D&D 5E How much should it cost to use a permanent teleportation circle?

pukunui

Legend
I think it would be more economical to set up an associated object network using teleport. Yes, you need a 13th level caster instead of a 9th level caster, but you don't have to spend the money making a permanent circle. You just need to make sure to teleport objects from the target locations every six months.
Kinda like portkeys from Harry Potter!
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
A permanent teleportation circle costs around 18250 gold pieces to make (50gp material cost x 365 days in a year), which is quite a lot to setup. But once the teleportation circle is permanently there, how much should whoever setup the circle charge for it's use?
Recoup one day of the permanent casting per group, at least, so 50 gp for starters. Assume opportunity cost (foregone work/commissions) doubles that to 100 gp. If you can safely say you're sparing each traveler cost of rations/feed, and assume a 100 mile journey, that's maybe 55 gp of savings, so you could have that as a per traveler add on...

100 gp + 55 gp per traveler

Remember that, if you're going by the teleportation circle spell, a permanent circle is not a portal. The benefit of the permanent circle is twofold:

(1) When casting teleportation circle there's no need to inscribe the circle. What does that mean? Well in typical 5e fashion the rules are silent. My ruling was that a permanent circle means that (a) teleportation circle can be cast within it as an Action instead of 1 Minute, and (b) the 50 gp of rare inks isn't required to be expended.

(2) The permanent circle acts as a RECEIVING site for a teleportation circle spell cast elsewhere in the world.

So you also have the cost of the 5th level spell to actually cast teleportation circle, assuming no PC can cast it. This is going to be high. We have an estimate from Tyranny of Dragons that a 5th level raise dead costs 1,250 gp. Then if we deduct the 500 gp diamond that's consumed we get 750 gp... Again, this is just from one D&D book, so take with a grain of salt and adjust as needed.

100 gp + 55 gp per traveler to access the circle
If a spellcaster casting teleportation circle is required (probably yes), then add 750 gp

This assumes the Sigil Sequence to the destination is available/unrestricted.

So a 4-person party of <9th level (i.e. without their own access to the 5th-level teleportation circle spell) might pay 1,070 gp.
 
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Clint_L

Legend
This is another of those threads that reminds me that the D&D economy would be so hugely impacted by magic that it is absurd the way we treat it like a more or less late-medieval/early renaissance setting. But I enjoy that absurdity, so I will continue to hand-wave this sort of thing.

In my campaign setting, teleportation circles are both very rare and (mostly) heavily guarded, and aren't used as public transportation. So being able to use one would require some sort of relationship and deal with the owner.
 

Well, it's not just the 18k+ gold, it's also the time and opportunity cost. The wizard(s) casting the spell has to be there every single day and spend a limited resource. Kind of cuts down on those options to vacation in Aruba if you're the sole caster.

So let's put the real cost at 30k GP. How often is the teleportation circle used? How quickly do you need to make a return on investment? If you need to protect the circle how much does that cost, what's the overhead? A human wizard may want to start making money within a couple decades, an elf could stretch it out to a century or more. Then of course you have to look at returns on alternative investments which could have had compounding interest, etc.

So simplifying again, take that 30k and assume the circle is used once a day. To break even in a year if you include overhead costs it would be something like 100 GP (30k/365=82, then round up) per trip. If you wanted to pay it off after 10 years and took into consideration alternative investment opportunities you didn't sink money into I'd say charging 15 GP sounds about right. Which, to be honest is less than I expected.

But it just depends how often it is used, after all you still need a 5th level spell slot so a 9th level wizard could do it once per day. In any case, that's the basic fuzzy but I think good enough math I would use.
This is a surprisingly valuable post, ty.
 

Hmm, in 5e, no idea.

In my 3.5e campaign, using an actual portal might reasonably (imho) cost about the same as the caster cost of hiring a mage to Greater Teleport (aka Teleport without Error). But really none of that is available. All the portals in my game are strategic assets of nation-states or equivalently powerful folks. So, the cost in most cases is “for you, free because of your mission” or “hard no”. It’s like asking what’s the cost of a ride on an SSBN.
 

Begs the question as to why people did not set up a bunch all over the major cities of Faerun in the 100 year gap between 4e and 5e. You would think all the merchant houses would rather teleport than caravan. If the costs are this cheap.

I guess the city might not want a circle in its borders in case of secret attack through it, but just locate it outside the walls or under some sort of guard.

