Malkavians are the brood of Malkav and one of the great vampiric clans. They are deranged vampires, afflicted with the insanity of their Antediluvian progenitor.

Malkavians are an enigmatic and deeply disturbed group of Cainites. Members of the clan have assumed the roles of seers and oracles among Kindred and kine, eerie figures bound by strange compulsions and the ability to perceive what others cannot. They are also notorious pranksters whose "jokes" range from silly to sadistic. Against all odds, however, the children of Malkav are among the oldest surviving vampiric lineages. They are one of the 13 original Cainite clans and can trace back their history to times preceding the biblical Deluge. They were also among the founders of the powerful Camarilla, and are widely known as one of its pillars in modern nights.


The Victorian Era was the time of Freud and Jung, as the old theories of phrenology, demon-possession and divine punishment gave way to more learned theories of psychology and psychiatry. Asylums now started doing what Malkavians had been practicing for centuries – taking an interest in insanity. While the reforms of these hospitals no doubt crippled more than one Malkavian's supply of blood, the new system permitted the Lunatics to experiment with madness like they had never before. Some set themselves up as psychologists – others visited psychologists as patients.

The rise of the Bohemian lifestyle within society meant many more kine were willing to expand their own perceptions with new cultures, experiences and drugs. The Malkavians were only too happy to oblige. New forms of expression and ways of thinking both nourished the Malkavians and allowed them to be as florid as they pleased – after all, if a finely dressed gentleman is shouting about how dogs on the street are telling him to kill people, why it must simply be the newest performance piece going around the salons. In fact, a friend of yours heard it on the streets of Paris…

The Malkavians always had a dangerous reputation due to their madness and their signature Dementation discipline, which can induce madness in others. With the Inquisition and the formation of the Camarilla, the clan faced possible extinction at the hands of other clans – the Malkavians were just too dangerous to continue existing. In order to prevent this, the elders of the clan changed the Clan in ways unknown and incomprehensible – the result was that the majority of Clan Malkavian discarded Dementation in favor of the Dominate discipline. More disturbingly, the majority of Malkavians, even those present at the time of the change are unaware that this happened. A small fragment of the clan preserved the Dementation discipline, defecting to the Sabbat and becoming antitribu.

This "Great Prank" means that almost all Malkavians are antitribu. While Sabbat Malkavians possessed the same mystical abilities as their ancestors, the violent environment of the Sabbat drove the antitribu even madder: all Malkavians have a mental disorder they cannot overcome, but Sabbat Malkavians have two.

This division was fixed in 1997, when for reasons unknown to anyone, the Dementation resurfaced within the Camarilla, although several "Domination" Malkavians remained unaffected, for some reason.

Beckett's Jyhad Diary states that the Jerusalem's penchant for religious mania has been attributed to the presence of the Malkav somewhere near the city. A creature of great power lies within a pit near the Valley of Hinnom, rumoured to be either the Antediluvian himself, one of his direct, his sister Malakai or one of the original Baali.[1] As the Final Nights draw close, religious mania and hysteria becomes more widespread, believed by some to be connected to the creature that lies in the pit.[2]


On the surface, clan Malkavian is barely a clan. The majority of Malkavians are only marginally aware they belong to a clan; Sabbat Malkavians generally claim to be Panders. What connections Malkavians generally have are informal and generally paternal, sire-childe relationships being the most common, although Malkavian sires are prone to abandoning their childer.

Scratch the surface, however, and the Malkavians become a smörgåsbord of paranoid delights. Malkavians operate on their own timescale, and will gather spontaneously for incomprehensible events. Malkavians usually do not explain how they know these gatherings are occurring, and when they do the explanation is not necessarily worth anything. Scratch deep enough and it appears that the Malkavians are highly organized, so highly organized they do not even know they are, and instead they continue to pursue incomprehensible and arcane goals that even they are not aware are relevant.

This organization is generally termed the "cobweb", "Malkavian Time", or the "Madness Network" and is a form of shared consciousness unifying all Malkavians. The strength of the voices varies from Malkavian to Malkavian, however all of them are at least aware of its call and capable of interacting with it. Dead Malkavians' memories live on in the Cobweb, and it is implied heavily that Malkav himself is this network. The cobweb is only accessible by Malkavians, and they themselves only marginally understand it – most of them merely listen to the voices, but elders have demonstrated a powerful capacity to manipulate the rest of the clan through it. It is rumored that powerful Methuselahs partially exist within the Cobweb and can "download" themselves on their descendants if needed. The Cobweb also reacts to the presence of powerful Malkavians, like the Ankou.


The possible origin of name 'Malkavian' is from "mala cavilla", Latin for "bad mockery".

Malkavians have traditionally fulfilled two roles in Vampire society: seers and jokers. As seers, the Malkavians have relied on advanced Auspex and the Cobweb (Madness Network) to provide information. Malkavians being Malkavians, this information is generally jaundiced, incomplete, filtered through cracked lenses or a total lie.

