Performer (3.5e Prestige Class)

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The differenece between a good performer and a great performer is this: A good performer works to gain fame, fortune, or safety. A Great Performer does it for those who watch, whether he makes the crowd cheer, or makes the enemy submit to his will...
—Gratya, human performer

Mere beauty in song and performance is the art of a true performer. Others focus on warfare, magic and song, but for true aesthetics it takes the heart of a real performance, the audience is just a mere mean to. While bards focus to do an average performance, the true art of beauty exceeds their capability and who cares about the audience if he is pure at heart. Performers are able to change emotions, decide wars without fighting and crush the minds with mere beauty, or force. Living performers are idols looked upon, worshipped like semi-gods and there are rarely two performers that are the same, each of them has adopted an intuitive style to express the beauty that lies inside of his or her heart, may it be glorious or frightful.


To qualify to become a performer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Charisma 14+
  • Two of the following skills Perform 5 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks and/or Tumble 5 ranks
  • Two of the following feats Skill Focus (perform), Skill Focus (intimidate) and Skill Focus (tumble)

Table: The Performer[edit]

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Performance, Performer, Path, Bonus feat
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Offense, Bard level +1
3rd +1 +1 +3 +3 Bonus feat
4th +2 +1 +4 +4 Improved Performance, Bard level +1
5th +2 +1 +4 +4 Bonus feat
6th +3 +2 +5 +5 Multi-performance, Bard level +1
7th +3 +2 +5 +5 Bonus feat
8th +4 +2 +6 +6 Mock, Bard level +1
9th +4 +3 +6 +6 Bonus feat
10th +5 +3 +7 +7 Intuitive Performer, Bard level +1

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier, x3 at 1st level)

The performer’s class skills (and key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Innuendo (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All the following are class features of the performer’s prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

The performer is proficient in simple weapons and light armor. He is unable to be proficient in anything else.


If the performer used to be a bard each 2 levels he gains a +1 to his bard level and gain any benefits from this level.


A performance is a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. To be affected, a creature must be in effect of a performance for a full-round (if not noted otherwise). Performance effects last as long as the performer maintains concentration and for Cha modifier rounds after the performer stopped. This affects all performances if not noted otherwise. During a performance, the performer can only perform move-actions as if concentrating on a spell. The performer may choose if her performance is sound dependant or up to moves. Sound-dependant performances affect all who are able to hear her; move-dependant performances affect all who are in line of sight and able to see the performer.A performance is an extraordinary ability, if not noted otherwise in a performance’s description. If a roll is required, sound-dependant performances use perform-checks and move-dependant performances use tumble-checks. Performance counts as if it is the bardic music ability for purposes of feats, such as Requiem. If a cross-reference is made, the bardic music ability of the performer is twice her performer class level.A performer may make one performance per class level per 10 rounds. After 10 rounds his pool of performances is replenished (if a performer should take the extra bardic music ability feat and adds the amount to this ability, the additional amount provided by the feat still pools a daily usage).


A performer may take 10 on all intimidate, perform and tumble checks even if stress and distraction would normally prevent her from doing so.Furthermore, a performer receives a skill bonus on these skills equal to half her performer class’ level (rounded down).This ability affects only the skills the performer has skill focus in.


A performer of first level chooses one of the following special abilities:

Helpless Performer: All allies of the performer gain the performer’s Cha modifier to attacks, checks, and saves if the performer is threatened or harmed. Furthermore the bonuses increases by one for each 5 attained performer class levels. This bonus last as long as the threat is immediate and apparent Untouchable Appearance: This ability is identical to the Monk’s AC bonus, except that it uses the performer’s Cha modifier instead of Wis, and doesn’t stack to it. To acquire this ability the performer must have skill-focus (intimidate) feat.

Tumbler: The performer gets the Uncanny Dodge class feature. She gains the Improved Uncanny Dodge class feature at 5th performer class level. Furthermore, at 9th class level his Evasion class feature changes to Improved Evasion. To acquire this ability the performer must have the skill-focus (tumble) feat and the Evasion class feature.

