bonuses but not rage powers is a trap. Rage powers are what rage is all about... the only change from the last iteration of the skald is to basically let the barbarian get a +2 higher str/con (and a deeper AC penalty)

So... yeah... great class for a group with two or more fighters in it.

I agree 110% that rage song could use broadening, probably extensive broadening, but I think that you're overstating the extent to which it's useless to various classes to such a degree that it's actively undermining the point. Most rogues aren't feint-based rogues. Inquisitors, Paladins, and even many Clerics, Oracles and Druids use the majority - sometimes the overwhelming majority - of their combat actions not casting spells. Pet classes only need to drop out of the rage if they need to issue a new command, and the pets themselves benefit perfectly from the song. And guess what? In many cases (though admittedly not all, especially not for classes like the magus) where somebody would have to drop out of the song for a round to cast, they would be getting only very minor benefits from Inspire Courage anyway. A round where a ranger is casting a spell is a round where Inspire Courage would be a saves buff only, which is pretty nice, but doesn't vault over my bar for helping somebody in a major way.

Again, I agree totally that it's weird that there's such a high disparity between the benefits enjoyed by some classes and the benefits enjoyed by other classes as the result of the Raging Song, but it's not that severe, and the last thing I want is for Raging Song to not get any help because it looks like the people who think it's too narrow don't understand how Raging Song or half of the classes in the game even work. Raging Song doesn't say "If your class has any features that you can't use while raging song, pack it in, it's over." Raging Song has issues - it has significant issues - but it doesn't literally work for nobody. It works for a somewhat constricted set of of the classes that Inspire Courage works for, with the most dramatic exclusion being the Magus.


Scavion wrote:
Chloe Rabbit wrote:
I've got one question about the class. Is the Raging Song considered a bardic performance that can be used with the bard favored bonus from the Aasimar race?
Not yet. And I really hope it isn't. No race should have a gross advantage in a class.

you mean humans for sorcerers, half-elves for summoners, (arguably) elves for magi, samsarans for ANY SPELLCASTER AT ALL, and so forth?

some races are just better than others at certain classes. that doesnt mean the other races arent suited for the class, but some are just able to use them better with their natural strengths. it's part of the game.


Zark wrote:
Scavion wrote:
A form of Inspire Greatness on the Skald would be wondrous.
Inspire Greatness suck. Period.

??

The only reason its not fantastic on the Bard is because the attack bonus is competence so it doesn't stack with Inspire Courage.

With Shadowbard up and playing both songs at the same time, it could be pretty awesome.


AndIMustMask wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Chloe Rabbit wrote:
I've got one question about the class. Is the Raging Song considered a bardic performance that can be used with the bard favored bonus from the Aasimar race?
Not yet. And I really hope it isn't. No race should have a gross advantage in a class.

you mean humans for sorcerers, half-elves for summoners, (arguably) elves for magi, samsarans for ANY SPELLCASTER AT ALL, and so forth?

some races are just better than others at certain classes. that doesnt mean the other races arent suited for the class, but some are just able to use them better with their natural strengths. it's part of the game.

Dont get me started on all that.

I don't like the idea of a race just being flat out better than any other race in a class. Each should have their own advantages and disadvantages. But the Aasimar Favored Class Bonus just blows all the other options out of the water.


HERE is what I picture a Skald looking like.
THIS is exactly what I think of when I would think of a Skald singing a Raging Song.


Trogdar wrote:

I'm not sure what the relevance of the Magus statement is Darksol, it has class features that allow it to focus on it's dc deriving ability score (arcane accuracy) which the bard most certainly does not. When I mentioned hybrid casting, I was talking about 2/3 casters like the bard.

I am not ignoring something because of a roll of the dice. I am simply pointing out that save based debuffs are hard to accommodate on the bards chassis if they require saves.

I have already stated that the bard is one of my favorite classes, I am simply curious as to the reasoning behind giving the skald half a performance gas tank in addition to removing most of the skill features. I would think that the class would maintain the same number of performance rounds given the fact that the bard and the barbarian both share the same mechanic. It is confusing that the one thing the parent classes actually share in common is something that is getting cut in half.

In fact, I really feel that the biggest issue for this class is that development seems to be really stuck on making the skald similar to the viking loremaster from history, which is what the bard was based on in the first place. There is not enough hybrid in this hybrid.

In that case, the Magus holds water in that it's a Hybrid caster and still remains relevant in its casting ability synchronizing with its melee capabilities quite nicely. In addition, most Bard spells hardly debuff; those that do are very powerful in their debuffing, and not taking them is silly. A Bard that doesn't specialize in their casting and performances (the only thing a Bard can do good at) is destined for failure, since pursuing any other course is inoptimal in both class function and niche filling.

The bolded part seems to contradict your earlier statement of debuffing being a poor choice due to creatures having high saving throws, and the Bard not being able to act upon their debuffs due to it. You specifically stated that debuffs aren't as appealing due to the possible failure with a saving throw (i.e. the "roll of the dice" I was referring to). Facts are, Bards should be relevant in their unique spellcasting list and performances because with the comments that people have stated about the Skald trying to fulfill a melee niche with Bard proficiencies and base stats, that's all they are good for. Anything else, you might as well play a Fighter or Cleric or whatever suits the niche better than what the Bard is trying to fill (and failing horribly).

It's been stated several times regarding the Skald with having Bard proficiencies, yet still trying to be a front-liner, is bound to get squashed or be completely useless in any melee combat. Now that they have full Martial and can wear Medium Armor (without worry of casting in it), they can prove to be a better front-liner, and not be so squishy. The Skald right now is practically standing on the same line as the Cleric almost always does; to be good in melee, while at the same time having reliable casting and class features to take into account. Do I specialize in casting and make my allies more powerful in combat, or do I take my weapon in hand, buff myself up some (and allies too if possible), and go into battle with my friends?

