Intellego range and target (senses) in items

Hi folks!
New guy looking for some answers.

I'm slowly getting into the enchantment rules and I for a couple of questions concerning intellego effects in items. I've found some answers in another thread, but I'm still looking for some clarification.

Objects don't have senses so how would an enchanted object be able to sense something?
Imagine a vis sensing compass. An lvl 1 In/Vi effect for detecting vis, +2 for sun, +2 for smell would allow a mage to smell a source of physical vis, but would it allow a compass to point towards a vis source if close enough? Would requisites like Re and/or Te be enough or would the item need another triggered Re/Te effect to actually point towards the vis?

I know I could avoid the problem by adding range touch, but then what point is a compass.

Two possibilities:

  • the item uses its owner senses. (If it isn't the owner who is given the sense!)
  • you give sense to the item.

I'm trying to avoid magical enhancement of the users senses.

In/Te 30 - Stone tell of themind that sits allows the magus to talk to a stone, implying that stones do have senses and are (to some extent) aware of their surroundings, as such a spell should be able to enhance the senses the stone (or other object) already possesses.

If however the object does not possess any senses a workaround could be to use Mu/Te (base 4) to give the object highly unnatural abilities like being attracted to raw vis?

It can be done, and there's precedent in RAW.

The initiation for Sensory Magic for Bjornaer (i.e., the best reason to play Bjornaer in the first place) calls for the initiate to create a wooden statue of their heartbeast animal that is a) awakened and b) can sense with all four senses.

There's a spell guideline to "awaken the consciousness of a plant" in MuHe. Theoretically, there should be similar guidelines for metal and stone and gems.

Once conscious, you can instill the Intellego effects. This allows you to leave an object which can observe a scene, which you can collect later with another intellego effect to recieve its memories, like magically bugging a room.... hey. That's actually a pretty good idea.

My character should get right on that. ^^

You could also tie this combo in as a trigger for effects, like hitting any human it sees with a sleeping spell.

For your "vis compass" the needle point would be a cosmetic effect, or a triggered effect at the discretion of your SG.

You might consider making a far simpler device that uses the InVi effect at Range: Touch, so that it gives the magical sense flat-out to whoever is using the device. Way cheaper and easier than the invested device above.


No need for requisites or other effects. The fact that the compass arm points to the right direction is just cosmetic.

If you can instill an "awakened" consciousness into an item, it might just, by a stretch, be possible to take it as a familiar.

Which works out, as I have an NPC in my saga whose signature act for "fame" in the Order for becoming an Arch Magi was taking an enchanted but inanimate object as a familiar. Now I have a decent explanation for how it happened.

Seems like there are no easy answers.

I looked at different Intellego spells to find some that imparted a similar kind of knowledge without using the Intellego target senses and the best example I could find was sense the feet that thread the earth (In/Te 30) even though the guideline says see an object and its surroundings implying that you see everything moving on the earth within a mile instead of feeling it as the spell states.

In order to "see" those things upon the earth in detail, you'd need requisites. To "sense" them, i.e. "three beings of size 0 from the north, 100 paces" would not, as the information is gained through their interaction with the ground.

But the guideline says see an object and its surroundings while the spell acts as if the earth tells you what's treading on it. Following the guideline one should be able to get more information than just how heavy and in what way they are moving across the ground. I'm not saying that adding a Vim requisite to the spell would allow it to detect vis sources on the ground within a mile from the caster, but limiting it only to the feel on the ground seems a bit restricting when compared to the guidelines.

This is the usual(?) approach.

For instance, a Wand of Detect Magic, T:Vision - activated, the user "sees" the magic available.

To have an item to so autonomously?... tougher, but possible...

The guidelines are only that - guidelines.

Sometimes (esp w/ Intellego), the guidelines specifically give the ability to see/sense - other times, a Target:Sense is required. But if one can "see", then one could sense with a different sense - hear, vibrations, smell, whatever - just a tweak on the guideline.

Does it?

Base 4 also says "Learn one mundane property of an object" - and in that spell, that one mundane property is "What is moving upon it?" ("it" being "the earth I'm touching" - which is where the extra magnitudes for size come in.)

I think that is the Guideline that is being referred to here. (How could one possibly know the weight of something, or it's relative location, just by "seeing" it? And if they could see it, how would one not know what that heavy thing "slithering" is?)

(and welcome to the boards, btw!) :wink: