Int Im Lvl 1

Regarding the Intellego Imaginem Level 1 Guideline (and pardon me if I shouldn't be copying this much out of the book):

Memorize or perfect your memory about an image you have encountered.

Consider this spell:

Recollection of the Tome Once Glimpsed, Int Im 5
Base 1, +0 Personal, +2 Sun, +2 Group

This spell allows the caster to recollect, until sundown, the contents of a book he has at one point flipped through. Repeated castings, over the course of a season, let the caster copy out the entire book from memory.

(I say group because it is getting a group of images, all the pages of a book)

Is this legit? If not, why not? I'm interpreting the duration of the spell to be the durration the caster retains the magically enhanced memory. I see no limit in the guideline for how far back he can remember, or how trivial the memory can be. Which seems abusive.

Perhaps adding a Int + Artes Liberales roll with ease factor of 6+ to remember the contents of a specific book? Modified by how long the book was studied and/or how long ago the book was read?


IIRC, and I admit I am away from my books at the moment and thus cannot be certain, spels relating to memory in the supplements specificly forbid their use to recall entire books.

Its also worth pointing out that repeat casting a spell for an entire season is generally a very bad idea as this would generally be the fastest route to early twilight.
Some of those rolls are gonna be botches.

Memory is part of Mentem and not Imagonem.

Do you allow tricking with books?

Repeated casting without stressful situations is not really dangerous. I always assumed that most magi cast between 25 and 50 spells per day on a regular basis. Some magi might cast up to 250-500 if they are practicing a spell. Twilight would be way more common than it is if the kaiser's suggestion was true :slight_smile:

Imaginem was nerfed to prevent stuff like "the hermetic xerox machine" IIRC. No biggie, but this spell you mention would fall into the "nerfed area" IMO. But memory is part of mentem, yup.



Memory is normally part of Mentem, but M's citation of the Guidelines is accurate.

Me, I would not allow a single "Group" to cover more than a paragraph. Each letter is an image - think about what happens if you get one "image" in the word "duck" wrong - a mirror image gives you "buck"; lose a loop, and it's "luck" - and let's end it there. But that's only the first "image" of 4 in that word. 10 of those might make a couple words, hundreds go into a paragraph, and hundreds of those into a small-medium book.

And maybe a magnitude for complexity, all that detail, dotting the "i's" and such to tell an i from a small "l" and such.

And Xavi speaks truth - the idea of the "Hermetic Xerox Machine" is one you should ponder long and deep, and consider where any decision you make will lead, esp if you are the SG.

But otherwise, yeah, it should work.

Interestingly, there are no Mentem guidelines (that I'm aware of) that deal with perfecting an existing memory. I assume such a guideline would be Creo Mentem (in the sense of perfecting the mind). The Creo version of the spell would be more along the lines of: cast the spell while I'm reading the book so that my mind is capable of remembering every word on the page. But again, there is no specific guideline I can point to in the Mentem section of the core rules.

I am the SG (one of two) of the player who wants to design this spell. I really like the idea of the spell in abstract, but the book copying possibilities scare the stuffing out of me. Hopefully with an Intelligence + Artes Liberales roll and an upping of the magnitude based on Cuchulainshound's suggestion I can give the player this type of effect without letting him copy books at a glance.


Well, as for repeated casting and warping:
I would rule that you can cast hundreds of spell a day without getting warped as long as the target of the spell is not you and you do not botch.
However, the spell mentioned above, targets yourself (our your memory which is a part of you... I hope :laughing: ). Thus, you are under a constant mystical effect and gain warping.

True lineages pages 72 and 73

level 4 restore a memory of a brief event to a fresh state ...

level 5 restore a memory of an event to a fresh state ...

level 10 restore a memory of a day's events...

Which shows as a SG you put thought into more than solving the problem for just "right now" - Respect for that!

I get the impression that Atlas' unspoken official policy is "hands off" on this one - that is, it's too volatile and saga-influencing to publish anything official. You've got the guidelines, it's up to each troupe to resolve/ban/impliment on your own - and that makes perfectly good sense to me.

As a SG (and player), I've put thought into it, and decided it should be possible, but as hard as I can make it without bending the rules out of shape.

