Plane shift question


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


The spell says you can bring "passengers" along as long as everyone holds hands. What if a creature without hands casts it? Can it still bring people along? I was thinking if they touch it's claws/tentacles/whatever they get shifted just as if they were holding hands.


That seems like it would give an unfair advantage to many-tentacled abominations from beyond space and time. Man, I hate those guys.


Yes, any willing creatures touching each other should suffice. I wouldn't even require that they all be in direct contact with the caster as long as they form a set of continuous links to the caster.


Yea, basically as long as everyone can touch each other, it's all fine, or thus we've always ruled it.

Tangent question: is there any indication of how common rods attuned to planes are supposed to be? I've had GMs where anyone can have all those they want, and others where basically they don't exist.


Goblin_Priest wrote:


Tangent question: is there any indication of how common rods attuned to planes are supposed to be? I've had GMs where anyone can have all those they want, and others where basically they don't exist.

Good question. This always bothered me as the rule is usually if they don't list a component cost you shouldn't keep track and just assume the characters have it unless they don't have their component pouch. There's no cost for the rods listed so should you just assume they have one for EVERY plane (even obscure ones like Jandelay?)


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Goblin_Priest wrote:
Tangent question: is there any indication of how common rods attuned to planes are supposed to be? I've had GMs where anyone can have all those they want, and others where basically they don't exist.

There wasn't for a long time, but Planar Adventures goes into this on pages 85-86 (too much material to quote here).


While we're on the subject, why is plane shift always off target from where you intend to go? Has there been even a fig leaf of justification for this?


Yqatuba wrote:
While we're on the subject, why is plane shift always off target from where you intend to go? Has there been even a fig leaf of justification for this?

I'll go you one better. No where does it say what happens if your 'inaccuracy' would land you beyond the planar boundary, i.e. not all Planes are infinite in size what happens if your roll is 300 miles off on a Plane only 200 miles across. Shunted? Spell fails/fizzles? Other?

As for how common are the properly tuned forks?

For me they vary. Things like the Prime Material Plane you are native of as well as the "top layers" of the Outer Planes, the 4 Elemental Planes, the Ethereal and Shadow Planes are all fairly common and I'd be willing to considered them in a spell component pouch (for instance). Others not so much. Others I would place beyond the easy reach of a spell component pouch but would require fairly minimal research to locate or purchase one. Others would be ever increasingly difficult. For example, an Attuned Fork to Acererak's private demiplane would be all but impossible outside of many quests and research (and probably failures) to even get a hint not to mention to defenses one might encounter even trying such a stunt.


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The availability of the material component to reach various planes is not covered in the rules. So it becomes a DM call.

Personally, I feel that it is ludicrous to suppose that any and all of them are available in any standard spell component pouch. The spell component pouch is an abstraction meant to avoid endless book-keeping for player wizards. It is assumed that with their vast intelligence and meticulous preparation, they use off-camera time to prepare all the hinky components thay need for various spells. IMHO this specific spell should require extensive research and preparation for each individual plane a wizards wants to reach. Spells like legend lore and contact other planes would be good ways to perform this research, as would various bardic knowledge checks. It shouldn't be so difficult as to make it impossible, but it should have a cost and opportunity requirement prior to spellcasting. I would require the wizard to inventory specific planar focii for any use of the spell.

Another, less niggling DM could easily handwave the requirement, but that's on him. I haven't read pages 84-85 of planar adventures, but I expect it's quite similar to what I'm suggesting.


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OK, I got curious and went and read it. Yes, they assign specific cost to these tuning forks, and describe a method for properly tuning one: it generally requires you to go there and spend 24 hours tuning it properly. Aside from that, one could easily imagine finding pre-tuned forks in the loot of powerful wizards. A great quest opportunity if I've ever seen one. <g>


Yqatuba wrote:
While we're on the subject, why is plane shift always off target from where you intend to go? Has there been even a fig leaf of justification for this?

You're teleporting somewhere (which has a chance of being off-target), but it's on another plane. Going to another plane adds wobbliness.

I think the original idea pre-PF was to avoid having two plane shifts making a single teleport. Role protection for magic-users (now called wizards.)


