When are you within 10 feet of a trap?


Rules Questions

1 to 50 of 140 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Here's a fun hypothetical:

Say you are a rogue with the Trap Spotter rogue talent. You step around a corner into a 20-foot long, 5-foot wide hallway. A magical trap at the far end of the hallway detects your presence and fires an acid arrow at you.

Would you get a chance to detect it prior to moving around that corner? In other words, is the trap considered to be 20 feet away, or within the range of Trap Spotter?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

You are a Trap Spotter. You need line of sight.

To be fair to characters, they should be able to spot the place where they would trigger the trap. Ergo, the Trap Spotter can attempt his Perception check as soon as he has Line of Sight (LOS) to the nearest spot where he would trigger the trap.

If he can trigger the trap IN the corner, then when he's 10' away he has LOS to that square and can roll a Perception check. If he cannot trigger it until he steps AROUND the corner, then he should acquire LOS once he is actually IN the corner but before he steps into the next square where the trigger is - in this case, he gets his first chance to perceive the trap at only 5', but that is his first LOS, and the talent says "within 10 feet of a trap" so it still qualifies.

This should also apply to a disabler. If they have the Trapfinding feat and therefore are capable of disabling that trap 20' down the hallway, they should be skilled enough to somehow deceive the sensor and or hug the wall or belly crawl or whatever so that they can, on a successful check, disable it without having to first run down the hall and eat an acid arrow.

If none of the above is true, then every trap should be built this way to ensure maximum carnage with minimum detection/disabling. They're not, so apparently going to these lengths is of no benefit to trap makers.


Golarion must be a very nice place; when ever I play a rogue the only traps that my GM allows to be detected let alone disabled are ones that cast beneficial spells, like cure critical wounds. All of the other traps are like the Acid Arrow in Ravingdork's example, or worse, and have been ruled as impossible to disarm or detect.


Ravingdork wrote:

Here's a fun hypothetical:

Say you are a rogue with the Trap Spotter rogue talent. You step around a corner into a 20-foot long, 5-foot wide hallway. A magical trap at the far end of the hallway detects your presence and fires an acid arrow at you.

Would you get a chance to detect it prior to moving around that corner? In other words, is the trap considered to be 20 feet away, or within the range of Trap Spotter?

That depends on where the GM decides the trap is. Some GM's use the trigger or the place you have to be to disarm the trap as the location. If the GM decides the trap is at the end of the hallway then trap spotter won't work. If he decides that the trap includes the trigger, plus the trap's area of perception then that entire area is the trap. However you would still need line of effect to the trap so trapspotter should not help if you have to step around a corner.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A trigger is part of the trap, otherwise there is no way for the trap to trigger. So the trapspotter talented rogue would get his/her roll 10 ft away from the trigger.
As far as putting the trigger around the corner, it either in the square of the corner where you see it when moving towards the corner or in the square after that one, which means you can step into the cornersquare and get your check without the trap ging off.


Damanta wrote:

A trigger is part of the trap, otherwise there is no way for the trap to trigger. So the trapspotter talented rogue would get his/her roll 10 ft away from the trigger.

As far as putting the trigger around the corner, it either in the square of the corner where you see it when moving towards the corner or in the square after that one, which means you can step into the cornersquare and get your check without the trap ging off.

You misread what I wrote. I never said the trigger was not a part of the trap. Some proximity traps can detect you out to a certain distance away such as 20 feet. Some GM's consider that distance the trap sight range, but it is not the actual area the trap or trigger takes up.

As an example a trap might shoot magic missiles at you from 20 feet away, but that space between where the missiles come from, and where you are might not be considered to be part of the trap itself.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The trigger is part of the trap. I rule that if the rogue comes within 10 feet of the trigger they get a chance to roll Trap Spotter. Maybe they just get an eerie feeling. Maybe they just know enough about good trap placement that certain situations look dangerous. Magical traps that go off by detecting a person might give off a "vibe" that a highly trained individual can pick up on.

As for things like symbols, there are several ways you can justify finding them without setting them off. Perception isn't about just sight - maybe the symbol gives off a faint scent or low hum that a DC33 Perception can notice. Then the rogue can creep up, carefully not looking at it, and throw a towel over it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

10' from the trap, sure, but if you've got Trapspotter, Trapfinding and you are a player in a game where you know your GM is gonna drop traps on you, you better darn well be declaring Perception to detect traps constantly. In that instance no, Trapspotting doesn't find the trap but your Perception might be high enough to detect the magic trap before it goes off.

An Acid Arrow trap has a proximity trigger in the form of an Alarm spell. Perception isn't Detect Magic but with a 27 or higher the perceiver should be able to notice something off about the square they're about to enter which would set off the trap. It might look something like this:

PC's are navigating narrow halls when they come to this corner. The rogue is in front, scouting for ambushes and traps; the player rolls their Perception and gets a 28.

GM: As you approach the corner here (indicates the bend on the map) you notice an odd distortion in the air; dust particles just seem to hover a few inches off the ground despite there being no wind, wires, or webs to hold them there.

Rogue player: That's weird. Do I think it might be some kind of trap or something?

GM: You get the sense that a blind corner would be a great place for a trap or ambush, so yes it COULD be a trap.

