Wondrous Item auto-reject advice #18: Item makes bearer unable to be lost


RPG Superstar™ 2011 General Discussion

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Contributor

(Last year I compiled a list of things that would instantly disqualify your item. I'm posting them one by one as we approach Round 1 of this year's contest.)

18. Your item means it's impossible for the bearer to become lost.

Every year we get several item submissions that prevent the bearer from becoming lost. Examples are maps that constantly update to show your current location, magical compasses that point at a user-defined landmark (often with distance indicated), devices for ships that do the same, and so on.

These items aren't good items because they take away a GM's ability to have any sort of adventure or encounter that relies on the PCs being lost (as in, "You're lost!," "No, we're exactly 230 miles south of Sothis, we just need to follow the coast up and we'll be home in no time"). They also take away the element of excitement and danger when PCs are exploring a new territory. In general, an item that eliminates an entire category of encounter/adventure premises aren't fun. Yes, they make life easier for the PCs because they know how to get back to where they were, but they take fun aspects out of the hands of the GM's hands. One, this means no smart GM will allow PCs to find this sort of item. Two, PCs able to craft magic items will pick this as a no-brainer item.

There's nothing wrong with an item that augments or relies on the other direction-finding elements in the game (such as pointing north, or using the Survival skill to track or follow a trail). But the items in this auto-reject category don't do that, they just say, "you can't get lost." And absolutes like that in game rules can have problematic consequences... especially when getting lost and/or wandering around the world/dungeon is sort of what adventurers do for a living. Anyway, we've seen this kind of item over and over... submitting another one isn't likely to appear innovative, cool, or clever.


At first, I was like "Man, what a weird item. Who would make that?" Then I thought back to the bad old days of the PC/DM arms-race. Yeah. I agree with this one wholeheartedly.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka Draconas

Now I'm glad I never submitted one of my alternate items for the 2009 edition of RPG Superstar: Mort's Infinite Atlas. It was book that could contain an unlimited number of maps, drew new maps of anything the bearer witnesses first-hand, could copy all the map(s) from any other atlas/paper it came into physical contact with, and rotated the maps on its pages based on the bearer's orientation with true north.

It would of fallen in more than a few Auto-reject piles.

Contributor

Ha, indeed, I think we rejected items that incorporated elements of that, yours would have been clonked three times over. ;)

In other words... good call. :)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Ha, indeed, I think we rejected items that incorporated elements of that, yours would have been clonked three times over. ;)

In other words... good call. :)

I get that Paizo has policies, but that reasoning is absurd to me. There are tons of items that take away "DM" functions. Take a simple Bag of Holding, which, in the hands of a novice DM, can prevent encounters that force the PCs to make a decision about what items to procure. I think an item like this could work in any situation. As presented its certainly at artifact level. But you can always do as they did with bags of holding and put limits to it to regulate mileage.

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Don DM wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Ha, indeed, I think we rejected items that incorporated elements of that, yours would have been clonked three times over. ;)

In other words... good call. :)

I get that Paizo has policies, but that reasoning is absurd to me. There are tons of items that take away "DM" functions. Take a simple Bag of Holding, which, in the hands of a novice DM, can prevent encounters that force the PCs to make a decision about what items to procure. I think an item like this could work in any situation. As presented its certainly at artifact level. But you can always do as they did with bags of holding and put limits to it to regulate mileage.

There is a huge difference between a “can’t get lost item” and a bag of holding or portable hole.

The group I currently game with has a portable hole, and we just finished a huge adventure where there was tons of treasure at the end. We literally had to choose what to put in the hole, and had to take out things like our barrels of food, water, and arrows.

A “can’t get lost item” hoses entire scenarios, encounters, and ideas.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I think the key thing to ask yourself with your item is:

Does this add to the fun or subtract from it?

Getting lost is fun. Getting to carry more loot is fun. Getting straight to the MacGuffin without having to seek out hints, legends, explore dungeons, etc. is Not Fun.

Contributor

Don DM wrote:
There are tons of items that take away "DM" functions. Take a simple Bag of Holding, which, in the hands of a novice DM, can prevent encounters that force the PCs to make a decision about what items to procure.

But I think you'll agree that "you are limited in what you can carry, and are forced to make hard choices about what items you bring with you" isn't a common plot of adventures or stories, yes?

