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 Mage Specific Merits / Flaws

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Join date : 2010-03-17

PostSubject: Mage Specific Merits / Flaws   Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:54 pm

ST Note:  This is not a complete list of Mage the Ascension Merits and Flaws.  This is a work in progress!

Avatar Companion (7 pt. merit): Your Avatar has another, lesser Avatar connected to it, usually in the body of another person. This companion will be drawn to you and may remember past incarnations and have other information useful to you and your Avatar. Unless you buy points in Allies, this companion will be of no special use except be tied to your life cycle.

Wild Talent (7pt Merit):
Your ability to use magick is not limited by your knowledge
of the Spheres.  You can cast effects from spheres you do not
know or do not have the necessary foci to use.  The only
limitation is that the effect you evoke cannot require any sphere
with a level greater than your Arete.  However, whenever you
throw such an effect, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty
is the highest sphere in the effect +3, no modifiers apply).  As
long as you make more successes on your Willpower roll than on
your Arete roll, the effect manifest normally.  Otherwise, the
effect gets away from you in some way, becoming more or less
powerful, affecting unintended targets, or going Vulgar.  On a
botched Willpower roll, the effect backlashes on you (either an
actual Paradox Backlash, or a reverse/harmful effect).      
Spheres that you have learned and use foci with or those that you
have 'bought off' can be used normally.  
Wild Talents often have merits like Ars Vulgaris, and Active
Avatar and may lack spheres at the beginning of the game
(Storyteller's discretion).

Upturned Cup (2,3,4pt Flaw):
Your pattern leaks stored quintessence.  Any quintessence
beyond your Avatar rating is lost at one point per day or one
point per hour for the 3pt version.  At the highest level this
Flaw prevents you from storing any quintessence beyond your
Avatar rating.  Mages with this flaw may also have the Merit:
Paradox Slough.

Paradox Slough (3,5,7pt Merit // ST APPROVAL):
Some mages jokingly call this Merit the 'Teflon Avatar.'
Though you still generate paradox and may suffer from a backlash
or flaw, your pattern does not accumulate Paradox over the long
term.  Each day - or each hour at the 5pt level - your pattern
sloughs (harmlessly disperses) one point of accumulated paradox.
At the 7 point level Paradox simply will not 'adhere' to your
pattern, you need fear only the backlash created by botching
Vulgar magick in front of witnesses.  Mages with this Merit often
have the Flaw: Upturned Cup as well and the Storyteller should
consider requiring this if he thinks the merit is being abused.

Natural Vessel (1-6pt Merit):
Your pattern is particularly well suited for storing
quintessence.  You may store five extra points of quintessence
for each point you put into this Merit.  This extra capacity can
also hold Paradox energies.  You cannot take this Merit along
with the Flaw: Upturned Cup.

Fountainhead (7 pt Merit):
Though quintessence flows through all patterns of life, your
own pattern is home to a virtual torrent of it, making you a
living Node.  This Merit is of most use if you have the
Background: Avatar.  Otherwise, you will be unable fully to
harness the natural force you posses.  Whenever your Quintessence
falls below your Avatar rating you may make a Stamina +
Meditation roll (difficulty = 7) each hour (this is not an
action, but a natural process for you) to recharge your Avatar.
Furthermore, the abundant free quintessence swirling through your
pattern makes magick easer for you.  Your difficulty for all
effects is decreased by half your Avatar rating (round down).
And. you never need more than one success to step sideways, since
your mere presence weakens the local Gauntlet.  
Tass also accumulates in your pattern - 1 Tass for each
point of Avatar each month.  Tass tends to accumulate in a
specific organ such as the heart, gallbladder, or brain.  After a
month, your pattern assimilates that Tass, making it useable,
stored Quintessence (assuming you have 'room' for it). It takes
conjunctional Life 4, Prime 3 to remove useable Tass from your
body without harming you.  Unfortunately, there will be those who
don't worry about harming you.  
If you are killed the free quintessence is released and
flows for several turns, randomly coalescing into patterns of
lesser forces and elemental gasses, before stopping forever.
During this time a mage with Life and Prime at three can try to
incorporate the Fountain into his own pattern.  To do so he must
roll successes equal to your avatar rating plus his own as an
extended action before the flow stops.  If he succeeds he has
gained the Fountainhead Merit, if he already posses this merit he
gains a point of Avatar.  If he fails, he takes two health levels
of soakable, aggravated damage per success he did roll as the raw
quintessence in his body coalesces into forces.  If he botches,
Paradox will claim him for this effect is invariably Vulgar, and
ALL dice rolled prior to the botch are counted.
If you have this Merit you will likely have some Physical
Merits as well such as Longevity, or Fast Healing.  You cannot
have: Arcane, Paradox Slough, or Upturned Cup.

