Maturing a person, not a cheese

It occurred to me after writing this that a CrCo effect to mature someone overnight the way the CrHe version does leaves you with a mental patient, since they have the body of an adult, but the mind of a child. By extrapolation, it must be possible, if probably not within hermetic limits at current, to bring a mind rapidly to maturity (age 18-ish).

Does everyone agree that sounds possible?

You can't fill it with knowledge, though.

Rather like a Blade Runner replicant, you probably can fill it with the knowledge, experiences, and memories of another. I don't find a good guideline for this, so it's hypothetical.

Alternately, house a spirit or ghost in there.

What you have once you've created a human body, with a mature mind, I don't know. There's no soul, so it's not a person.

A golem? ... I think they have souls, but simplistic minds.

Well, there isn't an existing guideline to do it, and even if there were a guideline it would be information without experience. This is little better than people relying upon Google searches for solving certain problems. Without experience the information is out of context and isn't actual knowledg. People talk about Google-fu but this typically the result of someone having knowledge, information, understanding and context to be able to create useful searches.

So, perhaps a guideline exists, it would still cost Vis, because this is clearly creating something where there was nothing before. Note, we aren't talking about manufacturing thr body's we are talking about growing a person, with an existing mind into an adult. The mind starts at whatever level it was at, infant 5 year old, 12 year old Tom Hanks in Big, whatever.

Ah yes, I misread the OP.

Yes, you can mature an existing body to adulthood, and by analogy an existing mind to a state that should identical to adulthood, but is missing life experience. This would leave you with someone at best somewhat naive.

I posit that there should be a way to copy over memories (which includes life experiences) but I know of no guideline to point you to. It would be interesting to discover that a mage cannot copy memories.

The main game effect, I think, would be a lack of abilities.

First, as a cheese, I am offended by this title.

Second, if you non-Ritual Momentary (or longer) create a brief memory, wouldn't they be able to remember it on their own from that point forward? In that sense, you could potentially make a bunch of Sun-duration memories, knock your grow-up doll out, and update his memory systems to run on your carefully crafted hardware. He'll wake up, "remember" his life, and things will proceed naturally.

(Remembering that you remembered something is a bit weird, but I'm pretty sure this idea fits paradigm if nothing else.)


Once we have this CrCoed matured person with a blank mind, we could, in theory, move an existing mind into it with ReMe...

There is. ArM5 p.148 has a level 5 base effect for this, and the spell Memory of a Distant Dream.

That is likely, unless the magus creates many thousands of different memories with sufficiently long - Moon or Year - durations to allow their recipient to interconnect and integrate them into a somewhat complete personality.

To me this looks like a life-long Bonisagus research project, which ultimately might lead to a better understanding of the Limit of the Soul. And its weird guinea pig would have forever gaps and artefacts in its memory which it cannot rationalize, caused by the thousands of planning mistakes, idiosyncrasies, flukes and botches of the experimenting magus. In my saga this Bonisagus woult be called Plagosus (see ).


I'm not sure that the CrCo effect that matures a person overnight would leave that person mentally retarded. I think that to make the question precise, one should phrase it in mechanical terms: given the character sheet of the child, what would the character sheet of the "adult" look like?

I think the easiest way, and probably a balanced one as well given the cost of the spell, is to say that the resulting character:
a) updates all characteristics (plus size, wound thresholds, etc.) to those of an adult, including characteristics like Intelligence.
b) can swap "child" V&Fs (from Apprentices) for adult ones, just as if he had aged normally; with personality flaws related to the artificial maturation being particularly appropriate, but not mandatory.
c) retains his (presumably low) experience totals in the various abilities.
d) thereafter behaves as an adult, with the limits above (e.g. his Charm and Athletics are probably slightly lower than average, because he had fewer xp than average to put into them, so he's probably slightly more awkward than average).

If I recall correctly, Exchange of the Two Minds does note that a magus who transfers his mind into a younger body does suffer the "mental" issues that come with having a younger body. Similarly, artificial aging of the body can damage characteristics like Intelligence that one could think as "purely mental". So it stands to reason that a child in a mature body gets the same raw mental (and not just physical) talent and drives of an adult, i.e. the same characteristics and V&Fs - albeit with less experience, i.e. with lower ability scores.

I do seem to recall that somewhere (A&A perhaps, or the Jerbiton chapter of HoH:S) it's explicitly stated that hermetic magic currently does not know how to "teach instantly" xp through Mentem magics (which is a good thing for balance reasons).

Uhm. I'm not sure that remembering that you once remembered X is the same as remembering X directly. I can remember remembering with great precision the uh ... spells by level of D&D clerics when I used to play D&D, but I no longer remember them. I think that if you created in the mind of a grog a very vivid memory of a passionate love (with D:Sun), at the end of the day the grog would totally forget about it, and only retain a weird feeling of having just forgotten all about someone that was very dear to him.

We can split the physical development from the mental development and as suggested by Ezzelino, update all characteristics, both physical and mental when the CrCo growth spell is complete, yet remain the XP and skill levels.