Master of Rats: If the performer uses any performance based on the perform skill and that requires a Will save of its victims, this ability is enhanced as if by the Chain Spell feat (secondary targets at -5 Will DC, up to one secondary target per two performer class levels). To acquire this ability the performer must have the skill-focus (perform) feat.


A performer may use performances to hamper enemies: She may use all performances that affect her allies but the bonuses turn to penalties and affect her foes (if there should be a limited number of targets, the limit still applies). In the case of inspire greatness the foes of the performer receive two negative levels that cannot kill them. These negative levels vanish as the effects of the performance vanish.Offences are exclusively based on intimidate checks. Each round, the performer may change the nature of the offence (either move-, or language-dependant), as intimidate can be transmitted by either body language or vocals.


A performer may use multiple performances per round simultaneously. She may start an additional performance as a move-equivalent action. However, she cannot maintain more than two performances at once (if for example an additional move action is granted by a Marshall, she cannot maintain a third performance, even if she would have an additional move action in the following round).Maintaining two performances simultaneously is a full-round action.Any action more than maintaining two performances in a round provokes an attack of opportunity, even if it normally doesn’t do so (like for example a 5ft adjustment).If one of the performances is based on the tumble skill, she may move up to half her speed, instead of just taking a 5ft step, but this movement provokes attacks of opportunity – the speed cannot be reduced by a tumble check to nullify attack of opportunities.

Improved Performance:

The performer may chose if the competence and circumstance bonuses or penalties of his performances or his offences are doubled:She chooses one of her performance skills (intimidate, perform or tumble) with that she has the skill focus feat. All performances (or offences) that the chosen skill involves are affected. This ability does not affect the bonus Hit Dice of Inspire Greatness, nor does it affect morale bonuses or penalties.This ability is always calculated before other bonuses are applied (this means that any enhancement is not multiplied – do not forget that two times doubling is tripling, etc.)


Mock is an intimidate check against a DC of the affected ability of the foe +10 (possibilities are all options normally available for the Aid Another action). The affected creature obtains a circumstance penalty of -2 for a number of rounds equal to the performer’s Cha modifier. This ability is subject to Improved Performance (intimidate) and uses up one of the performer’s performances.

Intuitive Performer:

The performer is in constant effect of one of her performances, when she starts performing (if a roll is required, she is automatically taking 10). When a performer acquires this ability she chooses one of her performances (choices include even newly gained performances). Once chosen, the choice cannot be remade.If the same performance should affect the performer, the effects do not stack, only the better effect counts.Unlike performances, this ability ends immediately when the performer stops performing. Intuitive Performer is of the same type as the performance (extraordinary, spell-like or supernatural).


Inspire Courage:

All allied creatures are affected, as well is the performer. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, and every fourth performer level, this bonus increases by 1 (+2 at 4th, and +3 at 8th). Inspire courage is a mind-affecting ability.

Inspire Competence:

One allied creature is affected. For every two levels the performer attains in performer beyond second, the performer can inspire competence in one additional creature. A creature inspired gets a competence bonus on his skill checks with a particular skill. The bonus is as high as the Cha modifier of the performer.

-The DM may rule that certain uses of this ability are infeasible. --(This ability is widely used as an offence, if the surrounding includes skill-checks, as a mountain or sea area).

Inspire Greatness:

One allied creature is affected. For every three levels the performer attains beyond 3rd, she can inspire greatness in one additional creature. A creature inspired gets the following bonuses:

  • +2 Hit Dice that grant temporary hit points (competence)
  • +2 competence bonus on attacks
  • +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves

Apply the target’s constitution modifier, if any, to each Hit Die. These extra Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining effects such as the sleep spell. If a subject with these temporary Hit Dice receives a negative level, first the temporary Hit Dice are removed.

Special Performances[edit]

At first level and every fifth level thereafter a performer chooses a special performance. Special performances follow the rules of performances. If any other class has any unique bardic music ability, the performer may take this ability instead of a special performance, if she fulfils the requirements for this ability (usually perform ranks, bardic music ability level, PrC level and access to epics). If this ability has a restriction on 24 hours, change 24 hours to 10 rounds (one refreshing cycle).


