Mind in an Item

There have been some comments in different threads about creating a spirit, or creating an item that can 'think'. I just wanted to discuss the idea a little further.

I was thinking of some type of CrMe effect, the mind would be 'aware' when the effect was active but not keep any memories between activations. It would only have the memories it was created with. What would people think the base could be?

In the Automata section of HoH:MC an automata has a base of 5 with a Mentem requisite - but they aren't actually thinking. The only other guidelines in the CrMe deal with raising intelligence, which is a little closer, but not it either.

I am planning on using the automata rules to give it abilities - each level of an ability is +1 magnitude. Therefore Latin 5, Magic Theory 3 would add 8 magnitudes, add in Sun Duration with constant effect and you get base level + 54 levels. But what is the base?

Any suggestions?

As can be seen, if the item is de-activated for any reason it will forget everything - though as it can't learn it will just forget instructions and everything it has seen/heard.
The point of this is not to make a living, concious being, but to make an intelligent tool. Maybe it would keep an eye on the lab and alert to impending doom, maybe it would have two languages and serve as a translator, or area lore and serve as a guide. The uses for an intelligent device are pretty limitless - but they are hard to make.

I'd check the text that accompanies the Creo Mentem guidelines as well as the text in front of the mentem spells. I'm not sure that you can create a thinking mind. If I'm right about mind creation being a no-go (and I might not be) you do have some alternatives.

You could do something with Creo Animal and create an animal mind, but reasoning beyond the craftiness of a fox will be beyond it. The Merinita mystery the creates faeries is a way to go but it involves being a merinita. The Merinita mystery that gives intelligence to animals has been worked out as a hermetic breakthrough in Broken covenant of calebias but that probably won't work for you unless you're enchanting an animal. You can rego [form] a spirit to do your thinking for you, If you know Theurgy this process becomes more straight forward but you can do it with vanilla Hermetic magic.

It seems like combinining those two might work, create an animal mind the bring it to full intelligence?

I don't have the broken covenant book, so I don't know for sure, but it sounds like a promising avenue to look at.

Now that I've looked at a book I don't see any proscription against creo mentem creating a mind for a limited duration. There is the limit of the soul but I don't think that it should apply.

This puts the matter squarely in the lap of the storyguide.

The first thing to come to mind (Ha Ha!) is to make a copy of your own mind. Won't have the Gift, so no Parma, mind control the heck out of "yourself". Never waste time writing a book again! The perfect "failed apprentice" Lab assistant! A new path to "immortality"! (Not ideal, but way better then turning your stupid butt into a ghost.....).

Allowing creation of a mind by Hermetic magic should be a troupe decision after discussion of the campaign, not a casual SG decision according to current story needs. It clearly opens up many cans of worms that will affect the campaign as a whole: e. g. Hermetic computers, word processors, printers, displays and data storage.
A troupe should at least read up on ArM5 p.129f The Shadow of Life Renewed and HP p.107f On Ghosts and Spirits before deciding, seeing there how far CrMe can go with existing ArM5 guidelines, and what is intentionally left open.



I know what you mean about it being a can of worms. I only wanted something to assist in the lab, but my troupe have made a lot of suggestions about how it could be implemented for other uses. Walking suits of armor doing battle - reminiscent of the Iron Man 3 final battle....

A few years ago I designed a mystery cult to do this. I have dug up my old notes and listed them below.

Mentem Mystery Cult
-“All other magi jealously guard their knowledge, but we few know that true power comes with sharing amongst a trusted few. Just as covenants are formed to harness material resources, we join together to harness the power of our shared knowledge.” Caranius ex Bonisagus

New Virtues

Caranius memory (minor, hermetic)
Allows the imprinting of specific memories into in-animate and engraved objects. A specific, vivid memory is isolated by the magus. This memory is then “imprinted” into a non-living object where it remains until activated. A person who touches the object and activates the effect will gain the memory as if it were their own. This memory only lasts a short duration specified when the effect was imprinted. See Spell Imprint the Vivid Memory

Memories imprinted into normal items can only be triggered once and will remain viable for 1 year after imprinting. Memories imprinted into “engraved” items can be triggered multiple times (depending on the item design) and last until the item is destroyed.
For triggering actions, see the Enchanted Devices section of the core rule-book.

