So, You Wanna Make a Malk?
A Malkavian can be one of the most difficult clans to play. Can be a grueling process of balancing the character with a derangement, with a philosophy or outlook that falls under devient. You may think I'm lying to you. Chances are, if you think that malks are just goofy characters that carry around stuffed bunnies and play duck-duck-goose, you've already got a biased opinion (see "Are you playing a Gnawed"). It is estimated that 1 out of every 20 people have a derangement, look around you, this could be your neighbor, your coworkers, your boss, your spouse...and I'll bet you that none of them carry a stuffed bunny. Please please please do what you can to stomp the stereotype many gamers have of this clan by doing your very best to play your Malkavian in a frightening, and real way. This is the World of Darkness after all.
Creating a Malkavian - Some tips
… Don't load up on flaws.
Its a cheap and easy way to get freebies at character generation, but in the long run, you pay for it. Remember, XP can be used to buy anything, but flaws are forever. Tip: IF your ST allows it, add flaws for free if you want to play them. The joy of playing a Malkavian is their flexibility. They are insane, after all. So maybe for the first month of play, you have this weird thing about being repelled by crosses. But the next time you play, its gone. When other characters wonder, just say "oh, I'm over that". Works well to confuse people, they think they've figured out a weakness, but they really havent. This only works if you didn't actually get freebies at character creation for your pseudo-flaws.
… Don't put all your freebies in a single discipline.
These types of characters tend to be not well rounded, and you end up only having one "schtick" which quickly grows boring. Not to mention, players that put all their freebies into a single discipline for some reason will feel compelled to overuse that discipline.
… Careful with that axe, Eugene
If you choose to play a malk who is psychotic, the best advice I can offer you is exploit the fear factor. Sure its easy to just hack your enemies to peices and blame it on a derangment, but its unlikely a character would survive long with that philosophy (or maybe you should have played a Brujah). Or, if you must hack your enemies to peices, at least terrorize them psychologically beforehand.
… Research derangements
When choosing a derangement, check out some online sources, the derangements offered in the books are fine, but there is so much more you can play. Take the time to do a little research. Some Net resources on Mental Health
Playing a Malkavian
Remember, your character *has* a derangement. Your character is not *a* derangement. Too often malk characters tend to be so over the top with wackiness it makes RP with others nearly impossible. If your character has survived her post-embrace days, then her behavior probably can assimilate when need be. Jibbering idiots either don't survive or get stuck in the tank with the other Gnawed (see section on "Gnawed" Malkavians).
Be annoying in subtle ways, but not too annoying. Malks aren't that great at defending themselves, sucks when a Brujah knocks you into torpor with their mighty fist of rage. Don't play silly pranks constantly (well, once in a while is okay, everything in moderation) But always keep in the back of your mind the mother of all pranks, plotting and planning and figuring out your target and what is going to warp their subjective reality the most. A good Prank is one that is well thought out and has a clear purpose related to the target. A 5-star prank is one that affects the target and the target doesn't even know he's been gakked.
Always make lots or predictions. Doesn't matter if only 10 percent of them ever actually happen. But this follows a trick of the psychic hotlines. So-called Psychics appear to have the ability because they say so many things, the person listening tends to remember the things that the "psychic" got right, and forget the others. So, if some of your predictions actually come true, then everyone thinks you're some kind of Seer. This works especially well if you have Insight or Oracular Ability.
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness. ~ Aristotle
The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you. ~Carl Jung
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't. ~Polonius, Shakespeare's Hamlet
For a while the reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securly on a fairy's wing. ~The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitxgerald
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad. ~Aldous Huxley
Isn't sanity just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean, all you get is that one trick--rational thinking--but when you're good and crazy, well, the sky's the limit! ~The Tick
The toughest time...in anyone's life...is when you have to kill a loved one just because they're the devil. ~Emo Phillips
We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough. ~Niels Bohr
You say 'Sit down, you're rocking the boat!'; I say 'Are you afraid of getting wet?' ~niebert
Inspiring Links on the Nature of Insanity
The Sanctuary --"Curing Sane People Since 1999", Nice site about the nature of madness, very cool writings.
The Kook's Museum --Definitely a mind numbing trip into some of the weirdest: a "vast cornucopia of forgotten, discredited and extreme ideas, with all due consideration to social and cultural context. "
Malkavian Madness Network Webring Infinitely entertaining
Jim Rose Circus Sideshow -- Freakshow, love it!