Naked Anomaly (3pt Flaw):
It is impossible for you to cast coincidental or static
magic.  Your magic invariably takes a vulgar turn no matter how
hard you try to conceive and execute coincidences.  The only time
your magic is coincidental is when you're in the Umbra.  You can
still use Static Magic, if such is available to your Tradition.
The Merit: Ars Vulgaris would be particularly useful to you.

Dogmatic (3 or 5pt Flaw):
You believe very strongly in your Tradition's paradigm.  All
others are clearly wrong.  You tend to ridicule other traditions
and study only with your own kind.  You may occasionally admit
that there is something to be learned by studying the
'superstitions' of others, even then you gain only half the
experience you would have otherwise from the lessons.
Of course, you probably won't be able to find
many masters willing to teach you anyway.
This flaw can also get in the way of your understanding of
the metaphysic of magick.  At the 3pt level, you do not abandon
the use of a focus until Arete 5 (like a Tradition Technomancer).
At the 5pt level, your belief in your paradigm is so inflexible
that you cannot ever perform magick without the prescribed
methods and trappings of your Tradition.
You can not take the Merit: Paradigm Flexibility.

Paradigm Flexibility (1-5pt Merit):
You have an easy time understanding other paradigms and
adapting elements of them to your own. [1st Ed: When learning
from mages of other traditions, you reduce the study point
penalty by your rating in this Merit.  You can even learn some
spheres from non-mages (Werewolves, Vampires, Mummies, etc).
Generally, a base study point penalty of 5 is assumed, so if you
have Paradigm Flexibility at the maximum level you can learn
anything anyone has to teach at no penalty.]  Whenever you face a
penalty due to paradigm differences, that penalty is reduced by
your points in this merit (though you never get a bonus, of
Your investigation of alternate paradigms may also help you
to overcome your dependence on foci.  Tradition Technomancers
with at least 3pts of Paradigm Flexibility abandon foci as
quickly as other Tradition mages.  Convention mages with Paradigm
flexibility can abandon foci (though they risk much in doing so):
at the 3pt level, at the same rate as Tradition Tecnomancers and,
at the 5pt level, as quickly as any Tradition mage.  No amount of
Paradigm Flexibility allows a mage to abandon foci faster than
the basic Tradition rate of 1 per dot of Arete after the first.
You cannot take the Flaw: Dogmatic.

Ars Vulgaris (3pt Merit / ST APPROVAL):
You have little respect for reality and perform dynamic
magick without batting an eye.  Even when performing vulgar magic
in the presence of sleepers, your effect's difficulty is not
increased [1st Ed: you may roll up to your full Arete pool rather
than your level with the sphere being used].  You still
accumulate paradox, however.  This Merit is much respected by
some of the Order of Hermes.

Objectivist (3pt Flaw):
Though you are awakened, you have never really freed
yourself from the paradigm of the Technocracy.  You can perform
static or coincidental magic with no problem, but vulgar effects
hold a special danger for you and those around you.  You count as
a sleeper for purposes of determining if a vulgar effect was
'witnessed.'  Thus all vulgar magick you perform is automatically
considered to be in front of witnesses (yourself) and is
correspondingly more difficult and gets you the increased amount
of paradox.  Obviously, this is a very common Flaw among

Spirit Magnet (3-7 pt. merit):
Spirits congregate at a location in the Umbra that parallels your position in the Realm. You don't know of their presence unless you possess the first Rank of the Spirit Sphere or have been alerted by others that do. Spirits are there because they like being around the Quintessence that forms your physical body's Pattern or your Avatar. These spirits often fight amongst themselves for various reasons -- the spirits are enemies, they all want to be around the character's heart or brain, they want to protect the character, they want to kill the character, etc. Some of these spirits might remain within the Spirit Realms in areas that correlate with the physical space that makes up a mage's Pattern in the physical world. Some areas in the Spirit Realms correlate to physical locations. These spirits affect the behavior and appearance of the character. If there are evil spirits within the character's "spirit" form, they'll be likely to help the character out in appropriate situations. Also note that there's a distinction between spirits and wraiths. The number of Freebie Points spent or gained affects the level of spirit involvement with the character and other spirits within the Umbra.

