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House Ruled Sanctuary
Mage The Awakening Sourcebook.jpg
Mage The Awakening Sourcebook p. 86
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Venue Mage
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A sanctum is a mage’s stronghold, a place where he can practice his Art away from the eyes of Sleepers and spies. Legends tell of wizard’s towers, witch’s huts and sorcerer’s caves, but the reality is usually more prosaic: a penthouse apartment, an old estate or even a nondescript suburban tract house.

All sanctums are not created equal. A warehouse might have sufficient space, but it might not be secure against unwanted visitors. A hidden cave has adequate security, but it might be dark and cramped. Great time and effort is spent finding suitable sanctums, and their value is represented by two factors — size and security. Players who choose this Merit must also choose how to allocate these two factors when spending dots. For instance, two dots may be spent on Sanctum Size, with a third spent on Sanctum Security.

Sanctum Size is important to characters who need a place to safely store their possessions and valuables. A sanctum with no dots in Size is just large enough for its owner and perhaps a single companion, with minimal if any storage capacity — a cramped apartment. By spending points to increase a sanctum’s Size, a player allows for accoutrements and personal effects. Larger sanctums can be anything from mansions to mountain hideaways to vast subterranean catacombs. Note, however, that sanctums of considerable size are not necessarily easy to maintain.

• A small apartment or underground chamber; 1-2 rooms
•• A large apartment or small family home; 3-4 rooms
••• A warehouse, church or large home; 5-8 rooms, or large enclosure
•••• An abandoned mansion or network of subway tunnels; equivalent of 9-15 rooms or chambers
••••• A sprawling estate or vast network of tunnels; countless rooms or chambers

Of course, Sanctum Size does not prevent intrusion by Sleepers (police, criminal organizations, social workers). Players wishing to ensure privacy and safety may choose to spend dots on Sanctum Security, thus making it difficult forothers to gain entrance. Sanctums with no dots in Sanctum Security can be found by those intent enough to look, and offer little protection once they have been breached. Each dot of Security subtracts one die from efforts to intrude into the place by anyone a character doesn’t specifically allow in. This increased difficulty may be because the entrance is so difficult to locate (behind a bookcase, under a carpet) or simply difficult to penetrate (behind a vault door). Also, each dot of Security offers a +1 bonus on Initiative for those inside against anyone attempting to gain entrance (good sight lines, video surveillance).

Characters for whom no points are spent on Sanctum at all might have their own small, humble chambers, or perhaps they share the space of a master or order. In any event, they simply do not gain the mechanical benefits of those who have assigned Merit dots to improve the quality of their homes.

Each aspect of the Sanctum Merit has a limit of 5. In other words, Sanctum Size and Sanctum Security may not rise above 5 (to a maximum of 10 points dots on this Merit, total)

Special: It’s possible for the Sanctum Merit to be shared among characters in a close-knit group. They might simply be devoted to one another and willing to pool what they have, or perhaps their mutual reliance on an individual or trust could bring them together to share what they have in common.

To share this Merit, two or more characters simply have to be willing to pool their dots for greater capability. A shared rating in the Sanctum Merit cannot rise higher than five dots in any of the two aspects of the trait. That is, characters cannot pool more than five dots to be devoted to, say, Sanctum Size. If they wish to devote extra dots to the Merit, they must allocate those dots to Security.

Shared Sanctum dots can be lost. Cabal members or associates might be abused or mistreated, ending relationships. Group members might perform actions that cast themselves (or the group) in a bad light. Money might be spent or lost. If any group member does something to diminish the sanctum, its dots decrease for all group members. That’s the weakness of sharing dots in this Merit. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The Storyteller dictates when character actions or events in a story compromise shared Sanctum dots.

Characters can also leave a shared sanctum. A rift might form between close friends. A character might be killed or lost in the Shadow Realm. Or one could be kicked out of the sanctum by the others. When a character leaves a shared sanctum relationship, the dots he contributed are removed from the pool. If the individual still survives, he doesn’t get all his dots back for his own purposes. He gets one less than he originally contributed. So, if a character breaks a relationship with his cabal, his two Sanctum dots are lost by the group, but he gets only one dot back for his own purposes. The lost dot represents the cost or bad image that comes from the breakup. If all members agree to part ways, they all lose one dot from what they originally contributed.

The Storyteller decides what reduced dots means in the story when a character leaves a shared sanctum. Perhaps no one else picks up the character’s attention to Sanctum Security, leaving that score to drop. Maybe a portion of thesanctum falls into disuse or even collapses, causing an effective drop in Sanctum Size. Whatever the case, a plausible explanation must be determined.

A character need not devote all of her Sanctum dots to the shared Sanctum Merit, of course. A mage might maintain a separate sanctum outside the communal one represented by the shared trait. Any leftover dots that a character has (or is unwilling to share) signify what she has to draw upon as an individual, separate from her partners. For example, three characters share a sanctum and expend a group total of five dots. One character chooses to use two other dots on a private sanctum. Those remaining two dots represent a sanctum entirely separate from what she and her partners have established together.

This is a site-wide House Rule Sanctum dots allocated to Security are not capped at 5

Facts about SanctumRDF feed
Character TypeMage  +
Merit Dots1  +, 2  +, 3  +, 4  +, 5  +, 6  +, and 7  +
Merit TypeSanctuary  +
Page has default formThis property is a special property in this wiki.Merit Editor  +
ParentMage The Awakening Sourcebook  +, and Sanctuaries  +
PermissionAllowed  +, and House Ruled  +
SourceMage The Awakening Sourcebook  +
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