player has insanely high perception check


Advice

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At level 15 he has a +40 bonus in perception.

How?

15 ranks
3 class skill
10 alertness and skill focus
4 wisdom
2 half-elf keen senses
5 eyes of the eagle item
1 seeker trait

he also has the trapfinder trait which lets him disable magic traps.

I feel like making traps is just offering free XP because he is always going to find them. the highest perception DC was 34. I made an invisible trap with a perception DC of 50. It was a simple poison needle if he passes he smelled the poison on the lock.

the rules for magic traps say the perception DC is 25 + spell level. I wanted to make this really elaborate magic trap but I feel limited by what the rule is.

My question is should I make traps with a perception DC of 60, or so, just to combat his really high perception. increasing CR accordingly of course

OR

Keep with what the rules say and basically give free XP.

I am fairly certain I should stick to what is fun. so now my question turns to what is fun?

you find this trap, and disable it (similarly high disable check) here have some xp.

OR

(secretly rolls perception(fails))
You walk across the hall and the floor explodes dealing 34 damage. here have a lot of xp.

Then there is the question of realism, does the trap maker in game even know to make his traps extremely hard to detect mostly via the invisibility spell + permanency. but even then can you even use invisibility on a magic trap?

and for those wondering I don't allow detect magic to detect magic traps. two reasons for that... one: balance issue; the spellcaster can use detect magic infinitely and it would basically be able to find all magic traps... and two: there is a 1st level spell called magic aura. if you can make magic traps why would you not use this spell to mask the aura? Use identify if you want to detect magic traps.


Rely more on obstacles/encounters other than traps? It's not the Gygax "traps, traps everywhere!" era any more. :)


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Guru-Meditation wrote:

DO NOT SIMPLY RAISE THE DCs!

There is nothing more frustrating having a character that is an ace at something, or at least should be, and then suddenly the world changes and every trap ever is permanency invisible, so it can be found with a 50% chance at best.

Why did i then even choose a character concept that spend so much on being the best at traps, when i could also half-assed it and still find stuff 50% of the time?

The XP he gets are not "for free"! He spend a whole bunch of character resources to get this far.

P.S.
Also most traps are barely an annoiance at best. If nothing else happens, like a combat immediately starting, or the target person fleeing, you end up with a little pause and a few charges drained from the Cure Light Wounds wand, or some spellslots spend to save wand charges if you are hgih enough to know you will never be casting down to 1st or 2rd level spells.


Yeah I agree... that needle trap I mentioned was the entrance to a tomb of a powerful illusionist. I could not resist however THIS trap is happening a whole adventure away it is actually the first legitimate trap of this adventure block (path? section? outing?)

basically the needle trap I plan on the players being about level 16. This magic trap I want to make won't happen until they are level 20. and there aren't very many traps in between so I want to make this one special as it may just be the last trap I ever have.

The details of this trap involve telekinesis push to a visible pit dropping down into an extra dimensional space that is filled with negative energy which damages them until they make the will save at which point they are teleported back into the room before the trap... where monsters have appeared when the telekinesis went off.


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First think in terms of time, an initial perception check should not give all of the details so give details but not necessarily the whole picture and make them think.

e.g. Despite the poor lighting you notice that the 10' section of floor in front of you seems strangely lacking in tracks, upon closer inspection there a slight layer of dust lies upon it. If you were to explore more closely you may gather more information about the area.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They spent feats, skill ranks, and money for magic items in order to become that good. Let them enjoy it. Let them auto-spot a number of traps -- the character obviously doesn't think it is fun to run into traps.

You don't reduce the damage on a barbarian that throws a significant amount of resources into improving damage, do you?


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If a player puts resources into being good at something, and I raise the bar to negate it then I am basically negating his effort. Maybe he intended to auto-detect traps so let him do it. It's not like he has a 45 AC, and you can't hit him so he waltzes through all of the combats.


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wordelo wrote:


My question is should I make traps with a perception DC of 60, or so, just to combat his really high perception. increasing CR accordingly of course

No, you shouldn't. The player has invested quite a lot of resources in being able to be good at something. By arbitrarily raising the DCs, you are basically depriving him of the use of those resources and depriving him of the fun of being good at what he specifically wants to be good at.

That's roughly equivalent to my saying "I want to play the greatest swordsman in the land" and you as the game master saying "all right, then, I'll make sure that there are no combat encounters so you never have an excuse to draw a sword."

Or it's like my taking an enchantment-specialized wizard and your rewriting the module on the fly so that every opponent is undead and therefore immune to enchantment spells. That's uncool, to the point of set fire to the GM's rulebooks because he's obviously not using them.

