Apportation
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Basic Information

Apportation is the branch of magic that deals with the transport of things - usually calling them from somewhere else, although teleporting them away or from one place to another is also possible. This is rarely a school in its own right, and is typically a part of conjuration or summon-magic. Apportation may also be involved in the opening of dimensional gateways (if such things exist).

This is also a known side effect of magic in some cases - sometimes as a result of botching a working. When this happens, creatures or items arrive at (or more rarely vanish from) the site of the working - these "apports" can be anything from a phantom smell to an entire creature or spirit - or even multiple creatures comprising, say, a rain of frogs. An apport may be the result of "the universe" attempting to balance out some kind of equivalent exchange, may be the result of an uncontrolled feature of the working or (especially in the case of spirit mediated magic) may be due to something with a peculiar sense of humour or propriety.

Different sources define Apportation differently. In the Harry Potter books, Apportation works as described, as a magical form of teleportation; it is regulated by the Ministry of Magic and requires a license. Mistakes while casting the spell can lead to the caster accidentally leaving body parts behind. Under the GURPS Magic rules, however, the term is used as the magical equivalent of telekinesis - and a very similar phenomenon also exists in the Potterverse in the guise of the summoning charm.

Sources

Game and Story Use

  • In a magical campaign, Apportation will probably be likely. You will need to work out the limitations for Apportation in your setting, to keep it from short-circuiting your plot.
    • "Why can't we just apportate to Mordor?"
  • One possible limitation is to have Apportation be a difficult spell, off limits to lower-level characters but frequently used by powerful BBEG's
    • Which would be annoying
  • Or have enchanments in some areas which limit use of the spell, as is the case with Hogwarts in the Harry Potter Books.
    • This can be overdone. If every dungeon the Players enter has apportation-proof walls, their mage is going to wonder why he took the blessed spell in the first place.
  • Other possibilities include limiting apportation to places the caster has actually been or can see, or levying heavy penalties to "blind apportation" to unknown locations.
  • Or, as with invocation, it could be that doing it is easy … doing it safely in much harder. The Harry Potter universe is full of (reasonably family friendly) apportation accidents (called "splinching") … a fantasy version of The Fly could be much less amusing.
  • And if you just apport yourself into Mordor … you'll certainly arrive, and maybe even in one piece. It's just that you won't be controlling where you arrive…
    • After all, if apportation is a fact, it makes a great deal of sense for people to work out ways of blocking or diverting it - or at least of preventing stuff being stolen by this technique.
  • This is just begging to be added to all your spell-botch tables.
  • There's also the idea of a "snatcher" - someone with a natural talent for apportation who can retrieve items from other places, sometimes even other realities, without any other magical abilities.
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