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Merit’s Compendium

Table of Contents
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Introduction 03
The World Of Darkness Merits 04
Vampire The Requiem Merits 127
Werewolf The Forsaken Merits 169
Mage The Awakening Merits 185
Promethean The Created Merits 222
Changeling The Lost Merits 233
Hunter The Vigil Merits 264
Geist The Sin-Eaters Merits 275
Introduction
This list was compiled to help the players in the creation process of their characters. The
idea was to make a lot easier to choose Merits, putting them in just one book. However,
you’re going to need the World of Darkness core book, and all the others templates books
to make sense of the descriptions below. It’s really important to buy these books, so they
will keep releasing them for our entertainment. So, White Wolf staff, don’t sue us, we are
satisfied customers trying to help other players.
This is the second version of the list and we will keep updating with new merits as soon
as they are released. This project was started by a group of players in an internet WoD
group, we want to keep releasing merits on future versions of this ebook.
I hope you enjoy the list.

The autor

Acknowledgements
First the White-Wolf’s staff for writing the games, second the people who compiled this
list (Leonardo, Paulo, Mateus, Aécio and myself) and the others from the WoD Group. In a
personal perspective I would like to thank all the players and storyteller’s who helped me to
love these games (André, Bandit, Berzins, Bu, Diana, Duda, Flávio, Igor, Jano, Judson,
Pantera, Pedro, Ricardo), with a special thanks to Diana and Leonardo who helped me in
these list with his thoughts, works and opinions.

Last update: 08/18/10 – Signs Of The Moon – Added


The World Of Darkness Merits
Mental Merits
A Little Knowledge (•)
Book: Asylum, p. 50; Reliquary, p. 84
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural)
Effect: Your character has either had a brush with the supernatural or been in a field that has regular casual
contact with the supernatural (such as medicine or law enforcement) to know that something else is out there.
While he doesn’t know anything specific (i.e., this Merit doesn’t give any bonus to Occult rolls or offer any
frame of reference), your character doesn’t suffer negative penalties when trying to identify or diagnosis
conditions for which there is no easy medical antecedent.
For instance, a doctor with this Merit sees a patient in the ER with long, vicious bite marks. The doctor
knows that no animal short of a bear could have made those wounds, and he knows that there are no bears
native to the area. Normally, this would negatively affect his treatment — he might waste valuable time trying
to shoehorn the evidence into his own experience. With this Merit, though, he takes it as read that something
made these bites and treats them, or, a scholar with this Merit finds an anachronism in a text supposedly from
the 17th century. Rather than immediately dismissing the text as a fraud, the character digs deeper and
discovers other references to future events, along with the author’s descriptions of his horrible visions of
things to come.
This Merit also offers a +1 bonus to any roll made to recognize a strange or otherworldly situation. If the
character ever becomes a supernatural being, including a ghoul or a Sleepwalker, he loses this Merit.

Area of Expertise (••)


Book: The Free Council, p. 131
Prerequisite: Resolve •• and a Specialty in the appropriate Mental Skill
Effect: Your character is uncommonly focused on a particular area of expertise. By purchasing this Merit,
your character essentially doubles his Specialty in a particular Mental Skill, so that he gains a +2 dice bonus
from that Specialty rather than the usual +1. This Merit can only be applied to one of the character’s existing
Specialties. This Merit can only be purchased once per character.
Drawback: A character with this Merit cannot have any other Specialties in the same Skill as Area of
Expertise. Thus, if this Merit is purchased for the Automobiles Specialty of Craft, the character can never
have any other Specialties in that same Skill.

Combat Awareness (••)


Book: Dogs Of War, p. 109
Prerequisite: Military training or combat back ground.
Effect: Your character understands how to survive on a battlefield as a result of either intense military
training or personal experience. This includes knowledge of how to use terrain to your advantage and a
general state of mental alertness sustainable even under heavy enemy fire. As a result of this aptitude, your
character gains a +2 dice bonus to any situational awareness roll.

Common sense (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 108
Effect: Your character is exceptionally grounded and pragmatic, and can usually be depended upon to
make sound, straightforward decisions after a few moments’ thought.
The Storyteller can make a reflexive Wits + Composure roll once per chapter for your character if he is
about to embark on a disastrous course of action, or if you find yourself at a point in the story where you are
completely stumped for ideas. If the roll succeeds, the Storyteller may point out the risks of a particular
course, or suggest possible actions that your character can take that might get events back on track. Note:
While you are free to ask the Storyteller for a Common Sense roll when you’re out of ideas, he is under no
obligation to comply. It an aid, not a crutch. Available at character creation only.
Crafter’s Sense (•••)
Book: The Free Council, p. 131
Prerequisite: Craft ••• and a Specialty
Effect: Your character has an intuitive sense of her craft, born of experience. Good decision-making is
habitual for her when it comes to her work. This Merit grants all the benefits of the Common Sense Merit (see
the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 108) but only regarding actions dealing with the character’s Craft
Specialty. The dice pool for the reflexive action to check the character’s “common sense” is Wits + Crafts
(instead of Composure). At the Storyteller’s discretion, this “gut check” roll can be used to gauge the target
number of successes on an extended action using the subject Specialty, in addition to all the normal uses of
the Common Sense Merit. If a character has both this Merit and the Common Sense Merit, each may be used
once per chapter.

Danger Sense (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 108
Effect: You gain a +2 modifier on reflexive Wits + Composure rolls for your character to detect an
impending ambush. This kind of roll is typically made prior to the first turn of a surprise attack.
Your character has a well-developed survival instinct that warns him of impending danger. Perhaps he’s
adept at reading subtle clues in his environment orhe possesses an uncanny “sixth sense” when it comes to
avoiding trouble.

Difficult to Ride (••••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 108
Prerequisite: Composure and Resolve •••
Effect: Your character is remarkably resistant to being Urged, Ridden or Possessed by spirits or ghosts. The
character adds two dice to all contested rolls against spirits’ attempts to affect her in that way (or with other
forms of mental control), or adds two to her Resistance traits (if subtracted from a spirit’s roll). Whether this
is because of a hardening experience in her past or some hereditary predisposition depends on the story.
Drawback: Many spirits are angered by strong resistance and eager to get revenge. Others just want to
eliminate such people so they never spawn more. Either way, your character becomes a target once her
resistance becomes clear.

Driver’s Charm (• to •••••)


Book: Midnight Roads, p. 56
Effect: Some drivers have good luck charms for their vehicles. A hula girl on the dashboard, a Saint
Christopher medal on one’s keychain, a pair of beloved fuzzy dice, a cup holder full of the knucklebones of a
vanquished enemy. Sometimes, such items are just icons of luck that doesn’t really manifest. Other times, the
driver imparts a tiny portion of his own soul and will into the artifact, and it genuinely grants him some
measure of luck when driving. For every dot purchased, the charm can increase by +1 the following statistics
of a chosen vehicle: Durability, Structure, Acceleration, Handling. Drawback: The driver’s charm works for
only a single scene once per day, and requires one Willpower point from the driver to become active. Also,
the charm is “attuned” only to one vehicle. If that vehicle wrecks, the charm (if it survived) can be re-attuned
to a new vehicle, but doing so costs the driver a dot of Willpower. (Remember that recouping a dot of lost or
spent Willpower costs eight experience points.)

Easy Ride (••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 108
Prerequisite: Wits •••
Effect: Your character knows how to relax and let a spirit or ghost possess her. She forgoes any contesting
roll or Resistance trait, and the possession takes place as long as the spirit rolls a single success. Possessing
spirits gain full, penalty-free control over the character’s faculties immediately, without any muss or fuss. She
remains aware of what is going on during the possession and has a couple of extra options.
She may allow the spirit to continue controlling her body for longer than a scene, if she likes. Or, if
displeased as the possession progresses, she may try to eject the spirit. She and the spirit make the normal
contested roll they would normally have made during the original possession. Success on the spirit’s part
allows it to remain for the rest of the scene, and ties must be rerolled the next turn. The character may only try
this once per scene.
Drawback: As a well-trod soul, the character suffers a –2 dice penalty to any contesting rolls or Resistance
traits applied to prevent (or end, as above) a possession. She also earns a reputation as “easy” among local
spirits, who may seek her out when they need a quick body for something, even if she’s not likely to go
willingly.

Eidetic Memory (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 108
Effect: Your character has a near-photographic memory, being able to recall vast amounts of observed
detail with astonishing accuracy. You do not normally need to make a roll for your character to remember an
obscure fact or past experience, unless he is under stress (such as in combat). Under stress, there is a +2
modifier on any Intelligence + Composure or other Skill based roll (say, Academics, to remember a fact) for
memory recall. Available at character creation only.

Emotional Detachment (•)


Book: Asylum, p. 50
Prerequisite: Resolve ••
Effect: Your character can distance himself from the pain, grief and suffering of his fellow human beings
long enough to help them. This might make him seem somewhat aloof, but it also means that he doesn’t
second-guess himself when performing delicate surgery. The character ignores penalties stemming from stress
equal to his Resolve rating. For instance, if an EMT is trying to perform an emergency tracheostomy while in
a moving car with a werewolf on the roof, the EMT might normally suffer a –2 penalty from sheer emotional
pressure. If he had this Merit and his Resolve were 2 or higher, he would take no penalty at all.

Encyclopedic Knowledge (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 109
Effect: Your character is a veritable font of useful (and sometimes useless) information on a wide variety
of topics. Chances are he can come up with an anecdote pertaining to any situation based on something he’s
read, witnessed or seen on TV.
You can make an Intelligence + Wits roll any time your character is confronted with a situation or
phenomenon outside his normal realm of experience. If the roll is successful, he may recall a “factoid” that
he’s heard at some point that may shed light on matters.
Available at character creation only. Your character has either been soaking up trivia all his life or he
hasn’t.
Dramatic Failure: Your character ”remembers” something about the situation that is completely
inaccurate. “Wait! Wait! I saw something like this in a movie once!” The Storyteller might make Intelligence
+ Wits rolls on your behalf when a dramatic failure is possible.
Failure: Your character wracks his brain but comes up empty.
Success: Your character remembers a detail or fact that sheds some light on the situation. “You said there
was an almond odor? Seems to me I read somewhere that’s a sign of cyanide poisoning.”
Exceptional Success: Your character recalls a number of useful details that provide extensive insight.
"Hey, cool - a little candy skull. They make these in Mexico for the Day of the Dead. It's an offering for a
loved one who's died. And they say you can't learn anything on TV."

Entheogenic Synesthesia (•)


Book: Magical Traditions, p. 137
Effect: While under the effects of a psychoactive drug, the character experiences synesthesia, where her
senses blur together (she can “taste” music, perhaps, or “hear” colors). This grants her an added level of
awareness, as her perceptions are bolstered by more than one sense. While on the drug, she not only
experiences no dice penalties to her Perception rolls, but also gains +1 to any Perception rolls.

EOD (••)
Book: Armory, p. 208 (errata correction)
Prerequisite: Wits ••• or Dexterity •••, Crafts •••, Demolitions Specialty in Crafts
Effect: Your character is well versed in handling all types of explosives. She is familiar with all kinds of
techniques used in bomb making, from creating her own explosives to identifying and arming manufactured
ones. She has also been trained in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and is comfortable disarming
unfamiliar devices. Your character does not suffer the –2 penalty for disarming an explosive she did not build
(see p. 114).

Good Time Management (••)


Book: Asylum, p. 50; Reliquary, p. 84
Prerequisite: Academics, Medicine or Science ••
Effect: Years of working with demanding corporations have served your character well. She can make
effective use of her time, provided that she’s not relying on anyone else who might slow her down. Each roll
in an extended action has the time requirement reduced by one quarter. For instance, if the character is
translating a text and each roll would normally require one hour, a character with this Merit only requires 45
minutes for each roll. Characters using Teamwork (see p. 134 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) cannot
benefit from this Merit, or characters relying on machines (such as lab equipment).
Good Time Management applies only to mundane actions. It does not apply to magical rituals of any kind,
though it does apply to researching such rituals.

Higher Calling (••)


Book: Tome Of The Watchtowers, p. 125
Prerequisite: Resolve •••
Effect: Your character is especially devoted to a particular cause or purpose, gaining +1 die for Resolve
rolls to resist coercion that runs counter to his calling. This only affects Resolve rolls, not Willpower or other
Traits, and does not affect coercion that doesn’t involve the character’s Higher Calling.
Drawbacks: If your character ever acts in a way contrary to his calling or abandons his dedication to it, the
Storyteller may even remove this Merit.

Holistic Awareness (•••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 109
Effect: Your character is skilled in the arts of whole body healing, promoting health and recovery by
keeping a person’s entire physiology balanced and strong. The resultis that he is able to treat sickness and
some injuries (those not requiring surgery, and ones suffered to bashing or lethal damage but not aggravated)
with a collection of natural remedies rather than resorting to a doctor or hospital.
Make an Intelligence + Medicine roll once per day when your character spends an hour treating a patient. If
the roll is successful, the patient’s healing times that day are halved. The worst of a patient’s injuries must be
treated first. So, if he has suffered a lethal wound and a successful roll is made, the wound heals that day
rather than in two days. If the patient has suffered nothing but bashing damage, all wounds are healed in mere
minutes (about eight each). See Chapter 7, p. 175, for healing times.
Dramatic Failure: Your character misdiagnoses or mistreats the problem, making it worse. The patient
does not heal more quickly (he maintains normal healing times). He does, however, suffer an additional point
of bashing damage. Your character cannot try to heal the patient again for his current injuries.
Failure: The treatment has no effect and normal healing times apply to any bashing wounds or to a single
lethal wound. If the Storyteller allows, your character can make a successive attempt to try again that day (see
p. 132). If still no successes are gained to heal a single lethal wound or one or more bashing wounds, those
must be allowed to heal naturally before another effort can be made. Thus, if no successes are rolled to heal
one of a patient’s lethal wounds, that wound must heal naturally over two days before your character can try
to heal another lethal wound.
Success: Your character’s treatment is rewarding and the patient’s healing time that day is halved.
Exceptional Success: The patient responds remarkably well to treatment. You can skip tomorrow’s roll
altogether. It’s automatically assumed to succeed. In that case, two lethal wounds can be healed in two days.
Suggested Equipment: Holistic medicines (+1), healing- touch manuals (+1), body-purifying foods and
liquids (+1)
Possible Penalties: Lack of remedies (-1 to -4), noisy environment (-1), imminent danger (-3), improvised
facilities (-1)

Hollow Soul (••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 109
Prerequisites: Easy Ride
Effect: Your character can be possessed even by spirits that cannot normally use the Possession Numen.
All the spirit needs to do is fetter to the character, and then it can possess him for a scene with a contested
Power + Finesse versus Resolve + Composure roll. The character can serve as a mouthpiece for spirits too
weak to normally interact with the material world on a meaningful level, but also gets sought out by more
powerful spirits who would prefer to abuse the character’s ability.

Hypnosis (•••)
Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 120; Mage Chronicler's Guide, p. 115
Prerequisite: Medicine • or Occult •
Effect: A character with this Merit can hypnotize others (or herself) using the Occult or Medicine Skills.
The character must choose which of the two Skills the Merit is tied to, and write the Merit down on the
character sheet as either Hypnosis (Medicine) or Hypnosis (Occult). The character can only use the chosen
Skill to perform hypnosis. If the player wants the character to be able to use either Skills, he has to buy the
Merit twice, once for each Skill.
Many hypnotists use equipment such as pendulums, pocket watches, simple machines that project revolving
spiral patterns and the like. A subject placed in a trance becomes easily manipulated and likely to respond
positively to questioning or suggestion.
This Merit is not limited to vampires or mages; it can be bought by any character.
Hypnotizing a Subject
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Occult or Medicine + equipment (hypnotist) - subject’s Resolve (if target
resists)
Action: Extended
The hypnotist requires a number of successes equal to twice the target’s Willpower. Each roll represents
one minute of work. If the hypnotist succeeds, the target falls into a trance and becomes malleable to
suggestion.
A hypnotist can hypnotize himself.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The hypnotist fails even to calm the subject down, or makes a basic error in the process.
The subject cannot be hypnotized again for a number of days equal to his Resolve.
Failure: The hypnotist fails to induce trance in the time allowed, or gains no successes towards hypnotizing
the subject.
Success: The hypnotist makes progress, or gathers enough successes to place the subject in a trance.
As long as the trance persists, any rolls the hypnotist’s player makes to influence the subject (eg. to induce
the subject to impart information or to implant a posthypnotic suggestion which will make the subject behave
in a certain way after the trance has ended) gain a bonus equal to the hypnotist’s dots in Manipulation.
Exceptional Success: The hypnotist makes speedy headway towards hypnotizing the subject.
Equipment: Pendulum or pocketwatch on chain (+1); audio visual stimulation (+1 to +3); white and
featureless room (+1).
Possible Penalties: Unfamiliar with subject (-2); language barrier (-3); distractions nearby (-2).

Informative (•• or ••••)


Book: The Free Council, p. 131
Prerequisites: Wits •• and •• in the appropriate Skill
Effect: Your character may not be much of a writer or public speaker, but get him talking about his work
and he becomes downright erudite. Your character can use the dots in one of his Mental Skills, up to a
maximum of the dots in this Merit, in place of Expression to lecture, write papers or otherwise inform an
audience. Your character’s performance may be dry or routine, but it will at least be clear and absorbing.
You must specify the Mental Skill to which this Merit applies when you purchase it. You can purchase this
Merit multiple times, selecting a different Mental Skill each time.

Interdisciplinary Specialty (•)


Book: The Free Council, p. 132
Prerequisites: ••• in two Skills and a Specialty
Effect: Your character makes sense of the world through interdisciplinary thought. She sees metaphorical
connections between different fields of study and, through those connections, achieves greater comfort and
success more easily in both.
This Merit lets a character duplicate her Specialty in one Skill with another Skill. For example, a Medicine
Specialty in Anatomy could be duplicated under Weaponry to describe a character’s deadly precision. Or a
Craft Specialty in Motorcycles could be duplicated under Drive to reflect a character’s honed experience. The
character must have three dots in both Skills used by this Merit.
Note: Because the Storyteller judges access to any Merit on a case-by-case basis, the application of this
Merit is left deliberately vague — it essentially saves a player an experience point in exchange for adding
cohesion to her Specialties. Individual Storytellers must decide what Skills are suitable to be paired through
this Merit based on the background and nature of the character involved. Some combinations (Anatomy as a
Specialty for Weaponry, for example) will seem appropriate in some cases and inappropriate in others.

Language (•)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 109 (Errata Version)
Effect: Your character knows an additional language besides his own, one that he can read, write and speak
with fluency. If he wishes to convince others that he is a native speaker, however, the Storyteller might call
for an Intelligence + Expression draw, contested by a reflexive Intelligence + Academics draw by anyone
who is suspicious.
You must specify which language your character is familiar with when purchasing this Merit. There is no
limit to the number of languages that a character may learn, though each language must be purchased as a
separate Merit.

Locus-Drinker (•••)
Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 109
Prerequisites: Mortal (non-supernatural)
Effect: Your character can draw Essence from a locus, an ability normally reserved for spirits, werewolves
and some mages. This requires a Morality roll that the character can only attempt once per day.
Each success allows the character to draw out one point of Essence, and each point requires one minute of
meditative effort. The character still has no ability to store that Essence within himself or use it for any means,
but he can channel it to objects or creatures that can (such as spirits or the Cup of Life fetish, see p. 120). If
the character somehow has the ability to use Essence, he may bend this Essence to that use immediately (but
still cannot store it).
Drawback: Possession of this Merit makes the character a threat to some (endangering their supplies of
Essence) and a resource to others (potentially doubling their daily Essence acquisition). If the character isn’t
careful with his ability, others may try to eliminate him or use him as a tool.

Make Do (• to •••)
Book: The Free Council, p. 132
Prerequisites: Wits ••• and • in the appropriate Skill
Effect: Your character has some experience working under sub-optimal conditions. With poor tools or the
wrong tools, she can change a tire, repair a roof or perform an emergency tracheotomy. When you purchase
this Merit, assign it to a particular Skill (e.g., Make Do: Crafts). Reduce all penalties stemming from poor or
inappropriate tools by the number of dots you have in this Merit. You still must need and have some kind of
tools to attempt the action (you can’t patch a tire or perform a tracheotomy with your bare hands), but you can
scrape by with poor substitutes using this Merit. Note that this Merit does not add dice to your pool; this Merit
negates penalties.
This Merit can be purchased multiple times to apply to multiple Skills.

Meditative Mind (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 109
Effect: Your character can effortlessly enter a meditative state when she chooses, and can remain in it for
as long as she wishes. All environmental penalties imposed to Wits + Composure draws to meditate are
ignored. Not even wound penalties apply to your character’s efforts to focus. See the Meditation Attribute
task in Chapter 2, p. 51

Multi-Lingual (• to •••••)
Book: Reliquary, p. 85
Effect: The character either has knack for languages or grew up in a culture that teaches several different
tongues. In addition to the character’s native language, the player may choose two languages for every dot in
this Merit that the character speaks conversationally.
Note that the character cannot speak effortlessly in these languages. Communicating quickly or over the
telephone requires an Intelligence + Wits roll, and talking about anything esoteric (including humor, politics
and certainly occult matters) imposes a penalty of –1 to –3 dice. Reading the language requires an Intelligence
+ Academics or Wits roll (depending on how the character learned the language; study or immersion,
respectively), and writing something coherent in the language requires a roll of Wits + Academics or
Intelligence (again, study or immersion). Even if these rolls succeed, the character’s utterances or writings
obviously come from a non-native, unless the player rolls an exceptional success, in which case the character
manages to sound like a native-born speaker of the language for a few moments.
The player can spend one experience point for the character to become fluent in one of languages covered
by this Merit.

Rational Explanation (••••)


Book: The Free Council, p. 133
Prerequisites: Resolve •• and Science or Academics ••••
Effect: Your character relies on rational thought, reason and his education to make sense of a frightening
and irrational world. When required to make a Resolve + Composure roll to resist fear, panic or some other
mental breakdown in the face of the supernatural, the character may gain an edge from the reliability of
reason. When spending a Willpower point to augment such a Resolve + Composure roll, the character may
substitute his Science or Academics dots for the +3 dice bonus he would typically gain. If the Willpower
point is spent to increase Resolve or Composure for the purpose of subtracting from an aggressor’s dice pool,
this Merit increases the +2 dice bonus to +3 for a •••• Skill or +4 for a ••••• Skill. Specialties do not alter these
effects.
This Merit can only be purchased once for any character. It must be linked to one Skill — either Science or
Academics — when it is purchased and cannot be changed thereafter.

Residual Spirit Energy (••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 110
Prerequisites: Mortal (non-supernatural)
Effect: Your character releases spirit energy — Essence — into the world when her blood spills. And
spirits can sense it. No one has ever been able to explain why to the character’s satisfaction, but it’s true.
Because Essence is such a valuable resource to spirits, the character has some measure of influence over
them. She can bribe them for information or favors, and all it takes is a splash of blood. Each point of lethal
damage the character suffers frees one point of Essence into the air, as long as the injury actually causes blood
loss. For the next several turns before the Essence dissipates, any spirit nearby may take an action to consume
the Essence.
Drawback: While most spirits would rather preserve a renewable source of Essence, not all are so careful.
Some might try to slaughter her all at once when they really, really need the Essence. Others notice her as a
resource of their enemies and might decide to make a surgical strike against them (but at her). In short, the
character becomes a target or potential possession to those spirits who don’t want to barter with her.

Scientist’s Sense (•••)


Book: The Free Council, p. 133
Prerequisite: Science ••• and a Specialty
Effect: Your character has an intuitive sense of her scientific discipline, born of experience. Good decision-
making is habitual for her when it comes to her work.
This Merit grants all the benefits of the Common Sense Merit (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p.
108) but only regarding actions dealing with the character’s Science Specialty. The dice pool for the reflexive
action to check the character’s “common sense” is Wits + Science (instead of Composure). At the
Storyteller’s discretion, this “gut check” roll can be used to gauge the target number of successes on an
extended action using the subject Specialty, in addition to all the normal uses of the Common Sense Merit.
If a character has both this Merit and the Common Sense Merit, each may be used once per chapter.

Spirit Tongue (•••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 90
Effect: No human can speak the language of the spirits (called “Babel” by some, or the “First Tongue” by
others) perfectly. A human’s mouth and tongue are literally incapable of capturing the nuances of this
otherworldly language.
This Merit, however, at least allows a human to make a go at it. The character with this Merit can express
very simple ideas (one to three-word phrases) without any roll. More complex communication requires a
Manipulation + Expression roll. This roll may suffer negative dice modifiers (maximum of –5 dice) if the
circumstances are tense or if the ideas communicated are based solely in human experience (i.e., spirits would
have a difficult time comprehending the idea much less the language involved).

Steady Driver (•)


Book: Midnight Roads, p. 59
Prerequisites: Drive ••
Effects: Sometimes, effective driving is about achieving calmness, about driving with your head more than
your hands. A character who possesses this Merit does just that: when driving, the character always makes
Resolve + Drive rolls instead of using Dexterity, whether or not it’s a high-traffic scenario (see above, “High-
traffic Driving”).

Technophile (• to ••)
Book: Armory, p. 208
Effect: Through professional experience or a hobbyist’s fanaticism, your character is exceptionally
knowledgeable with regard to one specific type of equipment, chosen upon purchase of this Merit. With one
point in this Merit, its focus is relatively narrow: Edged Weapons, Handguns, Consumer Vehicles, 20th-
Century French Military Equipment and so forth. With two points, the Merit’s focus may be broader: for
example, Melee Weapons, Firearms, Vehicles, 20th-Century Military Equipment.
With regard to items that fall within the chosen focus only, this Merit functions as the Encyclopedic
Knowledge Merit (see p. 109, the World of Darkness Rulebook). With a successful roll, your character is
fully versed in the performance, history and trivia of any specific item he encounters. In addition to
identifying an item, he can recite the likely metallic composition of an ancient sword, the ballistic
characteristics of an enemy’s sidearm, the top speed of a sports car or the explosive yield of a nuclear
warhead.
This Merit confers no actual bonuses or abilities when the character attempts to use an item that falls within
his field of study. Unlike Encyclopedic Knowledge, this Merit is available after character creation, though the
character’s actions and interests over an extended period of time should justify the purchase.

Trained Memory (•)


Book: Guardians Of The Veil, p. 46
Prerequisite: Composure ••, Investigation •
Effect: Your character can remember the events of a single scene or a day’s worth of study perfectly as
long as she has a turn to concentrate. During this turn (in which she cannot engage in combat or other stressful
situations), the character uses a special technique to commit what she has learned to memory. (You should
write a brief note about this on the character sheet.) After that, during peaceful times, you no longer need to
make dice rolls to remember details about that event or piece of knowledge, and you can ask the Storyteller to
fill in details that you might have forgotten.
Drawback: Just as for any other character, you must make an Intelligence + Composure roll for the
character to remember any additional details about a subject during stressful situations (such as combat). You
gain no bonus to this roll; your enhanced memory is a matter of training and organized thinking, not off-the-
cuff recall.

Trained Observer (• or •••)


Book: Dogs Of War, p. 38
Prerequisites: Wits ••• or Composure •••
Effect: A Trained Observer can spot the smallest anomaly. No detail escapes his notice. With the one-dot
version, the TO ignores penalties of up to -3 on Perception rolls. The three dot version gives Perception rolls
the Rote Action quality (see “Rote Actions”, the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134).

Trip Sitter (•••)


Book: Magical Traditions, p. 137
Prerequisite: Composure •••
Effect: Your character has some skill when it comes to guiding others through intense psychoactive head
trips. Perhaps it’s a soothing voice or calming presence, or maybe you’ve just been through enough
entheogenic experiences to know what effects are going to hit the user, and when. In your presence, a user can
ignore up to two dice of penalties while undergoing her trip. If you’re present at the end of the experience, as
well, the user gains +3 dice to the Resolve + Composure roll made to resist Hallucinogen Persisting
Perception Disorder.

Vision (• to •••••)
Book: The Free Council, p. 133
Prerequisites: Intelligence, Wits, Resolve or Composure ••••
Effect: Your character has vision. He is capable of visualizing his wants with great clarity and knows how
to use that vision to guide his work. A character with two or three dots in this Merit has vision on a smaller
scale — he sees his sculptures, inventions or performances with unusual clarity. A character with four or five
dots in this Merit has a uniquely vivid vision of whole worlds. Whether he uses his vision to paint, to govern
or to achieve some other aim is up to him.
The character’s vision helps him accomplish his goals. Essentially, this Merit gives a skilled character a
chance to gain more than the usual +3 dice when he spends Willpower. By spending a Willpower point, your
character can reflexively rely on his vision to “assist himself” on any extended action he performs, whether
it’s drawing the plans for a building, sculpting a statue or speaking in front of an audience (see “Teamwork,”
p. 134 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). The character rolls Vision + an appropriate Skill, and each
success is added as bonus dice to the next roll on the extended action.
Your character may substitute his dots in Vision for either an Attribute or a Skill when rolling to assist
another character on an extended action. The Storyteller has final say on whether a given trait can be replaced,
however. Vision may be no substitute for Strength when lifting a boulder.
Willpower points spent to activate this Merit don’t grant any of the usual effects of Willpower points; they
simply allow the character to use the Merit. This Merit does not enable a character to spend more than one
Willpower point per turn.
Though a character may be said to have gained this Merit through supernatural means, Vision is not in itself
a supernatural power. A character’s vision for the future may be the result of some supernatural experience or
may simply the product of a profound imagination.

Unseen Sense (•••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 109
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural); Wits ••
Effect: Your character has a “sixth sense” when it comes to the supernatural. Perhaps his hair stands on
end, goose bumps race along his arms, or a shiver runs up his spine. Regardless of the manner, his body reacts
to the presence of unseen forces. He can’t see or hear anything, and in fact he might not know at first what
causes this reaction. It might be a response to a specific type of supernatural phenomenon such as ghosts or
vampires, or it might be a general sense that something isn’t right. Over time and with a little trial and error,
he might be able to qualify what his body tries to tell him.
The specific type of supernatural phenomenon to which your character is sensitive must be determined
when this Merit is purchased. It can be something as vague as a creepy feeling when in the presence of ghosts,
or something as specific as a sudden chill when a vampire is nearby. The Storyteller has final say on the exact
nature and trigger of your character’s sixth sense, and can keep its nature secret if desired, leaving you to
figure it out during play.
Only mortal, mundane characters can possess this Merit. The pivotal moment of becoming or being
changed into a being with supernatural capabilities eliminates it.

Unseen Sense (Spirits) (• to ••••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 111
Prerequisites: Mortal (non-supernatural); Wits ••
This is an optional Merit, expanded from the World of Darkness Rulebook to focus on spirits and spiritual
phenomena.
Effect: Your character has a sixth sense about spirits and the strange phenomena that surround them and
their world. Regardless of how much the character knows about the occult or the Shadow Realm (she may
know absolutely nothing), she has some instinctual understandings and can often sense when spiritual events
are going on around her.
Each dot in this Merit adds a category of phenomenon to those that the character can sense. The character
reacts when phenomena of the included sort are present. How the character reacts varies from one to the next.
The hairs on her neck may stand up, a chill may run down her spine or anything appropriate.
• The character may sense verges and loci, feeling the emotional weight of the area around her. With an
extended Wits + Composure roll, the character may be able to feel what sort of resonance the area has. The
number of required successes is equal to 10 minus the locus’s rating, and each roll represents one turn.
•• The character may sense when spiritual Numina or Aspects are used in her vicinity (within 20 feet). This
kicks in when the acting spirit or the Numen’s target is in that range, not otherwise. When a Numen or Aspect
targets her, she may roll a reflexive Wits + Composure roll at a penalty of the offending spirit’s Finesse rating
to get a rough idea of the Numen’s effect. Even on a success, her knowledge is very vague. Only exceptional
successes are at all clear.
••• The character may sense when a spirit in Twilight passes within 20 feet of her. She may roll a reflexive
Wits + Composure roll to determine the rough direction the spirit is moving and whether it is hurrying. If the
spirit is attempting stealth, roll its Finesse as a contested roll.
•••• The character may sense when spirits riding humans or animals pass within 20 feet of her. She may roll
a reflexive Wits + Composure roll, contested reflexively by the spirit’s Finesse, to pick out which creature is
ridden.
Unseen Sense (Spirits) has a drawback, but only in that characters who act on their subtle impulses can
attract unwanted attention from spirits who don’t like to be noticed.

Well-Traveled (•)
Book: Reliquary, p. 85
Effect: The character has either made a study of customs and practices in cultures other than his own or, as
the name suggests, traveled extensively enough to know such customs. The character receives the 9-again
benefit on any Social roll involving dealing with a foreign culture, or Mental roll for remembering the
practices and mores of such a culture. This knowledge is purely practical; the character might remember that
it’s rude to show one’s bare head in a given country, but not why.

Whispers (•)
Book: The Mysterium, p. 179
Your character’s mind has ripped open, allowing tendrils of underlying primordial truths to reach into his
psyche. He can purchase the Dream Merit (see Mage: The Awakened, p. 82) even if he is not a mage, and
may attempt to gain insights through that Merit as an instant action while conscious rather than requiring the
usual hour of meditation or sleep. However, each time he accesses Dream in this accelerated manner further
erodes his sanity, requiring a character with a Wisdom (or Morality) higher than five dots to make a
degeneration roll.
Physical Merits
Ambidextrous (•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Effect: Your character does not suffer the -2 penalty for using his off-hand in combat or to perform other
actions. Available at character creation only.

Armored Fighting (•• or ••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 84
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Stamina •••
Effect: Langschwert groups that emphasize historical techniques learn to fight in full armor. They know
how to move and conserve energy in heavy chain mail or even full plate. These skills aren’t exclusive to
European martial artists. They’re also found in Japanese koryu and modern military combatives. Your
character knows how to fight in heavy armor. Every two dots in this Merit (at •• or ••••) reduce her Brawl,
Melee Defense and Speed penalties for heavy armor by 1.

Athletics Dodge (•)


Book: Dogs Of War, p. 38
Prerequisites: Dexterity •• and Athletics •
Effect: Whenever your character performs a dodge (see “Dodge”, the World of Darkness Rulebook, page
156) you can add his Athletics Skill dots to his Defense instead of doubling his Defense. He essentially draws
on his knowledge of how his body moves to parry and evade attacks rather than rely on his raw ability alone.
Athletics Dodge applies against incoming Brawl-and Weaponry-based attacks, against thrown-weapon
attacks, and against firearms attacks made within close-combat range. Your character can move up to his
Speed and perform an Athletics Dodge maneuver in a turn.
A character can possess this Merit and also the Brawling Dodge and Weaponry Dodge Merits, but only one
can be used per turn.

Berserker (• to •••••)
Book: Armory Reload, p. 113
Prerequisites: Resolve •••, Stamina •••, and Supplemented Skill or Style •
Effect: The character supplements his chosen style or Skill with his own maddened fury. Berserk characters
work themselves into a violent rage, sometimes aided through the use of drugs, which have the usual effect on
their physiology (see p. 176, World of Darkness Rulebook). Working oneself into this fury requires an
intense exercise of will, costing the character one Willpower point and an instant action. Once the character
has entered the berserkergang, she may use any of the maneuvers listed below. These benefits can be
combined with one another or with an associated Fighting Style Merit during the same turn, so long as the
drawbacks or necessary expenditures do not contradict (for example, a character cannot benefit from Strength
in the Fury when using a Fighting Style maneuver that otherwise costs the character her Defense).
A character in a berserker haze occasionally has difficulty telling friend from foe, and must make a
reflexive Resolve + Composure roll to avoid assaulting allies during any turn in which those allies present a
more tempting target than an enemy. Characters who are already prone to a form of supernatural rage (such as
vampires and werewolves) must roll Resolve + Composure during every turn in which they take advantage of
this style. If they fail, they fall into their maddened state (frenzy, Kuruth, etc.) and lose the benefits of being
berserk.
The character remains in a berserk state until she either spends a second Willpower to calm herself, she is
rendered unconscious, or the combat comes to an end.
Characters who fight in a berserk haze often purchase Iron Stamina to represent their ability to ignore pain.
The Brawl and Weaponry Skills are equally appropriate for use with this style, as are the Two-Weapon
(usually axes), Shield, Knife, Stick and Staff Fighting Styles. Styles that require careful precision such as
Evasive Striking or Light Sword are not appropriate. Defensive styles are explicitly incompatible with the
aggressiveness required of berserkers.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next.
Strength in the Fury (•): A berserker goes all-out, all the time, and her body rewards her heedless actions
with increased power and speed. The berserker gains an additional die (for a total of three) when taking all-
out attacks (page 157, World of Darkness Rulebook).
Adrenaline Rush (••): The berserker ignores pain and her foes’ attacks only drive her madness, pushing
her to brutally defeat them. The character gains a point of armor against bashing and lethal attacks as she
casually shrugs off weak attacks.
Inhuman Alacrity (•••): A berserker’s opponents are shocked and frightened by the speed and ferocity that
manifests in her actions, making her far more difficult to hit. The character gains an additional 2 dice (for a
total of four dice) when using Willpower to avoid suffering an attack.
Ignorant in the Face of Death (••••): The berserker’s rage overrides her physical limitations, pushing her
to greater feats even when others would fall in pain. In a mad, violently fit, the character can ignore some or
all wound penalties for a turn. Drawback: The character sacrifices part of her Defense in any turn during
which she ignores wound penalties on a one-for-one basis (for example, by ignoring two dice of wound
penalties, she suffers a –2 to her Defense trait). If she has already applied her full Defense against an
incoming attack during the turn, she may not use this maneuver. The character may still use Willpower to
enhance her attack or Defense, if she so chooses, but may not utilize any other maneuver or supernatural
ability that necessitates the loss of Defense (such as an all-out attack).
Bloody-Handed Bastard (•••••): The berserker gouges at eyes, bites at ears, and tears at genitals. Her
behavior is so violent that she inflicts lasting damage on her foes, regardless of weapon. The character’s
attacks inflict lethal damage. Drawback: The character sacrifices her Defense during a turn in which she uses
this maneuver. If she has already applied her Defense against an incoming attack during the turn, she may not
use this maneuver.

Brawling Dodge (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Prerequisite: Strength •• and Brawl •
Effect: Whenever your character performs a dodge (see “Dodge”, p. 156), you can choose to add his Brawl
Skill dots to his Defense instead of doubling his Defense. He essentially draws on his training in blocking and
evading attacks rather than relying on his raw ability alone. While this might provide little benefit to a
brawling novice, it can give the advanced fighter an edge.
Brawling Dodge applies against incoming Brawl- and Weaponry-based attacks, against thrown-weapon
attacks, and against Firearms attacks made within close-combat range. Your character can move up to his
Speed and perform a Brawling Dodge maneuver in a turn.
A character can possess both the Brawling Dodge and Weaponry Dodge Merits, but only one can be used
per turn.

Combat Art (• to ••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 117
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Stamina ••, Composure ••, Supplemented Skill or Style •
Effect: The character supplements her chosen style or Skill with a carefully-trained showmanship. Her
movements are graceful yet expedient, her blades or fists flashing through the air as she steps lightly upon the
balls of her feet. Combat artists often learn their skills in professions that are not traditionally associated with
violence, namely the theatre and film, but many also train to showcase their own skills during martial arts
demos or non-combative martial arts competitions. These maneuvers represent those who value style over
substance.
As such, this supplemental style may be purchased for the Expression Skill, representing those whose
combat training is wholly theatrical. If used to supplement Expression, the style cannot be used effectively in
combat, and the fourth tier of the Merit cannot be purchased.
Disarm, Fast Reflexes, Fighting Finesse, Quick Draw and Student of the Blade are all popular Merits for
those whose primary combat training is primarily for show. Those combat artists who reside in Hollywood
often possess the Stunt Driver Merit, as well. Trick shooters and show marksmen often possess Gunslinger.
The Expression and Weaponry Skills are equally appropriate for use with this style, though Athletics, Brawl
and Firearms versions are widely learned, as well. Fighting Styles typically supplemented by Combat Art
include Aggressive and Evasive Striking, Control, Knives, Light Sword, Throwing and Two-Weapon, while
Combat Marksmanship, Sniping and even Archery find occasional crossover with this style. The combination
of Combat Art with the Flexible Weapons Fighting Style can be stunning in martial arts competitions.
Combat Art is rarely combined with the teaching of those schools that teachings are overwhelmingly
pragmatic, such as Krav Maga. Exceptions do exist, however; Krav Maga’s popularity in entertainment
demands stunt persons capable of convincingly performing the vicious style, for example. Particularly
traditional schools may frown upon Combat Art, as well, though many perform careful rituals and katas that
can be considered powerful performance in its own right.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next.
Flourish (•): The character performs an example of her style in order to threaten rather than entertain
(though audiences often experience a thrill when witnessing such a feat) as an instant action. She gains a
bonus to Intimidation rolls equal to her rating in the supplemented Skill or Fighting Style. This bonus lasts
until the end of the scene or the character suffers a successful attack from an opponent (whichever comes
first). Characters who enter the scene after the flourish is performed are not affected by it. Drawback: The
flourishing character’s bonus is penalized by others who know her supplemented Skill or Fighting Style, as
they might see through the emptiness of her action. For each dot the target of the character’s intimidation
possesses in the same Skill or Fighting Style as that being supplemented, subtract one die from the flourishing
character’s roll. Against sufficiently skilled opponents, this can completely cancel the bonus granted by the
maneuver and even remove dice from the base Intimidation pool. A master sees through such petty posturing
and thinks less of the student as a result.
Staged Combat (••): The character has trained to make perfectly safe and choreographed combat seem
exceedingly real. The character gains a bonus to Expression or Subterfuge rolls to falsify combat equal to her
rating in the supplemented Skill or Fighting Style. Drawback: This maneuver can only be used with another
individual who is working to fake the fight (and typically functions as a teamwork action).
Dancing for Mars (•••): The character gains a bonus equal to her rating in her supplemented Skill or
Fighting Style to Expression rolls when utilizing her combat prowess as a performance piece (those using
Combat Art to supplement Expression may double their Expression rating). This may be used to win
competitions, secure a job teaching martial arts, or even intimidate one’s enemies. The bonus does not,
however, ever apply to attacks made with the Skill, and use of this maneuver usually constitutes an extended
action.
Function Follows Form (••••): The character has learned how to marry life and art, and her extensive
training allows her to utilize the grace she exemplifies on the stage or gym mat to out-maneuver her enemies
on the mean streets of the World of Darkness. The character gains one half of her rating in the supplemented
Skill or Fighting Style, rounded up, as bonus dice to her attack roll and as a bonus to her Defense (which is
not doubled in the case of a Dodge maneuver). Drawback: The character must spend one Willpower point
during any turn in which she benefits from this maneuver.

Combatant (••)
Book: Armory Reload, p. 181
Prerequisite: Resolve ••, Brawl, Firearms or Weaponry •
Effect: Your character either has training in how to handle himself in a fight, or has been in enough crisis
situations that he doesn’t lose his head when people start getting hurt. A number of combat hacks involving
the effects of pain and stress do not apply to this character. These hacks are: Freezing Under Fire, Lethal Stun
and Unable to Attack.

Direction Sense (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Effect: Your character has an innate sense of direction that instinctively allows him to remain oriented. He
can enter unfamiliar territory and always retrace his steps back to his starting point, and can orient himself to
any of the compass points (i.e., face north, face south) without references.

Disarm (••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••• and Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character has refined his Weaponry Skill to the extent that he can use a weapon to disarm
opponents in close combat. When making a normal attack, compare your successes to the opponent’s
Dexterity. If you get a number of successes equal to or greater than the opponent’s Dexterity, you can choose
to have your character disarm him instead of doing damage. A weapon lands a number of yards away from
the opponent equal to your successes rolled.
Disarming is a different activity than specifically attacking or breaking weapons or items carried by
opponents. See “Equipment” (p. 139) for rules on doing that.
Driving Style: High Performance Driving (• to ••••)
Book: Midnight Roads, p. 56
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Resolve ••, Drive ••
Effect: Your character is trained in advanced driving techniques. Maybe he’s a cop or a federal agent.
Maybe he’s a stuntman for film and TV or the wheelman in a heist gang.
Dots purchases in this Merit allow access to special driving maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. Your character cannot possess “Smuggler’s Turn” until he has “Speed Demon.” Maneuvers and
effects are described below.
Speed Demon (•): For this character, a vehicle’s Maximum Speed is now the same as the vehicle’s Safe
Speed. The character is very comfortable with driving fast, and thus does not suffer penalties for driving in
excess of a vehicle’s Safe Speed (see p.143, the World of Darkness Rulebook).
Smuggler’s Turn (••): Also known as a J-Turn, this is essentially a radical U-turn used at high speed: the
driver puts the car into a controlled skid, the car turns around, and as it’s turning, he puts it into gear and
keeps driving — except now, in the other direction. Used by bootleggers during Prohibition, it’s a great way
to escape a pursuing vehicle, if it works. The character must succeed on a Dexterity + Drive + Handling roll
to make this turn. In doing so, any pursuing vehicles lose the Handling bonus when trying to follow, unless
the pursuing driver also possesses this Merit.
Safe Passage (•••): Driving through strange or unsafe conditions — icy road, debris-littered highway, grid-
locked highway — invokes penalties for most drivers, but not this character. He’s able to zip past wreckage
and control his car even when in a fishtailing hydroplane. Doing so still requires a Dexterity + Drive +
Handling roll, but the character can ignore up to three dice of penalty caused by bad or unsafe conditions.
Offensive Driving (••••): When locked in vehicle pursuit (see pp. 69–71, the World of Darkness
Rulebook), it’s good to drive in a way that distracts and disrupts the other driver. Whether the character is the
pursuer or the pursued, he can perform a number of distracting and disrupting techniques to hamper the other
car. The quarry might drive over the median, clip trashcans with his bumper to knock them over or even
careen through a busy intersection. The pursuer can perform maneuvers such as bumping the back end of the
fleeing car or distracting the fleeing driver by weaving in and out of traffic behind him (even disappearing
momentarily behind, say, an 18-wheeler) inan effort to draw the driver’s attention away from what he should
be paying attention to: the road. The effect is the same for whether the character is the pursuer or the pursued:
the tricky driving hampers an opponent’s driving. The opponent’s Acceleration and Handling scores are
halved (round up) as he is distracted. Drawback: The character must expend a Willpower point at the
beginning of vehicle pursuit to achieve this effect. Moreover, by the end of it, the vehicle the character was
driving assumes an automatic loss of two Structure from the highly offensive driving.

Entering Strike (••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 72
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••, Brawl •••
Effect: Your character knows how to strike an opponent to upset his balance, making it easy for you to take
him down. If you inflict damage with a Brawl-based strike, you gain a dice bonus equal to the damage you
inflicted to a subsequent grappling hold (or shihonage, if you know the Aikido Fighting Style) attempt. This
must be your next attack. Drawback: Your Defense does not apply during the turn in which you attempt an
entering strike.

Equipped Grappling (••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 89
Prerequisite: Dexterity •••, Brawl ••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character knows how to use a blunt weapon to enhance her holds and locks. She presses the
weapon against joints and muscle groups, or forces compliance with a few short blows. If she has a blunt
weapon in hand, add the weapon’s Size to her Strength + Brawl pool whenever she attempts overpowering
maneuvers. Drawbacks: This benefit doesn’t apply to initial attempts to establish a grapple. It only works
with weapons that have a maximum Size of 3.

Fast Reflexes (• or ••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••
Effect: +1 Initiative per dot Your character’s mix of sharp reflexes and steady nerves helps him get the
drop on adversaries.
Fighting Finesse (••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••• and Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character prefers to fight with a chosen weapon in a manner that favors agility over power.
With that one weapon (a rapier or katana, for example), you may substitute your character’s Dexterity for
Strength when making attack rolls.
This Merit may be purchased multiple times to gain agility with more weapons, one for each purchase.

Fighting Style: Aikido (Throwing; • to •••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 71
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••, Wits •• and Brawl ••
Effect: Your character is a skilled practitioner of aikido, or another martial art that emphasizes throwing the
opponent. She knows how to blend with the force of an attack and amplify it to send her enemy sprawling.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next. Aikido maneuvers are based on the Brawl Skill and work in conjunction with unarmed combat.
(Some aspects of traditional aikido involve a weapon, but they are beyond the specific purview of this Merit).
Ukemi (“Receiving;” •): Your character knows how to fall properly and get up quickly. He may stand up
from a prone position (but not both) once per turn as a reflexive action, and is considered to have one point of
armor against bashing damage caused by falls – but not other sources.
Aiki (“Harmonious Energy;” ••): Your character is skilled enough to defend with a throw by avoiding the
attack and seizing his opponent’s balance. If he forgoes his standard Defense, roll Dexterity + Brawl; if the
result exceeds the opponent’s damage roll the character suffers no damage and immediately applies a
grappling hold or (once he attains the third maneuver) shihonage. He may employ this maneuver against
Brawl, Weaponry or close-range Firearms attacks. Drawback: This maneuver constitutes your character’s
action for the turn.
Shihonage (“Four Directions Throw;” •••): The character can throw an opponent quickly and forcefully,
without getting tangled up in a clinch. Treat a shihonage throw like a standard Brawl strike attack, except that
it also knocks the opponent prone up to as many feet away as your Size + Brawl successes in any direction the
character prefers.
Renzoku-waza (“Combination Techniques;” ••••): The character can attempt multiple grappling or
shihonage attacks per turn, or he can defend with multiple throws using the Aiki maneuver. He may make one
additional grapple or shihonage for each point of Dexterity that he has above 2. Each extra action is rolled at a
cumulative –1 modifier. Thus, he can attempt two grapples or shihonage at Dexterity 3 (with the second at a –
1 modifier), three at Dexterity 4 (at a 0, –1 then –2 modifier to dice rolls) and four at Dexterity 5 (at 0, –1, –2
and –3 to each dice roll, in turn). Drawback: If the character’s first action is anything but a grapple or
shihonage attempt he cannot use this benefit.
Kokyu-ho (“Breath Power;” •••••): Your character’s throws are so strong that he can either throw
someone double the usual distance with his shihonage, or inflict lethal damage with it. Drawback: Spend one
Willpower point per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack.

Fighting Style: Archery (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 208
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Athletics ••
Effect: Your character has devoted years of practice to the bow. She may be a competitive archer, a low-
tech hunter or a medieval history enthusiast.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Rapid Nock” until she has “Draw and Loose.” The maneuvers and
their effects are described below. All of the following maneuvers work only with bows.
Draw and Loose (•): Your character’s arm muscles are well-toned for the demanding task of repeatedly
drawing a heavy bow. She gains +1 Strength for the purposes of a bow’s minimum Strength, Damage and
Range.
Rapid Nock (••): Your character can maintain a withering rate of fire. Once per turn, she may “reload” a
bow as a reflexive action.
Arcing Fire (•••): Arrows, like all other projectiles, travel in ballistic arcs. Your character is a master of
estimating range, wind and other factors to arc shots much farther than they would travel if fired directly.
Double the Ranges of any bow your character uses.
Plunging Fire (••••): Your character can eschew direct attacks in favor of launching arrows high into the
air to plummet straight down on hapless victims. Your character’s bow attacks suffer no penalties for target
concealment behind solid objects, so long as the target lacks overhead protection and your character can see
any part of the target by which to gauge her location. For example, a target hiding behind a log with her foot
sticking out applies no penalty, but a character in a fetal curl on a van’s floorboards receives normal
protection. Drawback: Your character may use this maneuver only outdoors or in enclosed spaces large
enough to provide for several hundred feet of vertical flight (e.g., football stadiums).

Fighting Style: Boxing (• to •••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 110
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Stamina •• and Brawl••
Effect: Your character is trained in the art of boxing, able to deliver swift, powerful punches, and to duck
and weave away from opponents’ attacks. He might have participated in the sport in high school or college, or
made a go of it professionally. Or he might have taken some classes at the local health club as a form of
exercise.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Duck and Weave” until he has “Body Blow.” The maneuvers and
their effects are described below, most of which are based on the Brawl Skill.
Body Blow (•): Your character can deliver powerful blows that leave opponents reeling and gasping for air.
If successes inflicted in a single Brawl attack equal or exceed a target’s Size, the victim loses his next action.
Duck and Weave (••): Your character is trained to instinctively duck and evade an opponent’s blows. Use
the higher of your character’s Dexterity or Wits to determine his Defense when dealing with Brawl-based
attacks only (not against Weaponry attacks). If a combination of Brawl- and Weaponry-based attacks is
focused on your character in the same turn, use his normal Defense against both.
Combination Blows (•••): Your character’s training and experience allow him to devastate opponents with
a flurry of rapid blows. He can make two Brawl attacks against the same target in a single action. The second
attack suffers a -1 penalty. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same
turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the
Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too
busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
Haymaker (••••): Your character can deliver powerful, accurate blows capable of knocking an opponent
unconscious with a single punch. A single Brawl attack that equals or exceeds the target’s Size in damage
might knock him unconscious. A Stamina roll is made for the victim. If it succeeds, he is conscious but he
still loses his next action due to the Body Blow (see above). If it fails, he is unconscious for a number of turns
equal to the damage done. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same
turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the
Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too
busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
Brutal Blow (•••••): Your character’s accuracy and power are such that his fists are lethal weapons, able to
injure or kill opponents. A brutal blow inflicts lethal instead of bashing damage. Drawback: Spend one
Willpower point per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack.

Fighting Style: Chain Weapons (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 209
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character is trained in the difficult art of fighting with chain weapons. Chain weapons are
notoriously unpredictable unless mastered — a poorly skilled fighter is as likely to tangle or cut himself as he
is to harm an opponent. Your character’s training is likely to have been formalized, having learned the skill at
a martial arts dojo or perhaps in stage combat for the theater. (Note that a character using chained weapons
who possesses no Dots in this Merit suffers an automatic –2 to all attack rolls.)
Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with chain weapons. Each
maneuver is a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. So, your character cannot have “Hand Bind” until he
has “Impenetrable Defense.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based
upon the Weaponry Skill.
Impenetrable Defense (•): Your character may choose not to attack in a given turn, and instead whirl the
chain in the direction of her opponent (or opponents). During the entire turn, regardless of Initiative, you may
add +2 to your character’s Defense to deflect incoming blows. Your character also takes no penalty for
defending against multiple opponents until she faces three attacks. The first and second attacks made against
her cause no negative modifiers to her Defense.
Hand Bind (••): This defensive maneuver is made against an incoming attack (Brawl or Weaponry-based).
When a foe attacks with a weapon or with his body, your character wraps the attacking limb with the chain,
grappling it with a Strength + Weaponry attack. The foe’s Defense is not subtracted from this roll, but his
successes on the attack roll are. If your character is successful, the limb is bound with the chain, and the
opponent can attempt to escape this next turn with a Strength + Brawl roll. If the foe achieved more successes
on his attack, his attack is still diminished by whatever successes you rolled on the Hand Bind roll.
This maneuver must be done on the attacker’s Initiative turn, and performing this action means your
character cannot make an attack this turn.
Outside Choke (•••): Your character attempts to wrap the chain around her opponent’s neck. Roll Strength
+ Weaponry. The victim may attempt to free himself on his next action with a Strength + Brawl roll, which is
reduced by your character’s Strength +1. This maneuver is not to cause damage or kill the opponent — this
maneuver is to render him unconscious by pressing the chain against the arteries of his neck, thus halting
blood flow to his brain. If your character is successful on the grapple, she can begin to choke the victim on the
following turn. For every turn that the choke hold is not broken, the victim suffers an additional –1 on all rolls
to resist. When your character has accumulated a number of uninterrupted turns equal to the victim’s Stamina,
he falls unconscious. This maneuver, when complete, causes a single point of bashing damage to the victim.
This combat maneuver is ineffective against characters who need not breathe.
Whirl and Thrust (••••): Your character at this level is highly adept at using chains, and can make focused
attacks with any part of the weapon. By whirling the chain a few times, she can build momentum on a single
attack, which can be made with startling accuracy. On a targeted attack, you can ignore up to –2 of penalties
associated with directed attacks. In other words, attacks to an opponent’s torso or limbs are done at no
penalty, attacks the head would be at –1, to the hand –2 and to the eye –3. Drawback: Your character negates
her Defense for the rest of the turn. If your character has applied her Defense against any incoming attack
before her turn, she may not perform this maneuver.

Fighting Style: Combat Marksmanship (• to •••••)


Book: 13th Precint, p. 80; Armory, p. 210
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Composure••• and Firearms ••
Effect: Your character is not only proficient with firearms, but has trained extensively to maintain her
accuracy during the stress of combat. She most likely has experience in law enforcement or the military,
though she may simply be a self-defense advocate or a dedicated hobbyist with uncommon self-possession.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have Tactical Reload until she has Shoot First. The maneuvers and their
effects are described below, most of which are based on the Firearms Skill.
Shoot First (•): Your character’s trained reflexes give her a split-second edge in a gunfight. Whenever she
begins a combat situation with a firearm already in her hand, she gains a bonus to her Initiative roll equal to
her Firearms Skill. If she also has the Quick Draw Merit for firearms (see the World of Darkness Rulebook,
p. 113) and draws a firearm during the first turn of combat, this bonus is added retroactively, starting at the
beginning of the second turn of combat.
Tactical Reload (••): Your character’s muscle memory enables her to reload without conscious thought.
Once per turn, she may reload a firearm that feeds from a detachable magazine or use a speedloader to reload
a revolver, as a reflexive action.
Double Tap (•••): When using a lever-action, pump action or semi-automatic firearm, your character may
make short burst attacks as if her gun were capable of autofire.
Bayonet Range (••••):Your character can maintain accuracy and control even when facing an opponent at
arm’s length. The target’s Defense does not apply to fire arm attacks your character makes within close-
combat range (see p. 155, the World of Darkness Rulebook).
Rapid Fire (•••••): Your character’s concentration is such that she can unleash a hail of bullets. In a single
action, she may make one extra Firearms attack for each point by which her Composure exceeds 2. Each extra
attack is made at a cumulative –1 modifier. Thus, she can perform a total of two attacks at Composure 3 (the
second of which is at –1), three attacks at Composure 4 (the third of which is at –2) and four at Composure 5
(the fourth of which is at –3). She must declare the targets of all attacks before rolling the first one. Each
attack not directed against her initial target suffers an additional –1 penalty. All attacks made with this
maneuver must be single shots. Drawback: Your character cannot use her Defense against any attack in the
same turn in which she intends to use this maneuver. If she uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in
the Initiative roster, before she can perform this maneuver, she cannot use Rapid Fire this turn. In addition,
your character may not use this maneuver with bolt-action or break-action firearms.

Fighting Style: Fencing (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 210
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character is trained in the art of fencing. He likely learned this skill at a fencing academy, and
is familiar with the sport in more than a passing capacity.
Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers using fencing weapons. Each
maneuver is a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. So, your character cannot have “Feint” until he has
“Thrust.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based upon the
Weaponry Skill.
Fencing is meant to be performed with specific swords. The maneuvers below can be used without penalty
provided your character is using one of the following swords: curved sword, fencing sword, rapier or sword
cane. Any other type of sword incurs a –1 penalty against any of the maneuvers listed below. (For more
information on swords as melee weapons, see Chapter One.)
Thrust (•): The thrust is a simple yet powerful attack. A fencer’s stance (one leg anchoring your character’s
position and the other leg lunging him forward) gives this attack extra force. When your character makes a
thrust attack, plunging the blade toward an opponent, he does so with a +1 bonus.
Feint (••): Your character knows how to make a fake attack intended to throw off an opponent. Make a
“normal” attack roll (Strength + Weaponry), and this roll is penalized by the opponent’s Defense, par usual.
This attack is fake; it does not strike the foe or do any damage. If your character achieves even a single
success, however, the opponent is momentarily confused and off-balance, and may not apply her Defense
against the next attack she suffers (which may be from your character the following turn or may be from some
other source beforehand).
Riposte (•••): A Riposte requires an attack to be made against your character. He steps out of the way of the
attack using his Dodge (i.e., her Defense, doubled). While his opponent is open, he can then make a sudden
and quick attack, which is performed at a –1 penalty. However, the opponent’s Defense does not further
penalize the attack roll. Drawback: If your opponent suffers any further attacks on a turn where she has used
Riposte, she cannot apply her Defense against them.
Moulinet (••••): If your character makes a successful hit on an adversary with his sword, he may then rotate
his wrist and perform a quick spiral cut with the tip of the weapon. This additional cut requires no additional
roll; the cut does lethal damage to the opponent equal to your character’s Dexterity. Drawback: To perform
this maneuver, the character must spend a Willpower point before he makes her initial attack roll. The
Willpower does not grant him the additional +3 to attack. If the initial attack roll fails, the Willpower point is
wasted and the Moulinet may not be added.

Fighting Style: Filipino Martial Arts (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 211
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character is trained in the art of Filipino fighting, which is often called escrima or kali. He
may have learned this from an instructor or a family member. Most escrima techniques use weapons and are
meant predominantly for self-defense.
Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with blunt weapons. Each
maneuver is a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. So, your character cannot have “Disarm” until he has
“Lock and Block.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based upon the
Weaponry Skill.
Note that to perform these maneuvers, a character must have at least one blunt weapon in hand. This
weapon is potentially one escrima stick (or a pair), but it can be any blunt object shorter than two feet in
length. If the character wields two weapons, he still assumes the –2 penalty for off-hand attacks. Once the
character reaches the fourth and final level of this style, he can then choose to use any of the maneuvers
without weapons. At this stage he learns the “empty hand” techniques of escrima.
Lock and Block (•): With this move, your character uses an adversary’s momentum against her. If you
succeed on a Strength + Weaponry roll, your character captures an opponent’s attacking arm in his own and
gains a grapple over her (for grappling rules, see p. 157, World of Darkness Rulebook). You may add your
character’s Defense to the Strength + Weaponry roll, as he is technically making a defensive maneuver.
However, if you choose to add his Defense to this attack, you may not apply his Defense against any
incoming attacks that turn. If he has already applied his Defense, he may still utilize this maneuver, but he
does not get to add his Defense to the roll.
Disarm (••): This allows your character to capture an incoming attack and bring his own weapon down
upon a foe’s forearm, potentially forcing the enemy to drop her weapon. (Note that this is different than the
Disarm Merit.) To enact this maneuver, make a normal attack roll (Dexterity + Weaponry). Compare the
successes on this roll against the opponent’s Stamina. If the successes are equal to or exceed her Stamina
score, she drops the weapon. This attack does cause damage to the opponent, as well. Take the successes
gained on the attack roll and halve them (round up). The opponent takes this damage, bashing.
Off-Balancing Attack (•••): With this attack, your character uses his weapon to set a foe off-balance. This
attack can take any form: thrusting a baton into a solar plexus, hitting a foe’s temple or the bridge of her nose
or using a stick’s momentum to push her into an awkward position. The attack is made at a –2 penalty. If
successful, the attack does full damage and the opponent’s next attack is made at a –3 penalty.
Many-Handed Defense (••••): Escrima practiti ways often unparalleled in other weapon-style systems. In
this case, you may apply your character’s full Defense (or Dodge) to all attacks against him in a single turn.
They are not diminished at all by attacks made after the first.

Fighting Style: Formation Tactics (• to •••••)


Book: Requiem For Rome, p. 109
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Stamina •••, Weaponry •• (Used in the Roman era)
Effect: Your character has completed extensive drill training, either in life or undeath, learning to work in
efficient, deadly harmony with compatriot soldiers. He may be a career soldier, a member of the Legio
Mortuum or a mercenary veteran.
The Legio Mortuum makes frequent use of Formation Tactics, applying its benefits to devastating effect.
There is little in Necropolis more intimidating than the sight of four or five Kindred legionnaires moving
quickly into a coordinated and powerful display of arms.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have Ciringite Frontem until she has Testudinem Formate. The maneuvers
and their effects are described below. Only one maneuver can be performed in a given turn. All of the
maneuvers are effective only with a shield and melee weapon.
Testudinem Formate (•): Your character is trained in assuming the legendary “tortoise” formation. All
soldiers in the formation raise and overlap their shields, creating a nearly impenetrable wall. She gains +1
Defense against ranged weapons above and beyond her armor bonus, for each soldier in the formation, to a
maximum of +5. Drawback: Characters taking part in the Testudinem Formate cannot attack while they
benefit from (or contribute to) this Defense bonus, and they can only move at half their Speed rating.
Ciringite Frontem (••): Your character knows how to work together with other soldiers to hold a position
and better withstand an oncoming attack. If you succeed on a Strength + Weaponry roll, your character holds
her ground and forces a knockback check (see the World of Darkness Rulebook) on any opponent who
attacks her that turn. You may add +1 for each soldier in the formation, to a maximum of +5, to this Strength
+ Weaponry roll. Drawback: You may not add the character’s Defense to any incoming attack this turn. If
she applies her Defense, she breaks formation and cannot benefit from its bonus or contribute to the bonusof
any other soldier in the formation.
Cuneum Formate (•••): Your character can participate in a fast-moving wedge formation designed to
break and scatter enemy lines. The quick assault knocks enemies off balance and forces aggressive attackers
to go on the defensive. This attack is made at a –2 penalty. If successful, the attack does full damage to one
opponent and that opponent’s melee attacks against the soldiers in this formation are made at a –1 penalty for
each soldier in the formation, to a maximum of –5 for the remainder of the turn.
Orbem Formate (••••): Your character is trained in assuming a circular, defensive formation that protects
any object or individual in the center. Whoever (or whatever) is in the center of this formation gains a +1
Defense bonus for each soldier in the formation, to a maximum of +5, applied against ranged and melee
attacks. For every three soldiers in this formation, one adult (or adult-sized object) may benefit from the
bonus applied. Drawback: The individual protected may not participate in combat. If he attempts to attack
the opponent, the benefit of the Orbem Formate is lost.
Contendite Vestra Sponte (•••••): Your character can take part in a shockingly powerful assault,
unleashing a wave of attacks in concert with her well-trained compatriots. If a character in this formation
scores a successful hit with her melee weapon on an adversary, she may benefit from the position of her
fellow soldiers, pushing them directly into another’s blade (or otherwise maximizing the benefit of her
attack). This capitalization requires no additional roll; the adversary takes one additional level of lethal
damage for each soldier in the formation, to a maximum of 5. Drawback: To participate in this formation,
each soldier involved must spend a Willpower point before she makes her initial attack roll. The Willpower
does not grant her the additional +3 to the attack. If the attack roll fails, the Willpower is wasted, and the
Contendite Vestra Sponte bonus does not apply to her attack (although her participation may still be counted
toward the bonus of another soldier’s attack in the formation).

