Physical, Mental and Social Merits
Effect: Your character does not suffer the –2 penalty for using his off-hand in combat or to perform other actions. Available only at character creation.
Crack Driver (•• or •••)
Prerequisite: Drive •••
Effect: Your character’s an ace at the wheel and nothing shakes her concentration. So long as she’s not taking any actions other than driving (and keeping the car safe), add her Composure to any rolls to drive. Any rolls to disable her vehicle suffer a penalty equal to her Composure as well. With the three-dot version, she may take a Drive action reflexively once per turn.
Demolisher (• to •••)
Prerequisite: Strength ••• or Intelligence •••
Effect: Your character has an innate feel for the weak points in objects. When damaging an object, she ignores one point of the object’s Durability per dot in this Merit.
Double Jointed (••)
Prerequisite: Dexterity •••
Effect: Your character might have been a contortionist or spent time practicing yoga. She can dislodge joints when need be. She automatically escapes from any mundane bonds without a roll. When grappled, subtract her Dexterity from any rolls to overpower her as long as she’s not taking any aggressive actions.
Fleet of Foot (• to •••)
Prerequisite: Athletics ••
Effect: Your character is remarkably quick and runs far faster than her frame suggests. She gains +1 Speed per dot; anyone pursuing her suffers a –1 per dot to any foot chase rolls.
Effect: Your character is massive. She’s well over six feet tall and crowds part when she approaches. She’s Size 6 and gains +1 Health. Available only at character creation.
Drawback: Buying clothing is a nightmare. Fitting in small spaces is difficult at best.
Hardy (• to •••)
Prerequisite: Stamina •••
Effect: Your character’s body goes further than it right¬fully should. Add the dots in this Merit to any rolls to resist disease, poison, deprivation, unconsciousness, or suffocation.
Iron Stamina (• to •••)
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. 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.
Parkour (• to •••••, Style)
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Athletics ••
Your character is a trained and proficient free-runner. Free-running is the art of moving fluidly through urban environments with complex leaps, bounds, running tricks, and vaulting. This is the type of sport popularized in modern action films, where characters are unhindered by fences, walls, construction equipment, cars, or anything else the city puts in their ways.
Flow (•): Your character reacts instinctively to any ob¬stacles with leaps, jumps, and scaling techniques. When in a foot chase, subtract your Parkour from the successes needed to pursue or evade. Ignore environmental penalties to Athletics rolls equal to your Parkour rating.
Cat Leap (••): Your character falls with outstanding grace. 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. Addition¬ally, add your Parkour rating to the threshold of damage that can be removed through this roll. Parkour will not mitigate damage from a terminal velocity fall.
Wall Run (•••): When climbing, your character can run upward for some distance before having to traditionally climb. Without rolling, your character scaled 10 feet + five feet per dot of Athletics as an instant action, rather than the normal 10 feet.
Expert Traceur (••••): Parkour has become second nature for your character. By spending a Willpower point, you may designate one Athletics roll to run, jump, or climb as a rote action (reroll all failed dice once). On any turn you use this ability, you may not apply your character’s Defense to oncoming attacks.
Freeflow (•••••): Your character’s Parkour is now muscle memory. She can move without thinking in a zen-like state. The character must successfully meditate (see p. 51 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) in order to establish Freeflow. Once established, your character is capable of tak¬ing Athletics actions reflexively once per turn. By spending a point of Willpower on an Athletics roll in a foot chase, gain three successes instead of three dice.
Quick Draw (•)
Prerequisites: Wits •••, a Specialty in the weapon or fighting style chosen
Effect: Choose a Specialty in Weaponry or Firearms when you purchase this Merit. Your character has trained enough in that weapon or style that pulling the weapon is her first reflex. Drawing or holstering that weapon is considered a reflexive action, and can be done any time her Defense applies.
Sleight of Hand (••)
Prerequisite: Larceny •••
Effect: Your character can pick locks and pockets with¬out even thinking about it. She can take one Larceny-based instant action reflexively in a given turn. As well, her Larceny actions go unnoticed unless someone is trying specifically to catch her.
Effect: Your character is diminutive. She’s not even five feet tall and it’s easy to walk into her without noticing. She’s Size 4 and thus has one fewer Health box. She gains +2 to any rolls to hide or go unnoticed. This bonus might apply any time being smaller would be an advantage, such as crawling through smaller spaces. Available only at character creation.
