D&D 5E What spell have you never seen cast?

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I get what it is for but on the rare occasions where using it would have been reasonable, the party simply hammered some iron spikes into the door frame to wedge it closed.
True, a common plan B if the wizard doesn't have HP prepped.

Do you have a lot of 'find the stolen object' adventurers? Because the limitation that the object must be clearly imagined combined with the relative short range (feet and not miles) tends to mean that even in cases where we were looking for a foozle, the spell couldn't have really helped.
Not that hard to imagine a gem, is it? Or a coin? So cast Locate Object in mid-dungeon and find out where the treasure is. Get split up from one of your companions? Cast Locate Object on her shield, it'll at least tell you whether she's close or not. Not sure where the vampire went on going gaseous? Cast Locate Object and look for coffins - they're pretty easy to imagine. Best one I've seen: party can't find a secret door for the life of 'em until someone cast Locate Object and looked for hinges...

Need I go on? :)

What is the point of that?
Who says there has to be a point, other than Chaotics causing chaos?

The problem with Contact Other Plane is that it is completely inferior to Commune in just about every way.
As written, yes; but Commune as written is kinda broken particularly in 1e. We split it down by houserule into Lesser Commune (still a 5th-level spell) and Greater Commune (at 7th) - Greater works like the as-written original while Lesser can only give answers of 'yes', 'no', 'maybe', 'unknown' or a single number. Even then, Lesser still gets cast at almost every opportunity now that the PC Clerics are 9th+ level.

The DM in the game I play in also put a significant monetary cost-per-question on to Lesser Commune, and that's starting to drive us over to COP.
 

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Celebrim

Legend
True, a common plan B if the wizard doesn't have HP prepped.

Not that hard to imagine a gem, is it? Or a coin? So cast Locate Object in mid-dungeon and find out where the treasure is. Get split up from one of your companions? Cast Locate Object on her shield, it'll at least tell you whether she's close or not. Not sure where the vampire went on going gaseous? Cast Locate Object and look for coffins - they're pretty easy to imagine. Best one I've seen: party can't find a secret door for the life of 'em until someone cast Locate Object and looked for hinges...

Need I go on? :)

No, I get it now... you are ruling on how the spell works in a way that is vastly more generous than I would.

"Not that hard to imagine a gem, is it? Or a coin?" - Sure, but since I've never seen a party that didn't have at least one gem or coin on their person, this would invariably only detect an item already owned by the party. Also gem is far too general for my taste. Jade I would accept. Opal I would accept. Diamond I would accept. Pearl I would accept. Gem doesn't mean anything that can be pictured - it's a disparate class of things united only by value. "Crystal" might detect a lot of different precious stones because at least that's something you can picture, but would miss pearl, opal, or jade. More on that later when you start talking hinges.

"Get split up from one of your companions? Cast Locate Object on her shield, it'll at least tell you whether she's close or not." - That would actually work and is pretty cool - and I'll keep that one in mind - but if communications with your companions is the goal there are better spells for arranging that.

"Cast Locate Object and look for coffins - they're pretty easy to imagine." - That would probably work as I would accept that most coffins are close enough to the general mental image of a coffin that the spell should work, although I can imagine a DM ruling more strictly than that. However, it would be a rare vampire that had only one coffin, and that there was not a nearby graveyard of some sort potentially messing it all up. For example, casting this in Castle Ravenloft would be futile, as not only are there numerous coffins and an entire crypt level filled with them, but merely knowing the direction toward a coffin wouldn't in the slightest tell you how to get there. Are you ruling that it works like "Find the Path"?

