"Scry & Fry."


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Scry & Fry." Can we clarify what is meant by '“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying."?

James Jacobs has said it doesn't work like many people think it does, and while I agree with his RAI, the RAW seems to differ.

Can we get a FAQ on this?


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Not bad. 5 FAQ already.


Can we get some links so that people know what's being discussed? A clarification of the original question (or link to where it was being asked before), and a link to JJ's comments, would seem appropriate if you want a larger volume of people to respond.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Yeah, generically asking for a ruling on a topic that you've only identified by its colloquial title doesn't seem like the kind of clear and concise question that the design team is inclined to answer.


I asked for a clarification on the teleport spells wording '“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying."

Pretty clear to me.

And Kirth since you have made dozens of posts on this subject and why Pathfinder is broken since it allows it, why not give us some of your wisdom on the subject?


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Enh. Seeing the 10' around a subject you're scrying doesn't really qualify in my mind for the "viewed once" requirement.


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The description I have come to accept is this:

1) TO teleport, you need to know 2 things: location & layout. (For example, "empire state building 3rd floor" & "layout of the rooms & corridors".

2) Scrying can be used to learn the direct layout. Unless this gives you clues as to the location, the layout itself is useless.


Owly wrote:
Enh. Seeing the 10' around a subject you're scrying doesn't really qualify in my mind for the "viewed once" requirement.

I agree, and it seems the Creative Director agrees. But the RAW is unclear.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
williamoak wrote:

The description I have come to accept is this:

1) TO teleport, you need to know 2 things: location & layout. (For example, "empire state building 3rd floor" & "layout of the rooms & corridors".

2) Scrying can be used to learn the direct layout. Unless this gives you clues as to the location, the layout itself is useless.

I run it the same way.


Diego Rossi wrote:
williamoak wrote:

The description I have come to accept is this:

1) TO teleport, you need to know 2 things: location & layout. (For example, "empire state building 3rd floor" & "layout of the rooms & corridors".

2) Scrying can be used to learn the direct layout. Unless this gives you clues as to the location, the layout itself is useless.

I run it the same way.

Actually diego, I think I picked up the way to run from you, off a comment in another thread.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It might not be what's best for the game, but without going through extensive mental gymnastics and rationalizing things away I have a hard time seeing the statement as meaning anything other than scrying once on a location probably fulfilling the "viewed once" requirement.

If that's not what they meant it's a profoundly badly worded statement from the rules. Not only does it need to be clarified, but if that's the case it needs to be rewritten.


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Drock11 wrote:

It might not be what's best for the game, but without going through extensive mental gymnastics and rationalizing things away I have a hard time seeing the statement as meaning anything other than scrying once on a location probably fulfilling the "viewed once" requirement.

If that's not what they meant it's a profoundly badly worded statement from the rules. Not only does it need to be clarified, but if that's the case it needs to be rewritten.

There is a lot of legacy wording that carried over from 3.5e to Pathfinder. In a few cases, specific wording was overlooked in the transition to Pathfinder due to the VERY short turnaround time from Pathfinder Beta to Pathfinder Core Rulebook printing.

This is the reason for some similar errors. Example: Wording in the concentration section which says that in order to cast a spell while grappled, you must have the material components in your hand.

As a matter of fact, what DrDeth is suggesting (that it's legacy wording which should be removed) is exactly the way James Jacobs (Paizo's creative director) suggests us to view it.


MechE_ wrote:


There is a lot of legacy wording that carried over from 3.5e to Pathfinder. In a few cases, specific wording was overlooked in the transition to Pathfinder due to the VERY short turnaround time from Pathfinder Beta to Pathfinder Core Rulebook printing.

This is the reason for some similar errors. Example: Wording in the concentration section which says that in order to cast a spell while grappled, you must have the material components in your hand.

As a matter of fact, what DrDeth is suggesting (that it's legacy wording which should be removed) is exactly the way James Jacobs (Paizo's creative director) suggests us to view it.

Yes, excellent point.

The JJ quote MechE is referring to is "I reconcile it by saying that when you scry someone, you view a person, NOT a place, and thus simply ignore the bit of text that says you can scry to gain the viewed once condition. This makes for a better game play experience in my opinion."


