Second Sight and Resistance

Salvete Sodales,

I'm a longtime lurker who finally got his account activated.

The thing that got me to post was a bit of a puzzle I've happened upon in my considerations:

Why doesn't Second Sight have to penetrate Mag Res?

Discern the Images of Truth and Falsehood does have to penetrate the target's resistance, according to the blurb in the Societates book on invisibility.

The problem I'm having is that basically makes Second Sight a nearly required buy for any mage-killer Flambeau, since Invisibility and Wizard's Sidestep are so powerful, and yet so common.

I call upon the wisdom of the boards for advice.

(Edited: All wrong, all wrong...) :frowning:

[color=darkblue]([i]Simple answer: Because it's not magic.

"Supernatural" literally means "above nature", which is why those skills are not "arcane" or "mystical". No magical residue for InVi to later detect, no modifiers from Domain variances, no benefit from mastery of Arts.

Magic resistance only works against magic, and this is something else. Likewise Entrancement, Enchanting Music, Dowsing, and all the rest. High Arts might well modify the roll (Art/5, etc), but they're no more magical than Piercing Gaze, Light Touch or Puissant Single Weapon.)[/i]

But the roll for Second Sight is not an easy one, not by a long shot, so an item with high penetration would be a better bet for most worried about such.

Actually, canonically Magic Resistance does protect against all the other things that Cuchulainshound listed, they do leave residues, and they are affected by auras.

Second Sight is an exception because just about everything it is supposed to detect has Magic Resistance, and if you had to beat the Ease Factor by the Magic Resistance it would be a completely useless Ability. So arms got waved. It could have been cut, but it's such a classic, iconic ability that that seemed excessive.

Thanks for the chance to discuss this.

Hrm....I can see your point about SS needing that clause to be effective at all, but the discrepancy grates on my sensibilities.

It creates a situation where anyone practicing the Ramius or Vilano schools is required to be an InIm god against anyone with decent mag-res and Wizard's Sidestep, while someone equipped with Second Sight merely needs to roll an 8+ on a Per+SS roll to shut down that avenue of defense.

For example, assuming a target with a 2 Parma and a 10 Im casting Veil of Invisibility, a Second Sighted attacker would need to roll a 10+ on Per+SS to attack them (not that difficult), while anyone without SS would require a lvl 40 spell to have a similar chance of spotting them.

Basically, it's a trump card against the (incredibly easy, common, and powerful) Imaginem defensive spells, but unless you started with it (it being a virtue), you're basically hamstrung by comparison against those defenses.

Treating it as it's written, I'd say that Second Sight really should be a Major Virtue, since its ability to ignore Mag Res makes it exponentially better than the Hermetic equivalent. The other option is to have the 'See thorugh illusion' guideline under InIm specifically ALSO ignore mag res, which can result in a pleasing balance.

Hrm....I'll probably wind up doing that in my game.

Really? :confused: I'll take your word for it - where is this covered in the rules?

(And I'll assume you weren't including the Puissant Single Weapons Virtue) :wink:

So you won't take my word for it, then. :wink:

Pages 36-37: Supernatural Virtues interacting with auras, in the general description of Supernatural Virtues.

Page 184: Magic Resistance against non-Hermetic supernatural abilities.

Residues are not explicitly covered, but it is explicit that non-Hermetic supernatural powers leave residues.

It's a Supernatural Ability, so in theory anyone with The Gift can learn it. Of course, that's rather difficult to manage after you have your Arts opened (although not actually impossible, if you do it early), but the master could teach it first, as long as his InVi total was at least 20.

It is an anomaly. There are other ways round the problem, and they'd probably get applied in a new edition of the game, but for now, we have what we have.

I ~do~ take your word for it, I didn't want to ask for you to spoonfeed all the details. 8)

It's so hard sometimes to shift from one version of a game to another. I find that no matter how "closely" I try to read the sections, some key side-element or explanatory premise seems to hide, something that I thought worked more or less like it did before, or was not specifically what I was looking for when reading that section. :frowning:

(And that's the second time this week!)

Ah well, live and learn. And then, some more.

nod That's fair. Thanks for the explaination. :slight_smile:

If it really grates on you, give Second Sight a penetration of SS3 + stress die or SS5 + Stress die. Not that uncommon an approach and it might solve your issues :slight_smile:



pg 104 in societies gives penetration for any supernatural ability. Since imaginum spells tend to give off species, which have no MR, it shouldn't be hard to see through them. If you want an ease factor to beat, I suggest using pg 128 comprehend magic as a starting point.

I think SS is perfect currently.

Sight of the Active Magics affect the caster's eye (Vision), SS can be a similar to this.

Mortaneus, if you want to increase the ease factor try this:
Magi may add complexity modifier to their spells. Every extra magnitude increases the ease factor by one.

An alternate approach, which I use in my game, is to make Second Sight an Accelerated Ability as described in HoH: Societates, Ex Misc chapter, and require it to penetrate. It definitely weakens the Virtue, but makes it more consistent with other powers, in my opinion. It's rare to see someone with a score higher than 12 in Second Sight, but that gives a decent Penetration total, without allowing Second Sight to see everything.