Can't take 20 on trapfinding, are you serious?!?!


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Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

This came up when I didn't have my book with me, and when I went to borrow one was told this came up in the forums... So here I am.

In a trap laden place (which my character was specifically *told* there would be traps), I stated I wanted to start taking 20 on perception checks to find traps. I was told that I couldn't, because failure carried negative effects.

The logic seems to be that I can't take 220 because it assumes you 'roll' a 1, 2, 3... and so on till you get to 20, presumably failing several times along the way. In the case of looking for traps failure equates to concluding that there are *no* traps and the character continues on, thereby triggering the trap.

This sounds like horseapples to me, and a cursory search in this forum didn't support this logic, so what say you? Is there RAW or RAI support for this argument?

BTW I'll have similar questions for a couple other things soon.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
NotMousse wrote:

This came up when I didn't have my book with me, and when I went to borrow one was told this came up in the forums... So here I am.

In a trap laden place (which my character was specifically *told* there would be traps), I stated I wanted to start taking 20 on perception checks to find traps. I was told that I couldn't, because failure carried negative effects.

The logic seems to be that I can't take 220 because it assumes you 'roll' a 1, 2, 3... and so on till you get to 20, presumably failing several times along the way. In the case of looking for traps failure equates to concluding that there are *no* traps and the character continues on, thereby triggering the trap.

This sounds like horseapples to me, and a cursory search in this forum didn't support this logic, so what say you? Is there RAW or RAI support for this argument?

BTW I'll have similar questions for a couple other things soon.

Pretty sure they use Perception as an example for taking 20 on a search check. Put it this way, if you fail a Search check for traps, the failing itself doesnt cause a negative effect. You roll a low search check then go a different way w/o springing a trap you failed to notice, what's the negative effect? Nothing.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Here are the rules for taking 10 or 20 according to the official Paizo website.

In a nutshell "Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps)."

(Wrong info here) So, yup, you would fail and continue as if no trap was there, IMHO, since you would "fail", ie. no trap, before finding one so you would "assume" at the first failure that there is no trap and continue.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Edit: Oops, yea, I did not read the last sentence... You *CAN* take 20 on Perception to find traps, but not on the Disable Device.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Page 86 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook states...

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

Emphasis mine.

Miph (not Melf)

NINJA'D BY Papa-DRB


On Search I think you can take 20 but you cant on disable device

Grand Lodge

NotMousse wrote:

This came up when I didn't have my book with me, and when I went to borrow one was told this came up in the forums... So here I am.

In a trap laden place (which my character was specifically *told* there would be traps), I stated I wanted to start taking 20 on perception checks to find traps. I was told that I couldn't, because failure carried negative effects.

The logic seems to be that I can't take 220 because it assumes you 'roll' a 1, 2, 3... and so on till you get to 20, presumably failing several times along the way. In the case of looking for traps failure equates to concluding that there are *no* traps and the character continues on, thereby triggering the trap.

This sounds like horseapples to me, and a cursory search in this forum didn't support this logic, so what say you? Is there RAW or RAI support for this argument?

BTW I'll have similar questions for a couple other things soon.

[Page 86 Core Rules]

Taking 10 and Taking 20

A skill check represents an attempt to accomplish some
goal, usually while under some sort of time pressure
or distraction. Sometimes, though, a character can use
a skill under more favorable conditions, increasing the
odds of success.

Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate
danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of
rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if
you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes
them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such
as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In
most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know
(or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a
poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll
(a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a
particularly high roll wouldn’t help.

Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are
faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being
attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20.
In other words, if you a d20 roll enough times, eventually
you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check,
just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.
Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right,
and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding.
Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check
would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round
or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many
times before succeeding, your character would automatically
incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete
the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills
that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include
Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and
Perception (when attempting to f ind traps).

Ability Checks and Caster Level Checks: The normal
take 10 and take 20 rules apply for ability checks. Neither
rule applies to concentration checks or caster level checks.


Here's the description of take 20 from the Core Rules:

Take 20:

When you have plenty of time, you are faced
with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted
carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other
words, if you a d20 roll enough times, eventually you will
get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just
calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.
Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it
assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking
20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would
take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to
perform).
Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many
times before succeeding, your character would automatically
incur any penalties for failure before he or she could
complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with
skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills
include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape
Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

It explicitly lists perception for finding traps as a good use of taking 20. Disabling the traps is a completely different animal however, as that does tend to carry a severe penalty on occasion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hasted Papa-DRB ninja'd the lot of us. I think we're just repeating ourselves now ;)

Liberty's Edge

Papa-DRB wrote:
Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps)."

