The purpose of Merits is typically to add a special or memorable quality to your character, helping explain what makes them a little different while adding a unique flavor to certain story events or reactions.
Although most people see Flaws as merely a source of Freebies in chargen, their real purpose is to help you to explain various facets about your character, where you learned something important or acquired some new skill or outlook, yet had to suffer or take on some new burden to do so. A good way to get high Abilities, Backgrounds, powers and even other Merits justified is to pair them with a Flaw that meaningfully tells your character’s journey to that point, and what they had to sacrifice along the way to get where they are.
|Acute Senses||1-3||Physical||One of your senses is exceptionally sharp, be it sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste.||The difficulties for all tasks involving the use of this particular sense are reduced by two. For 3 points, it applies to all your senses.|
|Alcohol Tolerance||1||Physical||You can drink folks under the table or otherwise party till everybody else drops.||This Merit lets you make a Stamina roll (difficulty 7) to shake off the effects of intoxication.
|Alpha||2-3||Social||You were born to lead - the dominant personality in most any social situation. Despite your willingness to take command at a moment's notice, you genuinely care for those you are responsible to. This is not the Merit for bullies and jerks.||This Merit reduces the difficulty of your Social rolls -1 in group settings where other characters might be (even theoretically) expected to look to you (or someone nearby) for leadership - such as in corporate boardrooms, the military or huddling around the burning wreckage of a plane taking charge of your fellow survivors.
The 3-point version of this Merit gives a -2 bonus to Social rolls in group settings and represents a truly decisive leader who is closely attuned with those around them.
This Merit has no effect if your idea of leadership is acting like an egotistic jerk-off. It is also not appropriate for social wallflowers or certain Natures and Demeanors.
|Ambidextrous||1||Physical||You have a high degree of off-hand dexterity and can perform tasks with the “wrong” hand at no penalty.||The rules for taking multiple actions still apply, but you do not suffer a difficulty penalty if you use two weapons or are forced to use your off hand.
NOTE: This Merit does not suggest that you have some quasi-supernatural/circus-esque talent for perfectly doing multiple things simultaneously. It simply doesn't give you an additional penalty for using your off-hand. You still need to split your dice pool as normal if taking multiple actions in the same round (like firing a pistol in each hand, etc).
|Artistically Gifted||1||Mental||The Muses work their will through you, or so it appears.||Whenever you employ your artistic talent reduce the difficulty of those rolls by -2.
As with other Merits of this kind, this Merit does not reduce the difficulty of magick-casting rolls, but may reduce the difficulty of Attribute + Ability rolls that are involved with magickal acts.
|Behind the Scenes Hero||2||Social||You have a natural affinity with the people who work behind the scenes, whether it’s in the hospitality business, the entertainment industry, event services, or similar fields.||Story-wise; you know just how to endear yourself to these overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated individuals.
System-wise; you subtract -2 from the difficulty of all Social rolls involving making friends, gathering information, or asking favors from any such employees, though this benefit does not apply to hostile rolls such as Intimidation.
This Merit applies even if you encounter such employees away from work, so long as your rolls are somehow connected to their work experience.
|Bruiser||1||Physical||Your appearance is sufficiently thug-like to inspire fear (or at least disquiet) in those who see you. While you’re not necessarily ugly, you do radiate a quiet menace, to the point where people cross the street to avoid passing near you.||All Intimidation rolls against those who have not demonstrated their physical superiority to you are at -1 difficulty.|
|Cast-Iron Stomach||1||Physical||You can eat more or less anything without gagging. Squirming bugs, synthetic goop, a freshly-gutted carcass with the innards still hanging out…||Anything you can physically devour and digest is yours for the eating. This Merit does not in any way protect you from the effects of said substances (rotted meat can still poison you), but you can keep down a meal that would make the average person puke from its mere proximity.
An especially useful Merit if you have a Flaw such as Bizarre Hunger.
|Cat Napper||1||Physical||When deadlines, rivals, and other emergencies demand your attention, you can get by with cat-naps and the occasional light snooze.||As long as your naps total four hours in a 24 hour period you can function as normal. You rarely wake up groggy.
A favorite Merit of workaholics and tech entrepreneurs.
|Catlike Balance||1||Physical||You possess an innately perfect sense of balance.||Characters with this Merit reduce difficulties of all balance- related rolls (e.g., Dexterity + Athletics to walk along a narrow ledge) by two.|
|Code of Honor||2||Mental||Guided by a strong sense of ethics, you follow a particular standard of conduct. This might be a military honor-code, a religious creed, the law of a given fellowship to which you belong, or possibly your personal moral center.||Your character gains two additional dice to all Willpower rolls when he acts in accordance with his code of honor, or when he resists some temptation or compulsion that might get him to betray that code.|
|Coldly Logical||1||Mental||While some might refer to you as a “cold fish,” you have a knack for separating factual reporting from emotional or hysterical coloration.||You may or may not be emotional yourself, but you can see clearly when others are clouding the facts with their feelings (-1 difficulty on all related rolls).|
|Common Sense||1||Mental||You have a significant amount of practical, everyday wisdom.||Whenever you are about to act in a way contrary to common sense, the Storyteller can make suggestions or warnings about the implications of said action.|
|Computer Aptitude||1-2||Mental||You are familiar with and talented in the uses of computer equipment.||All rolls involving computers are at -1 difficulty for you. If you have the 2 dot version of this merit, then all computer-related rolls are at -2 difficulty for you.|
|Concentration||1||Mental||You have the ability to focus your mind and shut out any distractions or annoyances.||Characters with this Merit are unaffected by any penalties stemming from distracting circumstances (e.g., loud noises, strobe lights, or hanging upside down).|
|Confidence||2||Social||Nothing seems to rattle you. Even when you’re making things up off the top of your head, or lying your ass off about your true feelings or intentions, your self-confidence inspires an unusual degree of trust.||Other characters add +2 to the difficulty of mundane social rolls for characters who try to shake your confidence, intimidate you or otherwise shatter your calm.
NOTE: In certain supernatural social situations, such as Staredowns or Certámen, it may give a reduced +1 benefit.
In addition, you might qualify for a 1 or 2 dice circumstantial bonus to a Social (or even possibly some kind acrobatic performance) where perfect poise is a major asset, such as a self-help seminar, boardroom presentation or comedy routine.
NOTE: This Merit does not provide bonus dice to any supernatural-related roll. It applies to mundane situations, only.
|Crack Shot||2||Physical||Whether pointing a gun, arrow, or dart, you tend to hit your target with great accuracy.||* You may treat the first ranged attack that you make, each round, as if you had spent one round Aiming. This typically results in +1 dice.
* If you spend at least one 'actual' round Aiming (resulting in an Aim bonus of +2 dice for someone with Crack Shot), then your first targeted attack made the next round may ignore up to +2 Difficulty for targeting specific locations. As an example, this would reduce a head shot from a Difficulty 8 attack (all other factors being equal) back to a Difficulty 6 attack.
|Danger Sense||3||Supernatural||A heightened state of awareness allows you to sense impending harm. This gift could originate from primal perceptiveness, intense conditioning, or spirit voices that warn you of danger, etc.||Your Director must make a secret Perception + Alertness roll for you when some otherwise hidden threat is heading toward your character. The difficulty for this roll depends upon the immediacy of the danger.
A simple success would tell you that something’s wrong, while a large number of successes could better pinpoint the nature of the threat. Your Director may be as vague as they wish as to any peripheral details.
|Daredevil||3||Physical||You are good at taking risks, and even better at surviving them.||When attempting exceptionally risky non-combat actions (such as leaping from one moving car to another), characters with this Merit add an additional three dice to their rolls, and negate a single botch die that may result from such a roll. Generally, such actions must be at least difficulty 8 and have the potential to inflict at least three health levels of damage if failed.|
|Dark Triad||3||Social||A charming (and chilling) blend of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and sociopathy makes you a smooth-talking rule-breaker. Your own pleasure and convenience are the only vital things in life.||A natural Merit for cult leaders, tempters, Fallen mages, and corporate tycoons, the Dark Triad adds three dice to all of your mundane Seduction, Manipulation, Leadership, Subterfuge, and Charisma-based rolls. The fact that your character doesn’t truly care about the people she inspires isn’t readily apparent except to people who know what to look for.
Despite its obvious power, this Merit contains a significant story-based downside: Dark Triad folks are amoral bastards who act only according to their own perceived interests. Even on a malignant Path of Enlightenment, such sociopathy becomes dangerous, especially when other people notice that individual’s behavior. Not even the Nephandi trust such a person once her tendencies become clear.
This is a restricted Merit that may be refused for any reason in chargen or taken away, if your character isn't embodying the associated tropes.
|Drug Tolerance||2||Physical||You can party until everyone else drops.||This Merit lets you make a Stamina roll (difficulty 7) to shake off the effects of even various lab-synthesized concoctions such as LSD or meth.
The Merit can neutralize the psychoactive effects of any drug unless that drug has been created as the vector for a Sphere-based magickal Effect. In the latter case, the character needs to use countermagick – this Merit will not help to counteract such drugs.
|Eidetic Memory||2||Mental||Also often referred to as a 'Photographic Memory'. You remember, with nearly perfect detail, things you see and hear. Documents, photographs, conversations, etc., can be committed to memory with only minor concentration.||Under stressful conditions involving numerous distractions, you must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 6) to summon enough concentration to absorb what your senses detect.
NOTE: Eidetic Memory as described by White Wolf doesn't actually exist IRL. Although there are people with incredibly accurate memories, and it has been kept owing to its cinematic nature (and the ease with which it can justify players referring back to RP logs or being reminded of details by the ST)...It shouldn't be interpreted in an exaggeratedly implausible fashion. Your brain does not have infinite capacity. It is not the equivalent of a computer. It's basically the 'Photographic Memory' you see in crime procedurals.
You can flip through an enemy's secret research notes or diary and faithfully reproduce them later. That's different from reading an entire library.
|Enchanting Feature||2||Physical||Blessed with beautiful eyes, mighty biceps, preternatural grace, a dazzling smile, purring voice, or some other standout physical feature, you command more than your fair share of attention.||Story-wise, this Enchanting Feature becomes a standout part of your character’s description.
System-wise, you reduce the difficulty by -2 when your character deploys the feature in question as part of some social feat.
MAGES: Your 'Enchanting Feature' is not an instrument in an of itself, but functions like one with certain instruments. Please note which instruments it operates with if it isn't obvious. Enchanting Feature offers a -2 when employed with certain Effects, but does not push the Difficulty bonus beyond -3.
|Entrepreneur||2||Social||Making money comes naturally to you, and you know what it takes to succeed.||All rolls involving acquiring money through business dealings have their difficulty reduced by 2.|
|Expert Driver||1-2||Mental||You were born to drive like a demon wherever the road takes you.||You have a natural affinity for driving motorized wheeled vehicles. The difficulties of all rolls requiring risky or especially difficult driving maneuvers are reduced by one.
The 2-point version of this Merit reduces Drive difficulties by -2.
|Fake It||3||Social||You talk a convincing game. Sometimes you are even convincing enough to be right.||Story-wise: Maybe you claim you can “make that jump,” “ace that test,” or “hit that target.” You may be criminally lucky or possess hidden talents.
When you successfully lie about your proficiency in a task with a Subterfuge + Manipulation roll and then attempt to prove your claims, the difficulty of the roll to carry out your ambition is reduced by two.
This is an extremely common Merit in Los Angeles (for an often related Merit, see 'Self-Promoter').
|Family Support||1-3||Social||Whether your "family of origin" or your adopted "family of choice" (such as a close knit gang), you enjoy the affection and support of a close circle of mortals for whom you don't need to lie to or otherwise conceal your true nature. |
Vampires with this Merit should pair it with the Flaw 'Private Life' since it is often either a major Masquerade breach or one in the making. This is a far more common Merit among Thin Bloods.
Shifter PCs typically turn to the Kinfolk Background instead, although this could still help represent a particularly close Kinfolk family, or something like a Silver Fang dynasty, etc.
|The more influential your "family", the more this Merit costs:
• (1 point) You’ve got a “typical” family for your culture, and their support is mostly emotional although you can get a few bucks, a favor, and a place to crash when you need it.
• (2 points) Your family has status, wealth, and influence. While they expect you to stand on your own for the most part, you can still get help if and when you need some.
• (3 points) A scion of wealth, power, and privilege, you can call upon favors and influence when need be. Your clan pulls strings on your behalf even when you don’t ask for help, and people defer to you because of your heritage.
|Favor||1-3||Social||This Merit means that somebody owes you, big-time. You scratched their back, and will eventually call in some scratching of your own in due time. Regardless of their identity, this party is more powerful than you are, and can get things done on your behalf that you could not get done yourself.||The value of this Merit depends upon the value of that favor. Minor acts of benevolence cost one point, significant boons are worth two, and a life-debt is worth three.
This Merit does not count against the 10 dot limit for supernatural characters.
Your Director may occasionally grant this Merit as a reward.
|Finger on the Pulse||2||Social||With your proclivity for gossip, you have an easy time finding out whatever you need about your preferred setting.||Pick a single region of Los Angeles' grid, such as 'DTLA', 'Hollywood', 'Beverly Hills' or 'The Westside'.
This Merit reduces the difficulty of any Contacts roll (Influence-related or otherwise) that takes place in that region.
You can take this Merit multiple times.
|Friendly Face||1||Physical||You have a face that reminds everyone of a certain positive quality, to the point where strangers are inclined to be well disposed toward you because of it.||This Merit grants you you at -1 difficulty on all appropriate Social-based rolls (yes for Seduction, no for Intimidation, for example) when a stranger is involved. This Merit only functions on a first meeting.|
|Guardian Angel||6||Supernatural||A powerful entity is watching over you, providing advice, assistance, and occasional protection when things get ugly. Such aid is beyond your control (perhaps even beyond your comprehension) and while this “angel” has certainly supported your best interests thus far, there could be a terrible price-tag attached to all this help.||From a Merit perspective, this Trait provides occasional help from the Director in the form of some strange and powerful entity. It could be anything from a powerful spirit Incarna to a Methuselah. The nature of said help is entirely up to the Storyteller, although it should be beneficial in at least the short term.
This is a highly restricted Merit.
|Gut Instincts||4||Mental||Whether a result of being attuned to your primal instincts or from years of experience and training, you benefit from the ability to act without thinking first. Once the dust clears, you usually realize the correct move was made.||This Merit allows you to spend 1 Willpower point to nullify the effects of surprise and permits you to act normally. You still follow the normal order of Initiative.|
|Harmless||1||Social||Everyone in the city knows you, and knows that you’re no threat to their plans. While that sort of estimation may seem insulting, it’s also what’s kept you from being killed.||No one considers you worth their time to deal with, and that low opinion keeps you safe. If you start acting in a way that demonstrates that you are no longer harmless, others’ reactions to you will likely change as a result.
This Merit will ensure the Director generally keeps you from being targeted by various plots - as long as you behave accordingly. Obviously, harmless individuals aren't taken very seriously in the World of Darkness or considered appealing allies, either. But you will avoid most trouble not of your own making.
This Merit provides absolutely zero protection from the consequences of your own actions. It is largely incompatible with power, great wealth and/or ambition. It is for players who wish to play peripheral concepts (like Thin-Bloods or Autarkis on the periphery of Camarilla society as one example), yet wish to be spared the OOC anxiety of being targeted. It lets you go overlooked while mostly minding your own business.
|Huge Size||4||Physical||You are abnormally large in size, at least 6’10” and 300 pounds in weight (well over two meters tall and over 130 kgs).||Aside from making you extremely noticeable in public, this extra mass bestows an additional Bruised health level. Characters with this Merit may also gain bonuses to push objects, open barred doors, avoid being knocked down, etc.|
|Hyperflexible||1||Physical||You can stretch and flex in ways most people cannot. This is usually owing to intense training, yet it could be the result of a magickal augmentation (or cybernetic) or even a medical condition.||This Merit allows you a -2 reduction in difficulty for rolls that involve physical flexibility – escape attempts, contortions, etc.
Your character can also perform uncanny acts of performative flexibility, as seen in Cirque Du Soleil or extreme yoga postures.
|Hyperfocus||3||Mental||Given time and a lack of distractions, you can focus your mind to an uncanny extent.||For every hour spent focusing without distractions on a mundane task (not on a blood ritual or magick-casting roll), you may add one die to your dice pool for each roll made during an extended action. This bonus has an upper limit of three dice.|
|Hypersensitivity||3||Physical||Extraordinarily open to physical sensations, you possess a depth of sensitivity most folks cannot conceive of having. A mere sip of wine can reveal its vintage to you, a whiff of smoke betrays the quality (or lack thereof) and origins of its burnt tobacco. A faint touch can... well...||Story-wise, you can easily “fall into” an enjoyable sensation, relishing it to a degree far beyond typical human sensitivity.
System-wise, you reduce the difficulty by -2 if you’re trying to use a Perception + Alertness roll to identify details about a sensation.
It might also provide a -2 bonus to various magickal endeavors (such as the instruments of Bodywork, Drugs, Food & Drink or Sensuality, etc)
Ecstasy can be a two-street: At the Director's discretion, particularly painful or traumatic experiences might require a Willpower roll to avoid being entirely overwhelmed by the intensity of the discomfort.
|I Know You||1||Social||You have one of those faces, or a way of acting, that makes others just assume you are someone they already know.||Perhaps you resemble someone from their childhood, or their favorite television show.
* When introducing yourself at social gatherings, you always succeed in grabbing someone’s attention.
* You cannot be immediately dismissed without at least a few curious questions first.
This is an extremely common Merit in Los Angeles. It's found among those who already have Fame, as well as those who use their celebrity resemblance to launch careers of their own.
|Inner Strength||2||Mental||When faced with adversity, you tend to prevail.||This Merit reduces the difficulty of Willpower rolls by -2 when you struggle against apparently overwhelming odds.|
|Insensate To Pain||5||Physical||Nothing hurts until it kills you. Okay, it probably does hurt, but not enough to slow you down.||Wound penalties do not affect your character at all – until she dies, she usually functions with her full dice pools intact.
Although pain won’t slow you down, pulverized bones and organs will. Injuries that inflict significant physical impairment (dramatically crushed legs, lopped off arms, gouged-out eyes, etc.) supersede your usual immunity to dice-pool penalties due the sheer scale of the physical trauma.
|Introspection||1||Mental||You have keen insight into the ulterior motives of all your actions. Through this nightly exercise, you also have incredible insight into the underlying motives of others’ actions.||Add two dice to your Manipulation or Perception dice pool when you must take an action against someone with the same Nature or Demeanor as you.|
|Iron Will||3||Mental||When you make up your mind or dig in your heels against mental influence, your determination's hard to break.||* Your character receives three extra dice for his Willpower rolls whenever he faces a challenge to his convictions, or resists attempts at Mind magick, torture, exhaustion, and other debilitating attacks.
* If the character ever crosses paths with a vampire or other mind-controlling entity, he can shake off the effects of such assaults by spending a single Willpower point. However, you must first identify that something is trying to control you (i.e., through the Awareness mechanic.)
|Jack-of-All-Trades||3||Mental||You know a little about a lot.||When attempting to make a roll using a Skill that your character does not possess, you don’t suffer the usual penalty.
If you're trying to use a Knowledge your character does not possess, you suffer a +1 difficulty instead of +3.
|Judge's Wisdom||5||Mental||No passion-based assault can rattle your judgment, and the base attacks of heart-twisting fiends have little hold on you.||Rules-wise, you remain immune to Mind- or Life-based Effects that influence emotions, and can shrug off the vampiric Discipline of Presence unless that bloodsucker has at least six dots in that Discipline.
Emotion-based powers from werecreatures, faeries, and other such creatures cannot affect you, although you can still be possessed, mind-controlled, enchanted, and otherwise bent or broken so long as the assault is not based on wrangling an emotional response from you.
|Language||1+||Mental||You know a language in addition to your native one.||* You can take this Merit multiple times, each reflecting a different language.
* The Language merit does not count against the 10 merit dots limit for supernatural PCs.
* If you have a character which highlights the thematic nature of Los Angeles as an entrepot, with its famous communities of Korean, Persian, Armenian, Russian, Pilipino, Latin American, South and East Asian immigrants, then you can have a dot of the Language Merit for free.
|Lightning Calculator||1-2||Mental||With a few moments of thought, you can perform intricate mathematical feats – a useful talent for Hermetic wizards, Enlightened quants, and anyone else who employs math and geometry in their work.||This Merit allows you to reduce the difficulties of math- and calculation-based rolls by -1. Simple calculations take no time at all, while sophisticated problems may demand a turn or more. Obviously, your character needs access to the proper data before she can work out calculations… and garbage in, garbage out, so make sure your data is accurate!
The two-point version of this Merit gives a -2 difficulty bonus.
Your Director will typically restrict this Merit to character concepts with a strong numbers focus.
|Local Hero||3||Social||You might have cleaned out the resident drug dealers, defied slumlords, established a halfway house or a center of worship. Whatever it was, you've done great things for your community, and people love you for it.||This Merit reflects your popularity among the local mortals (Sleepers, etc). You reduce the difficulty of your social rolls by -2 when you’re dealing with the people of your community, and receive constant aid and respect from those people whenever you need them.
The catch, of course, is that you must live up to your heroic reputation – turn your back on these grateful souls, or take their goodwill for granted, and you’ll lose this Merit in no time.
|Long-Distance Runner||3||Physical||Through practice and/or innate skill, you have developed your ability to run very fast for a very long time.||You can run at double your normal running speed for one hour per dot you possess in Stamina.|
|Loyalty||1||Social||You’re especially devoted to a certain cause, group, creed or person.||When someone tries to turn you against the object of your loyalty, you receive a two-die bonus to your dice pool when resisting that attempt with your Willpower. If the assault uses your Willpower Trait as the difficulty for the attack, then your attacker adds +2 to her difficulty while striving to undermine your loyalty.|
|Lucky||3||Supernatural||You were born lucky – or else the Devil looks after his own.||You may reroll your first botched Physical roll (i.e., any ability pool involving Strength, Dexterity or Stamina) each day.|
|Master Craftsman||3||Mental||Long years of experience combined with natural talent have made you a master of your craft. Your name could be a designer label.||When designing, building, or repairing something, the difficulty of your rolls is reduced by two. Additionally, you require three fewer successes on any extended rolls required when working on large or complex projects.|
|Master Of Red Tape||4||Social||A savant of bureaucracy, you slash your way through official obstructionism. When red tape unspools across your path, you know who to talk to, which forms to fill out, and where the loopholes are. A few calls to the right people, and official obstacles disappear as if by magic(k).||When faced with the near-inevitable morass of bureaucracy, subtract -2 from all difficulties that involve dealing with the system.
To use this Merit, you need to decide what you want to accomplish and how you want to go about doing that. Your character makes the requisite calls to the requisite people, and the dice determine the rest.
|Mechanical Aptitude||1-2||Mental||You're a real technophile. Blessed by the machine gods, you’ve got a knack for mechanical gear.||All rolls mechanical technology are at -1 difficulty for you. If you have the 2 dot version of this merit, then all mechanical-related rolls are at -2 difficulty for you.|
|Natural Leader||2||Social||You are gifted with a certain magnetism to which others naturally defer.||You receive two extra dice when making Leadership rolls. You must have a Charisma rating of 3 or greater to purchase this Merit.
This has no effect on PCs unless they are subordinate to you.
|Natural Linguist||2||Mental||You have a flair for languages.||You may add three dice to any dice pool involving the interpretation of written or spoken languages, and each purchase of the Language Merit (previous page) gives you two languages instead of just one.|
|Nature's Child||2||Social||You are one with nature and beasts.||You receive a –2 to your difficulty on rolls when dealing with non-sapient animals in their natural environment, whether training them, tracking them, or simply petting them.
Characters should take care relying on this Merit when dealing with supernatural phenomena, such as chimera or creatures found in strange realms; some of them are much more intelligent than they appear.
|Nightsight||3||Physical||Unlike most people, you can see in near-total darkness. Only the complete absence of visible light will negate this ability. In even the dimmest light, your visual abilities remain essentially unimpaired.||Low light does not impose any sort of penalty on your visual perception rolls. Other visual impediments, like smoke or fog, block your sight as usual, and magically-imposed darkness negates this Merit entirely.|
|Nine Lives||6||Supernatural||Fate has granted you the opportunity to come as close to destruction as anyone can get and still survive.||When a roll occurs that would result in your death, the roll is made again. If the next roll succeeds, then you live — and one of your nine lives is used up. If that subsequent roll fails, then another reroll is made, until either a successful roll occurs or your nine lives are used up.|
|Noble Blood||1||Physical||Although the modern world resists the old traditions of lineage as a mark of quality, your features link you to a powerful family, you’re a Kennedy, a Windsor, a Saud, a Rothschild – someone whose pedigree is obvious in your physical form and presence.|
The family in question doesn’t have to belong to a formal, RL aristocracy: You might be related to the World of Darkness's version of the Kardashian, Murdoch, or Clinton families, and may the gods have mercy on your soul.
|In story terms, this Merit grants you the obvious physical features of a well-known “royal” family: the Kennedy smile, the Windsor ears, and so forth. The features are rarely terribly attractive given royalty's notorious penchant for inbreeding.
In social situations, this Merit might be worth a -2 reduction for the difficulty of social rolls that involve people who care about things like aristocracy (whether real or faux), but would also increase your difficulty by +2 if you’re dealing with folks who hate your family’s guts!
This Merit does not grant any wealth or other Backgrounds. You'll need to invest your points accordingly to be more than a very distant cousin.
|Noted Messenger||3||Social||A known emissary between groups, you’re treated with a certain amount of deference and courtesy that others in your faction would not receive. Even the more civilized enemies of your group won’t try to kill you on general principle, though they might not be especially happy to see you.||The things you have to say will be given a certain amount of weight, and your presence may open doors (literal or otherwise) that would remain shut for almost anybody else.
hat’s the upside – the downside is that you need to behave yourself (and keep a tight leash on your companions) when you’re on someone else’s turf. Passing false messages will undermine your credibility, and obnoxious behavior will get that welcome mat yanked out from under your feet rather quickly.
Note: There are nasty folks out there who really do prefer to 'kill the messenger' - tread that red carpet carefully.
|Officially Dead||1||Social||According to the authorities, you’re no longer among the living. Perhaps you’ve successfully faked your own death, or had it faked for you when you assumed a new identity.||An especially common Merit among Technocratic operatives, Hermetic magi, and vampires, this erasure of your former life is often a required part of service with certain supernatural factions. As far as your family, government, and old friends are concerned, you’re six feet under. Naturally, you’ll need to be discreet about your continued existence if you don’t want that death to become more permanent.
A vampire without this Merit never bothered to convincingly fake their own death, or else they tried to but vital clues were left behind. This might one night come back to bite you in the ass, especially if you're reckless with the Masquerade.
Note: This Merit does not count against the 10 dot Merit limit for supernatural PCs.
|Operator||7||Social||This is a Merit that is mostly intended to represent elite mortal threats, such as special forces, SWAT, Pentex First Teams, Cartel sicarios (many of which are rogue Latin American special forces), and top-tier Kinfolk paramilitary units like the Black Eagles (or those trained to their obsessive, SOCOM-inspired standard). |
This is not a Merit that will be appropriate for the overwhelming majority of PCs. They simply won't realistically meet the prerequisites.
|Prerequisites: This character currently belongs to an elite combat team and has spent considerable time honing advanced small unit tactics. This typically requires the tutelage of a character with both Military Science 4/Instruction 4 over a period of roughly half a year.
* All characters who have the Operator Merit and belong to the same elite team may make Teamwork rolls in whatever capacity the ST considers appropriate in combat, with the group benefiting as a whole from the final Teamwork result. In certain circumstances, this could be used for Stealth, Athletics or even the first round of combat after achieving complete surprise when assaulting a room using killhouse techniques, or when sniping (usually an Observer + Shooter combo).
* Characters with the Operator Merit receive one less dice penalty when shooting from cover. Additionally, if stationary and benefiting from 'Good' or 'Superior Cover' they may add their Wits to their Armor when soaking lethal damage from firearms only.
* Characters with the Operator Merit suffer one less dice of Dexterity penalty from wearing Class 4 or 5 modern ballistic armor.
|Perfect Liar||2||Social||You lack the usual “tells” that betray a liar: your vital signs remain stable, your eyes don’t twitch, and your voice never falters. Unless someone is outright reading your mind (as in, using Mind-Sphere magick or some other paranormal power), you still often appear to be telling the truth. Even then, you can be a tough nut to crack.||Story-wise, people usually believe what you say when you’re lying about small, casual things that are not immediately, obviously false.
Reduce the difficulty by -2 when you’re trying to lie about something important. This Merit will not alter auras or change the thoughts in your head, although those folks who can’t actively monitor your soul will be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.
|Physically Impressive||2||Physical||This Merit doesn't necessarily indicate size or muscles, so much as an apparently dangerous quality no matter what mood you might be in at the time. This could be as obvious as extensive scarring or an intimidating build, or as intangible as the proverbial “air of menace.”||The Merit adds two dice to all Social-Trait rolls that involve intimidating someone – story-wise, people find you unnerving – and quite possibly alluring for some in a dangerous way.|
|Pitiable||1||Social||Oh, you poor thing! People want to help you, and you’re willing to let them do so.||This Merit lowers the difficulty of your social rolls by -2 when you’re trying to get someone to take care of you.
Unfortunately, it also adds +2 to the difficulty of rolls that attempt to intimidate or command people.
|Poison Resistance||2||Physical||Toxins may sicken you, but probably won’t kill you. Although magickal poisons may be the exception to this rule, your body shakes off the worst effects of natural and synthesized poisons.||When attacked by such substances, add two dice to your character’s Stamina roll when resisting their effects – a successful roll reduces the intensity of powerful toxins, and eliminates the deadlier effects of lesser ones altogether. Sure, she might feel a little woozy and could get seriously ill, but even if you fail that roll your character probably won’t die.
Although it works against toxic bacteria, this Merit does not protect against diseases spread from viruses, genetic conditions, and so forth.
|Poker Face||2-3||Physical||Nothing seems to rattle you outwardly. Oh, this doesn’t mean you don’t feel anything – that’s the Mental Flaw: Icy. Your deadpan expression, blank eyes, and flat tone of voice, however, reveal nothing about your thoughts or intentions.||Your lack of expression can be quite disconcerting to people. Reduce the difficulty of Intimidation, Subterfuge, and resistance-to-Intimidation rolls by -2.
The 3 point version of this Merit additionally adds +2 to the difficulties of anyone who tries to get under your skin, including attempts to read, seduce or torture you.
|Powerful Ally||3-8||Social||You enjoy the support or service of a particularly powerful ally or retainer.||There will be a link here to an exact FAQ on the details.|
|Prestige||2||Social||This Merit reveals you as an honored personage within your Tradition, Convention, or some other setting, such as a vampire sect or an academic field.||When you first select this Merit, decide upon the source of this prestige.
Among your peers, you add three extra dice to all social rolls used to influence folks within that group. Story-wise, allies of your group will tend to like you, and rivals or enemies will tend to not.
|Prestigious Mentor||1||Social||Your Mentor (as in the Background Trait of that name) has a reputation that benefits you as well.||When you’re making social rolls to invoke your influential teacher, reduce the difficulty by -2. Of course, some folks will be somewhat less than impressed – for rolls that involve ferocious or particularly hateful rivals of your mentor, add +2 to the difficulty.|
|Property||1-5||Asset||This Merit represents either ownership or access to a particularly special piece of land, project, especially trendy nightclub or supernaturally significant location.||Anyone can build a home or business on Liberation that seems to make sense for their backstory or Resources.
However, you need this Merit for your project to be of either of special significance to the NPC population (such as a popular vampire Rack) or to have some extraordinarily special quality about it (such as an extensive series of secret tunnels, or a historically famous landmark).
This Merit does not count against the 10 dot limit for supernatural characters.
|Regal Bearing||1||Social||Aristocratic charisma is your birthright. Although you might not actually hail from a noble family, your presence radiates dignity.||People defer to you as a reflex – subtract -2 from the difficulty of your Social-Trait rolls whenever you’re trying to make a suitable impression (such as Etiquette at a dinner party or rallying the troops with Leadership).
Although certain folks will want to take you down a few pegs on general principle, most people are inclined to respect you even if they don’t necessarily like you.
|Research Grant||2||Asset||You’ve been given a prestigious grant from a foundation, an academy, a corporation, or some other moneyed institution. This stipend frees you from the burdens of a regular job, and although it’s probably not a large amount of spending money (unless you buy up Resources as well), it does make life significantly easier.||This grant includes a certain degree of privileged access to archives and facilities that are connected to your field of endeavor. And yeah – it’s got some strings, too. You need to report your findings on a regular basis, suck up to the necessary authorities, and behave in a manner that reflects well upon your sponsors.
This Merit is modestly restricted. At your Director's discretion, it might not count against the 10 dots merit limit for supernatural PCs.
|Rising Star||3||Social||You’re one of the up-and-comers in the city, a rising star in your organization (be it some agency, supernatural faction, tribe or Sect).||Everyone wants to know you and be your friend, even as those in power groom you for positions of greater responsibility. You are at -1 difficulty on all Social rolls against any NPCs in your organization (possibly even a supernatural faction such as a Sect or tribe, etc) who aren't actively opposing your ascent.|
|Safehouse||2-6||Asset||You have access to a remote, secure and secret location. Chances are, it’s a secret apartment or condo, a distant cottage, a mobile home, a literal cave, mystic grove or camping spot where you can go to escape. It might even be a pocket Realm of some nature, at the high end. Whatever the case, it's your personal escape hatch.||This Merit differs from Property, or Backgrounds like Chantry or Sanctum, in that it represents an explicitly discreet bolt-hole hidden from most forms of casual detection. Barring one or two calculated exceptions, the existence of this safehouse must remain secret to others (and thus isn't suitable to combine with a Chantry, Elysium or some other social club).
Although you might be traced to your hideaway with magick or supernaturally potent tracking methods, your little retreat is not linked to you by any searchable official channels: bills, lease, mail, Internet services, etc.
|Sanctity||2||Social||This Merit is sometimes called the halo effect; everyone considers you pure and innocent, though not necessarily naïve.||You are trusted, even if you are not trustworthy. At the Storyteller’s discretion, you tend to receive lesser punishments for wrongdoing, and you are liked by most,
This has no effect on PCs, beyond RP flavor.
|Secret Code Language||2||Social||Some languages, however, are more exclusive and secretive than others. This Merit reflects your knowledge of a particular code known to only the “right people.” |
This is relevant to many factions, both mortal (military jargon, ConLang, ciphers) and supernatural (Hermetic Orders, BCD battle cant, Sabbat signs and signals, etc).
|This Merit confers knowledge of a particular communication mode, which might not be in any way verbal. It could involve hand-signals, body postures, artwork, flags, symbolism, numbers, and so on. To uninitiated observers, that language appears to be gibberish. Indeed, in many cases, a coded method of communication appears completely mundane unless you know what to look for, as with the encrypted artwork in The DaVinci Code.
This Merit does not count against the 10 dot limit for Supernatural characters.
|Self-Confident||5||Mental||You are able to draw on a deep reservoir of belief in your own abilities.||When spending Willpower to gain an automatic success, you don't lose that point of Willpower unless; 1) The Willpower-granted success is the only success you gain for that action; or 2) the difficulty for that action is 6 or less. This Merit kicks in only in challenging circumstances.|
|Self-Promoter||1||Social||You are especially convincing when bullshitting others about how great you are. This is an often necessary talent to succeed in Los Angeles.||You receive a –2 to your difficulty on Social rolls related to recounting your deeds (whether in terms of dragons slain, deals you closed, or casting calls you aced), whether true or not.
This is an extremely common Merit among the NPCs of Los Angeles.
|Sex Appeal||3||Social||Your sexiness and sensuality attracts lovers to you like moths to a flame. You are the irresistible center of attention at any gathering. Many celebrities in Los Angeles owe their fame and fortune to this Merit.||All rolls where sexual attraction matters have the difficulty reduced by three.
This Merit cannot be used to seduce someone lacking a baseline of sexual attraction to your specific character (not just gender) combined with at least a theoretical willingness to act on it.
|Socially Networked||2||Social||You're what is referred to these days as a 'social media influencer'.||You enjoy a high online profile – a website, at least one blog, more social media followers and friends than you could possibly meet in real life, and so on. When you post, folks read, share, and take it seriously. Or maybe just masturbate to it. It's a broad spectrum, folks.
Crowdfunding backers, the generous donations of those following your stream, or endorsement deals can be used to represent a surprisingly high Resources.
Of course, you could screw things up on a grand scale if you’re not careful – such attention can backfire on you if you post the wrong thing at the wrong time – and certain haters despise you on general principle.
This Merit gives an excellent justification for posting on board 8.
|Specific Interests||1||Mental||You are specialized in an obscure or arcane field or niche interest and on this subject specifically you are an encyclopedia.||Choose one rare area of knowledge. In this field, reduce the difficulty for all mental rolls by two.
Example fields include the study of a dead language, a culturally-specific hobby, expertise in mythical demon names, or frighteningly in-depth historical knowledge of one infamous incident.
Note: Try your hardest to not abuse this Merit by making it as broad as possible, or choosing something like 'Magick', 'Rituals' or 'Vampires'. This is meant to represent a focus of obsessive study more niche than even a Specialty would ordinarily cover, and to ensure you're truly unrivaled in it, mechanically.
|Subculture Insider||2||Social||You’re innately familiar with a social environment that most folks never visit, much less understand. |
This Merit could refer to country clubs, drug cartels, the international mercenary network, the global espionage underworld, high-level finance executives, the fetish community, homeless transient communities, clannish rural communities, hip-hop networks, the jet set, ravers and more.
|Thanks to your familiarity, you can navigate certain elements of the physical environment there too – the security apparatuses, the “secret handshakes,” the hidden corners that an insider would know about and an outsider would never think to look for, and other obstacles that a subculture puts into place to make certain that only the “right” people can get around.
When moving through your subculture of choice, subtract -2 from the difficulties of rolls that grant social or physical access to that subculture’s established turf.
|Supporter||2||Social||You inspire all around you to greater efforts. Whether by speaking, writing, or leading by example, you give anyone who works with you reason to go on and hope of success.||You get +2 dice on Social rolls when trying to encourage or inspire peers and co-workers to keep working towards some common goal.
Additionally, you give any group effort +1 to its total dice pool.
|Thugs||1+||Social||When you purchase the Allies Background, you are acquiring hardcore members of the underworld rather than ordinary members of lawful society. This includes any group or organization that might be willing to break the law on your behalf (even the LAPD itself), or endanger themselves in a way that isn't strictly prescribed by their legal job.||This Merit allows your character to take an Allies Background that represents gang members, mafiosos, corrupt LAPD or other members of an organized crime syndicate.
Unlike normal Allies, these individuals are willing to pick fights with other mortals, murder innocents, intimidate locals, temporarily lock down an area of the city, or generally commit crimes on your behalf.
Without this Merit attached to a specific Ally, that Ally will only engage in legal-ish behavior for you. This does not apply to Contacts or Retainers. You will need to purchase Thugs separately for each Ally it is attached to.
NOTE #1: The Powerful Ally Merit supersedes this Merit. You don't need both. Thugs is simply a cheaper alternative for more aggressive mundane allies.
NOTE #2: This Merit won't be counted against the supernatural 10 dot limit for Syndicate Mages (ExtraLegal Division), Anarchs, Giovanni and Follower of Set vampires or Bone Gnawer and Glass Walker werewolves.
|Ties||2||Social||You’ve got friends in high places, low places, or places in between. Maybe you know folks within the local police force, political scene, academic field, an organized-crime cartel or clique of corporate raiders.||Choose an Influence sector (Academia, Business, Community, Crime, Government or Security), along with a Region of the game grid (Such as DTLA Security, Hollywood Business, Westside or South LA Community, etc).
All of your Influence rolls within that designated sector and region are at -2 difficulty.
|Time Sense||1||Mental||You have an innate sense of time.||You are able to estimate the passage of time accurately without using a watch or other mechanical device. This could provide bonuses in various situations at the ST's discretion.|
|Too Tough To Die||5||Physical||You’re badass enough to shrug off injuries. They still harm you, but they don’t stop you.||Game-wise, this Merit allows your character to soak Lethal damage vs 7 – NOT Aggravated damage.
Story-wise, those gunshots, knife wounds, broken bones, and so forth still tear your character up – he’s not bouncing shotgun rounds off his chest. By soaking the associated health levels, however, your character can push on through wounds that would cripple or kill most folks.
Lethal injuries require the usual amount of time to heal.
|True Love||4||Supernatural||You have discovered, perhaps too late, a true love. He or she is the center of your existence, and inspires you to keep going in a world of darkness and despair.||Whenever you suffer, the thought of your true love gives you the strength to persevere. This Merit grants you one automatic success on most mundane Willpower rolls (such as resisting temptation or refusing to give up your beloved's name while being tortured), which can be negated only by a botch die.
This Merit provides no benefit whatsoever to Willpower rolls that are part of some magical effect, such as a Discipline or Thaumaturgy, except at the Director's discretion.
|Unbondable||5||Supernatural||There is something within you that is strangely resistant to vampiric blood slavery.||You are immune to being blood bound.
This Merit is restricted and extremely unlikely to be approved for Mage or Vampire PCs.
|Unobtrusive||1||Social||You can pass without notice in most social situations. Unless you make a fuss of some kind, most folks just don’t remember you.|| Folks need to make a Perception roll (difficulty 6) in order to recall your features or name. On the flipside, you add +2 to the difficulty of any social rolls you need to make, because folks just don’t notice you under most circumstances.
For obvious reasons, you can’t take any socially distinctive Merits, Flaws or Backgrounds – such Traits would make you memorable – or have especially distinctive features or clothing.
|Useful Knowledge||1||Mental||You have expertise in a specific field that makes your conversation intriguing to a more powerful patron.||So long as your knowledge holds your patron's attention, he has a vested interest in keeping you around. Then again, once he’s pumped you for every iota of information you possess, that patronage may suddenly vanish.
This Merit is best used in the tradition of countless other literary or cinematic narrative tropes, in giving the protagonist a plausible reason to be attached to a strangely mysterious employer. This is often a jumping-off point for various journeys (whether of self-discovery or literal) or tragicomic misadventures.
|Wealthy||5-10||Social||Los Angeles is a global city which contains far more of the super-rich than most. What this means is that it is slightly more narratively plausible for PCs to possess a high Resources Background here than in other game settings.||Provided your Director agrees with your rationale: The 5 pt version of Wealthy allows you to buy Resources to 6. The 10 pt version of Wealthy allows you to buy Resources to 7. This *does* make Merit points tight for Supernatural PCs, who are limited to 10 pts of Merits, total.
The 10 dot version of this Merit is highly restricted.
|Work Ethic||1||Mental||Hard work has never bothered you; in fact, you thrive on it.|
Not everyone is a celebrity in Los Angeles. The city wouldn't function without legions of criminally-unappreciated, unsung heroes.
|Story-wise; you might be the executive assistant to a high-powered Hollywood agent, a world-famous actor (the one who constantly steals your ideas), or a bright-eyed teacher who won't be jaded by the bleak realities of the inner city. You could be a gardener who takes a simple pleasure in keeping the sprawling estate of your thankless employer immaculate and beautiful. You're one of those who the city's celebrity-obsessed elite refer to as the 'little people'.
System-wise; you regain 1 Willpower point, up to your normal maximum, whenever you work a full eight hours in a hospitality, crafting or service-based job.
Narratively speaking, in the context of the World of Darkness, this Merit is not appropriate for PCs whose jobs already come with their share of perks, like being a CEO of your own business, a police officer or owning an occult book store. This is about doing a thankless job, day in and day out - and doing it well, and the strength it gives you (in the form of extra Willpower) to tackle other challenges that might arise in the story.
|Ability Deficit||5||Mental||For whatever reason, you have fallen short of your potential. Maybe you’ve led a sheltered existence, honing your Knowledges but lacking in Talents. You could be a construct who only recently left the lab, or too physically frail to have mastered much in the way of Talents or Skills.||In game terms, this Flaw subtracts five points from one of your Ability categories (Talents, Skills, or Knowledges), and limits your starting Traits in that category to three dots or fewer even if /when you spend freebie points to raise them.|
|Absent-Minded||2||Mental||Um… what was that thing you were trying to remember, again? This Flaw reflects a scatterbrained sense of memory, and is commonly found among such narrative tropes as hoary old tenured professors, stoners and tanned bimbos.||System-wise, your Storyteller will often have you make Intelligence rolls to recall things like names, faces, mission details, and so forth. Story-wise, you’re forever drawing blanks, mistaking people for other folks, scrambling data, leaving projects half-finished (or totally abandoned), forgetting to feed your familiar, and making potentially hazardous errors in judgment.|
|Addiction||1-3||Physical||You’re addicted to some activity or substance that interferes to some degree with your daily life. Perhaps you crave sex, drink constantly, or can’t stop playing video games. Whatever the nature of the addiction, it drives you to irrational and possibly dangerous extremes. A harmless habit, after all, isn’t really a Flaw.||The value of this Flaw depends upon the hazards of the addiction. A craving for some trivial, yet often inconveniencing enjoyment (games, tobacco, social media), or a need for a more serious activity (like cocaine or casual sex) that you've mostly succeeded in keeping on the down low is worth one point.
If the addiction is either very dangerous (like a raging fentanyl habit) or life ruining (spending thousands you don't have on gambling or in-app purchases), then it is worth three points.
Severe addictions usually have a sense of moral wrongness about them as well, and they can cause social difficulties beyond the financial, legal, and physical and/ or psychological costs of the habit.
|Aging||2-10||Physical||The years have taken their toll on your physical capacities, and while the spirit may be willing, the body most certainly is not.||For every two points in this Flaw, the character loses one dot from a Physical Attribute (Strength, Dexterity or Stamina), either because his body is aging past its prime or some other chronological calamity. This Flaw isn't necessarily bound to a character's exact age, only to her physical health in relation to that age.
This Flaw may exceed the usual 7 dot Freebie limit from Flaws, if your PC also resembles their age.
|Airhead||1||Mental||Your personal concerns are so important that you tend to be clueless about the real world or what is going on around you. This may be your means of avoiding problems or retreating from your fears; nevertheless, you don’t often use your brain to its best advantage — or any advantage, it seems.||Those who know you describe you as “spacey,” and their patience often wears thin around you. You fade in and out of conversations, insert non sequiturs, or just plain fail to get it. Friends and even your own family make fun of you behind your back.
This is an extremely common Flaw in Los Angeles among the NPC population of wealthier areas.
|Amnesia||2||Mental||You are unable to remember anything about your past, yourself, or your family (whether mortal or vampiric), though your past might well come back to haunt you.||Your origins and the circumstances behind your amnesia are for the Storyteller to determine, and she is encouraged to make it as interesting as possible.|
|Bad Sight||1-3||Physical||Your sight is defective.||The difficulties of any die rolls involving the use of your eyesight are increased by two. As a one-point Flaw, this condition can be corrected with glasses or contacts, as a three-point Flaw, the condition is too severe to be corrected.|
|Bedeviled||6||Supernatural||A mysterious power has decided to fuck with you, and it’s perfectly capable of making your life a chronicle of woe. Misery and setbacks are your bread and butter – should things start looking up for you, you begin looking up as well to spot the inevitable anvil dropping toward your head.||A story-based Flaw, this wretched Trait essentially grants the Director a license to give your character the starring role in a twenty-first-century Book of Job.
There ought to be a certain rhyme and reason behind this metaphysical fuckery, of course, but the source of your agonies, and the way you could potentially end them, are for your Director to know and you to find out.
This Flaw is far more likely to be received as a consequence of some monstrous error in judgement during play, than to be approved in chargen.
|Beta||1||Social||You are born to follow, not to lead. Although capable in your own right, you’re the reliable support staff to your group’s real leaders.||Challenging authority seems alien to you, and where other companions of yours might seek status and ambition, your interests lay in doing what’s (at least apparently) best for your group as a whole. That’s your role and your duty, and you’re damned proud of both.
This can be a terrific situation with a noble or competent leader to rally behind. This Flaw becomes more of a drawback when you don't agree with everything the leader does, since it limits the plausibility of bitching about it or usurping status.
Don't take this Flaw unless you want an IC reason to commit to a less than pleasant IC hierarchy. OOC drama will not be tolerated.
|Blacklisted||1-5||Social||Having crossed some Powers That Be, you’ve now been pariah-fied among some segment of the Masses. The results impact your employment potential, social standing, legal status, credit rating, background checks, rental possibilities, and other significant elements of existing in the everyday world.||• (1 point) Trivial – poor driving record, suspected shoplifter, banned from a local union.
• (2 points) Minor – misdemeanor criminal record, suspended license.
• (3 points) Significant – disbarred lawyer, defrocked clergy, unpopular political affiliation, dishonorable military discharge.
• (4 points) Major – convicted felon, government watch-list, revoked medical license.
• (5 points) Pariah – FBI’s most-wanted, suspected terrorist, declared legally incompetent or insane. Other things that won't be approved for PCs.
|Catspaw||2||Flaw||You’ve done dirty work for someone high up in the city’s hierarchy in the past. However, instead of granting you favor, your deeds have made you a liability.||For the moment, your former employer’s concern is to keep you quiet. In the long term, it’s to get rid of you.|
|Chronic Depression||3||Mental||Everything seems overwhelming, pointless, and at best a fucking joke at the world’s expense. That feeling pervades each aspect of your existence: your attitude, your physical health, your relationships, and even – especially! – your approach to the supernatural and all its manifestations.||This Flaw can also reflect the psychic aftermath of Paradox backlashes, Quiet episodes, Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, Mind-Sphere attacks, and other forms of trauma (breakups, violation, disaster, and the like), although trauma-induced depression is most often a manifestation of the Flaw: PTSD.
System-wise, it often requires you to make a Willpower roll when your depressed character needs to push himself beyond the depression. A successful roll means that he acts without hindrance. A failed one adds +2 to the difficulty of the primary task at hand.
You can spend a Willpower point to temporarily 'suppress' this Flaw for a scene. Yet Willpower does run out, eventually...
|Combat Novice||3||Mental||Your character might talk a good game, but he’s never been around real violence, and when it happens, he’s not likely to respond well.||When confronted with gunfire; obvious, brutal combat (blood drawn, stab wounds, bones breaking); or any kind of supernatural violence, roll Willpower (difficulty 7). If this roll fails, the character either freezes in place or flees the area.
You must make this roll for every scene in which your character witnesses a violent occurrence, but if you accumulate five successes, no further rolls need be made for that night of game time.
NOTE: This Flaw does not count against your 7 Flaw point limit for bonus Freebie points. This means that you can always acquire three extra Freebie points by taking it.
|Compulsion||1||Mental||An almost reflexive mental tic drives you toward compulsive, often subconscious, behaviors. In some cases these behaviors manifest as ritualized activities: hand-washing, obsessive grooming, doing a task exactly the same way every time, and so forth. Other compulsions inspire annoying habits (humming or tongue clicking) or potentially harmful activities like shoplifting or gambling.||Minor compulsions tend to get chalked up to the rationalization, “That’s just what she’s like.” If you want your character to avoid a serious compulsion, however, you must spend a Willpower point in order to put off that behavior for a little while.|
|Compulsive Speech||1-2||Social||You just keep talking… and talking… and talking some more. This compulsion could come from a nervous social habit, a know-it-all personality, a sense of awkwardness in silence, or some other (potentially metaphysical) urge to fill up space with words.||As far as this Flaw is concerned, the one-point version means you run at the mouth too much, while the two-point one (also known as Big Mouth) means you say the wrong things to the wrong people on a fairly regular basis, often to people who sit higher than you do on the proverbial totem pole, or who do not exactly have your best interests at heart.
You can spend a Willpower point to suppress this urge for a scene.
|Conflicting Loyalties||1-3||Social||You’re facing a crisis of commitments: two or more of the parties you feel loyal to are at odds with one another, and you’re caught in the middle trying to support them all.||The value of this Flaw, as always, depends upon the intensity of the conflict:
• (1 point) A minor crisis forces you to shuttle between loyalties while remaining true to all parties.
• (2 points) A significant clash leads you to mediate untenable situations with frustrating frequency.
(3 points) Irreconcilable differences will eventually compel you to choose between loyalties, and that’s not a choice you’re sure you can make. Until that time, you’re fighting an apparently doomed campaign to support all sides without betraying anyone.
