World of Darkness: Tenebris Raptis

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 Backgrounds: Standard List

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Join date : 2010-01-30
Age : 40
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Backgrounds: Standard List   Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:12 am

Occult Library

Some Kindred have accumulated vast stores of mystical knowledge over their many years. Such resources may have been inherited from the character's sire, treasures gleaned from previous journey's, gifts from a mentor or even stolen from rivals. In fact, a library need not even be printed -- books contained on CD-ROM or even a contact who knows occult lore may be considered a library for the purposes of this Background.

Whatever form it takes, an Occult Library aids the character in certain cases involving knowledge of the mystical or magical. Whenever the player needs to make a roll involving Occult Knowledge and the character has the opportunity to consults the books, she may call upon this Background to help her. While this won't be of much aid if the character is held prisoner by another Kindred or visiting a foreign city, if the character is in her own library or laboratory, the information may prove invaluable.

1 A few books: +1 die to Occult dice pools
2 A modest collection: +1 die to Occult dice pools, -1 to Occult difficulties
3 Many noteworthy titles: +2 dice to Occult dice pools, -1 to Occult difficulties
4 A wide variety of lore: +2 dice to Occult dice pools, -2 to Occult difficulties
5 A veritable magical encyclopedia: +3 dice to Occult dice pools, -2 Occult difficulties

Allies  

Allies are mortals who support and help you -- family, friends, or even a mortal organization that owes you some loyalty. Although allies aid you willingly, without coaxing or coercion, they are not always available to offer assistance; they have their own concerns and can do only so much for the sake of your relationship. However, they might have some useful Background Traits of their own, and could provide you with indirect access to their contacts, influence, or resources. Allies are typically persons of influence and power in your home city. They can be of almost any sort, depending on what your Storyteller will allow. You may have friends in the precinct morgue, at a prominent blog, among the high society of local celebrities, or at a construction site. Your Allies might be a clan of nomads who move their mobile home camp around the area, or they might be a family of generations of police officers. You may even count the mayor himself among your friends, depending on how many dots you spend on this Trait. Your Allies are generally trustworthy (though they probably don't know that you're a vampire, or even that vampires exist). However, nothing comes for free. If you wind up drawing favors from your friend in the Cosa Nostra, he'll probably ask you to do him a favor in kind in the future. This often leads to the beginning of a story. Allies may be pooled among a coterie of characters.

1 One ally of moderate influence and power
2 Two allies, both of moderate power
3 Three allies, one of whom is quite influential
4 Four allies, one of whom is very influential
5 Five allies, one of whom is extremely influential



Alternate Identity  

You maintain an alternate identity, complete with papers, birth certificates, or any other documentation you desire. Only a few may know your real name or identity. Your alternate persona may be highly involved in organized crime, a member of the opposite Sect, a con artist who uses alternate identities for her game, or you may simply gather information about the enemy. Indeed, some vampires may know you as one individual while others believe you to be someone else entirely.

1 You are new at this identity game. Sometimes you slip and forget your other persona.
2 You are well grounded in your alternate identity. You are convincing enough to play the part of a doctor, lawyer, funeral salesman, drug-smuggler, or a capable spy.
3 You have a fair reputation as your alternate persona and get name recognition in the area where you have infiltrated.
4 Your alternate identity has respect and trust within your area of infiltration.
5 You command respect in your area of infiltration, and you may even have accumulated a bit of influence. You have the trust (or at least the recognition) of many powerful individuals within your area.



Armory (Anarch)  

Your character has managed to amass a functional armory along with the ability to maintain all of the weapons within it. Each level of the Armory Background yields access to more potent weapons (along with proper ammunition) and the resources to properly maintain and clean them.

The scope of this Background varies a bit by region, as weapons-control laws differ. What an American can buy in a department store, for example, might be the sole domain of the military in Eastern Europe and available only via the black market in Brazil; players who wish to invest dots in Armory should consult with their Storytellers to determine how it will work in the chronicle's locality. The Storyteller may require you to invest a few points in another Background (such as certain types of Influence or legal or military Allies) to prevent the Armory's confiscation by the authorities. An Armory can vanish in a fraction of the time it took to amass it, especially if it ends up on the news or video-sharing sites with footage of a Vampire Blood Gang Massacre down by the warehouses.

Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared Armory.

