the Masquerade Sourcebook (Revised Edition)
The trauma, guilt or inner conflict that causes this derangement forces
the individual to focus nearly all ofher attention and energy onto a
single repetitive behavior or action. Obsession relates to an individual's
desire to control her environment keeping clean, keeping an area quiet
and peaceful, or keeping undesirable individuals from an area, for example.
A compulsion is an action or set of actions that an individual is driven
to perform to soothe her anxieties: for example, placing objects in
an exact order, or feeding from a mortal in a precise, ritualistic fashion
that is never allowed to vary .
Vampires with an obsessive or compulsive derangement must determine
a set of specific actions or behaviors, as described above, and follow
them to the exclusion of all else. The effects of obsessive/compulsive
behavior can be negated for the course of one scene by spending a temporary
Willpower point. The difficulty of any attempt to coerce or Dominate
a vampire into ceasing her behavior is raised by one. If a vampire is
forcibly prevented from adhering to her derangement, she automatically
· Another Imput for Obsessive/Complusive: A neat freak who wears
gloves so that he doesn't get dirty, the strange man who rearranges
all the books in the store to match his home collection. Charlie Chaplin's
mother suffered from this illness. Crumbling bread and hiding food in
her purse so that they would never take her children away again, even
after Charlie bought her a grand house in California. The film Chaplin
shows the pain this caused him, as well as the more unsettling aspects
of this illness.
· Multiple Personalities
The trauma that spawns this derangement fractures the victim's personality
into one or more additional personas, allowing the victim to deny her
trauma or any actions the trauma causes by placing the blame on "someone
else." Each personality is created to respond to certain emotional
stimuli - an abused person might develop a tough-as-nails survivor personality,
create a "protector," or even become a murderer in order to
deny the abuse she is suffering. In most cases none of the personalities
is aware of the others, and they come and go through the victim's mind
in response to specific situations or conditions.
When a vampire suffers this derangement, the Storyteller and the player
must agree upon how many and what kind of personalities develop, and
the situations that trigger their domi nance in the victim. Each personality
should be relevant to the trauma that causes it. Not only is each personality
distinct, but in the case of Kindred, the different personalities might
believe themselves to be from different clans and sires.
Kindred with multiple personalities can manifest different Abilities
and even Virtues for each of their personalities, but it is the Storyteller's
responsibility to determine the specific details.
· Another Imput for Multiple Personalities: This is possibly
one of the most maligned and misunderstood derangements out there. Yes,
the sufferer does adopt different personas due to stress and trauma.
No, they don't talk to each other, and they aren't aware of each other.
Each thinks it is the only persona in the body. Sibyl was possibly the
most intense case in recent history, with upwards of thirty documented
personalities, you really never knew who you were talking to. In some
cases, as in Trudi Chase, who wrote "When Rabbit Howls" the
victim of MPD is fully aware of each of the personalities.
Conflicting, unresolveable sets of feelings and impulses can cause a
victim to develop schizophrenia, which manifests as a withdrawal from
reality, violent changes in behavior, and hallucinations. This is the
classical sort of derangement, causing victims to talk to walls, imagine
themselves to be the King of Siam, or receive instructions from their
pets telling them to murder people.
Roleplaying this derangement requires careful thought, because the player
must determine a general set of behaviors relevant to the trauma that
caused the derangement. The hallucinations, bizarre behavior and unseen
voices stem from a terrible inner conflict that the individual cannot
resolve. The player needs to establish a firm idea of what that conflict
is and then rationalize what kind of behavior this conflict will cause.
Kindred with this derangement are unpredictable and dangerous. In situations
that trigger a vampire's inner conflict, the difficulties of all rolls
to resist frenzy increase by three, and the vampire loses three dice
from all Willpower rolls.
· Another Input for Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is not Multiple
Personalities. However, if your dog tells you that he's Satan and that
you should kill people, you're a good candidate. Schizophrenia manifests
itself in delusions related to the trauma that spawned it. Robin William's
character in The Fisher King is a prime example of this derangement.
A teacher with a fascination for the Holy Grail, he watched his wife
get gunned down in a restaurant, and was so traumatized that he began
seeing fae and a Red Knight, pushing him and his other knights to reclaim
the Holy Grail from a castle outside of Central Park.
