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Secondary Talents

Artistic Expression

You have the talent to produce works of art in various media. You can produce saleable works of two- or threedimensional art, and understand something of the technical aspects of paintings and sketches. You are able to sketch a reasonably accurate rendition of a place or person.

* Novice: Your work is simple, seen as charmingly naive by some and as amateurish by others.
* * Practiced: Your work could win prizes at local art society shows.
* * * Competent: You could get a showing in a minor gallery.
* * * * Expert: Your work is widely admired, and galleries contact you about mounting exhibitions. You are invited to teach at local art colleges.
* * * * * Master: You are acknowledged as a driving force in contemporary art. Your work commands enormous prices, and is found in art museums as well as commercial galleries and private collections.

Possessed by: Artists, Commercial Illustrators, Cartoonists, Police Artists, Forgers, Woodworkers, Theatre and Movie Set-Builders, Special Effects Technicians, Model Makers

Specialties: Oils, Watercolors, Mixed Media, Charcoal, Sketching, Caricature, Lighting Artist, Impressionist Photo-Realism, Abstract, Miniatures, Stone, Resin, Wood, Metals, Classical, Kinetic, Models, Decoration


This is the ability to have a good time at a party or other social occasion, and to make sure others around you also   have a good time. Normally, it involves a mixture of eating, drinking and good cheer. For vampires, however, things are a little different. Carousing also includes the ability to appear to eat and drink normally, without actually doing so. Using this Ability, one of the Kindred could attend an opening-night cast party without arousing any suspicion.

On a successful roll of Manipulation + Carousing, no one notices that the character neither eats nor drinks. The difficulty of the roll  depends on the social event: three or less for a house party with a buffet, seven or more for a sitdown dinner. This Ability can also be used to determine how entertaining and popular the character is at a party or event.

* Novice: You can plead a small appetite or recent illness.
* * Practiced: Perhaps you're watching your diet.
* * * Competent: A charming dinner companion.
* * * * Expert: You obviously enjoyed the food.
* * * * * Master: You even called for seconds.

Possessed by: Actors, Dilettantes, College Students, Vampires

Specialties: Sexual Innuendo, Lewd Jokes, Drinking, Exaggeration, Anecdotes


You have the ability to deal with people of all types and creeds. Even when handling touchy subjects, you are able to get results without ruffling too many feathers. You are skilled at delicate negotiations and mediating disputes - getting along with others without overt manipulation and without letting your own aims fall to the wayside. This Ability involves a knowledge of the formal rules of give and-take, as well as the official cultural rules of conduct and politeness.

* Novice: You can iron out schoolyard disputes.
* * Practiced: Friends ask you to deal with things for them.
* * * Competent: You could shine in management or personnel.
* * * * Expert: You could be a professional union negotiator or ombudsman.
* * * * * Master: You can defuse nearly any situation, from an industrial dispute to a religious war.

Possessed by: Schoolteachers, Union Negotiators, Politicians, Tycoons, Diplomats, Personnel Officers, Counselors

Specialties: Mediation, Negotiation, Etiquette, International Relations, Industry, Personal Relationships, Tact

Fortune Telling

You may or may not have the gift to tell accurate fortunes, but you can make people believe you do. This Ability may prove useful as a plot device or as a means for the character to earn money.

* Novice: You are able to use one method of divination adequately, and treat this Ability as a pastime.
* * Practiced: You can use one method of fortune telling well, and can tell someone general information that will apply to her.
* * * Competent: You know a lot about certain methods of fortune telling and can tell anyone detailed information that will apply to him.
* * * * Expert: You are able to use multiple methods well, and have a keen understanding of what people want to hear.
* * * * * Master: Gypsies take lessons from you.

Possessed by: Gypsies, Psychics, Professional Fortunetellers, New Agers

Specialties: Tarot Cards, Prophecy, Romance, Palmistry


You are skilled at bargaining and can reduce another's price, or get some other concession, under most circumstances. To bargain, make an opposed roll using your Manipulation + Haggling against the other character's Wits + Haggling (or Wits + Alertness). Each net success you score reduces the price by five percent if you are buying, or increases the character's offer by five percent if you are selling. Failure means the price does not budge. A botch angers the other character, driving her away in disgust or worsening her offer by 50 percent in either direction (Storyteller's call).

