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  • Advanced Merits Homebrew Collaboration

    I really like concept of Advanced Merits, especially mortal-available ones. What I want to do in this thread is to talk about them and create Advanced Versions of Corebook Merits; then, I will edit the first post to include them so they are in one easy to read place.
    Basically, if you want to participate in this thread, I'll suggest:
    a) posting what do you think about advanced merits, and what do you think makes them work (or not work)
    b) proposing your own take on Advanced version of some merit
    c) talking about how to fluff Advanced Merits for different supernaturals; if this is popular, we could try writing different fluff for each Major Splat.
    d) just having fun in polite way

    I've noticed that most of Advanced Merits:
    1. Require you to take full dots of base merit (this one is obvious, but still)
    2. Might require Attribute related to the Merit at 3 or 4; putting 5 as requirement is tempting, but I don't think it would be a good design - it's rather impractical and I haven't seen players go to 5 in attribute ever (I hardly see 4, and I think Advanced Merits might make speccing for 4 in a Attribute more tempting)
    3. They usually provide some combination of following:
    a) Rote quality to the associated action
    b) Removal of limitations
    c) Expanding of applicability
    d) Exceptional Success at 3 instead of 5
    e) Stepping up effects in a logical way (Bashing to Lethal, for example)
    f) Non-quantifiable, cool unique effect.
    I think that they usually hit 2 or 3 from the above list.
    4. They are relatively cheap - 1 or 2 dots. This is mostly because you are already investing heavily in the basic version of the merit, so you should consider their cost to be combined; so Advanced Merit of 2 dots with base merit of 2 dots should be seen as "4 dots thing" in total. Advanced Version shouldn't cost more than basic version, or significantly less either.

    Trying to kickstart off the brainstorming, I'll try Advancing the Trained Observer

    Trained Observer (Advanced, ••) by WHW
    Prerequisites: •••• in the Attribute you used to qualify for this Merit and ••• in the other, Trained Observer •••
    Effect: When something picks up your interest, it's like time itself slows down so you can take a look. When a basketball thrown at supernatural speed almost dunks your head and you barely dodge, it's normal for you to notice all the small details about it, just like when examining it while holding it in your hands. This Merit has two effects: One, it allows you to achieve Exceptional Success at Perception Rolls with only 3 successes, instead of 5. Two, it allows you to ignore up to Wits or Composure penalties to the Perception roll, no matter their source; for example, character with 4 Composure could ignore 4 out of 5 penalty assigned to the roll by Storyteller. This includes even Supernatural factors.


    Indomitable (Advanced, •••) by Xenorath
    Prerequisites: Resolve ••••
    Effect: Your character can shrug off mental attacks that most would easily succumb to. Anytime you spend a point of Willpower to contest an effect that Indomitable would add a bonus to, add five dice to the dicepool instead of the usual three. Your character may also spend a point of Willpower to subtract three dice from the monster’s dicepool if the roll is resisted instead of 2.

    Patient (Advanced, • to •••) by Deionscribe
    Prerequisites: Patient
    Effect: Patience is a Virtue, and your meticulous care and focus in a task not only helps you get more work done, but also mitigate some of the mistakes that might be made. Each dot not only allows you to make an additional roll above what your Attribute + Skill would allow, but also lets you suffer no negative consequences from a single failed roll


    Inspiring (Advanced, •••) by GottaGoFeast
    Prerequisites: Inspiring, Presence ••••
    Effect: Your character's words are so encouraging that they can help others ignore emotional and mental Conditions and deal with Breaking Points. Spend 1 willpower point and roll Presence + Expression, with the same penalties of the normal version of the Merit. Should the roll me made during combat or a similarly dangerous situation, increase each penalty by one. On a Success, those affected can ignore Conditions like Broken, Fugue and Madness for the rest of the scene. Your character can also let those affected by his words re-roll for a Breaking Point made within the scene, ignoring the penalties of the first roll. On an Exceptional Success, two Conditions may be ignored and a re-roll achieves an Exceptional Success with 3 Successes. This Merit does not affect physical Conditions.
    Drawback: Pulling others from the brink of insanity and despair is not easy, and it can take a toll on your character's mind if they have to do it often. If they use this Merit more times than their Resolve in a [Chapter or Story, not sure which is more balanced], they must roll for a Breaking Point at a -3 penalty at the end of the scene where they exceeded their limit, and a Failure becomes a Dramatic Failure automatically (a Beat is still earned)

    Ghoul Retainer (Advanced, • to •••••) by Jakondite
    Prerequisites: Vampire, Retainer •
    Effect: Your retainer is a ghoul, and fitted with the power of the blood. In addition to being able to use the blood to benefit himself in all the ways a ghoul might have, each dot in this merit represents both the amount of vitae he can have in his system, as well as the amount of disciplines he is knowledgeable in.
    Drawback: In addition to all the drawbacks a normal retainer might have, the ghoul requires constant maintenance - a price of blood paid monthly otherwise that ghoul may very well lose its status. Sometimes, a ghoul may be over protective of their master, to the point of actually containing their master to protect them from outside sources.

