Detecting the invisible

Hello All,

Even though 5th Ed. made invisibility somewhat more difficult than before, I still find invisibility much too practical. With magi of equal power, it's usually very difficult to penetrate through invisibility effect because the magic resistance is usually stronger than the casting total of the detecting spell (as usual with spells targeted at magi). I'm trying to find a way to balance invisibity by allowing a more easy way to detect those under that effect.

I'm considering reinstating as a house rule the 4th Ed. clause:

"Intéllego spells can be resisted but not always countered. If an Intéllego spell gives the caster a vision of the target without probing the target’s person in some way, the target’s successful resistance lets him know that he is the subject of some type of detection magic. He does not know what specific spell was cast or who cast it."

(BTW, how do you see this on 5th Ed., if you cast "Summoning the distant image" and someone with magic resistance is at the room you target to, is your spell resisted by that person? Do you get to see him there, or not? 5th. Ed. seems very strict about magic resistance on magical senses, among other things. OK, back on track...)

My idea is that with the rule above in place, some generic aspect of the invisible person can be detected without magic resistance interfering. That would lead to "arms race" between detecting and masking spells, and pit spell against spell, not spell against magic resistance.

The following spell would detect the presence of human persons by the means of the existence of their bodies (Corpus):

InCo 25 "The Fellow Man Revealed"
R: Per D: Sun T: Vision
The target gains knowledge of the existence and location of human beings in his field of vision. The only practical use of this spell is to detect persons under invisibility effect. Normally visible persons are seen as usual. Invisible persons are seen as vague, transparent shapes with no details. For example, identifying them, or the actions they are currently taking, is impossible. The caster just gains the knowledge that "someone is right there".
NOTE: common variants have Terram, Herbam and/or Animal requisites to allow detecting humans behind natural obstacles and camouflages.
(base 3, Sun +2, Vision +4)

And the following would mask against the previous spell (effect base level just taken out of the blue):

PeCo 20 "The Inconscipuous Presence of the Ghost"
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind
This spell destroys the aspect of presence of the target's body, masking the target’s body against the InCo spell "The Fellow Man revealed". This spell is ineffective, if the sensing spell is cast with an arcane connection to the target.
(Base 10, +2 Sun)

What is your opinion, would this work, with the aforementioned house rule in place? Any way of justifying logically that this sort of detection is not resisted?

(Corpus is only one of the Forms that could be detected. Mentem (minds) Herbam, Animal, Terram (clothes and carried objects) are other alternatives.)

I'm keen to hear any insight you can give on this.


An Intelligo Corpus spell would detect a person reguardless of a PeIm effect. But would still require penetration of a target's Magic Resistance.

Note that PeIm effects do not affect a target's shadow, and often leave other species able to be detected, and a spell to sniff out an Invisible wizard would be useful (and there's no need to penetrate MR to detect species, as wizards give off "stink waves (and all other sense waves)" outside their Parmas).

Finially many no penetrations area effect spells would leave a "hole" where an invisible magic is hiding.

Personally, except in special cases, I wouldn't allow a detection spell to simply function by plumbing such absences. It smacks too much of modern thought for my taste.

A target vision version of eyes of the bat, (an intellego auram spell that detects the limits of the air) would allow the magus to see all corporial invisible creatures.

A magus will see where the air "isn't" in the space occupied by an invisible person.

Magic resistance would not protect against this divination because it isn't the protected creature that you're "seeing".

(note that this is not the same as looking for the "hole" where magic resitance prevents the spell from returning information, it is looking for the boundaries of the air.)

Interesting subject. It somewhat related to some questions I raised in an earlier thread because I was, and still am, toiling with making a blind magi character.

Hmmm, I should really get back to that project.

Aren't you just countering the spell in effect so you dont need to overcome resistance? In this case PeIm to destroy the image you cast. An unraveling the form of Im (PeVi) should easily return the subject to view. Or if you really want to penetrate a CrIm to create an image of the subject targeted on the subject (this may be harder to become invisible again)

Imaginum is one of those areas that penetration doesn't always apply since you are effecting species that are then detected, or not, by others sences. Used correctly it can be a very powerful form.

And this also prevents a MuIm-changed sword from beeing restisted by a parma magica :wink:

The problem is two-fold. First to detect if someone invisible present - if you expect this or is of a general paranoid disposition you will want to do this without knowing if and where an invisible person might be. Secondly if an invisible person is nearby the other part is making this person visible, maybe to call in the grogs.

Whereas the species pas in and out of MR unhindered the spell that creates, changed or destroyes the species are still somewhere tantigble, namely on the person or object being influenced with the Imaginem spell. Thus the PeIm spell used to make a person invisible is on that person and if you want affect the spell on the person you will have to beat his MR. This goes for all effects on a person. As an example nor could you dispel a ReCo flying spell on another magus without penetrating his MR. This also goes for the Unraveling of Form spell. The only time where you would not have to penetrate the invisible persons MR to foil his plot, would be if you interrupted him at the time of the casting with for example a PeVi spell suited to the purpose.

