Skald, 2nd Variant (5e Class)

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Skalds are brave warrior-poets, drawing inspiration for their art from the battles they witness, partake in, or hear tales of. Skalds can master any art form, though many prefer music or lyrical genius, but every Skald must have a love for battle in some form.

Creating a Skald[edit]

Heizui: Commission for Ayanzo

When playing a Skald, consider A) what type(s) of artistic expression your character enjoys and/or has mastered and B) how your character seeks to engage with combat. Do they want to be a legendary warrior, singing their own praises, or do they simply want to experience the glories of their friends?

Quick Build

You can make a Skald quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Gladiator background.

Class Features

As a Skald you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Skald level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Skald level after 1st


Armor: light, medium, shields
Weapons: simple, martial
Tools: 1 artisan tools, 1 musical instrument
Saving Throws: constitution, charisma
Skills: any two of your choice


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) chain shirt or (b) leather
  • (a) martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) longbow, quiver, and 20 arrows or (b) two handaxes
  • (a) entertainer's pack or (b) explorer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4x10 in funds.

Table: The Skald

Level Proficiency
Features Cantrips Known Spells Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Second Wind, Skaldic Inspiration (d6)
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Song of Rest (d6), Spellcasting 2 4 2
3rd +2 Combat Inspiration, Skaldic Path 2 4 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2 5 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 2 6 4 2
6th +3 Expertise 2 6 4 2
7th +3 Skaldic Path Feature 3 7 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3 7 4 3
9th +4 Font of Inspiration, Glorious Warrior, Skaldic Inspiration (d8) 3 8 4 3 2
10th +4 Aura of Courage 3 8 4 3 2
11th +4 Magical Secrets 3 10 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3 10 4 3 3
13th +5 3 11 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Battle Magic 3 11 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Skaldic Path Feature 3 12 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 3 12 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Song of Rest (d8) 3 13 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Aura Improvements 3 13 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Skaldic Inspiration (d10) 4 14 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Hero of Legend 4 14 4 3 3 3 2

Second Wind[edit]

You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your skald level.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Skaldic Inspiration[edit]

You can inspire others through stirring words or music. To do so, you use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature gains one Skaldic Inspiration die, a d6.

Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Skaldic Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Skaldic Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have only one Skaldic Inspiration die at a time.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Your Skaldic Inspiration die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 9th level and a d10 at 19th level.

Fighting Style[edit]

You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take the same Fighting Style option more than once, even if you get to choose again.


You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.


While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.


When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Great Weapon Fighting

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.


When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Song of Rest[edit]

Beginning at 2nd level, you can use soothing music or oration to help revitalize your wounded allies during a short rest. If you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance regain hit points by spending Hit Dice at the end of the short rest, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.

The extra hit points increase to 1d8 at 17th level.


By 2nd level, you have learned to untangle and reshape the fabric of reality in harmony with your wishes and music. Your spells are part of your vast repertoire, magic that you can tune to different situations. You use the skald spell list for your skald spells (detailed at the end of this page).


You know two cantrips of your choice from the skald spell list. You learn additional skald cantrips of your choice at higher levels, learning a 3rd cantrip at 7th level and a 4th at 19th level.

Spell Slots

The Skald table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your skald spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell cure wounds and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast cure wounds using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

You know four 1st-level spells of your choice from the skald spell list.

You learn an additional skald spell of your choice at each level denoted in the Spells Known column of the Skald table. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the skald spells you know and replace it with another spell from the skald spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a musical instrument (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your skald spells.

Combat Inspiration[edit]

Starting at 3rd level, you learn to inspire others in battle. A creature that has a Skaldic Inspiration die from you can roll that die and add the number rolled to a weapon damage roll it just made. Alternatively, when an attack roll is made against the creature, it can use its reaction to roll the Skaldic Inspiration die and add the number rolled to its AC against that attack, after seeing the roll but before knowing whether it hits or misses.

Skaldic Path[edit]

At 3rd level, choose one Skaldic Path (detailed at the end of the class description). Your Skaldic Path grants you benefits at 3rd, 7th, and 15th levels.

You can choose any Fighter Martial Archetype or Bardic College for your Skaldic Path, as well as the option presented at the bottom of this page. (You cannot choose Valor Bard or Banneret Fighter).

