Gift of Tongues (3 point Merit)

All spirits that can communicate with mortals naturally possess the ability to communicate in any language. Like these spirits, you also have the natural ability to transcend language. When speaking with any sentient being (from Earth), you can understand its language as if it were your own.

Due to the limits of the human mind, you can only understand and speak one language at a time. If two people who speak different languages are talking to you at once you can only understand one of them. Using a coincidental Mind 1 Effect can allow you to understand multiple languages at once. Magically augmenting this gift to allow speech in multiple different tongues simultaneously is, of course, vulgar.

The Gift of Tongues Merit works only for conversation held in person, where you and the person you are speaking to can actually hear each other's unaltered voices. You cannot use this ability to read another language or to communicate by telephone, microphone or any other electronic or mechanical medium.

   Spirit Sight (4 point Merit)

You can see and hear all varieties of spirits, changelings, wraiths and similar entities. This Merit provides all of the advantages granted by the Merit Medium (The Book of Shadows, page 36). Like the Medium Merit, Spirit Sight reduces the difficulties of all Spirit magic by two. Nevertheless, this ability is a mixed blessing. Seeing these beings is not a choice; it is a normal part of your vision. You cannot help but see them. Being yelled at by an irate wraith who is shaking her fist in your face can be extremely distracting if you are attempting to hold a conversation with a Sleeper, and it's even worse if you are driving a car in bad weather!

Many shamans have this Merit, and shamans often look for people with Spirit Sight as potential students. Unfortunately, most Sleepers with this Merit conceal it poorly and instead end up in asylums.

 

Spirit-Trained (1-2 pt Flaw)

Spirit-trained mages have had no mortal teachers. Instead, one or more spirits select them as an appropriate candidate for Awakening. Sometimes spirits select mages to act as their agents in the mundane world, however, spirits Awaken a few mages for no readily discernable reason. Awakening without mortal aid is much more difficult. The only aid and advice you received was from the voices in your head, voices which you may have at first believed were signs of growing insanity. Even more problematic is the fact that the primary information you possess about other mages (and the supernatural in general) comes from spirits. While some spirits are quite well-intentioned and helpful, all Umbrood are fundamentally inhuman and their perspective on people and events is not a human one. Anyone trained by a spirit is likely to have some rather unusual ideas about the supernatural. Because of your unusual training, you receive a free dot in either Cosmology or Enigmas, but you cannot begin play with more than two dots in any Lore. Also, you must take the Totem or Familiar Background instead of the Mentor Background (if you have a Mentor, it's a spirit). Spirit trained mages in the First World often also have the Mental Patient Flaw, and they are usually very poorly connected to other mages. A lack of traditional training makes it hard to relate, after all. Being a Spirit-Trained mage with significant misinformation is a two-point Flaw. Shamans who are trained by spirits with a strong ulterior motive often have very unusually and significantly incorrect views about other mages and the supernatural. Dream speakers believe that spirits Awaken such mages to serve as tools for a specific purpose. In one instance, a mage was Awakened and told that a certain Node was becoming so unstable that it would unleash a vast magical catastrophe unless it was destroyed. The mage used her magic to attempt to destroy it, and he was badly injured by the Garou who protected the Node. It turned out that the Node was perfectly normal, but it happened to be the dwelling of a powerful spirit inimical to the mage's patron.

Spiritual Duty (1-4 point Flaw)

You owe allegiance to a powerful spirit. This Flaw is often possessed by Dream speakers who also have the Spirit-Trained Flaw, though any mage who has dealt with spirits extensively may take it. While you are not always at this spirit's beck and call, it asks you for favors or assistance frequently. This relationship may be one of  mutual aid, in which case you can take the spirit as one of your allies. However, your connection to the spirit could be one-way or even unwilling. Perhaps you swore allegiance to it in return for it saving your life when you were lost in the Umbra. Alternatively, maybe you attempted to bargain with it for some service, and it tricked you into swearing eternal servitude. Spirits who are willing to trick mortals into serving them often do not have the most pleasant motives for doing so. Such spirits also rarely care if the servants survive the tasks asked of them. Add one point to this Flaw (to a maximum of four points) if your service to the spirit is a result of trickery or coercion. The rest of the value of this Flaw depends on the exact frequency and nature of the services it requires of you. Minor services of an infrequent and usually non-dangerous nature are worth only one point. More frequent, dangerous, expensive or elaborate services are worth additional points. Remember that unlike mortals, spirits have odd and sometime inexplicable desires. Sometimes a spirit will request relatively ordinary forms of aid, such as protecting a family or a location. However, these services could easily include regular offerings, which could involve anything from flowers to cash to animal sacrifice. A mage who takes this Flaw will have a long-term relationship with this spirit, so the Storyteller should endeavor to give the spirit a deep personality, including complex wants and needs. Of course, most spirits are, by their nature, fairly straightforward but a spirit may have reasons to achieve its goals through intermediaries or in ways that a human wouldn't approach the same goal.

Spiritually Noticeable (3 pt Flaw)
Only mages who possess either the Medium or Spirit Sight Merit can take this Flaw. Spirits automatically notice that mages with this Flaw can always perceive them. Unlike the Spirit Magnet Merit or Flaw, Spiritually Noticeable mages are known to be able to interact easily with spirits. While most spirits will ignore you, wraiths who need aid in the mortal world, nature spirits who are upset with environmental destruction and odd spirits who merely want to talk to a human will flock to you. These spirits may be annoyed, or they may be honestly friendly, but they all want something from you.
While having spirits frequently hitting you up for favors can be annoying, having them do so when you are involved in some potentially hazardous activity can be extremely dangerous. Many mages with this Flaw either ward their dwellings against spiritual intrusions or make deals with one or more spirits to act as guardians.