In World of Darkness, many of the physical merits have prerequisites. I've seen them stated in these three forms:

  1. Dex 3, Str 3 (the most common form)
  2. Dex 3 and Str 3
  3. Dex 3 or Str 3

The second and third ones are clear, but I'm not sure what the first one means. Does it mean you have to have either Dex 3 or Str 3 in order to get the merit, or does it mean you must have both Dex 3 and Str 3?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @acolyte I think he has; it's the World of Darkness core setting for the nWoD rules. Merits don't have prereqs in the same way in oWoD, especially not to the degree they do in nWoD, and merits for individual games tend to be Supernatural. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Dec 17 '13 at 5:54

I think 1. Dex 3, Str 3 is the same as 2. Dex 3 and Str 3, the serial comma being a stylistic tool: you need both Dex 3 and Str 3.

Even though the serial comma could separate items that have an "or" relationship as well, the usage in the core nWoD book very strongly implies an "and" relation. For example, it would be rather weird to suppose that for Fighting Style: Kung Fu (Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2 and Brawl 2) you'd need either Str 2, or Dex 2, or (Sta 2 and Brawl 2). Obviously, you need all of these to be able to pick this merit.

Also, I haven't found any Physical Merit in the core nWoD rulebook that had a prerequisite listing using only serial commas without an and inserted before the last item. Serial commas seem to be used only when a prerequisite list has more than two items (of which the last one is always separated by an and).

  • \$\begingroup\$ There may be some in the god-machine rules update. \$\endgroup\$ – Pureferret Apr 2 '14 at 11:36
  1. You must have both Dex 3, and Str 3
  2. Same as 1. Just a different form. You must have both Dex 3, and Str 3.
  3. you must have either Dex 3 or Str 3

You may also see:

Str 3 and Weaponry 3; or Dex 3 and Athletics 3

... meaning you must either have Str 3 and Weaponry 3 (but no requirement on your Dex or Athletics) or have Dex 3 and Athletics 3 (but no requirement on your Strength).


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