Pathfinder is a resource-allocation game. Levels, feats, skills, traits, and gold for magic items are all resources that can be put to any task one likes. The choices the players make tell you what they want the game to be like. If you want to run a module as-written (without regard to the players' choices), that's acceptable, but less fun than if you actually provide what they want. But if you go out of your way not to provide what they want,.... it's hard to make that to be anything but an actively hostile move.

Scarab Sages

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Don't raise the DC... just make the traps interesting even IF he spots them.

Such as having trap and monster combinations. Where the player must choose to disable trap or fight the monsters.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

IMHO, you should keep traps around - in appropriate places, of course. If for no other reason, than to give the trapfinding player the satisfaction of having spent his skill points wisely.

And some traps will continue to be dangerous even for those who spot them. The mechanism may well be on the *other* side of the trap. And mid to high level players are liable to feel very complacent about traps, and not even accept to wait around while Mr Trapfinder does his stuff. Which could be deliciously intricate indeed.

Don't forget Grimtooth's Traps. Let those honeys inspire you. And don't forget Rube Goldberg. Lots of inspiration to be had there, too.

Traps will continue to be dangerous when paired with other challenges. Don't give in to the "it's not Gygax era anymore" crowd. Traps are not just for Trappy McTrapface.


Lorewalker wrote:

Don't raise the DC... just make the traps interesting even IF he spots them.

Such as having trap and monster combinations. Where the player must choose to disable trap or fight the monsters.

Concur with something like this. Remember that there are lots of perception modifiers for noise, etc, so in some conditions the penalties may bring "find it" back down to possible failures. On doors/chests and other point objects its obviously the rogues place. But if there is a pressure plate, trip-wire, glyph trap in a large room when an encounter happens, there is no reason someone else might trigger it since the area hasn't been searched and there would be penalties to their perception mods as well.

Also, I think its just as fun in my game when the rogue finds and disables the trap. I still get to describe something nasty that "could" have happened to them, IMO it adds to the story and as others have noted its a chance for a player's PC to shine in what they're good at. Same way lumping a bunch of goons together and letting the caster unload with a AoE spell, etc. put the challenges there, let them shine.

You might want to talk to the player too. see if they want to actually have to roll and want harder more dangerous traps. By 15th level maybe they'd prefer not to be rolling on checks/disables anymore.

Two things I do in my home game regards traps.
1. There are lots of trap types that only Rogues can find. I limit non-rogues to things like pressure-plates, trip-wires, pits - things that are more physically obvious. chests/trapped doors/etc are rogue only. It makes rogues more unique, while still allowing anyone to try to avoid falling down a pit.

2. Beyond that I generally also don't allow "take 20" to find traps. It never made sense to me because there is a negative consequence tied to a trap similar to climbing and falling. If you bump the trigger while looking for it, the trap goes off, thus "take 20" which assumes you fail many times before you get it right is the same IMO for finding/noticing a trigger as it is for trying to disarm it once you do find it. If the trigger could be found literally just by looking carefully and touching nothing then I might, but I believe most traps are also attempted to be concealed/hidden so locating one is a combination of looking/touching/tracing with your fingers, etc. Point being - if you "fail" the trap goes off.
Just how I run it at home I realize its not rules as written.


Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.

Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.


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Oh joy. Another "I hate competent characters" thread.


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thorin001 wrote:
Oh joy. Another "I hate competent characters" thread.

My thought exactly.


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.

Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.

The trapfinder is not always the trap disabler. This could fall on another party member.

This is also the type of thing that will make players paranoid and have them rolling dice too much and slowing down gameplay. It only needs to happen once.


wraithstrike wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.

Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.

The trapfinder is not always the trap disabler. This could fall on another party member.

This is also the type of thing that will make players paranoid and have them rolling dice too much and slowing down gameplay. It only needs to happen once.

Considering the original poster specifies they character has the trapfinder trait, and has an equally high disarm device it is a logical assumption that he is the one disarming traps.

If a player is investing as much as this one has in dealing with traps the GM should use them. If the GM simply ignores traps, that is as bad if not worse than arbitrarily adjusting the difficulty.

As to it slowing down the game there are things that can be done to speed this up. If the player states that are looking for traps simply slow down their progress without slowing down the game. Telling the players that it take twice as long to walk down the hall does not really take anymore game time than telling them they walk faster. While I am not a fan of the GM rolling for the player this is one time I would do it. If there are no traps just roll behind the screen and pretend to read the dice, if there is a trap then pay attention to the roll.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.

Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.

The trapfinder is not always the trap disabler. This could fall on another party member.

This is also the type of thing that will make players paranoid and have them rolling dice too much and slowing down gameplay. It only needs to happen once.

Considering the original poster specifies they character has the trapfinder trait, and has an equally high disarm device it is a logical assumption that he is the one disarming traps.

If a player is investing as much as this one has in dealing with traps the GM should use them. If the GM simply ignores traps, that is as bad if not worse than arbitrarily adjusting the difficulty.

