I thought about this question while thinking about Intellego-specialist magi and how they might be perceived. How much power does increased perception really have? I mean, in militant situations, whether you're mundane or magical, knowledge can have exceptional power- because there's some other guy with different capabilities who can then act on the knowledge. For example, in the aforementioned military example, the person who gathered the knowledge can then supply it to the guy or guys (or ladies ) with the firepower, to destroy or take care not to destroy specific locations to give themselves the best chances in battle.
However, knowledge by itself, while certainly valuable, and in certain situations even useful without an extra person's capabilities (such as learning a person's darkest secret, thus being able to threaten to reveal it), has no real power to speak of. I feel like all the other Techniques (heck, most TeFo combinations, exempting just a few like, say, PeHe, and even that can be scary in the right situation) have attributes about them that could incite fear or respect from somebody who may have reasons to oppose the magus specializing in them. Yet while they might be scary as part of a group (they've got the legendary Intellego specialist and detective Vector on their side!? Crap, they'll find us for certain!) there's really nothing particularly "powerful" about a magus who is notable for their Intellego specialization. On virtue of his own merits, it doesn't seem like he'd command much respect by walking a room... Particularly if he's attempting to command respect while walking into a room full of, say, dragons, who don't have to worry about things like InMe spells revealing any particular secrets of theirs. He can't walk onto the scene and cause previously-misbehaving monsters to leave in fear of his reputation.
I mean, don't get me wrong. I think Intellego is a great Art, and I think that there are good reasons to specialize in Intellego. It makes you a great asset, and socially the most threatening type of magus around.
But would there be any reason to consider an Intellego specialist "powerful"? Smart, sure. Good ally, sure. A damage multiplier to their allies, most certainly. But when they're old, walking into a place where a reputation as a powerful magus is the difference between an attempt to fry you and an attempt to negotiate with you, do Intellego specialists really have anything going for them? Are they the technicians of the Ars Magica world, can't live without em but can't let them into the line of fire? Or is there something there? Would most creatures be given pause by a magus who can tell them all of their (the creature's I mean) greatest weaknesses (physically and emotionally) after concentrating for a few seconds? Would a person with a lot of OoH lore, attempting to kill the magus, have any reason to be frightened upon hearing of his identity? I'm legitimately wondering about this, because it seems like they might develop reputations as unworthy to stand next to their peers, yet part of me feels as if I've missed something about the Art of Intellego. I just can't tell what.
So, yeah, that's my question, I guess. Are Intellego specialists "powerful" in the way that might awe somebody into fearing or respecting them? Are they powerful in ways I'm not thinking of that might cause other people to give them more merit in situations outside of detective/espionage duty and figuring out item enchantments? I'm really curious to figure out what I might be missing. Thanks in advance for your opinions on the subject.