Is there a one-word term that's understood by role-playing gamers to mean resistance to magical attacks, in the same way that many role-playing gamers would quickly recognize armor to mean resistance to physical attacks?

I'm developing a basic MMORPG, using armor as the term for resistance to physical attacks. I was using shield as the term for resistance to magical attacks, but now that I've added to the game actual shields, I need a different yet accessible term.

Is there a simple and, preferably, one-word phrase that role-playing gamers commonly use for a magic resistance attribute?

Moderator notice: To answer the question being asked the word should already have currency in English RPG contexts, which answers should include. Suggestions with no evidence that the word is already in use for this meaning are not really answering the question and are liable to be deleted.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This site is about tabletop and live action roleplaying games, not computer or video games. Questions about developing an MMORPG would go on Game Dev. Though this is a borderline case, since our expertise in RPGs may be more relevant than theirs in game development. Hm. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 8 '16 at 16:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I edited this question to better fit the site's guidelines. I hope it still fits with your vision, and, if it doesn't, please edit it again so it does. Good luck with your game. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 8 '16 at 16:29
  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage I think no one is better to get RPG synonyms than RPG players. The same goes to History - while we have an History.SE, History of the hobby is better suited here. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Jul 8 '16 at 16:30
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ In its current edited form I see no reason for this to remain closed. It's a good fit, per ThalesSarczuk's and Hey I Can Chan's input. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 8 '16 at 17:28
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to start deleting idea-only answers.Is there a word?” is not the same question as “What word do you think I should use?” \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 9 '16 at 17:51

Resistance is a perfectly fine word by itself, so long as you do not end up with other types of resistance (energy resistance, for instance).

Willpower would work if your magic is primarily mental, though it's not ideal when better willpower helps you resist explosions.

Warding/Wards would work. It implies a physical object doing the protecting, but then so does Armor.

| improve this answer | |
  • 16
    \$\begingroup\$ Ward is a very good word for this -- in that it already has a magical connotation similar to the desired term. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Jul 8 '16 at 16:54
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Defiance, Abjurance, Protection, Blessing, Preservation, Luck, Integrity all hold other emphases to consider. You nailed the big three, so I toss this here as a bit of contrast. \$\endgroup\$ – The Nate Jul 8 '16 at 20:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I actually really like Blessing - I was thinking about a holy angle, but somehow blanked on it. \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Jul 8 '16 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ward works pretty well, especially if the physical resistance is called Armor. \$\endgroup\$ – IanDrash Jul 9 '16 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ All answers provided tremendous insight, choosing this one as accepted as it gained the most upvotes \$\endgroup\$ – Kaan Soral Jul 11 '16 at 21:48

A One-word term for Magical Resistance is a bit hard. Most RPG and MMO players are fairly used to composite terms for something like that, the two most common being Magical Resistance and Magical Armor.

Those are frequently abbreviated to MR and MA, respectively, which is what commonly appears on character sheets. M. Resistance and M. Armor are also pretty common forms of those terms, and most people who are used to the hobby will immediately get what they mean - and if you couple them with a shield with some sort of fireball inside of it for an icon, even better.

However, if you really, really need to use a single word it, you have some choices.

  • Spirit - This is a somewhat less used term that sometimes means magical defenses and sometimes means regeneration rates. Other games may add different meanings to it, so it heavily depends on the context of use. When paired with Intelligence, Spirit is normally used for the defenses while Intelligence is used for the attack aspect of it.
  • Willpower or Will - This is a common word for RPGs that more often than not refers to the ability of the character to stave off magical effects that affect the mind. A few games also generalize it to mean "magical defenses".
  • Tenacity - A barely used term that when used normally refers to the ability to reduce harmful effects. Also, a really cool word.
  • Resilience - Old-time WoW players will remember this one. On the WoW context, it was some sort of catch-all PVP defense, but it can be used safely to mean magical armors of sorts. Resilience is the term I use on my own RPG System for my "magical defense stuff".

Despite my suggestions, I really, really recommend you to use some sort of M.Armor or something like that. It is way easier to associate M.Armor to "Magical defenses" than it is for any other single-term word!

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I definitely identify with Resilience and Spirit, but more importantly +1 for M. Armor because "Armor + M[agic] = Magic Armor" is far and away easier to associate than any other kind of terminology. \$\endgroup\$ – jaichele Jul 8 '16 at 20:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Downvoter - A comment would be appreciated! \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Jul 8 '16 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with your suggestion, indeed it's very hard to get away with a single word \$\endgroup\$ – Kaan Soral Jul 11 '16 at 21:48

the Final Fantasy series sometimes uses the term Barrier for this.

Abjuration perhaps from the D&D school of protective magic?

Negation or any of it's synonyms?

the IRL technical term for something that is meant to deflect magic, spirits and misfortune is Apotropaic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apotropaic_magic

Of everything that's already been suggested I think ward works best

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Barrier" really started to grow on me, otherwise I was leaning towards "Resistance" for my use case - Subjectively it doesn't sound as cool as some other alternatives, but considering "Armor" reduces physical damage, "Armor+Barrier" beats "Armor+Resistance" - as resistance can be for many other things, but it seems more likely that a newcomer might interpret "Barrier" as magical resistance -- on the other hand -- Barrier also sounds a bit like a property that would reduce all damages, kind of like 20 Barrier reducing 100 Damage and making it 80 \$\endgroup\$ – Kaan Soral Jul 9 '16 at 22:30

MR is a fantastic abbreviation for Magic Resistance. It's what League of Legends players use.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pronounced "eh-mar" or "em-are" as I understand you. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 9 '16 at 23:09

Being an old WoW player, I prefer Resilience and think of it as a term for "Reducing non-physical damage." So whether the player gets hit by a fireball or falls into a campfire, they wouldn't take as much damage as they normally would, though both would still hurt plenty.

Total Damage = Rolled Damage - Resilience

Noting above, Resistance is an excellent choice as well. But as SPavel mentioned, this becomes a problem if you start separating types of resistance. However, this can come to your aid if you use Resilience as the base value for mitigating non-physical damage, and use Resistance to augment specific elements.

Total Damage = Rolled Damage - (Resilience + Resist)

Blessing and Warding are good words too, though (to me) they denote a spell being cast for the protection of player(s) or area.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is falling into a campfire considered non-physical damage? \$\endgroup\$ – Kos Jul 10 '16 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ IMO, hitting the ground occupied by the fire would be physical. The fire itself is non-physical. \$\endgroup\$ – Kallob Llwynnog Jul 13 '16 at 5:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Non-physical as in chemical, because burning is a chemical phenomenon? Hm, that's technically true, I didn't think of that... But wait - fire damage is caused by high temperature, which is itself a physical phenomenon, no? \$\endgroup\$ – Kos Jul 13 '16 at 12:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.