Sense Holiness/Unholiness


In my troupe's last session, we had the first instance where a companion's Sense Holiness/Unholiness ability came into play and the die was rolled with glee - only to discover that it was essentially pointless. The RAW require the ability to penetrate magic resistance which essentially makes anything more potent than a Might 5/Parma 1 individual immune to the effect except for the ultimate in specialist.

Has anyone else had this problem, and come up with any good solutions? (We ruled that, frankly, it worked. Anything else would have been silly.)

Sodalis Fhtagn, the matter came up recently in our Saga as well. Fortunately our farmhand didn't sense any unholiness from the visiting peddlar, otherwise it might have turned out ugly. Don't forget that even if the farmhand does not normally sense unholiness (or holiness) from people because of lacking penetration, he can still easily recognize unholy (and holy) items.

Also don't forget that evil wibes are just wibes like those the mundanes feel about your Gift. If the farmhand would have said he thinks the peddlar is Evil, it is clearly the farmhand's narrow mindedness that is at fault! If he had told such lies to me, I would have had to punish him really well. I suggest you do the same about your misbehaving lackeys.

Btw, we play it by the book: to sense Holy/Unholy from people, the sense must penetrate Magic Resistance.

No one IMS has this ability, so I can't talk from experience.

IRRC, in a previous thread it was suggested to make this ability and others of the same type, like second sight, an accelerated ability (XP make it rise like an Art)

It might somewhat solve your problem.



Also do not forget to lower the Ability roll's Penetration AND the Magic Resistance according to the local aura. This might help a bit in some circumstances, e.g. in a high Divine aura. Also remember that the Penetration Ability is added as normal, and that sympathetic connections can boost it as normal.

But, yeah, it's pretty hard to overcome just about anything's MR.

As a House Rule, I'd certainly would personally agree to let detection spells and abilities penetrate MR automatically unless the power specifically hides or deludes somehow - so an angel's presence would normally be obvious, but a fearie glamour would seem real, and a demon posing as a mortal would, still, be hard to spot. But that's a pretty far-reaching house rule. Allowing just the Sense Holiness & Unholiness to work regardless of MR might work better.

The InVi guidelines for detecting magic of a given magnitude or creatures of a given Might could provide some inspiration.

you could rule that the species being given off are obviously un/holy and that is what is detected. No reason to worry about penetration unless the person/object is shrouded in some way

I think, based on suggestions here and checking Second Sight, that a reasonable ruling would be to say that, like Second Sight, it doesn't need to penetrate per se, just exceed the magnitude of the concealing effect. Thus the Infernal Might or spell concealing nature adds 1/magnitude to the normal target number.

Does that seem reasonable?

Mind you, it also raises the question of what Hermetic spell would conceal good and evil. ReMe? ReVi? CrMe or CrVi to create a false image?