Creating a recording item

I am looking for an item to record continuously a scene, and here are my thoughts.

Why ? A Verditius mage has the Lame flaw as well as Driven: discover the world.

Core rulebook: it is possible to transfer, copy, fabricate and erase memory (p149-151 core).
Societas HoH elaborates on this topic in the Jerbiton chapter.
However, all these spells requires a human mind to have seen something before it can be duplicated or transfered. More over, it can only be displayed in the mind.
Issue: because, it is coming from another mind, the memory can be affected by the perception, the understanding of the first witness.

So Agartha (the Verditius maga) is considering a different approach. Keep in mind that she is driven, thus concern about vis usage and being considered frivolous do not apply to her.
This is the sequence of enchantment she would consider:

  1. Create an empty mind (CrMe) - since it is possible to create animal, to create human body, she believes it should be possible to create a mind. An empty vessel, no thought process, no perception, no emotion. The same way as a body will be creates, but without further magic would not be living (it could technically be harvested for organs, but that another topic), a mind could be created. Because it is immaterial, it would be pretty useless per see. It should be bound to an objet for a mage to be able to know where is the mind, otherwise, an InMe would be required to perceive it.
    The Base level would be around 15 or 20, with a Form requisit according to the objet where the mind will be bound.

I believe, it is conceptually acceptable within the Mythic Europe paradigm, but feedback is welcome.

  1. Witness of the Memorable Event (InIm 2, use two senses at distance (visual and hearing for example)) - the empty spirit has no sense, so the spell provides the ability to perceive;
  • it is working in parallel with Perfect Memory of the Event CrMe (base 5, create a memory) - again, the empty mind has no ability to memorise, so a spell is required for the mind to keep the memory.
    Ideally, these two spells will be triggered at the same time (on a magical item, with the same trigger word).
    Here, I am facing one issue: how to assess the spell duration: duration of the event memorised and duration of the memory itself - based on spell guideline, the duration of the spell dictates the duration of the memory, there is little information on the complexity created memory.
    By the way, there is a guideline to give physical form to a memory (base 25, p150), but it requires a existing memory.

In The Mysteries (p29), when using a memory palace, a Art of Memory test is needed, with increased difficulty target based on duration and complexity. How much can you memorise in an empty mind ? The quality should be close to perfect thanks to the Perfect Memory of the Event, but again, the empty mind has no skill, no abilities and no will, so hard to judge.

  1. Accessing the memory: an InMe base 20 (read the last day's memories).
  2. Displaying the memory: CrIm 2 (Create an image that affects two senses).

To help visualise what Agartha is creating: A storage system akin a memory stick, then other spells are storing/retrieving the memories.
Once the empty mind is created, further spells from the Art of Memory section could be used to increase the capacity to keep more than one memory.


There is no CrMe guideline to "create a mind". You may ask your troupe to change the game world, of course.
There is however (HoH:S p.70 Storage)

The core rulebook gives a guideline for turning a mind into a solid object, and gives the example of a bird (ArM5, pages 150 and 149, respectively). It is similarly possible to turn a memory or emotion into a solid object. The base level of this is 5, and it requires a Requisite for the final form of the memory. The originator may feel the emotion, or recall the memory, while holding the object, but other people may not.

There is a hint, that the (HoH:S p.54) Daughters of Echo have magical means to record events. Perhaps they have specific spells reading or reproducing the memories turned into such objects (working roughly like ArM5 p.118 Opening the Tome of the Animal Mind).

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I think this would require a Major Hermetic Discovery, as another method. Your ideas do have some merit, but I'm not sure they'd work, though your saga may vary.

Creating a blank mind on its own is definitely into breakthrough territory, although a simulated intellect has parallels to The Shadow of Human Life could be considered. You might be able to do an equivalent to the CrIm effect using InIm effect, with a similar magnitude. Whether that's any good is a good question... You may be having more success with tapping a human's mind (or severals, for composite memories, if you're concerned about the limited perception of a single mind. Or you could do it in a less Jerbiton way, and rely on InTe effects to do commune with objects you've created, maybe even from a distance, which might be approach that appeals to a Verditius.

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although a simulated intellect has parallels to The Shadow of Human Life could be considered

That was the assumption I was starting to think that creating a mind is not out of hermetic magic reach.
And the absence of guideline is only that: absence of guideline, not that it is out of reach. On its own, an empty mind, without any will, knowledge is pretty useless, so that was my take why it was not done. Such spell would only be useful in conjunction with other spells.

