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Magical Home Defence 101. Tips Tricks and Ideas.

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  • Magical Home Defence 101. Tips Tricks and Ideas.

    Imagine if you will that your enterprising young Cabal has come into possession of a charming new sanctum. The location is important for a few reasons, a previously abandoned (and very spooky) old house in the Suburbs with a modest Hallow in the attic, and a dangerous unstable Iris leading to someplace mysterious and hostile in the basement. The Cabal have been charged with looking after it. The Cabal wants to make their new digs as private, comfortable, secure, defensible and secret as possible, but has only modest (Disciple level or lower) magic at its disposal.

    How would you go about achieving this? The more detail the better. More interested in novel/outside of the box uses of Arcana rather than the standard Space Wards and the like (Not every Cabal has a Mastigos) but those are still applicable.

  • #2
    A few off the top of my head would be:
    1) Gather as many rank 2 ghosts (and their anchors) to act as a home security system. Rank 2 so they can be bargained with so no magic to maintain the system once it is set.
    2) Build up a spirit court of 'security', 'secrecy' or other such concepts in your sanctum's reflection. [Takes time but do able]
    3) The realist installs a modern security system but puts in place magic to prevent tampering.
    4) Have each mage's bound familiar act as watchdogs, alerting the cabal if something occurs and acting as a first line of defence.
    5) Fate magics set on the entire building focused on cursing intruders with bad luck, possibly enabling a "home alone" style of traps.
    6) Have a sleepwalker hold onto the spell control of your 'home security' spells.


    • #3
      Given the difficulties in relinquishing spells unsafely, and the experience cost in doing so safely, the best defences are likely those which can be engaged without needing relinquishment.
      Pressing (or seeking the assistance of) Ghosts and Spirits are quite helpful, so are Sleepwalker retainers whose job is devoted to maintaining and protecting your sanctum, doing as little as giving them a Panic Button on their phone can be enough in many circumstances.

      That being said, there are some multi-purpose defensive spells which can be helpful.
      Death can create Zombie guardians, or bind Ghosts to the Sanctum.
      Fate can circuitously assist by manipulating events to bring you into contact/conflict with those who are planning to abuse the Iris.
      Forces can... Help you when some does try to break in.
      Life can help you bargain with local life forms, getting a gigantic swarm of rats to attack trespassers can be hilarious, Lure and Repel can flat up force people to leave the Area if they don't have sufficient resolve, at Master proficiency you can fill your home with bio-modded loyal dogs and so forth.
      Matter has a thousand and one uses in protecting what is yours, however I'd mention the incredibly potent "Hidden Hoard" spell. Which makes your house unable to be "detected" without magic, and even then it requires a Clash of Wills.
      Mind can be used for a perception filter/SEP field.
      Prime's biggest and BEST tool is Supernal Veil. Slap that on the Iris or even the whole building, and people will have to go looking to find it, and Mages outside won't detect the mystical effects going on within.
      Space has some fairly obvious applications.
      Spirit can be useful for binding Spirits into use in your house.
      Time? Divine when you'll have visitors, trap them in bubbles of slowed time, jump back in time if you arrive late.


      • #4
        Fun idea: Cast Ghost Gate on entrances, with Conditional Duration set so that the spell ends when it takes effect on a trespasser.

        MtAw Homebrew:
        Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
        New 2E Legacies, expanded


        • #5
          I love when players leave open doors to other states and places. It's so hubristic.
          With Death you could also train shadows in the mansion to blind, choke and restrain the trespassers.

          [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub


          • #6
            I love this thread. So many good ideas!

            There's the obvious Ward from Space to keep people from teleporting stuff into your home.
            Diviniation using Time and Fate can tell you if you should be expecting visitors this week.

            It all depends on your ST in the end. In DaveB's let's plays there's barely any home defense going on. Even though they really should have been more paranoid.


            • #7
              Get an exarchial verge going and count on supernatural servants of your Exarch protecting it. Profit!

              On a more serious note

              Best protection is, in general, not killing intruders or stopping them. Best defence is making sure that they will be tracked and identified. Which is very easy, seeing as Mages have insane arsenal of detective tricks. So your best defence is to be at good terms with your Consilium and Order, to make sure that if you are attacked and violated, anyone who did that will have to persecution by community. And in Mage, where being an outsider is pretty much having a giant target sign on your back singing "I'm a free game for Scelesti, Seers and Banishers to hunt, and no one will care!", facing your community is a serious deal.

              So invest in things that help you identity the attackers - cameras, recordings, Time magic, and so on. Someone might raid your home and take all your stuff, but it's insanely hard to do that and not get caught by a vindicative Sentinel who has access to Consilium's resources, so chances are that your stuff will come back to you with a big "I'm sorry let's be friends" ribbon on top of it.

              So yeah, best protection is being a community member in a good standing and paying your protection money to your local organized crim...organized occult society.
              Last edited by WHW; 12-14-2016, 08:58 AM.


              • #8
                Co-location: Overlap your doors & windows those of a different, similar abandoned house. Assign a key only your cabal knows.

                Storytelling is the art of pretending you totally meant for that to happen just now.


                • #9
                  Constant Presence the premises, protect everyone inside from time travelers.


                  • #10
                    You could try out the Fortified Sanctum and Awakened Feng Shui Styles.

                    [Future Under Construction, Do Not Disturb The Chrono-Robots]


                    • #11
                      I admit, it's been interesting in one of the games I run, watching a Moros turn a literal hole in the ground into a multi-room cavern laboratory, protected by a concealed vault door and a small army of golems. That journey from Apprentice to Master is a hell of a drug.

                      Personally, I always found purely mortal defenses to be supremely effective to a point; a sturdy lock on every door, a simple fence with a gate, maybe a little magical reinforcement on the windows... It's enough to keep out a large number of novices, and certainly most unAwakened investigators. This goes double if you invest in an alarm system that noisily alerts the neighbourhood to a break-in.


                      • #12
                        The great thing about mortal defenses is that they are hard to detect. Without mortal-knowledge of defence systems, you probably won't know *where to look* with your magic in the first place. And because they aren't magical, they won't look like christmas tree to your magic sight.


                        • #13
                          To a point, yes. But I don't think novices are the kind of Awakened you'd worry about when deciding on security measures for your sanctum. You don't need many dots of Forces or Space to completely circumvent most or all mundane security measures. Just take a look at Break Boundary (Space ••).

                          Writer for Bloodlines: The Ageless on STV
                          Some other stuff I've done: Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)


                          • #14
                            Of course. But none of the defenses here will take more than a modestly skilled Mage to bypass them. Mundane defenses are just as effective in slowing them down, though, and in making them leave their Signature Nimbus on every surface. Signature Nimbuses have an Opacity equal to the arcanum dots of the spell, meaning it will be far easier to track the perpetrator after.

                            Mundane defenses keep people honest, and they make it easier to track the assailant after.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
                              Personally, I always found purely mortal defenses to be supremely effective to a point; a sturdy lock on every door, a simple fence with a gate, maybe a little magical reinforcement on the windows... It's enough to keep out a large number of novices, and certainly most unAwakened investigators. This goes double if you invest in an alarm system that noisily alerts the neighbourhood to a break-in.
                              Security cameras would be a huge benefit, as you can cast remotely through them at the cost of two Reach.

                              But as you put later, yes, mages can bypass all these things fairly easy. A novice mage would be far better knowing what their enemy is and what they're capable of and dealing with that than trying to make an 'all encompassing' security system.