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Long range teleportation in D&D 4e seems to work by teleportation circles

  • Linked Portal
  • Reverse Portal
  • Planar Portal

However the book says nothing about where these portals might appear. Where would they be available in Forgotten Realms? How well known would these locations be?

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3 Answers 3

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As the other answers have noted, teleportation circles can show up anywhere the DM needs them for their plot, and their location is typically established during the play of the campaign.

Note that Linked Portal states:

Most major temples, important wizards' guilds, and large cities have permanent teleportation circles, each of which has a unique set of magic sigils etched or inlaid into the ground. The exact sequence of sigils matters, because you've got to match it if you want to open a portal leading there. (...) You can use Linked Portal to any permanent teleportation circle whose sequence of sigils you know. When you learn this ritual, your DM will tell you at least two such sequences. In your travels and research, you'll undoubtedly learn more.

That is, there should be a lot of such circles, in most major temples, important wizards' guilds, and large cities. However, knowing where the circles are does not help the PCs to use them: they also need to know the sigil sequence to be able to do so. Which of these sequences are known is entirely up to the DM. One likely choice might be a circle in the home temple or guild of the caster, if they have such an affiliation in their background.

That said, if you allow material from other editions, especially the Forgotten Realms, there are a number of published teleportation circles, for example:

  • In the Heart of Ubtao in Chult (Tomb of Annihilation)
  • In the Old Tower in Waterdeep (Waterdeep: Dragon Heist)
  • In Kolat Towers in Waterdeep (Waterdeep: Dragon Heist)
  • In an orphanage attic in the Dock Ward of Waterdeep (Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage)
  • In Moongleam Tower in Everlund (Storm King's Thunder)
  • In a hidden dungeon in Rassalantar Keep (Storm King's Thunder)
  • In a cellar under the Smiling Satyr tavern in Loudwater (Storm King's Thunder)
  • In a stable house loft in Mirabar (Storm King's Thunder)
  • In Xonthal's Tower at the base of Mount Hlim (Rise of Tiamat)
  • In the House of the All Seeing Orb in the port-city of Tashalar (Candlekeep Mysteries)

Most of these are well-hidden, hard to reach, or controlled by powerful individuals or organizations, and unlikely to be available to a character unless the character has some kind of affiliation or backstory with them.

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However the book says nothing about where these portals might appear.

I'm guessing that that is deliberate. It can really break your game when a player flips open his stack of books and points out a portal exactly where they're trying to go. These things show up at the speed of plot, and that's a good thing.

However, if you do want to make it arbitrary, here's how I'd do it. Any location major enough to have a background feat listed in the FRPG has a known portal in its capital. Access to these portals may vary from place to place, but they're always there.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Forgotten Realms is positively riddled with Portals. They're everywhere, some working and others dangerously malfunctioning, some marked and most unmarked, some at ground level and some in the air where there used to be a floor. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 3:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's always been true that most of the portals weren't working, so more not working still leaves piles of them. Besides, a malfunctioning portal can be as interesting a plot device as a working one. All I mean to say is: there have been so many made and lost in the millennia of the Realms that the DM can put them anywhere they like. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 5:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Most portals no longer work. The breaking of the Weave destroyed most of the portals that crisscrossed Toril, because it destroyed the hard-won knowledge of arcane casters. Although arcanists have relearned their craft since the Spellplague raged, most portals remain nonfunctional or dangerously malfunction-ing, broken relics of a legendary past. " - FRCG \$\endgroup\$
    – rjstreet
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ The breaking of the Weave is perhaps the stupidest canon update in 4e FR, though not the only dumb change to be sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rjstreet I'm not sure portals and teleportation circles are the same thing. IIRC portals you could just walk through, no special training or cost. Teleportation circles are just endpoints for the rituals, and require significant cost to use. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 18:07
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Teleportation portals (although most of them should broken) can be anywhere you want them. Rather than have them along main thoroughfares I think it's also fun to have them in unlikely locations (in the underdark, underwater in the dragonmere, in a trash heap in a forgotten alley in waterdeep, in an overgrown jungle morass in Chult)..more reasons to adventure, or to return to places of adventure.

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