Like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, Perform is actually a number of separate skills.
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.
- 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)
You can impress audiences with your talent and skill.
||Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. You can earn 1d10 cp/day.
||Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d10 sp/day.
||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.
||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.
||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 gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform checks that involve its use.
See also epic usages of Perform.
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.
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.)
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 to 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.
In addition to using the Perform skill, you can entertain people with sleight of hand, tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).