Fighting Style: Gladiatorial (• to ••••)


Book: Requiem For Rome, p. 109
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Presence ••, Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character is a hardened warrior, seasoned by years of experience in street-level combat or
battle in the gladiatorial arena. She knows how to use crude weaponry, cruel tricks and flashy, crowd-pleasing
tactics to maximum effect.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have Weapon Slap until she has Stunning Attack. The maneuvers and their
effects are described below. Only one maneuver can be performed in a given turn. All of the maneuvers are
based on the Weaponry Skill.
Stunning Attack (•): Your character can make a sudden, howling attack of such viciousness that her
opponent is knocked off balance. You must declare a Stunning Attack as your action before the attack roll
ismade. If the number of successes inflicted in the single Weaponry attack roll exceed the victim’s
Composure rating, the victim loses his next action. Note that your character must scream or howl while
making this attack — it cannot be performed silently.
Weapon Slap (••): Your character unleashes a powerful blow designed not to injure the opponent but to
push his weapon or shield out of the way and create an opening that can be exploited. If the attack roll is
successful, no damage is inflicted on the victim, but he does not apply his Defense (including the benefit
added by a shield) to the next incoming attack (which may be from your character in the following turn, or
from some other source beforehand).
Lethal Accuracy (•••): Your character has an innate understanding of the various types of armor and their
weak spots. Attacks made with any lethal weapon have Armor Piercing 1 and penalties to hit specific targets
or body parts (see “Specified Targets,” p. 165 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) are reduced by two.
Brutal Sacrifice (••••): Your character can intensify a lethal attack by staging it so that her weapon is
embedded in the victim’s body and ensuring that the weapon’s removal will inflict more damage. You must
declare a Brutal Sacrifice as your action before the attack roll is made. If the roll is a success, your character
leaves her weapon in the victim’s body. If the weapon is not removed, the victim suffers a –2 penalty on all
actions due to pain and physical interference. If the weapon is removed, it inflicts additional lethal damage
equal to the weapon’s damage rating. This additional damage requires no roll. If the victim does not remove
the weapon himself, your character may attempt a Dexterity + Brawl attack to do so on a subsequent turn.
Drawbacks: To perform this maneuver, your character must expend a point of Willpower before the attack
roll is made. The Willpower does not grant an additional +3 on the roll. If the initial attack roll fails, the
Willpower point is wasted and the Brutal Sacrifice may not be added. In addition, your character loses the use
of the weapon until it is removed from the victim and returned to her.

Fighting Style: Grappling (• to ••••)


Book: Adamantine Arrow, p. 50; Armory Reload, p. 67
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Stamina ••• and Brawl ••
Effect: Your character has trained in a form of submission grappling, such as judo, old-school catchas-
catch-can wrestling (Olympic-style wrestlers learn the first two maneuvers) or Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He uses
leverage and positioning to out-grapple opponents.
Sprawl (•): Your character knows how to “sprawl” and sink his weight to avoid being overpowered in a
rapple. Subtract the higher of Strength +1 or Dexterity +1 from dice pools to overpower him in a
grapple. This doesn’t apply to the initial hold, but subsequent attacks from the grip.
Takedown/Throw (••): Your character knows how to rapidly close with your enemy and take him to the
ground. In lieu of securing a grappling hold, your character can immediately render the opponent prone (see
the World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 157 and 164). Furthermore, if he takes an opponent down this way, he
can choose whether or not to go prone with the target. Mixed martial arts fighters take a crouching (but still
standing) position fromand deliver vicious beatings with their hands — a technique called “ground and
pound.”
Chokehold (•••): Your character can efficiently choke enemies by cutting off blood flow to their brains. If
he overpowers an opponent in a grapple, he can start the choke. The choke inflicts a cumulative –1 die penalty
to the opponent’s actions for each turn the choke is maintained. The victim falls unconscious if he endures a
choking attack for a number of consecutive turns equal to his Stamina. Your character can continue choking
an unconscious victim. This inflicts lethal damage equal to the attacker’s Strength + Brawl successes every
turn. Chokeholds don’t work on opponents who don’t need to breathe.
Submission Hold (••••): Opponents caught in your joint locks can’t escape without injuring themselves. If
your character scores more successes than his opponent’s Size in an immobilization attempt, the victim can’t
attempt any physical action — including breaking free — without suffering a point of lethal damage. This
penalty lasts from the moment of immobilization to end of the next turn.
Furthermore, your character can always choose to inflict one point of lethal damage whenever he damages
an opponent with an overpowering roll. The character’s first Strength + Brawl success inflicts a point of lethal
damage; subsequent successes inflict bashing damage.
Submission holds don’t work on creatures that don’t have bones.

Fighting Style: Iaido (Defensive Striking; • to •••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 76
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Composure •••, Weaponry •••, Quick Draw
Effect: Your character has studied the art of iaido, focusing her awareness of her surroundings and her
ability to respond to a threat to the razor’s edge. She has learned to draw a blade at a moment’s notice, and
has internalized kata focused on swiping the blade across her opponent’s vitals.
Practitioners of iaido often cultivate the Wits Attribute, as speed of thought and awareness of one’s
surroundings are valued by adherents of the style.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next. Iaido maneuvers are based on the Weaponry Skill and are used with a curved sword, most
commonly the katana.
Tsuki Kage (“Draw and Cut;” •): The character sharpens his already capable ability to quickly enter
combat. If the character begins combat with his weapon sheathed, he adds his rating in the Weaponry Skill to
his Initiative modifier. If the Storyteller utilizes the optional initiative rule from page 151 of the World of
Darkness Rulebook, this bonus applies on any turn in which the character’s weapon begins the turn
sheathed. Drawback: The character must commit to an attack against an opponent during the first turn of
combat to gain the advantage of this maneuver.
Zanshin (“Awareness;” ••): While honing the speed of one’s reactions can save one’s life, better still to be
constantly vigilant. The character strives to remain ever aware of his surroundings, that he may never be taken
by surprise. The character gains a bonus of two dice to all rolls to avoid an impending ambush. This Merit
duplicates the effect of the Danger Sense Merit, and a character with both Merits gains a total +4 on rolls to
avoid being surprised. Such characters are paragons of self-awareness.
Tachi-Sabaki (“Movement of the Sword;” •••): The character has mastered defensive kata designed to
intercept incoming attacks and deflect them with the blade of the weapon. The character relies as much on the
quality of his sword as he does his own speed of thought and motion. The character adds his weapon bonus
(the weapon’s damage rating) to his Dodge value when taking a fully defensive action. A character may
benefit from this Merit while utilizing the Weaponry Dodge Merit (though not the Brawling Dodge Merit).
Drawback: The character only benefits from this Merit when taking a full Dodge action.
Kan Ken No Metsuke (“Seeing with Eyes and Mind;” ••••): The character’s speed gives him a small but
potentially important edge over other combatants. If the character’s initiative roll results in a tie with another
character involved in combat, the character automatically acts before his opponents and allies. Initiative
Modifiers are not compared and initiative is never determined by a roll-off (though if multiple characters
aside from the iaido practitioner rolled the same initiative, their initiative ratings are resolved as normal). If
two characters possess this maneuver, they act at the same time, each resolving their action as if the other had
not yet acted. This can result in two characters killing each other in the same heated moment.
Uke Nagashi (“Catch and Slide Off;” •••••): The character’s ability to move defensively and counter an
attack with one of his own has been perfected. If the character’s weapon is sheathed, he can declare a Dodge
action at any point during a turn, assuming she has not yet acted. His Defense is doubled as usual, though he
may not utilize Weaponry Dodge or Tachi-Sabaki against attacks. However, the character can choose any
opponent who is making an attack against him to perform a counter attack against. In a single swift motion,
the character draws his blade, parries his enemy’s blow, and attacks his opponent. The character’s Weaponry
Dodge (if he possesses it) and Tachi-Sabaki maneuver apply against the opponent’s attack (and only against
this opponent). The character makes an immediate reflexive attack against the opponent at a one die penalty.
After making his counter-attack, the character’s Defense applies as normal to further attacks made against
him during the turn (i.e., his Defense is not doubled). Defense penalties for being attacked multiple times
during a single turn are not affected by this maneuver in any way. Drawback: The character spends one
Willpower point per turn using this maneuver.
Additional Systems
Honmon Enshin Ryu’s Iai Kenpo
A modern school of iaido, Enshin Ryu teaches jujutsu and suemonogiri (the practice of cutting), but
possesses a strong focus on being attacked from 77 behind. Students of this style may purchase the following
specialized maneuver instead of Kan Ken No Metsuke, above.
Muso-Ken (“No-thought Sword;” ••••): The character draws, turns, and thrusts his blade at a potential
enemy in a single motion. A character with this Merit may make a reflexive counter-attack when successfully
attacked at point-blank range by an opponent by surprise. Drawback: This maneuver requires the user to
expend a Willpower point. It constitutes the character’s action for the turn, though if used before initiative is
rolled, the character may act on his initiative as usual.
Fighting Style: Improvised Weaponry(• to •••)
Book: Midnight Roads, p. 57
Prerequisites: Wits 3, Weaponry 1
During the course of their journeys upon the Road, wanderers find themselves in bad circumstances with
nothing even remotely resembling a respectable weapon at hand. Perhaps the first, best rule of the nomadic
life, however, is to make do with what you’ve got. Thus, certain improvisational fighting strategies have
become time-honored traditions for people who get knocked on their asses and have to reach for the nearest
solid object to avoid a serious beating, or worse.
Note that, unlike most other Fighting Style Merits, Improvised Weaponry isn’t formally taught. Characters
invariably pick up this brutal, sloppy style of combat at the school of hard knocks.
Always Armed (•): The character has an instinct for grabbing something dangerous in almost any situation
and maximizing its lethality once in hand. On her character’s initiative in any given turn, the player may make
a reflexive Wits + Weaponry roll to have the character pick up an object suitable for use as a weapon in any
save the most barren environment. (The player is encouraged to work with the Storyteller to determine an
appropriate item — a large, jagged rock outdoors, for example, or a heavy glass ashtray with one sharp,
broken edge in a dive bar.) Regardless of what it is, this object is treated as a Size 1, one lethal weapon with a
Durability of 2. On an exceptional success, provided that her surroundings allow for it, the character may
instead grab a Size 2, two lethal improvised weapon with a Durability of 2.
In Harm’s Way (••): By interposing her weapon (no matter how small or inappropriate for parrying it
might be) in the path of an oncoming Brawl or Weaponry attack, the character learns to increase her chances
of walking away from a given attack unscathed. While wielding an improvised weapon acquired with the first
technique of this Fighting Style, the character may, at the beginning of a turn, treat the Structure of her
weapon as armor, but any damage inflicted upon her also inflicts an equal amount of damage to the
improvised weapon, bypassing its Durability.
Breaking Point (•••): One sure way to win a fight is to hit the other guy so hard that he doesn’t get back
up, even if that means losing a weapon in the process. When the character uses the all-out-attack option in a
fight while wielding an improvised weapon acquired with the first technique of this Fighting Style, her player
may exchange points of the weapon’s Structure, down to a minimum of zero, for added equipment bonus for
the duration of a single strike. The player must declare the use of this option before the attack is made, and the
weapon still takes the damage even if the attack is unsuccessful (perhaps striking a brick wall, a parked car or
some other heavy object.) If the weapon is reduced to zero Structure, the weapon is automatically destroyed
after the attack is resolved, though the target is still damaged as normal if successfully struck. Note that the
character may use this technique in conjunction with the previous one, allowing her to parry an attack made
on a higher Initiative than her own and then go on the offensive with her improvised weapon, provided that it
didn’t sustain enough damage to destroy it.

Fighting Style: Kendo - Japanese Fencing (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 211
The above Merit is for European-style fencing, but can be adapted for Japanese kendo fairly easily. While
the techniques (called waza) are slightly different, the mechanics stay the same.
Thrust (•): becomes Kaburi; instead of thrusting, your character makes an overhead attack, but the +1
modifier remains.
Feint (••): becomes Kiai. It involves shouting loudly while making a distracting maneuver.
Riposte (•••): becomes Uchiotoshi Waza, or “killing the sword.” The character may not step out of the
way but instead parries the attack before her own counter-attack.
Moulinet (••••): becomes Nidan Waza, allowing one completed attack and a second quick cut with the
sword.
Again, all the mechanics are the same, and the Merit works in the exact manner, though with different
terms. However, the swords used are different. A character can perform kendo waza with katana, wakizashi
and curved swords — using them with any other swords incurs a –1 penalty.

Fighting Style: Krav Maga (Defensive Striking; • to •••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 79
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Wits •••, Brawl •••, Brawling Dodge
Effect: Your character practices Krav Maga, and has become competent in an unarmed variant of
Defensive Striking. Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver
is a prerequisite for the next. Krav Maga maneuvers are based on the Brawl Skill unless otherwise noted and
are used unarmed.
Immediate Defense (•): The character has learned to act quickly to neutralize a threat and make a fast
escape. She gains a bonus equal to her Initiative equal to her Brawl Skill when fighting armed opponents.
Disarming Defense (••): The character twists her torso out of danger while grabbing her opponent’s wrist
and pulling him forward, using her own torso for leverage as she tears his weapon from his hand. This acts as
the Disarm Merit save that it utilizes the Brawl Skill. Rather than knocking the weapon away, the character
takes the weapon from her opponent, and may use it the following turn.
Impenetrable Defense (•••): The character knows that offense and defense are one in the same. The
character may add his rating in his Brawl Skill to his Defense or Dodge against a single incoming attack. The
bonus from this maneuver combines with that from Brawling Dodge. Drawback: The character must expend
a Willpower point to perform this maneuver. This maneuver is reflexive, and a character may use it and
perform an instant action (such as attacking) so long as she did not use the Dodge action.
The First Moment (••••): The character has trained her reaction time to a tenth of a second, acting more by
instinct than thought. If the character’s initiative roll results in a tie with another character involved in combat,
the character automatically acts before his opponents and allies. Initiative Modifiers are not compared and
initiative is never determined by a roll-off (though if multiple characters aside from the Krav Maga
practitioner rolled the same initiative, their initiative ratings are resolved as normal). If two characters possess
this maneuver, they act at the same time, each resolving their action as if the other had not yet acted. This can
result in two characters killing each other in the same heated moment.
Finishing the Fight (•••••): The character moves defensively, but knows when to lash out at an enemy to
bring him crashing to the ground. The character declares and benefits from a Dodge action (including
Brawling Dodge, if she possesses it). She may abort that action to make an immediate, reflexive counter-
attack against an opponent whose attack fails to overcome her Dodge trait. Drawback: This maneuver costs
the character one Willpower point to enact. After making her counter-attack, the character loses her Defense
for the remainder of the turn.

Fighting Style: Kung Fu (• to •••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 111
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Stamina •• and Brawl ••
Effect: Your character is trained in one of the many forms of Kung Fu, conditioning his mind and body for
the purposes of focus and self-defense. He may have begun his training at an early age, following in the
footsteps of family or friends, or he may have joined a school as an adult for the purposes of exercise or
protection.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Iron Skin” until he has “Focused Attack.” The maneuvers and their
effects are listed below, most of which are based on the Brawl Skill.
Focused Attack (•): Physical conditioning and accuracy allow your character to deliver blows at vulnerable
spots on targets. Penalties to hit specific targets are reduced by one. See “Specified Targets,” p. 165. Even
when a specific part of an opponent is not targeted, armor penalties to your character’s Brawl attacks are
reduced by one.
Iron Skin (••): Your character has hardened his body to physical blows, allowing him to withstand repeated
hits with minimal effect. He has an effective armor trait of 1 against bashing attacks only.
Defensive Attack (•••): Your character has mastered the ability to fight defensively. When using this
maneuver, your character gains +2 to his Defense for the turn, but any attack he makes suffers a -2 penalty.
He can move no more than his Speed while performing a Defense Attack maneuver in a turn.
Whirlwind Strike (••••): Your character can unleash a storm of blows against an opponent. He can make a
number of extra Brawl attacks for each point of Dexterity that he has above 2 in a single action. Each extra
attack is made at a cumulative -1 modifier. Thus, he can perform a total of two attacks at Dexterity 3 (the
second of which is at -1), three attacks at Dexterity 4 (the third of which is at -2), and four at Dexterity 5 (the
fourth of which is at -3). All attacks must be on the same target. Drawback: Your character cannot use his
Defense against any attack in the same turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense
against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot
perform the maneuver this turn. He is too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
Lethal Strike (•••••): By focusing his might and concentration, your character can kill or maim an
opponent with a well-placed strike. A strike inflicts lethal instead of bashing damage. Drawback: Spend one
Willpower point per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack.

Fighting Style: Langschwert (Heavy Sword; • to •••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 83
Prerequisites: Strength ••• and Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character is skilled in the German twohanded long sword style, or another martial art that
specializes in using a long two-handed sword or stick.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next. Langschwert maneuvers are based on the Weaponry Skill and work in conjunction with a Size 3
or 4 blade or staff.
Wards (•): Your character knows how to use his weapon to deflect and threaten away attacks. Add 1 to his
Defense when he wields a weapon compatible with this Fighting Style.
Fool’s Guard (••): Your character knows how to hold his weapon low to seemingly invite attack, but when
the opponent strikes, he can quickly raise it to counter. Instead of offering a normal Defense, roll Strength +
Weaponry + 1 die against the opponent’s attack. This is an instant action. Each success reduces the attack’s
damage by 1, and if the characters successes exceed the attacker’s, the difference is inflicted upon the attacker
as damage from the character’s weapon Drawback: The character cannot employ his Defense in any turn
where he uses the Fool’s Guard.
Half Sword (•••): Your character grabs the midpoint of his weapon to rain more powerful thrusts and
blows at a shorter range, almost as if he was using the blade as a small spear. If his attack succeeds, add 2 to
the weapon’s damage (do not add this as the weapon’s equipment bonus, but after rolling). Drawback: The
weapon’s reduced range nullifies the Wards maneuver, so the character loses its Defense bonus. It also
reduces the character’s Weaponry-based dice pool by one.
Doubling Cut (••••): Your character strikes the enemy with two quick cuts. He can make two Weaponry
attacks against an opponent in the same turn. Drawback: Your character cannot employ his Defense or the
Fool’s Guard in the same turn as he uses this maneuver.
Wrathful Cut (•••••): Your character steps in with a powerful blow, capable of overwhelming his enemy’s
defenses. When he makes an All-Out Attack (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 157), add his
Weaponry dots instead of the normal +2 bonus. Drawback: Your character cannot employ his Defense or the
Fool’s Guard in the same turn as he uses this maneuver.

Fighting Style: MAC (• to •••••)


Book: Dogs Of War, p. 38
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Stamina •• and Brawl ••
Effect: The character is trained in Modern Army Combatives, the modern military style of hand-to-hand
combat that blends a number of fighting styles such as Muay Thai to provide a soldier with an all-round
means of unarmed self-defense and defense with short weapons (Brawl and Weaponry Skills).
Each dot of this Fighting Style is the prerequisite for the next higher dot; one cannot purchase “Atemi
Attack” until one has purchased “Tactician’s Sense”, for example.
• Tactician’s Sense: The character gauges the body language of combatants in his proximity. In game
terms, he can make a Reflexive Wits + Composure perception roll and gauge the Initiative modes of all
combatants before a fight starts.
•• Atemi Attack: The human body has a variety of pressure points, any of which can cause an opponent
great pain. The trained fighter knows where to strike for maximum effect. When striking with a Brawl or
Weaponry attack, the character may ignore up to 1 point of the enemy’s Armor protection per dot in this
Fighting Style.
••• Forearm Choke: The character applies pressure to an enemy’s carotid artery in an attempt to knock him
out. The character must successfully achieve a Grapple attack (see “Grapple”, the World of Darkness
Rulebook, p. 157). The character may apply the choke hold from the following turn. The hostile may attempt
to free himself on his next action with Strength + Brawl, his dice pool penalized by the character’s Strength +
1.
This maneuver is designed to render the foe unconscious. The foe may resist each turn at a cumulative –1
dice pool penalty. When your character has sustained the choke hold for a number of turns equal to the
hostile’s Stamina, the hostile is rendered unconscious, and sustains a single point of bashing damage. The
Forearm Choke is useless against creatures that do not need to breathe.
•••• Bullring: The character is trained in fighting off multiple opponents simultaneously. His Defense is
applied in full to each and every simultaneous hand-to-hand attack in a single turn.
••••• Lethal Strike: The soldier’s hands become deadly weapons when the character spends a Willpower
point. A successful Brawl strike delivered in a turn in which he spends Willpower delivers lethal, rather than
bashing, damage.
Drawback: Because the lethal attack takes place in that turn, the character cannot spend Willpower to
boost his attack dice pool.
Fighting Style: Muay Thai (• to •••••)
Book: Ancient Bloodlines, p. 119
Muay Thai, as a Fighting Style Merit, uses the same systems for ••, ••• and •••• as the Boxing Fighting Style
(p. 110 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). The • and ••••• maneuvers are described below.
Cut Kick (•): Your character knows how to deliver powerful round kicks to her opponent’s legs. When you
choose this option your character inflicts one less point of damage than usual, counted after rolling to see if
the attack succeeds. (For example, an attack that scores one success would still be a successful cut kick, but
inflicts no Health damage). However, each kick reduces the opponent’s Speed by one, down to a minimum of
one. If you roll as many successes as the opponent’s Size, he falls prone because he’s been swept by a kick or
can’t use his legs out of sheer pain. Opponents can get back up whenever they have the chance, but their
Speed only recovers at the end of the combat scene.
Thai Clinch (••••): Your character grabs an enemy around the head and pulls him into a vicious elbow or
knee strike. If you are establishing a grappling hold as the first part of using the Combination Blows
maneuver to inflict damage as the second move, add your Dexterity to your dice pool to attack. Drawback:
The usual –1 penalty for Combination Blows applies to the first grappling attempt, not to the following attack.
This benefit does not apply if your character has already established a hold, or during future attempts to
damage an opponent from the same hold, but she can always abandon her current hold and try a new grapple
to use the Thai Clinch.

Fighting Style: Police Tactics (• to •••)


Book: 13th Precint, p. 81, Tribes Of The Moon, p. 36
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Stamina••, Brawl •• and Weaponry •
Effect: Your character has picked up some of the mixed bag of subdue and compliance tricks that cops
learn in the academy and on the street. If he doesn’t have law enforcement experience himself, he’s most
likely learned these maneuvers from someone who has.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have Weapon Retention until he has Compliance Hold. The maneuvers and
their effects are listed below.
Compliance Hold (•): When trying to overpower an opponent you have grappled (see the World of
Darkness Rulebook, pp. 157–159), you gain a +2 bonus to your Strength + Brawl roll if you attempt to
immobilize or disarm him. You must choose your maneuver before making your roll, rather than after it, to
gain this bonus.
Weapon Retention (••): An opponent who has grappled you must score successes equal to your Weaponry
score on his Strength + Brawl roll to choose a “disarm” or “turn a drawn weapon” maneuver against you.
Speed Cuff (•••): If you have a pair of handcuffs or equivalent restraints drawn while grappling, you may
choose “cuff” as an overpowering maneuver. With success, you get the cuffs on one of your opponent’s
wrists. With exceptional success, you cuff both wrists.

Fighting Style: Qinna (Controls; • to •••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 88
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••• and Brawl ••
Effect: Your character is skilled in a Chinese martial arts style that emphasizes qinna, or another martial art
that specializes in standing joint locks, holds and chokes.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next.
Qinna maneuvers are based on the Brawl Skill and work in conjunction with unarmed combat. Qinna
maneuvers are designed to exploit weaknesses in the human anatomy. Targets who do not feel pain, possess
the need to breathe or have skeletons will not be affected by certain maneuvers. Of the commonly played
supernatural beings, this renders vampires immune to the effects of Sealing the Breath or Disrupting the
Veins.
Standing Control (•): Your character gains an additional overpowering maneuver, called Standing Control.
If she overpowers her opponent she may force him to accompany him wherever he goes. Drawback: The
character can only move himself and his opponent half as far as his Speed would normally allow. The
character cannot have moved earlier in the turn, and cannot automatically dump his enemy over a cliff or into
a fire or other dangerous environment without performing a separate attack. [Can you use the target as cover?]
Misplacing the Bones (••): The character’s holds can snap bones and tear connective tissue. If his player
inflicts more damage in an overpowering maneuver than the victim’s Size, he breaks a limb unless the
defender opts to immediately fall prone. The fracture (or tissue separation) inflicts a point of lethal damage
instead of the standard bashing damage, and renders the limb useless. It does not recover until the victim heals
that damage. If the limb is an arm, reduce the defender’s Defense by 1 and note that he’s dropped anything
held in it. If it’s a leg, the defender cannot walk upright. Drawback: Unless the character opts for a specified
target (see World of Darkness, p. 165), the defender’s player (or Storyteller) chooses which limb’s been
damaged.
Grabbing the Muscles (•••): Your character’s grappling holds twist muscles out of place or puts the
defender in a position where she can’t use strength to force her way out of the attack. Treat the defender as if
her Strength was two dots lower for the purpose of resisting overpower maneuvers.
Sealing the Breath (••••): Your character can use chokeholds and strikes to pressure points around the
lungs to interfere with a target’s breathing. If he succeeds with a Brawl-based strike or damaging overpower
rolled at a voluntary –1 die penalty, he inflicts a –1 die penalty to the opponent’s actions in addition to
inflicting standard damage. This penalty is cumulative throughout the combat scene, but vanishes afterwards.
Disrupting the Veins (•••••): Your character’s grappling maneuvers expertly attack anatomical
weaknesses. When he damages a victim with an overpower maneuver you can choose to inflict lethal damage,
and when he uses any other maneuver he can choose to inflict a point of lethal damage in addition to other
effects. Drawback: Spend a point of Willpower per attack. This does not add three dice to your roll.

Fighting Style: Shurikenjutsu (Thrown Blade And Dart; • to ••••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 104
The Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu’s curriculum includes shurikenjutsu. Despite the “ninja throwing
star” stereotype, most shuriken were actually spikes (bo shuriken), not stars (hira shuriken or shaken), and
were mostly used by samurai who trained in one of the dozens of koryu that taught their use. Drop the idea
that they would have been thought of as “dishonorable” weapons – it’s false.
This is the core Fighting Style for thrown edged weapons. We’ve included them under the TSKSR because
traditional shurikenjutsu is almost never taught outside of a larger curriculum. Dedicated interest in the art is
growing, however; there are a few small schools, new and old, that do teach it exclusively.
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••• Athletics ••
Effect: Your character knows how to throw edged weapons with particular skill. Dots purchased in this
Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next.
Your character may use Fighting Style: Shurikenjutsu with any edged weapon that’s been designed for
throwing. She may also use it with any other Size 1 object as if she had one dot less in this Merit, or any Size
2 weapon as if she had 2 dots less (Size 3 or greater weapons are not compatible with the Merit). The
advantages of this Merit apply to the character’s attempts to throw a qualified weapon, not use it in close
range combat.
Ma-ai (“Distance;” •): Your character learns to properly gauge a target’s distance and modify her
technique to match it. Double her short, medium and long range throwing ranges.
Kakushi Buki (“Hidden Weapons;” ••): The character knows how to rapidly retrieve a throwing weapon
from a sleeve, holster or other prepared spot on her body. She never needs to use an action to draw a throwing
weapon from a prepared spot.
Choku Da-Ho (“Direct Hit Method;” •••): Your character can throw using the power of her entire body.
Add her Strength dots to the dice pool for throwing the weapon. Drawback: The character is considered a
still target and may not employ her Defense during the turn in which she uses this maneuver. She may not use
this maneuver in conjunction with Ikki Gokken.
Ikki Gokken (“Five Blades in One Breath;” ••••): Your character can throw multiple weapons in rapid
succession during a single turn, provided she either holds them in one hand or can draw them instantly using
Kakushi Buki. She may make a one additional throw for each point of Dexterity that she has above 2. Each
extra action is rolled at a cumulative –1 modifier. Thus, she can throw twice at Dexterity 3 (with the second at
a –1 modifier), three times at Dexterity 4 (at a 0, –1 then –2 modifier to dice rolls) and four time at Dexterity
5 (at 0, –1, –2 and –3 to each dice roll, in turn). Drawback: The character is considered a still target and may
not employ her Defense during the turn in which she uses this maneuver. She may not use this maneuver in
conjunction with Choku-Do-Ho.

Fighting Style: Sniping (• to •••••)


Book: Armory, p. 212
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Resolve •••, Firearms •••, and Stealth ••
Effect: A sniper is the antithesis of a gunfighter, patient and serene rather than swift and ruthless. Your
character, through life-long experience or intensive military training, is patient and skilled enough to spend
hours staring through a rifle scope before taking one perfect shot that decides the fate of a hostage or a nation.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Battlesight Zero” until she has “On Scope.” The maneuvers and their
effects are described below, most of which are based on the Firearms Skill. All of the following maneuvers
work only with rifles (including assault rifles).
On Scope (•): Your character has an intuitive understanding of long-range ballistics and has spent countless
hours straining to pick out tiny details through a telescopic sight. The maximum bonus she may receive from
aiming (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 162) is increased to her Composure +1 for semi automatic
and automatic rifles and her Composure +2 for break-action, bolt-action and lever-action rifles. In addition,
when using a scope or other long-range optic device (e.g., binoculars), she receives a +2 bonus to all
perception rolls (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 45).
Battlesight Zero (••): Once your character is familiar with the capabilities of a rifle, she can wring
unparalleled performance from it. Whenever your character sights in a rifle (see “Sighting Tools,” p. 164), she
doubles the number of attacks that receive the bonus from this process. In addition, whenever she makes an
attack with a rifle that receives this bonus, the weapon’s short range is increased by five yards times her Wits,
medium range by twice this amount and long range by three times this amount.
Focused Shot (•••): Your character can lurk motionless in ambush for days, ignoring sleep deprivation,
temperature extremes and even life-threatening injuries in the name of putting lead on target. When making
an aimed shot, she may ignore an amount of penalties for wounds, drugs, disease, pain, fatigue, environmental
conditions and similar factors equal to her Resolve. For example, if your character has Resolve 4, has two
points of Health remaining (–2), has gone without sleep for 36 hours (–2) and has ingested strong
hallucinogens (–3), her aimed shots suffer only a –3 penalty instead of the –7 that affects all her other dice
pools.
Tactical Intervention (••••): Split-second timing and nerves of steel enable your character to take
advantage of the smallest opportunities for accurate shot placement. When making an aimed shot, all penalties
for shooting into close combat and for concealment are halved, rounding down.
One Shot, One Kill (•••••): When your character picks up her rifle, people fall down. It’s just that simple.
When making an aimed shot, do not add the rifle’s Damage rating to the attack dice pool (though “9 again” or
“8 again” still applies if it would normally). Instead, if the attack succeeds, add the rifle’s Damage rating as
extra successes. Drawback: Spend one Willpower per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not
add three dice to the attack.

Fighting Style: Sojutsu/Jukendo (Spear/Bayonet Combat) (• to ••••)


Book: Adamantine Arrow, p. 51
Prerequisite: Strength •••, Dexterity •• and Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character knows how to use a spear in close combat. Sojutsu (often incorrectly called
yarijutsu) is the Japanese form of the style. These skills also apply to using a rifle with a fixed bayonet (called
jukendo in Japan). Thus, characters might learn this fighting style in a modern military force or a martial arts
school. Martial artists often learn this fighting style alongside Fighting Style: Staff Fighting (see World of
Darkness: Armory, pp. 213–214).
A character using this fighting style must use his weapon with both hands to take advantage of its
maneuvers.
Warding Stance (•): The basic advantage of a spear or fixed bayonet is its length. Trained fighters learn to
keep the tip of the weapon pointed forward, constantly threatening incoming attackers. Thus, this maneuver
lets a practitioner attack first whenever an opponent using a smaller-Size melee weapon attacks from the
front.
Thrust (••): The character knows how to deliver precise, powerful thrusting blows. His spear or bayonet
gains the 9 again quality. If the spear or fixed bayonet already has this quality, he gains no further benefit.
Block and Strike (•••): Your character can deflect incoming attacks with the haft or stock of his weapon
and swiftly strike back. When using this maneuver, your character gains +2 to his Defense for the turn, but
any attack he makes suffers a –2 penalty. Unlike similar maneuvers (such as Two-Weapon Fighting’s Deflect
and Thrust maneuver), the character can move freely while using the technique.
Great Thrust (••••): The character lunges forward, putting his entire body behind a powerful thrust. If he
employs an All Out Attack (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 157), he adds a number of dice equal
to his lower of his Strength or Weaponry Skill instead of the standard two dice. Drawback: If the attack
inflicts at least as much lethal damage as the opponent’s Size, the character lodges the weapon deep in his
target’s body. Dislodging the weapon requires an additional Strength + Weaponry roll, but automatically
inflicts a point of lethal damage.
Fighting Style: Sword And Shield (Shields; • to •••••)
Book: Armory Reload, p. 92
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Dexterity ••, Stamina ••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character has trained extensively with a weapon in her primary hand and a shield in her off-
hand. She has learned to utilize the shield’s strengths, redirecting it towards incoming threats while
overcoming some of the clumsiness involved in making attacks from behind a shield’s protective cover.
Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite
for the next. Sword and Shield maneuvers are based on the Weaponry Skill and function only when a
character possesses a shield.
Cloak and Dagger (•): Your character’s extensive training with shields allows her to utilize improvised
shields more effectively. This maneuver is named for the practice of using one’s cloak to buffet incoming
attacks away. A character with this maneuver doubles the effective Structure of an improvised shield (usually
an improvised shield can only deflect a number of attacks equal to its structure before being destroyed) and
suffers a –2 penalty to attack rather than the standard –3. This penalty can be further decreased by the
maneuver The Shielded Strike below, but improvised shields cannot be used to perform the Shield Bash,
Shield Charge, or Stand Strong maneuvers.
Shield Bash (••): Your character has learned how to use the shield defensively and offensively. Attempts to
strike another combatant with the character’s shield still suffer a –1 penalty, but gain a Weapon bonus equal
to the shield’s Defense rating. Damage remains bashing. Drawback: A character using a shield to knock an
enemy back is not using it for defense. A character does not benefit from a shield’s Defense rating on a turn in
which she uses this maneuver. If she has already used the full Defense rating against an incoming attack
during the turn, she may not use the maneuver.
The Shielded Strike (•••): The character’s use of her shield integrates seamlessly with that of her weapon.
She may rest the blade across the top or side of a rectangular shield, pushing the weapon forward as if playing
billiards. Perhaps she has developed a careful rhythm in which she lowers the shield for the bare instant
necessary to deliver a fatal attack. Either way, when the character uses this maneuver to make an attack, she
no longer suffers a penalty for using a weapon while benefiting from her shield, and her shield adds +1 to its
Defense rating against the target of the attack. Drawback: The character’s concentration on coordinating her
shield and weapon leaves her open to attacks from the flanks and rear. She loses her Defense against attacks
made by any opponent save the one she is attacking. If she has already used her Defense against an incoming
attack from another opponent during the turn, she may not use the maneuver.
Shield Charge (••••): The character charges forward, shield lowered before her, and crashes into the enemy
line. The character makes a shield bash attack (see above) at a –2. The attack inflicts bashing damage, but if
even a single success is scored on the attack, the character may send her enemy flying. An opponent who
suffers the effects of this attack makes a reflexive Dexterity + Athletics roll; if he rolls fewer successes than
the shield-user, he suffers knockdown (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168). At Storyteller’s
discretion, this maneuver may be used against multiple opponents, provided that they are standing close
enough together. Each additional opponent targeted levies an additional –1 to the attack roll, and the damage
rolled is distributed evenly among those hit. Those who suffer no damage do not check for knockdown, even
if their companions do. Drawback: Use of this maneuver necessitates a charge action (World of Darkness
Rulebook, p. 164), which means, among other things, she loses her Defense. If she has already used her
Defense against an incoming attack from another opponent during the turn, she may not use the maneuver.
Stand Strong (•••••): The character digs in her feet, raises her shield, and stands as a human wall against an
onslaught of attacks. She benefits from her full Dodge trait and shield defense bonus against attacks made
from a single direction (Weaponry Dodge can be applied). Additionally, attacks from that direction do not
decrease her Defense against later attacks in the round. For the purpose of this maneuver, a direction is
approximately one third of the circumference of a circle drawn about the character (typically claiming defense
against attacks from the left, front, or right is sufficient). Attacks made against the character from other
directions suffer a penalty equal to Defense only, which suffers penalties from multiple attacks as usual. Note
that while a single enemy might be able to move around the character’s defenses, no more than three
characters can assault the character from a direction that she can’t fully defend against through this maneuver.
Drawback: Using this maneuver requires an incredible exercise of will. A character must spend one
Willpower point to gain the benefits of this Merit for one turn.

Fighting Style: Spetsnaz Knife Fighting (• to ••••)


Book: Armory, p. 213
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character is trained to fight effectively with a knife. This particular form of martial knife
training is based upon original Spetsnaz Russian Forces training. This training is now standard among many
of the world’s Special Forces. It involves holding a single-edged knife in a downward (or “reverse”) grip.
Maneuvers involve a lot of quick, fluid movements complemented by a mixture of slashing and stabbing
toward vital areas.
Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with a knife. Each maneuver is a
prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. Your character cannot have “Advantageous Angle” until he has
“Anticipate Attack.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based on the
Weaponry Skill.
Anticipate Attack (•): Those trained in Special Forces knife fighting know to move fast before incoming
attacks and in response to them. To do this requires a level of anticipation and strategy even before a combat
begins. At this level, your character may substitute his Weaponry score for his Composure when determining
his Initiative modifier. This is only during combat situations in which your character is using an edged or
pointed weapon of Size 2 or under.
Advantageous Angle (••): Your knife-wielder knows how to make a feinted attack from the side or rear in
a way that grants him advantage. While normally such attacks confer no bonuses, the character is aware how
to deceive an opponent into mounting a Defense against an attack that isn’t coming — and then stage an
attack from a different angle. The foe’s Defense is at –1 during such an attack. Drawback: This maneuver
can only be made every other turn.
Vital Attack (•••): Your character knows how to target his attacks to vital organs and other vulnerabilities.
Attacks made with a knife have Armor Piercing 1, and penalties to hit specific targets or body parts (see
“Specified Targets,” p.165 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) are reduced by one.
Slash and Stab (••••): Your character’s deftness with a knife allows him to make two attacks against one
target in a single action. The first attack is a slash, the second a thrusting stab. The first attack is made as
normal, but the second suffers a –1 penalty. Drawback: This quick maneuver leaves the character somewhat
more vulnerable against the next attack coming toward him. His Defense is counted as being one less against
the next attack.

Fighting Style: Staff Fighting (• to •••)


Book: Armory, p. 213
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Dexterity ••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character has learned to wield a quarterstaff, bo staff or jo staff effectively in combat. This is
likely something she has learned from a martial practitioner. This style is sometimes called bojutsu.
Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with polearms. Each maneuver is
a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. Your character cannot have “Temple Strike” until she has “Trip.”
These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based upon the Weaponry Skill.
Note that while a quarter-, bo or jo staff are the norm for this fighting style, the maneuvers are not limited
to these weapons. A character can use any polearm for these maneuvers, but using other polearms with an
item that isn’t one of the aforementioned three staff types requires an additional point of Weaponry
(Weaponry •••). A character can also utilize improvised polearms (including post-hole diggers, scythes or
other objects at least five feet in length) with this maneuvers. In such cases, the Weaponry ••• is still required,
and all attack rolls are made with the appropriate improvised weapon penalties in place. Remember as well
that utilizing a polearm in combat grants the wielder a +1 Defense.
Trip (•): Your character can use her polearm to trip a single opponent, hopefully sending him to the
ground. It is a contested roll pitting the character’s normal attack roll against the opponent’s Dexterity +
Athletics. The character’s attack is penalized by the foe’s Defense, as usual. If the opponent falls, assume
Knockdown rules (per p. 168, the World of Darkness Rulebook). In this case, however, the fall to the
ground incurs a single point of bashing damage to the opponent.
Temple Strike (••): Your character brings her staff against the side of her adversary’s head. The normal –3
penalty to hit the head still applies, but if the damage meets or exceeds the target’s Size, the target falls
unconscious for a number of turns equal to the damage done. This damage is usually bashing, as it is meant to
be performed with a blunt staff. The damage can be performed with a bladed weapon such as the naginata,
however. The effect is the same, but the damage is now lethal instead of bashing.
Dangerous Radius (•••): With this technique, your character can swing her weapon in a wide arc, hitting
anyone within three yards. Make a normal attack roll for the character (Strength + Weaponry + weapon
bonuses). This roll receives a dice penalty equal to the number of opponents hit with this strike (to a
maximum of –5 dice). Successes achieved on this roll are done as damage to all within the three-yard radius.
If the weapon is a normal blunt polearm (i.e., a staff), it does bashing. If bladed, the weapon causes lethal
damage. Drawback: This attack cannot distinguish between friend or foe. Any allies within the three-yard
radius are hit along with enemies. The technique cannot be pulled to exclude friends from the damage.
Fighting Style: Two Weapons (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 112
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••• and Weaponry •••
Effect: Your character has trained to fight with a weapon in both hands, allowing him to attack and dodge
or make two attacks in the same turn. Your character still suffers the -2 offhand penalty when attacking with a
weapon in his secondary hand (unless you have also purchased the Ambidextrous Merit).
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Deflect and Thrust” until he has “Whirling Blades.” The maneuvers
and their effects are detailed below, all of which are based on the Weaponry Skill.
Whirling Blades (•): Your character’s Dodge trait (Defense doubled; see p. 156) is not penalized by
multiple attacks staged against him in a turn until the number of attacks exceeds his Weaponry dots, at which
point each attack thereafter reduces his Dodge by -1. So, if your character (with 2 Defense and 3 Weaponry)
dodges attacks in a turn, the first three incoming attacks suffer his full Dodge trait as a penalty (-4). The
fourth suffers a -3 penalty, the fifth suffers a -2 penalty, and so on. Basically, your character’s weapons move
so quickly all about him that opponents in close combat have trouble reaching or assaulting him.
The Brawling Dodge Merit (see p. 110) cannot replace normal Dodge (Defense doubled) when this
maneuver is performed.
Deflect and Thrust (••): Your character can avoid attacks and strike back in the same motion. When using
this maneuver, your character gains +2 to his Defense for the turn, but any attack he makes suffers a -2
penalty. He can move no more than his Speed while performing a Deflect and Thrust maneuver in a turn.
Focused Attack (•••): Your character can attack a single target twice in one turn. The second attack suffers
a -1 penalty. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same turn in which
he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster,
before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver this turn. He is too busy bobbing and
weaving out of the way of attacks.
Fluid Attack (••••): Your character can make a single attack on two different targets in one turn. The
targets cannot be a distance apart in excess of your character’s Speed trait. The second attack suffers a -1
penalty. Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same turn in which he
intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster,
before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver this turn. He is too busy bobbing and
weaving out of the way of attacks.

Firearms Retention (•)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 89
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••, Wits ••, Brawl ••, Firearms ••
Effect: Your character knows how to keep a hold of his gun when someone tries to take it, even while it’s
holstered. If an opponent attempts to disarm her with an overpower maneuver, an attempt to target her holster
with a grab (see the World of Darkness rulebook, p. 138) or use a similar tactic learned from a Fighting
Style, he must subtract your character’s Brawl dots from his dice pool. This benefit also applies to attempts to
steal the weapon from your character’s holster. Drawback: This benefit doesn’t apply against attempts to
take a weapon by stealth.

Fleet of Foot (• to •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 112
Prerequisites: Strength •••
Effect: +1 Speed per dot Regardless of your character’s physical build, he can run quickly when he chooses
to.

Fresh Start (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 112
Prerequisites: Fast Reflexes •
Effect: Your character dedicates an action to altering his standing in the Initiative order in the following
turn and for all subsequent turns, choosing to insert himself at a new point in the roster, even if it means going
first when he went last before. For example, if your Initiative roll (see p. 151) resulted in a 9, but a rival
whom your character wanted to waylay got a 12, your character can forfeit an action in turn one to get a fresh
start and then act before that rival at 13 in turn two and afterward.
Drawback: A character must take an action to change his Initiative ranking in subsequent turns. He can do
nothing else in that action except move up to his Speed.

Giant (••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 112
Effect: Your character is seven or more feet tall and over 250 pounds. He is +1 Size (and thus +1 Health).
Available at character creation only.
Drawback: Your character needs to shop in big-and tall clothing stores or gets clothes custom tailored. He
might also be required to purchase two seats for air travel, depending on the airline.

Ground and Pound (••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 98
Prerequisites: Combination Blows Fighting Style Maneuver (Boxing or Aggressive Striking •••),
Takedown/Throw Fighting Style Maneuver (Grappling ••)
Effect: Your character may use Combination Blows (World of Darkness core, pp. 110–111) to perform
Takedown/Throw Maneuver followed by an unarmed strike. If she succeeds with the first maneuver, her dice
pool doesn’t suffer the usual –1 penalty for the second attack in the Combination Blows series. Instead, the
character gains a +2 bonus to strike her prone opponent.

Gunslinger (•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 112
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••• and Firearms •••
Effect: Your character’s capability and experience with firearms is such that he can accurately fire two
pistols at the same time. Your character still suffers the –2 offhand penalty for shooting with his secondary
hand (unless he also possesses the Ambidextrous Merit, above), but he can shoot both pistols as a single
action during a turn. The second attack is also at a -1 penalty. Your character may shoot at two different
targets if he wishes, but the amount of concentration required negates his Defense for the turn.
The Merit can be used with pistols only.
Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attack in the same turn in which he intends
to use this Merit on two separate targets in the same turn. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier
in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver this turn. He is
too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.

Heavy Hands (•••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 98
Prerequisite: Strength •••, Brawl ••
Effect: Your character has a strong upper body, tough knuckles and enough raw aggression to punch harder
than most people. Her strikes inflict +1 damage. This even applies when she’s wearing knuckledusters or
other blunt fist loads. Drawback: The benefit does not apply to biting, grappling attacks or sharp weapons
(including blades or spiked fist loads) – just standard unarmed strikes.

Iron Stamina (• to •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Stamina ••• or Resolve •••
Effect: Each dot eliminates a negative modifier (on a one-for-one basis) when resisting the effects of
fatigue or injury. For example: A character with Iron Stamina •• is able to ignore up to a -2 modifier brought
on by fatigue. See “Fatigue”, p. 179. The Merit also counteracts the effects of wound penalties. So, if all of
your character’s Health boxes are filled (which normally imposes a -3 penalty to his actions) and he has Iron
Stamina •, those penalties are reduced to -2. This Merit cannot be used to gain positive modifiers for actions,
only to cancel out negative ones.
Your character can push his body well past the limits of physical endurance when he has to, pressing on in
the face of mounting exhaustion or pain. Perhaps he trained himself to go without sleep for days at a time in
order to get through college, or a lifetime of sports has taught your character how to play through the pain no
matter how bad it gets.
Drawback: When your character does finally rest, he sleeps like the dead. After staying awake for an
extended period, your character is extremely difficult to wake until he’s slept for a minimum of 12 hours,
regardless of the situation.
Iron Stomach (••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Stamina ••
Effect: Your character can eat almost anything, under almost any conditions. Greasy bacon and runny eggs
on a raging hangover? No problem. The green meat in the fridge? No problem. Milk two weeks past its
expiration date? No problem. He could be dropped in the middle of the forest and could live off bugs and
roots as long as necessary in order to survive - and with no ill effects. Add two dice to appropriate Survival
rolls. Add three to Stamina to resist deprivation (see p. 175).

Natural Immunity (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Stamina ••
Effect: Your character gains a +2 modifier on Stamina rolls to resist infection, sickness and disease. His
immune system is exceptionally effective at resisting infections, viruses and bacteria. Your character can
probably count on one hand the number of times he’s been seriously ill.

Outdoorsman (••)
Book: Midnight Roads, p. 59
Prerequisites: Survival 3
The character is a natural at making her way in the wilderness, and she has a knack for surviving situations
that would prove deadly to most. She can find food and shelter where others see only the possibility of hunger
and exposure to the harshness of the elements, and she knows the signs and subtle tells of the outdoors as
though they were her native tongue.
Characters with this Merit may ignore up to three points of penalties from environmental sources applied to
any roll involving the Survival Skill. If a Survival roll is not penalized, then the character instead receives a
+1 modifier to her dice pool.

Parkour (• to •••••)
Book: Strange Alchemies, p. 74, Tribes Of The Moon, p. 98
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Athletics ••
The sport of parkour began in France, and has quickly spread to other parts of the world. Parkour demands
a level of athleticism from its practitioners that few other sports do. The purpose of parkour, which is also
called “free running” or “urban running,” is to move as quickly as possible through an environment with a
variety of obstacles, sprinting through the terrain and using a variety of climbing techniques, leaps, rolls and
other athletic movements to navigate.
Watching an expert traceur (one of the terms for someone who practices parkour) at work is awe-inspiring,
like something out of an action film. Though the technique comes from well-disciplined training, imbedding a
certain body of movements and techniques into the parkour’s instinctive reactions, the goal is a flawless,
seamless flow of movement from one obstacle to the next, with hardly any pause in speed or movement.
This “flow” is the goal of traceurs — it is the highest achievement of a practitioner of parkour to achieve a
Zen-like state of lack of thought, where purest instinct and reaction drives the movement. Skilled traceurs
speak of sometimes being aware that they’ve accomplished a tremendously difficult feat heartbeats after
they’ve accomplished it. Through intensive training to drive home certain actions when confronted with
certain obstacles, the traceur can depend on his instincts, rather than his thoughts — which are vulnerable to
fears and doubts — when moving through the urban environment.
Traceurs gather in clubs. Though the sport has begun to catch on, and some of these clubs are receiving
corporate sponsorship, the clubs tend to be quite informal, with members gathering in a given place on a
given day of the week to work on their techniques.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special athletic maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Cat Leap” until he has “Flow.” The maneuvers and their effects are
described below, most of which are based on the Athletics Skill.
Flow (•): Your character has some basic training in the techniques of parkour, allowing him to act
instinctively to obstacles and jumps. When using running or using the Foot Chase rules (see the World of
Darkness Rulebook, p. 65), your character may negate hazardous terrain penalties equal to his Rating in the
Parkour Merit. Additionally, the roll to gauge a jump distance (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 67)
is a reflexive action.
Cat Leap (••): Your character has mastered some of the twisting leaps, landing rolls and wall taps used by
traceurs. When using a Dexterity + Athletics roll to mitigate damage from falling (see the World of Darkness
Rulebook, p. 179), your character gains one automatic success. Additionally, add one per dot in this Merit to
the threshold of damage that can be removed through this roll. Thus, if the Storyteller decrees that only three
successes may be garnered to reduce falling damage, the traceur with three dots in this Merit may actually use
six successes (assuming the player accumulates that many, including his automatic success).
Wall Run (•••): Your character has mastered the quick wall-run and leaping climb techniques of parkour.
When using Athletics to climb (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 64), your character is capable of
scaling heights of 10 feet + 5 feet per dot in Athletics as an instant action (rather than the normal 10 feet),
though every full 10 feet beyond the first imposes a –1 die penalty. so extensively in this athletic discipline
that its maneuvers are normal and instinctive for him. Your character may designate any Athletics roll that
involves running, jumping and climbing as being a Rote Action (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p.
134). However, when doing so, he is less able to react to events that don’t have to do with navigating the
environment, causing him to lose his Defense for that turn.
Expert Traceur (••••): Your character has trained so extensively in this athletic discipline that its
maneuvers are normal and instinctive for him. Your character may designate any Athletics roll that involves
running, jumping and climbing as being a Rote Action (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134).
However, when doing so, he is less able to react to events that don’t have to do with navigating the
environment, causing him to lose his Defense for that turn.
Freeflow (•••••): Your character has achieved the freeflow that is the holy grail of traceurs everywhere —
he acts without thinking, his movements flowing, graceful and quick when he enters “the zone.” He can
perform any Athletics action that involves running, jumping or climbing as a reflexive action, rather than an
instant action. Doing so requires that the character has been running for at least a full minute previously; any
use of this ability before that minute mark requires the expenditure of one point of Willpower, however.

Quick Draw (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••
Effect: Your character can draw a pistol and fire or pull a melee weapon and attack without penalty as a
single action in a turn. If a weapon is hidden on your character’s person (under a coat or in a purse), it can be
drawn and used in the same turn without the normal loss of Defense. A separate Quick Draw Merit must be
acquired for use with firearms and melee weapons.

Quick Healer (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Stamina ••••
Effect: Your character’s healing abilities are remarkable, allowing him to bounce back quickly from
injuries that would leave most people bedridden for months.
Your character recovers from injuries in half the time that others do. One point of bashing damage is healed
in eight minutes. One point of lethal damage is healed in one day. One point of aggravated damage is healed
in four days.

Strong Back (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Strength ••
Effect: Your character gains a +1 modifier to actions involving lifting or carrying heavy weights. She can
lift and carry much more weight than her build and body type suggests.

Strong Lungs(•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Athletics •••
Effect: Your character is practiced at holding his breath for long periods of time. He might be a pearl diver
or escape artist, capable of staying underwater without aid for longer than most people believe is possible.
When determining how long your character can hold his breath, add two to Stamina when referencing the
Holding Breath chart on p. 49. For example, if your character’s Stamina is 2, he can hold his breath for four
minutes before you need to make a roll.
Student Of The Blade (•)
Book: Armory Reload, p. 66
Prerequisite: Fighting Style: Fencing (Aggressive Light Sword) or Iaido (Defensive Light Sword) •
Effect: Your character trains with a wide variety of light swords and sticks, allowing her to flow from one
method to the next. She never suffers a penalty for being unfamiliar with a weapon outside her original
Fighting Style.

Stunt Driver(•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••
Effects: Your character can drive a vehicle and perform an unrelated action (e.g., fire a gun, punch another
passenger) in the same turn. Drive rolls may still be necessary for dangerous maneuvers or situations. See
“Vehicles, “ p. 141.

Stunt Rider (•••)


Book: Requiem For Rome, p. 110
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••
Effects: Your character can ride a horse and perform an unrelated action (e.g., fire a bow, grab a running
victim) in the same turn. Ride rolls may still be necessary for dangerous maneuvers or situations.

The Weapon at Hand (••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 79
Prerequisite: Fighting Style: Krav Maga (Defensive Striking) ••
Effect: Krav Maga teaches its adherents that efficacy trumps style in every case. Exposed to purposefully
harsh conditions, mentors train their pupils to quickly recognize and obtain the most useful improvised
implement of destruction in her immediate surroundings, whether it be a bottle of gin, a pool cue or even a
stapler. The results can be brutal.
A character with this Merit may roll Wits + Weaponry as a reflexive action to ascertain what nearby object
is both useful and available for use as a deadly weapon. On a success, the Storyteller relates to her the nearest
and most efficacious improvised weapon, which she may then take up as an instant action (or as a reflexive
action if she possesses the appropriate Quick Draw Merit). On a dramatic success, the character finds a
weapon so perfect that it does not suffer the usual –1 penalty for being improvised.
Storytellers are encouraged to be creative with this Merit. Rarely does a character find herself in a situation
in which absolutely nothing can be used as a weapon.

Tolerance for Biology (•)


Book: Asylum, p. 51
Prerequisite: Resolve, Stamina or Composure ••
Effect: Some people see blood and pass out. Some people hear another person throwing up and get queasy.
Your character can watch medicinal maggots being massaged into open, blackened wounds and feel nothing
except a bit of curiosity. He never feels nauseated due to unpleasant things he sees in a medical setting, and
receives a +2 bonus to any roll to keep composed when offered scenes of violence or carnage, or when
exposed to horrific smells.

Toxin Resistance (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 113
Prerequisites: Stamina •••
Effect: Your character gains a +2 modifier to Stamina rolls to resist the effects of drugs, poisons and toxins.
His body is capable of withstanding high levels of chemicals without suffering any ill effects. He’s probably
never had a case of food poisoning, much less a hangover.
Drawbacks: Your character’s body can’t tell the difference between recreational toxins and intentional
ones. It’s very difficult for him to become intoxicated, whether from alcohol, nicotine or other drugs. Also,
painkillers and anesthetics are only half as effective as normal.
Weaponry Dodge (•)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 114
Prerequisites: Strenght ••• and Weaponry •
Effect: Whenever your character performs a dodge (see “Dodge,” p. 156), you can choose to add his
Weaponry Skill dots to his Defense instead of doubling his Defense. He essentially draws on his training in
parrying and evading attacks rather than relying on his raw ability alone. While this might provide little
benefit to a fencing novice, it can give the advanced fighter an edge.
Weaponry Dodge applies against incoming Brawl- and Weaponry-based attacks, against thrown-weapon
attacks, and against Firearms attacks made within close-combat range. Your character can move up to his
Speed and perform a Weaponry Dodge maneuver in a turn.
A character can possess both the Brawling Dodge and Weaponry Dodge Merits, but only one can be used
per turn.

Weapons to Empty Hands (••)


Book: Armory Reload, p. 66
Prerequisite: Dexterity •••, Brawl •••, Weaponry •••, Fighting Style Merit •••• (and see below)
Effect: Your character trains in a martial art that teaches common principles for weapons and unarmed
combat. Her skills transfer from one to the other. This gives her the ability to use certain armed Fighting
Styles without a weapon. Of the styles discussed in this book, she may use Two Weapons, Filipino Martial
Arts (Stick Fighting) or Spetsnaz (and other forms of) Knife Fighting.
You must purchase this maneuver separately for each Fighting Style. Your character uses Brawl instead of
Weaponry for all maneuver-related attacks and dice pools, and inflicts damage as an unarmed combatant.

Wheelman (••)
Book: Midnight Roads, p. 59
Prerequisites: Dexterity 2, Drive 2
Some people were born to sit behind the wheel of a car (truck, van, etc.). Likewise, there are those for
whom steering a motorcycle is as natural as moving their own limbs by will alone. Such individuals often take
to the nomad lifestyle with the eagerness of a natural wanderer.
Characters with this Merit receive the benefit of the 9-again rule with respect to all rolls involving the Drive
Skill.
Social Merits
Allies (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 114
Effect: Allies are people who are willing to help your character from time to time. They may be associates,
friends of convenience or people who owe your character a favor. Each acquisition of this Merit is dedicated
to one type of ally, whether in an organization, society or circle. Examples include the police, City Hall,
criminals, unions, banks, university faculty and hospital staff. In order to have alliances in more than one
venue, you need to purchase this Merit multiple times, each trait with its own dots. Thus, your character might
have Allies (Police) ••, Allies (Criminals) ••• and Allies (City Hall) •, each acquired separately at character
creation or during play.
Each dot that your character has indicates how deep his influence runs in that group. One dot might mean
he can ask for minor favors, such as being spared a parking ticket if alliance is among police, or being
allowed to see an article before it goes to press if alliance is among reporters. Three dots garner considerable
favors, such as a building permit “going missing” at City Hall, or a strike resolution being wrapped up early
among union leaders. Five dots allow for dangerous and even overtly criminal favors, such as a stock being
sabotaged on Wall Street or the answers to an exam being shared by a university professor.
The kinds of requests made of people in an organization typically have to relate to their sphere of influence.
Asking a criminal to slow down the bureaucratic process at City Hall makes no sense, but asking him to pass
along word of a drug buy does. Favors might be minor and within the bounds of a person’s job or role, such
as processing some paperwork more quickly than usual, or could be significant or dangerous and outside
what’s allowed or even legal, such as allowing a civilian access to the police evidence locker.
The Storyteller has final say over what is an acceptable request and what is not. If there’s any doubt, the
Storyteller could call for a Manipulation + Persuasion roll, with a bonus equal to your character’s Allies dots.
Penalties might also apply based on the importance or danger of the request. Asking someone to do something
already in the bounds of their role imposes no modifier, while asking them to do something that could get
them suspended imposes a -3 penalty, and asking for something that could get them jailed or killed is -5.
Frequent favors asked of the same group also imposes a penalty as group members grow tired of being called
upon.
Similarly, a roll of Manipulation + Persuasion + Allies dots could determine how many police answer your
character’s call for help, or how many longshoremen turn up when your character needs a show of force (one
per success rolled).
Allies doesn’t have to be defined in terms of specific individuals over whom your character has sway. He
could simply know a variety of people among city reporters and he can call upon them in general from time to
time. You should, however, explain why your character has influence in a particular body. Maybe he worked
there himself at one time and still has friends in the organization. Or he has done a group a favor and its
members still owe him.
Drawback: Allies are not automatons, waiting for your character to ask for help. They have their own lives
and needs. An alliance is a two-way relationship. Calling for favors makes your character indebted to his
friends, and they are sure to call such favors in when they need help. The Storyteller can use such debts as
inspiration for future stories.

Animal Affinity (• to •••)


Book: Skinchangers, p. 20
One particular animal species never seems to mind your character’s presence and reacts with remarkable
favor when he tries to interact with them. Cats are always friendly, or wolves accept him as one of the pack.
Each dot in this Merit adds a +1 modifier to all Social rolls made to influence or understand the chosen
species of animal. Characters may purchase this Merit multiple times to affect multiple species.
Special: Skinchangers who take this Merit for their totem animal treat the one-dot version as the two-dot
version and the two-dot version as three dots. They cannot purchase the three-dot version of this Merit.

Armory (• to •••••)
Book: Banishers, p. 51
Prerequisites: Resources •••
Effect: Your character can draw upon an array of weapons and armor. This Merit could represent a large
gun collection, the ability to call in favors for arms or ownership of a firearms or martial arts supply store.
When you select this Merit, give it a descriptor such as “dojo weapons” or “hunting club.” This will guide
your use of the Merit.
Each dot provides five “points” of weapons and armor. The pool of dots provides a vaguely defined
assortment of available arms. You may use weapons and armor equal to your pool total at any given time.
The base pool cost for a weapon is equal to its Damage rating. Add 1 to the cost if the weapon is a firearm.
Armor has a pool cost equal to its Defense bonus. Add 1 to the cost of any weapon or piece of armor if it’s
illegal or highly restricted.
The maximum Damage or Defense rating possible for any Armory equipment is equal to the Merit’s dots
+1. Firearms come with a full load or magazine. One Armory point adds an additional load or magazine.
You don’t need to account for every single knife and gun, and in fact, there are more parts and arms than
the pool would allow — the equivalent of the classic briefcase or rack full of guns. Your total represents arms
in good enough repair to actually use. You may change weapon selections freely as long as the choices could
plausibly fit under the general descriptor.
Similar to the Sanctum or Library Merits, it’s possible to purchase this Merit collectively, dividing its
benefits among the entire group.
Drawback: Unlike arms and armor purchased with standard Resources, Armory gear is gray market at
best. It includes a selection of stolen, illegally modified or improperly registered weapons. If the authorities
discover your Armory, you might incur a fine or imprisonment.

Barfly (• to •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 114
Effect: No matter what town or city your character is in, he can find his way into the best nightspots with a
few quick words and a timely bribe. There isn’t a velvet rope made that can keep him out of a restaurant or
club.

Bureaucratic Navigator (••)


Book: Asylum, p. 51
Effect: Bureaucracy has a pattern, and your character has learned to recognize it. Within any given
bureaucratic system, be it a hospital, a government agency or a corporation, he has learned whom to talk to
get results, which rules he absolutely must follow and which ones he can ignore because no one pays
attention. You receive a +2 bonus to all Social and Mental rolls made to navigate, manipulate or work within
a bureaucratic system. Note that this Merit doesn’t accomplish the impossible.
Your character isn’t going to get a permit for a heavy assault rifle if such weapons are illegal in his city, no
matter how much he flirts with the ladies at the country courthouse.

Contacts (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 114
Effect: Contacts provide your character information in a particular area of awareness. Each dot in this Merit
represents one arena or circle in which your character has a web of connections and from which he may draw
information. If he has Contacts •••, his dots might be assigned to computer hackers, couriers and big business,
respectively. Contacts can include individuals whom you or the Storyteller defines, but more likely they
comprise an array of people from whom your character can draw information with a phone call, email or face-
to-face query. Contacts is strictly information-gathering. Contacts do not come perform services for your
character or rush to his aid. Those actions are the purview of other Merits such as Allies and Retainer.
Gaining information from contacts requires a successful Manipulation + Persuasion or Socialize roll,
depending on the relationship between your character and the people in question. Penalties might apply if the
information sought is little known (-1 to -3), confidential (-3), or if sharing it could get people in trouble or
harmed (-3 to - 5). Success doesn’t guarantee exactly the information for which your character looks.
Contacts aren’t all-knowing, and the Storyteller is perfectly justified in saying that a particular contact simply
doesn’t know something.
Dramatic Failure: The contact doesn’t tell your character the full extent of what he knows, or provides
misleading information. Perhaps he’s holding out for money or favors, or simply makes an honest mistake.
Failure: The contact doesn’t have the information your character needs.
Success: The contact is able to provide some information that’s helpful to your character.
Exceptional Success: The contact is able to provide a wealth of information to your character, providing
answers to questions that aren’t even asked.
Suggested Equipment: Gift (+1), small bribe (+1), large bribe (+2), an outstanding favor (+1 to +3)
Possible Penalties: Lack of bribe (-1), frequent and recent requests (-1 to -2), information confidential (-1
to -3), information scarce (-2), information obscure (-3).

Cultural Language (•)


Book: Immortals, p. 82
Effect: Communication was not always as simple as signing into e-mail and clicking ‘send.’ In time before
e-mail, even in times before standardized letter writing, body thieves sought ways to communicate with one
another even over distance, since their practices could carry them almost anywhere. To reflect this, body
thieves take this specialized Language Merit to reflect this form of communication that can only be
understood by members of their society. This Merit muddles the thieves’ language with secrecy, and any
person trying to discern the actual meaning of a conversation or written communication suffers a two dice
penalty unless they know the same cultural language. For the Archer family, it’s merely a derivative of their
cultural Shelta language. For the Club, it’s a series of complicated metaphors often hidden in the text of
school work or poetry. For those poor souls lost in the server of death.com, the Merit might reflect a deviant
form of binary that once cracked, could allow her to communicate with the outside world and with it, a
terrible warning.

Decorated (• to •••••)
Book: Dogs Of War, p. 39
Effect: Your character has received an award for meritorious conduct of some sort. Characters gain a bonus
on all Social rolls relating to one’s Allies, Contacts or Status in the military, regardless of whether the
character is currently serving or not.
The three-dot, four-dot and five-dot Merits indicate an exceptional award: the Silver Star for the three-dot
Merit; the Distinguished Service Medal or Distinguished Service Cross for the four-dot Merit; and the Medal
of Honor for the five-dot Merit.
Those who have earned the Medal of Honor are entitled to a salute regardless of rank or whether they are
now civilians.
Servicemen and servicewomen who have received lethal injuries as a result of combat during a military
action are automatically awarded the Purple Heart, a two-dot Merit.
Drawback: This Merit rides on the world’s perception of the character’s honor and Morality. The character
must be seen to retain honor and dignity in his actions. Should the character commit sins rated 5 or lower on
the Morality chart, and should those sins become public knowledge, the Merit may be revoked, earning him
the Notoriety Flaw (see “Character Flaws”, the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 217).

