Skalds

The Skald – will have practiced as a “ranger” to 5th – 7th level then will progress as a thief 6th – 8th (the art of thievery is needed in the pursuance of items knowledge, lore and courtly exploits), then is taken under the wing of the druidic shaman (Freyr) or witches (Freyja) and then become actual “skalds” working with poetry, legends, genealogy, language and the runes. They observe all the Gods, with devotion to Odhinn, Freyr or Freja, Bragi and Uller.

Thus they retain all ranger abilities (but never spells), all “druidic” abilities except change form. This ability manifests itself differently in the Viking game. This ability is known as “true” berserk, when engaged in battle the skald (or druid) may take the shape of its rage, usually a bear, wolf or boar. [Alternatives may be determined by DM & Player.] Berserk form is 10% assumable when in combat, plus a cumulative 10% for every additional round of combat. +20% if the skald spends a round enraging himself, +30% if the Sklad bites his shield. Automatic if a friend is slain in their presence.

The form attacks as the “were” version of the form indicated, including power to hit creatures needing magic to be struck (+1 or +2). No other special abilities are gained. In this state they also can detect hidden and invisible enemies (but not ethereal, out of phase, etc.) within 60’. Enemies are required to make a morale check when seeing the berserk form. The Berserk form receives a +2 to hit and damage additional to strength bonuses. The berserk form also has savage attacks, enabling continual hit rolls per round until all attacks miss. (If the form has a claw/claw/bite routine and a claw and bite hit, then those two successful attacks may role again. If they both hit they both roll again, if only one hits that successful attack may roll again until a miss occurs.) When going berserk no retreating from combat is possible. The state lasts a number of rounds = to constitution. If combat is longer, the skald then fights at -2 to hit and damage (even if in berserk form). Once out of berserk form, the skald must rest for 1 turn, regardless of the situation. If combat is short and still in berserk form, the skald has a 10% chance (rolled for each party member, henchmen, ally, etc.) of attacking anyone within sight. The base is adjusted by feelings, intelligence, level, damage, etc.

Berserk form may only by assumed 3 times in one day. Changing into berserk form heals 10-60% of damage sustained prior. If the skald survives and assumes human form, he will heal 10% to 60% of the damage sustained will in berserk form. If killed in berserk form, the skald dies in berserk form and does not enter Valhall.

The skalds have all Bard functions with the addition of rune knowledge and genealogy.

Suggested other berserk shapes could be: Horse, raven, snake, goat, etc.

Skalds never wear armor or helms but may use a shield. Weapon choice is modified to include only: club, seax, javelin, spear, sling, spear, staff, sword (no two-handed), long bow, axe (not great axe).

The Norse Druid (Shaman) is an augmented class as well, closer to the idea of a “witch.” Clerics will be referred to as “priests.”

The Vikings were a largely oral culture; no one could read or write. Shamans and Skalds are the exception. Skalds are the only class who can write in runes.

With each level increase, the Skald must compose a poem or lay re-telling key battles during the adventure. Epic sagas and eddas may be composed that recount entire campaigns.

Skalds

Rage Of The Norsemen Odhinn_AllFather