As to it slowing down the game there are things that can be done to speed this up. If the player states that are looking for traps simply slow down their progress without slowing down the game. Telling the players that it take twice as long to...

I missed that highe disarm statement, but how are you going to not let the game be slow when he start to roll a lot more?

Even if you(the GM) are rolling the rolls is still being made unless you agree to only roll for any potential threats, and throw in a few extra rolls so they don't metagame.


I (GM) always roll for find and disables. I try using the same tone/facial expression when a rogue finds vs misses a trap. I don't know if it works or not - heck the rogue in one game is my wife of 15yrs...I gotta figure she knows all my tells so I'm probably only bluff-checking myself anyway.

Traps are old-school. Opinions differ on use, frequency, and lethality. I tend to use more if there is a rogue, just because I like giving them that niche, but I don't avoid them in a group w/o (mostly been one-shots). In those cases, I use more standard pits/trip-wires and such...the kind of things I allow non-rogues to notice and try to avoid vs poison needle in the bag's cinching rope.


wraithstrike wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Does he have the trap spotter talent or something similar? If not the perception rolls are not automatic and he has to actively be looking for the trap. If there is no danger when he encounters the trap this is probably not a problem, but if he encounters the trap during combat that is another story.

Another option is to have a trap that is multistage traps where disarming one arms another in a different location. Maybe the trap on the treasure room activates the one on the dungeon entrance/exit. This way he can find the first trap that is already disarmed so he forgets about it. After disarming the second trap the first trap is now armed. Since he already knows about the first trap he does not get another check unless he looks. If the trap is magical the first trap may not even be in existence until triggered by the second trap so there would be no roll the first time through. Be careful not to overuse this as other have stated the player invested a lot of resources in being able to find things so he should get to use what he paid for so to speak.

The trapfinder is not always the trap disabler. This could fall on another party member.

This is also the type of thing that will make players paranoid and have them rolling dice too much and slowing down gameplay. It only needs to happen once.

Considering the original poster specifies they character has the trapfinder trait, and has an equally high disarm device it is a logical assumption that he is the one disarming traps.

If a player is investing as much as this one has in dealing with traps the GM should use them. If the GM simply ignores traps, that is as bad if not worse than arbitrarily adjusting the difficulty.

As to it slowing down the game there are things that can be done to speed this up. If the player states that are looking for traps simply slow down their progress without slowing down the game. Telling the

...

These types of rolls are best done by the GM not the player. The trick is you only need to worry about the roll if there is an actual trap.

If you are using dice get in the habit of idly rolling dice while you are doing something else. The trick is you only have to pay attention when there is something actually going on. Most of the time you are simply flipping dice and ignoring them, but every once in a while pause as is you are looking at something. Then when a situation like a trap comes up it will not be an automatic give away.

I use a computer and hero labs when I am running. It has a built in dice roller so I can roll 99 rolls with a single click of the button. Since I am constantly checking things on the system and my players cannot see the screen they have no clue if I am looking up something or actually rolling a check of some sort.


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If the player knows his perception is pre-roll is higher than the trap DC he doesn't even need to roll barring GM inflation of trap perception DC's. He can just say I am checking everything that might be trapped. So I guess the actual rolling is not needed. He just needs to specify when the roll is happening.

Grand Lodge

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Stop trying to solve your problem out-of-character. Remember, every problem is really an opportunity in disguise...

Any character with an enormous amount of anything, whether it's combat ability, skill mastery, spellcasting, wealth, followers, etc, is going to attract attention. After all, this is a fantasy world with magical scrying, hyperbolic bards, gossiping villagers, and endless tomes full of myths and legends.

So, what happens when a character becomes world-renowned for spotting traps? Maybe a merchant from a far-away land hears about him and sends a desperate letter: "My family's ancient treasure was stolen by Ulaph, the demon prince of trickery and traps! Only you can navigate through his vault of insidious contraptions and magical dangers. Find the treasure and I'll split it with you!" Sounds like a typical adventure plot, yeah, but now you've given yourself free reign to fill it with the craziest traps you can think of! Better yet, your player won't feel slighted by it in the least, rather, he'll feel like he's in the spotlight!

Better yet, for years after that adventure, you'd better bet Ulaph is going to remember this puny mortal that defeated the best traps in his vault. From that point on, Mr. 40+ Perception Check has a demon prince hounding him from the netherworld, occasionally setting otherworldly traps in his way in the hopes of getting revenge. So, for the rest of that character's career, you can toss a DC 50+ trap into an adventure and, not only will the player not be at all angry, he'll be thrilled that once again, his character's personal plot line is center stage!

