Dark Hero Expanded


Original Dark Hero published in World of Darkness: Mirrors (Check it out!)

What is provided here adds to, or modifies, the material in WoD: Mirrors, expanded to a full supernatural template by Otterpooka and Suentis Po


[ Examples of Dark Heroes in History, Folklore and Popular Fiction]
[ Character Creation Summary ]

Origins

[ Ancient | Bloodline | Imbued | Primal | Reborn ]

Channels

[ The Broken | The Emissary | The Forgotten | The Guardian | The Mystic ]

Supernatural Advantages

[ Arete | Humanity | Dark Hero Merits | Masteries | Excellencies ]


"No hero is immortal till he dies."

- W. H. Auden

[WoD: Mirrors pg. 189, paragraph two] ... Heroes excel at Skills and certain aspects of Attributes, and can reach epic levels of ability in them. ...

[insert the following just before the "Supernatural Advantage: Arete" section]

Patron Entity

All Dark Heroes have a Patron Entity, even if they don't know who or what it is. That being may have provided them with a curse of undying existence, their bloodline, a blessing or information for a ritual that provides them power. A powerful being that draws a connection between the land and the hero, charges them with protection of others, or provided them with power as a means of teaching them something -- providing a hidden flaw. Every once in a while a hero is provided power as a side effect of another event or with unintended consequences. However it occurs, that Patron Entity may or may not keep tabs on the Dark Hero. They may just check on them occasionally.

When a Patron Entity seeks a more active role with a Dark Hero, or are willing to accept one, they setup expectations referred to as Agendas. Whether a Patron Entity chooses the Dark Hero or the Dark Hero seeks out the Patron, rules are established and it is made clear that there are repercussions for breaking the rules (this establishes the Merit: Patron Entity).

Possible Examples of Dark Heroes in History, Legend and Pop Culture

The following is a list of possible examples of what might, in the World of Darkness, be considered Dark Heroes. Nothing in this write up claims to tell what the source of power or greatness is to any of the hero types. This is completely intentional as certain things are best left to the player and Storyteller, or even completely unexplained.

All of the people listed here, real or fictional, are believed to accomplish things that border on, or outright exceed normal human capability. Through faith, immense skill and talent, powerful family, influence of gods or God, or other unusual circumstance these people are excellent examples of what different types of Dark Heroes could become and what they might accomplish.

Note: Some have suggestions for Origin and/or Channel as well as suggested mastery skills. The mastery skills listed here from times that predate the current skill set are from Requiem for Rome for historical games (Archery [pre-firearms], Religion [pre-computer], Ride [pre-drive], Warfare [pre-science]).

People of Note

Achilles (Imbued, Broken): (hero of Greek myth) Immortal warrior and tool of the gods. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, weaponry

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu/Blessed Mother Teresa (Imbued, Emissary): (devout Catholic and humanitarian) "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mastery Skills: empathy, expression, persuasion

Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor: (Superman's arch-nemesis) Lex Luthor is one of the most dangerously intelligent men on the planet, a super-villain, a brilliant scientist, a billionaire industrialist, and Superman's greatest enemy. Mastery Skills: academics, persuasion, science, subterfuge

Arthur Pendragon/King Arthur (Imbued, Emissary): (historical/legendary king of Britain) Mastery Skills: expression, athletics, ride, weaponry

Beowulf: (hero of Geatish myth) possessed of greater than human abilities with no known source of power. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, warfare, weaponry

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Imbued, Guardian): Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on crime, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, empathy, investigation, persuasion, politics

Buffy Summers (Reborn; Guardian): (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) The Slayer; bane of the night. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, stealth, weaponry

Erik Weisz/Harry Houdini (Bloodline, Forgotten): If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was right he was a Mystic instead, but Houdini would never have admitted it. Mastery Skills: academics, athletics, larceny, persuasion, science

Grigori Rasputin (Ancient, Mystic): Rasputin is thought to have been able to accelerate healing, identify thieves and be nearly impossible to kill. Rasputin's body, systematically beaten and attacked with a bladed weapon, poisoned, shot four times, and drowned, was recovered from the Neva River. His arms were found in an upright position, as if he had tried to claw his way out from under the ice and the cause of death was determined to be drowning. As the body was being burned, Rasputin appeared to sit up in the fire. Mastery Skills: academics, medicine, occult, persuasion, politics

Hercules/Heracles (Bloodline, Emissary): Hercules was the illegitimate son of Zeus and Alcmene. Hera was enraged at Zeus for his infidelity with Alcmene, and even more so that he placed the infant Hercules at Hera's breast as she slept and allowed Hercules to feed, which caused Hercules to be partially immortal, thus, allowing him to surpass all mortal men in strength, size and skill. He was renowned as having "made the world safe for mankind" by destroying many dangerous monsters. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, survival, weaponry

Hiawatha (Emissary): (Iroquois leader and negotiator) A skilled and charismatic orator, was instrumental in persuading the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks, to accept the Great Peacemaker's vision and band together to become the Five Nations of the Iroquois confederacy. He is believed by some to have arrived and disappeared on a white canoe, never to be seen again. Mastery Skills: empathy, expression, persuasion, socialize, politics

Hunahpu and Xbalanque (Bloodline, Emissary): (heroes of Mayan mythology) Hunahpu and his brother were conceived when their mother Xquic spoke with the decapitated head of their father Hun Hunahpu. Avenging the death of their father One Hunahpu, they used cunning and intelligence to defeat the Lords of Xibalba (the Underworld). Mastery Skills: academics, athletics, occult, persuasion

Imhotep (Ancient, Mystic): His title is as follows: Chancellor of the King of Egypt, Doctor, First in line after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Chief Carpenter, Chief Sculptor, and Maker of Vases in Chief). Imhotep was the original Renaissance Man, reputed to be a skilled poet as well. Mastery Skills: academics, crafts, expression, medicine, occult, politics, religion

Jack Sparrow (Captain Jack Sparrow that is): Out to experience life and seek adventure. A pirate's life for him! Mastery Skills: Athletics, Drive (Pilot), Weaponry, Subterfuge, Persuasion

James Bond: (Royal Navy Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR) Bond is highly intelligent and educated. He calculates how many trucks it takes to transport all the gold in Fort Knox, has a First in Oriental Languages from Cambridge University, can calculate probabilities of draws from a deck in a Texas hold'em tournament, is a polyglot although there are contradictions about which languages he speaks(at least German, French, Russian, and Japanese). Oh ... and he is a veteran Secret Service agent with "00" status. Mastery Skills: athletics, brawl, drive, firearms, science, socialize

Jeanne d'Arc/Joan of Arc (Imbued, Emissary): (real life saint) The Maid of Orleans; Messenger of God. Mastery Skills: athletics, expression, religion, ride, weaponry