Where do you draw the line in the snow with the Skald? Do we make him full BAB and drop Spellcasting (as several others have suggested) so he can be a true melee competitor, or do we keep the same 3/4 BAB and Spellcasting, and give more (useful) Performances to make the Skald still fulfill the Buff Bot niche (while still have some competence in Front-Liningness)?

My view is the latter. Action Economy and 3/4 BAB is more than enough compromise to keep the rest of his power in check. Spell Kenning is as it stands a very powerful class feature, one that can practically replicate effects of a Limited Wish spell several times per day if they so desired, and the capabilities of the base Bard as it stands regarding their performances, on top of their buffs, is extremely powerful, something that the Skald currently emulates. Their most powerful spell (Shadowbard, 5th level) doubles their Performance capability, and keeps them relevant with (if not superior to) any other casting/buffing class.

The only issue? The Skald has a measly 2 performances. TWO. PERFORMANCES. And only one can work properly. The other doesn't play nice, and the other capabilities it can grant only work for the select few. And that's supposed to be it's end-all class feature? Something that's hacked up and can't play nice except with itself?

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing the Skald is missing is more revisions for the Rage Song to play nicely with the other classes (I don't see how a song can make somebody so mad that they can't think straight. Are we cussing our party members out like a football coach or something?), and more performances for the Skald to choose from.

I've already suggested a Mocking Display performance, something that causes the enemies to get angry and lose focus; suffering penalties to Saves, AC, and to Attack, but increasing damage dice due to them channeling their rage to their attacks. I've also suggested that instead of the Skald getting Rage Powers to give to their party members, they get Chant Powers, features that enhance the capabilities of their performances; something that could also give the effects of Rage Powers, but also something that can help their performance strengths (a Resounding Anger Chant Power increases the range of the Rage Song performance by 10 feet or so), or alleviate some penalties (Focused Combatants, removes the barring from Spellcasting or Mental Skill usage while under the effects of Rage Song).


Darksol wrote:
The bolded part seems to contradict your earlier statement of debuffing being a poor choice due to creatures having high saving throws, and the Bard not being able to act upon their debuffs due to it. You specifically stated that debuffs aren't as appealing due to the possible failure with a saving throw (i.e. the "roll of the dice" I was referring to). Facts are, Bards should be relevant in their unique spellcasting list and performances because with the comments that people have stated about the Skald trying to fulfill a melee niche with Bard proficiencies and base stats, that's all they are good for. Anything else, you might as well play a Fighter or Cleric or whatever suits the niche better than what the Bard is trying to fill (and failing horribly).

Im not sure what your trying to say here. The fact is sentence is a bit unclear. I think I was fairly explicit with regard to the saving throw issue. I don't dismiss the validity of save or suck spells, just the difficulty inherent in making them work on a class that can't focus all of their attention on the associated DC deriving ability score. A bard can't focus on charisma the way a full caster (or the magus who uses arcane accuracy) can. That, inevitably, means that later in the game the bard will struggle with save or suck spells.

I hope that clears up my position. I do like debuff classes, I just prefer it when said classes are actually good at it. The witch would be a good example.


Joyd wrote:
Lord_Malkov wrote:

Aaaaand that is still the big problem with the Skald.

Inspire Courage = Good for everyone in some way
Rage Song = Good for fighters.

Rangers lose spell access and the ability to use Handle Animal (if they have a companion)
Pretty much all 6 level and 9 level casters are going to say no thanks so they can cast spells.
Any feint based rogues are out.
Ranged builds are getting a small benefit as long as they don't cast spells... none of the really attractive rage powers work with ranged attacks.

So really, it just helps fighters.

Letting the Barbarian take his own rage bonuses but not rage powers is a trap. Rage powers are what rage is all about... the only change from the last iteration of the skald is to basically let the barbarian get a +2 higher str/con (and a deeper AC penalty)

So... yeah... great class for a group with two or more fighters in it.

I agree 110% that rage song could use broadening, probably extensive broadening, but I think that you're overstating the extent to which it's useless to various classes to such a degree that it's actively undermining the point. Most rogues aren't feint-based rogues. Inquisitors, Paladins, and even many Clerics, Oracles and Druids use the majority - sometimes the overwhelming majority - of their combat actions not casting spells. Pet classes only need to drop out of the rage if they need to issue a new command, and the pets themselves benefit perfectly from the song. And guess what? In many cases (though admittedly not all, especially not for classes like the magus) where somebody would have to drop out of the song for a round to cast, they would be getting only very minor benefits from Inspire Courage anyway. A round where a ranger is casting a spell is a round where Inspire Courage would be a saves buff only, which is pretty nice, but doesn't vault over my bar for helping somebody in a major way.

Again, I agree totally that it's weird that there's such a high disparity between the benefits enjoyed by...

Well, lets not forget a ranger wanting to use Instant Enemy... possibly my favorite ranger spell.

But in any case, rage song is only granting very limited benefits above and beyond Inspire Courage. And a lot of that comes from the oddities inherent to Rage Powers. You might give everyone Beast totem powers, but those are limited to only really helping melee combatants....in fact, that is true for most rage powers.

Ranged combatants can surely appreciate the will save bonus and the extra constitution, but rage powers will likely be a bit of a wash for them.

Not all rogues feint, that is true, but what I am getting at is that inspire courage affects feinting rogues, ranged martials, touch spell casters, magi, characters that need to handle an animal companion, warpriests who may be swift casting.... pretty much everything evenly.

So, the question is: why? Why does the limitation on skills and casting need to be here under rage song. I would actually be happier of the skald were the one cut off from casting/using skills and not the rest of the group.

You are cutting your performance resource in half... to get a performance that may be better for a select few builds than inspire courage and is considerably worse for others. Is that really a good trade? I mean, maybe Rage Song isn't supposed to be a class-defining feature. Maybe the real rub is that the skald gets better proficiencies, and that is meant to be the real class defining thing?