But I wonder if "in paradigm", physical and mental development are considered different.

From a modern perspective, I completely agrees with Ezzelino. It is simple, coherent and easy to put in practice. What the young child's skills had before the spell is what he will have after the spell in term of skills & knowledge.

However is there no expectation of what an adult should be able to do ? and therefore, under the effect of the spell, the target developped some basic knowledges ? (but which one ?). Or is the growth spell need to be designed with a specific adult in mind ? Like CrCo(Me ?) Maturation of the Lumberjack ? Growth of the Captain ?
Then the spell level base effect would be influenced by the "role" the magus is expecting to be hold by the new adult.

For me, it is path which can lead to much abuse, but I am just opening up the discussion.

By the way, following the same train of thought, I would be a interesting project for a Merinita Fae-magus to do some original research trying to find a way to teach skill to a person using Faerie Pretenses as source of inspiration. Fae are able to do things that they have never learnt, but is within their role. It could be a powerful source to acquire temporary skills suitable for a specific situation (to prevent abuse, the specific duration "While" could be part of the spell).
Maybe a CrIm(Me): Donning the Cape of the Thief, ... the Armor of the Dragonslayer,...

Well, maturing a human body with CrCo is like maturing an animal with CrAn, or a plant with CrHe. That degrading a body by aging affects also Mental Stats, and that a mature body has its own needs for food and companionship, does not provide an argument for improving Mental Stats by CrCo maturing of a body. Improving Mental Stats remains the domain of CrMe, and your troupe should think it through well before allowing a CrCo(Me) maturing spell.

HoH:S p.68 states, that only episodic memories can be duplicated or created by Hermetic magic at 'present' (i. e. 1220), which excludes creating memories giving Abilities.


There is a reason, why I have put in a reference to Piaget above. Nobody who has given it some study today would claim that mental development just follows physical one.


To further clarify one issue: after - say - attending a lecture or instruction a character has an episodic memory of it. And this memory could also be created by magic. But making procedural or inscribed memory (the rational memory of A&A p.32, also providing Abilities) from the episodic one is a further process using intellect and reason (A&A p. 31), which are beyond direct magical manipulation.


From a modern perspective, development without a modicum of exercise, whether physical or mental, leads to a crippled person -- someone that no amount of subsequent training will bring back on par. If you keep a person illiterate and without other intellectual stimulation until he's 14, his IQ will be lower and will stay lower for the rest of his life. If you keep a child bedridden until he's 14 (assuming he survives), he'll never have the same stamina and balance as someone who led an active childhood.

The question is, however, how a) this fits the Ars Magica (medieval? aristotelian?) paradigm and b) how to translate it mechanically. It seems pretty clear that maturation of the body leads to a mature "physique". It seems equally clear that it will not teach you etiquette or swordplay or even basic swimming. What's not totally clear (at least to me) is whether the "mental" characteristics (Int, Sta, Pre, & Com, even though of these only Int is purely "mental") would improve with maturation of the body or not. I think oneshot makes a good argument when pointing out that to improve mental characteristics of an adult you need a CrMe ritual. However, a counterargument would be that in the case of a child the mental potential is there, but having a child body curtails it, like wounds or old age curtail mental activities even though they really only affect the body; and thus bringing the body to "normality" (i.e. adulthood) does not so much improve the mind but removes the fetters that limit it.

I would lean towards the second interpretation, that a child's mind only appears "dumber" (and not just more ignorant) because it's "running on poor hardware" to use a completely out-of-period concept. The reason is that to me it makes at least as much sense, and it does simplify stuff quite a bit.

There isn't any generally accepted theory of the mental development of children in the 13th century. So one can speculate here to one's heart's content how such a theory could look.

At least this idea, however, was not deemed plausible even by a medieval polemicist like Salimbene de Parma (see
Salimbene in his Chronica fantasizes about the misdeeds of Friedrich II and ascribes to him the experiment Herodot in his Historia had attributed to pharao Psamtik.
He claims, that Friedrich II had children carefully raised by wet nurses, but prevented any personal contact, talk or caresses between nurses and children to find out which language the children would speak in the end. Salimbene has these children die, showing what he and his readers expected: certainly not the development of mental facilities just as a consequence of physical maturation.


Ooh, this also brings up another idea: CrMe to bring a mind to maturity. Think Alia Atreides in Dune.

See .


I don't get your reference. Or, perhaps its that you don't get mine. I'm saying, with all this talk of the mind maturing, what would happen if a magus matured an infant's mind but not body to maturity before birth? (Hermetic magic can target the gestating baby in the third trimester.) That's what happened with Alia Atreides.

Looks like I misunderstood you indeed, as we were discussing here the results of physically maturing a child by magic. So I read "CrMe to bring a mind to maturity" in that context as well - where it had already been brought up and warned against.
But used on a fetus it might indeed have consequences far more dangerous for mother, infant and campaign.