Mage Sight

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Mage Sight
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Mage Sight
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Mage Sight is one of the core tools a Mage has, and one of the more ambiguously written sections of the book. I'm going to try to touch on the important things, since another book could be written about Sight & Resonance in general.

Unless Cloaked, Active spells are visible, and are apparent to anyone with Active Sight when something is enchanted. The appearance of Resonance can be found here. How, is unknown... for that, you Scrutinize.

This is a Mage House Rule A character may scrutinize a target a successive attempts equal to his Gnosis per scene.

With a Gnosis 1 character, they can throw their Scrutiny pool/e-action once per target / scene. With a Gnosis 3 character, they can throw their Scrutiny pool/e-action three times per target / scene.



Scrutiny targets should be declared in advance. If you don't it will be assumed that successes will be devoted in order, one at a time, to the listings in the book: Composition, Potency, Targets, Duration, Identification, Power, and Mastery. That means 3 successes would translate into a single success towards Composition, Potency, and Targets.

Composition: (1 success per Arcanum involved for covert spells; no roll required for vulgar spells) Covert spells can be analyzed for their Arcanum components. One success per Arcanum used is needed to identify all the mystical traits involved. No roll is required to recognize the Arcana involved in a vulgar spell. This research cannot tell the mage what trait dots were involved (he needs to deduce that based on what he knows of the spell’s effect and the capabilities of each degree of mastery), but he can tell which Arcana were used, such as whether a spell stinks of the grave (Death) or if it shimmers with fiery energy (Forces).

Potency: (1 success per point of Potency) An improvised or rote spell can be examined to determine its Potency, usually toward the goal of dispelling it.

Targets: (1 success per Target factor) An improvised or rote spell can be examined to determine the number of Targets it could have affected, but not the exact number it does affect. In other words, its maximum number of allowed targets can be learned, but not how many targets were actually affected by its casting.

Duration: (1 success per Duration factor) An improvised or rote spell can be examined to determine its Duration.

Identification: (1 success for improvised spells, 5 successes for rotes) Spells carry the resonance of their casters. Examining a spell may reveal the caster’s identity. Doing so requires one success for improvised spells or five successes for rote spells. If an investigator is already familiar with the caster’s resonance, it is recognized with the required number of successes. If there is no existing familiarity, that connection is now established and the investigator recognizes the caster’s resonance when he perceives it again. Additionally, a familiar mage’s magical tools can be examined to determine their owner’s identity; only one success is required to establish or achieve that recognition.

Power: (1 success per dot of Gnosis) An improvised spell’s resonance shows a measure of its caster’s enlightened will (Gnosis). By scrutinizing it, an investigator can learn the general level of the caster’s Gnosis: low (1 or 2), medium (3 or 4), high (5 or 6), or masterful (7+). Perceiving a caster’s Gnosis requires one investigation success per dot of the caster’s Gnosis. Rote spells cannot be scrutinized to determine their caster’s power

Mastery: (1 success for improvised spells, 5 successes for rotes) A spell’s resonance also shows its caster’s degree of Arcanum mastery: initiate (1 or 2), adept (3 or 4) or master (5+). One success is needed for an improvised spell, and five successes are required for a rote spell. If the spell involved more than one Arcanum to cast, the investigator learns the highest rated Arcanum and further examination rolls may be made to learn the others as well.

Beings and Objects

This is information about the mechanic. Identity: Each resonance or aura is as unique as a fingerprint. If a mage has seen or studied a resonance before and is familiar with it, one success allows him to recognize the subject. With five successes, he can recognize shapeshifters in any of their forms.

This is information about the mechanic. Nature: One success is enough to alert the mage that the person is not what he seems to be, but the mage doesn’t necessarily know what the subject really is. Five successes allow a mage to determine a subject’s true nature.

Social Ramifications

Scrutiny is usually used to assess spells, and caster's proficiencies. For that reason, some might consider it an implicit challenge, or assessment.

This is a Mage House Rule There is some confusion as to how a person appears when they Scrutinize. For the purposes of my game, Scrutiny is fairly obvious. Consider that Scrutiny is a Mental Action; that is to say, it requires a degree of concentration that allows no other Actions to be performed. That means that you can't even fish your keys out of your pocket while Scrutinizing. So, by the definition of it as an Action, I interpret that to mean it requires most of a person's mental capacity for a full 3 seconds. Extended Scrutiny obviously lengthens this Duration. For the object of the Scrutiny, this means that someone is staring at them. You don't casually glance and roll for Scrutiny -- you take that full Action. To be subject to an intense visual examination is fairly obvious. If your character has Subterfuge, or something similar that would allow them to possibly perform the Scrutiny on the down low, please mention it. I should have mention that i think of resonance as a mini aurora borealis, shimmering and dancing around a person (or object). For that reason, I don't allow people to maintain eye contact -- they're looking all about the person, discerning the ripples and nuances of the phenomena.

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