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Is there any way to protect an object from destruction, as a player? If so, how expensive would it be?

Let's say I become a lich — is there any spell/ritual/artifact/other that can make my phylactery indestructible? (Apart from hiding it, obviously.) I'm thinking of Voldemort's Horcruxes, wich were pretty much a PITA to destroy.

Any means mentioned in official source is good, and needing to use multiple things together is fine.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I didn't feel it worth an answer in its own right, this OOTS comic features Redcloak doing the same thing to Xykon's phylactery. giantitp.com/comics/oots0831.html \$\endgroup\$ – misterducky Aug 30 '15 at 20:04
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If even a group of first-level adventurers can get their hands on your object, they can throw it off a 200ft cliff, dealing it 20d6 of physical damage. Checking the damage to objects page, it looks like physical damage to objects does not get halved, so this will deal your object 70 damage on average and 120 damage at most.

Low-level adventurers can get high damage output from Spirited Charge. A third-level character might have strength 20, bulls strength, enlarge person, and barbarian rage, giving 3*(2d6+15) lance damage which is 51 damage at minimum.

The highest hardness you can reasonably get is around 35 (using an adamantine object and a caster-level-30 hardening spell). The conclusion we reach is that, if adventurers get their hands on your object, they can destroy it.

Browsing the permanency spell options, we notice that you can make prismatic sphere permanent on an object. You can then use polymorph any object to make your object have a radius of 9.999 feet, so nobody can teleport through the sphere to get at your object. This will prevent adventurers from running off with your object unless they have the spells to disassemble the sphere, including disintegrate which requires an eleventh-level caster (or scroll).

If a group of seventeenth level adventurers gets their hands on your item, they can just cast mage's disjunction on it. This shuts down your prismatic sphere and your hardness spell.

I don't see a way through this. As far as I can tell, if the adventurers can get their hands on your object, they can destroy it.

Let's talk about -- well, not hiding your object, but at least making it difficult to retrieve. I propose making your object out of diamond, casting hardening and animate object, and throwing it into a volcano with instructions to burrow as deep as it can get. The "throw it into a gas giant" (or, better, the sun) ideas from the Hide Your Magic Item page also seem promising.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thoughout this answer I've used "Nth level adventurers" as code for "adventurers who have access to the spells produced by Nth level spellcasters". I understand that technically lower-level adventurers could cast spells off scrolls. Hopefully everyone understood what I meant. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Aug 30 '15 at 20:06
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Place the object in a place where no one else can access.

There are plenty of places where you can store an item to make it relatively impossible for them to be reachable by anyone other than the person who created or possesses a certain item. Pocket dimensions can be created and other parts of planar cosmotology such as the elemental plane of earth can provide ample protection for anything you may need to protect.

Create Demiplane + Permanency

The spell Create Demiplane creates a plane to your own personal specifications that you can modify however you like. (Similar to the room of requirement) To access the plane you have to know its location and have access to plane shift. If you store an object on a demiplane and ward it with Glyphs of warding, traps, etc. you can make sure that no one is going to be able to get to your object much less destroy it.

Energy and damage resistance

Put the object in a box made of Adamantium, cast spells on it like Feather Fall, any abjuration that you can think of that protects from specific energy damage, hitting all the high notes (Sonic, force, acid, fire, electricity, cold) make the object ethereal. Displace the object, wrap it in illusions to mask its appearance. There are hundreds of things of this nature that you could do to protect an object.

Make it invisible and place it somewhere no one would think to look for invisibility. Put it inside a hollow brick inside of a dungeon wall. Put the thing you're trying to protect in an ancient dragons horde. Drop the item into the bottom of a river or throw it into the ocean. Store it in the floorboards of a log cabin and sell the cabin to some commoners. Feed the object to a large creature unlikely to be eaten.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A personal demiplane that you never access (except to store the item once) would be pretty secure, since no one would know it exists and therefore wouldn't even look for it. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Aug 31 '15 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep. It's pretty secure. \$\endgroup\$ – Sandwich Aug 31 '15 at 20:41

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