detecting parma

This is an excellent point-- there could be a rash of fae causing problems in the town, and finding them via their resistance might be the most effective method. Or if there's a very subtle demon, or a group of infernalists. You can't be certain what's going on when something like this occurs; it behooves you to investigate.

Just because someone's found out you've come to town doesn't mean they're scrying; I agree with Fruny-- wasn't there something that extended the ruling on scrying along those lines?

My point being that simply nosing out those with resistance in a crowd isn't scrying and it isn't grounds for instant hostilities. Magi that respond this way would have a fairly short lifespan or an atrocious reputation combined with some hefty fines, in my opinion.


Absolutely. I agree with all that.

The point is still that if you cast something, which pings of another magi's parma, all that the target magus knows is that he is under magical attack. He doesn't know who or what is attacking him, the next attack may well penetrate his parma and kill him. What he is going to do in response to that is unpredictable, and may well be messy. Of course, exactly what he does will depend on who he is, and where he is. Nonetheless, it is still a reason to be cautious about casting such spells on random people --- and if you knew who the person was, you wouldn't be casting the spell in the first place.

Absolutely, but defending yourself from magical attack is always fine. If you cause massive collatoral damage in defending yourself, then yes the Tribunal will probably take you to task. But they are taking you to task for the excessive collatoral damage, not because it is wrong to defend yourself from attack.

Don't you detect the form of the spell when it pings on your parma?

Also, being the TARGET of a spell and being "under attack" are 2 completley different things. Or do you consider the MuCo spell that turns your fingernails blue to be lethal force? :open_mouth: :stuck_out_tongue:


I think you might be taking a bit of an agressive view here. If you sense something ping, you know that you have encountered a magical/infernal/faerie/divine effect - no more. It could be an angel blessing you after you saved some pilgrims, a demon trying to enhance the negative effects of your gift, a nearby minstrel using his faerie Enchanting Music to earn his keep or the fact that the local Jerbiton Covenant has laid a very subtle CrMe ritual spell on the town you've entered, encouraging hard work to boost their income. It could be anything at all, not just an attack. Sensing such a thing is cause to become curious and cautious, but unless a giant fireball bursts around you or the ground quakes and quivers, assuming it's an attack is a little premature.

That's fine. There is no problem about scrying on non-magi. So there is no Code problem about using such effects on non-magi.

The Code problem is targeting magi with the spell.

There may still be practical problems with this, as other creatures might also be able to sense when something bounces of their magic resistance, and be able to think through what this means. So, the faeries/demons may well become aware that you are investigating them, which might not be desirable.

If they've used magic to detect what a magus is doing or where he is then, yes, that does mean they are scrying. It does depend on the the context a bit --- for example, most Tribunals allow you to cast spells that detect whether magi have entered your covenant. But it is still scrying to cast spells to detect whether magi have entered your covenant, there is just a special dispensation that allows you to legally scry in this circumstance.

Of course, you are right they might have done it accidentally, while they are looking for something else. This should mean that, in the unlikely event that the case winds up at Tribunal you will only get a vis fine, if that. On the other hand, I'm sure that the Tribunal will frown on a magus who frequently "accidentally" scrys on other magi.

I fail to see why using magic to detect the location of magi is not scrying.

You are right, that someone causing your hair to turn purple is not grounds for instant hostilities --- but if the effect bounces of their Parma, the target does not know what your magic attack was intended to do. All they know is that they are under magical attack.

Like I said the target's response would depend on who he is, and where he is.

The person casting the spell can't predict the response --- so he should be cautious about casting the spell.

Does the fact that a corpus effect has pinged off your Parma make it more or less likely that you are under a hostile attack?

If the spell has pinged off their Parma they have no idea what the spell was intended to do. All they know is that someone cast an effect at them, with insufficient penetration to penetrate. This is exactly what an (unsuccessful) ambush by supernatural/magical forces looks like.

Wasn't forceless casting allowed as a way to cast spells at magi because it did not penetrate? I Recall reading something along those lines in the Guernicus chapter of HOH:S


Would forceless casting feel different from a random non-penetrating effect?

I agree with you - it is scrying, albeit indirectly. The only actual issue is, "Will a Tribunal hold that you've broken the code?" and, frankly, I doubt any would. It'd be almost impossible to prove, and laying charges of scrying against anyone who cast a spell with no visible sparkles and an area effect would be idiocy at best.

The Order has a whole house dedicated, one way or another, to making miserable the lives of those who play silly buggers with the Code.

It depends on how you use the spell.

An InMe spell to read a character's thoughts, can be cast forcelessly, and this protects the caster from accidentally reading the thoughts of a magus (except a redcap). In this case the forceless casting protects the caster from accidentally scrying on a magus.

On the other hand, a MuCo spell (or whatever) that is cast forelessly to detect, whether the target resists and therefore whether or not he is (probably) a magus is scrying.

I don't see why it's any more difficult to prove than any other spell casting. You need someone to detect the caster's sigil, and then you need to collect testimony (via Frosrty Breath or whatever) that the person casting the spell cast it for the purpose of detecting magi.

True, but if the spell was cast for the purpose of detecting magi, then it is a clear case of scrying. Although I would say, probably a vis fine sort of offence --- depending on whether it was a repeat offense or part of some larger offending.

If it was cast for some other purpose, then it is at best accidental scrying, and probably not worthy of any tribunal concern --- unless it is politically expedient to convict the caster of something, for some other reason.


