I can't seem to find anything in the rule book for how to do perception checks for the Palladium systems (Palladium Fantasy RPG, Rifts, Dead Reign, etc). How do you do them? Is there a base attribute that can provide bonuses for this?


4 Answers 4


The obvious base attribute is intelligence.

I'd recommend adopting the system used for stat check in Basic Role Playing (aka BRP, Chaosium's house system), especially given Palladium does not conform to the 3d6 for all stats.

Perception is IQ x 5 as a percentage. If you want to make something harder to perceive drop the 5 to a lower number. If they are trying to perceive a person hiding have both roll and the highest successful value succeeds. So someone with hide of 40% versus someone with an IQ of 12 (60% perception) could see the following:

Roll of 30 vs roll of 20: both succeed but the character is not seen. Roll of 40 vs roll of 41: both succeed but the character is seen...this shows and advantage of the system, higher skill gives you a better chance to beat the lower skill if both succeed.


Perception is covered in Palladium in 2 other products- Dead Reign and Rifts Unlimited Edition, page 367. To sum:

Roll on D20-
Easy: 4
Moderate: 8
Challenging: 14
Difficult: 17
Masterful: 19

Perception & Skills: Skills such as Prowl, Concealment, etc add to Perception. + 1 every 10 points of skill. Use common sense… prowl does not help in discovering a secret door.

Bonuses are from ME or IQ, depending on GM's preference- most use ME with the save vs. Psionics progression table.

cmcculloh adds some more Palladium references - Beyond the Supernatural, page 170:
Perception Table by Difficulty
4 or Better: An Easy Situation or Circumstance
8 and Better: Moderate
14 & Better: Challenging
17 & Better: Difficult
Taken from here: forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=263656 Also apparently rules in pg. 66-67 of the Nightbane RPG (palladium-megaverse.com/questions/noncombat.html)


Perception in the Palladium system is covered by a few products—Dead Reign, Rifts (Unlimited Ed., p. 367), Beyond the Supernatural (p. 170), Rifter (No. 13, p. 16), and Nightbane (pp. 66–67)—whose systems are similar but not 100% identical.

@killervp says, apparently based on Dead Reign,

Roll on D20. The perception check needs to roll above

Easy: 4+ for loud noises, bright colors, etc.
Moderate: 8+ for normal noises, finding people in well-lit area, etc.
Challenging: 14+ for one noise in a noisy area, finding things in poor light, etc.
Difficult: 17+ for very minor noises, finding things in the dark, etc.
Masterful: 19+ for well-concealed items, finding invisible things, etc.

Perception & Skills: Skills such as Prowl, Concealment, etc. add to Perception. + 1 for every 10 points of skill. Use common sense… prowl does not help in discovering a secret door.

Bonuses are from ME or IQ, depending on GM's preference—most use ME with the save vs. Psionics progression table.

@cmcculloh mentioned the Rifts and BtS versions, which are a little different:

Perception Table by Difficulty
4+: An Easy Situation or Circumstance, including hastily/poorly hidden items
8+: Moderate, including items hidden without much thought
14+: Challenging, including well-hidden, camouflaged, or masked items, finding things in fog or murky water, or if the searcher is distressed etc.
17+: Difficult, including masterfully hidden items, nearly silent movement, or people lost in a great crowd

The bonus is from the ME table but based on the IQ stat, provided it's 17+.

Rifter and the Palladium website both continue to refer to the earliest perception rules, contained in Nightbane, which say:

The four difficulty levels are like BtS.

The stat bonus is like BtS: it's from the ME table but based on the IQ stat.

Additionally, it mentions possible OCC/RCC bonuses and + 1 for every character at levels 3, 9, and 15.

Comparing perception against skills such as Prowl, Ambush, and Concealment is treated as a combat roll. The seeker uses the perception bonuses as above. The hider converts their skill into a bonus by dividing their % by 15, rounding down. (So a Prowl at 98% would roll d20 with a +6 bonus.)

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    – mxyzplk
    Jul 31, 2018 at 12:13

There are several methods you can use or adopt:

  • Roll 1D20 versus a target number set by the difficulty of detection.
  • Roll under a trait, such as intelligence
  • Derive a percentage from a stat or stats and apply modifiers set by the difficulty of detection. (as in BRP)
  • Determine by GM fiat what is or is not detected based on character traits and training, the conditions in the scene, and the needs of the story.

Key things to remember are that there are specific detection skills representing training for finding certain things (such as secret doors), and there are specific skills for stealth. Stealth-related skills, when rolled indicate success or failure and do not invite an opposed roll or other contest between two or more characters for detection.


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