Speak with Dead (Seance)
The caster summons nearby spirits of the dead for consultation. If interested, they may engage in ordinary conversation – or the caster may attempt to force them to answer questions. Specific spirits may also be called, although without the proper preparation this is difficult. While many cultures frown on any sort of necromancy as dangerous and unnatural, hedge-wizards and -witches often defend this spell as a valuable source of information only superficially related to the magics used to rouse angry ghosts or animate the bodies of the dead. They don’t often talk about the danger posed by spirits angered by an undiplomatic magician, or other malevolent forces that can be attracted by the spell.
The base difficulty is d6 and the cost, two strain plus one strain for each minute the spell is maintained. To force a spirit to answer a question truthfully (to the best of its knowledge), the caster must succeed in a Presence challenge. There are many factors that may influence the difficulty: It is increased by a step if a specific spirit is to be called, and by another if that spirit isn’t nearby. It is increased by a step if the caster wants to give the spirit an audible voice instead of forcing it to communicate through more subtle manifestations such as moving objects, causing cold winds, and so on (some ghosts are close enough to the mortal realm to speak directly on their own, but many are not). It may be increased in order to grant a +2 bonus to any Presence challenges engaged in. On the other hand, having a physical link to the deceased (such as a body part or close personal possession), knowing their true name, or being in a location where the dead are especially close to the living (such as a graveyard) will each decrease the difficulty by a step.