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I am DMing a group of five players in a long term game with D&D 3.5e and players are the leaders of a nation (One of them is the king actually). They are now very close to start a war with another nation and they are setting up strategies for upcoming conflict. One of them (Wizard Level 17) came up with an idea which is about opening a gate or a portal to transport their army to a strategic location, lets say near their enemy's capital city and asked me if there is such a spell. I liked the idea because it leads to other campaign ideas like "Wizard tires to find a long forgotten ancient spell" in which players tries to find an ancient tomb or library and clears it to find the spell or "Battle of Gate Defense" in which players tries to pass their army safely through the gate while defending it from enemy trying to close it. Although I know about "Teleport" (teleports limited number of individual) and "Gate" (teleport to "different" plane") spells, I haven't ever come up to any spell that creates a massive gate an army can pass through and teleports to another location in "same plane" (material to material in this condition).

In conclusion, I wanted to ask if there is a spell creates a kind of portal which can transport a "vast number of individuals" to a location in "same plane". Although I mentioned that we are playing 3.5e, suggestions from different editions of D&D are appreciated, because I may think about adapting it to 3.5e.

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Teleportation Circle (Sor/Wiz 9) from the PHB does what you need, lasts 10 min/level and can be made permanent. The transport is one-way.

Edit: It has 10 ft. Diameter. So assuming 30ft movement speed, you can send 12 people in as a double move action and they can move clear on the other side. Consider that the teleport is instantaneous. The circle gets ready immediately again after someone went through. That means 120 soldiers per minute. I think it is possible to storm enemy fortifications quite nicely with that. And with some planning you can transfer even faster. Another edit: Read the spell text. You just need to stand on it to trigger it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In spell's description it says "Effect: 5-ft.-radius circle that teleports those who activate it". So I assume, that means only one medium creature may pass through the circle at one time. But my players intend to pass an entire army of 1200. To pass that much unit would take 2 hours and it gives enough time for enemy to counteract. Also there is cavalry and siege engine units in their army so they can not pass through the circle. But on the other hand, (and if you consider only medium infantry units) creating a dozens of teleportation circle and making them permanent would be a choice. \$\endgroup\$ – Özgün Belen Mar 28 '18 at 10:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Post-Edit: That makes Teleportation Circle more preferable. Also 10ft. diameter solves cavalry unit issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Özgün Belen Mar 29 '18 at 15:53
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Miracle

Miracle is the best and most specialized spell for this. One of the 'more powerful' options for miracle is:

Moving you and your allies, with all your and their gear, from one plane to another through planar barriers to a specific locale with no chance of error

This is the only teleportation effect capable of transporting a truly infinite number of creatures in a finite amount of time. Doing so costs 5K XP and will get your entire army there, less any traitors and saboteurs, bypassing any and all anti-teleportation defenses the opposition possesses. You should still expect to be within the boundaries of a network of hostile Forbiddance effects throughout the battlefield upon arrival, though.

Miracle, of course, is not available to wizards. You'll need a scroll and UMD or an allied caster or something like that if you want to go this route.

For a Wizard, the best you can do may be Wish. Wish provides the following safe option:

Transport travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.

Wish also costs 5000 XP when used this way. It doesn't explicitly bypass teleportation barriers, but it does lack the teleportation subschool and is of the rare 'universal' school which can help with some defenses. A generous GM may read 'regardless of local conditions' as bypassing certain teleportation barriers, but that's really referring to the difficulty spells ordinarily have placing creatures in spaces that are intrinsically hostile to them (like inside solid rock or a fish out of water or whatnot).

Wish can transport 1 creature per caster level which, with a suitable pile of sacrifices for death knell, can move your army.

If, for some reason, the enemy kingdom is not a hardened target spamming the spell Teleportation Circle is a good solution; each circle lasts at least 170 minutes and takes a mere 10 minutes to cast. Since the destination for such a circle isn't subject to any magic, you can set up 16 of them then launch a fairly large scale and coordinated attack without losing the element of surprise. If it's not a hardened target, though, a 17th-level wizard looking to shut it down could merely make use of a permanent time stop effect (via casting it on the astral plane via astral projection, which prevents your body from aging, rather than plane shift which will require an eventual reincarnate) to thoroughly and meticulously rearrange the kingdom in question socially and physically to their liking.

