Mentors are older, more experienced individuals that look after a character. More often than not, they are portrayed by NPC ancillae or elders whom have a vested interest in the character. That interest may or may not be friendly, but in any regard, the Mentor watches over the character, takes an active interest in their activities and will even aid the character occasionally, when specifically requested to do so.
Mentors in Play
Mentors need not be supernatural in nature, nor when they are do they need to be of the same supernatural type. While supernatural variance with a Mentor can create trouble within a character’s story, it is also a intriguing tool to use to spice up the character’s background. It can be quite a turn of events when a well-respected vampire’s long-time mentor is discovered by the Domain to be a Bone Gnawer Garou. The complications that can bring for the character are numerous, from as minor as scandal to as significant as destruction of the character or a death sentence for the Mentor.
Mentors cannot be shared amongst players whom do not possess the Background Mentor for their character. If a character wants the instruction of a Mentor, they should work to establish a relationship ith one. Mentors have vested interest in a character when the Background is purchased. They are not vending machines for powers, disciplines or abilities.
Since mentors can prove unbalancing by providing too many different powers over the course of a long chronicle, the Storyteller may lower and cap a character’s total Mentor Traits as she call’s on the Mentor’s knowledge. This reduction and capping of the Mentor Background represents the fact that as your character learns the mentor’s secrets, the mentor has less to teach.
With significant work and effort, a PC may elect to leave a Mentor behind and seek out a new Mentor once she has no more to learn from the other, but how that relationship ends or changes may dictate other effects, such as the placement of flaws or the permission to purchase merits to reflect the old Mentor’s new disposition toward the character. No matter the circumstance, a character is not permitted to have more than one Mentor at a time without Storyteller permission.
Getting Help from a Mentor
Like any other Background, when you call upon a Mentor you risk temporary Traits to achieve a specific goal, effect or intervention. A one-Trait Mentor probably knows little more than you already do, while a five-Trait Mentor may be exceptionally powerful and have extraordinary standing within your Sect. Regardless, your Mentor’s time is valuable and costly.
When trying to engage a Mentor, a character must risk a number of Traits equal to the action she wishes her Mentor to perform for her. The player must then make a Simple Test. If the test is won, the Mentor assists the character without consequence or strings attached. If the test is a tie, then the Mentor will assist the character, but requires something in return. If the test is failed, then the Mentor requires a favor before helping the character.
Further, several of the requests that can be made of a Mentor require the permanent expenditure of a Trait of the Mentor Background. They are detailed in the Mentor Assistance Requests chart below.
A character may only engage a Mentor once in any given game session, assuming the character has an appropriate way to contact her Mentor. Mentors can also be used once per fortnight during downtime periods between game sessions for a variety of actions, but again, the player must risk Background Traits in order to receive any assistance from her Mentor and the number of Traits the character has to risk is limited to the character’s Mentor Background rating per fortnight between game sessions.
Mentors can provide a variety of services and favors, but their willingness to assist is directly related to how many Background Traits are risked during the challenge. A Storyteller must always approve the use of the Mentor Background prior to the expenditure of experience points or other mechanical results. The chart below provides some examples of how a Mentor can be utilized and any associated costs.
|Mentor Assistance Requests|
|1||A character’s Mentor is privy to a single piece of specialized information at a level above the character’s own. For example, if a character has Wraith Lorex2, her Mentor can be called on to gift her with onepiece of information from Wraith Lore x3.|
|2||A character having Mentor (1-3) can borrow one level of Contacts, Fame, Influence, Resources or Status from her mentor for one fortnight, provided the Mentor possess the requested Background. If the Mentor is very powerful (4-5Traits), a character can borrow two levels of Contacts, Fame, Influences, Resources or Status for the same period.|
|2||The Mentor can instruct a character in a Basic Discipline that the character does not know. Which Disciplines are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|
|3||The Mentor can instruct a character in a special Hobby, Profession or Expert Ability that is outside her normal ken, such as a Clan lore other than her own. Which Abilities are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|
|3||The Mentor can instruct a character in a Intermediate Discipline that the character does not know, provided the Mentor has that Discipline In-Clan. If the Discipline is considered Out-of-Clan for the Mentor, then the Mentor can still instruct the character, but it will cost the character one permanent Trait of her Mentor Background in order for the Mentor to fulfill the request. Which Disciplines are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|
|4||The Mentor can instruct a character in an Advanced Discipline that the character does not know, provided the Mentor has that Discipline In-Clan. Which Disciplines are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|
|5||The Mentor can instruct a character in an Advanced Discipline that is considered Out-of-Clan for the Mentor for a cost of one permanent Trait of the character’s Mentor Background. Which Disciplines are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|
|5||The Mentor can teach a character an Advance Combination Discipline power, provided the Mentor knows this power herself. The use of a Mentor in this fashion costs the character one permanent Trait of the Mentor Background. Which Combination Discipline powers are available for the Mentor to teach is left to the discretion of the Storyteller.|