Versatile Performance-Problems and a Proposal


Classes


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Hello, I would 1st off like to thank you for reading, and thank Paizo for the work they have done on both PF1 and PF2. I have overall enjoyed PF2 so far, and issues that I have with it has been slowly put at easy with each new update. However, a major issue I have is the Bards Versatile Performance feat, something which I have been struggling with from the beginning of the playtest, as it was my favorite feature in PF1, both for use and flavor. While I know this may be a bit long, I have separated it into different sections, so you can just skip over to what you want to read.

What the feat currently does=
You can use Performance instead of Diplomacy to Make an Impression and instead of Intimidation to Demoralize. You can also use an acting performance instead of Deception to Impersonate.

Problems=
By taking parts of other skills and adding them to Performance, it forgets about the skills other uses. You would not be able to use Performance to ‘Gather Information’, ‘Request’, ‘Coerce’, ‘Create a Diversion’, ‘Lie’ or ‘Feint’. And often times you would want to use these actions with the actions allowed by Versatile Performance, for example to ‘Make an Impression’ on a target followed by a ‘Request’, or ‘Impersonate’ followed by ‘Lie’. This then requires at least some investment in these skills, made much more needed after the 1.3 update, as not investing leads to -4 penalty on the check {While the DC in the Skills DCs By Level and Difficulty has been lowed, most of these skills are a roll against a creatures DC, which has not been adjusted.). These leads to the need to invest in these skills, lessening the overall effect of Versatile Performance.
The other problem with Versatile Performance is with how it interacts with Skill Feats. Personally, I saw Skill Feats as a way of your character honing their skill in the Skill, and a reason to invest proficiencies beyond a simple +1. Yet you have an inability to do that with the actions granted by Versatile Performance. For example, you may become Legendary in Performance, and through Versatile Performance, become legendary in the use of ‘Make an Impression’, but without investment in Diplomacy, you would not qualify for Skill Feats such as ‘Group Impression’ (which itself as an effect dependant on Proficiency) and you would need to invest even more to get the higher Levels of Skill Feats for that action. And, as stated before, the more you invest in the skills Versatile Performance covers, the less effective Versatile Performance is. Yet you only have a limited amount of Proficiencies increases, which are being used in part to increase Performance.


Process of Creation=

Before I outline what I would purpose, I would briefly like to outline the process behind its creation, and some of the things I considered. Originally, I was thinking about leaving the Class Feat mostly has is, except also allowing you to use your Proficiency in Performance for the qualification, and the effects of Skill Feats concerning ‘Make an Impression’, ‘Demoralize’ and ‘Impersonate’. However, as I looked more into it, I found there was some problems. Some Skills Feats mention more than one activity in its use, ones that would include both things that were and were not covered by Versatile Performance. It became a question of wither these Skills Feats could be gained. If they could not, then a good portion of what the change was aiming for would be lost, if yes then it could be too broad of a stroke which could cause problems down the road, and it left to GM decision, it could cause too many inconstancies between tables. It also did not address the other issue of certain activities being left out.

I then considered bring it back to PF1 routes, changing the feat to simply say “When you choose this feat, pick either Diplomacy, Deception, or Intimidation. You may use Performance instead of the chosen skill when making checks, and may use your Performance Proficiency instead of your Proficiency in the chosen skill for the qualification and use of Skill Feats.” However, this still begged the question, why would you invest a Class Feat and Proficiency increases to Performance, when you can achieve mostly the same result with less cost by simply investing in the original skill. I thought about allowing the feat to pick two, but this ultimately gave too much power the Feat, both inside and outside the class. Inside the class, in comparison to the other Level 1 Bard Feats, { Lingering Composition, and Bardic Knowledge} Versatile Performance would most likely become the Level 1 feat chosen, as it would offer more than the other two, not a great thing in a game aimed for balance. Plus {especially after the removal of Signature Skills} allowing multiple skills to be placed in one skill would allow a bard to use those skills Proficiencies on other things. This could recreate the situation of Bards and Rouges of PF1, where thanks in part due to Versatile Performance saving skill points, Bard were able to use those saved skill points on more Roguish/other skills in general, stealing the skill spot from Rouges. I then thought of using your Proficiency in Performance as a stop gap measure for the second skill, something which I actually liked as it encourages the Bard to Perform, but even this had balancing issues. Say you get the 2nd skill when you become legendary, and the former problems of the change come back for 15 levels of the game, say you only need to be an Expert or Master and then you have the latter problems.


My Proposal=
If you made it this far, thank you. Here is what I would change the feat to, both for balance and roleplay.

Versatile Performance=
“When you gain this Feat, you learn the ‘Soulful Performance’ power, which costs 1 Spell point to activate, and you increase you Spell Point pool by 1. You must also select either ‘Diplomacy’, ‘Intimidation’ or ‘Deception’ which you may use for your ‘Soulful Performance’ power, and you may use you Proficiency in Performance for the qualification and effects of the chosen skill for Skill Feats. When you become an Expert in Performance, select a 2nd skill for the same effects, and increase your Spell Point Pool by 1. When you become Master in Performance, select the remaining skill for the same effects, and increase your Spell Point Pool by 1. When you become Legendary, select one skill from this feat. You no longer need to spend Spell Points when using ‘Soulful Performance’ for that skill.

Soulful Performance=
Casting: {Reaction} Verbal or Somatic
Trigger: You are about to roll a skill check in a skill chosen from ‘Versatile Performance’
Effect: You roll a Performance check instead, and use that result for the check.

Mainly my goal was to change this feat so it would not be as problematic as the original version can be, while harkening back to PF1 days, without making it overpowered. In this version, I believe Bards better utilize and want to invest in Performance, using it as a way to be a go to class for social skills, but also not as reliable as investing in the actual skill itself. {Trust me, depending on the situation you may be rolling a lot of these checks in a short period of time, burning away your Spell Points which you may also be using for other things. Both someone whom has invested in the actual skill, and someone whom has taken Versatile Performance and invested in that can do the job, but latter can only do it for so long and has to choose when they should, while the former can do it all day long.)
Anyways, thank you for making it to the end, and of course I fully admit I may be completely wrong in my assessment, or my solution. Please feel free to comment.


Apologies, meant 'Free Action' for the Soulful Performance.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I really like this idea. I too felt that VP was too limited in its current form. It also hurt that basically there is a level 2 skill feat that did the same thing (Impressive Performance).

Personally, I would like this to be a feat you can take multiple times and each time it applies to a different "allowed" skill.

Maybe Versatile Performance gives you the Virtuoso Performance skill feat for free and allows you to use performance in place of a skill based on the specialty you choose?


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Imagine that I actually prefer the version where Performance gets removed as a skill entirely... It shouldn't cost skill points and increases when it does nothing on its own. The feat can then become a bonus on its own, and everything else can use spell rolls.

All the benefits of Performance (except one skill feat) are Bard class feats, so what's the point.


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Ediwir wrote:

Imagine that I actually prefer the version where Performance gets removed as a skill entirely... It shouldn't cost skill points and increases when it does nothing on its own. The feat can then become a bonus on its own, and everything else can use spell rolls.

All the benefits of Performance (except one skill feat) are Bard class feats, so what's the point.

I feel like this is an area where instead of "Lore" we got background skills, which would be like Lore in most cases, but not necessarily tied to Int, and maybe having less defined skill uses (Performance, for instance, probably wouldn't have Recall Knowledge, in most cases, though might for a few circumstances, where the GM feels that it would apply based on background, where as something like Nobility Lore wouldn't probably have a "Practice a Trade" aspect, in most cases, though in a few rare circumstances, it might work for that).

And as the Bard already has things which affect Lore and Performance, you could just lump some of those abilities together, and have the player decide whether they want to go more with lute-strummer, or collector of ancient and esoteric knowledge lost to all but myth and legend, or even wearer of many hats, doer of odd jobs and such.


Ediwir wrote:


I feel like this is an area where instead of "Lore" we got background skills, which would be like Lore in most cases, but not necessarily tied to Int, and maybe having less defined skill uses (Performance, for instance, probably wouldn't have Recall Knowledge, in most cases, though might for a few circumstances, where the GM feels that it would apply based on background, where as something like Nobility Lore wouldn't probably have a "Practice a Trade" aspect, in most cases, though in a few rare circumstances, it might work for that).

And as the Bard already has things which affect Lore and Performance, you could just lump some of those abilities together, and have the player decide whether they want to go more with lute-strummer, or collector of ancient and esoteric knowledge lost to all but myth and legend, or even wearer of many hats, doer of odd jobs and such.

