Oh No! More Parma Questions

Don't worry, no pink dot questions here. Just a series of questions i thought of on my scenic walk home from work.

  1. does parma continue after a person dies? For instance, magus A dies, could magus B then animate his body without having to penetrate magus A's parma? Or would he have to wait for sun up/down? Since an unconcious magus retains parma my guessing is that a dead one does too.

  2. Can you cancel your parma? I know you can concentrate to supress it, but how about cancelling it?

  3. could you make a spell to cancel parma or suppress it, if so what guidelines would it use?

  4. does a magical item worn by a magus (a ring for instance) have to penetrate the magus' magic resistance to work?

SP on all of these;

Creepy, but I don't have an answer for that one.

Not sure, but why would you want to?

Look at the spell WIND OF MUNDANE SILENCE, this is one of its listed effects.


Hmmm...I think so, or maybe not, that is one that requires research.

Yes, unless the item is the magus's Talisman and the effect is R: Personal (a Talisman is considered literally part of the caster)

Not sure, but I guess yes too.

I don't think that you can normally cancel Parma Magica like this. All you can do is suppress it. This could be a good idea for a Minor Virtue or original research project.

Yes. The PeVi spell Winds of Mundane Silence does this. You can also cast various other spells (PeMe, say) to make the target forget how to perform his Parma Magica ritual.

It doesn't need to penetrate his Magic Resistance to work: say a ring that casts an effect like Pilum of Flame on others is fine. But the magic item needs to penetrate the magi's magic resistance to affect him. So a ring that granted the bearer an effect like Cat's Eyes, would need to penetrate his resistance.

The exception is that an effect in a talisman with range Personal will effect the bearer without needing to penetrate. This is an advantage of a talisman. This doesn't work for other sorts of magical items, because for those items Personal is only the item itself (not the person holding it).

This arises from the fact that any effect (spell, item, whatever) with a Range of Touch (or greater) even if cast by the magus on himself needs to penetrate Magic Resistance to affect the target. It is only effects with a range Personal that do not need to penetrate.

My guess would be so that you can concentrate on doing something else --- like casting spells. This might make some sense, say, in a combat where the only people with magical effects were on your side. It still seems unwise and risky however.

A lot of this is not in canon as such, but would be houseruled, so unless someone can actually cite a reference, do what works best in your saga and troupe.

1) does parma continue after a person dies?

By the RAW (p 66), Parma Magica "does not require concentration while active." That says to me that, once the ritual is performed, it is self-powered until sunrise/sunset, so, yes, it would continue. (ymmv, natch.)

2) Can you cancel your parma? I know you can concentrate to supress it, but how about cancelling it?

Since it doesn't say so, not by the RAW, no. "Supressing" and "Canceling" are markedly diff. (However, little reason that this ritual couldn't do so in your saga- not like it would radically change the game, afaik.)

3) could you make a spell to cancel parma or suppress it, if so what guidelines would it use?

PM "is a special ritual (not a ritual spell)". Nor does it state anywhere that this is a magical effect, even if it can be phrased in terms that link it mathmatically with "magic" in general.

Winds of Mundane Silence (PeVi variable) does this.

(PREVIOUS TEXT, Shown by Furion below to be in errour)
Because of what it is intended to do, I would rule "no", because the premise is safety for Hermetic magi, safety that a spell can't provide. I would compare it to Magical Might in an animal- not something that can be attacked directly with a spell, afaik (tho' with research... who knows?)


4) Does a magical item worn by a magus (a ring for instance) have to penetrate the magus' magic resistance to work?

Another tricky one. I believe that BTRAW, yes, it does- however, this often creates a major headache. I would houserule "no"- noting that such a ruling opens the door for cursed rings and such to more easily affect any mage unwise enough to put them on.

You already got some fulfilling answers on the others so I'll stick to elaborating on these two:

I know of no RAW to answer your question directly. Ordinary magic continue after you die, with a few exceptions dependent on certain Virtue/Flaw, so you might presume that the Parma also does so. However you might as easily HR that even if magical (and thus normally lasting untill duration's end) that the Parma is a ritual bound to you as a living being (recalling that you can share the Parma with other beings, consenting, but not with objects, with the exception of a talisman) and thus will fickle out and end at your death. Without a clear RAW these are two reasonable alternatives.

As already mentioned this is specifically mentioned as a possible effect of the Winds of Mundane Silence PeVi spell, so yes. This should suggest that you can also invent other PeVi spells that cancel it, based on the WoMS. It is however quite difficult, as it should be, requiring you to match the person's Parma Magica Ability Score times 5 as well as penetrate it. Given the importance of the Parma Magica, as MR in generel and as a "founding stone" of the Order, I would be carefull to tinker to much with the ease of cancelling Parmas.

