PORTALS (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 59-61)
Magic portals link many places across Toril. A portal is
simply a permanent teleportation effect that safely whisks its user to a
predetermined place. Most portals lead from one place on Toril to
another, but a few lead to other planes or other celestial bodies in the
skies of Toril.
Qualities of Portals
Hundreds of archmages, high priests, secret circles, monstrous races,
and dark cabals had a hand in creating the multitude of hidden doorways
riddling Faerûn. Magic of this sort is unusually durable, and
often survives for centuries - or millennia after its creators have
vanished into history or lost any use for their handiwork. Accordingly,
the workings of portals are mysterious and unpredictable. Each
one is built for a reason, but all too often these reasons are lost when
the creator passes into history or obscurity.
Portals share some common features and qualities. All portals are
two-dimensional areas, usually a circle with a radius of up to 15 feet,
but sometimes square, rectangular, or another shape. The portal
itself is intangible and invisible.
Portals often come in pairs or networks, A single portal is a
one-way trip. There must be a matching portal at the destination
to return. Some portals are attuned to several potential
destinations, each equipped with a matching portal, but most are simply
two-way doors between one point and another far distant. Once created,
a portal cannot be moved.
An archway or frame of some kind usually marks a portal location
so it can be found when needed and so that creatures don't blunder into
it accidentally. Detect magic can reveal a portal's magical
aura. If the portal is currently functioning (ready to transport
creatures), it has a strong aura. If the portal is not currently
able to transport creatures (usually because it has a limited number of
uses, and they are currently exhausted), it has a weak aura. Strong or
weak, a portal radiates transmutation magic.
The analyse portal spell can reveal even more about a portal.
Creatures who touch or pass through the area of the portal are
instantly teleported to the locale the portal's builder has
specified. (The teleportation effect is similar to teleport without
error cast by a 17th-level caster, except that interplanar travel is
possible.) It is not possible to poke one's head through a portal
to see what's on the other side. A portal can only transport
creatures that can fit through the portal's physical dimensions.
If a solid object blocks the destination, the portal does not
function. Creatures, however, do not block portals. If a creature
already occupies the area where a portal leads, the user is
instead transported to a suitable location as close as possible to the
original destination. A suitable location has a surface strong enough to
support the user and enough space to hold the user.
Unattended objects cannot pass though a portal. For example, a character
can carry any number or arrows through a portal, but he cannot fire an
arrow through a portal. An unattended object that hits a portal
simply bounces off.
Unless the builder has preset some limit, any number of creatures can
pass through a portal each round, A creature using
a portal can take along up to 850 pounds of gear. In this case,
gear is anything a creature carries or touches. If two or more creatures
touch the same piece of equipment, it counts against both creatures'
Portal builders often restrict access to their creations by setting
conditions for their use. Special conditions for triggering
a portal can be based on the possession of a portal key,
the creature's name, identity, or alignment, but otherwise must be based
on observable actions or qualities. Intangibles such as level, class,
Hit Dice, or hit points don't qualify.
A keyed portal remains active for 1 full round. Any creature who
touches the activated portal in the same round also can use the
portal, even if such creatures don't have a key themselves.
Many portal keys are rare and unusual objects that the creature
using the portal must carry. Some portals are keyed to
work only at a particular time, such as sunrise, sunset, the full moon,
or midnight. Spells can serve as portal keys, as can the
channeling of positive or negative energy. When the portal is the
target of the specified spell or within the spell's area or touched by
its effect, the spell is absorbed and the portal is
activated. Any form of the spell works to activate the portal, including
spell-like effects of creatures or magic items and spells from scrolls.
A portal cannot be destroyed by physical means or by spell
effects that destroy objects (such as disintegrate), A successful
targeted dispel magic (DC 27) causes a portal to become
nonfunctional for 1d4 rounds. Mordenkainen's disjunction destroys
a portal unless it makes a Will save (a portal's Will save bonus
is +10). The spell gate seal (described later in this chapter)
locks a portal and prevents its operation.
Things are never certain in the many lands of Faerûn,
and portals are not always entirely reliable. Portal-makers have
created through design or mischance portals with many insidious
and dangerous characteristics.
These portals can only be activated at random times. They may or
may not require a key for activation when they are working. A fairly
common random pattern is a portal that works until 1d6+6
creatures use it, then shuts down for 1d6 days. Other patterns are
These portals are hazardous in the extreme for those who are
unfamiliar with their quirks. Creatures using these portals are
transported to any one of several preset locations. The destination
sequence may follow a set pattern or may be random. Some
variable portals have keys that allow users to choose a specific
destination served by the portal. Others function by transporting users
to a default location - an inescapable dungeon, the innards of a
volcano, or some particularly hostile outer plane unless the user
presents the proper key.
These portals transport only the creatures that use them, not the
creatures' clothing and equipment. Such portals are often used
defensively to render intruders vulnerable after they use the portals. A
rare and more difficult variation on this type of portal
transports creatures to one area and their equipment to another.
The other types of unusual portals are generally created through
careful effort by their makers. Malfunctioning portals, on the other
hand, are almost always unintended.
Over the centuries, prodigious forces have swept over Toril, profoundly
affecting magic. Because of decades (or centuries or millennia) of
magical wear and tear or the strength of the cataclysmic forces to which
they have been exposed many ancient dweomers have gone slowly
awry. portals are no exception.
