Area of Expertise (●)
Prerequisites: Resolve •• and one skill specialty
Your character is uncommonly specialized in one area. Choose a Specialty to assign to this Merit. Forgo the +1 bonus afforded by a Specialty in exchange for a +2.
Common Sense (●●●)
Your character has an exceptionally sound and rational mind. With a moment’s thought, she can weigh potential courses of action and outcomes. Once per chapter as an instant action, you may ask the Storyteller one of the following questions about a task at hand or course of action. Roll Wits + Composure. If you succeed, the Storyteller must answer to the best of her ability. If you fail, you get no answer. With an exceptional success, you can ask an additional question:
• What is the worst choice?
• What do I stand to lose here?
• What’s the safest choice?
• Am I chasing a worthless lead?
Danger Sense (●●)
Your character’s reflexes are honed to the point where nothing’s shocking. You gain a +2 modifier on reflexive Wits + Composure rolls for your character to detect an impending ambush.
Encyclopedic Knowledge (●●)
Choose a Skill. Due to an immersion in academia, pop culture, or obsession with a hobby, your character has collected limitless factoids about the topic, even if she has no dots in the Skill.
You can make an Intelligence + Wits roll at any time your character is dealing with her area of interest. On a successful roll, the Storyteller must give a relevant fact or detail about the issue at hand. Your character knows this fact, but you must explain within the scope of your character’s background why she knows it.
Eye for the Strange (●●)
Prerequisites: Resolve ••, Occult •
While your character does not necessarily possess a breadth of knowledge about the supernatural, she knows the otherworldly when she sees it. By perusing evidence she can determine whether something comes from natural or supernatural origin. Roll Intelligence + Composure. With a success, the Storyteller must tell you if the scene has a supernatural cause and provide one piece of found information that confirms the answer. With an exceptional success, she must give you a bit of supernatural folklore that suggests what type of creature caused the problem. If the problem was mundane, an exceptional success gives an ongoing +2 to all rolls to investigate the event, due to her redoubled certainty in its natural causation.
Fast Reflexes (●-●●●)
Prerequisites: Wits ••• or Dexterity •••
Your character’s reflexes impress and astound; she’s always fast to react. +1 Initiative per dot.
Field Medicine (●)
Your character is skilled at emergency medicine and first aid. She knows how pack a wound and perform triage outside a sterile environment and even in the midst of a fight. Unless your patient suffers wound penalties from lethal or aggravated wounds, you do not need traditional medical equipment to stabilize and treat injuries, and don’t suffer any penalties for attempting treatment during combat. (You might still need to dodge to avoid injury yourself, though.) In a pinch, you can also make a Wits + Medicine check to scavenge the surrounding area for supplies to assist in treatment.
Good Time Management (●)
Prerequisites: Academics •• or Science ••
Your character has vast experience managing complex tasks, keeping schedules, and meeting deadlines. When taking an extended action, halve the time required between rolls.
Prerequisites: Resolve •••
Your character possesses an iron will. The powers of the supernatural have little bearing on her behavior. She can stand up to a vampire’s mind control, a witch’s charms, or a ghost’s gifts of fright. Any time a supernatural creature uses a power to influence your character’s thoughts or emotions, add two dice to the dice pool to contest it. If the roll is resisted, instead subtract two dice from the monster’s dice pool. Note that this only affects mental influence and manipulation from a supernatural origin. A vampire with a remarkable Manipulation + Persuasion score is just as likely to convince your character to do something using mundane tricks.
Interdisciplinary Specialty (●)
Prerequisites: Skill at ••• or higher with a Specialty
Choose a Specialty that your character possesses when you purchase this Merit. You can apply the +1 from that Specialty on any Skill with at least one dot, provided it’s justifiable within the scope of the fiction. For example, a doctor with a Medicine Specialty in Anatomy may be able to use it when targeting a specific body part with Weaponry, but could not with a general strike.
Your character is skilled with an additional language beyond her native tongue. Choose a language each time you buy this Merit. Your character can speak, read, and write in that language.
Your character has access to a plethora of information about a given topic. When purchasing this Merit, choose a Mental Skill. The Library covers that purview. On any extended roll involving the Skill in question, add the dots in this Merit.
Mind of a Monster (●●)
Prerequisites: Empathy •••
Your character gets deep into the skin of problems.
If she’s investigating the supernatural or hunting an inhuman mark, she can put herself in the mind of the creature. This often helps with the case; however, it takes her to a dark place internally.
Once she’s made the choice to sink into the monstrous mindset (which usually involves intense meditation or perusal of the creature’s attacks), she gains 8-again on all rolls to investigate, pursue, and destroy the beast. But once per night, while she sleeps, she dreams about the monster’s attacks and theoretical future attacks. This is intensely traumatic and it drives her further on the hunt. If she spends the day without pursuing the creature, make a breaking point roll as if she’d committed the monster’s attack herself. She can resist the dreams and the breaking points by avoiding sleep, but she’s subject to normal deprivation effects. Until the monster is captured or destroyed, any of her own breaking point rolls from things she’s done suffer a –1 penalty.
Your character knows how to pace herself and take the time to do the job right the first time. When taking an extended action, you may make two additional rolls above what your Attribute + Skill would allow.
Professional Training (●-●●●●●)
Your character has extensive training in a particular profession, which offers distinct advantages in a handful of fields. When choosing this Merit, choose or create a Profession for your character. Mark the two Asset Skills on your character sheet. The advantages of Professional Training relate directly to those Asset Skills.
• Networking: At the first level of Professional Training, your character builds connections within her chosen field. Take two dots of Contacts relating to that field.
•• Continuing Education: With repeated efforts in her field of choice, your character tends toward greater successes. When making a roll with her Asset Skills, she benefits from the 9-again quality.
••• Breadth of Knowledge: Due to advancement in her field, she’s picked up a number of particular bits of information and skill unique to her work. Choose a third Asset Skill and take two Specialties in your character’s Asset Skills.
•••• On the Job Training: With the resources at her disposal, your character has access to extensive educational tools and mentorship available. Take a Skill dot in an Asset Skill.
••••• The Routine: With such extensive experience in her field, her Asset Skills have been honed to a fine edge and she’s almost guaranteed at least a marginal success. Before rolling, spend a Willpower point to apply the rote action quality to an Asset Skill. This allows you to reroll all the failed dice on the first roll.
Trained Observer (●, ●●●)
Prerequisites: Wits ••• or Composure •••
Your character has spent years in the field, catching tiny details and digging for secrets. She might not have a better chance of finding things, but she has a better chance of finding important things. Any time you make a Perception roll (usually Wits + Composure), you benefit from the 9-again quality. With the three-dot version, you get 8-again.