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I read the spell and it doesn't seem to be limited by number of sanctuaries — rather only that it is a place dedicated to my chosen deity.

You and up to five willing creatures within 5 feet of you instantly teleport to a previously designated sanctuary.

It doesn't state 'the previously' dedicated sanctuary, only 'a' previously designated sanctuary. Also later it does not state that the number of sanctuaries is limited.

Is this correct? I intend to use it to traverse continents in our current campaign if multiple sanctuaries is allowed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm after clarification of both, I believe I have captured the RAW but wish to be corrected if I have misread, or misunderstood (hence raw) but I also wanted input and opinions on if my interpretation (IE, multiple sanctuaries) is what the wording seems to imply. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Rundle Apr 28 '16 at 6:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ RAI is only used when you are specifically seeking clarification from the designers of the system, as they are the only people who know what was intended by the rules. The only evidence that can prove RAI tends to be tweets, forum posts etc by the designers. We don't have a tag for it, as it is causes all sorts of issues with misinterpretations and misuse. What you are requesting, asking for our interpretations is basically just a normal question and doesnt need the RAW tag either, so I'm going to edit that out. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 28 '16 at 6:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ This meta Q may help explain the RAW/RAI issue \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Apr 28 '16 at 6:14
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It can have only one sanctuary designated at a time, because the spell provides no method of choosing between sanctuaries. In fact, read as a whole, it becomes clear that designating a (one) sanctuary ahead of time is how you choose where you go when the spell is cast again later.

So you can't use this to create an intercontinental travel network.

… At least, not by yourself. With the help of fellow clerics, you can have a “divine taxi service” where each cleric has a dedicated home destination, and by travelling in pairs they can create two-way links to other temples, where other pairs of clerics maintain two-way links to other destinations.

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    \$\begingroup\$ And now I want to have a campaign where the gods of travel/trade/homesteads charge 500gp for a one-way trip using a scroll of word of recall as a stand-in for "the wealth way to travel." \$\endgroup\$ – Christopher Apr 28 '16 at 15:09
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You can designate as many sanctuaries as there are places strongly linked to your deity (that you have visited in)

Word of Recall has two parts:

  1. The method by which you designate a sanctuary
  2. The translocation back to one of your previously designated sanctuary

How do you designate a sanctuary?

Word of Recall states:

You must designate a sanctuary by casting this spell within a location, such as a temple, dedicated to or strongly linked to your deity. If you attempt to cast the spell in this manner in an area that isn't dedicated to your deity, the spell has no effect.

So to designate a sanctuary it must be:

  • A location you have visited, specifically one in which you have cast this spell
  • Dedicated or strongly linked to your deity

The spell places no limits on the number of designated sanctuaries, nor does it say if you designate a second (or subsequent) place as a sanctuary that the dedication of the first location is broken.

The act of designating a place as a sanctuary, using this spell, makes it forever a sanctuary for you.

If you have multiple sanctuaries, can you choose which one to go to upon subsequent castings of this spell?

Word of Recall states:

You and up to five willing creatures within 5 feet of you instantly teleport to a previously designated sanctuary. You and any creatures that teleport with you appear in the nearest unoccupied space to the spot you designated when you prepared your sanctuary (see below). If you cast this spell without first preparing a sanctuary, the spell has no effect.

As you noted it specifies a previously dedicated sanctuary, not the previously dedicated sanctuary. It, however, leaves silent the method of choosing which of the previously designated sanctuaries you are teleported to.

Since the wording of the spell does not explicitly impart an explicit choice, it's up to DM discretion which sanctuary you arrive at. The DM has a few potential options:

  1. The nearest sanctuary (however this has the drawback of making the spell useless if you cast it in a place that is one of your designated sanctuaries)
  2. The nearest sanctuary that the character casting the spell is not in
  3. A randomly determined sanctuary
  4. Allow the character/player to choose
  5. DM chooses an appropriate sanctuary at their discretion

Out of these options, the first clearly goes against the intention of the spell in the case where the characters are in a previously dedicated sanctuary (in this DMs opinion) and should be ruled out, as in the edge case it would not actually provide sanctuary for the character.

Among the other options, this DM would allow the characters to choose. If they have been well travelled enough to setup numerous sanctuaries, remebering that the sanctuaries have to be somewhere specifically dedicated or strongly linked to your deity (eg a temple), then they should be rewarded for that pre-planning and effort.

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