Clan

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The vampire clans were changed between VtM and VtR. These are the VtR clans, and are preferred due to lower numbers and better discipline selections. See vampire clans (Masquerade) for the VtM clans and vampire bloodlines (Masquerade) for the VtM bloodlines.

A clan is a lineage of vampires, that can be traced from sire to sire's sire and so on into the distant past. Each clan has certain abilities and preferences encoded in the very blood with which it recruits new members. Thus, while it is possible to reject the social aspects of one's clan, it is impossible to actually leave it except by final death.

Origins

Each clan can, in principle if not in fact, trace itself to a single individual, but that individual's ancestry is unknown. This does not mean that no such theories exist—quite the contrary. A few of the most popular theories are:

  1. The first vampire was Caine, the first murderer. He was cursed by God to become the first vampire. He begat three childer, and those three in turn begat the founders of the clans. These founders are usually referred to as antediluvians.
  2. Basically the same story as above, but with Lilith (Adam's first wife) as the first vampire.
  3. A combination of #1 and #2, where Caine became the first vampire but learned disciplines from the first witch Lilith. This is the version in the Book of Nod, an old and fragmentary manuscript believed to have originated in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.
  4. There has always been vampires, or at least as long as there has been humans upon which to feed. Vampires are the dark to the human's light, and the very concept of an origin is meaningless.
  5. The first vampires were mages that meddled with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Each mage created a clan.
  6. Vampires are actually aliens come from the stars. The different clans are alien races.
  7. Vampires are created by god to terrorize humans into piety. This was the revelation of Longinus, the founder of Lancea Sanctum. Longinus was supposedly cursed into vampirism by the blood of Christ.
  8. Anyone can become a vampire—and by extension, a clan founder—simply by wanting it enough when they die. Those who believe in this theory point to Dracula, who founded Ordo Dracul. He claimed to have neither sire nor clan. Dracula simply refused to stay dead and returned to wreak vengeance upon his enemies. This story cannot be confirmed at this late date. This theory is weakened by the fact that Dracula has not, as far as is known, founded a clan or bloodline.

Clans

Regardless of how the clans came to be, there are five known clans tonight. All members of a clan have certain traits in common. They share certain flaws or weaknesses, and they all have a talent for the same disciplines.

  • Daeva are fast, lithe, and charismatic, and renowned seducers and deceivers. They are often mistaken for succubi, though their allure pales in comparison with the real thing.
  • Gangrel are, for lack of a better word, rustic. Animalistic, resilient shapeshifters that range the countryside rather than the cities.
  • Mekhet are stealthy, and fast like vipers. They skulk in shadows to hide from the sun and the moon, but they have found many secret things there. They possess the Sight.
  • Nosferatu are monstrously strong, and just plain monstrous. Looking and smelling like zombies, they bring plague and pestilence when they show themselves. They can hide in plain sight, cloaked in dread.
  • Ventrue are the archetypic gothics, able to walk in daylight and spin their webs of deceit. Most are batshit insane by modern standards, but they are resilient and hard to kill.

Bloodlines

A bloodline is an offshoot from one of the clans. Just like a clan, a bloodline carries with it certain flaws, and these are in addition to those of the clan. It will have one or even two additional disciplines to choose from, often ones that cannot be learned any other way.

Bloodline membership is elective. You must choose to join a bloodline. It is even possible to join a bloodline other than that of your sire, as long as it runs in your clan. However, once joined, it is impossible to leave a bloodline. The entry process permanently and irreversibly alters the blood.

There are many bloodlines, but most have just a handful members. These are either numerous, or otherwise important enough, so that they are known to most vampires:

  • Toreador, of clan Daeva, are obsessed with art, artists, and beauty, to the exclusion of other vices. Quite frankly, they are poncy.
  • Assamite, of clan Mekhet, serve the Old Man in the Mountain as assassins. They take their payment in blood.
  • Lasombra, of clan Mekhet, are the shadowy leaders of the Sabbat.
  • Malkavian, of clan Ventrue, are famed for taking the Ventrue insanity all the way to 11. All of them are kooks, and not harmless ones either.

At 2nd level of blood potency or at any level thereafter, a vampire which isn't already a member of a bloodline, may join an inherited bloodline.

At 4th level of blood potency or at any level thereafter, a vampire which isn't already a member of a bloodline, may join any bloodline of her clan. She needs instruction and acceptance from a previous member.

At 6th level of blood potency or at any level thereafter, a vampire which isn't already a member of a bloodline, may create her own bloodline.

Any number of bloodlines could be listed, it's just a matter of defining their often marginal and/or silly disciplines.

Modern Horror

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