A clan is a vampiric lineage. There are five major clans now extant: the Daeva, the Gangrel, the Mekhet, the Nosferatu and the Ventrue; others have risen and fallen over time. Members of clans all have certain things in common, from easiness with specific Disciplines to a particular weaknesses. Within the clans are smaller groups of specific lineages called Bloodlines; they share much of the defining characteristics of their parent clan, but have a number of unique abilities, access to specialised disciplines and are penalised with additional weaknesses in addition to their clan weakness. Overall the Bloodlines, to varying degrees, suffer from being Crippling Overspecialization variations of their parent clans.
- The Ageless: As usually is the case with vampires. Kindred do not age, are immune to sickness (though they still can carry them), and while a stake to the heart, sufficient wounds or being unable to feed will cause them to fall into a death-like hibernation state called Torpor, nothing short of beheading or entirely destroying the body will actually kill them.
- All Myths Are True: Played with. It is widely accepted by the Kindred that most mortal myths and fiction regarding vampires draw their wildly-varying interpretations of vampiric behavior and powers from half-true stories of certain clans and bloodlines, such as the Gangrel shapeshifting into animals and the Ventrue possessing a hypnotic gaze. This also extends to myths that are apparently incorrect - while no modern vampire is averse to crossing running water, the frequency of this particular myth has led Kindred scholars to speculate that there was some long-gone bloodline that had a ban against running water, and that they almost certainly died out as underground plumbing began to criss-cross cities, preventing them from navigating the urban environments vampires generally rely upon to survive.
- Ascended Demon: Golconda, if it exists. Exactly what it does is left up to the Storyteller, with In-Universe rumors ranging from everything to "becoming human again" to "becoming the perfect monster; immune to all vampire weaknesses but retaining vampire strengths".
- Auto Cannibalism: Vampires addicted to Vitae (vampire blood) sometimes drink their own blood to stave off their craving. It almost automatically pegs them as Diablerists if others catch them doing this.
- Bad Boss: Vampires can be this to their ghouls. It is not a good idea because, even though ghouls can stand decades of abuse they may eventually snap in unpredictable ways.
- Bastard Boyfriend/Bastard Girlfriend: This is the vampire if their relationship with his/her ghoul is a "romantic" one. They can't help it; blood addiction, and the Viniculum (empathic bond it forms) dominates a ghoul's personality by default, effectively turning even the sanest, most pleasant person into a codependent wreck, not dissimilar to a drug addict in love with their dealer. That being said, it's noted in 2E that Kindred feel really guilty about this-a vampire who actively abuses their ghouls intentionally is quickly marked out as scum.
- Blessed with Suck: All things considered, being a vampire sucks.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Diablerie, the act of drinking another vampire's blood and soul, grants the vampire a little of the victim's power. It is also regarded as a Moral Event Horizon among vampires, and even the Beast doesn't like it. You ate someone else's soul, after all.
- Cannot Cross Running Water: Averted, vampires have no problem with that whatsoever. It is mentioned in the 1e sourcebook "Mythologies" as an example of a Blood Curse that may temporarily inflict this status. In-Universe, some vampires also wonder if maybe there was a bloodline with this kind of weakness once, speculating it was probably destroyed as humanity advanced and modern plumbing became a thing; a species of vampire that is by definition landlocked and incapable of entering cities, where there are pipes full of running water buried under every street, would not last long when humanity started migrating en masse to the cities.
- Cursed With Awesome: Even with all things considered, most players prefer this style of gameplay.
- Deaf Composer: Kindred cooks are this, since vampires can't digest human food and messily throw it up if they try eating it, that means a vampire chef has no way of tasting their ingredients or their meal until they actually serve it. Downplayed in 2e, since vampires under the Blush of Life can safely ingest food without immediately puking it up.
- In 1st edition, any kind of vampiric artist was this, due to Creative Sterility being part of the vampire package. It got washed out in 2nd edition, with the confession most fans found it unworkable, confusing and generally nonsensical.
- Dysfunction Junction: Imagine a club of comic book super-villains with barely restrained self-loathing and a side of their personality that automatically hates everyone else. Your average coterie, everyone.
- Emotion Control: The Blood and Smoke version of Predatory Aura does this - by sending out the psychic pulse of the beast to play havoc with fight or flight instincts, a vampire can make people act really stupid.
- Enemy Within: All vampire are constantly fighting a bestial hungry side of their mind referred to as the Beast, which takes over whenever they suffer Frenzy.
- Evil Tastes Good: When vampires feed they feel an overwhelming, almost divine, sensation.
