Parma Magica

Missed the search-button for this topic ^^ ...


Why is it a 'problem' to bind parma magica in a spell?

A magus may expand his own parma magica to others as long as they stay in his 'line of sight'


why not invent a spell (or a ritual) to cast parma magica on other persons ?

There must be some hindrance - but I can't find it in the rules ...

Just give me a hint please ^^


Parma is not a spell, it is recognized as the single Hermetic Breakthrough in the past 450 years. So just based on that, you can understand that it is not exactly straight forward.
And the closest equivalent to a Parma spell is Aegis of the Hearth, which is a Major Breakthrough done by Notatus, the first Primus of the Bonisagus house (after Bonisagus himself none the less). According to RAW, it does not exactly follow the hermetic theory/limit because such a broad application.

I agree with you, there is nothing which says "You cannot cast a Parma spell". There is a good reason for that: there are no guidelines, because it is impossible in the current state of Hermetic theory.

To expand on that, Parma is an effective protection against any supernatural abilities (except divine powers backed up by His Will).
If you look at all the other Vim spell, especially Perdo Vim spell, you will see that to be remotely effective, they need to be rather specific. Compare Wind of Mundane Silence against Unravel the Fabric of (Form) and notice what spell level they can affect. It is also specified that if you want to affect non hermetic spells, you need to design a Perdo Vim specific to a Realm and an ability. Example: PeVi against Infernal Entrancement, or PeVi against Faerie Curse.

And Parma magica is offering you a protection against everything in a neat little package, without even need for casting. Far beyond the scope of a single spell.

I could see ReVi against specific form the same way PeVi exists, but a single ritual... not without a Breakthrough. There is an excellent example of 6 breakthrough related to Parma Magica in HoH: True Lineage, obviously in the Bonisagus chapter. They are called "Fold", each of them presenting an improvement or a variant to the current Parma.

If you feel generous, you might consider allowing MuVi spell to expand the reach or effectiveness of a Parma the same ways there are spells to boost other spells. But it should requires at least some original research and breakthrough. Personnally, I like the uniqueness of Parma and would not even consider than in my saga, but up to you.

You also have to consider the implication of a spell duplicating the Parma effect: why other magical tradition could not emulate something similar ? Infernal with their False Power, Faerie with their Pretense and so on.
Then in this case, the uniqueness of the Parma disappear and the dominion hermetic magi have on all other traditions will disappear too. It might be time for retribution...
If you introduce such drastic element in your saga, it will be a major aspect of it and could be either the doom of the order or the dawn of a broader Order.

The Parma is a ritual which must be performed by an individual with the Gift. So, while you could teach someone how to perform the Parma ritual, unless they have the Gift, they're going to have a problem

The Parma is Bonisagus' first (and some say greatest) Breakthrough, which allowed for the creation of the Order. As such, it's a special ability. Houses of Hermes: True Lineages talks about breakthroughs with the Parma, and Legends of Hermes talks about it some, as well. Alterations to it are Hermetic Breakthroughs-- the most difficult to achieve. The big deal about the Parma in Ars is that only Hermetic magi have it. I'm sure whole sagas have been run on the idea of a group of rogue magi who try to break from the Order and spread the knowledge of the Parma to other supernatural practicioners.

Now, nothing prevents you from making it work differently in your saga, but you're suggesting a modification of arguably one of the most (if not the most potent) tools in the Hermetic kit, one where the wizard could simply share it with someone beyond their immediate presence. Depending on your implementation, that could expand the Order's capabilities quite a bit, providing a layer of protection to Redcaps and companions, even grogs, who could then face other supernatural forces with a layer of protection they don't currently have.


Objection: Breakthroughs related to the Parma can be of any level. For example, the Aegis is Major, the Arma Magica are six hypothetical Major Breakthroughs, and Parmulae are a hypothetical Minor Breakthrough.

But yeah, fully integrating the Parma is at least a Hermetic Breakthrough.

My Maga (a Bonisagus of course :wink:), is working on such a major breakthrough.

It is her 'driving goal', one of her personality flaws to try to invent a spell 'like' the parma magica ritual.

It may take years or her hole life of research - but maybe one day she might manage it - IF it is possible at all.

My gamemaster and I just want your opinion, so 'thank you' for more postings here.

I believe in you. My philosophy is that almost anything is possible with the power of [strike]friendship[/strike] / [strike]faith[/strike] / [strike]being a Player Character[/strike] the all-encompassing overpowered-ness of Hermetic magic, in terms of both original power and the speed with which it can steal other peoples' goodies and create its own unique goodies from nowhere.

Don't worry, if you put in the time and effort to achieve it, it's pretty freaking difficult to stop a (your) magus from achieving their (your) goal.

A better question might be... Why? Why does your character want the Parma Magica to be a spell?

