Knacks are a kind of mini-merit. They negate the difficulty penalty for certain situations. For various reasons, the Storyteller may apply a difficulty penalty because a situation is abnormal or otherwise difficult, and knacks overcome these - at least those not imposed by Charms. Characters may have a number of knacks equal to their permanent Essence score.
- Celestial Exalted (Abyssals, Chimerae, Lunars, Solars and Sidereals) may not purchase knacks, because they are already considered to have all of them, due to supreme competance. This doesn't necessarily mean that the character is, say, double-jointed, but rather, she might as well be.
What follows are some example knacks. The effect they supress is in parentthesis.
- Agile (Balancing on narrow surfaces, etc)
- Ambidextrous (Using a weapon in your off hand)
- Double-Jointed (Being partially restrained)
- Four Legs (While Prone)
- Graceful Step (While moving through bad terrain such as scree, thorns, shallow water, etc)
- Hear with Skin (While Deafened or Deaf)
- Iron Fists (Parrying a weapon bare-handed)
- Jack of All Trades (When using an Attribute you have no ranks in but are somehow still rolling (channel Virtue, etc)
- Pain Tolerance (Losing over half of your health levels)
- Merciful (Dealing bashing damage instead of lethal)
- Natural Beauty (Look good while being dirty!)
- Nuisance Handling (Ignore extra mobs in physical combat)
- Reach (Ignore small height differences, such as on stairs, on horse, etc)
- See with Ears (While dazzled, glare in eyes, etc - but not full blindness)
- Sound Mind (Losing over half of your integrity levels)
- Sure Foot (While on an unstable surface - includes 'sea legs')
- Unflappable (Extra crowds in Social Combat)
- Unshakable (While stunned)
And so on. There are a few complications that such bonuses cannot overcome, even for the Celestial Exalted. The most common examples would be:
- Blindness imposes a +5 Difficulty penalty, regardless of knacks
- Severe Restraint Fully submerged, operating with legs tied together, or an arm tied behind your back, etc. will often impose additional difficulties.
- Severe Range or Height Difference Where it is still possible to attack but for one reason or another (gravity?) it is extremely difficult to do so.
- Strong Extras - can impose a Difficulty penalty up to their permanent Essence, +1 if the character lacks the Nuisance Handling / Unflappable Knacks.