Rogue player: Without moving INTO that square I want to look around and see if there's any other signs in the area, like scorches on the walls, bloodstains, or chips in the stone where weapons have impacted. Also I'm going to tell the wizard that I think some magic or something might be holding up the dust above the floor here.

Wizard player: I cast Detect Magic and concentrate for 3 rounds

GM: Ok, so the rogue is taking a 20 on their Perception and for 3 full rounds is doing nothing but visually inspecting every inch of the area. During that time the wizard is casting Detect Magic and concentrating. What's everyone else doing?

Fighter player: Knowledge: Dungeoneering; do I know of any underground hazard that makes dust float? Also I'm backing up to here (indicates the rear of the party) and keeping watch. (the player rolls 2 d20's)Knowledge check; 11, Perception; 21.

Cleric player: I'll be casting Guidance every round; once on the rogue, then the wizard, and finally on the fighter.

GM: Ok, here's what you find: rogue, you notice there are acid burns in several places around the square with the distortion; directional patterns indicate the acid came from down the hall, this way (indicates the area from which the Acid Arrow trap launches). The fighter doesn't recall any dungeon hazards or anything that cause what's happening but as he's looking back down the hall (roll for random encounter; an encounter is indicated. More rolls indicate 3 ghouls and a ghast) you spy 4 humanoid shapes moving through the darkness with practiced stealth, approaching the party; a nauseating stench wafts up the hallway from them. You notice them on round 2 and they seem to notice you as well despite still being 40' back. Are you taking any actions?

Fighter player: I draw my composite longbow and fire an arrow (rolls a d20 and a d8) 21; if it hits I did 11 damage. I tell the rest of the party we're about to have company.

GM: Ok you hit, but rather than drop like a sack of potatoes the creature keeps coming. Round 3, cleric and fighter give me initiatives; wizard is still concentrating and the rogue is committed to taking a 20. Speaking of the wizard, so far in rounds 1 and 2 you've discovered that there is a magic aura in the square where the dust is floating and in round 2 you've determined that there's only one aura which is of Faint strength.

Now the ghouls move up and begin the attacks; one charges the fighter and gets punched in the face but still hits with its bite; he doesn't get paralyzed but the cleric determines what they are. The ghast moves into position behind the first ghoul and the wounded one moves to the back; the fighter falls prey to the DC 15 stench aura from a terrible Fort save and gets Sickened.

The GM informs the wizard player that the aura is an arcane Abjuration spell and a roll from the wizard identifies it as an Alarm spell. On round 4 the rogue and wizard attempt to start aiding the fighter against the full attack of the ghast who survives his 2h sword power attack hit barely and then inflicts serious damage. The cleric channels and the combat progresses.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ryric wrote:
The trigger is part of the trap. I rule that if the rogue comes within 10 feet of the trigger they get a chance to roll Trap Spotter.

Here is where it all hangs. Where is the trigger? If the bolt was activated by a pressure plate at the corner intersection, then the rouge would get a chance to spot it.

If there is in fact no trigger, and the trap is simply something senses something X distance away, the rogue gets nothing out of his sense, since there is no trigger mechanism within his sensing range. This would be by definition a much more expensive and difficult trap to create, which is why not all traps are going to be of this nature. (that and it's a rather dickish move to make them all that way)


To avoid confusion in my previous post I was using trigger also as disarming mechanism but that was not a good analogy since they can be two different things.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Hoover wrote:
GM: Ok you hit, but rather than drop like a sack of potatoes the creature keeps coming. Round 3, cleric and fighter give me initiatives; wizard is still concentrating and the rogue is committed to taking a 20.

Is the GM forcing the rogue to continue looking for traps for the next 8 rounds even though combat has broken out? That seems harsh...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't really have an ulterior motive here fellas. It was just a thought that popped into my head. I was curious to know the RAW on the matter, or failing that, what other people thought.

And yes, there is no pressure plate in my example. It's a magical alarm sensor or some such. The trap is at the end of the hall, outside the rogue's trap spotter range, but it can sense anything down the entire 20-foot long hall.

I was also wondering if people would consider this a fair example of the rules, or a GM cheat.

Sczarni

In such corner case, you would probably ask rogue for Initiative check against Trap's Initiative check. If he wins, he gets a Perception roll to react sooner. But like I said, it's a corner case. Trap Spotter would usually grant Perception outside of Initiative.

Adam

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:

I don't really have an ulterior motive here fellas. It was just a thought that popped into my head. I was curious to know the RAW on the matter, or failing that, what other people thought.

And yes, there is no pressure plate in my example. It's a magical alarm sensor or some such. The trap is at the end of the hall, outside the rogue's trap spotter range, but it can sense anything down the entire 20-foot long hall.

I was also wondering if people would consider this a fair example of the rules, or a GM cheat.

Emphasis added. You have defined the trap as being at the end of the hallway. The rogue is more than 10 feet at that distance. He can't use trapspotting outside if 10 feet.

Is it a GM cheat? Nope, it's a trap builder who knows what he's doing. This statement reflects a matter of playstyle, not rules. Nor can it be answered by rules.

