Malkavian
Malkavian.png

Nickname: Lunatics

Sect: Camarilla

Clan Disciplines: AUSPEX, DEMENTATION, OBFUSCATE

Quote: "Laugh if you like. Doesn't matter. Assume that you're so much smarter than the poor, broken lunatic. Doesn't matter. But think about this: You're a dead thing, same as me. You died and were reborn… as this. What makes you and me different? Simple — I remember what I saw when I was full and truly dead. You'd be mad, too."

Even other Damned fear the Malkavian. The cursed blood other clan has polluted their minds, with the result that every last Malkavian across the world is incurably insane. What's worse, a Malkavian's madness can take nearly any form, from overpowering homicidal tendencies to near-catatonia. In many cases, there's no way to tell a Malkavian apart from the "sane" members of other clans. Those few whose psychoses are immediately obvious are among the most terrifying vampires to stalk the streets.

For as long as even the eldest Cainites can remember, the Malkavians have always stirred Kindred society with their passage. Although the clan has instigated no great wars nor toppled mortal governments (at least, to the best of their fellow vampires' knowledge), the very presence of a Malkavian works a subtle change on a city. Chaos nips at the Lunatics' heels, and those who associate with even the most well-meaning Malkavian often find their lives or unlives altered by the Cainite's madness.

Recently, the Malkavians executed their grandest "prank" of all. None can say whether it was worked in a great Malkavian Parliament held somewhere in an isolated European village, or on a bleak and forgotten moor somewhere far from the cities. A few stories speak of an epidemic of contagious dementia exploding among those of Malkav's blood. Whatever the cause, Malkavians across the world have begun displaying a new, dangerous edge to their madness, accompanied by bizarre events in Kindred cities around the world. A long-standing Malkavian conceit holds the Jyhad to be a joke instigated by the founder of the clan; some Kindred wonder if, in fact, Malkavians have played the joke on them all along.

None can say what exactly makes the Lunatics so dangerous. Certainly, their madness often frees them from fear of pain or Final Death. More than a few demonstrate horrifying murderous urges or a complete lack of emotion, including compassion. But most convincingly, the Malkavians are free from the confines of rationality and may do whatever they like — and this freedom is coupled with an uncanny insight, a strange wisdom that can't be perceived by the sane. The Malkavians possess a dark intellect that's often — and increasingly — set to frightening purposes.

Malkavians run the gamut from terrifying psychotic to convincingly ordinary in every way — sometimes both at once. Just like serial killers, they could be anyone — the scruffy bum talking to himself, the pleasant but quiet neighbor, the borderline-suicidal musician. These vampires are capable of great subtlety, and rarely show anyone a face other than the one they want people to see.

The Lunatics by and large take whatever shelter they like, although more than a few aging hospitals and poorly funded asylums to their tastes. Many seem to enjoy the company of desperate mortals, and prefer slums and institutions to more secluded havens.

Malkavians take their childer from all walks of life and for all number of reasons. Anyone can be chosen to further a sire's twisted purposes, although most Lunatics prefer Embracing those already close to (or subject to) madness. Most other vampires believe that the Malkavians Embrace their childer on a whim; however, virtually all Lunatics discover themselves subtly championing some barely perceptible "purpose," the full extent of which none — not even their sires — can properly fathom.

Character Creation

Malkavians come in all shapes and flavors, but many have primary Mental Attributes, befitting the clan's reputation from wisdom and insight. Apart from that, it's anyone's guess just what Traits a Malkavian may manifest — with the diversity of their concepts and backgrounds, these mad vampires could be anyone. Anywhere.

Weakness

Every last vampire of Malkav's blood is irredeemably insane in some form or another. Some attribute this a curse of the blood, while other Lunatics actually call it a special blessing, a gift of insight. When a Malkav character is created, the player must choose at least one derangement for that character at the time of the Embrace; this derangement can be temporarily fought with Willpower, but can never be permanently overcome.

