Find the Path


Combat & Magic

Liberty's Edge

As stated in the PDF, this spell can be a game-breaker. It could possibly even allow characters to skip large portions of adventures or campaigns. How can this be fixed without rendering it useless?

My suggestion would be to make it work only if the destination is within a set distance. I'm not sure exactly how far, but perhaps it could vary with level.


[Insert Neat Username Here] wrote:

As stated in the PDF, this spell can be a game-breaker. It could possibly even allow characters to skip large portions of adventures or campaigns. How can this be fixed without rendering it useless?

My suggestion would be to make it work only if the destination is within a set distance. I'm not sure exactly how far, but perhaps it could vary with level.

How about a flat one mile? Pretty powerful, but won't allow the party to travel to a distant location an impossible distance away.

Liberty's Edge

Indeed. A mile should work well.


By the time you have 6th level spells you are quite powerful. Divination spells let you SEE whats coming up, Find the Path was just the next step.

If you limit the ORIGINAL spell to a single mile I would be fine with it, maybe increase the level to 7 or 8 for balance reasons.

If they run with the version listed in A2 then increase the duration to hour/day per level..? 10/level isn't long enough to travel to where you are going by a long way. As far as I see this spell is a non-teleport way of getting to your next adventure rather than bypassing issues inside it so its duration should reflect that.

Scarab Sages

Why not keep the spell as written for PRPG (or even 3.X) and add the following line:

Material Component/Divine Focus: A map or ancient tome that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location of the spell.

Simple, backwards compatable, and still allows the benefit of the spell without neglecting roleplay or adventure time.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Jal Dorak wrote:

Why not keep the spell as written for PRPG (or even 3.X) and add the following line:

Material Component/Divine Focus: A map or ancient tome that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location of the spell.

Simple, backwards compatable, and still allows the benefit of the spell without neglecting roleplay or adventure time.

That's a rather clever solution. (But don't forget to add a minimum gp value to that map or tome to prevent casters from circumventing it with Eschew Materials.)


I don't really mind Find the Path, and I don't see it as a game breaker. Even from that perspective, I like the idea of requiring an object from the named destination as a focus for Find the Path! I don't think it should just be a tome or scroll with the location, but any sufficiently valuable object from the target.

Finding the focus becomes the hook, and part of the adventure. Also, if you're using Find the Path to get out of something, you're already loaded down with foci. Out of the maze spell? Back to the surface?

I do have a concern about the focus on "large" in the Rules as Written. I forsee much hairsplitting. How about some sort of noun test - you can find your way to the outermost noun, but not the inner nouns? Forest of Despair, yes. Tree of Plot, no. Keep on the Borderlands, yes. Keep Treasury, no. Secret Entrance to said Keep, no.

The way I interpret Find the Path is that you can't find your way to any place as defined by a person or an object. Find the Path to the "Forester's Hut" wouldn't work any more than "This dragon's hoard" or "the nearest staff of the magi". Find the Path to the nearest hut would work, though, because it's a place and not a thing.

Scarab Sages

Many good points. Revision below:

Focus: An object that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location, or any object that has been at the target location for at least one year. The focus must have a value of at least 1gp.


tergiver wrote:

I don't really mind Find the Path, and I don't see it as a game breaker. Even from that perspective, I like the idea of requiring an object from the named destination as a focus for Find the Path! I don't think it should just be a tome or scroll with the location, but any sufficiently valuable object from the target.

Finding the focus becomes the hook, and part of the adventure. Also, if you're using Find the Path to get out of something, you're already loaded down with foci. Out of the maze spell? Back to the surface?

I do have a concern about the focus on "large" in the Rules as Written. I forsee much hairsplitting. How about some sort of noun test - you can find your way to the outermost noun, but not the inner nouns? Forest of Despair, yes. Tree of Plot, no. Keep on the Borderlands, yes. Keep Treasury, no. Secret Entrance to said Keep, no.

The way I interpret Find the Path is that you can't find your way to any place as defined by a person or an object. Find the Path to the "Forester's Hut" wouldn't work any more than "This dragon's hoard" or "the nearest staff of the magi". Find the Path to the nearest hut would work, though, because it's a place and not a thing.

I like the sound of that- though I would allow certain DM discretion regarding the "complexity level" of the directions, for instance going up on a sliding scale: and open plain, a forest, a city; with each level of complexity the distance the spell is effective over substantially diminishes, perhaps to the point of uselessness.

The point being that it shouldn't end up as a mythical version of Mapquest.
Just put it down to the nature of Divination itself.

Liberty's Edge

While I don;'t have a specific 'fix', I do want to say I am for casting cure light wounds on it and salvaging it, some of the ideas above are good. Or some locations, due to some effect, may just be immune.

