[from Andrew Gross]
Protection from Magic and Magic Ward devices only protect the character, not the unit.
I would guess that the rule that causes the most accusations of "power-gaming" or "munchkinism" when it comes to FR! is the protection from magic/magic ward devices.
People like Eric and I consider them to be manadatory. Our reasoning is simple: if my magic user isn't protected from magic, he will be targeted by every spell for the entire game, and at some point he's going to blow his character result roll, and then he'll be dead, and the game is over, I lose.
[Mike Demana] Level one magic games are not "over" once you lose your spellcaster. Offensive magic is limited in level one games.
Other people consider them to be cheesy. From talking to them, it seems that they tend to play with people who (either out of custom, or out of a sense of fair play, or out of a differing evaluation of tactics) don't target their magic user with every single spell. For them, taking a protection from magic device isn't a necessity, and it tends to remind them of a certain GW game.
[Guy E. Flora] Wizards don't target other wizards for the same reason sharks don't eat lawyers: professional courtesy.
With the above rule, the magic user with the device is still protected (which satisifies people like Eric and I) but it doesn't make the unit the character is attached to into a big, GW-style, killer unit. If you want to mount your magic user on a flying dragon, great--but it can still be killed by a spell, just like everything else; I'd think twice before flying it away from the rest of your lines--it doesn't do you any good that your magic user survives only to be immediately captured! You eliminate the "luck factor" of someone losing their magic user early on because of a poor character results roll, but you don't create any killer units in the bargain.
It might be necessary to adjust the point cost of the item down a little bit-- although even if it was left at 40 points, I still might consider it to be mandatory.
[Mike Demana] I think that would be an excellent house rule in situations where it seems the "Protection From" has become mandatory. I agree you could easily back down the point cost and make people who have seen this issue as a flaw very happy.
[Eric Reel] Actually, I prefer a bodyguard to a MW for character protection purposes. I do consider the MW mandatory for any character attached to large monsters/dragons/elite knights, etc. I'm reminded of a certain orc hero on a giant hog who single handedly destroyed most of his own LC assault wing courtesy of a few Voodoo Hexes... but we won't go there.
I like your general idea, but I think a simpler solution would be to just get rid of MW/PFM items entirely.