I guess I just don't "get it"

Dark Archive

I think the fact that Clear Mind can totally be handed out with the Rage Song makes it fine for playing with itself, honestly.

As far as power level... I still have overwhelming issues with Spell Sunder as written not mimicking the actual effects of Dispel Magic, and having an entire party suddenly able to do it as early as 9th and rage cycle it on at least one character, and as many as the entire party with no fatigue is cracked, seriously.

I feel like the lack of fatigue and the fact that the Skald can grant EVERYONE 1/rage powers and rage cycle every single round makes him an impossibly good buffer. I mean, the healing power alone makes him as good or better a non-combat healer as any class, and the spell versatility in being able to 1/day (slash 2/day, 3/day) literally cherry pick any relevant 6th level or less spell as a full-round action? And this isn't supposed to emulate Wizard? Literally the most versatile character I've yet seen.

The Skald is a jack of all trades, master of all. He turns the party into a melee (or ranged!) fireball depending on the rage powers taken, if he can go in the surprise round can make them nearly impervious to spells, while also heavily buffing to hit, damage, hit points, free healing... And the Skald can even "rage cycle" off-turn with bard performance spells like saving finish and others that end performance while under the effects of the Clear Mind rage power; while this creates interesting and fun technical interactions, I believe there is a heavy potential for abuse by skilled players and unprepared GMs.

This class is WAY underestimated from level 6 [multiple rage powers] onward and easily outclasses the bard in combat terms while losing little in the way of noncombat utility. I feel that the casting and proficiency in medium armor is a mistake as well, making the mithral-full-plate-wearing bardic combat monster a fantastically awful idea. I mean, even if you made fatigue a thing, he could just dip Oracle of Nature, Lore or Moon at 9th to get immunity (lame) and Cha (over dex) to Max Dex and Reflex/CMD as well as potentially Misfortune revelation.

This class is an absolute optimizer's wet dream. Please review this with the kinds of people you have to put creation restrictions on in your playgroup, or whom you have to review the characters of, and you will find that out very quickly.


Unmitigated wrote:

I think the fact that Clear Mind can totally be handed out with the Rage Song makes it fine for playing with itself, honestly.

As far as power level... I still have overwhelming issues with Spell Sunder as written not mimicking the actual effects of Dispel Magic, and having an entire party suddenly able to do it as early as 9th and rage cycle it on at least one character, and as many as the entire party with no fatigue is cracked, seriously.

I feel like the lack of fatigue and the fact that the Skald can grant EVERYONE 1/rage powers and rage cycle every single round makes him an impossibly good buffer. I mean, the healing power alone makes him as good or better a non-combat healer as any class, and the spell versatility in being able to 1/day (slash 2/day, 3/day) literally cherry pick any relevant 6th level or less spell as a full-round action? And this isn't supposed to emulate Wizard? Literally the most versatile character I've yet seen.

The Skald is a jack of all trades, master of all. He turns the party into a melee (or ranged!) fireball depending on the rage powers taken, if he can go in the surprise round can make them nearly impervious to spells, while also heavily buffing to hit, damage, hit points, free healing... And the Skald can even "rage cycle" off-turn with bard performance spells like saving finish and others that end performance while under the effects of the Clear Mind rage power; while this creates interesting and fun technical interactions, I believe there is a heavy potential for abuse by skilled players and unprepared GMs.

This class is WAY underestimated from level 6 [multiple rage powers] onward and easily outclasses the bard in combat terms while losing little in the way of noncombat utility. I feel that the casting and proficiency in medium armor is a mistake as well, making the mithral-full-plate-wearing bardic combat monster a fantastically awful idea. I mean, even if you made fatigue a thing, he could just dip Oracle of Nature, Lore or Moon at 9th to get...

Couple things.

1. The rage powers end up being 1/song... so the Skald will have to cycle the song on and off. This is not a swift action until 13th level, so that is a slight limitation right there.

2. It sounds like popping off superstition in the surprise round would be great right? But Rage Song doesn't work quite like that. Each ally has to accept or decline the song at the start of their turn... so this is not like Inspire Courage that has an instant effect.. it does nothing until the other characters act.

3. That opt in time means that when the skald drops his song and restarts it each round, all of his allies lose their bonuses until their initiative comes up again... greatly reducing any possible defensive benefit (and particularly the bonus to will saves and con)

Still, I think that the complete removal of fatigue is a massive oversight. This is fine for character's getting the effect, but not for the skald. In truth, the skald should be fatigued after his rage-song ends. This prevents all of the abuse you are talking about. Each power that has limited use per rage would still be tied to the Rage Song (as it is now, not to when other players opt in or out) and rage-song cycling would be prevented.

Ultimately, a good class should stand up all on its own without weird system mastery tricks or action abuses (like rage cycling) needed. I very much doubt that dropping and raising rage song every round is what the designers intend here.

Sczarni

There's also the problem of the skald granting everyone Superstition in the surprise round could seriously interfere with casting Haste on the party if half of them are making (buffed) Will saves against it on any given round.

And since the guy in the party casting Haste is as likely as not to be the Skald himself...


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Well, that is an issue for the individual skald and party to take care of, isn't it? If the party wants Superstition and Haste, they can plan for it accordingly by having the Skald wait until Haste is in place.
One single rage power requiring a little forethought doesn't constitute a problem with the class.


Spell Kenning should also include Druid, Magus, and all other caster spell lists. Because nearly all casters that are not wizards or clerics are usually weaker casters, therefore, their spells should be easier to Ken.


Scavion wrote:
Zark wrote:
Scavion wrote:
A form of Inspire Greatness on the Skald would be wondrous.
Inspire Greatness suck. Period.

??

The only reason its not fantastic on the Bard is because the attack bonus is competence so it doesn't stack with Inspire Courage.

With Shadowbard up and playing both songs at the same time, it could be pretty awesome.

Wasting a 5th level spell and a standard action for something that gives +1 to attack, +1 to a save and some temp hit points?