Silver Crusade

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This is the Typical "why even play Rogue" Dilemma.
Rogue has a Specific Role and by taking it away you immidially remove the Class Feature. You wont take a Sorcerer his Flying cause the Earth Elemental cant reach him, do you?


wraithstrike wrote:
If the player knows his perception is pre-roll is higher than the trap DC he doesn't even need to roll barring GM inflation of trap perception DC's. He can just say I am checking everything that might be trapped. So I guess the actual rolling is not needed. He just needs to specify when the roll is happening.

If its a door/chest/bag I only roll if the rogue specifically says they're checking. Two reasons. they're objects someone else could just as easily grab and open w/o waiting for the rogue (and I house rule only rogues are trained enough to notice traps on these kind of items). and I want to see where everyone's fig is when rogue is working if its an AoE trap.

I've used traps enough at this point its not typically a problem - the rogue will scold anyone who goes grabby-hands on chests or just pulls open a door, even if its not trapped, it has been enough times that they should know better.

I keep the "take-10" perception up for everyone regards pits/pressure-plates and trip-wires, just in the interest of game speed and assume they're being a little careful going down a hall or across a room. so they'll pick up some traps automatically w/o specifically inspecting every tile. Other times it's not until a PC has to make a reflex save.


wordelo wrote:

At level 15 he has a +40 bonus in perception.

How?

15 ranks
3 class skill
10 alertness and skill focus
4 wisdom
2 half-elf keen senses
5 eyes of the eagle item
1 seeker trait

he also has the trapfinder trait which lets him disable magic traps

The dude has invested 25% of his 8 Feats and his 2 traits into that skill. Let him suceed in this thing he is good at. A lot.

Do not just have him spot traps, but ambushes with really well disguised enemies, the footsteps of invisible assasins etc.

wordelo wrote:

I am fairly certain I should stick to what is fun. so now my question turns to what is fun?

you find this trap, and disable it (similarly high disable check) here have some xp.

OR

(secretly rolls perception(fails))
You walk across the hall and the floor explodes dealing 34 damage. here have a lot of xp.

Yeah that is the problem with most traditional traps. If the group cannot spot them the paladin will walk through save take some damage and than heal themselves.

I would go with what the others said. Make traps more interesting than just two skill rolls.

Examples:
-part of a combat encounter
A pit trap in front of a group of archers/blasters etc. . Now even if your Perception guy manages to alert the fighters before they charge in, the group still has has to make a plan how to deal with the situation.
Fly/Teleport over the hidden pit? Have their guy disable the pit and try to protect him from their enemies missiles?

-even after spotting the trap, disabling it could still be a challenge
There is a device on the other side of the room blasting multiple random lightnings into the area, with a high enough perception check the hero can spot an two exposed cogwheels on the device, which of stopped from moving could stop the device. Again the group still needs a solution how to bypass the lightings even if the know how to bypass that thing.
The trap guy would have to Tumble through the lightning (or have a protection from Energy spell have cast on him) to use disable device. Or the group could try blocking the device by putting an object(shooting an arrow, levitating something) in beetween the two cogwheels. The Barbarian could charge through and smash the cogwheel. They could hold the cogwheel still with a telekinesis spell etc.


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If you want to make traps more interesting, put traps in combat.

Yes, seriously. Spiked pits in the middle of a room in combat. Flame traps come from the ceiling in a room full of fire resistane/immune enemies.

Now the rogue really has things to do while the enemy fights them. It makes traps far more interesting.

Traps by themselves are worthless. There are three outcomes...
1) Someone notices the trap and avoids/disables/or sets it off with a summoned creature.
2) Someone notices and sets it off by accident
2a) The trap isn't enough to kill and is usually just some hp damage, which will be prompty healed with a wand of CLW
2b) The trap is enough to kill someone outright, which is very unfun for players. Failing a single roll shouldn't result in instant death.
3) No one notices the trap and you get 2a or 2b.

All 3 options aren't interesting in the slightest.

Traps are thematically appropriate at certain places, but don't expect them to be a serious impediment.

Start including them in places where combat will occur, and have the traps be designed not to hamper the creatures in the dungeon. Pit traps in rooms with flying creatures. Fire traps in rooms with fire resistant/immune creatures. This makes combat much more interesting.

Dark Archive

Bear in mind also, if the CR of the trap is equal to or less than the APL-10 (so presumably CR5 for this group) the trap is worth no exp anyways, even CR 9 and 10 traps are going to be giving very little exp compared to what a normal CR 15 encounter would, so that's not necessarily something to get too worried over.

Sczarni

High perception doesn't solve problems that you put in front of them, it merely notices them. Change your mindset. Expect him to detect everything and plan ahead like that. It's not that problematic.

Adam


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DonKalleOne wrote:

This is the Typical "why even play Rogue" Dilemma.

Rogue has a Specific Role and by taking it away you immidially remove the Class Feature. You wont take a Sorcerer his Flying cause the Earth Elemental cant reach him, do you?

