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Advanced Merits Homebrew Collaboration

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  • #16
    Untouchable (Advanced, Style) by WHW
    Prerequisites: Intelligence •••, Untouchable
    Effect: You are a criminal mastermind. Spider carefully spinning their web to catch their unsuspecting victims and poison them when they least suspect it. Your methodology exceeds simply being careful or paranoid; your efforts stop being purely defensive, and become an active (though sometimes slow) offense. You become a predator hiding behind a charming smile.

    Spinning The Web (•)
    Prerequisites: Subterfuge •••
    Simply shaking pursuers off your tail is not enough. Instead of simply erasing your trail, you set up traps; whenever you succeed on a action that could potentially mislead someone and reinforce narrative you desire, you may immediately and reflexively spend a Willpower point to put your plan in motion. When someone actively interacts with your trap, compare their lowest appropriate Perception trait (which is usually built using Wits and Composure) to lower between your Intelligence and Manipulation. If your trait is equal or higher than theirs, they gain a Tainted Clue towards you or your operations, even if they are not actively Investigating these subjects. You may equalize the difference between your Intelligence and Manipulation by accepting a -2 penalty to planting the trap for each dot you are trying to "make up" for. Using this ability in general requires you to somehow "Taint" or "poison" a source of information - create a really good impression on someone who will then talk about it to someone else, plant a fake dairy, trick someone into thinking that they correctly read you during a conversation; in any case, it should require some kind of a roll and shouldn't be used more than once per Scene. Trap remains forever until it's dismantled; a fake diary is proven to be fake, someone who helps you maintain your mask realizes your true self, you slip up and contradict yourself.

    Spider's Venom (••)
    Prerequisites: Empathy•••
    You gain a firm grasp on your victims. If someone is harboring a Tainted Clue about you, you may spend a Willpower point during interaction with them to activate this ability. How it works depends on a type of the roll involved:
    - If the roll is contested, or simple and rolling party is the victim, Tainted Clues affect the roll as if it was a Investigation Roll. If it brings the number of successes to less than 0, count the roll as a Dramatic Failure.
    - If the roll is simple and you are the rolling party, if you achieve at least one success on your own, count each Tainted Clue as a extra success.
    In case of Social Maneuvering, you may also move up your impression level by one.
    Additionally, in order to remove a element from your Tainted Clue, your victims need to actually succeed on a roll involving penalty from it.

    Emergency Thread (•••):
    Prerequisites: Willpower ••••••
    You understand the need of escape route and that sometimes, it's better to let it go and lose a battle, while aiming to win a war. You might lose your current web, but what do you prefer - getting eaten, or just restarting your plans?
    Whenever someone succeeds on a action that might somehow prove fatal to you, you may use this ability. It immediately grants you an opportunity to escape and reduces the damage done to you just enough to let you survive. In exchange, you remove at least one Tainted Clue from your opponent, and give him a 3 Element Clue about you; this Clue is special, because rolls that use it ignore your Tainted Clues and all associated effects. They also prevent you from using this ability, making them perfect for dealing the final blow.
    While this might work in combat - by using up an emergency plan that you prepared beforehand - it's usually used in social and mental situations, where someone is just a hair away from revealing your true nature and staking your heart. Using this ability represents a carefully prepared safety plan which is somehow painful for you; you give up something important, precious or useful to you as a consequence of activating it, which might trigger a Breaking Point. It may also create an adverse, hard-to-get-rid-of condition reflecting your loss and damage taken.
    You may use this ability once per game session.

    Silken Grave (••••)
    Prerequisites: Investigation •••
    You become a true criminal mastermind, a chessmaster playing both sides of the chessboard, a godly spider sitting on a throne made from cocooned corpses. Your understanding of your victims movements allow you to perceive, predict and control of their actions to the point where it's almost like you are leading them by hand to their grave.
    This ability allos you to use your opponent's Incomplete and Tainted Clues as if they were Clues gathered by you. Once per scene, if you achieve an Exceptional Success with help of these elements, do not remove them from their clues.

    A big, powerful, almost epic advanced style that rides off the Untouchable merit. I really like Untouchable, but as it interacts mostly with *players* side of Investigation system, it isn't very useful for a player character; I've always felt like it's more of a NPC merit. This is an attempt at both making it more playable for PCs and creating a insidious style for devilish masterminds npcs; for that second reason, I've tried to make sure that each merit provides mechanics to be both used by the player, and against the player.
    Last edited by WHW; 03-17-2016, 12:42 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by WHW View Post
      Added it, if you don't mind! Are you happy with how it looks?
      Looks good to me.

