detecting parma

How would you detect parma on someone without violating the code?

Cast a spell at them. A non-harmful non-scrying spell. Conjure abreeze and see if their hair blows in it. Turn their hair purple. Non-offensive stuff that does not harm them, deprive them of magic, or scry upon them.

This is true. The idea is to forcelessly cast some effect and see if it Penetrates or not. If it does, then the target has magic resistance. You can distinguish between magic and non magic animals etc in the same way.

But note that such effects will indicate only whether someone has magic resistance --- it does not demonstrate why they have magic resistance. They could be a faerie, a demon, a magic creature, an angel, a person with True Faith, or a magus with Parma.

Also, I think that some Tribunals would interpret this as scrying. For example, casting a spell to turn people's hair purple in hope of identifying which are magi is using magic to gain information about magi, which is the crux of the Code's anti-scrying provisions.

Finally, note that the target is aware when a spell pings off his Parma. So he will be aware that he is under some kind of magical attack...and may react accordingly.

Is it? I think of the crux as being not spying into another magus' affairs, not as using magic to gain information in general; so the circumstances would matter a lot. If you're spying, you're in trouble. If you're making sure no magus is the crowd before blasting it with your BoAF - you're in the clear.

Other than that, I agree.

So is there anyway with out casting? Say a quesitor visits the area but doesn't announce himself (assume gentle gift), other than catching him doing something arcane would you beable to get a feeling around him like when you enter an aegis. or are you out of luck until you..."just happen to cast a forceless spell on a large group of people and luckily notice he's not effected"

I think that without casting some sort of spell on the magi there would be no way to know if he had reistance. There would be no real way of knowing if said resistance was parma without ripping the knowledge directly from his head and if he's demonically aided that still might not help.

forceless casting of spells is still scrying because even if the spell does nothing you've used magic to determine something about him.

Astrological inceptions may help, but they're vague, expensive, take forever to make and I'm not sure if Hermetic magic is under the perview of the stars.


If you suspect the man has parma, you may have to resort to more mundane means. Have him followed (especially at dawn and sunset), and watch for him doing his ritual.

With regards to magical "scrying", True Lineages mentions that using Aura of Rightful Authority to question folks does not count. So "gaining information on a magus via magic" is not enough to constitute scrying.

That doesn't work, it only detects magic resistance, which has multiple possible sources. The only way within the code to find out is to ask "Are you a Hermetic magician?". If they are you can assume that Parma is up. I mean how often is yours down?

That depends on the quasitor and the political punch of the person 'scryed upon'.


Every time I go to Church and kneel to pray. My favorite character, Roberto of Flambeau, feels that it would be an offense to God to think he needs some kind of protection other than Grace when communing with his maker.

But yes, you are correct. That would not detect Parma, just Magic Resistance. But still, it is a first step in investigation. Magic resistance is relatively rare, and even though there are other sources of it, a magic resistant human is more than 50% likely to be using Parma. And I do not think it counts as scrying by any means. In HoH-Societates, in the Tytalus section, it makes mention of legal use of spells upon others in order to win debates. And their is nothing illegal about turning a magus hair purple or making him sneeze.

Eh, come again?

Why dont you open another can of worms while you´re at it?

He's right, though.

There's nothing in the code about this. If anything, you could have offended the magus, who would demand an apology, and then force one via certamen.

Or he could declare Wizard's War, but most tribunals would find him acting excessively.

Scrying's pretty clear. It's scrying, the way a tree is a tree. You'd know it if you saw it. Same with deprivation of magical power. Unless the magus has some kind of necessary condition where he can't cast unless his hair is black or he hasn't sneezed in a month... in which case (after everyone's done laughing at him) he has larger problems.

Unless it's a specific Peripheral Code ruling of a Tribunal for your saga, there's nothing illegal about turning someone's hair purple or having them sneeze.


Do you REALLY want me to extend the consequences of that claim logically?
At the very minimum, the above actions would be potentially and/or bordeline illegal.

And of course, as someone mentioned, anyone with parma up, will sense an attack against him/her, and act accordingly. Since they cant know the degree of attack, any action they take will essentially be "ok". Cue one very dead magi.

