Malkavian Ghouls

“I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I feel nothing
but fear.”

Malkavian Ghouls

Contrary to popular belief, the Malkavian Clan does not typically create ghouls solely on a whim, nor do they waste vitae on the blood bond to abuse victims. In truth, how Malkavian domitors select and treat their ghouls based on the same criteria that other Clans might use. Despite their reputation, the most lucid members of the Malkavian Clan are aware that they are unable to function fully without help, and it is for this reason that they not only use ghouls, but rely on them for help.

Unfortunately, Malkavian ghouls suffer as their masters do, for they are not immune to the Clan’s curse. The nightmares and phobias that afflict Malkavian ghouls torment them in different ways, and this
mental anguish often takes its toll on their physical bodies and natural sleep cycles. Some Malkavian ghouls are insomniacs, careful to avoid falling asleep to prevent another terrorfilled night. It is for this reason that many vampires mistakenly believe that all Malkavian masters torture and abuse their servants. If giving a mortal cursed vitae is the definition of torment, however, then all vampires are guilty of
the crimes attributed to the Malkavian Clan.

Though most Malkavian domitors do not willingly persecute their ghouls, serving them is challenging and greatly depends upon their lucidity. In a way, the Blood governs how, when, and why a Malkavian master selects a ghoul, for Malkav’s curse affects each vampire differently. Thus, some Kindred masters are drawn toward medical professionals and caregivers, such as nurses, psychiatrists, and therapists, while others are far less discriminatory and instinctively choose mortals based on their compassionate or nurturing personalities. During moments of self-control, other domitors — especially Camarilla Malkavians — recognize the limitations they live with from night to night, and choose ghouls to help them maintain the Masquerade and survive in the modern era. These masters lean toward more practical candidates, such as accountants, lawyers, bodyguards, security technicians, construction experts, and computer programmers. And, to an extent, these types of ghouls are guarded from being unduly lamed for their domitors’ flawed mental state as their masters command them from a distance.

Some Kindred domitors even go so far as to seek advice on how to best use their ghouls for the betterment of their Clan or Sect, knowing that such conversations will result in a favorable opinion. In general, however, regardless of a ghoul’s ability to fortify a haven or clean up after a messy feeding, most domitors care more about their own, selfish desires to ease the effects of Malkav’s curse than their performance as a servant. Thus, when Malkavian domitors suffer, it is not uncommon for their ghouls to pay the price simply because they happened to be nearby. This is especially true for ghouls with a medical background, for while Malkavians know that there is no cure for their ailments, that does not stop them from trying to seek a temporary salve. Thus, punishments vary widely, and depend upon the master and the circumstances surrounding their anguish. One domitor might yell at her ghoul for being too loud even though she didn’t say a word, while another might sew his ghoul’s lips shut so he never gets the chance to talk.

Many masters, especially those of a young age who have not had time to deal with the reality of Malkav’s curse, put their misguided faith in science. Unfortunately, despite significant advances in the field of psychiatry over the past century, there is no medicine or therapy that can help a vampire, ghoul, or revenant cursed with the Blood. Malkavian domitors, despite their intentions to find help, do have a tendency to behave erratically, and their treatment of ghouls is often exacerbated as a result. Malkavian antitribu domitors are more demanding and less forgiving than others among their Clan, and they are
not beneath abusing their ghouls. Though they select candidates that seem practical, such as nurses, assistants, bodyguards, and secretaries, their servants suffer greatly for their domitors expect a miracle they cannot perform. Some Malkavian antitribu domitors may punish their ghouls by beating or killing them in a rage, while others might even go so far as to damn them with the Embrace, to lock them in a state of eternal suffering.


The appearance of a Malkavian ghoul depends largely on the nature of their service. Some ghouls are ripped from their mortal life, and are never given the opportunity to change their clothes again even
after they get dirty. Others are encouraged to move into their domitors’ havens, and bring practical, functional outfits. Over time, however, Malkavian ghouls tend to care less about their looks, and more about their fragile mental state.

Character Creation

Malkavian ghouls are generally selected from care-giving occupations or environments that the domitor has easy access to, such as hospital workers, asylum patients, doctors, psychiatrists, psychics, and spiritualists. Mental Attributes, Skills, and Talents are highly prized, as is their ability to be resilient or survive trauma.

Clan Disciplines

Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate.

Clan Weakness

All Malkavian ghouls acquire either the Nightmares or Phobia Flaw. The player chooses whichever Flaw most fits their character’s background. Eventually, should a Malkavian
ghoul survive for at least a year, their Flaw changes into an incurable Derangement.


You have an overpowering fear of something. Spiders, snakes, crowds, and heights are examples of common phobias. You must make a Courage roll every time you encounter the object of your fear. The difficulty of the roll is determined by the Storyteller. If you fail the roll, you must retreat from the object.


You experience horrendous nightmares every time you sleep, and memories of them haunt you during your waking hours. Upon awakening, you must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) or lose a die on all actions for that night. A botched Willpower roll indicates that, even when awake, you still believe that you are locked in a nightmare.

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