Some of these are changes that have been Business As Usual, but not codified, so I'll just lay everything out here. For most purposes, you really only need to read the first three or four bullet points, with the rest serving as more of a Q&A on how Libraries work in general.
- Library is a 1-5 merit, and is available to everyone.
- Library is no longer a singular merit, i.e. Library 3 (Ghosts, Spirits, Demons). Instead each type of Library will have its own rating, from 1 - 5.
- Library rating determines the bonus you get to rolls made on Research rolls. Library (Ghosts) 2 would give you a +2 to rolls when researching Ghost related matters.
- Libraries do not stack, only the highest value is used as a bonus to a given roll. Having Library (Ghosts 2) and a friend with Library (Ghosts) 3 does not allow you to put them all in the same room to get Library (Ghosts) 5, though sifting through one another's stuff might work as a Justification for raising the dots of one or both through XP spends.
- Researching with an appropriate Library cuts the time needed for Research rolls down from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. Note that some subjects may only be researched with an appropriate Library, and staff may rule such subjects take the full 30 minutes. If in doubt, ask your ST.
- Libraries may be used by other people, if the owner allows them (or if they find a way to get to them without the owner knowing). You are no longer required to buy dots in Library just to use somebody else's library.
- Libraries other than your own (as represented by your sheet) do not convey a reduction in research time, except as below.
- The rules for shared Libraries via Location merits such as for Sanctum and such still apply, with the branching out of Library merits noted above in full effect. Anyone who is a contributing part of the shared library may use the group's library with the reduction in research time. When in doubt, ask your sphere staff.
- Groups without special shared location merits have to buy their Libraries as individuals, but nothing stops you from putting them all in one giant library room where everyone can get at them. You just only get the research time reduction benefit for the parts of the Library you've contributed.
- Archive - This Changeling merit is being altered in the same way as Library as applies to the splitting into multiple merits covering one subject each, at a rating of 1-5. Changelings, like everyone else, also have access to the Library merit as normal. The two are separate merits, and as is currently the case Archive may be shared as noted above via Hollow, while Library represents a personal collection of non-Hedge based volumes (or whatever).
FAMILY STATUS BONUS
- Libraries gained through Family Status will be treated as phantom bonuses, not Library dots. If you get Library 3, it will be treated as a +1 bonus to research rolls on those subjects, on top of any Library bonus you have. This is the only way a bonus to Research rolls may exceed +5 from Library. The exception is the Kross family who will gain +2 to Research rolls for (Demons). If you have no dots in a given Library, the bonus from FS will still apply, allowing you to research subjects that would require a the Library stat to begin with. This is all done to avoid complications with moving/shuffling dots with varying Xp values when someone gains or loses Family Status.