Backgrounds, Virtues and Flaws
Useful backgrounds in Bulk and Surface
These have been plucked from various sites on the net, such as:
(I hope I have linked to all the sources used; otherwise contanct me and I correct the attributions)
(1-3pt) (VtM 3rd)
Big Mouth (1pt)
You’ve got an opinion on everything and you’re not at all hesitant about letting people hear it. You tend to blurt out painful truths at the worst possible times. At least once per high-tension social scene, you must come out with your thoughts. You can avoid this by biting your tongue -- literally. This inflicts one health level of Bashing damage and costs a Willpower point.
(6 pt) (VPG)
Compulsive Liar (2pt)
You feel the need to put your personal spin on the truth. You don’t necessarily do so out of spite or malice, and you may come to genuinely believe the tall tales that you tell (especially when you spin them often enough). This Trait is especially troublesome when other Cowboys rely on you for information about bounty heads and their habits. You might have to spend a Willpower point to force yourself to be honest, especially if it means revealing a previous lie.
Confused: (2pt) (VPG)
Criminal Record (2pt)
Having been convicted for several misdemeanors or perhaps even a minor felony, you have a bit of a shady past. You are unable to buy firearms legally, and you receive exceptionally poor treatment from law-enforcement officials who know your record.
(4 pt) (VPG)
You have problems taking responsibility for your actions. Perhaps you view yourself as a perfectionist, or maybe you’re simply too immature to accept the blame for failure. When things go wrong, you look for ways to blame others and rarely accept blame or criticism for your actions without contention.
Sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s who you owe. If you take this as a Merit, somebody owes you, but as a Flaw, you owe someone a favor. For one point, the debt is a socially or emotionally significant one (you offered some friendly advice or a shoulder to cry on). For two points, it’s financially significant (you loaned out money or provided some professional help free of charge). For three points, the debt is a matter of life or death (you saved someone’s life or one of her loved ones). You can call in a debt at any time, at which point you lose this Merit. Likewise, the Storyteller can decide to call in a debt you owe, getting rid of your Flaw. Refusing to honor a debt may have serious consequences, not the least of which may be ruining your reputation and turning a friend into an enemy.Depression [4 point Flaw]
You’re mired in a pit of bleak, mind-numbing sorrow. Convinced that your eternally dark mood is completely natural -- or deserved -- you refuse to seek professional help. You do not regain Willpower per day as most characters do. Instead you may only gain Willpower through actions, and even those must ardently reaffirm your goals.
Distinguishing Characteristics [1 or 2 point Flaw]
You have a physical appearance that makes you very easy to pick out in crowds, such as elaborate tattoos, a scar or an obvious birthmark. This Flaw is worth one point if the characteristic is hidden easily under clothes, two points if it is not.
(1-5 pt) (VPG)
Flashbacks [2 point Flaw]
You have some traumatic experience in your past that you sometimes recall with terrifying clarity. Whenever you are in a situation similar to that experience, you must make a Willpower roll at +1 difficulty to avoid being overwhelmed by memories of it. You tend to mistake people, places and things for similar things in your memory and may act on those erroneous conclusions. If you botch your Willpower roll, you become almost catatonic, entirely lost in your recollections. You can spend a Willpower point to ignore the effects of this Flaw for one scene.
Greedy (1 – 3 PT FLAW)
The need for gaining and keeping material wealth is greater in you than in most. To avoid a situation which would gain you personal wealth at any cost, you must make a Willpower roll (Difficulty 7 for the 1 pt Flaw, 8 for the 2 pt, and 9 for the 3 pt). A Willpower Point may be spent to avoid the temptation for one scene.
Gullible [1 point Flaw]
You have a lot of trouble separating truth from fiction. You are not stupid, you just tend to believe what people tell you rather than to take things with a grain of salt. Any roll to detect lies is made at +2 difficulty.
