Spell casting when consciousness has been transferred

Recently in my Saga, a magus transferred his consciousness into a small puppet that he was animating through his magic. Confronted by dog, he asked if he could cast a spell, on the spot, I agree, with -15 for silent casting and no gesture penalty.

At the moment, I did not think twice.
Later on, I wondered if I did not set a precedent and what RAW says about it.

What if a mage use an Imaginem spell to "spirit walk" around (ReIm Image from the Wizard Torn for example), can he cast spell through his illusionary self ? His consciousness is clearly within illusionary body as his physical body is resting limp and mostly unaware of his surrounding.

Exchange of the Two Minds (ReM) seems to allow normal use of magic (since it mentions "to pursue the magical Arts"), although it does not specifically mention spell casting.
Would Mentem spells allow spellcasting but not Imaginem spell (Image from the Wizard Torn has an Intellego requisit, but no Mentem) ? (If no, the subsidiary question will be why ?)

Side question: assuming that he can practice magic through his animated puppet, but cannot speak, what is the range of his Voice-ranged spell ? Touch ? or based on the noise his puppet can make ?
I don't have a strong opinion on either case. I find interesting the idea of a magus attaching bells to his little puppet so his spells can reach longer distance.

Side, side question: what about the effect of the Gift ? Is it bound to the body or does it follows the consciousness of the mage ? Does it mean that the animated puppet - even still - will ooze a disturbing presence in case of Blatant gift ?

I'd say it would specifically be mentem effects that carry the power, because I consider magic to be tied to the mind. A Vim requisite would also IftWT to be used for casting IMS, as a kind of Arcane Tunnel effect.

Based on the vocalisation the puppet can make. If it has no voice at all (not even an animal's voice) then voice range is effectively personal.

The ability to use instruments to extend voice range is specifically tied to performance magic according to TMRE, so that won't work.

The gift is tied to the ability to do magic. If you've ruled that the magical ability is in the puppet then the gift penalty should also apply to it.

I'd agree with pretty much all of the above, with the added note that:

Range sight spells work when you scry on the target, once you can see them by magical means. This suggests related effects should also work.

In my sagas, I'd probably rule that you cannot cast magic remotely like this.

Now, you could probably achieve this through an arcane connection to the puppet to use Opening the The Intangible Tunnel, so you'd be able to target it (T:Ind) or the room it is standing in (T:Room). But not the things it can see with just the standard spells. You'd need to develop something new (probably in ReVi) if you wanted to do this.

That's the way I would treat it im my sagas.


What would happen if we got rid of modern-sounding words like 'consciousness' and replaced it with more medieval-sounding words, more appropriate to magi?

In which case, the magus did not use Mentem to "transfer his consciousness to the puppet" but to "possess the puppet."

Things become clearer, I think. The magus's spirit is now inside the puppet, which conveys advantages and disadvantages. I'd rule that the magus can cast spells from the puppet, and if the puppet were able to say the correct words and make the right gestures, could cast with no penalties, except perhaps for concentration if the animation spells were not good enough to allow this behavior without Finesse. Quite possibly, however, the magus would not be able to talk through the puppet, in which case he would be silent. Etc.

Meanwhile, there's no one home back at the magus' body. The magus is considered a possessing entity for all effects that deal with possession. Etc.

But that's just me.

Conversely, the illusionist magus created an illusion. The magus might now have an AC to the location of the illusion, but is still fundamentally at home in his body. So the illusion is not casting spells; at best, it can go through the motions. Etc.

Again, just me.

Affects of the Gift: The Gift is a property of the magus. I think the Gift clearly is associated with the spirit, not the body: A magus' corpse does not have the Gift, does not inspire -3 to social rolls. Literally, a good magus is a dead magus! :slight_smile:/2



All depends on what is the gift in your saga.

I then to think that the gift is a distinct part of someone. You can destroy the mind & leave the gift intact and vice-versa. You have ghosts that can used the gift fully and others not. I would associate the gift to the form of Vim so if you wanted your cast while your consciousness was outside your body, I'd require the vim requisite, it be a ritual and if you are injured/destroyed, your true body is injured/dead.

You can take a look @ MuMe 40 IC for a bit of inspiration. Add a vim requisite, make it a ReMe(Vi) effect & a ritual and voilĂ ! Take possession of the puppet. Make it a base 25 (grant a magical ability) MuMe(ReVi) ritual and give yourself the magical ability to processes any puppet so you may hop from puppet to puppet, you Chucky :wink:


Thank you all for your answers.

Here is what I will be following and is strongly supported by RAW:

  • Magical ability is linked to the spirit of the magus (agree, let's avoid the modern word "consciousness"), ergo within the capability of Mentem form to transfer magus spirit & casting ability;
  • Consequently (1), to practice magic through a possessed item/person, the spirit of the magus needs to inhabit the target, it means that it is succeptible to Mentem effect (Ward and such, Banishing through PeMe...);
  • Consequently (2), the body of the magus is not affected by Mentem spell when possessing another item/person (since the spirit is somewhere else and ubiquity is the province of Divine power), yet it is obviously the best Arcane connection to the spirit;
  • Imaginem-only spells allowing magus to move and perceived around cannot be used to cast spell through the illusion;
  • Obviously, casting spell while maintaining another one is subject to concentration roll.

This looks like common sense, although not specifically spelled out in RAW:
A possessed item/person/animal can cast spell, with -5, -10 or -15 penalty depending on the ability to talk and make appropriate somatic components (baring specific virtue).
Voice range spell requires the possessed item to be able to at least make vocal noise, otherwise is limited to touch range. The ability to make noise through bells, or clapping hand/body part is not enough - unless specific virtue/ability (thank kingreaper for bringing up Performance magic).

After that, it is more the area of house rules, and this is what I will be applying:

  • Me requisit is required to have magus able to cast through his illusions (Image of the Wizard Torn and the like)
  • In this case, the illusion is an arcane connection to the magus and the magus body (it can be used to open an Intangible Tunnel for example)
  • Mentem spells cast at the illusion affected the magus normally
  • Other methods to deal with possession apply (other tradition, exorcism, protective talisman, etc.) (thanks Ovarwa)
  • Touch range spell do not work (since the illusion cannot physically touch anything)
  • In the case of moving illusion, a gesture are not considered a somatic component since it is effectively immaterial, hence the magus as a -5 penalty
  • The Gift (and associated side effects) is linked to the spirit and whatever it inhabits
  • Ritual magic cannot be performed through possession/illusion/discorporation spell unless the effect is itself a ritual.

I think is an acceptable tradeoff to be able to cast spell (with an additional requisit, thus normally a +5 spell increase) and being susceptible to Mentem spell and such.
I added the -5 penalty for lack of gesture based on the immateriality of the illusion - it is definitely a house rule so feel free to disagree, I just wanted to add an extra penalty for practising magic in relatively safe conditions. Same goes for the ritual limitation.

William, I understand your proposal, but I won't follow it. IMHO, if the gift was purely linked to Vim form, it should be possible to grant gift to somebody, which is not a door I want to open in my saga (but I like your Chucky spell :smiling_imp: and will find a way to have it creeps in my Saga ).

What about the use of Eyes from the Wizard Torn (MoH p 84)
For you, can the mage under this influence cast sight ranged effects trough the displaced eye ?

Based on the criteria posted above: No.
The spirit of the magus is still inside his body, he is fully aware of his environment, although he lost his sight.
Would there be a Mentem requisit (and +1 magnitude), then the body of the mage would collapse at the casting, when the eyes leave the body and fly around. Quite gruesome indeed.