> The original complaint is that, essentially, a character seems to
be able to
> win in one unlikely situation via magic, but then typically can't
> something much more likely because the opposition is human. ...
Or rather, not a tree.
It seems to me you're consistently ignoring the fact that this is magic for Jumping Trees, not magic for Jumping. Where did the magic come from? Well, we know that magic comes from myth. Let's look at a possible mythic source for the magic.
Vinga is on some quest that involves defeating a number of opponents in wrestling matches. At one point he comes across a row of trees blocking his path. The tree spirit refuses to let Vinga past "You cannot pass, for my roots go to the centre of the earth and to part my branches would break my spirit, for it is my task that no-one shall pass me by along this road." Vinga wresstles with the tree spirit and bends his trunk so much that the tip of the tree's top branches touch the ground. The tree spirit relents "I will teach you a secret of how to jump, and leap from tip to tip of my branches so you can jump over me, that way you will not pass me by on the path and we shall both be satisfied."
So now Vinga has a feat of Tree Leaping. it's useless against anything but trees because the secret magic is tree specific. Alternatively maybe it's squirrel magic, YGWV but whatever the myth it will tell you more about the whys and wherefores.
Any magic with a specific kind of target, has a specific reason for being so, otherwise it wouldn't be. If the feat is used in conditions not resonant with the mythic source, it is commensurately weakened. That's just the nature of magic.
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