The Magical Creation of Wealth

Just to clarify where things stand with respect to the magical creation of wealth, since this is saga-dependent. At present there is no Order-wide rule about the magical creation of wealth. A few individual tribunals have passed rules, but it hasn't risen to the point where a Grand Tribunal has addressed it.

The primary concern, as evidenced by the arguments made against the magical creation of wealth, are the attention that it draws to the Order. For example, in Stonehenge a magical-wealth rule was provoked when one covenant started to create a great deal of magical silver, which drew a lot of attention from the mundanes.

Many covenants currently use a little magic to enhance their income. But so far, few have taken it to an extreme. A magically enhanced harvest here, an augmented flock of sheep there, and no one thinks its too unusual. A common factor is that there is generally a mundane industry in existence that is enhanced by magic. Wholesale magical industry has been discouraged as being too flashy. So, casting a spell to create fish or get them to leap onto the docks is out, while using magic to assist your fishing fleet is not. Common sense has generally prevailed.

Up until now, however, equilibrium has been maintained without the need for much in the way of actual rules. The older covenants like to maintain the status quo. They use magic in subtle ways, and serve to police the younger covenants from pushing things too far. Occasionally a new covenant will come up with a magical money-making scheme that a more powerful covenant will have to quash. Always the threat of tribunal, or heaven help us, Grand Tribunal, action is used as a threat. Almost no one wants the issue settled at a tribunal, since the results will almost certainly be more restrictive than they already are. On occasion, however, quaesitors have had to get involved. And in a few instances charges have been brought for endangering the Order. So, it's not an idle threat.

As for specific rules. Stonehenge and Normandy Tribunals have imposed a limit of 2 MP per magi per year on the creation of magical wealth. Thebes has imposed a similar limit of 3 MP. Other tribunals have discussed the issue at their tribunal meetings, but have not made a ruling as of yet. These rules are generally interpreted as pertaining to the direct creation of wealth, not magical assistance in the creation of wealth. So, there's no fruit of the poisoned tree argument. If you use magic to find silver in them thar hills that you later mine, you're okay. It's if you use magic to make the silver that you're restricted.

What if you use magic to raise the potential silver mine from the bottom of the ocean? I mean lets face it, everything we do comes under magical creation of wealth, on an Adam Smith (to get anachronistic) level...

Very little about this issue has actually been litigated. Your particular fact scenario would be an matter of first impression for a tribunal. No one really knows what the result would be. There would be arguments on both sides, to be sure. But the simple fact is that there's a lot of grey area in the state of the law.

Alas, the tribunal rulings don't give a categorical answer for every situation. There are some things that are clearly against the rules (creating a pile of silver); there are some things that are clearly within the rules (using InTe magic to find silver to mine); and there are some things that might be okay and might not. (raising a silver mine from the bottom of the ocean). If you want to know if it's okay, the only way to find out is to do it and see what the tribunal says. Of course, then you're risking a bad outcome. But there's nothing to be done about that risk. That's one reason that most covenants are conservative about the ways they use magic to make money. They don't want to get close to the line for fear that they'll inadvertently cross over.

FWIW, that's the way laws and other regulations work in the modern day. We don't have categorical answers to every fact pattern. That's why we have judges and juries. It's also why people are careful about walking up too close to the line with respect to potential illegal activity. There are plenty of stories of people in the 21st century who thought they were staying within the letter of the law and who were surprised to find a jury disagreed with them. If you talked to a lawyer about whether something questionable was legal or not, you'd probably get an equivocal answer and advice to avoid doing anything that might appear illegal.

And just like today the tribunal has to know it happens.

Very true. If you manage to keep things quiet and no one notices, then no one is going to bring it to the tribunal.

It's only illegal if you get caught. :slight_smile:

Has anyone used InTe to see if we have any valuable mineral deposits?

No, but that's on Magnus' list of things to do.

I think * Constantine's InTe spell might be able to cover that. Or is a new spell needed?


Foundations of Mound and Mountain
Intellego Terram 25, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
The caster understands the current earthen formation across an area of natural earth and stone, and comprehends formations, features, structural stress points or weaknesses, use of foundations, and gains a detailed understanding of the ramifications of excavating within the area.
The time taken to understand the scope of an area varies with the areas size. A small area a few paces across is immediate, up to a fortress sized area which will take hours to fully comprehend.
The spell is intended to be used as part of the design of new structures, however it may also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as tracking where an underground stream travels, or where to best place sappers when attacking fortified walls.
(Base 10 for all the natural properties of an object, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

I'll be a good lawyer and say yes and no.

It will definitely tell him information in a plot of dirt that he investigates. But it only checks out an Individual Te target without any SIze increases or any increase to cover stone or metal. (Does that mean he can't detect metals?) In any case, he can only check ten cubic paces of dirt at a time. What's more, it's Individual, not Part, so it can't effect a part of a mountain. (See definition of Individual, ArM 5 core rulebook, p. 112) "The spell can affect a single discrete thing, such as one person or one object. A huge boulder is a discrete object, a mountain is not (because it is joined to the ground)."

There are something like 70 square miles of mountains to check out. We need a more efficient spell.

As a note, as I look at the spell more carefully, I'm not sure it would even do what you intended it to do. You'd need multiple Size increases, an increase at least to cover stone, and it would have to be Part.

Fair enough, however I'm convinced that the Intellego guidelines do not follow the normal size/material rules. In RAW:

So a lower baseline grants all knowledge of an alloy, without extra magnitude for stone or metal. I chose a level 10 baseline so that the spell could learn all the properties, and the size of the object is irrelevant. That does not stand up with your advice on the material adjustments or the size adjustments.

I agree totally with you that it should have been T: Part. And in hindsight it should also be concentration rather than Sun. Sun does not make a lot of sense in this effect.

Edit: I've done more reading ... considering that the spell from Ars p154, Sense the Feet that Tread the Earth (InTe30) is T: Part and also includes size adjustments that perhaps you're right. Damn it.


  • Alter the spell to be D: Conc, and T: Part,
  • Alter to level 5 baseline,as it covers alloys and mixtures of terram (?),
  • Add magnitudes for the size, say +2 mags?,

I'm a bit troubled by the size part. There has to be some limit. Could I create an accurate globe of the world with the following spell:

The Properties of the World
InTe 25
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Individual
This spell provides the caster with all of the properties of the Earth, including an accurate map of its land masses.
(Base 15 for all the natural properties of an composite object, +1 Touch, +1 Conc)

No, and Yes. :slight_smile: - For a composite object you are missing all the requisites for all the other materials, and missing the T: Part. The point I'm raising is that size isn't straight forward in Intellego spells from the evidence of the samples.

And I agree it is a valid point for the size, but also think that Intellego should not always follow the same scaled guidelines for CrMuRePe - as many Intellego spells do not follow those guidelines.
e.g. Voice of the Lake (InAq) has no size limit for affecting a lake which is certainly larger than the base size for Aq. ... Feet that Thread the Earth (inTe) has 3x size mags, but affects miles around the spot touched, that seems out of sync with terram scaling of size. ... INTUITION OF THE FOREST (Inhe) uses group, but no size adjustment. For animals and Humans it is more obvious how to apply groups, so where multitude of separate targets are affected I can follow a 1:1, but across the sub-elements of Terram?

I guess I'll alter it, or scrap it based upon the feedback for the saga.

In spells normally get attached to a sense instead of a target- for example hearing vis...

I don't think it's a bad spell. I'm just trying to figure out its metes and bounds.

Some do and some don't. This happens to be one that doesn't.