Within 10 feet is one square between rogue and trap. Distance is counted as movement is.

Sovereign Court

I'm curious about how the player entitlement crowd would view another scenario:

an "alarm" trap that consists of a bell tied to a string that goes up through a hook in the ceiling and then is nailed to a nearby door. The door opens, the bell rings, and the trap is sprung. Basically, something like virtually every shop has to announce customer traffic, only on a solid door with no windows in it.

When the PCs come from the other side of the door, is there zero chance of detecting the trap via perception or trap-spotting? If not, why not?

Presuming magic is involved and sees the setup on the other side, would it be possible to use Disable Device through the door without opening it first? Perhaps on the trap as I just described one might effectively achieve the same thing as bypassing the trap by opening the door slowly and carefully... but what if the "trap" were different in nature, where motion of the door however careful is all it takes to set it off? Can you still discover or Disable Device a trap where the components are all on the other side of the trapped door?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Rogues are bad enough without the DM intentionally trying to give them the shaft, IMHO.

Sovereign Court

Kaouse wrote:
Rogues are bad enough without the DM intentionally trying to give them the shaft, IMHO.

I completely agree. I wouldn't support designing a trap so that it can't be detected or disarmed solely out of the motivation of denying a PC skill checks. But there are characters that make and set traps. Should they be "forced" to build them so any potential victim has a fair shot at detecting them? What if the trap-setter is a PC instead of an NPC? Does or should the calculus change?


Is Trapfinding that the rogue has to be w/in 10' of the TRAP, or 10' of the trigger?


I would love to hear "Yes I know you made a character to disarm traps. But I found a loophole. Get used to it. 14 hit points. "

But more than that, I want to hear the very justified response to that.

Sovereign Court

Cavall wrote:

I would love to hear "Yes I know you made a character to disarm traps. But I found a loophole. Get used to it. 14 hit points. "

But more than that, I want to hear the very justified response to that.

As I agreed with Kaouse, I agree with you that'd be a shabby sort of GM.

But my question remains unaddressed:

If a player wants to build a trap that can't be detected/disarmed by NPCs, do you 1) let him, 2) make him redesign it so it can be disarmed from inside the "kill box", or 3) let the NPCs magically use perception/disable device anyway?

And when you reverse the roles between NPCs and PCs, would your answer be different? Why?

Liberty's Edge

Kaouse wrote:
Rogues are bad enough without the DM intentionally trying to give them the shaft, IMHO.

It is a game that revolves around the PCs ultimate success. It is not a game that requires success in all efforts to succeed.

Whether the rogue is problematic is irrelevant; unchained has redefined the rules. Other classes can exist with trap spotting. Rogues can be redesigned. The rules stand regardless.

Can a trap be detected from farther than 10 feet using trap spotter? No, by definition. Is a trigger part of a trap? I think we are working that out.


Mark Hoover wrote:
Is Trap Spotter that the rogue has to be w/in 10' of the TRAP, or 10' of the trigger?

Fixed that for you.

But the question is "Does the triggering device count as part of the trap?"


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
deusvult wrote:

I'm curious about how the player entitlement crowd would view another scenario:

an "alarm" trap that consists of a bell tied to a string that goes up through a hook in the ceiling and then is nailed to a nearby door. The door opens, the bell rings, and the trap is sprung. Basically, something like virtually every shop has to announce customer traffic, only on a solid door with no windows in it.

When the PCs come from the other side of the door, is there zero chance of detecting the trap via perception or trap-spotting? If not, why not?

Presuming magic is involved and sees the setup on the other side, would it be possible to use Disable Device through the door without opening it first? Perhaps on the trap as I just described one might effectively achieve the same thing as bypassing the trap by opening the door slowly and carefully... but what if the "trap" were different in nature, where motion of the door however careful is all it takes to set it off? Can you still discover or Disable Device a trap where the components are all on the other side of the trapped door?

This captures the spirit of my question quite perfectly.

Howie23 wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Rogues are bad enough without the DM intentionally trying to give them the shaft, IMHO.

...

Can a trap be detected from farther than 10 feet using trap spotter? No, by definition. Is a trigger part of a trap? I think we are working that out.

This is basically what I'm hoping to learn.


Traps have triggers. Triggers are part of a trap. Trap spotter would spot the trigger.

Could you build a trap where they don't know the trigger is there until it's too late? Sure. But that seems less story building than GM masturbation.

You could just as easily ask "can I drop them into an encounter 7 levels above them". Yes. But then it comes down to the same question. Are your players adventurers or victims?

So yeah, build a trap that does damage with no way of letting a Character that specifically bought ways to prevent traps actually getting to use his investments. Just don't be shocked when you're playing with yourself soon after.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think it depends on the type of trap.

PRD wrote:
Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a rogue with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM.

Mechanical traps must have a mechanical trigger. This is part of the trap, and would therefore be trapspoted

Magic traps may have a trigger (think runes) In which case they would get a roll. But if the trap goes off 'when someone of non-evil alignment steps within 60 feet of object Y the trap magically recognizes them and casts lightning bolt down the hallway'. In this case the entire trap is 50+ feet away, on the object, and there is nothing to notice within ten feet of him, he would not get a roll - unless they aren't the first party to go into this room/hallway.

