Aegis vs. Parma

This is how the prior item now reads:

Since it is stated in HoH:MC that Heartbeast is affected during the transformation because it is a supernatural effect at that moment, it is likely that other Supernatural Abilities used within a resisting Aegis will be similarly penalized. Additionally, HMRE specifies that hedge magician powers "cast" at or within an Aegis must overcome the Aegis similarly how spells noted above must. Many hedge magician effects come from Supernatural Abilities and are not spells, so this general statement likely applies to those Supernatural Abilities as well. [size=85]Note that Parma Magica is not countered by Aegis of the Hearth. This does not imply any Supernatural Abilities are not affected because Parma Magica is not a Supernatural Ability, plus it seems likely Aegis of the Hearth and Parma Magica were designed to be compatible.[/size]

As for Skinchanger, I would look at the item rules. Skinchanger allows you to make an item which can change only yourself into an animal.


Since Heartbeast and Folk Witch's Shapeshifter are affected by the Aegis, it would appear weird to me to have simple old Skinchanger 'slip under the radar'.
Indeed, the skin of the Skinchanger to me looks very much like the Folk Witch's fetish obtained from Skin Nitting (TMRE p. 38 and p.40), used with a CT of Stm + Shapeshifter + Aura.

Note, that a typical Aegis (say level 20 or above) by TMRE p. 7 prevents a typical uninvited Folk Witch Shapeshifter (say Stm <= 3, Shapeshifter <= 5) from entering in changed form, and from changing form within.
So the simplest house rule is, to make Skinchanger weaker than Shapeshifter (which after all requires an investment of experience points to the Ability) and have any Aegis keep any uninvited Skinchanger from entering in changed form and changing form within, too - without assigning the Skinchanger a CT at all. But it's clearly still a house rule.


THose 2 are abilities. Skinchanger is not. Skinchanger is more akin a magic item that transforms you into an animal. Since there is no roll and it does not imply penetration*, it is not affected by the Aegis. it is not that it slips under the radar. it is that it is another kind of stuff.


*Skinchanger affects you regardless of your MR. So a skinchanger magus with parma 8 and a peasant are both affected by their own skinchanger ability. You could say that it is a personal range effect (the character is the magic item) and that the animal pelt or similar is just the trigger.

Note that we are talking about house rules here anyway.

When ArM5 basic rules stood alone, there was no reason at all to have Aegis and Skinchanger interact.
At that time we recommended to new players the "Flambeau Spitfire": get an eagle or raven shape via Skinchanger for one Virtue point, Deft Ignem for another, lots of Ignem and magical combat for the rest, and then fly in and 'let fly'. it was cheesy already then, but it was legal. (OK, "Spitfires" walked around butt-naked a lot during adventures, and that gave the rest of the troupe a lot of "role playing opportunities".:slight_smile:)

With HoH:MC out some time later, the "Spitfire" turned from cheesy to fishy (and was no longer recommended), as the commitments and downsides of the Bjornaer became apparent. I recall a lot of resentment then about the new perspective of House Bjornaer wrt Hermetic shape changing. And also Bjornaer Heartbeast skill was no longer all benefit compared to the one Virtue point Skinchanger: some Heartbeast skill was indeed needed to change under a foreign Aegis. But still the Aegis and the Skinchanger had no reason yet to interact.

With HMRE out some time later again, that changed. The question arose, how a Skinchanger prepared his new magical animal skin, if his old one got destroyed. We knew that it took "a season, although the method varies depending on what the item is." Well, that is quite what we knew about the Folk Witch's Skin Nitting (HMRE p. 40), too: "If she has the Shapeshifter Ability, the folk with may enchant an animal skin in her kitchen. ... enchanting the fetish takes a season and consumes 1 pawn of Animal vis." Also, the procedure with which a Skinchanger prepares his skin is accessible even to illiterate grogs and does need time, but neither lab nor vis. All this fits with Skinchanger being a 'low tech' version of Folk Witch Shapeshifter, even doing away with the Shapeshifter ability - which helped to bring Skinchanger in line again with the rest of the shapeshifting, as that had developed over some four years after the ArM5 basic rules were published.

And as already the Folk Witch's Shapeshifting is by HMRE p. 7 very much hampered by the Aegis, the Skinchanger is affected by it even more severely. ...

Note again, that we are talking about house rules here. House rules need to respect already established character rights and histories. If a campaign contains a "Spitfire" or such, which already has decided Wizard's Wars or Marches with its ability to sneak in animal form under the Aegis and kill the target/nemesis/villain, you can't take that away by introducing above house rule.

But with over two dozen ArM5 books at hand now, I don't believe that Skinchanger can just remain the simple no interaction required, no strings attached, no explanation given power that it was when the ArM5 basic book came out 2004.


What has changed exactly with HMRE? Skinchanger does require a roll now? Didn't notice it if that is the case. Skinchanger and shapeshifter are still 2 different virtues. Shapeshifter allowes flexibility but requiresz a roll. Skinchaner does not require a roll (acts more like a magic item) and is not hampered or profits from auras at all. Where is the problem?


I think I should point out that I believe it is vitally important that most supernatural Virtues and Flaws without associated Abilities or Arts not be affected by Aegis of the Hearth. I expect we would all find it problematic if a character were to walk into an Aegis of the Hearth and all-of-a-sudden lose something quite inherent to a character like Strong Faerie Blood, Unaging, etc. Meanwhile I suspect we all don't want a character to avoid a Flaw like Ages Quickly, Greater Malediction, or Lycanthrope by living inside an Aegis of the Hearth and never taking part in the ceremony. So I wouldn't go about making a ruling that they supernatural Virtues and Flaws in general should be affected.

Just treat Skinchanger as an item effect and deal with it that way. The description for Skinchanger certainly makes sense with it being treated that way. That allows for the above without having to start house-ruling much of anything, though of course you do have to make a house rule/decision on exactly how items are resisted.