What are these spells useful for?

So in the game I'm playing, the SG has thrown me some spells as positive twilight episodes.

This is for a magus specialised in ReVi and ReMe. Arcane tunnels ahoy! The character is fundamentally a very good, caring person who doesn't like hurting things or being un-nice.

So, with that in mind: anyone got any ideas for any viable use of:

MuVi 45: Wizard's Reach Mentem (casting total is ~20)
ReMe 55: Exchange of Two Minds (casting total is ~50)

I'm struggling to come up with even a single use for them. I can't even see them being especially valuable in trade.



any ideas?

Because right now I'm looking at them and going 'hey, at least it wasn't a negative twilight episode...'

I'd use them as twilight 'ablative' spells... but last I checked I don't get to pick those either. :frowning:

Both spells seem useless. If the Exchange of the Two Minds allows the Gift to be transferred it would allow for you to adventure in the body of a grog (or dragon, or whatever) chuck your magic around and then even if you die the effect will end at the end of the year and you'll be fine. Still it seems expensive, risky and fairly worthless compared to a version of it with Moon duration.

However if mystical powers stay with the body I could see it getting used to give a grog the body of a dragon or say... Lord Marsyne or similarly awesome creature and then getting to abuse the crap out of its powers for the year. (Gift of Youth for every maga.)

Anyway, I have a hard time seeing you ever using those spells. Personally it seems almost as dickish as a spell that kills you.

The latter seems fairly high-level and rare. I'd recommend you write it down as a lab text (can you do that with Twilight spells?) and sell it to someone who CAN use it.

Hey, it'll save some ReMe expert a few seasons of invention...

EDIT - knowing such high-level spells I believe also improves your Hermetic reputation - at least it improves your House Rep if your character were a Bonisagus, and I use those as a (scaled down) guideline for Hermetic rep as a whole. (ie, if the Bonis would give you 5 House Rep for learning a giant spell, I'd hand out 1 Hermetic Rep. Same with slaying beasties and Flamebau, etc.)

Wizard's Reach Mentem looks useful for your magus when he cannot use his tunnel spells: e. g. for lack of AC, opponent's means to counter tunnels or such. Anyway, a little bit of variety in metamagic never hurt a magus, but makes him more robust: if not now, then when he has increased his Arts.

Exchange of Two Minds, however, to me looks more like a plot device. Knowing it inside out can help your magus understand Archmage plots and their weak points, but I don't see him wishing to use that ritual.
OK, if your covenant fouled up mundane relations grossly, he might have to burn lots of vis and court the botch to exchange minds with a bishop for a year, or so: your SG knows that your magus can do it - expect her to find a use for it and do not complain in the meantime. :smiling_imp:


This isn't a complaint per se, because it wasn't done in malice.

The twilight rules as we read them (please correct if we're wrong) are that you get a formulaic spell (singular) of magnitude equal to the twilight points gained.

A twilight event for 2 points, plus the simple die roll of 9, means 11 magnitudes. That's a level 55 spell.

The SG is then left with the following task: either try and work out a level 55 spell on the spot, or grab one out of the book that's a 'best fit.' I'd do the exact same thing in the same position.

I'm not annoyed at the SG per se in this (well maybe slightly, but that's not the point of the thread), and even if I were I'm not asking for or expecting a retcon or similar - because that's not cool and it's also not the business of this forum.

It remains the case, though, that I'm struggling to find or even conceive a use for them. I am struggling to see the use as trade items because I can't conceive of a situation where they'd be useful to anyone else either - mainly because of the very high magnitude for the former (I can see a level 25 version being far more useful to most magi than a level 45 one), and in the second case because I am honestly struggling to think of why anyone would want to cast the spell - given that if you can pull off a level 55 ReMe effect you can do far better with easier, less expensive spells that don't risk 11+ botch dice on each casting. Mind-control a bishop at whim via an arcane connection? No problem! And if you can get the bishop alone for long enough to cast a touch-range ritual, you can get an arcane connection no problem at all.

