Home / Delve into the Depths in the Kobold Blog / Ask the Kobold: Teleport and Shadow Walk

Ask the Kobold: Teleport and Shadow Walk

Ask the Kobold: Teleport and Shadow Walk

koboldspot3_ArcaneWhy in the world is the shadow walk spell 6th level when teleport is 5th level? Is seems to me that shadow walk’s travel limit of 50 miles/level is less useful that teleport’s 100 miles/level. Besides, teleport is instantaneous travel, whereas shadow walk can eat up hours of game time. Why shouldn’t shadow walk be 5th level and teleport be 6th level?

Shadow walk is higher level than teleport for several reasons. The main reason is that shadow walk allows interplanar travel and teleport does not.

Here are a few other things worth noting about shadow walk and teleport: You can take along more people with shadow walk than you can with teleport. Shadow walk lets you take along one creature of any size per caster level. Teleport allows one creature of Medium size per three caster levels, creatures bigger than Medium size count as multiple medium creatures, and you can’t haul along more than your maximum with teleport load in any case.

Shadow walk allows you to drag along unwilling creatures (Will save negates) and teleport does not.

While shadow walk lasts one hour per caster level, and it allows travel along the edges of the Plane of Shadow at 50 miles per hour, the maximum travel distance the spell allows is not 50 miles a level, at least with respect to travel on the Material Plane. When skirting the Plane of Shadow, your rate of travel is much more rapid with regard to the Material Plane. The spell description doesn’t say how much more rapidly.

I don’t think there’s any reason to assume there’s any limit to the distance you can travel with the spell, so long as you don’t leave the Material Plane. To determine how long a shadow walk trip lasts, I recommend dividing the actual distance traveled by 50 miles and assuming an effective speed on the Material Plane fast enough to make the trip in the time the spell lasts.

Let’s say a 12-level caster makes a 2,000-mile trip. At 50 miles an hour, the trip would take 40 hours. The spell only lasts 12 hours, however, so an effective speed of 200 miles an hour is required and the trip takes 10 hours. If you want to set a hard limit on the distance you can move with shadow walk, set an effective speed on the Material Plane, 100 miles an hour should be the minimum, I think. And, two, three, or even four times that isn’t unreasonable.

Got a question for Skip Williams? Please add it in comments or on the Ask the Kobold thread.

7 thoughts on “Ask the Kobold: Teleport and Shadow Walk”

  1. Do you think it’s appropriate for the DM to modify the boundaries of these spells depending on the game world?

    If you are playing in a very small campaign world, would it make sense to likewise scale down the distance you can travel with teleport/shadow walk? Or is a better alternative to impose magical barriers?

  2. Similar question: what are the functional differences between the feats Fey Step Trailblazer and Fey Tactics?

    As an Eladrin Warlord / Spiral Tactician with an emphasis on movement and buffing, which of these do I want? Both? Neither?

    Thanks!

  3. I disagree.

    Given that “regular walking speed” for a creature with 30 feet movement is a mere 3 miles per hour given the overland movement tables, and travel by horse – the fastest mundane overland travel rate – is merely 40 miles per hour, I would assume that the 50 miles speed Shadow Walk allows you is exactly the speed you get as the end result. So, if you Shadow Walk for ten hours, you get 500 miles distance on the material plane. Yes, that’s slower than teleport, but as you mentioned, teleport allows you to take more creatures with you.

    But all this is ignoring the main benefit of Shadow Walk over Teleport. It needs no arbitrary “It doesn’t say how far you go on the *material* plane” lawyering to make it very, very useful:
    Shadow Walk is a poor man’s Plane Shift. You don’t need to start and end on the same plane, even less the material plane. You can just walk off the plane you’re on (as long as it’s bordering the Plane of Shadows, and I guess most GMs would say that the Plane of Shadows also counts as bordering itself) and end on any *other* plane bordering the Shadow Plane.
    Which ones these are is obviously depending on your game’s cosmology, but the Material Plane, the Shadow Plane and the Negative Energy Plane are all good starting points.

    And proper Plane Shift, for comparison, is Grade *7*, so it’ll be a while until you get a faster way to other planes.

    1. “Yes, that’s slower than teleport, but as you mentioned, teleport allows you to take more creatures with you.” Sorry, sloppy writing. *Shadow Walk* allows you to take (far more and much larger) creatures with you.

      1. H
        I
        M
        Y
        N
        A
        M
        E
        Is
        R
        A
        Y
        I
        M
        L
        E
        A
        R
        N
        I
        N
        G
        A
        B
        O
        U
        T
        S
        H
        A
        D
        O
        W
        Wa
        L
        Ni
        G
        B
        U
        T
        W
        H
        A
        T
        C
        R
        Ea
        T
        U
        R
        Es
        C
        A
        N

        Y
        O
        U
        H
        E
        L
        P
        M
        E
        U
        N
        D
        E
        Rs
        T
        A
        N
        D

    2. …because I thought up a few more holes to poke at “unlimited distance when using Shadow Walk”…

      By your reasoning, Shadow Walk would get *slower* with each level. Let’s say I’m a 12th level wizard, Shadow Walking from my tower to my friend’s tower three kingdoms away. I take 12 hours for the trip.
      Now, a few levels later, I’m a 16th level wizard, Shadow Walking to the same tower (or may be just the grocery store in the village a mile away) – and now, four levels later, the same (or even a much shorter trip) takes *four more hours*.

      And again, Teleport explicitly rules out planar travel – no can do,you stay on one plane. Shadow Walk, however, includes the line:
      “Shadow walk can also be used to travel to other planes that border on the Plane of Shadow, but this usage requires the transit of the Plane of Shadow to arrive at a border with another plane of reality. The transit of the Plane of Shadow requires 1d4 hours.”
      So, while which planes are accessible is depending on game cosmology, it is *explicitly* permitted to cross planar boundaries, one spell level before Plane Shift, and without focus or material components.

  4. i was thinking the path is quasi real so the base speed of the traveler is a factor. what if a sya dragon uses shadow walk to traverce great distanses does it travel faster due to its increased land spead? what if it uses shadow walk while flying ?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Prepared 2!

Ghouls in a graveyard, the cover of Prepared 2

Join The Kobold Courier

38878

Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top