Divine Magic Resistance

A player in my game has recently been wondering if there's any way to lower divine magic resistance as granted by true faith, as his priest character often finds himself unable to use enchanted items on himself or indeed benefit in other ways from spellcasting. Obviously if the resistance came from a relic it could be bypassed by dropping the relic, but otherwise I assume the priest is at a loss. I can find no reference to this in the published material and wondered if other storyguides have any thoughts on the matter.

Some SG's consider it a specific benefit of Parma Magica as opposed to something generally available to those with magic resistance. That makes sense in the sense of inherent magic resistance vs. generated/controlled magic resistance. Other SG's allow all magic resistance to be lowered. I used to be of the latter camp but have evolved toward the former.

Is the priest a Hermetic magus? If so, enchantments in a Talisman or the Familiar Bond will still work. In a lot of cases, I would simply wonder why such a priest would invite such magic. Though if it were from a Divine source, I might allow it to bypass Divine magic resistance.

I would say the person with the Divine MR would need to specifically pray or meditate on how the magic used would benefit the Divine plan, and then SG decision (as you are the will of the Divine in game terms) as to whether the Almighty lets their resistance be lowered or not. I would certainly allow Divine MR to be lowered for effects of Divine origin. It would be entirely in keeping with the Judaeo-Christian God not to let his faithful put their trust in enchanters or any form of magic (see Leviticus 19:26 and 31, Deuteronomy 18:10, Jeremiah 27:9, etc)

Would letting a mage cast a spell on you count as letting yourself be defiled as in "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them"(KVJ translation of Leviticus 19:31) ?

You can see both side of the coin -depending which "vision" of God you have:

  • God wants to support the magus thus, MR is not effective against beneficial spell
  • God wants the mage to put his trust only in God's power, thus won't allow other beneficial power to affect the mage.

So as SG, you can use that "uncertainty" to colour a scene or a scenario: is the magus' faith being tested (MR remains active) ? does God "actively" support the mage's action ?
If you present it that way to the player, it will give him the feeling that Somebody (with a capital S) is watching him. It makes the story more personal.

Or you can create a ReVi effect, aspected to Holy, that suppresses it long enough to cast the effect. That's assuming that this issue comes up enough for a magi to spend a season developing the spell/device, of course. I believe spells cast while MR is down stay enabled when MR comes back up.

That does, of course, have troubling implications for one's relationship with the Divine, though.

You should consider whether Divine Magic Resistance is meant to specifically protect against hostile magic, or to entire cut the recipient off from the world of magic, as some sort of unclean force.

If the former, then it should be controllable. After all the MR is obtained through a virtue which costs the character, and so should be a game advantage, not a nuisance. I would go this way for MR derived from all other realms. If the latter, then the Divine Magic Resistance is the exception.

I think that Divine Magic Resistance isn't comparable to Parma because it doesn't come for an arcane ability. You doesn't get to put it down, but you doesn't need to pray or whatever every sunrise or sunset to make it work. And after all probably either just reflects a hole in magic theory or that it's hard to meddle with God business.

We have always kept religion away from our saga (our players aren't very interested into it), but I guess a magus could try to do something about that (I hadn't check that sourcebook, but I think I read somewhere something about Holy Magic being a way to mix magic with religion).