Searching an area roughly 10 by 10 feet allows each character a 1-in-6 chance of locating anything of interest. If time-keeping is important, this takes a turn.
If the test fails, the character is unable to locate anything, and may not search again.
A successful test locates one item, and permits another test. If there is nothing to be found, a successful test indicates to the character that the area is completely searched.
Note that this system does not bypass roleplay, but rather supplements it. If the players indicate that they search a specific item or piece of furnishing in the location, they will find anything to be located there, unless it is particularly carefully hidden..
The search test is used to locate items and information that may not be immediately obvious, isn't suspected to be present or has been overlooked overwise.
If traps are present, these should always be the first item to be located.
Example: The players declare they are searching a book shelf. They will automatically locate anything of interest in the book shelf.
A character observing an area will generally notice unusual events or occurrences that are not otherwise obvious, on a 2-in-6 chance. More active investigations, such as searching a person for hidden weapons may require the Search rule instead.