by Hervé Musseau
The Alphatian School of Gate Masters are a branch of Dimensionalists that specialize in the creation of permanent Gates which can be used to travel between planes. These wizards shun teleportation-type powers, or even the use of common gates, preferring their powerful networks of Gates. Some even create small networks of Gates in lieu of simple teleportation pads to link their estates.
The basic feature of this School is the creation of a Gate. Unlike a gate spell, this one is a permanent structure, but it is normally not active unless a gate master opens it. Besides, a Gate alone is useless, as it must be part of a network, since travel is only possible to other Gates of the same network. Members of this School tend to be more cooperative than the average Alphatian wizard, because Gates can't be opened before reaching the Third Circle, and networks can't be connected before the Fourth. In other words, a wizard must be of the Fourth Circle to create his or her own private network, so they tend to be rare.
In actuality there is one known common network (but the DM can add other, lost networks - e.g., one created in the days of Old Alphatia), now quite extensive but almost unknown outside the School (except for some Dimensionalists of other schools that are allowed to use the network...for a large fee). Fourth and Fifth Circle gate masters generally keep a small, private network that links their estates in Alphatia to one or two planes they have special interests in.
During the Week Without Magic all Gates located on Alphatia (and anywhere they terminated on Mystara) collapsed, leaving intact those on other planes. The ranks of the gate masters were thoroughly disrupted in the early days of Alphatia in the Hollow World, as the magics necessary to recreate the Gates couldn't be made to work. Since the apparition of the Moving Sun, more magic is available in Alphatia, and some Gates are now active again, though a lot of work will be needed before pre-sinking level networks can be restored. Also, because direct transportation to the surface world is unavailable, the Gates there (some gate masters had gates on Bellissaria or elsewhere) have not been reactivated.
When gate masters finally manage to travel to the surface world, though, they will discover that they can't open a passage between there and a Gate on Alphatia; after some research they may discover that they can travel between them by first stopping at a Gate in some other plane (i.e., using a third Gate as a waystation). In theory, such Gates could be used to travel between Alphatia and the NACE more efficiently, but in practice they are a secret of the School they don't want to share with anyone. Gates cannot be opened in the Hollow World outside Alphatia.
First Circle Powers
- Open Gate:
- Activates a closed Gate so that one-way travel through it is possible for 1 round/level (1st Circle) or 1 turn/level (2nd Circle) or 1 hour/level (3rd Circle) or 1 day/level (4th Circle) or 1 week/level (5th Circle). The destination Gate must be part of the same network. The origin Gate may be passed through to reach the destination Gate. One person may step through the Gate per round; if more than one do, they are stacked up in order of entrance and their travel time delayed by as much. Travel is 1 round + [1 round/plane] (i.e. 1 round for same-plane travel, 2 rounds for one plane separation, 3 rounds for 2 planes removed, etc.). Travelers who have not arrived when the Gate closes may arrive at the wrong destination (see Close Gate, save at -8). If several Open Gate spells are used consecutively, they apply in reverse order, each new application taking precedence but only pausing the older one.
- Close Gate:
- Deactivates an Open Gate. Anyone using the Gate when Close Gate is cast on the origin Gate must save vs. Spells or be expelled to a random Gate (DM's discretion) rather than their expected destination Gate. Anyone using the Gate when Close Gate is cast on the destination Gate must save vs. Spells at -4 or be expelled to a random (DM's discretion) Gate rather than their destination Gate.
- Gate Warning:
- Whenever the Gate is opened, the gate master is alerted. It is possible to use Contingency spells with Gate Warning.
Second Circle Powers
- Create Gate Opener:
- Creates a magical item that can be used to open a specific Gate (one the gate master currently has opened). The magical item can then be used to Open Gate at the same level as the gate master.
- Read Gate:
- Indicates when the Gate was last opened, to where, for how long, and how many people traversed it (eyes and projection are counted as one full person).
- Gate Eye:
- Sends a Wizard Eye through the Gate, through which the gate master can see even if the eye is on a different plane. The Gate must be opened beforehand.
- Hide Gate:
- The Gate becomes invisible to anyone but the gate master who hid it and those of a higher circle. All forms of detection, including magical, are ineffective.
Third Circle Powers
- Create Gate:
- Creates a new, permanent Gate. A newly-created Gate is not linked to any network. A Gate is generally large enough to let a human-size creature through, but a Fourth Circle gate master can create one for large creatures, and at Fifth Circle for huge creatures. Gates must be created on some surface, like a large mirror, a door, a pool, a well, etc. Creating a Gate causes the permanent loss of one point of Constitution.
- Collapse Gate:
- Destroys a Gate. If the Gate was open, it also closes it with all the consequences for travelers. The gate master Collapsing must be of at least the same circle as the one who created the Gate.
- Protect Gate:
- The Gate cannot be opened, collapsed or read by anyone but the gate master or someone of a higher circle.
- Link Gate:
- Makes the Gate part of a network. A linked Gate can't be unlinked (though it can be collapsed).
- Hide Network:
- All Gates of the network becomes invisible to anyone but the gate master who hid it and those of a higher circle. All forms of detection, including magical, are ineffective.
Fourth Circle Powers
- Create Network:
- Creates a new network of Gates. Only Gates that are part of a same network can be used for transport between.
- Network Warning:
- Whenever a Gate of the network is opened, the gate master is alerted. It is possible to use Contingency spells with Network Warning.
- Protect Network:
- All Gates of the network cannot be opened, collapsed or read by anyone but the gate master or someone of a higher circle.
Fifth Circle Powers
- Gate Projection:
- An astral projection of the gate master is sent through the Gate. The same rules to this projection as to an astral body, except that if the Gate is closed (or if the gate master wishes to end the projection) the projection is immediately dissipated without damage and the gate master returns to his or her own body. The Gate must be opened beforehand.
- Create Network Opener:
- Creates a magical item that can be used to open any Gate of the network. The magical item can then be used to Open Gate at the same level as the gate master.
Copyright (c) 2000, Hervé Musseau. Used by permission. All rights reserved.