As a storyteller, are merits acquired only through experience after character creation, or do you reward your players with them for accomplishing their goals? Suppose a situation like the following unfolds:
The reckless, young monster-hunter Edwin Malmonte has tasked himself with ridding the nearby town of a shapeshifter that has been terrorizing and murdering the citizens. Since the shapeshifter is a werewolf, he has brought a sword coated with silver. When he tracks the monster down to its lair, he engages it in tooth-and-nail combat, and emerges victorious, with the creature's head his trophy. Malmonte is proud of his kill, but has been operating out of his car ever since his estate was burned down by vengeful vampires. He decides to set up shop in the werewolf's old lair of tunnels and caverns outside the city, since it is quite expansive, and the werewolf had driven off the other supernatural threats in the vicinity.
Suppose Edwin's player would like to attain several dots of Lair (Size/Security) for his actions. If he succeeds his combat checks and kills the werewolf, is he still required to spend experience points to gain the mechanical advantages for having such a lair? Similarly, if Edwin's player purchases the dots for the lair, but does not roll for combat against the werewolf, should I, as the storyteller, allow the scenario to play out as narrated, since it is color.
Or third still, should I do both? Do I require that Edwin's player engage in combat AND spend his experience points to acquire the merit?