So the MuVi spell is potentially useful as a lab booster for developing a lower level version, then subsequently purely as trade.

The ReMe one, though - my problem is I can't honestly think of a reason why you'd ever want it. Which is why I can't envision it being useful even for trade, because trade implies that someone else wants it.

Exchange of the Two Minds is ultimate mind control at a very steep price. I see many excellent reasons never ever to use it. I do not see how you could replace it economically with other mind control effects at AC range and reasonable duration (Sun and up), though: that would mean complete mind reading (InMe 60 or so), reading of all sensory input (several means) and refined mind control (ReMe 55). So those effects are rituals too, with the same risks, but less duration and overall higher vis cost. To use either these or Exchange of the Two Minds at all, you would for a long time still need sodales supporting you with Wizard's Communion, further exacerbating botch effects. And once under control, you will not want the bishop to break free, will you?
Anyway, each attempt for such thorough mind control must count: and, if successful, Exchange of the Two Minds does it all in one spell for a year.

You might discuss with your SG, whether an Exchange of the Two Minds with D: Moon would still be a ritual, and if not, whether your magus could use the +11 lab total from the ritual you know for inventing that spell some time, in case of need. Perhaps she might agree now.


EDIT: A ReVi45 The Cursed Day (HP p.80), followed by an InMe 40 R: Touch D: Sun Peering into the Mortal Mind, a ReMe 40 R: Touch Enslave the Mortal Mind and a fitting spell (D: Sun, max level 40) to perceive what the target perceives, together achieve without rituals what I outlined above with rituals. But with the The Cursed Day all the other spells end, and during their recasting the victim would be out of control.

OR you get XP OR you get a virtue if the warping was high enough. Personally if I was the SG, and someone got 7+ warping points I would tend towards the virtue since that's probably the best option. Maybe the XP or a spell they could use if I felt like they didn't need a boost. But I would certainly avoid a useless spell. Its a positive Twilight experience they should get something good. (Although conversely I wouldn't be afraid to pull punches with a negative twilight. :smiling_imp: )

Did the SG give you a virtue, experience AND a spell?

Exchange of Two Minds doesn't give you complete mind reading or anything of the sort. It puts your mind in their body. It's basically a more complicated version of MuCo'ing to look like them. If you want to know what they know, you're going to have to do that with a different effect.

Total 100% mind control (the highest guideline for ReMe) is base 25. Which means the lowest level version you could get that is effective (eye range, concentration duration) is a level 35 spell. 40 gives you sun duration.

If we're talking someone who can reliably pull off Exchange of Two Minds, we're looking at a ReMe casting total of at least 45. The most likely structure for this is an even split of xp between Rego and Mentem, so lets say 22 each.

Someone with a 22 in Rego only needs a 10 in Vim to be able to pull off an arcane tunnel that would turn the above level 35 or even 40 spell from eye duration to AC duration - and furthermore that spell would have the added benefit of being usable with every other spell in the caster's arsenal. So now we have an effective sun-duration total mind control effect at arcane connection range done without vis cost, with a considerably lower botch chance, and from a range far beyond touch (the range of Exchange). It doesn't suffer the limitations of the 'group' target, and it can be achieved ten times within a single diameter, as opposed to taking three hours to cast.

So we end up with an effect that is more potent, that is easier to manage and can be done at essentially infinte range. And if you need to read the target's mind, an eye-range InMe can be cast through the same tunnel - meaning the casting level of that is similarly much lower. Borrowing senses is also not overly difficult, and all this gets done without putting some stranger into your own (or your friend's) body. The only downside? The poor target gets 2 warping points each time you cast.

So long-term infiltration becomes one of the few options, but again this is managed far more safely with a year-duration MuCo effect (a ritual, but a far easier one) and just kidnapping the target and putting him in a cell. You'd have to both kidnap and contain the target for Exchange of Two Minds as well, and you'd also have to take far better care of the target...

