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Noticing Traps


Rules Questions

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5 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Time for this to be brought up again.

Are traps able to be noticed passively (like the giant standing in the road) or do they require an action to be noticed?

Shadow Lodge

The existance of the rogues [traspotter talent] (not just their trapfinding) heavily implies that a trap is not an active stimulus and you need to search for it, so you have to search for it.

How exactly search works has been up in the air for a bit, but ultimate intrigue suggests a 10 foot by 10 foot area per move action.

Sovereign Court

Traps are too varied for a blanket rule to make much sense.

You could certainly passive spot a tripwire. Even if you don't have Trap Spotter. That just makes it even more likely.

You'd have to actively inspect a lock to notice that pushing in anything but the correct key will make it eject a poisoned needle. A Trap Spotter is likely to notice "something funny" before pushing in his lockpick too deeply.


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Technically you have to say you're looking for traps.

But as a GM, to avoid being a jerk. I don't ask my players to tell me every time they are looking. Just "Are you looking as you walk around (so you can't hustle)?"

Hustling = double move action.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The existance of the rogues [traspotter talent] (not just their trapfinding) heavily implies that a trap is not an active stimulus and you need to search for it, so you have to search for it.

How so?

Seems to me the talent allows you to notice it when you are still 10' away from the trigger rather than being right at it. It would allow two chances to perceive it if the rogue is in front -- once from trap spotter and again when they are at the trap.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:
Technically you have to say you're looking for traps.

I don't remember any rule decisively saying so. The Perception skill only says:

Quote:
Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

And of course we're not given any precise definition of what constitutes an "observable stimulus".

I'd call a tripwire in a hallway an observable stimulus. It's thin so seeing isn't guaranteed (i.e. you need to succeed at a Perception DC), but it's there in plain sight. You could spot it without actively searching for it.


I'd say the phrase "made in response to observable stimulus" implies movement or change. "In response" means something's changed, or something feels off. It also implies the GM has to say the PCs get a check, because they may or may not observe the thing. A person moaning covered under debris is observable and should not be only noticed when players ask for it. A tripwire in the hallway is thin enough that it might escape notice, thus requiring the PCs to explicitly state they're looking for stuff.

Anything out in the open requires no check to be seen. If there's a chair in the room, you see it. If there's a creature hiding behind the chair, you need a Perception check. Traps are usually hidden, so you need a check for that, a check the players have to ask for. Though I sometimes ask players when I GM what their Perception modifiers are, or their take-10 as a "passive" Perception check to notice stuff I don't want to bother asking the players to roll for. Around level 10 most people should be able to see a DC 20 or 25 thing. Only when something's actively hidden I let people roll for it when they ask for it (why would you bother looking in the bookcase when you're not looking for certain books?), but even that feels cheap sometimes.

By the way, I'm in a high-level campaign right now where somehow I'm the dedicated trap spotter guy. I started with a WIS of 11 and now I'm at 23 and rocking a Perception of +47 and the Trap Spotter talent. The GM doesn't even bother rolling for it anymore.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Technically you have to say you're looking for traps.

I don't remember any rule decisively saying so. The Perception skill only says:

Quote:
Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

And of course we're not given any precise definition of what constitutes an "observable stimulus".

I'd call a tripwire in a hallway an observable stimulus. It's thin so seeing isn't guaranteed (i.e. you need to succeed at a Perception DC), but it's there in plain sight. You could spot it without actively searching for it.

In practice I agree with you, but we don't have guidelines for "observable stimulus" so it's better to be safe then sorry.

Really though, the problem is even deeper than this.

Traps are lame (usually).

Even if you fail to spot it it usually just some HP damage (which is removed via wand) and then ignored. Or it outright kills a PC, which is bad game design.

So I prefer to run traps as easy as possible for the party.

Sovereign Court

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The traps I tend to enjoy most are the ones that are fairly easy to spot, but make you think about what to do next.

So that usually means they do more than a few HP, and you know that it's not so simple too. They might set off an alarm. They might smash the MacGuffin. They might hit a PC with a powerful Dominate effect. Or, sure, the trap might do damage, more of it than you can handle, but slowly (boulder rolling down a hallway, ceiling pressing down) so you have to calculate how many rounds you have after the trap has been triggered to do whatever you need to do, and then get out.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I'd say the phrase "made in response to observable stimulus" implies movement or change.

