Issues with Teleport

Rise of the Runelords

Grand Lodge

My party is level 10 and we're just starting Fortress of the Stone Giants. My character, a wizard, usually has one casting of teleport memorized. So far we've encountered two situations where advance intel has caused him to want to teleport: saving Turtleback Ferry from Black Magga and the upcoming stone giant raid on Sandpoint.

My understanding from what the GM has said is that the adventure expects the party to travel overland to deal with these emergent situations. Well, what's a wizard to do? He figures if he can get there instantaneously he can at least warn the townsfolk, party or no party.

The issue is that at his current level, he can take 3 other people with him. We have a party of 6 plus animal companions and cohorts. This leads to party splitting and the GM is faced with the decision to A) give us time to prepare a massive defense of the location and wait for the rest of the party to arrive on foot or further teleportation or B) have the monsters attack prematurely against a partial party.

We defeated Black Magga with a partial party but I don't know how the Sandpoint Raid will play out.

My question is, any advice I can give to the GM to strike a balance in this? My alternative is walking around with all my L5 spell slots filled with teleports and bonded object reserved just in case this sort of thing comes up. I don't want to do that.

In two campaigns, my party has stuffed excess party members into Bags of Holding.

As per these forums and RAW, the bags hold 10 minutes of air for a single Medium creature. Plenty of time to shove people in the bag, teleport, and pull 'em out of the bag.

A party of 6 might need two bags; I haven't checked the dimensions lately.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Limit the range of teleport to 1 mile/level.


Grand Lodge

@NobodysHome - Great suggestion, thanks. I'll try this out and see if the other party members are willing to risk possible oblivion if the bag gets ruptured.

@Skeld - That's a non-fun house rule. We try to avoid those. Thanks though.

Exocrat wrote:
@NobodysHome - Great suggestion, thanks. I'll try this out and see if the other party members are willing to risk possible oblivion if the bag gets ruptured.

Yeah, for some reason it's my GMNPCs that always get stuffed in the bag. Go figure...

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Exocrat wrote:
@Skeld - That's a non-fun house rule. We try to avoid those. Thanks though.

Heh. One player's "non-fun houserule" is another GM's "I don't want all my overland travel encounters skipped over with 1 or 2 castings of a spell." To each their own tho.


A few other points:

  • teleport is *almost* but not quite a 'very accurate' destination. Enforcing those percentile rolls with each *bamf* matters, especially if you're 'porting hither and yon to places that your wizard barely knows.
  • You still have to be able to touch all the *bamf'ing* recipients - if they're scattered hither and yon across the battlefield as the giants/monsters/Things Man Was Not Meant to Know is slaughtering the group, your *bamf* may do more harm than good as compared to a possible cone of cold or feeblemind or hold monster that your wizard *could* have unleashed instead.
  • dimension door serves much the same purpose when deployed on the defensive/withdrawal facet
  • the Gods help your Wizard if/when he tries to *bamf* out with a dimensional anchorlocking him up

If you're going to prepare a teleport, accept that it is an "oh sh*t, we're in trouble!" spell instead of a preemptive administration of violence spell. Get to know a really, REALLY safe spot VERY WELL so that when you pull this puppy out you're probably not going to wind up as a red stain on the concrete/cement/stone/other hard substance. And the Gods aren't going to take much pity on you if/when you throw the sooner-or-later mishap and scramble you, your familiar (if any) and any allies' molecules inside the bedrock kinda-sorta near where you were trying to *bamf* to. Mishaps happen ... so teleport going anywhere your wizard cannot draw both line of sight and line of effect to carries a minor/small but inherent degree of messy death with its usage.

Personally, I cannot emphasize enough that *bamf'ing* hither and yon is best left until you have the capacity to prepare several greater teleport spells. Nothing ruins the best laid plans of mages and men-at-arms like becoming a red stain on the pavement...

I'm the DM in the campaign Exocrat mentioned. I will not be limiting usage of teleport to mileage restrictions that essentially make it a level 5 dimension door. If they're willing to bag of holding people then I'll allow it (and the risks involved).

I'm not worried about them skipping encounters, they've already skipped a huge portion of book 2, and that had nothing to do with instant travel and more to do with the shortfalls of the storyline against a veteran group of gamers. They will no doubt skip a huge portion of book 4 due to instant travel, but I'm ok with that. That just gives me time/place to introduce my own encounters at a whim.

My advice for anyone trying to make a game more restrictive, is try to use realistic (heh) consequences that keep them on level path with the campaign. They're going to miss 13 level 7 encounters and basically miss a level? I can keep them underlevel and laugh, or I can introduce a solid plot hook or random encounter-that's-actually-a-dungeon to level them up and take a break from the train tracks of the campaign. Flying PCs for instance? There are flying monsters. They exist, and they just might notice flying PCs. In Magnimar, I just had the party catch up by using the Magnimar city supplement material and hooks and it worked fine. The party appreciated the detour.