Yqatuba wrote:
While we're on the subject, why is plane shift always off target from where you intend to go? Has there been even a fig leaf of justification for this?

Game balance. Plane Shift is already a great 5th level spell for getting rid of enemies, escaping danger, etc.

If you could additionally use it for Scry & Fry surprise attacks, by shifting away from the Material Plane and back again, it would be too good.


Wheldrake wrote:
OK, I got curious and went and read it. Yes, they assign specific cost to these tuning forks, and describe a method for properly tuning one: it generally requires you to go there and spend 24 hours tuning it properly. Aside from that, one could easily imagine finding pre-tuned forks in the loot of powerful wizards. A great quest opportunity if I've ever seen one. <g>

Also pretty much eliminates using it to go to a spell casters private demiplane demense ... unless they previously allowed you there.

I also have not read the Planar Adventures pages nor I'm I likely to be able to do so any time soon. Do they happen to address the question in the later part of my post?

The Exchange

You mean your question about how common the forks are?

Common - the 19 major planes (20 counting the material)
Uncommon - major demiplanes and deeper layers of the Big 19 (like Hell’s lower levels).
Rare - obscure, insignificant, or difficult-to-travel-to demiplanes.
Unique - lost, forgotten, or deliberately hard to reach demiplanes.

Prices in a Store:
Common - 100 gp
Uncommon - 2,000 gp
Rare - 20,000 gp
Unique - Priceless

You can “tune your own” by using a 25gp untuned fork. Easy to do for a common plane, but progressively harder and more time-consuming with increased rarity. Past common, the book gives guidelines but essentially the GM is going to have to manufacture a situation where the PCs can turn forks.


Does the Planar Adventures cover anything specific with respect to wizards personal demiplanes?

Do they fall under rare or unique? Is there anyway for someone who wasn't the wizard to attune a rod to that wizard's demiplane?

Basically I just want an answer to the question of: How hard is it for someone who isn't the create of a demiplane to reach that demiplane. I assume a wizard would have a rod attuned to their demiplane that they created, but lets assume you can't get that rod (because the rod is with the wizard on the demiplane and the wizard is astrally projecting).

Can anyone reach the wizard and threaten them?


It doesn't mention wizards' personal demiplanes in particular, but the unique category does specifically include "deliberately difficult-to-reach dimensions." But no matter the rarity, tuning an untuned fork has to be done on the (demi)plane in question. Use wish to get there the first time, I guess. Though you might have to stay a while, too; as Belafon said, the tuning is progressively harder and more time-consuming with increased rarity. Here's unique plane tuning.

Planar Adventures pg 86 wrote:
Attuning an untuned fork to a unique plane or dimension requires a specific task for that plane. For example, attuning a fork to a legendary vampire’s personal demiplane might require a player to plunge the tuning fork into the heart of a vampire native to that plane and then allow the fork 13 days to absorb the planar energies before it becomes fully attuned.


So if we can replace "legendary vampire" with "13th level wizard" we might imagine something similar difficult.

*Based on legend lore anyone level 11 or above is "legendary".

So in general the answer is you need Wish to reach the demiplane the first time, unless you somehow manage to get the wizards already attuned rod from them.

Are there any rules in the book for what "deliberately hard to reach" planes are? Are there any rules for making planes harder to reach?


Claxon wrote:

So if we can replace "legendary vampire" with "13th level wizard" we might imagine something similar difficult.

*Based on legend lore anyone level 11 or above is "legendary".

I think they're using a different definition of "legendary" here, as tuning a merely rare fork is described as suitable for level 15+.

Planar Adventures page 86 wrote:

A rare tuning fork is one attuned to an obscure demiplane, a demiplane that is simply difficult to travel to due to its nature, or a demiplane that is particularly small and insignificant. Planes mentioned in this book that require rare tuning forks include the Dead Vault, the Harrowed Realm, and Jandelay.

