Retrocognition – A New Power for ‘Better Angels’

Written by Greg Stolze, © 2013

Retrocognition (Espionage)

You know the scenes in all those serial killer books, shows and movies where the brilliant detective recreates the crime scene just by looking at it and being spooky?  The mystic answer to this is retrocognition, which does for “times gone by” what clairvoyance does for “places far away.” You can apply it to an object, a location or even a person and get visions of their history.

These ‘visions’ aren’t like actual psychedelic out-of-body experiences.  They’re more like memories of things you never saw.  So if I use Retrocognition to look at 8:30 to 12:45 the previous night in room 221 of the Bide-A-Wee Motel, I don’t have to sit through the whole thing like it’s the movie Gettysburg.  I know what happened as if I’d been there paying attention the whole time, but accessing the information doesn’t take a ton of time.

You an absorb one hour of experience for every point of Height in your PATIENT Espionage roll.

What you get to see depends on how far back you can look, and that, in turn, depends your Espionage rating. 

  • Espionage 1: 24 hours
  • Espionage 2: 1 month
  • Espionage 3: 1 year
  • Espionage 4: 10 years
  • Espionage 5: 100 years

Once you’re navigating through multiple years, there are a couple ways to do it.  The simplest is to say, “show me what happened here on May 6, 1983, at 10:45 P.M.”  That sort of specificity doesn’t require any particular success on your roll.  Any pair or better calls it up.

The trickier bit is to hold a hatchet and tell your power “show me what happened when this got covered with blood and hair.”  To see with that degree of precision, not knowing exactly when it happened, requires a success of Width 3 or greater.