Fame (• to •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 115
Effect: Your character has a measure of recognition in today’s media-saturated society, possibly as a
performer, athlete, politician or other sort of public personality. He’s frequently identified and can often get
star treatment. On the other hand, it’s difficult for your character to go places without being recognized, and
the media watches him carefully.
Each dot adds a +1 modifier to your character’s Socialize (or Persuasion, where applicable) rolls among
those who are impressed by his celebrity status.
Drawback: The more famous your character is, the more easily he is recognized by the public. The
Storyteller should apply the same +1 modifier per dot to a general Wits + Composure roll to see if he is
recognized by anyone on the street. An exceptional success indicates that one or more people are loyal fans
who approach him for autographs, pictures and long conversations.

Fence (• to •••)
Book: Banishers, p. 51
Prerequisite: Streetwise •••
Effect: No matter your character’s location, she can almost always find a way to buy and sell stolen goods
within the local criminal community or online. No dice roll is required. She avoids common law enforcement
tactics designed to catch fences, but her clients might not be as clever.
The one-dot version of this Merit applies to typical stolen goods: items that would require Resources •• or
less to purchase. More expensive or exotic goods such as sports cars, fine art or assault weapons require the
three-dot version of the Merit.
Friend (• to •••••)
Book: Requiem Chronicler’s Guide, p. 68
Effect: The Allies Merit from World of Darkness Rulebook represents influence in groups. While this is a
valuable Trait for a Prince to have, sometimes it’s necessary to have individual allies who are more potent by
themselves. The Retainer Merit can represent these potent allies if they are subordinate to the character.
Likewise, Mentor can represent individual allies to whom the vampire owes favors or allegiance. However,
this new Friend Merit is intended to represent allied peers, individuals who have independent power and are
neither beholden to the character with this Merit nor owed any allegiance by her.
Similar to Haven, there are multiple aspects of this Merit: allocate dots purchased to Power and Trust.
Power represents the friend’s level of skill and influence; one dot is significantly less powerful than the
character, three dots is about the same level of power and five dots means a friend who is significantly more
powerful. Trust is an indicator of the depth of the friendship; dots in Trust are added as bonus dice to any roll
to convince the friend represented by this Merit to do something for the character.

Ingratiating Wanderer (••)


Book: Midnight Roads, p. 58
Prerequisites: Manipulation 3
Upon first rolling into town, making contact with the powers-that-be usually proves to be a notion as
difficult to follow through with as it is wise. Some individuals, however, possess an almost uncanny sense for
the best places to look for the people in charge and how best to approach them. Such people are prized by
many of those who take to the road, as a little insight into the local power structure — not to mention the
chance to earn a bit of favor — can go a long way, indeed. Certain of these individuals are like charming
snake oil salesmen, while others are just approachable and assertive, but all have a knack for getting a foot in
the door.
The character receives a +2 bonus to all rolls made to track down a local authority figure of her
supernatural “type” (Kindred, Forsaken, Lost, etc.), provided that such exists. Further, this bonus applies to all
mundane social rolls made to establish a positive first impression with said authority figure. The character
may ruin the good graces she’s established through her subsequent actions, but the initial reaction that she
receives is likely to be a good one. Note that this Merit’s effects may come into play again in the same city if
the localpower structure undergoes a significant shake-up while the nomads are away, or if the characters look
different, disguise themselves or have simply been forgotten by the time they return.

Inspiring (••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 115
Prerequisite: Presence ••••
Effect: Your character is able to rally others in times of great distress, renewing their courage and
determination in the face of adversity.
Once per game session, your character can exhort those around him to redouble their efforts in the face of
great stress or danger. Make a Presence + Persuasion roll. If the roll succeeds, any individuals who actively
assist your character and who are within earshot regain one spent Willpower point (not to exceed their
Willpower dots). The character may not use this Merit on himself, and may not use it on the same subjects
more than once a day.

Mentor (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 115
Effect: This Merit gives your character a friend and teacher who provides her with advice and guidance.
Your character’s mentor acts on her behalf, although the Storyteller determines exactly how. A mentor
usually offers advice, allowing the Storyteller to use him to help guide your character through tough
situations. A mentor may also use his influence or abilities to help your character out, although he probably
wants to see his charge do things for herself. A mentor is likely to give up in disgust on a pupil who
constantly asks for aid. Mentors may also ask for something in return for their assistance, which can lead your
character into some interesting situations.
The number of dots purchased in this Merit determines the relative power, knowledge and experience of
your character’s teacher. One dot indicates a mentor with one or more specialized Skills and a small amount
of experience in your character’s field of interest. Two dots indicate a mentor with a wide range of capability
and experience in your character’s field of interest. Three dots indicate a mentor possessing a broad range of
Skills, years of experience and significant influence in your character’s field of interest. Four dots indicate a
mentor who not only possesses a broad range of Skills and decades (or in some cases, centuries) of
experience, he is also a preeminent figure with major influence in your character’s field of interest. Five dots
indicate a mentor with towering influence and power in your character’s field of interest. A five-dot patron
watches over your character and influences her life in ways both obvious and subtle, and likely has an agenda
in which your character is pivotal.

Pleasing Aura (•••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 109
Effect: Strange things happen around your character. This is because, for whatever reason, spirits like his
presence. The character might have an emotional resonance that is universally enjoyable for denizens of the
Shadow Realm, or maybe they just like your style. The bad news is that spirits tend to flock around the
character, making him one of those people who is always in the “right place at the right time” with respect to
otherworldly events. The good news is that, as a general rule, the spirits don’t mean the character ill. Unless
they get territorial or jealous. The character gains a +1 bonus to Persuasion and Socialize rolls to affect spirits.

Predator’s Bearing (••)


Book: Skinchangers, p. 20; Changing Breeds, p. 97
Effect: Something about your character reminds people and animals of the predators that hunt them. A
human feels a base fear in his reptilian brain that catches his breath or causes hairs to stand up on the back of
his head. Animals stand stock still, watching the character out of the corner of an eye, ready to run should she
step close.
This Merit adds +1 die to any Social roll that would benefit from such unease. Intimidation benefits most
directly from this Merit, but some forms of Expression (reciting black, actually frightening poetry or
appearing to be a “dangerous” rock star), Persuasion (fear can make for an exciting seduction) and Socialize
(the cool kid who gathers the crowd can be disturbingly scary at times) are all viable Skills. The bonus from
Predator’s Bearing can apply to animals, if appropriate.
Skinchangers who emulate carnivorous or impressive animals commonly take this Merit.
Drawback: This isn’t something that a character can just turn on or off. Many other Social rolls suffer a
penalty because of the character’s nerve-wracking habits. Any Social action that such a demeanor would
make more difficult suffers a –1 penalty. The character’s efforts to sing a sweet song or act the waif must first
overcome her natural “hungry” tendencies. People are often reluctant to deal with someone who frightens
them (not everybody’s turned on by the thrill of dangerous partners). And creepy people receive more
scrutiny, which they can ill afford when trying to lie.
Special: Creatures that are already top predators in their regions (such as lions on the savannah) are
unafraid of other predators. Character with this Merit cannot apply it against such creatures. This includes
supernaturally-enhanced predators, such as vampires or werewolves.

Resources (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 115
Effect: This Merit measures your character’s material resources, both possessions and wealth. All
characters are assumed to have a job or a source of income (trust fund, parents) that is sufficient to cover their
basic needs: food, shelter and transportation. Dots in this Merit represent disposable income - wealth and
assets that can be liquidated for more money in case of emergency. The number of dots indicates your
character’s general level of wealth. One dot suggests low disposable income: $500 a month and
approximately $1,000 worth of assets. Two dots suggest moderate disposable income: $1,000 a month and
approximately $5000 worth of assets. Three dots suggest significant disposable income: $2000 a month and
maybe $10,000 worth of assets. Four dots suggest substantial disposable income: $10,000 a month and
$500,000 worth of assets. Five dots suggest significant wealth: $50,000 a month and as much as $5,000,000
worth of assets.
Resources can be used to determine if your character can reasonably afford a purchase or expenditure.
Equipment, weapons and items throughout these rules are assigned costs in dots. The Storyteller can assign
cost dots to other items during play based on what’s here. If your character has the same or more dots in
Resources, he can afford the item on his disposable income. That doesn’t mean he has a blank check with
which to buy everything he sees. He might be able to afford one or two items with a cost equal to his
Resources dots in a single month. Items with lower costs can be acquired more often. The Storyteller has final
say on what’s too much or what’s too often.
Your character’s Resources dots aren’t spent and don’t go away. They represent available cash at any given
moment. The only means by which your character’s Resource dots might decrease is if story events conspire
against them. Perhaps your character’s fortune is wiped out, he loses his job or his company is subjected to a
hostile takeover. The Storyteller therefore influences how your character’s dots might decrease, and whether
they can be salvaged.

Retainer (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 116
Effects: Your character has an assistant, aide, indentured servant or fanatical follower on whom she can
rely. You need to establish how this trusty companion was acquired. He may be paid exorbitant amounts of
money that buy his unwavering loyalty. He might owe his life to your character (or to your character’s
predecessors). Your character might blackmail this person or threaten his family with harm if services are not
rendered. Or your character might have a supernatural hold over this poor person. Regardless of the
circumstances, this person is constantly loyal and follows almost any order without question.
A retainer can be called upon to perform many duties without fail. A bodyguard might be willing to hurt
other people on a mere command. A dedicated street kid might hang on your character’s every word and get
her information or contacts without being asked. Unless your character has direct control over a retainer’s
mind, however, this person can’t be made to perform any task. He might not risk his own life unduly or
perform a task that violates his own morals. You or the Storyteller should detail your retainer with an identity,
background and character sheet of his own. The Storyteller usually plays your character’s retainer.
Each acquisition of this Merit grants your character one follower. Dots spent in the trait indicate the
training, capability or flexibility of the aide. One dot suggests a child, an automaton or a madman with limited
capabilities and freedom of thought. Two dots indicate an ordinary person over whom your character has
sway. The servant is completely mundane and has no particular training above the human norm (he has two
dots in all of his Attributes and Skills). Three dots represent a capable employee with a range of training at his
disposal (three or four of his traits have three dots). Four dots represent a valued and irreplaceable assistant
(someone with a handful of traits with four dots each). Five dots indicate an extraordinary follower. He is
exceptional in many ways (five dots in a couple traits, and four in many others) or he may be capable of
supernatural feats.
Retainer is different from Allies in that no roll is ever made to get results from an aide. He performs the
task requested, unless subjected to repeated abuse or an utterly intolerable assignment (as decided by the
Storyteller based on the assistant’s personality).
Drawback: If your retainer is ever hurt he may be incapable of service while recovering. If he is killed,
he’s lost forever unless supernatural in origin. A retainer who possesses his own will and who is forced to
perform a duty that offends his sensibilities or defies his morals may abandon your character, temporarily or
permanently. Points spent to acquire a retainer who is killed or driven off are lost.

Saintly (•••)
Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 110
Effect: Spirit’s do not like your character’s presence. She might make spirits uncomfortable because of her
extraordinary faith (per the Merit’s name) or maybe she has a less earthly reason for disturbing them. A
mighty spirit might have blessed or cursed her when she was young, or declared her off-limits to others for
inscrutable reasons. Either way, she has a little influence on them, and they don’t like her. She gains a +1 to
Intimidate rolls against spirits, and to attempts to abjure or exorcise them from places or human hosts (see the
World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 213–124). They may also be unwilling to harm her or disrupt her life.
Drawback: Some spirits are not unwilling to harm her, and may even see it as a challenge — after all, she
has a level of notoriety. She suffers a –1 die penalty to all Expression, Persuasion and Socialize rolls against
spirits. A given spirit may be unwilling to involve itself with her at all, which could cause complications.

Seductive Grace (• to •••)


Book: Signs Of The Moon, p. 144
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Expression ••
The character has mastered the nuances of seduction through their expressive craft. With coy looks,
meaningful words dripping with intent, or graceful hypnotic movements in dance, the artist is able to soften a
target to suggestion. The performer can subtract her rating in this Merit from a subject’s Wits + Composure
roll to resist seduction attempts (see the World Of Darkness Rulebook, p. 84) when she uses her talents to
directly allure and distract onlookers.
Shadow Contacts (••• to •••••)
Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 110
Effect: Your character knows a place where she can ask questions and get information. She has reasonably
free access to this place — which may be the urinal in a cathedral, a dank cave in a national park, the manhole
that a murderer used to dispose of bodies or nearly anything else — and can occasionally go there to get
answers. She does not know what entity she asks.
For each answer the Shadow Contact provides, it asks a price. This price often has some tangential relation
to the nature of the question, but may well not. The more urgent or esoteric the question, the stranger and
more disturbing the price. Frivolous questions are discouraged by incommensurately outrageous demands. If
the character asks whether and why her creepy neighbor is stealing locks of her hair, the voice may request a
Barbie doll hanged in a noose made from a young girl’s hair. Asking whether she should change her hairstyle,
the entity may demand all the hair shaved from three young girls.
The character only pays the price if the Shadow Contact has the answer. The Storyteller (who likely knows
just who or what the Shadow Contact is) may simply decide, or he may roll the character’s rating in the Merit
to determine either way.
Drawback: If the character receives an answer from the Shadow Contact, she must pay the price or make
the contact reluctant to speak with her. Each time the character fails to give the Shadow Contact its dues, her
rating in the Merit drops by one dot. She may purchase greater trust with proper roleplaying and experience
points. This will often involve meeting the reneged upon deal, with interest. If the rating drops below three
dots, the contact refuses to speak with her any longer. She must purchase the Merit anew from zero dots,
which represents finding a new mysterious font of information — no easy task. Note that the Merit degrades
only if the Shadow Contact decides that her payment is officially past due. Clever characters may be able to
delay the entity for some time.

Shadowless Chambers (• to •••••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 110
Effect: Your character owns or can take refuge in a location that spirits have trouble finding. Maybe the
location has no reflection in the Shadow Realm or has a peculiar resonance that confounds spirits. The
location may have a bad reputation in the spirit world, in a way similar to the worst streets in a mortal city.
Whatever the cause, spirits rarely go there and rarely think to go there. The character may hide there with
reasonable surety that denizens of the Shadow Realm will not find him. Each dot in this Merit applies a –1 die
penalty on spirits’ attempts to track the character to that location or reason out where he might be hiding.
Drawback: This Merit is fragile. When a spirit does manage to find the character in the marked location,
word begins to spread. The location’s reputation diminishes, or the presence of a spirit alters the resonance
that once kept them away. Each such event reduces the Merit’s rating by one. On the other hand, when
something bad does happen to the spirit there — the character manages to discorporate it, or the resonance
infects the spirit — such events serve as excellent reason to increase this Merit with experience points.

Small Unit Tactics (•••)


Book: Dogs Of War, p. 39
Prerequisites: Manipulation ••• and Persuasion ••• with a Leadership Specialty
Effect: The character is familiar with the tactical application of force by a small unit: no unit larger than a
platoon. The character must be in charge of the unit in question for it to benefi t from his tactical leadership.
When conducting a tactical maneuver such as a flanking attack, covering fire or when in a CQB (Close
Quarters battle) or FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas, aka Urban Warfare) situation, in any turn, the leader
may spend 1 Willpower and roll Manipulation + Persuasion reflexively to issue a command to his unit. The
Willpower bonus of +3, or +2 to a defensive dice pool, applies to all the men in the unit in that turn, including
the leader. Any individual member may also stack their own Willpower expenditure and bonus on top of the
leadership bonus conferred by the leader.
Drawback: The Willpower bonus only applies in a situation in which the leader and his men are already
well trained, using tactics familiar to all men in the unit. In game terms, all members of the team, including
the leader, must have gained 1 experience point at some prior stage whilst under the guidance of the leader. If
a situation arises for which there is no SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), the leadership bonus does not
apply unless it is applied to a defensive dice pool.

Socially Small (••)


Book: Skinchangers, p. 21; Changing Breeds, p. 97
Whether natural or carefully cultivated, your character is easy to overlook. Socially, he’s ignorable or of
negligible importance. He’s not necessarily forgettable. People are as apt to remember him as they are anyone
else, if they even notice him in the first place. Even when they do look at him, he usually weighs in as
“unthreatening.”
Mechanically, the character gains a +1 modifier to Subterfuge and Stealth rolls, since people are paying less
attention to him, and thus his lies and his attempts to go unnoticed. Some other Skills may also benefit from
this Merit, at the Storyteller’s discretion. There are times when being small could benefit a player in Politics
or someone using Streetwise. More generally, people with this Merit register as someone whom people don’t
need to pay attention to. The character gets chosen last for kickball, but the police don’t pick him up while
looking for the usual suspects. Shopkeepers who are strict about loiterers consider him a non-issue. People
and creatures who get nervous around others feel a little less so when it’s just him. Even prey animals react a
little less to his presence. This amounts to a –1 penalty to the Wits + Composure rolls to notice this character
as a detail.
Skinchangers who emulate small or prey animals commonly take this Merit.
Drawback: Even when the character wants to be noticed, he’s still overlookable or unimportant. Waiting
with others to get customer service’s attention, everyone else successfully shouts over him. No one really
takes his threats seriously, even when he means them. This applies a –1 penalty to Expression, Intimidation
and Socialize rolls, as well as any other actions the Storyteller deems appropriate.

Spirit Ear (•• to ••••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 111
Prerequisites: Wits ••• or Composure •••
Effect: Your character has a knack for understanding spirits. Perhaps one whispered to his mother as she
was pregnant or sang him to sleep (and nightmares) as an infant. Today, even though their alien minds speak
human tongues only poorly, the character always understands exactly what the spirit meant to say. This is by
no means a conscious process of translation, and the character has no means of more effectively
communicating to spirits, just understanding their words. On a mechanical level, the character gains +1 die
bonus to use the Empathy Skill on spirits and to use the Subterfuge Skill to detect their lies. The character also
ignores penalties based on poor understanding of the spirit’s words. This is the two-dot version of the Merit,
and only available at character creation.
The four-dot version of the Merit does not grant the above. Instead, that version of the Merit makes it
possible for the character to piece together and infer meaning from the glossolalia that spirits speak naturally
when not forced to communicate with humans. The character may attempt to assemble a rough idea of what a
spirit is saying in that tongue with a Wits + Empathy roll at a –3 dice penalty. Other penalties may apply,
especially if the speech is hard to hear or the spirit is deliberately being vague or opaque. For characters who
possess the two-dot version of Spirit Ear, the four-dot version costs only three dots. Other characters must
purchase it at four dots.

Status (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 116
Prerequisites: Varies (see below)
Effects: Your character has standing, credentials, authority or respect within an organization, group,
company or social body. He might have an official position or title, or might simply be revered and honored
within the group and therefore accorded a degree of authority. Your character might be a company vice
president, a police sergeant or lieutenant, an army corporal or a nurse at a hospital. Or he could be a lowly
member of the group whom everyone likes or who has won some acclaim and is allowed more standing than
he is officially entitled.
Each acquisition of this Merit is dedicated to one type of authority, whether in an organization, society or
circle. Examples include police, City Hall, criminals, unions, banks, a university faculty and hospital staff. In
order to have authority in more than one venue, you need to purchase this Merit multiple times, each trait with
its own dots. Thus, your character might have Status (Police) ••, Status (Criminals) ••• and Status (City Hall)
•, each acquired separately at character creation or during play. You would need to explain how he reconciles
all this authority in the setting. The aforementioned character might be a dirty police sergeant who has paid
his dues in civil elections and gained some recognition among city officials.
Status represents the privileges and liberties that your character is authorized to take within the confines and
definitions of his group. Increasing dots reflect increasing clout. A cop with Status 1 can enter the suspect
lockup and interrogation rooms, while a cop with Status 4 can enter the evidence locker without supervision
or get involved in a crime scene investigation without specifically being called in.
The phrase “within the confines and definitions of his Group” is emphasized above because Status operates
exclusively through official channels. A surgeon might have one patient seen or operated on before another,
because that’s within the official confines of his authority. Exceeding the confines of authority or proper
channels transcends the limits of the Status Merit. Going above and beyond — to ask for favors rather than
give orders or to requisition an official request — enters the realm of the Allies Merit. So, a police detective
who gets a lower-ranking officer to investigate a case may do so with Status. That request is conducted
through proper channels. Meanwhile, a police detective who asks another officer to overlook some evidence
or to delay an investigation does so with Allies. The favor is asked outside official channels.
While Status might allow your character to give orders to underlings, the Merit doesn’t automatically get
results. Subordinates or co-workers might resent their assignments, dislike your character or have personal
agendas that interfere with your character’s needs. Efforts to get things done through official channels still
call for Manipulation + Intimidation, Persuasion or Socialize rolls, whichever Skill is appropriate to the
request, circumstances and your character’s standing within the organization. Bonus dice equal your
character’s Status dots. Penalties might apply if your character browbeats someone (-1), uses threats (-2),
skirts the limits of his authority (-2) or exceeds his authority (-3 to -5).
Some sample organizations and the basic benefits, perks and privileges of standing in them are listed below.
City Police: A patrol officer has legal powers of search, seizure and arrest, is permitted to carry a firearm at
all times and has access to a wide range of local databases. High-ranking officers (•••+) can initiate
investigations, coordinate with neighboring county or state police, and call in urban-assault teams.
Clerical Standing: Your character is a licensed minister, gaining access to people and places such as
accused criminals, hospital patients, crime and accident scenes, and restricted areas in religious institutions.
Prerequisite: Academics Skill Specialty: Religion.
Corporate Executive: A low-level corporate executive has access to much of the company’s resources,
including corporate credit cards, vehicles, cell phones and computer equipment. Depending on the company,
he can also access sources of information and influence not available to the general public. Executives (•••+)
have larger salaries, expense accounts, and hiring and firing powers, not to mention social perks and access to
connected political figures and/or celebrities.
Diplomat: Your character is a registered diplomat for a sovereign country. If he works in a foreign country
he has free lodging, access to his country’s embassy and immunity from foreign criminal prosecution.
Prerequisites: Politics •• and Persuasion ••.
Licensed Professional: Your character is licensed in a recognized profession that affords him privileges
unavailable to most civilians. He might be a private investigator and authorized to carry a concealed weapon
and to have access to restricted databases and government files, or he could be a building contractor and be
authorized to own and use explosives for professional applications. Prerequisite: Academics Skill Specialty:
Law (private investigator), Science Skill Specialty: Demolitions (building contractor).
Medical: Your character is licensed to practice medicine. He can write prescriptions, access medical
records and gain access to restricted areas such as crime and accident scenes. Prerequisite: Medicine ••.
Military: An enlisted soldier has a monthly stipend, is permitted to possess military-grade firearms and has
access to restricted sources of information and equipment. If he is an active-duty soldier he receives free room
and board and medical care. High-ranking soldiers (•••+) are officers who can command units, requisition
military equipment and perhaps even initiate foreign insurgencies. Rotary Club: A basic member in good
standing has access to the local meeting hall and a network of members who can provide club-related
information or perform club-related duties. A basic member can also benefit from the organization’s
emergency fund in times of need. High ranking members (•••+) have access to other clubs around the country,
and have sway over connected civic groups and political figures.
Drawback: Your character’s standing in a given organization is dependent on the fulfillment of his duties
and on abiding by the regulations required of members.

Striking Looks (•• or ••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Core, p. 117
Effect: Your character is exceptionally attractive by modern standards; heads turn and conversations stop
when she enters a room.
For two dots, your character gets a +1 modifier to all Presence or Manipulation rolls when she attempts to
use her looks to entertain, persuade, distract or deceive others.
For four dots, your character’s looks are angelic; she gets a +2 modifier.
Drawback: The more attractive your character is, the harder it is for her to avoid notice in public.
Witnesses to any criminal acts are much more likely to remember your character’s appearance, and easily
recognize her in a lineup. Your character is also likely to receive a great degree of unwanted attention in
social situations.
Support Network (••)
Book: Immortals, p. 82
Prerequisite: Status •+ in the group
Effect: With this Merit, the character has access to a number of likeminded individuals who share in a
particular depraved act. This support network offers sympathy that most could not. This Merit allows the
character to spend a Willpower point to gain the usual three-dice bonus on the roll to resist gaining a
derangement, if the action causing the roll is acceptable to the members of the group.
Drawback: The group expects the character to act as support for other members, and the group may call
her in to perform other perverse acts in kind, such as body disposal. This can lead a character to an even
quicker path to moral degradation.

Sworn Officer (• to ••••)


Book: 13th Precint, p. 81
Prerequisite: The character must meet the basic requirements to be an officer in the department she selects.
See p. 36 for the minimum requirements for an MPD officer.
Effects: You character is a sworn law enforcement officer, with all the rights and duties thereof. She is
empowered within her jurisdiction to make arrests, use department equipment and resources, view
confidential information, request assistance from other agencies and use force during the course of her duties.
She may legally carry a concealed deadly weapon anywhere in the United States not prohibited by federal
law, even when off duty. When in another agency’s jurisdiction, she also can expect professional courtesy
(see p. 60), subject to local customs and policies.
This Merit differs from Status (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 116) in that Status represents a
character’s standing within an organization, while Sworn Officer indicates that the character actually is a duly
empowered law enforcement officer. The civilian director of the Midway Forensic Science Center may be an
MPD employee with Status (MPD) ••••, but he’s still a civilian, not a sworn officer.
The number of dots purchased in this Merit determines the extent of the jurisdiction of the agency for which
your character works. One dot indicates a small to mid-sized town or a rural county. Two dots indicate a
major city (such as Midway) or a densely populated county. Three dots indicate a statewide agency. Four dots
indicate a federal agency with national jurisdiction.
Note: For a police-centered story in which most or all of the characters are officers, the Storyteller is
strongly encouraged to provide this Merit free. In such a case, being a cop is an intrinsic part of the story and
players should not be charged points for playing characters that fit the game’s concept. However, an
individual player who wants to play a cop character in a non-police-focused chronicle must still purchase this
Merit.

Tunnel Rat (• to •••)


Book: Chicago, p. 54; Invite Only, p. 34
Homeless or investigative vampires who have spent all or most of their Requiems in Chicago (The Lost
City) may have gained some knowledge of the vast and complicated system of connected el tunnels,
abandoned freight tunnels, deep tunnels, sewers and commuter train tunnels that riddle the land beneath the
city. This Merit indicates how well the character knows this interconnecting suite of tunnels. Characters may
add their dots in this Merit to Survival dice pools made within the Undercity, in addition to the effects
described below. It should be noted that any Kindred who starts bringing unwanted visitors into the Undercity
makes enemies of his fellow tunneld wellers in no time, not the least of whom is Max Maurey.
This Merit was originally printed in World of Darkness: Chicago, p. 54. Characters may add their dots in
this Merit to Survival dice pools made within The Lost City, in addition to the effects described below.
• The character has ventured into the tunnels once or twice. He’s safe so long as he stays on the biggest and
busiest passageways. Getting from one place to another strictly through the tunnels may take up to twice as
long as it would on the surface. Penalties to dice pools for navigation and survival in the Undercity are
reduced by one (e.g., from –3 to –2).
•• The character has a solid, but imperfect, understanding of Chicago’s (The Lost City) tunnels. He may
specialize in one kind of tunnel (el tunnels or freight tunnels, for example), or he may stick to primary and
secondary tunnels. Traveling from one place to another through the Undercity is no more time-consuming
than surface travel. Penalties to dice pools for navigation and survival in the Undercity are reduced by two
(e.g., from –3 to –1).
••• The character knows the Undercity in an up-close and personal way. She has personally explored dozens
of tunnels down to the smallest service conduit and probably spends most of her active time down in the
Undercity. She can tell her location in the tunnels by one or two subtle landmarks and knows the fastest routes
to get anywhere. A character with this level of knowledge need never fear getting lost in the Undercity and
cuts travel time by 25% when traveling between any two points in Chicago (The Lost City) via the tunnels.
Penalties to dice pools for navigation and survival in the Undercity are reduced by three (e.g., from –3 to 0).
Special Template’s Merits
The merits on these list couldn’t fill, normally, in a standard World of Darkness’s character or game, unless
with Storyteller's permission.

Abyssal Resonance (• to •••••)


Book: Banishers, p. 39
Effect: All Sleepers have a shard of the Abyss within them, but characters with this Merit resonate strongly
with the Abyss. The character has little or no control over this Merit, but any mage around her certainly feels
its effects.
Dots in this Merit allow access to various effects based on the Abyss’s growing intrusion into the
character’s soul. This Merit is progressive, that is, a character can and does find that her Resonance with the
Abyss increases the more contact she has with Awakened magic. In game terms, each level of the Merit is a
prerequisite for the next. A character can’t have Skin of the Abyss without first purchasing Eyes of the Abyss.
Eyes of the Abyss (•): The character can automatically sense Paradoxes and even potential Paradoxes.
Whenever a mage casts a vulgar spell within 100 feet of the character, she senses it. No roll is required. The
character might perceive this information as a scent of saltwater and smoke, or a cold shudder down her spine
or the sounds of wailing and screaming as if from a great distance. If the player makes a reflexive Wits +
Composure roll, the character can pinpoint a direction. If she is in the presence of the mage who cast the spell,
this roll allows the character to identify him.
Skin of the Abyss (••): The Abyss protects the character from attempts to identify or analyze him. Any
Unveiling or Knowing spell cast directly on the character is considered vulgar in aspect, as is any other spell
designed to gain information about or otherwise analyze the character (including Scrying).
Beacon of the Abyss (•••): Merely being in the presence of this character invites Paradox. All mages within
a 50-foot radius of the character increase their Paradox pools whenever any mage casts a vulgar spell. For
example, if one member of the cabal casts a vulgar spell (Paradox base dice pool of one), the next mage to do
so, no matter who it is, has a Paradox base dice pool of two. If the character with this Merit is a mage, she is
not immune to the effect, and neither are any allied mages in the area. The Abyss does not discriminate.
Claws of the Abyss (••••): Containing a Paradox within one’s own body is often a wise decision ó better a
few points of bashing damage than an hour’s worth of insanity or the chaos of an Anomaly. A character with
this Merit, though, can worsen the damage thus inflicted. This requires the character to grapple the mage (see
p. 157 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) and the player to spend a Willpower point. The mage’s player
rolls Resolve + Stamina + Gnosis – (the number of vulgar spells the mage has cast during that scene,
regardless of whether a Paradox occurred). If this roll fails, any damage from containing a Paradox upgrades
to the next category (bashing becomes lethal, lethal becomes aggravated). The damage remains resistant.
Abyssal Warden (•••••): The character unconsciously understands and can manipulate the gateways
between the Fallen World and the Abyss. Whenever a mage suffers a Paradox within view of the character
with this Merit (that is, the character doesn’t absorb the Paradox within his own body), the character can try to
force a Manifestation. The player rolls Resolve + Presence + Gnosis in a contested action against the mage’s
Resolve + Stamina + Gnosis (resistance is reflexive). If the mage fails to equal or exceed the character’s
successes, the Paradox becomes a Manifestation, no matter what type was indicated by the Paradox roll.
Using this power requires the expenditure of a Willpower point.
Drawback: So much exposure to the Abyss is dangerous for the character’s sanity. Every time the
character increases the rating of this Merit, she must check for a new derangement as if she had just failed a
degeneration roll (dice pool is Morality or Wisdom). Also, mages with this Merit always have nimbuses that
relate to or call to mind the Abyss ó shadows darken, objects grow cold to the touch, etc.

Alternate Identity (•, •• or ••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 110
Note: Purified
Effect: As beings that live for centuries and can die and later return to life, purified regularly require new
legal identities. All purified are assumed to have a single legal identity and need pay no Merit dots for this
privilege. However, if the purified has lived in a single legal identity for more than two decades, your
character has almost certainly begun to have to use various minor forms of disguise to change his appearance
so that it better matches his legal age.
Having a second identity allows purified to have an identity that matches his apparent age and it also allows
him to easily vanish if any legal questions arise surrounding his activities. In addition, if your character’s
body dies in such a way that others notice his death, he can use this alternate identity if there is no way for
him to explain his perceived death. However, modern background checks, paper trails and bureaucratic
scrutiny make acquiring a new identity far more difficult than it was in the past. Few characters have the skills
to create a new identity for themselves. The vast majority must look for help, either from older and more
experienced purified or from some mortal or supernatural source who is skilled in the various complex and
highly illegal methods of acquiring such documents.
The number of dots spent on this Merit determines how convincing and in-depth the documentation
surrounding this new life actually is. Alternate Identity (•) represents an identity that passes casual inspection,
but not much else – a character can go shopping and get around in most daily situations, but any kind of
trained scrutiny such as from a police officer or bureaucrat immediately identifies this identity as a fake.
Alternate Identity (••) creates an identity that will pass most forms of relatively cursory professional
inspection, but cannot stand up to a sustained investigation. A police officer that pulls your character over will
not automatically pick up anything unusual if she runs the character’s license plates or calls up his name in a
database. However, if your character is arrested and the police begin a formal investigation his identity will
quickly unravel. Alternate Identity (••••) represents an identity that is essentially as real as any identity can be
– it takes a truly dedicated, competent and time-consuming search by trained professionals to uncover any
hint that the purified isn’t exactly who he claims to be, at least as far as his documentation is concerned.
This Merit may be purchased multiple times at multiple ratings, each time representing a different identity.
Also, an identity may also be upgraded later with the appropriate in-game explanation and experience
expenditure. In the case of certain Merits such as Resources or Status, it might also be worth noting to which
identity these Merits are tied, since a character may not easily be able to access or maintain them if that
identity is compromised.
Drawback: Although one-dot Alternate Identities require no maintenance, both of the more thorough
versions do. If someone checks on a legal identity, they will immediately become suspicious if the person has
no legal address or magazine subscriptions, pays no taxes and has no phone number. Similarly, if all of this
data exactly matches your character’s primary legal identity, many people soon realize both of these identities
belong to the same individual. Therefore, your character must take time and spend money to maintain any two
or four-dot Alternate Identities.
Having the identity make frequent trips to remote locations and similar inventive dodges can reduce the
frequency of this maintenance. The amount of maintenance needed to keep a two-dot identity looking
legitimate is fairly minimal, requiring only a few hours of work every month. However, keeping a four-dot
identity believable requires at least several hours of work every week. Failure to perform this upkeep on an
identity causes it to be reduced to the next lowest level. However, alternate identities never fall lower than one
dot. Paying Experience Points to upgrade an identity represents the effort needed to build it back up.
Characters can also pay criminal organizations to maintain alternate identities, but doing so causes its own
problems, including both the cost and the possibility of blackmail.

Anticipation: Unpredictable (•••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: You are almost impossible to Anticipate, and still worse for your very clever enemies, very good at
using their best-guesses against them. If anyone tries to use Anticipation on you, you may counter it with an
opposed roll (the dice pool would be the most appropriate based on their roll), and if you’re successful, you
claim your successes on this roll as a bonus of your own and neutralize any they would have earned.

Amulet (•• or •••)


Book: Immortals, p. 83
Note: Body Thief
Effect: Each purchase of this Merit allows for the maintenance of one amulet at a time. Any number can be
created, but only one can be active for every version of this Merit that the character possesses. The Merit
comes in two levels, corresponding to the bonus it gives to the wearer. At two dots, it provides a +1 bonus to
any single Attribute chosen by the caster at the time of creation. At four dots, this bonus increases to +2. This
bonus cannot raise the character’s Attribute above 5.
The character can sacrifice one point of the amulet’s bonus during the amulet’s creation to instill the amulet
with one Body Thief Merit like Morality Sap or Emotional Urging. The character may only instill in an
amulet Merits that she knows. If used in this fashion, the amulet is typically given to an unknowing target,
who is the victim of this Merit for as long as he wears or touches the amulet. If the Merit has a variable effect,
like Emotional Urging, the amulet can only enhance a single emotion, which must be determined when the
amulet is created. The instilled Merit works normally, except that it affects the target for as long as he wears
the amulet. If an amulet contains both a Body Thief Merit and an Attribute bonus, both of these affect the
wearer.
The character can also sacrifice one point of the bonus to craft an amulet that allows a body thief using
mystic exchange to remain in her current body even after the end of that ritual’s duration. Characters who use
this amulet instantly switch back to their original body one turn after the amulet is removed. A character can
only benefit from a single amulet for each Merit or Attribute.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult, extended. Each roll represents one hour of work. The total number of
successes required depends on the level of the amulet. Two-dot amulets require only 10 successes and four-
dot amulets require 20. Creating an amulet also requires an Intelligence + Crafts roll to create or modify a
suitable object.
Duration: Permanent until destroyed. Note that this potentially increases the duration of any Body Thief
Merit indefinitely. However, the effect ends immediately upon the wearer’s removal of the item. The creator
can also perform a short ritual where he makes an Intelligence + Occult roll and spends one point of
Willpower. If successful, he can instantly cancel the effect of the amulet, regardless of how far away it is.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The object being used as the amulet is rendered useless and the caster loses one point of
temporary Willpower.
Failure: The creator fails to instill any power into the amulet.
Success: The caster gains progress towards the amulet’s creation.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own benefit, making for a faster creation.

Animal Familiar (• to •••)


Book: Inferno, p. 125
Prerequisites: Possessed
Effect: The Possessed is tended to by an animal guardian; it’s quite often a black animal, though it may
also be an animal that is oddly-colored (an albino, for instance, or a creature whose feathers or fur shows
patterns that are not common or ever found in nature). The animal is profoundly loyal, and will protect the
Possessed at the cost of its own life (though if that happens, this Merit will need to be re-purchased). The
character may still at times need to succeed on a Manipulation + Animal Ken roll to communicate her wishes
(which are not purely empathic), but she gains +3 dice on this roll.
The number of dots purchased in this Merit indicate the general strength of the attendant hellfamiliar. One
dot is usually equivalent to something small (such as a raven). Two dots represent an animal with similar
traits to a cat. Three dots provide the character with a beast similar to a dog. (Traits for these three animals
can be found on p. 203, World of Darkness Rulebook.)

Atavism (•)
Book: Slashers, p. 127
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••• or Wits •••, Intelligence •• or below.
Effects: You’re a throwback to a time when men were closer to beasts. Whether your mental state matches
a warped and twisted body, or you look out of a normal face with the eyes of an ancient predator, you’re not
normal. You run on instinct more than intellect, your body moving in response to signals that your brain never
consciously registers. Like an animal, you use the higher of your Dexterity and Wits to determine your
Defense. Available at character creation only.
Drawback: Other people can see that look in your eyes and know that something’s wrong. You suffer a -2
modifier on non-confrontational Social rolls. If you raise your Intelligence above •• then you no longer benefit
from this Merit.

Barrister (••••)
Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 91
Prerequisite: Politics •••
Effect: The Lower Mysteries thrive on the Old Laws, and you’re a natural at comprehending legal systems.
While the Kerberoi who enforce them know when someone breaks the law, you’ve got a decent sense for just
when you can push the very edges, obeying the letter of the law but not the spirit without drawing undue
attention. Better, you know precisely when it’s best to get the hell out of Dodge. Once you know all of the
Old Laws that apply in a particular Dominion, you can work out ways to push the edges. You can only do this
once in each Dead Dominion.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Politics - the number of Old Laws (max -5)
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Your character thinks he’s found a loophole, but he’s wrong. The first time he takes an
action that isn’t clearly allowed by the Old Laws, the Dominion’s Kerberos knows precisely where he is.
Failure: The Old Laws are cast in stone, and your character can’t think his way around them.
Success: Your character knows how and when to push his luck. You can take one action that would
normally contravene the spirit but not the letter of the Old Laws without the Kerberos knowing; for example,
you can’t get around spilling blood on entering a Dominion that requires it, but unless the Law is very specific
you don’t need to spill your own blood.
Exceptional Success: Your character has a sudden flash of insight. You can pick two actions, rather than
one.

Beacon Of Life (•••)


Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 91
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural); Occult ••
Effect: Your character has a powerful attachment to living her life for as long as she can, and enough
esoteric knowledge to instinctively ward off malevolent influences. To the eyes of the dead she shines like a
beacon, burning with a light so bright that some ghosts have a harder time affecting him. Your character adds
her Occult dots to her resistance roll against any Numina, as she subconsciously wards herself against the
power of the Underworld. This extends to Manifestations unlocked by the Stygian Key.
Only mortal, mundane characters can possess this Merit. The pivotal moment of becoming — or being
changed into — a supernatural creature eliminates it.
Available at character creation only.

Boneless (••)
Book: Wicked Dead, p. 154
Prerequisite: Dampyr
Effect: You are like the Balkan Dampyr whose exploits fed much of the old mythology, and possess
flexible bones. Though you appear normal, you’re able to bend and contort your body in grotesque ways,
easily allowing you to fit through gaps as small as a human fist, though doing so requires several minutes
(tighter squeezes taking longer to negotiate). You are also extremely resilient to Bashing damage, and have 2
points of durability against such attacks.
Drawback: Your flexible bones don’t protect your organs as well as normal human bones, and Lethal
attacks against you benefit from the 9-Again rule.

Chi (•••)
Book: Immortals, p. 111
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character gains an additional dot of Chi. All purified begin play with one dot of Chi.
However, more experienced and powerful purified have more dots in Chi. During character generation, each
additional dot of Chi costs the character three Merit dots. See Effects of Chi (p. 99) for more information
about how this Merit affects your character. Purified characters can purchase this Merit no more than twice,
for a total Chi of three.
Available at character creation only. Your character can only purchase additional dots of Chi as a Merit
during character creation. During play, Chi can only be increased using experience points.

Cursed Item (• to •••••)


Book: Book Of Spirits, p. 108
Effect: Your character possesses an item of power but questionable providence. Though the character may
use the item from time to time for an advantage, that advantage always comes at a price. See “Cursed Items,”
p. 112, for examples of what a character may possess with this Merit.

Damnable Certainty (••••)


Book: Slashers, p. 127
Prerequisite: At least one altered tenet of Morality (see The Code, Hunter: The Vigil p. 325)
Effect: You know that what you’re doing is right. That passion burns within you; the fire of certainty
scours all doubt from your soul. When you kill, you are whole again. When you kill a person in a fashion that
is not a violation of your altered Morality, you regain a point of Willpower. You can use this ability once per
session.
Drawback: You have to remain moral in order to know right from wrong. Your Morality must be equal to
or higher than the level of the altered sin.

Dead Reckoning (•)


Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 91
Effect: Something about the Underworld resonates with the character’s way of thinking. Maybe he’s more
at home around the dead than the living — common among pathologists, undertakers, and Indian mahar
corpse handlers — or she feels a natural aptitude for life below ground, without the uncaring stars hanging
over his head. In the caverns and tunnels of the Underworld, forever cut off from the living world, you’ve got
a damn fine sense of direction. Your character gains the 8-again quality on all rolls to navigate the
Underworld (see “Navigating Dark Passages,” p. 99 of this book).
Drawback: Navigating without a roof over your head is just that little bit less reliable. Whenever you roll
Survival to navigate above ground, do not re-roll 10s.

Death-Touched (•• or ••••)


Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 93
Prerequisite: Sin-Eater
Effect: Something has stained your character’s soul. Perhaps her geist has always born the inky stain of
death upon its corpus. Maybe something about your character’s death caused the stain, tainting her geist along
with it. However she gained the mark, your character connects with ghosts on a level that few others will ever
manage.
With the two-dot version of this Merit, your character gets a +1 modifier to all Presence or Manipulation
rolls when dealing with ghosts in a non-confrontational manner. The four-dot version indicates that ghosts
sometimes have a hard time remembering that you’re not already dead; your character gains a +2 modifier.
This Merit normally only affects dealings with ghosts in the Underworld. Purchasing an extra dot in the
Merit allows you to apply the modifier against all ghosts, wherever they may be.
Drawback: The more your character is touched by death, the more ghosts will treat her as one of their own.
Ghosts actively seek her out, believing a physical body no barrier to communing with a kindred spirit. Your
Other characters who can perceive ghosts will know that something’s odd about your character from all the
attention she’s getting.

Declaration: Ear For Gossip (•)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: You have a catalog of secrets and scandals in your head, and are always hearing more. If someone
is well-known or famous, chances are you’ll know something about them. You can add a target’s Status or
Fame Merits to your rolls to make Declarations about them, so long as the facts you declare are those you
could reasonably know by word of mouth.

Declaration: Holmesian Deduction (•••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the
truth.” You have a knack for uncovering (via the Declaration mechanics) the bizarre, macabre, and unlikely.
You do not suffer penalties when your Declarations stretch probability so long as they come with sufficiently
strange details the Storyteller can use to complicate and embellish future drama.

Declaration: Shocking Revelation (•••••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: You can make Declarations to devastating effect that can make those of a nervous disposition
collapse, the deranged suffer a psychotic episode, and the honorable commit suicide in shame. In effect, your
Revelation has the effect of Intimate Sway in addition to its effects as a Declaration. You get to say the first
thing the Declaration will make the target do, the Storyteller the second, you the third, and so on until you are
both satisfied. When the roll is made, the successes are referenced against this ladder of extremis, and the
victim’s reactions determined.
Den (•••)
Book: Skinchangers, p. 21; Changing Breeds, p. 96
Indulging one’s need to change form and spend time as an animal can be… difficult, especially for an urban
skinchanger. Unless your character lives in the middle of nowhere and all by himself, there’s still the chance
that someone will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and see him change, and in the city it’s near
impossible to find real privacy.
This Merit represents a place that your character knows about where no one else ever goes. It might be the
shack Old Man Grezny used for moonshine back during Prohibition, or the ancient and abandoned Allied
Products factory down the street. Whatever this hidden place is, the character can access it in near-absolute
secrecy and squirrel away her little trinkets without fear of detection. A skinchanger can also shapechange
there and head out to experience her animal side, confident that no one’s watching.
When someone tries to track her back to her den, in animal or human form, that person suffers a –2 penalty
to all relevant rolls.

Demon Familiar Imp (•••••)


Book: Inferno, p. 125
Prerequisites: Possessed
Effect: The Possessed character has an embodied familiar with a physical body—a small imp. The imp,
like the Animal Familiar above, is profoundly devoted to its Possessed master (really, it’s more devoted to the
demon than to the human host, though imps are allowed to favor the mortal soul, instead). It will throw itself
into harm’s way only if the character demands it, however. The Animal Familiar does so without question or
command, but imps can be a bit cowardly—an Imp Familiar needs to be urged into combat (or cajoled, or
threatened).
If an Imp Familiar is slain, its Infernal spirit usually discorporates and returns to whatever Hell from
whence it came. Sometimes, though, it latches onto its master and feeds off his memories, drinking deep of
the hunter’s soul to sustain itself in ethereal form. In game terms, a Possessed character’s player may, upon
the destruction of his embodied familiar, choose to immediately spend 10 experience points as a reflexive
action to preserve the demon as a Twilight Familiar (see below). Stats for the Imp Familiar can be found in
the sidebar below.

Demon Familiar Twilight (••••)


Book: Inferno, p. 126
Prerequisites: Possessed
Effect: A Twilight Familiar is a spiritual entity with no proper physical body of its own. A Twilight
Familiar is also known as a “fetch.” Twilight Familiars can temporarily manifest like ghosts (see
Manifestations, p. 210 in The World of Darkness Rulebook), but their ephemeral bodies are otherwise
invisible and intangible to the physical world. A Twilight Familiar must manifest or use Numina to affect
anything in the physical world—except for its master, whom it can touch at will. (Its master can also see and
speak with the familiar freely, even if he cannot see or hear into Twilight.) A Twilight Familiar often leaves
behind a subtle sign of its presence, even when it is not manifested. A whiff of sulfur might waft from its
location, or the lights may flicker in the room when the entity is present. A Twilight Familiar, when
manifested, often represents its Possessed master’s Vice: a Gluttonous character may have something that
resembles a bloated, tumor-besieged bullfrog, while a Lustful character may instead be served by a lithe
succubus or priapic incubus. Stats for the Twilight Familiar can be found in the sidebar below.

Dream (• to •••••)
Book: Immortals, p. 111
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character’s ties to the Shadow Realm also gives her a connection to ancient truths that can be
seen and comprehended only in dreams. She gains flashes of insight through reverie and visions, finding
answers to questions she couldn’t normally get by mundane means. This might be through the collective
unconscious, universal mind, poetic reverie or even an imagined journey to a fictional dreamscape. Through
effort of will, your character can channel this insight into action.
Once per game session, your character can use her Dream ability to gain a supernatural insight concerning a
question or topic. Activating this ability requires at least one hour spent in sleep, meditation or an activity
exclusively focused on accessing an altered state of consciousness. The Storyteller then rolls the character’s
Wits + Composure in secret. A successful roll results in one or more clues per dot of Dream.
The meaning of these clues is hidden behind allegory, symbols and archetypes. Dreams rarely answer
questions directly, typically relying on symbolism and images to convey information. If one of the purified is
seeking a specific person’s location wouldn’t see his address, but landmarks nearby could lead the way: a
river, a tower or even the face of a man walking by at dusk. The answer has the potential to resolve the
problem. It’s a tool for the Storyteller to help drive events of the story.

Emotional Urging (••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 83
Note: Body Thief
Effect: Every thief needs a con to keep their lifestyle going, and with it, their unending life. With practice
and time, a good thief is able to manipulate the feelings of others around them. Time, conversation, or just
sheer forces of personality are all tools to manipulate the feelings of others. In a blink of an eye or possibly a
wink, the thief can push on the mild feelings of fear or passion and feed them, strengthen and empower them.
Of course, this manipulation is not total. The thief cannot create emotions that are not already being felt by the
target, but he can take those light feelings lurking and turn them to full blown wild fires. A body thief can’t
simply focus his attention and force a strange woman to be instantly in love with him. However, over a
romantic dinner with quiet music and dim lights, a thief could talk his target into the faintest flutter of a crush
and then use this Merit to build that flutter into a rushing heartbeat. Similarly, a Club member hoping to push
her quarry to give up on life entirely can’t just wish for it and have her quarry leap from a window. Rather,
she’d have to wait until he was already feeling morose over a lousy test grade before using Emotional Urging
to amplify the suffering to dangerous levels. The caster must be able to either speak to or touch the target or
have a sympathetic connection in order to manipulate the target’s emotions.
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion versus Composure
Duration: One day
Suggested Equipment: An item of emotional significance to the victim (+1 to +5, depending on relative
importance)
Possible Modifiers: Target fulfilled Virtue within last week (–3), target fulfilled Vice within last week (+1
per, up to +3)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power backfires; the caster suffers the full effects of a normal success.
Failure: The power fails. The target is immune to this effect for one day.
Success: The caster achieves more successes than the target. For the remainder of the night, the target’s
most powerful emotion at the time of casting amplifies dramatically, becoming a driving force in the subject’s
mind. If an opportunity to indulge in the emotion presents itself, the victim must reflexively spend one
Willpower point and succeed in a Resolve + Composure roll to avoid indulgence. If this indulgence would
result in lethal or aggravated damage, the subject need not spend the Willpower point and can avoid
indulgence with the successful roll.
Each time the victim resists temptation, she gains a cumulative +1 bonus to her next roll to resist
indulgence, up to a maximum bonus of +5.
Exceptional Success: As above, however, the victim must spend Willpower to avoid harm in their
indulgence.

Essence Reservoir (• or ••)


Book: Immortals, p. 111
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character has some talisman or other item that can hold additional points of Essence. The
character must touch this item to put Essence into it or retrieve Essence from it. The amount of Essence your
character can put in or remove from this item every turn is limited by both how much Essence he can spend
per turn and how much Essence the device can hold. A one-dot Essence reservoir can hold up to three points
of Essence and must be at least as large as a small wrist watch or a large coin like a quarter. A two-dot
Essence Reservoir can hold up to six points of Essence and must be at least as large as a large pocket watch or
a cell phone. Regardless of their size, Essence Reservoirs can be made in any form, including being a working
cell phone or watch. Essence reservoirs also exist in Twilight, the Shadow Realm and the Underworld. If the
character is touching this item when he sends his mind into one of these realms, the item vanishes from the
physical world and remains with him in the realm to which he travels. Also, as long as he is touching this item
when he returns to his body, it reappears with him. Purified cannot create Essence Reservoirs, but they can
bargain with spirits or some powerful mages who know the secret of their creation.
Familiar (•••)
Book: Immortals, p. 112
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character has a magical bond with an immaterial and invisible spirit from the Shadow Realm
that aids him and which normally dwells in Twilight These familiars can temporarily manifest like ghosts (see
“Manifestations,” p. 210 in the World of Darkness Rulebook), but their ephemeral bodies are otherwise
invisible and intangible to the physical world. A familiar must manifest or use Numina to affect anything in
the physical world — except for its bonded purified, whom it can touch at will, just as the purified can always
see the familiar. Although familiars normally exist in the Twilight Realm, they can accompany their masters
into the Shadow Realm, or travel there themselves if their Numina allow it.
Familiar Traits
A familiar is considered to be the lowest rank of spirit (a “squire” or “lesser gaffling”, with a limit of 5 on
all traits, and a maximum Essence of 10. The Storyteller designs the spirit’s traits. Each familiar begins play
with at least one dot in each Attribute, with extra dots as listed below. For rules concerning spirits traits,
including additional Spirit Numen, see p. 210-212 in the World of Darkness Rulebook, as well as pp. 317-
322 in Mage: The Awakening, pp. 273-282 in Werewolf: The Forsaken, or pp. 130-149 in Book of Spirits.

Familiar Traits
Attributes: 3/3/2 (allocate dots in any order among Power, Finesse and Resistance)
Willpower: Equal to Power + Resistance
Essence: 10 (10 max)
Initiative: Equal to Finesse + Resistance
Defense: Equal to highest of Power and Finesse
Speed: Equal to Power + Finesse + “species factor” (same as its earthly counterpart)
Size: 5 or less (same as its earthly counterpart)
Corpus: Equal to Resistance + Size
Influence: 2 dots (choose one)
Numina: Choose one
Ban: The fetch has one Ban, chosen by the Storyteller pp. 320-321 in Mage: The Awakening, pp. 278-279
in Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Book of Spirits, pp. 135-137.

The character to which the familiar is bonded is considered to be its anchor to the material world, although
there is no limit to how far a familiar can travel from the purified it is linked to. It also does not lose Essence
for every hour it spends in the physical world or Twilight. It must follow all the other rules concerning
Essence, however, including spending one Essence per day. If it is reduced to zero Essence, it falls into
Slumber but it is not transferred back into the Shadow Realm as long as the purifiedfamiliar bond still exists.
Like other spirits, it can gain Essence by being in proximity to something that it reflects (p. 135, Book of
Spirits, pp. 319-320 in Mage: The Awakening, pp. 275-276 in Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Book of
Spirits, p. 135). The purified and her familiar have an empathic connection; each can automatically feel the
emotions of the other. However, supernatural effects that damage or manipulate the familiar through an
emotional attack don’t damage or manipulate the purified to which it is bonded. Also, your character can use
his familiar as a magical connection that is sufficiently close that there are no penalties to her Siddhi roll.
Improvement: To improve a familiar, the player of the purified must spend some of his character’s
experience points on the familiar.

Fetish (• to •••)
Book: Blood Of The Wolf, p. 125
Prerequisites: Wolf-Blooded; any rating
Effects: This Merit allows the character to begin play with a talen or a fetish. Wolf-blood characters cannot
begin play with a fetish rated higher than ••, however. One dot of this Merit indicates that the wolf-blood
owns two copies of the same talen, two dots translates to a level-one fetish and three dots means the character
owns a level-two fetish. Some examples of fetishes that are applicable and useful to wolf-bloods can be found
on p. 127, and the rules for creating such fetishes (for werewolves) and using them (for uragarum) can be
found on the previous page.

Fighting Style: Frenzied Assault (• to •••••)


Book: Slashers, p. 128
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Stamina •••, Intimidation ••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character knows how to use her weapon to great effect, lashing around her in an orgy of blood
and death. She doesn’t think when fighting, instinct drives her to kill with a passion that only a few people
will ever really understand. She’s a natural killer, making up for her lack of finesse with savage fury and
dismembering opponents with each swing. Despite her almost animal intelligence, she realizes the benefit of
having a weapon, and the bigger the better — though some spree killers prefer to use a more concealable tool,
hiding it like a tiger hides its claws.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers which must be bought sequentially.
Your character can’t have “Terrorize” until she has “Bestial Instincts.” The maneuvers and their effects, most
of which are based on the Weaponry Skill, are described below. To perform these maneuvers, your character
must have a close combat weapon capable of dealing lethal damage in her hand.
Bestial Instincts (•): Your character sees weakness as an opening, and strikes before her prey has a chance
to defend herself. Your character may substitute her Weaponry score for her Composure when determining
her Initiative modifier.
Terrorize (••): Whether she grins manically whilst drenched in other people’s blood or refuses to speak
from behind a gore-spattered hockey mask, your character can use her very presence to scare her targets into
submission. Instead of attacking, you may make a contested Strength + Intimidation roll. Everyone who has
seen you inflict at least two levels of lethal damage resists with their Resolve + Composure. Every character
who fails the contested roll loses their Defense until after your character’s next action.
Hard to Kill (•••): Your character doesn’t feel pain when he could be inflicting it. Whenever he is engaged
in combat — specifically, part of a scene where he takes specific actions in order of Initiative — he gains an
extra two points of Health and doesn’t have to roll for unconsciousness until his rightmost Health box is filled
with lethal damage. Drawback: The bonus Health vanishes at the end of the combat — when the action fades
to a point that Initiative is no longer necessary. See “Temporary Health Dots” on page 137 of the World of
Darkness Rulebook for more information.
Savage Rending (••••): Your character swings wildly with her weapon, rending flesh from bone — and
limbs from bodies — in an orgy of death. Reduce all penalties for targeting specific body parts by two (see
“Specified Targets,” World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 165). If you target an arm or leg and do five or more
points of lethal damage, the blow severs the limb. Each character witnessing the attack must succeed at a
reflexive Resolve + Composure roll or suffer a -2 modifier on their next action. Drawback: Your character
cannot use her Defense on the same turn she intends to use this maneuver. If your attack is a dramatic failure,
the weapon lodges in your foe, wrenching it from your character’s hands.
Trance of Death (•••••): Your character is so far removed from normal humanity that the dangerous and
chaotic whirl of combat means very little to him. Maybe he tunes it all out, like a soldier who has seen too
much. Maybe he actually enjoys it, finding solace in knowing that he could die at any second. Whatever it is,
nobody can question his effectiveness. When attacking, spend one Willpower point to turn the roll into a rote
action (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134). Drawback: Spend 1 Willpower per attack. This
willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack. If your character uses a rote action in combat she
cannot apply her Defense to incoming attacks on the same turn (see the “Combat by “Rote” sidebar on p. 69
of Hunter: The Vigil.

Gatekeeper (••••)
Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 51
Prerequisite: Mortal. A gatekeeper that experiences the Awakening, the First Change, or the Embrace
loses this Merit, as does a character taken by the True Fae. Hunter: The Vigil characters can have this Merit
at the Storyteller’s discretion. Sin-Eaters cannot possess this Merit, though of course they can already open
Avernian Gates.
Effect: The character can open Avernian Gates. All that is required is that she touches the gate, and the
player expends a point of Willpower. The gateway remains open for a number of minutes equal to the
character’s Morality. This Merit doesn’t enable the character to detect Avernian Gates; for that, she would
need the Unseen Sense Merit, with a focus on ghosts or other death-related phenomena (see p. 109 of the
World of Darkness Rulebook).
Drawback: If word of the character’s talents gets out, she can expect various supernatural factions to want
her enslaved or dead in very short order.
Available at character creation only.

Hands Of A Killer (•)


Book: Slashers, p. 129
Prerequisite: Dexterity •••, Weaponry ••
Effects: Your character has a talent for using mundane objects to inflict pain; in his hands, almost anything
with the right heft or edge is an effective killing tool. The character ignores the standard -1 penalty for
improvised weapons. This doesn’t negate other limitations inherent to certain objects, like a damage
maximum or a propensity to break in combat.
Drawback: The character can never take a specialty relating to the use of a melee weapon, ranged weapon
or firearm. While the character is capable of using actual, designed weapons, they don’t interest him enough
to become especially proficient in them.

Inherited Ghoul (••)


Book: Ghouls, p. 71
Prerequisite: Ghoul
Your character used to be a ghoul in service to another regnant, and was passed down to her current master
(probably when the last one went into torpor or suffered the Final Death). The intimate relationship she shared
with her previous regnant left her with information that could be valuable to others. During situations in
which information pertaining to your character’s last employer is a factor, you should apply a +2 modifier on
an Intelligence + Composure roll to see if she can recall anything useful. Available at character creation only.

Locus (• to •••)
Book: Immortals, p. 112
Note: Purified
Effect: The character has claimed a minor locus (see p. 92). One dot provides your character with a one-dot
locus, two dots provide your character with a two-dot locus. The addition of one dot to the cost allows this
locus to be mobile. However, the object to which the locus is attached must be inanimate and can never be
smaller than a large steamer trunk or some other object of at least Size 5. Loci do not combine, moving a one-
dot mobile locus into the area of a three-dot locus does not temporarily create a four-dot locus. Instead, spirits
and the purified can still draw Essence from both loci separately.
Few purified are powerful enough to claim anything larger than a two-dot locus, and any who try must deal
with powerful and hungry spirits. Many purified put the locus in a ward (see p. 109) to keep out spirits. Also,
most arrange to have it nearby, having their dwelling or place of work very near or even inside the area of
influence of the locus. Owning a locus allows one of the purified to regain Essence easily.

Lucid Dreaming (••)


Book: Changeling: The Lost Core, p. 195
Prerequisites: Non-changeling, Resolve ••• or higher
Effect: Your character has the ability to control his own dreams, subtly shaping them according to his
wishes. For all intents and purposes, your character is considered to have the ability to dream ride, but only in
his own dreams. He is also capable of engaging in oneiromachy, or dream-combat, with oneiropomps who
enter his dreams.
Lucid dreamers cannot use any of the special actions associated with dream riding (such as Scour the
Integrity, Analyze the Dream and the like); their changes are limited to simple environmental changes.
However, the changes a lucid dreamer makes to his dreams have no chance of disrupting the dream, either,
granting lucid dreamers unprecedented control over their own dreams even if they can’t perform quite the
same feats that true oneiromancers can.

Luck Drain (••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 84
Note: Body Thief
Effect: We make our own luck, which is of course an easy thing to say but not a rational thing to count on
in the real world. Or is it? In the case of the body thief, relying on the good luck that flows naturally to any
one person in any given frame of time isn’t always enough. To the body thief who has developed the ability to
drain the luck of others, the roll of a dice isn’t up to chance like it is with the rest of the world.
This is handy because the risk inherent in stealing the bodies and lives of others grows exponentially with
every passing year. Luck Drain ultimately comes down to robbing a victim of success on an action and taking
those successes for themselves. Unfortunately, this ability does not work in conjunction with other body thief
Merits or with any rolls to steal or borrow someone else’s body. In addition, dealing with these kinds of forces
can be dangerous; attempting to use this power more than three times a day results in a backlash that reduces
the success category by one. A success becomes a failure while a failure becomes a dramatic failure. The
caster must be able to either see the target or have a sympathetic connection to steal the target’s luck.
Dice Pool: Wits + Subterfuge versus Resolve
Duration: One day or until the effects are suffered and enjoyed
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails and the caster cannot use this power for one full day. In addition, the
caster’s next roll subtracts one success. This can turn success to failure. Also, if the roll fails, the caster
instead makes a dramatic failure.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The next roll the victim makes loses a number of successes equal to the caster’s initial successes.
The caster’s next roll gains one success.
Exceptional Success: As above, except the caster’s next roll gains three successes.

Lunatic Glare (••)


Book: Blood Of The Wolf, p. 125
Prerequisites: Wolf-Blooded ••• or more
Effects: Your character inherited a small measure of the Predator’s Menace, and can inflict the Lunacy on
others. Doing so, however, is draining, and runs the risk of backfiring terribly — humans are not the fearsome
predators that werewolves are, even humans related to werewolves.
Most of the time, the wolf-blood has no idea what he is doing, and is simply defending himself or trying to
pick a fight for whatever reason. Sometimes, however, a person that the wolf-blood is trying to intimidate
screams in terror or backs away, wide-eyed, leaving the uragarum wondering what he did to induce such fear.
Use of this Merit requires the uragarum to glare at his target, making eye contact and exhibiting some sort
of threatening behavior (baring one’s teeth is enough). The player spends a Willpower point and rolls
Presence + Intimidation (receiving no bonus dice for the Willpower point).
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The target immediately attacks the wolf-blood, perceiving him to be a monster and a
threat. Others in the area might well join in, instinctively seeing the character as dangerous.
Failure: The target is not intimidated and not affected by the Lunacy.
Success: The target suffers the Lunacy, but with a +5 to his effective Willpower. Any others uses of this
Merit in the same scene require another Willpower point from the uragarum.
Exceptional Success: As above, but the wolf-blood can use the Lunatic Glare on others in the same scene
without spending a Willpower point, provided that they witnessed the effects of the Lunacy on the first
victim.
Targets affected by this Merit do not suffer any memory impairment, only the fear.
Drawbacks: The wolf-blood does not actually control when this Merit activates. The player can decide that
the wolf-blood might be angry or defensive enough to initiate the Merit — but so can the Storyteller. If the
wolf-blood ever becomes a werewolf, this Merit disappears.

Mechanical Memento (•••)


Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 157
Ripped directly from the frame of a ghost-machine, a mechanical memento is a power source
extraordinaire. Anything a character can jury-rig the memento up to can be completely powered by the
memento alone, no matter what sort of fuel it originally required. To reiterate that point: only the mechanical
memento is required to power any machine to which it is attached. Energy provided by the memento is
unlimited, meaning, theoretically, as long as the machine it is hooked up to continues to function, the
memento will continue to provide energy. The only limitations on what can be powered by a mechanical
memento are those decided upon by the Storyteller.
Successfully hooking a mechanical memento up to a machine first requires an Intelligence + Science roll to
figure out the best way to approach the problem. Actually attaching the memento requires a Dexterity + Crafts
roll with a -5 penalty. The penalty is reduced by one for every success gained on the initial Intelligence +
Science roll.
The exact dimensions and appearance of a mechanical memento are left for the Storyteller to determine, but
should bear some relation to the ghost-machine from which it originated.

