Parma magica and supernatural beings


During our last scenario, I suddenly had some doubts about the use of Parma Magica and magic resistance against supernatural entities. Could you please correct me if I’m wrong:

  • supernatural entity hit magus with its natural weapons (claws, teeths, etc.) => no magic resist
  • supernatural entity hit magus with a mundane weapon (swords, etc.) => no magic resist
  • supernatural entity hit magus with a magic weapon (enchanted sword, magic affected claw, etc.) => can be resisted
  • ghost or spirit use a Manifest power (spending Might points) to manifest a tangible attack (fist, ghostly weapon) => can be resisted
  • ghost or spirit use a Manifest power to create a body and attack with this body natural weapons (teeths, claws) or semi natural weapon (ghostly sword) => can be resisted
  • demon use its power to create a body and use its natural weapons (fists, claws) => no magic resist
  • ghost or spirit use a Manifest power (spending Might points) to hold and attack with a mundane weapon (sword, etc.) => no magic resist

Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:


I believe that's correct.

These cases are all correct.

These are effectively the same case. Both are bodies created by manifest/magical powers. If you rule the body as natural then no magic resistance, if you call it magical then both would be blocked.

This is one I always question. That a item is enchanted to have magic does not strike me as meaning it automatically is blocked by parma. Magic is not moving it for the attack. MAgic is not causing the damage. This is one of the areas where I feel rules about Parma are weak and lacking.

Exactly - "weak and lacking".

A huge ogre is about to crush a mage with a club, so the mage fast-casts an enchantment* upon the club - bounce taDAH!

(* the ever-feared pink dot, or something more meaty)

Imo, wrong.

A "magical weapon" can come in (at least?) 4 flavours -1) normal weapon augmented by magic, either permanently (enchantment) or temporarily (spell)
2) form of a mundane weapon created magically from nothingness (CreoTerram = sword, or a boulder created above the head of a mage)
3) weapon that is completely magical (flame of sword, etc)
4) part of a supernatural being (magical demon = magical claws, unicorn's horn, etc)
Each SG and troupe should rule for themselves, but there's an argument to be made that works like this: "A 'magical' weapon still does the same damage that a normal, mundane weapon would do, but no additional damage for the 'magic' part".

Which of those 4 "flavours" fit into that concept are up to you. Think about all possibilities, take your Players into consideration, plan ahead, don't get caught in a later contradiction or rules change - not a good look for a StoryGuide.

In fact, #1 can be subdivided in 2, depending on whether or not the spell or enchantment affects its function as a sword (pink dot).

Or no damage at all if the magic would affect its damage-dealing ability in any way.

So you would allow my example, of the mage enchanting the club of the ogre as a defensive measure? Make the club tougher, so it can't touch the mage?

I'll tell you once my players try it and I am forced to make a decision on the spot. Until then I honestly don't know how I would rule. :confused:

I like this. It makes sense. I thought about this before, but wanted to stick to rules as much as possible. But now that you mention it again, i think i'll give this a second thought.

Yet, it let me with one question: if you allow such a rule, what about a ghost (say: ghost of Herakles, thought he is more likely a Daimon, but a Herakles ghost might be quite frightening) manifesting his fist or ghost weapon to attack you? You consider that instead of having his manifested fist suddenly stopped over your Parma Magica, like an invisible barrier, it would instead pass through your body, the magic giving his fist some corporeality being shut down by Parma? I think that would make sense.

Maybe i make a mistake here, and i don't have RoP: The Infernal beside me, but i think i remember that when demon manifest itself in a body, it's a real non magical body. While a ghost seems more likely to manifest in a supernatural body.

I'm confused. How is this different - magic resistance-wise - from using rego to control a weapon, hurl a rock, or whatever?

(Spel - it's not, imo. That is not a canon interpretation.)

There is nothing normal or mundane about a ghost's fist or manifested weapon. It would be stopped at the parma.

Cosmetic effects are entirely up to you, but I would be ~very~ hesitant to describe a fist going "thru" a mage and out the other side - what if the ghost were to then grasp two mundane obects, one with each hand? If you feel you need to have that effect, I'd rule that the ghost is somehow "extradimensional"*, and is passing "past" the mage without ever actually going "thru" them.

(* Note that, iirc, there are no "extra dimensions", no spirit world or other planes in AM. If you do go there, the Limits of the Lunar Sphere would probably prevent magi from following, at least casually.)

I believe a demon can manifest in a body - via possession - but whether that body then becomes supernatural is another question. (I would say a definite... "sometimes" - depends what's best for the story!) :wink:

How would you deal with an invisible giant blood grog that grabs a character with resistance and smashes him to a wall. The invisible giant Grog cannot hurt the character with resistance (lets assume Penetration < Resistance). But he can touch him (or nearly touch him). So he can lift the character with resistance or push him. Is an invisible giant wrestling grog a weapon.

