Self drawn maps

A question for everyone.

Would it be possible to make an enchanted device that recorded, as a map, everything it saw? It would use the sight target obviously and would record things in a top down map fashion that it percieved, i.e. distant mountains, turn offs on a road, villages, towns, etc.

I'm wondering if this is possible as it requires a certain amount of translation from sight to a topographical image and i'm not certain hermetic magic can do that. It would certainly be a groovy effect to put in my magus' book talisman if it is possible.

The idea i had is that the magus could trigger the item at the start of his journey and then the item would draw a map until turned off. This would make an easy to follow reference map for future journeys as it would cover all the visual landmarks that could be seen.

Would hermetic magic be capable of of assigning particular significance to landmarks. i.e. a burnt, split lightning hit tree in an otherwise normal forest. hermetically its just a dead tree but to a human eye it'd look very different and hence be a good landmark.

I would definitely say this requires substantial intelligence and is beyond Hermetic magic. It would be possible to have the book "photograph" the incoming vision species, though - creating a "window" to past vistas. Add some notes, and you've got a grand magical travel log :slight_smile:

Great idea from our modern perspective working backwards, but 2 problems inherent to the concept and your suggested methodology for realising it.

  1. Its not exactly within the scope of the "medieval paradigm" as it were. In 1220, the concept of cartography was still in its infancy, more so when it came to travel/route maps of scale. Sure there were maps but these tended to be more an artistic rendering of large geographic landmasses (i.e. Western Europe, Holy Roman Empire, etc.) with attention paid more to gaudy decoration than to precise measurements.

Since travel (any significant distance from one's home town) was by and large the luxury of an extremely small wealthy/noble caste, it wasn't deemed necessary to know more than the main routes between populated localities. Likely those who did travel either had outriders to scout ahead, guides to ensure the correct route was followed, or else merely frequented the same routes and so knew them from memory.

  1. A device itself would have no "senses" by which you could transfer sensory input data to written form. The possible solution to this would be to make the device wearable (like a helm) which could imbue the wearer with a range of differing "Sight" target perspectives (normal forward ground view, bird's-eye view, etc.) with an added ReCo effect to convey that "Sight" to map form (like a form of automatic writing).

I would probably rule that the transcription process would be subject to a dex+finesse roll (for quality and precision) of 9+ (or even 12+) if attempting to draw whilst travelling (by wagon or coach only) and not at all if travelling on horseback.

If an InIm (base 1) memory enhancing effect were also added to the device and was active throughout the journey, then I would suggest a Per+Awareness roll for attempts to reconstruct the image in map form at the end of the journey.

Would also be useful to give the character in question some scribe or cartography skill ability.

Just my two mythic pounds worth :slight_smile:

Use an InTe that gets a shape and sense of anything touching the ground within 20 miles (you're talking about level 70 there)

Then a Re(Mu)Te, that moulds a mass of clay into a perfect smaller scale representation of what the spell senses.

As long as you have plenty of clay, you can make models much cooler than maps ^^

Then install it on your flying tower, and sell maps to Mercere for profit

Well, as you have to choose boundary target this is a ritual. Thus you have to spend 7 pawns of vis. Adding all those seasons spent to research the spell this does not sound like a profitable buisiness.
And there is another drawback: Most people won't be able to use these maps. First, they are not used to them. Second, the important parts are missing: Names of towns, clearly marked roads and means to cross a river like fords or ferries. And there is no mark on them where the danger lurks (faeries, dragons, ...)
Thus after casting the spell you have to attribute time to include all those helpful remarks.
I think, to most redcaps it is more important to know what town is to be reached next on the road as most peaople they come across can tell them how to get there and can help by pointing out important knowledge of the area. So the maps of that time, though inaccurate, are not that bad to use for a traveller.
But the maps you mentioned above would be priceless for any noble waging war against his neighbour. However, helping him by supplying maps may qualify as meddelling with mundanes.... :frowning:

Not so much true, as many people travelled Europe that time: Pilgims, mendicant frairs, merchants and those helping them out, mercenairies, ....
In fact the emporer of the holy roman empire did not have a homecastle but was travelling from vassal to vassel, taking with him his entire court, which consisted of many (sometimes mor than a hundred) people. Most of them were neither rich nor noble.

Let me restate then for clarity. "Many" might have travelled indeed, but still this represented a tiny minority of the total continental population. The standard life of the commoner was rooted to one's home village (perhaps less if from a larger city but still valid in that context as well).