1 You have an excellent starter armory that includes many legal weapons commonly available on the street, as relevant to your regional culture.
2 You have access to enough legal weaponry to outfit a street gang of 10.
3 You could start your own small militia. In addition, you can outfit five individuals with weaponry that exists in a legal gray area for the region, which most civilians would have a difficult time obtaining.
4 You have an armory appropriate to a SWAT team in a major city, including some military-grade hardware. You have enough gear to outfit a 10-man team with advanced weaponry, which is a cut above that provided by the lesser levels of this Background. Be careful where you use it, because without other appropriate Backgrounds, you may find yourself under official scrutiny for possessing illegal weaponry.
5 Your armory is the envy of paramilitary forces around the world. You have the tools to clean and repair almost any personal weapon manufactured in the world. You have access to a significant quantity of weapons that are illegal in most countries, and enough of them to field your own platoon. If this Armory were discovered by authorities, your Anarch would be a pile of greasy ash.



Armory (Hunter)  

A hunter with Firearms can perform simple tasks with weapons, such as cleaning a gun, but without a stocked armory, it's difficult to keep weapons in fire-ready condition. Your hunter has managed to amass a functional armory along with the ability to maintain all of the weapons within it. Each level of the Armory Background yields access to more potent weapons along with the resources to properly maintain and clean them, and proper ammunition.

The scope of this Background varies a bit by region, as weapons-control laws that exist in various locations around the world differ. What an American can buy in a department store, for example, might be the sole domain of the military in Romania, and players who wish to invest dots in Armory should consult with their Storytellers to determine the specifics of how it will work in the chronicle's locality. The Storyteller may require you to invest a few points in another Background (such as certain types of Influence or legal or military allies) to prevent the Armory's confiscation by the authorities. An Armory can vanish in a fraction of the time it took to amass it, particularly if its curator is prone to rants about blood-sucking monsters and corruption that goes all the way to the top.

Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared Armory.

1 You have an excellent starter armory that includes many legal weapons commonly available on the street. This level also provides access to a quantity of extra weapons, as relevant to the regional culture.
2 You have access to enough legal weaponry to outfit a street gang of 10 men.
3 You could start your own small militia. In addition, you can outfit five individuals with weaponry that exists in a legal gray area for the region, which most civilians would have a difficult time obtaining.
4 You have an armory appropriate to a SWAT team in a major city, including some military-grade hardware. You have enough gear to outfit a 10-man team with such advanced weaponry, which is a cut above that provided by the lesser levels of this Background. Be careful where you use it, because without other appropriate Backgrounds, you may find yourself under official scrutiny for possessing weaponry that exists outside the realm of the strictly legal.
5 Your armory is the envy of paramilitary forces around the world. You have the tools to clean and repair almost any personal weapon manufactured in the world. You have access to a significant quantity of weapons that are illegal in most countries, and enough of them to field your own platoon. If this armory were discovered by authorities, your hunter would be in serious danger of going to jail for a long time -- assuming there's no armed standoff that threatens him more immediately.



Artifact  

Artifacts are items strong in supernatural potency. This Background allows you to begin play with such an artifact in your possession. Either it was a family heirloom, or a mentor in the Arcanum bequeathed it to you, or you found it early in your career and the Arcanum hasn't yet requested it for "further study."

The Storyteller should create something suitable for you based on the dots in this Background. Talk about what you want with the Storyteller. Truly legendary artifacts (such as Roland's sword Durandal, or the chalice of Kai Khusrau) are objects of great quests and cannot be purchased with this Trait. Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared artifact.

1 A minor artifact
2 A useful artifact
3 An artifact of significant power
4 A much-sought artifact
5 An artifact of incredible power



Base Of Operations  

A base of operations is a secure location controlled and owned by your hunter. This place is a headquarters in which your hunter can rest, train, and plan his next attacks. A hunter's base could be as simple as an unfurnished apartment, as grand as a senator's mansion, or as complex as a military base. Players who elect to purchase this Background must divide their points among three different categories: Luxury, Security, and Size. Also, the purchase of this Background may be pooled as per the Background pooling systems.

Luxury: Luxury is a measure of the quality of appointments inside the base. The level of Luxury ranges from spare to opulent, corresponding closely to a Resources Background of equal value.

1 You bought your furniture at a thrift store or other low-cost vendor.
2 Your base has been decorated and outfitted modestly. You have the basics expected of modern First World lifestyles (where appropriate).
3 Your base is one of relative comfort, with a host of amenities.
4 Your base offers a luxurious respite from the horrible reality of killing vampires, and it is unique in both design and appearance.
5 Your base exhibits a degree of ostentation that only the extremely wealthy or celebrities usually enjoy.


Security: Security represents how tough it is to break into the base. Each dot of Security adds one to the difficulty of any roll made to penetrate the base or adds one to the number of successes required to gain access. (Players and Storytellers should agree on this function before the story begins.)