So, it's a multi-stage process. Step One is that the mage has to "experience" the entire book, and in detail - this means either 1) reading it, cover to cover, carefully, and then using the above spell to remember it, OR 2) come up with a large Intellego Imagonem spell, with added levels for massive target size and complexity, to "Intellego" the book all at once. AND, if going that way, also 2 additional mag's for a small CrIg to light it up - unless she can figure out a way to expose it to some natural light source all at once. Intellego Imagonem doesn't let you see in the dark. :wink:

It is truly written...

"Outside of a dog, a book is a boy's best friend. Inside, it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx.

Next, comes the "xerox" part - which usually requires an exacting precision in the manipulation of ink (or a ritual to create a permanent Creo Imagonem) So, a fairly complex RegoAquam, but similar to the problem of reading a closed page in the dark, the ink must be Rego'd onto (usually separate) open pages or it will smear, and that means both large group target and some added complexity.

Now, here's where you can put the hammer down, or not. Philosophical question - can a mage "hold the image" of an entire book in their mind at once, adequate to recreate it, competely and with perfect, flawless accuracy, in the blink of an eye? The InIm guideline allows a mage to perfectly remember any detail - but that is not (necessarily!) the same as remembering "all details" at one moment, at the moment that Rego Aquam spell is cast.

Pick some example of a huge, vast amount of text spread out in front of you - the Viet Nam war memorial comes to mind, with all the names of KIA's on many basalt panels. If a mage looked at something like that, the InIm spell would refresh everything that he remembers - if he read it, he remembers it. But could he remember it all at once, or just any one part at a time perfectly? (I believe the former only.)

If you're on board with that, then the InIm spell must have a duration to allow the copying of each small section - a paragraph, a line, a phrase, (a word?) - at a time - probably Sun, as would the Rego Aquam.

(Alternately, a harder line could preclude any "instant xerox" (even in as long a time as a day), and only allow the spells to give the mage the ability to scribe the book from memory, but via the standard manual method.)

Or not. It's "magic", so a SG/Troupe can interpret it as they like. A quick spell, zip-swoosh, hey have a book, have a library, have fun. ymmv, as always.

Thanks to Eric for the reference to True Lineages!

As for the spell, my player swears that he doesn't want to use this spell for evil, but I do want to define it in such a way that its not easy for NPC magi to remember books trivially. Book trading and who has access to what book seems a flavorful and fun part of a politics heavy Ars game.

For the record, the spell as bought looks like this:

Walking the Garden of Recollections
Intelligo Imaginem 10
(Personal, Sun, Group)
The caster can remember a single page worth of information that he once read (a Group of paragraphs). This may be a page from a book or a poster nailed to a church wall or anything similar involving writing. Recalling the words requires a Intelligence + Artes Liberales roll with an ease factor of 6+ the number of years since the page was read. If the page was simply glanced then the ease factor is increased by an additional 3. This spell does not grant the caster the knowledge of the page, but he may refer to the page as if he had its contents on physical paper at hand.
(Note: the lab text for this spell is currently in Arabic)

If he later wishes to expand the spell, I've told the player that he can double the number of pages recalled by increasing the magnitude of the spell by 1. So recalling a whole book for a day is a 8th or 9th magnitude spell.


If he's only "glanced" at it, then it ~could~ be argued that he never had the detail in his mind to remember.

Otoh, an arcane "spy camera" is a handy spell, and should be possible. Maybe one additional mag for complexity, and call it good?

(And, no, recalling a whole book for a day only requires casting the one spell of much lower level, but several/many times, each time accessing only those pages that are needed at that moment.) :wink:

Normally, "remembering an image" implies gross elements - did the mysterious figure walk with a limp? Was the abbot carrying a key? Did the stained glass window include a squirrel or a rabbit? What color was the flag on the tower? What items were on the work bench before, and then later? Did the faerie queen have a crown of green leaves, or of holly?

But with words, masses of individual letters in exact sequence, the level of detail required becomes far more demanding. A level or two of complexity, at a minimum, is not asking too much, imo.

Shut your eyes, and "recall an image" of this post. Then of my avatar, the celtic thing. Which do you think is more "complex" to recall effectively? Both are complex, but a graphic image is not generally the same as written communication.