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I find it an intense straining of the wording to interpret RAI (let alone RAW) as "you can't scry to teleport" when the teleport spell literally gives scrying as its example of the least accurate viewing condition.

Moreover, "I ignore that bit of text" from JJ makes it sound like a house rule to me. Probably a good one, I will add, but he has mentioned more than one house rule before.

There's really only one way I could see the non scrying allowing interpretation being supported as RAI, and that's if Paizo does come in and clarify that this bit of text was an oversight that was meant to have been deleted in 3.5 -> Pathfinder. If it is flatly erroneous text, that's one thing. If it is meant to be there, then what the heck else would it mean?

I didn't click FAQ because I don't think the rules are unclear as they stand right now. If Paizo thinks they need to change, that's in the realm of an errata to change a functioning but undesired rule. Not a FAQ.


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Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

So in practice, I think the problem is that they sort of want to prevent scry-buff-teleport attacks, but they haven't really come up with a consistent fix and gone and edited all the wording to implement it.


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Coriat wrote:
I didn't click FAQ because I don't think the rules are unclear as they stand right now. If Paizo thinks they need to change, that's in the realm of an errata to change a functioning but undesired rule. Not a FAQ.

Seconding this. There's zero ambiguity about the current rules-as-written. Some people might not like the current RAW, but it's written out in plain text.

Granted, judging by his recent spate of posts DrDeth is on a crusade to prove that all the things people bring up that make casters powerful are just a result of people having badwrongfun and failing to grasp Holy Pathfinder's divine perfection.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

So in practice, I think the problem is that they sort of want to prevent scry-buff-teleport attacks, but they haven't really come up with a consistent fix and gone and edited all the wording to implement it.

Yes, 0 ambiguity:

Teleport wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination.

That phrase has always barred teleporting to a destination when you don't know its location. The part about scrying work only if the act of scrying allow you to identify the location.

At that point, if you have scryed someone in a location that you are capable to identify, you can teleport there with the “Seen casually” level of familiarity.

Your opening phrase should be amended to:
"Historically, in my gaming group you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it."

I my gaming group we read the location requirement and got to a different conclusion.
I don't assume that all groups follow our reading of the rules, you shouldn't assume that all groups follow your reading of the rules.
There is an ambiguity so a good candidate for a FAQ.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

So in practice, I think the problem is that they sort of want to prevent scry-buff-teleport attacks, but they haven't really come up with a consistent fix and gone and edited all the wording to implement it.

Yes, 0 ambiguity:

Teleport wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination.

That phrase has always barred teleporting to a destination when you don't know its location. The part about scrying work only if the act of scrying allow you to identify the location.

At that point, if you have scryed someone in a location that you are capable to identify, you can teleport there with the “Seen casually” level of familiarity.

Your opening phrase should be amended to:
"Historically, in my gaming group you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it."

I my gaming group we read the location requirement and got to a different conclusion.
I don't assume that all groups follow our reading of the rules, you shouldn't assume that all groups follow your reading of the rules.
There is an ambiguity so a good candidate for a FAQ.

Well, if you were looking over the entry for the Teleport spell, one wonders how you missed the following:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Teleport Spell wrote:

“Viewed once” is a

place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.


seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

But wait -- planets move around their suns (and at a pretty good clip), so does that mean that (assuming Pathfinder planets work the same way) you cannot teleport ANYWHERE unless you have JUST scryed the destination?

Heck, the six seconds between scrying the location and teleporting there might be enough to make your destination false!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:


Well, if you were looking over the entry for the Teleport spell, one wonders how you missed the following:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Teleport Spell wrote:

“Viewed once” is a

place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

Emphasis on the word "POSSIBLY". Which implies that while scrying MAY allow you to get a teleport fix, it isn't guaranteed to do so., especially if the room is closed enough not to give you any location clues, such as not having any windows. So the answer is on a case by case basis. Unless teleportation magic is incredibly rare, those in the know will have provisions for telepotation blind rooms, and mazes as seen in "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester.


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Werebat wrote:
seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

But wait -- planets move around their suns (and at a pretty good clip), so does that mean that (assuming Pathfinder planets work the same way) you cannot teleport ANYWHERE unless you have JUST scryed the destination?

Heck, the six seconds between scrying the location and teleporting there might be enough to make your destination false!