-DM Jeff

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

In my experience, find the path + wind walk = skip to the end of the adventure, and any adventures I made at levels those spells were available HAD TO take their effect into account. Adventure design would be a lot simpler if this spell just died. There are plenty of other divination spells to help stuck parties, this spell is just lazy.

Again, let it die. Please.


Jal Dorak wrote:

Why not keep the spell as written for PRPG (or even 3.X) and add the following line:

Material Component/Divine Focus: A map or ancient tome that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location of the spell.

Simple, backwards compatable, and still allows the benefit of the spell without neglecting roleplay or adventure time.

This is a good idea. I would add a simple idea from Teleport spell: "You can cast Find the Path to reach the location you have seen at least once. Alternatively, you can cast the spell if you possess a map or ancient tome that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location."

I would also elaborate the trap-avoiding and secret door-showing effect of the spell:

"The spell enables the subject to sense the correct direction that will eventually lead to the destination, indicating at appropriate times the exact path to follow or physical actions to take. The spell does not impart any knowledge about codes or spells to be spoken. It does not warn of any dangers in the way, provided that they can be avoided, nor shows how to avoid them. Accordingly, the subject will be shown secret door and its trigger or the codes to enter. He will not be learn any phrases etc which should be spoken, nor he will be warned that the door is trapped. The spell will not lead into unavoidable danger. The spell ends when the destination is reached or the duration expires, whichever comes first. Find the path can be used to remove the subject and its companions from the effect of a maze spell in a single round.
This divination is keyed to the recipient, not its companions, and its effect does not predict or allow for the actions of creatures (including guardians)."


This is a GREAT thread. Jal Dorak's focus idea not only ameliorates a potentially game-breaking mechanic, but actually adds to the ongoing adventure (part 1, find your focus; part 2, travel to the location) -- and being able to do both things by adding one line of text is a very impressive feat. Meepo's catch on Eschew Materials was awesome; I would certainly have missed that.

I'd personally like to take baduin's limitations a step further, and have the spell let you know there's "something" up ahead -- a hazard or barrier -- but you'd know nothing about the nature of the obstacle or how to overcome it without resorting to additional divination spells (legend lore, divination, or whatever). This lets the GM add cool atmosphere like, "With the dragon dead, you realize the First Veil you were warned of has been pierced. The Second and Third Veils still lie ahead..."


Jal Dorak, that is an extremely simple and elegant solution. My hat is off to you.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
Focus: An object that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location, or any object that has been at the target location for at least one year. The focus must have a value of at least 1gp.

Hmm, how long ago would the item have to have been at the target location? If you take a look in any museum, you will see lots of valuable items that have been in all kinds of legendary locations. Would such an item be able to lead you to all of the locations? the last one only?

Would add a new bonus feature to that magic sword from "Atlantis" or any other mythical lost location.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

[Insert Neat Username Here] wrote:
My suggestion would be to make it work only if the destination is within a set distance. I'm not sure exactly how far, but perhaps it could vary with level.

This is like getting rid of Magic Missile. Find the Path is a quintessential D&D spell. Getting rid of it or making it worthless (like 1 mile radius) is killing the flavour. You shouldn't need to change it.

If the DM doesn't want players finding the path to lost cities, then he needs to not have lost cities that need to be found or he needs to place them on the other side of a portal to another plane (which find the path would immediately fail.)

Find the Path shouldn't cause any problems for your games and to remove the spell is a bad action. To nerf the spell is also bad, since it is a Divination spell and should be powerful enough to find unknown things. It isn't like 11th level casters are a dime a dozen, so it may be that all the 11th level NPCs don't care to find the hidden location.

Also, the location needs to be unique and not centered on someone/creature.

I don't think it should have a material component (even a 0 gp one.)

Also the comment about Air Walk/Find the Path to skip a adventure, then why are you handing out so much information that they know where to go to next? If you have done so, then way are you unhappy they are doing what you in essence told them to do? What I mean is they need to know where to go by name (I want to go to the city of Iperhen; I want to go to some place I know from a Scrying or other vision.)

Or you could even use the spell in your adventures by giving them a vision of the site and expecting them to use Find the Path.

Making it only work on places they have visited or they have intimate knowledge makes the spell a duplicate (and less effective) of Teleport.


Find the Path needs to stay, and it needs to stay effective.

A material component specified should be less specific than a *map*, etc., which makes the whole point of the spell kinda pointless.

I've seen this spell be used quite powerfully, and I've seen it be used quite inventively. The "brokenness" of Find the Path, so far as skipping in-between parts, is to me far less than that of Teleport (or Scry/Teleport).

I like the changes made to it in Alpha 2, and think they are sufficient.

Majuba casts, 'Heal', on Find the Path.


1) Work just like 3.5 when going to a place you've been, so you can always get un-lost, find a way out of the dungeon, etc.

