LevelProficiency BonusFeatureBalladsBallad BonusSpells Known1st2nd3rd4th5th
1st+2Ballad (Sooth, Battle Chant)210
2nd+2Fighting Style, Spellcasting2122
4th+2Ability Score Improvement3133
5th+3Ballad (Inspiring Chant), Extra Attack32442
6th+3Subclass Feature42542
7th+3Tireless Voice42643
8th+3Ability Score Improvement42743
9th+4Word Weave438432
10th+4Ballad (Rousing Chant)438432
11th+4Subclass Feature439433
12th+4Ability Score Improvement539433
13th+5Enthralling Performance53104331
15th+5Ballad (Power Chant)53114332
16th+5Ability Score Improvement54114332
17th+6Booming Voice641243331
18th+6Subclass Feature641243331
19th+6Ability Score Improvement641343332
20th+6Endless Ballad641343332

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 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per skald level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple and martial weapons
Tools: None

Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose any three


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

  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
  • (a) a battleaxe and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) holy symbol or (b) any musical instrument
  • An explorer’s pack

If you forgo this starting equipment, as well as the items offered by your background, you start with 3d4 x 10 gp to buy your equipment.


1st-level skald feature

You’re an adept orator that can weave words and spin poems. Through the telling of epic accounts and legendary tales, you can inspire or enrapture an audience.

As a bonus action you can perform a skald chant, which lasts for 1 minute or until you stop the performance, perform a different skald chant, or are incapacitated. A creature must be within 30 feet of you and able to hear you to be affected by your skald chant. While chanting, you can cast spells that have a verbal component without issue.

You can use this feature twice and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest. You gain additional uses of this feature as shown on the Skald table.

You can perform the following skald chants:

Battle Chant. You rile your allies to the fight. While chanting, you and each of your allies gain a bonus on weapon damage rolls equal to your Ballad Bonus as shown on the Skald table.

Enrapturing Chant. Each creature you choose that isn’t hostile toward you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become soothed and captivated by your words. A soothed creature is friendly toward you unless you or one of your allies attacks it, and will choose to remain for the performance as long as doing so would cause it no harm. During this time, you have advantage on Charisma checks toward such creatures. You can weave conversation into the performance without ending it.

As you gain levels in this class, you gain additional skald chants:

Inspiring Chant (5th level). You drive others to greatness as a bonus action. While chanting, you and each creature you choose gain a bonus on skill checks equal to your Ballad Bonus as shown on the Skald table.

Rousing Chant (10th level). You steel your allies. While chanting, you and each of your allies gain a bonus on saving throws equal to your Ballad Bonus as shown on the Skald table.

Power Chant (15th level). You enhance the potency of magic. While chanting, you and each of your allies increase the save DCs for your spells, powers, and class features by an amount equal to half your Ballad Bonus as shown on the Skald table.

Fighting Style

2nd-level skald feature

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


When 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 2. The weapon must have the two-weapon or versatile property for you to gain this property.


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.


2nd-level skald feature

You cast spells by rousing magical energies with your performance. See chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting.

Spell Slots

The Skald table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your 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 two 1st-level spells of your choice from the skald spell list.

The Spells Known column of the Skald table shows when you learn more skald spells of your choice. 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.

In addition, 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 Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your skald spells; your spellcasting is powered by your performance. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a skald spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a holy symbol or a musical instrument (see chapter 5, “Equipment” in the Player’s Handbook) as a spellcasting focus for your skald spells.

Skald Spell List

Here’s the list of spells you consult when you add a Skald spell to your list of known spells. The list is organized by spell level, not character level. Each spell is in the Player’s Handbook, unless it has one asterisk (a spell in appendix A), two asterisks (a spell in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything), three asterisks (a spell in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything), or a dagger (a spell the Psychic and Spiritual Handbook).

1st Level

animal friendship
comprehend languages
cure wounds
detect evil and good
detect magic
detect poison and disease
detect psionics
disguise self
dissonant whispers
earth tremor**
faerie fire
guiding hand*
ice knife**
purify food and drink
silent image
speak with animals
wrathful smite
zephyr strike**

2nd Level

animal messenger
branding smite
calm emotions
crown of madness
dust devil**
enhance ability
flame blade
healing spirit**
hold beast*
hold person
lesser restoration
litany of calling*
locate animals or plants
locate object
magic weapon
protection from poison
see invisibility
spiritual weapon
view dream
warding bond

3rd Level

bestow curse
dispel magic
erupting earth**
glyph of warding
litany of binding*
major image
protection from energy
remove curse
speak with dead
spirit shroud***
water breathing
wind wall

4th Level

ball lightning*
death ward
dominate beast
elemental bane**
fire shield
freedom of movement
hallucinatory terrain
locate creature
staggering smite

5th Level

destructive wave
dominate person
greater restoration
hold monster
legend lore
mass cure wounds
raise dead
steel wind strike**

Skald Tradition

3rd-level skald feature

You pursue a specific tradition that enhances your skill and repertoire as a skald. You can choose from the Chanter, Sand Singer, Scathing Tongue, Troubadour, Vagabond, or Wavesplitter traditions. NOTE: only the Chanter is provided for the early playtest.

Ability Score Improvement

4th-level skald feature

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

5th-level skald feature

You can attack twice, rather than once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Tireless Voice

7th-level skald feature

You regain one use of your Ballad feature when you finish a short rest.

In addition, your voice when chanting can overcome any amount of noise to affect a creature. Unless a creature has the Deafened condition, it can be affected by your skald chants.

Word Weave

9th-level skald feature

When you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one attack with a weapon as a bonus action. As part of the same bonus action, you can begin a skald chant, which takes effect at the end of your turn.

Enthralling Performance

13th-level skald feature

A creature soothed by your Enrapturing Chant is Charmed by you for 1 hour. The condition ends early for a creature if you or one of your allies attacks it.


14th-level skald feature

The thrill of battle spurs you into action. The first attack roll you make on each of your turns has advantage.

Booming Voice

17th-level skald feature

So powerful is your voice, that it can stir those beyond its reach. Your chants improve in the following ways:

  • Your chants affect creatures within 90 feet of you.
  • A creature can be affected by your chants even if it’s Deafened.
  • While chanting, your skald spells don’t require verbal components.

Endless Ballad

20th-level skald feature

You have become a master of oration. You gain the following benefits:

  • When you roll initiative and have no uses of your Ballad feature remaining, you regain one use of it.
  • The duration of your Ballad feature and chants increases to 1 + your Constitution modifier minutes (minimum of 1 minute).
  • If you are incapacitated while chanting, your chant is only suppressed. As an action on your turn once you are no longer incapacitated, you can resume the chant as if you were never incapacitated.
Stacking Auras

The DM may decide that Skald Chants don’t stack with other aura effects that give a similar bonus. For example, the DM may rule that the bonus from Rousing Chant doesn’t stack with the bonus from a paladin’s Aura of Protection.