Note that the description of Edge of the Razor in ArM5 says explicitly "Good-natured magi reward grogs by enchanting their weapons in this way, although since the resulting sword is resisted by Magic Resistance they rarely do this for all their grogs." Thus, at least if the enchantment increases the damage (or presumably the accuracy) of the weapon, the entire strike is resisted by parma, not just the improvement.

Pink Dot has been discussed at length before :slight_smile:

Basically, there's always a reason why falls over, and while pink dot isn't ideal, it is simple to adjudicate in practically all cases.

If a magus is actually using the pink dot specifically, the SG is welcome to introduce a house rule with regard to that kind of spell.

However, the ruling of 'only the mundane damage goes through' might sound great, until one remembers that some spells might make a weapon worse, not better. If the magical component of 'Curse of the Foam-Rubber Sword' got resisted, meaning the magus got struck for full damage - well, you could house-rule that is the case but it certainly isn't intuitive.

It always comes down to these kinds of discussions. Pink-Dot is pretty much the least problematic, most intuitive option.

But here's the secret:

It's not really an issue. :slight_smile:

Unless your sagas never go past about the 5-year mark, magi quickly gain the kind of power where a bunch of guys with swords aren't really an issue. It's not about whether the magus can or can't utterly tromp such a group, but instead about whether the magus should and the fallout if they choose to do so. The kinds of things magi fight tend not to come at them front-on.

I don't see why Pink Dot was ever considered problematic. I mean, mundane humans shouldn't be able to threaten magi in a fair fight anyway, and the concept of Pink Dot falls apart against things that should be able to threaten magi because most magi, especially combat-oriented ones, naturally have way higher Penetration than MR, so appropriately challenging creatures with Might should have more MR than the magus anyway.

But that's off-topic.

@Flavius: Okay, first, giant blood grog. What is that? What even is that? Second, he's probably invisible through a supernatural effect. Therefore, under the normal rules, he isn't grabbing the magus and throwing him against a wall, because he can't physically touch the magus unless the invisibility effect Penetrates the magus's Magic Resistance.

A giant blood Grog is simply a Grog that has the virtue Giant blood (lets call him Hodor). This was just chosen to have a strong invisible being that is trying to influence (grab or push) someone with resistance. A Magus can touch a magical sword. But the sword cannot hurt him. On the other hand “Trap of the enwinding vines will at least partly (demobilize) the target even if has a resistance. This means a magical thing can be a physical barrier for a Magus. If this barrier moves it should not be able to influence the magus (if it is not penetrating his resistance). Is that correct?

That's my understanding.

A magically created (or otherwise resisted) thing can interpose itself so that a magus cannot then move through it. This is what lets a magus walk on a conjured bridge.

If the resisted thing is then moved in such a way that it would end up where the magus is, then it either does not move or it moves the magus in a way that is not harmful for the magus.

So the invisible giant can wrap his arms around the magus and trap him, but cannot squeeze and do damage. If the invisible giant then moves, the magus may be required to move with him - though in most cases the magus would likely simply slip out.

If a magus is encased completely within a conjured stone box and the box is moved, the magus gets moved with the box. Unhurt, but moved.

If a magus is standing upon a large disc that gets levitated into the air, the magus goes up with the disc. When the disc then vanishes, the magus falls in a very mundane way.

This has to work, or magic carpets and flying castles don't. :slight_smile:

Because this also means things like a 100-year-old Bjornaer magus with a bear Heartbeast and a longevity ritual is less of a physical threat to a being with magic resistance (greater than 10 or so) than is an apprentice Bjornaer who has finished the Ritual of Twelve Years and has a trout Heartbeast. It also means most non-Bjornaer magi who shapeshift into a bear are more of a threat than that Bjornaer with the bear Heartbeast.

Except that you bring it up right here to make it on-topic:

This interpretation is specifically the interpretation that the Pink Dot defense is valid.

Falling in a very mundane way, means +1 damage/2 feet of falling distance. Your phrasing isn't clear to me.

A Magus with Longevity Ritual is under a constant mystical effect. Does this mean the attack of its natural weapon (Bjornaer in Bear form) is resisted? What is with the Pharma Magica? Is this also a mystical effect that is resisted? And Warping Points and Twilight scares? Where is the border Line?

Keep in mind the context of the reply. Callen was replying to this statement, by Lucky Mage.

If you can pink dot a sword, and give it an active magical effect that must penetrate, then that particular line of reasoning means that a magus under a Longevity Ritual using a natural attack must also penetrate. Basically, callen was making a statement that Lucky Mage's statement was missing a pretty important implication.

You have to adjudicate it a bit for your saga, and make some exceptions to the active magical effect rule, things like the LR on a magus. That obviously doesn't add any advantage to combat, so a magus brawling while under an LR doesn't need to penetrate. Callen might be able to give you a better line of logic on working through what does and doesn't need to penetrate, he's a pretty smart cookie.