A malfunctioning portal is usually at least one hundred years
old, but many are far older. Using one can have many different
results. Roll once on the Portal Malfunction table each time a
malfunctioning portal is activated. If such a portal
functions continuously, the effect indicated lasts 1d10 rounds, and
anyone using the portal during that time is subject to that
||The portal does not function, but draws magical power
from the user in an attempt to power itself. The user is affected as
though struck by a targeted dispel effect of a greater
dispelling spell cast at 17th level.
||The portal does not function, but draws magical power
from the user's items in an attempt to power itself. A random number
of items (1d10) are struck by an effect similar to a targeted
greater dispelling cast at 17th level. Use Table 10-1: Items
Affected by Magical Attacks, in the Player's Handbook to
determine which items are affected. Successful dispelling suppresses
permanent magic items for Id4 rounds. Charged or limited-use items
lose 1d4 charges or uses as if they had been used to no effect and
are suppressed for the same number of rounds (if still magical).
||The portal does not function. The user is hurled away as
though struck by the violent thrust of a telekinesis spell
cast at 17th level. The user is entitled to a Will save (DC 17) to
negate the effect and takes 1d6 points of damage if hurled against a
||The portal docs not function. Instead, a wave of negative
(50%) or positive energy (50%) emanates from the portal in a
30-foot radius. Negative energy acts just like an inflict serious
wounds spell cast at 17th level (3d8+15 points of damage, Will
half DC 14). Positive energy acts just like a cure serious
wounds spell cast at 17th level.
||The portal functions, but it sends the user to the wrong
destination. To determine where the user ends up, use the table in
the teleport spell description (Chapter 11 of the Player's
Handbook) and roll 1d20+80 as on the "false destination" line.
||Nothing happens. The portal does not function.
||The portal functions normally.
Building a Portal
Any character can build a portal if she knows the Create Portal
feat and either the teleport, teleport without
error, teleportation circle, or gate
spell. The portal can lead to any locale the builder has
personally visited at least once. The portal fails if the builder
chooses a destination that cannot safely hold her (such as inside a
solid object or into thin air). The portal also fails if the
destination is a locale where astral travel is blocked (see
the teleport spell description).
Base Cost: The builder must spend 50,000 gp on raw materials to
create a single, continuously active one-way portal covering an
area up to 10 feet in radius (about 500 square feet). The market value
of a portal is twice its cost in raw materials. Crafting
a portal requires one day for each 1,000 gp in its market price,
and 1/25 of the market price in XP (one hundred days and 4,000 XP for
the base portal. The builder can create a second portal at the
destination point, making a two-way portal, for half price (25,000 gp,
fifty days, 2,000 XP).
Larger and Smaller Portals: A portal can be crafted as
small as 1 square foot (about a 6-inch radius), but this does not reduce
the cost. The smallest portal usable by a Medium-size creature is
12 square feet (roughly a 2-foot radius). Small creatures can
use portals as small as 7 square feet (an 18-inch radius), and
Tiny creatures can pass through portals of 2 square feet (a
10-inch radius), Diminutive and Fine creatures are the only beings who
can pass through portals of 1 square foot. Larger portals
add 100% to the base cost for each extra 300 square feet of area or
fraction of 300 square feet. Large and Huge creatures can pass through a
standard portal, but Gargantuan and Colossal creatures generally need
double- or triple-sized portals.
Special Properties: Some special properties, add significantly to
the cost of creating a portal.
Keyed Portals: Keyed portal may be created at no extra
cost. The key must be designated during the creation of the device and
cannot be changed after that.
Random Portals: Random portals may be created at no extra
cost. The conditions must be designated during the creation of
the portal and cannot be later changed.
Variable Portals: Variable portals add 25% to the base
price per extra destination after the first included in the device. For
example, a continuously active portal with two variable
destinations costs 62,500 gp to make. A continuously
active portal with three variable destinations costs 75,000 gp to
Creature-Only Portals: Creature-only portals cost twice as
much to make as standard portals. If the portal sends intruders'
belongings to some place different from the users' destination, it is
considered a variable portal with one extra destination.
Limited Use: The prices and construction times noted above are
for portals that operate constantly, transporting anyone who
passes through them at any time. If the portal can be used only
four times per day or less, the base costs are reduced.
The materials and XF cost of a limited-use portal are based on
the number of uses available. The materials cost is 10,000 gp × a
portal's uses per day, and the experience point cost is 800 XP × a
portal's uses per day. (The second portal in a two-way pair costs
half this amount.) The market value is twice the materials cost. The
construction time is one day per 1,000 gp of market value.
A portal usable five times per day or more is just as expensive
as a continuously active portal. portals usable less than once
per day can be created by using the appropriate fraction. For example,
a portal usable once per four days effectively has 1/4 a use per
day, costs 2,500 gp in materials, and 200 XP. The minimum cost of a
limited-use portal is 1,000 gp and 80 XP for a portal
usable once per ten days. (The portal builder can choose to have
a portal operate even less often - once a year, for instance -
but this does not reduce the cost or XP expenditure any further.)
Each activation of a limited-use portal lasts 1 round. Once
activated, a limited-use portal can transport as many creatures
as can touch it that round.
Create Portal [Item Creation]
You have learned the ancient craft of creating a portal, a
permanent magic device that that instantaneously transports those who
know its secrets from one locale to another. Faerûn is riddled
Prerequisite: Craft Wondrous Item.
Benefit: You can create any portal whose prerequisites you
meet. Crafting a portal takes one day for each 1,000 gp in its
base price. To craft a portal, you must spend 1/25 of its base
price in XP and use up raw materials costing half of this base
price. See Chapter 2: Magic for details of portal creation.
Some portals incur extra costs in material components or XP as
noted in their descriptions. These costs are in addition to those
derived from the portal's base price.