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The sensory functionality of Mage Sight

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  • The sensory functionality of Mage Sight

    There are a number of elements of Mage sight which nag at me slightly, mostly with regards to the specific functionality of the Periphery and Active levels of Mage Sight, and the manner in which information is perceived. Some of these relate to the different mundane sensory phenomenon through which a Mage can perceive, and the limits for them with regards to their range.

    First and foremost, the effects of the Periphery are somewhat indistinct in the level of information provided. Mages are described as perceiving magical events through the lens of their path, including sight, tactile, auditory and olfactory influences. Some of these, like sight and hearing would seem to be able in many circumstances to detect the specific location and relations of certain phenomenon better than their "touch" and "smell" peers.
    From this, can mages percieve the periphery in terms of more than one sense at a time. For example, a light chiming of bells, and a visual whisp of light to display the presence of magic?
    Also how specific are these senses? Are mages capable of using their periphery to pin down the likely source of Magic? e.g. Can their senses draw them specifically to the individual who just used their abilities? Does a mind-control spell light up both the caster and the target? Or does even visual periphery just fill the entire general area with your sensory effect, such that you'll have to then turn your Active sight on to try and figure out where and what just happened? Also if sight can pin down who just used magic, could olfactory also potentially point you in the right direction?

    In addition, blind users of magic are not overly rare in most fiction, and going by the general use of terminology, Mage does seem to allow for the use of non-visual senses to experience the symbols of the Supernal World while in Active Mage Sight. Does this for example grant a blind mage a kind of visual "sight" with which to see the entirely silent being in front of them, or would they instead be able to "feel" them? Would an apt comparison be as was described in Netflix's Daredevil a "world on fire", constituting their hallucinations of reality based on a combination of all other available senses?
    Also, in Mage Sight can all mages make use of all of their senses? Can a Thyrsus for example feel the presence of life beneath his feet? Can a Moros smell the connection a Ghost has to its Anchor?

    Also, and to me more importantly, are Mages with exceptional senses capable of pushing their Mage Sight to extents further than their peers? Can a blind Mastigos with Mind hear someone's mind from around a corner and feel the weight of their Virtue when it's 'activated' to refresh willpower.
    Also, are magically (or mundanely) enhanced senses capable of being combined with Mage Sight, and if so are there any limits?
    Can you for example sit down with The Outward and Inward Eye active, as well perhaps a Forces spell which enhances the range of perception, then run your auditory mage sight over the city listening for the celestial harmony of a Hallow?

    I would have put this in questions Topic, but I feel this is not one that's easy to answer.

  • #2
    Wow, that's a lot of questions. Many of these have been answered before, but I'll do my best.

    First off, I would say that it would be useful to you to go to the development blog about Mage sight for the upcoming Signs of Sorcery book. It goes into further depth about Mage sight than what is provided by the core rulebook.

    I would say it might be possible for a mage to perceive something supernatural is going on with more than one sense at at time, but it doesn't matter that much since Active and Focused Mage sight are what let mages determine just what it is that pinged their sense. Peripheral mage sight is kind of like radar in a manner of speaking. It says something is there, but it doesn't say what it is. It's unlike radar in the way that you have to be within normal sensory range of whatever it is that you'd be sensing. For instance, you might sense a ghost using it's numina in another room if your mage sight is based more off of hearing than sight, but without Active Mage sight and perhaps even Focused Mage sight (if you haven't observed a ghost using it's numina before), you're not going to know what happened. This is where Mage sight and regular senses differ. With a sound we can oftentimes know exactly what happened. This is usually even more so with watching something happen. Without one of the merits listed within the SoS book, you don't even know what arcana to use in order to observe whatever supernatural phenomenon is happening. You simply have to activate your mage sight and try to figure it out.

    As answered in the previous paragraph, peripheral mage sight cannot pin down a source of the supernatural, but active can so long as you have the appropriate arcanum activated. Focused is capable of finding out what the appropriate arcanum is by a successful revelation roll, but without activating the appropriate arcanum/arcana, that is all you will get.
    Any spell would indeed light up both the caster and the target so long as it isn't veiled. If it is veiled then, if I'm not mistaken, I believe both would be hidden, though you'd get a clash of wills by having the appropriate active mage sight up. Yes, if you perceive magic through the olfactory senses as your active mage sight you could find a source of the supernatural through them. That being said, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that all the different active mage sights provide actual sight upon activation, just colored through the hallucinations and visions you get accompanying them. Ergo, a blind mage could actually see you if he had active mage sight on, but WHAT he sees wouldn't necessarily be what you look like to mundane senses. This would be the part of the story where the clearly blind person turns to look you straight in the eyes. Freaky. ^_^

    As to how many different senses a mage can use, I would say that that is up to the player to decide. I personally think that any mage could probably use all the senses, and it's much more evocative to see a mage pick up a pinch of something and sniff it before tasting, following which he proclaims what it is than to see someone just look around and declare what happened (most the time anyways).

    Hmm, as to pushing their mage sight beyond the sensory range of what others can, I think that would lie within spells. There are already spells listed within the core rule book that stretch a mage's senses beyond the normal. That seems to me to be exactly how a mage would go about that. Zoom in, The Inward and Outward Eye, and Heightened Senses all are appropriate there.

    Yeah, you could totally combine those spells to find a hallow. Just be prepared to have other supernatural things possibly find you when you go looking (yeah, I know, nobody listens to that piece of advice. All mages are too curious to NOT look down the dark ally).