1 You have locks on the doors to the base, but not much else.
2 The doors have deadbolts, and the windows have strong bars, or you may have a dog that barks to warn you when someone comes too close to the base. Your HQ is relatively secure from ordinary threats.
3 The base is secure but not impenetrable, relying on a modern set of locks, physical protection such as bars over the windows, electronic security measures such as alarm systems, and standard electronic monitoring such as security cameras.
4 Your base is protected by all of the security features for the previous level and then some. On par with restricted governmental buildings or even prisons, your base of operations has reinforced walls, sectionalized access throttles, and perhaps even several panic rooms or hidden chambers. You have invested a considerable about of time and effort to keep people out of your base.
5 Your base is protected by all of the security features offered by the previous levels. Additionally, it is protected by one or more unique features, such as a remote location, a geographical boundary like a waterfall or mountain pass, and/or possible occult protections, like being visible only by moonlight. (Players and Storytellers should come to an agreement on the nature of such daunting and one-of-a-kind protections.)


Size: Size represents the volume of the base of operations and the amount of space that it comprises. While the following breakdown gives suggested sizes and room counts, players are encouraged to be creative if they so wish -- imagine an open temple layout of no true "rooms," or a converted service hallway that's long and narrow but has multiple access points to various locations inside the city center.

1 A small apartment or underground chamber: 1 - 2 rooms.
2 A large apartment or small family home; 3 - 4 rooms.
3 A warehouse, church, or large home; 5 - 8 rooms, or a large enclosure.
4 A mansion or network of tunnels; 9 - 15 rooms or chambers.
5 A sprawling estate or vast network of subway tunnels; 20+ rooms.


Blasphemous Shrine  
Prerequisite: Akhu Sorcerer

Lector Priests must have desecrated the corpse of someone buried according to traditional ancient Egyptian practice. These corpses are kept as offerings to Set and are the means by which these sorcerers channel his power into the world. As such, they are usually placed in shrines dedicated to Set and adorned with his iconography. Within this Blasphemous Shrine, the Lector Priest can perform powerful Akhu rituals, amplified by the proximity to the source of their power. The more dots in the background, the greater the connection the desecrated corpse has to Set. Mechanically, this background grants a number of bonus dice to the casting of Akhu rituals equal to the number points in Blasphemous Shrine. However, this only applies to rituals cast in the shrine itself. As an optional rule, a Storyteller may insist that a Lector Priest has to have at least one dot of Blasphemous Shrine to represent the desecrated corpse offering to Set, without which they cannot cast Akhu.


Communal Haven  

Elders are often too selfish to consider the benefits of "cohabitation"; centuries of betrayal naturally generate a certain suspicious nature as it pertains to other vampires. Anarch packs that have learned the value of mutual cooperation and enlightened self-interest, however, sometimes establish Communal Havens for mutual security and comfort.

A Communal Haven is a secure location controlled and owned by the coterie. This is a place an Anarch who invests Background dots in it can lie low, train, and plan her next move. A Communal Haven could be as simple as an unfurnished apartment, as flashy as a mafioso's penthouse, or as complex as a military base.

Of course, social conventions for the shared space might be complex or simple, depending on the personalities of the Kindred involved. Vampires sharing a Communal Haven can easily come into conflict unless some custom exists. Is it cool for Licks sharing the Communal Haven to offer it as crash space for others? Is it okay to bring blood dolls there? If something goes wrong, who's in charge of disposing of the bodies or cleaning up the mess? Who takes care of keeping the location secret in the event that someone opens her goddamn mouth?

Note that this Background is different from the Domain and Resources Backgrounds. Typically, Domain is "turf," while this is an actual Haven (which may well stand on contested domain).

Players who elect to purchase this Background must divide their points among three different categories, described below. The purchase of this Background may be pooled.

Luxury: Luxury is a measure of the quality of appointments inside the haven. The level of Luxury ranges from spare to opulent, corresponding closely to a Resources Background of equal value.

1 What passes for furniture probably fell off the back of a truck or was liberated from a dumpster.
2 The place has been decorated and outfitted modestly. It has the basics expected of modern First World lifestyles (where appropriate).
3 The haven offers relative comfort, with a host of amenities.
4 The haven is a luxurious oasis in the midst of the Jyhad, unique in both design and appearance.
5 Only the extremely wealthy or celebrities usually enjoy the opulence of a place like this.

Size: Size represents the amount of living space in the Communal. While the following breakdown gives suggested sizes and room counts, players are encouraged to be creative if they so wish -- imagine an open warehouse layout of no true "rooms," or a network of "under repair" blacked-out skywalks that have access points to various locations downtown.

