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Perception (Wis)

Unofficial Extras!

The following rules ideas are from publishers other than Paizo. Use at your discretion!

Below are several additonal ways to use Perception.

Listen Underwater: The DC to hear a sound at a distance underwater increases more slowly than it does in air because sound travels better underwater, although water conditions can make the rate change from place to place and time to time. Typically, however, the DC is increased by +1/50 feet.

Listen Through Soil: The DC to hear a sound when both the listener and the source of the sound are in direct contact with the earth increases much more slowly with distance than it does in air. The DC is increased by only +1/400 feet.

Pinpoint Sound: If you exceed the Perception DC to hear a sound by 20, you pinpoint the source of the sound, learning the exact space the sound came from.

If you cannot see the sound’s source, it still has total concealment against your attacks.

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Your senses allow you to notice fine details and alert you to danger. Perception covers all five senses, including sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Common Uses

Notice Someone/Something

Perception has a number of uses, the most common of which is an opposed check versus an opponent's Stealth check to notice the opponent and avoid being surprised. If you are successful, you notice the opponent and can react accordingly. If you fail, your opponent can take a variety of actions, including sneaking past you and attacking you.

Perception is also used to notice fine details in the environment. The DC to notice such details varies depending upon distance, the environment, and how noticeable the detail is. The following table gives a number of guidelines.

Detail Perception DC
Hear the sound of battle –10
Notice the stench of rotting garbage –10
Detect the smell of smoke 0
Hear the details of a conversation 0
Notice a visible creature 0
Determine if food is spoiled 5
Hear the sound of a creature walking 10
Hear the details of a whispered conversation 15
Find the average concealed door 15
Hear the sound of a key being turned in a lock 20
Find the average secret door 20
Hear a bow being drawn 25
Sense a burrowing creature underneath you 25
Notice a pickpocket Opposed by Sleight of Hand
Notice a creature using Stealth Opposed by Stealth
Find a hidden trap Varies by trap
Identify the powers of a potion through taste 15 + the potion's caster level
Perception Modifiers DC Modifier
Distance to the source, object, or creature +1/10 feet
Through a closed door +5
Through a wall +10/foot of thickness
Favorable conditions1 –2
Unfavorable conditions1 +2
Terrible conditions2 +5
Creature making the check is distracted +5
Creature making the check is asleep +10
Creature or object is invisible +20

1 Favorable and unfavorable conditions depend upon the sense being used to make the check. For example, bright light might increase the DC of checks involving sight, while torchlight or moonlight might give a penalty. Background noise might reduce a DC involving hearing, while competing odors might penalize any DC involving scent.

2 As for unfavorable conditions, but more extreme. For example, candlelight for DCs involving sight, a roaring dragon for DCs involving hearing, and an overpowering stench covering the area for DCs involving scent.

Action

Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.

Retry? Yes. You can try to sense something you missed the first time, so long as the stimulus is still present.

Modifiers

  • Race Elves, half-elves, gnomes, and halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks. Creatures with the scent special quality have a +8 bonus on Perception checks made to detect a scent. Creatures with the tremorsense special quality have a +8 bonus on Perception checks against creatures touching the ground and automatically make any such checks within their range.
  • Familiars A spellcaster with a hawk or owl familiar gains a +3 bonus on Perception checks. If you have the Alertness feat, you get a +2 bonus on Perception (and Sense Motive) checks.
Just so you know...

The trap spotter rogue talent is a good way to gain an auto-spot ability for traps in the game. Normally, you don't automatically spot traps like this. A player has to specifically state that they're looking for traps.

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Get Organized!

The following information is not official in terms of general campaign usage. It is copied from the Pathfinder Society Organized Play FAQ section of the Paizo website because we thought it might be helpful information for a player or GM in adjudicating common problems or questions. Usage is up to the GM of your game.

What does a deaf PC (or other creature) need to do in order to read lips?

Any PC may learn to read lips with a rank in Linguistics as if they had learned a new language. When reading the lips of a speaking creature within 10 feet in normal lighting conditions, the reader need not make any skill checks. In situations of dim lighting, extreme distances, or to read the lips of someone trying to hide their words from the reader, the reader must make Perception checks (DC determined by the GM based on the situation). A lip reader may only understand spoken words in a language it knows.

[Source]

FastPlay Rules
See this skill in FastPlay format.