Character Creation for Nithyn (OOC)

The need to purchase Concentration and Finesse using power levels means he may end up with a few less levels of powers. Check the rule in RoP:M.

Just thought I'd mention it to avoid disappointments later on.

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I'm looking for the rule in question. What I've found so far is the rules for getting xp for said abilities from Improved Powers, and the rules for character creation for assigning Ability xp. Which ability xp being assigned is in the inset on page 30 in the Season phase, and in the Season phase on page 34.

From page 34

Season is how you will determine the character’s starting experience points. Choose which Season best describes the character, and consult the following table. These points may be spent as you would for any beginning character; you must have an appropriate Virtue or Flaw to purchase Abilities that are not General. If your character concept includes innate Abilities (as many animals do) you will need to spend your starting points on these scores first.

I think that this means that Dolabrius would need a suitable virtue to unlock Arcane Abilities, but not that it couldn't be done?

Analysis on spells:

I don't think you can change R:Touch to T:Touch (sensory) and have the same effect. You are not touching things 1 mile distant from you. Sensory spells just add new functions to existing senses, and the sense of touch doesn't work that far. Also, +3 size wouldn't make sense, senses have no size. ^^
Why not keep the regular version of the spell?

Same concern in regards to T:Touch (sensory).
As for the sensed area, 2 extra mags wouldn't do much. +5 mags is 1000000 cubic meters, which is a lot... but at an 1 mile radius that's only 12cm deep. You could make it, however, a hemisphere of roughly 80m radius. Or a 100x100x100 cube of earth.

This is the fork discussion all over again. It's debatable to what degree functioning and (specially) purpose of an object can be discerned by InTe, regardless of the guideline used (except for the high level ones that allow one to directly comune with an object).

Also, all of the effects above are InTe. Maybe it can be covered by a Focus Power (idk, "Understanding Earth and Stone")? This would give a bit more flexibility to Dolabrius.

Affect how? Since you say "part of the intent" I think you want to do more than just cutting/piling stone? If so, this is walking in the direction of a focus power.
Yes, group is required for several stones. Part is required to quarry them. The intended flexibility also is pushing this towards a focus power.

I think it's questionable if you can always create a cave/tunnel "up to the size potentially affected by the effect" "without affecting the structural properties of it". Short Step of the Ghost affects only a relatively small section of the wall.

Minor reminder that this one needs to penetrate to be of any use for Dolabrius or people with MR.

This one seems extremely complex as described, and I'm not sure if it's fully possible at all. Maybe for personal use only, but not giving 40mph speed. For a "sizeable group of people", I don't think you can coordinate the way earth moves and people move to boost speed collectively like that at all.

In General:

Dolabrius has a lot of really high level powers. Don't forget you need to pay for his powers with qualities. Are there enough points for everything he will need?

Personal opinion (so take it with a grain of salt): a few of the powers seem a bit out of place (I'm looking at you, The Mystical Carpenter)? Not that they aren't useful for a combat engineer, but Dolabrius is a magical badger first and a combat engineer second, no? Also, he doesn't need to do everything alone in an army.
There's some overlap between the uses of some powers (A Thousand Ready Dolabra and Dolabra of the Titans, for example).
Also, his powers are all over the place in regards to Arts. Mostly Terram, but a bit of Herbam and Auram. All techniques, except for Perdo.
Dolabrius isn't a magical badger who doubles as a combat engineer. He is a combat engineer who happens to be a magical badger.

Regarding Concentration, Finesse and Penetraition: I believe Vortigern is correct in this:

It's just that unnused levels from powers, or points from Improved Powers, can be exchanged by xp in those three abilitities. Not that they can only be obtained through this way. Indeed, several creatures from RoP:M have penetration coming from their regular pool of seasonal xp.

Also, Beasts of Virtue in particular seem to have no restriction regarding requiring virtues to access academic or arcane abilities (check Season and Abilities in pg.56, and compare with Season and Abilities for Magical Giants in pg. 85 for example).

But I'd say this doesn't really apply to Dolabrius, because he isn't a Beast of Virtue by design, so he does need the virtues if he wants to use his regular xp pool.


Taking an appropriate virtue will indeed give access to Arcane abilities.

Note that some of the creatures presented in RoP:M do not follow that rule. But any magical character (including a future familiar) should.

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Easy enough to just make them Sight or something. Though there are certainly effects to use your senses at range. But I digress. That said, I think the intent is to keep him from constantly having to recast the spell over and over as he moves though?

