# Taking 20 on perception checks to discover traps

### Rules Questions

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Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

Searching for traps has no penalty for failure. It would be disarming them that they would not be able to take 20.

Triggering them is possible while searching, if during that search they meet the criteria for triggering the trap.

Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

The trap is not triggered by the rules just due to searching(rolling the dice).

Now if you have a DM that makes you check every square then that may be an issue.

wraithstrike wrote:

Now if you have a DM that makes you check every square then that may be an issue.

Indeed.

One of the few house rules I have is the search for traps has a range of one square, so you can effectively search nine squares per attempt. Increasing the DC +5 extends that range another square for a total of up to 25 squares per check.

Some traps aren't triggered by which square a character occupies, though, so some traps may be triggered during the search.

Hmm on a side note, what about disable device? Would taking 20 on it automatically trigger the trap?

Noah Fentz wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Now if you have a DM that makes you check every square then that may be an issue.

Indeed.

One of the few house rules I have is the search for traps has a range of one square, so you can effectively search nine squares per attempt. Increasing the DC +5 extends that range another square for a total of up to 25 squares per check.

Some traps aren't triggered by which square a character occupies, though, so some traps may be triggered during the search.

Presumably people taking the time a 20 would take would carefully examine where they are going to put their foot before they do it...

Question wrote:
Hmm on a side note, what about disable device? Would taking 20 on it automatically trigger the trap?

You couldn't take 20 because failure can trigger the trap.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

It all depend on the kind of trap.

Something like a symbol will surely be activated before noticing that it is a trap.

For most other stuff it will work. But you would be spending a lot of time searching for traps in that way.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

It all depend on the kind of trap.

Something like a symbol will surely be activated before noticing that it is a trap.

For most other stuff it will work. But you would be spending a lot of time searching for traps in that way.

Not necessarily. The 20 may come on the first roll. I do understand why a DM may change things on a trap by trap basis, but it is easier to just go with the rules. The fluff as to how the symbol trap never goes off could also be explained so that the rogue does things in such as order that he never sets the symbol type traps off.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

It all depend on the kind of trap.

Something like a symbol will surely be activated before noticing that it is a trap.

For most other stuff it will work. But you would be spending a lot of time searching for traps in that way.

wraithstrike wrote:

Not necessarily. The 20 may come on the first roll. I do understand why a DM may change things on a trap by trap basis, but it is easier to just go with the rules. The fluff as to how the symbol trap never goes off could also be explained so that the rogue does things in such as order that he never sets the symbol type traps off.
Quote:

Taking 20:

...
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).

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.

For me as successful roll when trying to find a trap of that kind mean that you have noticed that it could be a trap before actually triggering it (did see a piece of the Symbol, recognized he could be a trap and glanced away immediately) but taking 20 in that situation you fall under "your character will fail many times before succeeding" and trigger the trap.

---

I will be restrictive in taking 20 to search for traps. People could do it but for one 5' square at a time. Taking 20 you isn't taking a cursory glance to a 15'*15' square as someone has suggested.
You are checking it for fine cracks, not for big clues. You will find secret doors, traps and any other relevant item in the square.

If you have ever played a boardgame you should know how difficult it could be to find a single counter that has fallen under the table.
Unless your floor is of a nice solid colour that contrast with the counter you can sped a very long time to search for it.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

It all depend on the kind of trap.

Something like a symbol will surely be activated before noticing that it is a trap.

For most other stuff it will work. But you would be spending a lot of time searching for traps in that way.

wraithstrike wrote:

Not necessarily. The 20 may come on the first roll. I do understand why a DM may change things on a trap by trap basis, but it is easier to just go with the rules. The fluff as to how the symbol trap never goes off could also be explained so that the rogue does things in such as order that he never sets the symbol type traps off.
Quote:

Taking 20:

...
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).

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.

I am going to need a quotation to back that up. How can you say the searcher did not make the check to realize a trap was there before he looked directly at it? If the trap has to be look at directly maybe the first 20 times he tried to use a mirror he positioned it in the wrong spot to even notice the trap(symbol), and the 20th time he noticed a light(fluff assuming the symbol gives off light). That is how he can fail to find it 19 times before finding it without setting it off.

If the trap can be set off by looking at it through a mirror then maybe indirect eye contact was never made either.
There are many ways to fluff such things, and failing to find the trap does not mean you look at it directly.

Diego Rossi wrote:

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.

For me as successful roll when trying to find a trap of that kind mean that you have noticed that it could be a trap before actually triggering it (did see a piece of the Symbol, recognized he could be a trap and glanced away immediately) but taking 20 in that situation you fall under "your character will fail many times before succeeding" and trigger the trap.

