Perilous Gateways

Portals in Time

By Robert Wiese

The Portal Through Time (Part 3)

With knowledge of the spell teleport through time, the researchers found secrets for building portals with temporal destinations. As with the spell, they closely guard this knowledge. Additionally, to prevent living creatures from traveling in time through their portal, the Society creates special survey constructs to observe past events.

Create Time Portal [Epic]

The character can create portals through time to specific temporal destinations, as well as portals to spatial locations in the same time.

Prerequisites: Int 24+, Create Portal, ability to cast teleport through time.

Benefit: You can create portals that traverse time rather than location, and you can create portals that have temporal destinations and spatial destinations in the present. The portals created work exactly as distance portals and can have the same features and restrictions on transport. Time portals with multiple temporal destinations reach different points in time no closer than one year apart.

Setting up a portal for time travel requires some knowledge of the destination time, so it cannot transport anyone into the future since the future is entirely unknown to the caster. Even spells that give knowledge of the future cannot give definite enough knowledge to allow this spell to work.

As with the spell teleport through time, some temporal displacement occurs. The errors in arrival for this spell occur in time rather than in location. To see how closely the character arrives to the planned arrival time, consult this table.

Temporal Distance TraveledTemporal Drift*Chance of Mishap
1 day to 1 month +/- 2d8 minutes5%
1 month to 1 year +/- 1d8 hours7%
1 year to 10 years +/- 4d20 hours10%
10 years to 100 years +/- 5d8 days15%
100 years to 1,000 years +/- 5d20 days20%
1,000 years + +/- 5d20 months25%
* There is a 50% chance that the number is a negative number.

Add or subtract the temporal drift to the destination time to determine the exact time of arrival.

Mishaps result in the portal failing and the character taking 1 point of Intelligence damage for every 10 years of expected time travel due to the mental bombardment that time travel brings with it. Thus, a character trying to transport through 100 years would take 10 points of Intelligence damage. Intelligence can be reduced to 0 through this damage (but not lower).

In the case that a traveler meets himself, the two travelers instantly lose control and attack each other with every ability and item at their disposal. However, should a traveler die while traveling in the past, the traveler's body immediately vanishes from the point of time it traveled to and returns to the point where the spell was cast at the time that the spell was cast. In other words, if a traveler perishes in a fire, the instant that the traveler died in that fire is the instant in which the traveler is no longer in that time period, and the body is never found within that location since it returns to the moment of time in which the traveler finished the spell and began time traveling.

Please refer to the spell teleport through time for more information on time travel and some ideas on how to handle it in your campaign.

Survey Constructs

The survey constructs used by the Society are basically stone golems that appear as elves, with some modifications so that they can observe and report on events.

Survey Construct: CR 8; Medium-size construct; HD 6d10; hp 33; Init +0; Spd 30 ft. (60 ft. fast movement); AC 28, touch 10, flat-footed 28; Atk +11 melee (1d8+7, 2 slams); SQ construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., DR 20/+2, fast movement (60 ft.), magic immunity, playback; AL N; SV Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2; Str 25, Dex 10, Con --, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 10. Height 5 ft. 0 in.

Construct Traits: A survey construct is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. The creature is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. It cannot heal itself but can be healed through repair. It cannot be raised or resurrected. A survey construct has darkvision (60-foot range).

Fast Movement (Su): A survey construct can move faster than normal (60 feet).

Magic Immunity (Ex): Like a stone golem, a survey construct is immune to all spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural effects, except as follows. A transmute rock to mud spell slows the construct (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while a transmute mud to rock spell heals it of all lost hit points. A stone to flesh spell makes it vulnerable to normal (not spell-based) attacks for the following round, without changing its nature.

Playback (Su): Once the user has touched the construct and given the playback command (which can be tailored to a specific time reference, such as "Play back the events of day 23"), the construct replays in the user's mind everything it has seen and experienced during the time requested. It takes a survey construct only 1 minute to replay 1 hour of recorded experiences. When the user spends a minute playing back the construct's memories, it is as if the user experienced everything that the construct experienced. To get through the experiences faster and still retain the gist of the experience, the user must make an Intelligence check. The user can go as fast as 1 round per day experienced in terms of transfer rate: DC 10 earns the user a general idea of the events (someone entered the area), DC 15 gains the user a bit more detail (a drow entered the area), while DC 20 and higher grants the user knowledge of the pickier details (a drow priestess entered the area, harvested some fungus for an hour, then left after hearing something). The only sure way to get all the details possible is to use the playback command at the normal speed, however.


Survey constructs are made in the same way as stone golems, though smaller stone blocks can be used. In addition, the spells expeditious retreat and fox's cunning must be included in the ritual of creation.

How to Incorporate the Portal Through Time Into Your Campaign

As noted in the spell in part 2, the introduction of time travel into any campaign may cause all manner of peril. Follow the guidelines in the spell, and you should have an easier time of it.

Here are some adventure ideas for the Portal Through Time:

Portals in Time