One of my players wants a way to reproduce books quickly in an Ars Magica (5th edition) setting.
What spells exist (preferably without using vis) to accomplish this goal?
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I know this question is now very old. However, I think it's useful to point out that there is now a published canonical answer to this exact question.
It's covered in the supplement Transforming Mythic Europe, on pages 98-108. The section heading is "The Copying of a Book". A number of spells are included, and a complete magic item design for an integrated "photocopier" Greater Enchanted Item based on several linked effects.
Without Vis means that instead of magically creating the paper/parchment and ink, you need to supply it yourself.
As for the spell, there is a spell in the True Lineages book we can use as basis: Exactly to scale
True Lineages, Page 139:
Exactly to Scale
Rego Aquam, Requisite Mentem, Level 10
Draw a picture of the magus ideas. Requires ink and a drawing surface, since it uses mundane materials to draw.
Intellige + Finesse roll +9 for the drawing be legible. Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 for highly unnatural control
So, for a magical photocopier, we need not the magus ideas as source, but the writing on a page. I would say, changing the requisite to Intellego would suffice, but if you want to make it a little bit harder you could add Terram as requisite, since most inks where metal based.
So for Copy a single page we have:
Rego Aquam, Requisite Intellego + possibly Terram, Level 10
Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 for highly unnatural control
You want to copy a 100 page book?
We need to go for group target + one size increment:
Rego Aquam, Requisite Intellego + possibly Terram, Level 25
Base 3, +1 Touch, + 2 Group, +1 size, +2 for highly unnatural control
Now, since it is easier to make errors if you have more text to copy, I would say, that the finesse roll should be way higher or maybe a concentration roll is for required for each 5/10 or so pages copied.
An alternative solution would be to add to the spell magnitude for lower finesse / concentration. Maybe +2/+3 for exact design (similar to the +3 elaborate design in Conjouring the mystics tower).
With a +3 exact design we would end with a level 40 spell.
How much you add depends on how easy you would make it your player magus to copy it.
And: Errors could be painful.
A corrupted magical book could lead to some unpleasant encounters in the lab!
So a missed finesse, concentration etc. roll could be dangerous.