Is greater teleport overpowered


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


I always thought so since you can skip entire dungeons and other areas by just teleporting right to the person/thing/whatever. I remember on the DND boards someone made the point that if the spell existed in Lord Of The Rings the story would be over in 5 minutes since Gandalf could just teleport right to the caldera of Mount Doom and throw the ring in. I was thinking maybe you should only be able to teleport to places you have been to in person before.


It’s powerful but not unusually so. That’s the same spell level as spells like limited wish or lesser create demiplane.


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Comparing pathfinder to LotR doesn't usually work. Middle-Earth is probably an E6 world, and Gandalf is a Magus (forget Greater teleport, Fly could have solved most of their problems).


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the 'One Ring''s corruption power is stronger the more powerful the one holding it is.
look up youtube for the explanation about why they didn't use giant eagles to just fly there(answer - they are demi-gods level in mid earth, so they would have fallen for the ring), which is why Hobbits are set as the best default keepers who are less corruptible.
Gandalf taking hold of the ring to teleport would have been worse then giving it to Sauran.


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It isn’t overpowered. I’ve noticed that when people complain about X or Y high level ability being “overpowered” it’s because they seem to expect the same challenges for level 3 characters (e.g. simply traveling from A to B) to be a challenge for level 13 characters. The LotR example might be fine for a level 1-5 adventure but it would be wrong for anyone to expect it to work as a level 10-15 adventure. The other problem with using LotR as an example is that it’s a story and Pathfinder isn’t; what might make for a good story doesn’t necessarily make a for a good gaming experience.

While Greater Teleport does not require you to have been to the target location you do need to have a reliable description of it. With this in mind you can make an adventure out of researching sufficient information to teleport to the desired area. For example the players might be after an artefact they know to be in a lost ancient city and while they don’t know the exact location of the artefact, their research did uncover a detailed description of a specific structure located within the city which they can use to teleport to it. The party hasn’t bypassed anything since the adventure consists of researching and exploring the ancient lost city, not trudging across the world to get there.


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zza ni wrote:

the 'One Ring''s corruption power is stronger the more powerful the one holding it is.

look up youtube for the explanation about why they didn't use giant eagles to just fly there(answer - they are demi-gods level in mid earth, so they would have fallen for the ring), which is why Hobbits are set as the best default keepers who are less corruptible.
Gandalf taking hold of the ring to teleport would have been worse then giving it to Sauran.

All this time, I thought it was because Sauron was sensible enough to install anti-air defences.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
zza ni wrote:

the 'One Ring''s corruption power is stronger the more powerful the one holding it is.

look up youtube for the explanation about why they didn't use giant eagles to just fly there(answer - they are demi-gods level in mid earth, so they would have fallen for the ring), which is why Hobbits are set as the best default keepers who are less corruptible.
Gandalf taking hold of the ring to teleport would have been worse then giving it to Sauran.
All this time, I thought it was because Sauron was sensible enough to install anti-air defences.

There isn't of course a canon answer. He did have anti-air defenses though. First off, it is quite apparent that if he sees you with the Eye and you have the Ring you are his puppet, so sneaking in rather than flying on God-birds makes a lot of sense. Second, those flying Nazgul which were around, drawing them as well as the attention of the Eye to the Gate was Aragorn's plan after all. And the Eagles themselves being affected by the Ring is a possibility. Lastly, the Eagle's are under the province of Manwe a God/Angel being that has limits imposed by the creator on when and how he can act, solving the problems of Middle Earth directly is one of them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's an 8th level spell, meaning you need to be at least 15th level to cast it normally. A 15th level character is a planar power whose actions affect the very fate of the cosmos itself. No, it is not overpowered.

Lord of the Rings has been talked to death. The school of thought I hold to regards Middle Earth as a "low-power" setting where Aragorn was a 5th level character and the Balrog (which Gandalf was evenly matched against) was around a CR 9-10 monster. It's just a lower-powered setting than is typical for D&D and Pathfinder games.


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No.


Dasrak wrote:

It's an 8th level spell, meaning you need to be at least 15th level to cast it normally. A 15th level character is a planar power whose actions affect the very fate of the cosmos itself. No, it is not overpowered.

Lord of the Rings has been talked to death. The school of thought I hold to regards Middle Earth as a "low-power" setting where Aragorn was a 5th level character and the Balrog (which Gandalf was evenly matched against) was around a CR 9-10 monster. It's just a lower-powered setting than is typical for D&D and Pathfinder games.

Its a 7th level spell, if it were an 8th level spell it would be under powered.


Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?


Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

By the time they are at the level of greater teleport the party has outgrown the traditional sense of a dungeon so you as the gm need to get creative and if the party wants to skip to the big bad that's their problem for not earning the level boost and gear that would be needed to make it a more fair fight vs the boss.


Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

Teleport trap over a pit of lava/sealed room/ gate to the negative energy plane/ etc


Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

From the decription of teleport spell (this would also also apply to greater teleport:

"Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible."

As a GM you can declare some places to be like that. Although you should let the PCs to recognize such places upon encountering them, or the players will be mad at you when they try to use teleportation to escape.


Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

They need to know enough about location of the big bad well enough to use Greater Teleport and this location needs to be on the same plane as them.

The Exchange

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This tactic is traditionally known as “scry and fry” and consists of using a divination effect to precisely locate the Big Bad Evil Guy, buff the whole party to near godhood, and teleport right on top of him.

In addition to effects that block or redirect teleports, what’s stopping you is anything that makes the divination unclear. Without that you are at the mercy of the moment. Even if you have an exact layout of the dungeon, you might teleport to where you think the BBEG is only to find he has left for a while to inspect his minions. Or taken a trip to the WC.

You might be able to pull it off once if the GM isn’t aware of what is possible. After that you can expect a whole lot of mind blank-type effects or dimensional locks.

Dimensional anchor tied to an unhallow is a perennial favorite. You only have to bring in a cleric once a year to renew it.


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Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

One of the following might keep the PCs from just teleporting in:

1. Who and where are unknown qualities (and consequently finding those are major goals of the adventure).

2. The Big Bad hides behind a powerful henchman.

3. Killing the Big Bad doesn't resolve the goal of the adventure.

4. The Big Bad's hideout is somewhere fundamentally dangerous to the party in a way that isn't immediately evident upon viewing (no breathable air, negative energy floes, electrified floor, poisonous environment, etc.)

5. Confronting the Big Bad will set off a "bomb" that will cause some sort of disaster to occur. The PCs must diffuse this first.

6. The Big Bad has warded his area against teleportation.

7. The Big Bad has an active Contingency that teleports him away when someone teleports near him.

8. The Big Bad resides on his own demiplane.

9. The Big Bad requires some item or action to be performed in order to defeat him permanantly

10. The Big Bad has planned for this to occur (surely everyone has heard of this tactic by now) and all hell breaks loose once the PCs teleport in.


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11. There is no Big Bad. (Variant of 3.)


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12. What they thought was the big bad was actually another band of heros and now that they are all dead the world is more screwed.


Yqatuba wrote:
Well, ok. Say you have some big elaborate dungeon. What keeps the pcs from just teleporting right to where the big bad is and skipping the whole dungeon?

Where, exactly, in this elaborate dungeon is the big boss?

If you don't have a detailed description of the area where the boss is located, you're not teleporting to him.


13. You only have a name to go off of, and the scrying directs you to someone else with that name.


14. The Big Bad has used False Vision to make the PC's think he's vulnerable to "Scry n Fry". PC's teleport into a prison cell and the Big Bad immediately sets up a Dimensional Lock spell. Alternatively, the PC's teleport into a Wall of Suppression (bye bye god-mode buffs) and the Big Bad's henchmen have the teleportation area surrounded.


I like these solutions. With the exception of "the players wont be powerful enough if they don't level up from doing the dungeon" which seems like total metagaming to me.


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Yqatuba wrote:
I like these solutions. With the exception of "the players wont be powerful enough if they don't level up from doing the dungeon" which seems like total metagaming to me.

The DMs job is literally metagaming....


15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning

Yeah, the grand dungeon of getting a bunch of divination scrolls to ask the GM about the particular counter measures at work and then literally scry/frying. Unless you mean you need to infiltrate the lair, observe the defenses, find the bad guy, and all that other stuff before telefragging the big guy in which case...you literally just did a normal dungeon.


You know, in just about every dungeon I've run I can count the number of BBGs that the PCs knew about before killing them on one hand. Most of them were powerful enough that they could take anti-scrying, anti-teleport measures.

Old abandoned temples to forgotten gods can have remnants of power that interfere with such spells. Letting the PCs do scry and fry a few times is fine, but after a while you just build in conditions that block them from doing it.

Really, the main defense of the minion of the Overlord that manages this entire dungeon from be scryed is that the PCs have never herd of or seen this guy and all they will ever learn of him will come from the notes they loot off his corpse.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning
Yeah, the grand dungeon of getting a bunch of divination scrolls to ask the GM about the particular counter measures at work and then literally scry/frying. Unless you mean you need to infiltrate the lair, observe the defenses, find the bad guy, and all that other stuff before telefragging the big guy in which case...you literally just did a normal dungeon.