Not sure I agree here mate. Craft magic as written is extremely flexible. After all, the same spell can split wood, create beautiful wooden carvings, make a bow, or even build a house. This definitely isn't anywhere close to a focus power though, given the fact that a RAW example of that is the ability to use spont magic of two techniques in a given form. Maybe if he had a focus power in ALL craft magic or something? Remember, it's supposed to be similar to a focus, so slightly less than a single Hermetic form.

Easy enough to fix with a Rego requisite?

Good catch. Thankfully magi can lower their Parma. Plus, I would hope you count as having a permanent AC to yourself? :wink:

Really? It seems pretty straightforward to me. It's basically The Well Troden Path plus a Rego Terram effect to move a chunk of earth in a given direction at speed. Very much inside the scope of what magic can do.

I think this is mostly just brainstorming? Tossing stuff out there, soliciting feedback, etc. We'll just have to wait and see what a draft build looks like!

Making it R:Sight wouldn't change that. Unless you are thinking about T:Vision? T:Hearing also matches with the intent, albeit having a lower range. Up to the SG to say if it could be increased with additional mags (it does have the advantage, over Vision, of being omnidirectional).
If going standard spell, to have the effect effectively recast as you walk, a +1 mag can contemplate that (see Threading the Ashen Path). Also, since it's actually a power, there isn't much risk to recasting the spell often... you need only concern yourself with the might cost (which can be offset with qualities if needed be).

Not to the point of changing targets this way. Rego Craft has a definite target, with a potentially open ended result. Here we want to affect either a part or a group (different targets).
But maybe a +1 is indeed enough, as Vortigern proposed. Idk.

I sure hope so! XD
I'm mentioning because it's easily forgetable, and depending on his might Dolabrius might need a few points in Penetration.
As for Parma... well, it's better if it doesn't need to stay suppressed for too long, right?

Well Trodden Path just evens out the ground in an area. We are talking about boosting movement of a large group of people. Who are bound to walk in a very assyncronous way, each with their own gait, pottentially over different terrain (imagine you are at the top of a hill, part of the group climbing up, part going down). And we want to move the earth below each one in the perfect way to match this and significantly boost their movement. A single +1 complexity doesn't even begin to address that, IMO.

Let me step back a moment. Is baseline 3 even capable of boosting the movement of a single person such that it reaches 40mph? How would the spell be designed if it was to boost only the movement of the caster?

ReTe seems to move stuff fast if they are small, and more slowly if they are large. The Unseen Porter uses base 3 and only moves as a person would. So 40 mph for a group seems to be stretching things quite a bit.

Also, the trickiness of the power could make a Finesse roll necessary. And badgers are not noted for their keen sense of sight. :wink:

I see this effect differently than either of you. Muto can transmute properties as much as physical states of matter. The reason the base/original spell doesn't affect the integrity of the structure that the wall is in isn't because it is small (the relative size of the wall section to the building in question is going to be circumstantial), it is because the structure of the wall isn't being affected by the property change that is being achieved by Muto.

The segment of wall (or in this caser earth) is being made permeable/passable but without affecting the whole and not by essentially "removing" it and leaving a structurally unsupported gap. The Muto effect is changing the properties of the section of wall so that it can be moved through but without impacting the structural integrity of the wall/object as a whole because those are not the properties that are being transmuted. Essentially the whole wall is still there, still intact, and still supporting itself. Just part of it is now passable like a permeable membrane that can be moved through but is still otherwise performing its function and still retains all other properties that haven't been affected by Muto.

The example Craft Magic spells are not designed to create specific types of objects or to perform specific types of work on the substances they affect. Standard hermetic spells are. Which those are two substantive differences between Craft Magic and standard spells in design. Standard spells perform more specific types of actions/activities (presto! Instant Ring Fort.) without requiring a Finesse roll. So they must be designed for those more particular functions. Craft Magic is more flexible. Take the mystic carpenter spell. It can be used to build seemingly anything, starting with baseline available lumber (and nails if you have them). But it takes both the spellcasting roll and finesse roll to craft the things.

So the two advantages of Craft Magic being flexibility and nominally instant and permanent real results on affected materials. Downside ... Finesse check requirements that are non-trivial. But you don't, say, have to design a ReTe smithing spell for anything you want to smith out of say iron (one for swords, one for daggers etc.) Instead there is one iron smithing spell, and you make checks based on what you want to make out of the iron. I think the guidelines paired with the example spells in Covenants make the way this is designed to function clear?