This Flaw is restricted, as it can be difficult to keep track of for a Director, and PCs tend to get themselves into conundrums like this regardless.
|Conniver||1||Social||As far as most folks who know you are concerned, you’re a perpetual knife in someone else’s back.||People expect treachery from you even if they’re wrong to think so. Subtract one die from any mundane dice pool you employ when you’re trying to get other characters to trust you.
This penalty does not extend to supernatural dice pools but if you’re having to cast spells in order to be believed, then you’ve kinda just lived up to that reputation.
|Cultural Other||1||Social||In the eyes of your society, you’re clearly divergent. Disreputable. Other. People suspect you of criminal, or at least unsavory, behavior – the authorities harass or detain you for little or no reason, and your loved ones probably “wish you could just be like normal people.”||This Flaw reflects prejudice within your society. The amount of trouble it causes, and the frequency of said trouble, determines the value of your Flaw:
Folks around you tend to harass you in small but noticeable ways (acting uncommonly brusque, using slurs in your presence, taking uncomfortable liberties with your privacy, property or person, etc.) and seem to feel there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Other people might stand up for you, but more often than not they won’t.
Authorities discriminate against you too. Your house may be searched, your job may be terminated, you might be evicted, robbed or assaulted and very few people will care.
NOTE #1: There is very little in the way of fairness or justice in the World of Darkness. There are many cruel people, whose naturally brutish proclivities are further sharpened by the bleakness of the world around them (or even nasty banes or Nephandic influence). It only applies to how certain NPCs behave.
NOTE #2: This Flaw does not count against the 7 freebie point limit for taking Flaws. However, it demands absolute OOC maturity in terms of engaging with these concepts, and as such, it rewards you with a little something extra.
|Curiosity||2||Mental||You simply can’t resist a good mystery! A nagging sense of curiosity drags you into all kinds of sticky situations. Given your abilities, you’ve got a decent chance at finding things out, too… which is not, especially in the World of Darkness, an especially healthy thing to do.||When confronted with an enticing clue or enigmatic circumstance, make a Wits roll to avoid giving in to temptation. The difficulty for that roll depends upon the situation.
Once you’re on the trail, few things short of a deadly threat will make you stop… and said deadly threat might simply encourage you to dig even deeper.
|Cursed||1-5||Supernatural||You are the recipient of a supernatural curse.||The strength and pervasiveness of the curse depend upon how many points you wish to incur: If you pass on a secret you were entrusted with, your betrayal will come back to harm you in some way. (1 pt.) You stutter uncontrollably when you try to describe what you have seen or heard. (2 pts.) Tools break or malfunction when you try to use them. (3 pts.) You are doomed to make enemies of those whom you most love or admire. (4 pts.) Every one of your accomplishments or triumphs will eventually become soiled or fail in some way. (5 pts.)|
|Dark Fate||5||Supernatural||You are doomed to experience a nasty end or, worse, suffer eternal agony. No matter what you do, you cannot avoid this terrible fate.||This Flaw makes it more likely that you'll suffer a botch rather than a failure.
NORMALLY: If you roll a success, which then gets negated by, say, two 1's, it won't be treated as a botch. Per the rules, a roll is only ever a normal 'failure' (i.e., 0 successes) no matter how many normal 1's you roll, as long as you get at least one success.
A PC with Dark Fate will disregard that rule. Instead, multiple 1's can take you into negative successes, which of course, is a 'botch'. So if you got one success and two 1's, that would now be considered -1 successes (hence, a botch).
|Dark Secret||1||Social||You have some sort of secret that, if uncovered, would be of immense embarrassment.||Beware: If this secret isn't 'dark' enough, to where if someone were to uncover it, they couldn't use it to blackmail you to avoid becoming a local pariah - then it doesn't qualify as a Dark Secret.|
|Debts||1-5||Asset||You’re kinda fucked financially. Student loans, credit-card debts, child-support payments, gambling losses, legal judgments, medical bills, car and/or mortgage payments... the ways in which a modern mortal or even supernatural can get in over her head financially are as numerous as the parties who prosper from such debts. Or Maybe you just suck at the whole paying-your-bills thing.||It doesn't matter what your Resources is - you managed to get in over your head recently and lost some crucial pillar of financial security in the process.
The level of this Flaw is determined by a combination of how personally crushing the debt to you, and more importantly, how vehemently your debtors are trying to collect.
Your creditor's tactics could range from round-the-clock phone calls and red-envelope letters on the low end to lawsuits, repossessions, threats, eviction, and even physical violence at the high end. Nor is your debt necessarily held by a mortal institution (A Syndicate or Giovanni banker is a special kind of nightmare).
This Flaw can be acquired in play, either as a result of IC misfortune or in return for some short-term benefit or relief, at the discretion of your Director.
|Deranged||3||Mental||You suffer from a serious and lasting form of mental illness.||See the 'Derangement Sidebar' in the Mage 20th Edition Corebook on page 649 for example derangements.|
|Discredited||1||Social||In your chosen field, your name is mud. Perhaps you’re a scientist whose bizarre theories have cost him the respect of his peers… or an academic who wound up on the wrong side of departmental politics… or a journalist who stepped too far over the line of credibility.||Whatever it is you did (or are reputed to have done), your professional associates look down on you. Add +2 to the difficulty of your social and Background-based rolls when you’re trying to get those associates to take you seriously.|
|Double Agent||2||Social||You work both sides of a very spiky fence – one of these days, you’re gonna get stuck on it.||Eventually, this dangerous game will catch up with you. Make plans, establish contingencies, and try not to get yourself perished!
Be warned that this Flaw is an excellent way to get perished.
|Driving Goal||3||Mental||You possess (or are possessed by) a cause so intense that it drives every aspect of your life, up to and including your beliefs about, and approach to, the supernatural.|
You will almost certainly break yourself against that goal, as so many others have done before you... and it is a cost you're willing to pay, even if your friends, family and colleagues suffer in the bargain.
|A common Flaw among Mages, yet any obsessive personality can fall prey to it. This Driving Goal inspires roleplaying choices and informs your character’s focus, allegiance, magick, Path, Resonance, Seekings, Paradox backlashes, and pretty much everything else you can imagine.
You can take short breaks from your crusade (usually by spending a Willpower point in order to take a different road for a while), but eventually this obsession brings you back to the goal you must pursue at all costs until you finally accomplish it or destroy yourself trying.
|Easily Intoxicated||2||Physical||This Flaw renders you especially susceptible to intoxication.||Your Stamina rolls to resist the effects of drugs or poisons (though not disease), suffer a +3 modifier to the usual difficulty involved.
Contrary to popular conception, this does not make you a good candidate for the Cult of Ecstasy because you don’t control the drugs – the drugs control you.
|Echo Chamber||2||Social||You surround yourself with groupthink. All opinions on important topics (politics, religion, magick, and so forth) must remain unified. No disagreements on such matters are permitted within this echo chamber, and anyone who bucks that decree is shown the door – often with great force – and shunned, probably vilified, afterward. Loyalty to the group is measured by the devotion each member shares with regards to the “truth” as your group understands it.||Essentially a story-based Trait, this Flaw cuts your character off from information that runs contrary to the group’s determined “truth.” Characters and data that disagree with that “truth” must be pushed aside, ignored, silenced, possibly attacked, maybe even destroyed “for the good of the group.”
This Flaw is restricted. It can become tedious to track, and most factions have little enough trouble falling into this trap without being incentivized for it.
|Enemy||1-5||Social||You have an enemy, or perhaps a group of enemies, who seek to harm you.||The power of the enemy depends upon how many points the player wishes to spend (five points indicate the wrath of an exceptionally dangerous and persistent foe, such as a vampire Prince or, government task force or brutal cartel).|
|Esoteric Discourse||1||Social||Your obsessive love of a specialized field inspires you to fill every waking hour with obscure jargon and obtuse metaphraseology. Most folks can’t understand half of what you say, and their incomprehension of such elementary terminology impels you to facilitate obligatory (if remedial) pedagogy. Oh, for fuck’s sake – just talk normal for a change!||The mystical (or Occult) version of Technobabbler.
In game terms, this Flaw imposes difficulty modifiers (+1 or +2) on social rolls, thanks to the character’s compulsive jargonization, hyperinitiated nomenclature, and condescending pedanticism.
For people who actually understand you, however, the usual penalty might become a social bonus instead… at which point everyone else probably leaves the room and lets the experts talk amongst themselves.
|Expendable||1-3||Social||Someone in power doesn’t want you around.||A local authority has the power to maneuver you into dangerous situations “for the good of the (Sect, Chantry, family etc),” and has no compunctions about doing so.
The 3-point version of this Flaw means that management's 'displeasure' with you is so obvious, that anyone with future career prospects (or a healthy concern for their own safety) considers you radioactive. Indeed, having you assigned to them as a partner would probably be considered a severe punishment (and perhaps evidence of being expendable as well).
|Extreme Kink||3||Mental||Everyone’s a little kinky – your needs are more, shall we say, exotic than a run-of-the-mill fetish.||Unlike the old Flaw: Sadism/Masochism (which it replaces), this Flaw isn’t about the nature and specifics of your kink – it can represent any carnal activity that drives you to dangerous extremes.
The three-point version of this Flaw (and incidentally, the only version allowed for PCs) can potentially damage your health, reputation and play partners - yet is theoretically legal in most jurisdictions. (Think bondage ropes and razor blades taken to dangerous extremes, not something that'd get you on a FBI watch list for googling.)
Most people (excepting certain fellow enthusiasts) will think rather less of you if they discover this proclivity. It's hard to respect Tom from Accounting if you know he's paying $500 for a large, German woman to beat the hell out of him every week.
This Flaw is restricted. A Director may deny it for any reason whatsoever, including a distaste for the subject. It's allowed here since the World of Darkness leans into certain sadomasochistic tropes, and only adults are allowed to play on our game. Abusing this Flaw in a way that violates our other policies (such as OOCly coercing your fellow PCs to engage in sexual RP) will not result in the loss of this Flaw - it will result in the loss of your character. Take this Flaw for the narrative pathos of a flawed protagonist (Ever seen David Lynch's Blue Velvet?), not for its titillation value.
|Failure||2||Social||Having blown a high-profile job, you’re now considered a washout by your peers. Until and unless you manage you redeem yourself, you’re essentially a laughingstock within your group.||Life is made of reversals of fortune, of course. Yeah, you’ll get back on top someday – it’s just gonna be a hard climb.
You suffer a -2 dice penalty to any roll intended to persuade or impress your peers or a superior.
|Family Issues||1-3||Social||Many people - mortal criminals and supernatural creatures alike - leave their families behind. You didn’t do that, although you may often wish you could.|
This isn't necessarily your 'genetic family', either. It could be a family-of-choice, like a 'blood in, blood out' street gang you joined as a kid.
|The more points you have in this Flaw, the more your family issues interfere with your new life. They're meddling (or alcoholic) parents, an abusive uncle (or sibling) or bad friends who won't let you start over.
It doesn't need to be malevolent. It could also represent a sickly relation or younger sibling for whom their sole source of care or financial support, or cousin getting in constant trouble with the law. The possibilities are, unfortunately, quite endless.
And no, you can’t just ditch 'em if you’ve already tried to do so. If you could, they wouldn’t still be your problem, now would they?
|Guilt-Wracked||4||Mental||You did something appalling enough to burden you with guilt in every waking hour.||Story-wise, this was likely some shameful murder, neglect, or destruction of something dear. You committed a crime and cannot put it right. You know that few - if any - will be sympathetic to your plight, even if you sobbingly confess, so for now, you just need to push it down and suffer.
System-wise, whenever you’re presented with a situation even vaguely similar to your crime, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) to remain composed.
Failure results in a breakdown for the remainder of the scene, rendering most tasks impossible and increasing the difficulty of all rolls by three. Even with a success, your body reacts nervously and the difficulty of all rolls increases by one as you attempt to conceal your guilt.
|Gullible||2||Social||You believe everything folks tell you. You repost memes without checking their accuracy or source. You fall for cons and pranksters every single time. Seriously?||Subtract three dice from every dice pool you roll (down to a minimum of one die) when you’re trying to penetrate falsehoods (lies, not stealth), or to fool people with your own bumbling attempts at deception.|
|Hard of Hearing||1||Physical||Your hearing is defective.||The difficulties of any rolls involving the use of hearing are increased by two.|
|Hatred||3||Mental||You utterly despise some something. Maybe you loathe vampires, werebeasts, rich or homeless people, fae folk, spirits, TV, lawyers, witches, cops, politicians... Whatever it is, fixating on it tends to blind you to other opportunities and probably annoys even those who share your convictions.||As with a Driving Goal, this Flaw guides roleplaying choices, determines targets, and makes you seem rather obsessive whenever the object of aversion comes into play. Because fear and hatred are so closely intertwined, chances are good that you’ve got a Short Fuse and /or a Phobia related to this Flaw.
Obviously, this Flaw must be chosen carefully. If your character tends to go thermonuclear at, say, the LAPD on an ongoing basis, he is in for a very rough (and probably short) life indeed.
|Haunted||3||Supernatural||You are haunted by an angry and tormented spirit, most likely one of your victims.||This spirit actively attempts to hinder you, especially engaged in some supernatural pursuit (such as hunting and feeding), and does its utmost to vent its anguish upon you and anyone in your presence. The Director determines the exact nature of the spirit, its powers, and whether or not it can eventually be laid to rest.|
|Hero Worship||1||Mental||You adore another character, to the point where that person can do no wrong as far as you’re concerned. Attempts to sway your opinion will just piss you off, shut you down, or drive you to heights (or depths) of absurd justification for whatever someone says about him.||If your hero tells you to do something, you’re inclined to obey. As such, you might suffer certain circumstantial penalties to your Social contests against them, depending on the unreasonableness of the demand.
Any social roll that’s aimed at getting you to discard your hero worship adds +2 to its difficulty unless the hero has recently done something very wrong.
|Hit List||4||Social||A rival group wants you dead. You might be an Orphan that crossed the New World Order, or mobster who snitched on his former capo. Whatever happened, it’s personal and extends to an entire group of organized faction.||Social rolls when dealing with members of this group add +2 to their difficulty – if you get a chance to make such rolls at all. Whether or not the enemy group actively attacks you on sight, its members will go out of their way to make your life solitary, unpleasant, nasty, brutish, and short.
You're only allowed to take this Flaw if it applies to a faction in Los Angeles. Not some group you left safely on the East Coast.
|Hunted||4||Social||You are pursued by a fanatical witch-hunter who believes (perhaps correctly) that you are a danger to humanity.||All those with whom you associate may be hunted as well.|
|Icy||2||Mental||You are one ice-cold bastard – an assassin, gangbanger, sociopath, or sadist who can commit atrocities without the slightest twitch. Although you’re not necessarily insane, your exaggerated callousness is creepy, making you unpopular with those who would otherwise admire your (theoretical) competence.||People avoid you unless they’ve got killing that needs doing... and then they step back and let you do your thing.
This is an especially common Flaw among jaded, veteran Awakened or Enlightened. The Union has positions for people like you (and so, despite their good-guy façade, do the Traditions or Disparate groups), but no one truly trusts you, and your soul is definitely in peril, with the Fallen only a step or two away from owning your cold ass.
This Flaw is more likely to be denied if you belong to a faction (such as Pentex or the Sabbat) where sociopathic inhumanity is more of a social perk.
It's also likely to be taken away if you're getting too chummy with your colleagues.
|Immortal Enemy||5-8||Supernatural||You’ve pissed off someone whose concept of “eternal grudge” could be taken literally.||Essentially, you’ve got the Enemy Flaw with a powerful and more or less immortal entity: a vampire elder, a demon, a demigod, totem spirit, Loa, dragon, or other being who measures its existence in centuries or millennia, with resources and abilities to match.
You're more likely to 'earn' this Flaw in play than be allowed it during chargen.
|Impatient||1||Mental||You have no patience for standing around and waiting. You want to do things now!||Every time you are forced to wait around instead of acting, a Self-Control or Intelligence roll (whichever is higher) is required to see if you go tearing off on your own instead.|
|Impediment||1-6||Physical||Due to some physical condition, you’re less able to deal with certain situations than most other people seem to be able to do. And if all of that sounds very conditional, that’s because the specifics of this Flaw depend a lot on the following circumstances: |
• What sort of condition you have.
• How much it gets in your way.
• Whether or not other people can tell that it gets in your way.
|Story-wise, an Impediment can be any body-based condition – obvious or not – that interferes with your character’s ability to do stuff. Examples of obvious Impediments include a missing limb, a limp, a bent spine, missing teeth, heavy scarring, deformed features, and the like, while “invisible” Impediments would include chronic pain and /or fatigue, poor eyesight, asthma, internal tumors, sensory processing disorders, and so forth.
The more that condition impedes your character, the more this Flaw is worth:
• (1 point) Like chronic headaches or impaired vision, the Impediment presents occasional inconveniences but is not a major hassle in your life unless you lose the things (aspirin or glasses) that you use to compensate for it.
• (2 points) Your Impediment presents constant but not insurmountable problems. In certain situations, you may suffer a +1 to difficulties that deal with that element of your life.
• (3 points) Your Impediment – severe migraines, missing fingers, near-deafness, palsy and so forth – significantly impairs several elements of your everyday life. System-wise, you add +1 to difficulties related to your Impediment.
• (4 points) An inescapable Impediment – missing limb, profound deafness or autism, near-blindness, severe arthritis and similar obstacles – forces you to try working around that condition on a daily basis. Under most circumstances, you add +2 to difficulties related to that Impediment.
• (5 points) A profound physical condition such as partial paralysis. You’re unable to function in most ways that people take for granted. Add +2 to physical difficulties unless you’ve got a reliable way to compensate for that handicap, and assume that you simply cannot do certain things at all.
• (6 points) Stephen Hawking would sympathize with you.
The Flaw reflects practical impairment in the character’s life – if your mage has a cybernetic arm that acts like his original arm only better, then that character is not impaired per this Flaw.
|Impractical Dresser||1||Physical||You tend to dress with an eye toward impressing others rather than personal comfort. Unless you explicitly state that you dress appropriately for physical activity, you wear high heels, tight jeans or something else that hampers physical activity.||Increase the difficulty of Athletics rolls by two when you wear such clothes.|
|Inappropriate||1-4||Mental||Thanks to some quirk of personality, you tend to say and do things that other folks frown upon, typically at the least appropriate times. |
Minds do weird shit, and so this Flaw could reflect a mental condition or psychological kink that drives the character toward embarrassing behaviors. On the other hand, your character could just be a socially maladjusted jackass.
|The value of this Flaw depends upon the degree to which it causes problems for your character:
• (1 point) You occasionally say and do silly shit that causes small degrees of embarrassment to you and your friends. +1 difficulty to social rolls if and when you act out.
• (2 points) Your quirk inspires some pretty mortifying behavior on a fairly regular basis. +1 difficulty to many social rolls, even when you’re not acting out at the moment.
• (3 points) Dude, you need to STFD and STFU or you’re going to be in big trouble… again. +2 difficulty to all social rolls that aren’t related to making an ass of yourself.
• (4 points) You are a source of constant headaches to anyone who dares to identify as your friend. +2 difficulty to social rolls, plus a bad reputation among folks who’ve met or heard of you.
This Flaw is not always approved, if only because PCs often need little in the way of incentives to get annoyed at each other, and IC friction is far too often taken into the OOC realm by immature players.
However, you might earn it in play if you make consistent and spectacular missteps.
|Indecisive||1||Mental||When you’re given an opportunity, you know you’ve got to act quickly, or it just might pass you by.||Story-wise; you can’t seem to make up your mind fast enough; it takes you a while to sort through all your options, examine the pros and cons, and then
decide which is the best decision.
System-wise; you must make a Willpower roll whenever your character must make a decision, otherwise you remain undecided about what to do.
|Infamy||1-5||Social||Especially in the age of social media and intelligence networks, this sort of infamy can be a very bad thing. Obviously, some folks adore you, if only because the rest of the world hates you. On the whole, however, your reputation among the Masses is more bad than good, and folks go out of their way to give you a hard time.|
As with other bad reputations, you may not have actually done anything wrong. Although if you've taken this Flaw, then good luck proving it.
|Once again, the weight of the Flaw determines its value:
• (1 point) Certain people within a region or subculture recognize and dislike you (the local drunks or snotty neighbor kids who constantly remind you of choking during the big championship game that one year or accidentally running over the mayor's dog).
• (2 points) Your notoriety was wide once, but has faded to occasional recognition and disdain (various grown-up child actors, Pete Rose, Paris Hilton, Oliver North).
• (3 points) You’re famous, but many people do not like you (Kanye West, Mel Gibson, the real 'Wolf of Wall Street', many politicians).
• (4 points) Extreme notoriety or a humiliating punchline (Roman Polanski, Bernie Madoff, Anthony Weiner).
• (5 points) You’re a household name, and that name is shit (O.J. Simpson if you're lucky).
Quite a few celebrities in LA have one or two dots of this Flaw (and possibly parleyed it into the Fame Background as well, like releasing a sex tape). But anything over three dots is almost certainly a career killer. Unless you move to some European country which is way more forgiving about certain things.
|Insubordinate||1||Social||You might have been spoiled as a child, never taught how to function in society, embraced a wrong-headed or rebellious ideology that puts style over substance or were simply born this way. The end result is that you're a pain in the ass to anyone that has ever been given responsibility over you.||Story-wise; you like to think that there is some nobility of spirit or reason behind your habitual defiance of orders, but the simple reality is that you just don't like being told what to do. It doesn't even seem to matter whether you particularly like them or not.
System-wise; whenever such a leader makes a command or request of you, roll Willpower (difficulty 5) and on a failure, you will work against their decree. It's rarely as obvious as an outright refusal, yet however subtle, it's nearly always annoying.
Truly inspired leaders might recognize your other strengths, value them, and learn to put up with your stubbornness. Most will resent you.
|Intemperate||2||Mental||Everything you do, you do to excess. Oh, sure, you can (usually) resist the urge to be terminally stupid, but moderation isn’t part of your vocabulary. Having a drink? Why not have six? A hand of cards? Why not bet your next paycheck on the outcome? From expressing opinions to risking body and soul, you play chicken with life and expect the other guy to swerve.||Whenever you happen to be doing something that probably won’t result in criminal charges or immediate death, make a Willpower roll to resist the urge to go whole-hog. The difficulty for the roll depends on the likely consequences of excess – taking little risks means difficulty 8 or 9, while risks with life-threatening potential are easier to resist (difficulty 5 or 6)… though you’ve been known to go too far in that department, too!|
|Intolerance||1||Mental||You have an irrational dislike of a certain thing: an animal, class of person, situation, or object, etc.||You gain a +2 difficulty on all dice rolls involving the focus of your intolerance. The Director is the final arbiter of what you can choose to have an Intolerance of: some dislikes may be too trivial to count (doughnuts or mechanical pencils) while disliking the Wyrm is already a common mindset for Garou and hardly counts as a Flaw.|
|Lazy||3||Physical||You are simply lazy, avoiding anything that requires effort on your part. Preferring to let others do the hard work, you lounge around.||For any action that requires preparation, there’s a good chance you didn’t properly prepare. Difficulty rolls for spontaneous Physical actions (including combat, unless it’s part of a planned offensive) increase by one.|
|Lifesaver||3||Mental||Life, to you, is a gift and miracle worth saving. As far as you’re concerned, even the most wretched people are worth another chance at redemption, and so you go out of your way to save lives and improve the lot of people (human and otherwise) who need a leg up in this world.||More than a simple “code verses killing,” this Trait gives you a moral imperative to salvage lives, not just a reason to not end them. In short, it makes you a big-hearted, generous person who deeply believes in the sanctity (whether you would use that religious term or not) of life. And that, in the World of Darkness, is a magnificent burden to bear.|
|Lunacy||2||Supernatural||You are affected by the phases of the moon, increasing your chances to act in an erratic, aggressive or unexpected away.||Your character tends to be apathetic or furtive during a New Moon (more likely to Rotschreck or Fox Frenzy), yet wild and erratic (with an increased likelihood to Frenzy, where appropriate) beneath a full moon. If your character is a mortal, most will think you're a loon.|
|Mental Lock||1||Mental||Somewhere in between impulse and action, things get stuck inside your head. Thoughts or images wind up caught in mental loops, and you occasionally find yourself tripping over words, getting stuck in patterns of speech, or repeating apparently uncontrollable activities.||To resist giving into one of these mental quirks or 'loops' when provoked by stress or anxiety, you'll need to roll your character's Willpower against difficulty 7 or else spend a temporary point of Willpower. The alternative is standing around flustered, stammered or nervously repeating some rote action (like biting your nails) until you can overcome it.
If the character is in a life threatening situation, they have the option to roll or spend Willpower every round, and once they succeed the first time, only need to roll again as the Director decides for dramatic effect.
In other situations, it'll typically last a minimum of five rounds.
|Mistaken Identity||1||Social||You look similar to descriptions of some malcontent which sometimes results in inconvenient cases of mistaken identity.||This can prompt numerous awkward or even dangerous situations, especially if your “twin" has an especially terrible reputation.|
|Monstrous||3||Physical||A frightening appearance marks you as an outsider. Regardless of your true personality and temperament, some profound deformities, scars, body mods or other characteristics fill people with terror and revulsion.||System-wise, your character has an Appearance of 0, and probably suffers penalties to social-based rolls to win people over, while getting difficulty reductions when trying to scare people, depending upon what he looks like and who he’s dealing with.
Nosferatu cannot take this Flaw.
|Mr. Red Tape||4||Social||Bureaucracy hates you. Any official complication that could go wrong will go wrong if you’re the one who’s dealing with the authorities.||This Flaw adds + 2 to the difficulty of any roll you make when trying to get something done through an established system, and throws stupid mistakes and delays into the works whenever you’ve got to work with any sort of bureaucracy.
That's way more situations than the player about to take this Flaw probably realizes.
|Mute||4||Physical||You cannot speak.||This Flaw requires a great deal of roleplaying to fully embody the nuances and drawbacks of your condition. It should not be considered a convenient source of freebie points.
This Flaw is highly discouraged. Historically, even players with the best of intentions have discovered that roleplaying it out on a nightly basis gets old in a hurry.
|Naive||1||Social||Oblivious to the depths of misery around you, you retain an intrinsic faith in the best possible outcome. And while this sort of optimism can provide the foundation for literally world-changing beliefs (see the paradigm It’s All Good – Have Faith! in Mage 20, p. 570), it can also blind you to the realities you face.||When making a roll that could detect another character’s bad intentions or malignant nature, add +2 to the difficulty of your roll. Story-wise, you have a hard time believing that the terrible things you see around you could really be as bad as they seem, and may perhaps lack empathy for other people’s pain (+2 to the difficulty of Empathy-based rolls, at the Storyteller’s option) because you recognize so little about pain yourself.|
|Narc||3||Social||You are known to be a snitch, an informer firmly planted in the pocket of those in charge, whether mortal or supernatural.||Given the opportunity, some might do you mischief. Regardless, your reputation as a weasel precedes you, putting you at +1 difficulty on all Social rolls against those who don’t agree with your politics.|
|Nightmares||1||Mental||You experience horrendous nightmares every time you sleep, and memories of them haunt you during your waking hours.||Upon awakening, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) or lose a die on all actions for that night. A botched Willpower roll indicates that, even when awake, you still believe that you are locked in a nightmare.|
|Notoriety||3||Social||Rumors dog your steps, and whispers precede your appearance. Whether or not the stories are true, you’ve been linked to some disgrace, and will be shunned and probably punished accordingly if you haven’t been punished already. |
This isn't great for your career prospects.
|System-wise, this Flaw adds +2 to the difficulties of all social rolls within your faction (Traditions, Barony, Camarilla, etc.), and predisposes pretty much everyone outside your closest friends to think the worst of you.|
|Oathbreaker||4||Supernatural||Sworn oaths are powerful things, especially when Awakened magick or blood sorcery is involved. And yet, you have broken your vow – not a simple promise, but an oath of serious significance. “I’m sorry” won’t cut it here – you need serious atonement in order to make things right, and until that point, anyone who can read auras or listen to gossip within the proper circles will know you for the faithless swine you are.||A story-based Flaw, Oathbreaker marks your character out as someone who is not to be trusted. People who place great value in honor will shun her, and others will exploit what they consider her generally dishonorable nature. Beyond that, other characters may be hunting her, with the intention of exacting penance or revenge… maybe both!|
|Obsession||2||Mental||An all-consuming interest of yours tends to overshadow whatever passes, in your mind, for common sense.|
You can’t have just one or two cats – you’re the local Crazy Cat Person who drops half a paycheck on food, litter, and veterinary bills. This obsession probably won’t get you killed or anything (unless you’re crazy enough to get obsessive about werecats or similarly fatal topics), but it consumes vast amounts of time, attention, and cash.
|When faced with an opportunity to pursue your obsession down unexplored avenues, or if that obsession interferes with important things like relationships, work or both, you may need to make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) to suppress the urge.|
|OCPD||3||Mental||You feel compelled to follow stringent personal rituals, maintain an obsessive sense of order, work yourself to the point of exhaustion (and beyond), organize every possible element of your life and space, employ compulsive behaviors without realizing that you’re doing so, and otherwise lose track of time, things, and people unless they fall into the sphere of your obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.||An especially common Flaw among technomancers, Hermetic ritualists, superstitious soldiers, meticulous scientists, elder vampires, megalomaniacal musicians and other folks whose philosophies and pursuits demand continual attention and/or control.
When this Flaw is chosen, you’ll need to define which compulsions your character has, and figure out the triggers that make those compulsions more obvious. System-wise, you’ll often have to make Willpower rolls in order to shake off the need to organize and obsess over the object of your attentions. The difficulty, of course, depends upon the situation and the character’s level of stress at the time – the more challenging the circumstances, the more obsessive the compulsions.
|Offline||1-2||Social||You hate the Internet. As far as you’re concerned, it’s a complicated waste of time. You loathe social networking and search engines. Anyone who wants to contact you can damned well write a letter, use a telephone, or just leave you the hell alone!||While this Flaw is worth only one point in cultures where the Internet is an occasional (and often privileged) indulgence, it’s a two-point Flaw in cultures where Internet access and participation are major elements of most people’s social lives.|
|Old Flame||2||Social||Someone you once cared deeply for is now with the enemy. He still attempts to play on your sympathies “for old times’ sake” while working against you.||Unless you succeed on a contested Manipulation + Expression roll against your former friend, you cannot act against him unless the situation becomes life-threatening.|
|Omega||3||Social||Like a beta, you occupy a low place in your group's social hierarchy. But while the beta still retains a position of honor (the dedicated support type or glue guy/girl), your character doesn't. Instead, you occupy the bottom layer of your group’s social structure. You get whatever they choose to give you and take whatever they dish out.||Verbal and (and in particularly savage groups, like a Sabbat pack or Ratkin Nest, even physical abuse) are your daily lot. Your only consolation is that your group will generally protect you from outside forces. Sadly, no one will protect you from your 'friends'.
This Flaw raises the difficulty of your Social rolls by +2 when you deal with parties outside your group, and by +3 within that group. A single class of Social rolls (such as Intimidation vs outsiders or Seduction vs insiders) might remain unaffected if it approximates your main use to the group, such as guard dog or village bike.
This Flaw is only suitable for characters attached to groups that adhere to particularly unpleasant and primitive social dynamics, whether a Sabbat pack, USC frat, vicious street gang or certain varieties of shifters.
|One Eye||2||Physical||You have only one eye, and are significantly inconvenienced from it. If you have somehow overcome this inconvenience, then this Flaw is worth nothing.||The difficulties of all Perception rolls involving eyesight are increased by two, and the difficulties of all die rolls requiring depth perception are increased by one (this includes ranged combat).|
|Overconfident||1||Mental||You’re the best there is at what you do. If other folks disagree, then that’s their problem, not yours!||Nothing is beyond your reach, and so you almost never back down from a challenge, no matter how absurdly outmatched you appear to be at the time. If things go poorly, of course, you can always blame someone else. After all, it’s clearly not your fault!|
|Overextended||4||Social||You’ve got your fingers in too many pies, and people are starting to notice. You have too few allies, too many retainers, or too much influence, which means that a lot of people have a vested interest in trimming back your operations.||Your competitors (some you didn't even realize you had) take every opportunity to reduce your power and influence, and if that means lying, cheating, or killing, so be it. Furthermore, your rivals block every attempt you make to move into new areas of control. You’re boxed in, and the box is getting smaller.|
|Paranormal Imperative||2-8||Supernatural||Also known as Geasa and Magical Prohibition or Imperative, this Flaw represents a thing you either must do, or are forbidden from doing, on pain of awful consequences. |
Generally, this imperative comes from an oath you swore, a curse that was inflicted upon you, or a legacy that follows your family lineage. Faerie grudges, infernal pacts, godly inheritances, ancient prophecies... Any one of them can inflict such a burden upon you. So long as you never cross that line, you should be okay – and may, in fact, possess some blessing (a Merit or Background Trait) that’s linked to this Flaw.
|This Flaw represents something you must do.
The value of this Flaw is based on your chances of violating the prohibition, and the consequences that occur if you do.
* (1 point) You find it easy to fulfill your imperative (you must shave all your hair off, walk outside every day, or wear blue clothing).
* (2 points) Your imperative is challenging to fulfill (you must always cover your head, walk at least three miles every day, or go barefoot at all times).
* (3 points) It’s very hard to honor your imperative (you must blindfold yourself every day even though you can see, walk everywhere you go, or remain naked at all times).
* (+1 point) Inconvenient consequences – you botch your next three rolls, suffer a migraine, develop a rash for several days, etc.
* (+2 points) Annoying consequences – you lose your voice for a day, lose a die from all your pools for a week due to constant pain, add +2 to all your social rolls with members of your faction until you can atone from breaking your oath, and so forth.
* (+3 points) Painful consequences – until you can atone, you go blind or mute, gain penalties to various dice pools, lose an Ally, Mentor, or Familiar, or suffer a similarly awful fate.
This Flaw makes an excellent companion to numerous Backgrounds (Familiar, Legend, Past Life, Totem, Wonder, etc) and other supernatural Merits.
Your Imperative must be tied in with your character’s backstory, and if something like a mage, probably has a connection to all three elements of her magickal focus (paradigm, practice, and instruments).
The conditions must be something that could conceivably present an obstacle for your character. Directors are encouraged to err on the low side when assigning value to this Flaw.
|Paranormal Prohibition||2-8||Supernatural||Also known as Geasa and Magical Prohibition or Imperative, this Flaw represents a thing you either must do, or are forbidden from doing, on pain of awful consequences. |
Generally, this imperative comes from an oath you swore, a curse that was inflicted upon you, or a legacy that follows your family lineage. Faerie grudges, infernal pacts, godly inheritances, ancient prophecies... Any one of them can inflict such a burden upon you. So long as you never cross that line, you should be okay – and may, in fact, possess some blessing (a Merit or Background Trait) that’s linked to this Flaw.
|This Flaw represents something you must not do.
The value of this Flaw is based on your chances of violating the prohibition, and the consequences that occur if you do.
* (1 point) You break the prohibition only with an easily avoided circumstance (never kill a cat, go to London, or have sex with a married person).
* (2 points) Your prohibition is easy to break (never tell a lie, leave your home town, or have sex with anyone).
* (3 points) It’s very hard to not break your prohibition (never speak, have a home of your own, or fall in love or lust with anyone).
* (+1 point) Minor consequences – you botch your next three rolls, suffer a migraine, develop a rash for several days, etc.
* (+2 points) Major consequences – you lose your voice for a day, lose a die from all your pools for a week due to constant pain, add +2 to all your social rolls with members of your faction until you can atone from breaking your oath, and so forth.
* (+3 points) Painful consequences – until you can atone, you go blind or mute, gain various dice pool penalties, lose an Ally, Mentor, or Familiar, or suffer a similarly awful fate.
This Flaw makes an excellent companion to numerous Backgrounds (Familiar, Legend, Past Life, Totem, Wonder, etc) and other supernatural Merits.
Your Prohibition must be tied in with your character’s backstory, and if something like a mage, probably has a connection to all three elements of her magickal focus (paradigm, practice, and instruments).
The conditions must be something that could conceivably present an obstacle for your character. Directors are encouraged to err on the low side when assigning value to this Flaw.
|Phobia||2-3||Mental||You have an overpowering fear of something. Spiders, snakes, crowds, and heights are examples of common phobias.||You must make a Willpower roll every time you encounter the object of your fear. The difficulty of the roll is determined by the Storyteller. If you fail the roll, you must retreat from the object.|
|Profiled Appearance||2||Social||You look like one of those people... y'know, the people that "respectable citizens" expect bad things from. Depending on the setting of your chronicle, this could involve physical mannerisms, body art, gender distinctions, individual features, ethnic heritage, cybernetic modifications, or other elements of your physical body that you cannot remove and probably don't want to "fix" anyhow.||The (normal) people around you are constantly watching your every move, making trouble for you when they can get away with it, and otherwise causing you grief. The authorities shake you down on principle, and most 'law abiding' folks won't object to whatever they choose to do to you.
Profiled Appearance is based on your character's physical features, not on their social behavior (see Cultural Other for that). Although it can be concealed to some degree, your Profiled Appearance is not something that can be removed without magick, and it reflects an essential part of your identity.
NOTE: This is a deeply appropriate Flaw for Los Angeles. Especially in the World of Darkness version of Los Angeles. Because of this, you always get two freebies for taking Profiled Appearance, even if it would take you over 7 freebies from Flaws.
NOTE #2: this is a Flaw for interacting with the cruel forces of the World of Darkness' NPC landscape. It's there to help serve as a source of thematic inspiration. It has no relevance to PC to PC interactions.
|PTSD||2-5||Mental||Awful experiences have given you a hair-trigger response to certain situations.|
Sadly common in the World of Darkness, PTSD reflects deep-seated pain caused by things that a person might not even recall. Combat, torture, accidents, poverty, sexual violation, domestic violence, parental abuse… anything that can destroy a person’s sense of safety might cause PTSD. Despite its sometimes extreme nature, PTSD is a perfectly rational response to harm. Because of that, it can be difficult to treat successfully, even with advanced psychiatry or Mindbased magicks. In most cases, a person suffering from PTSD simply learns to live with the symptoms and avoid the triggers that can set off a reaction.
|As usual, the different levels of this Flaw manifest in various levels of severity:
• (2 points) Your PTSD conjures occasional nightmares and anxieties under certain rare circumstances (confronting ghosts, dealing with demons, entering the wilderness, and so forth).
• (3 points) The trauma triggers phobias or other strong reactions to more common situations (dealing with elders, facing financial difficulty, etc.).
• (4 points) Reactions become more extreme – near-panic, powerful aversion, rapid mood swings – and provocations become more common (gunshots, confrontations, raised voices, etc.).
• (5 points)Your PTSD kicks off major reactions – fightor- flight panic, vivid flashbacks, moments of stark terror, incapacitating catatonia – in fairly common situations (sex, arguments, financial transactions, etc.).
Even without the specific stimulus, you often suffer from nightmares, social anxieties, fear of common things, and other circumstances that could evoke the traumatic event(s).
|Repulsive Feature||2||Physical||Some physical feature of yours turns people away. Maybe you smell bad regardless of your state of hygiene, possess the proverbial “evil eye,” have an especially grating voice, suffer from a pervasive skin condition, or have a similarly repugnant physical characteristic.||Essentially the inverse of the Merit: Enchanting Feature, this Flaw represents a concealable yet disconcerting element of your physical presence. Unlike Impediment, this Feature affects the way people regard you, not the way your body functions.
System-wise, this Flaw adds a +2 difficulty modifier to Social-Trait rolls whenever this feature comes into play. Story-wise, this Flaw renders you physically distinctive unless you make an effort to hide the Repulsive Feature. If you change shape, that feature carries over into your other forms, which interferes with disguise attempts.
|Rivalry||3-5||Social||An associate of yours has it out for you, and while this rival cannot openly move against you (probably because of an external authority she doesn’t want to risk annoying, or social pressures that she can’t avoid), she’ll make your life as difficult as she can under the circumstances. Rumors, sabotage, exposed scandals, and perennial traps are just a few of your rival’s weapons against you. And while you can dance around most of them, a few still manage to hit their mark.||The value of this Flaw depends, as usual, on the amount of trouble this rivalry causes for you:
• (3 points) Someone of a lower or equal degree of power and influence wants to complicate your life.
• (4 points) A rival of greater power and influence throws obstacles in your path whenever possible.
• (5 points) A far more powerful rival is seriously dedicated to keeping you miserable… possibly even to making you dead.
It is entirely possible to gain this Flaw in play.
|Rotten Liar||3||Social||It may be that you’re just too honest for your own good, or cursed to speak the truth as you know it, regardless of the cost or your intentions – then again, you might just stammer your way through attempted deceptions, telegraphing your lies through body language and vocal tone.||add +3 to the difficulty of any die roll you make when you’re trying to deceive another character. Yes, this penalty extends to magickal deceptions too, like illusions or mind control. Honesty might not always be the best policy among the Awakened, but for you it’s generally the best option.|
|Short||3||Physical||You are well below average height — four and a half feet (1.5 meters) tall or less.||You have difficulty reaching or manipulating objects designed for normal adult size, and your running speed is one-half that of an average human.|
|Shrinking Violet||2||Social||As a shrinking violet you’re only comfortable with your own. Around others, you’re constantly aware of the differences between you, and are consequently ill at ease.||This Flaw manifests as clumsiness (fear of breaking things and people), difficulty speaking in social situations (only able to speak of things as they are), etc.
In game terms, this Flaw adds two to all difficulties of Social rolls when not primarily among your very closest friends and family.
|Shy||1||Mental||You are distinctly ill at ease when dealing with people and try to avoid social situations whenever possible.||Difficulties for all rolls involving social interaction with strangers are increased by two. If the character becomes the center of attention in a large group, difficulties are increased by three.|
|Sleeping With The Enemy||3||Social||You have some sort of intimate connection with a member of an opposing organization.||You may have a lover, a childe, a friend, or a contact working the other side of the fence, but regardless of politics you retain a friendly (or more than friendly) relationship with your putative foe. Your close ties to someone on the other side would be regarded as treason by your superiors, and if you are discovered, the penalty will surely be exile, death or imprisonment.|
|Soft-Hearted||1||Mental||You cannot stand to watch others suffer.||You avoid any situation that involves causing someone physical or emotional pain, unless you make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8).|
|Special Responsibility||1||Social||Shortly after being initiated into some new organization (A frat, gang, government agency or vampire Sect, etc) you volunteered for some task in order to gain respect and approval from those around you. Now, you wish you had never opened your damn mouth!||While you are not given any special credit for performing this duty, you would lose a lot of respect if you were to stop. The nature and the details of your duty should be worked out with the Director in advance.|
|Speech Impediment||1||Mental||You have a stammer or other speech impediment that hampers verbal communication.||The difficulties of all die rolls involving verbal communication are increased by one.|
|Technobabbler||1||Social||Your obsessive love of a specialized field inspires you to fill every waking hour with obscure jargon and obtuse metaphraseology. Most folks can’t understand half of what you say, and their incomprehension of such elementary terminology impels you to facilitate obligatory (if remedial) pedagogy. Oh, for fuck’s sake – just talk normal for a change!||The technical version of Esoteric Discourse.
In game terms, this Flaw imposes difficulty modifiers (+1 or +2) on social rolls, thanks to the character’s compulsive jargonization, hyperinitiated nomenclature, and condescending pedanticism.
For people who actually understand you, however, the usual penalty might become a social bonus instead… at which point everyone else probably leaves the room and lets the experts talk amongst themselves.
|Tic||1||Physical||You have some sort of repetitive motion that you make in times of stress, and it’s a dead giveaway as to your identity.||Examples include a nervous cough, constantly wringing your hands, cracking your knuckles, and so on. It costs one Willpower to refrain from engaging in your tic.|
|Troublemaker||2||Social||Pretty much the inverse of the Merit: Sanctity – you project an impression of guilt even when you haven’t done anything wrong.||Folks blame you for pretty much everything, and the authorities go harder on you than is remotely fair.
You come across like a natural-born sinner regardless of how you behave... so you might as well have some fun with it. You're gonna get punished no matter what, right?
|Twisted Upbringing||1||Social||Someone taught you all the wrong things. For whatever reason, the mentor who introduced you to your specific faction (whether it's a mafia family or a supernatural group) did a terrible job, and now you reap the results.||They may have told you lies about other groups, filled your head with nonsense about the nature of magick (though in all honesty, pretty much everyone does that), or simply behaved like a raging shmuck and left you in the lurch.
Now folks blame you for things you did not do (or you did out of ignorance), and the mentor’s bad rep and worse teachings hang about you.
You'll probably recover from this eventually, but what a way to start!
|Vanilla||1||Social||In a world filled with sex magick and power plays, you’re the little lamb who’s strayed far away from home. Jokes get past you, clues escape you, and references to anything rawer than a Disney flick go straight over your head.||This is a story-based Flaw. Maybe you grew up in a secluded place with overprotective parents – or you could be in denial about the things you see all around you because life can’t possibly be that twisted… can it? Regardless, hold firm to your innocence. Once it’s gone, it ain’t never coming back again!|
|Vengeful||2||Mental||You have a score to settle,||You are obsessed with taking your revenge on an individual or group, and it is your overriding priority in any situation where you encounter the object of your revenge. You may temporarily resist your need for vengeance by spending a Willpower point.|
|Ward||3||Social||Mortals and supernatural creatures alike (such as mages, werebeasts and vampires) rarely move through life alone. And when certain companions – lovers, children, partners, parents, close friends, even employers – depend upon you, that lack of loneliness can become a liability.||This Flaw represents a character, or a group of characters, who require constant attention on your part. Your life is a hazard to them, and their needs often provide hazards for you as well.
Wards tend to get in trouble, require rescuing, and go digging into aspects of your life you’d prefer they left alone. Is it love that binds you to your ward? Duty? An oath? Family obligations? A job like bodyguarding, teaching or medicine?
Regardless of the reason, each ward is an essential part of your life. Their life is your priority.
|Weak-Willed||3||Mental||You are highly susceptible to mind control (typically Dominate), indoctrination and intimidation by others.||Dominate attempts automatically affect you unless the Discipline wielder is of higher Generation, and your difficulties to resist Social abilities such as Intimidation or Leadership, as well as mind-altering spells or magic, are increased by two. Your Willpower Trait may never rise above 4.|
|Whimsy||1||Mental||You get silly under stress. It’s an avoidance tactic, and while such behavior can be endearing in small doses, your whimsical streak can get kinda annoying after a while.||In especially stressful situations, you might need to make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to not clown around. Hey, you can’t help it, right, if you’re trying to lighten the mood? Jeez, why does everything have to be so damned serious…?|
|Addictive Blood||3||Setite||You don’t just peddle narcotics; through the blessings of the Dark God, you are the perfect drug.||Your blood is especially delicious to others, Kindred or kine. Whoever tastes your blood must, during any subsequent scenes that they meet you, drink again or spend a Willpower point to avoid the pangs of craving. These cravings add +2 difficulty to any Mental or Social rolls. Setites with this Merit find it much easier to blood bond an opponent, as once they have tasted the tainted vitae, they will do almost anything to drink it again.|
|Additional Discipline||5||Supernatural||You can draw upon a greater breadth of inherent Disciplines than most vampires.||You can take one additional Discipline (Storyteller discretion) as if it were a Clan Discipline. All costs to learn that Discipline are paid out as if it were native to your Clan.|
|Alien Perfection||2||Supernatural||You possess beauty unsettling in its perfection. People stand in awe of your flawless form, while inexplicable nausea subconsciously creeps up.||The difficulty of any Appearance roll is reduced by three. A Stamina roll is required by anyone in your presence for longer than one scene, if this is the first time they’ve encountered you. Failure drives them away from you with a sickness wracking their body.
Prerequisite: You must have an Appearance of 5 or greater and a Humanity of 4 or less (or follow a Path) to purchase this Merit.
|Arcane||1-5||Supernatural||Some vampires have a strange ability to slip from notice, which manifests as an aura of forgetfulness. The ability may be deliberately developed (particularly by Tal'Mahe'Ra agents or Black Hand shakari), or the Cainite could be subtly influenced by a particularly furtive Beast.||Each point taken subtracts one die from any dice pools used to actively locate the vampire or recall her from memory. As a passive trait, it doesn’t help on Stealth rolls or other overt attempts to hide. It never works on someone again after you have been formally introduced to them.|
|Berserker (vampire)||3||Mental||Some vampires - especially Brujah and Gangrel of the Free States - are feared for lashing their Beasts into a furious rage in battle.||Your Frenzies are especially wild and savage.
Your character gains three temporary Bruised health levels, ignores wound penalties, and adds two dice to her Strength and one die to her Stamina until everything within easy reach or sight is dead or incapacitated, while Frenzying.
You can not wield weapons while in the throes of such a supernatural fury.
|Blessed by St. Gustav||4||Ventrue||You descend from a bloodline within the Clan that traces its lineage back to the mythological figure of St. Gustav.||The Ventrue who takes this Merit finds that they embody the qualities of St. Gustav even in the modern nights. Such vampires gain Auspex as a fourth in-Clan Discipline.|
|Blush of Health||2||Physical||You look more hale and healthy in appearance than other vampires, allowing you to blend with human society much more easily.||You still retain the color of a living mortal, and your skin feels only slightly cool to the touch.|
|Boon||1-6||Social||Someone owes you a favor.||The vampire in your debt might be the lowliest neonate in the city or might be the Prince herself.
This Merit does not count against the 10 dot limit for supernaturals.
|Broken Bond||3||Social||You were once blood-bound but have secretly slipped the leash, and you are free to act as you will once more.||Your regnant has no idea that you are not in fact bound, and continues to treat you as if you were. It takes a great level of effort to keep the farce convincing, yet could provide a crucial advantage.|
|Bullyboy||2||Social||You’re part of the brute squad the local Sheriff or Bishop calls on when he needs some muscle.||You get in on action that others miss entirely, score points with those in power, and occasionally get a chance to act outside of the law. How far outside the law you can go depends on circumstance and how much the vampire you report to likes you.|
|Calm Heart||3||Mental||You are naturally calm and do not easily fly off the handle.||You receive two extra dice when attempting to resist a frenzy. Brujah may not take this Merit.|
|Chorus Trained||3-5||Daughters||The character has learned how to use the Fugue to tune in to her sisters and work together with far more efficiency.||For 3 points, this Merit grants the character 2 extra dice to any Melpominee dice pool when using the power with another character with this Merit. For 5 points, the bonus 2 dice can be added for any action being performed by a partner with this Merit, such as making art or even fighting together.|
|Clan Friendship||3||Social||One particular Clan (not your own) has a special liking for you.||You might have done the Clan as a whole a favor at some point, or perhaps you’re just a loud voice in support of their aims. Whatever the case, you’re at -2 difficulty on all friendly Social rolls involving members of the Clan in question.|
|Cold Read||3||Malkavian||Whenever you meet someone for the first time, you may spend a number of points of Willpower equal to your Perception.||For each point spent, you may ask the Director one question about the character. The Storyteller must either answer truthfully or let you take the Willpower point back to you to avoid answering the question|
|Connoisseur||2||Ventrue||Your study of the Auspex Discipline, combined with your rarified tastes, allows you an uncanny empathy and connection to a victim, giving you powerful insights into the character of any whose blood you taste.||The character tastes another’s blood and rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty 6 for mortals or 8 for Kindred).
* If the blood came from a mortal, each success allows him to learn one of the following: the mortal’s Nature, her Demeanor, any Derangements she may possess, whether she is blood bonded, and whether she carries any blood-borne diseases.
* If the vitae came from a vampire, he can learn all of the previous information, plus anything discoverable with the first level of the Path of Blood.
|Critters||2-3||Supernatural||You’re excellent with animals — so much so that they constantly seek to befriend you. Wherever you go, the animals are happy to see you, and more often than not, happy to help you when you ask for their aid.||You receive a bonus die on Social rolls to affect small animals. Further, animal companions who have had continual interaction with you see you as something of a pet, and occasionally bring you small useful things. Once per game session, animals will bring you a useful piece of information or a small item relevant to events.
Ravnos can buy this Merit for 2 pts. Everyone else pays 3 pts.
|Deceptive Aura||1||Supernatural||Your aura is unnaturally bright and colorful for a vampire.||You register as a mortal on all attempts to read your aura.|
|Discerning Palate||4||Physical||Your naturally selective palate allows you to discern specific traits inherent to a sample of blood. With but a taste, you can determine potency, freshness, species, or whether a blood sample is contaminated, as well as attempt to identify the Generation, age, and even Clan of other vampires. |
A common Merit of Toreador sommeliers, Ventrue connoisseurs and Assamite Viziers.
|If you sample even a single drop of blood, roll Perception + Awareness (difficulty 8).
