Mage/Merits

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Mage.png House Rules: Merits

The core Mage rules are intended for tabletop play rather than a persistent venue, so special considerations may be necessary to facilitate play in a MU* environment. Clarifications provide further detail or amend an existing rule. Administration will provide a reason whenever a ruling occurs. Established rulings are subject to change.


Navigation : Approved Content -- Ancient Echoes -- Consecrated Marking -- Cryptopoly -- Dead Zone -- Labyrinth
Martial Finesse Masque -- Mystery Initiation -- Renown -- Stygian Reckoning -- Supernal Fortitude
Volva's Blessing -- Woven in Flesh


Approved and Non-Approved Content

Approved Content:

  • Merits: A full list of Merits approved for use.

Non-Approved:

  • Fighting Styles (all)
  • Proximi
  • Sleepwalker
  • Sleepwalker Retainer


Ancient Echoes

Ancient Echoes (● to ●●●●●)

Prerequisites: Awakened, CharGen only or with Admin approval

Effect: Some mages have stronger connections to the past than others. You can capture snatches of memories of your past history in the Fallen World, possibly through reincarnation, memory absorption or a stranger manifestation. The Invisible College, for example, is said to unlock mysteries through their dangerous collection of books stored at Iona.

This Merit offers hazy glimpses of memory or a strong sensation. Experiences can be disturbing or traumatic to the affected mage. Past lives cannot be summoned at will, but some mages practice deep meditation techniques to recognize the onset or signs of past life reflections. True exploration of the past and the psyche, however, requires the Time or Mind Arcana.

Deja Vu (*): You experience a sudden sense of having done or witnessed something in a past life up to 100 years ago. This is simply a feeling or an impression, and it is not often clear.

Memory's Thin Walls (**): Your recollections extends back as far as 200 years ago. Recent insights are clearer, while details extending back decades or centuries are weakened impressions, similar to Deja Vu (*)'s impressions.

Memory's Open Door (***): You recall other times, habits, and places extending back as far as 400 years ago. Older impressions come to you in hazy, vague glimpses or sensations. Newer events can sometimes spur a flash of memory. You sometimes experience premonitions based on past events, and these can be quite traumatic.

Stepping Backwards (****): Your recollections potentially reach as far back as the Dark Ages, though the older the memory, the more likely it is to be a snippet of an impression or a sensation. The amount you remember varies substantially. This Merit does not supercede the Time Arcanum, and sketchy details or erroneous impressions are common.

The Chambers of Memory (*****): You may have hazy memories from the classical period and beyond. Quite often these take the form of symbolic hallucinations or harrowing dreams rife with unclear, non-literal meanings. But these insights can be powerful indeed.

Drawback: At no time can this Merit give insight or glimpses of Atlantis or the future. That level of power is said to be the purview of the Exarchs, Oracles, and a few blessed/cursed Acanthus.


Consecrated Marking

Consecrated Marking (●●)

Prerequisites: Status (Steel Legion) ●●●, three Order rote skills at ●●+

Effect: The mage gains a +1 bonus to a chosen Order rote skill when he uses the magical tattoo on his body. The affected skill is selected when purchasing this Merit, and cannot be changed. This bonus stacks with the +1 specialization granted by all Orders. The tattoo must be displayed as he casts.

This merit is common for senior members of the Steel Legion to bestow on Legionnaires who commit great acts of service and humility in the name of their oaths.


Cryptopoly

Cryptopoly (●, ●●●, ●●●●●)

Prerequisite: Status (Silver Ladder) ●● (1-dot version), ●●● (3-dot version) or ●●●●● (5-dot version)

Effect: The mage is affiliated with an established cryptopoly. Multiple mages may purchase the Cryptology Merit in the same organization, but the Merit is not pooled and benefits cannot be shared. The details for the group, including its focus, membership, and purpose, must be approved by the admins before the benefits of this Merit are conferred.

This Merit may be purchased multiple times to reflect involvement in different Cryptopolies. However, Silver Ladder mages are usually involved only with one.