1 A small apartment or underground chamber: 1 to 2 rooms.
2 A large apartment or small family home; 3 to 4 rooms.
3 A warehouse, church, or large home; 5 to 8 rooms, or a large enclosure.
4 A mansion or network of tunnels; 9 - 15 rooms or chambers.
5 A sprawling estate or vast network of subway tunnels; 20+ rooms.

Security: Security represents how tough it is to breach the haven. Each dot of Security either adds one to the difficulty of any roll made to penetrate the haven or adds one to the number of successes required to gain access. (Players and Storytellers should agree on this function before the story begins.)

1 Cheap locks on the doors, but not much else.
2 You've reinforced every door and barred the windows, or you may have a dog that barks to warn you when someone comes too close to the haven. The place is relatively secure from commonplace threats.
3 The haven is secure but not impenetrable, relying on a modern set of locks, physical protection such as bars over the windows, electronic security measures such as alarm systems, and standard electronic monitoring such as security cameras. It may be remote or accessed only by protected routes, such as a high-rise with a security guard who watches the elevator.
4 Your haven is protected by all of the security features for the previous level and then some. On par with restricted governmental buildings or even prisons, your haven has reinforced walls, sectionalized access throttles, and perhaps even several panic rooms or hidden chambers. You have invested a considerable about of time and effort to keep people out of your base.
5 Your base is protected by all of the security features offered by the previous levels. Additionally, it is protected by one or more unique features, such as being far off the beaten path, incorporating a geographical boundary like being built on an island, and/or possible occult protections, like being visible only to Kindred. (Players and Storytellers should come to an agreement on the nature of such one-of-a-kind protections.)



Contacts  

You know people all over the city. When you start making phone calls around your network, the amount of information you can dig up is impressive. Rather than friends you can rely on to help you, like Allies, Contacts are largely people whom you can bribe, manipulate, or coerce into offering information. You also have a few major Contacts -- associates who can give you accurate information in their fields of expertise. You should describe each major contact in some detail before the game begins. In addition to your major contacts, you also have a number of minor contacts spread throughout the city. Your major contact might be in the district attorney's office, while your minor contacts might include beat cops, DMV clerks, club bouncers, or members of an online social network. You don't need to detail these various "passing acquaintances" before play. Instead, to successfully get in touch with a minor contact, you should roll your Contacts rating (difficulty 7). You can reach one minor contact for each success. Of course, you still have to convince them to give you the information you need, assuming they can get it. Contacts may be pooled within the characters' coterie.

1 One major contact
2 Two major contacts
3 Three major contacts
4 Four major contacts
5 Five major contacts



Domain  

Domain is physical territory (usually within the chronicle's central city) to which your character controls access for the purpose of feeding. Some Kindred refer to their domain as hunting grounds, and most jealously guard their domains, even invoking the Tradition of the same name to protect their claims. As part of this Background, the character's claim to the domain is recognized by the Prince or some other Kindred authority in the city where it is located. The Kindred who claims the domain can't keep the living inhabitants from going about their business, nor does she exercise any direct influence over them, but she can keep watch herself and mind their comings and goings. She can also have Allies or Retainers specifically look for unfamiliar vampires and alert her when they find some. Domain refers specifically to the geography (in most cases a neighborhood or street) and properties on it, as opposed to the people who may dwell there (which is the emphasis of Herd). Domain plays an important part in Kindred society -- vampires who lack significant Domain seldom earn respect -- but it isn't an automatic entitlement to status among the Damned. Characters in a coterie can share their domain resources for better results. Six to eight dots secure all of a small town or a distinct city region as a domain. Ten to 15 dots secure an important but not geographically huge city sector, such as "the docks," or "Highland Park." A large city itself might be a hundred-plus Domain points, as with Atlanta, Dallas, Geneva, or Baghdad. A city such as New York, London, Paris, Rome, Sao Paolo, or Shanghai would require many hundreds of Domain points.

You may designate one or more dots in Domain to increase the security of your character's territory rather than its size. Each dot so assigned to security provides a +1 difficulty penalty to efforts to intrude into the domain by anyone your character hasn't specifically allowed in, and a -1 difficulty bonus to efforts by your character to identify and track intruders in the domain. A Domain of one dot's size and two dots' security, for instance, is small but quite resistant to intrusion, as opposed to a Domain rating of three dots' size with no extraordinary security.

Each level of Domain reduces the difficulty of hunting checks by one for your character and those whom the character allows in. It also adds to your starting (not maximum) blood pool. If you use the domain security option, each dot of domain security raises the difficulty of hunting checks by one for uninvited vampires.

