In society play, do you get 2 chances to spot a trap with trap spotter?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

Liberty's Edge

Without trap spotter, you have to actively look for traps. Trap spotter lets a rogue passively spot traps. Does this mean that if you fail the trap spotter check, you can actively try to spot said trap again (assuming you are looking in the right place).

For example:

I (a rogue) head towards a door (which is trapped) . The DM makes a secret roll (the DM naturally makes secret rolls on normal stuff, and fake things to cut down meta-gaming). Since the roll failed, the DM does not notify me of any traps. I, being a vigilant rogue, then want to inspect the door for traps.

Do I get this second chance since this is more of an active perception roll, rather than the passive perception roll from the trap spotter talent?

The Exchange ****

sounds good to me.

***** ⦵⦵

It's a little metagamey if you're looking because you got a perception check .

But if your party is walking along going slowly looking for traps anyway then yes you get two, one for creep peek creep peek creep peep and one for being within 10 feet of it.

Shadow Lodge

You can always make another Perception check to search for traps; just don't be metagamey about it. Making a second check just because you rolled a nat 2 is probably a stretch, but if you couldn't make more than one check you couldn't take twenty.

And before the crazies come out of the woodwork, searching for traps is literally one of the examples of a common use of taking twenty.

***** ⦵⦵

Something to keep in mind that dungeon crawling and how exactly it works, how specific you have to be and what you have to say to search is one of those most table variationy things in the game: the rules on it are almost completely non existent and i've seen everything from "You're semi competent quasi trained murderhobos in a tomb I assume you're searching everywhere" to "you didn't say you were searching the BACK of the statues mouth"

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

I see it as the difference between “noticing” and trap and “searching” for a trap. Trap spotter is a passive perception to see if you happen to notice something without specifically looking for it. You would not be using take 10/20 on this check since those are both active uses of a skill. Searching for traps OTOH is an active use of perception and can be just a quick look rill or take 10 or a lengthy, intensive search (take 20). So IMO, yes you would get two (or more) perceptions checks to find a trap given the circumstances described.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Trap Spotter ensures you always get at least 1 check. But if you didn't suspect a trap (didn't ask to search as a player) it doesn't tell you that you didn't notice something, until it's too late of course.

I think the best way to handle this in PFS is to prepare a card with your name, perception score and "TRAP SPOTTER" on it and hand it to the GM at the beginning of the session. If there's a trap written in the scenario he can roll your check in secret and tell you if you notice something.

The advantage is that you're freed from the burden of worrying if you're metagaming. If you ask for an active check, that's just you being careful, not you metagaming because you were just asked to roll a perception check but nobody else was asked.

The Exchange *****

steps in, looks around... and leaves to backtrack my path. I must have fallen through a Dimensional Portal this morning...there is no other explanation for the responses on this thread...

Dimensional Portal..

***** ⦵⦵

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We really should have a standard set of pathfinder procedures/awareness/paranoia levels as standard operating procedures

Ambrois valsin: We're just going to CHARRRRRRRRGE in. Ready the PMD! (paladin mine detector)

Amenopheus: Search for traps every 10 feet, perception check everything as we go, take 20 on highly suspicious items like altars and treasure left out in odd places.

The Paracountess: We're taking 20 on everything. I don't care if we're in here till our sustaining spoon runs out.

Scarab Sages ****

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Colson Maldris: There’s no need to make a perception check over there. Just ignore that part of the evide— dungeon.

Sovereign Court *****

BEAR FIST wrote:

Without trap spotter, you have to actively look for traps. Trap spotter lets a rogue passively spot traps. Does this mean that if you fail the trap spotter check, you can actively try to spot said trap again (assuming you are looking in the right place).

For example:

I (a rogue) head towards a door (which is trapped) . The DM makes a secret roll (the DM naturally makes secret rolls on normal stuff, and fake things to cut down meta-gaming). Since the roll failed, the DM does not notify me of any traps. I, being a vigilant rogue, then want to inspect the door for traps.

Do I get this second chance since this is more of an active perception roll, rather than the passive perception roll from the trap spotter talent?

I think your question is perhaps not phrased as well as it could be.

"Trap spotter" will give someone a passive perception check to detect a trap (within 10'). This is independent of any other action the Rogue does.

slight derail:

Often a judge will roll these checks, or arrange to roll these checks, independent of telling the player. For example, when someone sits at a table I am running, I hand them an Initiative card to fill out for me. This card includes several things, one being their Perception Skill bonus with a note on if they are normally Taking 10 on Passive checks, as well as half a dozen random D20 rolls that are for when they need to make checks they are unaware of. (Mainly Sense Motive and Perception checks). Basically, they roll many of the Perception checks before the game even starts, so that in the flow of the story I do not need to stop the game while we determine if they noticed the goblin hiding around the corner ahead... I just tell them if they see it.

