Monday, May 16, 2011

DM Advice - Listen/Search/Spot in 3.5 VS Perception in Pathfinder

Some like the ability to break out the senses. This is I think what WOTC was thinking when they decided upon the skill sets for 3.0 and later 3.5. Listen - hearing, spot - sight, search - all senses more thorough. When Pathfinder simplified the system to one roll - Perception - it encompassed all senses.

Now that I am thinking of running a dungeon-level based game I have to ask the question - did Pathfinder cut the skills too drastically in this area?

The benefits to cutting back on the skills are immediately obvious in that players can expend less skill points for the same bang. It also means that the skills are encompassed into one single roll.

How does this affect dungeon crawling when in the cramped confined darkness you need to use all your senses?

I am starting to wonder. Yes it is easy to make a perception roll for everything but did that cut back on the specialization of certain classes?

What are your thoughts?

Listen/Search/Spot versus Perception

Hide/Move Silently versus Stealth

Did it affect dungeon crawling aversely? Is it better?


  1. The combination of Listen & Spot and Hide & Move Silently I applaud. The odds go way against successful stealth if using both, as every stealth attempt becomes two opposed skill checks instead of one - it really puts advantage in the spotter / listener's corner.

    I'm still not sure about Search being added to that mix.

  2. Dyson - You bring up a great point. I always had the players use Move Silently when they were trying to be sneaky anyway. When they wanted to hide behind something I let them use hide. I never did like to make characters roll both as was the case in AD&D. As for Listen/Spot I can agree there. Thank you.