The victim of paranoia believes that her misery and insecurity stem
from external persecution and hostility. Paranoids obsess about their
persecution complexes, often creating vast and intricate conspiracy
theories to explain who is tormenting them and why. Anyone or anything
perceived to be "one of them" is often subjected to violence.
Kindred who suffer from paranoia have difficulty with social interaction;
the difficulties of all dice rolls involving interaction are increased
by one. They are distrustful and suspicious of everyone, even their
own blood bound progeny. The slightest hint of suspicious behavior is
enough to provoke a frenzy roll, with the difficulty relative to the
degree of the behavior. This paranoia may even extend to complex and
rigorous feeding practices, to keep "them" from contaminating
the vampire's food supply.
· Another Input for Paranoia: Just because you're paranoid...
Fox Mulder from the X-Files, or his friends the Lone Gunmen, are a good
example of the kind of conspiracy theorists that suffer from this derangement.
Everything is done to cause you harm, specifically, everyone is out
to get you, even though you try your best to be nice to them. The Government,
or the Illuminati, or maybe just the neighbors, all plan against you,
plotting in their back rooms to destroy you slowly.
Individuals with this derangement are obsessed with accumulating power
and wealth, salving their insecurities by becoming the most potent individuals
in their environment. Such individuals are invariably arrogant and supremely
sure of their abilities, convinced of their own inherent superiority
. The means of achieving their status can take many forms, from devious
conspiracies to outright brutality. Any individual of equalor higher
status than the victim is perceived to be "competition." Kindred
with this derangement constantly struggle to rise to the height of power
and influence, by whatever means necessary. In a megalomaniac's view,
there are only two classes of people: those who are weaker, and those
who do not deserve the power they have and must be made weaker. This
belief extends to everyone around the vampire, including members of
her own coterie. This derangement lends an extra die to all of the victim's
Willpower rolls, due to her towering sense ofsuperiority.
If a megalomaniacal vampire is presented with the chance to diablerize
a more potent Kindred, she will be sorely tempted.
A Willpower roll (difficulty 10) is needed for the vampire to avoid
taking "what is rightfully hers."
Individuals with bulimia assuage their guilt and insecurity by indulging
in activities that comfort them - in this case, consuming food. A bulimic
will eat tremendous amounts of food when subjected to stress, then empty
her stomach through drastic measures so she can eat still more.
In the case of vampires with this derangement, the need to feed is a
means of relieving the fear and anxiety endemic to the World of Darkness.
A bulimic vampire may feed four or more times a night - gorging herself,
burning the blood in pointless (or not so pointless) activity, then
starting the cycle again.
A vampire with bulimia gets hungry much more quickly than other vampires
do. When feeding, a bulimic vampire must make a Conscience roll (difficulty
7). Ifshefails the roll, she feeds untilher blood pool is full, whether
the vampire needs the extra blood or not. A vampire who is forcibly
kept from feeding risks frenzy ( make a frenzy roll, difficulty 6) .
The difficulty increases by one for every 15 minutes that she is prevented
A person in the grip of hysteria is unable to control her emotions,
suffering severe mood swings and violent fits when subjected to stress
Hysterical Kindred must make frenzy checks whenever subjected to stress
or pressure. The difficulties of these rolls are normally 6, increasing
to 8 if the stress is sudden or especially severe. Additionally, any
action that results in a botch causes the vampire to frenzy automatically.
Manic-depressives suffer from severe mood swings, sometimes resulting
from severe trauma or anxiety. Victims may be upbeat and confident one
moment, then uncontrollably lethargic and pessimistic the next.
Kindred with this derangement are constantly on a hair trigger, never
knowing when the next mood swing will strike.
Whenever the vampire fails a task, the Storyteller has the option of
secretly making a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) for the character. If
the character fails the roll, she lapses into depression.
Additionally, the vampire will go into depression whenever one of her
rolls is botched, or if her blood pool ever drops below 2.
The Storyteller should roll a die to determine how many scenes the character
remains depressed, keeping the number a secret.