Medium (••• or •••••)


Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 93
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural); Resolve ••
Effects: A medium is a character who can see and hear ghosts. As opposed to characters who possess a
sixth sense in the presence of the unquiet dead, she can see the dead clearly — and may have a hard time
telling them apart from the living. If she keeps her wits about her, she can turn her sight into a blessing. More
often, mediums treat their ability as a curse.
A character with the three-dot version of this Merit is an unwilling medium. When she’s under stress, she
can see ghosts in Twilight. Precisely what counts as stress is up to the Storyteller, but taking an action that’s
reduced to a chance die, or having to spend a point of Willpower to hold off a negative condition both
certainly count. She can see ghosts in Twilight for the remainder of the scene. She doesn’t count as a mortal
for the purposes of penalizing a ghost’s attempt to manifest (see Manifestations on p. 210 of the World of
Darkness Rulebook for more information). Your character might not even realize that someone else is a
ghost, until he does something supernatural.
The five-dot version of this Merit offers more control over your character’s ability. She’s also closer to the
Underworld; if she purchases the Unseen Sense Merit with regards to ghosts (World of Darkness Rulebook
p. 109) it counts as a two-dot Merit.
A medium who undergoes a near-death experience — or who actually dies but is brought back — has a
better than average chance of returning with a geist bound to her soul. Her connection to the Underworld is so
strong that few geists can resist the chance.
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Resolve + Occult
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Your character can see ghosts all right, and can until the end of the scene. She can’t
stop seeing them, and any ghost she can see is aware that she can see him. They gain a +1 modifier to any
Numina that they use against her.
Failure: Despite focusing, she can’t contact the dead.
Success: Your character can see and hear the dead until the end of the scene, or until she chooses to end her
vision. She doesn’t count as a mortal for the purposes of penalizing a ghost’s attempt to manifest, and can
negate the manifestation penalties of a number of people up to her Resolve by reflexively spending a point of
Willpower.
Exceptional Success: Your character can pick out a specific ghost from all those around, and “tune out” all
others, only dealing with the ghost of her choice.
Only mortal, mundane characters can possess this Merit. The pivotal moment of becoming — or being
changed into — a being with supernatural powers eliminates it.

Morality Sap (••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 84
Note: Body Thief
Effect: Traditionally, this fell power is a curse inflicted on a victim through some sympathetic connection.
Although it is most useful to Magically Talented body thieves, any thief can make use of this power as it
assists in lowering the victim’s resistance to proposals of increasingly vile deeds. Someone who might scoff at
petty theft could be talked into anything, even murder if this power is used sufficiently often.
There needs to be some kind of physical connection between victim and thief to make this power work. In
the case of the House of Avalon, they create an amulet that is given to their would-be victim through which
they cast their spells. In other cases, like a wild Mentally Talented body thief, he may need to steal strands of
his victim’s hair to sap away her morality.
Dice Pool: Wits + Manipulation versus Resolve + Composure (extended and contested)
Duration: Permanent. Each roll represents one week of effort.
Possible Modifiers: Victim is a relative (+2,) caster has high Humanity (–1 for each dot over five)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails. The subject is immune to the power for one year.
Failure: Add no successes to the total.
Success: Once the total number of successes exceeds twice the subject’s Willpower, the victim loses one
dot of Humanity.
Exceptional Success: No additional effect, beyond the additional successes.
Note: Consider the use of this power a sin against Morality 2.

Morbid Fascination (••)


Book: Slashers, p. 129
Effect: People find themselves wanting to talk to your character even despite themselves. There’s
something distinctly wrong with how you come across, whether you miss common social cues or deliberately
cultivate a predatory air. Their fear begets fascination, and soon they can’t leave you alone. You ignore all
penalties for your otherwise disturbing mannerisms when talking one-on-one with someone. This includes
any penalties that you gain for changes in your Code (see “External Costs,” Hunter: The Vigil p. 329). You
may give off a weird air because you see no problem in killing the “unclean,” but when you give someone
your full attention they just don’t care.
Drawback: If at any point you fail a Social Skill roll when talking to that person, your penalties come back
in full force.

Murder Expert (•••)


Book: Slashers, p. 127
Prerequisite: Intelligence ••, Stealth •••
Effect: You may not be any good in a fight, but it doesn’t matter. You understand the language of murder
in a way that few others do. You’re a connoisseur of death, skilled at bringing other people to their ends.
When you attempt a surprise attack in combat, if your target doesn’t detect your attack (and would normally
not apply Defense), you instead strike a killing blow (World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168).
Drawback: You must name your target on the turn before you attack — you can’t choose to slaughter
whoever is slowest that turn.

Mythologist (•••)
Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 91
Prerequisite: Occult •• with a specialty in “Underworld Lore” or similar
Effect: Your character has studied the mythology of death in all manner of cultures. She knows the tales
and the legends, and she’s been to more than one site that inspired myths of the lands beyond death. While the
Underworld takes impressions from the death-myths found in several cultures, it’s not truly a product of any.
Even so, the details your character can recall from mythology can sometimes come in very handy, offering a
+3 bonus to dice rolls made to decipher the enigmas of the Underworld (“That looks like a doorway into
Mictlan. If we’re lucky, we might get some assistance navigating from Xolotl”). This cannot help with
navigation, but it might offer a Social bonus on dealing with a Ferryman or a Kerberos, a Mental bonus on
solving a riddle or a mystery related to the Underworld (such as the riddles put forth as a means to enter the
Athenaeum on p. 172), or a Physical roll to help a character survive off the mythic “bounties” available in the
Great Below.

Occultation (• to •••)
Book: Immortals, p. 112
Note: Purified
Prerequisite: No Fame Merit dots
Effect: Because of their connection to the Shadow World, some of the purified can effectively slip through
the cracks of mortal society. Your character is also protected from all supernatural effects designed to spy
upon or learn anything about her. When any magician or supernatural being attempts to use their power to
learn anything about your character, subtract a number of dice equal to your character’s dots in this Merit.
Occulted purified mostly live on the fringes of mundane reality and the edges of mortal society. Mortals
have trouble keeping track of their identities and activities. Records concerning them tend to get lost, and the
authorities are challenged to investigate their activities. Since most mortals find it hard to gather information
about the character, they won’t gather many details about him. This Merit also makes it harder for
supernatural beings to research information about the character through mundane sources. Whenever someone
makes a roll to gather information about your character, your Occultation dots are subtracted from the
researcher’s dice pool. This Merit is especially helpful for purified who are several centuries old and wish to
conceal this fact.
Drawback: If your character ever becomes well known to the public (such as getting caught on camera and
being shown on television night after night), he loses his Occultation until the public at large forgets him
(which could take many years, depending on how famous or notorious your character became). Likewise, if
he maintains a public persona at all among mortals, even to the degree of having several prominent or well-
known friends, he cannot maintain his Occultation. The character must constantly cultivate this Merit,
working to remain away from the attention of mortal society. It does not affect his standing among any
supernatural beings he knows.

Potency (• to •••••)
Book: Night Stalkers, p. 157
Effect: Every vampire, whether she feeds from blood, meat or dreams, possesses this Merit. The Merit
represents how old or how powerful the vampire is—elder immortals have fed so long on the lives of the
innocent that the blood in their bodies is like red sap.
The Potency Merit lets vampires store Willpower above their expected Willpower score. Vampires can also
use their Potency dots to resist the effects of other vampires’ and other creatures’ Dread Powers, and even
certain Endowments such as certain Benedictions or Castigations. As Potency increases, vampires’ Attributes
can even rise above the human limit of five dots.
Potency dots also add bonus dice to contested rolls to resist any Dread Power or Endowment intended to
influence a vampire’s mind or emotions. This is cumulative with any bonus from enhancing Resistance
Attributes; see p. 95 and 133, World of Darkness Rulebook. (The bonus equates to the dots held in the
Potency Merit.)
Age is how long the vampire has been dead, not the vampire’s age was when she was turned. The age
ranges overlap, because some vampires are more active than others. Some might spend many nights feeding,
fighting rivals, fleeing hunters and testing the physical limits of their dead tissues, whereas others pursue
more sedentary unlives and develop Potency more slowly. Potency and Age are not always married: a young
vampire sired by a truly puissant elder may possess higherthan-normal Potency for his years in death.
Maximum Willpower/per Turn is the vampire’s total potential pool of Willpower; as the vampire grows
in power, she is able to transubstantiate the blood of her victims into the will that animates her undead form
and fuels her Dread Powers. Note that this different from the vampire’s base Willpower score, which remains
as a computation of Resolve + Composure. A vampire of Potency • with a Resolve •• and Composure ••• still
has five dots of Willpower. However, because a vampire at that Potency can store up to 10 total Willpower
points, the vampire can store five points above her normal Willpower total. This also calculates how many
Willpower points the vampire may spend per turn. Vampires of low Potency (• and ••) may only spend one
point of Willpower per turn, like most characters—but higher Potency increases this.
Maximum Attributes is the maximum unenhanced levels in a vampire’s Attributes. A vampire with
Potency 3 can have an Attribute go up to 6, for instance.

Potency Age Max Willpower/per Turn Max Attributes


1 0-75 10/1 5
2 25-125 13/1 5
3 100-250 15/2 6
4 200-500 30/4 8
5 400-500 50/10 10

Proximus (•)
Book: Mage: The Awakening Core, p. 334
Prerequisite: Sleepwalker
Effects: Your character has a magical heritage. One of his ancestors might have been permanently
enchanted with Life magic, or encountered a spirit or other supernatural entity that enchanted him such that
his progeny have a tinge of magic about them. He might have come from a long line of Awakened mages, an
inheritance that seems destined to breed true. Proximi are valued by some mages because they are believed to
have a greater chance of Awakening than common Sleepers, but they are sometimes resented as hindrances
and fifth wheels.
Only mortal, mundane characters can possess this Merit. The pivotal moment of becoming or being
changed into a being with supernatural capabilities eliminates it.

Reel It In (•)
Book: Wicked Dead, p. 154
Prerequisite: Dampyr
Effect: Unlike most Dampyr, you can temporarily suppress the effects of your Lure, preventing it from
attracting unwanted vampire admirers. Spend 1 Willpower to suppress the Lure for 1 scene.
Drawback: While the Lure is suppressed, you can’t use your advantages.

Regnant (• to •••••)
Prerequisite: Ghoul
Book: Ghouls, p. 71
While many ghouls are little more than unquestioning slaves, your character enjoys the benefit of a special
relationship with her regnant, which goes beyond the simple master-servant boundary. Your character can
rely on her regnant to provide information, extra Vitae, equipment or even to personally intervene on her
behalf. Conversations with your character’s regnant might be genuine interpersonal dialogue rather than the
simple dispensation of orders, and you might even find him turning to your character for true companionship.
This doesn’t suggest that the ghoul is anything remotely like an equal to her regnant, just that she isn’t
necessarily made to feel like a lowly, servile nonentity.
There are a variety of beneficial relationships with regnants. One ghoul might enjoy service to a generous
master who isn’t significantly influential, while another is sheltered by her regnant’s status without receiving
any special attention from him. The advantages of this Merit are split into three factors — power, favor and
trust. Players who choose this Merit must also choose how to allocate these three factors when spending
points. For instance, the first dot might go toward Regnant Power with two more going toward Regnant
Favor. Each one of these characteristics has a limit of five dots, and the fifth dot costs two dots to purchase.
A ghoul with a powerful regnant finds that her dealings with local Kindred and their ghouls are, while not
simple, at least a bit easier. Her compatriots (and regnant’s compatriots) know who she serves, and probably
won’t be eager to impede her, especially if the news of such interference reaches her regnant’s ears. A regnant
represented by several dots in Power might hold a significant position in the city (such as a respected
Primogen, Priscus or Prince), while one represented by just a couple could be an acknowledged member of a
powerful covenant. Each dot of Regnant Power confers a +1 die bonus on Persuasion, Intimidation and
Socialize rolls when in conflict with a local ghoul or Kindred. Regnants whose ghouls have no dots allocated
thus are local bottom-feeders.
Note that Regnant Power need not be a simple reflection of title or position. A Priscus regnant might
actually earn very little respect from the local Kindred, while an unaligned vampire without ties to the local
vampire community might be so old and dangerous as to be feared by all.
Regnant Favor reflects the master’s willingness to provide her ghoul access to Vitae, resources and
equipment. It doesn’t necessarily reflect an emotional bond between the regnant and ghoul as much as it does
a measure of generosity. Each dot of Regnant Favor could reflect an additional hit of Vitae (one at a time) that
a ghoul may request from her regnant per month without risking his wrath. Alternatively, Regnant Favor
could be used in place of Resources to determine whether a ghoul can afford to secure equipment. A ghoul
with three dots in Regnant Favor could requisition a heavy pistol from his regnant, while one with five dots
could take one of his regnant’s sports cars from the vast warehouse-like garage. Regnants without any dots
allocated to this category are typically tight-fisted with their resources (and Vitae) and not likely to give any
gifts without some real convincing.
Regnant Trust is a measure of the extraordinary quality of the relationship your character enjoys with her
regnant. Some ghouls are simply well liked by their regnants and are more likely to be afforded some
breathing room with respect to their performance. The Kindred knows that his trusted ghoul will perform
whatever job has been set before her, so he’s willing to let some minor early setback slide. An especially
trusting regnant might even gift his ghoul with tidbits of forbidden information, which might prove infinitely
more valuable than a gun or a car. Each dot of Regnant Trust confers a +1 die bonus on Persuasion rolls in
dealings between your character and her regnant. Regnants who are represented by having no dots allocated to
this category don’t necessarily dislike their ghouls, they just fail to see any reason to be friendly with them.
Note that ghoul characters may not share the Regnant Merit. If several players wish to have their ghoul
characters serve the same Regnant, they should all spend the same amount on Regnant Power. The favor and
trust aspects of the Merit reflect personal relationships, however, so they can be different for several
characters in service to the same master. They can also change in time as the various characters demonstrate
their worth.

Relationship (• to •••••)
Book: Mirrors, p. 212
Effect: The character has a reciprocal relationship with a Storyteller character, in which he has at least
some emotional investment — the more dots, the more significant the relationship.
This relationship is a source of strength and aid. It could be a parent, a sibling, a child. It could be a lover or
an ex-lover. The relationship doesn’t have to be a positive one: that ex-wife who you’ve got to see every week
because she’s got custody of the kids is still important to you, even if love turned horribly sour long ago. Your
feelings for your going-right-off the- rails teenage son may be appallingly conflicted, but he’s still central in
your world.
Each purchase of the Merit counts for a relationship with one specific Storyteller character. The character
can be human or supernatural.
Once per scene, you may add your dots in the Relationship Merit to one, and only one dice pool, provided
that you can give a plausible rationale as to why the relationship should aid you. If it is plausible, the
Storyteller must accommodate the rationale.
It can reward any dice pool at all. You can even get the bonus relationship dice while using supernatural
powers (if you have any), but only in a circumstance when the player can justify the bonus.
Be creative with your rationale for getting the dice.
Sometimes, this is simple: when you’re trying to convince your ex-wife that you need to see the kids a day
early because you’re going to be out of town (and no, you can’t tell her you’re off risking your life), add your
relationship dice to your Manipulation + Persuasion roll.
The relationship might be at stake in some way: you’d get the bonus while trying to convince the head
teacher at your deadbeat teenage son’s school not to expel him for truancy and the stuff they found in his
locker.
You might decide that the object of the relationship is doing something to help your character (or hinder
your character): you’re trying to talk a vampire you know out of coming into your house, and you say “my
five-year-old daughter calls down the stairs and says ‘Daddy, who’s that?’ and I decide that I mustn’t let her
see him...” And you take the dice for your relationship with your daughter.
You might even take the bonus for a person with whom you have an adversarial relationship turning up.
You’re desperately fighting a horde of zombies; you declare: “But each zombie carries an amulet around his
neck, exactly like the one (my arch-enemy) wears! He sent them! He must have learned how to make them!”
And you take the dice, and if the Storyteller hasn’t already decided that your character’s archenemy did send
the zombies, he has to re-jig the story to cover that.
Drawback: Relationships are reciprocal and complicated. The Storyteller character with whom you have
the relationship gets the same bonus on dice pools when it’s relevant to you. Also, relationships need to be
kept alive. You actually need to have some contact with the character with whom you’ve got the relationship
— phone, face-to-face contact, running arguments, office conflict, whatever — or risk losing dots in the
Merit. The Storyteller can decide what constitutes a reasonable interval for lack of contact (perhaps if the
character doesn’t engage in the relationship once per game session, a dot in the Merit is thrown into jeopardy
for the next session). Finally, if the subject of a character’s Relationship Merit dies, the Merit is lost.
Power in Relationships
That’s an extremely powerful Merit, isn’t it? You get a pile of free dice for bringing friends and enemies
into the story. But, I hear you say, wouldn’t that mean that the players end up dictating much of what happens
in the story, as they force you to bring in their relationships again and again?
The answer to that question is: yes. Absolutely. That’s the whole idea. What it does is take some of the
responsibility for driving the story away from the Storyteller and put it firmly in the hands of the other
players. If the players get into it enough, the amount of work a Storyteller does to keep the story going should
become more and more minimal.
The Relationship Merit is also there to show how even a tiny mechanical change can fundamentally alter
the way you play the game. But you can make it even more extreme: consider:
• Allowing characters an extra seven Merit dots at character creation set apart solely for Relationships,
giving every character the chance to get those lovely extra “relationship” dice.
• Allowing players to shift around the Relationship dots they have at the end of a story, the better to reflect
how their personal relationships have shifted. (Though perhaps they can only move one dot from the Merit at
a time?)
It’s not for everyone. But if you’re cool with everyone taking responsibility for driving the story and you’re
willing to wing it, it can make for some fabulous evenings of play.

Ritual Crypt (•)


Book: Immortals, p. 113
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character has a ritually prepared location where her body can be made to reappear if it dies.
Even if the character’s corpse is largely intact, she must spend five points of Essence to cause her body to
vanish from its current location and appear within the ritual crypt.
At minimum, this crypt consists of a bed, slab or other surface large enough to hold your character’s body
inside a room with doors and windows that close. This location could be anything from a deeply buried stone
crypt to an ordinary bedroom. Regardless of the crypt’s appearance or location, the slab, or bed where your
character’s body reappears and all of the walls and doors of this room are marked with special sigils. If any of
these markings are disturbed, the ritual crypt does not function and the character’s body remains where it was.
Your character can only cause her corpse to reappear there; she cannot cause her still-living body to
magically appear at this location. Also, even if the character’s corpse is fully intact, it costs five points of
Essence to move her body to the ritual crypt, because doing so involves destroying the body at its present
location and then restoring her body to the crypt. All purified automatically know how to create a ritual crypt;
possessing this Merit only means that your character has taken the time and effort to create one.
Drawback: If any of the sigils on the crypt are erased or damaged, the crypt does not function and the
character cannot cause her corpse to reappear there. Destroying a character’s ritual crypt is quite easy for
anyone who can gain access to it. Doing so is a standard part of any attack upon one of the purified. Purified
usually attempt to keep their ritual crypt secret from everyone and rarely visit it to avoid someone watching
them finding it. Of course, this means that it may not be available when they need it. Creating a new ritual
crypt requires one day of special preparations and the expenditure of another two Experience Points, to
purchase this Merit again.

Scourge (•••••)
Book: Wicked Dead, p. 154
Prerequisite: Dampyr
Effect: Your half-Damned nature is flexible and potent, affecting any vampire that encounters you as if
your Lure and doom were perfectly attuned to her blood. None of your other traits or advantages change, and
this power is almost more of a curse—your life will be an unstoppable pageant of tragedy and revenge, but for
all vampires you are a whirlwind of endings, leading your obsessive admirers into conflict with one another.

Secret (• to •••••)
Book: Mirrors, p. 210
Effect: Secret is a unique Merit in that its value is set by the Storyteller and it costs nothing. It can be taken
in conjunction with the Flaw of the same name, and it is designed to represent secrets with somewhat higher
stakes, like shadowy patronage or an illicit background. It’s appropriate to the sort of secret that includes
benefits that last only as long as the secret stays hidden.
The benefit of this Merit is that it allows the character to take two free dots of Merits for each dot of secrets.
These merits cannot be intrinsic things (like Quick Draw or Striking Looks), rather they must be Merits that
could potentially be lost, like most Social Merits. So long as the character’s secret remains hidden, these
Merits remain; if the secret ever goes public, they are immediately lost.
When taking this Merit, the player describes the secret, and the Storyteller assigns its value. Practically
speaking, this allows the Storyteller to set the maximum value of Secrets in his game. Secrets above •• are
very powerful, and are best suited to games with a heavy emphasis on intrigue and politics. In such games,
allowing a high threshold of secrets is a quick and dirty way to allow characters to be movers and shakers
without also making them combat monsters.
(You’ll also find information on secrets earlier in this book (Mirrors), on p. 132.)

Setup: Coordinator (••• or ••••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: You are extremely good at organizing others
during Setups — you can include as many characters or allied Storyteller characters as you wish in a Setup
with only a basic success on the check required. The four-dot version allows that, and lets you have an
additional roll per Setup flashback.

Setup: Faceman (•)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: You are adept at using Social Skills during Setup scenes, fixing future advantage by being charming
and persuasive. Add three dice to a Social roll made during a Setup scene.

Setup: Mastermind (•••••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 119
Effect: You are always three steps ahead of everyone else, and are a master of organizing perfect Setups.
You can include as many of your allies as you wish in a Setup, and they all gain a bonus to their dice rolls
during that scene equal to your successes on the Setup roll.

Sexualized (••)
Book: Ghouls, p. 73
Prerequisite: Ghoul
Maybe it’s something brought on by the Vitae, or perhaps it’s the perverse function she serves for her
regnant. Regardless, the ghoul now has an intangible undercurrent of sexual power and experience that those
exposed to her cannot help but notice. This carnal aura can be a potent tool in taking advantage of weak-
willed or lustful individuals. What’s more, it bears no relation whatsoever to the character’s physical
appearance. Having this Merit grants a +1 modifier on all Presence or Manipulation rolls when the character
is attempting to intimidate, seduce or distract others.
Drawback: Some mortals might find themselves disturbed by the feelings your character’s presence stirs in
them, especially if those feelings seem inappropriate. (For instance, if your character is very young, very old
or contrary to the subject’s gender preference, a heady mien of sexuality can have a profoundly troublesome
impact.) This drawback doesn’t change the bonus your character can apply to dealings with them, but it could
change the way those characters react when considering their actions later.

Shadow Sanctum (• to ••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 113
Note: Purified
Effect: Your character has a stronghold in the Shadow Realm where he can retreat from foes and regain his
strength. The exact nature of this sanctum is up to you, it could be a well-fortified building, a deep cavern, or
something far stranger like a living hollow tree the size of a small apartment complex that is also an
intelligent spirit who is your character’s loyal friend and ally. All shadow sanctums are by their nature
difficult for enemies to locate, with the basic Shadow Sanctum providing anyone attempting to locate it with a
–3 penalty to all rolls to do so.
A one-dot Shadow Sanctum is a relatively small and spartan space, like a room in a cave or a small hut. The
sanctum is relatively comfortable, but is both small and devoid of amenities. This Sanctum can be enhanced
in three different ways that each increase the cost of the Merit by one additional dot. A Shadow Sanctum with
all three advantages costs four dots.
The enhancements are:

• The sanctum is both larger and more comfortable. It can be as large as a large house or small mansion and
contain light heat, running water, a well-stocked larder, some facilities for entertainment and various similar
comforts.
• The sanctum is far more formidable. It now has a penalty of –5 to all roll to locate it and is also highly
defensible. When locked up, which your character can accomplish in one turn, its walls have a Durability of
10.
• The sanctum becomes a spirit that is intelligent and loyal to your character. This spirit cannot move.

Sanctum Spirit
Attributes: 10 dots total (allocate dots in any order among Power, Finesse and Resistance, with a minimum
of two dots and a maximum of five dots on any Attribute)
Willpower: Equal to Power + Resistance
Essence: 15 (15 max)
Initiative: Equal to Finesse + Resistance
Defense: Equal to highest of Power and Finesse
Speed: 0, this spirit is immobile and can never move under its own power.
Size: 20 (35 for a larger Shadow Sanctum)
Corpus: Equal to Resistance + Size
Influence: 2 dots (choose one)
Numina: All spirit sanctums possess the Innocuous Numina and one additional Numina*
Ban: The intelligent sanctum has one Ban, chosen by the Storyteller; see the familiar Merit for further
information

* Shadow Sanctum Spirits cannot possess any Numina that allows it move or to travel to or affect the
mortal world in any fashion. Common Numina for Sanctums are Blast, Harrow and Wild Sense.

Sleepwalker (••••)
Book: Mage: The Awakening Core, p. 334
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural)
Effects: Your character is not completely asleep; the Quiescence does not affect him fully, and he is not
susceptible to Disbelief. He can witness improbable or vulgar magic without increasing the chances of a
Paradox.
Only mortal, mundane characters can possess this Merit. The pivotal moment of becoming or being
changed into a being with supernatural capabilities eliminates it.
Sleight of Hand (••••)
Book: Immortals, p. 84
Note: Body Thief
Effect: The world is rarely what it seems, and it doesn’t take several stolen lifetimes to see that. To body
thieves who have manifested this talent the difference between what you see and what you don’t see is just a
matter of practice. The thief in question need only put her hands on a pair of inanimate objects, and if the
power activates successfully, one object appears to be the other and vice versa. For example, a clever thief
puts his briefcase down on the ground between herself and another passenger on the train. With use of this
power, her briefcase appears to belong to the man next to her, and his appears to be hers, then it’s just a matter
of knocking them both over, grabbing the one that appears to be hers and make off with the stranger’s things.
A young artist walks into a museum with a sketch pad under his arm, and with a little leaning on the wall, he
switches his pad with a oneof-a-kind oil painting under his arm and he walks out without a single witness.
Beyond the specific needs of thieves like the Archer Family to have personal items of their targets, this
ability has a myriad of uses. Stealing a wallet is small time, but being able to lift a laptop with a room full of
people certain that the thief wasn’t you can go a long way to setting up a new life in a new body. If it isn’t
nailed down and the thief has a good enough replacement, she can walk out the door with her prize with no
one the wiser.
Dice Pool: Wits + Subterfuge, minus the highest Resolve of all witnesses
Duration: One scene
Possible Modifiers: Items are similar in appearance (+2), witnesses expect a trick (–2), each level of Size
difference between the two (–2)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails, and all possible witnesses feel something weird, as if they all were
possessed of the Unseen Sense Merit for the turn.
Failure: No effect. The items remain as they were.
Success: The caster simultaneously touches two objects. If successful, the two items switch appearances.
For the remainder of the scene, appearances suggest the two items switched places. Any mundane scrutiny
will suggest that an item is the other. Only mystical scrutiny can pierce the temporary illusion. The only
limitation is that objects gain no additional functions and are no more durable than they were before. A
yardstick disguised as a rifle can’t fire and is easy to break. At the end of the scene, the objects revert.
Exceptional Success: The items remain switched for one full day.

Source Sympathy (•••)


Book: Ghouls, p. 73
Prerequisite: Ghoul, Empathy •••
A good servant responds unerringly to her master’s emotional state. With this Merit, a ghoul enjoys an
emotional connection with their regnant similar to the blood sympathy felt by vampires (Vampire: The
Requiem, p. 163). Some ghouls develop this ability over decades of service, while a few rare ones seem to do
so almost immediately.
Ghoul characters with this Merit sometimes experience vague moments of recognition of intense emotions
just as their regnants are feeling them (even if the two of them are in separate rooms or divided by trackless
miles). If a long-dormant Kindred is just arising from a period of torpor, his surviving legacy ghouls might
start to key in on his hunger and confusion and be drawn to where their once-master has reemerged. Just as
with the blood sympathy of Kindred, the Storyteller may ask the player of the ghoul to roll the character’s
Wits + Occult. The number of successes reflects the amount of useful information the character learns.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Players cannot dramatically fail a roll for Source Sympathy.
Failure: Nothing happens.
Success: The ghoul has a strong general impression of his regnant’s experience and has a general notion of
the direction and distance to her.
Exceptional Success: The ghoul knows exactly what his regnant is feeling, and the awareness remains for
a scene, fading slowly. He also knows exactly where she is. Note that unlike the Kindred’s blood sympathy,
the ghoul does not literally share the experience with his regnant. He only understands the effect it has upon
her. If the regnant is ambushed in her haven while the ghoul is out running a daytime errand, the ghoul might
suddenly realize that the master is not only awake but afraid and angry. He does not, however, feel the
selfsame mortal terror or outrage that the master is concurrently experiencing.
This effect goes only one way. The regnant feels no such connection to the ghoul. Source Sympathy doesn’t
confer any Discipline bonuses when targeting your character’s regnant.
Spelunker (• to •••••)
Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 92
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••• and Athletics •••
Effect: Your character has spent a lot of time caving, pot-holing, and otherwise twisting his body through
tight places, a skill-set that comes in damn handy in the twisting tunnels and tight caverns of the Underworld.
Note that though this Merit is of a lot of use in the Underworld, it’s just as applicable to cavers who haven’t
encountered the supernatural world in any way.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special athletic maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Free Climb” until he has “Squeeze Through.” The maneuvers and
their effects are detailed below, most of which are based on the Athletics Skill.
Sure Footed (•): Your character has spent enough time underground to get a feel for caves, allowing him to
act on instinct in enclosed spaces. When moving through tight spaces, your character can ignore penalties to
his Speed due to hazardous terrain up to his rating in the Spelunking Merit. In addition, rolls to retain balance
in an enclosed area gain the 9-again quality.
Cave Sense (••): Your character’s been underground long enough that she can supplement her sight with
the feel of air currents and pressure. This doesn’t replace normal sight, but can come in handy as a backup to a
flashlight. If the character operates with some source of light underground, she can ignore all penalties due to
darkness if she has a moment to gather her senses. In combat, she doesn’t have that time but she’s still at an
advantage. Halve any penalties for acting in darkness.
Squeeze Through (•••): Your character can fit through very small openings without losing speed. He can
squeeze through openings as though his Size were two lower than it actually is. Drawback: When scurrying
through narrow tunnels, your character cannot move faster than half his Speed unless he takes a point of lethal
damage.
Free Climb (••••): Assuming your character has even basic equipment, she can climb up almost any
surface. She can’t go faster than most people, but she can pick out natural handholds if she takes a moment,
and thus is a lot less likely to fall.
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Wits + Athletics
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Your character thinks a hand-hold is stable right until it crumbles under her hand. Her
next Strength + Athletics roll to climb the surface is reduced to a chance die.
Failure: Your character can’t pick out any useful details of the rock in front of her.
Success: Your character identifies a number of useful hand-holds and alternate routes. She adds the number
of successes on this roll as a bonus to her Strength + Athletics rolls (maximum +5) to climb the surface. She
can make one climbing roll per dot in the Spelunking Merit before she loses this benefit.
Exceptional Success: Your character identifies a faster route than is immediately apparent. Her next
Strength + Athletics roll covers 15 feet rather than 10.
Born to the Cave (•••••): Your character is so adapted to moving around in cramped spaces that people
wonder if he wasn’t born underground. He can see perfectly normally if there’s even the slightest glimmer of
light, and can climb rough cavern walls and narrow chimneys at his normal Speed without having to make a
roll. If the surface is taxing enough that an Athletics roll to climb it would normally suffer a penalty, he has to
roll as normal. If he’s attacked when climbing underground, his unpredictable movement doubles his Defense.
Drawback: Your character isn’t best suited to life above ground, without walls on either side and a roof far
above. She gains no benefit from any level of this Merit when she’s not underground, and suffers a -1 penalty
to Athletics rolls to climb in the open air.

Staff (• to •••••)
Book: Ghouls, p. 74
Prerequisite: Ghoul, Resources (varies)
Your character has official command over a staff of employees. These people are mundane mortals, but
they’re also professionally trained and capable of taking on a host of roles. An aristocratic household, for
example, might employ a number of maids, valets and cooks, while a social predator might have publicists,
investigators and lawyers on the payroll.
The number of dots in this Merit reflects the relative size and complexity of the force at your character’s
disposal. You can assign a category to each dot, reflecting the separate tasks that can be delegated at any
given time. For example, if your ghoul has Staff •••, you could assign the dots to chauffeurs, gardeners and
security guards. Your character could then assign tasks involving driving guests, landscaping and guard detail
to her own employees without requiring special effort beyond a simple dispensation of orders.
The number of dots your character can have in this Merit is limited by the number of people your
household can afford to employ. You may not have more dots in Staff than you have in Resources. It’s also
possible to have the ghoul’s regnant be the one whose Resources dots support the service staff. In such a
situation, the Kindred is the true master of the house, but the ghoul character is his butler or housekeeper in an
Edwardian manor-house-style division of labor. And while the ghoul might be the one giving the orders and
maintaining the staff’s affairs, the master’s wishes are the rule of the night.

Steal Sense (•••)


Book: Immortals, p. 85
Note: Body Thief
Effect: With the right skill or ability, even the most intangible of things can be stolen. With this Merit, the
body thief is able to reach out to a victim and rob them of sight, hearing, taste or any basic sense. In fact, in
the case of knowledgeable thieves, even senses that are neither obvious nor mundane are fair game. Among
all kinds of thieves, robbing a victim of their senses is a common practice since the benefits for the thief are as
strong as the hindrances to the victim. Among the Magically Talented, rituals that involve using puppets or
dolls are common, whereas the Mentally Talented are considerably less flamboyant. The caster must be able
to either clearly see the target or have a sympathetic connection to him in order to steal a sense.
Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy versus Resolve
Duration: One scene
Possible Modifiers: The sense is not one possessed by the caster (–2), the sense is supernatural in nature (–
3)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails. Sensory overload causes the caster a –2 penalty on all perception-
related rolls for the remainder of the scene.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The caster achieves more successes than the victim does. Before the roll, the caster must select
one targeted sense to steal from the victim. The victim loses the sense for the scene. The caster finds her
perceptions heightened. When making any roll pertaining to that sense, the caster can substitute the victim’s
traits for her own and may roll all rolls with that sense twice, taking the best of the two results. If the sense is
supernatural in nature, the caster must use her traits to utilize the stolen sense. This power can steal a person’s
Unseen Sense Merit for a scene. The caster must know that the victim has the Merit before the roll is
attempted.
Exceptional Success: As above, except the stolen sense lasts a whole day.

Sway: Cut To The Heart (•••••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: You have an insight into human nature (either studies or intuitive) that is so profound you can use
Intimate Sway with anyone — strangers, cellmates, taxi drivers. Nobody is safe from your uncanny
manipulation of mind.

Sway: It’s Like I’ve Known You My Whole Life (••••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: You form rapport with strangers and acquaintances with astonishing speed, rapidly striking up
warm and sometimes intimate conversations with people you’ve only just met. The time it takes to move a
relationship from Casual Sway to Intimate Sway is halved (see table on p. 106).

Sway: Magnificent Bastard (•••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: Even people whose trust you’ve abused, who’ve been warned against you, or who catch you in the
most compromising situations just can’t, for some reason, bring themselves to condemn you for it. You suffer
no circumstantial penalties for your Swaying actions. Even if your target knows you’re a no-good lying sack
of shit, the knowledge won’t help them at all.

Sway: Once Burned (••)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: You used to trust people, until betrayal (or your base suspicious nature) got in the way. Now, it is
extremely difficult to Sway you. You double your Composure or Resolve when resisting Sway.
Drawback: Trust is impossible, even when it might serve your character in the long term. If you have
Willpower, you must spend it to resist Sway, and can never willingly go along with it in order to gain the
bonus experience.

Sway: Trustworthy Face (•)


Book: Mirrors, p. 118
Effect: You just have one of those faces people tend to trust, without any particular rational reason for them
doing so. If they stopped to think about it they might reconsider, so don’t give them the chance. Gain +2
bonus on all Casual Sway attempts.

Telltale Murder (•• or •••)


Book: Slashers, p. 127
Prerequisite: Intelligence ••••, Medicine ••
With the two-dot version of this Merit, you know how to disguise a murder as a suicide, or use the means
by which your victims die to taunt your attackers. Roll Intelligence + Medicine before the character ends a
victim’s life. Each success allows you to make one brief statement: “The murder symbolizes Pride,” or “The
victim is not innocent.” An investigator will pick up on these statements with one success on a Wits +
Investigation roll. You can use this capability to taunt the officers investigating your crimes, or to foil their
attempts to build a profile.
The three-dot version of this Merit enhances understanding of murder. You can stage a killing so that it
sends a message that isn’t true: “This death was a suicide,” for example. Anyone studying the body must gain
more successes on an Intelligence + Medicine roll than you rolled when using this Merit, or believe your lie.
Note that use of this Merit isn’t supernatural: the character isn’t psychically willing a message into the
corpse or the murder scene. No, this necessitates work on the part of the slasher: arranging a series of bodies
in some grisly display out of Milton’s Paradise Lost, for instance, carving a scarlet letter (“A”) in a dead
adulterer’s chest, or some other kind of murderous theatrics.
Drawback: Once you start leaving messages, it’s very hard to stop. If you don’t make use of this Merit
when you strike a killing blow, the Storyteller may decide on a single statement that investigators will pick
up.

The Dragon’s Tongue (• or ••)


Book: Inferno, p. 126
Prerequisites: Possessed
Effect: Demons have their own tongue, known colloquially as the Dragon’s Tongue. What are the origins
of this strange language? Why is it for some a series of hisses and clicks, while for others it is a mad
susurration of sibilant noises? Frankly, few know; some suggest it is a remnant language cobbled together
from the Babel-speak of angels, of God, and of Adam and Eve. Others say it’s more a conceptual meta-
language, a tongue that is as much meaning as it is sound. All demons know it, but the Possessed do not
automatically have access to it: it seems that, for some, once the demon has taken possession it cannot always
parse its understanding of the Dragon’s Tongue through the host’s plainly human mind. However, those
Possessed who purchase this Merit at 1 dot find that their minds do understand it, and can move their mouths
to speak it. Those Possessed who purchase this at 2 dots find that they can communicate with all demons
(within and without) all the more completely: they gain +1 to Social rolls with demons outside their bodies,
and they gain +1 to any Contest of Wills rolls made against the demon within their bodies.

Theft of the Sublime (•••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 85
Note: Body Thief
Effect: To the other denizens of the World of Darkness, this is possibly the most dreaded and dangerous
power body thieves possess next to or possibly including their ability to swap bodies. With this unique ability,
the thief is able to rob a supernatural being of the very talents that make them inherently what they are. A
thief does not need to be intimately familiar with what it is the supernatural in question is capable of, it takes
merely an estimate of what they should be able to do to draw out the gift. Witnessing the power in use and an
Intelligence + Occult roll will suffice.
Manifestation of this ability among a society of thieves who recognize it for what it is tends to carry with it
a certain amount of esteem as many consider it the pinnacle of their craft, magical or otherwise. Those aware
of the power still fear those with it, as their own supernatural skills are not exempt from this theft, including
the unique specifics of their own body swapping powers. The caster must be able to either clearly see the
target or have a sympathetic connection to her in order to steal a supernatural power.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult versus Resolve + Supernatural Advantage
Duration: One scene
Possible Modifiers: The caster is familiar with the power targeted (+2), the caster has never seen the power
before (–2)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails; the victim is aware of the caster’s intentions and identity.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The caster chooses one supernatural power possessed by the victim. For the remainder of the
scene, the victim loses access to the power and the caster gains access to it. If the power requires an activation
cost (Vitae, Essence, Mana, et cetera,) the caster must pay this cost in Willpower. At the Storyteller’s
discretion, some powers may not be available to a body thief. Examples include powers that necessitate a
dead body to function. As well, at the Storyteller’s discretion this Merit may allow the theft of an inherent
ability, such as a werewolf’s regeneration. If there is a question as to what this power can or cannot work on,
the default answer should be “no.”
Exceptional Success: As above, but the power is stolen for one full day.

Unmask (••••)
Book: Wicked Dead, p. 154
Prerequisite: Dampyr
Effect: You may share your ability to pierce vampiric veils and undo vampiric influence by touching a
target, and spending a point of Willpower. The recipient benefits from the same perception and protection you
enjoy for the remainder of the scene.

Unobtrusive (•••)
Book: Ghouls, p. 74
Prerequisite: Ghoul, Stealth ••
Your ghoul character performs her daily duty with such apparent single-minded purpose that she seems to
fade into the periphery of Kindred perception. Granted, Kindred rarely notice each other’s ghoul servants
anyway, but this Merit reflects a feature of a ghoul’s service that is truly unusual and useful. Your character
has trained herself to notice details without appearing to pay them any heed at the time, storing them for
retrieval from memory later. She makes an excellent spy, retaining information without consciously noticing
it, so that even the most discerning subjects (sometimes even those with Auspex) tend to ignore her.
In studying a subject or a location, the character gains a +2 die bonus to escape notice as long as she’s
engaged in some practical task at the same time. (Such tasks include driving, clearing a table, gardening,
washing a car, performing a mundane desk job or any other such routine, monotonous drudgery.)
To retrieve the information he’s “stored,” a character must engage in silent, sometimes ritualistic,
contemplation. He could engage in such mnemonic techniques as the “memory palace,” he could undergo
hypnosis, or he could simply meditate. This Merit also grants a +1 to the ghoul victim’s Resolve for purposes
of resisting The Forgetful Mind (Dominate •••).

Unobtrusiveness (••)
Book: Immortals, p. 86
Note: Body Thief
Effect: Few thieves get far in their careers as the center of attention, doing their deeds in broad daylight
with an audience. Some do, but that’s another matter entirely. For the body thief, staying hidden and acting
with subtlety can be the difference between escaping to the next lifetime and death or perhaps imprisonment
as a lunatic. The thief who develops this ability has learned to excel in going unnoticed, blending and
becoming a part of the background. This is not any form of invisibility, not even as much as the ability to
create a fake invisibility by forcing others to ignore you. This power is simply the ability to be utterly
uninteresting and avoid notice. Even on a successful roll, victims in the area will still be able to see the thief,
they would simply think nothing ill of their presence. In a crowded restaurant, who notices the extra busboy
rushing from table to table to keep things clean, and who would take notice of said busboy leaning over the
table to take something from it? In a club full of club kids bumping into each other in a throng, what’s one
more club kid?
In essence, this is not so different from donning a good disguise and acting unobtrusive. Though this is
every bit as supernatural ability as the others listed in this section, as such a Storyteller should take that into
account.
Dice Pool: Resolve + Stealth
Duration: One scene
Suggested Equipment: Inconspicuous clothing (+1), a crowd (+1), bright lights (–1), clothing that doesn’t
fit environment (–2) Possible Modifiers: Active pursuit (–2), Caster has Striking Looks (–1 or –2)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails. The caster is unaware of the failure.
Failure: The power fails. The caster is aware that she has failed, and can attempt again.
Success: If successful, this power’s successes subtract from any rolls to locate the caster.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the increased successes, the caster also enjoys a +2 benefit to any
action where visibility may be a complication, such as pickpocketing.

Veteran (• to •••••)
Book: Mirrors, p. 20
Character creation only
Effect: A veteran character is one with at least five years of experience in a specific field. These characters
haven’t yet experienced enough of the oddities of the World of Darkness to truly recognize everything isn’t as
it seems, but they’ve had more real-world experience than is typical of your average starting character. For
each dot spent on this Merit, the character gains one Specialty in a Skill that relates to her field. Stacking
Specialties (above) is recommended in coordination with this Merit.
Examples of appropriate Skills to enhance with Specialties by way of this Merit include:
Cop: Computer, Investigation, any Physical Skill except Survival, any Social Skill (including Animal Ken
for K-9 units) except Socialize.
Blue Collar Laborer: Computer, Crafts, possibly Medicine by field, Athletics, Drive, any Social Skill
except Streetwise.
Professor: Any Mental Skill except Occult, Athletics, Drive, any Social Skill except Streetwise.
Professional Thief: Computer, Crafts, Investigation, any Physical Skill except Survival, any Social Skill
except Animal Ken.
White Collar Laborer: Any Mental Skill except Crafts and Occult, Athletics, Drive, any Social Skill
except Animal Ken and Streetwise.
Soldier: Academics, Computers, Crafts, Medicine, any Physical Skill except Larceny, any Social Skill
except Animal Ken and Streetwise.
Street Thug: Crafts, Investigation, any Physical Skill except Survival, any Social Skill except Animal Ken
and Empathy.
Example: Stew decides he wants to make a beat cop with several years experience on the job. He invests
three dots into the Veteran Merit, which allows him to select three Skills to enhance with a Specialty. Stew
figures his character has in-depth knowledge of Drive, Firearms, and Investigation and so the character
begins play with a Specialty in each of those Skills. Likely choices for Narrow Choice Specialties include
Drive (Police Cruiser), Firearms (Pistol), and Investigation (Crime Scene).
Drawback: Time on the job frequently comes with some disadvantages and the longer you spend on the
same job; the more problems are likely to come up. Buying this Merit at three dots or above means beginning
play with one Flaw. A construction worker might lose hearing after being around loud equipment day after
day, a cop is likely to make some enemies during the course of his duties, or an accountant might take to
slugging back the booze to drown out the numbers dancing in his head. Select Flaws that seem in-character
and use them as possible future plot points and roleplaying opportunities. Don’t feel bound by the Flaws
presented in the World of Darkness Rulebook (p. 218) either. Be creative and design Flaws that say
something about the character.
Example: Continuing with the example above, since Stew took three dots in the Veteran Merit, he must
select one Flaw. Stew decides that his cop’s time on the job has made him cynical about human behavior,
which makes him hard to deal with at times and imposes a –2 penalty to Socialize rolls.

Vitality Drain (•••)


Book: Immortals, p. 86
Note: Body Thief
Effect: This ability is the most primitive and primordial manifestation of the body thief’s talent. It takes the
stuff of life from the target and gives it to the thief, reflecting the parasitic relationship between thieves and
their victims.
In the case of Vitality Draining, there is no one social group that prefers it, although many hesitate to use it
as it tends to manifest in such a flashy and over-the-top-manner that it risks exposing the thief to unwanted
attention from the common people and monster hunters alike. This is not a subtle power; the victim of this
power grows noticeably ill or weak while the thief in question grows empowered. (A Wits + Medicine roll
allows an observer of the power to notice something amiss.) In the cases of thief and victim who are already
injured, wounds might exacerbate or deepen on the victims face before closing up on the thief’s face a
moment after. The caster must be able to either touch the target or have a sympathetic connection to steal the
target’s vitality.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Medicine versus Stamina
Duration: One day
Possible Modifiers: Victim is sleeping (+2)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails and the caster takes one lethal wound.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: Reduce the victim’s Health trait by one dot for the next day. The caster gains one dot of Health for
the next day. The caster can only benefit from a number of extra Health dots equal to her unmodified Stamina
at one time. A victim can only be victim to this power once at a given time.
Exceptional Success: As above, except the victim loses two dots of Health, and the caster gains two. This
can exceed the limit a thief can benefit from by one.

Weaponry Monomaniac (••)


Book: Slashers, p. 129
Prerequisite: Weaponry •, and a specialty in the specific weapon
Effects: Some slashers take great comfort in one weapon. Whether a woman gains power from her dead
husband’s straight-razor or a Legend possesses a fire ax that he believes speaks to him, the reliance on one
specific weapon is this slasher’s defining trait. When using one specific weapon — a custom glove with
razors in the fingertips, or a perfectly-balanced sniper rifle — the slasher’s roll gains the 8-Again quality.
Drawback: The slasher cannot voluntarily get rid of his weapon. Even if the cops are after him and it’s
dripping with the blood of a dead cheerleader, he will take it with him. If circumstances outside his control
separate him from his weapon, he gains a derangement that remains until he is reunited with his weapon.

Willpower Drain (••••)


Book: Immortals, p. 87
Note: Body Thief
Effect: There is nothing to which a thief will not stoop when it comes to survival, and once one has tasted
immortality, even with the limitations presented to the body thief, little seems unreasonable on the quest for
unending life. With this power, a thief has mastered the ability to drain away the very will of their target,
making them pliable and weak in the face of any other attacks the thief might later inflict.
In some cases, like in the case of the Seekers of Knowledge, this Drain is part of an act of devoted
surrender to a greater cause, and indeed, a charming or charismatic thief can convince her target that being
subjected to this assault is part of a higher calling or maybe simply an act of love. Not all practices of
Willpower Drain are as seemingly benevolent. A thief could just as easily strap a victim down to a chair, pull
a chair up across from her and start barraging her with this assault; this technique is rarely pleasant for the
victim and it is common for other more mundane torture to accompany its practice. The caster must be able to
either touch the target or have a sympathetic connection with him to steal his Willpower. If this power is
instilled in an amulet, the wearer also cannot regain any Willpower for as long as she wears the amulet.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Presence versus Resolve + Composure
Duration: Instant
Possible Modifiers: Target believes she is willing (+2), no eye contact (–2)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The power fails and the caster loses a point of Willpower and cannot use this power for
one full day.
Failure: The power fails.
Success: The caster achieves more successes than the target. For each success in excess of the victim’s, the
victim loses one Willpower point. If the target is reduced to zero Willpower with this ability, she becomes
listless and devoid of all will or volition until she regains at least one point of Willpower.
Exceptional Success: As above, but the caster also gains one Willpower point, not to exceed his maximum.
Wolf-Blooded (••••)
Book: Werewolf The Forsaken Core, p. 79
Effect: Your character has blood relations with a lineage of werewolves, and the blood of the werewolf
runs particularly strong in her. Strange things have probably occurred around her all her life. Spirits and
Uratha might even keep tabs on her, awaiting a First Change that might never even occur.
Your character might be fully aware of her heritage or completely ignorant of it. In the first case, she has
been exposed to the existence of werewolves through stories, half-glimpsed sights or full disclosure by her
kin. In the second case, she probably lives as an ordinary person, but still suffers strange encounters that tell
her that she doesn’t quite fit among the masses.
In either case, your character automatically has the Unseen Sense Merit (World of Darkness Rulebook, p.
109) by virtue of her strong werewolf blood. That free Merit must be focused on werewolf and spirit activity.
Furthermore, she’s not as subject to Lunacy as ordinary people are. A Wolf-Blooded character’s effective
Willpower is treated as two higher than normal for purposes of resisting Lunacy.
Your character has a faint rapport with wolves, and is able to read lupine body language and growls far
better than other people can. This is not an ability to communicate with wolves — a flair for relating to
wolves is simply in her blood. To some extent, this rapport extends to dogs as well, though dogs’ blood is
generally very far removed from the ancestral wolf nature to which she is connected. Your character gets a
free “Wolf” Specialty if she possesses the Animal Ken Skill.
This Merit can also apply to a werewolf character who has yet to undergo the First Change. If your
character later undergoes the First Change, the Wolf-Blooded Merit is lost. In addition, if your character
becomes supernatural in some other fashion, such as becoming a ghoul, undergoing the Embrace or
Awakening, the Merit is lost; the tenuous connection of werewolf blood is easily disrupted.
The Wolf-Blooded Merit is available only at character creation. Your character can’t suddenly prove in the
midst of play to have a strong strain of werewolf blood all along.
Drawback: Werewolf blood is not a blessing. Your character is exposed to creatures and phenomena that
she can’t comprehend. She is also marked as the weak link in related werewolves’ lives. Enemies of those
Uratha might target your character to send them a message. When horrifying or truly bizarre events occur, any
rolls made to resist incurring a derangement suffer a –1 penalty. This penalty doesn’t apply to degeneration
rolls when sins are committed, but to rolls such as Resolve + Composure to remain sane before a gruesome
spectacle. Relatively frequent exposure to such scenes eventually wears down one’s ability to remain on an
even keel.

Wolf-Blooded (•• to ••••)


Book: Blood Of The Wolf, p. 126
Note: This version of Wolf-Blooded is optional, meant primarily for chronicles in which multiple players
portray uragarum characters and for Storyteller characters that don’t need to be quite as “blessed” as most
wolf-bloods. If the Storyteller does not wish to make use of this Merit, she is under no obligation to do so.
Effects: Your character has a blood relationship with a werewolf. She might be a member of a wolf-
blooded line such as the Pickerings or might be the only wolf-blood in her immediate family. She might not
even know the truth of what she is. Those details are up to the player and the Storyteller. This Merit does not
measure how much the character knows, nor does it measure a character’s relationship with her Uratha
family. (Merits like Watched and Allies on p. 114 of the World of Darkness Rulebook are better indicators
of that.) This Merit simply charts a character’s semi-mystical, semigenetic connection to the Uratha, and what
benefits (and drawbacks) the character receives. Dots in this Merit purchase special traits and effects similar
to a werewolf’s natural abilities. The effects of this Merit are cumulative: a character with Wolf-Blooded •••••
receives all of the benefits listed below. This Merit cannot increase in rating with experience points and
cannot be purchased after character creation. A character is either wolf-blooded or he isn’t.
Wolves’ Rapport (••): The character possesses an instinctive understanding of canine body language and
other cues. While she can’t communicate with wolves and dogs fully (lacking the ability to pick up on cues
based on scent), she can usually guess at a wolf’s or dog’s mood and general temperament. The character
gains a free Specialty in Animal Ken (Wolves/Dogs).
Lunacy Mitigation (•••): The character is slightly resistant to the Lunacy. Treat the character’s Willpower
as if it were 2 points higher when determining the effects of the Lunacy. (Also see p. 125 of this chapter for
information on how the Lunacy affects the wolf-blooded.)
Unseen Sense (••••): The character can sense werewolves and spirits. This power functions exactly like the
Unseen Sense Merit described on p. 109 of the World of Darkness Rulebook. See “Wolf-Blooded and
Spirits” (p. 110)for more on uragarum perception of spirits.
Lesser Regeneration (•••••): The truly blessed wolfbloods can heal damage much more quickly than their
fellow mortals, though nothing on the level of the Uratha. This power functions exactly like the Quick Healer
Merit (p. 113 of the World of Darkness Rulebook), except that Lesser Regeneration grants no bonus to
healing aggravated damage. A character with both this level of Wolf-Blooded and the Quick Healer heals a
point of bashing damage in four minutes, a point of lethal damage in 12 hours and a point of aggravated
damage in four days. (Note that aggravated damage benefits only from the Quick Healer Merit.)
Drawbacks: Aside from the unfortunate circumstance of being related to monsters with hair-trigger
tempers and ruthless, inhuman enemies, the Wolf-Blooded Merit carries three intrinsic disadvantages. First, as
stated on p. 80 of Werewolf: The Forsaken, the uragarum’s mind can only handle the strangeness of the
World of Darkness for so long before the mind begins to crack, and the barrage of spirit activity only worsens
matters. Any time a wolf-blooded character might receive a derangement due to mental stress or any use of a
supernatural or spiritual power, the player receives a –1 penalty to the Resolve + Composure roll. If the
character has Wolf- Blooded •••••, the penalty is –2.
Attractiveness to spirits is the second major disadvantage. Uragarum create slight weak spots in the
Gauntlet, allowing spirits to exert their influence more easily in the wolf-blooded’s presences. At Wolf-
Blooded ••, spirits gain a +1 bonus on any attempt to affect the physical world in the wolf-blood’s presence
but must have Numina that allow them to do so. At Wolf-Blooded •••, this bonus rises to +2. At Wolf-
Blooded ••••, a spirit of rank 2 or higher can use the Reaching Numen in the wolf-blood’s presence, even if
the spirit doesn’t actually know that Numen. At Wolf-Blooded •••••, the spirit can cross the Gauntlet as
though the wolf-blood were a level-one locus. If more than one wolf-blood is in the area, spirits can take
advantage of the highest rating represented, with one exception. Unless an uragarum with Wolf-Blooded •••••
is present, spirits cannot cross the Gauntlet without using a Numen (though they 127 can use Reaching as
described for Wolf-Blooded ••••). See the sidebar on p. 127 for an optional system on this matter.
Finally, wolf-bloods suffer a much lessened form of the Rage that grips their werewolf relatives. At Wolf-
Blooded ••• or higher, when the character is severely frustrated, humiliated or angered the player must roll
Resolve + Composure. If this roll fails, the character lashes out. This outburst might be nothing more than a
shouted word or a raised hand, but multiple failed rolls within a given scene should carry increasingly intense
responses. At Wolf-Blooded •••• and •••••, this roll receives a –1 and –2 penalty, respectively.
Psychic Merits
Psychic powers are roughly divided into four distinct categories for our purposes: ESP, mediumism,
psychokinesis and telepathy. This division is mainly organizational, and nothing prevents a character from
having Merits in different categories, provided the Storyteller approves. All psychic powers are described
mechanically as psychic Merits. Some have multiple dot scores, with higher ratings representing greater
potency. Others simply modify related powers, giving a psychic new ways in which use existing abilities.
Many of the Merits listed also have prerequisites, typically other more common powers within the same
category.
Generally, the Merits in this chapter should be available at character creation only, and cannot be purchased
during play with experience. And yet, Storytellers may choose to allow players to later purchase additional
psychic Merits at normal costs to represent a character branching out into other areas of mental development.
Or Storytellers may permit players of psychics and even ordinary people to purchase psychic Merits in
response to miraculous or tragic in-character events, such as exposure to weird chemicals or supernatural
phenomena awakening latent capabilities. Regardless, players should never purchase psychic Merits without
Storyteller approval.

ESP Merits
Astral Projection (•••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 36
Prerequisites: Clairvoyance. A clairvoyant who has the “Uncontrolled Clairvoyance” option cannot learn
to project astrally.
Effect: Astral Projection allows a clairvoyant to completely free his consciousness from his physical form
and travel mentally to distant locations while leaving his body behind. The psychic must first enter a trance
state (see “Entering a Trance,” p. 35). Then, the player makes a reflexive Stamina + Composure roll to
determine how long the character can remain away from his body. Once separated, the psychic can instantly
travel to any location he is capable of perceiving with a normal Clairvoyance roll (Wits + Composure; see p.
37).
Once at a desired location, a psychic can move around freely but is generally intangible and invisible. He
can, however, be perceived through any appropriate psychic means (such as Aura Reading •••••). Other astral
projectors or other beings existing in Twilight — an ephemeral state in the material world, such as a ghost’s
— can perceive him normally. Returning to his body requires an instant action and a successful Wits +
Composure roll, or the clairvoyant can return to his body reflexively with an exceptional success.
If the psychic’s physical body is tampered with while he is “gone,” the he may sense the intrusion with a
successful Intelligence + Composure roll. The psychic always feels actual pain inflicted on his physical body
and may react accordingly. However, an astral projector’s physical body may be subjected to a killing blow if
the body is left unprotected (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168).
If a psychic using Astral Projection uses the optional form of Clairvoyance that grants only one sense, he is
able to use only that one sense while projected. A projector who has only clairaudience is at a severe
disadvantage, as he arrives at a location and is functionally blind. Characters whose Clairvoyance grants only
vision are slightly less handicapped, but are still effectively deaf. While astrally projecting, a psychic is free to
use any other ESP or telepathic Merit he possesses. Thus, a “deaf” projector with Mind Reading can attempt
to “ride the senses” of someone nearby, while one with Animal Empathy could do the same to a nearby
animal.
Cost: 1 Willpower to project. None to navigate.
Dice Pool: Stamina + Composure (to determine the duration of the projection). Wits + Composure (to
navigate astrally to the desired location)
Action: Extended to enter the trance state. Instant to release the astral form and navigate to the desired
location.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is rendered unable to use his Astral Projection power until he has rested for
at least eight hours. A dramatic failure on a navigation roll means he is lost and has traveled to some
unintended and possibly dangerous location.
Failure: The psychic fails to project, but can try again. A failure on the navigation roll means that the
ESPer has missed his destination, but is close enough to try again.
Success: The psychic can maintain his astral form for up to 10 minutes per success. A success on the
navigation roll means that he finds the location he was seeking.
Exceptional Success: The psychic maintains his astral form for the duration of his trance. An exceptional
success on a navigation roll gives the psychic a +2 bonus on all Perception rolls while at the desired location,
as well as a +1 bonus on any other psychic powers used astrally.

Clairvoyance (•••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 37
Effect: When most people discuss ESP, they really refer to clairvoyance — the power to perceive things
beyond the normal range of human senses. The default form of clairvoyance permits a seer to project all of
her senses to a distant location, observing what happens there as if she were physically present. The events
witnessed happen contemporaneously. The seer can neither see into the future nor into the past of the location
viewed, unless she also has precognition and/or postcognition. A person who possesses this Merit is often
referred to as a clairvoyant. While this power is in use, a player is at a –2 penalty to all Perception rolls
pertaining to both the status of her character’s body and anything going on in the character’s immediate
surroundings.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Composure
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character receives erroneous or misleading information.
Failure: The character is unable to project her senses.
Success: The character can perceive events at the location she wishes to observe for up to one scene.
Exceptional Success: The character can “move around,” changing the vantage point of her vision at will.
She can even “pause” and “rewind” as needed, although she cannot see what happened before her vision
began (see “Postcognition,” below).

Suggested Modifiers
Modifier Situation
+2 The intended vision is of a person or place with which the clairvoyant
has a strong emotional attachment, such as with a loved one or home.
+1 The intended vision is of a person or place with which the clairvoyant
has some emotional attachment, such as with a friend or workplace.
+1 The clairvoyant holds some object or is in the presence of someone
with a strong emotional attachment to the subject of the desired vision,
or is in a location strongly resonant with the desired vision (such as the
last place a missing person was seen).
0 The clairvoyant attempts to perceive someone she knows personally
and whose location is currently known.
–1 The clairvoyant either does not know the person whom she attempts
to scry or she has no idea of the location she attempts to scry. If both
situations apply, the penalty is –2.
–2 The person or location that’s the subject of the intended vision is not
currently resonant with strong emotion. That is, it is hard to scry a
location if nothing interesting is happening there at the moment, and it
is hard to scry a person if he is simply asleep or watching TV as
opposed to running for his life. This penalty may also apply if the
intended subject of this vision is dead, although that may depend on the
situation and the Storyteller.

Option [Crystal Gazer]: The clairvoyant can perceive only the target location while focusing on some
type of special surface such as a mirror or crystal.
Option [Eyes of Another]: The psychic can view a scene only through the eyes of someone witnessing
that scene. Thus, the clairvoyant cannot scry a location if no one is present there. The clairvoyant can get a +1
bonus if she can simply choose any person to view through, or she can get a +2 dice bonus if she is limited to
only seeing through they eyes of a certain class of individuals. For example, the title character in The Eyes of
Laura Mars had the power to observe murders taking place, but only through the eyes of the murderer and
only in an uncontrolled manner. A character with those options gains +4 bonus on all Clairvoyance rolls —
+2 for the Eyes of Another option and +2 for the Uncontrolled option (see below).
Option [One Sense Only]: The clairvoyant can perceive the target location with only one of his senses,
most commonly vision or hearing (i.e., clairaudience).
Option [Trance Only]: The psychic can use his clairvoyant powers only while in a trance state (see p. 35).
While the psychic is using his powers, he suffers the –5 penalty for Perception rolls inflflicted by trances,
instead of the normal –2 penalty. A psychic with this option gains a +2 dice bonus to activate this power.
Option [Uncontrolled]: A psychic whose powers are uncontrolled has visions only at times of the
Storyteller’s choosing, although the psychic should generally have at least one vision per session. A common
form of Uncontrolled Clairvoyance causes the ESPer to perceive only visions of nearby individuals who are
in danger. Another form might be combined with the Eyes of Another option (see above) to cause the ESPer
to involuntarily see “through the eyes” of another person, perhaps a serial killer who stalks prey. The psychic
can attempt to force a vision, but doing so reduces the player to a chance die. The psychic’s player spends a
Willpower point only on Clairvoyance rolls if a vision is forced.

Dowsing (•)
Book: Second Sight, p. 38
Prerequisites: Clairvoyance, Cayce Channeling or Spirit Channeling
A limited form of divination, dowsing is a technique that lets a psychic to search for hidden objects.
Traditionally, dowsing was used to search for good places to dig wells for fresh water, although it was also
used to find gold and oil with varying degrees of success. The procedure requires a psychic to walk around
and concentrate on the object or substance to be found, while holding either a swinging pendulum or a stick
called a divining rod. If the psychic is successful, the rod or pendulum swings slightly in the direction of
whatever is sought. Exactly how dowsing works is unclear, even to psychics. Some say it is a form of
clairvoyance, others a form of mediumship (with spirits moving the divining rod in the same way a ghost
might affect a Ouija board). Still others say the practice calls upon the Universal Unconscious. Generally,
dowsing can find things and not individuals, although the Storyteller might permit a psychic to perform feats
such as find a missing person with a divining rod if the performer has some personal possession belonging to
the subject.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Occult
Action: Extended. The number of successes required is determined by the Storyteller based on how well
hidden or distant the substance is. A hidden safe might require three successes, while a fresh water source in
the Sahara might require 20 or more. Each roll represents 30 minutes of dowsing.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is led on a wildgoose chase far from his desired goal. He also loses all
accumulated successes.
Failure: The current dowsing attempt is unsuccessful, but more rolls may be made.
Success: When the player has accumulated the number of successes required, the attempt succeeds.
Exceptional Success: The psychic might also gain insight into some other prize hidden nearby.

Dream Travel (• to •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 38
Prerequisites: Astral Projection, Mind Reading (either version) and Thought Projection (either version)
Effect: Dream Travel is a refinement of Astral Projection, combined with elements of telepathy. A dream
traveler can cause her astral form to enter the mind of a sleeping person and interact with the sleeper during
his dreams. The psychic must first astrally project using the normal rules for that Merit. She must then
navigate astrally to the physical location of a sleeping person, although doing so may not require any roll if
the sleeper is physically near the psychic’s body. Once the psychic locates her subject, she can enter the
subject’s dreamscape and communicate with the sleeper as if the two were in the same physical location.
To the dream traveler, the dreamscape is exceptionally realistic, even more so than it is for the person who
is actually having the dream. Anything encountered by the psychic in the dreamscape is “real” to her and
potentially capable of causing her injury. Normally, this harm occurs only if the psychic enters a nightmare,
the dream of a mortal who is a lucid dreamer able to defend himself against an intruder or if the traveler
encounters someone else intruding in the same mind.
If a psychic is caught within another’s nightmare, the psychic may be subjected to an attack, depending on
the nature of the nightmare and how the psychic responds to it. If the dreamer possesses the Lucid Dreamer
Merit (p. 67), he may be able to initiate dream attacks at the expense of one Willpower point per attack.
(Anyone with Dream Travel can initiate attacks in her own dreams without the expenditure of a Willpower
point.)
Regardless of the form the dream attack takes, all attacks are represented by a Wits + Resolve + Dream
Travel pool, from which the target’s Composure is subtracted. Even if the attack is the result of an ordinary
person’s nightmare, the nightmare itself may attack the intruding psychic using the dreamer’s Wits + Resolve
pool. Each success inflicts one point of “phantom damage” to the target.
Any phantom damage inflicted has no lingering effect once a psychic withdraws to her own body, unless
the phantom damage is enough to kill her in a dream. In that case, the psychic’s physical body dies instantly,
usually of a heart attack or cerebral hemorrhage. Attacks initiated by lucid dreamers or by other dream
travelers customarily inflict bashing damage. A psychic with Dream Travel •••• or higher can inflict lethal
damage. No form of dream attack can inflict aggravated damage.
While a psychic uses this Merit, she is subject to all the limitations of Astral Projection, including limited
awareness of her body’s surroundings and vulnerability to a killing blow. The length of time a psychic can
remain free of her body is determined by your initial Astral Projection roll. A dream traveler can remain
within her subject’s subconscious only while a dream takes place, however. Generally, REM cycles last
between five and 45 minutes, so any attempt to enter and manipulate a dream does not usually last beyond a
scene.
If a dreamer wakes or dies, any dream travelers present are expelled back to their bodies. A psychic can
make minor cosmetic changes to the dreamscape with an instant Wits + Resolve roll. At the Storyteller’s
discretion, particularly vivid, evocative or just plain cool descriptions of how a psychic manipulates a
dreamscape may translate into bonus dice.
Cost: 1 Willpower to project into another’s dream. None to initiate dream attacks. Characters with the
Lucid Dreamer Merit can initiate attacks by spending one Willpower point, but only in their own dreams.
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve to enter a sleeping person’s dream and to manipulate it. Prior to an entry effort,
a psychic must successfully use Astral Projection in order to leave her body and travel to the target’s location;
Astral Projection typically requires a character to enter a trance first.
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic fails to enter the sleeper’s mind and cannot try again until the sleeper’s
next REM cycle. In dream combat, the psychic inflicts one point of phantom damage on herself.
Failure: The psychic simply fails to enter the sleeper’s mind, or no damage is inflicted.
Success: The psychic successfully enters the sleeper’s mind. Each success in dream combat inflicts a point
of damage.
Exceptional Success: The psychic enters the sleeper’s mind and gains a +1 bonus die to all other rolls for
the duration of her stay.

