From The Spider's Spellbinding Compendium

From the Spider's Spellbinding Compendium

Magical Traps

Most hermetic defense systems rely on greater magical items, or the presence of bound guardians, most commonly spirits or ghosts.

While this provides a great deal of power and versatility, it requires a lot of time and vis, which can become quickly a limiting factor.

My unique abilities allow me to bypass these restrictions, by crafting a lot of trickets which I can then use to fashion various traps.
But this approach requires me to think outside the box, since I can't rely on traditionnal hermetic methods. While this may seem like a flaw, I happen to think that it is a blessing in disguise, since it means intruders may more easily fall into such a trap, confident in their Parma Magica.

To that end, I've designed 3 ways by which a trap may be designed.

Spider Bites

The first is, actually, an improvement on some of Hermanus designs, which I was lucky enough to be able to observe a little while working for my gracious hosts in the Transylvania Tribunal.
Magic items are commonly activated by words and/or gestures. Wave the wand, and say the magic word, to throw a fire bolt.
Hermanus used that to great effect, creating items whose trigger was simply "being touched".
While, obviously, a very effective way to trigger a trap, it may prove problematic when you need to navigate a protected area. But I reasonned that, if an item can be activated by touching it and saying a word, another can be activated by touching it while not saying a word. This allows the creation of traps almost as effective as those of hermanus (Don't forget the human factor here), but which a rightful owner can navigate.
I call these "Spider's Bite" traps, because if you're not cautious enough, you get bitten.


Circular traps which mustn't be broken. I can these "Webbings", since they only work if intact. They rely on some effect (or, more commonly, effects) being continuously maintained by a Ring duration, and, most often, require Penetration. For example, an improvement on the "chamber pot" spell could create a ring which would greviously wound any human entering it.

Personal Notes

I wonder…
If I could excavate a room through a Muto Terram spell that changed stone into air… No, too many variables, and I'd need to concentrate too much.
Maybe something similar, with a natural flame? Although if I use Fire, I'd better make sure any Ward against Flame is disabled first, which runs counter to the whole idea of ignoring Magical Resistance.

Still, this is where I'm strongest at, meaning that, using something akin to a Spider of Mystical Defeat nested into a Webbing, I should be able to bring down a typical Ward against Heat and Flame with enough penetration to pierce any kind of Parma Magica.
Meaning I could make more, obviously, but better to ensure that this would bring down even stronger magical wards. By my calculations, if I gave it all, I could bring down even the highest defense against fire even through a fourteen magnitude magical defense.
But is it really worth it? All this for a mundane fire, which could escape my control at any moment… I don't think so, not until I find a way to get around this that doesnt involve putting a whole room on fire.

Dark Webbings

Circular traps which must be broken. I call these "Dark Webbings", since they are both a mirror version of normal webbings, but also quite devious. Like their sisters, they rely on Ring duration enchantments. Contrary to them, they are only triggered when the victim breaks the circle,and may more easily be designed to avoid Magical Resistance. For example, if a Room target Creo Ignem spell's activation has been delayed by a Ring duration version of The Patient Spell, breaking the ring ends the delaying effect, thus filling the room with Fire.

Of course, these can be used together, with various levels of complexity, since a single circle and support multiple Ring enchantments.
Obviously, Webbings and Dark Webbings can be designed to make use of the same magical Ring. But one can also design a Bite to disrupt a Webbing, be it Dark or not.

Hiding and protecting your web

Now that the basics are covered, one need to think about magical robbers.

Supernatural Intruders

In a way, these are simple to deal with: a simple Webbing with a Perdo Vim enchantment should give them pause.
What may be problematic is when such being can just enter the protected area though an unforeseen direction, usually to serve as recon for a Mage.
To protect against that, it's probably easier to just have circular rooms protected by Webbings, although, in some cases, wards may be more effective.
Maybe combine an outward repulsive protection with inner destructive traps, or a magical prison, which lets a spirit enter, but not leave? This achieves a similar effect, while leaving you with a prisonner to interrogate. Sadly, this will only work against the weaker entities. Using a webbing which enslaves its target is probably way more efficient.

Note that a clever magus might use similar techniques, which leads us to…

Omnidirectional Intruders

Burrowing through the ground, flying or who knows what else, are all viable means for a smart and ressourceful intruder to enter the defended zone. Never assume your thief or assassin will gently go through the maze you've patiently designed.

How can we deal with this?
The easiest is the one I've taken with my own sanctum and laboratory: hide the protected area, access it through translocative magics.
There might be useful regios, too, but yu can't count on this. If you're lucky to find a single entry regio to use for your purposes, good for you. Nonetheless, unless you're sure it is exceptional enough not to be accessible through Second Sight or Piercing the Veil spell, I'd just discount this.
Which leaves us with the hardest, but more effective, technique: The omnidirectional maze. In a nutshell, you must first create your whole protected area while keeping these precepts in mind, building it like an egg, with circular layers of defenses taking care of the problems with adressed before.

Personal Notes

Obviously, this last solution requires a lot of place and planning, but maybe I'll be able to use it one day if I get to build that fallback bunker I dream about. As far as I know, it is untested to this day, but I strongly believe it to be potentially more effective than the other two techniques. Nonetheless, as always, redundancy is the way to go


Multiple Intruders

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