Information about the Amnesia trait in Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong, including gameplay information about the trait and how to obtain and get rid of the Amnesia trait.
How to Get the Amnesia Trait
Many traits are beneficial, and most are acquired based on your actions, for better or worse. The Amnesia trait, on the other hand, is a plot-driven contrivance that incentivizes you to recover Emem’s missing memories, and quantify in gameplay mechanics the effects of the predicament she finds herself in.
In Emem’s second scene (Scene 04 - Unknown) you’ll be afflicted with the Amnesia trait as you explore, picking it up immediately after playing through Emem’s first memory flashback. This first memory cannot be missed, and it serves as an introduction to recovering Emem’s memories and provides backstory for how she found herself in her current predicament. From where you start the level, you’ll need to look at the pit opposite the cell door and use Celerity - Blink to reach a lower walkway. This will set you back 3 Hunger, and you start the scene with 10 Hunger, so you may need to overturn a rock and snack on some rats. Once you’re on the lower walkway, just head forward and Emem will see a “Jefferson Library” sign that triggers the memory. You’ll have to perform some free (0 Hunger) Blinks during this memory, but otherwise it’s a fairly straightforward affair.
What Does the Amnesia Trait Do?
The Amnesia trait reduces all of Emem’s Knowledge skill ratings to 0, rendering her incapable of attempting any Deduction or Education checks until the trait is removed. There aren’t many Deduction checks in this scene, but there are a few Education checks, and not being able to even attempt them (much less pass them) will prevent you from obtaining the Thaumaturgical Coin as well as limiting your options during the confrontation at the end of the scene.
Getting rid of it is therefore fairly recommended.
How to Get Rid of the Amnesia Trait
Fortunately the Amnesia Trait is temporary, and regaining enough of Emem’s memories will remove it. The carrot and the stick behind learning Emem’s backstory, which is really the primary purpose of her second scene. You’ll have to find and witness several of her memories - around half the optional memories in the scene - to rid yourself of the Amnesia trait.
Memories can be triggered by interacting with various objects in the level. There’s not a whole lot of fanfare for most of these objects, so they can be somewhat easy to miss, even if you walk right by them. You’ll also often have to make use of the Celerity - Blink ability, which will generate Hunger and some will require you to use Celerity - Fleetness to bypass a pair of portcullises raised and lowered by some levers (see the Lever Puzzle page for more details on this). Celerity - Fleetness requires you to have invested XP to unlock Celerity Rank II or failing that, to find and consumer the Tremere Potion to unlock the Tremere Concotion trait. Celerity - Blink will accrue three Hunger every time it’s used in a new Blink location, but there are plenty of vessels and rats around the level to sate your hunger… although many of them are hidden behind cells that require Celerity - Fleetness to access.
Once you manage to trigger a memory you’ll get to witness the memory play out, after which a portal will spawn and you can return back to reality.
Check out the How to Find All of Emem’s Memories page for more information on finding these memories.