New Spell: The False Victim

(Honestly need a new name for this spell)

The False Victim L25 CrCo

Range: Touch, Duration: Moon, Target: Individual

When casting, the magus touches a human body, which might be himself. The spell then creates a dead body that is a duplicate of the body touched. This body is naked and only matches the other persons Platonic form, so some details may not match what the body currently looks like. In particular, if the human has been recently wounded but in such a way that they would recover, the created corpse will not have that wound.

The magus who invented this spell used it to allow him to fake his death when dealing with mundanes, but it has also been used to substitute bodies when a magus wanted to spirit away a corpse that was to undergo Christian burial or to hide evidence of how someone was murdered. It was once used to provide corpses to sell to medical students for their studies.

Base:5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon.

I think you need an Intelligo requisite to "read" the body you are duplicating.

And for a name, I suggest Decoy from the Grave.

Creo Magic , page 60 in HoH: Societates would indicate an Intelligence + Finesse roll.
You are creating a dead body "suited to a task".
I agree , that an In requisite is probably needed.

The Church , page 40.

Not sure what happens if the priest gives Last Rites to a copy substituted for the original body.

All Creo magic draws the fine details from the World of Forms. As I understand it, each object has its properties defined by what Form it partakes of, but more specific forms roll up into more general forms. So you have the Form of animals, which all animals are part of. Dogs are part of the Form of animals, and greyhounds are part of the form of dogs, but are themselves forms.

So, any Creo spell that creates something draws on that Form for its details. If you had a spell that created an Animal, you should need an Intelligence + Finesse roll to have that animal have dog like properties. If you have a spell that creates a dog, you need an Intelligence + Finesse roll for the dog to have greyhound properties. But if your spell creates greyhounds, you don’t need an Intelligence + Finesse roll to get a greyhound, the details for that are part of which form the spell was designed to draw on.

Now, with this spell, I am trying to have my cake and eat it to. I want to create something by drawing on the specific details of a very specific form, one that creates a duplicate corpse of a particular individual but one that can be varied to copy any particular individual. I think you can do that by incorporating an example of that form into the casting of the spell. As I understand it, that is how Hunt for the Wild Herb works, you determine which plant the spell will allow you to perceive by having a sample of it. So, I think you can change which body you make a duplicate corpse of by touching the body as part of casting the spell.

So, I don’t think you need an Intelligence + Finesse roll, so long as the caster is unable to determine details beyond what are part of the referenced form. That is why I explicitly mentioned that the body doesn’t have the wounds that the original body had. I don’t think you need an Intellego requisite, any more than any other casting of Creo magic. Another magnitude for complexity might make sense, but that is always a YMMV kind of thing.

If you have an AC (eg. a single strand of hair) from the body you're trying to copy, that should be fine.

You are kind of arguing against yourself. Based on your greyhound ideal, if you invent a CrCo spell for the "Duke of Rothesay", you don't need any Finesse. If you invent a CrCo spell for any Scot, the Finesse roll should be easy. But a generic CrCo spell should demand a high Finesse roll.

If you can from a strand of hair duplicate the body, then you can MuCo a perfect disguise without any effort. That would destroy the flavor of Tytalus magi, as impersonation becomes much easier.

If you're refering to Persona, appearance is the least part of it.
Persona effectively lets you create a new identity including most of the credentials - think of the difference between wearing a mask from the face of a specific person vs. creating a full identity as a person, with passport, birth certificates and a repuation, good enough to dredge up old friends or atleast people who can and will vouche for the people you claim as references.

All the healing spells tailor themselves to the person being healed, without having to be invented for a specific person or needing a finesse roll. I presume that is because when casting the spell, it takes into account the form of the person who is being healed. The fact that injuries are only able to be healed if they are recent enough that the form the body is linked to has not changed indicates that it is specific form for that individual that is being drawn from, not a general Form of humans.

  1. The stuff in the House of Hermes: Societies book is more about maintaining another identity than impersonating someone. Copying someone else is a lousy way to create a second identity, since you now have someone who looks just like you. It is much simpler just to invent the spell so that all the details of appearance are built into the spell, without drawing on a specific person as a model. That way you don't have to worry about maintaining the bit of the person which is a connection to the form.

