I had a discussion with another Ars player the other day where we were telling one another about the sanctum modifications and defenses our past characters had made. This also led to the observation that far too few players spend any real time or effort on such activities.

Perhaps a discussion here, of such sanctum modifications and defenses, could help others realize how to go about it... or at the very least inspire those of us who already have at least a clue. (Maybe not a big clue at that.)

For the opener I'll throw out one of mine, for a Magi who was a Rego/Muto Auram/Vim type.

  • Mundane Guards stationed at each entrance.
  • Private Aegis ( 30 ) on the sanctum and immediate exterior (guard stations)
  • Wards on the entrances and the interior rooms holding a 'day' duration Vim effect that slammed the interloper with a -15 to casting totals. (Before the Aegis is factored in. )(If penetration occured of course.) (Set to trigger on anyone other than the Magi or apprentices who used any form of magic in or at the sanctum or the guards.)
  • A ring duration auram effect was basically a ward... attempted to hold immobile and crush with massive pressure air masses anyone other than the caster/apprentices/those with tokens/invitations to the private aegis.

Good question! Our troupe is searching for ways to protect the sanctums. We found it was rather difficult...

Watching wards and private Aegis are good, but costly in vis...

First a question for you: you said that you had an effect that could target "(...)anyone other than the caster/apprentices/those with tokens/invitations (...)"
How do you do that ?

I plan to protect my character sanctum with 2 row of defences: one row for the curious grog, and another row for those who have bypassed the first one.

The first row of defence will have one magical item and a spell. First, the door to the sanctum is enchanted with an ReMe 5 effect that will put to sleep anyone who touch the door.(trigger "touch the door" ) 24 uses per day is cheap but yet effective to repel those too curious.
Then I would like to design a InIm spell along the lines of Janus Gate from Wiki Net grimoire, to let me know who and when someone enter my sanctum, wherever am I.

The second row of defence would be more deadly traps. The problem here is how to penetrate ? My character is a ReVi specialist and have a major focus in wards, but I can barely hold off Hermetic wizards of my own power !
I think mechanical traps are good at this stage. Maybe a magical trap that lets a large part of the ceiling drops (a ReTe effect) when triggered by someone passing through a doorway ? This wouldn't have to penetrate, since the ReTe effect would simply drop some stone, not throw it.

I also have the idea of digging a pit, filling it with spike - all mundane things. But covering it with a Creo Imaginem effect from an enchanted item. I would leave only some part of the floor intact, and knowing what part are really there, I wouldn't fall in my own sanctum...

Well, my previous sagas has not seen a lot of this.

Although one paranoid magus had made his entrance into a large stone block, which needed a mid-level MuTe (or something) to pass. He had swiped the corpses of a lot of enemies, who were not properly buried, along with a lof of weapons swag. So he had a group or animated skeletons to guard it.

In the previous saga, the same player (with a different magus, of course) had some accidental protection. A series of backfiring experimentations with a ReTe spell resulted in shifting the direction of gravity in his Lab. Instead of going from up to down, it now went right to left. So once the threshold was stepped over, one would fall abruptly to the left - it being the local "down". It wasn't a defence per se, but certainly an eye opener for an intruder.

But it has never really meant anything, since no intruders who could have been thwarted with such defence ever entered. It was always some patronizing angel, vindictive demon or other...

Be carefull with traps and wards! Or some day you might find the ahes of your apprentice on the door step, or yourself in spikes when slipping on a narrow brigde without anything to hold on (Maybe while moving in some extra lab stuff...).
Anyone specilazied in Vim and looking for ways to keep out hermetic mages: Use a CrVi spell that grants two warping points. Either the intrudor spends time to controll the magic and can easily be taken by mundane guards or he visites twilight. Probably for quite some time, so the item's effect does not need many charges. As soon as he returns from twilight: Zap! Another two points! Go back to twilight, do not do anything else! :laughing:
This can go on until the intudor experiences his final twilight...
And even if you might trigger your own device on some bad day: Well, another two warping points are better than resolving into a puff of smoke.

My Flambeau maga's sanctum was quite secure, even if it's defences appeared weak. Nice little gaurded gate, 2 gaurds on duty. Typically in residence within would be my maga, her apprentice, and a very rude surprise... A dragon (A small one, but he's still growing, and only slightly smaller than a Boeing 737...) is in residence in what most people assume is the hall. He's not tame, but he is friendly. It also has it's own Aegis of the Hearth. Very few uninvited people stay any length of time, indeed...