Attuning a rare tuning fork is done using the same method as an uncommon fork, but the fork must be struck against an artifact created on that plane, a creature of CR 21 or higher native to the plane, or a unique or specific feature of the plane that you determine—such features are generally well guarded and difficult to reach, and thus they should require relatively high-level play (15th level or above) to use. Once so struck, the fork must be allowed to absorb the plane’s energies for 1 week. After this time has passed, the untuned fork is attuned to that plane.

(Everything about "the same method as an uncommon fork" is spelled out in the above, I don't know why they included that clause.)

Claxon wrote:
So in general the answer is you need Wish to reach the demiplane the first time, unless you somehow manage to get the wizards already attuned rod from them.

Well, create demiplane makes you one somewhere in the Astral or Ethereal. In theory if you have a way of finding it there you can go and just use anything that lets you move through that plane, as per

create demiplane, lesser wrote:
Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift.

So if you have a divination to find a demiplane in the midst of the astral/ethereal, you're set. (Would discern location work?) Otherwise, wish it is.

Claxon wrote:
Are there any rules in the book for what "deliberately hard to reach" planes are? Are there any rules for making planes harder to reach?

Not that I could find.


I've always imagined the demiplanes as a sub-plane of the Ethereal or Astral planes, but you still need planar magic to get to it even from plane its a sub part of. Is it clarified at all otherwise?

Because if you can just "walk" from the Astral plane into someone's demiplane....it just doesn't make sense. Why do you have a "finite" plane. What happens at the boundary? You can have timeless demiplanes, can you randomly and accidentally stumble into one?

This line:

Quote:
Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift. You are considered “very familiar” with your entire demiplane.

Would seem to backup that you can't walk from the Astral plane into the demiplane, even if it is a sub-plane of the Astral. Otherwise to me they would say somethign like, "You can enter the demiplane via planar travel magic or moving from the major plane it resides in".

Honestly I find the idea of stumbling into demiplanes to be really weird and not at all how I envisioned the spell to work.


Claxon wrote:

I've always imagined the demiplanes as a sub-plane of the Ethereal or Astral planes, but you still need planar magic to get to it even from plane its a sub part of. Is it clarified at all otherwise?

Because if you can just "walk" from the Astral plane into someone's demiplane....it just doesn't make sense. Why do you have a "finite" plane. What happens at the boundary? You can have timeless demiplanes, can you randomly and accidentally stumble into one?

Dunno about the boundaries, but you can stumble into at least some of the demiplanes on the Astral/Ethereal.

Planar Adventures page 96-97 wrote:
Although much of the Ethereal Plane is empty space, there are spots of solid matter scattered throughout the plane. Some of these are the size of worlds, at which point they become demiplanes, as with Xibalba (see page 219).
Planar Adventures page 219 wrote:
Xibalba’s nature defies narrow classification. From the outside, it appears to be a seamless part of the Ethereal Plane, and unsuspecting ethereal travelers can wander right into it. Xibalba’s borders reach out unpredictably into the ethereal mists, answering to both their own hunger and the sahkils’ will. As an alternative to simply walking in from the Ethereal Plane, however, brave and foolhardy souls who wish to journey to Xibalba of their own volition can reach it directly using planar travel magic. Most such magic functions with cruel accuracy, depositing crusaders in front of the broken souls they wished to rescue or desperate lovers in front of the shattered remnants of their partners.
Claxon wrote:

This line:

Quote:
Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift. You are considered “very familiar” with your entire demiplane.
Would seem to backup that you can't walk from the Astral plane into the demiplane, even if it is a sub-plane of the Astral. Otherwise to me they would say somethign like, "You can enter the demiplane via planar travel magic or moving from the major plane it resides in".

I read that as saying that you can astrally project there the same way you would anywhere else, i.e. project to the Astral, wander around, find the border of a (demi)plane, project into it. Or similarly for the Ethereal. If the only way there was plane shift or wish they wouldn't list astral projection or etherealness as methods of getting there. Also, if you can't get there from the "host plane" more easily than from the Material plane, why would they bother specifying that your demiplane can be either in the Astral or the Ethereal? It doesn't change its properties AFAICT.


