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Blood Skald

Note This class is from "Rhune: Dawn of Twilight Campaign Guide" a stormpunk fantasy setting from Storm Bunny Studios where dwarven druids call down lightning to power cities, where mythic heroes tap into their wyrd to alter their fate, where a man's honor is as important as his word, and where a single clock counts down the days until Ragnarök—the final Great War destined to end all life on Yggdrasil. Rhune is a setting where Vitkarr—runic masters—cast runes in search of lost wisdom, where the automata—a sentient race of awakened constructs—struggle to understand who they are, and where ælves, once the peaceful guardians of the Great Tree, now hunt all those who embrace technology. Rhune is a place where ideological conflicts pit the very children of the Old Gods against one another, a place where hope is fading with each tick of the Ragnarök Clock…

You can read more about the setting as well as see some preview images in the Open Gaming Store.

The cries of war and thunder echo deep from some souls, stirring hearts to bright visions of battle... and warping the malleable fabric of the universe in turn. The blood skald channels terrible might with each shout, stomp and ragged breath; when she steps upon the fields of conflict with a scream of havoc ringing from her throat, the ichor of the living leaps to obey her command. Armed with strange magics and sharp blades, the blood skald is by turns a frothing dervish and a subtle assassin, one capable of bringing out the beast in her companions.

Role: Capable of out-running and out-gunning a heavily-armored melee warrior or carving an over-focused arcanist to pieces, the blood skald is an ultimate aide-combatant, flexibly serving many roles in a single party. She helps equally as ranged support, a second-line melee warrior, an arcane battery, a rallying-point of inspiration and as skillful jack-of-all-trades. She is, of course, all the more dangerous while her blood song rings.

Alignment: Any evil

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The blood skald's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (planes), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Rise (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Blood Skald
Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells Per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Aura, bardic performance, blood pool, blood song 1d6, cantrip mimicry 1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Spell combat, spell strike 2
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Blood arcana 3 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Blood recall 3 2
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Blood song 2d6 3 3
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Blood lore 1/day 4 3 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Blood arcana 4 3 2
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 Blood feast 1/day 4 4 3
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +3 Blood song 3d6 5 4 3 1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +3 Blood lore 2/day 5 4 3 2
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +3 Blood arcana 5 5 4 3 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Blood feast 2/day 5 5 4 3 2
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Blood song 4d6 5 5 4 3 3 1
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +4 Blood lore 3/day 5 5 5 4 3 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +5 Blood arcana 5 5 5 4 3 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Blood feast 3/day 5 5 5 4 4 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Blood song 5d6 5 5 5 5 4 3
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Blood lore 4/day 5 5 5 5 4 4
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Blood arcana 5 5 5 5 5 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Awaken the blood, blood feast 4/day 5 5 5 5 5 4

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the blood skald.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Blood skalds are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Table: Blood Skald Spells Known
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 4 2
4th 4 3
5th 4 4
6th 4 4 2
7th 5 4 3
8th 5 4 4
9th 5 5 4 2
10th 5 5 4 3
11th 6 5 4 4 2
12th 6 5 5 4 3
13th 6 6 5 4 4 2
14th 6 6 5 4 4 3
15th 6 6 5 5 4 4
16th 6 6 6 5 5 5
17th 6 6 6 5 5 5
18th 6 6 6 5 5 5
19th 6 6 6 6 5 5
20th 6 6 6 6 6 5


A blood skald casts arcane spells drawn from the blood skald spell list. The spells cast by a blood skald are divine in origin—drawn from the power of the Thrall Lords, at least in part—just as much as they are arcane; any effect or special ability that resists either form of magic (such as History of Heresy) is applied to all spells cast by the blood skald. The blood skald can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every spell a blood skalds casts has a verbal or somatic component (these include chanting, drumming, and screaming), and many also require a material component (blood). To cast a spell, a blood skald must have a Charisma score equal to 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class (DC) for saving throws against a blood skald's spell is 10 + the spell level + the blood skald's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, the blood skald can only cast a number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Blood Skald.

Additionally, a blood skald may receive bonus spells each day if he has a high Charisma score.