1 A single small building, such as a single-family home or a social establishment -- enough for a basic haven.
2 A church, factory, warehouse, mid-rise, or other large structure -- a location with ready but easily controllable access to the outside world.
3 A high-rise, city block, or an important intersection -- a location or area that offers areas for concealment as well as controlled access.
4 A sewer subsection, a network of service tunnels, the enclave of homes on a hill overlooking the city -- a place with inherently protective features, such as an isolated mountain road, bridge-only access, or vigilant private security force.
5 An entire neighborhood, an ethnic subdivision like "Chinatown" or "Little Italy," or a whole suburb.



Fame  

You enjoy widespread recognition in mortal society, perhaps as an entertainer, writer, or athlete. People may enjoy just being seen with you. This gives you all manner of privileges when moving in mortal society, but can also attract an unwanted amount of attention now that you're no longer alive. The greatest weapon fame has to offer is the ability to sway public opinion -- as modern media constantly proves. Fame isn't always tied to entertainment: A heinous criminal in a high-profile trial probably has a certain amount of fame, as do a lawmaker and a scientist who has made a popularized discovery. This Background is obviously a mixed blessing. You can certainly enjoy the privileges of your prestige -- getting the best seats, being invited to events you'd otherwise miss, getting appointments with the elite -- but you're sometimes recognized when you'd rather not be. However, your enemies can't just make you disappear without causing an undue stir, and you find it much easier to hunt in populated areas as people flock to you (reduce the difficulties of hunting rolls by one for each dot in Fame). Additionally, your Storyteller might permit you to reduce difficulties of certain Social rolls against particularly star-struck or impressionable people.

1 You're known to a select subculture -- local club-goers, industry bloggers, or the Park Avenue set, for instance.
2 Random people start to recognize your face; you're a minor celebrity such as a small-time criminal or a local news anchor.
3 You have greater renown; perhaps you're a senator or an entertainer who regularly gets hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits.
4 A full-blown celebrity; your name is often recognized by the average person on the street.
5 You're a household word. People name their children after you.



Generation  

This Background represents your Generation: The purity of your blood, and your proximity to the First Vampire. A high Generation rating may represent a powerful sire or a decidedly dangerous taste for diablerie. If you don't take any dots in this Trait, you begin play as a Thirteenth Generation vampire.

1 Twelfth Generation: 11 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
2 Eleventh Generation: 12 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
3 Tenth Generation: 13 blood pool, can spend 1 blood point per turn
4 Ninth Generation: 14 blood pool, can spend 2 blood points per turn
5 Eighth Generation: 15 blood pool, can spend 3 blood points per turn



Guide  
Prerequisite: Hunter

Due to fate, destiny, or whim, a mysterious spiritual entity has chosen to aid your hunter in her quest to stalk vampires. Such guides rarely appear in the open, instead preferring to push their agenda via dreams, signs, and portents. One might appear as a ghost in a mirror. Another might reveal itself in an ages-old portrait of a long-dead family member, who offers advice or shudder-inducing environmental effects, such as a room forever shrouded in conscious shadow.

Generally, such entities are very interested in the welfare (or at least foibles) of mortals but possess hidden motives to encourage certain types of behavior in their companions. Crafty, knowledgeable in magical concerns, and possessed of inhuman senses, these beings have much to offer their patrons. They aren't necessarily ghosts or spirits, but may well be among the less classifiable anomalies of the World of Darkness.

Nothing is free, of course, and this relationship is likely a two-way street. Guides may expect special treatment, including food, shelter, companionship, and/or even mysterious supernatural necessities. Perhaps even blood.

If you seek to invest in the Guide Background, you should cooperate with the Storyteller to create an interesting, unique personality that has good reason to share your character's fate and influence her behavior.

1 Weak Guide: An entity with limited occult knowledge that can only affect the world with great difficulty. It is not always reliably available and may occasionally provide incorrect information.
2 Minor Guide: This entity knows a good deal about the occult and vampires, but it finds affecting the material world difficult and thus will only do it when it suits its goals. Your guide will help you, but is fairly limited in what it can do, especially in regards to being able to manipulate physical objects.
3 Apt Guide: A guide of this strength may well be a recognized entity in the spirit world. She will aid you with knowledge and training, and when appropriate, she may fight on your behalf, potentially wielding minor Numina for you.
4 Strong Guide: Your guide is quite powerful, potentially a significant personage in the realms of spirits or the dead. This entity has major experience with the occult, and it is aware of the ins and outs of the vampire world. It is willing to assist you with major Numina once per story.
5 Puissant Guide: This entity can walk between the spirit and material worlds with two major Numina powers. It may assist you if it feels appropriate, but it may well demand favors or obeisance in return.