John Dolittle, M.D. (Primal, Mystic): (Dr. Doolittle) is a doctor who became a doctor for animals when his parrot, Polynesia taught him to speak the language of animals. He lived in the fictional town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh (commonly referred to as Puddleby) with his many animals. He has very few human friends and spends most of his time treating animals, travelling the world with his animals and conducting research into new animals and new forms of animal language. Mastery Skills: animal ken, athletics, expression, medicine, science

John Henry (Bloodline, Guardian): (American folk hero) Protector of the rights of the common man and notable for having raced against a steam powered hammer and won, only to die in victory with his hammer in his hand. Mastery Skills: athletics, crafts, survival, weaponry

Leonardo DaVinci (Mystic): He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. The scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote." Mastery Skills: academics, crafts, expression, religion, science

Miyamoto Musashi: A great and skilled samurai that engaged in sixty duels without suffering defeat once, and was noted in this regard for his skill at handling two swords at once. He was also remembered for employing a simple bamboo sword, which he used to deadly effect. Mastery Skills: athletics, craft, ride, weaponry

Nicola Tesla: Inventor Nikola Tesla invented the radio, experimented with long-range wireless electricity and communications, a radio-controlled boat and designed a particle beam weapon (or death ray). Science Fiction has added many more credits to his name. Mastery Skills: academics, craft, science

Pied Piper of Hamelin (Imbued, Mystic): Savior of the children of Hamelin from the plague or revenge-stricken rat-catcher, you decide. Mastery Skills: expression, persuasion, subterfuge

The Shadow (Imbued, Broken): "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" He possesses "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." Mastery Skills: athletics, firearms, investigation, larceny, stealth

Sherlock Holmes (Bloodline, Forgotten): The greatest detective of his age, over and over again... Mastery Skills: academics, brawl, empathy, expression, investigation, science

Tarzan (Primal, Guardian): He is able to climb, cling, and leap as well as any great ape, or better. He uses branches and hanging vines to swing at great speed, a skill acquired among the apes. His strength, speed, agility, reflexes, senses, flexibility, and swimming are extraordinary in comparison to normal men. He has wrestled full grown bull apes and gorillas, lions, rhinos, crocodiles, pythons, sharks, tigers, man-size seahorses (once) and even dinosaurs. Mastery Skills: animal ken, athletics, empathy, expression, survival

Thomas Alva Edison/The Wizard of Menlo Park: In his lifetime, Edison became an avid businessman, scientist and inventor, patenting 1,093 inventions. He also improved upon the original design of the stock ticker, the telegraph, and Alexander Graham Bell's telephone. He believed in hard work, sometimes working twenty hours a day. "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Mastery Skills: academics, craft, politics, science

Zorro (Imbued, Emissary): Champion of the downtrodden. His mask could potentially be an artifact that chooses the next Zorro. Mastery Skills: athletics, persuasion, socialize, weaponry


Dark Hero Character Creation Quick Reference

For the beginning of character creation, see the two-page spread beginning on pg. 34 of the World of Darkness Rulebook. The following section summarizes the qualities that comes from the transition to a Dark Hero and are applied as step five of the character creation process.

Origin

Choose an origin that is the source and circumstance of your character's power. Pick one of the three Infallible Skills with which you never need to worry about a chance die.

Ancient: Those who by ritual, right or circumstance come back after death and reawake in their old body as if death had not just occurred. Infallible Skills: Investigation, Larceny or Subterfuge.

Bloodline: The descendants of gods or very magical beings that possess echoes of their powers. Infallible Skills: Politics, Brawl or Socialize.

Imbued: Supplied with power for a reason, these Dark Heroes are guided to a purpose, an imbued goal, and given the tools to fulfill that purpose. Infallible Skills: Occult, Athletics or Expression.

Primal: The force of nature itself has surfaced in the character, allowing him insight into the world around him. Infallible Skills: Medicine, Survival or Animal Ken.

Reborn: Reborn are those who by ritual, right or circumstance come back after death and are reborn as a new person with old memories. Infallible Skills: Academics, Stealth or Empathy.

Channels

Choose a Channel that reflects how you make use of your abilities and deal with your responsibility.

The Broken: The Broken have been given power, but that power includes an unintended or, somewhat more ominously intended, flaw.

The Emissary: Power came to them for a reason, and someone has taken an interest in them, providing a cause or purpose which they must decide whether to serve or chafe against.

The Forgotten: The Forgotten have been given power as a side effect or unintended consequence to another action (possibly a freak accident such as a lightning strike).

The Guardian: Hero of the people or bodyguard of the gods? You decide. The guardian has a want, conscious or not, to protect others and is more than capable of doing so.

The Mystic: The perpetual boy scout, a mystic thinks things through and prepares ahead of time. They have a connection to the undercurrent of magic that runs through the world and can use it to do amazing things.

Masteries

You start off with three Mastery Skills and may eventually have as many as six. Choose the first three, with which you gain a free mastery in each (one starting with two).

Arete

A character's Arete, the source of excellence and supreme skill that is the hallmark of a Dark Hero. Arete starts at 1 but may be raised during character creation at a rate of 3 Merit dots per extra dot of Arete.

Merits

The following merits are particularly appropriate for a Dark Hero character:

General Merits: Just the Thing ( to )

Mental Merits: Danger Sense (), Eidetic Memory (), Emotional Detachment (), Encyclopedic Knowledge (), In the Zone ()

Physical Merits: Ambidextrous (), Brawling Dodge (), Direction Sense (), Fast Reflexes ( or ), Fighting Finesse (), Fleet of Foot ( to ), Fresh Start (), Giant (), Iron Stamina ( to ), Iron Stomach (), Natural Immunity (), Quick Healer (), Strong Back (), Strong Lungs (), Tolerance for Biology (), Toxin Resistance (), Unarmed Finesse ( or ), Weaponry Dodge ()

Social Merits: Fame ( to ), Inspiring (), Mentor ( to ), Retainer ( to ), Status ( to ), Striking Looks ( or )


Origins

[ ANCIENT | BLOODLINE | IMBUED | PRIMAL | REBORN ]

The hero's origin is the source of their power and circumstances upon which that power is gained.

Each origin has the following items:

Infallible Skills: Each Dark Hero chooses one of three skills associated with their Origin to be their infallible skill. This skill is one of the three initial Mastery Skills. With this skill the Dark Hero always has a minimum of one die to roll and therefore never roll a chance die. If a supernatural ability used against them would make them roll a chance die, it instead requires them to roll a single normal die.

Origin Ability: Each origin has one or more abilities that are unique to them and are linked to the inherent nature of their origin. There are generally benefits and at least one drawback associated with them.

Ancient

Ancients are those who by ritual, right or circumstance come back after death and reawaken in their old body as if death had not just occurred.

