Psychic Merits and Flaws Use of Merits and flaws is by no means mandatory.

In fact if your group is happy assuming character weaknesses and roleplaying their difficulties and strengths without some magical carrot on a stick, you are potentially better off without them. Liberal use of Merits and Flaws encourages goofy, weak, one not character concepts and min-maxing munchkin tweaks. On the other hand, they make extremely handy tools to customize your character in ways the bend the standard rules yet keep a universal reverence point for everyone playing the game. If your Storyteller sees them as tools rather than a pain in the ass, prove her right. Take them in small doses, and make sure you have a strong story motive for doing so. Otherwise, you may just be the straw that broke the camel's back and soured her on their presence in the game at all. Many of the following sample Merits and Flaws are intended to help show the special differences between psychics and other denizens of the World of Darkness, but read carefully some of them may be useful in other venues as well. Merit Black and White Detached Totem Twin Link Wild Talent Flaw Big Mouth Psi Focus Psychic Feedback Unsettling Effect Wild Talent Bonus 1 4 5 4/6 1-4 Cost 2 3/5 1/2/6 1 or 3 1-4 Location Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Location Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Sorcerer, Revised Ed Sorcerer, Revised Ed. Page 54 54 56 55 55 Page 57 57 56 57 55

Big Mouth: (2 pt Flaw) You talk too much, and it gets you into trouble. You tend to blurt out painful truths at inopportune times. At least once per high-tension social scene, you must speak your mind. You can avoid the pain and embarrassment this costs by spending 1 Willpower point. This flaw is particularly dangerous for information based psychics, who tend to blurt out other people’s secrets as readily as their own. Black and White: (1 pt Flaw) The world is really a collection of shades of gray, but your character doesn't see it that way. To you, everything is clear as black and white. You think in terms of people being either for or against you, hot or cold, good or evil, easy or impossible, stupid or genius. This closed mindset can cost you dearly in missed opportunities, misunderstandings and under or overstimulation of others. In social situations where your judgmental nature comes to bear which are more often than you might think, you suffer a one-point penalty to difficulties on rolls. This Flaw is particularly suited to pair with things like Code of Honour and other overly focusing Merits. Detached: (4 pt Merit) Your psychic has the rare ability to view his psychic abilities as separate from his physical existance and can maintain this distance even under adverse conditions. Wound penalties don't affect your use of psychic powers until your character reaches Incapacitated. If he's Incapacitated, then you may spend a Willpower point to use a psychic power at half the normal dice pool (rounded down). This action may be performed only once per scene, after which the character falls unconscious, so choose last-ditch efforts carefully. Psi Focus: (3 or 5 pt Flaw) Perhaps your psychic needs his lucky crystals to properly heal the sick. Possibly, his cyberkinetic powers require him to mime the action he wishes the machine to perform. Maybe his telekinesis

only works on a hubcap he found one afternoon. Either way, he requires some form of crutch for his psychic powers to work. For 3 points, the character must gesture or speak some catch phrase or incantation for the power to work. For 4 points, the power requires physical focus to work (crystals, a hypnotist's pocket watch, a harmonica). For 5 points, the power can only work with a specific focus, akin to a mage's unique focus. (See pages 202-203 of Mage Revised). Psychic Feedback: (1, 2 or 6 pt Flaw) While the psychic is gifted with potent powers, the use of the talent tires him. Some psychics even experience minor cerebral hemorrhages from the strain of using the power. As a 1 point Flaw, the character experiences headaches or dizziness from each use of the power. Roll Stamina + Meditation (difficulty 7) or experience a round of pain or disorientation. All actions while in this state are at a +2 to the difficulty number. As a 2 point Flaw, the psychic experiences minor long-term pain from use of the power. You should roll Intelligence (difficulty 6) to 'soak' the power's activation successes, which are scored as bashing damage. As a 6 point Flaw, the psychic takes this as lethal damage, though a 'mental soak' is still allowed. Psychic Ritual: (2 pt Merit) Your psychic is a true rarity amongst the pure practitioners of the Arts of mental magic. Some realization of the importance of the universe has crept into his consciousness sufficiently that he has even managed to create a ritual that allows him to perform some extended psychic effect. You need to create a ritual, approved by your Storyteller, for one of the levels of one of your characters psychic Paths. When your character performs this ritual, you may use the normal rules for rituals and extended magic rules, with minor necessary changes. Obviously, as your psychic does not gain Paradox, the penalty for a botch falls to the Storyteller, greatly increasing the horrific effects of the catastrophic failure. Your roll is limited to no more dice than your psychic's Stamina + Parapsychology. (In this case, you may roll simply your Stamina dice, even if you don't have Parapsychology Knowledge.) Totem: (5 pt Merit) A powerful spirit has taken a special interest in you. This is probably part of your shamanic path, but it is possible that the spirits have simply chosen you for some higher purpose. Maybe you are somehow related to one of the Changing Breeds. The spirit acts as a mentor, and all the normal rules for mentors apply, allowing the sorcerer to learn Abilities or Paths related to the nature of the spirit more easily. You should come to an agreement with your Storyteller as to a type of spirit that might adopt your sorcerer for what he can offer the natural world. Essentially, the spirit acts like any other mentor except that the wisdom it has to offer are mystical and cosmological beyond the ken of most masters. Unfortunately, its knowledge of the real world, outside of whatever its realm of dominion might be, is extremely limited, and it probably believes firmly in the concept of chiminage. (Chiminage is the idea that service between the material and the spiritual is the expected way that things work.) This attitude might be present in a mortal mentor, but it is sure to exist in a Totem. A more comprehensive version of this Merit (and the shamanic principles in general) can be found in the book The Spirit Ways. Twin Link: (4-6 pt Merit) Akin to the Mage Merit Twin Souls, the psychic shares a constant psychic bond with another person. This gives them the benefit of the Level Two Synergy effect. Additionally, the psychics joined by the Twin Link get +2 to their Empathy score but only with regards to what their twin is feeling. As a 6 pt Merit, the members of the Twin Link can purchase the power Synergy, in addition to other psychic powers they may have, at a cost of 7 freebie points per dot and 3 experience points per dot to raise. This Synergy power works only on the other member of the Twin Link. Unsettling Effect: (1 or 3 pt Flaw) Though many psychic powers are completely intangible and unnoticeable, something about your character’s psychic phenomena causes others to recognize that there is something weird going on. For one point, you have a single intangible power (like Telepathy or Psychometry) that generates an unsettling effect – perhaps your subjects can feel our character paging through their minds or everyone around the psychic feels a welter of harmless but eerie emotions when she touches a psychically-charged object. For

three points, all of your intangible powers (including those that you learn later) have some sort of unsettling effect like this. This is in addition to any Resonance that your character may have. Wild Talent: (4 pt. Merit to 4 pt. Flaw) Though many psychics lack formal training of their gifts, some lack even the most basic control of their powers. These 'wild' psychics tend to have very powerful gifts, though the lack of control makes up for the extra power they might have. To determine the level of the Flaw, use the following table. The total Merit or Flaw cannot exceed 4 points. • +4 – Four extra die, when using the power. • +3 – Three extra die, when using the power. • +2 – Two extra die, when using the power. • +1 – One extra die, when using the power. • -1 – The character must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7 to use the power) • -2 – The character can only consciously use the power defensively. (I.E., A precognitive character can activate her Danger Sense, or a telekinetic can use the power to deflect attacks.) • -3 – The character has no conscious control of the power, but it works more often to the character's benefit that not. (I.E., A clairvoyant who has useful clairvoyant dreams.) • -4 – The character's power activates randomly (at least once per game session) and often at inopportune or embarrassing moments. (I.E., The channeler contacts the spirit of an ancient warrior during a dinner party.)

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