Answering these questions about your character(s) could be helpful to you, as is writing a 300 page background or simply coming up with some common sense advice like Vis Sierra did (see below). They give one's character depth, and make it infinitely easier to role-play them well. Who wants to sit around and wait for you to decide what your character will do in any given situation? You can put as much (or as little) effort into answering these questions as you want. You will be timed and graded at the end of the test. Ready? Go!
- Where did they grow up and with whom? What era? Do/did they have divorced parents? Lifelong friends? Wife and kids?
- List as many ways as you can that you are like your character.
- List as many ways as you can that you are not like your character.
- If s/he was a color, what would your character be?
- If s/he was an animal, what would your character be?
- If s/he was a song, what would your character be?
- If s/he was an insect, what would your character be?
- If s/he was a vehicle, what would your character be?
- If s/he was a season, what would your character be?
- If s/he was a book, what would your character be?
What does your character look like? Use lots of adjectives!
- Search for people who resemble your character... Take pictures of them! Heh, ok, maybe not.
- What does your character wear? Polyester? Purple Cotton? Never sandals?
- How about their hairstyle? Up or down? Long or short?
- What does your character carry with them? Do they have a favorite weapon or lucky ring?
- What is the best thing that ever happened to your character?
- What is the worst thing that ever happened to your character?
- What is your character's biggest problem? Derangement? Obstacle to power?
- What is he/she most afraid of?
- Does this person like who they are? Why?
- What is your character's main motivation? Anger? Greed? Love?
- Does your character know why they do what they do?
- What are your characters short and long term goals?
- What is the best & worst part(s) of their personality?
How to Pick an Inappropriate Derangement, a Work in Progress
"You might be a fishmalk if..."
Written by Vis Sierra
- If your derangement does not limit you in any practical way,
you're well on your way to wrongfully choosing a derangement
for your new Malkavian.
- If your new derangement is based solely on getting a rise out
of other PCs or their players, you may have managed to find an
inappropriate derangement. This is especially true if you've
based it on something that a fellow player fears or has been
touched by away from the game.
- If your prospective derangement is mere eccentricity or attempts
at witty behavior, you've managed to choose poorly as well.
- If you wish you had your character's derangement, it's probably
not an appropriate derangement, if it's a derangement at all.
- If your first thoughts about the derangement include a phrase
like "Wouldn't it be cool if..." and your second thoughts are
repetitions of the first or if you never get beyond the first
thought, it might be inappropriate.
- If your first reaction is to laugh and your second isn't to feel
a sudden shame at laughing and pity on the unfortunate character,
it's probably inappropriate for use as a Malkavian's derangement.
- If you can't explain to someone or provide an example of how it's
a weakness, it's inappropriate to choose it. Even if it provides
a weakness, if you don't know about it, it's inappropriate to
choose it because you're not ready to express it as a weakness in
the character's behavior.
- If the derangement's taken straight from popular culture or can
be completely described by giving an actor's name as an example,
you might wish to consider it a warning sign of an inappropriate
- If you can't provide any information about your character other
than his derangement, you may have chosen too strong a derange-
ment or not spent enough time thinking outside of the character's
Again, thanks to Vis Sierra for coming up with this well-worded list of advice and letting us post it for everyone to read.
Playing a Malkavian? Having trouble with convincing insanity &/or fishmalk-ism? The Maniac's Guide to Malkavian Derangements is an excellent source for players and storytellers. Check it out! It won't hurt... much.