The Circle of ChaosThe childer of Malkav bear two curses: undeath and madness. From emotionless sociopaths to raving lunatics and everything in between, the Malkavians nonetheless command startling insight. Does what they know drive them to madness or does their insanity allow them too peer into a world the rest of us fear to see?The Method of MadnessAs part of the revisedThe Circle of ChaosThe childer of Malkav bear two curses: undeath and madness. From emotionless sociopaths to raving lunatics and everything in between, the Malkavians nonetheless command startling insight. Does what they know drive them to madness or does their insanity allow them too peer into a world the rest of us fear to see?The Method of MadnessAs part of the revised lineup of clanbooks, Malkavian takes one of the classic sourcebooks for the game and brings it into a modern context. All-new information accompanies a re-examination of earlier concepts, allowing you to add as much depth to your character as you like. The sheer volume of information contained in the new clanbooks (each 32 pages longer than the first-edition series) permits Storytellers to round out their chronicles....
|Title||:||Clanbook: Malkavian Revised|
|Number of Pages||:||104 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Clanbook: Malkavian Revised Reviews
This is one of the Revised era books that could have gone incredibly badly. The Malkavians have somewhat of a reputation among people who play White Wolf games. I've heard the term Fishmalk in contexts that have nothing at all to do with vampires or WW games, such is the reach of badly-played Malkavians. This book had to work against that and establish a version of Malkavians that were playable in a storytelling game of personal horror™ without diluting the storytelling, the horror, the personal nature, or all of it at the same time.Well, I gave it five stars, so you can tell what I think of it.The first half is a bit hard to understand because it's all in character, but that helps set the mood incredibly well. There's the usual history of the Clan from Caine all the way until modern times, and it introduces a few ideas that I've picked up from decades in the fandom but hadn't seen a source for before now. The first is that Malkav himself is "dead" in that he has no body, but that he dispersed himself into the essence of his Clan somehow, forming the connection that Malkavians call the Legion-mind, or the Cobweb, or is called by others the Malkavian Madness Network. Or maybe the Cobweb always existed and Malkav just leapt outward from his body into it at the moment of death. There's also an interesting note that there were Malkavians before Malkav was cursed who did not share his madness, but he hunted them down and destroyed them all because they didn't fit in. That's an adventure seed for a high-powered game.The section about Malkavians possibly having foreseen Saulot's death has the best quote in the whole book when it talks about the Salubri's reputation as stealers of souls:It would seem very appropriate if he could devour souls. He was so hungry for enlightenment.The history plays up Saulot and Set's connections to Malkav as well. There's a story about an argument, where Set says that wisdom comes from within and Malkav says it comes from without, and they ask Saulot to judge. And when Saulot cannot, he stands up, and takes his possessions, and walks off to the east to learn the answer. Along the way, it deals with a lot of other bits of Vampire. Where Dementation went and why it came back--it was a deliberate plot by Malkavian Methuselahs to make the Clan more acceptable to the Camarilla--how a Malkavian created the heraldry images used for the Dark Age versions of the Clans and another Malkavian created the modern images by placing objects at the seats of another gathering, or how Sabbat Malkavians justify their mass-Embraces by saying that if Malkav is in the Cobweb, creating more Malkavians spreads him out, and they're hoping to spread him thin enough that he becomes small enough to eat. The concept of Malkavian-as-prankster who inflicts jokes on people for amusement is also recast to fit the new idea of the Clan as seers. A "prank" isn't meant to be funny for either the instigator or the victim--the book uses the word "victim" deliberately--it's designed to pull back the veil of reality and show how things really are. It's basically like the way a koan functions in zen practice, showing the inadequacy of the victim's usual methods of thought and paving the way to a better understanding. Just more painfully. Once the in-character part is over are the mechanics, and there is finally more support to playing a Malkavian seer than just using the third level of Dementation repeatedly. In addition to possibly providing access to the Insight Background from Time of Thin Blood, there's a new Talent called Malkavian Time that allows access to the Cobweb and some narrative guidance on how to use it. Any power involving predicting the future is going to mostly come down to GM fiat unless it's explicitly based on dice tricks, but the book provides clear limits on what the Cobweb can and cannot do. It's not a telepathic network, it's not a constant communion, but it can carry memories. And influence, so the Malkavians have even more reason to be paranoid that what they're doing night-to-night is at the whim of some hidden elder as part of their long-term goals in the Jyhad. Finally, there's the discussion on insanity. Malkavians are all insane as part of their Clan, but insanity doesn't mean random. There's a good section about how treating the character's madness as a belief can lead to the wrong portrayal, because it's a bedrock part of the way the character views the world. Don't make "My character thinks" statements, just assert it as fact. The voices of my victims are speaking to me constantly and that's why I only feed on corpses to keep from adding more members to the choir. Vampirism is a scientific phenomenon and through experimentation I will learn its parameters. There's still room for misinterpretation here, but it's a better place to start from than a Malkavian with a teddy bear.I've never seen the draw before, but reading this book is the first time I've ever considered actually playing a Malkavian. The archetype of holy madness and insight arising from that condition is attractive to me in a way that LoOk At mE I'm sO RaNdOm has never done, and a prophet, or even a Cassandra, is a lot of fun if played well. This did a great job of rejuvenating a problematic Clan, and hopefully the books for Assamites and Ravnos are half as good at this one is.
A much more interesting take on the Lunatics' predicament and case histories than the original Clanbook, the Revised edition of the Clanbook Malkavian offers a pleasantly cracked view of Cainite existence. No more fuzzy bunny slippers and fish-coddling, these maniacs are much more than the sum of their Derangements.
This is my favorite of the clan books. I really think it should be required reading for anyone who wants to create a Malkavian for LARP. Too often you get the silly/superficial Malks who liven up a game, but have no soul. If you want to play one of the Mad Ones and actually understand the point of them, read this book.
How I adore my clan book.
It's so sad when a book is beautiful at the expense of legible.