The Stormrider, Magic Resistance and ArM5

In the old Ars Magica adventure "The Stormrider" a magical human is riding a magical horse. In ArM 1, 2, 3, and 4 both would have Might and Magic Resistance. In a hypothetical ArM5 version of the adventure however the horse still has Might and Magic Resistance but according to the rule on p. 85 in ArM5 that all beings in Mythic Europe except living humans can have a natural Magic Resistance the rider, being a human, looses his general Magic Resistance. Is there a sane reason for this great enigma or can we safely ink out this passage, cut it out, put it in a shredder, burn the remains and scatter the ashes on a very windy day?

Regular people and animals have no magic resistance. Only beings with a Might score, magic (hermetic or otherwise), true faith, etc. have magic resistance. Magical people with might scores do exist. Realms of Power:Magic has the rules for making magical humans.

So, RoP: Magic actually voids the ArM5 rule "No other magical powers [than Hermetic magic] ... are able to provide general magical resistance to humans"? Shouldn't it be in the errata?

Nah, there's just a difference between Humans and Magical Humans. A Human can become a Magical Human, this grants a Might Score.
Storm Rider has become a Magical Human.

Ok... so you are saying that a person swimming in a magical lake might become magical and receive a general magic resistance but she can not personally transfer this resistance to another person as could be done in the previous editions? But if you say that the magical lake actually was a "magical power" why is not the power to grant a human magic resistance possible for a Magical Human (other than a hermetic magus).

Becoming a magical human involves becoming an immortal being that is no longer a true human. For example, a ghost, revenant, true giant, or some ascended to the Hall of Heroes would be examples of magical humans. A regular human who swims in magical lakes might pick up some warping points, but wouldnt typically become a magical human or gain magic resistance.

In previous editions of ArM a human with the Gift was about the same as a Magical Human. Unless taught Hermetic Magic an inherent Magical Might would occur with a Magic Resistance as a result. It would not be as effective as the Hermetic Parma Magica, though. I don't know if this idea has changed with the latest editions and looking into RoP: Magic this might still be true. We also have ungifted humans who get lost in the Magical Realm and turn into Magical Humans.

So you might interpret the current rules as that humans can have Magical Might but they can not (unless they are Hermetic magi) grant general Magic Resistance nor create any charms that can grant general Magic Resistance. If fact... the Magic Realm is now outside of the general game system - the only magical power on Earth that grants resistance like the Divine and Infernal Realm and works like general supernatural Might is with the current rules Hermetic magic. The Magic realm is reduced to something it was not in the previous editions. Was there a good reason for this change or was it just a whim?

I think it would help to take a step back.

A horse cannot have any kind of general magic resistance. However, a magical horse has a Might Score, which then grants it general magic resistance.

A human cannot have any kind of general magic resistance. However, a Gifted human might be taught Parma Magica, which grants general magic resistance. Other traditions too provide some kind of magic resistance, and this can sometimes be temporarily extended to cover others.

A magic human, i.e. a creature of the magic realm that carries enough humanity that it can be considered a human rather than a horse or a fish, for instance, has a Might Score, which then grants it general magic resistance.

So the point is that for the most part, you don't get general magic resistance. But through a connection with any of the four supernatural realms an entity could be born with a Might Score or, more rarely, could be transformed through contact with that realm, leaving their mortality behind them, such that they gain a Might Score.

Only hermetic Magic provides general MR. Some traditions provide MR for certain circumstances. Some traditions can even provide immunity for certain circumstances. A powerful enough hedgie might even be able to provide a complete set of immunities providing protection from everything. Other traditions might dispel incoming magic, make magic hard to cast, make magic ineffective or protect themselves in numerous other ways.

Then some traditions possess the ability to transform themselves into magic creatures. (Amazons). I also wonder if MR applies to a host possessed by a spirit. Is the host like the equipment a magi wears?

Then, what is the difference between a magical human and a gifted human? In the older editions it was the same. What happened?

In the older editions it was theoretically possible for all supernatural entities to grant supernatural resistance through charms. Charms granted a Resistance that would work against supernatural attacks from all the Realms i.e. the charm had a Might that it would bestow on the wearer. In ArM5 the charms from the [UnHermetic] Magical and Faerie Realm suddenly lost this power... the entities of that realm still kept their Might. What exactly had the magic/faerie charms done to get a special rule that set them aside from the general Might rules? It is an ugly dent in a comprehensive game system - imagine a rule where you have to use a different dice when dodging Bavarian tomatoes and only then! So far nobody has given me a reason or at least an explanation for this special rule.

