Question on penetration

Question. I am suyre it has been debated before, but just to be sure...

  1. I cast a Creo Aquam (muto) spell to create an ice sword (muto so it is strong as steel) for sun duration. My spare casting total is +21. OK so far.

  2. I hit a few mundanes with it and cause quite some damage on them. OK so far.

  3. Now I attack a magical snake with my Sun duration ice sword. The creature has a Might of 20.

  • Does my sword has a penetration of 21 so I can hit the snake right in the forehead?

  • Does mi sword has no penetration at all since the TARGET of the spell was the sword itself and so I can't affect the snake at all?

Just to be sure....


21 IMHO.

That's one of the advantages of magical swords vs mundane ones IMO: While they are resisted by MR, they have penetration, and thus can penetrate wards against metal.

Explain to me why this is so.

A high penetration BoAf does not ignore ward against heat and flames. Why should a high penetration CrTe sword creation spell ignore a ward versus metal?

Well, wards need to penetrate.
I just treat the penetration of magical steel as its might.

Yes. The sword has +21 Penetration, which means it can penetrate the snake's Might 20.

So if I cast a range touch duration diameter creo imagonem spell that makes my grog smell of garlc (level 3 so I get a huge penetration). I'm assuming that it won't act as might for him (give him magic resistance)?

Will it allow him to walk through a ward against humans if the garlic smell spell has greater penetration than the corpus ward?

I don't believe you're right by the rules as written. Penetration does not ever act as might (as far as I know).

Erik is right on here. Wards have to penetrate resistance, but do not provide resistance. That's one of the reasons why the Parma Magica is so cool for magi. Wards having to penetrate really only matters when the thing being warded against actually has a Magic Resistance score, either from Might, Parma, True Faith, or a Divine/Infernal effect that grants it. Only a sword that has a Might Score could pass through a ward against metal, unless it's a talisman covered by the magus's Parma or something like that. Not many swords have Magic Resistance, you see, so they can't resist the Rego effect that is keeping them at bay.

Pink. Dot. :wink:

(And nope. You'd need a Corpus spell :wink: )

Then, I don't think if I'm right with this, but this has the advantage of making all those legendary swords good for something, as the option of excalibur as, say, an item of quality lets it be stopped by a "simple" ward against metal.

EDIT: took too long to post :laughing:

My archer verditius has arrows designed especially to cut through wood wards. The effect is a PeVi spell to cancel herbam magic and it has a beastly high penetration to then get through the targets parma.

I agree with Erik that your sword has +21 penetration but nothing else. It does not allow it to cut through wards at all unless you have an effect enchanted into it to do so.

Your idea, Fixer, would work of the sword were a talisman-sword holded by his mage. It would have magic resistance, and the ward would need enough penetration to veer it off.

I think this was discussed some months ago on this forum ?
If my memory does me no tricks, they arrived to the same conclusions as here:

The word "Target" is used with two different meaning in the core rule book. Hence the confusion.

  1. There is "Target", a word used as a tool for spell guideline. Like "Group" , "Structure" or "Individual". It has meaning toward the final level of the spell, and to what, eventually, the spell can hope to affect.

  2. There is "the target of the spell", which mean "to whom or what you aim your spell at" or "who or what will be affected by your spell, by spell design." It's the actual thing which the spell is designed to affect. Your Creo (Muto) Aquam spell actually create a ice sword, but your aim is really to swing it at people, doesn't it ? We know the truth about bloodthirsty magus.... :stuck_out_tongue:

When they use the word target under "Penetration and Arcane connection" in page 84, it's the second meaning that they use. Amongst other places, maybe. So your sword does have penetration against the snake.

I realise that this is a slight tangent, but it's interesting that Ward Against Wood specifically mentions non-enchanted wood (presumably given that the level 15 ReHe guideline refers to mundane plant products), but there is no such clarifier for wards against Terram items. Is this deliberate or accidental? How does everyone interpret the "enchanted" part - does it mean enchanted to breach wards, enchanted in any way at all or even affected by a spell?

So my sword has +21 penetration in the end. Good to know.



I don't know if this helps, but I imagine that many of these "legendary swords" come from Norse or Anglo-Saxon wizards schooled in Rune Magic whose magical effects on the sword are considered natural for the purposes of passing through Magic Resistance (as described in Ancient Magic). Such weapons are especially good for slaying a dragon or fighting demons or things like that, though they can still be stopped by a simple ward against metal, as you note.

I believe this spell was designed like this so that the inventing magus could still carry his staff and wands. Basicly most magi would rather leave protection against enchanted wood to the parma, because that still allows them to hold their talisman.

A sword made out of ice. Well that is nice! This way you circumvent all those pesky wards against metal/wood etc. ! Who is running around with a ward against water! But this only works if your penetration is high enough!

IIRC one of my level 3 spells created a club of ice. Level 3 should allow some penetaration(or perhaps level 4 to raise the duration to diameter)


Seen it :slight_smile: I would put it at level 5 to include a Muto requisite so the club does not shatter to pieces after a pair of swings, though :slight_smile: I love the level 3 spell index. :smiley:



Correct me if I am wrong, but the Ward needs to penetrate the target (i.e. what it is warded against) Magic Resistance, whatever weapon he is wielding.

Therefore, what is important when you strike a target warded against metal with your magical sword is not the level of the spell in the sword, but your Magic Resistance in Terram. If your MR is higher than the ward, then you must check your victim's Parma for the effect of the sword's spell, as usual.

A good strategy against wards, if your character is specialized in, let's say, fire magic, and doesn't want to be frustrated by pesky Magi laughing behind their PeIg Wards, is to take a little time tro create a little PeIg ward for yourself, then mastering it in order to double your MR against PeIg Wards.

I hate to say it, but you are mistaken. I disdain ward penetration to begin with. But anyway, a ward against swords does not need to penetrate at all. Your sword is not covered by your Parma unless it is also your Talisman. In that case, yes, penetration may be an issue.

The solution to pesky PeIg magi? Bigger and badder CrIg spells! Mastered with a Focus and cast with an AC and a but load of vis!
The old fashioned way!

Mark, you are always so subtle :laughing:

The problem with attacking wards with mundane weaponry is that the weapon does not have any kind of penetration OR magic resistance. That means it is instantly stopped. A ward, even with penetration 0, beats (penetrates) a magic resistance-less sword 100% of the time.

Also, remember that if you enchant the sword so that it does have some kind of MR or penetration factor, we have the polka dot problem: ALL the effects in the sword need to penetrate in order for the sword to hit the magus.

The polka dot nefarious tactic is to cast a Creo Imaginem polka dot pattern on your enemy's sword(s). IIRC it is a level 3-5 spell or so for diameter duration. Cast it with forceless casting (pentration =0) and then they cannot even have the slightest change of penetrating your parma magica, let alone your wards.