Just as different styles of music can evoke different responses, different bards can manipulate different emotions. Some bards do not need an instrument to play music, instead creating a symphony of agony as they break bones, tear flesh, and force their enemies to cry out in pain.
Some bards are trained to use pain to create magical effects on those around them. A bard can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st a bard can use violent performance for 2 additional rounds per day. Each round, the bard can produce any one of the types of violent performance that she has mastered, as indicated by her level.
Starting a violent performance is an attack action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. To start a violent performance, a bard must declare the effect at the beginning of her turn. She must then successfully attack an opponent with her bardic weapon. For the purpose of this attack, the bard’s base attack bonus is equal to her bard level. Any other attacks made the same round use the bard’s regular base attack bonus. Upon a successful hit, this attack deals no damage but begins the effect immediately. The effect continues as long as the bard successfully attacks an opponent at least once a round.
Changing a violent performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as an attack action. A violent performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A bard cannot have more than one violent performance in effect at one time.
Each violent performance has audible components and visual components. As long as one component is met, the effect can succeed. So a bard can start any violent performance against an invisible foe, or under the effect of a silence spell, but not both. Violent performances function exactly like bardic performances except as noted below. The bard can perform in combat even if the performance says otherwise. The bard cannot perform outside of combat. Substitute any reference to the bard’s perform check with the result of the attack roll that started the violent performance. The following bardic performances function differently as violent performances: fascinate; soothing performance.
Fascinate: A bard can fascinate targets even in combat. Targets of fascinate receive a Will save every round. When a fascinated creature is attacked, the effect ends immediately and the target cannot be fascinated by the same bard again for 24 hours.
Soothing Performance: As a violent performance, this is called Revitalizing Bloodshed.