Merits, Styles

From Codex of Darkness

Mental Styles

Style Prerequisites Rating Maneuver Description Book
Professional Training Networking Contacts •• relating to profession. CofD 46
•• Continuing Education Choose two Asset Skills relating to profession. Take 9-Again to roll Asset Skills.
••• Breadth of Knowledge Choose a third Asset Skill. Distribute two new Specialties among your Asset Skills.
•••• On the Job Training Raise one Asset Skill by one dot. Take a beat when you buy dots in Asset Skills.
••••• The Routine Spend one Willpower to apply the rote quality to an Asset Skill roll.
Unintended Applications Wits •••, Crafts or Science •• Improvised... Weapon? +2 to Intimidation rolls when you brandish something you claim is a deadly device. DSG 95
•• Achilles Fuse You can pinpoint the weak point in a given structure.
••• Creative Discount Jury-rig an asset up to two dots higher than your Resources in Availability, for an hour's work per Size.
•••• Gremlin You can disable a device without leaving evidence. With equipment, you can disable complicated devices from a distance.
••••• Jury-Rig Spend Willpower and roll Wits + Crafts or Science to make anything whose Availability doesn't exceed your successes, right away for objects under Size 6, or in a scene's work otherwise.

Physical Styles

Style Prerequisites Rating Maneuver Description Book
Aggressive Driving Resolve •••, Drive •••, Fast Reflexes ••• Powerslide Take a hard turn for bonus successes in a contested pursuit by rolling Dexterity + Drive + Handling and taking a point of Structure damage. HL 55
•• Bump and Run Roll Dexterity + Drive + Handling - Defense to brush a car's bumper and cause a loss of traction.
••• J-turn Once a scene, when caught up to in a car chase, spend Willpower and roll Dexterity + Drive + Handling - 2 to swerve and restart the chase in the opposite direction.
•••• Swoop and Squat When you accumulate a lead greater than your pursuer's Wits in successes, you may brake and force the pursuer to roll Resolve + Composure + Handling to brake in time to avoid a crash.
Drone Control Intelligence •••, Computer •••, Drive •• Remote Immersion Take 9-Again to perception actions using your remote device. HL 56
•• Interface Spend a point of Willpower to perform an additional non-combat action through your device this turn.
••• Overclock Inflict a point of Structure damage for a +2 bonus to your device's physical actions this turn.
Falconry Wits •••, Animal Ken •••, Bonded Condition These maneuvers reflexively issue commands for a trained raptor to carry out. You may spend Willpower to enhance the raptor's rolls. HL 48
Predator's Vigil Your raptor's presence inflicts Shaken on animals its Size or smaller, and lesser predators flee.
•• Flyby Your bird contests Presence + Intimidation vs Resolve + Composure to inflict a -3 action penalty.
••• Retrieve Item Command your bird to bring you an object. Your bird can make the equivalent of an all-out attack to exceptionally Disarm an opponent.
•••• Rake the Eyes Your bird attacks at -1 to blind a target.
K-9 Wits •••, Animal Ken •••, Bonded Condition These maneuvers issue commands to a trained dog Size 3 or larger. HL 49
Detection Under direction, your dog takes the rote quality to track a chosen type of scent with Wits + Survival.
•• Targeted Bite Command your dog to make called shots in combat, reducing the shot penalty by -2.
••• Tactical Positioning When you fight one opponent in tandem, choose roles each turn for you and your dog. One takes +1 Defense, the other +2 to attack. Ignore penalties for firing into melee around your dog.
•••• Takedown Bite Command your dog to initiate a biting grapple, immediately Holding or Dropping Prone.
Parkour Dexterity •••, Athletics •• Flow Subtract Parkour dots from target successes to pursue or evade in a foot chase. Reduce environmental Athletics penalties by Parkour rating. CofD 48
•• Cat Leap Add one automatic success when rolling Dexterity + Athletics to land from a fall uninjured, and add Parkour to the maximum damage that can be mitigated.
••• Wall Run Your initial climb height, with a running start, increases by five times your Athletics in feet.
•••• Expert Traceur Spend one Willpower and sacrifice Defense to make an Athletics roll to run, jump or climb with the rote quality.