The joker role is somewhat more complex: Malkavians have a clan tradition of pranking. The exact purpose of these pranks is open to debate; they often appear intended to readjust the target's perceptions, but are also often sadistic.

In the Camarilla, Malkavians are tolerated; they are rarely princes but often are important primogen or otherwise figures of authority. Given their obvious insanity, princes traditionally give the Madmen a certain amount of latitude; in return, Malkavians are generally expected to demonstrate enough self-control to not break the Masquerade. This is not a benevolent arrangement but largely driven by fear on both sides: fundamentally, Malkavians are unknowable and the general attitude among Princes is that it is better to keep them quiet and happy, since unhappy Malkavians have a tendency towards introducing bizarre and inexplicable incidents to the equation. Conversely, Malkavians need the protection of the Camarilla, and have been modified as discussed above to make them more amenable to it.

Many Malkavians are gifted with insight into the world around them. Through their shared madness and the powers of Auspex and Dementation, many are able to glimpse little bits of the future or the past. True Oracles and Seers, however, go beyond these common talents. They are blessed (or cursed) with strong visions that come upon them without warning. No one knows for sure from where this connection originates. Some embrace their powers and attempt to channel them. Some try to shun the visions and get on as if nothing happened. Other unsensitive Malkavians use the picture of the prophet for their own advantage like mortal fortune-tellers, using vague prophecies to secure themselves safe places. Those with the true Sight, however, often suffer for it, as they receive visions they do not understand at first and then watch helplessly unfold before them. During the Dark Ages, the Malkavian Orders of Mystery, also known as Ordos, tried to channel the gift of prophecy to mimic the Methuselah-Oracles of Antiquity, but with the formation of the sects and the severing of Dementation, their practice fell out of use.

Despite their madness, most Malkavians are not anti-social. In a certain period of time during their unlives, they may experience the cravings of companionship. Often, such companionship can ground the Lunatic's madness, giving them a focus that solitary Malkavians often lack.[5]


The Malkavians are one of the more intellectually focused of the Camarilla clans (with the Tremere arguably being the only clan as interested in cerebral pursuits). As a result, Malkavian candidates for the Embrace tend to be intelligent and more than a little… odd. While the Malkavian embrace guarantees insanity, they do tend to choose candidates who are already halfway there.

Lunatic childer do come from all economic and cultural strata however, though most have some sort of hard-luck story or black secret behind them that caused their sire to take note. Truly damaged Malkavians who are unaware of the meanings of their actions may not even be aware that they have sired childer, which makes for very difficult entry into Kindred society for these castoffs, many of whom end up among the Caitiff.

Those Malkavians whose derangement is so severe as to make them non-functional are called the Gnawed.


Known Malkavians



  • Klaus, nazi occultist, friend to children, low humanity
  • Echo, cain, low humanity
  • Lament, abel, high jumanity

Art dealer
Occult Savant
Third shift prison guard

Notes: Cycle of Madness

A clan rooted in chaos and insanity shouldn’t have any structured leadership. Yet the Malkavians continue to be a major clan because they do. Malkavians jockey for status and influence just like the rest of the Kindred community. The difference is where the respect and influence comes from. Malkavians don’t care about the centuries spent in the night or prestigious lineages from powerful Cainites. No, Malkavian respect pours from how far along the vampire is on the stages of Malkavian development. The farther along the path, the less likely the Malkavian considers the lack of sanity to be a curse.

Fools (Status 0 or •): 
We all start here. There are those who say that most other Kindred never get past this stage by getting too wrapped up in the distractions of the undead life. Or, they just keep fighting it, clinging to whatever they can to resist the tide. Fools are usually recently Embraced vampires dealing with their curse. The cute ones even think there might be some way back and waste a lot of time looking for an exit that doesn’t exist. They don’t have much time for activities above and beyond their insanity. It’s hard to campaign to be sheriff when you’re trying to find out where all the voices are coming from, you know? No, I guess you don’t know. Well, listen to the voices for once and they’ll tell you, okay?

At this stage, we’re not much of a threat. We’re too busy wrestling with our inner demons to worry outsiders. Fools are little more than a collection of nervous tics and non-sequiturs to those looking in on the clan. We understand we’ve got time to work it out, but other clans often sense weakness and jump on those poor little swans pushing out of their eggs of sanity. An ambitious few attempt to fire off some pranks, but they are usually about as effective as a whoopee cushion from a broken gumball machine. At best, they provide some amusement for other Kindred, who love to watch us go through tormenting ourselves to distract themselves from their own.