The performer makes a performance-check (except intimidate). All spells that penalize an ally, who is in this performance’s range of effect, are dispelled as if a Dispel Magic has been cast with the dispel result of the performance result. The spell-level of the Dispel Magic effect is 3 + ½ performer class’ levels. If the spell-level reaches 10, it is considered an epic spell-effect (at caster level of performer’s bardic music ability level or twice class level – to verify if this performance penetrates an antimagic field, etc.).

-Unlike normal performances this performance takes place immediately and cannot be maintained. Furthermore it is not a mind-affecting effect.


Prerequisites: Spell-breaker Special Performance, Offence Special Ability

The performer makes an intimidate check. All spells that enhance an opponent, who is in the performance range of effect, are dispelled as if a Dispel Magic has been cast with the dispel result of the perform check. Unlike normal Dispel Magic, this also suppresses supernatural abilities for one round (like the natural invisibility of the invisible stalker or supernatural damage reduction). The DC for the dispel check for supernatural abilities is the opponents HD +21.The spell-level of the Dispel Magic effect is 3 + ½ performer class’ levels. If the spell-level reaches 10, it is considered an epic spell-effect (at caster level of performer’s bardic music ability level or twice class level).Unlike normal performances this performance takes place immediately and cannot be maintained. Furthermore it is not a mind-affecting effect.


A performer can use her music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to, both, see and hear the performer, and able to pay attention to her. The performer must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other danger prevents the ability from working. For every uneven class level a performer attains after 1st class level, she can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.

To use the ability, a performer makes a Perform check. Her check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the performer cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 10 rounds (a refreshing cycle). If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the performer continues to play and concentrate. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 circumstance penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the performer to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect.

-Fascinate is a mind-affecting ability.

Greater Fascinate:

Prerequisite: Fascinate Special Performance.

As Fascinate Special Performance, but it may affect even creatures that are already fighting; Affected creatures stop fighting in the first round, if they are not attacked after the performer starts his performance (in game terms: they delay their action, if unused, to the end of the round, or after being attacked – if not attacked, the affected creatures don’t use their action anymore). Beginning in the following round of the performer, they are affected, as if fascinated. If they are attacked, while fascinated, a fascinated creature gets a new initiative count directly after the attack was made.Furthermore, to be affected, a creature only has to hear the performer sing, if they are within 90ft. of the performer (no longer be able to see).

Inspire Will:

Prerequisite: Inspire Greatness Performance

A performer with this ability may alter the bonuses of Inspire Greatness into the following ones; the performer decides which bonuses (or penalties) apply when she activated the Inspire Greatness Performance.

  • +3 competence bonus to Will saves
  • +1 competence bonus to damage rolls

Continue fighting even when disabled (Offence: affected creatures are dying at 9 hp or less and are disabled at 10 hp).

This ability is otherwise the same as Inspire Greatness and doesn’t stack to it.

Inspire Speed:

Prerequisite: Inspire Greatness Performance

A performer with this ability may alter the bonuses of Inspire Greatness into the following ones; the performer decides which bonuses (or penalties) apply when she activated the Inspire Greatness Performance.

  • +1 competence bonus to Reflex saves
  • +1 competence bonus to Initiative

Grants an additional move-action (Offence: all affected enemies lose a move-action. If they should be limited to partial actions before this ability kicks in, they are treated as if they were walking through difficult terrain, even if they could move through without penalty)

-This ability is otherwise the same as Inspire Greatness and doesn’t stack to it.

Feats / Abilities[edit]


Feat or Ghost Special Ability

Prerequisites: Bardic Music ability, Requiem and Knowledge (undead) 10 ranks (if not a ghost).

