Questions about designing the "perfect" safe


Advice


So I have an Npc that is building and selling "impenetrable" safes, from which her very first production was robbed from. (The irony, right?) She then hires the group to hunt down the thief and return her clients valuables.

So here's what I have laid out in the design:

1. She crafts an Adamantine case, the size of a typical door (this can totally vary though) but only a foot or so deep. She crafts a Lead lined interior with a matching door. Making it relatively impossible for the average thief to penetrate or see inside of.

2. In the process of creation, she creates an Extradimensional Space inside, like a BoH.

3. After creation, inside the Extradimensional space she casts Forbiddance, with a password for the owner. This prevents any teleportation, ethereal, astral or summoning shenanigans to get inside the safe.

4. She installs in the door a superior lock with Arcane Lock enchantment, for a DC50. Disabling becomes extremely difficult for all but the best.

5. She casts Invisibility on it. It is now much more difficult to see/detect for the average thief.

6. She casts Permanency.

Now... This is where things get questionable...

7. She casts Animate Object on the safe, turning it into a Creature. She orders it to remain perfectly inert, but to attack anyone attempting to open it without both speaking the Forbiddance password, and using the correct key.

8. Again, she casts Permanency.

9. She casts Mind Blank on the (now a creature) safe, preventing it from being detected by any kind of Divination magic or any spell attempting to gain information about it.

10. Again, she makes it Permanent.

Now, (completely ignoring the costs/requirements of said creation) here's the most questionable part...

(?) She begins reproducing Simulacrum versions of her real (Construct) safe, and selling those for her profit.

*Can you Simulacrum a Construct Creature? It is, by definition, a Creature?
*Is making it permanently Invisible as an object moot once it becomes Animated? Or:
*Would it regain Invisibility the next turn after attacking?
*If it was not made permanently Animated, would it retain the effects of Mind Blank after reverting to an object again?


FrozenLaughs wrote:
*Can you Simulacrum a Construct Creature? It is, by definition, a Creature?
Yes, and yes. A Simulacrum is the same type as its original.
Quote:
*Is making it permanently Invisible as an object moot once it becomes Animated?
The process of animating an object won't dispel the invisibility.
Quote:
*Would it regain Invisibility the next turn after attacking?
No. The spell has come and gone, it won't come back.
Quote:
*If it was not made permanently Animated, would it retain the effects of Mind Blank after reverting to an object again?

Possibly - there's no consensus as to what happens when the target of an ongoing spell ceases to be an applicable target for the original spell.

Also, there are a few issues with the plan:

  • Ordering an animating object to sit perfectly still won't work. I mean, it'll do its best to obey but it would need an ability like that of a Gargoyle:
    Gargoyle wrote:
    Freeze (Ex) A gargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. A gargoyle that uses freeze can take 20 on its Stealth check to hide in plain sight as a stone statue.
  • The Simulacra will be Simulacra of the original creature... minus the ongoing spells. Those aren't part of the original creature, and so won't carry over.


But the only spell added after the object was turned into a creature would be the Mind Blank, all the others were made permanent prior to the creatures "creation"?


I know it used to be possible to just melt a simulacrum. Not a thing anymore?


Extradimensional spaces are a liability, because destruction of the entrance places the contents on the material plane. Using one is an open invitation to smash/disintegrate the safe, and still get the loot.

Also, I initially read your first line as "somebody has stolen an impenetrable safe, because those are valuable on the black market."


The Sideromancer wrote:
Extradimensional spaces are a liability, because destruction of the entrance places the contents on the material plane.

That's a reasonable houserule, but I don't think it's RAW. Do you have rules text?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Extradimensional spaces are a liability, because destruction of the entrance places the contents on the material plane.
That's a reasonable houserule, but I don't think it's RAW. Do you have rules text?

My mistake, it was a generalization of spells rather than magic items, such as

Rope Trick wrote:
Anything inside the extradimensional space drops out when the spell ends.

Bag of Holding expressly states that contents are "lost forever" if the bag is destroyed, so it works fine.


FrozenLaughs wrote:
But the only spell added after the object was turned into a creature would be the Mind Blank, all the others were made permanent prior to the creatures "creation"?

The timing does not matter. Permenant spells are not part of the creature they are permenant spell effects on the creature and so can be dispelled, they would not carry over to a simulcrum. I would not allow a simulcrum of an animated object as I don't think it is 'real' enough as a creature but that is my opinion and I don't think there is a clear rule for this corner case and I would go with my GM's opinion in a game.

