Invisibility doesn't actually work?

More precisely and completely:

If you wish to stress, that the Virtue lets you see in absolute darkness, you will not qualify that vision as "much the same as those with Strong Faerie Blood", because Strong Faerie Blood just does not do so. Rather:

Just read it in context then: since darkness and semi-darkness are otherwise unexplained words, the rule provides typical and relevant examples for both, not arbitrary ones. Absolute darkness as an example would be extremely relevant - indeed determining - for play, but is not mentioned.


No, that is not true. Both Virtues let you see clearly without the amount of light than human eyes could normally manage. That would be "much the same." Again, you distort to make your view valid, but I see the distortion.

Let me lay out your logic clearly:

  1. Based on a single example of "darkness," you say "darkness" in Strong Faerie Blood cannot be absolute darkness. So you're using inductive reasoning to try to prove something, which is well known to be a logical fallacy.
  2. Based on "much the same" you say they must behave in exactly the same way, which is not what "much the same" means.
  3. You are using these to say "complete darkness" does not mean "total darkness" or "absolute darkness," despite what dictionaries say about "complete."

Two options that don't require messing up the logic:

  1. See in Darkness allows you to see in absolute darkness and so does Strong Faerie Blood.
  2. See in Darkness allows you to see in absolute darkness. Strong Faerie Blood allows seeing in extremely minimal light but not total darkness.

Both of these two fit every bit of what is written about both Virtues, don't require incorrectly using inductive reasoning, and don't require misreading "much the same" as "exactly the same." Either way, See in Darkness is what I was thinking of and referring to, and it explicitly allows seeing in "complete darkness," and dictionaries say "complete" means "to the greatest extent or degree; total," or "having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full," or "total, absolute." So according to dictionaries, "complete darkness" is "total darkness," "absolute darkness," etc.

You appear to be unable to read this text in context:

The two examples in it need to be meaningful and not arbitrary to appear in a rules text, as explained here and more in detail here.
We are not drawing conclusions from arbitrary miscellaneous facts found in a book. Rather we are reading rules, assuming that they are meaningful as they are written, and that the examples contribute to their meaning.


No, I am having no trouble reading it. Nor did I say the examples are "arbitrary miscellaneous facts," nor not meaningful, nor arbitrary. Are the examples meaningful and not arbitrary? Yes, they are. They show uses of the Virtue and the term "darkness" and "semi-darkness" that could be quite commonly encountered. It also helps shape some limit to "semi-darkness" for possible use elsewhere since it's not a very clear term at all. What if some SG were to say, lacking these examples, that it doesn't work in less light than significant moonlight, figuring "semi-darkness" would be like torches and candles lightning a room and "darkness" going a little beyond that? These examples show the Virtue allows even better sight than that, contributing to the meaning. But they are examples nonetheless. There is nothing saying it doesn't work in absolute darkness. That is left vague. I know you really want it to not be vague and say it doesn't work in total darkness, but trying to twist things to claim a useful example sets an absolute limit flies in the face of sound logic.

If it would work in absolute darkness, it would be shorter, unequivocal, more concise and to the point to just write:

Why didn't ArM5 just do so? You don't believe, that the authors wished to mislead readers and players, do you?


Well, they wrote it unequivocally for See in Darkness, but you're still arguing that one. So we know not everyone spots when things are unequivocal well.

Meanwhile, you keep getting confused about what I've said about Strong Faerie Blood. I'm not guaranteeing it says you can see in absolute darkness with it. Look at the two options I provided above that both properly fit the logic the rules have laid out. You're the one arguing that it guarantees you cannot. Maybe they didn't see that it wasn't written as clearly as they thought? Maybe they intentionally left some wiggle room for SG's to decide for their own sagas?

Ultimately, Strong Faerie Blood doesn't matter here. See in Darkness allows you to "see in complete darkness," and I was asking if approaches that work for optics with invisibility/shadows also work with seeing invisible things and seeing in complete darkness. I suspect there may be no optics that really fit everything in the game perfectly, but I ask because those who have thought of ways for optics to work with invisibility/shadows may have figured out these two bits (seeing invisible and seeing in complete darkness) as well.

There's also now another very similar virtue, "Sees in the Dark", on page 53 of "Between Sand and Sea".

Thanks. That one's pretty clear-cut.

It also gets rid of the whole one author complaint, as now it's two different authors in two different books, both going through play testing and the line editor.