Influencing player choices is fine for a magic item. Thwarting a plot style or an adventure hook is not.


I find "can't get lost" less offensive than, "I'm reading your mind.", "I know everything about a subject" and "We can (frequently) talk to each other no mater the distance" abilities, feats and/or items. Also, unlimited transportation can be difficult to deal with.

I'm running a high level game world where they "can" teleport, but run the risk of being thrown in to the plane of shadow (50/50). So, they usually choose to walk or ride eventhough 1/2 the group has Teleport handy. The cleric types keep Planeshift handy, just in case.

My thought on items, no mater how powerful, is that you can't out GM the GM. If the GM doesn't want something to work, then there is a way. It's just a pain for the GM and there's always the GM gotcha moments where he forgets the PCs have something that totally ruins his plans.

But, absolutes with items are generally bad... omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience should be left to the GM.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

My two-cents...

Spoiler:

This category kind of falls into an area where you risk breaking the game. And a Superstar item should be conscious of that possibility in its design choices and safeguard against it. Yes, it might seem cool to have an automapper...or an always-safe camping item...or an item that totally removes the need for sleep in order to recover spells...etc. But those hooks often serve a purpose in the plots of entire adventures. And creating items that remove those aspects of life from the game actually do more harm than good. Or, at the very least, they're far less Superstar than other items that avoid this pitfall.

As a designer, you want to strive for creating things that enhance gameplay. Not stuff that eliminates certain elements of gameplay. Yes, GMs are already saddled with plenty of spell effects that can threaten a plot arc. Telelportation, flying, mind reading, scrying...all of these things have the potential to "break" certain scenarios and situations. They sometimes have their place in a game. We have plenty of wondrous magic items that duplicate these types of effects. They're the kind of items that would be "good enough for a collected book of magic items"...but not "great enough for RPG Superstar."


--Neil


Neil Spicer wrote:

My two-cents...

** spoiler omitted **
--Neil

You took the words right out of my mouth.

It's good to see we can agree on some things. I was worried I was being too harsh/critical.

Contributor

Neil Spicer wrote:

My two-cents...

** spoiler omitted **
--Neil

I would think an item like that would be really cool if given a couple tweaks. For instance, it seems to work most of the time, but every once in a while it sends the party haring off to a totally random location, much like a compass needle becomes distorted by local magnetic variances.

Also, one would have to ask: who made this item? This might be an item created by a monster that creates trust in its bearers, right up to the point when it points them into its maw.

Star Voter Season 8

Colin McComb wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:

My two-cents...

** spoiler omitted **
--Neil

I would think an item like that would be really cool if given a couple tweaks. For instance, it seems to work most of the time, but every once in a while it sends the party haring off to a totally random location, much like a compass needle becomes distorted by local magnetic variances.

Also, one would have to ask: who made this item? This might be an item created by a monster that creates trust in its bearers, right up to the point when it points them into its maw.

I'm pretty sure I've seen that plot somewhere, actually...


Colin McComb wrote:
Also, one would have to ask: who made this item? This might be an item created by a monster that creates trust in its bearers, right up to the point when it points them into its maw.

I like that idea, although, "This item is really a plot hook and not a wondrous item" was an earlier auto-reject category, so I'm thinking, not Superstar although I might steal the idea for use in a game.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks. An item I am considering entering would have done this as a thematic side effect (not the core mechanic), now I know to drop that side effect.


This restriction seems weird, considering this spell exists:

Find the Path

Liberty's Edge

That's a high level spell, and one that does nothing at all to eliminate danger along the "path". Apples and Oranges, honestly.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 9 aka Zynete

Hyla Arborea wrote:

This restriction seems weird, considering this spell exists:

Find the Path

Even though that does run a bit counter to the advice given in this thread, but just because something is in the Core Rulebook does not mean that it is a good model for Superstar material.

As Neil Spicer said up near the top of the thread...

Neil Spicer wrote:
They're the kind of items that would be "good enough for a collected book of magic items"...but not "great enough for RPG Superstar."


Jeremiziah wrote:
That's a high level spell, and one that does nothing at all to eliminate danger along the "path". Apples and Oranges, honestly.

What, danger along the path? Nobody said anything about that.