Yeah, I could see this also working out, with a bit of retooling to certain feats. Performance is basically the Charisma Lore skill, Both can be used to make money during downtime, both have almost exactly the same Legendary Feat, though in Performance you actually have to do more work, as your 1st need Virtuosic Performer for Legendary Performer. {To be fair if you were investing into performance, you were going to take that feat anyway.} The one difference is Lore will let you use Recall Knowledge on a generally specific topic, while Performance can be used in an attempt to get a bonus {up to DM wither how much or if it even does} on A Diplomacy check, if you pass your Performance check. So not a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

Making it into a Charisma based Lore skill, would actually help to solve some of the problems of VP. At the heart of the problem, Performance takes away Skill increases which needs to be spent on the things its taking away from. By making it into a Lore Skill it would allow players to use other resources to increase it, such as the "Additional Lore" skill feat, or the "Obsessive" Gnome ancestry feat. Now it would not solve everything, you would still have the overlap if you invested in activates covered by VP, but you would also have the ability to choose which resource you use for it, and using a Skill/General/Ancestry feat may just be an easier pill to swallow.


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Ediwir wrote:

Imagine that I actually prefer the version where Performance gets removed as a skill entirely... It shouldn't cost skill points and increases when it does nothing on its own. The feat can then become a bonus on its own, and everything else can use spell rolls.

All the benefits of Performance (except one skill feat) are Bard class feats, so what's the point.

I find Performance as a skill very underwhelming as well, {see my above comment that in practice its just a worst version of the Lore skill}. Thought I can't see getting rid of it entirely, as there is really good flavour behind it, great rp possibilities, and in both PF1 and PF2, and there is an entire class {in general terms} based in it. I could see Performance getting absorbed into other Skills however (For example Diplomacy would cover any Oratory, Sing, or Comedy performances, Deception would cover any sort of Acting Performances ect.) It would avoid the problems of having it as a skill in the game, but still allow players to have it if they want through other skills.

However it would require a reworking of the Bard class as a whole. Out of the 24 feats in it, 10 are feats either use performance, and or requires a feat that uses performance, included 2/3 of the 1st level feats. Which is actually a bit of another problem I have, if you are a Bard that decides to avoid Performance, you choices get a lot more limited.


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That’s kind of the issue however.

It’s only flavour, and it’s there only because it is mandatory for one class (one class which, because of it, is actually the worst at skills).
Turning into a spell roll would solve the Bard’s dependance on it.
Allowing people to be able to play an instrument or juggle at their discretion doesn’t rob Bards of their identity and grants them no particular advantage either.
All that’s needed is to do the following:

-burn Performance to a crisp.
-Bard features that use Performance now work with spell rolls. These spell rolls receive an extra +2 if the Bard is Master in Occultism.
-Bards are automatically trained in one Lore of their choice, and Bard multiclass get trained in an extra Lore skill of their choice.
-Fascinating Performer becomes a Society feat.
-Versatile Performer gets completely reworked, which is needed anyways because as it is it’s a dud (you need those skills anyways in order to qualify for the feats).


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Ediwir wrote:
That’s kind of the issue however.....

Alright, I now see what you mean now, and I can get on board with that. The one change I would make is instead of making Bards {and multiclass one} automatically trained in Lore, I would make it Society. Lore, while still very thematic for a bard, is still just generally used to round out a characters story, which is the reason why everyone gets one through there background. {ie to avoid the problem of PF1 where Fighter could have spent his life training in service of a noble family to become a knight, yet due to skill restrictions on Knowledge skills, he would know nothing more than the common folk about Nobility.) Other wise, like Performance, its used to make money during downtime, /on very situational knowledge checks.

Though thinking about it, I could see a Bard ability to automatically gain Lore Skills as they level up {ie you get a Lore skill at Level 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 or something like that) and having all your Lore skills proficiencies tied with your Occultism. So when you become and Expert in Occultism, you also become an Expert in all Lore skills you have.

However getting back to the point, thematically Society matches up with the traditional Bard, as they would spend most of there time in cities gaining information about them, and the people in it {ie understanding you audience, stories they like to hear about there past, ect.) Plus, like a Druid spending most of there time around Nature, a Bard would spend most of there time around people, and namely in the Societies they make. From a gameplay preceptive, it is the Skill Feat line which contains Language Feats and Feats in making connections with people, something both useful and thematic for a Bard, and in this system Fascinating Performer would be there to.


It would feel strange {though not necessary problematic} that a Bard would not gain a automatic Charisma based skill.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm not sure I want to see performance removed as a skill. I think there are a lot of generic uses for performance, we just aren't seeing them used in 2ed. For instance, performance combat should be rolled into the skill. I also think it needs to return to being like Lore as it was like Knowledge in 1ed. You should specialized in specific things: Sing, Oratory, Combat, Percussion, Wind, etc. Making it specific again allows for a design space to create skill feats for things like:

"Rally (1 action): You use Combat performance to get the crowd on your side allowing your allies the ability to re-roll one dice in the next round. This re-roll cannot be paired with any other re-roll and the ally must take the result, even if worse."

The more I think about it, the thing that urked me with the Performance skill (and feats) is they took a magical bardic performance (Fascinate) and gave it to everyone. I think that should return to bards and Versatile Performance should be the skill feats for Performance (And maybe give bards suggestion again...). That way there can be a skill tree to gain versatile performance for different usages based on the performance skill.

It makes way more sense to give that to everyone and have bards focus on control through performance. IMHO


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As it stands right now, I'm on the fence about Performance as its own skill. I have made a couple of non-Bard, characters in PF1 that put a point or two into Performance for the RP alone {One was a Rogue whom learned the basics of playing a flute, so he could enter heavily guarded homes. He would try to get himself hired to play a show in the house, and while doing so, he would stake out the place/ ask seemingly innocent questions to make his heist later on easier. Now this was before the campaign started, and he never got a chance to do that in the actual game, but there was a couple of times he would go for his dagger, people saw him, and to lighten the mood, he said he was going for his flute beside it, playing a few notes to put everyone at ease. A Dragon Disciple of mine put a couple of points in Sing, because she couldn't stay quite {low Wis} so she decided if she had to make noise, it may has well be noise people liked to hear.) The main difference however, is the cost is a lot higher in PF2 then the occasional skill point, as most classes have very tight skill budget, and Performance does to little to be included.

Which is the reason that if a fix cannot be made to Performance on a base level, I would prefer it to be folded into other skills. If it was a skill people could ignore, it would be harmless, but for classes like the Bard, in its current form, its an anchor weighing it down, instead of bring it up.

That being said, I would prefer Performance to continue being its own skill, if changes were made to bolster it. When Neume mentioned 'Fascinate" ability being placed as a skill feat it irked me to, not because everyone else could get it, but because Bards needed to get it like everyone else. I would love {along with Performance getting a bump in initial effects} skill feats that give some lesser powers { Fascinate, the ability to soothe certain mental conditions, perhaps at higher skill levels, an ability similar to 'Sleep' using your performance check as the save ect) and actual bards getting these feats for free as they increase they level in performance, with a class feat {possibility as Neume suggested, VP} that gives them additional powers by specializing in an additional Performance.
For example, being specialized Oratory and being Trained in Performance allows you to use your Performance {for both checks and Feats}, instead of Diplomacy. When you become an expert {stealing this from Neume because it was an awesome suggestion} "Rally" (1 action): You use Combat performance to get the crowd on your side allowing your allies the ability to re-roll one dice in the next round. This re-roll cannot be paired with any other re-roll and the ally must take the result, even if worse." Then {again stealing from Neume} you gain a Suggestion type effect at Master, and at Legendary when your target critically fails against your Suggestion, it also carries the effect of 'Dominate' as long as that creature understands a language you can speak."

Of course it would be a lot of work, and it would need to be balanced. {something I'm not in the mood right now to do, I rolled a 1 on my Save against Cold check, and have gained the sickened condition.)


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If Performance can gain some uses, such as rallying your allies or whatnot, I might be fine with it - at that point it becomes a skill like the others and deserves its skill feats and ranks.
(might be hard to do especially since this kind of direction sounds very much like Inspire Courage as a skill and you don't want to step on the Bard's toes too much)

With the current situation, however, it does not. It effectively makes the Bard worse with skills than the Fighter, unless the Bard refuses to use his performance-based features, and it is a trap option for all other characters.

Note that Neume mentioned Perform working like Lore in 1e. This isn't a thing. There are some benefits from having Skill Unlocks (Unchained version of skill feats) in Perform that grant benefits to other skills, or to some specific spells, but the skill itself has no actual, hard-coded uses or benefits, and Performance Combat is normally only used in certain settings and situations, so not sure how that would make it better.

Note that I love character flavour and am enthusiastic about my players coming up with creative ideas and uses for skills and features, I just am definitely not a fan of something that has a numerical bonus, but no corresponding effect. If it's flavour, it's flavour, if it's crunch, it's crunch. Some things can be both. This is neither.


