Snare spell only detectable with trapfinding?

Rules Questions

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The Snare spell reads:


This spell enables you to make a snare that functions as a magic trap. The snare can be made from any supple vine, a thong, or a rope. When you cast snare upon it, the cord-like object blends with its surroundings (DC 23 Perception check for a character with the trapfinding ability to locate). One end of the snare is tied in a loop that contracts around one or more of the limbs of any creature stepping inside the circle. If a strong and supple tree is nearby, the snare can be fastened to it. The spell causes the tree to bend, straightening when the loop is triggered, dealing 1d6 points of damage to the creature trapped and lifting it off the ground by the trapped limb or limbs. If no such tree is available, the cord-like object tightens around the creature, dealing no damage but causing it to be entangled.

The snare is magical. To escape, a trapped creature must make a DC 23 Escape Artist check or a DC 23 Strength check that is a full-round action. The snare has AC 7 and 5 hit points. A successful escape from the snare breaks the loop and ends the spell.

Highlighting mine, to emphasize my question: Can the trap made with this spell only be detected if a character has the trapfinding ability? Magical traps in general can be seen by anyone with a high enough Perception check, but only disabled if a character has trapfinding. However, the second highlighted line seems to indicate that a character has to have trapfinding just to see the snare.

Also, the Perception DC is weird. This is a Druid 3/Ranger 2 spell, and the DC to locate most magical traps is 25+spell level, so the DC should be 27/28, however the DC on this spell specifically says 23.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Page 417 of the Core Rulebook, under "Perception and Disable Device DCs" states that magical traps cannot be noticed by those who lack trapfinding. You can also see the line in the PRD here:

As for the DC, generally if a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule applies, but only in that specific case (in this case, the DC just for this one spell is not equal to 25 + spell level).

Actually, there is errata that removes the lines requiring trapfinding to locate magical traps. It is now only required to disable traps, not find them. The PRD reflects this:


Magic: Many spells can be used to create dangerous traps. Unless the spell or item description states otherwise, assume the following to be true.

-A successful Perception check (DC 25 + spell level) detects a magic trap before it goes off.
-Magic traps permit a saving throw in order to avoid the effect (DC 10 + spell level × 1.5).
-Magic traps may be disarmed by a character with the trapfinding class feature with a successful Disable Device skill check (DC 25 + spell level). Other characters have no chance to disarm a magic trap with a Disable Device check.

Magic Trap: The DC for both Perception and Disable Device checks is equal to 25 + the spell level of the highest-level spell used. Only characters with the trapfinding class feature can attempt a Disable Device check involving a magic trap.

I am going to assume the spell was written with the pre-errata rules in mind, since it's from the CRB, and that it should be noticeable by anyone, not just characters with trapfinding, but that it also needs an errata to clarify this.

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