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Sift Spell - Clarification


Rules Questions


I need some clarification regarding the Sift Spell. What exactly does it do?

Sift Spell

Relevant Text of Spell
Area: 10ft cube.

Description:
You examine an area at range as if you were searching for fine details with the Perception skill. Make a Perception check with a -5 penalty, modified as normal for conditions. No penalty is applied for distance. Apply the result against the DC for any hidden features, such as secret doors, traps, or hidden treasure. You must be able to see the area you are attempting to search, and you only find details that can be perceived with sight or touch. Sift detects only objects and features, not actual creatures.

Question
Does the spell allow you to view the 10ft cube as if you were exploring it from a variety of angles or does it act similar to using binoculars and takes distance out of the equation?

If the first is correct then a caster could see around counters or other obstacles that would normally obscure his view. The second would limit the caster to only what he could normally observe given where he is standing but at a higher level of detail.

Thanks

like_a_god


My two cents: It's not really seeing (or touching) anything; rather it's like a Detect Hidden Objects spell that only works on visible (or tangible) objects.

Even if you could use it to search around a corner, it would be of limited use since it wouldn't help you find creatures -- only hidden "objects and features".


From my reading it's just making a perception check at a distance. So you could say, take a perception check to examine the bottom of a well, like you were at the bottom, without having to be at the bottom.


Gritnarr Halldorr wrote:
From my reading it's just making a perception check at a distance. So you could say, take a perception check to examine the bottom of a well, like you were at the bottom, without having to be at the bottom.

Except the math does not work.

Trying to find a secret door at 30' away DC = door DC+3

Using Sift to do the same thing. DC = door DC+5

I appear to be misunderstanding something. It appears there is no reason to cast this?

Help?


Poor Wandering One wrote:


Except the math does not work.

Trying to find a secret door at 30' away DC = door DC+3

Using Sift to do the same thing. DC = door DC+5

I appear to be misunderstanding something. It appears there is no reason to cast this?

Help?

I think the point is to be able to search for a whole bunch of things at once. The Perception skill description is a little vague, but if were GMing I probably wouldn't allow a player to search everything for traps, everywhere for secret doors and everywhere/everything for other hidden details in a 10' cube with a single action.


hogarth wrote:
I think the point is to be able to search for a whole bunch of things at once. The Perception skill description is a little vague, but if were GMing I probably wouldn't allow a player to search everything for traps, everywhere for secret doors and everywhere/everything for other hidden details in a 10' cube with a single action.

Exactly this -- it isn't at the same DC -- but it is faster, and covers more area at once. If you are in a hurry (like 2 rounds before someone knocks down a door) this spell is great for finding something in an area quickly.


There's also the point that it happens at-range, which means any nasty traps that you might set off walking over to the area you want to search won't be set off.

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