Infallible Skill: Investigation, Larceny or Subterfuge

Benefits: He has experienced injury and death, and continues to come back. An ancient is immune to minor diseases and infections.

They are also "frozen" at an age between 18 and 25, when their body stopped growing, developing an excellent muscle memory. They do not suffer a penalty on untrained Physical skills.

The ancient is effectively immortal and has probably forgotten more than they currently know. Gain a +1 to Intelligence and pick a bonus skill specialty for Academics.

The character's original native language is an ancient language that would be spoken where they originally grew up, but they have also become accustomed to speaking a modern language with just as much skill. Both of these languages he can speak, read and write fluently.

Drawback: Their aura is dimmer even than mortals but not so dim as to be confused with a vampire. Wounds caused by fire or excessive heat always inflict aggravated damage.

Bloodline

There is power in the hero's family tree, whether that power (or powers) is from a demon, spirit, god or other being-of-power is up to you to figure out.

Choose a bloodline that is the source of your character's power. This can be based on a god, mythic creature, strong ties to one or more supernatural types, or other mystic origins. The decisions on bonuses and abilities will be influenced by this choice.

Infallible Skill: Politics, Brawl or Socialize

Benefits & Drawbacks

+1 dot to an attribute appropriate to the blood inherent in your family line(s).

Choose three positive and two negative abilities from the list below that are appropriate to your bloodline. With Storyteller approval, you may select four positive and three negative.

Possible Benefits:

Possible Benefits or Drawbacks:

Possible Drawbacks:

Imbued

A very powerful being or a powerful item has provided you power and tools to assist you in your tasks. Some powerful spirits or ghosts may possess a person to deliver a task and abilities to the character. The being or item imbuing the power has goals of it's own that may or may not coincide with the heroes own goals.

Infallible Skill: Occult, Athletics or Expression

Benefits: Choose a Motivation (WoD: Mirrors pg. 25) appropriate to the character's imbued goal. Regain Willpower by performing actions that move toward or fit within that goal.

+1 dot to a power attribute appropriate to your imbued goal.

Gain 5 additional dots in merits that tie directly into your imbued goal.

Actions that are diametrically opposed to your imbued goal require success on a Resolve + Composure roll. Each additional roll made for this reason during a particular scene subtracts a die from the dice pool.

Drawback: Dramatic failure and exceptional success apply for the rest of the scene, requiring you to not directly oppose the goal or allowing you to ignore it.

Primal

Your power comes from Nature itself. Whether that is a spirit or other being with a strong mystical connection to nature or Nature itself, the character is connected to the land and that which naturally occurs there. Many Primal Heroes have a desire to defend, improve and maintain the area they live in while others simply seek to know it completely. The hero is aware of the land on a level that most other beings cannot understand. They feel the plants grow, animals move about, wind blow, etc.

Infallible Skill: Survival and one of the following: Intimidation, Medicine or Animal Ken (only one of your infallible skills needs to be a mastery skill)

Benefits: When taking an action to stop and listen to the world, the hero rolls Wits + Survival to sense movement within a radius of 10 yards x Arete around them. They will especially notice larger beings moving or, more eerily, no movement at all. When moving through the forest they intuitively know how to move to avoid large obstacles and small ones just seem to brush past them with no harm done.

+1 dot to a physical attribute appropriate to your primal nature.

Drawback: A mortal observing a primal hero using this ability will get a sensation of something unsettlingly wild about the hero and seek to get away from them, although aside from this urge they keep their wits about them. Any social interactions, except Intimidation, with a person who has witnessed this ability are at -2 dice for rest of the scene.

Reborn

Reborn are those who by ritual, right or circumstance come back after death and are reborn as a new person with old memories. The hero is born, ages and dies only to repeat it all over again with a new identity. They gradually regain memories of their past lives as they grow up.

Infallible Skill: Academics, Stealth or Empathy

Benefits: Reborn recover from injuries at an amazing rate. A Reborn is immune to minor diseases and infections, and healing times for them are halved. Once they have gained maturity they age a little slower that a mortal or other hero.

Born Again heroes do not suffer a penalty on untrained Social skills. Due to cycling from life to life, their mental fortitude is better and they gain a +1 to Resolve.

Drawbacks: Their aura is brighter than a mortal and their health is vibrant. When picking someone out in a crowd, the Reborn is likely to be it, as people just tend to notice them.

Their metabolism is greater and their blood is twice as potent for any purpose as that of a mortal (to a vampire their blood is as potent as that of another vampires). They require more food and water, suffering a loss of health levels after a number of days equal to half Stamina (round up) and lose lethal levels instead of bashing (see WoD, pg. 175).

Channels

[ THE BROKEN | THE EMISSARY | THE FORGOTTEN | THE GUARDIAN | THE MYSTIC ]

The hero's channel is how they tap into the power they have. Each provides a benefit and a drawback.

The Broken

The Broken have been given power, but that power includes an unintended or, somewhat more ominously intended, flaw.

Benefit: One bonus mastery.

Drawback: Under a particular condition, all of the broken Hero's benefits, Arete-based abilities and Masteries cease to function for a period of time. They are effectively completely mortal. The table below determines the possible Conditions and length of Time for the effect. The conditions and time period should balance each other out.

Example Conditions: Area of Body Struck, Substance Consumed, Exposure to Substance, Wounded by Substance

Time Periods (rarity of condition/substance): Common (a round), Uncommon (a minute), Rare (10 minutes), Very Rare (a scene), Extremely Rare (a day), Unique (a week).

The Emissary

Power came to them for a reason, and someone has taken an interest in them, providing a cause or purpose which they must decide whether to serve or chafe against.

Benefit: The Emissary has a cause and a patron entity of that cause (gain Merit: Patron Entity for free). They have a generally good relationship with their patron entity and as a result their patron gives them periodic insights into their nature, allowing Arete to be raised at New dots x 7.

When involved in social interactions that forward the interests of your patron entity or their cause gain 9-again on Expression, Persuasion or Subterfuge rolls to do so.

Drawback: The Emissary is held to a higher standard than others that serve your Patron. Emissaries start off with, and reset to, a Conflict of 2 with their patron, instead of 0 (see Merit: Patron Entity).

The Forgotten

The Forgotten have been given power as a side effect or unintended consequence to another action (possibly a freak accident such as a lightning strike).

Benefit: Pick one skill that is not one of your initial (first three) Mastery Skills and gain 8-again when making rolls with it. Choose one specialty to Academics or Occult that would apply to "enemies" of your accidental benefactor.

Drawback: Gain one less Willpower point from fulfilling your Virtue (minimum of one).

The Guardian

Hero of the people or bodyguard of the gods? You decide. The guardian has a want, conscious or not, to protect others and is more than capable of doing so.