The author specifies the improvement by "You can see in complete darkness much the same as those with Strong Faerie Blood." That is all we are told about it: so we need to refer to Strong Faerie Blood. "Other than that, your eyesight is not more acute than ordinary people’s, and you do not see farther than normal people would see in daylight." That is by far not sufficient to conclude, that the Virtue provides any vision in absolute darkness, with no trace of light at all.

The general idea of ArM5 Imaginem magic appears to me, to let scholastic optics stand and adapt the magic to it. After all, natural philosophers of Mythic Europe need not understand magic.
So we have invisible beings that cast shadows, as light and iconic species are different, while these invisible beings still do not appear in mirrors.
TMK, the simplified scholastic optics from HoH:S p.61ff do not cause any in game problems, unless one draws unwarranted conclusions from them, how magic works: like, that PeIm magic only destroys sensory species and does nothing else.

By ArM5p.143ff, Imaginem Spells affect images, but not the shadows of the matter underlying them. Not only PeIm Veil of Invisibility requires, that iconic species passing by the changed or destroyed images are moved around or through the underlying matter. Use e.g. MuIm Image Phantom to make the arms of a being look thinner, or like membranous wings, and the same necessities come up. But there is no need to postulate, that iconic species always move through matter, and to mess with the scholastic optics: it is fully sufficient to make this light-independent movement of iconic species an effect of active Imaginem magic and keep the natural philosophy roughly as it was.

Making Imaginem magic interwork with scholastic optics in this way, I don't see how these optics can be harnessed for Hermetic innovations about seeing invisible things and seeing in complete darkness.

"Seeing in complete darkness" requires two definitions: "seeing" and "complete darkness".
(1.1) "Seeing" as: perceiving (HoH:S p.61ff Species) iconic species requires enough light on the object reaching the viewer and allowing her eyes to see it.
(1.2) "Seeing" as: perceiving with a (ArM5 p.114) T:Vision effect requires a viewer with working eyesight under the effect and enough light on his eyes to carry the iconic species created by that effect. Sight of the Active Magics is an example for this.
(1.3) "Seeing" as: understanding 'as if seen with the eyes' requires no light or eyesight, but only the mental capability to handle vision. HP p.84 Fingers for Eyes is an example for that.
(1.4) "Seeing" as: just an analogy when describing a magical effect, like for (ArM5 p.127) Eyes of the Bat. For such effects to work, they might have no need to interact with light and vision at all.
(2.1) "Complete darkness" as: 'not enough light to see the hand before your eyes' prevents seeing with (1.1) and (1.2), but not (1.3). You can use sight-enhancing spells like ArM5 p.131 Eyes of the Cat to improve your vision, thus allowing you to see with (1.1) and (1.2) too.
(2.2) "Complete darkness" as: absolute darkness, 'no light at all', prevents seeing with (1.1) and (1.2), but not (1.3). Eyes of the Cat does not help here.


It undeniably allows you to "see in complete darkness." Seeing in reduced light is similar to what Strong Faerie Blood says. Now, if you want to read, "much the same" as "exactly the same," then you choose to read that Strong Faerie Blood also allows you to see in complete darkness (which does not contradict Strong Faerie Blood). If you choose to read "much the same" as what it actually means, then Strong Faerie Blood is not forced to also allow you to see in complete darkness.

That you choose to try to define "complete darkness" as not complete darkness is pretty clear evidence of either a flaw in your logic or just blatantly wanting to be right and trying to disguise the problems in some fake reasoning. Complete specifically means entirely, totally, absolutely, etc. 99.99% and such are not "complete" when you're headed to 100%, and 0.01% and such are not complete when you're headed to 0%. 99.99% or 0.01% in such cases are called "incomplete." When you do a 1000-piece puzzle, do you claim it's compete when you have just a piece or two left? Do you say the person who gets to within a tiny fraction of the length of a race from the end before but crosses the finish line after someone else completed the race first?

I agree about not needing to mess around with things for Hermetic magic. But if messing around with things gets other things to function properly and makes Hermetic magic seem to fit better, I'm all for looking into it.

I like your layout of the different "seeing" that show up with Hermetic magic and other stuff in the game. By definition of "complete," we know it's 2.2, not 2.1. And you're right that 2.2 allows 1.3, which how the blind can "see" and is available in canon. My problem arising from the Virtues is that they indicate a lack of penalties from low light as opposed to something extra added or a specific reference to it being a change to eyesight. Regular vision not penalized by low light would fit 1.1, while no other changes to eyesight would still at least be eyesight, which could be 1.1 or 1.2. So we have a way for 2.2 to work with 1.1 and maybe 1.2. That's why I've asked about approaches with iconic species and light that might allow for 2.2 not to prevent 1.1.

