Adopted Into Grace (1pt. Merit) Despite her lineage, you have been accepted by local members of the High Clans as a noble, or at least worthy of respect. Unfortunately, your own clanmates see you as a pretentious toady. The difficulty of all Social rolls involving other Cainites, who know of your reputation increases or decreases by 1, depending on which class you are interacting with. Characters must have at least one dot of Status to purchase this Merit. The beneftis of this Merit only extend as far as the character's reputation - seldom more than a single city.
Alternate Identity (1 to 5pt. Merit) You have established a false persona that stands up to scrutiny and investigation. The quality and detail of this face depends on the number of points invested in the Merit. For one point, your identity is new or intended for casual use only. At two points, it takes determined effort to reveal your ruse. For three points, your false name is known in several cities. At four points, your identity is widely known and respected. For five points, you can even deceive the most paranoid elders. Although the difficulty of any Investigation to determien your true identity equals your Alternate Identity rating +5, it is up to you to actively maintain your persona. Characters with more than one false face must purchase this Merit multiple times.
Crusader (1pt. Merit) You once donned the crusader's cross and successfully returned from the Holy Land, having done your duty to God, and those around you know it. You may well have joined the forces of Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip Augustus in the Third Crusade, those of Andrew of Hungary in the Fifth, or those of Emperor Frederick in the Sixth. This accomplishment gives you special standing and repute among those knights, lords and ladies who never made the journey to Outremer. Jongleurs may request that you share stories that they may turn into fanciful tales, and others may ask your opinion about events in the Latin Kingdoms or Iberia.
Debt of Gratitude (1 to 3pt. Merit) An elder owes you gratitude because of something either you or your sire did for her. The depth of gratitude the elder owes depends on how many points the player wishes to spend. One point might mean that the elder owes the character a favor; three points might mean that she owes the character her unlife.
Evangelist (2pt. Merit) - Inquisitor Only Your joy in your faith is a palpable thing that others can sense. Good Christian folk enjoy being in your company and often come away with their own belief renewed by conversation with you. You have a knack for remembering apt Biblical quotations that help people through their days. You receive a -2 to all Social difficulties when interacting with other God-fearing Christians.
Former Ghoul (3pt. Merit) You spent a number of years as a ghoul prior to receiving the Embrace. As such, you have a better understanding of Cainite society and the powers of the Blood. The difficulty of all rolls to recall such information is 2 less than normal. In addition, you may purchase Potence with your starting Discipline dots, although it is not considered a Clan Discipline unless that is normally the case.
Former Magus (1pt. Merit or Flaw) In life you were a mage, able to reshape creation with the force of your will. That power is lost to you now, replaced with the curse of Caine. Yet you have not sundered all ties to your former Fellowship. If this trait is a Merit, a few of your mystical associates still talk to you. They probably won't give you access to their libraries or let you into their sanctums, but they pass along information from time to time and exchange favors when it suits them. If this trait is a Flaw, your former associates view you as a liability. They might not actively hunt you (unless you also take the Enemy flaw), but they regard you as a monster and traitor and treat you accordingly. This trait is extremely rare outside Clan Tremere.
Harmless (1pt. Merit) You are well known to the Cainites of your city as ineffectual and useless. While this estimation may seem insulting, it also keeps you safe. No one considers you a threat, and so no one feels the need to dispose of you. If you start acting in a way that demonstrates you are competant and no longer harmless, others' reactions to you will swiftly change.
Initiate (3pt. Merit or Flaw) - Inquisitor Only You have agreed to take on a young inquisitor as your student. He does not have any Blessings yet, but he is showing a fine aptitude for the business of inquisition and a firm resolution in the face of the enemy. This is a heavy burden, though, for you are responsible for this child's soul as well as his life. If Initiate is taken as a Merit, the student is intelligent, faithful, and diligent in his studies and prayer. He will fight for you only in the most extreme circumstances, but willingly does research or runs errands for you when called upon to do so. He may well yet be blessed by the Lord (the Storyteller decides when this happens - if it does - based on how much time you spend training him and the experience he has). If taken as a Flaw, the Initiate is a problem who hinders your work. He is incompetent, lazy, petuland and he lacks dedication to his faith. Your superiors are reluctant to let him leave your service, for he already knows too much about the shadow Inquisition, so you have to do your best to whip him into some useful shape. However, he can be a danger and a liability to the safety of your chapter. In either case, the Initiate requires training and spiritual guidance. The Storyteller should take care to ensure that the character is not reaping the benefits of the Initiate without giving the appropriate teaching.
