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DM's: How Do You Deal with Rope Trick?

RJSmalls

First Post
Thank ye!

There's some solid replies in this thread, and suggestions I intend to use. Thanks for your help guys & gals. Even you, Hong.

Wheee!
RJ
 

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hong

WotC's bitch
Re: Thank ye!

RJSmalls said:
There's some solid replies in this thread, and suggestions I intend to use. Thanks for your help guys & gals. Even you, Hong.

No worries, RJSmalls! Be sure to come back when your campaign reaches 10th level, with "DMs: How do you deal with teleport?" I am sure you will receive lots of constructive and useful suggestions, NONE of which will be along the lines of "teleport does not work in this dungeon". Because we're all more original than THAT, aren't we, boys and girls? :cool:
 



Zhure

First Post
I like Hong. I wish for a chance to game with Hong.

As a player, I like Rope Trick the way it is. As a DM, I accept Rope Trick as part of the arsenal of things the players do.

Look, if they feel they need to waste a precious 2nd level spell slot and at least five feet of rope for a safe encampment, then they're probably fighting something dangerous or they're afraid to sleep outdoors, which only means I've been doing my job.

In the last campaign where it was an issue, my Sorcerer cast Rope Trick pretty much every day. That was one less Cat's Grace he had to cast on the archer. That was five feet of rope he used up. That means all the extradminsional equipment (Bags of Holding, Quivers of Ehlonna, etc) no longer functioned in the Rope Trick.

All to get 8 safe hours of sleep. And it wasn't totally safe. Dispels and bonfires could still wreck his world. Any decent bad guy can detect the invisible opening to a Rope Trick fairly easily or he isn't a bad guy. If he or one of his myriad of minions has Spellcraft, he's going to know it's a Rope Trick. So what happens? We get up, we get new spells, we start climbing out of the rope area and the invisible poison-wielding rogues jump us. Oh yeah, coming down the rope one character at a time with no supporting fire made the monk wince in fear. And even if you somehow get all of you out of the Rope Trick in time to save the first man out the gate, you're still walking out of the bedroom without brushing your teeth and sucking down a fireball!

Rope Trick isn't broken. DMs who make up cheesy ethereal herpes rules are broken. If you don't like a spell, ban it up front so you don't screw the Sorcerer out of a precious slot or screw the Wizard out of money.

Greg
 

Wicht

Adventurer
I would not ban it.

I would follow several of the suggestions detailed here-in concerning preparing for when the party disengages from the spell.

Some other ideas.

1 - If the PCs left the room below them filled with bodies carrion crawlers or other scavengers have moved in.

2 - Even if the monsters do not know where the PCs are but suspect they are in the room somewhere, they can always set up a nasty ambush involving a floor full of flammable liquids and archers in the hallway outside.

3. Monsters suspecting PCs are hiding in a room pile tons of rocks in front of the lone doorway into the room thus trying to trap the PCs inside.

4. A regular and well armed patrol of some sort is in the middle of investigating a looted room when the PCs descend from the rope.

Furthermore - I think it is a good idea to practice moderation in trying to mess the players over when they are using their abilities. Whether this or any other spell, the DM should let it work without a hitch 3 out of every 4 times or so (unless there is reason to make it less). But that 4th time throw something wild, unexpected, but completely logical at them in order to show them that no one ability is "the ability" and make them worry about the next time. Then let it work, lower their guard and hit them with something else.
 

Jay Lofstead

First Post
Actually, the people inside CAN see out. From the SRD:

Those in the extradimensional space can see out of it as if a 3-foot-by-5-foot window were centered on the rope.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Latency said:
The group I DM I used the rules for air that the portable hole uses. No where in the spell description does it say that it will support life for the duration of the spell.

Oh I did not know the spell casters in your DM's campaign were so STUPID to create a creative way to commit sucide.
The duration is 1 hr per level. So by your Dumb Master rules. The first time it casted the caster dies and hour or so later, the dead body falls to the ground.

I would allow detect magic and dispel magic to affect it. Why nerf a spell when works the way it suppose to.
 

Carnifex

First Post
jasper said:


Oh I did not know the spell casters in your DM's campaign were so STUPID to create a creative way to commit sucide.
The duration is 1 hr per level. So by your Dumb Master rules. The first time it casted the caster dies and hour or so later, the dead body falls to the ground.

I would allow detect magic and dispel magic to affect it. Why nerf a spell when works the way it suppose to.

Well as a minor point to make it all moot, you shouldn't have an air problem because there's that several-foot-square hole in the floor of the pocket demiplane Rope Trick creates, which air could get through. Then you could also use this to gas or smoke out the PC's from within their little hidy-hole too :)
 

Fenes 2

First Post
jasper said:
Why nerf a spell when works the way it suppose to.

Because the way it works is affecting the campaign badly?

