Simoun's ability to add her Perception skill to checks vs barriers. Is it mandatory?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Hi, I was wondering if Simoun's ability " Add your Perception skill to your check to defeat a barrier that has the (Obstacle or) Trap trait" is a mandatory power or one you can activate.

I was curious since the power doesn't say "you may" and follows a different syntax than Drelm's similar power.

Collapsing Scaffolding (If the result of the first check to defeat exceeds the result of the second check, take dmg etc) wants you to roll lower on the first check, so this is where choosing not to activate her power, if possible, could be helpful.

Is her power always on, or can you choose not to add your perception?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You typically don't have to use player powers. But it doesn't say "you may add," so, unless there's a problem of it not fitting in the space, I would say yes, add the Perception every time.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

All character powers are optional, and playing cards is also always optional.

Lone Shark Games

Not all character powers are optional. (see Balazar)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sorry skizzerz it's the opposite:
Actually all (checked or un-checkable) powers are mandatory.
So you must use all powers anytime you can.

This said
A) there are limits of the number of time you can use a specific power
B) If there is a "may" in the power, you MUST decide whether or not to use the "may" part of the power... which may feels likes the power is "optional" but to avoid issues (like Simoun's case), I would never use the word "optional" for a power

In the case of Simoun (unless FAQed later), you may consider that Simoun's Perception is a reflex against danger. She couldn't suppress it even if she wanted. Anytime she feels something might be a trap, she just jump in cover. And indeed even if sometimes she would better have not.
I find it rather cool actually iin roleplay.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, mea culpa. I don't know what I was thinking when I posted that. There are powers (even powers I've taken) on character cards that are certainly non-optional. Hand size comes to mind as an immediate example present on pretty much every character. Things that give you new skills are also not optional (in terms of effects that care whether or not you have a skill).

That being said, I'm personally of the opinion that powers that add static things to checks, whether that's just a number of it's a skill like Simoun's power, should be optional. If you really don't want that bonus, I see no reason why you should be forced to take it. I know by RAW that it is non-optional, much like skill feats adding a static bonus is non-optional, but that'd be a house rule in my home (non-PFS) games that I'd allow, especially in cases like Mummy's Mask where overkill can be harmful. Similar to skill feats being non-optional, I'd also argue that RAI is that you always add the skill to relevant checks when playing Simoun, so this is firmly in house rule territory for me.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Page 16 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook actually addresses this.

MM Rulebook wrote:

Rules: Active and Optional Powers

*Other cards on the table
Powers on cards on the table--including story cards, character cards, and displayed cards--are active whenever they are appropriate.

Playing cards from your hand is always optional. Active powers on all other cards are only optional if they say "you may" do something.

Paizo Employee Designer

For the particular case of the scaffolding, consider using a poor base skill (preferably one she doesn't have for 1d4, but I'm not with my cards so I can't remember if there is one) + Perception for the first check, since that still will probably be 4 or higher.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Acrobatics is an option (I think).


Thanks for the answers everyone! We've been playing it as mandatory so far (and have always unluckily rolled higher on the first check - ouch!).

Also thanks for the suggestions Mark and Hawkmoon. Totally forgot about being able to roll 1d4 (plus perception) for acrobatics!

I think the mandatory extra dice is very thematic especially on Alahazra where her fire sometimes is too powerful because of the extra d8!


When it says skill rather than die, we would add +2 not 1d8+2, correct?

"Add your Perception skill to your check to defeat a barrier that has the (Obstacle or) Trap trait".

I played it as perception die my first couple basic scenarios and needless to say, barriers were ridiculously trivial for Simoun...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Skill is d8+2 in your case... so you add d8+2.
Simoun's job is to avoid Barriers.


The Simoun in my party now has 2d8+8 on Perception checks to defeat barriers... He was using blessings and I pointed out that if he just used Perception he automatically succeeds.

Of course, that hasn't happened while a penalty to destroying things by a lot is in effect...


Rebel Song wrote:

The Simoun in my party now has 2d8+8 on Perception checks to defeat barriers... He was using blessings and I pointed out that if he just used Perception he automatically succeeds.

Of course, that hasn't happened while a penalty to destroying things by a lot is in effect...

Thanks for this answer. We were wondering if her power feat worked that way.

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