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As far as performance being rolled into other things. Playing an instrument might be a diplomacy or a society roll. Juggling, dancing, high wire acts... sounds like acrobatic performances to me. Singing and oratory is definitely Diplomacy, acting is deception. Comedy can be dependent on what kind of comedy, slapstick could be athletics while stand up could be diplomacy or society again. These are just a few thoughts.


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So, I did the rules survey.
There's a question asking if they missed any skills or tasks.

I wrote about giving Performance a more consistent / tangible use. Trying to keep a positive attitude.
I still lowkey want it gone, but I'm open to it being improved.


Did the same with my survey. There is a lot of stuff from an RP perceptive that makes Performance worth saving, from a charater taking even a trained prof to have a hobby out on the road, to a Bardic Gnome wading into the vray with his 5 foot tall battle Tuba. But not at the price both for Bards and non-Bards alike in its current edition {With VP providing the example of the pitfills of it, in a class that is suppose to be better at it then other classes.)

Here is hoping though that a skill that can be defining for a charater will change to have its use in the game match that with its Roleplay potential.


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Tunewalker wrote:
As far as performance being rolled into other things. Playing an instrument might be a diplomacy or a society roll. Juggling, dancing, high wire acts... sounds like acrobatic performances to me. Singing and oratory is definitely Diplomacy, acting is deception. Comedy can be dependent on what kind of comedy, slapstick could be athletics while stand up could be diplomacy or society again. These are just a few thoughts.

I like it. It's like a reverse of PF1's versatile performance.

Arguments could be made that some people shouldn't be great performers due to other skills, but they'd need the charisma to pull it off anyway, so it should work out pretty well. This would also solve some relevance problems with performance. A human who has never heard a goblin song before shouldn't be able to impress goblins with human fiddle tunes as well as someone who has studied enough in society to figure out what the goblins would like. And anyone who has done standup knows that you aren't just telling jokes, you're negotiating with the mood of the room.


ErichAD wrote:
Tunewalker wrote:
As far as performance being rolled into other things. Playing an instrument might be a diplomacy or a society roll. Juggling, dancing, high wire acts... sounds like acrobatic performances to me. Singing and oratory is definitely Diplomacy, acting is deception. Comedy can be dependent on what kind of comedy, slapstick could be athletics while stand up could be diplomacy or society again. These are just a few thoughts.

I like it. It's like a reverse of PF1's versatile performance.

Arguments could be made that some people shouldn't be great performers due to other skills, but they'd need the charisma to pull it off anyway, so it should work out pretty well. This would also solve some relevance problems with performance. A human who has never heard a goblin song before shouldn't be able to impress goblins with human fiddle tunes as well as someone who has studied enough in society to figure out what the goblins would like. And anyone who has done standup knows that you aren't just telling jokes, you're negotiating with the mood of the room.

For the need of Charisma to performances they can just write in the rules that if utilizing your skills to entertain for the purpose of making money you use your diplomacy skill to gather information and hype up the audience and then use the related skill for the performance you are making. This could actually add to your GROUP being performers as you have the Bard, who's spells are based on Charisma and has a good Diplomacy, being the hype man for your Rogue Daring acrobatics where the Bard uses diplomacy to gather the info and hype the audience and the Rogue simply preforms his acrobatics.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea of using other skills for performance and just doing away with performance as a skill all together can make for a more interesting breadth of characters and situations.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The idea that all you need to perform is a good charisma makes me a sad panda. Ask any gymnast and they'll tell you, being able to do a flip is a lot different than planning a routine to perform. Just because you are charismatic and can "groove to the music" doesn't mean you have what it takes to put on a dance show that people will care about.

This dovetails back into what I was saying about Bards in general. This idea that it's all CHA and no study, no practice, no skills is baseless. I know I'm doing a lot of real world comparisons but, just because you have a high diplomacy doesn't mean you can play like Yo-Yo Ma.

I've studied music for well over 30 years and I can say, I know music better than 90% of the world's population. That said, a new kid joined our church chorus last week. He's quite gregarious, handsome and more than anything he sings like an angel. That said, he cannot read music, he has no breath control, he has no experience on the stage, he doesn't even know how to hold his music. But he's the nicest guy in the world and we're thrilled to have him and teach him those things he doesn't know and must learn.

I say all that to say, performance is about a lot more than "diplomacy" and "acrobatics".


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I'm not the most charismatic person in the world, but I can play a fairly good Trumpet {and a decent Tuba and French Horn.} I can tell you it takes practice, and earplugs for the people around you until you get decent.

Based on real world experience, and my own personal experience in PF1, I would like Performance to be improved rather than done away with. For example, it answered my question of how long a Pit Fiend will sit and listen to stories of its greatness. The answer is at least 10 mins. Don't know if it will listen any further as, thanks to 'Spellsong' the Geas I casted on it went off, but I know for sure its at least 10 mins if you are good enough.

But that is the problem, it needs to be improved in some way. As it currently stands, my Bard actively avoids things that require investment in Performance, with the one exception of VP, which in it of itself is only being used as a stepping stone for Esoteric Scholar. Which, when a Bard is actively avoiding Performance, in spite of having the Feat made to improve it, there is a problem with the skill in the class that is suppose to best utilize it, the Feat that improves it, and the skill in general.

Which is the reason why I stand in the middle. I very well encourage the base improvement of the Skill {and the improvement of Class feats that use it}, because of both the time needed to specifically refine those skills, and those awesome moments in game caused because you did. But if it can't be improved, I would then like it to be folded into others, rather then be a source of ire for those that need to use it, and forgotten by the rest.


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Siro wrote:

I'm not the most charismatic person in the world, but I can play a fairly good Trumpet {and a decent Tuba and French Horn.} I can tell you it takes practice, and earplugs for the people around you until you get decent.

Based on real world experience, and my own personal experience in PF1, I would like Performance to be improved rather than done away with. For example, it answered my question of how long a Pit Fiend will sit and listen to stories of its greatness. The answer is at least 10 mins. Don't know if it will listen any further as, thanks to 'Spellsong' the Geas I casted on it went off, but I know for sure its at least 10 mins if you are good enough.

But that is the problem, it needs to be improved in some way. As it currently stands, my Bard actively avoids things that require investment in Performance, with the one exception of VP, which in it of itself is only being used as a stepping stone for Esoteric Scholar. Which, when a Bard is actively avoiding Performance, in spite of having the Feat made to improve it, there is a problem with the skill in the class that is suppose to best utilize it, the Feat that improves it, and the skill in general.

Which is the reason why I stand in the middle. I very well encourage the base improvement of the Skill {and the improvement of Class feats that use it}, because of both the time needed to specifically refine those skills, and those awesome moments in game caused because you did. But if it can't be improved, I would then like it to be folded into others, rather then be a source of ire for those that need to use it, and forgotten by the rest.

You, good sir, are the perfect incarnation of my issue, complete with an example character. Beautiful.


Neume wrote:

The idea that all you need to perform is a good charisma makes me a sad panda. Ask any gymnast and they'll tell you, being able to do a flip is a lot different than planning a routine to perform. Just because you are charismatic and can "groove to the music" doesn't mean you have what it takes to put on a dance show that people will care about.

This dovetails back into what I was saying about Bards in general. This idea that it's all CHA and no study, no practice, no skills is baseless. I know I'm doing a lot of real world comparisons but, just because you have a high diplomacy doesn't mean you can play like Yo-Yo Ma.

I've studied music for well over 30 years and I can say, I know music better than 90% of the world's population. That said, a new kid joined our church chorus last week. He's quite gregarious, handsome and more than anything he sings like an angel. That said, he cannot read music, he has no breath control, he has no experience on the stage, he doesn't even know how to hold his music. But he's the nicest guy in the world and we're thrilled to have him and teach him those things he doesn't know and must learn.

I say all that to say, performance is about a lot more than "diplomacy" and "acrobatics".

The idea isn't that the character doesn't study in order to perform, its that they've studied a practical field and can use that knowledge for entertainment purposes. Rather than asking a gymnast if doing a flip means they can plan a routine, ask them how valuable their ability to plan a routine would be if they couldn't do a flip.

Charisma is a weird stat, it certainly doesn't translate to modern usage of the word. And the player is still investing skills so they aren't just "grooving to the music".

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
ErichAD wrote:
Neume wrote:

<snip>

I say all that to say, performance is about a lot more than "diplomacy" and "acrobatics".

The idea isn't that the character doesn't study in order to perform, its that they've studied a practical field and can use that knowledge for entertainment purposes. Rather than asking a gymnast if doing a flip means they can plan a routine, ask them how valuable their ability to plan a routine would be if they couldn't do a flip.

Charisma is a weird stat, it certainly doesn't translate to modern usage of the word. And the player is still investing skills so they aren't just "grooving to the music".