I agree with that. Traps triggered by perceiving them, like symbols, would be first perceived by a roll of a '1', if taking 20, thereby triggering the trap.

I see taking '20' as rolling every number in succession from 1 to whatever the DC of the check is, so that does make sense.

Diego Rossi wrote:
I will be restrictive in taking 20 to search for traps. People could do it but for one 5' square at a time. Taking 20 you isn't taking a cursory glance to a 15'*15' square as someone has...

This, on the other hand, I'm having a hard time with. Making a PC search every 5' square is very time consuming and a major slowdown on the game.

I usually picture Indiana Jones searching for traps ...

He looks all around, not just in the single square in front of him. Taking his time, he then spots the trap. Much like a take '20' situation would be acted out, but in a radius around him.

If the PC's are in a bit of a hurry, I allow them to take the check at DC +5 to broaden his search area.

I happen to like doing it that way. To my knowledge, there's no set area of effect for using perception to search for traps, is there? Without a defining the search area, that implies it would encompass all that's perceivable. All that can be seen and heard. That's a bit too large an area for me.

wraithstrike wrote:

Quote:

Taking 20:

...
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).

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.

I am going to need a quotation to back that up. How can you say the searcher did not make the check to realize a trap was there before he looked directly at it? If the trap has to be look at directly maybe the first 20 times he tried to use a mirror he positioned it in the wrong spot to even notice the trap(symbol), and the 20th time he noticed a light(fluff assuming the symbol gives off light). That is how he can fail to find it 19 times before finding it without setting it off.

If the trap can be set off by looking at...

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). (Page 86 Core)

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:

Taking 20:

...
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).
Diego Rossi wrote:

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.
wraithstrike wrote:

I am going to need a quotation to back that up. How can you say the searcher did not make the check to realize a trap was there before he looked directly at it? If the trap has to be look at directly maybe the first 20 times he tried to use a mirror he positioned it in the wrong spot to even notice the trap(symbol), and the 20th time he noticed a light(fluff assuming the symbol gives off light). That is how he can fail to find it 19 times before finding it without setting it off.
Quote:

Until it is triggered, the symbol of death is inactive (though visible and legible at a distance of 60 feet). To be effective, a symbol of death must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location. Covering or hiding the rune renders the symbol of death ineffective, unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the symbol of death works normally.

As a default, a symbol of death is triggered whenever a creature does one or more of the following, as you select: looks at the rune; reads the rune; touches the rune; passes over the rune; or passes through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a symbol of death can't trigger it (even if it meets one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading the rune). Once the spell is cast, a symbol of death's triggering conditions cannot be changed.
...
Note: Magic traps such as symbol of death are hard to detect and disable. A rogue (only) can use the Perception skill to find a symbol of death and Disable Device to thwart it. The DC in each case is 25 + spell level, or 33 for symbol of death.

So if you take 20 perceiving one of the different Symbols, it is set to activate by looking at it and you aren't outside the 60' range, unless you can get to 25+spell level and range modifier with a roll of 1 you fail automatically taking 20.

To repeat it again: 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 . It is under the taking 20 section of skill use.

Personally I dislike the idea that you can take 20 on perceiving a trap if you do not know whether there is one or not. Usual course would be: roll d20+perception, if fail you think there is no trap and as a result of that trigger it when you go by. This means consequence for failure of a perception check by any decent conception of the idea of "cause and effect". It might not be direct but in practice what we call causes are often not direct either.

So in my houserules you can only take 20 on this if you know there is a trap. This could be because of detect magic, being warned, having seen some effect etc. In this case, if you fail to notice it, you know it is because you didn't "try hard enough".

Perception, in my book, is like sense motive in that you don't know whether or not you succeeded unless you actually succeeded. It is different from using stuff like craft and disable device for opening locks in that with those skill uses, you can clearly judge a result. This is why I feel take 20 should not be possible for detecting traps unless you know there is one present.

I realize RAW has a different story, but I feel it is an unreasonable story in this case.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
I will be restrictive in taking 20 to search for traps. People could do it but for one 5' square at a time. Taking 20 you isn't taking a cursory glance to a 15'*15' square as someone has...
Noah Fentz wrote:

This, on the other hand, I'm having a hard time with. Making a PC search every 5' square is very time consuming and a major slowdown on the game.

I usually picture Indiana Jones searching for traps ...

He looks all around, not just in the single square in front of him. Taking his time, he then spots the trap. Much like a take '20' situation would be acted out, but in a radius around him.

If the PC's are in a bit of a hurry, I allow them to take the check at DC +5 to broaden his search area.

I happen to like doing it that way. To my knowledge, there's no set area of effect for using perception to search for traps, is there? Without a defining the search area, that implies it would encompass all that's perceivable. All that can be seen and heard. That's a bit too large an area for me.