Organization

The hierarchy of the Malkavians, if it exists tat all, defies description. Most are usually content to let one another do as they like from night to night. But now and again, in times of great need, Malkavians demonstrate an uncanny ability to act in unison, even without any apparent leadership — and sometimes even without any apparent communication. As one, they arise from their desolate haunts; as one, they fall on the problem at hand. And when it's a problem no longer, they drift back to their usual routines. If the Malkavians indulge in any form of machinations as a clan, they're incomprehensible to outsiders — which may be a blessing.

Clan Malkavian Guide

This is taken from a guide found with a google search. It was chosen as it was perfect to explain the clan in a nutshell for those who are new to Vampire: The Masquerade.

The Malkavian clan is viewed in many different lights by their fellow creatures of the night. They are heralded as prophets, reviled as madmen, revered as seers, shunned as dark pranksters, and cast aside as lunatics, often each Malkavian taking multiple roles over his own unlife. However, the one universal binding factor is that every Malkavian is inflicted by the touch of insanity. Each and every Malkavian sees the world through his own twisted perspective, shaped by his particular derangement. While occasionally this can lead to flashes of insight or new ways of thinking, such visions can just as easily bring listeners to the brink of madness themselves.

Global Organization

Malkavian organization is mostly non­existent, as who could really gather and organize a clan of madmen? They seem for the most part to follow the maze of their own minds to whatever personal truths are in store for them. The connections clan mates have with each other are usually informal, the foremost of which being the bond between sire and childe and mentor and student. The Malkavians also tend to revere their elders for the knowledge and visions they have accumulated over the years, and guidance they might be able to offer to others. Malkavians may likewise find reverence for new or younger Malkavians who have brought fresh or ground breaking revelation and vision to the clan. From the outside this clan seems chaotic and disorganized, following visions, prophecy and wisdom.

However, every once in a while, Malkavians come together, seemingly at random, to form grand gatherings and exchanges of knowledge and information. It is at these times the seemingly chaotic clan shows a degree of order and unity that more formal clans would envy. The Malkavians themselves call this ability “Malkavian Time” and amongst each other acknowledge a vast unseen communication network existing in the dreams and waking thoughts of members of the clan. They have come to call it the “Malkavian Madness Network” or “The Cobweb” and it binds all Malkavians together in one collective of visions, nightmares, and chaotic emotions that often seem more confusing and erratic then communicative. Each clan member’s visions are projected through the lens of his own personal madness onto this worldwide canvas, and the results can be overpowering and disorienting to even experienced Malkavians. In time, most members of the clan learn to cope with their curse/blessing, but some unlucky ones are forever shattered by it, husks of the creature they once were.

As Members of the Camarilla the Malkavians have established themselves as the foremost warriors in the realms of psychic warfare, and have proved themselves adept time and time again. They have been invaluable in rooting out infiltrators and questioning captives. Often it is a Malkavian credited with ferreting out the hidden enemies of the Camarilla that still lurk in the darkness, seeking to cause it harm. This has lead to a great deal of respect for the Clan, who often found themselves reviled for being too unsocial or uncouth in earlier nights due to their eccentricities. Now most cities would be lost without a capable Malkavian seer keeping an eye out for hidden dangers. However, most Camarilla members note, with a slight discomfort when more than two Malkavians begin to gather.

Unfortunately for the Clan’s reputation, a recent divide in the clan has threatened to tear down all the hard­won respect they have earned over the centuries. The reintroduction of Dementation into the ranks of Camarilla Malkavians has left them reeling and split over how to handle the return of their chaotic birthright. Its defenders in the clan say they are returning to their roots, while its internal detractors argue it was put away for a reason. Meanwhile, the Camarilla looks on with an increasingly wary eye.

The Split

One cannot speak of Malkavians of the modern nights without discussing the split that has torn the clan of the moon in two. Before the Camarilla, the Malkavians were blessed with their own unique discipline called Dementation. This discipline was designed to influence the mind and emotions by inducing madness in the subject. However, when the Camarilla formed, it is said that the six great Methuselahs of Clan Malkavian gathered and made a pact to restrict the discipline of Dementation as a sacrifice for the order of the Camarilla. Those Malkavians who did not submit found themselves members of the fledgling Sabbat, and those that remained apart of the Camarilla gained the discipline of Dominate instead.

