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Favorite Malkavian Derangements

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  • #16
    Well, Malkavians should not be funny, but they should be insane.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ChristopherZacher View Post
      I'm actually going to be diving into the clan in my next story arc. I'm going to try to be somewhat creative but I find myself getting pulled into the stereo types when it comes to one single NPC.
      You can never go wrong with the embraced as a 12 year old creep show. Mine is striking the fear in the hearts of the two tremere in my chronicle.

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      • #18
        Kleptomania!

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        • #19
          One of the main issues that I have run into with malkavians and their derangements is that all too often players and STs play them closer to a "personal quirk" than say a form of mental illness or extreme personality issues. Such quirks tend to be absent from every ones thoughts when in the middle of a scene. Don't get me wrong, I have seen some incredible malkavian characters but those are about as rare as vampire games where reaching Golconda is achieved for the entire coterie and then the game keeps going.

          Often what makes for a great Derangement character (they don't always have to be malks) is how the derangement interacts with the characters skill set and back story. Usually a Derangement is just an add on for the character sheet like hair color, but when it synergizes with multiple aspects of a character build, you start seeing some real magic happen.

          ​As for my favorite derangement, I would have to go with the combo of PTSD & Hallucinations.

          If your coterie thinks of themselves as real hard cases, give them an NPC nosferatu viet nam war vet with a bad case of PTSD & Hallucinations, maxxed out Obfuscate and a flame thrower he brought home from the war. The toreador only had to bring up "Charlie and Chocolate Factory" once to set the nosferatu off on a flash back. On the plus side, the Ventrue of the group made a killing at selling fire insurance.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Thoth View Post
            ​As for my favorite derangement, I would have to go with the combo of PTSD & Hallucinations.

            If your coterie thinks of themselves as real hard cases, give them an NPC nosferatu viet nam war vet with a bad case of PTSD & Hallucinations, maxxed out Obfuscate and a flame thrower he brought home from the war. The toreador only had to bring up "Charlie and Chocolate Factory" once to set the nosferatu off on a flash back. On the plus side, the Ventrue of the group made a killing at selling fire insurance.
            Here's the problem: this is fine when it happens once to a NPC. It becomes extremely annoying and disruptive when you have to deal with this every single session.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Rumata View Post
              Here's the problem: this is fine when it happens once to a NPC. It becomes extremely annoying and disruptive when you have to deal with this every single session.
              What's annoying? the deranged Nosferatu? or the flamethrower?


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              • #22
                Some of the ones I've had the most fun with are Sanguinary Animism, Immortal Terror, Dissociative Fugue, a couple different variations on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Thaumaturgical Glossolalia (which is normally Tremere specific I realize).

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Rumata View Post
                  Here's the problem: this is fine when it happens once to a NPC. It becomes extremely annoying and disruptive when you have to deal with this every single session.
                  Your statement illustrates my point in a nutshell.

                  A derangement is supposed to be a constant aspect of the character, not something that appears in one session and disappears in the next. A kleptomaniac can't by definition control their desire to steal. So it is a constant issue that they have to deal with every single session. The same goes for any other derangement in the game. A character with a phobia of a given thing or situation might not encounter it in every game, but they had better act like they are actively avoiding it every single game.

                  The nosferatu with a flame thrower was a perfectly normal ex-military character with all the skills of a soldier. Unless some one triggered a flashback for him where he would go a little bonkers for a time. This is really not that different from say the Brujah clan flaw being a constant that can be tripped at any time, or the incredible hulk for that matter, yet those can still be interesting characters.

                  Granted having that sort of constant character issue isn't everyone's cup of tea, but that means they don't play characters with derangements or play characters which openly associate with them.

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                  • #24
                    This is slightly off topic, but it does involve the topic of derangements and Malkavians.

                    Malkavians have given me, as a player and a Storyteller, a fair amount of anguish. I had to have a serious discussion with a player whose character thought a staple remover was his sire. /sigh

                    In the bygone era of my youth, I was a psychology major. I switched majors my sophomore year, but I’m familiar enough the field to understand that Derangements are a poor way to portray mental illness.

                    Instead, I make players do extra research. They need to sift through the DSM [at the time it was DSM IV TR, but I think they’re on V now] to pick out a character’s primary disorder. Once a player has an idea of the type of mental illness a character is going to be portrayed with, we sit down and talk about my mechanic for the Malkavian Clan Weakness: At any time, for one scene, the Storyteller may take complete control of the Malkavian character. The player may elect to spend Willpower points to reassert control for one turn. There’s no limit to how many times the Storyteller may do this per session.

                    To me, that’s what makes mental illness truly frightening; the lack of control. It’s that feeling that I try to convey to players about why Malkavians are frightening. Once they have an idea about their characters’ mental illness, we talk about what kind of behavior – as players – they can expect from their ST-controlled characters.

                    Most players I’ve encountered balk at this idea and opt for another Clan. The few players that still want to play a Malkavian delve in their homework. Granted, it can be challenging – as the ST - to incorporate this Clan Weakness into a game with being disruptive. It’s still less frustrating than dealing with a fishmalk who’s “just playing my character.”

                    For example, the staple remover Sire: We talked about his character’s mental illness. We took his comical idea and broke it down to auditory and visual hallucinations, based on – IIRC – schizotypal personality disorder (it’s been a long time) and we came up with something weird and appropriate for our splatterpunk Sabbat games. His character received “advice” from dead bodies. Not quick advice, but long full-blown conversations.

                    There was a session where the Pack was making a messy getaway from a Camarilla goon squad and I made his character stop to talk with a dead happy meal. Instead of spending a Willpower point to keep running, he spent a Willpower point to stop talking, cut off the corpses head, take it with him, and continue the conversation at a later time.



