Do any divination spells allow you to find out the sigil sequence of a teleportation circle? (For example, the sigil sequence of the circle closest to a specific destination?)


1 Answer 1


It depends

This depends on multiple things: do you know where excactly the circle is located? How far are you away from the circle? Is the circle a famous or legendary one? Is the circle on the same plane of existence as you? Do you know someone who is using the circle?

There is no generally applicable published spell that will just give you the sigil sequence of a circle closest to a known destination outright, but there are workarounds:

  • If the circle is of legendary repute, legend lore is a solution that works even across planar boundaries. It however may require many castings to learn more and more details, and each casting is costing you 250 gp and a 5th level spell slot, so this can be a costly and laborious process.

  • If the circle is on the same plane of existence and someone that you know is using the circle, you can use scrying to scry on them as they do so, and see the circle. Once you have seen it, you can use scrying on the circle directly, in case the only pass through quickly.

  • Also, if you know someone who knows the sigil sequence, you can use detect thoughts, in combination with probing deeper and asking them about it, to learn it.

  • If you know where the circle is and the circle is relatively nearby (for example in a vault behind massive walls and steel doors), you can use clairvoyance to see the circle, or if there is a way in there, for example through air vents, you can use arcane eye.

There may also be other strategies that involve numerous castings of other Divination spells like Divination, Contact Other Plane etc. For example with divination, framing it in language about good outcomes for future travel, you might first ask about existence or distance of a circle, then the number of glyphs, about the name or nature each glyph if the glyphs have names in your world and are not just unique for each circle, and lastly about the order; or with commune, or Contact Other Plane, given enough yes/no answers you could fill a finely pixelated image of the circle to see the form of each rune. These are likely impractical for the timeframes of adventuring PCs, but in theory could be used by a wizard or cleric to find a long-lost circle in months or years of study. (Thanks to @nben for suggesting to add this).

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Divination spell might also count if the DM conceives of a "sigil sequence" as a literal sequence of runes/letters. One could prompt "we will teleport to <place> in 7 days; how many runes are in <place>'s sigil sequence?" followed by another casting, "... what is the first rune?", then "... what is the second rune?", etc. This would of course require many days and/or many different casters due to the limits on casting Divination. It's very DM-dependent, so probably not a great answer alone, but feel free to include it if you think it would improve your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Jan 12 at 0:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Technically the above strategy would also work with the yes/no divination spells too (Commune, Augury, etc.), but that would require that the runes be part of an ordered alphabet plus some math that may or may not have been discovered in the Forgotten Realms yet 😁 \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Jan 12 at 0:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nben Yes, I thought about this. You also could use commune, Contact Other Plane etc: with enough questions even of just the yes/no kind you could fill a pixelated sheet to figure out where there is glyph ink and where not to get the glyphs. However, I felt this is impractical for the timeframe of an adventuring PC. For Divination, this depends on if the sigils are named entities, and that is not clear. It may be that each one is a unique to the circle, or has unique extensions. I will add a note to it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nben you could also probably find a better set of yes/no questions without complex mathematics. You can ask for the number of lines that make up a rune and then for each line if it is straight/curved and so on... very laborious, but better than pixels. \$\endgroup\$
    – Falco
    Commented Jan 12 at 10:34

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