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 Merit: Parkour

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Join date : 2012-02-29

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PostMerit: Parkour

Merit: Parkour • to •••••
Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Athletics ••

The sport of parkour began in France, and has quickly spread to other parts of the world. Parkour demands a level of athleticism from its practitioners that few other sports do. The purpose of parkour, which is also called “free running” or “urban running,” is to move as quickly as possible through an environment with a variety of obstacles, sprinting through the terrain and using a variety of climbing techniques, leaps, rolls and other athletic movements to navigate. Watching an expert traceur (one of the terms for someone who practices parkour) at work is awe-inspiring, like something out of an action film.

Though the technique comes from well-disciplined training, imbedding a certain body of movements and techniques into the parkour’s instinctive reactions, the goal is a flawless, seamless flow of movement from one obstacle to the next, with hardly any pause in speed or movement. This “flow” is the goal of traceurs — it is the highest achievement of a practitioner of parkour to achieve a Zen-like state of lack of thought, where purest instinct and reaction drives the movement. Skilled traceurs speak of sometimes being aware that they’ve accomplished tremendously difficult feats heartbeats after they’ve accomplished it.

Through intensive training to drive home certain actions when confronted with certain obstacles, the traceur can depend on his instincts, rather than his thoughts — which are vulnerable to fears and doubts — when moving through the urban environment. Traceurs gather in clubs. Though the sport has begun to catch on, and some of these clubs are receiving corporate sponsorship, the clubs tend to be quite informal, with members gathering in a given place on a given day of the week to work on their techniques. Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special athletic maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next. So, your character can’t have “Cat Leap” until he has “Flow.” The maneuvers and their effects are described below, most of which are based on the Athletics Skill.

Flow (•): Your character has some basic training in the techniques of parkour, allowing him to act instinctively to obstacles and jumps. When using running or using the Foot Chase rules (see House Rules), your character may negate hazardous terrain penalties equal to his Rating in the Parkour Merit. Additionally, the roll to gauge a jump distance (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 67) is a reflexive action.

Cat Leap (••): Your character has mastered some of the twisting leaps, landing rolls and wall taps used by traceurs. When using a Dexterity + Athletics roll to mitigate damage from falling (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 179), your character gains one automatic success. Additionally, add one per dot in this Merit to the threshold of damage that can be removed through this roll. Thus, if the Storyteller decrees that only three successes may be garnered to reduce falling damage, the traceur with three dots in this Merit may actually use six successes (assuming the player accumulates that many, including his automatic success).

Wall Run (•••): Your character has mastered the quick wall-run and leaping climb techniques of parkour. When using Athletics to climb (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 64), your character is capable of scaling heights of 10 feet + 5 feet per dot in Athletics as an instant action (rather than the normal 10 feet), though every full 10 feet beyond the first imposes a –1 die penalty.

Expert Traceur (••••): Your character has trained so extensively in this athletic discipline that its maneuvers are normal and instinctive for him. Your character may designate any Athletics roll that involves running, jumping and climbing as being a Rote Action (Player gets to pull again from their original dice pool – their successes and then add all the successes together). However, when doing so, he is less able to react to events that don’t have to do with navigating the environment, causing him to lose his Defense for that turn.

Freeflow (•••••): Your character has achieved the freeflow that is the holy grail of traceurs everywhere — he acts without thinking, his movements flowing, graceful and quick when he enters “the zone.” He can perform any Athletics action that involves running, jumping or climbing as a reflexive action, rather than an instant action. Doing
so requires that the character has been running for at least a full minute previously (10 rounds) ; any use of this ability before that minute mark requires the expenditure of one point of Willpower, however.
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