The parma magica: total copyright by the Order ?

Ok. Until now, the few topics I created weren't really successful, so it means they weren't interesting. :confused:

But I think you should be interested by this one. :wink:

The two effects of the parma magica are:

  1. Protection against magic
  2. Protection against the gift

The first effect is not reproducible, at least with magic.
So, among all the traditions depicted in the various supplements, the Order of Hermes is the only one to have access to a general magic resistance.

But the second effect is perfectly reproducible by some other traditions. Respectively the practicer of the Trolldomur (Gruagach, Trollsynir and Muspelli), the learned magicians and the soqotrans.

This can be realized with the general virtue: "unaffected by the gift", RoP:Magic p47. It can be even more powerful than the parma magica since it can affect lot of people at once.

With the Gruagachan (and affiliated), we have (and for my character, it was my first spell :mrgreen: ):

Give Blessing level 20. Give "Unaffected by the gift" Base 10+2 (limit).
Range: conversation Duration: Limit (2) Target: Individual

I think that the gruagachan are using this spell on their apprentices. They can get this virtue through tattoo, as well. For trollsynir, they can cast it on other member of their tradition for the same result. They can alter the spell to affect a group, at range voice.

For the learned magicians we have the same effect with a succurro fortunam spell, which can affect a whole city through chartae ! We can imagine the Augustan Brotherhood get the help of Mathematici (or to integrate their tradition), and perfectly organize themselves.

The same for the Raudskinna. With the Galadramen and trollsynir, they can have this possibility, and avoid the malevolent effect of the gift.

For the Soqotrans, they have the same with Myrrh magic, but it's less important, since they can avoid the gift through their spirit companions.

Finally, the Muspelli. The followers of Surtur have automatically the virtue Craft Magic. We can imagine the Jotnar ask one of its followers to find an apprentice with the virtue "unaffected by the gift". With these two virtues, a Muspelli should be able to create items which can grant to other Muspelli this virtue, and to have them organized.

Which could lead to a big war between an organized Raudskinna order and an organized Muspelli tradition... :smiling_imp:

So, the questions here are:

  • What's the most important part of the parma magica ?

  • What would happen if the Order of Hermes came to learn of an organized tradition, and especially the possibility of spells which can grant immunity against the gift ?

  • And finally, if a war between two traditions begins, with the possibility of mundane involvement, what could be the reaction of the Order of Hermes ?

General MR is rather easy to get hold of: ask a demon to give it to you, or get a pair of relics from the local shrine (and behave properly!). It will not be very high, and certainly not in the same league as the Parma, but you can get it.

I didn't know the Unaffected by the Gift virtue made it into an official publication. I do not like it, but hey, it is official. this is why I do not like granting all virtues with magic. They can break down some of the core features of the game (like distrust for magic users, that has been around since 1st edition)

Good point about using it on apprentices. They will warp like hell, though.

As per the Parma, I think the important part was twofold when it was created:

  • The penetration of the Founders sucked big time, so it was an effective shield against most of their spells
  • It allowed them to collaborate, negating the inbuilt distrust.

By 1220 I think that the second part (negating distrust) is the important bit, since Parma is not a very good defence against hermetic magic anymore. Between sympathetic connections and penetration you can pretty much blast through any parma defence. Or just drop a building on the head of the offender if you can't.

Against non hermetics, the magical protection afforded by Parma is important. Negating the gift would only really interest urban magi, or magi with a high degree of social interaction that are not Gentle Gifted. If I am a necromancer or a geomancer I do not give crap about what other people think about me :slight_smile:

So, if the Order discovered a tradition that can negate the effects of the Gift on third parties I am sure some Jerbitons and Bonisagus would be interested, but it would not be a game breaker. If they discovered a tradition that can get a protection of 20 MR or higher with fair regularity, that would be a totally different issue. I am sure that the Knights of the Sword would be considered an NGO acting in the Baltic area compared to what the Order would do in that case.

The Order would only care about a war between 2 hedgie traditions (or what they perceive as a hedgie tradition) if it spills into the relationship between the OoH and the mundanes. Or if it causes a light wound in an Hermetic. In that case I would not like to be a hedgie.


Unaffected by the Gift comes from RoP: Magic. And i'thought that really soon.
The Virtues Givers traditions (Gruagachan and learned Magicia related) could do it like part of the Apprenticeship and serving. The problem of the Warping is clear, but sometimes could be neccesary sometimes. A good apprentice or payer could deserve it for a long and very intermediating relationship.
Again, after a time of the effect, it should be necessary.
Again, the Supernatural Virtues (powers, Inmunities and this) should need know that are you making. If you don't know that there is this Virtue you can't Charm or Bless with it.

Hmm, when you have access to Virtue granting powers, why not grant yourself the Gentle Gift instead of granting everyoneelse* Unaffected by the Gift?

Because that need be Tatoo Magic, not all traditions have it and it could be difficult to achieve like a Lesser Enchantment.

Grant a major supernatural virtue (well, it is Hermetic, but we can put it at "supernatural" category) is base 20.
Grant a minor supernatural virtue is base 10.

Quite a difference.
But yes, you could grant yourself the virtue. You would need to invest it in a tatoo, but hey.

I deeply dislike both approaches, though, and would frown in front of them. That cheapens the background and the story potential of the Gift.


Then why not limit your self to "Inoffensive to *", with * = mundanes?
Strictly RoP:M, only a lesser virtue. Should be much easier than (need not be cast nearly as often as) Unaffected by the Gift.
Ofcourse the Warping will affect you instead of the everyone else, but...

seconded - I'm gnerally weary of the Virtue-granters, for exactly this reason

I still saying, that virtues only could be granted if the magician or wizard knows it. It's easy grant a Puissant in (Ability), because all can imagine the way in taht that works. But Supernatural Virtues are neededs Magic Lore or experience over the Virtue that you want instill. I have in mind that the Virtues Granters don't have another powers. I can imagine a Learned Magician instilling the Breath of a Dragon on Himself or a Gruagachan Blessing somebody with the supernatural quicikness of Cuchulain; both with the guidelines from RoP Magic to powers.

That's a good approach. I'd probably say that only virtues innate to the granter's tradition can be granted. It's silly that the abilities of these magicians broaden every time a new AM book is published with new virtues. Authors shouldn't have to worry about some hedge magician from across Europe munchkining their new work.

Rival Magic says that Parma Magica is an arcane ability/attribute ( can't remember the exact word) and anyone with the Gift can learn it or discover it.

I think the OP is just saying is that the Order of Hermes is the only magical tradition that currently teaches such an effect - no other magical tradition allows you to have general magic resistance.

I do not think the OP is disputing that any Gifted individual could be taught the Parma Magica (I think it's even in the corebook, but I'm too lazy to check :slight_smile: ). It would take another Bonisagus, however, to independently rediscover it.

The core rulebook, p. 66, says the same, but it adds: "It [Parma Magica] is only known by Hermetic magi, as the Order enforces the "Join or Die" choice rigorously on any mage who knows it. It's pretty clear that if another group, or even single magus, discovers an equivalent, they will be presented with the same choice: Join, or Die.