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Search vs. Spot

nittanytbone

First Post
Innocent Bystander said:
Example scenario 1: You're under fire from a hidden opponent(s). You're behind some cover and trying to locate your attacker(s).

Spot checks for sure.

Innocent Bystander said:
Example scenario 2: You're in a large cluttered storeroom. You know your quarry is in here, but where?

Spot checks won't work if the target has 100% cover.

The smarter strategy would be to try something like this:
- Physical Perception: Listen checks to detect the target, or using the Scent ability (summon a dog if you need to) to find the hiding person
- Tracking: Survival check to look for tracks on the floor to follow the quarry's path and thus find his hiding place
- Social Skills: Bluff or Intimidate or Diplomacy to lure the target into coming out into the open
- Magic: Divinations could ferret out the location quite quickly.

Only as a last resort would I have the party start "ransacking chests full of junk to find a certain item (the target)," which is a DC10 search check requiring a full round action to go through each 5x5 cube.
 

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Imagicka

Explorer
Greetings...

Bottom line... no.
The skill 'search' isn't designed to actively look for something beyond the 'general' 10ft radius the skill specifies. Typically, 'spot' would be a better choice to handle the situation of actively looking for something beyond your 10' bubble.

Perhaps the d20 system should be revised to combine Search & Spot. Personally, I believe that Spot & Listen should be combined.

But in either scenario, I would allow my players to actively use skills like 'Spot' or 'Listen'... and whenever their opponents do something that might jeopardize their obfuscation, then I would roll 'spot' and 'listen' secretly for my players.
 


robberbaron

First Post
In a similar vein, a Rogue uses Search to find traps.

Suppose a party is moving down a 10' wide corridor. The rogue wants to check for traps as he goes.
Using Search he would take 2 rounds per 5' travelled (asume the party don't want to go single file). Pretty damn slow.
My idea was to either, a: give a penalty, like for Tracking, when moving faster (-10 taking 1 round/5', -20 moving at half normal speed, -30 moving at normal speed, or something like that) or, b: make it a Spot check with a DC of +10 and allow normal movement.

Any thoughts?
 


darthkilmor

First Post
Imagicka said:
Personally, I believe that Spot & Listen should be combined.

I've done this in my game. Spot and Listen are combined, and hide and move silently are combined. It just makes more sense to me personally.
 

Imagicka said:
Greetings...

Bottom line... no.
The skill 'search' isn't designed to actively look for something beyond the 'general' 10ft radius the skill specifies. Typically, 'spot' would be a better choice to handle the situation of actively looking for something beyond your 10' bubble.
That's why I'd be house ruling this so that search could be used for more than just a 10' bubble.
Imagicka said:
Perhaps the d20 system should be revised to combine Search & Spot. Personally, I believe that Spot & Listen should be combined.
I've often thought about creating a 'Perception' skill that would combine Search and Spot into one skill. In my mind, they could be 2 sides of the same coin. Like Hide/MS.
 

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