Now for something completely different...Alternative MR rule

Well, N-th iteration of this. :slight_smile: In this case the rules I have been tinkering for our saga. They have NOT been playtested yet, though, so take it with a grain of salt. I present them to you to get heavy flak before puting them in our saga. For reference, the current parma levels IMS are

Severin ex Tytalus (herbam senior magus) = 5
Presteris ex Flambeau (hydromancer combat lunatic) = 5
Marie of Tremere (politician) = 2
Peter of Warwick ex Jerbiton (mundane leader) = 2

The idea is to make Magic resistance something able to offer protection from everything magical (like now) but NOT be impervious to pink dot swords and other similar effects. So, here they come

The solution I decide don was a "layered parma", that stops spells and effects, but gets degraded while doing so.


  • You have 1 "Protective Shield" per Parma skill level. So, parma 3 would mean you have 3 active shields (3 parmae).
  • When Parma stops a supernatural effect, your Parmae level drops 1 point. One shield stops the effect and is destroyed in the process.
  • You can regenerate 1 shield level per Round. Doing so prevents you from doing anything else that turn (including fast casting).
  • If you concentrate, you can prevent degradation of your Parma during a round regardless of how many supernatural effects hit you during that round. (Force field effect). You can't do anything else during the round, including fast casting.

Works as usual (casting total - spell level + penetration bonuses).
If penetration total > 10x # of Parmae (remember that Parmae level varies) you ignore the Parma level and the effect hits the magus with full effect.

Sample: POF (casting total 35) vs Parma 2 (2 levels of Parmae)
Round 1. The level 2 parmae stops the POF. Parmae drop to 1
Round 2. Magus is hit by POF (casting total 35 again) once again. Since Parmae is 1 the penetration total (15) beats it. Parma remains at 1, but the magus is mildly scorched.

Sample 2: a pink dot (CrIm5) hits Parma 2 . Even with penetration 0 by the third round of combat the magus is being whacked in the head by the "magical" sword.

Creature MR
Creatures have a "parma level" equal to their Might score/10 (round up)
Creatures can regenerate their FULL parmae by concentrating for a single round and spending 1 might.
So, you'd better develop hefty penetration totals to go against supernatural critters.

Now multicasting becomes THE ability to develop for hoplites and magical (anti-Hermetics) traps, but Penetration is still the main ability to develop if your target has a Might score.


What happens if you get hit by multiple effects at the same time?

Two situations:

  • Two magi casting Pila of Fire at you during the same round
  • An object with multiple effects on it (pink dots and greasy surface)

Do you lose 2 layers of parma?

Seems a more cartoonish way of treating Parma. Not necessarily a bad thing, just a different feel to it. Not one I'd want IMS, but valid nonetheless.

2 hits = 2 levels of parma lost, yes. hence the value of multicasting. The different pings against your parma caused by multiple attacks by the same "pink dot sword" would be considered a single attack, though. Basically, each roll made against you causes you to lose one parma level.

So, to answer you explicitly:

  • 2 POF drop 2 levels of parma
  • 1 level of parma lost for the bundle of effects hitting you. However, I had not thought about that option and my answer is tentative

I can understand 100% you not fancying it (I am unsure it will pass my own troupe's criticism), but not the "cartoonish" comment. Would you mind to explain the point? :slight_smile:


Well,the 2 effects on the sword could have different penetration (one is CrIm, while the other may be CrAq) even if cast by the same magus.

Well, "cartoonish" may be an incorrect way to describe it. But I have that picture from those old Dr Strange comic books, where the magical defense was pictured as energy discs, each one breaking as an attack would hit it. Felt comic-bookish to me. :wink:

BTW, why would a penetrating effect leave all the parma layers untouched? That seems counter-intuitive: the parma is damaged by weak effects but not by strong ones.

Ah, I never read comic books. This explains why it sounds cartoonish to you, though. Thx for the clarification :slight_smile:

Strong effects does not damage parma so that you might be affected by the effect and be unaware of it. A MuMe effect would be obvious if it left you parma-less. Basically, parma is like a shield (a real shield) that protects you from being hit until it is battered into oblivion, but has no effect if the attack is so crafty that it manoeuvres around it (high penetration).


The concept itself seems interesting but your implementation of it leaves me rather "say WHAT?"...

These ones i like, but the rest gets severely messed up in my view.

This would promote a more "intelligent" handling of magi in combat with something that has magical effects and adds options.

But there´s also lots of problems, the worst probably being that multicasting becomes king, AGAIN!

One shield level should only be destroyed if the effect and/or penetration is powerful enough, otherwise you multicast any Base 1 spell, smack away all enemy parma in one or two castings and then take them out with a killspell which is now completely unopposed.
More powerful spells should have greater chance to drop a Parma Shield level.

Ill have to think some more about the rest, no coherent response to it yet.

Good points. Thanks :slight_smile:

About musticasting, well, a fairly easy option is to ban multicasting from the game. it is not really popular in my troupe as a specialization, so it would be not difficult to drop it.

