advancing parma magica, using life-linked spontaneous magic.


I am a new GM and want some clarification regarding a couple of issues that has come up during play.

Is resisting/failing to resist a spell enough to make parma magica eligible for adventure XP?
Or is it by seasonal activities only? How do you handle it?

Life linked spontaneous magic:

Say a magus with 10 creo and 15 ignem wants to spont. a ball of abyssal flame crig35.
He rolls a five, so total is then 30.

a) do you burn fatigue/health until the total hits 70? ( 40 pts missing, so 8 fatigue/body levels)
b) do you divide by 2, and then burn fatigue until total hits 35. (30/2=15, so missing 20 levels, 4 fatigue / body levels)

For me, it is enough to resist or fail to resist a spell. The Ability is being used in a way in which a character could learn from the success or failure to improve his Magic Resistance.

The Virtue description says "Roll to cast a fatiguing spontaneous spell. If your result is higher than the level you declared..." This implies to me that option b) is correct: you work out the level of the spell you achieved, and then pay the difference. I've never had a character with this Virtue in our saga, so I can't say how well this works in practice.



I have a player with LLSM in my saga and we had a good hard look at the rules and concluded it was option b).

Note that this makes him very good at casting really quite high level spontaneous magic, especially if, as ours does, he has diedne magic as well. The flipside of course is that it is really a once a day affair. He might be able to bust out a BoAF in a fight but he won't be able to manage two without knocking himself unconcious.

So far, our spont mage has been the groups swiss army knife, able to cast almost any lower or mid range level spell but usually exhausting himself to do so. Typically he makes sure he has a nice sit down immediately post spell.

I agree with Mark Shirley and GribbletheMunchkin on option b vs LLSM.

Regarding the Parma magica advancement, in my saga I would allow it as adventuring xp only if the magus use the rest of the season exploring how his parma failed or resisted the spell. As stated in the core rulebook, p.163 under Adventuring :

Alternatively, I think a magus can spend his / her season practicing Parma Magica, with the risk underlying, depending on the method used... [size=65]warping...[/size]

It's not meant to work that way. A 10-day adventure does not preclude lab work for the rest of the season, certainly not if it's the last 10 days.

Parma is no different from other Abilities that might be used without dice. If you read some Greek, you can put xp in Artes Liberales even if you spend the rest of the season crafting swords.

I think we're mixing up Adventure xp and Exposure xp. Exposure can be taken in any season where no other xp source is used; it can be taken in any Ability (for example) that was used that season, so Parma, Greek, etc.

Adventure xp can only be taken if that's the only productive thing the character does all season. So I can't work in the lab/study from books/craft items in a season I'm taking Adventure xp. (ArM5, page 163)

I myself would argue for adventure xp over and above the xp gained that season. You want people to go on adventures, and you'd like people to use XP in skills they actually use.

When I come around to making my campaign, it'll be a rule if the troupe agrees. I would have to find a way not to screw wounded people over though, maybe one or two extra xp per month of being wounded, because the story was more intense for them.

Every saga I can think of that I've been in, including the one I'm running, we've "house-ruled" that you can benefit from both Adventure xp and from study/lab activity, unless the adventure(s) brought your available lab/study time down to where you wouldn't gain any benefit from that, anyway.

Only exception is one saga we're currently running, where we decided to go by the actual rules to keep power level down (along with using lower quality books).
The effect isn't very large - the quality of books matter more.

In general, we have also been very relaxed about how story XPs were spent. And so story XPs have been the major source of XPs for Parma Magica.

As for L-LSM; option b

Yes. From the first time I read ArM5 I was dead-set against the Adventure-Exp-or-the-other, not-both.

Eventually I noticed a power creep and am comfortable using the RAW. We want people to go on adventures, and we want people to sacfifice the perosnal projects to go outside one in a while.
However I still a bit lop sided thing where going on a max 10 day adventure "ruins" the book study you had planned or even started for this season. While those in Lab can still finish the project and only miss out on the measly Exposure. But you still invent a spell (or whatever).
But this is fixed by avoiding starting the adventure story at the start of the season. Wait until people have committed to an activity and have the adventure midway. If you adventure for the 10 first days you can't just say "oh, I drop the book back off at the library and invent something instead since I can't get any exp anyway". Also, it can encourage people to play Grogs or Companions more often, if the magus is unwilling to ruin his season's work. remember, nobody knows if the advanture takes more than the 10 days you can squander away!

As for using adventure experience in Parma Magica, the rules specifically mention being able to apply experience to Abilities used "off-stage." I would consider Parma Magica to be one of those.

I guess I'm one of the few exceptions. I've mostly played getting experience only from one or the other.

This ruining of book study is not an issue with RAW. By RAW you can miss up to a month of book study and not lose any of the experience from it. And if you miss more than a month you still get something.

Now, if you prefer adventure experience to what you're getting from the book, sure, you might say it would be better to be working in the lab where you could finish your work. But again, that's not really RAW. By RAW if you work in the lab for the rest of the season to finish your project you don't get adventure experience.


We have always applied one or the other as well. What we allow is to apply exposure XP to abilities used in the adventure even if you were working on your lab/workshop for the season. So you can be improving your bakery skills but apply exposure XP to Faerie Lore, tracking or single weapon if you were in a faerie forest tracking your lost son and ended up fighting a pack of wolves there. Even if your mundane activities during the season had nothing to do with beating stuff or finding things. Easy :slight_smile: It works quite OK as well. Ars already gives you heaps of XP (specially if you can get access to trainers or libraries you can use) so no need to get even more on top of that. At least for us.