Gemstone Internet

I am surely out of my depth now. I am trying to create my first character for my first campaign and it occurred to me that a life goal for him could be to enchant a gem using CrIm to contain and dispense on command the texts for various spells. So rather then transcribing the spells to paper a magus would add them to the gem.

Create a second gem and add some kind of scrying to let the two communicate and two wizards could share spells more easily. Create a dozen and you're well on your way to developing a wizard's internet.

I know that my understanding of the game is sorely lacking so there may be a reason this won't work or severe limitations to it if it did. Has anyone tried this?

Creating a creo imaginem effect in an item that reproduces a text would be doable.

As for reading remotely I can see having two spells both at range AC, one to observe the produced image and one to activate the creo imoginem effect (just make the activation trigger for the gem something that can be reproduced by a range AC spell.

You run into some significant but solvable issues issues with the plan in that you'd probably want to keep the gem someplace safe. To me that means inside of an aegis of the hearth ward or on the person of the magus, where it will very likely , if held sufficiently close be protected by that magus' parma. So in order to make it work the remote users would have to have arcane connections to the gem or to it's immediate surroundings which might be problematic if anyone involved is even a little cautious, and the remote users would (unless you go in a different direction) have to be able to penetrate the magic resistance of where ever the gem is stored.

A conceptual problem that I think might be harder to resolve than the implementation issues above is why do you choose to put this plan in place with an enchanted gem instead if a pile of mundane books. You don't have to enchant the books. They're more easily replaced if damaged and their easier to modify.

Perhaps you might store some books in a fairly well warded by not aegis protected building which your gem is a permanent arcane connection to. Then enchant the gem with two effects one to observe any location in the building, and one to manipulate the books so you can read them. You could cast spontaneous spells of range arcane connection if you needed to adjust the light in the building or do something similar. Of course now that I think about it why are we bothering with enchanting a Gem at all? Why not just fix a permanent arcane connection and then develop formulaic spells to observe and manipulate the books?

So what I see as the big question is, why are we bothering with the gems?

Well, the short answer to why I made the choices I did is that when it comes to Ars Magica I'm a complete noobie. I've played and DM'd a fair amount in DnD but it's a totally different system, so coming up with ideas is familiar to me but I don't yet have the framewirk for implementatiion.

The rationale with the gem was to choose an object that could be imbued with a lot of attributes so precious gems seemed a better chiice than paper. The gem could act effectively like a web server, allowing different levels of access, so Verditius magi could share spells without releasing them to magi from other houses. Gems could be keyed to individual magi and so could spell. Retinal scanning, fingerprint identification, spoken passwords could all be incorporated eventually. The gems would act as multipurpose, programmable devices capable of interacting with each other the way web servers, browsers and email clients do now.

Once enough gem-computers are created they could form a peer-to-peer network for file sharing of spells.

I know this is a complex project for someone who has yet to play a session but reading the books I'm getting very excited about the game. This is what's missing from DnD. Fun for chopping up monsters but the complexity and open-endedness of Ars Magica is completely lacking.

It's doable but not easy. The biggest problems is that most effects that could communicate over this distance are range arcane connection that requires a ritual. And you can't put ritual effects into enchanted items.

One of the possible ways around this is Teleportation effects. You can use a range touch spell to send an object to a location you have an arcane connection to without requiring a ritual.

So lets say you have a bookshelf that when activated sends a book to another bookshelf that it has an arcane connection to. Call this item the "Router" and the shelf it's sent to the "Hub"

Now you create a book that scrys the contents of any book that appears on a hub in "sight" of this book then it copies these contents into itself in the form of illusionary pages. This item we will call the "database"

Then you create a book that when scryed upon by the "database" creates a copy of the database in the same manner. This item is the users "Terminal"

Then you just enchant all the hubs to send the terminals back to their owners routers when it detects them copying the database.

So you just write what you want to post on the database into your terminal. Use your router to send it too its matching hub. The database copies your terminal which in turn copies the database. The hub sends it back to you. Every time you or anyone else does this the database gets bigger and you get the most recent additions back.

Now provided that the whole illusionary pages thing works this might just be functional. It would also help if the copying magic was smart enough to only copy new images and even better if at least the database could organize things in some sort of preplanned way.