  2. MuCo guidelines say "Transformations do not usually completely eradicate the original form; something of the original form remains." That suggests that even if you have a physical representation of another form to use as a template, the transformation would not be total. That is a different situation from making a body from scratch.

You do need one if you are creating a copy of a specific greyhound though.

Also , if you are using Creo-only to create a copy of a dead anything ,
holding or touching the body or any part of it has no effect , even if it is an arcane connection.
Your Creo-only spell is not sentient , it does not think with the mind of the caster.

Any corpse you create , will have no signs of Aging , Perdo is needed.
The body will have physical stats of 0 , no matter what they were when alive.
Creo creates bodies , alive (animal , plant) or dead , with the average stats of the thing created.

CrCo to repair is one thing, CrCo to create is another. Do not conflate them.

When someone casts Hunt for the Wild Herb, the caster is able to vary what they are searching for by having a representation of the item and working it into the casting of the spell. When you cast healing spells, you draw on the specific form of the person you are healing, not the general form of humanity as a whole. Thus, I believe varying what Form you are pulling from by having a representation of that Form is well within the normal range of what Hermetic magic can do.

Obviously you don't agree. But I used examples of standard Hermetic spells for why I think this is possible. Just a statement saying I am wrong without providing a reason why you don't find those examples fitting is unlikely to convince.

As for a created body not having the same age as the template it was modeled after, I would think age is one of the things which is defined by the specific forms. Consider that magic can not reverse aging. Things which happen to the physical body can change what form the body is linked to. That is why getting your hand chopped off for long enough will lead to your form only having one hand, the form you are linked to switched from one with two hands to a form with only one hand. Aging appears to slowly change the specific form you are linked to, to one which is more feeble. Thus, if you allow a spell to draw on a representation of a specific form, it would be part of what is created.

As for characteristics defaulting to zero, I am not sure how characteristics matter to a corpse. I suppose if you cast Awaken the Slumbering Dead on the created corpse, it would make a difference, but normally I don't see how it matters.

True, but then healing spell target a person that already has a Form. Creation has no Form to draw on, the caster must provide it. You can build it into the spell at no cost, but then the spell will always create the exact same corpse. You can leave the Form flexible, and you need a Finesse roll to achieve any particular effect; having the model to duplicate would make that roll easier, but would not remove the need. Or you can try to work the copying process into the spell, but then the spell needs to be able to sense the original, and thus need an Intelligo requisite.

I'm afraid you can't have your cake and eat it too: either the caster provides the Form at the time of casting, and this requires a Finesse roll; or the spell somehow reads it from the environment, and this require an Intelligo requisite.

Because the Target is Smell and you need a sample to get the smell of the plant you are looking for.
This is an Intellego spell and justifies nothing for Creo , imo.

They do to the people who may or may not be examing the corpse.
Sir Rogering the Duke with a prize-winning melon , has superior physical characteristics of +03.
Cut down in the prime of his life by a vengeful melon farmer , his replacement corpse is rather emaciated looking in comparison.

Creo , page 77 (ArM 05):

So , you can copy a corpse , and make it damaged (or not) , but cannot make it show Aging unless you use Perdo ,
or use a Finesse roll to simulate damage as "aging" would be my interpretation.

I assume you don't want to worry about using the ReCo guidelines in Art & Academe (page 60) to simply alter the appearance of a created body.
Chirurgical magic as plastic surgery sort of thing.

Sounds like a 100% kosher soell to me. A highly useful one, for that matter. Can also be used to create an army of zombies to be animated later. Waking up to find yourself surrounded by a hundred zombies that are actually yourself must be scary as hell :smiling_imp: I can imagine some of my players having loads of fun doing that to the local bishop of some other figure of authority, just to scare them. :mrgreen:


PD: Laura and Jordi, I am not asking NOR begging you to do this, mind you.

