Maps to track people and ships

In the "do you use maps" discussion @InfinityzeN mentioned a map for tracking trading vessels.

I assume this is a variant of the Inexorable Search.

What automapping spells and items are there in the books and peoples sagas?


Actually the map tracking the trade ships is a variant of The Master's Chart, TtA page 29. However rather than going with an invested device with two effects, we produced a version that combined the effects.

In(Re)He 30
Pen +0, 24/day, RDT: Arcane Connection, Momentary, Group
Base 2, +4 AC, +2 Group, +1 Requisite; Mods: +5 for 24/day
When activated, the map determines the location of all the ships that arcane connections upon it are located and moves those arcane connections to the appropriate location on the map that matches their actual location.

The actual map is made from a large roll of some scaled leather (sea serpent hide), with all of the drawings and writings on it made from varies metals and stones (via varies versions of Ink of Noblest Metal). The AC's to the ships are made from small pieces of their hulls, carved into miniature versions of the varies ships and fixed.

In addition each of the three largest have a slate board with a small chalk holder and brush combo chained to it. When activated, moving one of the combos moves the other in a matching way. So you can write out rough text in chalk or erase it and that will happen to the matching set. Useful for simple back and forth, such as giving orders ("Return to home" or "Buy brass"), giving the price of goods, and so forth.

We do have a mirror enchanted with Eternal Repetition in a Bottomless Pool (Cov, page 101) which while not primarily used for, can be used to read the ships logs of the varies ships in our trade fleet since we have AC to said ships logs. Most of our agents are gifted with small books that have an AC stored, allowing them to make reports and such from anywhere without having to send them.


Since no one else jumped in, here are a few other spells/effects from the books that are used for mapping, auto-mapping, and tracking people. I have avoided spells and effects which require breakthroughs or mystery cults.

Hermetic Projects, chapter 4 "The Hermetic Shipyard", is of course always of interest when dealing with ships. However there is nothing in it that deals with maps directly, though on page 69 are two effects that allow automated navigation.

Magi of Hermes, chapter 8, is about a Magus named Maris of Tytalus. He is designed as an ocean explorer with a whole host of spells and effects which help with that. Of specific value to maps is Tryggvason’s Chart, an enchanted item on page 77. It is a magical chart that constantly updates itself to the surrounding seas, working much the same as advanced modern day boat sensors. Echo sounding, tide and current conditions, and other such information are shown.

Magi of Hermes, chapter 11, is about Petalichus of Verditus. On page 104 he has an enchanted item, The Map of Many Places, which when activated reweaves itself into a map showing the area around its current location. While useful for a mystery cult, its effect does not rely upon it.

Through the Aegis, chapter 2 "The Northern Seas", is a write up of a Covenant which is located on a fleet of ships. On page 29 is the write up of The Master's Chart, which is the basis for fleet tracker in my first post. While an invested device, it is far easier for less skilled Magi to create since its two effects are level 11 and 14. With a lab total not even high enough to create the version used in my groups game (at 28), a Magus could create this one in three seasons from scratch without a labtext. Page 30 has two items, Bell of Summoning and The Magical Astrolabe, which allow alerting your fellow ships and guiding them to your location.

Finally we have the Semita Errabunda (a free download from Atlas), which on page 4 has the Mappa Mundi. This is a rather high level effect (level 59) which shows the location and status of a group dispatched from the covenant on a large map, as long as one of them (without magic resistance) is wearing an arcane connection ring.

Tangential but relevant: One of the Magi in my monday night game has, as their talisman, a book of random ink blots. (The Rorschach book, they called it).

It has an enchantment when laid on the ground maps out the ground (InTe) including stones and earth, and the Aquam requisite tells where bodies of waters are, and Herbam requisite tells where groups of plants are.
He then has a Rego/Muto/Herbam/Aquam spell to liquify and then inscribe the visible map into permanent form by rearranging the inkblot into a permanent map.

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That is actually completely within the original post, since he was seeking not just things from books but ones that people have created in their own games.

The method you described seems to be an interesting and unique approach to auto-mapping. Since it is from your game, would you be willing to provide more information on it?

Certainly, though I don't have the exact numbers right now, I can check with that player next game.

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If you still have those, it would be nice to see

I'm sure I gave an example in the Virgilian thread of a Virgilian wizard (from Rival Magic) creating an item which uses little ships made from wood from a real ship (as an arcane connection) to map where the ships are, using Vigilo Magic and a linked Sylvan effect. One way for a non-hermetic wizard to be amazingly useful to a city's merchants.

Sorry for the thread necro, but noticed something which might be relevant.

In Ancient Magic (page 89) there is a description of using coordinates devised by Ptolemy (derived from observations of the stars at particular locations) to determine distances north and east of Ptolemy's 'Origin Point'. Thereby hang several adventure hooks.

The interesting bit is that the Ptolemic coordinates are (end of the second paragraph under 'Observation of the Fixed Stars', pg 90) a pair of numbers which are expressed as fractions of the surface of the Earth. Once the required puzzles are solved to be able to calculate the Ptolomic coordinates (or maybe even before, depending on SG & Troupe), a one foot by one foot map (otherwise blank) of the entire world may be made, with coordinates from 0/1 to 1/1 laid out on it -- and an arcane connection to a ship's captain or caravan's master combined with 'The Inexorable Search' (ArM5, pg 131) will allow precise mapping anywhere in the world within an hour -- and any one of 144 sub-maps an hour after that (a precision of 2.5 degrees); another hour and 144 sub-maps gets a precision of 0.21 degrees (12.5 minutes; about 5.5 miles), and so on. Since 'the width of a thumb' (about a square inch) is less than a league at the second sub-level, it is unlikely that any movement by foot or under normal sail is going to move more than just a few inches per day, which greatly speeds the search -- especially if the general direction of travel is known.

Use any method of instant communication at a distance to make notes as required.

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The Code of Hermes has no provisions against necromancy :wink:


The Code of Hermes has no provisions against necromancy :wink:

Thanks for that! I also noticed that TIS talks about scanning for a person, but uses 'Arcane Connection' range -- so an AC to a ship keel or saddle pommel could also work without alteration. A Lesser Enchanted Device like the following would be pretty easy, for 3 pawns of Vis:

The Inexorable Search: 20
2 uses per day: +1 level
Environmental Trigger (sunrise & sunset): +3 levels
Device maintains concentration: +5 levels
Final Level: 28 (for an item which someone must move over the surface of a map)

Enchant a bunch of these per target, and keep each on the same location at different map scales. Or just enchant a bunch of these, and make the internal AC something which can be swapped out. Better yet, make an Invested Device which uses ReTe to move the device around on the map for you:

Top surface of a chart table, with an inlaid metal ring
ReTe (moves glass or stone marker in a slightly unnatural fashion): base 3
Range (Touch, only affects marker when it is in place on the chart table): +1
Duration (Ring, only while marker is inside a metal ring inlaid in top of chart table): +2
Effect level: 10
2 uses per day: +1 level
Environmental Trigger (sunrise & sunset): +3 levels
Total level: 14