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After playing a bard, I think that versatile performance is both a little too powerful and has the odd effect of having 0 ranks in a skill for the first several levels then having it suddenly jump to 20 or so.
I'm considering changing it the next time I GM so that it reads as follows:
At 2nd level, a bard can choose one type of Perform skill. He can add his ranks in that skill to the bonus of associated skills. The total bonus of the associated skill may not exceed the total bonus of the Perform skill. At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the bard can select an additional type of Perform.
So if a bard has 5 ranks of Perform (Dancing), 1 rank of Fly, a CHA of 18 and a DEX of 12, his total bonuses would be:
Perform (Dancing): 12 (5 ranks + 4 ability + 3 class skill)
Fly: 7 (1 rank + 1 ability + 5 versatile performance)
This still give the bard an incentive to pump their performance skills but doesn't lead to silly situations like charisma score raising their acrobatics check.
Also, I'm considering introducing a Perform (Street Magic):
"The bard employs clever legerdemain and trivial magics to create illusions and effects that daunt, dazzle, and delight. Street Magicians often study the works of true Wizards in an attempt to replicate the appearance of their power."
Versatile performance bonuses to Sleight of Hand and Spellcraft.
I really like this option. It really simplifies the effect and annoyance of trying to plan ahead to use the ability to it's maximum. Obviously it could be home-ruled to gain the skill points back from stuff you no longer need, but society play prevents that. So if I want to use it correctly I have to plan ahead and not take certain skills (skills that are really needed with most bards) and then I magically get them at 2 and 6 and so on.
So this rule change let's me just boost abilities as I want, then when I get versatile performance I can then sink one skill point to boost three abilities. Your cap is wise or you could essentially be doubling the skill ranks on any number of skills you have. Not crazy at low levels but getting +40 very easily in a skill with no modifiers at lvl 20 is likely too much.
Viktor, thanks for reminding me to look for alternatives. The ability was annoying me so I will be checking into trading it out.