As those who wield the eldritch powers of magick bend the natural order of things to their will through the use of magick, so the wills of those at whom their works are sometimes directed may be brought to bear in play to oppose them. This is the basic concept behind Magick Resistance and the M-RES score.
This is not as simple a concept as it might appear on the surface, however.
For those who are veterans of other medieval fantasy RPG’s, M-RES in RoM doesn’t really work the same in practice as it does in many other games of the same genre.
First and foremost, the parameters of what magicks can be resisted and which may not is very different. Magick in RoM is posited to manipulate Real World forces to inflict Real World effects, especially when discussing Battle Magick. The effects of a great many charms that change things physically in the game world environment are generally deemed to be VERY real, even “permanent” in nature. Such charms express themselves in adamant physical terms, such as scorching fire or blistering heat, biting cold, water in its various expressions, screaming wind, implacable earth, rumbling clouds, static shocks or actual lightning, cracks of thunder with real concussive force, burning acid, constricting animated plants, or the hurling of real objects and weapons, and so on.
These sorts of dweomers generally canNOT be resisted using M-RES, and rely on such things as bearing shields, wearing armor, and having partial cover to Dodge behind to help minimize any damage taken. The physical effects Battle Magicks bring into play call on the use of the targets’ P-RES scores for resisting the extreme physical shocks that such charms deliver to the targets’ bodies with the damage inflicted, instead.
As a rule of thumb, the influences of charms that are directed at changing the quality(ies), status or disposition of inanimate objects or plant life, or encompassing locations (AoE magicks), canNOT be resisted by means of M-RES. When directed at some area or object next to or around a creature or being, there is no opportunity to resist because the charm isn’t doing anything directly to it to BE resisted, regardless of the fact that the creature or being has to deal with the consequences of the change in the conditions of his environment.
There is no means aside from resisting physically (STR vs. POT, Contested Roll) to resist the effects of one’s own clothes shrinking, binding and holding one prisoner or forcing him to move to the caster’s will like a puppet on strings, nor to resist the sudden transformation of the quarterstaff in one’s hands into a snake, or to resist the backpack on one’s back suddenly being made 20 times heavier than it ought to be. The more clever the application of the magick, the more potentially dangerous a practitioner of magick can be, even on the very eve of his completing his original apprenticeship. One of the things most all practitioners are on the lookout for is ways to use their power to best effect while also doing so in such a way that others have no opportunity to resist it.
This group of charms includes “Ravenous Mire;” “Straysod;” coming into contact with any surface treated with a “Charm of Adherence;” “Slick Stone” or “Oil Slick” or “Ice Slick;” “Nature Bonds;” “Veil of Fire;” “Hedge of Thorns;” or any similar protective Wall, Hedge or Veil charm; “Frost Aura;” “Scorching Aura” or “Flame Aura;” “Thorn Charm;” any charm cast into a Warding; being struck by a blade that has been given an “Implacable Edge” or picking up an object whose edges have been honed with that enchantment; picking up an object treated with a “Weight Enchantment,” etc. Charms like these, that cannot be resisted, are noted as such at the ends of their descriptions.
In addition, those objects chosen by the practitioner can be invested with charms by means of the Art of Naming in such a way that coming into contact with them while they endure can be inconvenient or deleterious, if not actually harmful. The effects of charms used in this way can be resisted only in accordance with what their descriptions state, BUT charms lying in wait are going to strike with Surprise, which reduces M-RES to 1 by necessity, except in combat situations OR for those character’s trained in the Arts of magick, whose M-RES scores are innate and always functioning and normal, no matter the circumstances.
SOME of these charms have effects that allow for a Sentry/AWA check before contact so the would-be victim might note something amiss with it as the dweomer starts to react at one’s incipient touch, especially those whose effects are expressed physically, such as a “Thorn Charm“, BUT not all.
Depending on the nature of the charm and the length of time the object has sat where it is, there may be some signs of the charm having been triggered previously to provide a clue to danger, perhaps requiring a Perception/AWA check before the one walking into danger gets close enough to touch it (GM’s discretion). Effects, such as elemental Frost or elemental Heat auras are readily discernible as they are approached by the marked change in temperature and also the rippling haze of heat or the frost rime on the surface on which the object sits, encircling it.
A charm can only be resisted when it is fixed directly on a living creature or being, aimed at changing its physical or emotional/spiritual status or disposition, body systems, heart rate, rate of metabolism, bleeding from any wounds, the functioning of any of the five senses, its emotional state, any charm that seeks to impair any normal function or to alter the normal, stable status of the target’s body (homeostasis).
