Faking Life with Corpus Magic

To make a dead body seem alive to cursory medical examination: what technique and what base level would you suggest?

Or is this something that Hermetic Magic cannot do, given that it might well involve manipulating the vital faculty?

I think this problem is similar to the "make a dead clone" discussion we had a while ago. Do you need Finesse to do so?

I can't find the thread you're referencing. Any more to go on?


New Spell: The False Victim

While an interesting thread, it's not actually about what I was asking.

The scenario isn't trying to create a corpse, it's taking an existing corpse and, using corpus magic (not imaginem, not ignem) making the corpse seem alive, such as a person asleep. Making the heart beat, making the lungs work, etc. Obviously the corpse has no vital faculty (it's a corpse), so any such movement would need to receive its stimulus from magic.

My query is: is this Rego or Creo? Is it possible with Hermetic magic because it is (is it?) manipulating the vital faculty? And if so, what base level of an effect would it be?

Finesse maybe - if trying to fool a medical practitioner doing an examination of the body. I doubt such a spell would fool something like Physician's Eye (which would report 'dead').

I know. It's the closest to transpose.

Rego + Finesse to fake it? Probably.

Rego to copy the movements of a grog sleeping nearby? Maybe.

Creo to instill some vital faculty? I don't know if you can.

The base2 spasm which could be construed as natural movements. Base10 animate could be linked to base4 large-scale movements, so a corpse is at most 2 magnitudes harder than a living body. So you could conclude base4 is ok for natural movements but I'm WAGging pretty hard here.

Seems entirely doable with Rego Corpus magic. I think base base 10, which is "Control a target's motions" / "Animate a corpse".

Might need an Ignem requisite (perhaps only as a casting requisite) to simulate body temperature.

Yes, it should be possible to fool mundane inspection. It will perhaps appear like a coma to mundane inspection --- which might be interpreted as "sort of dead", or "undead", or "a type of unconscious" depending on the inspector's medical background and the actual condition of the corpse. For example, if the corpse is rotting or obviously fatally wounded, but nonetheless apparently "alive", then a mundane examiner is likely to conclude "undead".

It shouldn't fool Hermetic Intellego Corpus (or Intellego Mentem) inspection.

I agree ReCo with an Ig prereq should get the job done. This would fake the most immediate outward signs life but the corpse would still putrefy and rot. More magic could of course prevent that.

CrCo could get the job done by actually taking a corpse and infusing it with enough vital energy that it returned to a comatose state. To me this shouldn't be as high of an effect as "The Shadow of Life Renewed" (70) but higher then a Heal all Wounds effect (35). Not really cost effective but a potentially usable.

Do you think it'd be reasonable to keep a corpse 'alive' (i.e. no soul, so essentially permanently comatose) with a CrCo ritual of base ~40?

If so, I'm guessing the ritual would need a duration - because the moment the magic stops faking life, the body would revert to its natural state of being properly dead. I'm thinking this is skirting Hermetic limits because it is using magic to fake the vital faculty, and magic cannot manipulate the vital faculty (the thing that handles fatigue, aging, etc).

Would such a body age? Would such a body need food and air?

Scholars of medieval medicine, what do you think?


What you are wanting is effectively a version of The Shadow of Life Renewed, but with no Mentem requisite (hence no conscious mind). That would be Creo Corpus base 70, but could be a Momentary "permanent" ritual.

It would be much easier to achieve a similar (albeit slightly less "alive") effect with Rego Corpus (base 10; animate a corpse).

Makes sense.

And yes, far far easier to do with a ReCo effect. But what good Bonisagus magus goes for the easy approach when there are Hermetic limits to be pushed at? :slight_smile: