What's your experience with skalds in PFS?


Pathfinder Society

Sczarni 3/5

Hey y'all,

I'm pondering a skald I'm planning to play in PFS but I'm having doubts about two things:

1. The amount of damage/survivability/tankyness I'll have to bring in by myself (as opposed to playing a 'caster' skald mainly focused on raging song and spells)

2. The amount of party members that would actually benefit from a boosted up raging song. Ive seen alot of casters and supports in my local groups but fewer beatsticks (which are rather essential for the way I was planning to build my skald).

Whats yiur experience with skald viability in PFS?

Keep in mind im not planning to participate much in combat either through melee or ranged combat.

Silver Crusade

A friend of mine plays a skald. Typically about half the party chooses to benefit from the raging song. It's been pretty fun playing with that character even though my characters tend to be the ones to opt out of his raging song.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

@Carla: seems like fashions come and go pretty fast. A few months back it seemed everyone was playing a 2H striker type.


I've played mine once and only two players' characters did not take the benefits of raging song. I would recommend making hand-outs for people who are not familiar with the class. Especially if there's rage powers involved.

But as long as you yourself are using strength as means to inflict damage, the song abides.

And FYI: a skald & bard -combo in the same party is just nasty. :)

Damage: You have 3/4 BAB and half of barbarian's rage, so kinda ok. Martial proficiency gives nice options.
Survivability: You have two good saves and tricks to boost them. Medium armor proficiency makes for decent AC.
Tankyness: Rage hp and you can use cure spells, nothing fenomenal but useful non the less.
AM SKILLMUNKY: Bardic knowledge saves the day on occasion.

5/5 5/55/55/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ascalaphus wrote:
@Carla: seems like fashions come and go pretty fast. A few months back it seemed everyone was playing a 2H striker type.

Its kind of like watching people try to balance a tipping ship: they all run to one side, all see that the ship is tipping, then all run to the other side...

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
@Carla: seems like fashions come and go pretty fast. A few months back it seemed everyone was playing a 2H striker type.
Its kind of like watching people try to balance a tipping ship: they all run to one side, all see that the ship is tipping, then all run to the other side...

Yeah, I think everyone is now leveling up support types. Including me.

Dark Archive

COMMANDER GORTOK, AT YOUR SERVICE!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am who the Fox is reffering to above, my Barbarian/Warpriest/Skald is always a lot of fun, he is a chaotic neutral worshiper of Gorum and often times will Inspire Rage in his enemies as well just to make fights a little crazier.

And people usually get a kick out of the fact that he has a 7 int and is using Bardic Knowledge to make Knowledge checks and sometimes it actually works!

Silver Crusade

The nice thing about the skald is that he contributes to the party directly through his own abilities, and he also boosts the abilities of the other characters in the party. Most people like to have PCs in the party that make their own characters better. :)

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, United Kingdom—England—Coventry aka terry_t_uk

I went spell warrior archetype - his raging song enchants all weapons in a 60' radius.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

terry_t_uk wrote:
I went spell warrior archetype - his raging song enchants all weapons in a 60' radius.

Oooh...nice. Being able to add special abilities to everyone's weapon at higher levels seems pretty awesome.


A caster-heavy Skald is perfectly viable. The bard spell list has a whole pile of gems on its 2nd level spell list, including Glitterdust, Heroism, and Cacophonous Call/Piercing Shriek. Glitterdust is a good target for the Magical Lineage trait--pick up Persistent Spell at level 7 (or spring 9k for a rod) and go to town.

With a high Charisma, Lesser Spirit Totem is a wonderful rage power--becoming stronger the more bodies are on your side. It's particularly nice if party members bring pets, or summoned monsters. I've seen a party consisting of a Skald, a Druid, a Summoner, and a Ranger trail along in the wake of a rolling wave of spirit-infused and very angry animals.