Postcognition (• or •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 40
Prerequisites: Precognition for the • version. None for the ••• version.
Effect: Your psychic has the ability to see into the past. If the roll to activate this power is successful, you
are allowed to ask a variable number of questions about a past event based on your successes. The effort
suffers a dice penalty based on temporal proximity, and the Storyteller should always roll for the player who
uses Postcognition, since the player may be able to deduce when something might have occurred by noting
the penalty applied, even if the roll is unsuccessful. Each success on the roll allows the player to ask one
question about the past event viewed.

Dice Modifier Proximity


0 Within a day
-1 Within a week
-2 Within a month
-3 Within a year
-4 Within 5 years
-5 Within 10 years*

* Each additional 10-year increment intensifies the dicepenalty by –1.


The effort faces additional penalties if the character lacks any sort of sympathetic connection to the scene
he wishes to view. If the psychic is present at the location where the past event took place, he suffers no
penalty. If he is in the presence of a person who was present at the past event, the player suffers a –2 penalty.
If the psychic is in possession of an object that was present at the scene of the past event, he suffers a –4
penalty. At the Storyteller’s discretion, these penalties might be reduced, depending on the situation. For
example, if a psychic attempts to view a violent murder by handling the murder weapon, he might suffer only
a –2 penalty, while touching the actual murderer could eliminate any penalty.
Example: Detective Halloran, who secretly uses his Postcognition abilities to help him solve crimes,
examines a bloody knife used in a brutal homicide. The Storyteller rolls Halloran’s Wits + Occult, applying a
–1 penalty (due to the fact that the murder took place more than a day but less than a week ago) and a –2
penalty (for not actually being at the crime scene, but simply holding the murder weapon). The roll yields
three successes, and Halloran gets a brief glimpse of the murder itself. His player can ask three questions
about the vision. Triggering the vision costs the player one Willpower point.
Psychics with this Merit commonly possess the Precognition Merit, too. If the psychic does have the
Precognition Merit, the cost of Postcognition is only one Merit dot. If the psychic acquires the three-dot
version of this power, he does not need Precognition as a prerequisite.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Occult
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The seer has a wildly false or misleading vision. Since the Storyteller makes the roll on
the player’s behalf, allow the player to ask an arbitrary number of questions, say one to three, and invent
erroneous or misleading information about the scene observed.
Failure: Failure indicates that the seer fails to produce a vision.
Success: The character has a postcognitive vision. The player may ask one question about the vision per
success. No more than one successful vision about a specific scene may be had every 24 hours.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward. The Storyteller may point out significant
details about which the player does not think to ask.

Precognition (••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 40
Effect: Precognition represents the power to predict the future. This power is perhaps the most difficult to
incorporate into games, and the Storyteller should proceed cautiously. Precognition is also difficult for
characters to use properly. While precognitive visions might give a psychic a clear vision of a future event,
the future changes constantly based on people’s actions. Thus, when a psychic receives a completely
“accurate” vision of the future, time remains in flux, and a seer can never be entirely sure whether his actions
in response to the vision will prevent the it from coming to pass or ensure that it will do so. Even with an
exceptional success, a character’s vision can still be distorted, blurry or possibly even wrapped in symbolism,
particularly in the case of dream precognition or precognition though a focus. Characters must generally use
the Occult Skill to interpret what they perceive. Psychics who possess the Precognition Merit are sometimes
called “precogs.” Those who require foci such as cards or tea leaves are sometimes referred to as “seers” or
(often disparagingly) “fortune-tellers.”
A precog can never predict the immediate future (i.e., what will happen next within the current scene). That
is more the purview of the Danger Sense Merit (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 108). A roll to see
the future suffers a penalty based on temporal proximity, and the Storyteller should always roll for a character
who uses Precognition, since the player may be able to deduce when something might occur from noting the
penalty applied, even if the roll is unsuccessful. Each success on the roll allows the player to ask one question
about the future event.

Dice Modifier Proximity


0 Within a day
-1 Within a week
-2 Within a month
-3 Within a year
-4 Within 5 years
-5 Within 10 years

* Each additional 10-year increment intensifies the dice penalty by –1.


Example: Madame Zora tells the fortune of a young girl who wants to know when she’ll be married, and to
whom. The Storyteller knows the girl will most likely get married in about three years, so a –4 penalty is
applied to Zora’s dice pool, which is rolled by the Storyteller. Zora gets two successes, and Zora’s player can
ask up to two questions about the girl’s wedding. Triggering the vision costs Zora one Willpower point.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Occult
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The seer has a wildly false or misleading vision. Since the Storyteller makes the roll on
the player’s behalf, allow him to ask an arbitrary number of questions, say one to three, and invent erroneous
or misleading information about the scene observed.
Failure: Failure indicates that the precog fails to produce a vision.
Success: The character has a precognitive vision. The player may ask one question about the vision per
success. No more than one successful vision about a specific scene may be had every 24 hours.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward. The Storyteller may point out significant
details about which the player does not think to ask.
Option [Precognitive Dreams]: The psychic’s visions come to him in the form of dreams. Thus, he can
trigger visions only after entering a trance state (see p. 35).
Option [Required Foci]: The psychic requires some form of divination tool in order to predict the future.
Common types of divinatory tools are listed in the “Tools of the Fortune-Teller” sidebar. The psychic can
attempt to force a vision without using such tools, but doing so reduces the effort to a chance die.
Option [Touch Precognition]: The psychic can predict the future of other people only while physically
touching them. The psychic can predict a person’s future with some object close to that person if the seer also
has the Psychometry Merit. Otherwise, the psychic can only try to force a vision, which reduces the effort to a
chance die. All attempts by a psychic to predict his own future are reduced to a chance die.
Option [Uncontrolled Precognition]: A psychic whose powers are uncontrolled has precognitive visions
only at times of the Storyteller’s choosing, although the psychic should generally have at least one vision per
session.

Psychometry (••• or ••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 41
Effect: Psychometry is a subset of clairvoyance that deals with perceiving the history of physical objects.
Also known as “object reading,” psychometry permits a psychic to handle an object for several seconds and
then undergo a brief vision of important moments in the object’s history. Exactly what the most important
moments are is a matter for Storyteller discretion, but, as a general rule, the stronger the emotions connected
with the item, the more clearly the psychometrist can see events connected to those feelings. Negative
emotions tend to resonate more than positive ones, so the fact that a little girl loved her teddy bear will usually
be overshadowed by fact that she was holding it as she watched her mother’s murder.
Psychometry is generally tied to objects, not places, and an object must generally be small enough to fit in
both hands. For every point of Size an object has over three, the psychic suffers a –1 penalty in addition to the
penalties listed below. With the four-dot version of this Merit, location and size limitations do not apply. The
psychometrist can perceive the history of any object he can touch, or he can simply walk into a location and
“see” the most emotionally charged moments in the recent history of the place.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Composure
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic gets a “mixed message” or a very believable but entirely false impression.
The Storyteller should always make chance-die rolls on behalf of players whose characters use this power.
Failure: Failure indicates that no impressions come through.
Success: Success yields a sense of the most emotionally charged event or person connected with the object
read, as well as a reliable vision or sense of the memory in question. Only one successful reading of an object
is allowed every 24 hours in order to see more events.
Exceptional Success: An exceptional success provides a comprehensive or extended chronological
understanding of an object and its past, such as an entire slideshow of images.

Suggested Modifiers
Modifier Situation
+1 The character has drawn a psychic impression from the object before.
— Recent and intense (a murder weapon used a few hours ago)
-1 Recent but mild, or old and intense (a dusty family heirloom in a chest)
-2 Emotionally shallow or long forgotten (a leisure suit found at a secondhand clothing
store)
-3 Disconnected or spiritually muted (a set of keys found several weeks ago)
-3 Object read during a fight or other stressful circumstance
Mediumist Merits
Automatic Writing (••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 42
Effect: Automatic Writing permits a medium to access a source of paranormal knowledge through indirect
means. Individual mediums disagree on whether they commune with spirits or the Universal Unconscious, or
if they simply use clairvoyance. In any case, the mechanical effects are the same. The psychic must first enter
a trance state (see p. 35). As she does so, she also randomly draws on paper, usually in a spiral pattern. As her
trance takes hold, her writings become less random, and she draws pictures symbolic of whatever questions
she seeks to answer. She continues to draw until the trance ends (usually an entire scene unless someone
interrupts her), by which time she is typically surrounded by crudely scribbled drawings that may direct her to
whatever she wants to find. The precise source of this knowledge is left to the Storyteller’s discretion, but if a
psychic possesses the Channeling or Clairvoyance Merits, they may grant a +2 bonus on automatic writing
attempts.
Cost: None
Dice Pool: Composure + Craft
Action: Instant; although the psychic must first enter a trance state
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic’s drawings contain false or misleading information. The Storyteller should
make any chance-die rolls for the player.
Failure: The automatic drawing attempt is unsuccessful.
Success: The psychic’s drawings contain vital clues to whatever mystery she seeks to solve.
Exceptional Success: The drawings are particularly clear, giving a +1 modifier to any subsequent
Investigation rolls pertaining to the drawings’ subject matter.
Suggested Equipment: Any item that has a strong connection to the subject about which the psychic seeks
information (+1 to +3, depending on the strength of the connection).

Channeling (•••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 43
Prerequisites: Ghost-Calling for Spirit Channeling. None for Cayce Channeling or Past-Life Channeling.
Effect: Channeling represents a psychic’s capacity to paranormally gain abilities that he does not normally
possess. There are three distinct forms of channeling: Cayce Channeling, whereby the psychic accesses the
Universal Unconscious to gain the knowledge he seeks; Past-Life Channeling, with which he accesses the
talents he possessed in a former life; and Spirit Channeling, with which a psychic allows a ghost to possess
his body and give him access to its wisdom. The three versions are grouped together because the mechanical
effects are the same. The psychic must successfully enter a trance before he can channel effectively to gain
new Traits (see “Entering a Trance,” p. 35). Skills gained last until the psychic next sleeps or until he attempts
to channel again.
Cayce Channeling: With this technique (named for Edgar Cayce), the psychic enters a trance state in
which he can access the Universal Unconscious, the sum total of accumulated human knowledge.
Theoretically, anything that has ever been known can be rediscovered through this power. Few modern
practitioners have psychic powers on par with Edgar Cayce’s and are thus unable to utilize his techniques to
their full extent. Cayce Channeling alone cannot be used to learn personal or secret details about people and
places outside the psychic’s vicinity. Clairvoyance and precognition are more useful for that purpose; Cayce
was also skilled in both of those powers. Finally, while Cayce Channeling can give a psychic access to
potentially any empirical knowledge, Cayce Channeling cannot convey talents that require kinesthetic training
(i.e., Physical Skills). A psychic might be able to use this power to identify a particular sword as a 15th-
century Japanese katana, but he could not use the power to gain any proficiency in swordsmanship. The Skill
dots acquired through this power take the place of any dots a character already possesses. Thus, if a player
wishes to raise his character’s Skill above what it currently is, he must roll more successes than the
character’s current Skill dots.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult
Action: Instant; although the psychic must first enter a trance
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is trapped in his trance state for hours as he contemplates the infinite
mysteries of the Universal Unconscious. Waking requires a number of successes on an extended Intelligence
+ Resolve roll equal to the psychic’s combined Stamina + Composure, with each roll taking one hour.
Alternatively, the psychic is unable to access this Merit again until 24 hours pass.
Failure: The effort is unsuccessful.
Success: Each success is converted into one dot of a single Mental or Social Skill selected by the player.
The number of successes must exceed the character’s current Skill dots, if any, in order for him to gain any
benefit from the power. The new rating lasts until the psychic next sleeps or until he next uses this power.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the normal benefit of extra successes, the psychic receives one bit of
useful knowledge that he randomly comes across in the infinite Universal Unconscious, although the true
significance of this nugget might not be immediately clear. If the successes exceed five, any more can be
assigned to another single Mental or Social Skill of the character’s choosing.
Past-Life Channeling: The psychic has a preternatural awareness of his own prior incarnations. After
entering a trance state, he can summon forth the collective life experiences of one of his prior selves, merging
it with his own personality. Although each person conceivably has countless past lives, the more recent they
are, the more progressively difficult to channel. Most past lives capable of being channeled are from primitive
eras, so this Merit cannot be used to access abilities that require a modern education. Mechanically speaking,
Past-Life Channeling cannot be used to gain Mental Skills.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Composure + Occult
Action: Instant; although the psychic must first enter a trance
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic assumes a personality from a previous life. He manifests a new Storyteller-
assigned personality and background for the duration of the scene, including a new Virtue and Vice. He may
(or may not) retain the ability to speak his normal languages, and has no knowledge of any friends, his current
situation or, indeed, anything about modern life, viewing everything through the lens of a Roman centurion, a
courtesan from the era of Louis XIV, a Mississippi plantation owner on the eve of the Civil War or anything
else of which the Storyteller can think.
Failure: The past-life regression was unsuccessful.
Success: Each success is converted into one dot of a single Physical or Social Skill selected by the player.
The number of successes must exceed the character’s current Skill dots, if any, in order for him to gain any
benefit from the power. The new rating lasts until the psychic next sleeps or until he next uses this power.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the normal benefit of extra successes, the psychic can access the
personal memories of the past life sharing his body. These new memories are lost when the power’s effect
ends. If the successes exceed five, any more may be assigned to another single Physical or Social Skill of the
character’s choosing.
Spirit Channeling: A medium uses his powers to commune with the dead to summon a ghost capable of
providing the capabilities that he needs. After entering the necessary trance state, the medium invites a ghost
with useful traits into his body. Spirit Channeling is also used by professional mediums to allow ghosts to
commune directly with bereaved loved ones. The weakness of Spirit Channeling is that ghosts generally lack
the capacity to interact normally with the living. Spirit Channeling can never be used to gain dots in Social
Skills.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Resolve + Occult
Action: Instant; although the psychic must first enter a trance
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The ghost summoned is instinctively hostile toward the psychic or the effect summons
a different and more malevolent entity than intended. The hostile spirit can automatically succeed on a roll to
possess the psychic (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 212).
Failure: The medium was unsuccessful.
Success: Each success is converted into one dot of a single Physical or Mental Skill selected by the player.
The number of successes must exceed the character’s current Skill dots, if any, in order for him to gain any
benefit from the power. The new rating lasts until the psychic next sleeps or until he next uses this power.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the normal benefit of extra successes, the psychic can access the
personal memories of the ghost who shares the psychic’s body. If the successes exceed five, any more can be
assigned to another single Physical or Mental Skill of the character’s choosing.

Death Sight (••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 44
Effect: Your medium can see dead people. The psychic may perceive and communicate with any ghost she
encounters. The power allows only perception of and communication with ghosts in Twilight — ghosts tied to
the material world and not to any otherworldly spirit world. The power affords no ability to contact spirits
from the Shadow Realm that have entered the material world and that exist in Twilight. This Merit does not
permit the psychic to aid ghosts in manifesting in the physical world (which requires the Ghost-Calling
Merit). Most ghosts instinctively realize when a mortal can perceive them, and psychics who possess this
power are often inundated by requests from desperate beings seeking help to resolve their earthly affairs.
A character who possesses the Ghost Ally Merit can acquire a limited version of Death Sight capable of
letting her see and communicate with his ally by increasing the normal cost of the Ghost Ally Merit. (See
“Ghost Ally,” p. 65.)
Cost: None to sense the presence of ghosts. One Willpower to initiate communication with them.
Dice Pool: Wits + Composure
Action: Reflexive
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The medium is unable to use this Merit for the rest of the scene. Alternately, she may
suffer horrific visions of some hellish underworld, inflicting a –2 penalty on all actions for the remainder of
the scene.
Failure: The attempt to activate Death Sight is unsuccessful.
Success: Your character can perceive and communicate with any ghost in her vicinity for the remainder of
the scene. Such ghosts remain intangible to her, however.
Exceptional Success: The medium may gain a +2 bonus on all rolls made in dealing with ghosts during the
scene.
Option [Permanent Death Sight]: The medium’s ability to see the dead is always active. The stress of
constantly being surrounded by spectral beings inflicts a mild derangement, such as Depression, Phobia,
Irrationality or Avoidance. The player must still roll Wits + Composure in order to communicate with ghosts,
but with this option, such rolls gain a +3 bonus.

Ghost-Calling (•••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 45
Effect: Your medium is capable of more than merely perceiving the dead; he can summon them to his
presence and even assist them in crossing over to the physical world. A sufficiently talented medium can call
out to an existing ghost and draw it to his location. By doing so, he can also help the entity to “cross over,”
aiding it in manifesting in the physical world or in using other ghostly powers that affect the material realm.
Mediums who possess this Merit and Astral Projection (p. 36) have the option of physically interacting with
ghosts and other beings in Twilight with the expenditure of a Willpower point. Ghost-Calling can only
summon ghosts; other supernatural beings existing in Twilight are not affected.
Roll Wits + Occult for your character to make spiritual contact with an existing ghost. Not all deceased
persons continue to exist as ghosts, and few ghosts persist more than a few decades after their demise. If a
ghost is still in existence, the medium can potentially contact the ghost wherever it roams. Once the
connection is formed, the medium is considered to be a temporary anchor for the ghost, and it can instantly
come to his vicinity from wherever it may be. If the ghost is unwilling to come to the medium, he can attempt
to compel its attendance with a successful Presence + Occult roll versus the ghost’s Resistance in a contested
action. Whether the ghost comes willingly or not, a Willpower point need not be spent for the ghost to travel
to its new anchor. A medium cannot control a ghost in any meaningful way. A character with this Merit
cannot automatically detect ghosts unless he also has the Death Sight Merit. If he does have that Merit, he
receives a +2 bonus on all Ghost-Calling rolls.
When a medium forms a psychic connection with a ghost, the medium continues to serve as the ghost’s
anchor for the duration of the scene. If the medium attempts to sever the connection early, a successful Wits +
Occult roll must be made versus the ghost’s Power in a contested action, unless the ghost consents to the
severing. When a medium no longer serves as an anchor, a ghost returns instantly to wherever it was prior to
the summoning. Severing the psychic connection does not harm the ghost in any way. While a connection is
in force, a medium is considered an anchor for all purposes. Thus, the ghost can manifest in the psychic’s
vicinity without need for a roll. A medium may place himself in grave danger if he does not know with what
sort of ghost he deals.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Occult versus an unwilling ghost’s Resistance to become a temporary anchor to a ghost
(resistance is reflexive). Presence + Occult versus an unwilling ghost’s Resistance to forcefully summon one
to the medium’s vicinity.
Action: Contested
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: A psychic connection is forged with some entity other than the one the medium sought.
The medium may be unable to sever the connection or may even become a permanent anchor to a hostile
ghost.
Failure: You fail to get more successes than the ghost. The attempt to contact or summon is unsuccessful.
Success: On a contact roll, more successes are rolled for the medium than for the ghost. The medium is
considered an anchor for the remainder of the scene unless the effect is ended early. On a summoning roll, the
ghost is compelled to come to the medium’s vicinity.
Exceptional Success: On a contact roll, the player gets five or more successes, more than rolled for the
ghost. The medium gains a +2 bonus on all rolls made in dealing with the ghost during the scene.

Dice Modifiers Situation


+1 per extra person (max +3) The medium attempts to summon a ghost during a séance in which
he is assisted by believers (see “Believers,” on p. 64). During a
séance, a ghost’s loved ones are considered to be believers unless
they categorically reject the possibility of life after death.
+1 The medium has summoned this particular ghost before.
+1 The medium has some object or person (other than an anchor)
important to the ghost during its life.
+3 The medium possesses another anchor of the ghost to be
summoned.
-1 Per 50 years that the ghost has been dead.

Option [Spiritualist Medium]: The medium can interact with the dead only in the context of a séance. In
order to utilize this power, she must be assisted by one or more people. The medium gains a die bonus equal
to the total number of believers in the séance up to a maximum of +5.
Psychokinetic Merits
Biokinesis (• to •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 46
Effect: Biokinesis governs a psychic’s ability to manipulate the biological processes of living things. The
scientific explanation for biokinesis eludes most parapsychologists. The most commonly accepted explanation
relies on Wilhelm Reich’s theories regarding orgone energy, which are consistent with biokinetics’ claims
that they can perceive and manipulate some form of ambient “life energy.” Biokinesis permits a psychic to
manipulate his own personal life force to alter his body in three ways. First, Biokinesis is a prerequisite for a
number of other powers that allow a psychic to manipulate life energy. Second, the power can aid a psychic in
attempts to control his own mind and body. Each dot in Biokinesis is added as a bonus die to all attempts to
either meditate (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 51) or to enter a trance state (see p. 35).
Finally, Biokinesis allows a psychic to make minor alterations to his own physical body, temporarily
affording him the benefit of certain Physical or Mental Merits, including some from the World of Darkness
Rulebook and others listed here. Each Merit gained this way has a “success cost” equivalent to the Merit’s
normal rating. The player must make an extended Intelligence + Composure roll with each roll representing a
number of minutes equal to the success cost of the desired Trait. A Merit gained through Biokinesis lasts for
the duration of a scene unless stated otherwise. Normally, the psychic can gain only a single Merit with a roll,
but a biokinetic’s successes can be spent on multiple Merits with an exceptional success. In order to be able to
use a Merit, the psychic must meet any prerequisites for that trait, and the psychic must have Biokinesis dots
equal to [the success cost of the Merit +1]. The Merits that can be acquired through this power include the
following:
Eidetic Memory (Two successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 108. This Merit lasts for one
scene.
Fast Reflexes (One or two successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 110. This Merit lasts for
one scene.
Fleet of Foot (One to three successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 112. This Merit lasts for
one scene.
Fresh Start (One success): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 112. This Merit lasts for one scene.
Hysterical Strength (Variable successes): The psychic can trigger a massive surge of adrenaline,
temporarily boosting his own Strength. For every success spent to purchase Hysterical Strength, the psychic
increases his Strength by one dot to a maximum of 5. Doing so is very taxing and potentially life threatening.
Every turn in which the psychic actually uses his augmented Strength (for example, to lift something heavy or
to strike a powerful blow), he suffers one point of bashing damage. The increase in adrenaline also makes the
psychic extremely excitable, and he is at a –1 penalty on all Composure-based rolls to resist provocation to
anger while the power is in effect. This Merit lasts for a number of turns equal to the psychic’s Biokinesis
rating.
Improved Awareness (One to three successes): For each success spent, the psychic gains a +1 bonus on all
Perception rolls. This Merit lasts for one scene.
Improved Immune System (Four successes): While this Merit is active, the psychic can attempt to cure
himself of diseases, poisons or drug effects by temporarily heightening the effectiveness of his immune
system. The player must make an extended Stamina + Resolve roll, with each roll reflecting one hour
recovering from a drug or poison or one day spent recuperating from an illness. During this period, the
character can take no action more strenuous than walking, and, ideally, should have complete bed rest. The
number of successes required is determined by the severity of the disease, drug or poison from which the
psychic seeks to recover. Generally, common colds require three to five, while cancer, AIDS and other
persistent or deadly diseases might require as many as 30 successes to send into remission. Similarly, a single
success might be required to overcome the effects of alcohol or minor food poisoning, while five or so might
be required to overcome the effects of LSD or a rattlesnake bite. Note that if a poison or toxin is especially
fast acting — having a lethal effect within turns or minutes rather than hours or days — this capability may be
of no use against it.
This power can affect only mundane diseases, drugs and poisons. It cannot aid the psychic in curing himself
of a blood bond. This power also does not affect any supernatural diseases or poisons. It also has no affect on
psychological addictions, although it can cure the physiological effect of an addiction.
Iron Stamina (One to three successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for
one scene.
Iron Stomach (Two successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one
scene.
Natural Immunity (One success): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one
day per dot of Biokinesis or until the psychic uses his Biokinesis again, whichever comes first.
Pain Resistance (Three successes): The psychic becomes extraordinarily resistant to the physical side
effects of pain and injury. Wound penalties are reduced by one, and the character gains a +1 bonus on rolls to
stay conscious after all Health boxes have been filled with bashing damage, all for the duration of the scene.
Quick Healer (Four successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one
day per dot of Biokinesis or until the psychic uses his Biokinesis again, whichever comes first.
Strong Back (One success): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one scene.
Strong Lungs (Three successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one
scene.
Toxin Resistance (Two successes): See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 113. This Merit lasts for one
day per point of Biokinesis or until the psychic uses his Biokinesis again, whichever comes first.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Composure
Action: Extended
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic suffers one point of bashing damage due to painful psychic feedback. He
cannot attempt to use his Biokinesis powers for the remainder of the scene.
Failure: The psychic fails to accumulate any successes for now, but may keep trying, or utterly fails to
manifest any biokinetic benefits.
Success: Accumulated successes can be used to temporarily acquire a single desired Merit, provided the
psychic meets any prerequisites and his Biokinesis dots equal or exceed the desired Merit’s success cost, plus
one.
Exceptional Success: Accumulated successes can be used to acquire multiple Merits temporarily, with
successes allocated for dots as the player chooses.

Cryokinesis (• to •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 47
Prerequisites: A character’s dots in this Merit cannot be higher than the lesser of her Resolve or Stamina.
Effect: Cryokinesis permits a psychic to decrease ambient temperature. The player must spend one
Willpower point to activate, and then roll Intelligence + Composure. The effectiveness of the cryokinetic’s
power is based on her Merit dots, with successes rolled lowering the temperature according to this chart.

Merit Dots Temperature Ranges


• 2 degrees per success
•• 5 degrees per success
••• 10 degrees per success
•••• 15 degrees per success
••••• 25 degrees per success

When used to attack a moving target, treat Cryokinesis as a ranged attack. Defense does not apply, and the
temperature shift bypasses armor unless the protection has some type of thermal aspect or the protection is a
supernatural armor capable of protecting against cold. The attack also ignores cover, since the character can
potentially lower the temperature over an area big enough to encompass even someone behind full cover.
Cryokinesis affects the temperature of everything within the affected area, so living targets suffer a drop in
body temperature commensurate with successes rolled.
Short range for a cryokinetic attack is equal to a psychic’s Intelligence + Wits + Cryokinesis dots in yards.
Medium range is twice that distance and imposes a –2 penalty on an attack dice pool. Long range is up to
twice medium range and imposes a –4 penalty on an attack dice pool. The Size of the area to be affected is
subtracted from the cryokinetic’s dice pool. Thus, an attempt to freeze a human-sized target suffers a –5
penalty. However, physically touching the object to be affected confers a +2 bonus on the roll.
Once a psychic has successfully lowered the temperature in a given location, he can do one of three things:
(1) maintain the reduced temperature as long as he concentrates, (2) release his concentration and let
temperature equalize normally or (3) use his Cryokinesis powers again to lower the temperature even further.
Thus, with time and a prodigious amount of Willpower, a cryokinetic can reduce ambient temperature to low
levels, although the absolute lowest temperature that any cryokinetic can achieve is about –400 degrees, well
above absolute zero.
Cryokinesis is potentially deadly to living beings. The record for the lowest body temperature in a human is
approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although that patient lost all four limbs as a result. When Cryokinesis is
used against a human, the victim suffers nothing more than discomfort until her internal body temperature is
reduced by 10 degrees. At that point, the victim suffers a –1 penalty to Dexterity, Strength and Wits (and
consequently, a –1 penalty to Initiative and potentially Defense, and a –2 penalty to Speed). For every
additional five degrees of reduction, this Attribute penalty intensifies by an additional –1. If any of a victim’s
Dexterity, Strength or Wits is reduced to zero, the victim is immobilized due to the onset of hypothermia.
Also, if a victim’s body temperature is reduced by 20 degrees or more, she takes one point of lethal damage
per turn spent subjected to the cryokinetic attack. If this lethal damage crosses over into aggravated damage,
the victim suffers frostbite and may lose Attribute dots or gain Flaws to represent the loss of fingers or even
limbs.
Most physical objects suffer no direct damage from low temperatures, but pipes can burst from frozen
water, and machines that depend on lubricants may seize up if ambient temperature drops below freezing. At
temperatures of 50 degrees below zero, trees snap and splinter spontaneously as heavy ice accumulates on
their branches. Ice accumulates on streets and bridges, making travel hazardous. At 100 degrees below zero,
almost any amount of water within an area is flash frozen, and living creatures are killed almost instantly
unless protected somehow. Vampires and the undead are almost completely immune to low temperatures, but
at temperatures of –100 or lower, a vampire’s body might well freeze solid. Unless she can thaw herself out
(through the use of blood or Disciplines), she may well remain paralyzed when the sun comes up the next
morning.
Once a psychic ceases to focus her attention on a specific location, temperatures equalize normally. In the
case of extreme temperature changes in excess of a 400-degree difference from the surrounding area,
“equalize normally” may mean an explosive reaction, inflicting two dice of bashing damage on everyone
within a radius equal to the Size of the area initially affected x5. The explosion also causes knockdown (see
the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168). If the temperature shift is less than 400 degrees, the affected area
returns to normal temperature at a rate of 10 degrees per minute.
Cryokinetics also have an improved resistance to environmental temperature extremes. A psychic with this
power is automatically immune to natural temperature extremes ranging from zero to 100 degrees, plus an
additional temperature range equal to plus or minus [Merit dots x20] degrees. A cryokinetic is automatically
immune to the temperature-based attacks of other cryokinetics whose Merit dots do not exceed her own.
Cost: 1 Willpower per roll to affect temperature. None to resist temperature.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Composure (– Size of area to be affected) to reduce the ambient temperature. The
cryokinetic can resist low temperatures without a roll.
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic fails to affect the ambient temperature and suffers one point of bashing
damage as his own internal body temperature goes haywire.
Failure: The psychic fails to affect ambient temperature.
Success: Each success lowers the ambient temperature as described above.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.
Option [Emotional Cryokinesis]: Whenever the cryokinetic is in the grip of strong emotion, Resolve +
Composure must be rolled with a penalty equal to the level of the emotion as described by the Emotional
Response table on p. 60. If the roll is unsuccessful, the cryokinetic’s powers function uncontrollably, raising
or lowering the ambient temperature in random ways. A dramatic failure means that this wild activity might
flare up at random intervals over the next several days whenever the psychic becomes agitated, causing
freakish “cold spots.” Such uncontrolled power may have catastrophic effects for powerful cryokinetics.
These random phenomena do not require the expenditure of a Willpower point.

Plant Empathy (•)


Book: Second Sight, p. 49
Prerequisites: Biokinesis •+
Effect: Plant Empathy makes a psychic a natural “green thumb,” giving him almost supernatural talent at
cultivating plants. There is no roll associated with this power. Instead, the power gives the psychic a bonus to
any dice pools pertaining to the cultivation of plant life (most commonly Intelligence + Crafts) equal to the
number of dots he has in the Biokinesis Merit. Additionally, the growth rate of plants under the psychic’s care
is multiplied by [1 + the psychic’s Biokinesis Merit dots]. Thus, a plant empath with Biokinesis ••• can cause
plants to grow at four times their normal rate.

Psychic Healing (••• or •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 49
Prerequisites: Biokinesis ••• (to heal oneself) or Biokinesis ••••• (to heal another)
By building on the psychic’s underlying facility with Biokinesis, a psychic can now heal herself and others.
The three-dot version of this Merit allows the character to accelerate her own healing, cutting all times in half.
This power is cumulative with the Quick Healer Merit, so a character with both heals all injuries in 1/4 the
normal time. With the five-dot version, the healer can extend this power to others. Thus, a patient heals all
injuries in 1/2 the normal time or 1/4 the normal time if he has the Quick Healer Merit. Using either version
of this power requires a player to roll Stamina + Resolve. If a character attempts to heal someone who resists
or who rejects the existence of psychic phenomena, the subject can resist with Composure + Supernatural
Advantage as a reflexive action in a contested roll.
The healer can also use her gifts to facilitate recovery from disease, poison or drugs. A psychic with the
threedot version of this Merit gains the benefits of having an Improved Immune System (see p. 46). With the
five-dot version, she confers the benefits of an Improved Immune System to another.
A point of Willpower must be spent for a psychic to activate either version of this power. The duration is
[the psychic’s Biokinesis dots x 12] hours per application. Using this power on another requires the healer to
touch the patient. Although healing someone fully with Psychic Healing may require multiple applications of
this power, even one application is considered providing medical attention and thus prevents a dying patient
from expiring while the Merit’s effects last. Repeated applications of this power might be necessary to
recover from serious diseases, but one application is usually enough to cure someone subjected to drugs or
poison. This power does not heal or cure supernatural diseases, drug addictions or other otherworldly effects.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve (versus Composure + Supernatural Advantage if the subject resists healing)
Action: Instant (willing) or contested (unwilling)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic suffers one point of lethal damage due to painful feedback. Alternately, the
subject of the attempt might take additional damage or simply develop a strong antipathy toward the healer.
Failure: The psychic fails to heal the subject.
Success: The subject’s healing rate is doubled for [the psychic’s Biokinesis rating x 12] hours. If Psychic
Healing is used to cure poison, drugs or illness, either the character or the subject gains the benefits of an
Improved Immunity System for [the psychic’s Biokinesis dots x 12] hours.
Exceptional Success: The psychic’s Biokinesis is treated as if one dot higher for purposes of determining
the duration of the healing.
Option [Empathic Healing]: The psychic cannot cure the effects of poison, drugs or illness on others,
although he can still cure them within himself. When healing another of physical injuries, the psychic feels
the pain suffered by his patient. When the power is activated, the psychic suffers one point of “phantom”
bashing damage for every point of bashing damage the patient currently has. Phantom bashing damage heals
at a rate of one point per turn. Each point of lethal damage the patient has inflicts one point of bashing
damage on the psychic, which heals at the normal rate. Each point of aggravated damage to be healed inflicts
one point of lethal damage on the psychic, which heals at the normal rate. This damage is inflicted on the
healer every time he initiates a healing attempt on anyone other than himself. On the positive side, a healer
with this option gains a +2 bonus on all healing attempts, and his Biokinesis is considered to be one dot
higher for purposes of determining the duration of the improved healing rate.
Option [Faith Healer]: The psychic’s healing powers are irrevocably tied to her religious faith and she
considers her healing powers to be a gift from God, which unbelievers are unworthy to experience. Any
attempt to cure or heal someone whom the psychic considers to be immoral or who clearly does not share the
psychic’s faith suffers a –2 penalty. Also, if the psychic fails to maintain a Morality of 7 or higher, she suffers
an additional penalty equal to [7 – new Morality] on her healing attempts. Thus, a faith healer whose Morality
is reduced to 5 suffers a –2 penalty on all healing rolls. When the healer attempts to cures someone who does
share her faith, however, the healer gains a +1 bonus, and she gets a +1 bonus on all healing rolls for each
point by which her Morality exceeds 7.
Option [New Age Healing]: The psychic must channel her biokinetic energy through some type of
focusing mechanism, most commonly a crystal or perhaps herbal remedies or even magnets. Psychics who
adhere to New Age religions typically believe that the actual healing power comes from whatever focus is
used, instead of from the psychic. Whether such paraphernalia is actually necessary or merely a crutch cannot
truly be determined. Regardless, the healer cannot use her power without entering a trance state while
meditating on a crystal or using some other type of New Age trapping. Healers with this option gain a +2
bonus on all healing attempts.

Psychic Vampirism (••• or •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 49
Prerequisites: Biokinesis •••• for the four-dot version. Biokinesis ••••• for the five-dot version.
The inverse of Psychic Healing, Psychic Vampirism allows a psychic to take life as well as restore it,
draining orgone energy from victims to replenish one’s own Willpower. There are two versions of this Merit,
both of which require physical contact with the victim. (See “Touching an Opponent,” the World of
Darkness Rulebook, p. 157.) The four-dot version allows a psychic to drain a target of temporary Willpower
points. The Willpower is lost. With the five-dot version, the psychic regains one point of Willpower for every
two points of Willpower stolen. The psychic cannot gain more Willpower points than he has permanent
Willpower dots.
Both versions of this power automatically fail when used against mages, werewolves or vampires.
Storytellers should be cautious that players of characters with the five dot version do not rely on it to regain
Willpower to the exclusion of their own Morality.
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve (— the target’s Resolve). The psychic vampire must also successfully touch a
victim.
Cost: None
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic fails to steal any Willpower points and actually loses one Willpower point
instead.
Failure: The psychic’s attempt fails.
Success: The psychic drains the victim of one temporary Willpower per success.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.

Psyrokinesis (•••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 50
Effect: Pyrokinesis represents the ability to cause objects to spontaneously combust. Psychics with this
power are usually referred to as pyrokinetics. Pyrokinesis is separate and distinct from Thermokinesis (see
below), the latter of which permits a psychokinetic to actually manipulate ambient temperature. Pyrokinesis
does not directly produce heat. Instead, this power triggers a chemical reaction that causes a given material to
burn. A fire triggered by this power continues to burn until its fuel has been exhausted or until the fire is put
out normally. A pyrokinetic can also extinguish an existing flame (whether or not she started it), but stopping
a fire may be more difficult than starting one, as a fire may quickly spread to encompass a bigger area than
where it was ignited. Once a fire is set, it follows all normal rules for fire damage. (See the World of
Darkness Rulebook, p. 180.)
A character with Pyrokinesis must overcome three difficulties in starting a fire: the size of the fire to be set,
the desired heat level of the fl ame and the relative fl ammability of the material to be ignited. The modifiers
applied to an attack roll for each of these criteria are listed below.

Dice Modifier Size*


0 A candle wick or match. About a three-inch radius.
-1 A torch. About a six-inch radius (+1 lethal damage).
-2 A small campfire. About a one-foot radius or a Size 1 object.
-3 A large campfire. About a two-foot radius or a Size 2 object.
-4 Roughly the size of a man. About a four-foot radius or a Size 5
object.
-5 A bonfire. About an eight-foot radius or a Size 10 object (+2 lethal
damage).
* A pyrokinetic cannot create a fire larger than a bonfire with a single application of this power.

Dice Modifier Intensity*


0 Candle heat sufficient to cause a first degree burn.
-1 Torch heat suffi cient to cause a second degree burn (+1 lethal
damage).
-2 Bunsen burner heat sufficient to cause a third degree burn (+2
lethal damage).
* Thermokinesis is required to create temperatures hotter than a Bunsen burner, such as a chemical fire or
moltenmetal.

Dice Modifier Fuel*


+2 A flammable gas (butane, hydrogen, pure oxygen)
+1 A flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene)
0 An easily flammable solid (match heads, oily rags, wax, fireworks)
-1 Dry and lightweight flammable materials (paper, dry leaves,
cotton)
-2 Wood, cardboard, most clothing, vampires
-3 Wet wood or clothing, hair
-4 Plastic, fire retardant cloth, human flesh
* Igniting anything more flame resistant than this requires Thermokinesis.

The roll to start a fire involves Wits + Resolve. When the pyrokinetic seeks to ignite a person or some other
target capable of movement, the attempt is treated as a ranged attack. Defense does not apply, but the
pyrokinetic suffers a –2 penalty when attempting to ignite a moving target. Short range for a pyrokinetic
attack is equal to a psychic’s Intelligence + Wits + Pyrokinesis dots in yards. Medium range is twice that
distance and imposes a –2 penalty on an attack dice pool. Long range is up to twice medium range and
imposes a –4 penalty on an attack dice pool.
The damage inflicted with a successful pyrokinetic attack is equal to one point of lethal damage for each
success. This damage pool (minus the benefits of any heat-resistant armor) is inflicted every turn on anyone
set ablaze until the fire is put out.
Once a fire is set, it can be put out normally or extinguished instantly with another application of
Pyrokinesis. Putting out an existing fire requires an extended Stamina + Resolve roll with the number of
successes required equal to the Size of the blaze +1, with each roll taking one turn’s action.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve to start a fire. Stamina + Resolve to snuff one out.
Action: Instant to start a fire. Extended to snuff out a fire, with each roll representing one turn.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic suffers one point of lethal damage due to painful psychic feedback.
Alternately, the psychic might produce a flame of the desired intensity but not where he wants it to combust.
A pyrokinetic attempting to snuff a flame might make it larger instead.
Failure: The attempt to start or extinguish a fire is unsuccessful.
Success: The pyrokinetic ignites his target. If attempting to snuff out a flame, the pyrokinetic accumulates a
number of successes equal to the Size of the fire +1.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.
Option [Emotional Pyrokinesis]: Whenever a pyrokinetic is in the grip of strong emotion, the Storyteller
may direct the player to roll Resolve + Composure with a dice penalty equal to the intensity of the emotion as
described by the Emotional Response table on p. 60. If the roll is unsuccessful, the pyrokinetic’s powers
function randomly, igniting small, nearby flammable objects. A dramatic failure means that this pyrokinetic
activity might flare up at random intervals over the next several days whenever the pyrokinetic is agitated.
Such wild phenomena do not require the expenditure of a Willpower point. A pyrokinetic with this option
gains a +2 bonus on all deliberate uses of this power.

Pyrokinetic Immunity (•• or ••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 52
Prerequisites: Pyrokinesis
Effect: Your pyrokinetic is highly resistant if not completely immune to fire. With the two-dot version,
make a reflexive Stamina + Resolve roll when your character is exposed to mundane fire, with each success
providing one point of armor that protects against only fire damage. With the four-dot version, you need only
spend one Willpower point to render your character totally immune to fire damage. If any Doubting Thomas
(see p. 65) is present when the four-dot version of this Trait is invoked, a successful Stamina + Resolve roll
subject to normal penalties is required for unilateral protection to activate.
The effects of either version last for one scene, although clothes and possessions are not protected. No
protection is provided against supernaturally induced fires or flames.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve for the two-dot version. None for the four-dot version, unless a Doubting
Thomas is present.
Action: Reflexive
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is not protected from the flames, and fire damage is increased by one.
Failure: The psychic is not protected from the fl ames, but she can try again in the next turn as a
subsequent attempt.
Success: Each success provides one dot of armor with the two-dot version. With the four-dot version, total
immunity is conferred despite the presence of a Doubting Thomas.
Exceptional Success: With the two-dot version, additional successes are their own reward. With the four-
dot version, any Doubting Thomases present are treated as ordinary people for the duration of the scene and
do not inflict any further dice penalties on the psychic during that time.

Pyrokinetic Shaping (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 52
Prerequisites: Pyrokinesis and Pyrokinetic Immunity ••••
Effect: A pyrokinetic can manipulate how an existing fire (whether natural or created by psychic powers)
grows. By pointing toward an existing flame and gesturing in the direction of a gas main, a psychic might
cause a jet of fl ame to spread across the ground in a straight line, as if there were a trail of gasoline to burn.
The pyrokinetic cannot truly shoot fireballs, as a fire must still have a fuel source and must generally spread
along a surface of some kind. Within those limitations, the psychic can manipulate a fire as she wishes, using
this power to “sculpt” the flames according to her desire.
Shaping a fire requires concentration, so a pyrokinetic loses her Defense and can take no action other than
movement up to Speed per turn. If the pyrokinetic’s concentration is broken, she loses control of the flames.
An additional Willpower point must be spent and a new activation roll made to regain control. If a pyrokinetic
attempts to direct a flame toward a target capable of movement, the attack is treated as a normal ranged
attack, with Wits + Crafts rolled to make the attack. Short range for this action equals your character’s
Dexterity + Composure in yards, with medium range double that distance (and at a –2 penalty) and long range
double medium range(and at a –4 penalty). Although the fire moves quickly, it is still slow enough to be
evaded, so the target’s Defense applies. Each success on an attack roll inflicts one point of lethal damage.
Cost: 1 Willpower to activate this power for a scene or until all nearby fires have been extinguished,
whichever comes first.
Dice Pool: Wits + Crafts to shape flames. Wits + Crafts (— target’s Defense) to attack with a flame.
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic suffers one point of lethal damage due to painful psychic feedback.
Alternately, the psychic might send the flames to a different location than intended.
Failure: The attempt to shape the fire is unsuccessful.
Success: The pyrokinetic manipulates the fire to his desires, determining the direction in which it spreads
and perhaps even shaping it into simple forms. If used as an attack, the flames inflict one point of lethal
damage per success.
Exceptional Success: In addition to damage inflicted, the target is set ablaze and continues to take lethal
damage per turn until the fire is extinguished.

Dice Modifiers
Modifi er Situation
+1 The pyrokinetic created the flames with his Pyrokinesis Merit, and
they are now manipulated
0 The flames being manipulated are natural fire.
-1 The flames being manipulated were created by another pyrokinetic.
-3 The intended manipulation is something wholly unnatural to fire,
such as shaping it into a face or into the form of an animal.

Telekinesis (• to •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 52
Prerequisites: A telekinetic can possess but cannot use more dots in this Merit at one time than he has
Resolve.
Effect: The power to move physical objects by mind alone. The psychic can lift objects, assuming they are
light enough for his Telekinesis to handle. He can also throw objects that he is capable of lifting at a target. At
high dots, a telekinetic can immobilize someone with a telekinetic grapple or even strike someone with a
telekinetic blow.
Lifting an Object
The simplest use of Telekinesis is to lift objects. The player must first spend a Willpower point to activate
the power. Each dot gives a character one dot of Strength that can be applied to move any physical object
within the telekinetic’s direct line of sight, pursuant to the lifting/moving objects chart in the World of
Darkness Rulebook, p. 47.
When attempting to lift something, consult the chart and compare the psychic’s Telekinesis dots to the item.
If the telekinetic’s dots exceed the Strength required to lift the object, he can move it freely. If his Merit dots
equal the Strength required, he can slide the object across the floor at about a yard per turn. If the telekinetic
seeks to lift something even bigger, roll Resolve + Composure reflexively, with each success adding to the
telekinetic’s Merit dots for the action.
Telekinesis is both physically and mentally taxing; a character can hold up an object for a number of turns
equal to the lesser of his Stamina or Resolve. After that, he must either drop the object or another Willpower
point must be spent to retain control. A telekinetic can lift objects smaller than Size 1, but he must still be able
to see the object directly.
Cost: 1 Willpower + 1 additional Willpower after every [lesser of Stamina or Resolve] turns
Dice Pool: No roll is required to lift an object, provided that the psychic’s Telekinesis Merit dots are
sufficient to do so. If the object is too big, a Resolve + Composure roll is required.
Action: Reflexive
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The item is dropped and/or the telekinetic suffers one point of bashing damage due to
psychic feedback from the effort.
Failure: The telekinesis attempt is unsuccessful.
Success: Telekinesis dots increase by one per success.
Exceptional Success: The telekinetic increases his Merit dots by five or more and gains a +1 bonus on any
attempt to manipulate the item, such as throwing it. Also, the telekinetic can continue to manipulate the object
for a number of turns equal to the greater of his Stamina or Resolve before needing to set the object down or
spend another Willpower.
Throwing an Object
If the telekinetic wishes to hurl an object at a target, he must first lift it. An object can be lifted and thrown
as part of the same instant action, provided the character’s total Telekinesis dots exceed those required to lift
the item. A non-aerodynamic object (such as a clay pot or tire) can be thrown a distance in yards equal to
Wits + Resolve + total Telekinesis dots, minus the object’s Size. This distance is considered short range.
Medium range is double that, and long range is twice medium range. So, a character with 4 Wits, 3 Resolve
and an unmodified 2 Telekinesis can throw a tire with 2 Size a short distance of 7 yards, a medium range of
14 yards and a long range of 28 yards. Aerodynamic objects can be thrown double those distances, but an
object whose Size exceeds the psychic’s modified Telekinesis dots cannot be thrown no matter how
aerodynamic it is.
Hitting a target requires you to roll Wits + Resolve, –2 for medium range and –4 for long range. The
Damage of the object thrown (usually the lesser of its Size or Durability) is added to the dice pool, and the
target’s Defense applies. A character can hurl an object up to twice long range, but is automatically reduced to
a chance die.
Cost: None, although 1 Willpower is required to lift the object
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve + Damage bonus of thrown object (– target’s Defense)
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character loses control of the item. If it is large or heavy (Size 4+), he loses his
telekinetic grip and drops it, possibly hurting himself or others. Smaller objects land wildly off the mark.
Failure: The telekinetic attack misses its target.
Success: The telekinetic hits his target, inflicting one point of damage per success.
Exceptional Success: The telekinetic hits his target with great accuracy and force.
Suggested Equipment: See the Damage ratings of possible thrown objects on p. 150 of the World of
Darkness Rulebook.

Grappling a Target (Telekinesis •••+)


Seizing a human-sized or larger target and attempting to hold him steady requires at least three Telekinesis
dots. The player rolls Stamina + Resolve, minus the target’s Strength. If the roll is successful, the target is not
only grappled, but he is automatically immobilized. If the target has any psychic or supernatural powers that
can be brought to bear against the telekinetic, such powers suffer no penalty due to immobilization. As usual,
an additional Willpower point must be spent after every [lesser of Stamina or Resolve] turns in order to keep a
target immobilized, and no other actions are allowed except moving up to Speed in that time. A victim of this
effect is allowed no Defense against attacks from others. A victim can try to break free each turn as a
contested action. Strength + Resolve is rolled in an instant action, with the telekinetic’s Merit dots subtracted
from the victim’s dice pool. In order to escape, a number of successes must be rolled for the victim in excess
of those rolled for the telekinetic when the hold was achieved.
Cost: None, although one Willpower must be spent to initially activate the power
Action: Instant
Dice Pool: Stamina + Resolve (– the target’s Strength)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The grappling attempt is unsuccessful, and the telekinetic suffers one point of bashing
damage due to psychic feedback from the failed effort.
Failure: The telekinesis attempt is unsuccessful.
Success: The telekinetic successfully grapples the target, pinning her or lifting her off the ground. The
telekinetic can keep the target immobilized for a number of turns equal to the lesser of his Stamina or
Resolve, unless the subject escapes earlier. Spending Willpower extends the period in which a victim may be
held.
Exceptional Success: The telekinetic can restrain his target for a number of turns equal to the greater of his
Stamina or Resolve.

Telekinetic Blow (Telekinesis •••••)


A psychic with five dots of Telekinesis can strike a target with a blast of pure kinetic force. Treat the blow
as a ranged attack to which Defense does not apply. The blow inflicts bashing damage, and armor protects the
target as normal. Short range equals Wits + Resolve + Telekinesis dots in yards. Medium range is double that,
and long range is double medium range. Hitting a target requires you to roll Wits + Resolve, –2 for medium
range and –4 for long range. A character can strike up to twice long range, but the player is automatically
reduced to a chance die.
Cost: 1 Willpower per attack
Dice Pool: Wits + Resolve
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The attack is unsuccessful and the telekinetic suffers one point of bashing damage due
to psychic feedback from the failed effort. Alternately, the telekinetic might inadvertently hit someone or
something other than his intended target.
Failure: The telekinesis attack is unsuccessful.
Success: The telekinetic strikes his target with a blast of pure kinetic force, inflicting one point of bashing
damage per success.
Exceptional Success: In addition to bashing damage inflicted, the target must also roll to avoid knockdown
(see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168).
Option [Emotional Telekinesis]: Whenever the telekinetic is in the grip of strong emotion, Resolve +
Composure is rolled with a dice penalty equal to the level of the emotion as described by the Emotional
Response table on p. 60. If the roll is unsuccessful, the telekinetic’s powers function randomly, flinging small
objects around the room in what onlookers might mistakenly ascribe to the actions of a poltergeist. A
dramatic failure means this activity might flare up at random intervals over the next several days. Such
“poltergeist activity” does not require the expenditure of a Willpower point. If a telekinetic has this option, he
gains +1 on all deliberate uses of telekinesis.
Option [Limited Telekinesis]: The telekinetic can manipulate only certain types of objects. At the
Storyteller’s discretion, such limitations might include objects of Size 3 or less, only “soft” objects such as
cloth or cardboard and nothing harder, only living material, or only earth. Depending on just how limited this
telekinesis is, the Storyteller might permit the dice bonus accompanying the option to be +1, +2 or even +3.

Thermokinesis (• to •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 53
Prerequisites: A character’s dots in this Merit cannot exceed the lesser of her Resolve or Stamina.
Effect: Thermokinesis permits a psychic to increase ambient temperature. The player must first spend one
point of Willpower to activate the power and then roll Intelligence + Resolve. The effectiveness of the
thermokinetic’s power is based on her dots in this Merit, with each success increasing the temperature
according to the chart below. Merit Rating Temperature Ranges

Merit Dots Temperature Ranges


• 2 degrees per success
•• 5 degrees per success
••• 10 degrees per success
•••• 15 degrees per success
••••• 25 degrees per success

When Thermokinesis is used to attack a moving target, treat the power as a ranged attack. Defense does not
apply, and the temperature shift bypasses armor unless it has some type of thermal protection aspect or is a
supernatural armor capable of protecting against heat. The attack also ignores cover, since the character can
potentially lower temperatures over an area big enough to encompass even someone behind full cover.
Thermokinesis affects the temperature of everything within the affected area, so living targets caught in the
hot spot suffer an increase in body temperature commensurate with successes rolled.
Short range is equal to a psychic’s Intelligence + Wits + Thermokinesis dots in yards. Medium range is
twice that distance, and inflicts a –2 penalty on the psychic’s dice pool. Long range is twice medium range,
and inflicts a –4 penalty on the psychic’s dice pool. The Size of the area affected is subtracted from the
cryokinetic’s pool. Thus, an attempt to heat a human-sized target suffers a –5 penalty. However, if the psychic
can touch the object to be heated, a +2 bonus to the roll is gained.
Once the psychic has successfully raised the temperature in a given location, he can do one of three things:
(1) maintain the increased temperature as long as he concentrates, (2) release his concentration and let the
temperature equalize normally or (3) use his Thermokinesis powers again to raise the temperature even
further. Thus, with time and a prodigious amount of Willpower, a thermokinetic can raise ambient
temperature to incredibly high levels, although the absolute highest temperature that any thermokinetic can
achieve is roughly 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermokinesis is especially deadly against humans, as a normal mortal caught within the area of effect is
physically heated up as if caught in a giant microwave. Normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees
Fahrenheit. When Thermokinesis is used, a victim suffers a –1 penalty to Dexterity, Strength and Wits (and
consequently, a –1 penalty to Initiative and possibly Defense, and a –2 penalty to Speed) for every five
degrees of temperature increase for the duration of the thermokinetic effect. If any of the victim’s Dexterity,
Strength or Wits is reduced to zero by a thermokinetic attack, the victim is immobilized due to heat
prostration. If a victim’s body temperature is increased by 15 degrees or more, he suffers a point of lethal
damage per turn spent subjected to the thermokinetic attack.
At temperatures of 200+, all living things suffer one point of aggravated damage per turn. Most paper and
cloth combusts at just over 400 degrees, and wood catches fire and lead begins to melt at around 600 degrees.
Surprisingly, vampires and other undead creatures are immune to ambient temperatures below 1500 degrees.
However, in most cases, an undead creature’s clothing ignites somewhere between 350 and 500 degrees,
inflicting aggravated damage as normal.
Once a psychic ceases to focus her attention on a specific location, the site’s temperature equalizes
normally. In the case of extreme temperature changes in excess of a 400-degree difference from the
surrounding area, “equalize normally” may mean an explosive reaction, inflicting two dice of bashing damage
on everyone within a radius equal to the Size of the area initially affected x5 in yards. The explosion also
causes knockdown (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168). If the temperature shift is less than 400
degrees, the affected area returns to normal temperature at a rate of 10 degrees per minute.
Thermokinetics also have an improved resistance to environmental temperature extremes. A psychic with
this power is automatically immune to natural temperature extremes ranging from zero to 100 degrees, plus an
additional temperature range equal to plus or minus [Merit dots x20] degrees. A thermokinetic is immune to
high-temperature attacks unless the attacker’s Thermokinesis dots exceed his own.
Cost: 1 Willpower per roll to affect temperature. None to resist temperature.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Resolve (– Size of the area to be affected) to increase temperature. No roll to
resist temperature extremes.
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic fails to affect ambient temperature and suffers one point of bashing
damage as his own internal body temperature goes haywire.
Failure: The psychic fails to affect the ambient temperature.
Success: Each success raises the ambient temperature as described above.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.
Option [Emotional Thermokinesis]: Whenever the thermokinetic is in the grip of strong emotion, Resolve
+ Composure is rolled with a dice penalty equal to the level of the emotion as described by the Emotional
Response table on p. 60. If the roll is unsuccessful, the thermokinetic’s powers function uncontrollably,
raising ambient temperature in random ways. A dramatic failure means this activity flares up at wild intervals
over the next several days whenever the psychic becomes agitated, possibly causing small fires. With
powerful Thermokinesis, catastrophic effects may occur. These random phenomena do not require the
expenditure of a Willpower point.
Telepathic Merits
Animal Empathy (•• or ••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 55
Effect: Although Animal Empathy is sometimes considered a rare gift, some parapsychologists speculate
that it is more common than it appears, since the average observer cannot readily distinguish between a
psychic with the innate ability to communicate with non-sentient creatures and an ordinary “horse whisperer”
who is simply “good with animals.” Regardless, this Merit combines a wide number of psychic effects,
including Mind Reading, Thought Projection and Emotion Control under a single power, albeit one which can
affect only animals. The two-dot version allows a psychic to affect a single species of animal such as dogs,
cats or rats. The four-dot version permits a psychic to affect any type of animal. Either version can allow a
psychic to affect multiple animals at once, although the power usually inflicts a dice penalty on a roll. Also, a
psychic attempting to control large numbers of animals at one time must give the same instructions to all of
them, and cannot send different animals off on individual missions without a separate roll for each of them.
There is also a separate Merit called Animal Rapport that creates a permanent psychic link with a single
animal. No version of this power can affect truly sentient animals or other beings that have transformed into
animals.
Cost: None if the psychic has time to interact with the animal and achieve some kind of rapport. If the
psychic has never seen the animal before or it is currently hostile, one Willpower point must be spent to
instantly seize control of the animal. One point of Willpower must be spent to control multiple animals
simultaneously.
Action: Instant or contested
Dice Pool: Wits + Animal Ken to communicate. Manipulation + Animal Ken (versus animal’s Resolve
rolled reflexively) to control.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the animal, making it immediately hostile.
Further attempts to use Animal Empathy against the animal fail automatically for the remainder of the scene.
Failure: The character fails to infl uence the animal in any way.
Success: The psychic can intuitively understand the animal’s mood and thought processes. Although true
communication is not yet possible, the psychic can intuit crude impressions such as “I’m hungry,” “I want to
play” or “That man beats me.” With Manipulation, the psychic can command the animal to follow simple
instructions such as “Heel,” “Fetch” or “Tear him apart!” Animals that were previously hostile become docile,
and trained guard dogs let an intruder walk right by.
Exceptional Success: The psychic can freely communicate with the animal, almost to the point of sharing
its senses. The psychic can also give relatively complex instructions and expect them to be obeyed, such as
“Go fetch Timmy! He’s in town at the movie theater, in the third row!” Dice Modifiers

Modifier Situation
Modifier Situation
+1 The psychic has previously used this power successfully on the same
animal(s).
0 The animal is a mammal or bird.
-1 The animal is a common fish or a group of up to three mammals.
-3 The animal is a single insect, a school/swarm of up to 25 fi sh or
vermin or a group of up to 10 larger mammals.
-5 The animal is a swarm of insects with a hive mentality, or a collective
group of up to 100 small creatures or up to 25 larger mammals.

Animal Possession (••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 56
Prerequisites: Animal Empathy •• or ••••. If the psychic has only the two-dot version of Animal Empathy,
he is limited to possessing the type of animal with which he is attuned. The four-dot version allows possession
of any type of animal.
Effect: Animal Possession builds on the power of Animal Empathy to actually allow a psychic to possess a
particular animal, totally controlling its body and perceiving through all of its senses. The psychic’s own body
is completely inert and helpless while this power is in effect, and she cannot perceive anything about her
body’s surroundings unless the possessed animal is nearby. If the character’s body is damaged, though, she
knows it and can reflexively end the possession after taking any damage, although she may be subject to a
killing blow (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168) in the duration of the possession. If the
character’s physical body is killed while possessing an animal, her mind dies as well. If the animal is killed
during the possession, the psychic’s mind is immediately sent back to her body.
This power requires the animal to be possessed to have at least the intelligence of a small rodent or fish.
Simpler creatures such as insects cannot be possessed. Possession lasts for one scene, but can be extended at
the cost of one Willpower point per scene. Under no circumstances can the time of possession last beyond a
number of hours equal to the lesser of the psychic’s Stamina or Resolve. This power cannot be used against
sentient creatures, including mages, vampires or werewolves who have simply assumed the forms of animals.
The psychic can never possess more than one animal at a time. The psychic also cannot possess an animal
smaller than a mouse. Animals larger than Size 5 confer a penalty on the roll.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Presence + Animal Ken versus animal’s Resolve; resistance is reflexive
Action: Contested
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the animal, making it immediately hostile.
Further attempts to use Animal Possession against the animal fail automatically for the remainder of the
scene.
Failure: The character fails to possess the animal.
Success: The psychic projects his own consciousness into the animal, totally controlling its body and
replacing its Mental (but not Social) Attributes with his own. The psychic cannot use any other psychic
powers while possessing the animal, although he can end the possession at any time. The animal’s Physical
Traits prevail.
Exceptional Success: The psychic can maintain the possession for up to the lesser of his Stamina or
Resolve in hours without paying any additional Willpower.

Dice Modifiers
Modifier Situation
+1 The psychic has previously used the Animal Possession power on the
animal to be possessed.
— The animal is a mammal or bird.
-1 Per point of the animal’s Size in excess of 5.
-2 The animal is a reptile or sophisticated aquatic life form such as a
dolphin or shark.
-4 The animal is a fish.

Animal Rapport (Variable)


Book: Second Sight, p. 57
Prerequisites: Animal Ken ••+
Effect: This Merit acts as a version of Animal Empathy. The character has an innate mental bond with a
single animal. The character can communicate with the creature, understanding its barks or hisses as speech
and allowing the animal to comprehend the character’s normal language. The character must speak to the
animal to communicate with it, but the expenditure of one Willpower point allows the character to
communicate non-verbally with his pet. The cost of this Merit is determined by the Size of the animal, based
on the chart below.

Merit Dots Size of Animal


3 Size 3 or smaller
4 Size 4 to Size 5
5 Size 6 to Size 10

No roll is ever required for verbal communication, but the character does not have the capacity to control
the creature outright. If he wishes it to do something that the animal might consider dangerous, you must win
a contested roll against the animal, which, while generally loyal, does not normally commit suicide on its
master’s behalf. Resolve or Composure is rolled reflexively for the animal, while Manipulation or Presence +
an appropriate Skill is rolled for the character.
The animal with which the character has a bond is a normal example of its species, but a side effect of the
rapport permanently increases the animal’s Intelligence by one. If the character seriously mistreats his pet, it
is capable of turning, at the Storyteller’s discretion. The character must be within line of sight to communicate
freely with the animal, but if the animal can hear the character even at great distance (such as Timmy yelling
from down a well a half-mile away), the animal likely travels as quickly as it can to its master’s location.
If the animal is ever lost or killed, experience spent or dots assigned to this Merit may be lost or reassigned
at the Storyteller’s discretion. The character may even forge a bond with another such amazing animal,
assuming one can be found.

Animal Possession (•• or •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 57
Effect: Aura Reading blurs the distinction between telepathy and ESP, as Aura Reading represents a form
of psychic perception, but also has elements of mind reading. According to telepaths who have this Merit, all
living things (and some “unliving” things) are surrounded by a nimbus of energy that is perceptible by
psychic means or by Kirlian photography. Aura Reading allows a psychic to perceive this otherwise invisible
halo, and with experience interpret its constantly changing hues to gain insights into a subject. Vampires and
mages have access to a similar power known as Aura Perception. Aura Reading, however, does not carry with
it the same level of sophistication. And yet, a talented psychic can deduce a target’s general emotional state
and perform such feats as determining whether the person is lying.
With the five-dot version, a knowledgeable telepath may use this power to recognize supernatural entities.
To a trained telepath, vampires are recognized by their extremely pale auras, werewolves by their vibrant
intensity and mages by sparkling lights that appear in the patterns. Dematerialized ghosts and spirits are also
visible with this power, as are astral projectors, but only faintly, and a psychic cannot communicate with them
without use of other powers. Regardless of the type of supernatural subject, a telepath must have some
familiarity with a sort of being to identify it. A psychic who has had opportunity to perceive the auras of
vampires might know that a mage is “not right” and also knows that she is not a vampire, but he would not
specifically realize that she is a mage unless he also had some familiarity with the auras of willworkers.
Both versions of this Merit require the expenditure of one Willpower point and an Intelligence + Empathy
roll, contested by a target’s Composure + Supernatural Advantage; resistance is reflexive. The two-dot
version requires the psychic to scrutinize the target for a number of turns equal to the target’s Composure
prior to the roll, and a target may be suspicious of someone staring intently at her if a reflexive Wits +
Composure (or possibly Wits + Occult) roll for her succeeds. The two-dot version automatically fails against
supernatural beings. The five-dot version can be used against supernatural beings, but otherwise functions as
the two-dot version. Once a psychic successfully reads a target’s aura, the psychic can continue to view it so
long as she maintains concentration, allowing her to observe the target for possible deception or even to
predict an imminent attack.
A failure on an attempt at Aura Reading means that the psychic is unable to discern an aura at all, while a
dramatic failure means she receives false or misleading information. Thus, the Storyteller should always roll
for the player when the possibility of a dramatic failure applies. A telepath who successfully reads the aura of
someone in the act of lying may recognize that the subject speaks falsely by rolling Intelligence + Empathy +
[the successes gained on the initial Aura Reading roll] versus the subject’s Composure + Subterfuge in a
contested action. If the psychic wins the roll, he recognizes the lie.
Applied toward reading the mood of potential combatants, this power grants its user a bonus to Initiative
equal to the number of successes rolled in activating the effect, provided the telepathic is actively reading the
aura of a target at the time that person initiates an attack.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy versus target’s Composure + Supernatural Advantage (resistance is
reflexive)
Action: Reflexive (though a subject may have to be studied in advance of making a roll)
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character gleans utterly misleading and wholly inaccurate information. The
Storyteller may wish to make any chance-die rolls for a player, to keep the true results secret.
Failure: The character can distinguish no information at all.
Success: The character can determine the target’s general mood and nature, possibly picking up details
about a supernatural being’s nature or whether a particular target is lying.
Exceptional Success: The character gains all the benefits of a normal success. In addition, the character
gains an additional +2 dice on all Social rolls made against the target for the remainder of the scene due to his
being so in tune with her personality.