The implications for Immovable Rods are far-reaching and dire.


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I see nothing against scrying a location to determine teleportation there. If you're investing the spells and slots, you should be able to do that sort of thing.

HOWEVER, spells like Teleport Trap, Dimensional Anchor, and Forbiddence make me second guess using it as an actual tactic. Anyone who realizes they may be the victim of a "scry & fry" should shore up defenses to this sort of thing. If not, I feel no worse for them than I do for the dominated fighter or barbarian who didn't invest enough in Will saves.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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LazarX wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:


Well, if you were looking over the entry for the Teleport spell, one wonders how you missed the following:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Teleport Spell wrote:

“Viewed once” is a

place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.
Emphasis on the word "POSSIBLY". Which implies that while scrying MAY allow you to get a teleport fix, it isn't guaranteed to do so

You've got that backwards; "possibly" means that scrying isn't the only way to have viewed the place. The word "possibly" in that sentence is denoting that there are multiple possibilities for how you could have seen a place one, and then it goes on to list scrying as one of those possibilities. It does not refer to an uncertainty of effect.

That's to say nothing of the final result of the issue at hand; I haven't examined it closely enough to form an opinion. But let's not mutilate the english language in order to get the desired result, okay?


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DrDeth wrote:
And Kirth since you have made dozens of posts on this subject and why Pathfinder is broken since it allows it, why not give us some of your wisdom on the subject?

To clarify, I didn't say "Pathfinder is broken since it allows it." I noted that Pathfinder does allow it, and that it is potentially game-altering, and that that needs to be addressed: either (a) in the RAW, or (b) in the form of houserules, or (c) in the form of a gentleman's agreement not to abuse it. (One day you'll realize that "Pathfinder has the following issues in the RAW" is not synonymous with "Pathfinder sucks in its entirety!")

With that out of the way:
I don't know if this qualifies as "wisdom," but you asked for my personal thoughts on the matter, so here they are. I aimed to kill two birds with one stone, and also address why "dungeons" even exist, and why people still build castles given that battles in RAW are more or less determined by the highest-CR creatures on each side, not by the largest number of mooks you can put in one location.

What I do at home is to rule that "X" thickness of stone or "Y" thickness of earth or "Z" thickness of metal (vary X, Y, and Z based on the needs of your campaign) blocks teleportation and scrying effects. A castle with walls and leaded glass windows (or metal shutters over the windows) becomes a scry- and teleport-proof haven, without having to have a 9th level wizard around every day to cast spells on it for that purpose. Likewise for a dungeon underground. Once IN the dungeon, you can still dimension door within the area -- you just can't blip in and out of the complex at will. This explains why otherwise intelligent villains hole up in a location with limited physical egress, and that should realistically be subject to collapse due to earthquakes and the like.

Simply houseruling on scrying limitations, as JJ evidently does, is a different type of fix. It works to prevent "scry-and-fry" tactics, so from that point of view it's a success. My solution is more roundabout, but also provides an in-game reason for the prevailence of castles and dungeons in the setting, which might otherwise seem anachronistic.

My understanding is that a lot of experienced gamers rely on the third solution: gentleman's agreement. "Don't use scry-and-fry as players, and in exchange, I won't let the villains use it. Also, let's all agree to ignore questions about why there are so many dungeons in the world." That works, too, but I personally find it slightly unsatisfactory in terms of immersion. YMMV.


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aceDiamond wrote:

I see nothing against scrying a location to determine teleportation there. If you're investing the spells and slots, you should be able to do that sort of thing.

HOWEVER, spells like Teleport Trap, Dimensional Anchor, and Forbiddence make me second guess using it as an actual tactic. Anyone who realizes they may be the victim of a "scry & fry" should shore up defenses to this sort of thing. If not, I feel no worse for them than I do for the dominated fighter or barbarian who didn't invest enough in Will saves.

The problem with this is twofold. First, it affects the flavor of every campaign to the point where NO villain of mid level or higher can be anything but a spellcaster (or have a high level spellcaster working for him). Second, it cuts into the budget of every villain of mid level or higher -- they ALL need to have spent a significant amount of their resources on fending off scry&fry.


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Great house rule, Kirth! Multiple birds with one stone.

