Skaldic Poet (Skald Archetype)
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Archetypes of Power 2
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Most skalds, despite their prowess in battle, usually employ arcane tactics to aid in their performances. Though among certain groups and tribes, there are some skalds that are not blessed with magic, and instead use verse and stanza to aid their allies. These skalds, known commonly as skaldic poets, make up for their lack of magic with their unrelenting bravery and strength, in addition to their ability to instill these qualities to their allies.

Proficiencies

Skaldic poets are proficient with simple weapons, as well as light armor. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

This alters proficiencies.

Combat Training

A skaldic poet may combine combat spheres and talents to create powerful martial techniques. Skaldic poets are considered Adept combatants and use Charisma as their practitioner modifier.

This replaces the spells and cantrips class features.

Frenzied Lyricist

A skaldic poet is a performer of war; bellowing intense lyrics to his allies so that his own rage may prove infectious. Skaldic poets gain either the Berserker or Gladiator sphere as a bonus combat sphere at 1st level. Additionally, the skaldic poet gains a bonus combat talent from either the Berserker or Gladiator sphere at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. This replaces spell kenning and scribe scroll.

Ardour (Ex)

The skaldic poet is an inspiration to his allies on the battlefield, talking up their successes and belittling their enemies shortcomings. A skaldic poet begins the day with no ardour, but can gain ardour in the following ways (a skaldic poet cannot gain ardour from each of these more than once per round, and the skaldic poet must be in combat to gain ardour):

  • Desperate Defense: Whenever an ally the skaldic poet can see successfully avoids an attack (such as from an enemy missing them, or after succeeding a saving throw against an area of effect ability originating from a hostile creature), he gains 1 ardour. The skaldic poet does not gain ardour from attacks made against allies while he is flat-footed or unaware. This is treated as the defensive determination tension ability for the purposes of striker arts.
  • Hopeful Act: Whenever an ally or enemy the skaldic poet can perceive would roll a natural 20, or natural 1 respectively, on an attack roll or saving throw, he gains 1 ardour. This does not function if the natural 20 or natural 1 is rolled by a creature with a CR less than 1/2 his character level.
  • Violent Display: Whenever an ally the skaldic poet can see successfully damages a creature with a melee or ranged attack or makes a successful combat maneuver check against a creature, he gains 1 ardour. This is treated as the offensive pressure tension ability for the purposes of striker arts.

His ardour fluctuates throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), though some feats, abilities, and magic items may affect this maximum. At 3rd level and every three levels afterward, his maximum ardour increases by 1. If a skaldic poet spends 1 minute or longer outside of combat, he loses all ardour he possesses.

Dramatic Orations (Ex)

The skaldic poet is both a performer and a fighter, making him an inspiration to his allies.

The skaldic poet can spend ardour in order to accomplish incredible acts. Each dramatic oration can only be used once per round, and is usable as a free action which can be taken during anyone’s turn, unless otherwise stated in its description. The skaldic poet can spend ardour in the following ways:

1 Ardour

  • Alert Allies: Whenever an ally would be attacked, the skaldic poet can spend any amount of ardour. For each ardour the skaldic poet spends on this dramatic oration, the ally gains a +1 dodge bonus to their AC against the attack.
  • Adrenaline Rush: As an immediate action, choose an ally. The chosen ally may spend a free action that can be used even when it is not their turn to stand up from prone, draw, pick up, or ready a weapon or shield, or move 5 feet (provoking attacks of opportunity as normal).
  • Inspire Resolve: Whenever an ally would attempt a saving throw, the skaldic poet can spend any amount of ardour. For each ardour the skaldic poet spends on this dramatic oration, the ally gains a +1 morale bonus to the saving throw.
  • Spur Aggression: Whenever an ally would make an attack roll, the skaldic poet can spend any amount of ardour. For each ardour the skaldic poet spends on this dramatic oration, the ally gains a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls made until the beginning of their next turn. This counts as the fiery offense tension technique for the purposes of striker arts.

