Hiding the rope from rope trick


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Had an interesting player/GM interaction in a recent game and was hoping to get some outside thoughts on the matter of rope trick.

Some background:

Our party has been hounded by will o'wisps for several nights now. Since our characters are only 6th-level the wisps' fast fly speed, natural invisibility, and magic immunity has made it hard for the PCs to do much more than drive them off for a short while.

In the meantime, they have taken to luring other monsters into our characters' camps for their own sadistic enjoyment. So far the heroes have been forced to fight undead bloody skeleton trolls, a young green dragon, a hydra, and a pack of barghests on account of them.

They showed no signs of letting up so I decided to prepare an ambush.

Riva Sarjenka wrote:

"Ha! We won't be seeing the likes of them again now that they know what we're capable of!" shouts Riva, much louder than is necessary for her companions to hear.

After returning to the camp, she casts rope trick and ushers everyone else inside. Riva remains outside and casts see invisibility and silent image.

She then creates the illusion of a crackling fire, using illusory smoke to conceal the dangling rope. She also creates the figment of several sleeping expedition members, left terribly exposed in their seeming exhaustion and overconfident victory.[/ooc]

Riva then lies in wait, pretending to be asleep herself, ready for evil's inevitable return.

This immediately sparked a debate between the GM and myself about one's ability to hide the dangling rope. He seems to think that nothing whatsoever can hide or conceal the rope, as the spell description clearly states the following:

The rope cannot be removed or hidden. The rope can support up to 16,000 pounds. A weight greater than that can pull the rope free.

I take that to mean that the rope cannot be hidden by those within the portal, that is, it can't be pulled up into the portal or anything like that. Ignoring the fact that the spell is already internally inconsistent (it says the rope can't be removed, but then immediately gives a method of removing it in the very next sentence) the GM has a much broader interpretation. The one he proposes seems, to me, to be a physical impossibility.

After all, the people on the other side of the planet can't see the rope for all the earth in the way. If cast inside a room at an inn, then surely it is hidden from people outside the room, outside the inn. If I built a fire with choking smoke under it in the forest, then surely the rope doesn't suddenly start glowing through the smoke or something, right? You can't read it in terms of absolutes because the rope will ALWAYS hidden from somebody; hence the physical impossibility of his interpretation.

In short, what does that rule actually mean, and how should it be run per RAI/RAW?

ROPE TRICK:

School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (powdered corn and a twisted loop of parchment)
Range touch
Target one touched piece of rope from 5 ft. to 30 ft. long
Duration 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

When this spell is cast upon a piece of rope from 5 to 30 feet long, one end of the rope rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground, as if affixed at the upper end. The upper end is, in fact, fastened to an extradimensional space that is outside the usual multiverse of extradimensional spaces. Creatures in the extradimensional space are hidden, beyond the reach of spells (including divinations), unless those spells work across planes. The space holds as many as eight creatures (of any size). The rope cannot be removed or hidden. The rope can support up to 16,000 pounds. A weight greater than that can pull the rope free.

Spells cannot be cast across the extradimensional interface, nor can area effects cross it. Those in the extradimensional space can see out of it as if a 3-foot-by-5-foot window were centered on the rope. The window is invisible, and even creatures that can see the window can't see through it. Anything inside the extradimensional space drops out when the spell ends. The rope can be climbed by only one person at a time. The rope trick spell enables climbers to reach a normal place if they do not climb all the way to the extradimensional space.


Even RAI is a bit vague ... its wording has been changed from the older 3.5 wording (which specifically allows the rope to be pulled into the extradimensional space (at the cost of using one creatures space within) leaving us to decide why and how that changes the intent behind the word changes. RAW the wording is even worse when taken to some of the extremes you've pointed out (such as casting it within a room and therefore is 'hidden' from anyone outside the room). Somewhat akin to using Sequester a 7th level spell on the rope.

Personally I'd say the PC(s) have come up with a excellent way to use Silent Image and 'hide' the rope. Perhaps the Will O Wisps see through the illusion (make the save) or one of the creatures they lure into/thru the camp will or even just plain spot (Perception) the rope even though it is hidden by the illusion even if that means that by RAW I'm using my Rule 0 GM power on the text of Rope Trick.


{Note: My players did a similar thing while facing a green dragon. I think they found a hallow tree, and did the rope trick inside, but same question was at hand.}

"The rope cannot be removed or hidden."

What do they define as hidden? That is the question...

I suspect they are talking about invisibility magic, or other affects that would make the rope invisible. I would think that using vines or branches to camouflage the rope would be ok, but that technically would be hiding it...

I think I would need to know WHY that bit of text was there to understand the intent.

Perhaps the solution is to just hang bits of rope from every tree in the area?

EDIT: How about this: "The rope can be covered or benefit from concealment, but only indirectly. You can not target the rope specifically with an illusion spell".


