This question involves three books: Ars Magica v5 Core, Art & Academe, and Houses of Hermes: True Lineages.
I'm asking this question to try to get some external feedback on potential consequences of the Original Research (HoH:TL 26) into extending the art of Mentem.
The extension provided the ability to manipulate not only the wits, but their "links" to Reason (as part of the soul, reason is technically untouchable by magic. This original research... bends that rule)
As the largest consequence, I've stated that normally, as mentem can operate on one of the 5 wits at a time (Art and Academe) this breakthrough allows the creation of an artifical link two wits.
The 5 wits are: Common Sense (The ability to perceive the world), Imagination (The ability to composite images over time and store them) Memory (the ability to store concepts), Cognition (the ability to make reasoned judgements), and Estimation (the ability to make instictive intuitive leaps and the connection to the emotions)
Thus, instead of just instilling an item with common sense, it's now theoretically possible to do common sense + imagination, etc.. (all 5! combinations are possible.)
My main question is: is there any combination of the wits that's just stupid-broken? Are there any really fantastic consequences of any of these combinations?
Considering that they explicitly cannot create soul and therefore cannot create real reason or intelligence yet, what kind of effects are possible with each combination of wits?
- Common Sense + Imagination:
- Common Sense + Memory:
- Common Sense + Cognition
- Common Sense + Estimation:
- Imagination + Memory:
- Imagination + Cognition:
- Imagination + Estimation:
- Memory + Cognition:
- Memory + Estimation:
- Cognition + Estimation:
I'm trying to avoid thinking of this in computerized terms, but, for example, (I think) a door with Imagination and Cognition would be able to detect if an army was besieging it for a week: the imagination would provide temporarily, and the cognition would provide judgement as to the nature of the temporal event (army or fair, for example)
None of these dual combinations would be able to create actual reason or intelligence, but can be used to highlight aspects.
- Without common sense, a spell or item has a very narrow sensing range: time of day, a very rough approximation of one of the five senses, simple environmental conditions, without the ability to integrate sense-perceptions.
- Without imagination, there's no temporal image storage, the spell or item can't remember images that were in the past.
- Without memory, there's no conceptual storage
- Without cognition there's no way to filter, discriminate, predict, or decide on multiple courses of action. (The courses of action themselves come from the imagination stimulated by memory)
- Without estimation, there are no links to emotion, no induction, and no instinctive reactions
For the clarification, to quote extensively from A&A:
Common sense: The common sense perceives all forms and images perceived by the external senses and combines them into one common mental picture. These composite images can then be compared with those stored in the memory or held in the imagination. It also judges the operation of a sense, so that when we see, we know what we are seeing.
Imagination: The imagination retains what has been seen and experienced even after the sense-impressions have subsided and serves as the link between memory and cognition. What the common sense assembles, the imagination preserves. It is distinct form the memory for the imagination stores only images, with no concepts, ideas, or emotions connected to them. What is commonly referred to as "thinking" is the recall of images within the imagination, though planning for the future is covered by cognition.
Cognition: cognition is the part of the mind where decisions are made. It is a receptacle of the judgement exercised by the soul, which then coordinates the other parts of the mind and body to enact the will of the soul. Cognition reaches decisions by manipulating mental images drawn from the other inner wits, separating and uniting the information they contain. The imagination can only hold in mind what has been directly sensed, whereas cognition can use the perceptions from the imagination and combine them into things never experienced. This faculty involves invention, planning for the future, design, and poetic imagery.
Estimation:The estimation covers instinct. It detects the practical, the biological significance of things. It enables a cow to pick out her calf or to seek shelter from the elements. Such decisions are not formed by reasoning powers, and friendship or enmity are not perceived by the senses. Estimation is the instinct to act in a particular manner based on judgement rather than decision, so is distinct from cognition. Cognition is concerned with the images of the senses to open the way to a discursive synthesis and analysis of sense-perceptions. Estimation, on the other hand, operates on the derivatives of the current sense-perceptions, recognizing danger, food, friendship, and so forth -- none of which are directly sensed -- and motivating the locomotive powers appropriately. It is this wit which causes emotional states as a response to the instinctual reaction to an object.
Memory: the power of memory is to act as a treasury or repository for information discovered by the estimation, and it relates to estimation in the same way that imagination relates to the common sense. The imagination is a storehouse for images whereas the memory preserves ideas. The memory is two-fold, the sensuous memory retains, reproduces, and recognizes representations of past experience and places those experiences in time. The rational memory is the power of recollection, reminiscence, and active recall and is the province of man rather than beast.