ArM without Parma: tweaking MR

Hi all. I have been trying to tweak the ArM rules to a lower power level, and the presence of Parma as a setting assumption / game-changer is a personal sticking point. I have decided I like the idea of Arts as Abilities (and/or equalizing Hermetic magic with the hedgies, at least a bit).

The problem is, a game without Parma feels slightly broken. Magic resistance was designed with the assumption of Parma as a lifesaver. Ideas I like:

  • weaker Parma (x2-x3, rather than x5 to magic resistance), made available as a supernatural ability, and weaker Arcane Connections to compensate.

  • variable MR. (Technique + Form + Aura + Characteristic + Stress Die).

I'm actually surprised I can't find tried-and-tested "saving throw" house rules.

Any thoughts? Has anyone used a system like this in the past?


Re lowered power level, you might want to search for a previous post I made some years ago about a rules variant for simplified magi. I don't remember it well enough to know if it would be of use to you.

The variant certainly does not include saving throws. I have neither seen nor posted rules along these lines, but I have thought about this from time to time, that any natural or supernatural effect should have a defense, with MR/Parma vastly improving upon supernatural effect defense. The problem is that getting this right is difficult, and such rules represent a major change to how magic works in AM, not just Hermetic Magic. I suspect that other aspects of the magic system would need to change to support this properly.



Earlier editions did have something called Natural Resistance where even mundanes got some resistance against certain kinds of spells. Similar to how you get a chance to resist the Entrancement supernatural ability.

The amount of MR you get from Parma Magica isn't actually all that game-changing. A good Penetration skill and a good Arcane Connection, and even a hedge wizard will be able to break through the MR of most magi.

Even before the Parma was invented, wizards would have needed to work on their Penetration to be able to affect any or all of the various supernatural creatures with Might that exist.

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