    Vampire Retainer (Epic, • to •••••) by Jakondite
    Prerequisites: Vampire, Retainer (Advanced, ••)
    Effect: You have in your service another Kindred. Perhaps he is your child, or perhaps he is otherwise bound by the blood to you - regardless of how you came about him, he is your devoted underling and more than willing to serve. Each dot in this merit represents the relative strength of the kindred in question. For each level in this, add one discipline to the retainers total. Assume that the blood potency of this kindred is equal to 1 at the first dot, 2 at the third, and 3 at the fifth.
    Drawback: Et tu, Brute? While a powerful retainer, even close vampires cannot be trusted as well as a ghoul or mortal can - with great power comes great risks and any vampire, even a subservient one, is looking out for themselves before anyone else. A weak kindred may well consider -why- they have a powerful vampire willing to serve them - are they being served, or is it just a part of their retainers own power play?

    Adaptable for various splats, but it was easiest to put down for vampire. With a Mage, I could see granting twice (thrice?) its dots in merits towards proximus merits or sleepwalker merits for the advanced retainer version, and when they become a mage simply converting the merits into 1 Arcana per dot of Advanced Retainer / Epic Retainer. Wanted to see the thoughts on it before working on that though



    Indomitable (Epic, ••••)by Xenorath
    Prerequisites: Beast, Resolve •••••
    Effect: Your indomitable will is a thing of legends. Any contested roll that would benefit from Indomitable gains the 8-agian quality. In addition to this, if you spend a point of willpower on a resisted roll you may subtract a number of dice equal to your Resolve from the monster's dicepool instead of 3.

    Helping Hand ( - •••••) by Arcanist
    Prerequisite:
    Medium (Advanced), Occult ***, Specialty in appropriate Ephemeral Beings
    Effect: When targeting an Ephemeral Being with a ritual using the Medium Merit, they can ease the Ephemeral Being's transition into the mortal world above and beyond what even the Ephemeral Being could accomplish on its own. For every dot in this Merit, choose a Manifestation effect. When the Medium has provided the appropriate prerequisite Condition, they may spend a number of points of Willpower, or suffer a number of points of Bashing Damage, equal to the Essence necessary to activate the Manifestation. This does allow a Medium with this Merit keyed to the appropriate Manifestation to open an Avernian Gate, tear a hole in the Gauntlet, become Claimed, or forcibly Discorporate an Ephemeral Being. If the Spirit doesn't want to Claim the Medium, or if the Medium uses Discorporate, roll the Medium's Presence + Occult against the Ephemeral Being's Resistance + Rank.
    Drawback: Opening up such a channel to the powers of Ephemeral Beings make them far more vulnerable to those same powers. The character with this Merit always has the Open Condition, and the Ephemeral Being may ignore up to their dots in this Merit in terms of points of Essence spent to affect this character.

    Indomitable (Advanced, •••) by Amravanti
    Prerequisite: Beast, Resolve ••••
    Effect: Your character can shrug off mental attacks that most would easily succumb to. Anytime you spend a point of Willpower to contest an effect that Indomitable would add a bonus to, add your Resolve to the dicepool instead of the usual three. Your character may also spend a point of willpower to subtract three dice from the monster’s dicepool if the roll is resisted instead of 2. If you resist a supernatural effect that indomitable would add a bonus to, you are immune to that effect from all sources for the rest of the scene.
    Last edited by WHW; 05-22-2016, 10:51 AM.

  • #2
    Huh. Advanced Trained Observer is pretty cool. I'm already imagining how it'd benefit a Cleareyes Changeling.

    I am definitely watching this thread. Maybe even contribute a few ideas here when I got the time.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

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    • #3
      I tried to start a thread like this in the BtP subforum, but no one else contributed. Here's a repost of a merit I made. I slightly edited it because some of the wording could be interpenetrated badly and make the thing kind of broken. One of the prerequisites says it's for Beasts only, but that can be ignored.