I was referring to Mr. Reynolds reasoning, that...

Quote:


...in general, an item that eliminates an entire category of encounter/adventure premises aren't fun. Yes, they make life easier for the PCs because they know how to get back to where they were, but they take fun aspects out of the hands of the GM's hands. One, this means no smart GM will allow PCs to find this sort of item.

This, in my eyes, is a very questionable statement, since there is a spell (not at all high level, unless you consider level 11 high level) in the core rules that does exactly that.

The game also has teleport, detect [alignment], detect thoughts, speak with dead, create food and water, rope trick etc.... all of these spells eliminate standard encounter/adventure premises. This has been this way since the very beginning of the game. The trick is to work with that, keep these abilities in mind when designing challenges. In my eyes "getting lost" is a standard adventure premise for very low level characters at best. Price the item accordingly (so that its too expensive for low level characters) and you keep it that way.

That a "you can't get lost" item is not very creative/clever is on another page. Its more than fair to warn contestants that such an item is not considered worthy RPG Superstar material. I just found the particular explanation odd.

Contributor

There are a lot of magical things in the game that destroy low-level plots (such as "you are lost"). Deliberately creating an item which has the primary purpose of eliminating one of them is bad game design.

Also, high-level characters can get lost, too. Teleports go awry. Planar travel sends you places you've never been, or to places where the geography is mutable. Automapping magic items IMMEDIATELY thwart getting lost, even for these characters.

"Oh no, we teleported to the Abyss!"
"No worries, my map of cheating lameness shows we're right here, and right over there is a mountain with a portal back to Absalom. It's traveling west a five miles per day, but we can easily catch it with a combination of teleport and overland flight."
"Thank the gods that we won't be wandering around looking for an exit or forced to have dialogue with local creatures to find our way home!"

Lame.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, I guess my line of reasoning, known heretofore only to me, was that getting lost isn't really too terrible of a thing when compared with the dangers that you're liable to encounter in the process of getting un-lost. Not knowing precisely where you are is rarely fatal, it's usually merely inconvenient. However, the Hydra that has it's lair located between where you are and where you need to be IS sometimes fatal. Find The Path is going to tell you to go right through that Hydra lair, so while it eliminates the inconvenience, it does nothing to eliminate the problem.

That's what I meant, anyway.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Actually, from a GM's point of view Wayfinder is an example of a good 'not lost' item.

Who holds Wayfinder finds good roads
Its master's step is brisk.
The Sword of Wisdom lightens loads
But adds unto their risk.

Spoiler:
To use Sean's map of cheating lameness example above, Wayfinder *will* point them to how to get out of the abyss. In Wayfinder's case, it would point the bearer to the correct runestones to activate the portal, then to the bribes needed for the guards, then finally to the portal. It won't point to a patch of 'abyssal crunchberriess' right next to it if they're the needed bribe. It will point you to a pantry of a vrock cook you need to bargin/defeat to get it from. Wayfinder is the ultimate "Well DM, where do you want us to go" item. If you try teleport you might pop right past the crunchberries then turn around and go back. It's an item that gets you out, but not bypass the adventure.

If Wayfinder was used in Descent into Midnight, for example, and told 'how do we break the master glyph?' it's going to point to each of the lesser glyphs, with the renewal glyph being first. The sword/DM can lead the players to each of the other glyphs, but will be through the most difficult way, before they confront the master glyph.

Edit: Wayfinder breaks other rules though. Fluff qutote, not a wondrous item, ill defined mechanics, (define 'most risky' or 'what you need'), IP violation (and the name 'wayfinder' has a specific meaning in Golarion), unclear how often it is used. So it's a bad example of a woundrous item, a good example of a 'find me what I need item'


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

There are a lot of magical things in the game that destroy low-level plots (such as "you are lost"). Deliberately creating an item which has the primary purpose of eliminating one of them is bad game design.

Also, high-level characters can get lost, too. Teleports go awry. Planar travel sends you places you've never been, or to places where the geography is mutable. Automapping magic items IMMEDIATELY thwart getting lost, even for these characters.

