Insight Gifts

[ 1 ] Sense Malice ( Werewolf: The Forsaken — Page 122 )

Cost: None

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy + Wisdom versus subject’s Composure + Primal Urge

Action: Contested; resistance is reflexive

Hatred has its own scent. The werewolf using this Gift is particularly sensitive to the malice that lurks in other people’s hearts, and he can smell a soul tainted with hatred, anger or envy as easily as a predator can catch the smell of prey. This Gift is frequently used on the hunt as a means of locating a potential threat to a werewolf’s family or territory, but it also has uses as a warning against potential danger. This Gift does not detect the presence of all negative emotions, only those that are powerful enough to have a grip on the mind of a subject. A man who is irritated that he’s been turned down by a girl doesn’t register. A man angry that his girlfriend left him might be barely noticeable, while a man who caught his wife cheating on him with his best friend certainly qualifies. A mass murderer or serial killer might not register to this Gift unless he actively experiences a flood of negative emotion. This Gift works only on targets that a werewolf is close enough to scent normally (usually within the same room). This Gift doesn’t require physical scent, and powerful odors do not obscure the ability to detect malice. This power does not usually tell the user what has actually happened to a subject or why he is incensed, simply that he is. If the subject’s Vice is Wrath or Envy, a +1 bonus is gained on the activation roll. The Gift user automatically senses the presence of anger or hatred in spirits that are the literal embodiments of such negative emotions (no roll is required). If a person or object is possessed by a spirit of anger, hatred or malice, a normal activation roll is required, but it gains a +3 bonus. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the strength of the emotion experienced may merit an additional bonus or penalty die, although not more than one.

Dramatic Failure: The character receives misleading information. She might sense intense anger in a subject who is only mildly annoyed, or she might be convinced that a would-be murderer is utterly without malice.

Failure: An equal number or the most successes are rolled for the subject. The character distinguishes no information, though she is aware of her failure.

Success: The most successes are rolled for the Gift user. She senses the presence of unusually strong aggression, hatred or anger. She can identify which specific person is the source of the emotion.

Exceptional Success: The most successes — five or more — are rolled for the Gift user. She intuitively understands the source of emotion and can determine the cause to some degree, though not with complete accuracy. She might perceive, “My mate betrayed me,” but not, “My wife cheated on me with the beat cop on our street.”

[ 2 ] Scent Of Taint ( Werewolf: The Forsaken — Page 123 )

Cost: None

Dice Pool: Wits + Occult + Purity

Action: Instant (Subjects must be intentionally sought after; they are not detected simply for passing or being nearby.)

The smell of supernatural influence emanates from beings that are beyond human and mundane. A werewolf who knows this Gift can detect the presence of supernatural beings. Specifically, the user can detect powers in his vicinity that defy the natural order of the physical and spirit worlds, so that vampires, ghouls, mages, acolytes and beings bestowed or imbued with unnatural capabilities are evident. Scent of Taint does not indicate or set apart — and cannot be used to recognize — any of the Uratha or the wolf-blooded. Nor can it be used to detect supernatural objects or places. Using this Gift to track a supernatural being offers a +2 bonus to rolls made for the effort. The Storyteller is advised to make activation rolls on a player’s behalf so that the sense of mystery about nearby beings is maintained, based on whether success or failure occurs. If a supernatural being uses a power to hide its presence or true nature, a contested roll is required between the use of that power and the activation roll of this Gift. (The roll is reflexive for the subject.) If the rolls tie or the most successes are rolled for the hiding subject, he goes undetected. The power works only in the material world and cannot detect disembodied spirits or ghosts trapped in it. If such spirits or ghosts possess a host and grant her magical capabilities, the subject can be sniffed out.

Dramatic Failure: The character receives misleading information. She might believe a supernatural being is nearby when it’s not, or she might believe none are near when they are.

Failure: Nothing is detected.

Success: The character recognizes the scent of some strange being in her proximity. The creature must be within 10 yards for each dot of Wits the user has to be detected at all. One roll can be made per turn to determine if the being remains present or has left the vicinity. The precise nature of the being cannot be determined. Nor can the specific identity of the being if the Gift user is in a crowd.

Exceptional Success: The specific individual who is “off” is recognizable, although his specific identity as a supernatural being — vampire, mage or something else — cannot be determined.

Suggested Modifiers: Gift user has previously encountered this individual being (not supernatural type; i.e., “Jason Volk,” not “a vampire”) (+1); Outdoors calm weather (-1); Outdoors windy or drizzling (-2); Outdoors snowing or raining (-3); Multiple supernatural beings (apart from Gift user) in area (-3); In a crowded area (nightclub, subway station, downtown lunch rush) (-4).

[ 3 ] Echo Dream ( Werewolf: The Forsaken — Page 123 )

Cost: 1 Essence

Dice Pool: Wits + Investigation + Honor

Action: Instant

Werewolves quickly learn that events in the physical world echo in the spirit world, leaving strange psychic impressions. A werewolf who has earned this Gift has gained the ability to sense these echoes, even ones long past. By holding or handling an object, or resting her hand against a wall or tree, the Forsaken can sense spirit echoes of the object or area’s recent past. These echoes are couched in the symbolic language of the spirit world but often convey sharper truth than any forensics report might. This Gift doesn’t work on sentient creatures, who generate their own spirit echoes. An attempt to use Echo Dream to read the recent past of a person results in contradictory, nonsensical images.

Dramatic Failure: The character is overwhelmed with violent and contradictory visions from the area and loses a point of Willpower.

Failure: The character receives mere useless flickers or no vision at all.

Success: The character receives some vision of the most significant thing that has involved the object or immediate area (no larger than a medium-sized room). Death usually leaves the most significant spirit echo, although powerful bursts of pain or negative emotion also register. Echoes rarely linger for more than a few years, although that depends on the intensity of the events involved. A knife that killed someone a hundred years ago might not possess an echo any longer, while a sacrificial dagger that cut out a thousand hearts five centuries ago might still trigger a powerful vision of blood and darkness.The vision is frequently couched in symbolic visual language, a side effect of the interconnectedness of many spirit concepts. For example, a gun that was used by a hunter to fire a silver bullet into a werewolf might project the sound of a gunshot and the image of the full moon cracking and bleeding. A successful Intelligence + Occult roll might be required to interpret a vision. This Gift cannot be used successfully more than once on any one object or place by the same character.

Exceptional Success: The vision is exceptionally clear and provides additional information that the character might not expect. In the case of the gun used to shoot a werewolf, the character might receive an accurate vision of the hunter’s face.

[ 4 ] Soul Read ( Werewolf: The Forsaken — Page 124 )

Cost: 1 Essence

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy + Purity versus subject’s Resolve + Primal Urge

Action: Contested; resistance is reflexive

At increasing levels of perception, a Gift of Insight can lay bare the darkest secrets of a person’s soul. The character can look directly into the heart of a subject, reading the worst fears, secrets and sins hidden there.

Dramatic Failure: The character is inadequately prepared to look on the totality of a person’s being. She is temporarily overwhelmed and loses a point of Willpower.

Failure: An equal number or the most successes are rolled for the subject. The Gift user fails to see far enough to uncover any secrets.

Success: The most successes are rolled for the Gift user. She gains knowledge of one of the subject’s secrets, fears or weaknesses per success rolled. These are details that the subject doesn’t want to become public knowledge. A memory of committing an act of sexual abuse, an abiding fear of rejection or the location of something dear (such as a vampire’s haven) are all fair game. This Gift doesn’t provide information that the user already knows. If she’s already aware that her target is a warlock, the Gift doesn’t count that fact as a “secret” to be revealed. The Gift may, however, confirm a piece of information that the character had only guessed at before.

Exceptional Success: The most successes — five or more — are rolled for the Gift user. The subject instinctively senses that the werewolf knows, and she suffers a -1 penalty to all Social rolls made to influence or resist her for the remainder of the scene.

[ 5 ] Omen Gazing ( Werewolf: The Forsaken — Page 124 )

Cost: 1 Essence

Dice Pool: Resolve + Occult + Glory

Action: Extended (15 successes required; each roll represents one minute spent in a trance)

With this Gift, the werewolf has developed an inner sight so powerful that it can actually catch glimpses of the future. The character enters a meditative trance, clearing her mind of everything but darkness in order to welcome the visions. She might receive warning of an impending attack, foretell the arrival of a potential ally or even watch a betrayal unfold before it happens. Viewing the future accurately is impossible, though. No vision is guaranteed to come true. Worse, visions gained are more often signs of ominous events than they are promises of good fortune. Whether this is because the Gift’s “eyesight” is through a dark lens, or simply a cold reflection of the hard truths of a werewolf’s existence, none can say. A character may not attempt Omen Gazing more than once in any 24-hour period.

Dramatic Failure: The vision fails automatically and the character cannot try again for 24 hours.

Failure: No successes are gained for the minute. If no successes are gained in three consecutive rolls, no vision comes, although another attempt can be made.

Success: The character catches a glimpse of a potential event in her near future — anywhere from 24 hours to one week. The vision lasts for roughly a turn’s worth of viewing — enough time to watch a man gun down a packmate, a car carrying a loved one swerve and crash or an elder hail a dangerous spirit. The vision is usually clear enough to make out details, though the details might be misleading. For example, a body face-down in the river, wearing a packmate’s jacket, might turn out be the corpse of a friend who borrowed the jacket. This Gift is a means of gaining a potential warning, nothing more.

Exceptional Success: The vision lasts for up to a minute.

Insight Gifts

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