For a Fighter Martial Archetype, you gain the 3rd level benefits at level 3, the 7th level benefits at level 7, and the 15th level benefits at level 15. For a Bard College, you gain the 3rd level benefits at level 3, the 6th level benefits at level 7, and the 14th level benefits at level 15.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.


At 6th level, choose two of your skill or tool proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.

Font of Inspiration[edit]

Beginning when you reach 9th level, you regain all of your expended uses of Skaldic Inspiration when you finish a short or long rest.

Glorious Warrior[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you can inspire yourself with your Skaldic Inspiration. However, you can only use inspiration gained in this way to increase the results of your attack rolls and saving throws.

Aura of Courage[edit]

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Magical Secrets[edit]

By 11th level, you have plundered magical knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Choose two spells from any classes, including this one. A spell you choose must be of a level you can cast, as shown on the Skald table, or a cantrip.

The chosen spells count as skald spells for you and are included in the number in the Spells Known column of the Skald table.

Battle Magic[edit]

At 14th level, you have mastered the art of weaving spellcasting and weapon use into a single harmonious act. When you use your action to cast a skald spell, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

Hero of Legend[edit]

At 20th level, your force of will and bodily might are nigh unmatchable. Your Charisma increases by 4, and your Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution also increases by 4. Your maximum for the chosen scores is now 24.

Enraged Poet[edit]

Enraged Poets empower their spells and combat prowess with anger and/or hatred.

Skaldic Rage

Starting at 3rd level, in battle, you fight with strange ferocity. On your turn, you can enter a skaldic rage as a bonus action.

While raging, you gain the following benefits if you aren't wearing heavy armor:

  • You have advantage on Strength and Charisma checks and Strength and Charisma saving throws.
  • When you make a melee weapon attack, you can choose to use Charisma for the attack and damage roll instead of Strength or Dexterity.
  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • You can only cast spells from the skald spell list.
  • You cannot concentrate on any spell or magical ability.

Your skaldic rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven't attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action.

Once you have used your skaldic rage, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.

Quick to Fight

Starting at 7th level, you are extremely quick to fight. Your walking speed increases by 5 feet. Additionally, when you roll initiative, you and any creature you choose within 10 feet of you rolls initiative with advantage.

At 18th level, the range of this effect increases to 30 feet.

Improved Skaldic Rage

Beginning at 15th level, you regain your use of Skaldic Rage whenever you roll initiative and have already used it, and you gain the following additional benefits when in a skaldic rage:

  • You have advantage on Constitution checks and Constitution saving throws.
  • You have resistance to all damage.
  • You can concentrate on your skald spells.

Skald Spell List[edit]

The following spells are on the skald spell list:


Blade Ward, Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Sword Burst, Thaumaturgy, True Strike, Vicious Mockery

1st Level

Absorb Elements, Alarm, Bane, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Command, Compelled Duel, Comprehend Languages, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Detect Poison and Disease, Dissonant Whispers, Faerie Fire, False Life, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Healing Word, Heroism, Identify, Jump, Longstrider, Searing Smite, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Thunderous Smite, Thunderwave, Wrathful Smite

2nd Level

Blindness/Deafness, Branding Smite, Calm Emotions, Crown of Madness, Darkvision, Detect Thoughts, Enhance Ability, Heat Metal, Hold Person, Invisibility, Knock, Lesser Restoration, Magic Weapon, Mirror Image, See Invisibility, Shatter, Silence, Suggestion, Zone of Truth

3rd Level

Blinding Smite, Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Enemies Abound, Fear, Haste, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Sending, Speak with Dead, Tongues

4th Level

Arcane Eye, Banishment, Charm Monster, Compulsion, Confusion, Dimension Door, Dominate Beast, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Polymorph

5th Level

Awaken, Banishing Smite, Dominate Person, Geas, Greater Restoration, Hold Monster, Legend Lore, Mass Cure Wounds, Mislead, Modify Memory, Scrying, Seeming, Steel Wind Strike, Swift Quiver


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Skald class, you must meet these prerequisites: Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution 13, Charisma 13

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Skald class, you gain the following proficiencies:

  • Armor: Light, Medium, Shields
  • Weapons: Simple, Martial
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