Herd  

You have built a group of mortals from whom you can feed without fear. A herd may take many forms, from circles of kinky clubgoers to actual cults built around you as a god-figure. In addition to providing nourishment, your herd might come in handy for minor tasks, though they are typically not very controllable, closely connected to you, or particularly skilled (for more effective pawns, purchase Allies or Retainers). YourHerd rating adds dice to your rolls for hunting. Players may purchase pooled Herd with Background points.

1 Three vessel
2 Seven vessel
3 15 vessel
4 30 vessel
5 60 vessel



Influence  

You have pull in the mortal community, whether through wealth, prestige, political office, blackmail, or supernatural manipulation. Kindred with high Influence can sway, and in rare cases even control, the political and social processes of human society. Influence represents the sum of your opinion- or policy-swaying power in your community, particularly among the police and bureaucracy. In some cases, cultivating Influence is a path to generating Resources. Some rolls may require you to use Influence in place of an Ability, particularly when attempting to sway minor bureaucrats. It's easier to institute sweeping changes on a local level than a worldwide scale (e.g., having an "abandoned" building demolished is relatively easy, while starting a war is a bit more difficult). Influence can be used with pooled Background points.

1 Moderately influential; a factor in city politics
2 Well-connected; a force in state politics
3 Position of influence; a factor in regional politics
4 Broad personal power; a force in national politics
5 Vastly influential; a factor in global politics



Library  

Arcanists often devote their entire lives to research, and build up tremendous libraries over the course of their careers; those who live near Chapter Houses with long established and well-developed libraries do even better. Arcanists who have to research a particular fact in libraries have the difficulty number of research rolls reduced by this Background (note that this cannot be combined with access to the Axis Mundi). Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared library.
n
1 Difficulty reduced by 1
2 Difficulty reduced by 2
3 Difficulty reduced by 3
4 Difficulty reduced by 4
5 Difficulty reduced by 5



Mentor  

This Trait represents a Kindred or group of Kindred who looks out for you, offering guidance or aid once in a while. A mentor may be powerful, but his power need not be direct. Depending on the number of dots in this Background, your mentor might be nothing more than a vampire with a remarkable information network, or might be a centuries-old creature with tremendous influence and supernatural power. He may offer advice, speak to the Prince or Archbishop on your behalf, steer other elders clear of you, or warn you when you're walking into situations you don't understand. Most often your mentor is your sire, but it could well be any Cainite with an interest in your wellbeing. A high Mentor rating could even represent a group of like-minded vampires, such as the elders of the city's Tremere chantry or a Black Hand cell. Bear in mind that this Trait isn't a "Get out of Jail Free" card. Your mentor won't necessarily arrive like the cavalry whenever you're endangered (and if she does, you're likely to lose a dot or more in this Background after rousing her ire). What's more, she might occasionally expect something in return for her patronage, which can lead to a number of interesting stories. A mentor typically remains aloof, giving you useful information or advice out of camaraderie, but will abandon you without a thought if you prove an unworthy or troublesome protege.

Arcanum Mentor: Your mentor -- your Elder Brother or Sister -- is the person who initiated you into the Arcanum. The higher rating, the more influence your mentor has among other Arcanists, and the better your initial reputation. A low rating could mean that your mentor is not well respected, but it could also mean you have a powerful mentor who isn't often available. ( Hunters Hunted II -- Page 140 )

1 Mentor is an ancilla of little influence, or a Ductus or Pack Priest.
2 Mentor is respected: An elder or highly-decorated veteran, for instance.
3 Mentor is heavily influential, such as a member of the Primogen or a Bishop.
4 Mentor has a great deal of power over the city: a Prince or Archbishop, for example.
5 Mentor is extraordinarily powerful, perhaps even a Justicar or Cardinal.



Mob  
Prerequisite: Inquisitor

The media and social networks of the information age offer a crafty Inquisitor new and innovative tools for organizing congregations into witch-hunting mobs. Zealotry surges through the new vectors of status updates. Fiery sermons sound from home to home via video chat. General Inquisitor Bauer personally instructs her subordinates in these techniques, and you have learned well. These folk are not as educated in the ways of the Enemy as you, and they do not command miracle-working faith or occult power. But they are angry. They are armed. And they are not going to take it anymore. You will find that a mob is much like weaponized fire: A destructive force that puts the fear of God in the hearts of monsters, but one that easily spreads out of control.

1 You command a mob of two people.
2 You command a mob of four people.
3 You command a mob of seven people.
4 You command a mob of fifteen people.
5 You command a mob of twenty-five people.