You could create is as a construct using the create construct feat and then a simulcrum would make sense although as it is 'half' as effective it would not be a great safe as that lock would be down to DC25


Ahhh, i hadn't considered the locks DC to be cut in half, its not really a skill or ability. Interesting. I wonder what other ways she can conceive of improving and duplicating this absurdly expensive prototype? Invisibility isn't a waste if it's not animated, but then you can't Mind Blank an object.

A Simulacrum of something with Wishes?


Now, if the Velveteen Rabbit is a thing in your world, an object could become Real. Think of all the happy little girls with their Simulacra bunnies.


I see a couple of problems with this

Spells cast on a creature are not part of the creature they are spells. The fact that the duration of the spell is permanent makes no difference. Keep in mind that even spells that have a duration of permanent can be dispelled. Anything that can be removed by a dispel magic is not part of the creature so would not be duplicated by Simularcum.

Second is that Forbiddance works on an area not a creature so that part would not work. Even if you cast it before the creature was animated once the door is moved out of the area it is no longer in the effect of the Forbiddance. So this part simply does not work at all.

Third I am not sure how you are creating the extra dimensional space but this is also a problem. If the extradimensional space is part of the object than the Animate Object will not work. Animate Object only works on non-magical substance and I cannot see how an extra dimensional space is going not going to be magical. If it is not tied to the object then again the Simularcum will not duplicate it.

The only real way to create what you are looking for is to use the magic item creation rules. But the problem is that if you do that the Simularcan spell will not work because it is a magic item not a creature


No, the area that Forbiddance is applied to is the extradimensional space inside the box, not the inside of the box itself. She's basically crafting a Bag of Holding 4 but it's a metal box with a lid (just a specifically sized box with a door for the lid).

Are you saying that Forbiddance cannot be cast on the area inside a BoH, to damage anyone who reaches in without the password? I've never read an argument against the concept.

It's an Adamantine safe. Adamantine is a non magical material... Isn't it? I assume you mean if it's crafted into a BoH style Wonderous Item, it's considered magical and therefore cannot be Animated Object'd?


Yes the bag of holding portion is indeed what is making it not work with Animate Object.

Another flaw is that if Forbiddance is used on the extra dimensional space, how are you accessing the space? Also the Forbiddance would have to be cast from within the extra dimensional space and if it is made permanent how is the caster who is creating this leaving the extra dimensional space?

The only way to get the safe to work properly is to create it as a magic item. Otherwise there are too many flaws in the design. If you did not want it to be animated then it may work with just spells. In any case the Simularcan is not going to duplicate it.


There are two parts to this "puzzle".

First is making the original safe, arguably a construct.

Second, can this construct be, all abilities/enchantments intact, duplicated via simulacrum.

Is everyone sure which page they are commenting on?


Yes I think it is going to be impossible to make the safe without using the magic item creation rules. And if the magic item creation rules are used the Simularcrum will not work

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Can you make greater invisibility permanent?


The wording is iffy but, for question 2,

Occult Adventures pg 158 wrote:

Awaken Construct

Source Occult Adventures pg. 158 (Amazon)
School transmutation; Level arcanist 7, cleric/oracle 7, occultist 5, psychic 6, shaman 6, sorcerer/wizard 7, warpriest 7
Casting
Casting Time 24 hours
Components V, S, M (herbs and oils worth 2,000 gp per HD of target), DF
Effect
Range touch
Target mindless construct touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance no
Description
You amplify the animating force of a construct to more closely resemble a true soul, granting the construct humanlike sentience. To do so, you must succeed at a Spellcraft check (DC = 15 + the construct’s current Hit Dice). If the construct’s master (if any) is present, this is an opposed Spellcraft check. You have no special empathy or connection with a creature you awaken—it is a free-willed creature. Golems previously under another creature’s control, either as shield guardians or a golem crafter’s creations, break all connections with that creature.

Roll 3d6 to determine the Intelligence score of the awakened construct, and increase its Charisma score by 2d6. It gains feats and skill points according to its new Intelligence score, and the skill points are assigned appropriately for its function, as determined by the GM.

An awakened construct speaks one language that its creator spoke, plus one additional language that its creator knew per point of the construct’s Intelligence bonus (if any). Its alignment is determined by the GM, but is usually within one step of its creator’s alignment. This spell doesn’t function on a construct with an Intelligence score.

