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


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.

Eh, you have to make that decision anyway, right? How I decide that is no different than how it's normally decided. For example, if someone casts invisibility on you, then MR counters/dispels it, while if something invisible strikes you, MR repels instead. Where I differ from canon is different: I have it hold away the magic but not the mundane it's attached to.

okay, but would an invisible arrow be repelled? invisibility has no direct affect on you once struck by the arrow, but it is an effect which certainly grants an advantage in combat of not being able to tell where the arrow was launched from...(of course it also makes it harder to adjust fire...)

Oh, I will finish the 75-90 period. I just haven't gotten to it yet.

I have a couple of grand desert-sailing effects on the drawing board for Janus, plus some Familiar enchantments (I think). But not enough to fill all 15 years.

Please do! I really didn't mean to end the project like that.

that was the problem I was forseeing as well.

I thought my statement had made that pretty clear:

I think it is a bigger problem that someone decent at PeVi, for example, could make an invisibility spell and master it with Fast Casting, Multiple Casting, and Resistance to protect themselves from nearly any attack. For example, Magus Now-You-See-Me has just such a combination. He's facing another magus with a shield grog and a pet wolf. The opposing magus shoots a Pilum of Fire, the shield grog fires an arrow, and the wolf lunges for a bit. Now-You-See-Me makes the fire, the arrow, and the wolf all invisible and they bounce off his Parma Magica. That one spell can work against nearly any attack, just like coloring everything pink. So defenses like turning everything coming at you pink or invisible are far superior to defenses like Unraveling the Threads of (Form), or that deflection spell I can't find right now, spells that are actually designed for this purpose and reasonably so. Why? Because invisibility and painting things pink are so universal that you can handle things like a fire, an arrow, and a wolf biting all with the same spell.

Speaking of PeIm...
So, I can turn my weapon invisible, making it hard (but not impossible) to defend from, and (under this interpretation), it will not be blocked by MR?
I think I actually prefer the Pink Dot to be honest.

IOS, the storyguide will question the motivation of the player/npc, and if that "Now you see me" magus is the reason, it will not work, but generally invisibility used to hit without being seen will not work.

To be more clear, the "now you see me magus" would be doomed of start, the SG would not allow it.

Other than this, we share callen's solution.

If this is an answer to my post above, could you please elaborate? I'm not sure I understand your answer.
If it was not aimed at me, never mind.

Eh, even with the pink dot allowed, I can set things up so I have an invisible weapon until it's realistically too late for you to defend against well and yet visible when it hits you so that it bypasses MR. I'm not saying my method is perfect or anything, just that the statements are relatively straightforward and don't allow for the pink dot.


I'll try but to be honest I'm not sure what I have not explained clearly (asides the fact that my English may be far from perfect ^^).

In our saga we decided that you cannot use a pink dot defense. Pink dot being "any easy magic you apply with the only purpose of the [whatever is dangerously coming for your life] to fail against your parma/magic resistance due to the fact that this easy magic will have no penetration".
We also decided that if an effect is just a bonus (for example sword on fire) then the sword could still hit, but if the effect is a big part of the situation (for example: the sword is magically created) it would be resisted (if RM > pen, of course but that's the basic premise of this discussion).

Callen's gave the example of invisibily in his post, and an invented magus "Now you see me" who would have an invisibility spell he would have masteries: MR, FC and MC.
He says that to counter that, the "invisibility" is considered a bonus, thus the magus Now you see me is not very lucky with his "overal perfect" defensive technique.

In our saga, we specifically consider invisibility (or anything who would allow for an attack to happen without a defense roll or any chance to fastcast against hit if you fail the awareness/whatever roll [which for invisibility is quite impossible to spot unless you have second sigt]) to be something which is resisted.

It is specifically the case of a NPC which is permanently invisible but render himself visible the (less than a round) time it requires him to hit. In roleplaying description: the blade becomes visible for a brief time and then hit, then invisible again.

If the NPC (or any one obviously) could remain invisible, mundane assassins would be the most fearsome danger for magi, because they could hide anywhere when the magi could not allow to be seeing the invisibility at any time (for different reasons: fear of warping, inability to do it, too high invisibility level to match with an InIm spell, etc.).

Since we decide that you cannot defend (even with fast cast or lightning reflex) from something you have absolutely zero chances to spot, it would mean for the average NPC an average attack total of: 12 (skill+charac+weapon) + 5 (fatigue spent... you want to kill the magus in one hit) + roll attack (average 5.5 let's not delve into botch and 1' rerolls) + dmg (let's say 7) which mean: 30 dmg vs a soak.

Since magi are only in armour while they expect danger, do not usually ward themselves against metal (because armour is bothering, because they use magic item made of metal, because they are walking on metal...), we can assume a full soak of 10 + dice. Which means that our average warrior (and if that was the setting, the warrior who would be sent to that magus is not an average guy, but someone with +3 or more weapon, with at least 7 or 8 in the skill etc. thus having largely more than 30 dmg in his first attack) will probably heavy wound the magus or incapacited him in the first round.

If heavy wounded, the magus cannot really ripost: he still cannot see the foe and even if he has defensive spells, he is wounded badly. If he has no defensive spells, he cannot escape spontaneously because he cannot fatigue anymore.
If he is incapacited, he is dead in the next round.

Forcing the blade to become visible to strike (which may, in the most cases, mean that the attacker needs to recast/re-use his invisibility spell thus losing the 2d round) gives a chance for an awareness check and fast cast response, or if you have lightning reflex, the use of the virtue itself (you sense, and must react before the SG says what happens).

Additionaly, I was saying that "Now you see me magus" would not be allowed by the various SG's (due to the alpha SG veto-ing this concept) for NPC or PC. The reasons would be among those:

  • pink dot is not a good defense in principle (callen's explanation)
  • purpose of invisibility is not to protect oneself against incoming attack
  • you cannot use a spell with fastcast (often required to prevent an attack by arrow you didn't know was coming for example) and multicast in the same round (I think that this is just RAW in fact)

Since no player would create a magus concept the SG would just ignore, nobody would do the magus, thus the "paradox" (invisibility is not a pink dot thing - vs - now you see me magus use it as a pink dot defense) never exist.

Is this perfect/logically perfect/"magically perfect"? no.
Is this playable and undertandable? yes.

(And I think Ars being a game, the latter is preferable to the former.)

Can players abuse it? certainly.
Does the SG allow abuses? never. Try it and you will lose your character without warning. The game is a contract of fair entertainment between us. If I want to abuse, I play a solo PC game... until the point it is boring :wink:.

I hope it made my position clearer?

Thank you!
That was a significant wall of text, that'll probably take me a bit to digest. English isn't my native language either, you have my sympathies.
What I've noticed so far, was a lot of previously unspoken assumption, which is probably why your previous statement made no sense to me, thank you for clearing that up.

It certainly did - or will, when I've digested all of that.

To me, that just seems like an argument for allowing the pink dot - nothing is gained by forbidding it.