Vampires in a depressive state have their Willpower ratings halved (minimum
1). In addition, the vampire may not access her blood pool to raise
Attributes. Upon emerging from the depressive state, the character is
energetic, relentlessly upbeat and active ( obsessively so) for a number
of scenes proportionate to the time spent in depression. When a vampire
is in this manic state, the difficulty of all rolls to resist frenzy
is raised by one.
Victims suffering from fugue experience "blackouts" and loss
of memory. When subjected to stress, the individual begins a specific,
rigid set ofbehaviors to remove the stressful symptoms.
This differs from multiple personalities, as the individual in the grip
of a fugue has no separate personality, but is on a form of "autopilot"
similar to sleepwalking.
Kindred suffering from this derangement require a Willpower roll when
subjected to extreme stress or pressure (difficulty 8). If the roll
fails, the player must roleplay her character's trancelike state; otherwise,
control of the character passes to the Storyteller for a number of scenes
equal to the roll of a die. During this period, the Storyteller may
have the character act as she sees fit to remove the source of the stress.
At the end of the fugue, the character "regains consciousness"
with no memory of her actions.
This derangement is unique to the Kindred, a response to vampires' deep-seated
guilt regarding the act of feeding on the blood of mortals. Kindred
with this derangement believe that they do not merely consume victims'
blood, but their souls as well, which are then made apart of the vampire's
In the hours after feeding, the vampire hears the voice of her victim
inside her head and feels a tirade of "memories" from the
victim's mind - all created by the vampire's subconscious. In extreme
cases, this sense of possession can drive a Kindred to carry out actions
on behalf of her victims. Obviously, diablerie would be unwise for an
animist to perform....
Whenever a vampire with this derangement feeds on a mortal, a Willpower
roll is needed ( difficulty 6, or 9 if she drains the mortal to the
point of death). If the roll succeeds, she is tormented by the "memories"
of the person whose soul she has partially consumed, but is still able
to function normally. If the roll fails, then the images in her mind
are so strong that it is akin to having a second personality inside
her, an angry andreproachful personality that seeks to cause harm to
the vampire and her associates. The player must roleplay this state;
otherwise, control of the character passes to the Storyteller, who runs
the character as if the mind ofher victim is in control. During the
moments just before dawn, control automatically reverts to the vampire.
Clanbook Revised Derangements
The vampire with this affliction is a virtual emotional amputee. As
a derangement, desensitization inhibits the vampire's ability to feel
any sort of strong emotion whatsoever, whether joy, sadness, anger or
love. The afflicted just can't make the appropriate neural connections
( well, for want of a better term).
The power of Dominate or the blood bond can still hold a vampire so
afflicted in check, but even though such supernatural compulsion governs
the vampire's actions, it has less of an effect on her psyche. Even
when blood bound, the vampire goes through the motions of love and devotion
like a distracted actor half-heartedly playing a part. She will still
throw herself in front of a car to save her "loved one," but
she will do so without so much as a word, a tear or a smile. When she
frenzies, she does so in a chillingly silent paroxysm of violence; when
struck with the Rotschreck, she scuttles away like a cockroach instinctively
fleeing the light.
Vampires with this derangement find it difficult to truly believe in
their own ideals, and so make all Humanity, Path, Conscience or Conviction
rolls at + 2 difficulty. They also suffer a one-die penalty to any Social
dice pools that require some show of emotion or warmth, and cannot purchase
the Performance Ability at all.
One of the less obvious derangments, this affliction inhibits a vampire's
conscious control over his own vitae. Vampires with this derangement
have a tendency to unconsciously spend blood points to raise their Attributes
at unusual and inappropriate times - increasing their strength in the
middle of a round of drinks, upping their reaction speed while trying
to compose a letter, and so on. These vampires have even been known
to spend blood points during the day while they sleep, waking up even
hungrier than usual and never knowing why.
If a character has this derangement, once per session the Storyteller
can rule that the vampire has just spent a blood Point to raise a given
Attribute, or that the vampire wakes up an extra blood point low. The
Storyteller is even within her rights to tell the player that his character's
missing a blood point, without elaborating exactly when and where he
spent the blood, or what for. After all, the vampire wouldn't know where
it went. Players are also welcome to roleplay this derangement, of course
(and it can be fun to start randomly spending blood in the middle of
a tense scene, just to worry the oilier players), but the Storyteller
has final control over making this derangement a drawback railier than
a simple quirk.