The intent here is for Dolabrius to be able to do Craft Magic on large volumes of earth and stone. So that he can, say, dig trenches/earthworks, or build roads, or ... whatever else. But requiring the finesse checks based on the complexity or amount of work he is trying to get done a specific amount of time etc. Less ambitious re: the carpentry.

The target issue is indeed my area of concern. I was trying to avoid him having to have multiple Craft Magic powers for the same materials, so that he wouldn't have to have one power to say cut stone into pieces and then another one to use the stone pieces now the he cut them. I wasn't sure if that kind of flexibility could be factored into the effect by paying for both Group and Part, and perhaps Complexity?

I think sensory spells can still be made more sensitive and/or augmented regardless with more magnitudes, and that a magical sense functions "like" a natural sense but also does what the magical sense does (in this case a powerful tremor sense on the ground) ... but I don't think I absolutely need that to be designed a certain way or think it is important enough debate it. Regardless if the effect is "constant" then ... it should be "going off" basically as he touches the ground at more or less anytime/all the time

This one I should have anticipated but didn't. So that was a good catch, I agree. Makes me ponder though. A CrAu spell creates a wind, not literally air as we might think of it today. Is the air we breath that wind, or is it a side effect of that wind that is no longer magical by the time we breath it? Or would air created by a magical breeze be magical as well?

The flying castle from Legends flies at "the running speed of a horse" (often also stipulated as 40mph) using the same guideline? Also so do some of the flying ship spells from Transforming Mythic Europe (for stone/metal ships). So size doesn't equate to move more slowly, necessarily, since we have clear examples of that grade of speed coming from ReTe. Though the porter spell is certainly slow.

The issue I saw with this effect was the potential for friction/inefficiency with the surrounding ground I thought. Which this was part of why I added Muto, in that it is being used to both ease that change of the earth in this way (reducing resistance and making the affected earth/terrain etc. more malleable) and at the same time to ease the "snap back" afterwards as things return to their original state. So that you aren't pulling a section of ground along against the resistance of the surrounding earth. "Sizeable group of people" was simply based on the overall surface area that I anticipated would be affected. Not that it is perfectly synchronized with the whole group individually, any more than a conveyor belt is synchronized with each item placed on the belt. In theory if someone was sufficiently slower than the rest of the group they could eventually fall behind enough that they would no longer be in the affected area and would lose the speed increase, because the effect isn't following/attached to individual people.

The intent is kind of a rolling/flowing effect of the whole area of ground that the group is moving on, like a people mover/escalator kind of thing, for acceleration ... but putting it all back afterwards so that the spell doesn't tear up the countryside and leave a blatant trail to follow as well.

I'm certainly open to further discussion/ideas on this one. I toyed with some ideas for something to facilitate travel until I came up with something. :wink:

I think that depends on how one views the concept, though I think as we (Nithyn and I) discussed it the primary element of the concept in mind was that of the engineer. And the badger was selected expressly as a suitable Terram oriented animal, but not as a central element of the concept.

I suppose that also depends on how one views familiars and/or building them as characters. And/or the variety of such magical/transformed animal type characters. I haven't really settled down to write a background or the like for Dolabrius yet but I thought about making him literally a transformed human who had been an actual combat engineer prior to his transformation (Julius gets a friend!), somehow. The exact means or timing of that transformation I haven't put a great deal of thought into yet.

Best regards gentlemen.

Humm... the effect does use the base 10 guideline (a highly unnatural liquid or gas) instead of base 3 (liquid or gas). Personally, I'm convinced.

That's a very good question.

Suppose Dolabrius is in an old, musty, sealed room, with unbreathable air, and uses the power. Something happens, triggering a conc. roll, and he fails. The air immediately becomes unbreathable again? Or there is some time, because the air inside the room was purified?

My initial reading of the spell is that the air immediately becomes unbreathable. That the spell doesn't purify the air, the magical breeze itself is breathable, and thus needs to penetrate. Just like you can't drink magical water with an active parma.
But there's room for disagreement, and I'm not dead set on this interpretation.

Yeah, and it's unreasonable. Can I use a base 3 ReTe to target part of a mountain and make the whole mountain move?
Later books are not always consistent in usage of rules. Some of the most problematic "canon" spells come from them (problematic in terms of "how does this even fit within the hermetic framework of magic").

