Second Sight Material
Cut from an Early Draft
by Conrad Hubbard
I was one of the
authors who co-wrote the World of Darkness book Second Sight under freelance
contract with White Wolf Publishing. In one of my early drafts, I included
a Thaumaturge Merit called "The Last Spell". The developer
asked me to remove it, and I had to write new material to take its place
- in other words it was not part of the word count for which I was paid.
Unfortunately, somehow, a reference to the Merit remained in the drafts
and turned up in the final printing on page 102 of the book. Fans on
the White Wolf forums have asked about the Merit, and I indicated that
if I could find the text of it then I would post it here on my website.
The Last Spell (•)
Prerequisite: Thaumaturge template, magic powers or supernatural
Effects: For supernaturally endowed beings the second sight is
a mixed blessing, as the horrors of the World of Darkness are laid bare
to them in a manner normal people manage to ignore. For some, insight
into the dark secrets of the world is simply too much to bear. Terrified
by the truth, or tired of facing it everyday, they turn their backs
to the revelation that there is more to reality than might be explained
by an unenlightened worldview, and seek to return their previous state
There are no traditions of magicians who actively teach this rite –
it is for this reason that the Merit has intentionally not been listed
as available to the various thaumaturge paths. Nonetheless, there are
always individuals whose eyes are opened to the supernatural and whose
reaction is terror, or at least enormous discomfort. For some, merely
abandoning the lifestyle is sufficient. Taoist alchemists might bury
themselves in the gross materialism of mercantile drudgery, shamans
may crush their sacred visions beneath drunken stupors and practitioners
of Vodun could forsake their spiritual lifestyle in favor of a prosaic
cult of modern fundamentalism. For others, willful pretense is not enough
– magic got them into this and it must remove them as well. They
seek formal renouncement of magic like Shakespeare’s Prospero
breaking his staff. Such unfortunates may record their rituals of escape
in discarded journals or those following in their footsteps may be forced
to collate this wisdom from scattered records.
To enact this ritual the caster must roll his Resolve + Composure and
overcome his own Intelligence + Wits in a contested action. Each dot
of Occult he possesses subtracts one die from his roll. If he succeeds
in his action, the caster loses all access to magical powers, the thaumaturge
template and supernatural Merits. The loss is indefinite – unless
the caste somehow regains his power it is gone forever.
Dice Pool: Resolve + Composure vs. Intelligence + Wits (contested)
Ritual Length: Long
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dramatic Failure: The thaumaturge loses control of his magical
powers for at least one day’s time, but does not manage to excise
them. The Storyteller should probably have the character exhibit various
magical abilities the caster normally possesses in a manner that demonstrates
such powers still exist but have passed temporarily out of the control
of their user. While the thaumaturge can try again, he cannot do so
until his control of magic returns.
Failure: The ritual fails to produce any effect.
Success: The character loses access to all magical traits indefinitely.
Exceptional Success: The thaumaturge removes her access to all
magical traits and makes great strides towards truly returning to mundane
life. The Storyteller should consider allowing the character to exchange
some of her magical traits for Experience to be immediately spent upon
suitable mundane traits.
Ritual Details: The caster symbolically destroys his connection
to magic in a highly personal demonstration. Some thaumaturges may perform
such simple gestures as breaking a sign of power, while others may elaborately
bind their magic to a physical emblem and consign it to fire, thereby
returning the magical energy to the rest of the world.
Drawback: Forgetting your magical lore doesn’t protect
you from the supernatural or from past brushes with the extraordinary.
Life as a mundane mortal may turn out peacefully or it may be disrupted
by magical beings which still recognize the magician even if she does
not recognize them.
is copyright © Conrad Hubbard.
References to original creations of White Wolf
or others are not challenges to their copyrights
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