Emulating second sight

So in the saga I am currently playing in, the character with second sight seems to have a HUGE leg up on the rest of us in terms of being able to sniff out magical and paranormal phenomena.

I am playing an Intellego Vim specialist and would like to have the abilities he has, but through spells. What would the spell or spells look like which would emulate the abilities of the second sight? (base levels of effect are all I am looking for. I can add durations and such later.)

This came up because we got sent to an old battlefield to watch the ghosts re-fight the battle. Only the guy with second sight could see anything. I wanted to spontaneously cast a InVi or InMe spell to allow me to see the ghosts, but there were no guidelines in the book for what that would be.


Comparing the InMe and MuMe guidelines, I think base 15 is what you are looking for.
Another effect that has jumped up 20 levels since 4th edition :frowning:

So making that a spell effecting vision, and extending duration to concentration makes it a level 45 spell? And that is for just ONE specific use of second sight.

Oy. Why did I bother with Intellego Vim. I could have just taken SS and done something useful.

(Rhetorical Question, but I'll answer it as I respond.)

One bothers with InVi because, penetration aside, spells just work, while SS both requires a difficulty roll, and that roll (and the resulting information) is decided by the SG. That, and SS is actually quite limited in what it can do, and when.

SS tells you that something is up, but not exactly what. InVi is what can provide details.*

It ~is~ powerful, no doubt, but not the be-all that some make it out to be. Or should be played that way, imo, unless the SG has just lost control of the game. :wink:

(* In a game here, a character used SS to notice an infernal area - cool. Now that that's straightened out, the characters a're still no closer to finding out what that signifies, until someone with the proper InVi spell shows up...)

As a new magus, someone with second sight can see someting is up. The InVi magus is going "Well, i another decade or two I will be able to cast that level 45 spell to let me see ghosts."

And I know... InVi has a lot o other cool uses. It just seems like I should have taken SS instead of some other minor virtue.

(Hint - I think (most?) everyone knows what was just said in the previous post, no need to quote it if that's what you're responding to. It's still in context.) :wink:

Not sure where you get Level 45, but I suspect that's a bit exaggerated.

I always use InMe, and that's usually around Level 25 or so, depending on the sense. (Hearing usually works just fine.)

Hear the Spirit's Tread
InMe 25
R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Hearing
This spell allows the caster to sense the nearby presence of ghosts or similar spirits, so that further spells can be cast directly upon them. Not every ghost is visible, nor cooperative. Different ghosts will each sound distinctly different, but a true crowd of ghosts may overwhelm the hearing of any but the most discerning magus.
(Base 4, Concentration +1, Hearing +3)

Someone above suggested a base level of effect of 15 for sensing a spirit. Add 4 magnitudes to allow for sight, and another to give you some duration (conc. or diameter. Your choice.).

15 + 20 + 5 = level 40.

I don't know where I got 45. A base of 4 like you used is FAR more reasonable. A starting InVi magi can get off a 25 most of the time. (might get a little tired once in a while)

The InVi base of 5 allows the detection of active magics...I'm not sure what the 15 is for; looking at the guidelines, I think I'd permit InVi base 5 for a starting point to just watch the ghosts, but not tell what realm they're aligned with, or if they're a sort of psychic replay or free-willed spirits capable of interaction...that sort of thing.

Which would follow:

InVi 30 Sight that Simply Reveals
R: Per, D: Conc, T: Vision

As per Sight of Active Magics, but no TeFo information.

--it's a pretty decent level spell still, but within range for InVi specialist, I think.


Or, level 25 for "Hearing" range.

While most Players feel more comfortable with "vision" type spells, there are some instances where those are not desirable. At night, for instance - only as useful as the available light (or other "vision enhancing" spells). Or in a fog, or a dense wood, or a building with tight turns, each presenting a different problem to the magus to "see" what he's looking for. If the ghost is behind a stone - can't "see" them (without a "see thru stone spell).