Caranius knowledge (major, hermetic) (Replaces Caranius Memory)
Allows the engraving of knowledge and memories into objects. See Caranius Memory for rules on objects and activation. This is a lab-activity, the lab-total - 20 gives experience points towards specific knowledge. E.G lab-total of 95 allows to impart 75XP of abilies into an item. You must open the device for enchantment as normal and pay 1 pawn of Creo/Mentem Vis per 10XP entered. Only a single ability may be entered in a single season. This lab-activity must be completed in a single season. Only the scores of the lead magus are counted, you can only engrave up to half of your XP in an ability. When activating a knowledge item you must make an opposed roll of your concentration against your intelligence to succeed. Whilst using the item you must maintain concentration. Information in an item is used instead of your usual knowledge – virtues which give bonuses to the ability are ignored whilst using the item.
A Knowledge can be used as a study source – it is a summa with quality (Creators Com + Users Finesse) and a level of its ability level. The student does not need to share a language with the creator or have any specific abilities to learn form a knowledge.
The lab-text created during the season does not give any information about the ability, and when used gives a +20 bonus to storing the same amount of XP of any ability into an identical item.

Caranius remnant (minor, hermetic)
Allows you to create a lesser version of your mind and imprint it into an object.
Enchanting a remnant is identical to crafting a Lesser Enchanted Device Creo Mentem of level (35 + 10 * Intelligence) with a minimum level of 35. The lab-text created does not contain information about the person, it gives a bonus to a magus creating a remnant of the same intelligence in the same type of item.

The remnant gains your current personality traits and characteristics from the start of the season. The target object must include eyes if the remnant is to be able to see and needs additional effects to communicate with the world. The remnant knows it is a remnant and is happy being so, but contains no personal memories of the creator. The remnant cannot learn new abilities though it does have a temporary memory of the things it does whilst active. Each time the remnant is de-activated it forgets all new information it learned – including people it spoke to. The remnant will reset itself every sundown/sunup. The remnant cannot assist in lab-activities, but can add it’s intelligence to the safety rating of a lab if otherwise unoccupied. The Remnant has a base concentration of 0 and can access abilities engraved into it using Caranius Knowledge. A remnant is not alive and does not have the gift. A remnant is a type of magic device, not a magical creature. A remnant is legally an object.

Caranius Reflection (major, hermetic) (Replaces Caranius remnant)
Allows you to make an exact copy of your mind and engrave it into an object. The new mind (or Reflection) has completely independent thought and emotion, it can form it’s own opinions of people and events. The Reflection cannot lean new abilities, though it can keep track of superficial things such as names and day-to-day events. The Reflection is constantly active but must make concentration rolls for carrying out multiple activities. The object needs eyes for the Reflection to see, and the Reflection needs additional effects to communicate/influence with the world around it. With the right effects it can assist in lab-work or it can add it’s intelligence to the safety rating of a lab if otherwise unoccupied. The Reflection cannot act as the lead magus in a lab activity. A Reflection is alive and does not have the gift. A Reflection is a mixture between a type of magic device and a magical spirit. A Reflection could be legally classed as a person.

Enchanting the Reflection
It takes the magus an entire season to identify which of their abilities the mind will possess. This generates a project map with a total equal to the XP needed.
The magus then needs to spend 2 continuous seasons crafting the reflection, this needs 4 pawns of Creo/Mentem vis spent in the first season. If they are interrupted for more than the allowed 10 days, or they take a break between seasons the creation fails. The original project map can be used to start again.
The magus then needs to spend seasons engraving their knowledge into the reflection – they can place into it their lab-total worth of XP per season. This needs lab-total/10 pawns of Creo/Mentem vis per season.
When the knowledge is entered, the map is used to cast the ritual of completion, during which the map is destroyed and the reflection awakens.