Actually, a lot of GMs on this forum seem to do just that:

* The Paladin's smite evil is destroying everything! All right, everything in this next castle is some form of neutral.
* The Enchanter's spells are too powerful! All right, everything gets a +infinity to their Will saves (or is outright immune).
* The Ranger's arrows are killing everything! All right, everything is now protected by infinite numbers of mirror images.
* The Fighter is tripping everything with her reach weapon! All right, everything in this dungeon that doesn't fly is now a centipede!
* The Monk has an unhittable AC!!! All right, everything in this dungeon has a permanent true strike on it.

That doesn't mean that it's not a jerk move, just that there are a lot of jerks out there. A lot of GMs seem to get really upset when the players are actually good at what they're supposed to be good at.


Ultimate Intrigue has a Undetectable Trap spell. For your purposes the only benefit is that it raises the DC to spot traps by half the caster's CL. The problem is that it's only on the lists for Antipaladins, Occultists, and Rangers, so it's hard to think of a good reason for it to be broadly applied to lots of traps at a high CL. And it only lasts day/level rather than being permanent, so an expert Level 16 Ranger trap consultant who travels the world for high paying clients doesn't help.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Aye. you build combat encounters expecting the party to trounce them, spend some healing, and move on.

Build the trap encounters expecting them to get beaten, shave off time, and move on. You're only miffed because they aren't spending resources NOW to recover from the trap, instead having them spent well ahead of time.

having a player spot traps and is more believable and satisfying then having the party fly or teleport right past them, right?

==Aelryinth


Claxon wrote:

If you want to make traps more interesting, put traps in combat.

Yes, seriously. Spiked pits in the middle of a room in combat. Flame traps come from the ceiling in a room full of fire resistane/immune enemies.

Now the rogue really has things to do while the enemy fights them. It makes traps far more interesting.

Traps by themselves are worthless. There are three outcomes...
1) Someone notices the trap and avoids/disables/or sets it off with a summoned creature.
2) Someone notices and sets it off by accident
2a) The trap isn't enough to kill and is usually just some hp damage, which will be prompty healed with a wand of CLW
2b) The trap is enough to kill someone outright, which is very unfun for players. Failing a single roll shouldn't result in instant death.
3) No one notices the trap and you get 2a or 2b.

All 3 options aren't interesting in the slightest.

Actually, I think there's an interesting fourth option.

4) Someone notices the trap and goes somewhere else in the dungeon. This lets the baddie have an effective "crowd control" tactic to make sure the eventual combat happens at a place of her choosing and under circumstances beneficial to her. Oddly enough, this is often how traps happen in the real world -- you lay a mine field not because you want to kill people, but because you want the enemy not to use the mined area.

But, of course, to use this, you need people to know about the trap and NOT simply to walk through it with a summoned monster.


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To play Devil's Advocate for a moment, doing that isn't NECESSARILY bad, it's just a matter of how often, how heavy handedly, and for how long you do it.

As a GM, I want to have fun too. If all the monsters in the dungeon have too low of a Perception to see invisible party members, and everyone can turn invisible, after a while I'm either going to start tweaking their perception scores so they at least have a CHANCE of spotting them (that Skill Focus: Fly they have can easily become Perception) or give a few of the important boss monsters potions of See Invisibility, because the shank shank bleh game gets old after a while.

That's not to say every monster is going to have +20 or above Perception, but the sentries guarding the fort need at least a fighting chance on beating that 10+20+Stealth score.

Admittedly, I find myself doing this much MORE often with pre-written APs than homebrew games, but that's more a testament to APs being woefully unprepared to handle ANY kind of optimization in the group than anything else.


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I have an Investigator in my game that regularly makes 40s or 50s Perception checks. I pretty much assume he is going to spot anything and plan accordingly. The player built him as a skill monkey so skill checks are about the only time he really shines his combat skills are pretty meh.

I toss lots of skill challenges at the party that I know he is going to pass and most of the others fail. It is his time to shine. Why not let him?


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Sundakan wrote:
As a GM, I want to have fun too. If all the monsters in the dungeon have too low of a Perception to see invisible party members, and everyone can turn invisible, after a while I'm either going to start tweaking their perception scores so they at least have a CHANCE of spotting them (that Skill Focus: Fly they have can easily become Perception) or give a few of the important boss monsters potions of See Invisibility, because the shank shank bleh game gets old after a while.

Really? So what else are you giving me to replace the 20,000 gp I spent on the ring of invisibility you just arbitrarily deprived me of?


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"Ring of Invisibility" is not code for "Can never be seen ever ever by anyone".

By that logic, having an enemy with DR the Fighter can't bypass or more HP than he can deal in a full attack is depriving him of his +5 sword. Both are equally silly, because sometimes that happens.

