Traps to target perception?


Starfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


I was pondering something earlier and wondered if anyone had any ideas or experiences that they might share. As we all know, Perception is an important skill for almost any character and players will put lots of points into it even if it isn’t a class skill. So with my evil part-time GM mind I wondered; is there a trap (Pathfinder sourced perhaps) that is more dangerous the more Perception by the target?

To be specific, not a trap that has to be perceived alone to do damage, but a trap that increases damage or effect based on how well the person rolls their check. I suppose tiers of DCs is relevant, but in an opposite form from the usual “the better you roll the better you save” arrangement.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have no idea how this would even work. No matter what weird complications are put into a trap, by definition, if the PC succeeds at their Perception check, then they are *succeeding*. "The PC spots a fake lure and is drawn into a kill zone" is still a failed Perception check, not a successful one.

And, as a general rule, it is bad practice for a GM to punish a player for being good at something.


I totally agree with Metaphysician. Never penalize players for succeeding.

Your trap will work just fine under the normal rules.

Set the traps perception DC. If they beat it that don't fall for the bait. If they don't, the describe what they believe they "see" and hit them with the damage.

As for a sneaky fun trap.

Take a corridor and have one 5 foot hallway section trapped with multiple tripwires (both line and laser). Make the perception DC relatively low and the engineering check relatively high (telling them how complex the trip wire patterns are).

Have the next section of 5 foot hallway be pressure plates with a relatively high perception DC (back in Pathfinder it was a pit trap).

You PC trap spotter / disarmer will invariable jump over the 5 foot section of tripwires and right on to the pressure plates.

Damage and chaos ensues.

Sovereign Court

THere were such traps in PF1 - I believe there were magical sigils that could be disguised and were only triggered when you saw them, meaning the higher the perception, the better chance you had of actually triggering the trap. I thought it was funny as both a player and GM (especially when we were playing and came across it). Something similar in one of the adventure paths where rolling high made you see a horrific being and have to make a will save, whereas if you didn’t see it you were blissfully unaware of it and didn’t have to make the save.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sure, you can have stuff like that. I would just argue that you *shouldn't*. A successful check should always provide a benefit to the PC, not a detriment. At a bare minimum, success should lead to the player *knowing* about the hazard, and then having the chance to either undergo it or not.

Which is to say, if there are Evil Runes in some ruin that can cause harm by being read? A successful Perception check does not lead to them being read, it leads to the PC spotting the hazard *before* they read one. A failed Perception check means its up to chance whether they read any, kind of like a gaze attack.


Metaphysician wrote:

I have no idea how this would even work. No matter what weird complications are put into a trap, by definitio https://solitaire.onl/ n, if the PC succeeds at their Perception check, then they are *succeeding*. "The PC spots a fake lure and is drawn into a kill zone" is still a failed Perception check, not a successful one. https://9apps.ooo

And, as a general rule, it is bad practice for a GM to punish a player for being good at something.

issue solved!

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