"Oh no, we teleported to the Abyss!"
"No worries, my map of cheating lameness shows we're right here, and right over there is a mountain with a portal back to Absalom. It's traveling west a five miles per day, but we can easily catch it with a combination of teleport and overland flight."
"Thank the gods that we won't be wandering around looking for an exit or forced to have dialogue with local creatures to find our way home!"

Lame.

Well, thats your opinion. Patfinder/3E certainly supports play styles where even accidently teleporting into the Abyss is no big deal.

Liberty's Edge

For the purposes of this contest, though (specifically the "create a wonderous item" round), you'd surely have to agree that Sean's opinion is one of only a handful that actually matter.


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Jeremiziah wrote:
For the purposes of this contest, though (specifically the "create a wonderous item" round), you'd surely have to agree that Sean's opinion is one of only a handful that actually matter.

Of course. Though I have to admit that it puts me slightly off that one of the most important Paizo employees in official function as contest judge calls certain playstyles that are completely within the published rules (see Matthew Morrises posting) "cheating" and "lame".

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Hyla Arborea wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
For the purposes of this contest, though (specifically the "create a wonderous item" round), you'd surely have to agree that Sean's opinion is one of only a handful that actually matter.
Of course. Though I have to admit that it puts me slightly off that one of the most important Paizo employees in official function as contest judge calls certain playstyles that are completely within the published rules (see Matthew Morrises posting) "cheating" and "lame".

Hey, leave me out of your argument!

Seriously, Wayfinder points to an exit. How easy to get to it, what hazzards lay between you and it, and other factors can't be bypassed.

Compare a Pathfinder's wayfinder to the map of lame. The wayfinder gives a +4 to survival by pointing north. (Rod of lordly might does something similar) Wayfinder says 'what you need to get out, this way!' (and doesn't guarentee a safe way out) neither keep you from getting lost, nor do they tell you 'exit from hell, 2.45 miles away, watch your step!' like Sean's example does.


Matthew Morris wrote:


Compare a Pathfinder's wayfinder to the map of lame. The wayfinder gives a +4 to survival by pointing north. (Rod of lordly might does something similar) Wayfinder says 'what you need to get out, this way!' (and doesn't guarentee a safe way out) neither keep you from getting lost, nor do they tell you 'exit from hell, 2.45 miles away, watch your step!' like Sean's example does.

It could be argued that a wayfinder is even better for getting out of hell than a "magic map".

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There's a spell from Spell Compendium (I know, I know) that has caused me no end of pain in my campaign, and that's lay of the land.

So, at any point, at any location, a player with this spell can insist on a 50-mile radius map of the area showing all known locations and major landmarks in that area, including known ruins.

Yeah. That doesn't bring the game to a screeching halt.

Thankfully the player who has it DMs as much as I do and is kind to me.

Note: this spell is Bard 4/Druid 4/Ranger 1. Ranger 1! Sheesh.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

Actually, from a GM's point of view Wayfinder is an example of a good 'not lost' item.

Who holds Wayfinder finds good roads
Its master's step is brisk.
The Sword of Wisdom lightens loads
But adds unto their risk.

** spoiler omitted **

Edit: Wayfinder breaks other rules though. Fluff qutote, not a wondrous item, ill defined mechanics, (define 'most risky' or 'what you need'), IP violation (and the name 'wayfinder' has a specific meaning in Golarion), unclear how often it is used. So it's a bad example of a woundrous item, a good example of a 'find me what I need item'

This is the first reference to "The Books of Swords" I've seen in a decade. Kudos sir.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

When you're *creating* adventures—professionally or not—your goal should generally be to design interesting and challenging things for players to do.

When you're *playing* adventures, your goal involves finding ways around those challenges.

If you design an item that's all about bypassing the challenges an adventurer finds, you're thinking more like a player than a GM.

Good writers need to think more like GMs when they're writing. Show us you can do that.


gbonehead wrote:


So, at any point, at any location, a player with this spell can insist on a 50-mile radius map of the area showing all known locations and major landmarks in that area, including known ruins.

Yeah. That doesn't bring the game to a screeching halt.

I can see that this is highly problematic due to the amount of improvised information that the GM is forced to produce. I have to admit that I'd probably disallow this spell in my game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So no items that prevent players from being railroaded got it.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Shortstraw wrote:
So no items that prevent players from being railroaded got it.

