Dresden Files - The Archives
A measure of your overall artistic ability, including both knowledge of composition of a plethora of creative works (painting, dance, music, writing, and some elements of acting) as well as the performance or production of the aforementioned works themselves.
Common sense should dictate whether or not a character is practiced in a particular medium—if the character is a journalist, they probably don’t do ballet. Some groups may want to nail this down more specifically, for this skill and for others (like Scholarship). A good guideline is to allow the player to choose areas of specialty equal to the rating of the skill. So, a character with Good (+3) Performance is practiced in three mediums of art. If you’re going to do this, keep in mind that some characters might be locked out of using the Play to an Audience or Composition trappings, depending on context.
Use Performance to know about Art. Performance is identical to Scholarship, through the fields it applies to are more limited and more focused. Thanks to this narrowed focus on the fields of art and performance, a few shifts of success on a Performance roll may pay out more information when compared to the same number of shifts from a Scholarship roll on the same target.
Use Performance to produce and artistic composition of virtually any type. You must be familiar with and practiced in the medium.You produce works of a quality equal to your skill. Without stunts, it’s probable that none of them will be masterpieces, but any art that’s Average or better can be displayed without any real embarrassment (unless directly being compared to better pieces).
Use Performance to creatively express ideas in communication whether writing or speaking. Performance is used to modify Scholarship rolls for your writing (or vice versa). There are exceptions, such as dry, academic documents (which use pure Scholarship) and poetry (which uses just Performance). In public speaking Performance modifies (page 214) whatever skill (Rapport, Intimidation, Presence, or Deceit) you are using, so long as the communication has a creative or component.
Playing to an Audience
Use Performance to interact with an audience—producing a reaction in a crowd with creative expression.You can use Performance to declare (page 116) aspects on a scene when those aspects might arise from a moving performance, affecting everyone in a room at once. Usually, aspects declared by this method must be broad, indicating the mood of the crowd, rather than specific and targeted at individuals present.
Art Historian: You not only create art, you’ve studied it deeply. Gain a +1 whenever using Performance as a knowledge or perception skill to research or study a work of art. Gain an additional +1 in a specific, broad area of art (e.g., music, painting, sculpture), and another +1 in a yet narrower area (e.g., pop music, Renaissance paintings, the Dada movement) for a total +3 whenever dealing with your area of greatest expertise.
Impersonator: Given a few hours to study someone’s behavior and modes of speech, you may imitate their mannerisms and voice, using Performance instead of Deceit to convince someone you are that person. Without strongly controlling the circumstances (e.g., impersonating someone over the phone), such impersonations won’t last very long. If combined with the Makeup Artist stunt (page 151) and plenty of preparation, you may use either Performance or Deceit to pull off a full impersonation, using the better skill for all relevant rolls and getting a +1 against Investigation rolls trying to penetrate the disguise.
Poet: You have an affinity for beauty in written and spoken language. Your Performance is at +2 when composing something with words and is considered to be two higher when used to modify (page 214) a social skill.
Pointed Performance: When performing for an audience, normally you can only create aspects on the scene that are broad, focused on general moods (Creepy as Hell, Let’s Party!, Uninhibited). With this stunt, you may make performances that target something more specific, perhaps directing that mood at a particular person or group. For instance, a satirist with this stunt could attempt to use his performance either to elicit a response from one person in the audience (The Jig Is Up) or to cause the audience to direct their mood toward that person (Check Out the Emperor’s New Clothes).