Enchanted Swords and Parma Magica

Using the rules as written, the magi in my saga are aware that enchanting an enemy's sword is a reasonable defense against it. But this could lead to multiple enchantments being placed on the same weapon. In which case, which penetration is required? All of them?

For instance:

Magus A casts The Tricky Blade against his opponent's soldiers (grogs and their companion leader). The spell has a low penetration, to protect the magus from the swords completely.

Magus B casts The Enchanted Sword (yeah, I suck at naming) on his companion's sword. This spell has a high penetration.

So presumably, when the companion attacks Magus A, the low penetration of A's spell would be the effective one on the attack, right?

Finally, The Tricky Blade's level is 30. Unraveling the Fabric of Terram at level 20 would be sufficient to dispell it on one weapon, right?

The Tricky Blade
ReTe 30
R: Sight, D: Diameter, T: Group
Cause the target blades to tremble in their wielder's hands, causing a -1 to all attack totals. It is designed to by a high level spell cast with low penetration.
Base 2, +2 metal, +1 Diameter, +3 Sight, +2 Group

The Enchanted Sword
CrVi 10
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
Makes the sword magical for effects of wards and parma. (This was specifically designed to be used against wizards who use ReTe wards to protect against mundane weapons.)
Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun

I'd have to say that all of the effects must penetrate rather than just one, otherwise you could enchant the following two effects in a sword:

Sword of garlic
MuIm 2
sword smells slightly of garlic for duration diameter
effect level 30 (base level 2 + 28 for 56 penetration)

inflict one million fatal wounds, and turn into a frog as an added bonus
Mu/Pe Co Level lots
(penetration 0).

(Everyone knows the smell of garlic cuts through anything)

I know it is not canon but I would have it this way:

1- Sword is Magical no penetration: Resisted
2- Sword is Magical with an effect that penetrates: Penetrates & hits but effects that do not penetrate, do not penetrate.

I also like to say that a contact with the parma usually shows the sigil's involved in some way.

I prefer to see parma as a shield of energy & Might as a wall.

You can hence vary a bit your description of how the magical sword hits different targets which can be interesting.

I agree wt Erik.

Parma Magica is magic RESISTANCE.

If one spell fails to penetrate, the item does not pass through Parma Magica. This is because the magic is 'tied' to the item. When one is held back, the item is held back and therefore 'all' spells are held back.

The simplest way to resolve this is to just check the lowest pentration. If this suceeds, all others will follow.

Remember that Magic isn't dampened, pushed aside, snuffed out, ect. It is 'resisted.'

This is my canon read of things. Of course it may be more interesting to play with a non-canon ruleing as I can think of several players in my own game that do not like this view of things

This goes back to what my Ref described as the Pink Dot theory, I think. Cast MuIm at very low level on a blade to turn it pink and thus make the blade subject to Parma Magica.

That's a potentially massive rules abuse. It's a very easy spell, even cast at the group level. And it would likely completely imasculate a group of enemy soldiers.

Curse of the Silly Defense
MuIm 10
R: Voice (+2), D: Diam (+1), T: Group (+2)
Base Effect: 1 (change one sensation to turn the blade pink)

Slap that on your enemies' blades, and you're invincible? That just doesn't read right.

To my eye, that says that while the mundane metal of the blade would still effect the stab-ee (is that a word?), the pinkness of the blade would not. I'd apply the same to the Blade of the Virulent Flame. Still a most ouchful attack, but only because being whacked with three or four pounds of steel hurts, not because of the heat (assuming it's resisted).

New Chuck tradition. Referencing this site as much as possible.

The pink dot is discussed here and here:


My favorite part is "unpopular implications."


So this is what it comes down to. Their are logical reprocussions to following through with a certain train of thought.

If swords can pass through and pink dots are 'repressed' or pushed off or whatever, then one can do the poison senario or the spear senario. It comes down to pick your poison and like or dislike the flaws that come with it.

To truly exploit the pink dot: cast a spell on yourself, turning all metal within a certain range into magical metal. Then, even if an arrowhead were to whistle in faster than you could cast a spell on it, it'll turn into magical, harmless, metal. (Not sure that can be made to work; range issues.)

Here's a fun one. The bad guy puts a pink dot on my sword. So then I perdo vim to get rid of the pink dot. Is the sword still magical?

Now, here's why that matters. Let's say that, instead of perdo vim-ing your pink dot out of existence, I cast a spell on my sword to make it magic-proof. Would such a spell itself need to penetrate the parma magica of mine enemy?

If so, then, to get around the pink dot problem, your maga would need to cast a perdo vim spell on the sword, and then perdo vim (or something) that spell out of existence just as it was going to slice through the parma, so that the victim has no time to cast a spell.

Alternately, you could hold your sword very close to yourelf, within your own parma magica, until the last second, and then swing it, leaving the victim no time to cast a spell on it.

Or, perhaps you could cast a rego or perdo vim spell on the sword that has two features: prevents other spells from affecting the sword, and has high penetration, so that it goes through opponent's parma.

All of this assumes that the one with the sword is magi. Life would be more difficult otherwise. It seems to me that magi are just invulnerable to many weapons unless they're taken by surprise.

I always here this arguement. That magi are invulnerable to sword attacks. So in order to hit a Magus one must dump spells on the sword to give the attacker 'a chance'. But then issues of Parma Magica come up and people cry no fair/foul/whatever.

