Skalds are the human side of the Human spiritual landscape, connecting Man with his creativity and his past. Humans have no written language, instead they pass down their histories in the form of epic ballads. Unlike the wandering shamans, skalds usually live with one community for an extended period of time, weaving new ballads about their exploits and preserving the exploits of years gone by. Only when a skald has amassed a sizeable collection of poems and trained his own replacement does he begin to wander, teaching his works to other skalds in other communities and learning theirs from them, thereby continuing on the process of history for another generation. Traditional skalds use only their bodies in performance, incorporting whistles, clicks, percussive chest thumps, etc. into their stories and poems. Some younger skalds, however, are using drums, flutes, and even crude lutes in their works.
The Skald gains the following performance powers:
Inspiring Blow (Sp): A Skald roars his war cries with each telling blow. When he confirms a critical hit, he can start this performance as an immediate action (ending any other performances). He gains temporary hit points equal to his Charisma modifier (if positive), and all allies within 30 feet gain a +1 morale bonus on their next attack roll prior to the start of his next turn. These temporary hit points remain until the bard ends his performance. This performance replaces Fascinate.
Incite Rage (Su): At 6th level, a Skald can induce a furious rage in one creature within 30 feet. This effect functions as a rage spell that lasts as long as the target can hear the Skald’s performance; however, unwilling creatures can be affected if they fail a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 the Skald’s level + the Skald’s CHA modifier). Success renders the target immune to this power for 24 hours. The bard cannot target himself with this ability. If the target has the rage class feature, it can instead immediately rage and stay in this rage without consuming rounds of rage per day as long as the Skald continues performing. This mind-affecting effect requires audible components. This performance replaces Suggestion.
Song of the Fallen (Sp): At 10th level, a Skald can duplicate the effect of a Horn of Valhalla. This effect requires 10 continuous rounds of performance and summons barbarians as a silver horn at 10th level, a brass horn at 13th level, as a bronze horn at 16th level, and as an iron horn at 19th level. The warriors remain only as long as the Skald continues his performance. This ability requires audible components. This performance replaces Jack of All Trades.
Berserkergang (Ex): At 12th level, a Skald can inspire a rapturous battle trance that suppresses pain, stunning, and fear effects for one creature, plus one additional creature per three levels after 12th. Affected creatures also gain DR 5/- (DR 10/- versus nonlethal damage); this benefit stacks with the damage reduction class ability of barbarians. This mind-affecting ability requires audible components. This performance replaces Soothing Performance.
Battle Song (Su): At 18th level, a Skald can affect all allies within 30 feet when using performance to incite rage. This performance replaces Mass Suggestion.