Free Will (1-5pt Merit or 1pt Flaw):
You believe, strongly, that your destiny is not pre-
determined.  You feel that you are the master of your fate and
can reasonably hope to accomplish anything.  When things are
going badly, your belief helps you to struggle onward rather than
bemoaning your 'fate.'  Once per session you may roll your Free
Will rating (difficulty 8)to regain Willpower.  If you also have
Destiny, you cannot regain Willpower by rolling your Destiny
Rating.  If you have Destiny you can take Free Will as a Flaw: in
this case you do not believe in you Destiny or your Free Will
enough to regain Willpower.

Stormwarden (3 or 5 pt. merit):
For some reason, the Avatar Storm that rages across the Gauntlet has no effect upon your mage. When your mage reaches across the Gauntlet, he never suffers any injury from the storm. For five points, your mage also protects everyone that he touches (including through Correspondence touching) and deliberately desires to shield. Either version of this Merit is quite rare, and a whole cabal might be built around the power of one individual to travel across the Gauntlet unhindered. There's no apparent pattern to who manifests this boon -- some mages who've never studied Spirit magic before suddenly discover this talent when dragged across the Umbra, while other Masters of Spirit still can't stimulate it.

Conditional Magic (1-6 merit or flaw): There is a condition set to the functionality of your magical effects; they may work better or worse depending on certain circumstances, e.g. time of day, who you're doing the magic on, etc. Difficulties may be raised or lowered by as much as 3 according to the circumstance; the degree of the merit or flaw depends upon how rare or common the circumstance is.

Echoes (1-5 pt Flaw): Your supernaturalness affects the world around you; for example, if you are a "witch" (Verbena, perhaps), milk sours in your presence or you cannot walk on hallowed ground. Severity of the flaw depends on how severe–and noticeable–the echoes are.

Phylactery (7 pt Flaw): Your Avatar is trapped in a place, object, or even living being, or perhaps even a concept, and you must be in contact with this vessel in order to perform magic.

Shattered Avatar (5 pt Merit): Your Avatar is fractured into pieces. The bad part is, you only have a fraction of your "soul," and there may be unfortunate reasons why this is the case. The good part is, if you find the other pieces of your Avatar–perhaps they're trapped in a phylactery or in the spirit world–your rating will grow. Unfortunately, the other piece of your Avatar may also be in a person, and you can't add to your own rating until that person is dead...

Sphere Inept (5 pt. Flaw)
: You have terrible difficulty comprehending a particular sphere; it costs 25% more than normal (rounded up) to purchase new levels in that sphere. YOU MUST PLAN ON TAKING AND BUYING UP THIS SPHERE if you want this flaw; if you take this flaw and then never put points into the sphere, you've basically given yourself 5 freebie points for nothing, and no Storyteller should allow you that. You may only buy this flaw once.

Sphere Natural (5 pt Merit): You are really good with a particular sphere. Pay only three-quarters of the normal cost for raising a sphere level. This may be bought only once.

Sphere Restriction (1-4 pt Flaw): For psychological or spiritual reasons, you cannot use a sphere effect on a particular thing, person, whatever. For example, you may only be able to use the sphere on yourself, but not on other people, or only use it on other people under certain circumstances. Level of flaw depends on restriction; using the previous example: cannot use sphere effect on other people, period: 4 pt. flaw; can use sphere on other people but only with their consent: 3 pt. flaw; can only use sphere on other person with their consent or in self-defense: 2 pt. flaw; can only use sphere on others in self-defense or beneficially, with or without consent (1 pt. flaw).

Weirdness (1-3 pt flaw): One of your Spheres has an "unsettling effect" attached to it. . . perhaps you broadcast random thoughts (or randomly receive others), or something to that effect.
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