Mental Blast (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 58
Prerequisites: Thought Projection ••••
Effect: An extremely rare and dangerous power, Mental Blast allows a telepath to damage the mind of
another being by force of will. The psychic uses Thought Projection with such force and intensity that it
overwhelms the victim’s brain, potentially causing a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. Each success achieved on
the attack inflicts one point of bashing damage on the target in the form of a blistering migraine. A sustained
attack may have lethal results. Fatalities inflicted with Mental Blast generally appear to be strokes or similar
maladies, but in some cases the power quite literally causes a victim’s head to explode. Once this power is
initiated, the psychic can maintain the assault, the player rolling again every turn so long as the attacker can
maintain concentration. While concentrating on the target, the psychic loses his Defense and can take no
action other than maintaining the assault and moving up to Speed in a turn. If the psychic’s concentration is
broken, another Willpower must be spent to initiate a new Mental Blast.
Cost: 1 Willpower on the first turn of a Mental Blast. The psychic can continue to inflict damage as long as
he can maintain concentration on his target.
Dice Pool: Presence + Intimidation – subject’s Stamina
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character suffers one point of bashing damage from psychic feedback and is unable
to use the power for the remainder of the scene.
Failure: The character fails to inflict any damage.
Success: The character inflicts damage as noted above.
Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward. Also, the target must roll her Stamina to
avoid knockout (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 168.)

Mind Breaker (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 58
Prerequisites: Thought Projection ••••
Effect: Mind Breaker does not inflict any damage on a victim. Instead, it inflicts either a temporary or
permanent derangement. Generally, the user simply inflicts madness, with the precise form of ailment is
determined by the Storyteller. If the psychic has specialized training as refl ected by Science ••• or higher with
a Specialty in Psychology or some similar field, the Storyteller may permit her to deliberately tailor the
victim’s madness. Derangements gained through use of this power cannot be removed by raising one’s
Morality trait.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Presence + Empathy versus the subject’s Resolve + Supernatural Advantage. Intelligence +
Science may be rolled instead for characters with specialized training in psychology or something similar,
with a successful roll permitting a telepath to tailor the derangement to his desire.
Action: Contested
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character suffers one Storyteller-chosen derangement for the remainder of the
scene.
Failure: The character fails to inflict madness on his target.
Success: The character gets more successes than the target, who suffers one mild derangement for the
remainder of the scene.
Exceptional Success: The character gets at least five successes and exceeds those of the target. If the
psychic wishes, the derangement inflicted may be severe instead of mild. Alternatively, the target can be
subjected to a permanent mild derangement that can be removed through only roleplaying.

Mind Control (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 59
Prerequisites: The psychic must deliver his instructions verbally unless he is capable of projecting his
thoughts.
One of the most insidious manifestations of psychic power, Mind Control permits a telepath to project his
mind to overcome a subject’s will and render the subject open to suggestion. Unless the character also has
Thought Projection or some similar advantage, he must verbally tell his subject what he wants her to do,
effectively making this power a form of paranormal hypnosis. Combined with Thought Projection, the
psychic can make anyone a puppet, silently seizing a victim’s will from across a room and making her his
slave. If he has both Thought Projection and Clairvoyance, he can command the mind of someone from across
a city like a modern-day Svengali.
Commands that force a subject to violate deeply held beliefs, to act against Virtues, or to harm loved ones
impose a penalty to the roll made for the psychic. Mind Control is effective only against ordinary people and
other psychics. A Mind Control attempt automatically fails against anyone who is the subject of a
supernatural template (such as mages, vampires and werewolves). However, ghouls, wolf-blooded and similar
beings may be affected, although they may gain bonus dice to resist in some circumstances (such as when a
ghoul is mentally controlled to betray his undead master).
The benefits of the Striking Looks Merit (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 117) apply to Mind
Control attempts, and psychics with the Hypnotic Voice Merit (see p. 66) gain a +2 bonus on all uses of this
power. The psychic must concentrate fully on his subject while conveying his instructions, suffering all the
normal penalties for concentration. How long this effort takes depends on the complexity of the instructions,
and may last for several turns. Once the command is issued, the psychic does not need to continue
concentrating. The telepath’s command must be something that can be completed within the scene or the
attempt fails, unless the telepath achieves an exceptional success.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion versus subject’s Resolve (resistance is reflexive)
Action: Contested; requires concentration while instructions are conveyed
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the target, making him instinctively
withdraw or distrust her. The target is also rendered immune to further Mind Control attempts by the psychic
for the next day.
Failure: The target ignores the character’s command.
Success: The target obeys the character’s command, provided that the order can be fulfilled within one
scene.
Exceptional Success: The player gets five or more successes and they exceed those of the target. There is
no time limit on how long the command can take to be executed.

Dice Modifiers
+1 The psychic has successfully used Mind Control on the subject within
the last week.
-1 The command forces the subject to act against a loved one or to
violate deeply held personal beliefs.
-2 The command forces the subject to harm a loved one or to act against
a Virtue.
-4 The command forces the subject to kill a loved one or perform an
action that might cause her to lose Morality.
-5 The command is clearly suicidal.

Mind Reading (••• to •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 60
Effect: Mind Reading is the essential telepathic power; the ability to read the thoughts of others. The three-
dot version permits a telepath to read the surface thoughts of an ordinary person, although the telepath cannot
yet perceive information that a subject does not currently think about. The four-dot version permits the
telepath to probe the mind of an ordinary person for buried information or even subconscious thoughts, or to
perceive the surface thoughts of beings who are the subject of a supernatural template, such as mages,
vampires or werewolves. The five-dot version permits the telepath to probe the buried thoughts of even
supernatural beings. This last version also allows a telepath to perform “light scans” of multiple minds at once
to discover who among several thinks something in particular (such as identifying which of several murder
suspects thinks, I killed her.)
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy versus the subject’s Composure + Supernatural Advantage (resistance is
reflexive)
Action: Contested
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in his target, making her instinctively withdraw
or distrust him. The target can also automatically resist any use of Telepathic Merits by the psychic for the
next day.
Failure: The character fails to read the target’s mind.
Success: The character can perceive the target’s thoughts, and the player is allowed to ask one question
about them per success. Surface scans are limited to what a subject currently thinks about, although a telepath
can attempt to manipulate a subject into thinking about something in particular with a successful
Manipulation + Subterfuge roll (contested by Wits + Subterfuge if the subject is aware of the telepath’s
capabilities). If the psychic is capable of deep scans, the player can ask questions about any topic, including
questions about a subject’s buried memories or even subconscious thoughts of which the subject is not even
aware.
Exceptional Success: Extra successes are their own reward. Also, the Storyteller may rule that the telepath
discovers some useful tidbit of information in the subject’s mind for which he wasn’t even searching.

Dice Modifiers
Modifier Situation
+1 The psychic has successfully used Mind Reading on the subject within the last week.
+1 The psychic touches the subject.
+1 The subject willingly consents to a telepathic probe.
+2 The subject willingly consents to a telepathic probe and also has this Merit, or, at the
Storyteller’s discretion, has some other supernatural or psychic power that conveys
telepathic abilities.
-1 The subject actively resists the telepathic probe and also has this Merit, or at the
Storyteller’s discretion has some other supernatural or psychic power that conveys
telepathic abilities.

Psychic Empathy (•••• or •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 60
Prerequisites: Aura Reading and Thought Projection (either version)
Effect: Psychic Empathy builds on the underlying power of Aura Reading, as the telepath moves from
merely perceiving the emotional aura of a target to actively manipulating it and thereby affecting the subject’s
mood. In order to use Psychic Empathy, a character must first successfully use Aura Reading on a target.
Once the character can clearly see the target’s aura, he can psychically “adjust the colors,” affecting her
mood. The four-dot version is only capable of short-term manipulations, while the five-dot version can
hardwire a victim to feel a particular emotional response for extended periods.
The intensity of any particular emotional state is determined by the chart below.

Emotional Response
0 No discernable signs of the emotional state.
-1 Noticeable signs of the emotional state.
-2 Obvious signs of the emotional state. A Resolve + Composure roll for the subject
must succeed to avoid acting on the emotion in minor ways (snide comments toward
someone he dislikes, flirting with the person for whom he now feels sexual attraction)
every time he has an opportunity to do so.
-3 Unambiguous signs of the emotional state. As with the previous entry, except that the
target must get at least as many successes on the Resolve + Composure as the empath
does on the Psychic Empathy roll to avoid acting out on the emotion in a very obvious
way (picking a fight with a person he now hates, acting in a subservient manner toward
a person he now loves).
-4 Overwhelming signs of the emotional state. The emotional state approaches or even
exceeds the level of a derangement (homicidal rage, suicidal depression, obsessive
stalking). A Willpower point must be spent for the subject to even attempt a Resolve +
Composure roll to contest the emotional compulsion, and he must still get as many
successes as the empath does on the activation roll. The target seeks out opportunities to
act on the emotion in obvious ways, and any attempt to conceal his state is
automatically reduced to a chance die.

Any attempt to manipulate a subject’s emotional state is penalized by the intensity of the emotion to be
created or suppressed. Thus, if an empath wanted to make a total stranger fall in love with her (i.e., moving
from no discernable signs (0) of love to unambiguous (–3) signs of love), the dice pool suffers a –3 penalty.
Or if an empath wants to totally suppress an enemy’s overwhelming (–4) hatred of her in order to allow for
peaceful interaction, the dice pool suffers a –4 penalty. Often, an empath seeks to produce an emotion that is
the opposite of one a target currently feels, such as causing a man to hate his beloved wife, or when she wants
a suicidal person to suddenly feel happy about his life. In such cases, the penalty is the total associated with
the previous emotion, plus the new one. Thus, converting a subject’s unambiguous (–3) love for his wife into
unambiguous (–3) hate inflicts a total –6 penalty.
Emotions produced with the four-dot version of this power last while the empath concentrates, or for the
duration of an entire scene if the empath achieves an exceptional success. The five-dot version automatically
lasts for at least a scene, and applies for a day with an exceptional success. With either version, the dice pool
for affecting emotions is Manipulation + Empathy, contested by the subject’s Resolve + Composure. The
five-dot version is capable of affecting a being with a supernatural template, but the four-dot version
automatically fails against such beings.
Any emotion can be affected by this power, and its parameters are limited mainly by the Storyteller’s
discretion and a player’s innovation. A few of the more commonly affected emotions include anger, happiness
or sadness, love, sexual libido, possessiveness (for an object or a person) and compassion. Only one
successful attempt can be made to alter a subject’s emotions per scene.
Cost: 1 Willpower per use. One Willpower must also be spent to activate the character’s Aura Reading
powers prior to manipulating a subject’s emotions.
Dice Pool: The psychic must first successfully use Aura Reading on the subject (see “Aura Reading” on p.
57). The roll to alter emotions is Manipulation + Empathy versus Resolve + Composure (resistance is
reflexive).
Action: Contested
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the target, making him instinctively
withdraw or distrust her. The subject is also immune to the psychic’s Psychic Empathy for the rest of the
scene.
Failure: The character fails to influence the target’s emotions.
Success: The subject’s emotions change according to the empath’s desires.
Exceptional Success: The emotional change lasts for a longer period of time. With the four-dot version, the
effect persists for a scene without concentration. With the five-dot version, the effect lasts for a day.
Option [Limited Empath]: The empath’s powers are limited in some way, such as in the type of person
affected, the type of emotion manipulated or the type of person or object that can be made the subject of an
altered emotional connection. The dice bonus is determined by how specific and limited the empath’s powers
are. An empath who can affect only women might gain a +1 bonus, while one whose sole power is to trigger
intense misogyny in other men might gain a +3 bonus.
Option [Touch Only]: With this option, the empath can affect another’s emotional state only while
physically touching the target, (although concentration is all that’s required after contact is made). See
“Touching an Opponent,” the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 157.
Option [Uncontrolled]: With this option, the empath’s power is not totally under his control. Whenever he
experiences a profound emotion, a reflexive Resolve + Composure roll must be made, with a penalty based on
the emotion as determined by the response table, above. If the roll is unsuccessful, Presence + Empathy is
rolled, plus a bonus equal to the emotion’s rating, with everyone in his vicinity making a contested Resolve +
Composure roll. Anyone who fails to get as many or more successes than the empath instantly experiences the
same emotion as the character. Uncontrolled uses of Psychic Empathy do not require use of Aura Reading or
the expenditure of a Willpower point. Deliberate uses of this power functions as normal, except that with this
option, the empath has a +2 bonus.

Psychic Illusions (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 61
Prerequisites: Mind Control and Thought Projection (either version)
Effect: This power represents a refinement of the Mind Control Merit. Instead of giving hypnotic
commands to the target, a telepath causes the subject to see something that isn’t there, or to misapprehend
some element of his surroundings. The telepath must be able to see the person to be affected, although
clairvoyance can substitute for direct observation. Cameras and videotapes are never affected by a psychic
illusion. The illusions created can affect any normal senses that the illusionist possesses. The illusionist
cannot create an image capable of deceiving psychic powers, so a clairvoyant remotely viewing the scene is
not deceived. Likewise, a psychic cannot create an illusion of something he cannot perceive, such as a deaf
character creating an illusion that includes an auditory element.
The default use of this power assumes that only one sense is affected, and each additional sense affected
imposes a –1 penalty to the roll. The player’s Manipulation + Persuasion roll is resisted by the Composure +
Supernatural Advantage of any observers (roll the highest pool for a mob of onlookers) in a contested action.
Theoretically, the illusionist can fool any number of people with a particular illusion, but the maximum
number of people who can easily be affected at the same time equals the psychic’s Intelligence +
Manipulation. Each additional person imposes a –1 penalty to the activation roll. Thus, the more people who
are present, the greater the likelihood that some or all are able to see through the deception.
Normally, an illusion is static and cannot interact with beings. If the illusionist wishes his visions to interact
with someone who is deceived by them (such as having a “phantom police officer” direct observers away
from a crime scene), the player must roll Wits + Persuasion as an instant action. If this roll fails, onlookers see
through the illusion, even if they had been previously fooled. Such follow-up rolls are only required when the
illusion must be made to interact with an observer in a fairly direct manner. So, if the interactive police officer
fools an observer, a reroll is required only if the observer actively tries to engage the police office somehow
(whether through communication or an attack), or if the psychic wishes to have the police officer interact in
some new and different way, such as writing a ticket.
Regardless of how convincing an illusion is, it is never solid, although it “feels” solid to a deceived
observer if the illusionist incorporates tactile sensations into the creation. An illusory chair is not capable of
supporting an observer’s weight, no matter how strongly she believes in it. An illusory wall does not prevent
someone from passing through it if she leans against it, although both may feel perfectly solid to the casual
touch. So, an illusionary item cannot be used as a weapon; any attack with an illusionary weapon fails.
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion versus the target’s Composure + Supernatural Advantage to create
illusions (resistance is reflexive). Wits + Persuasion to manipulate existing illusions.
Cost: 1 Willpower. Also, the character must maintain concentration for the duration of the illusion,
meaning that he can take no action other than moving Speed per turn, and he loses his Defense.
Action: Contested to activate; instant to manipulate
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback, making every potential observer in the vicinity
instinctively withdraw or distrust her. Also, the illusionist is unable to use this power again for the remainder
of the scene.
Failure: The psychic fails to create any illusion at all.
Success: Any affected targets perceive whatever sensory effect the psychic desires.
Exceptional Success: The illusions created are highly realistic. The psychic no longer needs to maintain
concentration, although a Wits + Persuasion roll must still be made to cause the illusion to move or react in
any way.

Psychic Invisibility (•••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 62
Prerequisites: Mind Control and Thought Projection (either version)
As the name suggests, Psychic Invisibility represents a psychic’s ability to “cloud men’s minds” so that
onlookers cannot perceive him. The character is not truly invisible; cameras are not affected by this power
and anyone sufficiently perceptive can see through the deception. The psychic cannot disappear from view if
he has already been seen, but any witnesses he encounters after the power is activated are typically unable to
see him unless he does something to call attention to himself. If the psychic affects any physical object while
a potential observer is looking, or he makes any particularly loud sound, the invisibility ends automatically for
observers. Also, the character must maintain concentration for the duration of the power’s use. He loses his
Defense and can take no actions other than moving up to Speed in a turn.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Stealth versus an observer’s Resolve + Supernatural Advantage (resistance is
reflexive). If a mob is affected, make one roll for the group using the highest dice pool of its members.
Action: Contested, and requires concentration
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The psychic is convinced that she is invisible and acts accordingly, even though any
onlookers are able to see her.
Failure: The psychic fails to hide her appearance.
Success: The psychic activates her psychic invisibility power. If anyone in a group points the character out,
all onlookers can see her.
Exceptional Success: The psychic no longer needs to concentrate to maintain invisibility and can take
other actions (although any interaction with her environment may end the effect). If she performs no actions,
the effect lasts for the remainder of the scene.

Telepathic Communication (••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 63
Prerequisites: Thought Projection •••• Having mastered both Mind Reading and Thought Projection, the
telepath can now initiate two-way telepathic communication with another person. The contact must be within
line of sight unless the psychic has a Telepathic Rapport with the other party (see below). This power fails
automatically if the other party does not wish to communicate. The psychic cannot perceive any thoughts
other than those a subject wishes to send, unless the psychic also uses Mind Reading, even if the other party is
willing. Each use of the Merit lasts no longer than one scene, even if both sides remain within sight of each
other.
Cost: 1 Willpower to allow communication for the rest of the scene
Dice Pool: Presence + Empathy
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the subject, making her instinctively
withdraw or distrust him. Also, the character might transmit his thoughts to a different party than he intends,
or even send thoughts that he did not intend.
Failure: The character fails to initiate communication, but can try again.
Success: The character successfully initiates psychic communication with his target. He can freely send
thoughts to the other party, and he can freely hear whatever thought messages the other party wishes to send
back.
Exceptional Success: The character gains a +2 bonus on any subsequent use of a telepathic Merit in regard
to the other party for the remainder of the scene.

Telepathic Rapport (•••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 63
Prerequisite: Telepathic Communication The telepath can establish a permanent telepathic connection with
the mind of another person, allowing the character to form a psychic link with the subject from anywhere in
the world with the expenditure of a Willpower dot. This Merit can be taken multiple times to refl ect having
more than one rapport, up to a maximum number at one time equal to the psychic’s Intelligence. If the other
party to a rapport dies, the dot spent is lost. The other party may never sever the rapport once it’s formed, but
the telepath may voluntarily end it, still losing the Willpower dot spent. Only the character who possesses this
Merit can freely initiate telepathic communication, and the other party must develop this Merit himself in
order to initiate a link on his own, assuming he is even someone capable of doing so. A telepathic rapport
cannot be forged with an unwilling target, or with someone the psychic doesn’t know closely.
Any telepath who meets the prerequisites can forge a new rapport, but the telepath must successfully use
Mind Reading and Thought Projection on the other party and spend a permanent Willpower dot. Once the link
is achieved, the telepath can activate the rapport without a roll. Also, if anyone with whom a telepath has a
rapport experiences intense emotion, such as being in great danger, the telepath may be able to sense the
emotion at any distance with a reflexive Wits + Empathy roll. This roll should be made by the Storyteller.
This Merit allows a character to forge a new rapport whenever she wishes, and a significant number of
other Merits are required as prerequisites. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a character can develop a single
Telepathic Rapport as a two-dot Merit at character creation, without possessing the prerequisite Merits or
indeed any other psychic Merits. This rapport must be with some other person close to the character, such as a
parent or twin sibling, and represents a paranormal bond not dependent on the character’s facility with
telepathy. The character is not able to create any new rapports unless she acquires the full, three-dot
Telepathic Rapport Merit and all its prerequisites.
Regaining Willpower dots lost from broken rapports costs eight experience points each.
Cost: 1 Willpower point per scene to activate communication with a single subject
Dice Pool: None to activate, as once the rapport is purchased, it can be turned on and off at will. Wits +
Empathy (rolled by the Storyteller) to know when the other party is in danger or undergoes intense emotion.
Action: Reflexive
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The telepath grossly misinterprets the emotions experienced by the other party.
Failure: The telepath fails to sense the other party’s emotional state.
Success: The telepath intuitively knows that the other party is experiencing pain, fear or some other intense
emotion.
Exceptional Success: The telepath gains limited insight into exactly what situation the other party faces,
even if the subject is unable to communicate such information directly. For example, instead of simply
knowing that the other experiences fear, the telepath knows he is afraid of a pack of guard dogs that pursues
him. If the subject experiences pain, the telepath realizes he has just been stabbed. Also, the telepath has an
intuitive idea of where the other party is.

Though Projection (••• or ••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 64
Prerequisites: Mind Reading •••••
Effect: The telepath can move beyond simple mind reading to actually projecting his thoughts into the
mind of another. A telepath cannot usually transmit thoughts beyond his line of sight. With the four-dot
version, however, he can communicate with individuals outside his line of sight at a penalty determined by his
degree of psychic connection to a target. Even with the three-dot version, a telepathcan communicate with
someone in a distant location if he is able to perceive the subject through clairvoyance. If the psychic also
wishes to read the thoughts of the person to whom he sends, he must also activate his Mind Reading Merit (p.
60), which normally requires the expenditure of a second Willpower point in a subsequent turn.
Cost: 1 Willpower to allow thought transmission to a single subject for the rest of the scene. If thoughts are
to be sent to someone else in that time, the first connection must be broken. The new connection costs another
Willpower point. If the first connection is to be re-established, yet another Willpower must be spent.
Dice Pool: Presence + Empathy [versus Resolve + Supernatural Advantage if the subject is unwilling
(resistance is reflexive)]
Action: Instant if the subject is willing; resisted is he’s unwilling
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The character triggers psychic feedback in the subject, making her instinctively
withdraw or distrust him. Also, the character might transmit his thoughts to a different party than he intended,
or even send thoughts that he did not intend to send.
Failure: The character fails to transmit his thoughts, but can try again.
Success: The character successfully transmits his thoughts to his target. He can continue to send thoughts
for the rest of the scene.
Exceptional Success: The gains a +2 bonus on any subsequent use of a telepathic Merit against the other
party for the remainder of the scene.

Dice Psychic Connection


Modifier
— The target of the telepathic communication is within line of sight. No connection is
necessary.
-1 Intimate. The target is a longtime friend or close family member.
-3 Known. The target is a friend or co-worker about whom a great deal is known.
-5 Acquainted. The telepath has met the target several times. This is the weakest level of
connection that allows long-range telepathic communication.
Other New Merits
Anti-Psi (•••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 64
Prerequisites: None, but the character can have no other Merits that confer psychic powers.
Effect: Anti-Psi is a rare ability, the existence of which has only recently been theorized by
parapsychologists. A person gifted with Anti-Psi (who can never be an active psychic) has the power to
greatly inhibit psychic powers by her mere presence. Any individual who strongly disbelieves in psychic
phenomena can impose a –1 or –2 penalty on a psychic’s abilities (see Doubting Thomas, below), but an
Anti-Psi goes even further, literally jamming a psychic’s ability to function at all. Any psychic in the presence
of an Anti-Psi is automatically reduced to a chance die on any attempts to use psychic powers. A person with
this Merit likely has no idea that she has any special abilities, and simply ascribes any failure of psychics to
perform in her presence as proof of the fraudulent nature of such phenomena. This Merit has no effect on the
paranormal abilities of supernatural creatures.
Drawback: Any character with this Merit also suffers from a severe derangement triggered by the presence
of overt psychic phenomena. Whenever the character is confronted by another person claiming to have
psychic powers, or by clear evidence of psychic phenomena, the Anti-Psi manifests an intense hostility
toward the object of the offense. Exactly how this derangement plays out is for you to decide, but the
character is likely obsessed with debunking the psychic’s claims and exposing him publicly as a fraud.
Possible derangements include Hysteria, Megalomania, Paranoia and Anxiety (see the World of Darkness
Rulebook, pp. 97–98).

Believers (• to •••••)
Book: Second Sight, p. 64
Prerequisites: Any Psychic Merit
Effect: Believers are typically Storyteller characters who serve as assistants to a psychic character and who
unconditionally believe in the psychic’s powers. Believers are essentially the same as Retainers (see the
World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 116), except that the Believers’ strong belief in psychic phenomena allows
them to aid the character in using his powers. When a psychic is assisted by Believers, he gains a +1 bonus to
a power’s roll for each dot in this Merit, assuming that at least the same number of such people are present.
Normally, this bonus is limited to a +3. Some Merit options can allow the bonus gained from Believers to go
as high as +5. So, if Believers ••• is possessed and only two such people are actually present, a +2 bonus is
gained. If seven Believers are present and only three dots are possessed when using another Merit, only +3 is
gained. If a psychic suffers a dramatic failure while using a power, the results never cause a Believer to
withdraw or develop an aversion to the psychic.

Doubting Thomas (•)


Book: Second Sight, p. 65
Prerequisites: None, but the character can have no other Merits that confer psychic powers.
Effect: A Doubting Thomas is a mortal who strongly and emphatically rejects the existence of psychic
phenomena. Almost anyone can simply doubt the existence of such possibilities, but a Doubting Thomas is
almost pathological on the subject, as the character himself has a latent potential for psychic powers that he
cannot use due to a persistent mental block. The character’s latent abilities are channeled into negating any
actual psychic powers in his vicinity in order to help preserve his belief that the possibility is not real. Any
attempt to use obvious psychic powers in the Doubting Thomas’ presence automatically suffers a –2 penalty,
as he constantly watches the psychic for the slightest hint of fraud. If multiple Thomases are in a psychic’s
presence, the penalties they impose are cumulative.
Drawback: A Doubting Thomas also suffers from a mild derangement triggered by assertions of psychic
phenomena. Precisely how this ailment manifests is determined by you, but a Doubting Thomas confronted
by phenomena purported to be psychic is likely compelled to confront the performer and try to debunk her
claims. Common derangements for Doubting Thomases include Fixation, Suspicion and Irrationality (see the
World of Darkness Rulebook, pp. 97–99).

Ghost Ally (••• to •••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 65
Effect: Unlike the Allies Merit available in the World of Darkness Rulebook, which represents infl uence
in a particular field or area, a Ghost Ally represents a specific being — a ghost who is able and willing to aid
the character in her endeavors.
A Ghost Ally is built as follows. First, he has seven dots in Attributes, divided among Power, Finesse and
Resistance. These Attributes are used to determine the rest of the ghost’s Advantages according to the rules
outlined on p. 208 of the World of Darkness Rulebook. The Ghost Ally has both a Virtue and a Vice, but no
Skills. The Ghost Ally has a maximum Essence pool of 10 that is used to fuel Numina. The Ghost Ally has
one Numen, chosen from those listed in the World of Darkness Rulebook. The Ally also has a single anchor
that must be the character with whom the being is connected.
Finally, a Ghost Ally has a set number of bonus points used to flesh out the restless-dead character. With
this Merit at three dots, a Ghost Ally has six bonus points, while the four-dot Merit offers 12 bonus points,
and the five-dot version offers 18. These bonus points can be spent as follows: six points per additional
Attribute dot, three When a psychic is assisted by Believers, he gains a +1 bonus points per additional anchor
and six points per additional Numen. Also, for six points, the bond between ghost and character is made so
strong that the character can see and hear the ghost when it is present, even without any psychic abilities.
Without such a bond, the character cannot perceive the ghost unless it manifests or otherwise makes its
presence known.

Hypnotic Voice (••••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 66
Prerequisites: Persuasion ••• or Science ••• (with a Specialty in Hypnotherapy or a related field)
Effect: Although not truly a psychic power, Hypnotic Voice is certainly capable of eerie effects. Whether
through training in psychology or simply through having a deep, soothing voice, a character with this Merit is
capable of hypnotizing others into trance states. The character can hypnotize anyone given the opportunity,
but it is much easier if the subject is willing. While in a hypnotic trance, a subject can be given suggestions or
forced to confront repressed memories, possibly memories stolen by vampiric Disciplines or repressed due to
Lunacy triggered by werewolves, or Disbelief invoked by vulgar magic.
Inducing a Light Trance
In order to begin the process of hypnotizing a subject, Manipulation + Persuasion or Science (depending on
which Skill is used as the prerequisite for the Merit) is rolled. If the subject is willing, the roll is extended but
not contested, and the hypnotist must accumulate [subject’s Resolve x5] successes, with each roll representing
10 seconds of induction. If the subject is unwilling, he can resist with Composure + Supernatural Advantage
in contested rolls; resistance is reflexive. If the subject ever gets more successes in a single roll, he realizes
what the hypnotist is attempting and any further attempts to hypnotize the subject fail automatically. If the
subject and hypnotist ever get the same number of successes in a roll, the subject does not begin to enter a
trance, but doesn’t realize what the hypnotist attempts either, so the performer can proceed. If the hypnotist’s
successes on a roll are ever five or more and exceed the subject’s in that period, the victim begins to enter a
trance despite himself and suffers a –1 penalty on all subsequent contested rolls. The hypnotist must have a
target’s undivided attention. She cannot hypnotize someone carrying on a conversation with someone else, or
who intently watches television while paying the hypnotist no mind.
Once the player accumulates enough successes, the subject is successfully placed into a light trance. The
subject is not able to initiate any hostile actions until he wakes up, and is highly suggestible. The hypnotist
can induce an entranced subject to give up any non-intimate information or to perform almost any non-
hazardous action with a successful Manipulation + Persuasion roll. A light trance lasts for a scene before the
subject comes out of it. The trance ends automatically if someone makes a loud noise or even physically
shakes the subject, and the hypnotist can wake the subject whenever she desires. If the hypnotist attempts to
get the subject to do something that violates her Morality or her Virtue, or that is obviously dangerous or
suicidal, the trance ends immediately.
Cost: None
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion or Science (Hypnotherapy Specialty), possibly contested by
Composure + Supernatural Advantage
Action: Extended (subject willing) or extended and contested (subject unwilling). The hypnotist must
accumulate successes equal to the target’s Resolve x5, with each roll representing 10 seconds of speech.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The hypnotist fails to entrance his subject and loses any accumulated successes. If the
subject was unwilling, she automatically knows that the hypnotist was attempting to hypnotize her and may
react accordingly. Any subsequent attempts to hypnotize the subject (or indeed, anyone else who saw what
happened) fail automatically.
Failure: The character gathers no successes at this time.
Success: The character gets the required number of successes and the subject is placed in a light trance.
Exceptional Success: The character gathers five or more successes than required. The character gains a +2
bonus on any Social rolls against the subject for the remainder of the trance.

Dice Modifiers Situation


+2 The subject is intoxicated, drugged or otherwise mentally impaired.
+1 The subject is under peer pressure to submit to hypnosis, most
commonly during a stage-hypnotist show.

Deepening the Trance


Once a subject is put into a light trance, the character can attempt to hypnotize him further. The player must
roll Manipulation + Persuasion (– the subject’s Composure). While such a deep trance lasts, the hypnotist
gains a +2 bonus on all Social rolls against the subject (+5 with an exceptional success), she can persuade him
to perform almost any non-dangerous action, and she can give post-hypnotic suggestions that can affect the
subject’s perceptions or even beliefs (such as the stereotypical depiction of the hypnotist making a subject
bark like a dog). A deep trance lasts for a scene, after which the subject goes into a normal sleep and stays out
for hours unless awoken by mundane means.
While the subject is in a deep trance, the hypnotist can attempt to get him to perform actions that violate his
Morality or Virtue, or that are obviously dangerous or suicidal. The hypnotist must phrase such commands in
a manner calculated to work around the subject’s beliefs, however. A conservative preacher might rebel at
being ordered to strip down in front of strangers, but if persuaded that he was a male dancer, such inhibitions
can be overcome. Commands calculated to overcome Morality or Virtue or that place a subject in grave
danger suffer a penalty in a Social roll based on how well the hypnotist works around the subject’s
inhibitions.
Cost: None
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion – subject’s Composure
Action: Instant, although the roll can be made only after at least five minutes of induction
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The hypnotist fails to entrance the subject, who instantly awakens.
Failure: The character fails to induce the subject to enter a deep trance. Other attempts can be made if time
permits.
Success: The subject is placed in a deep trance. The character gains a +2 bonus on any Social rolls against
the target for the remainder of the trance.
Exceptional Success: The subject is placed into an exceptionally deep trance. The character gains a +5
bonus on all Social rolls against the subject for the rest of the trance.

Dice Modifiers Situation


+2 The subject is intoxicated, drugged or otherwise mentally impaired.
+1 The subject is under peer pressure to submit to hypnosis, most
commonly during a stage-hypnotist show.

Memory Recovery
Once a subject has been put into a deep trance, the hypnotist can attempt to help him to recover repressed or
stolen memories, although doing so might be highly traumatic for the subject depending on the experiences’
nature. The player must roll Manipulation + Persuasion, resisted by the subject’s Resolve + Supernatural
Advantage, and accumulate [the subject’s Resolve x5] in successes, all as part of an extended and contested
action. The player’s dice pool also suffers a penalty according to the nature of the memories recovered. The
hypnotist must achieve an exceptional success (gather five or more successes than needed in the time allowed
or under the circumstances) for the subject to be able to recall the repressed memories after waking from the
trance. If more successes are ever achieved for the subject in any contested roll, that memory cannot be
restored by the hypnotist in this effort. Another attempt may be made after 24 hours.
Cost: None
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Persuasion versus the subject’s Resolve + Supernatural Advantage (resistance is
reflexive)
Action: Extended and contested, with each roll representing 30 minutes of hypnotherapy
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The hypnotist’s attempts to dredge up the lost memories traumatizes the subject,
inflicting a mild derangement on him.
Failure: The character gathers no successes at this time.
Success: The character gets the required number of successes. The subject is able to recall the lost
memories while under a trance, but does not recall them while awake.
Exceptional Success: Five or more successes than required are accumulated. The subject recalls the lost
memories after awakening.

Dice Modifier Lost Memories


— Non-traumatic events that have simply been forgotten.
-2 Traumatic but mundane events such as childhood circumstances or a sexual
assault.
-4 “Unintentional” supernatural infl uences that have affected the subject’s
memories, such as Disbelief triggered by the actions of a mage or Lunacy triggered
by a werewolf.
-5 “Deliberate” supernatural effects intended to alter the subject’s memories, such
as vampiric Disciplines or effects created with the Mind Arcana.

Lucid Dreamer (•)


Book: Second Sight, p. 67
Effect: The Lucid Dreamer Merit is common among both ordinary people and psychics. It represents the
capacity to realize that one is dreaming and that such dreams cannot truly cause harm. Your character is rarely
troubled by any but the most terrifying of mundane nightmares, although he remains vulnerable to
supernaturally or psychically induced ones. The Dreamer can defend himself against attacks by psychics who
have the Dream Travel Merit. When a Lucid Dreamer is psychically attacked within one of his own dreams,
his Composure is considered to be +2 for purposes of determining whether a dream attack can harm him.
Second, a Lucid Dreamer can initiate attacks against intruders of his dreams. One Willpower point must be
spent per attack, and each attack is resolved according to the rules for Dream Travel described on p. 38.
Unless a Lucid Dreamer has the power of Dream Travel, he can initiate these attacks only within his own
dreams.

Psychic Resistance (• to •••)


Book: Second Sight, p. 67
Effect: Your character, either through extensive training or natural ability, has an innate resistance to
invasive telepathic powers such as Mind Breaker, Mind Control, Mind Reading and Psychic Empathy. This
resistance might take the form of performing math problems mentally, quoting nursery rhymes or even
praying fervently. With even one dot, the character can tell if a psychic attempts to use a telepathic or other
mind-affecting psychic power on him with a successful Wits + Composure roll (made reflexively by the
Storyteller). The character’s Psychic Resistance dots are also added to his Resolve or Composure when
rolling to contest any psychic powers that affect his mind. Neither powers directed against his body (such as
Psychic Vampirism or Telekinetic Grapples) nor psychic powers that affect the mind but that do not allow a
contested roll (such as Mental Blast or Psychic Invisibility) are affected by this Merit. The benefits of this
Merit do not apply to mind-controlling effects used by vampires, werewolves or mages.
Relic Merits
The Merits below all tie in with mystical objects and relics somehow. If a character possessing such a Merit
loses the object to which it refers (where applicable), the Merit dots are lost. This list was compiled form the
Reliquary book.

Relic Creator (••••)


Book: Reliquary, p. 85
Prerequisites: Occult 2, Crafts 2
Effect: The character can create limited-use mystical items, such as a Hand of Glory or the Writ of Safe
Haven (see p. 79-81). Doing so is a time-consuming and sometimes expensive or dangerous process, and not
even the most talented and prolific craftsman can churn out such objects quickly.
To create a relic, the character must first have suitable materials. This might require the character to procure
components or ingredients. If any preparation is required (carving a statue or writing a poem, for instance),
the player makes the appropriate rolls to make the vessel ready for magic (typically Dexterity + Crafts or
Manipulation + Expression).
Once the object is ready, the character performs a ritual appropriate to her style of magic and the type of
enchantment she is trying to lay upon the object. The player makes an extended Resolve + Occult roll. The
target number of successes is equal to five times the relic’s rating, based on the formula presented under the
Relic Merit, below. Every roll takes one hour of work, prayer, chanting, dancing or whatever activity is
appropriate to the ritual. The player may only make a number of rolls equal to the character’s Resolve +
Occult dice pool.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The object has taken on the appropriate magical properties, as far as the creator can tell,
but in fact the object has become tainted by faulty enchantment. It takes on a curse (see p. 113-116), which
becomes activated when the object’s magic would normally take effect.
Failure: The character accumulates no successes. If the number of rolls surpasses the character’s Resolve +
Occult pool before the target is reached, the magic doesn’t “take.” The item must be ritually cleansed and re-
enchanted.
Success: The character makes progress toward the goal. If she reaches the target number of successes, the
relic is complete and functions as described in Chapter Two.
Exceptional Success: Significant progress is made toward the goal. No other effect.

Relic (• to •••••)
Book: Reliquary, p. 85
Effect: The character owns a mystical object or relic. How the character came to own the object is up to the
player. The character might have inherited the object, stolen it, purchased it or just found it by sheer luck.
Note that this Merit only represents an object that a character begins play with; if your character finds a relic
during a story, you don’t need to pay the experience points for it.
Relics have a variable point cost, determined as follows:
Condition Cost in Merit Dots
Powers +1 per Power dot
Durability +1 per dot
Equipment Bonus +1 per dot (maximum of +5 above what such an item would
normally confer)
Bonded (the item only works for this +1
character)
Cost -1 per dot of Cost (see p. 116-117)
Curses/Drawbacks -2 per Curse (see p. 113-116)

Example: Matt, in creating a new character for Chuck’s chronicle, decides to put some Merit points into a
relic. He has visions of a ring that looks plain, but in fact contains a deep and abiding power.
Right off the bat, Matt decides he doesn’t want to deal with anyone stealing the ring and using it on him.
The ring is Bonded to his character (1 dot). He decides against raising its Durability, and a ring doesn’t
normally confer an equipment bonus anyway, so he doesn’t spend points in those areas. For Powers (see p.
87-113 for a full list of Relic Powers), Matt chooses Hypnotic Suggestion and Reward Temptation — the ring
allows the wielder greater benefit from indulging his Vice and great opportunity to do so. These are both two-
dot Powers, which raises the total to five; a little more than Matt was hoping to spend.
Fortunately, there are ways to lower the cost. Matt decides that the ring is Cursed (see p. 113). Yes, using it
can grant the character untold amounts of pleasure and mental fortitude, but it saps his physical well-being.
The ring has the Leech curse, sapping the character’s Health away every time he uses it. Matt decides that this
Health loss manifests as a wracking cough, sometimes with a bit of blood. This drops the total cost to 3 Merit
dots, which both Matt and Chuck feel is fair. All that remains is for Matt to figure out where he got the ring,
what it looks like and how he discovered its powers, all details that he will work into his character’s prelude.
Note: The reduction in price for taking Costs is only applicable if these costs are taken in conjunction with
the specified cost of the chosen Power(s), not as a replacement for the costs listed. If the relic only works at
night, and its Power still costs the specified Willpower to activate, the builder can subtract the appropriate 1-
dot Cost value for a Temporal Cost. If the relic only works at night, and the builder takes this limitation in
place of its Willpower cost, it does not lower the relic’s overall cost.)

Relic Analyst (•)


Book: Reliquary, p. 86
Effect: The character has an instinctive understanding of how relics work, what their capabilities are, and
how to make use of them. This understanding is by no means complete, nor does it grant prescience about
curses or other pitfalls of the relic. This Merit grants a +1 to any attempts to figure out an item’s “trigger”
condition or activation, detect curses and any other roll that involves figuring out practical (not historical)
uses for a mystical object (see p. 132 of Chapter 4 for a sample scenario).
Changing Breeds Merits
The next list of merits is only for Ferals. As your shapechanger grows “into his skin” so to speak, you can
add more Merits to his original traits, or raise the ones he already has to higher levels.

Animal Companion (• to ••••)


Book: Changing Breeds, p. 95
Effect: A feral’s affinity for Nature runs deep. Sometimes, that affinity returns his affection. Similar to the
Retainer Merit, Animal Companion reflects a single beast who loyally follows your character. This creature
could be your breed-kin, but she doesn’t have to be. It’s possible she’s an old pet or new partner who’s not
spooked by the beast-blood’s changing skin.
To purchase the Merit, you must decide the back story between your feral and his friend. Does their bond
predate the First Change? If so, how old is the animal now, and how did their affinity survive her “master’s”
new life? Is this a new companion, and if so, how did the normal animal bond with the shape changing beast?
Whatever their tale might be, this companion is smart, useful and independent. A rat in a cage or a dog in the
yard isn’t a Merit — she’s a pet.
The dots in this Merit reflect the animal’s power, intellect and often size. The higher the trait, the more
capable the companion. A one-dot beast could be a smart rat or clever bird, a two-dot Merit might reflect a
loyal (if finicky) cat, three points could buy a common-looking but brilliant companion such as Lassie or
Trigger; at the top of the scale, the companion stands out in any setting — a tiger, bear, dolphin or
chimpanzee whose physical and mental capacity would be impressive even if she weren’t devoted to her
apparent “master.”
Unless the Animal Companion is driven off by poor treatment or otherwise killed, she remains a loyal
element in the character’s life. She will do whatever she can to assist him, and regard him with the ultimate
affection. The details, naturally, depend on her species — a devoted cat or loyal snake won’t show devotion
the way a dog might. Still, unless that bond is severed by death or abuse, the Animal Companion is yours for
life. (If this “Merit” is killed off, all points regarding her are lost.)
Drawback: Unlike the Retainer Merit, an Animal Companion is just that: an animal. She won’t have free
access to Man’s world, and remains limited by manual dexterity, mental perspective and social rules. Lassie
may be a great dog, but she still can’t drive to the bank and cash a check.
Powerful animals are often exotic, too, and they stand out on a city street. Most places have laws against
horses in public, and almost all human societies regulate private “ownership” of tigers, bears and so forth. The
beast may spook other animals, and will probably follow her instincts if prey happens to be nearby. Loyal as
she might be, this friend retains her bestial habits and needs; she might trash an office, eat a garden or throw
feces at the cops if that’s what seems natural. Your feral might adore his companion, but a smart, powerful
animal remains a high-maintenance friend.

Beast-Kin (••••)
Book: Changing Breeds, p. 95
Effect: Not everyone affiliated with the changing breeds actually transforms. This Merit reflects a character
whose First Change has not yet arrived, and might never arrive. Kin to the feral folk, this person lives in the
shadow of their world. He hears odd stirrings in the back bedroom, sees fur or feathers too thick for normal
explanations. Perhaps he serves one of the Regencies, surrounded by hopeful relatives. Or languishes in a
backwater swamp, tending the gator that just happens to be his sister, too.
The upside? This character is immune to the Delusion and the primal terror associated with werewolves. He
understands how far back the curtain of “reality” can be drawn, and sees at least a glimpse of the parties
behind it. Chances are, he’s very good with animals; although the breed of his associated beast might terrify
him, he shares a deep affinity with it. He can understand animals through body language and vocal cues, and
while he’s no Dr. Doolittle, they often understand him, too. For now, this character exists on the cusp of a
world that may or may not take him in completely. Even so, he knows more about that world than most.
Drawback: That world is no gentle playground. Despite the New Age fascination with “spirit totems” and
such, the animal realm is harsh by human standards and the feral one even more so. Enemies of the
shapeshifter or her clan often target the kin when they want to make their presence known. Meanwhile, that
shapeshifter in her clan might abuse, neglect or despise the “weakling” among them. Feral clans, even the
wealthy ones, are notoriously hard on their members, and all it takes is one bad day to turn Mommy or Big
Brother into the lion at the door. (Note: If the First Change finally overtakes this character, the Merit gets
“traded” for the feral supernatural template).
Pack (• to •••••)
Book: Changing Breeds, p. 96
Effect: See that flock of ravens following the chick next door? The yard full of dogs down the street? That
person might be a real animal lover . . . or she could be a feral with a “pack” of associated kin.
Similar to the Animal Companion Merit, Pack gives your character some bestial company. In this case,
though, that company is a bit more numerous and bit less loyal. A Pack (which could actually be a herd, flock,
pride or what-have-you) includes a number of animals that remain close to your shapechanger. They’re
probably members of the feral’s species, but might be something else instead if there’s a good explanation for
their presence.
The dots in this trait measure the number and relative power of the Pack. For one dot, the character has two
or three small beasts — a handful of rats, bats or small birds. Two dots reflect 10 or 12 smaller animals or a
couple of larger ones — cats, small dogs, owls, falcons. Three dots allow for a much larger group of small
beasts (30 or more), about a half-dozen larger animals or two or three strong, competent ones — wolves,
monkeys, falcons, cheetahs. At this level, the Pack might include a few different animals — say a wolf, a
hawk and a ferret. For four dots, the feral gets a regular menagerie — 40 or more small animals, 10 larger
ones, five powerful ones, two or three really impressive ones (tigers, sharks, oxen) or three powerful ones of
different species. These beasts aren’t as devoted as a single Animal Companion, but their numbers make up
for that reduced loyalty.
Drawback: Where do you keep those animals, Tarzan? What can you feed them? What have they not
destroyed yet in your home? A Pack is a horde of wild animals, not a collection of tame pets. Their presence
in human settlements is disruptive, destructive and very often dangerous. Unless your feral lives in the
wilderness, a large Pack is chaos . . . and even there, it makes its presence known.
Through devotion to their shapechanging friend, these beasts avoid eating one another. That doesn’t mean
they won’t eat anything else. Animals in a pack need to hunt, run free and generally be themselves. If they
don’t get that — or worse yet, if they’re treated badly or sent off on suicide missions — these creatures
abandon their so-called master. Affection is not blind loyalty, and a feral who considers herself Lord or Lady
of the Beasts soon winds up with an empty kingdom.

True Breed (••)


Book: Changing Breeds, p. 97
Effect: The Changing Gift runs in this character’s family. Dad or Mom might have been feral; maybe
Grandma or weird Uncle Martin. Someone in recent memory was a shapechanger, and at least a few folks (in
or outside the family) know about it. Odds are good that the werebeast’s kid or grandkid will be feral, too.
Drawback: This knowledge makes certain things easier (there’ll probably be a support network for First
Changes) but not necessarily (that “network” might involve a prayer group that tries to “beat the devil” out of
a shapechanger). In any case, we suggest that the player and Storyteller collaborate on the backstory for a
character with this Merit. Whether the connection is an open secret or a hated mystery depends on the player’s
vision and his Storyteller’s whims.
Merits List
Every character has the same basic Attributes and access to all the same Skills. Merits are different; they are
special, individual qualities that make your character different from all the other kids. These personality
quirks or remarkable talents are purchased during character creation or with experience points as you play
through your character’s journeys.

Mental Merits
Common Sense (••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 100
Effect: You are blessed with sound judgment and natural prudence. Given a moment to think, you can
generally suss out the proper course of action — or at least a sensible one.
Once per scene, when your character is about to do something very dangerous or stupid, or the group is at a
loss for ideas or clues, the Storyteller may point out a fact or clue you’ve missed, or delineate the risks of your
plan in very clear terms. You may ask the Storyteller for this hint when you feel you’re completely out of
ideas, but he is under no obligation to provide it — he may know you’ll need your Common Sense even more
just around the corner, after all. Available at character creation only.

Danger Sence (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: You have an uncanny knack for knowing when you’re about to get jumped, whether it’s a constant
awareness of your surroundings, or just the hair standing up on the back of your neck.
You receive a +2 bonus on the refl exive Wits + Composure rolls made to detect the presence of an ambush
(see p. 34). This roll is typically made prior to the first turn of a surprise attack.

Ego Boost (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Kids thrive on well-deserved praise — not the forced kind that tells them that every child is a
special snowflake, but praise that shows someone has really noticed what they do well. When your character
receives an honest compliment on his talent in a Skill in which he has at least two dots, he receives a one-time
+1 modifier on his next roll of that Skill in the same scene. This Merit can be used only once per Skill per
scene.

Eidetic Memory (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Your photographic memory is almost perfect. You can remember almost anything you have
witnessed or read. Under normal circumstances, you do not need to roll to recall a fact, license plate or face.
Under stress, you receive a +2 modifier to any Intelligence + Composure or Intelligence + Skill (Study, for
instance, to remember a chemistry fact) roll made to pull something from your memory. Available at
character creation only.

Language (•)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Your character is fluent in another language in addition to her native tongue. Maybe you’ve lived in
a foreign country, have family who speak another language, or you really paid attention in French class. Each
language is purchased as a separate Merit.

Mental Prodigy (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Prerequisite: Any Mental Attribute at ••••
Effect: Your character is a natural prodigy, an unlikely master of a Skill or an area of study at a remarkably
young age. Select one Skill from the Mental category. Your character has access to the levels of that Skill
beyond the cap imposed on child characters (see p. 47). You must still pay for all points in the Skill during
character creation, or with experience points at a later date. The Skill should be related to the exceptional
Mental Attribute. For example, Study would most likely be linked to Intelligence (your character is naturally
gifted), but it could also be attributable to Resolve (your character studies with remarkable focus). The
Storyteller has the final word on the chosen Prodigy and its prerequisite. Available at character creation only.

Multilingual (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Your character grew up in a culture that teaches several different tongues, or maybe she has a
prodigy-like gift for languages. In addition to the character’s native language, the player may choose two
languages for every dot in this Merit. The character speaks these languages conversationally.
Note that the character cannot speak effortlessly in these languages. Communicating quickly or over the
telephone requires an Intelligence + Wits roll, and talking about anything more complicated than simple
pleasantries or asking straightforward questions imposes a penalty of -1 to -3 dice. Reading the language
requires an Intelligence + Study or Wits roll (depending on how the character learned the language; study or
immersion, respectively), and writing something coherent in the language requires a roll of Wits + Study or
Intelligence (again, study or immersion). Even if these rolls succeed, the character’s utterances or writings
obviously come from a non-native, unless the player rolls an exceptional success, in which case the character
manages to sound like a native-born speaker of the language for a few moments.
The player can spend one experience point for the character to become fluent in one of the languages
covered by this Merit, as described in the Language Merit, above.

Prized Possession (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Your character owns a useful item that he has practiced with for many a long hour. As such, the
item provides an equipment bonus (see p. 132) beyond what such an item would usually provide, simply due
to the familiarity. The item provides a +2 bonus to applicable rolls within its intended function (a harmonica
provides the bonus to Expression rolls to play it, while a laptop computer provides the bonus to Computer
rolls) and a +1 bonus to rolls a bit outside or related to the usual purview (using the harmonica to wedge open
a door or using the laptop for a Study roll to get homework done on time).
Combat rolls can benefit from this Merit, but the Storyteller and the player should consider why the child
has spent that much time fighting.
Drawback: If the item is broken or lost, this Merit is forfeited.

Trivia Hound (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 101
Effect: Your hours spent digging for obscure and weird facts on the Internet were not wasted. You have
very wide, but usually shallow, fields of knowledge from which you can pull when the need for those little
nuggets of information arises.
Make an Intelligence + Wits roll for your character any time she is confronted with a situation or
phenomenon outside her normal experience. If the roll succeeds, she remembers some bit of trivia that may be
relevant to the situation.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The information you dredge out of your brain could not be more wrong — you’ve been
reading too many comic books! (The Storyteller should make the Intelligence + Wits roll for you in secret if a
dramatic failure is possible.)
Failure: Your character draws a complete blank on this topic.
Success: Your character remembers a piece of useful information: “Hey, is that band playing ‘Stars and
Stripes Forever’? That means something bad’s happened at the circus! Let’s go see!”.
Exceptional Success: Your character has a wealth of information on the topic hidden away in her mind:
“An 1840 stamp from Britain? That’s the year postage stamps were invented! It should be small and black,
and have some old lady’s head on it.”

Unseen Sense (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 102
Prerequisite: Mortal (non-supernatural); Wits ••
Effect: By the pricking of your thumbs, something wicked this way comes. You have a sixth sense that
alerts you to the presence of the supernatural. It isn’t anything you can see or hear, but your body reacts in
some consistent way to the paranormal. You may not even understand, at first, your body’s reaction as a
signal. With some experience and some experimentation, you may be able to figure out just what sets off your
unearthly radar — but those will be dangerous experiments!
The specific type of supernatural effect or presence (ghostly haunting, lurking vampire, stalking werewolf)
to which your character is sensitive must be specified when this Merit is purchased. The Storyteller has the
final word on both the target of your sensitivity and the cue it gives you. If you or the Storyteller prefers, he
may keep under wraps the details of how this Merit will work for your character, for you to discover during
play.
This Merit is only available to normal, mortal human characters. Should your character become somehow a
supernatural creature herself, this Merit is eliminated. Available at character creation only.

Physical Merits
Ambidextrous (•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 102
Effect: Your character is equally capable with both hands: she can swing a bat righty or lefty, and even
write legibly with her off-hand. She does not ever suffer the -2 penalty for using her off-hand in a fight or on
any other die roll. Available at character creation only.

Direction Sense (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 102
Effect: Your character never gets lost — not in the most confusing shopping mall, not in the abandoned
quarry where kids aren’t supposed to play, anyway. Even in unfamiliar territory, your character can always
retrace his steps back the way he came. He can also orient himself to cardinal directions (north, south, east,
west) without reference to a compass or the sun.

Fast Reflexes (• or ••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 102
Prerequisite: Dexterity ••• or Wits •••
Effect: Your character is the first off the starting line for a race, the best in the neighborhood at stealing
bases, or the first to throw a punch when a fight starts. Your character’s Initiative is increased by +1 per dot of
Fast Reflexes. (But be careful — parents and teachers usually don’t accept “He started the fight, but I hit him
first,” as an excuse.)

Fighting Style: Karate for Kids (• to •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 103
Prerequisites: Dexterity ••; Stamina ••; Brawl ••
Effect: Many kids take karate classes at small dojos in strip malls and tiny urban studios. Parents enroll
them hoping their children will learn discipline, maybe a little self-defense, and at least spend a little time off
the sofa and away from the TV. A good karate teacher will, in addition, make sure her pupils learn to avoid
confrontations when possible, and to run away when the opportunity arises. When all that fails, her students
may have a punch or kick to throw into the mix.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. Your character can’t have “Cautious Engagement” until he has “Evade.” The maneuvers and their
effects are described below.
Evade (•): The first rule is to not get hit. When your character is facing a single opponent, he can dodge
and weave pretty well. Add a +2 modifier to his Defense when he uses a Dodge action (after doubling his
Defense for the Dodge). For example, a character with a Defense of 3 would have a total Defense of 8 against
a single attacker when Dodging. See p. 142 for more on the Dodge system. If another opponent joins the
attack, this bonus is lost.
Cautious Engagement (••): You attack, but keep a very healthy respect for your single opponent’s blows.
Use the higher of your character’s Dexterity or Wits to determine his Defense against Brawl-based attacks
only (not against Weaponry attacks). If another opponent joins the attack, this bonus is lost.
Vulnerable Target Strike (•••): While there isn’t a whole lot of chance to practice this at full speed in
class, your character knows sensitive spots to attack — eyes, nose, ears, throat, groin, knee. If your
character’s attack succeeds, one of the points of damage he inflicts is lethal instead of bashing.

Fighting Style: Playground Dogpile (• to •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 103
Prerequisites: Strength ••; Stamina ••; Brawl ••
Effect: This isn’t really fighting. It’s just kids being kids. Kids being kids while they try to pound each
other’s faces into the asphalt, pull hair, scratch and even bite in a rolling pile of aggression. Adults may wax
nostalgic about their own playground dustups, but kids can and do hurt each other, especially when they gang
up.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. Your character can’t have “Take Down” until he has “Cheap Shot.” The maneuvers and their effects
are described below.
Cheap Shot (•): Your character isn’t afraid to hit below the belt, or jab an eye, or pull an ear. Strength +
Brawl rolls made to damage an opponent your character has immobilized have a +1 modifier.
Take Down (••): A successful grapple attack immediately renders both your character and his opponent
prone. The fight continues as normal, from the ground. See Grappling, p. 144.
Pile On (•••): Your character throws his body into the middle of a fight already in progress, squashing the
unfortunate combatant at the bottom of the pile. If an opponent is immobilized in a grapple, your character
may join the grapple with a Strength + Brawl roll (the opponent’s Defense does not apply). Extra successes
beyond the first to establish a hold are immediately applied as bashing damage.

Fleet of Foot: (• to •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Strength ••
Effect: Your character is the one to beat in a flat-out footrace. She gains +1 Speed per dot of this Merit.

Fresh Start (• or •••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Fast Reflexes • or ••
Effect: Your character is unpredictable in stressful situations — which isn’t always a bad thing! With the
first dot of this Merit, your character can use an action to change his place in the Initiative order for the rest of
the combat. He can choose to take his actions first in the turn, or place himself immediately after a friendly
character — or any other time that he thinks will be advantageous. For example, your character has an
Initiative result of 8 in a playground dustup; the opponent has a result of 13. Your character can choose not to
take a swipe in the first turn, instead repositioning himself for an advantage in the second and subsequent
turns, changing his place in the Initiative order from 8 to 14. The prerequisite for this level of this Merit is
Fast Reflexes •.
With three dots in this Merit (which has a prerequisite of Fast Reflexes ••), your character performs such a
startling maneuver (knocking over a noisy tray of silverware, or executing a dance move he saw in a music
video) that everything around stops for the briefest second. The Initiative order is then reset from scratch, with
everyone involved rolling again, no matter how satisfied they were with their previous results.
Drawback: Changing the Initiative order is the character’s entire action for the turn; he may only move up
to his Speed in any turn he uses this Merit. For the three-dot version, remember that everyone involved in the
situation must re-roll their Initiative result, even if they were happily at the top of the order.

Giant (•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Effect: Your character towers over other children. She is, for all intents and purposes, the same size as an
adult. She wears adult clothing, can ride all the rides at amusement parks, and can survive a deploying airbag.
She gains +1 Size (to the adult size of 5). This also grants her +1 Health. This also adds one die to any attempt
to pass as an adult (see Disguise, p. 74).
Drawbacks: People have a tendency to treat your character like an adult, when she’s not. This can lead to
awkward social situations. Also, she no longer fits on or in a whole lot of fun kid stuff. Finally, when
Dodging, you don’t get as much of a bonus as most kids (see p. 142).

Hard Head (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Stamina ••• or Resolve •••
Effect: Your character can take a big hit and still keep her focus. She receives a +2 modifier to all Resolve
rolls to avoid being stunned. If she would normally not be allowed a roll (because the attack inflicted more
points of damage than her Stamina), the player may still make a Resolve roll to avoid the stun. In this case,
though, the +2 modifier does not apply. See p. 153 for more on stuns.

Iron Stomach (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Stamina ••
Effect: Your character is willing and able to eat almost anything. Most kids observe a five-second rule
when food hits the floor; your character thinks nothing of eating pizza left out on the counter for days, or
candy stuck to the floor. And none of this makes him sick.
Your character gets a +2 modifier on food-oriented Survival rolls (see p. 65), and a +3 modifier on Stamina
rolls made to resist deprivation (see p. 155). Your character’s willingness to try new foods or to eat whatever
a questionable cook puts in front of him can also be a surprising social grace.

Natural Immunity (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Stamina ••
Effect: Whether your character stays out in the cold rain without galoshes or a rain slicker, or shares a bus
seat with a kid with the flu, she never comes down with whatever bug is going around. She may have never
once been seriously ill (in her admittedly short life).
Your character receives a +2 modifier on Stamina rolls to resist diseases and infections: parasitic, amoebic,
viral, bacterial, fungal — you name it. Even if your character becomes infected, she continues to receive the
+2 modifier on all rolls to fight off or survive the course of the disease.

Physical Prodigy (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 104
Prerequisite: Any Physical Attribute at ••••
Effect: Your character is a natural prodigy, an unlikely master of a Skill or technique at a remarkably
young age. Select one Skill from the Physical category. Your character has access to the levels of that Skill
beyond the cap imposed on child characters (p. 47). You must still pay for all points in the Skill during
character creation, or with experience points at a later date. The Skill should be related to the exceptional
Physical Attribute. For example, Larceny would most likely be linked to Dexterity (your character has fast,
sticky fingers), but it could also be attributable to Strength (your character has mastered the “breaking” part of
breaking and entering). The Storyteller has the final word on the chosen Prodigy and its prerequisite.
Available at character creation only.

Quick Draw (• or ••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Dexterity •••
Effect: He always knows exactly where all his stuff is — or maybe it’s the result of endless hours spent
playing pirate or mystic space knight. The end result is the same: your character can draw an item from
somewhere on his person and use it in the same turn (even attack with it, if the item in question is a weapon).
Your character does not lose his Defense for pulling an item from a pocket or bag worn, or even a concealed
weapon from his person.
This Merit must be bought separately for tools (• used with all items like flashlights, cameras, cell phones
or keys), melee weapons (••) or guns (••).

Quick Healer (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Stamina •••
Effect: Your character bounces back from injury with a speed that makes doctors shake their heads. Bones
mend, wounds close, and she goes back to playing like it was no big deal.
All healing times for your character are halved: one point of bashing damage heals in eight minutes; one
point of lethal damage heals in two days; and one point of aggravated damage heals in five days.

Strong Back (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Strength ••
Effect: Your character is used to lifting and carrying heavy loads. Maybe she works around the farm, or
helps stock shelves at the family store. Your character receives a +1 modifier to actions involving lifting or
carrying weight.

Strong Lungs (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Athletics •••
Effect: Swimming, diving deep, running until there are tears in his eyes and his leg muscles start to scream
— none of this is a problem for your character. Your character’s Stamina is considered to be two points
higher on the “Holding Breath” chart (see Chapter 2, “Stamina”) when determining how long he can stay
underwater.
He also receives a +1 modifier on all Stamina + Athletics rolls — these are activities like running or biking
over long distances.

Tiny (•)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Effect: Your character is very small for his age. He may look (or actually be) underfed or in poor health, or
he might just be waiting longingly for a growth spurt to kick in. On the plus side, he can fit in some very
small spaces, and he has an easier time hiding when the need arises (see the Stealth Skill in Chapter Three).
Also, there are times when being treated like a younger kid comes in handy — when it’s time to take out the
trash or wheedle treats, for instance. The character receives a +1 modifier to any attempt to hide (see p. 65),
and to most other Stealth rolls. The Storyteller is encouraged to apply a positive modifier to any other
situation where being a little smaller than average might pay off, such as Socialize rolls to convince an adult
of the character’s innocence. The character can also walk across thin branches and other surfaces that won’t
support much weight. Finally, when Dodging (see p. 142), this character gets more of a bonus than bigger
kids.
Drawbacks: Your character is at -1 Size (Size 3); this also means -1 Health. Also, there are times when
being treated like a younger kid is a pain — when getting permission to stay up late or go somewhere
“dangerous,” for instance. Finally, your character receives a -3 modifier to any attempt to pass as an adult.

Tough (• to ••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Stamina ••• or Resolve •••
Effect: Your character possesses a rare attribute among children: the ability to persevere, to push on
through pain or exhaustion. Most children will be tempted to cry uncle when they hit “uncomfortable” or
“tired.” Your character plugs onward even as his body begins to suffer real harm. Coaches and scoutmasters
love him. School counselors and social workers may want to sit him down to find out what dreadful
experiences might have hardened such a young child to pain.
Each dot in this Merit eliminates a negative modifier (on a one-for-one basis) caused by injury or fatigue
(see Chapter Six, Applying Damage (p. 150) and Fatigue (p. 159)). For example, a character with one dot in
this Merit and a -2 penalty from injuries can ignore one point of that penalty, for a -1 modifier. With two dots,
he could ignore the entire -2 penalty.
This Merit can only be used to remove penalties from your character’s actions. It never provides a positive
bonus to a roll.
Drawback: Your character crashes hard when he finally stops moving. When he finally falls asleep after
fighting off the effects of fatigue, he must sleep for a minimum of 12 hours. Before that 12-hour period is up,
he will be almost impossible to wake up — even if the house is on fire.

Toxin Resistance (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Prerequisite: Stamina •••
Effect: Your character suffers few ill effects from being stung by a bee — or from trying that weird
cigarette the “cool kid” offered. She receives a +2 modifier to Stamina rolls made to resist the effects of
drugs, toxins or poisons.