You are the one that moved. You moved into the area of the trap.

I have a problem with the 10th level ranger having no chance of noticing that bear trap someone left just off the forest trail if you are saying they have to actively search. Something like that would be a CR 1-2 trap, yet they have no chance to notice it?


As I said, it's difficult. "Passive perception" is definitely a thing, but I wouldn't want to spoon-feed every trap and item on the ground for them, especially if there's no reason for them to look that way. I mean, if a bear trap is hidden under a pile of leaves, there's no reason to say, "you spot a bear trap under that pile of leaves as soon as you enter the room." I might say it if he's moving near it or interacting with it, but if an attempt's been made to hide it, I see no reason to say it to the party. Similar to what OP said, you notice the giant standing on the road as he's clearly not trying to hide, but an earring under the bed isn't something everyone would see right away.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

So someone with a +20 perception can automatically sense the presence of an invisible creature, but not a CR 1 trap concealed in some leaves?

I find that pretty hard to believe.

The Exchange

I used to have fun dropping a "trap" on my players that they "notice"...

Say as the PCs come down a hallway, they come up behind a "crossbow trap" pointed up the hallway ahead of them. Pointed away from them - they have clearly come up behind it. So they laugh, and pull the bolt out to the crossbow (or cut the bow string or something) - which triggers the falling block from the ceiling. Or triggers the other crossbow up the hall pointed back at them that they didn't see/didn't look for, or something... because the "already saw the trap", they didn't check for one...

But then I can also remember another game in which I felt bad about the amount of treasure (or lack thereof) that I had given out in an earlier meeting. So I placed a large gem (a ruby) in the hall for the players to find. I reasoned to myself that another adventuring party had dropped it as they left the area - and had not noticed it falling to the floor.

As the players approached the intersection they caught sight of a "red twinkle" on the floor ahead. Out came the detect spells, the rogue checking for traps, the works. Ultimately, even discovering that it was a gem, they elected to bypass that section of tunnel to avoid approaching it, as they could come up with NO REASON FOR IT TO BE THERE. It HAD to be a trap, and one they couldn't figure out, couldn't detect. So they decided it was best to bust a hole in a couple room walls to bypass the intersection entirely...


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Quentin Coldwater wrote:
As I said, it's difficult. "Passive perception" is definitely a thing, but I wouldn't want to spoon-feed every trap and item on the ground for them, especially if there's no reason for them to look that way. I mean, if a bear trap is hidden under a pile of leaves, there's no reason to say, "you spot a bear trap under that pile of leaves as soon as you enter the room." I might say it if he's moving near it or interacting with it, but if an attempt's been made to hide it, I see no reason to say it to the party. Similar to what OP said, you notice the giant standing on the road as he's clearly not trying to hide, but an earring under the bed isn't something everyone would see right away.

Traps have a high perception DC exactly because people try to hide them. If the bear trap wasn't hidden, it would be DC0 or so to spot it. If it's hidden, maybe it's a DC20 or 25, but that means someone with a high perception can still passively spot it.

You don't necessarily say that he spots a bear trap, but he can notice something odd about the pile of leaves, maybe see a glint of metal from the pile of leaves, or a sharp point sticking up.

If the party has no actual line of sight to an earring because it's blocked by cover, then they can't passively spot it.

If you don't want to spoon feed them bunches of traps, here's an idea...stop using traps.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The players (and the GM is a player of the game too) need to sit down together and determine a procedure for how traps are dealt with in the game. There is enough YMMV in the Perception rules as it is, enough differences in the perception of rules on Perception, that the best way to reduce "hard feelings" would be to work out how the rules work - and stick with that.

The players perceive the game thru the GM - the GM provides the players with what they see/hear/feel/etc. and they need to be "talking the same language"... or problems will occur.

Shadow Lodge

BretI wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The existance of the rogues [traspotter talent] (not just their trapfinding) heavily implies that a trap is not an active stimulus and you need to search for it, so you have to search for it.

How so?

Seems to me the talent allows you to notice it when you are still 10' away from the trigger rather than being right at it. It would allow two chances to perceive it if the rogue is in front -- once from trap spotter and again when they are at the trap.

