Merits and Flaws are optional Traits that a Storyteller may choose to include, or prohibit, in her chronicle. Properly used, Merits and Flaws help players create and individualize their characters. Merits are special abilities or advantages that are rare or unique in the general Kindred population, while Flaws are liabilities or disadvantages that pose challenges to a character’s nightly existence. These Traits can provide player characters with added depth and personality, but Storytellers should be careful to ensure that any Traits chosen will not adversely influence the course of the chronicle or give one character an unfair advantage over the rest.
Merits and Flaws can be selected only during character creation and are purchased using freebie points (although existing Merits and Flaws can be removed or new ones added by the Storyteller during the course of the chronicle). Each Merit has its own point cost, while each Flaw has a point value which adds to the amount of freebie points a player can spend during the creation process. A character may take as many Merits as the player can afford, but no character may have more than seven points’ worth of Flaws (which would give a character a total of 22 freebie points to spend in other areas).
Merits and Flaws are divided into four categories: physical, mental, social and supernatural. The physical category describes Merits or Flaws that deal with a character’s physical makeup or abilities, while the mental category addresses intellectual abilities or patterns of behavior. The social category comprises relationships and status in Kindred or mortal society, while supernatural Merits and Flaws concern the paranormal abilities of vampires and the way they interact with the physical world. Storytellers are encouraged to not only restrict and disallow any Merits and Flaws that don’t fit with their chronicles or for specific characters, but also to create their own to reflect unique elements of their games. Some example restrictions are given in the text of each Merit and Flaw, but Storytellers can allow (or disallow) any combination that don’t make sense for their games.
Acute Sense (1pt. Merit)
One of your senses is exceptionally sharp, be it sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste. The difficulties for all tasks involving the use of this particular sense are reduced by two. This Merit can be combined with the Discipline of Auspex to produce superhuman sensory acuity.
Ambidextrous (1pt. Merit)
You have a high degree of off-hand dexterity and can perform tasks with the “wrong” hand at no penalty. The rules for taking multiple actions still apply, but you do not suffer a difficulty penalty if you use two weapons or are forced to use your off hand.
Bruiser (1pt. Merit)
Your appearance is sufficiently thug-like to inspire fear (or at least disquiet) in those who see you. While you’re not necessarily ugly, you do radiate a quiet menace, to the point where people cross the street to avoidpassing near you. All Intimidation rolls against those who have not demonstrated their physical superiority to you are at -1 difficulty.
Catlike Balance (1pt. Merit)
You possess an innately perfect sense of balance. Characters with this Merit reduce difficulties of all balance- related rolls (e.g., Dexterity + Athletics to walk along a narrow ledge) by two.
Early Riser (1pt. Merit)
No one can explain it, but you seem to have the ability to work on less rest than your fellow vampires. You always seem to be the first to rise and the last to go to bed even if you’re been out until dawn. Your Humanity or Path score is considered to be 10 for purposes of deciding when you rise each evening. Vampires with this Merit cannot take the Deep Sleeper Flaw.
Eat Food (1pt. Merit)
You have the capacity to eat food and even savor its taste. While you cannot derive any nourishment from eating regular foods, this ability will serve you well in pretending to be human. Of course, you can’t digest what you eat, and there will be some point during the evening when you have to heave it back up.
Friendly Face (1pt. Merit)
You have a face that reminds everyone of someone, to the point where strangers are inclined to be wellinclined toward you because of it. The effect doesn’t fade even if you explain the “mistake,” leaving you at -1 difficulty on all appropriate Social-based rolls (yes for Seduction, no for Intimidation, for example) when a stranger is involved. This Merit only functions on a first meeting.
Blush of Health (2pt. Merit)
You look more hale and healthy in appearance than other vampires, allowing you to blend with human society much more easily. You still retain the color of a living mortal, and your skin feels only slightly cool to the touch.
Enchanting Voice (2pt. Merit)
There is something about your voice that others cannot ignore. When you command, they are cowed. When you seduce, they swoon. Whether thundering, soothing, persuading, or simply talking, your voice commands attention. The difficulties of all rolls involving the use of the voice to persuade, charm, or command are reduced by two.
Daredevil (3pt. Merit)
You are good at taking risks, and even better at surviving them. When attempting exceptionally risky non-combat actions (such as leaping from one moving car to another), characters with this Merit add an additional three dice to their rolls, and negate a single botch die that may result from such a roll. Generally, such actions must be at least difficulty 8 and have the potential to inflict at least three health levels of damage if failed.
Efficient Digestion (3pt. Merit)
You are able to draw more than the usual amount of nourishment from blood. When feeding, you gain an additional point to your blood pool for every two points of blood you consume. This does not allow you to exceed your blood pool maximum.
Discerning Palate (4pt. Merit)
Your naturally selective palate allows you to discern specific traits inherent to a sample of blood. With but a taste, you can determine potency, freshness, species, or whether a blood sample is contaminated, as well as attempt to identify the Generation, age, and even Clan of other vampires. If you sample even a single drop of blood, roll Perception + Awareness (difficulty 8).
• One success allows you to identify the relative potency and freshness of the blood, a species whose blood you have previously tasted and know to be of a specific kind, the Generation of another vampire within two steps of your own, if the blood is either under one hundred or over one hundred years old, and if it is of your same Clan.
• Two successes identifies whether the blood is contaminated by disease or poison, the Generations of vampires within four steps of your own, the approximate age within fifty years (if less than three hundred years old), and any Clan whose blood you’ve previously tasted.
• With three or more successes, you identify specific contaminates you’ve sampled before, Generations within six steps of your own, the vintage of blood within twenty-five years (if less than six hundred years old), and any Clan as well as family of vampires whose blood you’ve tasted previously.
Huge Size (4pt. Merit)
You are abnormally large in size, at least 6’10” and 300 pounds in weight (well over two meters tall and over 130 kgs). Aside from making you extremely noticeable in public, this extra mass bestows an additional Bruised health level. Characters with this Merit may also gain bonuses to push objects, open barred doors, avoid being knocked down, etc.
Coldly Logical (1pt. Merit)
While some might refer to you as a “cold fish,” you have a knack for separating factual reporting from emotional or hysterical coloration. You may or may not be emotional yourself, but you can see clearly when others are clouding the facts with their feelings (-1 difficulty on all related rolls).
Common Sense (1pt. Merit)
You have a significant amount of practical, everyday wisdom. Whenever you are about to act in a way contrary to common sense, the Storyteller can make suggestions or warnings about the implications of said action. This is a very useful Merit for beginning players unfamiliar with the game.
Concentration (1pt. Merit)
You have the ability to focus your mind and shut out any distractions or annoyances. Characters with this Merit are unaffected by any penalties stemming from distracting circumstances (e.g., loud noises, strobe lights, or hanging upside down).
Introspection (1pt. Merit)
You have keen insight into the ulterior motives of all your actions. Through this nightly exercise, you also have incredible insight into the underlying motives of others’ actions. Add two dice to your Perception dice pool when you must take an action against someone with the same Nature or Demeanor as you.
Kashaph (1 pt. Merit)
The term kashaph is of ambiguous meaning, based on a Hebrew root word for “mutter,” and implying spoken sorcery and incantations. The term is used in the Old Testament to condemn the practitioners of witchcraft. True kashaph has long been extinct — save among the Inconnu. Kashaph is an enchanted language, and cannot be “decoded” by modern linguistics or cryptography. The Inconnu use kashaph to communicate secretly, and also as a method of identifying one another.
New members of the Inconnu are not taught kashaph by normal means. It cannot be studied, nor learned like a conventional language. Instead, members are indoctrinated into the society through an elaborate ritual during which the language of kashaph is inscribed upon their soul. Once “learned” in this way, the language may be spoken, not written (there is no written form, and the sounds cannot be accurately captured by phonetic scribblings), and only another individual with this merit has the capacity to understand the words said in the language of kashaph.
Language (1pt. Merit)
You know a language in addition to your native one. You can take this Merit multiple times, each reflecting a different language.
Time Sense (1pt. Merit)
You have an innate sense of time and are able to estimate the passage of time accurately without using a watch or other mechanical device.
Useful Knowledge (1pt. Merit)
You have expertise in a specific field that makes your conversation intriguing to an older Kindred. So long as your knowledge holds the other vampire’s attention, he has a vested interest in keeping you around. Then again, once he’s pumped you for every iota of information you possess, that patronage may suddenly vanish.
(Note: This Merit should be played like a 1-dot Mentor with a specific interest. However, unlike a Mentor, Useful Knowledge does not imply a permanent relationship.)
Code of Honor (2pt. Merit)
You have a personal code of ethics to which you adhere. The specifics of this code must be worked out with the Storyteller prior to play, and the character must follow it strictly. Characters with this Merit gain two additional dice to all Willpower or Virtue rolls when acting in accordance with their code (e.g., defending the helpless) or when attempting to avoid situations that might force them to violate their code.
Computer Aptitude (2pt. Merit)
You are familiar with and talented in the uses of computer equipment. Other Kindred may not understand computers, but to you they are intuitive. All rolls involving computers are at -2 difficulty for you.
Eidetic Memory (2pt. Merit)
You remember, with perfect detail, things you see and hear. Documents, photographs, conversations, etc., can be committed to memory with only minor concentration. Under stressful conditions involving numerous distractions, you must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 6) to summon enough concentration to absorb what your senses detect.
Incantation (2 Pt. Merit)
Your character learns a single Incantation. This Merit may be purchased during play several times, each for a new Incantation.
This costs six experience points.
Light Sleeper (2pt. Merit)
You can awaken instantly at any sign of trouble or danger, and do so without any sleepiness or hesitation. You may ignore rules regarding how Humanity or your morality Path restricts the number of dice available during the day.
Natural Linguist (2pt. Merit)
You have a flair for languages. You may add three dice to any dice pool involving written or spoken languages, and each purchase of the Language Merit (previous page) gives you two languages instead of just one.
Berserker (3pt. Merit)
You possess the ability to willingly enter a berserker state for a scene. While berserking, you ignore wound penalties and reduce the difficulty of all combat rolls except for dodges by -3. You also can take no complex actions other than combat, dodging, or running.
Calm Heart (3pt. Merit)
You are naturally calm and do not easily fly off the handle. You receive two extra dice when attempting to resist a frenzy. Brujah may not take this Merit.