* Novice: Bargain hunter
* * Practiced: Market trader
* * * Competent: Horse trader
* * * * Expert: Con artist
* * * * * Master: Marco Polo

Possessed by: Traders, Con Artists

Specialties: Art, Weapons, Automobiles, Contracts, Advanced Technology


You have a knack for imparting information and skills to others. You might have worked as a teacher, or you may be a clan leader who teaches necessary Abilities to neonates. In any event, you can explain things and demonstrate techniques in such a way that anyone who listens to you can easily learn. You can teach any of your Skills or Knowledges to another character, but you can never raise a student's score above your own. For example, if you have three dots in Music, you cannot teach someone enough to raise him to four dots in that Skill. In order to determine the time it takes to raise a student's Ability, roll your Manipulation + Instruction (difficulty of 11 minus the student's Intelligence). One roll may be made per month of teaching. The number of successes is the number of experience points the student can apply toward that Ability. Example: Meltonon is trying to teach Helga Etiquette, to allow her to make a good impression at the prince's party. Helga is of average smarts (Intelligence 2), so the difficulty for Meltonon's roll is nine. A student may become too discouraged or distracted with other things to pay attention to his teacher. At the Storyteller's discretion, the student may have to spend a Willpower point to keep at his studies. Frequent interruptions may cost a student a number of Willpow er points, or may simply prevent him from learning anything. With the Storyteller's approval, some Talents, such as Brawl or Dodge, can be imparted. In these cases, it is good to roleplay some of the training sessions, to get a few good licks in on the student and see if he learns anything. Talents such as Empathy or Alertness cannot be taught; they must be learned the hard way.

* Novice: You can take simple concepts (e.g. basic arithmetic) and present them in an interesting and digestible manner.
* * Practiced: You can teach moderately complex things (e.g. algebra) and make them straightforward and interesting.
* * * Competent: You can make differential calculus sound like the simplest thing in the world.
* * * * Expert: Learning from you is scarcely an effort. You could teach irrational-number theory or Sumerian cuneiform to almost anyone.
* * * * * Master: You are an inspiring teacher, and bestow a touch of greatness on anyone who studies with you.

Possessed by: Elders, Teachers, Professors, People from All Walks of Life

Specialties: Lore, Customs and Laws, University, the Arts, Sciences


You are able to extract information from people by fair means or foul. Using a mixture of threats, trickery and persistent questioning, you ultimately unearth the truth.

* Novice: Nosy neighbor
* * Practiced: Movie cop
* * * Competent: Talk-show host
* * * * Expert: Investigative journalist
* * * * * Master: Spymaster

Possessed by: Cops, Journalists, Secret Service Personnel, Inquisitors

Specialties: Good Cop/Bad Cop, Threats, Trickery, Moral Blackmail


You know the finer points of plotting and deal-making in the halls of power. You understand the practical use of power (in sometimes threatening but always nonconfrontational ways) to achieve your own ends. This Talent also covers the abilities to glean important facts about others among the Elysium crowd, and to separate truth from the endless amounts of false and useless gossip.

* Novice: Neonate
* * Practiced: Ancilla
* * * Competent: Elder
* * * * Expert: Primogen
* * * * * Master: Prince

Possessed by: Elders and Elder Wannabes

Specialties: Gossiping, Feigning Ignorance, Threats, Plotting, Rumormongering, Alliances, Betrayals


This Talent cannot be taken during character generation, and is available only to vampires. Masquerade reflects how skilled a character is at appearing to be mortal: feigning respiration, creating a heartbeat, producing pink skin (by bringing blood to the surface), sneezing, masking vampiric tendencies, et al. Masquerade may be paired with a Social Attribute to determine whether the character successfully passes as a mortal among mortals.

* Novice: You might succeed - in ideal circumstances.
* * Practiced: You are able to pass casual inspection.
* * * Competent: You are undetectable under most normal circumstances.
* * * * Expert: You may succeed even under duress.
* * * * * Master: Even a witch-hunter would be fooled.

Possessed by: Vampires

Specialties: Breathing, Simulating Heartbeat, While Sleeping, Sneezing, Hiccups, Producing Skin Tone, Warming One's Skin


You have a very versatile voice, and can imitate accents, people and sometimes other sounds. You may use this talent to entertain, or to deceive. With enough talent, almost any sort of sound can be created - the larynx is an amazingly flexible organ.

* Novice: You can passably duplicate a few accents, and can perform impressions of a couple of well-known personalities.
* * Practiced: You can duplicate a range of accents well enough to fool anyone but a native speaker, and can convincingly imitate a range of celebrities and others.
* * * Competent: You could do this on stage. You know a wide range of accents and celebrity impressions. You can pick up someone's vocal mannerisms by studying them for a couple of hours, and subsequently imitate them well enough to fool someone who doesn't know the person well. You can imitate basic birdcalls and some other sounds.
* * * * Expert: You can imitate a specific person well enough to fool someone on the phone, and pass as a native speaker in an accent similar to your own. You can duplicate a range of animal and technological noises.
* * * * *Master: There is almost no accent, person or noise you can't imitate.