Congratulations. That's so completely not what this category of advice was about. You've made an interesting interpretation, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In your own words "But those hooks often serve a purpose in the plots of entire adventures". Remember rule #3 the game is the story of the heroes and should be determined by their choices NOT having story arcs thrust upon them.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Shortstraw wrote:
In your own words "But those hooks often serve a purpose in the plots of entire adventures".

Strangely enough, that's called quoting out of context.

Example:

Shortstraw wrote:
So ... items that prevent ... being railroaded got it.

Congratualtions, 'in your own words' you've just 'said' that this entire thread says items that prevent being railroaded are superstar items.

Neil's own words, with more context

Guy who knows what he's talking about wrote:
Yes, it might seem cool to have an automapper...or an always-safe camping item...or an item that totally removes the need for sleep in order to recover spells...etc. But those hooks often serve a purpose in the plots of entire adventures. And creating items that remove those aspects of life from the game actually do more harm than good.

(Emphasis mine)

If you choose to misunderstand the advice given, it's no harm to me. Heck it's no harm to Neil, Sean, or Ryan. well no harm than the time lost to read half the entry, yawn, and say 'rejected'.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Shortstraw wrote:
Remember rule #3 the game is the story of the heroes and should be determined by their choices NOT having story arcs thrust upon them.

This is an argument around playstyles, and it's not a debate that's germane to RPG Superstar, so I won't perpetuate it. Interpret this advice however you like. And best of luck in the competition.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes I read the context and I believe (and yes you are right it is about play styles) that this sort of item doesn't hurt the DM (always ways to get players where you want them) but gives players the illusion of choice. But I suppose that avoiding getting lost is a rather bland effect for a wondrous item to have so it isn't really shiny enough for the competition.


I find this an odd complaint as well. How are we defining "makes bearer unable to get lost?" Do you mean "find the path" or do you mean "TomTom's Magic Map?"
Also, what crazy campaign has "getting lost" as a viable plot hook? Because once you hit like level 10 or something, that's a nonstarter without a ridiculous and arbitrary set of magical bindings.

DM: "You teleport to the middle of a forest, you don't know where you are or how to get out."
PC: "I teleport back to my house."
DM: "All teleportation is blocked."
PC: "I attempt to scry on some other location."
DM: "You get snow."
PC: "I cast Find the Path."
DM: "It points you to where you are currently."
PC: "Well this is stupid."

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:

I find this an odd complaint as well. How are we defining "makes bearer unable to get lost?" Do you mean "find the path" or do you mean "TomTom's Magic Map?"

Also, what crazy campaign has "getting lost" as a viable plot hook? Because once you hit like level 10 or something, that's a nonstarter without a ridiculous and arbitrary set of magical bindings.

DM: "You teleport to the middle of a forest, you don't know where you are or how to get out."
PC: "I teleport back to my house."
DM: "All teleportation is blocked."
PC: "I attempt to scry on some other location."
DM: "You get snow."
PC: "I cast Find the Path."
DM: "It points you to where you are currently."
PC: "Well this is stupid."

Find the path has limitations. You have some idea of what you are looking for. And even so, find the path only points you in a direction. It doesn't tell you about the cliff you gotta climb or go around, or the magical forest of confusion, and doesn't show you all the pitfalls and such that might be in the way.

Sure, it helps you find what you are looking for. But if all you know is... "some evil is happening in the middle of the fog-enshrouded magical forest" and you are going to check it out... you can't very well cast find the path to lead you to it. A Druid has a couple spells at higher levels that could help, but you still have to be within a certain proximity. Before you get within that proximity, you could end up horribly lost in the fog.

Sure, you could teleport out and go home. But how does that help you find the evil? Your at home, not searching the forest for evil.

You could also scry on the forest, but without a particular creature to scry upon (remember, you scry creatures, not locations... that's how the spell works) you won't get very far.

But with a magical map, you would know where the evil is, walk right to it, and take it out.

Yes, there are spells that help you when you are lost, or don't know where to go. But there aren't any spells that completely and utterly take away the chance of getting lost.


Andrew Christian wrote:


Find the path has limitations. You have some idea of what you are looking for. And even so, find the path only points you in a direction. It doesn't tell you about the cliff you gotta climb or go around, or the magical forest of confusion, and doesn't show you all the pitfalls and such that might be in the way.

