Clans for Dummies

This is a list of the thirteen main clans in Vampire: The Masquerade, with a brief overview of their specifics.
For more details, check out V20 - Lore of the Clans or their individual pages!


Description

  • The childer of Haqim, known as Assamites to the rest of the Kindred, are a silent knife in the dark, an order of bloodthirsty assassins who participate in the secret wars of the undead by operating as killers for hire. Outside the purview of the Sects, the Assamites are true independents and mercenaries, hiring out to whoever can pay their blood-price and ungoverned by the will of Prince or Priscus. By the time a mark realizes that he’s being hunted by an Assamite, it’s often far too late. Needless to say, this makes the Assamites both feared and reviled by many of the other Clans.

Clan Weakness

  • Should an Assamite consume the blood of another Kindred, they suffer one automatic level of unsoakable lethal damage per blood point imbibed. Diablerie attempts result in automatic aggravated damage, one health level per point of permanent Willpower the victim possesses; the would-be diablerist gains no benefits (including Generation reduction) if they survive the process. In addition, Assamites must tithe some of the profits from their contracts to their sires or superiors (generally around 10 percent of all such earnings).

Clan Disciplines

  • Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus.

Clan Variants

  • Assamite Antitribu, Assamite Viziers.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Assamite Sorcerers.

Description

  • The Brujah are rebels and provocateurs, bat-swinging hooligans and agents of change in a society long crippled by stasis. As rebels, it’s in their nature to challenge the status quo — though sometimes, without adequate opposition, they embody the status quo themselves. It works out fine, because there's always a hot-blooded Brujah waiting in the wings to bring down an uppity Clanmate grown too comfortable in the role of rebel-turned-dictator.

Clan Weakness

  • The same passions that inspire Brujah to greatness or depravity, left unchecked, can send them into incandescent rages: The difficulties of rolls to resist or guide frenzy are two higher than normal. Additionally, a Brujah may never spend Willpower to avoid frenzy, though they may spend a point of Willpower to end a frenzy that has already begun.

Clan Disciplines

  • Celerity, Potence, Presence.

Clan Variants

  • Brujah Antitribu.

Clan Bloodlines

  • True Brujah.

Description

  • The Followers of Set are as much a chthonic religion as they are a Clan, though the faith includes the Clan. Its mythology is complex and convoluted, an impenetrable pantheon of god-monsters. At the apex of this worship stands a syncretism of the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld Set and the Greek hydra Typhon, as much spiritual guardians of secret places as they are the “liberators” of other's souls. To outsiders, this is all blasphemous religious affectation, but to devout Setites, the cult and cause are real, and their dark lord works his will through them.

Clan Weakness

  • Given their origins in darkness, the Serpents react negatively to bright light: Add two health levels to damage caused by exposure to sunlight. Setites also lose one die from dice pools for actions taken in bright light (police spotlights, stage lights, flares, etc.).

Clan Disciplines

  • Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis.

Clan Variants

  • Serpents of the Light (Antitribu), Warrior Setites.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Daitya, Tlacique.

Description

  • As a Clan, the Gangrel are wary and aloof. Most would prefer to spend their nights stalking prey or wilding on the rooftops than minding Princely edicts or lobbying for recognition of domain. Theirs is a tense relationship with vampire society, and Outlanders are among the most frequent to turn Anarch or Autarkis. In some localities, the Gangrel have collectively abandoned membership in any Sect — insofar as the Gangrel truly ever do anything collectively.

Clan Weakness

  • Every time a Gangrel frenzies, they acquire a temporary animal characteristic (which may replace an existing temporary one). A patch of fur, a brief torpor after feeding, or skittishness around crowds — all of these may mar an Outlander after frenzy. Characteristics acquired in Gangrel frenzies need not only be physical – they can be behavioral as well. Over time, or in an exceptional situation, a particular animal feature may become permanent, with the next frenzy adding a new feature.

Clan Disciplines

  • Animalism, Fortitude, Protean.

Clan Variants

  • City Gangrel, Country Gangrel, Mariner Gangrel.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Ahrimanes, Anda, Lhiannan, Noiad.

Description

  • The Giovanni make a great show of humility and respect. Part of this gentility is a habit of centuries, still in place from when the other Clans hunted the usurping Necromancers (and to preserve their hardwon neutrality from the conflict between the Camarilla and the Sabbat). Another part of it is the velvet glove hiding the iron fist of their nature, remarkable for forcing ghosts, minds, and bodies alike to bow to their needs. To hear the Giovanni tell it, Princes and Archbishops alike owe them favors, and anyone with something to offer may earn their patronage.