Benefit: The Guardian's ability to defend applies both to themselves and to a person in their protection. A Guardian is immune to wound penalties, allowing them to fight to the very end without being hampered (they still feel the pain, but not severe enough to impair their abilities). Do to their calling a Guardian receives an extra die to resist Humanity degeneration when violations occur in direct service to their duty.

They can also extend protection to one person by touching them. Once they have granted protection to that person it lasts for a full scene as long as they are within each others presence. While the guardian is conscious and alert, anyone who seeks to attack their ward must successfully make a mental resistance roll against the guardian's Presence + [combat skill]. The combat skill must be the one they are using or intend to use as a form of "attack" in a conflict (generally Brawl, Firearms, Weaponry, Persuasion, Intimidation, etc.).

Drawback: A guardian's instinct is strong. When innocent and defenseless people are in danger, the guardian must attempt to protect them. To put one's own life in higher regard than those that obviously need protection requires the expenditure of a Willpower point for each person they abandon (to a minimum of 0 Willpower).

The Mystic

The perpetual boy scout, a mystic thinks things through and prepares ahead of time. They have a connection to the undercurrent of magic that runs through the world and can use it to do amazing things.

Benefit: Mystic Heroes can purchase Low Magic (Thaumaturgy) and Psychic merits, found in WoD: Second Sight, in addition to potentially picking up Spell Mastery.

Also, when performing a ritualized version of a Mastery Skill, spending 3 times the normal amount of time, provides 2 automatic successes unless a dramatic success is rolled.

Drawback: Counter-magic abilities work to cancel Benefits and Masteries for a Mystic, even if the original ability does not say so.

Supernatural Advantage: Arete

Arete

Arete, a term synonymous with excellence, is a hero's core supernatural trait and the source of her exceptional abilities. Heroes begin with one dot of Arete. Further dots have a cost equal to the new rating x 8. Arete has the following effects:

Heroic Traits: unchanged.

Heroic Health: unchanged.

Heroic Resistance: unchanged.

Hero Complex: Starting at an Arete of 6, a slowly increasing penalty to social rolls when dealing with mere mortals applies. The hero gains a condescension and superiority due to their inability to reconcile the difference in power between mortals and themselves. After all, they're so ... fragile.

Masteries: unchanged.

Excellencies: Like Masteries, Excellencies exemplify the heroic aspects of a character but center on elements of the character other than skills: attributes, origin, channel, etc. Unlike Masteries, Excellencies cannot be purchased at character creation. A character can never have more than one less their Arete rating in Excellencies.

NOTE: The chart has been adjusted so the progression of new Mastery slots at each level is 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3 = 32 instead of 3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 2, 4, 1, 3, 1 = 26 (which hardly made raising to the highest levels attractive).

Willful Healing: unchanged.

AreteHeroic
Traits
Max. # of
Excellencies
Hero
Complex
Skill
#1
Skill
#2
Skill
#3
Skill
#4
Skill
#5
Skill
#6
Skill
#7
Skill
#8
15  21100000
251 22210000
352 32221000
453 33222100
554 33322210
665-143332211
776-144333221
887-244433322
998-244444333
10109-344444444

Humanity (Morality)

Dark Heroes either exemplify the best or worst elements of humanity. A Dark Hero, being possessed of amazing skill and ability, come to think of what they can do as normal and others who cannot live up to that expectation as less. This can cause a desire to protect those less capable, a condescending view, or simply a resigned acceptance of those around them. How this reflects in their personality varies from one Dark hero to another. For those who retain a higher regard for the life of others, their Humanity rating is likely to be fairly high while those that develop a disregard or dislike for "lesser beings" tend to have a much lower Humanity.

A Humanity of 10 provides a +2 bonus to interactions with mortals while using Expression, Persuasion or Socialize rolls.

A Humanity of 8 or higher provides a +1 bonus to interactions with mortals while using Expression, Persuasion or Socialize rolls.

A Humanity of 4 or less causes a -1 penalty to interactions with mortals while using Expression, Persuasion or Socialize rolls.

A Humanity of 2 or less causes a -2 penalty to interactions with mortals while using Expression, Persuasion or Socialize rolls.

Supernatural Merits

Artifact ( or higher)

As printed in Mage: The Awakening, pg. 80 with the following changes: The inherent traits are:

The wielder cannot use the Artifact's Mana to power his own spells...

Destiny ( to )

As printed in Mage: The Awakening, pg. 81.

Dual Channel ( to )

Sometimes a Dark Hero's purpose or circumstances are more complicated and they end up with two channels (e.g. a Broken Guardian or Mystic Emissary). For three dots, this merit allows a particular individual to possess two channels with all of the advantages and disadvantages of both.

At four dots, this merit removes one of the Drawbacks (player's choice), but the Dark Hero keeps the Benefits of both Channels.

Enhanced Item ( to )

This merit is used for better-than-normal items that are granted to a hero or earned by them.

Effects: Your hero has an object that has been supernaturally altered for increased Durability, Structure, an equipment bonus, or to give it some special property, such as to make steel transparent or flexible.

Enhanced items are handed down to you, given to your character or possibly taken from another. Any special properties that would require the use of other Arcana (such as Forces to make a sword that glows) must be achieved by imbuing the item instead; see "Imbued Item," below.

The cost depends on the enhanced item's properties.

Increased Durability: 1 dot per +2

Increased Structure: 1 dot per +2

Increased Equipment Bonus: 1 dot per +1 dice mod.*

Special Property: Varies **

* If the enhanced equipment bonus is more than double the item's normal equipment bonus, the enhanced item causes Disbelief when Sleepers witness its use.

** Dots equal to the rating of the supernatural ability

Patron Entity ( to )

Dark Heroes with the Patron Entity merit have a mission, whether they realize it or not. They are being pointed in one or more directions. This patron entity has an agenda and a few must and must-nots that the character must adhere to. This merit provides all of the benefits and drawbacks detailed under Patron Entity and for each dot an Agenda is selected.

Note: This Merit is required for The Emissary channel which receives two dots for free, while others simply have the option for it (an active Patron is common for a hero with the Bloodline or Imbued origin).

Agendas

Note: Agendas are loosely based on Motivations from WoD: Mirrors, pg. 24.

A patron entities agenda is intended to be anything from a great quest to a life long commitment by the hero. The hero does not necessarily understand what it is that the patron wants (at least initially), but it likely eventually be revealed or the patron won't get what they want (there are of course ways around this).

The nature of an Agenda should be action-oriented and within the wants or needs of the Patron Entity. An Agenda should be fairly specific and can either have a definitive point or goal but may or may not be a task with an obvious end. Quality Agendas should help to define the Patron Entity and provide clues to who/what they are (whether the hero actually knows or not). Some are behavior oriented (Code of Chivalry, Piousness, Work With Nature -- Not Against It) while others are goal-oriented (Destroy Those Who Commit Evil Acts, Spread the Word, Protect Your Village, Slay Monsters).