Now lets look at your examples:

Pilgrims: true mostly not from rich backgrounds but many were as well. Nonetheless, these represent the most devote religious adherents and not the bulk of the average peasantry who had more to worry about just eeking out a daily living right at home.

Medicant Friars: Also not rich true, but an order of clergy within the most powerful and wealthy institution of the day, so again, hardly to be compared with the vast majority of local nobodies.

Merchants: Be serious, these WERE the bulk of the rising bourgeoise and thus far richer by the standards of the day than the average locals to which I have been referring.

Mercenaries, much the same as merchants. Mercenaries were men of means, even if fortune did not always smile upon them. Their services could fetch considerable sums not enjoyed by the majority of the populace.

Holy Roman Emporer: LOL. With or without castle, this is the least comparable example to the common citizen you could have suggested. Anyone capable of bringing his entire court (let alone having a "court" to bring along) couldnt be called anything less than a person of means.

By and large, mass travel necessitating clear route maps was a development of the renaissance, not the era in which Ars is set.

I think, we both mean the same, BoXer:
Most people never left their home village in the middle ages.
Nevertheless, most people on the road were far from being rich. Especially as every rich man/merchant takes some inferiors with him just as magi take their grogs.

Did I mention boundary?.. nope ^^

It's target part, +6 size, though it's 20 miles diameter, not radius as I mistakenly put.

And pfft.. if you want -normal- imperfect maps... go get some mook to map for you or something.. call yourself a Verditius? ^^

Umm hold on a sec. Let's think about this.

Firstly, let's start with an assumption of a Terram base form for general overall landscape that you wish to map. Sure there's also going to be lots of Herbam and Aquam (trees, lakes, rivers, etc.) in the general topography, but for simple range considerations Terram has clear cut volume references (100 paces, 10 paces, 1 pace, etc.) to work with.

Ok, so you say you want Part as target, fair enough and quite common in many terram spells. However, you then say you want a +6 size adjustment.

I suspect you aren't quite understanding the magnitude of the area +6 will give you. It certainly won't be a mere 20 miles diameter. Look at this way...

Let's just fudge the base Terram area measurements to account for various types of earth in a given geographical region. Maybe there are stone-dominated settlements, mountains or other natural rock formations alongside plain old earth(dirt, clay sand, mud) topography, so we'll take the average of earth and rock base individual measurements (100 paces and 10 paces, respectively) and call your spell's base 55 (100+10/2). Thats 55 paces or 80.3 meters (55 x 1.46m) (forget the third dimension since we are dealing with the visible surface terrain for a 2D rendition in map form).

Now, at +6 size that is 1,000,000x larger or 80,300,000 meters. Converting that back into miles (1m = 0.000621mi) we get a effect area of 49,866 miles.

I think thats ok if you want to draw an area a little smaller than the surface area of Hungary and Slovakia combined, go right ahead lol. Otherwise you could tone it down and make it much easier to cast in the process. :wink:

To get 20 miles you only need to multiply the base effect by 400 (so +3 mags) with an unfortunate waste of most of the third size magnitude, but a savings of 3 magnitudes from your suggested example.

If this is not boundary target, which spell is using boundary anyway? I mean, you can always use part + X size to bypass the ritual cost. Besides that: Any spell with a magnitude above 10 is a ritual. SAo you won't evade the use of vis anyway.

Yeah, there are soooo many things, I woul drather do with all that vis. By the way my customers should come to me not the other way round. To carry your smithy with you all the time is a bit inconvenient ... :laughing:
And the Journey to Verdi once in a while. Well I will travel there with my parens most likely by LoHC.

Vetrenius.. .. the point was, the topic starter asked for items.. and items don't follow the ritual rules either.. so unsure why you're going on about spells ^^

Boxer.. you could indeed work out 2D values for topographical terrain and such.. or.. you could just go with the existing Sense the Feet that Tread the Earth spells size, which was 1 mile radius.. so I just took that (+3 size) and added another 3 sizes for a *10 to the basic single dimension.