Iron Will (3pt. Merit)
When you are determined and your mind is set, nothing can thwart you from your goals. Characters using Dementation, Dominate, or any other mind-altering magic, spell, or Thaumaturgy path against your character are at +3 difficulty.
Elder levels of powers like Dementation and Dominate may overwhelm even this resistance. Against Level Six powers, the expenditure of a Willpower point through Iron Will only raises the difficulty of the Discipline roll by two. Against Level Seven powers, the difficulty is increased by only one. Level Eight and higher powers cannot be resisted with Iron Will.
This Merit does not affect Presence or other powers dealing with the emotions. Characters will Willpower scores below 8 cannot take this Merit.
Precocious (3pt. Merit)
You learn quickly. The time for you to pick up a particular Ability (or Abilities, at Storyteller discretion) is cut in half, as is the experience cost.
Grand Library (2, 4, 6, or 7 pt. Merit)
Throughout the years, you’ve managed to amass an exquisite collection of books, both common and rare. Choose 3 Knowledge dots for every 2 points taken in this Merit, or 10 Knowledge dots for 7 points. While working in your library, the difficulty rating for any rolls involving those Knowledges is reduced by 2.
Elysium Regular (1pt. Merit)
You spend an unusual amount of time in Elysium. You see and are seen to such an extent that all of the movers and shakers of Elysium at least know who you are. Extended time spent in Elysium also gives you extended opportunities to interact with the Harpies and other Kindred of that stature — and they’ll know your name when you approach them. This Merit is generally taken by vampires that respect and attend Elysium on a regular basis.
Former Ghoul (1pt. Merit)
You were introduced to the Blood long before you were made Kindred. Your long experience as a ghoul gives you insight into and comfort with vampiric society. You are at -1 difficulty on all Social rolls when in the presence of other neonates (particularly those who haven’t been educated by their sires), and have a -1 difficulty on all rolls relating to vampiric knowledge.
Harmless (1pt. Merit)
Everyone in the city knows you, and knows that you’re no threat to their plans. While that sort of estimation may seem insulting, it’s also what’s kept you from being killed. No one considers you worth their time to deal with, and that low opinion keeps you safe. If you start acting in a way that demonstrates that you are no longer harmless, others’ reactions to you will likely change as a result.
Natural Leader (1pt. Merit)
You are gifted with a certain magnetism to which others naturally defer. You receive two extra dice when making Leadership rolls. You must have a Charisma rating of 3 or greater to purchase this Merit.
Prestigious Sire (1pt. Merit)
Your sire has or had great status in her Sect or Clan, and this has accorded you a certain amount of prestige. Though your sire may no longer have any dealings with you, the simple fact of your ancestry has marked you forever. This prestige might aid you greatly in dealings with other vampires, or it might engender jealousy or contempt.
Protégé (1pt. Merit)
Your sire watched you for some time before Embracing you, and spoke glowingly of you to acquaintances. These vampires may be inclined to look favorably on you by dint of your sire’s recommendation; you are at -1 difficulty on Social rolls with all those who’ve heard good things about you.
Rep (1pt. Merit)
Your fame has exceeded the bounds of your Sect. Everyone knows who you are, what you’ve done and what you’re supposed to have done (which might not be the same thing). The publicity can be good or bad; what matters is that everybody knows your name. Whether individuals outside of your immediate social circle know enough to match your face to your name is a different matter.
Sabbat Survivor (1pt. Merit)
You’ve lived through at least one Sabbat attack or attempted recruitment. Your experience helps you anticipate situations where you might potentially be endangered by the Sabbat once again. You are at -1 difficulty on all Perception rolls when it comes to Sabbat-based matters. This Merit is generally taken by groups in conflict with the Sabbat, and comes into play most frequently as a means of avoiding ambushes.
Boon (1-6pt. Merit)
Someone owes you a favor. The vampire in your debt might be the lowliest neonate in the city or might be the Prince herself; it all depends on how many points the Merit costs. You only have that single favor owed you (unless you take the Merit multiple times), so using it properly is of paramount importance. Depending on status and other factors, the vampire who owes you a favor may well resent his debt, and might go out of his way to “settle” it early — even going so far as to create situations from which he must “rescue” you and thus clear the slate.
Bullyboy (2pt. Merit)
You’re part of the brute squad the local Sheriff or Bishop calls on when he needs some muscle. As a result, you get in on action that others miss entirely, score points with those in power, and occasionally get a chance to act outside of the law. How far outside the law you can go depends on circumstance and how much the vampire you report to likes you.
Entrepreneur (2pt. Merit)
Making money comes naturally to you, and you know what it takes to succeed. All rolls involving acquiring money through business dealings have their difficulty reduced by 2.
Peacemaker (2-pt. Merit)
You have a reputation for having a good head on your shoulders and the honor to keep your word no matter what. As a result, your allies and sectmates ask you to mediate their disputes, even with other sects. This Merit allows your character to use her reputation as leverage to keep the peace during tense situations. Reduce the difficulty of all social rolls to keep the peace or to mediate honestly between factions (even other sects) by 2.
Prized Patch (2-pt. Merit)
You belong to an Anarch gang with a violent, effective, or otherwise impressive reputation. The history of the gang might extend a hundred years before you were born, but so long as you hold membership and wear the colors of your crew, other Anarchs naturally tend to respect you. Some may even occasionally perform minor tasks for you to try to curry favor with the others. When your membership is known, reduce the difficulty of all Manipulation rolls with other Anarchs by 2 unless a given Anarch has a historical animosity with your gang.
Old Pal (2pt. Merit)
An acquaintance from your breathing days was Embraced at the same time you were. Fortunately, your friendship has endured even death and unlife, and you find a constant source of support and aid in your old friend. She expects the same of you, which isn’t always convenient, but at least you each have someone to hang onto who remembers the good old nights — and days. The Storyteller should play the Old Pal as a very loyal Ally.
Lawman’s Friend (2pt. Merit)
For whatever reason (maybe your winning smile or perhaps just your superb groveling technique), the local Sheriff or Bishop in charge of discipline likes you. He’s inclined to overlook your minor trespasses and let you in on things you’re not supposed to know about. He even gives you warnings about occasional crackdowns and times when the higher-ups aren’t feeling generous. Of course, abusing this connection might well turn a friendly vampire into an enemy — and the change might not be apparent until it’s too late.
Open Road (2pt. Merit)
Unlike many Kindred, you like to travel. You have a solid knowledge of safe travel routes and methodologies, not to mention haven space available in any number of destinations. Unless someone out there knows your exact route and is specifically looking for you, you can move between cities unimpeded by random encounters with Lupines, overzealous state troopers, and the like.
Sanctity (2pt. Merit)
This Merit is sometimes called the halo effect; everyone considers you pure and innocent, though not necessarily naïve. You have a saint-like quality that is hard to pinpoint but cannot be denied. You are trusted, even if you are not trustworthy. At the Storyteller’s discretion, you tend to receive lesser punishments for wrongdoing, and you are liked by most.
Scholar of Enemies (2pt. Merit)
You have taken the time to learn about and specialize in one particular enemy of your Sect. You are aware of at least some of the group’s customs, strategies, abilities, and long-term goals, and can put that knowledge to good use. This Merit is worth a -2 difficulty for all non-combat rolls pertaining specifically to the subject of your specialization. On the other hand, you are at a +1 difficulty when it comes to dealing with other enemies, simply because you’re so thoroughly focused on your field.
Scholar of Others (2pt. Merit)
This Merit functions identically to Scholar of Enemies, except that it applies to a group that is not necessarily inimical to your Sect.
Friend of the Underground (3pt. Merit)
While you’re not a Nosferatu, you know your way around the sewers, tunnels, ducts, subway tubes, and other subterranean passages of your hometown. The local Nosferatu (and any other creatures dwelling down in the muck) may not actually like you, but they’re not inclined to kill you on sight when they see you in their territory. You are at -1 difficulty on any rolls involving the subterranean world (sneaking from place to place underground, finding routes into sub-basements, and so on). Nosferatu cannot purchase this Merit.
Mole (3pt. Merit)
You have an informer buried in one of your Sect’s enemy organizations who funnels you all sorts of information as to what her peers are up to. What you do with the information is up to you, but abusing the knowledge might be a good way to get your informer killed. The other side has spies too….
Rising Star (3pt. Merit)
You’re one of the up-and-comers in the city, a rising star in your Sect. Everyone wants to know you and be your friend, even as those in power groom you for positions of greater responsibility. You are at -1 difficulty on all Social rolls against any vampires in your Sect who aren’t actively opposing your ascent.
Soapbox (3-pt. Merit)
You have some sort of special forum (a zine, a secure blog, a well-known podcast, or a social media account with a lot of followers) that allows your Anarch to express an opinion and have said opinion spread widely. The Soapbox Merit represents a social delivery mechanism that can influence Kindred outside of your character’s normal social circle or class. Reduce the difficulty of Expression and Subterfuge rolls by 2 difficulty when dealing with vampires who read the Soapbox.
Sugar Daddy (3-pt. Merit)
You have a personal relationship with a high-ranking member of a different sect. You may invoke your Sugar Daddy’s name to lower the difficulty of Manipulation rolls by 2 against members of that sect when attempting to smooth out problems or acquire minor favors. Of course, the Sugar Daddy may expect similar treatment in kind, and is unlikely to look favorably on any behavior that impugns whatever status he may have.
Broken Bond (4pt. Merit)
You were once blood-bound but have secretly slipped the leash, and you are free to act as you will once more. Your regnant has no idea that you are not in fact bound, and continues to treat you as if you were. At Storyteller discretion, the experience of having been bound once may render you immune to ever being enthralled again.
Sabbat vampires cannot take this Merit.
Clan Friendship (4pt. Merit)
One particular Clan (not your own) has a special liking for you. You might have done the Clan as a whole a favor at some point, or perhaps you’re just a loud voice in support of their aims. Whatever the case, you’re at -2 difficulty on all friendly Social rolls involving members of the Clan in question. Of course, the reaction your cozy relationship with another Clan is likely to draw from your own Clan leaders is an entirely different can of worms.
Primogen/Bishop Friendship (4pt. Merit)
The ruling vampires of the city value you and your opinions. You are called in to consult on decisions, and your recommendations carry great weight. Your position may not be an official one, but it’s powerful nonetheless.
Trophy Allegiance (4 pt. Merit)
Similar to the Clan Friendship Merit Trophy Allegiance opens doors and allows the character to be treated favorably by a specific Clan. The character has earned the Trophy from the Clan in question for taking down one of the Anathema. Word has spread throughout that Clan, that members should offer assistance and rewards to the character for their deed.