Possessed by: Entertainers, Con Artists, Pranksters, Bird Callers

Specialties: Accents, Celebrities, Birds and Animals, Mechanical Sounds, Vocal Impersonation


You are a skilled beggar. You are able to get people to give you money just by asking for it. The art of panhandling is performed through a subtle blend of Manipulation, Empathy, Intimidation, Streetwise and Subterfuge. You know whom to ask, how to approach them, what to say, and how to avoid police. This is a useful Talent for picking up quick cash or for creating a cover.

* Novice: You can tell a good hard-luck story.
* * Practiced: You can gain sympathy from most people.
* * * Competent: Real smooth. You can hit even the hardhearted for a few bucks.
* * * * Expert: People want to take you home and feed and clothe you.
* * * * *Master: You can get whatever you want (within reason) for free.

Possessed by: Street People, Addicts, Drifters, Professional Beggars

Specialties: The Rack, Yuppies, Sob Stories, Targeting

Poetic Expression

You are able to craft words in ways that evoke thoughts, emotions and reactions from those who read them. You can compose pleasing poetry in one or more styles, create short and long fiction, write essays, reviews and editorials, and invent advertising jingles. It is rare for one person to be skilled at more than one specialty at one time, so choose carefully.

* Novice: You can write a short poem and extemporize a limerick or couplet when the Muse is with you. A short story is not out of your reach.
* * Practiced: You could publish your poetry or fiction in a local journal, or write basic hit parade Iyrics. You can extemporize simple abab- and aabb-type quatrains.
* * * Competent: You could get your novel or anthologies of your work published and make a profit. You can extemporize more complex verse forms, and even make blank ver se sound like poetry.
* * * * Expert: You are asked to do readings of your work for local societies nationwide, and aficionados snap up your works as soon as they are published. You can write Iyrics that people will be quoting in 10 years, and extemporize iambic pentameters without thinking about it.
* * * * * Master: Your work is already being taught in English classes, and you are recognized as one of the foremost writers of your day. Your Iyrics are timeless, and you can extemporize in any form and any style.

Possessed by: Poets, Lyricists, Novelists, Journalists, Advertising Execs, Entertainers, English Teachers, Rappers

Specialties: Limericks, Short Fiction, Novel, Scripts, Classical Forms, Extemporaneous, Lyric Writing, Jingles, Blank Verse, Deathless Art

Public Speaking

You are able to mold the emotions of a crowd by making a speech. This might be at a political rally, in a courtroom, at a lecture or even at the barricades once the revolution is underway. Whatever you want your audience to feel is what it feels.

* Novice: Entertaining speaker
* * Practiced: Compelling speaker
* * * Competent: Inspiring speaker
* * * * Expert: Popular champion
* * * * * Master: Churchill or Hitler

Possessed by: Politicians, Revolutionaries, Actors, Professors

Specialties: Entertaining, Moving, Demagoguery, Vote-Catching, Lies


You are practiced at noticing small details and changes in the environment when you purposely look at or listen to what is going on around you. This Ability can only be used when you specifically say you are attempting to notice if anything is amiss - if you aren't concentrating, this Ability will do you no good. *

* Novice: If anyone notices police sirens, it's you.
* * Practiced: Police could use your detective abilities.
* * * Competent: The slightest motion draws your attention.
* * * * Expert: Nothing escapes your glance.
* * * * * Master: You can count the grains of salt on a pretzel - by taste.

Possessed by: Detectives, GIs, FBI Agents, Body' guards, Night Watchmen

Specialties: Keeping Watch, Quick Scan, Listening, Smelling, Assassins


You have a knack for finding almost anything, under almost any circumstances. The masters of your craft can find a hot spring at the North Pole, or a mainframe computer in the heart of the Amazon Jungle, if necessary. In the city, you know where to find almost any kind of item or service - no questions asked. It is amazing what you can find in dumpsters.

* Novice: You can find basic equipment and services, such as drugs, illegal weapons and hired thugs.
* * Practiced: You can get hold of a vehicle, a forged passport or a skilled wiretapper.
* * * Competent: You can find an aircraft and pilot or a hitman at an hour's notice.
* * * * Expert: You can find state-of-the-art military hardware, any vehicle y ou desire, and services better imagined than described.
* * * * * Master: You could probably find a rent controlled apartment overlooking Central Park for $100 a month.