Some things need to be actively looked for. Its not said whether a trap is one of those things are not. but trapspotter says you get to see it within 10 feet. Otherwise you're at a free roll any time you're... within however far away perception works from. Which would be line of sight


BigNorseWolf wrote:
BretI wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The existance of the rogues [traspotter talent] (not just their trapfinding) heavily implies that a trap is not an active stimulus and you need to search for it, so you have to search for it.

How so?

Seems to me the talent allows you to notice it when you are still 10' away from the trigger rather than being right at it. It would allow two chances to perceive it if the rogue is in front -- once from trap spotter and again when they are at the trap.

Some things need to be actively looked for. Its not said whether a trap is one of those things are not. but trapspotter says you get to see it within 10 feet. Otherwise you're at a free roll any time you're... within however far away perception works from. Which would be line of sight

Modified by distance and other effects, of course, such as environmental modifiers. Yes.

Why not?

Seems to me the things that need to be actively 'looked for' are things that are generally blocked from line of sight, like the aforementioned earring under the bed.


BretI wrote:

So someone with a +20 perception can automatically sense the presence of an invisible creature, but not a CR 1 trap concealed in some leaves?

I find that pretty hard to believe.

I never said that, and if I implied it, I never meant to. Just like a bear trap, if it's intended to be hidden, I wouldn't allow a "free" chance to note it.

But yeah, as Muse. said, you need to talk with your players to get a good picture of your expectations. I rand a PFS game where the dungeon was filled with traps. After narrowly noticing the first two, they said, "we're taking 20 on every square." Which I found a bit cheesy, but a legit strategy. Their taking 20 meant they say everything, which ruined a bit of the atmosphere, but at least everyone was on the same page.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
BretI wrote:

So someone with a +20 perception can automatically sense the presence of an invisible creature, but not a CR 1 trap concealed in some leaves?

I find that pretty hard to believe.

I never said that, and if I implied it, I never meant to. Just like a bear trap, if it's intended to be hidden, I wouldn't allow a "free" chance to note it.

But yeah, as Muse. said, you need to talk with your players to get a good picture of your expectations. I rand a PFS game where the dungeon was filled with traps. After narrowly noticing the first two, they said, "we're taking 20 on every square." Which I found a bit cheesy, but a legit strategy. Their taking 20 meant they say everything, which ruined a bit of the atmosphere, but at least everyone was on the same page.

And this is the go-to strategy for trap heavy scenarios, which is why trap-heavy scenarios aren't very interesting or fun.

Traps work a lot better in novels than RPGs.


Taking 20 slows the party down which isn't always an option.

Tables should come to an understanding of how traps and perception work (like everything else in the game) but the rules seem pretty clear that you need to search for traps to spot them unless you have trap finding.

I think including traps is important, if DMs only put traps in the game when a PC plays a rogue the players will notice and stop playing rogues. if anything the DC to spot traps doesn't scale very well, it's too difficult a low levels and too easy at higher levels.

If you're giving away rogue abilities you may as well give away other stuff, give martials cantrips and let knowledge skills be class skills for everyone.


_Ozy_ wrote:

Modified by distance and other effects, of course, such as environmental modifiers. Yes.

Why not?

Seems to me the things that need to be actively 'looked for' are things that are generally blocked from line of sight, like the aforementioned earring under the bed.

Yeah, exactly this. Maybe a tripwire isn't the best example, but some traps are more cleverly hidden than that. A pressure plate might be virtually indistinguishable from a regular floor tile, and a pit trap is usually designed to look as much like a floor as possible. I'd agree very perceptive people might get a passive notification something's funky with that pile of leaves, but you can't outright tell them there's a bear trap under it. You also don't know the bookcase has a hidden switch if you've never interacted with those books in the first place. You might see the bookcase is oddly placed, or you see scratch marks as if it's moved a lot, but you don't know it's opened by lifting up the third book from the right unless you're actually looking through the shelves.

But I agree, most traps are silly and outdated.


Sure, but for example with the pressure plate...a particularly perceptive PC might notice differences in wear, or distribution of dust on the floor tiles that tells him something is up.

Sure, with our normal human experience, that sort of things seems somewhat impossible. But then, we don't really walk around with +25 Perceptions either, so our own personal experience isn't a good benchmark.

