Here's the description of the Esoteric Armory Merit:
Esoteric Armory (• to •••••)
Effect: Your character is the go-to guy when one needs a knife carved from the bone of a martyred saint, a hawthorn stake, rock salt shotgun shells, the powdered remains of cremated suicides or any number of other things. No matter how strange the need, you’ve got it covered. After successfully researching an ephemeral entity’s Bane, compare your dots in this Merit to the entity’s Rank. If the merit is equal to or greater than Rank, you’ve got what you need in your Armory. You should decide along with your Storyteller where the Armory is, though; a one-dot Esoteric Armory can fit in a large bag, but a four- or five-dot one will fill a house.
So you have to research the entity's bane/ban.
Most deliberate interactions with entities — summoning, exorcising and abjuration — rely on as much knowledge of the entity in question as the mortal can get. Research rolls to determine bans and banes are handled as extended Intelligence + Occult rolls for the most part, but many entities in the World of Darkness are protected by deliberate secrecy, obscurity, or don’t often take interest in human affairs and so haven’t had their details recorded. The target number of successes for a research roll is determined by the entity’s type and Rank, as follows: […]
How does this work when Rank isn't defined? The book mentions other similar ephemeral entities and Rank, but doesn't really clarify how best to calculate a Rank. Also it sounds in some ways like it should also work on non ephemeral entities (got a wooden stake?).
For example (my question is not limited to this), I have created a Potency 5 Strix. With the following Banes:
- Sunlight and Fire
- Abjuration ( Exorcism, wards and such )
- Material Bane ( Salt )
Now, sunlight and fire are gained at level 1, and an additional bane every other level. In some ways it seems odd that a researcher couldn't discover the sunlight and fire banes without going to the full 5 dots of potency (is it appropriate to equate potency with rank?).
To summarize my question, what is a good way to determine Rank for non Ranked types, and should I apply any different if multiple levels of ban(e)s exist?