You accept that healing spells draw on specific persons Form and that having a physical representation of that Form allows you to draw on that Form without knowing all the details of that Form. Your contention is that it only works on healing spells, where that representation is that which is being altered. I don’t see why Hermetic magic would be limited in that way. If spells can be designed so that it uses the form of what is touched to determine what form is used in the spell, why is it limited to affecting only the example of the Form which was touched?

I don’t see anything in the RAW that is inconsistent with your position. But I don’t see anything in the RAW that says your position is the way it has to be. I am coming to the opinion that this is just one of the things where campaigns will differ.

That being said, I am pretty sure I don’t want this spell to need an Intellego requisite. For one thing, I don’t have any guidelines or examples of using Intellego spells to get knowledge of someone’s Form. If the magus doesn’t know about elephants, he can’t create an elephant, but he doesn’t have to cast an Intellego spell to learn about elephants once he sees one. Second, once I did have that knowledge of which specific form someone had, shouldn’t I be able to create copies of that body without having the original body nearby anymore? That seems unbalancing. If Xavi’s players want to create an army of bishop zombies with my spell, they would have to touch the bishop. They would have to touch him a lot (once per zombie). They have to create the body while the bishop is around. That seems somewhat limiting. If they can invent a spell that allows them to learn a specific form and then create copies from that knowledge, then all they need is a sight range Intellego spell and then they can make as many naked bishop corpses as they want. This seems more problematic.

I thought touching the original target was required for the spell to work at all.


The spell target is smell, and your sense of smell is altered so that plants of this type, (and no other) are more perceptible to your sense of smell. If you have dill as your sample, you now smell dill but mint is not any more perceptible, and if you use mint as your sample, you smell mint, but not dill. Otherwise the spell would not require a sample but rather familiarity with the plant and smell of the plant in question.
It is a perfectly good example of varying a spell based on working an example of a particular form into the casting of the spell. It is no help at all in arguing that you don’t need an Intellego requisite, but for arguing the point that spells can be tailored to specific Forms by having examples of those specific Forms, it works great.

You allow your players to know peoples attributes by looking at them? Anyway, +0 is an average score, which is hardly a perfect representation of something.

The first quote is in the specific context of using Creo magic to make something become more mature more quickly. That is a different sort of thing that creating something from scratch. The reason you can’t make something older with Creo when it has already reached maturity is that Creo only makes things better. According to St Anselm, things are greater when they exist than when they don’t exist. You use Perdo to turn wine to vinegar because the wine is going from a better thing to a worse thing. You still can use Creo to create vinegar ex nihilo, since existing vinegar is better than non existing vinegar.

The second statement leaves open the whole point of this discussion. How specific can you make the Form you are referencing and what means exist to vary which specific Form are used by the spell? Your position is based on only allowing really broad categories of Forms to be used. If you use CrAq to create poisoned wine, it is a perfect example of poisoned wine even though that is a very imperfect example of wine. Likewise, if the spell creates one legged corpses who are missing four front teeth, then the spell creates perfect examples of one legged corpses that are missing four front teeth.

So , in your game , :stuck_out_tongue: , no-one can make use of Perception to distinguish between someone who is fit and muscular (stats at +03) ,
and someone who is a wimp (stats at -03).

If you find a RAW Creo spell af any Form that allows a perfect representation of something ,
with higher than average stats , prove me wrong.

In the spell I wrote, touching the body that is being copied is a requirement of casting the spell. Technically, the body that is being copied is not a target of the spell, anymore than the spell Shape of the Woodland Prowler target the robe that is used to turn into a wolf.

What game? I am moving and the one hour commute to the game would become fourteen. I like playing Ars Magica, but not that much. :frowning:

Back when I was playing, and it was my turn to run, I would describe the people in descriptive terms, and those descriptive terms would probably be correlated to traits most of the time. But my Verditius having a +2 Str does not make him buff, he still looks small becasue of the Dwarf Faerie Blood and the Small Flaw.

Well, The Wizards Mount creates a standard mount (except for not being affected by the gift) So, I have to think that perfect does not imply better than average stats