This is where I'm confused. You're saying that because you know how to talk to people you can play the clarinet. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works...


Nope, you've got it backward. I'm saying that if you don't know how to talk to people, you probably won't be able to keep their attention with your clarinet either. If you can't perform acrobatic feats, you won't be able to entertain people with acrobatic feats. If you can't read a crowd's mood or tune your material to their interests, you aren't going to be able to rouse them with a speech.

It's very similar to the problem with the medicine skill. No you shouldn't be able to heal a creature just because you know about them, but there's no way in hell you should be able to heal them without knowing about them.


I was thinking about the mini discussion of how Performance would be implemented with other skills, and both the disconnect and overlap between real life counterparts. And I think its because the core is the same, but the goals are different.

For example, {note this is oversimplified, because this could devolve into an argument of semantics} at the core of Dance and Acrobatics is the ability to move ones body in a way it does not natural, usually through physical conditioning and training. It is in this core that there is an overlap between the two skills, where one could care over to another. Both concern training the body how to move, conditioning the body is generally the same, and have at least some simple overlap in the moves they both perform.

However the goal these skills aim for are different. At its core, Acrobatics uses this movement to get from point A to point B. Its used to ensure you can maintain your balance, escape and squeeze through things that block your way, roll/flip over things that block you ect. You are required to anticipate the requirements of getting to point B, and ensure precision within the movement itself to allow you to continue. Dance, on the other hand, is to use movement to invoke emotion upon the watcher. It is the use of more exaugurated movements, combined with natural or musical rhythm, and body language to convey and evoke said emotion onto that of the audience.

So, someone whom is trained in Acrobatics would be greater at Dance then someone whom was not trained in either, as they know how to control there body, and have trained to do so. However they would still need to learn how to evoke emotion in those movements, such as learning how to incorporate body language or though the use of exaugurated movements. On the same hand, someone whom is trained in Dance would be greater at Acrobatics then someone whom isn't, as again they know how to control there body, and have trained to do so. But they would still need to learn how to anticipate the movement needed, and learn how to be more precise in said movement.

SO, I guess what I'm saying is, both sides, in terms of realism, have a point.


Siro wrote:

I was thinking about the mini discussion of how Performance would be implemented with other skills, and both the disconnect and overlap between real life counterparts. And I think its because the core is the same, but the goals are different.

For example, {note this is oversimplified, because this could devolve into an argument of semantics} at the core of Dance and Acrobatics is the ability to move ones body in a way it does not natural, usually through physical conditioning and training. It is in this core that there is an overlap between the two skills, where one could care over to another. Both concern training the body how to move, conditioning the body is generally the same, and have at least some simple overlap in the moves they both perform.

However the goal these skills aim for are different. At its core, Acrobatics uses this movement to get from point A to point B. Its used to ensure you can maintain your balance, escape and squeeze through things that block your way, roll/flip over things that block you ect. You are required to anticipate the requirements of getting to point B, and ensure precision within the movement itself to allow you to continue. Dance, on the other hand, is to use movement to invoke emotion upon the watcher. It is the use of more exaugurated movements, combined with natural or musical rhythm, and body language to convey and evoke said emotion onto that of the audience.

So, someone whom is trained in Acrobatics would be greater at Dance then someone whom was not trained in either, as they know how to control there body, and have trained to do so. However they would still need to learn how to evoke emotion in those movements, such as learning how to incorporate body language or though the use of exaugurated movements. On the same hand, someone whom is trained in Dance would be greater at Acrobatics then someone whom isn't, as again they know how to control there body, and have trained to do so. But they would still need to learn how to anticipate the movement needed,...

I agree with this the issue I am having is going beyond just dance and the fact that just because a skill does not perfectly represent an action does not mean we need an entirely different skill for it. In the case of performance it is currently covering a wide variety of skills that are vastly different than one another. Why should a skilled actor also be able to dance, sing be a comedian a tight rope walker play every instrument in the world all because they picked 1 single skill. That makes much less sense than an acrobatic person being able to dance.

Further I didn't suggest instrument playing as diplomacy I suggested it as Society, which is intelligence based skill and thus indicates a lot of trained educational experience to play a musical instrument which is exactly what it does take in the typical times we are taking place in.

A skilled oratory or spoken comedian would need diplomacy skills.

A skilled singer would likely need Society skill as well for the same reason as the other type of musician, and often times in this setting a musician WILL be trained in multiple instruments and singing so this works.

Now I am in fully agree that just because a person is good at acrobatics doesn't mean they are a better dancer than the trained dancer, but we have ways around this..... it is called Bard and Skill feats. The bard is the best performer to ever have performed, and skill feats exist to expand skills. By making a skill feat that someone who is an Expert or a Master of Acrobatics can take to become a renowned dancer means you are taking advancement points (feats) to become more skilled in the performance aspect of the skill associated with each performance type all while making more sense than a person untrained in acrobatics, which is defined as:
1 : the art, performance, or activity of an acrobat
2 : a spectacular, showy, or startling performance or demonstration involving great agility or complexity
but legendary in performance being a better trapeze artist than the guy who is legendary in acrobatics and has 0 performance skills. As the actual webster definition of Acrobatics shows it is rooted not in par-core but in PERFORMANCES and all of a sudden an Acrobat that is not a performer can not perform acrobatics?


I was merely stating an example of how Performance in comparison to other skills can have overlap in ability and training, but also differences which separate them. Not choosing sides, merely showing that fact, that an ability in one will get you part way for another, but not all the way.

I used Acrobatics {as one that is used for more Par-Cor stuff and states nothing about entertaining} in the PF2 book and Dance as a comparison because its a simpler one to make, and it was one of the skills Dance provided you in PF1 with VP. I could have gone with the ability to play the Trumpet and how it can help Intimidation, but that would require more explanation, as its a bit easier to see the connection between Dancing and Acrobatics, versus practice in the Trumpet and Intimidation, as our view and experience color these option's.

But encase you do believe I am throwing out some random instrument with a random skill, here is how. In order to play the Trumpet, there is a couple of things you will quickly learn about the instrument. You will need to learn how to control your diaphragm, as the ability to breathe deeply and how to properly control your air flow is essential to the instrument. This is because, unlike some other instruments, the same valve placement can produce entirely different notes dependant on air flow and the position of the lips on the mouthpiece by buzzing into it. For example, a Trumpet with zero of its values held down can produce from lowest note to highest note= C, G, C, E, G, C, 6 different notes. Another thing you need to learn about air flow and notes is when notes are modified, such as in the case when notes are staccato {brief blast of the note, followed by a brief pause} or slured {one note leads to the next without pause or break}. And, trumpets, especially on the higher notes, takes a lot more effort and air, meaning as you are keeping the beat {something you will also learn} you also got to learn to control your air supply, because once you run out, you instrument is not making a sound {ie learning how to control your air flow so you are not using more air then needed/ learning how to take quick breaths.)

Now how does this tie to Intimidation? Well, I can produce sharp, loud, booming, clear, shouts due to my training with the Trumpet, which people have said is scary. This is due to the fact that I have learned how to control my diaphragm and air flow to produce both louder and clearer sounds. I've learned how to manipulate air flow exiting to allow it to take on a sharper quality, while maintaining it celerity {people understand when shout STOP and such} even at its volume. And I've learned how to do it without using more air then needed, because it loses it intimidation factor when right afterwards you got to go take a breather. And because I learned about pitch and beat, I understand where to place and how to use that sound to get better results. So yeah, I've learned how to be more Intimidating because of the skills I picked up with the Trumpet.

Does that mean I'm now an master Intimidator. No. I have some skills that I could carry over that would be helpful. But it hasn't taught me others, such as the use of body language to intimidate people, or the subtle art of using a few choice words to make people scared.

Now, people may be convinced that Trumpets have something to do with Intimidation, and others may not. This is because, unlike with Acrobatics and Dancing, its harder to make that connection, as it requires knowledge about a more specialized subject {assuming more people have danced at some point in there life then played the trumpet.}, which is the reason why I choose Acrobatics and Dance. But it does bring up a point, a persons view and experience with the type of performance will be the ultimate wither there close enough that not much more is needed for other skills and or the other way around {such as only needing a feat in said skill} or they are completely different {perhaps, before reading this, people may have thought Trumpets and Intimidation had nothing in common.} And this is going to vary from person to person, which can make the folding of performance into skills, possible but also difficult.


And yes there is a bit of a problem of Performance covering everything in terms of one not leading to another. {I can play the trumpet, have two left feet for dancing, though I can still keep the beat :p) And as Tunewalker said, it could be simple as taking a feat in a skill to make it performance as well {something I can go for}. But not everyones view on how to implemt it as mentioned above would be the same, as in what skills they would be applied to, or varying options wither a feat is to little of an investment, or to much.