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Not exactly however it is possible to create an item that works as a teleportation gate with only one direction. While your army will not be able to cross through instantly it should work for what you are intending to do. Considering you are intending to use the teleportation spell and your wizard is level 17 the cost of building such a teleportation gate would be 17*5*2000=170000. On the plus side you can retarget this gate to pretty much anywhere so you will effectively have a portal that can open to the middle of the enemy capital. If you don't want to make your players pay such a large experience cost you could have them find such a portal in an ancient ruins of sorts.

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Player’s Guide to Faerûn has rules for more permanent portals, and a Portal Master feat for creating them. I am away from my books, so I can’t check how good an option this is. Since it involves a feat that the wizard (presumably) doesn’t have, though, even if it was a good answer it may not be a workable answer.

If that is the case, then the wizard should just cast gate twice.

Once to get off your current plane, to some other plane where you can either hide the army or will be allowed to temporarily keep it, and then again to return to the original plane, but now on top of the enemy.

This kind of intermediate step is actually considered fairly important in interplanar politics, and maneuvers like this have actually been used in the Planescape canon (upon which D&D 3.5e cosmology is based). I think it’s for the best to retain this complication.

The portal created by gate has a 20-ft. diameter, which is a 10-ft. radius. That is large enough for 12 Medium creatures to pass through each round. Build ramps/scaffolds to allow all of it to be used. It lasts a minimum of 17 rounds, so that’s 204 people per casting.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to improve upon this: both the area and the duration of the portal could potentially be expanded to allow more people, but the rules don’t quite allow either:

  • Widen Spell doesn’t really apply, but unlike gate’s ban on intraplanar travel, I think it’s fair to fudge on this one.

    Assuming you allow it to work on gate, Widen Spell still (preposterously) requires a spell slot three higher than the spell’s original, which is impossible for a 9th-level spell unless you take epic feats. A greater metamagic rod of widen spell would handle that, but weirdly, one is not listed with the other core metamagic rods. Since Widen Spell’s +3 adjustment is the same as Maximize Spell, it’s fair to use the price of a greater metamagic rod of maximize spell here—121,500 gp. A lot, but between the resources of a 17th-level adventuring party and an actual kingdom, should be possible.

    So assuming Widen Spell is allowed to apply to gate in the first place, and a greater metamagic rod of widen spell is allowed to exist, you can increase the numeric dimensions of the portal by 100%. A 100% increase in the diameter of the spell—to 40 feet, so a 20-ft. radius—allows for 44 Medium-sized creatures passing through per turn.

  • And then we try to do something about that duration. Extend Spell explicitly doesn’t affect spells that require concentration—which I find a little weird but oh well. And though Persistent Spell has no such restriction, it has a requirement of “fixed range,” which is very odd, and gate’s medium (read: level-scaling) range probably doesn’t fit the bill. And the Rainbow Falls, a magical location from Complete Mage, only applies to Transmutation spells. Of these, Extend Spell is least problematic to change—just make sure that you still have to concentrate for the full duration, and it’s fine. Persistent Spell’s fixed-range limitation is bizarre, but ultimately that feat is too powerful to start allowing it to apply to more effects. And a Conjuration-based Rainbow Falls would be reasonable, but certainly doesn’t exist in print.

    Assuming you do allow Extend Spell and a Conjuration-based Rainbow Falls, however, that’s a ×6 multiplier on the spell’s duration (apply Extend Spell with a greater metamagic rod of extend spell). At caster level 17th, that’s 102 rounds. Add an orange ioun stone for +1 to caster level gets you 108 rounds. If you only allow Extend Spell, that’s 36 rounds; if only have a Conjuration-based Rainbow Falls, that’s 54 rounds.

If you have both of those, you can get 44 Medium-sized creatures through each round, and have 108 rounds. That yields 4752 creatures per casting (2376 for no Extend Spell, 1584 for no Rainbow Falls analogue). An army a bit shy of 5,000 creatures isn’t truly massive, but it still is a whole lot of enemies to have them show up literally in the middle of your fortifications, where you least expect them, and with absolutely no warning. And since you mentioned 1200 creatures in a comment, it seems like it’s overkill anyway.

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