Ok, so I can take awhile and search, not just blindly say 'oh lookie no traps here' and trigger it immediately on a bad roll...

Papa-DRB wrote:
So, yup, you would fail and continue as if no trap was there, IMHO, since you would "fail", ie. no trap, before finding one so you would "assume" at the first failure that there is no trap and continue.

Wait, what? So then a rogue is nothing more than a frail polish mine detector (barbarian)?


There are no negative consequences for failing a perception roll to find a trap, so yes, you can take a 20.

Disabling a trap on the other hand has negative consequences if you fail by 5 or more.

Beyond that, there is a metagame aspect to watch out for when using perception to find traps.

"I look for traps", player rolls a 1, "Uh, that probably failed, I am going to look again."

As a DM, I make my player decide before any dice are rolled home many checks they are going to make. After that, they cannot choose to search again. Another way to avoid this is to let the DM make hidden rolls for all perception checks involving finding traps.

Also remember that taking a 20 to search takes 20 move actions per 5 foot square you search. That is 10 rounds(1 minute) per five foot square. Searching a 30 foot long 10 foot wide hallway takes 12 minutes.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

'Looking for traps' does not just use you eyes. You have to search with your hands. Thus, no take 20, because if you roll low, that means you put your hand on the trigger by accident. Boom.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

NotMousse wrote:

In a trap laden place (which my character was specifically *told* there would be traps), I stated I wanted to start taking 20 on perception checks to find traps. I was told that I couldn't, because failure carried negative effects.

The logic seems to be that I can't take 220 because it assumes you 'roll' a 1, 2, 3... and so on till you get to 20, presumably failing several times along the way. In the case of looking for traps failure equates to concluding that there are *no* traps and the character continues on, thereby triggering the trap.

You're right, it's horseapples. Ask your GM if he only gets one chance in real life to look for something before being compelled to continue. If he can't find his car keys, does he look once, and then assume they're gone, so he has to walk to the store?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
'Looking for traps' does not just use you eyes. You have to search with your hands. Thus, no take 20, because if you roll low, that means you put your hand on the trigger by accident. Boom.

Not by RAW nor by RAI, TOZ. We have 4-5 quotes regarding it specifically being used as a Take 20 example.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Not near my books, so I may be thinking of my playstyle instead of RAW in my previous post. I will verify when I get home.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not near my books, so I may be thinking of my playstyle instead of RAW in my previous post. I will verify when I get home.

As I said above, most of the playstyle stuff involves avoiding metagaming.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Papa-DRB wrote:


Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps)."

I think it's important to note that "succeeding" in this case isn't necessarily succeeding at the task. It's succeeding at doing the best they can possibly do. The DC might still be too high, given their skill modifier, to succeed even with taking 20.

So in the case of searching for traps, you search and search a 5 foot square for a couple of minutes, being as thorough as you can. After that time, you can be pretty certain that you had done your best possible search... of that 5 foot square.


Christopher Dudley wrote:
NotMousse wrote:

In a trap laden place (which my character was specifically *told* there would be traps), I stated I wanted to start taking 20 on perception checks to find traps. I was told that I couldn't, because failure carried negative effects.

The logic seems to be that I can't take 220 because it assumes you 'roll' a 1, 2, 3... and so on till you get to 20, presumably failing several times along the way. In the case of looking for traps failure equates to concluding that there are *no* traps and the character continues on, thereby triggering the trap.

You're right, it's horseapples. Ask your GM if he only gets one chance in real life to look for something before being compelled to continue. If he can't find his car keys, does he look once, and then assume they're gone, so he has to walk to the store?

Of course when looking for your car keys, you don't personally know that you rolled a 1 on your search check. By the RAW you can take a 20, but by the RAI, you need to take some care to avoid player metagaming.

If a rogue searches a square 5 times and rolls a 1,2,1,3,2. Nothing bad happens, and the character isn't compelled to move into the square, but... The character is thinking, I searched that pretty carefully, I don't think there is a trap there. The player is thinking I blew my search rolls, I want to search it again just to be sure.

There are a couple of playstyle choices that groups make to deal with the metagame issues.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
'Looking for traps' does not just use you eyes. You have to search with your hands. Thus, no take 20, because if you roll low, that means you put your hand on the trigger by accident. Boom.

I'd argue that if the trap in question can be set off by looking for it unsuccessfully, then you can't take 20.