Harm, Resurrection, teleport and others all work like they are supposed to, but they have negative effects on my campaign. I don't want my campaign to play like Baldur's Gate, where the party rests anywhere, anytime, to fill up HPs and spell slots, before continuing further in a dungeon, taking weeks to clear a single floor. It completely breaks my suspension of disbelief. The measures mentioned may work in making it a bit harder or riskier for the PCs, but I don't want that spell (and the "lets rest until we are full (spells and hps) again before going farther"-mentality that goes with it) used at all.
 

Red Baron

First Post
Sejs said:
...Rope Trick seems a pretty logical extension, really. Were I a wizard I would make a point of developing a spell that gives me a secure, hidden, weather-and-ambush proof place to sleep no matter where I went...
Yes, of course you would. That's where Leomund's tiny hut and Leomund's secure shelter come in, I should think. But those 3rd- and 4th-level spells, respectively, are really pretty obsolete when compared to the 2nd-level rope trick, at least the way it stands. Pretty silly, isn't it?

Sejs said:
Look, if they feel they need to waste a precious 2nd level spell slot and at least five feet of rope for a safe encampment, then they're probably fighting something dangerous or they're afraid to sleep outdoors, which only means I've been doing my job.
Oh, come now. A "precious" 2nd-level spell slot? Invisibility is, arguably, about the only other spell that compares in relative utility, and Melf's is the only worthwhile offensive 2nd-level spell. The various buff sells (bull's strength, etc.) are good, sure, but to say that prepping rope trick is wasting a 2nd-level spell slot is a bit of a stretch, wouldn't you agree?

Rope trick needs one of two things: Either it should be a 4th-level spell, since it most closely resembles Leomund's secure shelter in utility and power, or it should be reduced to a duration of, say, 10 mins./level (or even 1 min./level) so that it is used simply to escape notice briefly or to give time to implement healing, etc., not rest up and re-prepare spells altogether.
 
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Rel

Liquid Awesome
I've recently had experience playing in a campaign where our Wizard took Rope Trick as one of his spells. It saved our bacon a number of times, but the important rule is: Don't get caught using it.

We were in the unenviable position of having our party (of 3) up against more than 100 enemies on a fairly small island. Thanks to Rope Trick, using ruined buildings to hide in and intelligence gathered by the Wizard's raven familiar, we waged a brutally effective guerilla war against these enemies. By the end, they had been pared down to 7.

Unfortunately, these 7 included some of thier best Wizards and Clerics. One night they managed to track us back to the ruin we were camping in and attacked us when we were unprepared. My Cleric cast one of his last remaining spells, Obscurring Mist and the Wizard cast a Rope Trick. We scrambled inside but when the mist cleared, the bad guys suspected that something was wrong.

Apparently they used Detect Magic and found the portal. A few minutes later we were unceremoniously dumped onto the ground and the readied attacks started going off. Frankly, it probably should have been a TPK. I think the DM fudged things to let us get away.

So the point is that Rope Trick can be really handy as a safe, portable campsite. But if you get spotted using it, there is all manner of nasty surprises the bad guys can prepare for when you emerge (either because you decided to emerge or because they Dispel it).
 

Arnwyn

First Post
I have left it as-is, and the PCs use it rather liberally. I have no problem with that.

I do have some questions for you, though. I'm not quite sure I understand how the PCs can keep casting it so often - do they seriously use up all their 2nd-level spell slots for Rope Trick only? I'm sure (in a dungeon) they are getting into a whole lot of encounters in one day - they should be running out of Rope Tricks quickly even if they *did* use up all their spell slots for it.

And like Rel noted - they better not let enemies see them using it. This is a very simple solution that doesn't require a silly level of suspension of disbelief with everyone running around with Detect Magic spells (lame, IMO). The PCs will be trapped in one location and could get into a serious ambush... this should reduce their usage when they realize that whenever they use it there's a chance that someone will see (whether they're beeing scryed upon, or an enemy is simply peeking around the corner down the hall).
 

Grundle

First Post
Zhure said:
I
Rope Trick isn't broken. DMs who make up cheesy ethereal herpes rules are broken. If you don't like a spell, ban it up front so you don't screw the Sorcerer out of a precious slot or screw the Wizard out of money.

I second that!

Besides ethereal herpes is just nasty - no real cure you know. Flares up at the worst times. nasty! :eek:
 

Fenes 2

First Post
arnwyn said:
I have left it as-is, and the PCs use it rather liberally. I have no problem with that.

I do have some questions for you, though. I'm not quite sure I understand how the PCs can keep casting it so often - do they seriously use up all their 2nd-level spell slots for Rope Trick only? I'm sure (in a dungeon) they are getting into a whole lot of encounters in one day - they should be running out of Rope Tricks quickly even if they *did* use up all their spell slots for it.

As far as I understood, they cast rope trick, then rest in it until they regain their spells.
 

officeronin

First Post
I have no problem with the rope trick after the encounter is over. If the PCs retreat, throwing rope trick to rest up and tackle it again, the enemy can do a number of things.

