Please see below for two new spells. I think they should work as intended as they are. However! I am also interested in making lower level versions of them. So here comes the question. If you took either one of these spells and reduced the range to touch, could you touch a corpse, cast the spell and then remove yourself from the corpses presence while still keeping the spell going.
For instance, imagine a magus about to enter a dangerous tomb. He has killed some irritating locals outside and wishes to use one of these corpses to act as a scout for him, allowing him to wander around the tomb and check it out while remaining safely outside. Could he cast these spells as touch range versions and then send the corpse into the tomb and keep the link going.
Would it require that to keep the spell going, he would need to maintain his touch on the corpse?
R: Arc, D: Conc, T: Ind
This spell requires an arcane connection to a specific corpse or ghost. Once cast the necromancer can see, hear and feel as if they were that corpse or ghost. This ignores that ability of the corpse or ghost to perceive these sense, they are merely the link that the necromancer uses. A corpse with no nose or ears can “smell” or “hear” just as well as one without with this spell. Mort uses this spell in several ways. In combination with other spells he can either control the links actions, creating a kind of proxy presence or simply perceive what the link perceives as it goes about its business.
(Base 3, +4 arc, +1 conc)
The Oblivious Marionette
R: Arc, D: Conc, T: Ind
This effect allows Mort to precisely control a corpse, making it walk, handle objects and so on as well as if he were present (subject to the limits of the corpses body, one missing its arms can hardly pick anything up). Mort uses this spell to either create a puppet to handle dangerous situations, such as traps or hazardous environments, or at great range to communicate with people who might be near to a corpse. He could for instance use this spell in conjunction with Necromancer’s Scout to attend council meetings at great distances. Note that a freshly killed or preserved corpse will be able to speak why a skeleton or long decayed body will not. Where the corpse engages in an activity that would usually require an ability, use the corpses characteristic and Morts finesse.
(Base 10, +4 arc, +1 conc)
You can't control the spells if the target is beyond range. Thus with the R: Touch version, you could eg tell an animated corpse to walk "that-away" (while still touching it), but once it had left range, you couldn't tell it to stop or change direction.
Have you considered using R: Touch via an Intagible Tunnel (variant) though?
I believe you do not need to keep contact: Invisibility spell granted by touch don't stop when the magus stop touching the target. Likewise, even spell with Concentration duration and touch range do not stop working.
Example: The Walking Corpse, range: Touch, Turns a a corpse into a nearly mindless servant that can follow your simple verbal commands faithfully but unimanginatively. p135, highlight is mine.
However, this spell has a Mentem requisit, which I would believe gives the corpse some modicum of independence and the ability to follow verbal order of the magus.
Other example: Rise of the Feathery Body, Touch, Conc. The target floats as long as the magus maintain concentration, not contact.
So I believe, you do not need to remain in contact with the corpse to maintain effect.
Regarding the Oblivious Marionette, I would be tempted to impose a -3 to Finesse, a bit similar to the penalty used in Rego-crafting situation or limit the usage to fairly simple physical activity (no Profession or Craft skill for example) or skills where the magus is proficient. My reasoning is the following: could a magus who has no clue on how to be discreet command a body to sneak behind somebody ? Magic can do many things, but if there is one thing which is clearly stated, it cannot create knowledge, so in this case, I do not believe the magus would succeed (in making the corpse sneaky).
The second paragraph of "Ranges" on p.111 of the core book spells this out quite clearly:
"A spell that has a continuing effect remains in effect even if the caster moves out of range. A spell that allows the caster to control the effect only permits that control as long as the caster is within range. However, it does not expire if the caster moves out of range, and he may control it again if he moves back into range."