Detect Magic & Finding Magical Traps


Rules Questions

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cwslyclgh wrote:
Troubleshooter wrote:

I'm very interested in the idea that a trap's trigger might not detect as magical.

That is an interesting idea, a mechanical trigger such as a pressure plate that triggers a magical trap rather than the usual magical proximity trigger (using an alarm spell). I may have to use one of those in the future.

The problem is that the entire trap is one item. For that reason, every magic trap is triggered by alarm or true seeing [edit: or arcane eye], with the sole exception of harm which is triggered by touching the trapped element.

Also, just by RAW...

Quote:
Spell: All spell traps have this kind of trigger. The appropriate spell descriptions explain the trigger conditions for traps that contain spell triggers.

It seems like you can't mix and match mechanical and magical elements.


well shoot.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Make a magical trap that produces the effect of stone shape, turning the floor into a smooth slide that funnels the party down onto a completely different trap's pressure plate on a different floor of the dungeon. >:D

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Quatar wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If someone thinks a cantrip is too easy for detecting magical traps, remind them that the Perception skill can do it too, even without Trapfinding.

While that is true it's not that easy.

....

Someone who wants the chance to detect that same stuff with Perception, not only does he have to constantly roll Perception, he has to invest skills into it, and he actually has to roll high enough.

Ever heard of Take 20? Heck, the Core Rules actually list searching for traps as one of the primary/common uses of the T20 mechanic. So no, there's not "constant rolling" or "has to roll high enough". It's "I spend a minute searching, get a XX". Anyone with about +6 or more in Perception can start reliably finding magical traps, as long as they have the time and remember to search.

Quote:

I'm sorry, I'm with John Templeton on this, if someone builds a magic trap he'll layer it with lead or will hide it somehow else so the magic can't be detected before it goes boom.

Of course there are countermeasures. The statement is "detect magic can detect magical traps", not "detect magic will always detect every magical trap no matter what the trap guy does to try and hide it". He could magically conceal its aura, include other magical items in the dungeon so that the party doesn't come to the conclusion that the aura they detected is a trap, and so forth. That doesn't mean that, by default, detect magic doesn't work; any more than the ability to take extra measures to hide your traps would mean that by default Perception couldn't find them.

The baseline is that detect magic does what it says it does, which includes detecting any auras that might be given off by magical traps. This remains the baseline regardless of the fact that the creator of the trap can take measures to shield an individual trap from such detection.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think there is a secret team of Rogue enthusiast fighting to make Trap detection and Trap disabling a Rogue only thing with no exceptions whatsoever.


Jiggy wrote:
Make a magical trap that produces the effect of stone shape, turning the floor into a smooth slide that funnels the party down onto a completely different trap's pressure plate on a different floor of the dungeon. >:D

I recently did the opposite, a mechanical stairway-chute trap that deposits the party in the proximity trigger of a fireball trap.


Heck, it doesn't even need to be trap-to-trap.

You could have a slippery cave with a stair-like path covered with moss and slick rock. Describe as such to your party and have them roll Acrobatics to avoid falling and sliding down to the bottom, taking a little damage and depositing them on a pressure plate.

If they make their way down carefully or otherwise circumvent the stairs, congratulations! You've won an opportunity to avoid the trap. If not, this is a trap whose triggering mechanism can't simply be rolled into a successful encounter.

Edit: Well, okay, yes it is. But with a group of four~ it's likely that at least one person will fail the check. After all, whole parties of four characters don't max Acrobatics because one day it will prevent them from being Dominated or Maximized Disintegrated.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think the best foil to anti-trap measures is to find ways to get them off their guard.

For instance, have all the rooms in the dungeon/castle/whatever have magical "traps" that light up torch sconces with light or daylight or something whenever someone steps within the "proximity trigger".

Then make sure all your actual traps use the same school of magic and are in similar locations. >:D


Detect Magic says that strong auras may obscure others, but doesn't give any rules for it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

I stated that most spell traps require Trapfinding to find them. I stand by that statement.

Its worded poorly, and I can see how you can interpret it like that.

Symbol of Death wrote:
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.

I interpret it in line with the other instances of Trapfinding and in the Traps section: anyone with a high enough perception can detect it, it takes a rogue to perceive it and disarm it ( since you can't disarm it, without perceiving it first, its true that a rogue must both perceive and disarm the trap ).


Seraphimpunk. Where are you pulling that quote from? The 5th printing of the CRB does not contain the phrase 'rogue (only)'.

Here is the current 5th printing phrase:

CRB p356 Symbol of Death wrote:
Note: Magic traps such as symbol of death are hard to detect and disable. A character with trapfinding 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

Since the spell does not differentiate between trapfinding for perception and trapfinding for Disable Device the phrase regarding trapfinding applies to both. It requires a character with Trapfinding to find the Symbol of Death trap using perception. It requires a character with Trapfinding to disarm the Symbol of Death trap using Disable Device. Seems pretty clear.

The only way Trapfinding would not apply to perception is if they put the trapfinding statement after perception and before Disable device. Currently it is written as: 'this is required to use A AND B'.

