Piercing Lance (Vim) - Spell for Moderation

CrVi 25 - Touch | Mom | Ind | - Piercing Lance (Vim)
Creates a Shell of Magic that carries vim effects of up to level 25 through magic resistance. The target(s) of the carried spell needs to resist this effect’s penetration instead of the one of the spell being carried. The effect is only effective for the duration for which the shell is intact. For reasons not yet well understood, the shell needs to take form over the carried spell as it comes into effect.
(Touch +1 | Mom +0 | Ind +0 | Base 25 (general +1)


I) not sure the guideline does that - will have to ruminate on that

II) Wouldn't it be easier to just use PeVi to smash the target's Parma?

Agreed this is venture use of the guidelines. As for smashing parma, in my paradigm, a normal PeVi does not suffice. You need to target all the forms at once as WoMS does which isn't easy either...

I guess that other answers are

● that the magus is CrVi oriented not PeVi
● it affects all creatures with resistance
● it all happens in the same round
● is more versatile as can help effects of othe magus if range is augmented to voice


If you invoke a personal paradigm, I'm afraid there's really nothing much anyone here (or anywhere else) can contribute with - we can only offer thoughts and suggestions based on the official paradigm, or in some cases, on people's own, local, paradigms.
The official word is that PeVi can bring down Parma Magica. Much as I dislike that ruling, we see it the MoH, p. 31 and even more clearly in HP, p. 85 (Break the Shield). I think it was even used in Hibernea as well, but that book is in another room :slight_smile:

Perfectly valid argument.

To my mind, no.
At a minimum, I'd require seperate versions for seperate Realms.
Possibly Parma Magica as it's own seperate special case. But that's really a matter for your troupe to decide. :-/

You're still casting 2 spells, surely?
One to tunnel through the resistance and one to actually take effect.

However you're doing that (Fast Casting or whatnot), surely I can use the same method to cast a version of Break the Shield to bring down his shield and target him with my desired effect?

...and I could have a R: Sight version of Break the Shield. Have I missed a point somewhere?

Oh boy the order is falling...

I haven't taken a look @ HP yet but if parma has been rendered a 2nd rate magical protection ( and I believe you that they officially did it in HP) then the Break the Shield effect is much superior to the effect we're discussing here.

Still, if we assume that the order is not about to fall, both effects can't be well regarded within the order. I'd even go as far as to say that Break The Shield is reserved for well regarded hoplites and Guernicus as it can only be used against the order while Percing Lance would be popular within the ill reputated Creo specialists.

Ah downfall posponed for now :slight_smile:


About the realm restrictions, we usually require one restriction level either by form or by realm but requiring both levels of restrictions just makes it too narrow for game play. We use the same logic for all vim effects as a houserule.

When I reffered to all happening at the same time, I was taking about supporting another magus that has the effect we need but no penetration and canot cast WC for a strange reason... but BtS is just better if the target is a hermetic wizard that doesn't have a strong familiar.


In fairness, unless the target has a fairly weak parma, a rego mentem spell to force the target to suppress their parma is lower level than the level of break the shield you'd need to take down the parma ( i.e. easier to penetrate with). Rego mentem has always been an option.

Also a mere five experience points to master wind of mundane silence, break the shield or some other dispelling magic for defense makes break the shield exceptionally difficult to penetrate with..

I think that having the option of developing a specific spell to take down parma magica with does not go so far as to make it a second rate defense.

Breaking the Shield is also Touch range, and it's unlikely that any magus is going to let another magus touch him while making Hermetic gestures and speaking in Latin (especially obvious words and gestures that say Perdo Vim spell incoming). Going silent and still requires some combination of the three: sacrificing up to 15 penetration, spending up to 30 xp for mastery, or appropriate virtues.

So presuming it's cast with voice and gestures, there's probably going to some be dodging and brawling rolls involved AND the magus casting might need to make a concentration roll to keep everything going. Change it to Voice to get past this problem and you make it more difficult for the spell to be cast.

Yes to all those points but I think we all agree that the parma was the stepping brick that allowed the order to be founded on and a such a bit sacred to most members of the order.

