Usage of Find the Path


Rules Questions

Lantern Lodge

I have been having a spirited discussion on the appropriate usage of Find the Path

spell text:
Find the Path

School divination; Level bard 6, cleric 6, druid 6

Casting Time 3 rounds

Components V, S, F (a set of divination counters)

Range personal or touch

Target you or creature touched

Duration 10 min./level

Saving Throw none or Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance no or yes (harmless)

The recipient of this spell can find the shortest, most direct physical route to a prominent specified destination, such as a city, keep, lake, or dungeon. The locale can be outdoors or underground, as long as it is prominent. For example, a hunter's cabin is not prominent enough, but a logging camp is. Find the path works with respect to locations, not objects or creatures at a locale. The location must be on the same plane as the subject at the time of casting.

The spell enables the subject to sense the correct direction that will eventually lead it to its destination, indicating at appropriate times the exact path to follow or physical actions to take. For example, the spell enables the subject to sense what cavern corridor to take when a choice presents itself. 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, specifying the destination as “outside the maze.” 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) who might take action to oppose the caster as he follows the path revealed by this spell.

What is this spell typically used for, and how much interpretation is involved in adjudicating how it works?
What would be an example of an obviously appropriate case?
What would be an example of an obviously inappropriate case?
What would be an example of a gray area that would involve significant interpretation?

Could you say "Take me to the Emerald Spire" and be shown the way to the dungeon? What if someone had opened a pub on the way to Fort Inevitable named The Emerald Spire? Is there ambiguity? Does it matter which one is in the mind of the caster?

Suppose you were looking for someone able to work an unusual type of metal. You find a dagger made of that metal, and you wanted to go to the place where it was made, but you don't know exactly where that is.
Could you say "Take me to the place this dagger was forged" and be shown the way? Does it matter how prominent the location is if you don't know what it is? Does it matter whether the dagger was forged in a well known smithy or in someone's barn? Does it matter whether the smithy was prominent itself, or located in a prominent city at the time of crafting, or whether the building itself or the city it was in is still a prominent location at the time of casting?

Suppose you read about a place in a book, but maybe it's ancient history, maybe a legend, maybe even fiction, and maybe it no longer exists, or never existed.

Could you say "Take me to the shrine of Kugo-Lippo" and be shown the way? What if the shrine was torn down and a shrine to Desna rebuilt in its place? What if the shrine was a fictional place but within the fictional world, it had a specific, findable location, i.e. the southern tip of a continent?

Is an Azlant ruin at the bottom of the Inner Sea a prominent location if it was famous around the world during its heyday? Would the spell show you that you need to go underwater to get there if no one currently living even knows it exists?

I have my own opinions, but I'm interested in seeing how others would handle it.


Deadmoon wrote:
Could you say "Take me to the Emerald Spire" and be shown the way to the dungeon? What if someone had opened a pub on the way to Fort Inevitable named The Emerald Spire? Is there ambiguity? Does it matter which one is in the mind of the caster?

I would think it would show you to what your looking for as long as you know what you are looking for and it is porminenet that the spells does to. If your looking for the Emerald Spire Dungeon and it is known well enough to the world to be prominent (like the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower in our world are prominent) then that is where it takes you.

It won't take you to the Inn unless that is where you trying to go and it is also prominent enough to qualify for the spell.

Deadmoon wrote:

"Suppose you were looking for someone able to work an unusual type of metal. You find a dagger made of that metal, and you wanted to go to the place where it was made, but you don't know exactly where that is.

Could you say "Take me to the place this dagger was forged" and be shown the way?Does it matter how prominent the location is if you don't know what it is? Does it matter whether the dagger was forged in a well known smithy or in someone's barn? Does it matter whether the smithy was prominent itself, or located in a prominent city at the time of crafting, or whether the building itself or the city it was in is still a prominent location at the time of casting?"

Absolutely not. You cannot search for a place you don't know about and you certainly cannot search for a place based on an item or person no matter how that item or person relates to the place since it says in the spell you cannot do that.

You have to look for a specific PLACE. Not an unknown location/some place in relation to something of someone.

Deadmoon wrote:

Suppose you read about a place in a book, but maybe it's ancient history, maybe a legend, maybe even fiction, and maybe it no longer exists, or never existed.

Could you say "Take me to the shrine of Kugo-Lippo" and be shown the way?

Maybe. This would be a GM call based on wether the place exists and wether is it notable enough to qualify for the spell. I would guess the general answer would be no since it sounds like an ancient and secret thing you found in a book and that would be remarkable but not currently notable.

Deadmoon wrote:
What if the shrine was torn down and a shrine to Desna rebuilt in its place?

It would fail. The place no longer exists.

Deadmoon wrote:
What if the shrine was a fictional place but within the fictional world, it had a specific, findable location, i.e. the southern tip of a continent?

It would again fail. You cannot find something that does not exist.

Deadmoom wrote:
Is an Azlant ruin at the bottom of the Inner Sea a prominent location if it was famous around the world during its heyday? Would the spell show you that you need to go underwater to get there if no one currently living even knows it exists?

Maybe. As you yourself say it WAS famous. That implies it no longer is and therefore is no longer 'noteable'.

But if it was famous and still is so due to it's history such that it is still notable to the world in general it might. It would be a GM call.