Dots Sample Benefit
You gain a minor benefit equal to one free Skill specialization or an extra one-dot Merit.
●●● You gain a median benefit such as a +1 bonus to a specific Skill, the option to purchase Allies or Contacts at reduced cost, or a bonus to an existing network Merit.
●●●●● You gain access to a 3-dot Merit or a limited version of a 4-dot Merit, even if you wouldn't normally be able to buy it.


Dead Zone

Dead Zone (● to ●●●●●)

Prerequisite: Sanctum

Effect: A Dead Zone is a null spot, a natural place where the Lie is the strongest. An inversion of a Hallow, these locations strip enchantments and prevent spellcasting except from the strongest of mages. They are often situated in low places, sometimes subterranean vaults or deep chasms, but a Dead Zone can feasibly occur anywhere. The Guardians of the Veil alone among the Orders seek and tend these places as secure meeting sites.

Each dot of the Merit imposes a penalty against casting within the zone. For this reason, mages often find a Dead Zone by accident.

The Dead Zone's rating acts as a Counterspell on all spells with a potency equal to the dots held in Potency against enchantments already held upon a mage's pattern.

Special: Hallows and Dead Zones cannot exist in the same place. Characters who share a sanctum can also share Dead Zone dots. Invested points are lost if the cabal breaks up or members lose access.


Labyrinth

Labyrinth (●, ●●●, ●●●●●)

Prerequisite: Status (Guardians of the Veil) ●● (1-dot version), ●●● (3-dot version) or ●●●●● (5-dot version)

Effect: The mage is affiliated with an established Labyrinth. Multiple mages may purchase the Labyrinth Merit in the same organization, but the Merit is not pooled and benefits cannot be shared. The details for the group, including its focus, membership, and purpose, must be approved by the admins before the benefits of this Merit are conferred.

At Status (Order) ●●●, a Guardian may purchase the Merit multiple times to reflect involvement in different Labyrinths.

Dots Sample Benefit
You gain a minor benefit equal to one free Skill specialization or an extra one-dot Merit.
●●● You gain a median benefit such as a +1 bonus to a specific Skill, the option to purchase Allies or Contacts at reduced cost, or a bonus to an existing network Merit.
●●●●● You gain access to a 3-dot Merit or a limited version of a 4-dot Merit, even if you wouldn't normally be able to buy it.


Martial Finesse

Martial Finesse (●●)

Prerequisite: Dexterity ●●● and Brawl ●●

Effect: Your character excels in brawling in a manner that favors agility over power. With that one unarmed combat technique (kicking or punching, for example), you may substitute your character's Dexterity for Strength when making attack rolls.

This Merit may be purchased multiple times for different techniques, one for each purchase.


Masque

Masque (●●)

Change: The cost of Masque is increased to ●●.

Effect: The maximum number of times a Guardian of the Veil may purchase this Merit equals his Gnosis + Status (Order). Otherwise, the Masque Merit is as described in Guardians of the Veil.


Mystery Initiation

Mystery Initiation (● to ●●●●●)

Prerequisite: Status (Invisible College) equal to Mystery Initiation dots

Effect: The mage has undergone a stage in the Atlantean Mystery rite preserved by St. Columba. She gains unique understanding revealed by the initiation. This Merit can be lost if the mage withdraws from the Invisible College, falls into disgrace or loses Status (Order).

Titles: What initiates of that level are called.


Dots Title Benefits
Reader, first-degree +1 to research rolls
●● Scriptor, second-degree Add Status (Order) to social rolls with other Columbines.
●●● Armarius, third-degree Eidetic Memory pertaining to the Invisible College and its members.
●●●● Precentor, fourth-degree Considered to always cast with a magical tool.
●●●●● Dean, fifth-degree Unknown. (ST discretion)


Renown

Renown (● to ●●●●●)

Effect: You have gained a measure of recognition apart from your social and political dedication in Awakened society as a whole. This Merit is gained by heroic deeds or nefarious acts that capture the attention of a community that performs miracles on a daily basis. Heracles' labours, overcoming the Sphinx's riddle or the Knights of the Round Table's quests qualify as examples of heroic renown. The Wise know your story and have an opinion about your actions; therefore, hushed up actions do not qualify. In short, Renown measures whether bards would have sung your deeds or medieval historians added your entry in their chronicle.