Charisma is going to act for Constitution, so I don't know if this is a plus or a minus to the cause

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Technically, you can't use permanency to make mind blank permanent on creature. My 18th level wizard would totally do that though, if it were possible.


With this much effort (and apparently high caster level) you're probably better off with a couple of linked Greater Create Demiplanes to serve as a vault. It might not even be that much more expensive.

One, with the timeless trait, is your "trap" room connected to the material plane via a portal. You fill it up with Symbol traps, guardian Summon Monster IX, Prismatic Walls, Dimensional Locks and a Veil to hide them all. Put a Wall of Suppression inside the portal, to strip away all buffs like True Seeing. They last forever because of the timeless trait, no permanency expense necessary. The caster can walk through his Prismatic Walls safely, anyone else has to know what's there or they'll blunder into a Prismatic Wall/Symbol combo immediately. If you sold this vault to someone else, build a safe spot immediately inside, with some sort of non obvious way through (either a maze, an invisible break in the Dimensional Locks to side from which you can Dimension door to the far side, or a Phase Door through what looks like a solid wall).

The second demiplane is your actual vault, it connects to the trap room via a portal on the other side of the defenses. It has the dead magic trait, so no divination can detect what is in it. If you really want to be mean or put in extra defenses you can put a couple of golems in there to attack anyone who isn't authorized.


Awaken Construct may work for question 2 and allow the construct to be duplicated at half power by Simulacrum but it will be a free willed creature that has no loyalty to its creator and may or may not allow you access to the safe inside it.

One other thing to keep in mind is that a simularcrum has half the HD and HP of the original so it is not going to be as tough as the original. It would also have to follow all the rules as a construct not an Item so its HP would be based on its size not weight. So this means the duplicate will have about 26 HP it will have a hardness of 20 but doing more than 20 HP is not that difficult.

I have to agree with Plausible Pseudonym that you could create a more secure vault by use of Greater Create Demiplanes.


So, even if Simulacrum hypothetically worked, it would only look like it is made of Adamantine, but it would only have half the hardness, hp and DR as adamantine? On top of half the Hp it gained when becoming Animated?


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So basically whats happened is I've had two new players join my campaign and only one has any d20 experience. So I added a new sidequest to our game and had everyone roll up easier, lower level characters. The setup to get them together is that my NPC sold her first "inpenetrable" safe to the Merfolk and an artifact was stolen from it a couple weeks later; but there doesn't seem to have been any way the thief could have done it. So she gets the players together on a heist/manhunt quest to retrieve the artifact and possibly capture the thief himself, for... Interrogation. ;)

Essentially, I just need to create this so called "inpenetrable" safe that has the most failsafes and protections for its value. My idea was initially that the prototype cost wouldn't necessarily matter if she has a gimmick to cheat the system and duplicate it for her profit. (she's my NPC, and she runs the Thieves Guild so it's ok if she cheats the system)

I threw the entire scenario together off the top off my head because character designs changed at the last minute and screwed up my original plans lol.


And Sequester is a very potent anti-divination spell might help but it and pretty much all other magic spells, permanent or not, have one major drawback. They are all one Mage's Disjunction away from disaster. Technically the Create Demiplane family of spells also suffer from this drawback (unless local rules prevent it for some reason) as does any crafted magic item since nothing prevents an opposing spellcaster from simple hitting the safe as often as they need (at -5 on the items Will save) until it's disjoined and the contents spewed where ever such items go in that campaign.

Created Demiplanes also suffer an issue with the fact they are according to the text of the spells extradimensional spaces so anything about the safe itself or its contents have to be taken into account or the whole issue of an extradimensional space within another pops up. Constructs generally have lousy saves, certainly not known for high Will saves so I'm not sure I'd really want to go that route and have something with poor saves getting hammered by Disjuction, Polymorph Any Object and other high level spells cast by a presumable high level caster.

We haven't even touched the potential to run into Wish and Miracle casters (or usage of those while creating the safe) and that's probably just as well as that'll be extremely variant depending on the campaign/GM.

That said ...

I'd probably start with something along the idea put forward by Plausible above. Make the portal which accesses the demiplane keyed to something only the owner (and probably the caster) know. Make the portal portable so it can be physically moved about. Perhaps incorporate Shrink Item so it's easy to carry about putting the cloth-like portal inside a small lead box etc. etc. since rapid access is probably not a necessity pulling it out and unshrinking it as needed to access the portal to get inside the "safe". Depending on the campaign portals and portal magic can get very involved. As in 'sorry this portal only opens on the 3rd day of every 3rd month while 3 maidens are present'. Talk about contents being in a 'time' safe the management can't open on a whole new level :p

And bottom line if it can be crafted, created, thought of etc. etc. then there is almost an equal certainty that someone else can get access and get at the contents of the safe. And I imagine that's why the OP calls it the "perfect" safe.

