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Second Sight Source Book for nWOD

  

All mortals are born equal, but some are more equal than other! Many people have had glimpses into the shadow, only some know what they saw. Second Sight is a resource for bringing supernatural powers into your game without using one of the supernatural lines. Werewolves, vampires and all the other big names are cool, but sometimes you don’t want to have to deal with the back-story and complicated mechanics and character creation. Sometimes you just want a few powers for the PCs or the NPCs to feel a bit special, other times you want the antagonists to be completely unknown (not as easy to do when your players have been reading every source book out for that line since its release). It is for these times that this book is for, a collection of paranormal phenomena that fall between the cracks between the main supernatural games.

 

 Second Sight

Chapter One: Not Normal

 

At first glance this chapter seems pretty pointless, of course your characters are “not normal”, it’s the World of Darkness, no-one is normal! However, if you do start reading, you realise that, if you could only read one chapter from this book (or indeed most of the other books in the mortal line) then it’s this one that is the most important. It talks about how people react to discovering they have powers beyond the norm, and how others will react to them. I can’t help but think of the X-men when I was reading this, hiding their powers from the population at large, living secret lives in fear of persecution. In fact, with the powers found in the rest of this book, you could run a pretty decent super heroes game, closer to the TV show Heroes than Justice League of America, but still an interesting use of the material. 

 

 

Chapter Two: Psychic Phenomena

 

ESP, clairvoyance, call it what you like, this chapter details the powers of the mind. It starts with a history of psychic phenomena which was a fascinating read and there is a Story Hook side bar on almost every page. There are page after page of psychic merits, a new range of powers from mind-reading to pyrokinesis, all separated into different schools of psychic powers; ESP, Mediumist, Psychokinetic, Telepathic and other. 

 

 

Chapter Three: Low Magic

 

Anyone who plays Mage: the Awakening will be used to magic being incredibly powerful and the people who can use it being capable of some very impressive effects. This section is not that. It is indeed low magic compared to its more elaborate Atlantean cousin and, to be cynical, is pretty much just a list of spells. However, once you have got over this, you realise what you get is a handful of new minor templates to choose from, that fits the more stereotypical view of magic users. Voodoo priest, mystic martial artists, witches with pointy hats are all covered in this section. Each one gets a good page or two description, including how they view and use magic. Once you have chosen your type of mystic, there is then a long list of spells (picked in the same way as merits) that allow you to customise your character. This is a great section for designing NPCs as well as providing some relatively simple ways of using magic (have you ever actually tried playing Mage?). 

 

 

Chapter Four: Reality-Bending Horrors 

 

This chapter discusses other-worldly horrors and the folk who worship them; creatures or powers that defy comprehension. Running a game with an alien intelligence as the main villain comes with a whole range of considerations and pitfalls that could trip up a inexperienced storyteller, getting the theme right and presenting the power is key to getting the game right. Get it wrong and the players will either not notice whats going on or feel unable to effect the out come of the game. A fine balance between feeling helpless and being helpless is a hard thing to achieve but this chapter gives some expert advice that will steer you in the right direction. The section on cultist and worshippers contains loads of powers they can be blessed with, making for some devilish NPC or even a very different path for the players to take. But it is the advice that makes this chapter stand out, how to pace the game, introduce the different elements include cultists, as well as sources for the unearthly powers are all tips that will improve your horror gaming no end. 

 

 

Appendix: What Thou Wilt 

 

This is a readymade-adventure that is presented in a different format to the vast majority of adventures I have read or run. The specific details, locations, names, order of specific scenes, are not included. Instead it describes the key plot points and the order they occur in, it describes the characters in terms of how they relate to the PCs rather than by their profession, name or any other specific details. This means that the story can be tailored to suit the group who will be playing it, whether it is as a one of adventure or as part of a long-running campaign, and the roles filled with NPC the players will already know. This flexibility works well and not only could it fit in with any group (pretty much) but each group will have a radically different experience with it. I ran this with a friend to introduce him to the World of Darkness and he was hooked immediately. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Second Sight does not replace the supernatural lines, and probably won’t be of much use much of this book, except chapter 4 probably. However, if you are playing a mortals game, this book will expand it the possibilities open to you no end. Interesting NPCs, exciting villains, new lesser templates for players as well as advice for running games are all presented here, it is an invaluable resource. 

 

5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended 

 

You may also like to read:

 

World of Darkness Core Book God Machine Chronicle Vampire: Requiem for Rome Wereolf: The Forsaken

 

Want to try another system?

RIFTS: Ultimate Edition Witchcraft Dark Heresy Call of Cthulhu