Siro wrote:

I was merely stating an example of how Performance in comparison to other skills can have overlap in ability and training, but also differences which separate them. Not choosing sides, merely showing that fact, that an ability in one will get you part way for another, but not all the way.

I used Acrobatics {as one that is used for more Par-Cor stuff and states nothing about entertaining} in the PF2 book and Dance as a comparison because its a simpler one to make, and it was one of the skills Dance provided you in PF1 with VP. I could have gone with the ability to play the Trumpet and how it can help Intimidation, but that would require more explanation, as its a bit easier to see the connection between Dancing and Acrobatics, versus practice in the Trumpet and Intimidation, as our view and experience color these option's.

But encase you do believe I am throwing out some random instrument with a random skill, here is how. In order to play the Trumpet, there is a couple of things you will quickly learn about the instrument. You will need to learn how to control your diaphragm, as the ability to breathe deeply and how to properly control your air flow is essential to the instrument. This is because, unlike some other instruments, the same valve placement can produce entirely different notes dependant on air flow and the position of the lips on the mouthpiece by buzzing into it. For example, a Trumpet with zero of its values held down can produce from lowest note to highest note= C, G, C, E, G, C, 6 different notes. Another thing you need to learn about air flow and notes is when notes are modified, such as in the case when notes are staccato {brief blast of the note, followed by a brief pause} or slured {one note leads to the next without pause or break}. And, trumpets, especially on the higher notes, takes a lot more effort and air, meaning as you are keeping the beat {something you will also learn} you also got to learn to control your air supply, because once you run out, you instrument is not making a...

The whole thing you did on trumpet here is why I suggested something like Society unlike things like Intimidation as while Yelling CAN be intimidating considering Intimidation is based on Charisma and Not constitution (the characteristic that would measure your physical ability here) means that it isn't as simple as "breath control".

I am a musician as well (seems like that overlap of musicians and RPers is pretty common) went to college for 2 years as a Trombone player I also play a little trumpet, tuba, baritone, piano and singing(not good singing) in addition I am well versed enough in music theory to have written fragments of symphonies.

The reason I suggest society is according to the book:

You understand the people and systems that make civilization run, and you know the historical events that make societies what they are today. Further, you can use that knowledge to navigate the twisted workings of settlements, whether they’re physical, SOCIETAL, or economic.

Society is also Intelligence based, suggesting that these society based skills are something that you have to train for (like music, Music theory and Musicianship) and in the era these books take place Music was one of the few things upper society really did. I do not really see another skill that fits this criteria for all musical type skills besides society, because a pianist does not require breath control at all while a majority of musical skills do overlap (specifically the theory and musicianship) and once you have those skills it does not make it that hard to learn a new instrument (which is why I can play most brass instruments).

Now all this said I understand people having disagreements about it, but that does not mean we shouldn't discuss it.

Right now Bard is suffering from a skill tax. Bard has historically been one of the stronger/ secondary skill monkeys of a group and as of now they are worse at skills than the Wizard because they are being forced to take Performance skill to remain relevant in combat.

In addition the performance skill is not being taken by anyone else as it is a waste of a skill for anyone that is not bard as it does nothing to help but in down time or for flavor. So by removing the skill you stream line the game and remove a needless skill tax from the Bard.

This is less about 100% realism if it was every single thing a person does would be a skill. You would not have theivery for disabling traps unlocking doors and pick pocketing you have each of those tasks. You would not have performance you would Brass instrument performance, Dance Performance...... and a million other type of performance skills. Intimidation would be shouting skill, and a menacing skill and so on and so forth.

What we are attempting to do is simplify an action for a skill. The Bard is a performer and without that we would not even be worrying about or talking about a performance skill nor would we even be discussing how a performance works. Instead some one would sit down at a table and go "hey gm my character wants to pass the time with a fun song" and the GM would respond "um ok..... you do that" and a skill check would not even be talked about as it would just be flavor.

As is we need to talk about a skill checks and we can talk about the pro's and con's of removing performance. What we think the best ones would be for varying performances (Honestly we could just have a subsection say.... talk to GM about what performance would fall under what skill) and just make the performance feats General skill feats that apply to any skill of the appropriate level. And much like Alchemists start with the Alchemic crafting feat the bard could start out with the "performance feat" for any one skill (or 2 skills) he desires. (also for an example of what I am talking about with performance feats as a general skill that could be applied to just about any skill look at the general skills that apply based on which magical knowledge skill you have.).


Tunewalker wrote:
The whole thing you did on trumpet here is why I suggested something like Society unlike things like Intimidation as while Yelling CAN be intimidating considering Intimidation is based on Charisma and Not constitution (the characteristic that would measure your physical ability here) means that it isn't as simple as "breath control"....

While I did make breathe control a part of it, it was more than simply that, as in learning how to use it {in conjunction with pitch among other things} allowed me to resonate my voice in a more intimidating matter. I would have gone further in depth, and how different skills learnt from the Trumpet could have been used for other abilities as well, but it was already a long post, in a thread headed by VP {though the discussion of Performance in general is a natural evolution.)

And I do believe alot of musicians {and artist in general} flock to table top games such as this because its another creative outlet for generally creative people.

And I can also understand your idea of using Int because most types of Performance require training {with a better understanding of you position given your own formal training}. And with society, you can even go further then that, going into physiological effects, to understanding the impact of music in subcultures of societies {Religion, politics, social class, ect). However this could be said for other things as well, such as Thievery {knowing the culture your stealing from, the value societies places on items, the knowledge of security and the justice system, knowing the people that system would protect and would not, knowing areas in society where your own brand of thievery is seen as more acceptable through social convention, the psychology of society as it relates to crime in general, ect) And just like learning an instrument, it can be taught {though often through less official means). Nor does it mean you need official training to learn how to Perform, for example observing music in the world around you {say from learning how to sing by listening to birds, which would most likely in that case either be a Perception or Nature {Wis}.) or being self taught.

Which is the reason, regardless of the skill or background being used, I believe performance should always be a Charisma check, both for realism and game sake {note this does not mean I have precluded using non-Charisma based skills, just that when they are used the stat mod should be Charisma). Has while all Performances may have different skill sets and multiple ways to learn it, at its heart its used to evoke and emotional response from its listener, putting it back in the realm of Charisma. And making something Int based {as in making Performance a society check} would mean a Wizard would be a better performer than a Bard, which does not seem right.

Now I've always been a propionate that if Performance could not be fixed then it should be folded into other skills {although have not gone through what method that would consist of, and see prior posts in this thread}, as it is a skill tax similar to the Bards of 3.5 DnD, and something that PF1 actively tried to fix in its Bard class. But it should be fixed 1st before getting rid of. As mentioned performances such as music have both an important place within the world {from cultures to subcultures, to natural settings, to communication ect) and within PF { as in there is a entire class based in it.}. Which in it of itself carries an importunacy in a RP game. By reducing that to be part of other skills, or by simple GM fiat, you also reduce that which makes it unique, and render a cornerstone skill of the Bard less valid {note it does mean I think Performance as it is avoids this, it does much the same, which is the reason why I would want change.). Its kinda of like saying to the Wizard magic is just too underpowered so we have given that option to everyone for free, but don't worry your still really good at it. It is taking away that which makes it unique by both making it common, and saying that despite a whole class being based around it, really anyone can do it without much effort.


Siro wrote:
Tunewalker wrote:
The whole thing you did on trumpet here is why I suggested something like Society unlike things like Intimidation as while Yelling CAN be intimidating considering Intimidation is based on Charisma and Not constitution (the characteristic that would measure your physical ability here) means that it isn't as simple as "breath control"....

While I did make breathe control a part of it, it was more than simply that, as in learning how to use it {in conjunction with pitch among other things} allowed me to resonate my voice in a more intimidating matter. I would have gone further in depth, and how different skills learnt from the Trumpet could have been used for other abilities as well, but it was already a long post, in a thread headed by VP {though the discussion of Performance in general is a natural evolution.)

And I do believe alot of musicians {and artist in general} flock to table top games such as this because its another creative outlet for generally creative people.

And I can also understand your idea of using Int because most types of Performance require training {with a better understanding of you position given your own formal training}. And with society, you can even go further then that, going into physiological effects, to understanding the impact of music in subcultures of societies {Religion, politics, social class, ect). However this could be said for other things as well, such as Thievery {knowing the culture your stealing from, the value societies places on items, the knowledge of security and the justice system, knowing the people that system would protect and would not, knowing areas in society where your own brand of thievery is seen as more acceptable through social convention, the psychology of society as it relates to crime in general, ect) And just like learning an instrument, it can be taught {though often through less official means). Nor does it mean you need official training to learn how to Perform, for example observing music in the world...

