Who writes the songs?


Rules Questions


In our local game group an English major wrote a poem about his character. It was suggested he take Profession: Poet. I, myself, was going to suggest Perform: Oratory.

Then I got to thinking. What skill covers -creating- the performance art material?

Thinking about it starving performance artists in music, comedy, poetry, etc create their own material. Well established actors go on to write and direct. However, there is an entire Cyrano de Bergerac industry of songwriters, playwrights, etc who may never perform publicly what they create.

So would the creation of performance material fall under perform or profession?

Thoughts?

The Exchange

Barry Manilow writes the songs that make the whole world sing.

Scarab Sages

A more pressing question is; "Who sights the wrongs?"

Hmm?

The Exchange

A paladin with a crossbow?


Piety Godfury wrote:

In our local game group an English major wrote a poem about his character. It was suggested he take Profession: Poet. I, myself, was going to suggest Perform: Oratory.

Then I got to thinking. What skill covers -creating- the performance art material?

Thinking about it starving performance artists in music, comedy, poetry, etc create their own material. Well established actors go on to write and direct. However, there is an entire Cyrano de Bergerac industry of songwriters, playwrights, etc who may never perform publicly what they create.

So would the creation of performance material fall under perform or profession?

Thoughts?

Well, in "official game terms" that answer seems to have been provided by the Pathfinder Chronicler prestige class [PRPG pages 388-390]: Profession (scribe) covers what, in modern terms, are those who write screen plays, plays, poetry, songs, novels, novellas, short stories and any other variation on the theme of written work for entertainment.

Chroniclers write work so inspiring or effective that they can be recited by another character to gain bardic music bonuses.


snobi wrote:
Barry Manilow writes the songs that make the whole world sing.

My undead bard wights the songs.


Perform: Oratory probably covers composition of monologues and narratives, since in substantial part it's extemporaneous. Since the bard class includes the ability to motivate your friends or sway an audience with music or speech, there is at least some situational improvisation that would have to take place so it's reasonable that anyone with a Perform skill probably has some training in composition for that art form.

Other skills that could produce written work would be Diplomacy or Fast-Talk for persuasive works, Knowledge of all types for nonfiction accounts, etc. In order for a player to produce a new work I would have them roll against any other skill required to produce accurate material, followed by a Perform roll to use it. This actually came up in one of my games, where a character used Knowledge (local) and Diplomacy to write a speech, then I think it was Diplomacy again to give it.

One might use, for example, Knowledge (Religion) to produce a theologically orthodox sermon, followed by Diplomacy to determine its persuasive power, and then Perform (Oratory) to actually give the speech, and perhaps make a missionary impact on a population. If the player had K(religion) and Perform but lacked Diplomacy, the result might be an undiplomatic, but theologically accurate and well-given sermon: same result, but the local priests are more visibly annoyed by the intruder, say.

Profession (Scribe), I would think, would primarily cover the art of actually writing manuscripts clearly: either taking dictation quickly, or making a more intricate work by using pleasing calligraphy, illuminating them, and preserving them for long-term use.


Jem wrote:


Profession (Scribe), I would think, would primarily cover the art of actually writing manuscripts clearly: either taking dictation quickly, or making a more intricate work by using pleasing calligraphy, illuminating them, and preserving them for long-term use.

That makes more sense to me. Monks transcribed, documented, and wrote down verbal-traditional stories, classics etc. They preserved and replicated and they did so meticulously and as accurately as they could. Although illuminated manuscript are beautiful and a testament to the artistic abilities of the scribes, they didn't create the psalms, stories etc.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Sounds more like Craft to me, because you're actually creating something. Craft (song) or Craft (poem). One can even imagine a situation where someone wants to crate a masterwork song or a masterwork poem, something that will be remembered for the ages. And with that feat that allows non-mages to create magical items, they might even have some arcane effect on listeners.

I also agree that a scribe is simply someone who writes nicely, who copies, rather than someone who creates.


The skill you need depends on the end result. My easy bar for these:

Craft : "A Craft skill is specifically focused on creating something. If nothing is created by the endeavor, it probably falls under the heading of a Profession skill."