Social Merits
Allies (• to •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 105
Effect: Allies are people — other kids or even adults — who will help your character out from time to
time. Child Allies could be school friends, members of a club or sports team, or even a street gang. Adult
Allies could include police or social workers, teachers, clergy, or even a local criminal enterprise. A child can
even justify having Allies among a crowd most children do not normally have access to, through a parent or
other relative. If your character’s uncle is a highly respected attorney, a small amount of pull with local
lawyers is not out of the question. Each group of Allies must be purchased as a separate Merit with its own
dots: for example, your character might have Allies (Drama Club) • and Allies •• (Children and Youth
Services), both acquired separately at character creation or with experience points during play.
Each dot in this Merit indicates the depth of your character’s involvement in or influence on that group. At
one dot, your character can ask for small favors, like an extra credit assignment from a teacher to boost a
shabby grade, or just a verbal warning from police for being caught out after curfew. Favors at two dots are a
little more involved; your character can arrange tutoring sessions with a teacher to help his grade, or get a
safe, warm lift home in a police cruiser (no cuffs). With three dots, your character can get pretty substantial
favors: the teacher fudges your character’s grade upward because he knows “you know the material,” or
police sit an unmarked car in front of your character’s house to watch for suspicious individuals.
The favors and requests made to Allies should fall within their spheres of influence, like the teacher and
police examples made above. Obviously, asking a policeman to fix a grade isn’t likely to have the desired
effect. And while a very involved teacher may be willing to help with situations outside school, she doesn’t
have the authority or resources of the police.
The Storyteller needs to evaluate each request for help with the following criteria in mind: is it simple or
complicated? Easy or difficult? Legal or questionable? Can it be traced? Some factors will matter more or
less, depending on the Allies in question — a criminal might have no compunctions about breaking the law,
but plenty about sticking out her neck, while a local minister might be willing to spend a great deal of time on
an issue that is completely legally and morally on the level. In an unclear situation, the Storyteller can ask for
a Manipulation + Socialize roll with a modifier equal to your dots in the appropriate Allies group. Penalties
may apply to the roll based on the gravity of the favor (from -3 for a serious concern about the request, to a -5
for an almost deal-breaking concern). Penalties may also apply if your character asks for help too often and
wears out his welcome with the group.
Your character can also call on Allies for immediate aid. In this case, successes on the Manipulation +
Socialize + Allies roll determine how many members of the group show up to help; for example, how many
Drama Club members come by to help your character hang up LOST DOG signs.
You do not need to designate individual members of a group as specifically being the Allies referred to in
the Merit, although you and your Storyteller together can detail members of the group. It is important,
however, to explain the connections between your character and the group as a whole. It can be as simple as
“My character is in the Drama Club,” or as roundabout as “My character has been picked up by the police a
lot, but they can tell he’s basically a good kid.”
Drawback: Allies are characters in their own stories — they have their own lives to live, and they won’t
always be right where your character wants them, when he wants them. Also, favors are barter; a favor
granted to your character may be a bargaining chip when your ally comes to ask for help in return. If your
Allies are adults, they might not be so demanding, but then the relationship is different. The adults probably
won’t take as much for granted as other kids would, and if the favor is liable to land them in trouble or make
them look suspicious (and, sadly, an adult slipping off with a child can look suspicious), they might well
decline or call the character’s parents.

Contacts (• to •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 107
Effect: Contacts provide your character with information — the word on the street or the gossip in the
schoolyard. Each dot in this Merit represents one area of information; for example, Contacts ••• can cover
goings-on at local bars, teachers’ lounge gossip and the scuttlebutt at the firehouse. A child may take this
Merit to represent a parent’s or guardian’s information sources, to which the child can gain access by listening
in on phone conversations, reading papers he shouldn’t, or carefully asking questions about how a day was at
work. Contacts can include specific individuals who like to dish with your character, but more often, it is a
large group of acquaintances your character knows just barely well enough to pose a question to. Contacts
only applies to gathering information — favors and other help are the purview of other Merits.
Getting information requires a successful Manipulation + Socialize roll when asking around. (The
Storyteller may instead allow a Manipulation + Subterfuge roll or even a Dexterity or Wits + Stealth roll to
ask leading questions, listen in on conversations, or search a briefcase.) Penalties on the roll apply if the
information is little known (-1 to -3), confidential (-3), or if sharing it could get someone in trouble or hurt (-3
to -5).
Even success on the roll doesn’t guarantee that your character’s Contacts have the desired information. If
they don’t have the information, they can’t share it — but they would if they could! The information known
by any single contact or set of Contacts is always at the Storyteller’s discretion.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: Your character’s informant holds back an important piece of information, or gives
completely false information (either unknowingly or on purpose).
Failure: Your character’s queries turn up no information.
Success: One of your character’s contacts provides the sought-for information, or something just as helpful.
Exceptional Success: Your character’s contact is a font of information, sharing items of interest your
character wouldn’t have even thought to inquire about.
Suggested Equipment: An appropriate gift, like a desired trading card; a fistful of fl owers, or can of soda
(+1 to +2); an outstanding favor (+1 to +3)
Possible Penalties: Rude behavior (-1), frequent or repeated requests (-1 to -2).

Deep Pockets (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 108
Effect: The latest style in shoes, a newly released video game, a shiny, tricked-out bike — things all kids
would love to have. Not all kids get them, but you do. Your parents or guardians may be so stinking rich that
they don’t notice the money spent on your kid stuff, or they may have some other combination of monetary
resources and parenting permissiveness. However the “financial managers” work it out, your character always
has the stylish duds and required toys to keep up appearances in the neighborhood.
In addition, once per chapter, your character may make an outlandish request of the parent or guardian who
holds the purse strings. To get them to accede, make a Manipulation + Subterfuge or Socialize roll (when
purchasing this Merit, you must choose to use Subterfuge or Socialize, depending on your character’s
relationship with her parents or guardians, and then stick with it). Success means your character gets the
desired item. The expense of the item, or its nature, may impose a penalty on the roll. A video game, a metal
detector, a set of two-way radios, even a $100 gift card to a nearby store are reasonable, or at least expected,
requests and incur no penalty. An expensive bike, a new computer (for schoolwork, of course), or a pellet gun
might raise eyebrows a bit (for a -1 to -3 penalty). Truly outlandish or dangerous requests — say, for an all-
terrain vehicle, a swimming pool, or a real gun — might garner a penalty up to -5. Your character can gain a
bonus on a roll by planting the seed of a desire with the parent (wistful mentions of the desired item, or
pictures cut from magazines stuck to the fridge), but forgoing any Deep Pockets roll for a while. For each
chapter in which the player sacrifices his use of the Deep Pockets Merit, he gains a +1 modifier, up to a
maximum +5.
Drawback: What is given can be taken away. If your character does not take proper care of her toys (the
ATV is wrecked, or the pellet gun is used to shoot the neighbor’s dog), she may find that she no longer gets
what she wants — she loses access to this Merit temporarily, or permanently.
Fame (• to •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 108
Effect: The cult of celebrity embraces even children. Fame means recognition, measured in web site hits
and column inches devoted to your character. This fame may be of a positive nature, if your character is a
child star, a local Little League pitcher, or a hero who saved his family from a burning house. Salacious
negative attention is also quite effective in the fame game. Perhaps your character was plucked from the
smoking ruins of a cult compound on live cable TV, or testified in a high-profile kidnapping trial. The most
neutral sort of fame is the product of having famous parents. Most child characters, with a few exceptions for
nationally known actors or songstresses, will languish with at most one or two dots of this Merit.
Each dot of Fame adds +1 modifier to Social rolls among those impressed by such things.
Drawback: Fame does bring out the crazies. Famous people are often stalked, both by folks wanting to
take their pictures and people of decidedly less wholesome intention.

Guardian (• or •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 108
Effect: Someone is personally responsible for your character’s physical safety on a day-to-day basis. This
custodian accompanies your character everywhere — to and from school, on shopping trips and picnic
outings, even to check out the mummies in the museum; everywhere but around the house. A one-dot
Guardian may be a nanny, au pair or tutor. A three-dot Guardian is a bodyguard, someone trained in close
personal protection, who may even carry a gun and wear body armor. Obviously, a typical nanny or tutor isn’t
trained to physically protect a child, but without a doubt, an accompanied child is much safer than one
wandering around alone. Note: parents and other relatives may qualify for this Merit. The difference between
a stay-at-home mom who is a Guardian and one who isn’t is that the former expects her child to not be safe,
and/or to cause trouble. Most parents, rightly or wrongly, expect that their children not be in danger every
day.
Drawback: Your character’s actions are limited by what the Guardian will allow. It is possible to ditch the
Guardian to have a little fun, but it won’t be easy, especially if the Guardian has tactical training (or your
character has a reputation for escapes and escapades). But at least if your character disappears, somebody
knows he’s missing.

Guardian Angel (••••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 108
Effect: A strange presence watches over your character, keeping her safe from harm — or so it seems. She
gets into and out of serious scrapes without any real harm. When a bad situation could go either way, it
always tips just right. Your character may just be lucky.
You have two options for the Guardian Angel Merit. You might decide to specify what exactly the presence
is that protects your character, give it traits and fully defined capabilities, and have the Storyteller control it
during the game. The creature might be ghost or spirit (see p. 199), or a supernatural creature of some kind —
perhaps even a vampire, werewolf or mage. The Appendix to this book gives some basic information on such
creatures. Making the Guardian Angel into a character this way means that what it can and can’t do is very
well defined, but it also means that the Angel can die. The Angel should still be invisible much of the time,
only appearing and helping the character indirectly.
The second option is that the character just seems to get all the breaks. The “Guardian Angel” here is
metaphorical, rather than being an actual, sentient creature. Before every chapter, the player rolls Resolve +
Composure. Multiply the successes by two. The result is the number of bonus dice that can be used on any
roll during that chapter. The dice can, instead, be applied to characters acting in direct opposition to the
protected character as penalties. Each die can be used only once.
Example: Alice has the Guardian Angel Merit. Before the session starts, her player rolls Resolve +
Composure and gets three successes. She therefore has six bonus dice for this chapter. During the session,
Alice winds up running away from one of her teachers, a man who turns out to be something other than he
appears. She hides from the teacher, and her player applies three of the bonus dice. The Storyteller picks up
some dice to roll Wits + Composure for the stalker, and Alice’s player, not liking the size of the dice pool
she’s seeing, applies the other three dice from her Guardian Angel as a penalty to the Storyteller’s roll. The
roll fails, so Alice is still hidden — but she’s used up her Angel’s influence for the chapter.

Inspiring (•••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 109
Prerequisite: Presence •••
Effect: Your character can rally other children to action. Even if her speech is loaded with references to
comic book characters and popular movies, it nonetheless raises the spirits of her intended audience and
bolsters their courage, no matter what lies ahead.
Once per chapter, you may make a Presence + Socialize roll for your character. If the roll succeeds, all
children listening — and who intend to help out or go along with a proposed course of action — regain one
spent Willpower point (not to exceed their Willpower dots). Your character cannot use this Merit on herself.

Mentor (• to •••••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 109
Effect: A Mentor provides your character with support and advice, and a voice of experience and wisdom.
For a lucky child, possible mentor figures abound: a parent, grandparent or other family member; a teacher; a
social worker; a religious figure; a sports coach; or even someone from a mentoring organization. For a child
from a more disadvantaged background, potential mentors may not be so thick on the ground, but they can
still be found. A mentor can use her own assets, influence or abilities to help your character, but she will also
insist that her protégé learn something along the way. Mentors are not necessarily selfless and endlessly
patient, either — a surly, lazy or unwilling pupil might find himself without an instructor.
A mentor always acts in what she perceives to be her protégé’s best interest. Both the mentor’s perception
and actions are determined by the Storyteller. This means that in some situations, depending on the mentor,
going to her for help may not have the results the child wants. For instance, a mentor may report to the police
a stranger habitually lurking outside her charge’s house, when the child really wanted help figuring out just
what that lurking stranger is. The Storyteller may also employ advice given by a mentor to guide your
character into a new storyline, or to nudge one that has stalled.
The number of dots purchased in this Merit determines the influence, knowledge and experience of your
character’s Mentor. One dot represents a Mentor with one or more specialized Skills in an area of interest
shared with your character, and some life experience to go with it (for example, a baseball coach who played
some college ball back in the day). Two dots represents a Mentor with a wide range of Skills and abilities and
significant experience in that area of interest (here, a coach who played for a minor league team, and has some
pull with local sports fundraisers). Three dots represents a Mentor with an even broader reach, years of
experience and accrued influence (our coach has now led his young teams to state championships, owns a car
dealership, and has donated generously to political and charitable fundraisers). Four dots adds major influence
to your character’s Mentor (Coach scouts for major league teams on the side, and keeps his fingers in a whole
handful of high-profile dugouts). And finally, a five-dot Mentor is a leading figure in his area of expertise and
has vast influence in that area and many others. (Your character’s coach is an active baseball star or
successful coach who runs a charitable foundation, owns a car dealership, works as a motivational speaker
and still finds the time to throw the ball around in the backyard.) Baseball coaches, schoolteachers and other
neighborhood types are not likely to be five-dot Mentors, though they provide much-needed guidance to the
kids who rely on them. The most powerful mentors are likely to be individuals who wield power on a national
or international level (or on a level that transcends such boundaries), who are also related to their child
protégés. After all, how many such high and mighty types have time to deal with a child?
Your character’s Mentor may have tasks that she requires be completed (some boring, like keeping up with
piano practice, or some that may lead to great adventures), but it is highly unlikely that she will demand quid
pro quo for her assistance. The earning of extra privileges (like joining the starting lineup, or not being
grounded anymore) is another matter entirely.

Odd Jobs (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 110
Effect: Mowing lawns, raking leaves, babysitting — these are time-honored jobs for kids looking for a little
bit of pocket money. In some areas, other jobs exist, like shoveling snow or digging up bait worms. There are
even jobs of dubious legality, like being a bookie’s runner or a gang’s lookout. Whatever your character’s
choice of jobs, he reaps the benefits. He’s always got $10 to $20 in his pocket to spend. This money is his to
spend however he likes, without asking anyone for permission. Of course, if your character doesn’t take the
time to do his job, he won’t have any money.

Pet (• or •••)
Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 110
Effect: Your character keeps a pet of some kind: a dog, a cat, a horse, a hamster, a snake, or practically any
kind of animal that can be given a cute name. A pet can be a very important part of a child’s life. No matter
what grades are on the report card, or how shabby the family’s clothes are, a pet given just the basics of food
and care will always provide companionship and love. A kid can tell things to a pet that she would never dare
tell a person, even a trusted parent or friend — hopes, fears and dreams and troubles all go safely into a pet’s
ear.
This judgment-free friendship is the sole contribution of a one-dot Pet. Spending 15 minutes playing with
or caring for a pet gives your character a +1 modifier on her next degeneration roll; she knows there is always
someone who will love her and listen to her, no matter what has happened. This bonus lasts until a
degeneration roll is made, or until the character sleeps, whichever comes first. When your character has made
a degeneration roll, she may go back to her pet for solace (and refresh her +1 modifier) without having to
sleep first.
A three-dot Pet provides the same love and affection as a one-dot Pet, and therefore the same bonus on
degeneration rolls. There is, however, a different bond between a character and a pet at this level of
investment. The pet is fiercely loyal, even in the face of terrible danger or a terrifying creature. Your
character’s pet will remain with her through thick and thin. If rescue is possible, the pet will run for help. If
there is nowhere left to run, the pet will gladly die protecting your character.
The type or size of pet does not matter when determining how many points this Merit will cost. A dog can
be a one-or three-dot Pet — a one-dot dog will turn tail and run when danger appears, whereas a three-dot dog
will interpose itself between danger and child. Admittedly, guinea pigs, fish and their ilk are lousy protectors
and should be relegated to the lower rank.
Your character can teach her pet tricks with Animal Ken, using the normal method. All Animal Ken rolls
for training the pet, understanding its body language or communicating a need to it are made with a +2
modifier. A three-dot Pet learns the “guard” and “heel” commands for free — your character must still train
the pet, but these two commands do not count against the animal’s known tricks.
Drawbacks: Here begins the parental lecture: having a pet is a big responsibility. A pet must be fed, taken
on walks (or have its litter box or cage or tank cleaned), groomed, and shown attention and love. An abused or
mistreated pet provides no benefits — an animal pushed far enough may even attack its owner.
It is a sad fact of life that pets die. They grow old, they get lost, or they may die tragic deaths before their
time. The loss of a one-dot Pet may grieve a child, but such pets are, blessedly, somewhat interchangeable. A
fish dies, is replaced, and a few weeks later its owner loves it as much as its predecessor. After a month of
story time, the benefits of the lost one-dot Pet can be provided by its replacement. The loss of a three-dot Pet
is another matter. This bond between child and pet is unique, and if such a pet dies, the player must make a
trigger roll for the character (see p. 82). The child may, in time, replace her lost friend with another animal
companion that will provide the benefits of a one-dot Pet. At the Storyteller’s discretion, this pet (if it is of an
appropriate species), can eventually rise to the three-dot level.

Social Prodigy (•)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 111
Prerequisite: Any Social Attribute at ••••
Effect: Your character is a natural prodigy, an unlikely master of a social grace or an area of art at a
remarkably young age. Select one Skill from the Social category. Your character has access to the levels of
that Skill beyond the cap imposed on child characters (see p. 47). You must still pay for all points in the Skill
during character creation, or with experience points at a later date. The Skill should be related to the
exceptional Social Attribute. For example, Animal Ken could be linked to Presence (animals like your
character a lot), to Manipulation (your character can make animals do what he wants), or to Composure (your
character’s unfl appable calm reassures animals). The Storyteller has the final word on the chosen Prodigy
and its prerequisite. Available at character creation only.

Striking Looks (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 111
Effect: Your character’s appearance is breathtaking, even while it remains childlike. Adults have been
known to mutter things like “Watch out when that one grows up,” or simply acquiesce to his demands with
amusement. Your character receives a +1 modifier to Presence or Manipulation rolls made while taking
advantage of his looks — this won’t work over the phone, for instance.
Drawback: Your character’s face is always remembered. You cannot simply vanish into a crowd. Also, he
may attract the attention of predators — of the humankind or even worse.

Team Player (••)


Book: The World Of Darkness Innocents, p. 111
Effect: Your character knows how to work in a group with other children — when to delegate, when to
lead, when to pitch in and get the work done. She also knows how to encourage others to cooperate, keeping
even a motley group of kids organized and effective for at least a short while.
Once per chapter, you may make a Presence + Empathy roll for your character. If the roll succeeds, every
child character gains a +1 modifier on all teamwork rolls made for the scene. This applies to both primary and
secondary actors. If more than one character in the group successfully uses this Merit in the same scene, the
bonuses are cumulative (+2 for two characters, +3 for three, etc.). More information on teamwork can be
found on p. 127.
Merits List
Altar (• or ••)
Book: Circle Of The Crone, p. 40
Prerequisite: Vampire, member of Circle of the Crone.
Having an altar present in one’s haven and possessing the Altar Merit are not necessarily the same thing.
An Acolyte can have an altar with various reagents, personal effects and idols, but that altar does not grant her
any kind of mechanical bonuses. It is a vehicle for her faith, to be sure, and the vampire surely believes that
the altar is necessary to fuel her belief and her powers. The altar offers no bonuses to rolls, however.
An Acolyte can possess an altar that helps her perform Crúac rituals specifically. This altar likely contains
instruments that allow her to spill her blood, as well as a place to spill the blood and even dispose of it — a
bronze sink or well may grant her a place to empty her Vitae, as could a series of ritual cruets to contain the
spilled blood.
The points taken in this Merit grant the vampire one or two bonus dice to all Crúac activation rolls made
using the altar. The number of bonus dice is equal to the Merit’s rating (• or ••). Note that some Crúac rituals
(such as Cheval, p. 143 of Vampire: The Requiem) require the target of the sorcery to be in sight. If the
target cannot be dragged before the altar, the Merit points do not grant any bonus at all. A ritual such as The
Hydra’s Vitae (see p. 143, Vampire: The Requiem), on the other hand, is ideal for casting at an altar.

Armor of Scars (• to •••••)


Book: Night Horrors - Immortal Sinners, p. 101
Prerequisite: Vampire only
Effect: Something is off-kilter in your undead state. The physical stasis that marks the Kindred is grossly
deficient in you. When you’re injured and heal, rather than return to your eternal state, your body grows thick
lumpy scars. Serious injury like burns over wide areas of your body transforms whole sections of flesh into
calloused cracked scar tissue. Over time, this dense tissue has formed across enough of your body to act as
armor. Each dot in Armor of Scars grants 1 point of Armor that works equally well against all forms of attack.
Drawback: The scars that protect you also make you hideous and gross. You have the Deformity Flaw as
described on p. 209 of the World of Darkness core book, but the penalty is equal to your rating in Armor of
Scars. The scars also reduce your sense of touch, imposing a penalty equal to the rating on such rolls.

Bad Breeding (• to •••)


Book: Ventrue - Lords Over The Damned, p. 105
Prerequisite: Cannot have dots in Good Breeding. Only certain bloodlines and clans in the city qualify as
“ill bred” for the purposes of this Merit, but the precise identity of the scorned varies from city to city. The
Storyteller has final say on what clans or bloodlines make a character eligible for this Merit in the local city.
Effect: Your character is part of a bloodline or family line regarded as brutish, crass, pedestrian, dirty, or
otherwise ignoble to Ventrue tastes (and the customs they promote throughout Kindred society). This peculiar
counterpart to the Good Breeding Merit carries with it a distinct negative connotation to those Lords who
concern themselves with ancestry and parentage, but that negativity is subjective – this trait is still a Merit,
after all.
This Merit represents your character’s ability to use traditional preconceptions of his social worth to his
own advantage. As scum, your character can get away with rudeness that would not be tolerated from a more
civil monster. It isn’t considered crass or shameful for your character to be seen in the presence of prostitutes
or common hoods. Your character may be able to admit (or fake) a degree of ignorance without losing face,
because, after all, how would a Kindred of such poor breeding know anything about the Bishop’s plans for the
city?
In game terms, this Merit grants a bonus to Social dice pools when, at the Storyteller’s discretion, the
reputation of your character, his sire, his clan, or his bloodline influences the Kindred or ghoul he is trying to
affect. You may choose to invoke a bonus up to the number of dots your character has in this Merit,
depending on how aggressively your character takes advantage of other’s preconceptions. Remember, though,
that this is a Social Merit – a white-trash reputation doesn’t actually grant your character any special
knowledge or training with cars or guns.
The bonus from this Merit is useful only against characters who care about lineage, reputation, and
breeding among the Damned. Even then, it is limited by the overriding importance of Status. While your
character (through your clever play) may be able to balance a reputation from Bad Breeding with the respect
he’s due through Covenant Status, Kindred of great rank are likely to care about their authority, not your
character’s breeding. A character with more dots of Status than you have in this Merit is not subject to your
Bad Breeding bonus. (For example, the Prince doesn’t find your character’s lowly behavior intimidating –
everyone is lowly compared to him.)
Drawback: When you choose to make use of the Bad Breeding bonus in a given scene, your character is
taking advantage of stereotypes and preconceptions. Those same preconceptions can work against him. Later,
the Storyteller may penalize a dice pool by imposing a modifier equal to the bonus you invoked earlier,
depending on how other characters in the scene regard yours. The bonus to Intimidation you drew from your
reputation as an ill-tempered Savage might penalize a Persuasion roll later.

Bugman Network Membership (••• or •••••)


Book: Night Horrors - Immortal Sinners, p. 64
Once you’re in, you’re in. The Bugman knows you. The Bugman knows you’re real and the Bugman knows
you’re worth knowing. This is a coveted position. It’s also a precarious one. If a Carthian ends up bothering
the Bugman too much, he will quickly grow frustrated and cut the cord.
At 3 dots, the hook-up is fairly basic. The character can email the Bugman up to three times a month and
get an answer to something obscure, although not mad, bad or dangerous to know. In mechanical terms, this
allows the character access to any piece of information covered by any Mental Skill, assuming it is capable
for research to uncover such a thing.
The answers aren’t always simple. The Bugman could send a .PDF of a relatively obscure text or send the
character a package of xeroxed pamphlets he thought might be interesting. In fact, sometimes even without
asking, the Bugman may surprise the character with an odd book or packet of information, just because it
seemed “what I know you’re into.”
At 5 dots, the Bugman can find just about anything for the character, even incredibly dangerous shit. He
could provide a handbook written by Anoushka Tepes (written in mirror writing and copied in Greek) on how
to learn the Coil of Banes, or a fifteenth-century textbook written in Persian about how to deal with a stranger
from the wrong side of the sky. It’s hard to tell what he’ll come up with, except that, in some form, it’s an
answer to the character’s question. The Bugman trusts his contacts not to misuse the information, and that
trust can be revoked at any time.
Drawback: While it seems as if the Bugman can get anything for a character, remember that he’s not
infallible. Learning something from the Bugman might have disastrous consequences, especially if the
information is flawed or inherently dangerous. He’s also not as discreet as he thinks he is; using the Bugman
for government records, for instance, could be very dangerous.

Bleak Annals (• to •••••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 113
The Bleak Annals are a library… of sorts. Oh, never a normal library, no. Maybe it’s too-tall walls whose
thousand niches are filled with clay pots and in these clay pots lurk curls of papyrus. Sure, it could be books,
but if they are, don’t count on them being arranged by alphabet or by the Dewey Decimal System—instead,
they’re probably piled into teetering stacks or are scattered not in one room but throughout the breadth and
depth of the entire damn Necropolis. Worse, the Annals might be something totally bizarre: walls made of
shrunken heads that speak secrets if offered prayer, or a breeding room of rats whose squeaks and chitters
could be translated into knowledge and wisdom for those who care to take the task.
Story Use: Some Annals detail only the exploits of their clan keepers. Others offer a ragtag collection of
whatever strange information its Nosferatu “archivists” could scribble down on Post-It notes, in the margins
of newspaper clippings, or on takeout menus. The Annals always have one Nosferatu who serves as a master
archivist, the Damned who knows how to translate the strange system and find the information necessary.
This is an ideal role for a player’s character.
System: For each dot in the Annals, choose one Mental Skill Specialty. At any time, any Nosferatu with
dots contributing toward the Necropolis can use the Bleak Annals and make a Research roll (pp. 55-56,
World of Darkness Rulebook). Success on this roll allows the character to utilize the bonus from the Skill
Specialty as if it were his own for the rest of the night. Note that, when purchasing dots in the Annals, the
same Skill Specialty can be purchased up to three times.
For example, the Annals might be particularly focused on demonology, and if this Occult Skill Specialty
applies three times, it grants a +3 bonus to all appropriate Occult rolls.
The Storyteller may allow non-Mental Skill Specialties to apply when appropriate, but these may only be
purchased once. Those who do not contribute dots toward the Necropolis can still use the Annals, but have to
pierce the veil of confusion when trying to decipher the system of organization. They must still succeed on the
extended Research roll, but suffer a -3 to the roll and must gain 10 total successes.

Cacophony Listener (••• to •••••)


Book: Daeva - Kiss Of The Succubus, p. 116
Effect: People talk, and so do monsters. The tradition and taboo surrounding the Masquerade may obscure
communication between Kindred, but they don’t block it completely. A childe of the information age, your
character hears everything. Where other people see outbreaks of Masquerade breaches or scatterings of
pamphlets, your character sees what’s really going on. He has the ability to reconstruct current events in the
Kindred world from the mess of tiny messages vampires send, deliberately or otherwise. He recognizes useful
information, and knows where to get more.
Cacophony information sources are divided into the following levels of accessibility. Each level includes
the lower ones.
••• Word on the Street: Your character can read the signals used by neighboring vampires. He might
recognize the graffiti of the surrounding coteries, for example, or know their hand signals. Your character can
access the knowledge of Kindred who keep domains near his, or who have access to the same herds.
•••• Talk About Town: Your character knows where underground magazines and pamphlets get dropped, as
well as how to decode them. He can gain access to specific gossip and other messages being spread around
the city, and subjects of general Kindred interest, such as debates on how the Embrace works, around the
region.
••••• Friends Abroad: Your character is one of the rare Kindred with reliable, personal contacts outside his
nearby domains. For older vampires, these are likely to be mailboxes or phone numbers. For younger
generations, they might be Internet acquaintances or communities. Your character not only has access to the
general “noise” coming out of the world’s Kindred population, but can ask specific questions of other
information junkies. You should agree with the Storyteller in advance who your character’s sources are, as
with the Contacts Merit.
Once per topic, you may make a Wits + Investigation or Socialize roll. For each success, your character
learns one fact or finds one document about the subject in the Kindred community at the level he has access
to. If the Storyteller feels that less information exists than the number of successes rolled, she should inform
you, although your character may assume he simply hasn’t found anything yet.

Caldarium (•••• or •••••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 115
For some, the Nosferatu bath house is a truly glorious affair: tarnished brass tubs sunken into stone floors,
the tubs and water made hot by a floor heated through with steam or stoked with smoldering coals. For
others… well, in one Necropolis the bathhouse is a grimy series of pits filled with rancid blood whose skin
(like that which forms on old tomato soup) is pierced by the vigilant stirring of blind ghoul sycophants.
Story Use: The Caldaria are the social centers of the Necropolis: even those who choose not to partake in
the baths still come to feel the warmth and peer through the gauzy steam, brokering the deals of the Damned
that the vampires of the world above don’t know one whit about. Here, one Haunt sells his herd to another. Or
a coterie comes to beseech the aid of a fat-bellied Nosferatu smuggler. Or the whole of the Necropolis gathers
just to shoot the shit. The Caldaria are the one location in the Necropolis that strangers may be allowed to
visit. If the Haunts allow such a thing, then the Caldarium often lurks at the fringes of the Necropolis, a
distance away from anything the residents consider important. The Caldaria is, in a way, a Nosferatu Elysium:
one shall not bring violence here, or the Haunts will fill the baths with that one’s boiling blood and bubbling
juices.
System: At one dot, the Caldarium provides a place of social power for the Nosferatu: all Haunts within the
Caldarium gain +1 to rolls involving Expression, Persuasion, Socialize or Subterfuge. At three dots, this
bonus increases to +2, and in addition all present gain the Meditative Mind Merit. At five dots, the bonus
increases to +3, and a dark serenity stays with the Haunt even after he leaves the bathhouse. For the rest of the
night, he gains a +2 bonus against any kind of frenzy.

Cant Fluency (•)


Book: Damnation City, p. 200
Prerequisite: Politics • or Occult • or Streetwise •
Effect: Your character is fluent in one kind of Kindred marks. She may have learned this academically as
part of a dryly rational attempt to prepare herself for contact with street vampires, or she may have picked this
up through experience. However she learned it, she is now fluent both in reading and creating a style of
underground graffiti. She can read marks left behind in the style and leave marks for those fluent in it.
You must select a category of marks when purchasing this Merit. Categories include Clan Marks (covering
the marks of all Kindred clans in a single Merit), Covenant Marks (each covenant covered by a separate
Merit), or any other category unique to your chronicle’s city (such as a bloodline’s marks). This Merit can be
taken multiple times to reflect fluency in multiple marks.

Cant Savvy (••)


Book: Damnation City, p. 200
Prerequisite: Intelligence •• and Investigation • or Occult • or Streetwise •
Effect: Your character is adept at puzzling out the meanings of occulted graffiti with which she has no
fluency . With time, she can decrypt the symbols and numerology of gang tags, Kindred marks, and other
secret society glyphs. This enables her to read warning signs, coded directions, and declarations of territory
intended for someone else.
Your character gains a +2 bonus on the extended action to make sense of foreign and coded glyphs. Once
she has decrypted at least three of a group’s marks, she gains a +1 bonus on Social rolls with members of the
group.

Carthian Lawyer (••)


Book: Carthians, p. 184
Prerequisites: Vampire, Status (Carthians) •, Academics •
Effect: This Merit is applicable only in cities where Carthian Law has taken effect (see p. 172). The
character has learned to instinctively manipulate the Law to best suit her. This usually indicates that the
character has dwelled in the city for a long time and thus has an intuitive and experienced understanding of
the tenets that the city’s Kindred have passed, as well as how those tenets have changed over the years.
Sometimes such characters were lawyers or scholars in life, but sometimes they are simply people who latch
onto Carthian Law easily (which has some interesting implications, depending on what explanation for the
Law your troupe uses).
The systems for this Merit are included with the mechanics for Carthian Law and can be found on p. 174.

Carthian Pull (• to •••••)


Book: Carthians, p. 181
Prerequisite: Vampire, Carthian Pull can never exceed a character’s Covenant Status (Carthians).
Effect: Carthian Pull allows a character to use a network of associates to accomplish tasks that are beyond
his normal means. Because he has sowed some effort by working for the Movement, he gets to reap.
Pull is not quite the same as Status. Status is an index of respect and esteem. Carthian Pull measures how
much a character has gotten done, how much she’s perceived as doing for the covenant and how much the
covenant gestalt feels she deserves. Pull goes hand in hand with Covenant Status, inasmuch that someone who
is useful but despised is going to have as hard a time getting help as someone who is esteemed but hapless.
Once per game month, a character with Carthian Pull can apply it to one of the following Merits: Contacts,
Haven, Herd or Resources. This represents a fellow Carthian offering a favor or someone otherwise connected
somehow to the Movement offering temporary aid to the character.
Example: Roger has Carthian Pull •••. He’s got a fine haven, but he’s on the wrong side of town and needs
to lay low and heal after having his ass kicked in an ambush. Because Roger has some pull among his fellow
Carthians, he can call in a favor, substituting his Carthian Pull for Haven. In story terms, a Carthian or
Carthian sympathizer offers Roger a place to stay, allowing him to act as if he had Haven ••• for the night.
The effects of Carthian Pull do not last more than one night. Carthian Pull can be used to augment a Merit
the character already possesses (for example, someone with Contacts •• and Carthian Pull • can, once per
month, act as if he had Contacts •••), though Merits increased in this fashion can’t go above 5.
The player may also choose to parcel out the benefits. A character with Carthian Pull ••• could, say, use it to
raise his Resources by two one night and then, a few weeks later, improve his Haven by one for a night.
Whenever Carthian Pull is used, its effective level drops by the amount used for one month.

Catacombs (• to •••••)
Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 115
Some Necropoli are little more than a series of connected rooms: a rotting set of pocket doors opens to
reveal the library, a rusted porthole leads to the temple, and so forth. Others, though, have a great deal of
space between the rooms, and in some, this space is a precarious tangle, a true labyrinth. These are the
Catacombs.
In one Necropolis, the Catacombs are a series of long-forgotten and ill-conceived sewer tunnels, never-
mapped and choked with the foul miasma of trapped methane. In another, they are a tortuous knot of
abandoned mine tunnels or even an endless series of gutted bomb shelters whose matte gray appearances are
damnably similar that over time it becomes impossible to orient oneself in the never-ending sameness. Some
Nosferatu carve out their own Catacombs, blasting or hacking away at the rock to forge twisting burrows and
narrow bolt-holes. Some even decorate their catacombs with a funhouse flare, with strobe lights, rooms of
warped mirrors, floors that move, or concealed speakers that emit unnerving cacophonous notes.
Story Use: The Nosferatu use the Catacombs for protection. Those who seek to traverse the grim
underground and find the Necropolis have a great deal of trouble navigating the labyrinthine structure, thus
providing a potent buffer against the Haunts’ secrets. Those who dare to find the Necropolis often end up
wandering the dark tunnels and twisting chambers, hungry, thirsty, blind, mad. They wail as they feel along
the walls, driven to fits of hysteria.
System: Navigating the tunnels necessitates an extended Wits + Investigation roll, with ten successes
required. Each roll is equivalent to one hour’s worth of wandering. Those who do not have dots in the
Necropolis Merit suffer a penalty to this roll equal to the owners’ total dots in Catacombs. Those who do
possess any dots in the Merit, however, may still have to succeed on the roll. Even the Haunts may find
themselves periodically lost in the dark and distorted heart of their own Necropolis.
The Catacombs are almost unremittingly dark. Standard Perception rolls are hampered by a standard -3
penalty, and the “Fighting Blind” rules (p. 166, World of Darkness Rulebook) may apply at Storyteller
discretion.

Chapter Library (• to •••••)


Book: Night Horrors - Immortal Sinners, p. 43
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Ordo Dracul) (equal to Merit dots), Haven (Size) 1
The Dragons hoard information like few other creatures in the World of Darkness, but are not the best at
separating the truths from the fictions, keeping a great deal of esoteric information at their fingertips. The
particulars of any given Chapter Library tend to vary greatly from those of any other library, as the media and
subjects of research tend to be extremely personal.
For each dot in this Merit, the player chooses a subject of interest. Research rolls made in regard to this
subject take the usual amount of time but gain an equipment bonus equal to the rating in the Merit.
Furthermore, characters utilizing this Merit may substitute any appropriate Mental Skill for Academics when
making a Research roll. For example, an alchemist with a weak understanding of the Liberal Arts might
substitute Occult or Science when using Chapter Library (Alchemy) to research his chosen field.
Even the best-stocked library doesn’t hold the answer to every question. The information that can be
gleaned by digging through the character’s personal library is left to the Storyteller’s discretion.

Close Family (• to •••)


Book: Daeva - Kiss Of The Succubus, p. 117
Prerequisite: Must be a vampire.
Effect: To the Daeva, family means Blood. Family doesn’t always mean getting along or not screwing each
other, but at the end of the night, it’ll be family that comes for your body. Your character’s family line is
particularly widespread or in close contact in your local area. Doesn’t matter if they’re a mechanically distinct
bloodline or a group of cousins who just keep in touch: when your back’s against the wall, you’ve got
somebody to turn to — or at least somebody to be the wall.
Once per session, you may add a +3 bonus on a Manipulation + Persuasion or Manipulation + Empathy roll
involving a member of your character’s family. The family member isn’t anymore likely to put his life on the
line, but he is willing to take a few risks to help your character out. Especially if he sees something in it for
him.
The number of dots a character possesses in Close Family determines the distance at which this bonus
applies:
• Immediate Family: Sire or broodmate.
•• Middle Distance: Grandsire or first cousin.
••• Distant Kin: Second cousin, member of same bloodline.
At her discretion, the Storyteller may apply penalties to a Close Family roll. Some example conditions:
-1: Your character has recently asked for a lot of favors, or otherwise slightly annoyed members of his
family.
-2: Your character’s family may be close, but they have reason to completely ostracize him, such as
suspicion that he murdered a member of the family, or having been publicly convicted of a serious crime.
Drawback: Familial connections go both ways, particularly if one has called on them in the recent past. A
character with this Merit may expect to be asked to assist members of his Blood as well, or risk reducing the
rating of this Merit by one dot.

Coder Clique (•)


Book: Carthians, p. 181
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Computer ••
Effect: This is most commonly a website or blog where members discuss coding problems, software issues
and other, similar coder chat. While most the members of the group are Carthians, or at least Kindred, they
don’t discuss matters vampiric or Movement issues, except perhaps in passing. Private questions are
commonly handled via encrypted mail, or (if they’re especially delicate) through arranged face-to-face
meetings. Online is where the vampires go to find out whom to meet with, however. Generally, the system
works fine, until a mortal in the group accidentally finds out what his email pals really are — usually because
one of the Kindred assumed that everyone involved was Damned.
When making rolls with the Computer Skill, characters with this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Connections (• to •••••)
Book: Damnation City, p. 200
Prerequisite: Presence •• and Politics •• or Streetwise •••
Effect: Your character knows who is connected to whom in the feudal hierarchy. He’s met others face to
face throughout the social network. He knows names and faces. He knows the relationships between Kindred.
Each dot in this Merit represents knowledge of and rapport with two connections between your character
and others in the feudal hierarchy. For example, with just one dot in this Merit (a poor value by itself), your
character might have a rapport with his personal feudal lord (up one step from your character) and another of
the lord’s vassals (down one step from the lord). With more dots, the character can develop a reasonably
accurate picture of the city’s politics.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, two connections can be used to forge a connection between the character and
another Kindred of the same feudal rank or to recognize a private (invisible) connection between a Kindred of
the same feudal rank and any other. Connections with Kindred above the level of Regency (such as the Prince
and, in some cities, the Primogen) may be worth two connections as well, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
This Merit interacts with the schema described later in this chapter. Each branch of the feudal hierarchy is a
connection. With this Merit, a character has a good starting sketch of the city’s feudal schema.

Crucible Ritual (•••)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 202
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul), Resolve •• and one or more tiers of Coils
Effect: A crucible, in the jargon of the Ordo Dracul, is a Wyrm’s Nest with a spiritual atmosphere that
facilitates the personal awareness and philosophical growth necessary to learn new tiers of the Coils of the
Dragon. Not all Dragons are sensitive to the effects of a crucible, however. Fortunately, the covenant’s
Masters of the Coils are able to train Kindred to appreciate the subtle effects that crucibles have on the blood
and body of a vampire. Some Dragons describe the sensation of being affected by a crucible’s energy as
“being washed” or “floating back and forth on a river.” Others say the they feel the influence of a crucible “in
the curse.”
A character with this Merit is able to make use of the effects tied to a crucible. In most cases, a crucible
reduces the cost of purchasing a new tier in a particular Coil of the Dragon by three experience points. Other
crucible effects are possible at unique crucibles, as the Storyteller sees fit. All crucibles require some action
on the part of the character to “tune in” to the energy of the site. Often, this requires meditation, but some
crucibles may require the character to participate in ritual combat, to walk a particular path through the
Wyrm’s Nest, to sketch or paint the area or to slumber in its soil.
For more on Wyrm’s Nests and crucibles, see p. 40.

Current Events Circle (•)


Book: Carthians, p. 182
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Politics ••
Effect: This is a group that gets together to discuss current events, both mortal and Kindred. These
conversations become more and more frank as the members gain trust and confidence in one another.
Blabbermouths imperil a group like this, even though the kind of passion that leads to reckless opining can
keep such a circle fueled and running. It’s always a careful balance to maintain, especially since someone
kicked out for indiscretion is likely to be pissed and to have the political ammo to do something about it.
When making rolls with the Politics Skill, characters who have this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Dark Temple (••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 115
Perhaps it’s a small alter ringed with rat skulls, or a golden urn in which the ashes of an ancient Haunt
linger. Or perhaps it’s a bloody pulpit surrounded by rock walls made white with chalk crosses. Somehow,
this room hás become consecrated—why or when such a consecration happened is hard to say. The local
Haunts may or may not remember. Maybe the Dark Temple lies beneath an open sewer grate that opens up in
what they call “Murder Alley,” and over time all that bad blood dripping down left an indelible stain (both
physical and spiritual) on the room. Could be that some decrepit Nosferatu Saint (Saint Cheslin of the
Boneyard, Splinter of the Monastery of Yellowjackets) makes this room his sarcophagus. Or, perhaps it’s just
that this is where the Nosferatu choose to worship, and their grim energy has pooled here like so much
sewage.
Story Use: If a Necropolis has a Dark Temple, it is the spiritual center of the city of Haunts. Here they
gather to perform rituals in service to some old, mad god or goddess, be it the many monstrous faces of the
wretched Crone or the one shining face of the cruel Lord of the Lancea Sanctum. The presence of the Dark
Temple is also an indicator of the presence of one or several Nosferatu “holy men,” whether a synod of
withered Bishops or a Cybele cult leader who consecrated the temple by castrating himself on the altar, then
burning the wound forever shut with the hissing flame of an oil-soaked torch.
System: The Dark Temple can only be consecrated for the Lancea Sanctum or the Circle of the Crone; to
whom it provides its benefits must be decided at the time of the points purchased. The Storyteller may allow
characters to actively attempt to “reconsecrate” the Dark Temple to their own faith.
The consecration provides two benefits: usage of either Theban Sorcery or Cruac in this Dark Temple gain
+1 to those rituals, depending on whether the temple is sacred to the Crone or the Dark Father. Also, those
with Status in the appropriate covenant gain +2 Social dice when speaking to those without such Status while
in the Dark Temple.

Debate Club (•)


Book: Carthians, p. 182
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Persuasion ••
Effect: Kindred who like to argue get together, have some sort of structured (or unstructured) discussion,
pick a topic for the next time and then leave. The topics sometimes concern distinctly vampiric matters, but
more often are oriented to more general philosophy, especially political philosophy. Members not only learn
facts about a variety of topics, but also learn persuasive techniques that work on any topic.
When making rolls with the Persuasion Skill, characters who have this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Devoted (• to •••••)
Book: Ancient Mysteries, p. 65
Note: If your chronicle does not incorporate the system of Merit Degeneration, found on page 51 in this
book, this Merit does not have any mechanical effect.
Effect: When Kindred enter torpor, they often leave a number of assets, relationships, and other loose ends
unattended. In many cases, mortal individuals and institutions simply forget about the vampire. On occasion,
some of the groups a vampire holds an interest in simply vanish, a casualty of culture, technology or conflict.
Kindred who are used to power, influence and prestige do not adjust well to the loss of their comforting
control over mortal society.
Gathering a host of Devoted followers, descendants, cults, or even worshippers helps to shore up a
vampire’s influence that he worked for before entering torpor. The Devoted can be organized in a number of
different ways. A preferred ghoul and his family watch over the vampire, knowing that this dark family duty
will one day be rewarded. An occult society places magical significance on the torpid vampire, shaping and
evolving the secret society around their vigil. An old world crime family, bound by tradition and respect for
elders, watches over the family secret and keeps a web of influence ready for the dark ancestor’s return.
This Merit allows a vampire to retain a number of Social Merits in the event that he enters torpor for nearly
any length of time. Social Merits affected by this Merit include Allies, Contacts, Resources and Retainer.
However the player describes the vampire’s Devoted, this mixed group of mortals is charged with supporting
the Kindred’s wealth, keeping records on the surrounding populace, and maintaining a presence in institutions
in lieu of the slumbering Kindred. For each dot the character possesses in the Devoted Merit, the player may
assign two automatic successes to a single at-risk Merit.
Example: Referring to the previous example of Maxwell’s Merits, he also has the Devoted Merit at two
dots. Of the three Merits at risk (Allies 4, Contacts 2, and Resources 3), he may choose two of them, assigning
two automatic successes to those two merits’ dice pools before rolling. He chooses Contacts and Resources,
ensuring the retention of the entire Contacts Merit and only needing a single success on the roll for Resources
in order to retain all of the dots in that Merit. The player must roll for the Allies Merit as usual.

Distant Sympathy (••)


Book: Ancient Mysteries, p. 66
Prerequisite: Blood Potency 6
Effect: The normal limits of distance do not apply to the vampire with this Merit when determining what
she is able to sense through Blood Sympathy (Vampire: The Requiem, p. 163). While a vampire is normally
limited to the metropolitan area, or roughly 50 miles, a vampire with this Merit has extended this range to
virtually any place in the world. This Merit does not allow a vampire to “transmit” across vast distances; for
that, she is still limited to the normal distance limitations.

Doll Face (•)


Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 118
Effect: No matter how badly the character got messed up last night, when she awakens from her daily
slumber she is always groomed immaculately, without need for a mirror or a servant to do the work for her.
Her hair and make-up are exactly as they were the night before. Her skin is as clean as it was the night she
was Embraced. The vampire instinctively knows this to be the case.
Vampires with this Merit whose Humanity scores fall low enough to severely impact their interaction with
mortal humans begin to look like dolls or mannequins. Their uncanny grooming makes them too perfect, too
artificial.
Just as normal, it costs a Willpower point for a vampire with this Merit to make a permanent change to her
appearance.

Domain (• to •••••)
Book: Damnation City, p. 200
Prerequisite: Fealty Flaw
Effect: Your character is lord over a domain granted to him by an overlord.
Like the Haven Merit, the Domain Merit actually encompasses several other related Merits. Most of these
“under- Merits” closely resemble their counterparts from the Haven Merit (see Vampire: The Requiem, p.
100-102).
In many cases, your character’s ratings in this Merit won’t be variable, but rather given to you by the
Storyteller to reflect a domain already in existence in the game world. You may be able to gradually increase
certain values of these Merits with experience points, but changing the character of a neighborhood doesn’t
simply happen and certainly does not happen because your character solved a mystery last week. The
Storyteller must oversee alterations to this Merit. See “Designing Domains,” p. 203, for guidelines on creating
and altering domains.
The following Domain Merits are each purchased or defined separately.
Domain Location (• to •••••)
Effect: This Merit generally measures how easy it is for a vampire to hunt within the Domain. Each dot of
Domain Location grants a +1 bonus to hunting rolls for any character in the domain, whether resident or
trespasser. This Merit also defines the maximum number of dots in Haven Location a resident Kindred can
have here. Your character, as the lord of the Domain, may impose a lower maximum on a tenant, vassal, or
simple resident by demanding she nest in some secluded part of the territory.
This Merit is not identical to the Feeding Ground Merit. Feeding Ground represents a body of mortals
suitable for hunting regardless (or even in spite of) the general atmosphere and landscape of the area. Dots in
Domain Location cannot be “cashed in” for dots in Herd.
This Merit is its own drawback. Better feeding grounds attract trespassers who often bring trouble with
them. The lord of a domain with a good Location has to protect it.
Domain Quality: Interactive (• to •••••)
Effect: The Domain Quality Merit describes the Domain’s influence over actions in the area and the nature
of its populace. In practical terms, it defines the maximum modifiers, positive or negative, the Domain can
have in its Interactive Attributes (see p. 251). An Interactive Attribute can have a positive or negative
modifier up to the number of dots in this Merit.
Thus, with two dots in this Merit, the Domain can have a +1, –1, +2 or –2 ratings in Access, Information,
and Prestige. An Attribute does not have to be rated to the maximum possible modifier, but no Attribute’s
modifier can exceed the dots in this Merit. So, with Domain Quality: Interactive •• the Domain could have
Access –2, Information +1 and Prestige +2.
Domain Quality: Reactive (• to •••••)
Effect: The Domain Quality Merit describes the Domain’s influence over actions in the area and the nature
of its populace. In practical terms, it defines the maximum modifiers, positive or negative, the Domain can
have in its Reactive Attributes (see p. 251). A Reactive Attribute can have a positive or negative modifier up
to the number of dots in this Merit.
Thus, with two dots in this Merit, the Domain can have a +1, –1, +2 or –2 ratings in Safety, Awareness and
Stability. An Attribute does not have to be rated to the maximum possible modifier, but no Attribute’s
modifier can exceed the dots in this Merit. So, with Domain Quality: Reactive ••• the Domain could have
Safety +2, Information –3 and Prestige –1.
Domain Size (• to •••••)
Effect: Domain Size measures the amount of physical ground your Domain covers. More is not always
better. A larger Domain means more land to patrol and defend, more space for Kindred trespassers to slip in
or even lair unnoticed, and more room for troubles to emerge. More land, however, generally also means
greater Status and prestige among other Kindred in the feudal hierarchy.
Domain Size isn’t a precise measure of blocks or miles. It’s a relative measure of the domain compared to
the city and its Districts. In general, each dot of Domain Size should correspond roughly to the lord’s station
in the feudal hierarchy — the lowliest domains are Domain Size • while all but the most modest or token-
appointed Regents are Domain Size •••••. (The Prince doesn’t count his dominion by Domain Size as his
Domain trumps everyone else’s — it’s the whole damn city.) In some cities a single dot of Domain Size
might represent three or four blocks of turf while in others it could be nine or ten streets wide. It depends on
the size of the city and the Prince’s standards for the number of domains her city should have.
The guiding rule of Domain Size is its relationship to the Tenant and Vassal Merits. Your character can
purchase a Tenant or Vassal Merit once for each dot of Domain Size. Resident Kindred who keep havens in
the domain, but have no formal claim to land under the lord, count for about half a dot of Domain Size as an
abstract measurement, but the Storyteller should adjust that measurement relative to the size of the domain. A
nest with five dots in Haven Size may be worth a whole dot of Domain Size in a small city or crowded
District where a mansion sized lair would be almost impossible to maintain under the Masquerade. The
Masquerade is always a looming factor in determining what kinds of havens are suitable for the Domain Size.
(But don’t discount the ability of a domain to contain hidden networks of rooms in defunct office buildings or
even abandoned subway stations serving as palatial havens.)
This Merit, therefore, doesn’t necessarily limit the number of dots that local havens can have in Haven Size.
The Storyteller has the right to set a limit in order to reflect the nature of the domain’s neighborhood, but it’s
not essential. Regardless of limits imposed by the domain, the lord of the land always has the right to limit the
size of local havens. It’s his right to decide how much of his land another Kindred receives. Some lords cite
the Masquerade when forcing their tenants into smaller havens, but the fact is that lordly fiat is all the
justification they need.
Domain Security (• to •••••)
Domain Security reflects the general safety of the area, either as the result of police oversight or the
proximity of Hounds or a surplus of gated condos and iron grilled storefronts. Domain Security interacts with
the local District’s Attributes (and thus the Domain Quality Merits) but doesn’t override them. Neither does it
dictate a limit on Haven Security dots in the domain.
Domain Security modifies the likelihood of thieves and muggers in the domain. Each dot of Domain
Security imposes a –1 die penalty on rolls to locate or hire characters specializing in Skills like Larceny,
Stealth, Streetwise, and Subterfuge. This penalty does not apply to the actual physical acts of breaking and
entering, though; that’s covered by the Security dots of individual buildings like havens. Rather, Domain
Security reduces the need for dots in Haven Security.
The Storyteller could assume that an average neighborhood in the city is prowled by muggers and thieves
with an average dice pool of 7 plus or minus Stability modifiers. The Storyteller rolls that particular dice pool
to determine if a random act of crime or violence emerges from the background to spice up the chapter. A
success indicates a couple of muggers or a car thief. An exceptional success could indicate an armed robbery,
drive-by shooting, or open shootout in the street. Dots in Domain Security, modified by Safety, are rolled to
contest the random crime roll.
The domain’s rating in Haven Security (modified by District Attributes) can be rolled, with each success
reducing the response time by one minute from a base starting time of ten minutes, to determine the response
time of local police.
Strictly speaking, a lord may impose a ruling on the security measures of local havens — declaring blaring
alarms off limits or demanding Kindred have barred windows — but it is not his feudal right to do so. The
space within a Kindred’s haven is his own. That is where every vampire is a lord.
Dream Visions (•••)
Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 119
Effect: More than any other clan, the Mekhet dream. And sometimes, between bizarre, gory, awful dreams
of death and transformation and blood, they dream of places they haven’t been to and people they haven’t yet
met. Sometimes, during some later night, they find themselves going to those places or meeting those people
(Nitokris, Vincent Moon and Elisabeta all dreamed of Frances before they met her, for example).
With this Merit, your character can make use of his dream-visions. The first time (and only the first time)
he meets another person or visits a place, the player can make a roll of Blood Potency. If it’s a success, the
player can ask one (and only one) question about the person or place, which must be phrased so that it can be
answered truthfully with “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe.” The roll can only be made once regarding any individual,
and the roll can only be attempted once a scene (meaning that, for example, if the character meets two
vampires for the first time, the player must choose which of them to ask the question about, because he won’t
ever get the chance to ask about the other).
Note: Though this Merit is not restricted to Mekhet characters, it is found among the Shadows more often
than any other clan.

Encounter Group (•)


Book: Carthians, p. 182
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Empathy ••
Effect: The Carthians borrow freely and widely from mortal organizations. One organization from which
some borrow is Alcoholics Anonymous. Others were Embraced after the advent of widespread group therapy.
If Kindred were in a support group before they died, they almost certainly feel some inclination to get in one
after.
Encounter groups for Kindred are scheduled opportunities for vampires to discuss personal matters in
what’s supposed to be a safe, nonjudgmental and supportive environment. They can discuss practical things
(“How do I keep his wife from finding out?”) and more emotional issues (“I keep getting romantically
involved with my — you know — the people I feed on.”) The advice varies widely in terms of actual value,
but one side effect of an encounter group is that it can help you learn the signs of real emotional trauma, as
well as the tells of incomplete honesty.
When making rolls with the Empathy Skill, characters who have this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Feeding Ground (• to •••••)


Book: Damnation City, p. 202
Prerequisite: Fealty Flaw (for •••• or ••••• only)
Effect: Your character has been granted one of a limited number of exclusive hunting grounds in the city.
This hunting ground is like a private patch of land to farm, which is making your character at least a crofter in
the feudal hierarchy. Even with a large or rich hunting ground (•••• or •••••, say), your character does not have
any feudal rank without the City Status Merit or any real authority without the Domain Merit.
Exclusive hunting grounds grant a dice pool bonus to hunting attempts made therein. That bonus should
range from +1 to +3. Each increasing bonus in hunting dice pools should be proportionally rare and at a rarity
determined by the Storyteller to represent the scarcity or bounty of easy Vitae in the domain. For example,
there may be four hunting grounds of +3 value in the domain, 12 of +2 value, and 36 of +1 value. These
values are not cumulative; time spent hunting in one feeding ground precludes time spent hunting in another.
As an option, the player may choose to “cash in” a hunting ground in order to cultivate a number of Herd
Merit points equal to the original bonus. This effectively reduces the bonus of that hunting ground to +0
permanently. (Kindred may continue to hunt there, but they simply don’t gain the benefit of the bonus
anymore.)
Multiple Kindred may share the benefit of a plentiful hunting ground, but overtaxing the local vessels is a
quick way to scare people off and thus reduce the bonus. Each time in one month that more than a single
character takes advantage of the bonus in a specific hunting ground on a single night, make a note of it. If
such occurs more than the value of the bonus in that single month, the bonus is negated completely until the
Storyteller deems otherwise.
Fighting Style: Swarm (• to •••••)
Book: Wicked Dead, p. 106
Any vampire that fights the Larvae and survives can pass along this piece of wisdom to his fellows—“Do
not let them surround you.” A pack of Larvae doesn’t have much in the way of intelligence, but more than
makes up for it in animal cunning, ferocity and tenacity. This Fighting Style simulates the way in which a
pack of Larvae takes down its prey.
Note that only a true pack of Larvae uses the Swarm. If, for some reason, several unaffiliated Larvae wound
up in the same place at the same time, and a convenient victim was nearby, the minions would be just as
likely to attack each other as the vessel. They certainly would not use any of the maneuvers listed here, even
if they knew them.
Not all Larvae are equally talented in battle, and so not all of them have access to all levels of the Fighting
Style. The Storyteller needs to decide, when using Larvae in a battle, which minions have access to the
Swarm and at what rating. It might be simpler to assume that all members of a pack have the same rating,
rather than write out traits for a large group of them, of course.
Dots purchased (or granted) in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each dot is a
prerequisite for the next one, so a Larva can’t have Set-Up until he has Dogpile. All Larvae involved in a
given maneuver have to have the requisite dots in this Merit to enact it, except for Sever Limbs (see below).
• Synchronicity: The Larvae anticipate one another’s moves, waiting for an unspoken signal before
moving in. The Storyteller makes one initiative roll for the Larvae, using the character with the highest
Initiative modifier. All members of the pack act on this initiative.
•• Dogpile: The Larvae attack a single target simultaneously, grappling him and holding him down. A
maximum of three Larvae can enact this maneuver at once. Use the grappling system found on p. 157 of The
World of Darkness Rulebook, except that the Larvae use the teamwork rules (found on p. 134 of that book).
The primary actor subtracts the target’s full Defense rating from the roll, but if the roll succeeds, the character
is grappled by all of the participating Larvae. This means that to break free, the grappled character’s player
must roll Strength + Brawl – the highest Strength rating of the grappling Larvae + 1 for each additional Larva.
The grappling Larva can bite the target on the next turn, but cannot enact other Swarm maneuvers.
••• Set-Up: One Larva moves in and absorbs a blow from a victim. As the blow lands, the next Larva
attacks, taking advantage of his packmate’s sacrifice. The first Larva sacrifices his Defense, taking no action
for the turn. If the target attacks the “sacrificial” Larva, another member of the pack can attack the target and
gain a +2 to the attack roll. Only one Larva can take advantage of this maneuver in a turn.
•••• Eyes Everywhere: Since Larvae have an intuitive sense of each other’s positions and current situation,
they are extremely difficult to overwhelm. All Larvae in a given combat scene with this level of Swarm do
not suffer from the Defense penalty due to multiple attacks in the same turn (see p. 155 of The World of
Darkness Rulebook).
••••• Sever Limbs: Once a pack of Larvae has grappled a target using Dogpile, it can hold the target
immobile allowing devastating attacks from other members of the swarm. By chewing through the target’s
flesh at joints, the Larvae can sever a target’s arm or leg in a matter of seconds. This is an extended action,
during which the target must remain immobilized in the grapple. The attack roll comes from a Larva not
involved in the Dogpile (and whose Strength doesn’t contribute to the penalty for breaking free, therefore).
The Storyteller makes the Larva’s attack roll as usual. The target’s Defense does not apply. The Larva must
accumulate a number of successes equal to the (target’s Stamina x 2) + Resilience (if any). If the Larva
manages to accumulate these successes before the target breaks free, the creature chews through the target’s
elbow, shoulder or knee and removes the attached limb. To a living target, this immediately fills the
character’s Health track with Lethal damage (meaning that the character is bleeding out), even if the successes
on the attack roll(s) were not sufficient to do this. To a vampire, the loss of the limb is obviously terrifying
and inconvenient, but the vampire won’t bleed to death. He merely suffers the Lethal damage indicated by the
Larva’s attacks.
Only the Larva making the chewing attack needs to have Fighting Style: Swarm •••••.
Example: A pack of four Larvae attack a hapless mortal walking home one night. Three of them (each with
Swarm ••) grapple him, while the fourth (with Swarm •••••) chews through his arm. The man’s Stamina is 2,
his Health rating is 7 and he has no wounds going into the fight. That means that Larva needs 4 successes to
chew through his arm. The Storyteller rolls 3 successes on the first turn and 2 on the second. This indicates 5
levels of Lethal damage, but it’s also enough to separate the man from his arm. This fills his Health track with
Lethal damage and he immediately begins to bleed out (as described on p. 173 of The World of Darkness
Rulebook). Of course, the Larvae will surely drain his blood in the next few seconds, killing him.
If the hapless wanderer had been a vampire with Resilience 1, the Larvae would have a much harder time of
it. For one thing, once the vampire activated Resilience, his effective Stamina increases to 3, meaning the
Larva needs 7 successes to sever the limb (Stamina 3 x 2 = 6 + Resilience 1 = 7). At that point, it’s more
likely that the Larva will put the vampire into torpor than take off his arm.

Fighting Style: Swarm Tactics (• to ••)


Book: Carthians, p. 183
Prerequisite: Vampire, Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Brawl or Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character has been trained to fight cooperatively, as a member of a tactical unit instead of just
a lone brawler. Originally developed by anarchist demonstrators to overwhelm armed and protected (but
outnumbered) police, Swarm Tactics offer Carthians distinct advantages against battle-Disciplined Kindred or
other foes.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for
the next. So, your character can’t have “Unexpected Strike” until he has “Feint.” The maneuvers and their
effects are detailed below. All can be used with either Brawl or Weaponry.
Feint (•): You may declare that you’re making a Feint, and then roll a normal Brawl or Weaponry attack
against a single opponent. If the roll succeeds, it does no damage, but anyone else who attacks that opponent
can use Unexpected Strike if he knows how. The opponent is vulnerable until the end of the turn.
Unexpected Strike (••): If you attack someone who has successfully been fooled by a Feint, you can take 9
Again with your attack, even if the weapon you’re using typically allows only 10 Again. If you attack
someone who has been fooled by two Feints, you can take 8 Again as well.

Font Ritual (••)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 202
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul), Academics • and Occult ••
Effect: To make use of the spiritual powers contained in the Wyrm’s Nests called wellheads or fontal nests,
a Dragon must know an arcane ritual capable of harnessing and channeling that power into a medium suitable
for vampires: blood. Before a vampire can learn those abstruse rituals, however, she must be trained in the
ways of blood attunement and ritual memorization. Learning rituals is demanding — it requires the Dragon to
develop a sort of psychic muscle memory for the words, behaviors and acts of will necessary to invoke a
ritual’s power. But before the Dragon can “train her blood” to perform a ritual, she must learn how to learn, in
a sense.
A character with this Merit can purchase and perform fontal rituals (described on p. 209). In addition, this
Merit grants the character a +2 bonus on Wits-based dice pools to investigate or locate nearby fontal nests.
This Merit grants no bonus on dice pool for mystic extrapolation, but does aid in dousing (see p. 42).

Garbage Pit (••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 116
Trash has to go somewhere. Welcome to the Garbage Pit (which like many of the chambers listed here may
have its own name in the Necropolis: The Shit Pit, perhaps, or simply, The Ditch). In some cases, it’s the trash
from the world above. Garbage seems to ceaselessly wind its way downward, as if seeking interment and
decay. Other trash comes from the Nosferatu themselves: old blood-stained clothing, broken masks, pilfered
goods from victims, and so forth.
Garbage Pits come in many shapes: a big broad room that stinks of motor oil, curry, mold; a pile of metal
parts strewn across several chambers, the floor practically lined with raw tetanus; or a collection of bins
which gives the appearance of some kind of organization and neatness but is truly just a bunch of bins filled
with refuse and debris.
Story Use: The Garbage Pit finds many uses among the Necropolis Haunts. Looking for a present for your
true love (a ghoul chained to a pipe on the other side of the underground kingdom)? Dig around, see what you
can find. Need to hide a couple of corpses? The Garbage Pit is glad to swallow them up. Is the Necropolis
compromised with enemies traversing and stalking the halls? Lead them to an ambush in the Garbage Pit,
where the freaks lie in wait…
System: The Garbage Pit provides a handful of unconnected benefits. The first is that when aiming to use
Crafts to jury-rig a device, a Nosferatu’s player can make an extended Wits + Investigation roll to look for a
“missing part.” Five successes are necessary, and each roll is an hour of digging deep into the debris and
waste. Second, any Nosferatu with points invested in the Necropolis gains a +2 to Stealth rolls performed
within the Garbage Pit (imagine as him dancing across a floating pig carcass, deftly leaping to an oil drum
and ducking behind na old Vaudeville sign—all in perfect silence). Third, the Nosferatu are home amongst
the trash, and gain +1 Initiative here.