This was an interesting read, but I think the thing I am looking at here is much like the Alchemist. The Bard already has other unique aspects of its class other than the performance aspect. It is now the primary occult spell caster. Alchemist is also a class built entirely on a skill, in fact it is built entirely on one skill FEAT. The alchemist Crafting feat. This is a feat that any class can pick up along with other crafting skill feat, but that has not invalidated the Alchemist.

The primary problem with Performance is it does not have a use outside of Bard or making money on the side. If we made the performance skill useful outside of that thing than the skill would no longer be a skill tax, but to do so we have to have skill feats for it that do things outside of make more money without taking things away from what makes the bard special so we have to come up with a way for Performance to do unique things (not copy other skills like diplomacy, intimidate, deception or even medical if you want to argue soothing songs) in combat and social situations other than make money without them overlapping with Bard things like Inspire courage or competence or the soothe spell or any of that.

Do this in reverse though and roll performance type stuff into other skills and other classes get to put on a show and add flavor without having the mechanical benefits of performances that only the Bard, or someone truly dedicated to picking up Skill feats can get like inspire courage and Inspire competence and lingering composition all of the things that currently require performance and are the root of the skill tax that bards face. Imagine if Lingering Composition was just charisma + Level + proficiency of related skill, now you can get any skill you want as a bard and it will be useful for all the things it is useful for besides just Lingering composition.


Tunewalker wrote:

This was an interesting read, but I think the thing I am looking at here is much like the Alchemist. The Bard already has other unique aspects of its class other than the performance aspect. It is now the primary occult spell caster. Alchemist is also a class built entirely on a skill, in fact it is built entirely on one skill FEAT. The alchemist Crafting feat. This is a feat that any class can pick up along with other crafting skill feat, but that has not invalidated the Alchemist.....

I think our difference is Roleplay versus Mechanics, which is fine. And some points of yours I have found interesting. {your solution to rolling Performance into skills does not solve the RP problem, but is a nice solution mechanically, on that front I have no problems.)

I can understand your point with the Alchemists, and how blanket access to a skill does not diminish it {and in mentioning alchemists, you have given me both an idea, and a bit better understanding}. But there are two differences between that and your solution which does cause a difference. 1st, while all classes have access to Crafting and the Craft Alchemy Skill Feat {and unlike Performance, it has a use outside of making money}, they still need to invest in it, while rolling Performance into other skills means most characters gets it for free with no effort. In addition, the Alchemist both has the benefit of getting the Crafting Skill Feat for free and, more importantly, getting guaranteed class features which empowers it that other classes can't emulate. {note, I am aware of some of the problems with these features in terms of being dependant on Resonance, but they have made some changes with updates that have somewhat help, and hopefully the updates to Resonance in the future will solve the rest. However that discussion is for another thread.) It is in this Alchemists are able to retain their ability to be the go to Alchemy class, even though other class have access to their base skill feat.

And the problem with Performance, is, in its current form, it has no real use, both inside and outside the Bard class {unlike craft which does have a use}. Nobody outside the class would want to spend resources on it, and Bard feats just show more problems. And while, as you had mentioned, a bard does have the distinction of being the Occult caster, both with the name and a good portion of the class revolves around performance {for example 11/24= 46% of Bard class Feats either rely on Performance, or require a class feat that relies on Performance.) And all of the feats that require Performance are not empowered by it, instead they need it to work, which is a huge deal for something costing a Class Feat.

So that idea I said {not fleshed out, as it would take a lot of time and work} is to structure Performance and the Bard Class like the Alchemist and its Alchemy. SO Performance would have some minor Bardic like benefits, that other classes that invest in performance would be able to perform {perhaps similar to crafting, you gain a 'Song Book" to place performances in. You can prepare each day a number of Performances equal to you Cha mod, with a Performance DC of some sort to use it.} The effects of these Performances would be relatively minor, but useful. Has for the Bard, the class gives them the ability to remember more of these performances, and the ability to add, say 2 performances, to the book each time they level up for free. In addition they gain access to special types of Performances, and get to substitute a Cha skill with their performance. The idea of making it useful for everyone, but only the bard can use its full potential, while keeping the flavour behind it.


Siro wrote:


I think our difference is Roleplay versus Mechanics, which is fine. And some points of yours I have found interesting.

And the problem with Performance, is, in its current form, it has no real use, both inside and outside the Bard class {unlike craft which does have a use}

So that idea I said {not fleshed out, as it would take a lot of time and work} is to structure Performance and the Bard Class like the Alchemist and its Alchemy. SO Performance would have some minor Bardic like benefits, that other classes that invest in performance would be able to perform {perhaps similar to crafting, you gain a 'Song Book" to place performances in. You can prepare each day a number of Performances equal to you Cha mod, with a Performance DC of some sort to use it.} The effects of these Performances would be relatively minor, but useful. Has for the Bard, the class gives them the ability to remember more of these performances, and the ability to add, say 2 performances, to the book each time they level up for free. In addition they gain access to special types of Performances, and get to substitute a Cha skill with their performance. The idea of making it useful for everyone, but only the bard can use its full potential, while keeping the flavour behind it.

From the beginning we have agreed on the problem not on the solution and this is slowing working its way into something workable. So I am going to begin this thread talking about the ways Performance could theoretically work as you suggest and what niche it would have to play if it WERE to work this way to make it both make sense from and RP perspective and make it not just a direct copy of another skill. And then I will talk about issues with it mechanically.

Ok so performances memorized could definitely be type of performance and now we have things like brass instrument performance, woodwind instrument performance so on and so forth adding even greater flavor to the Performance skill. The issue here is for them to be effective in the adventuring world they will have to have some form of mechanical effect on the party.

Now if these performances just had some raw magical effect it would be really awkward RP wise even though mechanically it would be appealing as it would just be a skill a martial class or a rogue would pick up to basically get a "make scroll" skill and that is definitely not what performance is.

So what fantasy does performance fit in a Fantasy setting. To me the answer is there is always one comic relief character or performer in a fantasy group that keeps the spirits of the group high. When everything seems rough and the adventure seems like it may be impossible the performer may tell a joke, or sing a song that reminds everyone of home or tells a tale from a story he heard as a kid. The Performer inspires, motivates, distracts and eases the minds of his allies. The question is how can we recreate this mechanically beyond the Bard abilities of Inspire Courage, Inspire competence, and soothing ballad?

The answer to me is long term party buffs, spell recovery and minor healing all that would be performed during 10 minute rests that others would be using to treat wounds and repair objects. Much like repair kits and crafting kits you would have to have the appropriate kit or instrument for your performance this could be the performers way of improving the spell casters in addition to martial classes as right now the more martial classes you have the more effective the Bard is in adding to them and their adventuring day. Of course I would think that characters would become bolstered to performances after the effect as there is only so many times peoples spirits are going to be lifted like this, but it is a way of elongating the day in a satisfying RP way.

Now the mechanical problems.

One mechanical problem of this is it seems that the developers are really wanting to move away from long term buffs and weakening spell casters also seems like a goal, while they will need to buff spell casters I do not know that allowing more spells per day through performances is the right way to do that.

Further the idea for pathfinder 2.0 is to become LESS complicated and more easily accessible for people wanting to play and adding performances like this would massively increase complications and rule sets making things more difficult rather than less.

Finally, there are only so many buffs that can really be done and only one performance is needed for minor healing (soothing ballad) or spell recovery. Which means that even if the bard new "more" of these performances that would not actually be helpful as people would just find the best 2 buff spells that do not stack + the spell recovery performance and that would be the only number of performances necessary.

Now if they made it to where performance did the spell recovery and/or a minor buff and just gave Bards and/or the Performance skill feats that increase the number of Spells recovered or the strength of the buff given by a 10 minute performance and/or added extra long term buffs to these performances or even do things like we have with quick repair and the like adding "quick performance" reducing the time needed for a performance down to 1 minute if you are expert and down to 1 round if you are Legendary, we may very well have found a way to make performance a useful skill and a way to improve bards abilities with it without to great a complication, but it does still make things more complicated.

The primary reason I advocate rolling Performance into other skills is to fix clutter. Removing things is easier to do and makes for less clutter than adding things. Since performance does nothing mechanically the only reason it currently exists is because of legacy and bard. RP wise when something has no mechanical effect it does not matter if the action even has a skill roll. If it would have some sort of effect and it is not covered in the book then the gm can just choose whichever skill it deems appropriate. As some have already mentioned the easiest thing they can do is just remove performance from the skills and from all the stuff that references it replacing all of the stuff that mentions it in bard to "class or Spell DC" or "appropriate skill" or something and it makes things simpler without a mechanical change at all and leaves the flavor to the players and the GM.

Now if they wanted to do the slightly more complicated route than more power to them, but if they wanted to get spell caster or alchemist level of complicated with it, than we would see Bard become one of the most complicated classes with both performances and spells. In addition the game itself might alienate even more casual players which are some of the ones they are trying to appeal to and bring back to pathfinder. Players that find 5e not structured enough and find Pathfinder 1 to be much of a mess and to complicated.