Keep in mind that even a caster-focused Skald can, with the right preparations, be a solid melee combatant. A Courageous weapon is your friend, increasing both the stat bonuses you receive from Inspired Rage, and the bonuses from Heroism. An 8th level Skald with a +1 Courageous Furious weapon, under the effects of Raging Song, Heroism, and Greater Magic Weapon (from Spell Kenning) is getting +11 to hit from buffs alone (+4 weapon enhancement, +4 heroism, +3 from increased strength). Taking the Reckless Abandon rage power would push this to +14. Even with no other attack modifiers and a base strength of 10, that's still +20/+15 to hit.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The only one I've played with asked if we liked heavy metal.

Sczarni 3/5

PolydactylPolymath wrote:

A caster-heavy Skald is perfectly viable. The bard spell list has a whole pile of gems on its 2nd level spell list, including Glitterdust, Heroism, and Cacophonous Call/Piercing Shriek. Glitterdust is a good target for the Magical Lineage trait--pick up Persistent Spell at level 7 (or spring 9k for a rod) and go to town.

With a high Charisma, Lesser Spirit Totem is a wonderful rage power--becoming stronger the more bodies are on your side. It's particularly nice if party members bring pets, or summoned monsters. I've seen a party consisting of a Skald, a Druid, a Summoner, and a Ranger trail along in the wake of a rolling wave of spirit-infused and very angry animals.

Keep in mind that even a caster-focused Skald can, with the right preparations, be a solid melee combatant. A Courageous weapon is your friend, increasing both the stat bonuses you receive from Inspired Rage, and the bonuses from Heroism. An 8th level Skald with a +1 Courageous Furious weapon, under the effects of Raging Song, Heroism, and Greater Magic Weapon (from Spell Kenning) is getting +11 to hit from buffs alone (+4 weapon enhancement, +4 heroism, +3 from increased strength). Taking the Reckless Abandon rage power would push this to +14. Even with no other attack modifiers and a base strength of 10, that's still +20/+15 to hit.

Lesser spirit totem seems really inviting, but can animals accept raging song at all? (Since its language-dependant?)

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Carla the Profane wrote:
Lesser spirit totem seems really inviting, but can animals accept raging song at all? (Since its language-dependant?)

It's not language-dependent. They just have to be able to hear you.

Sczarni 3/5

Sweet... Might consider Augment summoning then!


To those who accept the song, skalds are very useful.
For those who don't accept the song skalds songs are useful because their meat shields just got meatier.
They can still do magic and skills plus maybe melee/range themselves. Overall a good class, and just like a regular bard they will be welcomed at a table if you happen to bring one.

Scarab Sages

I'd say we're pretty great. We're smart, terrifying, and the look on everyone else's faces when we ask who wants to get angry is priceless.

Scarab Sages

I just played with a spell warrior skald yesterday in emerald spire level 1. His song was much appreciated by the entire party.


I had a game a few days ago with one. He seemed to work fine. He had some good social skills that worked out well out of combat and the ability to inspire rage is great in combat.

Mind you, I was playing a Bloodrager so I'm biased. Still, even the non-ragey characters were mostly taking the rage mods.

Grand Lodge

I like the class. I know not every class wants to benifit from rage song. But I know in the right group they excel more so than a party of full casters.

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My skald has taken the back burner due to a surprising lack of people who want to take advantage of the Inspired Rage. It's atypical for me to have more than 2 others who want the benefits based on their class choice and I've had one player accept it, see that I had lesser spirit totem, and then decline for RP reasons for the rest of the scenario.

3/5

Hima Flametinker III wrote:
The only one I've played with asked if we liked heavy metal.

And you said, "HELL YEAH!" right?

;)

Sczarni 3/5

Serisan wrote:
My skald has taken the back burner due to a surprising lack of people who want to take advantage of the Inspired Rage. It's atypical for me to have more than 2 others who want the benefits based on their class choice and I've had one player accept it, see that I had lesser spirit totem, and then decline for RP reasons for the rest of the scenario.

This is what frightens me too.

What I wanted to get:
1. Guarded life
2. Lesser undead blood
3. Undead blood
4. Greater guarded life

So that anyone in my party who ventures below 0 hit points immediately ignores 10 points of damage and turns another 10 into nonlethal damage at level 10.