Really? How do you know what you're turning on? I hope it wasn't someone powerful. If it was a forceless casting, then it was obviously a consideration in the you have any clue what you're blindly lashing out at? It merits investigation, not hostility. I would say that since you don't know the level of attack, you can't possibly justify lethal force. I guess it depends on the people in the Tribunal.

edit: And actually, yes, I would like to see you extend out the logical consequences of that claim. I don't think this is a case where magi would blithely go along with this conversation:

(at Tribunal)
Redcap: "I went to the village of Nowhere, to deliver this missive to the magus Reclusivus, but when I arrived, the whole place was a smoldering ruin. Does anyone know of this?"

Blasticus: "I was there a fortnight ago. Someone cast something that I resisted, so I did the whole village. I had no way to tell the severity of the effect, or its source, so I took no chances and utilized The Terrible Burning Wrath of A Power Annoyed. It assured that the threat, whereever it was, was resolved."

Mundanicus: "My cousin lived in that village!"

Paterus: "Reclusivus was my filius! He regularly cast small enchantments to aid the townsfolk; how do you know you were not accidentially targeted in one of those spells?"

Blasticus: "Well then, he shouldn't have cast it on me. I responded as I saw fit."

Mundanicus and Paterus: "I declare Wizard's War upon Blasticus!"

Magi aren't (all) psychopaths. The first response to a resisted effect in a questionable environment shouldn't be to spin up the fire and death spells. It could have been a Churchman, an accident, a intentional attempt to subtly get your attention. Does it warrant caution, as you evaluate the situation? Certainly. But you'll be hard pressed, at least amongst many of the magi we have in our games, justifying that the acceptable response to a resisted effect is to immediately go Ignem. I guess if you were in the process of a March, or a Wizard's War, or hunting an enemy of the Order...maybe. But just because you resisted something? No, that's excessive.


So he drops ALL of his resistance when he's at prayer, or he just doesn't renew his Parma until he's done? The former is difficult to concentrate on.
Either way, sounds like an excellent vulnerability for an enemy to exploit.

True, it would be context dependent. The issue is whether you are gaining information about magi. Information in general is fine, but "are you are magus" seems very much like prying into the affairs of a magus, to me, if the answer is "yes".

Or you could develop a whole suite of similar spells that target different Forms, and by casting these with low penetration establish which Forms another magus is weakest in --- valuable information for Certamen, for example.

The spell could also reveal whether the target had lost his ability to cast his Parma for some reason, or whether he happened to have lowered his Parma, etc. All of this seems very much like scrying.

You can just cast the BoAF forcelessly if that's a problem.

I agree, but a more plausible chain is:

"I went through the city gates and something pinged of my parma, so I cast an InVi spell to detect the casting sigil. This identified the caster as Paterus. I complained to the Quasitors that Paterus was scrying on the city gate to determine when a magus entered the city. The Queasitors questioned Paterus and indeed found that Paterus had been casting spells to determine whether individuals entering the city were magi --- Paterus was Marched for scrying on the affairs of magi."

True, it's context depenendent. But if you resist a spell all that you know is that you are under magical attack. I would think that many magi would do some combination of run-away and cast defensive spells. On the other hand, some magi would leap to an offensive spell. Of course, if they nuke the whole town, they will likely be in bigger trouble themselves. But there are subtler offensive spells than Pilum of Flame.

There are?

Anyway, I seem to remember there to be a Peripheral Code ruling about how if no real "secrets" were discovered or meant to be discovered then it was not scrying. Detecting the presence of MR was accepted as a means of determining the presence of a Gifted Hemetic Magus - and not considered scrying -, with the caveat that Redcaps didn't have any Parma and were often entrusted with important secrets...

In fact, according to HoH:TL, a magus is required by Grand Tribunal edict to supply their name and home tribunal if asked.


Quite a few.

I agree on the MAD policy here: most magi would not want sociopat6hs running around the OoH. Quite a few of them out there, we know, but even the most mental ones would be wary of attacking every ping on their parma on sight. They are likely to if they think the area is dangerous, but in a target rich environment it is more difficult to do so. Casting intellego and defensive spells tends to be a more feasible answer I would say. YMMV, but remember that killing magi outside WW is also a high crime. I would say that a tribunal would convict you for taking law in your own hands more than they would charge the other for pinging forcelessly on your parma. After all, the spell on the door would also allow the magus to detect demons entering the city under disguisse, for example.



He concentrates and supresses resistance when kneeling for prayer inside a church. It is indeed an exploitble vulnerability. What's more, that particular character has the Weak Magic Resistance Flaw, affecting him whenever he does not posess some symbol of his faith such as a cricifix or a rosary (he carries both). I don't mind having vulnerabilities as long as they can generate a good story or be part of one.