Intellego on vis, and why it is just unplayable


Intellego Vim spells need to target a realm, do we agree?

Vis is concentrated magic, and by such, from a realm.

If i invent the classical "sense of the vis" (scale and type) spells, it targets magical vis. Obviously.

My question is thus: how come that infernal, faerie or divine vis are so much trouble for magi? Before using that vis, they need to know how much and which art are those vis. I think you agree with this: it's useless to start casting a spell ritual without being sure you have the right vis under hand.

But then... they cast both "sense of the vis" type spells, and those spell only detect magical vis.

Since its target is individual (another bug in the spells...), it target one "pawn" after one. (pawn in the "magical sense", not in the "physical sense" since it's obvious that vis is more commonly discovered concentrated in teeth, hair, tears or some natural things from which it is recolted (source or creature)).
If your vis is magical, both spells will say:

  • "1 pawn" (hahaha useless but i like to emphasis it). You will have to recast it many time ... and in fact, you will never know how much vis, since you can't be sure this is not the same magical pawn you are targetting over and over.
  • the type of the vis.

But, if your vis is infernal or faerie, the spell gives nothing. (Infernal magic is not protected by the limit of the infernal, only demons, and vis is concentrated magic.)
Then, your magus, in case he knows there is vis - this is not always the case - will just discard it... or keep it to trade with sodales and let other magi experience troubles.

Doesn't it render all idea of perverted pawns useless?

How to fix it?

  • do we assume that vis is always a "magical" pawn, even if tainted, and so, answer correctly to the "magical type" of intellego vis about vim? what about "faerie type" or other, then?
  • do we assume that the guidelines include an implicit "+3 magnitude for additional effects"?
  • it's this way, and all the nice "we got you from ROP I or ROP D about perverted vis or divine one" are just flavour, without actual consequence in play? (too bad, they were fun).

My idea is either the first or the second.

What's your?

We have always played that vis is vis, regardless of the realm it comes from. So yes, you can sauy that the guideline includes an implicity "Additional effects" guideline if you want to see it like that. But in general I do not necessarily agree that InVi needs to be tied to a specific realm.


er... no?

Vim spells that affect might or detect effects (and regii or aurae) need to be aligned to a realm. Vs detection never states that it does, unless you consider Vis to be an 'effect'?

The text says: "Different spells may be invented to detec faerie, divine, or Infernal effects. each spell only affects one realm, and storyguides may wish to disallow spells to detect the Divine or Infernal". The main question is : what is an effect

Since the guideline 3 (used in Piercing the faerie veil) is "detect regio boundaries", and this spell targets only faerie, we have to acknowledge that "effect" include it.
But we also know from Sense of the lingering magic and sight of the active magics, that base 5 ("detect any active magic") and 10 ("detect the traces of powerful magic") do too.

The guideline 1 says : "detect the presence of vis. As concentrated magic, vis is not hard to spot".
Thus, vis is concentrated magic, thus magic, thus realm aligned.

After that, the box say: "raw vis will show up as magical, simply as raw vis, under any magical detection. The level of the detecting spell is irrelevent as is the realm of power it was designed to detect. However, only specially designed spells will yield any information other than that it is raw vis."


  • With a "i see vis" effect, you spot any kind of vis => you know it is vis. Yeepie!!
  • To effectively arrange those vis pawns into your chest, you need to know what it is and how much it is.
    You then cast two "specially designed spells" : one to know their type, and another to know their number.
  • But since these need to be aligned (and you will likely target magic), if it's not magic vis, it will just shows nothing
  • then you will know that you have non magic vis, hence you will keep it for a gift or a trade, not using it in labwork/vis study.

Conclusion: no "the magi used infernal vis hahahahaha" scenarios plots as described in ROP tI.

I agree. Well, except for the last, where a demon might just use a little CrVi to make his gift of infernal vis seem magical :wink:

Too much reading of the rules detracting from a cool story. Conclusion: ditch that realm-specific detection bit. Vis is vis.


Even if a magus can spot the realm associated with a pawn of vis (and I personally have no problem with that), vis types other than magical can provide for stories.

Infernal vis in particular is a good one, because even if the magi do recognise it for what it is, what do they do with it? They can't destroy it without 'using' it, and just leaving it lying around for the neighbourhood diabolists has its own problems. Its Hermetic toxic waste... with all the fun that goes with it. :mrgreen:

Then there's always that moment of desperation where you -need- some vis and the only stuff left is the infernal vis at the back of the closet. And why is that? What happened to the rest of the vis?

Besides, vis infesta isn't -that- dangerous...

Funny, I read that as (not quoting!) "Vis is concentrated magic. Sometimes it is tainted by other powers, but it is always magical in nature."
but YSMV.

So you go for route 1. Indeed a good reading.

Thats not exactly how I think a Target Individual spell works. If you try to use Scales of Magical Weight to find out how many pawns of vis are in a dragon's eyeball, the eye is your Target, not each pawn of vis present.

Oh, please, just use a sensory target, that's so much more efficient ! Besides, an Individual for Vim is a spell or a 'suitable object or person', in which case a Vim spell will affect any suitable magic effect affecting the object or person. Surely the 5 pawns of Ignem vis in that dragon tongue are only one 'effect', just a big one :slight_smile:

You know I think Scales of Magical Weight really sounds more like a Target:Touch spell to me. It would probably work pretty much the same that way. Maybe make it concentration so you could work your way through a pile of vis containing objects.

We've never thought about realm-specific spells for vis detection. There is only one. In fact we only use one kind of vis, but it may be tainted by something - fae or infernal. But I think the same spell should detect it all, even though there are specific types of faerie or infernal vis as mentioned in the relevant RoP books.

I see 'effects' as meaning powers, devices, auras, creatures of might. For those you need realm-specific spells, but not for vis.

Also we detect vis by an InVi magical sense spell, usually by sense of smell. So in this case it does not matter if the 12 pawns vis found in the dead dragon is one huge chunk or found spread over his scales, eyes, teeth or whatever. And then use MuVi to collect it to managable portions. Thsi vis might even be found all over the entire dragon but in such diluted form that you need to 'destill' or 'condense' it to get it. Using the same type of MuVi.

You mean ReVi, not MuVi?

I guess so. You cal also use MuWi to collect it, though. Just use a form that you can agglutinate before the spell duration expires and you end up with all your vis together. In the case of carcasses it might be messy when the spell ends, though.


I thought MuVi was not possible by the limit of vis: Muto is transforming the vis, and that's not possible; muto is not really about moving it.
Rego however is moving the vis, and that's possible. As I see it, gathering the vis is Rego (and there is a spell which does it just fine p163).

You wouldnt be altering the Vis, you would be altering the physical form of the Vis.

Then wouldn't you need a Animal, or Plant, or Terram, or whatever, requisite ? Or maybe Vim should be the requisite ?

Vim would probably be the requisite - I'm fairly sure UV meant ReVi.

Well... That seems like a good question.

I think i could accept an argument that the only thing you´re actually affecting is the Vis, so its origin or how it ends up doesnt apply. Ie. like if you pour water on sand, it gets wet but you dont have to affect the sand directly in any way. Since you can do it similarly from the source as well...
At the same time, your question can be argued is quite relevant as well.