Note the "in taking 20 to search for traps" part.

If the rogue (or other high perception guy) was saying "I will search this room I would roll 1 die secretly (or multiple dices if there were several different things to discover in different section of the room).
My job as a DM would be to evaluate how much time he would spend searching the room and the hardest DC (based on clutter, lighting and so on).

If he was saying "I will take 20 searching the whole room" he is checking each millimetre of the room with a fine comb. Spending 2 minutes of character time (not players time) to check one 5'*5' square for hair thin cracks is reasonable (for me at least).

To return to my game counter example above. A typical game counter is 2/5 of a inch, about 1/10 of a inch tall and has generally drab colours.
Players with years of experience in searching for them can spend up to 10 minutes finding one fallen on a flat pavement in a well illuminated room.
I have seen people spend minutes searching for a fallen die.

Indiana Jones is not taking 20. He is doing a regular search. He is searching from a safe position most of the room before stepping in.
But then he will do a close range search for the finer details.

Sure he has a high skill and probably skill focus in perception, but even him can't notice from the other side of the room that one of the drawers in the desk is too shallow and that maybe there is a secret compartment that can be discovered removing it.

Taking 20 is not "I do a general search of the room and if something is interesting I will do some further search".
It is searching every item for possible traps, clues, secret doors and so on, not only by visual means but rapping of floors and walls for hollow sounds, moving your fingers on surfaces to check if there are hidden indentations, looking under the furnishings and so on.

So it take a lot of time and is best done for noticeable items or when you have reasons to think there is something noteworthy.

Houserules are great and all but where does it say you can trigger a trap by rolling a low Perception check. Any trap.

Quote:
So if you take 20 perceiving one of the different Symbols, it is set to activate by looking at it and you aren't outside the 60' range, unless you can get to 25+spell level and range modifier with a roll of 1 you fail automatically taking 20.

No. Your argument is such that ANY attempt to detect a Symbol of <Anything> trap will set it off. Which is obviously not the case since it DOES have a DC to find it as a trap and Perception to search for something is ALWAYS supposed to be a 5x5 square. Your argument is invalid.

Noah Fentz wrote:

I happen to like doing it that way. To my knowledge, there's no set area of effect for using perception to search for traps, is there? Without a defining the search area, that implies it would encompass all that's perceivable. All that can be seen and heard. That's a bit too large an area for me.

As long as you're applying Perception penalties for distance, RAW supports a character looking for traps detecting one across a room, down a hall, or even at the other end of the street.

Noah Fentz wrote:
I happen to like doing it that way. To my knowledge, there's no set area of effect for using perception to search for traps, is there? Without a defining the search area, that implies it would encompass all that's perceivable. All that can be seen and heard. That's a bit too large an area for me.

I was going to say that searching only "affects" a single 5 ft square per round, but apparently that didn't make it into Pathfinder. Neither did the 10 ft range the Search skill used to have. In addition, there's no specific amount of time for searching beyond "intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action", which would imply that you can do it twice per round and thus take 20 for whatever area the GM allows you to in one minute, not two.

BTW, when searching through the Pathfinder book to see if I missed anything, I noticed that many spells still use the language "Rogues (only) can use Perception to find a fire trap and Disable Device to thwart it." That's not entirely true in Pathfinder - rogues don't have a monopoly on finding traps, they just get a bonus to it. You do need the Trapfinding class feature to disarm magical traps though.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Quote:

Taking 20:

...
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).
Diego Rossi wrote:

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.
wraithstrike wrote:

I am going to need a quotation to back that up. How can you say the searcher did not make the check to realize a trap was there before he looked directly at it? If the trap has to be look at directly maybe the first 20 times he tried to use a mirror he positioned it in the wrong spot to even notice the trap(symbol), and the 20th time he noticed a light(fluff assuming the symbol gives off light). That is how he can fail to find it 19 times before finding it without setting it off.
Quote:

Until it is triggered, the symbol of death is inactive (though visible and legible at a distance of 60 feet). To be effective, a symbol of death must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location. Covering or hiding the rune renders the symbol of death ineffective, unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the symbol of death works normally.

As a default, a symbol of death is triggered whenever a creature does one or more of the following, as you select: looks at the rune; reads the rune; touches the rune; passes over the rune; or passes through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a symbol of death can't trigger it (even if it meets one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading the rune). Once the spell is cast, a symbol of death's triggering conditions cannot be

...

You are assuming that not finding the trap equals "I look at the symbol."

If the thing is visible from 60 feet away then even with the penalty to the perception check it should be able to be detected as trap from 70 feet away unless the person has a low perception check, but you do have a point.

After more thought: I keep forgetting that very high perception checks are not the norm for every one, just because they are the norm in my group.