I think I'll take that with me to my next campaign, if you don't mind.

Essentially it sounds like 'Faraday cages' against magic. I've already got a cool idea for a BBEG having a special room in his lair with the ability to temporarily open up passage through the 'cage' with a deep pit and a movable metal plate...just in case a rapid exit is needed.


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No, I don't mean "in my gaming group". I mean "at any time in the entire history of D&D-like games, where scrying has been a possibility".

The idea that scrying does not give you enough data to teleport is new. There were endless discussions on scry-buff-teleport in rec.games.frp.dnd over the years, and that suggestion never came up once that I saw.

And, as noted, even the example in the ship-combat thing from Paizo contradicts it, by suggesting that scrying a ship does let you teleport there as long as the ship hasn't moved yet. But that's incoherent in many ways:

1. Scrying doesn't tell you where it is, so the explicit statement that it's allowed contradicts the allegedly unambiguous rule.
2. If it really is just about location, and you know the direction and heading of the ship, you should be able to delay and then teleport because you know the correct location after the delay, too.

Silver Crusade

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DrDeth wrote:

I asked for a clarification on the teleport spells wording '“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying."

Pretty clear to me.

I see no reference to the teleport spells in the original post. In what way is this clear? I do see a reference to wording that is inside of the description of teleport spells, but only after reading several other posts did I gain understanding of what this thread was about.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

So in practice, I think the problem is that they sort of want to prevent scry-buff-teleport attacks, but they haven't really come up with a consistent fix and gone and edited all the wording to implement it.

Yes, 0 ambiguity:

Teleport wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination.

That phrase has always barred teleporting to a destination when you don't know its location. The part about scrying work only if the act of scrying allow you to identify the location.

At that point, if you have scryed someone in a location that you are capable to identify, you can teleport there with the “Seen casually” level of familiarity.

Your opening phrase should be amended to:
"Historically, in my gaming group you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it."

I my gaming group we read the location requirement and got to a different conclusion.
I don't assume that all groups follow our reading of the rules, you shouldn't assume that all groups follow your reading of the rules.
There is an ambiguity so a good candidate for a FAQ.

Well, if you were looking over the entry for the Teleport spell, one wonders how you missed the following:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Teleport Spell wrote:

“Viewed once” is a

place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

Yes, and where it say: "scrying it will always allow you to teleport to a location"?

1) scrying don't spy a location, it spy a person;
2) scrying possibly allow you to recognize the location. That is not something that is automatic.
3) what the spell say is that a viewed once location could possibly be one that you have seen while using the spell scrying. But that don't make the reverse automatically true. A location you have seen using the spell scrying don't automatically count as viewed once. You still have to fulfil all the other conditions needed to be able to teleport to a location.

Liberty's Edge

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Werebat wrote:
seebs wrote:

Historically, you've always been able to teleport to a location based on having scryed it. Then we got that one ruling from the ship combat thing saying that since ships move, you have to teleport immediately after scrying or else it becomes a "false location". And that can't possibly be right, because if it were right, you couldn't even teleport that way at all, because scrying absolutely does not tell you where something is, it just lets you see the immediate vicinity.

But wait -- planets move around their suns (and at a pretty good clip), so does that mean that (assuming Pathfinder planets work the same way) you cannot teleport ANYWHERE unless you have JUST scryed the destination?

Heck, the six seconds between scrying the location and teleporting there might be enough to make your destination false!

You stay within the same frame of reference. The distance between point A and point B is the same, the direction from A to B is the same.

On the other hand teleporting between planets require a vastly more powerful spell: Interplanetary Teleport. Even Greater Teleport isn't enough for that.


Good points, Diego.


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Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?


Scavion wrote:

Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?

That was in a module, and I am not sure if they considered the implications.


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DrDeth wrote:
Scavion wrote:

Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?

That was in a module, and I am not sure if they considered the implications.

It takes some pretty crazy RAI to say that

Teleport wrote:
“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

doesn't work.

In this statement the game flat out says, "Oh yeah, if you see a place using magic LIKE SCRYING, you can teleport there!"

You can't scry places, only people, ergo you can teleport to someone after you've scryed on them.


Scavion wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Scavion wrote:

Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?

That was in a module, and I am not sure if they considered the implications.

