Perception

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The Perception skill replaces Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot. It is the skill to use when you are trying to use your senses.

Perception (Wis)

The GM may make the Perception check in secret so that the character doesn’t know whether not noticing anything means that nothing is there or that the character failed the check.

A successful Perception check when there isn’t anything to notice results in the character noticing nothing.

Listen: Make a Listen check against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that a character might hear or against an opposed Stealth check.

The GM may call for a Listen check by a character who is in a position to hear something. A character can also make a Listen check voluntarily if he or she wants to try to hear something in the character’s vicinity.

A sleeping character can make Listen checks, but takes a –10 penalty on the checks.

A Listen check is either a reaction (if called for by the GM) or a move action (if a character actively takes the time to try to hear something).

DC Sound
–20 Gunfire
–10 A melee battle
0 People talking
5 A person in medium armor walking at a slow pace, trying not to make noise
10 An unarmored person walking at a slow pace, trying not to make any noise
15 A 1st-level Fast hero sneaking up on someone 1
20 A tiger stalking prey 1
30 A bird flying through the air
+5 Through a door
+15 Through a solid wall
  1. This is actually an opposed check; the DC given is a typical Stealth check result for such a character or creature.
Condition Check Penalty
Per 10 feet of distance –1
Listener distracted –5

Spot: Spot is used to notice items that aren’t immediately obvious and people who are attempting to hide. The GM may call for a Spot check by a character who is in a position to notice something. A character can also make a Spot check voluntarily if he or she wants to try to notice something in his or her vicinity.

Spot is often used to notice a person or creature hiding from view. In such cases, the character’s Perception check is opposed by the Stealth check of the character trying not to be seen. Spot is also used to detect someone in disguise (see the Deception skill), or to notice a concealed weapon on another person.

A character’s Spot check is modified by a –1 penalty for every 10 feet of distance between the character and the character or object he or she is trying to discern. The check carries a further –5 penalty if the character is in the midst of activity.

Search: The character generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be examined. A character can examine up to a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side with a single check.

A Search check can turn up individual footprints, but does not allow a character to follow tracks or tell the character which direction the creature or creatures went or came from.

DC Task
10 Ransack an area to find a certain object.
20 Notice a typical secret compartment, a simple trap, or an obscure clue.
25+ Find a complex or well-hidden secret compartment or trap; notice an extremely obscure clue.

Resist Deception: A successful check allows the character to avoid being bluffed (see the Deception skill).

Sense Motive: The character can use the skill to tell when someone is behaving oddly or to assess someone’s trustworthiness. In addition, a character can use this skill to make an assessment of a social situation. With a successful check (DC 20), the character can get the feeling from another’s behavior that something is wrong. Also, the character can get the feeling that someone is trustworthy and honorable.

Retry: A character can make a Perception check every time he or she has the opportunity to notice something in a reactive manner. As a move action, the character may attempt to notice something that he or she failed (or believes he or she failed) to notice previously.

Special: A character can take 10 when making a Perception check, or take 20 on any Perception check but Sense Motive.

Time: A Perception check is either a reaction (if called for by the GM) or a full-round action (if a character actively takes the time to try to notice something).

Modern Horror

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