Is it a trap?


Prerelease Discussion

Silver Crusade

We’ve not yet had a blogpost on traps, and I’m hoping PF2 makes them more relevant, but something came up that comes up a lot.

Which spells are considered traps for the purpose of Disable Device. Various Symbols in PF1 are; Alarm apparently is not, but often gets houseruled to be.

More clarity on this would be appreciated and being able to bypass a magical alarm seems in-keeping with the rogue class fantasy to me.


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In addition to traps, I would love for someone with a high enough proficiency in Nature to be able to "disarm" hazards, and for a high enough proficiency in Religion to be able to "disarm" haunts.


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It would be very cool to have a lot more options for altering space around the battle field for a defender. Especially when preparing the battle field ahead of time.

While it is often monsters that are on the defence, defending a key location is a very fun adventure hook for players.


With an "exploration mode" im hoping traps get some more work. I know many folks hate puzzles but i hope to see them combined with some traps. Haunts also make haters lists but I love them. Still want a ghostbusters AP Paizo!

Silver Crusade

Ah yes, exploration mode! Yes, looking forward to getting more info on how this interacts with traps


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I'm hoping for a system that doesn't bog down when dealing with doors -- the near constant "check for traps, (attempt disarm), check if locked (attempt to unlock)" when exploring some of the extremely door/room heavy location in some of the APs gets monotous very fast. But I've had very limited success in various approaches to streamlining it that lets characters who invest in rogue-type skills still feel happy with their investment.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
NielsenE wrote:
I'm hoping for a system that doesn't bog down when dealing with doors -- the near constant "check for traps, (attempt disarm), check if locked (attempt to unlock)" when exploring some of the extremely door/room heavy location in some of the APs gets monotous very fast. But I've had very limited success in various approaches to streamlining it that lets characters who invest in rogue-type skills still feel happy with their investment.

It sounds like exploration mode is built for that, yeah. The following is my guess as to how it works.

GM: All right, what's everybody doing as you move through the tomb?
Rogue: I'm going to be checking for traps.
Wizard: I'm going to be checking for magic.
Fighter: I'll be on guard for any enemies.
Cleric: This dude was really paranoid about grave robbers, so I'll be backup on checking for traps.

During exploration, the Rogue and Cleric probably get automatic perception checks for any traps, because that's what they're doing. No need to say everything you're checking. Secret doors and the like might get rolled in as well, since they're also something with a hidden mechanism of some sort. The Wizard spams the Detect Magic cantrip, helping deal with weak illusions and so on. The Fighter makes sure the group is safe.

The group encounters something. Combat starts, and initiative is based on the skill being used.
Rogue and Cleric both roll perception. Because they were busy poking and prodding for traps, they don't start with their weapons at the ready.
Wizard was checking for magic, and might get to roll the relevant magic skill for for initiative. (Maybe it depends on if the targets have magic on them?) A good roll probably also gives a Detect Magic reading on one or more of the enemies.
Fighter was at the ready, and thus starts with weapons drawn and all that. Perception roll for initiative, with a +1 to the initiative result from the Fighter class feature.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
In addition to traps, I would love for someone with a high enough proficiency in Nature to be able to "disarm" hazards, and for a high enough proficiency in Religion to be able to "disarm" haunts.

Roll to disarm the erupting volcano?


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
In addition to traps, I would love for someone with a high enough proficiency in Nature to be able to "disarm" hazards, and for a high enough proficiency in Religion to be able to "disarm" haunts.
Roll to disarm the erupting volcano?

Calling it now. Legendary feat for Bluff. Road to El Dorado adventure!


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
I'm hoping for a system that doesn't bog down when dealing with doors -- the near constant "check for traps, (attempt disarm), check if locked (attempt to unlock)" when exploring some of the extremely door/room heavy location in some of the APs gets monotous very fast. But I've had very limited success in various approaches to streamlining it that lets characters who invest in rogue-type skills still feel happy with their investment.

It sounds like exploration mode is built for that, yeah. The following is my guess as to how it works.

GM: All right, what's everybody doing as you move through the tomb?
Rogue: I'm going to be checking for traps.
Wizard: I'm going to be checking for magic.
Fighter: I'll be on guard for any enemies.
Cleric: This dude was really paranoid about grave robbers, so I'll be backup on checking for traps.

During exploration, the Rogue and Cleric probably get automatic perception checks for any traps, because that's what they're doing. No need to say everything you're checking. Secret doors and the like might get rolled in as well, since they're also something with a hidden mechanism of some sort. The Wizard spams the Detect Magic cantrip, helping deal with weak illusions and so on. The Fighter makes sure the group is safe.

The group encounters something. Combat starts, and initiative is based on the skill being used.
Rogue and Cleric both roll perception. Because they were busy poking and prodding for traps, they don't start with their weapons at the ready.
Wizard was checking for magic, and might get to roll the relevant magic skill for for initiative. (Maybe it depends on if the targets have magic on them?) A good roll probably also gives a Detect Magic reading on one or more of the enemies.
Fighter was at the ready, and thus starts with weapons drawn and all that. Perception roll for initiative, with a +1 to the initiative result from the Fighter class feature.

Yup, that's basically what I'm hoping for, and how I've started running some PF1 stuff. The rogues have been a little unhappy, they want to roll.... I've often been basically putting them at various place between take 10 and take 14 for trap detection, but theyre unahppy if they don't roll. But once you start asking for rolls every door, every 10ft, etc it bogs down.

But your description is what I want. If the wizard is constantly detecting magic, should get a plus if its a magic trap/enemy, but a minus if its not. Back before they mentioned that Paladins detect evil was more of a tingly sense of wrongness instead of evil-dar in pf2, same idea. Paladins would be at a negative if they're relying on detect evil to warn them when non-evil threats, etc


One thing that I hope is made easy for DMs is rolling traps and shifting encounter environments into active encounters. I have always found traps and locked doors that are not linked to active (or at least possible) encounters to be pretty boring.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NielsenE wrote:
Yup, that's basically what I'm hoping for, and how I've started running some PF1 stuff. The rogues have been a little unhappy, they want to roll.... I've often been basically putting them at various place between take 10 and take 14 for trap detection, but theyre unahppy if they don't roll. But once you start asking for rolls every door, every 10ft, etc it bogs down

I think if I had your players, I would try to construct a skill challenge for them. Paizo has been dipping their toes into it for the last couple of supplements, hopefully it'll become a core part of exploration mode.

In PF2 terms, the rogue is rolling perception, and needs to hit DC 15 5xs before getting 2 failures, or a trap explodes into their face (which might not be terrible, assuming reflex bonus to traps is still a thing). The cleric could either try to accrue their own successes, or instead they can aid the rogue and allow them to reroll a failure. The wizard, detect magic turned on, can be rolling against Arcana DC 18 instead of perception. The fighter gets a bonus on initiative perhaps if they suddenly wind up in combat instead of a trap.

Another way to do it: This hallway has a DC of 15 and 8 area points, with a the keywords magic and trap. Anyone can make a perception check, and on a success it removes an area point. Rogues, since they specialize in detecting traps, remove 2 points. The wizard instead gets a bonus to their perception checks. Once the group gets two failures, the challenge is over. If they manage to lower the area to 4 points, they discover a trap, 2 points, they don't wander into the spell hazard, 0 points, they find the secret door to the next floor. What they DO with all of this information is up to them of course.

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