While the Trophy itself has likely already been covered with specific rewards, this Social Merit reflects more of a general goodwill and offers the character -2 difficulty on all friendly Social rolls involving members of the Trophy Clan who are familiar with the Alastor’s deeds. Additionally, the character’s reputation may earn her the occasional small favor such as the use of a haven, a loaner car, access to information from Trophy Clan members.
Note: This Merit is only available to Alastor characters who have killed an Anathema and earned a Trophy.
Arcane (1 to 5 pt. Merit)
Some vampires have a strange ability to slip from notice, which manifests as an aura of forgetfulness. Those trying to remember the vampire experience a sensation of jamais-vu. The ability may be deliberately developed, or the Kindred could simply be too ordinary to pay attention to. Though not similar to Obfuscate, Arcane doesn’t help in combat situations — the vampire can’t literally vanish. However, someone searching for them may well fail, as no one remembers the vampire or can give a reliable description.
Each point taken subtracts one die from any dice pools used to actively locate the vampire or recall her from memory. Those with this Merit can choose to “turn off” Arcane if they wish. As a passive trait, it doesn’t help on Stealth rolls or other overt attempts to hide. If you have any dots in Status or Fame, Arcane ceases to function while you possess them.
Paragon (7pt. Merit)
Others find you particularly compelling. Select one Background from the following group: Allies, Contacts, Domain, Fame, Herd, Influence, Mentor, Resources, Retainers, or Status. You receive one free dot in that Background, and your maximum Trait score in that Background may exceed normal Generational limits by one.
Deceptive Aura (1pt. Merit)
Your aura is unnaturally bright and colorful for a vampire. You register as a mortal on all attempts to read your aura.
Healing Touch (1pt. Merit)
Normally vampires can only seal the wounds they inflict from feeding by licking them. With but a touch, you can achieve the same effect, closing the puncture wounds left by drinking blood.
Inoffensive to Animals (1pt. Merit)
With rare exceptions, animals usually despise the Kindred. Some flee, others attack, but all dislike being in the presence of a vampire. You have no such problem. Animals may not enjoy being in your company, but they don’t actively flee from you.
Apostate (2pt. Merit)
Since their inception, Nergali Baali have subverted members of other Clans into their own ranks. Known as Apostates, initiates are first drained completely by a Baali nest-master, who then extracts the still-beating heart from a mortal victim, fills it with his own blood, and buries it in a pool of gore within a Well of Sacrifice. The initiate swims through the dismembered bodies and viscous remains to find and consume the heart. In this way, Nergali do not make a victim of those they Embrace; prospective members must claim it through strength of will.
Apostates replace any one in-Clan Discipline with Daimoinon, but in turn gain the Baali Clan weakness on top of their standard Clan weakness. Apostates can still pass with relative ease for members of their former Clans, but any childe they Embrace is indistinguishable from a standard Baali. Further, such a childe shares none of the Clan Disciplines or weaknesses of their sire’s former Clan, save those Disciplines that are innate to the Baali. Apostates do not lose levels in the Discipline they choose to exchange for Daimoinon, but further levels in that Discipline are purchased at out-of-Clan costs. Baali may not take this Merit.
Medium (2pt. Merit)
You possess the natural affinity to sense and hear spirits, ghosts, and shades. Though you cannot see them, you can sense them, speak to them and, through pleading or cajoling, draw them to your presence. You may call upon them for aid or advice, but there will always be a price. Also, your difficulty is reduced by two for all Awareness rolls involving the spirits of the dead.
Magic Resistance (2pt. Merit)
You have an inherent resistance to the rituals of the Tremere and the spells of the mages of other Clans. The difficulty of all such magic, both malicious and beneficent, is two higher when directed at you. You may never learn magical Disciplines such as Thaumaturgy and Necromancy.
Without a Trace (2pt. Merit)
When in the wilderness, the earth fills in your footprints. You leave no noticeable traces, not even a scent. Normal attempts at tracking automatically fail. Supernatural attempts are done with a +2 difficulty.
Hidden Diablerie (3pt. Merit)
The tell-tale black streaks of diablerie do not manifest in your aura.
Lucky (3pt. Merit)
You were born lucky — or else the Devil looks after his own. Either way, you may repeat any three failed rolls per story, including botches, but you may try only once per failed roll.
Oracular Ability (3pt. Merit)
You can see and interpret signs and omens. You are able to draw advice from these omens, for they provide hints of the future and warnings of the present. When the Storyteller feels that you are in position to see an omen, you will be required to make a Perception + Awareness roll, with the difficulty relative to how well the omen is concealed. If successful, you may then roll Intelligence + Occult to interpret what you have seen; the difficulty is again relative to the complexity of the omen.
Spirit Mentor (3pt. Merit)
You have a ghostly companion and guide. The identity and exact powers of this spirit are up to the Storyteller, but it can be called upon in difficult situations for help and guidance.
Mark of Caine (4pt. Merit)
Over the course of history, some of the ritae have been lost, either due to the death of Sabbat members, or because the ritus simply was not as integral to the Sabbat’s survival in the modern world. One of these lost ritae was the Mark of the Father, which offered protection against weapons of faith. As faith has declined in the modern world, the ritus was used less and less, until eventually, priests who know the ritae have become all but extinct.
Some vampires who participated in the lost Mark of Caine ritus were especially blessed, and still bear a faint sign of favor. Such vampires are always old, pre-dating the first Sabbat Civil War, and once had this ritual cast upon them by a powerful practitioner. These vampires have a small, faded mark upon their forehead that resembles the Hebraic letter tav.
System: Those who bear the Mark of Caine gain a twisted form of True Faith. They can use the effects of the first dot of True Faith – they must use symbols of Caine as “holy symbols.” Further, they get +2 dice to resist mortal True Faith. Only vampires on spiritual Paths of Enlightenment can use this Merit – if a Cainite reverts to Humanity or succumbs to wassail, all benefit from this Merit is lost forever.
True Love (4pt. Merit)
You have discovered, perhaps too late, a true love. He or she is mortal, but is the center of your existence, and inspires you to keep going in a world of darkness and despair. Whenever you suffer, the thought of your true love gives you the strength to persevere. This Merit grants you one automatic success on all Willpower rolls, which can be negated only by a botch die. This can be a great gift but also a hindrance, for your true love may require protection and occasionally rescue.
Additional Discipline (5pt. Merit)
You can take one additional Discipline (Storyteller discretion) as if it were a Clan Discipline. All costs to learn that Discipline are paid out as if it were native to your Clan. A character cannot take this Merit more than once, and Caitiff vampires cannot take this Merit.
Psychic Leech (5pt. Merit)
At the cost of one Willpower point, you may feed on the Willpower of your victims from a distance. The consumed Willpower strengthens the potency of your own blood, effectively transforming it into temporary blood that dissipates at the end of the night. These temporary blood points may be spent just like regular blood points, but cannot be lost due to damage or blood drain, do not affect hunger rolls for frenzy, and may not be used to create or sustain blood bonds or ghouls. To activate this ability, the target must have at least one of your blood points in their system, and must be engaged in eye contact with you.
Unbondable (5pt. Merit)
You are immune to being blood bound. Tremere cannot take this Merit.
Nine Lives (6pt. Merit)
Fate has granted you the opportunity to come as close to Final Death as anyone can get and still survive. When a roll occurs that would result in your death, the roll is made again. If the next roll succeeds, then you live — and one of your nine lives is used up. If that subsequent roll fails, then another reroll is made, until either a successful roll occurs or your nine lives are used up. The Storyteller should keep careful count of how many lives the character has remaining.
True Faith (7pt. Merit)
You have a deep-seated faith in and love for God, or whatever name you choose to call the Almighty. You begin the game with one point of True Faith (see the sidebar on p. 372); this Trait adds one die per point to all Willpower and Virtue rolls. You must have a Humanity of 9 or higher to choose this Merit, and if you lose even a single point, all your Faith points are lost and may be regained only when the lost Humanity is recovered. Individuals with True Faith are capable of performing magical acts akin to miracles, but the exact nature of those acts are up to the Storyteller.
Clan Specific Merits
Sectarian Ally (1pt. Merit)
You have a close friend in one of the Kindred sects. Perhaps you are a warrior who is in touch with one of the antitribu, a vizier who shares common business interests with some Camarilla Ventrue, or a sorcerer who corresponds with one of the rare blood magicians of the Anarch Movement. Your ally can help you navigate the currents of their sect, but they might want something in exchange from time to time.
Thousand Meter Killer (1pt. Merit)
You have proven yourself worthy to join the Thousand Meter Club through your remarkable skill with the sniper rifle. The difficulty of all rolls associated with sniping is reduced by -1. You also double the normal range when using a sniper rifle as a weapon.
Fury’s Focus (3pt. Merit. Prerequisite: Path of Entelechy)
Brujah who have devoted themselves to mastering their frenzies through the Path of Entelechy sometimes find tangible benefits resulting from their efforts. A Brujah with this Merit may briefly delay the full onset of frenzy.
System: The player spends a Willpower point at the onset of frenzy and then rolls the Brujah’s Entelechy rating. The difficulty is one higher than the original roll to resist frenzy. The Brujah still frenzies, but the player controls her character’s actions for one turn per success. Furthermore, when the period of partial control ends and the Brujah loses control, the difficulty of any degeneration rolls triggered by sins committed during the frenzy are reduced by the number of successes rolled, to a minimum difficulty of 4.
Dynamic Personality (5pt. Merit)
Your natural charisma draws mortals to you like groupies to a rock star. Consequently, it is easier for you to acquire certain Backgrounds related to mortals.
System: In addition to any Backgrounds acquired at character creation or through roleplay, you can purchase new Backgrounds with experience points at the end of each story. The available Backgrounds are Allies, Contacts, Herd, Retainers, and each new dot costs the current rating in experience points.
Followers of Set
Drug Resistance (2pt. Merit)
The Setite religion is one fraught with vices, both to compromise enemies and to enlighten initiates. Cultists tend to build up a tolerance to the substances they take directly (if human or ghoul) or through the blood of prey (if Kindred). You are unusually resistant to alcohol, narcotics, and similar addictive substances. You can pretend to be far more under the influence than you are in order to take advantage of an opponent. All rolls to resist the effects of such substances are at -2 difficulty.