Not explicitly no. But it does "indicating at appropriate times the [...] physical actions to take."

Quote:

Sure, it helps you find what you are looking for. But if all you know is... "some evil is happening in the middle of the fog-enshrouded magical forest" and you are going to check it out... you can't very well cast find the path to lead you to it. A Druid has a couple spells at higher levels that could help, but you still have to be within a certain proximity. Before you get within that proximity, you could end up horribly lost in the fog.

Sure, you could teleport out and go home. But how does that help you find the evil? Your at home, not searching the forest for evil.

You could also scry on the forest, but without a particular creature to scry upon (remember, you scry creatures, not locations... that's how the spell works) you won't get very far.

But with a magical map, you would know where the evil is, walk right to it, and take it out.

You are obviously trying to play off my example when you don't seem to understand what it is. My example was about getting out of someplace you would be "lost" in - the forest you suddenly found yourself it, not finding any particular thing in said forest (find the path would lead you to the nearest exit from the forest if so desired).

Quote:
But there aren't any spells that completely and utterly take away the chance of getting lost.

Find the Path means you are not lost for the duration of the spell. That means, giving infinite time (cast the spell max times, rest, repeat), you will eventually not be lost. "Being lost" is not a plot hook above low-mid levels, and it is probably already sketchy then.

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:


Find the path has limitations. You have some idea of what you are looking for. And even so, find the path only points you in a direction. It doesn't tell you about the cliff you gotta climb or go around, or the magical forest of confusion, and doesn't show you all the pitfalls and such that might be in the way.

Not explicitly no. But it does "indicating at appropriate times the [...] physical actions to take."

Quote:

Sure, it helps you find what you are looking for. But if all you know is... "some evil is happening in the middle of the fog-enshrouded magical forest" and you are going to check it out... you can't very well cast find the path to lead you to it. A Druid has a couple spells at higher levels that could help, but you still have to be within a certain proximity. Before you get within that proximity, you could end up horribly lost in the fog.

Sure, you could teleport out and go home. But how does that help you find the evil? Your at home, not searching the forest for evil.

You could also scry on the forest, but without a particular creature to scry upon (remember, you scry creatures, not locations... that's how the spell works) you won't get very far.

But with a magical map, you would know where the evil is, walk right to it, and take it out.

You are obviously trying to play off my example when you don't seem to understand what it is. My example was about getting out of someplace you would be "lost" in - the forest you suddenly found yourself it, not finding any particular thing in said forest (find the path would lead you to the nearest exit from the forest if so desired).

Quote:
But there aren't any spells that completely and utterly take away the chance of getting lost.
Find the Path means you are not lost for the duration of the spell. That means, giving infinite time (cast the spell max times, rest, repeat), you will eventually not be lost. "Being lost" is not a plot hook above low-mid levels,...

I think your understanding of the spell is flawed. The only instance you can use "get outta here" as your "location" for the spell, is if under the effects of a maze spell. Otherwise you must pick a prominent location. The example given in the spell is that a hunter's cabin would not be prominent enough, while a logging camp would be.

Exit to a forest would fall in the hunter's cabin category. And you can't assume that your Bard, Cleric, or Druid would have all their 6th level spells memorized as find the path on the day they get lost. So they will spend at least a night lost prior to re-memorizing spells.

Additionally, you can cause problems with using find the path if the magical forest is a pocket dimension that is not part of the prime material. That means you won’t find any path to outside of the forest with this spell.

Finally, a Cleric or Druid would have to be 11th level Druid or Cleric or 12th level Bard to get 6th level spells, and then at best you’d have maybe 2 at that level depending on ability bonuses. With those two, you’d have 220 minutes of walking this found path, which is just under 4 hours, and probably not enough time at moving ¾ to ½ speed through the dense underbrush or ¼ for the fog-enshrouded forest. Even with fly and wind walk… do you want to go flying at 60 miles an hour when you can only see 5 feet? You are bound to get way lost that way.


Andrew Christian wrote:
I think your understanding of the spell is flawed. The only instance you can use "get outta here" as your "location" for the spell, is if under the effects of a maze spell. Otherwise you must pick a prominent location. The example given in the spell is that a hunter's cabin would not be prominent enough, while a logging camp would be.

