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Search (Intelligence)

Check:

You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. The table below gives DCs for typical tasks involving the Search skill.

TaskSearch DC
Ransack a chest full of junk to find a certain item10
Notice a typical secret door or a simple trap20
Find a difficult nonmagical trap (rogue only)121 or higher
Find a magic trap (rogue only)125 + level of spell used to create trap
Notice a well-hidden secret door30
Find a footprintVaries2

1 Dwarves (even if they are not rogues) can use Search to find traps built into or out of stone. 2A successful Search check can find a footprint or similar sign of a creature’s passage, but it won’t let you find or follow a trail. See the Track feat for the appropriate DC.

Action:

It takes a full-round action to search a 5-foot-by-5-foot area or a volume of goods 5 feet on a side.

Special:

  • An elf (but not a half-elf) who simply passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door can make a Search check to find that door.
  • Active abjuration spells within 10 feet of each other for 24 hours or more create barely visible energy fluctuations. These fluctuations give you a +4 bonus on Search checks to locate such abjuration spells.

Synergy:

  • If you have 5 or more ranks in Search, you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find or follow tracks.
  • If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering), you get a +2 bonus on Search checks to find secret doors or hidden compartments.

Restriction:

While anyone can use Search to find a trap whose DC is 20 or lower, only a rogue can use Search to locate traps with higher DCs. (Exception: The spell find traps temporarily enables a cleric to use the Search skill as if he were a rogue.) A dwarf, even one who is not a rogue, can use the Search skill to find a difficult trap (one with a DC higher than 20) if the trap is built into or out of stone. He gains a +2 racial bonus on the Search check from his stonecunning ability.

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