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- "Performance" redirects here. For tips on optimizing the game's performance, see Maximizing framerate.
Performer is an occupation. Performers will perform for idle visitors at your fort's taverns and temples, through such media as stories, dance, poetry, and music. You may assign any number of your fortress's dwarves to serve as performers at the tavern and temple locations, and performers from other civilizations will regularly visit your fort's taverns to entertain taverngoers or petition for long-term residency.
Performers serve little practical purpose, as they mostly just duplicate the behavior of other taverngoers, and tavern keeper if assigned to a tavern. However, a skilled performer can significantly boost the mood of any dwarves who observe their work. Performers can take apprentices and pass on their skills to them.[Verify]
The performance skills are:
Types of Performances
There is a poet skill. Toady commenting on poetic forms:
Poetic, musical and dance forms will be generated by culture. There will be both knowledge and skill-based components to this -- so you can't compose a poem of a variety you aren't familiar with, no matter how good you are, but once you learn the rules, the quality will depend on your skills/atts. It'll start with the poet's general skill, and they'll also develop specific skill with the form...
There is a dancer skill. Dancing is initiated by musicians playing music. While one would assume a larger dance floor would increase the chances of dancing, it does the opposite.[Verify] This is presumably a bug.
Toady commenting on dancing:
Every dance is associated to a musical form, and the dances respect the rhythm, tempo and some other elements of the music. I didn't reproduce the rhythm patterns below, but it tries to make elements like the number of steps in a basic movement align with the rhythm and so forth. All of the forms below were generated for humanoid forms, but I'm working toward some support for varied creature bodies -- so you'll see stuff below like "left leg" even though that text doesn't appear in the dwarf raws, and you also won't see useful words like "hips" -- it's a work in progress, but it won't necessarily need to progress on that score before the release. There also aren't certain fundamentals like costumes, and I don't expect to get them in for this time. There will be some further restrictions based on entity character that aren't in yet.
Occasionally, your fortress may be visited by a performance troupe, which is a collection of performers all working together. The troupe possesses a randomly generated name and often comes in groups of over five individuals, but are otherwise identical to typical performers in functionality.
Note that some performers may/will be agents of some sort. Before accepting a petition from one to permanently join your fortress population, check their skills - if their "performing skills" are absent or sketchy, and especially if they're noticeably lower than certain other miscellaneous social skills such as schemer or persuader, it may not be worth the risk. More immediate solutions are, of course, up to you.