Initiation of Sensory Magic

Our group is having a discussion and can't come to an agreement of what exactly it means to enchant an object with the ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

On the one hand this could be a standard invested item with multiple effects like this:

Let the Stick See InIm5
R: Per D: Mom T: Vision
Gives an object the ability to see.
Base 1, +4 Vision

Let the Stick Hear InIm4
R: Per D: Mom T: Hearing
Gives an object the ability to hear.
Base 1, +3 Hearing

and so forth. This method would take at least two seasons and up to six depending on the lab total.

Alternately we talked about combining the effects like this

Let the Stick Sense InIm25
R: Per D: Mom T: Vision
Gives an object the ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell.
Base 1, +4 Vision, +4 extra effects

This has the advantage that it can be put in a lesser enchantment thus taking only one season. The target was put at the highest of the targets affecting all the senses, however some of us thought that was weird as the other senses would be coming through the vision sense. An extra magnitude for complexity was discussed but not decided on (we like to argue about this stuff).

HOH:MC doesn't discuss what the item is supposed to do with these senses. That's why we went with Momentary Duration. Having it do something would definately land us in the full invested item territory. Would you recommend Duration Concentration and having the item hold concentration?

Anyhow, would anybody like to share their comments on Sensory Magic Intiatory items?

Thx, Rich

I had always assumed that the senses would have to be instilled into the figurine separately, but it would certainly be more efficient to use a single effects invested into a lesser enchanted device if your SG allows it. I also would probably have used allowed the device to maintain concentration over its powers in this case. Yes, it adds a magnitude to each effect, but it does seems, broadly speaking, more mythic that way since the momentary version meets the requirements only in a purely technical sense.

The only one I could come close is a golem of some sort. While most would be fine with See, Hear and Touch. If you could make a Frankenstein monster type of golem then it could use all of them

Given that Magical Senses need to be bestowed upon persons (ArM5 p.113f), as also recently discussed on this forum (see Healing Walls ), I wouldn't expect much guidance in the rules, how to apply them to enchanted items. AFAICS you will either have to invent the way to do that IYC yourself, and maybe make up the breakthrough and the magus who made it as well. Or you use other kinds of Intellego effects for enchanted items, of which there are many examples in the books.
Sensory Magic (HoH:MC p.27f) uses special Targets, just like Magical Senses do, but for a completely different purpose. It is always R: Per, and "cannot be invested into magical items" (HoH:MC p.28).
In case you wish to discuss Automata (HoH:MC p.128ff): there is no special provisions for their senses. They (HoH:MC p.129) "may not be a magus's talisman", so using tricks like with (MoH p.114f) Staff of Ranulf, which uses Ranulf's senses, are not possible. MoH examples for enchanted items with senses otherwise apply: in particular InIm Read the Words of Dico Calculus (p.31f) provides a simple, easily extendable example for an enchanted item sensing species.


Someone who knows the Greek philosophers better than I should just jump in here, but given the Ars magic system's baseline reliance on Greek metaphysics working, I'd think that's where this debate would end up.

My gut tells me (although I can't find via a quick Google search) that something has to have some sort of separate demonstrated intelligence (at least animal intelligence) in order to have senses such as the Imaginem spells affect.

Which also raises a fascinating Intellego question - if you queried a tree or rock or stream about a long-standing CrIm spell, would it know that it was there? I suspect not, as plants and inanimate objects don't detect the species the spells emit.

Yes, quite so. A&A p.31ff The Human Mind has it already condensed for use in the game, though.

It's the Common Sense that combines sensory inputs "into a common mental picture". Dico Calculus does not need such combining to work, though.


Our rule was a simple solution and worked well.
If you want to trigger another magical effect (linked trigger) a simple Intellego magic is enough, but has to be specified exactly. Although it is NOT required if the item is touched and a trigger word is used. If the sensory input (species) needs to be understood and a simple yes/no reaction is not enough: the Intellego magic also needs the +6 magnitude and Mentem requisite.