• One success allows you to identify the relative potency of the blood, a species whose blood you have previously tasted and know to be of a specific kind, whether older or younger than you, if its Generation is greater or lesser than your own and if it is of your same Clan.
• Three or more successes identifies whether the blood is contaminated by disease or poison, the approximate age and Generation of the vampire and any Clan whose blood you’ve previously tasted. It might provide other details at the Director's discretion.
|Distracting Aura||2||Malkavian||Reading an aura using Auspex requires the viewer to focus on recurring patterns and colors to detect a target’s emotional state. Because of the unique state of your psyche, your aura is even harder to read than most.||All uses of Aura Perception are at a +2 difficulty against you.|
|Drug Resistance||2||Setite||The Setite religion is one fraught with vices, both to compromise enemies and to enlighten initiates. Cultists tend to build up a tolerance to the substances they take directly (if human) or through the blood of prey.||You are unusually resistant to alcohol, narcotics, and similar addictive substances. You can pretend to be far more under the influence than you are in order to take advantage of an opponent. All rolls to resist the effects of such substances are at -2 difficulty.|
|Dynamic Personality||5||Brujah||Your natural charisma draws mortals to you like groupies to a rock star.||You can purchase Backgrounds relevant to your character's charismatic roleplay each chapter for 4 XP per dot instead of 5 XP.
In addition, you gain one level 5 Community Influence action each chapter relevant to the grid room where your current home is.
|Early Riser||1||Physical||No one can explain it, but you seem to have the ability to work on less rest than your fellow vampires. You always seem to be the first to rise and the last to go to bed even if you’re been out until dawn.||Your Humanity or Path score is considered to be 10 for purposes of deciding when you rise each evening. Vampires with this Merit cannot take the Deep Sleeper Flaw.|
|Eat Food||1||Physical||You have the capacity to eat food and even savor its taste.||While you cannot derive any nourishment from eating regular foods, this ability will serve you well in pretending to be human. Of course, you can’t digest what you eat, and there will be some point during the evening when you have to heave it back up.|
|Efficient Digestion||3||Physical||You are able to draw more than the usual amount of nourishment from blood.||When feeding, you gain an additional point to your blood pool for every two points of blood you consume. This does not allow you to exceed your blood pool maximum.|
|Elysium Regular||1||Social||You respect and attend Elysium more than most Kindred. You see and are seen to such an extent that all of the movers and shakers of Elysium at least know who you are.||Extended time spent in Elysium also gives you extended opportunities to interact with the Harpies and other Kindred of that stature — and they’ll know your name when you approach them. You gain a +1 die bonus to any Social interactions taken on Elysium grounds while observing Elysium customs.
This Merit may only be granted or revoked by the Keeper of Elysium and Chancellor in concert. It costs 5 XP as normal, yet does not count against your 10 dot Merit limit.
|Embraced Without the Cup||1||Tremere||For some reason you did not drink the blood of the elders when you were inducted into Clan Tremere. More dangerously, it may have had no effect on you. As a result, you are not bound to the Clan the way most Tremere are.||Should it be discovered, it will usually be corrected, but one might almost believe there was some purpose to this lapse, as the Tremere don’t make mistakes.|
|Enchanting Voice||2||Physical||There is something about your voice that others cannot ignore. When you command, they are cowed. When you seduce, they swoon. Whether thundering, soothing, persuading, or simply talking, your voice commands attention.||The difficulties of all rolls involving the use of the voice to persuade, charm, or command most creatures are reduced by two. This has a lesser effect vs other vampires, granting only a one point reduction in difficulty.
NOTE: This does affect Dominate 1 & 2, and Presence 3.
|Extra Sharp||3||Physical||All vampires have razor-sharp fangs for slicing flesh with ease. This represents a particularly nasty bite: Additional rows of fangs, similar to a shark or perhaps particularly large and savage incisors for ripping and tearing, such as when paired with the Oversized Fangs Flaw.|
If it isn't paired with the Oversized Fangs or Monstrous Flaw (or other such), then it can represent just a set of slightly longer and sharper fangs than usual. Some vampires take an immature pride in this.
|This vampire deals an extra, unsoakable level of lethal damage when they bite an opponent.
It is typically only vampires with dangerous and depraved Beasts that delight in flaunting this menacing mutation. Those that glory in it will find that 'polite' vampiric society tends to shun them. Although, certain Anarchs and Sabbat find it 'bitchin.
|False Reflection||3||Nosferatu||Even when using their Obfuscate abilities, Nosferatu still show up in their true form when noticed by machines, such as cameras or video surveillance. With this ability, the Nosferatu can extend their power to recorded images and media.||As with Mask of the Thousand Faces, the original image isn’t actually changed; it is just that people see it the way the Nosferatu wants it seen. Unfortunately, computers are not so easily fooled: if the image is used for facial recognition software (for instance), the computer will see the Nosferatu’s real face and fail to find a match. The Nosferatu has best take care how this power is used, as it may wear off in time. Some archived photos have given librarians a nasty surprise, years after going into storage.|
|Fatalist||3||Mental||This character has resigned themselves to their vampiric condition and the endless Jyhad - whether with jaded cynicism or weary resignation. As a result it becomes easier to excuse themselves from their worst excesses.||The character subtracts 2 from the difficulty of all degeneration rolls against losses of Humanity or Path of Enlightenment.
This character must always pay full price to regain lost Humanity.
|Former Ghoul||1||Social||You were introduced to the Blood long before you were made Kindred.||Your long experience as a ghoul gives you insight into and comfort with vampiric society. You are at -1 difficulty on all Social rolls when in the presence of other neonates (particularly those who haven’t been educated by their sires), and have a -1 difficulty on all rolls relating to basic vampiric knowledge.|
|Foul Blood||1||Nosferatu||Your blood is vile.||Your blood tastes so disgusting it requires a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) just to avoid gagging and retching after tasting it. If someone is foolish enough to attempt diablerie on you, they need to succeed in three (difficulty 9) Willpower rolls to go through with it. The blood is so disgusting that no one can keep it down long enough to use it to become a ghoul, either.|
|Friend of the Underground||3||Social||While you’re not a Nosferatu, you know your way around the sewers, tunnels, ducts, subway tubes, and other subterranean passages of your hometown.||The local Nosferatu (and any other creatures dwelling down in the muck) may not actually like you, but they’re not inclined to kill you on sight when they see you in their territory. You are at -1 difficulty on any rolls involving the subterranean world (sneaking from place to place underground, finding routes into sub-basements, and so on).|
|Fugue Instinct||3||Daughters||You can hear warnings and gain insight by listening to the Fugue more deeply.||You must forego one of your actions to listen properly to the Fugue within. During this time, you may defend yourself but take no active actions. If you do, then you gain an insight for your next action that grants you +2 dice to whatever dice pool you use.|
|Grand Library||2-7||Asset||Throughout the years, you’ve managed to amass an exquisite collection of books, both common and rare.||Choose one Knowledge Ability for every 2 points taken in this Merit, or five Knowledge Abilities for 7 points. While working in your library, the difficulty rating for any rolls involving those Knowledges is reduced by 2.|
|Haven Affinity||3||Supernatural||Many old vampires give an impression of almost supernatural attunement with their long-time Havens.||Your connection to your prime haven grants you an extra die to all dice pools when operating there.|
|Healing Touch||1||Supernatural||Normally vampires can only seal the wounds they inflict from feeding by licking them - but you're different.||With but a touch, you can achieve the same effect as a lick, closing the puncture wounds left by drinking blood.|
|Heavy Hands||3||Physical||One of the effects of becoming a vampire is strange changes happening to your body. Your limbs are tougher, harder, and denser than mortal flesh.||All difficulties for damage rolls using unarmed attacks besides your fangs or claws go down by 1.|
|Hidden Diablerie||3||Supernatural||The tell-tale black streaks of diablerie do not manifest in your aura.||Attempts to read your aura will never reveal the sins of any diablerie you might have committed.|
|Hive Minded||1-5||Gangrel||You have an affinity for swarms of insects or other small creatures.||Hive-Minded works a little bit differently here.|
|Impressive Restraint||2||Social||When you haven’t fed, it can be torturous to be near mortals. The pounding thrum of blood through their veins does not leave you nearly as tempted as it might other Kindred.||When opportunity presents itself, the difficulty of all Self-Control rolls to resist hunger are made against a -2 difficulty. Characters on Paths of Enlightenment that require Instinct cannot take this Merit.|
|Indelible||1||Physical||Instead of returning to your original state while you sleep, any body modifications you get after the Embrace remain as they are until you actively spend a Willpower point to return your body to its tabula rasa state.||This Merit applies to changes as simple as dyeing or cutting your hair to modifications as complicated as tattoos, piercings, or even small implants.|
|Inoffensive to Animals||1||Supernatural||With rare exceptions, animals usually despise the Kindred. Some flee, others attack, but all dislike being in the presence of a vampire. You have no such problem.||Animals may not enjoy being in your company, but they don’t actively flee from you.|
|Keys to the Library||1-5||Tremere||A vast array of rituals and Thaumaturgical knowledge resides in the average Chantry library, making it simple to learn many of the secrets of magic.||This Merit represents how much access to such tomes you are trusted with.|
|Legerdemain||1-2||Physical||You’re extremely good at sleight of hand and other physical tricks.||Difficulties when using Subterfuge or Larceny for physical trickery, shell games, card tricks, and so forth, are decreased by two.
Ravnos can buy this Merit for 1 pts. Everyone else pays 2 pts.
|Lesser Mark Of The Beast||4||Gangrel||you are able to control how your Beast manifests more than others do.||Whenever you would gain an animalistic feature, roll your current Willpower (difficulty 12 - Humanity rating, maximum 9). If successful, you manage to channel your humanity to avoid gaining an animalistic feature. However, your Beast is further from you, making you at +2 difficulty to rolls involving Animalism or Protean for the rest of the evening.
This Merit does not count against the 10 dot limit for Supernatural PCs if taken at chargen.
|Light Sleeper||2||Mental||You can awaken instantly at any sign of trouble or danger, and do so without any sleepiness or hesitation.||You may ignore rules regarding how Humanity or your morality Path restricts the number of dice available during the day.|
|Lizard Limbs||1||Nosferatu||Like a lizard, you are able to actually shed parts of your body.||By spending a blood point and a little effort, you can detach a hand or foot, or even an arm or leg. This might be to escape bonds or a grapple. Unfortunately, the appendage will not reattach, and you will have to regrow that over time (usually a couple of days for a hand or foot, and a week for a limb). You also suffer a -3 dice pool penalty to actions that would require the use of more limbs.|
|Long Fingers||1||Physical||You have been blessed with either unusually long and dexterous or particularly fine and delicately graceful fingers.||This means you have an easier time with fine manipulation as well as grappling, gaining an extra die when attempting such actions.|
|Long Term Planning||1||Mental||You never leave anything to chance; every action is a carefully considered stratagem.||Once per chapter you may declare an action you are about to take is actually “all part of your plan” and reduce its difficulty by two points. The Director may veto the use of this ability on particular rolls.|
|Magic Resistance||2-4||Supernatural||You have an inherent resistance to the rituals of the Tremere and the spells of the mages of other Clans.||The difficulty of all such magic, both malicious and beneficent, is one higher when directed at you. The four dot version of this Merit increases that difficulty modifier from one to two.
You may never learn magical Disciplines such as Thaumaturgy and Necromancy.
|Master Of The Masquerade||2||Toreador||There are many small tics, nervous habits, and autonomous bodily functions (like breathing) that Kindred simply forget to do. They can be unnervingly still or forget to breathe, particularly when they think they’re alone.||The act of breathing remains an unconscious habit to you, and you never lapse into that eerie statue-like stillness, even when transfixed or concentrating. Consequently, the difficulties of all Social rolls are lowered by one when interacting with mortals.|
|Mole||3||Social||You have an informer buried in one of your Sect’s enemy organizations who funnels you all sorts of information as to what her peers are up to.||What you do with the information is up to you, but abusing the knowledge might be a good way to get your informer killed. The other side has spies too.|
|Monstrous Maw||1||Nosferatu||You have either oversized tusks for fangs, or a huge mouth full of sharp teeth. Whatever form it takes, your mouth is that of a monster||When attacking with a bite you do an additional point of damage. You may also add a die to your Intimidation dice pool when you smile.|
|Mute Devotion||1-2||Supernatural||Your Animalism carries an unusual side effect: it lingers in the minds of the beasts you speak with or control, lending them a certain resistance to others.||When someone else attempts to command a creature you have previously controlled with Animalism, their difficulty levels are at +2.
Ravnos can buy this Merit for 1 pts. Everyone else pays 2 pts.
|Old Pal||2||Social||An acquaintance from your breathing days was Embraced at the same time you were.||Fortunately, your friendship has endured even death and unlife, and you find a constant source of support and aid in your old friend. She expects the same of you, which isn’t always convenient, but at least you each have someone to hang onto who remembers the good old nights — and days.|
|Open Road||2||Social||Unlike many Kindred, you like to travel. You have a solid knowledge of safe travel routes and methodologies, not to mention haven space available in any number of destinations.||Unless someone out there knows your exact route and is specifically looking for you, you can move between cities unimpeded by random encounters with Lupines, overzealous state troopers, and the like.|
|Oracular Ability||3||Supernatural||You can see and interpret signs and omens. You are able to draw advice from these omens, for they provide hints of the future and warnings of the present.||When the Storyteller feels that you are in position to see an omen, you will be required to make a Perception + Awareness roll, with the difficulty relative to how well the omen is concealed. If successful, you may then roll Intelligence + Occult to interpret what you have seen.|
|Outside Haven||2||Tremere||You maintain your own private haven outside the chantry and Tremere control.||Most Tremere are expected to rest in the chantry, where the Clan can keep an eye on them. However, you have been trusted with a little more privacy. This might be because you have already proved your loyalty, or perhaps because they are testing it.|
|Pain Tolerance||2||Physical||Pain doesn't affect a vampire like it did in life. In fact, for some it becomes one of the few sensations they can feel besides the ever-present hunger...almost a friend. Or maybe getting hurt just turns you on.||You suffer no wound penalties at Hurt or Injured, though you still suffer full penalties at Wounded and below.|
|Paragon||5||Social||Others find you particularly compelling.||You are granted an extraordinarily special bonus as related to one of the following Backgrounds: Allies, Contacts, Domain, Fame, Herd, Influence, Mentor, Resources, Retainers or Spies.
The nature of this bonus is determined in collaboration with your Director.
|Patagia||4||Nosferatu||Your arms and legs have leathery flaps of skin between them, similar to that of a flying squirrel.||While this Merit makes finding clothes a nightmare, the flaps also allow you to glide for short distances, given enough height and a decent wind. The Director might require an Athletics roll when it comes to landing.|
|Peacemaker||2||Social||You have a reputation for having a good head on your shoulders and the honor to keep your word no matter what. As a result, your allies and sectmates ask you to mediate their disputes, even with other Sects.||This Merit allows your character to use her reputation as leverage to keep the peace during tense situations. Reduce the difficulty of all social rolls to keep the peace or to mediate honestly between factions (even other Sects) by 2.|
|Personal Masquerade||3||Caitiff||Thorough charm, manipulation, or just plain luck, you have managed to convince other vampires that you are a member of one of the Clans.||Any social interactions with vampires ignorant of your true nature ignore your usual penalty for being Caitiff. However, you must constantly be vigilant of your ruse. Should anyone come to realize you have been playing them for fools, their vengeance will be swift.|
|Piscine||1||Nosferatu||Water is a far more comfortable environment for you, be it the sea or sewer effluent.||Rolls involving swimming or underwater movement have their difficulty reduced by 1.|
|Prestigious Sire||1||Social||Your sire has or had great status in her Sect or Clan, and this has accorded you a certain amount of prestige.||Though your sire may no longer have any dealings with you, the simple fact of your ancestry has marked you forever. This prestige might aid you greatly in dealings with other vampires, or it might engender jealousy or contempt.|
|Prized Collection||1-2||Social||Older Cainites tend to have an appreciation for compilations of books, records, vintages of blood, and other collectable items among vampires.||You possess a collection that may not be worth much (1pt.) or could be worth a lot to the right buyer (2pt.). Importantly, it’s a point of interest for any visiting expert or dabbler in the field, and they’re likely to treat you well just to get access to it.|
|Prized Patch||2||Social||You belong to an Anarch gang with a violent, effective, or otherwise impressive reputation. So long as you hold membership and wear the colors of your crew, other Anarchs naturally tend to respect you.||Those looking to get in good with your gang may occasionally perform minor tasks for you to try to curry favor with the others. When your membership is known, reduce the difficulty of all Manipulation rolls with other Anarchs by 2 unless a given Anarch has a historical animosity with your gang.|
|Prophetic Dreams||2||Malkavian||You have dreams during your daylight sleep. Dreams you remember. Sometimes, they even come true.||By spending a Willpower point upon rising for the evening, you may have the Storyteller give your character a lucid dream featuring foreshadowing about upcoming events, characters, and situations.|
|Protégé||1||Social||Your sire watched you for some time before Embracing you, and spoke glowingly of you to acquaintances.||Your Sire's vampiric acquaintances may be inclined to look favorably on you by dint of your sire’s recommendation.|
|Quartermaster||3||Tremere||You are one of the Kindred responsible for maintaining and organizing the chantry’s mundane supplies.||You may take anything from the chantry’s stores as defined by the chantry’s Stores rating. While you will have to return or replace anything you borrow, you have access the whole range of equipment appropriate to the size of the chantry.|
|Rep||1||Social||Your local fame has exceeded the bounds of your Sect.||Most everyone knows who you are, what you’ve done and what you’re supposed to have done (which might not be the same thing). The publicity can be good or bad.|
|Rugged Bad Looks||5||Nosferatu||While you are still hideous, you are not quite as ugly as most Nosferatu.||You still have an Appearance of 0, but you might pass for human in the right light. It is a still a good idea to cover up and stay in the shadows, but the sight of you (or even the smell of you) is not cause for someone to immediately think of you as a bizarre freak.
This Merit does not count against a Nosferatu PC's Merit points cap, but may only be taken at chargen.
|Sabbat Survivor||1||Social||You’ve lived through at least one Sabbat attack or attempted recruitment. Your experience helps you anticipate situations where you might potentially be endangered by the Sabbat once again.||You are at -1 difficulty on all Perception rolls when it comes to Sabbat-based matters. This Merit is generally taken by groups in conflict with the Sabbat, and comes into play most frequently as a means of avoiding ambushes.|
|Scholar of Enemies||2||Social||You have taken the time to learn about and specialize in one particular enemy of your Sect.||You are aware of at least some of the group’s customs, strategies, abilities, and long-term goals, and can put that knowledge to good use. This Merit is worth a -2 difficulty for all non-combat rolls pertaining specifically to the subject of your specialization. On the other hand, you are at a +1 difficulty when it comes to dealing with other enemies, simply because you’re so thoroughly focused on your field.|
|Scholar of Others||2||Social||You have taken the time to study some group or entity that is not necessarily inimical to your Sect.||You are aware of at least some of the group’s customs, strategies, abilities, and long-term goals, and can put that knowledge to good use. This Merit is worth a -2 difficulty for all non-combat rolls pertaining specifically to the subject of your specialization. On the other hand, you are at a +1 difficulty when it comes to dealing with other enemies, simply because you’re so thoroughly focused on your field.|
|Secret Society Member||1||Tremere||You have found and joined one of the many secret societies in Clan Tremere.||Your character must be suitable to join, such as having Necromancy to join the Covenant. In most cases, your society membership should be kept secret, but your allegiance to it is not considered a crime. While your society expects you to uphold its tenets and agenda, they can also be counted upon to back you up and help you increase your power within the pyramid.|
|Sectarian Ally||1||Assamite||You have a close friend in one of the Kindred sects. Perhaps you are a warrior who is in touch with one of the antitribu or Anarchs, or vizier who shares common business interests with some Camarilla Ventrue.||Your ally can help you navigate the currents of their sect, but they might want something in exchange from time to time.|
|Skald||2||Gangrel||You have an exceptional memory for oral histories, and you are a quick study when it comes to memorizing large amounts of rote information||Anytime you make a relevant roll to know a fact about vampiric history (or mythology), you may add a die to your dice pool. This is not true eidetic memory, but constitutes the ability to memorize poetic eddas, codes, or complex messages with only a few hours of study.|
|Skin of Porcelain||4||Supernatural||Whether some fluke of the Embrace, alchemical experimentation or the subtle changes wrought by centuries immersed in the Beast's depravity - your icy skin has begun to take on an almost doll-like ceramic sheen and texture.||In order for this to have any effect beyond looking unsettling, a Stamina roll is required (difficulty 8). Success allows you to convert up to three points of aggravated damage from a fire source to lethal damage before attempts to soak.
Prerequisite: You must either have Humanity 4 or less, or follow a Path.
|Sleep Unseen||2||Supernatural||The power of Obfuscate usually requires you to concentrate at least a little. However, you are able to lock the power on, allowing you to sleep while remaining hidden.||To do so requires the expenditure of blood point, but it will last throughout the day’s rest. Those with Auspex can still attempt to detect you, but mortals will be unaware of your sanctuary. This can be a useful trick for Kindred who like to travel.|
|Slimy||1||Nosferatu||You secrete an ooze, which is as disgusting as it sounds.||The ooze covers your entire body and soaks into your clothes. It makes you slippery and difficult to hold, requiring opponents to gain two more successes to grapple you. The dampness also makes you a little fire resistant, reducing your difficulty to soak fire damage by 1.|
|Slowed Degeneration||5||Toreador||Your Humanity is strong and can more easily withstand the Beast’s assaults.||You gain two additional dice on any Conscience roll. This degree of moral resilience allows a well-behaved vampire to lose Humanity at a much slower rate than would otherwise be possible.
This Merit does not count against 10 dot limit for supernatural PCs.
|Soapbox||3||Asset||You have some sort of special forum (a zine, a secure blog, a well-known podcast, or a social media account with a lot of followers) that allows your Anarch to spread their opinions.||The Soapbox Merit represents a social delivery mechanism that can influence Kindred outside of your character’s normal social circle or class. Reduce the difficulty of Expression and Subterfuge rolls by 2 difficulty when dealing with vampires who read the Soapbox.|
|Spawning Pool||1-3||Nosferatu||You have a spawning pool of your own (or possibly donate heavily to the Clan’s main pool). Creating such a pool takes time, and requires regular infusions of blood, at least six blood points a week for a year.||The Merit grants its level as a dice pool bonus to the Nosferatu’s use of Animalism in their home city, but only with animals considered vermin, such as rats and cockroaches. Essentially the bonus is only available for creatures that might conceivably drink regularly from the tainted blood. Once established, the spawning pool requires twice its level in blood points each week to it.
This Merit does not count against your 10 dot limit for Supernatural PCs if your character's Haven is the Nosferatu Warrens.
|Spirit Mentor||3||Supernatural||You have a ghostly companion and guide.||The identity and exact powers of this spirit are up to the Storyteller, but it can be called upon in difficult situations for help and guidance.|
|Stillness of Death||2||Physical||It is easier to conceal one's self when you don't need to breathe.||The difficulty for any searches to find you are increased by 2 when you stay perfectly still.|
|Thousand Meter Killer||1||Assamite||You have proven yourself worthy to join the Thousand Meter Club through your remarkable skill with the sniper rifle.||The difficulty of all rolls associated with sniping is reduced by -1. You also double the normal range when using a sniper rifle as a weapon.|
|Totemic Change||5||Gangrel||Your Protean forms are flexible; you may choose a different animal form each time you change shape.||The form you choose each time must follow all the conventions and rules of standard Protean animal shapes; you simply may choose to appear as a different animal each time you take Beast Form.|
|Tough Hide||2||Physical||Your skin is much tougher than usual. It might be dense and smooth like marvel or leathery and mottled as a Nosferatu's backside.||You are granted an extra soak die against damage, excepting vs fire or sunlight.|
|True Faith||7||Supernatural||You have a deep-seated faith in and love for God, or whatever name you choose to call the Almighty.||You begin the game with one point of True Faith.
This Merit may only apply to one of the main world religions. It has never been witnessed except when attached to an established community of millions of sincerely devoted believers whose practices go back more than a thousand years.
It has never been known to manifest for atheists/science, the flying spaghetti monsters, the cult of reason, the Dark Side of the Force, or in yourself. It seems to emanate from a far more ancient, unsettling and unknowable corner of the human universal soul.
This Merit is extremely unlikely to be approved for PCs in addition to being extremely difficult to raise, owing to how poorly it has been historically portrayed on MUSHes.
|Tunnel Rat||1-5||Nosferatu||You are remarkably adept at moving through the underground tunnels that you call your home.||When attempting to navigate, escape, or track through sewers and underground places you know, you gain an additional die for every point you have in this Merit.|
|Vitae Mutation||5||Supernatural||You have tasted the essence of a strange and powerful creature and been changed by it. Whether the vitae of Methuselahs, the boiling blood of lupines, or bottled dreams of fae, the experience has altered you.||Each night a Willpower roll is required (difficulty 7) for you to manifest a single point of Auspex, Chimerstry, or Dementation. This point can be added to an existing rating in the Discipline, but disappears the following night.
A botch renders leaves you in a torpored state, pursuing strange and bizarre dreams.
|Without a Trace||2-4||Supernatural||When in the wilderness, the earth fills in your footprints. You leave no noticeable traces, not even a scent.||Normal and supernatural attempts at tracking suffer a +2 difficulty modifier.
The 4 pt version of this Merit ensures that mundane attempts to track you automatically fail.
|14th Generation||3-5||Physical||There has probably been the occasional 14th Generation vampire for hundreds of years, however rare they might have been. In recent nights, the phenomena has begun to take on a more apocalyptic tone, whether justified or not. |
Although many 14th Generation vampires can pass for other, normal vampires of the 13th Generation, the truth is quite different; Your blood is thin, weak and does not sustain you well. This has lead to other vampires referring to these unfortunate as Thin-Bloods.
Thin-Blooded vampires often find themselves in danger, hunted by the brutal Scourges of superstitious Camarilla Princes who believe that Thin-Bloods presage Gehenna and the end of their eternity, while treated by Sabbat packs as food, cannon fodder and sacrifices.
It is because of these persecutions, that in recent years, Thin Blooded vampires have begun to increasingly band together, most notably in Los Angeles. The first attested group of them was on a Santa Monica beach in 2004, yet they have since spread throughout the Westside and the Valley.
|The 3-pt version of this Flaw functions as follows;
* You can technically be any Clan (and thus likely mistaken as a 13th), although most are Caitiff.
* You have 10 Blood points in your system like any other 13th Gen, though can only spend 8 of them (the remaining two can only be tapped if strictly necessary to awaken).
* The blood point costs of Disciplines, nightly rising, creating and sustaining ghouls, and creating blood bonds remains the same as for other vampires.
* You cannot raise any Discipline above four dots.
The 5-pt version of this Flaw has the following, added drawbacks:
* Your 'Clan' is always Caitiff.
* All Discipline-related blood point costs are doubled (including Thaumaturgy, etc).
* You are unable to create a Blood Bond or a Ghoul (though can sustain one), and efforts to Sire other vampires succeed only half the time.
NOTE: This Flaw does not count against your 7 Flaw limit for purposes of extra freebies in chargen.
|15th Generation||4||Physical||You were almost certainly created in the last 10-15 years. Many vampires (Kindred and Cainites alike) do not recognize those of the 15th Generation or beyond as even truly a vampire. They're not quite a ghoul or revenant either - but something stranger and more blasphemous. Something which seems to have begun to subtly (evolve? regress?) from the Curse of Caine. There are quite a few elders, whether Camarilla or Sabbat, that feel a certain sense of quasi-religious terror at what the 15th Generation represents.|
15th Gen vampires (and other Thin Blooded riff-raff) have become so common in cities across North America and Europe in the last couple decades, that the office of Scourge, once reserved for unruly Anarchs, is now increasingly used to cull their numbers. None would be accepted into the Ivory Tower. If encountered by the Sabbat, they will likely be eaten. It is only among the Anarchs that 15th Gen vampires have found far-ranging acceptance, although even there they're often treated condescendingly.
|* You're always a Clanless Caitiff.
* Only six of your 10 blood points can be used for Disciplines, healing, or raising Attributes.
* You can only pump your Attributes to 5 (not 6.)
* For all Discipline-related blood point costs you must expend two blood points to obtain the effect a normal vampire would achieve with one.
* You cannot create a ghoul, initiate a blood bond, or sire a vampiric childe successfully more than one in five times. You /can/ sustain a ghoul, however (perhaps unfortunately).
* You cannot raise any Discipline above 3 dots.
The weakening of the Curse of Caine has compensations (which greatly distinguishes this condition from Thin Blooded 14th Gens):
* You spend only one blood point every other night to rise from slumber.
* Sunlight does lethal damage to you, instead of aggravated damage as it does to other vampires.
* You gain the Eat Food (1 pt. Merit) for free and it does not count against your 10 Merit point limit.
* It only costs you 1 blood point to initiate Blush of Life for the night, regardless of your Humanity.
* Strangest of all, once in a rare while you might actually sire a child the normal, human way with a normal, human woman... though it will hardly be a normal, human child.
* This Flaw does not count towards your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of extra freebie.
|16th Generation||5||Physical||You were certainly created within the last few years. The vast majority of Kindred don't even believe that 16th Gen vampires exist and are far more likely to confuse them with a particularly piteous Thin Blood or ghoul. They might be much more than that.||* Your vitae is so weak only four of your 10 blood points can be used for Disciplines, healing, or raising Attributes.
* You can only pump your Attributes to 5 (not 6.)
* For all Discipline-related blood point costs you must expend two blood points to obtain the effect a normal vampire would achieve with one.
* You cannot create a blood bond or Cainite childe, nor can you create or sustain ghouls.
* You are Clanless and do not suffer from a Clan weakness.
* You select three starting Disciplines freely, but cannot raise any Discipline above two dots.
There are some advantages:
* Barely a vampire, you only suffer bashing damage from sunlight (at least until it inevitably rolls over into lethal), which you can attempt to soak with Stamina.
* You only require one blood point every four days to reliably rise from slumber.
* You gain the Eat Food (1 pt. Merit) and the Blush of Health (2 pt. Merit) for free, and they do not count towards your 10 Merit point limit.
* You are always considered Humanity 8 for purposes of spending Blood to Blush (thus, costing nothing), regardless of your actual Humanity.
* You remain capable of certain natural functions, allowing you to potentially conceive a Dhampir child and carry it to term as an unholy pregnancy. You can even take in and digest food after a fashion, although the purging process is rather unpleasant.
|Addiction||3||Physical||You suffer from an addiction to a substance, which must now be present in the blood you drink.||Failure to indulge in your particular addiction will lead to an automatic frenzy, as per the Prey Exclusion Flaw. This can be alcohol, nicotine, hard drugs, or simply adrenaline. This substance always impairs you in some fashion (see “Poisons and Drugs,” V20 Core page 301, for particulars).|
|Anachronism||3||Mental||You have been Kindred for a long time - perhaps too long - and gradually found yourself unable to keep up with changing times. This is an especially common affliction for vampires waking up from long torpor - yet it can eventually be overcome by those with the strength of mind.||You are at +2 difficulty when dealing with modern technology (such as cars or computers), cultural customs (hooking up), slang (fitting in), or anything else outside your comfort zone.|
|Anosmia (vampire)||2||Nosferatu||Your life in the sewer has removed your sense of smell and taste. This means you are unperturbed by even the worst stench or most disgusting flavor.||This means you cannot ever succeed at any Perception rolls that rely of taste or smell. It also does not make you immune in any way to gas attacks or poisons; you just won’t be able to tell they are there.|
|Arcane Curse||1-5||Tremere||Because of either your studies or someone else’s, you suffer from a magical curse. It might be an aversion or allergy, or even a strange magical effect.||* 1 point: A minor oddity, such as an animal feature or strange eye color
* 2 points: A noticeable problem, such as your magic having a strange taint or pattern that makes it instantly recognizable, or that plants wither in your presence.
* 3 points: Something problematic, such as people sickening in your presence or animals attacking you.
* 4 points: Concerning handicap, such as developing another Clan’s weakness.
* 5 points: Potentially deadly, such as moonlight being as dangerous to you as sunlight.
|Banshee-In-Waiting||5||Daughters||The Fugue is gradually driving you towards madness.||If your temporary Willpower ever reaches 0, you automatically gain a derangement which can never be removed. You may remove other derangements you gain in other ways as usual. You may gain a maximum of three of these permanent derangements from losing your Willpower before being consumed by it. Should it happen a fourth time, you immediately lose yourself to the Fugue forever...walking in whatever direction the music takes you and killing anything you come across until you are put down.|
|Beacon of the Unholy||2||Supernatural||You radiate palpable evil.||Clergy and devout mortals know instinctively that there is something horribly wrong with you, and react accordingly.|
|Bestial||3||Nosferatu||You are closer to animals than humans, and it shows.||In addition to the Nosferatu Clan weakness, you have an additional weakness: whenever you frenzy, you gain an animal feature, similar to the Gangrel Clan weakness .|
|Betrayer's Mark||3||Tremere||Even though you are loyal to House and Clan Tremere, for some reason you are branded with the mark of the antitribu.||It might be that you have returned to the Clan after leaving the Sabbat or that you unwittingly or as part of an undercover operation took part in the Vaulderie. Whatever the reason, the mark makes other Tremere wary of you.|
|Black Sheep||5||Social||You belong to a prestigious lineage that is considered to be paragon of another sect, or at least it did before you joined the Anarch Movement. You have embarrassed your sire, grandsire, and perhaps even farther back up the line; now the time has come to pay.||our erstwhile broodmates want to bring you back into the fold, if only to clean the stain from your reputation, and are unwilling to recognize your independence. Your sire and grandsire spare no effort to make things uncomfortable for you and any Anarchs who shelter you.
In addition, many members of the Anarch Movement actively distrust you solely based on your lineage, believing that you are a double-agent. All social rolls involving your fellow Anarchs incur a +2 difficulty.
|Blood Hunted||4-6||Social||You have been made the target of a blood hunt, and for you to return to your home city is death.||For four points, this Flaw means that only your home city is off-limits to you. For six, it means that the entire Camarilla is howling for your vitae.|
|Body Trail||4||Social||You have grown sloppy in your hunting and left more than a few bodies behind. What's worse, you haven't been particularly competent at disposing of the evidence - and now someone is closing in on the truth.||You must always be looking over your shoulder. Either the police are just one step behind you or the Camarilla's enforcers are actively searching for you.
In any case, leaving a trail is a terrible thing. Every time you kill there is a chance that the crime scene will leave the final clue that leads to your destruction.
|Botched Presentation||1||Social||When your sire presented you to the Prince of the city, you flubbed it. Now you’re convinced His Majesty hates you (whether he does or not).||You need to succeed on a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) just to stand in front of the Prince or one of his duly authorized representatives without running, blubbering, or otherwise making a fool of yourself.|
|Bound||2||Social||You are blood bound to another vampire.||Your regnant may not necessarily treat you badly, but the fact remains that your will is not entirely your own. The knowledge gnaws at you, even as you find yourself lost in devotion to your vampiric master.|
|Bound to the Clan||3||Tremere||You have done more than just drink from the blood of the elders. Whether as punishment or by choice, you have become fully blood bound to Clan Tremere.||You cannot act against the Clan, and find everything you do works in the service of the Tremere. You might not like it, but you can’t help yourself doing it. Of course, now you are bound to the Clan, you cannot be bound to another individual. Many older Tremere have this Flaw, as it has been common in the past to completely blood bind new Tremere.|
|Brittle Body||2-4||Physical||Your undead corpse doesn’t handle the physical demands of being a Kindred as well as it should. Your bones break at inopportune times, your skin tears if you move too quickly, and you have to be careful on a nightly basis.||The 2-point version of this flaw gives you a +2 difficulty to all Physical rolls because of the delicate nature of your body. The 4-point version means that you also hang onto physical damage longer than other Kindred. You may still heal health levels as normal, but any dice penalties remain until the next evening when you awaken. This is in addition to the penalty to Physical rolls.|
|Bulimia||4||Caitiff||You hunger for blood, and like all vampires, you will eventually feed, but the thought of it still makes you sick. Maybe you’re just not cut out for an eternity of bloodsucking, or you had an eating disorder in life that has followed you to the other side of mortality. Whatever the reason, you can’t hold your blood.||Whenever you feed, make a Stamina roll with a difficulty 8. If you fail, you vomit out the fresh blood before it can be absorbed into your body, spraying it everywhere (embarrassing at best, a breach of the Masquerade at worst). Note that blood taken in frenzy is absorbed normally, though this carries its own risks.|
|Can't Cross Running Water||3||Supernatural||You believe in the old folklore, and cannot cross running water.||You cannot cross running water unless you are at least 50 feet (15 meters) above it. Running water is considered to be any body of water at least two feet (half a meter) wide in any direction and not completely stagnant.|
|Cast No Reflection||1||Supernatural||You cast no reflection, just like the vampires of legend.||This can have a detrimental effect when trying to pass as a human. Vampires of Clan Lasombra automatically have this Flaw (and you may be mistaken for one of them if you possess this).|
|Clan Enmity||4||Social||One Clan in particular wants you dead. You have offended the entire Clan, from elders to neonates, and as a result every member of that bloodline wants your head on a plate.||The effects of the Flaw may manifest as anything from very public snubs and insults to actual attempts on your unlife. You are also at +2 difficulty on all Social rolls relating to members of the Clan in question.|
|Clan Weakness||2||Caitiff||Despite your failure to adopt your original Clan’s other abilities, you did inherit their weakness.||While this can be deadly to the unprepared vampire, a canny Caitiff might turn this to their advantage to better blend among the parent Clan. Some Nosferatu, for example, would likely never notice, and might even stand up for the Caitiff even amidst accusations from outsiders.|
|Cloistered||2||Tremere||You have spent almost all of your undead existence in the halls of the chantry, making Kindred society rather new and confusing for you.||You suffer a -1 die penalty to any social interactions with vampires outside the Tremere.|
|Cold Breeze||1||Supernatural||A chill wind follows you everywhere you go.||While it may make for dramatic entrances, this effect also discomfits mortals (+1 difficulty on all appropriate Social rolls) and marks you as obviously supernatural. Cold winds sweeping through executive offices or crowded nightclubs can raise all sorts of questions.|
|Conspicuous Consumption||4||Mental||It is not enough for you to draw nourishment from the blood of mortals — you believe you must also consume your victim’s heart, liver, and other blood-rich tissue.||This habit will necessitate the deaths of all of your victims (unless you are extremely creative), which might lead to numerous problems with maintaining Humanity (and a low profile). Characters with this Flaw should additionally purchase the Eat Food Merit.|
|Contagious||5||Nosferatu||Your body is still dying on the inside, your rotting entrails providing nutrition for noxious bacteria, spores, and even fungi.||Mortals that touch you or on whom you feed must make a Stamina roll (difficulty 9) not to fall ill. The illness puts them in bed with fever and sickness, and each week they may attempt the Stamina roll again.
The Director determines the severity of the sickness, but it is not uncommon to eventually end in death. Deliberately infecting someone can thus result in a Humanity check. Note: Supernatural creatures generally have the ability to heal or cure such sickness in themselves, and vampires are immune to these germs of the dead.
|Dangerous Secret||1-5||Social||You have come to know something you really wish you hadn’t discovered. Worse yet, the people you have the dirt on know that you know.|| It might be that you have discovered the Prince’s haven, or that there are infernalists hiding in the diocese. Whatever it is, you are not sure whom you can tell, and if you do, you will only make the subjects of the secret more enthusiastic about getting rid of you. You may even be implicated in the secret and risk going down with them.
The more potent the Flaw, the more powerful the people in question are, and the more they want it silenced.
|Dead Inside||4||Mental||You feel nothing but pain and numbness. While others find ways to make their lives worth living, you sometimes don’t get that thrill.||Once per session, the Storyteller may cancel any gain of Willpower points.|
|Deathsight||2||Supernatural||Everything appears rotted and decayed to you. The world appears to you as a corpse; mortals look diseased or skeletal, buildings seem decrepit, and your fellow Kindred seem to be walking, moldering cadavers.||You are at -2 difficulty to resist all rolls based on Appearance, but by the same token you are at +2 difficulty on all Perception-based rolls. In addition, you find social interaction difficult and are at +1 difficulty on all Social-based rolls.|
|Deep Sleeper||1||Mental||When you sleep, it is very difficult for you to awaken.||The difficulty of any roll to awaken during the day is increased by two.|
|Devil's Mark||3||Supernatural||Whether product of your Embrace or gained through exposure to infernal or other unholy power, you’ve been branded with the “Devil’s Mark,” an anatomical aberration that manifests the taint of the demonic. Possible deformities include, but are not limited to: bestial or inhuman eyes, hooves, horns, unnaturally colored or scaly skin, a birthmark in the form of a sigil, etc.||A Devil’s Mark confers the following mechanical effects: Lower the maximum rating in one Attribute by one (if the maximum rating is 5, it becomes 4), while the cost to raise said Attribute increases by one (1 + the current rating x 4). If the mark becomes visible or is known to a mortal, it confers a -1 difficulty on Intimidation rolls when dealing with her, but in turn increases the difficulties for all other Social die rolls by one.|
|Disease Carrier||4||Physical||Your blood carries a lethal and highly contagious disease.||The disease can be anything from rabies to HIV, and Kindred who drink your blood have a 10% chance of becoming a carrier as well. You must spend an extra blood point each night on awakening, or you will begin manifesting symptoms of the disease (increased chance to frenzy for rabies, reduced soak rolls for HIV, etc.).|
|Disfigured||2||Physical||A hideous disfigurement makes your appearance disturbing and memorable.||The difficulties of die rolls relating to social interactions where this might be a disadvantage - such as seduction or convincing a stranger to let you in out of the rain - are increased by two. You may not have an Appearance rating greater than 2.|
|Disgrace to the Blood||3||Social||Your sire regards the fact that he Embraced you to be a titanic mistake, and has let everyone know it.||You are mocked at gatherings, taunted by your peers, and actively despised by the one who should be giving you guidance. Any request or petition you make is likely to be looked down upon by friends of your sire, and your achievements are likely to be discounted.|
|Dreadful Mara||4||Supernatural||You drank something that still lives within you and hates you, exerting alarming control over your thoughts and actions.||Each night, the Director may convert a single rolled success into a 1, potentially leading to a botch. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the entity may also whisper advice or insults, which can lead to increased difficulty during attempts to concentrate.|
|Dulled Bite||2||Physical||For some reason your fangs never developed fully, or they may not have manifested at all.||When feeding, you need to find some other method of making the blood flow. Failing that, you must achieve double the normal number of successes in order to make your bite penetrate properly. A number of Caitiff and high Generation vampires often manifest this Flaw.
* Any vampire with the Thin Blood, 15th Generation or 16th Generation Flaws who also takes the Dulled Bite Flaw gains the extra freebies without it counting against their 7 Flaw point freebie limit.
|Eerie Presence||2||Supernatural||Mortals have an unconscious awareness of your undead nature, which makes then anxious and ill at ease in your presence.||All difficulties relating to social interaction with mortals are increased by two.|
|Enemy Brood||3||Nosferatu||You have made an enemy of another group of Nosferatu. Unlike your usual enemies, they know the places you like to go and aren’t too squeamish about following you there.||They keep you on the move, hunting you from sanctuary to sanctuary. The sewers themselves might not even be safe for you anymore. If you move to a new city, they use their contacts to pass on the word to their allies to keep hounding you. Sooner or later, you are going to have to take them down to rid yourself of them.|
|Escaped Target||2||Social||You had targeted a mortal for the Embrace, but someone else got there first.||You cannot stand the humiliation of being cheated of your prize, and fly into a rage (+2 difficulty to avoid frenzy) whenever you see the one who got away. Furthermore, your petty and irrational behavior is well-known and quite noticeable, and as a result you are at + 1 difficulty on all Charisma rolls until the situation is resolved.|
|Expiration Date||3||Social||Your personal motto is simple: I do what I want. This has, as might be expected, caused you trouble more than once. You are wanted in several domains for various minor crimes, such as exsanguinating the Seneschal’s favorite ghoul.||You haven’t been bloodhunted just yet, but the writing is on the wall. You’ve just about run out of time and no one wants you to take them with you when everything turns sideways. One more mistake and you sign your Final Death warrant. All social-based rolls to acquire help are at +2 difficulty, except those involving Intimidation.|
|Failure||2||Social||You once held a title in the city, but failed catastrophically in your duties. Now you are branded incompetent, excluded from circles of power and responsibility, and generally ostracized by those on their way up.||Your exclusion may make you a target for recruitment by the Sect’s enemies (or so the whispers run, making you even more distrusted). Conversely, the consequences of your error might come back to haunt you.|
|Fangless||2||Caitiff||Considered the mark of a true mongrel, you never developed your fangs, or you lacked teeth before the Embrace.||You have to use a knife or otherwise drink from bleeding wounds. You have no natural way beyond Disciplines to inflict aggravated damage.|
|Flashbacks (vampire)||6||Mental||You managed to make it through the Creation Rites or other similarly traumatic experience, but not wholly intact. The most insignificant thing can throw you into a different mood or state of mind, and as such your behavior is extremely unpredictable.||Because of your precarious emotional state, your Willpower fluctuates. At the beginning of each story, make a Willpower roll (you may not spend Willpower for an automatic success). If you succeed, you may participate in the story as normal. If you fail, however, your Willpower score is considered to be 1 for the duration of that session, and you only have one Willpower point to spend. You may roll again at the beginning of the next session to see if you regain your Willpower.|
|Flesh of the Corpse||5||Physical||Your flesh does not fully regenerate itself once it is damaged.||While you are able to heal yourself to the point of regaining full functionality, your skin still retains the cuts, tears, bullet holes, and other visible damage that you have incurred. Depending on the nature of the damage, this Flaw will make social dealings exceedingly difficult, and may decrease your Appearance dots over time (even to 0).|
|Forked Tongue||2||Setites||Your tongue is forked, flickering, and inhumanly reptilian.||Upholding the Masquerade becomes difficult for you.|
|Former Prince||3||Social||Once, you held near-absolute power in a city, but those nights are gone now.||The machinery of the Camarilla in the city where you now make your home is subtly stacked against your potential comeback. If a particularly insecure Prince were to see an opportunity to get rid of you he just might take it.|
|Glowing Eyes||3||Physical||You have the stereotypical glowing eyes of vampire legend.||The spookiness of the glowing eyes gives you a -1 difficulty on Intimidation rolls when dealing with mortals. However, the tradeoffs are many.|
|Grip of the Damned||4||Supernatural||There is no ecstasy in your Embrace — only terror and pain.||Mortals upon whom you feed struggle and shriek while you attempt to feed, requiring you to grapple with them for as long as you wish to take their blood. For vampires with high Humanity, this experience may require a Humanity roll, at the discretion of the Director.|
|Guilt-Wracked||4||Mental||You simply cannot come to grips with the fact that you must drink blood to survive.||You suffer horrible guilt over each time you feed (roll Conscience, difficulty 7, or else frenzy every time you feed — characters with the Conviction Virtue cannot take this Flaw) and try to avoid doing so as much as possible. This means that you rarely have much blood in your system, leaving you vulnerable to both attacks and hunger-based frenzies.|
|Heartless||4||Setites||You have lost your heart. Either you removed it via The Heart of Darkness, or an elder did it to you, but either way you no longer have easy access to it.||The heart might be in the possession of a foe, or simply missing. If it turns out that a Cainite possesses the heart (say a Setite elder, or your sire) you must obey their every command. If it’s merely missing, the anxiety and obsession to find it interferes with your nightly existence, and may increase the difficulty of Willpower rolls by +1 at Storyteller discretion.|
|Hunted Like A Dog||3||Social||Another Sect or group of vampires has decided that you’re a target for extermination, and pursues you relentlessly.||You are being aggressively hunted by capable and dangerous enemies. On the bright side, the enemies of your enemy may well wish to help you out, potentially garnering you allies.
Beware: This Flaw is a great way to get killed.
|Ignorance||2||Caitiff||Many sires abandon their Caitiff progeny without a word of instruction or warning about their new nature.||For most Princes, ignorance is no excuse for a breach of the Masquerade, and Sabbat packs are quick to notice weakness. The character starts with no knowledge of the abilities, customs, or politics of the undead, and must learn from their mistakes or find a mentor.
Of course, any vampire willing to take on a Caitiff will most likely blood bond the poor wretch, leading to a completely new set of problems. Ignorance is deadly for a vampire, and doubly so for the Clanless.
|Inbred||1-5||Giovanni||Inbreeding, a common occurrence among the incestuous Giovanni Clan, can take many forms. The Inbred Flaw covers all manner of physical, mental, and emotional defects.||A one-point Inbreeding is something simple and unobtrusive, such as eyes too close together or an underbite (+1 difficulty on Appearance rolls). A three-point Inbreeding is more severe: a congenital health condition (for mortals) or a crippling physical deformity (+2 difficulty on appropriate Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina rolls). Five-point Inbreedings are far worse.|
|Incoherent||5||Nosferatu||Human speech is impossible for you. It might be that your mouth is too misshapen after the Embrace, or that years of living in the sewers have made you forget how to communicate.||While you can understand what is being said to you, you cannot respond. Telepathy works on you as normal, and you have no problem communicating with animals, but human speech is barred to you.|
|Incomplete Understanding||1||Social||The whole matter has been explained to you, but you’re still not quite sure how things in your Sect work.||Your imperfect understanding of the rules and regulations of your new existence means that sooner or later, you’re going to make a mistake. It’s only a matter of time….|
|Infamous Sire||1||Social||Your sire was, and perhaps still is, distrusted and disliked by many of the city’s Kindred.||As a result, you are distrusted and disliked as well.|
|Infectious||3||Malkavian||Madness flows within your blood, but your bite carries a taint as well.||Mortals take a temporary derangement for every three points of blood you take from them. The derangements stay until the mortal restores the lost blood.|
|Infectious Bite||2||Physical||Your bites have a chance of becoming infected and causing mortal victims to become seriously ill.||You may not automatically lick the wounds of your feeding closed. The precise nature of the infection is determined by the Storyteller.|
|Infertile Vitae||5||Supernatural||During your Embrace, something went horribly wrong, causing your blood to mutate under the stress of dying and rising again. All those you try to Embrace die.||No matter what you do, you may not create any childer. However, your blood can still be used in blood rituals like Thaumaturgy and the Vaulderie, or for any other vampiric needs like making ghouls.