Ymmv, of course, but any given Magus may decide that Hearing, while carrying its own set of restrictions, is preferable - or is considering it's a magnitude easier to achieve.

Don't forget that SS has limitations - while Intellego Vim is much much broader.

My question was how to emulate second sight with spells.

Hearing is not going to help me see what an invisible ghost is doing.

And that question was answered, or at least ~an~ answer was given.

Then the conversation went off on a related tangent. It's been known to happen. 8)

Second sight doesn't need to penetrate, and InVi does.

Vim is amazing because it lets you kill any magical threat with PeVi, lets you enhance spells (with effort) with MuVi, and lets you play with vis and investigate spells with InVi.

THat said, second sight is amazingly useful.

In this situation, though, where the recipient is simply able to see the ghosts and not otherwise affect them, I don't think I'd require penetration. The ghosts have a species, obviously, that a magical sense like Second Sight can detect. This spell only provides the caster with a rough equivalent of that sense, so no penetration is involved.

To gain any further information, like realm, a sense of might, condition, TeFo associations of ongoing effects, etc, that would all need to penetrate, but is also beyond the scope of the spell I'd mentioned.


You're free to do that--it's your game. In the RAW you'd need to penetrate, just like you would for any other Intellego effect. No I know of what you speak--I have thought the same thing, and been shown I was wrong.

Even if Second Sight doesnt have to penetrate the traditional way the Ease Factor is still influenced by the Might of the creature or Magnitude og the spell to work - and these things are as well as the characters SS ability are influenced by realm interaction just the same as Hermetic magi (I'd even say that Per+SS having a smaller scale in most cases than what might be expected of the InVi scores makes it more vulnerable to aura fluctations).

How do you decide what realm your second sight is affiliated with? If you have Fairy blood is it Fae? or because you are a magus is it magical? Or because it is supernatural it is all and none of the 4 realms so interactions don't matter.

You should make a magic item which continually detect the invisible or such and alert some way. You activate the vision based spell only if needed. This way you are free from warping.
SS has this good advantage, it works without activating anything.

Would you explain the details?

You must decide the source of your supernatural abilities. Choose the realm which suits the best to your character.

That would imply that imagonem spells would need to penetrate, and that's clearly not the case. When a magus casts Sidestep, the other magi in the area don't resist the effect.

Looking at magic resistance section, third paragraph, furthers this interpretation-- "If the target of a spell has Magic Resistance of 0, she is only affected if the penetration total is 1 or greater." The target in this case is the caster. Mind you, I think this only applies in this case, as we're not gaining any more specific information and simply gaining the sense of sight. Indeed, the portion on magic resistance on page 86 says that "the maga can see an illusion, as the species are natural, rather than magical. She gets no indication that it (is) an illusion."

In fact, the next three points on illusions on page 86 would apply, in my opinion. We're dealing with species that are natural, but can only be detected by Second Sight (or its equivalent) and the spell is providing the caster with that sense. It's not unlike the MuCo spell that allows people to see heat. The species are always there, but now the caster has the ability to see them.

This does seem counter to the first column on page 114, which states "Magical Senses must penetrate the Magic Resistance of creatures sensed, as well as the Magic Resistance (if any) of the person granted the sense. ... The mundane sense through which the magical sense grants information does not need to penetrate Magic Resistance."

Personally, I think this third sentence is what provides the option of this working without penetration. We're just seeing the ghosts--improving our mundane sense. We're not gaining any magical information about the nature of the ghosts-- no might, no realm alignment, no condition, no aspects of the essential nature of the spirit that a greater magnitude InVi spell would provide. The moment you start trying to gain that information, it's "Welcome to Penetration-town, population: you."

Perhaps, then, what is really needed is a MuCo spell with InVi or InMe requisites. I don't think it should be a herculean task to see ghosts without Second Sight. It should instead be a matter of creativity on the part of the caster-- the place where the magic system shines brightest.


Birbin's quite right - check out p 36, 1st par under "Supernatural". (I missed it too, until it recently was pointed out to me.)