2 Ardour

  • Battle Focus: As a swift action, the skaldic poet chooses an ally to immediately regain their martial focus.
  • Incite Brutality: As a swift action, the skaldic poet chooses an ally to gain the benefits of a single (exertion) talent that he possesses until the beginning of their next turn. If the ally does not possess the base sphere (or the brutal strike ability), they also gain the ability to make a brutal strike until the beginning of their next turn.
  • Psyche Up: The skaldic poet chooses an ally to gain the benefits of his berserking ability, including the penalty to AC, until the beginning of their next turn, using the allies’ base attack bonus to determine its effects. If the skaldic poet would attempt to use this outside of his turn, this dramatic oration requires an immediate action. If the skaldic poet possesses an (adrenaline) talent, he may also apply the benefits of a chosen (adrenaline) talent to the chosen ally instead of gaining the normal benefits of berserking. If the chosen (adrenaline) talent would normally require the skaldic poet to expend his martial focus, the ally must expend their own martial focus instead.

3 Ardour

  • Desperate Aid: As an immediate action, the skaldic poet chooses an ally that is attempting a saving throw, allowing them to make the roll twice and take the highest roll.
  • Inspiring Audience: The skaldic poet may use a boast, as long as he meets the requirements of activating the boast (such as by confirming a critical hit, succeeding a combat maneuver, etc.).
  • Tactical Positioning: As a swift action, the skaldic poet chooses an ally to immediately move up to half their speed with a movement mode they possess.

This replaces all raging songs.

Skaldic Odes

At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the skaldic poet gains a striker art. The skaldic poet treats his class level as his striker level for the purposes of chosen striker arts and the Extra Striker Art feat, and uses his practitioner modifier instead of his Constitution modifier for determining their effects.

Whenever the skaldic poet would choose a striker art, he spends ardour instead of tension. If a striker art would usually benefit himself, it instead benefits an ally that the skaldic poet can see within 60 feet, and benefits all types of weapon attacks, not just unarmed strikes.

The skaldic poet may choose from the following list of striker arts: blindside offense, critical tension, dispelling knuckle, exploited opening, high tension, lasting flame, lightning dodge, improved determination, invigorated spirit, iron body, iron soul, steel heart, vital tension, wild charge.

Additionally, the skaldic poet gains the following exclusive striker arts that he may choose from:

Battle Genius (requires skaldic poet 9)

The skaldic poet gains an additional ardour from his battle inspiration class feature. At 11th level and again at 17th level, the skaldic poet can select this striker art an additional time.

Death Scene

Whenever an ally the skaldic poet can see would reduce a hostile creature’s hit points to 0 or less, he gains 1 ardour.

Easy to Impress

The skaldic poet reduces the ardour needed for his inspiring audience dramatic oration by 1. The skaldic poet also does not need to have his martial focus when using a boast with this dramatic oration.

Hasty Positioning (requires skaldic poet 6)

Whenever the skaldic poet would use his tactical positioning dramatic oration, the ally may move up to their full speed with a movement mode they possess, instead of just half.

Invigorated Mind

The skaldic poet can spend 2 ardour to allow an ally he can see to ignore any temporary penalties to their mental ability scores for 1 minute.

Optimistic

The skaldic poet can gain up to 2 ardour per round from their hopeful act ability.

Vicious Display (requires skaldic poet 5)

The skaldic poets spur aggression dramatic oration also grants a morale bonus to melee damage rolls for each ardour spent using the dramatic oration.

Battle Inspiration (Ex)

At 8th level, the skaldic poet begins to draw inspiration from the combat around him, coming up with various odes and lyrics at a moment’s notice. A skaldic poet gains 1 ardour at the start of his turn.

Master Orator (Ex)

At 20th level, the skaldic poet gains an amount of ardour equal to his practitioner modifier at the start of his first turn in combat (including surprise rounds). He has no limit to how much ardour he can possess (if he possesses the high tension striker art, he can immediately swap it for another striker art). The skaldic poet also reduces the cost of all abilities which require ardour by 1 (to a minimum of 1).


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