Hard of hearing (1pt)(VtM 3rd)
Honest to a Fault (1pt flaw)
You often feel compelled to speak what’s on your mind at times when its best to either say nothing or tell a "White Lie". When people could use a word of encouragement or positive reinforcement, you tend to speak the truth about the thing: weight, looks, a family members health, et al…
Impractical Dresser [1 point Flaw]
You tend to dress with an eye toward impressing others rather than personal comfort. Unless you explicitly state that you dress appropriately for physical activity, you wear tight jeans, high heels or something else that hampers physical activity. Athletics rolls (including dodge) are made at +2 difficulty when you wear such clothes.
Incompitent [3 point Flaw]
You are spectacularly bad at something. Unfortunately, you’re the only person around who doesn’t understand this fact. Pick a single Ability. You believe you have the proficiency equal to three dots in that Trait, when in reality you almost always ruin any effort involving it. Whenever you try to use the Ability, treat the outcome as if you rolled a botch.
LECHEROUS (2PT FLAW)
Your feeling for the need of sexual stimulation exceeds the normal parameters. This desire is sometimes so strong that it manifests in the form of voicing your thoughts about an attractive person in inappropriate situations. This will often lose you status with others.
Low Self-lmage: (2pt) (VPG)
Mr. Nice Guy [3 point Flaw]
You want to be wanted, you love to be loved. You have a very hard time crossing anyone. You tend to apologize for the littlest things and often concede to arguments even when you know you’re right. In fact, even killing comes hard to you. You have to be pushed pretty hard to actually kill someone (while often incapacitating them is not as challenging to you). You also have a tendency to tell the truth whether it is appropriate at the time or not. Lying does not come easily. A Willpower point can be spent to ignore this effect for a scene.
(2 pt) (VPG)
Overconfident: (1pt) (VPG)
Overwhelmed [2 point Flaw]
You don’t deal well with chaotic or confusing situations. They tend to overwhelm you. You suffer a difficulty modifier of +1 to +3 in such conditions, determined by the Storyteller. This is the opposite of the Concentration Merit, and you cannot have both.
Pacifist [1 or 4 point Flaw]
You are against violence and prefer to avoid it whenever possible. You must spend a Willpower point in order to initiate combat, although you can fight to defend yourself and others. You must also spend a Willpower point in order to use a lethal attack, although you can use bashing attacks freely. For four points, you must spend a Willpower point to be able to fight at all, and you cannot use lethal attacks.
Phobia (Mild): (1pt) (VPG)
Power Hungry (1-3 PT FLAW)
You are so drawn to the trappings and vestments of power that you find it hard not to grasp the reins when the opportunity presents itself, even if it were to mean bringing harm to those you know and love. A Willpower roll is required to avoid doing what your heart desires and what you know to be "right" (Difficulty 7 for the 1PT Flaw, 8 for the 2 PT, and 9 for the 3 PT, modified by the situation).
Secret [1/3/5 point Flaw]
You’re hiding something that, if known, would compromise you in the eyes of others. For one point, your secret would seriously change your life if it got out. This might be an alias, past political affiliations, your sexual orientation, elements of your background and so forth. For three points, your secret would result in your arrest and imprisonment if it were revealed, such as a crime you committed. For five points, your secret is so dreadful it would result in your death if it were revealed, such as being an undercover agent infiltrating the Syndicate. Generally, the Storyteller should threaten your secret at least every three or four episodes, and it should come up almost every other episode. If you don’t take adequate precautions to protect it, the Storyteller should feel free to expose your secret and let you deal with the consequences.
Sensation Junkie(2pt Flaw)
Wheee!! Hop aboard the ride of your life---your life, that is! To you, everything is an endless source of stimulation, and you crave all the stimulation you can get. When an opportunity to try some new kick offers itself, you have to make a Willpower roll to resist. The more dangerous the sensation appears, the lower the difficulty of the roll---you might crave forbidden sensations, but you're not utterly suicidal. Naturally, you can always choose to have your character take life up on its offers even if she makes the roll, but that's her choice, not a compulsion.