Unless the DM(normally me) skyrocketed the check to meet the group a -7 is not an issue on a nat 20 for my group. After playing with a bunch of new guys a few days ago I do see how that might be an issue.

Edit:I am still not 100% convinced though. I don't think the failed perception check itself sets the trap off. I believe that having to low of a modifier to overcome the penalty for distance sets you up to get within range to have it go off. There is a subtle difference.

edit2: Would trying to spot the trap from a distance incorporate the penalty?

Just to chime in: if one fails his Perception check, how does one set off a trap that requires you to see it? Remember that in this case, there is no penalty for failure, only success.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Just to chime in: if one fails his Perception check, how does one set off a trap that requires you to see it? Remember that in this case, there is no penalty for failure, only success.

Easy.

The DC to see a word written on the wall is 5.

The DC to see that the word is a trap without reading the word is 15.

Taking 20 :

1 : Shoot, didn't see the wall even.
2 : Oh, there's the wall!
3 : Huh, it's made of bricks.
4 : Oh, the bricks are gray!
5 : There's a word written on the bricks! <BOOM!>
6+ : Irrelevant, already hit the DC to see the word, read it, blew up.

EDIT : The above assumes no bonus to Perception.

If the guy had a +14 to perception when he was looking, it'd be :

15 : Oh, there's a symbol trap on the wall, better not read that.
16 : Oh, look, there's a copper piece wedged into the floor over there.
...
34 : Oh, the copper piece is a Feldragian coin, that's pretty rare, what's it doing here? And it's about 500 years old, really rare.

Since rogues get a bonus to perception checks to find traps I would think a perception check to find a trap would not count as a general perception check.

I know that if I try to search for a hidden door, and that door has a trap on it I have always been told to make a separate check if I want to check the the door for traps. If one perception check takes care of everything then I should not have to make 2 checks.

wraithstrike wrote:

Since rogues get a bonus to perception checks to find traps I would think a perception check to find a trap would not count as a general perception check.

I know that if I try to search for a hidden door, and that door has a trap on it I have always been told to make a separate check if I want to check the the door for traps. If one perception check takes care of everything then I should not have to make 2 checks.

Personally, I just retain the rule from 3.5 that limits detecting a trap to a 10 ft. radius around a person.

EDIT:

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

The wording of this could lead to an interpretation that searching for a hidden door is 1 "stimulus." Searching for a trap on that door is a 2nd "stimulus."

mdt wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Just to chime in: if one fails his Perception check, how does one set off a trap that requires you to see it? Remember that in this case, there is no penalty for failure, only success.

Easy.

The DC to see a word written on the wall is 5.

The DC to see that the word is a trap without reading the word is 15.

Taking 20 :

1 : Shoot, didn't see the wall even.
2 : Oh, there's the wall!
3 : Huh, it's made of bricks.
4 : Oh, the bricks are gray!
5 : There's a word written on the bricks! <BOOM!>
6+ : Irrelevant, already hit the DC to see the word, read it, blew up.

EDIT : The above assumes no bonus to Perception.

If the guy had a +14 to perception when he was looking, it'd be :

15 : Oh, there's a symbol trap on the wall, better not read that.
16 : Oh, look, there's a copper piece wedged into the floor over there.
...
34 : Oh, the copper piece is a Feldragian coin, that's pretty rare, what's it doing here? And it's about 500 years old, really rare.

That's all fine and dandy but the problem is that the symbol is visible even without the Perception check so in this case the only thing that matters is that you are trying to see if it's a trap. So there still is no penalty for failure.

If you are within 60 feet of the symbol, and it's not hidden, simply trying to identify it at all triggers it so again, Perception doesn't come into play.

There still is no failure to attempting to determine if a symbol is a trap. If you are not within 60 feet, you can't set it off. If you are within 60 feet and you make any attempt "to study it, identify it, or fathom its meaning" (if it's set to trigger by reading it), you automatically set it off.

Brotato wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Since rogues get a bonus to perception checks to find traps I would think a perception check to find a trap would not count as a general perception check.

I know that if I try to search for a hidden door, and that door has a trap on it I have always been told to make a separate check if I want to check the the door for traps. If one perception check takes care of everything then I should not have to make 2 checks.

Personally, I just retain the rule from 3.5 that limits detecting a trap to a 10 ft. radius around a person.

EDIT:

PRD wrote:
Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.
The wording of this could lead to an interpretation that searching for a hidden door is 1 "stimulus." Searching for a trap on that door is a 2nd "stimulus."

