How to erase the memories of your enemy?


The situation is that there is an NPC, a clever Tytalus one. One of the PCs made a dumb mistake in his younger years. Now the Tytalus maga knows about it and use the info for blackmailing the PC, threathening him with making a call of High Crime in front of the Tribunal. Extra problem is that the PC has his family connections and the Tytalus maga knows about his family members and use them also.

The PC plans to use an elaborate Mentem spell to erase pieces from the memory of the Tytalus maga.

I have 2 questions now:

  1. How would you design a spell - or spells - to elaborately erase pieces of information from another maga's mind?
  2. Knowing that the Tytalus maga has info about the mistake (Hermetic crime) and info about the family of the PC - what would you consider as other parts of the Tatylus' safety plan to secure that the PC would not try to attack/kill her?
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First off, you probably already know this, but erasing the memories of a hermetic magus is a high crime and one that is likely to result in a march.

Erasing memories is not in itself very difficult. The problem is doing so while making sure that you only erase the bits that you want to erase.

You would want some spell that erases specified memories (I would require a Finesse roll to ensure that a) the spell only deletes what the player wants, and b) the spell actually deletes all of what the player wants, with many botch dice).

The player probably also needs a spell to view the memories of another person, in order to sort through the memories of the Tytalus to make sure that they find all of the problematic memories.

Of course to even begin to pull this off the player also needs a means to subdue but not kill the Tytalus. This in and off itself is IMO likely to be the more difficult part. Considering that the Tytalus is extremely likely to be prepared for some version of this scenario to unfold. Your player also needs to be able to subdue the Tytalus without anyone figuring what is going on. This leaves them in a dilemma.

If they use spells to do it, they leave traces for a quaesitor or allies of the Tytalus to find. If they dont use spells then they have to defeat and subdue a hostile magus quickly without magic.
They need to bring the Tytalus to a location where they can start the memory deletion, again either risking a magical trail or having to figure things out without magic.
They have to complete the memory deletion fast enough the no-one notices that the Tytalus is gone and they have to find a way to insert the Tytalus back in their natural habitat in such a way that the Tytalus or their allies will not become suspicious about it and start to investigate.

This is no mean feat.

If the Tytalus mage has any smarts about them they will have written down what they know in some amount of detail, and made more than one copy of the text. They will have placed this text somewhere where they are likely to stumble upon it every now and again. Likely at least one copy in their sanctum, probably at least one other copy somewhere else, that is hidden and not easy to link to their person.

This way someone who erases the problematic memories will need to have extensive insight into the mind of the Tytalus magus.

If the Tytalus has their memories erased they will then at some point in the near future find the text describing what they used to know, put two-and-two together and realize that their mind was attacked and take action accordingly (which may be nothing, but probably wont be).

It is also possible that the Tytalus has told someone else the secret or done something else to help them in case the blackmailed mage tries to retaliate. This could include things like making sure that incriminating evidence will be found upon their disappearance or death. Depending on their level of paranoia this could also include leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and deleting their own memory of it, so that they will rediscover the trail only after having their memories deleted. The potential for mind games is limitless.
The only limiting factor on the potential for preparations is resources. leaving a description around is both very resource efficient, easy to implement and effective.

All things considered, to be honest, the memory erasing plan is pretty stupid. I am not saying dont go for it, but in my opinion it is extremely unlikely to end well for your PC. There are just too many things that can go wrong.

In my opinion your player only has two options that are merely bad but not stupidly bad. Those two are:

Go big: If the player has the means to subdue the Tytalus, abscond with them and secure enough time to erase their memory, then your player, by definition also has the means to just kill the Tytalus, which would accomplish all the same things. True in this case people will start to wonder why the Tytalus died, or why they are gone. But then the challenge is "only" to make the death seem accidental. That in itself is no small feat, but IMO it is a lot easier than the plan proposed by your PC.


