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So I wish to set up a teleportation system for my minions, using Spell Glyphs (Glyphs of Warding) to store Teleportation Circle spells.

Teleportation Circle says

As you cast the spell, you draw a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with sigils that link your location to a permanent teleportation circle of your choice whose sigil sequence you know and that is on the same plane of existence as you.

Glyph of Warding says

When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

I see a several interpretations possible here. The most restrictive would be that the caster ("you") must inscribe the sigils at the time of casting - i.e. the triggering of the glyph. Therefore it would be impossible to use this spell to allow my minions to teleport on their own by triggering the glyph. The benefit of storing the spell in the glyph is that it allows the spell to be cast without using a spell slot at that moment.

A second interpretation would be that the entire act of casting is stored within the glyph, which would imply that the inscription is also so stored and the minions could teleport to whatever destination I set up at the time I created the glyph. When the glyph is triggered, the inscription appears and my minions can teleport to the pre-programmed circle.

A third interpretation would allow the minions to draw the inscription, and thus they could choose their destination at the moment that the glyph is triggered. I don't read the rules this way, but perhaps there is someone among us that can present a compelling argument for it.

Note the RAW tag. Please don't bother with saying, "Ask your DM". I am the DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there some reason you (as the DM) don't just have teleport system work the way you want? \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jun 7 '17 at 19:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because I believe that the game is made more interesting when the DM has to play by the rules, too. It forces me to be more creative and it allows the players a greater sense of agency within the world. I'm not the DM . . . I'm just another player at the table - albeit with a few thousand character sheets. \$\endgroup\$ – pokep Jun 7 '17 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the objective here to be able to use teleportation circles without having to spend the year to make one permanent? (I was initially imagining the glyphs of warding inscribed into scrolls but then realized that you had not specified that). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 8 '17 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, the objective is to allow minions to teleport to established circles elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$ – pokep Jun 8 '17 at 14:28
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You scribe the circle and runes when creating the glyph.

Glyph of warding:

Spell Glyph. You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph.

...

At Higher Levels. ... If you create a spell glyph, you can store any spell of up to the same level as the slot you use for the glyph of warding.

Teleportation circle:

As you cast the spell, you draw a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with sigils

(PHB, p. 246 and 282, emphases mine).

To put the teleportation circle in the spell glyph, you have to cast it, including drawing the circle and sigils. You can't have them drawn when the glyph is triggered.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Teleportation circle does not target an area, therefore is a invalid spell for spell glyph. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jun 8 '17 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin arguably, the target is "another teleportation circle" which counts as an area, and thus eligible for glyph. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Nov 26 '18 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vylix no, that is not an area. Fireball targets an area. Burning hands targets an area. TC targets a location. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Nov 26 '18 at 16:34
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Teleportation Circle Does Not Apply to Glyph of Warding

The requirement for a spell glyph is that (PHB, 246)

The spell must target a single creature or an area.

Areas are covered under Chapter 11 of the PHB. Examples like "burning Hands" and "Cone of Cold" are given as specific examples. It then goes on to state (pp 204):

A spell's description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, or sphere. Every area effect has a point of origin, a location from which the spell's energy erupts.

Teleportation does NOT have a point of origin. It has an associated drawn circle that the spell uses to create its portal, but the drawn circle is not an area of effect for the spell in the same way given by the examples of Burning Hands or Cone of Cold. There is no point of origin (emphasis from PHB) for Teleportation Circle. There is only the drawn circle that takes in the magic created by the spell but is not an area of effect FROM the spell.

Therefore teleportation circle is not either an area of effect spell nor target a single creature and would not be an applicable spell to store in the Glyph.

But if you do interpret it as possible:

Then your 2nd interpretation is correct.

Marq's answer is correct in its references and statements supporting that. The language of the spell clearly states that the Spell glyph is fully complete inside the Ward and therefore done by the caster.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this good conversation about teleportation circle's targeting (or not) has been moved to chat. Please continue such discussion there. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jun 8 '17 at 13:43
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Glyph of Warding clearly states that glyph and the embedded spell are cast at same time: "casting it as part of creating the glyph". Note that glyph must be cast from a sufficiently high level slot to contain teleportation circle.