It takes some pretty crazy RAI to say that

Teleport wrote:
“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

doesn't work.

In this statement the game flat out says, "Oh yeah, if you see a place using magic LIKE SCRYING, you can teleport there!"

You can't scry places, only people, ergo you can teleport to someone after you've scryed on them.

I see your point. But on the other hand we have JJ saying "when you scry someone, you view a person, NOT a place, and thus simply ignore the bit of text that says you can scry to gain the viewed once condition". It seems to be a unwanted hang-over from previous editions.


DrDeth wrote:
Scavion wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Scavion wrote:

Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?

That was in a module, and I am not sure if they considered the implications.

It takes some pretty crazy RAI to say that

Teleport wrote:
“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

doesn't work.

In this statement the game flat out says, "Oh yeah, if you see a place using magic LIKE SCRYING, you can teleport there!"

You can't scry places, only people, ergo you can teleport to someone after you've scryed on them.

I see your point. But on the other hand we have JJ saying "when you scry someone, you view a person, NOT a place, and thus simply ignore the bit of text that says you can scry to gain the viewed once condition". It seems to be a unwanted hang-over from previous editions.

Mmmhmm. Normally I take JJ's interpretations but I find it hard to believe that that roundabout interpretation of the wording in teleport is a proper interpretation. This is especially egregious when you consider the entry on scrying and then teleporting to someone on a ship.

Teleport flat out says that it could be viewed once via magic like Scrying. If it was a simple hold over from 3.5 that was supposed to be correct (I find this unlikely as they didnt care till years from now since it's printing) then it would have been fixed in a reprint.

All in all this is a silly quibble as the use of Teleport Trap once will forever frighten your players into never trying these tactics ever again. All it takes is one Rogue or Fighter teleported into a volcano.

Teleport Trap wastes their attempt to teleport or kills a party member.


Scavion wrote:
Teleport wrote:
“Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic such as scrying.

doesn't work.

In this statement the game flat out says, "Oh yeah, if you see a place using magic LIKE SCRYING, you can teleport there!"

Not really. It says that if you are able to teleport to a place (which requires you to know the location) and if you have viewed it only by scrying (which does not automatically give you the location but you might know that somehow anyway) then the failure chance of your teleport spell is 24%.

Liberty's Edge

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Scavion wrote:

Mmm. Scrying someone on a ship then teleporting to them works, but scrying someone anywhere else doesn't?

Lets just break any notion of precedence yeah?

Skull an Shackles player's guide wrote:


Dimension Door, Greater Teleport, Teleport, Teleportation Circle: Because ships are constantly in motion, the caster of spells of the teleportation subschool must have line of sight to teleport onto a ship. Otherwise, a caster must scry upon a particular ship first, then immediately teleport to the scryed destination. Any delay in casting means the ship has moved from its scryed location and the spell fails.

In this instance the writer don't even speak of the scrying spell. he speak of scrying the ship and then he speak of the scryed location.

The problem is that the action of scrying something (with whatever spell you have that work) is often confused with the scrying spell.
Another form of the "what is the meaning of level" discussion.

If you look the d20SRD hypertext teleport, you find: “Viewed once” is a place that you have seen once, possibly using magic".

That is the strongest argument about scrying (the spell) and frying working, as someone has added to "possibly using magic" the part "such as scrying".

Currently I don't have my 3 and 3.5 books at hand. Someone can cheek the text in them?
(note that in the 3.0 version of the game you had a scry skill and scrying was the action of using that skill)


My theory is: Scry-buff-teleport is a severely effective tactic, and also potentially gamebreaking without a lot of work. Historically, the game has allowed teleporting to a location you've seen, without having to have any particular notion of where the place is.

The ship-movement ruling contradicts either of the other plain senses of the rules. Either you shouldn't be able to teleport to a ship based on having observed part of it, or you should be able to. There is no way to justify the inference that you know where it is precisely enough to teleport immediately, but not enough to teleport there six seconds later. But there's a very obvious justification for that: It is an attempt to prevent scry-buff-teleport. Well, okay. But it's not based on the location, really, it's based on needing to prevent a tactic.