I have found this helps reduce unintended meta-gaming.

But back to the way your question maybe should have been phrased.

(my re-phrasing) I (a rogue) head towards a door (which is trapped). Being a vigilant rogue, I want to inspect the door for traps and state that I am making an Active Perception Check (i.e. I say, "I'm checking this door for traps". (The players now resolve the Perception check in the way they commonly do. Some groups have the Judge roll the check where it can't be seen. Some Rogues Take 10. Some just roll in the open and announce the result. Every group I have every played for do this a little different. The last method is kind of prone to Meta-Gaming, as when the Rogue Player rolls low/high he knows this and will often modify his actions depending on what the die roll was). Since the roll failed to detect anything (either because there is no trap, or because the check result was to low), the DM is free to roll (concealed) and say something like "your Trap Spotter didn't detect anything either" - esp. if they want to worry me.

and phrased like this, you can see that there actually isn't a question... Yes, you would get both the Active (player called for) Perception check, and the Passive (Trap Spotter) Perception check.

With most of my Trap Spotters I normally just Take 10 on Active checks, and allow the judge to roll the Trap-Spotter rolls without even informing me that they are doing it. That way the party will find the traps either by the judge informing us that I "found a trap here" or by the judge saying "boom!" or something like that. And if the adventure just screams out "THERE'S A TRAP HERE!" - I'll say "I'm taking a minute to check this closer and Taking 20 on the Perception check...".

**

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think the best way to handle this in PFS is to prepare a card with your name, perception score and "TRAP SPOTTER" on it and hand it to the GM at the beginning of the session. If there's a trap written in the scenario he can roll your check in secret and tell you if you notice something.

I do this when playing one of my trap spotters, except that I inform the GM of the ability as I put out a card tent with my character's name and "+X Perception to find traps" in large letters. It's one less piece of paper for the GM to juggle, and easy for them to spot during play. Some GMs roll secretly as needed, while others have me roll when it's an obvious place for a trap. One just had me roll a half dozen times before game, and wrote down the results to use in order as they were needed.

Sovereign Court *****

Tim Emrick wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think the best way to handle this in PFS is to prepare a card with your name, perception score and "TRAP SPOTTER" on it and hand it to the GM at the beginning of the session. If there's a trap written in the scenario he can roll your check in secret and tell you if you notice something.
I do this when playing one of my trap spotters, except that I inform the GM of the ability as I put out a card tent with my character's name and "+X Perception to find traps" in large letters. It's one less piece of paper for the GM to juggle, and easy for them to spot during play. Some GMs roll secretly as needed, while others have me roll when it's an obvious place for a trap. One just had me roll a half dozen times before game, and wrote down the results to use in order as they were needed.

I actually sort of do this with all my PCs - all my Table Tents (and I use them for all PCs) have my Perception and Sense Motive skill numbers in big letters. So the judge can see what my skills are just by looking over at me, it's right next to my character portrait ... and I always Take 10, so it's easy for them to see what my check is in the middle of the game. Glance at me, add 10 to the number shown, that's my PCs result. I guess in the middle of combat it would require a roll from me - but this hasn't come up yet.

*

Taking 20 takes 2 full minutes. That's metagamy to be searching some 10 foot area for 20 rounds. If you have no buffs running, and have already been hit by traps, and are in a suspicious area, then it could make sense.

Taking 10 takes 6 seconds, the same as the regular check. That should be the standard way of operating if you have a +15 or +20 modifier. A 25 or 30 perception total finds nearly every trap in PFS.

Shadow Lodge

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JoeElf wrote:
Taking 20 takes 2 full minutes. That's metagamy to be searching some 10 foot area for 20 rounds.

Uh, what? Two minutes real time is NOT that long, and I've spent longer searching my couch cushions. Taking 20 to search for traps is literally one of the examples in the Core Rulebook of a common use of the rule. No, taking 20 to search for traps is not "metagamey".

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I find there's a bit of a difference between SFS and PFS too when it comes to Take 20 vs. traps.

PFS has a lot more buffs in the game that run out if you go over a dungeon inch by inch. Perception skill can be boosted to the point where you can spot traps on a Take 10.

SFS traps do more damage, have DCs that pretty much nobody can do on a Take 10, there are not that many buffs that would expire. Also, it seems almost like an iron rule that every scenario shall include at least one trap. So until you've found it, you should be deeply suspicious of every door or important-looking object.

Is that metagaming? If every adventure your character has been on before there was a really dangerous trap, then this is just XP. I mean, experience.

The metagaming might be "we've found the trap, there probably won't be another". Of course, sometimes there is another one.

**

JoeElf wrote:

Taking 20 takes 2 full minutes. That's metagamy to be searching some 10 foot area for 20 rounds. If you have no buffs running, and have already been hit by traps, and are in a suspicious area, then it could make sense.