Some traps can detect people at a distance, but they still have perception and disable DC's. How are you going to handle those?

prd wrote:

Proximity: This trigger activates the trap when a creature approaches within a certain distance of it. A proximity trigger differs from a location trigger in that the creature need not be standing in a particular square. Creatures that are flying can spring a trap with a proximity trigger but not one with a location trigger. Mechanical proximity triggers are extremely sensitive to the slightest change in the air. This makes them useful only in places such as crypts, where the air is unusually still.

edit:Could you quote the 10 foot radius rule. I have never heard of it. I might need to make a houserule to make it go away.

wraithstrike wrote:

edit:Could you quote the 10 foot radius rule. I have never heard of it. I might need to make a houserule to make it go away.

It doesn't exist anymore. It did in 3.5. Honestly traps are such an xp pinata in Pathfinder that I don't have a problem with the occasional trap triggering before the party gets a chance to see it. YMMV.

Brotato wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

edit:Could you quote the 10 foot radius rule. I have never heard of it. I might need to make a houserule to make it go away.
It doesn't exist anymore. It did in 3.5. Honestly traps are such an xp pinata in Pathfinder that I don't have a problem with the occasional trap triggering before the party gets a chance to see it. YMMV.

I was saying do you have a page or a quote from the 3.5 SRD.

Edit:I found it, but it is not an all encompassing rule. I do agree that it makes traps more difficult though if this rule is used for certain traps.

wraithstrike wrote:
Brotato wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

edit:Could you quote the 10 foot radius rule. I have never heard of it. I might need to make a houserule to make it go away.
It doesn't exist anymore. It did in 3.5. Honestly traps are such an xp pinata in Pathfinder that I don't have a problem with the occasional trap triggering before the party gets a chance to see it. YMMV.
I was saying do you have a page or a quote from the 3.5 SRD.

My mistake.

Quote:
You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. The table below gives DCs for typical tasks involving the Search skill.

wraithstrike wrote:

Edit:I found it, but it is not an all encompassing rule. I do agree that it makes traps more difficult though if this rule is used for certain traps.

I feel like PF took too much of the teeth out of traps with Trapfinding, Trapspotter, and the combination of Search, Spot and Listen. 10 ft rule brings a little of that bite back.

Brotato wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Edit:I found it, but it is not an all encompassing rule. I do agree that it makes traps more difficult though if this rule is used for certain traps.
I feel like PF took too much of the teeth out of traps with Trapfinding, Trapspotter, and the combination of Search, Spot and Listen. 10 ft rule brings a little of that bite back.

I think the CR's are too low. Other than that I like them so far. A trap that automatically goes off or that can only be countered by a magic using class makes the rogue even less useful.

PS:Bring the 10 ft rule back, but allowing rogues to bypass that rule is not a bad idea.

I ask my players before they are in a dungeon what their 'speed' is. Basically, they have three default assumptions.

1. Normal speed, perception checks to find traps only when the players ask to. 60 ft long, 10 ft. wide, 10 ft. high hallway takes 2 rounds to walk down.

2. Searching speed, perceptions to find traps only rolled when the players encounter actual trapped areas. Speed assumes the players are searching making a search check on every 5x5 square, finding nothing and moving on. Requires social contract for them to continue their actions when they fail a Perception check. (Marching order is already determined, so the DM is aware of positions when a trap goes off.) Same hallway takes 9.6 minutes to move down. (.2 to travel, 2.4 for floor search, 4.8 for both walls, 2.4 for ceiling.)

3. Anal retentive speed. All traps capable of being found with a natural 20 are pointed out to the players. Speed assumes the players are taking 20 on every 5x5 square, finding nothing and moving on. Same hallway takes 3 hours and 12 minutes to move down. (48 minutes to check floor, 48 minutes to check ceiling, 96 minutes to check both walls.)

Disclaimer: Dungeons designed by Gary Gygax or Mike Shel may require anal retentive speed to be renamed 'healthy respect for survival speed'

I allow the PCs to just say they're Taking 10 on Perception constantly. This changes when combat begins.

I tell them if they truly feel they need to be particularly more careful and inquisitive about something, maybe a door or hall or corner of the room or an object and their Take 10 Perception still hasn't spotted anything, then they need to state they are doing a more thorough search, in which case I roll for them secretly (so they don't know if they found anything because they failed or because nothing was truly there to begin with).

Taking 20, they need to mark which squares, and they know it's 2 minutes/square, which eats up any buffs they casted prior to searching.

Razz wrote:
Taking 20, they need to mark which squares, and they know it's 2 minutes/square, which eats up any buffs they casted prior to searching.

Two minutes per 5' is madness, IMO.

Certain tedium just kills a game, and that's one of them.

Noah Fentz wrote:
Razz wrote:
Taking 20, they need to mark which squares, and they know it's 2 minutes/square, which eats up any buffs they casted prior to searching.

