Each branch of the Firewatchers maintains a separate tradition—specialties and secret techniques honed through generations of the hunt. Initiations are merits that replace the normal Status Merit for the Lee, Volkov, and Colt families. They represent each family’s techniques, and are available only to those who have proved themselves trustworthy. Past character creation, Initiation purchases must be justified with appropriate rp and/or downtime actions.
As with Status, if Initiation 1 is a newcomer to the family’s ways, Initiation 3 corresponds to a trusted adept, and Initiation 5 would be among the most respected people in that family—someone others look to as a leader.
Any character, regardless of their lineage, can buy any Initiation from any branch of the family—up to Initiation rank 3. Past Initiation 3, if the character wishes to further advance in the ranks, they must commit themselves a single family’s traditions; however, that family need not be “their” family. For example, Theresa Colt could decide that the Lee family’s specialties most suit her role in the Firewatchers, and have Colt Initiation 3, Volkov Initiation 1, and Lee Initiation 5. She could continue buying Volkov Initiation up to 3, but neither her Volkov nor Colt Initiations could be raised above those levels, as she has committed herself to the Lee branch of the family.
If you ever purchase an Initiation level that grants a merit which your character already has, the STs will refund the XP cost of that merit for you to re-spend elsewhere.
Colt Initiation (●-●●●●●)
- o: Leadership Skill Specialty: Bureaucracy
without Colt Initiation 1, you must use Politics for bureaucracy
- oo: Small Unit Tactics
- ooo: Inspiring
- oooo: “Before this Gets Out of Hand”
If combat would start, you may spend a willpower to invoke this merit. Before the fight begins, you may take a single non-combat action such as a final attempt to stop the fight, passing a weapon to an ally, or ducking for cover. The ST is the ultimate adjudicator on what is considered a “non-combat” action.
- ooooo: “Pick on Someone Your Own Size”
Spend a willpower and name an enemy as a reflexive action. For the next round, they must attack only you, and you gain +2 bonus armor against their attack(s). This stacks with any other sources of armor you have. You may activate this ability multiple times per scene.
Lee Initiation (●-●●●●●)
- o: Occult Skill Specialty: Research
without Lee Initiation 1, you must use Academics for research
- oo: Library (oo): Occult (stacks with any existing Library: Occult, if applicable)
- ooo: Trained Observer (ooo)
- oooo: Relic Keeper
You are now trusted enough in the Lee family traditions to be granted guardianship of one of the strange relics the family has safeguarded over the years. This grants a custom Relic equivalent to a 3-dot merit.
- ooooo: Psychometry
Psychometry is the psychic ability to read impressions left on physical objects. Your character can, using the aid of their Relic, feel the emotional resonance left on an item or can perceive important events tied to a location with this ability. The ability automatically hones in on the most emotionally intense moment tied to the item.
Spend a Willpower point to activate Psychometry. The successes scored on a Wits + Occult roll determine the clarity of the visions. For each success, you may ask a single yes/ no question of the Storyteller, or one of the following questions. For questions pertaining to specific characters, if your character hasn’t met the persons in question, the Storyteller may simply describe them.
- What’s the strongest emotion here?
- Who remembers this moment the most?
- Am I missing something in this scene?
- Where was this object during the event?
- What breaking point caused the event?
Volkov Initiation (●-●●●●●)
- o: Stealth Skill Specialty: Tracking
without Volkov Initiation 1, you must use Survival for tracking
- oo: Danger Sense
- ooo: Devoted: The Hunt
- oooo: Vicious Attack
You attack recklessly, with no regard for your safety; the risk you take fuels you. You may sacrifice your own health levels (as lethal damage) to gain +1 to your weapon’s Damage modifier per health level you sacrifice. This must be done before drawing for an attack.
- ooooo: Call the Pack
After successfully tracking prey, you may apply the Marked condition to them. This condition may only be active on one target at a time.
Marked: Resolve this Condition to automatically ambush the target (uncontested), or to automatically deal 3 aggravated damage to them. Anyone who knows about the Marked condition may benefit from it. This condition will automatically resolve harmlessly after one month.