I think one of the problems with Sanctum defense is that the player is aware that the GM is highly unlikely to actually have the defenses work since a story involving intruders into the lab will require that they get there. This means that you spend a seasons or two working on effects/items/spells only to never have them used.

Intruders to our magi's sanctums have almost always had sufficient MR or wits to penetrate.

This is of course only broadly true and my magi is particualrly proud that he has a ward around his tower preventing ghosts from drifting into it, especially when it saved his tower from a nasty ghost-with-a-grenade type attack from a renegade magus.

My senior magi IMS has a ward to keep out spirits (will stop everything up to a might 15 spirit, its more to stop nuisance ghosts than anything serious), wards to stop humans passing the various thresholds (ineffective against anything with MR) and a number of ghosts bound here there and everywhere to act as CCTV cameras. Although they don't attack, they do notice what happens and he interrogates them to see what has been going on in his lab in his abscence. Finally he has a bunch of animated skeletons. These are re-animated monthly so they aren't terribly good when he is off adventuring for a season or more, but they work fine for short term abscences.

I very much like the idea of the CrVi trap to send a magus into twilight, thats very nice, especially since two of my magi are Criamon (Pater and filius) and have rather good vim.

Unfortunately we don't have the creo or vim vis available for our magi to raise individual Aegis' around their towers, we often have problems with our vim vis supply as we have an exceptional large covenant (9 magi) and require 6 a year just for the Aegis.

Basically the Auram effect was tied into the private aegis. If you were either a) part of ritual of the aegis or b) had an aegis token (invitation), it ignored you. If the aegis however 'detected' you as an interloper and started doing what an aegis does, the ring would be triggered. It was a ring effect designed specifically to be his sanctum defense, and wouldn't function if there wasn't an aegis present to trigger it. I believe it had a vim requisite, but I don't have the writeup anymore.

A large concern with sanctum defense appears to be overcoming people's MR, especially with ward effects and whatnot. Which leads to a discussion of what precisely can an effect do without penetrating? i.e. I've seen it adjudicated that a golem, though magical, while not being able to 'strike for damage' without penetrating... could still grapple the target into submission and then 'passively' place them into some other source of harm's way. I've also seen it adjudicated that the golem couldn't touch the MR protected target without penetrating. I'm curious what others would think?

This obviously has an extreme relevance to sanctum defence... as, for example, with the auram ring mentioned above. With the first interpretation, whether or not it penetrated, it could concievably still trap and hold an enemy Mage who couldn't overcome the auram effect somehow. Whereas with the second, it would be useless against anyone it couldn't penetrate on.

And the bit about GMs ignoring Sanctum defenses at their liesure is unfortunately true in some cases. I'd say though that a good GM shouldn't. And beyond that, Sanctum crashing should be, in my mind, an activity that any and all creatures consider -very- dangerous. You never know what any given mage may have cooked up to keep out people just like you. Ignoring that and having 'badguys' come in and muck about whenever you need some drama is, to me, not in keeping with that bit game lore.

And, realistically speaking, just about any mage is going to have spent a fair amount of time on such security IMO. If someone does try and crash a sanctum in my games they pretty much either have contempt for the abilities of the mage it belongs to, or have already killed them... waited a decent ammount of time to let durations expire, and then go in painfully slowly and sift through each particle of dust with InVi.

I like the idea of putting an intruder into twilight very interesting !

If he dies in such a way, he is not worthy to become a Tytalus. Maybe I would have killed him myself. :wink:

I agree with the GM doing what the story needs. That's very insightfull, in the end, this is what governed our actions in regard to sanctum safety.
An alternative is for the gaming troupe to decide to move the action away from the Covenant. Then it need something to explain why people fail to intrude in our territory. That's what we've done. Also, there is the case of Wizards Wars, where one saw his Laboratory stolen, despite his defences... you choose your ennemy in WW, not the GM.

Good idea about tying a magical effect to the Aegis! I haven't thought of that...
Maybe the first spell should be a InIm to warn if anyone enter the Aegis without consent, but that's better for the covenant.

IMHO it should be reduced to minimum. I thinks it's really something that will change from saga to saga. I even thinks that Magical Walls makes problem because they stop wizards protected by parma. This makes wards much less usefull in stoping oponents !