The LARP-supplement Fallen Fane includes a vey interesting possible sub-plot of a magus haphazardly inventing a way to very easily cut through others' Parmas. This is in many ways an epic plot as a Parma-wrecking ability would soon tear the Order apart and undermine any attempt at peaceful cohesion. The inventer is then troubled by what to do, especially since he is Bonisagus, IIRC, and thus in fact obligated to share his findings. One solution for him could be to destroy his own lab, as Erik Dahl described in another thread from a Californian convention, but on the other hand; if this is possible, a breach in the Parma being there, shouldn't it be studied to find a way to improve the Parma to close it? Or is it enough to just hope that no one will ever stumble upon that knowledge themselves...? In short an interesting story on the potential of parma-wrecking spells.

Just a minor nitpick, objects do share your Parma Magica. Your hat, your sword etc, all have a Magic Resistance when in your vicinity (i.e. are worn/wielded).

However, you are correct, you can't share your Parma Magica with arbitrary remote objects like you can share it with other beings.

Not that this is entirely relevant to the case in hand, but unless I misunderstand what you mean, the Magic Might of a creature can be easily attacked. You just need a general PeVi spell that operates like Demon's Eternal Oblivion, but attacks characters with Magic Might instead of characters with Infernal Might. The possibility of such spells is mentioned in the text for Demon's Eternal Oblivion.

Of course they do, but only by proxy. Not as a consenting distanced share. And even so this is a rubber paragraph probably a bit different from troupe to troupe as the RAW only says "close to you" which to some doesnt include wielded object, larger ones, but only a certain parameter around you.

Main point is that the parma seems anchored in living beings (with enough mental capacity to consent to the Parma), which is why such a HR of dissipation upon death might be quite viable should you prefer it.

We generally just seem to take a midway stage on the 4th option.. .. all item affects that need to touch the mage -do- require penetrating the parma, but we just allow for the fact that the mage usually knows and wants them to affect him, so lets them penetrate without any bother. It doesn't let cursed items affect them easily, nor does it mean they're constantly taking down their parma

I generally prefer to think of the parma more like a firewall for issues like this.. sure.. it protects against everything.. but you can set certain things to have access through it whenever they like ^^

.. of course... if you -do- want to make a cursed item.. you just need to be clever about it.. .. like an item with an environmental trigger of Sun?.. which funnily enough gets activated exactly when the parma goes down ^^ Just chuck in two spells.. one doing whatever you like, then the PeMe to make him forget about it ^^

In regards to your suggestion fluffy, that seems reasonable, but it does embue the parma with a versatility that it otherwise doesn't have.

Otherwise all kinds of unpleasantness results. Imagine a head band that casts a CrIg spell when you will it, it'd need the standard constant "read your mind effect" but would also require lots of penetration to get through your parma reliably. This would also mean redoing items from earlier in your life as your parma and forms scores increased.

I think i'm going to house rule this that any item physically touching a magus, using touch range magic activated by that magus does not need to penetrate parma. Can anyone think of any horrible loopholes this creates?

The possible inflation in hostile magic items that are trickered by you touching your target (anything from staffs to clubs). Especially enchanted arrows will become a stable in any confrontation.

If penetration can be done so effortless easily with enchanted items, then making items rather than inventing spells or studying forms will take precedence for anyone ever interested in confronting (or at least defending from) other magi.

And finally it is very much in contradiction with the already mentioned fact that even a magus casting on himself, with any but R: Personal spells, do have to penetrate - seems awkward that you are less able to control your magic/Parma-interaction than an item is..

I do however agree with your stand against granting the Parma versatility or 'intelligence' (besides you personally lowering it) as that offers a lot of other problems.

[EDIT - missed the part of being activated by the magus himself. In any case the item really havent any distinguishing the 'activator' when it comes to most effects]

You are incorrect about unpleasentness resulting.

In your example the mind reading power is going to have a long duration (probably constant or item maintains concentration) in order to be active when the magus decides to think about torching things. So the magus would surpress his parma when he put on the item allowing the long duration spell to affect him and then cease his parma supression once the brain-reading spell has taken effect. Parma does not cancel magic.

I believe that the perdo vim guideline for targeting a specific type of magic, the one used as the basis for unravling the fabric of (form), is usable for the creation of a parma destroying spell.

This spell need to, as Furion said, match the person's Parma Magica Ability Score times 5 as well as penetrate it. (Rather than matching double the person's parma score *5 as well as penetrating as is required with wind of mundane silence).

This spell is practical for magus with a strong vim score or a strong perdo score. For most magi however, especially magi with a strong rego score or a strong mentem socre, the most practical way to get a parm a down is to rego mentem the target into surpressing their parma.

Because of the ease of rego mentem option I do not think that it is necessary to worry greatly about how easy it is to remove a parma with perdo vim. It would limit the abilities of the art of vim beyond the rules as written and, lets face it, Vim specialists don't have a lot of cool toys to play with as it is. It would be cruel to their players to restrict them even more.

This is what prompted my "Can you cancel your own parma rather than suppress it". Since suppression is maintained by concentration your next spell against the (now parma-less) target has to end the fight, since anything that doesn't is likely to break that concentration, resulting in the parma pinging back up. Of course, with no parma, insta-death PeCo spells become viable in mage to mage combat.

Thank you, that sorts out my problem rather neatly.