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I'm new to DM'ing and have a question about boots of teleportation in D&D 3.5e. Does anyone know if greater boots of teleportation only work within a certain plane of existence?

I have a PC right now that got ahold of some of these boots and to teach him a lesson (not just to be a dick) I want to put him temporarily into a certain layer of the Abyss. I want to make sure he can't just quickly teleport out.

I could not find a ruling for this and I don't want to bend the rules just to bring him down a notch.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The boots' description refers to a particular spell. The description of that spell specifies its limitations. What seems unclear to you? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 29 '16 at 0:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the layers of the Abyss are each an individual plane, and teleport does not do planeshift's job as well, so stuffing them on a given plane will, in fact, strand them there until they get magic that allows them to cross planes. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Feb 29 '16 at 1:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Technically they're different layers of the same plane, not separate planes in their own right. The difference is largely academic, I admit, but this question is actually one of the few circumstances where it's important: Only the first layer of an outer plane is coexistent with the astral, so teleportation effects that use the astral won't work on layers other than that. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 29 '16 at 2:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe: That's a very good point; I'd forgotten that the other layers aren't coexistent. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Feb 29 '16 at 2:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ In prior editions, the spell teleport without error did, in fact, allow planar travel. (But, then again, in prior editions, the spell teleport could kill the caster outright. So, y'know, balance, I guess.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 29 '16 at 9:40
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Here's the description of the boots of teleportation:

Any character wearing this footwear may teleport three times per day, exactly as if he had cast the spell of the same name.

Since it says the effect is exactly like the teleport spell, we can just look at that spell's description:

This spell instantly transports you to a designated destination, which may be as distant as 100 miles per caster level. Interplanar travel is not possible.

Well, that seems entirely clear and biguous: No interplanar travel is possible when using boots of teleportation. In fact, even if that line wasn't there, you'd only be able to teleport between planes in highly specific circumstances: Another plane can only be within 100 miles per caster level if both the origin and destination planes are coterminous or coexistent, and most arbitrary pairs of planes aren't.

Incidentally, your question briefly mentions "greater" boots of teleportation. I think this might be an error on your part, as Google can't find any reference to such an item. If it's not an error, this item must be either homebrew or found in a supplement I'm not familiar with. Either way, I strongly suspect that it allows you to teleport as if you'd cast greater teleport instead of teleport - in which case, your player is still out of luck, as that spell's description explicitly states:

Interplanar travel is not possible.

Yup, greater boots don't allow interplanar travel either. Your player will have to charter a ferry up the Styx like the rest of us.

As for whether the boots work on planes other than the Prime, teleportation spells work anywhere with a connection to the Astral plane, because teleportation spells work by instantaneously transporting the transported individuals into the astral and then back out in a different location; As long as the Astral's connected to both points, and the spell doesn't put any other restrictions on where you can go, teleportation can work. (There's a whole pile of complicated lore about this scattered across multiple editions, but it basically boils down to "the Astral has neither distance nor time, but it has the concepts of both, and this can be exploited if you know how.")

Access to the Astral isn't a problem on most Prime worlds, but things get weird in the multiverse beyond. Specifically, there's an obscure line in the DMG (but not the SRD) that specifies only the first layer of each outer plane has a connection to the Astral. This means that if you want to teleport within the Abyss, you'd better hope that both your origin and destination are on that plane's first layer; Otherwise, you'll need to walk. Or possibly wade. Best not to ask through what.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "in which case, your player is still out of luck" Given the circumstance of the question, I'd think the player is quite lucky. :) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 29 '16 at 5:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent, thank you very much for clarifying that for me! I appreciate your insight. \$\endgroup\$ – Melody Mar 2 '16 at 22:32

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