So I think a short version of my rant is..... If performance is going to stick around it needs to be a skill used during short rests that elongates the adventuring day by healing a parties spirits instead of their bodies.

Interesting thing to note there are actually only 5 Bard feats that are affected by the Performance skill..... Lingering Comp, versatile performance, inspire competence, inspire heroics and Melodious Spell. The others only reference to performances in bard feats is to the versatile performance feat (which Ironically most of the other feats associated with this feat requires you to have good Occultism skill... it is very odd) not the skill and to performances, as in composition powers and cantrips that you can keep going, also not the skill.

So only 5/23 feats actually require the performance skill (22%).... it really is just kind of useless, but if you want to have versatile performance or Lingering Composition (2/3 level 1 muses) than you will need performance up.... so I think this is really a good show here, you need it to use maybe 2 class defining feats for you, but there just isn't a use besides this and if you do not keep it maxed out you completely waste your level 1 choice which just feels bad.


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Tunewalker wrote:


From the beginning we have agreed on the problem not on the solution and this is slowing working its way into something workable. So I am going to begin this thread talking about the ways Performance could theoretically work as you suggest and what niche it would have to play if it WERE to work this way to make it both make sense from and RP perspective and make it not just a direct copy of another skill. And then I will talk about issues with it mechanically....

Hmm… Didn’t really think about performance being used for a more downtime activity, although now it has been pointed out to me, it seems obvious.

Though getting into the meat of it, I do agree a lot of classical fantasy performance is routed in encouragement, and encouraging effects would be one from of performance. However this would not be the only from a performance can take. For example siren song is known allure, a shaggoth maddening sounds are known to madden, and many rituals incorporate chanting to contact the sprits, or to summon creatures. The use of Performance as bolstering is a very good start, but don’t be limited by it.

The idea I was having would be Performance itself would consist or more mundane effects that could be caused. For example a ‘Inspiring Word’ performance that would take one Verbal action and have the effect “Target gains +1 against Fear until your next turn.”, on a passed check. Or an ‘Insulting Joke’ {Perhaps 2 actions} where you make a performance check against the targets Will DC. On a pass they take a -1 on attack rolls, -1 AC, and -1 on Perception checks made against everyone except you for 1 round. Regardless of the result the target gets a +2 on attack rolls, AC, and Perception against you for one round.” Or, incorporating what Performance already has with a “Delightful Ditty” that gives the user a +1 to its next Diplomacy check against the target, as long as its made within the next hour on a pass check. Or “Marching Drum” which you use at the start of travelling, and allows an extra hour of movement when you travel 8 hours, however you never travel quietly when using this. {also your party may hate you as you bang on a drum all day yelling “Left, Right, Left.”}

The more magical effects I would leave to the Bards and the special performances they can access. Having a Performance that restores Spell slots could be both cool and balanced if changed a bit. Perhaps something like and “Tango Transfer” consisting of 10 mins, and the target is bolstered against it afterwards. At the end your target regains a spell slot of a level of your choice {or a spell of that level they have already casted} and you lose that level of spell slot. Perhaps a ‘Lullaby’ that can be used as something like a “2 actions. You make a Performance check against the Targets Will Save. On a Critical Success the Target is affected as though by a Level 1 Sleep Spell, on a Success the Target takes a -1 on, Skill checks and Ref saves, and cannot take reactions for 1 round. On a Failure the target cannot take Reactions for 1 round. On a Critical Failure the target is bolstered against that Performance.”

Basically you could make the effects of the performances no more complicated then the effects of alchemical items and mutagens, and you can separate mundane Performances {ones with lesser effects or possible disadvantages} and Bardic Performances {which take on a more magical meaning}. You can simplify the DC’s needed to make on Performance based on its target. If its something negative, its general against the targets Will DC. If its beneficial then its based on the Targets level, with a medium DC {with generally a crit failure results in the target getting bolstered against it in either case.}

As for making the Bard Class too complicated its how you integrate it= 1) A Bard can prepare an extra amount of Performances in addition to ones granted through the Performance Skill 2) A Bard can also prepare special Bardic Performances 3) A bard adds {2?} Performances to his Song Book for free when they level up and 4) At level one, a Bard chooses either Diplomacy, Deception, or Intimidation. They may use performance as a substitution for that skill, including for Skill Feats. No reason to complicate things in having to apply bonuses and things like that, and working out how it would apply with each Performance, the addition of Bardic Performance and using it as a sub would be more than enough gain over the basic Performance.

This isn’t to say it would not be a lot of work, it’s a redesign of a skill and a class {though it could be said any changes to the Performance skill, including getting rid of it, would require at least a small redesign of the Bard class} But its also early in the playtest, and if Piazo is willing to redesign the Resonance system {perhaps even a larger undertaking} its possible they can look at redesigning this.


Tunewalker wrote:


So only 5/23 feats actually require the performance skill (22%).... it really is just kind of useless, but if you want to have versatile performance or Lingering Composition (2/3 level 1 muses) than you will need performance up.... so I think this is really a good show here, you need it to use maybe 2 class defining feats for you, but there just isn't a use besides this and if you do not keep it maxed out you completely waste your level 1 choice which just feels bad....

As I had mentioned, its including Feats that require performance, and feats which need you to have feats that require performance {meaning you either have to waste Class Feats to get them, or invest in performance.} Though I do admit I had miscounted its 10, so about 42 percent and I do apologies for that.

So, feats which use Performance= 1)Lingering Composition 2) Versatile Performance 3) Inspire Competence 4)Inspire Heroics and 5) Melodious Spell. {5/24= 21%}

Feats, which do not use Performance but which require at least one of the feats above {therefore you can't escape Performance if you want one of these, unless you are just wasting a class feat} = 1) Esoteric Scholar 2) Harmonize 3) Eclectic Skill 4) Unusual Composition and 5) Symphony of the Muse. {5/24= 21%} Now its is true you would most likely be doing that for Esoteric Scholar, but one could make the argument for Eclectic Skill, and Unusual Composition.

And we can also get into class feats that add composition cantrips like Dirge of Doom. They do not need Performance by itself, nor require other feats that do so, which is why they were not included. However they do rely on other feats which uses Performance, in order to power them up.

And I do agree with you that it is one of the major problems of Performance in the Bard class. I believe its because they made a poor skill, and then tried to make that skill better in the class that suppose to use it. But its like building a house on a flooded basement, eventually you end up in a wet house.

Also don't forget about Virtuoso's Brilliance. Its the feat everyone forgets about because its not in the book, but its the one that fully establishes the Bard as the Occult caster, due to giving it 10th level spells. :)


Siro wrote:
Tunewalker wrote:


From the beginning we have agreed on the problem not on the solution and this is slowing working its way into something workable. So I am going to begin this thread talking about the ways Performance could theoretically work as you suggest and what niche it would have to play if it WERE to work this way to make it both make sense from and RP perspective and make it not just a direct copy of another skill. And then I will talk about issues with it mechanically....

Hmm… Didn’t really think about performance being used for a more downtime activity, although now it has been pointed out to me, it seems obvious.

Though getting into the meat of it, I do agree a lot of classical fantasy performance is routed in encouragement, and encouraging effects would be one from of performance. However this would not be the only from a performance can take. For example siren song is known allure, a shaggoth maddening sounds are known to madden, and many rituals incorporate chanting to contact the sprits, or to summon creatures. The use of Performance as bolstering is a very good start, but don’t be limited by it.

The idea I was having would be Performance itself would consist or more mundane effects that could be caused. For example a ‘Inspiring Word’ performance that would take one Verbal action and have the effect “Target gains +1 against Fear until your next turn.”, on a passed check. Or an ‘Insulting Joke’ {Perhaps 2 actions} where you make a performance check against the targets Will DC. On a pass they take a -1 on attack rolls, -1 AC, and -1 on Perception checks made against everyone except you for 1 round. Regardless of the result the target gets a +2 on attack rolls, AC, and Perception against you for one round.” Or, incorporating what Performance already has with a “Delightful Ditty” that gives the user a +1 to its next Diplomacy check against the target, as long as its made within the next hour on a pass check. Or “Marching Drum” which you use at the start of...

Some of the stuff you are mentioning (siren song and the maddening stuff) to me sound a LOT like spell like effects and stuff we kind of have access to in the Occult spell list, like Charm command, Paranoia and so on and so forth.

While I like all of the ideas for Performances (such as the insults, and the marching drum and the like) my specific worry is making them to much like alchemy and other crafting skills does not feel right to me. In addition the complication is not just in how it is implemented but in the shear number of choices a starting bard would have.