The blood skald's selection of spells is limited. A blood skald begins play knowing two 1st level spells of their choice. At each new blood skald level, the blood skald gains one or more new spells, as indicated on the Table: Blood Skald Spells Known.

Blood skalds select new spells from the blood skald's spell list. Upon reaching 5th level, and at every three levels after that (at 8th, 11th, and so on), the blood skald may choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. When she does so, she "loses" the old spell in place of the new spell. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level spell the blood skald can cast. A blood skald may only swap a single spell like this when they gain a level, and only on the indicated levels. A blood skald must make this decision when they learn a new spell for their level.

Casting Spells in Armor: A blood skald can cast spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal chance of spell failure. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a blood skald wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question requires a somatic component. A multiclass blood skald still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.


A blood skald has a particularly powerful aura, as per a cleric of her level; see detect evil for details.

Bardic Performance

A blood skald may intuitively use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around her—including herself—as desired. She can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 2 + her Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st, a blood skald can use bardic performance for two additional rounds per day. Each round, the blood skald can produce any one of the types of bardic performance that she has mastered. She gains performance abilities at the same rate as a bard (thus, she gains the countersong ability at 1st level), although she does not gain the versatile performance class ability.

Otherwise, this ability functions identically to the bard's class ability of the same name.

Blood Pool (Su)

At 1st level, a blood skald gains a reservoir of mystical energy that she can draw upon to fuel her powers and enhance her weapon. This blood pool has a number of points equal to ½ her class level (minimum 1) + her Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the blood skald awakens. When the blood skald refreshes her blood pool at the beginning of each day, she must infuse her blood pool with 1d4 hit points, taken from either herself (as a personal sacrifice) or from another, helpless, sentient creature. Additionally, the blood skald may replenish her blood pool by using her blood song. This ability otherwise functions identically to the arcane pool of a magus; in addition to its normal uses, a blood skald may spend one point from her blood pool at any time (as a free action) to gain an additional round of her bardic performance.

At 1st level, a blood skald can expend 1 point from her blood pool (as a swift action) to enhance any melee weapon she is actively using. When she does, she bestows a +1 enhancement bonus on it for 1 minute. For every four levels the blood skald gains beyond 1st, she may further enhance her weapon, granting another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack.

At 5th level, a blood skald can trade one bonus to add any of the following properties to her melee weapon: anarchic, bane, dancing, defiant, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, lifesurge, shock, shocking burst, speed, unholy, vicious, or vorpal.

Adding any of these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the weapon property's base price modifier.

These properties are added, regardless of whether a weapon already has magical properties, but they never duplicate (stack) with pre-existing properties of the same type. In order to add any of these properties to the weapon, it must be magical (having at least a +1 enhancement bonus). If not, a +1 enhancement bonus must be added prior to adding any additional weapon. These bonuses and properties are decided when the blood pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the blood skald uses this ability.

These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the blood skald.

A blood skald can enhance up to two weapons at a time, provided she wields both (one in each hand). If she uses this ability to enhance a weapon a third time, the first instance immediately ends. Blood skalds wielding two weapons at once may not cast spells (see Spell Combat, below).

Blood Song (Su)

At 1st level, a blood skald learns a dangerous melody, a song of necromantic undoing that drains the very life from her foes. Whenever a blood skald starts a bardic performance, she may elect to sing her deadly song, draining the very life from those around her. Each round she sings her blood song, the blood skald deals 1d6 points of damage to all living creatures (oozes, constructs, elementals, and creatures without blood are immune) within 30 ft. who can hear her song (deaf creatures are immune to this damage). Creatures who make a successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ the blood skald's level + the blood skald's Charisma modifier) halve the damage dealt. As the blood skald grows in her power, her song does more damage (2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 9th level, 4d6 at 13th level, and 5d6 at 17th level).

The blood skald replenishes one point to her blood pool if any creature fails a save against her blood song. If the blood skald elects target herself (she may save, as normal), she takes the appropriate damage and gains an additional blood point, which is added to her blood pool.

Cantrip Mimicry (Sp)

Early on, blood skalds learn to unlock the magic in their blood that manifests as simple spell-like tricks. At 1st level, a blood skald can select a number of 0 level spells from any arcane spell-list equal to their Charisma modifier, and cast each once per day as if they were cantrips. These spells need not be chosen in advance. The blood skald treats her blood skald level as her arcane caster level.