See the numerous threads about keeping a Lich's phylactery hidden for additional ideas.


Well everyone knows that anti-magic only goes so far, it's more that she has targeted the richey rich of the nation for sales. She markets herself as the only "Security Specialist" in the city and only builds locks, traps and vaults as her craft/profession. Basically we want it protected at a price that makes using most lower level magics useless, but the cost and requirements of high level magic to be counter-productive to stealing whats actually inside.

Everyone already knows there's a point where Mages can pretty much get anything they really want, any time they feel like it. The vault could locked away on another demiplane and some a!&*!+# Wizard will eventually conjure up the right tuning fork lol


If you are the GM and this is for a plot device you are making than simply use DM fiat to make it happen. Have the person making the duplicate discover a way that they can do it and DON’T fully explain it. Give them some sort of vague reason like a custom spell or artifact they found that allows them to do it. This avoids a lot of the trouble and more importantly keeps the players from duplicating it.

A magic dead plane with a permanent portal cannot be reached by any magical method. A Limited Magic plane can also be used by preventing the use of certain schools of magic. For extra security use a one or more nested planes all with permanent portals.

For example the portal to the first plane is in an adamantine golem. This leads to a Dead Magic, Timeless, Static Plane. The plane has some sort of native guardian that will kill anything entering without authorization. Since it is a magic dead plane make sure that it is not a magic creature. The portal to the next plane is a Huge door that due to the static trait only a native of the plane can open. Have the portals be adamantine door that is closed and locked. Without magic there is almost no way for an intruder to open the portal especially while a huge monster is attacking them.


Well merely extremely difficult could be a simple as making the safe under the effects of Shrink Item and/or Sequester then keeping Mind Blank in effect on the owner (and/or anyone else who knows what's up with the safe) on an otherwise high-end mundane safe. Both Sequester and Shrink Item have base durations of 1 day/caster level prior to anything like Extend or Permanency. The only problem that occurs to me (in addition to everything mentioned previously) is whether you can use Shrink Item on the safe while it's storing anything even if it is all mundane stuff. Depends on how similar the GM (you in this case) view a safe and contents to be similar to a fire and fuel mentioned under Shrink Item. It won't work for certain if any of the contents are magical.

Private Sanctum +/- Phase Door access also ups the ante a bit in terms of getting at any safe or safes placed within. Guardians and or traps of all sorts can be placed within as well.


Leomund's Secret Chest

Items secure.


Take the feat Craft Construct and the Impossible Sorcerer Bloodline.

Instead of casting the spell and using permanency, an ISB can treat all constructs as Creatures for the purposes of casting spells ({still not most spells on golems due to the immunities}), and therefore cast Simulacrum on the "creature" either with known spells to create the object, (or higher DC without).
(bonus of this bloodline is getting a bye on one spell needed for bonus feat Craft Wondrous Item as well)

As even if you were able to cast Sim on a "Spell makes Permanent" Animated Object, the moment someone Dispels the permanency, you would definitely have repercussions... (as soon as people found out you had a Master Safe, they'd come gunning for it...)

see Link to using CC for AO: link

However, you may be better building in the Nondetection effect to the CC'ed safe, just cost up the effect like you would a wondrous item as a custom job?
Amulet of proof against detection and location


I did type at one point something along the lines f "you're the gm, just make a creature that satisfies your requirements" but I guess my tablet refused to post it.

I'd say make a construct to begin with, give it an extradimensional space it can access, make it a golem just in case, so it's immune to most spells, give it mindblank if you want it to be immune to divinations, and be done with it.
Make it cheap to make, but requiring an expensive laboratory, so you can make more of them after the first.


Will it not be very easy to open the save with just an anti magic spell...

Supressed all magic including arcane lock so it will be easy to pick and no protection spells will work


Walter Leeuwen wrote:

Will it not be very easy to open the save with just an anti magic spell...

Supressed all magic including arcane lock so it will be easy to pick and no protection spells will work

Yes but that also suppresses the extra dimensional space. If the act of opening the safe is what creates what allows the extra dimensional space to be accessed than opening the door when magic does not work is useless.


