Teleportation, Revised

In 5e, teleport is a 7th level spell with no range. It lets your party get wherever they want without fail, and can in theory be an awesome thing. By the time you’re casting 7th level spells, the stakes should be so high, that a lot of mundane travel methods just aren’t suitably epic. Instead of roleplaying epic characters sitting in a wagon for a month, it lets you bypass it. The limitless range of 5e is a problem though. It essentially negates the entire exploration pillar. There is a way to have teleportation, and exploration together, and my recommendations are below.

Teleport – 5th level spell. 
  • Casting Time: 1 action (Ritual, special)
  • Range: Touch (special)
  • Components: V
  • Duration: Instantaneous

This spell instantly transports yourself and up to 7 medium sized creatures (large creatures count as two, and small as ½, and so on) of your choice that are touching to a destination you select within 120 miles (two continent scale hexes, to be adjusted if you don’t use 5e scale 60 mile hexes). Unwilling creatures can attempt a Charisma saving throw to negate this effect. The desired location must have room for the creatures to appear unobstructed. 

The destination you choose must be known to you, and it must be on the same plane of existence as you. Your familiarity with the destination determines whether you arrive there successfully. The DM rolls d100 and consults the table.

New Familiarity Chart.

MishapOn TargetSimilar AreaMishapOff Target
Attuned Teleportation Circle0-99
Go Often0-8990-99
Spent 1 week0-6970-7980-99
Passed through once0-3950-6940-4970-99
Viewed once0-1940-6920-3970-99
Description0-940-6910-3970-99

New Failure Results

  • Off target – 6 miles in a random direction to a generally safe location. (or one kingdom scale hex, if you don’t use traditional 5e 6 mile hexes). 
  • Similar area – Similar area within the spells range. Same environment, and relatively comparable in safety. 
  • Mishap – All travelers take 3d10 force damage as you phase on top of something briefly, then flash back out of existence and attempt to reappear somewhere else. The DM then rolls again to determine the location (potentially including an additional mishap, and so on)

Teleport at a Higher Level – This spell can be cast with a higher level spell slot, adding +120miles per spell slot above 5th level. 

Teleportation Circles – Teleportation can be cast as a ritual to create a Teleportation Circle. As you perform the ritual, you draw a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with a sigil sequence that describes the destination of the circle, and the command word for it. The description can be as specific, vague, accurate, or misleading as you like, but it is embedded in the sigils for others to decipher. When created, a circle can be given a default location where it directs any and all traffic unless otherwise told. The default location must be another teleportation circle that is attuned to the caster of this spell, and within 120 miles (if no location is chosen, the newly created circle has limited benefits, as described in the Teleportation Circles entry). 

General Teleportation Circles

Teleportation circles may have a default location chosen when they are created. Any creature that touches a circle, and says the command word (either by deciphering the runes of the circle itself with an arcana DC 15 check, or by knowing it because someone wrote it on a sign next to it) can open a 10ft diameter portal within the circle that lasts for 5 rounds. Those who step through the portal, are teleported without error to that circle’s default location, a second, predesignated teleportation circle. That second circle does not have to point back to the first, and oftentimes they do not. 

You can attune to a circle as part of a short rest, provided you know the spell Teleport or Teleportation Circle. You can attune to a number of circles equal to your proficiency modifier, and can unattune from one as an action. If you attempt to attune to more than this number, the circle you have had attuned the longest is unattuned. When activating an attuned circle, you can open a portal to any other circle you are attuned to, or its default location. This decision is made when the circle is activated, and can be changed each time it is activated. 

A circle can be dispelled like any other spell or effect, although doing so to a popular circle in a high traffic area might be socially unconscionable. Travel through a teleportation circle does not allow for a saving throw, but does require physical travel into the portal. As such, a creature can be thrown into the portal, or tricked into standing where one is when it is opened.

Many major temples, guilds, and other important places have permanent teleportation circles inscribed somewhere within their confines, and enterprising mages will even set up teleportation circle networks, allowing for worldwide travel, at a fee. 

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