Intelligo ranges, targets, and Snow White

Why don't you think InCo can tell you who the biggest guy in the room is using guideline 5: "sense a specific fact about a body"? I don't see how any intelligence is involved in this other than the magus' own - the magic is simply finding something matching the parameters it is given, as Intelligo always does.

Yes, but if it can do this, why can't it find and affect everyone over 6 feet high? Or everyone with black hair? Or 6 foot high people with large noses, black hair and 43-years of age? As Ioke pointed out above, this seems to be a matter of degree of detail you want to detect rather than any clear division between individual and group descriptions. If my descriptors happen to match one person only, there seems to be no reason why I can't detect them if I can detect anyone at all.

So we agree about (1) not working. (2) would violate the requirement for Hermetic targeting without AC, that you need to sense the target, not an Hermetically created image of it. If the magus of (3) uses Eyes of the Eagle only to identify the target of his next spell, and can single it out afterwards by normal sight, that spell would work.

Have a look at TMRE p.94f New Range Line: "The advantage of Line Range is that it extends as far as Sight but does not require that the magus can see the target. However, he must be able to sense it in some other fashion: Hermetic magic cannot in general affect an unsensed target. For instance, the magus may hear someone talking on the other side of the wall." So if the guy seen with Prying Eyes talks and can thus be heard, the Hermetic Geometer can affect him with a R: Line spell, after he made his computations right.


But the spell explicitly says you can see the target, and the Intelligo Imaginem guidelines say "use a sense at a distance," so you are sensing the target, unless they made a huge error in RAW and used the wrong terms.

The Line Range stuff is very interesting - hadn't come across that.

EDIT: In fact, according the Intelligo Imaginem guidelines, it seems that it is possible to see any point in a boundary, in the same way you can see into a room, and then target the person you see.

Yes, a caster can sense the size of all the men in the T: Boundary with a ritual and successful Penetration rolls. He can then also derive the biggest man of these. But he cannot target that man then just as "the biggest man". See the qoute of TMRE p.94f New Range: Line above.

Ah, so if I am reading you correctly a spell such as Mirror of the Jealous Queen that I posted above would work - in that it is identifying a person based on a feature, then showing an image of that person? Or perhaps you think the second part is not possible, but it seems to me that if you can sense the man, there seems no reason not to be able to also sense what he looks like, with appropriate magic.

You are not representing the guideline for InCo very well here. Because when you sense "the biggest man" you are not sensing just a single fact about one person.
Your spell kind of has 2 steps to it:
Step 1: You are asking the spell to figure out the size of all the men inside the boundary (I assume its a boundary spell)
Step 2: tell you which one of the men is the biggest.

You could absolutely get a spell to determine the size of a man, even a man that you cannot see as long as you can target him in some other way, such as by a boundary target. and following that logic you also can determine the sizes of a group of men, such as all the men in a boundary.
Usually hermetic magic is pretty bad at figuring stuff out, such as "which one of the men is biggest". You could have the spell generate a list and then analyze the list yourself.

the guideline according to your citation is: "sense a specific fact about a body" and I trust your citation but i very much dont agree that sensing a specific fact about a body multiple times must allow the spell to compare the facts too.

But of course the magic mirror in your example seems to have a mind that would allow such analysis. But then again if the mirror has a mind, is a thing of magic, a faerie spirit or whatever else, then it does not have to conform to the guidelines for how hermetic magic works.

I suggest you check out this other thread about how Magic things can deviate from hermetic rules in interesting ways: thoughts on a "Magic Thing" - #13 by lvgreen

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Prying Eyes allows you to magically see into the room. That is not seeing with your own eyes: you can also check this with HP p.84 Fíngers for Eyes, which explicitly allows even a blind magus to see this way.

A magus has to 'sense' the target with his own senses, not some magically acquired ones, when targeting without an AC. This is the prevailing interpretation of ArM5 p.80 The Limit of Arcane Connections: "Intellego can determine whether, for example, there are any people behind a wall the magus can see, but Perdo Corpus magic cannot affect those people until the magus is aware of them."

The "then showing ..." would have to be done by another spell. How could that other spell show the correct, specific image of that single person, and not just a crowd of persons, without the magus targeting that person? And how would he target that person without an AC?

worth noting that there are several ways to read the original faerie tales which suggest that the Queens magic mirror would have in fact been of faerie rather than magic, especially if it was related to the Goblin's mirror...

If you read the actual Hermetic limit, it says «Hermetic magic cannot affect an unsensed
target without an Arcane Connection. » There is no suggestion, in core, that you need to see with your own eyes. You need to sense the target, one way or another.

This is what Prying Eyes does. It does not create an image, it allows you to see the real image that exist behind the wall.