Prerequisite: Only Vampires of the 11th, 12th or 13th Generation may take this flaw. Although far more common in the 21st century than ever before, it still carries with it a slight whiff of social stigma should it become publicly known.
|Insubordinate||3||Social||You like to be in charge so much you have a hard time following anyone else’s orders. When given a plan or told to do something, you tend to do the opposite on principle.||Whenever you are ordered to do something, you must make a Willpower roll with a difficulty depending on the importance of the superior and the danger of the task (difficulty 7 is typical for someone directly above the vampire assigning them a moderately dangerous task). If you fail, you will do anything except what you’ve been told to do.|
|Kiss of Death||2||Supernatural||Should you drain a mortal vessel of all blood minutes after their heart stops beating, the corpse rises as a zombie.||These zombies are free-willed, hostile toward you, and cannot be directed without some sorcerous or necromantic means to command them.|
|Laughingstock||5||Social||Somehow you’ve drawn the scorn of the local Harpies, who make you their favorite target.||You are at a +2 difficulty on all Social rolls in Elysium and a +1 anywhere else in the city. In addition, you are at +2 difficulty to use Intimidation or any Dominate powers on anyone who has heard the stories mocking you.|
|Lightweight||1||Supernatural||Shamefully, you cannot imbibe the blood of any creatures other than mortals. This should be either a physical or psychological reflex.||Whenever you attempt to drink from another entity (such as a vampire, ghoul or stranger creature), you’re forced to spend a Willpower point or purge the contents immediately after and gain no sustenance from it.|
|Loathsome Regnant||4||Social||Not only are you blood bound, but you are also in thrall to a vampire who mistreats you hideously.||Perhaps you are publicly abused or humiliated; perhaps your master forces you to commit unspeakable acts for him. In any case, existence under the bond is a never-ending nightmare.|
|Lord of the Flies||2||Supernatural||Buzzing harbingers of decay swirl around you everywhere.||The constant presence of buzzing flies makes it difficult for you to interact socially (+1 difficulty when appropriate) and nearly impossible to sneak up on someone or hide effectively - all Stealth rolls are at +2 difficulty.|
|Lord of the Night||3||Supernatural||In your presence lights dim, tiny flames extinguish, and shadows cling to you or languidly move about with a surreal unlife, making it impossible to pass as anything other than inhuman.||The particular shadow you cast is a malicious entity with a will of its own. It lashes out at friends and enemies alike, tearing at the scenery, and snarling at passers-by. These effects can be suppressed for a scene by spending a point of Willpower.|
|Mage Blood||5||Tremere||Your blood is so tied to magic that you find you are unable to use any Discipline apart from Thaumaturgy.||While no path or ritual is barred to you, you may not gain any dots in any other Discipline.|
|Masquerade Breaker||2||Social||In your first nights as a vampire, you accidentally broke the Masquerade — and were spotted doing so. Someone else covered for your mistake, but holds the favor over you.||Now you exist in fear that your error will be revealed. In the meantime, your “savior” takes pitiless advantage of you. This Flaw can only be taken by Camarilla vampires only.|
|Member of the Pack||2||Gangrel||You can only summon, speak to, and command a specific type of animal — ravens, rats, and so forth — with Animalism.||You must pick one type of animal. Other animals do not respond to your uses of Animalism at all.|
|Methuselah's Thirst||7||Supernatural||Whether from advanced age, your addiction to Diablerie, or the degradation of your Humanity, you are no longer capable of drinking mortal blood to sustain yourself and must feed upon the vitae of other vampires to survive.||Succumbing to the Methuselah's Thirst is usually a centuries long process wherein the nearly agonizing need to feed on another Kindred grows for a time - is perhaps temporarily sated - and then gradually returns sharper than before.
Such a creature eventually finds themselves in a state where mortal blood offers no nourishment at all, and if they do not feed on other vampires — they will go into torpor. Many such hungry monsters are said to be entombed in the earth.
|Moonburn||3||Supernatural||You are even more sensitive to sunlight than other vampires are - even that reflected from the moon.||Sunlight causes double normal damage, and the light of the moon can cause lethal damage in a manner similar to the sun, though it must shine directly upon your unprotected body. Even bright lights hurt your eyes, requiring the use of sunglasses.|
|Mortal Flashbacks||5||Mental||Your body remembers your death. Every night when you awaken, you vividly remember the pain of your death wound.||The wound reopens during the night and closes itself shortly before you rise. This traumatic reminder of your mortality starts your night off in a bad way. You lose a point of Willpower each night when you awaken, because of the trauma of dying again.
This Flaw is typically only taken by vampires who suffered a particularly traumatic mortal death.
|New Arrival||1||Social||You’ve just arrived in your new city of residence, and don’t know anyone in the place.||Existing factions may try to recruit or eliminate you, while vampires in positions of authority size you up and take your measure. Meanwhile, your ignorance of the city’s current events, history, and politics (not to mention the personality quirks of the vampires already in place) may cause you to make a serious blunder.|
|New Kid||1||Social||You’re the latest in the city to be Embraced or have yet to prove yourself to your Sect, and everyone knows it. This automatically puts you at the bottom of the social totem pole.||Other neonates take every opportunity to demonstrate your inferiority, or rival packs constantly test your worthiness to the Sabbat. All Social-related rolls are at +1 difficulty when you are dealing with other neonates. (Ancillae and elders lump you in with all the other neonates under their general disdain.)|
|Obvious Predator||2||Supernatural||Mortals find you intrinsically menacing, and instinctively fear you for the violence you promise to unleash.||The difficulty of all Social rolls made against mortals other than Intimidation rolls increases by 2.|
|Open Wound||2-4||Physical||You have one or more wounds that refuse to heal, and which constantly drip blood.||This slow leakage costs you an extra blood point per evening (marked off just before dawn), in addition to drawing attention to you. If the wound is visible, you are at + 1 difficulty for all Social-based rolls. For two points, the Flaw is simply unsightly and has the basic effect mentioned above, for four points the seeping wound is serious or disfiguring and includes the effects of the Flaw Permanent Wound (below).|
|Outcast||2||Assamite||Your have rejected the ethos of the caste into which you were Embraced.||Your sire now rejects you, as do the other members of your caste. The difficulty of all Social rolls against members of your caste is at +2.|
|Overstimulated||3||Malkavian||Malkavians notice things that many others do not.||That means keeping their eyes and ears open far longer than anyone else does. That makes you easily distracted when trying to focus. Take a +2 penalty to all rolls involving Perception.|
|Paper Trail||2||Social||You’ve spent some time in state institutions like prisons or asylums, likely before your Embrace. Most people have some sort of information that relays date of birth and other bits of fact.||This information is hard to eliminate, and may endanger the Masquerade. Enemies with the right influence may be able to track down the information and use it against you. It may lead to vulnerable targets or clue hunters to where your haven is located.|
|Parasitic Infestation||4||Nosferatu||Living in the dark has made you a home to all manner of creepy crawlies and bloodsuckers. Your skin is crawling with ticks, lice, and leeches of all descriptions.||They constantly bite and burrow, and having fed on your vitae, they have become very hard to kill. Not only can you not command them, you have tried everything to get rid of them and still they persist. Whatever the reason, they find you so succulent they reduce your blood pool by the result of one die divided by 3 (round down) each time you rise. The constant itch also keeps you on edge, increasing the difficulty of any Self-Control or Instinct rolls by 1.|
|Permanent Fangs||3||Physical||Your fangs do not retract, making it impossible for you to hide your true nature.||While some mortals may think you’ve had your teeth filed or are wearing prosthetics (especially these nights), sooner or later you’re going to run into someone who knows what you truly are. You are also limited to a maximum Appearance rating of 3.|
|Permanent Wound (vampire)||3||Physical||You suffered injuries during your Embrace which your transformation somehow failed to repair.||At the beginning of each night, you rise from sleep at the Wounded health level, though this may be healed by spending blood points.|
|Prey Exclusion||1||Mental||You refuse to hunt a certain class of prey.||If you accidentally feed upon a taboo class of individuals, you automatically frenzy and must make a Conscience or Conviction roll to prevent Humanity or Path loss (difficulty 7). Witnessing other Kindred feeding on the object of your exclusion might also provoke a frenzy.|
|Privacy Obsession||3||Social||Perhaps it is a trait carried in the blood. Perhaps your strict sire carved this lesson into your mind and flesh. Either way, you carry the Kindred respect for privacy to extremes.||You must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to enter another being’s dwelling without being invited, though you can go to fiendishly clever lengths to garner an unwitting invitation. When disturbed in your haven by an uninvited guest, you must make a Self-Control or Instincts roll (difficulty 7) to avoid frenzy.|
|Private Life||3||Toreador||You have a completely separate life that no other Kindred know about. It may be your mortal family that you have turned into ghouls, or a YouTube channel that you use to talk in metaphor about your frustrations with Kindred society.||If discovered, this could risk other vampires accusing you of breaching the Masquerade (if Camarilla), consorting with humanity instead of being a superior vampire (if Sabbat), or just overall paranoia and suspicion on why you’re keeping such deep secrets.|
|Probationary Sect Member||4||Social||You are a defector. You turned traitor to the Camarilla, Sabbat, or other Sect, and you still have much to prove before you are accepted by the Kindred you have defected to.||Other vampires treat you with distrust and even hostility, and your reputation might even sully those whom you regularly associate with.|
|Putrescent||5||Nosferatu||The supernatural process that usually keeps a vampire’s form from rotting after death has failed to work on you. Your body has become putrescent and fragile as it gradually decays.||All soak rolls you make have their dice pool reduced by 1. You may even lose body parts if you suffer a solid enough blow. Should this happen, make a Stamina roll (difficulty 6) and lose a part of your body (Storyteller’s choice) if you fail. Should you botch, you also receive a level of aggravated damage. These missing parts may regrow, but your body continues to rot.|
|Rat in a Cage||2||Gangrel||Anytime you are penned in or physically restrained (such as by a cage, or with handcuffs), you suffer acute anxiety.||The difficulties of any rolls made under such circumstances are increased by two.|
|Recruitment Target||1||Social||Someone in one of your Sect’s enemy organizations wants you, and they want you bad.||Every effort is being made to recruit you, willing or no, and the press gangs usually show up at the worst possible time.
Beware: For a 1 pt Flaw, this is a surprisingly good way to get killed, historically.
|Red List||7||Social||You are either being considered for or are already on the dreaded Red List, the registry of those vampires the Camarilla most wants extinguished.||Any Camarilla vampire will either attack you on sight or, more likely, call in for a great deal of help.|
|Refined Palate||1-3||Physical||Many vampires out of mania, fussiness or some other impulse self-impose feeding restrictions: refusing to feed from the poor and diseased, or even those still wearing skin, or over a certain age, etc.||You will throw up the blood of any victim outside your preference. The severity of the Flaw depends on how narrow and/or fussy your feeding restriction is.|
|Repelled by Crosses||3||Supernatural||You are repelled by the sight of ordinary crosses, believing them to be symbols of holy might.||When confronted by a cross, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 9) or flee from the symbol for the duration of the scene. If you botch the roll, not only must you attempt to flee, but the touch of the cross can cause aggravated damage (one health level of damage per turn that the cross touches your skin). This damage cannot be soaked, even if the vampire possesses Fortitude.|
|Repulsed by Garlic||1||Supernatural||You cannot abide garlic.||The smallest whiff of garlic will drive you from a room unless you make a successful Willpower roll (difficulty based on the strength of the odor).|
|Rival Sires||2||Social||The flip side of Escaped Target, two vampires wanted to gift you with the Embrace. One succeeded, one failed — and she’s not happy about that failure.||You, your actual sire, or both of you have become the target of the failed suitor’s ire. Regardless, your persecutor is at +2 difficulty to refrain from frenzy in your presence. In addition, she may well be working actively to discredit or destroy you.|
|Scales||1-3||Setites||Set blessed you upon your Embrace, and you bear his mark. A portion of your skin is covered in scales.||As a one-point Flaw, a small, easily hidden area of skin is covered. As a two-point Flaw, a whole limb is covered, while having a scaled, lipless face is a three-point Flaw. Kine are frightened and disturbed by the obviously unnatural scales, and Kindred have their own prejudices against the Setites. All social rolls with non-Setites receive a +2 difficulty when the scales are visible.|
|Shadow Walker||6||Giovanni||The Giovanni Clan is by its nature inexorably tied to the realm beyond the sudario. Giovanni suffering from this Flaw are so tied to the Shadowlands that even in the lands of the living they must interact with the world of the dead on a nightly basis.||To shadow walkers, objects in the Underworld are as real as anything found in the physical world. Such vampires find that the ghosts of walls may impeded their flight, ghostly objects may strike them, and wraiths’ powers work as if the Kindred were on the far side of the Shroud. This Flaw is similar to the Ash Path power Dead Hand, except that Shadow Walker is always on and it in no way allows the character possessing it to perceive beyond the Shroud.
Unless you have some ability to do so, you can’t see into the Shadowlands, so you have to be careful in feeling your way about — essentially, a blind man subject to the Underworld landscape.
|Short Fuse (vampire)||2||Mental||You are easily angered.||Difficulties to avoid frenzy are two greater. Brujah vampires cannot take this Flaw, as they already suffer from a similar weakness.|
|Sire's Resentment||1||Social||Your sire dislikes you and wishes you ill.||Given the smallest opportunity, she will actively seek to do you harm. Your sire’s allies also might work against or resent you.|
|Slow Healing||3||Physical||You have difficulty healing wounds.||It requires two blood points to heal one health level of bashing or lethal damage, and you heal one health level of aggravated damage every five days (plus the usual five blood points and Willpower expenditure).|
|Smell of the Grave||1||Physical||You exude an odor of dampness and newly turned earth, which no amount of scents or perfumes will cover.||Mortals in your immediate presence become uncomfortable, so the difficulties of all Social rolls to affect mortals increase by one.|
|Stench||1||Nosferatu||Most Nosferatu pick up a certain odor, but you stink so bad even your Clanmates find you hard to be close to.||Your presence is preceded by your stench, removing two die from all Stealth rolls.|
|Stereotype||2||Mental||You buy heavily into all of the vampire stories you’ve read and heard. You wear a cape or body glitter, speak with an accent, and otherwise act in a cartoonish fashion.||Such behavior is embarrassing in the extreme to other Kindred, who are likely to ostracize or mock you (+2 difficulty to Social rolls with other vampires who don’t share your habits). You also stand out to hunters.|
|Stigmata||2-4||Malkavian||Oracles are often marked as messengers of the gods. Your markings come in the forms of phantom wounds that seep blood. The bleeding is slight but incessant, costing you an extra blood point every day just before you wake at dusk.||The 2-point version of this Flaw means wounds that can be easily hidden from prying eyes, such as on the hands or the side. You gain a +1 difficulty to all Social rolls when dealing with someone aware of your condition.
The 4-point version can’t be easily hidden, like bleeding eyes. The Social penalty increases to +2, and one of your Attributes also gains a +1 difficulty to all rolls because of the constant seeping blood.
|Stone Tongue||3||Gargoyle||The transformation of the Embrace didn’t just affect your appearance. It made it physically difficult for you to speak properly and clearly.||It may be because of a clumsy tongue, some nasty looking tusks, or a raptor-type beak. No matter the cause, you suffer a +2 difficulty to any Social rolls requiring you to speak.|
|Sympathizer||1||Social||You have publicly expressed sympathy for some of the goals and policies of the enemies of your Sect.||Your outspoken views on the subject have made you suspect in the eyes of the city’s hierarchy, and you may be suspected of (or arrested for) treason.|
|Territorial||2||Mental||You are extremely territorial, staking out a particular area as your hunting ground and reacting aggressively to trespassers.||If another vampire enters your territory uninvited, you must make a frenzy roll. If you fail, you immediately attack the interloper and continue attacking until the intruder is dead or has left your hunting grounds. You are reluctant to leave your territory except in desperate circumstances.|
|Thaumaturgically Inept||5||Tremere||Something about you refuses to respond to Thaumaturgy. Magic just doesn’t work for you.||You cannot take any ability in the Thaumaturgy Discipline or any of its paths or rituals. For a Tremere this is doubly difficult, as skill in Thaumaturgy is often the key to position within the Clan.|
|Thirst For Innocence||2||Mental||The sight of innocence — of any sort — arouses in you a terrible bloodlust.||Roll Self-Control or Instincts, or else frenzy and attack the source of your hunger.|
|Tortured Artist||1||Toreador||Nothing is ever good enough for your work. No matter how much praise is lavished upon you, you can only see the flaws and mistakes.||You occasionally suffer long periods of ennui, which makes your artistic work irregular at best. Further, you throw yourself into business arrangements and social situations with intensity, which often leads to heartbreak, which leads to the pain and passion that fuels your next work. You are at +1 difficulty on Social rolls in which you are being praised, complimented, or treated with respect.|
|Touch of Frost||1||Supernatural||Plants wither as you approach and die at your touch.||Your touch leeches heat from living beings, as though you were made of ice.|
|Unblinking||1||Physical||Your eyes do not close. Ever. Perhaps you have left your humanity too far behind to upkeep such habits, or perhaps you fleshcrafted some form of transparent eye-scale or nictitating membrane.||Your quirk probably makes astute observers uncomfortable, adding +1 to the difficulty of friendly social interactions with humans, Kindred on Humanity, and others with mortal sensibilities.
Prerequisite: Only vampires with Humanity 4 or less or on a Path of Enlightenment may take this Flaw.
|Uncommon Vitae Preference||2||Ventrue||Your preferred source for vitae is rarified even by the standards of your Clan.||The difficulty of all hunting rolls for your character is increased by +2, to a maximum of 9.|
|Unconvinced||1||Mental||You fail to see the need for the core ideologies of your Sect or Clan, and have gone on record as saying so.||Taking your stand has made you suspect in the eyes of your superiors, and may have attracted the attention of your enemies as well.|
|Unholy Stain||3||Supernatural||Your soul is stained with sacrilege. Some are born or Embraced this way; more earn the stain through wicked oaths and foul deeds.||When interacting with any mortal, your Social difficulties increase by one, as people feel unnaturally ill at ease in your presence. Additionally, people of faith feel compelled to hostility when in your proximity. Their initial stance towards you is always aggressive, and it takes little to provoke them to violence. Mortals with True Faith will recognize you on sight, and often attack.|
|Unproven||3||Social||Somehow, you have failed to prove yourself worthy of your Clan. Maybe your sire did not test you well enough, or an opportunity to prove yourself has not come up.||Whatever the reason, you are not truly considered part of your Sire's Clan All social dealings with others of your ostensible Clan suffer a -3 dice penalty.
This Flaw is only appropriate for vampires Embraced into particularly hierarchical Clans, such as Ventrue, Tremere or Lasombra. You are looked down upon and treated little better than a Caitiff.
|Unsanctioned Embrace||2||Social||Your unworthy Sire was overcome by their fascination or obsession with you - and Embraced you without permission. He or she was almost certainly slain, but you survived.||The Camarilla considers unsanctioned Embraces to be a serious violation. Yet the unfortunate progeny isn't always slain out of hand (even if the Sire often is).
You somehow managed to survive. Perhaps the Prince spared you, only to leave you with a crushing debt you might never repay. Perhaps you fled to a new city or took refuge with the Anarchs. Perhaps another vampire with permission to Embrace belatedly claimed you as their own.
Whatever the case, someone, somewhere, has considerable leverage over you as a result of your Sire's trespass.
|Uppity||2||Social||You are proud of your new status in the Sect — so proud that you’ve shot your mouth off to other Kindred and made some enemies.||Wiser vampires laugh at you and chalk your rudeness up to youth, but others find you arrogant and insulting. These enemies will take action to embarrass or harm you. Furthermore, you are at +2 difficulty on all Social rolls against any vampires you have alienated through your yammering — and you may not know who they are. At Storyteller discretion, you may also be required to make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to keep your mouth shut.|
|Venomous Bite||2||Setites||You have developed venom glands in the roof of your mouth. The venom is a virulent neurotoxin, fatal to mortals, although Kindred and other supernatural creatures are unaffected by it. You, of course, are immune.||The problem is you have no control over your poison glands. When you bite, you always inject this venom, usually killing your human victims. You must learn to feed in other ways, perhaps drawing the blood you need with a syringe or razor, if you do not wish to kill every time you feed.|
|Victim of the Masquerade||2||Mental||The Camarilla’s propaganda machine did too good a job on you. Even after your Embrace you refused to believe you were a vampire.||You remain convinced that there is some logical explanation for your condition, and spend as much time as you can searching for it. You also have problems feeding, and may insist on trying to eat regular food. None of these habits makes you particularly pleasant company for other Kindred.|
|Vulnerability to Silver||2||Physical||To you, silver is as painful and as deadly as the rays of the sun.||You suffer aggravated wounds from any silver weapons (bullets, knives, etc.), and the mere touch of silver objects discomfits you.|
|Albino||F||1||While this condition is harmless from a physiological standpoint, it does cause afflicted individuals to stand out. This may reduce a ghoul’s capacity to blend into a crowd, without the help of a disguise. When you take the Albino Flaw, keep in mind that your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn, having little or no pigmentation to reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays.|
|Benevolent Domitor||M||3||Your domitor is unusually fond of you. Perhaps your service has been exemplary, or you simply remind your master of a past love. Given the alien nature of a vampire’s mind, you may never know for sure, but you do not begrudge the benefits you’ve gained from your master’s feelings toward you. Unlike the relationship between other masters and their ghouls, this Merit does not represent a temporary phase. You have already proven yourself to your master.
Though this Merit shapes how your domitor treats you, it does not guarantee that you will never run afoul of your master. You may, at your Storyteller’s discretion, lose the right to keep this Merit should your actions necessitate such a decision over time.
Ghouls with PC domitors receive no benefit from and are not required to take this Merit.
|Black and White||F||1||After being subjected to the blood bond, its influence can complicate your ghoul’s natural outlook on life. Under its influence, the blood bond may force your ghoul to view what your domitor says or does through a rosy, positive filter at all times. Any character who does not agree or side with your master is, according to you, an enemy worthy of your contempt.
In situations where some nuance is required, increase your Social and Mental difficulties by +1.
|Blood Feud||F||5||Rivalries between opposing vampire factions in Los Angeles such as the Brujah and the Ventrue, or the Tremere and the Nosferatu occasionally bleed into the behavior of their ghouls throughout Camarilla-held territory. Fights between opposing ghouls are all too common, typically on account of being less noticed or sanctioned than similar bouts of violence between Kindred.
It is inevitable for rivalries to develop between Clans in a given city. Subsequently, excessively loyal ghouls might take offense at a misstep or take up vengeance for a slight against their Domitor, and their feelings could escalate into hatred and a desire to kill. A Gangrel ghoul might be involved in a bitter dispute over territory or domain with the servants of a Toreador Primogen.
In a Blood Feud, several members of each side should be willing to battle over the insult or slight. Whatever the case, it's their feud and your blood.
|Clear-Sighted||M||4||Your ghoul is not easily fooled by illusions and tricks of the light. Whether you were born lucky, have supernatural assistance, or proper training to brush aside such influences, your character has a knack for overcoming the phantasms, shadows, and mirages others create through the use of thaumaturgical rituals and Disciplines.
This Merit is only applicable for visible tricks of deceit caused by the use of Disciplines. When faced with a suspected supernatural illusion caused by the use of Disciplines such as Obfuscate and Chimerstry, your ghoul may make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty equal to your opponent’s power’s level +4). If successful, your character sees right through the effect. If you fail, you might suspect the illusion is a trick, but you cannot prove your suspicious are correct. This Merit does not work passively. You must be suspicious to get a roll.
|Custodian||M||1-5||Most ghouls are lured into their domitor’s world because they have proven themselves to be valuable in some fashion. In exchange for blood and dark promises, the vast majority of ghouls are destined to live out their days and nights in eternal servitude. Some ghouls have first-hand knowledge running a complex organization or have experience managing a household for their domitor.
This Merit assumes that the ghoul is adept as a chief steward, driver, and watchdog for her domitor, and her competency has not gone unnoticed by her master. Unlike other ghouls, those who possess the Custodian Expert Knowledge have already proven themselves to their domitors, and are often left alone to do what needs to be done.
You receive +1 dice to appropriately relevant rolls made within or concerning your domitor's Domain.
➊ You can keep a fledgling's apartment in order.
➋ You are new to managing a haven, but you have demonstrated a talent for the job.
➌ You keep the manor running so smoothly that even your master's guests sometimes pay you compliments.
➍ You know what needs to be done before your master issues an order, and send invitations and messages to other vampires on behalf of your domitor.
➎ You are peerless at managing your domitor's affairs. A wise master will listen to your advice and observations.
|Domitor Pariah||F||2||Your master is a vampire who, for whatever reason, is unwelcome among or even hated by other members of his Clan or Sect. Without allies, your domitor may struggle to retain her status and will likely rely on ghouls, like yourself, to fulfill her basic needs. You may be given additional responsibilities, or you might be manipulated into spying, attacking, or stealing for your domitor.
Once a ghoul understands how challenging life may be with a Domitor Pariah, you might sow the seeds of rebellion despite the strength of your blood bond.
This Flaw may not be taken by ghouls with PC domitors (which is to say, if your PC domitor makes themselves a pariah ICly, you will suffer without earning extra freebies from it.)
|Double Life||M||1-5||The majority of new, Camarilla ghouls tend to have a tenuous tie to their former lives. This Merit ensures that their connection to their former selves, along with their relationships, remains intact. Most independent ghouls and Sabbat ghouls would not use this Merit.
➊ Keeping up Appearances: You keep in contact with people you once knew, but you keep yourself distanced from them unless you need to ask someone you know for a favor. You might need to keep up appearances because your master ordered you to, or you might have done so naturally to help keep you sane.
➋ Maintaining Friendships: You are part of a group of friends who meets every so often. While you might not ask them for a favor related to your job, you know you can call on them in an emergency situation.
➌ Keeping a Lover: You are in love with another person, and your master has allowed you to maintain this relationship in exchange for your service. You would do anything for each other, and your master knows it, too.
➍ Staying Close to Your Family: Your master has granted you permission to remain a member of your family, and has helped you devise a cover so your activities are not suspicious. In exchange for your service, you may maintain your connection to your family, but you may or may not be allowed to live with them. Some domitors might use your family as leverage to get you to do their bidding.
➎ Possessing a Mortal Life: Though you’ve become a ghoul, your master has decreed that you may keep your job, your relationships, and your apartment. From an observer’s perspective, you may seem smitten with a new love interest or stressed about your new high-powered job.
|Duplicitous||F||3||Ghouls with this Flaw have an underhanded reputation based on their previous actions. In the past, you’ve probably lied, cheated, or played both sides against the middle during a deal that went south.
While you can be duplicitous without this Flaw, when you take this Flaw, it forcefully impacts your relationships and dealings with other characters (especially NPCs). You probably don’t seek to take the upper hand in every situation, but other characters expect you to. Your allies and enemies are on edge around you, because they’re not sure when and if you’ll ever treat them fairly. They may even backstab or try to undercut you, too, because they expect you to.
The influence of the blood bond does impact most ghouls with this Flaw in subtle ways. While your domitor would know you are Duplicitous, you would not act out in a direct way against your master. Instead, you might backstab or double-cross your allies to curry favor and obtain rewards from him.
|Fixation||F||2-6||The Blood is exhilarating, but when the feeling wears off, you want another high, another “fix” to add to that heady rush. With this Flaw, you are forced to turn to outside activities or substances in your free time to get a fix that doesn’t come from the Blood. Failing to master your Fixation will likely be viewed unfavorably by most, because your inability to control yourself is viewed as a weakness. Moreover, servants that run off and base jump off the top of a skyscraper at every opportunity are not as useful as the meek from a master’s point of view.
The stronger your Fixation is, the more chaotic and rebellious your ghoul
will likely act as you take pleasure wherever you can find it. Thus, it is not uncommon to find independent ghouls with higher levels of Fixation.
To start, you’ll pick a type of Fixation your character is likely to have: chemical, psychological, or physical. Unlike an Addiction to something specific like cocaine, your overall Fixation is more generic than that.
➋ At two points of addiction, your character is still in control. Your ghoul may show up fog-headed, but she will attempt to carry out her domitor’s wishes to the best of her ability.
➍ At four points, your Fixation is so strong that you are more likely to forget a crucial errand, miss an appointment, or doze off spying on a rival.
➏ At six points, your ghoul is deep in the throes of terminal addiction. At your Storyteller’s discretion, this may result in greater and more violent consequences to the fulfillment of your desires.
|Fugitive||F||6||You are wanted by the authorities. You may be a suspect in a case, or might have been charged and convicted with a serious crime. Your ghoul may have even gone so far as to escape a high security prison or mental health facility. You may have, on the other hand, run afoul of a Sect and are now being hunted by its members, whether they be Kindred, Cainite, Anarchs, etc.
To the Camarilla, a ghoul Fugitive represents a serious threat to the Masquerade, regardless of who may be after you. While it is possible you may have been carrying out orders under the influence of the Blood Bond or Disciplines like Dominate, Kindred authorities cannot turn a blind eye to a desperate ghoul who’s on the run.
Taking this Flaw that you have either committed (or have been framed for) a transgression that is so severe, agents who uphold the law, be they vampire or mortal, have ordered your capture. Any and all persons found in your company may immediately become suspect as well.
|Groomed for Embrace||M||5||Your character has been deemed worthy of the Embrace, and is being prepared for the eventuality through careful, directed training by your future sire. While this Merit does not guarantee when you will be Embraced, your character is aware that you will become a vampire, and you know the identity of your future sire.
The benefits of being Groomed for Embrace are related to your current role as a ghoul, and your future position as a vampire within a specific Clan. As such, your role among the ghouls of your domitor’s house will be elevated to that of a valued apprentice as opposed to a disposable servant. Some Clans, like the Tremere, might track your progress through your academic study of lore, Disciplines, or thaumaturgical rituals.
Other vampires might be more careful, and may prepare you to be evaluated by the local prince before proceeding further. There may be a few drawbacks that your character might encounter over the course of your chronicle. Because you have achieved the dream of many ghouls, you may be subjected to fits of jealous rage or harm by other ghouls.
|Hunted||F||5||You have unwittingly crossed paths with a hunter, who has identified you as either a supernatural creature or a servant to one that must be destroyed. What's worse, and what makes this Flaw hurt, is that it's generally acknowledged to be your own damn fault.
While you may not have intentionally drawn the ire of a hunter, your grievous error will not go unpunished, nor will it be forgiven easily by your domitor, Clan or Sect. Consequences may range from ordering you to capture the hunter first to exile.
You may take steps to eliminate this Flaw in the way that makes sense for your character. However, unless your Storyteller tells you that you are in no danger of being hunted for the foreseeable future, you will always run the risk of being targeted by a hunter more easily than other characters who do not have this Flaw.
|Isolated Upbringing||F||1||You have either been brought up solely to serve your intended master, or have been so long in his or her service that you have begun to forget what it is like to socially interact on your own. You suffer a -1 dice penalty to social situations when away from your domitor's Domain or company.|
|Light Sensitive||F||2-6||Your ghoul has discovered, much to her chagrin, that she is growing more sensitive to bright light thanks to the transformative powers of the vampiric blood she ingests. During daylight hours, she might require strong, prescription sunglasses, and bright flashes such as a camera flash or lightning may require a Frenzy check.
The point value for the Light Sensitive Flaw reflects an increasing sensitivity to artificial and natural light.
➋ A 2-point Flaw means your ghoul retreats from harsh, bright sunlight harsh and will react more quickly than most mortals.
➍ At 4 points, your ghoul is incapable of functioning normally in bright sunlight, and may develop painful skin rashes and/or sunburn after exposure.
➏ At 6 points, the ghoul finds any bright light nearly paralyzing, and will go to whatever lengths required to avoid such bright conditions. Bad sunburn will result from only a minute or two in full sunlight, and will become bashing damage at a rate of one point of damage per fifteen minutes’ worth of exposure. A ghoul with this level of the Flaw will therefore receive four points of bashing damage per hour of contact with full sunlight or its equivalent. Such damage may be healed normally, as per V20 on pp. 282-286.
|Loose Lips||F||3||Ghouls are often privy to a great deal of sensitive information in the night-to-night dealings with their domitors, and some cannot resist the urge to divulge (or sell) these secrets. In general, ghouls who cannot keep secrets tend not to live very long.
When you take the Loose Lips Flaw, you might be known as a gossip. In fact, this weakness may be the reason why any ghoul might become independent. It’s possible that the ghoul’s master felt that withholding feedings for the rest of his vassal’s pitiful life would be suitable punishment, and might still be keeping tabs on his former ghoul.
Ghouls with this Flaw tend to not be trusted with jobs involving secrets, so their usefulness to higher-ranking vampires is limited. On the other hand, they make perfect tools for spreading false information, which can often be far more useful.
|Proven Loyalty||M||5||This ghoul has demonstrated unshakeable loyalty to not only their domitor, but to their domitor's Clan. The character should expect that other vampires belonging to their domitor's Clan (and perhaps those particularly allied with your domitor's Clan as well) will treat them with a degree of indulgence and inclusion without raising any eyebrows. At the Storyteller's discretion, this Merit may be exchanged for 'Groomed for Embrace' at a later date.|
|Majordomo||M||1-5||A Majordomo is a Merit that benefits both the ghoul and the domitor, because the burden of maintaining a complex household falls on the Majordomo’s shoulders. Thus, your ghoul will be caught up in the night-to-night requirements of your vampire in a more authoritative way than other ghouls. The use of such a ghoul greatly depends upon the personality, Clan or Sect of your domitor.
A Majordomo is far more common among Camarilla domitors and ghouls than they are in the Sabbat. For independent ghouls, becoming a Majordomo is an impossible feat, for no vampire would trust a ghoul that could not be subjected to the blood bond.
Majordomo's Merit rating reflect the power and influence you have in your master’s household (or company) over other servants (or employees) while operating within your domitor's Domain. A ghoul may not have a higher Majordomo Merit rating than their domitor's Domain Background.
➊ 2 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 1)
➋ 4 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 1)
➌ 6 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 2)
➍ 9 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 3)
➎ 12 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 3)
|Obsession||F||1-5||Even ghouls who lead relatively uneventful lives can become obsessed with a persistent idea, image, set of circumstances, or unshakable feeling. Many obsessions are so minor they would not be noticed by a casual observer, while others may become so powerful they’ll prevent a ghoul from performing the simplest of tasks
➊ At one point, your ghoul’s Obsession is minor. For example, your character may prefer a particular brand of beverage, pair of jeans, etc., and may refuse to eat, wear, or use a replacement. Your minor Obsession will probably cause you to seek a replacement for an “inferior” item with your preferred one at the earliest opportunity
➋ At two points, your Obsession threatens to consume you. If the focus of your insatiable desire is a person, you would likely have an image of that person in your possession at all times, or you will stop what you are doing to obtain one. If your Obsession involves an object or totem, like a lucky rabbit’s foot or a small statuette, you will need to have it within your reach. You might even grow more upset over time if it’s not nearby.
➎ At five points, your Obsession consumes you, and may bring others to harm. Your character might kidnap a local celebrity you’re obsessed with, and will likely go to unreasonable lengths to keep him under your direct control. Similarly, any object that you’re consumed with creates tremendous need at this level. If your lucky rabbit’s foot is misplaced or lost outright, you might not be able to function as you normally would, and may be prone to fits of destructive rage.
|Offensive to Animals||F||2||Ghouls who take the Offensive to Animals Flaw will have difficulty in their encounters with animals. Dogs, wolves, bats, birds, and other creatures will act hostile toward the character whenever she’s around, and will likely attack the closer the character gets. Much like the vampiric Flaw of the same name, a ghoul who is Offensive to Animals may find it challenging to walk freely in certain areas.
Animals will bark, howl, whine, and make noise when the character approaches them. They may not directly attack the ghoul unless provoked, but they will clearly be aggressive or, alternatively, might flee from the area.
|Pale Aura||M||2||Due to some quirk of fate or your reaction to the Blood, your aura is naturally pale. Any color your character’s aura takes has a pale cast to it, as if you were a vampire and not a ghoul.
Vampires reading your aura with the use of the Auspex Discipline may assume you are a vampire unless they gain five or more successes on an Aura Perception roll, or have strong reason to suspect otherwise.
This Merit can be of great use if you wish to impersonate a vampire for a time, but can also cause a dangerous misunderstanding or lead to your capture for further scrutiny.
|Poisonous Blood||M||5||Due to mysterious circumstances, your character’s blood is poisonous to vampires. Some examples include: holy protection from a higher power, a rare ritual of protection, or a genetic abnormality. Vampires naturally resent mortals known to possess this blessing and may well seek their destruction.
Should any vampire drink from you, every blood point imbibed causes one health level of unsoakable bashing damage.
|Problem with Authority||F||5||Problem with Authority is unhealthy for ghouls who are expected to serve without question. It is especially problematic for ghouls who have violent or unpredictable masters, and may spur a ghoul to leave her domitor’s side. Many independent ghouls suffer from this Flaw, and continue to feel the effects of their disobedience.
When taken to its extreme, your ghoul will become argumentative and unruly, and may take an issue with the simplest instructions. While you might argue with lesser authority figures in your ghoul’s life, like the police, your combative words are less likely to get you killed, but may result in being arrested or fired.
|Romantic Notions||F||3||You believe your entire existence as a ghoul is a marked improvement over your previous life, and you are convinced you owe it all to your domitor. You feel your domitor needs you, you’d die without her, and that every feeding is an act of pure love.
When your domitor attempts to use either Dominate or Presence on your character, your Willpower is at -2. This Flaw is in effect regardless of how you react to the blood bond, and while under its influence you may feel an even stronger sense of artificial love toward your domitor.
|Self-Preservation||F||3||For whatever reason, your character refuses to carry out orders that you feel will threaten your safety and put your life at risk. For ghouls, the Self-Preservation Flaw defeats the purpose of serving a vampire. If you cannot defend your domitor, then your worth decreases considerably. Moreover, a Bound ghoul who can refuse to carry out an order bears close watching.
This Flaw is one of the most common reasons why a ghoul leaves his master’s service to operate as an independent. Clever vassal ghouls will attempt to manipulate this Flaw to their advantage by attempting to carry out life-threatening commands while ensuring they're exposed to as little actual risk as possible.
Mechanically-speaking, any time your domitor or master gives you an order that threatens your life, your character gets a check against Willpower at +2 difficulty. If successful, your ghoul may refuse to carry out the order. Should you refuse to carry out such a command in front of your master, you may expect to be punished severely.
|Squeamish||F||1-3||Your ghoul might talk a good game, but you’ve never been around real violence before. When you’re confronted with the sight of blood, you probably won’t respond well, and may faint, panic, or run away.
➊ In situations that involve gunfire, bloody combat, or an aggressive use of Disciplines, roll Willpower (difficulty 7). If this roll fails, your character either freezes in place (if her Courage is higher than her Self-Control) or flees the area (if her Self-Control is higher than her Courage).
➌ Should you botch a Willpower check (as per above), your ghoul is so unnerved by the gruesomeness you’ve encountered you cannot act for the rest of that scene. Your ghoul is frozen from shock, and may soil herself or puke in response to your fear or revulsion.
|Turncoat||F||4||The Turncoat is more than just a traitor. Ghouls that take the Flaw Turncoat Flaw have betrayed more than just their domitor's interests, but also that of their whole Clan or Sect.
Most ghouls with the Turncoat Flaw understand the ramifications of their actions. They understand that this Flaw requires them to protect themselves and hide from her former colleagues; they might even expect their former domitor's Clan or Sect to hunt them down for their treachery. Depending on the nature and depth of the betrayal, other allied vampires may decide to render their assistance to the hunt as well.
A Turncoat ghoul is not entirely alone in the world. They will have likely earned the trust of her new friends by killing a former ally or domitor, or by turning over sensitive information, such as the haven of a (formerly) allied vampire or the passwords to access her domitor’s finances or accounts. The Turncoat’s new allies will probably be skeptical of this character, and may not divulge anything other than minor details. After all, if the Turncoat betrayed her own master while under the influence of the blood bond, she could do so again.
|Unbondable||M||5||You cannot be Bound to a vampire, no matter how often you drink blood from the regnant’s veins.
The Unbondable Merit is particularly appropriate for independent ghouls, and would go far to explain how they were able to break free. To the vast majority of vampires, however, any character that is Unbondable can never be trusted.
While this seems ideal at first glance, be aware your ghoul’s life could be difficult and short-lived. Vampires from the Tremere and Tzimisce Clans might want to wipe out or experiment on you and your family with this Merit, while other vampires may want to drain you of blood to replicate its properties for their use.
|Under Surveillance||F||2-6||Your ghoul’s activities are being monitored by members of law enforcement or government agencies. You might be Under Surveillance because you are suspect in a crime, or because you’ve been spotted associating with other criminals or suspects. It may even be your domitor's fault.
Generally speaking, Under Surveillance is less dangerous than the Fugitive Flaw, because your character is a person of interest as opposed to a wanted criminal. The points you take in this Flaw represent the level of scrutiny your character is under.
➋ At two points, only local authorities are watching your ghoul's activities.
➍ At four points, both city officials and state authorities are involved.
➏ At six points, local state, state, and national law enforcement agents are coordinating efforts to analyze your movements, and they may share their concerns with foreign agencies should you travel outside the country.
The effects of this Flaw vary, depending upon your circumstances, and you may not always be aware of them. For example, among Camarilla ghouls, any ghoul Under Surveillance will risk a Masquerade breach. Some vampires might decide that your character is too dangerous to live, and may take an opportunity to end your life at the hands of your associates or domitor. Other Kindred might take a different, more devious approach. They might use you as bait, create a body double, or plant false information. Some independent ghouls who take this Flaw might suspect that their former domitor has engineered their situation, and they are now Under Surveillance as punishment for abandoning them.
|Unmastered||M||5||You are one of the lucky few who are plugged into the Vee or V-Tay scene, without having any direct exposure to any midnight monsters. You take Vee because it makes you feel like the Queen or King of the World - allowing you to conquer boardrooms, auditions, photo shoots, playoff games or MMA fights with equal ease...all while never growing old.
A ghoul character with the Unmastered Merit accrues three main benefits:
They are capable of acquiring the Vitae they need to sustain themselves as 'ghouls', through black market Vee purchases. The exact nature of their 'connection' will be described with the storyteller. This amounts to 1 blood point worth of Vitae per month. They may acquire additional blood points of Vitae per month by temporarily sacrificing Influence Backgrounds (such as Allies, Contacts or Resources), with a cost and duration adjudicated by the storyteller, growing more extreme with frequency.
Although the vast majority of NPCs that might be assumed to have this merit are almost entirely ignorant as to the truth, it will be assumed that PCs are among those with a vague notion of something supernatural going on. They'll know that some out there believe vampires exist - or at least suspect them to. They'll know a few whispered tips to avoid getting in immediate trouble. The specifics of their knowledge will depend on their backstory, and will be provided before they hit the grid.
Finally, the Unmastered has tasted the Vitae of so many Kindred, that the bond doesn't quite affect them as readily. An Unmastered PC must drink directly from a Kindred to be Bound, and there's only a 50% chance of it taking.
|Veil of the Blood||M||1-5||The Veil of Blood Merit allows a ghoul to train herself to mimic the appearance of a vampire, in order to navigate vampire society, intimidate curious passersby, or even perform certain tasks for an insistent master. The ghoul cannot significantly alter her physical appearance to resemble a vampire of a specific Clan. She can, however, master the ability to drain the blood from the surface of her skin and all but silence her heartbeat.
Vassal ghouls who need to remain hidden among other vampires. Certain domitors, for example, may call upon their ghouls to indulge in a little espionage or be present at a vampires-only meeting. Independent ghouls, on the other hand, may find that posing as a vampire can lengthen their lives, and will often acquire this Merit after they escape their domitor’s scrutiny.
This Merit grants a ghoul two things: +1 dice per level of the Merit's rating to any relevant dice pools to avoid being discovered for what you are. It also suggests a certain tenuous grasp of various Kindred concepts, obliviating the need for Esoterica to function in a purely social setting.
➊ “Ruddy? Oh, I fed recently. That must be it.”
➋ Other ghouls and mortals would recognize you as a vampire.
➌ You can safely walk among fledglings and neonates.
➍ You can fool most vampires at first glance without the use of Disciplines.
➎ You can mingle at Elysium without raising suspicion.
|Vicissitude Modifications||M||1-7||You are a ghoul whose body has been hideously modified through the use of the Vicissitude Discipline. You, yourself, might not be gifted in this area, but your flesh and bones have been reshaped into a nightmare designed to be useful in war.
The alterations made to your body are permanent unless shaped by further uses of Vicissitude. Although your Vicissitude Modifications can be dangerous, your body still sustains damage normally. Despite your potentially horrid
appearance, you are still flesh and bone.
Some Vicissitude Modifications may require you to take the Monstrous Flaw, which is found on page 482 of V20 Core. Examples of potential Vicissitude Modifications are given on page 135 of V20: Ghouls & Revenants.
|Virulent Strike||M||7||Through strange thaumaturgical sorcery, unknown rituals, or even an odd quirk of your physiology, your blood has been imbued with the power of the supernatural. You can cause Aggravated Damage to supernatural creatures by striking them, biting them, or raking them with bonecrafted spurs. This is considered standard Brawl Damage against mortals, and should normally apply to only one attack form (bite, bone claws, etc.).|
|Vitae Addict||F||3||You may or may not know what Vitae is (Vee? V-Tay? Vita?), or where it comes from, but you know you gotta have it. Your cravings have made you very nearly supernaturally sensitive to the promise of more.
A character with the Vitae Addict Flaw suffers a +2 difficulty penalty in any situation that involves resisting the urge, temptation or coercion to do or say something that might bring them another taste of Vitae. They may not spend a Willpower point to add an extra success to such rolls.
The one potentially beneficial side-effect of this potentially life ruining addiction, is that Vitae Addicts can sense any vampire within five feet of them, by rolling their Perception + Alertness vs a difficulty determined by the vampire's Path or Humanity rating.
|Vitae Sink||F||3||For whatever reason, your ghoul metabolizes vitae more quickly than others do.
You must be fed every two weeks, rather than once every month, or risk losing all supernatural Traits and will revert to your natural state. Few ghouls with this Flaw last beyond their natural life spans, unless their domitors are especially devoted to them. At this increased rate, however, it is likely that missed feedings might happen, which is why this Flaw is deadly to independent ghouls.
|Avatar Companion||7||Supernatural||From lifetime to lifetime, you share a bit of your Avatar with a companion who follows you through incarnations, recalling more about their details than you do. Although he’s not as powerful as you are, and lacks the metaphysical prowess of the Merits: Twin Soul or Shattered Avatar, this companion knows a great deal about your reincarnated self… quite a bit more about it than then you do.||The Avatar Companion is essentially a walking boost from your Director, subject to her whims but acting in your best interests… for the most part, anyway.
Unless it’s purchased in addition to the Background: Allies, your companion isn’t anything special – he could be a person or animal, but not a vampire, a werebeast, or some other Night-Folk entity. This Merit does however, obliviate the need to pair your special Ally (if you choose to go that route) with the Powerful Ally Merit. In such a case your Director determines the true scope of their abilities.
|Bardic Gift||2||Supernatural||Blessed with uncanny inspiration, you create profoundly evocative artwork. Truth echoes through your words, blazes from your canvas, resonates in song, speaks silently in dance. |
Although artistic skill is, of course, important, this gift runs deeper than mere technique. Art is your passion, your spirit, your Truth.
|When making an Artistry roll, reduce the difficulty by -2.
Even when the attempt itself falls short of your expectations (that is, when you fail a roll), your creations feature an unmistakable gleam of brilliance and a preternatural expression of Truth.
Although your character isn't required to employ art as part of your magickal focus, chances are good that your approach to magick does feature elements of painting, dance, music, and other manifestations of artistic expression.
|Berserker (mage)||4||Mental||Folks don’t like you when you’re angry. In combat, you become a veritable monster, destroying everything and everyone in sight. In certain ways, this is a blessing, in others, a curse – for although your dedication to slaughter has undeniable benefits, it’s also a distinct liability.||Under intense stress (combat, injury, disgrace, the death or crippling of a comrade, and so forth), the red haze kicks in. A failed Willpower roll (difficulty 8) leads to a berserk rampage.
Your character gains three temporary Bruised health levels, ignores wound penalties, and adds two dice to her Strength and one die to her Stamina until every enemy within easy reach or sight is dead or incapacitated.
Unfortunately, when this happens, everyone else becomes your enemy: Allies, enemies, and bystanders alike all look like targets until the blood-trance fades. Magick and strategic thinking becomes impossible, and your character uses every weapon in her hands for maximum carnage. They'll keep going until they're knocked unconscious, incapacitated or killed - or find themselves alone for several minutes.
|Burning Aura||1||Supernatural||To those who can sense it, your aura burns with amazing brilliance and clarity. Even folks who can’t actually perceive this bright corona of energy realize that you’re “different.” Entities that can read your aura react accordingly – some will treat you with uncommon respect, while others will view you as a nice meal.||The nature of your aura cannot be hidden easily (+2 to the difficulty of any attempt to do so), and while this is a dreadful disadvantage for, say, a Nephandus, people who prize forthright integrity may reduce their difficulties by -2 when they’re trying to make an impression that’s in accord with that vivid aura and affecting characters who can sense it.
Assuming that you employ these optional Traits, your Resonance and Synergy each get a vivid, one-dot boost from this Merit – see Chapter Three, pp. 133-134, for details. For aura colors and tones, see Mage 20, p. 507.
|Celestial Affinity||3||Supernatural||You get along especially well with a certain type of spirit entity. Depending upon your practice, you might relate well with nature spirits, High Umbral Courtiers, Digital Web entities, the Restless Dead, the Loa, angelic or demonic beings, and so forth.||When you’re dealing with entities within a single selected category, you reduce the difficulty of your summoning and negotiation rolls by -2. (See the section that deals with Summoning, Binding, Bargaining, and Warding in How Do You DO That?, pp. 90-95.) This bonus does not apply to attempts to bind or ward against such beings, as it’s based upon goodwill, not force.
It does, however, apply to the Arete rolls when casting the summoning Effect (within the normal modifier limits, as usual), because the entities in question are more inclined to show up when you call upon them.
If you abuse this goodwill, as one might imagine, this bonus, and the Merit, both go away.
|Circumspect Avatar||2||Supernatural||You’ve never seen your Avatar, and probably doubt that such a thing exists. Sure, you have a shadow, and a reflection, or maybe a little dog who’s followed you around since you were a kid and seems no older even though he should have died of old age years ago, but an Avatar? Nah – that’s a buncha New Age hippie crap! |
You have yet to encounter any such thing, you don’t go on “seekings” or whatever they’re called, and you get your metaphysical insights the same way any normal person does: through everyday events in the everyday world.
|Essentially, this Merit grants a “silent” Avatar – one that, for whatever reason, does not hound or guide your character but merely drops hints, cues, and clues that the mage either figures out or doesn’t figure out on her own.
Seekings and Epiphanies take place in the physical realm, typically as puzzles and dilemmas that happen to be related to issues that the mage needs to sort through in order to advance to the next level of understanding.
During such situations, the Avatar may indeed appear (possibly even manifest – see the Merit: Manifest Avatar, p. 71), but only as some apparently mundane person, creature or thing, not as an obviously paranormal entity. You could, for instance, get a call from your mother that sends you into an introspective mood which, in turn, leads you to figure out an important riddle from your past – Mom, of course, denies even having called you. Perhaps it was just a dream?
|Clear Sighted||5||Supernatural||Even without employing your Arts, you have a preternatural gift for seeing things as they are, not as they appear to be. Illusions, disguises, cloaking spells, and other forms of trickery rarely deceive your eyes.||In game terms, you can make a Perception + Awareness roll to see through metaphysical deception powers: vampiric Disciplines, faerie cantrips, werecreature Gifts, Sphere-based illusions, and other powers that are based on deceiving a witnesses’ perceptions. This roll works only against powers that deceive the target’s perceptions, not against any other form of Gift, Discipline, cantrip, and so forth. (Vampiric Obfuscate, for example, but not Presence or Dominate.)
The difficulty for that roll is generally 5 + the highest Sphere Rank or other level involved in that power – a Forces 2 /Prime 2 illusion, then, would be difficulty 7, while a vampire’s Mask of a Thousand Faces (Obfuscate 3) would be difficulty 8.
If a character could normally get a mundane Perception roll to see through an illusion (as shown in How Do You DO That?, pp. 129-132), or some other cloaking spell or device, then your character subtracts -3 from her difficulty when trying to do so.
It does not, however, allow you to see through darkness, notice sneaking or invisible characters, or otherwise perceive something that isn't reliant on metaphysical deception.
Note: This Merit does not work passively. You must have some plausible reason to be suspicious or paying greater attention.
|Cloak of the Seasons||3||Supernatural||Adverse weather does not bother you. Regardless of your clothing or lack thereof, you’re essentially immune to the effects of exposure to harsh climates, as described in Mage 20, p. 435.||You still need to eat, drink, and breathe – this Merit won’t save you from starvation or suffocation – and climate-based obstacles (fog, high winds, snowdrifts, ice, etc.) hinder you as badly as they’ll hinder anybody else.
Aside from outright attacks by the elements, however, you remain untouched by extremes of temperature and climate. You might not always be comfortable, but you’ll survive.
|Cyclic Magick||3||Supernatural||The strength or weakness of your Arts is tied to some periodic cycle – the phases of the moon, night or day, your menstrual periods, the rise and fall of the stock market, and so forth.|
At the peak of your cycle, your magick flows most easily – at its nadir, you find it challenging to work with your magick at all.
|System-wise, this Trait is both a Merit and a Flaw, granting bonuses at one point in the cycle and penalties on its opposite point. At the highest point, you reduce your casting difficulties by -3 for one hour, while at the lowest point you increase them by +3 for one hour. On either end of that cycle, you subtract or add -1 /+1 to your casting difficulties for each hour on both sides – the surge and the ebb – of that cycle: -2 or + 2 for the two hours on each side of the peak or nadir, -1 or +1 on the two hours on the side of those two hours, and no modifiers during the rest of the time in between.
