New Spell – Wax Ward

24 January, 2011

Wax Ward

Wax Ward

The old thief looked at the door and the plain wax seal hanging from the latch.  “We cannot open this, young man,” he said to his apprentice.

“Why not?  It will be easy to cut and the lock is not expensive.”

“It is a magic ward, it keeps the door sealed,” the old thief replied, studying the door.  “And it will mark any who does manage to open it.  There are easier picking to be found, leave this to the fools of the Red Glove.”

Wax Ward
School abjuration; Level Brd 3, Sor/Wiz 3
Components V, S, M (special wax and silver wire worth 50 gold)
Casting Time 1 minute
Range touch
Target door, portal or sealed container touched, up to 30 sq. ft./level in size
Duration Permanent until discharged (D)
Saving Throw see below; Spell Resistance No

A wax ward spell cast upon a door, portal or sealed container magically locks it. You can freely pass your own wax ward without affecting it. If the locked object has a lock, the DC to open that lock increases by 10 while it remains attached to the object. If the object does not have a lock, this spell creates one that can only be opened with a DC 20 Disable Device skill check. A door or object secured with this spell can be opened only by breaking in or with a successful dispel magic or knock spell. Add 10 to the normal DC to break open a door or portal affected by this spell.

Unless the magic is dispelled, anyone beside the caster breaking or opening the lock triggers a magical burst which destroys the wax seal and propels the silver wire at whoever opened the lock causing 1d8 points of slashing damage + 1 point per level of caster (maximum +12) and marks the person triggering it with a wound in a particular pattern.  A successful Reflex save results in half damage but does not prevents the mark.

Notes: An improved arcane lock with punishing damage to those who break it.  Something for the wizards to use to keep their toys safe.

Photo by Horia Varlan used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.


  1. So, you can feel free to disregard this if you like, but I would recommend giving rogues a way to foil this spell, perhaps with a Use Magic Device check (pretending to be the caster) or Disable Device check, just so that the skills they have been pouring skill points into aren’t defeated by a third-level spell. That same 5th level wizard is already better than the rogue at the rogue’s specialties, like lockpicking (knock), climbing (spider climb, fly), hiding (invisibility)… the list goes on, but the theme is the same. I wouldn’t want the wizard to also have an unbeatable advantage at protecting his things from the rogue.

    But you may not see it this way at all – I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    • Like any magical trap it can be disarmed by a rogue with a DC 28 (DC 25 + spell level) Disable Devices check as per trap finding. Even without that, as rogues have both Good Reflex saves and Evasion, the worst penalty they are likely to suffer from this spell is a marking wound (that did no HP damage).

      Though I would probably allow someone to attempt to spoof it with Use Magic Device as well, if they knew enough about the caster.

      • Cool. I’m not sure there’s a perfectly clear descriptor that distinguishes between magical traps and… latent effects that are not magical traps, but your way of parsing this would be good. =)

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