Go home: If your player decides that the risk is not worth it, or that they are unable to go through with the plan, they can either try to accommodate the Tytalus. Considering the nature of house Tytalus there is a good chance that the Tytalus is not really planning to go to court over this, but merely trying to prove that they can best your PC magus at this game of "I pwned you so hard you have no choice but to beg for mercy". Conceding defeat may even be enough to make the Tytalus pull a Rick Sanchez and say "Thats it, now I am bored with this game". It might also be possible to make a bargain with the Tytalus to make them back off, ideally a bargain that is somehow enforced either magically or legally, to guarantee mutually assured destruction (maybe your player can even find something equally naughty on the Tytalus). For example: Your player could try to find something enticing but extremely illegal to pay off the Tytalus, because this way the Tytalus has committed a high crime herself by accepting this highly illegal payment.


Thank you for putting that much effort and consideration to wrote your reply! It already gave me some good ideas :slight_smile:


As to a delivery system for the memory deletion spell - The Certamen final spell if you can outright defeat him without them conceding might work.

Not knowing more specifics, it's hard to say, but a little OoH lore might go a long way. One solution, assuming the dumb mistake wasn't something like diabolism, might simply be to find a Quaesitor who is most amenable to second chances/redemption and/or has a bone to pick with the Tytalus in question (and is looking to nail said Tytalus to the proverbial Tribunal wall), confess and seek punitive but favourable terms, getting it out in the open and neutralizing the mistake's ongoing threat. Bonus points if you can turn the tables and get the Tytalus charged with interfering with mundanes and bringing ruin upon his sodales for bringing the family into this.


@jason72 : Problem is that the PC actually believed that a spirit is a normal ghost. Instead it was an Infernal ghost. The Tytalus maga stole the ghost during a Wizard's War. She interrogated the ghost and knows that it is infernal.

Now it is a strange Mexican standoff: If the Tytalus tells the story to the Quesitors she is also doomed bc she knew it is a High Crime and tried to use it on her own benefit instead of reporting it as soon as possible. But it is really threathening for the PC to know that the Tytalus could potentially use that information. Not there is a sort of "soft blackmailing" situation where the Tytalus makes suggestions about how the PC should vote on Tribunals.

Is she?

"Mister Quesitor, I just learned that yesterday myself. He said I have know for years? He is lying. Are you gonna believe an infernalist?"

I don't think the spell would be that difficult.

First, I'd want an AC version of Posing the Silent Question to inquire about what plans the Tytalus has. Deal with the plans.

About her memory, PeMe guideline 4 (remove an important detail from a person's memory) would do the trick IMO. Also AC range. You might want to ask additional magnitudes if you think the detail is too large, or too much important.

The Tytalus' safety plan depends on how paranoid she is. If she is continuously under a Bitter Taste of Betrayal the life of anyone wanting to target him with Mentem gets a lot harder, but she is going to get a lot of warping with time. So maybe she has it always active only when she leaves the Aegis. She could also cast Intuition of the Unnoticed Spell (Base 10, R: Per, D: Mom, T: Individual) which would inform her of the presence of traces of any spell. She could investigate from that.

She will also want to learn and master mind-affecting spells to double her MR.

If I was the player, my workflow would be:

  1. Bonus step: get an AC to the Tytalus lab and use an InIm spell to make sure of when her Parma is down. Start the next step when I'm sure she is unguarded.
  2. AC PeVi spell to dispell possible BToB.
  3. AC InMe spell to learn what the Tytalus has prepared.
  4. AC ReMe spell to make the Tytalus undo whatever needs to be undone NOW (eg. burn notes, erase journal entries, etc).
  5. AC ReMe spell to suggest to the Tytalus that she doesn't need to test herself to know if she was subjected to mind-affecting spells today. She is safe. Relax.
  6. Erase Tytalus mind and hope she won't discover.
  7. Go deal with whatever else needs to be dealt with.

TBH, seems like a lot of work. It might be easier to dig some serious dirt about the Tytalus. Hold the bigger gun.


Call their bluff. They will drop it or follow through.

If they drop it then all good. Now the PC just needs to find some way to make such a veil and evil enemy very dead.