If no one currently living knows it exists it fails the notable part of the spells requirement and you cannot find it. And you could not search for it anyways if you do not know it exists.

The spell is used to guide yourself to known existing locations but it is not omniscient and does not seem to be the be all end all tool to fund anything that is lost hidden or forgotten.

It allows you to find the shortest path to a well known, existing place. Not someone or something related to, in, associated with, referenced by or anything else with that place.

To find a place you must know the name of the place and that place must exist currently and be prominent, from the spell description prominent would seem to be well known in the region the place exists.


I have never used it. The duration is too short. An 11th level wizard casts it, it doesn't even last two whole hours. If you are two hours away from the Emerald Spire, you probably don't need to burn a 6th level spell to find it.

It's hard to think of an appropriate case. You have to be so close to the "prominent" location that the spell seems pointless. Perhaps in a huge bustling city, when you know the name of some building ("The Prancing Pony") but have no idea where it is, you could burn this spell to find it - but then, a simple Knowledge (Local) or even a Diplomacy check should get any passerby to give you directions.

Your example of someone building an "Emerald Spire" tavern might confuse the spell, but only if BOTH the actual Emerald Spire and the tavern are within "range". Range is infinite, but since you are probably walking or riding or maybe even flying, but not teleporting because this spell doesn't give you enough details to teleport there, then you can only travel a certain distance before it expires. If one Emerald Spire is within that distance but one is not, it should probably guide you to the nearest one.

Well, in either case it probably should. Consider what happens if you try to Find the Path to "The Saucy Wench". There's probably 100 of them scattered around Golarion. Or if you were in the United States and cast Find the Path for "Mc Donalds". So I suppose it always paths to the nearest prominent destination.

Finally, this is a freaking 6th level spell. It should be awesome. Not Wish-awesome, but still awesome. As far as I'm concerned, for 10 min per level, it points you perfectly toward the exact location you wanted, so to the correct Emerald Spire or Saucy Wench or Mc Donalds ("correct" means, in this case, the exact one YOU wanted) regardless of how many there are.


DM_Blake wrote:
Finally, this is a freaking 6th level spell. It should be awesome. Not Wish-awesome, but still awesome. As far as I'm concerned, for 10 min per level, it points you perfectly toward the exact location you wanted, so to the correct Emerald Spire or Saucy Wench or Mc Donalds ("correct" means, in this case, the exact one YOU wanted) regardless of how many there are.

This


when I was going through castle greyhawk I used the spell to find out how to get to certain levels. the castle was not linear at all we had to go up a few levels in order to go down a few levels and a lot of teleporting was involved.


I had that same problem with the original Castle Ravenloft. Way, way back in the day...

(best isometric castle map EVER!)

In the end, we just told the DM "Hey, this thing is a pain to map, but our characters see way more than we do. Stains on the wall, discolored stones, a unique cancelabra, a million other small details that we can use as simple landmarks to identify every room and hallway, which makes it possible for the characters, especially the brilliant genius wizard, to remember where we are and where we're going, so how about cutting us players a little slack and helping us get where we want to go?"

It worked.


I actually DMed "the new" castle ravenloft it was really fun. but wow I had to stare at that map for ages to figure it out. We didn't have find the path at the time but we had wind walk towards the end of it and ended up misting ourselves through the cracks of the old castle.

If strahd can do it so can we.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Typically find the path works for best very short discrete travel problems. A classic example would be getting to a Pirate town protected by dangerous reefs and shoals or something similar. Knowing where the town is isn't so much the issue, as knowing the way to get there. Or the hidden vale of Rivendell is somewhere in this enchanted forest, how do we find it. You have to pretty much know what you are looking for, and know that it is reasonable close for the spell to be of much use.

It is pretty good for that, but that is fairly situational, and it is rare, as DM_Blake pointed out, that their aren't other lower level spells that pretty much negate whatever problem you are facing anyway.

It is also theoretically useful for longer distance travel. If I want to find the city of Plothook on the far side of the world, casting it once per day would be sufficient as most likely my 'path' is going to be pretty much travel that way for a whole bunch of days until I get pretty close. Once again though, most likely I have better methods by the time this spell is available.


Dave Justus wrote:

Typically find the path works for best very short discrete travel problems. A classic example would be getting to a Pirate town protected by dangerous reefs and shoals or something similar. Knowing where the town is isn't so much the issue, as knowing the way to get there. Or the hidden vale of Rivendell is somewhere in this enchanted forest, how do we find it. You have to pretty much know what you are looking for, and know that it is reasonable close for the spell to be of much use.

It is pretty good for that, but that is fairly situational, and it is rare, as DM_Blake pointed out, that their aren't other lower level spells that pretty much negate whatever problem you are facing anyway.

It is also theoretically useful for longer distance travel. If I want to find the city of Plothook on the far side of the world, casting it once per day would be sufficient as most likely my 'path' is going to be pretty much travel that way for a whole bunch of days until I get pretty close. Once again though, most likely I have better methods by the time this spell is available.

This spell works just like Clairvoyance in Skyrim. You run half way to your objective along the path it shows and then it switches for no earthy reason whatever or tries to lead you right up the side of a mountain. Hopefully you have a horse.

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