What REALLY gets dicey is:

Putting behind a button so as to not derail the main post too much:
when you have trap A that is obvious.... but the power source for that trap is using a (possibly combustible) magic item to hold a necklace of fireballs 25 feet above in the cathedral ceiling with mage hand. So in deactivating the first trap the power to the item dies and the necklace falls...would this be one trap with two different DCs, or one trap and an environmental hazard? Or does it depend on the level of the party and how many have evasion?


Cavall wrote:

Traps have triggers. Triggers are part of a trap. Trap spotter would spot the trigger.

Could you build a trap where they don't know the trigger is there until it's too late? Sure. But that seems less story building than GM masturbation.

You could just as easily ask "can I drop them into an encounter 7 levels above them". Yes. But then it comes down to the same question. Are your players adventurers or victims?

So yeah, build a trap that does damage with no way of letting a Character that specifically bought ways to prevent traps actually getting to use his investments. Just don't be shocked when you're playing with yourself soon after.

Wow that's like out of the park taking things to extremes - if you are in a death dungeon designed and marketed to the players as 'bring 5 characters each tonight - it's a gauntlet' - yes then I'd expect to have elaborate setups every trap. Outside of that if 99% of every trap you hit is auto-found (because the trap spotter is a secret GM roll) without you even looking for it then no I won't feel really upset if 1% of them are *really* well designed and might be unavoidable. My trust as a player says that outside of said death dungeon the GM isn't going to make unavoidable traps 'death' traps.

So chill on the freak out - it's not unreasonable to think that traps once in a while are not possible to detect until they go off - and that's still debatable which is why we are having the conversation anyway.


I think ruling that the trap trigger is part of the trap, and so allow the rogue to benefit from Trap Spotter before triggering the trap, is a reasonable call.

If a rogue can spot a trap without having line of sight to it (such as the store bell mentioned earlier or a flechette-loaded shotgun pointed at a door, triggered by a tripwire attached to the door with gum) is in my opinion a more interesting question.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cpt_kirstov wrote:
...trap magically recognizes them and casts lightning bolt down the hallway'. In this case the entire trap is 50+ feet away, on the object, and there is nothing to notice within ten feet of him, he would not get a roll...

I like to think the entire hallway IS the trap. Perhaps the faint smell of ozone (past lightning bolt detonations) tips the rogue off as he comes within 10 feet of the hallway.


Kudaku wrote:

I think ruling that the trap trigger is part of the trap, and so allow the rogue to benefit from Trap Spotter before triggering the trap, is a reasonable call.

If a rogue can spot a trap without having line of sight to it (such as the store bell mentioned earlier or a flechette-loaded shotgun pointed at a door, triggered by a tripwire attached to the door with gum) is in my opinion a more interesting question.

Ok... that seems to be the popular opinion - so lets say for game mechanics reasons a rogue can always get his 10' check - regardless of the elaboration of the trap. Lets also say that this is off the trigger location and that location should include the maximum distance at which the trap can trigger for magical traps. (points to the description of the magical trap up above - that was nice). So - using these 'hard rules' we know the rogue always gets the trap spotter roll.

The question is now - because it's perception based how do we apply modifiers?


  • Does the magical trap at the end of a 60' hallway (trigger:sight) around the corner get modifiers for total concealment and distance? Do we just use the standard perception DC on the trap?

  • How about the trap behind the door - does that one get total concealment?

  • Here is my final 'this can be weird' question:

  • Does the rogue on side 1 of a wall - get a roll for the trap 5 feet away on side two - even though the room is not connected to said hallway other than the wall? What modifiers (if any) should apply to this roll?


I say Trapfinding + Trap Spotter means any sort of "trigger" (physical and nonphysical) means the otherwise unsuspecting rogue gets a DM-rolled Perception check, and corresponding information based on the success or failure of that roll, which can be as definitive yet vague as "your next step will trigger a magical sensor to a nearby trap."

What the rogue does with that info is up to them.

Scarab Sages

Some quotes from the PRD (bolded for emphasis):

PRD on Trigger wrote:

Trigger

A trap's trigger determines how it is sprung.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
A trap typically is defined by its location and triggering conditions, how hard it is to spot before it goes off, how much damage it deals, and whether or not the characters receive a saving throw to mitigate its effects.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
Creatures that succeed on a Perception check detect a trap before it is triggered. The DC of this check depends on the trap itself. Success generally indicates that the creature has detected the mechanism that activates the trap, such as a pressure plate, odd gears attached to a door handle, and the like.
PRD on Magical Traps wrote:

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.

Side discussion on Alarm:
I've seen where people will say an Alarm spell can be added to a mechanical trap without making it a magical trap. But the table shows that option under the Magical Device Trap CR options and all of the example traps that use the alarm spell are "type: magical". So I take it to mean that it's still a magical trap.

Some other Considerations about proximity traps::

The PRD states "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." This suggests that for those traps that if creatures are moving around it will be set of often.

But even using an alarm spell as the trigger will force the trap to go off whenever a tiny creature (as per the alarm spell) crosses the warded area. Most dungeons/crypts/castles/etc have these things called rats which are tiny creatures. Noticing a bunch of rat skeletons or acid pitting might even have a lower DC than the trap itself.