The defences that Brutus of Verditius has for his lab -

  1. Reputation - all of the grogs and servants avoid his lab. They know that there are ghosts in there, things disappear and appear. There is also a massive menheir which drinks blood.

  2. Location - the lab is set in a tower designed by a militant Flambeau. It has a number of mundane fortifications and defences.

  3. Resident - There is a very powerful fey entity in the upper lab. It tolerates Brutus, outsiders beware.

  4. Unstable - the lab has a number of overlapping regios which are constantly changing levels. They make lab-work a pain as objects and people traverse the levels. (Hence the reputation)

  5. Hidden lab - the useable lab is the lower one. Accessed by a spiral staircase from the upper lab. There is an enchanted device to create a perfect mate to the stairs, creating a completely solid wall. All intellego magics will reveal no way down.

Eyes of the Bat - InAu will detect when there is an intruder, even if they are invisible, or have MR.

  1. Hail of daggers (CrTe) - Like the Crystal Dart, but created of iron, in a group 1 /2 foot apart in both directions. High penetration, momentary duration.

  2. Call to slumber (ReMe) - enchanted device with large penetration forcing all who enter to fall asleep.

  3. Aging charm (PeCo) - enchanted device, constantly force people to age a few years. - medium penetration.

Brutus has a little song that he sings when he enters the lab. Each verse disables one of the defences. The song is in his native Italian, not the local Provencal.

I think that the statement of a SG ignoring the defences is true, but then again everything that happens in a RPG game is controlled by the GM/SG. After all he or she is the one who sets all the difficulties and similar. Just like a teacher sets the difficulty of a exam then judge your effort upon the result, is the exam hard to make then you will fail probably or at least get a low grade. I also agrees that a SG should have the decency to allow his player to change the story in a direction that they chooses rather than enforce his story. That is why you should carefully choose you story guide, a person who is a control freak with a sadist attitude perhaps isn’t the best of choices. :laughing:

So for sanctum defences I recommend a sturdy door and perhaps a guard outside who doesn’t have a key to the door. It keeps mundane thief of your back, it cant hurt you loved ones (at least not most of the time) and it is quite cheap. Anyone seriously thinking of breaking into a magus sanctum prepares for it. Think of it one or twice, if you where planning to make a break-in in a store you would make ample preparations to succeed unless you are desperate and most probably under the influence of some strange chemicals.


Ward Against the Curious Scullion ReCo 10 [Covenants p. 104]: Used in round doorways or windowsills, or as metal rings engulfing the door or window from within.

Ward Against the Adamant Thief ReCo 30 (Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): A similar effect, but can ward off people jumping or flying through the hoop.

Circle of Beast Warding ReAn 5: Applied either to windows and doors, like the above, or to the entire sanctum floor (+1 Warping, +1 Safety, -1 to Animal). Level 15 variant affecting Room is more likely than the standard Circle target for affecting the whole lab. Also applied as part of ring set to protect bookstands and cabinets.

Chamber of Spring Breezes variant CrAu 15 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +2 Room, +1 unnatural): Creating some comfort.

Ward Against Flame ReIg 15 [Covenants p. 104] or higher against stronger fires: Surround heaths, lamps, braziers, and so on.

Light Without Flame variant CrIg 15 (Base 4, +1 touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): A few castings to instate Magical Lighting (Free Supernatural Virtue).

The Invisible Hearth CrIg 20 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +2 Room): A casting will provide Magical Heating (Free Supernatural Virtue).

The Perfect Temperature Conserved ReIg 20 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +2 Room): Another way to provide Magical Heating.

Cloak of the Duck’s Feathers variant ReAq 5 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle, +1 slightly unnatural): Part of ring set protecting bookstands and cabinets.

Suppressing The Mold PeHe 5 (Base 2 to prevent new growth, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): Part of ring set protecting bookstands and cabinets. Prevents new growth, but doesn’t destroy old one as that may risk damaging books.

Ward Against Mold ReHe 15 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): An alternative to the above.

Circle of Panic of the Trembling Heart CrMe 15 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): An alternative to the Ward Against the Curious Scullion.

Panic of the Trembling Heart Doorway CrMe 25 effect (CrMe 15 base effect; Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +10 levels unlimited frequency): A variant of the above, good for keeping people from flying or jumping through the doorway or window.