The book Lost Treasures has a lot of wondrous item safes/chests at the beginning. They're on Archives of Nethys.

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Can you make a custom item that counters mage's disjunction or even greater spell turn it back at the caster?

Or surround it with a magic dead zone so you can't cast mage's disjunction?

Also, can the vault randomly teleport or plane shift?

I once put treasure inside an iron golem (in 2nd Ed.) and then put the golem in an oil-soaked room so it could set its environment on fire and heal itself.

It also had an aurumvorax in the vault.


Another additional safeguard is to make the 'vault' only open into a personalized space, similar to piggy banks or safes in some multiplayer games. It doesn't matter who opens the chest or bank, it's always their 'vault.' No matter whether you know the name, secret word, or number, it's keyed to a person's soul.

This shouldn't be fool-proof (what fun would that be), but not even twins shouldn't be able to open the others 'vault' and there's no Use Magic Device for emulating a specific person. In case the owner died, a simulacrum would be able to do it, or even a reincarnated owner, since it's the same soul... otherwise a real villain might have to use a trap the soul spell to get access (after dealing with the safe's other defenses.) Then there's the old standby of having to charm, trick, or coerce the owner into opening the 'container', but that's why you've also added a protection from evil spell to trigger or some-such that has a chance to break charms and compulsions that might be on someone touching it. Won't stop a good-old, hold the daughter hostage scenario, but those at least give heroes a chance to rescue the hostage and be heroes... rather than just stop a wizard casting a spell on a safe.

Plus, the individual holding areas (like a mirror of trapping) allows the safe to be used by guilds or larger organizations which could spread the cost around and make it more likely to afford such an expensive object; rather than trying to buy it for one person at a time.


Turn this on its head and have the NPC offer an impenetrable Dimension instead, by way of a ***Harrow Bloodline***: have a look at the 15th level Bloodline Power, which effectively acts as a personal dimension that is in Stasis when you are not in it, and only you have a portal to it...

(useful for storing out of season perishables, or hiring out as storage locker for PCs without Gentle Repose, or the money to afford Raise Dead...)

(I'm still more fond of the Impossible Sorcerer angle, as that way you also have Know: Engineering as a Class Skill, and can make the whole darn dungeon to keep your safe, well, er... safe... :) )


I suggest she consult with a few litches on this topic. I hear that guy Acererak knows a thing or two about keeping things safe.


FrozenLaughs wrote:

So I have an Npc that is building and selling "impenetrable" safes, from which her very first production was robbed from. (The irony, right?) She then hires the group to hunt down the thief and return her clients valuables.

So here's what I have laid out in the design:

1. She crafts an Adamantine case, the size of a typical door (this can totally vary though) but only a foot or so deep. She crafts a Lead lined interior with a matching door. Making it relatively impossible for the average thief to penetrate or see inside of.

2. In the process of creation, she creates an Extradimensional Space inside, like a BoH.

3. After creation, inside the Extradimensional space she casts Forbiddance, with a password for the owner. This prevents any teleportation, ethereal, astral or summoning shenanigans to get inside the safe.

4. She installs in the door a superior lock with Arcane Lock enchantment, for a DC50. Disabling becomes extremely difficult for all but the best.

5. She casts Invisibility on it. It is now much more difficult to see/detect for the average thief.

6. She casts Permanency.

Now... This is where things get questionable...

7. She casts Animate Object on the safe, turning it into a Creature. She orders it to remain perfectly inert, but to attack anyone attempting to open it without both speaking the Forbiddance password, and using the correct key.

8. Again, she casts Permanency.

9. She casts Mind Blank on the (now a creature) safe, preventing it from being detected by any kind of Divination magic or any spell attempting to gain information about it.

10. Again, she makes it Permanent.

Now, (completely ignoring the costs/requirements of said creation) here's the most questionable part...

(?) She begins reproducing Simulacrum versions of her real (Construct) safe, and selling those for her profit.

*Can you Simulacrum a Construct Creature? It is, by definition, a Creature?
*Is making it permanently Invisible as an object moot once it becomes Animated? Or:...

Is there any way she can place a Contingency spell or two on it, to have it teleport elsewhere instead of attacking and/or cast disintegrate when tampered with? Also, a levitation ability so that it doesn't shift around and make noise on the ground?


Wait. The safes creator... is the Thieves guild Master?
Annnnnnd its been broken into? Hoooooo boy :)

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