Bards: Versatile Performance is not very useful


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Of the 3 bard feats that first level bards receive from their muse, Versatile Performance is not very useful. A bard will typically have allocated skill training so that they have a Diplomacy, Deception, and Intimidate bonus equal to their Performance bonus.

In PF1e, this ability could be useful because you would not need to spend skill points on the skills covered by your versatile performance, but in PF2e, Versatile Performance only covers specific uses of the skills, so a bard will want to keep their Deception/Diplomacy/Intimiate trained up.

As it stands, the other two Muses offer options that are much more useful.

Some possible changes to fix this:

Allow versatile performance to also cover uses of Acrobatics (to balance and tumble) and Nature (to handle animals as though trained).

Make versatile performance a power, like linger composition, that lets you spend a spell point to substitute a performance check for any one skill check.

Or allow versatile performance to work with any use of Diplomacy, Deception, or Intimidate.

Dark Archive

Once the bard has item bonuses up and running it might be more impressive. A master instrument and master performance compared with trained diplomacy is a 4 point swing.

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I agree that it needs a boost. It's not obvious that item bonuses will help for disguise and diplomacy uses, I think the performance type has to make sense as part of the social interaction, and performance magic items are locked to specific performances.

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