i need to know how far away i can spot a trap from.
i roll to perception a hall for traps how far can i spot a said trap?
how many squares can i check at one time?
mind you i don't have any special powers to detect traps but i do have disable device. so i should in theory be able to disarm traps. but i do need to know the things i asked about.
i am also looking for advice on trap detection. i will be moving slowly checking for traps barring the chance my party members won't listen and charge ahead into any traps man and unmanned.
so in short how slow should i be going? how often should i make checks to spot traps? you know the basics or just link me to traps 101, that would be great as well.
Most DM's that I have played with (and myself) are not that anal-retentive about searching for traps. In a dungeon, I have whomever is on point make one check (allowing for others to aid) every 30ft of hall, every intersection, and every obstacle/sack/chest/barrel/door.
If one goes by the rules, then you are searching 5ft at a time, rolling a check, creeping forward 5ft, make another check, etc. A player insisting on playing that way due to trap paranoia will seriously drag the game to a stand still.
I get that you want to avoid traps, we all do, but unless the DM is willing to work with the players regarding what distance each check is good for, you might end up with bad blood from other players for dragging the game down in an attempt to avoid EVERY trap. YMMV.
And even so, Perception only goes so far, you are going to miss some - it's just the luck of the dice.
As far as advise - Since it sounds like you are not a Rogue, so no Trap Spotter Rogue Talent, but if you want to invest resources, anything that will increase Perception will help you detect traps.
In our play group, we have established the concept of the "Passive Perception Check."
The concept is that during any time that a character is not being distracted by something (combat, riding a galloping horse, focusing on creating a magic item, preparing daily spells, etc.), that character is paying an average amount of attention to their surroundings. Mechanically, we consider any non-distracted character to be "Taking 10" on a Perception check. If this is enough to satisfy any relevant Perception DC, then that character notices something (a trap, a hidden opponent, a secret door, etc.).
At any time normally allowed by the rules, the character can state outright that they are searching for something, listening to something, or in any other way trying to use their Perception skill. At that point, they will follow the usual CRB rules for using the skill.
It works for us, and I've heard of several other groups using this kind of system. It does require the GM to have up to date info on the party's Perception modifiers, so it's a bit more effort for him/her.
I've had several players of mine make VERY creative uses of things like cannon balls, bowling balls, the magical item "Bag of infinite puppies", etc for use with checking for traps. Another would summon monster: gorilla and tell it to go open chests and traps, etc.
The bag of puppies one i threatened an alignment shift, so he switched to Summon monster: Swarm of Dire Rats to check for floor traps.
Also think outside of the box. You think the chest or door is trapped? Instead of opening it like a sane person would, screw it, destroy it instead! Smash the thing with a large hammer or rock. Unless it is set to explode (less common with doors) the real issue is typically just getting past it.
For chests an old fashioned hand drill works just fine. Drill in from the side or back. Or have your summoned gorilla (or party barbarian) smash it with something heavy. (NOTE: it is rude to use your party members as a "heavy object" in these cases!)
Room full of barrels, and you think one (or more) are trapped? First question, what is in the other barrels that are valuable (or which someone else doesn't want destroyed)? If nothing, hit the things with a generic fireball and call the room cleared! Fireball DC from that scroll sucks you say? Save it for room clearing!
Traps are always going to be campaign specific (like alignments). Either your DM's are going to love using them, or you will only very rarely every have it come up. If you are seeing it come up a lot, consider building a character like a rogue or barbarian with some form of trap detection or removal to address that issue.
Tell your GM that you are actively taking 10 to look for traps as you walk down the hallway or whatever, assuming that's ok with them.