It doesn’t even buff the whole party, just two targets at level 12 and only one at level 9 (when the bard gets it).

+1 to attack, +1 to a saves and some temp hit points that is more or less Aid. Aid is a 2nd level cleric spell. A weak 2nd level spell.


Arcanemuses wrote:
Spell Kenning should also include Druid, Magus, and all other caster spell lists. Because nearly all casters that are not wizards or clerics are usually weaker casters, therefore, their spells should be easier to Ken.

It may be the case that their spells should be easier to Ken, but that's a hefty power boost for the ability, not only for the extra diversity but because several of the four- and six-level casters get the same spells at a lower spell level than nine-level casters do.


Joyd wrote:
Arcanemuses wrote:
Spell Kenning should also include Druid, Magus, and all other caster spell lists. Because nearly all casters that are not wizards or clerics are usually weaker casters, therefore, their spells should be easier to Ken.
It may be the case that their spells should be easier to Ken, but that's a hefty power boost for the ability, not only for the extra diversity but because several of the four- and six-level casters get the same spells at a lower spell level than nine-level casters do.

Hmm. I did not take that into account. Thank you.

Grand Lodge

Skald should gain low spontaneous spells (bloodrager)

Grand Lodge

BAB should be high (Barbarian (High) + Bard (Med.) = High)


KirbyEF wrote:
BAB should be high (Barbarian (High) + Bard (Med.) = High)

the devs have shown repeatedly that they think mid+high = Mid


I think that a full BAB would be great...

Matter of factly, I think that removing spells entirely, granting a full BAB, more rounds of rage.

So, Rage-Song 4+con +2/level
BAB - Full
HD - 1d10

Then,

1. No more rage-song per se.

Instead, the Skald goes into a rage himself, but the bonuses he grants allies are entirely up to his choice of Skald Rage Powers. This could be a nice varied list with a TON of flavor. There could be all sorts of new ideas in there and also a few reprints of current rage powers. But overall, a few more rage powers. 1st at level 3, then every third. The skald has to pick from his own list, but at level 7 he can choose barbarian rage powers as if he were a barbarian of level -4.

This would include things like "Grant allies a +1 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls" that would scale like insp. courage, temporary hit points for allies, demoralizing opponents, giving save bonuses, applying the effects of Haste and on and on.

2. Spell Kenning

Rather than use an instrument to inspire allies, the Skald rages in combat, sings as he slays and inspires the same ferocity and valor in others.

At the same time, though, the Skald is a wordsmith... a recorder of epic feats and writer of great tales. In combat, the Skald may lose himself to the reckless blood-misted glory of combat, but he is still a scholar.

So, rather than spells, the Skald has Spell Kenning, which he can use to cast spells from any written source (a wizards spellbook, a scroll) a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the Skald's level plus his charisma modifier. The skald can only do this if he has a charisma equal to at least 10+the spell level.

The skald treats his class level as his caster level for these spell kennings. At first level the Skald can cast spells of 1st level in this way. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the level of spell that a skald can use with spell kenning increases by 1.

Casting a spell using spell kenning does not consume the written source. Using spell kenning is a full-round action.

3. Other new ability: Savvy Scribe:
The Skald can create a scroll as if using the Scribe Scroll feat by copying a page from a spellbook. The spell being copied must be one that the Skald could cast using spell kenning. The Skald must still pay the resource cost but automatically passes any associated craft checks. The scroll created by this process is not infused with the same sort of magical energy as a regular scroll, and therefore cannot be used to cast the transcribed spell as a spell completion item, but it can be used to cast a spell using a Skald's Spell Kenning ability.


As a matter of fact... I am going to go ahead and do a complete Skald Rewrite (even though this sort of thing is often ignored) because I feel like I might be able to capture the essence of the theme.


Trogdar wrote:
Darksol wrote:
The bolded part seems to contradict your earlier statement of debuffing being a poor choice due to creatures having high saving throws, and the Bard not being able to act upon their debuffs due to it. You specifically stated that debuffs aren't as appealing due to the possible failure with a saving throw (i.e. the "roll of the dice" I was referring to). Facts are, Bards should be relevant in their unique spellcasting list and performances because with the comments that people have stated about the Skald trying to fulfill a melee niche with Bard proficiencies and base stats, that's all they are good for. Anything else, you might as well play a Fighter or Cleric or whatever suits the niche better than what the Bard is trying to fill (and failing horribly).

Im not sure what your trying to say here. The fact is sentence is a bit unclear. I think I was fairly explicit with regard to the saving throw issue. I don't dismiss the validity of save or suck spells, just the difficulty inherent in making them work on a class that can't focus all of their attention on the associated DC deriving ability score. A bard can't focus on charisma the way a full caster (or the magus who uses arcane accuracy) can. That, inevitably, means that later in the game the bard will struggle with save or suck spells.

I hope that clears up my position. I do like debuff classes, I just prefer it when said classes are actually good at it. The witch would be a good example.

And Witches are great debuffers, considering that most of their abilities are unique and aren't really based off of hitdice (Slumber, Misfortune for example). But it's not like Bards can't do it effectively either. Bards have some performances which debuff that don't require saves, some of their spells are very powerful debuffs, and while they require saves, the saving throws of the Bard are bound to be very high.

It's not like the Skald can't be competent or relevant with their debuffs, even while being MAD. If anything, the statistic spectrum, as it stands for the Skald, does not change if they go with the classic Bard; Charisma is still a primary statistic, Strength is still a secondary (or even non-existant) statistic, and if the Skald/Bard would dare think to lower that, then they are only bound to be a waste of time and effort.

Sczarni

Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

Well, that is an issue for the individual skald and party to take care of, isn't it? If the party wants Superstition and Haste, they can plan for it accordingly by having the Skald wait until Haste is in place.

One single rage power requiring a little forethought doesn't constitute a problem with the class.