This group of charms includes “Evil Eye”; “Wind Steal”; “Fumble Charm”; “Lameness”; “Burden Charm”; “Wasting Hex”; “Fat the Boar”; “Agony”; “Ecstasy”; “Leaden Feet”; “Nausea”; “Flatulence”; “Belch”; “Sneeze” or “Sneezing Fit”; “Cough” or “Coughing Fit”; “Belly-Full Hex”; “Hungry”; “Thirsty”; “Palsey”; “Tremors”; “Warts”; “Boils”; “Lesions”; “Rapunzel’s Tresses”; “Dull Sense”; “Druid Sleep”; “Beguiling Eyes”; “Banish Memory”; “Memory Seal”; “Wander Charm”; “Elf Shot”; “Lemming Charm”; “Memory Steal”; “Burden Charm”; “Leaden Foot”; “Slow Charm”, “Weight Enchantment”, “Wound Hex”, and the like. These are also noted for their vulnerability to being resisted at the ends of their descriptions.
Target M-RES can potentially be sidestepped in these cases by adding the target’s M-RES att. mod. to the casting DV.
Success of the d100 for the casting automatically then indicates the target’s M-RES has also failed, but the amount by which the roll is made determines how much of the POT has “stuck” to the target, in quarter (1/4th) fractions, as follows.
For example, Clive the Bristling has a casting AV of 16 and a casting DV of 20, but he wants to guarantee that it affects his target, so the GM adds his target’s M-RES att. mod. to the DV. With a M-RES 17, his M-RES att. mod. of +4 brings it up to 24.
Cross-indexing AV 16 with DV 24 on the Task Resolution table yields a 43% chance of success. Any result of “44” or greater on the dice means Clive completely fails to build the charm around his target. It falls apart, the cost in Wind for casting it wasted.
Reading up the DV 24 column from there we find entries of “42” in the line above, “40” in the 2nd line above, and “38” in the 3rd line above.
Rolling “43” means Clive’s charm was successful, but his target rallied a strong spiritual defense and is only affected by 1/4th the POT of the charm.
Rolling “42” or “41” means Clive’s charm was a bit more successful, but the target is still only affected by 1/2 the POT.
Rolling “40” or “39” means Clive was mostly a success; his target barely resists at all, being hit with 3/4th’s of the POT Clive put into it.
Clive’s player must actually roll “38” or lower in order to completely overwhelm his target’s M-RES and hit him with the full POT of his charm.
Alternately, a charm can be constructed without that additional challenge and the target allowed a M-RES check vs. [(casting AV) + (1 per 4 points POT)], putting the onus of making the roll on the target’s shoulders.
For example, Blix the Munificent, M-RES 16, is facing a “Fairy Reel” Bardic Aer that was created with a casting AV of 20 and a POT of 15. The AV and POT yield a resistance DV of 24.
Cross-indexing AV16 with DV24 on the Task Resolution table yields a 43% chance of success. Any result of “44” or greater on the dice means Blix fails utterly to resist and dances off into the night until he collapses of exhaustion.
Reading up the DV 24 column from there we find entries of “42” in the line above, “40” in the 2nd line above, and “38” in the 3rd line above.
Rolling “43” means Blix barely resisted at all, and he is affected by 3/4th’s the POT of the “Fairy Reel”, and dances merrily along.
Rolling “42” or “41” means Blix resisted a bit better, but is still affected by 1/2 the POT of the “Fairy Reel.”
Rolling “40” or “39” means Blix rallied a strong spiritual defense, and he is only affected by 1/4th the POT of the “Fairy Reel.” He’s dancing, but not very hard at all.
Blix’s player must actually roll “38” or lower in order for Blix to resist completely and remain completely unaffected (except for maybe tapping his foot in time to the music).
Which path is taken is entirely up to the practitioner casting the charm, and must be stated immediately when the player declares the practitioner is starting to cast the charm.
Contests of Will
As noted above, the resistance of magick is not always expressed by the use of the M-RES score, however. Those that physically restrain or bind a target fast and secure such as “Rigor Mortis”; “Hands of the Grave;” the “Shackle”, “Hobble”, “Tether”, “Pillory” or “Stocks” aspects of the “Charm of Binding;” “Nature Bonds;” “Snare Charm” and the like allow each target recourse to his own STR and/or AGL, even if they may not allow a M-RES check.
These allow for a Contested STR and/or AGL Roll on D100 vs. the magick’s [(POT) + (1 per 4 charm SL’s)] at the end of every action so long as the victim wishes to fight it. Thus, beating the effects of the charm a sufficient number of times can break the binding eventually, if it is not otherwise removed. On the other hand, failing the Contest in the end eliminates the ability to fight the charm any further at all, as discussed and defined under “Contested Rolls” under the “Task Resolution” heading.