Someone with a +25 modifier to their perception can see something as easily at 250' as a normal person with a +0 perception modifier can at 0'. That's pretty difficult to wrap your head around how that would actually play out as you walk down a dungeon corridor. If you watch Elementary or any other recent Sherlock Holmes adaptation, think of +25 perception like that, only much, much more capable.


In regards to the pressure plate: that's just justifying why you'd notice a trap. If it's a DC 25 to notice the dust is off or it's less worn than every other tile in the hallway, you have superhuman perception already. That, or the trap's terribly made. A really well-hidden trap would also cover that, I'd think.

Even if you're hypersensitive, you still don't perceive everything in the blink of an eye. I should know, I have a thing where I can't filter stimuli properly. I'm just saying that, if people announce they're going to take a look, you can say, "you find x and y," without having them roll a single die, but it's not an automatic process. You can't just hand them every item in the room just because someone has a +30 on their Perception. If they're not looking around (or announce they want to look behind place X), the thing stays hidden. Just like illusions, you need some kind of interaction before you can poke through it.


No, you don't know. You don't have a +25 on your perception, nor do you know anyone even close to that level of superhuman capabilities anymore than you know someone who can channel energy.

And it's not a 'blink of an eye', it's during the normal course of moving and looking around, which is what happens when you don't have your eyes closed. You're looking down the corridor in the direction of travel, your +25 perception notices an unevenness in the floor tiles, or one tile that has much more accumulated dust, or doesn't have the same wear markings as the other tiles, and so on. This is not a 'hidden' stimulus.

Hidden (no line of sight) is different, as I've already mentioned.


Again, that's just justifying your own case. You're inventing "what ifs" and assume a fake tile isn't indistinguishable from a real tile at a casual glance. No matter how good your perception is, you have to focus on an object to see if there's something wrong with it. A person can't solve a Where's Wally? picture within 3 seconds, no matter how good your eyesight is. You need to pay attention to it. Someone with a +30 in Perception might find him a lot faster than I could, but the process certainly isn't automatic.


Quote:
No matter how good your perception is, you have to focus on an object to see if there's something wrong with it.

Why do you keep imposing your misunderstanding of what a +25 perception really means?

You have no experience with what it means to have a +25 perception. Therefore any of your 'A person can't...' statements are categorically wrong. How would you know? I'm not inventing 'what ifs', I'm positing explanations for a listed perception DC. If you want to come up with your own, feel free. Nonetheless, that listed perception DC exists for a reason, and there's no reason someone with an insanely high perception can't passively notice what is in their line of sight.

It's not about 'just having good eyesight'. It is physically impossible for the human eye to act like a x25 telescope, for example. A high perception IS about noticing, not just 'seeing'. That's the whole point. There is no other 'notice' skill beyond perception.


True, I don't know what it's like to have insanely high perception, but as I said, I'm above-averagely perceptive due to not being able to filter, and I know people who are dumb as a rock and don't notice an earthquake if it happened right below them. I can extrapolate from there. Not accurately, I admit, but I have a guideline.
I admit, it might've been wrong of me to dismiss anything out of hand, but conversely you'll have to admit there might be some truth to what I'm saying. We can't be 100% sure of those situations, but we can approximate. I'm not right, but you might not be 100% right, either, so the answer lies somewhere in between. It's now a matter of determining where exactly it's placed on that continuum.


Trying to apply common sense to rules question in a game simulating high fantasy is usually just a good way to get confused.

This sort of argument can go weird places, like saying hey my character has a 32 int, so you should just tell me the answer to all these plot questions because my character would instantly figure it out.

At a +25 perception, when you look for traps you'll very likely find most traps that are around and if you take 10 you're going to nearly every trap that could be made which seems pretty super human to me.

I don't see why you wouldn't let players take 10, as long as they are not in combat (or otherwise distracted), and are considering that it is a move action so they can't hustle.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:

True, I don't know what it's like to have insanely high perception, but as I said, I'm above-averagely perceptive due to not being able to filter, and I know people who are dumb as a rock and don't notice an earthquake if it happened right below them. I can extrapolate from there. Not accurately, I admit, but I have a guideline.

I admit, it might've been wrong of me to dismiss anything out of hand, but conversely you'll have to admit there might be some truth to what I'm saying. We can't be 100% sure of those situations, but we can approximate. I'm not right, but you might not be 100% right, either, so the answer lies somewhere in between. It's now a matter of determining where exactly it's placed on that continuum.