Picking appart the effect in the stone disc from Legends of Hermes, it also lacks magnitudes for complex movement, "this spell not in effect" isn't an environmental trigger, an the disk, while controlled by light, lacks any kind of suitable trigger for that. Indeed, it's suggested a few times that the disk might not be an hermetic device, or must at least involve some kind of breakthrough.

Regarding the flying ships from TME, they explicitly add magnitudes for the extra speed (and for complexity of movement, for that matter).

Some kind of large scale geokinetic surfing?

But I'm still having trouble visualizing how this can be done leaving no traces w/o a quite a few additional mags. And it doesn't really fit a combat engineer either, does it?

When I said he is a combat engineer that happens to be a badger, don't take it as criticism. It was just me stating a perceived fact... that happens to be true, isn't it? The initial concept does seeps through the character.

I don't think it's strictly necessary to write a background for his transformation (and is Julius a transformed human or an oject who developed awareness? I think we can't tell for sure, but that's neither here nor there).

I still hold, nonetheless, that his powers are all over the place, both in required arts and types of effects. Again, fact, not criticism. To me it feels like he should be a magus (or at least was designed as one) instead of a magical creature, tbh.

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Dolabrius could believe itself to be a transformed human, but he is still a magical animal. If he were really a transformed human, then Vorsutus would be unable to bind it as a familiar.

So it should be designed as a magical animal, with virtues/flaws, qualities/inferiorities and magical powers appropriate for a magical animal. It might have developped a few of its powers based on that Delusion, but for the main part they should still reflect its nature as a magical animal. IMNSHO.

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Didn't want to leave you gentlemen without a reply. I don't really have time to go in depth on things tonight however, my apologies. I've been pondering some of the seeming issues however and will try to get something up (perhaps a revised build, once I can make time) as soon as feasible.

I think I'm fine with that level of range/sensitivity (80m).

I think I've decided to approach this differently overall, so will probably drop this power.

I'll consider that an accomplishment for my inner Tytalus. :wink:

Overall I think I'm not invested enough (or wanting to spend more time on it OOCly) in this effect to continue hashing it out. I think I will redesign it to be just some path smoothing/supporting like the well trodden path without any speed boosting features.

You definitely got a laugh here. And yes that was the intent. A rolling swell of the ground to ride on.

Hmm. Interesting to ponder. Perhaps the animal was present at the "somehow" very magical death of the original Dolabrius the Engineer, and was imprinted spirit/mind of the man.

I'm catching up here. I'll draft up a revised power list in a few.

I think this is covered under the term "composite object" and the general nature of Terram also generically covering "stuff" rather than only earth/stone etc. Note that this is a distinct guideline over and above analyzing mixtures/alloys or the properties of more nondescript and simple objects both.

Composite object I think is expressly a term for artificial compound objects composed of multiple substances, which I have trouble imagining something that fits such a definition while not falling more easily under the lower tier guidelines that isn't a more complex man made object?

Revised List.

Sense The Feet That Tread The Earth

Sense The Feet That Tread The Earth
InTe 30
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

As ArM5 pg 154.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +3 Size)

Sense the Deeps

Sense the Deeps
InTe 45
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

Provides a sense of the mixture & composition of the earth, by mystical touch sense, out to roughly 80 yards. This sense identifies the complex composition of the earth and thus can provide a great deal of detail regarding the contents (where something is buried - where stone, gems, metals etc. are located - underground water reservoirs) and location of objects beneath the surface.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +5 Size)

Eye of the Master

Eye of the Master
InTe 40
R: Per, D: Conc, T: Vision

This effect gives Dolabrius the ability to discern the properties and functioning of complex items (like buildings, siege engines, or other constructs) by sight. Dolabrius uses this to spot damage or deterioration that needs repairs, weak points in objects/structures/fortifications, or to understand "intuitively" the functioning of say a strange new siege engine.
(Base 15 (Mundane properties of a composite object), +1 Concentration, +4 Vision)

Rock of Viscid Clay

Rock of Viscid Clay (Mod.)
MuTe 30
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part

As ArM5 pg 154, modified for increased size.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +3 Size)

A Thousand Ready Dolabra

A Thousand Ready Dolabra
ReTe 40
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Part

Craft Magic, as Covenants pg 51, for affecting large quantities of earth and stone.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +1 Stone, +1 Second Effect (affecting Earth), +3 Size, +2 Group, +1 Complexity: affecting part and/or group)