Maniacs (Status ••): 
Malkavians that make it through those first frightful years move on to this stage. Many of us don’t make it past here and that’s fine. This is the point in development where we lash out at everything because of our pain. If we’re going to suffer, you’re going to suffer. The curse of madness hits maniacs hard, causing mental, emotional, and physical pain the likes of which surpass anything a mortal could survive. The only way to make it through to the other side is to lash out. Sometimes, the pranks at this stage leave an impression simply because of their violent consequences.

When most other Kindred think of Malkavians, this is the stage we all are in their simple minds. They write us off as violent lunatics even though they need us. Keeping a scapegoat handy works wonders for the political system on both sides of the Camarilla and Sabbat divide. That makes violent pranks at this level that much sweeter. How often can we cause enough collateral damage to illustrate the uselessness of sectarian violence? What are the lessons from leaving a bishop’s childe beaten in the trunk of a car and pushed into the nearest body of water?

Madmen (Status •••): 
This is where many of us see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s usually right before the train horn sounds, but this is the first moment where many Malkavians realize that they’ve been given a blessing and not a curse. The breakdown of worldviews is over. The rebuilding begins now. This is where you let go and drift on the forces you can’t understand. That’s what leads Malkavians at this stage to seem calm, cool, and collected. The fear of losing everything is gone. Everything they were worried about losing was worth nothing in the first place. Madmen are free to seek out items of real value to their new opinion on the world.

The best madmen don’t shoot to kill; they shoot to teach. This is when plans become elaborate lessons meant to teach more than one Kindred at a time. These pranks are for shaking Kindred to their core. Madmen often find themselves in positions of power within a city, since they can usually be counted on to show up at meetings and not talk to the prince’s shoes the whole time. That gives them the resources to set bigger plans in motion, and have a few clan members further down the ladder to do the heavy lifting and fall on swords as needed for things to go smoothly.

Lunatics (Status ••••): 
Is there enlightenment in our condition? Surely, some of us get a great reputation for insight that comes from some gibbering with things outside normal perceptions. This stage reflects those of us who see the world for the gigantic mirror that it is. It’s all a lie to a lunatic and these Kindred devote themselves to breaking the biggest mirror of them all. They want to leave big, coyote shaped holes in perception. Lunatics often devote themselves to a signature act that’s decades in the making. They channel all that emotion into one bold statement that plays out in a huge shockwave across a city.

Lunatics act and the clan follows. A careful word, a slight gesture sets all the dominos. Lunatics are the clocks by which Malkavian Time chimes. They say the Great Prank was hatched by a coterie of lunatics. They literally created one egg for each city where Malkavians were located and hid them, like Easter Eggs. The Malkavian that found them got the strongest dose of mental mind twisting power and everyone else got those echoes. That’s why so many headless corpses were found in those cities. Wait, I confused eggs and heads again. Malkavians cracked open the heads and all the power came slushing out. Was I not supposed to say that out loud? Oops.

Fools (Status •••••): 
The end is the beginning is the end is the beginning. Everything you know is wrong. Everyone knows double majors are worthless in the real world. Fools realize that all the time spent building up their new perceptions ultimately burn out everyone. Where can you go once you’ve seen the world for what it truly is? Reality was made to be broken, so those at this point in their development are revered yet pitied. Honored yet mocked. The master becomes the student. But then were they ever really the master? Or did they just think that thanks to a mix of arrogance, delusion, and the refreshing scent of pine?

What’s the point of starting over? Most other Kindred miss that when we make it to this stage. It’s not totally starting fresh. The lessons are learned and the howls are new. Every time we build something, we know it can’t stand. Kindred think they are static and we intend to prove them wrong, even if we have to burn everything down with us locked inside to do so.

Notes: Thaumaturgy

Consider that all Malkavians are connected by the Malkavian Madness Network. That they can send calls out to each other, sense when strands of the Cobweb are severed, and share memories to a certain degree. They're insane, obviously, and the connection isn't exactly the strongest, so the Clan doesn't have a proper hive mind or anything. But a certain amount of…sharing goes on, whether any given Malk knows about it or not.

It occurred to me: this inter-feeding of knowledge has to include occult and even magical knowledge. It has to. So if individual Malkavians can use the Cobweb to trawl for memories of various times in the Clan's past (as illustrated in the Malkavian Revised Clanbook), or to gather Kooks together for some unknown purpose…why can't one use it to learn Blood Sorcery?

This is course would need to be heavily regulated by any Storyteller who chose to run with it. Using the Cobweb as a means of learning Thaumaturgy can easily be abused. But it's a solid idea. After all, we know from various books here and there that Malkavians have learned various sorts of blood magic, from ancient practitioners of Dur-An-Ki to Anarch Malks with an eye for occult knowledge. There had to be at least one who managed to benefit the Tremere enough that they grudgingly taught them (albeit limited to the first two dots in a Path). So between them and the body of Malk occultists, new agers, former mortal sorcerers, and mad experimenters, there must be a body of magical lore to be tapped by one who knows what they're doing.