A starting alchemist has all of the alchemist recipes that it has to choose from when leveling up and when starting to figure out which ones he wants.

A Wizard has a lot of spells to choose from for starting and every time he levels up.

Currently The bard is like the Wizard with a lot of spells to choose from and to plan out when leveling. Add in a list of performances and stuff that he can get when leveling up and you will have the complications of a Wizard and an Alchemist all rolled into 1 horror show of a class called Bard and not only is this an issue, but every single charisma based class that may consider picking up performance (and with it becoming a strong skill a lot will think about it) you technically increase the level of complexity for every single class that considers making a 14, 16 or 18 in charisma and picking up the performance skill.

Anything would be better than we have right now, but I do worry about adding unnecessary levels of complication and I worry about Choice paralysis causing character creation to take entirely to long.

Slight change of subject back to Versatile performance line of feats, am I the only one annoyed that the Versatile performance feat requires the Performance skill, but nearly all of the feats that Versatile performance unlocks requires you to top out your Occultism skill. That is some straight up cross backwards design, so now not only are you getting the performance skill tax as a versatile performance bard if you want to get any of those other feats you are now facing an Occultism skill tax....


Tunewalker wrote:


While I like all of the ideas for Performances (such as the insults, and the marching drum and the like) my specific worry is making them to much like alchemy and other crafting skills does not feel right to me. In addition the complication is not just in how it is implemented but in the shear number of choices a starting bard would have....

Oh, it would testing, a lot of it {another thing which I didn't even mention was how many you could remember each day. I was thinking 1 for each prof level in Performance, with the Bard getting a +2 on top of that.} Personally I was trying to limit the mundane effects to simpler and only slight effects to combat complexity in every class, but it would need a lot of testing and balancing.

I can see what you mean with to many options. I don't personally think that would be the case, as your spell list is set day by day, so you would only need to worry about the performance aspect, and generally like the wizard, you would have a set layout generally. But it would be more options, and while I would not think it would happen, I would not be surprised if it did. {again need for fine tuning in testing.}

Though I agree we have exhausted that topic enough for now.

Tunewalker wrote:


Slight change of subject back to Versatile performance line of feats, am I the only one annoyed that the Versatile performance feat requires the Performance skill, but nearly all of the feats that Versatile performance unlocks requires you to top out your Occultism skill. That is some straight up cross backwards design, so now not only are you getting the performance skill tax as a versatile performance bard if you want to get any of those other feats you are now facing an Occultism skill tax...

Yes, that was a big problem I was having with the Feat, and the Feats in the Bard class in general, which lead me to making the thread. You are skilled taxed with the frist feat you choose. Its just with the VP line, you get taxed twice on 2/3 of its feats. {Esoteric Scholar, while not saying you need Occultism, says you can add Occult spells to your spell book, which requires and occltism checks, and Eclectic Skill requires Master in Occultism to obtain and can only imporove it when you become Legendary.)

So the feat thats suppose to make Performance great for bards does nothing with it for its other feats, and asks you to take another Skill to full instead. In a class that does not get any more skill increases then any other class


Siro wrote:
Tunewalker wrote:


While I like all of the ideas for Performances (such as the insults, and the marching drum and the like) my specific worry is making them to much like alchemy and other crafting skills does not feel right to me. In addition the complication is not just in how it is implemented but in the shear number of choices a starting bard would have....

Oh, it would testing, a lot of it {another thing which I didn't even mention was how many you could remember each day. I was thinking 1 for each prof level in Performance, with the Bard getting a +2 on top of that.} Personally I was trying to limit the mundane effects to simpler and only slight effects to combat complexity in every class, but it would need a lot of testing and balancing.

I can see what you mean with to many options. I don't personally think that would be the case, as your spell list is set day by day, so you would only need to worry about the performance aspect, and generally like the wizard, you would have a set layout generally. But it would be more options, and while I would not think it would happen, I would not be surprised if it did. {again need for fine tuning in testing.}

Though I agree we have exhausted that topic enough for now.

Tunewalker wrote:


Slight change of subject back to Versatile performance line of feats, am I the only one annoyed that the Versatile performance feat requires the Performance skill, but nearly all of the feats that Versatile performance unlocks requires you to top out your Occultism skill. That is some straight up cross backwards design, so now not only are you getting the performance skill tax as a versatile performance bard if you want to get any of those other feats you are now facing an Occultism skill tax...

Yes, that was a big problem I was having with the Feat, and the Feats in the Bard class in general, which lead me to making the thread. You are skilled taxed with the frist feat you choose. Its just with the VP line, you get taxed twice on...

Ya looking at it I mind performance for Lingering Composition much less. It is still a skill tax since it is a skill that does nothing for your except let you use your class feats, but at least with Lingering Comp line of things it is consistent you are taking performance adding in inspire heroics and inspire competence to the list just means more things to do with performance that you picked up.

It does not excuse it but it is no where near as bad as versatile..... Starting to think about going through the bard featss and features one by one in another thread and see if we can not narrow down some of the class issues. It is funny to me that a lot of people think Bard is really good, but I think that might be down to just "inspire courage" is really good.


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I was thinking about doing a thread on each feat, but decided to just stick with VP because its a major sore spot {and I know it would lead to Performance problems in general}

I think one of the reasons why people think Bards are really good is because of the lower levels. Bards start off with a good deal, getting the auto prof in Performance and Occultism {skill tax comes later with the having to use those skill increases.) along with 6 other skills for a total of 8, really good at level 1, especially when DC's don't assume you have heavily invested in those skills.

You get light armor and shields, and at level one, there is not a lot of money going around for the heavier more expressive stuff, so everyone armored is within a AC point or two before Dex.

You also get trained is a small, but very servable pool of martial weapons, from shortbows for range, to longswords for damage, to Rapiers for Crits ect. And again, being trained at level 1 with a decent attack stat and Inspire Courage can make it more than work.

And of course there are the spells, and you get a good amount of them.

But all these advantages fade as the levels go up. Unlike other class, such as the fighter, the bard does not gain innate increases to there weapons or armor so they remain at what they are. They do not get extra skills increases or skill feats like the Rouge, so all those prof slowly start failing behind {made somewhat better after the 1.3 update, but still has some problems}. So the last place are feats, generally a good place to add a little bit extra into spells, but Bard feats are not the best {save for some good spots in Esoteric Scholar, and possibly Dirge of Doom, and such.}

So, you start out being generalized {arguably all class start out like this a little bit] just the bard is better then most at this. However as you go further up in level PF2 assumes you have specialized, and unlike other classes, the bard does not have a really good ability to do that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Siro wrote:

Hmm… Didn’t really think about performance being used for a more downtime activity, although now it has been pointed out to me, it seems obvious.

Though getting into the meat of it, I do agree a lot of classical fantasy performance is routed in encouragement, and encouraging effects would be one from of performance. However this would not be the only from a performance can take. For example siren song is known allure, a shaggoth maddening sounds are known to madden, and many rituals incorporate chanting to contact the sprits, or to summon creatures. The use of Performance as bolstering is a very good start, but don’t be limited by it.

The idea I was having would be Performance itself would consist or more mundane effects that could be caused. For example a ‘Inspiring Word’ performance that would take one Verbal action and have the effect “Target gains +1 against Fear until your next turn.”, on a passed check. Or an ‘Insulting Joke’ {Perhaps 2 actions} where you make a performance check against the targets Will DC. On a pass they take a -1 on attack rolls, -1 AC, and -1 on Perception checks made against everyone except you for 1 round. Regardless of the result the target gets a +2 on attack rolls, AC, and Perception against you for one round.” Or, incorporating what Performance already has with a “Delightful Ditty” that gives the user a +1 to its next Diplomacy check against the target, as long as its made within the next hour on a pass check. Or “Marching Drum” which you use at the start of...

This. All of this. This is exactly what I'd been saying. Performance should be much more robust than it is.

I also really like the idea of a way to restore spell slot. I think though, it may be better that the ability restored spell points. Every caster (and several other classes) have them and they do things that are worthwhile. This is also a LOT easier to balance than a spell slot.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Siro wrote:
So, you start out being generalized {arguably all class start out like this a little bit] just the bard is better then most at this. However as you go further up in level PF2 assumes you have specialized, and unlike other classes, the bard does not have a really good ability to do that.

Also, all of this.

Everyone I talk to who say bards are fine have not played one past level 5 or have just accepted that Inspire is so good nothing else matters. Inspire for one action every turn then sit down.

But if the class is reduced to 1 action, what's the point.

Personally, I don't understand the world in which a bard exists but performance doesn't. So I'm all for creating a more for performance> I previously stated I thought it should have functioned like Lore, but Alchemy/Craft works too. Mundane effects anyone can do.

I really like the "taunt" effect (-1 to everyone but the person using the skill. +2 to them).

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