Knowledges involve the application of the mind, not the body; consequently, Knowledge Abilities are most often paired with Mental Traits. (It's possible to roll Charisma + Academics, or even Stamina + Medicine, but such things are pretty rare.) The following descriptions speak of Knowledge levels in collegiate terms, although formal schooling is j ust one way to improve a Knowledge.
If you don't have any dots in a Knowledge, you cannot even attempt a roll involving it unless the Storyteller gives explicit permission (such as where common trivia is concerned). If you don't know Spanish, you can't try holding a conversation in espanol on your wits alone.
This catchall Knowledge covers the character's erudition in the "humanities": literature, history, art, philosophy and other "liberal" sciences. A character with dots in Academics is generally well-rounded in these fields, and at high levels may be considered an expert in one or more areas of study. Not only can this Knowledge impress at salons and other Elysium functions, but it can also offer valuable clues to certain past - and future movements in the Jyhad.
* Student: You're aware that 1066 is something more than a Beverly Hills area code.
** College: You can quote from the classics, identify major cultural movements, and expound on the difference between Ming and Moghul.
*** Masters: You could get a paper published in a scholarly journal.
**** Doctorate: Professor emeritus
***** Scholar: Scholars worldwide acknowledge you as one of the foremost experts of your time.
Possessed by: Professors, Literati, Trivia Buffs, Elders
Specialties: Poststructuralism, Impressionist Painting, Imperial Rome, American Realism
This Knowledge represents the ability to operate and program computers, as well as the savvy to keep up with the latest technology.
* Student: Point and click.
** College: You can process data with relative ease.
*** Masters: You can design software.
**** Doctorate: You can make a very comfortable living as a consultant.
***** Scholar: You're on the bleeding edge.
Possessed by: Hackers, Office Workers, Programmers, Data Processors, Students
Specialties: Computer Languages, Internet, Codebreaking, Viruses, Data Retrieval
Mages spend a great deal of time studying other worlds and dealing with spirits. The Cosmology Knowledge represents this sort of education. Of course, the ways of the Umbra are diverse and strange, and there's no way to guarantee that what works in one place or time will work again. Still, certain landmarks and traits are mostly reliable, and some spirits have a habit of meddling with mages more than others. From such benchmarks, the mage can make guesses about aspects of the universe and its denizens.
• Student: You've heard that there's more than just Earth.
• • College: You know the names of a few Umbral places and spirits.
• • • Masters: Having visited the Umbra, you're no stranger to other worlds or creatures.
• • • • Doctorate: Spirits drop in to chat with you.
• • • • • Scholar: Spirits ask you for advice about the Umbra.
Possessed by: Umbral Explorers, Shamans, Werewolves, Armchair Theorists
Specialties: Spirit Names, Realms, Deep Umbra, the Gauntlet, Nodes
Mysteries are stock in trade for magic-workers. Some magicians make an especial study of puzzles, riddles and mysterious circumstances, though. When gut instincts fail and logic can't offer a solution, the character with a broad knowledge of Enigmas sees clever solutions, hidden meanings and the motives behind such tricks. The Enigmas Knowledge can be used for figuring out the best way to approach a puzzle, the answer to a spirit's riddle or even just the morning crossword.
• Student: How'd those riddles go in The Hobbit?
• • College: Towers of Hanoi, foxes and geese and a plethora of riddles all fill your head.
• • • Masters: You can puzzle out the motives of spirits and madmen.
• • • • Doctorate: You do crosswords in pen — in 10 minutes.
• • • • • Scholar: You are an enigma.
Possessed by: Detectives, Analysts, Game Players, Philosophers, Psychologists, Raving Nutcases, Really Annoying Old Masters
Specialties: Deduction, Riddles, Quick Solutions, Historical Puzzles, Codes and Ciphers
You know the ins and outs of commerce, from evaluating an item's relative worth to keeping up with currency exchange rates. This Knowledge can be invaluable when brokering items, running numbers or playing the stock market. Sufficiently high levels in Finance allow you to raise your standards of living to a very comfortable level.
* Student: You've taken a few business classes.
** College: You have some practical experience and can keep your books fairly neat.
*** Masters: You'd make a fine stockbroker.
**** Doctorate: Corporations follow your financial lead.
***** Scholar: You could turn a $20 bill into a fortune.
Possessed by: Executives, Upper Class, Stockbrokers, Accountants, Fences, Drug Dealers, Smugglers
Specialties: Stock Market, Laundering, Appraisal, Foreign Currencies, Accounting, Fencing, Corporations
You've learned to notice details others might overlook, and might make an admirable detective. This Knowledge represents not only a good eye for detail, but also an ability to do research and follow leads.