Drawback: In addition to the lower Health, your character might be overlooked or not taken seriously by some people.
Area of Expertise (•)
Prerequisite: Resolve •• and one Skill Specialty
Effect: 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 (•••)
Effect: Your character has an exceptionally sound and rational mind. With a moment’s thought, she can weigh po¬tential 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 (••)
Effect: 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.
Direction Sense (•)
Effect: Your character has an innate sense of direction and is always aware of her location in space. She always knows which direction she faces and never suffers penalties to navigate or find her way.
Eidetic Memory (••)
Effect: Your character recalls events and details with pinpoint accuracy. You do not have to make rolls for your character to remember past experiences. When making Intel¬ligence + Composure (or relevant Skill) rolls to recall minute facts from swaths of information, take a +2 bonus.
Encyclopedic Knowledge (••)
Effect: Choose a Skill. Due to an immersion in aca¬demia, 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. For example, for Encyclopedic Knowledge: Medicine: “Do you remember that time on that show, when the doctor said it doesn’t manifest before puberty?”
Eye for the Strange (••)
Prerequisite: Resolve ••, Occult •
Effect: 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 informa-tion 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 (• to •••)
Prerequisite: Wits ••• or Dexterity •••
Effect: Your character’s reflexes impress and astound; she’s always fast to react. +1 Initiative per dot.
Good Time Management (•)
Prerequisite: Academics •• or Science ••
Effect: Your character has vast experience managing complex tasks, keeping schedules, and meeting deadlines. When taking an extended action, halve the time required between rolls.
Holistic Awareness (•)
Effect: Your character is skilled at non-traditional heal¬ing methods. While scientific minds might scoff, she can provide basic medical care with natural means. She knows what herbs can stem an infection and what minerals will stave off a minor sickness. Unless your patient suffers wound penalties from lethal or aggravated wounds, you do not need traditional medical equipment to stabilize and treat injuries. With access to woodlands, a greenhouse, or other source of diverse flora, a Wits + Survival roll allows your character to gather all necessary supplies.
Prerequisite: 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 (•)
Prerequisite: Skill at ••• or higher with a Specialty
Effect: 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.
Effect: 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.
Library (• to •••)
Effect: Your character has access to a plethora of infor¬mation 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.
This Merit can be purchased multiple times to reflect different Skills. Its benefits can be shared by various charac¬ters with permission.
Meditative Mind (•, ••, or ••••)
Effect: Your character’s meditation is far more fulfilling than for other characters. With the one-dot version of this Merit, the character does not suffer environment penalties to mediation (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 51), even from wound penalties.
With the two-dot version, when the character has suc¬cessfully meditated, she gains a +3 bonus on any Resolve + Composure rolls during the same day as she’s steeled herself against the things of the world that would shake her foundation.
At the four-dot level, she only needs a single success to gain the benefits of meditation for the day, instead of the normal four.
Effect: Your character has a strong affinity for lan¬guage acquisition. Each time you purchase this Merit, choose two languages. Your character can speak con¬versationally in those languages. With an Intelligence + Academics roll, she may also read enough of the language to understand context.
If you purchase the Language Merit for either of these languages, replace the Multilingual language. For example, if you have Multilingual (French, Italian), and purchase Lan¬guage: Italian, you may choose to take Multilingual (French, Portuguese).
Effect: 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 (• to •••••)
Effect: 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 (see the sidebar). 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 par¬ticular 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. Whenever you purchase a new Asset Skill dot, take a Beat.
••••• 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.
Tolerance for Biology (•)
Prerequisite: Resolve •••
Effect: Most people turn away at the sight of blood, other bodily fluids, or exotic biology. Your character has seen enough that nothing turns her stomach. When other characters must resist shock or physical repulsion from the disgusting and morbid, your character stands her ground. You do not need to make Composure, Stamina, or Resolve rolls to withstand the biologically strange. This doesn’t mean she’s immune to fear; she’s just used to nature in all its nasty forms.
Trained Observer (• or •••)
Prerequisite: Wits ••• or Composure •••
Effect: Your character has spent years in the field, catch¬ing 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.
Many of these Merits use the Social rules (p 188), influencing Doors and other facets of the interaction.