Weird. I never pictured the fork itself as having any magical properties. It was simply sized for the plane's resonant frequency. But "plunging it into a vampire and leaving it for 13 days to soak up the plane's energies" puts a different spin on things. Methinks the designers conflated "tuning" with "attunement", which isn't exactly wrong but a bit of a stretch. I'll stick with my method--forks are cheap but frequencies are heavily guarded secrets.


@Fuzzy-Wuzzy - That's interesting, so there is at least some indication that for at least some demiplanes you can stumble right into them.

I don't think I actually care for that. It just doesn't jibe with how I imagine demiplanes working. Because otherwise create demiplane spell is really more like "reshape part of the astral/ethereal plane as you wish spell".


@blahpers: I think the designers didn't want it to be possible to copy (and even mass-produce) forks to somewhere obscure based on having obtained one fork with the right frequency.

@Claxon: Not sure how I feel about it; people randomly wandering onto the wizard's personal demiplane is lame (especially for high-level wizards), but absolutely having to use wish to get there for a first visit is kind of lame too (especially for only mid-level wizards).


The way I tend to think of a demiplane such as one created by the Create line of spells is as if they are a layer of the transitive plane from where they are created much as the lower layers of Hell are layers of the whole. Generally when you travel via spells (or even by portals) you end up on the 1st layer of Hell. It takes rarer, harder to discover Forks or portals to bypass the 1st layer to access a lower layer directly. A Created demiplane is merely the first layer of potentially infinite (picture the Abyss) number of layers such as if the creator nests series of demiplanes as a manner of protection for his innermost sanctum.

As far as randomly wandering onto a wizard's personal demiplane first there is the problem of size. It's a finite and relative tiny area when compared to the infinite whole of a transitive plane so finding a desired and specific wizards demiplane is realistically not going to happen. I'd be highly suspicious of things if I just happened to stumble on the correct demiplane I wanted to find "randomly". That positively screams TRAP!. "Hello my name is Acererak. I have seeded clues about my demiplane demense's location and existence so only the most powerful and adept adventurers could locate it and gain entrance. Then I will destroy them and collect their souls to power my apothesis."

Then there's even seeing it without walking right by. It's very much like traveling along and spotting (perceiving) the entrance to Mage's Magnificent Mansion (an invisible area roughly 4ft by 8ft in size) without continuing by obliviously. That is very much in the hands of the DM ... as this assumes there is something to see while moving by on the adjoining plane.

Which brings up the next problem how to get in even after you've found it. Unless a way in is provided you literally need a spell which can cross planes to enter. Only the Greater version provides for a portal so one can enter and as noted it can be physically and magically protected. So maybe if you happen to realize what you've found you could cast an appropriate spell and gain entrance.

Discern Location might do the trick but it's range is Unlimited ... which means it is limited to the same plane of existence. Clearly the demiplane itself is not or there would be no need for planar travel magic to access it. Likewise even if you know a tremendous amount of information about the wizard themselves if they are currently on another plane (such as within their demiplane) they are out of range (assuming you've found a wizard who isn't mentally protected by Mind Blank). You might be able to somehow find the entrance or more specifically the stone and mortar gatehouse protecting the portal.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
@blahpers: I think the designers didn't want it to be possible to copy (and even mass-produce) forks to somewhere obscure based on having obtained one fork with the right frequency.

Fair enough, but true names are a thing for outsiders, and they get by okay. A high level wizard receiving an unwelcome number of unexpected guests had best (a) recreate their demiplane and (b) take appropriate steps such that prospective fork manufacturers are sufficiently respectful of a high level wizard's privacy. Preferably steps involving instantaneous transmutations and/or smoking ruins.


blahpers wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
@blahpers: I think the designers didn't want it to be possible to copy (and even mass-produce) forks to somewhere obscure based on having obtained one fork with the right frequency.
Fair enough, but true names are a thing for outsiders, and we get by okay. A high level wizard receiving an unwelcome number of unexpected guests had best (a) recreate their demiplane and (b) take appropriate steps such that prospective fork manufacturers are sufficiently respectful of a high level wizard's privacy. Preferably steps involving instantaneous transmutations and/or smoking ruins.