In both cases your item has still given you advantages (a sentry with a +20 Perception is still going to NOT see you more often than he does...and is completely s~!% out of luck if you even bothered to put ranks in Stealth instead of hoping your item made you undetectable by anyone forever).

If you're a Rogue with even a +10 Stealth (so...ONE RANK) and the ring, you're gold (that's a take 10 of 40, something they only beat on a 20, for those tallying it up at home). If you're a Wizard who's rolling around with 14 Dex and a ring, or the spell, the guys might notice you if they roll above average. I don't see why not being undetectable is a big deal.

Investment should be respected, yes, but the mere act of you buying something does not make that thing a sacred relic that can never be overcome. Ditto any spell you cast. Neither of which defines your character.

Sovereign Court

Vaellen wrote:

I have an Investigator in my game that regularly makes 40s or 50s Perception checks. I pretty much assume he is going to spot anything and plan accordingly. The player built him as a skill monkey so skill checks are about the only time he really shines his combat skills are pretty meh.

I toss lots of skill challenges at the party that I know he is going to pass and most of the others fail. It is his time to shine. Why not let him?

Gee, that character sounds like me. As a 1/2 Elf empiricist investigator with expanded inspiration and skill focus perception, I will find just about all the traps with proper preperation. Once in combat, the only way I'm doing fairly decent damage is by firing a bow with focused shot after using an extract of paragon surge do give me ranged study. (Yes, I'm taking ranged study as my next feat.)


Sundakan wrote:


As a GM, I want to have fun too. If all the monsters in the dungeon have too low of a Perception to see invisible party members, and everyone can turn invisible, after a while I'm either going to start tweaking their perception scores so they at least have a CHANCE of spotting them (that Skill Focus: Fly they have can easily become Perception) or give a few of the important boss monsters potions of See Invisibility, because the shank shank bleh game gets old after a while.

You could just add other obstacles. Stuff like Twigs, which might cause noise, dust, that might leave footprints. If the players do not avoid those, the villains see get easier checks.


Which is just a roundabout (and less rules supported) way of doing the same thing.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
As a GM, I want to have fun too. If all the monsters in the dungeon have too low of a Perception to see invisible party members, and everyone can turn invisible, after a while I'm either going to start tweaking their perception scores so they at least have a CHANCE of spotting them (that Skill Focus: Fly they have can easily become Perception) or give a few of the important boss monsters potions of See Invisibility, because the shank shank bleh game gets old after a while.
Really? So what else are you giving me to replace the 20,000 gp I spent on the ring of invisibility you just arbitrarily deprived me of?

So unless it is automatically successful, always, its usless?


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It's important to respect a player's investments and allow them to feel that their choices are worthwhile. However, it's also important to challenge them in various ways - in my experience, if there's never a challenge, then there's no fun. You can only roflstomp challenges so many times before it gets boring for everyone.


GM Rednal wrote:
It's important to respect a player's investments and allow them to feel that their choices are worthwhile. However, it's also important to challenge them in various ways - in my experience, if there's never a challenge, then there's no fun. You can only roflstomp challenges so many times before it gets boring for everyone.

+1 this.

As I'm playing 1 week and GMing the off week now I'd say 100% I don't want things handed to us, but also let us do cool things and keep it fun with unexpected and find ways to allow us to do more than just our "best" thing on the character sheet.

On my GM week I've more than once told the group "ok you can try that if you want - but take a couple moments to look over your sheets" (they're also only a year into gaming). But the reality is we're playing those characters in our campaigns about every 14 days on average. Very easy to forget what else they can do or what's stowed in a backpack, where as the actual hero would know exactly all their possible options.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
DonKalleOne wrote:

This is the Typical "why even play Rogue" Dilemma.

Rogue has a Specific Role and by taking it away you immidially remove the Class Feature. You wont take a Sorcerer his Flying cause the Earth Elemental cant reach him, do you?

Actually, a lot of GMs on this forum seem to do just that:

That doesn't mean that it's not a jerk move, just that there are a lot of jerks out there. A lot of GMs seem to get really upset when the players are actually good at what they're supposed to be good at.

OQ - come on now. A lot of GMs? Yes, there are certainly some opinions expressed from times to time that indicate clearly a GM who's probably not one I'd game with or who I'd put in your category of jerk moves.

But on the whole, comments made clearly by GMs are pretty good and especially those who've responded to things like the GM Advice: or New GM questions, etc the good ones are the majority and most helpful in my experience.

...51% good. would you give em that?


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He spent 2 feats to get there. Let him have it. If you don't, at least tell him that he doesn't get to have fun and force him pick two new feats instead. Don't roll "fails" for him behind his back.

OP wrote:
and for those wondering I don't allow detect magic to detect magic traps. two reasons for that... one: balance issue; the spellcaster can use detect magic infinitely and it would basically be able to find all magic traps... and two: there is a 1st level spell called magic aura. if you can make magic traps why would you not use this spell to mask the aura? Use identify if you want to detect magic traps.

