Is Trap finding / Trapsense necessary, at all...


Advice


I haven't encountered an over abundance of traps anywhere I go, so I am wondering how important are these abilities to have in the team?

High perception skills and a big dumb fighter to send down the hall first have always been my go-to tactic with traps.

Obviously, like most everything, it is relative to the GM and campaign, but overall utility of these abilities is what I'm asking about.

I've never played past level ~12, so I don't know anything about magical traps late in the game where these abilities may prove to pull their weight instead of watching your big dumb fighter step on a portable hole, forcing it into a bag of holding, or something similarly terrifying.

Grand Lodge

I have found it to be of very minor benifit. If I have it I use it, but there is ofter a druid, shaman, or cleric that sees the traps first.

The disarming part is more useful as failures can cause the trap to go off so a huge bonus is very valuable. Though throwing things at traps is often safer.


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As the big dumb fighter who usually walks down the hall first, after getting blasted by the few traps we did encounter, I started throwing the rogue, himself, at anything I thought was a trap because he gave up trap finding and trapsense with his archetype of choice.


VoodistMonk wrote:
big dumb fighter

This becomes less viable when spells/effects that targets saves like Will saves: For instance, a simple Murderous Command means the fighter is now trying to chop off the casters head... Secondly, not all traps are direct damage/attacks on the party. For instance, a falling block trap might drop a 5 ton over the exit, forcing the party to go through the dungeon to try to find another way out making it adventure MUCH harder because the trap wasn't avoided/disabled.


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Depends on your GM's style. I have a gm who loves to trot out updated versions of old dungeon crawls, where if you DON'T have trap detection and disarming skills the party has a solid chance of just freaking dying outright.

Scarab Sages

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It's not a huge deal to trade them away, since you can still boost Disable Device and take care of most traps. It's magical traps that might be an issue. Dispel Magic can help, but it means wasting a spell slot for the party caster and is better saved for in combat. If you have a high UMD, and your GM allows Aram Zey's Focus, a scroll or wand of that grants Trapfinding for 3 minutes (allowing you to disable magical traps). That, combined with putting ranks into Disable Device, should be enough.


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Very few things are necessary.

As for trap-oriented abilities, it depends heavily on the particulars of the campaign you're running, just as undead-killing abilities will be more useful in an undead-heavy campaign. Some games are trap-heavy, notably dungeon crawls or infiltrate-the-bad-guy-base style games. Some are not.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know that I regretted taking a Stalker Vigilante in a recent home campaign because they lacked a good way to disable magical traps. It is the ability to deal with the magical traps that I think is key here.

Paizo always seems to put a lot of magical traps in their APs.


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You need nothing special to detect traps of any type, just make sure you've invested in your perception skill.

Anyone with Disable Device can disarm mundane traps. High DEX characters are, of course, better at this.

You need Trapfinding or an appropriate trait to disarm magical traps.

VoodistMonk wrote:
As the big dumb fighter who usually walks down the hall first, after getting blasted by the few traps we did encounter, I started throwing the rogue, himself, at anything I thought was a trap because he gave up trap finding and trapsense with his archetype of choice.

We have very different gaming experiences.

The fighter in the campaign I am currently running has Fortitude as his weakest save.

It was the superstitious barbarian that went on a killing spree after becoming confused.


throwing a barbarian at the problem usually works


Lady-J wrote:
throwing a barbarian at the problem usually works

I'm surprised some enterprising magicrafter isn't selling Mr. Meeseeks Boxes Mr. Kobold Boxes for this very purpose.


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Lady-J wrote:
throwing AM BARBARIAN at the problem usually works

FTFY. ; )


Ask your GM before the campaign if traps are going to feature heavily. Most of the time they won't (since traps aren't very interesting challenges, most of the time) but some kinds of adventures (like some kind of "Indiana Jones/Lara Croft haunted tomb" sort of thing) sort of require someone who is adept with traps.

