Merits and Flaws can be selected only during character creation and are purchased using freebie points (although existing Merits and Flaws can be removed or new ones added by the Storyteller during the course of the chronicle). Each Merit has its own point cost, while each Flaw has a point value which adds to the amount of freebie points a player can spend during the creation process. A character may take as many Merits as the player can afford, but no character may have more than seven points' worth of Flaws. The seven possible freebie points earned through taking Flaws (when combined with the 15 freebie points from character creation) can give a character a total of up to 22 freebie points to spend in other areas.
Prerequisite: White Howler
The depths of the earth can be confusing to navigate, especially for creatures that are accustomed to aboveground landmarks. You, on the other hand, have no such difficulties; it is almost impossible for you to become lost while underground. You have one additional die to any attempts to navigate, map, travel, or overcome terrain obstacles that take place below ground. At the Storyteller's discretion, this may apply to cave environments, as well.
You have an abundance of plain, everyday common sense (which is often not so common among humans or Garou). Whenever you're about to do something counter to common sense, the Storyteller may step in and advise you that you're about to do something that your character would recognize as foolhardy. This Merit is particularly recommended for novice players still coming to grips with the world of Werewolf and its dangers.
You are familiar with and talented in the uses of computer equipment. All rolls involving computers (hardware, software, or operations) are at -2 difficulty for you.
You have the ability to focus your mind and shut out any distractions or annoyances. Characters with this Merit are unaffected by any circumstantial penalties that otherwise might affect their dice pools or difficulty ratings (e.g., nearby gunfire, overpowering aromas, or hanging upside down).
You drive like you were born behind the wheel. All difficulties on driving rolls are reduced by two.
You know a language in addition to your native one. You can take this Merit multiple times, each reflecting a different language. Spirit Speech is a Gift and cannot be learned using this Merit. Garou are not required to use this Merit to purchase Garou Tongue or lupine communication; those are considered to come as naturally to them along with theirxsxs native homid language.
You have a natural affinity with numbers and mental calculations, making you a natural when working with finance, estimating at a glance, computing odds, figuring complex variable equations, and the like. All rolls where mental math comes into play are made with a -2 difficulty. Another possible use for this Merit is figuring the odds of success or failure of a particular endeavor, assuming you have sufficient data upon which to base your calculations. In appropriate situations, you may ask the Storyteller for the difficulty of a task you are about to undertake before committing to the effort.
You are naturally adept with all kinds of mechanical devices (note that this aptitude does not extend to electronic devices, such as computers, or anything that does not work predominantly through moving parts). The difficulties of all dice rolls to understand, repair, or operate any kind of mechanical device are reduced by 2. However, this Merit does not help you drive any sort of vehicle; once you're behind the wheel, you're on your own.
You have an innate sense of time and are able to estimate the passage of time accurately without using a watch or other mechanical device, even after long periods of unconsciousness. This allows you to know (among other things) what phase the moon is in.
You have uncanny control over your inner anger, and can use your Rage as most Garou cannot. You can enter a berserk frenzy at will, ignoring your wound penalties. You still suffer the consequences of any actions committed in the throes of frenzy. When circumstances might cause you to frenzy, you must make a standard roll to see if you do so or not.
You have a rigid personal code of ethics to which you adhere. The specifics of this code must be worked out with the Storyteller prior to play, and the character must follow it strictly. Characters with this Merit gain two additional dice to all Willpower rolls when acting in accordance with their code (e.g., defending the helpless) or when attempting to avoid violating their code. You may choose something already established (the Litany is a common Code of Honor amongst Garou) or create your own list of moral and ethical dos and don'ts with your Storyteller's approval.
You remember, with perfect detail, things you see and hear. Documents, photographs, conversations, etc., can be committed to memory with only minor concentration, as can complicated trails, complex scents, or detailed howls. Under stressful conditions involving numerous distractions, you must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 6) to summon enough concentration to absorb what your senses detect.
Prerequisite: White Howler
There is somewhere, or someone, with which or whom you share such a bond that you can find them, no matter the distance. This Merit is not a supernatural power, and will only take you to the general area of your focus: the village, but not the particular dwelling or room, for example. Nor is it a medium for transportation. You must cover all distances and surmount all obstacles between you and the object of your focus yourself, and you are limited by your own travel mode and speed. Assuming you can manage that, Homing Instinct will lead you to your destination, despite distance, weather conditions, or even supernatural interference.
Choose your "focus" (either a location or a character you have forged a strong bond with) at the same time you choose your Instinct. While it is possible to change focuses, such bonds take time and affection to create. They cannot be "set" and "reset" with a simple decision, and are always subject to Storyteller approval.
In normal circumstances, following the Homing Instinct requires no rolls. Make a Perception + Awareness roll when a major setback or obstacle such as a mountain range, a blizzard, a long delay, etc., blocks your path. The difficulty is begins at 6, but modifiers may apply (+1 per month of delay, +1 for harsh weather or terrain, +3 for supernatural interference or distances of over 500 miles.)
You have the grit of a true survivor. In a crisis, your deep reserve of determination gets you through. Reduce the difficulty of Willpower rolls by two if struggling against overwhelming odds.
You recognize the inner qualities of those around you, good or bad, and are not often fooled. Those using Subterfuge or similar deceits against you raise their difficulty by two, and you reduce your own difficulties by two when trying to figure someone out.
You have a flair for languages. Add three dice to any dice pool involving written or spoken language, and each purchase of the Language Merit gives you two languages instead of just one.
Whether due to a strong constitution, a frenetic nature, or even a hint of ancestral magic in your blood, you require significantly less sleep than the average Garou. While rest is still required after exertion, sleep is seldom necessary. One hour a night is fine, and even an hour every three days won't make you more than a little bleary-eyed. You are not immune to sleep-causing supernatural effects, and you must still rest (no combat and no efforts requiring rolls) after using taxing rituals or Gifts. You are not always perky, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, but you suffer no penalties or ill effects from remaining awake for extended periods.
You remain calm and collected even in the most trying of circumstances. Rage rolls are at +2 difficulty, reducing the chances of frenzy.
Prerequisite: White Howler
You have an uncanny ability to intuit the best course of action in situations involving instinctive responses rather than logic or rational thought. This Merit makes you an ideal companion in the wilderness, where action takes precedence over thought. You make all rolls involving Primal Urge or Survival at -2 to your difficulty.
You have a tremendous ability to resist outside attempts to take over your mind. You receive three extra dice to resist attempts to manipulate your mind, and may spend a Willpower point to shake off the direct mental control of a vampire. This Merit works only against direct mental control, not emotional manipulation; Gifts that induce frenzy still have the usual chance to succeed, for instance.
Prerequisite: Homid or Metis
You have a little knowledge about a lot of things. If making a roll on a Skill you do not possess, you do not suffer the usual penalty to the roll's difficulty. You may attempt a roll on a Knowledge that you do not possess, although the difficulty for the roll is raised by 2.
You are so sure of your own abilities that when you expend Willpower to gain an automatic success on an endeavor, you have a chance to gain the benefit of that expenditure without actually losing the Willpower. When you spend Willpower for an automatic success, you do not actually lose it unless the auto-success is the only one garnered in the roll. This Merit may only be used in challenging situations, that is, when the difficulty of your roll is six or higher. You may spend Willpower for an automatic success at other times, but if your difficulty is five or less, the Willpower will be spent regardless of what you roll.
You are a wild soul who has never bent to the leash. You are immune to vampiric Domination (but not emotional manipulations via Presence) and these Gifts will not work on you: Roll Over, Obedience, and Mastery.