I get a feeling that you just don't want them to find traps. Chances are that's the reason why your player invested so much in Perception.

Re-read Detect Magic and you'll see that no sensible party would stop every 12th second to wait 18 seconds before they walk 12 more seconds. That's a horrible waste of time and not un-balanced. They should invest in Perception so that their passive perception has a chance to discover the traps instead... Oh wait, they already did.


are magic rune spells a thing in pathfinder? i seem to remember there being spells that where triggered by noticing them ones that exploded or hypnotized you or spells that have some sort of baleful attraction on them dc will or you got to pick up the magiced thingy that will lead to your doom. or a trip wire that is very noticeable is the trap following it to its source leads the person to the explosive rune which makes the person notice it causing it to explode in their face. there is a script on the wall that they got to read for a clue and a magic rune is mixed in there that makes them forget what they have read. (curse you! sword of truth series!) most of these things have DCs or triggers. and really i am not sure if any of them apply to pathfinder since the last time i encountered such shanagins was in 3.5.


okay few things...

one: I knew I would end up having to give more details which if I gave in the OP would make the already long post even longer. don't worry I give more in this post.

two: the character is a fighter archer he has plenty of feats and does the most damage in the party by far.

three: I don't have traps very often. when I do this fighter always spots them without rolling. It would be mean to simply assume they are not searching for traps. Why would they not? and when they have this guy that can always find all traps they have never needed to cast detect magic to find a magic trap. So the players do not even know that detect magic would not detect magic traps in my game. (I know I should probably tell them, but as long as this fighter is alive it is basically moot)

four: It seems the general consensus is to not increase trap DCs. I get that.

five: he notices everything else, searching treasure piles, sneaking enemies, statues that are actually creatures. and many other perception checks that I have made the DC 40 or lower so they are automatically found.

six: I am thinking of creating an illusory image of a creature behind the trap trigger so that the paladin, or skald goes after it to trigger the trap during the encounter right before the trap. is that cheating?

seven: this fighter used 1 feat out of 16(skill focus is auto granted by half-elf); 2,500 GP out of 120,000 character wealth (we use auto bonus progression from unchained which also granted him a +6 to wisdom); all his traits (traits make skills into class skills, IMO that is more powerful/useful than adding 1 to attack and/or damage); 1/4 of his skill ranks (others in stealth, disable device and acrobatics. What more does a fighter need? all other fighter skills are basically worthless IMO or very situation dependent); basically I am trying to say it seems this character did not spend many resources on being good at perception.

eight: for those wondering this ranged fighter who hardly ever sees melee combat has 114 HP and 32 AC. the paladin of the group tends to be in the front line.

nine: we are currently not playing this game this will not happen for at least another year or two. just preparing ahead.

ten:

Suthainn wrote:
Bear in mind also, if the CR of the trap is equal to or less than the APL-10 (so presumably CR5 for this group) the trap is worth no exp anyways, even CR 9 and 10 traps are going to be giving very little exp compared to what a normal CR 15 encounter would, so that's not necessarily something to get too worried over.

we play pathfinder not 3.5 everything gives XP even the CR 1s

eleven: gods created this trap. This area was built by gods. The defenders here were put here by gods. Surely the gods are not limited to a mere max of 34 DC for traps. and the ultimate question... would gods even bother putting a trap here if even some level 15 schmoe can find it without trying?


Gods don't need traps and guardians to fend off mortals.

I'm guessing the trait that lets him disable magical traps is the 'Trap Finder' trait from Mummy's Mask? Unless you're playing that AP, I don't know why you'd allow him to pick that trait. As it is considered to be about the best trait in the game (because it replaces the Rogue class). Campaign specific traits such as this one are probably designed so that the AP doesn't have a party composition requirement (without the trait, chances are that you would NEED a Rogue (or one of the few Archetypes of other classes that also grants that ability) to play through Mummy's Mask). They shouldn't really be considered as normal traits for any other game.

Personally, I'd ask my player to switch that trait, as I would never have allowed it in the first place (I'm usually liberal when it comes to letting my players build). I'd also allow the player to make other minor changes as well, since a lot of the skill ranks and feats seems to have been chosen solely because of the trait making it worthwhile.


This thread sums up the main problem with pathfinder, and the main reason 5th Ed is so attractive. Luckily I don't think having +40 perception is anywhere as common as it appears on the threads.

Definitely don't make traps a thing with this character in the party. Just describe them finding the trap and moving on. It's a waste of time and a massive deflater of tension to have someone make repeated 2+ rolls. You definitely shouldn't be making character roll for things that are as easy for them as walking down the street. Put your creative energies instead on times when a trap isn't discoverable, or roll traps that are obvious but triggered by other creatures. You can still descibe the needle trap they see and disarm on the door handle, and the fire jets they plug - just don't waste time slowing down the game.