- Gauss

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

i pulled it from the prd

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/symbolOfDeath.html#_symbol-of-dea th

I still think its intention there is just to clarify that you need Trapfinding in order to disable a magical symbol trap. everywhere else that trapfinding appears, its clear that you can use perception to find traps, but need trapfinding to disable magical ones, whether they're spell traps or not.


Then it, and all other spells that state the same thing, need an Errata because the language is pretty clear. The language states that you need Trapfinding to find these specific spells using perception and you need Trapfinding to disable them using disable device.

Until an errata occurs, this is a case of specific (the spells) vs General (magic traps as a whole).

Incidentally, this is one more section of the PRD that is inaccurate.

- Gauss

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think its a rules bleed from 3.5

i just compared the text from the old Fire Trap to Pathfinder's Fire trap.
if they just changed the words Rogue (only) to Trapfinding, they unintentionally opposed the changes made in Pathfinder. In 3.5 only a rogue could detect traps with a DC higher than 20, so the text detect and disable made sense.

example:

pathfinder fire trap wrote:


A character with trapfinding can use the Perception skill to find a fire trap and Disable Device to thwart it.
3.5 fire trap wrote:


A rogue (only) can use the Search skill to find a fire trap and Disable Device to thwart it.

see? a search and replace on the rules with Search -> Perception and rogue (only) to Trapfinding results in a rules case that while it was correct in 3.5, doesn't mesh properly with the other changes made in pathfinder regarding magical traps.

i stole your list of spells that still have this verbage and started a different discussion about them, with the hopes of pointing out the clear question to devs. it seems akin to the old fire resistance/lava resistance loophole that popped up.

link


You might want to include Teleportation Circle since it needs a wording fix too. It appears that the sentance was butchered to remove everything between 'the' and 'Disable'. It is a weird sentance now.

- Gauss

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

noted! reported!

god i'm bored at work. lol.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

After reviewing the trap rules I think I have to change sides, for at least the trigger spells.


Troubleshooter wrote:
Detect Magic says that strong auras may obscure others, but doesn't give any rules for it.

Well consider this factoid absorbed! I didn't realize this was a thing. Using this alongside Jiggy's "traps under normal workings" suggestion would be a great way to hide a nice burning hands trap.

The wizard PC detects 2 evocations, one just slightly less powerful than the other, in the same area. Oh well, there hasn't been any other issues with... MY FACE IS ON FIRE!

Good times...


Gauss wrote:
Currently it is written as: 'this is required to use A AND B'.

To work the way you suggest, shouldn't that read "A OR B"?

"OR" would mean you need trapfinding to locate it, and you need trapfinding to disable it.

"AND" means you need trapfinding to both locate it and to disable it. So if you don't want to disable it, just locate it, you're fine.

Trapfinding required to (locate) and (disable)
vs
Trapfinding required to (locate and disable)


Grick, and means that the thing that is required is required for both acts. It does not mean both acts must be performed. Or would probably be more confusing. In any case, I am not an english major or english teacher. I do know 'and' means that what went before applies to both where 'or' usually means that it applies to one or the other. Note: English does not follow Boolean logic. What you posted would follow Boolean logic.

My understanding:
Example: X is required to use A and B means that you must have X in order to use A and B.

Example 2: X is required to use A or B means that you must have X for one of them, not necessarily both.

I could be wrong of course. As I said, I am not an english major or teacher.

- Gauss

Dark Archive

Gauss wrote:

My understanding:

Example: X is required to use A and B means that you must have X in order to use A and B.

There are two possible meanings for "X is required in order to do A and B".

One meaning is that "In order to do A and B, X is required." The other is that "X is required in order to do A, and X is required in order to do B." The original sentence is grammatically valid for either intent, thus generating confusion.

Quote:
Example 2: X is required to use A or B means that you must have X for one of them, not necessarily both.

Incorrect. "X is required in order to do A or B" means "If you intend to do A or B, you're going to need X." Meaning no matter which of A or B you're doing, X is a requirement. Using "or" in this case simply serves to rule out the first possible meaning of the other sentence, above: you don't have to be doing both A and B in order for X to be a requirement; doing either of them alone will require X.


LOL Thanks GN, aka Jiggy. :)

- Gauss

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Whale_Cancer wrote:

@therealthom: I guess the issue is the "or is similarly examined" line; identify is just detect magic with a +10 bonus to identify an item's properties (with traps being items). Seems like "similarly examined" to me.

Also, the general rule for illusions still apply:

Quote:

Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief): Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

I would interpret using detect magic to be sufficient interaction to attempt disbelief.

Also, there is the issue that Magical Aura is itself a spell. How does that interact with detect magic? Can you detect that magical aura spell? I suppose if integrated as part of a trap and not just cast on a trap, this wouldn't be an issue. However, with a level/day casting time it is probably more cost efficient for any maintained dungeon or site to have the spell recast rather than integrated into the trap (increasing cost).

Using Detect magic to detect if there is magic in an area is not the same thing of: "If the object bearing magic aura has identify cast on it or is similarly examined, the examiner recognizes that the aura is false and detects the object's actual qualities if he succeeds on a Will save."

