Poll: Which skill breakdown for character perception makes the most sense to you?

I like the two skill break down, with Spot covering just looking/smelling the area and Search covering all active searching. This gives a fairly clear cut seperation of when to use one vs the other. The logic for breaking them up into two skills has more to do with game balance then anything else though. Perception is simply too valuable of a skill if everything is rolled into one.

Perception just kind of bothers me as a "skill".

To start with, if I were an adventurer who constantly was encountering hostile things, I feel I would try to be as perceptive as possible as the default. I'm not sure it really makes sense that some characters have Percieve Everything in their skill set, while others never ever improve.

Right now Next is going for attribute checks as the base rather than skill as the base, so noticing things is basically just a Wis check or an Int check, and skills are supposedly a bonus added for a narrow catagory. Things like Spot and Search are just far too broad.

Search would be easy to simply dispose of. Want to search for a trap? Use Find and Remove Traps. Want to search a desk drawer for a secret compartment? How about carpentry. I think a character could easily state what they are doing and whether they have a skill they think would apply, and then add their skill die to their attribute check.

Spot is a little more tricky, because the DM would either have to tell the characters what it is they are trying to spot so they would know if a skill die applied, or remember everyone's skills. Neither seems like a good option, so we end up with the Spot Everything skill. So maybe everyone should have the skill-- which makes people a lot better at spotting things they don't know are there vs. searching for specific things, which doesn't make sense-- or maybe nobody should get it, and it can be a straight up Wisdom check. I don't like either option, really. Spot is a tricky one.

I would prefer something like in 2nd edition , Alterness and Observation for intance.

I don't like the Perception skill because it gets used too often and goes against the current model which is based on attribute checks and not skills.
"Ya done fo'got two, one fo' vision 'n one fo' hearing', buddy"

But i'd like 3 anyway

Spot (for visual detection, INT active WIS passive)
Listen (for audible detection, INT active WIS passive)
Appraise (for inspection of accuracy in very familiar items, disguises, and documents, INT active WIS passive)

Vs
Hide (for visual stealth)
Move Silently (for audible stealth)
Disguise (for specefic physical disguises and written or spoken forgeries)

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I would prefer something like in 2nd edition , Alterness and Observation for intance.

I don't like the Perception skill because it gets used too often and goes against the current model which is based on attribute checks and not skills.



Yep I agree with this.

Perception, in general, is Wisdom. Alertness and Observation would be great for more specific, trained skills.
I would like to see some real innovation on the issue of perception. In 4e, it is easily the most frequently rolled skill and everyone wants to be trained. When you are constantly in danger, noticing things is not a luxury, it's a necessity.

Also, what happens when the the DM says "roll spot" or "roll perception" or "roll wisdom?" Everyone in the party rolls, and 9 times out of 10, someone will roll high enough to notice the key detail the DM is thinking of.

The only time this roll is suspenseful is if you have a very small party, or if the DC is exceptionally high. And what is the basic rule about rolling? As a DM, you should only call for a roll if the outcome is in doubt and there are meaningful consequences for failure.

Now I do not have a proposal here, but this bears some additional attention. 

"Ya done fo'got two, one fo' vision 'n one fo' hearing', buddy" But i'd like 3 anyway Spot (for visual detection, INT active WIS passive) Listen (for audible detection, INT active WIS passive) Appraise (for inspection of accuracy in very familiar items, disguises, and documents, INT active WIS passive) Vs Hide (for visual stealth) Move Silently (for audible stealth) Disguise (for specefic physical disguises and written or spoken forgeries)

I'm not a fan of splitting perception based on senses, because, IMO, that gets things far too complicated. I'd drop listen, and roll it into the other skills. I'd also not want to split stealth back into move silently and hide. But then again, I prefer the 4e skill list over 3.5, although, IMO, 4e when a touch too far. I'd take the 4e list and split perception into two skills (4 feels like too many), although I'm not sure which way I'd prefer to see it split (proximity vs active/passive).

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I voted none of the above.  I think it should be two skills.  One for things that are out in the open (spot), and one skill for things that are hidden/obscured and thus require more than just eyes to find (search).
I voted none of the above.  I think it should be two skills.  One for things that are out in the open (spot), and one skill for things that are hidden/obscured and thus require more than just eyes to find (search).

Isn't that essentially active vs passive?

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I voted none of the above.  I think it should be two skills.  One for things that are out in the open (spot), and one skill for things that are hidden/obscured and thus require more than just eyes to find (search).

Isn't that essentially active vs passive?




You can actively look for things that are not hidden.  The character does not have 360 degree vision, so can't passively look everywhere.  The player can specify where his PC is looking. Often I'll have a player specifically ask me "Do I see X?"  I hadn't planned on X being something to describe or need to tell them about, but I'll ask for a spot check to see if they see it.  Sometimes I have to make a roll to even see if it's there first, but those are still active uses of the skill.  Spot should not be passive only.
One skill, but wis modifier for passive/reflexive and int modifier for active search/ransack.

Just Perception.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I saw an interesting idea about perception that involved using a skill that relates to what you're trying to see.

Detecting a trap would be thievery.
Detecting a magical sigil would be arcana
Spotting an ambush in the wilderness would be nature
Spotting an ambush underground would be dungeoneering.
Spotting an ambush in the city would be Streetwise.

That way you split up perceptions to be different things.
I saw an interesting idea about perception that involved using a skill that relates to what you're trying to see.

Detecting a trap would be thievery.
Detecting a magical sigil would be arcana
Spotting an ambush in the wilderness would be nature
Spotting an ambush underground would be dungeoneering.
Spotting an ambush in the city would be Streetwise.

That way you split up perceptions to be different things.

Now this I like a lot. It follows the 4e philosphy of turning the pre-4e "knowledge" skills into active ones. I'm not sure if there should be another covering other planes, although I could see that as part of the "religion" skill.

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Passive perception should be something every adventurer gets. It's just part of the standard adventurer skillset. Non-adventurers may have it trained to various degrees, and you might have feats/class abilities that can improve it, but any adventurer will have it as if it were a trained skill without needing to specifically invest in it. It's just that much of a no-brainer it should be there for everyone.

Active percetion (ie finding traps, secret doors, that sort of thing) should be a single skill you can choose to train. 


Splitting visual/sound perception is a concept that needs to die in a fire. 
None of the above: Keep it 3 skills. Seach, spot, and listen. They all function uniquely and are fine that way. Perception is far too broad a category to stuck into 1 skill.
My two copper.
Perception should either be an attribute or a fixed value like Initiative bonus is in 3e.

The problem with Perception as a skill is you get a case where those players who don't have the skill being forced to sit on their rears doing nothing while those with high skill values getting to do everything first.  I call this, "Roll to Participate," and it needs to go.
With perception or appraise skills as separate skills, you have a master weaponsmith unable to appraise the quality of a sword or an archer able to shoot a creature at great distanceswith hs good eyes, but is unable to spot something at the same distance or less.

I don't like D&D skill system. 4th edition one was better, but not by very far. 

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