••••• Freeflow After meditating, you can take an Athletics action reflexively once per turn, and Willpower spent on a foot chase confers successes rather than dice.
Stunt Driver Dexterity •••, Drive •••, Wits ••• Defensive Driving Penalize attempts to hit your vehicle in motion by your Drive dots. CofD 49
•• Speed Demon When you roll to accelerate, each success accelerates by 10 instead of 5.
••• Drift You can turn at high speeds safely without a roll.
•••• Clipping Reduce damage to your vehicle when ramming by your Wits.

Social Styles

Style Prerequisites Rating Maneuver Description Book
Etiquette Composure •••, Socialize •• Bless His Heart You can use Socialize to calculate Doors. VTR 2e 120
•• Losing Your Religion You can take +2 dice and 8-Again to lash out socially, in exchange for worsening your social impression.
••• In High Cotton Add one relevant Fame or Status Merit to your pool to contest a social interaction.
•••• Half-Cocked When your impression in Social Maneuvering is good or better, ignore Resolve and Composure on your first roll against the subject.
••••• Grace Under Fire When you offer an alternative after your Doors have been opened, the opposing player suggests three Conditions, of which you choose one.
Fast-Talking Manipulation •••, Subterfuge •• Always Be Closing Ignore one dot of a mark's Resolve or Composure when contested or resisted. CofD 50
•• Jargon Cross-apply one Specialty from another Skill to a given Social roll.
••• Devil's Advocacy Once per scene, reroll a Subterfuge failure.
•••• Salting When you open a Door through conversation, you can spend Willpower to open another.
••••• The Nigerian Scam Roll Manipulation + Subterfuge to capitalize on a present mark satisfying their Vice by opening a Door.
Mystery Cult Initiation You joined a cult. Decide your cult's guiding purpose, source of power, and cultic doctrine. Example cults are listed here. Also mirrored as Mystery Cult Influence (••• to •••••), with the same benefits but without the responsibilities of an ordinary cult member. CofD 51
Recruit A Specialty or one-dot Merit.
•• Devotee A one-dot Merit.
••• Organizer A Skill dot or two-dot Merit, often supernatural.
•••• Leader A three-dot Merit, often supernatural.
••••• Mastermind A three-dot Merit, or a major advantage beyond game mechanics.
Scorpion Cult Initiation You joined a cult in thrall to the Deathless of ancient Irem. MTC 2e 114
Initiate Gain a specialty in Academics (Iremite Religion) or Politics (Bureaucracy).
•• Cultist Receive Language (Iremic) and immunity to Sybaris.
••• Priest Distribute two free dots among Allies, Contacts, Resources, and Retainers.
•••• Godservant Receive the Witness Merit.
••••• Hierophant Harness relics of your master's guild without suffering their curse.

Supernatural Styles

Fighting Styles

Style Prerequisites Rating Maneuver Description Book
Armed Defense Dexterity •••, Weaponry ••, Defensive Combat (Weaponry) Cover the Angles When Dodging, reduce the Defense penalty from multiple attackers by 1. CofD 60
•• Weak Spot Disarm your opponent when you beat their attack by your Defense.
••• Aggressive Defense Spend a point of Willpower to inflict lethal damage when you beat an attack by Dodging. Incompatible with Weak Spot and Press the Advantage.
•••• Iron Guard Exchange points from your weapon rating for bonus Defense.
••••• Press the Advantage Once per turn, when you beat an attack by Dodging, spend Willpower to retaliate with an unarmed attack at -2.
Avoidance Manipulation •••, Athletics ••, Stealth •• Insignificance Roll Manipulation + Stealth - Composure to seem too helpless to bother attacking. HL 46
•• Coattails When you Dodge and go prone behind an ally, they may intercept attacks against you.
••• Whack-a-Mole Contest one attack each turn with Manipulation + Persuasion + Avoidance to confound the attack and inflict Arm Wrack.
•••• Play Dead When you suffer lethal damage, contest Manipulation + Subterfuge vs Wits + Composure to seem dead.
Berserker Strength •••, Iron Stamina ••• The Red Mist Spend Willpower to rouse the Insane Tilt. HL 46
•• War Cry Contest Strength + Intimidation vs Resolve + Composure as an instant action to penalize non-Dodge actions.