But, I can understand why an Original Research would be needed. In fact, it would be quite stimulating for a young Verditius. She could draw inspiration from Automata mysteries - they are able to perform some actions on their own, but also from ritual increasing Intellect (CrMe) and from personal research.

In my opinion, it won't be an Hermetic Breakthrough: it is not breaking any limits and it cannot be considered on par with Parma Magica discovery.

Minor or Major...: it is basically inventing a new guideline. It is more than just a new parameter, but I am not sure it warrants a Major Breakthrough, so I might go with a Minor Breakthrough, costing 23 points of research points (halfway between Minor and Major).


There is a Muto Herbam (Mentem) guideline to "Awaken the consciousness of a plant (Mentem requisite)." at Level 4. Of course this isn't quite what you're looking for as it doesn't make a mind whole cloth, it just takes a small one and builds on it to make one comparable to a human.

I agree that creating a blank mind should totally be something hermetic magic can do, if you can use magic to make an animal then you can also make all the components of an animal including the mind. Though how I'd rule it is that it's a minor breakthrough to make a blank mind like you're trying, with it being another breakthrough to make an animal mind.

An animal mind would be Form Animal (see ArM5 p.148) Affecting something with Mentem requires 'intelligent' minds. So before going further, best determine the kind of 'mind' to be 'created' first.

if you can use magic to make an animal then you can also make all the components of an animal including the mind.

An animal mind would be Form Animal (see ArM5 p.148)

Exactly, animals, both mind and body are handled by Animalem, plants are handled with Herbam. Man is made of three parts: body, mind and soul. Soul is beyond Hermetic magic, but the two others components are handled by Corpus and Mentem.

There is enough existing spells to infer that hermetic magic is able to create a mind. However, minds created by existing spells serve a purpose: awakening a plant, an animal - through a spell or through binding a familiar. The truly novel aspect of a pure CrMe, is that it is a blank mind, and it was not done, because what would be the point... unless you are combining it with other spells that would benefit from a blank mind.


I would also lean towards a Minor breakthrough to create a new guideline. How many points is likely to vary from tables to tables.

There are also spells to create faeries and elementals which arguably have minds, though clearly not human minds...

Thanks a lot!
I had a similar idea, and found the same troubles. So I’m interested

Remember: ghosts and spirits have minds, and could probably be used for your purposes.

Missing part of my brain, barely. ableto type, depressive and medicated for it, but till abe to discusss Magi. Theory :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Remember: ghosts and spirits have minds, and could probably be used for your purposes.

And I am sure, some mages won't hesitate to use them for such purpose. A kind of different way to use Spirit binding, but maybe a bit too unethical for my mage ;-).

After following this exchange, I will summarise it the following points (and conclusion for my table - YMMV):

  • Minor breakthrough required, with 23 Research points.
  • Following that, a new base line for CrMe 15: create an empty mind, without any will, memory or thinking capability. Technically, it could be possessed by a ghost, but it is less than an empty shell: it does not even have body, no motor skill and not even any sensory input.

Because, it has no skill, it cannot build a Memory Palace, so it can only stored one memory - but this can be enhanced with the appropriate ritual (see Mysteries - Art of Memory)

With the appropriate InIm and CrMe (see initial message), the empty mind can recorded perfectly one event for one hour, divided by the number of senses used, ie: 30 minutes for visual and hearing recording, 12 minutes if all fives sensory input are used. Duration of the memory depends on the CrMe (Perfect Memory of the event) duration.

Alternatively, somebody could store its own memory of an event with a different CrMe of the appropriate level, but to insure that the person has a good memory of the event, Int + Art of Memory of the appropriate difficulty is needed.

Another InMe spell needs to be used to access the memory.
So, all in all, that's a lot of spells to design and handle but it looks like a nice project, for a mage that cannot easily travel.


Technically, I do not think one needs a breakthrough to create a "mind", or something that operates as a mind for the purpose of storing experiences. A created animal has a mind capable of storing experiences; one can create an illusion of a human with "simulated intellect"; plants can be awakened to sentience, but even in their normal state remember things albeit from their own alien perspective; in fact, even stones, fires, and bodies of water remember things.