It's not totally different from Haunts. In some campaigns lacking anyone who can channel positive energy, or some other class feature that's great at dealing with haunts, is a real bummer. Most of the time it's no big deal.


graystone wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
big dumb fighter
This becomes less viable when spells/effects that targets saves like Will saves: For instance, a simple Murderous Command means the fighter is now trying to chop off the casters head... Secondly, not all traps are direct damage/attacks on the party. For instance, a falling block trap might drop a 5 ton over the exit, forcing the party to go through the dungeon to try to find another way out making it adventure MUCH harder because the trap wasn't avoided/disabled.

Traps that end up splitting the party during combat can be fun or light a room on fire. Those have both lead to fun expirences. I actually tend to think trap spotter rouge talent of auto spotting traps speeds up the game and stops the emphasis on crawl parts of dungon crawl.

Traps in a room that shoot an arrow at you you take damage with no urgency and then you use wands of cure light wounds on it tends to be a bit boring.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, I think the trap spotter talent is waaaay nicer than trapfinding. Not having to waste time checking for traps or otherwise deal with player paranoia is great. Disable device boosts are nice cuz you might need them to open a door or chest. And magical traps can technically be dealt with by dispel magic... Although, not without risk.

But it really just depends on the campaign.


Trap Spotter is indeed amazing. I dipped rogue with my gunslinger back before unchained rogue was a thing just so I'd have that talent. I even delayed getting Dex to damage for it. Never regretted it either.


A summon monster, large enough to trigger traps, can go out front if it looks like a trapped room or such. Or just all the time if you play a summoner.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
dunelord3001 wrote:
A summon monster, large enough to trigger traps, can go out front if it looks like a trapped room or such. Or just all the time if you play a summoner.

Which is fine if the trap is "fire arrows at X square" and you don't mind burning resources. But those can usually be dealt with by a few hits of CLW anyway.

The problem is that traps can be tied to things like Summon Monster spells, which then still come after you. Or that setting off traps raises alarms or blocks routes of entry or what have you.

Also, the concept of "looks like a trapped room" is flawed. The whole point of traps is they tend to pop up when players least expect them, and even the summoner will struggle to have their creatures up 100% of the time. Now, if you mean "when the party succeeds its perception check to spot a trap" then you can hopefully dodge at least that first category of traps.


Well, no you won't have it up 100% of the time. But at 3 + Cha mod with minutes per level, you can make a pretty good dent between perception checks, things with obvious treasure, and long hallways. You'll never get ALL of anything, but it isn't a bad tactic.


More so later in the day with unused spell slots or such.


Trap Spotter is fantastic, and it's a talent, so even if you gave up the others due to your archetype, you can still do this. Neat. The Rogue in my last party was so useless, he could have taken this at any point.


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Trap options are usually trap options.


I don't use a lot of traps in my games. The last AP I played in was Reign of Winter and I only made it to level 7. Bottom line: these abilities were never needed for any of that.

That however is anecdotal. Let's look at the Rogue, the Core Trapfinder. They trade out this ability 41 times across 57 Paizo Archetypes, excluding Racial Archetypes. This means almost 4 out of every 5 rogues doesn't need Trapfinding to still fill an effective niche in the party.

I don't know if that is necessarily the best gauge of usefulness, but I just thought it was one piece of data to consider, besides my own limited life experience.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Let's look at the Rogue, the Core Trapfinder. They trade out this ability 41 times across 57 Paizo Archetypes, excluding Racial Archetypes. This means almost 4 out of every 5 rogues doesn't need Trapfinding to still fill an effective niche in the party.

Hm. I wonder how many of the 41 Rogue archetypes that trade out Trapfinding actually make effective PCs?


Matthew Downie wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Let's look at the Rogue, the Core Trapfinder. They trade out this ability 41 times across 57 Paizo Archetypes, excluding Racial Archetypes. This means almost 4 out of every 5 rogues doesn't need Trapfinding to still fill an effective niche in the party.
Hm. I wonder how many of the 41 Rogue archetypes that trade out Trapfinding actually make effective PCs?

Most notably knifemaster

and skulking slayer trade out trapfinding and trap sense,

both fairly popular archetypes


The thing about trap spotter is that it doesn't do anything if your [insert class here] is actually doing the job of actively looking for traps.