The project map is a permanent Arcane Connection to the Magus who created it, after the process has been completed the reflection becomes a Permanent Arcane connection to the magus.

Example Map
Brutus Reflection
Int 2, Per 1, Pre 0, Com 1.

[table][tr][td]Magic Theory (Enchanting)[/td][td][right]6[/right][/td][td][right]105[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Latin (Hermetic usage)[/td][td][right]5[/right][/td][td][right]75[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Teaching (Magic)[/td][td][right]3[/right][/td][td][right]30[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Artes Liberales (Geometric)[/td][td][right]3[/right][/td][td][right]30[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Order of Hermes Lore (Magi)[/td][td][right]3[/right][/td][td][right]30[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Craft Goldsmith (Rings)[/td][td][right]5[/right][/td][td][right]75[/right][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Map Total[/td][td][right][/right][/td][td][right]345[/right][/td][/tr][/table]

Assuming a lab-total of 70, 50XP per season can be placed into the item, therefore it will take 7 seasons and 35 pawns of vis to enter this knowledge into the reflection. This gives a total time of 10 seasons (1+2+7) and 39 pawns of vis. The reflection then needs imaginem effects to talk to people and rego effects to move things, the overall total may be 13 seasons and 45 pawns of vis. This seems like a lot of vis, but if compared to purchasing a specialist at covenant creation (Com 1 + Teach 3 + MT 6) gives 10 build points which would buy 50 pawns of vis. The downside to this is that it requires a magus’ time and is a permanent connection to them. However, it is a legacy which will never die. Also, as the reflection does not need to sleep, it can be active both day and night.

Imprint the vivid memory
R:T; D:Spec ; T:I
Places the specified memory into an object, the object stores the memory until it is activated. It then creates the memory in the persons mind. Effect can last in the item for 1 year, duration when triggered is as spell. This spell has variants for each of the hermetic durations: momentary, diameter, sun and moon.
Base 5, +1

Engraved item:
Store the vivid memory
R:Personal; D:Momentary; T:Ind
This effect permanently sustains a “Vivid Memory” and allows it to be activated once.
Base 10

Additional activations may be added according to the core rules.

Example Engraved Item
Iron Key of memory CrMe 20
R:Personal; D:Momentary; T:Ind +unlimited uses
This key can contain a single vivid memory, which can be triggered unlimited times a day.
Base 10; +10 uses

There is already a precedent for what you are looking for.

ARM Core p.144 Shadow of Human Life for +6 Mentem magnitude you get your human mind, with it's limitation.
Walking Armor / Golem, yes it is possible with this.

Additionally, I would recommend to have a look at the Hermetic Projects' Necromancy part if you would like to integrate ghosts/spirits/elementals in your golem.

When in my troupe we have discussed this possibility, we agreed it would become a very expensive shield grog.

Thank you, I had completely forgotten about that spell.

Any ideas on what the stats for it would be? I'm guessing something like Int -3, Per 0, Com 0, Pre 0
And I guess it would have the flaw "Simple Minded" from the description.
Would it have things like language xx and other abilities? Maybe design it as a low-powered spirit with the only power to be visible or not...

The human image "has limited freedom and simulated intellect." (Underscore mine.) That sounds like an 'Eliza' to beat a mid-twentieth-century Turing test to me: no Int, but "a very elaborate effect" to mimic some. And not something to receive Int-based abilities, or to independently supervise a process in an Hermetic lab without inviting disaster.


Or you could conjure and bind a spirit...

Let' have a look at an Iron Golem animated by a Soulstone.
ReTe(Me) R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Metal, +2 size, +6 mentem requisite as simple human mind, +1 intricate movements) additional effect: +4 (2 use per day and linked trigger) Enchanted item level is 69.
You need the size +2 as unfortunately Terram base size for metal is 1 cubic foot. 10 cubic feet seems to me as not enough, while 100 cubic feet would be perfect, hence the +2 size.
Based on Arm5 Core p.96, this can be placed into an enchanted item... in a lifetime.