Look at it this way. There's a trap in the hall. If the trap is such that simply failing to find it sets the trap off then I'd rule that you can't take 20 to search without setting off the trap. I'm not sure what types of traps go off when you fail to see them, but I'd grant the possibility.

However, I hesitate to say that 'searching with your hands' would be a use of a Perception check. If you have to feel for triggers, I'd call that a disable device roll.

Perception allows you to *see* the trigger in the floor. Failing to perceive the trigger wouldn't set the trap off. If you tried to manipulate the trigger to prevent the trap from working, that's a disable device check and could fail, setting off the trap.

One thing that I could argue as a DM is this... the Mosaic floor you are walking on has lots of 'possible' triggers, and a 'critical fail' could mean that you believe one section of floor is a trigger when it is not, and by avoiding the 'obvious' trigger, you step onto the real one. In this case, I'd allow the player to state they are taking 20, and then roll secretly, and they find either the real trigger, or the fake one, based on the secret roll.

That said, I'd be hesitant to screw with the rogue too much this way. An easier fix would make it so that you have a time limit to make it down the hall, or bad things happen. Then, you can't take the time to spend 10 minutes looking everywhere you step.


The DM stated failure would have negative affects. So take 20 and suffer the affects, then there is no argument, at least I hope.

So the DM may have stated are you sure you want to take 20, because there may be consequences (affects) for doing it. Then you control your own destiny, however short.

Typically, I made perception checks for the players in the past to keep them in suspense, but lately I have been letting them make roles, and the metagaming mentioned above comes into play.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not near my books, so I may be thinking of my playstyle instead of RAW in my previous post. I will verify when I get home.

No problem TOZ :) I happened to be rereading the skills section yesterday so this jumped out at me anyway. And if your DM makes you use your sense of taste to search for a Chill Metal spelltrap, you might want to have a talk with him.


I agree with the consensus here, {and, apparently, the RAW}. You can take all the 20's you want {and spend hours of time.... which actually can be a benefit to some gaming tables, advancing the clock quickly} to FIND traps, but disabling them is a different story. No take 20 there.

Traps are tricky {in more ways than one}. A downside of traps is that heavily trapped areas often slow a party's progress to a snail's pace. Taking 20 can be a good way to keep the action {and the clock} moving. They can be a solution for the 15 minute adventuring day, as well as a tool for the GM to advance the clock when he needs to. Often times, finding the trap is the easy part, anyway; it's bypassing the trap that presents to true challenge.

Also, I strongly support the concept of GM rolling search and disable checks behind the screen for the party rogue {indeed, any roll that the PC shouldn't immediately know the result of}. It is a quick and simple cure for the temptation to metagame bad rolls.

Oh, and the 'Symbol of ...' Spells are an example of a trap that can be set off by just looking at it. Can a failed search check activate one of these? For my part, I would say yes.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

To add to the dogpile, yes, you can take 20 on a Perception check to find traps by the RAW.

The reason this tends to crop up so much is because of the different ways people conceptualize the Perception check. If you think finding traps requires you to use your hands, poke and prod around, and take other actions that might set off the trap, then, not only should you not be able to take 20, but the Perception check should have rules specifically stating that failing by a certain margin triggers the trap (as Disable Device does). I think this is a reasonable way to describe finding a trap, but it's not the assumption in the RAW.

Contributor

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When looking for traps, you don't have to touch anything. It's because you're *looking* for traps, not *poking* for traps. I don't see anything in the game that indicates you have to touch anything to search for traps (note that location-trigger traps would automatically go off when you touch the area they're in, which sort of defeats the purpose of trying to search for the trap without setting it off...).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tessius wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not near my books, so I may be thinking of my playstyle instead of RAW in my previous post. I will verify when I get home.
No problem TOZ :) I happened to be rereading the skills section yesterday so this jumped out at me anyway. And if your DM makes you use your sense of taste to search for a Chill Metal spelltrap, you might want to have a talk with him.

Yeah, I think it's a remnant from 3.5 and the 'failing to disable by 5 or more' in Disable Device. One of my first DMs did that with Search checks to find traps.

Of course, now the question is, why does anyone roll to look for traps? Just add 20 to your bonus and see if that beats the DC.

(Yes, I realize that you don't want to take the extra in game time a lot of times.)

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Tessius wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not near my books, so I may be thinking of my playstyle instead of RAW in my previous post. I will verify when I get home.
No problem TOZ :) I happened to be rereading the skills section yesterday so this jumped out at me anyway. And if your DM makes you use your sense of taste to search for a Chill Metal spelltrap, you might want to have a talk with him.

