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Resonance is a formerly loose concept in MtA that was more fleshed out and codified in revised. In WoDG, we use it loosely like in former editions of the game. However, we do have players fill out their Resonance traits as their character develops as a quick measuring stick.


Resonance in World of Darkness: Gotham

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So how do we think of Resonance in WoDG? Well we think of it as a general magickal vibe or flavor that your character gives off. That vibe is a culmination of many factors, least not of which include paradigm, style, essence, and personality of your character. In certain respects, Resonance is like a magickal fingerprint. This is how it’s primarily used in WoDG. When someone casts a magickal effect, they leave behind a set of “prints”. They can be faint or totally defined, largely on how light (minor magickal effect) or how hard (major magickal effect) someone has pressed on the surface (reality). They can be smudged and smeared on purpose or on accident. They can fade with time if not properly protected and preserved.

Let’s look at a basic set of examples to help you figure out what sort of vibe the Resonance for your character might be like: An evil wizard archetype like a Slytherin from Harry Potter might give off a creepy and loathsome vibe, a kindly old councilor like Gandalf might give off a homey and comforting vibe, a mysterious time shifting loremaster like Merlin might give off an enigmatic and chaotic vibe, etc.

Those are some things to think about when you go off and start defining your character’s magical vibe.

Some Food For Thought

The dots used in revised are helpful in defining a basic guideline for your character’s Resonance. It’s new to revised and probably a little more codified than what would be idea, but it works when you think of it as a “recipe” to your mage’s vibe which we will call “flavor”. Think of each dot and descriptor as part of that recipe much like a pinch of salt or a dash of pepper is in a regular recipe. All the traits combined make up your character’s unique blend of spices and seasonings – his flavor. The more dots, the more strongly seasoned the recipe is and the more flavorful the mage should be perceived.

Some magi have strong or alien Resonances that give off unsettling vibes to others, even Sleepers. The more accumulated dots in Resonance, the stronger the vibe. Sleepers will rarely know why they find a mage strange to them, but they just get this “feeling” and instinctively react. For instance, a calculating sociopath might give off an intimidating, and seething Resonance and so people walking by him on the street, will give him an extra-wide berth because the guy just gave them “the creeps”.

Resonance like this is totally optional in WoDG. You can get as deep with it as you want. We just recommend that you use the dots at a minimum as a guide and then more fully flesh out exactly what your character’s “flavor” is. As he progresses in magickal and in character development you can edit and add to that “flavor”. Have fun with it.

Other considerations regarding Resonance are that it’s also used in different systems such as dealing with Quiet. We don’t bother with that as things such as Quiets are much more intangible and fluid. However, we may, when considering using different types of Quintessence for Wonders, harvesting sources of Tass, and so on.

Also, Resonance can have an impact on magickal effects. However, we treat that as an option only. It’s up to you as a player if you want to incorporate that into your steps at creating magickal effects. We rather focus on roleplaying paradigm and casting styles out more than resonant manifestations. So that’s what STs will be looking for more than anything.

The Bottom Line

So the bottom line on Resonance is...

  1. Yes you have to take your dots.
  2. Your character will gain more dots as it progresses.
  3. A total of many dots might increase its outward effect on those around your mage as they sense your character’s “vibe” instinctively.
  4. When thinking about describing Resonance Traits for your mage, it might be helpful to think back and reflect on the vibe some notable wizard characters in literature and film had.
  5. No you’re not limited to just the dots, you can get jiggy with Resonance and really have fun describing it if you want to.
  6. No you don’t have to consider Resonance in your magickal effects, but you can if you want.
  7. Like a set of fingerprints in some respects, and it’s like the mage’s own personal blend of spices in other respects.
  8. Resonance isn’t strictly ran by the book so to speak in WoDG, but it is used as a guide when dealing with some issues arising from things like harvesting Quintessence from certain sources and creating things like Wonders and so on.
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