Incidentally a character focussing all their resources to inflate one stat or ability to auto success levels should not he encouraged, or rewarded In my opinion. Balanced reasonable characters will result in less hoop jumping to deliver a good challenging adventure. A character with Perception 20 is still great at perception, they just don't auto succeed.

One option is to sit down with the player and ask them is their a reason they felt the need to focus on this? Have they had experience where a vindictive DM has faced them against lethal traps with very high DCs - this could be a vicious cycle. Consider explaining that the exceptionally high stat boosted by equipment, feats and racial abilities is making you question the point of including these. Ask how they feel about that. Give them the option of retraining feats or selling/swapping the goggles. As even going from 2+ to a 6+ could make some traps at least worth using. I had a similarly conversation with a player in shattered star and it turned out very agreeably.


So I had a player that did this (druid), let me see if I can bang out the numbers.
Ranks 10
Wisdom +5
Half elf +2
Skill focus +6
Domain +5
Magic item +5

For a +33 to perception at level 10. With, I'll be honest, very minimal investment. The magic item is probably the biggest since the domain was chosen for the animal companion (Feather domain, much better than base Animal in my opinion), and the rest is free from race choice and a natural wisdom focus. So at level 10 a character can find all traps.

And? Traps have basically always been a poorly implemented add-on. The originals relied on player knowledge. The next iteration used percentile dice, but only one class was allowed to roll. 3.X tried to assign CR and EXP values to traps but they're all over the place. Pathfinder continued that, as you can get a 9th level spell for only CR 10 while a lower-level, lower DC, worse detection spell is CR 11.

The system is very much designed around assuming the trap will not always be triggered therefore when it is triggered it has to do even more than a similar monster. While monsters are expected to have multiple turns to whittle away whatever resources they're supposed to use up most traps literally only function once and may have to make attack rolls, pass SR, or otherwise include failure chances. So the numbers are inflated to make them "harder to resist" because they're only going to work once. They're like Save or Die spells, just with a Perception check instead of a save. This is terrible design.

The best way to use traps, if you want to use them, is in combination with something else. Iron Golem in a room that Fireballs itself every round. Pit traps in a room with only flying monsters. You can also divide the party (Wall of Stone is a solid spell if you need to force it) so the others have to cope without their trap spotter for that battle. But a single trap by itself is like a level 20 fighter naked in a cage. Get too close or screw up, you get hurt. Don't and you can ignore/kill it from a distance. So, free EXP.

Depending on the gods you're talking about, why would they need guardians or traps? In Golarion the gods are too powerful to stat up and explicitly have any power they feel like. Why would the gods build something? Why would they need to protect it? Can't they just seal all the entrances so only they can go in and out? Can't they put it on some plane of existence no one else can reach? You clearly have a reason to include a mortal* place guarded by other mortals reachable by yet more mortals, is it really such a stretch that that last group of mortals can kill the guardians and find/disable/bypass any traps?

*mortals in comparison to divines (or whatever you want to use for the gods/not gods distinction)


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The Sword wrote:

This thread sums up the main problem with pathfinder, and the main reason 5th Ed is so attractive. Luckily I don't think having +40 perception is anywhere as common as it appears on the threads.

Definitely don't make traps a thing with this character in the party. Just describe them finding the trap and moving on. It's a waste of time and a massive deflater of tension to have someone make repeated 2+ rolls. You definitely shouldn't be making character roll for things that are as easy for them as walking down the street. Put your creative energies instead on times when a trap isn't discoverable, or roll traps that are obvious but triggered by other creatures. You can still descibe the needle trap they see and disarm on the door handle, and the fire jets they plug - just don't waste time slowing down the game.

Incidentally a character focussing all their resources to inflate one stat or ability to auto success levels should not he encouraged, or rewarded In my opinion. Balanced reasonable characters will result in less hoop jumping to deliver a good challenging adventure. A character with Perception 20 is still great at perception, they just don't auto succeed.

One option is to sit down with the player and ask them is their a reason they felt the need to focus on this? Have they had experience where a vindictive DM has faced them against lethal traps with very high DCs - this could be a vicious cycle. Consider explaining that the exceptionally high stat boosted by equipment, feats and racial abilities is making you question the point of including these. Ask how they feel about that. Give them the option of retraining feats or selling/swapping the goggles. As even going from 2+ to a 6+ could make some traps at least worth using. I had a similarly conversation with a player in shattered star and it turned out very agreeably.

I had a +30 by level 10. I had no intention of running into traps or hiding enemies. Many of them were invisible so it actually paid off. Mantis Assassins using invisibility to be specific.

Having a really high perception(insert other words as needed) does not translate to "not balanced" or "broken"

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