A person with this derangement closely associates pain with pleasure.
In vampires, who no longer enjoy sex in its own right, masochism tends
to be linked to the pleasure received by drinking blood or receiving
the Kiss. Masochism is usually linked to deep feelings of shame, and
masochistic vampires have a tendency to be repulsed by the actual process
of feeding from mortals. They are only fulfilled when they're suffering,
presumably as some sort of penance for the pleasure they feel when feeding.
Vampires with this derangement begin to have difficulty operating when
they become wounded. Once a masochistic vampire drops below the Bruised
health level, he must make a Willpower roll, difficulty 6; failure indicates
that he takes no action next turn, instead delighting in the sensation
Furthermore, the masochist must make a Self-Control roll, difficulty
8, in order to use blood points to heal himself, no matter how terrible
· Memory Lapses
This derangement isn't like amnesia in the classic sense. It's not that
a portion of the vampire's memories has been permanently blocked off
- it's that the vampire tends to lose random portions of her memory
at inopportune times. The memories fade in and out, and can return as
quickly as within a few minutes, or they might not come back for decades.
At least once per scene, the vampire suffering from memory lapses will
forget something relevant for a time. This might be as simple as forgetting
where she left her keys (which can be a real problem when you're locked
out of your haven and the eastern sky's getting brighter), or as complicated
as forgetting an entire Ability - and even the knowledge that she once
had that skill.
("Why are you looking at me like that? I've never touched a keyboard
before in my life.")
Since this derangement requires particular attention from the Storyteller,
players should double-check that it's okay to take this for a character.
Yes, the player can ad-lib minor memory lapses as they come along, but
sooner or later the lapse has to get more serious. It can be hard to
determine just when forgetting how to use a gun will be dramatically
appropriate, and when it'll make the other players organize an impromptu
Storyteller discretion is particularly advised.
The vampire afflicted with this derangement has invested much of her
self-confidence in an external object, to the point where she believes
she cannot function properly without its presence. Such a derangement
is often linked to some past trauma in which the object in question
played a major role although not always in the obvious way. For instance,
a victim might fixate on his dead fiancee's engagement ring if holding
his fiancee's hand was his only source of comfort during hard years,
but another individual might focus on the belt her father beat her with
as her source of strength.
Victims of this fixation lose two dice from all their dice pools if
somehow separated from their object of focus. It is hard to hide this
fixation from careful observers; in times of stress, the vampire must
make a Willpower roll to avoid cradling the object to her torso, rubbing
it obsessively or otherwise physically comforting herself with its presence.
This derangement sometimes spawns other related derangements over time.
The fixated person may, for instance, develop multiple personalities
related to the object - the aforementioned abuse victim might develop
a bullying personality much like her abusive failier's, and so on.
When confronted with stressful situations, a character with this derangement
has a tendency to mentally revert back to a childlike state. Regressives
are notable for poor senses of cause and effect, flawed interpretations
of morality, and a general tendency to avoid confrontation. They
do not, however, usually believe themselves to be actual children
who've lost their parents - more typically, regressive vampires continue
to think of themselves as the same people they always are. Ofcourse,
they're notably much more self-centered, fearful of the unknown, and
reliant on strong "parent" figures, but this is a nuance that
the vampire in question tends to miss.
Vampires with this derangement are at a permanent + 2 difficulty on
all Self-Control and Instinct rolls; children have very little sense
of discipline for the sake of discipline, and aren't sufficiently self-aware
to master their own Beasts. The regressive is no different.
[Storytellers beware: This derangement, improperly used, leads to Malkavians
who are cute railier than creepy; you know the type. The ones with teddy
bears and bunny slippers. When properly used, a regressive should be
a terrifying supernaturally powerful creature with no real sense of
right or wrong - so feel free to crack down on players who tend to play
this derangement more for laughs than for horror value.]
This derangement is more common among older vampires, although there's
nothing stopping a neonate from acquiring the affliction. The afflicted
vampire feels a deep sense of revulsion for his flesh, and is literally
terrified of the thoughtof "living" forever, or of continuing
to exist inside a cold, dead shell. This revulsion is entirely unconscious,
however; on a conscious level, the vampire is wholly unaware of his
"death wish," although he may demonstrate a morbid streak.