One other thing I'd like to point out about these sort of things is the cost.:

A non-magical CR 1 trap that is manually resettable costs 1000 GP

Magical traps start fairly cheap but can get pricey really quick.

In the example of an acid arrow trap.
If it shoots once the cost is 300 GP (50 gp/(Caster level x Spell Level) * CL 3 * 2nd Level Spell).
If it resets then the cost is 3,000 GP (500 gp/(Caster level x Spell Level) * CL 3 * 2nd Level Spell).

The repeating version of this cost is the WBL of a 3rd level PC. If your BBEG hired out for this service, the cost would be the normal spell casting service rate for each day of crafting. So that would cost an additional 420 GP (He'd have to pay for 6 castings of both Alarm and Acid Arrow).

That's for one trap in the dungeon. Given your particular settings, does this make financial sense for BBEG?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

I don't really have an ulterior motive here fellas. It was just a thought that popped into my head. I was curious to know the RAW on the matter, or failing that, what other people thought.

And yes, there is no pressure plate in my example. It's a magical alarm sensor or some such. The trap is at the end of the hall, outside the rogue's trap spotter range, but it can sense anything down the entire 20-foot long hall.

I was also wondering if people would consider this a fair example of the rules, or a GM cheat.

Fair or not, I've always ruled the rogue gets a check when within 10' of the trigger zone, but with a perception penalty based on the distance to the actual trap trigger, so in the cas of pressure plates basically no different, but in the case of a magical sensor 50' down the hall, then a -5.

Most of the time my rogues still see them, but once in a while the trap goes off.

Scarab Sages

deusvult wrote:

I'm curious about how the player entitlement crowd would view another scenario:

an "alarm" trap that consists of a bell tied to a string that goes up through a hook in the ceiling and then is nailed to a nearby door. The door opens, the bell rings, and the trap is sprung. Basically, something like virtually every shop has to announce customer traffic, only on a solid door with no windows in it.

Lets build this using the trap building rules!

"All traps—mechanical or magical—have the following elements: CR, type, Perception DC, Disable Device DC, trigger, reset, and effect."

CR: 1 (calculated see below)
Type: Mechanical
Perception DC: 25 (calculated see below)
Disable DC: 10 (calculated see below)
Trigger: Opening the Door
Reset: Automatic
Effect: Rings a bell
Cost: 1.01
Craft DC: 25 (ridiculously high, but I used the trap building rules)

Calculations:
The Perception DC has a base of 20
Locating something behind a closed door gives +5, so the DC is now 25.

The Disable Device check has a base of 20. Since all you have to do to keep a shop bell from ringing is opening the door slowly, I'd probably lower the DC to disable it to 10.

CR 0 for the Effect
CR +1 for automatic reset
CR +1 for Perception of 25
CR -1 For DC of 15 or Below

Total CR is +1

The base cost to craft this trap is 1000 GP + 50% since it automatically resets so this gives us a 1500 GP cost, but it's very simple, so the CRB suggests making the cost lower. A bell is 1 GP, string is 1 CP, lets assume you have the hammer and nails, so a total of 1.01 GP.

The Craft DC of a CR 1 trap is 20, automatic reset adds +5. The total Craft DC is 25. If you don't have the hammer and nails you'll probably take a circumstance penalty from not having the tools.

Additionally, lets consider a rogue with both trap finding and trap spotting approaching our trapped door.

PRD - Trapfinding wrote:
Trapfinding: A rogue adds 1/2 her level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device skill checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps
PRD - Trap Spotter wrote:
Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a rogue with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM.
PRD on Mechanical Traps wrote:
Creatures that succeed on a Perception check detect a trap before it is triggered. The DC of this check depends on the trap itself. Success generally indicates that the creature has detected the mechanism that activates the trap, such as a pressure plate, odd gears attached to a door handle, and the like. Beating this check by 5 or more also gives some indication of what the trap is designed to do.

So our rogue approaches the door, when he's 10 feet away from the triggering mechanism (the door), his extraordinary rogue senses activate and his subconscious (the GM) rolls a perception check with a DC of 25, using the rogues regular perception modifier plus an additional bonus of half his rogue level.

Outcomes:


    • <25. The rogue is unaware the door is trapped, but should he decide to he can decide to search it consciously as a move action.
    • 25 to 29. The rogue is aware the door is trapped, but has no idea what will happen should he set off the trap.
    • 30+. The rogue is aware the door is trapped, and he has a general idea of what will should he set off the trap.

Lets go further and assume our rogue fails, but he passes the door on his way to aid his party in battle with a dire mook. Afterwards the rogue walks back up to the door. Guess what he gets another subconscious perception check from trap spotter, as he has triggered the conditions of the ability, and perception checks can be retried.


B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

Some quotes from the PRD (bolded for emphasis):

So lets make the situation much simpler...

5 feet behind the door is a chair - on which is a symbol spell.

Assume: The rogue is high enough level to automatically find the trap through the door.

So the rogue detects the trap through the door.

Can he now disable it? RAW it looks like yes... I'm not sure how I feel about that but I wanted to make sure we are on the same page.