      Indomitable (Advanced, •••)
      Prerequisite: Beast, Resolve ••••
      Your character can shrug off mental attacks that most would easily succumb to. Anytime you spend a point of Willpower to contest an effect that Indomitable would add a bonus to, add five dice to the dicepool instead of the usual three. Your character may also spend a point of willpower to subtract three dice from the monster’s dicepool if the roll is resisted instead of 2.

      Comment


      • #4
        Added it, if you don't mind! Are you happy with how it looks?
        I would also add the merits from Beast, as they are currently available for free in the rules Draft, but I don't want to do it without asking for permission.

        EDIT
        I think it could use "Resolve 4, Indomitable OR [Supernatural]" in prereqs.
        Last edited by WHW; 03-08-2016, 08:29 AM.

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        • #5
          BTW, the "ExSuccess at 3 instead of 5" quality should definitely get some catchy name like Rote action or 9Again, because it becomes more popular with each book. Not here by us, of course, but just a thought to share, after I imagined writing up 10 merits with this ability and having to write the whole sentence each time :P.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WHW View Post
            Added it, if you don't mind! Are you happy with how it looks?
            I would also add the merits from Beast, as they are currently available for free in the rules Draft, but I don't want to do it without asking for permission.

            EDIT
            I think it could use "Resolve 4, Indomitable OR [Supernatural]" in prereqs.

            I don't like the OR. I think Indomitable is a must prerequisite, no matter if you're a supernatural or not.


            My Bloodline conversions
            My House rules

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            • #7
              Hmm, I was aiming at the fact that some of Beast merits seemed to make you able to skip the original merit by merit of having a Power that was effectively reflecting it. So maybe:
              "Resolve 4, Indomitable or [Supernatural ability comparable to Indomitable]"?
              I personally also think that always requiring it is better.

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              • #8
                I'll add in my contribution later, but I'd be interested if someone could possibly come up with an Advanced (or, for bonus points, Epic) version of a Merit like Barfly.

                [Placeholder for my contribution]


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #9
                  Maybe higher "degrees" of Barfly allow you to actually integrate yourself into the scene, first by cold reading and fast talk and later on by actually altering people's memories?

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                  • #10
                    Barfly is high on my list on "to Advance". 1st Edition Barfly was extremely boring. 2nd Edition Barfly is amazing.
                    Another merits I'm interested in:
                    a) Takes One to Know One
                    b) Sympathetic
                    c) Untouchable

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is this too much? This seemed like a fitting Merit for the Fairest in 2ED, what with their themes of leadership and martyrdom. Just replace Resolve + Composure with Wits + Composure, since the latter is what changelings now roll to maintain Clarity.

                      Inspiring (Advanced, •••)
                      Prerequisite: Inspiring, Presence ••••

                      Your character's words are so encouraging that they can help others ignore emotional and mental Conditions and deal with Breaking Points. Spend 1 willpower point and roll Presence + Expression, with the same penalties of the normal version of the Merit. Should the roll me made during combat or a similarly dangerous situation, increase each penalty by one. On a Success, those affected can ignore Conditions like Broken, Fugue and Madness for the rest of the scene. Your character can also let those affected by his words re-roll for a Breaking Point made within the scene, ignoring the penalties of the first roll. On an Exceptional Success, two Conditions may be ignored and a re-roll achieves an Exceptional Success with 3 Successes. This Merit does not affect physical Conditions.

                      Drawback: Pulling others from the brink of insanity and despair is not easy, and it can take a toll on your character's mind if they have to do it often. If they use this Merit more times than their Resolve in a [Chapter or Story, not sure which is more balanced], they must roll for a Breaking Point at a -3 penalty at the end of the scene where they exceeded their limit, and a Failure becomes a Dramatic Failure automatically (a Beat is still earned).


                      Let Him Speak.

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                      • #12
                        Here's my first contribution for this thread. Also, you mind if I link the main post to my Homebrew Hub?

                        -+-

                        Patient [Advanced] (o to ooo)
                        Prerequisites: Patient
                        Effect: Patience is a Virtue, and your meticulous care and focus in a task not only helps you get more work done, but also mitigate some of the mistakes that might be made. Each dot not only allows you to make an additional roll above what your Attribute + Skill would allow, but also lets you suffer no negative consequences from a single failed roll.


                        "My Homebrew Hub"
                        Age of Azar
                        The Kingdom of Yamatai

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A little contribution from me building off of something from Claire Renfield's thread.

