Rules Notes

Trap Detection

Thieves can detect physical traps but not magical ones. Detecting magical traps requires the ability to Detect Magic. Thieves learn only the mechanics of physical traps. As an illustration, consider a thief who could somehow detect that a door is magically trapped to explode when touched. This same thief should also be able to detect when the door will dispense pizza, even though pizza is not a trap, because what the thief would be detecting is a magical effect triggered by touch. Thieves simply do not have this ability unless they are separately trained in the ways of magic.

A thief can detect subtle physical effects or alterations required by some magic, such as a nearly invisible rune written on a door or the lingering aroma of magic herbs. Such signs don't necessarily indicate traps, but to a well trained thief they could be obvious clues. Of course, such traces can also be left intentionally to slow thieves down.

Magic that confers the ability to detect traps works identically to a thief's normal training. A person or object so enchanted can detect physical but not magical traps, as competently as a thief at the same level as the spellcaster (for magic items, assume 12th level).