After the Storm
Magical Sight sees the Winds of Magic superimposed over the normal world seen by the viewer.
It is subject to all the restrictions of normal sight, walls and fog for example hinder the ability to see its manifestations, except for darkness. In darkness, magical sight works better as other visual information does not obscure it (just as a sound is heard better if all else is quiet).
Simple Magical Sight
Someone gifted with magical sight is not always using it, as this would be very distracting in the short run and madness inducing in not much longer. An act of will (manoeuvre) “opens the third eye”. This allows then seeing whatever is there to see. The sight closes naturally as a “protective instinct”.
As with other things “seen”, no action is used up seeing with magical sight after it is opened, the player receives the information it gives and then may choose an action.
Simple magical sight sees the winds without learning their source, strength, effects and does not detect auras that are no longer present or are obscured by anything blocking normal vision.
Normal Observation checks apply when using simple magical sight.
Looking at a market place the user might see the winds swirling about and note particular movement around the apple-girl singing merrily as she offers her wares, two merchants arguing fiercely over who has the rights to set their stall up at a choice spot and the empty gallows. Making an Easy Observation (1D) check they might note a few wisps of wind darting about.
The user might suspect these simply reflect the natural tendency of certain winds to pool and focus around sympathetic places, actions and emotions. Hysh is attracted to harmony, Aqshy to anger or passion and Shyish often pools around places of death. He would not know any of this with certainty without focusing harder (making a skill check).
The user could act on this information, for example deciding those merchants are obviously really engaged in their argument and distracted – good to steal from just now.
Focused Magical Sight
Focused magical sight means making a Magical Sight skill check. This is also a manoeuvre.
A Player will often simply convert their action the round they activate magical sight to use it, but if wanting to keep an Action available, they could spend Fatigue to focus magical sight the same round it is opened.
The strength of what is viewed (e.g. power of a spellcaster) does not affect the difficulty of detecting it but rather the range at which it may be seen. Minor effects are visible only from close by, like words on a page, whereas great power (a Wizard Lord casting a great spell) might be detectable a city block away.
The check difficulty is the “level of focus” being brought – it does not change the time taken.
1D – identify a single colour, see the only source of magic in a small area such as one room. A “source of magic” is more than the winds pooling around something they find sympathetic, it is something generating the aura such as a spell, an item, an enchantment.
For example, at this level of focus, the user might see that the colours around the market were as expected except (a) the apple selling girl is surrounded by Ulgu the grey wind – not Hysh. She is the source of an aura. The others are probably (not certainly) just attracting winds briefly, but the apple seller is enchanted, or using a spell, or carrying a magical item – something connected to Ulgu; and (b) the gallows is the source of an aura but its nature is unclear (it is not a simple, single colour) as are the wisps.
Regarding “sources of auras” – because they are well apart in the market, the apple seller and gallows sources are identified. If they had been close together (within the distance they would be in a room) then neither would have been identified as a source as they would have obscured each other. Only that “there is an obscured source or sources” would then have been seen.
2D – identify multiple colours when they are blended, locate different auras in locations where there are multiple auras close together, determine the strength of a magical effect or aura, or identify a spell being cast that the character knows.
For example with this focus a user might identify what the gallows’ aura is, seeing the dark corrupt magic of dhar and finding it powerful – more than just a pooling response to executions, and see that the apple seller’s Ulgu effect is fairly weak, but also more than just pooling, and that all the others are very minor – likely pooling though they could be traces of something. The wisps are combinations of Ghur and Ghyran (the brown and green winds).
3D – this level of focus is needed to learn what a magical effect is intended to do (e.g., what is the magic ring’s effect), to pick out one particular magical aura in an area crowded with magic (such as picking out the only Chaos sorcerer in a room crowded with college wizards), to identify a spell as it is being cast that the user does not know. This level of focus is also required to judge the power of a spellcaster including how much power a spellcaster is currently maintaining.
This level of focus must be brought to bear on a specific target. In the example, the user could use it on one of the apple seller or the gallows. The user could try it again on the one not first chosen.