Second - how about detecting the same symbol trap from the other side of a wall - when the two rooms are not connected. Based on perception and the rogue it looks like it's 100% RAW the rogue should be able to detect and disarm a trap from another room.

Also This means I need to start checking the trap finder for traps above and below the rogue on different levels of the house/dungeon he's in.

Scarab Sages

Ckorik wrote:
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:

Some quotes from the PRD (bolded for emphasis):

So lets make the situation much simpler...

5 feet behind the door is a chair - on which is a symbol spell.

Assume: The rogue is high enough level to automatically find the trap through the door.

So the rogue detects the trap through the door.

Can he now disable it?

RAW it looks like yes... I'm not sure how I feel about that but I wanted to make sure we are on the same page

The magic traps (symbol spells are a subset called Spell Traps) act a little differently, from on the opposite side of the door? He'd need to make a check of 25+spell level+5 (for other side of the door), but assuming he made it he would only know there was a trap on the other side of the door (think of it like a lesser version of spider sense). If he surpassed the check by 5 or more he'll get an idea about how the trap functions. Should he get an idea about it's function he might know a way to disable it, but he's still 10 feet from the trap, and would have to somehow get to the trap to effect it.

A mechanical trap would need to consider the whole setup as the trap from triggering action to components in, where in effect would be triggered by opening the door. In the case of symbol of death (8th Level spell, costs 5000 GP, 10 minutes casting time) could be somewhat replicated by something a ~CR 42+ and cost ~20500+ GP taking 21+ days of construction each requiring a craft check of 35. Think of it as another facet of caster-martial disparity.

Should the rogue make the perception DC on the mechanical trap, he's still 10 feet away from the trigger. He knows that the door is trapped, he then needs to figure out how to disable it, if it can be disable from that side etc.

This is where your party prepared caster comes in and helps you come up with solutions. The first thing you should do if you find a trap is detect magic. Then try to come up with solutions.

In the case of a visually activated symbol, the easiest way to overcome this would be to have the caster use arcane eye/summoned creature, etc to view it from within 60 feet and but outside of line of effect from the symbol (it's a 60 foot blast effect). Then they would just need to remain out of the affected area for for it's duration.

Ckorik wrote:


Second - how about detecting the same symbol trap from the other side of a wall - when the two rooms are not connected. Based on perception and the rogue it looks like it's 100% RAW the rogue should be able to detect and disarm a trap from another room.

Also This means I need to start checking the trap finder for traps above and below the rogue on different levels of the house/dungeon he's in.

That seems to be the RAW. When it comes to different levels, it doesn't seem pathfinder plays much attention to the elevations of floors or their materials. A wooden floor could be pretty thin and start basically in the square above the rogues head, these could also be pretty noisy, but how often do you make creatures in the 2nd floor of the house make stealth checks?

For mechanical traps when calculating the CR, I would use the perception DC from where the PCs are intended to activate it from.


Hrmmm - I am going to think about this for a bit - it really boils down to the neutered down nature of pathfinder traps. Although this thread has helped me understand how they operate a bit. So there is that - outside of the hypothetical RAW debate here - I won't be rolling for traps that a rogue has no physical access to though - RAW aside that will be my own GM 'some common sense prevails' rules ;)

That being said the 'activates with line of sight' and such spell type traps have always bothered me on how the rogue is supposed to disable them - so I have to think about how that is supposed to work (read: description) in my games - it makes sense that the rogue should get a chance to disable any trap honestly - but how they move 60 feet down the hallway to disable the trap is what bothers me.

On a related subject - haunts seem to be the 'fix' for traps in that they don't automatically detect with trap spotter. They seem to be used in two ways really - as traps, and as ways to impart history to the players in a neat way.


Ckorik wrote:
That being said the 'activates with line of sight' and such spell type traps have always bothered me on how the rogue is supposed to disable them - so I have to think about how that is supposed to work (read: description) in my games - it makes sense that the rogue should get a chance to disable any trap honestly - but how they move 60 feet down the hallway to disable the trap is what bothers me.

I've used a few different explanations in the past when trap spotters have run into a trap like this. In one case the character was able to obscure the "alarm sensor" with a small mirror, in another the character used a folding blanket made up of multiple thin lead sheets to obscure his presence from the magic divination trigger. Thieves' Tools explicitly have the implements needed for a rogue to disable magical traps, so it makes sense that it contains more than lockpicks and monkey wrenches. :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_Blake wrote:
KenderKin wrote:
Oh a post by RD....nothing to see here, move along.

Yeah, I feel you. His posts are usually about him finding something weird in the rules and then posting about how abusing it is the right thing to do.

I'd generally like to move along too, but, maybe, just maybe, some new guy pops in here, sees the question, and things he just learned something useful. So I feel obligated to respond with a counterpoint.

Although, sometimes RD does have a good point. Even a broken clock is right twice a day...

;)

I actually think this one is a good question. I could easily argue it either way, but arguing it that the trap is 20' away and so it cannot be detected or disabled is basically nullifying one of the only remote claims to fame the rogue has (remote because other classes can do it too, and usually better, or at least just as well but they're better at other things too).

