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As the better examples of Ioun Stones tend to be expensive, I was wondering about the ways you could prevent them from being stolen via the CM steal, or by attacks.

Ioun Stones

Ioun stones have AC 24, 10 hit points, and hardness 5. The powers of each stone vary depending on its color and shape.

There are wayfinders

All wayfinders include a small indentation designed to hold a single ioun stone. An ioun stone slotted in this manner grants you its normal benefits (as if it were orbiting your head), but frequently reveals entirely new powers due to the magic of the wayfinder itself.

The wayfinder suggests (but does not specifically state) that it protects the slotted ioun stone from the attack roles because it is no longer circling your head. Now it just becomes vulnerable to sunder attempts like other items you wear?

There is the possibility of having it implanted into a characters body which does prevent both steal and attacks made on the ioun stone. I find this an unattractive solution however.

I had a friend suggest having them made out of special materials like adamantine to increase its AC, hardness, or HP, but in my research I never came across anything like this. I do not know of a way to add enhancement values either which could also do similar things like that.

I considered having shrink item permanency on it, but only works on non-magical items.

I considered having invisibility permanency on it, but only works when your opponent does not have see invisibility.

There is the amulet of grappling which helps prevents theft in adjacent squares. So would not help if a large creature was standing 2 squares away and tried to steal.

You could try to protect it by obscuring it by having lots of stones circling your head and a kind GM might give you a bonus for them to get the correct stone if they know about a particular effect or something.

There are the standard ways to increase your CMD as it applies to steal checks.

In the end I dont feel that most of the ways I have mentioned do a good job of protecting the stone. What other things could you do to keep a stone safe? Do not worry about the stone while you are sleeping.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So your GM actually try to sunder things in your pockets? \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 1 '16 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would the wayfinder by in my pocket? I assumed it would be dangling from my belt much like a spell component pouch would. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jul 1 '16 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would it be? I mean, unless you want it to be stolen or sundered or something. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 1 '16 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because it is a slotless item, it doesn't have to be anywhere visible unless said so (like ioun stones). The wayfinder says: "as long as the wayfinder is held or kept close to the body". \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 1 '16 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was called a compass so I expected it would be kept like one. So I guess either a pocket or on your belt loop. But there were many abilities where it was better to be holding it so easy access would help. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jul 1 '16 at 21:00
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The Western Star ioun stone (from Occult Mysteries or Emerald Spire) functions like a slotless Hat of Disguise and turns any number of ioun stones, itself included, invisible basically indefinitely.

(It only functions while its disguise self power is running, but that only requires you to spend a single standard action every 2 hours, so the ioun stones should only be visible for part of the time you're asleep, assuming you sleep longer than 2 hours for some reason.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I do notice you considered invisibility already, but this method is much cheaper, especially for multiple ioun stones. No reason not to add another layer of difficulty - sure, it's defeated by see invisibility, but you don't turn invisible yourself very few opponents are likely to cast that spell, so you're down to just the ones that have it permanently. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Jul 1 '16 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would you say disguise self would make them invisible? A sword shouldnt become invisible by doing this. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jul 1 '16 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering if you read the linked description of the Western Star ioun stone, it specifically says the wearer can turn their ioun stones invisible. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Jul 1 '16 at 21:18
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Using Sovereign Glue, glue a skull to your Ioun Stone, glue some gems in the eye sockets, and cast the Everburning Torch spell (whose exact name I cannot recall). Congratulations, you now have X "Flaming Skull Servants" that constantly follow you around/orbit you. They no longer look like valuable objects to steal, and if you use some other illusion spells or abilities you can make them seem like servants or allies instead of magic items.

Alternatively, dress them up like parrots.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In regards to Marshall Tigerus comment of "Glue a skull to your Ioun Stone". Ioun stones cannot support more than their own weight so this idea will not work sadly. It is a wonderful thematic Idea. Now if you perhaps enchant skulls to float around you like ioun stones, and modify the wires within a wayfinder to fit inside the skull enabling you to use both eye sockets as holders for a stone.. this could be a very fun and scary thing for people to see. \$\endgroup\$ – user31248 Sep 7 '16 at 8:22
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Your best option is going to be wayfinders. From the SRD:

Within each wayfinder is a fine lattice of wires that serve to channel the power of ioun stones, allowing the owner of a wayfinder to benefit from a stone's power without the attendant risk of having a valuable item orbiting around her head.

Putting the ion stone into a wayfinder will allow you to keep it anywhere you want on your person thus protecting it as well as any regular item. Plus you get some cool bonus features when you put your stone in a wayfinder.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to add that you cannot have 2 wayfinders active at the same time on the same person, they cancel each other's effects out. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnomejon Jul 1 '16 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gnomejon I believe some Wayfinders can hold more than one Stone, though? \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jul 5 '16 at 5:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus there are 2 wayfinders that can hold 2-3 stones. The wayfinder of passage and the Ebon Wayfinder. but if you want to fill all those slots you're paying either 136,000 or 18,000 respectively just to have those functions as inputting ioun stones turns off the other powers. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnomejon Jul 5 '16 at 13:44
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An easy way, other than using the wayfinder for a single ioun stone (because you only need to have them on your person), is to only take the stones out when you need them, as from what I can tell they don't require a 24 hour attunement period (I could be incorrect, please provide any information in the comments).

Other than that, ioun stones are affected by any protection afforded standard magical items (like using deflection bonuses to AC or the amulet of grappling), so find items like that to help you out.

Ioun stones in orbit never collide with other stones or creatures by chance, and automatically change course to avoid any obstacles in their path. This in large part explains the difficulty of striking an ioun stone in battle. An ioun stone in orbit counts as an attended object, and benefits from any magical protections possessed by its owner.

Aside from that, the possibility of theft is one of the trade-offs for using ioun stones instead of other magic items. You can have any number of ioun stones, which costs more but don't take up body slots, but because they're also more powerful than most other constant use slotless items (for their cost), they also come with the protection issue.

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The hardening spell lets you increase the hardness of an object by 1 point per 2 caster levels. In theory, you could combine this with a wand of death knell: spend five minutes sacrificing chickens to increase your caster level to a very high number, and only then cast the hardening spells.

Other commenters have offered these answers, but for the sake of having it all in one place, I'll summarize:

  • you can get one wayfinder which can hold one (or, rarely, more) of your ioun stones, and you can keep the wayfinder in your pocket
  • a western star ioun stone lets you turn all your ioun stones invisible
  • you could disguise your ioun stones as something that nobody would want to steal, such as flaming skulls or fireballs

But, more generally: stealing someone's ioun stone is only a tiny bit easier than disarming and taking someone's weapon. The fighter doesn't usually worry about someone taking his weapon and running off with it -- most combats end in surrender or death, and if either of those things happen the fighter can just take his weapon back at the end of combat. (Also, most groups will consider it lame for the DM to use unusual tactics to deprive someone of a magic item they invested a lot of money into.) For the same reasons it's probably not worth worrying too much about someone taking your ioun stone and running off with it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Increasing your size does not change what is adjacent to you. Adjacent to a large creature still means the squares around you. Its not based on reach which enlarge person would help with. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Aug 17 '17 at 1:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point, deleted. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Aug 17 '17 at 3:39

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