Seers for In Nomine

by Jonathan Lang


In Nomine goes to great lengths to draw contrasts between angels and demons, saying that demons are inherently selfish beings driven by Will, while angels are inherently selfless beings empowered by Perception. Furthermore, it goes on to describe sorcery as a discipline in which a supremely self-centered human bends the Symphony to his Will. A seer, then, would be a human who uses her Perception-based arts to communicate with the Symphony.

Seers and Sorcerers

Seers are often confused with sorcerers. It's easy to do, really; both seers and sorcerers practice arts that are heavily steeped in rituals, and both of the arts are strictly the domain of human practitioners. Indeed, there's a certain amount of overlap in the skills that each art makes available. Add the fact that most humans can't distinguish between sorcery, enchantment, and Songs, and the confusion is hardly surprising.

However, there are some significant differences between seers and sorcerers. While angels are immune to sorcery, they are generally not immune to soothsaying; fortunately, a seer's arts are usually less confrontational than sorcery, so angels who know the difference tend to be more lenient toward them.

The most fundamental difference between seers and sorcerers, however, lies in their respective attitudes. Sorcery is an inherently selfish art, and sorcerers are often loners as a result. Seers, on the other hand, are perceptive, which generally facilitates community and teamwork.

That said, it is possible in theory to be both a seer and a sorcerer. These "hybrids" are probably not even as common as Bright Lilim are, if they exist at all; the underlying attitudes probably conflict too much. But they are possible.

Seers and Prophets

Seers are also commonly confused with prophets; after all, both of them experience visions that are in some sense true. The most noticeable difference is that a seer's visions are self-induced, while a prophet has no control over his or her visions. A more subtle difference is that a prophet's visions are of Divine origin, while a seer's visions only might be.

Seers and the War

Seers are typically aligned with the ethereals; those who aren't are typically aligned with Heaven or unaffiliated. Very few seers actively support Hell; the requisite selfishness goes against their grain. Gabriel is the Heavenly patron of seers; those seers whom she personally Illuminates join the ranks of the Ignes (this is a subtle change from Superiors 3: Hope and Prophecy, where all Ignes are sorcerers). Blandine, Litheroy, and Yves are all supporters of seers, although Yves tends to be rather reserved about this; likewise, Dominic greatly dislikes seers (probably due to their all-too-common pagan beliefs), while David likes the way that they usually promote cooperation, and thus tends to tolerate them.

On the other side, Malphas is the most bitter enemy that seers have, for much the same reasons that David tolerates them; their potential to promote communication and cooperation runs directly counter to his Word. Kronos would love to corrupt seers as he has sorcerers, but thus far hasn't had much success overall. Nonetheless, individual seers are no more immune to their fates than anyone else is.

New Attunements

Second Sight

This attunement is only available to humans, and is further limited to humans with a minimum Perception of 6. It allows the human to perform soothsaying rituals, although rituals that require Essence expenditures can only be performed if the seer is Symphonically aware (making Symphonic Awareness virtually a requirement as well). Angels with the Illumination attunement can grant the Second Sight attunement, or it can be gained through the Vision Quest ritual.


A Servitor Attunement of Gabriel, this allows the angel to grant the Second Sight attunement to a human without the need to go through a vision quest. Like its sorcerous counterpart, Infernal Pact, it still requires the human to spend 10 character points for the attunement -- or he may elect to become a Servant of the angel. However, the latter choice is rarely made. Unlike Infernal Pact, Illumination neither damns nor blesses the human.

Soothsaying Skills

Soothsaying skills follow the same game mechanics as sorcerous skills. Seers have access to the following skills:



The ability to loan your body to a spirit as a host. Seers with this skill are greatly valued among spirits without vessels, as they provide a way for them to interact with the corporeal realm.



The ability to communicate with spirits, be they celestials, ethereals, or human souls.



Allows for scrying, object-reading, and predicting the future.



This skill is almost identical to its sorcerous counterpart; the only distinction is that they have slightly different sets of rituals. Focus is the only Soothsaying skill that doesn't affect angels or relievers. Seers can learn Focus rituals from sorcerers, and vice versa, with a few exceptions: seers can't use Sacrifice for Essence or Siphon Essence, and sorcerers can't use any of the new rituals listed here. Of course, the mythical sorcerous seer could learn them all . . .


Channeling Rituals



This ritual enables a willing spirit of the seer's choice to possess her as per the Song of Possession. The level of the ritual is based on the spirit you wish to channel:

Hosting differs from channeling in that the host retains volition, mostly; treat it as per the Shedite resonance, but measured in minutes rather than days. Ethereal spirits, angels, and demons may be channeled or hosted by name if the seer knows their true name and her Channeling skill is high enough; subtract the check digit from the Essence cost in this case, with a minimum Essence cost of 1.