Let's be frank for the moment - the spell is everywhere. How, exactly, is a logging camp more prominent than a hunter's cabin? Is it that it is BIGGER? Certainly. Is it more specific? Not at all. And if we assume that your reading is correct, then why does it effect maze at all other than for an arbitrary reason? "Get me out of this maze" isn't exactly a "prominent" location. My interpretation is that the location must be specific enough to actually find. "Hunter's cabin." Hunter better be a proper noun or you aren't going anywhere. "The closest exit from this forest I am currently standing in" is a very specific location and destination. Perhaps "outside this forest" is prominent enough.

Quote:
You are bound to get way lost that way.

Good thing I have this magic spell... *restart*

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I think your understanding of the spell is flawed. The only instance you can use "get outta here" as your "location" for the spell, is if under the effects of a maze spell. Otherwise you must pick a prominent location. The example given in the spell is that a hunter's cabin would not be prominent enough, while a logging camp would be.

Let's be frank for the moment - the spell is everywhere. How, exactly, is a logging camp more prominent than a hunter's cabin? Is it that it is BIGGER? Certainly. Is it more specific? Not at all. And if we assume that your reading is correct, then why does it effect maze at all other than for an arbitrary reason? "Get me out of this maze" isn't exactly a "prominent" location. My interpretation is that the location must be specific enough to actually find. "Hunter's cabin." Hunter better be a proper noun or you aren't going anywhere. "The closest exit from this forest I am currently standing in" is a very specific location and destination. Perhaps "outside this forest" is prominent enough.

Quote:
You are bound to get way lost that way.
Good thing I have this magic spell... *restart*

Um, dude, go read the Pathfinder Reference Document for the exact write up of this spell for the Pathfinder game.

The example I gave you is verbatim...


Andrew Christian wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I think your understanding of the spell is flawed. The only instance you can use "get outta here" as your "location" for the spell, is if under the effects of a maze spell. Otherwise you must pick a prominent location. The example given in the spell is that a hunter's cabin would not be prominent enough, while a logging camp would be.

Let's be frank for the moment - the spell is everywhere. How, exactly, is a logging camp more prominent than a hunter's cabin? Is it that it is BIGGER? Certainly. Is it more specific? Not at all. And if we assume that your reading is correct, then why does it effect maze at all other than for an arbitrary reason? "Get me out of this maze" isn't exactly a "prominent" location. My interpretation is that the location must be specific enough to actually find. "Hunter's cabin." Hunter better be a proper noun or you aren't going anywhere. "The closest exit from this forest I am currently standing in" is a very specific location and destination. Perhaps "outside this forest" is prominent enough.

Quote:
You are bound to get way lost that way.
Good thing I have this magic spell... *restart*

Um, dude, go read the Pathfinder Reference Document for the exact write up of this spell for the Pathfinder game.

The example I gave you is verbatim...

Did you read my reply? "Prominent" whether the spell says it or you quote the spell saying it is not a well-defined term how it is provided.

And fine, say my interpretation is still wrong. As long as the player is not inside a pocket dimension or some other place with literally no exit, simply naming something not inside the area the player is in causes the spell to provide the player with direction on how to exit their current "lost" situation. You may end up taking the long way out of the spooky forest, but you aren't going to be lost in it.

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I think your understanding of the spell is flawed. The only instance you can use "get outta here" as your "location" for the spell, is if under the effects of a maze spell. Otherwise you must pick a prominent location. The example given in the spell is that a hunter's cabin would not be prominent enough, while a logging camp would be.

Let's be frank for the moment - the spell is everywhere. How, exactly, is a logging camp more prominent than a hunter's cabin? Is it that it is BIGGER? Certainly. Is it more specific? Not at all. And if we assume that your reading is correct, then why does it effect maze at all other than for an arbitrary reason? "Get me out of this maze" isn't exactly a "prominent" location. My interpretation is that the location must be specific enough to actually find. "Hunter's cabin." Hunter better be a proper noun or you aren't going anywhere. "The closest exit from this forest I am currently standing in" is a very specific location and destination. Perhaps "outside this forest" is prominent enough.

Quote:
You are bound to get way lost that way.
Good thing I have this magic spell... *restart*

Um, dude, go read the Pathfinder Reference Document for the exact write up of this spell for the Pathfinder game.