Naturally, you’ll need to decide just what this cycle is when you select this Trait, and then determine what the highest and lowest points of that cycle would be. This Merit must also be tied into your focus – intrinsically connected to the beliefs you hold and the practices you follow. Your choice of instruments is often tied to such cycles too – cycle-bound instruments include celestial alignments, crossroads and crossing-days, formulae and mathematics, group rites, money and wealth, music (peaks and lulls in a song, movements in a symphony, etc.), numbers and numerology, and offerings and sacrifices (“when the stars are right”). A stockbroker will be watching the peaks and ebbs on Wall Street, while a witch pays attention to the cycles of the moon or her blood.
|Deathwalker||4||Supernatural||The Underworld welcomes you. |
This sort of “gift” often leaves macabre traces on the mortals it favors. Hence, this Merit is well-suited for the Flaws: Echoes, Uncanny, and Primal Marks.
|While most Umbral travelers are more or less barred from the Shadowlands and Low Umbra unless they possess special magicks (or have died), you can step sideways into the Dead Lands with a simple application of Spirit 3.
When you do so, your aura assumes the pale tone of death, and you become essentially indistinguishable from a ghost unless some knowledgeable entity makes a successful Perception + Occult roll (difficulty 7) to see you for what you really are. If the Avatar Storm is still raging in your chronicle, you can pass into the Low Umbra without suffering the Storm’s effects.
Thanks to their innate ties to the Dead Lands, Deathwalkers, as a rule, view the Otherworlds through the Vidare Mortem, suffer from Morbidity Quiets, and tend to have a rather fatalistic view of life.
|Faerie Affinity||2||Supernatural||Fae beings like you. Drawn by an ineffable appeal, they seek you out and share secrets with you that few mortals even comprehend.||Story-wise, the Fae tend to favor you over other mortals, even when your temperaments would seem to be at odds with one another. A gruff Nocker, for example, normally has no use for frivolity… but in your case, you silly Cultist, he’ll make this one exception!
System-wise, you lower the difficulty of your social rolls by -2 when you’re dealing with changelings and related entities – in return, changelings reduce their difficulty by -2 when they attempt – through whatever method – to obtain Glamour from you, or to enchant you so as to bring you into their ephemeral realm.
Technomancers, being considered “banal” in the eyes of the Fae, may not purchase this Merit. Even if they don’t belong to the Technocratic Union, the presence of such mages is metaphysical poison to the Dreaming Ones.
This Merit has no effect on how changeling PCs might regard you, and does not give you a free pass into their society.
|Green Thumb||1||Supernatural||Plants flourish from your touch. Although they don’t bloom and grow on contact (a wildly paranormal effect which was part of this Merit’s Revised edition form), they do attain a healthy boost when you work with them.||Reduce the difficulty of all non-Arete rolls by -2, and reduce the difficulty of Arete rolls by -1, when you work with plants, trees, and other forms of vegetation –algae, mold, fungus, seaweed, and the like.
Story-wise, your aura pulsates with green vitality, plant matter grows fast and robust in your presence, and your Resonance and Synergy reflect a powerful connection to the green world.
|Hands of Daedalus||3||Supernatural||You’ve got an innate gift for crafting machines and mechanical technology. Such devices seem to come to life in your hands, fitting easily into place and functioning with incredible precision. |
Sadly, this gift does not extend to the ins and outs of software technology, although could help build a computer, hardware-wise.
|From a systems standpoint, any rolls you make to craft, repair, invent, or otherwise modify mechanical technologies are at -2 difficulty when you’ve got the opportunity to put those Hands of Daedalus to work.
Tech-based magickal instruments (see the Mage 20 entries for Armor, Devices and Machines, and other hardware-based technologies) and practices (see Craftwork and Hypertech in the Focus and the Arts section of Mage 20, Chapter Ten) function, in your hands, as Personalized Instruments (Mage 20, pp. 503 and 587-588) once you’ve had a chance to get familiar with them… and to have them get familiar with you.
|Inner Knight||5||Supernatural||In your heart of hearts, you’re a hero. While your companions work toward their own selfish ends, you embody a higher purpose. This purpose guides you in uncanny ways that feel, at times, as if you’re being moved by a force greater than yourself – a noble force, naturally, but one that transcends even your personal Enlightenment. |
Just remember that the biggest difference between a knight and a murderer is the side of his sword you happen to be on at the time.
|Inner Knights allows you to:
• Access Traits you don’t possess, as per the Background: Dream (at a rating of 5) but without entering a trance.
• Add five temporary points to your Willpower Trait, to call upon in a crisis of 'all hope is lost' proportions, as determined by your Director.
• Possibly recall things from a previous life that the character could not possibly have known – a language she does not know, an escape route in a place he’s never visited, a person they’ve never met before, and so forth, at the Director's discretion.
These boosts last only through the current scene, but include a burst of vitalizing energy and a sense of your inner hero coming through to save the day again.
This isn’t the sort of thing you talk about, of course, especially not if you’re an agent of the Technocratic Union. Not unless you want to get scheduled for a psyche eval.
Although originally intended for Technocratic operatives, other that don't accept reincarnation as a metaphysical truth, like a technomancer scientist or Templar, might be able to justify it as well.
|Manifest Avatar||3||Supernatural||For most mages, the Avatar remains a mysterious figure, goading them from the sidelines and appearing primarily within a Seeking or during other moments of intense stress. For you, however, the Avatar is a vibrant presence in your life, as real to you as anyone else.|
Essentially a character in its own right, this manifested Avatar interacts with you on an almost daily basis. In certain situations, it might interact with other people, as manifestly real as any other person in your world.
|The Manifest Avatar Merit embodies the Avatar as a full character under the Storyteller's control (and as such, is rather restricted).
On its own, this Merit reflects that Avatar as a person who only the associated mage can see, hear, and interact with on a physical level – in conjunction with the Background: Allies, however, the Avatar becomes a character that everyone can see, hear, and feel. In both cases, the Avatar may come and go as it pleases, bound only by the physical laws with which it chooses to be bound.
The physical Avatar’s shell can be injured or killed, but that in itself does not kill the Avatar – merely its body. For obvious reasons, that solid Avatar should have a guise that won’t be too vulgar or bizarre for the Consensus to endure – a cloaked, whispering figure, perhaps, but not a screeching, tentacled monstrosity. The manifested Avatar’s Traits depend upon the value of the Allies Background as allowed by your Director, as well as the physical form of that incarnation (such as a raven vs a wolf).
Your Avatar does not hang a sign around her neck that proclaims Avatar. In the first edition Cult of Ecstasy Tradition Book, for example, Cassie deals with a manifested Avatar named Aria who never reveals herself to be anything other than a wild child who looks disturbingly like an alternate-reality version of Cassie and knows things no one else should know about Cassie’s past, present, future, and inner self. (For details, see that book, pp. 5-45.) Mages or Night-Folk who can see auras or souls might catch on, but most other folks remain clueless.
An Avatar manifesting only for the mage can affect the material world only when no other characters or devices can see that entity, although it might appear to others as an online presence, a ghostly figure, as odd sounds, or through other phenomena. An Allies-based Avatar remains as solid as it wants to be, lacking the powers of a human mage but possessed (literally) of the power to fade in and blink out as it desires.
Again, the Manifested Avatar is a Director-controlled character, with agendas and behavioral quirks that confound both the mage and his player. Although your Director might allow you to portray it on your own for RP flavor. They might also deny this Merit if they don't have time to keep an eye on it. Please consider going with another Merit if all you want is an imaginary friend that can blink into existence to get you out of handcuffs now and then.
|Mark of Favor||3||Supernatural||A godlike entity has claimed you as its own, and has stamped your features with evidence of that claim.|
Folks who understand the lore of your associated god-form recognize this Mark of Favor, and even those who don’t know who you’re marked by realize that there’s something special about you.
|An excellent companion to the Background: Legend, and already an element of the Background: Totem (see Totem Mark in Mage 20, p. 327), this Trait provides a recognizable connection to a renowned god-form. Whether or not this actually is a sign of divine favor, of course, is entirely irrelevant. As far as your character is concerned, it totally is.
When dealing with people who recognize the Mark and respect the deity that bestowed it, you subtract -2 from the difficulty of related social rolls. Opponents of your divine patron consider you an enemy, and although intimidation-style rolls still receive the -2 reduction in difficulty, rolls that attempt to get on the good side of such people add +2 to the difficulty instead.
A Mark of Favor may, at the Director’s discretion, justify other miraculous talents. This is a restricted Merit.
|My Master Is My Slave||5||Companion||Everyone thinks your Mage commands you. And everyone is wrong.||This Merit applies only to situations where an Awakened mage has you as a familiar, a retainer, a ward or some other Background character.
You dutifully fulfill that role when it suits your purpose. Yet behind the scenes, you have somehow secured enough leverage to upend the usual power dynamic.
This is a restricted Merit that only exists for if two players feel a burning need to play this dynamic out, or in the event of a companion tied to a hapless NPC mage (which will likely require acquiring them with the Background: Allies and the Powerful Ally Merit.).
|Natural Channel||3||Supernatural||You’ve got an innate affinity with the Otherworlds. Sliding through from the mortal realm to the Three Worlds is easier for you than it is for other Awakened folk.||System-wise, you subtract -2 from the difficulty of your rolls to penetrate the Gauntlet. Story-wise, crossing over feels, to you, like a primal sort of homecoming, as if you exist between worlds on an elemental level.|
|Natural Shapeshifter||3||Supernatural||Guided by an innate affinity for metamorphosis, you can change your shape more easily than most mages do.||Shapeshifting still demands the usual Life Sphere Ranks and Effects, but your difficulty for such rolls is reduced by -2 (the usual limits apply), and you don’t need to worry about losing yourself in the new form, as described in How Do You DO That?, p. 20.
The gift does not, however, affect your ability to change other people’s shapes in any way. Such talent works for you alone.
For a potentially related paradigm and practice, see the Chapter Three entries We are Meant to be Wild (p. 93) and Animalism ( pp. 197-199).
|Oracular Ability (mage)||3||Supernatural||Everything, to you, has a richer significance than it might otherwise appear. The flight of birds, the fall of cards, the patterns of sand after a wave, a spatter of sacrificial blood… in your eyes, they’re all clues to the Universal Mystery.||In game terms, you can make a Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 7) whenever the Storyteller feels you’re in a position to perceive a hidden message in apparently random phenomena.
If you do spot what appears to be a message, you can make a second roll of Perception + Esoterica (or Occult, whichever is higher) to see if you can interpret the message you think you see. The difficulty of this interpretation roll depends on how random the phenomena is – a deck of tarot cards, for instance, is less random (difficulty 6 or 7) than a scatter of crow feathers (difficulty 8 or 9), and so is better suited for divination purposes.
A successful interpretation roll wins a vague yet potentially valuable answer from the Storyteller – couched, of course, in symbolic metaphors and wide-open meanings. (Storytellers, see The Deeper Level in Mage 20, pp. 363-366, and Prophecy and Hindsight in How Do You DO That?, pp. 55-56, for guidance.)
|Parlor Trick||2-6||Supernatural||You’ve honed a special trick – a simple, specific, non-combat application of your Arts – which you can perform without making a casting roll. Such tricks include things like conjuring a business card, stirring a pot without touching the spoon (or the pot), igniting your cigarette without lighters or a match, producing a small amount of light without mechanical contrivance, changing your hair color with a shake of your head, and so on.||To a Sleeper, these tricks look like something a normal person could do with a mysterious bit of skill. You, of course, realize that the skill in question is not quite what they think it is.
Three important rules govern this Merit:
• It cannot be a feat with direct damage-producing combat applications. No popping claws or conjuring firearms!
• It must be a quick, simple action that a Sleeper witness could explain away as practiced sleight of hand. Obviously vulgar feats (making yourself disappear in broad daylight) are prohibited. Although, a clever use of circumstances (the old Batman disappearance trick – see How Do You DO That?, p. 77) could be included in your bag of tricks.
• These tricks are limited to things you could do with Sphere Ranks 1 to 3, apply to only one specific trick (conjuring a rose, say, not conjuring anything that’s roughly rose-sized), and you must have the Spheres necessary to perform the feat in the first place. This Merit does not allow you to cast Effects above your normal abilities!
Each trick costs two points, and must suit your character’s metaphysical focus. You can take this Merit up to three times, total.
This Merit is intended to give your character a little extra flair. It should not be allowed as an end-around to skirt the rules, or as a secret weapon that he can use without consequences like Paradox. Under unfamiliar and/or hostile circumstances, the Parlor Trick might not work at all.
|Scientific Mystic||3||Mental||Certain unorthodox technomancers understand that “mysticism” is just another form of science whose principles may be understood by a properly Enlightened mind.||Although you pursue a technological practice and employ tech-based instruments, you can employ instruments that are traditionally considered to be “magic” once you’ve had an opportunity to study them and fit those tools into your scientific paradigm.
The Scientific Mystic Merit lets a dedicated technomancer – that is, a member of the Society of Ether, the Virtual Adepts, or perhaps even a rogue Technocrat study metaphysical principles from mystic-paradigm mages for no extra point-cost if that technomancer has the focus practice Weird Science. (For details, see Can a Mage Who Uses One Type of Focus Learn Magick from a Mage Who Uses a Different Kind of Focus?, Chapter Three, p. 174, and the Weird Science entry in Mage 20, p. 584.)
That technomancer can also choose traditionally “mystic” tools as up to half of her required instruments (as detailed under Arete, Focus, and Instruments in Mage 20, p. 329), and can discard those instruments as a mystic instead of as a technomancer (again, see Mage 20, p. 329).
Essentially, this means that your approach to Enlightened science is flexible enough to embrace bizarre approaches to your metaphysical pursuits, even if other scientists consider it 'impossible'.
* This Merit only influences the technomancer's use of instruments. Paradigm and practices are unaffected.
* The technomancer's chosen Paradigm is still the one the technomancer believes is correct. Technomancers with this merit don't believe that all magick works, all paradigms and practices are different paths to the same truth, or any such ecumenical belief.
* Further, technomancers using mystic instruments with this merit, are still doing so under the Weird Science practice.
* This Merit is currently restricted.
|Shadow Appeal||3||Nephandic||Every human animal has secrets even from himself. In time, those secrets form a repressed self — a shadow — that collects all the things that person doesn’t want to recognize, either because they feel too awful to accept or too good to seem true. |
Many folks who’ve gone through the Cauls possess a frightening degree of insight about those shadows and a fiendish gift for using those insights to their advantage.
|Story-wise, this insight allows a Nephandus to notice weak spots in another person’s psyche. Thus informed, she can exploit what she sees — flattering the egotist, undercutting the insecure, flirting with the lonely, and so on. That insight makes her very good at exploiting people — so good, in fact, that they rarely notice her mind games until it’s too late…if they ever notice them at all.
Rules-wise, this Merit subtracts -2 from the difficulty of a Nephandic character’s rolls when she’s trying to manipulate social situations through appeals to the shadow aspects of her prey. The specifics depend on the characters involved, and the Merit helps her puzzle out and then employ the most effective tactics for the job. This deduction can lower a difficulty beyond the usual -3 modifier limit, which gives the Fallen an inhuman edge gained from their awful journey through the Cauls.
Because this Merit reflects insights gained through Qlippothic Descent, it cannot be taken by characters who are not Caul-initiated Nephandi. The Trait adds an extra-sharp edge to Nephandic social tactics while showcasing the psychic insights of the Void.
|Shattered Avatar||5||Supernatural||Your Avatar has been broken into pieces by some past-life trauma. As a result, the part within you is incomplete… but that situation can be rectified. If and when you locate the missing pieces of your Avatar, you could make that inner spirit stronger.||In gamespeak, this Merit allows you to increase your Avatar Background after character creation – a thing that cannot, ordinarily, be done. (See Mage 20, p. 336.)
The Director should determine exactly what it was that shattered your Avatar, and what you need to do in order to reunite the various bits into one spirit again. Whether or not she shares that information with you is up to her – it might be something you’ll discover over the course of the game. With each piece restored, you add one dot to your Avatar Background rating. It might even require killing another mage that has somehow ended up with a piece of your Avatar within them...and they might be on the same quest to kill you first!
No matter how many pieces are involved, the Avatar Background maxes out at 5 dots. Avatar points gained in play via this Merit have no XP cost. You have only to jump through your Director's hoops and overcome the obstacles set before you in play, ICly.
At the Director's discretion, once your Avatar is fully re-formed, you might be able to unload this Merit (so that it doesn't apply to your 10 dot Merit limit for supernatural PCs.) You don't gain anything back from doing so - just the possibility of spending XP on another Merit to replace it.
|Spark of Life||5||Supernatural||Blessed with great vitality, you heal injuries with heroic speed and ease.||* Your own injuries from lethal damage heal as if they were bashing damage (see the Healing Damage chart in Mage 20, p. 406), and aggravated damage heals as if it were one level higher than it is. (Wounded-level damage, for instance, would heal at the Injured-level rate.) Bashing damage, regardless of its extent, heals within an hour.
* If you’re trying to heal someone else, you subtract -2 from the difficulty of the roll, even if that roll involves casting a Life Sphere healing Effect. (The usual +3 maximum modifier and minimum difficulty of 3 still apply – see Mage 20, p. 503.)
* As long as you remain in physical touch with the injured party, that character uses your healing rate as her own. Your touch also soothes minor pains – muscle spasms, headaches, and so forth – within a minute or two.
* Beyond its healing powers, this rush of life-energy simply feels good, too. Your aura shines with bright vitality, and your Resonance reflects your strong connection to the primal life-force.
* On the inevitable downside, vampires find your blood delicious – twice as potent as normal human vitae – and unspeakably refreshing. NOTE: There is no narrative arc where any vampire finding this out ends well for you in the long-term. It is NOT a good way to make an undead friend - it's an excellent way to get exsanguinated when other vampires find out. And they will, eventually.
|Sphere Natural||6||Supernatural||For a single element of magick – the Sphere of your choice – you enjoy an innate proficiency. The powers of that Sphere come to you more easily than usual, and you advance faster in that field of knowledge than you do in other Spheres.||System-wise, you get to ignore one botch per scene that involves the Sphere this Merit is paired with. That can save you from quite a bit of Willpower loss and Paradox gain over time.
Your chosen Sphere should have some intrinsic connection to your mage’s concept, backstory, and magickal focus. This is, after all, an Art that comes naturally to you, and so that predisposition should come through in many different aspects of your character’s personality.
|Spirit Magnet||3-7||Supernatural||Ephemeral entities flock to your presence. The essence of who you are – benign or malignant – draws spirits to you, and they, in turn, affect the essence of who you are. |
For the most part, these entities cluster around you in the Penumbra, invisible to mortal perceptions – whenever you cross the Gauntlet, though (either with your perceptions or with your body), they’re waiting for you there.
Spirits that can manifest physical forms may come across the Gauntlet to visit you, and those that cannot take on physical bodies still energize the spiritual atmosphere in your vicinity.
|The Merit form of Spirit Magnet draws generally benevolent spirits – Naturae, Lunes, totem and animal entities of the gentler variety, and so on. These spirits protect you from malignant entities, warn you of impending danger, offer advice, help you out when you visit the Otherworlds, and generally make your life easier. It carries with it no promise of receiving better treatment from werebeasts, though can impress mediums, shamans and the like.
• (3 points) Minor entities occasionally offer aid.
• (4 points) Minor entities show up frequently, or in small numbers.
• (5 points) Minor entities surround you often, whether you want them to or not, and more potent ones have taken interest in your existence.
• (6 points) You have the interest of one or two entities of significance, and plenty of minor ones pay great attention to you.
• (7 points) You’re never alone, even when you probably wish you could be.
This spiritual companionship could be directly opposed to your true nature. A really awful person might attract benevolent entities who want to save her, while a veritable St. Anthony could be plagued with demons intent on fucking up his soul. Even so, such constant presence does have an effect on your overall health. Mind, body, and spirit are interwoven whether we want to recognize that or not, and a mortal who attracts Otherworldly entities has got something unusual going on under the skin.
|Spirit Mentor (mage)||3||Supernatural||A ghost, Loa, or other ephemeral entity has taken a special interest in you. As an expression of favor, this entity teaches you things few mortals ever have the opportunity to learn. |
Although those lessons do not include Sphere-based magick, you could learn insights that help you to expand your knowledge and better understand the nature of Reality.
|Story-wise, this entity tells you secrets, offers you enigmas, and helps you work through situations that would leave most mortals scratching their heads or crying in corners.
Your Spirit Mentor could also teach you new Abilities, or help you improve the ones you have, if such teaching seems appropriate to the spirit in question (if combined with the Background: Mentor). Such teaching tends to take place in the Otherworlds, or in dreams, rather than in the material realm, although a spirit who can Materialize (as the Charm of that name) could certainly teach a person in her own home realm.
This Merit could be combined with the Backgrounds: Ally, Familiar, Mentor, or Totem to represent a spirit who plays several roles in your life.
|True Faith||7||Supernatural||Strong belief is essential for a mage. You, however, hold stronger beliefs than usual. Possessing convictions in a greater outside power, you can channel that power for miraculous feats that go beyond mere magick.||Game-wise, your character has one dot of True Faith – a potent force, in the World of Darkness, that reflects devotion to a god or pantheon.
Despite the usual association between Faith and Christianity, your character can belong to any sincere creed with an established moral code and historical legacy. (Sorry, but True Faith in postmodern satires like the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not count.)
The one dot version of True Faith allows you to potentially drive away inherently damned creature like vampires, banes or specters with a prayer (roll one dice vs the creature's Willpower). Enemies of your faith feel uneasy in your presence, and you can add one to die countermagic and Willpower rolls.
This Merit is highly restricted. Although it might be approved now and then, don't go into it with any expectations of being able to raise it later. Such saintly faith is extremely rare in the World of Darkness, and more the province of NPCs than PCs.
|Twin Souls||4||Supernatural||To you, the term soulmate is literally true. Your Avatar has a twin that has been embodied within another mortal body. That other person (typically a human being, but potentially an animal) shares your Nature and Essence, and possibly your Demeanor as well. |
Even so, your “twin” can be a very different person – different gender, different ethnicity, different culture, and again possibly even a “higher” animal like a wolf, bear, hawk, and so forth. That person might live on the other side of the world, and may not even know that you exist. If soul-twins meet in person, though, both feel an unmistakable connection to one another.
|* If that twin is also a mage (many twin Avatars are not yet Awakened), then both mages have the same Avatar rating. You can both share Quintessence and cast spells together if you happen to be physically touching (or, in the Umbra, ephemerally touching). In this case, the character with the highest Arete rating and Sphere Ranks is the one whose Traits get used to cast those Effects. For details about collaborative spellcasting, see Acting in Concert in Mage 20, pp. 542-543.
* Shared souls share equally in any Paradox gathered by their magicks, with each twin separately getting the full amount of Paradox.
* Whether or not your twin is a mage, you can use magick to keep track of them once you’ve met your twin. A single dot of Correspondence will let you know where your soulmate is, a single dot in Life will let you know their current state of health, and a single dot in Mind allows you to share thoughts with one another.
* A twin’s death is a shattering event – if your twin dies, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) or else suffer the psychic shock of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Until that twin’s Avatar reincarnates (which might not happen in your own lifetime), and is met in person once again, you cannot use the shared powers you had once enjoyed.
* As with other character-based Traits, your twin is not a walking Merit but a character in their own right. Both twins should be roleplayed by different players.
* A soul-twin cannot be a vampire, werecreature, changeling, or other paranormal entity. They can either be a mortal human or an Awakened mage.
|Abyssal Lunatic||5||Nephandic||This Nephandus went too far. Perhaps it was the tides beyond the Caul, or the stress of navigating the forbidden shells and their awful entities. Maybe he spent too much time beyond the Gauntlet but retains his physical form. Whatever the reasons, his rightful mind has fled, leaving mental wreckage with inhuman powers and insights too grotesque to convey through rational means.||In game terms, this ravaged soul hasn’t broken through to Marauder-like madness, nor is he snared in a state of Quiet, or mentally ill in the normal sense of that term. Torn by his Abyssal pursuits, he’s an irrational, incoherent mess — still a mage, but one who hasn’t shaken hands with functional sanity in ages. Instead, he mutters, raves, tears his clothing, rips out his hair, howls at the stars, and generally behaves more like the archetypal scary madman than like someone with an actual — and potentially treatable — mental illness.
Ravaged by paranormal lunacy, he embodies the shrieking irrationality of the Void. Game-wise, this Flaw renders the character unplayable in any normal way, and so it’s reserved for Storyteller characters only. At this degree of unfathomable madness, he’s essentially unsalvageable; even Masters of the Mind Sphere can’t put this eggshell consciousness back together again.
This is included only as a reference for Director-controlled characters, or as a warning for what might be the fate of those who recklessly peer into the Abyss.
|Alien Impression||1-5||Supernatural||Your appearance freaks people out. Perhaps it’s your lidless serpentine stare, your cobalt-blue skin, or the wings jutting from between your shoulder blades. It might not even be a feature of your visual appearance, per se; maybe you’ve got a synthetic techno-voice, a crackling aura of prickly invisible energy, or an uncanny way of moving when you walk. |
Whatever the specifics might be, your presence evokes whispers, unease or — at the highest levels — outright fear.
|The more disturbing your impression, the more this Flaw (originally known as Alien Appearance) is worth:
• (1 point) Minor feature, generally concealable, that inspires minor discomfort from people who notice it.
• (2 points) Noticeable feature, hard to conceal, that inspires discomfort in people who notice it.
• (3 points) Major feature, difficult if not impossible to conceal, that weirds out most people who notice it.
• (4 points) Unmistakably alien feature that rather frightens most people.
• (5 points) You stand out almost anywhere a human mage might go.
Minor features include oddly colored eyes, artificial tone of voice, eerie lightness or density of form, and so forth. Noticeable ones get stranger and more troubling for the average mundane (horns, sharp claws, animalistic hair), with major and unmistakable features becoming more overt and less “natural” by earth-reality standards (winged people, six-legged horses, cybernetic wolves… you get the picture).
You can't take both the Arcane/Cloaking Background and this Flaw.
|Animal||2||Companion||In a human-centric world, you aren’t human.||Folks call Animal Control when you walk around without a leash, bystanders keep trying to pet you, bus drivers refuse to let you on the bus, fleas burrow into your fur, adults speak to you in baby talk, etc.
Obviously, this Flaw doesn’t count if you can change into a human form. For Flaws dealing with an inability to manipulate human tools and so forth, see No Hands and Ungainly Fingers. If being an animal isn’t a hinderance in your chronicle, then this Flaw does not apply at all.
|Apprentice||1-5||Supernatural||Most metaphysical societies employ a mentor/apprentice system (or in the Technocracy's case, pairing a veteran agent with a rookie). |
In addition to the usual training programs a given group may purse, a new recruit often winds up in the care of a seasoned member of that group. And in the case of this Flaw, you’ve got a real winner on your hands.
You can’t just kick this person to the curb, but must instead provide discipline, guidance, training, and quite often a support system (room, board, research space, and so forth) so that the newbie can become a successful member of your sect. The more troublesome ones can be a patience-taxing albatross.
|As a Flaw, this Trait reflects the range of potential apprentices and the effect they have upon your life. As with most tiered Flaws, the higher the value, the more of a pain in the ass they are.
This Flaw has been included here for completeness sake, yet is solely intended for the Director. Do not ask for it in chargen. If they want to saddle you with a NPC Mage student/fuckup in play, you'll get this Flaw whether you want it or not.
|Aura (flaw)||3||Companion||Uncanny radiance surrounds you. Perhaps you shimmer with strange light, reek of death, smolder with the essence of the Pit, or otherwise reveal an affinity for a given element through your very presence. |
The specifics depend upon the sort of creature you are and the essential nature of your true self: An infernal entity projects an unholy aura (scent of brimstone, unnerving chorus of damned-soul voices, and so forth), an elemental conjures phenomena related to its home element (breeze, flickering flames, dampness, blooming plants, that sort of thing), an embodiment of technological principles radiates cold perfection… you get the idea.
|This Aura ripples the localized environment surrounding the entity in question. It doesn’t inflict damage upon the area or on characters within that area, but it can be rather unnerving to folks who have reason to fear such entities (at the Director's discretion, they may react more or less intensely).
Being surrounded by glowering darkness, a luminous glow or buzzing flies speaks volumes — for good and ill — about the nature of the entity in question. The character can spend a point of Willpower to suppress this Flaw for one scene, at which point, a witness needs to make a successful Awareness roll, difficulty 7, to discern the character’s true nature. Otherwise, the character's true nature will be readily apparent.
This is a restricted Flaw. It should only be permitted where the insights it gives into your character's true nature would put you at a real disadvantage.
|Beast Within||5||Supernatural||You’ve got a truly infernal temper: one so violent it feels like a volcano in your soul. Under intense stress, you risk losing every shred of enlightenment you possess. Driven to such extremity, you let loose with the most immediately destructive powers at your command, and “vulgarity” be damned!||System-wise, this Flaw sends you into deadly rages as per the Berserker (mage) Merit when subjected to the slightest stress. However, instead of rolling your Willpower to avoid the frenzy, however, you roll your Avatar rating plus one die, with your Willpower as the difficulty of that roll.
A berserk mage cannot employ rituals or employ complicated tools – only the most direct methods of attack – magickal fireballs or gouging eyes – will do.
Considering that the Avatar could be seen as your inner Beast, a character with the Pattern Essence cannot take this Flaw. It’s best suited for Dynamic Essences.
This is a rare Flaw, best reserved for NPCs like maniac cyborgs, psychopathic clones or unhinged hermit. In virtually any circumstance where a player would want this Flaw, they should take the Berserker Merit instead. It's only allowable for combat-focused NPCs - not PCs.
|Bizarre Hunger||2-5||Supernatural||You prefer – maybe even need – to eat weird shit… quite possibly in a literal sense of that expression. |
Perhaps you’ve sworn a vow, suffered a curse, been treated (or created) with unhallowed rituals or arcane hyperscience, or initiated into an occult fellowship with… interesting admission demands. In any case, you must consume substances that may be degrading, unpleasant, expensive, or downright illegal.
|The more inconvenient the substance (likely requiring the Cast-Iron Stomach Merit to choke down), the more this Flaw is worth:
• (2 points) Easy to procure, though not as easy to devour (paper, fresh eggs, other things that won't be approved).
• (3 points) Unpleasant, hazardous, and perhaps illegal to consume (rotten meat, swamp water, raw cannabis, and so forth).
• (4 points) Specialized, foul, criminal, and /or expensive chow (human blood, custom-brewed potions or meals, and the like).
• (5 points) You really shouldn’t eat such things… but you must (live humans, toxic sludge, gold dust, highly specialized food-like concoctions, and other similar forms of sustenance).
For each dot in your Stamina Trait, you can go one day without satisfying your special dietary requirements. After that, you lose one health level per day until you either consume your particular substance, or else die of hunger or thirst, suffer the punishment of a vow unfulfilled, or otherwise endure whichever other consequences might result from denying your bizarre hunger.
|Blood-Hungry Soul||2||Supernatural||In a previous incarnation, you had been a ghoul in thrall to an unholy addiction to vampiric blood. Now, you must resist the call of that ravenous past life and its fixation on intoxicating Kindred vitae.||You recall the glorious temptations of the blood, but remember it like a poor choice from long ago. If the opportunity presents itself to you, however, you’ll need to make a Willpower roll (difficulty 5) in order to resist the urge to pursue that addiction again.
If you succumb to that temptation again in this life, your difficulty to resist further temptations rises to 6 every time the chance to consume such blood arises again.
Be warned: This Flaw's downsides is not worth the points.
|Blood Magick||5||Supernatural||Your Arts demand blood… specifically, your own blood. And while many practices employ small amounts of ritual cutting or bloodletting, this degree of sacrifice demands an injurious amount of vital fluid each time you cast a spell.||Story-wise, you cut yourself, slash designs in your skin, or otherwise hurt yourself enough to shed the required amount of blood. All this bloodletting looks pretty gross and obvious (often vulgarly so), and tends to make a mess as well.
System-wise, you must suffer one unsoakable health level in bashing damage whenever you employ an Effect This sort of thing can, of course, add up quickly if you’re throwing lots of magick around without giving yourself a chance to heal, as bashing damage soon leads to lethal damage.
|Bound||5||Supernatural||You’re in deep to someone whose power dwarfs your own, and your prospects for getting out of bondage are laughable at best. Haunted by thoughts of the payment to come, you live on borrowed time and realize that the worst is yet to come…||Sometimes known, with minor variations, as Faust’s Bargain, Bound puts your character in the Faust-like position of getting something interesting in return for something significant – her life, her soul, a thousand years of servitude, or a similarly awful fate that no one in their right mind would want to risk.
Don't ask for this in chargen. Your Director will let you know if it becomes appropriate during play. Be careful when summoning demons and such.
|Branded||3-5||Supernatural||You’ve been found guilty by a Traditions Tribunal, who Branded your Avatar with a sigil that indicates your crime. Folks who can see that sigil recognize that you’re a criminal of some sort, and the worse the Brand, the more severe your crime and the more appropriate their reaction will be. |
Even nastier sorts who might laud your crime will still seek to leverage your notoriety to their own advantage.
|• (3 points) A temporary Brand for a Low Crime (see below), which fades after one to three months. At the end of that period, this Flaw goes away. This Brand raises the difficulty of your social rolls by +1 for “average” Tradition mages and +2 for especially law-biding ones.
• (4 points) A lasting Brand for a Low Crime. This Brand lasts for a year or more, and marks you as a rather notorious offender. The difficulty of your social rolls rises by +2 among most mages who can recognize the Brand’s significance, and +3 among mages who take such offenses and punishments seriously.
• (5 points) A lasting Brand for a High Crime, which will not fade for at least nine years and may be essentially permanent. The Brand raises the difficulty of your social rolls by +3 for any character who cares at all about Tradition justice and the people who incur its punishment. Certain parties will target you for additional punishment, and others will consider you to be prime meat for their recruiting efforts.
You can earn this Flaw in play if you're not careful. For details about Tradition crimes and punishments, see Chapter Four’s entries regarding Crimes and Punishments in the section Among the Traditions, pp. 213-219.
|Broken||5||Companion||Your will to resist has been trashed. Your master broke you to her service, and her wish is your command. Maybe she’s the mad scientist who created you, the psi-ops Technocrat who destroyed your will, the necromancer who crafted you from the bodies of the dead, or the wizard who bound you with ancient pacts and potent spells. |
Whether through emotional manipulation, tyrannical brutality or crafty blackmail, your master reads you like an open book and knows how to keep you in line. It’s far too late to start resisting, now.
|A seriously nasty Flaw, this Trait reflects the ugly side of paranormal lore. Your character was, and remains, abused into servitude, and whatever your Willpower Trait might be with regards to other tasks, it’s only 1 when it comes to standing up to your dominator.
Circumstances can change this situation, of course, but the recovery from such staggering abuse should involve powerful roleplaying and long-term consequences for every character involved.
This Flaw has been somewhat reluctantly allowed for players who wish (with the consent of the player portraying their master) to explore the possible narrative pathos of such an arrangement. It will not be approved for a relationship with a NPC master.
Any whiff of OOC immaturity or drama will as a best case scenario, get this Flaw removed and you docked 25 XP (even if it takes you into XP debt). It's equally likely you'll be pulled from the grid.
|Cast No Reflection||1||Supernatural||Maybe you suffer from a lingering Paradox Flaw, manifest your own cultural fears, or made a bargain that cost you your reflection.||Most folks are uneasy around you, even if they're not sure why.
In addition to the greatly increased change of being outed as something unnatural, you add +1 to the difficulty of your Social rolls when dealing with mortals.
Certain situations (as common sense dictates) might reveal your Flaw to observers at a Perception difficulty determined by the Director.
This does not offer the slightest protection from being recorded by any technological device.
|Cast No Shadow||1||Supernatural||According to certain legends, witches cast no shadow. And while that isn’t true of most mages, it’s somehow true for you.||Most folks are uneasy around you, even if they're not sure why.
In addition to the greatly increased change of being outed as something unnatural, you add +1 to the difficulty of your Social rolls when dealing with mortals.
Certain situations (as common sense dictates) might reveal your Flaw to observers at a Perception difficulty determined by the Director.
|Construct||2||Social||You came from a lab, not from a womb. Perhaps you were grown in a Progenitor facility, woven from plants, shaped from the elements, or crafted from parts of dead bodies in some flesh-tinkerer’s workshop.||Whatever your origins, you don’t truly fit in with natural-born humans. A combination of self-doubt and social alienation – or perhaps a sense that you’re far better than your so-called peers – keeps you at arm’s length from the human social realm.
In game terms, this Flaw inflicts penalties on social rolls in many situations; the specifics depend upon your origins, attitude, and company, but they’ll impede your character in significant ways. You don’t need to take this Flaw, incidentally, if your character is a construct. Those penalties reflect an artificial person who either stands out in a crowd or can't make peace with what they are, not one who fits in comfortably with her world.
|Crucial Component||2-5||Supernatural||Your metaphysical practice demands specialized instruments. It’s not simply that you need fuel for your hypermodded Porsche 911 Turbo S – you need your own specially prepared blend of fuels, or the car won’t go. A simple rowan wand will not suffice – your spells demand a hand-carved branch cut from an unscarred rowan tree at high midnight on Samhain Eve.||In game terms, at least one of the instruments in your magickal focus must be specifically created, harvested or modified to work with your magicks. No lesser tool will suffice.
How hard is it to procure or employ this specialized component? That depends on the value of the Flaw:
• (2 points) Easy to procure and /or employ (sunlight, yoga postures, motor oil, strong emotions, a book commonly found in the New Age section at your local bookstore, etc.).
• (3 points) Challenging to procure, employ, or replace (open flames, the Kurmasana posture, professional racing oil, genuine sorrow, an out-of-print occult text, and so on).
• (4 points) Pretty damned hard to obtain, employ, and replace (liquid fire, the Vrschikasana pose, alchemically formulated oil, deep-core grief, a genuine Roman text of De Daemonum Socrates by Apuleius, and other rare and precious instruments).
• (5 points) Unique, obscure, forbidden, cumbersome, or some combination of those four (a bottle of alchemically distilled sunfire, an impossibly complex yoga posture invented by the practitioner, personally formulated and distilled hypertech lubricating oil, the heartfelt scream of a grieving mother, a woodcut-illustrated Renaissance Grimoire of Honorius inscribed on flayed human skin, and similarly rarified instruments).
When used, the chosen instrument functions as a Personalized Instrument (Mage 20, pp. 503 and 587) – possibly a Unique Personalized one in the case of a five-point component. In your case, however, you cannot employ the magick that’s connected to that instrument at all unless you’re also able to employ that particular instrument.
For details about Assigning Practices and Instruments to Effects, see the section of that name in Chapter Three, M20 Core; p. 169.
|Degeneration||3-9||Physical||Your body is falling apart. A curse, disease, flawed biotech, corrupting magicks, or some other affliction is rotting your physical form, and although Life magick can repair the damage to some degree, this degeneration remains permanent unless the Flaw is somehow removed.||In its three-point variation, this Flaw reflects an inability to heal injuries without the aid of magick or medical technology. Until treated by Life Sphere Effects or medical intervention, the character cannot recover heath levels lost to injury, disease or other factors.
At the six-point level, the character suffers a constant stream of injuries even without outside trauma. Whenever he’s at full Health, that character loses one health level every two weeks until he is either healed or he dies. As described above, he cannot heal on his own.
At the nine-point level, that Health loss is essentially aggravated damage, and cannot be healed except through vulgar Life-Sphere Effects.
|Demented Eidolon||3||Supernatural||There’s someone in your head, and it’s not you. Despite your commitment to logic and reason, a mad heretic rants through the inside of your skull, insisting that what you do is magick, not science. This rough voice drives you toward Superstitionism and Reality Deviance. Not that you would ever consider such insanity. No, really – seriously, never.||A Flaw for Technocratic operatives who refuse to view what they do as “magic,” this Trait pits your conscious-self against an Avatar hell-bent on reclaiming the identity of mage.
The Eidolon (Technocrat-ese for Essence) invested within your Genius (Avatar) whips that paragon of Enlightenment into Deviant directions. While most Technocratic Geniuses behave themselves for the most part, this one assumes a flagrantly supernatural mien and batters at the fortress of Reason (and Social Processing) that protects you from Deviant thoughts.
Ideally, this Flaw compliments a Genius (Avatar) Trait rated at 3 or higher, and it goes well (from a “dramatic roleplaying” standpoint, anyway!) with Backgrounds like Past Lives, Destiny, and Legend, Merits like Twin Soul and Avatar Companion, and Flaws like Throwback, and – as one may imagine – Dark Fate.
|Devil's Mark||1||Supernatural||A pact or some other metaphysical occurrence has left you with what old-school witch-hunters consider a “devil’s mark”: a minor but noticeable deformation that remains insensate to pain and yet allows a creature to draw your Quintessence out through your body in physical form.||Despite preconceptions, the origins of this mark might not have come from a pact with some infernal entity. That fact doesn’t keep people – Sleepers and otherwise – from looking askance at you if and when this mark can be seen, especially since there’s often something disconcerting about the way it appears – a third nipple, a red or black growth, a vaguely demonic face or sigil embedded in your flesh, and so forth.
Most people in a city like Los Angeles will just pass it off as a weird birthmark. It still makes you more likely to come to the attention of witch hunters than if you didn't have a devilish brand.
On the plus side, however, you actually can nurture a Familiar (as in the Background Trait of that name) on the mark, and do so without physical discomfort.
|Diabolical Mentor||2||Social||Your mentor wasn’t merely bad at his job – he turned out to be actively malevolent.||Your Mentor could have been an actual Nephandus, a demented Marauder, a ruthless wizard, a diehard “black hats and mirrorshades” type of Technocrat, an Infernalist sellsoul… maybe you don’t even know what your mentor really is, but it’s just plain bad.
It's largely up to the Director what the negative ramifications of this will be. It could function like an extra vicious Dark Secret, a low key Enemy or both.
|Dogmatic||2||Social||You've got strong spiritual convictions. So strong, in fact, that you manage to annoy almost everyone around you that isn't a zealous fellow traveler.|
You sneer, you argue, you try to convert everyone around you to your way of thinking… you can’t help it, really – your convictions are just that formidable!
|Most mages could probably be described as 'dogmatic' compared to a normal person, given their Paradigms actually does allow them to alter reality. Trouble is, you just don't play well with others no matter how much sense it makes to occasionally let disagreements slide, making you obnoxious even by mage standards.
Rules-wise, you add +2 to the difficulty of all social rolls which involve dealing with people of differing beliefs.
|Echoes||1-5||Supernatural||You display some of the weird phenomena associated with sorcery. Maybe the air quivers with strange vibrations, or music plays without a visible source, or shadows gather in your presence.||As with other variable-cost Merits and Flaws, the different levels reflect increasing degrees of effect, their specific phenomena depending upon the mage and her overall temperament.
• (1 point) Slight manifestations of no real consequence: perhaps your shadow flickers, milk sours in your presence, or a vague scent that’s appropriate to your nature follows in your wake.
• (2 points) Mild echoes cause noticeable effects: animals shy away from you or follow you around; you send out vibes that a sensitive person can notice; you feel profoundly uncomfortable around energies, symbols, locations, or people who’re opposed to your kind.
• (3 points) People who know what to look for recognize you on sight… not simply as a mage, but as the sort of mage you are: plants bloom or wither in your presence; sounds or music echo through the air; holy or unholy symbols repulse you (possibly forcing you to make a Willpower roll to remain nearby).
• (4 points) You stand out in ways that even Sleepers notice: your shadow moves of its own accord; you don’t cast reflections in mirrors or liquid; cold winds blow even in a still room. People who know traditional folklore might be able to disrupt your magicks if they know the proper legendary precautions to take, essentially performing countermagick with a successful Intelligence + Occult roll (difficulty is the targeted mage’s Arete Trait +3).
• (5 points) Reality shifts when you’re around, rippling with paranormal energies: animals adore you or run away when you approach; people feel sick or energized when you stand near; environmental shifts – rain, cold, shadows, warmth, etc. – radiate outward from you. A person who knows the proper folklore can try to attack or repel you using traditional charms or counterspells, inflicting one lethal health level of damage for each success they win in a contested Willpower roll against you.
|Faithless||5||Supernatural||Magick, according to your beliefs, does not come from you – it comes from your god, and you’ve broken faith with the deity that once allowed you to alter reality and conjure miracles.||Until you can shake this crisis of faith, perhaps atoning for your perceived misdeeds, your Spheres remain stuck at Rank 1 – potent enough to perceive the presence of Divinity around you, limited enough to remind you that you have failed.
From a game-system standpoint, you are denying yourself the ability to access your magick because you believe that your magick comes from a source you have betrayed.
Although a character with this Flaw can pursue any sort of spiritual focus, his paradigm and practice must be oriented toward religious devotion. You could be a shaman or a priest, a Goddess-bound witch, a spiritual scientist, even an Infernalist whose hell-spawned powers flow from a damnation pact. Only a mage who believes deeply in some greater power can believe that she has so much to lose from a sudden lack of faith.
This Flaw is more likely to be 'earned' in play rather than be approved in chargen. Whatever dark and lonely path you must navigate to find atonement and thus shed this Flaw will be determined by your Director.
|Faulty Enhancements||2-5||Supernatural||Does your BCI keep crashing? Do your legs keep seizing up? Is your bioware constantly trying to eject your iron?|
The warranty on your cybernetic gear has expired (assuming, of course, that it ever had such assurances in the first place), and now you’re stuck with malfunctioning hardware that has literally gotten under your skin.
|This Flaw gets rated by the amount of misery it causes you:
• (2 points) You suffer constant disorientation and pain.
• (3 points) The malfunctions keep you in such severe discomfort that you need to take specialized medication, or employ other forms of pain relief, at least once a day. Failure to do so costs you one die from all dice pools until the problem is rectified.
• (4 points) Your Enhancements fail you at critical times (generally on a botched roll), crash or freeze up, and must then be repaired by a technician who understands the gear you’ve got.
• (5 points) That shitty gear consistently conks out when you need it most. Roll one die against difficulty 7 whenever you employ cybertech in some important way (lifting heavy things with bionic arms, sensor-scanning for enemies, deflecting incoming enemy spells, and so forth). If you succeed, then the Enhancements function normally – if you fail, they fail and must be rebooted – if you botch they lock up or shut down until a skilled technician manages to repair them.
Obviously, this Flaw means nothing unless you’ve got the Background: Enhancements. Although such glitches occur with Technocratic bioware, they’re far more common in cybernetics that have been installed by factions whose people haven’t maintained a systemic and standardized approach to human upgrades for the last few centuries. Wonky Etherites and overambitious Virtual Adepts invent crappy iron all the time, and so this Flaw is especially appropriate for cyborgs from those zealously individualistic Traditions, as well as for ex-Technocrats who’ve managed to go rogue and survive the experience thus far.
|Feral Mind||3||Mental||More animal than human being, you lack the social graces and mental conditioning that most folks consider essential. Perhaps you’re a throwback, or wild-raised since childhood – or maybe you lost a part of yourself to animalistic shapechanging, suffer from a mental or psychological quirk, or simply renounce your humanity in favor of a more honest primal truth.||Regardless of its origins, this feral-mindedness limits your ability to function in human society. You prefer non-linguistic vocalizations and body language over cultured speech, and may lack the ability to “speak” in human terms at all. Your actions and reactions are animalistic too – you mark territory, snarl when annoyed, cower or lash out when threatened, feel no sense of so-called “modesty,” detest clothing, and smell musky even when you’ve just had a bath (which you rarely do under your own power).
Such behaviors usually raise the difficulty of your social-interaction rolls by +3, although certain situations – like intimidation or seduction – may lower the difficulty by the same amount (-3).
You speak very little (and very simply) when you choose to speak at all. Your human developmental skills (speech, reading, math, socialization, etc.) hover at a child-like level despite your sharp instincts and innate primal cunning.
|Fifth Degree||5||Social||Whether you know it or not, you have outlived your usefulness to the Technocratic Union. Your superiors have set you up to fall, and your date with Room 101 or a suicide mission waits right around the corner.||Combine all the deficits of the Flaw: Rogue (above) with the assurance that you’re only alive because someone would rather have you take out the bad guys when you go down in a blaze of glory than spend the resources necessary to take you down themselves.
You have one more chance to make good and stay alive. Step out of line again, and your fate will be the sort of thing that makes cyborgs cringe.
You're more likely to 'earn' this Flaw in play than have it be approved in chargen.
|Gremlin||1-3||Supernatural||There’s a perverse imp running around your home. Okay, maybe it’s not an actual imp – it could be a malfunctioning robot companion, a vain and selfish bioconstruct, a troublesome spirit, an obnoxious beast, that talking winged tarantula we mentioned a few entries ago… the form of the creature is unimportant.||this Flaw becomes more significant as the power of the creature, and its attendant nuisance, grows:
• (1 point) A creature of unusual, but minor, ability, which busies itself with trivial annoyances.
• (2 points) An entity whose power and intellect (or at least its cunning) make your life frustrating but not actively hazardous.
• (3 points) A being of notable power whose mischief has begun to shade into actual damage to your property, health, status, and relationships.
|Horrific||4||Physical||Well past Monstrous, you’re hideous to the point of inspiring nightmares. Unless you mask your true form with serious magick, people and animals run screaming from your presence. Physically, you’re not merely misshapen but repulsive on a primal level – the sort of terror that sent Lovecraft’s heroes over the edge.||You might not actually be a Nephandus or Marauder, but folks who know what those words mean will assume that you are one. A normal life is impossible.
System-wise, this Flaw inflicts a +3 difficulty modifier to any social roll that involves not scaring the shit out of people, and lowers the difficulty by -3 if you are.
Your Appearance Trait is stuck below zero, and faint-hearted or weak-willed NPCs may be faced with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know (as per Mage 20, p. 407) if they wind up spending time with you.
|Insane Mentor||1||Social||The mage who taught you the ropes is dangerously tangled up in them. Maybe she’s out of her head (though probably not a Marauder… yet) – or he’s got an awful rep that has splattered all over you.||That person could be angry at you for some reason (good or otherwise), or live downstream on Shit Creek, with a nasty habit of dragging you along for the ride. This Flaw makes an excellent addition to the Background: Mentor, and has a way of fouling up your relationships with other mages as well as your bond with the mentor herself.|
|Jinx||2-10||Supernatural||Stormbringer. The One Ring. The Monkey’s Paw. Sure, that paranormal doohickey may possess amazing powers, but it’s also a sack of miseries the likes of which few humans can imagine. And you’ve got one.||This is a Wonder with serious downsides. However, the nature of players is to extract as powerful a Wonder out of this with as few drawbacks as possible while getting Freebie points.
Consider this Flaw highly restricted. It's more likely to be something earned something going awry while trying to create a Wonder in play, or ill-advisedly looting it off a deranged enemy.
|Limbless||5||Companion||You possess no arms, legs, or other usable limbs other than perhaps a prehensile tail. You’re a serpent, you’re a blob, you’re a worm or snail or something else like that.||In order to manipulate your surroundings in a human world, you must use Telekinesis or a related power that can maneuver those things for you. This Flaw doesn’t mean you’re slow or clumsy; it does mean, though, that you can’t employ most human tools, climb ladders, or grab things with anything other than your mouth or tail. A character with this Flaw cannot also take No Dexterous Limbs.|
|Locked Vidare||1||Supernatural||Mages view the Otherworldly Penumbra through a metaphysical perspective called the Vidare. Most of them can alter that perspective by changing their point of view. Not you. For you, the Periphery remains “locked” into a single perspective: the glittering clarity of the Vidare Astral, the primal luminosity of the Vidare Spiritus, or the rotting deathscape of the Vidare Mortem.||Essentially, your metaphysical perspective is frozen in place. This is literally the way you view the world around you, and that view never really changes. (For details about the Vidare and the impressions they present, see Mage 20, pp. 82, 89, 94-95, 98-99, and 474.)
In addition to shaping the way your Storyteller describes the Vidare to you, and guiding your reaction to what you perceive, this Flaw also influences your personality, your sense of fashion, your philosophical and metaphysical paradigms, your magickal focus, and so on. When you perceive things in a certain way, after all, that perspective tends to color most aspects of your life.
|Mayfly Curse||5-10||Supernatural||Your lifespan burns bright and fast. Due, perhaps, to biotech, cloning, or some other inhuman heritage or modification, you age far more quickly than normal human beings do. While this means that you reach(ed) maturity in record time, it ushers in premature decrepitude. When you live this fast, kid, one way or another, you’re dying young!||At the five-point level of this Flaw, your character ages one year for every two months of earthly time (six years of age for each passing year). At the 10-point level, he ages one year per week (or 52 years of age in a single 12-month period).
