A Mall Ninja is a type of character who works at a second-rate job - such as mall security - and takes it far, far too seriously, usually by using the trappings of a more respected job (such as that of a policeman or soldier) and clothing himself in them to a ridiculous degree (such as stocking up on all sorts of guns or armored vests). They usually hope to receive the same respect by association, but usually it just looks ridiculous.
Game and Story Use
- Such people can serve as Comic Relief in your games, and they need not be restricted to contemporary games.
- If there is a genuine emergency - such as, say, a zombie attack - the Mall Ninja might actually have the gear the PCs need. However, that doesn't change the fact that he had enough mental problems to disqualify for better jobs - so he is likely to be at least as much hindrance as help. Thus, the PCs need to figure out how to get the gear without the Mall Ninja treating them as his enemies and going berserk.
- In a silly campaign, PCs could even be mall ninjas - who have to protect their shopping mall against all sorts of gangs and other criminals. Their place of work might resemble a war zone more than a mall - but somehow, they have still to keep the peace and ensure that the customers can shop safely.
- Or perhaps the campaign isn't actually silly - it's just that the PCs are all going insane form some previous trauma.
- The above-mentioned article  works great as a source of ideas for this, since it is so enormously over-the-top.
- The Night Mall scenario for Delta Green is an excellent variant for a horror adventure for Mall Ninja PCs.
- For deep conspiracy campaigns, consider a 'mall ninja' who is actually the victim of something like the Transfer of Power from Ellis' The Authority - someone who really was what he thinks he is, but has had his life stolen from him by the Conspiracy. He may be a crouching moron, hidden badass if the PCs can break whatever is holding him back, or a terrible warning as to what the Conspiracy can do to their enemies.
- As a wannabe, the Mall Ninja may be desperate to impress real cops (or whatever) and thus prove a useful - if annoying - contact or informant.
- He could also have the necessary contacts to access black market military equipment that is hard or impossible to lay hands on any other way.
- Alternatively, a subversion - the aging security guard at the mall is actually a John T. Kelly type (as per Tom Clancy's Without Remorse) who flatly denies ever having been in the forces - or claims to have been a supply clerk or something - explaining away tell tale signs of service as coincindences.
- This can be taken even deeper if the old boy is covering his tracks for a good reason.