It's simple. We use the perception DC listed for the trap, and determine if it's within line of sight.

That's all you need. Then the GM can fluff the discovery how ever they like.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Quote:
No matter how good your perception is, you have to focus on an object to see if there's something wrong with it.

Why do you keep imposing your misunderstanding of what a +25 perception really means?

You have no experience with what it means to have a +25 perception. Therefore any of your 'A person can't...' statements are categorically wrong. How would you know? I'm not inventing 'what ifs', I'm positing explanations for a listed perception DC. If you want to come up with your own, feel free. Nonetheless, that listed perception DC exists for a reason, and there's no reason someone with an insanely high perception can't passively notice what is in their line of sight.

It's not about 'just having good eyesight'. It is physically impossible for the human eye to act like a x25 telescope, for example. A high perception IS about noticing, not just 'seeing'. That's the whole point. There is no other 'notice' skill beyond perception.

I agree with _Ozy_. I once went possum hunting (they're a pest here in NZ) with a friend who is ex-army. He could spot a possum 50 feet up a tree in the dark with no lights just as we were walking along. He just said the tree didn't look right. I still couldn't see it with the light shining right at it. Clearly his perception score was a lot higher than mine.

In the game I assume that under non-combat conditions the party is taking a move action and a perception check unless noted otherwise. I don't roll every round and I don't assume a passive take 10 because that is an auto-fail or auto succeed depending on the character's perception. I roll a perception check for each character just in time before the trap or other hidden item is triggered. If the effect is not immediately apparent I use an Excel script on my laptop to roll for all the party at the same time. I can do that discretely as I update other stuff.


I would say that all this back and forth means that more people need to hit the FAQ button.


They have to be looked for intentionally. This is expanded on in the unchained book. It might also be in the Intrigue book. If not then it does need an FAQ.

Sovereign Court

wraithstrike wrote:
They have to be looked for intentionally. This is expanded on in the unchained book. It might also be in the Intrigue book. If not then it does need an FAQ.

It's in Unchained? I looked for it in Intrigue but didn't find anything that was clearly about normal trapfinding.

The Exchange

some personal observations on Perception vs. Search:

A Perception check is not a Search. Why is there so much problem with this?

Normally a Perception check is in reaction to something, but as an active check it is a Move action.

When a player says "I've doing a Perception check from the door of the room" he is saying that his PC is looking (smelling, listening, feeling, even tasting) from the doorway - more than likely from just outside, to see what he can perceive about the room. This takes a few seconds (a move action). If the player than says "I take 20 and get XX" - this means the PC took one minute (20 move actions) to scan the room.

HE IS NOT SEARCHING THE ROOM.

Yet many judges respond with things like "You know how long that will take? Hours! This room is full of books, drawers, crates, ... it would take you hours to go through all that!" and in disgust at the player for trying to "game the system" he will move the game closer to Players Vs. Judge because of what he perceives the player to be doing. When in reality, often all the player is wanting to do is take a minute to understand his environment a little more.

The player has been taught (I hope) or read in the rules, that the way someone checks for something in the game, the way he gathers insight into environment is to say "I take a Perception skill check" and that you can Take 20... so he is trying to do that.

This saves him all the other, direct questions...

"Are there Trip Wires I can see?"
"Is there heavy breathing from behind the box in front of me?"
"Does it smell like dead things in here?"
"Does the air feel unnaturally cold and damp?"
"Does the taste of wood smoke fill the air?

That's all. Really.

It doesn't take all that long, it doesn't break the game, and even saves real time (everyone is not rolling dice, counting up numbers and shouting at the judge at once...). The guy with the best Perception scans the room for danger - and maybe takes a minute - and the judge tells them what he sees/hears/smells/feels/etc....

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
BretI wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The existance of the rogues [traspotter talent] (not just their trapfinding) heavily implies that a trap is not an active stimulus and you need to search for it, so you have to search for it.

How so?

Seems to me the talent allows you to notice it when you are still 10' away from the trigger rather than being right at it. It would allow two chances to perceive it if the rogue is in front -- once from trap spotter and again when they are at the trap.