The Parma Magica, existing as it does now, has the following advantages that it would lose if it became a spell:

  1. Doesn't cause Warping, no matter how long you have it active and, for purposes of Parma sharing, no matter how high the granted MR (a spell might Warp as a "powerful effect")

  2. Can't be dispelled by Unravelling the Fabric of Vim

  3. I imagine the big advantage you're looking for here is tying Parma to the Arts, as that would allow huge amounts of MR for individual magi. However, it will take up vast quantities of vis if, along with setting up the Aegis, everybody also wants to give themselves large year-long Parma Magicas. Not necessarily a negative on its own, though it might have weird side effects like the net power of the Order going down (a LOT of vis going toward's something that gives magi strong defense but doesn't help them actually do anything) and vis-rich covenants having more incentive to put together a collective excuse to declare War against other covenants for resources they wouldn't be able to survive protecting.

  4. Rogue magi can't make permanent Parma Magica items for the Order's enemies (considered a relevant issue with Parmulae as well, but at least those cap at providing MR 30)

  5. Magi solving their issues through War (and possibly Certamen) would become excessively difficult with the heightened Parma scores and magi who are known not to use the strongest Parma spells they can manage would be subject to Certamen bullying, and everybody who did have the strong Parma would be locked in constant stalemates. There'd probably need to be a full-scale political re-evaluation for this reason alone, not to mention all the other large changes to Order life.

I'm not saying you necessarily shouldn't do this, but just keep in mind that every pro has a con.

No, but Winds of Mundane Silence can do it.


If your Wind of Mundane Silence (which only works on effects at half its own effect level) both Penetrates their Parma Magica and overcomes its effect level (is there a rule for calculating that? I assume it's equal to either the Parma Magica skill or the Parma Magica skill x5) then their Parma Magica probably wouldn't have been relevant against any other spell you cast on them anyway. :laughing: Though your point is true. I'm just wondering exactly how much it affects my own point.

That point seemed to suggest (to me) that a PeVi effect wouldn't drop the Parma, while WoMS says it explicitly:

that's all. I just wanted to clarify that the Parma could be affected by a PeVi effect (and in fact, that could be a source of breakthrough points, studying how to take apart the Parma).


Ben, you're behind times.
Effects to dispel the Parma have been published in both Magi of Hermes and Contested Isle. Possibly in Hermetic Projects as well, I forget.

And yet LuckyMage is right*. It can't currently be dispelled by Unravelling the Fabric of Vim, as it could have been if it was reduced to a Vim spell (like it was in the 1st edition), it requires another, seperate spell, or a WoMS, which finds it hard to have both level and penetration.
This is an advantage, as Unravelling the Fabric of Vim is not that uncommon a spell I find.

If you have a goal like that, then yes, it will be possible. As I said, however, it's probably a Hermetic Breakthrough, not a Major, to make Parma into a flexible spell guideline (Aegis was Major for several reasons, among them not being fully integrated into Hermetic magic).

LuckyMage's questions do raise good points, but it's not either-or. Having the ability to create Parma spells and having knowledge of the Parma ritual are not exclusive, and each of the two has different uses. For example, House Mercere would collectively lick your maga's feet to get a guideline that they could put into magic items for Redcaps.

...and yes, Parma-as-a-spell would lead to an arms race and, once the changes it caused became apparent, an earthquake in Order politics. That is not a reason for an obsessed maga Bonisagus to not develop such a guideline. Stories are good.

Finally, I'd just say that your character doesn't have to have a reason for wanting to make a particular breakthrough. The ideal maga Bonisagus will climb a theoretical mountain because it's there to be climbed; if she actually has a plan for what she wants to use it for, that's just a bonus. (One character of mine, sadly from a failed saga, was hoping to develop a Breakthrough in part because it had the potential to knock the Order sideways, but that's her.)

I did say that I wasn't trying to convince her not to go for the Breakthrough. I was just suggesting that she consider the consequences, and perhaps more importantly, how her character feels about those potential consequences. "I don't care, if I'm able to accomplish it then I just should!" is an absolutely fine response, but it's still important to keep in mind those feelings, if only because they'll have a large effect on her tone when discussing the subject with other people.

Stereotypical magi have hilariously and surprisingly bad foresight, in light of their life expectancy, so while magi still have the option of using the old Parma, the number of magi who abandon the old Parma in favor of this more powerful, Art-based version will be significant enough that the consequences I listed are worth keeping in mind, even if a significant fraction of magi will keep a good perspective and know when to use each kind of Parma Magica.

Ah... Dat political backlash, though. I wish you much luck in your game! None of the magi in the (admittedly only two) sagas I've played in have ever tried anything nearly that ambitious, so I expect big things. :smiley:

Not at all, I'm familiar with Concietta's Knife, but just wanted to show an example from the base PeVi guidelines, because, like I'd said, to me, it seemed like point 2 suggested one couldn't destroy the Parma with a spell using them, that's all.


