true mind ?!?

In the basic rulebook it says, that mentem would be a suitable form for binding familiars with a "true mind".

Myself, i don´t find this term totally self-explanatory.

Anybody know what this is supposed to mean? Or care to take a guess?


If a familiar has intelligence rather than cunning?

So Mentem works on every magical animal smaller then a cat (roughly)?

Since the flaw magical animal companion states, that they are more intelligent, the smaller they are.

Not saying that it might not be so, just that it doesn´t sound right to me....

No. I believe you are confusing a balancing point of the virtue with the rules for magical beings. The idea with that comment is to balance the virtue. If you take a mouse as an animal companion, what good is that compared to a horse? If you give the mouse intelligence, that balances things better. However, there is no need for intelligence to be tied to size for magical beings. Look at dragons for an example of a large being with comparatively high intelligence.

Mentem works on things with Intelligence scores. Animal (or other things like Ignem for a fire elemental) is used when they have Cunning scores.


Strongly suggest that you completely disregard that notion of size change equals intelligence change.
Its a dreadful attempt at balancing. Always make sure that player and SG agrees on an animal companion instead.

Problem is, if all you have is 5e main rules book, it sets the standards because there is nothing saying anything to contradict it, nor is it stated to be limited to magic animals gained through the virtue.
And i say again, its a totally dreadful way of trying, and utterly failing, to balance a virtue that never did need ANY balancing anyway.

The game as such is totally unbalanced in almost every way, why should a player be restricted in wether an animal companion is intelligent or not due to its size? Logic took a wide detour around whoever came up with that idea.

I'll try to do what I can without revealing information contained in other books...

Basically, Intelligence implies a capacity for reason and imagination possessed by humans and some supernatural creatures (Cognitive Faculty in A&A). Mere animals and many supernatural creatures, however, possess Cunning instead (Sensitive Faculty). In later 5E Ars Magica works, the former is represented by Intelligence and the latter by Cunning.

True Mind, as explained earlier, probably refers to the possession of Intelligence. Note that Intelligence is not necessarily better than Cunning for is it an indicator of a beings Might. Also remember as well that a creature with Cunning bound as a familiar gains Intelligence -3 at the end of the process.

Hope this helps,

A critter with a +3 cunning doesn't have a true mind just because it's "smarter" than a critter with a -2 cunning.

I have to agree with Direwolf75, the whole concept of small size = bigger intelligence is absurd, and was meant to keep everyone from choosing boars, wolves and such. My advice is draw a big red X through the whole entry on "true minds", it sounds like a stupid idea.

Remember, these guys are trying to keep sales figures going up, so they have to put in so much content per release. Often quantity is emphasized over quality (see the original Faeries sourcebook, probably the largest disappointment in gaming supplements history).

Make up your own rule. My troupe was so disgusted with the familiars rules we scrapped the whole lot and made up our own (much better) rules. Why don't more people do this? Why are so many slaves to rule books?

There is no such rule to my knowledge. Did I miss it someplace?

I'm not yet convinced that it wasn't you :open_mouth:

Where exactly is this idea coming from? In this particular instance I believe that you should read the rules before drawing a big red X through them (of course I could be mistaken, if so my apologies).

Lets look at the entire quote about true minds from page 104:

I think that ExarKun nailed it in the second post - critters with an Int score rather than a Cun score. Remember, a familiar needs to be an animal with inherent magic so an intelligence score isn't out of the question.

While recent books have not been perfect they've all (since covenants and Mystery cults I believe) undergone two rounds of playtesting. None of the books that you'll see for fifth edition or that have been published in the last several years are at all rushed. The Magi of Hermes book is an example that we can look at without having to guess about what is going on behind the screen of Non-disclosure agreements, the magi were all submitted to the open call some time before the middle of 2006,we're seeing the book in the 3rd quarter of 2009. That's more than three years between first draft and publication, that's not rushed.

There are lots of house rules floating around this forum. I don't think that so many of us are slaves to the rulebook, yet I don't see any good way to get data on it or even approach the qualitative question of what constitutes a slave free of sufficiently significant preconceptions to make debate moot. Um.. how about [size=150]AM NOT!!..[/size] :smiling_imp:

In any case the familiar rules that you're so disgusted with that you immediately threw out and replaced with your own rules that are much superior, what's your issue with them? What problems do you see with them? [size=85](The only change that we've made to them is making strengthening the bond a 10 day activity that takes vis equal to one fifth of the difference in lab totals between the new and old bonds rather than a seasonal activity that costs vis equal to one fifth of the magi's new lab total. Oh, and an occasional relaxation of the target restrictions)[/size]

First of all a "thank you" to callen and Direwolf, you helped me a lot with my original question and i do agree with the both of you.

Bash, i dont think your bashing of the familiar rules has anything to do with the topic of this thread. And theres no entry on "true minds" to draw a X through, hence my posing this question in the first place.
I like the familiar binding rules and the 3 cords.

The answer lies in the post, that Direwolf was directly quoting and refering to:

Page 56 of the core rulebook.