This Flaw technically exists in the system, since it's often relevant for constructs, clones and other such unfortunates. Yet it's not really appropriate for a PC.
|No Dexterous Limbs||4||Companion||Though you’ve got paws, jaws, or other ways of grasping and manipulating many objects, you lack the complex prehensile fingers that allow you full access to the human world.||Sure, you could pick up a laptop in your mouth or push a door open with your paws; you won’t be using that laptop’s keyboard very well, though, and you’re helpless before a locked doorknob.
Horses, dogs, eagles, and the like are extremely smart and clever beasts, but even when their intellect and perspective approach human levels of cognition, such critters won’t get much use out of, say, a smartphone. Animals with precise prehensile digits (like monkey fingers) or limbs (like tentacles) should take the Ungainly Fingers Flaw instead of this one.
|Permanent Paradox Flaw||2-6||Supernatural||Following a nasty brush with Paradox, you’ve got a Flaw that just won’t go away.||System-wise, select a trivial (two points), minor (four points), or significant (six points) Paradox Flaw as described on Mage 20, p. 551. That Flaw is now part of your character’s life until you buy off this Flaw, preferably with experience earned through some extraordinary adventure that’s related to the Paradox Flaw in question and the mishap that created that Flaw in the first place.|
|Permanent Wound (mage)||3||Physical||Due to lasting injury, Pattern leakage, a Paradox Flaw, or some other physiological deficit, you suffer from a chronic injury that never heals. This might be an incurable tumor, endless bleeding, debilitating pain, brittle bones… the specifics are not important.||Regardless of the cause, your character is always at the Wounded health level – even with magickal healing, the injury returns to its normal state at either sunrise or sunset (your choice) every day. Although this wound does not deteriorate further unless your character gets injured by some other source – at which point, another four health levels in damage can kill your character – this Permanent Wound does not recover to a healthy state until and unless the Flaw is bought off through a dramatic story-based cure.|
|Phylactery||7||Supernatural||Your magick, perhaps your very soul, resides outside of your physical self. |
Maybe you’ve placed your soul within a ring, a jar, or a wooden doll in order to protect yourself from possession and control. Or perhaps you believe that your wand, not your Will, is the source of your mystic powers. You could have built a robot as an extension of your Genius, or crafted a jacket into which you’ve instilled the very essence of who you are. The receptacle itself is not important except with regards to its portability.
|This Flaw reflects the fact that you must have the receptacle before you can employ your Arts. Without it, you’re just another Sleeper. How your character views this relationship between the container, his Awakened self, and the ability to perform magick depends on the character’s paradigm (See M20 Core for various examples).
Ultimately, the key is this: Your mage must be able to physically access the phylactery in order to employ Sphere magick. And therein lays the Flaw.
A phylactery offers a few benefits in exchange for some pretty significant drawbacks. On the plus side:
• A phylactery allows you to preserve a part of your consciousness outside your mortal body. That body may be destroyed, but your soul and consciousness live on until or unless the phylactery is destroyed. With Mind 4, you can project that consciousness into another body or an astral form, while a character with Mind 5 /Spirit 5 can place your Awakened consciousness into a new body for you.
• If the phylactery is taken from you, or you’re taken away from it, you can retrieve it, or return to it, with a successful application of the Correspondence Sphere. The difficulty for this return Effect is 4 if the return would seem coincidental to a witness, 5 if it’s vulgar without witnesses, and 6 if it’s vulgar with witnesses. (Yes, the usual Paradox applies.)
• A living phylactery retains a psychic bond with you, as if you’re in constant empathic and telepathic contact with that character. (No roll necessary.) If the phylactery is a place, then you retain an awareness of that place, and can check in with it by using Perception + Awareness, difficulty 6. (For very large areas, the check-in difficulty may range from 7 to 10.)
• So long as your phylactery remains safe and undamaged, you remain immune to Gilgul and other soul-trapping attacks. Your body may be possessed, but your soul cannot be stolen or destroyed unless someone attacks your phylactery instead… in which case you’re screwed, as described below. For details about Gilgul, see that entry in Chapter Four, pp. 218-220.
• And if you invest your soul into a place, you literally carry the essence of that place within yourself, while a part of you always remains there. For practitioners of certain ancestral forms of magic, that’s a very powerful reason to do such a thing.
The downsides are as follows:
• If the phylactery gets destroyed, your ability to use magick in this life gets destroyed along with it.
• You cannot perform magick or recharge your Avatar unless you have some form of physical connection to your phylactery. That form could involve a physical gateway to virtual contact, as with a computer that accesses a mainframe, but you still need that gateway in order to reach a distant phylactery. (Yes, you may use Correspondence Sphere magick to reach the phylactery, and you are always counted as being one success away from your phylactery when you use Correspondence to reach out to it.)
• If your phylactery is a place, you must be in that place in order to employ the Spheres. If it’s a living thing, then that character has got to be within touching range before you can use the Spheres. (Explains a lot about Blofeld and his cat, doesn’t it?)
• If you’re using your phylactery to cast magick, you need to be rather obvious about it – shouting commands to your hypertech robot pal, holding your mystic crown aloft, hewing your demonic sword through enemies as you shout invocations to your patron god, that sort of thing. There should be no doubt that you are dependent upon your phylactery. This is often overlooked by PCs.
• If your Avatar communicates to you through an embodied phylactery character, then you need to purchase the Merit: Manifest Avatar (p. 71) to represent the Avatar’s physical form.
• If your phylactery is an item, then it’s considered a unique personalized instrument, as per the rules in Mage 20, pp. 587-588. It can be broken, stolen or repaired, but cannot be replaced if it’s totally destroyed.
Creating a phylactery of this sort in play demands high-level magick – Correspondence 5 /Prime 5 /Spirit 5 /Mind 4 to be exact, plus Matter 4 to invest one’s self into a material item, Life 5 to invest it into a living thing, and Life 5 /Matter 4 in order to instill it into a place with an active biosphere – a forest or lake, as opposed to a bare room or large metal box.
(A previous description of the phylactery investment ritual, given in the sourcebook Dead Magic, p. 112, stated that only Spirit 3 was necessary for investment – by the rules, however, this claim is incorrect. You need Correspondence 5 to forge so powerful a connection, Prime 5 to invest that intimate a degree of vital energy, Spirit 5 to bind the Awakened Avatar spirit into a separate place or being, and Mind 4 to project an aspect of consciousness out of the body and into a separate vessel. Spirit 3 alone does none of these things.)
Unless your mage is already a Master of the appropriate Spheres, this Flaw assumes that some stronger power invested (or trapped) your Avatar and consciousness into that phylactery for you.
This Flaw is restricted. It is more highly scrutinized and held to a higher standard for approval, owing to its ease of being abused into something more resembling a Merit than a Flaw.
|Power Source||1-5||Companion||You require energy in order to function. Your makers thoughtfully provided a power source for you, but it tends to run out and must be periodically replaced if you’re to stay in good working order.||A common Flaw for robots and cyborgs, this Flaw’s value depends upon the frequency with which your power source must be renewed.
• (1 point) You need a new power source or recharge every 30 days.
• (3 points) Every seven days.
• (5 points) Every day.
For each day you go without a renewed power source, you lose one die from all of your dice pools until a new power source gets installed. The penalty applies to all dice pools equally — not different rates for different pools.
When your highest dice pool runs out, you go inactive until you’ve received a new power source. Although that new power source starts you right back up again, an especially long period of inactivity might (Storyteller’s option) damage your systems to the point where you function at half of your normal dice pools until an appropriately skilled technician can repair you.
Characters with Technocratic power sources can be recharged easily so long as there’s a supply of the correctly standardized power sources available. Those with unusual, ancient, experimental, or unique power sources would be much harder to resupply.
|Primal Marks||3||Supernatural||You’ve been marked by some god, spirit, myth, or other metaphysical entity… and the mark is not a pleasant one.|
In certain circles – say, being marked by Satan while living in a deeply religious region – a Primal Mark can be a life-threatening affair. Such marks can also indicate the profound displeasure of the entity in question, like the Mark of Cain (in a non-vampiric sense, anyway) which set the First Murderer apart while sparing his life for a long-enduring punishment. But even if the entity in question likes you, this particular mark is more of a burden than a blessing.
|Essentially, this Flaw is the flipside of the Merit: Mark of Favor – in your case, though, the mark complicates your life, twists your body, and alerts people who understand the significance of that mark.
Obviously, you should define the appearance of this feature, and decide the sort of reaction people have when they notice it. Because this is a Flaw, of course, that reaction should be negative in some way. The “mark” could also be a tone of voice, a distinct way of moving (birdlike, catlike, etc), or a certain vibe that nearly anyone can sense. Whatever their source and manifestation, these Primal Marks are obvious, and they tend to carry over even when a mage changes shape. People recognize you even when you’d rather not be recognized, and that sort of distinction can be rather unhealthy too.
This Flaw goes well with Backgrounds like Blessing, Destiny, Legend, Past Lives, and Totem. It does not go well with Arcane or Cloaking.
|Probationary Member||4||Social||Having recently defected from a rival group or faction, you’re on probation with the current group. Peers expect you to turn on them, and certain folks have probably decided to throw you under the bus on general principle.||Your continued membership (possibly even your survival) depends upon doing everything right and nothing wrong… and just how often do things really go that well in the real world, anyway?|
|Prone to Quiet||4-5||Supernatural||In an effort to avert the inevitable stresses of Awakened life, you tend to drop into metaphysical Quiets (as per Mage 20, pp. 554-561) more easily than most other mages do.|
Although it’s most often noticed in Virtual Adepts and other Netizens, who tend to set off into the Digital Web in order to escape physical unpleasantness, any mage can suffer from this Flaw.
|The easier you fall into them, the more this Flaw is worth:
• (4 points) Quiet is your default Paradox backlash, and so a backlash of five points or more automatically sends you into Quiet.
• (5 points) Quiet is your default backlash, and you can fall into it even without a Paradox discharge. Roll your Intelligence + Enigmas dice pool when you’re faced with an unusually stressful situation – if you succeed, then you’re able to puzzle your way out of the fall – and if not, well, then, welcome back to Quietville… (The roll’s difficulty ranges from 6 to 10, depending upon the severity of the stress and whether or not you’ve dealt with this particular kind of stress before.)
|Psychic Vampire (mage)||5||Supernatural||Also known as the Reaper’s Touch, this dreadful curse makes you a life-force siphon. Your presence consumes vitality from your surroundings and the living things who happen to get too close to you. Unless you do so, however, your own life-force withers. Despite your best intentions, you’re essentially a walking void into which life itself pours in order to sustain your own existence.||Story-wise, you’re a drain on the energy of your companions. Insects and small plants perish in your presence, while children and animals smaller than a horse feel ill when you stand near them.
System-wise, any character who’s in physical contact with you for an hour or more loses one health level per hour to bashing damage. If you’re unable to soak up someone else’s life-force, though, then your own vitality drains away. In system terms, you lose health levels in the reverse order that you would heal lethal damage, dropping to Bruised after one day, to Hurt after three days, to Injured after one week, and so on. (For details, see Mage 20, p. 406.)
If you employ Life Sphere magicks, your difficulties for healing or improvement-type Effects are raised by +2, while your difficulties with corrupting, damage, or illness-related Effects are lowered by -2. (In both cases, the usual maximums and minimums still apply.) Each health level you inflict on someone else with Life Sphere magick heals you of one health level if you’re injured, or else forestalls the “starvation” loss of your own health levels by one day per health level inflicted.
Warning: This Flaw darkens your aura, makes your blood taste awful as far as vampires are concerned, and keeps your close associates constantly sick with low-level ailments. Most mages consider this to be a mark of profound misfortune or outright evil, while folks who love corruption (Nephandi and the like) see you as a ripe candidate for recruitment. The Technocratic Union, on the other hand, takes this sort of thing seriously, and tends to view psychic vampires as Reality Deviants of the most unfortunate kind.
|Qlippothic Radiance||1-5||Nephandic||The Shells have left a discernable mark on a character who bears this Flaw. Unlike most Fallen Ones, that character cannot conceal her Qlippothic origins. Anyone who understands the nature of those sinister energies detects the marks of passage on her aura; other characters feel distinctly uncomfortable in her presence, even if they don’t realize why.||Story-wise, this Flaw weaves threads of anti-light into the hues of the character’s aura. Most Nephandi, when unshielded, display crackling flickers of blackness in their auras, but this radiance reveals a more severe condition. Those coruscating threads aren’t merely dark, but an absence of light that witnesses can feel (and sometimes hear) even if they cannot see the aura themselves.
The severity of this Flaw depends upon the extent of the Fallen mage’s travels into the Qlippoth. The further she has gone, the deeper and stronger this radiance becomes.
• (1 point) Faint traces of darkness that can be seen only by those who perceive auras.
• (2 points) Heavier veins of darkness, plus a minor wave of unease for people who cannot sense auras normally.
• (3 points) Pulsating throbs of anti-light in the aura, plus a distinct queasiness felt by those who can’t see the aura itself.
• (4 points) Bolts of anti-light strobing through the aura, combined with an urge to leave the Fallen’s presence as quickly as possible, plus a disconcerting sound of buzzing insects or whispering voices. (Adds one die to Intimidation rolls.)
• (5 points) An aura shot through with storms of anti-light, the sound of invisible insect swarms, and a presence that sends most thinking creatures cowering for escape. (Adds two dice to Intimidation rolls.)
A Nephandus who gains four or five points in this awful Flaw has journeyed past the void of Daath, reached toward the final three Qlipha, and achieved a truly frightening degree of power. No minor Nephandus manifests such unnerving degrees of Qlippothic essence, and so a mage with that level of radiance is a truly fearsome character.
|Rival House||1-5||Social||You belong to a Chantry (or Construct, or whatever) that has a longstanding animosity with another such organization. |
This could be a rival Hermetic Chantry, a temple whose members consider you to be heretics, a hostile street gang, an opposing martial arts order, a coven that has declared a witch-war against your group, a Construct that has marked you all for death, and so on.
This antagonism is mutual, too, and you’re expected to act accordingly. Mediation remains unlikely, and things could get worse before they get better… if improved relations are even possible.
|This Flaw is Restricted, and may only be assigned at the Director's discretion: Groups of mages don’t generally pursue mass grudges without serious reasons to do so! If this Flaw is assigned, it may or not bring with it any Freebies. It might be the price of admission into certain Chantries or other sub-factions or for access to certain teachings.
The Flaw’s value depends upon the power of that other stronghold and the level to which they hate members of your own.
• (1 point) A minor rivalry with an associated Chantry of equal or lesser power in relation to your own. For the most part, the antagonism involves pranks, competition, minor sabotage, and occasional “friendly” brawls.
• (2 points) A significant rivalry (serious fights and slanders, major sabotage) with a Chantry of similar power, or a minor rivalry with a Chantry so powerful they don’t consider yours to be a true threat.
• (3 points) Deadly antagonism between roughly equal Chantries.
• (4 points) A significant rivalry between your Chantry and one that’s powerful enough to inflict serious damage upon your own.
• (5 points) Deadly hatred from a Chantry that could level yours if they really wanted to… and they probably do.
From the three-point version onward, it’s pretty unlikely that the rivalry can be resolved without a shared enemy or some significant interference from an even more powerful third party. It might not be resolvable even then.
|Rogue||4||Social||The loosest of cannons, you’re gonna do whatever you damn well please, and to hell with any and all consequences! You might still belong to a group, but your membership is more a matter of habit or convenience than of loyalty.|
In rare cases, this might represent a character that has since gone their way from their own parent organization, and now occupies a loosely defined role between 'former comrade' and 'outlaw'.
|Certain Backgrounds (Requisitions and Secret Weapon) are forbidden to you now, and others (Allies, Backup, Chantry, Resources, and potentially many more) are hard to access – perhaps even impossible to access – if their connection to you depends upon your allegiance to a group.
Former peers consider you a liability, and the main reason no one has taken you out yet is because nobody’s gotten around to doing so successfully.
For Technocratic operatives, this Flaw is a slow-motion death sentence – for other mages, it could involve similar threats to longevity, although many Crafts (aside from the Templars, Wu Lung, and Hippolytoi) and most Traditions (aside from the Chakravanti, Akashayana, and Order of Hermes) take a more liberal approach to rogue members. (Note: If you belong to a more liberal faction, another Flaw is probably far more appropriate than Rogue.)
Either way, your relationships with former allies are strained at best (+3 to the difficulty of most social rolls involving their goodwill), and you’re on rather hostile terms with your so-called (or former) superiors. A few, rare mages (or even a Technocratic operative like the semi-legendary John Courage) manage to live for quite a while in this state of mutual antagonism. Most, however, do not.
|Rose-Colored Glasses||2||Mental||Known sardonically as Rose-Colored Mirrorshades among Technocracy operatives, this Flaw reflects a rather delusional loyalty to your faction of choice. |
Essentially, your team can do no wrong as far as you’re concerned. Their cause is just, their paradigm unshakable, their deeds necessary under the circumstances, no matter how extreme those deeds might be.
|Your character views almost anything the group does in its most favorable light… which, considering how awful Awakened groups can be, means that you’re choosing to overlook a great deal. Confronted with inconvenient truths, you can get downright irrational, abusive, or even fanatical.
If you’re ever confronted with truths you cannot deny, avoid, or slander away, the shock could devastate you for years to come – very possibly driving you into the arms of a diametrically opposed faction for which you’ll hold a similar sort of loyalty. (See Changing Focus and Allegiance in Mage 20, p. 339.)
|Sect Enmity||1||Social||Mage groups tend to have issues with each other by their very nature. You, however, have managed to piss off an entire sect of mages within your larger group.|
You could be a Verbena witch who hacked off the Hermetic House Flambeau, a Black Suit on the wrong side of the Friends of Courage, or a Red Spear who trash-talked the Ghost Wheel Society and lived to regret it.
Although your enemies won’t try to kill you – you are theoretically on the same side, after all – they really don’t like your face, or much else about you.
|Generally, the members of the sect in question will have as little to do with you as they can, and won’t be terribly cooperative if they must deal with you at all.
Social dice rolls you make while dealing with members from this group add +2 to the difficulty. You cannot, obviously belong to this sect when you first take this Flaw, although you could conceivably smooth things over, buy off the Flaw, and join that group later.
For a more severe version of this Flaw, see Hit List. For a more institutionalized (and Director-controlled version), see Rival House.
|Short Fuse (mage)||2||Mental||Anger management is not your strong suit.||When something or someone pisses you off (which happens with distressing regularity), you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) or else deal with that shit gloves-off style.
You probably won’t use deadly (or vulgar) force too recklessly, as you’re not long for this world if you do. Your infamous temper, however, can have severe long-term effects on your popularity, health, and status among your peers and superiors… which is itself a lethal proposition among members of the Technocratic Union and other groups that pride themselves on self-control.
For a more extreme version of this Trait, see the Supernatural Flaw: Beast Within.
|Spectral Presence||3||Nephandic||Passage through the Caul and Qlippoth has ripped this mage’s physical form to shreds. Although he can be seen by mortal eyes, and can occasionally touch things in the material realm, this Nephandus exists largely in the Penumbra — an astral projection potent enough to retain an unstable manifestation in the everyday world.||Rules-wise, this Flaw renders the character semi-solid — visible but only vaguely tangible. To allow this character to affect the physical world with anything other than magick, the Storyteller must make a successful Willpower roll (difficulty 6 for normal activity, difficulty 8 for fine and careful manipulation). Each subsequent turn after the initial Willpower roll demands one point of Willpower spent in order to retain the focus needed to interact with the mortal world.
Visually, the Fallen One looks ghostly; his voice resonates with uncanny distance. In the Penumbra, the character appears and interacts normally with other characters. In order to affect him in the material world, however, an attacker must employ at least two dots in the Spheres of Entropy, Mind, Prime, Spirit, or Time. Raw physical forces and materials go right through him otherwise, and while this might seem like a good thing, the Nephandus remains isolated from physical sensations unless he manages to exert his will long enough to feel something tangible. Oh, he can see, and hear, but the sensations of physical touch, taste, and smell are lost to him. Worst of all, he feels the desire for food and drink, but cannot — unless he manages to focus his will long enough to consume some, or else finds spiritual food instead — indulge that desire. He no longer truly needs physical nutrition but that won’t stop him from craving it.
As with other Nephandic Merits and Flaws, this Trait comes from the essence of Descent, and cannot be purchased for non-Fallen characters.
|Sphere Inept||2||Supernatural||A particular element of Reality eludes you.||No matter how devoted you might be to mastering its complexities, this field of magick remains a challenge.
Pick one Sphere: You can't take it in chargen, and your cost to raise it post-Chargen is 20% greater than normal (rounded up).
|Spirit Magnet||3-5||Supernatural||Ephemeral entities flock to your presence. The essence of who you are – benign or malignant – draws spirits to you, and they, in turn, affect the essence of who you are. |
For the most part, these entities cluster around you in the Penumbra, invisible to mortal perceptions – whenever you cross the Gauntlet, though (either with your perceptions or with your body), they’re waiting for you there.
|The Flaw version represents the presence of malevolent spirits – Banes, demons, and other nasty Umbral beasts. Summoned by curses or spiritual corruption, these entities seek to tempt you, poison you, feed off your vitality, and otherwise turn your life into a self-contained Hell On Wheels.
Spirit-sensitive folk will avoid you unless they’re into that sort of thing, and werewolves will consider you to be “of the Worm” (whatever the hell that means), if only because of the company you keep.
Although you might not consider yourself a bad person at heart, your spiritual companions say otherwise!
• (3 points) Minor entities follow, taunt and hinder you when it opportunistically amuses them.
• (4 points) You occasionally draw the unwanted attention of an opportunistic major entity. Minor entities will seek you out with the deliberate ambition of cruelly harassing or sabotaging you.
• (5 points) Minor entities will do whatever they can to make your life a living hell, and may even actively offer their services to hostile forces to better enable them to harm you (although not quite to the point of deliberate assassination - that level of Flaw is disallowed). Major entities will seek you out whenever they have nothing better to do, just to coerce, tempt or frighten you.
This Flaw is restricted. It won't be approved without a strong thematic arc and a Director having enough time to portray this malevolent interest in your affairs.
|Sterile (mage)||1||Physical||For some physical reason, you’re unable to sire or conceive children.|
You might be an Iteration X scientist that stood a little too close to an unstable, radioactive prototype, or perhaps your Dreamspeaker Shaman might have been cursed by a malevolent jungle witch. It might be purely (if ironically) genetic.
|Generally, this sort of condition can be easily cured with a little Life-Sphere magick – in your case, though, it can’t be rectified until and unless you, the player, discard the Merit or pay off this Flaw.
This Flaw is only appropriate for PCs that belong to a culture or faction, where the nature of your sterility would affect your prospects and/or mental health. Whether being endlessly teased by your lab colleagues, or disappointing your Jewish mother.
If you don't care, and none of your co-workers, family or friends care either, then this Flaw isn't terribly appropriate. In such a situation, you're welcome to assume your character's sterility, if you so wish, without benefiting from it as a Flaw.
|Strangeness||1||Supernatural||Your metaphysical prowess occasionally warps reality in your presence, even when you don’t want it to do so. Weird stuff happens when you’re not expecting such phenomena, and those quirks of strangeness seem to be rooted in the sort of magick you pursue.||System-wise, the Storyteller determines, once or twice per game session, to roll your Arete against difficulty 6. If the roll succeeds, the Storyteller throws in some random occurrence that’s based on a Sphere you possess – most often, on your Affinity Sphere.
Grass could grow suddenly, mirrors could crack, psychic impressions could inform you of the sexual habits of the person standing next to you in the elevator – that sort of thing.
If the roll fails, then nothing unusual occurs. If the roll botches, however, then a Paradox backlash expels one point of Paradox in your current pool for each dot you have in your Affinity Sphere – or all of your current Paradox, if you have fewer points than that in your Paradox pool.
These small backlashes won’t be terribly damaging, but given the unpredictable nature of this Flaw, they could come at very inconvenient times.
|Stress Atavism||4||Supernatural||When things aren't going your way, you see red!||This is the 'Flaw' version of the Berserker (mage) Merit.
Although various NPC degenerates might suffer from it, it is only allowed for PCs for whom flying off the handle and into a violent confrontation would be a very bad idea. This is mainly for non-combat characters who belong to organizations that don't reward such physicality.
Combat-focused characters in organizations that either reward or look the other way when it comes to violence must take the Berserker (mage) Merit instead.
|Sympathizer||1||Social||Hey, they’re okay once you get to know them! You’ve expressed some degree of sympathy for an enemy faction, and that sympathy does not make you terribly popular!||Maybe you’re a Technocrat who sees some historical/cultural validity in the Traditions, a Trad mage who shares some part of the secular Technocratic vision, a Disparate mage with secret ties to one of the other factions, or even – gods help you! – a mage from pretty much any group, who dares to view the Mad and Fallen as something other than walking targets for instant execution.
Warning: This Flaw could quickly lead to much worse Flaws like Rogue, Branded or Fifth Degree if you’re not discreet about your associations with rival mages.
|Taint of Corruption||7||Supernatural||Evil has an intimate hold on you. Your spirit has been corrupted – possibly since birth, as with the reborn Nephandi known as widderslainte – and you are, as the werewolves put it, “of the Worm” whether you wish to be or not. |
This doesn’t necessarily mean you behave in an evil manner – you can choose to resist the evil inside you. On a metaphysical level, however, you bear an innate corruption which tests the ideal of Enlightened self-determination.
|From a story perspective, this Flaw could come from demonic possession, the aftermath of an awful Quiet or a badly botched high-level Seeking, corrupt Resonance, one too many deals with malignant Umbrood, a curse, a vile past life, wicked karma, Nephandic heritage, extreme depravity, the influence of the Wyrm, a collection of tainted texts or artifacts, time spent in a hell, or other forms of metaphysical poison.
It almost certainly shapes your magickal focus, and the things you do in pursuit of your magicks (that is, your practices and instruments) may well perpetrate this corruption.
To entities who recognize such soul-stains, you are either a mortal enemy (as far as most werewolves are concerned), an object of pity and potential salvation (the nicer sorts of mages), or – most likely – both. (“Hey, it’s a mercy killing, right?”)
Meanwhile, inside your skin, you wrestle with the urges born from that corruption. Your dreams and impulses hold a distinctly unpleasant edge. Working malignant magick is frighteningly easy for you (-2 to your difficulties, up to the usual modifier limits), but your “good” spells are harder to cast (+2 difficulty, as above) and have a tendency to leave traces of corruption even when you succeed.
Your aura crackles or swirls with leprous stains, and your Merits, Flaws, Backgrounds, and other Traits reflect the damnation you carry inside.
|Thaumivore||5||Companion||To survive in the material world, you must consume that lifeblood energy of Creation that mages call Quintessence. Without it, you suffer debilitating hunger, weaken steadily, and eventually perish and fade into nothingness. |
Ideally, you consume solidified Quintessence in the form of Tass. Your patron mage can feed you raw-energy Quintessence, but it’s not terribly satisfying. Although a steady diet of it won’t harm you, it will leave you grouchy enough to reconsider the terms of your relationship.
|Story-wise, you’ll ideally be given a regular diet of metaphysically energized substances — magic toadstools, enchanted amulets, batteries charged with raw lightning pulled from the heavens, that sort of thing. The nature of your food, of course, must suit your innate nature; trying to feed a unicorn with Technocratic fuel cells will go about as poorly as trying to recharge a HIT Mark with goblin fruit.
System-wise, your character must devour at least one point of Tass or Quintessence per day. Each day he goes without that nourishment, he loses one health level, and suffers a one-die penalty to all his dice pools.
This damage cannot be soaked, of course, and if your character passes Incapacitated, he dies, and his body rapidly decays until nothing’s left at all. Once he begins to feed again, all previous damage heals, though probably not his bad mood. This Flaw can (and probably should) be taken in connection with the Flaw: Unbelief.
|The Bard's Tongue||1||Supernatural||A curse has rendered you unable to lie. It may even compel you to speak the truth when you struggle to remain silent. Rarely (and almost never in a way that is particularly helpful or immediately relevant), you might say things that later turn out to be true even if you hadn’t known anything about them at the time.||Life and Mage chronicles are both filled with times when it’s best to keep a lid on the truth. And so, in order to avoid saying speaking the proverbial inconvenient truth (or worse), you need to spend a Willpower point to keep your mouth shut about it.
Suppressing the urge to speak that truth will additionally cost you one health level in bashing damage if the truth you’re clamping down on is something that would particularly endanger or humiliate you if it were let out (Director's discretion).
|Throwback||1-5||Supernatural||Haunted by a past life (often paired with the Past Life Background), you suffer from awful memories and act out in ways that are, shall we say, not productive to your current incarnation. |
Perhaps you still loathe the clergymen who tortured a former “you” for witchcraft 400 years ago – the smell of cooking meat still sends you into panic attacks. Or you’ll get vertigo and acrophobic surges from that time a previous incarnation fell off a castle wall. You may slip into archaic accents, foreign languages, or terminology that is not exactly au courant (or socially acceptable) in today’s world.
Flashbacks, time segues, inappropriate behavior – it’s all part of the package in this life you lead today.
|For each point in this Flaw, up to a maximum of five points (and dice), the Storyteller will roll one die against difficulty 8 when the potential arises for a past life to affect your present life.
The more successes are rolled, the more that past life affects you. The symptoms of this “throwback syndrome” generally depend upon a combination of the Storyteller's whim and prior collaboration as to the nature of your past lives.
For especially strong flashbacks (three successes or more), you may need to roll your Willpower (again, difficulty 8) to suppress the reaction to what your character recalls.
Described in Guide to the Traditions as an adversarial Background of Past Life, this Flaw makes a fitting companion to that Background, the Dream Background, and to other Merits and Flaws related to reincarnation (Twin Souls, Shattered Avatar, and similar Traits described within this section).
You must include a +note for this Flaw that describes the various ways you feel it would or could inconvenience your modern life. This helps give your Director something to work from mid-scene without needing to read your entire Backstory again.
|Twisted Apprenticeship||1||Social||Someone taught you all the wrong things. For whatever reason, the mentor who introduced you to the Awakened realm did a terrible job, and now you reap the benefits.||Your original Awakened mentor wasn't the best: They may have told you lies about other groups, filled your head with nonsense about the nature of magick (though in all honesty, pretty much everyone does that), or simply acted recklessly and left you with all the debts that clean-up required.
Despite your mentor probably being out of the picture at this point, it has left you with an unkind reputation among your peers. You virtually never receive the benefit of the doubt, and are the first to get handed some garbage duty. This could easily pair with the Expendable Flaw.
|Unbelief||3-8||Companion||Once upon a time, your kind may have freely wandered the mortal realm. The centuries, however, have not been kind to your sort, and now the weight of human disbelief has turned you into a walking paradox… or literally speaking, a Paradox. |
On the other hand, you might be a hypertech entity whose existence offends the natural world. Regardless of the details, you fit in only within certain surroundings, and violate reality in most others.
Unless you remain hidden in a region where culture, solitude, or both protect you, the weight of disbelief soon crushes you out of existence.
A pair of shisa hanging out in the Ryukyu Islands are literally part of the landscape so long as they don’t bite the tourists; a devilish imp in a wizard’s workshop is pretty much de rigueur for such a place; a white hart dashing through the English mists belongs to that land as surely as any human resident. Transplant such creatures to other settings, though, and the weight of the modern Consensus soon proves fatal...
|Thanks to this Flaw, you must remain within a Reality Zone (see Mage 20, pp. 611-617) that’s appropriate to your essential nature.
In game terms, this Flaw reflects the character’s affront to Consensus Reality outside of a specific sort of Reality Zone. That character remains healthy inside an appropriate Zone but suffers damage once she leaves the Zone and wanders around a world that’s not ready to deal with her existence.
That damage assumes two levels of severity: painful, in which the creature’s essential nature clashes with the area she’s in; and fatal, in which the creature’s nature is so deeply opposed to that area that her body begins to break down under the force of Unbelief.
• Painful: One health level of bashing damage per turn, which becomes lethal damage once the character’s health levels run out (As per Mage 20, p. 406).
• Fatal: One health level of aggravated damage per turn. This damage cannot be soaked, as its cause is metaphysical, not physical.
The value of this Flaw depends upon how remote the safe Zone is from the rest of the world, and how “allergic” the character is to places outside her home territory.
As shown in the “Reality Zones” section of Mage 20, the three categories of Zones are: Technocratic Reality, Localized Reality, and Primal Reality. Any character with this Flaw is at least uncomfortable (that is, vulgar) in relation to the Earthly Foundations of material reality.
• (3 points) The character is comfortable in most types of Zones, suffers painful damage in an opposed category of Zones (say, Technocratic Reality vs. Primal Reality), and gets fatally damaged by specific Zones that are diametrically opposed to the character’s nature (a robot in a Mystic Region, for example, or a forest-spirit in a Technological Installation).
• (5 points) The character is comfortable only within a specific category of Zone, suffers pain in most others, and gets fatally damaged by an opposed category of Zones.
• (8 points) The character is comfortable only in a specific type of Zone (like a Node, a Rural Area. or a Technological Installation), suffers pain in most places in that category of Zones, and gets fatally damaged in any other category of Zones.
When creating the character, decide which type of Reality Zone is most suitable for this creature, which types make her uncomfortable, and which types conflict with her innate nature. If taken by a character with the Thaumivore Flaw, the fatal damage becomes bashing damage, and the painful damage disappears entirely, so long as the character eats at least one point of suitable Tass or Quintessence per day.
If he is not fed regularly, though, or if that food supply abruptly ends (as it might if the mage and her familiar get cut off from each other), then the damage kicks in immediately if the creature’s stuck in a “fatal” category Zone.
As far as the average human bystander goes, a creature who perishes from Unbelief becomes just another mystery to be argued about in seminars, labs, and — of course — the internet.
For guidelines regarding the suitability or conflict between a creature and a Zone, see the Mage 20 sections for “Magick in the Otherworlds” (pp. 483-485), and the “Technocratic Reality,” “Localized Reality,” and “Primal Reality” entries under “Reality Zones” (pp. 613-615).
Your Companion can exceed the usual 7 point Freebie limit for Flaws if you pair Unbelief with the Thaumivore Flaw. You may not combine it with the Cultural Other or Profiled Appearance Flaws.
|Uncanny||1-5||Supernatural||You stand out like a HIT Mark at a Verbena barbeque. No matter how unobtrusive you try to be, you remain remarkably memorable to anyone who encounters you.||Story-wise, ask yourself: Why are you memorable, exactly? Is it an inhuman glow behind your eyes? An unsettling tone in your voice? A metaphysical miasma that hangs about you despite your apparently mundane appearance? Does grass grow or die in your shadow? Maybe dogs cower when they sense your approach. There could be a low buzzing in your presence, like a chorus of flies, or a disconcerting crackle of electricity that radiates from your skin. That facet of your presence is a constant reminder that you are not like other folk.
The point-value of this Flaw depends upon the extent to which it interferes with your life:
• (1 point) You stand out in a crowd.
• (2 points) It’s pretty hard to conceal your oddities.
• (3 points) People remember you long after you’re gone.
• (4 points) You creep people out simply by existing.
• (5 points) You scare people simply by existing.
By its nature, this Flaw represents an unmistakable impression. Each point in this Flaw adds one die to the dice pool of anyone who’s trying to notice you, recognize you, or penetrate your attempts at stealth or concealment.
You may, however, attempt to cover up your uncanny presence with a roll of Intelligence + Subterfuge, assuming you have a method of doing so – it’s easier to conceal your glowing red eyes with sunglasses than to get those wailing damned souls to piss off for a few minutes! The difficulty of such attempts is generally 5 + the value of your Uncanny Flaw. (if, for instance, the clever bioconstruct Victoria Carliotti gets two points in Uncanny for her too-perfect skin, rippling muscles, and impossibly green eyes, her concealment difficulty would be 7).
Despite the potentially grotesque nature of this Flaw, your uncanniness doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your physical features are fearsome in themselves, and this Flaw by itself does not give any Social penalties except at the Storyteller's discretion. An inhumanly gorgeous or disturbingly ordinary person can be Uncanny in their own ways.
This Flaw makes an excellent companion to a variety of Physical Merits, Flaws and many Backgrounds (such as Enhancements). It will not, however, pair with the Arcane or Cloaking Backgrounds.
|Ungainly Fingers||2||Companion||Although you can manipulate most human devices with your fingers, claws, or tentacles, you lack the physical shape, leverage, or reflexes to manipulate such things well.||Add +2 to your difficulty when you’re trying to employ a sophisticated object, fragile item, precision device, and so forth.
This penalty does not reflect your overall lack of dexterity; you could, in fact, be far more agile than those clumsy human beings. The human world, though, is built and shaped for people, however, and because you’re not a person, you have a harder time working with stuff designed specifically for their hands and limbs.
|Vulnerability||1-7||Supernatural||Some perilous substance may spell your doom. Thanks to a paranormal weakness – a curse, a Paradox Flaw, a quirk of belief or cultural legends – you suffer extraordinary harm from that malignant material. |
Perhaps you shrivel up in sunlight, flee from the scent of roses, or melt when obnoxious farm girls throw water in your face. This substance isn’t generally fatal to most folks (Awakened or otherwise), but it’s potential death for you.
|Your vulnerability to this substance in question has two potential levels:
• Weakening, which inflicts one aggravated health level on your character every turn she’s in contact with the substance.
• Mortal peril, which inflicts three aggravated health levels for each turn she’s in contact with the substance.
The value of this Flaw is based upon two factors: How common the fatal substance is, and how badly it affects you:
• (2 points) You can be mortally wounded by contact with something that’s almost impossible to acquire (the sound of Pan’s pipes, a splinter from the True Cross), or weakened by a very rare substance (a chunk of moon rock, the tooth from an aged lion).
• (3 points) Mortal injury from a very rare substance, or weakness caused by something that’s relatively scarce and not obviously harmful (saffron, grave dirt, a raven’s feathers).
• (4 points) Mortal injury from something that’s relatively scarce, or weakness from a common substance (rainwater, silver, a baby’s cry).
• (5 points) A common substance inflicts mortal injury on you.
• (+1 point) You die instantly upon contact with the substance in question.
• (+1 point) The mere presence of the substance means instant death to you.
• (-1 point) The substance must first inflict damage on you through a typical injury (a stab wound, ingested poison, a silver bullet) before it can harm you.
Damage from this Flaw cannot be soaked unless you’re wearing an appropriate type of armor to prevent exposure to that substance. (Being aggravated damage, it shouldn’t normally be soaked anyhow, but mages have ways of getting around such trivialities.)
A detailed +note should feature the reason for your potentially fatal vulnerability to this substance.
|Weak Spot||3||Companion||Thanks to an injury, a curse, or some other handicap, you’ve got a vulnerable spot. Attacks that strike that area inflict extra damage and might also incapacitate you.||This infirmity could be a gap in your armor, a badly healed limb, weakened bones, a shut-off switch, or a joint that tends to dislocate. Whatever it may be, this weak spot allows an attacker to penetrate your usual defenses and take you down hard.
System-wise, A successful strike on your weak spot inflicts two unsoakable health levels of aggravated damage; if that damage would have been aggravated to begin with, it inflicts two more health levels’ worth of damage than it would have if the attack had hit you elsewhere.
Fortunately, weak spots like this tend to be hard to spot and harder to exploit. To realize it exists, your opponent must first successfully roll her Perception or Intelligence (whichever is higher) + an Ability that might help her recognize your weak spot for what it is. A physical weak spot might involve Medicine; a mechanical one, Technology or Hypertech; a metaphysical one, Lore, Occult, or a suitable Esoterica discipline. The roll’s difficulty is 8, but it might go higher under especially difficult conditions (darkness, heavy rain, obscuring smoke, and so forth).
Spotting the weak spot is easier than hitting the weak spot. A targeted shot at your vital area adds +4 to the attacker’s difficulty when she’s trying to strike it. As an optional rule, the Storyteller might declare that a random, untargeted attack that scores six successes or more when trying to hit you automatically inflicts the damage associated with your weak spot.
If you define your weak spot as a flimsy joint, automatic shut-down system, or other liability, the Storyteller may replace the aggravated damage with an appropriate condition: Your leg dislocates, your systems deactivate, your cybernetic limb stops working, etc. However it is defined, this condition lasts until you manage to get it fixed, turned back on by a third party, and so forth.
Regardless of its definition, location, and effects, Weak Spot can be a devastating Flaw. It’s also traditional, though — almost every epic monster has one. Mad inventors tend to install such failsafes in case their creations get out of hand, too, and most Technocratic constructs have a suitable weakness that a properly trained operative can activate.
You may exceed the normal 7 points of Freebies for Flaws allowance, by taking the Weak Spot Flaw.
|Widderslainte||7||Supernatural||Born with a Nephandic soul from a previous incarnation, the potential Nephandus struggles with the urge to Fall. That conflict between the Qlippothic soul stain and the change to get things right this time around colors every element of the character’s existence.||Story-wise, from childhood until death, the Cauls beckon your character. Although she can pursue any Path in this life, the dread gravity of another Fall pulls her toward the ecstasy of damnation.
In game terms, this is the Flaw Taint of Corruption (and functions in exactly the same way mechanically), defined specifically as Nephandic heritage (which is a very different kettle, narratively).
|Witch-Hunted||4||Social||The Masses want you dead. You’ve been exposed for what you are and can do, and so various unAwakened parties have decided to take you out like the abomination you’ve become.||These hunters could be law-enforcement authorities, religious groups, fanatical sects, furious mobs, imbued hunters, pawns of the Night-Folk… whoever they might be, these people offer a significant threat to your existence, possessing the power to end you and the dedication to back it up. Your Arts alone cannot stop them, and a painful showdown (or three) is sadly inevitable.|
|Ancestor Ally||1||Garou||One of your ancestor spirits is particularly close to you.||You have -2 to your difficulty to contact this ancestor via your Ancestors Background. Flesh out your special ancestor with a name, personality characteristics, significant abilities or powers, details about her life, and her reputation among Garou. To purchase this Merit, you must have Ancestors as a Background.|
|Animal Magnetism||2||Social||Certain humans find your aura of primal danger to be especially attractive.||Your rolls to coerce, persuade, charm, or seduce humans (which includes most mages, ghouls, Kinfolk, psychics and such, yet not vampires, other shifters, ghosts, spirits or changelings) is at –2 difficulty.
This effect does not apply to outright threatening actions (such as physical threats or torture), but it does apply to more subtle, Manipulation + Intimidation rolls to compel, gaslight or bully.
It only works on those who are already specifically attracted to you (and not just your breed or gender) on some level.
|Bad Taste||2||Physical||You are gamey to the palate and revolting to the taste buds; plainly put, you taste nasty.||Anyone who bites you (vampires, Garou, fomori, Wyrm monsters) is immediately nauseated. The biter must spend a Willpower point or retch uncontrollably for a scene.
There is a drawback, however: lupus Garou, wolves (and other animals), are unlikely to lick or groom you, and even affectionate nibbles are affected by your foul flavor. This will make you deeply - perhaps even tragically - unpopular among them.
|Berserker (shifter)||2||Mental||You have uncanny control over your inner anger, and can tactically wield your Rage as most Garou cannot.||Once a scene, you can enter a Berserk Frenzy at will. This can be exceptionally useful, especially if used to pre-empt a Fox or a 'Thrall to the Wyrm' Frenzy.
Your Frenzy lasts for three rounds. See here for more information about how Rage and Frenzies are handled on Liberation.
This Merit is incompatible with the Calm Heart Merit.
|Bloody-Minded||3||Mental||You are fueled by such savagery, that you can even overcome the limits of what might seem physically possible, if angry enough.||The Bloody-Minded Merit grants three Bruised Health Levels and +1 Stamina when Frenzying. These Bruised Health levels disappear at the end of the Frenzy, taking any damage they absorbed with them.|
|Calm Heart||2-3||Mental||You remain calm and collected even in the most trying of circumstances.||Your difficulty to Frenzy is increased by +2, to a maximum of 9. This affects all Rage rolls, since all bring with them the potential to Frenzy.
The 3-pt version of this Merit allows you to decide when the difficulty modifier applies and when it does not.
This Merit is incompatible with the Berserker Merit.
|Camp Goodwill||1||Social||You have earned the attention and favor of a particular Garou tribal camp.||Perhaps you’ve done them a favor, or maybe they’re trying to recruit you. Regardless, all Social rolls when interacting with that camp are made at -1 difficulty. You may not be a member of this camp when you first take this Merit, although you can become recruited into the camp during play at the Storyteller’s discretion.|
|Cat Magic||7||Bastet||In addition to the blessings of Luna and Gaia, the character has a rare aptitude for lesser human magic-she is capable of learning what mages call hedge magic.||The character has access to Mortal+ Numina.
This is a highly restricted Merit. Even in the unlikely event of approval, there are no plans at the moment to allow it for any Bastet besides Qualmi or Bubasti.
|Double Draught||2||Corax||Unlike most Corax, you can drink from both of a dead man’s eyes, seeing the best and the worst of the corpse’s death.||"There’s no better way to get information on what killed some poor schmuck, or why it was done. Just settle down on the dead guy’s forehead and dig in. But, think before you drink, kid — you can only drink one eye from a corpse, and you see different things from each."
The left eye shows you all the negative repercussions of a corpse's death, while the right eye shows you what good might come from it. A Corax typically has to pick one eye, and then make an eye-drinking roll (Perception + Empathy vs 7), the number of successes determining the number of 'facts'.
With this Merit, a Corax can drink each eye and make a roll for both.
|Feral Appearance||1||Kinfolk||Whether you’re more rugged than average or have a lean, hungry look to your features, shapeshifters like what they see.||It isn’t a matter of physical beauty as human society judges it; there’s just something about you that stirs a shifter's animal nature. You get an extra die on all rolls involving Appearance when dealing with a race of shapeshifters that you're descended from.|
|Fox Magic||7||Kitsune||In addition to the blessings of Luna and Gaia, the character has a rare aptitude for lesser human magic-she is capable of learning what mages call hedge magic.||The character has access to Mortal+ Numina.
This is a highly restricted Merit.
|Free of the Yava||3-6||Bastet||You're not hindered by one or more of your Bastet Tribe's mystical weaknesses.||This Merit has been included in the list for completeness sake, but there are no plans to approve it in play for thematic reasons.|
|Gall||2||Kinfolk||Audacity, guts, pluck – whatever it’s called, you’ve got it. You aren’t afraid to stand up to anyone, from hoodlums to tribal leaders.||This isn’t brash, foolhardy behavior, and you’re not necessarily rude or impolite. You simply don’t get the shakes when the Silver Fang Ahroun comes over to speak to you.
Many werewolves (or other shapeshifters) and Kin respect you for your honesty and forthrightness. Add an extra die to any Social roll involving a display of backbone.
|Gauntlet Runner||2||Ratkin||The character is able to squeeze through the Gauntlet in the presence of any manner of company – even in front of a room full of human witnesses.||Ordinarily, Ratkin may only step sideways if they are alone, or in the presence of non-sentient creatures, spirits, or other Ratkin. Humans, certain intelligent creatures, or other Shifters deny the Ratkin the ability.
This Merit obliviates that need. It is highly restricted to non-Tunnel Runners.
|Gender-Morph||6||Ananasi||The character can change their human sex at will, by breaking into the Crawlerling form and reforming as a human again.||This Merit can come in handy when being chased; not only are pursuers unlikely to confuse a man for a woman, but the character’s scent even changes in order to throw off Garou and other keen-nosed hunters.
Aside from the sex switch, this doesn’t grant a radical change in appearance — both sexes have similar features and look sufficiently alike to be siblings.
This Merit is highly restricted.
|Gnosis||5-7||Kinfolk||More than any other blessing, the possession of Gnosis among Kin is a special mark of Gaia’s favor. It’s extremely rare for mortals to be so gifted.||Having Gnosis grants many privileges, such as the ability to learn a broader range of Gifts, use fetishes, and – if Embraced by a vampire – the chance to die with dignity and honor, rather than suffer unlife.
Kinfolk lucky enough to possess Gnosis recover it in the same manner as Garou. Five points spent on the Merit grants one point of Gnosis, six points spent on it grant two points of Gnosis, and seven points spent on it grant three points of Gnosis.
Note: Kinfolk PCs with Gnosis, Gifts or Numina count as their Shifter sphere's supernatural slot.
|Good Old Boy (Or Girl)||2||Garou Kinfolk||You are more accepted among the Garou of your sept than most Kinfolk. You're seen as 'part of the team', and when you have an opinion on something, it tends to elicit genuine interest rather than annoyance.||Story-wise, you likely acquired this Merit from either showing undeniable competence in some emergency or mission, having Garou siblings or friends that stick up for and speak highly of you, or you're old enough to be the average Cliath's parent.
You don't need this Merit to be treated nicely by Garou PCs. You're allowed to form a unique connection with anyone, or tight bonds within a family unit or pack. However, without this Merit, the majority of Garou will expect you to STFU and keep a low profile in most situations, unless spoken to first. Even most older Kinfolk will resent you drawing attention.
Kinfolk with this Merit are assumed to be reliable, capable of 'taking care of themselves' in a pinch and expected to put their tribe or sept first. This Merit can be easily lost if you don't live up to these expectations.
|Immune to Wyrm Emanations||6||Supernatural||Gaia has blessed you with a powerful resistance to the poisons of the Wyrm.||Although you still take damage from balefire, supernaturally-caused radiation, Wyrm elementals, or other forms of Wyrm toxins, you do not suffer any dice pool penalties from them. Banes cannot possess you.|
|Lack of Scent||2||Physical||You either have no scent at all or only a very faint odor.||Any entity (such as a werewolf or bloodhound) that tries to track you by scent has a +2 difficulty to do so.
Garou may find it difficult to deal with lupus Garou or wolves, as they tend to mistrust your lack of a natural scent more than most animals.
|Lingering Kin Fetch||2||Garou Kinfolk||You never Changed, but for some reason your werewolf relatives never freed the Kin-Fetch bound to you.||The spirit of the Kin-Fetch doesn't seem to resent remaining with you. In point of fact, it is unusually alert and responsive for one of its kind, even occasionally whispering warnings of the threats it perceives.
Once per chapter, the spirit might alert you to some danger as if you had successfully rolled as per the Danger Sense Merit. You might or might not know the source of the warning; even callow Kin can take this Merit.
The drawback to this Merit is that you still have your fetch brand. Any Garou who sees it - including Black Spiral Dancers - instantly knows you for Kin.
|Metamorph||3||Physical||Shapechanging for you is as easy as breathing.||If you are a Homid or Metis werewolf, this Merit allows you to take Hispo form as naturally as Crinos. If you're a Lupus, it allows you to take Crinos form as simply as you do Hispo. If this description seems strange to you, then review some of the Rage & Shifting adjustments here.|
|Mixed-Morph||1-5||Physical||With sufficient control over shapeshifting (whether through experience or natural talent), a shifter can learn to transform only part of her body: grow Crinos talons in human form, or turn forepaws into hands.||Your ease of transforming various parts of your body is dependent on how high a level you take this Merit at.
* (one point) - Partial transformation requires an Instant Action, the expenditure of a Willpower point and success on a Dexterity + Primal-Urge roll (difficulty 9).
* (two points) - Partial transformation requires an Instant Action, the expenditure of a Willpower point and success on a Dexterity + Primal-Urge roll (difficulty 7).
* (three points) - Partial transformation requires an Instant Action and success on a Dexterity + Primal-Urge roll (difficulty 7).
* (five points) - Partial transformation is a Reflective Action requiring success on a Dexterity + Primal-Urge roll (difficulty 6).
|Moon-Bound||1||Garou||You are more in tune with your auspice than most Garou.||When Luna waxes in your auspice, you receive one extra die to each of your Auspice Gifts and may retroactively spend a Willpower to avoid botching a roll (reducing it to a simple failure instead) that is explicitly connected to your auspice (e.g., a Galliard giving a performance, an Ahroun attacking an enemy, or a Ragabash trying to hide, etc).|
|Natural Channel (shifter)||3||Supernatural||You find crossing the Gauntlet easier than many of your fellow shapeshifters (those who can cross the Gauntlet to begin with, anyways).||The difficulty for stepping sideways or any Gifts related to the Gauntlet or Umbra is one less for you.|
|Natural Weapons||2-4||Physical||You are greatly in tune with the physique of your birth shape. This Merit is usually found among shifters born from animal parents (such as wolves for Garou, rats for Ratkin, jaguars for a Balam, etc). |
It is occasionally found among generations of Urrah Homid werewolves (who rarely have the chance to assume their Lupus form) and far more rarely among Metis.
|Your balance and physical acuity in your birth form is greater than in your other forms. This Merit costs two points for animal-born characters, three points for human-born characters and four points for Metis.
* (two points) - An animal character can subtract one from the difficulty of any pursuit (whether chasing or fleeing) or attack roll with an innate natural weapon (e.g., claw, bite) when in their animal form (Such as Lupus, Feline, Rodent, etc). However, add one to the difficulty of any such rolls made while in their Homid form.
* (three points) - A Homid character can subtract one from the difficulty of any pursuit (whether chasing or fleeing) or attack roll with an innate natural weapon (e.g., punch, kick) when in their Homid form. However, add one to the difficulty of any such rolls made while in their animal (e.g., Lupus) form.
* (four points) - A Metis character can subtract one from the difficulty of an attack roll with an innate natural weapon (e.g., bite, claw) when in their Crinos form. However, add one to the difficulty of any such rolls made while in their human or animal forms.
|Notable Heritage||2||Garou Kinfolk||Your direct family line is particularly renowned, either in Garou society or in the human world.||You must choose (with your Storyteller’s approval) which world your heritage relates to, and detail your family line accordingly.
You are at -1 difficulty to all Social rolls when working in the appropriate society (with Garou and Kinfolk who are aware of werewolf society, or when dealing with humans who are aware of your heritage).
You are expected to live up to your lineage’s reputation. If you fail to do so, you may find the Merit dwindling over time as stories of your own failings begin to outweigh the high regard your family receives. This Merit may not be taken by Bone Gnawers.
|Noted Messenger||3||Social||Elder shapeshifters have used your services to deliver their important words. You may have even been called upon to carry messages of peace (or war) between the Nation and outside forces.||Because of your reputation as a reliable messenger, you can pass through other Garou territories without your presence causing offense, and you may be allowed into any sept (or other locale where your reputation is respected, such as spirit courts or Fera holdings) unchallenged, as long as you carry a message for someone residing there. However, you are expected to behave in accordance with your reputation.
This Merit is restricted to certain Garou (especially Silent Striders and Galliards), Kinfolk (if they meet the high requirements) and Corax PCs.
|Purrfect Balance||1||Bastet||Your sense of balance is akin to that of a circus performer or bird on a wire, even in in your human form.||It’s very unlikely you’ll ever fall during your life. You may trip, but you’ll always catch yourself before you fully lose your footing or handhold.
This Merit functions for such actions as tightrope walking, crossing ice, and climbing mountains. All difficulties involving such feats are reduced by three.
|Recognize Garou||3||Garou Kinfolk||There's no universally accepted reason for why some Kinfolk are more instinctively adept at picking out other shifters. It doesn't have anything to do with Pure Breed, or even with experience. |
Kinfolk who display such a knack are often valued as spies, guardians and scouts.
|Normally, Any Kinfolk character related to any shapeshifter race that has had significant experience in interacting with various shapeshifters is naturally better at noticing such creatures than others.
Such characters may make a Perception + Intuition roll, with the difficulty reduced by the target's Rage or Primal-Urge score, whichever is higher. However, they're only allowed to make this roll if they have a good reason for paying closer attention to the individual in question. It must be a shapeshifting race they're already very familiar with (and you should assume only your own relatives without Director approval). It's not a radar, or something that works from across the room. You must already have some reason to suspect them.
It only works automatically if the kinfolk also has the Recognize Garou Merit.
A kinfolk with this Merit makes this roll automatically when in the presence of any shifter with Rage (not just werewolves). In addition, any Perception attempt to notice which people in the immediate area are shifters always succeeds if at least one success is managed. Garou can always be picked out; other shifters are known to be shifters, but their race remains a mystery.
NOTE: Kinfolk can only potentially recognize shifters (with or without this Merit) that have the Rage trait. This means that it can't be used to identify werewolf cubs who haven't undergone their First Change, or certain breeds of shapeshifters that lack Rage (such as Ananasi).
|Reputation||2-3||Garou Kinfolk||Your reputation among the Garou of your tribe does you credit. You may have earned this good name independently, or through the actions of your pack.||When you deal respectfully with the Garou of your tribe, you gain three extra dice to your Social dice pools. You have proven that you are capable of reliably aiding the Sept, and they likely want you to succeed and be useful to them.
Reputation is not unlike Renown: It's difficult to acquire for a Kinfolk and easy to lose.
The 3-pt version of this Merit applies to all the Garou in your home Sept, even across tribal boundaries.
Warning: It doesn't take much in the way of scandal to lose this Merit. It will not be refunded.
|Seldom Sleeps||2||Mental||Whether due to a strong constitution, a frenetic nature, or even a hint of ancestral magic in your blood, you require significantly less sleep than the average shapeshifter.||While rest is still required after exertion, deep sleep is seldom necessary. One hour a night is fine, and even prolonged sleep deprivation won't break you.
You are not immune to sleep-causing supernatural effects, and you must still rest (no combat and no efforts requiring rolls) after using taxing rituals or Gifts. You are not always perky, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, but you suffer no penalties or ill effects from remaining awake for extended periods.
|Silver Tolerance||7||Supernatural||You are blessed with an extremely unusual tolerance toward silver.||You may soak silver damage in any form at difficulty 8, although this does not change the type of damage that silver does.|
|Spirit Magnet||1||Supernatural||You naturally attract the attention of the spirits whenever you cross the Gauntlet into the Umbra.||Most of the time, the Umbral inhabitants are simply curious, gathering around you to see who you are and what you’re doing in their neck of the woods. Occasionally you attract more than you bargained for – Banes are also likely to come calling.
You have no special sway over these curious spirits unless have access to a Gift that allows you to command them or influence them in some way.
|Step Sideways||7||Bastet||You can step sideways much as the Garou can.||This Merit has been included in the list for completeness sake, but there are no plans to approve it in play for thematic reasons.|
|Umbral Affinity||2-3||Nuwisha||You have an uncommonly strong connection to the Umbra.||You the local Gauntlet as 2 points lower than its real value. The 3-point version of this Merit allows you to not need to stare into a reflection to step sideways.
This Merit is restricted to Nuwisha Umbral Dansers.
|Untamable||5||Garou||You are a wild soul who has never bent to the leash.||You are immune to vampiric Domination (but not emotional manipulations via Presence) and these Gifts will not work on you: Roll Over, Obedience, and Mastery.|
|Urrah's Pride||1||Garou Urrah||Urrah, also called City Wolf (literally "Tainted Ones"), is a classification that can be applied to any member of a Tribe that dwells in the human cities. Typically describing Glass Walkers, the term may also refer to Bone Gnawers, some Children of Gaia and members of any tribe who feel more at home in an urban environment.||Urrah take a lot of shit from the Garou Nation. It has given them a thicker skin than most werewolves. This helps them in cities where losing control in the middle of a crowd can endanger the whole sept.
An Urrah werewolf with this Merit can spend a Willpower to suppress a Berserk Frenzy with only one round of effort, instead of multiple rounds.
They can also suppress a Thrall of the Wyrm Frenzy, although it will take as many rounds as they rolled Rage successes (i.e., 6+).
It doesn't help them with Fox Frenzies.
|Venomous||3||Ananasi||The Ananasi retains her venom sacs even when in homid form.||In homid, she may use any of her venom-based Gifts that are normally restricted to other forms.|
|Wolf Sight||1||Garou||In all your forms, you see colors and intensities of light as a wolf does.||Your color vision is slightly less distinct than that of humans, though you embrace the full spectrum of colors. Your night vision, however, far surpasses human nocturnal vision.
You also notice movement more readily. You gain an extra die to all visually-based Perception rolls that involve movement or take place at night.
|Wolf-Sense||1||Garou Kinfolk||This Merit is a blend of folk wisdom, practical sense, and animal instinct.||If you have Wolf-sense and make a successful Wits roll, the Storyteller can opt to give you advice on whether you’re about to do something foolish in the eyes of wolf or Garou culture.
It doesn’t mean she’ll tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, but at least you’ll have some warning.
|Always Angry||1-3||Mental||Your Rage burns hotter within you than most. This might manifest as a growly irritability or suggest a dangerous proximity to the Wyrm.||Your difficulty for Rage rolls is decreased by 1-3, depending on which level you take this Flaw at. This makes it much more likely that you will fall into the "thrall of the Wyrm" when you Frenzy.
The violent upside of this Flaw is that you inflict +1 die of damage when biting or clawing enemies for every level of this Flaw, while Frenzying.
Be careful when choosing this Flaw; it can bring worlds of trouble down upon you and your allies.
|Animal Musk||1||Physical||You have the odor of an animal, even in Homid form.||Whenever you are indoors or in a crowd of people, you make all Social rolls at a +2 difficulty. Outdoors or in situations where you can distance yourself from humans, your odor is not noticeable. Animal-born shifters take little notice of this Flaw.|
|Anosmia||1||Physical||Whether from birth or due to some illness or accident, you’ve lost all sense of taste and smell.||You automatically fail any roll involving these two senses, including Primal Urge rolls for tracking or hunting. In an animal form, such as Lupus, it’s even more crippling, since smell is a wolf’s most acute sense. This Flaw cancels out the -2 difficulty to Perception rolls a Garou (or other shapeshifter) gets in their animal form (if appropriate).
There’s a slight benefit, however: At the Storyteller’s discretion, you may be immune to the debilitating effects of environmental conditions, Gifts and supernatural abilities that rely on odors.
|Bad Sight||3||Physical||You have a hard time seeing due to an uncorrectable visual defect.||The difficulties of all dice rolls related to sight increased by two. Your Lupus form does not receive the standard bonus to Perception for visual checks, though the bonuses to other senses are not affected. Unlike nearsightedness or farsightedness, this defect cannot be corrected.|
|Banned Transformation||1-3||Garou||Some circumstance, event, or situation inhibits your ability to change forms, except to return to your breed form.||To overcome the restricting factor requires the expenditure of a Willpower point and a successful Willpower roll (difficulty 8).
Some examples of triggers and their relative point costs include:
• Relaxing music or being in the vicinity of wolfsbane (1 point)
• When around silver or during the day (2 points)
• When the moon is not visible (3 points)
|Blind||6||Physical||You cannot see. You might have suffered a devastating battle injury, or if a Metis, might have been born like this.||You automatically fail any rolls based solely on vision. Difficulties on all Dexterity-based rolls are increased by two as well. All rolls made to step sideways are at +1 difficulty, as you cannot use the usual method of visualizing the other world.|
|Camp Enmity||1||Garou||You have earned the attention and disfavor of a particular Garou tribal camp.||Story-wise, perhaps you’re a former member of the camp, or have refused to join them and they feel slighted. Perhaps they feel you’ve done them wrong, or the camp you are a part of is ideologically opposed to what they stand for.
Rules-wise, all Social rolls when interacting with that camp are made at +1 difficulty.
|Can't Eat Solid Foods||5||Ananasi||For some reason, the character’s human digestive system doesn’t function; she lives on a diet of blood or liquefied flesh, and needs to consume much more of it than the typical werespider.||In addition to the demands of an exclusively liquid diet, the character automatically loses one blood point per day, and when her blood pool falls below three, she risks frenzying from hunger.|
|Deaf||4||Physical||You were either born profoundly deaf or have lost your hearing entirely.||You may feel sound vibrations from sufficiently loud noises, but you hear nothing. The difficulty of any Perception rolls related to sound is increased by three.
Metis characters may take this Flaw (for no freebie points) as their inborn disfigurement.
|Deformity||3||Physical||You have a misshapen limb, a twisted spine, or some other deformity that interferes with your physical abilities and your interactions with others.||You suffer from some unfortunate disfigurement. The exact nature of this drawbacks requires some collaboration with your Storyteller.
A hunchback, for instance, would lower a character’s Dexterity by two dots and increase the difficulty of die rolls relating to social skills by one. A withered arm might reduce Dexterity by 2 for all manual manipulation rolls, reduce your running speed in any four-legged form, and increase social skills’ difficulty by one. You should work out the nature of your deformity with your Storyteller, as well as the exact penalties offered.
Metis characters may take this Flaw (for no freebie points) as their metis disfigurement.
|Docile||1-3||Supernatural||Your distance from the Wyld (often expressed as the 'soul of a wolf' if Garou, or the nature of a rat or cat, etc if another shapeshifter with ties to the Wyld) dampens the fires of Rage within you, hampering your ability to access them in Gaia’s service.||For every point of Docile you take, your maximum Rage is lowered by 2, and can never increase (even temporarily) or be bought above that level. Others may see you as domesticated or more of a dog than wolf and react with derision.
This Flaw is also common among Ratkin Rodens who were raised by humans (i.e., the Caged Folk).
This Flaw is a severe drawback for a dedicated warrior, but it does make you much safer to be around than most shapeshifters.
|Double Jeopardy||3||Garou||Gaia has marked you strongly. You were born not with one, but two significant metis deformities.||These may be related, but must be two clearly separate disfigurements. A pair of antlers, or two rows of shark teeth would only be one deformity, but antlers and hooves, or a row of shark’s teeth and a set of gills would be acceptably different.
The Storyteller has the final judgment on whether the two deformities are significant enough to qualify for this Flaw.
This flaw can be taken only by Metis Garou.
|Forced Transformation||1-2||Supernatural||Certain circumstances force you to undergo an uncontrollable shift in form.||You may resist the change by spending a Willpower point, but once you have made the forced change, you may not change back until the triggering situation has passed.
This Flaw is worth one-point of severity if the effect is rare and/or predictable (such as assuming your war form under the full moon).
This Flaw is worth two-points of severity if the effect is dangerous and unpredictable (such as assuming your war form when sexually aroused).
|Harano Prone||4||Garou||Characters suffering from this Flaw are prone to bouts of deep depression, indolence, and mood swings.||You must make a Willpower roll every scene in which you suffer some form of setback. If the roll fails, you fall into a bout of temporary Harano. You may become morose and inactive, or suddenly spring into self-destructive activity. Your perceptions go awry, causing you to lose a die from every dice pool.
If you botch the Willpower roll, you also acquire a temporary derangement (see below). You may delay the Harano attack for a single scene by spending a Willpower point.
|Hard of Hearing||1||Physical||You have problems hearing certain sounds or ranges of sounds, or have some other problem that affects your auditory senses.||You have a +2 difficulty to all rolls involving hearing sounds. You do not receive the normal bonus for Perception in Lupus or other animal forms for auditory checks.|
|Highly Territorial||1-3||Mental||You have the wolf's (or lion's, or bear's) territorial nature. You dislike leaving your home turf or having people you don't know infringe upon your claimed space.||Story-wise, you should work with your Director to define your 'territory'. How long you have 'claimed' it and what makes it special to you. It doesn't actually need to be a specific, physical location, although it usually is. It could just as easily (albeit more rarely) be a club, your family (the shotgun wedding or violently overprotective brother being related tropes) or responsibility (I'M in the Guardian pack, NOT you!).
You must roll to avoid a full-blown Frenzy whenever a situation arises that might trigger a normal person to be suspicious or annoyed. Such as strangers trespassing on your territory, a callow cub dating your Kinfolk daughter (or sister) without permission, or someone else usurping some prerogative that you consider rightfully your own (like eating first).
Most tragically of all: Even when everything else is going your way, you're often more upset by the possibilities of losing what you have, than acquiring or trying something new.
* The one-point version of this Flaw lets you make the Frenzy rolls at +1 difficulty.
* The two-point version of this Flaw is a straight Frenzy roll with no modifications.
* The three-point version of this Flaw gives a -2 modifier to your Frenzy difficulty.
|Inferiority Complex||1||Kinfolk||Nope, you’re not worthy. Never have been, never will be.||In situations requiring you to take charge or be personally responsible, all your difficulties are raised by one.|
|Insane Ancestor||1||Garou||An insane ancestor of yours occasionally takes over when you seek help from the spirits of your forebears. Usually, this ancestor appears only under certain common circumstances, such as when Black Spiral Dancers threaten you or whenever a certain common rite is performed in your presence.||When the Storyteller deems this circumstance has come about, roll your Ancestors Background, difficulty 6. Any successes indicate that your ancestor takes control of you for the scene, or until someone recognizes what is happening and manages to convince him to relinquish control once more.
You should create your ancestor, name him, and describe his madness. You may spend a Willpower point to stifle the ancestor-spirit for the scene. You must purchase the Background: Ancestors to take this Flaw.
|Lame||3||Physical||Either from birth, an accident, or a major battle scar, your legs are damaged, which prevents you from running or walking easily.||You have a pronounced limp and may need assistance from a cane or walking stick. Your walking speed is one-quarter that of a normal human, and running is impossible.
Metis characters may take this Flaw (for no freebie points) as their metis disfigurement.
|Malingering Kin-Fetch||3||Garou Kinfolk||The Kin-Fetch bound to you was never freed, and its attentions have started to become unpleasantly obsessive.||The Kin-Fetch spirit whispers for you to Change in times of extreme stress (e.g., life or death) giving you a +2 difficulty to Perception rolls in difficult situations. This can be particularly unpleasant and frightening for callow Kin.
To further complicate things, you still have your fetch brand. Any Garou (including Black Spirals) can recognize you as Kin if they see the glyph.
|Mark of the Predator||2||Supernatural||You give off emanations of a predatory nature.||Herbivores shy away from you, while carnivores see you as a potential threat and may offer challenge. You may not possess the Skill: Animal Ken.|
|Metis Child||4||Garou||You begin play as the parent of a metis cub from an illicit relationship with another Garou.||Story-wise, you need to decide the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child -who the other parent is, when this happened, if you are currently attempting to raise the child in your own sept, or if the cub was fostered out to another sept to avoid further embarrassment.
Rules-wise, the effects of this Flaw include a two dice penalty to any Social rolls made regarding Garou who know of your child, as well as the additional burden of being required to take responsibility for your cub’s welfare (you miserable charach).
As a Litany-breaker, you will probably be unable to hold any important sept offices or be trusted with important tasks, no matter how much you strive to prove yourself.
|Monochrome Vision||1||Physical||You cannot distinguish between colors, but see the world in varying shades of black and white and gray. This is not true color-blindness, which usually refers to the inability to distinguish between certain colors (such as red and green).|
This Flaw occurs quite frequently among lupus Garou.
|Color has no meaning for you, though you can differentiate intensities of shade – dark gray, light gray, dull gray, etc.|
|One Arm||3||Physical||You were either born with only one arm or lost your arm through an injury of some sort.||You suffer no secondary-hand penalty, since you have adapted to using your one hand for most activities. When you need to use two hands, however, you lose two dice from your dice pool.
Your running speed in Hispo and Lupus form is 1/2 of normal. It is modified as makes sense for other shapeshifters.
Metis characters may take this Flaw (for no freebie points) as their inherent deformity.
|Pack Mentality||2||Garou||You are lost without your pack. Their presence not only supports you, it helps define you.||When you are with at least one member of your pack, you have –1 difficulty on all rolls involving group activities or strategies; when you are not, your difficulty increases by 2 on any task.
You sometimes have trouble making decision without your pack to help you, even if you are the pack leader. In stressful situations, you may need to make a Willpower roll to act on your own.
|Persistent Parents||2||Social||Most werewolves, unless they have Kinfolk parents, sacrifice their family ties after their First Change, in order to protect the Veil. Your parents, however, have not given up on you.||Story-wise, your parents may hire detectives to find you, plaster posters with your picture on it around town, pester radio and television stations to run public service ads, or dedicate websites and utilize social media to recruit the aid of the internet in order to try to find you.
They may be ignorant of your new life, suspecting instead that you have run away, joined a cult, or been kidnapped. They may instead have ties to Pentex or other organizations with ulterior motives in locating you. Only Homids may take this Flaw.
|Pierced Veil||3||Supernatural||Unlike most shapeshifters, your war form (i.e., Crinos) does not trigger the Delirium in mortals.||If you're a Garou, this Flaw makes you particularly vulnerable to werewolf hunters, who may find it less difficult to pursue you back to your caern, putting the members of your sept in considerable danger.
If you're a Fera, this Flaw makes you particularly vulnerable to Garou hunters seeking to protect the Veil from the (undoubtedly Wyrm-riddled) monstrosity terrorizing the local humans.
|Sign of the Wolf||2||Garou||The folklore of werewolves holds true as far as you’re concerned.||Like the shapechangers of myth and legend, you possess eyebrows that meet in the middle of your forehead, hair grows on the palms of your hands, and the second and third fingers of your hands are the same length.
You may even manifest a pentagram on your palm before and during your auspice’s phase of the moon. While most people may simply wonder at these bizarre physical manifestations, werewolf hunters who notice these signs suspect your true nature.
In past years, when werewolves were often drawn from tiny populations of inbred humans (think scattered, tribal villages), this Flaw was particularly common (even universal in certain places). It has become much more rare in modern times for hotly debated reasons.
|Slip Sideways||1||Supernatural||You find it difficult to control travel between the physical world and the Umbra, sometimes entering the spirit world when you don’t intend to.||When stressed and near a reflective surface, you must roll Wits + Occult (difficulty 7) to avoid shifting into the Umbra unintentionally.
In order to overcome the Gauntlet, you must still roll your Gnosis, but the difficulty is 1 less than usual. If you deliberately try to step sideways, you do so at the normal difficulty.
|Strict Carnivore||1||Physical||“Vegetarian” is just another way of saying “lazy hunter.”||Vegetables and grains give you no nutritional benefit; you can only subsist on meat - the closer to raw, the better. You have real problems in areas where meat is scarce.|
|Taint of Corruption||7||Supernatural||Somehow, the Wyrm has touched you and left its taint upon your spirit.||When other Garou invoke the Gift: Sense Wyrm, you register as strongly Wyrm-tainted. The taint is innate, and cannot be removed by a Rite of Cleansing (which serves only to make you ill and sore).
Minions of the Wyrm trouble your sleep, attempting to lure you fully into the service of the Destroyer. You are at +2 difficulty on any rolls made to resist the powers of fellow Wyrmspawn – fomori powers, Black Spiral Dancer Gifts, Bane Charms, vampiric Disciplines, or the like.
Only your pack can keep you from succumbing to the Wyrm, provided they give you their support and assistance. Ridding yourself of this Flaw requires a major quest.
|Unscented||1||Kinfolk||For some reason, you have no noticeable body odor.||Your scent is so faint as to be practically undetectable by animals and shifters. This may work to your advantage while hiding from scent-driven predators (and many humans may prefer a neutral-smelling person), this fact is a decided disadvantage among the shapeshifting races.
Shifters are likely to instinctually distrust anyone without a scent, suspecting that he or she is using supernatural means to hide Wyrm taint. No Gifts, such as Scent of the True Form, can reveal you as Kinfolk. Among a group of people who rely heavily on their sense of smell, you have a distinct disability.
|Alisoun's Blessing||3-5||Boggan||You’re a natural matchmaker with an eye for spotting romantic interest and a talent at bringing lovers together despite all manner of obstacles.||As a three-point Merit, you may look at a target and spend a Willpower point to determine if they feel romantic or sexual desire for anyone else present, and if so how strong those feelings are, from casual interest to consuming passion.
You do not automatically know whom those feelings are directed at, though a successful follow-up use of Social Dynamics can often point to the of their desires. In addition, you subtract -2 from the difficulty of all Social rolls related to creating romantic connections.
At five-points, you can also spend 1 Glamour per target to encourage the Dreaming to create a ‘meet-cute’ scene for two or more potential romantic or sexual partners in your presence.
Essentially, barring direct outside intervention, the Dreaming will subtly nudge events in benign romantic= comedy fashion so that these individuals will hit it off well and have a really good, memorable time with each other. The difficulty of all friendly Social rolls with each other is reduced by 3 for the rest of the scene, and they cannot botch Empathy or Etiquette rolls with their matches during this time either.
Targets are not compelled to stay, much less interact with each other, but assuming their feelings are compatible and nothing dangerous or urgent comes up it’s likely they will at least enjoy each other’s company for the duration of the scene. Where this potential relationship goes from there is up to the matches themselves, but this Merit certainly gives them an ideal start.
Note that this Merit does not create feelings where none exist, nor does it compel romantic or sexual behavior. It simply creates an opportunity for such feelings to flourish. Attempting to use this Merit for nefarious purposes such as setting up an ambush or robbing someone of their consent simply fail outright.
|An Da Shealladh||2||Supernatural||You possess the natural affinity to sense and hear ghosts.||Though you cannot see them, you can sense them, speak to them and, through pleading or cajoling, draw them to your presence. You may call upon them for aid or advice, but there will always be a price. Your difficulty is reduced by two for all rolls involving the spirits of the dead.|
|Animalistic Favor||3-5||Supernatural||Your mien possesses a minor animalistic feature.||You must pick an animalistic feature from the below options. It must be obviously represented in your appearance. Where it allows you a special attack, use your standard dice pool.
* 360° Vision (3-points) –2 difficulty when looking for something or someone. +2 difficulty on attempts to surprise you.
* Whip Tail (3-points) Natural weapon with reach. 2B damage.
* Extra Legs (3-points) Near impossible to trip. Can run at twice the normal speed.
* Tough Hide (4-points) –1 difficulty to soak damage.
* Fly Fingers (4-points) Fingers end in tiny, stiff hooks, capable of supporting your weight. You can climb sheer walls and hang from ceilings providing the surface can support your weight.
* Stinger (4-points) Natural weapon. 1L damage. Paralyzes opponents for one turn unless they succeed on a Stamina roll (difficulty 4).
* Venomous Bite (5-points) Natural weapon. 3L damage. 1L damage each subsequent turn for six hours (may be soaked)
|Art Affinity||5||Supernatural||You’re able to utilize one of the Arts with a greater degree of ease than other changelings.||In a previous incarnation, you were extremely proficient in one of the Arts — so much so you can draw a portion of that knowledge into this lifetime.
Select an Art; the difficulty to use this particular Art is always reduced by two.
|Benevolent Patron||1||Social||You intrigue a changeling ranked more highly than yourself.||Story-wise: So long as the reason for this intrigue remains — whether it be looks, a field of expertise, or the way you composed yourself in the freehold — you hold the other changeling’s attention and he has a vested interest in keeping you around.|
|Bit Part||3||Boggan||Boggans have an uncanny knack for blending in.||By spending 1 Glamour and adopting a non-descript appearance that suits the situation in question, no one will question whether or not you belong in a particular location.
You are not actually invisible, so much as everyone just assumes you belong there in some sort of service or subordinate capacity: intern, delivery guy, waitress, junior executive, etc. You can talk to people and take simple actions, but cannot give orders or make requests beyond the sort that service staff or the most junior members could make.
Violence, theft, bizarre behavior, attempting to access restricted areas or information, or otherwise calling attention to yourself immediately cancels this Merit. This Merit does not fool Kithain or Prodigals — you need Arts for that — but it does work on suspicious mortals and even Kinain.
|Blessing of Atlas||5||Physical||You’re only slightly larger than your fellows, but defined as if carved of marble. Should it become known by others you possess this Merit, you’ll be expected to act the hero or be feared as a budding warlord.||Remarkable among trolls and seen as a true miracle among other kiths, the Blessing of Atlas permanently raises your Strength by one, and raises the potential maximum Strength rating by one.|
|Blood of the Wolf||4||Supernatural||Your connection to the wolfchanger Prodigals is stronger than that of your peers.||You have the blood of the werewolves in your veins, and some shapeshifters call you kin.
This is a highly restricted Merit.
|Calming Presence||1||Social||Common among the pooka is the ability to calm any animal or child with a quiet word or even a look.||Something in your aura conveys safety and security to the animal or child. Guard dogs and wild animals never attack you, and babies in your presence calm and gaze up at you in fascination and wonder.|
|Clever Guise||3||Lycian||Normally, the Mists prevent a Lycian from interacting with the Autumn realm while in the presence of high Banality (8+).||Your Guise is such that your actions can easily be rationalized away by even the most Banal people. You may continue to act normally, even with a high Banality witness. However, any actions taken with an unenchanted witness that would be blatantly impossible for your Guise to accomplish are subject to a Banality trigger as normal.|
|Dexterous Toes||2||Physical||Polite society tends to frown using a keyboard or playing the piano with your feet but sluagh and pooka laugh at such prissiness.||Anything you can do with hands (firing a gun, drawing, playing a musical instrument, etc.) can be done just as well using your feet.|
|Digital Dreamer||1-3||Social||In the age of YouTube stars, social media influencers, and other internet darlings, boggans have found it easier than ever to connect with and inspire Dreamers.||With this Merit, changelings can regain Glamour from their fans and followers without needing to meet them face-to-face. While not as effective as personal contact, it’s a regular way to gain small amounts of Glamour.
As anyone following your blog, pins, or tutorials has sought you out, you do not need to roll to initiate Reverie, but because the connection is less direct, it only pays off in dribs and drabs. Of course, you must take steps to maintain your popularity or this Merit may begin to diminish.
• You have a small following, which generates one point of Glamour every other week.
• • You have a dedicated group of fans, generating one point of Glamour every week.
• • • You have an expansive fanbase, generating two points of Glamour per week.
|Eidetic Taste||4||Physical||Possessed most commonly by redcaps, Eidetic Taste allows you to remember the taste of everything you’ve ever eaten.||In addition to being able to instantly identify anything you have tasted before, you've been granted the ability to sense where the nearest supply of that taste might be.
If you’ve ever had a bite of someone, this Merit serves as an excellent way to track that meal. Creative changelings have found many uses for this power, including tracking down poisons (potentially along with their purveyors).
|Everything Stops for Tea||5||Boggan||Boggans know that while all homes have their quarrels, ultimately the hearth brings everyone together. You have a supernatural blessing for defusing hostile situations, or at least delaying conflict long enough for innocents to get out of the line of fire.||Provided you do not make threatening moves and have not already taken violent or aggressive action in the current scene, you may spend 1 Glamour and roll Charisma + Empathy (difficulty 7).
For each success, no one present can initiate combat or use harmful supernatural powers for one turn, including you. You may spend Willpower points to extend this time at a cost of one per point per additional round, but only if you scored at least one success on the roll.
You may only use this Merit once per scene, and language is not a barrier to this Merit. A botch on this roll indicates that things get much worse. If fighting doesn't immediately break out, all further attempts at a peaceful resolution suffer a +2 difficulty penalty.
While a potent gift, the Dreaming also watches over this blessing and ensures it is not abused. Attempting to use the delay to maneuver an enemy into harm's way, ready a trap, launch a surprise attack, or otherwise use the time to prepare some act of sneaky violence as opposed to making peace will negate your ability to benefit from this Merit forever. It will not be refunded.
Otherwise, you may take any non-violent, non-aggressive action while this Merit is in effect.
|Faerie Eternity||1||Supernatural||After you went through your Chrysalis, you had a birthday, and then another, and then another. Strangely, however — you didn’t seem to be growing or getting older.||You’re touched with a vestige of the immortality that was the birthright of all fae. As long as your fae seeming is active, you will age at one-tenth that of a normal human or changeling. Should your fae seeming be permanently destroyed, or should you retreat into Banality, you begin to age normally.
Note: Characters who were born before 1960 are currently restricted on account of the great deal of IC lore and setting background information that must be subsequently accounted for.
|Giantslayer||1||Boggan||Boggans tend to the small end of the size spectrum, and even those of average stature typically project such a nonthreatening demeanor they’re dismissed as serious threats in combat.||You have learned how to turn these factors to your advantage.
Subtract -1 from the difficulty of related combat rolls against enemies more than 6” taller, 50 pounds heavier, or otherwise substantially larger than you. If you possess the Short Flaw, this Merit bonus increases to -2 difficulty.
The benefits of this Merit apply only the first time you fight particular enemy – they’re not going to underestimate you after that!
|Good Listener||1||Social||Pooka excel at the ability to get others to open up to them; however, you are a master confidant.||A word here, a gesture there, you crack people open like oysters and harvest their secrets like pearls. They don’t know why they’re confiding in you their secret fears, dreams and concerns, but they usually feel better afterwards.
All rolls related to obtaining information from others are at a –2 difficulty
|Granite Skin||2||Physical||You’re a great deal tougher than you might be normally, but have the undesirable effect of leaving small flakes of stone behind every time you bend or flex.||A Merit held most commonly by trolls and redcaps, Granite Skin is quite literally an epidermal layer of thin, hard stone.
You possess the equivalent of chainmail armor at all times (Armor Rating: 3). Granite Skin does not cause a Dexterity penalty, but does impose a +1 difficulty to all rolls involving moving quietly.
This Merit does not stack with other Armor. Your individually highest rated source of Armor is always the value used when soaking.
|Heir to the Throne||3||Social||You can produce a convincing claim to ownership or title over land, people, or inventory.||Story-wise; this Merit allows you to influence your peers and lessers with ease, as when invoking your title the difficulty of Social rolls is reduced by two.
Nobles likely treat you with respect and most other changelings defer to you. A contingent — possibly comprising rival heirs — will however see you as a ripe target for kidnapping or assassination.
This is a restricted Merit.
|Higher Purpose||1-2||Mental||All changelings have some vision of their path, but you’ve a special commitment to it.||Story-wise; you don’t concern yourself with petty matters, because your higher purpose is everything. Though you sometimes behave in ways contrary to the needs of survival, your purpose grants you great personal strength.
System-wise; the difficulty of any narratively significant Ability roll (never a damage or soak roll) that has something to do with this higher purpose is reduced by one. If you have the two-point version of this Merit, then it is reduced by two.
Your Storyteller might occasionally refund you the Willpower spent to avoid perverting your sworn purpose (such as resisting supernatural blandishments or temptation).
In most situations, this Merit gives no benefit for activating supernatural powers, swinging at someone in combat or blocking an attack. However, in extremely appropriate and dramatic circumstances, such as finally confronting the tyrant who murdered your father, your Storyteller should allow it.
|Increased Pain Threshold||3||Physical||Legends are rife with tales of heroes who fight on, even while mortally wounded, only collapsing into death once the battle is won.||Story-wise; characters who possess this Merit still feel pain as much as others, it just doesn't affect them to the same degree.
In game terms, the dice penalty for each Health Level is reduced by one level. For example, a troll who is Hurt reacts as if Bruised, and is only incapable of action when killed. This does not add extra Health Levels or reduce the severity of the wounds, merely the reaction to the pain each level incurs
|Introspection||1||Mental||You routinely meditate on your own ulterior motives, applying them to others like you.||Through this nightly exercise, your incredible insight reduces the difficulty by two when you use a Perception-based action against someone in your Court.|
|Iron Resistance||4||Supernatural||Cold iron has no physical effect on you, though constant exposure to the metal still causes you to suffer Banality.||This is a double-edged sword, as you may not realize when you’re sitting on a cold iron bench or leaning against a fence made of the foul metal. A Perception + Kenning roll (difficulty 7) is required to avoid exposing yourself to the dangerous element.|
|Living Legend||5||Supernatural||You are the living, breathing incarnation of a great hero or heroine; this does not have to be an actual, historical figure, but can be a character from mythology or even a figure from more contemporary fiction. |
Note that you are an incarnation, not a reincarnation. You are the embodiment of an individual legend. Your fae mien matches your heritage perfectly.
|Story-wise, any Kithain with even the slightest knowledge of the original tale will recognize you immediately, and you are likely to attract a great deal of attention from the cultures that give birth to the legend.
Your appearance and your memories may make it hard to get along unnoticed in ordinary society. It can also be very hard to live up to what is expected of you.
* When people recognize you, the difficulty of your social rolls reduces by two.
* You gain access to one of your ancestor’s Attribute or Ability ratings
once per chapter.
* At the Storyteller’s discretion, this Merit may also allow you to have knowledge of, if not access to, certain chimera or Treasures related to your legend.
|Murderous Mien||2||Physical||Something about your mien screams danger. With a look or gesture, you can terrify another changeling into obedience.||Any rolls you make to threaten or coerce changelings and fae-touched humans have their difficulties reduced by three.
Other beings find you unsettling, imposing a +1 difficulty to attempts at charming them.
|Nightsight (changeling)||2||Physical||Night blinds many eyes, but not yours.||Regardless of the lighting conditions, your eyes adjust automatically, so you can see equally well at high noon, midnight, or entering pitch darkness. The adjustment is instantaneous, so if you are standing in a dark room and someone lights a candle, you’re not blinded.|
|Perfect Balance||3||Physical||Whether through constant training or inherited skill, your sense of balance is akin to that of a circus performer or bird on a wire.||It’s very unlikely you’ll ever fall during your life. You may trip, but you’ll always catch yourself before you fully lose your footing or handhold.
This Merit functions for such actions as tightrope walking, crossing ice, and climbing mountains. All difficulties involving such feats are reduced by three.
|Perfect Manners||3||Boggan||Even among boggans, your aptitude for courtesies is something to behold.||You cannot botch Etiquette rolls. In addition, if you have a chance to use Social Dynamics on a group, you subtract -1 from the difficulty of all Etiquette rolls involving that group for the rest of the session.|
|Poetic Heart||2||Supernatural||You have a truly inspired soul within you, your Glamour repelling the ravages of Banality.||You may make a Willpower roll (difficulty equal to your permanent Banality) to avoid gaining a point of temporary Banality once per chapter.|
|Prehensile Tail||4||Physical||You may use a prehensile tail with the same dexterous capability as any of your other limbs.||You possess a tail much like a monkey's. This tail can perform simple manual tasks such as pushing buttons and lifting objects with a Strength equal to half the changeling’s rating (rounded up).
A prehensile tail can wield a weapon with a Melee rating equal to half the changeling’s rating (rounded up).
|Prehensile Tongue||2||Physical||An additional prehensile limb is a useful, yet potentially disgusting, feature to possess when it comes in the shape of a tongue.||Tour tongue acts as a two-foot (60cm) long limb, capable of grasping and wielding objects. While not the best of weapons, it can be used for a poke in the eye or revolting slap.
In order to use a prehensile tongue successfully, you must roll Dexterity + Athletics (difficulty 7). A success allows full control of the extra limb for the scene. A failure indicates the specific attempt fails; a botch leaves the protruding tongue hanging disgustingly limp down your front.
When the tongue is extended, speech is incomprehensible.
|Protege||1||Social||An important changeling once mentored you, and spoke glowingly of you to acquaintances.||Others may be inclined to look favorably on you by dint of the recommendation; you are at –2 difficulty on Social rolls with all those who’ve heard good things about you.|
|Regeneration||7||Supernatural||Your faerie nature is hardy, and as a result, you heal much faster than other Kithain.||For every turn spent resting, you recover one Health Level of chimerical damage. Physical damage regenerates at a rate of one Health Level per hour. While in a freehold, your wounds heal at twice this speed. This Merit does not heal wounds inflicted by cold iron.|
|Sage||2||Social||Other changelings come to you for counsel. Maybe they believe in your wisdom, age, or experience. Perhaps they think you are touched, or capable of seeing the bigger picture.||Story-wise; the trust others place in you means, in most cases, you are approached first in matters requiring discussion, and may either use this advantage to provide wise counsel, or to influence others to consider your own agenda.|
|Second Life||2||Boggan||Some of your kithmates see you as an aberration, while others consider you a harbinger of changes to come, but regardless of your origins you have a special gift.||Unlike most boggans, you can use your Social Dynamics Birthright to assess a group’s relationships with each other not just by personal observation, but also through pictures, video, or even online conversation.
Doing so requires spending 1 Glamour and increases the difficulty of the Perception + Empathy/Subterfuge roll to at least 7 for video, 8 for online interaction, and 9 for still photos.
While this Merit is potentially quite useful, it has some notable limitations. For one, active conversation or other direct interaction is still necessary; posed pictures typically don't work, but candid shots will. For another you can only read people who are directly interacting with each other: people in the background of a picture or movie or lurking on a comment thread and not posting aren't part of the social web.
Lastly, it is worth noting that a successful use of your Birthright only reveals how people feel about each other, it doesn't reveal true identities or other personal information not already provided.
|Soul of the Muse||4||Social||You are an inspiration to creators of all types. Whether you are artistically gifted or not, other artists find it far easier to create masterworks when you are around.||If you are in the presence of any creator — whether you are acting as a model, providing counsel, or singing a song — that creator reduces the difficulty to create his work by three. This creative stimulation applies to works of wonder and destruction alike, as you inspire all.|
|Surreal Beauty||2||Social||You possess a beauty far beyond that of normal mortals, unsettling in its perfection.||Story-wise; people stand in awe of your ideal, yet alien, form while an inexplicable nausea subconsciously rises to the fore.
System-wise; reduce the difficulty by three on any roll in which you try and acquire a changeling or fae-touched individual’s attention, or win them over with an Appearance-based roll.
Other beings find your beauty unnatural, imposing a +1 difficulty on attempts at winning such a person’s trust.
|Thallain Blessing||2||Supernatural||Your dealings with the Shadow Court and exposure to the darker sides of Kithain legends have allowed you to tap into the nightmares commonly associated with your kith.||You may replace one of your current Birthrights with one of the Endowments associated with your kith’s Thallain cousins. (Boggans can borrow from boggarts, eshu from aithu, etc.)
You must be sworn to the Unseelie Court to benefit from this Merit.
|Trusty Companion||4||Social||You have a reputation as trustworthy, stalwart, and unfaltering in your dedication to your companions.||Your very presence in a motley or circle bolsters the Willpower of companions, allowing them each one additional temporary Willpower point per chapter.
You will always be relied upon to risk your life for them, as only a trusted companion might. Should you ever complain about your lot, the Willpower bonus you provide disappears until you once again risk physical or reputational peril for your friends.
|Voice of a Songbird||2||Social||The satyrs say your voice could charm apples from the trees. You have perfect pitch and can sing a cappella without missing a single note or going off key.||Even when only speaking, your voice has a seductive quality that attracts people to you. Whenever you make a roll that involves inspirational speaking or singing, you are at a –2 difficulty.|
|Winged (merit)||4||Supernatural||You have beautiful wings, be they feathered bird’s wings, bat wings or colored butterfly wings.||Your wings are chimerical, but they need to be free, or they increase the difficulty of Dexterity rolls by one. As such, you may have to explain why you have cut slits in all of your coats.
If you have taken this as a Merit, you may indeed fly for short periods of time. There are however, significant dangers to using these wings in human sight.
|Bard's Tongue (changeling)||1||Supernatural||You speak the truth, even when it would greatly inconvenience you. Now and then, you say things that turn out to be true without realizing it.||This is not a facility for blessing or cursing, or an effect that can be ruled by any conscious control.
At least once per story, an uncomfortable truth regarding any current situation will appear in your head and through your lips. To avoid speaking it, you must expend a Willpower point and take a Health Level (bashing) from the strain of resisting.
Whatever fashion this Flaw might transpire as, it is virtually never to your advantage or those of your allies. There's no guarantee of it coming true, and you are not considered a prophet - more akin to an annoying 'Cassandra'.
|Bizarre Quality||2||Supernatural||Mortals find something about you disturbingly fascinating.||At inappropriate times, mortals stare at you and strike up conversations in the hopes of getting to know you better. Worse still, mortals of less savory natures will choose you over other potential targets for their illicit acts.|
|Changeling's Eyes||1||Supernatural||Your eyes are a startling color, maybe emerald green, violet, or yellow.||This is a sign you are a changeling, recognizable to those who know the ancient lore.
This Flaw is restricted for the moment owing to its excessive popularity.
|Chimerical Magnet||3||Supernatural||Chimera notice you more often than usual.||In some cases, this is beneficial, but more often than not it causes problems. Chimerical beasts on a rampage will tend to turn on you before attacking others. Nervosa find you irresistible, and sprites of all types prank you constantly.|
|Cleared Mists||3||Supernatural||Your magic and abilities are not in any way hidden by the Mists.||Should a mortal witness your actions, she will not forget the effects of your fae abilities. You may therefore inadvertently reveal your nature to the mortal world, triggering potentially dire consequences.|
|Dangerous Mentor||1||Social||Your mentor is lost to Bedlam, or engages in acts that could cause a tremendous uproar.||Any wrong committed by your mentor may affect your reputation, and some of your mentor’s dangerous schemes may somehow involve you.|
|Echoes (changeling)||2-5||Supernatural||Your connection to the Dreaming is strong. Because of this powerful connection, you’re more susceptible to the tales of things which traditionally affect faeries.||Although Echoes is purchased as a Flaw, it often has a beneficial side effect. The points received with this Flaw reflect the level of your connection to the Dreaming and even to Arcadia. The effects of this Flaw are cumulative. A character with a five-point Flaw also suffers the setbacks of the two through four-point Flaws.
Minor (2 pts): Salt thrown over the shoulder for good luck protects a mortal from faerie powers. The same is true of bread. Your cantrips cannot affect any mortal who does so for the duration of the scene. Cantrips simply do not work, and may backfire. Any mortal knowing your full name can command three tasks from you, which you must accomplish before achieving freedom from that mortal’s influence. However, you need only follow the exact wording of the mortal’s request, not the desire behind the request.
Moderate (3 pts): You may not enter a home without invitation, unless you perform some small favor for the owners of the dwelling. The invitation to enter a home may come from anyone at all, it need not be the owner. Cold iron in a residence will bar you from entering the building; religious symbols have the same effect and will prevent you from physically or magically affecting mortals. The sound of ringing church bells causes you pain, just as cold iron does (at this level only pain, but as a four-point Flaw, you gain one point of Banality for every turn you endure the sound).
Serious (4 pts): Four-leaf clovers in the possession of a mortal prevent you from using your Arts against that mortal. However, four-leaf clovers picked by you are sure to bring good luck (you cannot botch) for as long as the petals of the clover remain intact. This luck only remains for as long as the clover is worn. Any mortal wearing their coat inside out is invisible to you. You may not cross running water, save by means of a bridge. Religious symbols are now repellent to you, forcing you away from those who wear them. The shadow of such a symbol falling upon your person causes one Health Level of chimerical damage for each turn the shadow touches you. You may no longer enter holy ground without suffering chimerical injuries (one Health Level per turn,) though this damage may be soaked.
Extreme (5 pts): Wherever you dwell, mushrooms bloom in a faerie ring — even on your plush carpet. The Mists no longer hide your powers. Many people will remember you if you use your Glamour while around them. Chimerical creatures tend to become more real for you than for others, and their attacks cause real and permanent injury. Contrarily, your chimerical weapons can cause damage to anyone, even mortals. People will likely follow you if you request it, often gaining a dazed look and following you even into dangerous situations. Your difficulties in casting cantrips might be reduced by a substantial amount (Storyteller’s discretion), but those wearing cold iron or religious symbols are immune to any Arts you might use. You must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) in order to enter holy ground. Even if you succeed in your Willpower roll, actual physical damage (one Health Level per turn) occurs whenever you enter holy ground.
|Fallen Noble||3||Social||Once, you held near-absolute power in a freehold, but those days are gone.||Story-wise; you might have stepped down, or your city fell to a rival Court; it matters little now. What matters is your replacement is aware of your prior position, and has concerns you might be trying to make a comeback. If the new ruler sees an opportunity to get rid of you, she just might take it.
This is a restricted Flaw.
|Foul Mouth||2||Social||Most people swear, but your use of profanity puts nockers to shame. Your mouth spews forth a never-ending torrent of obscenities. |
An extremely common affliction among Redcaps.
|Others know when enough is enough, but you just keep going. This Flaw precludes you from ever holding a respectable job of any kind in human society (not that any Redcap would want one) and increases the difficulty of Social rolls by two, when politeness is necessary.|
|Geas||N/A||Supernatural||You are under a geas at the beginning of play, most likely a Ban, but possibly a long-term quest.||Story-wise; this geas may be a family curse or duty you inherited, or a changeling Art imposed it on you. The difficulty of the geas determines how great a Flaw it is.
A geas is a very thematic trope for a Changeling PC, however, please use the General Flaw 'Paranormal Prohibition' or 'Paranormal Imperative' instead.
|Iron Allergy||3-5||Supernatural||Most of the Kithain only suffer pain when in contact with cold iron. You suffer from actual wounds.||Cold iron reacts like a hot brand when touching your skin. For each turn in contact with iron, you suffer one Health Level of chimerical damage. As a four-point Flaw, you take one Health Level of real damage for every three turns in contact with cold iron. As a five-point Flaw, you suffer this damage if you stand within a foot of the iron and you take one Health Level of aggravated damage
for every turn spent in contact with cold iron.
|Loose Lips||1||Boggan||All boggans have an addiction to gossip, but most of them have a good sense of when to share what they’ve learned and when to stay silent. Unfortunately, you’re not nearly as good at deciding when it’s appropriate to share, and have a bad habit spilling gossip to the wrong people at the wrong time.||Any time it would be a particularly bad idea to share gossip you possess, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8). Failure means that you let something crucial or damaging slip, even though you really shouldn’t. Naturally, this can cause a lot of problems in the social circles you’re part of, and other boggans tend to view you with suspicion.|
|Minimus of Spite||5||Boggan||All boggans despise ingratitude, but tend to address it swiftly and move on. Provided the offender apologizes and mends their ways, boggans are usually equally quick to forgive them. (Maybe not forget, but still, forgive.) Not you, though.||When you feel genuinely insulted, or that someone is taking you for granted, or simply that a person is not sufficiently grateful for your help, you get bitter. Really bitter, deep down into your soul. Until you exact sufficiently vicious revenge on the culprit for their real or imagined slight, you cannot regain Willpower, nor does your Social Dynamics reveal anything positive about people.|
|Oathbound||N/A||Supernatural||Your life depends on something you must or must not do.||It may be something that has always been upon you, or a sacred oath you swore.
Swearing a mystical oath is a very thematic trope for a Changeling PC, however, please use the General Flaw 'Paranormal Prohibition' or 'Paranormal Imperative' instead.
|Parfum De Goat||4||Social||The goat musk is a unique, horrific scent that makes the eyes water. You are a walking, breathing sachet of smelly goat.||Satyrs and redcaps are not bothered by your musk. Other kiths must be convinced against maintaining a distance from you, no matter the situation.
This hinders your chances for romance, titles, and even simple chats. The difficulty of all social rolls involving any beings with sense of smell other than satyrs and redcaps is increased by three.
This Flaw isn’t restricted to satyrs, but is most common among them.
|Possessive||2||Social||A classic trope of faerie-related mythology: You obsess over and jealously hoard your possessions.||When others attempt to use your equipment — whether it be your car, sword, clothes, or bed — you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7). On a failure you vehemently refuse to allow anyone to touch your things, and will lash out if they push the subject. On a botch you immediately act violently when someone attempts to handle anything you own.|
|Recruitment Target||1||Social||An enemy faction wants you, and they want you bad.||Every effort is being made to recruit you, willing or no, and the press gangs usually show up at the worst possible time. For every friend you have who will defend you, another will wonder what is so special about you that draws this malevolent group to your doorstep.
This Flaw shouldn't be asked for or approved, unless there is a plan in place by your Director to make it more troublesome than it is worth.
|Sidhe's Curse||5||Supernatural||The sidhe live in mortal terror of Banality, due to it taking root in their souls more easily than any other of the kith.||Although you are not sidhe, you are subject to this frailty as well. Whenever you would gain a point of Banality, you gain two instead. Sidhe characters may not take this Flaw.|
|Slipped Seeming||1-3||Supernatural||Your fae seeming bleeds into your mortal seeming and makes you obvious to mundanes who know what to look for.||A one-point Flaw would be a slight bluish cast to the skin of a troll, and a three-point would be a pair of satyr’s horns. A two-point flaw would be... something more noticeable than a one-point, yet less so than a three-point. Either way, all of these may make it a bit more difficult to explain yourself to mortals.|
|Stuck in Place||3||Lycian||Some Guises have an easier time moving around than others. Certain Guises, such as a timber oak tree, a house, or a city park, are impossible to move.|
You have the unfortunate luck of having such a Guise.
|Story-wise, your Lycian is stuck where they awakened, unable to do much more than survey their surroundings or interact with things in their immediate vicinity.
Lycians developed Two Places at Once to get around this limitation, but until you learn it, you can’t venture away from your place of birth.
|Thallain Curse||3||Supernatural||Dealing with your darker cousins has its drawbacks. Too much time spent amongst nightmares means your personality begins to resonate with theirs.||Changelings with this Flaw take on both their kith’s Frailty and their Thallain Vulnerability. While this Flaw can only originally be acquired by an Unseelie changeling, it persists even if she changes Courts.|
|Too Human||2-5||Social||Your fae side struggles to penetrate that of your mortal seeming.||As a two-point Flaw, this makes all changelings view you warily. Social rolls increase in difficulty by two until you make an action inarguably proving your fae nature.