Addictive Blood (3pt. Merit)
You don’t just peddle narcotics; through the blessings of the Dark God, you are the perfect drug. Your blood is especially delicious to others, Kindred or kine. Whoever tastes your blood must, during any subsequent scenes that they meet you, drink again or spend a Willpower point to avoid the pangs of craving. These cravings add +2 difficulty to any Mental or Social rolls. Setites with this Merit find it much easier to blood bond an opponent, as once they have tasted the tainted vitae, they will do almost anything to drink it again.
Setite Initiate (5pt. Merit)
You were Embraced into a Clan other than the Followers of Set. However, you have accepted the Setite religion, undergone the vetting process and rites, and have been formally inducted into the cult. You have access to Serpentis and Setite Blood Sorcery (though you pay out-of-Clan costs to learn them). You may even study one of their Paths of Enlightenment.
It is important to note that “Setites” from other Clans or bloodlines are not treated as second-class citizens. You are no longer a dupe they can string along. Once you are in, you are a sibling of faith, which is a much more important distinction than blood. An outsider accepting the Dark God is a joyous event, even to the most conservative elder. There are even rumors of non-Kindred supernatural beings joining the cult.
Hive-Minded (1 or 2pt. Merit)
Your Animalism works on insects and other creepy-crawlies in addition to animals. If you select the two-point version of this merit, your Protean forms may take the form of an insectoid swarm rather than a single creature (though the swarm must be of a size and mechanical equivalent to a wolf or a bat, as appropriate).
Skald (2pt. Merit)
Anytime you make an Occult roll to know a fact about vampiric history, you may add a die to your dice pool. Further, you have exceptional memory for oral histories, and you are a quick study when it comes to memorizing large amounts of rote information. This is not true eidetic memory, but constitutes the ability to memorize poetic eddas, codes, or complex messages with only a few hours of study.
Lesser Mark of the Beast (4pt. Merit)
Common to the Gangrel known as the Knights of Avalon, you are able to control how your Beast manifests more than others do. Whenever you would gain an animalistic feature, roll your current Willpower (difficulty 12 - Humanity rating, maximum 9). If successful, you manage to channel your humanity to avoid gaining an animalistic feature. However, your Beast is further from you, making you at +2 difficulty to rolls involving Animalism or Protean (or combo Disciplines involving those powers) for the rest of the evening. Vampires on a Path of Enlightenment lose all access to this Merit.
Totemic Change (5pt. Merit)
Your Protean forms are flexible; you may choose a different animal form each time you change shape. The form you choose each time must follow all the conventions and rules of standard Protean animal shapes ; you simply may choose to appear as a different animal each time you take Beast Form.
Cannibal (1pt. Merit)
Most vampires can’t eat food, and even those who can force it down, don’t gain sustenance from it. Like them, you still can’t stomach the crap most mortals eat. Human meat, on the other hand, brings you great joy. It can be baked, fried, or even raw, and you can tuck right in, and even gain sustenance. Even other vampires look askance at Kindred who devour their prey, though the Dunsirn applaud your respect for tradition.
In addition to the blood points every human can provide, you can cannibalize a mortal and gain even more. An average human can provide up to seven helpings of meat (one per health level). Each helping provides you with one blood point.
Consanguineous Resistance (1pt. Merit)
Your character cannot be blood bound by anyone who shares his mortal bloodline. That is, if you were born into the Giovanni family, you cannot be bound by anyone else who was born a Giovanni, though you can still be bound by, say, a Pisanob of the Giovanni Clan, or by Kindred of any other Clan. Similarly, a Dunsirn with Consanguineous Resistance could not be bound by others who were born into the mortal Dunsirn family, but could be bound by a Milliner of the Giovanni Clan.
The Giovanni are extremely suspicious of anyone known to manifest this quirk. Although this blood-borne aberration hasn’t been documented, a few savvy Giovanni have a rough idea of what it is and does. It’s generally associated with being a rebellious young smartass who needs to be put down. This is not as unfair as it sounds; by the time a bond resistance is really obvious, it’s likely because a punishment isn’t working. A character who is discovered to have this trait probably earns her sire’s hostility at the very least.
Mortuario (2 or 4pt. Merit)
You died. Perhaps you were murdered, or simply had a car accident. Whatever the cause, you were gone. But your sire found you too useful, or couldn’t let you go. You were Embraced using the Ferryman’s Recall ritual. The Embrace left you with the scars of your death, eternal tracework reminders of your trip to the other side. It also left you with the taut, pallid complexion of the dead. In addition to the traditional weakness of your Clan, you also suffer disfigurement from your time as a true corpse. While you are able to heal yourself just like any other vampire, the wounds do not heal cleanly. You retain the scars of every experience. Depending on the nature of the damage, this can make social dealings exceedingly difficult, and may decrease your Appearance dots over time (even to 0). However, your time across the Shroud also gave you a natural feel for necromantic blood magic. The difficulties of all Necromancy rolls are reduced by one. This trait costs 4 points for characters who already have an appearance of 0 (such as Samedi and the Harbingers of Skulls), or 2 points for any other Kindred. It is an incredibly rare condition even among the Giovanni, and essentially unknown outside the Clan. Giovanni with this Merit generally arouse the superstition of their Clan, and are treated with a definite wariness, particularly by anziani. Characters with the Mortuario Merit may not also possess the Sanguine Incongruity Merit or similar flaws such as Monstrous.
Sanguine Incongruity (5pt. Merit)
Giovanni with this atavism are few and far between. Kindred possessing it do not bear the traditional Giovanni Clan weakness, the so-called Curse of Lamia; their Kiss causes no more damage than the blood loss itself. These vampires acquire a peculiar pallor upon their Embrace, however — they look like corpses, and no amount of blood ingestion can flush their features (as other vampires are able to do). Indeed, the bearer of this Merit more closely resembles the Clan’s Cappadocian ancestors, and they have a slightly unnerving air about them. As a result, all rolls involving a Social attribute (Charisma, Manipulation, or Appearance) are at +1 difficulty.
Giovanni with this Merit are afforded wide berth, as the Giovanni tend to be quite superstitious about it. Characters with the Sanguine Incongruity Merit may not also possess the Mortuario Merit.
Court Favorite (1-5pt. Merit)
While the Courts of Blood are usually difficult to sway, you have become very good at shifting the balance. A mixture of experience and political empathy allow you to know just the right way to nudge the decision in your direction, or perhaps for that of your client. Any roll made that will affect the decision in a Court of Blood is granted a bonus or penalty (whichever is in your favor) in dice equal to the level you have of this Merit.
Eyes of Shadow (1-4pt. Merit)
There is something about your eyes that makes you look dark and dangerous. Making eye contact with you is like staring into the Abyss. It may not be obvious why, but anyone you talk to gets a chill when they meet your gaze. The difficulty for any Intimidation roll is reduced by the number of points in this Merit (to a minimum of 2).
Bigger Boys Came (2pt. Merit)
When someone uses their contacts to their advantage, you can try to use yours to overrule them. You might get an editor to quash a reporter’s story, or get a gang boss to stop his thugs taking down a rival. To do this you must make a roll using Manipulation + Contacts (difficulty 8). If you can get more successes than the Contacts rating of your opponent, their contacts fail to come through for them.
Call of the Sea (2pt. Merit)
There is something about the sea that makes you feel at home. You are in tune with the tides and rhythm of the ocean. When on a boat in the ocean or on a river, you may add a die to all your dice pools except for Disciplines.
Controllable Night Sight (2pt. Merit)
Your night vision is extraordinarily good, even for a vampire. The deepest shadows are like looking into a well-lit room for you. However, in normal light or bright conditions, you have to switch back to less-sensitive vision, or the weakest light quickly blinds you. While your night sight is active, you suffer no penalties for the dark and can see perfectly well. Should you use it in well-lit conditions; you suffer a penalty inversely proportional to the usual penalties for darkness.
Secret Stash (2-5pt. Merit)
You have several resources, sleeper agents, or followers hidden away for a rainy day. For each level of this Merit you have one unassigned Background point “sitting in storage” (2 gives you one point, 3 gives you two points, and so on). At any time, you may spend as many of them as you like to increase your level in Allies, Contacts, Herd, Influence, Mentor, Resources, or Retainers. Once spent, the points remain assigned permanently, but until then they cannot be affected by anything. This allows the vampire to create a new resource in an instant, without requiring the expenditure of experience points or awaiting a downtime. The vampire is not really gaining new levels, but revealing levels he has had all along.
Aura of Command (3pt. Merit)
Whether you are good at barking orders or simply have a commanding tone, people tend to do what you tell them to do. You are not so much a natural leader as a born commander. When using the Leadership skill to get others to obey you, the difficulty is reduced by two.
King or Queen of Shadow (4pt. Merit)
It is hard to hold onto your Humanity within the Sabbat, or even simply as a vampire. However, you draw strength from your ability to empathize with the kine. Any degeneration checks you make while on Path of Humanity reduce their difficulty by two.
Long-Term Planning (4pt. Merit)
You never leave anything to chance; every action is a carefully considered stratagem. Once per session you may declare an action you are about to take is actually “all part of your plan” and reduce its difficulty by two points. The Storyteller may veto the use of this ability on particular rolls. The player and Storyteller should keep a note of each of these occasions and decide how they are linking together into a grand scheme.
Instrument of God (5pt. Merit)
Your self-confidence comes not from a belief in your own abilities, but due to a direct manifesto from the Lord. You have a divine purpose and He works through you, even though your goals may seem anything but holy. Whether it is because of you powerful will or an actual connection to the divine, you gain three additional dice to resist the powers of True Faith when they are used against you, including soaking damage from True Faith abilities.
Distracting Aura (2pt. Merit)
Reading an aura using Auspex requires the viewer to focus on recurring patterns and colors to detect a target’s emotional state. Because of the unique state of your psyche, your aura is even harder to read than most. All uses of Aura Perception are at a +2 difficulty against you.
Prophetic Dreams (2pt. Merit)
You have dreams during your daylight sleep. Dreams you remember. Sometimes, they even come true. By spending a Willpower point upon rising for the evening, you may have the Storyteller give your character a lucid dream featuring foreshadowing about upcoming events, characters, and situations.
Cold Read (3pt. Merit)
Whenever you meet someone for the first time, you may spend a number of points of Willpower equal to your Perception. For each point spent, you may ask the Storyteller one question about the character. The Storyteller must either answer truthfully or let you take the Willpower point back to you to avoid answering the question.