Some things need to be actively looked for. Its not said whether a trap is one of those things are not. but trapspotter says you get to see it within 10 feet. Otherwise you're at a free roll any time you're... within however far away perception works from. Which would be line of sight

an aside to BNW:

when looking at some old Trap/Perception/Search threads I ran across this note...

Link thingy.

"RAW everyone should have trap spotter for free. I can't find anything saying traps are different than anything else for trying to find them." - BNW, Oct 24, 2011


Ascalaphus wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
They have to be looked for intentionally. This is expanded on in the unchained book. It might also be in the Intrigue book. If not then it does need an FAQ.
It's in Unchained? I looked for it in Intrigue but didn't find anything that was clearly about normal trapfinding.

They also talk about how you only get to check a 10 foot area when looking for traps and secret doors.


wraithstrike, can you link the section in Unchained? The PRD search engine isn't turning it up.

~~~~~

The thing about a high Perception is that it's not a blanket ability. The sentient brain does not focus uniformly across a field. That would be useless. We train ourselves to foreground important details and background less important or utterly unimportant ones. A ranger might well notice signs of an impending ambush by a favored enemy that a rogue would miss, while the rogue picks up the trap that the ranger misses -- when both have equal Perception scores. Even a rogue who works his brain at noticing angles for sneak attack or hiding spots for himself isn't going to be as good at routinely spotting traps as a rogue with Trap Spotter. The class abilities describe how a given character has developed whatever Perception score they have.

A rogue, investigator, or slayer with Trap Spotter can walk along at a normal pace, and the GM rolls for every trap they come within 10 feet of. The same for a cleric running Find Traps. That has to mean something!

(I do think Find Traps needs a longer duration, probably 10 mins/CL. And I have noticed a gap, in that the trapper archetype for ranger doesn't get Trap Spotter. If any ranger is able to routinely spot a bear trap nearby, it's the one who specializes in building them! That should get fixed, possibly as a replacement for Endurance.) *Ahem* We now return you to your normally scheduled broadcast on the Rules forum.

RAW, anyone else is slowed terribly if they're constantly looking. They're forcing their Perception to focus on details that they don't automatically consider important. If the GM lets them look in a 10-foot area at one time, the lead characters take a move action of 10 feet, and then a move action to search for traps. If the GM says it's only a 5-foot area, the party had better be in single file, and they're moving at only 5 feet per turn. Brutal! But doable, in a dangerous and not time-sensitive situation.

I have to admit, I like the idea of telling players that they'll Take 10 for most Perception checks. The reasonable alternative is to ask the players of characters likely to search routinely to quickly make a bunch of rolls ahead of time and record them; then the GM just applies them as the party moves about. As a player, I can testify that it's not just brutally slow, but brutally boring, if the GM slows the game down by insisting on individual rolls, square by square.


Claxon wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Technically you have to say you're looking for traps.

I don't remember any rule decisively saying so. The Perception skill only says:

Quote:
Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

And of course we're not given any precise definition of what constitutes an "observable stimulus".

I'd call a tripwire in a hallway an observable stimulus. It's thin so seeing isn't guaranteed (i.e. you need to succeed at a Perception DC), but it's there in plain sight. You could spot it without actively searching for it.

In practice I agree with you, but we don't have guidelines for "observable stimulus" so it's better to be safe then sorry.

Really though, the problem is even deeper than this.

Traps are lame (usually).

Even if you fail to spot it it usually just some HP damage (which is removed via wand) and then ignored. Or it outright kills a PC, which is bad game design.

So I prefer to run traps as easy as possible for the party.

Or it alerts opponents that you are coming, giving them time to buff/consolidate and resulting in a substantially more difficult encounter.

The party in the campaign I run ran into exactly this a few weeks ago. The trap itself did little damage. Opponents consolidating and buffing (per the encounters notes) indirectly resulted in a party member's death.


bitter lily wrote:

wraithstrike, can you link the section in Unchained? The PRD search engine isn't turning it up.

~~~~~

The thing about a high Perception is that it's not a blanket ability.

The thing about Perception in Pathfinder, is that it is a blanket ability. The situation about the Ranger and ambush by favored enemies is why he gets a bonus to that blanket ability.

You want to make Rogues better trapfinders? Give them a large Perception bonus to spot traps. Then, even though everyone has a chance to spot a visible tripwire crossing their path, the Rogue is more likely to notice it.