I think this is the crux of the matter, and you're underestimating just how much of a security risk it would be. All you need is one Red Wizard, or a spy who is deft at copying patterns, to visit, and you're ripe for invasion.
 

For what it’s worth, in my campaign, I have four gates:
  • one is an old fallen dwarven hold at the edge of the Underdark, controlled by dragons
  • it connects only to another fallen dwarven hold at the edge of the Underdark, controlled by the city it’s under. They haven’t figured out Underdark invaders will get them.
  • One is at the bottom the castle that’s the capital of the country most of my PC’s are from. It’s guarded by a gold dragon and an arch cleric. Where it goes is TBD, for me to decide later.
  • One is a Stargate, under the Come Back Inn, one of the only buildings standing in the ruined City of Blackmoor. Like Stargates in the TV show, it can connect to many worlds (all on the Prime Material Plane). The building is still there in the ruined city mostly because a (far away) god wills it. Access is controlled by a bartender, but best not to offend the god.
 

Greenwheat

Explorer
Well, it's not just the 18k+ gold, it's also the time and opportunity cost. The wizard(s) casting the spell has to be there every single day and spend a limited resource. Kind of cuts down on those options to vacation in Aruba if you're the sole caster.

So let's put the real cost at 30k GP. How often is the teleportation circle used? How quickly do you need to make a return on investment? If you need to protect the circle how much does that cost, what's the overhead? A human wizard may want to start making money within a couple decades, an elf could stretch it out to a century or more. Then of course you have to look at returns on alternative investments which could have had compounding interest, etc.

So simplifying again, take that 30k and assume the circle is used once a day. To break even in a year if you include overhead costs it would be something like 100 GP (30k/365=82, then round up) per trip. If you wanted to pay it off after 10 years and took into consideration alternative investment opportunities you didn't sink money into I'd say charging 15 GP sounds about right. Which, to be honest is less than I expected.

But it just depends how often it is used, after all you still need a 5th level spell slot so a 9th level wizard could do it once per day. In any case, that's the basic fuzzy but I think good enough math I would use.
If you use the implied AL formula for spellcasting services to determine the cost to establish the circle, it comes out to 127,750 gp to establish the circle. You can argue whether that's a good formula, or whether it's right for any given setting, but the idea isn't terrible - if you had to contract in a wizard to cast teleportation circle every day for a year, that's roughly what you'd pay.

Based just on that, you'd need to charge 35 gp/day to recoup the initial investment. If you want a return on that investment, then that goes up. Of course, the Wizarding Guild wants a return too, so the effective cost probably goes up. Rough estimate, nearer 45 gp/day to get the costs back over 10 years, if you assume alternative investments have about a 5% return.

Add to that your other costs. You'll need to pay whoever's collecting the tolls. Pay for the space where the circle is located, or allow for the money you might have made if you'd used it some other way.

Given the way the spell is written, I think your permanent teleportation circle gives you two revenue streams:
  • Circle A to Circle B, in which case you presumably need to cover the cost of the circles at both ends. I'd guess you're looking at at least 100 gp/day now. Seems steep, but then it is instant point-to-point transport and presumably demand will be high. You can secure both ends, so it's largely academic whether you charge for arrival or departure.
  • Point X to Circle A, in which case the person at Point X needs to be able to cast teleportation circle or teleport, or have someone on hand to cast it, at a cost of 350 gp or 490 gp respectively. You can't stop these people from coming in, so you have to either charge them on arrival or let them arrive for free. It's fairly likely they've got a reasonably high-level (at least 9th, possibly 13th) caster with them, so if you're going to try and charge them, you'd better have a robust plan for non-payment.
Case 1 does suggest the possibility of having Teleportation Stations, where you jump into a portal someplace and arrive someplace else. Charging for departure just seems more practical - it's how planes and trains work IRL, after all. And there's probably a big Teleportation Hub somewhere. Or several somewheres, if different organisations are competing over the teleportation market.
 

Or the city could just make it free. You're all thinking of charging outbound, but let them leave. Having a teleportation circle allows other, far away cities with TC to get to you safely and quickly. You'll have a lot of exotic goods arriving right within your city and become a trade hub. Run your city off the regular marketplace taxes and toll gates at your fief's border. Publicize its access sequence as much as possible. This way, you tax incoming merchants, not yours.

Given that once a TP circle is created, it last forever, it's probable the one in your city was created by a long lost archwizard of the 13th aeon anyway.
 
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As a business, to wizard will seek to pay back his investment in some years, a make profit from then. A daily departure at 100 gp for a Major city can be manageable.
 

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