The small effect = dropped shield, tha tis true. I can't believe I didn't think about it palmface :unamused: Will have to think about something. Maybe you need the spell to be equal to the shield level in magnitudes in order to drop it; so you'd need a level 20 spell to drop a parma 4 to parma 3. Or something like that.


The first thing that came to my mind when I read the initial post was Sorcerer's Fork.

Yeah something like that. I´d like to have it include Penetration as well but i dont have any good ideas how to do it yet.

Dropping multicast isnt exactly a new idea ( quickly came up as a fix to the original problem with multicast DEO ) but at the same time i like having options so it feels like a less than great idea.

I like it, but, as DW points out, there sure are problems :frowning:

Maybe you could add something like this:

  • Multiple copies of the same spells by the same caster essentially all exploit the same weakness / breach at the same time, and thus count as a single blow. Not great, but it avoids the multicast problem.
  • MR = Parma *10. Effects that don't penetrate drop MR by 05 and are detected as having been deflected. Effects that do penetrate can either drop MR by 10 (they blast through your shields) OR not be detected (they slipped through your defenses), at the caster's choice. That way, you keep your "anti pink dot" effect, while having more powerful spells have a greater effect.
  • MR "naturally" regenerates 10 points per diameter, if it has been allowed to rest (not subjected to a magical effect)
  • A concentrating magus can regenerate 10 points of MR. He may do other actions, but concentrating on his parma counts as spellcasting.

This doesn't solve everything, but may help.

Btw, I love the Dr Strange analogy.

While I think there is a desire to be rid of the pink spot thing once and for all, I've not yet seen a compelling way to do it.

I like the kernel of this approach, but then we quite like the idea of Parma being an ablative defence anyway. The trouble with claiming this as a solution to PDD is that it doesn't take into account magic resistance provided by form scores. Even if the pink dot ablates your parma down to zero, which after five rounds of futile hacking is now, I assume, supposed to imperil the magus, the zero-pen pink dot sword still won't get past your inherent Terram form resistance.

You've already stated that you'd be happy to ditch multi-casting because your magi don't use it. My troupe does. I wouldn't want to see form resistance go the same way just so that magi have to destroy attackers outright rather than entertain them for a round or two.

I think ideas like this are worth pursuing, but from the perspective of making supernatural foes more threatening, not a bunch of knife-wielding robbers on the hilly end of the East Dean Road.

More than a solution to PD problem, it is a different take on Parma since I do not favor the "all or nothing" approach of the curent parma/MR rules.

I am happy that most people commenting seem to think that there is some merit in the approach taken, even if it has huge gaps in the design (larger than I thought, so thanks to pointing them out to me). Good point about the form scores.

The problem with MR is the one Mark Lawdford points out: the tame dragons and pitiful faerie lords, not a bunch of mundanes. mundanes have never been a true danger to our magi and we are OK with that. But I feel that Parma (or Magic Resistance in general) should not make you impervious to Excalibur or Durendal, so they are added to the rework of MR as well.


Swords of Quality?
High penetration magical items?
Living items (as per RoP: Magic)?

There are already solutions in the rules for that.

I still find it weird that Excalibur needs to be penetration 70 to have a plain edge of the razor on it. So yes, there are "solutions" in the system, but I find them to be just stop-gaps because there was a problem to be solved, but they do not address the fundamental flaw. I do not like it in any case, and this is basically me tinkering with HR :slight_smile:


Having it be an item of quality means more damage than an edge of the razor, without the need for penetration.

And i can't say (serf's parma), but if this adds up to the modifiers from exceptionnal craftmanship, you could have a perfectly "mundane" mythical sword doing +6 damage vs humans, or something like that, which is pretty impressive.

Also, IIRC, excalibur wasn't that much special, the greater item was in fact its scabbard, which could heal wounds or something like that. It has been emphasized and fantasized upon a lot because, well... let's just say there are things with female and male symbols here...

Are we speaking about a tale's sword?

Where can I find the "item of qualities" thing? it's seems interesting.

Verditius section of Myster Cults IIRC.


IIRC, the sheath would prevent wounds from bleeding... Bind wounds.

Magic swords being stopped by magic resistance (not pink dot, but REALLY enchanted swords) is what caused us to think that the rules do bnot work as we would like them to. So the idea is to make supertnaturally sharp weapons able to cut a faerie in 2 more easily, not less. That has been a hot issue among my players since the pink dot issue first entered the game. We tend to handwave it, and have edge of the razor bypass parma and magic resistance, but that does not feel right either and this is why I am tinkering with alternatives :slight_smile:


How will you treat people/beings with Major Immunities , e.g. Iron?

Why not give a "Home Realm" advantage to magic resistance.
If you are a Faerie Lord in your Regio of origin/place of power , you get to be more resistant than if you are in the mundane world.
Same for a Magus in his Sanctum (usually his Lab i imagine).
You can enchant a Resistance bonus into each of your Talisman , Familiar and Lab respectively.

This assumes you are using some form of Ablative magic resistance.