That just depends on whether your PCs are comfortable risking their lives on what they can see through a scrying sensor and an outsider's answer of "yes", "no", or "maybe" to any questions they can think of. Finding the right questions to ask is a nontrivial problem.


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning
Yeah, the grand dungeon of getting a bunch of divination scrolls to ask the GM about the particular counter measures at work and then literally scry/frying. Unless you mean you need to infiltrate the lair, observe the defenses, find the bad guy, and all that other stuff before telefragging the big guy in which case...you literally just did a normal dungeon.

That just depends on whether your PCs are comfortable risking their lives on what they can see through a scrying sensor and an outsider's answer of "yes", "no", or "maybe" to any questions they can think of. Finding the right questions to ask is a nontrivial problem.

Well they kind of have to trust that for your premise to even work in the first place. Any other form of intelligence gathering than rooting around a library or crank calling the gods (who you can ask repeatedly if you're worried about the 30ish lie chance) means you're doing a dungeon and the premise no longer holds.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning
Yeah, the grand dungeon of getting a bunch of divination scrolls to ask the GM about the particular counter measures at work and then literally scry/frying. Unless you mean you need to infiltrate the lair, observe the defenses, find the bad guy, and all that other stuff before telefragging the big guy in which case...you literally just did a normal dungeon.

At a level where Greater Teleport is an option, tools to deceive and/or block scrying are also readily available.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
15. The party is an elite group of teleporting assassins. They do reconnaissance and make careful plans to strike when it is most favorable for them. Time is of the essence, since the Big Bad's guards and allies will react to their presence and potentially overwhelm them if they take too long. The "dungeon" is the planning
Yeah, the grand dungeon of getting a bunch of divination scrolls to ask the GM about the particular counter measures at work and then literally scry/frying. Unless you mean you need to infiltrate the lair, observe the defenses, find the bad guy, and all that other stuff before telefragging the big guy in which case...you literally just did a normal dungeon.
At a level where Greater Teleport is an option, tools to deceive and/or block scrying are also readily available.

None against the crank calls though. And even then, the point is "telefragging goon squad" is about as viable a campaign pitch as the all commoner dirtfarmer squad. I guess you could do it, but I can't think of any way it would actually be a good time or simply end up devolving into a more standard play experience as complications spring up (scrying doesn't work, target's mindblanked, go storm this dungeon for the demiplane keys, etc)


doomman47 wrote:
The DMs job is literally metagaming....

I meant from the players point of view. If they think "better get more levels first or the boss might be too hard" that's metagaming as how do the characters even know what levels are?


Yqatuba wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
The DMs job is literally metagaming....
I meant from the players point of view. If they think "better get more levels first or the boss might be too hard" that's metagaming as how do the characters even know what levels are?

Maybe.

But maybe you need to kill all of the demon binder's minions before facing him to keep them from interfering with the fight. Demons teleport and have telepathy, mages often have alarms and can make a lot of noise, and a fight with the BBEG is hard enough without also facing his 12 best fiends.

Maybe the party has a moral obligation to kill not only the ancient lich but also all of her undead servants, who are randomly distributed in the old necromancer's tower, many of which could come to her aid and make confronting her much more difficult.

Any monsters left alive at the top of the dungeon have a risk of being called into a fight. Without knowing that there are abstract levels of experience which make a party more powerful, understanding that a fight with 1 world-threatening monster is easier than a fight with that 1 monster and their 13 most destructive allies is not meta knowledge at all IMO.

Further, perhaps the characters have personal techniques or magics they are close to perfecting, but need more practical practice with. The wizard almost has a lightningbolt that turns to ice mid-air, an ideal trick for killing the old red dragon. But they need to workshop it on the kobolds in the base of the mountain first. The fighter is really close to a special technique which harmlessly deflect dragon fire, but needs to go up against some weaker flames before they can confidently and reliably deploy it against their foe. The rogue needs more knowledge of the anatomy of dying reptiles before they can properly sever muscles and weaken the dragon.

For a PC to understand that they are close to a special feature that will help immensely against their target but need practice before they actually can do so isn't necessarily metagaming IMO.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
... <snip> ... At a level where Greater Teleport is an option, tools to deceive and/or block scrying are also readily available.

This a whole bunch of times over. Not to mention the BBEG, at least the intelligent ones, are quite familiar with dealing with "scry and fry". Defenses should be extensive and responses well thought out.

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