                    This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                    (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                    ").

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                    • #25
                      It's pretty much reasons like that Nazfool I don't want Malkavians to be as closely associated with mental illness. The Malkavians are creations of the Umberto Eco school of thought which portrayed the mad as having special insight into the supernatural and the belief their madness was to be revered. It's something which is absolutely not the case in real life and basically akin to the issue of Romani having supernatural powers. Furthermore, I wish to play the Gadfly and Fool and Trickster archetype of the Malkavian and have no interest in exploiting madness as a character concept because I find that to be filthy.

                      But I love the Cassandra prophet character.

                      Thus I support less realism.


                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                      • #26
                        If I can be completely frank, here in regards to Malkavians and derangements. I feel, personally, that the community as a whole takes Malkavians and their play way too seriously. To me and my group, RPGs are first and foremost a game and should be fun. So, if someone wants to make a Malkavian that's goofy I see no problem with that. The first Malkavian character I ever ran across as a player was an NPC that my ST threw in as the Primogen of the Malks in the city. He was a jester, 6000 years old, dressed colorfully, constantly cracking jokes and pranking people (he also turned out to be Nissiku, the Clever Prince). And I loved him, his crazy was so much fun to roleplay with. So much so that my character, (Ventrue) is now in love and blood bonded with him and vice versa. We've had other Malks since then, some still goofy, some terrifying, some straight and narrow with a little quirk every now and again. Of course, this all depends on the type of game you want to play, if you want to require realistic mental illness in a Malkavian or any deranged character I'm completely okay with that. I have just noticed that every time Malkavians are brought up people seem way too attached to 'realistic' roleplay when in the end I just want to have fun. I've even gone so far as to ask for advice on playing a Malkavian before, the only, and I mean only, advice I got was 'don't.' I thought that was a little ridiculous.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          It's pretty much reasons like that Nazfool I don't want Malkavians to be as closely associated with mental illness. The Malkavians are creations of the Umberto Eco school of thought which portrayed the mad as having special insight into the supernatural and the belief their madness was to be revered. It's something which is absolutely not the case in real life and basically akin to the issue of Romani having supernatural powers. Furthermore, I wish to play the Gadfly and Fool and Trickster archetype of the Malkavian and have no interest in exploiting madness as a character concept because I find that to be filthy.

                          But I love the Cassandra prophet character.

                          Thus I support less realism.
                          Don't forget that "madness is wacky" was a major part of Malkavians from the start. "Fishmalk" comes from an actual picture of naked malkavian holding a fish. 1e malks ran around with fairies and pulled off wacky pranks on people because they were oh so craaaaaazy.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by lilappleblossom View Post
                            If I can be completely frank, here in regards to Malkavians and derangements. I feel, personally, that the community as a whole takes Malkavians and their play way too seriously. To me and my group, RPGs are first and foremost a game and should be fun. So, if someone wants to make a Malkavian that's goofy I see no problem with that. The first Malkavian character I ever ran across as a player was an NPC that my ST threw in as the Primogen of the Malks in the city. He was a jester, 6000 years old, dressed colorfully, constantly cracking jokes and pranking people (he also turned out to be Nissiku, the Clever Prince). And I loved him, his crazy was so much fun to roleplay with. So much so that my character, (Ventrue) is now in love and blood bonded with him and vice versa. We've had other Malks since then, some still goofy, some terrifying, some straight and narrow with a little quirk every now and again. Of course, this all depends on the type of game you want to play, if you want to require realistic mental illness in a Malkavian or any deranged character I'm completely okay with that. I have just noticed that every time Malkavians are brought up people seem way too attached to 'realistic' roleplay when in the end I just want to have fun. I've even gone so far as to ask for advice on playing a Malkavian before, the only, and I mean only, advice I got was 'don't.' I thought that was a little ridiculous.
                            A lot of people play VtM as a serious game rather than a comedy one, in which case silly wacky malkavians who talk to TVs and pull off Prince's pants during Elysium become a game-disruptive annoyance. "I'm just playing my character, he's that crazy aha ha ha ha".
                            The Bloodlines Malkavian protag was funny and all, but if I had to deal with that crap at the table there'd be blood.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Rumata View Post
                              A lot of people play VtM as a serious game rather than a comedy one, in which case silly wacky malkavians who talk to TVs and pull off Prince's pants during Elysium become a game-disruptive annoyance. "I'm just playing my character, he's that crazy aha ha ha ha".
                              The Bloodlines Malkavian protag was funny and all, but if I had to deal with that crap at the table there'd be blood.
                              Oh, I'm aware and our game is anything but a comedy game. My point is that the type of Malk we're talking about can be just as serious and tragic as other characters, if done right. People are very quick to throw out anything resembling that sort of character without giving the player a chance at playing it. That's my point. If a player is simply doing it to be disruptive that's one thing. But if thats the sort of character someone wants to legitimately play and do properly, I feel its still acceptable. That's all I'm saying. Malkavians are my favorite clan, have been from the beginning, but I'm terrified of playing one because i know that's the type of character I would play and I'd be judged harshly because of it. Luckily after being with an ancient Malkavian for so long...My Ventrue is batshit insane so, best of both worlds I suppose.

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                              • #30
                                Why so much hate. I'm sure we all know or knew a friend or an acquaintance with mental issues.

                                They're annoying, they're disruptive, often dangerous and we always want them out of our way. Yet, it doesn't stop us from keeping them in our company. Because we learned to swallow our disgust and rage and take it to the gut.

                                Real life is not here to make it easy on us, it never was. Why should it be any different in VtM?


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