Range arcane connection does not, by itself, require a ritual (p.112).

Study Hermes' Portal (page 156 , ArM 05) to create a similar ritual spell which will transfer "data".

You aren't enchanting a Ritual effect into the gems , but using them as an information conduit.
Muto your gem into many wafer-thin parchment-size layers and use Rego to scribe the information on them.
Let the spell end and you have your gem with the information scribed inside
Each layer can be identified by a suitable InTe spell and transmit only that layer.

Take a Major Magical Focus in Gemstones.

I stand corrected well that makes all that much easier.

Thanks for the replies everyone. Now that I know it can be done I can get back to creating a character who can pull it off. I'll post the results when he creates the gem though I don't expect that will happen for a while.

You might look at Eternal Repetition in a Bottomless Pool (Cov p.101) and The Transformed Folio (HoH:TL p.102) for ideas.

Anyone remember if Twinning the Tome is from ArM4 or ArM5?


ArM5 - it's a Mutantum spell on page 101 of HoH:TL. I do0n't think it actually inherently needs to be a Mutantum spell, though - it's just less flexible without it.

It's in AM5. You'll find it in HoH - True Lineages, Mercere section, p. 101

Personally, the one issue I see with going 'network' is that you'll have to either put an arcane connection to every other gem in the network in every gem (which eats a lot of laboratory time) or, like the real Internet, set up relay servers (so you'll need additional effects to relay communications). If you go this far, you might start looking into an Hermetic Breakthrough just to create multiple arcane connections to multiple objects in one lab session.

I thought if I got that far I'd go open source and share my results so other magi could create their own gems. Maybe extend my research and add functionality. The more gems ther are the more spells everyone has access to.

I thought too of incorporating the equivalent of video conferencing so magi can communicate with each other via the "gemnet". Some combination of CrIm and InIm to send and receive audio and video.

What about an effect that creates an illusory building somewhere. And have the gems have spells that can scry or manipulate the illusion. Even create avatars of the gems owners so that the Magi can use them to interact with the illusion safely. It could be a kind of virtual covenant large enough to house the whole order. It would have a library, conference rooms, a bulletin board and even a game room.

The idea is moving towards a central server rather than a P2P network. This way each gem owner can activate his gemphone by creating an arcane connection to the "server" rather than to each individual gem. Since the server is in turn connected to every other gem, you could access the spells, etc and also communicate, maybe by manipulating your avatar within the illusory tower.

Would there be any limit to the amount of data that an illusory building could contain? Could centuries of wizards keep adding to the repository even after the creator died?

Also, would an illusory building have to reside somewhere in the physical world? Could someone located close to it geographically see the illusions and interact with them?

The illusory building could exist as a finely detailed miniature within the transparent substance of the central server gem.

Just what I was thinking today. Then secondary gems would be thin clients with the ability to access the server gem and interact with it. I thought that in addition to the CrIm, InIm and ReIm spells required to let other stones communicate with the server stone, read and write spells, video conference with other stones and such, I could imbue them with scanner/printer abilities through CrHe and InHe so wizards with client gems can print spells from the server and scan and upload new ones.

I suspect at this point, though, that I am proposing a system that would bypass too many game rules. Such easy access to spells might unbalance the game. However, since this is a life goal for my character maybe he'll get it donebut not have time to take advantage of it himself so it won't unbalance things too much. Have to talk to my SG.

I dunno about unbalance. As far as I can tell, what you're proposing only provides great access to lab texts and casting tablets. Lab texts means that people can learn standard spells faster, but that's okay; casting tablets are inherently dangerous to use, so that's okay.

So here's a question that shows off my noobishness (not sure if that's a word but if not I'm coining it): is there a limit to the number of illusions that could be added to an item.

Specifically, if I create a gem containing an illusory tower and in that tower I display illusions of spells written out on illusory parchment, can I continue to add illusory spells ad infinitem or can I only add spells as long as I'm crafting the item and once it's done I can't add any more.

As a corollary, does it cost vis to add an illusion (as the illusion of a spell) permanently to the item? Or can I simply imbue the item with the capacity to store illsuions then add as many as I like whenever I like without vis?