Clan Weakness

  • The Kiss of a Giovanni vampire causes excruciating pain in mortal vessels who receive it. If the Giovanni isn’t careful, their vessel may die of shock and agony before being wholly exsanguinated. When a Giovanni feeds upon a mortal, they do twice as much damage as the Kiss of another vampire would inflict. For example, if a Giovanni takes one point of blood from a mortal vessel, that victim would suffer two health levels of damage.

Clan Disciplines

  • Dominate, Necromancy, Potence.

Clan Variants

  • None.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • To the mind of a Lasombra, it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. Fear, frenzy, the power to determine whether another lives or dies: these are at the root of the power that the Lasombra hold dear. Whereas other vampires try vainly to hold the Beast at bay or give themselves wholly to it, the Lasombra beat the Beast into submission, invoking it when it suits them but leaving it trapped inside when they wish to govern themselves. It is with these predilections that the Lasombra style themselves a “dark nobility,” an aristocracy of the night that chose the supremacy of the Cainites over veneration of the Masquerade.

Clan Weakness

  • Lasombra vampires cast no reflections. Whether in a mirror, in a body of water, on a polished surface, or in the rear-view of a taxicab, the image of the Keeper does not reflect.

Clan Disciplines

  • Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence.

Clan Variants

  • None.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Lasombra Antitribu, Angellis Ater, Kiasyd.

Description

  • Clan Malkavian is twice damned: once by the curse of being Kindred, and again by the turmoil that disturbs their hearts and minds. Upon the Embrace, every Malkavian is afflicted with an insurmountable insanity that fractures her outlook for every night thereafter, making her unlife one of madness. Some consider this a form of oracular insight, while others simply consider them dangerous.

Clan Weakness

  • All members of Clan Malkavian suffer from a permanent, incurable derangement. They may acquire and recover from other derangements, and may spend Willpower to ameliorate the effects of the derangement for a scene, but they can never recover from their original derangement.

Clan Disciplines

  • Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate.

Clan Variants

  • Malkavian Antitribu, Dominate Malkavian.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • Those who doubt that the Embrace is a curse need look no further than the Nosferatu. Twisted by the mark of Caine, members of Clan Nosferatu are warped by the Embrace into hideous monsters. As such, they skulk and keep to the shadows, and they often rouse the ire and mockery of other Kindred for their nightmarish appearances. Still others are so terrified or revolted by the Nosferatu that these warped Kindred have little social interaction at all.

Clan Weakness

  • All Nosferatu have an Appearance score of zero, and they may never improve it. Cross it off the character sheet. Dice pools that use the Appearance Trait are inherently difficult for these hideous Kindred.

Clan Disciplines

  • Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence.

Clan Variants

  • Nosferatu Antitribu.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • The Ravnos move like the rumors that surround them. They are the thief in the night, the raksha chased by the wind, the nightmare-dream too fearful to be real. Whether associated with the Romani folk of Europe or the grave-robbing ghûl of Western Asia, Kindred society burdens the Ravnos with prejudices of foulness, uncleanliness, and wickedness.

Clan Weakness

  • A turbulent history makes the Ravnos slaves to their vices. Each Ravnos has a penchant for some sort of vice — lying, cruelty, or theft, for example. When presented with the opportunity to engage in that vice, the Ravnos must indulge it unless they succeeds on a Self-Control or Instincts roll at Difficulty 6.

Clan Disciplines

  • Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude.

Clan Variants

  • Ravnos Antitribu, Brahman.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • The Kindred of Clan Toreador often involve themselves greatly in the world of mortals. They have any number of reasons, whether enjoying proximity to the blush of life, cultivating veritable cults of doting followers, or influencing and following the trends that their own kind simultaneously mock and venerate. To hear the Toreador tell it, they are the Muses of a desperate mortal world, inspiring through their beauty or patronage.

Clan Weakness

  • When a Toreador experiences something truly remarkable — a person, an objet d’art, a lovely sunrise — they make a Self-Control or Instincts roll at Difficulty 6. Failure means that the Kindred finds themselves enthralled by the experience. The dazzled Toreador cannot act for the duration of the scene aside from commenting on or continuing their involvement with whatever has captured their attention. If the experience no longer affects them (whether by moving, being destroyed, or whatever is appropriate to the situation), the captivation ends. Enraptured Toreador may not even defend themselves if attacked, though being wounded allows them to make another Self-Control or Instincts roll.

