The Echo

“I tend to head for what’s amusing because a lot of things aren’t happy. But usually you can find a funny side to practically anything”

-The Fat One, Member of the Blackbear Mercenaries
(Human Ninja 6)

Magical Anomaly (The Echo)

Magic behaves strangely in this new and exciting world. More specifically something interferes with the use of some magics. Great minds have been studying the phenomenon and named it “The Echo”. Thus far they have determined the following:

  1. It affects Teleportation, Divination, and Summoning magic almost exclusively. All other magics seem to work normally. (These spells require a caster level equal to the strength of the local Echo)
  2. The interference is locally exclusive. This means that if the target of your teleportation or divination is within the same pocket of Echo there is no interference. However if you are targeting into a different pocket The Echo interferes with the strength equal to the stronger pocket.
  3. While the strength of this interference is generally stronger further north and especially along “The Spine” other pockets have been found in other random locations. (Each pocket will cover one 50 square mile grid)
  4. Generally speaking the stronger The Echo the more difficult the local wildlife. (The average CR in an area will equal the strength of The Echo)

What is the point of this?


The purpose of “The Echo” from a DM perspective is three-fold

  1. It is an easy way to tell if you are in an area too high CR for the party. If you can’t teleport/scry/summmon into it, then you probably shouldn’t be there.
  2. Its an easy Deus Ex Machina as to why this continent is so poorly explored, why its secret treasures are so difficult to obtain, and why each “faction” are fighting each other over territory and resources.
  3. It helps protect certain parts of the campaign which could be trivialized or triggered to early. For example in later levels a great war begins where the movement of armies and scouting of enemy troops will be important. Divination/Teleportation spells could easy trivialize large parts of it.

How does this work in the game?


Our continent will have a grid overlay. Some squares will have a CR associated with it (which is also the strength of The Echo in that area). The majority will begin unknown to the party at first but they can learn the CR of an area in many ways (Via Magic, simple exploration, skill checks, purchasing/learning the information from NPCs/Journals/Maps, etc).

If you want to cast a Divination/Teleportion/Summon spell into or out of an area The Echo covers then your caster level must be equal to or greater than its strength (Again, the local CR for the area).

Some squares in the grid will not have any CR, and therefor The Echo does not cover them. Examples are most major cities, The King’s Road, many shipping lanes, and other area’s the Party will visit often. These area’s will have a variable CR to ensure they remain interesting and challenging as the party levels up and continues to visit them.

Example: if the party is an area who’s average monster CR is 8 then a caster level of 8+ is required to summon while in that area, teleport/divine into the grid from outside, or teleport/divine out of the grid from inside. This should generally not interfere with the party. Unless the party is in an area of greater CR than their level they can use all their abilities normally.

The Echo

Echoes of the Rising JosephZ JosephZ