Besides, that would also be arguing that all traps should be designed with remote triggers so nobody could ever deal with them effectively. Which clearly they are not, so, the game setting proves that there is no advantage to doing it this way (or else every trap builder would be doing it the most advantageous and un-meddleable way possible).

What's up with all the RD hate? RD brings some of the best creative thinking and critical thinking questions to these boards. He makes me think hard about the rules, how to use them, how to figure out why and how they interact with other rules, whether I want to apply these within my own games, and a lot more. His questions seriously make me think, and I find that to be a wonderful thing.

I really have a hard time fathoming why people don't like his posts. Seriously, why the hate?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Howie23 wrote:

Emphasis added. You have defined the trap as being at the end of the hallway. The rogue is more than 10 feet at that distance. He can't use trapspotting outside if 10 feet.

Is it a GM cheat? Nope, it's a trap builder who knows what he's doing. This statement reflects a matter of playstyle, not rules. Nor can it be answered by rules.

Within 10 feet is one square between rogue and trap. Distance is counted as movement is.

Regarding the bit I bolded, all I can say is:

Oh really? As opposed to all the millions of trap builders throughout all the centuries in which Golarion has had traps, magic, and trap builders, the only one, the ONLY ONE who knows what he is doing is the ONE guy who builds traps like RavingDork suggested?

All those other millions of trap builders were all just lame amateurs with no idea how to build traps?

This world is very old. Magic has existed for a very, very, very long time. Surely, by now, probably ages ago, before the Thassalonian ruins were ruined, probably before they were even built, some trap builder, somewhere, must have figured this out. And word must have caught on.

Surely, after all those ages, EVERYBODY is building traps this way. Oh, sure, a few guys here and there have JUST enough cash to build a dungeon but only enough left over for a couple cheap pits - maybe they can't afford the extra expense to make a trap that will actually stop any skilled intruders. But everyone else is making remotely-triggered traps. Not just to defeat Trap Spotter, but also to force the disabler to endure multiple attacks from the trap before he can disable it.

Alas, the published materials show that this is not how traps are built.

Conclusion: it doesn't work.

My answer is that there must be something at the location where the trap can be effective (in the OP's case, this means the corner of the hallway which is where the trap can first detect and injure a target), even if it's a hidden rune, even an invisible rune, something must be there - even if the "sensor" is farther away. And a skilled trap spotter or trap finder can find that, if they're perceptive enough.

But that's just my take.

Whatever your take, I'm curious to see how anyone can justify what must by now be at least hundreds if not thousands of published traps in all the years that "Trap Spotter" has been a thing, and very few, perhaps none, were created this way. No, not a metagame "it's not fair to certain PCs" explanation, but rather, an in-game RP justification as to why trap builders aren't clued into this very obvious idea yet.

Shadow Lodge

If there's no pressure plate (or something mechanically similar) as a trigger, and it's just a "magic proximity" trigger (or similar) then trap spotter just doesn't go off. There's nothing there to spot.

It'd be a different story if the rogue actively used detect magic, I guess - that kind of thing would warrant giving the trap spotter what he needs to know; moreso than just a regular casting of detect magic without trap spotter, if possible.

Remember that Trap Spotter isn't meant to be all-powerful vs spotting traps. It's not impossible for there to be some edge cases.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Admiral Akbar, the universe's ultimate expert on traps suggests the nasty place where bad things happen *IS* the trap.

Akbar says the hallway is most definitely a trap and since rogues with trap finder automatically get a perception check to detect a trap, the rogue would get a perception check before entering the TRAPPED hallway.

Because it makes sense, and because Admiral Akbar says so.

Scarab Sages

Avatar-1 wrote:

If there's no pressure plate (or something mechanically similar) as a trigger, and it's just a "magic proximity" trigger (or similar) then trap spotter just doesn't go off. There's nothing there to spot.

It'd be a different story if the rogue actively used detect magic, I guess - that kind of thing would warrant giving the trap spotter what he needs to know; moreso than just a regular casting of detect magic without trap spotter, if possible.

Remember that Trap Spotter isn't meant to be all-powerful vs spotting traps. It's not impossible for there to be some edge cases.

Well most of the spells are used to create magical device proximity traps, like clairaudience/clairvoyance and arcane eye, create invisible scrying sensors that are only a DC 20 + spell level perception check to detect without searching for it.

As far as Alarm goes, nothing in the spell's language says the ward created by it is invisible or undetectable (which is a lot of power to give a level 1 spell, no one really thought they'd be able to ninja proof an area with a 1st level spell did they?). It does say the alarm spell's ward is "subtle" though. I believe that if you look at it's effects, it's probably a "spell trap" though it's not called out as such (but neither is Symbol of Death, actually I don't think the phrase "spell trap" is used anywhere but the trap rules). The alarm spell should probably receive a DC 26 perception check to detect it, and pcs with trapfinding should be able to disarm it with the same DC.

Scarab Sages

So... some slightly more organized thoughts.

We all go about saying we're "looking for traps". But other than a post from James Jacobs, I haven't found any rules saying you have to search for traps in order to notice them. Wait wait! Before you get out the torches and pitchforks, give me a second to explain.