So an Artisan/Craftsman/Artist can create a work of art such as a poem and be unable to entertain anyone with it or manage the business to sell the item.

Perform: "You can impress audiences with your talent and skill in your chosen performance type."

So a Performer can take a work of art that's been created and entertain others with it, but may be unable to create said work or manage the entertainment in a business.

Profession: "While a Craft skill represents ability in creating an item, a Profession skill represents an aptitude in a vocation requiring a broader range of less specific knowledge."

So a Professional can take an item that's been created (or a service provided) and run the business necessary to make a living, but may be unable to create the item/service.

All can overlap one another to some degree, but the "expert" in each has a specific focus.

Liberty's Edge

Piety Godfury wrote:

In our local game group an English major wrote a poem about his character. It was suggested he take Profession: Poet. I, myself, was going to suggest Perform: Oratory.

Then I got to thinking. What skill covers -creating- the performance art material?

Thinking about it starving performance artists in music, comedy, poetry, etc create their own material. Well established actors go on to write and direct. However, there is an entire Cyrano de Bergerac industry of songwriters, playwrights, etc who may never perform publicly what they create.

So would the creation of performance material fall under perform or profession?

Thoughts?

A couple years ago I ran into this same conundrum so I emailed WotC's customer service about it. I got the following response:

Rob (from Wizard's Customer Service) wrote:

Thank you for writing. The skill used to represent your character's writing talents can vary. Craft could be appropriate, but it mainly pertains to the creation of items. Perform is also appropriate as it specifically refers to the effect on the audience or "readership" for your works. Another possible skill to use would be Profession, but this is more geared toward the service industry.

I would suggest the use of Perform when writing, even if you are not orally relaying your writing, due to the existing mechanics that allows you to influence your audience. Keep in mind that the audience you affect can be either a pub where you are reading, or a whole city who purchases your books.

In the end it is your Dungeon Master's decision on which skill to apply, but I hope my suggestions have helped.

While I don't think that using Perform is a perfect solution, it does minimize the "skill tax" on characters that want to be able to both write and perform their own material. This is a good thing, IMO, as unlike other RPGs that are more skill-based (Cyberpunk, Mekton, GURPS, Champions, Fuzion, etc.), Pathfinder (like, but less so than its 3.5 predecessor) doesn't really offer enough skill points to make have writing and performing different skills a worth-while venture.

Of course, YMMV. Hopefully this has given you some more food for thought when making your final decision. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

And here I assumed my character with Perform (oratory) could only recite epic poetry! Now I find out that he can write it too! One could always make a Perform check using Int rather than Cha.


Mosaic wrote:
And here I assumed my character with Perform (oratory) could only recite epic poetry! Now I find out that he can write it too! One could always make a Perform check using Int rather than Cha.

Which may very well be the simplest solution, as that has long been (in 3e) an established, acceptable method of resolving things.


Gah... Answer is obvious.

I swear Hoomans all gets -2 INT.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Goblin King Grog wrote:

Gah... Answer is obvious.

I swear Hoomans all gets -2 INT.

Gah, this is why we must exterminate the goblin race.

And perhaps humans take a -2 int, but they still have enough to crush the goblin enemy and drive them before them while they listen to the lamentation of their women...


Goblins gets +4 Hide... Bye bye!

(GKG climbs into an oven and closes door behind himself)


Brutesquad07 wrote:
Goblin King Grog wrote:

Gah... Answer is obvious.

I swear Hoomans all gets -2 INT.

Gah, this is why we must exterminate the goblin race.

And perhaps humans take a -2 int, but they still have enough to crush the goblin enemy and drive them before them while they listen to the lamentation of their women...

The lamentations of goblin wimmen often involve dog killing, horse killing and sudden outbreaks of burning buildings and hoomans.

Scarab Sages

Mosaic wrote:
And here I assumed my character with Perform (oratory) could only recite epic poetry! Now I find out that he can write it too! One could always make a Perform check using Int rather than Cha.

That could also justify the existence of such characters as Cyrano de Bergerac, great writers (high Int), but too embarrassed to perform (low Cha).

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