I was looking through the sword archon description and in its special qualities it lists a number of things including aura of menace, magic circle of protection against evil and teleport. I look at aura of menace and magic circle of protection from evil and think "ok makes sense these are aura effects that are constant". But I get to teleport and it gives me pause.

Obviously the archon isn't teleportig at all times, does this mean it can use this quality at will? If so why isn't it included with the at will spell like abilities such as aid or continual flame?

If it can use it at wil does that mean its abilities like tongues or aura of menace are also abilities activated at will? Or are they constant?


1 Answer 1


The Teleport special ability's description is part of the common abilities of the archons in the Book of Exalted Deeds, and isn't repeated for each one. Back up a few pages and look at the start of the master Archon entry on page 159 — it explains how it works. Similarly, the Aura of Menace and Magic Circle of Protection have additional effects that are only explained here too.

Basically, yes, it can use teleport at will, but it has some additional limitations.

Notably, looking for information on Sword Archons online will only result in against-copyright copies of the information for the actual Sword Archon, which doesn't contain the description of all its abilities, so googling for an answer will just lead to confusion. The Sword Archon's abilities make much more sense when the actual book is referenced. I'd recommend against using the Internet as a short-cut to look up information on Sword Archons, and refer exclusively to your paper copy.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That last paragraph could be broadened a bit to "Remember that creatures may have extra abilities and qualities not listed in their descriptions based on their inclusion in a type, subtype, or smaller grouping." (i.e. it's hardly just sword archons this is a problem for) Also this seems to be pretty accusatory as currently phrased... \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2017 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I went to some effort to visibly assume that there was nothing untoward going on. It's common enough to reference the Internet even for books one owns, because searching is convenient, and even for those who don't own a book, most people can't tell the difference between open content and content that's posted online illegally. It's quite easy to arrive at the circumstance in the question without any improper conduct. Could you indicate where that effort failed? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2017 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's that the poster never said they had arrived at this confusion by searching online, and while your last paragraph doesn't outright say they did it really thinks so indirectly. I hadn't considered that people often search for copyrighted non-OGL material without realizing it's not supposed to be online, so that came across as the same as claiming bad behavior. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2017 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Yeah, it helps to remind myself that my knowledge of RPG licensing (and licensing/copyright in general) is unusual. There are still lots of people that think if something is online it's automatically in the public domain! (Though of course they don't use the term “public domain”.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2017 at 17:07

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