Effect: Contacts provide your character information in a particular area of awareness. Each dot in this Merit represents one arena or circle in which your character has a web of connections and from which he may draw information.
If he has Contacts ¥¥¥, his dots might be assigned to computer hackers, couriers and big business, respectively. Contacts can include individuals whom you or the Storyteller defines, but more likely they comprise an array of people from whom your character can draw information with a phone call, email or face-to-face query.
Contacts is strictly information-gathering. Contacts do not come perform services for your character or rush to his aid. Those actions are the purview of other Merits such as Allies and Retainer.
Gaining information from contacts requires a successful Manipulation + Persuasion or Socialize roll, depending on the relationship between your character and the people in question. Penalties might apply if the information sought is little known (-1 to -3), confidential (-3), or if sharing it could get people in trouble or harmed (-3 to - 5).
Success doesnÕt guarantee exactly the information for which your character looks. Contacts arenÕt all-knowing, and the Storyteller is perfectly justified in saying that a particular contact simply doesnÕt know something.
Dramatic Failure: The contact doesnÕt tell your character the full extent of what he knows, or provides misleading information. Perhaps heÕs holding out for money or favors, or simply makes an honest mistake.
Failure: The contact doesnÕt have the information your character needs.
Success: The contact is able to provide some information thatÕs helpful to your character.
Exceptional Success: The contact is able to provide a wealth of information to your character, providing answers to questions that arenÕt even asked.
Suggested Equipment: Gift (+1), small bribe (+1), large bribe (+2), an outstanding favor (+1 to +3)
Possible Penalties: Lack of bribe (-1), frequent and recent requests (-1 to -2), information confidential (-1 to -3), information scarce (-2), information obscure (-3)