Choose an Agenda for each dot you possess in Patron Entity. Each Agenda is a Constant Agenda (one that has no logical end) or a Quest Agenda (one that has a potential resolution). Work with the Storyteller on what the Agendas are and what questions they raise for the character:

The Agendas above are merely examples, and in many cases will need to be modified to be more specific and descriptive (within reason) to you and your patron. Feel free to come up with your own Agendas (especially as many of them should be tailored to your Patron Entity), then consider what permutations and questions that need to be answered about how you and your Patron interpret the Agenda. How closely do those interpretations match, or do they greatly differ?

Conflict

Conflict is a representation of the strain put upon the relationship between you and your Patron. A mechanical representation of the conflict between you and your Patron, Conflict starts at 0 (unless you are an Emissary which starts at 2) and gradually raises and lowers as the Dark Hero opposes Agendas and appeases his patron. Conflict fluctuates between 0 and 5.

Regaining Willpower and Losing Conflict

Once per session, a character that acts in accordance with one of their Patron's Agendas gains a point of Willpower or seeks to remove a point of Conflict. Characters may benefit from acting on multiple Agendas within a single scene to gain more than one point of Willpower or make multiple attempts to remove Conflict, but any single Agenda may only be tapped once per session.

Appeasing a Patron

No Masteries or Excellencies may be applied to this roll.

Roll: Presence + Expression

Dramatic Failure: You may not regain Willpower or reduce Conflict (with any Agenda) for the rest of the scene.

Failure: You fail to appeal to your Patron and no change is made to your Conflict.

Success: You manage to appeal to your Patron and your Conflict is reduced by one.

Exceptional Success: You spectacularly appeal to your Patron and your Conflict is reduced by two.

Going Against an Agenda (Gaining Conflict)

Sometimes your character will come into conflict with an Agenda and have to decide if you will go through with your task or follow your duty (and Agenda).

Violating an Agenda

No Masteries or Excellencies may be applied to this roll.

Roll: Resolve + Composure

Dramatic Failure: You may not oppose that Agenda or gain any benefit from it for the rest of the scene.

Failure: You either must spend a Willpower point to perform the action, gaining a point of Conflict or follow the Agenda.

Success: You may oppose the Agenda and perform the desired action. Generate one or more points of Conflict.

Exceptional Success: Same as Success but you manage to sneak by and do not generate a Conflict.

Conflict Resolution

When Conflict reaches five, the Patron has decided to act. They will generally choose a punishment that fits the "crime" or simply one that suits themselves. Some examples are listed below:

Once punishment has begun the Conflict counter resets to 0 (or 2 for an Emissary) and the process starts all over again.

Culmination of a Quest Agenda

Some Agendas carry with them the promise of being fulfilled. This is true for things like Vanquish Lord Rashithar the Nosferatu (the vampire is vanquished), Restore the Ruins of Kala Himala to a Dignified Condition (cleaning and fixing up the site, clearing out vandals and making the temple a community symbol) or Avenge the Death of Your Grandfather (dealing a heavy blow to the person/organization responsible). When you and your Storyteller both agree a Quest Agenda has been completed or ended, one of three things happens:

Success: Your character gains a permanent point of Willpower and the Agenda is removed from the character sheet. Consider what your hero's Patron would want accomplished next or what behavior they want. Based on this, choose a new Agenda to replace the old one.

Unable to Follow Through: Conditions change such that the Quest is no longer possible. Choose another Agenda. If the Patron is unhappy at a lack of focus on the part of the Dark Hero (focusing on things other than those driven by Agendas) then the Dark Hero takes one or two pints of Conflict.

Failure (without possibility of success): The Patron punishes the Dark Hero as would be appropriate to what occurred with the hero having a Conflict of five. Conflict is then reset to default (0 or 2).

A character may gain a maximum number of Willpower equal to the dots in Merit: Patron Entity through fulfilling Agendas. Each Failure removes one of those possible Willpower points.

It's also possible for an Agenda to be changed by the Patron Entity or turning points in a characters outlook on the world and their Patron. In this situation, erase the old Agenda and replace it with one relevant to the character's new outlook and the Patron's revised goals (or at least their goals for the Dark Hero). Patriotism might become Revenge, as your character seeks to eliminate the person (or persons) responsible for smothering your zeal. Survival might change to Duty, as your character takes on the obligation to protect the child he refused to sacrifice to save himself.

Unusually Infallible ()

Select a completely different skill to replace an infallible skill selection. The character is no longer restricted to the three default skills based on their origin.

Masteries

Masteries represent heroic skill. A swordsman-hero with a one or two Weaponry Masteries is a potential d'Artangan or Musashi; one with more is a living god of the blade. The lesser Masteries include the plausible limits of human performance; greater ones are the realm of superhumans, such as the ability to forge steel with bare hands.

Every hero begins with four Masteries at her first Arete dot: two for one Skill and one for each of the other Skills. She may earn further Masteries across as many as eight Skills, with the limit, per Skill and in total, determined by her total Arete. Non-Arete Masteries (higher experience point cost) and the Mastery "Beyond the Limit" can be used to extend capability above and beyond what Arete alone allows.

A character must be competent at a Skill...[WoD: Mirrors pg. 190, second column, first paragraph]

[WoD: Mirrors pg. 190, second column, second paragraph] ... Skill to which he wishes to apply that Mastery.

Masteries that add the Mastery skill to a roll that may or may not already include that skill may only gain an applicable skill specialty once.

Experience Point Cost: 10 experience points per Mastery, but the first four Masteries are free. When raising Arete dark heroes do not receive any "free" Masteries.

Non-Arete Masteries vs. Beyond the Limit

Use of Beyond the limit allows available Skill Mastery slots in one Mastery Skill to be converted to a Mastery in another Mastery Skill that the character currently has no available slots available on a 2-for-1 basis (still 10xp but consumes two Mastery Slots).

Non-Arete Masteries allow purchasing of a new Skill Mastery for a skill, whether or not it is a Mastery Skill. Only one may be purchased per skill at nearly double the normal cost, but they do not take a Skill Mastery slot.

Combat/Vehicle-based Skills

For clarification, Combat/Vehicle-based skills are the following: Archery, Brawl, Drive, Firearms, Ride and Weaponry. In historical settings the Warfare skill does not fall into this category.

Changed and New Masteries Start Here

Beyond the Limit

Your character may acquire more Masteries in a single Skill than is normally permitted for her Arete. This Mastery is different than non-Arete Masteries and they can both be used to gain a large number of Masteries in a particular skill.

Lucky

Big money!

