Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Bard
- Ability Requirements: None
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Broad Sword, Battle Axe, Hand Axe, Spear
- Allowed Weapons: Any
- Allowed Armors: Bronze Plate or lighter, Any shields
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Martial
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Ancient History, Poetry
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Armorer, Athletics, Battle Command, Blacksmithing, Blind-fighting, Boating, Bowyer/Fletcher, Charge, Crowd Working, Danger Sense, Drinking, Etiquette, Horde Summoning, Hunting, Intimidation, Land-based Riding, Leatherworking, Looting, Musical Instrument, Naval Combat, Rowing, Seamanship, Sea-based Riding, Weaponsmithing, Wild Fighting.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: Literacy
Overview: Skalds are honored and respected members of their clans. These great poets memorize the feats of each raid and battle, setting them down in the form of poetry.
Every war party loves to have a Skald in its midst. This assures that their great deeds and mighty skills will be honored in the Skald’s next recital, and thereafter immortalized for all time. Members of most bands treat Skalds with utmost respect and courtesy. It is well known that the foolish warrior who maligns a Skald will soon hear his name slandered in innumerable ballads across the land.
Poems are the form in which Skalds honor others and themselves. Poems are also used to relate the oral history of the clan. Significant ballads are passed down from one generation to another via the Skald’s talents. In this way, the lessons and deeds of the past are related to those of the present so they can be passed into the future.
Skalds hail from the northern Realms. They are most common among the peoples of the Moonshae islands and the Barbarian Kingdoms of the Savage North, but can also be found in Thar, Damara, the Moonsea, and the cities of the northern heartlands (Mirabar or Neverwinter).
Description: Skalds typically come from northern seafaring societies. They tend to be large, muscular, light-haired, and bearded. They favor large, round shields, horned helms, and heavy weapons. Their weapons and armor always appear to be well-used.
Role-Playing: Skalds are often supported and protected by clan nobles and kings who love to hear of great duels and mighty wars. When events are unfolded in the form of poetry, it makes the telling all the more inspiring. Such men would hear Skalds relate tales of their family’s glory to visitors. Skalds rarely perform together unless they have entered into a poetic duel.
Adventuring Skalds are common. Every Skald is easily caught up in the fervor and majesty of adventure, danger, and combat. Great quests also serve as source material for their ballads and poems.
- By chanting a war song, a Skald can inspire allies as they go forward into combat. For the chant to have an effect, the Skald must begin chanting at least three rounds before combat begins, otherwise his allies are too caught up in the events about them to benefit from this ability. Such chanting has an effective range of ten feet per level of the Skald. The effects end as soon as the Skald receives his first wound. If the Skald does not enter the fray (and avoids being wounded), the effects end in a number of rounds equal to the Skald’s level.
Chanting can elevate spirits, remove concerns about danger, keep men’s minds focused on combat, and fill friendly forces with a sense of being larger than life. At 1st level, the Skald can choose only one of the following six effects per battle; at 3rd level two effects are chosen, three at 6th, four at 9th, etc. The Skald player chooses the effects, and can change them from one battle to the next.
- Bonus hit points equal to the Skald’s Hit Dice.
- A morale bonus of 1 for every six levels of the Skald (rounded up).
- A +1 bonus to all attack rolls.
- A +1 bonus to all damage rolls.
- A +1 bonus to all saving throws.
- A +1 bonus to everyone’s Armor Class.
- Skalds are a bit more combative than most bards. This provides them with certain combat advantages. The Skald fights with a +1 attack roll bonus any time he is singing or chanting during combat, even a soft chant under his breath. In addition, the Skald gains a +1 damage bonus when using a broadsword, axe (any type), or spear (any type) while he is chanting, provided that he has proficiency with the weapon. These bonuses almost always apply, unless the bard is silenced, under water, etc.
- The Skald’s society does not have a written language. Because of this, Skalds do not gain the Bard’s normal bonus proficiency in Literacy and cannot take the Literacy proficiency at 1st level. Furthermore, they may not use any written magic items (neither spell scrolls, nor protection scrolls, nor magical tomes).
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