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
The thing about trap spotter is that it doesn't do anything if your [insert class here] is actually doing the job of actively looking for traps.

Ah... It does do something actually. It offers an "immediate Perception check to notice the trap" so if the person looking for the trap missed it while looking actively, they get the free extra check.

EDIT: unless you're talking about someone taking 20 all the time, but that's a LONG, LONG, LONG time checking for traps.


Actively looking for traps takes time you may or may not have depending on the situation.


graystone wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
The thing about trap spotter is that it doesn't do anything if your [insert class here] is actually doing the job of actively looking for traps.

Ah... It does do something actually. It offers an "immediate Perception check to notice the trap" so if the person looking for the trap missed it while looking actively, they get the free extra check.

EDIT: unless you're talking about someone taking 20 all the time, but that's a LONG, LONG, LONG time checking for traps.

I'm talking about bog standard "rogue announces they'll be taking 10 through the area" sweep routine.

It might just be table variation, but my group doesn't play it that you get a bonus check with trap spotter. It only allows you to make one if you didn't say you were searching anyway.

Grand Lodge

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I worked this out while ago.

The large publish dungeons with some exceptions (giant slayer and tome of righteous repose) fit on the 24x30 flip mat.

That is 12x15 10ft squares.

That is 180 10ft squares to search.

Searching one 10ft square a round and moving into it (not the most efficient way to search) That give us 1080 seconds of searching.

Which is 18mins.

Searching every square on a map is slow but not really disruptive to an adventuring day if you plan correctly. A single 3rd level casting of barkskin will make it through this whole dungeon.

Taking 20 will slow this down like crazy. There could be a sub 18min story timeline, or a much bigger map of course but as a general practice these timelines work pretty well.


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
graystone wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
The thing about trap spotter is that it doesn't do anything if your [insert class here] is actually doing the job of actively looking for traps.

Ah... It does do something actually. It offers an "immediate Perception check to notice the trap" so if the person looking for the trap missed it while looking actively, they get the free extra check.

EDIT: unless you're talking about someone taking 20 all the time, but that's a LONG, LONG, LONG time checking for traps.

I'm talking about bog standard "rogue announces they'll be taking 10 through the area" sweep routine.

It might just be table variation, but my group doesn't play it that you get a bonus check with trap spotter. It only allows you to make one if you didn't say you were searching anyway.

Well, sure, if you house rule that the talent doesn't work, it won't work. : )


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
It only allows you to make one if you didn't say you were searching anyway.

Well that's not what the ability says... I'm going to have to agree with blahpers that you're using a houserule to make the ability useless, not that the ability as written is useless.


Well better idea make whistling arrow traps that also function as alarms if trapfinding is that useless you are just using summoners it also functions as an alarm. I mean if you follow the way overpriced trap building rules in the core rulebook the price of a whistling arrow is negligable.


Yes ... and no.

If you don't have a trapfinder in the group, the GM should go easy on traps, both in number and severity, under the 'provide appropriate challenge' clause of his job.

If you do, then the GM should give him his chance to shine, like anybody else.

That said, let's be honest, 99 percent of traps are boring. Take some damage if you set it off, cleric throws some healies at you, move on. The best traps are interactive ... a way to circumvent or disable them without just raw die rolls, and aren't just one-hit wonders.

My personal favorite was an old favorite, the pendulum-blade room ... the trick was, the blades stopped at 3'6" off the ground, and the room was full of kobold guards. The kobolds could stand up, but the Medium PCs had to either crawl or crouch (taking penalties), or stand up and risk taking damage. Attacking the blade hafts was, of course, an option, and there was an 'off' switch ... on the other side of the room.


Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah, I think the trap spotter talent is waaaay nicer than trapfinding. Not having to waste time checking for traps or otherwise deal with player paranoia is great. Disable device boosts are nice cuz you might need them to open a door or chest. And magical traps can technically be dealt with by dispel magic... Although, not without risk.

But it really just depends on the campaign.

You know Dwarf have trapspotter racially in certain terrain.