So here's my problem with this arguement. When I see characters submitted, and I see a lot of them at this site or listed in detail across the internet. I have to say few if any magi have a formulaic spell in their books or have taken the time to build an enchantment that repels swords/arrows/whatever.

So that means, Magi must be whipping up these spells spontaneously. While spontaneous magic is inheritly weaker, these warding spells against whatever aren't difficult. Less so, if you toss pink dot on it and let Parma do it's thing.

A spontaneous created spell to protect a magus from one sword attack doesn't not seem like an invulnerable front that no one can pentrate.

For this senario, lets say several grogs are rushing a magus. Common sense (for me) would suggest that an attacking magus is in the background. While defending magus is spont'ing a defense against one grog, several others hit with non magical swords as the attacking Magus strikes from behind.

So the defending Magus has grogs of his own. Is the defending Magus going to pink dot every sword or is he going to focus on the attacking Magus? I would focus on the attacking magus.

Now the senario is can the defending Magus take out the attacker before the attacking grogs penetrate his defenses. If they do pentrate his sheild grogs, does he stop fighting the attacker to pink dot the rushing grogs? The stakes are higher.

I guess my point is I feel this pink dot senario that so many complain about is to me a paper tiger. It seems to me that any creative GM or player can compensate for Pink Dot. They can work around it.

As a GM and i allow Pink Dot, lets look at senarios. If send one solider at a wizard I sort of know already that the magus will fend for himself. If I send 8 things get interesting. If I send 4 grogs and a magus, things look bleak. The practical application of senarios suggests to me that Pink Dot is not that big of a deal.

Target group.

Also remember the spell is optimally effective at penetration zero, and the actual effect of the spell is irrelevant.

Assume a magus has a form and a tech at eight (fairly weak...), stamina +1 = 17, no relevant focus.
In, say, a Divine aura -1,

With fatigue, 16+die/2 - say, level 10
group +2 diameter +1 voice +2
implies base level 1; most tech & forms have this.

A fairly weak magus has made himself immune to the soldiers.


It is not the fate of the Magus to be felled by a common soldier. That's what companions and grogs are for.

It is the fate of the Magus to be consumed by a dragon. Or perhaps some sort of angry, walking tree.

Redneck Tree


It still supports my premise that pink dot is not a bad thing. That Magi can't be felled by mere grogs makes Magi the fear inspiring wizards of high myth they ought to be. Even when your playing in a low fantasy game.

I have to say, I'm coming around to the idea that the pink-dot issue isn't actually as bad as all that. I never thought I'd write that, but there you go. It's on record. Can't get away from it.

But... I'm still not happy with the idea of a pink-dotted sword being entirely stopped in its tracks. After all, the blade is not being propelled by magic (assuming some form of mundane intervention to bring the blade rapidly towards the poor humble magus).

So, we know that Parma acts to prevent magic from crossing its boundary and harming the protected subjects. Fine, I buy that. But let's extend the idea...

A dark knight, evil from the soles of his mailed feet to the tip of his ornately adorned full helm, thunders on his black steed towards the magus. He levels his lance, already stained with the blood of the magus' butchered familiar and... the magus turns it pink.

The knight rides on, he leans his shoulder into the deadly pink lance, grits his teeth as he anticipates the impact and... is unhorsed as the lance slams back into him. The magus stands there untouched by any part of the lance.

Now, I know we can't apply what we understand about physics to the medieval paradigm but surely the huge force of the lance with a ton and a half of horse, rider and steel moving at speed behind it might push the magus back (with still the magic not crossing the boundary) a little.

The parma acts to prevent the magic from crossing the boundary. If the magic is propelling the object the case is simple; the magic cannot cross and cannot therefor carry the object across. If the object itself is magically created (a thing of magic) then of course, that object cannot cross the boundary.

But an object with magic acting upon it but propelled by mundane force... that just feels a little different to me. Why shouldn't force of the impact carry the magus backwards?

Cuz it's MAAAAAAgic!

Because then magic resistance would not defend against magically created clubs; the force behind the swing is mundane.

Creating an itsy-bitsy button of magical wood right on the end of the lance is as easy as turning it pink, after all.

Quite. I think this approaches the problem my group has with regard to parma magica; it's just so passive. No matter what mundane force is bearing down on the magus, the lightest whisper of magic on the item is enough to defuse the threat entirely.

Parma operates to keep the magic away from the magus. We assume that means everything magical just stops at the boundary. Why not allow the force behind a mundane attack to simply move the magus out of its way.

Let's be clear, I'm not so fussed about the damage aspect of all this, merely the threat. The dullest apprentice is likely to be able to protect himself from all harm with knights beating impotently down on him with their barely magical blades.

I do see a distinction between something that is composed entirely of magic (it does not in any real sense exist) and something that has magic acting upon it.

But, in reality, I don't see this parma issue being much of a problem. My players are all desperately avoiding the pink dot technique. They know it's something that every magus would/should have in her arsenal but it feels so wrong that it's the elephant in the living room - nobody wants to be the first to mention it, or use it in this case. Self-solving really.

It's funny you mention that Mark, because to date no one in my troupe has used pink dot as a defense. No spontaneous spells, no formulaic versions, nothing. We could pink, but nobody does. So... how bout that?

Could be because 'pink dot defense' is an ArM rule poking a hole into the ArM setting, and feels ridiculously wrong and Terry-Pratchettian. AFAICS many players would feel like cheats if they had their magus resolve a situation with 'pink dot' defense.

This feeling appears to also have motivated part of redcap.org/FAQ/FAQ2.html#parma_loopholes.

Kind regards,