Planar Paths implications

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glaucon
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Planar Paths implications

So I was writing an encounter for my ongoing campaign and a thought occurred to me that has pestered me since. Though I circumvented my concern as far as the encounter goes, I haven't been able to reconcile it yet, and worse, after some cursory review of PS core material, it seems to have expanded.

And so: how can ghosts function in the Outer Planes? They're essentially tied to their ability to ethereally shift. But according to the rules, they're completely cut off from the Ethereal. They would be constantly visible and relatively easy to combat.

And the expansion of the concern: what about any other Undead whose powers rely upon and/or are derived from a connection to the Negative Energy plane? They are, similarly, completely cut off from the Negative.

For more than 20 years I've wrangled with the planar mechanics and have always, up until now, managed to reconcile. This one is stumping me. It seems like such an oversight on my part as DM. Of course, ultimately I'll be able to work around the issue so it doesn't impact my players, but this is a splinter in my mind....

I'd appreciate thoughts...

Palomides
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Weak Answer

This isn't a stellar (or particularly interesting) solution, but I rationalized it as the allowed paths. I decided that individuals from one of the three grand planar divisions (Prime/Inner/Outer)cannot travel directly from one bordering division to the other. I.e.
-A person from the Prime can move to the Inner or to the Outer; but if that person was on the Astral (or Baator or Limbo, etc.) then he could not travel DIRECTLY to the Ethereal without passing through the Prime first.
-Similarly, an earth elemental could travel to the Prime or, let's say, to Arcadia. But if sitting in Arcadia, it could not take a portal directly to the Prime
-Similarly, a fiend could visit the Prime or the Plane of Fire but it could not go directly from the Plane of Fire to the Prime

This logic allowed me to rationalize things like allowing a arch-fiend on its home plane to summon tremendous elemental power but this would limit the fiend's elemental power if it were ever summoned to the Prime

As I said, not a stellar solution; but it let me rationalize to myself (because I doubt my players every cared about such minutia) why certain limits are in place

glaucon
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Thanks for the response

Thanks for the response Palomides.

I agree with all you've said. But, that's how I always interpreted the actual official rules. There are relevant references indicating such in the core PS box set, as well as in the Planewalker's Handbook....

But in any case, those interpretations still don't allow for a ghost anywhere beyond the Prime to access its powers. Similarly, an undead, say, a vampire, on, say, the Abyss can't access its powers either...

Palomides
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Simple solution

Well, I guess the simplest solution is just to say that ghosts and vampires can access whatever powers you want them to access on the Outer Planes. This is such an esoteric point that I doubt that your players would care (provided that they don't know the "official" position and don't take the type of precautions they normally would)

glaucon
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Yep. I agree completely.

Yep. I agree completely.
As I hinted at in the initial post, I can work around it.
I was more concerned with my own understanding of the rules than anything else. I mean, I've been running a PS campaign since the 90's, so I'm surprised at myself for just noticing this now.

Jem
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One of the things the book

One of the things the book mentions is that these rules don't apply for divine magic! Gods just straight up bend the rules for their priests, and souls in their "natural" state can still find their way around: that is to say, someone killed on, say, an elemental plane would be able to make their way to the Astral and then the appropriate Outer Plane.

Powers that depend heavily on the state of the user's soul -- especially the undead you mention -- could be using a small version of that natural ability. Living humans on the Outer Planes are operating on positive energy, after all, presumably in the same way as undead. I've always thought of it as a living or undead body containing a tiny gate to the requisite energy plane, something which can be exploited by canny magic users.