Path of the Skald (5e Subclass)

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Path of the Skald[edit]

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Barbarian Subclass

Skalds are lionhearted warriors known for their poetry and songs. Unlike bards, these men and women eschew spellcasting in favor of overwhelming martial prowess. While they are never found in large numbers in battle, one or two skalds can be found in almost every barbarian tribe or military platoon. They are also highly sought after in adventuring parties for their raw strength and mastery of both building and breaking morale.

Restriction: Charisma 13[edit]

Simply being able to play an instrument does not make a barbarian a Skald. Skalds draw their whimsical power from their ability to influence others, which necessitates a minimum level of charisma.

Fierce Performer[edit]

At 3rd level when you choose this path, you learn ways to motivate your comrades in battle. You gain proficiency in Performance, plus one of the following skills of your choice: Deception, Intimidation or Persuasion. You can double your proficiency bonus when making checks that use those skills. You also gain proficiency in two musical instruments and one type of artisan's tool of your choice.


Starting when you select this path at 3rd level, you belt out inspiring magical chanteys while you rage. These musical pieces, called warsongs, are capable of mystically aiding your allies or harming your foes, and are audible up to 100 feet away. You can perform them vocally or purely instrumentally, so long as you are able to continuously play a musical instrument. There are 4 types of warsong, detailed below, and you may choose which to perform each time you begin a new rage.

Your warsong has an effect that activates when you enter your rage, and you can activate the effect again on each of your turns as a bonus action. Each time the effect activates, you select as its target 1 creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you that can hear you. These effects are powered by a Skaldic Inspiration die, which starts as a d4 and changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d6 at 8th level, and a d8 at 14th level. When you reach 20th level in this class, the the creature you select can be up to 60 feet away from you.

Harmonies of Pain. The chosen creature takes psychic damage equal to the number rolled on the Skaldic Inspiration die.

Melody of Dread. The first time the chosen creature makes an attack roll, ability check, or damage roll before the start of your next turn, it takes a penalty to that roll equal to the number rolled on the Skaldic Inspiration die. The creature is unaffected if it cannot be frightened.

Rhythm of Fortitude. The chosen creature gains temporary hit points equal to the number rolled on the Skaldic Inspiration die.

Timbre of Courage. The first time the chosen creature makes an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw before the start of your next turn, t gains a bonus to that roll equal to the number rolled on the Skaldic Inspiration die. A creature may only apply one Inspiration die to any one roll.

Song of Respite[edit]

Beginning at 6nd level, you can use soothing poetry or music to help revitalize your wounded allies during a short rest. If you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance spend one or more Hit Dice to regain hit points at the end of the short rest, each of those creatures to reroll one of the hit dice. They must use the new roll. The maximum number of hit dice each creature can reroll increases by 1 when you reach 10th level (2 dice), and 14th level (3 dice).

Valorous Aura[edit]

Starting at 10th level, while you are raging you exude an aura of pure confidence, extending 10 feet in all directions. While within this aura, creatures of your choice, including yourself, have advantage on all saving throws against being charmed or frightened. A creature must be able to hear you to gain this benefit.

At 20th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Overwhelming Performance[edit]

At 14th level, your personality becomes impossible to suppress. You gain proficiency in Charisma saving throws, if you do not already have it.

Additionally, whenever you activate one of your warsong effects, you may at the same time choose a creature within 5 feet of you that can hear you. That creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw, or its speed is reduced to 0 until the start of your next turn, as it becomes enamored by your presence. The DC for this save equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. A creature that cannot be charmed is immune to this effect.

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