General Prestige Class : Battle Howler of Gruumsh

By Patrick Younts and Jeff Quick, Dragon #311

Gruumsh One Eye bestowed on his chosen people many great gifts: strength, fortitude, courage, and boundless hunger for conquest. What he didn't grant were good singing ability or sparkling wit. Despite this, the bardic tradition is alive and well in orc culture, albeit in crude form.

Battle howlers of Gruumsh give mortal voice to their god's fury. At the forefront of every conflict, a battle howler's hoarse war cries incite his allies to incredible heights of fury and fortifies their courage. The most accomplished battle howlers can even channel Gruumsh's throbbing heartbeat, a sound that terrifies even the bravest opponents.

Most battle howlers of Gruumsh are half-orcs. Even so, the path of the bard is a difficult one, and few orcs or half-orcs remain bards for their entire career. Most battle howlers are bard/barbarians, as their abilities complement each other nicely. A rare few also spend time as clerics, their warrior's zeal giving them a true link to the divine.


To qualify to become a Battle Howler of Gruumsh, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The battle howler of Gruumsh's class skills are Appraise, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (any), Listen, Perform, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, SpellCraft, Spot, Survival, and Swim.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the battle howler prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A character becoming a battle howler gains proficiency in all simple and martial weapons and also with all armors (heavy, medium, and light) and with shields (except the tower shield).

Bardic Music: If the character already has the bardic music ability, her battle howler levels stack with the levels of any other classes that grant her that ability for the purpose of determining abilities, duration, and so on.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each battle howler level, the character gains new bard spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in the bard class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit of the bard class.

Rage (Ex): This ability functions exactly as the barbarian ability of the same name. If the battle howler already has the rage ability from some other class, the times per day that the rage ability can be used stack.

War Cry (Su): When a battle howler uses the inspire courage ability of bardic music, it affects all allies within 60 feet and the morale bonuses it provides are increased by +1.

Howling Rage (Ex): At 4th level, a battle howler can use the bardic music abilities inspire courage, inspire greatness, and inspire heroics while raging, provided she has access to them.

Battle Howler of GruumshHit Die: d8
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1st+1+2+0+0Bardic music+1 level of bard class
2nd+2+3+0+0Rage 1/day+1 level of bard class
3rd+3+3+1+1War cry+1 level of bard class
4th+4+4+1+1Howling rage+1 level of bard class
5th+5+4+1+1Rage 2/day+1 level of bard class

Source: Dragon #311

General Prestige Classes