(3pt) (VtM 3rd)
Speech Impediment: (1pt) (VPG)
(1-3) (Cbk Salubri)
Superstitious (2) (Cbk Gangrel)
Terrible with Names [1 point Flaw]
Try as you might, you almost always forget people’s names, especially when meeting large groups for the first time. You (OOC) may not write down the names of any people you meet during the game unless your character (as opposed to you, the player) has paper and a writing utensil handy. You also have problems remembering whether you’ve been someplace before, and with recognizing faces. Make an Intelligence roll to recall such information.
Too Curious(3pt Flaw)
You're too inquisitive for your own good; even
most cats have more of a sense of self-preservation that you do. When
a mystery presents itself, you'll go all the way to hell (literally!)
to puzzle it out. It's hard to put a finger on why you feel compelled
to search out facts, but it often gets you in trouble.
Tragic [3 point Flaw]
You have trouble seeing a future version of yourself, so therefore there must not be one. As a result, you are more than willing to throw yourself straight into the depths of hell blindly and without thought of the consequence. You receive a bonus equal to your willpower rating on the initial die pool of a conflict that will more than likely kill you. If the encounter is a standard combat, then the bonus applies to the first roll after initiative. If you perform an action prior to actual initiative (a surprise action) then the bonus applies to that action. Any other uses of this Flaw are at the discretion of the Storyteller. This flaw may not be taken with Daredevil.
Vulgar (1 pt flaw)
There are a great many things that are Faux Paux in social situations and you tend to do them all! You belch, flatulate, make rude comments loudly, and use Vulgar Argot in the highest of Social situations. Raise target numbers by 2 regarding scenes that require couth, or to just keep your mouth shut. You may spend a point of Willpower to overcome this flaw for one scene.
(3) (Cbk Nos Rev)
Acute Hearing: (1 pt) (VPG)
Acute Sense of Smell: (1 pt)
Acute Sense of Taste: (1 pt) (VPG)
Acute Vision: (1 pt) (VPG)
Ambidextrous: (1 pt) (VPG)
Bargain Hound [1 point Merit]
You have a knack for getting things cheaply. Sometimes you get the goods you need wholesale, sometimes you get them you get them through less than standard channels, sometimes you just hunt around until you find a bargain. However you go about it, the Resource roll related to the purchase gains an additional die.
Code of Honor [2 point Merit]
You have a particularly strong moral code, which you must specify during character creation (“No Women, No Children”). Any attempt to force or persuade you to take an action that breaks this code is made against a +3 difficulty.
Coldly Logical (1) (GC)
Computer Aptitude (2pt): (GC)
Common Sense: (1 pt Merit)
You have a significant amount of practical, everyday wisdom. Whenever you are about to do something contrary to common sense, the Storyteller should alert you to how, your potential action might violate practicality. This is an ideal Merit if you are a novice player because it allows you to receive advice from the Storyteller concerning what you can and cannot do, and (even more importantly) what you should and should not do.
Concentration: (1pt) (VPG)
Corporation CEO: (5pt) (VPG)
Corporate Ties: (3pt) (VPG)
Culture Knack (3pt Merit)
Wherever you go, there you are. While some
people may get hung up on social niceties when they travel, you're not
one of them. This talen grants you an innate insight into social graces
in unfamiliar settings. With very little effort, you could go from Soho
pub to dinner with the Queen. Wherever you are, whoever you're with, you
make a good impression.
Devotion [2 point Merit]
You have a particular devotion to a cause, ideal, code of honor, organization or even an individual. Attempts to sway you from the object of your devotion are at +3 difficulty. However, you must remain true to your devotion in order to retain this benefit. If you deliberately and knowingly betray the object of you devotion, you lose the inner strength it gives you until you make amends.
Dual Nature: (2 pt Merit)
You have two distinct Natures, both of which have an influence on your personality and behavior. When you pick these Natures, be careful to choose Archetypes that are somewhat compatible. Dual Nature does not mean schizophrenia (that is a Derangement). This Merit allows you to regain Willpower using both Natures. You may still choose a Demeanor, and it can be as different from the character' Natures as the player desires.
