Reduced Parma?

Has anyone instituted a Parma that is a bit less effective? I've been kicking around MR totals vs. Magical Creature powers and Parma is phenomenal. I also realize that 5th made it specifically so... but has anyone reduced it?

Perhaps... Arts+PM Levelx3=MR?

Since Parma stacks with Arts, even with 3*level, you're still looking at excellent coverage. It also brings magi down to a more gritty level, making magical combat fairly dangerous. Otherwise, a magi with PM of 4 can walk over most of the supernatural creatures out there unless they've really harnessed their powers to penetrate.


Honestly, I tend to find Parma weakish as it is... In fact, we had experimented with a MR of Parmax10 + Arts!This is particularly true not against supernatural creatures, but against other magi. Against supernatural creatures, I really think it's ok that the creature cannot penetrate the magic resistance of the hermetic magus -- it's not as if that is an automatic win for the magus! Even if you resist the dragon's fiery breath, it can always gulp you down; and the demon that cannot bend your thoughts, can always do so with those of the local baron...

yup. Parma is phenomenal against supernatural creatures and other supernatural users.

Parma is quite paper thin against the hammers available to other magi of the order of hermes.

The problem is not with Parma, but with the Arts available to hermetic magi.

Are you using creatures who have the Penetration Ability? Creatures who can either through instinct or planning use Penetration can be quite powerful. And ones who are plausible planners can collect Arcane and Sympathetic Connections too.

Having said that, in play, I tend to find intelligent creatures usually resort to avoiding stand up fights with magi. And instead concentrate on ambushing grogs and other vulnerable characters, and then retreating when the magi show up. The magi's problems are usually more around locating creature opponents and predicting corresponding realms rather than the actual slaying bits. The slaying parts tend to either be walk-overs or total disasters. Walk-overs when the magi have the right spells and are prepared. Total disasters when the magi make mistakes and underestimate the numbers, powers, or strength of creatures.

That's right. To be more precise, the "issue" (I don't say "problem" because it's likely this way by design, not accident) is that Hermetic Magic works off a different mathematical scale than other abilities, with Art + Art totals rather than Ability rolls or, at best, Ability + Accelerated Ability totals. This means that any magic resistance that can stop Hermetics is impervious to most other magics.

It might not be unreasonable to double Parma to Level x 10 vs. Hermetic Magic, due to greater familiarity, while leaving it at x5 against other magics or even lowering it further. There's still a problem with Might scores being insufficient to resist Hermetics. I've considered giving resistance of 2 x Might instead of 1 x Might but then the problem is that non-Hermetics can't touch creatures with Might.

It is not a problem we've encountered. Yet. Because Parma Magica tend to be fairly low in our sagas. We've been waffling a bit about the existence of books on PM or not. We had one in the Constatinople saga. Which became a story event when a player quit and his somewhat sinister arabian ex-misc ran off with the book. I dare risk claiming that no more than one or two magi in this saga have developed PM beyond the starting score of 1.
In the other saga - with no PM books - I don't think anyone else but my Tremere has PM beyond 1. He had to pay a sodales from his house to teach him.
If your only option is to Practice then the pay-off per season spent is so low that magi with lost of projects almost always find better use for their time. But PM is a perfect place to sink Story Exp!

I don't think the issue is with PMx5 with with the highly variable numbers of Form scores, which can explode due to the scale with which they are bought. A specialist is almost impossible to hurt (unless by another specialist)...but that is how it should be. A magus with casual knowledge, simply grounded in a Form only adds 5 more to MR totals. if he is particularly interested in said Form it will likely be higher. But this depends on the Level of books in the saga, which is also highly variable. We've never had anything higher than lvl 15 which is extremely rare, and a few in the 10-12 range which often have Quality around the average or lower.

About supernatural creatures I recall I often found their Might insufficient to provide MR high enough to pose a threat to the magi - but this was in 4th ed! In 5th where Penetration is lower I think it may be ok. Their Penetration leaves something to be desired though, but a creature with Penetration ability is a further step towards this. And if it uses an AC things are looking fine. Does this require conscious effort? Some kind of intelligence by the beast, or is instict enough? Imagine the Drake who first claws the magus and subsequently has his blood as an AC for his poisonous breath or whatever. Bwahahah, I gotta use that sometime!

