A tricky MR question for ArM

I saw a tricky Magic Resistance question for ArM today, and I find it a frustrating demonstration of the MR rules, and a potentially exploitable rule.

RacconMask wrote – How does this react with Target:Part? If I take (for example) a javelin or spear, and cast a Target: part spell to control the butt of the spear’s haft to attack flawlessly with Rego… does that get magic resistance when the un-controlled tip stabs in? Thinking here of an ‘invisible swordsman’ ReFo spell that only controls the hilt of a weapon.

Grumble. It is a great idea as it demonstrates again how MR in ArM can be complicated. Truthfully it is no different from enchancing a soldier with a spell to increase their toughness, and insisting that they use normal weapons. Which is to say the players at the table need to understand a simple rule – When a rule is exploitable it can be used by everyone, and the GM has far more resources. Do you really want your enemies to react in the same way?

As long as the exploit is applies consistently and it feels congruent in the story, let the players exploit. Then hit them with it.

This is the same for Parma Magica burning spells. They look great on paper, and are exceptionally dangerous, but they also will likley impact the players far more once the NPCs adapt.

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6 thoughts on “A tricky MR question for ArM

  1. Here are two relevant quotes from the core book:

    • A normal rock thrown by magic stops at
    her skin or clothes. The maga feels the
    warning that something has been resisted,
    and also feels the rock touching her
    (before it falls), but she is not struck by
    the rock. It is as if the rock had been
    moved up against her as slowly and carefully
    as possible.
    • A mundane rock launched upwards by
    magic so that when it falls, it will fall on
    the maga is not resisted. By the time it
    strikes the maga, its motion is natural, due
    to gravity, rather than magical. However,
    such a rock must be aimed (see below).

    It is the force itself that is magical in the case of the regoed javelin and it is therefore resisted. Where the force is applied is irrelevant.

    This doesn’t seem tricky to me. What are you seeing as tricky that I’m not?

  2. I don’t think the examples from the book address the point when a multi-part object is used to attack a creature with MR, or where the area protected by MR never encounters the area enchanted with the spell. The two need to intersect for the MR to be relevant.
    If the magica force is active but never comes close to the area covered by MR, why does their parma resist it?
    A soldier using a +Stamina buff cannot hit with a fist, but can use a weapon to fight and MR doesn’t apply.

  3. I love questions like this, cause they make you think, and learn about the game’s mechanics.

    IMO, This is a fairly straightforward question.
    You need to consider 2 main things:
    First is any part of the magic weapon coming into contact with the enemy.
    2nd are any effects of magic coming into contact with the enemy.

    So for casting Target:Part, No, the magic is not contacting the enemy so it can affect the enemy wizard, BUT if the effect is a rego, ie control the spear into the enemy wizard, then magic would be directing the spear into the enemy, and thus would stop when the spear tired to thrust into the enemy.
    If the spear was thrown (aim check needed) then the effect would end before it hit the wizard and would hit the enemy. the reason for this is that the FORCE is magical. So would be resisted. (see HOH-S pg 35, “Projectiles and Rego Magic”).

    However: If an effect was just on the hilt, and any magic only affected the wielder, then the enemy would not be able to resist it. If the magic affected the part of the blade that hit the enemy, then the spear/sword would then become magical and would be resisted.

    Note: with the invisible swordsman, The hilt could make the swordsman invisible, BUT it would not make the sword invisible, as then the sword would then be magical and be resisted.

    Note: for an enchanted item, it’s a bit trickier. Because you can enchant part of an item. IMO: it going to depend on how it was enchanted. If you enchant a “multi’ part item, then any effect would make the whole item magical. If you only enchanted the hilt, then only the hilt would be magical. The key, IMO, would be would the item still be magical if it was disassembled, and of course what part hits an enemy with resistance.

  4. Make sure that Aristotelian is used when reasoning. There is no momentum. An object moves because a force is applied, once that force is no longer applied it stops moving.

    The haft may be what is enchanted, however the force it applies is to the entire spear. That force is magical in nature and as such can be resisted.

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