Clan Disciplines

  • Auspex, Celerity, Presence.

Clan Variants

  • Toreador Antitribu.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • Clan Tremere is a Clan shaped by its practice of blood sorcery. A flexible Discipline, Thaumaturgy is heavily entrenched within the Tremere, and they maintain cultic havens known as chantries to study its uses and share secrets among each other. To the Tremere, blood is both sustenance and the source of mystical power; they gather in their witchhouses to further their understanding of the vitae that is such a focal point of their unlives.

Clan Weakness

  • Tremere dependency on blood is even more pronounced than that of other Kindred. It takes only two draughts of another vampire’s blood for a Tremere to become blood bound instead of the normal three — the first drink counts as if the Tremere had taken two drinks. The elders of the Clan are well aware of this, and seek to impart loyalty to the Clan by forcing all neonate Warlocks to drink of the (transubstantiated) blood of the seven Tremere elders soon after their Embrace.

Clan Disciplines

  • Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy.

Clan Variants

  • Telyavelic Tremere.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Tremere Antitribu.

Description

  • Clan Tzimisce is a Clan of extremes, and long, cold nights spent in remote castles have turned the Fiends’ perspectives both greatly inward and outward. Mystics of the Clan study a philosophy of metamorphosis, seeking to discover what lies beyond the state of vampirism. An alien attitude of spiritual secularism characterizes many Tzimisce. Young members of the Clan often find themselves detached from the historical role of the Fiends as terrifying landed lords, and throw themselves wholly into a cause of their own choice, whether as Sabbat zealots, fleshcrafted horrors, or transcendental koldun sorcerers.

Clan Weakness

  • The Tzimisce are inextricably tied to their domains of origin, and must rest in the proximity of at least two handfuls of “native soil” — earth from a place important to them as a mortal, such as the soil from their birthplace or the graveyard where they underwent their Embrace. Each night spent without this physical connection to their land limits all of the Tzimisce's dice pools to one-half, cumulatively, until they only have a single die in their pool. The penalty remains until they rest for a full day amid their earth once more.

Clan Disciplines

  • Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude.

Clan Variants

  • Kolduns.

Clan Bloodlines

  • Old Clan Tzimisce.

Description

  • The Ventrue are a synthesis of the modern and the ancient, often in stark contrast within the Clan and among one another. Theirs is money of old, from the vaults of Croesus, but their young manipulate stock markets and influence currencies. Elders may command armies or even whole governments, while neonates conjure their assets from a website or smartphone app. But for all their wealth, their distinguished history, and their status among the Damned, each and every Ventrue must still seek that one resource that makes Kindred society egalitarian: precious blood.

Clan Weakness

  • The Ventrue have rarified tastes, and they find only one specific type of mortal blood palatable and vital for them. When a player creates a Ventrue character, they should decide with the Storyteller what specific type of blood suits the character, and this choice is permanent. Blood of other types (even animals) simply offers the vampire no blood pool increase, no matter how much they consume — they simply vomit it back up. This refined palate may be very narrow or very broad — say, the blood of younger sisters, or the blood of nude children. Vampiric blood is exempt from this restriction.

Clan Disciplines

  • Dominate, Fortitude, Presence.

Clan Variants

  • Ventrue Antitribu.

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Description

  • Unwanted and abandoned, the Caitiff have swelled the ranks of Kindred society in the past few decades. They are the results of mistakes, regrets, frenzies, and poor choices. Many are lucky to have even a vague recollection of their sire and the Embrace, while most stumble around with no understanding of what they are. Those that find a way to survive are the exception instead of the rule, and some of these Trash grow to become notorious Kindred in their own right. The only thing that the Caitiff have in common is what they lack — the marks that identify a vampire as being part of a particular clan.

Clan Weakness

  • Because of their social stigma, Caitiff are unable to take the Status Background at character creation. In addition to being a “clan,” Caitiff is also a negative title. Until the Caitiff establishes themselves in a domain or social group, they are at +2 Difficulty on all Social rolls with non-Caitiff vampires. When Caitiff Embrace, their childer are also Caitiff.

Clan Disciplines

  • Caitiff are able to purchase any Discipline at character creation, pending Storyteller approval. However, the cost to increase all Disciplines with experience points is six times the current rating, rather than the usual five for in-Clan Disciplines or seven for out-of-Clan Disciplines.

Clan Variants

  • Pander (Antitribu).

Clan Bloodlines

  • None.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License