Spell Combat (Ex)

At 2nd level, a blood skald learns to cast spells while wielding her weapon at the same time.

This ability functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is the spell that is being cast. As stated above, the blood skald must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.

As a full-round action, the blood skald may make all of her attacks with her melee weapon at a -2 penalty and also cast any spell from the blood skald spell list (provided that spell has a casting time of 1 standard action or less).

Any attack roll to deliver the spell also takes this penalty.

If the spell is cast defensively, she can choose to take an additional penalty to her attack rolls, up to her Charisma bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus to her concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted but the attacks still take the penalty. A blood skald may choose to cast the spell first or to attack first, but may not mix the two (she may not attack, cast, and attack again), even if she has one more one attack per round.

Spell Strike (Su)

At 2nd level, while using her bardic performance, a blood skald may cast a spell with the range of "touch" from her blood skald list, which she can deliver through any weapon she is wielding as part of a normal melee attack. Instead of the free touch normally allowed to deliver a spell, the blood skald may make an attack with her weapon (at her highest base attack bonus) as part of casting the spell. If she succeeds, the melee attack deals its normal damage, as well as the effects of the spell. If the blood skald makes this attack while using spell combat, this attack takes all of the applicable penalties. This attack uses the weapon's normal threat range (and is modified by any appropriate weapon properties, such as the keen effect), but if the critical is confirmed, the spell effect only deals double damage (even if the weapon's normal multiplier is higher).

Blood Arcana

At 3rd level (and every four levels thereafter), a blood skald learns to extract the power inherent in blood. When a blood skald gains a blood arcana, she may select any power from the magus arcana list, provided she meets all of its prerequisites. She treats her blood skald level as the equivalent of a magus for the purpose of meeting these prerequisites. The blood skald may only activate these abilities while she is employing her bardic performance, and it draws from her blood pool as normal.

Blood Recall (Su)

At 4th level, while using her bardic performance, a blood skald may use her blood pool to regain spell slots. As a swift action, she may recall any single blood skald spell slot that she has cast that day by expending a number of points from her blood pool equal to the spell slot's level (minimum 1). The spell slot is then refreshed (as if a spell of that level had not been cast that day).

Blood Lore (Su)

At 6th level, a blood skald learns to draw knowledge from the blood of her enemies, gaining valuable insights into their weaknesses, as well as their abilities. Once per day, whenever a blood skald damages an enemy with her blood song, she may, as a free action, make a Knowledge skill check (or an Intelligence check if she lacks the appropriate Knowledge skill), adding the damage she dealt as a bonus to that check. The DC of this skill check is 10 plus the target's CR. If this check is successful, the blood skald identifies the weaknesses and abilities of the target. The blood skald gains additional uses of this ability at 10th level, as well as every 4 levels beyond that (at 14th, 18th, and so on).

Blood Feast (Su)

At 8th level, blood skalds learn to unlock the sustenance that blood provides, gaining nourishment from it as if he had consumed a normal meal.

Once per day, a blood skald can, as a full round action, drink the blood of a corporeal creature that has recently died (within the past minute). The dead creature must be at least the same size as the blood skald and must have blood. At the end of the full round, the blood skald heals 3d6 hit points and is nourished as if they had consumed a full meal. Creatures killed by the blood skald's blood song, which do not have blood, or who died from bleed damage are not eligible targets. The blood skald gains additional uses of this ability at 12th level, as well as every 4 levels beyond that (at 16th, 20th, and so on).

Awaken the Blood (Su)

At 20th level the blood skald gains the ability to drain all of the blood from a single target. While performing her blood song for a full round, the blood skald may channel energy to harm a single creature within 30 ft. The target receives a Fort save (DC 10 + ½ the blood skald's level + the blood skald's Charisma modifier) to negate the effect. If the creature succeeds, it is staggered for 1d4 rounds and is immune to further attempts by the blood skald for the next 24 hours. If the creature fails, it dies and the blood skald gains a number of blood points equal to the target's Hit Dice.

