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For long time, in our group whenever the players set "we take time to search the room and search the bodies" I gave the all the information.

Now we are going to play a published adventure (The Unliving Light) and the adventure sometimes says that the information should be revealed "when the players move a body" or "on a successful DC15 Perception check".

I wonder if this is important. what can I do to switch to this style of exploration? or is this a minor enough source of the fun of a published adventure that I should not bother changing the way we approach searching rooms?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Miniman, Thomas Jacobs, Oblivious Sage, Bloodcinder, Tritium21 Mar 17 '17 at 3:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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This need not change your play at all.

First, note that players aren't the one to decide when a skill check--perception or otherwise--should be rolled. (See PHB p.174 "The DM calls for a check..." and DMG p.237 for much more on the subject.)

With that established, you--the GM--simply need to decide when it's appropriate to call for a Perception check. If your players say "we search the room and search the bodies," it seems to me that would undoubtedly trigger the auto-success suggested by the authors. If they only said "we search the room" perhaps you call for the check: the implication of a failure is that Lazy McBardalot's dainty toe-nudge at the body wasn't enough to reveal the MacGuffin.

Going forward...

Read the DMG at p.237 a few times, then maybe even read Angry GM's 5 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Skill System (warning: rude and vulgar language mixed in with excellent analysis). You'll learn that checks are for when an outcome is uncertain. You already know these players, so you can easily interpret their self-narration as a casual, moderate, or exhaustive search. Depending on the situation you can decide that a casual search would never reveal the secret compartment (impossible=no check), has an outside chance (DC=20, perhaps), probably will (DC=10, perhaps), or is sure to (guaranteed=no check).

Whatever you do, don't let it slow you down or gum you up. Look at the skills your players have taken proficiency in as signposts as to what they like being good at. Consider how their proficiency (or expertise!) would interact with your setting, and occasionally call for a check.

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It's down to you. If players narrate that their characters will do something, you pick the skill (unless its an auto success). They roll and the results will differ.

If they're searching the room, they will automatically notice obvious things (e.g. one chair is broken) but not the less obvious things (e.g. there are footsteps leading up to the chest, but no footsteps leading away).

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