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  • #31
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    In such a case, then, the Malkavian's "insight" doesn't give them anything for free. That they can talk to an inanimate object is just them having another avenue for moving the plot forward, like other characters who hack computers, find notes, decipher riddles, and pump real people for information. Those characters might use Computer, Investigation, Enigmas, or Persuasion; the Malk could do the same things with the same abilities, just in a different coat of paint.
    It is still giving the Malkavian access to that avenue for free.
    It's something other's don't have access to. Design a merit, use it as a part of a discipline power (Eyes of Chaos is great for that) But not just because they're a "Malkavian"

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    • #32
      Illithid

      I think what Bluecho is saying is that an ST could reasonably allow a Malk to make, for example, a Perception+Investigation roll and instead of carefully examining physical clues, dusting for fingerprints, reviewing cctv footage, etc. just spend an hour or two chatting with the moosehead. Same dice pool purchased, same time spent, same results. It's just allowing the in-game explanation for the mechanical ability to be described differently for more flavor.

      The other coterie members might also have unusual flavor added to their investigation rolls. Tremere might use alchemical reagents and mystic sigils to examine clues. Ventrue might call a police detective who owes him a favor to help interpret the scene. Toreador might notice that paintings being worked on in a side room are very clever forgeries, and therefore, there was an art theft ring operating out of the house. Gangrel might shift to wolf form to sniff the furniture and taste the floor.

      Same dicepool. Same results. Wildly different flavors. All fair play.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
        Illithid
        Same dicepool. Same results. Wildly different flavors. All fair play.
        That sounds perfectly reasonable, I've just seen (and been the victim) of STs giving "Obscure" hints to Malks through the network that uncovered plots that there was no way for them to find out, impacting other players negatively.

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        • #34
          Illithid

          I've seen that, too. It can sometimes make non-Malk players feel left out.

          That, however, could be said about all the clans. If a Toreador player bought Performance 3 and Fame 3, they might find the ST was a little looser on how glamorous the life they lead is for what is RAW a middling c-list celebrity at best, than if a Caitiff or Gangrel bought the same. Being invited to all the best parties is part of the Toreador schtick, so STs often show this sort of favoritism under the theory that it is central to the character concept.

          Same goes for when dawn is approaching and there is a ramshackle cottage nearby. Most STs would give Gangrel more leeway in finding a safe place to sleep, compared to a Ventrue. This is even if they had the same levels of Survival and Fortitude. Sleeping in the rough is part of the Gangrel archetype; the opposite is true of Ventrue.

          So, if an ST decides there is a vital clue they want the players to notice to move the story forward, handing it to the Malk as a "sudden insight" would be fair game. If there were no Malk, the ST would drop the clue through Brujah street contacts, Tremere divinations, or Nosferatu warren gossip. As long as everyone gets some spotlight time, and has the chance to feel like their character is helpful to the group in some way, I think it's fine.

          The real problem with fishmalks is that they try to hog the spotlight, but that can be true of any clan.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Illithid View Post
            One thing that frustrates me playing with or trying to run a game with Malkavians is that a derangement is a flaw; theoretically meant to be equal in drawback to every other (Not that they are) so should be as constant but manageable as the Ventrue's Weakness or rare and debilitating as a Toreador's.

            Expecting insight from the "Madness network" for free is turning the weakness into an inconvenience at worst and negligible drawback for too many characters
            My interpretation of this has always been, Malkavians are all Embraced for a reason, and every last one has their role to play in the Jyhad. They, or their sire, may not know the reason, but they were, and equally there for a reason are their derangements. In fact, it's more likely not to be the case they're aware of their role in any way. Whether it's Malkav itself, or a Malkie methuselah or elder, working through the Cobweb, or some form of Malkavian collective consciousness in and of itself, the result is the same. The roles of some are more prestigious or luminary than others, the fates of some more dignified, and their capability to sustain their own existence may vary, but no matter how small by the time they meet their Final Death they've played their part.

            Yes, I like to think of Malkav as a(n even more than usual) Lovecraftian take on Tzeentch. Knowledge of things mortals aren't meant to know brings madness, Malkavians are Cassandra puppets, and there's deep tragedy in that to explore. The idea insight is gained "for free" isn't exactly the best spin to put on it, and it's on the ST to ensure there's a suitable price for it, even if that comes in the form of an ignominious Final Death once the Malkavian's role is complete.

            Netchurch himself is honestly the best possible example. His derangements work together seamlessly to make him the perfect researcher into the vampiric state, and foremost expert in the Thin-blooded, regardless of morals or ethics, Embraced at the exact time to make him a sufficiently-powerful ancilla to use his developed disciplines in pursuit of his science, and at the exact Generation necessary to make him pliable to his clan's elders and methuselahs, but capable of wielding power over the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries and youngers.

            So...what is it Netchurch is predestined to discover? What happens to him once he's accomplished it? What force could have predicted the rise of the Thin-blooded exactly when they rose, and set Netchurch on his path to research them a hundred years before the first vampires of the 14th Generation?
            Last edited by Theodrim; 03-13-2019, 07:44 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Illithid View Post

              It is still giving the Malkavian access to that avenue for free.
              It's something other's don't have access to. Design a merit, use it as a part of a discipline power (Eyes of Chaos is great for that) But not just because they're a "Malkavian"
              I tend to use Auspex and it's ability to grant oracular abilities, as well as the Insight background rules from Time of Thin Blood. I've found they usually work OK.



              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                Illithid

                I've seen that, too. It can sometimes make non-Malk players feel left out.

                That, however, could be said about all the clans. If a Toreador player bought Performance 3 and Fame 3, they might find the ST was a little looser on how glamorous the life they lead is for what is RAW a middling c-list celebrity at best, than if a Caitiff or Gangrel bought the same. Being invited to all the best parties is part of the Toreador schtick, so STs often show this sort of favoritism under the theory that it is central to the character concept.
                Here is my problem. A Toreador should get more attention for having Performance 3 and Fame 3 because they have invested points in that way. A Toreador will probably do it better because of their disciplines, but all other things being equal, any character with the same points and merits should have the same result. (Unless a weakness impacts negatively)

                A Malkavian has not invested points in this benefit.

                Having a formal system for "Madness network" or oracle merits means that they are putting points in so it's fair to the players
                I have the same problem with Tremere players expecting full cooperation of their clan to buy what Thaumaturgy and Rituals they want, with nothing expected in return.
                Even the mentor background implies you'll owe something in return for what you get.

                Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                As long as everyone gets some spotlight time, and has the chance to feel like their character is helpful to the group in some way, I think it's fine.
                I agree completely here.

                I just add that people who have invested XP in areas that could be of use should be more useful than players who haven't, otherwise just build combat characters because those powers WILL always be applicable in their field.

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