Assuming they actually do. I imagine that Thaumaturgy is much more common among Clan Malkavian than anyone realizes, especially the Malks themselves. Most of these, though, are limited to a dot in Paths or one to two Rituals. A Kook is overlooked in the Jyhad, until they're suddenly the source of a weird supernatural happening that they shouldn't be capable of. Most Kooks would never call such things magic or Rituals, of course. If they were cognizant of what they were doing was different from their normal powers at all, they'd explain it as being "just what the voices told them", or the result of doing something that was "obvious". It's a trick they can do, or even one of the Compulsions they picked up over time. Others were those that did pursue Occult knowledge, only to make intuitive leaps to make otherwise non-functioning rituals work. Or they performed some mundane action, only for their skewed mentalities assigning greater esoteric meaning to them, which led to them developing utter nonsense into working sorcery.

It's a rare Malkavian indeed who could identify blood sorcery for what it was, and then be able to parlay that into a full-on study of the art.

This idea would give some more use to the oft-ignored Talent of Malkavian Time, which is otherwise used mostly to know when Calls to Malkavian meetings go out, and what they're about. They could roll this Talent during attempts to learn or invent Rituals, to lower the difficulties or as substitution for things like Library rolls.

As an aside, this could be a brilliant plot device for Storytellers. It would explain why Malkavians sometimes gather together and perform bizarre pageant plays or other seemingly meaningless group activities. These are actually a Malkavian Elder engineering a group rite, to enact an arcane Ritual.

Perhaps it is worth noting Malkavians with Thaumaturgy. I remember:

- Cybele, who is a Baali Apostate most likely
- Petaniqua, her Child and a Sabbat Inquisitor
- Abraham Mellon/Aleister Crowley/John Dee(?) - Crowley was originally presented in a World of Darkness as a Malkavian with Thaumaturgy. London by Night implies Abraham Mellon is a Malkavian Thaumaturge who believes he is Crowley (and probably Dee as well. Might a Tremere Regent be actually a Malkavian?)
- Mellon's Sire, noted as Dositheus (Magister Primus), which might have also been a Thaumaturge
- Louhi, from A World of Darkness
- The Dyonisian, not confirmed, but it looks like he should have some Blood Magic? Perhaps all Elders who participated in the great prank are blood mages?

Okay, let's talk about style. Most schools of Thaumaturgy have their own styles of magic - their Practice, if I may borrow Mage terminology. Hermetic sorcery is different from Setite sorcery is different from Assamite sorcery is different from Punk sorcery, etc.

At risk of sounding reductive, Malkavian Sorcery probably mixes many approaches together. But it's true, if we assume any Malkavian's practices can affect any other Malkavian, especially if the Cobweb is the kook's primary means of studying the art. A shamanistic Malk drawing ideas from Native American tribes may suddenly find herself chanting in Greek, at the subconscious urging of a torpid Methuselah that was once a priest of Apollo. A Tremere-taught Malk might expand from his limited instruction in Hermetic high sorcery with supplements from Chaos Magic and Hindu Yoga. When every member of the Clan has each other's ears at least part of the time, it can be impossible to avoid practices bleeding into each other.

That said, this does not give license for players to claim a Malkavian can do whatever they want with whatever tools and ritual elements they please. A Malkavian knows specific magical things, not ALL the magical things. If I may borrow more M20 parlance, the sorcerer still has to choose specific Practices and Instruments. They just get a larger pool from which to choose from, and there can be some unconventional combinations.

But it wouldn't be very fun for the insane Clan to be host of just a bunch of universal Chaos magicians. The Malkavian Method of Thaumaturgy should include uniquely mad elements to their craft. I've come up with a few, but I encourage everyone else to chime in with their own ideas.

These include things like nursery rhymes, crayon drawings, wall scrawls, toys, prescription drugs, psychology (both modern and outdated; who wants some Phrenology?), finger paint, (shattered) mirrors, popular song lyrics, disjointed mantras, phases of the moon, wilted flowers, clinical white clothes, sidewalk chalk, and mutilated dead bodies. While a Tremere sorcerer might chant in Sumerian and carve symbols into a slab of granite, a Malkavian sorcerer might recite "Mary Had A Little Lamb" backwards, while drawing an intricate crayon mandala.

All the sorts of things that look vaguely mystical - or in parody of mysticism - but only really makes sense to the kook performing them.

So let's talk about Malkavian Sorcery in relation to Cainite society. Or, in the words of Rites of Blood, the Economics of Malkavian Sorcery.

Short version, I don't see most Malkavians leveraging their sorceries in the same manner as other Sorcerers, for a few reasons. First and foremost, a vast majority of Malkavians with any magical power only know one or two Rituals, and most of those don't even recognize what they do as magic.