Master of Protocol (1pt. Merit) Your sire or another mentor has laboriously tutored you in most forms of etiquette, even customs outside your own culture and time. You likely know the proper greeting for a Roman senator or the appropriate bow for a caliph as easily as the titles of address within your own kingdom. As such, you may learn as many Etiquette specialties as your Intelligence + Etiquette, and you receive a –1 difficulty to any Etiquette roll involving those specialties.
Network (1 to 5pt. Merit) You have an impressive web of contacts and agents that extends beyond a single city. Better still, they serve you skillfully and subtly beneath the notice of the High Clans, making you far more formidable than you appear. Your Network reaches one extra city per point invested in this Merit. Upon arriving anywhere in the bounds of your Network, you gain access to your full rating in Allies, Contacts, Herd and Retainers at the rate of one dot per night (although obviously any Retainers thus gained are not initially ghouls, whether or not the Retainers in your home city are). You may also communicate with agents in other cities via correspondence, although they can only serve the role of Contacts. This Merit is most common among Followers of Set and Nosferatu.
Prestigious Sire (1pt. Merit) Your sire has or had great status in her court or clan, and this has accorded you a certain amount of prestige. Although your sire may no longer have any dealings with you, the simple fact of your ancestry has marked you forever. The prestige might aid you greatly in dealings with your elders or other neonates, or it might engender jealousy or contempt.
Pretender to the Blood (1pt. Merit) You have successfully passed yourself off as a member of the High Clans, at last locally. As such, you receive acceptance from the aristocracy and suffer none of the stigma associated with your actual ancestry. You can expect terrible retribution if your ruse is discovered.
Religious Heritage (1pt. Merit or Flaw) - Inquisitor Only When taken as a merit, Religious Heritage indicates your family has a history of dedicated service in the Church, with many of your relatives gaining prominant positions through the years. That reputation works to your benefit as well. If taken as a Flaw, however, your family has a dark reputation as heretics, demon thralls or pagans, a problem that taints your name. You receive a -2 to Social difficulties when interacting with members of the Church or anyone else who would be impressed by your lineage (if Religious Heritage is a Merit), or a +2 difficulty on such rolls (if a Flaw). House Murnau characters may not take this Trait.
Scarred (1pt. Merit) Whether a result of battle wounds or religious practices, your body is heavily adorned with scars. These scars do not interfere with your movement or sensation, nor are they ugly enough to reduce your Appearance. However, anyone who beholds you recognizes you as someone intimately familiar with pain and violence. You reduce the difficulties of all Intimidation rolls by two. As a rule, town drunks are less inclined to quarrel with you and most individuals will assume you know how to fight (whether or not you actually do). This Merit can also reflect branding, tattooing or other rarer markings at Storyteller discretion.
Secrets (1 to 5pt. Merit) You know something important — probably something you shouldn’t know. You may use this secret for blackmail or simply file it away for use in some future night. The rating of this Merit determines the importance and detail of this secret. A one-point Secret may be the confirmed existence of a spy from a rival vampire court (without knowing the spy’s identity). Five points means you know the spy is none other than the prince himself, or rather, a fleshcrafted doppelganger created by the Tzimisce to destabilize the court in preparation for their invasion. The player should work with the Storyteller to determine the secret, or simply trust the Storyteller to select a secret appropriate to the story. As always, the Storyteller should feel free to disallow secrets that are not appropriate to his games. Note that this Merit can also reflect clan Secrets, such as the resting place of a torpid elder or a particular koldunic ritual known to a select bloodline.
Unbroken Lineage (1 or 2pt. Merit) You can perfectly recite your lineage back to your Antediluvian progenitor. If this Merit is worth only one point, noble Cainites accept your recitation and treat you more favorably as a true keeper of the Traditions. If this Merit is worth two points, your bloodline has sufficient prestige to warrant an extra dot of Status that remains as long as none of your direct ancestors rejects you. Even if you err and lose face, you always have at least one dot of Status from your birthright.
Well-Known (Variable Cost Merit) Word of your exploits and lineage has spread through the society of the Damned. As a result, your Status applies in a number of additional cities equal to the points invested in this Merit. Should you fail in some task or lose favor with your Prince, however, word of that disgrace will spread just as quickly. Fame is ever fickle. Characters must have at least one dot of Status to purchase this Merit.
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