|Written by Daniel Greenberg|
|Cover Art: Timothy Bradstreet|
I laughed my way through this one. It reads like the Principia Discordia while on drugs. Definitely the best so far. If you want to discover the true nature of reality, this might be the book to read. At least, you'll discover what the Malkavians feel reality to be. I would recommend taking at least two aspirin before starting this book, however.
We all can see the brooding immortal artists, the imperious pale rulers standing on the parapets, the Near Dark clones with lots of time on their hands, the Max Screck rejects who just wanna get along. V:TM has engineered its rules to support these and many other stereotypical visions of vampiric life. A few bright lights do shine through. Oddly, these bright lights seemed created with the intention of interweaving V:TM into the other ST series games. Gangrel are Garou wannabes. Tremere are Mage wannabes. That leaves one major game, and one major clan.
Faeries and Malkavians.
I mean, it all makes sense when you THINK about it, and that's where most people make the first mistake. Thinking about it. No amount of self- contemplation will allow you to key into subjective reality. Things are as we perceive, and contemplation continually changes the melange, so that we see within it what we're looking for. So connections are quite pointless.
That is, if we lived in a subjective reality.
Which we don't.
But what if we did? What if Henry James and Carl Jung were right? What if we dwell within a Subjective reality, but because ou 4th grade teaches brainwashed our melons to see things the same way, we've stabilizes reality, depriving those valiant souls who resisted (of which, thank god, I am one... the person has not been born who can show me WHY 2 + 2 has to EQUAL 4!) of the chance to have a really neat trip through life.
After all, those who share a different view of reality are "special," or "deranged."
All this and more will NOT be found in Clanbook Malkavian. Or maybe it will.
Inside are those detestably WONDERFUL archetypes, with no real surprises here. The good things about the ones in the other books is that at least it made you THINK beyond the stereotype. But this can be forgiven, for one, simple reason.
Put quickly, Clanbook Malkavian TELLS you how to be Malkavian. None of the other books have done this. In there attempts to cover all the bases of possible interactions and archetypes, they missed the one thing that really mattered. The Theory.
Tell me that Gangrel can sometimes pass for Lupines, and you tell me something inherently obvious, for which you now have to answer how? Tell me that those Gangrel who pass for lupines do so out of an instinctual calling that cannot be denied, a subconscious trigger that activates Gangrelness when no decent sire can be found, and you tell LEAPS about the Garou. What is calling out to them? GAIA! Regaining her lost CHILDREN! Or maybe the Wyrm. The fact is that now you've generated a mystery, a secret that rolls in the heads of the good little Gangrel children that makes them want to seek out more of their kind, and even those closest to Gaia. If the calling is strong enough, they will even enter the maw of death to gain answers.
It's so easy to THINK you're malkavian. Beetlejuice. Act wacky. Act serious. Act wacky. Kill something. Act wacky. As the book implies, with a back cover that CAN NOT be beat (and yes, I'm OFFICIALLY TRAGICALLY HIP!!!) Malkavian may seem wacky on the outside, and to those who casually glance, but to those who take a good hard look, there is a savage depth.
Ultimately, I can say nothing about Clanbook Malkavian, other than that it is the finest book WW has done, outside of V:TM 2, WWPG, and SabPG. For C:Gan to be its equal, one had to open the covers, and have the Wild be there, calling out to them. It does not. For C:Bru to be its equal, a fist had to come out, and bop you on the nose, while images assaulted you to get you RILED!! In short, each book would have to allow you to gain deep insight into the clan, to make you one with it.
Why then, can I say nothing? It is the ultimate construct to subjective reality. You find within it only what you seek. If you think Malkavians=Beetlejuice, there's Page XX. If you think Malkavians are closet psychopaths, there's rules for that. But most importantly, if you thought there ought to be something more about the Madmen, well, taste and see...
And look...the Emperor's wearing no clothes!
-Excerpts from Rage over Stone Mountain By Night, 2nd Edition.
Tim Toner, Jellomancer, Thanatos without a Gun, firstname.lastname@example.org
"People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the Devil. I don't know why. No, I do indeed know why. Evil is always possible. And good is eternally difficult."
Louis, Interview with the Vampire