... that is assuming that the new guidelines coming out of this breakthrough allow for a more powerful magical resistance. After all, the breakthrough could be that the level of a Parma spell is "Confer a magical resistance of 1 or 2 per magnitude of the Parma spell" and if it is a ritual similar to Aegis of the Hearth (which is not a strech considering that the Parma spell is a portable Aegis), it would be even more situational because of the virtus cost, the warping and the inability to lower it to benefit from healing spells and other useful effect, and a Ritual effect cannot be enchanted...

It still would be relevant for non-Parma trained person, but of limited interest for any magus with a decent Parma.

IMHO, to keep thing interesting, the new Parma spell should only be better than the Parma skill in some limited circumstances for a magus. Like in preparation of a major fight, with a Sun or Moon duration (for a Wizard's War), and to increase it's effectiveness possibly tweaked against only one Realm of supernatural abilities (such variant could grant a MR 50% or 100% higher than the regular Parma spell).

Just to say that there are many ways that a Parma spell discovery could be designed, with a range of consequence going from Order collapsing, to political use to win unwinnable Wizard's War, to make Mercere house very grateful (or dependant if the secret of the Parma spell can only be shared through mystery initiation), Verditius house even richer by selling/granting it to powerful mundane allies (sales of enchanted items is limited, but what about being paid to cast a ritual...).

Nah. Parma as an Ability already has plenty of advantages (Warping, harder to dispel). The only thing I'd object to is stacking the two; with that caveat, I think that at the cutting edge, offense will still be ahead of defense. (And if it isn't, then the Flambeau schools focusing on mundane steel and Rego Terram will become more popular.)

Hi there,

I´m the storyguide of SodalaNorica. So far I assumed that the advantage of parma magica as a spell would be an avoidance of the negative consequences if you protect another person with a parma. If you cast parma magica as a spell, you´d not be limited to one person per point in the parma ability and you´d be permitted to leave sighting distance to the protected and you wouldn´t have to reduce your own parma by 3.

In my eyes the effect could demand a ritual and it is possible that the base level of the spell would be quite high. Thus you´d not cast a spell like this upon every peasant.

Is it a sensible idea?


If that's the intention here, maybe a Major (or even Minor!) Breakthrough to create a Ritual that prevents the power from dropping when split and negating the "stay in sight" requirement would be better. Whether it's strong or weak, Parma as a spell will have far more effects than just allowing easier Parma sharing in the Order. And, really, anything a Hermetic magus can tie to their Arts is pretty much guaranteed to come out stronger than it was pre-transition. (Ex: Every example of Integration in HMRE and Ancient Magic) So it'll probably cause an arms race and a political frenzy, as mentioned. Having a spell that bolsters and maintains the Parma's shared power regardless of distance for the Parma Magica's full duration... That's actually pretty interesting. I mean it still allows rogue magi to give Parma to the Order's enemies without them being instantly found out, but other than that it avoids most of the extra things and gets what you want out of it.

So, to answer. Easy sharing is a part of the sensible outcome of a Parma Magica integration, but it's far, far away from being the only one. Making spells that can fundamentally affect the Parma Magica might be more what you're looking for, and would be easier Breakthroughs to boot if the character then wants to go the rest of the way in making Parma Magica a spell.

Yes, LuckyMage, I understand.

I´m not sure, if the aspects I mentioned are complete. Maybe SodalaNorica has more in her mind. And while I understand you, your proposal is no solution for SodalaNoricas problem. It´s not only a question of: "Is it possible to research a parma-spell?", it´s the quest for meaning and fame in the experimentation-field of her Bonisagus-activities.

If I replace her breakthrough-idea by lesser things you´re able to invent by normal laboratory-activities, her special Bonisagus-meaning-of-life is shattered, I suppose.

I hope SodalaNorica will say something more about this.


Okay. It's a big spankin' Hermetic Breakthrough life goal. As long as you're willing to SG the number and magnitude of things that will happen, go ahead and let it. I'm just trying to present ideas and things to keep in mind; sorry if I've come off as, like, arrogant or something.

No, no! You don´t sound arrogant or something like that. No problem!

I only say that a change in SodalaNoricas plans is not only a question of the rules, it would mean she had to change her "big goal", too.

One more question: Why does it require a hermetic breakthrough? A parma-spell is similar to the "Aegis of the hearth". "Aegis of the hearth" is already incorporated in the hermetic system, because it is "RegoVim". So, a parma-spell could be seen as present "in the existing framework of Hermetic magic", and would qualify as a minor breakthrough. Or is it a major breakthrough? In the description of "Aegis of the hearth" the invention of the spell is called "major breakthrough" and you can find the sentence: "Inventing a version with different parameters, [...] would require a similar breakthrough". I think to use T:Ind instead of T:Bound is not comparable with breaking a lesser limit of magic, so why does a parma-spell require a hermetic breakthrough?

Thanks for your help.