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A little context: The big bad is a wizard with a tower and a dungeon. The PCs are going to explode and collapse the dungeon, because reasons. When the wizard is going to teleport into his usual spot in the dungeon, what happens?

I still can't decide wether to put his lab "up" or "down" yet. (That do change some details. If its on top, the lab might no longer exist but there might be a "pocket" in the mountain or even no longer be underground. If its a the bottom, well, it'll be like teleporting into a wall or underground)

  • So does the spell fail since the location is "no longer known enough for the spell to work"... since the location changed up considerably?
  • Does the spell work as intended and places the caster RIGHT WHERE HE WANTED TO BE, with the original consequences of being damaged/shunted to the nearest non-full space?
  • Does the spell works with the normal chances of being teleported randomly around the location?

Would Teleport without error do the same thing?

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The wizard travels to a false destination

That is, if the wizard's once-familiar destination now doesn't exist or has become unrecognizable, the wizard is, perhaps, dealt some damage and either arrives at a similar destination or the spell simply fails. As per the spell teleport:

"False destination" is a place that does not truly exist or if you are teleporting to an otherwise familiar location that no longer exists as such or has been so completely altered as to no longer be familiar to you. When traveling to a false destination, roll 1d20+80 to obtain results on the table, rather than rolling d%, since there is no real destination for you to hope to arrive at or even be off target from.

Emphasis mine. The spell greater teleport (which was teleport without error in Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition) doesn't eliminate the chance to accidentally teleport to a false destination, eliminating instead the chance of randomly being off-target.

A false destination means, instead of rolling on the usual teleport chart, the DM rolls 80+1d20.

On 81-92 the wizard is in a similar area:

You wind up in an area that’s visually or thematically similar to the target area. Generally, you appear in the closest similar place within range. If no such area exists within the spell’s range, the spell simply fails instead.

On a 93-00 the wizard experiences a mishap:

You and anyone else teleporting with you have gotten "scrambled." You each take 1d10 points of damage, and you reroll on the chart to see where you wind up. For these rerolls, roll 1d20+80. Each time "Mishap" comes up, the characters take more damage and must reroll.

Thus a wizard attempting such travel to his destroyed laboratory either arrives at a thematically similar location (e.g. a brewery, an alchemist's shop, or another wizard's laboratory—surprise!) or, if no such thematically similar location exists within the spell's range, remains where the spell was cast. In addition, with enough bad luck, the wizard might also be dead.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thus, the caster will get scrambled 0 to X times and either ends up not moving or in the closest lab/place ressembling his lab depending wether or not there is someplace near ressembling his lab? \$\endgroup\$ – Mouhgouda Sep 18 '15 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mouhgouda Yep. If there's nothing within range that's thematically similar to the wizard's lab (like another wizard's Irish setter or golden retriever), he'll stay where he's at and/or be dealt damage by the mishap(s). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 18 '15 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I always wondered if flooding a room with water counted as making it a false destination or not. I guess I should ask a question about that some time. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Sep 21 '15 at 4:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe I'd argue absolutely, but in my campaigns it's trivially easy to make a destination unrecognizable: You don't want someone teleporting in? Rearrange the furniture, or put out the fantasy-equivalent of traffic cones. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 21 '15 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I'm kind of hoping that it wouldn't make the destination a false destination, so that I can assassinate wizards by sneaking into their homes with a Decanter of Endless Water and Amulet of Adaptation while they're out. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Sep 21 '15 at 7:33
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That's a False destination.

“False destination” is a place that does not truly exist or if you are teleporting to an otherwise familiar location that no longer exists as such or has been so completely altered as to no longer be familiar to you. When traveling to a false destination, roll 1d20+80 to obtain results on the table, rather than rolling d%, since there is no real destination for you to hope to arrive at or even be off target from.

He'd likely appear in the location near where the lab used to be. If this is within a pile of rubble he'd be shunted out and take damage as if he had committed a teleportation mishap. If he arrives and his tower has been destroyed and he falls into a pile of rubble, he'll probably take falling damage. But more than likely it would end up as a mishap. If it didn't he'd probably appear in another destination that matched the description of his lab, or the spell would fail.

If he scry's his tower beforehand, and sees that his tower has been destroyed, none of that would likely occur however. Scry was commonly used by Wizards in 3.5 to scope out locations prior to casting spells that could get oneself killed. If your wizard can manage a teleport he can most certainly manage a scrying.

Greater Teleport would likely not prevent the mishap, it would only nullify your chance of appearing somewhere else.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ do you regularly inspect your keyhole and look under your rug before trying to get to your place? i don't believe wizards regularly scry some place he believes safe before teleporting unless really paranoid. Otherwise, nice answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouhgouda Sep 18 '15 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mouhgouda: If you have lethal enemies, you'd check your keyhole, and that hair you left across the door/frame to let you detect if someone else had opened it. If you normally enter your house by jumping off a cliff into a giant net, would you usually take an extra minute to verify that the net's still there? Teleport is more dangerous than opening the door to your real-life house. It's more like crossing the street without looking. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Sep 18 '15 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ And I know for a fact that plenty of people survive crossing the street without looking for their entire lives. :P (In all seriousness, most of them who do so, die for some other reason.) I've been flipped off by someone who was so busy yelling at and smacking their kid that they were half-way through an intersection before I came to a stop. She only noticed me when I honked at them for crossing on the red. \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman Dec 18 '15 at 18:15

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