Oh, I never meant to imply it was a bad thing. I actually believe it provides a great deal of character.
As I tend to play compassionate magi, there's been plenty of times when a more mercenary, callous outlook would have benefitted me tremendously, as it does my sodales. Heck, the Order seems full of these people, and I certainly end up getting taken advantage of for possessing ethics.

But of course. And me, I play Flambeau magi the old-school way! And I wind up seeming more honorable and compassionate than players I have seen in the past. I spared a pirate captain's life because I gave him my word that if he surrendered I would leave him on an island after I took his ship. Of course, I am ever prepared to kill if need be. But the right circumstances just haven't come up yet.

Say that your covenant is protected by a Shrouded Glen or any other mass effect cast with 0 penetration.
You can't avoid targeting magi with it. Should you thus be held accountable of scrying?

Say, you have all travelers pass through a gate casting a potent DEO at them, in order to keep your covenant free of demonic interference. You would be brought before the tribunal for scrying against other magi?

Magi toss spells on a regular basis. If you want to influence a mundane's mind with forcelless ReMe and he resists, you discover that he is a magus. Hop! Tribunal.
Sure, you'll be acquited. But how many such procedures will a given tribunal face on a 7-years basis?

And how do you know this without bringing up every parma ping before the tribunal?
Parma ping => InVi spell => "false alarm, angel"
Parma ping => InVi spell => "false alarm, hedge magic"
Parma ping => InVi spell => "false alarm, our demon-blasting boundary spell"
Parma ping => InVi spell => Botch, roll for twilight. Yeepie
Parma ping => InVi spell => "An InMe spell" => Tribunal => The guy thought I was a mundane.

This has no end

You would only be scrying if you were somehow using the fact that the effect doesn't penetrate to infer that an individual is a magus. You also need to be casting the spell for that purpose (well, if you were casting the spell for some other purpose it is still scrying --- it is just accidental scrying).

Casting spells that affect magi is fine. Casting spells that fail to penetrate a magi's magic resistance is fine. Casting spells for the purpose of detecting magi is scrying.

Even if you were scrying, in this case the RAW state that many Tribunals allow you to scry on the magi within your covenant, if that scrying is just to determine that magi are in fact in the covenant. So, a spell that detects that the person pretending to be a grog is really a magus is fine --- if that person is entering or inside your covenant.


Even if the gate was somewhere else, not at the covenant, you are not scrying on magi. You are nuking demons.

This also wouldn't actually identify magi. DEO has no effect on magi, but it has no effect on normal men either. All the caster knows is that the thing he cast the spell on is not a demon (or is a very powerful demon, which he failed to penetrate).

I would guess none.

No Quasitor would normally bring a prosecution against you unless they have evidence (or think they can force evidence under testimony)that you were deliberately using such effects to detect magi (ie for scrying). The only cases brought would be the ones where the Quasitors think you are actually scrying (or they have been somehow fooled into thinking that you were).

Remember that the whole premise of this discussion is that the caster is deliberately using such forceless casting effects to detect magi.

I would guess by mounting an investigation!

If joe magus is wandering around and something pings off his parma for no obvious reason, and his mundane companions suddenly develop purple hair, then an obvious conclusion for him to draw is a) that someone is about to ambush him, and if that doesn't happen b) that someone is merely scrying for magi.

This might prompt him to try and work out what is going on. Maybe he discovers it is merely some irritating faerie. On the other hand, maybe he discovers strong circumstancial evidence that some magus is scrying on him. So, he provides the evidence to the Quasitors, and so (if the Quasitors are convinced) a prosecution begins...

Careful with the DEO. Even if it doesn't work, if it's powerful enough, it'll still cause Warping. Though a low-grade one with high Pen wouldn't run that risk, and the sudden howl of unearthly pain from the demon will be plenty warning.

To a magus? I'm not sure that is true, but I could be wrong.

As I understand it, you only get Warping by being affected by powerful (or continuous) magic. If someone casts a DEO at a magus, then the magus is not affected, because he is not a demon --- therefore he doesn't suffer Warping effects.

Don't forget the Revealing Torch Of Penetrationless Light, which lets you detect by sight all those shady characters that have magic resistance... without pinging Parmae (though the effect is rather obvious).

I think it should be safe enough to avoid scrying charges.

I would tend to rule in my saga that casting spells on a magi without their permission is one of those things that's considered rude. I would think that it would be, at the least, the equivalent of grabbing someone's shoulder from behind... them punching you in the face in response is over the top, but, on the other hand, they didn't know what your intentions were, and you didn't announce that you were coming up on them...

And, as anything that goes to Tribunal, I suspect whether this would be considered a wrong is a political question.

Going back to the original question... If I cast a spell that gave me special sight... say, for instance:

See People
InCo 20
R: Per D: Conc T: Vision
Determine whether the people you see are human.
(Base 3, +1 Conc, +4 Vision)

This is casting a spell on myself, not on another magus. RAW says that the magical sense must penetrate to give data on the target. So, if I cast it forceless and look at a crowd of people, the non-human ones would stand out, telling me they've got magic resistance (or aren't actually people; I expect people-looking-non-people without MR are rare. :wink: )

Of course, with my storyguide hat on, if some magus used this excuse to say "hey, I didn't cast a spell on that other magus, so I didn't break the rules" at tribunal, I'd have the tribunal fine him for trying to be a snide rules-lawyer. :wink: