By the time you read this, the Advanced Class Guide will have been out for some time, but as of the time that I’m writing this, it just released yesterday. Since it happens to be Music Week, and this particular book just happens to have a certain new class that is, in many ways, the embodiment of heavy metal music, it seemed appropriate to devote today’s article to a new archetype for the skald.
New Skald Archetype
Any skald can allow willing allies to enter a rage, but it takes a particular level of dedication—and some might argue, insanity—to impose a mindless rage on those who aren’t receptive to it. That’s exactly what the frenzied agitator does best, and his inspired frenzy ability can turn any battlefield into a chaotic field of carnage and chaos.
Inspired Frenzy (Su): A frenzied agitator can use his performance to incite a rage in his enemies and allies alike. This ability affects all creatures that can hear the performance, including the frenzied agitator. Affected creatures, whether they are the frenzied agitator’s allies are not, cannot choose whether or not to be affected by the performance. Instead, at the beginning of the affected creature’s turn, she may make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the frenzied agitator’s skald level + the frenzied agitator’s Charisma modifier). Success indicates that the creature is unaffected by the inspired frenzy, and remains immune to the inspired frenzy until the frenzied agitator ceases his performance and starts a new one.
Affected creatures gain a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and suffer a -2 penalty to AC. While under the effects of inspired frenzy, creatures cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride), or any ability that requires patience or concentration. Further, an affected creature must attack a nearby creature each turn. The affected creature does not have complete control over its actions, and may not be able to choose which creature she attacks. Each round, roll a d% and consult the table below to determine who the creature’s target is.
The affected creature must attack the indicated target to the best of her ability, including using the full-attack action, if possible, and utilizing feats and abilities such as Power Attack, Deadly Aim, and so on, but is not required to expend exceptional resources (such as particularly valuable ammunition, abilities with limited uses per day, etc.) in order to do so. A frenzied agitator remains more in control of himself than others while affected by his own inspired frenzy, and can always choose the creature that he targets each round.
At 6th level, and every six levels thereafter, the AC penalty increases by 1. At 8th and 16th levels, the song’s bonus to Strength and Constitution increase by 2. Unlike the barbarian’s rage ability, those affected are not fatigued after the song ends.
If an affected creature has her own rage class ability, she may use the Strength, Constitution, and Will saving throw bonuses, as well as AC penalties, based on her own ability and level, instead of those from the frenzied agitator (still suffering no fatigue afterward). However, inspired frenzy does not allow the character to activate abilities dependent on other rage class abilities, such as rage powers, blood casting, or bloodrager bloodlines; the character must activate her own rage class ability in order to use such features.
This ability replaces the inspired rage raging song.
Power Attack: At 1st level, a frenzied agitator gains Power Attack as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.
This ability replaces the Scribe Scroll class feature.
Suggestive Frenzy (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, whenever a creature affected by the frenzied agitator’s inspired frenzy ability makes a roll to determine what creature she will attack, the frenzied agitator may choose to have that creature roll twice and take the result of the frenzied agitator’s choice. The frenzied agitator must declare that he is using this ability before the roll is made. The frenzied agitator can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.
This ability replaces the versatile performance class feature.
Selective Frenzy (Su): Beginning at 5th level, whenever the frenzied agitator uses his inspired frenzy ability, he can select a single creature who is able to be affected by it while remaining more lucid. The chosen creature suffers only half the normal penalty to AC (rounded down, minimum 1), and does not need to roll randomly to determine what creature she attacks each round (although she must still attack a creature each round). At 11th level, the frenzied agitator can select two creatures to affect this way, and at 17th level he can select three creatures to affect this way.
This ability replaces the spell kenning class feature.
Theatrics (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, a frenzied agitator can take 10 on Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Ride, and Swim checks. Once per day, he can take 20 on such a check, although he is fatigued for 1 minute after doing so.
This ability replaces the lore master class feature.