Parma and Auras

So here's a question for the ages:

Is the Parma Magica affected by Auras? Especially hostile ones?

If so, is there a page reference for that?

In all the nice examples I've seen of magical combat in RAW which they use to illustrate what's going on, I've never seen Parma affected by Aura.

However, now I find myself in a saga where the SG says it is.

I ask because it seems to be that if the answer is "yes" in renders Parma scores of more than 2 counterproductive and makes the whole ability MASSIVELY overrated.

Consider. Parmas of more than 6 are very hard to come by.

Now in a Dominion Aura of 3 (typical town), you're looking at a -9 penalty to the Parma. This means every Parma is now down.

The same -9 applies to spells as well, but casting totals of 25-45 can easily beat that penalty with even really powerful spells.
This means the Parma is useless in any settled area, any Dominion Aura, and any infernal Aura.

In Magic Auras you have the reverse problem. All of a sudden, Parma becomes unbeatable.

If you've got Parma 2, and are in a Magic Aura of 8 (our saga's covenant or Cad Gadu etc), you have Parma 10, or Magic Resistance 50, on top of Form resistance.

Not many spells going to beat that.

Any thoughts? And above all, any page references? Any Bonisagi want to point out how being affected by Auras does NOT make the Parma Magica a very, very silly ability to invest any xp in?

I don't recall the page (obviously, otherwise I would have said it in the game ^^); but the penalty is to the magic resistance.

Parma magica magic resistance is PMx5+ form.

In your examples, that is:

  • parma 2x5 -9 = 1 + forms; not down (-7) .
  • parma 2x5+8 = 18, not 50

The aura applies to the penetration of the effects that try to overcome the parma (and any other MR, IIRC). Appllying it directly to parma as well gives a double bonus/penalty.

(Any way I would not let you off with a bonus to the parma score, but to your resistance, so that a parma of 2 would only give 18 MR in a +8 magic aura and -14MR in a +8 Divine)

I know that it applies to MR from Might

I'm just looking for where it applies to MR from Parma, and how. Page ref appreciated.

Yes. Hermetic Magic Resistance in affected by Aura.

ArM5, page 183. In the box titled Realm Auras, within this box under the heading Magic Resistance.

No. When you dealing with two characters casting spells at each other who are from the same realm affiliation (i.e. two magi fighting against each other) then because Parma and the Formulaic Casting Total are both penalised (or receive a bonus) of the same size then there is generally no net effect.

One exception is if the Casting Total is penalized so much that the spell is not successfully cast. The other main exception is if the casting character is using Spontaneous Magic, because the aura penalty/bonus is applied before dividing by five (or two). So the aura penalty/bonus to Spontaneous magic is effectively [edited] smaller.

Note that this is exactly why it is always a good idea for a Hermetic magus to fight a demon in a Cathedral. The magus has a penalty to his Casting and Magic Resistance, but the demon has bigger penalties --- so a net advantage to the magus.

@ Richard:

The question becomes: Does the Aura affect MR, or does it affect Parma as an Ability?

If it affects it as an ability, then Parma 8 becomes Parma -1 in a Dominion 3 Aura, rendering it useless.

If it affects MR ONLY, then Parma 8 gives MR 40 - 9 = 31, which is far more reasonable.

The reason its an important distinction is this: Parma is not an accelerated ability. If it takes the penalty to its ability score, then it is useless, even with penalties applied to arts, because a -9 penalty to an ability that caps at 10, and a -9 penalty to a score that caps at up to 50 are not comparable handicaps.

The second example is correct. Noble's parma on the page reference though...

Close reading of "realm auras":

  • 1 it only affects:
  • spellcasting rolls
  • labtotals
  • ability rolls
  • magic resistance
  • penetration

Since parma is not rolled, it can't be applied to its score (it's not an ability roll). That eliminates your first option.

-2 magic resistance.

Magic resistance from parma magica is (parmax5)+form or familiar might.

Reference? page 183, the box.

One reason you may not have seen it much in play is that in standard Magi on Magi violence, the bonus or penalty nets off to zero e.g. The spell is boosted by magic aura 3, but so is the Parma, so it's a wash. It only gets relevant when things whose realms get different boosts or penalties than magic go against your Parma.


Read the page reference I quoted. It affects Magic Resistance.