However, recently Dementation has found its way back into the Camarilla and no one can say why. It’s spread through young and old alike, mostly through those with minds receptive to its embrace.

Malkavians the world over have become polarized over its acceptance back into the mainstream of the clans, and factions have organized for and against. This is the first time since the split of the Antitribu that the Cobweb has been so fractured and the first time the sacrifice for the Camarilla has been questioned so openly amongst members of the clan.

Mechanically any Dominate Malkavian may willingly convert to Dementation in game at the cost of one extra permanent Derangement to mark their new embrace of madness. Vice versa, any Dementation Malkavian may willingly convert to Dominate by expending one permanent Willpower. When the conversion occurs, the character may now purchase the other discipline as an in­clan discipline. These conversions require a teacher or mentor to aid in the process. This changes requires Top Approval.

Factions

The Thought Police

While most Malkavians are loyal to the Camarilla in some degree, these particular clan members have taken it to the next level. This group of Malkavians specializes in rooting out infiltrators, diablerists, and anyone else that crosses the Camarilla’s party line. Holding service to the Camarilla in the highest regard, they regularly offer themselves as investigators and interrogators for the sect. One might often find them in the service of princes and high­status members of the Camarilla, utilizing their skills to make the Camarilla a safer place, free of those that might harm it. Though some might say they wish it free of any discontent whatsoever, the Thought Police humbly decline to respond to such accusations.

This faction is mostly composed of Malkavian’s who have retained use of the discipline of Dominate and avoided the so­called “Dementation Plague.” They prize the order that Dominate gives them, and the direct control over the minds of the enemies of the Camarilla. They tend to find the Seers suitable to their task as long as it serves the interests of the Camarilla. However, the Hatters are intolerably chaotic and many a member of this faction wonders if they have any loyalty to the Camarilla at all. Some whisper that an even more militant subgroup exists within the Thought Police. Known by many names, but most recently they have been dubbed “The Ministry of Love,” after the Orwellian dystopia 1984.

This select group of Malkavians uses their powers directly for Archons and Justicars, finding their enemies through often ruthless and Machiavellian methods. This group has devoted their potent minds to the protection of their Sect.

The Seers

Traditionally, Malkavians were often seen as prophets, their visions used to sift through the future and riddle out warnings and messages. This faction is dedicated to finding meaning in the madness of the Cobweb and puzzling out what is in store for the future of Kindred and the Camarilla. Seers focus on their own visions and revelations, often lost in the maze of prophecies that come with such mutable concepts. These Malkavians use what they see for Sect and Clan alike, focused merely on the task at hand and the visions that swirl through their minds.

This faction is composed of both Dominate and Dementation Malkavians, and has no favoritism in either direction. They believe insight can come from anywhere, and are uninterested in any particular doctrine.

They find the Thought Police and the Pranksters alike to have lost the forest for the trees. They caution both factions that focus must remain on the gifts that their madness has brought them, that theirs is a gift of pure insight without bias.

A more hidden group is never spoken about out loud, but in the moments of quiet in the Cobweb one might hear the faint whisper of “The Society of Anatole.” This subgroup is devoted to the mad ravings of the Gehenna prophet and diablerist, Anatole. They believe his visions hold the key to unraveling the future, and that Gehenna is not a myth, but a not so distant reality. This group is completely anathema to the Camarilla in all ways, daring to assert the existence of Gehenna and Antedilivians.

The Hatters

There is another, darker tradition amongst the Malkavians, the tradition of pranking. They aren’t so much a faction, as a collection of individuals that have embraced their roles as spreaders of madness and bringers of true perspective. These Malkavians often seek to lend their “perspective” to others through mental and emotional manipulation. Their goal is to encourage others to experience personal revelations, often at their own expense, sometimes at the peril of the pranked individual’s life. The Hatters have relished the return of Dementation and are eager to make use of it.

