A guide and refresher on Clan Malkavian
How to use this guide
This guide is to give an overview of standard and general knowledge of the clan. This is by no means a definitive guide nor an enforced how to.
However, these are all things that should be considered for those that are looking to play this clan. Even if your character is a trendsetter seeking to break the clan mold you still need to be aware of the basic structure your character is flouting.
Who are the Malkavians?
The Malkavian of modern nights are the Dreamers, the fool, the lost, the madman and the thinker. They are also be the innocent face, the friendly smile and the unseen killer. Children of the Malkavian are chosen for reasons known only to their sires.
What makes a Malkavian?
This Clan believes that only the broken mind can truly see the secrets of the universe and as a result they almost exclusively Sire from the demented, the suicidal and the insane. Some among the Kindred see them as a useless burden upon the Camarilla, being little more than raving madmen. However, those with more sense have found that nuggets of truth can be sifted from their ravings, and a terrifying insight into the way the world works can be seen. From the bumbling fool to the quiet thinker, all share the same deranged premonitions and broken knowledge, making ignoring them completely a madness in itself.
The Clan Flaw
All Malkavians suffer a mental disorder; either one that manifested upon their embrace or exacerbating an existing condition. It seems that when a Malkavian Sires, their Childe’s mind is shattered and any previous insanity is multiplied beyond Mortal bounds. This can manifest in many ways, sometimes the Malkavian is quiet and withdrawn, but when roused, terrifying and passionate. Others are idiotic and laughable, and, when roused, still idiotic and laughable.
At character creation a Malkavian must choose a derangement, this Derangement is taken as if it were at 3 points (but no freebies are given for it). It is expected that the Malkavian will suffer from this Derangement to an intense degree.
Internal Clan Structure
As Malkavians are such a hodgepodge of different sorts of people and minds, they have no real internal organization. However, a powerful Malkavian in terms of age or connection to the Malkavian Network will be able to hold a great deal of influence over their fellow clanmates.
The unique background called Malkavian Time dictates how connected you are to the madness network. The more you get out of the network, the more the network takes out of you. Narrators may choose to have random effects happen in-game, which tend to hit higher-level Malkavian Time characters harder than those with smaller Malkavian Time as a tradeoff for gaining more visions (and thus more insight, albeit complex insight, into plots past, present and future). This could be for better or worse, however all in all it’s usually an in-time event and will not cause any long lasting effects to your character.
What do they think of others?
Most malkavians do not have an issue with any one particular clan. They may enjoy delighting the Toreador with their visions or infuriating the Venture with their madness. Clan Brujah are an interesting gamble on how close they can be pushed to frenzy without being pummeled into a wall.
Clan Nosferatu and Gangrel are often respected by the Malkavians as they often suffer mental derangements as a result of their Embraces. Whether those clans appreciate the comradery of the Malkavians is another question
Like most other clans, they have a healthy distrust of the secretive Tremere Clan, but at the same time, a healthy respect for a clan that can throw lightning and fireballs around. Malkavians are often a favorite test subject for the Tremere which also helps fuels the distrust.
Due to the hive mind nature of the Malkavains, they will often place clan above sect in terms of loyalty. Most don’t have much choice on the matter.
Clan Specific Merits and Flaws
Immaculate Aura: [1pt] Your aura does not betray when you are suffering your Derangement. Normally, a Malkavian’s aura becomes swirly while their Derangement is in effect (otherwise it looks normal).
Infectious: [3pts] Your bite causes the target to suffer a temporary, 1pt derangement. This derangement could be anything (decided upon by Narrators) and lasts for a period of time also decided upon by Narrators. Biting the same target again may cause the Derangement to get worse, last longer, or add a new derangement to the mix.
The following merits and flaws cannot be taken by a Malkavian:
Recommended Skills and Backgrounds
Even someone as simple as your sire can help you get started on influencing your clan’s opinions.
With their lunatic in the asylum stereotype, Malkavians often have some form of medical connection.
Malkavian visions are often confusing. Being able to research them often provides greater detail.
Being able to speak different languages helps Malkavians gather more information or simply confuse others.
A Final Note
This guide is meant to describe the typical Malkavian. As stated at the start, that does not prevent you from playing a member of this clan with a different base concept, but you will need to have a good reason in your history why your sire chose you to join the clan.
Unlike most clans, Malkavians as a rule do not care how you behave. After all, when the world is mad, what is normal?