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Is someone watching me?

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  • Is someone watching me?

    How would one construct a spell to detect spying? I don't mean detecting scrying spells, but rather detecting that one is being observed by a conscious mind, whether from across the street through a telescope, over a street camera, or via a spy satellite? How would awakened magic duplicate an informative effect of feeling like one is being watched?

  • #2
    Most spells would detect only whether someone within the area of the spell is trying to detect you. It is surprisingly difficult for Mages to detect if someone is using a camera to look at them.

    For detecting if a person in your immediate vicinity is spying on you, a MInd spell could tell you if someone nearby is thinking a certain thing. A Life spell could tell you if someone is in the right state of alertness that they're tracking someone, albeit not necessarily you. A Space or Fate spell could reveal via sympathies, however weak and transitory.

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    • #3
      Oaths Fulfilled cast on yourself as the subject, keyed to "When I'm being watched discretely." It wouldn't provide any more helpful information than that, but it's something.

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      • #4
        Forces spell to detect the radio signals that a wireless camera or listening device would leave.

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        • #5
          Look into your own future, when you might possess that knowledge. Divination, "Will I learn that someone was spying on me?" A "Yes" answer is perfectly clear. A "no" answer is ambiguous.

          I would also expect a Knowing Matter+Forces spell to be able to detect surveillance devices targeting your character in the spell's range.

          EDIT:

          You can just use Fate magic to prevent surveillance by devices. Use Fate to simulate the effect that vampires enjoy:

          A vampire does not lack a reflection. You just never see her in the mirror. The Beast knows precisely where to stand. A vampire is not a blurred mess in a photograph, but for some reason, never seems to look at the camera, or the flash smears the image, or it goes over- or under-exposed.
          Last edited by galivet; 04-18-2017, 10:14 PM.

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          • #6
            Use some kind of mind/space spell to determine people's true emotional reaction to things you do. Yell "I know you're watching me" as angrily as you can. See if anyone responds with shock or fear.

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            • #7
              Space, as one of the major Arcana that govern perception, should have means of detecting eavesdropping. I mean the Seer ministry of Space is called Panopticon for a reason, you know?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                Oaths Fulfilled cast on yourself as the subject, keyed to "When I'm being watched discretely." It wouldn't provide any more helpful information than that, but it's something.
                I thought this might work, but the spell specifies that it only works if the triggering event is something the mage could perceive if present. I could cast the spell on someone to alert me when that person specifically spied on me, but there is nothing I can see when being spied on that would let the spell tell me if that I am being spied on.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Solarious View Post
                  Space, as one of the major Arcana that govern perception, should have means of detecting eavesdropping. I mean the Seer ministry of Space is called Panopticon for a reason, you know?
                  I can't see how space could detect perception if space magic is not specifically being used to enable the perception.
                  I feel like some combination of Fate (to detect a condition) plus Mind (conscious perceiving mind) should work, but I can figure it out.

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                  • #10
                    Use Correspondence (Space) with the +2 Reach option to specify the connection you wish to uncover in general terms. "the being that is observing me". You will find one observer per rank of Potency. This spell is not Withstood.

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                    • #11
                      Of course, they'd also need to have sympathy to yourself, which is probably not the case unless you're spied on by coworkers, friends, family or being spied on through a spell targeting you specifically. Sympathy is gained through repeated and/or intimate interaction between two people and/or objects. Unless the spy has been tailing you for a long time just observing you wouldn't cause sympathy.

                      However, coupling that with an AoE Mind spell that alerts you whenever someone in that specific area is knowingly observing you and you've covered almost all angles. Only people spying from outside the AoE without casting a spell on you (whether it's via binoculars, cameras or scrying spells that don't target you specifically) would not ping either spell.

                      But if you want true blanket knowledge about all observers Fate should be the most reasonable Arcanum to use. Though I'm personally unsure if it's possible or not.
                      Last edited by Tessie; 04-20-2017, 09:02 AM.


                      Bloodline: The Stygians

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by galivet View Post
                        Use Correspondence (Space) with the +2 Reach option to specify the connection you wish to uncover in general terms. "the being that is observing me". You will find one observer per rank of Potency. This spell is not Withstood.
                        Interesting question, does observation make sympathetic connections, then this is valid though as a storyteller I'd require the question to be more finely turned because skins mites, rodents and various other creatures fall under the umbrella 'being' makes defining the imago and defining terms important to filter out some information. Knowing the imago's filters help know what does and does not fall under a spells purview.


                        My phrasing would be like this "beings able to recognize me which are currently observing what they recognize to be me".

                        That's still pretty vague and catches those looking at pictures of me with sympathetic links to me. There would need to be some kind of prioritization to know which come up first.
                        Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 04-20-2017, 11:09 AM.


                        “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                        "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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                        • #13
                          A sympathetic connection definitely requires a more intimate interaction than just observation. Unless the person is stalking you during a period of time (not necessarily very long, but more than a one off thing), in which case the connection would be defined as stalker/stalking victim. However, once a spy does spy enough to form a sympathetic connection you'd be able to discover it. Only problem, which I realised now, is that the connection would be defined stalker without showing whether or not the stalker is actually spying at the moment. So you wouldn't be able to determine if they're spying on you unless you actively scry on them.
                          Last edited by Tessie; 04-20-2017, 11:08 AM.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
                            That's still pretty vague and catches those looking at pictures of me with sympathetic links to me. There would need to be some kind of prioritization to know which come up first.
                            A picture of you doesn't necessarily carry a Sympathetic connection to you and thus wouldn't be able to grant a Sympathetic connection to you for the person looking at it. In particular a picture taken by a person who is stalking you wouldn't carry any Sympathetic connection at all. It has neither been yours, or something important to you, you won't feel any need to replace it and you're not acquainted with it in anyway.

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                            • #15
                              What about combining Incognito Presence with a Mind knowing spell that alerts you when someone within range of you makes a clash of wills? I'm almost positive I've read more than one argument about if/when you are aware of clashes and the answer has been that you don't unless it's another supernatural power contesting a spell that you haven't relinquished, but a separate spell that actively looks for them doesn't seem out of the question.

                              That doesn't really help with cameras being monitored remotely, however. Finding cameras is pretty easy, but telling if anyone is paying attention to them at the moment seems trickier.

                              It's sort of bothering me that an eye and a camera are similar in a symbolic way that should be exploitable by awakened magic, but I can't quite figure out how to express that mechanically.

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