Ah, I see. But to me, it seems that if I am made aware of the size of all men in the boundary, I must be aware of the largest man too. I suppose this is down to how the information is given to me - if the spell gives it all to me at once I am suddenly aware of the height of everyone and can pick out the largest (and his location, perhaps with a bump in level, but we know Intelligo can detect locations of things, so the spell could allow me to know the size and location of every man in the boundary). I had assumed if the spell imparted that information, the magus would know it instantaneously, and so be able to immediately pick out the tallest man (in this case, the spell wouldn't, he would, because he now knows the height of all men and where they are). But you seem to be saying that the spell would take time to impart information depending on the extent of it, so the magus might see a list or shapes of the men, thousands of items long, and have to sit and sift through it (maintaining the spell?) to find one he wanted.

Also, whether the spell can do it is an interesting question. It seems like a basic sorting operation to me, which I would have thought was possible... i.e., the spell detects sizes, orders them from large to small (and if it can detect things based on size that means it is somehow 'perceiving' size, so ordering based on size should be possible), then it produces an image of the first in the sequence (the largest).

I had interpreted that line to mean: Intelligo can sense things that aren't yet sensed, other magic cannot - it can only target what you sense. But then the logical consequence of that is that if you sense it with Intelligo, you can now target it. I haven't seen anywhere in ArM5 it make a distinction between magically sensing something and sensing it naturally - is it in ArM5 somewhere or is it clarified explicitly in a later book?
EDIT: I now see Ioke has just made a very similar point above:

Why would it have to be done by another spell and not a requisite effect of the base spell? The base spell obtains the information, the requisite effect translates it into an image. It then comes down to what information the basic spell obtains - which is related to what Euphemism says above. If the spell identifies the individual, then I would have thought it could communicate that via an Imaginem requisite. If it can only obtain information on a large, group scale, then an image of one person may not be possible, but I guess the mirror could show them all...

Oh, and thanks to those pointing out the mirror could have been a faerie - I like that idea. But my objective was to figure out how to make the mirror as a magic item to use as an interesting example, not to figure out the "truth" of what it was.

Seems like a bonisagus needs to invent an "intelligo" range...

How about magical senses with AC target?

"There is no suggestion, in core, that you need to see with your own eyes. You need to sense the target, one way or another." I don't think, that the authors thought so in the end. Best read again " MoH p.101 To See as Though a Plethron Distant", which I quoted above already.

Just seeing something by magic around a corner does not allow you to target it:
"This spell allows the caster to see and hear his surroundings as though he was standing in another place he can naturally see. The spell does not enhance the caster’s natural sight or hearing.
The caster has some freedom to move his vantage point, but cannot move into any place that he cannot naturally see from his physical location. Moving the viewpoint requires a Simple Stamina + Concentration
Roll vs. Ease Factor 6.
The “plethron” of the spell title is a Greek measurement roughly equivalent to 100 feet, although the spell’s range allows for a potentially greater distance.
Petalichus and his brother Cononites have investigated this spell, as Petalichus had anticipated that he would be able to use it to gain sight of new viable targets. This proved not to be the case. William Bonisagi theorized that the species, recreated as they are, bear insufficient connection to the things they represent to support casting spells against them. By being so far removed, the magus would essentially be attempting to cast his spells on mere apparitions."

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well by way of comparison, The Inexorable Search works by running your finger over a map and letting you sense when to stop, that is when you are pointing at the part of the map that corresponds to where the body you are searching for is. A super strict reading of the spell guidelines might demand that this is an imaginem requisite since you are receiving a sensory information, however the spell in the core rulebook has no such requisite and I think we can safely assume that this means such small pieces of flavor can freely be included. Notice also that the spell is kind of reading what is on the map as if the map is an arcane connection to the terrain or something or perhaps the spell is reading the map in a very intelligent manner. So you probably have quite a lot of leeway in what ways the information can be delivered and how the spell can play out.

But looking at your spell it is very unclear to me exactly how the information would be delivered.

Imagine a simpler spell that learns the height of a single man (you seem to use height and size as if they were synonymous). but we really need to describe the spell a little more precisely, so I will have a go at it:

What is the height?
InCo level X (level really does not matter for my example)
Range: Voice, Target Individual, Duration: Momentary.
The caster points at a target within range and learns the height of that person, the information just pops into the mind of the caster as a height in whatever measuring system the caster is most familiar with.

This description is kind of key to understanding whether or not the spell you are trying to create is valid. I would argue that the spell I have proposed is a valid spell based on the guidelines. It could even be generalized to a boundary spell if you are so inclined (which I assume you are).

However if your spell description had read something like:

Different what is the height?
InCo level Y (level really does not matter for my example)
Range: Voice, Target Individual, Duration: Momentary.
The caster points at a target within range and learns the height of that person, the information appears in writing on the nearest mirrored surface

Then that spell would at the very least require an imaginem requisite and even then the spell is kind of weird because what happens if the nearest mirrored surface is far away, say that it is the surface of a still pond several miles from your current location. Did your spell just target that surface? does the spell fail if there is no mirrored surface within voice range? lots of questions.

Notice that both of the spells I describe above use the same basic guideline (the one you suggested about determining a single fact about a single body) but one spell is very straightforward and the other is a nightmare to arbitrate.