As a five-point Flaw, the wariness other changelings feel towards you becomes antipathy, as you also lose one of your kith’s Birthrights. You choose which one to sacrifice.
|Winged (flaw)||2||Supernatural||You have beautiful wings, be they feathered bird’s wings, bat wings or colored butterfly wings.||Your wings are chimerical, yet they still need to be free, or they increase the difficulty of Dexterity rolls by one. You may have to explain why you have cut slits in all of your coats.
If you have taken this as a Flaw (as opposed to the Merit version), you are sadly unable to fly with them.
|Wyld Mind||2||Mental||Your mind is extremely chaotic and unpredictable.||You have difficulty concentrating on any one task. You must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) for every extended action roll after the second.|
|Alley Cat||2||Mental||Your curiosity sometimes gets the best of you, but for the most part it has worked out to your benefit.||Because you have explored so much of your local surroundings you know, once per session, where something can be found.
This could mean knowing where you can get five cases of black candles (obviously, your local Santa Muerte shrine hidden in the back room of that one awesome taqueria) or perhaps that one necklace that makes men black out when they wear it (that dirty pawn shop owned by the guy with the one white eye).
If you saw it, you just kind of remember where it was. Lower the difficulty of any Investigation or Awareness roll by 1.
|Antecessor||1-5||Supernatural||You have an ancestor who shadows you and tends to watch over you, especially when you wander into dangerous hauntings. Perhaps you had a loved one who passed on and is now playing guardian angel, or perhaps someone of your family line took an interest in you. Whatever the case, you often at the very least have forewarning if entering a dangerous spiritual situation, and perhaps more if the spirit is strong enough to interact with the world around them.||• Our Eyes: You receive flashes of insight or visions of harm that may come to your person if you enter a location of substantial danger. At this level, your spiritual guide can only provide such a warning once per game session.
•• Our Lips: Your ancestor can speak to you from the great beyond, but only you hear them and they can usually only speak in one-word sentences. They can also provide you visual clues in the form of floating orbs or other light anomalies. Your guide can only gather enough energy to interact with you once per game session. Your ancestor can also tap into your familial life force once per session to heal one wound level of lethal or bashing damage.
••• Our Wisdom: Your antecessor can speak one full sentence to you per scene or hour. They can also move objects weighing as much as five pounds up to one foot of distance once per game session. Your ancestor can also heal up to three levels of lethal or bashing damage from your character once per session.
•••• Our Way: You can have full conversations with your spiritual mentor when they are near you and feel they have enough energy to do so. They can see the other side with a clarity that you may not possess, and can tell you what is happening there. Your ancestor at this point is also so deeply connected to your familial bloodline that they can heal major injuries you have suffered; once per session they can heal up to three aggravated damage levels from your person.
••••• Our Hands: This spiritual family member is of significant power. They can have up to two levels of Numina and once per game can heal up to five levels of aggravated damage from your person. Doing so significantly weakens your ghostly benefactor however, permanently dropping your level in this Background down to four until it is rebought with experience points.
|Ashen||2||Supernatural||You just know when there is a ghost by you. You can feel the ash of the Deadlands on your skin.||You get this gritty, slick feeling on your body when a wraith is around you. Your hair stands on end and shivers travel up and down your body. It is rather unsettling and something you have probably kept to yourself as you don’t want other people to think strangely of you.|
|Backup Identity||3||Government||Most agents build up one or two cover identities, replete with backgrounds and supporting documents.||Your backup identity has a full set of documents, including a social security card and a passport, a bank account, and even owns a small apartment. It's not suitable over the long term, yet is perfectly sufficient for the duration of an operation or when in immediate need of a safehouse.
How often you are supplied with access to new identities once 'burned' is dependent on the generosity of your handlers, and their own operational requirements.
Note: You still need the Alternate Identity Background if you want access to an identity that even your superiors don't know about.
|Caretaker||1-5||Social||Many large facilities, graveyards, asylums, museums and other tracts of land become all but abandoned and consumed by the march of time. But, due to social pressure, most of these places must still maintain at least the slightest semblance of upkeep and repair. This is where Caretakers come into play. While you don’t necessarily own the property you tend, you have the proverbial “keys to the kingdom” or you know who does and how to get them.||With this Merit, you are part of a shadowy network of servants, assistants, and groundskeepers tasked with the upkeep of the world’s cemeteries, state-run facilities shuttered by lack of funds, abandoned family farms, and other assorted buildings and estates that may or may not be home to the spooky and surreal.
While using this Merit your character is perceived as someone of little consequence: a waiter cleaning up at the end of the night, a janitor working the rounds in the unused hospital wing, a group of engineers walking down the hall to fix a power outage on the twelfth floor of a century-old hotel. However, if you cause too much of a ruckus the Storyteller is apt to have NPCs question the characters about who they really are.
• You are a local groundskeeper for a small estate, decrepit school, modest park or something of that nature. You know this land and the buildings on it like the back of your hand, including but not limited to all the familiar secrets. This position is mostly solitary.
•• You have connections to local public building workers and know how to get them to allow you access to the buildings where they work. These could be libraries, schools, or places of worship — large places that have congregations or communities built around them. This does not include financial institutions or private businesses. This level again focuses on the local scale, such as a small town or neighborhood.
••• You can basically get into anywhere within your local town or neighborhood. You know all the hands to grease and all the pockets to fill, or you just have the keys yourself. You have made yourself so indispensable to the community around you that they would never think you were up to anything strange like paranormal investigation, and even if they did suspect it, you are too well liked, respectful, or caring to ever be accused of any foul play.
•••• You have access to state facilities such as hospitals, mental institutions, or databanks and archives. This level also grants you entrance to morgues and cemeteries within a statewide area.
••••• You are part of a multi-state, federal, or national building employees’ union or institution, or you are close to (or bribing or blackmailing) someone who is. You have access to buildings that someone of your stature could rarely even consider entering: military facilities, skyscrapers, major corporations, major hubs of humanity.
|Clear-Sighted||4||Supernatural||Your character is not easily fooled by illusions.||This Merit is only applicable for visible tricks of deceit caused by the use of Disciplines. When faced with a suspected supernatural illusion caused by the use of Disciplines such as Obfuscate and Chimerstry, your character may make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty equal to your opponent’s power’s level +4).
If successful, your character sees right through the effect. If you fail, you might suspect the illusion is a trick, but you cannot prove your suspicious are correct.
Note: This Merit does not work passively. You must have some plausible reason to be suspicious or paying greater attention.
|Consort||5||Supernatural||A character with this Merit is not a true medium, but has been attuned to a specific wraith who frequently possesses her.||Story-wise, the consort may well think of this entity as her “spirit guide.” If the wraith who rides her is congenial, or receptive to bribery, a Consort can be of as much assistance to a ghost hunter as can a true medium. In some ways she may prove more controllable, as her governing wraith regards her as an asset and will attempt to protect her from hostile entities.
System-wise, this Merit provides the character with the equivalent of a powerful, ghostly companion whose exact goals and capabilities (Arcanoi, etc) should be decided in collaboration with your Storyteller.
You can always hear this ghost, though never see them. And sadly, you must respond verbally - neither of you are telepathic. Even when they're possessing you (which they do frequently), you can only converse as if having a one-sided conversation with an imaginary friend.
Note #1: The wraith is cooperative enough that in most cases, the consort PC will be allowed to portray them and declare their actions. However this privilege can be taken away (and the Merit potentially lost entirely) if abused.
Note #2: A character with this Merit cannot also acquire the Medium Merit.
|Control Group||3-8||Psychic||You are one of the few and ‘fortunate’ psychics who have received secret, lengthy and systematic psionic training from an institution specializing in the research and instruction of Psychic Phenomena, such as the Arcanum, the U.S Government’s classified Project Twilight, the Technocracy or even Pentex’s Project Odyssey.||All of the organizations which offer real instruction in the honing of Psychic Phenomena have very different cultures and methodologies, best explored in sections focusing on the group in question. However, increased discipline and control of ones psychic abilities ultimately leads to the same recognized plateaus (absent death, insanity or washout).
All levels of this Merit allow you to learn the Secondary Knowledge of Esoterica with the Psionics specialization. All further benefits are cumulative.
* As a 3-pt Merit, your character is still considered a student, trainee, recruit (willing or otherwise) or apprentice of some kind. Your budding grasp of how to control your ‘gift’ gives you a significant edge over those who rely on raw talent alone:
You can now attempt to activate your Psychic Phenomena without spending Willpower, by rolling your Esoterica: Psionics (minus the Phenomenon level you’re trying to access) vs the usual difficulty (typically the Phenomenon level you’re trying to use + 3).
* As a 5-pt Merit, your character is considered a fully trained psychic adept, capable of pushing themselves to their limit – and a little beyond:
You may attempt to use one of your Psychic Phenomena at one level higher than you possess (to a maximum of the fifth level), at the cost of suffering one level of unsoakable lethal damage, usually in the form of a nose bleed. Your Willpower dice pool cannot exceed your Esoterica: Psionics rating when pushing yourself like this without suffering a second level of unsoakable lethal damage.
Alternatively, you can choose to suffer a level of lethal damage instead of spending Willpower when activating your Psychic Phenomena.
* As an 8-pt Merit, your character is a master of the mental arts. You have seen and endured more in the honing of your psychic potential than most would believe. As a result, you have considerable experience in both protecting your mind and going on the offensive:
The Mind Shields Phenomenon no longer counts against your allowed Psychic Phenomena limit, allowing you to raise it freely (or learn a new Phenomenon if you already had Mind Shields). In addition, you can now take two Psionic actions per turn – although you are still restricted to spending only one Willpower point per turn.
Restriction: It isn’t possible to acquire or increase the Control Group Merit without specifically belonging to one of the following Affiliations: Arcanum, Pentex (Project Odyssey), U.S Government (Project Twilight) or the Technocracy.
|Cooler||5||Supernatural||Something about your very being suppresses ghostly activity in your immediate area.||Your very presence is like static to the spiritual world. Even in the most active of hauntings, the instant you enter a room, observable activity ceases. Especially powerful wraiths and spectres can make a contested Willpower check to overcome this 'static'. Although, only for as many rounds as they beat your Willpower successes by.
At the Storyteller's discretion, a point of Willpower may be spent to affect other kinds of ethereal entities, such as spirits or demons for as many turns as the character's temporary Willpower dots remaining. Most Ghost Hunters treat all such phenomena as more alike than unalike whatever the metaphysical beliefs of certain supernatural races.
The haunting may be intensely active one room over, but wherever you are, spirits know to avoid you. It costs a point of Willpower to suppress this spiritual feedback for a scene.
|Cultural Aficionado||2||Social||You have a passion for understanding the history, folklore, and cultural practices of the world around you, which greatly helps you on the job.||Whenever put in a situation where cultural norms are different from your own, you are socially nimble enough to do what is appropriate and not offend others. You have a –2 difficulty on all Etiquette rolls when a situation like this arises.
Story-wise, you can consider your character to be superficially familiar with most any real world culture that you might plausibly come across. This might earn you the benefit of the doubt in certain tense situations, or hints from the Storyteller.
|Cultural Chameleon||2||Mental||You’re able to quickly pick up on social cues, local customs, phrases, modes of dress, and other little things particular about a place.||If you’re able to make at least a semi-plausible effort of blending in with the locals, (e.g., change your clothes, able to speak a few words of the language, etc.), anyone attempting to discern if you don’t belong there suffer a two die penalty.
In addition, your ability to blend in has gifted you with a knack at detecting those without. You receive two extra dice for any action to find others who don’t belong somewhere.
|Dead Zone||2||Supernatural||Your exposure to death on a regular basis makes it difficult for ghosts to notice that you exist.||You are considered to have one dot of Obfuscate (which works in the lands of the dead as well) against wraiths, spectres, and other such beings.|
|Detached||4||Psychic||The power of your mind is beyond the anchor of your body. Whether through extreme disassociation, Zen meditation or some other discipline, you can shut out the pangs and suffering of your physical existence.||You do not suffer wound penalties on uses of your psychic powers until you are Incapacitated.
When you are Incapacitated, you may spend a Willpower point to attempt to manifest a psychic power at half the normal die pool (rounded down). You can only try this once per scene, after which you fall unconscious.
|Dream Invader||3||Psychic||Certain psychics, such as those gifted with Astral Projection, Telepathy, Psychic Vampirism or Psychic Shadow find themselves with an unsettling knack for intruding upon the dreams of others.||Prerequisite: The psychic must have either Astral Projection, Telepathy, Psychic Vampire or Psychic Shadow at three dots or higher.
Spend a Willpower and roll your Willpower vs a difficulty determined by the victim’s Willpower + 2. If successful, the psychic enters the victim’s dreams and interacts with the subconscious. He cannot plant or steal memories, but can participate in the dream as an “actor,” remembering what he sees.
Victims usually do not remember (or assign any special meaning) to this dream experience. However, characters with Awareness can roll Perception + Enigmas vs 8 to remember something ‘off’ about their dream. It requires an exceptional success to be absolutely certain that what transpired was unnatural, unless they have some dream-related power themselves.
This ability only works on humans, including Mortal+ and Awakened Mages. It does not work on animals, constructs, companions, vampires, shifters or other stranger races.
|Ecclesial Rank||2-7||Leopold||Though your status as an Inquisitor is a secret outside of the Society of Leopold, you are also an official member of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.||This Merit determines your standing in the Catholic Church, each point widening the scope of your service and influence.
The two-point version grants you the rank of priest, presiding over one parish (and its deacons and laity).
The four-point version grants you the rank of Bishop, presiding over one diocese, consisting of many parishes (and their priests).
The seven-point version grants you the rank of Archbishop, presiding over several dioceses (and their bishops).
Note: The 4 and 7 dot versions of this Merit are severely restricted.
|Ecstatic||2||Supernatural||You are prone to fits of religious ecstasy — stigmata, glossalia (speaking in tongues), visions, and trances.||Story-wise, this is a Merit of dubious benefit. While some may distrust you as a religious hysteric, you find high regard among others of the faith as one “touched by God.”
System-wise, add one die to any Social dice pools when interacting with the Society of Leopold (and possibly others with similar spiritual beliefs).
|Embedded Agent||3||Government||You’re an accepted member of your intelligence agency, despite any weird side-project you work on. You might be a FBI agent with a sterling record who happens to moonlight for SAD, or an NSA intelligence analyst who just happens to spend a couple of weeks each quarter monitoring chaoscope reports.||Story-wise, because you spend more time around “normal” agents, they accept you as one of their own. As such, you're the last person anyone would think to name as a “monster hunter,” which keeps you under the radar of otherwise well-informed supernatural creatures.
System-wise, add a bonus die to any Empathy, Leadership, or Investigation rolls when dealing with other members of your agency.
Note: This is a common Merit for Project Twilight agents who are embedded in a local federal organization where a specialized Project Task Force hasn't already been established.
|Empathic Healer||3-4||Psychic||This power is one of the most intimate of the Psi gifts. To use it, the empath joins his mind and body with that of a mentally ill or suffering person in order to soothe their anguish.||Prerequisite: The psychic must have at least one rank of the Psychic Healing Phenomena.
The 3-point version of this Merit allows the empath to soothe the spirit. You can alleviate grief and depression in your subject by infusing them with your Vitality. This costs 1 Willpower point and the Empath suffers one level of Bashing damage, which will not heal until they get a good night’s sleep. In contrast, the soothed target will regain all their Willpower, provided they immediately fall into a deep slumber, resulting in an at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
The 4-point version of this Merit requires the empath to have mental discipline, courage, and control of her own emotions. The empath prepares herself to absorb the worst forms of mental illness, including Harano, falling into the same state of psychosis as she has just healed in her patient. This costs all of a Psychic’s Willpower points, whereupon they will fall into a deep slumber for a duration equivalent to the severity of the mental illness.
During this time, the psychic fights the equivalent of a mental battle in their own mind (the details of which are decided by the Storyteller). Hopefully, they’ll awake famished and worn before too long. However, a few never wake up – especially when attempting to heal Harano.
|Exorcist||1-3||Medium||Mediums have been casting out various foul demons, spirits and spectres for millennia.||A talented exorcist receives certain story benefits in exorcist-related situations, and can add a die bonus equal to their rating in this Merit to their exorcism rolls.|
|Firebrand||1-5||Leopold||The media and social networks of the information age offer a crafty Inquisitor new and innovative tools for organizing congregations into witch-hunting mobs. Zealotry surges through the new vectors of status updates. Fiery sermons sound from home to home via video chat.||Prerequisite: Your character cannot have a rating in this Merit higher than the lowest of their Charisma and Leadership ratings.
Story-wise, these folk are not as educated in the ways of the Enemy as you, and they do not command miracle-working faith or occult power. But they are angry. They are armed. And they are not going to take it anymore. You will find that a mob is much like weaponized fire: a destructive force that puts the fear of God in the hearts of monsters, but one that easily spreads out of control.
System-wise, treat Mob NPCs as the equivalent of 1 dot Retainers with a Physical -> Social -> Mental focus.
Once a chapter, you can bring together and command a mob of (Merit rating * 5) people, and unleash them to some destructive effect over the course of a single scene before they quickly (or guiltily) disperse.
Note: This Merit does not protect you in any way, shape or form from the consequences of unleashing a howling mob. It merely makes you an unusually effective rabble rouser.
|Fist of God||5||Leopold||Some call you “Witch-Hammer,” for your naked hands do grievous hurt to the children of the elder night.||System-wise, all your Brawling damage is considered aggravated against supernaturals.
Story-wise, work with the Storyteller to create a good reason for this rare effect, and how it developed.
Note: This Merit will cease working for any Society of Leopold adherent whose faith strays far enough to drop them below Humanity 6.
|Flow of Ki||3||Sorcerer||You understand the natural flow of energy through the human body, taught through a form of martial arts. This energy is represented as Quintessence but may be called a variety of things: chi, ki, and others, depending on your martial arts style.||Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Physical Attribute.
You can make a Stamina + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one. You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.
You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them.
|Focus of Thought||3||Sorcerer||You can retain information, sharpen your senses and speed your thoughts, allowing you to connect the dots between disparate clues while following complex mental formulae.||Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Mental Attribute.
You can make an Intelligence + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one. You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.
You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them
|Force of Spirit||3||Sorcerer||The light of your soul is evident to those around you. You may physically glow, appear divinely beautiful, or perhaps your voice resonates with the music of the spheres.||Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Social Attribute.
You can make an Appearance + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one. You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.
You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them.
|Frequency||3||Supernatural||You can hear and see a much wider spectrum of vibrational frequencies than other human beings.||Like a human EVP/EMF device, but more accurate and with better range. You can hear and sometimes see ghosts, or their spiritual wakes. This does not mean they can hear or interact with you, though if you spend a Willpower point you can talk to those across the Shroud for one scene or hour.|
|Ghost Hunter||1||Social||Human beings are instinctively social creatures that naturally gather together. Be it outside on a blustery night for a cigarette, on the subway after dark, or at a local resale bookstore, someone eventually will crack a joke, ask a question, or just reach out for reassurance. The same goes for paranormal investigators, who soon find themselves drawn into a community they never before imagined.||Story-wise, this Merit represents that your character belongs to the proud sub-culture of 'ghost hunters', and is acknowledged as such. Your fellow paranormal investigators will be more open around you, being willing to confide experiences or compare methods in a way they wouldn't be with the uninitiated.
System-wise, this Merit has two effects: 1) It allows you to benefit from the mechanical effects of using various specialized ghost hunter equipment, such as a Kirlian camera, and 2) It makes it so that the Paranormal Tools and Caretaker Merits don't count against your 10 dot Merit limit.
Be warned, though: A healthy vein of competition runs through many of these groups. Always trying to get the next great photo or the next bit of “proof” is a common motivation within the paranormal community. You never know when you could get your “big break” and get picked up by a local cable station for a ghost hunter show or receive an academic grant from a university to study the local folklore history of that one haunted mansion. Because of this there is a sliding scale from playful banter to outright hostility when working with other groups within the investigative community.
|Holy Aura||5||Leopold||No matter the color, your aura burns as a brilliant beacon of religious devotion.||Even mortals who cannot see auras are drawn to your presence. Subtract one from the difficulty of all social interaction rolls.
Some supernaturals will find this a positive aspect; others, particularly the Kindred, may likely be hostile toward you. Many will believe you possess great power (regardless of the truth).
|Human Lie Detector||3-4||Social||You can tell when individuals are not being completely forward with the truth.||This doesn’t allow you to know what the truth is, just that you’re being manipulated.
You must declare that you are specifically paying attention to someone, or otherwise specifically anticipating some attempt at deception. All subsequent Empathy rolls have a –3 difficulty for the purpose of detecting lies.
The 4-point version of this Merit allows it to work passively, even if you otherwise trust someone. You must be given a lie detection check, no matter what.
|Inter-agency Liaison||2||Government||You work for two agencies at the same time.||Story-wise, you’re either a liaison officer between the two agencies — Homeland Security provides a handy cover for the CIA or NSA to poke their noses into the FBI and vice versa — or your current employers don’t know who you really work for. Either way, you can draw on the intelligence and resources of both agencies when you need to.
System-wise, you must purchase the Rank Background for each agency separately (and thus benefit from two Rank-related Influence actions each chapter). Your Rank at your “home” agency must be equal to or greater than your Rank at your new agency.
|Legacy||2||Social||Your character comes from a lineage of hunters; either a family responsibility has been passed down, or your character is considered a “successor” to a particularly famous or successful hunter of the past.||You receive one dot of Contacts for free at character creation that most somehow be related to your family legacy.
In addition, you can purchase future dots of Contacts for only 4 XP per dot, (instead of 5 XP per dot).
Finally, your character is slightly more likely to be trusted with the Artifact Background or Reliquary Merit, if appropriate.
|Lethal Sanction||5||Government||Your agency has given you a limited sanction to deploy lethal force against specific named targets (possibly even leading your own team to do so). Be warned: they will hold you responsible for any additional deaths, and won’t hesitate to revoke your sanction if you’re too sloppy.||Story-wise, this authority is extremely rare — the CIA authorizes some killings in foreign territories, and a shadowy group high up in the FBI uses it to eliminate potential domestic terrorists. Where those two mandates might intersect (such as the kill teams of Project Twilight or battling borderland drug cartels) is the nightmare fodder of a thousand fevered conspiracy theories.
As long as you do as they tell you, your shadowy superiors provide weapons and equipment (within reason) and will cover your tracks once the job is done.
Despite popular perception, this isn’t a “license to kill” — randomly murdering people is still illegal even with the backing of an intelligence agency, and you could be prosecuted for murder if caught. So make sure your assassinations are surgical and don't get caught.
|Lucid Dreamer||2||Mental||Whether through training or in-born skill, you are an incredibly vivid dreamer.||With your dreaming mind, you can build connections that you would otherwise have missed or make leaps of logic that appear psychic to everyone else.
This can involve insight about locations or people you have recently encountered or problems that are on your mind. Your dreamscape is so well-developed that, in rare cases, a spirit may attempt communication through your dreams, though it usually comes in the form of images that may be confusing and jumbled to you.
This merit provides a –2 difficulty on all Investigation rolls for the following day after a full 8 hours’ rest.
|Magician's Understanding||3||Supernatural||Someone in your past family line had the gift of Second Sight, and you have inherited the faintest touch of their ability.||Although you have no conscious control over these psychic abilities, and thus cannot turn them on or off at will, you are often able to get a sense of a location and can tell whether a spirit is present or if you are being deceived by some sort of charlatan. It doesn’t give your character the understanding of how someone is faking a phenomenon, just that it is fake.|
|Medium||2-7||Medium||A ‘true medium’ is a character who really can see and hear ghosts. Such ‘gifted’ individuals perceive the dead clearly — and sometimes struggle to tell them apart from the living.||A character with the two-dot version of this Merit is an unwilling medium. They can occasionally hear spirits, ghosts and shades when they are very frightened or uneasy, yet they can never see them or interact with them. The ghost will need to somehow make their presence known before the medium can answer them in any fashion. Most people respond to such experience by either taking a lot of drugs (illegal or prescribed) and seeking a therapist.
A character with the three-dot version of this Merit is an unwilling medium. When she’s under stress, she can see ghosts. Precisely what counts as stress is up to the Storyteller, but taking an action with a high difficulty, or having to spend a temporary Willpower point both count. She can see present ghosts for the remainder of the scene. The character is inexperienced enough that they might not realize that someone is a ghost, until they do something supernatural.
In addition, the Antecessor Merit no longer counts against the medium's 10 dot Merit limit.
The four-dot version of this Merit offers more control. The medium is closer to the Underworld and can perceive ghosts as distinct entities from mortals without the need for a stressful context. In addition, the Exorcist, Summoner and Warder Merits no longer count against the character's 10 dot Merit limit.
The seven-dot version of this Merit marks the character out as a very special rarity: They are one of the most naturally gifted and/or experienced mediums in the World of Darkness. It confers the following advantages:
* They're allowed to learn two of the following Paths of Magic or Psychic Phenomena: 1) The Path of Ephemera, 2) The Path of Starlight, 3) The Whistle version of Maelstroms, 4) the Pallio Dolorum version of Mortal Necromancy, 5) The Black Hat version of Necronics, 6) The Phenomena of Channeling, or 7) The Phenomena of Ectoplasmic Generation.
Note: The medium is not a true hedge wizard or psychic. These are simply the mechanics that best represent an advanced control, harnessing and exploitation of the powers of the dead.
|Non-standard Access||3||Government||Everyone working for one of the US Government’s alphabet soup of agencies has access to information not available to the public, but you’re privy to secrets that are way above your pay grade.||Story-wise, maybe someone in the Pentagon owes you his life, or you just found files in an old dead-drop. Though it’s dangerous to explain how you came by your new knowledge, your 'source' remains confidential - for now.
System-wise, once per story, the Storyteller will ensure that you receive classified information useful to your current operation. The information is always useful and accurate, but not necessarily complete.
|Occult Library||2-4||Asset||Your character owns an estimable collection of works on arcane lore. This is a very common Merit among Arcanum scholars.||If your character has has access to their library, you can lower the, difficulty of Intelligence, Occult, or research-related rolls by 1 when attempting to solve an occult mystery or generally learn more about the occult.
Having this library doesn’t automatically mean your character is an an occult expert, it just means they have convenient access to some knowledge. If you have purchased the four-point version of this Merit, your character also has an Occult Laboratory stocked with strange and rare ingredients he might need for his Numina rituals.
|Paranormal Tools||1-5||Mental||At the core of being a paranormal investigator is a deep need for either proof and justification for belief in the supernatural, or the destruction of all the lies and misrepresentations giving false hope to humanity. |
To achieve either of these goals in a reliable and scientific way, there is a series of best practices and industry standards that need to be abided by for your work to gain any traction at all. Most of these revolve around an array of tools, from the technologically advanced to the incredibly mundane, that capture data which can later be sifted to find strands of truth or at least possible proof of the unknown.
|Prerequisite: Your rating in this Merit cannot be higher than your Technology ability rating.
With the advent of the internet and the ease and simplicity of online sales and distribution, most of these tools are no more than a click away. It's learning what they're good for and how to use them which is the true challenge.
There are some more heavily modified or home-brewed applications that have been created, and those fall more on the higher end of the spectrum, being more technologically advanced or rare.
• Starter Kit: You have a starter kit of mundane ghost hunting tools. These include, but are not limited to, a voice recorder, a cell phone for video and photography, and your laptop that provides access to editing suites and analytic software to nitpick through data.
•• Old Tech: Actual film photography and videography tools, electromagnetic frequency readers, digital thermometers and voice recorders that automatically transfer data to your home laptop, and flashlights that provide multiple wavelengths of light are now at your disposal. This level also provides electromagnetic-field generators that charge areas with energy that could help ghosts and spiritual entities manifest.
••• Offensive Tech: You start working on higher level traps instead of just passively taking in information. This level introduces motion sensors and laser mapping of rooms to try to detect movement or temperature changes. You also have access to ultraviolet-light video recording devices and cameras. This level also provides electromagnetic pods that light up when their static charge is disturbed.
•••• Communication Kit: Believed to be capable of facilitating contact with spirits and the other side, devices such as spirit boxes rapidly scan radio frequencies and provide a medium for spirits to speak through. This level also includes stranger technologies such as instrumental trans-communication devices that generate video fields of static interference that entities can use to manifest themselves.
••••• Esoteric Kit: Incredibly rare and strange devices fall into this range, such as one-off devices that can capture a supernatural entity for a brief period. This level also provides tools that can allow spirits to have full conversations with the living via word processing software.
|Path Natural||6||Sorcerer||You are naturally gifted to one Path of power. This could be tied to your mundane skills that translate easily to magic, a heritage that calls to certain power, or you have made a deal with otherworldly beings to open yourself to greater power.||The difficulty for casting spells or carrying out rituals (i.e., your ‘Path roll) related to your Affinity Path is always one difficulty less than it would be ordinarily.|
|Poisonous Blood||5||Supernatural||Due to mysterious circumstances, your character’s blood is poisonous to vampires.||Story-wise, vampires naturally resent mortals known to possess this blessing and may well seek their destruction. How this came about must be determined in collaboration with your Storyteller; Some examples include holy protection from a higher power, a rare ritual of protection, or even a genetic abnormality.
System-wise, should a vampire drink from your character, every blood point imbibed causes one health level of bashing damage to her.
|Pop Culture Savant||3||Mental||Your encyclopedic understanding and consumption of horror movies, books, podcasts, and television shows provide you a mental reference library for every supernatural situation you encounter, often leading to insight that benefits you and the people around you.||Whenever dealing with a situation outside the realm of understanding you can turn to your Storyteller once per scene for some cinematic reasoning.
They do not have to give you the answer to your question or the magic “key” to fix the situation, but they can certainly give your character some advice to move forward in a way advantageous to themself and their cohort.
An example of this particular trope in action is Peter Parker in the MCU and countless YA 'Scooby Doo' type shows.
|Psychic Awareness||3||Psychic||You can sense the presence of recent psychic energies within a nearby area.||Roll Perception + Occult vs difficulty 8. How much information you glean and how detailed it is depends on your successes.
A single success might merely confirm that a psychic talent was at work recently, while three or more might allow you to pick up the lingering sensation of a talented psychic who had been here, her strength, mood, and plans at the moment she had passed by. The base radius for this talent is about a 10-foot radius, but you can increase that radius by 10 more feet for every success you allocate to it.
|Pusher||3||Social||Everyone wants something, even if they don’t know they want it. But you do.||You can tell from a mile away what people want and how badly they want it. When trying to coerce someone into providing you what you want, you are given a –2 difficulty as your knowledge of what they need gives you leverage over them.|
|Reichenbach||5||Mental||You have phenomenal abilities when it comes to visualization and recreation of events in your mind.||When in an investigative location, you can easily picture situations as they happened or likely will happen. If you fail a roll that involves interacting with such a location in some way, once per scene you can use this ability to retrace your steps in your mind and reroll.
This merit does not apply to combat in any way.
|Reliquary||1-5||Leopold||You have been granted access to the reliquary of the Church. The vaults of the Vatican are ancient, dark, and deep, and many are the occulted secrets within — from holy relics to the terrible devices of witchery that the Church locks away to keep from blasphemous hands.||Story-wise, this Merit allows you occasionally 'borrow' supernatural artifacts from the Society's guarded vaults. It also represents both a privilege and a duty, as you are the keeper of the relic so long as it remains in your possession.
The loss or destruction of an entrusted relic will result in it potentially taking a long time before the Society trusts you with such a responsibility again.
System-wise, the rating of this Merit determines the significance and the potential power of the relic that you have been temporarily entrusted with. Its exact capabilities and the duration you're allowed to keep it, will be determined by the Storyteller.
A Society of Leopold Inquisitor with this Merit might receive permission to retrieve many different relics over the course of their career - provided they are always promptly and safely returned!
|Requisition||1-5||Government||You’re a master of red tape, able to fill out the right forms to get your hands on some special equipment, from silver bullets to a chaoscope.||You begin each official mission with a pool of points to spend on the Equipment Background equal to your dots in this Merit plus your Rank rating.
Once the equipment is used up or destroyed, that’s it — and any surviving requisitioned equipment must be returned at the end of the mission.
|Sanctioned Witch||2||Leopold||You are known as a “Judas Witch,” having received the Sanctuary of the Disciplina Arcani from the Inquisitor-General herself.||Story-wise, you cannot be punished or detained for occult study or the use of Numina (though the sanction can be revoked for misconduct).
A tattoo of the Seal of Solomon, on the palm of your left hand, marks your credentials. This does not mean everyone in the Society trusts your expertise, as many despise the magic arts.
|Sanctuary||7||Supernatural||You have a place where you go and think. It will always be safe, no matter what.||You know that you can always show up to this place and the world will just make sense again. The most common locations are places like old churches, museums, landmarks (natural or artificial)…Pretty much anywhere that isn't your actual home, yet somewhere you can find a little peace and solitude for quiet reflection.
For gameplay purposes, regain a point of temporary Willpower for every hour spent in this location, up to your permanent rating. Also, this Merit serves as a protection against enemies that may be threatening the character. No supernatural enemy may set foot inside their sanctuary, though this does not mean mortal agents of the enemy in question could not be directed to do so.
|Science Laboratory||2||Asset||Your character has access to a fully stocked laboratory with functional scientific apparatuses and research equipment.||When she has access to her laboratory, your character can perform experiments, run tests, and collect data, and you may lower your difficulty by 2 for relevant Investigation or Science rolls, or lower the difficulty by 1 for other appropriate rolls (as determined by the Storyteller) while she uses the equipment.|
|Sense Influence||3||Mental||You have a sixth sense for when something isn't right about someone.||Through training and working with other experienced hunters, you have the ability to buy the Awareness Skill.
Further, you can get a sense that someone is controlled by some supernatural influence or ghostly presence with a Perception + Awareness roll, difficulty 8.
|Style Sleeper||2||Sorcerer||Your character knows that magic is real – they practice magic themselves, after all. You view the methods of any other magician (Awakened or otherwise) as deeply implausible.||Anytime you see magic that fits your Affiliation and practice (e.g., an Akashic student of Martial Arts), things proceed as they should. However, when you are witness to magic outside of that style (e.g., Weird Science), you are treated as a Sleeper.
This is not a Flaw because it more often disrupts the magic of your opponents and not your own. It is an excellent companion to the Isolated Upbringing Flaw, however.
|Summoner||1-3||Medium||Summoning a ghost persuades or forces it to come to the practitioner. This does not mean it will do what the medium wants after it arrives.||A talented Summoner receives certain story benefits in summoning-related situations, and can add a die bonus equal to their rating in this Merit to their summoning rolls.|
|Temperature Sensitive||1||Physical||You can easily sense the change in atmosphere temperature if it rapidly rises or falls.||Your sensitivity can provide a special recognition of where a possible spirit is trying to manifest. This also can give you a really good idea of where the drafts are in a building, providing the ability to rule out false positives.|
|Twin Link||4-6||Psychic||Your psychic character shares a permanent psychic connection to another psychic, who must also purchase this Merit.||This Merit duplicates the benefit of the Level Two Synergy effect. The linked psychics additionally gain +2 to their Empathy score to determine the other party’s feelings.
As a 6-pt Merit, the bonded characters can purchase the Synergy Psychic Phenomena at (new rating * 3 XP) per dot, and may take it all the way to Level Five regardless of their respective Willpower. Their Synergy only works on their bonded partner.
In order to benefit from the 6-pt version of this Merit, both bonded characters must raise Synergy to the same level.
|Warder||1-3||Medium||Warding a place, object, or person means that ghosts cannot approach it.||A talented warder receives certain story benefits in warding-related situations, and can add a die bonus equal to their rating in this Merit to their warding rolls.|
|Wild Talent||1-4||Psychic||While many psychics never receive proper training to develop their gifts, you lack even basic control of your powers. However, without the self-imposed limitations that comes with control over your talents, comes the potential for greater power.||Use the following list to determine the costs and effects of this Merit (or Flaw) which cannot exceed 4 points:
+1 for every extra die you have when calling upon your Psychic Phenomena.
-1 You must make an additional Willpower roll (Difficulty 7) to use your power.
-2 You can only consciously use the power defensively (e.g., your precognitive powers warn you of an attack using Danger Sense, or your telekinesis can stop an oncoming car).
-3 You have no conscious control of the power, but it works more often to your benefit than not. (e.g., your clairvoyance manifests in useful prophetic dreams)
-4 Your powers activate randomly (a minimum of once per session) and often when you least expect or desire it. (e.g., telekinetically flipping books around a library while attempting to do research).
Restriction: This Flaw or Merit is incompatible with the Control Group Merit.
|Black and White||1||Social||The world is really a collection of shades of gray, but your character doesn’t see it that way. To her, everything is clear as black and white.||Story-wise, your character thinks in terms of people being either for or against her, hot or cold, good or evil, easy or impossible, stupid or genius. This closed mindset can cost your character dearly in missed opportunities, misunderstandings, and under- or overestimation of others.
System-wise, in social situations where your character’s judgmental perspective comes to bear, the difficulties of associated rolls increase by one.
|Boardwalk Medium||1||Medium||You grew up in an environment where your friends and family neither recognized nor appreciated your mediumship.||You never found a mentor or teacher, neither living nor dead. Due to this, your talent is completely untrained. Following repeated rejections throughout your childhood and adolescence, you are uneasy around others and find it difficult to trust them.|
|Catalyst||5||Supernatural||Something about your presence tends to rile the spirits around you.||Perhaps you have a latent psychic gift or your emotional intensity is just the fuel that hauntings need.
Whatever the case, whenever you enter a haunted location, activity is sure to increase. This also drops the strength of the Shroud by two levels within a 20-foot radius around you. It costs a point of Willpower to suppress this spiritual amplification for a scene.
This Flaw should never work to your benefit. Your very presence tends to agitate the denizens of the Underworld towards mayhem and mischief, making collaboration difficult at best.
|Caught||5||Social||You got caught falsifying evidence, plagiarizing papers, forging a picture, faking an electronic voice phenomenon. Whatever it was that you did left you with a huge mark on your public persona; things are much harder for you.||Story-wise, It’s harder to gain access to certain archives. It’s harder to get the proper permits into haunted sites because you’re “that guy.” People won’t give you the time of day and most definitely won’t fund your work without some definitive proof.
System-wise, You are at a +2 difficulty on all Social rolls in social situations involving your peers and +3 difficulty on any rolls using Intimidate, Empathy, or Leadership.
|Conspiracy Theorist||2||Mental||You’ve spent years embedded in the conspiracist community exploring different theories and unexplained activity.||You are suspicious of everything and everyone. You pick up on innocuous details, each one providing more evidence for the conspiracy against you. Add one to the difficulty of all Social interaction rolls.|
|Controversial||3||Social||In the high-stakes world of academia, you work on the bleeding edge of science. Unfortunately, you had to crack some eggs and make some hard choices along the way as well to get where you are. This has left you with some very energetic detractors...Folks that would take more pleasure in your failure than their own success.||Either because of the cutthroat choices you've made, or because of some perceived flaw in your scientific reasoning, there are those that quite simply hate you and your work.
These people show up to forums you speak at, conferences you attend, signings of your latest book, and try to make your life a living hell. When in a room with these protesters you suffer a +3 difficulty to all Academics and Expression rolls as you must try to talk over them or force them to see the unreason of their actions.
This is a very common Flaw among Arcanum scholars, many of whom seek to advance viewpoints that are met with scorn by the mainstream scientific community. This could either be genuine outrage or the result of a sinister conspiracy to discredit them.
|Credulous||3-5||Government||You believe in monsters and conspiracies, and your fellow agents know it. This credulous reputation makes you a liability — no matter how much of the truth you actually know.||With the three-point version of this Flaw you’re still a field agent, but your fellow agents either ignore you or openly mock you.
Subtract one die from all Empathy, Investigation, or Leadership rolls when dealing with members of the intelligence community. If a supernatural creature is looking for a scapegoat, your name is top of the list.
With the five-point version of this Flaw, you’re on your way out. You’ve got a make-work assignment — maybe a feasibility study for building a wall along the Canadian border, or listening for intelligence coming out of the New Zealand field office.
You won’t get any backup, and if you continue to make trouble (by, say, investigating supernatural creatures), people high up in your agency’s food chain will arrange an accident to shut you up permanently.
|Death Cult||7||Supernatural||You are a part of a death cult and have made a pact with them to, at some point, be the ritual focus for one of their sacrifices in exchange for the knowledge they have.||This Flaw doesn't necessarily have to represent a human cult. It could be a demon, Nephandic entity or a pack of Black Spiral Dancers.
Regardless, whether you willingly give yourself up or they come for you, these people are high in influence and resources and low on belief in the sanctity of life.
This is a Restricted Flaw for obvious reasons, given that most players tend to have an extraordinary poor reaction to these kinds of things coming due. However, it is a very common Flaw among potential NPC antagonists, so is preserved here for interest's sake.
|Early Access||3||Supernatural||A near-death experience has left you more susceptible to damage from spirits.||Story-wise, you have a greater understanding of spiritual energy but this knowledge comes at the cost of your own physical shell.
System-wise, wraiths and spirits have a -1 Difficulty to damaging you, (i.e., they'll roll at difficulty 5 instead of 6.)
|Exposed||2||Medium||Although your talent for mediumship is 100% genuine, at some point in the past someone exposed you as a fake.||Story-wise, the exposure could have been evidence falsified by a personal enemy or someone who wants to prove that all mediums are fakes. It could be that you were put on the spot in public and your talent (which is never 100% reliable) failed to provide the evidence the audience craved.
Whatever the particulars, your “fakeness” gained wide circulation on TV, social media, or in the press. You find it hard now to get anyone to hire you, except for those who want a fake. This has had the knock-on effect of enormously hurting your reputation in 'legit' medium circles as well.
|Frozen||5||Mental||When confronted with a terror-inducing situation, you become paralyzed.||You are always the last to act, as your brain temporarily shuts down as fear grips you completely.
When initiative is generated for combat you must skip your first action unless you spend two Willpower points.
|Handler||1-5||Social||You have a “handler,” a person who tells you where to go, why you’re going, and who will follow you around or “surprise” you on investigations to make sure you are doing the job.||Your handler (which could be either a direct superior, or some mysterious denizen from the 'other side' who is monitoring you for some reason) may withhold knowledge from you, fail to drop that check in your bank account, lose evidence, or do any number of other annoying and possibly dangerous things to you and your team.
You should collaborate with your Storyteller to come up with an interesting antagonist when taking this Flaw. Some possibilities besides the obvious, include an inquisitive police officer, a ghouled network executive, a publishing agent looking for that draft of the book you owe them, or a local gossip trying to find out what those kids with flashlights are up to.
|Isolated Upbringing||2||Social||You were raised within a reclusive environment and have had little contact with the “mundane” world. This could mean you were the home-schooled child of a traveling Arcanum scholar or grew up in a Society of Leopold monastery, etc.||You have a limited understanding of how the “normal” world works. Whenever you are outside the boundaries of your childhood Affiliation, you have a -1 die penalty to all social rolls.|
|Manchurian Candidate||5||Government||You’re the worst kind of double agent: one who doesn’t know he’s compromised. Some power unknown to you gave you a task, and you can’t help but carry it out.||Story-wise, your controller has programmed you to react to a specific signal — it could be a trigger word, a pattern of flashing lights, or a specific image. When you encounter your trigger, you’ll do whatever your master asked of you. Afterwards, you’ll remember up to the point where you encountered the signal — the rest is a blank.
Common demands might include unknowingly spying on your own organization, destroying sensitive documents, assassinating a target named at the same time as the trigger, or stealing valuable equipment.
|No Talent Hack||3||Medium||You (possibly wrongly) believe yourself to have no actual talent at contacting the dead, or else that it is superstitious nonsense only suited for separating fools from their money. However cynical your stance, you are exceptionally good at faking the real thing.||Story-wise, your cold readings delight your clients and you get commissions to conduct seances in the best society. You could even, if you wished, take part in a reality TV ghost hunting show or be secretly consulted by the government or Arcanum scholars. You laugh at the disapproval of your so-called peers who take all this claptrap more seriously.
It's all one great joke to you of course. This is even despite the fact that you might (just might) be the genuine article. For whatever reason (perhaps related to some past trauma), your mediumship is intended to be strictly theatrical and entertaining.
There could be a more cynical reason why you persist in believing it's all a scam: You might otherwise have to confront dark truths about your motives, and what you might owe to both the living and the dead with your gift, beyond just making a buck off them. Then again, you could simply be a greedy fraud.
System-wise, you are at +2 difficulty to all Social and Mental actions whenever confronted with the fact that you are completely full of shit.
|Paradise Lost||2||Leopold||You once had the True Faith that could light the night. It is now extinguished.||Story-wise, this is not the simple loss of an advantage, but a gaping wound of the soul. You know what it was like to be seen in the light of the divine, but now stumble outside the sight of God and drown in the corpse-cold murk of doubts, an ever-flowing river with no end in sight.
System-wise, whenever you are confronted with this loss (holding a holy symbol, asked to perform a miracle, entering a church, etc.), make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) or lose one die on all actions for the scene, as sorrow seizes you. A botched Willpower roll consumes a Willpower point and opens you to despair. Indulging a vice (alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.) can replenish Willpower points lost in this way.
|Path Inept||5||Sorcerer||You have a difficult time picking up new Paths. This could be due to a curse, lack of training, a mental block or simply approaching it with an excessively cautious (or inflexible) philosophy.||You pay (new rating x 8) for raising all Paths besides your Affinity Path. You pay one more experience point for all non-Affinity Path rituals as well.|
|Psi Focus||3-5||Psychic||Your psychic power requires something beyond your own mental powers to manifest, whether you need your lucky feather, to ask pretty please, or just pantomime the action you need to happen.||* For a 3-point Flaw, you have to gesture or speak an incantation for your Psychic Phenomena to work.
* For a 4-point Flaw, you require an additional physical focus to work such as crystals, drugs, tarot cards, candles or a specific partner.
* For a 5-point Flaw, you require an extra turn of concentration, in addition to one of the above affectations (such as an especially elaborate series of gestures or needing to meditate on your chakra crystal, etc).
SPECIAL RULE: Taking this Flaw increases your character’s allowed Merit dots from the usual supernatural PC limit of 10, to a new limit of 13-15. In addition, it does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.
|Psychic Feedback||1-3||Psychic||Your psychic powers are a great gift, but they take their toll on you.||* As a 1-point Flaw, you experience headaches or disorientation. Roll Stamina + Meditation (difficulty 7). On a failure, the difficulty of all actions increase by two for for one round while the pain overtakes you.
* As a 3-point Flaw, you experience more acute pain from the use of Phenomena. Roll Intelligence (difficulty 9) each time you use a power. Failure results in taking a level of bashing damage. A botch is treated as lethal.
SPECIAL RULE: This Flaw does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.
|Religious Hysteria||3||Mental||Angels and demons are everywhere! You see them. You note the signs of the Divine plan in every nuance of life.||Story-wise, your character considers almost everything that transpires some kind of omen or portent. The Holy Ghost whispers in your ear constantly. Why do others not understand? Even your brothers and sisters in the faith shake their heads as your breathlessly elucidate your latest holy vision.
System-wise, the difference between this Flaw and the Ecstatic Merit (see below) is that people do not take you seriously. Your visions occur a bit too often, are a bit too untenable. Subtract one die from all Social dice pools.
|Ritual Sleeper||5||Sorcerer||Magic doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger.||You are unable to manifest any instant magical effects (i.e., spells) and are thus limited to performing rituals. If the rules of your Affinity Path already require magic through only ritual, you may not take this Flaw. You’re also considered a Sleeper if you witness any non-ritual magical effect.
SPECIAL RULE: Taking this Flaw increases your character’s allowed Merit dots from the usual supernatural PC limit of 10, to a new limit of 15. In addition, it does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.
|Sacred Cow||3||Mental||You have a set of dogmas that you follow to the letter. Be this some esoteric philosophy, the bright line of reason, or the hard line of the church, these paths are your everything, and when you are confronted by something that blasphemes against them you become irate.||When a situation arises for your character that is in direct conflict with their beliefs they are at a +2 difficulty for all Social or Mental rolls until the scene ends, as they try to reconcile their understanding of the universe with their senses.
There's nothing inherent to this Flaw that suggests what you believe has to be wrong. It just means that you tend to respond exceptionally poorly when even remotely challenged about it.
|Scaredy Cat||1||Mental||You startle easily. Like, really easily.||It’s almost impossible for you to sneak around, as the slightest creaking of a board or squeaking of a mouse will elicit an involuntary yelp, shriek or groan of terror. All stealth rolls have a +1 difficulty and your Courage cannot be greater than 2 until this Flaw is bought off.|
|Siege Mentality||3||Government||The agency is your family and your only friends. You don’t trust civilians and amateurs to do what you see as your job, and politicians and lawmakers just get in your agency’s way. You’d trust other intelligence agencies if they’d just once prove that they could find their collective asses with a mirror and a flashlight.||Story-wise, your attitude has a number of cascading effects:
* First, you’re brash and domineering with “civilians,” whether that’s an FBI agent talking with local police, or a CIA operative dealing with a private intelligence company.
* Second, you’re on edge around other members of the intelligence community, even though you’re supposed to be on the same side.
System-wise, subtract two dice from all Empathy and Investigation dice pools when dealing with amateurs in your field, and add one to the difficulty of all social interaction rolls when dealing with rival professionals.
|Tag-Along||3||Social||You have someone who simply must go with you on your paranormal investigations — someone who just isn’t that good at it.||Be it a kid brother, a producer for your show, or a clingy girlfriend, this person loves to ask questions at the wrong times, pick up (and possibly break) sensitive equipment, talk loudly and bump into things, and generally be a pain to you and your team. Unfortunately, you can't do much about it.
You are at a +1 difficulty for all Investigation, Stealth, and Awareness rolls in this individual's presence (and sometimes even when not!). This flaw could be taken to represent another player character or a non-player character of the Storyteller’s design.
However inconvenient this might be, it is a certain truth that ditching them will only lead to worse consequences.
|Tech Focus||2||Mental||You are so deeply invested in the evidence-collection abilities of your ghost-hunting gadgets that you will discount the proof of your own senses should your tech fail to pick up related readings.||You rely entirely on technology to meaningfully search for paranormal activity. You are at a +2 difficulty for all Alertness, Awareness and Investigation rolls where you are either without access to your equipment, or if your equipment is in any way unsuitable for the task at hand (whether you realize it or not).|
|Torn Caul||4||Supernatural||You’ve done something terrible in the past and that has made you more vulnerable to possession.||A dark door within your very being has been opened, and certain spirits can walk through it.
The spirits cannot actively cause you to harm yourself or others, but they can speak through you or cause you to act not of your own accord for one scene if you lose a contested Willpower roll.
|Unsettling Effect||1-3||Supernatural||Numina powers are often unnoticeable. However, something about your character’s Numina causes others to recognize that there’s something weird going on.||With the one-point flaw, your character has a single intangible power (such as Telepathy or Psychometry) that generates a noticeable, perceptible effect. Perhaps subjects can feel the character paging through their minds, or maybe everyone around the psychic feels a swell of eerie emotions when she touches a resonant object.
With the three-point flaw, all of your character’s intangible powers (including ones that she learns later) have some sort of unsettling effect, likely united by a shared “signature” or style of effect.
|Wild Talent||1-4||Psychic||While many psychics never receive proper training to develop their gifts, you lack even basic control of your powers. However, without the self-imposed limitations that comes with control over your talents, comes the potential for greater power.||Use the following list to determine the costs and effects of this Merit (or Flaw) which cannot exceed 4 points:
+1 for every extra die you have when calling upon your Psychic Phenomena.
-1 You must make an additional Willpower roll (Difficulty 7) to use your power.
-2 You can only consciously use the power defensively (e.g., your precognitive powers warn you of an attack using Danger Sense, or your telekinesis can stop an oncoming car).
-3 You have no conscious control of the power, but it works more often to your benefit than not. (e.g., your clairvoyance manifests in useful prophetic dreams)
-4 Your powers activate randomly (a minimum of once per session) and often when you least expect or desire it. (e.g., telekinetically flipping books around a library while attempting to do research).
Restriction: This Flaw or Merit is incompatible with the Control Group Merit.