Your character demonstrates an incredible luck or gift that seems to transcend simple skill with one of his Mastery Skills.

Requirements: Mastery Skill

Skill: Any

Effect: Once per scene, a reroll can be made on your Mastery Skill. The results of the new roll must be kept, even if they are worse than the first roll.

Powerful Success

Effect: If your character scores at least one success with her Mastery Skill, double the number of successes rolled on the dice, adding a number of successes that does not exceed her Skill dots. Add these after you determine whether an action succeeds or fails.

Example: When rolling a Strength (3) + Athletics (3) roll to scale a wall, if one success is rolled it is doubled to two. If four successes were rolled then only three additional successes would be added (matching the Athletics of 3).

Rapidity

Effect: If you take this Mastery once, your character may use the Skill twice as quickly as normal. If the Skill's use requires an instant action, she may exercise the Skill twice per turn, making two attacks, two Athletics, rolls, and so on. If the Skill's use requires an Extended Action, two rolls may be made during each period.

Refinement

Practice makes perfect.

You have practiced and trained and tested until failure is no longer associated with this skill.

Requirements: Mastery Skill , Finesse Attribute (appropriate to the skill)

Skill: Your character cannot use this Mastery with any combat or vehicle-based Skill.

Effect: Uses of this skill gain the Rote Action quality (see "Rote Actions", World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134).

Self-Perfection

Mental Skills

Physical Skills

Social Skills

Excellencies

Excellencies are inherent abilities tied to an intrinsic aspect of the hero. Excellencies may not be purchased at character creation and have prerequisites that must be met. No more than one Excellency may be applied to a single roll or set of rolls (where a roll affects some aspect of another roll).

Activating Excellencies (Type)

Reaction: The abilities provided by the Excellency are in reaction to an attack or other event.

Roll: There is a roll required to activate the Excellency. Degrees of success may be important to how the ability works.

Willpower: The expenditure of Willpower is required to activate all or part of the Excellency.

Gaining Excellencies

Experience Point Cost: 25 experience points per Excellency.

Alpha Aura (Presence)

Mine.

Prerequisite: Presence

When you enter a room, people notice. They will not necessarily turn and look, but they will subconsciously be aware that a powerful person is in their presence. Most people will automatically defer to you as a person who is in charge.

Type: Roll

Duration: Scene

When making rolls to convince others (rightfully or otherwise) that you are in charge, are important to the issue-at-hand or to intimidate, gain 8-again on the roll. The first successful roll activates this ability for the scene (it can be cancelled at will).

Ancestral Memory (Intelligence, Reborn)

"I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

Prerequisite: Intelligence OR Origin (Reborn) and Intelligence

The memory of ages calls to you from ancestors, past lives or a cultural memory.

Type: Roll

Duration: Scene

Roll: Intelligence + Composure + Arete

The hero is able to recall experiences and tasks his ancestors (or possibly one of his past lives) had with enough clarity to be able to remember the skill involved well enough to reproduce it. A roll is required (with any applicable penalties for distractions as per Meditation, see WoD pg. 51). Each successes provides a temporary dot in one or more skills (successes can be split between multiple skills or all used on one skill). The number of dots gained cannot exceed you normal maximum and does not stack with existing dots (but if you get more dots using this ability than you possess, you can use the temporary dots instead).

Blind Justice (The Forgotten)

Sometimes 'us against them' is good enough.

Prerequisite: Channel (The Forgotten), Academics and Occult

You have figured out at least probably where your power comes from, and who their enemies are. This knowledge has opened your eyes in more ways than one.

Type: Roll, Reaction

Duration: Scene

Roll: Wits + Occult + Arete

With a successful roll (prompted by the Storyteller, generally after a perception check, or to look at someone in plain sight) roll you can perceive a slight aura around others given power by your benefactor and those who oppose him. This activates Blind Justice for the remainder of the scene.

For the rest of the scene, against those opposed to your benefactor, rolls to attack and the use of Intimidate, Empathy and Survival (tracking) against them add the activation successes for Blind Justice as dice.

For others given power by your benefactor, you receive a +2 to Expression, Persuasion and Socialize rolls when communicating with them while this ability is active.

Call of the Wild (Primal)

Howling to the moon not required.

Prerequisite: Origin (Primal), Dexterity or Strength as appropriate to the animal

Type: Roll

Duration: Hours

Roll: Stamina + Survival + Arete

Success: Change takes a full action

Exceptional Success: Change takes just an instant

Your connection to nature is complete. You have built the ultimate bond, the ability to become an animal for a time.

The primal hero has the ability to change into a single, vertebrate animal of a size no less than 2 and no greater than 6 with a successful roll of Stamina + Survival + Arete (full action; exceptional success makes it instant). You can stay in your animal form for a number of hours equal to your die pool.

See World of Darkness: Changing Breeds, "The Primal Beast -- The Animal Itself", pg. 109 as well as the Primal Forms of the various breeds for guidelines on creating the animal.

Can't Keep Me Down (Stamina)

"I get knocked down. But I get up again. You're never going to keep me down." -- Chumbawumba, Tubthumper

Prerequisite: Stamina

You don't tire easily and you can work and suffer through things that other people would collapse and die under.

Type: Reaction

Duration: This ability is considered to be functioning as long as there is a condition for it to need to operate. It can be suppressed (usually to use another Excellency).

Double the time increment (or threshold based on Stamina) for any damage taken due to environmental conditions, poisons, toxins, pushing beyond normal limits (such as holding one's breath or running), etc. In addition, you are able to push past pain that might otherwise affect your ability to function. Treat wound penalties as if they are 1 lower.

Cool Under Fire (Composure)

Hesitate and you're dead.

Prerequisite: Composure

When death stares you in the face, you stare right back and sometimes death backs off.

Type: Reaction

Duration: This ability is considered to be functioning as long as there is a condition for it to need to operate. It can be suppressed (usually to use another Excellency).

When making a Composure resistance roll, an opposed Intimidation roll or other roll to resist the effects of facing death (your own or others), destruction or a threat to the life of loved ones you are able to give as good as you get. When you succeed, you are able to give them the emotional impact they are trying to inflict upon you (by spending a Willpower point, this includes supernatural abilities as they rebound upon their owners). If there is no target, you are simply +2 dice to resist being affected by horrific circumstances and conditions.

Dramatic Action (Humanity)

Heroes do crazy things. Why not be good at it?

Prerequisite: Humanity 7+, Wits

Type: Reaction + (Damage or Dramatic Failure)

Duration: Original roll

Once per scene, when a roll fails using a Mastery Skill, make the roll a dramatic failure (or if there is no Dramatic Failure for the roll, take a lethal health level to your hero's Heroic Health) while making a second roll to perform another action as part of the dramatic failure (this is considered a separate roll and is affected by any Skill Masteries or Skill Tricks as appropriate).

