Reversed Parma


So, one of my players in yesterday's session brought up the idea of researching a reversed Parma - a ritual mirroring the Parma, just protecting the rest of the world from your magic instead of the reverse. We agreed that, if something like that was possible, it would not be compatible with a regular Parma - they could not be active at the same time. He's currently spending a season's studies conducting a feasibility study.

This would have either one or both of the below benefits:

  1. At some skill (?) level (1? 3? 5?), it would/could function as a Gentle Gift, with the inherent negative modifications that you could not use it without having your regular parma turned off, leaving you less well defended against the supernatural. Also, any minor spells you might want to cast would have some additional difficulty in going through it. Oh, and those who can see the supernatural would notice the magical effect, I guess? So less magical to mundanes, but more easily recognisable as magical to those in the know.

  2. When casting spells, during an adventure or otherwise many times over an extended period, with it active, it could count as Penetration exposure.

Since the basic idea is just fiddling with something that already exists and is well-integrated into hermetic theory, my initial thought is that if I allow it, I'll handle it as a Minor Breakthrough. Eyeing through True Lineages, though, I notice another derivation from the Parma, the Aegis, was a Major Breakthrough. Does that sound right, or should I be a bit more merciful since the resulting ability would not be anywhere near as powerful as the Aegis, much less the Parma itself?

And a bigger/better question; Is there some existing way of allowing Gifted characters to interact normally (without the Gift interfering) with mundanes that I'm just not remembering at the moment?

Valete, Titus.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall parma magica is not integrated into hermetic theory (Noble's parma). If it were, the parma could be cast as a spell and similarly dispelled (one reason why certain factions may not want the parma to be integrated into theory). Still, a minor breakthrough sounds good for what you are looking to do.

Cheers, Thespian


As always, you get to do what works for you.

But I see this as a Hermetic Breakthrough. Nothing else about Hermetic Magic affects everything. This isn't similar to Parma at all. Canonically, even a simple, rigid defense like the Aegis was a Major Breakthrough.

What you propose blows that through the roof.

BTW, does everyone in the world get Warping, from being subject to a continual magical effect? Do beings with MR get to resist?

Unless you view this as something that is affecting your magic, not any targets, in which case it is still a Hermetic Breakthrough, adding an entirely new ability to modify Hermetic Magic that affects your Essential Nature. Gentle Gift at level 5? Never mind that it's a free major virtue.

Adding entirely new game mechanics to Hermetic Magic is already pretty suspect. This version is even less similar to Parma, which seems like a ReVi effect. This is more like PeVi, destroying aspects of your Gift.

Back in the day, there were 2 preferred mechanisms: Have the Gentle Gift. Interact via companions; that's a large part of why you have them around.

As always, whatever works for you and is fun is great.




Sub Rosa #16 has an article titled "1470 AD: After the Plague" by Mark Shirley. In it, a number of new discoveries are described, including a very similar breakthrough to hide the Gift and other magical emanations.

I do not wish to infringe on any guidelines by revealing too much information about the article, so I'll just point out that said "Reverse Parma" is heavily implied to be a Hermetic Breakthrough, is compatible with the old Parma, and does impact a Magi's powers very negatively.

Hope that helps!

The idea wasn't protecting everyone in the entire world from any magic, it was just reversing the "polarity" (whatnot) of the Parma - letting magic from the outside through, but preventing your own magic (including the effect of the Gift) from getting out. This seems, to me, very similar in effect to the Parma. And the effects of the Parma are already integrated into hermetic theory, so another Hermetic Breakthrough seems (to me) to be wildly overkill, unless we move from what makes sense to game balance. However...

Thanks! That's excellent, I'll have to check it out, to see what's being done there and how they think about things. Maybe ask my player to buy it, to see if he's sufficiently interested or just mildly curious. :wink:

I immediately thought of that Sub Rosa article as well, so I'm glad it's already been mentioned.

I'll second the point that whatever you want to do in your saga is allowed. If everyone at the table is on board with it, you could implement this discovery immediately!

But I have to agree that the effect you're describing is almost certainly a Hermetic Breakthrough. If, for example, this creates a new Ability -- and since you describe it as incompatible with Parma, that presumably means that someone would raise it as a new Ability, not as Parma -- TRUE LINEAGES specifically calls out new Abilities as Hermetic Breakthroughs.

But this does not have to be bad news. As you will find if you do more research on this topic, Breakthroughs are within the reach of a magus and even a Hermetic can be achieved if the table is willing to skip a lot of time. I am using Serf's Parma here, but on this forum is a statistical breakdown of how long it takes to achieve breakthroughs, optimized both for seasons and Warping, and you might find the results surprising.

Hell, your player could even find century-old notes by a dead Bonisagus that gets him most of the way to the breakthrough virtually overnight.

A big part of why I generally encourage my players' (sometimes/often power-hungry) ideas is the kind of plot-hooks they evoke for me and the adventures they might lead to. In this case, I was thinking of having them start off with finding Bonisagus' personal lab texts from when he originally invented Parma, and then realise he had gotten the idea from somewhere else, from which point they might have to delve into archaeology to discover the original inspiration for the Parma, et cetera...

...and at some point, I might just leave a cold trail of some sort. Leave them unable to continue the research themselves, for instance having to wait for a full moon on a winter solstice before being able to find the missing piece...

...and then not allow that to happen until I've come up with ways of using their eventual success for more plot-hooks. Political repercussions of the Breakthrough, and so on and so forth.

I'm evil in that way. I take what the players give me, and give nothing back until I see more I can take.

But it's all for a good cause, I swear! :slight_smile:

If you talked about original note from Bonisagus, you have a whole campaign for you. In Rival magic, it is said that Bonisagus disappeared as he was looking for the Amazon and their sorcery. I believe it is even mentionned that one old amazon sorceress-turned-monster might be keeping Bonisagus last diary.

Between following the trail up to Bonisagus last demise, finding the Amazon Island, sneaking in or fighting through, retrieving the books, then deciphering the notes, fighting Bonisagus House - the whole house - wanting to retrieve their founder legacy, and finally, using the notes... that several decades of story that you have there. But Worth an Hermetic Breakthrough.