[As another aside, there is the option for Storytellers to allow players to start Malkavian characters with Rituals, but not Thaumaturgy. They buy them for a few Experience points a pop, with escalating price given the level of Ritual. They probably wouldn't allow anything above third level, and they wouldn't be able to learn more until they gain dots in Thaumaturgy or other style of Sorcery. This represents a form of wild talent, born of connection to the Cobweb. Only with time and study of arcane arts can the Kook understand what they're doing, and expand their existing Rituals towards other ends.]

The other major reason most Malkavian Sorcerers don't sell their magic - assuming they are the few that know they can - is because of the Tremere. The Warlocks remain vigilant for non-Tremere who wield magical power. They would like nothing more than to crack down and destroy any threat to their arcane monopoly. So any Malkavian lucid enough to make a serious study of magic is going to want to keep that business on the down-low. Exceptions exist among the Anarchs, though even they know not to advertise their services too openly in a Camarilla controlled city. Such would logically be the case with Malkavians as well, or at least to those who are capable of a semblance of logic. Any Kook with sufficient knowledge to be a threat to the Tremere, but none of the lucidity to approach the study with care, either finds himself being hunted (with the Tremere citing the Kook's obvious loose cannon behavior as justification), or he eventually blows himself up pursuing unwise magic.

As for the Tremere themselves, they are probably one of the only Clans who know to any degree about Malkavian Sorcery and its prevalence. Aside from the Malkavians themselves, naturally. They can't know who or how many Kooks can use even a few Ritual tricks, though they keep their eyes on suspected Malkavians. The Pyramid considers their penchant for spontaneously learning Thaumaturgy a potential threat, though not an extreme one. As stated before, serious Malkavian Sorcerers tend to destroy themselves - the Tremere cite this as evidence of weak Wills and poor sense, unsuited for the exacting rigors of magic. And most are presumed to never advance beyond the simplest of tricks

But as is standard procedure, the Tremere attempt to learn all they can about the Malkavian Method and the powers that come from it. Practitioners who know what they're doing are few and far between, though, and the process of learning Malkavian Sorcery is…difficult. Magic in general is confusing - learning it at all requires a large shift in the learner's thought processes and world view - but Malkavian Sorcery is, obviously, insane. While a Malkavian teacher who herself learned magic from a usual source can be expected to relay this knowledge mostly intact - mostly - the act of filtering Occult and arcane knowledge through the Cobweb invariably colors it. Twists and warps it. The Malkavian Madness Network tinges all Sorceries with a hint of madness, reinterpreting otherwise sensible principles towards the illogic of its collectivist teachers.

As such, I argue that anyone who attempts to learn Malkavian Sorcery must themselves be mad. There's simply no way to wrap one's head around the subject unless one is capable of putting oneself in a lunatic's frame of mind. For Malkavians, this is not a problem, especially if they learned directly from the Cobweb. An outsider learning the Malkavian Method, however, will need to be…molded, before the lessons will take.

My idea is that Clan Tremere has a few members taught in the Lunatic style - no more than five really - the product of the Pyramid offering to trade some of their sorceries (mostly common Path powers and Rituals) to experienced Malkavian Thaumaturges. Their emissary left to be instructed, and came back raving mad. Oh, he learned what the Kook had to teach, but subsequent Apprentices being taught the Methods - and thus going mad too - caused the Inner Council to put their foot down. They cannot afford to lose their link to the Malkavians or their…unconventional magics, but it would be best that their now crazed Masters take new students only with Inner Council approval. If the madness of Malkav's childer is truly contagious, it must be contained, lest the infection spread to the entire Clan and lead Tremere to ruin.

So the Malkavian Method carries a brutal cost. One cannot learn Lunatic Sorcery without at least one Derangement. Further, if at any point the Thaumaturge overcomes their Derangement through roleplay and Experience expenditure, they also lose the ability to cast magic learned through that style. The Madman's Knowledge goes hand in hand with the Madman's curse.

the Tremere don't see the Malkavian sorcery as a threat because relying on an art based on insanity is inherently unreliable. Plus their willingness to trade secrets helps smooth things over with the otherwise jealous Tremere. Theres bound to be Tremere who gain derangement over the course of their unlives so I'd imagine the Inner Council would restrict the study of Malkavian Sorcery to those with deragments already.

Thinking about it, it would make for a cool new secret society in the Tremere, one that studied Malkavian Sorcery and madness despite being ostracized by sane Tremere.

how Malkavian Sorcerers deal with the Fae. We've all heard the earlier editions of Vampire and how they flagrantly conflate Malkavians with fairies. How, just like the Gangrel are buddy-buddy with Werewolves, Malkavians are well connected to Changelings. Obviously this isn't and shouldn't be the case. Vampires in general are unnatural creatures, as likely to drain a Changeling dry and talk to them. Moreover, Kindred a notoriously Banal. Being undead creatures tortured by unnatural urges, and divorced from regular human contact, will certainly do that. The Tremere, moreover, have rules against interfering in Fae affairs, a holdover from their days in the Order of Hermes as House Tremere. So it's not like either side particularly wants to have anything to do with each other.

