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From Esoteric Knight

Step through Reality (Sp)

By expending a 3rd-level spell slot as a swift action, the esoteric knight can teleport to a space within 30 feet as if using dimension door. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The esoteric knight cannot bring other creatures with her.

Dimension door has the drawback:

After using this spell, you can’t take any other actions until your next turn.

Is Step Through Reality merely using Dimension Door as a reference for teleportation mechanics, or would it carry the drawback unique to the spell as well?

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Step through reality includes all of dimension door’s drawbacks

Dimension door is a very specific spell, with very specific mechanics. It is not representative of teleportation in general. And it is also widely used, expanded upon, and imitated within Pathfinder—the system offers very little in the way of tactical teleportation, that is, short-range teleportation that can be used in the middle of a fight without giving up your turn.

Instead, the intention seems to be for characters interested in tactical teleportation to get access to dimension door (the limitations on which make it near-useless mid-combat), and then take the Dimensional Agility feat, et al. This is an overly expensive way to achieve tactical teleportation, but Paizo’s over-use of dimension door—including in things like step through reality that mimic it—suggests that they were adamant about making those feats “worth it” by all-but-eliminating alternatives.

Compare this with D&D 3.5e, where tactical teleportation became reasonably accessible in supplements. Complete Psionic had dimension hop, for a cheap and accessible swift-action teleport to those who dabbled in psionics. Magic Item Compendium offered anklets of translocation at just 1,400 gp for a swift-action 10-ft. teleport, 2/day. Tome of Battle had the Shadow Hand teleports, accessible through feats (at high level), offering 50-foot teleports at a move or swift action, 1/encounter. Other options exist.

Pathfinder did not take this route. Different design directions can both be defensible, of course, but here both Paizo and Wizards of the Coast were working off of the same base. High-level spellcasters still get absurd long-range teleportation, and many monsters still get that teleportation as an innate, at-will ability. Solid fog and the like still exist. This tactical teleportation is near-mandatory to keep up. Wizards of the Coast recognized that and wrote options, with lower ranges but greater accessibility and ease of use than dimension door, to solve that problem. Paizo insisted on doubling down on core, and per usual, refused to acknowledge an issue with it—and so wrote expensive feats to upgrade and enhance dimension door rather than offer alternatives. I do not think this was a good decision, but it was a consistent one. The esoteric knight is just one more example. Thankfully, at least, spell-like abilities are “cast,” so Dimensional Agility et al. work on step through reality.

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