••• Manic Brutality Unarmed all-out attacks take +1 to call shots. Armed all-out attacks can substitute Durability as a weapon rating at the cost of damaging the weapon.
Bowmanship Dexterity •••, Firearms ••, Trained Observer • Bowmanship attacks use bows and roll Dexterity + Firearms. HL 47
Arcing Fire Double range.
•• Bullseye You may reduce your weapon rating for +1 and 8-Again on a called shot.
••• Out of Nowhere When you make an unnoticed ambush shot, roll Dexterity + Stealth to force a Wits + Composure roll, penalized by successes, to avoid being Shaken.
•••• Death from Above Fire over unroofed cover to ignore a point of concealment for every 10 yards of added arc distance.
Boxing Strength ••, Dexterity ••, Stamina ••, Brawl ••, Athletics •• These maneuvers must be made with brawling attacks. HL 47
Head Protection +1 Defense against brawling, and -1 to strike your head.
•• Defensive Jab Deal piercing bashing damage when your Defense or Dodging beats a close-combat attack.
••• Knockout Artist Stun an opponent as if they had -1 Size, or with a called head shot, -2 Size.
•••• Combination Successful strikes add Dexterity as bonus dice.
••••• Out for the Count Stunning attacks stun for their damage in turns, and the opponent must spend Willpower to stay conscious.
Brute Force Strength •••, Brawl ••, Size 5+ These maneuvers must be made with bare hands or fist weapons. PTC 2e 112
Falling Pillar Take 8-Again to an all-out attack. If it causes the target's Stamina in damage, inflict Knocked Down.
•• Crush and Bite Add the Crush and Bite grapple maneuver: inflict lethal damage equal to successes, and if the target can bleed, an additional point the next turn.
••• Juggernaut A ten-feet running start allows unarmed attacks to Knock Down.
•••• Bone Cracker Make a called shot with an all-out attack. If it causes the target's Stamina in damage, add a point of lethal damage and Arm or Leg Wrack. Incompatible with Falling Pillar.
••••• Colossus When you make an all-out attack, take 1/2 Armor and immunity to Knocked Down, and penalize attempts to grapple or move you by your Strength.
Chain Weapons Strength •••, Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Weaponry •• These maneuvers use chains at least a yard long. HL 48
Imposing Defense Sacrifice Defense to inflict weapon rating +1 in bashing damage when struck in close combat.
•• Bring Down the House Attack an overhanging object, penalized by its Size, to deal its Structure in bashing damage to targets below.
Close Quarters Combat Wits •••, Athletics ••, Brawl ••• Firing Lines You can respond to a ranged attack by seeking cover up to twice your Speed away. CofD 61
•• Hard Surfaces You can smash a Damage grappling maneuver into a hard surface, dealing lethal damage and ending the grapple.
••• Armored Coffin When you grapple an opponent wearing armor, add their general armor as bonus dice to your roll, and ignore armor when you use the grapple to Damage. Incompatible with Hard Surfaces.
•••• Prep Work Take the rote quality to Stealth rolls to launch close combat ambushes.
••••• Turnabout When you roll to disarm, treat a failure as a success, a success as an exceptional success, and an exceptional success as is plus your opponent takes two bashing damage.
Combat Archery Strength •••, Athletics ••, Quick Draw (Bow) Combat Archery attacks use bows and roll Dexterity + Athletics. HL 48
Rapid Nock Ignore bow Initiative penalties. String arrows reflexively.
•• Reflex Aiming Ignore penalties for firing into close combat.
••• Parthian Shot When you Dodge, inflict threshold successes as attack damage against the first close attack you beat each turn.
•••• Rain of Arrows Make medium autofire attacks at triple range penalties.
••••• Trick Shot Simultaneously perform a Combat Archery attack and an Athletics action, both at -2.
Disabling Tactics Strength •••, Weaponry •• Breaking the Breach -2 to penalties to target arms, hands or legs. DE 247
•• Cast Like Sand When you deal damage with your weapon, spend Willpower to inflict Knocked Down.
••• Strike the Rising Dog When an opponent tries to rise from prone, spend Willpower to make a reflexive Weaponry attack on them. A successful strike prevents rising.