I could state some of it a little differently. For example, Between Sand and Sea seems to imply that complete darkness causes problems for the eyes, which the optics imply that it's not a problem for the eyes but rather a lack of transmitting the species. For example, there is a difference between having functional vision in a pitch black room and being completely blind in a lit room, and it seems like the rules conflate the ideas behind these, which makes it harder for us to figure out what's going on.


In ME, bats are blind yet can see even in the darkest cave.

So it is quite possible to see without light without magic.

It seems reasonable to me that it is also quite possible to see without light with magic.



Your problem here is, that ArM5 does nowhere define "darkness". See in Darkness just adds "complete" to a word, which ArM5 did otherwise take care to use with further description.
With Strong Faerie Blood ArM5 gives relevant examples, and its example for "darkness" is "night". See in Darkness for its effect only refers to Strong Faerie Blood by "You can see in complete darkness much the same as those with Strong Faerie Blood", without any further positive specification or relevant example. Putting it all together, the "complete darkness" of See in Darkness isn't any better described than something like "deep night". This would also fit with Tolides' character.
So the Supernatural Virtue See in Darkness isn't well written in ArM5 context. We neither know why, nor which discussions preceded it. We do not even know for sure, which Realm it is aligned with for Tolides - but might only guess from his concept and character stats.


You appear to refer to the Minor Supernatural Virtue Sees In The Dark of BS&S p.52f Virtues for the Thieves of Marrakesh:

This Virtue carries sight in its name, but does not address it in its description. It works nicely for a thief able to rely on his sharpened other senses, if his vision is hampered by darkness. It's name, Sees In The Dark, could then just be considered another case of ArM5 p.127 Eyes of the Bat. For this Virtue, a definition of "complete darkness" in ArM5 context is not even needed.


Please provide a relevant quote. I am not aware of one.

There are e. g. Eyes of the Bat and Fingers for Eyes - it all depends on what the magic user really wants to accomplish by seeing without light.


Honestly, you're being ridiculous. ArM5 doesn't define "You," nor "cannot," nor "coerced," etc. So the Strong-Willed Virtue cannot be used. I could go on like this forever. Your argument is it didn't come with a dictionary attached to it, so whenever you feel like it you'll just say a well-understood term isn't defined? Come on!!!

No, your conclusion is blatantly false because you've made a ton of assumptions. The person with this suffers no penalties due to lack of light when reading, when trying to observe an illusory object, when trying to distinguish between colors, when using T: Vision spells, etc. Eyes of the Bat doesn't even come vaguely close to that. Meanwhile, the person is not protected from penalties from being blindfolded or blinded by a flash of light. Eyes of the Bat doesn't even come vaguely close to that. If you want to try again, feel free, but this time make sure there are no penalties for using the eyes in the dark while there are penalties for getting blinded or having the eyes covered.

Now you are getting ridiculous by repeatedly pretending that you are unable to read in context. I leave it at that and drop the discssion.


I'm not pretending at all. I've shown very clearly I know how to read in context, and I've shown I can follow logic very well. I'm also not the one who explicitly decided to try to remove the context of "Sees in the Dark" to make his argument. Meanwhile, you keep trying to find routes that violate logic to show that "complete darkness" does not mean "complete darkness" even though it says exactly that and makes complete sense in context. I sincerely doubt you'll find many people who think "complete darkness" does not mean "complete darkness" in that context. It's written explicitly, it makes complete sense in context, and no one has made a valid logical argument against it.

Do you have a reference for that? If it's in one of my ArM5 books, I've forgotten it at this point. Certainly I've seen that lots of ME animal stuff fits the myths better than the actual animals, like vultures having a great sense of smell while not having great eyesight even though their sense of smell is nothing special and their eyesight is fantastic. I know at least bits of what Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville wrote, but I haven't seen that bit about bats yet. Thanks.


Two requests for quotes.

At first I thought, why would I need a quote for this? They're bats. Being bats, they are, um, blind as bats. (Yes, we know today that bats are not blind.) I need a quote for bats being blind no more than I need some AM book to assure me that horses have four legs.

But 20 minutes of googling and I can't even find who first came up with the phrase "blind as a bat," let alone a medieval, classical, folklore or mythological reference. The best I was able to find involved 18th century experiments on blinded bats demonstrating that they could navigate obstacles.



Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book II