Allies(• to •••••)
Effect: Allies help your character. They might be friends, employees, associates, or people your character has blackmailed. Each instance of this Merit represents one type of ally. This could be in an organization, a society, a clique, or an individual. Examples include the police, a secret society, crime, unions, local politics, and the academic community. Each purchase has its own rating. Your character might have Allies (Masons) ••, Allies (Carter Crime Family) •••, and Allies (Catholic Church) •.
Each dot represents a layer of influence in the group. One dot would constitute small favors and passing influence. Three could offer considerable influence, such as the overlooking of a misdemeanor charge by the police. Five dots stretch the limits of the organization’s influence, as its leaders put their own influence on the line for the character. This could include things such as massive insider training or fouling up a felony investigation. No matter the request, it has to be something that organization could accomplish.
The Storyteller assigns a rating between one and five to any favor asked. A character can ask for favors that add up to her Allies rating without penalty in one chapter. If she extends her influence beyond that, her player must roll Manipulation + Persuasion + Allies, with a penalty equal to the favor’s rating. If the roll is successful, the group does as requested. Failed or successful, the character loses a dot of Allies. This dot may return at the end of the chapter (see Sanctity of Merits, on p. 158.) On a dramatic failure, the organization resents her and seeks retribution. On an exceptional success, she doesn’t lose the dot.
One additional favor a character can ask of her Allies is to block another character’s Allies, Contacts, Mentor, Retainer, or Status (if she knows the character possesses the relevant Merit). The rating is equal to the Merit dots blocked. As before, no roll is necessary unless the target’s Merit exceeds the character’s Allies. If the block succeeds, the character cannot use the Merit during the same chapter.
Alternate Identity (•,••, or •••)
Effect: Your character has established an alternate identity. The level of this Merit determines the amount of scrutiny it can withstand. At one dot, the identity is superficial and unofficial. For example, your character uses an alias with a simple costume and adopts an accent. She hasn’t established the necessary paperwork to even approach a bureaucratic background check, let alone pass. At two dots, she’s supported her identity with paperwork and identification. It’s not liable to stand up to extensive research, but it’ll turn away private investigators and internet hobbyists. At three dots, the identity can pass thorough inspection. The identity has been deeply entrenched in relevant databases, with subtle flourishes and details to make it seem real even to trained professionals.
The Merit also reflects time the character has spent honing the persona. At one or two dots, she gains a +1 to all Subterfuge rolls to defend the identity. At three dots, she gains +2.
This Merit can be purchased multiple times. Each time representing an additional identity.
Anonymity (• to •••••)
Prerequisites: Cannot have Fame.
Effect: Your character lives off the grid. This means purchases must be made with cash or falsified credit cards. She eschews identification. She avoids any official authoritative influence in her affairs. Any attempts to find her by paper trail suffer a –1 penalty per dot purchased in this Merit.
Drawback: Your character cannot purchase the Fame Merit. This also may limit Status purchases, if the character cannot provide sufficient identification for the roles she wishes to take.
Prerequisite: Socialize ••
Effect: Your character is a natural in the bar environment and can procure an open invitation wherever she wishes. Whereas most characters would require rolls to blend into social functions they don’t belong in, she doesn’t; she belongs. Rolls to identify her as an outsider suffer her Social¬ize as a penalty.
Contacts (• to •••••)
Effect: Contacts provide your character with informa¬tion. Each dot in this Merit represents a sphere or organization with which the character can garner information. For example, a character with Contacts ••• might have Bloggers, Drug Dealers, and Financial Speculators for connections. Contacts do not provide services, only information. This may be face-to-face, email, by telephone, or even by séance in some strange instances.
Garnering information via Contacts requires a Manipulation + Social Skill roll, depending on the method the character uses. This Merit can either be used generally, in which case only the field is necessary, or it can be personalized by identifying an individual within the field whom the character can call. If using the latter method, the Storyteller should give a bonus or penalty, dependent on how relevant the information is to that particular Contact, whether accessing the information is dangerous, and if the character has maintained good relations or done favors for the Contact. These modifiers should range from –3 to +3 in most cases. If successful, the Contact provides the information.
One use of a Contact is to dig dirt on another character. A Contact can find another character’s Social Merits and any relevant Conditions (Embarrassing Secret is a prime example.)
A character can have more than five Contacts, but the Merit’s rating is limited to five, for the purposes of Allies blocking.