      Originally posted by Amravanti View Post
      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.
      I really like this seeing has how it makes it stronger for monsters that can raise their Resolve above 5, but at the same time I think rolling 4 dice instead of 5 isn't good enough and I don't want people feeling like they have to keep on jacking their Resolve up to get their money's worth. Maybe something like that could be used for an Epic version of that merit, although it would need more than that to work. This might be too broken, but maybe something like this?

      Indomitable (Epic, ••••)
      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.
      Last edited by Xenorath; 03-22-2016, 06:27 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by WHW View Post
        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:
        I gave this a Like the day you posted it, but something occurred to me only now. I would remove Vice-Ridden and Virtuous from the prerequisites (which technically makes these Merits not Advanced, but that's not as important as what they do). That way, characters with only one Virtue or one Vice can still draw power from them. The minimum Willpower of 6 already conveys that you need some backbone to get these Merits. That's it, really. They are really cool ideas.


        Let Him Speak.

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        • #19
          Hmm. I'll think about it. I hoped for some extra ammo for Advanced Merits with Mage release, but no such thing happened. Need to copy paste some of the merits that were posted to the main post, too.
          Need to meditate on this.

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          • #20
            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

            Edit: Sorry, better idea here - a Proximi would get 1 blessing per dot regardless of the blessings level level. A mage ports over fine in this case.
            Last edited by Jakondite; 05-18-2016, 04:51 AM. Reason: Forgot to put the dot ratings

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            • #21
              ​Hey, WHW, can you please add these, and update my username in the OP?

              EDIT: Check post #29 in this thread.
              Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-29-2019, 03:08 PM.


              Let Him Speak.

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              • #22
                I'll do that when I will get back to my PC, so I can edit it properly. I will comment on it too.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by WHW View Post
                  I'll do that when I will get back to my PC, so I can edit it properly. I will comment on it too.
                  So, do you have any feedback for Advanced and Epic Unseen Sense yet?

                  EDIT: Also, what did you think about removing the Virtuous and Vice-Ridden prerequisites for your Advanced versions so characters with one Virtue/Vice can use them?
                  Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 01-07-2017, 10:16 AM.


                  Let Him Speak.

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                  • #24
                    WHW, I decided to redo my Advanced and Epic versions of Inspired. I will also offer an alternate version of the Epic Iron Skin. Could you please add these to the original post?

                    EDIT: Check post #29 in this thread.
                    Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-29-2019, 03:07 PM.


                    Let Him Speak.

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                    • #25
                      Based on the Thrown Weapons Fighting Style from Hurt Locker, for those who wants to play Bullseye from the comics.

                      Thrown Weapons (Style, Advanced, ••••)
                      Prerequisites: Strength •••, Athletics ••••, Thrown Weapons ••
                      Uncanny Precision (•): When aiming for specified targets, decrease the penalty by the dots in this Merit, to a minimum of 0.
                      Impalement Master (••): Additional Prerequisite: Impalement Arts Maneuver. You no longer lose Defense when attempting the Impalement Arts Maneuver.
                      Scatter (•••): If holding a handful of Size 0 projectiles, such as bolts or pebbles, you may throw them at several closely grouped targets. If you do so, treat the attack as a Medium Burst with a -1L weapon. Each target applies Defense.
                      Motion Blur (••••): By spending a point of Willpower you can fling aerodynamic objects or objects with Size 1 with such speed the opponent doesn't get to apply Defense unless that Defense also applies to firearms.
                      Last edited by Tessie; 11-30-2017, 11:31 AM.


                      Bloodline: The Stygians
                      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                      • #26
                        I'd like to get some feedback. Does it feel like it's a good Merit? Maybe some of the dots should be transferred to the basic Thrown Weapons?


                        Bloodline: The Stygians
                        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                        Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                        • #27
                          I'd give it some sort of supernatural prerequisite honestly. Like, Cleareyes kith or having Auspex.


                          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post


                            Unseen Sense (Advanced, ••) by GibberingEloquence

                            Unseen Sense (Epic, •••) by GibberingEloquence.
                            I wrote my own versions, but when I was about to post I saw this version. Still gonna post mine, but quoting just to make sure I don't ignore it.

                            Unseen Sense (Advanced, ••)
                            Prerequisites: Unseen Sense, Wits •••
                            Whenever a subject of the character's Unseen Sense is using a supernatural power to hide or disguise themselves they automatically enters a Clash of Wills. The character rolls Wits + Composure against a fitting dice pool, such as Blood Potency + Obfuscate for a vampire, or Wyrd + Manipulation to see a changelings Mien instead of Mask. If the roll fails not even the character's regular Unseen Sense triggers, unless the subject isn't actively hiding their nature (such as a mage using a spell to disguise themselves visually).
                            Drawback: If the Clash of Wills is successful, the character immediately sees the creature for what it really is, without seeing its supernatural mask. This can be quite disorienting when nobody else sees the insanely obvious animated skeleton walking in the middle of the crowd.