So people have been assuming that a balancing factor of the animal companion flaw should be generalized and applied to all magical creatures, that's not nearly as silly as I thought.

But it's still silly.

My ignorance of 4th/5th ed rules may be my handicap here but I don't know of any animal that has a true mind. The guidelines under Animal spells state that an Animal spell that affects an animal's mind uses the Form Animal. Only humans have "true minds." A Familiar can be given the power of human intelligence, thus giving it a True Mind and subsequent vulnerability to Mentem spells.

OK, that was a wee bit offsides, so I apologize to all I may have offended. In deference, I was only speaking of the supplements I have read, not all of them in toto. For the record, the last one I read was Pax Dei, and I won't apologize for saying I thought it was 80% useless drivel, 20% good ideas not properly fleshed out. Anything after that I cannot comment on.

I wasn't accusing anyone in particular, just the general tone of many threads I've read (and not just here) wherein folks seem reluctant to innovate their way out of various rule issues. So I'm not putting anyone down for asking the publisher for advice, rather I am trying to (gently, now) encourage folks to come up with their own solutions. So slave is a harsh word. I retract it. For now. :wink:

This is a refrain you will likely tire of hearing from me, and it will likely get me booted off this forum sooner or later, but they're too complicated. They were too complicated and messy in the 3rd ed, and it appears they're even more complex in later versions. None of us in my troupe liked the 3 bonds idea, but if you dig it, cool. Creating a Familiar took way too long, though it does sound like you've cleaned that up, which is good. So I approve.

Sorry for any hurt feelings, bruised egos, whatnot. Please not in the face. :smiley:

All familiars have to be magical animals to start with and some magical animals have human like reasoning skills. There are no mundane animals that have true minds but mundane animals are not valid targets for becoming familiars.

Of course now I'm thinking about a character who gathers a whole herd/flock/parliament/what have you of his favorite type of critter and then then bombards them daily with creo vim spells to inflict warping upon them until one of his subjects gains sufficient magical nature to qualify to be a familiar. If said creature is not burdened with too many flaws from the assault, and the critter and the magus can learn to like one another, then the magus would bind it as a familiar (goodbye might based learning issues).


Flaw, "Magical Animal Companion" p56 AM5.
"The smaller and more innocuous the creature, the more intelligent it is"...

Reread post and RAW.
As i said in previous post, this is the only place in the base rulebook where its mentioned, and by being so, totally sets the standards. Not to mention being ridiculous overall as well.

No, the RAW in this case is silly. As i said, trying to balance a tiny portion of a game that is by its own definition unbalanced, is just absurd, especially when doing so arbitrarily and in a way that hurts the "story"-part of the game for no real gain. Its a completely useless annoyance that should have been errated out before printing.

Bash, maybe post a new thread with your simpler rules? Im sure we can find lots of holes to poke at in them... :mrgreen:
Or if they´re really great, i may want to use them, or parts of them.

The maximum firepower version of getting a familiar. :smiling_imp:

Why not, even if you get dozens of magical animals out of the process, the magi may have to repeat it several times before finding even one that is suitable for binding.

Interesting, in 3rd ed it's a Virtue (or maybe you typo'd), but the verbiage is unchanged. I believe this was meant to give small creatures some benefit otherwise missing from your magical finch companion. I never took the implication that it had Intelligence (as opposed to Cunning), just that smaller critters were more clever. But 3rd ed is riddled with such lax consistency in word usage--we simply tried to grok what's the spirit of the rule, not lawyering its precise verbiage.

Hmmm, actually I was really hoping to get other peoples' viewpoints on both published AND house rules, but, since you asked for it...well, that thread will be forthcoming. And I'm sure you will find holes to poke; that is, in fact, what constitutes a fair amount of each game session I attend. We're constantly testing the rules, pushing and poking until we either vote on some change, or someone pulls out a big bag of armwavium.

In fifth several former virtues have been changed into flaws. by and large these are flaws that allow any storyguide to grab the character and say "this one 'ere, this character, this character is following my story hooks with commendable alacrity on account of his flaws, no arguments". Some of the other former virtues changed were Blackmail, Faerie friend, Heir, and Visions

I wouldnt be surprised if the distinction isnt even intentional, but rather just meant to mean that regardless cunning or intelligence, the smaller the "smarter".
But this is just pure guess from my side.

We found a LONG time ago that this was certainly the best way to play, simply dont be too serious about the rules and anything unclear, let the SG(s) decide(commonly based on the very basic "how good of a story can the players make the alternatives") for now and make sure to come up with an answer for the next time.

Well the Raw is indeed a bit silly here in putting restrictions on how much you can get for the flaw there are stories to be told about fully intellegent horses and such and the flaw doesn't let them be told.

Yet what I thought was calling silly (at least somewhat) was generalizing the magical animal companion flaw to apply to all magical animals even though there's no justification for doing so. The intelligence bit is to my eyes at least clearly about balancing the flaw only and not about magical creatures in general.