Pathfinder Spell Specifics

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Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby Greymarch2000 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:53 pm

The description of the pathfinder spell is pretty vague saying only that it allows the caster to sense the direction and distance to "an object, location, or being." How specific do you need to be with the spell is the question that keeps coming up at my table. When it says "an object" do I declare I'm looking for "an ax" and it leads me to the closest one? Can I say "a steel ax"? Or "a bloodstained ax"? Or even "The weapon that was used to murder this person"?

Likewise for detecting a person do you need to know the name of the target and/or what they look like? Can you ride into town and cast this looking for "Jorell the famous weaponsmith"? Just "the weaponsmith"? How about "The leader of the thieves guild"? or "The person who murdered this victim?"

My personal thoughts are to have it only work if the caster knows the target in question, and then allow it with an increased difficulty if they have something to do with the target (say a +4 DN if they have a blood sample to find the weapon that made the wound) or way harder if it's a shot in the dark (+8 DN to just flat out find "the murderer") or something along those lines. I haven't given specifics much thought yet, but the Monster Hunter in my campaign has started to realize how useful the spell is and is flexing - and unlike other systems the description is pretty open-ended imo.

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Re: Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby Spatula » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:35 pm

IMO I would say the caster has to be able to know exactly who/what the target is first. No using the spell to find "that guy I who ran away from me last night." If I was going to allow it to be used to find the nearest example of a thing (which I'm not sure is allowed by the spell wording), it would have to be a well-defined category - "the nearest human" or "the nearest axe" for example, but not "the nearest criminal" or "the nearest weapon." The caster would have to know what it is they're looking for and couldn't use the spell as a fishing expedition.

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Re: Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby Sword of Spirit » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:08 pm

I would say that the spell would use clearly perceivable (usually visually) cues for identifying things. It isn't designed to determine whether a "human" is actually a magically disguised elf, or a vampire, or whatever. You couldn't use it to find the nearest werewolf, unless they were currently wolfed-out.

It finds the path to the thing you are thinking of (pretend that means "visualizing"), it doesn't discern the true nature of that thing.

At least, that's how I'd do it. Otherwise you get into the issue of spells that have the side effect of being able to see through disguises and illusions and other obfuscations, when there are usually other spells that specifically designed to be doing that whose territory these would trespassing on if you let them also do that.

Now, Torg doesn't currently seem to have any spells that unmask illusions and such, so perhaps the intent is that Pathfinder fills that role--I'm just going by my general way of running that sort of things in other games.

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Re: Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:32 am

I've been ruling that you must have seen or had a sample of what you want. It's kind of like a magic tracking roll. Unless you specifically know what you're looking for, you won't find it.

The skill roll can can used as an opposed roll (+2 for mutli-tasking) for illusions or disguises, but I also play the rule of cool on this so if it's not dramatically appropriate...

It allows you to find a specific instance of an object not a class... I.e. where is John Smith that I have a picture of or met or I can clearly visualise, NOT where is A John Smith in this village of John Smiths.
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Re: Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby TorgHacker » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:25 pm

Treat pathfinder like the telekinesis power. It allows you to do what you could do...from afar. So if you know Bob, you can find him. If Bob is disguised or shapechanged or something, you can't (or at least might not be able to). You can't look for "Bob's killer" since you wouldn't know who that was if you were there.

You need to know the object in question enough to identify it when you're proximate to it. Same with the location.

In other words, pathfinder can't make conclusions for you.
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Re: Pathfinder Spell Specifics

Postby mystic101 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:19 pm

TorgHacker wrote:You need to know the object in question enough to identify it when you're proximate to it. Same with the location.

In other words, pathfinder can't make conclusions for you.

This is a very helpful clarification. Thanks!

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