I visualize the Bonisagus that made the minor breakthrough in his lab to create BtS standing up and saying: "Yes! I've finally done it!!!" and then in the 2nd taught "What have I done!?"

I also agree that he was probably under a memtem effect to think about making this research :wink:

Suffice to say that if we admit it exists, there are two options. The 1st one being the one I already talked about above. The 2nd being that all magi know it as part of their apprenticeship and have mastered it to defend against it. Order is saved once again!

You guys are making the order shake (atleat in my mind) during my vacations :wink:


I can easily see that learning break the shield or this creo vim spell (I should look at the creo vim spell I haven't really yet) will not only fail to make you friends but also make everyone you know once they hear of the action regard you with more suspicion.

Problem with this sort of artificial "social" constraints are the same as with those "restricted" CrCo or CrMe rituals in HoH: TL.
Namely that they require no secret knowledge beyond magic theory. No virtue or specific mystery, meaning they can be re-created from first principles by any magus with basic training in bonisagian theory.

...assuming these effects are possible at all, and not simply veto'ed by the troupe.

Well I'm sure that a PeVi spell that puts down the mighty parma that is not a ritual nor a formulaic hermetic effect but something in-between required some effort to create...

More hoping than being sure :wink:


No, it didn't, or didn't as of the main rule book. Whether the spell existed

Well requiring "double" is enough to keep the order afloat.

What drills holes according to me is allowing ==level of PeVi with no requisite & keep it as a vanilla formulaic spell that required to research at all to create. Bonisagus must have turned in his twilight tomb when that poped-up.


I'm not overly joyed about Break the Shield and this new use of the guideline either. The Perdo Vim guideline it is based on is "dispel a specific type of magic" where it needs to specify 'magic system' (e.g. Hermetic, or Gruagach) and 'type' (like a Hermetic Form per RAW or IMHO a specific Vitkar rune). I never thought to include Parma Magica in this, although a similar guideline per RAW used for Winds of Mundane Silence. I don't mind this feature in WoMS since it is fairly difficult to pull off. But it seems to me that Break the Shield makes it too easy. Ys, I know that Resistance Mastery in this spell makes it hard to pull off, but IMHO that can lead to an 'arms race'.

However done is done, and the use of the guideline for Break the Shield can be ignored if need be. Or the Troupe can make a gentleman agreement to not use it freely. Reserve it for an über villain, make the fact that he uses something so vile count for something, I see great stories with a renegade magus and the Order valiantly struggling to snuff him out. And if a dedicated Hoplite or just an opportunistic magic trying to win reknown dares to use it, he has an edge in the fight, but risks social consequences afterwards. Bad reputation, paranoia, Quaesitorial investigation etc.

Let's look at revoke the protection of Bonisagus (Contested Isle p 62) which is the voice range version of the spell.

level of the spell +10 + a stress die has to exceed the target's parma

for a target with parma one and a vim score less than 5 dispelling isn't a problem but you'd penetrate with pretty much anything anyway. You revoke the protection at level 3 or 4 and you need to have penetration of like seven with it. It's trivial.

Parma 3 and vim of five you still can get by with a level 5 version of the spell but you need a penetration of 20. That means a casting total + penetration of 25. That's not negligible -for example creo 6, vim 6, 3 for an applicable virtue (like method caster), one level of spell mastery (in defense), stamina 3, and penetration skill of 3, then use confidence to ensure you get 5 from the die roll would be enough- but it's not any big deal either.

Parma 5 and vim 8. You need to get 33 penetration. A spell of level 12 will work 4 out of 5 times so you need casting total + penetration of 45. An example character might have 5 for the die roll, 3 for stamina, 3 for an applicable virtue, 4 for penetration and we've got 30 more points to make perhaps a talisman attunement for 3 and arts of 11 and 16. This is not something a dabbler could do.

Thinking further every additional level of parma requires an additional ten points of casting total (5 for the spell level 5 for the penetration). Parma 6 requires a real expert and parma seven would be very tough, even for an expert, without a magical focus.

Looking at that my reaction is that yes, it's a bit on the strong side, it would be better if the spell were slightly weaker (requiring one more magnitude, i.e. spell level +5 rather than spell level +10) but as it is it isn't horribly broken.