This faction is composed almost completely of Dementation Malkavians. Not that the faction itself checks for such things, they are far too disorganized for that, but that the usual type of clan member is one that has fully embraced the “traditional” gifts of Malkav. They tend to view the Thought Police as in need of some serious pranking, and view the Seers with a great respect, but feel they may have lost perspective on all that Malkavians have to offer.

Amongst their number lies a more organized group of pranksters. Calling themselves the “Praetorians” they call back to a time when Clan Malkavian ruled Rome along with the Ventrue. They seek to return the clan to the power they once were by purging it of those brothers and sisters who would hold it back. Their “pranks” can mostly be seen as violent attacks designed, in their minds, to wake their clan up to a dormant greatness.

Prominant Malkavian NPC's

Maris Streck (8th generation) – A self­styled avenging angel praying on the criminal and depraved, Maris has long served as an investigator and tracker of the highest order. Her reputation for excelling at her work has led her to work for some of the most influential vampires in the Camarilla, and she currently stands as one of the most powerful and connected of the Malkavian Thought Police. Rumors persist, though, that she developed political aspirations that were put aside when given a secret task by the Inner Circle and that she may in fact be the head of the mysterious Ministry of Love.

Anatole (embraced at 10th generation, current generation unknown) – Born a poor French Man­at­Arms, Anatole’s embrace radically changed him into a being of prophecy and unswerving faith. He begins to hear whispers of a coming future where Gehenna is a rapidly approaching reality. While his usually accurate prophetic warnings won him accolades from various princes in the Dark Ages, however persistent rumors of diablerie and unfettered belief in Gehenna kept him at arm’s length from any organized domain. Now, theres less tolerance than ever for his blasphemy. An active search is underway for him for his suspected crimes, but he seems to have disappeared without a trace. Meanwhile, a few secret Malkavians collect scraps of his mad scrawlings in hopes of piecing together his prophecies themselves.

Unmada (5th generation) – A holy man in life and in death, Unmada is best known as one of the strongest proponents of the Camarilla for his clan, and one of the key organizers of their entry. However, he is mostly known for his childe, Vasantasena. An Indian Princess in life, her sire and she were inseparable, and she was likewise influential over the early founding of the Camarilla. Vasantasena was discontented with the Camarilla’s refusal to acknowledge the Antediluvians or Gehenna. She left the sect and helped found the Sabbat, a betrayal Unmada never got over. He has been quiet since then, suffering his loss in private. He has yet to speak on the return of Dementation, nor the apparent disappearance of his lost childe in the recent Sabbat offensives.

Crazy Jane (­9th generation) – Poor Jane Pennington went mad from disease during the 17 th century in London. She was placed and forgotten in a filthy asylum that happened to be run by a twisted Malkavian named Mad Tom. Tom embraced her and made her one of his bound slaves, only further shattering her fragile mind. But her will was strong, and she rose up and slew her sire, claiming the asylum for herself. Her victory was not long lived ­ the Ventrue took note and had the asylum destroyed, seeing it as a rival consolidation of power. Since then, Crazy Jane has haunted cities, showing up when Malkavians need her most. Pranks and misfortunes happening to anyone daring to oppress Malkavians are often attributed to her fleeting, ghost­like presence.

Lucius Catullus (8th generation) – The current Malkavian Clanhead, Lucius is a model member of the Camarilla. Barely three centuries old, he was the privileged son of very wealthy, aristocratic parents. Not much is known about him personally. Other than his unfailing charisma and social politicking, he’s put forward in establishing the Malkavians as the go­to investigators and interrogators for the Sect. Though outwardly he owes allegiance to no internal faction of Malkavians, his public actions place him squarely in the Camarilla’s party line and highly supportive of the clan’s role in rooting out infiltrators. Due to this, the Thought Police claim him as their own, though the Hatters claim it’s all some bring prank just waiting to happen.

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