The perception skill states, "Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action." The only mention of traps in the skill is in the table where it has an entry for "find a hidden trap". For my purposes there are two operative words in this entry. The first is they use "find" as opposed to "notice", which implies an active search. The second is "hidden", meaning not all traps only the hidden ones.

I interpret this to mean that unless a trap is hidden, the perception checks are reactive.

I don't think anyone would argue that a bear trap sitting on your PCs kitchen table could only be located by actively searching for it. Giant pendulums just hanging from the ceiling, sure they'll have the normal perception modifiers, but their not really hidden either. Making them a component of a trap doesn't in and of itself make them harder to perceive.

Invisible Scrying Sensors, despite being invisible, actually aren't by default hidden it's just a DC 20+Spell Level check to reactively perceive them, the invisibility is baked into that DC. So it's actually pretty likely that sometimes you'll detect the Scrying Sensor with it's lower DC but not the trap itself, though by that time it may be too late.

PRD wrote:

Spell traps are simply spells that themselves function as traps

So Spell Trap is apparently not a term like "death effects" or "Evil Spells". You'll only find it mentioned in this section of the PRD.

This creates a dilemma, we all know some trap spells like the symbol of death, of pain, of... but none of these are called out at trap spells (they don't even mention the word trap or disable device!). Other spells are very clear like Fire Trap, which says it's a magic trap (doesn't use the term spell trap though).

For me (and this is purely my take on it), a spell trap has the following qualities:
• A trigger that occurs without the spell caster being present or having line of effect (ie. it's "dumb" and functions as programmed).
• An effect that happens when it is triggered.
• Non-instantaneous with durations typically in the hour/level, until/discharged, or even permanent.
• Often they mentions wards, runes, symbols, and/or is an abjuration spell.[/list]

In the case of Alarm, it meets all of my criteria. Additionally, it mentions that it is a "subtle ward", which I read as it having an observable but hard to detect component. It nowhere mentions the emanation as being invisible or undetectable, so I see no reason to give it those abilities, if I did that I could just as well read it as being a quite visible octarine haze. Without the spell trap rules, I don't really know how to give it a base perception DC, however I do know that it is an abjuration spell, and as such

PRD on Abjuration wrote:
If one abjuration spell is active within 10 feet of another for 24 hours or more, the magical fields interfere with each other and create barely visible energy fluctuations. The DC to find such spells with the Perception skill drops by 4.

Which is a nice thing to remember when building magical traps.

My parting thought before I go to bed is that we're probably not rolling enough reactive perception checks.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I see this as more of a design question than a rules question.

It's certainly possible to design traps where there's no realistic way to detect them before they go off.

However, in fairness to the players, traps should always have some way of being detected before triggering, especially if the players are actively looking for them.

While you should generally allow players the ability to disable a trap as well, sometimes it's fine to make the trap un-disable-able by conventional methods, particularly for big important puzzle rooms. In this sort of situation, try to keep the rogue useful by allowing them to discover information which can give hints or circumstance bonuses on the puzzle.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

deusvult wrote:

I'm curious about how the player entitlement crowd would view another scenario:

an "alarm" trap that consists of a bell tied to a string that goes up through a hook in the ceiling and then is nailed to a nearby door. The door opens, the bell rings, and the trap is sprung. Basically, something like virtually every shop has to announce customer traffic, only on a solid door with no windows in it.

When the PCs come from the other side of the door, is there zero chance of detecting the trap via perception or trap-spotting? If not, why not?

Presuming magic is involved and sees the setup on the other side, would it be possible to use Disable Device through the door without opening it first? Perhaps on the trap as I just described one might effectively achieve the same thing as bypassing the trap by opening the door slowly and carefully... but what if the "trap" were different in nature, where motion of the door however careful is all it takes to set it off? Can you still discover or Disable Device a trap where the components are all on the other side of the trapped door?

I'd say that Trap Spotter makes you realize that this scenario is possible with any door, and you look for telltale signs like scuff marks in the hallway where people have paused after setting it off before as subtle clues for what's going on.

It's much easier to detect this with an active perception check - mirrors help a lot. Then you can use a blade on a stick to cut the string and tweezers to hold it steady while the door is eased open. Just one possible way to disarm such a trap. (I play in a LARP where to disarm traps you actually have to disarm them. A trap such as you describe is actually very common and easy to set up.)


DM_Blake wrote:


Oh really? As opposed to all the millions of trap builders throughout all the centuries in which Golarion has had traps, magic, and trap builders, the only one, the ONLY ONE who knows what he is doing is the ONE guy who builds traps like RavingDork suggested?

Just saying - I have come across one like the symbol (party is teleported into a room with a symbol trap - activation is line of sight - does the rogue get a chance to deactivate it?) and I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one other that was like the hypotheticals used.

Both were very high level material, and for the life of me I can't recall the exact book they were in (different books) - but they stood out because they were among the highest DC traps I'd seen in Pathfinder. Again not every trap out there would be like this - simply because an effective trap is usually something you know how to avoid yourself, otherwise you run the risk of activating it. I do think it's OK to think about the rules and how traps interact, and I think it's ok to have a bit of variety as well.

1 to 50 of 140 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / When are you within 10 feet of a trap? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.