While entering Umbra, most sourcebooks claim that characters videre, which is a set of general preconceptions about the universe, would govern which part of Umbra one would step into while traveling. And so, most mages go to Astral Reaches by default, while werewolves and some Dreamspeakers would travel to Spirit Wilds instead. It is also stated multiple times that Euthanatoi travel to Shadowlands and beyond.

Now, if a whole party of PCs with contrasting videre would enter Umbra at the same time intending to travel to a certain umbral "location", what would have happened?

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is a fascinating question I think that you may have hit upon a design flaw in the rules and as such there can't be any 'correct' answer using the SE format. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4075
    May 1, 2015 at 8:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for RAW or personal interpretations or both? \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2015 at 8:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ As much as I would love RAW to clarify that, I'll appreciate any educated guesses. What I don't want is pure speculation - if you can justify your interpretation with some source material that you be for the best. \$\endgroup\$
    – eimyr
    May 1, 2015 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your question doesn't explicitly say it, but are you assuming a party of mixed-splat PCs each entering the Umbra their own way? As in, Gary Garou steps sideways while Meg the Mage uses Spirit? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    May 6, 2015 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not necessarily but it is s possibility. I was thinking of Meg the mage opening a way for all characters, but if that changes the answer I'd like to see both versions \$\endgroup\$
    – eimyr
    May 6, 2015 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


In Mage, it's usually the lead spellcaster who chooses.

As the person who's crafting the effect, or leading the ritual to cast the spell, the mage who's initiating (i.e., the one who's rolling) is whose paradigm determines where the group ends up. They're the ones who are casting the spell, so it's their will that determines where they end up.

However, there are rules for getting lost and finding your way.

Page 235 of Mage: the Ascension Revised says that all attempts to end up in a particular place in the Umbra are resolved with a Perception + Cosmology roll, with the difficulty set on which plane you plan to end up in. It is therefore reasonable for each person traveling with the Mage to make their roll upon stepping sideways -- garner at least one success, and you go where the mage intends. Fail, and you may end up in the Umbra best suited to your videre. Botch? Somewhere wholly unexpected.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OMG that's so beautiful. This is the most elegant and succint solution to the problem I could imagine. \$\endgroup\$
    – eimyr
    May 6, 2015 at 21:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note also that someone's videre might include "if I follow someone, I end up in the same place as them." Not necessarily, of course, and sometimes other parts of the videre might make it not apply, but it should at least make getting back together a little easier. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    May 7, 2015 at 1:23

As far as I know there's no rules to cover this situation so I can only offer general guidelines from a storytelling point of view.

Thus the primary answer is that what happens is what makes for the best story. If it's a minor point then it can be skimmed over but if it's a major plot point then the storyteller should have already worked out what they want to happen and then they can justify their decision in one of several ways:


This is the probably closest to what the rules inadvertently spell out, WoD appears to be designed with each 'race' keeping to itself and thus this sort of situation would never arise so there is no need for an explicit rules to govern the situation. with this option each member of the party goes into their own 'correct' Umbral realm and has their own simultaneous experiences. This is the hardest work for the storyteller as they will have to keep the characters 'in sync' in other ways.

The Opener of the Way

This is a reasonable justification if the storyteller wants to keep the party together. The person who initiates the move to the Umbra is the one who determines which realm the entire party follows them to. This is similar to the concept of opening a gate or doorway that others can then come through but doesn't fit the rules quite as well.

Holding Hands

A variation on the above but where the participants must willingly choose which Umbral realm they will journey to as a group. This is the option that fits your question the closest as it is the intent of the characters to travel to the same destination that matters.

Where You Come From

Similar to the above but with a different slant, the location that the players leave from determines where they will all end up. Somewhat more fudgy though as it may directly contradict some players expectations and would probably have to become a house rule for consistency's sake.

Strange Trip

The last option is to send the players somewhere else that they weren't expecting. Either as the result of a 'bad trip' due to the conflicting characters, or as a blending or merging of several realms in a form of shared world. This is a good option for an adventure where the storyteller doesn't want the players to be able to freely come and go as it can be easily justified that only the particular circumstances of time, location, and persons gives rise to the particular destination.


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