Typically used with: Cunning.
In short: find it. Looking for something? It's always in the last place you look. The Search skill is a favorite of detectives, thieves, wilderness guides, and anyone who is lost. You can use a Search check to follow a set of tracks, find your way, scour for items in rubble, or root around the house for your missing keys.
You can pursue creatures by following their tracks on the ground as well as by locating nearby clues, like broken twigs and trampled grass. If your Search check exceeds the pursued creature's Stealth check, you can successfully follow the trail. Each time the trail is broken, such as by crossing a stream, or stepping out of a meadow and onto a rocky hill, the creature being chased can make another Stealth check, while the tracker is forced to make another Search check to pick up the new trail. If you're following a group of creatures, beating the lowest Stealth check can reveal where they went, but beating the highest Stealth check will reveal exactly how many creatures are together.
You must subtract your Size from this roll, as it's easier to track a larger creature and harder to track a smaller one. For example, a firna is tracking a juren. The firna gets +1 to his Search check, while the juren takes −5 to his Stealth.
As long as you're actively following tracks, you gain the hampered condition, as you can't move at full speed while analyzing the environment. If you try to move at your normal speed, you take a −10 penalty on the Search check. If you try to make a Dash check while tracking, you take a −20 penalty on the Search check.
You take a −1 penalty to the Search check for each day since the trail was created. You also take −1 for each hour of rainfall. You take −5 for each inch of snowfall.
A Search check can be used to navigate and find direction. This is done by following trail markers, reading a map, or leveraging the sun, moon, and stars. The higher the DL, the more likely you'll get lost. It's perilous to lose your way in the wilderness, deep underground, or out at sea. You could also make a Search check to escape from an unfamiliar place, like a prison or a dungeon.
If you have a map, you gain a +4 bonus to this check. If you have a compass as well, you gain an additional +4. A compass on its own will let you determine cardinal direction with no check, but without a reference for landmarks, it can't help you find your way any easier.
You can make a Search check to rifle through a place to locate an object. This could be finding a lost child in the woods, a gem in a desk drawer, an ally among the debris of a collapsed ceiling, or the correct book in a library of thousands. You can also preemptively locate hidden obstacles along your route. This includes spiked pits along the trail, poisoned needles on the doorknob, and arrow slits in the wall. The more well-hidden the object, the higher the DL.
Camouflaged traps and accidentally hidden objects have their own DLs, however items that have been purposefully hidden require opposed rolls. The character who hides the object makes a Stealth roll. If your Search check exceeds the Stealth check, you locate the object.
It takes 6 AP to thoroughly examine an area sized about your height on each side. The bigger the total area you need to scour, the longer it will take. If an entire group is searching for an object, each participant who meets or exceeds the DL helps to cut down the total time it takes. Divide the time it would take one person to search the area by the total number of successful Search checks. For example, if it would take a single character one hour to search a given chamber, then it would only take 15 minutes if four allies passed their Search checks.
If you're competing against another character to locate an object as quickly as you can, roll opposed Search checks. The highest check that meets or exceeds the DL finds the object first. If you're in combat, the first character to pass the check on their turn locates the object first.