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Merits and Flaws

  • Index of Backgrounds from the books (oWoD).
  • Index of Merits and Flaws from the books at Pen-Paper.net (oWoD)
  • New OWoD Merits and Flaws

    New NWoD Merits

    OWoD Merits and Flaws

    Amnesia (Flaw: variable)

    This Flaw is in a number of books. However, I have a problem with the way it was written. I believe that the value of the Flaw is too low for the extremity of amnesia described in it. I also think that there should be other, milder degrees of it. Therefore, I am rewriting it here. It might be appropriate to take a number of points of unspecified Flaws in addition to this one. I leave that to the judgement of you and your Storyteller. This Flaw can make for great story hooks, or a good derangement for your favorite Malkavian.

  • 1 or 2 points: You have one or more small gaps in your memory. This often happens to people who have suffered some trauma, such as an auto accident or heart attack, or possibly the Embrace, Awakening, or death. It's possible that you saw something you shouldn't have, and someone made you forget. Or maybe it's a mild psychological condition. Are you repressing something terrible? The length of time you can't remember, the number of holes in your memory, and the potential danger of not remembering whatever it is all contribute to the value of this flaw.
  • 3 points: You have an extensive hole in your memory (a year or more), or alternatively a number of smaller ones (at least weeks at a time). This might be due to a recurring psychological/physiological condition, or perhaps there's something that sets you off (if you're mortal, you might deal with a lot of werewolves, wraiths, or changelings). Or perhaps you've become someone's favorite vessel for possession... What were you doing during these gaps? Why do they keep happening? Are you even in control of your own body?
  • 4 points: You can't remember anything about who you are, where you came from, or what you were doing then. When you try to recall anything about your life, you draw a complete blank. This affliction may be due to some *massive* trauma, permanent brain damage, or possibly someone was overzealous in their use of mind-altering magic on you (high-level Dominate, Mind 4, etc). Or maybe you were Embraced as a Sabbat Malkavian. Can you remember anything at all? Do you even recall all the skills you possessed before this happened to you?
  • Night Terrors (Flaw: 2 points)

    Past horrible nightmares, there lie night terrors. In real life, this is a condition caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. A person who has them cannot usually remember what they see during sleep, but these visions have terrible effect. A person subject to night terrors can sometimes sleepwalk. If this happens, then they often become very violent, perceiving their actual surroundings as what they are seeing in their dream. Because of the fear it creates, a person in this state often becomes incredibly strong. There are documented cases of people ripping doors off hinges, and punching holes through walls.
    In the World of Darkness, there are other possible reasons for a character suffering this condition. However, the effects are the same. Even though the character will probably not be able to recall anything more than the vaguest hints of what they dreamt, one die should be taken off all actions for the following day. Also, when the character has an episode, add half their existing Strength and Stamina scores to the respective Traits (a Strength of 4 would become 6, for example). Also, the character will interact with their environment as if it is what they're seeing in their sleep. This can be very dangerous for friends who try to help the character, and it is also often rather destructive on the character's surroundings. This Flaw can be very dangerous for someone with a medical condition such as a weak heart or asthma, as the stress of fear and overflow of adrenaline in the system can set them off.

    Panic Disorder/Anxiety Attacks (2-4 Pt. Flaw)

    Character suffers from anxiety attacks, the frequency and severity of which vary depending upon the number of points taken for the flaw. Anxiety attacks can be caused by a number of things ranging from a traumatic experience to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and are often accompanied by phobias or other psychological flaws. When the character is faced with an exceedingly stressful situation there is a possibility he/she will suffer an anxiety attack. Symptoms of a panic attack include racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, feeling as though you 'can't get enough air, terror that is almost paralyzing, dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea, trembling, sweating, shaking, choking, chest pains, hot flashes, or sudden chills, tingling in fingers or toes ('pins and needles'), fear that you're going to go crazy or are about to die. The character may suffer from some or all of these during an anxiety attack. Attacks only last for a few minutes, but during that time the character is unable to perform any task. Storyteller may decide when the character should roll for a possible anxiety attack. (Roll Willpower versus difficulty determined by Storyteller) Medication and other treatments may reduce the severity and frequency of attacks but also have side effects. Player and storyteller should discuss this flaw thoroughly during character creation.

  • 2 Pts: Occasional panic attack, mild symptoms, caused by very specific stimuli/events
  • 3 Pts: Attacks with moderate symptoms that occur with more regularity, attacks caused by more general stimuli/events, character may need medication or treatment
  • 4 Pts: Frequent attacks with severe symptoms, character requires medication to control them
  • Expressive Face/Eyes (1 Pt. Flaw, 2 Pt. Merit

    Character has a difficult time hiding his/her emotions. Other people find it easy to determine whether the character is "hiding something" or lying. For the Flaw, all rolls involving deception or Subterfuge are made at +2 difficulty. Sense Deception rolls with the character as the target are made at -2 difficulty. Some people, however, may be more inclined to trust you since you don't mask your feelings. For the Merit, all Empathy rolls or rolls involving other people believing you or gaining their trust are made at -1 difficulty. HINT: Don't play poker!

