Map Magic

A plot I am running, involving the search for Ptolemy's Geography (yes, involving the appropriate Ancient Magic topic), gives me a chance to send a player to investigate the ruins of Mistridge, looking for whatever is left of Oculo of Jerbiton's magical legacy.

In the original Mistridge sourcebook Oculo was an ineffective, insecure, insular maga who collected maps to study the world without having to go out and actually deal with it. Oddly, she had few map-oriented spells, and I'm going to re-envision her to an extent.

In my backstory Oculo died or entered Final Twilight a one or two years before the fall of Mistridge (she would have been some 163 years old), and her estate had not been fully settled. Her filii had limited interest in her maps, Mistridge claimed much of her lab equipment, and her lab texts were largely encoded. Some of her writings were probably in the Mistridge library, but they may have been destroyed in the final assault by Tres. Some of her works may have been stored in the cellars, where they could have survived. Tres may have carried some of this off as loot.

I've been thinking about map magic, and here are some concepts for spells and items (without appropriate titles):

Most of these require an Arcane Connection; Oculo's magic maps must have had them incorporated into the body of the map.

Find Something on a Map: An Animal or Terram version of The Inexorable Search.

Chart a Target: A person, animal, or thing's place on the map is tracked, the token of the target slowly moving as the target crosses the map.

Scry on a Place: A bird's eye view of a place on a map.

Map of Today: An item. The map has many local connections built in, and updates its images daily, or possibly more often.

Plan of the Castle: A building, that the caster is in or has an Arcane Connection to, is mapped to a level of detail limited by the caster's illumination skills. Requires a blank sheet and ink.

Map of the City: As Plan of the Castle, but for a much larger area. The resulting map tends to be abstract and lack detail.

The Coordinated Map: Using Ptolomaic coordinates, scry on a place. This place observed is hundreds of feet across, and sighting-in using an abstract coordinate is difficult unless the location has been properly surveyed by a trained astronomer. Oculo had charted several places in the Val du Bosque, but the spell had decreasing accuracy as distance from the caster's known coordinates increased. Oculo found this spell tantalizingly close to her ideal of observing the world without interacting with it; her proposition to resolve the difficulties with coordinate spells is a major clue for the player to progress.

I propose that Oculo was a major designer of classic map spells, probably including The Inexorable Search. Any suggestions to add?

There are a couple of magic maps in Magi of Hermes that you can take a look at.

Tryggvason's Chart, MoH pg 77.
The Map of Many Places, MoH pg 104

Semita Errrabunda (spelling?) has a magical map too.

Not really relevant, just nostalgia, but:

3rd edition had a way to create magical items that could learn skills. One of my players designed a magical map with just that feature, then had people bring it along on their stories - and even had grogs taking it along and just walking around the tribunal. Why? To teach it Area Lore of course!

The map would then display what it knew of an area (using an Imaginem), including the ability to zoom, while really not being much use for scrying.
It was a nice device.

I can't find it right now, but a few years ago I designed a few cartography tools.

Map of Here
It was an InTe(He,Aq,Vi) T:Part effect with size modifiers
Place it on the ground, it gets the lay of the land with appropriate height markers, it fills in areas of woods as well as lakes and rivers.

It used a CrIm effect to show the local area

Mapping Roads and Locations
A skilled cartographer has an enchanted helmet with several Arcane Connections to known, fixed locations. Using the magic of the helmet, he always knows the direction and distance to each connection. He can draw accurate maps where locations are absolutely correct relative to the fixed points. As long as a magus has ACs to at least two of the fixed reference points, he can use the calculations of the map as an Arcane Connection to any point on the map.

Each map is drawn on a grid, with each grid square representing a smaller scale, more detailed map. Large areas of each map are empty, as the mapping is a slow, time consuming business.

Hope these give a little inspiration.

Thanks for the ideas!

Heh. Silly of me not to think of this:

Finding the Path: Intelligo Terram / Imaginem. Traces a path on an already existing map, from the current location to a destination. The path must follow marked roads, streets, or ally ways. Whether this path is the shortest or easiest or least dangerous depends on the desires and navigational skills of the caster, and is often affected by the caster's sigil. With a wide-scope map or very abstract or simple map, this spell can be of little use. If the destination is off the map, the spell fails. The traced path fades once the destination is reached or the duration ends.

Hermetic GPS navigation.

Side thought: Maps have no S&M bonus I know of or can find. I'd estimate +5 navigation, +2 scrying on a place.

Another few ideas for maps:

Similar to the weather map concept in MoH:

Map of Magical Power: InVi; Indicates vis sources in the map's area, and their type via colors.

Map of Mundane Wealth: InTe; Indicates concentrations of minerals and metals (not necessarily below ground) in the map's area. The map gives a general idea of deposits.

True Compass: InTe; Enchants a pointer to always orient to an Arcane Connection, which could be a covenant, a mountain, gemstone, or any terram object. It can also be set to point north/south, as a load stone*. With an Imaginem requisite, the compass can be the compass written on the map, which will then shift as the map is turned.

Every new covenant would want one of these.

Might be useful for finding magical animals as well.

Yes they would.

I haven't calculated the level on any of these. It's likely to be pretty high, at least for young non-specialist magi.

... A check of guidelines, and the vis map is a minimum of 25 just to detect vis. Base 4, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, and requiring a commanding view of the place mapped. Alternately, 30: Base 4, +4 Arc, +2 Sun, and the map must have arcane connections to the places on the map... for someone with Ptolemaic coordinates, this should be a straightforward matter of surveying several points and defining the area.

Both detecting and distinguishing types would seem to add +1; those are listed as equal but separate functions.

In our last campaign I played an eagle-heartbeast Bjornaer. His eagle's vision was pretty good (something like 12+roll) especially when combined with Eyes of the Eagle (InIm 25) from the main book and other spells to see through clouds and such. He had The Art of Memory, so he'd fly around "taking pictures" of the landscape, memorizing the area. He'd then use Exactly to Scale (ReAq 10) from True Lineages to dump his photo-realistic mental images onto a page. He'd go out on excursions with two grogs to carry his ink and such. They can often be seen as two tiny people in the corner of most/all of his maps where's waldo style.