For those charms that suppress the mind or spirit, impair or coerce judgment like “Compulsion of Truth;” “Mesmerize;” “Wizard’s Behest;” “Thrall;” “Friend” or “Enemy” charms (Sympathy/Antipathy); “Cold Heart” or “Heart’s Prison;” “Charm of Binding” – especially “Marionette Charm” – and so on, may be resisted by use of the M-RES score normally, to start with, but for those that succumb all is not lost.
These sorts of charms also allow for a Contested HRT Roll on D100 vs. the magick’s influence when it comes into play. Thus, winning the Contest can break the power of the charm eventually, if it isn’t otherwise removed. On the other hand, failing the Contest eliminates the ability to fight the charm further, as discussed and defined under “Contested Rolls” under the “Task Resolution” heading.
In addition, the effects of magickally generated and delivered poisons and diseases are subject to both M-RES AND P-RES, the M-RES to establish how well the dweomer takes hold, and then P-RES, normally, to determine how well the target’s body mediates the effects of poisons, venoms or poxes, normally.
The excruciating magickally generated pain of the “Agony” charm is subject both to M-RES normally, and then mediated afterwards by use of the P-RES score in the same manner as resorting to STR and AGL when physically bound.
Charms subject to these resistance rules and allowances are noted in their descriptions.
When the recipient is willing to accept a magick he deems beneficial or necessary of nature, and knows it is coming, he may waive any M-RES check to which he may be entitled. No d100 check need be made.
When a target is judged completely unawares of the magick being cast at him, his M-RES is effectively reduced to one (1) when that magick is loosed at him.
This reduction in M-RES applies ONLY so long as he is unaware of his danger.
Any character engaged in or knowingly about to become engaged in a life-or-death struggle such as occurs during clashes of arms in combat is considered to have their “Fight or Flight” reaction fully engaged, and as such is fully protected by their M-RES for so long as they remain in such danger. They need not be aware of any charms specifically intended for them, body and spirit both are on high alert.
Glamourie & Resistance
Glamourie is something of a law unto itself, due to its unique nature. It changes the perception of the world to those who encounter it, and perception is reality, and yet the changes are illusory, only ephemeral. How is one to know what is real and what is not? The truth of the matter is, unless the Glamourie is visual and its loosing and the consequent change it makes in the world is witnessed as it manifests, it will appear to be just as real as the rest of the world when encountered. The only Glamours that can be directly resisted by means of M-RES are those used to change the reality of a living creature or being, so that it appears or impacts the senses of others in some other way.
The subject encountering a Glamour is only allowed a check to “resist” it, for lack of a better term, or to see through it, IF he comes into direct personal contact or interaction with it in a manner that would enable him to realize its true nature, and then only if the POT of the Glamour is less than the subject’s AWA, CHM, or HRT score, whichever is greatest.
IF its POT is not this great, the nature of the Glamour becomes immediately apparent to the character in question as soon as he directly interacts with it.
Otherwise, the character encountering an illusion is only allowed to try to realize and break through an illusion when it masks a physical danger of some sort and subsequent interaction with it actually results in physical pain or the damage of an actual wound, in which case, the subject’s [(AWA att. mod.) + (CHM att. mod.) + (HRT att. mod.) + (number of points of damage or measure of pain) stands as the AV for a d100 check vs. the caster’s [(MGT att. mod.) + (CHM att. mod.) + (HRT att. mod.) + (POT of Glamour)] as the DV. This is to be conducted as a Contested Roll, in the same manner as a M-RES check.
Failing this check indicates that the subject’s body and subconscious refuse to acknowledge the damage/pain, and remains in the grip of the Glamour’s reality.
Succeeding in this check indicates the subject has awakened to the true nature of reality and can see through the Glamour seen. The dweomer then turns ephemeral, ghost-like, and then fades away, it power broken and dispelled for that individual only. The subject cannot be troubled further by the illusion, though he may still be able to see the effect of the glamour out of the corners of his eyes, especially if he has The Sight.
When a Glamour is conjured up and released in such a way as to visibly change the state of reality, the apparent physical setting or nature of person, creature, place, or thing, within view of a subject as he watches, his first reaction is to question the reality of that change, to test it and try to resist it, in a similar manner to the M-RES of those in battle being fully alert to magick to the best of their ability, the “fight-or-flight” instinct is triggered. In such a case, the subject(s) witnessing the loosing of the Glamour and the subsequent change are allowed a simple d100 check using the same AV and DV.
Failing this check, the subject is unable to observe any clue that would reveal the illusory nature of the Glamour, and thus is subject to its effects as if he had never witnessed the Glamour’s creation and manifestation. To him the reality that was cloaked by the Glamour was in fact the Glamour and what the Glamour created was the revelation of true reality
Succeeding in this check, the subject is able to pierce the illusion and maintain his grip on reality as it is rather than as the practitioner would paint or portray it by Glamour. The dweomer thus turns ephemeral, ghost-like, and then fades away, it power broken and dispelled, as noted.