For example, Harry Dresden would have renown for annihilating the Red Court of Vampires or possessing a sword of the Knight of the Cross. He would not receive renown for activities performed under secrecy or in a realm where no mage witnesses them.

The legendary tales or infamous deeds of the Wise may spread through a region or multiple regions, and your name may grow to become renowned to mages everywhere. When a mage active in Awakened society encounters you, he makes a roll of his Intelligence + your Renown dots. On a success, you gain a +1 bonus to Socialize rolls against him. Depending on your reputation, you also gain this bonus to Persuasion (if known in a positive light) or Intimidation (if your fame slides towards infamy). This adds to any bonuses from your Status merits if the target would be impressed by the status as well.

Dots Rank
You are known by mages in the city you live in.
●● You are known by mages in the cities all around you.
●●● You are known to a subsection of a large country (e.g., a collection of states) or a smaller country (e.g., Spain)
●●●● You are known within a very large country (e.g., Canada) or a collection of smaller countries (e.g., the EU)
●●●●● You are known by Awakened throughout the world; you're a legend.


Stygian Reckoning

Stygian Reckoning (●)

Prerequisites: Survival ●●

Effect: Common among those of the Moros Path, this Merit represents a natural aptitude for subterranean environments. When surrounded in pitch dark conditions with tons of rock overhead, you feel at peace. You are comfortable navigating underground and feel almost comforted when in caverns and tunnels. You gain the 8-again quality on all rolls to navigate underground. This benefit also applies for enclosed spaces like Edinburgh's undercity and the crooked pathways of an Oneiros or Temenos realm.

Drawback: Whenever you roll Survival to navigate above ground, do not re-roll 10s. Your affinity for dark places leaves you uneasy aboveground.


Supernal Fortitude

Supernal Fortitude (●●)

Prerequisites: Gnosis ●●

Effect: A mage determines Spell Tolerance limits using a different Resistance attribute than Stamina. She must select Composure or Resolve, and once this change is made, the selection is permanent.


Volva's Blessing

Volva's Blessing (●●)

Prerequisites: Destiny ●●, Bergen Consilium origin

Effect: The stars aligned over you after the Heidr Volva spoke to Councilors of Bergen. For better or for worse, your future is linked to Edinburgh's. You dream of towers and celestial alignments moving through an opening sky, and those visions reinforce you in times of difficulty.

Once per chapter, you may reroll a single non-spellcasting roll after learning the results. All modifiers and bonuses apply, and you take the better of the two results.

Furthermore, all rolls to decipher your destiny gain a +1 bonus.

Drawback: This benefit only applies when your action would actively further the Bergen Consilium's aims to raise the Ocean Spire or protect the Royal Society.

For example, a mage fails a Larceny check to deactivate a lock on a tomb thought to contain critical information about the Ocean Spire. Thanks to the Volva's Blessing, he gets to reroll his pool. If he were trying to shoot someone who mugs him while he walks down the street, the roll would not apply. The benefit is gained if he were protecting the Provost, Dextra, against kidnapping by a Londinian mage.


Woven In Flesh

Woven In Flesh (●●)

Prerequisites: Status (Steel Legion) ●●, Stamina ●●●, at least two Order rote skills at ●●

Effect: As part of the Legion tempering, the Steel Legionnaire devotes his entire being, including his flesh, to the study of magic. He can use the ritualized tattoo as a magical tool as long as he exposes or touches it during spellcasting. He may subtract 1 dice from Paradox rolls when used in tandem with his consecrated tool.

Drawback: The marking replaces one category of magical tools; for example, a mage who uses his path's tool for his tattoo gains no bonus by consecrating any other objects to the Watchtower. Further, the tattoo adds a +2 bonus to attempt to sense his resonance.


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