Firefight Composure •••, Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Firearms •• Shoot First Drawing a gun adds Firearms as an Initiative bonus. CofD 61
•• Suppressive Fire You can lay Covering Fire with a semi-automatic weapon. When you lay Covering Fire, apply your Defense against Firearms attacks, and deny Aim bonuses.
••• Secondary Target You can attack a target with objects bounced by a shot, dealing bashing damage with no weapon rating applied, but ignoring cover.
Grappling Stamina •••, Strength ••, Athletics ••, Brawl •• Sprawl Deny a grappling opponent the ability to Drop Prone or Take Cover. CofD 62, HL 49
Standing Throw Gain the Knock Down grapple maneuver.
•• Small Joint Manipulation Take -2 to dislocate fingers as a maneuver, inflicting half bashing damage and debilitating pain.
•• Takedown Instead of starting a grapple, you can roll to knock an opponent prone, optionally dealing bashing damage with successes.
••• Ippon When you Takedown and follow the opponent prone, stun as if your damage were doubled.
••• Joint Lock Add the Joint Lock maneuver to grappling options: adds 1L to overpowering maneuver effects, does bashing damage next turn, and can set up Restrain.
•••• Dynamic Guard When you grapple while prone, penalize your grappling opponent by your Dexterity.
•••• Lock Flow Take +2 to grappling rolls to set up a Joint Lock.
••••• Tap or Snap The turn after a Joint Lock, you may, as a grapple maneuver, force your opponent to choose either surrender or a broken limb and lethal damage.
••••• Positional Dominance Grappling maneuvers deal half their successes in bonus bashing damage.
Heavy Weapons Stamina •••, Strength •••, Athletics ••, Weaponry •• These maneuvers require a two-handed weapon. CofD 62
Sure Strike Sacrifice three dice to add a point to weapon rating.
•• Threat Range Deal a point of lethal damage and a temporary Defense penalty to opponents who enter range when you aren't moving or Dodging.
••• Bring the Pain Sacrifice Defense to make an attack that also inflicts a temporary dice penalty equal to its damage.
•••• Warding Stance Spend Willpower reflexively to apply your weapon rating as close combat Armor.
••••• Rending Spend Willpower to make an attack that deals an additional point of aggravated damage.
Improvised Weaponry Wits •••, Weaponry • Always Armed Reflexively roll Wits + Weaponry to draw a simple improvised weapon that doesn't suffer the improvisational penalty. CofD 62
•• In Harm's Way Once per turn, apply an Always Armed weapon's Structure as close combat Armor, potentially damaging the weapon.
••• Breaking Point When you make an all-out attack with an Always Armed weapon, sacrifice its Structure to temporarily increase its weapon rating.
Kino Mutai Dexterity ••, Resolve •••, Brawl •• Trained Bite Inflict +2 damage with the Damage grapple maneuver when biting, or +1 with inhuman bites. HL 50
•• Ripping Gain the Ripping grapple maneuver: inflict a point of bashing damage and incapacitating pain.
••• Trained Gouge Gain the Gouge grapple maneuver: blind the opponent while held.
•••• Continuous Bite Inflict lethal damage with the Damage grapple maneuver when biting.
Light Weapons Wits ••• or Fighting Finesse, Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Weaponry •• These maneuvers require a one-handed weapon with a damage rating less than 3. CofD 63
Rapidity Sacrifice your weapon rating to add Weaponry as an Initiative bonus.
•• Thrust Sacrifice points of Defense for bonus attack dice.
••• Feint Make a feinting attack. Instead of dealing damage, its successes apply to an attack next turn as a damage bonus, and successes plus weapon rating apply as a Defense reduction.
•••• Flurry Inflict a point of lethal damage per turn to opponents in range when your Defense is available.
••••• Vital Shot Sacrifice your Defense to make an attack that deals an additional point of aggravated damage.
Marksmanship Composure •••, Resolve •••, Firearms •• These maneuvers require an Aim action and sacrifice your Defense. CofD 63
Through the Crosshairs Raise your maximum Aim bonus to Composure + Firearms.
•• Precision Shot Exchange points of weapon rating for points of penalty reduction for a called shot.
••• A Shot Rings Out Ignore penalties to strike a surrounded target. Missed shots never hit unintended targets.