So I can't see how Exchange of Two Minds is the ultimate in mind control, nor can I see why anyone would choose it for infiltration. Not to mention the year duration is, again, likely to be deal-cincher on why you wouldn't ever use it.

The only thing it could be potentially cool for is doing Guorna's trick of moving from body to body to stay ahead of death. But again, the year duration is what breaks that one. I can imagine in earlier editions it had 'permanent' duration - making it a viable means of life-prolonging. But without turning it into a 'not-entirely-hermetic' spell and making some house-rules to make it able to be permanent, it's not really useful even for that. This is about the only thing I could envision a magus being willing to spend 11 pawns of vis and a high chance of killing one or both targets on - assuming the duration was longer than one measly year.

The more I look at it, the more I can't see any legitimate value to the spell that can't be done with the exact same arts at a lower level, for cheaper less risk and less problems.

No, just the spells. Two twilight episodes (one 9 warping points, one 11), each one a single spell only.

The SG rolls a die, and lets that determine whether its xp, spells or virtue. I'm not sold on using a die for this, but that's not what this post is about. This post is more about trying to get an idea if anyone else has got any mileage out of the two spells mentioned.

Wizard's Boost I can see some small merit to, though in my opinion it gets massively overshadowed by Arcane Tunnel variants. Exchange of Two Minds strikes me as 100% useless because of all its caveats: year duration, 11 pawns of vis, 11-12 botch dice, stamina rolls by both targets to see if they die instantly and the limitations of the 'group' target. In my opinion it's got too many things stacked against it to be anything more than some magus' mostly-failed invention for trying to achieve a breakthrough that somehow made it into the 'common spells' folio.

The MuCo effect might require a verrry solid Perception+Finesse of the caster. Of course, both a MuCoed infiltrator and an infiltrator planted with Exchange of the Two Minds would both need some acting as well - and then there are still the horses, see Kagemusha.


The effect of exchanging minds is a classic of fantasy literature. From a plot standpoint the advantage of the spell is that you don't just transform two people separately, you switch them with each other. (1)That means that arcane connections get their wires crossed.(2) It means that rare non hermetic physical powers are placed under the control of the possessing mind.(3) It means that normal concepts of identity are warped, which confuses other characters, npcs, and the universe itself. (4) It means that the characters live each others lives.

(1) This spell accomplishes something that is otherwise impossible to achieve with hermetic magic... it puts your mind beyond the reach of arcane connections! Think about it. Sir Gawain and Hugo the Monk switch bodies. Severus, a magus, has an arcane connection to Gawain, some of Gawain's blood on a dagger. He conjures a mystic tunnel, or uses another arcane connection range spell to try and read Gawain's mind. The tunnel is established, but the mind residing in the body is that of Hugo. Sorry wrong number. Unless someone had foresight to collect arcane connections from every random person in the countryside, including Hugo, Gawain's mind is safely beyond the reach of hermetic influences all year.

(2) Sometimes one character has the necessary skill but another character as the right body. Lets say you need to seal a giant crevice deep within an ocean trench in the Aegan. One of your magi is a Bjoarner with a Squid heartbeast. But she has a deficiency in terram. Another magi has the requisite arts, and knows the correct spells, but couldn't survive or cast magic underwater. Switcheroo time. Maybe the thousands of innocent children besieging the castle can only be ordered to retreat by the enemy hedge wizard who enchanted them. He refuses, saying he would rather die. Switcheroo time.

(3) This spell is a nifty way of evading Death Prophecies and faerie bargains. Unfortunately for the High Queen of the Winter Fay, her bargain with Lazarus ex Tytalus not to cross the Amber River and interfere in her plans by solving the three riddles of the mountain doesn't apply to the mind of Lazarus residing in the body of his trusted grog. Switching bodies is also a great trick for wizard's war. Gangruel of Flambeau is coming to crush your sodale, Zeppelin ex Misc, a elderly pacifist healer. So you swap bodies with Zeppelin and when Gangruel ambushes Zeppelin along a roadside, he instead faces an angry Tremere archmage. Even if Gangruel survives, he has a tricky legal case on his hands for violating the code.

