Perform (CHA)

(Player's Handbook v.3.5 variant, p. 79)


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.

Each of the nine categories of the Perform skill includes a variety of methods, instruments, or techniques, a small list of which is provided for each category below. The DM is free to expand any of these categories with additional methods, instruments, or techniques, as appropriate for his or her campaign.

  • Act (comedy, drama, mime)
  • Comedy (buffoonery, limericks, joke-telling)
  • Dance (ballet, waltz, jig)
  • Keyboard instruments (harpsichord, piano, pipe organ)
  • Oratory (epic, ode, storytelling)
  • Percussion instruments (bells, chimes, drums, gong)
  • String instruments (fiddle, harp, lute, mandolin)
  • Wind instruments (flute, pan pipes, recorder, shawm, trumpet)
  • Sing (ballad, chant, melody)


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. Oriental Adventures

Required for feats

Feat name
Group Inspiration
Haunting Melody
Haunting Melody
Hindering Song
Ice Harmonics
Initiate of Milil
Inspire Excellence
Inspire Spellpower
Ironskin Chant
Jester's Magic
Lasting Inspiration
Lasting Inspiration
Lyric Spell
Melodic Casting
Misleading Song
Music of Growth
Music of Making
Music of the Gods
Music of the Outer Spheres
Path of Shadows