                          Helping Hand (o - ooooo)
                          Prerequisite:
                          Medium (Advanced), Occult ***, Specialty in appropriate Ephemeral Beings
                          Effect: When targeting an Ephemeral Being with a ritual using the Medium Merit, they can ease the Ephemeral Being's transition into the mortal world above and beyond what even the Ephemeral Being could accomplish on its own. For every dot in this Merit, choose a Manifestation effect. When the Medium has provided the appropriate prerequisite Condition, they may spend a number of points of Willpower, or suffer a number of points of Bashing Damage, equal to the Essence necessary to activate the Manifestation. This does allow a Medium with this Merit keyed to the appropriate Manifestation to open an Avernian Gate, tear a hole in the Gauntlet, become Claimed, or forcibly Discorporate an Ephemeral Being. If the Spirit doesn't want to Claim the Medium, or if the Medium uses Discorporate, roll the Medium's Presence + Occult against the Ephemeral Being's Resistance + Rank.
                          Drawback: Opening up such a channel to the powers of Ephemeral Beings make them far more vulnerable to those same powers. The character with this Merit always has the Open Condition, and the Ephemeral Being may ignore up to their dots in this Merit in terms of points of Essence spent to affect this character.


                          My Homebrew Hub

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                          • #14
                            I like Patient. Helping Hand looks good, but I can't really comment on the balance, because I don't remember all the related rules. I will add both later to the main post.

                            Vice Ridden (Advanced, •• or •••) by WHW
                            Prerequisites: Vice-Ridden, Willpower ••••••
                            Effect: You embraced your vices and became a master of them. For you, they are something more than necessary evil, than simply an anchor for your personality to stay itself. They are tools and your best friends, something you can rely on and call on in case of need.
                            At ••, you may gain benefits of a Willpower point without actually spending it, as long as the act you are enhancing is aligned to either of your Vices. This may happen once per scene, and it does count towards normal limit of how many Willpower points you may spend at once.
                            At
                            •••, act on which you use this ability can be considered an Exceptional Success at 3 successes instead of 5. You may also choose to apply Rote Quality to that roll instead of normal benefits of spending a Willpower point.

                            Virtuous (Advanced, •• or •••) by WHW
                            Prerequisites: Virtuous, Willpower ••••••
                            Effect: You embraced your virtues and became a master of them. For you, they are something more than just an ideal to strive for, more than a reminder of how world should be. They are powerful convictions you can wield like a sword and shield while aiming for your goals.
                            At ••, you may gain benefits of a Willpower point without actually spending it, as long as the act you are enhancing is aligned to either of your Virtues. This may happen once per scene, and it does count towards normal limit of how many Willpower points you may spend at once.
                            At
                            •••, act on which you use this ability can be considered an Exceptional Success at 3 successes instead of 5. You may also choose to apply Rote Quality to that roll instead of normal benefits of spending a Willpower point.

                            A pair of Advanced Merits to make these core, very interesting merits, a more practical and gameplay impacting choice. I didn't want to just make it "as advanced version, just pick more vices!", because I thought it would be
                            a) overkill
                            b) not very interesting from gameplay point of view
                            So I tried to make it so that after investing 5 points into these, you basically get a minor power that reshapes your gameplay towards playing around your vices/virtues. I still think it's not that powerful, and might bring down cost points to 1-2 from 2-3, because it stills feels somewhat unimpressive for a 5 points total merit tree, probably due to "once per scene" limitation. On the other hand, this probably can be super powerful in games where there is little time to regain your resources and scenes switch so often.

                            Also, I would be glad if people posting their merits could follow following template, so I can just copy paste their job into the main post without much work


                            Merit Name (Advanced, • required) by Name of person who made it
                            Prerequisites:
                            Effect:
                            Drawback:

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Xenorath View Post
                              Indomitable (Advanced, •••)
                              Prerequisite: Beast, Resolve ••••
                              Your character can shrug off mental attacks that most would easily succumb to. Anytime you spend a point of Willpower to contest an effect that Indomitable would add a bonus to, add five dice to the dicepool instead of the usual three. Your character may also spend a point of willpower to subtract three dice from the monster’s dicepool if the roll is resisted instead of 2.
                              I like this. I would alter it a bit for my own purposes to something like this:

                              Indomitable (Advanced, •••)
                              Prerequisite: Beast, Resolve ••••
                              Your character can shrug off mental attacks that most would easily succumb to. Anytime you spend a point of Willpower to contest an effect that Indomitable would add a bonus to, add your Resolve to the dicepool instead of the usual three. Your character may also spend a point of willpower to subtract three dice from the monster’s dicepool if the roll is resisted instead of 2. If you resist a supernatural effect that indomitable would add a bonus to, you are immune to that effect from all sources for the rest of the scene.

                              This is the version I was working with, sort of a combination of Indomitable and Iron Will.

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