- Fantastic Drug: Blood, besides nourishing, is quite a delicacy to them. Vampire blood, on the other hand, is incredibly addictive.
- Fantastic Racism: When it comes to play, the Daeva and the Ventrue are usually the "superior" ones. The rest alternate places at the bottom.
- Fear Is the Appropriate Response: When faced with fire and sunlight (the two forces that can utterly destroy them) they enter Rötschreck i.e. Fear Frenzy, which activates the flight response in them.
- The Force Is Strong with This One: The Predator's Taint allows vampires to identify each other as bloodsuckers into two ways: By running away if the other is more powerful or by attacking the other if s/he is equally or not so powerful. A roll can be made to avoid these overreactions, and in second edition it was changed to no-longer be an automatic roll.
- Healing Factor: Vampires can spend Vitae to heal their wounds at an accelerate rate, with each Vitae point spent instantly healing either 2 bashing damages or 1 lethal. Aggravated damages can be healed as well, though it cost 5 Vitae and takes a full day. While they can trigger it conciously when they are awake, it will automatically activate during their slumber.
- Holy Burns Evil: Averted. Vampires in the World of Darkness have no aversion to church ground, holy symbols, or anything of that nature, although they do wonder In-Universe if some bloodline might have genuinely been so suceptible.
- That said, the 1e sourcebook "Mythologies" does include the option for Blood Curses, which can temporarily induce this effect. Likewise, in 2e, vampires can pick up "Banes", which are mystical compulsions or aversions that can include this kind of behavior, such as being repelled by garlic or suffering pain at the sound of bells. Of course, Banes can instead have more dangerous effects.
- Horror Hunger: Neonates can feel conflicted about the need to drink the blood of the living during their first nights. Blood, however, tastes really good though and eventually most of them get over this.
- Powerful vampires (Blood Potency 7+) have a reason to be tempted to eat human livers. It works just like normal blood and eliminates the need to drink other vampires' blood.
- When hungry and in the presence of blood they enter Wassail (Hunger Frenzy) and when it happens anything goes, even their loved ones.
- Immune to Bullets: In the first edition, bullets only cause them bashing damages instead of lethal. In the second edition, this is upgraded to them receiving bashing damages from anything that would inflict lethal damages to humans.
- Kill It with Fire: Fire and sunlight are a sure way to kill them.
- Kiss of the Vampire: A vampire bite is euphoric for both parties involved, which is quite handy for ensuring someone you picked out from a back alley won't fight back or call for help. Some humans become addicted enough to being fed upon that they become willing blood-donors to vampires.
- Made of Iron: In the Second Edition, vampires suffer only bashing damages from anything that would inflict lethal damages to human, lethal damages from anything that would inflict them aggravated, and only lethal damages from sunlight as long as they have high Humanity. Fire and some supernatural attacks are the only thing that consistently inflicts them aggravated damages.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: Vampires who reach the greater levels of power (Blood Potency 6 or higher) are compelled to feed on the blood of other vampires, as human blood becomes too weak to sustain them. In 2e, such vampires can instead acquire a merit that lets them feed on the blood of other monsters as an alternative to vampire vitae.
- Morality Chain: 2E introduces the concept of "Touchstones", places, people and objects vampires use to remind them of what it felt like to be human. Aside from helping them maintain their Humanity more easily, they are one of the few things that can help a Kindred to snap out of Frenzy.
- Multiple-Choice Past: In contrast to both their Masquerade counterparts (who had a clearly-established origin) and other supernaturals in the New World of Darkness (who all have at least an idea or myths explaining where they come from), Requiem's vampires have existed for so long the truth about their origin has been lost to time, and all they have are various theories or belief; among others, the Lancea Est Sanctum believes in a christian origin associated with the centurion who pierced Jesus' heart, the Circle of the Crone believes they are just part of nature like any animal, and the Strix believe they are just corpses permanently possessed by some of them.
- No Immortal Inertia: Upon Final Death, a vampire's corpse immediately reverse to its true age. Interestingly enough, this isn't based on the vampire's age as a living person, but rather the state of decay his corpse should have, meaning even people who have been vampires for only a few years might instantly turn into skeletons upon being killed.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They are divided into several subspecies called "clans", each with different origins and powers, and these clans can diverge further into "bloodlines" that feature unique traits and mutations. It's unclear where they come from - the story of their common origin has been lost with time, and while some Covens have their own theories, nobody really is sure of the truth anymore. As a whole, they all share several features; including being undead, immortality, a thirst for blood, a Healing Factor, Super Senses, the ability to slightly increase their physical abilities, enhanced durability and a vulnerability to both fire and sunlight. Stakes don't kill them, but they do cause them to fall in torpor until you remove them. Finally, being just bitten or killed by a vampire doesn't turn you into one- they have to drink all of your blood and then inject you some of their own, a process they call "The Embrace".
