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I had an idea for a Demon: the Descent character who runs an online dating/matchmaking service. The idea would be that the exchange agreed in the pact/Terms of Service would grant the mortal the True Friend merit (CofD: Chronicles of Darkness: Revised Storytelling System Rulebook, p. 56) in exchange for something that I could secretly take from them and patch onto my character as needed.

From what I remember, granting a three-dot merit was a simple pact that provided plenty of benefits (I can't double check this as I haven't got access to the rules anymore, but hopefully shouldn't affect the question).

But assuming I can grant one mortal NPC the True Friend merit specifying another NPC, does that implicitly create a two-way bond between them?

If I recall correctly, the text of the merit implies that if a PC has the True Friend merit and she doesn't uphold the relationship, she might lose the merit but does not state that she's beholden in the same way, i.e. the 'True Fiend' NPC doesn't have their own 'True Friend' merit.


In short, would the pact need to give one or two merits - one to each NPC - to function as I'm intending (i.e. create a functional friendship that I can nudge into something more)? My argument is, so long as they both get a True Friend out of it, there won't be repercussions on my character, and it's simpler than patching a whole relation in out of thin air onto the mortal (which I think is possible but more complicated for a pact, but I forget how exactly).

I want to avoid the situation where the relationship is one-way between the two mortal NPCs.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You have created in me a sincere fondness for this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    May 3, 2022 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ If a mortal gains riches from a Pact with a Demon, they can still gamble them away. If they gain a True Friend, they can still act in a way that eventually alienates them. It's just one way. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 17, 2022 at 18:58

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This would be a medial pact.

See p191 of Demon the Descent.

Medial (2): Medial assets give the recipient a three- or four dot Merit, or else increase an existing Merit by two dots. As with lesser assets, something that requires changing the world around a character is only gained at three dots, while something that merely requires altering the character herself is gained at four dots. The latter type of Merit is still increased by two dots.

True friend is a 3 dot merit. See p56 of Chronicles of Darkness

You have an unbreakable bond of friendship with a chosen character. Rolls to influence your friend to your detriment suffer a -5 penalty. Once per story, you can recover one Willpower through a meaningful interaction with your friend.

You don't need to grant other randoms merits. See p192 of Demon the Descent

A demon can sign a pact with a mortal and grant that mortal riches (Resources), friends (Allies), wisdom (Skills), health (Stamina) or almost any other benefit...

The going theory is that a pact manipulates reality in much the same way an Embed does — the demon uses established metaphysical pathways to attract the kind of change he needs. Put another way, the potential is already there for the human to become rich (the money exists, it just isn’t hers), popular (those people are out there, they just don’t know or like the pactbound), wise or healthy (within the person’s DNA is the possibility to be smarter or healthier). The demon isn’t manipulating the world, just individual variables. The support for this theory is that whenever a demon creates a pact that alters something external to the human signatory (Allies, Resources, and other such Merits), something happens out in the world to balance it. A pactbound becomes wealthy and somewhere a rich man dies with no heirs. A pactbound gains a dedicated group of assistants (Staff), and somewhere a scientist’s budget is slashed, forcing him to fire his lab techs

You can grant people friends without needing to do other work. This is balanced by someone else losing out- if you are finding people the perfect mate for example, you're probably breaking up a marriage somewhere else to balance it out.

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