Punishing Coat of Flame CrIg(Re) 20 effect (Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Diam, +1 Rego requisite): Invested as a trap that burns people who mishandle the item; the Rego requisite confines the fire to the victim. Sometimes created as a charged item, or with extra levels to increase frequency to beyond 1/day.

The Boring Read ReMe 15 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): Placed on key locations, such as around the book cabinet, to induce sleep in nosy guests.

Fiery Floor CrIg 25 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +2 Room): Installs Afire (Free Supernatural Flaw) in the lab.

Walls Are No Barrier MuTe(Au) 10 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +1 Part, +1 stone): Turns a segment of wall into air for a few seconds, allowing the magus to step through.

Wall of Magic CrTe 15 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): Erects a permanent magical wall over a circle. The circle is pre-prepared and built around later, yet still the effect is prone to dispelling and the ring may be broken. Suppressing the Wizard’s Handiwork is later used to circumvent the wall, allowing entrance to the sanctum.

Wooden Doors Are No Barrier MuHe 15 (Base 5(?), +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +1 Part): Allows to step through wooden walls.

Wooden Wall of Magic CrHe 10 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): As above, except it creates a wooden wall. It can create a living wall or similarly strange structure.

Wizard’s Hop ReCo 10 (Base 10, +0 Personal, +0 Momentary, +0 Ind): Teleport up to 5 paces to a place you can see or have an Arcane Connection to. Used to hop into the sanctum from outside, using an arcane connection. Higher level variants, all the way to The Leap of Homecoming ReCo 35, are possible.

Suppressing the Wizard’s Handiwork ReVi 10: This level is enough to suppress the Ward Against the Curious Scullion or a Wooden Wall of Magic. A level 15 variant is needed to bypass a Wall of Magic.

Token of Safe Passage ReVi 15 effect (ReVi 5 base effect; Base 4, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +0 Individual, +10 levels unlimited frequency): Allows the bearer to pass through a Ward Against the Curious Scullion or a Wooden Wall of Magic. A level 20 variant is needed to pass through a Panic of the Trembling Heart effect (circle or doorway), or through a Wall of Magic. Effect expiry may be used to make this item more swiftly, or a token may be made with an effect use limited to a specific person.

Apparent Deactivating Trigger InIm 15 effect (InIm 10 base effect; Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): Detects some subtle hand movement, a complex sigil, or some other visible key. This is used to deactivate a magical trap. The trap re-activates at another sign, when the man bearing the sigil exits through the door, or so on.

Secret Mark Safety Trigger InCo 35 effect (InCo 25 base effect; Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): Detects some hidden mark, such as a tattoo beneath the hair or an iron peg inserted into a bone, that is present in the person. This is used as a linked trigger, activating the trap against anyone not detected as not bearing the mark. The affect needs to penetrate magic resistance to detect the presence or absence of a mark, so levels for penetration are always added.

Mental Password Safety Trigger InMe 45 effect (InMe 40 base effect; Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): As above, except that the effect reads the mind for a password. A deactivating (and activating) mental trigger is also possible.

Right of Passage Trigger InCo(Vi) 35 effect (InCo(Vi) 25 base effect; Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +1 Vim requisite, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): Detects whether people in the room are of the correct magical lineage. It needs to penetrate magic resistance to determine that there is a person in the room, of the correct lineage or not. This can serve as a deactivating or safety trigger.

Voices From Hollow Places ReMe 35 [True Lineages p. 140]: Used to trap ghosts in objects.

Eternal Coercion of the Spirit of the Night ReMe 40 effect (Base 20, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +0 Ind, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): Forces the ghost to obey a very complicated command, instructing it how to use the item’s other powers. Although a disembodied spirit can apparently be controlled by the level 5 guideline, the core spell Coerce the Spirit of the Night makes the control seem partial and not too reliable; this higher spell guideline should provide a more robust and reliable control, and be harder to dispel – vital if the device is to function properly.

Reading the Bound Mind InMe 35 effect (Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +0 Ind, +2 levels 2/day, +3 environmental trigger): Reads the surface thoughts of the bound ghost, serving as a trigger for other effects.

Curse of Acid Blood MuAq(Co) 48 effect (Base 10, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +2 Room, +1 requisite, +1 for “part” target, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Turns the blood of everyone in the room into burning acid, a fatal transformation. Used with a deactivation trigger to affect the lab in your absence, or with a safety trigger and a Rego requisite (+1 magnitude) to not affect you and your guests.