•••• Ghost Penalize rolls to notice your vantage point or investigate for evidence of it by your Firearms.
Martial Arts Resolve •••, Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Brawl •• These maneuvers must be made with Brawl attacks. CofD 63, HL 50
Focused Attack Reduce called shot penalties by one die, and ignore one point of Armor.
Leg Kick Sacrifice a point of Defense to inflict Leg Wrack with a brawling attack.
•• Cutting Elbow Make a called shot at -2 to blind an opponent by drawing blood.
•• Defensive Strike Exchange up to two attack pool dice for points of Defense.
••• Trapping You may withdraw successes from a successful attack to hold them in reserve for next turn's attack.
••• Whirlwind Strike Inflict one point of bashing damage per turn, or two by spending Willpower, to opponents in range when your Defense is available.
•••• The Hand As Weapon Inflict lethal damage unarmed.
•••• Inch Force Reflexively respond to one grapple attempt each turn with a Brawl attack contesting the opponent's Strength. Success breaks free and damages normally.
••••• High Momentum Strike Prepare a counter stance as an instant action. When an opponent first fails to strike you in close combat within the stance, roll a counterattack. Success Knocks Down and deals normal damage plus Brawl damage dice.
••••• The Touch of Death Unarmed strikes gain a 2L weapon rating.
Mounted Combat Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Animal Ken ••• Steady Saddle +3 to stay mounted during combat. HL 51
•• Fixed Charge Sacrifice Defense to combine a charge with an all-out attack.
••• Skirmishing Take a -2 attack penalty for +2 Defense and to attack halfway through your mount's movement.
•••• Rearing Beast Roll Wits + Animal Ken as teamwork to enhance your mount's attack.
Police Tactics Brawl ••, Weaponry • Compliance Hold +2 to Disarm or Immobilize in a grapple. CofD 64
•• Weapon Retention Attempts to disarm you or turn your weapon against you must beat your Weaponry rating in successes.
••• Speed Cuff You can Restrain an immobilized opponent reflexively.
Powered Projectile Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Firearms •• These maneuvers are made with premodern projectile launchers, such as crossbows and slings. HL 51
Quick Reload Reload your weapon one turn quicker, down to a reflexive action.
•• Intercept Shot When you Aim, you may make called shots against sailing projectiles to deflect their course.
••• Penetration Sacrifice Defense to make an attack with +2 armor piercing.
•••• Skewer Reduce called shot penalties by two dice, and resulting Tilts persist while the projectile is enlodged.
Relentless Assault Strength •••, Stamina •••, Brawl •• Drop of a Hat On the first turn only, if you make an all-out attack, add +3 to Initiative. BTP 118, WTF 2e 109
•• Eye of the Tiger Focus on one opponent. You can apply your Defense against that opponent's attacks when you all-out attack.
••• Dig Deep You can exchange one attack pool die for a point of weapon damage.
•••• Grin and Bear It Add 1/1 Armor when you make an all-out attack.
••••• The Warpath When you fill someone's last health box with lethal or aggravated damage, you can spend Willpower to make another close combat attack. Werewolves with this Merit replace the Willpower cost with Hard Rage.
Spear and Bayonet Strength •••, Dexterity ••, Weaponry •• Firm Footing All-out attacks and charges into your braced weapon inflict your weapon damage, which can exhaust Armor against a subsequent attack. HL 51
•• Keep at Bay Spend Willpower to threaten an opponent with a shorter weapon. They must retreat or dodge, or else lose Defense for a turn.
••• Strike and Develop Sacrifice Defense to twist an inflicted wound, causing a turn of lethal damage from bleeding for each attack success.
Staff Fighting Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Weaponry •• Short Grip You may exchange your staff's Defense bonus for a bonus attack die. HL 51
•• Thwack Weapon Contest Strength + Weaponry vs Strength + Athletics to disarm an opponent.
••• Vaulting Defense Spend Willpower to add your Melee dots as a Defense bonus against a single attack in a turn.
•••• Tornado Strike Spin your weapon as an effective medium autofire burst against three targets in range.
Street Fighting Stamina •••, Composure •••, Brawl ••, Streetwise •• These maneuvers must be made with Brawl attacks. CofD 65
Duck and Weave Take a one die penalty this turn to calculate Defense with the higher, not lower, of Dexterity and Wits.