Blood Skald Spell List

1st levelalarm, beguiling gift, blood money, blurred movement, call weapon, cause fear, chord of shards, compel hostility, confusion (lesser), corrosive touch, dazzling blade, detect charm, detect metal, ear-piecing scream, expeditious retreat, feather step, forced quiet, frostbite, fumbletongue, grease, hideous laughter, horn of pursuit, hypnotism, identify, infernal healing, invigorate, invisibility alarm, linebreaker, line in the sand, lock gaze, magic aura, magic missile, magic mouth, magic weapon, mirror strike, moment of greatness, obscure object, play instrument, ray of enfeeblement, saving finale, silent image, sleep, stanch, touch of gracelessness, true strike, unbreakable heart, unnatural lust, vanish, ventriloquism, weapon of blood, weaponwand

2nd levelacute senses, alter self, ancestral communion, animal trance, arcane disruption, armor lock, bear's endurance, bladed dash, blindness/deafness, blood armor, blood blaze, blood biography, blood rage, blood sentinel, blood tide (greater), blood transcription, bloodlure, bloodshot, boiling blood, blur, cacophonous call, cat's grace, codespeak, compassionate ally, darkness, daze monster, delay pain, delay poison, distracting cacophony, distressing tone, dust of twilight, eagle's splendor, enthrall, fox's cunning, ghostbane dirge, ghostly disguise, glitterdust, haunting mists, heightened reflexes, heroism, hold person, hypnotic pattern, invisibility, mad hallucination, marching chant, minor image, mirror image, misdirection, miserable pity, oppressive boredom, piercing shriek, pyrotechnics, rage, reckless infatuation, resounding clang, returning weapon, savage maw, scare, shadow anchor, shatter, silence, sonic scream, sound burst, tactical acumen, unadulterated loathing, vampiric touch, versatile weapon, whip of spiders, whispering wind

3rd level—arcane concordance, blade snare, blink, blood salvation, bloody arrows, bloody claws, blot, campfire wall, caustic blood, charm monster, confusion, crushing despair, curse of disgust, death from below, deep slumber, discern value, dispel magic, displacement, disrupt link, fear, fearsome duplicate, flexible fury, fractions of heal and harm, gaseous form, geas (lesser), good hope, haste, haunting choir, invigorate (mass), invisibility sphere, isolate, keen edge, locate weakness, major image, malicious spite, martial marionette, overwhelming grief, purging finale, raging rubble, ray of exhaustion, remove curse, reviving finale, sculpt sound, see invisibility, slow, speak with animals, terrible remorse, thunderous drums, trial of fire and acid, vision of hell, wall of nausea, witness

4th levelancestral gift, apparent master, bloodsworn retribution, blood boil, break enchantment, dance of a hundred cuts, daze (mass), detect scrying, discordant blast, dominate person, eldritch blood*, envious urge, feast on fear, forgetful slumber, ghostbane dirge (mass), freedom of movement, hallucinatory terrain, heroic finale, hold monster, ice storm, infernal healing (greater), invisibility (greater), locate creature, neutralize poison, nixie's lure, paragon surge, primal scream, runic overlord, shadow conjuration, shadow step, shocking image, shout, utter contempt, wall of blindness/ deafness, wall of fire, wall of ice, wall of sound, wreath of blades

5th levelacidic spray, augmenting wall, bladed dash (greater), cacophonous call (mass), cloak of dreams, cone of cold, covetous aura, deafening song bolt, dream, false vision, fiery blood, foe to friend, frozen note, heroism (greater), mind fog, mirage arcana, mislead, nightmare, persistent image, resonating word, shadow evocation, shadow walk, shadowbard, song of discord, stunning finale, unwilling shield, vampiric shadow shield, vengeful outrage, wall of stone, whip of centipedes

6th levelbear's endurance (mass), brilliant inspiration, cat's grace (mass), charm monster (mass), dance of a thousand cuts, deadly finale, dispel magic (greater), eagle's splendor (mass), euphoric tranquility, exsanguinating cloud, eyebite, flesh to stone, fool's forbiddance, fox's cunning (mass), geas/quest, irresistible dance, magnifying chime, mislead, overwhelming presence, permanent image, pied piping, programmed image, project image, shout (greater), sonic form, stone to flesh, sympathetic vibration, unconscious agenda, veil, waves of ecstasy, whip of ants