Foul Blood (1pt. Merit)
Your blood is vile; in fact, it tastes so disgusting it requires a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) just to avoid gagging and retching after tasting it. If someone is foolish enough to attempt diablerie on you, they need to succeed in three (difficulty 9) Willpower rolls to go through with it. The blood is so disgusting that no one can keep it down long enough to use it to become a ghoul, either.
Lizard Limbs (1pt. Merit)
Like a lizard, you are able to actually shed parts of your body. By spending a blood point and a little effort, you can detach a hand or foot, or even an arm or leg. This might be to escape bonds or a grapple. Unfortunately, the appendage will not reattach, and you will have to regrow that over time (usually a couple of days for a hand or foot, and a week for a limb). You also suffer a -3 dice pool penalty to actions that would require the use of more limbs.
Long Fingers (1pt. Merit)
You have been blessed with unusually long and graceful fingers. This means you have an easier time with fine manipulation as well as grappling, gaining an extra die when attempting such actions.
Monstrous Maw (1pt. Merit)
You have either oversized tusks for fangs, or a huge mouth full of sharp teeth. Whatever form it takes, your mouth is that of a monster. When attacking with a bite you do an additional point of damage. You may also add a die to your Intimidation dice pool when you smile.
Piscine (1pt. Merit)
Water is a far more comfortable environment for you, be it the sea or sewer effluent. Rolls involving swimming or underwater movement have their difficulty reduced by 1.
Slimy (1pt. Merit)
You secrete an ooze, which is as disgusting as it sounds. The ooze covers your entire body and soaks into your clothes. It makes you slippery and difficult to hold, requiring opponents to gain two more successes to grapple you. The dampness also makes you a little fire resistant, reducing your difficulty to soak fire damage by 1.
Spawning Pool (1-3pt. Merit)
You have a spawning pool of your own (or possibly donate heavily to the Clan’s main pool). Creating such a pool takes time, and requires regular infusions of blood, at least six blood points a week for a year.
The Merit grants its level as a dice pool bonus to the Nosferatu’s use of Animalism in their home city, but only with animals considered vermin, such as rats and cockroaches. Essentially the bonus is only available for creatures that might conceivably drink regularly from the tainted blood.
Once established, the spawning pool requires twice its level in blood points each week to it. Without proper maintenance, its level will drop by one. It can be rebuilt by maintaining it at the new level and adding four additional blood points each week for six months.
The Merit cannot be improved above its initial level, as this also represents the convenience of its location and the variety of creatures that might find it.
Tunnel Rat (1-5pt. Merit)
You are remarkably adept at moving through the underground tunnels that you call your home. When attempting to navigate, escape, or track through sewers and underground places you know, you gain an additional die for every point you have in this Merit.
Sleep Unseen (2pt. Merit)
The power of Obfuscate usually requires you to concentrate at least a little. However, you are able to lock the power on, allowing you to sleep while remaining hidden. To do so requires the expenditure of blood point, but it will last throughout the day’s rest. Those with Auspex can still attempt to detect you, but mortals will be unaware of your danctuary. This can be a useful trick for Kindred who like to travel.
Tough Hide (2pt. Merit)
Your skin is much tougher than usual, possibly like that of a rhino or a lizard. This hide protects you against most damage, granting you an extra die when making a soak roll. However, this bonus does not apply against fire and sunlight.
False Reflection (3pt. Merit)
Even when using their Obfuscate abilities, Nosferatu still show up in their true form when noticed by machines, such as cameras or video surveillance. With this ability, the Nosferatu can extend their power to recorded images and media. However, as with Mask of the Thousand Faces, the original image isn’t actually changed; it is just that people see it the way the Nosferatu wants it seen. Unfortunately, computers are not so easily fooled: if the image is used for facial recognition software (for instance), the computer will see the Nosferatu’s real face and fail to find a match. The Nosferatu has best take care how this power is used, as it may wear off in time. Some archived photos have given librarians a nasty surprise, years after going into storage.
Patagia (4pt. Merit)
Your arms and legs have leathery flaps of skin between them, similar to that of a flying squirrel. While they make finding clothes a nightmare, they also allow you to glide for short distances, given enough height and a decent wind. The Storyteller might require an Athletics roll when it comes to landing.
Rugged Bad Looks (5pt. Merit)
While you are still hideous, you are not quite as ugly as most Nosferatu. You still have an appearance of 0, but you might pass for human in the right light. It is a still a good idea to cover up and stay in the shadows, but the sight of you (or even the smell of you) is not cause for someone to immediately think of you as a freak or a trauma victim.. Having said that, you are still ugly enough to unnerve the crap out of most people.
Antitoxin Blood (1pt. Merit)
Although vampires are typically immune to mortal drugs and poisons, there are supernatural venoms that can affect Kindred physiology. A Ravnos with this Merit is immune to all forms of drugs and poisons, including the venoms and toxins of supernatural creatures or those created by supernatural powers.
Brahmin (1pt. Merit)
As a member of the Brahmin jati, you are a priest, artist, teacher, or other pillar of society. Perhaps you keep the lore of the Clan, or perhaps you act as an advisor to other Ravnos in need of wisdom. Once per session, if you fail an Academics or Expression roll, you may immediately reroll it.
You do not have to purchase this Merit to be a member of the Brahmin jati, but only members of the Brahmin jati may have this Merit.
Kshatriya (1pt. Merit)
You are a member of the Kshatriya jati; perhaps you are a warrior, a descendant of rulers, or a member of the military. Your role is to protect the Ravnos in war, and govern in peace. Once per session, you regain a Willpower when you successfully use a combat maneuver.
You do not have to purchase this Merit to be a member of the Kshatriya jati, but only members of the Kshatriya jati may have this Merit.
Legerdemain (1pt. Merit)
You’re extremely good at sleight of hand and other physical tricks. Difficulties when using Subterfuge for physical trickery, shell games, card tricks, and so forth, are decreased by two.
Mute Devotion (1pt. Merit)
Your Animalism carries an unusual side effect: it lingers in the minds of the beasts you speak with or control, lending them a certain resistance to others. When someone else attempts to command a creature you have previously controlled with Animalism, their difficulty levels are at +2.
Vaishya (1pt. Merit)
The Vaishya jati are tasked with utilizing influence, maintaining the human herds, and keeping finances. They are often seen as traders and merchants, but to the Ravnos, they are also a critical part of maintaining the Masquerade that hides vampires from mortal hunters. Once per session, you may call on one of your Backgrounds as if you had an extra dot in that Background (up to the normal maximum of 5). You do not have to purchase this Merit to be a member of the Vaishya jati, but only members of the Vaishya jati may have this Merit.
Critters (2pt. Merit)
You’re excellent with animals — so much so that they constantly seek to befriend you. Wherever you go, the animals are happy to see you, and more often than not, happy to help you when you ask for their aid. You receive a bonus die on Social rolls to affect small animals. Further, animal companions who have had continual interaction with you see you as something of a pet, and occasionally bring you small useful things. Once per game session, animals will bring you a useful piece of information or a small item relevant to events. This item might occasionally play into the individual Ravnos’ particular vice, as the animals quickly pick up on what pleases their friend.
Ravnos Jati (2pt. Merit)
You belong to a widely-recognized Ravnos jati, affording you some measure of status with your Clan members. Whenever you interact with another Vagabond, treat your Status as one level higher; if they also belong to your jati, treat your Background as two levels higher and your Allies, Contacts, or Mentor as one higher where your jati is concerned. Once per session, if you’re in a city with a significant Ravnos population, you can find one member of your jati with no issue, who will likely help you out with no questions asked. Once per chapter, a member of your jati will seek you out for help with a troublesome and dangerous task.
Heart of Needles (3pt. Merit)
Your natural abilities with illusions have rendered you particularly jaded and unimpressible. How can anything be as perfect as your own imagination? Because of this, your heart is harder than most, and you have a significant resistance to emotion control. All powers and Social challenges that attempt to manipulate you emotionally are made at a +2 difficulty.
Indelible (1 or 2pt. Merit)
Whereas other vampires’ bodies return to the state they were in at the Embrace each evening, any body modifications you get after the Embrace remain as they are until you actively spend a Willpower point to return your body to its tabula rasa state. This Merit applies to changes as simple as dyeing or cutting your hair to modifications as complicated as tattoos, piercings, or even small implants.
If the Merit only allows for cosmetic alterations, it is worth 1 point. If it allows for more utilitarian alterations, such as RFID implants that activate certain electronic devices, then it is worth 2 points.
Impressive Restraint (2pt. Merit)
When you haven’t fed, it can be torturous to be near mortals. The pounding thrum of blood through their veins does not leave you nearly as tempted as it might other Kindred. When opportunity presents itself, the difficulty of all Self-Control rolls to resist hunger are made against a -2 difficulty. Characters on Paths of Enlightenment that require Instinct cannot take this Merit.
Master of the Masquerade (2pt. Merit)
There are many small tics, nervous habits, and autonomous bodily functions (like breathing) that Kindred simply forget to do. They can be unnervingly still or forget to breathe, particularly when they think they’re alone. You never let down your guard. The act of breathing remains an unconscious habit to you, and you never lapse into that eerie statue-like stillness, even when transfixed or concentrating. Consequently, the difficulties of all Social rolls are lowered by one when interacting with mortals. This Merit does not allow you to eat food or benefit from the blush of health — those Merits are still required to be a true master of the Masquerade.
Slowed Degeneration (5pt. Merit)
Your Humanity is strong and can more easily withstand the Beast’s assaults. You gain two additional dice on any Conscience roll. This degree of moral resilience allows a well-behaved vampire to lose Humanity at a much slower rate than would otherwise be possible. Only vampires following Humanity may take this Merit, and the Merit is lost forever in the event that the vampire takes up another Path of Enlightenment.
Embraced without the Cup (1pt. Merit)
For some reason you did not drink the blood of the elders when you were inducted into Clan Tremere. More dangerously, it may have had no effect on you. As a result, you are not bound to the Clan the way most Tremere are. Should it be discovered, it will usually be corrected, but one might almost believe there was some purpose to this lapse, as the Tremere don’t make mistakes. Perhaps the Clan has a special task in mind for you, one where you might be forced to act against the Clan to maintain a cover….
Secret Society Member (1pt. Merit)
You have found and joined one of the many secret societies in Clan Tremere. Your character must be suitable to join, such as having Necromancy to join the Covenant. You might pick one of the societies listed here or create one of your own. In most cases, your society membership should be kept secret, but your allegiance to it is not considered a crime. While your society expects you to uphold its tenets and agenda, they can also be counted upon to back you up and help you increase your power within the pyramid.
