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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.
|Ransack a chest full of junk to find a certain item||10|
|Notice a typical secret door or a simple trap||20|
|Find a difficult nonmagical trap (rogue only)1||21 or higher|
|Find a magic trap (rogue only)1||25 + level of spell used to create trap|
|Notice a well-hidden secret door||30|
|Find a footprint||Varies2|
|1 Dwarves (even if they are not rogues) can use Search to find traps built into or out of stone.|
|2 A 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.|
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.
- An elf has a +2 racial bonus on Search checks, and a half-elf has a +1 racial bonus. 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.
- If you have the Investigator feat, you get a +2 bonus on Search checks.
- The spells explosive runes, fire trap, glyph of warding, symbol, and teleportation circle create magic traps that a rogue can find by making a successful Search check and then can attempt to disarm by using Disable Device. Identifying the location of a snare spell has a DC of 23. Spike growth and spike stones create magic traps that can be found using Search, but against which Disable Device checks do not succeed. See the individual spell descriptions for details.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.