Detecting distance and direction to a target

Let's say a magus has an arcane connection to something, and he wants to determine the direction and distance to that target.

What would be the Form? What would be the Base level? Could a single generic Intellego Vim spell to do this or would he need spells for each Form?

Basically, I wans thinking of providing my portal-oriented magus with a spell that would allow him to determine approximately where an unfamiliar portal (or similar transportation effect) leads before crossing it.

Any idea?


The best example is perhaps Sense of the Lodestone (Projects p. 84), designed to do just that at a very manageble level (InCo5).
Ofcourse, it assumes you already have a Intangible Tunnel in effect.

I think there are different ways to skin it, depending on how willing your SG is, but I think the default would be to use the "tell me something about the target" guideline, which implies that you need to use the appropriate form. But I wouldn't have a problem with an Intellego Vim spell cast on an open connection to provide information about the location of the end point. And if that's okay, then you could press for an Intellego Vim that opens the connection and gathers the information. Given how open the system is, if you're a spirit master, I'm sure you could even find a spirit with the power to do it for you and just keep it around or bind it for convenience.

As long as you can justify your approach, you'll find that most SGs/players/troupes will roll with it.

Why InVi?

I could see InTe (learn one mundane property of an object: location), but what exactly does Vim have to do with where something is?

Terram is sorta relevant for location, but Vim? Location is a whole mundane, entirely non-mystical property of an object, why would Vim cover it?

If it's for use with Portals (ReTe), InTe should be easier for you anyway.

I'm inclined to agree, if you have an AC to something/someone, you can perceive it, wherever it is. Knowing the distance, we need to examine The Inexorable Search which requires a map. However, maps of the period tended towards the crude and highly inaccurate and not to scale...

Yes, map as a sympathetic connection. Which means that if someone placed Cairo in the middle of nowhere, that blotch on the map is where you'll find targets close to Cairo even if it is not placed in Egypt. Which also means you could have a Ouija board with city names as a map if you are willing to go that far into esotericism.

All this to say that you could not use this method to triangulate, that different origins might point to different places you'd have to go through to get there. Leave Descartes at the door. :mrgreen:

Have a look at MoH p.104f, 'The Worldly Halysis'. It is InTe10 (base 2, +4 R:Arc) and gives the exact distance between the caster and the object. A similar InCo effect 'The Bodily Halysis' is given as InCo 15 (base 3, +4 R:Arc). When making your case to the troupe, refer to the InTe spells from ArM5 like 'Eyes of the Eons', which work on nonliving targets with other Forms than Te as well.


I think the argument is that it is a property of the Arcane Connection --- Arcane Connections are "magical", hence Vi.

Personally, I'm not very convinced by that. Because I don't think that Arcane Connections are inherently magical. When it is used, the Arcane Connection is utilized/affected by magic, but that doesn't make it magical itself.

I think it should be In[Fo].

I think what Mark had in mind,was you can cast opening the intangible tunnel at a low level (perhaps as a non fatiguing spont, the lower the level the safer you are) then you can use InVi to determine the distance to the other end and you can use just one spell for any target rather than requiring a form specific intellego spell .

Ah, my mistake. That strategy works fine. A tunnel is indeed of Form Vi.

Although, as an aside, non-fatiguing spont. is a bad choice for Intangible Tunnel if there is any possibility that the unknown target has Magic Resistance (or is in an Aegis). To be safe, you want it low level, but formulaic.

The lowest you probably want to go with Intangible Tunnel is level 10. Otherwise you start hitting base values of 0 or less, and that gets messy. Of course, you can just smile and say it works in this case and go with a level 5 or level 3 tunnel, then give your players the death stare of deathly death if they try to use base 0 or base -2 on other things. :smiley:

So formulaic is probably the way to go.

Gonna use that one! :laughing:

Nope, still don't buy it.
Maybe because of how I like to understand the nature of the tunnel (which has never been that well described).
InFo or InTe in a pinch.

Thanks, One Shot, that's exactly the kind of references I was looking for. I don't have MoH but I'll look into it when I eventually acquire it. The parallel with Eyes of the Eons is also quite nice and something I didn't think about.

As an aside, the initial tought regarding InVi as a possible generic version of this was:

  • There is an InVi spell, IIRC, that determines the time of day.
  • Since your are trying to detect the other end of an AC, this is a property of the AC
  • A parallel with the generic ReVi warding as opposed to the specific Re[Fo] warding spells for Faeries

But I agree that the generic InTe or specific In[Fo] is a better way to see this.

One question, thought. How would that work if the entrance to the portal is non-physical? Say a whirlpool that serves as a portal to a far-away fountain? Would a generic InTe spell still work in this case?

I am not sure whether I am understanding you here. So please bear with my try.

If you make the point, that a fountain (defined as the place where water collected in a specific way is coming to the surface) is not a physical item but a logical concept, you raise at the same time the issue, what an AC to that fountain might be. Wouldn't a connection to the ground, where the water surfaces - for InTe spells to locate it, measure distances and directions to it - then be appropriate? Would it be acceptable, that the AC loses its purpose if the subterranean gathering of water is redirected by some geological phenomenon to surface in another place? If not, how would that portal have been set up in the first place?


Hmmm... I'll try to formulate it better.

I was more wondering if an Intellego Terram spell would work if the "portal" has no physical anchor. For example, if it is simply a shimmering curtain of light that, once crossed, transports you to a different place.

Basically, we know that Terram can work on any inanimate objects, but what if there is no object?

A non-portal example would be using an arcane connection to locate something. But, looking at ArM5 p.84 gives "air from a specific place" as an arcane connection to the place. Would an InTe spell work on such an arcane connection (which probably points to the air in that far-away place and not its physical features).

You appear to have an idea for a portal here, which I cannot follow now. If it is an idea for a Hermetic portal spell, you might help us by specifying it completely, following the rules of ArM5. If it is a non-hermetic portal effect - well, maybe then there is no way by hermetic means to track the place it transports you to, before going through.

That would be up to the troupe to determine, of course. There appear to be no hard and fast rules about which InTe effects work on non-Te Targets.
But then, why is that air no object? Also I do not see from its wording why 'Worldly Halysis' would not work with "air from a specific place" as an AC to that place - during those few hours that the air would be an AC at all.


No specific portal or idea. But the character wants to do original research in the domain of portal magic. And, in addition to the basic OR rules from in the Bonisagus section in HoH:TL, he will also look at investigating existing portal-like magics and sites. So he wants to develop some useful spells for analyzing those portals. Determining where a specific portal-like effect leads is just one area of knowledge that might be useful to him.

As I mentioned, I don't have MoH yet (though I plan on getting it eventually), so I can't check the exact wording. Just thinking out loud, so don't worry about it. :stuck_out_tongue:


Sounds like a concept with potential, and many spells to be invented still. Is he Bonisagus, Pralixian, or from another line yet?


A Bonisagus from a Mercurian line. If you're interested, see Petronius in the Via Experimenta PbP saga on these boards.