While the Traits referred to in this chapter are universal, some venues have Abilities, Backgrounds, Merits, and Flaws that remain specific to those venues, and as such will be addressed in the appropriate venue supplement (if not their venue MET rulebook).
Any Ability, Background, power, etc. for a player character that requires the creation of new rules mechanics requires Top Approval. Any Ability, Background, power, etc. for a player character that requires tabletop rules to be translated into Mind's Eye Theater format requires Top Approval. Any other items not covered in the Sanctioned source material (or supplement) for a character's venue, automatically defaults to Top Approval. Once this Approval is obtained, it requires Top Approval for another to learn the item in question from your character. Example: A Giovanni creates a new Necromancy Ritual. This Ritual requires Top Approval to enter play, and it requires Top Approval for another Necromancer to learn this Ritual from a Necromancer who possesses it.
These Ability descriptions, and those in Dark Epics, override any found in other venue sourcebooks
The Storyteller may award free Traits of Lore Abilities to a character at its creation, based upon the character's history. The total Traits of Lore given in this manner cannot exceed the player's Member Class, though characters made by MC 1 and MC 2 players can always have up to three such Traits. Once per month, a Storyteller may award one Trait of Lore to a character without an Experience Trait cost. This award must be noted in the Experience Trait log for the character. Level four and level five Lores may not be awarded in this fashion. In the case of Lores awarded without Experience Trait cost prior to this rules set, Lores of level one, two, or three require no Experience Trait purchase to keep, but Lores of level four or level five do require the expenditure of an Experience Trait for each such level.
If a character gains a Background during play (keeping it more than a month), Experience Traits must be spent to pay for it. If a character loses a Background (or levels of) during play, those lost levels are held in reserve in case the character should later reacquire or develop more levels of that Background during play. Influences do not follow this restriction.
Unless otherwise noted, each Background is limited to five Traits, although those representing items (such as Treasures or Fetishes) or specific people (such as Companion or Retainers) are only limited to five Traits per item / person. Influences do not follow this restriction.
Characters may not purchase more than five levels of any given Influence at character creation, although levels may rise as high as level ten through the course of play. Mid Approval is required for a character to have Influence in any given category above level five. Each Influence category within a city should not have more than one character with level ten, two characters with level nine, and three characters with level eights. This recommended total is inclusive of all venues within the city. Thus, in a Domain that offers Cam/Anarch, Garou, and Mage, one could find a Ventrue with Political 10, a Glass Walker with Finance 10, and a Hermetic with Occult 10, and it is recommended that no other character in this Domain, in any Venue, possess ten levels of the Political, Finance, or Occult Influences.
For the Camarilla's Sanctioned games, characters may use a number of actions each month (not session) equal to his or her Influence level. No more than twenty actions can be spent towards a single endeavor in any given month, including all actions spent for modifications. Players should register actions with their local Storyteller who will moderate their interaction with other Influences if necessary.
The example given in Dark Epics for Attack contradicts the system described. Banked Growth actions are lost if the Attack is successful. Ignore the example that allows the Attacked player to spend Banked actions as the result of a successful Attack.
A character cannot possess more then seven Traits of Merits nor take Free Traits from more then seven Traits of Flaws. Example: a vampire could take both Disease Carrier and Thin Blood as flaws, but would only gain seven (not eight) Traits for doing so. If a Merit or Flaw is no longer applicable to the character, the Storyteller should assign an appropriate number of Merit or Flaw Traits as replacements. This also applies if the Storyteller feels that the Merit or Flaw is being abused or ignored. These limitations may be surpassed with Top Approval.
Players may not choose Flaws that describe qualities already inherent to the character, such as a Lasombra antitribu taking the Dark Secret Flaw: "true clan" while pretending to be a Brujah, or a Silent Strider taking the Haunted Flaw, or an Ahl-I-Batin taking Sphere Inept: Entropy.
Bonus Traits granted by Merits or Flaws do not apply to challenges involving supernatural powers. Exceptions are noted in the appropriate venue supplement.
Below are listed some clarifications and additions to Merits and Flaws for all venues. If the description and/or cost of a Merit or Flaw differs between this source and the Mind's Eye Theatre source book appropriate to the character's venue, use what is listed in this supplement.