I didn't mean to imply that it's a problem with the class. Just that a Skald grabbing Superstition isn't exactly the Jackpot Combo it originally sounded like.

Anyone find any other rage powers that raise eyebrows when granted to a teammate? Personally, I think giving your Paladin friend the Chaos Totem or Fiend Totem rage powers could be hilarious.

Would the Lesser Spirit Totem power key off the Skald's Charisma or the person using it via raging song? If it's the Skald's own Charisma, then the Spirit Totem just became quite a bit more interesting.


Why are the saving throws of a bard "bound" to be high? I am not sure I follow your line of reasoning. They have low level spells with a slow spell progression AND they have fewer spells. It seems like an odd choice to focus on this part of the class when you are certainly going to be worse at it than a sorcerer or the like with the same spell choices. I would consider charisma about as important on a bard as constitution. You need it, but chasing DC's on a bard makes me think I've just chosen the wrong class. Anyway, kind of a segway.


Zark wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Zark wrote:
Scavion wrote:
A form of Inspire Greatness on the Skald would be wondrous.
Inspire Greatness suck. Period.

??

The only reason its not fantastic on the Bard is because the attack bonus is competence so it doesn't stack with Inspire Courage.

With Shadowbard up and playing both songs at the same time, it could be pretty awesome.

Wasting a 5th level spell and a standard action for something that gives +1 to attack, +1 to a save and some temp hit points?

It doesn’t even buff the whole party, just two targets at level 12 and only one at level 9 (when the bard gets it).

+1 to attack, +1 to a saves and some temp hit points that is more or less Aid. Aid is a 2nd level cleric spell. A weak 2nd level spell.

It's worse than that. Lantern archons can cast aid as an at will SLA. If you want to give +1 attack, +1 to a save, and some temporary HP out with a fifth level spell you can get 1d4+1 of them with SMV. Sure it's a bigger action cost than shadowbard, but it's 2-5 times as much buffing and then they can fire off DR bypassing ranged touch pings for the rest of their duration. If only you were a real bard so you could also boost their attack and damage rolls.

Disclaimer: SMV is a terrible choice of spell known for a bard of any stripe and you should not actually consider doing this.


Trogdar wrote:
Why are the saving throws of a bard "bound" to be high? I am not sure I follow your line of reasoning. They have low level spells with a slow spell progression AND they have fewer spells. It seems like an odd choice to focus on this part of the class when you are certainly going to be worse at it than a sorcerer or the like with the same spell choices. I would consider charisma about as important on a bard as constitution. You need it, but chasing DC's on a bard makes me think I've just chosen the wrong class. Anyway, kind of a segway.

Tell me then, what else are you going to focus on? You sure as heck wouldn't go melee; you're light armor and have D8 Hit Dice; even with performances and buffs, you're gonna go down very fast.

How about performances? Not too much investment for that, and not much left to gain on it; an extra 1D6 Sonic to your allies, 2 extra rounds of performance when you stop, etc. Hardly anything that any bard wouldn't take.

Skills? Again, not too much of an investment needed, given the class features Bards get. They already get 6+int/level. They get passive increases to knowledge checks, taking 10 on them, etc. Sure, Skald is 4+int/level, but it's not like the Bard has much to put points into given their features.

What's left to improve? Their spellcasting. Considering they get their unique spell list which is improvements in ways of other spell lists, it's very viable to choose, even as a supporting-level caster. If anything, it's a smarter investment than martial combat, and the investments in skills or performances are negligible, and/or absolutely necessary to select anyway.

A well-devoted Bard spellcaster can have up to 20 base Save DCs on their spells by 12th level (I did this for a PVP session once, was very fun); it's not horrible at all, and several creatures, even with good saves, modifiers, and item investments, have a 50/50 chance of succeeding/failing with their debuffs. That's not even the pinnacle for that level; creatures with such investments are going to be lacking in other departments, and martials are a prime example of this.

So is it really that bad to focus on spellcasting, when there are several other much more pointless options to take?


now I'm not saying that inspire greatness is superb by any means, I think it's worth pointing out that it does give you bonus hit dice, which might (and I reiterate might) let you survive a spell or effect that is hit dice on target based. additionally, the bonus is +2 comp to hit and +1 comp to fort saves. not great next to inspire courage, but the bonus to fort saves could also come in handy....


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
now I'm not saying that inspire greatness is superb by any means, I think it's worth pointing out that it does give you bonus hit dice, which might (and I reiterate might) let you survive a spell or effect that is hit dice on target based. additionally, the bonus is +2 comp to hit and +1 comp to fort saves. not great next to inspire courage, but the bonus to fort saves could also come in handy....

Now I want a better Inspire Greatness for the Skald.

Inspire Valor: This ability functions in all ways to the Bard's Inspire Greatness except the +2 Competence Bonus to Attack Rolls instead increases your Base Attack Bonus by +2 with the full benefits that provides.


Played our final test on Sunday night, here are the notes from my wife who played a level 12 Skald.

-Martial Weapon proficiency and Medium armor are starting to make it feel like a class and less of a variant.
-Lots of skills with few skill points. Skills like Stealth are great options that dont fit the flavor of the class. Survival would fit better than Climb.
-Slightly confusing on whether her allies could benefit from Raging Song immediately, or only on their turn. We ruled they could select immediately, then opt in or out on their turn.
-Our party consisted of a Brawler, Bloodrager, and Arcanist. Only the Brawler selected the Raging Song, which still gave half the party Rage-Lite. It also felt like a progression of gaining the benefit of a second rage power at higher levels, maybe a max of 3 would be a nice boost.
-She took Extra Performance, but more uses of Rage Song would have been fair. Given that it benefitted half the party, and not the whole party, it wouldn't have been overpowered.
-More Skald-specific Rage Powers are needed. She only ever picked Superstitious, and saw no reason to choose anything else. If she had more options, I think it would lead to less cookie cutter builds.
-One thing she noticed was that there was little reason not to multiclass as an Oracle or Sorcerer, given the Skald can do any action that requires concentration, not just Skald spells. Skald/Battle Oracle is a build I think would be really neat. One thing the class could use, though are more reasons to stick with it to higher levels.
-Scribe Scroll still feels weird, but perhaps that boat has sailed.