It's worth noting that the 3.0/3.5 D&D rules had additional text explaining this, which was dropped in the SRD. As with foresight, which appears to be the dumbest 9th level spell ever written if you haven't read the examples of intended use, teleport makes more sense if you've seen the examples. Quoted for reference:

D&D wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. You can't simply teleport to the warlord's tent if you don't know where that tent is, what it looks like, or what's in it. The clearer your mental image, the more likely the teleportation works.

The italicized part is from the original text, but dropped in the D20 SRD.

Oh, and:

I think Werebat's point about the motion of planets is unrelated to interplanetary teleport. The issue here is not teleporting to another planet. It's that the planet you are currently on is moving. So if we're going to say you can't teleport somewhere if it's moved since you observed it, well. That's a problem, isn't it? The entire planet is no longer where it was when you observed the location.

Liberty's Edge

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seebs wrote:


I think Werebat's point about the motion of planets is unrelated to interplanetary teleport. The issue here is not teleporting to another planet. It's that the planet you are currently on is moving. So if we're going to say you can't teleport somewhere if it's moved since you observed it, well. That's a problem, isn't it? The entire planet is no longer where it was when you observed the location.

Already replied, but I will try to make it clearer:

What is the frame of reference of the character teleporting?
With telepor or greater teleport you are moving from a point to another point that maintain the same reference. They are all part of the same structure. For the observer (the guys teleporting) the motion for the planet is irrelevant as it has no effect within their frame of reference (it is one of the classical physic experiments made by Galileo [already linked in another thread] if you do the same experiment on land on in the hold of a ship moving a constant speed you don't notice any difference. Look Galilean invariance).
When you teleport from the Golarion to its moon you instead have two bodies that don't stay in the same position within a frame of reference that include both worlds. that is the reason why you need a stronger spell.

Same problem with the ship. If it is in motion its position change within the frame of reference that include the starting and destination point. If you are on the moving ship you can teleport out of it as you your starting position, but you can't teleport ion it unless you have a way to determine its current location (it will work the same if you want to teleport into a moving wagon, BTW).

- * -

About the "it has always worked this way: those of us that have played in the Spelljammer setting should remember that it wasn't possible to teleport from ship to ship unless you were in close proximity.

Teleport was way less used as failing the destination check has dire consequences. Each 1% by which you failed the check had you ending in a spot 1' higher or lower than the intended point.
Being a few feet higher in the air was survivable, ending a few feet lower and waist up in the floor generally wasn't.


I recall in DND gorgons blood mixed into the mortar meant anyone trying to teleport in was turned to stone. BBEF (Big Bad Evil Fighter) "Go ahead and scry/fry if you dare . . . like my new statues?"


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Diego Rossi wrote:
On the other hand teleporting between planets require a vastly more powerful spell: Interplanetary Teleport. Even Greater Teleport isn't enough for that.

Prior to the release of the Interplantary Teleport spell did anyone seriously believe that Greater Teleport could not get you to another planet of the same plane of existence given that it...

Quote:
functions like teleport, except that there is no range limit

I suspect not.


Liam Warner wrote:
I recall in DND gorgons blood mixed into the mortar meant anyone trying to teleport in was turned to stone. BBEF (Big Bad Evil Fighter) "Go ahead and scry/fry if you dare . . . like my new statues?"

I am pretty certain it just blocked teleportation. it was a relatively cheap and easy technique to use and is the sort of thing that PF could probably do with if it wants to maintain much sense of versimilitude in a world with teleporting murder hobo assassins.


I think for my reading of the rules, it seems like you need two things. The location and its layout. If you scry, you only have the layout, not the location. You'd need both to successfully teleport.

As for the ship, I feel it was an example of a specific situation that may come up during that style of campaign. When most people use scrying and teleporting, it's usually to stationary locations like castles and keeps. It's rare for players to teleport onto a moving object, so it makes sense that S&S would have to explain what would happen if the players did such. And in truth, it's not that far of a stretch of logic to go with the spell. I mean, generally speaking, castles don't move. Well, generally speaking, that is...


andreww wrote:
Liam Warner wrote:
I recall in DND gorgons blood mixed into the mortar meant anyone trying to teleport in was turned to stone. BBEF (Big Bad Evil Fighter) "Go ahead and scry/fry if you dare . . . like my new statues?"
I am pretty certain it just blocked teleportation. it was a relatively cheap and easy technique to use and is the sort of thing that PF could probably do with if it wants to maintain much sense of versimilitude in a world with teleporting murder hobo assassins.