IMS parma is boosted to 4. That allows the magi to share it with the grogs granting them limited MR. Besides that point, they go for wards if they really want to be protected from something. But yup, noboy cares to boost it above that level most of the time.


I would say that against supernatural creatures, the issue is not so much that if the creature can get through the mage's MR, but if the mage can get through the creature's MR before said creatures eats the mage/shreds him into ribbon/breaks every bone in his body. As I recall, a supernatural creature does not need to penetrate magic resistance to use its natural weapons against a mage...

The Tytalus has a PM of 4 and wants 7+
the Verditius has 2, I think...

This is correct, though I don't remember an explicit statement until a relatively recent book, though there may be some (natural?) weapons that may need to penetrate. For instance, I think elementals and ghosts need to, but are those "natural"?


Looking for that rule on has been on my "List of Things I'm Pretty Sure Of But Need A Reference." I believe it was clarified in RoP:M but I keep forgetting to look it up.

I don't remember it in RoP:M, but it may well be there.

I'll save you some time since even knowing roughly where it was took me a while (why I didn't know when I wrote it above): Legends of Hermes, p. 63, penultimate paragraph on the page. It says "in his natural, monstrous form he does not need to penetrate" while explaining attacks from a creature with Magic Might. It says more than that, but that's the part you want.


PS: My list has one specific thing: somewhere in one of the books (probably not published in 2011, and most likely not in 2010) it describes spirits healing Might from damage via PeVi attacks. I haven't been able to find it since.

That's just irritating. Believe me, I like it. Otherwise, magic creatures are running around with toilet paper wrapped around their mitts. But it just doesn't make any sense. I found two answers:

RoP:M in reference to Beasts of Virtue, they have Qualities that are natural and have nothing to do with their magic. p32 and 55.

But in the core book, under Parma: "Things that are created and sustained by magic are magical for these purposes."

I owe you one although this may not be the answer you're looking for... TMRE p.135, sidebar "Immortal and Unchanging"... "Might damage, such as from Perdo Vim magics /snip/, only results in temporary Might loss if the spirit is not utterly destroyed--full Might recovers by the next day." (Not sure if it only applies to Daimons and Immortal Magi though)

IIRC, natural attacks from supernatural critters aren't blocked by MR. This must be in the core rules.

Still IIRC, RoP: M adds powers (not qualities!) that increase damage, but make the attack resisted, just like an Edge of the Razor cast on a sword.

That was next on my list... does adding the Quality (Increased Attack) make it resisted? I scoured RoP: M and couldn't find it anywhere. I think a Power, like the Familiar "Razor-Sharp Claws" would count as magical (like Edge of the Razor would) but couldn't find anything on just plain Improved Attack.

RoP:M adds both Powers and Qualities. Some Qualities provide Powers and some Qualities are not Powers.

Yes, a Power would make it resisted. But if it's a natural part of the creature, it's not resisted. So let's say you have a dragon with huge, sharp claws. You buy up the Quality to provide some extra damage for them. This is not resisted. If, however, you have a dragon that has a Power to adjust its shape and it adjusts the shape of its claws to make them huge and sharp, those claws are resisted.


That's my take on it, there's just nothing explicit.

Yay!!! I think that's it. I will have to go read it. Thanks so much! I'd even started an entire thread looking for it and no one had found it. Yay!!! Very happy! :mrgreen:

Yes, I knew the statement did not encompass Might stripping in general. However, RoP:M leaves it pretty vague, too.


Found another: RoP:M, p.33 (I love PDFs, you can do a search for a specific word):

"Like the claws of a magic animal, or a magic person's fists, magic things are not blocked by Magic Resistance unless they are subject to an active supernatural effect."

But it's quite frustrating, it seems to imply that the rule was mentioned before for magic animals, I would hope in the core rulebook, and I just don't know where.

That would be in HoH-MC, the Bjornaer section, 'Ringing the Change', p.22. Summarizing, if you use a spell or enchanted item to shapeshift, the effect is a constant one, so your natural weapons count as under a magical effect and must Penetrate (and you are eligible for Warping from a constant mystical effect). However, innate supernatural abilities (Shapeshifter, Lycanthrope, Heartbeast) only invoke a magical effect at the moment of transformation, so the natural weapons do not count as magical and do not need to penetrate.

Of course, I'm still assuming that a Magic Creature's Powers are equivalent to spells and the Increased Damage Quality isn't. Sounds logical, but you never know.