I did not have the time/game to play a skald during the playtest but I think it could be a good base with which to build my 7th sea pc for pathfinder.

7th sea pc:

While 7th sea is mostly about fencing and swashbuckling my pc is an Avalonian with Scottish background. He fights using his claymore and is generally a militant mr. charming with some knowledges and social skills.
The original is, certainly in that setting, a sailor guy and prefers to not use armor. But in PF, when playing a land based campaign I could see me making good use of the medium armor prof.

I like the idea of having scribe scroll. Brew potion in comparison is too limited in my opinion to feel really useful.
What I feel is missing are survival and perform wind instrument (bagpipes, war-/ signalhorns and the like.) While escape artist is nice to have I think that's less of a trademark for a skald.


Silent Saturn wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that it's a problem with the class. Just that a Skald grabbing Superstition isn't exactly the Jackpot Combo it originally sounded like.

Well then, my apologies for misunderstanding you :)

Silent Saturn wrote:
Anyone find any other rage powers that raise eyebrows when granted to a teammate? Personally, I think giving your Paladin friend the Chaos Totem or Fiend Totem rage powers could be hilarious.

Greater Fiend Totem is one that you should always be careful with in a party that's not 100% evil, whether you're a barbarian or a skald, isn't it? It would suck to have to have everyone shaken and/or hurt each other each round they're adjacent, since the rage power doesn't discriminate between friend and foe.

I haven't noticed anything else to be careful about, but I did notice that Roused Anger, the Ferocious Beast line and part of the Ferocious Mount lines have been rendered redundant to the Skald. That's quite neat, I think.

Silent Saturn wrote:
Would the Lesser Spirit Totem power key off the Skald's Charisma or the person using it via raging song? If it's the Skald's own Charisma, then the Spirit Totem just became quite a bit more interesting.

I second this question and extend it to cover Hive Totem Toxicity and Rolling Dodge: Whose con are these powers based on, Skald or rager?


When you choose which of your rage powers to activate, can you ignore prerequisite powers and, for example, grant Eater of Magic without Superstition? The way it's written right now, it seems nothing is stopping you from doing this, and I'm just wondering if this is intentional or not. If you can, then that makes the Superstition lines much more interesting for someone like me, who wants to have my cake and receive my friendly spells too.


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Silent Saturn: I was just about to comment on Lesser Spirit Totem myself. Since all of the Rage Song powers seem to use the Skald's level/BAB/etc, it does seem plausible that it would also use the Skald's CHA. Personally, I certainly hope so. It would certainly be a way to encourage a casting focused Skald, but, far more importantly, you'd be able to be able to play a Skald whose very war-cry could summon the glorious dead from Valhalla itself. It doesn't get more thematic than that.

With the advent of the Hunter and my renewed interest in teamwork feats, one other build I was looking at is a Half-Orc Skald with a 1 level dip in Cavalier for Tactician. Grab Amplified Rage. By level 8 (Skald 7/Cavalier 1) you can start Rage Song as a move, use Tactician as a standard, and give a +8 on Str/Con to nearby warriors, +10 Str/Con at the next level.

My own two cents on the class itself: I really love the idea of a more primitive and tribal lore keeper, and I think that Spell Kenning, Rage Song, and the Bardic Knowledges do a great job conveying that, but the DR the class gains seems both boring, and really not that useful. Am I missing something obvious? Personally, after seeing the Blood Rager's Blood Sanctuary power, I'd love to see the DR replaced by some low-powered, but thematic abilities, like Inspire Competence, some low level masterpieces or really anything.


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Shaman Bond wrote:


With the advent of the Hunter and my renewed interest in teamwork feats, one other build I was looking at is a Half-Orc Skald with a 1 level dip in Cavalier for Tactician. Grab Amplified Rage. By level 8 (Skald 7/Cavalier 1) you can start Rage Song as a move, use Tactician as a standard, and give a +8 on Str/Con to nearby warriors, +10 Str/Con at the next level.

I like this. I like this a lot, in fact, but does Raging Song qualify you for feats with Rage class feature prerequisite?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
Played our final test on Sunday night, here are the notes from my wife who played a level 12 Skald.

Thanks for your playtest feedback. Lemme address some of your points:

* Noted about many skills, few available ranks, and Stealth perhaps not fitting the theme.
* I'll clarify when you can accept raging song—you played it as intended, that you can accept when the skald starts, then get the free yes/no on your turn as well.
* There are plans for more skald-specific rage powers.


Thanks. That's a really good point. It'd be nice if Raging Song explicitly counted as Rage for feats, but strict RAW might mean that this would be a two-level dip idea. (Although, 2 levels in full BAB classes isn't the end of the world for a Skald.)


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SKALD REWRITE

Class Skill - Unaltered
Skill Points 4 + Int
Proficiencies - Unaltered

Base Attack Bonus - FULL
Saves:
Fort: Strong
Reflex: Weak
Will: Strong

NO SPELLS

CLASS FEATURE LIST
1 - Skald's Knowledge, Skald Rage (+2 str/+2 con), Bibliophile
2 - Spell Kenning 1/day
3 - Skald Rage Power
4 - Savvy Scribe
5 - Spell Kenning 2/day
6 - Skald Rage Power
7 - Lore Master 1/day
8 - Skald Rage (+4 str/+4 con), Spell Kenning 3/day
9 - DR 1/-, Skald Rage Power
10 - Keeper of Tales
11 - Spell Kenning 4/day
12 - Skald Rage Power
13 - Lore Master 1/day
14 - DR 2/-, Spell Kenning 5/day
15 - Skald Rage Power, Keeper of Tales 3/day
16 - Skald Rage (+6 str/+6 con)
17 - Spell Kenning 6/day
18 - Skald Rage Power
19 - DR 3/-, Lore Master 3/day
20 - Living Legend, Spell Kenning 7/day

Skald's Knowledge (Ex): A skald adds half his class level (minimum 1) on all Knowledge skill checks, and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Bibliophile (Ex): A skald can read magical writing as if using the Read Magic cantrip. In addition, the Skald adds half his class level on all Linguistics checks made to decipher writing.