The ghost can use his bardic music ability to animate corpses. Dead bodes have to be in reach of the bardic music ability (they have be able to “hear” or “see” the bard perform, whereas the square under that the corpse is buried is treated as target, not the corpse itself). The ghost turns undead as if his turn undead ability would equal his bardic music ability (and does not stack to actual turning ability – this ability is not a divine one). The ghost animates a total number of HD of undead equal to the number of undead that would be commanded by the ghost’s result (though the ghost can’t animate more undead than there are available corpses within range).

The ghost can’t animate more undead with any single attempt than the maximum number he or she can command (including any undead already under his or her command). These undead are automatically under the ghost’s command, though his or her normal limit of commanded undead still applies. If the corpses are relatively fresh, the animated undead are zombies. Otherwise, they are skeletons. This ability is a supernatural, bone-affecting, necromantic effect and, as creating undead, evil. The undead are animated as long as the ghost concentrates on this bardic music ability. If he stops his performance the undead become motionless in the first round that they cannot draw upon the music’s energy. The following round, the corpses bury themselves in the earth where they are currently staying. (Note that the undead do have to be able to see or hear the bard performing, the undead are not allowed to exit the range of the bard’s performance.)

If the ghost concentrates on this bardic music ability he may automatically (less than a free action) give commands to the undead animated by this ability (normally this would be a separate standard action – but only the undead can be controlled this way that are animated by this performance). Furthermore the ghost may animate additional undead, as long as he is concentrating on this ability. He may once during a round he maintains concentration animate additional undead as a swift action, but at the normal costs (see below). He cannot, however, surpass the maximum of undead he can control by multiple usages of this ability.

A ghost may take this ability instead of special ghost ability, if he has the bardic music ability – he then gains the requiem feat for free.

If bought as a feat, activating this ability costs the bard one use of his bardic music ability plus one per 5HD of undead animated. A ghost, however, spends only one attempt, no matter how many he undead he animates.

Feats that enhance the turn undead ability may be bought for this ability as well (they count as different feats – they are then not divine, but bardic music feats).

Epic Performer[edit]

Table: Epic Performer

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
12th Inspire Courage +4
13th Bonus Feat
15th Immortal Performance, Performance of power
16th Bonus Feat, Inspire Courage +5
19th Bonus Feat
10th Special Performance, Inspire Courage +6

Skill Points Per Level
8 + Int modifier).

Bonus Feats: Epic performers gain a bonus feat ever 3 class levels.

Special Performances: Epic performers continue to gain special performances at the usual rate.

Epic Class Features[edit]

Immortal Performance:

The performances of a performer affect any creature that has an intelligence score. Immunities to mind influencing effects are ignored for creatures with an intelligence score.

This feat includes constructs, gods, oozes, plants, undead and vermin, as long as they have an intelligence score.

Epic Special Performances[edit]

Performance of Power:

One allied creature is affected by this performance plus one additional ally for five performer class levels beyond 15.All rolls of the affected creatures are treated as if they had rolled at least a 10. They still need to roll, but may chose the better result.

If it is used in offence, affected enemies are treated as if they had rolled a result of maximum 10. They still roll, but apply the worse result. If any affected creature has the ability to treat all rolls as natural 10 (or higher), her maximum is superseded by this one.

Epic Feats[edit]

Inspire More (Epic)

Prerequisites: Inspire Greatness and either Inspire Speed or Will

Instead of choosing among different versions of Inspire Greatness, a performer can merge two Inspire Greatness performances into one. However, the cost of playing such a performance increases by one. This feat may be bought a second time, so the performer can use all three variations (Greatness, Speed and Will) at once at the cost of three performances.

Greater Breaker (Epic)

Prerequisites: Spell-Breaker and Offence-Breaker Special Performances

If you start to use a performance to use either Offence-Breaker or Spell-Breaker Special Performance, you automatically activate the other Breaker Special Performance without additional costs.

Hypnotic Song (Epic)

Prerequisites: Greater Fascinate Special Performance

The affected creatures of your Fascinate Special Performance are stunned, if they fail their save. If they fail their save by more than 20, they are helpless. If an affected creature is attacked, it becomes nauseated (if still alive), but also gains a new automatic save each round against the performance, to shrug of the nausea.

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