Also, everyone can give enemies the shaken condition by charging them, which works out nicely with dirge of doom and a cruel weapon.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Hi Carla! *Waves.*
I'd say, look at what our usual groups look like. I'm not entirely sure, but the way I read it, you can't cast spells when under the unfluence of Inspired Rage. Our playgroup is pretty caster-heavy (or at least, people capable of casting spells), so that'd be a problem. Then again, we have a lot of melee-people, so our main damage output will be through melee combat.
Mosty of our players are pretty optimised to work by themselves, we have relatively few support-only people. I think a Skald can be a fine frontliner with enough support abilities to benefit the group. A back-row character would work fine, but if you're afraid no one will benefit from it, at least you could use it yourself.

Also, random note: I've read somewhere that most animals are too dumb to appreciate music, so they don't get inspired by it. Maybe look into that. >_>

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Been playing my melee Oracle of Life alongside one in our Emerald Spire group and it's been a pretty sweet deal, with she giving me something close to martial prowess and me bestowing her a massive hp pool. Combined, we're like a Con-based barbarian with two spell lists TWF'ing with reach weapons!

Wish the the dwarf Unbreakable would join the raging song club once in a while though...

4/5

I have GMed for a spell warrior skald. He had all the knowledges and was good at them, he could enchant weapons for whatever enchantment was needed, and he was able to cast spells just as well as a bard. It felt pretty much like the same effectiveness as a bard to me (which I'm definitely a fan of).

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My skald is definitely effective on the skills/spells front and trends more towards that side of the class in design. Still, Inspired Rage is the single most iconic aspect of the class and it's hard to get people interested in it enough to use the standard action to start it.


Keep in mind that each ally under the effect of Inspired Rage gets to decide each round whether to accept or refuse its effects. It's possible for a Cleric (for example) to accept the song on rounds when they make attacks and reject it on rounds they plan to cast something.

EDIT:

I forgot to mention earlier how awesome the Battle Cry feat is for a Skald (or anyone, really). Swift action Liberating Command for the entire party 4+ times per day.

5/5

Serisan wrote:
My skald is definitely effective on the skills/spells front and trends more towards that side of the class in design. Still, Inspired Rage is the single most iconic aspect of the class and it's hard to get people interested in it enough to use the standard action to start it.

If you mean to accept it as an ally, I thought that didn't take an action.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

running a skald pally fighter warpriest party right now .... pally smite with the rage bonus get sick. it is a lot of fun

Grand Lodge 3/5

I just love the fact that I get free rages on my Battlerager Dwarf..... They may not be as awesome as my normal rages, but, they're still rages!

I only got to party with one Skald so far, but they seem pretty awesome.

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ToshiroKurita wrote:
Serisan wrote:
My skald is definitely effective on the skills/spells front and trends more towards that side of the class in design. Still, Inspired Rage is the single most iconic aspect of the class and it's hard to get people interested in it enough to use the standard action to start it.
If you mean to accept it as an ally, I thought that didn't take an action.

What I meant was for me to use the standard action to start the performance. Yes, allies get it as a non-action at the start of their turn or start of the song at-will, but if the party tells me outright that they're majority not interested, I'm not going to throw it up for myself at that action cost.

Most combats are either over too fast to merit the performance or wouldn't be accelerated by it when I play that character. My actions are typically better spent on other spells/abilities. When a party does want it, though, it's completely over-the-top fun.

Still waiting for the day when I get partied with a Druid that wants to SNA and/or a Summoner that actually uses their SM ability.

Grand Lodge

I've seen a couple skalds (and I'm probably reiterating things that have been said, sorry) and they are fine. They are good at a lot of things but not really great at any one thing. I know at least one player who got fed up with his build because it didn't work as well as he thought it would, but that was probably a problem with the build (I don't remember what it was). My major problem is that skalds are heavily party dependent on how effective some (most) of their abilities are. For me, in PFS it's not something that I find interesting to deal with, however I think in an AP or home campaign they could really shine.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

Played with one in PFS in Destiny of the Sands. Seemed to really integrate well with that particular party especially given we also had an Arcane Duelist bard.

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / What's your experience with skalds in PFS? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.