Perform (Cha)

Like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, Perform is actually a number of separate skills. The PC 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.

  • Acting (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: The PC can impress audiences with his talent and skill.

10 Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. The PC can earn 1d10 cp/day.
15 Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, the PC can earn 1d10 sp/day.
20 Great performance. In a prosperous city, the PC can earn 2d10 sp/day.
25 Memorable performance. In a prosperous city, the PC can earn 1d6 gp/day. In time, he may be invited to join a professional troupe and develop a regional reputation.
30 Extraordinary performance. In a prosperous city, the PC can earn 2d6 gp/day. In time, he may come to the attention of noble patrons and develop a national reputation.*

*A good rule of thumb here is that every 5 points above 30 earns another 1d6 gp and grants a 5% chance that the performer will gain the attention of a potential patron. For example, a DC 50 check earns 6d6 gp and has a 20% chance of gaining attention.

"Prosperous city", as noted above, means a city of any size. Decrease the amount of money the bard earns based on the size of the venue:

Town Size Routine Enjoyable Great Memorable Extraordinary
Large town 1d8 cp 1d8 sp 1d10 sp 1d4 gp 1d6 gp
Small town 1d6 cp 1d6 sp 1d8 sp 3d8 sp 1d4 gp
Village 1d4 cp 1d4 sp 1d6 sp 2d6 sp 3d8 sp
Hamlet 1d4 cp (50%) 1d10 cp 1d4 sp 1d8 sp 2d6 sp
Thorp 1d4 cp (25%) 1d8 cp (75%) 1d10 cp 1d4 sp 1d6 sp

The percentages listed are the chance that a bard will make that amount of money; if the die roll is over the number listed, the bard makes nothing (except maybe a free meal and/or a place to sleep).

A masterwork musical instrument grants 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. The bard’s special Perform-based abilities are described in that class’s description.

Try Again: Yes. Retries are allowed, but the first impression (or performance, in this case) tends to stick with the listener, and is often hard to overcome – either good or bad. The performer suffers a cumulative -2 circumstance penalty for each check past the first for a day’s performances.

Special: In addition to using the Perform skill, the PC can entertain people with sleight of hand, tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).

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