Sharing your Parma Magica: How does it work?

How do you treat the sharing of a magus' Parma Magica in your games?

All that the core book says is (ArM5 p.85): "A magus may also protect one other person for each point in Parma Magica, with their consent.[sup]1[/sup] He must touch each person[sup]2[/sup] to start the protection, and it lasts as long as at least one character can see the other.[sup]3[/sup] The magus may cancel the protection at will, at any distance.[sup]4[/sup]" (This seems like the exact same words that are used in the description of the Parma Magica ability on p.66.)

This leaves a few points unclear:
[sup]1[/sup] What constitutes "consent"? What happens if the person doesn't know what Parma his and it is not explained to them? Can the magus simply touch the person and, if this touch is not resisted, the sharing of Parma occurs?
[sup]2[/sup] Must he touch all of them at the same time, or can he add more people to the protection?
[sup]3[/sup] Is it really based on sight alone? What if it's dark, does the protection end? Would keeping in touch do? Standing in the same room? Could an arcane connection to the protected individual be obtained to sustain the protection from afar?
[sup]4[/sup] Can the magus end the protection for only one person, when multiple ones are protected?
And more questions: Does the magus have to do something obviously magical when sharing his Parma? Can he just touch someone and share it so as to eliminate the negative effects of his Gift? How long does it take?

I'm toying with the way a magus can use his Parma to eliminate the effects of his Gift when dealing with mundanes, and don't remember seeing details about how the sharing of Parma works, asinde from the previous quote from the core book. So I'm wondering how people play it. 8)

  1. Free will at work. Or not necessarily free will (you can share Parma with a dragon or a faerie centaur) but willingness to be protected by your parma. No willingness = parma does not protect him. Quite important, since basically it means that they are allowing you to cast a Diameter ritual on them while NOT protected by parma, so they are mistrustful of you.

  2. Everybody must be touched while the Parma ritual is performed. Casting parma is quite long, so this usually is not a problem.

  3. We have always played it as "nearby weithout obstructions between the two". Invisibility does not cancel parma.

  4. Yes IMS. It can be interpreted that it needs to be an all or nothing feature as easily, though: everybody or nobody .

Parma can only be shared at the time of casting. If you want to add people, you need to recadt your parma and include the people that were already covered once again in the ritual. Casting parma is something along the lines of a drunken chicken reciting pidgin latin while trying to move like Neo in the Matrix IMS, so yes, it is fairly obvious what you are doing. :mrgreen: Alrternatively, think about a drunken guy in a disco trying to impress a girl with his sexy dance and making a fool of himself. We have all done that. ANd this is how it looks :stuck_out_tongue:

It takes a Diameter to cast Parma. Can't remember where we got it, but it has been this long to cast Parma IMS for the past decade, at least.

Where does it say Parma can only be shared at time of casting, Xavi? We were looking for that rule earlier.

Can you low your parma only? With training could you low it only for particullar individuals
Can you parmae your horse? And if it is really cunning and will to be protected, or it allows by an InAn?

Does the parma sums to your AoTH protection? ( i love to ask this question to our SG)

It could be the same level of "consent" as allowing a vampire to enter your home, something like "can I touch you for a second?". It could also be something more "enlighted" depending on your saga.

You could say "at any time" and it would still be coherent with RAW.

Minimally it has to match the "sensing" used for casting spells. RAW prolly means seeing only, although I'd allow standing back-to-back.

RAW does not forbid this.

I'd say a round of concentration is enough, but YSMV.

I thought the same thing, but why should he trust you? And wouldn't he believe you've bewitched him when the effect ends? I think it's ok if you've established some level of trust before, but allow it freely and magi aren't outcast anymore.

RAW says while concentrating.


I don't think you can extend your parma to object. It depends how your saga defines "person", if it includes faeries, creatures endowed with reason, or anything you can communicate with (Animal Ken).

From inside, effectively yes as it lowers the casting total. From ouside, no.

Just checked it. The answer is "nowhere". It is just how we play it, that is what Arthur asked for. :slight_smile: But by RAW you could spend a whole day giving and removing parma from people on a Round by round basis, changing the target each turn. Stroboscopic Parma! :mrgreen:

I do not like that image and find it much more satisfactory if you have to recast the parma to include someone in it, since it makes Parma an armor that is difficult to pull up, and not a SciFi energy field with a switch. It is SciFi enough already to me. But it is a saga/troupe consensus thing to decide, so if your trupe feels happy about it, go for it. For me it looks like a cheesy way to remove the (already extremely low given the flavor text) penalty of the Gift. IMS normal Gift is -5* and Blatant -10* to social relations, just to get you an idea. (The Gift does not affect supernatural beings, though, since we find it moronic that a dragon would not trust another being aligned to the magic realm, that is what causes the misstrust for humans in the first place)

And about targets, as long as it is an intelligent being that does trust you, IMS you can Parma it.


*We play using D6 instead of D10, hence the weird numbers.

-3 to your parma is nothing to sneeze at. That's -15 to your magic resistance to all forms, or if you're at 3 parma or less, a parma of 0 and reliance on form resistance.

The problem with that being that you can only cast your Parma once per Sun duration (if it's dispelled you're out of luck until sunrise/-set). Thus if Parma could only be extended to other people when it is being cast, that would make that option pretty useless - especially since it's cancelled when out of sight (do you remain at lower effective Parma for the rest of the day then?).