•• Knocking the Wind Out Unarmed attacks inflict a temporary -1 penalty.
••• Kick 'Em While They're Down Inflict two bashing damage to opponents within range who attempt to rise from prone. Inflict Knocked Down when your attack successes exceed the target's Stamina.
•••• One-Two Punch Spend Willpower to inflict two extra bashing damage when you hit.
••••• Last-Ditch Effort When you're suffering wound penalties and about to be attacked or overpowered, spend Willpower and sacrifice Defense to interrupt with a preemptive attack.
Strength Performance Strength •••, Stamina ••, Athletics •• Strength Performance ••• may justify shedding Small-Framed or gaining Giant mid-play. HL 52
Strength Tricks Take +1 to nonviolent feats of strength, +2 when using Expression or Intimidation.
•• Lifting Receive the rote quality on Strength + Stamina feats and combat actions to demolish structures.
••• Push/Pull Double your effective Strength to shift objects across a plane, or quintuple it with wheels or other friction reductions.
•••• Stronger Than You Successful Strength rolls add an additional free success.
Systema Dexterity •••, Wits ••, Athletics ••• Rolling Ignore penalties to attack from prone, and roll Dexterity to mitigate bashing damage from impacts. HL 52
•• Balance Contest attempts to bring you prone with two free successes.
••• Combat Posture Knock Down when you roll a victim's Strength in successes to strike them in melee, or add a point of damage if already Knocking Down.
Thrown Weapons Dexterity •••, Athletics ••, Quick Draw (Thrown) These maneuvers throw Size 0-1 edged weapons. HL 52
Practiced Toss Add Athletics as an Initiative bonus while wielding these thrown weapons.
•• Impalement Arts Sacrifice Defense to inflict the Impaled Tilt on a called shot.
Two Weapon Fighting Wits •••, Weaponry •••, Fighting Finesse These maneuvers use complementary weapons up to Size 2, and do not compensate for offhand penalties. HL 53
Balanced Grip Don't sum Initiative penalties so long as the off-hand weapon's penalty isn't greater than the main hand weapon's.
•• Protective Striking Add your off-hand weapon rating, minimum +1, to your Defense against the first attack in a turn.
••• Dual Swipe All-out attacks with both weapons ignore a point of Defense and add the off-hand weapon rating, minimum +1. Incompatible with Double Strike.
•••• Double Strike Spend Willpower to strike two targets simultaneously, one with each weapon. Apply the higher Defense, plus one, to both attacks.
Unarmed Defense Dexterity •••, Brawl ••, Defensive Combat (Brawl) Like a Book Add half your Brawl as a Defense bonus when not Dodging. CofD 65
•• Studied Style Focus on one opponent. Their attacks don't reduce your Defense. Once you've beaten one of their attacks with your Defense, they no longer reroll tens against you.
••• Redirect Once per turn, when you beat an attack by Dodging, you can force the attacker to reroll the attack against another opponent in range.
•••• Joint Strike Spend Willpower and roll Strength + Brawl instead of Defense against an attack. If you win the contest, inflict bashing damage and Arm or Leg Wrack.
••••• Like the Breeze Declare this maneuver at the beginning of a turn when you Dodge. You can Knock Down assailants when you beat their attack.
Weapon and Shield Strength •••, Stamina •••, Weaponry •• These maneuvers use a one-handed weapon from behind a carried shield. HL 53
Shield Bash Add your shield's Size as bonus dice when dodging. Dodge successes in excess of your opponent's inflict bashing damage.
•• Boar's Snout You can make all-out attacks without sacrificing the bonus Defense from your shield, adding +1 Defense to any allies also using this maneuver.
••• Pin Weapon Disarm assailants on missed melee attacks.
•••• Tortoise Shell Treat your shield as protective cover with Durability equal to its Size, +1 for each adjacent shielded ally.
Notation Legend
Dot of a Trait Rating (Skills, Merits)
Power Trait Point (Vitae, Mana)
Willpower Point
Activation Damage B/L/A
Special/Other Activation Cost
Alternate Costs ●/●●●
Costs per Item ●/item
Optional Costs (●)
Cost Ranges ● to ●●●
Combined Notation Example ●(○)
●/item, 1L