Notice what it require:
- casting identify, on the object, not using it to detect magic in the area.

So to have a chance to bypass the Magical Aura deception with Detect magic you would have to concentrate on one object at a time, not on detecting magic in the whole area.

Same thing with disbelieving illusions. If you use Detect magic as an area detection spell you aren't interacting with the covered item, you are interacting with the whole room/area. To roll as ST against illusion you would have to examine the specific object.
Naturally that point is moot as Magical Aura has no ST.

Conclusion: to bypass Magical Aura deception with Detect magic you will have to examine the specific item, not sweep the area with the detection.

Liberty's Edge

Christopher Rowe wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
It takes a rogue (or someone with a similar ability) to DISABLE it.
Just about anybody can TRIGGER them, though! I vote we send the barbarian.

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10
Notice the stench of rotting garbage –10
Detect the smell of smoke 0
Hear the details of a conversation 0
Notice a visible creature 0
Determine if food is spoiled 5
Hear the sound of a creature walking 10
Hear the details of a whispered conversation 15
Find the average concealed door 15
Hear the sound of a key being turned in a lock 20
Find the average secret door 20
Hear a bow being drawn 25
Sense a burrowing creature underneath you 25
Notice a pickpocket Opposed by Sleight of Hand
Notice a creature using Stealth Opposed by Stealth
Find a hidden trap Varies by trap
Identify the powers of a potion through taste 15 + the potion‘s caster level

No where does it say detect a magical trap. Can't be done with Perception alone.

Dark Archive

AZhobbit wrote:
Christopher Rowe wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
It takes a rogue (or someone with a similar ability) to DISABLE it.
Just about anybody can TRIGGER them, though! I vote we send the barbarian.

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10
Notice the stench of rotting garbage –10
Detect the smell of smoke 0
Hear the details of a conversation 0
Notice a visible creature 0
Determine if food is spoiled 5
Hear the sound of a creature walking 10
Hear the details of a whispered conversation 15
Find the average concealed door 15
Hear the sound of a key being turned in a lock 20
Find the average secret door 20
Hear a bow being drawn 25
Sense a burrowing creature underneath you 25
Notice a pickpocket Opposed by Sleight of Hand
Notice a creature using Stealth Opposed by Stealth
Find a hidden trap Varies by trap
Identify the powers of a potion through taste 15 + the potion‘s caster level

No where does it say detect a magical trap. Can't be done with Perception alone.

From traps

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.

And

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.

Can absolutely be done with perception alone


AZhobbit wrote:
Christopher Rowe wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
It takes a rogue (or someone with a similar ability) to DISABLE it.
Just about anybody can TRIGGER them, though! I vote we send the barbarian.

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10
Notice the stench of rotting garbage –10
Detect the smell of smoke 0
Hear the details of a conversation 0
Notice a visible creature 0
Determine if food is spoiled 5
Hear the sound of a creature walking 10
Hear the details of a whispered conversation 15
Find the average concealed door 15
Hear the sound of a key being turned in a lock 20
Find the average secret door 20
Hear a bow being drawn 25
Sense a burrowing creature underneath you 25
Notice a pickpocket Opposed by Sleight of Hand
Notice a creature using Stealth Opposed by Stealth
Find a hidden trap Varies by trap
Identify the powers of a potion through taste 15 + the potion‘s caster level

No where does it say detect a magical trap. Can't be done with Perception alone.

: |

This topic has been litigated to death for over a decade. It was more than settled when the Core Rulebook released its first printing. If you want to run it differently, that's your prerogative.

Lantern Lodge

Lots of necromancy lately - the undead threads are rising!

Time to prepare for the zombie-thread apocalypse!


I wonder if it just feels like more, because the regular posts have slowed down so much

Lantern Lodge

Melkiador wrote:
I wonder if it just feels like more, because the regular posts have slowed down so much

To tell the truth, I had the same thought a few minutes ago.


Gauss wrote:

Requirements to use Detect Magic as a trap detector:

1) Standard action every round.
2) The person using it must be in front of the party.
3) The area being explored must not have any other magic.

#1 may slow the group down.
#2 means that if there is someone else with magic on them in front the detector must wait three rounds in order to determine the location of magic sources. Imagine doing that every 3 rounds. We move, detect, detect, detect. Repeat.
#3 is basically the same as #2 but may also mask the aura of the trap.

I know this post from a while ago, but I did not see this pointed out: Regardless of whether there is anything else in the cone or not, it takes three rounds to get to the locations of magical auras (beyond "somewhere in the cone"). If you are looking for magical traps, the location is quite an important piece of information.

_
glass.


This thread is actually pretty interesting for history. Several of the spells mentioned (notably *not* the spike spells or snare) now explicitly say they can be detected with Perception, and trapfinding is only required to disable. For instance, glyph of warding (which two versions are quoted above), now says:

Current PRD wrote:
Note: Magic traps such as glyph of warding are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a glyph, only a character with the trapfinding class feature can use Disable Device to disarm it.

{emphasis mine}

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