So I want to make a Howl's Moving Castle home base, but I want to be able to have visitors teleport in from a little cottage. My DM and I are wondering if a Teleportation Circle that was made permanent could hit a moving target. The description says that a circle has a set destination, but it doesn't have anything on the destination moving.

Tl:Dr Can a Teleport Circle have a destination that is in motion/ not where it used to be?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't the world constantly moving? I get what you are saying though, I would imagine it would have to be in relation to something. Like the center of a specific room. \$\endgroup\$
    – DanceSC
    Jun 24, 2014 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunatly that argument would invalidate any set destination limitation, since you could relate its position to a piece of equipment you are carrying. Edit: The argument might still be valid, but it could cause problems with other spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    Jun 24, 2014 at 6:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ As an alternative solution, you could go with something along the lines of a pair of unusually large ring gates. Their effects are already well-defined, and the only reason they wouldn't work as-is for your situation is that they are too small for a Medium creature to fit through (they do exactly what you want for creatures smaller than that). All you'd need a DM ruling for is on whether they can be made that large, and how much extra they would cost at that size. That's still a house rule, but it's a much more minor one than nailing down the particulars of what constitutes a "spot". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24, 2014 at 15:59

1 Answer 1



The 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell teleportation circle [conj] (PH 293) says that

You create a circle on the floor or other horizontal surface that teleports, as greater teleport, any creature who stands on it to a designated spot.

But it's the DM's decision both how one goes about designating and what, exactly, is a spot. Here are some choices:

  1. Appearance: Designate a spot by describing a location. The greater, more unique, and specific the details, the more unlikely a false destination.
  2. Coordinates: Designate a spot by assigning it a latitude and longitude. Thus spots that move can't be designated.
  3. Crosshairs: Designate a spot by selecting a crosshairs; spots the caster's never seen can still be designated. Thus only locations large enough to have their own maps (e.g. a ship, a flying fortress) will have spots that can be designated.
  4. Name: Designate a spot by using its name, and employing the spell teleportation circle to travel to the named spot takes the creature to the location. (I suggest the location's most commonly used entrance.)
  5. Relative Location: Designate the spot by its relationship to something else (e.g. creatures, landmarks, objects, terrain features).

Also keep in mind that while the caster can't arrive off target using the 7th-level Sor/Wiz spell greater teleport (PH 293) (hence neither with the spell teleportation circle), he must still roll on the chart for the 5th-level spell teleport [conj] (PH 292-3) when the effect's used, and the possibility of a false destination or outright failure still exists if using the spell teleportation circle to teleport blind. (Despite the spell teleportation circle failing if its caster lacks familiarity with the destination, how one can become just familiar (rather than very familiar as described in the spell teleport) with a destination is never made clear.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can imagine justifying your third point in-setting by making the requirement "Anything big enough to have its own gravitational field" and using Spelljammer gravity as a guide. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jun 25, 2014 at 4:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe #3 is our house rule for spell areas moving (although not teleportation). An aside: Spell areas on a ship forced us to address if the universe is made of immutable 5-ft. squares that impose themselves onto materials (making area effects immovable) or if things have their unique sets of 5-ft. squares that can overlap with other things' 5-ft. squares (making effects moveable). We agreed on the latter, although the former is more elegant. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 25, 2014 at 4:55

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