You are skilled in a type of artistic expression, which may encompass a variety of specific methods, and you know how so put on a show.
Like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, Perform is actually a number of separate skills. For instance, you could have the skill Perform (act). Your ranks in that skill don't affect any checks you happen to make for Perform (oratory) or Perform (string instruments). You could have several Perform skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.
Each of the nine categories of the Perform skill includes a variety of methods, instruments, or techniques, a small list of which is provided for each category below. The DM is free to expand any of these categories with additional methods, instruments, or techniques, as appropriate for his or her campaign.
- Act (comedy, drama, mime)
- Comedy (buffoonery, limericks, joke-telling)
- Dance (ballet, waltz, jig)
- Keyboard instruments (harpsichord, piano, pipe organ)
- Oratory (epic, ode, storytelling)
- Percussion instruments (bells, chimes, drums, gong)
- String instruments (fiddle, harp, lute, mandolin)
- Wind instruments (flute, pan pipes, recorder, shawm, trumpet)
- Sing (ballad, chant, melody)
Check: You can impress audiences with your talent and skill.
|10||Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. You can earn 1d10 cp/day.|
|15||Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d10 sp/day.|
|20||Great performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d10 sp/day. In time, you may be invited to join a professional troupe and may develop a regional reputation.|
|25||Memorable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d6 gp/day. In time, you may come to the attention of noble patrons and develop a national reputation.|
|30||Extraordinary performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d6 gp/day. In time, you may draw attention from distant potential patrons, or even from extraplanar beings.|
A masterwork musical instrument (page 130, Player's handbook) gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform checks that involve its use.
Action: Varies. Trying to earn money by playing in public requires anywhere from an evening's work to a full day's performance, at the DM's discretion. The bard's special Perform-based abilities are described in that class's description (page 29).
Try Again: Yes. Retries are allowed, but they don't negate previous failures, and an audience that has been unimpressed in the past is likely to be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the DC by 2 for each previous failure.)
Special: A bard must have at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire courage in his allies, or to use his countersong or his fascinate ability. A bard needs 6 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire competence, 9 ranks to use his suggestion ability, 12 ranks to inspire greatness, 15 ranks so use his song of freedom ability, 18 ranks to inspire heroics, and 21 ranks to use his mass suggestion ability. See Bardic Music in the bard class description, page 29.
In addition to using the Perform skill, you can entertain people with sleight of hand, tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).
For the Warrior - Perform (Weapon Drill)
You are skilled in quick, flashy movements of a weapon and can put on a display that shows off your prowess in combat.
This category of the Perform skill covers any sort of weapon display, such as twirling a sword or flipping a dagger from hand to hand. Despite the skill's name, you can use it when unarmed by demonstrating difficult martial arts techniques or shadow boxing against an imaginary opponent.
Check: Unlike other categories of the Perform skill, your prowess with the weapon (indicated by your base attack bonus) is an important factor in how good your Perform (weapon drill) skill is. Apply half your base attack bonus (rounded down) as a circumstance bonus on Perform (weapon drill) checks. Your Charisma modifier also applies, as with any Perform check. If you aren't proficient with the weapon you're using, you take the -4 non-proficiency penalty on Perform (weapon drill) checks.
Action: Varies. If you're performing to earn money in public, a weapon drill requires at least 4 hours of 20-minute performances, with breaks in between. If you're demonstrating your skill or trying to impress the crowd at a gladiator match, the performance is a standard action.
Try Again: Yes, but as with other uses of the Perform skill, subsequent attempts after a failure increase the DC of the Perform check by 2 for each previous failure.
Special: The following feats each grant a +2 bonus on relevant Perform (weapon drill) checks: Combat Expertise, Greater Weapon Focus, Quick Draw, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus, and Whirlwind Attack.
A bard cannot use Perform (weapon drill) checks to perform his bardic music abilities (inspire courage, fascinate, and so on).