Howl of the North: Toggle: -5 Attack and +1 critical damage multiplier on attack rolls of 19-20 with your Trained Weapon while under Skaldic Rage.
Will this ability result in net loss of damage for bards? I don't know. Here are some speculations.
If one weapon swing deals X damage, with an average bard weapon, (e.g. khopesh or drow greataxe, 17x3, 19x4), you deal 15+6+8 = 29D per 20 swings.
With Howl of the North, you deal 31D. 31/29 = 1.069 => This ability adds 6.9% damage. Assuming your hits still land.
Will -5 to hit decrease your hit rate by more or less than 6.9%? I don't know.
Comparison to Power Attack
Power attack uses a similar mechanics.
One-handed weapons: -5 attack, +5 damage
Assuming an average bard with 40 strength (+15 dmg), +8 dmg song, 2 ship, +6 weapon dealing 2d8 (9) damage, a basic hit hits for 40.
Power attack adds 45/40 damage, 12.5 % damage increase. Assuming your hits still land.
Two-handed weapons: -5 attack, +10 damage
Assuming an average bard with 40 strength (+22 dmg), +8 dmg song, 2 ship, +6 weapon dealing 4d6 (14) damage, a basic hit hits for 52.
Power attacks adds 62/52 damage, 19.2% increase. Assuming your hits still land.
* Howl of the North: +6.9% damage, -5 to hit
* Power Attack 1H: +12.5% damage, -5 to hit
* Power Attack 2H: +19.2% damage, -5 to hit
* It seems obvious that PA is worth it for two-handed weapons.
* It seems probable that PA is worth it for one-handed weapons.
* It seems questionable if HotN is worth it.
* Turbine: Fix it.
* name "howl of the north" vs effect
* get rid of attack penalty OR replace with a different effect
* is my math way off? it could be