- Signature Move: Every Clan and Bloodline has a Discipline which is their specialty, typically reflecting the major part of their nature:
- Daeva's is Majesty, to reflect their nature as beautiful and manipulative seducers;
- Gangrel's is Protean, to reflect how they live close to their Beast and let it affect their own body;
- Mekhet's is Auspex, to reflect their inclination to voyeurism and knowledge-seeking;
- Nosferatu's is Nightmare, to reflect their nature as scary, repulsive monsters;
- Ventrue's is Dominate, to reflect their desire to control and rule over everyone;
- Rip Van Winkle: Can often happen to an elder vampire as the result of lengthy torpor; emerging into the strange and unfamiliar world of the modern nights, with few-to-none of their original holdings, resources and allies still remaining. The Ancient Mysteries supplement goes into detail about how to play this kind of elder.
- Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness:
- Blood Requirement: Kindred can store vitae within themselves for extended periods of time, but they consume one point of vitae every morning when they sleep and most of their powers also expend vitae. The amount of vitae a given Kindred can hold and spend at a time is determined by their Blood Potency, which also determines what kind of blood they can survive on - Vampires with only 1 or 2 Potency can survive on animals, while vampires at 6 Potency or above can only properly utilize the blood of other vampires. The Beast Within craves blood constantly, and will become restless and angry if a vampire only drinks what they need to survive.
- Craving Type: Vampires (and their victims) receive a euphoric thrill from the experience of drinking fresh blood. Conversely, the Beast Within will quickly become restless if the vampire doesn't regularly feed, which can increase a vampire's risk of experiencing frenzy - something that no vampire ever wants to happen if they can avoid it.
- Conversion: Creating a kindred is a conscious choice on the part of the sire, and consumes a point of Willpower in the process. The soon-to-be childe is completely drained of blood, and vampiric vitae is introduced into their dying body to reanimate it. New vampires are generally created to fill specific niches in the local community or to create especially powerful minions for a high-ranking kindred, while laws are in place to prevent vampires from siring childer left and right for the sake of The Masquerade.
- Morality Shifts: While vampirism does not automatically make someone evil, the influence of the Beast Within combined with the incredibly harsh and deadly nature of kindred society means that few vampires will remain bastions of nobility forever. The ones who try typically end up manipulated and killed by their more ruthless contemporaries.
- Superpowers: All Kindred are faster, stronger and more durable than any human, able to laugh off bashing damage and downgrade lethal damage thanks to a potent Healing Factor. Vampires are immune to drowning or suffocation, as they obviously no longer need to breathe. Vampires also have a selection of supernatural powers based on their clan and/or bloodline, which can include anything from Invisibility, Aura Vision, Animorphism or a Hypnotic Gaze.
- Weaknesses: Fire and sunlight cause aggravated damage to vampires, which not even their Healing Factor can immediately overcome - though in second edition, vampires that maintain high Humanity can risk sunlight with only lethal damage. Being impaled through the heart can paralyze a vampire, and sufficient non-fatal damage will force a vampire into vulnerable torpor. Kindred are also prone to going berserk and feral when sufficiently angry, thirsty or frightened. Individual clans and bloodlines can also have unique weaknesses or psychological flaws.
- Appearance: All vampires are universally pale-skinned and cold to the touch, though there exist powers that allow vampires to temporarily alleviate this Glamour Failure. Most kindred remain human in appearance, but Nosferatu vampires often become overtly monstrous (or at least unsettling) upon embrace, while Gangrel can risk developing mutations if their Humanity drops too low. The friendliness of appearance is also commonly inverted with the Daeva and Nosferatu clans - Daeva are perfectly human in appearance and supernaturally beautiful, but are typically sociopathic hedonists unable to emphasize with the emotions of others. The revolting Nosferatu, meanwhile, are known to become Friendly Neighborhood Vampires due to being rather downtrodden in kindred society.
- Stronger with Age: Played with; technically speaking, vampires do see their Blood Potency (and as such their powers) increase every 50 years... but only if they stay active; conversely, staying in Torpor for too long causes them to weaken, reducing their Blood Potency every 25 years. Moreover, the increase in power comes with an increasing restriction on the type of blood they can feed on (weaker vampires can feed on animals while really powerful ones are restricted to vampire blood), meaning most of them willingly go through Torpor so they can better manage their feeding.