Choosing the gallows, the user might learn that it has been enchanted to cause all it kills to then rise as zombies under a necromancer’s command (why go to the trouble of digging up graves when you can have the bodies delivered).
Then choosing the apple seller (and of course assuming success again) the user might learn a minor illusion is concealing the fact the apples are all rotted and perhaps poisonous.
Then choosing the wisps, the user might see these are fey sprites that are darting about the market, all but invisible to normal vision, though to what purpose would be unknown. Magical sight may see various supernatural creatures but gives no knowledge of their abilities or intents.
The wisps could just as easily have been someone channelling, drawing winds to them.
4D – this is a special level of focus as there is usually no direct signal calling for its use. For this level of focus is needed to see magic though any obstruction that would block normal vision, tracing a spell back to its source, or detecting the remnants of an aura that is no longer present. As with 3D checks, this must focus must be applied to a specific target or purpose.
For example, using this level of focus a user could examine those arguing merchants just because there have been so many arguments lately. Success might learn that someone cast a magic of Aqshy that inflamed the passions of the merchants to fuel the argument. The spell is over and gone (like a fireball spell that has blasted something) but its effects (the inflamed passions) remain.
Success might also trace the gallows enchantment to its source – once again subject to normal vision requirements. This does not allow simply “locating the necromancer wherever he is” but if the necromancer happened to be standing within sight, even though using a magical effect to cloak himself from normal magic sight (yes there are such things), his connection to the effect could be determined. A simpler example of “tracing to source” would be in an assemblage of wizards when someone uses a cantrip to tip a wineglass over on a rival, a 4d check can determine “who did that!”
A Player is “setting stakes” a bit when declaring the level of focus. Declare a low level of focus and all that might learned is the need to make a more difficult check. Declare a high level of focus and much can be learned with success but the possibility of failure and “learning nothing at all” increases.
Failed checks cannot be followed with rerolls in the same “Act”, the user is unable to focus on that subject just now.
Complex auras are anything that is not a single wind. This includes necromancy and witchcraft – uses of Dhar or dark magic. It also includes many esoteric magics such as Elven High Magic, the song magic of Athel Loren, the strange power of the greenskin Shamans, the powers of Kislevite Ice Magic.
Divine Blessings and Magical Sight
Divine effects vary massively in its appearance. Sometimes a miracle is blinding for onlookers with Magical Sense, as divinity appears to manifest in the Aethyr. At other times, the effects are barely perceptible, with nothing more than a faint, light surrounding the chanting priest.
Your Sight May Vary
How things are perceived using magical sight varies by the onlooker and how they regard what they are seeing.
College mages tend to see things similarly, at least those of the same college, as they have been trained and told what to expect to see. The same is true of any other magical traditions.
However, between traditions and particularly between self-taught sorcerers, small and large differences can exist.
Some whisper that even the division into colours is simply a matter of limited perception.
GM Rolls Challenge Dice
In some situations the GM will roll the challenge dice secretly. A PC trying to identify a spell can roll the dice as they know what they are trying to learn. A PC trying to see if there is or was a spell used at all will have the GM roll their challenge dice for them.
As a house rule, challenge dice are rolled one at a time. This allows a Player to possibly detect easy things even if they would fail to discern more challenging facets of what they see. If they declare 3D, and succeed at 1 and 2 but then fail when 3rd die rolled, the result is they learn what a 1D and 2D check could tell them but not what a 3D check reveals. All fortune dice or other modifying effects must be declared before “starting to roll”.
Magical sight can be risky as the aethyr is a strange and at times alien environment. Each Chaos Star can trigger 1 Stress. This represents the risk of madness that continuous use magical sight would bring.
When the Winds Blow Weaker
In regions closer to the equator the Winds of Magic are usually weaker. This has the effect of reducing “background noise” and making it easier to use magical sight to see what effects are present.
In areas classified as “poor” for winds’ strength, magical sight uses gain three fortune dice.
In areas classified as “very poor”, this becomes two fortune dice and one automatic success hammer.