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A Gray Phantom
2007-07-15, 08:20 PM
Ethereal Jaunt

Transmutation
Level: Clr 7, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 round/level (D)

You become ethereal, along with your equipment. For the duration of the spell, you are in a place called the Ethereal Plane, which overlaps the normal, physical, Material Plane. When the spell expires, you return to material existence.

An ethereal creature is invisible, insubstantial, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down, albeit at half normal speed. As an insubstantial creature, you can move through solid objects, including living creatures. An ethereal creature can see and hear on the Material Plane, but everything looks gray and ephemeral. Sight and hearing onto the Material Plane are limited to 60 feet.

Force effects and abjurations affect an ethereal creature normally. Their effects extend onto the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, but not vice versa. An ethereal creature canít attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things. Certain material creatures or objects have attacks or effects that work on the Ethereal Plane.

Treat other ethereal creatures and ethereal objects as if they were material.

If you end the spell and become material while inside a material object (such as a solid wall), you are shunted off to the nearest open space and take 1d6 points of damage per 5 feet that you so travel.

I was perusing the Dungeon Master's Guide, when I noticed something odd: The Ethereal plane only co-exists on the Material Plane. This would imply that spells like ethereal jaunt or the ninja's ghost step class ability are useless on every plane other than the Material Plane.

This would be an extreme bummer for any ninjas fighting Githyanki pirates on the astral plane :smalleek:.

I was considering house-ruling that all the other planes also had its own ethereal plane, but that seemed silly. Could you imagine Celestia with its own ethereal plane?

Angel 1 My, what a beautiful day in heaven, would't you say old chap?
Angel 2 Indeed my stereotypical cockney friend.
Ghost Whooo!
Angel 1 What ho, Reginald! A ghost!
Angel 2 Egads, Reginald, you're right! Run!

'Course, this is a game where you can play either a ninja or a pirate, so it isn't too absurd. What do you think?

Thinker
2007-07-15, 08:22 PM
Well if you're the DM you can just say it works on other planes and that fixes it. Besides, wizards and such need All the Help they can get :smallsmile:

Khantalas
2007-07-15, 08:25 PM
Besides, wizards and such need All the Help they can get :smallsmile:

Hey, good joke. I suppose having no underpowered classes thing was a joke, too.

Wizards needing help... Heh, gets me every time.

...

Ahem. Point being, wizards would do well without ethereal jaunt. They have other spells making up for it. They have a spell making up for everything.

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-15, 08:30 PM
True, but what about the ninja's ghost step? As soon as the ninja bounces over to any other plane his powers suddenly become reduced. I'd hate for that to happen to a player of mine who finally gets a power he's been working towards since level 1, and suddenly can't use it because the campaign has taken his party to the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Jimp
2007-07-15, 08:32 PM
The Manual of the Planes lists spells that won't work outside of the Material Plane as well as some other situations. It's 3.0 but really all that the list misses is spells from newer books and I can't think of any newer spells that involve using the ethereal plane.

Khantalas
2007-07-15, 08:34 PM
True, but what about the ninja's ghost step? As soon as the ninja bounces over to any other plane his powers suddenly become reduced. I'd hate for that to happen to a player of mine who finally gets a power he's been working towards since level 1, and suddenly can't use it because the campaign has taken his party to the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Yes, that would be awkward. Most other powers still work fine, thankfully, but that's a good, considerable loss.

Well, by RAW, it wouldn't work, period. You can't access Ethereal Plane from anywhere but the Material. So, if you're worried about it, you will just have to house rule something in.

Or get your own cosmology like I did and make Ethereal Plane co-exist with every plane in existence.

CyberWyld
2007-07-15, 08:34 PM
Just DM card that and say that it does work. I wouldn't do that to one of my players. *if I were a DM. :)



hasta

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-15, 08:54 PM
Wouldn't that open up a can of worms? If there was an ethereal plane co-existant on all the other planes, wouldn't that imply that etheral creatures exist on every other plane? You'd have ghosts and other such creatures bouncing around in places like Celestia, The Nine Hells, and other places where souls are supposed to go when they die :smalleek:.

I suppose that if there was an ehthereal plane on limbo, it could be considered as purgatory :smallwink:.

Yechezkiel
2007-07-15, 09:03 PM
Is this actually a dilemma that has come up for you, or is this all hypothetical?

Cos as I see it, a 20th lvl class ability not functioning outside of a single plane of existence isn't that big of a concern.

SilverClawShift
2007-07-15, 09:09 PM
You're forgetting how powerful your Dm card actually is. You're the DM. Whatever you say is true.

"The ethereal plane is everywhere, ghosts only exist on the material plane".

Fine. You ARE the DM afterall.

Or even better.

"Planes of existance outside of the material plane have a bastardized version of the ethereal plane which makes spells and class features work, but won't support something as permanently ethereal as a ghost".

Yup. If you say so. BECAUSE you said so.

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-15, 09:11 PM
Is this actually a dilemma that has come up for you, or is this all hypothetical?

Cos as I see it, a 20th lvl class ability not functioning outside of a single plane of existence isn't that big of a concern.

This actually came up in a recent game. And ninjas get ghost step (ethereal) at level ten. (Complete Adventurer.)

And I DO know that I can simply handwave the existing rules, I just wanted an opinion of whether any of you would think it was fair.

