Embracing the pink dot

In Ars Magica 5th edition, magic resistance just stops any physical object that is under a supernatural effect without enough penetration. This leads to the so called "pink dot" issue, whereby one can become immune to all blows by a sword by simply drawing a pink dot on it through really low level, zero penetration magic that affects it. By almost all troupes I've known, this is considered a "loophole" that is either house-ruled, or that is considered the least of many evils and thus accepted with an agreement not to "exploit" it.

What I'd really like to do, instead, is to take an approach where the "pink dot" effect is fully understood and exploited by the Order (and by anyone or anything else with magic resistance plus the ability to "taint" others with magic), "weird" though it may be. In addition to preventing physical attacks by magically tainting whatever physical means is brought bear (which makes Second Sight surprisingly useful to a magus or parma-protected turb of grogs going toe-to-toe with a big magical beastie having high Magic Resistance), what other interesting applications are there? And what non-obvious, negative consequences does magic resistance have for those protected by it in addition to making flying carpets effectively unusable?

A dozen hedge mages scatter the field with hundreds of pink dots. The magi are trapped!
Will the magi stay where the are while the hedge mages allies throw poop at them?
Or will they lower their parmae to flee this indignity while trying to dodge the hedge mages spells?

...or use perdo vim

excellent scene really

I'm not sure I understand correctly, but keep in mind that if A is protected by magic resistance and B is magically coloured, B cannot punch/shove/push A, but A can punch/shove/push B. So I cannot see why the magi would be trapped.

The pink dot has never seemed like that big of a problem to me. Yes, it is good against things that don't have Magic Resistance, but most magic is good against things that don't have Magic Resistance. It's a good defense in battle, but it also calls attention to the magus and makes it really easy to see what is enchanted. It's not very useful when attacking. In games I have run in the past I let magi do this, but then I also let faeries do it too. This makes even the lowliest faerie able to protect itself against any oaf with a sword. And so I also figure warriors with appropriate experience might recognize this method and know to switch to ranged weapons, or try to capture the sorcerer instead of attacking him.

It is a conundrum, but I have not seen it happen often enough to be a bother. And most seem to be fine with handwaving it: the sword hits you but the dot is held at bay.
It's a loophole.

While i don´t like the thought of using the idea, it is a concept that might be fun to run with for some...

Personally, it´s basically Marko´s solution that i go with. Not perfectly definable through strict rules, but that´s very hard to achieve anyway.

Well, what I really wanted to explore (as I explicitly said in my initial post) was exactly the opposite of this.
What can come out of a game that does not treat is as a bug, but as a feature? In which interesting, unforeseen way could it be used?

Erik Dahl correctly pointed out that it makes it easy to find if something is enchanted: just try to hit someone magic resistant with the item you want to investigate. What else?

Once again, think of it not as a problem, or as a minor problem, or as something that is rarely an inconvenience, but as something that opens up new possibilities. What are those possibilities? To draw a parallel with science fiction, faster-than-light travel (a standard trope of science fiction) entails time-travel (if you have one you have the other, according to relativity). A lot of science fiction just waves this away, because time-travel is mind boggling. What I'm asking you is: what interesting issues could come out of time-travel (in our case the pink dot effect)?

With that line of reasoning, you could impale yourself on the sword that can't touch you.
This thread is about embracing the pink dot. So i suppose if B cannot push, then A can't either.

Which makes for some very interesting uses of CrIm: Ladders and bridges that can be used by magi, but not mundanes. Illusionary walls that mages bump into, while their grogs just run through. Invisible pink-dot-mazes and tripwires :stuck_out_tongue:

This is hilarious. :laughing:
I picture a covenant full of prankster apprentices...

No you don´t. This is a myth as bad as the "flat earth" one.
From an elsewhere point of view looking at something going FTL, time LOOKs like it slows down.

Actual vs apparent. The big problem is that a lot of people, even professionals, doesn´t bother to make a difference between the two.

And it´s rather painful to, for example, read a book on said theory, in more than one case i´ve found myself looking at the authors "explanation" and an original quote from Einstein on the same page, with the former talking about "time slows" while the Einstein quote specifically says "apparent time slows".

There is a small actual time slows effect as well, but this isn´t timetravel. If you really try, you can use it to get to the future, simply by travelling far at extreme speeds, slowing your own aging by messing up the correlation between you and the universe at large. But this isn´t travelling through time in any way. You´re just spending a huge amount of actual time in a way that makes it seem like a lot less time to you.


Direwolf, this really isn't the forum to discuss these things, but I would suggest looking at any textbook on even just special relativity (including the wikipedia entry): unless special relativity is wrong, causality implies the impossibility of faster than light travel. It's a more complex mechanism than that of time slowdown due to relativistic speed, though of course the roots are the same. A good explanation can be found here. But as I said, I don't think this interests the other forumites, so feel free to pm me if you want to discuss this at greater length.

No, that's the fallacy. B cannot push A, but A can push B. This is not modern physics. You get some really weird effects.
Check out the section on magic resistance from the corebook, in particular the part about falling in a trap with spikes at the bottom.

If a magus is protected by magic resistance tries to push a magical sword, the sword will be shoved. If it is somehow immobile (e.g. it's wedged in a wall, or held by someone really strong), and the magus tries to impale himself against it, he won't be able to do so, but of course he won't be able to move it either. If the same sword is swung at the magus, it will stop without "impact" on his parma.

DW has previously stated that he uses modern physics.
He also plays in heavily houseruled sagas and forget to mention his houserules/assumes everyone is using them.
For this I tend to ignore him,

Apparently, I misunderstood your original post then. I'll try to wrap my head around that line of thought...

So I need to attach my pink dots firmly somewhere :question:
Does an illusionary circular wall count? Or an illusionary Cheval de frise?

Suppose i pink-dot a basket that a magus carries on his head, and load it full with half a ton of stones: Would the magus be affected by the weight?

I'm getting a headache :confused:

I would say he is affected by the weight. Some indirect attack spells rely on the natural tendency of objects to move towards the Earth (aka gravity) to bypasses magic resistance.


Yes and no. It will feel like something that's lighter than a feather, but that somehow you can never raise above its current level. The basket will not weigh down with any weight on the magus (because of the parma), but the magus won't be able to push it upwards (because of the weight). If the magus crouches, the basket will descend correspondingly, and the magus will no longer be able to stand.

Door trap to stop unGifted intruders:

  • Turning the handle causes a spring-blade to sproing out. The blade is pink-dot'd. Anyone with Parma who opens the door does not care. Anyone without gets sliced.
  • Archer firing arrows into a melee/fog/whatever with magi allies: pink-dot the arrows, let fly! Magi/Magic Resistance things are safe!

ezzelino's interpretation of the basket-and-rocks could make for some fun results, such as a very cruel form of prison for naughty magi.

Wow... that would be nasty. Basket, rocks, trap magus underneath. Proceed with the questions, and make sure the victim can see the sun as it sinks towards the horizon...

Nice Kid Gloves! This is exactly what I was looking for. I want more!

I guess that when you are doing some needlework it always pays off to pink dot the needle.
And to pink dot your knife when chopping onions :slight_smile: