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PSYCHOLOGICAL MERITS AND FLAWS

These Merits and Flaws deal with the psychological makeup of your character, and may describe ideals, motivations or pathologies. Some psychological Flaws can be temporarily ignored by spending a Willpower point, and are so noted. If you possess such a Flaw and do not roleplay it when the Storyteller thinks you should, then she may tell you that you have spent a point of Willpower for the effort. Flaws cannot be conveniently ignored.

Code of Honor: (1 point Merit)

You have a personal code of ethics to which you strictly adhere. You can automatically resist most temptations that would bring you in conflict with your code. When battling supernatural persuasion (Mind magick, vampiric Domination, etc.) that would make you violate your code, either you gain three extra dice to resist or your opponent's difficulties are increased by two (Storyteller's choice). You must contruct your own personal code of honor in as much detail as you can, outlining the general rules of conduct by which you abide.

Higher Purpose: (1 point Merit)

All wraiths have "reason to live," but you have a special commitment to it, Your chosen goal drives and directs you in everything. You do not concern yourself with petty matters and casual concerns, because your higher purpose is everything. Though you may sometimes be driven by this purpose and find yourself forced to behave in ways contrary to the needs of personal survival, it can also grant you great personal strength. You gain two extra dice on any roll that has something to do with this higher purpose. You need to decide what your higher purpose is. Make sure you talk it over with the Storyteller first. Storytellers should consider carefully whether or not this will make a character with already high Passions too powerful before agreeing to allow this Merit. (If you have the Flaw Driving Goal, listed below, you cannot take this Merit.)

Addiction: (1-2 point Flaw)

While most addictions are tied to the weaknesses of the flesh and therefore not a concern to the Restless Dead, it is possible to form psychological addiction to a thing or even a person. Because these addictions are psychological, they may be easier to overcome than a physical dependency...though given the passionate nature of most wraiths, even a psychological addiction can be hard to shake.

If, for whatever reason, you are denied access to the person or object, you lose the number of dice equal to the level of your addiction (one or two) from all Dice Pools until you receive you "fix." If you are deprived of contact with the person or object for an extended length of time, you will be forced to make a Willpower check (difficulty of 4 for the first day, +1 for each additional day). If you fail, you will forgo everything and forcibly go seeking the object of your desire.

Compulsion: (1 point Flaw)

You have a psychological compulsion of some sort, which can cause you a number of different problems. Your compulsion may be for cleanliness, perfection, bragging, stealing, gaming, exaggeration, or just talking. A compulsion can be temporarily avoided at the cost of a Willpower point, but it is in effect at all other times.

Dark Secret: (1 point Flaw)

You have some sort of secret that, if uncovered, would be of immense embarrassment to you and would make you a pariah among your peers. This can be anything from having consigned to a Gaunt to Oblivion to having once fallen to a Spectre's temptations. While this secret weighs on your mind at all times, it will only surface in occasional stories. Otherwise, it will begin to lose its impact. This secret may or may not be tied to one of your Fetters.

Echoes of the Past: (1-3 point Flaw)

You are unwilling to leave your life in the Skinlands behind you. This compulsion is so powerful that it actually has a physical manifestation in the personal haunt of a wraith. In its simplest form (one point), it can be a scent which was important to you while alive. Perhaps it is the smell of the lilac perfume you wore, the roses you tended, or a whiff of the gin with which you drank yourself to death. Anyone present in the haunt may make a Perception roll (difficulty 6) to notice this.

The next level of this Flaw (two points) deals with sounds. Noises connected to your mortal days can be heard in the haunt (difficulty 6), and faintly outside the haunt (difficulty 8). Melodies, gentle sobbing, and the high, evil lilt of a child's laughter are typical examples.

The third level (three points) is the most complex and spectacular. In this incarnation, the manifestation is visual. Soft glows akin to candles might be seen radiating in and out of the haunt (difficulty 6). Sometimes, images might be seen out of the corner of the eye (i.e., the image of an important Fetter).

The obvious danger of this flaw is that the Quick might be able to tell when a wraith is "at home," since the flaw only comes into play when the wraith is in her Haunt. Any number of actions might occur after such a discovery...

Note that the wraith is not Embodied when the manifestations occur. She also cannot gain Memoriam from those who see these occurrences. Often these manifestations are tied to a wraith's Fetters. Your Storyteller may allow you to take more than one effect - i.e., visual and auditory, or olfactory and visual.

Intolerance: (1 point Flaw)

You have an unreasoning dislike of a certain thing. This may be an animal, a class of person, a situation or just about anything else. The difficulties of all dice rolls involving the subject are increased by two. Note that some dislikes may be too trivial to be reflected here - a dislike of INPHOBIA or tissue paper, for instance, will have little effect on play in most chronicles. The Storyteller is the final arbiter on what you can pick to dislike.

Overconfidant: (1 point Flaw)

You have an exaggerated and unshakeable opinion of your own worth and capabilities - you never hesitate to trust your abilities, even in situations where you risk defeat. Because your abilities may not be enough, such overconfidence can be very dangerous. When you do fail, you quickly find someone or something else to blame. If you are convincing enough, you can infect others with your overconfidence.

Phobia (Mild): (1 point Flaw)

You have an overpowering fear of something. You instinctively and illogically retreat from and avoid the object of your fear. Common objects of phobias include certain animals, insects, crowds, open spaces, confined spaces and heights. You must make a Willpower roll whenever you encounter the object of your fear. The difficulty of this roll is determined by the Storyteller. If you fail the roll, you must retreat from the object.

Shy: (1 point Flaw)

You are distinctly ill at ease when dealing with people and try to avoid social situations whenever possible. The difficulties of all rolls concerned with social dealings are increased by one; the difficulties of any rolls made while you are the center of attention are increased by two. Don't expect your character to make a public speech.

Curiosity: (2 point Flaw)

You are a naturally curious person and find mysteries of any sort irresistible. In most circumstances, you find that your curiosity easily overrides your common sense. To resist the temptation, make a Wits roll verses difficulty 5 for simple things like "I wonder what is in that cabinet?" Increase the difficulty to 9 for things like "I'll just peek into the Marshal's library - no one will know. What could possibly go wrong?"

Obsession: (2 point Flaw)

There is something you like, love or are fascinated by to the point where you often disregard common sense to cater to this drive. You react positively to anything related to your obsession, even if it's not in your best interests. For example, if you are obsessed with supernatural creatures, you will go out of your way to talk to and befriend vampires, werewolves and stranger things, and find out as much as you can about them, disregarding all warnings. If you are obsessed with Elvis, you have your house decorated with velvet paintings and annoy your friends with your constant talk about the King. You don't necessarily believe that Elvis is still alive, but you buy every tabloid that carries an article about him anyway. There are many other obsessions, including British Royalty, guns, knives, football, roleplaying games...you know the type. As with the Merit: Higher Purpose, the Storyteller must be careful that a wraith with this Merit and high Passions does not grow too powerful.

Vengeance: (2 point Flaw)

You have a score to settle - a Circle was wiped out, a friend was corrupted, a parent was slain...whatever. You are obsessed with wreaking vengeance on the guilty party. Revenge is your first priority in all situations. The need for vengeance can only be overcome by spending Willpower points, and even then, it only temporarily subsides. Some day you may have your revenge, but the Storyteller won't make it easy. This is another Merit that the Storyteller must carefully monitor to ensure it isn't abused by linking it to strong Passions.

Driving Goal: (3 point Flaw)

You have a personal goal, which sometimes compels and directs you in startling ways. The goal is always limitless in depth, and you can never truly achieve it. It could be to eradicate the Hierarchy or to achieve total enlightenment. Because you must work towards your goal throughout the chronicle (though you can avoid it for short periods of time by spending Willpower), it will get you into trouble and may jeopardize other actions. Choose your driving goal carefully, as it will direct and focus everything your character does. Storytellers should be cautious to not allow Driving Goals which are identical to strong Passions possessed by the character (sound familiar?).

Flashbacks: (3 point Flaw)

You are prone to flashbacks if you are in either high-pressure situations or circumstances that are similar to the trauma that caused the flashback itself. the flashback does not have to be combat-oriented; either positive or negative stimulation could result in a flashback episode. Emotional anxiety and stress are the usual catalysts for the flashbacks to begin. Flashing back to a good and happy vision can be just as dangerous or distracting as suddenly flashing to being surrounded by demons. The flashbacks can be caused by almost any trauma - torture, extended combat or events similar to those in which you died. During the flashback, you are not aware of what is really around you. Even people speaking to you will be viewed as people or objects from the vision. You can mistake men for women, people for animals and even inanimate objects for people. To you, reality has shifted, and you are back there again.

Hatred: (3 point Flaw)

You have an unreasoning hatred of a certain thing. This hate is total and largely uncontrollable. You may hate a species of animal, a class of person, a situation or just about anything else, and you constantly pursue opportunities to harm the hated object or to gain power over it.

Lifesaver: (3 point Flaw)

You believe that human life is a sacred gift and will not take a person's life or consign a Restless soul to Oblivion except in the most extreme of circumstances. You may not ever willingly endanger the lives of innocents or in any way participate in a killing. You have no problems with killing animals (for the right reasons), and will kill evil and inhuman creatures such as Spectres to protect others if necessary. (Be very careful, however, with your definition of "evil"...) Senseless death in all forms repulses you, and you feel that murderers should be punished and stopped.

Phobia (Severe): (3 point Flaw)

You have an overpowering fear of something. Common objects of fear include certain animals, insects, crowds, open spaces, confined spaces, heights and so on. You must make a Willpower roll not to freak out when faced with the object of your fear. The difficulty depends on the circumstances. If you fail the roll, you must retreat in terror from the object of fear. If you score less than three successes, you will not approach it. The Storyteller has final say over which phobias are allowed in a chronicle.