Q: Would a sword opened for Enchantment be blocked by MR

Simple really - if a sword (or other weapon) is simply opened for Enchantment (or has effects which aren't triggered/active), would it be blocked by Magic Resistance?


It's debated!

It is indeed debated.

I am of the opinion that MR will protect from the full effect of the sword being opened for enchantment, but not at all from being hacked to death.

I am of the opinion that MR only blocks from effects in a magical sword, but not by the mundane properties of the sword. So, no.

This is the same with creatures with Might. MR blocks against any powers used, but not natural attacks.

Popular houserule, but not RAW.

Interestingly, this is RAW.

Technically, enchantment is a form of ritual magic, that can be dispelled through Perdo Vim; this includes the magic required to "open" an item. So, it stands to reason that Magic Resistance would block even an item that had been simply opened for enchantment.

However, if you take this stance, you have to answer the question: what's the Penetration with which you open for enchantment a weapon (something completely different from the Penetration of the individual effects you might later instill into it)? This is never specified in the game, which leads me to think that the spirit of the rules is that a "quiescent" enchantment is not affected by MR. Note that if the answer were 0, then forceful contact by the sword would always blocked by the least of MRs, regardless of the Penetration of its other powers.

I don't follow for two reasons:

  1. It's a magical laboratory process, and explicitly not all laboratory processes produce effects blocked by magic resistance. See Verditius Items of Quality (HoH:MC p.125).
  2. Magical beings can have their magic dispelled via Perdo Vim (Demon's Eternal Oblivion and its variants), yet their natural attacks are explicitly not resisted by magic resistance (as pointed out above).

So we know both creation via a magical laboratory process and destroyable via Perdo Vim are insufficient conditions to make something resisted by magic resistance.

Personally, I go with Christian Andersen's second comment and use it as justification for the first comment as part of an interpretation of magic resistance that lets me avoid pink dot problems.

"Magical enchantments are created through a type of ritual magic" (ArM5, p.96). Now, you could say that the ritual magic is temporary and the resulting, enduring effect not magical. But the fact that the resulting object can be detected as "magical" by InVi even in the absence of any active effects and, even more importantly, that it can be brought back to its "initial", completely mundane state by PeVi, strongly suggests to me that enchantment is really a form of ritual magic that affects the enchanted object for as long as it stays enchanted.

If that's the case, in principle a sword even just "opened" for enchantment should be blocked by Magic Resistance... just like a magus under the effect of a Longevity ritual, who should then have trouble punching any magic-resistant target. Does it work well in practice? No. Not at all, in my experience. So most troupes, including mine, "interpret it" or simply houserule it differently. But I think one should not confuse what the RAW says, with what's best for a game.

Not perfect, but a rule of thumb as a first guide: If someone casts a Wind of Mundane Silence at the sword, is something dispelled? If yes, it is subject to MR. If no, look further to make sure it ain't.

This is kinda consistent with how magical creatures operate: Their attacks are natural, but if they use a power to enhance them, they become resisted.

Consider the following. A magus uses a momentary CrAn(Vi) ritual to make a magical animal. This magical animal can be detected as magical by InVi even in the absence of any active effects. Magical animals can be rendered unmagical via PeVi, probably making them mundane animals though up to the SG on specifics (not sure what would happen to a griffon, but a magical eagle would likely become a mundane eagle). So this follows all you've said, yet the magical animal's natural attacks are explicitly not blocked by magic resistance.

So, again, I see where you're starting, but we can see that that does not lead to the conclusion that magic resistance blocks it.

I keep coming to the description tht magically propelled water will not knock over the maguc whose MR blocks it, but it will still get them wet.
If the enchanted sword (a natural object despite being enchanted) is swund by physical force and has nothing that enhances its ability to hit or do damage, why should MR protect against it any more than it protects you from getting wet?

An effect might be subject to being dispelled, but the entire item is still enchanted, so you still have the original question to answer. Even going to your own consistency example, a sword with a dispelled effect is still a sword...

Here's my take (which I'm quite fond of)

Page 85 of the core book tells us that magic resistance keeps magic away from the protected creature.
A sword that has been opened for enchantment but does not have any active magic on it is not magical by any reading of the situation that I find reasonable
ergo it isn't resisted.

Also, I googled for "enchanted sword" and "parma" from this site and here is what I found on the first page I'm sure there's lots of stuff here to entertain and inform, I wouldn't be surprised to find a similar list on google's second page, we've been here before.

(Just passing through, I've still not got my life to a point where I can regularly return to this forum (although finishing Andreva -the magical sword maga- has coincidentally been a metaphorical itch that I've been meaning to scratch for over a year.))

That's not quite the same; the object of enchantment does not go through a complete cycle.
a) Start with a mundane something.
b) Make it magical through some form of ritual magic.
c) Dispel the magic through PeVi so that it returns mundane, and one can start the cycle again at a).
Give an example where between stage b) and stage c) the "something" is not blocked by MR.

How about,
A magus with a longevity ritual.
A mundane person protected by someone else's parma

Ive already started to write an info page for Skyward Sword I told Tappy already, too.

Eh, you didn't specify it that way before, but it can be. I'll just change to CrTe:

CrTe ritual a bunch of rock to create an earth elemental. It can be detected as magical via InVi and it can be returned to normal rock again via PeVi. Its "fists" aren't blocked by magic resistance, though its powers are.

It's scary and disappointing that this remains in doubt after all this time.

Agreed. The AM5 core rules are generally clear and consistent but there are a few of these nagging issues that never receive any clarity from the publisher, even after ten years and dozens of published supplements. It's certainly not for want of player concern, as witnessed by the list of threads already devoted to the topic that Erik Tyrrell found.

I have wondered for quite a while if perhaps no one could write a really solid, clear set of guidelines that everyone would read the same way, and so they just decided to leave it as it was. If trying to fix it would leave it still broken, perhaps it would be better to just leave the current broken parts that everyone has gotten used to interpreting their own ways instead of throwing something new that still needs interpretation into the mix?