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[V20] Opinions on a custom derangement

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  • [V20] Opinions on a custom derangement

    I've been trying to come up with an interesting not-real-life-related derangement for my Malkavian character. The seer aspect of the clan is pretty cool and I'd like to explore that further, so here goes:

    Intrusive Revelations
    Malkavians suffering from Intrusive Revelations catch sudden and uncontrollable glimpses of the past and the future. This "gift" can affect any (or all) senses and, for a brief moment, the seer can't help but to believe what s/he just witnessed. The revelations are often scary or disturbing so forceful reactions to them are common. The revelations are also always indirect or cryptic in nature but, given time, tend to unfold*.

    *A tool for the storyteller! S/he can drop hints and mess with the Malk at the same time. Examples:
    • While attending to a dinner party, X slips away to dig up some dirt on the host. As he opens the door to the study, he is met with blazing heat and black smoke. The room is on fire and the storyteller asks for a rather difficult Rötschreck check. In reality there is no fire -- not yet, at least. The host does plan to roast his visitors alive a bit later, though.
    • The coterie is having a jolly field day in the great outdoors. Old man Jeb has been a reliable ghoul so his disappearance is deeply troubling. While scrabbling down a steep narrow path towards his cabin, X spots a rugged looking man hiding in a bush. The man quickly retreats out of sight with his hunting rifle before startled X can warn the others. In reality there is nobody there -- not anymore. Old man Jeb was ambushed two nights ago along this path but good luck convincing the coterie to listen to your sage advice after a false alarm.
    • X finally meets the French baron's right-hand man in person to discuss the details of the latest campaign against the Germans. Strangely, he opens the meeting with the usual German pleasantries. As X commends his fluency in German, the man's expression quickly changes from friendly to surprised to enraged. He spoke French the whole time but is actually a German spy.
    • X is talking to his acquaintance Bob when he feels a light tap on his left shoulder. Just as X glances over his shoulder, an axe gets planted to his forehead from behind. X screams and hits the floor and everybody in the cafeteria freaks out. But there is no axe. Is Bob an axe murderer? Is he about to be a victim of one? X never asked what Bob actually does for living. Is he a lumberjack? These kind of visions tend to mean something so X keeps an eye out for axes.
    Would this serve as a derangement? In effect it makes the character act erratically by distorting his senses and causes sudden frights of varying magnitudes. How would you feel giving a character any kind of benefits (oracular abilities) with derangements? Intrusive Revelations are random but how often would you use them as a storyteller? Should there be more punishing mechanical effects on top of these "fits"? For example, succeed on a Willpower check after each happening or suffer -1 die to Perception rolls for the scene since the Malk doubts his senses? Other suggestions to make this work?


  • #2
    Go for it.
    I also separate the fixed shortlist of derangements from what happens specifically to a Malkavian character. What I find works best is, like your implementation, make all the intrusive experiences part of the story, red herrings as well as true insights. Leave only the reaction up to the player.

    Currently running (
    Helion's Advocates (MtSC)