May be mixing up my substances but I know there was something that petrified anyone teleporting/dimension dooring/ethereal passing/etc through the walls when used in contructing them.


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Interplanetary teleport only exists because of a new claim that "planes" are "other planets", as I recall. Prior to that, yes, it was completely obvious that greater teleport could go anywhere within the material plane. No range limit does not mean "range limit of 1AU or so".

Diego: I think you have a really interesting point there about the frames of reference, but I am not sure it is entirely correct. Imagine, if you will, an object in a geosynchronous orbit around a planet. It's stationary within the planet's frame of reference...

Furthermore, imagine if you will two identical ships, facing the same way, close enough to each other that they have matching vectors and are affected the same way by wind and currents. If we accept the "frame of reference" model, then you should be able to teleport back and forth between these freely, delay or no delay, because their relative locations aren't changing. If you use the one you're on as your frame of reference, the other isn't moving.

... and thinking further, we have the quirk that if you start thinking about frames of reference, wouldn't you also need to know exactly where you are now? So, if you're on a moving ship, you can't teleport to your home city because you don't know its location relative to you.

Basically, I think this is one of the cases where if you start applying physics to D&D, you get nonsense results because magic isn't physics. In fact, it works better if you drop any notion of frames of reference and galilean invariance, and just declare the planet as a whole to be the definition-of-still. Then "location" can actually be a moderately reasonable requirement, as long as you only need a target location known. Probably.

Me, I'm just gonna stick with the plain sense of the "viewed once through magic, such as scrying" language, and assume that you can teleport to a specific location based on either a precise description of its position or having seen it, and that this is why dimensional lock is a thing.


The rules open up the possibility of using "scrying" to have viewed the location but does not fulfill the requirements for teleportation. If you have seen Buckingham palace, and used scrying to identify someone was in the dining room of Buckingham palance, then scrying would let you teleport someone into the dining room of Buckingham palace. If you don't scry, you can only teleport them to outside Buckingham balance, which you have seen. If you scry, but have never visited Buckingham palace, then you need some way to determine the location of what you are seeing. If you say, "There's a tapestry there of two black adders consuming some haggis," and someone says, "Ah, that's Tantagel Castle," then casting the spell yields the False Destination result.


I think the question is what if anything is meant by "location". Do you need something logically equivalent to GPS coordinates?

Actually, here's a thought experiment for you:

Imagine that you have no idea where you are.

Can you teleport across the room? You don't know where the target location is in any absolute sense. You only know the relative location.

But if relative locations work, then scrying someone who's on a ship you can see ought to be good enough because you've seen the location around them, and you know where they are relative to you.

And if relative locations don't work, we get some pretty stupid results.

Can you teleport to a flying castle?


Good points. Keep 'em coming.


seebs wrote:

Interplanetary teleport only exists because of a new claim that "planes" are "other planets", as I recall. Prior to that, yes, it was completely obvious that greater teleport could go anywhere within the material plane. No range limit does not mean "range limit of 1AU or so".

Diego: I think you have a really interesting point there about the frames of reference, but I am not sure it is entirely correct. Imagine, if you will, an object in a geosynchronous orbit around a planet. It's stationary within the planet's frame of reference...

Furthermore, imagine if you will two identical ships, facing the same way, close enough to each other that they have matching vectors and are affected the same way by wind and currents. If we accept the "frame of reference" model, then you should be able to teleport back and forth between these freely, delay or no delay, because their relative locations aren't changing. If you use the one you're on as your frame of reference, the other isn't moving.

Actually, it is worse than that. If you are on any kind of moving vehicle, ship, carriage, etc. then you are moving relative to the rest of the planet. That means that the 6 second limit appilies to any and all attempt teleport from a ship to shore, because the ship is moving relative to the frame of reference of the shore.

As for the whole, you scry a person, not a location. Yes, Scry is on a person, but you can also see everything within 10 feet of the person you are scrying. You you can see the area immediately around the person. You can watch them for 1 minute per level, and the censor follows the target around. That means you could easily have observed a significant amount of the location, even though the spell is cast on a person.

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