If they follow through they are screwed. The PC can honestly say that they did not know the spirit was Infernal under magical questioning. In fact they still don't know, only having the word of a blackmailer that it is.


The PC has heaps of options.

Rat out the Tytalus. Find a Tremere based Quaesitor, the natural enemy of the Tytalus.

"The ghost is infernal? Wasn't when it was with me, but we all know how Tytalus are with infernal, like cats with catnip. I imagine the ghost got the infernal taint from the Tytalus".

The spell option is arguably a huge risk, and may take seasons to design. Even if it works, how long will it be before it doesn't make sense?

How often has the Tytalus interacted with the ghost. He forgets how he got it? What about people the Tytalus interacts with. What if he keeps a journal or diary and things don't make sense?

If the memory deletion casting gets found out, and there's a good chance it will, casting this spell is a degree of magnitude worse than the existing crime.


@Fishy : Yeah, the Tremere Quesitor is a good option. Problem is that the player knew the ghost was infernal. He hoped he could use the ghost then destroy it before anybody would get informed about its existence.
That is where the problem is: during the Wizard's War - which was at the same time as the Tribunal - the PC was at the Tribunal to frighten away the Tytalus, but the Tytalus used that time to investigate the PCs freshly built covenant and stole the skull of the infernal ghost.

But maybe the Tremere quesitor and some repuitation building would be the best option for the PC to get out from the situation with the least loss.

If memory modification is an option, much easier to remove the memory the ghost was infernally tainted from the magi, leave some messsages to one's self to tell a Quaesitor, and then when asked with a Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie "Was the ghost infernally tainted", he can answer "Not when I had the skull in my possession."

Much easy spell as it can be range self, not arcane connection, no need to achieve a high penetration. No Queasitor is ever going to ask "Why is your wizard's sigil on yourself?"

When a Quaesitor investigates and two contradicting statement show as true under magic, if the Quaesitor is forced to choose which statement is true, who would one naturally tend towards? A person who has the infernally tainted skull and ghost, who is from a house know for elaborate plots and shenanigans; or the magi who reported the Tytalus, as he is worried for the safety of the order as another Tytalus is dabbling with diabolism.


I'll create a spell to answer the OP question and that works in the memory removal on self scenario I suggested.

The Perfect Crime
PeMe Cr requisite

Remove all memory of one specific act, everything associated with that act, and create consistent plausible replacement memories in the target.

If the target has cause to think their memory has been tampered with, an Int roll of 12+ can identify there has been memory adjustment.

While the spell is called the perfect crime, the spell is not restricted to crime. It could be used to remove memory of a scandal, something embarrassing, etc.

Base 15 "Remove a major or long term memory"
+1 requisite, +1 complex, Range : +1 touch (even if the idea is to wipe out the knowledge the ghost was infernal, it has to logically be learnt at touch, as otherwise learning a self version is pretty much saying you have, or want to conceal a crime) Duration: Mom, Target: Individual

We have a level 30 ritual, as to make those replacement memories permanent, vis required. If we want the spell at arcane connection range, now it is level 45. One could drop the Cr, and just remove the memory. At that points you are just looking at an improved "Loss of But a Moments Memory", however I feel the memory loss will be found out quickly.


Nice idea. Compare that to HoH_TL p.71 Acute Sense, p.75 Odor of Lingering Magic.and Sight of the Sigil. So this approach becomes a contest of acumen and magical resources.

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Dealing with the infernal is a grave crime, however, it is a crime where ignorance is a valid defense (HoH:TL 51). It could definitely be sued at the tribunal, but I don't believe a normal tribunal would march a magi for making a deal with a ghost, unknowing of its status as an infernal ghost, everything else being equal. On the other hand, the kind of shenanigans involved with destroying another magi's memory subtly is the kind of stuff that might get a magi marched if caught on its own, and could probably serve as an incidental evidence that might invalidate the defense of ignorance (e.g. if you believed your action was a marchable offense, and you were willing to go that far to hide evidence, maybe you weren't as ignorant as you claim you are).