Gaining new Merits and Backgrounds
In order to acquire new merits, backgrounds, or advantages on server, supporting roleplay will be required, along with, in almost all cases, rolls to justify or achieve the acquisition.
A few advantages have pre-defined tests or approaches listed in this homebrew document (for example: gaining herd, attaining cobbler, etc; see the relevant sections on this page for details) which do not require additional ST rulings to pursue.
Most other advantages will require an approved ruling from the STs on server prior to beginning the acquisition of any given merit etc. (When in doubt, asking first is best!) In most of these cases, players will be given an extended test consisting of set defined rolls and difficulties to represent the character’s approach to earning access to this merit.
What we’d ask for from players is a post made in the #ask-the-st channel on the server, laying out what merit/background is desired, what general approach the character would take to gaining it, and, if the player is comfortable suggesting their own pools, the rolls they’d envision using. STs will evaluate each merit ask on an individual basis and hand out the final test that will be required.
When suggesting an approach for your character, do consider their sheet. A character with very low social skills/attributes should likely not try to approach a merit test that will rely heavily on social interactions with others. Perhaps there is a physical-oriented approach which would work for them, or a mental approach; what are your character’s strengths? Those should define how they’d move through the world and try to problem-solve or achieve their goals.
Example: Johnny Bravo is a Siren PT character with high charisma and high brawl, but zero academics or occult. He mostly gets his way by either flirting his problems into stunned compliance or just plain beating them up. Now he decides he wants a Retainer, preferably one who is really good at academic matters, since Johnny is lacking in that area. Attempting an approach which involves impressing the potential Retainer with his own depth of academic knowledge is pretty much going to fail! Instead, Johnny decides to offer to train his target in self-defense classes, and over the course of this training charm them into trusting him and accepting his vitae for ghouling. Through a combination of Charisma + Persuasion and Strength + Brawl rolls, done over the course of several nights, he manages to acquire a scholarly Retainer.
Extended tests for merits may or may not be identical between characters; even characters with a similar background seeking the same/similar merits may still have distinct contextual differences which can and will affect their final test; please don’t assume you can just do exactly what you saw ruled for someone else and still gain the merit! When a test is handed out for the merit, save a link to the ruling itself, and keep track of all the rolls done specifically for the test. You will need to provide all of these to Archons in your update ticket when purchasing the merit.
An additional follow-up #ask-the-st post would be made for any messy criticals, bestial failures, or total failures incurred while pursuing an extended test. This may alter or even entirely reset the test, depending on the context of the roll. Remember, it’s always best to ask!
Attaining Cobbler Without A Teacher
While it is possible to learn the Cobbler skill from another PC, circumstances or preference may make learning the skill alone necessary. Here is a guide for a general test to do so:
You may roll either Intelligence + Tech or Intelligence + Larceny for this roll.
The aim is to get an overall accumulation of successes to 30.
Difficulty 3 for the first 15 successes
Difficulty 4 for the remainder of the test after passing the 15 mark.
-Fails get Police attention or worse (we will count the amount of failed rolls to judge this)
-Messy Crits may also attract the attention of the authorities
Total Fails: As per RAW a total fail reset the test completely
Remember: You must have mask 2 already, and you still need to buy this advantage with Exp .
Acquiring a Herd at 1 dot will require a successful hunting roll per Herd member, plus justification in the scene itself to explain why the mortal would choose to see the kindred again. This can be building a friendship, a seduction, coercion, intimidation, or any other standing relationship.
Acquiring a Herd at 2 and 3 dots comes with a fixed resonance for half the Herd at 2, and with two resonances picked at acquisition 3. This or these groups of people need to match the needed resonance. For example, a rugby team might have choleric and sanguine, but are unlikely to fit melancholic and phlegmatic. A knitting club will, conversely, likely fit phlegmatic but not choleric. You will need to tailor your hunts and scenes so that the people picked to form the Herd and the situation itself will match the eventual Herd resonance. Whatever resonance is actually rolled for the hunts via the bots does not influence this requirement. For example, your character might hunt among the nightlife and club-goers and seduce them into one night stands, aiming for sanguine: rolling a melancholic resonance on any given specific hunt while herd-building doesn’t prevent you from adding the mortal in question to sanguine Herd.
Acquiring Herd at 4 or 5 dots is its own large investment, given the number of mortals involved. Make a post in #ask-the-st detailing how you are trying to obtain the Herd and what its upkeep will be like; and STs will rule on the specific circumstances.
Looks Merits & Flaws
Under normal circumstances, the Looks merits/flaws must be acquired at Character Creation. In a few specific instances, they can be acquired later; these include but may or may not be limited to Humanity/BP changes; Profane Hieros Gamos; and Vicissitude.
Upgrading character Retainers is done through a system based on time elapsed in play, rather than rolls or a series of specific tasks, as each Retainer is different in their designated field. The Domitor must be actively played for a set amount of time per level of upgrade, and during this timeframe we are assuming the Retainer has also been keeping busy and therefore developing their skills.
- The required time in play required per level varies in length:
- Increasing from Level 1 (one dot) to 2 (two dots) : Three irl months of play
- Increasing from Level 2 to 3 : Six months irl months of play
- Retainers may only be leveled by one dot at a time; the time counter restarts once a purchase is made.
- No major alterations may be made to the Retainer; a Retainer focused heavily on social skills cannot suddenly become a physically-oriented monster on the battlefield. The skills they develop should directly tie with what they currently have; and learn some new skills as needed.
- If they are gaining Merits or Flaws it must make sense in the character’s progression. Some of these merits are as simple as a logical step; for example, a Retainer who runs a business may gain more Resources. Some may only require the character saying “hey you should probably find someone who sells that” and it leading towards a Contact for the Retainer. What matters here is the context of the purchases and the story of the characters being written.
Upgrading Contacts and Allies
In order to upgrade these merits, please make a plan and submit it to the ST through an #ask-the-st post for approval as detailed on this page, as achieving this will very likely require rolls.
It is possible to ‘upgrade’ Contacts and Allies through roleplay as well. Upgrading these merits will not change their fundamental nature; upgraded Contacts and Allies will remain in the same field of business and/or strengths, providing the same basic information or support to the character. The basic approach should be related to improving the character’s relationship with the humans representing these Merits; perhaps this looks like developing a closer/more positive relationship with the human, such that they are more willing to provide in-depth or extensive aid. In the case of Allies, providing training or leadership inspiration may help to improve their Effectiveness; or social rolls may help improve their Reliability. By regularly using a Contact merit, this might broaden the Contact’s scope of items/information on offer.
The above are merely examples of approaches that may work in upgrading these merits, not a comprehensive list of the only options one has. Context is always key, and each character and merit is unique. When submitting a plan to the ST for approval, keep all relevant factors in mind, as usual.