- Super Senses: Starting with 2E, all vampires have near-perfect night vision, can hear on three times their Blood Potency in meters, smell blood on ten times their Blood Potency in meters (and even further if they have Auspex) and perfectly distinguish any trace of blood no matter how old.
- Took a Level in Badass: Kindred received a considerable power boost in the Second Edition, becoming Made of Iron, capable of better standing sunlight as long as their Humanity is high enough and gaining improved Disciplines as well as Super Senses. Predator's Taint is also modified to be a controlled ability they can trigger at will rather than something that takes place whenever they meet another vampire.
- Unstoppable Rage: Vampires who suffer the right stimuli go through a form of rage called "Frenzy", where they become obsessed with reaching a specific goal and stop at nothing to accomplish it. Not only that, but while in frenzy, they get a considerable physical boost which gets stronger with age and ignore wound penalties. In a twist however, this doesn't necessarly result in the vampire randomly attacking everyone on sight- if the goal in mind is "run away from the fire", for example, they are more likely to focus on doing that a fast a possible.
- Vampire Variety Pack: As before, the Kindred are divided into a number of subspecies called clans, each with their own unique strengths, weaknesses and disciplines. Taken Up to Eleven with the bloodlines, which are divergent strains or subcultures of each clan that often have their own unique strengths, weaknesses and disciplines. These are usually the descendants of a single vampire, who mutated new powers and/or developed a particular philosophy, and passed them on to his childer.
- Villain Protagonist: Sympathetic ones, but a vampire who doesn't act extremely amoral and self-centered to survive is one not long for this world.
The Succubi / The Serpents
The Daeva are sexy, passionate, and manipulative. They embody and cultivate the image of the sensual vampire which is a great way to conceal their true natures. And to add insult to the injury they are more than capable of kicking your ugly ass. The truth is that behind their beautiful facade lies a hungry and lustful creature that is, gradually, losing its soul.
In the Shadows Of Mexico supplement, the indigenous Daeva, called Xoxocti, served as the majestic priests of the Aztec Gods and they viewed humans as above them and worthy of being allowed to rule over humans and vampires alike. Modern Mexican Daeva are more or less like the standard Daeva and it is because of this the Xoxocti view them as illegitimate children.
Meanwhile in India, they are associated with the high Brahmin caste and are, interestingly enough, going through the same Priest to Dark Chick transformation as the Xoxocti as the years go by.
This clan invokes the vampire archetype of "the vampire as the darkly seductive lover", beloved of Gothic Horror fiction and Anne Rice.
- The Beautiful Elite: Interestingly invoked: Many of their older bloodlines are ruler archetypes, even more than the Ventrue. Blood and Smoke points out that the Daeva are, in many ways, ancient demigods of death and sex, which is the reason for their natural charisma.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted. Daeva tend to lose their Humanity quicker than the other clans, at least in 1st edition.
- Beauty Is Bad: Played dead straight; The Daeva are the most beautiful of the Kindred, and they have the strongest tendency to be vice-addicts and amoral. Downplayed somewhat in Blood and Smoke, where they can develop an addiction to someone's blood when their Humanity is low enough, but are otherwise fine.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red and gold, according to the Florentine Kindred dress code. To the Mexican Kindred, green.
- Expy: They are basically a darker take on the Toreadors (who have been reimagined as one of their bloodlines).
- Fragile Speedsters: In comparison to other vampires. They have the Super Strength and Super Speed disciplines, but not the Super Toughness one. Of course, since they can still shrug off being shot in the head as if it were a blacked eye, that's only in comparison to vampires who do have Resilience. To humans, they're more the Lightning Bruiser.
- Glamour: Majesty, their signature Discipline, focuses on boosting their charisma and allowing them to seduce anyone. It may lead to...
- Glass Cannons: By vampire standards, anyway. They can move incredibly fast, and hit equally hard, but only have the base vampire increased durability, making them relatively fragile compared to Gangrel and Ventrue.
- The Grotesque: The Carnival, descended from a circus freak, have all the hungers of the Daeva... and every last one of them looks like something off a sideshow banner. They can actually have the Nosferatu clan curse, their deformities are that freaky.
- Harem Seeker: Daeva frequently form entire Harems as their Herds to maintain themselves fed. In 1E, this merely was due to them being lustful, but 2E gives a different explanation- their Clan Bane makes them addicted to the blood of people they feed multiple times from, forcing them to keep these people close by.
- The Hedonists: In First Edition. They have to indulge their vices; if they don't, their resolve weakens, which is the main reason they have a hard time keeping up their Humanity. Averted in the 2nd edition, where their clan weakness is instead a propensity towards obsession with people they drink from more than once.