Ulzgoroth
2007-07-15, 10:07 PM
There is no balance reason for the ability not working off-prime, it's just a matter of cosmological logic. If you want it to work, change the logic. If you gave every plane a separate associated ethereal plane, you avoid the possibility of planar travel through etherealness, and can give the other ethereal planes non-standard properties if you want to.

Sounds like a fine idea, though it would be altogether unnecessary if not for the design flaw in the ninja of relying on a material plane only trait...

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-16, 12:51 AM
I had an idea: Spells like ethereal jaunt don't work outside the material plane since there is no ethereal plane to go to.

A ninja's ghost step, however, would work by making the ninja ethereal-like, and thus the supernatural ability would work inwardly.

One thing that has me scratching my head, though: If a ninja goes ethereal, does gravity switch to zero?

TheOOB
2007-07-16, 01:46 AM
Considering in my worlds the ethereal plane is more like the Shadowrun Astral plane in that it's a parellel plane where all the magic resides until it is pulled into the material plane, all planes that support magic have an etheral plane.

In the default Greyhawk planer set up, ethereal powers dont work outside of the material plane, other then that its entirely up to DM fiat.

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-16, 02:00 AM
I think this is an overlooked errata in the rules as written. When the ninja class was created, the ghost step ability wasn't thought all the way through.

Meh. Would a ninja really be at that much of a disadvantage if he couldn't go ethereal? He'd still be able to go invisible...

What I'd like to know is what and of YOU would do if you were a DM in this position. One of your players is playing a ninja, and has just gotten to level ten. However, the campaign is currently taking place in some other plane. Would you say, "No ghost step for you." Or would you rule in that he could use his ethereal powers?

Citizen Joe
2007-07-16, 02:13 AM
It really just depends on the planar cosmology. That tends to change from game setting to game setting. So you should probably grab some ranks of knowledge: planes. However, in cases where you're not ethereal adjacent, then that ability wouldn't work. For example, I think the elemental planes are in contact with it, but not the outer planes.

Oddly enough I think they got the terms inner and outer planes confused. The 'outer' planes are planes of philosophy and ideals, which are basically within people's minds. Where as the energy/elemental planes exist outside of people in general.

Callix
2007-07-16, 02:15 AM
The Ghost Step ability is more about being able to get around places. I would call it ability-duration-limited Fly, Invisibility, Passwall and a bastardised Sanctuary (can't attack, can't be attacked). This happens to match the effect of being ethereal, but does not involve planar travel. As such, ethereal ninjas are not uber ghost hunters.

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-16, 02:19 AM
The Ghost Step ability is more about being able to get around places. I would call it ability-duration-limited Fly, Invisibility, Passwall and a bastardised Sanctuary (can't attack, can't be attacked). This happens to match the effect of being ethereal, but does not involve planar travel. As such, ethereal ninjas are not uber ghost hunters.

I was wondering about this. This is exactly what I've been trying to address. (Albeit I must've been addressing this in a very roundabout way :smallredface:.)

Thus, ethereal ninjas can't strike ghosts. They are only considered ethereal in the fact that they can fly, pass through walls, can't be attacked and can't attack, all while being invisible. When using this point of view, ghost step can be used on planes that don't coexist with the ethereal plane.

Which raises an odd question:

If dimmensional anchor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dimensionalAnchor.htm) was used on a ninja, would that limit his ghost step ability?

Callix
2007-07-16, 02:35 AM
As per RAW? Yes. Dimensional Anchor would keep the ninja on the material plane, stopping the Ghost Step ability. With our variant? Not really. Ninjitsu isn't really about planar travel. It might stop them disappearing in a puff of smoke, but it wouldn't stop them going "etheral". Knocking them unconscious, paralysing them, or True Seeing would all negate the ability, but since it's not really planar, it's not suceptible to Dim. Anchor.

Feralgeist
2007-07-16, 03:40 AM
Gravity DOES switch to zero while ethereal i think. Not sure though.

Just have it as when they use it, they go to the ethereal plane, but the actual one. that's it. So they can use it as respite or something, or guess where they'll end up where they return, but they wont be able to see a murky reflection of the plane they're in, because they'll see the material plane.

(LOTTA distance to travel from some planes, >_o

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-16, 06:15 PM
Gravity DOES switch to zero while ethereal i think. Not sure though.

Just have it as when they use it, they go to the ethereal plane, but the actual one. that's it. So they can use it as respite or something, or guess where they'll end up where they return, but they wont be able to see a murky reflection of the plane they're in, because they'll see the material plane.

(LOTTA distance to travel from some planes, >_o

I'd avoid this variant, since it then makes ghost step broken. Planar shift (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/planeShift.htm) sends you to another plane with a margin of inaccuracy measuring 5-500 miles.

You'd either let master Narutard jump from plane to plane at a whim, or he'd become hopelessly lost after travel :smalleek:.

Ninja's don't get knowledge of the planes, yet their strongest and most often used power depends on them traveling between planes.

I've decided to treat ethereal ghost step as an errata. In fact, there are a few things I don't like about ninja: They don't get knowledge (planes). They don't get knowledge (architecture and engineering) - for, ya' know, when they are sneaking around the rafters. And, with the rules as written, they're powers fail outside of the material plane.

This makes me frustrated :smallannoyed:. (See the smilie? THAT is how frustrated I am.)