Fish Out of Water MuCo(An,Me) 58 effect (Base 20, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +1 Me requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 level linked trigger): Turns the people in the room into fish, who proceed to die outside water. Used as above. A variant of level 53 without the Me requisite will maintain the victim’s mind, and hence isn’t suitable as anything but a hindrance against magi.

The New Statue MuCo(Te) 63 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +1 Me requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): As above, but turns people into stone statues. This change is reversible, lasting but a diameter once the victim is removed from the room.

The New Plant MuCo(He) 63 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +1 He requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): As above, but turns people into plants.

Death Trap PeCo 63 effect (Base 30, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Simply kills the people in the room. Again, used with a deactivation trigger or a safety trigger and Rego requisite, and levels are always added for penetration.

A Brief Stay in Tartarus PeCo(Me) 78 effect (Base 40, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +1 Me requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Turns people into incorporeal ghosts and traps them in a stupor. Used as above, again the effect fades in one diameter once removed. The advantage here is that the ghosts’ mind can be probed for memories, whereas a statue or plant has none.

Paralysis ReCo(Me) 43 effect (Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +1 Me requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Freezes both the body and the mind, again allowing for magical interrogation of memory and fading after one diameter.

The Docile Servant Return MuMe 43 effect (Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Changes the person’s memories, making him think he is a loyal servant sent to the place and ordered to sit down and await his master. Renewing each round, the person doesn’t notice time has passed.

Losing the Marbles MuMe(Te) 63 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Turns the victim’s mind into a pebble that drops to the floor at his feet, leaving him mindless. (Unlike Inmost Companion, the person’s mind no longer controls his body. The affect may is reinstated every sunrise or sundown, which may allow some brief moment of awareness at the SG’s whim.

A Mindless Husk PeMe 58 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Leaves people in the room catatonic. As usual, this passes within a diameter.

The Obedient Intruder ReMe 48 effect (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Makes people in the room stand still, sit in the corner doing nothing, or do whatever else the creator of the effect chose – even kill themselves. Generally personality traits allow the person to avoid such external commands after a while, at the hands of most SGs.

The Enigmatic Trap CrVi 48 (Base 20, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): This effect induces 4 warping pints in the victim, sending magi to temporary twilight. Should they emerge from it while still in the room, the trap will strike them again…

Bjornaer Statues MuAn(Te) 48 effect (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Turns an animal, body and mind, to a statue. This effect is intended to operate against pesky Bjornaer magi, who in their heartbeast form aren’t subject to Corpus or Mentem.

Bjornaer’s Bane PeAn 58 effect (Base 30, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Simply kills any animal in the room.

The Trapped Animal ReAn 43 effect (Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Holds an animal paralyzed and incapable of thought.

Protective Lightning CrAu(Re) 53 effect (Base 5, +2 Voice, +0 Momentary, +0 Ind, +4 highly unnatural, +1 Rego requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): A bolt of lightning strikes the target, dealing +30 damage. The Rego requisite prevents damage to the laboratory, which might otherwise be extensive. The spell must be directed via a safety trigger; sometimes a bound ghost is used to provide it, as intelligence is required to aim the spell. As the spell uses Voice range, it is vulnerable to spells that silence the item.

The Trap’s Voice CrIm 15 effect (Base 1, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +0 Ind, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): This effect is used to facilitate the Voice range in the trap effects.

Protective Balls of Fire CrIg(Re) 53 effect (Base 25, +2 Voice, +0 Momentary, +0 Ind, +1 Rego requisite, +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Deals +30 fire damage. Otherwise as Protective Lightning above.

The Deep Freeze PeIg 43 effect (Base 20, +2 Voice, +0 Momentary, +0 Ind +10 levels unlimited frequency, +3 levels linked trigger): Deals +20 damage from cold, which is usually enough to freeze a man solid. This effect has the advantage of being relatively low level and not damaging the lab without a Rego requisite, but the damage is relatively low.

The Bow Automaton ReHe 30 (Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle): Cast on a suitably-extended and sculpted small crossbow turret, complete with a face and arms, the spell awakens it into purpose and intelligence. The bow becomes an eager sentinel, and will shoot at intruders (Attack bonus +0).

Hail of Arrows ReHe effect (Base 3, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +2 Group, +3 linked trigger): The spell fires a barrage of arrows at the first detected target. Anything standing at the targeted places gets hit by a simple die of arrows, each causing +6 damage. Magic resistance doesn’t apply, although it can aid in avoiding the triggering. Sometimes a mechanical trigger is used, or even a mechanical trap for the same effect.