Keys to the Library (1-5pt. Merit)
You have one of the most sought after positions in the chantry: a librarian. It is one of your duties to catalogue and maintain the magical lore kept in your chantry. This means you have complete access to it, and get to decide who can see it and who can’t. A vast array of rituals and Thaumaturgical knowledge resides here, making it simple to learn many of the secrets of magic. No matter how restrictive your chantry, you have complete access to the library for research. The cost of this merit is the same as the chantry’s Library rating.
Outside Haven (2pt. Merit)
You maintain your own private haven outside the chantry and Tremere control. Most Tremere are expected to rest in the chantry, where the Clan can keep an eye on them. However, you have been trusted with a little more privacy. This might be because you have already proved your loyalty, or perhaps because they are testing it.
Unmarked Antitribu (2 or 5pt. Merit)
While you are part of the Sabbat and a traitor to House and Clan Tremere, somehow you remain unmarked by the antitribu curse. You are not easily recognized as a renegade Tremere, and the magic that burned so many of your brethren cannot target you. Further, other Sabbat members cannot judge you at a glance. Those of the Telyavelic bloodline can purchase this Merit at 2 points, while other Tremere pay 5 points.
Quartermaster (3pt. Merit)
You are one of the Kindred responsible for maintaining and organizing the chantry’s mundane supplies. You may take anything from the chantry’s stores as defined by the chantry’s Stores rating. While you will have to return or replace anything you borrow, you have access the whole range of equipment appropriate to the size of the chantry.
This might range from assault weapons and explosives to advanced medical and scientific equipment.
Bioluminescence (1pt. Merit)
Perhaps through biological expertise, or perhaps by unlocking something primordial within, you have accessed the secrets of bioluminescence. Using Vicissitude, you may grant yourself (through Malleable Visage) or others (via Fleshcraft) the ability to emit a soft glow. With muscle control and practice, you can control the color and pattern of the illumination. This can light a soft glow in the dark, create beautiful displays, or even act as a primal form of communication. Some Fiends grant their ghouls or childer bioluminescence, developing an eerily nuanced and wordless language with their thralls and broods. Only characters with at least one dot of Vicissitude may purchase this Merit.
Pain Tolerance (2pt. Merit)
Maybe you are a badass or shut off your nerves through Vicissitude. Maybe your sire put you through so many intricate hells that it would be tough for anyone else to compete. Maybe it just turns you on. Regardless, at Hurt or Injured, you suffer no wound penalties, though you still suffer full penalties at Wounded and below. You must have a Conviction or Courage rating of 3 or more to take this Merit.
Dracon’s Temperament (3pt. Merit)
You emulate the ideal of Azi Dahaka within and without, to levels visceral and abstract. Your psyche flows with the permutable nature of change. Like the protean Dracon, you are a whirlwind of temperaments. This is not multiple personalities. You are one identity shown through the prism of ever-shifting Natures. No anchor fetters your sense of self. You can be any you.
At the start of each story, you may choose one Personality Archetype to function as your Nature, spending the rest of the story perceiving the world through that perspective. You also regain Willpower according to your new Nature and may be affected by other effects or Discipline powers as per your new Nature as well.
Haven Affinity (3pt. Merit)
You are the land. The land is you. The home soil calls to you. You give to it, and it gives to you. Your connection to the earth of your prime haven grants you an extra die to all dice pools when operating there. It also acts as a mystic beacon, allowing you to home in on its location with a standard Perception + Survival roll (difficulty 6), +1 difficulty when a state or country separates you; +2 if you’re halfway across the globe. This applies only to your primary haven.
Revenant Disciplines (3pt. Merit)
The blood of your revenant family runs deep, deeper than the Embrace. The Disciplines that were innate to you as a ghoul have remained so as a Cainite. At character creation, select the ghoul family from which you hail (V20, pp. 503-506). Instead of the Tzimisce’s standard complement of Animalism, Auspex, and Vicissitude, you draw from your three family Disciplines for your starting allocation (though you may buy other Disciplines with freebies, as normal). You trade in the entire set of Tzimisce Clan Disciplines for the set of revenant family Disciplines, for the purposes of in-Clan Experience cost.
Promethean Clay (5pt. Merit)
Your flesh ripples and molds itself to your preternatural will, almost before you consciously invoke the change. The difficulty to use any Vicissitude power on yourself is two less than normal, and you may activate Vicissitude powers reflexively at your full dice pool while taking other actions. Powers that require multiple turns to activate still require the usual duration. The change simply occurs without conscious direction. As a final benefit, you need no physical sculpting to use the first three levels of Vicissitude on yourself, as your flesh undulates and extrudes to its desired shape. Only characters with at least one dot of Vicissitude may purchase this Merit.
Connoisseur (2pt. Merit)
Your study of the Auspex Discipline, combined with your rarified tastes, allows you an uncanny empathy and connection to a victim, giving you powerful insights into the character of any whose blood you taste.
System: The character tastes another’s blood (potentially risking a blood bond), and player rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty 6 for mortals or 8 for Kindred). If the blood came from a mortal, each success allows him to learn one of the following: the mortal’s Nature, her Demeanor, any Derangements she may possess, whether she is blood bonded, and whether she carries any blood-borne diseases. If the vitae came from a vampire, he can learn all of the previous information, plus anything discoverable with the first level of the Path of Blood. The Ventrue may taste the blood of a mortal who does not fit within his feeding restriction long enough to use this ability, but he must immediately spit it out afterward.
Vampires that do not have Auspex •• cannot take this Merit.
Blessed by St. Gustav (4pt. Merit)
Many Ventrue antitribu replace their traditional affinity for Presence with an aptitude for Auspex by means of the ignobilis ritus known as the Prayer to St. Gustav. For your piety and devotion to the Sabbat cause, you have been especially blessed and have an affinity for both Disciplines.
System: This Merit is identical to Additional Discipline Merit found on, except that it can only be used to add Auspex as a fourth in-Clan discipline. Only Ventrue antitribu can take this Merit.
Personal Masquerade (3pt. Merit)
Thorough charm, manipulation, or just plain luck, you have managed to convince other vampires that you are a member of one of the Clans. Any social interactions with vampires ignorant of your true nature ignore your usual penalty for being Caitiff. However, you must constantly be vigilant of your ruse. Should anyone come to realize you have been playing them for fools, their vengeance will be swift. The higher you climb in Kindred politics, the more likely this becomes. The Clan Weakness Flaw can actually prove to be a boon in supporting your Masquerade. Others, however, must be that much more careful.
The High Price (3pt. Merit)
The burden of acquiring truth or power always comes at a high price. None know that more than these Baali, who sacrifice a part of their own soul in aspiration of greatness. Their physical body is wracked with weakness and pain, capping any Physical Attributes at four dots and costing 1 Willpower point every evening when they rise. In exchange for this tribute, the Baali receive +2 dice to any Discipline-related checks.
Simply Waiting (4pt. Merit)
The Baali knows their place within the order of the universe, and where they stand against other vampires or those of their own bloodline. They also know the end of the world is coming, sooner rather than later. They appear apathetic to the world around them, but in truth, they are simply resigned to their fate and remain unmoved if others try to get them to stray from their path. All Social rolls against them are increased by +2 difficulty, as the Baali knows the true end of it all.
Daughters of Cacophony
Chorus Trained (3 or 5pt. Merit)
The character has learned how to use the Fugue to tune in to her sisters and work together with far more efficiency. For 3 points, this Merit grants the character 2 extra dice to any Melpominee dice pool when using the power with another character with this Merit. For 5 points, the bonus 2 dice can be added for any action being performed by a partner with this Merit, such as making art or even fighting together.
Fugue Instinct (3pt. Merit)
You can hear warnings and gain insight by listening to the Fugue more deeply. You must forego one of your actions to listen properly to the Fugue within. During this time, you may defend yourself but take no active actions. If you do, then you gain an insight for your next action that grants you +2 dice to whatever dice pool you use.
Stillness of Death (2pt. Merit)
Gargoyles often hide themselves as statuary. The difficulty for any searches to find you are increased by 2 when you stay perfectly still.
Heavy Hands (3pt. Merit)
One of the effects of becoming a vampire is strange changes happening to your body. The obvious alterations to your hands have made them tougher, harder, and more impervious to pain. All difficulties for damage rolls using unarmed attacks go down by 1.
Harbringers of Skulls
Disciple of Lazarus / Japheth (2pt. Merit)
You speak for the powers-that-be within your bloodline, and bear the clean, white death mask of a respected Harbinger lost to one of the historic purges suffered by your people. Most Harbingers of Skulls will listen to what you say, and take your words at face value. This Merit adds two dice to any Social roll when you invoke the name of Lazarus or Japheth.
Styx Baptism (3pt. Merit)
You pledged fealty to the Harbingers of Skulls and swore to work against the machinations of Ashur, despite not being Embraced into the bloodline. You were escorted to the Shadowlands, where you were baptized head-first in the churning waters of the Styx. The flesh upon your head sloughed off with contact over the coming month, leaving just rotten patches or bare bone, reducing your Appearance Rating to 0 permanently. You’re now held in esteem by Lazarenes, gaining any one of the bloodline’s Disciplines as a Clan Discipline in place of one of your own.
Half-Life (6pt. Merit)
You’re more than just a vampire; you’re a wraith in vampire form. Your awareness of the realities of death enables you to spend half the regular experience points cost for increasing Necromancy Paths after the first point, and permits you to move between Shadowlands and Skinlands through the expenditure of a Willpower point. You cannot be controlled as a normal spirit through use of Necromancy, but should other vampires discover what you are, you can expect to be hunted mercilessly. You suffer the same weaknesses and have the same strengths as a vampire, but if viewed with a power such as Aura Perception the aura appears as a double-exposure, with a wavering, translucent humanoid shape merging in and out of yours.
Prized Collection (1-2pt. Merit)
Kiasyd have appreciation for compilations of books, records, vintages of blood, and other collectable items among Cainites. You possess a collection that may not be worth much (1pt.) or could be worth a lot to the right buyer (2pt.). Importantly, it’s a point of interest for any visiting Kiasyd or expert in the field, and they’re likely to treat you well just to get access to it.