Taking 10 takes 6 seconds, the same as the regular check. That should be the standard way of operating if you have a +15 or +20 modifier. A 25 or 30 perception total finds nearly every trap in PFS.

I can think of other reasons. Just about any mysterious dungeon, for one.

There's at least one PFS scenario where your contact says, 'There's a secret door in this room, go find it to continue the story.'

Sovereign Court *****

JoeElf wrote:

Taking 20 takes 2 full minutes. That's metagamy to be searching some 10 foot area for 20 rounds. If you have no buffs running, and have already been hit by traps, and are in a suspicious area, then it could make sense.

Taking 10 takes 6 seconds, the same as the regular check. That should be the standard way of operating if you have a +15 or +20 modifier. A 25 or 30 perception total finds nearly every trap in PFS.

well.... actually, taking a perception check is a Move action. So you normally can do this twice in round (two move actions) and even get a 5' step in there too.

So Taking 20 would take one minute. (20 move actions)

But this has been covered quite a bit in older threads... I know I have started several myself over the years...

Perception-different-when-playing-for-different-judges. 417 posts, Jun 26, 2013,

Perception-is-not-search. 79 posts, Apr 20, 2014

Perception-why-do-DMs-still-use-the-3 5-search-rules.. 67 posts, Oct 24, 2011,

Sovereign Court *****

Just had to include this link...

OotS 35. Take 20.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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The only metagamey I see on occasion is when the rogue searches for traps and doesn’t find any, then suddenly when they roll a one (or other significantly low number) someone else suddenly wants to search. It’s one of the few times I will deny a player action. Of course this can be mitigated by rolling for the player behind the screen, but I like to give the player every opportunity to control their own destiny. Pregenerated rolls is probably the best way to handle it, sometimes I may forget

Sovereign Court *****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
The only metagamey I see on occasion is when the rogue searches for traps and doesn’t find any, then suddenly when they roll a one (or other significantly low number) someone else suddenly wants to search. It’s one of the few times I will deny a player action. Of course this can be mitigated by rolling for the player behind the screen, but I like to give the player every opportunity to control their own destiny. Pregenerated rolls is probably the best way to handle it, sometimes I may forget

This is actually one of the reasons I like to Take 10 on perception checks (or actually any skill check). And when I'm running a PC with the "Trap Spotter" talent, why I like to have the judge roll my skill check out of my sight (heck, even way before the encounter). That way I don't have to second guess myself about whether my dice roll result is influencing my PC actions.

And yes, I actually do Take 10 even if my PC has a Perception skill of -2. "Perception? I got an '8'".

***** ⦵⦵

If the rogue is stopping to search, why wouldn't everyone stop and search?

Scarab Sages ****

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The number of times that the rogue has been the best at spotting a trap in my experience have been few. There’s usually someone around who can and has maxed out perception to the point the Trapfinding bonus doesn’t matter. Assuming the rogue hasn’t traded away Trapfinding.

Taking 20 in a room or on a door isn’t metagaming other than using the mechanic for what it’s meant for. It ensures you don’t miss something assuming you can make the roll. Most groups aren’t going to take 20 every 10 feet anyway, due to buff spells. If they want to, just make sure to track the time if it matters.

Where I’ve run into issues with Trap Spotter isn’t with multiple rolls or whether the roll is public or not. It’s when I or the GM doesn’t know someone has Trap Spotter, then a trap goes off, then the player complains and there’s backtracking involved.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Ferious Thune wrote:
Most groups aren’t going to take 20 every 10 feet anyway...

That's good because 10 feet doesn't really have anything to do with Perception in Pathfinder except with respect to penalties for distance which is something that most GMs forget or ignore. A single Perception attempt covers everything within line of sight. The idea of searching a 10ft square is a hold-over from v3.5 that no longer applies.

Sovereign Court *****

I seem to recall a change (FAQ?) in the last year or two that changed it back to having Perception checks only effecting areas of 10' or so... let me see if I can find the reference to it... here it is. It came back in with Ultimate Intrigue,

see if this link to the FAQ works.

so for searching an area - "...for a given Perception check it should be no larger than a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and often a smaller space if that area is cluttered. "

But that is back to "Searching", and I think Perception also includes "Spotting" which should NOT be limited to 10'x10' or less... (IMHO)

The Exchange *****

BigNorseWolf wrote:
If the rogue is stopping to search, why wouldn't everyone stop and search?

or heck, stop and SPOT.

yeah, my dyslexia is showing

"I'm taking a moment to search for traps, did I spot any?"

**

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
If the rogue is stopping to search, why wouldn't everyone stop and search?

When they have never indicated any desire for their characters to stop to search the past 5 doors that the rogue searched--in fact, each time they all made a point to stay 15 ft away from the door while the rogue searched--but now that he rolled a 2, everyone suddenly wants to search that door too.

