In general terms the Perception Skill in the Atomic RPG System system represents your character’s ability to notice and detect things around them. This is through all of the senses the character might posses or even clues in the area to something that might not be easily noticed.
Specifically speaking all characters within the Atomic RPG System must be able to perceive something in order to be able to react to it or interact with it. This is generally easy to do in normal conditions. However, there will be situations where it may be difficult to perceive a target such as in darkness, heavy weather, or a foul warehouse full of chemicals. Here are the general rules to follow when trying to determine if a player character or non-player character can perceive something.
Using the Perception Skill in the Atomic RPG System
Many things in the game world you will easily perceive and the GM will describe these to you as you play.
There will come times when a player character would like to look for something specifically. The player character can then ask the GM if they can look for a secret door, smell the air for leaking coolant, or feel the door to see if feels hot. At this time the GM will come up with an appropriate difficulty for the question and then have the player character roll a d20 plus their Perception Skill. If the player character rolls the required difficulty score or higher than the GM will answer the question. Whenever a player asks to use the Perception Skill it will take an Action to do so.
There will also come times during normal Atomic RPG System gaming where the GM has hidden secrets within the game that you may notice. At this point the GM will check or ask the player group what passive Perception Skill is for the player character. Those that have high enough passive Perception Skill scores may notice subtle things in the game world such as a secret door, a concealed blaster, or a group hidden in the brush waiting to ambush you.
A character's Spirit Trait determines the base skill bonus.
Player versus Player Perception Skill Checks
There may come a time when a player character may need to make notice something about another member of their own party, another player character. Passive Perception Skill is not used for player versus player rolls. For these each player must roll a skill check with a d20 against the appropriate skill. Whichever player rolls better is the player that wins.
Environmental Perception Effects
In normal good lighting and weather conditions, it takes a Perception Skill of 1 per space to perceive things enough to interact with them. Interacting with a target means being able to use a Power or Skill on the target, hear what they say and know what they are doing. The GM can always make exceptions to this rule such as allowing your party to shout to a group far in the valley below. However, the 1 Perception Skill per space scale should be assumed in most situations. As visibility gets worse, apply modifiers depending on the difficulty of whatever may be hindering the Perception Skill Checks. The GM will tell player characters what type of Perception Environmental Effects they are enduring. The effects are listed below.
Perception Skill modifications are calculated at 1 per space of distance. A calm, clear day would have no changes to normal Perception Skill.
Minor Environmental Effects
Perception Skill modifications are calculated at 5 per space of distance. Light fog, wind, or light rain would be situations that would make perception difficult.
Major Environmental Effects
Perception Skill modifications are calculated at 10 per space of distance. Darkness, driving rain, thick fog, or hurricane force winds are examples of Major EE.
Perception Skill Check Needed to Perceive Target
Important Note: Remember that all characters have a Passive score. This is whatever number they have in the skill +10. So even a character with a 0 bonus to Perception can still see 10 spaces away without issue during normal circumstances.
If the character that is hiding is found they can use an Action to attempt to hide once again.
The Perception Skill is a player skill that will be used all of the time. It is used heavily by the GM to determine “automatic” things that characters notice. It will also be used frequently when player want to find out more about what is happening in their Atomic RPG System campaign world. The is often one of the Skills that most players will put at least a little training into. The most used and most often referenced Skill in the Atomic RPG System is the Perception Skill.