Alien Perfection (2pt. Merit)
You possess beauty unsettling in its perfection. People stand in awe of your flawless form, while inexplicable nausea subconsciously creeps up. The difficulty of any Appearance roll is reduced by three. A Stamina roll is required by anyone in your presence for longer than one scene, if this is the first time they’ve encountered you. Failure drives them away from you with a sickness wracking their body.
Paranormal Link (2pt. Merit)
You’re linked to another weird species of the world, and unconsciously find yourself able to understand their parlance, codes, and rituals. Difficulties to decipher the hidden rites and languages of one society (selected when this Merit is purchased) are reduced by three.
Skin of Porcelain (4pt. Merit)
Through concoctions imbibed or by a fluke of your Embrace, you possess a ceramic-like coating to your skin. In order for this to have any effect beyond looking strange, a Stamina roll is required (difficulty 8). Success allows you to convert up to three points of aggravated damage from a fire source to lethal damage before attempts to soak. The hardening dissipates for the remainder of the current story.
Vitae Mutation (5pt. Merit)
You’ve drank the liquid essence of entities both strange and powerful. Whether the vitae of Methuselahs, the boiling blood of lupines, or bottled dreams of fae, the volume and combination of the brews you’ve consumed have forever altered you. Each night a Willpower roll is required (difficulty 7) for you to manifest a single point of Auspex, Chimerstry, or Dementation. This point can be added to an existing rating in the Discipline, but disappears the following night.
Extra Sharp (2pt. Merit)
All Nagaraja already have sharpened fangs for the purposes of cutting into flesh with ease. A character with this Merit, however, has additional rows of fangs, similar to a shark, each one poised to inflict the most pain possible. Instead of dealing 1 unsoakable lethal damage per bite, they deal 2 lethal instead. Some Nagaraja like this gift since it makes their victims stop squirming much quicker. Others fear it creates a connection to the painful bite of the Giovanni, and may see Nagaraja with this Merit almost as outsiders.
Speed Eater (2pt. or 4pt. Merit)
The vampire’s jaws have been strengthened to allow for faster devouring of one’s prey. For 2 points, he can devour 2 blood points worth of flesh per minute, or he may devour 3 blood points worth for 4 points. Must have at least Stamina 3 in order to gain this Merit. Otherwise, his undead form cannot support the influx of blood and viscera at such a fast pace.
Wolverine’s Palate (3pt. Merit)
Though many do not know this, the dreaded wolverine is one of only a few creatures in the world that can eat their prey entirely, whether larger or smaller. The Nagaraja with this Merit has the ability to eat bone just as easily as flesh, sapping even more spiritual essence from her victim and converting it to blood points. With one bite, she can cut through flesh and bone and swallow it all at once with no ill effect. This also means she may gain up to 5 additional blood points from a body by consuming the bones.
Scent of the Other (1pt. Merit)
“You don’t seem like a soul-sucker…” For whatever reason, your third eye shuts tightly when you choose to hide it, and your blood and aura don’t give away your Clan. You might be regarded as a Caitiff, or as a member of another Clan. In any case, Tremere or other Salubri hunters are thrown off your trail, unless you do something to reveal yourself again.
Tracker’s Mark (2pt. Merit)
Well attuned to the soul of her quarry, the Salubri’s third eye sees the influence of her opponent in the world, rather than mere signs of his physical passage. When attempting a tracking roll, the Salubri’s player rolls at -2 difficulty. Ephemeral signs of a quarry are considered valid evidence to follow, even if a Salubri cannot normally detect them; for example, if an irate Brujah disturbed a market’s peace, the Warrior can discern his presence from the still-irritated traders hours later, making the intuitive leap to relate the event to her quarry’s passing.
Sight Beyond Sight (3pt. Merit)
Your third eye occasionally experiences visions and pierces illusions. When your eye is open (via use of Auspex or Obeah), you occasionally pierce Obfuscate or Chimerstry. Some past Salubri have seen through faerie miens or glimpsed the dead lands of ghosts. You have no control over what your eye sees, though it’ll sometimes open involuntarily in response to the above phenomena.
Warrior’s Heart (3pt. Merit)
Steel sits in the placid heart of the Salubri bloodline, and Adonai’s resurrection has caused your own heart to flutter ever so slightly. Like the Healers of old, you may learn the Valeren powers of the antitribu at a cost of current rating x6; if you know the first two dots of Obeah and Valeren, you gain a 2-die bonus to using the first two Discipline dots. However, your warrior’s heart suffers from the Precept of Samiel, the well-defined wanderlust that affects many Salubri — for every week you spend in the same location, you lose a point of Willpower, as your soul agitates without action. The antitribu might have a similar Merit allowing them to learn Obeah at a cost of always helping someone in need, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
Blooded by the Code (5pt. Merit)
Inducted by a true Salubri Warrior, rather than a mere member of the bloodline, the young Cyclops possesses supernatural might far in excess of what she might otherwise wield. She is allowed to purchase and use the Discipline power Song of the Blooded at normal cost (45 experience points), irrespective of Generation. No other Valeren Discipline power may be purchased unless the Salubri otherwise qualifies for it. Additionally, her Status is accounted as two higher when interacting with other Salubri.
Death Grip (3pt. Merit)
Thanks to your connection with death, you have a keen insight few other Kindred possess. When in contact with a dead body, you make a Wits + Alertness roll (difficulty 7). On a success, you intuitively know how the body died. On a failure, you suffer an illusory version of the wound that saps a point of Willpower. On a botch, your body mirrors the wound and hurts itself in the same manner, causing lethal damage equal to the final blow.
Stitcher (3pt. Merit)
Getting blown apart isn’t a big deal. When parts of your body are cut off or otherwise removed due to damage, you may make a Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty 7) to sew the part back in place properly. If successful, the cost of healing the wound is reduced by one blood point.
Advanced Tech (1-5 pt. Merit)
You have a device (or possibly a few) of an advanced design. While the True Brujah are not especially good at innovation, they are good at making improvements. So this device has no special functions unavailable to its contemporaries, but it does work a lot better. It reduces the chance of a mechanical fault (such as a jam) by half and all uses of the device are made with a -1 to the difficulty. The Storyteller should decide on the cost of the Merit, depending on how many items the character has, and how powerful they are.
Fatalist (3pt. Merit)
The character’s study of time has led them to believe that what is done is simply done. Destiny is a fixed path and therefore we are all the slaves of our own futures. As such, nothing can truly be our fault, for nothing is entirely under our control. It therefore becomes a lot easier to excuse themselves from their worst excesses. The character subtracts 2 from the difficulty of all degeneration rolls against losses of Humanity or Path of Enlightenment.
True Celerity (5pt. Merit)
The True Brujah have an odd relationship with Celerity. It often comes easily to them, but a few refuse to learn it, as it has become a symbol of the traitor Brujah. However, many find it a useful skill for masquerading as Brujah within the Camarilla or Sabbat, and so a few True Brujah have developed a slightly different form of the Discipline.
A character with this Merit has the ability to learn True Celerity. While it works exactly the same as Celerity, it feels very different. Instead of the character moving quickly, they slow time down all around them. This Merit confers no Discipline points for the character, but does allow it to be bought with experience as if Celerity was a Clan discipline.
While this power functions the same as Celerity, it cannot be taught to anyone who does not have any levels of the Temporis Discipline.
Ghoul & Revenant Merits
Existing Merits and Flaws
V20 provides numerous Merits and Flaws for vampires. Despite this comprehensive list, not all of them are appropriate for ghouls or revenants.
The following Merits and Flaws are recommended for ghouls and revenants:
• Physical: Acute Sense, Ambidextrous, Bruiser, Catlike Balance, Friendly Face, Daredevil, Hard of Hearing, Short, Tic/Twitch, Bad Sight, Disfigured, One Eye, Addiction, Deformity, Lame, Lazy, Slow Healing, Disease Carrier, Deaf, Mute, Blind
• Mental: Coldly Logical, Common Sense, Concentration, Introspection, Language, Time Sense, Useful Knowledge, Eidetic Memory, Calm Heart, Iron Will, Precocious, Impatient, Shy, Soft-Hearted, Speech Impediment, Amnesia, Luncay, Phobia, Short Fuse, Weak-Willed, Incantation
• Social: Expendable, Incomplete Understanding, Mistaken Identity, Sympathizer, Uppity, Narc, Laughingstock
• Supernatural: Magic Resistance, Light-Sensitive, Lucky, Cursed, Oracular Ability
These Merits and Flaws are disallowed for use when creating a ghoul or revenant:
• Physical: Blush of Health, Efficient Digestion, Fourteenth Generation, Fifteenth Generation, Dulled Bite, Infectious Bite, Glowing Eyes, Monstrous, Permanent Fangs, Permanent Wound, Thin Blood, Flesh of the Corpse, Infertile Vitae
• Mental: Prey Exclusion
• Social: Former Ghoul, Prestigious Sire, Clan Friendship, Primogen/Bishop Friendship, Former Prince, Escaped Target
• Supernatural: Additional Discipline, Hidden Diablerie, Cold Breeze, Touch of Frost, Eerie Presence, Lord of the Flies, Grip of the Damned
Vicissitude Modifications (1-7pt. Merit)
You are a ghoul or revenant whose body has been hideously modified through the use of the Vicissitude Discipline. You, yourself, might not be gifted in this area, but your flesh and bones have been reshaped into a nightmare designed to be useful in war. Thus, while your Modifications may provide you with a mechanical benefit, you are considered a monster even though, technically, you are still mortal.
The alterations made to your body are permanent unless shaped by further uses of Vicissitude. Although your Vicissitude Modifications can be dangerous, your body still sustains damage normally. Despite your horrid appearance, you are still flesh and bone.
Vicissitude Modifications requires you to take the Monstrous Flaw, which is found above. Regardless of how many alterations you choose, you have an Appearance of 0.
At your Storyteller’s discretion, you may also be required to take a Mental Flaw, penalty to Social rolls, or a Derangement due to the horrors you’re experiencing.
Generally speaking, this Merit may only be used by characters that are either Bound to, or are sponsored by, a vampire or Clan that has the use of Vicissitude. Revenants that are modified in this way are often subjected to the Blood Bond to ensure their loyalty.
• Circular Vision (1pt.): One of your eyes has been moved to the back of your head, granting you the ability to see at a wider angle. You may gain a bonus to Perception, especially in cases when a character is attempting to sneak up on you. Additionally, your depth perception is poor at any angle, and you suffer a two die penalty to any rolls that involve gauging distance, including the use of projectile weapons.