The Exchange

_Ozy_ wrote:
bitter lily wrote:

wraithstrike, can you link the section in Unchained? The PRD search engine isn't turning it up.

~~~~~

The thing about a high Perception is that it's not a blanket ability.

The thing about Perception in Pathfinder, is that it is a blanket ability. The situation about the Ranger and ambush by favored enemies is why he gets a bonus to that blanket ability.

You want to make Rogues better trapfinders? Give them a large Perception bonus to spot traps. Then, even though everyone has a chance to spot a visible tripwire crossing their path, the Rogue is more likely to notice it.

ah...

"Trapfinding: A rogue adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps."

you mean more than they already get?

Scarab Sages

Snowlilly wrote:

Or it alerts opponents that you are coming, giving them time to buff/consolidate and resulting in a substantially more difficult encounter.

The party in the campaign I run ran into exactly this a few weeks ago. The trap itself did little damage. Opponents consolidating and buffing (per the encounters notes) indirectly resulted in a party member's death.

Yeah, the best traps don't replace NPC encounters, they just make them tougher.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

bitter lily, the consolidated skills chapter describes various uses of skills. Perception combines Perception and Sense Motive, but is not otherwise altered.

Pathfinder Unchained wrote:

Search Locations

You can thoroughly comb an area, looking for hidden traps, doors, and the like. The same modifiers that apply to Perception DCs to notice (see above) also apply to Perception DCs to search.

Action: Move. Each move action spent allows you to search a 10-foot-by-10-foot area.
Try Again: Yes.


KingOfAnything, there it is -- thanks. One 10-foot move & search per turn, if you're being systematic and don't have Trap Spotter. Roguish sorts can really help a party with some GMs! {And in some encounters. Surely too much of anything -- be it idyllic strolls or tense "how is that gemstone trapped" dungeons -- is boring!}


That's in the unchained rules rather than the core, specifically the optional consolidated skills rules.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes, it's optional to consolidate skills. That doesn't change what skills can do.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Yes, it's optional to consolidate skills. That doesn't change what skills can do.

I'm not sure why you think this is relevant since we're not talking about searching, we're talking about noticing with passive perception. That isn't limited to 10' around you. Specifically, this part of what you quoted:

Quote:
The same modifiers that apply to Perception DCs to notice (see above) also apply to Perception DCs to search.

If you are searching for things that are blocked from line of sight (inside drawers, under beds, etc...), 10x10 per action seems reasonable, but we're talking about noticing, not searching.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you are talking about Notice, you should quote the section.

Quote:

Notice Creatures and Details

You can detect a creature that is using Stealth if you succeed at an opposed Perception check. You can also notice sights, sounds, and other stimuli detectable by your senses. Use the search function of Perception (see below) to find hidden objects, traps, secret doors, and other things that take time to detect.


KingOfAnything wrote:

If you are talking about Notice, you should quote the section.

Quote:

Notice Creatures and Details

You can detect a creature that is using Stealth if you succeed at an opposed Perception check. You can also notice sights, sounds, and other stimuli detectable by your senses. Use the search function of Perception (see below) to find hidden objects, traps, secret doors, and other things that take time to detect.

Yes, you need to search for traps that are hidden from line of sight.

You don't need to search for traps that are in your line of sight.

Let's say I throw a bear trap down on the corridor, and I don't cover it up with anything. Are you telling me that passive perception wouldn't notice it?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Lol, are you telling me that's what you call a trap? If it's not hidden, why do you need a check at all?

You do need a search check for a trap that is in your line of sight and hidden.


KingOfAnything wrote:

Lol, are you telling me that's what you call a trap? If it's not hidden, why do you need a check at all?

You do need a search check for a trap that is in your line of sight and hidden.

If it's in your line of sight, it's not hidden.

And in any case, it is a trap, just a not well hidden trap. So, as long as we're on the same page that you can actually 'notice' a trap, then it comes down to what makes a trap 'un-noticeable'.

And that would be being blocked from line of sight. So, a trip wire going across the corridor is in your line of sight, it can be noticed. Presumably a bit harder to notice than the bear trap, but then with a +25 perception bonus, that's the sort of thing you 'notice'.

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