I would agree that you can hide the rope from the outside. I disagree that you can use a figment to do it. You need a glamer to change the appearance of (ie, hide) other things.

Edit: Also, you can't use silent image to make a crackling fire...


Fergie wrote:

{Note: My players did a similar thing while facing a green dragon. I think they found a hallow tree, and did the rope trick inside, but same question was at hand.}

"The rope cannot be removed or hidden."

What do they define as hidden? That is the question...

I suspect they are talking about invisibility magic, or other affects that would make the rope invisible. I would think that using vines or branches to camouflage the rope would be ok, but that technically would be hiding it...

I think I would need to know WHY that bit of text was there to understand the intent.

Perhaps the solution is to just hang bits of rope from every tree in the area?

EDIT: How about this: "The rope can be covered or benefit from concealment, but only indirectly. You can not target the rope specifically with an illusion spell".

That bit of text is there because of enterprising adventurers in 3.5, who would pull the rope up behind them and thus have a completely concealed and safe resting place for 8 people; well beyond the intended power level of the spell. It was changed in PF to prevent that exploit. Which is the big reason I think what RD describes is a fair use.


Yep while the level and overall intent of the spell means most of the questions arising from the text are fairly straight forward and easily dealt with all sorts of silliness arises or other questions are left unanswered in a strictly RAW sense.

"Sorry Mr Wizard your Obscuring Mist fizzles when you try to use it to protect yourself from those archers. One of your foes cast Rope Trick last round in the area you want to use Obscuring Mist and that would 'hide' the Rope Trick". Silly, stupid and I'm more than fairly sure not as intended but strictly speaking a RAW interpretation.

Is an already invisible rope not a legal target of Rope Trick?
Is the rope now completely immune to being sliced, burned or cut just outside the planar window?
How about "Can I target the rope with Disintegrate?" Clearly (or perhaps not :p) most, if not all, the rope is outside the point when you (and the rope) are actually within the extradimensional space or it seems unlikely you could climb it part way to reach a normal place.

I believe RD hit it on the head that the hidden part refers more that characters/creature inside the extradimensional space can't retroactively use any spells across the window/planar boundary to hide the rope even though one interpretation of the text strongly implies at least one end of the rope is within the space and being in the center of that window is therefore completely visible to any creatures looking out.

While as stated BigDTBone is correct as far as no sound, thermal and other aspects of a fire beyond the visual (and movement while concentrating) can be used by Silent Image it is the visually concealing smoke of the Image that is the crux of the hidden question and I believe we are in agreement that hiding the rope via illusory smoke is doable. Obviously a more powerful illusion may delay or make more difficult interaction and resulting saves allowed when dealing with the illusion. And like any illusion GM interpretation can highly influence how useful illusions overall are within the campaign.


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Says the rope can't be hidden, but what about Disguise? Paint it, stick some leaves on it, and it's a small tree trunk.


Manwolf wrote:
Says the rope can't be hidden, but what about Disguise? Paint it, stick some leaves on it, and it's a small tree trunk.

I think most GM's who would have a problem with the hidden part would consider disguise or camouflage to be the method of making it hidden and hence still have issue with it ... but its also starting to look like most folks do not have an issue with camouflage, disguise, concealment or cover, etc. being used to mask (i.e. hide) the ropes presence. But this is the internet and a forum I'm almost sure there are some out there who might disagree with this as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigDTBone wrote:

I would agree that you can hide the rope from the outside. I disagree that you can use a figment to do it. You need a glamer to change the appearance of (ie, hide) other things.

Edit: Also, you can't use silent image to make a crackling fire...

I'm not changing the apparance of anything. I'm concealing it behind something, which is explicitly allowed by figments.

Also, I can absolutely create an illusion of fire, though it would not produce heat or make a crackling sound.

EDIT: Ah I see, apparently I used the word crackling in my game post. :/


I took the wording to mean the rope itself can't be hidden. That does not mean you cannont hide the area through line of sight. Use the rope behind a wall or tree or heavy fog bank etc. You cannot see the rope but the rope has not been hidden


I'd say the 'cannot be hidden' was a hasty patch to avoid pulling the rope in behind you. Otherwise 'hidden' is way, way too broad of a term to really apply. Illusions, camouflage, where does 'hidden' stop?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My two coppers, the nerf took the spell from "must have" to "what possible justification do you have for it?".

The phrase "can't be hidden" makes it silly as some posters above have speculated on.

My "Get off my lawn" moment - I houserule that Death Ward and Rope Trick work like they were written in 3.5. Such tactics benefit opponents as well as PCs after all, and I like ambushing PCs from rope tricked forces.


One spell that has some potential value in dealing with the visible rope of the Rope Trick .... is the Deceptive Facade spell from the 3.5 book, Complete Mage (p. 102). This glamers the Rope by altering the subject's visible appearance for 10 minutes/CL. That's not bad.