Actually, checking the folds in HoH:TL (extending Parma is considered a "fold"), it specifically states that you can extend your Parma "at will":

Where does it say that? IIRC (away from books) recasting your parma dispels the previous one, but you can do that (recast your parma) 30 times per hour (once per Diameter) if you are up to it.


Again, HoH:TL.


The only way to cancel Parma Magica is to dispel it via Perdo Vim.

To give the OP another take, here is what my troupe play with: (numbers are from Arthur's post)

  1. Like Xavi's version, it takes a diameter to do stuff with your parma - changes, obviousness, etc. Consent is assumed if the person is still present and participating throughout that time.
  2. All people to be covered need to be present and participating. We haven't made any ruling on having to be 'touching' throughout, it hasn't come up. And neither has doing it to unconscious people.
  3. We do not use the 'staying in sight' rule at all. We want apprentices to be able to be covered by their parens' parma and still be able to eg go to the toilet. And their parens probably will want a bit of privacy too. A magus is required to share parma with his/her apprentice and it would be a bit wearing to have to stay in sight of one another for 15 years!
  4. Sure, but that means re-performing the ritual. And we see no reason for claiming that you can only perform your parma once per 'sun' - after all, you'd want to put it back up if it were knocked down in combat (after teleporting to safety, of course).

While I was writing this, Toa has found a reference justifying not being able to re-cast parma: I doubt we will ret-con our games even if that is the 'official' take. However, the quote he posted doesn't say what happens if you repeat your parma ritual even if you already have one up. No effect? Replacing the first one? We do play with magi only being able to suppress their parmas, not cancel them completely.

Ah, HOH:TL. Another faulty ruling in that supplement. Glad to know. :slight_smile: Being in a supplement it is apocrypha IMS anyway, so no biggie.

In any case, if you can use this one per day only it will be the only ability in the whole game with this restriction. This is enough for us to disregard this meh-y ruling that (IMTO) gives no good and plenty of bad to the game. Having a too modifiable parma (touched and TADDA! protected) instead of a re-castable parma (to modify who is covered) is a much less elegant solution and certainly has a much less grand and Mystical-Awesomeness Factor, IMO, something that to us is very important. it becomes a switch or a PS2 game that you pause and restart at will, not a mystical manipulation supernatural forces to create a fabric of protection around you and your companions. YMMV.


IMTO = In my troupe's opinion

I'm reluctant to post the entire paragraph (not sure if that's okay with forum rules), so I'd suggest reading the first three paragraphs of "Parma Magica Folds" on page 31 of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages to anyone who's interested in that.

Basically there's two possible interpretations for "the rule of only one Parma per sunrise/sunset":

  1. The literal interpretation: You can only cast one Parma ritual per Sun duration with the single exception of refreshing your Parma Ablativa (which takes ten minutes) if it is completely down as mentioned above (it still offers a magic resistance of 0 though - it is not dispelled!). If your Parma is dispelled, you're without protection (other than your form scores) until sunrise/-set.
  2. The liberal interpretation: Parma Ablativa allows you to "perform another Parma Magica fold" if it is down - meaning you could theoretically switch to a regular Parma after your ablative resistance has been obliberated. The "the rule of only one Parma per sunrise/sunset" should thus be "the rule of only one type of Parma fold per casting". The parma you cast stays active until sunrise/-set and cannot be recast while it is active (as referenced in a previous post - recasting while it is active simply has no effect). Since you can't cancel it, the only way to get rid of it would be Perdo Vim magic (either cast by yourself or someone else). Since you now have no active Parma, you are free to perform another Parma ritual (with any fold you wish) - the sourcebook simply failed to address this eventuality properly.

While option 2 seems more "gameable" to me, it does require some extensive reinterpretation.

I personally dislike that rule, and have no problem if a magus wants to take two minutes to re-perform his Parma Magica. That option isn't available, most of the time, and smacks of the old D&D, oh, you didn't pick the right bunch of spells to prepare for today, too bad, your Wizard is useless, system. So, I would ignore that rule.

However, even if the aforementioned rule were stringently enforced in a saga, it specifically states on page 31 of HoH:True Lineages, "[e]xtending the Parma Magica to other characters is one exception[...]"

To get back on topic, here's my take on the OP's questions.

I think they have to be aware of the process in order for it to work - thus assuming no consent if they're not aware of what the magus is doing. You can't consent to something you don't know is taking place.

In my opinion he can add more people as he goes, since it says you only have to touch a person to "start" the protection (another point towards the extension of Parma not requiring a recast).

I wouldn't require actual line of sight - meaning if the magus is in the same room as the protected person and aware of him, he could sustain the extended Parma. If the person strays too far from the magus though (e.g. leaves the room without him following), the extension breaks. Arcane connections do nothing in this respect. This is supposedly so that a magus can not extend his magic resistance to his grogs and send them out adventuring while he stays safely tucked away in the covenant.

I'd say so, yes.

I'd say it's a moment of concentration while touching the target, nothing else.

If he tells the person what he intends to do and that person consents to it? Yes. See "consent" above.

A moment? I'd say an action in combat, tops.

1 round of combat, same as casting most spells that are not fast cast?

I think this should be read as "You cannot change Fold without dispelling the Parma, since you cannot cancel it." But you are free to interpret it differently.