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Obsolete: This article refers to an aspect of the game which has been removed. It is retained for historical reference only.
Formidable warriors in their own rights, Skalds practice a form of augmenting battle magic that is either chanted or sung. Unique to the highlands in which they originate, these spells and formulae are second nature: they can either inspire greatness in themselves and their allies, or fear in the hearts of their enemies.

Skalds are warriors who use magical Charms to bolster their fighting skills. Because heavy armor hinders spellcasting, many of them prefer lighter armor than more traditional Fighters.

Preferred Races

Halfling, Centaur, Merfolk, Draconian, and Vampire are the recommended races if you pick a Skald Background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Available Spells

Skalds start with the Infusion spell memorised.

Starting Skills

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Skald adds 3 to your starting Strength, 5 to your starting Intelligence and 4 to your starting Dexterity.


Although useful, the spells in your starting book should be used with care. Infusion is an excellent spell for taking out early unarmoured threats such as adders, gnolls, and ogres quickly, but don't expect it to have much effect against armoured targets. Shroud of Golubria is a useful defensive spell to keep up whenever you enter into dangerous melee, but be careful not to overuse Infusion and find yourself suddenly out of MP. Song of Slaying can add significant bonuses to your combat performance, but be aware that it's a very loud spell; you'll be generating enough noise that enemy reinforcements will be likely to show up from unexplored parts of the floor.

Once it becomes available, Spectral Weapon gives an immense boost to your attack power, nearly doubling your damage output. This is particularly useful for polearms-wielders; you can keep the vulnerable spectral weapon safely behind you while you both get to attack. Ozocubu's Armour, meanwhile, grants you a significant boost to AC, though it only functions if you're wearing leather armour or lighter.

Merfolk are a very strong species to play as a skald. They have excellent aptitudes for play as a nimble, lightly armoured spear-fighter, letting them cast all starting spells with ease and make the most of Spectral Weapon. Vampires also work well in this role, given their solid aptitudes toward sneaky stealth play supplemented by magically enhanced melee. Solid god selections include Okawaru (simple, straightforward combat boosts that require minimal Invocations training, and the weapon and armour gifts are always appreciated) or Kiku (allows you to branch into Necromancy and eventually Excruciating Wounds). The only gods not recommended are Trog (if you want to play a magic-free character, there are much better choices than skald) and the Shining One (works badly with Spectral Weapon).

Keep an eye out for books with further Charms spells, as there are a few other useful spells available. Swiftness will provide an escape option with almost no training in Air Magic. For those who are interested in heavily investing in a different school of magic, Ring of Flames provides a great deal of offensive support for Fire Magic, while Death's Door renders you completely immune to damage for a time (but requires very high investment in Necromancy)


  • Skalds were removed in 0.26, along with the Charms spell school.
  • Prior to 0.14, skalds started with 20 gold.
  • Prior to 0.13, skalds started with +0 weapons, a book of War Chants, and couldn't select falchions.
  • Prior to 0.9, skalds were known as crusaders.
  • Prior to 0.8, crusaders used the Enchantments school of magic.
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