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Archives of Nethys

Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Chapter 9: Playing the Game / General Rules / Specific Checks

Perception

Source Core Rulebook pg. 448 2.0
Perception measures your ability to be aware of your environment. Every creature has Perception, which works with and is limited by a creature’s senses (described on page 464). Whenever you need to attempt a check based on your awareness, you’ll attempt a Perception check. Your Perception uses your Wisdom modifier, so you’ll use the following formula when attempting a Perception check.

Perception check result = d20 roll + Wisdom modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties

Nearly all creatures are at least trained in Perception, so you will almost always add a proficiency bonus to your Perception modifier. You might add a circumstance bonus for advantageous situations or environments, and typically get status bonuses from spells or other magical effects. Items can also grant you a bonus to Perception, typically in a certain situation. For instance, a fine spyglass grants a +1 item bonus to Perception when attempting to see something a long distance away. Circumstance penalties to Perception occur when an environment or situation (such as fog) hampers your senses, while status penalties typically come from conditions, spells, and magic effects that foil the senses. You’ll rarely encounter item penalties or untyped penalties for Perception.

Many abilities are compared to your Perception DC to determine whether they succeed. Your Perception DC is 10 + your total Perception modifier.
Item Bonuses for Perception - Common Items
ItemBonusLevelCategoryConsumable?Note
Magnifying Glass+13Adventuring GearNoPerception checks to notice minute details of documents, fabric, and the like
Magnifying Scope+13ScopesNovisual Perception checks to Seek creatures through the scope
Spyglass (Fine)+14Adventuring GearNoPerception checks to notice details at a distance
Goggles of Night+15Other Worn ItemsNoPerception checks involving sight
Darkvision Scope+15ScopesNoPerception checks involving sight in areas of dim light visible through the scope (as well as in areas of darkness, if the scope has been activated).
Eye of the Unseen+18Assistive ItemsNovisual Perception checks
Codex of Unimpeded Sight (Greater)+112GrimoiresNoPerception checks to Seek
Drakeheart Mutagen (Lesser)+11Alchemical ElixirsYes
Eagle-Eye Elixir (Lesser)+11Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks that is greater when attempting to find secret doors and traps.
Serene Mutagen (Lesser)+11Alchemical ElixirsYes
Eye of the Unseen+28Assistive ItemsNovisual Perception checks
Magnifying Scope (Greater)+29ScopesNovisual Perception checks to Seek creatures through the scope
Eyes of the Eagle+29Other Worn ItemsNoPerception checks that involve sight
Goggles of Night (Greater)+211Other Worn ItemsNoPerception checks involving sight
Scope of Truth+213ScopesNoPerception checks made to Seek in areas you can see through the scope
Darkvision Scope (Greater)+215ScopesNoPerception checks involving sight in areas of dim light visible through the scope (as well as in areas of darkness, if the scope has been activated).
Drakeheart Mutagen (Moderate)+23Alchemical ElixirsYes
Serene Mutagen (Moderate)+23Alchemical ElixirsYes
Zerk+24DrugsYesPerception rolls for initiative
Eagle-Eye Elixir (Moderate)+25Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks that is greater when attempting to find secret doors and traps.
Magnifying Scope (Major)+317ScopesNovisual Perception checks to Seek creatures through the scope
Goggles of Night (Major)+318Other Worn ItemsNoPerception checks involving sight
Third Eye+319Other Worn ItemsNo
Eagle-Eye Elixir (Greater)+310Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks that is greater when attempting to find secret doors and traps.
Serene Mutagen (Greater)+311Alchemical ElixirsYes
Drakeheart Mutagen (Greater)+311Alchemical ElixirsYes
Eagle-Eye Elixir (Major)+316Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks that is greater when attempting to find secret doors and traps.
Serene Mutagen (Major)+417Alchemical ElixirsYes
Drakeheart Mutagen (Major)+417Alchemical ElixirsYes
Item Bonuses for Perception - Uncommon/Rare/Unique Items
ItemBonusLevelCategoryConsumable?Note
Vestige Lenses+13Alchemical OtherNoPerception checks to Seek any alchemical vapors
Skinsaw Mask+13Other Worn ItemsNoPerception checks to Seek frightened creatures
Diviner's Nose Chain+19Other Worn ItemsNoSeek or Sense Motive
Skeptic's Elixir (Lesser)+11Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks and Perception DCs to notice falsehoods, whether they're spoken lies or written deceit
Grim Ring+25Other Worn ItemsNosecret Perception checks against undead in the area that are hiding or disguised
Starless Scope+29Held ItemsNoPerception checks made to observe the skies
Dragonfly Potion+212PotionsNovisual Perception checks
Exploration Lens (Searching)+214Held ItemsNoPerception checks to spot hidden doors and concealed hazards while Searching
Skeptic's Elixir (Moderate)+26Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks and Perception DCs to notice falsehoods, whether they're spoken lies or written deceit
Robe of Eyes+317Other Worn ItemsNo
Void Mirror+320ArtifactsNoPerception checks made while using the mirror
Skeptic's Elixir (Greater)+311Alchemical ElixirsYesPerception checks and Perception DCs to notice falsehoods, whether they're spoken lies or written deceit

Perception for Initiative

Source Core Rulebook pg. 448 2.0
Often, you’ll roll a Perception check to determine your order in initiative. When you do this, instead of comparing the result against a DC, everyone in the encounter will compare their results. The creature with the highest result acts first, the creature with the second-highest result goes second, and so on. Sometimes you may be called on to roll a skill check for initiative instead, but you’ll compare results just as if you had rolled Perception. The full rules for initiative are found in the rules for encounter mode on page 468.