Two minutes per 5' is madness, IMO.

Certain tedium just kills a game, and that's one of them.

Er, I think that's his point. I mean, I don't mean to sound presumptuous, but the argument seems to me to be that:

A) Taking 20 on perception checks takes a long time in-game by RAW.
B) Taking 20 on perception checks everywhere can also reduce excitement and fun - PC's are never caught by any traps at all unless those traps have a higher perception DC than the PC's have [20 + perception], in which case they cannot be found.
C) Therefore players are discouraged from taking 20 on perception checks to find traps, in order to introduce a chance of failure.
D) The way to discourage players from making their characters search every inch of the dungeon floor is to make each square take 2 minutes to search and to make players mark which squares they want to search.

Does that seem about right? That this is done precisely because it would be madness to search the entire dungeon in this fashion?

Lyrax wrote:
Does that seem about right? That this is done precisely because it would be madness to search the entire dungeon in this fashion?

Yep. Seems about right to me.

In case you overlooked my preferred method, and yes, this includes when taking '20' ...

Previous Post

This , of course, is 'bare' floor. Cabinets, closets, desks, etc would be 2 minutes per area each, as well.

This keeps the game moving, yet still limits the range.

You should mark off a 5' square yourselves and study it for 2 minutes. You'll see just how ridiculous it is.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Noah Fentz wrote:

In case you overlooked my preferred method, and yes, this includes when taking '20' ...

Previous Post

This , of course, is 'bare' floor. Cabinets, closets, desks, etc would be 2 minutes per area each, as well.

This keeps the game moving, yet still limits the range.

You should mark off a 5' square yourselves and study it for 2 minutes. You'll see just how ridiculous it is.

A better test.

Have a friend hide a one inch square of blue paper on a blue floor (same color of blue), inside a 10 by 40 foot area.

Now, have a friend stand next to you with a tazer. You can move forward 5 feet at a time. If you step into a 5 foot area that contains the blue pebble, your friend get's to taze you in the family jewels for failing to notice the square of paper.

Just to make it interesting, if you give up, the friend gets to taze you in the jewels anyway.

Now, how long are you going to spend looking at each 5 foot area before you step on it?

Am I 1st level or 10th?

Is this reality or fantasy?

You think Lucas would leave 20 minutes of footage in an IJ film while he searched 50 sq ft?

We're telling a story here, escaping RL, not mimicking it!

If it were RL, I'd happily take that challenge, btw, and I certainly wouldn't take long finding it. OCD can be your friend.

:)

Generally I assume people are searching every square but only have to roll if there is going to be a negative consequence. So it still takes the same time *in game* as searching as they go but the table isn't bogged down by dozens of checks. If the player wanted to "Take 20" it would definitely take an order of magnitude more time to get through the dungeon. More random encounters, spell durations run down, etc.

mdt wrote:

A better test.

Have a friend hide a one inch square of blue paper on a blue floor (same color of blue), inside a 10 by 40 foot area.

Now, have a friend stand next to you with a tazer. You can move forward 5 feet at a time. If you step into a 5 foot area that contains the blue pebble, your friend get's to taze you in the family jewels for failing to notice the square of paper.

Just to make it interesting, if you give up, the friend gets to taze you in the jewels anyway.

Now, how long are you going to spend looking at each 5 foot area before you step on it?

The catch is you don't know there are ANY pieces of paper in the room and if you are too slow something shows up and tries to hurt you. Additionally the spells you use to protect yourself and fight your enemies are quickly running out as you crawl across the floor space by space.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Noah Fentz wrote:

Am I 1st level or 10th?

Is this reality or fantasy?

You think Lucas would leave 20 minutes of footage in an IJ film while he searched 50 sq ft?

We're telling a story here, escaping RL, not mimicking it!

If it were RL, I'd happily take that challenge, btw, and I certainly wouldn't take long finding it. OCD can be your friend.

:)

You seem to be confusing game time with real time. Nobody is advocating sitting there for 2 minutes of real time.

What is being said is, it takes game time to do this. So if the rogue says, upon finding a room, I want to take 20 to look for traps and secret doors along the walls, the GM totals up the 5' squares and multiplies by 2. That's how much time it takes to go over everything thoroughly (assuming a mostly empty room).

During this time, spells continue to expire their usefulness, and more importantly, any enemies in the dungeon are able to stumble across the party while patroling, or, if they already know about the party, they are able to set up ambushes and defensive positions, set up pincer movements, etc.

The idea is, if you want to take 20, feel free, but you're burning time and that means the rest of the world is going on around you.