Personally, I think the best strategy to store story experiences would be to create small, reasonably long-lived animals with good memory (note that life expectancy and mental faculties in Mythic Europe may not match those in the real world), or just recruit them - humans have a lot to offer to an animal to purchase its loyalty :slight_smile: Ravens seem good candidates: one of Odin's two ravens was named "Memory" (Muninn)! A magus can then use Intellego magics to retrieve those memories, and Creo magics to have a new animal experience them - and thus remember them naturally (particularly if primed to do so with a little Rego).

Alternatively, to store deeply human experiences, I could see a magus creating something like a hero cult devoted to storing memories of great events. New grogs when brought into the cult would receive "worthy" memories from an old grog (again, this is Cr(In)Me, and then the receiver reflects on the memory until it is naturally stored), and being the originator of a memory selected for preservation would be a great honour, offering effectively a form of limited immortality.

But the issue seems to have shifted: can a "pure mind" exist, completely devoid of any substrate to support it? I believe that's not the case, and that it's not a limit of magic - it's a cosmological limit in ArM5. Note that even ghostly stuff is ... stuff other than pure mind (e.g. ghostly objects exist), and Imaginem illusions are species.


Here is a relatively simple way for lame Agartha to collect memories:

(1) Bind a clever raven as your familiar and send it to watch stuff. Make it invisible if necessary and keep a magical eye on it. Spying familiars can run into danger, too - but far less so than spying lame magae.
(2) Teach the familiar The Art of Memory (TMRE p.25ff) and have it build a memory palace with some magical loci (like with p.27 Constructing the Memory Palace).
(3) Have it memorize what it has been spying on in that memory palace.
(4) Read its memories by magic, when needed - and best talk with your familiar about the memories, too.

No breakthroughs needed for that, no memories turned into objects - and not even abuse of spirits or familiars.
A (TMRE p.66ff or p.81ff) Spirit Familiar might replace the raven familiar, but is not necessary.

EDIT: The (Sub Rosa #22 p.27) experimental spell Text Learned by Heart is a means to magically cram entire books into a recipient's memory - whether it can take them or not. Side effects are to be expected. But if Agartha also has a good memory palace, she should be able to receive an entire memory locus from her familiar by such a pressure fueling power without having her memory messed up.

There is also the whole question of memory palaces and the possibility of entering them magically, whether to raid them or leave things behind... that would require an initiation at minimum however.

Actually just a few days ago I was reading Realms of Power: The Divine and I can tell you that pure minds can exist, they're called angels, they're beings of pure intellect. Of course God made them so it's doubtful that anyone else could do so.

While angels are indeed defined in RoP:D as being of "pure intellect and unfailing life", I'm not 100% that they are a "pure mind", devoid of any substrate, in the sense I was mentioning above. Even if unmantled, it seems to me that they are beings of pure spirit. That is, there is "stuff" other than pure Mentem of which an angel is made - stuff which can indeed be affected by Vim magic. The mind of an angel is, in some sense, written on this spiritual substrate.

Hmm, alright I've reread some relevant parts of RoP:TD and I've found some bits that support my arguement and some that support yours, I'll list them here.

So to summarize my arguement is that angels are composed solely of pure Intellect and unfailing life.

Where your stance is that angels are composed of Divine essence imbued with pure intellect and unfailing life.

Honestly both possible answers satisfy me.

So here's the relevant parts to this discussion:

Page 18

"They are beings composed
entirely of intellect and unfailing life.
They are free from corruption, death,
matter, gender, and generation, being the
most perfect beings in existence."

So this says they are composed of intellect which is a point for me and have no matter.
Now is spiritual essence matter? I'm not sure it is so that's a bit more up in the air but it is relevant.

"Strictly speaking, angels in Ars
Magica are the spiritual inhabitants of
Heaven. They are instilled with Divine
Might and are the holy messengers of
God’s Will to mankind. Angels are distin-
guished from other spiritual beings that
possess Divine Might by their role or

So here they are called the spiritual inhabitants of Heaven which is a point in your favour.

Intilled with Divine Might isn't a particularly strong point but I'd argue that a pure intellect would be instilled with might whereas a spiritual being would simply possess it as part of its essential nature.

The last part is very much in your favour however as it implies the only difference between saints (beings which are definately composed of spiritual mattter.) and angels is their office.

Page 19

"Angels use this power to manifest in the
mundane world and appear to take on
mortal flesh. In reality, this form is entire-
ly formed from their intellect, but appears
and acts exactly like real flesh."

