The Cities of Eternal Fog
The Kindred’s powers of perception have progressed to the point that he can pick up psychic impressions from objects simply by handling them for a moment or two. Such impressions can tell the vampire who last held the object, when it was last held and even what was done with it in the past. These psychic impressions typically come in the form of quick and cryptic images, and as with other Auspex powers, learning how to decipher the information gleaned can be a task all its own. Most impressions (and therefore, most visuals stemming from them) pertain to the last person who handled the object in question, but two circumstances usually preclude such a reading. First, a long-time owner or handler of the object leaves stronger impressions than someone who handled it briefly, if more recently. Second, experiences associated with great emotion — be it hate, passion or fear — often linger in the form of intense psychic impressions on objects. It is these impressions that likely come to the fore over anything more recent or, in all likelihood, far less emotionally significant.
All that is required in order to glean information from an object by using this power is that the vampire turn the item over in his hands (or otherwise handle it) for a few moments, during which he enters a shallow trance. This trance is the gateway through which psychic snapshots arrive, and anything that prematurely disrupts the trance likely prevents any useful information from being received.
Dice Pool: Wits + Occult + Auspex
Dramatic Failure: A dramatic failure indicates the psychic equivalent of a “mixed message” or a very believable but entirely false impression.
Failure: Failure indicates that no impressions come through.
Success: Success yields a sense of the previous handler or owner’s identity, as well as a reliable vision or sense of the memory in question.
Exceptional Success: An exceptional success provides a comprehensive or extended chronological understanding of the event and its participants, such as an entire slideshow of images pertaining to the object and its past.
This power can also be used to glimpse the past of another. The subject must be touched, which could require a roll if the subject is resistant (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 157). A contested roll of Wits + Occult + Auspex versus the subject’s Resolve + Blood Potency is made. The subject’s roll is reflexive, and he does not know that past events in his existence are perceived. If the reader gets the most successes, a vision is received of the subject’s past, all from the subject’s perspective. With no timeframe or criteria for the event witness, the last dramatic, tense or passionate act performed or experienced by the subject is glimpsed. If a specific timeframe or event is focused on, the Auspex user’s roll suffers a -1 penalty for each night that has passed since the event. Therefore, witnessing a feeding that the subject performed three nights before imposes a -3 penalty to the contested roll made for the reading vampire.
Dramatic Failure: Events witnessed from the subject’s eyes are misinterpreted. He seems to have been attacked rather than to have initiated an attack, for example.
Failure: The contested roll is lost or tied. No impressions come through.
Success: The most successes are rolled for the reading character. A distorted and blurred glimpse of the event or situation in question passes through his mind. He is left with an intuitive, general understanding of what transpired.
Exceptional Success: The reading character wins the contested roll with five or more successes. An instantaneous glimpse of the event or situation in question passes through his mind. He implicitly understands every aspect of what happened, essentially as if he were there in the subject’s stead. The reader doesn’t acquire any new traits or capabilities — say, if the subject committed diablerie. The reader simply knows what transpired.
+2 Power is turned on a vampire with whom the user has a blood tie (see p. 162)
+1 The character has drawn a psychic impression from the object or person before.
— Recent and intense (a murder weapon used four hours ago, or a murder was committed).
-1 Recent but mild, or old and intense (a dusty family heirloom in a chest).
-2 Emotionally shallow or long forgotten (a leisure suit found at a secondhand clothing store).
-3 Disconnected or spiritually muted (a set of keys found several weeks ago).
-3 Object or person read amid a fight or other stressful circumstance.