Possessed by: Criminals, Intelligence Operatives, Entrepreneurs, Nosferatu

Specialties: Illegal Goods, Vehicles, Services, Art, Technical Equipment


You know how best to go about looking for someone or something in a small area, where you can concentrate your  perceptions. You can search for anything from a lost ring in your bedroom to the assassin who is hiding in the garden.

* Novice: You are good at finding lost items.
* * Practiced: Tell-tale signs (e.g. broken plants) are apparent to you.
* * * Competent: You know where to look.
* * * * Expert: Nothing escapes your glance.
* * * * * Master: You can spot the Purloined Letter in two seconds flat.

Possessed by: Detectives, Maids, Policemen, Prison Guards

Specialties: Sounds, Woodwork, Small Objects, People, Concealed Doors


You know how to lure, attract and command the attention of others in a sexual manner. By the way you hold yourself, how you look at someone and even by the tone of your voice, you are able to arouse and excite those upon whom you practice your wiles. Once you have fully seduced someone, he will be willing to do nearly anything for you.

* Novice: Teenager
* * Practiced: The "older woman"
* * * Competent: Heartthrob
* * * * Expert: Movie star
* * * * * Master: Vampire

Possessed by: Thespians, Escorts, Good-for -nothing Men, Strippers

Specialties: Witty Conversation, Opening Line, Innuendo, Alluring Look

Sense Deception

Over the years, you have developed the ability to know instinctively when people are not telling you the truth or not telling you the whole truth. There is a way they look, a tone of voice, a movem ent of the eyes - you can't analyze it, but it's always there and your instincts rarely let you down.

* Novice: Sometimes you can tell, hut you still get suckered - though more rarely than the average person does.
* * Practiced: It takes a silver tongue to pull the wool over your eyes.
* * * Competent: Anyone who can slip one past you is a highly skilled con artist.
* * * * Expert: You could make a living screening people for security.
* * * * * Master: People whisper behind your back, and many are nervous talking to you. Your ability is almost supernatural.

Possessed by: Bodyguards, Reporters, Interrogators, Security Personnel, Detectives, Mothers

Specialties: Interviews, Investigative, Courtroom, Technical (Polygraphs)


You may not have been born good-looking, or possessed of a natural charm, but you know how to dress and make the most of your appearance. Even if you are not physically attractive, heads turn because of your dress sense and style. Note that this Talent only applies to people's reactions to your appearance; once you get closer, it's up to you.

* Novice: Good taste
* * Practiced: Socialite
* * * Competent: Celebrity
* * * * Expert: Celebrity advisor
* * * * * Master: International model

Possessed by: Socialites, Celebrities, Fashion Professionals, the Gifted Few

Specialties: Classic, High Fashion, Street Fashion, Retro, Ethnic


You are able to swim - at least enough to keep yourself afloat, and maybe a little more. Note that vampires, unlike mortals, do not float naturally; if they do not swim, they sink.

* Novice: You can swim.
* * Practiced: You can swim fast, or for extended periods.
* * * Competent: Instructor/lifeguard
* * * * Expert: Swim team
* * * * * Master: Olympic gold

Possessed by: Athletes, Lifeguards, almost anyone

Specialties: Racing, Distance, Sea, Survival, Lifesaving


You know how to throw things in general, and how to use various types of thrown weapons - anything from spears to hatchets to knives to baseballs (yes, if thrown hard enough, they make fine wea pons).

* Novice: You sometimes get the ball over home plate.
* * Practiced: High school baseball pitcher
* * * Competent: You are deadly even in a food fight.
* * * * Expert: Bruce Jenner with a javelin
* * * * * Master: Tom Glavine (Greg Maddux! )

Possessed by: Hobby Enthusiasts, Competitors

Specialties: Forests, Target, Hunting, Moving Targets


You have the ability to throw your voice, making it appear to come from somewhere else. This Talent can be used for entertainment - or deception.

* Novice: You could do a ventriloquist act at a children's party.
* * Practiced: You could get a spot with a local amateur vaudeville club. You can make someone standing next to you appear to speak.
* * * Competent: You could almost make a living from your talent, with occasional TV variety shows breaking up the round of cheap clubs and theatres. You can make someone (or something) within five yards of you appear to speak.
* * * * Expert: You could take your act to Vegas. You can make your voice appear to come from any spot within 30 feet of you.
* * * * * Master: Young hopefuls bombard you with questions, and Variety calls you the savior of a lost vaudeville art. You can make your voice appear to come from anywhere within earshot.

Possessed by: Entertainers, Con Artists, some Mediums

Specialties: Distance, Clarity, Dummy, Inanimate Object (e.g. radio)

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