Any character with Malevolence will occasionally experience the difficulties associated with ill fortune. This is an on-again, off-again kind of thing. How much failure is inflicted on characters depends on how much Malevolence is involved.
You mark Malevolence on your playbook. When your Malevolence reaches 9 you gain a Wanted Level and clear your Malevolence back to 1.
It's really bad. Every time something is left up to chance, the Grandfather is going to have a look at your points in Malevolence.
Anyone with high Malevolence is going to have to overcome their first impressions. There's something sinister about a character with Malevolence, something vaguely repellent. The more Malevolence the worse it is. Of course, it isn’t permanent. You can always talk your way into a better reception, it's just an uphill fight when your Malevolence puts a sour note into your first introduction.
When the Grandfather is looking around for a volunteer, somebody to find out something unpleasant, or for someone to experience the first attack from an unknown enemy, guess who the Grandfather is going to pick? Right, the one with the highest Malevolence. This isn't as bad as it sounds. Since bad things happen to people with Malevolence, it can be fun. After all, the more points of Malevolence you've got, the more exciting your character's life will become.
First, you never run out of Malevolence. As long as the character has points, the Malevolence will just keep coming and coming. It doesn't matter that ten minutes ago your character just had three outrageously bad breaks, because Malevolence doesn’t get used up and the Grandfather can apply it all over again. Second, don't forget that Malevolence is also an indicator of how bad a wound can be. Enough Malevolence, at the wrong time in a combat, and the character could end up dead.
The worst aspect of Malevolence is in combat. You won't even know about all the bad breaks you'll be getting. The mistake the enemy could have made, but didn't. A split decision that turns against you because of a run of misfortune. Yes, you've got to be pretty skilled to make up for a heavy dose of Malevolence.
Sure, they've got to take a few falls from time to time, and they do end up with hard knocks, but Malevolence has two advantages. First, the game is more exciting, because the Grandfather throws more surprises, traps and attacks at folks with Malevolence. Second, a character with Malevolence has a sinister, evil aura, just the right kind of presence for some players and works well for the Diplomat's intimidation.