What does 'Expeditious Search' actually do?

Rules Discussion

Shadow Lodge

I was looking at feats my halfling thief should probably take in the future and this one immediately popped out to me:

Expeditious Search wrote:
You have a system that lets you search at great speed, finding details and secrets twice as quickly as others can. When Searching, you take half as long as usual to Search a given area. This means that while exploring, you double the Speed you can move while ensuring you’ve Searched an area before walking into it (up to half your Speed). If you’re legendary in Perception, you instead Search areas four times as quickly.
Search Activity wrote:
You Seek meticulously for hidden doors, concealed hazards, and so on. You can usually make an educated guess as to which locations are best to check and move at half speed, but if you want to be thorough and guarantee you checked everything, you need to travel at a Speed of no more than 300 feet per minute, or 150 feet per minute to ensure you check everything before you walk into it. You can always move more slowly while Searching to cover the area more thoroughly, and the Expeditious Search feat increases these maximum Speeds. If you come across a secret door, item, or hazard while Searching, the GM will attempt a free secret check to Seek to see if you notice the hidden object or hazard. In locations with many objects to search, you have to stop and spend significantly longer to search thoroughly.

Now, assuming my Halfling thief has speed 30 when I take this feat at level 7, how fast do I actually 'check everything' search? As far as I can tell, I still can only go 150 feet per minute, as that is half my 300 feet per minute travel speed (per CRB chart 9-2).

Is this feat only supposed to help if you have a 35+ speed?

Shadow Lodge

/Cast Breath of Life on this post...

Okay, my Thief is about halfway through level 6 now, so this feat is back on my radar: Does it actually do anything for a Searching character with speed 30? The way it is written, it doesn't seem to. Even at Legendary Perception, your '4x search' still seem to be limited to half your speed.

This is odd. As written the cap at half speed does seem to stop this feet from benefiting anyone with less than a 35 or more foot speed. Even the benefit such a character receives is... somewhat minimal in my opinion. At a 35 move speed your character would be able to search on the move at 175 which is not of great benefit if the party isn't also moving at that speed. In fact the only time it feels like it will be mechanically worthwhile is if you somehow have a 60 foot speed and want to search at 300 feet per minute while the rest of the party walk at full speed.

The 4X benefit also seems to conflict with the half speed move cap. Maybe that is only intended to work with being stationary while searching a specific area? So if your GM were to impose a 10 minute duration for a search of a given room, your character can canvas that area in 2.5 minutes?

There is no other obvious benefit that I can glean from the feat. The half speed restriction just caps what is possible too thoroughly.

I think that the "(up to half your speed)" bit is a leftover from a prior version of how exploration speed was figured, or an accidentally misleading attempt at a reminder of what the normal speed you can search an area while ensuring you check everything before you walk into it.

Because the exploration activity speeds are written without interacting with a character's Speed - they say '300 feet per minute' rather than 'at your full speed'.

However, I suppose it could be intended that Searching while on the move not be sped up in general, but that the feat cut down all the times listed in APs that say "If the party conducts a thorough search, taking 30 minutes" to smaller numbers.

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

*Thread Resurrection*

So, I too was curious as I'm coming up on that level 7 for PFS and was looking at this feat. As written, here's my take.

You can now search during exploration mode at 600 feet per minute or breaking it down to a move speed as that's what matters for how quickly you're moving you've now got an effective 20 foot move speed, or 10 foot move speed if you're touching every book in the shelf to see if it's a trigger for a trap door.

This may matter if you're doing overland travel and you need to know how fast a party is moving. But what if someone doesn't have this feat and is searching. Do you get to roll perception twice? You're taking half the time to search an area, are you just twiddling your thumbs while someone else is still tossing a bookshelf you've already looked over?

I think that's the rules case that needs more explanation that the straightforward speed boost during exploration mode.

Because if you argue that you can roll twice, why not just go 75 feet per minute and double check everything? Seems like a very narrow edge case use feat.

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