A possessing demon can extend its possession might pool over its host in order to provide general magic resistance. Doing so exposes the demon to attack when normally it can hide quite nicely inside its host.

There's no reason another spirit from another realm can't also use some variation on the possession power with the same effect.

So it is theoretically possible for a hedgie to create magical charm that makes him immune to all types of supernatural attacks... but not one that will give him general MR? That is so totally lame...

A demon can give a charm with general resistance to a hobo, a magical spirit can not. Reason?

Uhm, in practice no magical tradition that I've seen even comes close to doing that. In fact, I think it would be a very bad design to allow "protection from everything".

The game-design reason is the following. One of the basic premises of the game is that Hermetic Magic is a very general theory that allows practitioners of different types of magic to come together and share each other's knowledge (e.g. a spirit master and a weather witch may each learn Rego from the other); however, many hedge traditions are more powerful than Hermetic magic in their narrow domains. The problem with this is that almost always a player wants to play a specialized character (say a necromancer); then, why go for a Hermetic magus rather than a hedge wizard whose tradition does necromancy better than Hermetic magic, if only necromancy? The answer is that the one great advantage of Hermetic Magic is the ability to grant generalized magic resistance. If magical and faerie supernatural creatures could also grant such generalized resistance to others, then the hedge traditions that focus on summoning and controlling said creatures would also, effectively, have access to generalized magic resistance, trumping the specific advantage of Hermetic magi. So, Magical and Faerie creatures are barred from being able to grant generalized magic resistance - and so, I disagree with Mark Lawford when he says:

Why doesn't this limitation hold for the Divine and the Infernal too? For the Divine, I guess the reason is to make holy mystics less susceptible to supernatural powers, particularly those controlling their minds. For the Infernal, I suspect that the basic idea is to make diabolists foes worthy of a Hermetic magus. Ultimately, I would probably have disallowed Divine and Infernal generalized magic resistance as well, but this way it's ok too.

Niche protection.

The Divine and Infernal realms are capable of conferring MR through Methods and Powers, but outside of Parma Magica and Might Scores, the Faerie and Magic are unable to do so.

For what it's worth, hedgies can learn Parma Magica quite easily since it's a teachable Arcane ability and not in anyway associated with Hermetic Magic (which makes sense since Bonisagus developed Parma before formulating his Magic Theory). Plus, there are any number of ways to acquire a Might score which confers not just MR, but immortality as well.

Finally, it's not RAW, but if the Learned Magicians were ever to develop an equivalent to Magic Theory for their spells (itself an impressive feat), I'd certainly allow one to try and develop MR-granting Tueor/Magicam charms.

A good attempt to defend a flawed rule. First, if we look at Mythic Europe History the good thing about Parma Magica was that it first and most was powerful vs attacks from other wizards - no need to nerf general MR here. And if the rule was meant do discourage players from playing necromantic hedge magicians we have alternatives... why not play an Infernal necromancer, a Forgotten Death God, a necromantic atlantean, a graveyard faerie, a white lily loamwalker etc etc... they will have access general MR in the current rules.

That's an ugly word and it is thankfully not used much in ArM. We have no professions™ and classes™ with special abilities and feats as of yet in the game. The silly general MR rule does turn ArM clooser to a collectable card game™ where some people need to have four necklaces to protect against every Realm and others not.

And now there is a very specific definition of a Magical Human vs a Gifted Human. Your point?

Out of curiousity though, could you give me some references as to the


Just to point out that the storm rider is not the horse, it is the human riding it. I would say that the power of the horse is the same as the Spirit Votary and Spiritual Pact in RoP:M, giving the human might and a serie of powers.

There are quite a few ways for people to have general MR (through Might) in Mythic Europe.


A powerful enough learned magician can grant greater virtues including greater immunity. Just slap 30 of them on yourself and well... problem solved. Or you missed something and someone shanks you through the crack in the armor. Oh and you might want to pick up transformed human so you don't warp into uselessness. Or you can grant yourself ritual power, and grant yourself immunities that way, which avoid excessive warping overtime, but chews up confidence.

Creatures with might scores suffer from highly restricted development, particularly those with high might. You could start out as a forgotten death god with 30+ might, but you would be lucky to get in more than one season of experience a decade. You would begin play considerably more powerful than a freshly gauntleted Hermetic Magi, but as the years rolled by you would remain mostly static, while everyone else grew in power.

And you could play an infernalist necromancer, but those guys dont have the best prospects for a long and healthy career.