How powerful is making a hole in the earth?

My ongoing quest to beomce the ultimate dwarf is going well; My domain's recent expansion into a nearby hex of ocean went flawlessly, greatly increasing my realm's supply of food, and two new coastal villages are being carved into the sea cliffs as we speak.

Still, I must look to the future, and my domain has run out of space into which it could easily expand. There are no land hexes nearby that do not belong to my allies, and no more ocean hexes adjacent to land. I must therefore seek out stranger possibilities... And my human mage friend has suggested the strangest yet.

There are, he tells me, worlds adjacent to our own, "spheres of existance" both unimaginably distant and only a heartbeat away. He proposes that we construct a great enchanted archway in my vault; A permanent portal that links the inside of my underground fortress to one of these other realms. With this portal in place, I would be able to expand my reach into a world unknown, send settlers out to claim its exotic wilds, and carve strange gems and rare metals from otherworldy mines.

I know, of course, that other worlds are not uninhabited; Whichever world we breah will be filled with strange and dangerous creatures. But my friend believes that a tunnel is the perfect way to mitigate the dangers. He tells me that the Autharch Alex once said:

"In the Auran Empire setting, the various spheres of existence (Chthonic Darkness, Empyrean Heaven, and the Elemental Planes) are all coterminous simulacra of the primary sphere (akin to the Shadowfell and Feywild in 4E/5E D&D, or to the Ethereal in 1E/2E). The geography of the world is mirrored in the geography of the other spheres, albeit in a distorted format representative of the nature of the other sphere."

On this basis, he believes that by building the portal underground, we can ensure that it opens onto impenetrable rock. My miners and engineers will then be able to quarry this rock away, alowing me to extend my fortress into this new sphere and build appropriate defenses long before we carve any passages to the surface.

Still, there is one impurity in the vein: My friend does not know what level of spell would be required to breach the walls between worlds. The Players' Companion does not list an effect for "Can teleport to the exact same place, but on a different sphere," and so he is unable to estimate how long it would take, or how expensive it would be, to research the spell on which such a permanent gateway could be based.

Tell me, Autarchs: Is my mage friend's plan as impossible as it sounds? Or has his genius for magic once again defied the limitations of reality?

I mean, if ANYTHING is going to be a ritual, it would HAVE to be opening a portal to another dimension (another dimension, another dimension).

Also, it sounds like it's time for you to get tough, fabricate some claims and grievances against your neighbors, and conquor them LIKE THE GODS INTENDED :-P

FWIW; Gate, as the general spell effect that's been common for 5+ editions now, is listed as a 9th level Arcane ritual in ACKS Dwimmermount.

Sounds like it would be an at-will Gate.

Ah, gate opens to the same location on the target plane as on the current one? For some reason I thought it opened to any location of the caster's choice. I'm guessing I'm being confused by newer editions, then; I'll re-educate myself when I get home.

Gate in ACKS_DW, at least, is to summon in a demigod, demon, whatever; so it's certainly extraplanar. If it happened to be different than BX/1E..etc, that'd be my mistake.

That being said, once you're at a spell level of 9, you're at Wish, so really you can do pretty much whatever you want. DW has examples of permanant portals to other planes and worlds; I believe they (generally) have some sort of activation requirement (some soil from the destination), though that's certainly not necessary.

In general, my guiding principle is that (a) they have to pay a hefty cost to create it and (b) they should always be feeling a bit on unease that something will eventually go horribly wrong. 

In your particular case, as we're being all Dwarf Fortressy, wandering monster tables that include rare results of Forgotten Beasts on the other side of that gate  (that inexplicably seem to be able to always fit through the gate....) seems appropro.

[quote="koewn"] Gate in ACKS_DW, at least, is to summon in a demigod, demon, whatever; so it's certainly extraplanar. If it happened to be different than BX/1E..etc, that'd be my mistake.

That being said, once you're at a spell level of 9, you're at Wish, so really you can do pretty much whatever you want. [/quote]

It's true that 9th-level ritals are a perfect excuse for deus ex machina, but they're also absurdly expensive; If I can get a lower-level spell for making space holes, it'd reduce the price of my portal substantially.

I don't want or need the "summon a thing" or any destination on the target plane" features of Gate, just the "tear the multiverse a new one" part. Which, come to think of it, means that the spell I want more closely resembles a generalised etherial jaunt or shadow walk than gate.

Hmm... Looking at the Players' Companion, you could read the "Caster teleports target any place in existence" as including the "Caster teleports target any place in same plane" effect, which would mean that the hypthetical "Caster teleports target to one specific place but on any plane of existence" would have a point value equal to that of the latter minus that of the former: 1,250. If we assume this spell has no chance of error (no modification), that the target has normal carrying capacity (x1), that unwilling targets are permitted (x1.5), that it functions at touch range because it's a portal (x1), that it's instantaneous (x0.1), and that it doesn't permit a saving throw for unwilling targets (x4), that comes out to... 750 points, making it a level 75 spell.

Hmm. I might need to workshop that one.