Bolts of Counterspelling PeVi 23 effect (Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +3 levels linked trigger, +10 levels unlimited frequency): This effect imposes a -5 to the casting total of the target; a level 23 variant imposes -10, a level 33 imposes -15, a level 43 imposes -20, and so on. The effect is triggered via a safety trigger, or a bound ghost.

Mystic Veil of Counterspelling PeVi(Re) 30 effect (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +1 Rego requisite): As above, except the effect is triggered by a physical trigger and doesn’t affect those touching the item when it is set off.

Wind of Mundane Silence variant PeVi(Re) 45 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +2 Room, +1 Rego requisite): Dispels all Hermetic spells of level 45 + stress die, except for spells cast by the user of the item. Lower level winds are certainly possible (as are higher level ones); a level 25 variant will dispel only level 5 spells. The wind does need to penetrate magic resistance to affect spells affecting an intruder, so levels are added for penetration. It is activated by a physical action, being an item rather than a trap.

Neverwnding Winds of Mundanity ReVi(Re) 56 effect (Base 25, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room, +1 Rego requisite, +1 2/day): As above, except that the wind lasts the day.

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A very expansive list of effects. Thank you. :open_mouth: :smiley:

I may have to take a few notes off of that list.

It is interesting the very different ways in which Magi of differing specialties can come up with to mount a defense. I think that was part of what I am trying to explore here. Some people seem to think you need to get heavily into the 'proper' warding arts, and use said certain effects to be able to properly defend your Sanctum. While all of that certainly helps, I don't tend to agree that it is necessary.

I'm hoping that people might share some of their more clever/nonstandard defenses here to help inspire people.

In the sagas I have been in, the players worried more about the out defences of the covenant itself, rather than the specific defences of each individual sanctum.

The notion was that if they are working together collectively, they have little to fear from each other and if someone breaches out the wards, et alia, that are protecting the covenant, individual measures would probably be of little hinderance...

Therein lies the problem :smiling_imp:

Sanctum defense is useful against three issues: accidental disturbance, spying, and wizard's war.

Accidental disturbance is when the kitchen's scullion tips over the jar that's supposed to be sitting still for a moon and a day in your lab, and you never know it. Until it blows up in your face. It isn't well-represented in the rules, even though it's a maintstay source for stories. I'd suggest adding the following two Laboratory Flaws to the lists:
Nonsecluded: The covenfolk regularly visit the laboratoy to clean it, or rarely sneak in for errands or adventure. They haven't developed a healthy feeling of dread, or perhaps the lab isn't warded against mundane intrusion. Most labs are warded to prevent such intrusions, or have such formiddable reputation or defenses that the covenfolk don't show up. (Free Flaw, Safety -1)

Broom-wielding Apprentice: Your apprentice, personal servant, guard, or so on isn't careful enough around the lab. This does not bode well. Most apprentices inflict this flaw upon the lab in their youth, before experience beats sense into them. (Major Unknown Flaw, Safety -1)

Spying is where all this "collective" buisness first comes in. I find your player's camaraderie disturbing :stuck_out_tongue: They need a Tytalus member, prying into their affairs and scheming intrigue. At any rate, spying by a foreign agent is likely to be through mundanes and covenfolk at the initial stages, for in accordance with the Code one cannot use magic to scry on fellow magi before obtaining an arcane connection and information to boost Penetration.... errg... I mean.... The nefarious spying schemes orchestrated by foreign agensts aren't likely to be affected by the wholesome collective spirit of the covenant's magi. Yes, that's it.

Finally, wizard's war. It's generally a very bad idea to meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. Eh, I meant - it's a very bad idea to involve yourself in someone else's possibly lethal fight. Magi can die in wizard wars. Really. If the magi collectively protect their member, actively, it tends to escalate the wizard war. Whole covenants can decalre war on each other - this is how schism wars start. And we all know how these end - with dead pagans, and the hot-headed simpletons culled down a b.... errrg, I digress. What I wanted to say was that if your sodales is so obtuse that he manages to provoke a magus of some intrigue and magical prowess to declare freakin' wizard's war on him, perhaps it would be best to let him suffer the reprocussions instead of taking down half the covenant with him. I suggest offering a token of the Aegis to the offended magus as a gesture of good will, and trying to negotiate a truce. At least that way, if he does assault, he won't be inclined to bring down the aegis or take action to neutralize you.

