Typically used with: Cunning.
In short: sense it. Characters with ranks in Perception are cognitive masters, picking up the sounds, smells, and sights that the rest of us don't or can't. This skill can be used to see or hear Stealthy characters, witness your change purse being snatched away, eavesdrop on conversations, overhear the faint sounds around you, notice minute details of an object, or realize you forgot deodorant.
For the cognitive skills, the GM might want to inform rollers of successful checks of what was seen or heard in private or with notes. Doing this helps any players who didn't meet the DL role-play truthfully, as they weren't privy to the successful result.
If not in response to an opposed check, the difficulty is as follows. For hearing, the softer the noise, the further away, the more obstacles in between, the harder it is to hear something. For seeing, the smaller the target, the further away, the quicker the movement, the harder it is to see something. As such, below are some example modifiers for any Perception difficulties and checks.
|Per 10 feet of distance||+1|
|Character is surrounded by moderate sensory distraction (a tavern, a marketplace)||+4|
|Character is surrounded by extreme sensory distraction (a battle, a riot)||+8|
Here are some situational modifiers to Perception DLs based specifically on sound.
|Character and the noise are on opposite sides of a wooden door or wall||+4|
|Character and the noise are on opposite sides of a stone or iron door or wall||+8|
Noises in water take −4 to the distance penalty as sound travels further in water than air. Similarly, sounds traveling through solid matter, the ground for example, take a −8 to the distance penalty. For example, a train is coming. The DL for a character to hear the train while walking is 30, but if the character puts an ear to the train tracks, the DL is reduced to 22.
One Perception check takes no time, however a second attempt, trying to see or hear something you did not previously, takes 3 AP.