This is slightly ambiguous bit I'd argue that it means that they used their body (formed of pure intellect) and formed it into what appears to be material substance but is in fact still pure intellect.
It could be argued though that while the new body is formed by their pure intellect it is fundamentally composed of spiritual essence but I feel that's a slightly weaker interpretation.

"If they
are “killed” while in their Mantle, they
return to their spiritual form,"

Pretty big point in your favour here.

"Angels are creatures of pure intellect
and reason"

Not actually helpful for either of us and we aren't arguing whether they have pure intellect but whether they have a body formed of such.

"Unlike mankind, angels
are creatures of pure intellect. This purity
grants them the ability to act with com-
plete freedom and judgment, enhanced by
their proximity to the Divine Essence."

Now this might at first look like a point in my favour but it actually isn't. As it is saying that angels possess a pure intellect which allows greater control over their actions.

Page 20

"Angels move without occupying the
space between where they are and where
they wish to move to. Their movement is
instantaneous and they take up no space
since they have no body."

Now this could go either way really. My interpretation would be 'they have no body' including a spiritual body and the instantaneous movement is the result of a pure intellect not being an object and therefore not needing to move through space to get to a destination.

On the other hands would you say a ghost has a body? No of course not and the instantaneous movement is because they are the agents of the divine.

Page 21

"An angel in a purely
spiritual form can only be targeted and
affected by Mentem or Vim"

Big points for you here. 'spiritual form' and the fact that they can be affected by Vim? Although I could argue that this is simply because they possess a Might score but that feels like a weak arguement.

"Finally, angels
can be destroyed permanently by reduc-
ing their Divine Might to a negative

This also implies a substance that can be destroyed other than their intellect.

So adding up the points:

I got 1 point and 4 maybe points.

You got 5 points and 1 maybe point.

Okay that seems pretty clear cut to me. You're stance clearly has more weight with your unambigous points, I could argue my stance as equal but since most of my points are 'maybes' it's much shakier.

Grats on your win, here is your medal composed of Spiritual Essence imbued with Pure Intellect and Unfailing Life. :1st_place_medal:

Back to the original topic now, this means that to create a pure mind like OP wants it would be a Creo Mentem (Vim) effect and it would be similar to spells which create magical animals and would create a sort of ghost with Magic Might. Preferably this spirit would possess pure intellect. (Not that I'd match up to angels as it would be blank intellect.) As if it didn't then it would likely have motives to some extent which isn't ideal for a storage device.
Care would need to be taken with such a spirit however as it's quite likely that simply storing memories within it would result in it growing motives and having your usb stick wander off to slay a dragon and rescue a princess would be, while funny, quite obnoxious.

So I'd make the guideline something like:

Level 15:
Create a spirit with a blank and empty mind. The spirits Magic Might cannot exceed the level of the spell. (Requires a Vim Requisite).

Or maybe,

Create a spirit with a pure intellect, it's mind is blank when created. The spirits Magic Might cannot exceed the level of the spell. (Requires a Vim Requisite).

Based on Creo Animal Level 15 Create a Mammal and Rego Mentem Level 15 Summon a ghost. (Ritual)

I'm not sure how best to determine what the spirits Magic Might should be though or whether the effect should require a ritual or not. Perhaps it should specify that additional powers cannot be imbued within the spirit as well to prevent the creation of custom ghosts as that's a seperate thing Hermetic magic can't do that this guideline shouldn't allow without extra breakthroughs.

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Is it possible to record something using purely Imaginem magic? I'm thinking of using Creo Imaginem (make a copy of a scene) with an Intellego requisite, just to create a miniaturised copy of what's happened somewhere, or to record a dramatic performance.

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I like the general direction you are going. I can't recall why, but I was thinking of something similar a few days ago: creating "mind" in an object.

You could also make it a general guideline with magnitude defining the complexity of the mind. It's going to be used (generally) as, at minimum, R:Touch and D: Diam, right? You could say:

CrMe General: create a mind that can store a number of memories equal to the magnitude of the spell minus 2 magnitudes.

With this, a lvl 25 spell (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Diam) creates a mind that stores one memory, a lvl 30 stores 2. A lvl 50 (Base 30, +1 Touch, +3 Moon) could store up to 4 memories for Moon duration... You get it.

Being a "memory" in this case defined as you have put above: a single event of up to 1h duration, divided by as many senses as desired.

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