Skald's Rage (Ex): A Skald in battle can enter a trance of bloodmisted valorous fury. Skalds are often seen at the center of a battlefield singing their warchants as they slay their foes. Starting at 1st level, a Skald can rage for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, he can rage for 2 additional rounds. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from rage and spells like bear's endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that a Skald can rage per day. A Skald can enter rage as a free action. The total number of rounds of rage per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.

While in rage, a Skald gains a +2 morale bonus to his Strength and Constitution, as well as a +1 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, he takes a –1 penalty to Armor Class. The increase to Constitution grants the Skald 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points. While in rage, a Skald cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, Performance and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration including Spell Kenning.

A Skald can end his rage as a free action and is fatigued after rage for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent in the rage. A Skald cannot enter a new rage while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise enter rage multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a Skald falls unconscious, his rage immediately ends, placing him in peril of death.

At 8th and 16th levels, the Skald's rage bonuses to Strength and Constitution increase by +2, and the Skald's bonus to Will saves increases by +1. The penalty to Armor Class does not change.

Spell Kenning (Sp):
At 2nd level, the Skald can use his mastery of language to use written magic as if he were a spellcaster. Once per day, the Skald can cast any 1st level spell from a scroll or a spellbook that he can read. To cast a spell using spell kenning, the Skald must have a charisma score of at least 10+the level of the spell being cast. Casting a spell using spell kenning does not consume a scroll. Any spell cast in this way uses the Skald's class level as his caster level and the DC of any spell cast using spell kenning is equal to 10 + the level of the spell + the Skald's charisma modifier.

At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the level of spell that a Skald can cast using Spell Kenning increases by 1, to a maximum of 6th level spells at 16th level.

At 5th level and every three levels thereafter, a Skald can use Spell Kenning on additional time per day up to a maximum of 7 times per day at level 20.

Skald Rage Powers
At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, the Skald gains a Skald Rage Power chosen from the Skald Rage power list. A Skald gains the benefits of rage powers only while raging, and some of these powers require the Skald to take an action first. Unless otherwise noted, a Skald cannot select an individual power more than once.

War Chants represent the Skald's singing and the various emboldening war cries that the Skald makes use of during a rage. When the Skald begins a rage he can select one War Chant that he has chosen as a Skald Rage Power to aid his allies. Unless otherwise noted, War Chants grant their benefits to allies within 30ft who can hear the skald, but these benefits do not extend to the Skald himself. A War Chant remains in effect until the Skald ends his rage.

Skald Rage Power list:

WAR CHANTS:
War Chant of Courage, Lesser
Benefit: Allies within 30ft of the Skald gain a +1 morale bonus to weapon attack and weapon damage rolls. This bonus increases by 1 for each Courage War Chant power the Skald has, not including this one.

War Chant of Courage
Requirements: War Chant of Courage, lesser
Benefit: Allies within 30ft. of the Skald gain a +1 morale bonus on Will saves. This bonus increases by 1 for each War Chant of Couraage power the Skald has selceted, including this one.

War Chant of Courage, Greater
Requirements: level 12, War Chant of Courage
Benefit: Allies within 30ft. of the Skald gain immunity to fear effects.

War Chant of Glory, Lesser
Any time the Skald confirms a critical hit against an enemy, allies within 30ft gain temporary hitpoints equal to the Skald's level. These temporary hit points last until they are lost or until the Skald ends his rage. Temporary hit points gained in this way stack.

War Chant of Glory
Allies within 30ft. of the Skald gain a +4 competence bonus on attack rolls made to confirm critical hits.

War Chant of Glory, Greater
Allies within 30ft of the skald increase the critical threat range of any attacks they make by 1. This effect stacks with other effects like Improved Critical or the Keen weapon property.

War Chant of Defiance, lesser
Allies within 30ft. of the Skald gain DR 1/-. This DR is increased by 1 for each additional War chant of Defiance that the Skald possesses.

War Chant of Defiance
When the Skald enters a rage, he must choose one energy type from the following: Fire, Cold, or Electricity. Allies within 30ft of the Skald gain energy resistance to that energy type equal to the Skald's level.

War Chant of Defiance, Greater
Allies within 30ft of the Skald gain a +2 morale bonus on all saving throws. In addition, once per Rage, each ally affected by War Chant of defiance can reroll any one saving throw. They must accept the second result.

War Chant of the Immortals, lesser
Allies within 30ft of the Skald gain a +2 morale bonus to saving throws made to resist negative energy effects. This bonus increases by 1 for each additional War Chant of the Immortals power the Skald possesses.

War Chant of the Immortals
Allies within 30ft of the Skald gain Fast Healing equal to the number of War Chant of the Immortals powers that the Skald possesses, including this one.

War Chant of the Immortals, Greater
Allies within 30ft. of the Skald gain immunity to Death effects and Level Drain.

POWERS:

In addition to the Skald Rage Powers, a Skald may select the following Barbarian Rage powers, using his Skald level as his Barbarian level: Auspicious Mark, Bleeding Blow, Boasting Taunt, Body Bludgeon, Brawler, Brawler(Greater), Clear Mind, Come and Get Me, Crippling Blow, Deadly Accuracy, Energy Resistance, Energy Resistance (Greater), Fearless Rage, Flesh Wound, Fueled by Vengeance, Good for What Ails Ya, Guarded Life, Guarded Life (Greater), Guarded Stance, Increased Damage Reduction, Internal Fortitude, Intimidating Glare, Knockback, Knockdown, Lethal Accuracy, Liquid Courage, Mighty Swing, No Escape, Powerful Blow, Quick Reflexes, Reckless Abandon, Savage Intuition, Sharpened Accuracy, Surprise Accuracy, Strength Surge, Swift Foot, Unexpected Strike

Through the Breech
Once per Rage, when the Skald charges an enemy, each Ally within 30ft may also charge that same enemy as an immediate action. The Skald must declare that he is using this ability before making a charge.