The example I gave you is verbatim...

Did you read my reply? "Prominent" whether the spell says it or you quote the spell saying it is not a well-defined term how it is provided.

And fine, say my interpretation is still wrong. As long as the player is not inside a pocket dimension or some other place with literally no exit, simply naming something not inside the area the player is in causes the spell to provide the player with direction on how to exit their current "lost" situation. You may end up taking the long way out of the spooky forest, but you aren't going to be lost in it.

As for the part about maze, this is just showing how find the path interacts with maze. You can’t extrapolate this usage to non-spell situations such as being in the middle of a forest.

So perhaps the exit of a forest could be construed as prominent. I’d agree with that. After all, the forest itself is prominent, so the edge of the forest should be as well. So now you get a path to the edge of the forest that is closest to you. Oh look, that edge borders a swamp. Now you are lost in a swamp. You cast your spell, and the closest exit is back into the forest you just came from.

Sure, you could be in the forest, and knowing that a city is south of it, ask for a path to the city. But you still have to travel through the forest and you won’t know what is between you and the exit.

Additionally, while you may not be lost because you always know “north” so to speak, you can be lost within proximity of where you are. Yes, the word “lost” can take on different meanings based on the level of the group that is “lost”.

Finally, what happens if you teleport into a forest, and you don’t know geographically where the forest is? You scryed on some guy and teleported into his location. Sure, you could teleport out again after handling it. But any GM worth their salt is probably not going to have this be the climax to the “find-it” adventure. You’ll get a clue at this dude on where to go next.

Then what? You don’t have a prominent location to use find the path and no creature to scry upon… so what now? You know you gotta go north into the forest… but… well… you could easily get lost.


Andrew Christian wrote:
Sure, you could be in the forest, and knowing that a city is south of it, ask for a path to the city. But you still have to travel through the forest and you won’t know what is between you and the exit.

But you aren't lost.

Quote:
Yes, the word “lost” can take on different meanings based on the level of the group that is “lost”.

Which goes back to my original question. How specific is "unable to be lost?"

Liberty's Edge Dedicated Voter Season 6

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Sure, you could be in the forest, and knowing that a city is south of it, ask for a path to the city. But you still have to travel through the forest and you won’t know what is between you and the exit.

But you aren't lost.

Quote:
Yes, the word “lost” can take on different meanings based on the level of the group that is “lost”.
Which goes back to my original question. How specific is "unable to be lost?"

You are defining not being lost, in that you always know the direction of where you need to go.

I am saying that you can be lost, even with the navigation arrow pointing you in the correct direction.

Do you know where in the forest you are?

Do you know what’s around you?

How far do you have to go?

Do you know what’s between you and your destination?

All those are ingredients of being lost, and add to the adventure.

As for the term “prominent”, well yes, of course it is up to the GM to rule what is and is not prominent.

To me, and by the example in the spell write-up, prominent means well known or large enough to be on a regional map.


Andrew Christian wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Sure, you could be in the forest, and knowing that a city is south of it, ask for a path to the city. But you still have to travel through the forest and you won’t know what is between you and the exit.

But you aren't lost.

Quote:
Yes, the word “lost” can take on different meanings based on the level of the group that is “lost”.
Which goes back to my original question. How specific is "unable to be lost?"

You are defining not being lost, in that you always know the direction of where you need to go.

I am saying that you can be lost, even with the navigation arrow pointing you in the correct direction.

I would say that you had been saying you are lost if you don't know where you are supposed to go.

Quote:

Do you know where in the forest you are?

Do you know what’s around you?

How far do you have to go?

Do you know what’s between you and your destination?

All those are ingredients of being lost, and add to the adventure.

Sure, I suppose that constitutes being lost in one sense. But a couple of those may relate to the adventure and be wholly irrelevant to being lost - like distance to travel and hazards along the way.

But not knowing where you are and what's around you immediately can be addressed in short order by anyone high enough level to cast find the path.

Quote:

To me, and by the example in the spell write-up, prominent means well known or large enough to be on a regional map.

Which has its own problems given the spell's examples but that's neither here nor there.

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This thread is going in a great direction!

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Jeremiziah wrote:
This thread is going in a great direction!

lol!

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