Geomantic Nexus (• to ••••• and • to •••; Special)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 202
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul), Occult ••• and Wits ••
Effect: Many Dragons within the Order are fascinated with geomancy — the magic of locations and spatial
arrangements. While the Order’s version of geomancy borrows heavily from traditional feng shui and the
European study of ley lines, their long spans of study (and their undead patience) have taken it in some unique
directions.
Characters with this Merit have a carefully maintained space that enhances good fortune on actions
performed within it. This “fortune” takes the form of a dice pool bonus on rolls involving a specific trait. For
instance, a library might be arranged to grant a +2 bonus on Intelligence dice pools, while a ceremonial
chamber might be altered to provide a +1 bonus on dice pools based on Presence. These bonuses only apply
to actions taken inside the space.
This Merit works somewhat like the Haven Merit, and can even be combined with it. Geomantic Nexus is
actually two interconnected Merits. Geomantic Nexus Size defines the size of the nexus (from • to •••••),
using the same scale as the Haven Merit (reprinted here for your convenience). Geomantic Nexus Potency
defines the potency of the nexus (from • to •••). If your character already has a space defined with the Haven
Merit, she can apply the Geomantic Nexus Potency Merit directly to that space without “buying it again.”
Thus, your character can even add a geomantic effect to a shared haven or to someone else’s haven.
• A small apartment, a suite or a shop; 1-2 rooms
•• A large apartment or small home; 3-4 rooms
••• A small warehouse, a church or a large home; 5-8 rooms
•••• A mansion, a warehouse or a medium-sized office building; 9-15 rooms
••••• A sprawling estate or several floors of a tall building; 16+ rooms
Each dot purchased in Geomantic Nexus Potency adds a +1 bonus to dice pools based on a single Attribute.
The Attribute a space affects cannot be changed, but it can be replaced by purchasing this Merit again. A
space can only be affected by one instance of the Geomantic Nexus Potency Merit. Therefore, a given space
can be aligned with only one Attribute.
Example: Victor already has three dots in the Haven Size Merit when he buys his third dot in the Occult
Skill and becomes eligible to purchase the Geomantic Nexus Merit. Rather than creating his geomantic nexus
somewhere outside his haven, Victor chooses to buy two dots in Geomantic Nexus for his haven. Victor’s
player spends only the experience points necessary to buy Geomantic Nexus Potency ••, and chooses to align
his nexus with Wits — Victor doesn’t want to be surprised in his sleep.
This Merit presumes that your character has regular access to the space in question and is able to perform
regular geomantic maintenance on it. Your character doesn’t have to own the space or be in charge of it, she
just needs regular access to it.
The time requirements of geomantic maintenance depend on the size of the space and the size of the bonus.
A good rule of thumb is that a space requires about one hour of mystic adjustment and careful alignment
every month for every room that grants the bonus. In many cases, this maintenance time won’t be important,
but in some stories, time is a factor. Either a whole space is successfully maintained, or it’s not. Two hours of
work on a mansion that normally requires 10 hours of geomantic upkeep aren’t sufficient to maintain the
bonus in two rooms, for example. The mystic alignment of the whole space must be correct, or there is no
bonus. If a space goes untended for one month, its geomantic effects are suspended. To restore the bonus,
your character must dedicate sufficient hours to maintenance for the month; it’s not necessary to purchase this
Merit again unless you want to adjust the geomantic state of a whole new space.
Note that one aligned site can’t exist inside a larger one. It’s not possible to have a +1 bonus to
Manipulation dice pools in the bedroom and a +3 bonus to Presence dice pools everywhere else in the house,
for example.
Disrupting a positive arrangement isn’t too hard: change enough elements and the balance is ruined.
Trashing a room, repainting a house, tearing out the grove of Spanish moss-draped cypress trees on the estate
— all these things can disrupt positive geomancy. Generally speaking, a roll isn’t even required as long as
destruction is occurring. It’s up to the Storyteller’s judgment when enough damage has been done, but in no
event is it possible to mess up a good vibe and have the Dragon who maintains it fail to notice.
Ghost Eater (•••)
Book: Book Of The Dead, p. 54
Prerequisite: Vampire
Effect: The character can draw sustenance from ghosts even outside of the Underworld. While she doesn’t
retain the ability simply to walk up to a ghost and feed from it, she can claim Vitae from ghosts under certain
circumstances.
This Merit requires that the character has learned to feed from ghosts in the Underworld as described above.
When the character learns to feed in the Underworld, the player may at any point after that (provided the
character is still in the Underworld) expend the experience points necessary to purchase this Merit (12 points).
Thereafter, the character can touch a ghost’s anchor and steal Essence from the ghost, one point per turn, just
as if the vampire was feeding on blood. Onlookers see the vampire’s eyes glow a faint blue color, and the
anchor shudders slightly under her touch.
Ghosts can sense when their anchors are being violated thus, and are free to defend them as they see fit. This
makes ghost-eating a risky form of feeding. Also, this Merit doesn’t help a vampire find a ghost’s anchor
(though nothing stops her from touching everything in a given haunted area trying to find it). But since ghosts
regain Essence by remaining near their anchors, a vampire with this Merit that discovers an anchor or brings
one to her Haven has a potentially unlimited supply of Vitae, and no mortals have to die.
Drawback: Of course, everything comes with a price. A vampire that feeds exclusively on Essence
gradually loses the ability to feed on anything else. If the Kindred consumes Essence for a number of months
equal to her Humanity, and feeds on blood less than once a week on average, she loses the ability to take
nourishment from blood. She can only gain Vitae from Essences. Vampires to whom this happens usually
either amass a collection of anchors, or flee to the Underworld for good.

Good Breeding (• to •••)


Book: Ventrue - Lords Over The Damned, p. 106
Prerequisite: Cannot have dots in Bad Breeding. Only certain bloodlines and clans in the city qualify as
“well bred” for the purposes of this Merit, but who is esteemed varies from city to city. The Storyteller has
final say on what clans or bloodlines make a character eligible for this Merit in the local city.
Effect: Your character is part of a bloodline or family line regarded as admirable, classy, refined, dutiful or
otherwise noble according to Ventrue tastes (and the customs they promote throughout Kindred society). This
counterpart to the Bad Breeding Merit carries with it a distinct connotation of poise and excellence to those
Lords who concern themselves with ancestry and parentage, but that connotation is subjective – Kindred
expect a certain decorum from a well-bred vampire.
This Merit represents your character’s ability to use traditional preconceptions of his social standing to his
own advantage. As a creature of fashion and taste, your character might be able to pass off an exposed lie as a
polite gesture, present his opinion as something more valuable than it is, or explain away his secrecy as
discretion. It isn’t considered rude for your character to miss appointments or excuse himself from difficult
situations.
In game terms, this Merit grants a bonus to Social dice pools when, at the Storyteller’s discretion, the
reputation of your character, his sire, his clan, or his bloodline influences the Kindred or ghoul he is trying to
affect. You may choose to invoke a bonus up to the number of dots your character has in this Merit,
depending on how aggressively your character takes advantage of other’s preconceptions. Remember, though,
that this is a Social Merit – a white-collar reputation doesn’t actually grant your character any special
knowledge of politics or finance.
The bonus from this Merit is useful only when dealing with characters who care about lineage, reputation,
and breeding among the Damned. Even then, it is limited by the overriding importance of Status. While your
character (through your clever play) may be able to use Good Breeding to distract from his lack of useful
Covenant Status, Kindred of great rank are likely to care more about their authority than your character’s
breeding. A character with more dots of Status than you have in this Merit is not subject to your Good
Breeding bonus. (For example, the Priscus doesn’t find your character’s parentage impressive if you can’t
back it up with actual authority.)
Drawback: When you choose to make use of the Good Breeding bonus in a given scene, your character is
taking advantage of preconceptions. Those same preconceptions can work against him. Later, the Storyteller
may penalize a dice pool by imposing a modifier equal to the bonus you invoked earlier, depending on how
other characters in the scene regard yours. The bonus to Socialize you gained from your reputation as a
prestigious social accessory might penalize a Subterfuge roll later on, when you try to claim you weren’t at
that party.

Haunted Channel (• to •••••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 109
Effect: When a ghost endeavors to communicate with the Nosferatu or manifest near the character, the
ghost gains a number of dice equal to the dots purchased in this Merit. The Nosferatu gains no control over
the ghost, but the ghost finds it has a much easier time communicating with the Nosferatu than with others,
whether manifesting or communicating without Numina, or attempting to use Numina such as Clairvoyance,
Ghost Sign or Ghost Speech. The ghost gains nothing to rolls made in attempt to harm the Nosferatu (though
insulting or threatening communications still gain the bonus).

Haunted Hand (• to •••••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 109
Effect: Whenever the Nosferatu makes a roll against a ghost (be it a roll to communicate with it, abjure it,
exorcise it, or use a blessed item against it), the Nosferatu gains a number of dice equal to the dots purchased
in this Merit. This bonus doesn’t apply when attempting to affect a ghost’s anchor.

Haven (• to •••••; Special)


Book: Vampire: The Requiem Core, p. 100
Effect: A haven is a place where a vampire sleeps, protected from the sun during the deadly daylight hours.
Legends tell of vampires in dark, twisted citadels on high mountain peaks, complete with labyrinthine
catacombs, but the reality is far less grandiose. In truth, a haven can be as simple as a sewer or an abandoned
warehouse or a crate in a forgotten storage closet, as long as it is undisturbed between dawn and dusk.
All havens are not created equal. A warehouse might have plenty of space and proximity to a significant
amount of prey, but it might not be secure against unwanted visitors. An abandoned subway car in a long-
forgotten tunnel has space and adequate security, but it might be so far out of the way that finding prey is
difficult. Great time and effort is spent finding suitable havens, and their value is represented by three factors
— location, size and security. Players who choose this Merit must also choose how to allocate these three
factors when spending points. For instance, two points may be spent on Haven Location, with a third spent on
Haven Security.
A good Haven Location makes it easier for a vampire to feed, situated near a meeting place for large
numbers of humans. A haven with many dots in this category might be close to several nightclubs or bars that
do considerable nighttime business, while one with few dots might simply be close to a bus or train station
that brings travelers on a regular basis. Each dot of Haven Location grants a +1 die bonus on hunting checks
for the character who controls it and any whom she allows in. Havens without any dots in Location are
sufficiently secluded so as to not provide any bonus.
Haven Size is important to characters who need a place to safely store their possessions and valuables. A
haven with no dots in Haven Size is just large enough for its owner and perhaps a single companion, with
minimal if any storage capacity— the aforementioned crate in the forgotten storage closet, or a cramped
apartment. By spending points to increase a haven’s size, a player allows for accoutrements and personal
effects. Larger havens can be anything from mansions to mountain hideaways to vast subterranean catacombs.
Note, however, that havens of considerable size are not necessarily easy to maintain.
• A small apartment or underground chamber; 1-2 rooms
•• A large apartment or small family home; 3-4 rooms
••• A warehouse, church or large home; 5-8 rooms, or large enclosure
•••• A abandoned mansion or network of subway tunnels; equivalent of 9-15 rooms or chambers
••••• A sprawling estate or vast network of tunnels; countless rooms or chambers
Of course, Haven Location and Haven Size do not prevent rival vampires from attempting to find and steal
choice havens, nor do they prevent intrusion by mortals (police, criminal organizations, social workers).
Players of characters who wish to ensure privacy and safety may choose to spend points on Haven Security,
thus making it difficult for others to gain entrance. Havens with no dots in Haven Security can be found by
those intent enough to look, and offer little protection once they have been breached. Each dot of Haven
Security subtracts one die from efforts to intrude into the haven by anyone a character doesn’t specifically
allow in. This increased difficulty may be because the entrance is so difficult to locate (behind a bookcase,
under a carpet) or simply difficult to penetrate (behind a vault door). Also, each dot of Haven Security offers a
+1 bonus on Initiative for those inside against anyone attempting to gain entrance (good sight lines, video
surveillance).
Characters whose players spend no points at all on Haven might have their own small, humble havens, or
perhaps they share the haven of a sire or Prince. In any event, they simply do not gain the mechanical benefits
of those who have spent Merit points improving the quality of their homes.
Each aspect of the Haven Merit has a limit of 5. In other words, Haven Location, Haven Size and Haven
Security may not rise above 5 (to a maximum of 15 points spent on this Merit).
Special: It’s possible for the Haven Merit to be shared among characters in a close-knit group. They might
simply be devoted to one another and willing to pool what they have, or perhaps their mutual reliance on an
individual or trust could bring them together to share what they have in common.
To share this Merit, two or more characters simply have to be willing to pool their dots for greater
capability. A shared rating in the Haven Merit cannot rise higher than five dots in any of the three aspects of
the trait. That is, characters cannot pool more than five points to be devoted to, say, Haven Size. If they wish
to devote extra points to the Merit, they must allocate those dots to a different aspect of the Merit, such as
Location or Security.
Shared Haven dots can be lost. Coterie members or associates might be abused or mistreated, ending
relationships. Group members might perform actions that cast themselves (and the group) in a bad light.
Money might be spent or lost. If any group member does something to diminish the haven, its dots decrease
for all group members. That’s the weakness of sharing dots in this Merit. The chain is only as strong as its
weakest link. The Storyteller dictates when character actions or events in a story compromise shared Haven
dots.
Characters can also leave a shared haven. A rift might form between close Kindred. A character might meet
Final Death. Or one could be kicked out of the haven by the others. When a character leaves a shared-Haven
relationship, the dots he contributed are removed from the pool. If the individual still survives, he doesn’t get
all his dots back for his own purposes. He gets one less than he originally contributed. So, if a character
breaks a relationship with his coterie, his two Haven dots are lost by the group, but he gets only one dot back
for his own purposes. The lost dot represents the cost or bad image that comes from the breakup. If all
members agree to part ways, they all lose one dot from what they originally contributed.
The Storyteller decides what reduced dots mean in the story when a character leaves a shared haven.
Perhaps no one else picks up the character’s attention to Haven Security, leaving that to drop. The haven
might not be tended as fastidiously, causing a drop in the Haven Location value. Maybe a portion of the haven
falls into disuse or even collapses, causing an effective drop in Haven Size. Whatever the case, a plausible
explanation must be determined.
A character need not devote all of her Haven dots to the shared Haven Merit, of course. A Kindred might
maintain a separate haven of her own outside the communal one represented by the shared trait. Any leftover
dots that a character has (or is unwilling to share) signify what she has to draw upon as an individual, separate
from her partners. For example, three characters share a haven and expend a group total of five dots. One
character chooses to use two other dots on a private haven for herself. Those remaining two dots represent a
haven entirely separate from what she and her partners have established together.
To record a shared Haven Merit on your character sheet, put an asterisk next to the name of the Haven
Merit and fill in the total dots that your character has access to thanks to his partnership. In order to record his
original contribution, write it in parentheses along with the Merit’s name. It is not important to note which
aspect of the Haven Merit on which those points are spent, as this allows greater flexibility should a character
ever decide to withdraw from the community arrangement. The result looks like this:

MERITS
Heaven* (2) ••••
Heaven •••
Retainer ••
In this example, the character shares a Haven Merit dedicated to the coterie’s communal shelter. He
contributes two dots to the relationship, and the group has a total of four dots that are made available to each
member. The character also has his own private Haven Merit rated •••, which he maintains by himself. And,
the character has Retainer rated •• that is also his own Merit.
Haven (Occultation) (• to •••••)
Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 119
Prerequisite: Haven Size ••• or less
Effect: Some Vampires become so linked to the places they inhabit that they somehow imbue these places
with something of their own being. The Shadows are particularly good at this: consider the boarded-up house
that everyone walks past, but no-one ever looks at, or the basement room that everyone forgets, or the attic
that Frances used to inhabit, with the trapdoor that no one ever looked at.
This is an extension of the Haven Merit (Vampire: The Requiem, p. 100) which works alongside Haven
Size, Location and Security. The larger a haven, the more difficult it is to hide: a character with Haven Size of
more than three dots cannot take advantage of this Merit.
A haven belonging to a vampire with this Merit simply becomes very difficult to find: characters who have
never been to the haven who try to find a way to access it suffer a dice pool penalty equal to the character’s
dots in the Merit; characters who don’t know it is there at all don’t normally notice it, but if it comes to rolling
Wits + Composure to notice it, they suffer the same penalty.

Herd (• to •••••)
Book: Vampire: The Requiem Core, p. 102
Some vampires tire of the hunt and seek to develop a small group of mortals upon whom they can feed
without fear. Such a herd may take many forms, from a brothel of prostitutes to a blood cult worshipping a
vampiric god. These mortals provide nourishment without the difficulties of the hunt. Typically, herds are not
very controllable or closely connected to the vampires who use them, nor do they possess great skill in any
one area. (For effective agents, the Allies or Retainers Merit is more suitable.) Each dot of Herd adds one die
to feeding rolls (p. 164).

House Membership (• or •••)


Book: The Invictus, p. 187
Prerequisite: Vampire or ghoul
Effect: This Merit measures your character’s involvement in a cyclical House. This Merit reflects his
commitment to, and influence with, the other members of the House and is a prerequisite for all other
Dynastic Merits. Each level of this Merit represents a different relationship to the character’s House.
Trusted (•): Your character, whether Kindred or ghoul, is trusted by the members of the dynasty, possibly
being groomed for eventual participation. For all purposes of House law, your character is a participant in the
House. Your character can purchase some other Dynastic Merits and enjoy minor benefits of membership, but
he does not have access to the House’s full assets and is not yet honored or protected by a successor. This
levelof the Merit confers a +1 bonus to Social dice pools involving members of the same House, similar to
Status.
Successor (•••): As above, except your character is a full (though perhaps not equal) participant in the
dynasty. This level of the Merit confers a +3 bonus to Social dice pools involving members of the same
House, similar to Status.

Inherited Resistance (•• or ••••)


Book: Ventrue - Lords Over The Damned, p. 106
Prerequisite: Dominate • or Animalism •, Ventrue only
Effect: Your character is the childe of a Ventrue sire with unusually potent blood or a phenomenally strong
will. Some degree of her power has been passed on to you through the Blood – not genetically or through
training, but through a kind of mystical reverberation. You are simply predisposed to have a greater resistance
to certain powers of the Blood.
In game terms, your character enjoys an increased resistance to the powers of Dominate and/or Animalism
when those powers are used against him by other vampires.
With two dots in this Merit, you gain a +2 bonus to resist or contest any power of Dominate or Animalism
used against your character by another Ventrue vampire, if your character has dots in the same Discipline as
that power.
With four dots in this Merit, you gain the +2 bonus regardless of the clan of the opposing vampire.
Thus, with two dots in this Merit and one dot in Dominate, you gain a +2 bonus to resist or contest all
powers of Dominate used against your character by other Ventrue, but your character gains no special benefit
against powers of Animalism or any Discipline used by non-Ventrue. With four dots in this Merit and one dot
each in Dominate and Animalism, you gain a +2 bonus to resist or contest all powers of Dominate and
Animalism, no matter what clan your opponent calls family.

Inhuman Resistance (•••)


Book: Gangrel - Savage And Macabre, p. 113
Effect: Your character’s Beast is willful, unknowable, certainly inhuman. Certain mind-control powers
have a hard time reconciling this, for they are ostensibly for use on a human mind. But the Beast will not be
shackled so easily.
In game terms, this means that your character has a canny resistance to the powers of Dominate and
Majesty, gaining +2 on resistance rolls made to thwart their effects. In many Gangrel possessing this Merit,
this is less of a conscious thing, and more something that the Beast stirs to work against. (In this way, some
posit the Beast as kind of a parasite in and of itself: it works on the behalf of the host to keep itself safe.)
Drawback: Unfortunately, the Beast being what it is, the Gangrel suffers -2 to any rolls made to resist the
effects of Animalism powers (Leashing the Beast in particular) or other powers that specifically interact with
the Beast.

Initiation (• to •••••)
Book: Ancient Bloodlines, p. 27
Prerequisite: Mortals can only take one dot in this Merit. Ghouls can take up to two dots. Only Kindred
can take the Merit at three or more dots.
Effect: Your character has received initiation into one of the Shadow Cults. On the first occasion the
character meets another member of the cult, he gains a bonus to Social rolls for the duration of the scene,
equal to his dots in this Merit.
Other benefits come from Initiation into a Shadow Cult, depending on the cult and the number of dots the
character has gained in his Initiation.
Drawback: Initiation into a Shadow Cult carries with it duties, and failure to perform those duties can
cause dots in this Merit to fall, although benefits gained from initiations (such as access to the cult’s
proprietary Disciplines, once learned) don’t go away once granted. A character with more than one dot of
Initiation into any Shadow Cult can become initiated into others, but can never gain more than one dot in
Initiation in any other cult.

Kindred Medium (•• or ••••)


Book: New Orleans: City of Dammed, p. 93
Prerequisite: Vampire; Wits ••
Effect: A vampire with this Merit sees dead people, all the time. He can detect when wraiths are nearby and
can even converse with them—but only some of them. The most curious thing about this Merit is that the
sensitivity it involves seems focused on wraiths who have some connection to the Kindred—either those who
were killed by vampires, or those who lost loved ones to vampires, or even those who once were vampires. A
Kindred Medium can freely see and converse with such spirits but can only sense the general presence of all
others. A Kindred Medium is especially sensitive to the passage of his favored spirits and to the impressions
they leave in either places or on objects, and may detect the age and relative intensity of those impressions
with a successful Wits + Occult + Auspex roll (variable difficulty), even without a wraith’s direct presence.
The cost of this Merit is variable, depending on when the player purchases it. If he purchases it right after
his character becomes a vampire, the cost is halved. If purchased later on in the game with experience, the
cost is double that number.
Lab Section (•)
Book: Carthians, p. 182
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Medicine ••
Effect: These groups tend to be very small and secretive, as their most common meeting places are
morgues after closing time. Kindred discuss, debate, dissect and speculate. Generally, they keep up-to-date on
mortal medicine in order to extrapolate applications to Kindred physiology. Sometimes, they even
experiment.
When making rolls with the Medicine Skill, characters with this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Labyrinth Guardians (•••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 116
Perhaps the vaulted arch ceiling is darkened not just by shadows, but by a carpet of shuddering bats. Maybe
a pack of mangy hounds stalking the endless Catacombs, ribs showing through leprous flesh, eyes flashing in
the pitch black. That skittering sound might be a flood of rats, the sound of a hundred spiders weaving a
thousand silken strands, or a ravenous, shit-eating horde of cockroaches stampeding through unused pipes and
conduits.
The Necropolis is home to bestial, avian or insect guardians: these beasts are lost, hungry, wayward, having
gone more than a little mad in the tenebrous chambers.
Story Use: These animal guardians of the labyrinth aren’t pets, not exactly. The Nosferatu don’t control
them, but the two have a kind of symbiotic relationship. All have become part of the shadow ecology, and so
they accept each other. In many ways, the beastly guardians reflect the Nosferatu contingent in some way:
should the preponderance of Haunts in the Necropoli be like the Galloi bloodline (thin, coy, beautiful in a
sickly way), then the guardians might manifest as a colony of feral cats (perhaps even patchy Egyptian Blues
or some other rare breed). If the Haunts are gutter-fed mongrels, then the guardians are mongrels, too—dogs,
vicious and starving. It can get as bizarre as the Nosferatu themselves: one Necropolis is said to be home to a
mad, blind stallion called “Blackjack.” The stallion gallops about, bony and sick, biting and kicking,
whinnying and snorting like some diabolical nightmare. Some even say that ol’ Blackjack has eyes of fire, he
does. Few believe it, but few dare find out.
System: Purchasing Labyrinth Guardians buys the Necropolis a number of creatures that total up to 12
points of Size (which could be six cats, six ravens, three dogs, a variable-Size swarm, or some strange
combination). All do lethal damage when attacking, and attack, they will. Those who possess dots in the
Necropolis Merit get a bit of a break. The beastly guardians recognize their own by sight, scent, or something
altogether more subtle and preternatural. However, if the character encounters the Labyrinth Guardians, she
must give to them a point of Vitae, which they will sup upon and perhaps even share.
When the creatures encounter an enemy (be it a human sewer worker, a vampire intruder, or even just
another animal) that doesn’t belong (i.e. doesn’t have points in the Necropolis Merit), they’ll attack with all
their grotesque fury. Should the Guardians be killed, they will be replaced by some other manner of creature
that will crawl into the shadows, but not until the next story begins. For swarm information, see below
sidebar.

Living Anchor (•••)


Book: Wicked Dead, p. 60
Prerequisite: Jiang Shi
Effect: Your character possesses a strong metaphysical bond to another individual. This person is likely a
mortal friend or relative, but may be a supernatural entity. She cannot, however, be another Jiang Shi; the
bonds that tie the Jiang Shi to the living are bonds of jealousy and longing, emotions these beasts do not feel
toward one another. The bond need not be one forged while the Jiang Shi remained alive (someone who prays
each day at a temple haunted by a Jiang Shi, for example, may eventually come to serve as that creature’s
anchor), though it often is.
The Living Anchor acts in all ways as an anchor for the character. The Jiang Shi can travel to her as an
instant action, but can travel from her only a distance in miles equal to his Resolve. As a result, Jiang Shi
often threaten and coerce their Living Anchors to travel to locations of the cursed creature’s choosing.
Drawback: The bond with the Living Anchor must be established, requiring at least an uninterrupted hour
of contact each week for four weeks before the Jiang Shi may purchase this Merit. This time requirement is
waived for living family and close acquaintances from life, but the character must somehow arrange to be in
the individual’s presence for an hour to cement the bond.
Furthermore, the Living Anchor may not be particularly inclined to assist a self-damned creature of the
night. The Jiang Shi must keep the Living Anchor convinced that helping him is in her best interest. He may
do so through bribery or threats, though actually killing her severs his connection to her (which may leave a
Jiang Shi stranded at his grave, depending upon how remote that location is). A Living Anchor who has been
pushed too far can become a deadly and devoted enemy to the Jiang Shi. One legend persists in Japan
regarding a Jiang Shi (kyonshi) that killed his Living Anchor’s cousin. The Living Anchor hunted down the
Jiang Shi’s grave and, with the help of a priest, destroyed the foul abomination. With both its anchors in one
place, it had nowhere to run.

Lordly Palette (• to •••)


Book: Ventrue - Lords Over The Damned, p. 106
Prerequisite: Kindred only
Effect: Your character possesses a keen palette for blood, either through training or raw talent. She is able
to discern details about kine and Kindred through nuances in the taste of their Vitae. When your character
attempts to discern parentage, power, or other details about a subject by tasting its blood, add your dots in this
Merit to the dice pool.
You also gain this bonus on perception rolls that would otherwise involve scent or taste if your character is
able to taste blood from the area. At the Storyteller’s discretion, characters with two or more dots in this Merit
may make a Wits + Medicine + Lordly Palette roll, with a –2 penalty (or greater), to detect known toxins or
diseases in sampled blood. The character swishes the sample about like wine and then, hopefully, spits it out.
Other unusual perception rolls may also be possible through this Merit on a case-by-case basis, as the
Storyteller sees fit. A vampire machinist may be able to use a Wits + Crafts dice pool to detect the presence of
industrial toxins in a subject’s blood. Not just anything can be sampled and analyzed through the lordly
palette, however – this Merit reflects only a knack for discerning things present in blood.
Despite its name, and the Ventrue reputation for well-honed palettes, this Merit is available to Kindred of
any clan.

Mind of the Devouring Worm (•••)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 204
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul), Intelligence •••
Effect: Through rigorous training — everything from mnemonic tricks and psychological concepts like
“memory palaces” to ruthless conditioning in which Auspex or Dominate are used to torment the student
whenever her mind wanders from the desired concentration — your character gains a phenomenal memory.
Mind of the Devouring Worm functions just like Eidetic Memory, except that it can only be purchased after
character creation.

Mind of the Unblinking Serpent (••)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 204
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul) Intelligence •••, Mind of the Devouring Worm,
Effect: Once your character has developed incredible memory skills with Mind of the Devouring Worm,
she can use them to double-check her own perceptions for evidence of external tampering. By using Mind of
the Unblinking Serpent, she essentially compares “mental snapshots” from her memories — even of the
recent past — to look for recollections that don’t quite “line up.” This mental exercise is also useful for
picking out small discrepancies within remembered events. Disjointed or distorted memories are of particular
concern.
In game terms, this power helps your character determine when Obfuscate has been used (or is being used)
or when Dominate has been applied to suppress or alter her memories. When the character consciously
decides to scrutinize her memories with Mind of the Devouring Worm, she’s allowed an Intelligence +
Composure roll. If she succeeds — and a Discipline was used to edit her memories or alter her perceptions —
she notices that something is not quite right. That’s all. It does not penetrate or dispel the illusions of either
Discipline, but it can be enough to spark an investigation or inspire new efforts to protect her invaded privacy.

Mind of the Inscrutable Hydra (••)


Book: Ordo Dracul, p. 204
Prerequisite: Vampire, Convenant Status • (Ordo Dracul) Intelligence •••, Mind of the Unblinking Serpent
Effect: Your character’s mental restraint is now so formidable that she can foil attempts to read her mind
by splitting her consciousness in two and directing the telepathic force into a closed loop of thought. Your
character enjoys bonuses when opposing or resisting supernatural mental influences (such as Dominate) as
though she had spent a Willpower point to add three dice to her dice pool or raise her resistance trait by two.
The nature of the thought-loop varies from Dragon to Dragon. Some have elaborate, circular interior
monologues, often rehearsed to be misleading or confusing. Others repeat memorized statistics, recite ancient
Javanese vocabulary or make use of disturbingly elaborate dismemberment visualizations. On the other hand,
repeating a mantra (something simple like “Fuck you, you can’t read my mind”) ad infinitum can also work,
and may even provoke a reaction in the would-be mind reader.
Drawback: This mental advantage can be brought into play with a reflexive action and “kept on”
indefinitely. As long as your character is benefiting from this Merit’s bonus, however, she suffers a –2 penalty
on all dice pools using her Intelligence.

Necropolis (• to •••••; Special)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 113
Effect: Buying points in the Necropolis Merit allows a Nosferatu character to contribute to the communal
catacomb “kingdom” of the local Haunts. While it’s possible that only one Nosferatu in the city contributes
these points, the Merit is meant to be shared by some or all of the city’s Haunts. One Nosferatu may possess
the points which contributes toward the Necropolis’ many chambers and sites, but in all likelihood these are
still open to those allowed entrance.
Every point purchased in this communal Merit go toward the procurement of the various chambers and sites
as listed below.
Necropolis dots can be lost. Nosferatu characters may betray the nest. They may fall out of favor. They may
end the relationship held with their other subterranean dwellers, preferring instead to eschew the freak-show
and try to carve out a niche amongst the “upper crust” of Damned society. Alternately, one of the Haunts may
meet Final Death or be forced into exile by an angry Prince.
In any such instance where Necropolis dots are lost, the Storyteller and players should work together to
decide what that means for the communal Necropolis. In some cases, it might be easy: if one of the chambers
is of variable dots (• to •••••), it’s easy enough to lower a three-dot chamber to a two-dot chamber and accept
the resultant vulnerability. Alternately, it may be reasonable to restrict access to one of the rooms until the lost
point or points can be bought back (thus, reclaimed) by another Nosferatu character. For example, if a
powerful Nosferatu Bishop lost his head, the Dark Temple in which he held Midnight Mass might fall into
disrepair. Until the Bishop’s dots in the Necropolis Merit can be bought back, assume the Dark Temple’s
benefits cannot be accessed by any of the nest-member Haunts.
If all the dots in the Necropolis are purchased by a single Nosferatu, assume that only that character grants
or restricts access to the Necropolis. This Merit can apply to any Kindred, but it’s very rare that the local
Haunts are willing to share the glories and shadows of their Necropoli with any outside their clan.

Necropolis Specter (• to •••••)


Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 117
Somewhere in the heart of the Necropolis is something that a ghost considers very important: a Polaroid of
loved ones thrown decades before, the still-bloody claw hammer that ended the ghost’s mortal life, or even a
set of blueprints outlining the architectural design of the original Necropolis tunnels (blueprints designed once
designed by the ghost himself). This something serves as an anchor for the ghost, and so the ghost lurks
within the Necropolis.
Much like with the aforementioned Labyrinth Guardians, the Necropolis Specter is something of a key
fixture in the subterranean chambers or caverns. The ghost is as much a part of the Necropolis as the Haunts
who built or claimed it. The specter is in the walls. The whisper of water running down the wall contains his
whispers, too. The foul wind that sometimes kicks up might carry breath of the wraith.
Story Use: This specter isn’t entirely mindless. He’s a character unto himself, and while he may perhaps
become trapped in many mad reiterations of a single action (crying for a drowned child, writing a diary entry
and then smoking a cigarette, or running from some unseen presence), he can be pulled from those chained
actions and may at times actually communicate in some fashion with the Necropolis Haunts. This ghost may
know secrets about the Necropolis, or may even know tales of decadence, perversity or horror that would
thrill even the most cynical Nosferatu. Not every Necropolis Specter needs to be a vocal character—one could
just as easily be a furious poltergeist rattling rusted grates and venting searing pipe steam in the faces of
unwitting intruders.
System: Assume that the Necropolis Specter has stats roughly equivalent to the “Deceiver” ghost found on
p. 216 of the World of Darkness Rulebook. The Storyteller, however, chooses an appropriate Virtue and
Vice for the ghost, and should come up with a story to explain the ghost’s presence and determine the ghost’s
anchor. Each point purchased in this Merit earns the ghost one Numen from the list found on pp. 210-212 of
the World of Darkness Rulebook.

Night Doctor Surgery (•••)


Book: Carthians, p. 183
Prerequisite: Vampire, Covenant Status (Carthians) •••, Membership in a Night Doctor clique (see p. 33),
Medicine •••
Effect: The Night Doctors have developed surgical techniques that speed Kindred healing. Although a
vampiric body can’t repair itself without the use of Vitae, Night Doctor Surgery can make the job easier, and
therefore more efficient.
Performing an operation with this Merit requires access to a fully modern operating room and cutting-edge
tools. Due to the extreme difficulty of the techniques, tools give no bonus. They simply make resetting broken
bones, stitching together tissue, reconnecting blood vessels and realigning nerves possible, all of which is
necessary to ease the effort of the Vitae. In extreme cases, such as severe burns, skin grafts from other parts of
the body are employed.
The player of the character performing the surgery makes an extended Intelligence + Medicine roll, with
each roll representing an hour of surgery. The doctor needs to achieve a number of successes equal to the
number of Health points of damage the patient has suffered (from whatever kind of damage). Once those
successes are amassed, the patient has been stabilized. The player then makes one final roll, again
representing an hour of surgery. Each success on that final roll turns one point of lethal damage into one point
of bashing damage. Alternately, two successes on that final roll can be spent to turn one point of aggravated
damage into two points of lethal damage.
Example: Monica has suffered two points of aggravated damage on her arms, but is otherwise unharmed.
She goes to see Dr. M for surgery. His Intelligence + Medicine pool is five dice, and he needs two successes
to stabilize her. He does it on his first two rolls, so after two hours of surgery he’s ready to really attack the
problem and start reconstructing her mangled limbs. He rolls again, and this time gets two successes. This
turns one of her points of aggravated damage into two points of lethal damage. If he’d gotten four successes,
both points of her aggravated damage would turn into four points of lethal damage. Had he failed his roll, the
damage would remain.
It should be noted that many forms of anesthesia don’t work on Kindred. Those that do generally require
the patient to use the Blush of Life effect to deliberately absorb them. Since Kindred who are willing to
undergo surgery are often short of Vitae, this can be a problem. Various solutions have been used, from
staking (which has the drawback of inflicting more damage, but which at least keeps the patient still) to
Dominate to simply strapping the patient down and stuffing a gag in his mouth.

Occultation (• to •••)
Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 120
Prerequisite: no Fame Merit dots
Effect: Some vampires — especially the Shadows — become so adept at disappearing into the dark that
something of the dark attaches itself to them, and they become surpassingly difficult to notice. After a while,
an occulted vampire becomes so forgettable that it becomes hard even to remember even if the vampire was
male or female, let alone details like dress, or hair or eye color. Old vampires with Occultation (such as Doe)
even begin to forget who they themselves were.
A vampire using Auspex •• to read the aura of a character with this Merit aura suffers a dice pool penalty
equal to the character’s dots in Occultation. Likewise, uses of Auspex ••• on items last touched by the
character suffer the same penalty.
Further, the character gains a bonus on uses of Obfuscate equal to her dots in the Occultation Merit.
Drawback: If the character ever somehow gets dots in the Fame Merit, she loses her dots in Occultation.
More importantly, a character with Occultation who has dots in the Majesty Discipline always suffers a dice
pool penalty equal to her dots in the Occultation Merit: Majesty is about being noticed; a supernatural
tendency towards Occultation flies in the face of that.

Of Rose and Thorn (••••)


Book: Gangrel - Savage And Macabre, p. 113
Prerequisite: Blood Potency ••, Animalism ••
Effect: Some Gangrel maintain “Savage Gardens,” ill-manicured plots of land (whether in the city or far
from its lights) where blood-red roses grow with biting thorns, where love-lies-bleeding hangs from a rotten
crosshatch of wood, where sallow trees produce sick fruit and climbing vines conspire to blot out the light
from the moon and stars. Some such Damned cultivate gardens much like any mortal: while a vampire’s
touch is chill and unnatural, it does not blacken roots or wilt flowers (usually). Some, though, aim to take a
more personal touch with their projects. They grow so bound to such cultivations that they begin to feel a
connection with the garden, with the very soil around it.
This opens up Animalism to the Gangrel, allowing her to use the Discipline on plants as well as animals. Of
course, this is not a perfect one-to-one ratio: the powers work a bit differently on foliage and flowers than
they do wolf and hawk. Furthermore, the Gangrel must possess Animalism at a rating of one more dot than
the power she wishes to use with plants; thus, to use Obedience, a Gangrel must possess Animalism •••. The
first four dots of Animalism work accordingly when used on plants:
Feral Whispers (•): The Savage is able to speak to a plant. This is no easy conversation. Plants “think” in
alien, inscrutable ways – sometimes simple, other times woefully complex. A Savage might be able to learn
who was in her garden or what the plant hungers for, but will have no luck discerning elements of time from
flora. Eye contact is obviously not required for this ability to take effect.
Obedience (••): The Savage can command a plant to grow in a certain way, and somewhat quickly. He can
demand that it bloom. He can force it to produce nectar. He can stir a vine to climb a wall, slippery moss to
spread across a stone path, or the branches of a tree to grow together so that visibility is limited to nearly
nothing. Given the commands thusly, foliage does grow at thrice its normal “growth rate” until its task is
complete. Note that a plant cannot do things that are outside its purview; that is the nature of the next level of
this power.
Call of the Wild (•••): With this, the Gangrel can demand that a plant grow elements outside of its own
nature: a blood-red maple tree may bloom roses, the grass beneath one’s feet may manifest thorns, a thick
hanging vine may be infused with medicinal or hallucinogenic properties to humans (or to Damned who drink
the blood of those humans). Once again, growing such elements occurs at a growth rate of thrice its expected
speed.
Subsume the Lesser Spirit (••••): The vampire may psychically enter a single plant’s “body” and possess
it. The other rules of this power as per with animals apply. The Gangrel cannot move faster than the plant
normally does (which may be not at all or at such a glacial rate that it’s not worth considering). Sunlight does
not harm the vampire while in this state (though it can harm his empty body), and he does not need to attempt
to remain awake at this time. To exit this state, the vampire must expend a point of Willpower or be otherwise
trapped. He can use Animalism while within the plant, but no other Disciplines.
Note that this Merit only applies to the first four levels of Animalism: Leashing the Beast (•••••) has no
plant-specific effects.
Drawback: Possessing this Merit makes it harder for the Savage to use Animalism as it was naturally (or
perhaps unnaturally) intended. All Animalism rolls suffer -1 dice when used on actual animals, due to the
perversion of the Discipline.
Pack Blooded (••)
Book: Gangrel - Savage And Macabre, p. 114
Prerequisite: Must belong to a coterie where other members of the coterie (some, if not all) possess this
Merit.
Effect: For most Damned, being a part of a coterie is without true bond. The vampires within a given
coterie might work against each other as much as they work for one another. A handshake and a kind word in
the front, a sharpened stake and a whispered insult from the back. Moreover, at least when compared against
the entire backdrop of a vampire’s eternal Requiem, coteries form and fade all the time. They are ultimately
fleeting.
Not so with some Gangrel coteries, known as “packs.” A pack formed between Gangrel is something that
goes beyond a social relationship. It gets in the Blood. This doesn’t mean they share Vitae, swapping the red
stuff in some sort of circular Vinculum. No, it’s as if the Blood within one Savage shifts subtly to be like the
Blood of another in his pack. Silly as it seems, it’s how mortal females living together for long periods of time
often develop the same menstrual periods: the Blood is given over to a certain animal rhythm for those who
care to give into it. Some Gangrel certainly do.
Only those who possess this Merit within a given coterie gain the benefits, and these benefits only apply to
those who possess the dots of this Merit in that coterie. (In other words, if a pack has four Savages and only
two of them possess the Pack Blooded Merit, only those two gain the benefits for one another. The others are
outside the harmony of this feral resonance.) To reiterate, this only works with vampires in the same coterie
or “pack.” How a pack is formed is different from place to place. Some Gangrel institute elaborate rituals of
scarification or ceremonial hunts to “bond” the Damned together. Others need no such ritualized behavior,
recognizing other kin and giving into the unspoken bonds immediately.
Those with this Merit gain +1 Initiative, +1 Defense and +1 Speed when working together in combat (they
must be within 50 yards of one another).
Outside combat, those with the Pack Blooded Merit gain +3 to all Empathy rolls made on one another.
Drawback: Being Pack Blooded is a disavowal – whether conscious or not – of one’s own human
compass. Degeneration rolls made whilst in the company of other Pack Blooded members of the coterie are
made at -1 dice.

Remnant of Clarity (• to •••)


Book: Ancient Mysteries, p. 66
Prerequisite: Blood Potency 4
Effect: The character has one year in his Requiem that he remembers with perfect clarity. He may look
back over that year in his mind and recall moments with alarming ease. The reason for this may be unclear to
the character, or it may be that something happened during that year to focus the character’s mind (performed
diablerie, Embraced another, awoke from torpor, or some other Requiem-changing event). The result is that
when attempting to remember any event or element of that year, the character gains a number of bonus dice to
that roll equal to the dots spent in this Merit. (See “Memorizing and Remembering,” p. 44, World of
Darkness Rulebook.) The player can also add this Merit, in the form of bonus dice, to the character’s attempt
to resist indoctrination upon awakening, if the brainwasher is attempting to alter beliefs or memories relevant
to that year (see p. 43). A player can purchase this Merit a number of times for her character, with each
instance representing one year. Those years needn’t be consecutive.

Requiem Diary (• to •••••)


Book: Ancient Mysteries, p. 66
Effect: While some Kindred claim to have spent a century or more in torpor and remember their earliest
nights clearly, others spend a mere decade in torpor before forgetting which city they were Embraced in.
Because of this nigh-inevitable strain of the Requiem, some have turned to the practice of keeping written
accounts of their unlives. Depending on the time period from whence a vampire came and the culture’s
technology, these written accounts can vary from engraved tablets to hand-written journals to blogs on the
Internet. This Merit represents not only how complete a written record is, but also how organized the vampire
keeps those records.
Totally assimilating decades or centuries of accounts and memories could involve prodigious study.
However, a Kindred’s Requiem Diary Merit is helpful for gaining an edge when dealing with one’s past.
Upon taking this Merit, the player should write a background for his character, especially detailing where the
vampire resided, major events that he witnessed, and important individuals that impacted his unlife. The
Storyteller may always reserve the right to insert additional places and time periods if it suits the story, as the
vampire would not necessarily remember he wrote such information into his journal.
When presented with an issue that the Storyteller and player agree could be related to the vampire’s earlier
years, he may consult his Requiem Diary. Successful research provides an amount of inspiration and insight,
bringing those events of the past back to his mind. The player rolls Intelligence + Academics. For each dot in
the Merit, the vampire gains the 9-again quality on a single Mental or Social dice pool directly related to the
subject of the research.
Depending on the nature of the information sought, penalties may apply to the roll. Researching the status
of his own covenant at the time and place of his Embrace is only slightly obscure in relation to his diary,
imposing a -1 penalty. Uncovering details of the specifics behind an individual rival and his weaknesses could
be a bit tougher to find, imposing a -3 penalty. Based upon details and information provided by the player, the
Storyteller should also assign bonuses to certain rolls. If the player has specifically mentioned a person or
event that the vampire needs to research, a +2 bonus could be applied to the roll. Should a mere reference to a
related group of people or time period be written in the player’s notes, a +1 could still be applied. The player
can choose, of course, to describe the journal in very general terms, and the Storyteller shouldn’t penalize the
player for not writing a novel. However, if the Requiem Diary is going to be any use at all, the Storyteller
needs to know what span of time it covers and what sorts of things the character put in it.
If the character has any rating in this Merit, he gains bonuses to certain types of rolls upon awakening from
torpor. See p. 43 and 44.

Savage Kenning (•••)


Book: Gangrel - Savage And Macabre, p. 114
Prerequisites: Animalism • or Animal Ken •, must be of Clan Gangrel.
Effect: Something in one species of animal resonates with the Gangrel: that wild spark in a hound’s eye,
the mad curiosity in a cat’s swishing tail, the alien distance of a fat and hungry fly. The Savage gains +2 to all
Animal Ken or Animalism rolls involving animals of that species. The character cannot possess several
versions of this Merit applying to different species. It can only be purchased once and cannot change:
whatever it is that forms the link between animal and Savage is something that is deep and primal, a
connection based off the Savage’s innate nature. The Damned are simply not dynamic enough of creatures to
dig that deep and change something so utterly fundamental.
Available at character creation only.

Sepulchers (• to •••••)
Book: Nosferatu - The Beast That Haunts The Blood, p. 117
The bigger the commune of Nosferatu gathering in the Necropolis, the bigger the need for Sepulchers. The
Sepulchers are the havens of the Haunts who call the Necropolis home. Not every Haunt needs to slumber in
these places, but many do.
The Sepulchers are generally gathered together in a cluster in one part of the Necropolis. Perhaps a half-
collapsed mine tunnel, rock walls riddled with boltholes, leads to the sleeping chambers. Perhaps a busted-up
bomb shelter’s many Spartan rooms have been claimed by the many Haunts. Some, though, aren’t clustered
together at all, and are scattered throughout the whole of the Necropolis. Consider the general layout of the
Necropolis and determine where the Sepulchers could fit.
Individually, the Sepulchers are of roughly equivalent Size, usually big enough to sleep in and to have a
few personal things, perhaps even one or two pieces of furniture (an old rickety set of drawer in which one
keeps her many porcelain dolls, or a burnished mirror whose glass has been replaced with a crazed painting of
the character). In some cases a Necropolis may have an “emperor” or “Senex” of sorts, and he won’t sleep in
the havens represented by the Sepulchers, instead keeping some grand chamber of horror and divinity away
from the chattel. In most cases, though, the Necropoli are truly communal, with the space offered by the
Sepulchers divided equally among the Haunts.
Story Use: A Nosferatu’s Sepulcher is his haven: or at least one haven. While not huge, it does give the
Haunt a chance to customize his space a bit: does he sleep on the bare floor, surrounded by tapestries stolen
from a wicked sire? Does he sleep on a cot, beneath which waits a suitcase full of guns and knives? Has he
managed to bore a hole all the way down from the above world and secure a shitty modem connection for his
crusty old laptop? The Sepulcher might be religious, with the Nosferatu using it to offer worship to some old
god or accept worship as if he himself is of twisted divinity. The Sepulcher might be where he keeps his
Resources, recognizing that banks are too public for a guy who smells of the slaughterhouse: his money,
therefore, waits in a rusted gun-safe.
System: The Sepulchers are purchased a bit differently from other elements of the Necropolis. In this case,
a character must purchase his own Sepulcher, and the dots that go toward it are his and his alone to access,
representing his own “private” space within the community. It’s a bit like Haven, but here Size doesn’t matter
(assume all Sepulchers are about the size of small apartments, one to two rooms). Location doesn’t figure in,
either, because they’re all a part of the Necropolis. And Security isn’t something the character really controls:
Security is largely communal, so assume that for every five Sepulchers in the Necropolis, intruders suffer a -1
penalty to discover and intrude upon the tombs (to a maximum of -5). So what do dots in Sepulcher go
toward? Pick a Skill upon the purchase of a Sepulcher. This Skill gains a bonus equal to dots purchased when
the character is present in the haven itself. The Storyteller must approve the Skill chosen, but nearly any
choice can work with a proper explanation. Perhaps the Nosferatu gains Empathy dice because he has set up
the room to scrutinize those who gain entry (the way a shaft of light is angled to illumine a face, or the way
the walls echo every peep, squeak, moan). Maybe the Nosferatu gains dice toward Science because his
Sepulcher is more a lab than bedroom: beakers and burners, specimens bound to a workbench with medical
tubing, a periodic table written in blood on the wall. Could a Nosferatu gain Brawl dice? Sure. Maybe he
knows every crooked floorboard, every cubbyhole of loose mortar (dust that can be thrown into an
adversary’s face), each iron pipe hanging low in the darkness… all of which allows him to move with an
unerring grace while within the confines of his tomb.

Shadow Cult Initiation (• to •••••)


Book: Mekhet - Shadown In The Dark, p. 121
Prerequisite: Mortals can only take one dot in this Merit. Ghouls can take up to two dots. Only Kindred
can take the Merit at three or more dots.
Effect: Your character has received initiation into one of the Shadow Cults of the Mekhet (for example, the
Moulding Room, the Followers of Seth or the Moirai). On the first occasion you meet another member of the
cult, you gain a bonus to Social rolls for the duration of the scene, equal to your dots in this Merit. Interacting
with that individual from that point on is based solely on your own abilities.
Other benefits come from Initiation into a Shadow Cult, depending on the cult and the number of dots the
character has gained in his or her Initiation.
Drawback: Initiation into a Shadow Cult carries with it duties, and failure to perform those duties can
cause dots in this Merit to fall, although benefits gained from initiations (such as access to the cults’
proprietary Disciplines) don’t go away once learned or otherwise paid for. A character with more than one dot
of Initiation into any Shadow Cult can become initiated into others, but can never gain more than one dot in
any other cult.

Site (• to •••••)
Book: Damnation City, p. 202
Effect: Your character has a degree of access to a useful building in the city or a degree of influence over a
mortal who can provide access to such a place. A Site grants bonus dice equal to the Merit’s rating to the dice
pools of one Skill when used on the premises. You must define the Site and the relevant Skill when this Merit
is purchased. Purchase this Merit multiple times to represent multiple Sites or Sites that grant bonuses to
multiple Skills.
The bonus granted by this Merit represents a selection of equipment kept at the site (something more
substantial than just a few tools — a complete garage, not a toolbox) or a supporting character found at the
Site who can provide service and expertise. Thus a Site worth Medicine •••• might represent access to a
private medical practice’s surgical suite or access to an underground surgeon.
A Site might not comply with this Merit as neatly as, say, a haven. Specific Sites can be designed by the
Storyteller or the player with additional bonuses or penalties, provided the final Site and its rating in dots are
approved by the Storyteller.
Dozens of sample Sites can be found in Chapter Five.
Social Chameleon (• to •••)
Book: Daeva - Kiss Of The Succubus, p. 115
Prerequisites: May not possess the Fame Merit ••+.
Effect: Your character is one of those people who just belongs. He can walk into a party not caring that he
doesn’t know the guests and doesn’t know the host. All he truly needs is awareness of exactly the kind of
people he’s surrounded by: how they dress, how they act, and most especially what they want. This Merit is
based on long periods of interaction with and observation of the herd. In fact, understanding how to belong is
based on knowing the differences that make mortals many herds instead of just one. He knows how to stand
out, and he knows how to blend in.
Your character gains a bonus, equal to his rating in this Merit, for Socialize rolls in dealing with the
members of a group who adhere to a specific sort of identity: hanging out at the cop bar,among the society
mavens at the most exclusive club in town, or just chilling with the local underworld scum at an illegal
gambling den. Additionally, you receive this same modifier for any Persuasion or Subterfuge rolls made to
convince the members of that group that you’re one of them.
At the Storyteller’s option, not having any dots in a Skill appropriate to the group (Computer when trying to
blend in with programmers, or Streetwise among criminals) inflicts a –3 dice penalty to Socialize rolls
associated with this Merit.
This Merit can also be used as social camouflage, blending into groups of others to remain unseen by those
searching for the character. In such an instance, the character with this Merit may make a Manipulation +
Socialize roll, opposed by the Wits + Composure or other appropriate roll used to look for him.

Speaker for the Eclipsedn (• or •••••)


Book: The Invictus, p. 188
Prerequisite: Vampire, Torpor Connection •••
Effect: The connection between members of a House may become so strong that verbal communication is
the least of the benefits they enjoy. At times, the link between House members is so strong that torpid Kindred
can passively project their feelings or wishes onto others of their House. This ability would certainly be
invoked if something happened to catastrophically impact the House’s holdings or if the waking participant
wanted to take another talented Kindred into the House.
The effects of this Merit can only be felt by a character with a Torpor Connection to a vampire that is
currently torpid. By spending one Willpower and making a successful Wits + Empathy roll, the character
briefly connects with his torpid fellow and becomes aware of his instinctual, emotional reactions to things
knowingly perceived by the character. The range of this ability is five miles per dot purchased.

Status (• to •••••, Special)


Book: Vampire: The Requiem Core, p. 102
While certain Merits detailed in the World of Darkness Rulebook focus on recognition in mortal society,
certain Status concerns itself with the social orders of the night and represents recognition among other
vampires. Status is divided into three areas — City, Clan and Covenant. Players must choose one of these
three areas for each Merit point spent. (Enterprising Storytellers may come up with additional types of Status,
and clever players might have unique applications as well. Status is designed as a sort of “umbrella” Merit,
under which new types can be created.)
City Status represents a vested responsibility and according acknowledgement in the affairs of a domain.
Regardless of clan and covenant, certain individuals rise to the top of the social or feudal strata, exemplary
because of their efforts in the name of the domain as a whole. Princes, Regents, Primogen, Harpies and other
“officers” of a given domain fit this description.
Additionally, City Status represents those Kindred who aren’t part of the prevailing social structure, but
who nonetheless have significant esteem, sway or reputation among the Kindred. Examples include bosses of
powerful gangs, Kindred who have considerable influence in specialized areas (prominent businessmen, city
government, health care and hospitals, religious communities), or even just those who are powerful in their
own right but largely apolitical, as with a potent elder who abstains from city responsibilities but whose
territory is respected by all other local Kindred.
In some cases, City Status is very much a chicken-and-egg situation — does Prince Maxwell have City
Status 5 because he’s Prince, or did his accumulated City Status result in his claiming praxis? In other cases,
City Status obviously reflects accomplishment, as with a political activist who has many mortal supporters —
but those supporters obviously didn’t join his cause because they knew he was a vampire. Harpies, in
particular, make much of these distinctions, but some speculate that that’s because their own Status falls
under the definition of City Status.
• Hound or “rising star”
•• Sheriff or “accomplished individual”
••• Harpy, Seneschal, Master of Elysium or “muchdeserved reputation”
•••• Regent, Primogen, Herald or “cornerstone of Kindred society”
••••• Prince or “true paragon”
Clan Status is concerned with lineage and the Blood. At the outset of a chronicle, a Kindred’s standing
often reflects the prestige her sire has gained and passed along, such as with regard to the Ventrue. Many
assume that childer who were Embraced by powerful and influential members of the clan have already shown
some special quality or excellence, otherwise they would not have been chosen by so great a sire. This kind of
recognition is short lived, however. A neonate might enjoy prestige by association under the purview of her
sire, but such a favored childe is expected to make a name for herself.
Vampires who truly embody the ideals of their clan and who establish themselves in positions of power and
influence (often as Prisci) gain the respect of others in their clan, being perceived as models for success.
While the Daeva tell tales of particularly vicious Harpies of distant cities, the Gangrel speak of brooding
hulks who confidently brave the Lupine-infested wilds alone. Those who diverge from the expected behavior
of the clan in remarkable ways gain renown (or notoriety), as well, perhaps founding bloodlines that become
known to vampire society as a whole.
Clan Status is not so rigidly defined as City Status. While individual clan titles might arise, the notion of
esteem is more general in this context.
Covenant Status represents rank, achievement and responsibility, less concerned with clan ideals and more
with covenant actions, philosophies and accomplishments. The various covenants are not bound by any
supernatural means or governed by clan lineage. They find a commonality of goals and ideologies, instead. It
is not enough to be powerful or exemplary of clan ideals; a covenant is concerned with what its members have
done to benefit its cause and combat its rivals.
Those Kindred who enjoy the greatest covenant-based esteem are often the core members of their factions
in a given city, those around whom others rally. These Kindred instigate or mediate conflict with other
covenants, generally looking to further certain idealistic goals and establish themselves or other members in
positions of influence in the local hierarchy. A Mekhet in command of a massive spy network might have
status within his clan, but the lowliest of his spies might risk her unlife to gather a specific piece of
information that helps oust the Invictus Prince, subsequently enjoying far more status with, say, the Ordo
Dracul than her master.
A character must have at least a single dot of Covenant Status in order to gain the benefits of any special
abilities of that covenant. In other words, a character must have at least one dot of Covenant Status (Lancea
Sanctum) in order to learn Theban Sorcery. Or a character must have at least one dot of Covenant Status
(Invictus) to take advantage of the experience-point break on the Herd, Mentor, Resources and Retainer
Merits. If a character leaves a covenant after learning some of its secrets, he does not lose any of those traits
for which he paid experience points, but he may not learn additional dots of those traits (or additional dots at
that particular price break, as with the Invictus and the Carthians). See p. 91-92 for the complete list of which
covenants grant which benefits.
Like Clan Status, Covenant Status is not so specifically tied to certain titles. It is more a notion of an
individual’s accomplishments. A Lancea Sanctum Priest, for example, has a greater title than, say, a noted
ethicist of the covenant, but that ethicist might have written numerous treatises on the state of undeath and the
soul, according her more esteem among her peers than the Priest who rides solely on the weight of her title.
• The character is known to a select subset of the clan/covenant — a spy network, perhaps.
•• The majority of the clan/covenant in the city recognizes the character’s face and can recall her exploits.
••• The character’s deeds are known to all in the local covenant, even in other nearby cities; many members
of other covenants recognize her face.
•••• Word of the character’s exploits has traveled far, and her name is known in cities around the country.
••••• The character’s name and face are synonymous with her clan/covenant; her exploits are taught to new
members of the clan/covenant.
Status can serve as a mixed blessing, however. Those who enjoy the most might be able to use it to their
advantage, but they are also visible targets for their enemies. High levels of Status make it almost impossible
to pass unnoticed, even while they open doors that would otherwise remain closed.
Status works like a “social tool” in that it adds to dice pools for social interactions between members of the
sub-group in question. That is, Covenant Status adds to dice pools for interactions with members of the same
covenant, Clan Status enhances interactions with members of the same Clan, and City Status affects those
who are recognized residents of the given domain. City Status, however, may be ignored by those who are
among the unbound.
Example: Loki wants access to the Mekhet Priscus, but the Priscus is already occupied with an envoy from
Clan Daeva. He instead finds himself dealing with one of her aides, another Mekhet. Loki, a Mekhet himself,
tries to convince the aide that he has important business to discuss with the Priscus. His player adds Clan
Status to a Manipulation + Persuasion dice pool. Loki has Manipulation 2, Persuasion 3 and Clan Status
(Mekhet) 2, creating a pool of seven dice for the task.
Status does not add to dice pools predicated on supernatural powers. For example, a Prince’s City Status is
not added to a dice pool for use of his Dread Gaze power.
Dealing with Status can be a mire of responsibility, though clever characters can turn it to their advantage.
They may actually have a variety of Status — it is not unheard of for a character to have City Status, Clan
Status and Covenant Status.
A character may have Clan Status only as a member of his own clan. For instance, a Nosferatu never gains
Clan Status (Gangrel) no matter how much aid he provides the Savages. His aid of the Gangrel may certainly
earn him esteem, but such concern is better handled on a case-by-case basis by the Storyteller, not in the form
of Clan Status.
Covenant Status is unique in that a character may, on occasion, have more than one form of it. This occurs
almost exclusively at low levels, where a character is often beneath the notice of most other members of his
covenants. A character may never have more than three dots total in Covenant Status among multiple
covenants. A double-agent, for example, might take two dots worth of Covenant Status (Carthians) and a
single dot of Covenant Status (Lancea Sanctum), representing the character’s true allegiance to the Carthians
as well as the fact that he’s in on the ground floor of the Lancea Sanctum so that he can feed information back
to his Carthian fellows. A character may even have a single dot of Covenant Status in three different
covenants — perhaps he’s somewhat accomplished in each, but has yet to determine where his true loyalties
lie. Naturally, a character with Status in only one Covenant is not beholden to the three-dot limit.
A character with dots in Covenant Status through multiple factions does indeed gain access to those
covenants’ special benefits. Covenants expect certain contributions of their members, however, and if other
Kindred find out that the vampire in question plays multiple sides against the middle, he might see that Status
vanish in a single night in which he’s called upon to account for his treacheries. Such is also the reason that
cumulative Covenant Status is limited to three dots. By the time a character gains a certain degree of Status in
a single covenant, he sticks out like a sore thumb if he turns up among another covenant’s members. (An
exception to this might occur if a character is truly some sort of deep-cover agent or other mole, but that
circumstance is best handled at the Storyteller’s discretion).

Study Group (•)


Book: Carthians, p. 181
Prerequisite: Covenant Status (Carthians) •, Academics ••
Effect: Often taking the form of a book club based around scientific or cultural texts, the Study Group
pursues knowledge aimlessly, based more on what’s interesting than what’s useful at the minute.
When making rolls with the Academics Skill, characters with this Merit may reroll 9s as well as 10s.

Swarm Master (••••)


Book: Wicked Dead, p. 108
Prerequisites: Kindred, Blood Potency •••, Humanity no greater than 5
Effect: The vampire’s Beast resonates with the Larvae, allowing her to seize control of a swarm. Whenever
the character is in close enough proximity to a Larva to trigger the Predator’s Taint, the player may roll
Presence + Resolve + Blood Potency in a contested roll vs. the Larva’s (or the pack leader’s, if applicable)
Resolve + Composure. If the vampire wins, the swarm is under the vampire’s control until she is physically
separated from the swarm for a period of one hour per dot of Blood Potency. At the end of that time, the
swarm regains its independence, though the vampire can attempt to assume control again. During the
separation, the Larvae will follow the vampire’s last orders, or, if no orders were given, attempt to find her.
While in control of a swarm, the vampire can issue verbal commands to the swarm. The Larvae follow the
Kindred’s commands to the best of their abilities. In order to force the swarm to undertake especially
dangerous actions (entering a burning building, fighting a more powerful vampire without the rest of the pack,
etc.), the vampire’s player must roll Presence + Intimidation. If the command involves facing fire or sunlight,
apply a –3 to the roll.
Another vampire can attempt steal the pack away from the master, but incurs a –5 penalty on the attempt to
do it, whether using this Merit or another method.
Drawback: The swarm doesn’t feel safe away from the master. The Larvae follow the vampire around,
which can make maintaining the Masquerade difficult. Clever masters find ways to compensate, but one
Larva running off after a vessel can ruin the whole enterprise.

Swarm Mind (••)


Book: Gangrel - Savage And Macabre, p. 114
Prerequisites: Protean ••••
Effect: By purchasing this Merit, the Savage using Shape of the Beast (Protean ••••) can become a swarm
of small animals instead of a single larger creature. The purchase of this Merit allows for only one type of
animal: rat, raven, horsefly, or some other creature of Size 2 or smaller. This Merit must be repurchased for
each different type of animal.
The Protean swarm form exists in a radius or yards equal to the Gangrel’s own Size (usually Size 5). A
swarm can generally inflict one die of bashing damage to anyone within its radius per turn. A swarm can
inflict even more damage by condensing. Every time the swarm condenses to cover one yard less of its full
area, it inflicts one additional die of damage per turn (representing a larger concentration of rats biting, bees
stinging, and so forth). Condensing is also representative of a visual horror: rats piling into a teetering tower
of yellow teeth and tails flickering, or a column of spiders toppling toward a victim. A vampire can choose to
drink blood in this form, thus doing lethal damage, but can only drink a single point per two turns – many
mouths make quick work, yes, but they can only take blood in nips and licks.
Armor is effective against a swarm only if it covers one’s full body, but even then it provides only half its
rating. In addition, targets are distracted by the swarm, suffering -2 dice on rolls involving perception or
requiring concentration while they are within the radius, even if they’re not specifically attacked.
The swarm cannot be attacked with fists, clubs, swords or guns. Only area-affect attacks such as a torch
affect it. Each point of aggravated damage inflicted by a flame or other applicable attack halves the swarm’s
Size. Once the swarm is reduced to a two-yard radius, the vampire has no choice but to return to his original
form (at which point he must check for a fear frenzy, Vampire: The Requiem, pp. 179-180).
Drawback: Fragmenting the body is not a sane action. For eight hours after changing to a swarm form, the
Gangrel suffers from the Irrationality derangement and must make Resolve + Composure checks accordingly
to resist giving into that lunacy. If the character already suffers from the mild version, he suffers the severe
malady (Multiple Personality) instead. These derangements are found in the World of Darkness Rulebook,
pp. 99-100.

Tap the Torpid Mind (• or •••••)


Book: The Invictus, p. 188
Prerequisites: Vampire, House Membership •••, Speaker for the Eclipsed •
Effect: As the boundaries between the psyches of Kindred in a House blur, the Kindred may develop a
truly remarkable ability to channel one another’s personalities — and powers of the blood. This very rare
benefit of the House connection takes a great deal out of the Kindred who uses this Merit, but it can allow a
vampire to pull a trick or two out of his hat that his enemies would never have anticipated. A character with
this Merit can gain brief access to one Skill or non-physical Discipline possessed by his House’s slumbering
member. To invoke the psycho-sanguine connection, the character must spend one Vitae and one Willpower
point as an instant action while within range of the torpid member (as determined by his dots in the Speaker
for the Absent Merit).
To use a torpid member’s Skill, the character then simply forms a dice pool using his own Attribute paired
with the Skill and Specialty (if any) of his torpid partner. Notice that this may allow a character to temporarily
access a Skill with more than six dots. For the rest of the scene, the character may take a number of actions
using that Skill equal to his dots in this Merit.
To use the Discipline of a torpid partner, the character must use the dice pool of the vampire whose power
he is tapping, with a –5 penalty imposed by the murky conduit of the blood. This penalty is reduced by one
for each dot the invoker has in this Merit. Only a single Discipline power may be invoked in this way before
the connection must be invoked again. Only the Disciplines of Animalism, Dominate, Majesty, Nightmare
and Obfuscate can be used in this way. The Discipline power’s cost in Vitae or Willpower must be paid
separately from the cost for invoking this Merit.

Taste of The Strange (•)


Book: Ancient Mysteries, p. 67
Prerequisite: Blood Potency 7
Effect: Those Damned who have survived long Requiems often grow to a troubling point: the Beast can
only be satisfied by consuming Vitae stolen from the bodies of other vampires. This Merit can offer a
somewhat “extended menu” for vampires of that age and Blood Potency by allowing a Kindred character to
consume another type of blood in addition to Vitae. The vampire can still drink Vitae from other Damned,
yes, but each instance of this Merit allows the character to add one more supernatural source of blood to the
menu. She may possess Taste of the Strange (Werewolves), which allows her to get her fix from both the
undead and from the shapechanging Lupines. Other sources may include mages, changelings, Prometheans,
demons, or any other horror of the night that the Storyteller rules appropriate. The player may purchase this
Merit up to four times, but only once at each stage of Blood Potency starting at Blood Potency 7 (so, the
character may buy it again at 8, 9, and 10).
Drawback: Getting blood from such creatures is by no means easy. In addition, the blood of other
supernatural creatures is not always kind to a Kindred’s system or mind. The Storyteller is encouraged to
come up with unique effects from consuming blood from other monsters. Hallucinations are not uncommon.

Temple (• to •••••; Special)


Book: Circle Of The Crone, p. 42
Prerequisi