With this mystic power, a vampire can open his perceptions to the psychic auras that surround all sentient creatures. Numerous and often-shifting hues and patterns compose these auras, and it can take many years before a vampire becomes truly proficient at reading them correctly with any degree of regularity. Although the strongest emotions predominate, almost every individual has more than one color to his aura at any given time, and an observer can see any number of streaks or flashes of these other colors. “Psychic colors” change with the subject’s mental or emotional state, creating an ever-moving pattern that is as unique to each person as a fingerprint. As a rule, the more powerful the emotions, the more intense the colors, but even this guideline is betrayed by any number of mitigating factors, depending on circumstance. All the same, practice makes perfect; a true master aura-perceiver learns to understand the significance of each whorl and eddy.
Due to the peculiar nature of such creatures’ auras, this power can be used as a means of detecting other supernatural entities. Vampire auras, for example, tend to be extremely pale, regardless of the colors. Werewolf auras are quite the contrary, nearly frantic in their intensity. Mage auras sparkle with power. Ghostly auras flicker like guttering candles.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy + Auspex – subject’s Composure
Action: Instant (Note that though this is an instant action, it takes more than just a fleeting glance to see the detail in an aura. A character must scrutinize her subject’s aura for two full turns to glean information from it, though only the single, immediate roll is necessary to determine if she can read it successfully.)
Dramatic Failure: The character gleans utterly misleading and wholly inaccurate information.
Failure: The character can distinguish no information at all.
Success: The character perceives a number of colors in the subject’s aura equal to the number of successes obtained on the roll.
Exceptional Success: As per a normal success, with one additional color or degree of emotional intensity discernible to the character.
Note that a failure indicates that no useful information is perceived, while a dramatic failure indicates a false or misleading reading. The Storyteller may therefore wish to make the roll for the player, to keep the true results secret. An Auspex user who observes someone in the act of lying may recognize that the subject speaks falsely. Intelligence + Empathy + Auspex is rolled versus the subject’s Composure in a contested action. The Auspex user recognizes the lie if the most successes are rolled for him.
Applied toward reading the mood of potential combatants, this power also grants its user a bonus to Initiative equal to the number of successes rolled in activating the effect. Doing so requires that the vampire speaks to or is in the proximity of intended combatants for at least one turn before a fight breaks out. That period of interaction allows the reading vampire to recognize that events are about to turn violent, so he can react with advanced knowledge.
Angry Bright Red
Calm Light Blue
Desirous/Lustful Deep Red
Distrustful Light Green
Envious Dark Green
Lovestruck Bright Blue
Obsessed Bright Green
Suspicious Dark Blue
Confused Mottled, shifting colors
Daydreaming Sharp, flickering colors
Diablerist Black veins in aura
Dominated/Controlled Weak, muted aura
Frenzied Rapidly rippling colors
Psychotic Hypnotic, swirling colors
Vampire Aura colors are pale
Shapeshifter Intensely vibrant aura
Ghost Splotchy, intermittent aura
Magic Use Myriad sparkles in aura
The number of dice added to or removed from the dice pool is determined by the amount of information the character wishes to discern.
+2 Power is turned on a vampire with whom the user has a blood tie (see p. 162)
— The shade (such as pale, bright or weak), but not the color of the aura.
-1 The primary shade and color.
-2 Color patterns, including information revealing the nature of the creature.
-3 Subtle shifts in the mixtures of color and pattern. Thus, if a reader wants to study the subtle shifts in the mixtures of color and pattern in a subject’s aura, the player suffers a -3 penalty. Each success rolled thereafter offers one piece of information in that regard. Two successes might indicate that a ghoul swings from love to hate toward his mistress (bright blue to black), and is envious of a fellow ghoul (dark green).