Turin, great advice on the proper use of this type of magic. In this case, Exocrat's party owns/operates the Glassworks so they are familiar enough not to arrive off target.

I do enforce the percentile rolls, btw. What fun is it otherwise.

Oh, some of my best games have come of blown teleport rolls. The rules in Pathfinder aren't that punitive, but having them show up in random places that are 'just interesting enough' to look around is awesome.

You just have to pregen a dungeon or two for off-target teleports...

I think that a kind of good safe guard against teleport is that since its not "accurate" you can teleport them below ground "near" the target but still in a dungeon. And then they have to go through the dungeon to reach the place they wanted to go.
Give a little spice too where they are "DUDE, Where the hell are we?!"

Dungeons like Rappan Athuk or extra planar places are fun locations for a missed teleport destination. Other alternatives are adventures you own that you want to eventually run but don't conveniently fit into your current campaign. Personally I'd loved to utilize portions of the upcoming "Rasputin Must Die" from the Reign of Winter AP for just such an instance.

I think someone is confusing a Bag of Holding with a Portable Hole. Unless you can shrink someone down to fit through the opening of a BoH, you shouldn't be putting live, intact PCs in there easily.

As for teleporting, have at it! Split the party! Then enforce those mishap rolls! Wheee!!

By 9th or 10th level you're reaching the point where overland walking or riding is kind of old-hat. "Oh look, another random encounter with another random monster that is tormenting people on this regularly traveled road."

The wind walk and teleport spells are all about getting out of the tedium and improbable encounter routine. Common roads just can't be under constant assault by CR10+ creatures or nobody would ever go near them. Yes, the odd wolf pack attack and low levels makes sense.

Let your characters travel rapidly if that's what they want to do. They get to the meat of matters faster and don't need to deal with distractions. If plot calls for being attacked en-route, an adventure designer has read the room wrong by writing that at mid-level.

My group(s) have created companion bracelets. Basically, magic items that animals and familiars and even servants can wear which does nothing but make them match up with another party member for purposes of travel spells that target a specific number of creatures. So, the druid's bear gets one while the druid wears its mate (they come in pairs) and together they count as one creature.

Just a suggestion.

One thing about teleport is that, while it's great to use to go back to somewhere you know well, it's not nearly as reliable to go to someplace you've never been.

A homebrew mechanic that I use is the chance of a teleport mishap increases if you don't know where you are at the time of casting. Which makes casting it a second time after a mishap even riskier!

Also, the players in my game know that the journey is sometimes as important as getting to the destination. They have stumbled across clues to what's going on during their overland journeys. They also like the occasional side-quest that crops up when traveling. And one PC likes to collect souveneirs from every inn he's stayed at. (Mostly pewter tankards.)

Things like this, in my opinion, is best done as "the party gets there in the nick of time". In other words, the raid should happen the day after the first PC arrives in Sandpoint. "PC" could simply be "information", if Sending is used to alert the town (though this can be a disaster if not done right).

If the party has teleportation, they should use it as many times as needed to get everyone to Sandpoint. There'll be at least a night to regain spells, so this is not unreasonable. Alternatively, they can leave some people, animal companions, or familiars behind. This is particularly well-suited if it turns out that on the session of the raid, someone can't make it. Incorporating an absence like this just spices things up, I think. Or, there's the classic portable hole maneuver. Or just petition the GM to allow teleportation to simply work on all party members when cast by a PC or villain (perhaps with an increase in casting time so it's not an escape spell), and have the standard limits for hired casters only. Just brainstormin' here.

As long as the players realize there's plenty of time, but the characters are acting as fast as they reasonably can, things are ideal.

If it seems unfair and railroady, well, it works the other way, too. There is downtime between adventures, or even during, when the adventure could easily be more time-sensitive. If the players ask, "how much time do we have," I respond with, "how much time do you need?" I usually have something in mind, but I might alter it based on their answer. Don't tell them, but it's usually, "subtract 2-4 weeks from what they want to make them prioritize and whittle down their crafting." Shhhh.

All that said, if you guys figure out a way to absolutely dominate the raid in a non-metagamey way, the GM should not stop you. For example, if you happen to have a dozen scrolls of teleport already on-hand, being able to bring all of the remaining Black Arrows with you should be possible. (That said, if I GM'd this, I'd not run the combat with Black Arrows involved in initiative and such, I'd just reduce the number of raid events, or make the enemies weaker or something.)

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