"Best one I've seen: party can't find a secret door for the life of 'em until someone cast Locate Object and looked for hinges" - For me, this starts to get problematic. The big restriction on the spell is one that is open to interpretation: "if the image is not close enough to the actual object, the spell fails". I can see from the wording a lot of different ways to go with that depending on how you interpret "general", "specific" and "unique". If you want to find a the hinges of a particular door, to me you have to have a mental image that matches the hinges of that door. At the very least, you'll need to guess what the hinge is made of and how it is constructed. For example, I'm guessing when you imagine a hinge right now, it looks something like a modern door hinge. Trouble is, that very likely any secret door in my game is going to be constructed with a post hinge running the length of the door and fitted into brass sockets that support the door at the top and bottom of the frame, which is not at all what you are picturing and so far from what you are picturing that I'd rule the spell wouldn't detect it as matching your mental image even in a general sense. The secret door literally doesn't have hinges like you imagine. If you picture in your head anything that looks like a modern door hinge, you'll very likely get the nearest hinges for something that isn't a secret door or very likely a chest.* And even if you did picture the right sort of secret door, you'd still only know where to search for it, and not how to open it and in any event picturing hinges requires you to know that there is a secret door here in the first place. If your goal is to find secret doors, "Detect Secret Doors" is vastly more powerful in every respect, including the fact that it can detect the latch/trigger mechanism for the door. If you can't do that unaided, merely knowing where the door is doesn't help you, and pretty much this sounds like a DM ruling generously just to get the party unstuck and the game moving again.

In short, your used to adjudication on this spell that allows it to substitute as a general spell for several much more specific spells, whereas what I would expect of a DM is to read this and decide that it in fact is a specific spell with a specific purpose - locating objects that look very much like something that the player can clearly describe.

*UPDATE: Actually, thinking about it more, you'd most likely detect the latching mechanism on your own travelling spellbook or scroll case, both of which would have a hinge. There are any number of hinge-y things in a typical party's possessions.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
You get more questions and there is no miss chance for multiple castings. Smart players can work the saving throw...so this spell turns into a crazy powerful one.

The wizard in my group for this two week downtime hung out with his buddy the paladin. He has advantage on the save being a gnome. So only fails on a double 1. He has asked me over 200 questions (not exaggerating in the slightest, he even bought me lunch so we could hang out and he could just ask his contact questions).

So....in some ways, much stronger than commune

It sounds like 5e may have attempted to address the problems with the spell in order to make it more useful. One problem that the earlier versions of the spell had that the current one doesn't is that the earlier version of the spell had percentage chances that the entity in question would not know the answer to the question or would lie and give a false answer. This complexity meant that the spell was unreliable, as you'd not know for certain whether the answer you got was dependable. You could contact more powerful spirits that were less likely to lie, but only at a cost of much more difficult saving throw. And certainly in no prior version were you ever likely to be so safe on that saving throw that you'd only fail on a double 1. Likewise the result of failure in earlier editions were much harsher than the results in 5e, as a failed save would leave you a gibbering wreck for weeks and not just until "a long rest" (unless you are playing a variant where a long rest implies a week of downtime and not just overnight).
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
No, I get it now... you are ruling on how the spell works in a way that is vastly more generous than I would.
Certainly in one way, if I'm reading the rest of your post correctly: we have it that Locate Object pulls every example of the desired object within the spell range, not just one. This came about because Gygax's original spell doesn't define what happens if-when there's more than one example of the target object within range e.g. if you're looking for "stairway" (which the 1e write-up specifically cites as an example) and there's one behind the left wall and one behind the right wall, then what? We just ruled that you'd pull both, and from there extrapolated that the spell pulls all instances of the given object within range.

We took away the close-near-far bit that the original spell gives; so to determine a vague distance needs a second casting, after moving a short distance, and some triangulation.

"Get split up from one of your companions? Cast Locate Object on her shield, it'll at least tell you whether she's close or not." - That would actually work and is pretty cool - and I'll keep that one in mind - but if communications with your companions is the goal there are better spells for arranging that.
While running Dark Tower a year ot two ago I had a 10-character party get split into ten 1-character parties when a wild magic surge scattered them all over the dungeon (fortunately for them, they'd already cleaned out about 80% of it). Locate Object suddenly became the most useful spell in the book! :)

"Cast Locate Object and look for coffins - they're pretty easy to imagine." - That would probably work as I would accept that most coffins are close enough to the general mental image of a coffin that the spell should work, although I can imagine a DM ruling more strictly than that. However, it would be a rare vampire that had only one coffin, and that there was not a nearby graveyard of some sort potentially messing it all up. For example, casting this in Castle Ravenloft would be futile, as not only are there numerous coffins and an entire crypt level filled with them, but merely knowing the direction toward a coffin wouldn't in the slightest tell you how to get there. Are you ruling that it works like "Find the Path"?
No, you're on your own for figuring out how to get there. But knowing that there's a bunch of coffins 'that way' is useful in itself, when trying to figure where to go (or not go!) next.
 