    Insomnia (1-2 Pt. Flaw)

    You frequently have trouble sleeping. Getting a good night's rest is never easy for you. Sleeping through the night without waking up is almost impossible. This lack of sleep can also impair your performance. Every night you try to sleep, roll your stamina versus difficulty 7 for a 1 Pt. Flaw, and difficulty 8 for a 2 Pt. Flaw. No successes indicate that you did not sleep well. If the nightly stamina roll is botched, immediately subtract one die from every dice pool for the next day. For every three nights of not sleeping, subtract 1 die from every dice pool for the following day. Penalties are cumulative, however a single night of rest (1 or more successes on the stamina roll) will eliminate all penalties.

    New NWoD Merits - General

    Affinity (5 point Merit)

    You may re-roll 9's for one skill specialty.

    Brawl/Weaponry Counterattack (1 point Merit)

    Instead of using your Defense, you can turn an attack into a contested action. If the attacker gets more successes, you take damage; if you get more successes, he takes damage. Defense does not apply to this roll, and this does not count toward degrading Defense from multiple attacks.
    Prerequisites: Brawl or Weaponry 1

    Deft (2 point Merit)

    You have a +2 bonus to rolls primarily involving balance.

    Focused (2 point Merit)

    Either you have a clear grasp of what you want out of life, or because you are extremely stubborn, you are extremely resistant at efforts to manipulate your person. You gain a +1 bonus to your Resolve Pool to resist any attempt at coercion through smooth talking. The only drawback is that you cannot bring yourself to feel motivated by anyone giving a motivating speech (and hence cannot regain willpower through someone’s use of the inspiring merit).

    Jack of All Trades (3 or 5 point Merit)

    Available only at character creation.
    The character has an intuitive grasp of things, and has a better than normal chance of performing tasks in which he is not trained. In game terms, the penalty for using a skill in which the character has no dots is negated.
    For 3 points, this Merit applies to Physical and Social skills. For 5 points, it applies to Knowledge skills as well, but the penalty is only reduced to -1 rather than entirely negated.

    Keen Sense (1 point Merit)

    +2 dice on rolls involving one of the character’s senses, chosen when you take the Merit.

    Natural Linguist (1 point Merit)

    A natural flair for languages allows you to pick them up more quickly then most people. When buying Languages you subtract 1 exp from the cost.

    Prodigy (3 point Merit)

    You possess unusual talent in a single field. Choose a single Ability and gain +1 die to all rolls pertaining to it.

    Solid Mind (4 point Merit)

    Available only at character creation.
    Gain a +1 dice bonus to rolls when resisting a new derangement.
    Special: Ventrue cannot take this Merit.

    New NWoD Merits - Vampire

    Eat Food (3 point Merit)

    Vampires only.
    The Kindred can heave up his evening meal at his convenience.

    Hermetic Kine (3 point Merit)

    Vampires only.
    Regain 2 Willpower per day of rest in your Haven, rather than the usual 1. When you slumber outside your Haven, you lose 1 Willpower and have a -1 penalty to all Frenzy rolls the following night.

    No Reflection (3 point Merit)

    Vampires only. Available only at character creation.
    While most Kindred appear blurred in reflections, film and video, the bearer of this merit does not appear at all. This is both a blessing and a curse.
    Drawback: Unlike the more common version of this aspect of the Curse, No Reflection cannot be turned off for a scene with a point of Willpower.

    Orphaned Blood (1 point Merit)

    Vampires only. Available only at character creation.
    The lineage from which you descend is weak and diffuse. Perhaps you were abandoned as a childe, stifling the mystical connection inherent in the Blood; maybe your line is cursed. Whatever the reason, no Kindred with a Blood Tie may claim a bonus against you.
    Drawback: You likewise cannot get Blood Tie bonuses. The Storyteller may also rule that you cannot join your Sire's bloodline until BP4.

    Tread the Ancient Pathways (5 point Merit)

    Vampires only.
    Torpor’s deathly sleep destroys Kindred minds, robbing them of eternity and leaving falsehoods and nightmares in its wake. A Kindred with Tread the Ancient Pathways has amalgamated his supreme memorization skills with a form of autohypnosis. If confronted by facts that contradict those false memories, the character may make a Resolve + Composure roll in order to recall the full truth.
    Prerequisite: Eidetic Memory