The InIg core-book spell Vision of Heat's Light gives you infravision. It says that it is "Excellent for use in the dark".
However, the description magical senses, on page 114 says that information "is subject to the same limitations as the mundane sense" and in particular "a magical
sense that works with vision is no good in the dark". This is consistent with the description of Imaginem on page 79 that says that species "for sight require light to get any
distance from the originating body"- just like you can magically-smell only downwind, you can magically-see only in light.
So which is it ? Does Vision of Heat's Light really gives you infravision, allowing you to target opponents in the dark ? Or does it fail to work in the dark, and the spell description is in error ?
It is a T:Vision spell and should not be limited by the lack of light. As I understand it, the magic will stimulate the eye as if a species arrived, which eliminates all need for lumen. Consider it a form of extramission carried by magic if you will.
Of course, you only see heat areas which makes it almost impossible to recognize anything other than by shape. In that sense, it is much weaker than SFB's true infravision.
Then what does "a magical sense that works with vision is no good in the dark" mean ? Read that paragraph, to get the context. It certainly appears to me that it is saying that T:Vision spells don't work in the dark. You don't read it that way ?
I thought like you did, but then a player turned my attention to that sentence.
Ill admit that Im stumped. Could it have something to do with the fact its an ignem spell? For example, If you made a vision ranged version of Hunt for the Wild Herbs you would be able to see the plant you wanted, but only if it was in your unobstructed line of sight and lit well enough to see with normal vision. If you added an ignem req to the spell, maybe the plant would glow so that it could be seen in any lighting?
Yes, it's a "legacy" spell, with a description in 4th edition virtually identical to that of 5th edition. I seem to recall seeing it in 3rd edition too (at least). So basically they tried to convert it to 5th edition, but failed to notice this subtle problem.
You can't use Intellego to detect something unless a) you can already sense that something in some way b) that something is within something else that you can perceive (a Group, a Room etc.) or c) you are using Intellego to provide you a magical sense -- but magical Vision requires light, so you can't use Intellego to "see" stuff that you would not otherwise be able to perceive in darkness, unless that something is within something else you can perceive.
So I really can't see a way to achieve what the spell achieves without somehow limiting the effect. One fix is to say that it does not work in utter darkness - still, it can be very helpful for seeing targets in a cloudy, stormy, moonless night. Another is to make the Target Room, but this makes the spell work only in "enclosed spaces". Another is to make the Target Group, but this requires you to have sensed the hot objects in some other way, possibly through a target Hearing spell.
Puts on asbestos suit
OK, what drugs have everyone been taking, and where can I avoid some?
Under this argument, Intelligo pretty much becomes useless.
It is also a inaccurate argument.
The Magical Senses text on ArM5, p. 113-114 makes no reference to species.
You are given a magical sense that operates like an ordinary sense but can be easily distinguished from the ordinary senses. I se no reason to assume this information in any way has to arrieve via species.
But even if we assume that information must arrieve via species, this discussion is still off.
Simply see the Intelligo spell as sending out a signal in reply to which phenomenai of the relevant type replies with a type of species that are then collected by the spell. The magical equivalent of RADAR if you will.
The way I see it the rules listed in the the senses section is general rules while the guidelines listed in the spells chapter are more specific rules. I feel that the specific has more mechanical oomph than the general, and when there is conflict the specific has more sway in the particular point.
And really, if magic cannot exist to let one see in the dark or detect heat or whatever than the entire field of magic seems a little useless.
I disagree. It's still extremely useful, possibly the most useful of the Techniques. It just has some quirks.
I never mentioned species. However, the Magical Senses text you refer to specifically says (emphasis mine):
So, as I said, you can't use Intellego to grant you a magical sense that allows you to see in the dark. You can use other senses in the dark, or use Intellego with a Target other than a sense if you can perceive in some other fashion what you want to see, or something containing what you want to see.
This may or may not be true. However, here there is no conflict between the general rules and the spell guidelines. There is a conflict between the general rules and a specific implementation of a spell - which also happens to be a legacy spell. Most of these conflicts in the past have been "errata-ed" by changing the spell.
Hermetic magic does allow you to sense stuff in the dark - in fact, there are numerous ways to do so. It just has a few quirks.
OK, I thought there might be something wrong here and I think I might have found a partial answer: In HoH:S there's a section on Synaesthesia - allowing one sensory organ to detect species normally associated with another.
One of the sample spells in that book "Sight of the Warm Surface" works by allowing the target's eyes to detect haptic as well as iconic species and thus allowing the caster to detect the presence of heat using her eyes. That spell works through Muto Imaginem, but I feel a similar principle could apply in this case - haptic species after all don't need lumen.
Alas, Sight of the Warm Surface is another flawed spell. It's Muto Imaginem, but with T:Vision, while only Intellego spells have target Vision. The idea is nice, and it's one of the first I thought about when trying to "fix" Vision of Heat's Light.
The problem is that to change the species of an object so you can see it, you need to target that object. To target that object (barring Arcane connections) you need to perceive it through one of your senses, or perceive something the object is within (Room, Circle etc.). So we are back to the starting point.
If my memory isn't playing tricks on me, yes, it's been there at least since 3rd edition.
The Miner's Keen Eye (TMKE) is also flawed, but I'd say less so than Sight of the Warm Surface. TMKE combines two effects that are both in the InTe guidelines -- seeing a given material, and making sight unimpeded by intervening material. The only problem is the level calculation, which is based on the first, with +1 magnitude for the second -- but the guideline for the second has a far higher base level than the first (20 vs. 2).
The way I would fix TMKE would be this. I'd take as a baseline "learn one mundane property of an object", level 4, and make the effect "assess how much of a given material the object (which could be a wall of rock) contains within three feet of its surface". Adding T:Vision and D:Conc makes the final level 25. This would not be exactly equivalent to TMKE. If you are looking at a 1-foot thick wall, behind which there's a room, and in that room (at 1 foot from the wall) there's a chest full of gold, the original TMKE sees the gold, while the "fixed" version doesn't. But I think that the "fixed" version is truer to its name.