Yeah, I think it's a remnant from 3.5 and the 'failing to disable by 5 or more' in Disable Device. One of my first DMs did that with Search checks to find traps.

Of course, now the question is, why does anyone roll to look for traps? Just add 20 to your bonus and see if that beats the DC.

(Yes, I realize that you don't want to take the extra in game time a lot of times.)

It's purely because of that. The time it takes. It takes one standard action to search a 5 ft. square, so two minutes to take 20 on searching it. Searching a 30x30 room (36 squares) would then take 72 minutes. Not many people want to spend a little over an hour on a single room.

Of course, the new spell "Sift" in the APG might help with the quick search checks a lot more... :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Of course, now the question is, why does anyone roll to look for traps? Just add 20 to your bonus and see if that beats the DC.

(Yes, I realize that you don't want to take the extra in game time a lot of times.)

In fact, I would call that the primary reason - and why things like wandering monsters are such a useful tool for DMs in pacing the game. If the PCs have reason to believe they have all the time in the world, sure, search away. Two minutes per 5' square. Knock yourselves out. Got enough rations to search the whole dungeon? I can count up the squares and advance the calendar the appropriate number of days as necessary and give out anything the PCs doing the searching's Perception skills can find.

But most of the time, I make sure they don't have that luxury. Adventuring sites are usually pretty dangerous. Creatures mosey by. The noise the adventurers make as they search about brings other nearby creatures investigating. So players end up having to make choices - do I take 20 on the whole room knowing it'll be over 20 minutes of searching? Do I take 20 on searching the bed and wardrobe, normal searching everywhere else and get moving?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I usually don't use 'wandering' encounters very much, but as a GM I would definitely check for wandering encounters if my players started taking 20 minutes to walk down a hall.

Of course, opening the trapped vault of Vecna where they knew it was very likely trapped I gave my players a bit of leeway. Their solution was mostly to send the flesh golem they co-opted in instead, but that's another tale.


I think that's a reasonable call in a location where you know there are lots of traps. If you fumble there is a heightened chance you set off a trap.

If you have trouble with the ruling consider that he already told you it was a trap laden place. You made a general detect traps. Sorting out what and where became close enough to the process of disabling them that you couldn't take 20.

Sigurd


The other reason not to take a 20 is buffs. A level 4 wizard's mage armor lasts 4 hours, he may not be too keen on adventuring without it.


And this is why I think the take 20 rule is a good thing. The game's more interesting if there is a tension between the need to search without risk, and the need to not have spells run out. I consider this to be the primary purpose of traps these days..to prevent the party from running around buffed all the time.

Ken

Charender wrote:
The other reason not to take a 20 is buffs. A level 4 wizard's mage armor lasts 4 hours, he may not be too keen on adventuring without it.

Shadow Lodge

I wouldn't allow someone to take 20 to search for traps. With some traps, the trigger mechanism is as simple as accidentally walking into the wrong spot. As such, there definitely is a penalty for failure.


Kthulhu wrote:
I wouldn't allow someone to take 20 to search for traps. With some traps, the trigger mechanism is as simple as accidentally walking into the wrong spot. As such, there definitely is a penalty for failure.

There isn't a penalty for failure on Perception checks beyond not perceiving anything.

To whit: A rogue makes a Perception check to find a trap, he doesn't risk setting off the trap (as you claim). He might then claim that there isn't a trap and THEN walk into the wrong spot triggering it...

People mess up both the take10 and take20 rules A LOT. Its a part of the skills system that rankles people as it removes the dice rolling I guess. But honestly that's the point in both rules.

-James

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

TriOmegaZero wrote:
'Looking for traps' does not just use you eyes. You have to search with your hands. Thus, no take 20, because if you roll low, that means you put your hand on the trigger by accident. Boom.

Characters can normally take 20 on such searches, with the assumption that they carefully avoid potential triggers, but since traps take so many forms, it's hard to be dogmatic.

It is possible that a trap's trigger couldn't easily be detected until the searching character enters its area ("Your search finds that the entire floor serves as some sort of pressure plate. You also heard a faint mechanical ticking coming from beneath the flagstones...").

Alternatively, a magical trap could have a time delay, automatically going off several rounds after other events happen. ("The caryatid columns on each end of the hall let go of the stone ceiling above them. With loud pops and cracks, the stone begins to collapse.")


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, it's not that difficult.

It just depends on the trap.

There are many types of traps.