MarkB

Legend
Locate Object's short range can be compensated for by high mobility. I recall it being used in one campaign by a character with a flying mount to quickly search an entire town by concentrating on it while flying a search pattern that took him within 1000 feet of every building.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Certainly in one way, if I'm reading the rest of your post correctly: we have it that Locate Object pulls every example of the desired object within the spell range, not just one.

Yes, that would indeed make it a tremendously good spell. It would also make it a pain in the GM's backside, for owing to its range and owing to the general uses you employ it, every time you cast it I can see spending 10 minutes trying to figure out what all you detect.

I just read the 1e wording of the spell (after being redirected to see the cleric spell) and it is indeed incredibly vague in its wording and intention. Even looking it up in the DMG to get the additional errata such spells often have only clarifies the one part of the spell that was already clear to me, that it would only find things that were very similar to the thing mentally pictured. Hence I was right that it could not be used to find "gems", because gems are too diverse. However, the clarification only confuses things further, since it doesn't specify what the criteria for similarity should be.

I can't really prove that my single object interpretation of the spell is correct because it is so vague, but one big clue though that it only finds the first thing you face at is that not only is the spell "Locate Object" singular, but all the references to the object to be located are singular. For example, you could locate "a flight [of stairs] which closely resembled those he or she pictured in casting locate object". If it was meant to pull all as you put it, I think he would have wrote "all flights [of stairs] which closely resemble..." So I would rule the 1e version pulls the first instance of an object in the direction you are facing and that in very 1e fashion you'd indicate in which direction you started your search and which direction you wanted to turn.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes, that would indeed make it a tremendously good spell. It would also make it a pain in the GM's backside, for owing to its range and owing to the general uses you employ it, every time you cast it I can see spending 10 minutes trying to figure out what all you detect.
The only time it's any real nuisance is in trying to figure out whether a room two levels down and a short distance south is in range or not, as most dungeons (including the ones I design myself) don't come with handy 3D models. :)

Otherwise, I and my players have got used to it. Also, it's a snapshot - you can't move while pulling locations - so [MENTION=40176]MarkB[/MENTION] 's trick wouldn't work here. :)

I just read the 1e wording of the spell (after being redirected to see the cleric spell) and it is indeed incredibly vague in its wording and intention. Even looking it up in the DMG to get the additional errata such spells often have only clarifies the one part of the spell that was already clear to me, that it would only find things that were very similar to the thing mentally pictured. Hence I was right that it could not be used to find "gems", because gems are too diverse. However, the clarification only confuses things further, since it doesn't specify what the criteria for similarity should be.
Exactly. You can look for "longsword" and maybe get lots of pulls, or you can narrow it down to "longsword with a ruby in the hilt and a nick in the blade 6 inches from the tip" to find a specific known weapon; but just looking for "sword" I'd say is too broad...as would be "gem", come to think of it: bad example on my part.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Is that the forest gnome swashbuckler/bladesinger rapier/hand crossbow wielder build (with Sharpshooter)?

Sharpshooter? Never. My characters are far too busy doing weird stuff to be strictly optimal in such a boring way.

Also...are you running an alt or something? Kinda weird to show up with 40 posts and ask me about a build from several months ago.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I have not yet seen:
- Almost every spell that requires 6th-level characters (the FLGS group frequently starts a new campaign after L5; this is supposed to be an 'Intro to D&D for Beginners' group)
- Every spell that requires a character to be above 12th level (where my Tiamat group was when IRL required me to leave it)
 


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