Changeling: The Lost - IRC RPG

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Join date : 2016-06-27

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PostSubject: Social    Social                  Icon_minitimeTue Jun 28, 2016 3:27 am

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 calledupon. Similarly, a roll of Manipulation + Persuasion + Allies dots could determine how many police answer your character’s call for help, or how many long shoremen 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 live sand 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: Skin changers, p. 20One 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: Skin changers 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 (-1to -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 this Merit to do something for the character.

Ingratiating Wanderer (••)
Book: Midnight Roads, p. 58
Prerequisites: Manipulation 3Upon 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 local power 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 (• 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 pre-eminent 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: Skin changers, 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 Expres​sion(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.

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 demeanour 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 $5,000,000worth 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 gether 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 thetas 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 Speciality

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 benefit  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: Skin changers, 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 little less to his presence. This amounts to a –1 penalty to the Wits + Composure rolls to notice this character as a detail.
Skin changers who emulate small or prey animals commonly take this Merit.

Drawback: Even when the character
wants to be noticed, he’s still overlook able 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 byno 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.

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 beauthorized to own and use explosives for professional applications. Prerequisite: Academics Skill Specialty:Law (private investigator), Science Skill Specialty: Demolitions (building contractor).

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 ••.

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 line-up. 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 like-minded 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 Precinct, 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 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 anMPD 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 stateside 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. 34Homeless 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 Under city, in addition to the effects described below. It should be noted that any Kindred who starts bringing unwanted visitors into the Under city makes enemies of his fellow tunneld dwellers 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 Under city 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 Under city is no more time-consuming than surface travel. Penalties to dice pools for navigation and survival in the Under city are reduced by two(e.g., from –3 to –1).••• The character knows the Under city 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 thereunder. 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 Under city 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 Under city are reduced by three (e.g., from –3 to 0).
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