Perform (CHA)

(Oriental Adventures variant, p. 57)


You are skilled in a type of artistic expression, which may encompass a variety of specific methods, and you know how to put on a

Like Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, Perform is actually a number of separate skills. For instance, you could have the skill Perform (act). Your ranks in that skill don't affect any checks you happen to make for Perform (oratory) or Perform (string instruments). You could have several Perform skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased as a separate skill.

Common types of performance include acrobatics (Low), acting (Low), dance (Low), jesting (Low), Noh/kabuki (High), musical instruments (High or Low—see Chapter 5: Descriptions and Equipment for possible instruments), oratory (High), poetry (High), rhetoric (High), storytelling (neither High nor Low), and tea ceremony (High).


You can impress audiences with your talent and skill.

Perform DC Performance
10 Routine performance. Trying to earn money by playing in public is essentially begging. You can earn 1d10 cp/day.
15 Enjoyable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d10 sp/day.
20 Great performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d10 sp/day. In time, you may be invited to join a professional troupe and may develop a regional reputation.
25 Memorable performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 1d6 gp/day. In time, you may come to the attention of noble patrons and develop a national reputation.
30 Extraordinary performance. In a prosperous city, you can earn 3d6 gp/day. In time, you may draw attention from distant potential patrons, or even from extraplanar beings.

A masterwork musical instrument (page 130) gives you a +2 circumstance bonus on Perform checks that involve its use.


Varies. Trying to earn money by playing in public requires anywhere from an evening's work to a full day's performance, at the DM's discretion. The bard's special Perform-based abilities are described in that class's description (page 29).

Try again

Yes. Retries are allowed, but they don't negate previous failures, and an audience that has been unimpressed in the past is likely to be prejudiced against future performances. (Increase the DC by 2 for each previous failure.)


A bard must have at least 3 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire courage in his allies, or to use his countersong or his fascinate ability. A bard needs 6 ranks in a Perform skill to inspire competence, 9 ranks to use his suggestion ability, 12 ranks to inspire greatness, 15 ranks to use his song of freedom ability, 18 ranks to inspire heroics, and 21 ranks to use his mass suggestion ability. See Bardic Music in the bard class description, page 29.

In addition to using the Perform skill, you can entertain people with sleight of hand, tumbling, tightrope walking, and spells (especially illusions).

Also appears in

  1. Player's Handbook v.3.5

Required for feats

Feat name
Arcane Accompaniment
Arcane Flourish
Chant of Fortitude
Chord of Distraction
Cloak Dance
Combat Panache
Dancing Blade
Dancing with Shadows
Deafening Song
Disguise Spell
Disguise Spell
Disguise Spell
Enchanting Song
Epic Inspiration
From Smite to Song
Green Ear
Green Ear
Group Inspiration