Glyph Finding for an Arcane Savant


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My character just gained the glyph finding ability from the arcane savant prestige class (description pasted below). Anyone see a good way to make this a positive? I have an excellent spellcraft, I'm just worried that in the process of using glyph-finding looking for writing based traps I will expose myself to all sorts of other traps that I'm not equipped to detect. For this reason, unless I have reason to believe there are writing-based magical traps, I should just leave trap finding to the party rogue.

My gut tells me <10% of traps are writing based magical traps.

The ability...
Glyph-Finding (Ex)
At 2nd level, an arcane savant can use Spellcraft to find writing-based magical traps (including glyphs, runes, sigils, and symbols) in the same way a rogue can use Perception to search for traps.

I think that, no matter what, its application is going to be fairly limited.

Unless you are hunting a Lich librarian or find yourself alongside Indianna Jones studying hieroglyphics... I just do not see it be especially useful.

It's better than a party having no way to search for traps, so I could see a reasonable GM possibly converting any traps they were already planning on using into writing-based magical traps... that is in no way guaranteed, though.

I agree, it will likely be limited. I guess in the absence of a rogue, it's better than nothing.

What's bothering me is the way it's written. As far as I can tell, in Pathfinder anyone can use Perception to find traps now. A rogue's trapfinding ability (which seems to be what's being referenced) gives them 1/2 their class level in bonus to Perception and Disable Device against traps (and allows them to disable/disarm magical traps). Granted, the arcane savant's master scholar ability (1st level) gives them this equivalent bonus to Spellcraft (and they can Take 10 on such checks), but otherwise I don't see anything actually linking this to the Rogue (the wording doesn't even seem to imply they can try and disable or disarm such traps, only locate them).

I am just puzzled why it isn't written:


Glyph-Finding (Ex)

At 2nd level, an arcane savant can use Spellcraft in place of Perception to find writing-based magical traps (including glyphs, runes, sigils, and symbols).

so... the ability doesn't let you do anything that anyone else can't do with perception, only it is based off of spellcraft.

anyone can search for magical (or mundane) traps.

you need trapfinding ability to disable magical traps. (and mundane traps, again, anyone with ranks in disable device can try to do).

back in older edition of dnd only rogue could find&disable traps so maybe the writer had them mixed.

i would change this ability to let you try and disable said written traps with spellcraft, also let you use spellcraft to find them.

and in that case, the OP should invest in perception, disable device and items that let him find and disable traps so that now he can look for traps with perception and spellcraft. and when he finds one he can disable all but magical traps that are NOT written.

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks team! I'm in the same place. It wasn't the ability that drew me to the prestige class. Still, I had hoped there would be some cases where it would provide a marginal benefit. However, it seems like, lich library excluded, the ability is downright counter-productive and dangerous to use in a party that also has a rogue with a modicum of trap-finding ability.

I will agree that the restriction to magical writing traps is of marginal benefit (in most overall cases of traps in Pathfinder games).

I will just try and round the sharp edges a little and say that I wouldn't call it 'downright counter-productive and dangerous', however. All things being equal, you would have just as much or even a better chance of a rogue to find magical writings. So there's that. Just having two people able to check cuts a lot of time (which may or may not be important).

Additionally, as an arcane savant, you are likely wizard or at least Intelligence-based (not necessarily, but in most cases). As such, Intelligence will likely be maxed for you (and thus Spellcraft). Your party rogue might not have his Wisdom maxed. He might have gone Dex based, or Intelligence based for skill points or other skills (like Disable Device, which is what you'll need him to do when you find one). There's only so many points to go around, so his Perception (which is what he uses to find traps) might not be as good as your Spellcraft just on sheer multi-ability dispersal.

Granted, it all depends on the amount of magical writing traps involved in your personal game, but that's no different than the amount of crit-able enemies in a game for a rogue in regards to their sneak attack (granted, far less likely, but still). You are definitely going to be better than a rogue with a 'modicum of trap-finding ability'... for magical writing traps, at least.

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