As to Lucas and IJ, after Crystal Skull, I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm doing things Lucas wouldn't in a movie. :)

If you want to get technical though, Lucas does the exact same thing in Raiders. He fast forwards through weeks of travel, days of research, a week or so of digging in the desert, hours of exploration, etc, just to jump to the juicy bits. But all that time still passes in the movie's timeline continuity. He doesn't magically do the entire adventure in 2 hours of real time.

EDIT : Partially Ninja'd by an Ogre, now I'm feeling bad. Ogre's shouldn't be allowed to take levels of Ninja. :)

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
0gre wrote:
mdt wrote:

A better test.

Have a friend hide a one inch square of blue paper on a blue floor (same color of blue), inside a 10 by 40 foot area.

Now, have a friend stand next to you with a tazer. You can move forward 5 feet at a time. If you step into a 5 foot area that contains the blue pebble, your friend get's to taze you in the family jewels for failing to notice the square of paper.

Just to make it interesting, if you give up, the friend gets to taze you in the jewels anyway.

Now, how long are you going to spend looking at each 5 foot area before you step on it?

The catch is you don't know there are ANY pieces of paper in the room and if you are too slow something shows up and tries to hurt you. Additionally the spells you use to protect yourself and fight your enemies are quickly running out as you crawl across the floor space by space.

LOL, I was going to go easy on him. Alternately, there could be multiple squares of paper, or there could be blue circles, or hundred of squares of paper of every color except blue. :)

And the friends girlfriend is rolling a d20 every 30 seconds, and if she rolls a 20, she's going to scream at the friend and make him taze the searcher. :)

I'm not confusing real time with game time. I get the difference, trust me.

I started playing this game, or variation of, when it was called Chainmail.

;)

As far as the time it should take a fantasy character and a real person, in real time vs fictional time, I take into account it's a fantasy hero game.

Finally, the one thing you overlooked, that made my OCD kick in right away is the fact that you went from paper, to pebble, to paper. That took me less than 5 seconds to notice. Point is ... not everyone's perception is the same, and a rogue kicks ass at finding the little things that are out of place.

Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

Seeing as how the Core Rulebook on page 86 says:

Quote:

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

The obvious answer is no, so long as it is a Perception check and not a Search check where you are physically checking for a trap.

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

Seeing as how the Core Rulebook on page 86 says:

Quote:

Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).
The obvious answer is no, so long as it is a Perception check and not a Search check where you are physically checking for a trap.

What would be the difference between using Perception to find traps and Searching where you are physically checking for a trap? Perception is more than just looking or hearing. It involves all 5 senses.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Question wrote:
Does taking 20 on perception checks to search for traps automatically trigger any negative consequence? E.G. By rolling enough times to get a 20, you will also get at least one 1, and possibly trigger a trap while searching for it.

Seeing as how the Core Rulebook on page 86 says:

Quote:

Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).
The obvious answer is no, so long as it is a Perception check and not a Search check where you are physically checking for a trap.
What would be the difference between using Perception to find traps and Searching where you are physically checking for a trap? Perception is more than just looking or hearing. It involves all 5 senses.

While the skill description says that Perception covers all five senses, almost all of the example DC's given cover only the use of sight or smell or hearing, and the quote I listed above, to me, infers only using those three senses for the Perception check to spot a trap. If a Perception check to find a trap were to include touch, and you were Taking 20 to do it, you would set off the trap before you could figure out that it is a trap because the Take 20 rule specifically says that it is assumed that you fail at least once and, potentially, multiple times before succeeding.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kain Darkwind wrote:

I ask my players before they are in a dungeon what their 'speed' is. Basically, they have three default assumptions.

1. Normal speed, perception checks to find traps only when the players ask to. 60 ft long, 10 ft. wide, 10 ft. high hallway takes 2 rounds to walk down.

2. Searching speed, perceptions to find traps only rolled when the players encounter actual trapped areas. Speed assumes the players are searching making a search check on every 5x5 square, finding nothing and moving on. Requires social contract for them to continue their actions when they fail a Perception check. (Marching order is already determined, so the DM is aware of positions when a trap goes off.) Same hallway takes 9.6 minutes to move down. (.2 to travel, 2.4 for floor search, 4.8 for both walls, 2.4 for ceiling.)

3. Anal retentive speed. All traps capable of being found with a natural 20 are pointed out to the players. Speed assumes the players are taking 20 on every 5x5 square, finding nothing and moving on. Same hallway takes 3 hours and 12 minutes to move down. (48 minutes to check floor, 48 minutes to check ceiling, 96 minutes to check both walls.)

Disclaimer: Dungeons designed by Gary Gygax or Mike Shel may require anal retentive speed to be renamed 'healthy respect for survival speed'

Razz wrote:

I allow the PCs to just say they're Taking 10 on Perception constantly. This changes when combat begins.