Finally, there are the legendary levels: at Channeling/7 or higher, it might be possible to channel a soul from Heaven or Hell -- although the latter wouldn't be advisable, as channeling an anguished soul is likely to have deleterious effects on the seer's sanity. It is impossible to channel or host a soul residing in the Higher Heavens; it is possible to channel souls from the Lower Hells, but stupid doesn't even begin to describe this stunt.
Time: 10 minutes
Essence: the the highest of the spirit's Corporeal, Ethereal, or Celestial Forces

Communion Rituals



This ritual allows the seer to attach a message to a bit of Essence and to send it to a spirit, much like the Celestial Song of Tongues; if two points of Essence are sent, the recipient may send one of them back as a reply, unless it's in Limbo.

Communing with minor ethereal spirits (8 or fewer Forces) is a Communion/1 ritual; relievers or demonlings require Communion/2; major ethereal spirits require Communion/3, and angels or demons require Communion/4.

Commune with Human Soul


This ritual works just like Commune, but with any human, dead or alive. Exceptions: souls in the Higher Heavens won't reply; souls in the Lower Hells can't; and the undead won't even receive the message. Humans who aren't aware of the Symphony won't know how to reply.
Time: one minute
Essence: 1 or 2

Invoke Superior


The seer can evoke an Archangel or Demon Prince by name; this is handled using the same mechanics as celestials invoking Superiors. This ritual must be learned separately for each Superior; the -10 penalty applies if the seer is using the wrong ritual.
Time: one minute
Essence: 3

Divination Rituals

See Celestial Form


This "ritual" lets the seer add Divination to her Perception when rolling to perceive a celestial form.
Time: instantaneous
Essence: none

Read History


Gives a vision about something in the subject's past; if the seer has a question in mind while performing the ritual, the vision will have something to do with that question. A CD of 1 shows something vaguely associated with the question, while a CD of 6 will be as close to a direct answer as is possible.
Time: one minute
Essence: The further into the past the vision can reach, the more Essence is required: 1 for hours, 2 for days, 3 for weeks, 4 for months, 5 for years, 6 for decades, 7 for centuries. The vision may not reach anywhere near that far in practice, but the Essence cost must be paid "in advance," as it were.

Foretell Future


Gives a vision about something in the subject's future. Note that Foretell Future only deals with what the future will be barring celestial interference.
Time: one minute
Essence: The further into the future the vision can show, the more Essence is required: 1 for minutes, 2 for tens of minutes, 3 for hours, 4 for days, 5 for weeks, 6 for months, 7 for years. The Essence cost is based on the seer's "best guess" as to how far in the future the vision will reach; if he or she doesn't provide enough Essence, the attempt automatically fails; if she provides too much, the ritual works as advertised, leaving the seer none the wiser.



Similar to the Song of Affinity, but slower and (generally) more costly.
Time: 15 minutes
Essence: 1 if it is within yards of the seer, 2 if within tens of yards, 3 if hundreds of yards, 4 if miles, 5 if tens of miles, 6 if hundreds of miles, 7 if thousands of miles



Lets the seer see a vision of the target and its surroundings.
Time: 15 minutes -- 2 * the check digit
Essence: 1 if it is within yards of the seer, 2 if within tens of yards, 3 if hundreds of yards, 4 if miles, 5 if tens of miles, 6 if hundreds of miles, 7 if thousands of miles

Read Aura


Works like the Elohite resonance when used on a human, showing each emotion as a different color; it also detects if the subject is Symphonically Aware, and the aura's intensity varies with the amount of Essence the subject has. When used on a vessel or host, the human sees the celestial form superimposed; ethereals appear as their "ethereal form."
Time: 15 minutes
Essence: check digit

New Focus Rituals

Sense Tether


This simple ritual detects Tethers. Detecting a stabilized Tether is a level 1 ritual; detecting an uncontrolled Tether requires Focus/2; detecting a Tether as it is being formed requires Focus/3; determining which (if any) Word(s) could acquire a Tether in the region requires Focus/4. The CD determines how much information the seer gains -- a 1 merely alerts her to its presence, while a 6 tells her exactly where it is, what Word (if any) it's controlled by, and what condition it's in.
Time: 30 minutes
Essence: check digit

Tap Tether


The seer may draw Essence from a Tether if she is in its locus; doing so will, however, alert the Seneschal to her presence. If successful, the seer gains Essence equal to two * the check digit. The exact elements of the ritual depend on the Tether in question -- choose one Rite appropriate for the Word associated with the Tether, whether or not the seer has that Rite.
Time: varies
Essence: 1

Buttress Tether


This ritual calls on the power of a Tether to weaken invaders. The CD of the ritual is a penalty to all actions (except leaving) taken by celestials serving hostile Words for as long as the seer maintains the ritual.
Time: 1 round
Essence: twice the check digit

Legendary Rituals


At higher levels, it might be possible to actually traverse a Tether, traveling bodily to one of the other realms in much the same way that a Saint can. Ethereal Tethers would be easier to traverse than celestial Tethers, and the dangers of traversing an Infernal Tether go without saying.

Special Ritual

Vision Quest


As per Sorcerous Initiation, except that a Perception roll is made instead of a Will roll.

Article publication date: May 31, 2002

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