Yes, probably can spread it out a lot more if you start varying the shape a lot.. but this was for an item which I wanted to just be able to work on it's own without having to decide much etc, so I just went with the simplicity in the mechanics, otherwise you'd probably have to monitor it personally, or try and make it clever

All those participating in the Nebelwacht-saga of Schleswig, please do not resd further :imp:

Well, I would rule that any such effect would be boundary target. Thus it cannot be incorporated into any device. So I was refering to spells. IMO hermetic magic cannot perform this feat. That is without using some kind of mystery:
TMRE states that anyone initiated into the mystery of devination can cast In-spells with boundary target as non-ritual-spells. So you could either rule that any such a character can include such a spell into a device or has to do some original research to do so.
This could lead to the following invested device:

Map of the region
InTe Level 70 (BL 15, R: Arcane+4, D: Conc +1, T: Boundary +4, size +2)
Penetration: 0, 24 uses/day:+5, Item maintains concentration +5
End level: 80
ReAn Level 25 (BL 10, R: self, D: Conc +1, T: Group +2)
Penetration: 0, 24 uses/day:+5, Item maintains concentration +5, triggered by InTe-spell +3
End level: 38
Form: several pieces of leather sewed together to rech the size size of 3mx1m.
Description: Greater enchanted device: If one puts two arcane connections on the map it forms the entire terrain in between with mountains, ravines etc. But be careful, water is not monitored so a ravine might as well be filled up and be a lake in reality. The two arcane connections must be as close as 7 leagues (10km) otherwise the effect fails.
Note: This is an exceptionally item, which breaks hermetic laws by imbuing a ritual (boundary target) into an artefact. This was only able by the special mystery virtue of diviners' for whom boundary intellego spells are not rituals.

Well, you can change the Rego-spell into any sunstance you prefer.

Yes.. all that's fine.. IF you houserule that any large size spell is suddenly a boundary.. which, as far as I'm concerned, it's not.

There's a reason for size modifiers like that.. boundary spells are limited in that they have to follow natural boundaries, and only end up getting a valley or something.. whereas size modifiers usually tend to take more effort to get the same size, but can ignore such things.

Why you seem to think it's not allowed to use high size part spells is beyond me.

Why not make it a range "Voice" effect, and have it create some thunder? A massive crash of thunder which can be heard 10 miles away. The item would need 3 effects

one to float into the air about a mile up (ReTe)
one to create a massive thunder (CrIm)
one to use the thunder to gain info about the land (InTe)

I've not got my books with me, but it could work.

okay, while we seem to be playing "who's the better munchkin" let's go one better while youre hovering a mile up making thunder, why not cast "Eyes of the Bat" on yourself so you can "hear all the relevant boundaries" and thus map them all? :wink:

I have spent some time thinking about many magnitudes of part to increase size vs. boundary target.
I have to admit, you are right, FluffySquirrel. When extending part by size you gat relevant information of this amount of substance. In the example given above, about the earth in the sourrounding. Though I would ask for a finesse roll to get the thickness of the "Part" right.
Boundary target on the other side effects everything in the target area like humans, animal and crops. So using part you cannot answer the question, are there humans in the area covered by the spell of InTe. But you can, if cast InCo with boundary target, which will be a ritual unless you initiated into devination mystery.
Hope, I got it right this time... :blush:

Mine wasn't a munchkin:(

A device which flies up high into the air, creates a clap of thunder then maps everything that "hears" it, one use per day, and is "magical" (no thunder in a cloudless sky) seems ok. It's just like shouting really loudly :slight_smile:

Actually the suggestion was "mapping everything (i.e. all boundaries) that "it" (or "the caster" if created as a spell instead of an object effect) hears, not whatever "hears" the thunder. The latter would be rather illogical for the most part (aside from living creatures) as mountains, trees, rivers, lakes, etc. would be necessary geographical features for the map but which cannot "hear".

Yet you can do a Terram spell at "Voice" range, as far as your voice carries. If you whisper you can only effect close things, if you talk normally within 15 paces and if you shout upto 50 paces.

The stones your magic effects can't "hear" your voice, but your voice has to reach them to effect them.

Therefore if you amplify your voice your spell can "reach" further.

That's a reference to range not to any sense perception of the effected target or target area of the spell/effect.

My previous comment referred to your wording when you said...

Perhaps too legalistic a reading of your words but it would seem more hermetically logical to use a thunder clap effect together with an effect such as Eyes of the Bat (which is itself a matter of magical sense perception rather than physical). This way the object could record the sensed boundaries by the fluctuations of the thunder's echoes off of the differing terrain features.

In the end its all just a matter of preference though. Do what makes you happy! :wink: