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Madcap Prank (Su): At 9th level, a street performer can use performance to discomfit a target within 30 feet, causing its clothing to become tangled, its headgear to fall down over its eyes, or even causing it to slip and fall or otherwise be made to appear a fool. The target must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard's level + the bard's Cha modifier) each round that it hears or sees the performance, or it takes one of the following random effects each round: 1—blinded, 2—dazzled, 3—deafened, 4—entangled, 5—fall prone, 6—nauseated. Each effect lasts 1 round. This performance replaces inspire greatness.

So for a 9th level Street Performer Bard, this ability can be started as a move action, maintained as a free action, and be able to pick a new target each round that it is maintained?

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You're almost correct, with the exception that there is no mechanism for changing the target of an individual bardic performance which has a limited number of targets - you choose the target(s) when you start the performance. If you want to affect different targets, even if you're using the same kind of performance, you need to take an action to start a new performance.

Also, keep in mind, you can normally only have one bardic performance active at a time, so if you do change your target in this way you can't double up on the effects for the round and cause both your original target and the new target to suffer from the performance - the moment you start a new performance, the original effect will end. The exception is if you use an ability/spell like Virtuoso Performance, which allows you to maintain two performances at once (though it costs three times as many rounds of the performance ability).

Start ability/change target: move action (becoming swift action at 13th level), target suffers effect immediately

Maintain ability: free action, target suffers effect again

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You might like to add a rider to your second paragraph - it is actually quite easy to start a second performance with Virtuoso Performance, available at level 10. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno originally read that as Versatile Performance and was wondering what on earth you were on about. Suggestion noted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 7:54

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