That said, if there's any Clan that would most likely interact with Fairies, it would be the children of Malkav. Naturally most Kooks still don't have much to do with them. Some strains of madness - dementia, fugue states, violent psychopathy - lend themselves to more Banality, not less. And that's when they aren't attacking Changelings for no reason. But other forms of lunacy make Malks more…interesting to be around. If nothing else, they act more crazy than they really are, as a survival mechanism. So some Malkavians have a lower than normal level of Banality. Furthermore, like with everything Malkavians do, any given Kook can make Changelings their business for whatever inscrutable reasons motivate them.

Malkavian Sorcerers in particular are more likely than other Kindred to go pursuing Changelings. They are occultists, after all, and Fae beings are supernatural, with their own lore, history, powers, and cosmic significance. Most other occultist Kindred are too stuffy and serious for talk of Fairies, as well, so Malkavian Occultists have a virtual monopoly when it comes to Changelings.

This does not mean that they always have friendly contact with the Fae. Some might want to make friends (and deals) with Changelings, sure, but others might consider them a resource to exploit, or not care about their safety in their pursuit of knowledge. While it's probably foolish to make generalizations of any kind about the Kooks, I can see two ways Malkavian Sorcerers approach the Fae: the diplomatic way, and the adversarial way. The former tracks down Freeholds to make deals, gather lore, and make "friends" (for a certain value of the word). The latter covertly spies on Changelings, captures them for study, and/or develops Rituals against them. This distinction is obviously a sliding scale. Moderate adversarial Malks might only take it as far as developing Wards against them or studying their movements in a clinical fashion. Friendly contact can vary between occasional trades, to acting as keepers of memories for Changelings between incarnations. One version of Changeling: The Dreaming or another cited Vampires as being friends across the ages to particular Kithians, the ones who remember and can fill a Changeling in on their past lives.

As for magic itself, I can see some Malkavians developing Thaumaturgy by imitating the Bunks used by Changelings in their Cantrips. A Changeling can't teach a Vampire to use Cantrips, obviously. But it may be the source or inspiration for some elements of Malkavian Sorcery. Rhymes, drawing, stamping feet. And when one Malkavian learns a trick by watching a Fae, others connected to the Cobweb might learn about it.

I finally put together a new Path, rather than just another Ritual. Yes, it is blatantly based off of the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

My big issue is balance. It's not too polished - very much an Alpha - and in the case of rank 4 could use help with the graduating levels of effect based on successes rolled.


Also known as Sleepwalking, Somnambulism has fascinated both mortal and undead researchers since time in memorial. Blending the worlds of sleep and waking, the curious phenomenon of active slumber. All the more intriguing that the somnambulist is unaware of their state, during or after their walkabouts. Unsurprising then that both mortal and Kindred Sorcerers would attempt to harness this most singular happening.

The Path of Somnambulism can verifiably be traced to 19th century Germany, with the experiments of a Malkavian doctor attached to a local Asylum. Legend, however, suggests the Path traces its roots back to 10th century Italy. Regardless of its true origins, the art of forcing sleeping mortals to do one's bidding remained an esoteric practice for most of its history.

But recently, the event that returned Dementation to the majority of Clan Malkavian spurred the proliferation of the Path of Somnambulism for the first time in history. As it turns out, while some Malkavians rejoiced at the return of their native power, others vastly preferred the power Dominate afforded them, especially when it comes to obtaining mind controlled servants.

Fittingly, members of the Sabbat historically held the highest number of practitioners, both because their Lunatics always had Dementation, and because they were the most solid preservers of the related Path of Morpheus. Today, it is common for Sorcerers who know one Path to eventually pick up the latter.

Due to the unusual nature of the Kindred condition, this Path may only be used on mortals, save in the case of Auto-Somnambulate, obviously.

  • Numb Sensation And Dreams

Anyone attempting to manipulate sleeping persons runs the risk of the subject waking. To allow for safer work, it's necessary to make sure that doesn't happen. This power cannot render a waking person unconscious - the Kindred will need to rely on Dominate, the Path of Morpheus, or good old chloroform for that. Rather, it serves to deepen the slumber already there, to the point where the subject will not wake anytime soon. It's name came partially from the side effect that such targets are made to sleep too deeply to dream. Sleepwalking, conveniently, is not affected, leading many practitioners of the Path to always use this power before all others.