Let's move to a Stone Golem animated as one item, meaning if your golem is destroyed, your lost it and you are going to have a hard time to repair it.
ReTe(Me) R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind (Base 3, +2 Sun, +1 Stone, +1 size, +6 mentem requisite as simple human mind, +1 intricate movements) additional effect: +4 (2 use per day and linked trigger).
Enchanted item level is 54.

Hence we land with the Clay Golem from Prague. :wink:
ReTe(Me) R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind (Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +6 mentem requisite as simple human mind, +1 intricate movements) additional effect: +4 (2 use per day and linked trigger).
Enchanted item level is 49 and with a simple CrTe 5 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +3 Moon), you can create a new body for your golem and 49 is not so high for dedicated mage.

Stats wise, I would start of with the stats presented for a common animated skeleton as the closest to something animated. RoP:M p.99
Shuffle with the merits and flaws as appropriate, but I would definitely keep the 'No Fatigue' and 'Improved Soak (x3)' or even add more and no powers, unless you have installed some effects.

For additional source, I would also recommend to have a look at MoH as magnitude can be easily increased further with elements like 'Sudden movement' & 'Forceful effect'.

And the whole process is so much more simpler with an elementalist shair from Ex Misc turned to Verditius.

DerWish, why not a hollow Iron Golem, for +0 size? Enchanted Items can have more then one enchantment, so one effect for the golem, one to make the iron sturdier, and one to make it bigger as needed? Seems quite doable with Elder Runes.....

Where does that come from?

In ArM5 p.144 CrIm 40 The Shadow of Human Life there is only a "+6 Mentem requisite for a very elaborate effect", to provide "limited freedom and simulated intellect" to the illusion of a human. Did you wish to give another reference?


EDIT: Re-reading DerWish's post above, I feel it refers to HP p.96ff (not "ArM5 Core p.96"), assumes a spirit or ghost imprisoned in a container (the "Soulstone") and then commanded and enabled to control an appropriately enchanted statue (the "Golem"). This approach should work well - but does not need any "+6 mentem requisite as simple human mind" in the enchantment of the statue.

I have counted seven ways how you get a golem.

  1. Based on ArM5 p.144 CrIm 40 The Shadow of Human Life there is only a "+6 Mentem requisite for a very elaborate effect"
    Similar is used in MoH p.124 Image of the Lady, but that is also a CrIm spell. At least here you can read more about what it is capable of.

  2. I have used inappropriately the Soulstone as reference. T
    he original enchanted item is created with Touch range to animate a new golem so I called the enchanted item as a soulstone to refer to it as reusable, and breaks the spell if removed.
    One Shot is right, as the second solution is to use an actual spirit, as per Hermetic Projects: Living Ghost, instead of ReCo, use ReTe and you have imprisoned a spirit.

  3. Use a CrTe ritual to create a magical being as per the CrAn guideline.

  4. As an Ex Misc: use an elemental as the Hermetic Sahirs. HoH:S p.133.

  5. As a Merinita, create your golem as a Glamour spell HoH:MC p.101. Example in MoH p.125 Servant of Fire

  6. Again as a Merinita, animate it with Animae Magic. HoH:MC p. 92

  7. As a Verditius: the Automata HoH:MC p.128.

Are there more options? I am sure I have missed a couple.

I am a little wary to hijack Brutus' thread by creating lists most of whose items don't help him. Also see xkcd.com/1318/ , for why striving for completeness of such lists isn't helping forums.
But FWIW here's what comes to my mind quickly: RoP:TD Kabbalist's golems, RoP:M created Elementals (generalizing your point 3)), HoH:MC Awakening.


Other way to get this needs one Intelligent being to do one Exchange of the Two minds spell (ReMe 45 Ritual - AM 5th page 152). I should say than you can get the same result with one enchantment. There were no MR, but it would be a good way. I created that on my own on one big wood articulated figure.