* Student: You've read your share of Agatha Christie.
** College: Police officer
*** Masters: Private detective
**** Doctorate: Federal agent
***** Scholar: Sherlock Holmes
Possessed by: Detectives, Mystery Buffs, Policemen, Stalkers
Specialties: Forensics, Shadowing, Search, Discolorations
With all the lawyers and lawmakers out there, this Knowledge can prove very useful. Law can be useful for filing suit, avoiding lawsuits or getting out of jail. What's more, even the Kindred keep their own laws, and more than one vampire has saved his own unlife by deftly exploiting a loophole in one of the Traditions.
* Student: You've watched your share ofcourtroom dramas.
** College: You're either studying for or just passed the bar exam.
*** Masters: Ambulance chaser
**** Doctorate: Major public figures have your number just in case.
***** Scholar: You could find the loopholes in the Devil's contract.
Possessed by: Lawyers, Police, Judges, Detectives, Legislators
Specialties: Criminal, Suits, Courts, Contracts, Police Procedure
You begin play with the native language of your choice for free, but if you want to speak any other languages, whether modern or ancient, Linguistics is a must. This Ability allows you to understand additional languages, but at high levels also offers a more general understanding of linguistic structure. Linguistics may allow you to recognize accents or decipher word puzzles.
* Student: One extra language
** College: Two extra languages
*** Masters: Four extra languages
**** Doctorate: Eight extra languages
***** Scholar: 16 extra languages
Possessed by: Diplomats, Ambassadors, Travelers, Ancient Vampires, Cryptologists, Scholars
Specialties: Romance Languages, Kanji, Idioms, Hieroglyphics, Written Expression, Ciphers
You have an understanding of how the human body, and to a lesser extent the vampiric body, works. This Ability entails knowledge of medicines, ailments, first-aid procedures, and diagnosis or treatment of disease. Medicine is of great use to those Kindred with an interest in repairing, damaging or reworking the human body.
* Student: You've taken a CPR course.
** College: Premed or paramedic
*** Masters: General practitioner
**** Doctorate: You can perform transplants.
***** Scholar: You are respected by the world's medical community as a modern-day Aesculapius.
Possessed by: Med Students, Doctors, Lifeguards, Parents, Paramedics, Tzimisce
Specialties: Organ Transplants, Emergency Care, Poison Treatments, Pathology, Pharmaceuticals
You are knowledgeable in occult areas such as mysticism, curses, magic, folklore and particularly vampire lore. Unlike most other Knowledges, Occult does not imply a command of hard, factual information; much of what you know may well be rumor, myth, speculation or hearsay. However, the secrets to be learned in this field are worth centuries of sifting legend from fact. High levels of Occult imply a deep understanding of vampire lore, as well as a good grounding in other aspects of the occult; at the very least, you can discern what is patently false.
* Student: You've paged through the New Age section of a Waldenbooks.
** College: There seems to be some unsettling truth to some of the rumors you've heard.
*** Masters: You've heard a lot and actually seen a little for yourself.
**** Doctorate: You can recognize blatantly false sources and make educated guesses about the rest.
***** Scholar: You know most of the basic truths about the hidden world.
Possessed by: Occultists, The Superstitious, New Agers, Tremere
Specialties: Kindred Lore, Rituals, Infernalism, Witches
You are familiar with the politics of the moment, including the people in charge and how they got there. This Knowledge can aid you in dealing with or influencing mortal politicians, or even offer some insight into the local Cainite power structure.
* Student: Activist
** College: Political science major
*** Masters: Campaign manager or talk-radio host
**** Doctorate: Senator
***** Scholar: You could choose the next President of the United States.
Possessed by: Activists, Politicians, Lawyers, vampires of all sorts
Specialties: City, State, Federal, Bribery, Dogma, Radical, Camarilla
You have at least a basic understanding of most of the physical sciences, such as chemistry, biology, physics and geology. This Knowledge can be put to all forms of practical use.
* Student: You know most of the high-school basics.
** College: You're familiar with the major theories.
*** Masters: You could teach high-school science.
**** Doctorate: You're fully capable of advancing the knowledge in your field.
***** Scholar: Your Nobel Prize is waiting for you.
Possessed by: Scientists, Students, Researchers, Teachers, Engineers, Technicians, Pilots
Specialties: Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Physics, Astronomy
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