As a player who is looking to actually branch off into GM'ing, my group and I ran into this conundrum recently: a technomancer of ours hacked into a corporations database at their security center. Per an exceptional success, they also found important financial secrets and plans. Taking these, the technomancer would be able to, using this information, make a killing in the stocks, estimated in the amount of 5 million. Would that necessarily earn that player the Resources at Five dots? Or would it be seen as a temporary gain? Granted, 5 million is a bit much to call temporary, my GM decided to go that route as there were no exact ruling to be found in Larceny and Resources implies that the funds would need to be a consistent stream of funds. Thoughts?

Another point of conundrum is that with a Resources of Five dots, would said technomancer be allowed to basically buy a Sanctum since he could purchase a place, the land, and outfit it as desired, including the security of it? Would that necessitate a temporary decrease in the Resources merit? Obviously there are some things that simply cannot be purchased, ie a Hallow for the Sanctum, but could you theoretically buy/earn these merits without expenditure of experience points?


I am going to use an analogy.

Let's say I earn resources equal to 2 dots worth of Resources.

Now I find a dollar.

I have two dots of Resources and a dollar.

Now multiply this analogy 5 million times.

In all seriousness, a character would gain a dot in Resources if they made more money because they made a promotion or perhaps they start blackmailing someone and earn some extra cash that way. So no, the character's Resources do not increase but that doesn't mean he can't use the money to do whatever he wants. After all, you give him the possibility to do this.

So can he do this without spending XP? I am actually asking you, because you are the one telling the story here. You are the storyteller. You rewarded a character with a big chunk of change. What he does with it is up to him and you should let the stats reflect the game world.

That doesn't mean having 5 million dollars is going to be an easy reward. Someone might start asking questions. Investigations into insider trading have been done over less profits.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that is a huge help. I wasn't entirely sure how it should play out since some of the merits were specifically vague, but that helps me understand at least this one a bit better. \$\endgroup\$ – Pethrax Jun 29 '14 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problem. As I stated in a comment to the answer by @Jadasc about the rules should be bent for the story, not the other way around. \$\endgroup\$ – Wineballs Jun 29 '14 at 21:26

I'm going to start with the rulebook answer, which is, no, they cannot.

Merits are special capabilities or knacks that add individuality to your character. They’re purchased during character creation or with experience points over the course of your chronicle.

This is as distinct from oWoD Backgrounds, which could often be granted as a reward through roleplay.

One technique that's commonly used (and that has brought me success) is that gains that aren't backed up by XP are more vulnerable to reprisal by NPCs and likely to be taken away. In this case, the inside information the technomancer took could have triggered alerts in the corporate database, or the unusual transaction activity could raise red flags at the securities exchange. In this way, the rewards are viable, but potentially lead to danger later on.

Now, you don't have to do it this way. However, as a Storyteller, the reason you might wish to is because if you do not, you'll be teaching your players that the only worthwhile things to spend XP upon are things that make them more personally powerful — magical abilities, perhaps, or power stat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. However, the Storyteller has a story to tell and I think the system lends itself to be (ab)used by the Storyteller. I'm not extremely familiar with nWoD but oWoD specifically stated, and I'm paraphrasing, that the rules are expendable in light of the story, not the other way around. \$\endgroup\$ – Wineballs Jun 29 '14 at 21:24

Five million dollars does not equal five dots of Resources. No amount of loose cash (or stocks or bearer-bonds or Marlboro Miles) equals a Resource rating any more than a pile of mana equals a Hallow.

I fully admit the nWoD Merit system can sometimes seem problematic to reconcile with story, like with learning skills, I think it fair to let experience go slightly farther if it is spent on something that can be a direct representation of the earning. If you spend a chapter dealing with Sanctum Security, it is reasonable that that is where the experience gets spent, that was your goal; it makes less sense to gain a better Medicine skill, but you don't want to take choice away from the players.

The carrot works better than the stick, so it is easier to give a bonus if experience is "spent towards" a game mechanics reward as it is earned and otherwise goes into a general pool (easier to keep track of too).

Resources doesn't represent wealth, it represents the ability to obtain needed equipment. The dollar amounts, as I understood it, are to indicate the general "personal worth" this would indicate that a millionaire might conceivably have zero (available) Resources, while I could see an otherwise penniless master thief having a Resource rating, just to represent the ease they would have in acquiring what they need/want.


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