Each type of trap is going to require a different type of perception check *Remember, perception is now catch all for all types of perception, touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing*. That means I must respectfully disagree with Sean K. Reynolds. Some checks for a trap might include a need to *poke*. The idea of 'spotting' a trap is a hold over from 3.5 spot vs listen vs search mechanic.

Examples of traps :

1) pass through beam of light and arrows attack (can take 20, use staff)
2) Step on trigger and arrows shoot (can take 20, spot arrow slits)
3) Floor designed to fall if more than 100 lbs on it (pretty much requires touching, to feel the slight give, but can take 20)
4) Magic requiring touch of spot by living flesh (requires magical sight to spot, but can take 20 if you have detect magic)
5) Corridore is built on a fulcrum, once you are more than 50% down it, it collapses under you (no way to take 20 on this, or even notice it honestly except by walking down and noticing the slight give of the floor as you pass the fulcrum, so no taking 20 because if you fail you set it off when you pass it).
6) Symbol of <blah> magic spell (Can't take 20, because if you see it, you set it off, so there's a consequence for failing)
7) Any other trap involving sight as a trigger (again, can't take 20, see 6).

These are just what I've thought about sitting here typing, I'm sure I could come up with dangerous traps that have a penalty for failing the search for traps check. It doesn't mean you can't take 20 when searching, only that certain traps may not allow a take 20.

The Exchange

Haley can.

The Exchange

snobi wrote:

Haley can.

Hahaha. Man some of those old OoTS strips are the best.


I have always allowed for taking 20 on trap-finding , but just finding a trap in my game can be a long process even if you roll for it (upwards of 5min). so if they decide to take 20 on the roll it can take a very long time to get through a place. 20*5= 100 min per trap. Traps are hidden and finding a way to safely disarm them would be difficult.


Having been trained by the Army to actually remove minefields and boobytraps, I can honestly say that poking and prodding comes after locating where the danger potiental is.

Poking and prodding is typically part of disabling the device.


I was surprised when a player pointed out to me as GM that you could take 20 on a Perception check, but that's because I was confusing the idea of searching for traps with disabling them. If I was going to walk through a minefield I'd want to have a very hard look beforehand and if I wasn't sure of a safe route then I'd start looking for an alternative route. If I was being chased by bad guys then maybe I'd take my chances. So, basically, I agree with the rules as written!


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

When looking for traps, you don't have to touch anything. It's because you're *looking* for traps, not *poking* for traps. I don't see anything in the game that indicates you have to touch anything to search for traps (note that location-trigger traps would automatically go off when you touch the area they're in, which sort of defeats the purpose of trying to search for the trap without setting it off...).

And there we go. Developer commentary. Anything deviating is a houserule.

Remember, disabling a trap doesn't mean you open up some clockwork panel and tinker with it, causing a giant complex mechanism to just shut down (I'm looking at you, Dungeons and Dragons Online). More often than not, it may involve actually triggering the trap in a manner that doesn't put anyone at risk. Obviously, collapsing ceilings aren't a good trap to intentionally trigger, but scything blades and many pit traps could be.

Example: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. While searching for the Golden Idol, Indy notices a spear trap (perception check). Stopping his ally, he triggers the trap, revealing the gory remenants of it's previous victim. With the trap now in plain view (disabled), they pass by it safely.

Shadow Lodge

Let's say I'm the party rogue, and I plan to search this hallway for traps:

---------------------------------------------------
A------------------------X------------------------B
---------------------------------------------------

A is my start point. B is the end of the hallway. And, unknown to me, there is a pressure plate in the floor at X, which causes huge vats of acid to dump over the entire area of the hallway.

I'd say that there's a definate penalty for failure here. If you fail to notice the pressure plate, then you won't even gnet the chance to search the area from X to B, because you'll be too busy trying to stop your flesh from melting off.

Scarab Sages

That's not how take 20 works though. He's spending a full 20 rounds (2 minutes) on each 5 ft. square. So he's searching A for 2 minutes, then one square in front of A for two minutes, etc. He's not going all the way down the hallway once, back, all the way down again and repeat 20 times.

The point is, when he gets to the square where the trap is, he'll search that square 20 times as well before moving over it. As Sean said, searching does not require you to go onto or touch the trap, that would negate the entire point of searching for a trap. If spending 2 minutes and getting a 20 + Perception on the trap's square uncovers it, awesome. If not, then you would be right and he'd step on the plate (unaware) to search the next area and trigger the trap.