The effects of the first roll cannot affect the level of success on the second roll.

Extreme Damage Control (Stamina)

Prerequisite: Stamina

Type: Reaction

Duration: This ability is considered to be functioning as long as there is a condition for it to need to operate. It can be suppressed (usually to use another Excellency).

You are able to heal aggravated damage as if it were lethal (this applies to normal and mystical forms of healing including the use of Willful Healing).

Fine Tuned Machine (Dexterity)

Prerequisite: Dexterity

Type: Roll

Duration: Action

When maintaining balance or fine manual dexterity is intrinsic to an action, you gain 8-again on the roll. If making a perception roll where touch is important to what can be noticed, Dexterity may be substituted for Wits or Composure (or the applicable skill).

Friendly Neighbor (Presence)

"I really like his character. I think he's a real solid kid. All the attributes you'd say a boy scout has, he has. I don't even know if he's a boy scout, but he's honest, he's trustworthy and he's easy to talk to." -- Greg Strobel

Prerequisite: Presence

You are an easy person to be around. People instinctively tend to trust you and are willing to talk to you when they might not talk to someone else, even if afterward they wonder why they did.

Type: Roll

Duration: Scene

When rolling to befriend, convince or ask information of someone that is not an enemy, gain the 8-again ability. The first roll activates the ability and it lasts until the end of the scene (it can be cancelled at will).

Hero's Sacrifice (Guardian)

Prerequisite: Channel (The Guardian), Willpower maximum of 6+

Type: Reaction or Conditional (see below)

You are able to provide your ward with +2 Defense (doesn't double with Full Defense) should they actually be directly attacked.

As a reaction, Heroic Health can be spent to prevent damage to the ward at a 1-for-1 basis (the same type of damage is transferred to the hero). Spending a Willpower point allows you to accept damage from an ally (including your ward) on a 1-for-1 basis with a touch.

Item of Power (Imbued, Emissary)

Prerequisite: Origin (Imbued) or Channel (Emissary), Presence

Type: Item

Duration: Lasting (it is an item, not an active ability and therefore doesn't count as an active Excellency)

You have been provided with an item of great power. This item is the same as an equivalent item with the following modifications: durability +2, +1 die to any die pool that uses the item, Strength requirement is -1 (if there is one) and immune to environmental change. It also contains a pool equal to your Arete that is spendable as Willpower and recharges at a rate of 1 point per day.

Even when the Item of Power is not in your possession, you know where it is. Anyone else that tried to use the item uses it as a normal item with the following modifiers: +1 minimum Strength (instead of -1), -1 die from the normal item (instead of +1) and it functions only as a normal item.

Like a Rock (Resolve)

Perhaps the ultimate poker face...

Prerequisite: Resolve

Determination. Stubborn. Rock solid. Devout. Loyal. These are all possible descriptions of a hero with this Excellency. You have the sheer will and determination to resist all manner of temptation and alteration to your goals.

Type: Reaction

Duration: Action

Resolve resistance rolls have the Advanced Action quality (see "Advanced Actions", World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 135). In addition, if you normally must lose, not spend, one or more Willpower you lose one less (including none).

Mighty Blow (Strength)

"HULK SMASH!!!" -- The Hulk

Prerequisite: Strength

Type: Willpower

Duration: Action

You need only spend one point of Willpower to gain a bonus to damage equal to your Strength when using no weapons, a handheld weapon or a thrown object. If an exceptional success is obtained, the defender is subject to a -1 wound penalty (cumulative with standard wound penalties and multiple Mighty Blows) due to the sheer force of the blow. This ability works only if the roll to hit is successful (roll Strength afterwards and add the successes).

If trying to break an object or intimidate, your Strength counts as successes rather than dice.

Moment's Notice (Wits)

Prerequisite: Wits

Type: Willpower

Duration: Instant or Action

By taking a moment to pay attention to your surroundings, gain 9-again to a perception roll (takes a free action). With particular concentration, spend a point of Willpower to gain 8-again instead Takes a turn, during which movement is not allowed and Defense is not applied).

Mummy's Blessing (Ancient)

Prerequisite: Origin (Ancient) , Stamina

You have been around a long time and your body is learning how to survive centuries.

Type: Willpower

Duration: This ability is considered to be functioning as long as there is a condition for it to need to operate. It can be suppressed (usually to use another Excellency).

Healing times are halved for all types of damage. When lethal or aggravated damage is dealt, you may spend a Willpower point to drop the type of damage dealt from lethal to bashing or from aggravated to lethal. This damage can then be healed in any manner.

Quick as Lightning (Dexterity)

Prerequisite: Dexterity

Type: Roll or Reaction

Duration: Scene or Reaction

Roll: Dexterity + Athletics + Arete

For the rest of the scene, your Dexterity is added to your Speed (again) and Dexterity is added to rolls relating to a foot chase or where a running start will improve results. You can cancel the effect at will (primarily to activate another Excellency).

In addition, when perceiving a person or object moving at them (whether or not it is an actual attack) they have the option of making a reflexive action at -3 dice. This action is in addition to any action they normally have.

Power of the Blood (Bloodline)

Prerequisite: Origin (Bloodline), Stamina

A Dark Hero with the blood of a powerful being coursing through their veins may learn how to use that blood more directly, bringing it to bear on their foes or to aid their own efforts.

Type: Willpower + Damage

Duration: One Scene

You trigger the power of your blood by bringing it out. By spending a point of Willpower (to purposely wound yourself) and inflicting one level of lethal damage to yourself, you may add +2 to your bloodline attribute or +2 to another attribute.

Preparation (The Mystic)

Prerequisite: Channel (The Mystic), Resolve

The Mystic has learned to prepare ahead of time, gaining power to an action by practicing it before it happens.

Type: Roll, Ritual Action

Duration: Scene

By ritually practicing an action (spending 3 times the amount of time it would be expected to take) and committing that practice to memory, they can use their inherent Mystic ability to a particular action (picking a lock, striking a killing blow, hacking into a secure network, etc.) and apply that success to the action later. When the actual action is performed, the extra time is not required but the two successes are gained. This clears the ritual and it must be performed again. It is possible to perform a new ritual, replacing one that has not been used.

Rapid Response (Wits)

Prerequisite: Wits

Type: Roll or Willpower

Duration: Round

Roll: Initiative

You may choose what you roll for initiative (it can be changed each round). Spending a Willpower point will allow you to preempt another's action even if you could not normally roll that result. This uses your action that round, or if it occurs after your turn that round it uses your action the next round. Preempting another's action is allowed outside of combat as well (such as in social situations).

