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Rope trick says

The rope cannot be removed or hidden. The rope can support up to 16,000 pounds. A weight greater than that can pull the rope free.

So if the rope can't be removed, how does 16,000 pounds pull the rope free? If the rope is removed/pulled off by weight does that cause the spell to end or are you allowed to have the rope laying in the middle of the road while your entrance is 30 feet to the side?

What exactly does it mean by hiding? Does invisibility fail on the rope? What about illusions to make it look like vines? Can the rope be pulled inside of the hole? If I dig a hole and caste the spell, then bury the whole thing is that allowed or does that count as hiding?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I removed all the questions that don't have to do with the line you're asking about, then gathered all the aspects about removing the rope together, and all those about hiding the rope together, then wrote a more meaningful title. I'm not sure if this is one or two questions now, but it's definitely less broad than the four or five or so questions it was before. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 17 '17 at 3:46
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the rope cannot be removed or hidden by the caster or the party using the rope trick spell for shelter. In some edition/versions of this spell, people could pull up the rope when they got to the top and apparently vanish completely.

The wording is awkward and appears to apply to the options available to the spellcaster when setting up the spell, as opposed to the options available to manipulate the spell's objects once they come into being.

The Rope can support up to 16000 pounds weight before it snaps, and the group would have to jump down. The rope is not a real, regular rope, but some kind of extra-dimensional anchor with unique properties such as 16000 lbs of tensile strength and the inability to be removed or hidden, so it is best to think of it like an Astral Projection cord tethering your group to the home plane.

You could create an illusion or physical object surrounding the rope, if you did not directly target the rope, and strictly speaking, hidden is not the same as invisibility. A rogue doesn't become invisible while hiding in shadows.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with your claim that the rope is not real, after all the spells target is the rope in question. Which should suggest that the rope is actually a focus, but is not actually called so. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Aug 20 '17 at 19:50
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Back in the day (d&d 3.0) you could pull the rope into the dimensional space, making the entrance unavailable to anyone outside, and impossible to leave until the rope was put out again or the spell expires. The spell had no weight limit, but could support up to 8 people, and if the rope was pulled inside, it counted as one slot of people.

For a 2nd level spell, this meant that the group could pretty much vanish away from trouble within a few rounds of casting and climbing up. Making camping in dangerous areas a trivial thing at mid-levels, and at earlier levels, it gave them time to breathe, patch up wounds and prepare for battle again.

In pathfinder, what was changed is that we now got a weight limit and no longer can pull up the rope. Hiding here is vague, and honestly what is consideted hiding is up to each GM. Could be mundane hiding, like using the spell inside high grass to obscure its location, or magically shielding the spell from viewers, like using an illusionary wall to make it disapear, which is something I personally would allow.

The rope is still a physical object, so I believe it could be targeted by any spells that can target objects, like invisibility. But that doesn't mean you are completely safe from harm like the previous version of the spell. Which means that the longer the rope, safer you are until someone who found it climbs it up to cause trouble, but that also means its a longer fall in case they decide to break the spell.

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