                            Unseen Sense (Epic, ••••)
                            Prerequisites: Unseen Sense (Advanced), Wits ••••
                            The character gains both 9 Again and Rote Action on all rolls to recognize the chosen supernatural creature. This includes both the Clash of Wills roll for seeing through supernatural powers, and rolls to see through mundane disguises. This does not include any rolls to recognize lies or motives, unless the subject is lying about not being the supernatural creature.


                            Bloodline: The Stygians
                            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                            • #29
                              Professional Training (Advanced, •••)
                              Prerequisite: Professional Training •••••
                              Your character is unprecedentedly adroit at a given profession. He gains a fourth Asset Skill, and all of his Asset Skills now receive 8 Again.
                              Drawback: This level of training represents people with an unhealthy, obsessive dedication. It is far too common for such individuals to develop serious work-related neuroses. They suffer from the Addicted Condition in relation to their profession, or another Condition with ST approval.

                              Untouchable (Advanced, ••)
                              Prerequisite: Untouchable •
                              Effect: Attempts to use the Investigations System against the character are penalized by his Subterfuge.

                              Aura Reading (Advanced, • To •••••)
                              Prerequisite: Aura Reading, Wits •••, Empathy ••
                              Your capacity to notice the true nature of others is honed to a fine edge. Add dots in this Merit to the activation roll for Aura Reading. Furthermore, you may see through active supernatural powers of concealment, illusion and deceit with a Clash Of Wills using Wits + Empathy + Dots in this Merit. This does not work on passive abilities, such as a Changeling's Mask or the Cover of an Unchained.

                              Aura Reading (Epic, • To •••••)
                              Prerequisite: Aura Reading (Advanced •••), Wits ••••, Empathy •••
                              Once per scene, you may use Aura Reading without spending Willpower. Any successful use of Aura Reading also gives the Informed Condition (Target's Emotions). Last but not least, you understand the target so deeply that you can accurately predict their next few moves. You may "rewind" time a number of turns equal to your Dots in this Merit, which represents you seeing the immediate future and averting it. This may only be done once each chapter and may trigger a Clash Of Wills using your Wits + Empathy + Dots in this Merit.
                              Drawback: Using the rewind effect inflicts the Shaken Condition.

                              Inspiring (Advanced, ••)
                              Prerequisites: Inspiring, Presence •••, Expression ••
                              Effect: When Resolving the Inspired Condition, targets also gain a bonus equal to your Presence.
                              Drawback: You must spend 1 Willpower point, which does not add dice.

                              Inspiring (Epic, ••)
                              Prerequisites: Advanced Inspiring, Presence ••••, Expression •••
                              Effect: When Resolving the Inspired Condition, the targets who get an Exceptional Success suffer the Charmed Condition (see Beast: The Primordial, page 322). Use your Presence instead of Lair, and do not trigger a Clash Of Wills.
                              Drawback: If you suffer a Dramatic Failure, you gain the Notoriety Condition. This is in addition to the cost of the Advanced version.

                              Unseen Sense (Advanced, • To •••••)
                              Prerequisites: Unseen Sense, Wits •••, Occult ••
                              Effect: The character can now use her Unseen Sense to actively search for the chosen type of supernatural. By spending 1 willpower point and rolling Wits + Occult + Dots in this Merit, she gains a rough understanding of the distance and direction of the nearest relevant supernatural (or a specific one she knows by name, even if it is a fake identity). On an Exceptional Success, she knows the target's exact location and she adds Dots in this Merit on Investigations and Chases involving the target during the scene. This does not allow the character to see through supernatural powers of concealment, illusion and deceit (use Advanced Aura Reading for that).
                              Drawback: The character gains the Spooked Condition as with the normal version, and supernaturals will want to know why she was looking for them.

                              Unseen Sense (Epic, • To •••••)
                              Prerequisites: Unseen Sense (Advanced •••), Wits ••••, Occult •••
                              Effect: The character may use the Advanced version of Unseen Sense without spending Willpower. Investigations and Chases involving the relevant supernatural receive Exceptional Success with 3 Successes. She does not need to look for the nearest viable target or one she knows by name: all such creatures within her [Wits x 200] meters are valid targets. Supernatural attempts to ambush her trigger a Clash Of Wills against her Wits + Occult + Dots in this Merit.
                              Drawback: After using Epic Unseen Sense, she suffers a penalty to her next Perception roll equal to Dots in Epic Unseen Sense.
                              Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-29-2019, 03:47 PM.


                              Let Him Speak.

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