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Prince Lodin

What is opinion on Merits and Flaws?

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Curator

I very much like having merits and flaws, however, the list in the World of Darkness core is a little sparse, to say the least, so I tend to look elsewhere to supplement that list. They help balance and round out a character so much.

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Guest Jeebers

Almost every character in my oWoD games uses merits and flaws. Typically, the players are a mite heavy on the Flaws, because they want to purchase more dots elsewhere in their character, especially with Road, Willpower, and backgrounds. Lots of Ability purchases too. I have a 7 pt limit on Flaws, I grant 20 Freebie along with the Common Sense merit and Potent Aura for free, and no limit on how much Merits they can take. I don't allow purchasing Status beyond 1, and nobody ever buys Generation since I give it free depending on who their sire is (besides, Generation doesn't matter unless you are worried about Dominate or are making a combat monkey).

One guy swears by Efficient Digestion, and lots of times I see usage of Flaws to denote character hooks and quirks. To me, Flaws are much more interesting and useful than Merits ever would be. That said, I don't allow Iron Will or the 7pt anti-True Faith merit, or anything that allows PC's to negate their clan flaws. No Calm Heart for Gangrel etc.

I did alter how Common Sense works. In effect, you get to freeze time, and ask God what He thinks you should do, based only on what your character knows. To use it, you must give up the base 1 pt of xp you get for showing up, but you can use it as many times as you want in a given game session. Later on, when I personally feel as GM that the player is ready, I tell them that their Merit may be cashed in for a free dot of Status, usually around the time that I think they'd qualify for ancilla. It's a big step in my game, because it means I think you know what you are doing. Status is HUGE in my game, and each step is a big leap in how the NPC's view your PC.

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My players have always adored merits and flaws in the oWoD style even when we're playing nWoD. I basically make it so that flaw points grant you an equal amount of additional merit dots and just double check to ensure no one's picking something silly that won't have an effect. My players really take great pride in their oWoD flaws as we often allow them to have a varying amount of 'weight' to them. For example, I would allow pyrophobia from a human to range from 1 - 4 with 1 being creeped out and avoids it and 4 being a blind panic in response to it. My players and I find the nWoD flaws a bit more restrictive because they're all of equivalent weight (they don't have to be, of course, because in truth they only earn exp when you respond to them in a plot affecting way but they SEEM like it).

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Curator

I really like the idea of merits and flaws, however, I think the short list they have is...well, too short.

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Hey ZN,

What "short list" are you referring to? I know between all the books there are pages of merits, and a few websites out there has tried to compile most of them (usually limited to a game, such as those from all of the VTM 2nd edition books as an example). The really good lists will cite book if you want more info on it.

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Curator

I forgot this was on OWoD post. I was referring to the list in the nWoD core.

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