The Mystical Carpenter

The Mystical Carpenter
ReHe 25
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Group

As Covenants pg 51.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +1 Complexity)

A Tunnel Wherever I Need One

A Tunnel Wherever I Need One
MuTe(Au) 50
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

Transforms earth to a vaguely airy substance that does not impede passage. The passage can be just large enough for Dolabrius or up to the size potentially affected by the effect in a simple cave or tunnel shape. This effectively allows Dolabrius to create an instant tunnel in which to travel which returns to being normal earth as he moves on. Like the base spell of Short Step of the Ghost the transformation merely makes the Part of the earth it affects passable without affecting the structural properties of it or the whole.
(Dirt Size: 10,000 cubic feet)(Stone Size: 1,000)
(Base Spell: Short Step of the Ghost, MuTe(Au) 25 (MoH pg 93))
(Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +1 affect stone, +1 second effect (affect earth), +3 size)

The Well-Trodden Path

The Well-Trodden Path (Mod.)
Re(Mu)Te(Aq) 50
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

This effect provides an amplified version of the effects found on MoH pg 141. The addition of an Aquam Requisite and an amplified effect allow the effect to smooth and support paths/ground that are muddy or soft, pushing out/removing the water temporarily, and holding the earth firm. This effect is sufficient to allow even the worst paths or ground to be passable but insufficient entirely to allow passage outright over say water (a river or lake for instance). The size increase allows this effect to affect enough ground to support the passage of a small to reasonable size immediate group. But this would be insufficient to encompass the passage of a larger group of people or animals.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +1 Size, +1 Aquam Requisite, +1 Amplified Effect)

Dolabra of the Titans

Earth Control
ReTe 25
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

Exerts continuous control over a large volume of dirt. The effect can shape and move the dirt continuously under the control of the caster/user over the duration of the effect. This however is over the same quantity of dirt and exerting control over a new quantity of earth requires using the effect again.
(Dirt Size: 10,000 cubic feet)
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +3 Size)

I am going to ponder another power or two that will play up the "natural animal" aspect of Dolabrius in addition to the impact of the engineer personality on his development.

Since i was doing the base crow, i also calculated the base badger in case it can be of any help.
For the characteristics i've took Small Predator since its omnivorous and gives him a high +3 base Str without size modifiers (badgers are known for being very strong).
Anyways, in the same way it could be argumented for it being treated as a Small Herbivore since its also Melancholic :person_shrugging: You choose.
I'd also say that Ferocity wouldnt be necessary, since being a Magical Badger will give him regular Confidence points. But i've added just to be aware of it.

Size: -3


  • Int: +1
  • Per: 0
  • Pre: -2
  • Com: -5
  • Str: -3
  • Sta: 0
  • Dex: +1
  • Qik: +3

Virtues & Flaws
Enduring Constitution, Ferocity (when cornered), either Pack Leader or Pack Mentality.

Natural Qualities
Aggressive, Grapple, Large Claws, Tireless


  • Athletics 3 (running)
  • Awareness 3 (food)
  • Brawl 5 (claws)
  • Survival 3 (forest)

In total, 165 exp points.

Is "functioning" a mundane property of an object? To what degree?

We have examples in canon of "properties" including things such as when/where it was created or born (for example the spells to gather sufficient information to construct a natal horoscope). And other spells for say seeing the former whole from a part that is the target. So properties in canon explicitly then has been used to cover things well beyond what we might think of in contemporary terms as the physical properties of an object.

A mundane property I (subjectively) see as anything intrinsic to an normal/non-magical aspect of an object and not a property coming from magic or in some way one of the Realms. I think in theory you could gather a mundane property using that guideline "from" something that also had magical properties, but not divine anything about magical properties.

But this already is not limited to express physical properties and can instead provide information such as current location, or time and place of creation etc.

In period, as an example, the thinking of the day based frequently say on the Aristotlean system held that a full understanding of something, including especially causally, included its teleological purpose. That this purpose was an intrinsic part of it (why it exists as it does) and also how it does what it does. This might be something like a crossbow and saying it is for shooting things... but it also goes down to asserting that say trees grow upwards because it is part of their natural (or divine) purpose that they do so. That form and function exist only as an outflow of purpose, and purpose always exists even if only from the divine purpose in all things. (Not that "everyone" thinks this way, or that I claim to be a complete expert in it, but it was certainly a strong school of thought at the time.)