System: The caster must touch a sleeping target for this power to work. Each success extends the duration of this advanced slumber by one hour. The target immediately descends into an almost coma-like sleep, ceasing all dreams they may be having. Further, the subject is rendered unfeeling, unable to be roused by anything short of actual damage (and with sufficient successes on the Willpower roll, the subject might even ignore one or two levels of Bashing damage). The subject may be groped, carried, dragged, fed upon, dressed, stuffed in small spaces (so long as they aren't suffocated), and, yes, be the target for other powers. They may sleepwalk or perform other actions (assuming they are compelled to, or do so on their own). Because of these advantages, Kindred study the first rank of the Path simply for utility and insurance.

** Interrogate The Sleeper
Even the tightest lips loosen when in the thrall of Morpheus. The Sorcerer makes their first foray into true Somnambulatory control by drawing their targets into sleep-talk. And unlike the forceful nature of Dominate, Interrogate The Sleeper meets no resistance from willful souls, nor can the sleeper ever recall giving up the information.

System: The caster must lean in close and whisper their inquiries into the ear of the subject. For each success on the Willpower roll, the Sorcerer may ask one question. The subject will answer softly, truthfully, and to the best of their knowledge. If the subject lacks the knowledge the caster seeks, they will admit as much. At three or greater successes, the subject will answer questions even if they are consciously unaware of the information, such as pertaining to memories that have been suppressed or altered through Dominate.

*** Auto-Somnambulate
Before one can command others to sleepwalk, one must learn to perform it oneself. Though Kindred cannot avoid unconsciousness, they can bid their form to continue operating on its own. On the upside, this means that the weight of the sun can be overcome. On the downside, the user's senses are hazy, and they are not in direct control of their actions. Still, greater freedom of movement during daytime is invaluable, even if it is limited.

System: The Sorcerer rolls as normal. When they next lose consciousness (regardless of whether they fell asleep or were knocked out), they will rise up shortly thereafter in a trance-like state. If the Sorcerer wishes it, they may delay their revival for up to one hour per each success after the first. If the Sorcerer is awakened during the day, if they had at least one success on their Humanity/Path roll, they may use their one turn of action to activate Auto-Somnambulate. This will then kick in when they inevitably fall asleep, though of course their Willpower roll is limited in dice pool to their Humanity/Path rating. This power allows the character to operate in the trance-state for a half hour, plus ten minutes per additional success.

While this power is active, the Kindred's dice pools are not limited by their Humanity/Path rating. However, because of the haze of sleep they maintain, they receive a +1 difficulty on all rolls. Moreover, the player does not exercise direct control of the character; instead the character is controlled by the Storyteller. The Player is allowed to declare what they (and by extension the character) would like to do while sleeping. This is more a declaration of intent, however, as the character will attempt to pursue their goal as best they can. Valid statements of intent must be general but concrete, and usually simple and/or automatic. The character is being placed on auto-pilot; goals include things like "locate a place to sleep" or "fight off attackers" or "find and kill my nemesis" or "deliver pre-written instructions to a person". Things that are not possible can include "research a subject" or "hold a meaningful conversation with someone". Matters of intellect or social interaction are generally beyond the scope of this trance state. Combat is not, though; still, while hand-to-hand combat may be used, the character must have at least one dot in Melee or Firearms in order to make use of same. A Kindred who knows their way around a gun can expect their subconscious to operate one, even while asleep.

If pressed, the Sorcerer may roll Humanity/Path at any time to force themselves into true waking. Doing so cancels the effect, however, and when they nod off again they will not continue somnambulating without recasting. The character is also closer to the Beast while in this state; they may not roll Self-Control/Instinct to resist the Beast. Some researchers theorize that this spell actually uses the Beast as the primary operator of this auto-pilot, though this is neither a confirmed nor popular idea.

Furthermore, the character is no more immune to fire or sunlight, and will never enter an area with sunlight under any circumstances. The character can navigate perfectly fine, and knows their way around areas familiar to their waking self. But if they are trying to pursue a goal that requires them to leave the safety of shelter, they will wander that shelter's bounds looking for a path until they find one or fall to true sleep.

Command The Somnambulist
Expanding their influence on the slumbering mind, the Sorcerer may bid sleepers to rise and do their bidding. The extent of this control is limited at this level, but no less potent than the powers afforded by Dominate. Some Kindred of the Camarilla dread this power, speaking fearfully of even their most loyal ghouls being subverted. Perhaps it is only this Path's rarity that prevents Lunatic Sorcerers from being hunted down without mercy.