2) Require a Knowledge (Geography) or Knowledge (Local) check to specify the destination accurately enough for the spell to know where to lead you if you haven't been there. Otherwise it leads you somewhere similar.

The justification on this is that the spell tries to lead you to the place you mean. The less clear your understanding of the place, the more likely it is your meaning is confused, and find the path is more likely to lead you to a "wrong" place that more closely matches your mental image. DC bonuses for objects from that place or maps to it. Maybe you're led to the ruins of Troy or Petra instead of the ruins of Iram, for example.

(Teleport needs its own fix to kill off scry-and-die, yes.)


see wrote:
2) Require a Knowledge (Geography) or Knowledge (Local) check to specify the destination accurately enough for the spell to know where to lead you if you haven't been there. Otherwise it leads you somewhere similar.

Probably Geography or Survival, if you ask me.

Liberty's Edge

The fix for find the path I've always used in my game is that while it's up, you have to keep moving toward your destination. That is, if you stop to fight monsters, check for treasure, take a leak, anything that delays you for longer than a round, the spell ends. You can't teleport either, you have to physically travel where you're going. And while wind walk can cut down on a lot of problems, it doesn't make you invulnerable to hazards.

There are lots of clever things that a DM can do to make an adventure viable with mid- to high-level spells in the party. The thing to keep in mind is that if your party is high enough level to cast find the path, then the things they're dealing with are high enough level to deal with that. Their spells should work usually, but not always and not perfectly. Never be afraid to say, "Just because I didn't think of that ahead of time doesn't mean that my 28 Intelligence epic-level wizard villain didn't think of it either." XD

Jeremy Puckett


Gnome Ninja wrote:
Probably Geography or Survival, if you ask me.

Well, I was thinking Knowledge (local) for the sort of casting where what is sought is "the assassins' guild hidden in the sewers" or the like, which the 3.5 spell lets you find.


I like see's idea of letting the spell work as per 3.5 if you're trying to find your way back to a place you've already visited once. In particular, I think that would be handy if your party does a lot of plane-hopping; since (I think) Plane Shift only gets you within 5d% miles of your intended destination, Find the Path would be a nice way of figuring out how to get there without mucking about with Teleport's inaccuracies or investing a seventh-level spell for Greater Teleport.

My regular group sometimes takes game notes that end up being cryptic by next session, so I like Jal Dorak's focus component as well, which offers in-game encouragement for a bit more attention to the details of the adventure: "But if we don't give Jamshyd the time now to orient himself properly, how will we know how to get back to the City of Brass if we need to?"

I know that not everyone cares for planar adventures, but I just thought I'd throw that in, for what it's worth.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Material Component/Divine Focus: A map or ancient tome that reveals the approximate location or existence of the target location of the spell.

I, also, like this option.


The idea of a divine focus: a scroll, map, or manufactured item or 250gp or more created in or around (1/2 mile) of the location you wish to travel to is a good possibility.
As an alternative solution; if they are just trying to find- oh let's say, the metropolis of Trondheim, and they know it's somewhere along the northern coast. They just want to know the best route but they don't have a map. To keep them from wandering through one set of bad directions after another- say that "find the path" is like Map Quest; turn by turn directions revealed to the caster each time they cast it.
They'll have less to remember each time they are forced to recast it. And I like the idea that it doesn't specify what kind or magnitude of dangers lie along the path- just there (current to the time the spell was cast) location.
This allows the DM to insert or delete wandering monsters!
Japh: "I thought this spell of yours was supposed to warn us of upcoming danger."
Dante: "It does, but the creature probably was in it's nest when I cast it last; not out looking for food."


I've modified spells like this to be a compliment to the skill system, rather than a replacement for it.

In terms of Find the Path specifically.

For Bards it allows them to use Gather Information regarding the path, but saves them from going bar crawling in the middle of a mission. If no one knows about it, or GI absolutely couldn't work, they get nothing.

Druids use Animal Empathy. If any local animal has been on the path in question, the Druid knows how to follow it. Slight issues with city rats knowing only small paths, or birds only flying, but high level Druids can handle that easily. Better rolls cover a larger nearby area for the animals. The druid knows what kind of animals have safely traversed the path, which is useful for avoiding hazards.

For Clerics it's Knowledge(Religion). They can usually only find their way to the nearest place of worship, holy item, or friendly worshiper. Higher rolls give them options about what to go for, only very strong sources at DC 15, but any source at all can be found and chosen from at DC 40.

Finding the lost city? Easy for a nearby Druid if the local animals know of it, but he'd find it them anyway. Not easy for Bards and Clerics.


I think removing the spell was the right thing to do. Adding a new spell based on the feedback here seems more productive and less confusing to new players than altering an existing spell. I think that most would agree that the spell as written was problematic.

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