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A Battledancer Swashbuckler can have Fascinating Performance and Focused Fascination at level 1. In short, Fascinating Performance allows them to Fascinate a target when they make a Perform check, and Focused Fascination makes it so they don't need to critically succeed to apply this effect on combat.

However, the Fascinate condition "ends if a creature uses hostile actions against you or any of your allies." In combat, this will be happening more or less constantly, so it seems like the Fascinate status won't last very long, possibly just a single character's turn.

Am I missing something, or will the condition applied by Focused Fascination only be relevant in very rare circumstances? For context, I'm asking because a player of mine expressed frustration at how limited the use of this feat is, and I'm trying to understand if the feat is better than I think or not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Low-level Battledancer isn't super strong (and neither is Focused Fascination), but one thing that makes Focused Fascination weaker is that at level 4 at lot of Battledancers will want to take Leading Dance, which means that they'll be using Fascinating Performance (and therefore Focused Fascination) even less. Doesn't mean the feat doesn't have it's niche (enabled by the strategy @darch mentions in their answer), but it is something to be wary of for someone looking to play a Battledancer long term. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Feb 10, 2023 at 20:36

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Making the condition work for you in combat requires careful timing. This is true of a lot of conditions in PF2, which often only last a fraction of a round, but fascinated is likely the most extreme example.

It will end fairly quickly if the user's allies use hostile actions, but it is not entirely without value. For example, the user's allies can position and buff each other without canceling fascination. More commonly, the user can Delay their turn so they go just before the creature they are planning to fascinate. That way, the fascination will have had its effect for one of the enemy's turns before any hostile actions can occur.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ See blinding beauty (Nymph Sorcerer Advanced Bloodline Spell) for another example of an effect that basically requires you to time it in the round correctly for it to have any effect \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Feb 11, 2023 at 4:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso at least for that you can take Razzle Dazzle \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Feb 11, 2023 at 9:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is true (and I upvoted), Fascinated is generally not a good condition, and I would not delay my turn over it, unless I have other, good reason to do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Feb 11, 2023 at 13:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is also true. Pretty much just makes sure the enemy will attack you instead of someone else, at best \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Feb 11, 2023 at 13:58

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