World of Darkness - Alpha Network
Sanctity of Experience
“The worst Monsters are those that are still almost Human…”
The idea almost everything a Character may gain, I.e. Equipment, Merits, Attributes and Abilities etc. are a lot more secure and staying with your Character if Experience is spent on them.
If you spend Experience Points on it, it’s likely a more difficult and plot-driven path to being lost than just gaining it in a Story with no Experience spent on it. If it is still lost, the player may receive , which can be used and reinvested in anything they desire. How much is XP is returned is entirely up to the GM, depending on many factors they should take into consideration. It may be none or it may be full return.
A character that put any Experience Points into a Skill, Merit or Advantage etc. but comes across them in the Story and they take it up still get to play with it but it can be considered easily “broken” or “lost” by the GM during the Story and if so, they get no Experience back at all.
Now you don’t have to feel like you’re cheating a player if you have their Ally or Mentor or Resources cut off at the knees. It lends an air of drama to the whole story, because both players and Storytellers can trust that no one will get ripped off, even if no one is safe. As a player, I might even suggest at some point that for dramatic purposes, one of the antagonists kills off my Contacts one by one. Now I have to go make new ones. Maybe reapply the Merit dots to the same Merit. Maybe I go and collect the secret funds I had set aside for paying my Contacts and increase my Resources Merit. Maybe I’m paranoid and now invest those Merits into something like Safe Place or Haven or the like, increasing my security.
Sanctity of Merits gives players and Storytellers in the game more freedom to craft stories without having to worry about flushing XP down the drain. Less risk of hard feelings, more collaboration to create dramatic horror stories with Gothic flair.
The first paragraph talks about how the merits are an out of character mechanic for advancement and character sheets and how most merits are things that they have, not are.
The second uses the retainer example being eaten out in the woods. The retainer was created by the player and informed the ST as much as possible about it, but like everything not a player, is controlled by the ST. You make order your dog to attack the monster, or it might do it by itself, being a loyal and faithful pup. But everything that happens to it is up to the ST and the dice gods.It also states that because of the loss of his dog, he may replace the merits with a safe house, because he feels vulnerable due to the loss of his dog, or direction sense, so he won’t get lost in the woods and lose another dog. Thus, what you should take away from this is the merits you can take must be due to the merit you lost. So, it is up to the player to convince the ST that his new merit is how his character would deal with the loss of his old merit.
The third is just saying that it has to make sense and should be used in the next chapter.
The fourth states “With storyteller permission” a player can cash in a merit for merit points. He may not cash in a merit to use it once very usefully, and cash it back in to fit his character. and is a merit no longer makes sense, cash it in. I see this as trading 3 dots of resources for 3 dots of status in a charity organization. It should all come around to how the loss of the old merit made you gain the new merit.
The final paragraph is about merits at are part of the character herself cannot be cashed in, like ambidextrous. But is he loses his left hand, he loses use of the merit, thus during the down time between chapters he spends time practicing at the firing range for since he can no longer dual wield pistols, he practices accuracy and gains 2 dots in marksmanship merit. Or he sues the company where he lost his hand and got a 2 dot resource settlement. Or he got a 2 dot retainer, to help his do things that require two hands. Or he became a bit paranoid and gained danger sense from the fact that now he is more on edge now. Or he got encyclopedic knowledge of medicine since he spent a lot of time in a doctors waiting room going for check ups. In the end, it should just make sense.