My PCs tried this once, and there was a ranger among the enemy. He tracked them, figured out that the party had gone into a rope trick, and all the orcs began building a big bonfire.

OfficeRonin
 

Jay Lofstead

First Post
The limitation Rope Trick has when compared to the Leomund's spells is that all occupants are required to climb at least 5 feet of rope to get into the rope trick. This eliminates the ability to take most mounts and large familiars into the rope trick.

It is a really handy spell that reaches its real utility at 8th level (8 hour duration). Before that, getting forced out after a few hours burns those few precious 2nd level spell slots, but still prevents magic types from getting the continuous rest required (that climbing requirement). Make it such that you cannot extend it with a second casting and the utility of it is greatly reduced at lower level (I believe this is really how it works) and still not as useful for a large group (or with large animals) at a higher level.
 

nute

Explorer
Rope Trick has a number of fun uses. As I tend to interpret the rules, it creates a small extradimensional space (technically, would this be its own demiplane?), accessible from a 3'x5' portal, oriented parallel to the ground, only visible from inside the space.

Now, it depends on how your campaign runs for this to be used. If a party casts it to have a safe place to sleep outside - that's close to the intended use. Note - it's not a COMFORTABLE place to sleep. No beds, no air conditioning, kind of cramped.

If they're using it for resting between areas in a dungeon - that's where good DMing and tactics come into play. Say that the party has a knock-down drag-out battle with some 15th level kobolds, they win but wind up at an average 2HP apiece.

The party asks their wizard to cast Rope Trick, letting them all remain safe while the cleric rests, renews his spells, and can cast a Mass Heal tomorrow. Seems safe and logical.

However - what's to say that the rest of the monsters in the dungeon won't come across the remains of the battle? Unless your monsters loyally stay in the exact spots they're assigned, it's not unlikely for a wandering monster/guard to figure out "Hey, lots of dead kobolds. Hmm. What did 'em in?" and call a bunch of his buddies.

Hesitation in a hostile area is ALWAYS a way to put yourself at a disadvantage tactically. Any dungeon/enemy keep/haunted forest should be considered "behind enemy lines". If you're going to sit still and assume the enemy's going to give you time to hide and recuperate once they know you're there -- well, depending on the DM, you could have some nasty surprises waiting when you come out of RopeSpace.

1) The aforementioned bonfire.
2) a Darkness spell.
3) Glyph of Warding.
4) For simpler monsters - this logic: if the portal remains open, the party can still be detected by scent. Buncha barking hellhounds under the portal should disrupt the cleric's rest well enough.

No spell or ability of the players is insurmountable. Remember, flaming oil is a simple tactic that can never fail to amuse, and Harm can be countered by Summon Vermin. :)

~M.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
So You have a 8th level party or aleast 8th sor/wizard burn one third of his 2nd spells for the party to hide for 8 hours.
Ok IMC the spell would be able to detect and dispell.
Now what type of monsters are in the complex. Jello Geltain Gelations cubes, green slime, and animal vegetables and minerals. Good tactic.
Are the creatures have normal (10) int and know about spell casters if they don't need stinking magic. Again good tactic.
Are the killer kobolds from kazamozoo who have sorcerers on their payroll.
Capt Meepo Capt Meepo! Three more rooms and their guards have been destoryed! They even took your play orc collection!

Meepo- hmm send for Yosemite Sorcerer.

Ys- Hmm It appears we been inflected by a group of adventurers. They either teleporting in and out, invisible, rope trick etc. I suggest you dam up part of the corridor and flood it from the latrines.

Horsesnack- oh oh oh Mr. Meepo! Can we throw down posion caltrops and brick up the rooms.
Meepo - make it so!.

Or are the monsters smarter that the average commoner and know about spell slinging.
Capt Meepo. Sectors 13, 13, and 36 have fail to report in. Last report was a group of biggums and 2 hobbits were trying to solication donations for brownies scout cookies.

Capt meepo - Send two patrols with spell sweeper units to affect area.

Or are the monsters SUPER smart.
Capt Meepo peers into his crystal ball, one band of adventurers in northern sector. One fighter, thief, spell caster and cleric. They are going up a rope trick. Have most units pull back to the cavern. Then have coward unit stand by to run away at the far end of corridor. Have C.U. retreat back to cavern and then we blast them.
Hold that thought. Have a engineer unit just fill the room with rocks. And set up a listening post at both ends.

Well it all how you play your monsters. Are they like video games where they never hear the nuclear bomb going off in the next block?
Or are they smart.
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
arnwyn said:
This is a very simple solution that doesn't require a silly level of suspension of disbelief with everyone running around with Detect Magic spells (lame, IMO).
I take it in your campaign 3rd level wizards are the most feared thieves in the land, since if you find "detect magic" a far stretch, "see invisibility", being two levels higher a spell, is probably completely unheard of?

I am sorry, but if you notice a patrol earlier didn't report back, and you scout, and you find tracks that stop somewhere, Detect magic is the first hing I would cast.

Rav
 

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