In both the New and Classic versions of the World of Darkness, all living, undead, and spiritual beings have an aura. A being's aura reflects both their nature (e.g. mortal, mage, or werewolf), as well as their current emotional state. In some cases, resonance or taint can also be reflected in one's aura. The auras of vampires who have committed diablerie are streaked through with black veins.
Many supernatural beings possess some way to perceive and read auras. Examples of these abilities include:
- The vampiric Auspex power of Aura Perception
- The mage Sphere/Arcanum of Prime
- The wraith and Kuei-jin inherent ability of Lifesight
- The Promethean Transmutation of Sensorium
- The Thaumatechnology Endowment of Devil's Eyes
- The World of Darkness: Second Sight Merits of Aura Reading and See Auras
In Dark Ages: Vampire, a vampire's Road (or Path) rating affects the type of aura they manifest. Similarly, in Mage: The Awakening, a mage's aura becomes easier for others to detect as the mage's Gnosis rating increases.