A lot of your questions seem to revolve around what constitutes legal flavor text and that is very difficult to answer in general terms. Perhaps it would be best if you would attempt a write up for the spell/power you are thinking of and the debate continue from there?

Interesting - I don't have the book so could not refer to that until you posted it. Seems like a huge omission from RAW. In any case, I prefer the interpretation that a magus has to use their natural senses, as I think the alternative is overpowered. The only issue is that, based on ArM5 alone, I would view that interpretation as wrong.

I think I understand most of what you're saying but am not that clear on all of it. The spell I posted above, and which I post again here for reference, does capture what I was wondering about. You say it's unclear how the information would be delivered - is that in relation to the spell below or did you mean the basic example I put about a spell ordering by height?

Anyway, here is the spell from above, edited to clarify more precisely what it does:

Mirror of the Jealous Queen (redux)
InCo 65 (Requisites: Cr, Im)
R: Touch D: Conc(Mom?) T: Boundary, Ritual
Cast this while looking into a mirror and saying "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" The spell obtains an image of every person in the boundary, then orders them from the one closest to a human of perfect form to the one furthest from perfect form (presumably magic can detect perfect form as the whole Limit of Essential Nature and all of Creo is based on it), then it shows the image of the one closest to perfect form in the mirror.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc (maybe not needed), +4 Boundary, +4 size, +1 Imaginem requisite & +1 Creo requisite to show image)

A variant could find the tallest person, or a specific person given enough detailed parameters (and possibly accompanying increases in magnitude). So all my questions are around whether such a spell is valid - and, as with many things, this may simply be a SG call, but I'm just interested in people's perspectives and to hear if there is any precedent anywhere in the source books.

The problem is, whether the spell can "identify" the individual at all. I doubt so very much. The magus can indeed identify the individual by means of the spell. After doing so, he can react by casting a second spell.

Well it seems I had overlooked your spell description, sorry about that. But as you have seen that description involves a lot of things that are controversial, as to whether they are doable by hermetic magic or not.

As a power possessed by a magic spirit (not necessarily a Magic spirit) I would be fine with it. As a hermetic spell not really. Assuming that we have somehow found a way let an item cast a ritual spell I would also be fine with the following spell:

Mirror of the Jealous Queen wanting to know the list of people to be jealous on (redux)
InCo ?? (Requisites: Cr, Im)
R: Touch D: Sun T: Boundary, Ritual
" The spell obtains an image of every person in the boundary and displays them as images on a mirror that must be present during the casting of the spell. The mirror can then display these images in order of proximity to the mirror at the time of casting the spell. By swiping either left or right in a similar manner to someone perusing a book it is possible to go through the images.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc (maybe not needed), +4 Boundary, +4 size, +1 Imaginem requisite & +1 Creo requisite to show image)

I am not super happy about the spell determining who is the fairest or prettiest or some other characteristic that is very difficult to determine an objective measure for. I am not happy about tallest either, but that at least has a more straightforward measure. I would personally rule that it is not possible for hermetic magic to use human perfection, as derived from essential nature, to determine any meaningful representation of who is the fairest/prettiest as in the fairytale. To me an effect that determines closest proximity to essential nature would find people with the fewest physical flaws (its a corpus effect) and fewest missing bits and fewest birth defects. But that is a matter of interpretation.

Assuming you wanted to make a magic item to achieve the result of the spell as you posted it, I would make another effect enchanted into the mirror. Namely a CrMe spell to create a mind capable of sorting the information imparted into the mirror and presenting it according to instructions. You could of course also a Mentem requisite to the original spell and have that spell include the creation of a mind capable of sorting the information.

You seem to have created Mythic Europe Tinder! (especially so if we do allow it to determine prettiest/most handsome)

Hmm, yes, something like:

Mirror of the Jealous Queen (redux)
InCo 70 (Requisites: Cr, Im, Me)
R: Touch D: Conc(Mom?) T: Boundary, Ritual
Cast this while looking into a mirror and saying "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" The spell obtains an image of every person in the boundary, then orders them from the one closest to a human of perfect form to the one furthest from perfect form (presumably magic can detect perfect form as the whole Limit of Essential Nature and all of Creo is based on it), then it shows the image of the one closest to perfect form in the mirror.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc (maybe not needed), +4 Boundary, +4 size, +1 Creo & +1 Mentem requisite to sort images, + 1 Imaginem requisite to show image)

And yes, I agree it involves controversial things, which is why it is interesting. And yes, perhaps essential nature would not show prettiest as you suggest - in fact, my original version had yet another effect which was InMe to read the mind of the caster to determine what they deemed to be beautiful. In any case, the main question is whether you can locate someone or something specific using boundary target, and how much info you can get about that individual.

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I think by creating a mind, you could reasonably specify that the spell creates a mind that shares your taste in people, so that it sorts the images according to your personal taste.

You could even take it a step further and gain even more information. the guideline says you can gain knowledge of a single fact about the person, presumably you could do something like add a magnitude to gain as much as 10 facts.

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