And for added kicks, if a determined hunter casts a Locate Object looking for a Rope Trick rope, you can always cast an Obscure Object spell to prevent the rope from being divined. Lol.

Grand Lodge

Yeah, your DM is being overly pedantic. You're not hiding the rope, your obscuring the rope. It's subtle, but one is possible and the other just stupid--I'm sure you know which is which.


We would wrap the rope around a tree, grounded spear/flag, or inside a 10' bamboo tube stuck in the ground, or run it between two trees as a clothesline and hang underwear on it. Nobody, even a monster, messes with dirty granny panties. It doesnt say it has to REMAIN vertical, it can end up angled or coiled, just 5'-30' long. It can also be longer than this, so you can run rope all over the place. You can run a grapple up a tree higher than the bottom of the rope trick and the bottom of the rope becomes the top of the Trick. Also makes a handy spot to tie off the horses, prisoners, or fish for big sharks.


Heimdall666 wrote:
We would wrap the rope around a tree, grounded spear/flag, or inside a 10' bamboo tube stuck in the ground, or run it between two trees as a clothesline and hang underwear on it. Nobody, even a monster, messes with dirty granny panties. It doesnt say it has to REMAIN vertical, it can end up angled or coiled, just 5'-30' long. It can also be longer than this, so you can run rope all over the place. You can run a grapple up a tree higher than the bottom of the rope trick and the bottom of the rope becomes the top of the Trick. Also makes a handy spot to tie off the horses, prisoners, or fish for big sharks.

Actually it does:

When this spell is cast upon a piece of rope from 5 to 30 feet long, one end of the rope rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground


Kayerloth wrote:
Is the rope now completely immune to being sliced, burned or cut just outside the planar window?

Ha, Ha! Cast a Rope Trick Spell just prior to Grappling and Tying Up the Iron Golem. Now the enchanted rope has a Burst DC of Infinity!

Qaianna wrote:
I'd say the 'cannot be hidden' was a hasty patch to avoid pulling the rope in behind you. Otherwise 'hidden' is way, way too broad of a term to really apply. Illusions, camouflage, where does 'hidden' stop?

It wouldn't stop you from pulling the rope up, tying the rope into a coil, and leaving the coiled rope hanging out of the extradimensional window.

The rope can't be removed nor hidden, but that doesn't mean the rope can't be disguised, does it?

If the illusion can't hide the rope itself, can you create an illusionary tree house? Can you create an illusionary extension to the rope to make it look like the rope is knotted to a tree branch?

What would it be like to cast Rope Trick on a sailing ship or something where there are already lots of other ropes?


joep wrote:


Actually it does:
When this spell is cast upon a piece of rope from 5 to 30 feet long, one end of the rope rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground

That doesn't seem to mean it can't be moved in someway after. Hangs means its not "bound" if it was bound to that spot it would not be hanging. Hanging is hang, which is just suspending in the air. So move it as you like after it extends to whathever the total amount ends up being.

I'd think you could just knot the rope up until its near the "window" of the trick area so it would be least slightly harder to notice just out of normal vision habits.

As for acutal 'hiding" what would happen ifthe rope was black, and this was used in an area with no light? you didn't "hide" it but I would certainly say its hidden from my sight.

Lantern Lodge

joep wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:
We would wrap the rope around a tree, grounded spear/flag, or inside a 10' bamboo tube stuck in the ground, or run it between two trees as a clothesline and hang underwear on it. Nobody, even a monster, messes with dirty granny panties. It doesnt say it has to REMAIN vertical, it can end up angled or coiled, just 5'-30' long. It can also be longer than this, so you can run rope all over the place. You can run a grapple up a tree higher than the bottom of the rope trick and the bottom of the rope becomes the top of the Trick. Also makes a handy spot to tie off the horses, prisoners, or fish for big sharks.

Actually it does:

When this spell is cast upon a piece of rope from 5 to 30 feet long, one end of the rope rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground

You do realize you are responding to a 4 year old post from a person who last posted something to the forums 3.5 years ago?

It seems unlikely he will see your post or respond to you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

THREAD NECROMANCY ALERT!!!

This said, it's always a fun topic.

Why not hang up dozens of ropes that don't lead to the Rope Trick space? For added effect, have some of them tied to anvils hidden in an overhead niche, or similar.


How would that work?
I mean the elsewhere rope goes into nothingness.
While any other rope you hang would have to be hanging off something no?

Seems like you could see "one goes into nothingness" and "one goes over that ledge there"

also huh yup a necro there.

but yeah fun topic to discuss.

I think black rope in the dark is probably the most amusing 'hiding but not hidden' detail.


Wrap the other end around a succubus. No one's going to worry about the other end of the rope now!

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