[This is a modified version of the merit from the original Pathogen. Rationale: cocoon as a more versatile merit makes sense. The original's function is now covered by the Hibernation merit. See also the rules for Molting.]
The character can spin a protective casing around herself to shield her while she is sleeping or undergoing Moulting.
A cocoon's default Size is 5, and it costs 10 ATP and five minutes to make. However Size can be increased by 1 Size for +2 ATP and an extra minute of work. There is no upper or lower limit, but the cocoon can never be smaller than the character's own Size.
Each cocoon has a Durability equal to the Resonance rating of the Infected who created it. This defense only applies to damage from the outside; the occupant can open up the coccoon from the inside any time as a simple action.
The cocoon also protects against the sleeping Infected against temperature changes. Each Resonance dot allows the person in the cocoon to ignore a -10 or +10 Fahrenheit temperature change. (The character will still feel their effect when he awakens, but can survive through extreme conditions until the weather returns to normal.)
Note that this does not protect against fire (it does protect against the heat it generates, though) which is a lot hotter than what even the sturdiest cocoon can bear.
A cocoon can be affixed to any surface that the infected can reach.
The character can willingly enter a state of suspended animation, similar to what he experiences during Moulting. While the character is in this state, his life functions slow to a dramatic degree. He requires no food or water, and is unaffected by Symptoms and can not lose Fusion in any way. The character must set at least one circumstance for awakening (for example, "when X days have passed" or "when the external temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit".)
[Compare Torpor, "Vampire:Requiem" p. 175]
Nest (* to *, special)
A nest is the infectee's sanctum, a safe spot he can always withdraw to heal, treat his Symptoms or during Molting.
A Nest has two factors by default: Size and Security. It may have others.
How many Infected can stay in the Nest at the same time, and how many belongings the character can store there.
A nest will soon show tell-tale signs of its infected inhabitants.
Thick fleshy mass starts to grow and crawl up the walls, chimeric insects scurry away from the way of those who enter; the higher the character's Resonance and the more time he spends inside the stranger the Nest becomes. A Nest of sufficient age and Size is not as much a place as a live chimeric organism itself.
0: A barricaded corner, a hole in the ground, an empty barrel or a broom closet. One Infected can hide inside standing, or use it for molting, curled up into a ball.
1: A small room or attic. It can comfortably house a single infected and her belongings. It can hide two or three more people in a pinch, but no more.
2: An apartment, small house, or garage with enough room for a dozen people or half a dozen and their belongings. There are likely to be chimera (mostly small insects) and traces of mutated organic matter (like that last slice of pizza you have left in the fridge) for anyone vigilant enough to look for the signs.
3: A large cave, mansion or storehouse. There is plenty of space, enough for dozens of infectees. At this point, there are probably are probably a few colonies of chimeric plant or animal species sharing living space with the Infected, existing in a weird symbiosis.
4: A military base, commune, or a farm. It can easily hold a colony of over a hundred infectees. The plant life and fauna is unlike anything that anyone has seen before.
5: An island, plateau or underground cave system. It can give home to more infected that one can conceivably bring together. The ecosystem is self-sustaining and incredibly complex; entire species can develop and die out without anyone ever knowing about it.
Each dot in security subtract one die from any attempts to the following: locating the Nest; entering the Nest; leaving the Nest. The last one is not to be sniffed at; many Infected actually prefer to deactivate their defenses on the way in (this also ensures that the intruders do not disarm them before the right time) so that they can better stop people on the way out. Most Infected have a use for curious mortals whether as fresh meat or new victims to be injected with the Virus, and are not likely to refuse prey offering itself by coming to their front door.
[other possible factors:]
The nest has some sort of defense system against intruders.
[compare the Safehouse Merit from "Hunter: The Vigil" (p. 72)]
Traps, like other Security, can be both organic (cobweb, puffballs etc.) or artificial (iris scanners, mines etc.) Many Nests have a friendly mixture of both.
Each time this factor is purchased, it buys a different trap.
Each dot in the trap buys either Defenses x 3 points of Bashing damage to a small area, OR Defenses points of Lethal damage to a single target, OR the owners can opt for a trap that immobilizes the intruders. Roll 2 x Traps minus the target's Defense. If you get at least one success, the target is immobilized. The trapped character can attempt to break free as soon as his own action comes up (even in the same turn) by roll Strength + Brawl; he breaks free if he achieves more successes than the number of successes rolled for the trap when the person was captured.
The Chimera that inhabit a Nest exist in a strange mutualism with their hosts. They tolerate - even protect - the Infected that they share living space with, and while guests make them restless, they usually will not bother them either unless provoked. This does not mean that they won't still act hostile towards someone they view as a threat. Most Chimera will simply hide, but sometimes they learn to - or may even be trained to - attack intruders. The dots assigned here determine how many Chimera are willing to come the defense of the Nest and how strong they are.
1: One rank-1 Chimera.
2: One rank-2 Chimera or two rank-1 Chimera.
3: One rank-3 Chimera or four dots' worth of rank 1 or 2 Chimera.
4: One rank-4 Chimera, or six dots' worth of rank 1, 2 or 3 Chimera.
5: One rank-5 Chimera, or eight dots' worth of rank 1, 2, 3 or 4 Chimera.
The character does not command these Chimera; they will attack someone or halt an attack on someone who disturbed them just because he tells them to.
This Hive factor can be purchased repeatedly. Each Chimera or Chimera group defends a room-sized area, which they will not leave under normal circumstances.
//[Side note: Creating Chimera
Designing new Chimera deserves its own section, but for now for the purposes of the above merit use these quick rules:
Chimera are usually animals (sometimes mortals) who have been changed by the Virus. A Chimera's regular form is very close to the original animal. Each Chimera also has a mutated form, which is simply added using the Mutation Subversion.
The easiest way to create a Chimera is to take the existing animal, and assign a few Mutation dots. The resulting creature, with whatever Attribute increases and Aspects you have selected, is the Chimera.
To determine the Rank of your Chimera, first consider how powerful the animal was in its original form (how much it possessed in Attributes, Skills, Specialties, Merits, and other benefits like Size or Speed). A fly would be rank 0; a bat rank 1; a cat or a raven rank 2; a dog or a horse rank 3; a human rank 5. Then think about how the virus has changed its host; a zombified mortal may have dropped to rank 2 or lower, while a thoroughly mutated animal would be some ranks higher.
You can also opt to create your Chimera in detail from the ground up. Use the following guidelines:
Chimera have the following default stats: Size 1, Speed species factor 1, 1 dot in every Attribute, and no Skills or Specialties. You can swap these points around if you like and Chimera CAN have 0 in an Attribute. For each additional Rank (1 to 5) that the Chimera has, 6 extra points are granted which you can spend on the following:
+1 in an Attribute
+2 dots in a Skill
+4 Skill Specialties
+2 Speed species Factor
+3 Merit dots
The fifth dot in any Attribute, Skill or Merit still costs double. Chimera are animalistic, and they can not possess a Mental Attribute, or a Mental or Social Skill higher than their own Rank. Chimera however, measure their Defense as the higher of their Wits and Agility, like animals do.
A Chimera automatically has as many dots in Mutation as its Rank.]//