Eidetic Memory: (2pt) (VPG)
Good Taste [1 point Merit]
You have a knack for choosing the right food from the menu, telling the right anecdotes and giving the right presents. You’ve seen the right films for discussion on cultured company. Your taste makes forging social contacts among similar folk much easier, whatever your origins. Gain two dice on any Social roll intended to gain acceptance or to impress in a like-minded gathering.
Gossip [1 point Merit]
You’re an incurable gossip, and other gossips recognize a kindred spirit in you. You’re more than happy to spend hours shooting the breeze with others, all the while discussing the minutiae of other people’s lives. Surprising how much information you can pick up that way, isn’t it? Gain two dice of any Interrogation roll made in a social situation, without bullying or intimidation.
Healthy Skepticism [1 point Merit]
You’re good at separating truth from fiction, and someone has to be up pretty damn early to catch you off guard. You rarely take what people say at face value until you’re able to check the details yourself. This Merit allows you to gain two additional dice on all rolls when attempting to see through a lie. It should be roleplayed as much as possible.
Higher Purpose: (1 pt) (VPG)
Jack-Of-All-Trades: (5 pt)
Judicial Ties: (2pt)
Lightning Calculator : (1pt) (VPG)
Media Junky [1 point Merit]
TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, films -- you love them all and can’t get enough. You’re a voracious consumer of pop culture and are always up on the latest movies, music or current affairs. Gain two dice on any Social or Investigation roll that involves pop culture.
Media Ties: (2pt) (VPG)
Natural Born Driver (2 pt merit)
You were born to drive – anything! Nearly any mode of ground or water transportation is yours to command. This includes anything from mopeds to aircraft carriers, though you’ll need at least a few moments to examine the controls and gather yourself before turning the key. All difficulties due to the operation or repair of any ground or water vehicle are reduced by one.
Natural Linguist: (2pt) (VPG)
Optimistic [4 point Merit]
You retain a basically positive outlook on life. Even when things go wrong, you face each day with the hope that things will get better. Regain two Willpower points when you wake up each morning rather than the usual one.
Patient [1 point Merit]
You don’t lose your temper easily and you have an unusual degree of persistence. You gain one die to all rolls that involve remaining calm (or at least appearing to do so). Additionally, you may add one die to every roll after the first one on extended actions.
Police Ties: (3pt) (VPG)
Political Ties: (3pt) (VPG)
Self-Confident: (5pt) (VPG)
Speed Reading [2 point Merit]
You can read text at four times the normal rate with no loss of comprehension. While reading, make an Intelligence roll. Each success increases the speed multiplier by one, so two successes allow you to read at six times the normal rate.
True Love: (1pt) (VPG)
Underworld Ties: (3pt) (VPG)
Unflappable [3 point Merit]
You are a naturally placid person and most things in stride. You were almost hit car? That was close. Your wife has left you? well. Although you have emotions as others you don’t let them affect you to the same degree. You gain two extra dice on Willpower roll that involves staying calm or overreacting to mundane experiences.
Warrens: (3) (Cbk Salubri)
Way with Words [1 point Merit]
Language is a finely honed tool for you, not a blunt instrument. You are able to create exactly the effect you want by choosing your words carefully, in both written and verbal communication. Gain two dice on any Charisma roll where communication is the key.
Well Travelled (3p/5p)
The character has travelled broadly and has acquaintances in many remote locations that might act as contacts for him. The 3 point merit means the character has travelled across one continent (which should be noted), while the 5 point version means the character has visited the entire world. Whenever he travels to a remote or foreign location, he may roll charisma to "remember" one of these acquaintances. With any success, he locates an individual who serves as a contact. The acquaintance may only be utilised in this manner once, though he may be "remembered" again in subsequent visits with another successful charisma roll. The character may only attempt to "remember" one contact in any given location in any single adventure or game session (Storyteller discretion). If the roll results in a Critical Failure, the hero's familiarity with the location backfires and he suffers a -1 penalty to all social skill checks until he leaves the area (similar to the Infamy flaw). Obviously he did something embarrassing last time he visited.