Worse than I imagined.

Any two apprentice can learn a level 20 and kill an arch magus using but a few pawns of vis that they created themselves!

The time of the apprentice kings has arrived!!!

Seriously, there are tons of means to get that penetration total up (Talisman, vis, mastery, etc).

Oh my god! BtS + multiple casting mastery.

The perifical code should have provisions to ban this spell... probably has since the last few "incidents".


When has this ever not been the case? If you can't kill someone with a level 20 spell then you're not thinking about it very hard.

I don't see how that would be especially useful (even ignoring the fact that BtS is range touch). Do you want to take down the parmas of multiple magi at once? The success roll is spell level + simple die you can't spam it hoping to get a multiple 1 die roll to achieve success. You can't take down a parma a little bit at a time with this guideline it is a boolean success /failure thing.

The rest of this post feels much more combative and adversarial than I actually feel. Apologies in advance. We don't actually disagree strongly. It's just that getting into the nitty gritty details can seem like lecturing and I don't have the eloquence to make it more friendly

Let's look at what our apprentices need to do to take down a parma 6 vim 10 archmage's parma. Their spell (again assuming the range voice alternative) needs to be level 20 to be certain of success and they need a penetration of 40.

They have a stamina of +3

Do they want to do wizard's communion? I'd say that this would be inconvenient unless they are using opening the intanngible tunnel or some similar spell. If they do use an arcane connection spell they need to penetrate with that as well meaning that their rego would need to be as good as their perdo and they'd need to expend the same amount of vis again and they give the archmagus something to dispel to protect himself (WOMS is target room they don't even need to cast invisible eye revealed).

Lets say that in addition to focusing on stamina they put a great deal into penetration and have penetration 6 (perhaps skilled mentor and affinity penetration of a lot of xp and puissant penetration).

They could spend four seasons one getting vis one opening a device for enchantment, a third attuneinng the item as a talisman and a fourth instilling an effect in order to open up an relevant attunement. What attunement would be best is there even a good shape material bonus that applies to removing parma. I think that there is a +3 to vim somewhere let's use that (attunements do not stack)

In addition to the penetration virtue lets give them another virtue relevant to the spell perhaps beneficial circumstances or method caster or cyclic magic for an additional +3

Lets give them two levels of mastery for 15 xp -three seasons of practice or perhaps a season of practice and a quality 10 text (that took a season worth of work to acquire so three seasons either way).
(2 points casting total and two more penetration for penetration mastery)

We'll include a few pawns of vis lets say three for a +9 to their casting score

Aura is going to be the same for both the apprentice and the archmagus so its a wash

The apprentice needs a casting total + penetration of 60 they've got 28 so far add in 3 for confidence and 2 for a die roll, they still need to have 27 levels in the arts to have a good chance of pulling down the Archmagus' parma. That's a few more years worth of work. And now magus a can take down the Archmagus' parma and magus b can use the opening provided to assassinate the magus.

And it only took two to four years of study of arts and penetration, a year to create a silly one dimensional talisman, a rook of vis or more. three seasons spent studying spell mastery, a season or two to learn or invent the spell, and a few minor virtues. Now perhaps it might make more sense to use more vis (and get more botch dice) to reduce the investment. Even so this doesn't seem bad to me. If you have a young magus who wants to invest a few years into getting a single chance to assassinate philipus niger that could be a great story. Archmagi are specifically the targets where it makes more sense to go another route than tearing down the parma. The costs of parma dispelling rise faster than the cost to increase parma.

With an arcane connection and a few sympathetic connections you could do it much more easily, but if you have an arcane connection and some sympathetic connections you don't actually need to take down the parma to penetrate so this becomes a pointless exercise (or I guess even more pointless).

And the Archmagus still has form bonuses... And the ability to unlease his multiple cast spell that can penetrate the parma of the apprentices with ease.


Just to push this a bit further, do you think that a formulaic spell of PeVi or ReVi could remove the MR granted by the familiar? Using the same guideline and say adding a duration to the effect so that the MR does not return the next round. We would call it "Revoke the Protection of Merinita"