All true. Maybe the wizard could use a wish to change their demiplane's "frequency" and avoid having to re-create the whole thing.

Kayerloth wrote:

[a bunch of good stuff]

Discern Location might do the trick but it's range is Unlimited ... which means it is limited to the same plane of existence. Clearly the demiplane itself is not or there would be no need for planar travel magic to access it. Likewise even if you know a tremendous amount of information about the wizard themselves if they are currently on another plane (such as within their demiplane) they are out of range (assuming you've found a wizard who isn't mentally protected by Mind Blank). You might be able to somehow find the entrance or more specifically the stone and mortar gatehouse protecting the portal.

Since discern location specifies that it tells you the plane of existence the target is on, I believe it could work despite the Range entry, which is probably Unlimited only because that's as high as the official ranges get (which is pretty bogus). But I'm not sure a created demiplane has enough of an "address" in the Astral/Ethereal for even discern location's information to lead you to it. Maybe if you're on the right host plane it could just give you "that way, 426 miles."


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This thread is starting to look at a Star Trek battle where they keep changing the shields frequency^^

"Fork you all, interlopers!"


@Fuzzy-Wuzzy
I'm thinking you are right about the Range of Discern Location. Suspect it slipped by the editor/writer with them thinking unlimited meant just that - unlimited. Can't think offhand why it would be horribly unbalancing to treat it that.

Even so the entrance/portal should be on the plane (both planes actually) where the caster used Create demiplane and potentially be identified and located by Discern Location.

Must go for now, lunch break is over


Belafon wrote:

You mean your question about how common the forks are?

Common - the 19 major planes (20 counting the material)
Uncommon - major demiplanes and deeper layers of the Big 19 (like Hell’s lower levels).
Rare - obscure, insignificant, or difficult-to-travel-to demiplanes.
Unique - lost, forgotten, or deliberately hard to reach demiplanes.

Prices in a Store:
Common - 100 gp
Uncommon - 2,000 gp
Rare - 20,000 gp
Unique - Priceless

You can “tune your own” by using a 25gp untuned fork. Easy to do for a common plane, but progressively harder and more time-consuming with increased rarity. Past common, the book gives guidelines but essentially the GM is going to have to manufacture a situation where the PCs can turn forks.

Where are you getting your information? I never seen anything like this when reading the plane shift spell.


OmniMage wrote:
Belafon wrote:

You mean your question about how common the forks are?

Common - the 19 major planes (20 counting the material)
Uncommon - major demiplanes and deeper layers of the Big 19 (like Hell’s lower levels).
Rare - obscure, insignificant, or difficult-to-travel-to demiplanes.
Unique - lost, forgotten, or deliberately hard to reach demiplanes.

Prices in a Store:
Common - 100 gp
Uncommon - 2,000 gp
Rare - 20,000 gp
Unique - Priceless

You can “tune your own” by using a 25gp untuned fork. Easy to do for a common plane, but progressively harder and more time-consuming with increased rarity. Past common, the book gives guidelines but essentially the GM is going to have to manufacture a situation where the PCs can turn forks.

Where are you getting your information? I never seen anything like this when reading the plane shift spell.

Planar Adventures goes into great detail about planar tuning forks.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
OmniMage wrote:
Belafon wrote:

You mean your question about how common the forks are?

Common - the 19 major planes (20 counting the material)
Uncommon - major demiplanes and deeper layers of the Big 19 (like Hell’s lower levels).
Rare - obscure, insignificant, or difficult-to-travel-to demiplanes.
Unique - lost, forgotten, or deliberately hard to reach demiplanes.

Prices in a Store:
Common - 100 gp
Uncommon - 2,000 gp
Rare - 20,000 gp
Unique - Priceless

You can “tune your own” by using a 25gp untuned fork. Easy to do for a common plane, but progressively harder and more time-consuming with increased rarity. Past common, the book gives guidelines but essentially the GM is going to have to manufacture a situation where the PCs can turn forks.

Where are you getting your information? I never seen anything like this when reading the plane shift spell.
Planar Adventures goes into great detail about planar tuning forks.

And if you don't have Planar Adventures . . . Ta-da!

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