Indeed. The spirit of cooperation often found amongst players is, imo, wholely out of place in the setting. Magi seem to very rarely cooperate, especially in the realm of magic. Group casting a spell is about it... and most of the time that level of cooperation is confined to casting the Aegis. While covenant members might prefer to be friends with their fellow members... the relationship doesn't even have to be friendly. It's more akin to a oath of fealty or a business contract. They are 'obliged' to one another. Beyond that there is often significant difference of opinion as to policy and use of resources. Certamen and wizard's wars inside a covenant are less common that on the outside, but not unknown. And of course there are always stories about Magi who betray their covenants and let folks into the Aegis and whatnot.

A fellow's sanctum is supposed to be their ultiimate refuge. With no defenses of it's own it isn't that much of a refuge imo.

Also... the hermetic concept of self-defense of a sanctum immediately assuming a killing is justified within or in defense of a sanctum says a great deal about how serious Magi are thought to typically be about it's defense.

Hum... Things may be this way, but this is not a given. Magi are human beings, and human beings may very well live in somewhat good intelligence :wink:

I'd only contend, in regards to 'good intelligence' and it's bearing on people's behavior, that many quite intelligent folk in the world have a vast ammount of disagreement on what the 'best' way of doing this is.

Not to mention disputes over ethical and moral issues besides.

Magi are a very diverse, individualistic, powerful, and wary bunch. Remember Parma Magica (and then the Order & Aegis), and what it (they) did for wizardly society.

It may not be a 'given' that Magi are not going to all share labs, act as each other's research assistants, and mutually ward/defend every inch of the covenant.... but I'd say it's far more likely and in keeping with Ars/Order culture as described that they don't do those things.

For 'communal defense' in the past my experience has been a decent Aegis, mundane guards, and supplying a decent ammount of magical support to said mundane guards when possible (mainly in the form of the occasional permanent item and usually simply a stock of expendables). Sometimes folks would actually try and lay some kind of alarms/protections on the common areas... yet that was pretty rare and likely to be pushed aside by the others for a variety of reasons. So, for 'real defense' of one's sanctum and it's contents... (not to mention one's self ) you were on your own.

Warms my cynical old heart to see these comments. Much of our regular Ars sessions are huge flaming (but most importantly in character) arguements between two of our players magi. One is very community minded and even quite selfless, he is brave, noble and a little naive. The other is cynical, selfish and completely out for himself (he'd make a great Tytalus, but alas, is a Bjornaer). Their frequent "debates" tend to involve my magus as a swing vote, which given that he is a deeply anti-social, actively unpleasant necromancer with scant regard for human life, makes for good stories.

Our covenant has recently taken on 3 younger magi in the last 5 years and the senior magi's apprentices have all gauntleted and this has led to a large number of young, eager, enthusiastic and trusting magi all trying to work together.

I have a few plots up my sleeves to ruin this though. Its funny how easy magi are to tempt to naughtiness when you dangle a juicy prize in front of them.

As for covenant defense, our covenant has actually come under attack by mundane forces. Our modest walls, skilled turb and 200' dragon soon saw them off though (the dragon of course is via a spell our Bjornaer invented).

One of the recently gauntleted magi has plans for his tower defense involving herbam magics. Ten great trees around his tower, a group version of lord of the trees and a spell to turn the trees into iron. This should see off any mundane force trying to siege his tower, now he just has to worry about magical "guests".

I think in wizard wars the 25th level End of the Mighty Castle spell is quite a nasty move. And magi are not able to defend their towers against this spell.

What a reason could you imagine for spying a magus if they are not enemies? Maybe breaktroughts. Anything else?

Interesting ideas in this thread, and cool spells too.

In my sagas, this issue never came up because, well frankly because we never thought of it. We collectively shored up our covenant defenses, and pretty much relyed upon them o protect our sancta.

But we did detail them though, very colorfully I might add. We used Lab modification rules from 4th ed WGRE, and then again with the updated Covenants for fifth edition. That's where we focused our details, and half of it was extemporaneous fluff (what I kept in my kitchen, how the Animal expert delt with barn waste, stuff like that).

However, reading this thread, Sanctum crashing seems like just the lil' story tid bit to shake up the status quo and surprise veteran players (who oddly enough have not dealt with this before)