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

"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?


It's a funny thing that either deserves no response or a thread of its own, posted here because it's come up.

When I first found AM, too long ago in the way back when, I was attracted primarily to the magic system more than the setting.

That perspective has reversed over time, even more than my general shift in preference from heavier to lighter game systems. I don't know (to the point of this thread) what finicky rules for MR and Parma really get me, other than an opportunity to post to thread like this one. Rather than another round of further clarification, I'd rather have much, much, much simpler rules.

Just grumping, I guess.



This is the statement I use, trying to keep things simple as Ovarwa said:

I don't think it quite fits canon, but it's pretty close and works well for me. It's a fairly simple statement and lets me figure out things like the current question very quickly. It also allows for other stuff that seems reasonable, like two magi under longevity rituals or with familiars or with talismans can actually touch each other. There are instances in the books where it seems to be assumed that magi with active longevity rituals/familiars/talismans are assumed to be able to bypass magic resistance with their hands, even though those magi are magically enchanted.

I thought this had been covered in one or more of the supplements, to be honest.

Opening for enchantment does not imply an ongoing or active magical effect.

An enchantment in a weapon that has not been activated does not imply an ongoing or active magical effect.

The Sometimes-Invisible wolf can sneak up and bite the magus regardless of Parma Magica AS LONG AS the Sometimes-Invisible Wolf IS NOT CURRENTLY USING its invisibility power (or any other power). That is has Might is irrelevant. That is has the potential and power to become invisible at will is also irrelevant.

Thanks for the all the replies everyone :slight_smile:

I like the simple answer of suppressing magic, allowing mundane things to pass, makes my life easier.


Off topic, but why not? I've been fiddling on and off with finishing the last period I started for Janus.

I'm not sure I understand you, and thus that you understood me :confused:

What I meant is:
Is the sword under an effect that could be dispelled, should a WoMS be cast on it?
If yes, it'll be resisted.

This is the same as Mark Lawford's wolf example above: The invisibility could be dispelled, thus, if it is invisible, the wolf is resisted.

Of course, this is just a first level of response, that doesn't answer all the cases. The fact that there's nothing that would be dispelled just means "look further"

The biggest drawback of this is that it is inconsistent: Sometimes the magic is dispelled, sometimes it is repelled. Which means the GM has to work out each case, as well as its possible abuses.

A variant that I like works by analogy with vampires, in that, in fictions, weaknesses that would repell/destroy weak ones will be ignored, or just impede, stronger vampires.
Likewise, the Parma is a "bane" to magic.
=> Weak spells (say, lvl 10 and lower) are dispelled by the Parma. Stronger ones are repelled.

You're saying if there's an active effect it should be resisted, if it were subject to WoMS. What about an item enchanted with an effect, but it isn't active? That's kind of where this started, or at least it's prepared for enchantment, the next question is, ok, I have Blade of the Virulent Flame in it, is it resisted while I don't have the effect active? IMO, it shouldn't be resisted if an effect isn't active. Putting it another way, WoMS doesn't really answer the question of whether an item is resisted if an enchantment isn't active.