Scarab Sages ****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Most groups aren’t going to take 20 every 10 feet anyway...
That's good because 10 feet doesn't really have anything to do with Perception in Pathfinder except with respect to penalties for distance which is something that most GMs forget or ignore. A single Perception attempt covers everything within line of sight. The idea of searching a 10ft square is a hold-over from v3.5 that no longer applies.

Take-10 posted the link. It was an unfortunate FAQ, but it exists. Obviously a GM can use their judgement if it’s slowing down a game, but the rule is out there now.

EDIT: Though note that’s for searching a 10-foot square. Spotting a trap or someone hiding doesn’t always require searching a specific area. At which point the range absolutely should come into play. As should limits on darkvision or normal sight. I see light sources basically hand waved after someone says I cast light a lot. More in person than online, where dynamic lighting exists. You can’t spot something 45 feet away if 45 feet away is dark and you have normal vision.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I remember the mammoth thread a while back that lead to that FAQ, and the context was very much that you don't automatically roll Perception to spot traps. Finding a trap requires either some special ability that gives you a roll (Trap Spotter, Stonecunning), or actively searching.

It was not so much a "this is what the rules have always said" but more a "yeah the rules were always vague but we're coming down on this side" FAQ.

It does mean that some traps that were meant to be spotted automatically in some scenarios are now rather nasty. Especially stuff like traps that you encounter off-map, for example on a forest trip to see a certain magical clock tower.

The concept of Exploration Mode tactics in P2 is clearly also an attempt to get it right from the start the next time.

And then of course there are hazards, which are sometimes hard to distinguish from traps except that most of the things that give you a chance to be forewarned of traps don't apply. The template for writing a trap at least includes a "put a perception DC here" spot. I've run into hazards that you ought to have had some chance to spot but couldn't. As in "I take 20 to search this thing because stealing it couldn't possibly be this easy" and didn't find any traps, and didn't see the hazard because there was no DC. /bitter

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Nice, another FAQ you will be completely unaware of unless you check the FAQ for an ancillary book that is much less known than the CRB. Four more months...

Sovereign Court *****

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

I remember the mammoth thread a while back that lead to that FAQ, and the context was very much that you don't automatically roll Perception to spot traps. Finding a trap requires either some special ability that gives you a roll (Trap Spotter, Stonecunning), or actively searching.

It was not so much a "this is what the rules have always said" but more a "yeah the rules were always vague but we're coming down on this side" FAQ.

It does mean that some traps that were meant to be spotted automatically in some scenarios are now rather nasty. Especially stuff like traps that you encounter off-map, for example on a forest trip to see a certain magical clock tower.

The concept of Exploration Mode tactics in P2 is clearly also an attempt to get it right from the start the next time.

And then of course there are hazards, which are sometimes hard to distinguish from traps except that most of the things that give you a chance to be forewarned of traps don't apply. The template for writing a trap at least includes a "put a perception DC here" spot. I've run into hazards that you ought to have had some chance to spot but couldn't. As in "I take 20 to search this thing because stealing it couldn't possibly be this easy" and didn't find any traps, and didn't see the hazard because there was no DC. /bitter

The threads that I remember (yeah, old guy memory...) that lead up to this "change" in how Perception worked, I actually recall fell into the category of "but you SEARCH for traps, and a SEARCH can only be done one square at a time. So to SEARCH a room it takes a long time, as you need to roll a check for each square..." and it might take more than one roll - one each for checking for Traps, Loot, Secret Doors, monsters, etc.

So we would have exchanges like:

Rogue Player: "I check the room for Traps."
Judge: "You know how long that will take? You really want to take that much time..."
Rogue Player: "Ah... It takes a move action to..."
Judge: "A search of this room is going to take more than that! It's 30' x 30', that's 36 squares!"
Rogue: "What? I just want to take a perception check! To see if I detect..."
Judge: "I read out the room description. It's a 30' by 30' natural cavern with those pointy rock things from the ceiling and floor and over in this corner is a bunch of loose rubble. Oh, and it smells of mold. And there's an exit over here."
Sorcerer Player stepping in to more things along: "I take a few minutes to go check out the rubble for treasure. I rolled a 20 so I got a 21."
Judge: "You find a magic ring."

Mostly, it seemed that there was more than one way "Perception" worked - mostly from the combining of the old "Search" mechanics and the "Spot" mechanics. With a lot of bleed-over from earlier versions of this gaim of ours. And without clear direction on how to work it, different players (and judges) would each do it the way they independently learned/interpreted it - which often was very different. And in home games it would be worked out early on, in the first few sessions... but in Organized Play? Yeah... Chaos.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Yes, you absolutely get 2 chances to spot a trap, if you say you are looking after the trap spotter check. You get as many chances as you say you are taking as long as nothing interrupts you.

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