I believe this is just a relic from 1e where traps were both more common in adventures and more deadly, so having a dedicated trap spotting thief was necessary to the party.

Like the standard fighter/cleric/wizard/thief, it's just something that has still survived.


Zhayne wrote:

Yes ... and no.

If you don't have a trapfinder in the group, the GM should go easy on traps, both in number and severity, under the 'provide appropriate challenge' clause of his job.

If you do, then the GM should give him his chance to shine, like anybody else.

That said, let's be honest, 99 percent of traps are boring. Take some damage if you set it off, cleric throws some healies at you, move on. The best traps are interactive ... a way to circumvent or disable them without just raw die rolls, and aren't just one-hit wonders.

My personal favorite was an old favorite, the pendulum-blade room ... the trick was, the blades stopped at 3'6" off the ground, and the room was full of kobold guards. The kobolds could stand up, but the Medium PCs had to either crawl or crouch (taking penalties), or stand up and risk taking damage. Attacking the blade hafts was, of course, an option, and there was an 'off' switch ... on the other side of the room.

Eh, they can be used to good effect to drain party resources in situations where "we camp!" isn't feasable.


It is all fun and games until traps start just throwing Weird at you.


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Envall wrote:
It is all fun and games until traps start just throwing Weird at you.

Its all fun and games til that dark tunnel through the wall is a sphere of annihilation.

Dark Archive

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ask your GM before the campaign if traps are going to feature heavily. Most of the time they won't (since traps aren't very interesting challenges, most of the time) but some kinds of adventures (like some kind of "Indiana Jones/Lara Croft haunted tomb" sort of thing) sort of require someone who is adept with traps.

Or, if some guy in a tavern tries to hire you to enter the Tomb of Trapped Death, politely decline.

Sovereign Court

As with many things, it depends on the GM.

In a distributed/worldwide campaign where you never know what the GM will be like, it's nice to have trapspotter so you never have to remember to say "I'm looking for traps in this square ... now in this square ... now in this square ... now in this square"


It really depends on the campaign, even with Paizo APs. Like, Reign of Winter has like 6 traps in the entire AP (though they're pretty brutal traps). Curse of the Crimson Throne was about the same.

On other hand, Serpent's Skull (a.k.a., the Indiana Jones AP) has traps all over the place. There's less traps as it goes on because more real estate has to go to monster stat blocks, but even through the end there's traps.

I haven't read through it but I'd bet Shattered Star has lots of traps.

And yeah, trap spotter is damn nice - RAW, it gives you a free check whenever you come within 10 ft of a trap. Whether you'd failed to spot the trap while actively searching is irrelevant.


The main issue about Trap Spotter: It puts more work on the GM's shoulders.

1) They have to pay attention when a rogue closes to a trap. That's more difficult than checking whether the rogue touches the chest etc..

2) They have to make the rogue stop moving. Players are sometimes quite inpatient when it comes to moving around.

3) They have to roll themselves. If the check failed, ideally they also have to fake that nothing is up.

My GM was quite occupied with other stuff, so we agreed to trade away my rogue's Trap Spotter talent for something else.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it's THAT much extra work. A good DM makes a lot of rolls behind the screen anyway, sometimes just to mess with players. Worse case scenario, if a DM forgets and a trap gets activated, the rogue can always ask if the DM remembered the secret roll, at which point the DM can roll it and retcon the trap going off.

And I honestly think Trapspotter maybe shines more in a campaign where traps are rare but not non-existent than one where they are super common. You fall out of the habit of actively checking when you go long enough between traps.


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Varies from GM to GM, AP to AP.

Strange Aeons doesn't have a lot of traps(Haunts yes), meanwhile Mummy's Mask has a trait the gives you Trapfinding. You can probably guess why


Ryan Freire wrote:
Envall wrote:
It is all fun and games until traps start just throwing Weird at you.
Its all fun and games til that dark tunnel through the wall is a sphere of annihilation.

{rolls 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (18) - 4 = 14 (FAIL); is shaken for1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6 rounds from Tomb of Horrors flashbacks}

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