(4) Lastly, this spell is a great way of forcing characters to experience another's life and gain empathy from the experience. It can be cool to roleplay as well. Maybe the rakish Sir Gawain would gain greater respect for women if he had to inhabit the life and body of Oona, the buxom barmaid, for a year. Maybe Oona in Gawain's body would carry out a series of legal reforms that prevent a peasant uprising. Out of character, you might decide that it would liven things up to have two players swap magi for a few gaming sessions. They might already have ideas for different ways of using the other magi's powers or dealing with recurrent plot hooks. The spell offers an in-character mechanism for a cool experiment among the players.

Just brilliant! it's ideas like this that make me really enjoy these boards.


Hey, don't forget "Maintain the Demanding Spell" - aka "the OTHER reason to study Rego Vim!...besides Circle/Ring Watching Wards...and Aegis...and summoning...and other stuff..."

Er, anyway. Those spells, if you're a ReVi magus, can all be taken down to Concentration, rather than Sun or Moon. Assuming the magus has a relevant Maintain spell, of course...

EDIT - I suppose another thing you can do with the spell is, if you've got enough CrCo, is to build a nice body to swap into, that has no mind to resist. Troupe's decision as to how that works, but I'd argue that it's easier to put your mind into a mindless body than to swap two complete minds. (ie, no roll for death, or at least a reduced chance.)

All of those uses for Exchange of Two Minds are great, except for one fairly sizeable problem: the fact that both participants need to make a stamina roll of 3+ or die.

If the spell was of permanent duration and still featured the stamina roll, it'd be the perfect prolong-your-life spell for those following in the footsteps of Guorna the Fetid.

If the spell didn't feature the save-or-die, it'd be useful for the various things listed above.

As it stands, though, it carries too big a risk to anyone involved in the casting. The save-or-die looks to me like the kind of mechanic that would accompany a permanent-duration version of the spell (and IIRC it was permanent duration in 4th and lower), while for year-duration it's just a good reason to look into less problematic alternatives.

Did that. ReCo to drive the body, InIm(Co) to use its senses. Using both arcane tunnels and maintaining the demanding spell to keep the core control/sense spells to a respectable magnitude. I'm doing it with extremely fresh creo'd corpses (charm against putrefaction!) because creating a living, soul-less human body is some fairly funky magic given that in their natural state living human bodies tend to have souls.

The only downside here is the whole thing falls apart if you enter a hostile aegis... but then again, I assume the same holds true for Exchange of Two Minds?

Er... last I check, the Aegis resists, it does not dispel.
So the whole thing wouldn't fall apart, you'd just be unable to enter, I think?

It could also be a continuing mystical effect like a longevity ritual.

RAW says (highlights mine):

"If the foreign spell cannot penetrate resistance equal to the level of the Aegis, it fizzles out. The Aegis is also able to block foreign Intellego spells, even if they cannot normally be blocked by a Parma Magica, and spells that were cast before they entered the Aegis, such as an invisibility spell cast by a magus outside the Aegis."

There's space for interpretation (hey, it's Ars Magica!) but my read of this is that it shuts down foreign spells that fail to penetrate.

We house-rule'd this to say that longevity rituals, familiar bonds and similar effects with essentially permanent duration are unaffected. Having your familiar bond severed for entering a hostile aegis would be a little much. :smiley:

The Wizard's Reach (mentem variant, level 45) is actually useful. The spell in the main rulebook Enslave the Mortal Mind is ReMe 40, allows you to totally dominate another's will for sun duration with eye range. This level of wizard's reach is just right for extending this spell to voice range. So, find a ReMe specialist who has this spell and offer to swap.

I believe, and I may be wrong, that if you were to cast it yearly you would effectively double your hermetic lifespan: assuming the majority of your warping stays with the body rather than the mind.

You'd need to ensure that you had a very healthy body to live it, but getting someone with good finesse to creo a perfect specimen of humanity from scratch is not implausible.