Locate someone from wore clothe

Hello there,

I am loking for some advices. My magus have a piece of fabric which belongs to some clothing wore by someone. Just with that, would it be possible to locate the person? If yes, I assume it would be based on Intellego but what would be the Form?

Thanks in advance for some advices.

The piece of clothing will act as an arcane connection to the person who was wearing it - you can use an intellego corpus spell to find that person using the clothing (assuming you have a formulaic spell for this or you are able to spontaniously cast a spell of that level) or you can cast an intellego herbam/annimal (depending what the fabric is made of) to find the garment.

But - be aware that the arcane connection will only last for a limited time - I don't have access to my books off hand but I'm pretty sure this kind would last less than a season so if you can't cast the spell now then I'd suggest fixing the arcane connection (assuming finding this person isn't time sensitive) until you can invent a suitable spell

Thanks a lot.

How would you define the level of such a spell? In the guidelines, there is a level 3 to "Locate a person to whom you have an Arcane Connection" but I would think that it is not exactly it right?

An item of clothing is an arcane connection that only lasts days (presumably from the last time it was worn). So, they'd best be moving quickly on that or, as Imreal suggests, start fixing the arcane connection. If too much time has passed already, then they're out of luck, I'm afraid.

As for the level of the spell, it should be the same no matter what the arcane connection is, whether blood or a piece of clothing. The only functional difference between the two ACs is that one only lasts days while the other lasts years. So yes, it would be base 3, +4 for AC, +0 for individual, and +whatever for the duration you want. If you want concentration duration, then you have The Inexorable Search from page 131 in the core rules.

Thanks a lot again.

I don't see the benefits of "The Inexorable Search" and having a concentration duration. From what I understand, then you can locate the target when it moves if you still concentrate. But you can also cast the other spell again which seems easier no?

According to the description of The Inexorable Search, you have to run your finger along the map and the spell lets you know when you've reached the point where the target is (if they're on the area covered by the map, that is). Presumably it takes more than a moment to run your finger along the map. One other limitation, of course, is that maps in the 13th century were terrible by modern standards. So, pinpointing someone on a map is inherently limited.

Another version of this spell I've used in past sagas is one that gives you the direction to the target (assuming that's comparable to learning their location). That's a spell that might benefit from greater durations.

I agree. However, I guess what I meant was the folowing. In the guideline, it is written: "Level 3: Locate a person to whom you have an Arcane Connection." and no map is mentionned. I thus assumed that as soon as this spell is casted, the caster knows where to go and thus, why would he need a map? However, Now that I think about it, it would look to powerfull and maybe the wording Locate a person to whom you have an Arcane Connection should be interpreted as Know the direction towards which the target is. Therefore, the spell The Inexorable Search would be much more precise.

True, no map is mentioned. But you have to be flexible when designing spells. Presumably there are versions of the spell that don't involve a map. But the map (to the extent that it's a good map) is very helpful to the spell. Consider what the spell might do without the map. You might get lucky and learn that your target is currently in Tewkesbury abbey church or on the village green at Guilford or somewhere else that's easily identifiable. But you might instead learn that your target is lying in a ditch on Zebadiah's farm in the southern field or in John the Younger's apothecary shop or somewhere else that you have no frame of reference for. (Who is Zebadiah and where is his farm? What town is John the Younger's apothecary shop in?) The map is a handy tool for showing where your target is.

Or potentially direction and distance, e.g., 3917 paces away, in that direction.

But we've got the canonical spell The Inexorable Search, so we know for certain that one valid interpretation of the guideline is Locate a person to whom you have an Arcane Connection on a map.

Well, as precise as a 13th century map can be ...

Also, knowing that someone is in Cologne can sometimes be more useful than knowing that they are 214 miles that-away, because then you can choose your route more intelligently. Sometimes.

A combination of the two is useful, the map to find where they are in the world, the second to locate them once you arrive in that part of the world.

Alternatively you could use a rego corpus spell with an arcane connection range to bring them to you, or you to them!

Thanks a lot for your help.

A little historical perspective might be useful. The Inexorable Search is a spell that's been around since uhmm ... certainly third, possibly second edition.

At that time the ArM5 system of "take base guideline, add modifiers for R/D/T" was not in place. You just thought what you wanted a spell to do, checked that it did not violate the Limits of Magic, assigned it Technique and Form, and eyeballed a level that seemed "right" in comparison with existing spells. So, nobody thought about shaving D:Conc down to D:Mom (which would have been D:Inst, if I recall correctly) in The Inexorable Search, because the mechanics did not tell you that the D:Mom version would be one magnitude lower: in fact, since common sense told you that they would be roughly of equivalent usefulness (for the reasons you cited) and D:Conc felt "right", D:Conc it was.

When ArM5 was published, a lot of "old" spells where converted to the new system. In most cases (with a few notable exceptions) the process involved taking the spell as it was (with the "original" R/D/T, and the "original" level), and setting a generic base guideline at the level that would yield exactly the "original" level when adopting the "original" R/D/T. Of course, in a number of cases, this resulted in spells that were not as efficient as they could be. You can address this in (at least) two ways: a) either disallow the "magnitude savings" (remember that you can always adjust the level of a spell if it does not seem right, so you are perfectly within your rights to say that a D:Mom Inexorable Search has the same level as a D:Conc one) or b) point out that magic theory has evolved over the centuries, so there are some spells that the Order now could re-invent in a more "efficient" fashion, but they are such "classics" that all Lab Texts, Mastery books etc. have them in the old format.

The case of the Inexorable Search shows one more quirk about this process of "adaptation": sometimes the guideline for the "old" spell can be used in a totally different fashion with different R/D/T. The Inexorable Search, cast (most likely spontaneously!) at R:Self, becomes the Bane of the Maze, and allows a magus with a map to unerringly know his location on the map.

I would end up by noting that, although there are some drawbacks involved, if you really, really want to cut levels on "The Inexorable Search" (and similar spells), a very effective way to do it is to Open the Intangible Tunnel to the target (R:Arc, D:Mom, T:Ind, ReVi Level 3) and follow with a R:Touch, D:Mom version of the Inexorable Search that ends up being only Level 4. Spontaneous magic, possibly even non-fatiguing, is all you need unless you have to pierce Magic Resistance.

The Inexorable Search was probably conceived by a writer/designer with a limited idea of how poor medieval maps were, to the modern understanding.

Rather than use a map, you could design a spell where you run your finger down a list of local places; towns, villages, roads, etc. If the person is in a place not on the list, you don't detect them.

IOS, we sometimes use a spell with direction and distance, or simply direction - some triangulation can narrow down location fairly rapidly.

Same here. It also gives a wonderful chance to let Artes Liberales's Geometry branch shine. Magi tend not to be specially bad geometricians if only because they are forced to know Artes Liberales and their Int scores are rather above average, but if the target is far away the initial calculation can have wild and funny margins of error.

We always took the map stuff as something colourful added to the spell, but it seems more right that the spell just gives you a direction and a distance, if only because the spell would have more trouble figuring out that the place in question is a village of a certain name which matches the one you have in a list...

It's a colorful spell that doesn't really fit the AM5 paradigm, which is strict in its insistence that Hermetic Magic can't translate or otherwise comprehend written words.