• Fangs (1pt.): Your teeth have been lengthened and sharpened; your smile may resemble a tiger’s or a shark’s, or it may be unlike anything found in nature. You may attack using Bite, which is found on Combat Maneuvers. Due to your monstrous appearance, you will lose two dice in pools involving your Manipulation Attribute, unless you are trying to intimidate or scare your target.
• Iron Stomach (2pts.): You are able to digest any organic material that you can break up, chew, and swallow. On Stamina rolls, you gain a +2 when you need to resist ingested poisons or other types of stomach-based illnesses. This digestive modification is often paired with Fangs.
• Spurs (2pts.): Sharp, pointed bone spurs protrude from your forearms, spine, or calves. You may slash with your Spurs for Str + 2 damage. However, Spurs are hard to conceal and may limit your mobility in some instances.
• Carapace (3pts.): You are covered with bony or spiky plates that protect you from being attacked. You may add two soak dice to your pool when you are defending yourself from harm.
• Patagia (4pts.): Your bones have been hollowed and flaps of foreign skin have been grafted onto your arms and wrists to form membranes. While you cannot fly, you may use these bat-like wings to glide from one higher position to another, or to the ground. Subtract one die from all soak pools to resist strikes from fists and blunt weapons, or any other forms of concussive damage that might damage your bones.
Ghouls and revenants may never heal a damaged Vicissitude Modification, not even with the Blood. In this respect, both are as helpless as their unmodified counterparts. However, should a ghoul or revenant possess enough levels in Vicissitude, that character may heal themselves or remove the Vicissitude Modification altogether. To do so, the character must have a level of Vicissitude superior to that of the vampire who inflicted the mutilation in the first place.
Used by: Due to the complexity of this Merit, check with your Storyteller before spending points on Vicissitude Modifications.
Loyalty (5pt. Merit)
Though revenants are the tools of the Kindred, they aren’t known for their unshakable loyalty to a particular vampire or Clan. When a member of a revenant family does display such loyalty, it’s noteworthy. Word of that revenant’s actions will spread quickly among other members of the Clan or Sect the family serves.
Most revenant families might welcome a patron vampire for one of their members. The family would likely be suspicious of placing their trust in a specific vampire or Clan, and would probably take steps to avoid becoming too dependent on a single domitor.
The character can expect occasional favors from the vampire Clan that controls the revenant’s family. They may also be given considerable latitude to explore their own special interests, since the vampires “trust” that the character is furthering the Clan’s goals. Loyalty is also a good Merit to choose if the character is being groomed for the Embrace, especially if that revenant knows her future sire.
Used by: Ducheski, Rossellini, Kairouan Brotherhood, and Servants of Anushin-Rawan
Benevolent Domitor (3pt. Merit)
For reasons unbeknownst to you, your domitor is fond of you. Perhaps your service has been exemplary, or you simply remind your master of a past love. Given the alien nature of a vampire’s mind, you may never know for sure, but you do not begrudge the benefits you’ve gained from your master’s feelings toward you.
You feel safe in your master’s care, and do not dread spending night after night fulfilling your duties. Your domitor treats you with a measure of faux compassion, and does not casually endanger your life. Unlike the relationship between other masters and their ghouls, this Merit does not represent a temporary phase. You have already proven yourself to your master. Thus, your relationship is akin to a friendship between a great boss and his employee.
Though this Merit shapes how your domitor treats you, it does not guarantee that you will never run afoul of your master. You may, at your Storyteller’s discretion, lose the right to keep this Merit should your actions necessitate such a decision over time.
Prerequisite: Domitor Background
Used by: Camarilla ghouls, some Sabbat ghouls
Groomed for Embrace (5pt. Merit)
Your character has been deemed worthy of the Embrace, and is being prepared for the eventuality through careful, directed training by your future sire. While this Merit does not guarantee when you will be Embraced, your character is aware that you will become a vampire, and you know the identity of your future sire.
The benefits of being Groomed for Embrace are related to your current role as a ghoul, and your future position as a vampire within a specific Clan or bloodline. As such, your role among the ghouls of your domitor’s house will be elevated to that of a valued apprentice as opposed to a disposable servant. Some Clans, like the Tremere or the Tzimisce, might track your progress through your academic study of lore, Disciplines, or thaumaturgical rituals. You might not be able to use Vicissitude, for example, but you may be permitted to assist your domitor at her laboratory table. Other vampires might be more careful, and may prepare you to be evaluated by the local prince before proceeding further.
There may be a few drawbacks that your character might encounter over the course of your chronicle. Because you have achieved the dream of many ghouls, you may be subjected to fits of jealous rage or harm by other ghouls. Your domitor might even be aware of this fact, and may have encouraged these feelings to test you to see if you’re worthy of becoming a vampire.
Additionally, should this fact become known, you may garner unwanted attention from your future sire’s enemies. Since it is most likely your future sire will also be your domitor, you may be kidnapped, spied upon, or pumped for information about your domitor’s haven, holdings, and schemes. However, many vampires do not reveal that their ghouls and revenants are being Groomed for Embrace, and keep their intentions secret.
Should you decide to purchase the Groomed for Embrace Merit, you may purchase Benevolent Domitor at a cost of one point, provided you have taken the prerequisite Domitor Background. In this circumstance, you are signaling your Storyteller that your domitor has pledged to become your future sire. You may also, at your Storyteller’s discretion, learn one dot in a third Discipline known to your future sire or follow a Path after abandoning your Humanity.
Used by: Camarilla and Sabbat ghouls, as well as some revenants. Independent ghouls may be Embraced, but they would not be Groomed for Embrace due to their status as a pariah among ghouls.
Pale Aura (2pt. Merit)
Due to some quirk of fate or your reaction to the Blood, your aura is naturally pale. Any color your character’s aura takes has a pale cast to it, as if you were a vampire and not a ghoul.
Vampires reading your aura with the use of the Auspex Discipline may assume you are a vampire unless they gain five or more successes on an Aura Perception roll, or have strong reason to suspect otherwise.
This Merit can be of great use if you wish to impersonate a vampire for a time, but can also cause a dangerous misunderstanding or lead to your capture for further scrutiny.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Clear-Sighted (4pt. Merit)
Your ghoul is not easily fooled by illusions and tricks of the light. Whether you were born lucky, have supernatural assistance, or proper training to brush aside such influences, your character has a knack for overcoming the phantasms, shadows, and mirages others create through the use of thaumaturgical rituals and Disciplines.
This Merit is only applicable for visible tricks of deceit caused by the use of Disciplines. When faced with a supernatural illusion caused by the use of Disciplines such as Obfuscate and Chimestry, your ghoul may make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty equal to your opponent’s power’s level +3). If successful, your character sees right through the effect. If you fail, you might suspect the illusion is a trick, but you cannot prove your suspicious are correct.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Blood Flaw Immunity (5pt. Merit)
You have discovered that you are resistant to the Clan or bloodline flaws present in the blood you drink. Your domitor might be a lower Generation Nosferatu, who lives in the sewers because her appearance is so hideous, and yet your appearance will not change. Should members of the Tremere or Tzimisce Clans learn of your Blood Flaw Immunity, you may be sought after for further study. After all, if a ghoul’s biology is such that you do not suffer as much as your domitor, surely there’s a “cure” for the flaws present in every Clan’s or bloodline’s blood.
This Merit no longer applies if your ghoul or revenant is Embraced.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Poisonous Blood (5pt. Merit)
Due to mysterious circumstances, your character’s blood is poisonous to vampires. Should any vampire drink from you, every blood point imbibed causes one health level of bashing damage.
Vampires naturally resent mortals known to possess this blessing and may well seek their destruction. Ghouls or revenants with this Merit may expect a similar reaction, since blood does not have any impact on Poisonous Blood. Other times, a scheming vampire might capture the character and use her as bait to physically harm a rival or enemy. This Merit is also recommended for independent ghouls or revenants who wish to remain free from vampiric influence.
Storytellers are encouraged to have an explanation for Poisonous Blood in their chronicles, though the player (and likely character) may not be immediately privy to such knowledge. Some examples include: holy protection from a higher power, a rare ritual of protection, or a genetic abnormality.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Unbondable (6pt. Merit)
You cannot be Bound to a vampire, no matter how often you drink blood from the regnant’s veins. The Unbondable Merit is useful for characters that do not wish to suffer the effects of the blood bond. Thus, its cost is accordingly high for ghouls and revenants.
The Unbondable Merit is particularly appropriate for independent ghouls, and would go far to explain how they were able to break free. To the vast majority of vampires, however, any character that is Unbondable can never be trusted.
This Merit, while it may seem ideal at first glance, would mean your ghoul’s life would be difficult and probably short-lived. Vampires from the Tremere and Tzimisce Clans might even go so far as to wipe out or experiment on you and your family with this Merit, while other Clans and bloodlines may want to drain you of blood to replicate its properties for their use.
Such a powerful Merit is extremely rare. Before selecting this Merit, check with your Storyteller to see if this is viable for your chronicle.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Virulent Strike (7pt. Merit)
Through strange thaumaturgical sorcery, unknown rituals, or even an odd quirk of your physiology, your blood has been imbued with the power of the supernatural. You can cause Aggravated Damage to supernatural creatures by striking them, biting them, or raking them with bonecrafted spurs. This is considered standard Brawl Damage against mortals, and should normally apply to only one attack form (bite, bone claws, etc.).
You should work with the Storyteller to find an explanation for this Merit, and the Storyteller may disallow this Merit entirely if she so chooses.
Used by: All ghouls and revenants
Occult Library (2 or 4pt. Merit)
Your character owns a valuable collection of books and ancient tomes about the arcane. Whenever your ghoul accesses your library, you may lower the difficulty of Intelligence, Occult, or research-related rolls by 1 in relevant circumstances. You might be attempting to find out more information about a thaumaturgical ritual, or you might be trying to identify a strange symbol.
Having this library doesn’t automatically mean your ghoul is an occult expert, nor does it reflect your ability to decipher, understand, or read the texts you’ve collected. Your library is stocked with recorded knowledge you can conveniently refer to. If you have purchased the 4-point version of this Merit, your character also has access to an Occult Laboratory stocked with rare, mysterious ingredients needed to perform the rituals described in your books.
Ghouls in service to the Tremere, Followers of Set, or Assamite Clans, in addition to revenants from the Obertus or Ducheski families, are good candidates to acquire this Asset.
Used by: All ghouls or revenants