In Pathfinder, I used the bard's Fascinate ability on a guard.

Will the guard remember being pulled under it, and what will his reaction towards me be afterwards?


They remember, but may not know what happened

A fascinated target will remember the great performance of your bard, but he doesn't know that he was magically affected by something unless he has some skill ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), using Recall Intrigue (from Spymaster's Handbook):

Identify a class feature from a class that grants arcane or psychic spells

Arcana: DC 10+ class level when the feature is granted

Since you cannot make Knowledge checks if the DC is higher than 10 without some skill ranks on the skill, they must be trained in Knowledge (Arcana) to be able to attempt to identify that this performance was actually a magical ability trying to fascinate the audience, rather than a very good performance.

Or if they succeded on their saving throw:

A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack.

They will feel that something attempted to affect their mind if they pass the saving throw, but similarly won't be able to identify what was it exactly without passing at least the Knowledge (Arcana) check.

Finally, other people may also tell that the NPC is under magical enchantment if they pass a Sense Motive check (DC 25):

Sense Enchantment: You can tell that someone’s behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect even if that person isn’t aware of it.

Which was expanded on Ultimate Intrigue (pg. 88):

Noticing Enchantments: Sense Motive allows a character to notice someone whose behavior is being inf luenced by an enchantment, though as an active check, this takes at least 1 minute of interaction and the intention to sense enchantments. This doesn’t notice enchantments that aren’t actually causing a difference in behavior at the time. For instance, if a creature is under charm person but the caster isn’t around and doesn’t come up in conversation, a Sense Motive check won’t reveal the enchantment.

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In Pathfinder 1, abilities only do whatever they say they do. Nothing about the Fascinate ability indicates any memory changes, or changes in attitudes. More than likely, affected targets will not feel any particular animosity towards the bard afterwards, but specific circumstances might change that, such as Fascinating guards while you or an ally commit a crime.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, fascinating people to make them stop chewing popcorn during performance migh actually get you gratitude. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Aug 14 '19 at 9:22

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