Shared Glory
When the Skald confirms a critical hit against an enemy. Allies adjacent to that enemy may make an attack of opportunity against it.

Blood of Heroes
Requirements: Level 9
Once per day, when the Skald rages, he may gain the effects the Heroism spell in addition to the normal benefits of rage. The effects last for as long as the Skald is raging. At 12th level, the Skald can use blood of heroes one additional time per day.

Greater Blood of Heroes
Requirements: Blood of Heroes, Level 15
When using Blood of Heroes, the Skald gains the effects of greater heroism instead of heroism. The Skald may use Blood of Heroes one additional time per day.

Unravel Words
When raging, if an enemy caster attempts to cast a spell that has verbal components within 5ft of the Skald that spell is subject to a 20% arcane spell failure chance as if the target were deaf. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the range of this power increases by 5 ft.

Inspired Might
When the Skald begins his rage, he may choose one ally within 30ft. That ally gains a +2 morale bonus to both Strength and Constitution. This effect lasts as long as the Skald is raging or until the target moves further than 30ft from the Skald. At 10th level, these bonuses increase by 2.

Legends do not Fall
Requirements: level 11
Benefit: Once per day when raging, when an ally is reduced to 0 hitpoints or fewer, the Skald can attempt to prevent their death. The targeted ally gains the effects of a breath of life spell. The skald can use this power on himself in response to being knocked uncoscious.

[b]Savvy Scribe (Su)
At 4th level, the Skald can copy spells from a spellbook, scroll or other written sources to be used with Spell Kenning. This ability functions like the Scribe Scroll feat, but the Skald can only copy spells that he could cast with Spell Kenning, and he automatically passes any skill checks made as part of the creation process. The skald must still pay the necessary resource costs as if he were making a scroll. Once completed, a scroll made with Savvy Scribe cannot be used as a spell completetion item like a normal scroll, but it can be used to activate the Skald's Spell Kenning ability.

Keeper of Tales (Sp)
At 10th level the Skald has begun his Magnum Opus, his great epic tale. Contained with a Skald's book of tales are many stories and odes as well as various notes and useful passages. The Skald's Book of Tales can be used to store spells just like a Wizard's spell book. When using the Savvy Scribe feat, the Skald can transcribe spells into his Book of Tales instead of onto scrolls.

In addition, once per day, the Skald can read a passage from his work to his allies. This is a type of performance that takes 1 hour as the Skald tells an epic tale or a great mythic legend. After listening to the Skald's tale, allies within 30ft. are effected as if the Skald had cast Heroes' Feast with a caster level equal to his Skald level, except that reading from the Book of Tales does not provide sustenance.


Keeper of tales is a wicked concept!!!

"Listen well, friends, to this story of great deeds done, and battles won in the name of one who would see no harm done!"


Trogdar wrote:

Keeper of tales is a wicked concept!!!

"Listen well, friends, to this story of great deeds done, and battles won in the name of one who would see no harm done!"

I guess my thought here was to really focus in on the wordsmith/poet side of the Skald theme. Spell Kenning would allow the class to cast a limited number of spells from any list that could make scrolls, but not because of an innate magical aptitude. This reflects the skald being able to simply unlock the magic of words.

The rage is a pretty standard rage at -2 str/con progression, and rather than getting the more primal Totem Powers, the skald gets War Chants that can act like a bard's performance and still have that tiered format. Probably more important for me is that this skald would play really well with ANY class. The war chants would stack with other ragers in the same way that bardic performances do.

I would, of course, want to add more Skald specific rage powers, but this was just a set of thoughts that came quickly to mind. I realize that all of these rewrites are going to be largely ignored.

But this is a full BAB, non-caster, that with Spell Kenning and War Chants has some features that it can really call its own.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Also, please remember to update your survey responses for this and the other ACG classes now that the playtest period is coming to a close: survey link.

In a little bit I'll be posting a final update on some changes I'll be implementing in this class.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Here's a heads-up on some skald changes I'll be implementing:

* Adding more rage powers keyed to skald abilities.

* Address whether you can share rage powers that have other rage powers as prereqs (have to discuss this one a bit).

* Whether to use the skald's ability score for shared rage powers, or the recipient's (leaning toward the skald's).

* Possibly adding more performance rounds per day.

* Giving the skald at least one additional kind of performance.

* Improve the capstone.


The class is looking better SKR, but it still got some issues. Giving it more rage powers, at least one additional kind of performance and some more rounds might fix that although it is still MAD.

I’m looking forward to the new book :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Here's a heads-up on some skald changes I'll be implementing:

* Adding more rage powers keyed to skald abilities.

* Address whether you can share rage powers that have other rage powers as prereqs (have to discuss this one a bit).

* Whether to use the skald's ability score for shared rage powers, or the recipient's (leaning toward the skald's).

* Possibly adding more performance rounds per day.

* Giving the skald at least one additional kind of performance.

* Improve the capstone.

All of these seem very good choices. Skald-focused rage powers will be interesting, as will an improved capstone. I didn't really explore the prereq rage power thing in my playing with the skald, but I wonder how the use-activation-limitation would affect this. More performances and more rounds per day would definitely help the versatility of the class without outright overpowering it.

All in all, I look forward to these changes! Seems pretty awesome.


Thank you Sean for the final update post. :-)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Oops, this thread was supposed to be locked when the playtest closed. Fixed!

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