I tell them if they truly feel they need to be particularly more careful and inquisitive about something, maybe a door or hall or corner of the room or an object and their Take 10 Perception still hasn't spotted anything, then they need to state they are doing a more thorough search, in which case I roll for them secretly (so they don't know if they found anything because they failed or because nothing was truly there to begin with).

Taking 20, they need to mark which squares, and they know it's 2 minutes/square, which eats up any buffs they casted prior to searching.

With Razz suggestion Kain Darkwind could add a "safe Speed option:

Safe speed: players are taking 10 for perception check. As they are walking at leisure speed they move at 2/3 of their standard speed (so 20' instead of 30').
It remove the necessity of the "social contract" but checking the hallway would require 14.4 minutes.
If 2 guys were sharing the work looking one the right side and one the left side of the hallway you would cut that down to 7.2 minutes.

Clarification the guys running under the old AD&D rules where using surveyor equipment to make a professional grade map of the dungeon. So checking every square inch of the location was already part of the horrid travelling speed they had while mapping.
(Those old dungeons often had key rooms that could be discovered only completely mapping a 50*50 squares area and noticing that you were missing a square.)
If I recall exactly the tops speed while mapping in a dungeon was 120' in a 10 minutes turn.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

While the skill description says that Perception covers all five senses, almost all of the example DC's given cover only the use of sight or smell or hearing, and the quote I listed above, to me, infers only using those three senses for the Perception check to spot a trap. If a Perception check to find a trap were to include touch, and you were Taking 20 to do it, you would set off the trap before you could figure out that it is a trap because the Take 20 rule specifically says that it is assumed that you fail at least once and, potentially, multiple times before succeeding.

While searching for a trap a guy with the right experience and enough paranoia would:

- look first from distance (sight)
- if nothing is seen he could tap (with a pole) the area for suspicious sounds (hollow floor, secret compartment that can hide a a mechanical trap, ecc.). (hearing)
- smell to notice odours from contact poisons, incendiary stuff, ecc. (smell)
- feel the location/object with his fingers to find crevasses, indentations and so on he hadn't noticed by sight, obviously the first time while wearing extremely fine gloves for extra protection. (touch)

I must admit I can't find any safe way to use taste.
Tasting food/water to see if it is poisoned is a risky business.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
You are assuming that not finding the trap equals "I look at the symbol."
Quote:

Note: Magic traps such as symbol of death are hard to detect and disable. A rogue (only) can use the Perception skill to find a symbol of death and Disable Device to thwart it. The DC in each case is 25 + spell level, or 33 for symbol of death.

Yes, I am assuming that the characters are looking around wile travelling. If they are all blinfolded and using blind fight to move around the symbol will not be their problem.

For me, searching for a trap that is activated by perceiving it and failing to perceive it as a trap mean that the character has seen it but not recognized it as a trap from a safe distance or using the right system to protect from it.

If your players check every area using a hand mirror to check for ambushes and other troubles like a SWAT team during an operation, more power to them. But they would be moving at the speed of a SWAT team.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cartigan wrote:

Houserules are great and all but where does it say you can trigger a trap by rolling a low Perception check. Any trap.

Quote:
So if you take 20 perceiving one of the different Symbols, it is set to activate by looking at it and you aren't outside the 60' range, unless you can get to 25+spell level and range modifier with a roll of 1 you fail automatically taking 20.
No. Your argument is such that ANY attempt to detect a Symbol of <Anything> trap will set it off. Which is obviously not the case since it DOES have a DC to find it as a trap and Perception to search for something is ALWAYS supposed to be a 5x5 square. Your argument is invalid.

My phrase to me seem clear enough, what is the part about wick you don't agree?

Let's check it step by step:
-So if you take 20 perceiving one of the different Symbols, taking 20 work as you had rolled all numbers from all numbers from 1 to 20.
-it is set to activate by looking at it Symbols can be set to work in different ways, so this is a needed condition.
-and you aren't outside the 60' range, if you are outside the 60' range the Symbol is not triggered
-unless you can get to 25+spell level and range modifier with a roll of 1 you fail automatically taking 20. a roll of 1 when taking a skill check isn't an automatic failure, so if you can beat the trap DC with a roll of 1 you get to avoid it.

maybe I have found what you were missing.
You read my citation of Wraith post but you didn't read the post he was citing. The whole quote is:

Diego Rossi wrote:

If you use Perception to find a trap that can be activated by "perceiving" it (like Symbol) you would suffer the consequences.

For me as successful roll when trying to find a trap of that kind mean that you have noticed that it could be a trap before actually triggering it (did see a piece of the Symbol, recognized he could be a trap and glanced away immediately) but taking 20 in that situation you fall under "your character will fail many times before succeeding" and trigger the trap.

Relevant part bolded for emphasis.

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