Set a magical spear vs. the dragon's charge!

It just occurred to me while perusing the old "wards" thread. If a poor grog with a spear enchanted with edge of the razor or some other low penetration effect tries to hit someone or something protected by high magic resistance, the blow is stopped. But what would happen if a creature with high might charged the poor grog when he had set his spear against it?

In this case, it's not the spear that's attempting to "enter" the magic resistance shell of the creature - the spear is essentially immobile, and it's the creature that's impaling itself on it. So the spear would harm the creature (assuming it punches through soak etc.). Wouldn't it?

It might stop the dragon, but it can't actually pierce its hide. To pierce the hide would require it to break the MR. Most likely the spear will break or be pushed aside.

So an immobile magical object stops everyone who succeeds his magic resistance roll against it? Wouldn't the same be true of an area effect like a Ward then?

More to the point Ulf, wouldn't your view imply that any low penetration enchantment on the armor of the grog would stop the dragon from clawing him?

Yep. And so would a magical pink dot :slight_smile:

a) The spear - a similar example (falling onto magical spikes) is dealt with in the core book: no damage from the spear itself. As Ulf says, it'll be pushed aside and trampled along with the hapless grog.

b) The dragon claw v.s. pink-dot armor - physical attacks from supernatural creatures aren't supernatural unless they are powers.

Remember, Magic Resistance protects you from magic. It doesn't prevent you from touching whatever physical objects is affected by the magic, much less from destroying it. It is not an impenetrable force field keeping you both apart -- it is very much asymmetrical.

Ah, but why does the magical spike stop the dragon, and the magical armour doesn't? Note that it's not the armour magically resisting contact with the dragon. It's the dragon magically resisting contact with the armour.

But if the dragon can touch the armor, as you say, (because the dragon's magic resistance does not stop it from touching a resisted magical object) why can't it touch an immobile magical spike? What if the grog's magical armor was spiky? Would the dragon be able to place its foot on it or not?

Ok, I wasn't clear. The spear will be harmlessly brushed aside physically by the charging dragon. It cannot impale it. That is what I meant.

(By the way, I do house-rule magic resistance saying that it only protects you from the magic, not from those interactions with the magicked object where the magic is not involved. When you're getting stabbed by a spear, whether or not it has a pink dot on it is completely irrelevant... so no MR)

Hmm, I am starting to understand the dragon vs. armor example too. The dragon would pierce through the armor, but the spikes on the armor would not pierce through the dragon. It's as if the dragon was wearing an ultra-light, indestructible layer of armor on its claws that can pierce through magic but that magica can't pierce through.

But for the sake of the discussion, what if instead of a dragon, you had a physically weak, but magically powerful poisonous toad? It would not be able to touch the grog, even if he was naked (as long as he was enchanted by some magic weaker than the toad's magic resistance). Would it?

I apologize for bringing this up - most of you are certainly fed up with discussions on MR - but in our current saga situations like the one above have never come up, and even after almost two years of Arm 5 sometimes the MR rules baffle me. I think they are good though.

That's the way I do it too. Someone swings at you with a sword enchanted with Edge of the Razor, and if you resist it, the extra "magic" damage is resisted, but the mundane effects of the sword blow still hurt you.

Marko Wrote:

I completely agree, that's the way it should be. The sword's natural sharpness still hurts you, but any Edge of Razor or Fire or Poison magically enhancing the sword, could be resisted. Otherwise, It'd be shooting one self in the foot, enchating one's Grogs swords, in case they ever had to whack a Magus. Then, it'd be a shame, if their sword was completely useless, because of a Penetration too low.

In my mind any object enchanted by something with a penetration lower than the MR of what it is trying to effect acts as an extremely blunt object. Thus it cannot pierce a hide, but can act as a wall. It is however not itself protected from being harmed by the being with the high MR, so it can be broken, pierced, or pushed aside.

For the Toad this means that the armour would give no extra protection, but rather protect exacly as normal.

Btw - I allow the Pink dot defence in our game (even had mention of it in one of the Folios of the Bonisagi). (Oh, and for the edge of the razor effect - since that actually changes the edge of the blades, being affected by such a sword minus the effect would mean being hit with a blunt blade (not the natural sharpness - that has been overwritten by the effect).

I favour the "magic has changed the property that allows it to deal damage, therefore if resisted, the magical damage doesn't get through but the mundane damage is no longer there." Thus edge of the razor (and edge of the spoon) both require penetration to do any damage, but setting the sword on fire or turning it pink don't. The fire and pink might not penetrate, but the property allowing it to deal damage normally does.

Likewise the old poison-to-water. The poisonous property has been removed/changed, but the watery-ness is magical and so if it doesn't penetrate, it doesn't quench thirst. Water to poison does the same.

However if I wish to be completely munchkin about this, then I use a forceless muto-Herbam to change a tree into an arrow. I fire the arrow at a Magus.

the zero penetration spell does not get through but the arrow becomes a tree and the bow-launched battering ram does indeed get through.

I think it makes sense that the magic is intrinsically anchored into the object (afterall why does the flaming sword keep burning after you swish it about a bit), and because of this, the item is intrinsically magical.

Yes this does mean a pink dot would render swords useless against magi, but to be honnest, I've no issue with a forceless Group MuIm spell meaning a group of swordsmen can't hack a Magi to death.

If Ars was 'fair' then older Grogs would be a fair match for Magi.


Canon Parma doesn't dispell effects, so the arrow merely drops to the ground. Now if you can dispell your transformation mid-flight, then you might have an interesting twist. I'm not sure how Aristotelean physics wuld cover it, but it seems legitimate, if really difficult.

Quite easy in fact. Have a sling that turns a boulder into a pebble at touch range.

Once the pebble is shot from the sling, it turns back into a boulder. TADDA! And you thought David had to be lucky to kill a size +2 Goliath? :laughing:



Expect a number of extra botch dice.

Not extra botches, but this maligned item killed 3 grogs and 2 companions in our previous saga due to normal botches. After that, nobody wanted to use it. POwer has its drawbacks :stuck_out_tongue:


My Point is that Canon has it right for the above spell. It seems that the transformed arrow SHOULD drop to the ground otherwise you've just launched a battering ram from a longbow... and we know which would do more damage.


The ReTe guidelines (especially those in Societates) hint to me that the force of the magic is more important than the size of the flung object. If the arrow turns into a battering ram mid-flight, it turns into one flung by the force of a bow - which will immediately fall to the ground, and won't do any damage even at point-blank range.