Rousing Debate (Manipulation)

Prerequisite: Manipulation

You are accustomed to getting others to agree with you. While this will not happen all the time, you can manage often. Whether in a discussion over controversial views or delivering an inspirational speech to a group, you know how to pull on the hearts and minds of others to change their mind, encourage them and inspire them.

Type: Special

Duration: Rounds

When spending no less than a minute speaking to others, trying to convince them of a point rally them under your cause or simply inspire them to action your social rolls to do so gain the Rote Action quality (see "Rote Actions", World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134). When inspiring, for every success you can provide a +1 to their die rolls once a round (action) to perform actions in service to your words.

Silver Tongue (Manipulation)

"I have an offer you cannot refuse..." -- The Godfather

Prerequisite: Manipulation

Type: Roll (initiating roll)

Duration: Action

When initiating a social exchange, the first roll is made with no resistance roll unless the other person spends a Willpower point, after which they can make a resistance roll. If they succeed, Quick Exchange cannot be attempted against them again that day.

Stay on Target (Resolve)

"Stay on target. Stay on target." -- Star Wars: A New Hope

Prerequisite: Resolve

When the going gets tough, you concentrate and you put your all into a single task. While your focus is narrowed, what you are trying to accomplish is your whole world for a time, allowing you to excel where others would be wracked by distractions from within or without.

Type: Willpower

Duration: Action or Ritual Action

Ignoring environmental and internal distractions, you focus on a single action or ritual action. Spend a point of Willpower and the task you are performing receives the Advanced Action quality (see "Advanced Actions", World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 135) to applicable roll(s). All external distractions, mental and emotion turmoil and wound penalties are ignored for the duration of this action.

Drawback: No additional actions may be made (including use of Defense) until the action is completed or aborted. Perception rolls to notice other things going on are rolled with a -3 die penalty.

Styx and Stones (The Broken)

"Ah, beer, my one weakness. My Achilles heel, if you will." -- The Simpsons

Prerequisite: Channel (The Broken), any resistance attribute

Many Broken heroes eventually become even more resistant to everything except their weakness, making that weakness stand out even more.

Roll: Stamina + Resolve + Arete

Success: lasts one scene

Exceptional Success: lasts one day (until the next sunrise or sunset, whichever is longer)

While active, this Excellency provides the hero with 1/1 armor and immunity to poisons, diseases and environmental conditions. Durations for holding breath and deprivation are doubled. Activating Styx and Stones, as an action or a reaction, requires a Stamina + Resolve + Arete roll and lasts the scene (an exceptional success activates it for the day). The Broken hero can cancel the effect at will (primarily to activate another Excellency).

Surge of Power (Strength)

Prerequisite: Strength

Type: Willpower

Duration: Action

When spending a Willpower point and performing a feat of strength that is not an attack, you know just the way to put your muscles to the task. Using Surge of Power applies the Rote Action quality (see "Rote Actions", World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134) to the roll.

Unshakeable (Composure)

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." "Stop saying that!" - Princess Bride

Prerequisite: Composure

Confidence and knowledge-of-self allow you to steel yourself against the insults, insinuations and accusations of others. You are able to put forth a demeanor that shows others you are unconcerned and unaffected by the comments of attackers ... even if they are right on the money.

Type: Reaction

Duration: Reaction

Opposing attempts to affect your self-esteem, credibility or standing within a group, you make resistance rolls using 9-again and if you succeed resisting, the extra successes serve as a penalty to die pools to attempt similar effects for the rest of the day against you or your allies as long as you are present.

Thoughtful Countenance (Intelligence)

Prerequisite: Intelligence

Due to your capacity and desire to learn, you have more knowledge than most people at your fingertips.

Type: Roll (initiating roll)

Duration: Scene

When making a roll where depth of knowledge is a benefit, gain 9-again on that roll. During that same scene the drawback applies.

Drawback: Due to your tendency to always think before you act, your initiative bonus is 1 less and when making reaction rolls, your die pool is reduced by 1.

Optional Rules

Perception of Power

How obvious, and in what way, a Dark Hero is when using their supernatural abilities is up to the Storyteller and the flavor of game they are telling. It is also good to decide whether the Dark Hero might be able to convince themselves that they are just incredibly skilled or talented, or if they see signs of their own power that make that option only a state of denial.

Below are a few options for how the effects might manifest (consider how they might be combined for a more specific flavor):

Aura of Power

This assumes a visible aspect of the source (Origin) of the hero's power. The player should work with the storyteller on what this might be. The aura might consist of visual, audible or olfactory sensations when the Dark Hero makes use of their power. Brief (or longer lasting) images associated with their Patron Entity or heritage may be incorporated.

Invisible to Mortals: Use of their Masteries and Excellencies is only recognizable as being supernatural to others who are supernatural. Mortals are just really amazed at the some of the feats of the Dark Hero. Those who know to suspect, may consider the possibility of the Dark Hero being more than they seem.

Exceptional Aura: Only Exceptional Successes that involve the use of one or more Masteries and/or Excellencies will show the aura.

The Price of Success: Any success rolled that makes use of one or more Masteries and/or Excellencies will show the aura. Note: This is not recommended for the modern World of Darkness, but games where the supernatural are known, or where supernatural power is otherwise obvious/riskier to use might be served better with this variant.

Optional Supernatural Merit: Subtle Expertise ( or )

Note: This merit would only be made available for Dark Heroes when the default is either Exceptional Aura or The Price of Success.

You are accustomed to a method of using power that more subtle than your fellow Dark Heroes. This may be as a result of your Origin, Channel or studious practice to avoid attracting the attention of those that already hunt for you.

Benefit: For two dots, your aura shows as if one step more subtle than is normal (e.g. Exceptional Aura instead of The Price of Success).

For three dots, it is two steps lower. With storyteller approval this could mean that supernatural beings can only detect your use of power on an Exceptional Success instead of Exceptional Aura.

Power Activation

When does the Dark Hero use their abilities (excepting the ones that have various activations).

Always Active: Dark Hero abilities that have no activation are assumed to always be active. When making rolls where the Mastery or Excellency would apply, it is always included.

Suppression: A Dark Hero is assumed to be using abilities that have no activation unless they specifically decide not to (must be declared by the player before rolling).

As Necessary: A Dark Hero is assumed to not be using abilities that have no activation unless they specifically choose to use them (must be declared by the player before rolling).

Magical Heroes

Allowing Dark Heroes to purchase Thaumaturge and/or Psychic Merits from WoD: Second Sight by default. This doesn't increase the power of the Dark Hero, but does change the flavor and increase the variety of abilities they have to choose from. Spell Mastery would only then be useful to gain one of these merits in a situation where another Mastery simply was not as desirable. The Mystic Channel would then gain the ability to spend one less experience point for each dot when purchasing Thaumaturge and Psychic Merits (1 for the first dot, 3 for the second dot, 5 for the third dot, etc.).