Rank  
Prerequisite: Government Agent

Government agencies enforce strict rank privilege -- a private in the Army can't get a captain to listen to him, let alone give orders to his superior officers. This Background represents an agent's position in the chain of command. An agent with no dots of Rank is the lowest grade appropriate for the organization: a junior agent in the SAD or CIA, or a lieutenant 2nd class in the NSA. Though the character with the highest Rank will technically be in charge of other agents, extenuating circumstances in the field can screw up the chain of command. When dealing with people in the same agency of lower Rank, apply the difference in Rank as a bonus to any Social dice pools. When dealing with people outside of the character's agency, treat her Rank as two dots lower.

1 A special agent in SAD or a lieutenant 1st class in the NSA.
2 A senior special agent in SAD or a captain in the NSA.
3 A special agent in charge in SAD or a major in the NSA.
4 A section chief in SAD or a colonel in the NSA.
5 A regional director in SAD or a general in the NSA.



Reliquary  
Prerequisite: Inquisitor

You have been granted access to the reliquary of the Church. The vaults of the Vatican are ancient, dark, and deep, and many are the occulted secrets within -- from holy relics to the terrible devices of witchery that the Church locks away to keep from blasphemous hands. This Background allows you to possess such a supernatural artifact and represents both a privilege and a responsibility, as you are the keeper of the relic. The loss or destruction of the item consumes any Background points spent, and the Society may think twice before opening the reliquary to you in the future. The Storyteller has the final say on a relic's value and powers. Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared relic.

1 You possess a minor relic.
2 You possess a useful relic.
3 You possess a relic of significant power.
4 You possess a relic of incredible power.
5 You possess a relic mentioned in many legends.



Requisition  
Prerequisite: Government Agent

You're a master of red tape, able to fill out the right forms to get your hands on some special equipment, from silver bullets to a chaoscope. You begin each story with a pool of points to spend on equipment equal to your dots in this Background. Once the equipment is used up or destroyed, that's it -- and any surviving requisitioned equipment must be returned at the end of the story. You can save your Requisition points until you need a specific item or service, but cannot acquire a single item that costs more than (your Rank + 2). Players may opt to pool Background points for a shared stock of equipment.

1 You possess a piece of equipment worth one Requisition point.
2 You possess one item worth two Requisition points, or two items with one Requisition point.
3 You possess one or more items worth a total of three Requisition points.
4 You possess one or more items worth a total of four Requisition points.
5 You possess one or more items worth a total of five Requisition points.



Resources  

Resources are valuable goods whose disposition your character controls. These assets may be actual cash, but as this Background increases, they're more likely to be investments, property, or earning capital of some sort -- land, industrial assets, stocks and bonds, commercial inventories, criminal infrastructure, contraband, even taxes or tithes. Remember that vampires don't need to arrange for any food except blood and their actual needs (as opposed to wants) for shelter are very easily accommodated. Resources for vampires go mostly to pay for luxuries and the associated expenses of developing and maintaining Status, Influence, and other Backgrounds. A character with no dots in Resources may have enough clothing and supplies to get by, or she may be destitute and squatting in a refrigerator box under an overpass. You receive a basic allowance each month based on your rating, so be certain to detail exactly where this money comes from, be it a job, trust fund or dividends. (Storytellers, decide for your locality and any relevant time period what an appropriate amount of cash this monthly allowance is.) After all, a Kindred's fortune may well run out over the course of the chronicle, depending on how well he maintains it. You can also sell your less liquid resources if you need the cash, but this can take weeks or even months, depending on what exactly you're trying to sell. Art buyers don't just pop out of the woodwork, after all. Players may purchase Resources for their characters with pooled Background points.

1 Sufficient. You can maintain a typical residence in the style of the working class with stability, even if spending sprees come seldom.
2 Moderate. You can display yourself as a member in good standing of the middle class, with the occasional gift and indulgence seemly for a person of even higher station. You can maintain a servant or hire specific help as necessary. A fraction of your resources are available in cash, readily portable property (like jewelry or furniture), and other valuables (such as a car or modest home) that let you maintain a standard of living at the one-dot level wherever you happen to be, for up to six months.
3 Comfortable. You are a prominent and established member of your community, with land and an owned dwelling, and you have a reputation that lets you draw on credit at very generous terms. You likely have more tied up in equity and property than you do in ready cash. You can maintain a one-dot quality of existence wherever you are without difficulty, for as long as you choose.
4 Wealthy. You rarely touch cash, as most of your assets exist in tangible forms that are themselves more valuable and stable than paper money. You hold more wealth than many of your local peers (if they can be called such a thing). When earning your Resources doesn't enjoy your usual degree of attention, you can maintain a three-dot existence for up to a year, and a two-dot existence indefinitely.
5 Extremely Wealthy. You are the model to which others strive to achieve, at least in the popular mind. Television shows, magazine spreads, and gossip websites speculate about your clothing, the appointments of your numerous homes, and the luxury of your modes of transportation. You have vast and widely distributed assets, perhaps tied to the fates of nations, each with huge staffs and connections to every level of society through a region. You travel with a minimum of three-dot comforts, more with a little effort. Corporations and governments sometimes come to you to buy into stocks or bond programs.