As a sidenote, if this is a magus, intentionally or not, is found roaming invisible around his sodales hos broken the Oath... It constitues scrying and he had better be ready and willing to deal with any witnesses should he be discovered.

lol what kind of bonus would you give to a grog who appears to be fighting with a butter knife while actually wielding a sword? That 1st strike must be quite a surprise :stuck_out_tongue:

That would be a house rule, even if it is sensible, because the effect, even if only a pink dot, is still a magical effect on the sword in question. Thus the sword is resisted according to RAW.

The dot however would be seen by the magi without any penetration needed (thank god!). Just start to think what hillarious effects could come from having species needing to penetrate. It would make possible a world of wierd Imaginem effects, where every one but the ones with MR (if using a spell with no penetration) would see the person... (a high penetration PeIg spell followed by a no penetration CrIm spell)

A Imaginem spell can change only the species of an object (and not the object!), and species cant be restisted by magical resistance. So the pinkness of a sword or something like this can only be restited if the object of the spell is guarded by resistance, but after casting such a spell a Parma Magica doesnt help at all. And thats RAW in my opinion.

Species aside, the spell (not the species) that makes the sword look like a butter knife is still active there on the sword when the grog attempts to cut the magus down.

The species are not resisted but the object the spells is on is, and there has to be an active spell otherwise the species would not be different from normal. As long as you want someone with MR to believe you are only carrying a butter knife the spell is fine, according to RAW, but it gives you some problems the moment you intend to whack someone on the head with said butter knife.

I do not disagree that house ruling is sensible, countless of debates over it has shown so, I am just making a point that that is what it is. House rules.

I read the rules in a different way: the enchantend thing are the species, not the sword: you enchant the species of something and not the object, with your point of view even magical changes species should be resisted.
Not also that the targets of Imaginem spell are not the objects (as described in the guideline chapter of Imaginem spells) the targets are sounds, images ect... so you could argue that the species are magical changes with the spell.
If you argue that the active spell is restited, a magical created voice would be also resisted, because the spells lasts and the spells object is the sound the spell is active in the whole sound. Or an extremly smell that makes you lose consciossnes or something like this: all wouldnt be blocked. And of course if you enchant something in a way that the touch sense is affected it wouldnt also be resisted even if the object have to touch the magus... because it makes no difference.
For m ets hard to explain this with my poor english but I hope you understand.

Interesting and sensible. But I still maintain that it is houseruling. But as such it might be a good way to solve the "pink problem" issue.

To me, all things "radiate" species. The species are not magical nor are the resistable. The rules say (p. 86) "The maga sees something affected by Rego Imaginem spell in the location intended by the spell, as the species are no longer under magical influence when they reach her". From this is must follow that they are at some point under magical influence - namely at the location from where the species "radiate". Species once "radiated" are no longer magical, and thus not resisted. But the point of origin is still tantigble in terms of magic - it can for instance be affected with Vim spells (or other Imaginem spells for that matter). If it is magical it is resisted. If this point of origin is a sword made to look like a butter knife, or be completely invisible for that matter, then the point of origin is that sword. And this is where the spell is, even if its result, the species, reach much further and are unresistable.

Definitely not! Species are not magical. Nor did I claim them to be. Only their point of origin.

The target are not the objects themselves - they may be of any other From - but in terms of ReIm the spell is still focused on whatever thing's image you - want to change. The same goes for a Form like Ignem. If you touch a pot to make it hot, as to cook food without fire, the object of the spell is still the pot even if the target is not the iron (Terram) of the object.

No! The spell is only active at the point of origin. The voice is not. A PeVi spell to dispel said voice would not target the sound either - it would target the origin of the voice. And thus you would have to be within range of the point of origin of the voice and not the sound of it.

No problems in understanding you, you are doing fine, I just disagree that it is RAW.

Species only exist momentarily and are continously created. Enchanting them, rather than the object that creates them, isn't very productive.

One could imagine the creation of magical species if coupled with forceless casting (say creating sound to imitate speaking) being very useful in many situations. Your grogs could understand your magical words but anything with a might score could not hear them.

And hopefully those grogs will not suffer from being denied the embracing protection of their masters Parma while this lasts...

I wonder if it is at all possible to enchant the species themselves?

Wow, great ideas!

I'm not sure what the practical idea of enchanting a species is. How far does a specific species travel, and at what speed? Are you thinking along the line of Shout to Fireball transformation, or perhaps Fart to blizzard?

You got me lost there.

I do not think it is possible to enchant species - only the "origin" of species - and the closest thing to it is probably the the sense-magic of the Bjornaer.

I read that Darwin book.

I must have misunderstood you, I though you asked above if you could enchant the species themselves.