Teleportation Circle clearly states drawing the circle and the sigils is part of the casting. Because it must be cast at the same time as the glyph, that means all the decisions must be made ahead of time.

Your second interpretation is correct.

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You can store a Teleportation Circle in a Glyph of Warding. You must choose the Teleportation Circle's destination when casting it, and the Teleportation Circle will transport anyone currently standing on the Glyph when it activates and stay open for 6 seconds after opening.

The question is whether Teleportation Circle fits the criteria of Glyph of Warding's Spell Store effect, which really depends on if Teleportation Circle targets "an area".

So, Teleportation Circle has an area of effect shape of a cylinder with a height of 0 (or arbitrarily close enough to it, thus making it a circle), and where the point of origin is an object, namely the entire area of the circle (or the ground encapsulated by the perimeter of the circle).

For a cylinder area of effect, the circle must be on the ground, and for Teleportation Circle, the circle must also be on the ground. In addition, both spells make specific reference to an area 10-foot in diameter. Since Teleportation Circle's circle of 10 feet in diameter is an area of a surface no larger than 10 feet in diameter, the storing of a Teleportation Circle is legal, per a strictly literal reading of the rules, and would function per the second interpretation of the rules as presented in the question.

Seemingly there is an issue. The range of Teleportation Circle is 10 feet, but if the point of origin is the entire circle, as I have claimed, then we could expect the effective range to be 100 feet instead, or at the very least a 10 foot circle anywhere within 100 feet. However, per Cylinder, "A cylinder’s point of origin is included in the cylinder’s area of effect." So there is no contradiction for a spell's origin point to be the entire range of the effect.

Per Targets, PHB page 204 (emphasis mine),

A typical spell requires you to pick one or more targets to be affected by the spell’s magic. A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets ... a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).


Per Area of Effect (emphasis mine),

A spell’s description specifies its area of effect, which typically has one of five different shapes: cone, cube, cylinder, line, or sphere. Every area of effect has a point of origin, a location from which the spell’s energy erupts. The rules for each shape specify how you position its point of origin. Typically, a point of origin is a point in space, but some spells have an area whose origin is ... an object.


Per Cylinder (emphasis mine),

A cylinder's point of origin is the center of a circle of a particular radius, as given in the spell description. The circle must either be on the ground or at the height of the spell effect. The energy in a cylinder expands in straight lines from the point of origin to the perimeter of the circle, forming the base of the cylinder. The spell’s effect then shoots up from the base or down from the top, to a distance equal to the height of the cylinder. A cylinder’s point of origin is included in the cylinder’s area of effect.


Per Glyph of Warding spell description (emphasis mine),

When you cast this spell, you inscribe a glyph that harms other creatures, either upon a surface (such as a table or a section of floor or wall) ... to conceal the glyph. If you choose a surface, the glyph can cover an area of the surface no larger than 10 feet in diameter.

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration.


Per Teleportation Circle spell description (emphasis mine),

As you cast the spell, you draw a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with sigils that link your location to a permanent teleportation circle of your choice whose sigil sequence you know and that is on the same plane of existence as you. A shimmering portal opens within the circle you drew and remains open until the end of your next turn. Any creature that enters the portal instantly appears within 5 feet of the destination circle or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting way to create a trap. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 8 '17 at 15:37
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Yes, a Glyph can store the spell

Missing from the previous discussions regarding whether a Glyph can store this particular spell, note that the text includes the following statement:

If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder . . .

This clearly indicates that a glyph can store spells that are neither targeted or area-of-effect in the strict sense - as summons spells are neither. This clarifies the previous statement:

The spell must target a single creature or an area.

If the strict interpretation of this statement proposed by NautArch was valid, there would be no need for the subsequent instructions. The intent of this statement is apparently to establish simply that a glyph must have a specific "victim".

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