Whenever the character is confronted with more-or-less direct evidence
of his immortality - such as visiting the churchyard where his mortal
daughter is buried, or watching a ghoul die - he must make an immediate
Willpower roll, or begin to undertake some sort of potentially deadly
behavior. This behavior might be as direct as storming into Elysium
and giving the prince a piece of his mind, or it might be more subtle,
such as breaching the Masquerade by talking to a reporter.
In any event, the pursuit of self-destruction is not a conscious decision,
and it's not open for debate. The character will doggedly go about his
"chosen" task until it's completed, resisting any attempts
to talk him out of it. He may even consciously believe that the actions
he's undertaking are perfectly safe. The compulsive behavior lasts only
for a scene or so; however, depending on the nature of the threats he's
called down on himself, the consequences can last quite a bit longer.
This derangement has little to do with logic and more with sensory interpretation.
The afflicted vampire's sensory input is somewhat "scrambled";
although he's still capable of receiving sensory information, the information
each sense provides is processed in terms of a different sense. In short,
the synesthetic "hears" colors, "smells" textures,
"tastes" sounds and the like, and is hard-pressed to tlink
of such stimuli in any other fashion.
Although the synesthetic is presumably accustomed to the unusual sensory
input, his real problem lies in communicating what he senses to others.
A character so afflicted has difficulty expressing concepts as simple
as "cut the red wire" - he's much more likely to say "cut
the sandpaperywire" or something similar - and even has similar
difficulties comprehending speech from others. Since the associations
vary from individual to individual, there's not even any guarantee that
another synesthetic would be able to understand the vampire.
Apart from the aforementioned difficulties in daily communication, the
synesthetic receives + 2 difficulty to any Expression and Performance
rolls that don't involve creating purely surreal art, poetry or the
like. The synesthetic may spend a Willpower point to correlate her sensory
input in a "normal" fashion for a turn - or rather, at least
to be able to communicate "normally" in terms of colors, textures,
smells, tastes, temperature or sound. The character would still hear
a ringing noise and think of it as a spicy smell, for instance - he's
just able to focus enough to associate that spicy smell he hears with
what other people call "ringing."
Derangments (at Storyteller Discretion)
Hypnopompic Hallucinations (Waking Dreams)
During times of great stress, the malkavian must roll willpower with
a standard difficulty. If he fails the roll, he experiences a waking
dream, causing hallucinations of startling and surreal imagery. Exactly
what the malkavian sees and how long the hallucinations last is up to
the storyteller, but it will usually be related to the cause of stress.
For example: Rupert is lost in the streets of Atlanta while trying to
escape from a particularly persistent vampire hunter. Turning down yet
another street, the storyteller advises Rupert's player to make a willpower
roll. The roll fails, and Rupert is assaulted on all sides by living
street signs, as the road twists into knots beneath his feet. Throwing
his hands over his head, he pushes past startled pedestrians and runs
for the safety of a nearby building. Only after calming down and getting
his bearings does the area outside look normal again.
Body Image Dysmorphia
- Similar to what mortals would have that results in drastic measures
to change their appearance. Many with this disorder also suffer from
bulimia and anorexia. This disorder is characterized by an overwhelming
belief that there is something physically wrong with the person, whether
it be they're too fat, too thin, their nose is too pointy, their lips
are too big...or any and many combinations of these things. A person
that suffers from this disorcer will often take extreme measures, often
medically to correct perceived wrongs in their physical form.
- This derangement causes the victim to be confused about the order
of events. Things that are planned for tomorrow may be thought of as
things that already happened. Needless to say, this derangement makes
it very difficult to schedule and even be present at events. It also
manifests itself as a permanent state of deja-vu, where events that
are occurring in the present, often register as memories, and can be
very confusing to those around the victim of this derangement.
Hypochondria - The
victim of this derangement feels that there is something critically
wrong with her. Though vampires do not get sick normally, she will constantly
complain about physical symptoms of an imaginary illness. The illness,
and the syptoms are very real to the vampire.