Not that I think I want to put anyone on the spot of "so what is the teological/cosmological purpose of this object?" ... but it does sound like something Ars players would argue about. :wink:

See,that's why I said it's the fork discussion all over again. XD

I'm not actually aiming at our modern concept of physical properties of matter. "Age" of anything is a perfectly valid property. As is location, or completeness (with the caveat that this last one relies on the law of sympathy).

... I was writting a long philosophical essay, but not even I want to read it. =P

In essence, as I see, functioning and purpose as not properties. They are just information. As in, they are perceived constructs. Bits and bytes with no meaning in themselves if there is no human to interpret them. Location has meaning, as does age, regardless of the observer. Function has not.

It's funny you mention the crossbow, because I was thinking of it as an example. I'd say one of it's properties is that if you turn the crannequin the string is pulled. Another is that if you pull it enough there is a mechanism to lock it. Another yet is that by pulling the trigger you release the mechanism. But the functioning is making these all in sequence. Once you know all the individual properties it's pretty obvious that this is how it's supposed to function (and a few crossbows don't even allow to excute the actions in another sequence), but this is something you must piece together yourself, this guideline can't (in my understanding) directly impart this information, because function emerges from the sum of the properties, but is not property.
(And purpose yet is another beast.)

This might sound pedantic, but to give an extreme example with which I'm more familiar, consider an airplane (think one with mechanical controls, if it makes more sense for the example). You determine that the ailerons have the property of turning up or down, and that you do it by moving a stick. That the rudder can move right and left. That the landing gear is retractable. That the whole metal structure is surprisingly flexible. And so on, and so on. Let's even say you can detect a "birdness" in the construction that gives you certainty that it's a flying device. But the actual functioning that allows one to fly (deflect one aileron up and the other down to turn, while using the rudder for stability. Keeping the landing gear down during flight increases drag, it should be retracted after take-off and deployed only on landing. You can only command the aircraft to take off after reaching a certain speed. Close the f-ing door. Etc, etc) isn't a property, and can't quite be gleamed just from knowing the properties. You can learn that the window blinds slide up and down, but you have no way from knowing if they are related to the plane's actual capability of flying.

EDIT: I think it ended up being a long philosophical essay in the end, but of another kind... Hopefully less boring.

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Re: Age as a property

Age is a property. But point of origin isn't one that people would tend to acknowledge in the contemporary conception. But in Ars both of those together, as time and point of origin both together, form a very important complex quality for basically anything. Properties in period function entirely different. Like ... meat spontaneously generating maggots as a property of the meat.

But you don't seem to disagree here regardless? Yes, I think sympathy is a property but one that would tend to fall under the magical category. Perhaps that could be used to determine what something might be an Arcane Connection to?

In my own conception the information imparted by the guideline could include everything you describe (physical properties and such) and progress up to purpose/function ... but imparts no skill at all with using something. So you may get the information that say something is an aircraft which is something with purpose of being a flying machine/apparatus. And if you studied it for a bit, how each individual piece works. i.e. if you used the guideline on a particular part/switch/control, it would tell you what it does (this lever moves/controls x), and arguably what the purpose of that is (if purpose is a property).

But none of this would impart any ability to use the aircraft. It might, in theory, impart enough information to form a concept of use and try to "practice" whatever ability is required in using it to a point where you could develop that requisite ability. Maybe. If you were really intelligent and determined. 8P

But I don't really think that (aircraft) is a good example either, because it is much more complex (a system of systems say) than most anything that they were capable of building in period. The most complex thing I can think of would be a ship, with various apparatus and "systems" involved in making it work. Or a siege engine. In game there are theoretically clockwork devices and the like, but those are quite rare and in Ars based in magic if you go beyond simple one function devices like say a greek fire siphon.

I think the greek fire siphon is a good example then of the strangest sort of thing that could reasonably be encountered in game that is a non-magical composite object.

Regardless ... this is why say Form stopped seeming like such a reasonable concept as time went along. But objectively in canon Form is a concept that exists and "works" magically speaking. Creo quite frequently relies upon it. Every object has a Form, an ideal state, and that ideal state functions a certain way and has a purpose etc. These are intrinsic aspects of the Form and of the object as a specific instantiation of the Form. In a way you could see Intellego as interacting with either or both of these things (specific object, or Form as a concept) to access information. But I think it illustrates that properties of things are broader than say physical properties.