Some Merits and Flaws like Spirit Mentor and Haunted bring wraith NPCs into play. 'Common' NPC wraiths use the base statistics for a wraith (per the rules in Oblivion) without any Backgrounds, Merits, Flaws, or benefits from Membership Class. They have no starting Arcanoi, but can buy Innate Abilities or the first Basic level of an Arcanoi with Free Traits. 'Common' may never possess the second Basic, or any higher, Arcanoi. They may not have anything that requires Mid, High, or Top Approval. The Sharpened Senses power of such wraiths allows them to test against Basic level powers of concealment. Storytellers must moderate the interactions of wraith NPCs in the Sanctioned Chronicle. (See Chapter One for further rules on NPCs.)
Ability Aptitude [1 Trait Merit]
You have a natural affinity for a particular (but not combat related) Ability. You are up 2 Traits on all tests directly related to that Ability only (not with powers that would use the Ability for a retest). This bonus only applies to a single Ability (for those that require a specific focus such as Performance or Science).
Ambidextrous [1 Trait Merit]
You are equally skilled at using either hand. You do not suffer the normal two Trait penalty for performing actions with your off hand. In addition, you do not need to have the prerequisite number of Ability levels appropriate to a weapon in order to get the advantage of using two weapons (or a shield) in combat.
This Merit is not used in the Sanctioned Chronicle.
Iron Will [3 Trait Merit]
This Merit gives the character a free retest when attempting to resist Dominate and Dementation, or when fending off other mind-influencing powers. You get three bonus Traits against magic or Thaumaturgy that both influences your mind and requires a Mental Challenge.
Luck/Lucky [3 Trait Merit]
The character gets a free retest once per session on any non-combat challenge.
Magic Resistance [2 Trait Merit]
The Traits granted by this Merit are an exception to the above rule that prohibits Merit-granted Traits from affecting challenges for supernatural powers.
Mistaken Identity [1 Trait Flaw]
Resemblance with this Flaw to an actual player character requires permission of the player who portrays it (or the Storyteller responsible in the case of a NPC).
Natural Linguist [2 Trait Merit]
You have a remarkable grasp of any languages that you speak or write (as per your Linguistics Ability). You gain 3 bonus Traits on all challenges related to language. You also know twice the number of languages that your level of the Linguistics Ability would normally allow.
This Merit requires High Approval. Each "life" used must be reported to the Approval Storyteller.
Quiet Heart [4 Trait Merit]
This Merit gives the character a free retest when attempting to resist Presence and Fascination, or when fending off other emotion- influencing powers. You get three bonus Traits against magic or Thaumaturgy that both influences your emotions and requires a Social Challenge. If a Presence user has Superior levels, this Merit only works if the defender is a vampire of eighth generation or better.
Supernatural Ally [3 Trait Merit]
You maintain a secret relationship with another supernatural creature, maybe even a Type from another venue. Sometimes you must go to some lengths to maintain your friendship with this creature, and to keep your relationship secret. In return, he will sometimes perform small favors for you. This ally is not your retainer. It is created and controlled entirely by the Storyteller.
This Merit requires Approval one degree less than would be needed to play a creature of the same Type if it is from same venue, or High Approval if it is from a different venue. For example, a Bone Gnawer character could take a Ratkin ally with Mid Approval, since Ratkin normally require High Approval to be played in the Garou venue. A Nosferatu would need High Approval to have the same Ratkin (or the Bone Gnawer) as an ally, since they are from a different venue. Top Approval Types require Top Approval as an ally in any venue.
True Faith [7 Trait Merit]
This Merit requires High Approval. Traits of True Faith beyond the first cost three Experience Traits each and must receive High Approval before being purchased. Use the rules for True Faith as found in Laws of the Hunt: Revised, pages 267 through 272.
This Merit requires High Approval.
The Camarilla's Sanctioned chronicle uses the simplified weapon and armor statistics presented in Dark Epics, beginning on page 81. High Approval is required for any weapon or armor whose statistics do not match those listed.
When spending a Willpower Trait to replenish all lost Traits in a category (Physical, Social, or Mental), each given category may only be replenished once in any game session.
Expending a Willpower Trait allows a retest to defend against a Mental or Social Challenge; it does not automatically negate the challenge. This may not be used for such challenges as those involving perception, using Mental Traits with Firearms, or Mental versus Physical Challenges. It may not be used to retest challenges that are the result of a character's own power (such as Auspex), even if he is the challenge's defender (such as with Majesty).
Willpower may not be used to automatically succeed in Static Challenges or Simple Tests.