Retainers  

Not precisely Allies or Contacts, your retainers are servants, assistants, or other people who are your loyal and steadfast companions. Many vampires' servants are ghouls -- their supernatural powers and blood bond-enforced loyalty make them the servants of choice. Retainers may also be people whom you've repeatedly Dominated until they have no free will left, or followers so enthralled with your Presence that their loyalty borders on blind fanaticism. Some vampires, particularly those with the Animalism Discipline, use animal ghouls as retainers. You must maintain some control over your retainers, whether through a salary, the gift of your vitae, or the use of Disciplines. Retainers are never "blindly loyal no matter what" -- if you treat them poorly without exercising strict control, they might well turn on you. Retainers may be useful, but they should never be flawless. A physically powerful ghoul might be rebellious, inconveniently dull-witted, or lacking in practical skills. A loyal manservant might be physically weak or possess no real personal initiative or creativity. This Background isn't an excuse to craft an unstoppable bodyguard or pet assassin -- it's a method to bring more fully-developed characters into the chronicle, as well as to reflect the followers for which the Kindred are notorious. Generally, retainers are more like Renfield than Anita Blake. (If the player and Storyteller agree, a player may create a more competent single Retainer by combining more points in this Background, putting more eggs in one basket, as the saying goes.) Players can spend pooled Background points on Retainers.

Arcanum: The society may provide housing and a small allowance for its new members -- typically no higher than a rating of one dot. Anything more must come from a member's family, another job, or some other income source.

1 One retainer
2 Two retainers
3 Three retainers
4 Four retainers
5 Five retainers



Rituals  

This Background is for Sabbat characters only. You know the ritae and rituals of the Sabbat, and you can enact many of them. This Background is vital to being a Pack Priest -- without this Background, ritae will not function. This Background is actually a supernatural investment, drawing on the magic of the eldest Tzimisce sorcerers. Sabbat vampires who are not their pack's priests should have an outstanding reason for acquiring this Background, as Pack Priests are loath to share their secrets with more secular members of the Sect.

1 You know a few of the auctoritas ritae (your choice).
2 You know some of the auctoritas ritae (your choice) and a few ignoblis ritae (your choice).
3 You know all of the auctoritas ritae and some ignoblis ritae (your choice). Also, you may create your own ignoblis ritae, given enough time (consult your Storyteller for development time and game effects).
4 You know all the auctoritas ritae and many ignoblis ritae (your choice). You may create your own ignoblis ritae, given enough time (consult your Storyteller for development time and game effects). You are also familiar with the functions of numerous regional and pack-specific ignoblis ritae, even if you cannot perform them.
5 You know all the auctoritas ritae and dozens of ignoblis ritae (your choice). You may create your own ignoblis ritae, given enough time (consult your Storyteller for development time and game effects). You are also familiar with the functions of almost all regional and pack-specific ignoblis ritae, even if you cannot perform them; if it's been written down or passed around in lore, you've heard of it.



Status  

You have something of a reputation and standing (earned or unearned) within the local community of Kindred. Status among Camarilla society is as often derived from your sire's status and the respect due your particular bloodline as it is by personal achievement. Among the Sabbat, status is more likely to stem from the reputation of your pack or the zeal of your outlook. Elders are known for having little respect for their juniors; this Background can mitigate that somewhat. High status within the Camarilla does not transfer to Sabbat society (and will most likely make you a notorious target for your Sect's rivals), and vice versa. Similarly, Autarkis generally have zero Status, unless they have somehow garnered so much power and attention that they are considered forces to be reckoned with. You may have occasion to roll your Status in conjunction with a Social Trait; this reflects the positive effects of your prestige. Note that Caitiff characters may not purchase Status during character creation. Caitiff are the lowest of the low, and any respect they achieve must be earned during the course of the chronicle.

1 Known: A neonate/Pack Priest
2 Respected: An ancilla/respected Ductus
3 Influential: An elder/Templar
4 Powerful: A member of the Primogen/a Bishop
5 Luminary: A Prince/Archbishop
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