Fame (• to •••)
Effect: Your character is recognized within a certain sphere for a certain skill, or because of some past action, or just a stroke of luck. This can mean favors and attention, but it can also mean negative attention and scrutiny. When choosing the Merit, define what your character is known for. As a rule of thumb, one dot means local recognition or reputation within a confined subculture. Two dots means regional recognition by a wide swath of people. Three dots means worldwide recognition to anyone who might have been exposed to the source of the fame. Each dot adds a die to any Social rolls among those who are impressed by your character’s celebrity.
Drawback: Any rolls to find or identify the character enjoy a +1 bonus per dot of the Merit. If the character has Alternate Identity, she can mitigate this drawback. A character with Fame cannot have the Anonymity Merit.
Fast-Talking (• to •••••, Style)
Prerequisites: Manipulation •••, Subterfuge ••
Your character talks circles around listeners. She speaks a mile a minute and often leaves her targets reeling, but nodding in agreement.
Always Be Closing (•): With the right leading phrases, your character can direct a mark to say what she wants, when she wants. This trips the mark into vulnerable positions. When a mark contests or resists your character’s Social interactions, apply a –1 to their Resolve or Composure.
Jargon (••): Your character confuses her mark using complex terminology. You may apply one relevant Specialty to any Social roll you make, even if the Specialty isn’t tied to the Skill in use.
Devil’s Advocacy (•••): Your character often poses arguments she doesn’t agree with in order to challenge a mark’s position and keep him from advancing discussion. You can reroll one failed Subterfuge roll per scene.
Salting (••••): Your character can position herself so a mark pursues a non-issue or something unimportant to her. When your character opens a Door using conversation (Persuasion, Subterfuge, Empathy, etc.) you may spend a Willpower point to immediately open another Door.
The Nigerian Scam (•••••): Your character can take advantage of her mark’s greed and zeal. When the mark does particularly well, it’s because your character was there to set him up and to subsequently tear him down. If a target regains Willpower from his Vice while your character is present, you may immediately roll Manipulation + Subterfuge to open a Door, regardless of the interval or impression level.
Prerequisite: Contacts ••, Wits •••
Effect: Your character is somebody that knows people. She can not only get in touch with the right people to do a job, but she can get them at the best possible prices. When hiring a service (see p.234), reduce the Availability score of the service by one dot.
Hobbyist Clique (••)
Prerequisite: Membership in a clique. All members must possess this Merit and the chosen Skill at ••+
Effect: Your character is part of a group of hobbyists that specialize in one area, as represented by a Skill. It may be a book club, a coven, a political party, or any other interest. When the group’s support is available, you benefit from the 9-again quality on rolls involving the group’s chosen Skill. As well, the clique offers two additional dice on any extended actions involving that Skill.
Drawback: This Merit requires upkeep. You must attend at least monthly, informal meetings to maintain the benefits of Hobbyist Clique.
Prerequisite: Presence •••
Effect: Your character’s passion inspires those around her to greatness. With a few words, she can redouble a group’s confidence or move them to action.
Make a Presence + Expression roll. A small clique of listeners levies a –1 penalty, a small crowd a –2, and a large crowd a –3. Listeners gain the Inspired Condition. The character may not use this Merit on herself.
Iron Will (••)
Prerequisite: Resolve ••••
Effect: Your character’s resolve is unwavering. When spending Willpower to contest or resist in a Social interaction, you may substitute your character’s Resolve for the usual Willpower bonus. If the roll is contested, roll with 8-again.
Mentor (• to •••••)
Effect: This Merit gives your character a teacher that provides advice and guidance. He acts on your character’s behalf, often in the background and sometimes without your character’s knowledge. While Mentors can be highly competent, they almost always want something in return for their services. The dot rating determines the Mentor’s capabilities, and to what extent he’ll aid your character.
When establishing a Mentor, determine what the Mentor wants from your character. This should be personally important to him and it should reflect on the dot rating chosen. A one-dot Mentor might be incapable of dealing with modern society and want to live vicariously through your character. This might mean coming to him and telling stories of her exploits. A five-dot Mentor would want something astronomical, such as an oath to procure an ancient, cursed artifact that may or may not exist, in order to prevent a prophesized death.
Choose three Skills the Mentor possesses. You can substitute Resources for one of these Skills. Once per session, the character may ask her Mentor for a favor. The favor must involve one of those Skills or be within the scope of his Resources. The Mentor commits to the favor (often asking for a commensurate favor in return); and if a roll is required, the Mentor is automatically considered to have successes equal to his dot rating. Alternately, the player may ask the Storyteller to have the Mentor act on her character’s behalf, without her character knowing or initiating the request.
