D&D 5E Teleport Houserule: Remove the Off-Target %distance

Sounds like a Modern Magic problem. If magic is knowable and predictable then yeah, we better know where the teleportation circles are located. But, if magic is mysterious, then we may not always know what we're going to get*.

Players: "Hey! No fair! This hidden teleportation circle we just discovered is closer than the one we ended up in when we last failed to cast teleport. What's going on!?"
Dungeon Master: "Well, you know, magic is mysterious. We know what makes magic happen but we don't know how magic happens."

* Mystical Magic is like a box of chocolates in that way.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Sure. But then if I ever want to have a different scenario where there's a teleportation circle closer by? A 100 mile radius is huge. It's roughly the same number of square miles as Ireland. For the minimal benefit and the limitations it would put on me in the future, it's just not worth it.
IME, it is only a limitation if you want to be. That being said, I wasn't necessarily advocating the OPs approach. I instead offered a different solution. Do you have a different solution, or are you just about shutting ideas down?
 



dave2008

Legend
This assumes that the DM knows where all the teleportation circles are. That's a level of specificity that I don't want to do because I leave the vast majority of detail unmapped until it is needed
I want to get back to this as it is a DM style thing and a suggested "house rule." He is not suggesting this is the default.

As a DM I also leave large portions unmapped / poorly detailed. But I like to fill those in as the adventure goes. I don't want to plan them out. This is the wonderful little device to spawn an new area / site IMO. As a house rule I think it could be fun. I would need to modify it for my setting (not a lot of Tele-circles), but I think I could do that.
 


Dausuul

Legend
The 5e Teleport spell is a bit of an oddity in the game. 5e has taken pains to remove a lot of the old math required by certain spells, but the Off-Target clause for teleport remains a notable exception. Its quite.....weird, and cumbersome to calculate.

So this houserule removes that calculation, while adding some interesting exploration options.

Teleport
same except for this clause:

Off-Target: You arrive at the nearest teleportation circle to the target that is within 100 miles. If there is no circle within that distance, use the "mishap" section instead.

So from the DM's perspective, this is easy to calculate, there is no math or rolling involved, its just "pick the nearest teleportation circle". That of course can lead to some interesting exploration options for the players, as the DM could cook up all sorts of encounters, from a common circle in a well traveled town, to a circle that hasn't been used in 100s of years in an ancient catacomb. You might even have players taht went to go "off target" exploring to find new circles, which could of course invite all sorts of new dangers (a lot of wizards wouldn't want their circle's key code being known, and may prepare defenses as such).

Adding in the mishap secondary keeps this properly punishing. Finding a new circle could be cool but there is also the risk of damage and other issues happening, so you don't want to go off-target too willy nilly.

Thoughts?
I like this a lot! The more I think about it, the more it opens up possibilities for worldbuilding and adventure design. A villain might deliberately build their fortress within a few miles of a teleportation circle, then set traps or put monsters to guard it as a defense against teleporting intruders. Players planning an excursion into unfamiliar territory would want to research teleportation circles near the target, and that's a nifty little side quest in itself. So many options...
 

p_johnston

Adventurer
Just out of curiosity, I found a site that calculates how many square miles in a 100 mile radius. It's 31,420 square miles. Does anyone really expect a DM to know whether or not there's a teleportation circle in that area?
So the the general answer to this would be no, but to be fair 2 out of 4 options in the teleport spell as written I probably don't know beforehand. If you arrive off target not only do I have to do calculations but I likely also have to make up the area where you show up (Unless it's lucky enough to be fairly close). False destination is the same thing. I will say with the suggested rule at least it gives you a starting point to start making stuff up when things go wrong. Not necessarily a perfect system but I think it's at least as good as the current one and probably less annoying to calculate.
P.S. also it might not occur often but when it does it can be... bad. My party has used teleport once and it's now refered to as "The Teleportation blender incident" and led to a TPK.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So the the general answer to this would be no, but to be fair 2 out of 4 options in the teleport spell as written I probably don't know beforehand. If you arrive off target not only do I have to do calculations but I likely also have to make up the area where you show up (Unless it's lucky enough to be fairly close). False destination is the same thing. I will say with the suggested rule at least it gives you a starting point to start making stuff up when things go wrong. Not necessarily a perfect system but I think it's at least as good as the current one and probably less annoying to calculate.
P.S. also it might not occur often but when it does it can be... bad. My party has used teleport once and it's now refered to as "The Teleportation blender incident" and led to a TPK.
This summarizes my thoughts when I made this houserule. It gives a chance for a DM to "wing it" but in a concrete way that creates fun exploration ideas, or if they know a teleportation circle is "nearby, close enough" they can just go to that one. I doubt few people would actually crunch the numbers on 100 miles on a map, but its a distance that gives you a reasonable area to draw from without sending the party to a circle on the other side of the planet kind of thing.
 

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