System: The user be close enough for the subject to hear them, though it matters not whether the user is speaking strongly from across the room or whispering in their ear. The Sorcerer speaks clearly their order while locking eyes on the subject. Immediately, the subject will rise and sleepwalk towards completely the order. As with the second rank of Dominate, the target will fulfill the order to the best of their ability, as promptly as they are able, so long as they are sleeping. But like Dominate, the sleepwalker will not carry out an order that is against their Nature, and will not perform a task that puts them in obvious, suicidal danger (saying "jump in front of a moving car" is a no go, though "cross this busy street" is doable). If faced with either possibility, the sleeper is permitted a Willpower roll (difficulty equal to caster's successes + 3) to force themselves awake. Moreover, the sleeper may be awoken by outside forces where applicable, ending their current activities. Using only this power makes the sleeper wake as under normal conditions (being jostled or shook, hearing pronounced noises or voices, taking any kind of damage), while using Numb Sensation And Dreams causes them to awake with more extreme disturbance (hearing loud noises or sudden yells, taking more than one Bashing level of damage if successes were high).

The nature of the orders the subject may follow, and the number of nights they will obey (where applicable) depend on the number of successes rolled:

-One Success: Trivial Task (walk out of the house), One Scene
-Two Successes: Simple Errand (follow the caster all night), One Night
-Three Successes: Medium Task (Travel to specific location and mark a wall), One Week
-Four Successes: Complicated Task (Watch a spot and report by phone who enters and leaves), Two Weeks
-Five Successes or More: Arduous Task (Travel to a specific address and attack the occupant), One Month

Note that regardless of how deep the sleep, the subject will almost certainly wake if they engage in combat; only a sneak attack (like attacking someone as they sleep, with a knife) is likely to work. The Sorcerer's powers at this level are not great enough to force a Somnambulist to engage in a true battle.

Sleepwalking mortals remain unconcerned with the world around them, for all things not directly related to their task. They have enough awareness to avoid environmental hazards and to walk around people, but ignore persons speaking to them (unless they are startled awake). Their eyes are unfocused, their gait shuffling and wobbly. They do not speak, save when ordered to.

When they wake, victims of this power do not consciously recall their sleeping activities, though mind powers (or Interrogate The Sleeper) can reveal details they experienced. This power can only be used once per order; at this level, the Sorcerer must spend additional blood points and make additional Willpower rolls for each new command.

* Caligari's Servant
With true mastery, the Sorcerer turns slumbering mortals into their slaves (so long as they sleep). At this level, the sleeper performs any task asked of them, and will perform them to the utmost of their ability. They are every bit as loyal as the greatest blood-bonded thralls. Some Lunatic Sorcerers - through near constant use of Numb Sensation And Dreams and/or the Path of Morpheus - keep servants of this variety in trance-states for extended periods, ordering them to eat, bath, discharge waste, and rest as needed so they may be of use forever. Such wretched souls are frequently locked away when not in use, all the better to prevent them from escaping should the magic wear off and the mortal return to waking.

System: Caligari's Servant requires the expenditure of two blood points. The Sorcerer must touch the target's face, and whisper chants into their ear, for one full minute. At the end of this, the caster strongly commands the sleeper to rise. This effect lasts so long as the target remains asleep. The power expires the moment the sleeper awakens, requiring the Sorcerer recast the effect when the target next falls asleep.

While the power is active, the somnambulist will follow any order given to them, so long as it does not defy their Nature or directly harm them. If the Nature is willing, however, the somnambulist may be ordered to fight anyone, no matter how unlikely the sleeper has in victory. The sleeper will carry out orders even if the Sorcerer is not present, meaning one can be used as an agent or bodyguard during the day. However, if the Sorcerer meets Final Death, the spell unravels immediately, the sleeper dropping to the ground or regaining consciousness.

While entranced, the somnambulist suffers a +1 to the difficulty of all rolls, reflecting the diminished faculties brought on by their altered states. However, the free will of the subject is suppressed to the point where the somnambulist will not wake even when suffering Bashing or Lethal damage. Only Aggravated damage can hope to rouse the sleeper. Moreover, the subject suffers one level less on all wound penalties, the result of the numbness brought on by the ambulatory sleep.

As for behavior, this is a factor between the somnambulist's Nature and the exact orders given by the Sorcerer. Generally, however, the sleeper approaches the completion of their assigned task in a straight-forward, literal manner. Much like a victim of Conditioning, the somnambulist acts like an automaton, with minimal imagination or creativity. If ordered to kill, the sleeper will find the most direct method, perhaps taking up a weapon, but employing only the most basic of tactics if left on its own. The sleeper will attempt to avoid dying if possible, but will risk death if ordered to. If told to hold enemies off while their master escapes - at all costs - they will do everything short of jumping on the enemy's blade to halt their advance.

In the event another vampire attempts to Dominate the sleeper, they must score more successes than the Sorcerer did on their Willpower roll (difficulty 8). Failure to exceed that value means that the sleeper shrugs off that power for that turn. If the Kindred botches their Dominate roll, the somnambulist is rendered immune to that vampire's Dominate attempts for the rest of the night. Attempts to use other powers of the Path of Somnambulism must also exceed the original caster's successes. Presence powers have no affect - the sleeper is dulled to emotions - as do the effects of Dementation.

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