Shadow Lodge

Karui Kage wrote:
That's not how take 20 works though. He's spending a full 20 rounds (2 minutes) on each 5 ft. square. So he's searching A for 2 minutes, then one square in front of A for two minutes, etc. He's not going all the way down the hallway once, back, all the way down again and repeat 20 times.

But my point is, whether he spends 2 minutes or 20 minutes, if he misses the trigger plate, there is a negative consequence, because he's going to continue on and step on it, releasing large quantities of acid that will burn his eyes out, giving him an even worse Perception check.


The take 20 rule, invites metagaming, personally I dislike it, unless you 'know' a trap is there there is no reason to spend 2 minutes moving down a corridor 10 feet at a time. That said some DM's do invite players to do just that because they feel the need to trap just about every single corridor or chest.


Kthulhu wrote:
But my point is, whether he spends 2 minutes or 20 minutes, if he misses the trigger plate, there is a negative consequence, because he's going to continue on and step on it, releasing large quantities of acid that will burn his eyes out, giving him an even worse Perception check.

Your point is incorrect. Activating the pressure plate on square X is not a penalty for failure to locate a trap on square X+1. The two events are completely unrelated. Failing to detect a trap carries no innate consequence.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
The take 20 rule, invites metagaming, personally I dislike it, unless you 'know' a trap is there there is no reason to spend 2 minutes moving down a corridor 10 feet at a time.

What the hell? So you think the only way to detect traps is to spend 3 seconds scanning then moving on? Because that's what not taking 20 means. Taking 20 makes absolutely perfect sense when checking for traps. If I'm a level 12 rogue and I know that traps in general do nasty things like disintegrate me, destroy all of my magic items, or send me to Hell, then you can be DAMN sure I'm going to take my sweet time inspecting for traps, not just giving a cursory glance.


Zurai wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
But my point is, whether he spends 2 minutes or 20 minutes, if he misses the trigger plate, there is a negative consequence, because he's going to continue on and step on it, releasing large quantities of acid that will burn his eyes out, giving him an even worse Perception check.

Your point is incorrect. Activating the pressure plate on square X is not a penalty for failure to locate a trap on square X+1. The two events are completely unrelated. Failing to detect a trap carries no innate consequence.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
The take 20 rule, invites metagaming, personally I dislike it, unless you 'know' a trap is there there is no reason to spend 2 minutes moving down a corridor 10 feet at a time.
What the hell? So you think the only way to detect traps is to spend 3 seconds scanning then moving on? Because that's what not taking 20 means. Taking 20 makes absolutely perfect sense when checking for traps. If I'm a level 12 rogue and I know that traps in general do nasty things like disintegrate me, destroy all of my magic items, or send me to Hell, then you can be DAMN sure I'm going to take my sweet time inspecting for traps, not just giving a cursory glance.

If I had to wait 10 minutes + to advance 15 feet into a corridor without apparent reason I'd call you a dramaqueen and might just take my chances I did not become an adventurer to die of old age.

Sovereign Court

You can take 20 on finding the traps. You just can't take 20 on disabling them.

Grand Lodge

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Remco Sommeling wrote:
I'd call you a dramaqueen and might just take my chances I did not become an adventurer to die of old age.

And this is why people die in horrible car crashes.


Remco Sommeling wrote:
If I had to wait 10 minutes + to advance 15 feet into a corridor without apparent reason I'd call you a dramaqueen and might just take my chances I did not become an adventurer to die of old age.

Thats like saying "I'll take my chances" with walking through the bad section of town alone at night.

Most of my characters actually did become adventurers to die of old age. Play it smart, play it safe, get the loot, get the glory, live to a ripe old age and have a good time.

"WTF This is booring Imma run down the hallway" Chaotic Stupid characters deserve every scything blade that separates that empty sac they call a head from their body. Leaves more air and loot for the rest of us.

In a complex populated with creatures that seem to move around freely, I wouldn't be as concerned with traps. But in an old tomb, nearly devoid of any life, yet still known to be never fully explored, you bet I will take my sweet time letting the rogue be very very thorough. I may sharpen my sword, write a new song, ask for courage and guidance from my god, pick my teeth, or just start quietly talking to one of my teammates.

But I am damn sure gonna wait till the rogue says "I think it's clear, I've checked everything I can think of."

And if he missed something, if we survive, I'll say to him, "Make a note of that for next time."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Remco Sommeling wrote:
[If I had to wait 10 minutes + to advance 15 feet into a corridor without apparent reason I'd call you a dramaqueen and might just take my chances I did not become an adventurer to die of old age.

Go for it.

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