Mystery Cult Initiation (• to •••••)
Cults are far more common than the people of the World of Darkness would like to admit. Mystery cult is the catch-all term for a phenomenon ranging from secret societies couched in fraternity houses and scholarly cabals studying the magic of classical symbolism to mystical suicide cults to the God Machine.
Mystery Cult Initiation reflects membership in one of these esoteric groups. The dot rating dictates standing. One dot is an initiate, two a respected member, three a priest or organizer, four a decision-making leader, five is a high priest or founder. If you wish your character to begin play in a cult, work with your Storyteller to develop the details.
Designing a Mystery Cult requires three things, at bare minimum. First is a Purpose. This is the defining reason the cult exists. Usually, it’s tied in with the cult’s history and recent background. Second is a Relic. This is an item that grounds members’ faith. For example, a piece of the God-Machine, an ancient text bound in human flesh, or the mummified flesh of a saint. The last is a Doctrine. Every cult is defined by its rules and traditions.
In addition to standing, a Mystery Cult Initiation Merit offers benefits at each level of influence. Develop these as well. The following are guidelines; use them to craft your own cults:
• A Skill Specialty or one-dot Merit pertaining to the lessons taught to initiates.
•• A one-dot Merit.
••• A Skill dot or a two-dot Merit (often a super¬natural Merit).
•••• A three-dot Merit, often supernatural in origin.
••••• A three-dot Merit or a major advantage not reflected in game traits.
Resources (• to •••••)
Effect: This Merit reflects your character’s disposable income. She might live in an upscale condo, but if her income is tied up in the mortgage and child support payments, she might have little money to throw around. Characters are assumed to have basic necessities without Resources.
The dot rating determines the relative amount of disposable funding the character has available, depending on your particular chronicle’s setting. The same amount of money means completely different things in a game set in Silicon Valley compared to one set in the Detroit slums. One dot is a little spending money here and there. Two is a comfortable, middle class wage. Three is a nicer, upper middle class life. Four is moderately wealthy. Five is filthy rich.
Every item has an Availability rating. Once per chapter, your character can procure an item at her Resources level or lower without issue. An item one Availability level above her Resources reduces her effective Resources by one dot for a full month, since she has to rapidly liquidate funds. She can procure items two Availability level below her Resources without limit (within reason). For example, a character with Resources •••• can procure as many Availability •• disposable cellphones as she needs.
Prerequisite: Persuasion ••
Effect: Your character tempts and bribes as second nature. Any time a mark in a Social interaction accepts her soft leverage (see p. 193), open a Door as if you’d satisfied his Vice as well as moving the impression up on the chart.
Effect: Your character is very good at letting others get close. This gives him an edge in getting what he wants. At the beginning of a Social maneuvering attempt, you may choose to accept a Condition such as Leveraged, Swooning or Vulnerable in order to immediately eliminate two of the subject’s Doors.
Prerequisite: Crafts 2 and a Specialty in Crafts or Expression
Effect: Your character has refined tastes and can identify minor details in fashion, food, architecture, and other forms of artistry and craftsmanship. Not only does this give an eye for detail, it makes her a center of attention in critical circles. She can appraise items within her area of expertise. With a Wits + Skill roll, depending on the creation in question (Expression for poetry, Crafts for architecture, for example), your character can pick out obscure details about the item that other, less discerning minds would not. For each success, ask one of the following ques¬tions, or take a +1 bonus to any Social rolls pertaining to groups interested in the art assessed for the remainder of the scene.
• What is the hidden meaning in this?
• What was the creator feeling during its creation?
• What’s its weakest point?
• What other witness is most moved by this piece?
• How should one best appreciate this piece?
True Friend (•••)
Effect: Your character has a true friend. While that friend may have specific functions covered by other Merits (Allies, Con¬tacts, Retainer, Mentor, et cetera), True Friend represents a deeper, truly trusting relationship that cannot be breached. Unless your character does something egregious to cause it, her True Friend will not betray her. The Storyteller cannot kill a True Friend as part of a plot without your express permission. Any rolls to influence a True Friend against your character suffer a five-die penalty. In addition, once per story your character can regain one spent Willpower by having a meaningful interaction with her True Friend.