- Horny Devils: Vampires, actually, but they do fit the "seductive female creatures who drink your life while having sex with you" part. They are, in fact, nicknamed Succubi.
- Lack of Empathy: In a sense-they can feel for others, it's just that their blood makes them naturally selfish and self-interested.
- Latin Lover: The modern Xoxocti. Invoking this in Mexico, with all their elders, is a plot point.
- Manipulative Bastards: It is in their nature.
- The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: A hunting tactic to the young Daeva. It gets pretty boring after a while.
- Seven Deadly Sins: In First Edition, they're literally ruled by their sins. The clan as a whole is also strongly resonant with the sin of Lust.
- Snakes Are Sexy: Quite deliberately invoked with their new nickname.
- The Starscream: The Ventrue see them as this; unlike Nosferatu and Gangrel (who are seen as "lower Clans" and muscles) and Mekhet (who prefer to operate behind the scene as Knowledge Brokers), Daeva's mastery of Majesty makes them just as capable of controlling people around them, and they are pretty open in their desire to get people under their heel, making them the only serious threat to a Ventrue's authority (at least as far as they are concerned).
- Stepford Smilers: Type C. They seem attractive and charming, but they are actually very dangerous.
- Super Speed: Celerity, one of their core Disciplines.
- Super-Persistent Predator: As of Blood and Smoke — if they feed from the same target frequently, they grow obsessed and become stalkers until that person's death.
- Super Strength: Vigor, another one of their core Disciplines.
- True Beauty Is on the Inside: So very much Inverted. They have the reputation of being possibly the most vicious and perverted of Kindred.
- The Vamp: If you play them right, but if you want the Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire version, Femme Fatale or The Charmer will do.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Daeva are Sex Gods. It helps that they may have descended from Ishtar the Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love and sex.
Notable Daeva Bloodlines
- Anvari: Drug culture vampires who prefer to feed on people under the influence of opiates. Their Bloodline curse is to be a Picky People Eater, only capable of truly drinking opiate-laced blood.
- The Carnival: Supernatural freaks with the power to make their "Freak" traits worse. Almost totally opposite from the clan's ideals of seductive beauty. To the point they have the option of suffering from the Nosferatu clan curse, with the alternative to be an Evil Cripple due to their deformities.
- Children Of Judas: Depressed emo pariahs with the power to make others suicidally depressed. Can make mortals who committed suicide rise as vampires to prolong the emotional suffering.
- Duchagne: A group of French sadists and hedonists that have power over the sensations of others.
- En: Babylonian schemers and nobles in a symbiotic relationship with a demon called an alu, which fuses with their Beast as they join the bloodline. At higher Blood Potency, can Embrace mortals without spending Willpower dots, resist Viniculum, and slow the degenerative effects diablerie has on them, which lead to them being such a plague that only a race of anti-vampiric superweapons (possibly designed by VII) could get rid of them.
- Erzsebet: Vampires that still age slowly if they don't enter Torpor often enough. They seek to do everything they can to enjoy themselves during their shortening Requiems, with some even committing suicide by sunlight - just to see how it feels.
- Eupraxus: The ultra-elite royal family of the Invictus, around whom the entire covenant is situated to protect. Luckily, they never ask for much that couldn't already be provided, because there's only seven of them and they could be wiped out in the span of a single night if the Invictus really felt like it.
- Gulikan: Vampire Perfumers who can use scent as a medium for their vampire powers.
- Nelapsi: A rare bloodline from Eastern Europe. Known as the Gluttons because of their curse of needing unnaturally large amounts of vitae to sate their thirst, and notorious for their strange behavior and love of using "hauntings" to terrify mortals.
- Toreador: A homage to the Toreador clan of the previous game. Arrogantly fashionable, this bloodline takes the clan's hedonism and narcissism Up to Eleven.
- Xiao: Two different bloodlines of emotion manipulators; California Xiao are sociopathic cult leaders who siphon the emotions of others, while Tianpan Xiao are overly emotional psychos who inspire wild mood swings in others.
Nicknamed Savages by the others and stereotyped as barbaric and stupid, but in their own way more noble than any other clan, meaning they are (probably) the nicest vampires around. You should note, however, that taking their niceness for granted is not a very wise decision since they are just as likely as any vampire to turn evil, have an intense connection with the Beast, very sharp claws and go berserk with little hesitation. They loathe the weak of mind, but value those with a strong sense of survival.
In Mexico, indigenous Gangrel were cousins of and allied with actual Werewolves (a Shout-Out to the clan's inspiration in Masquerade); they were also proud warriors and law enforcers, furthering the good guy thing.
This clan invokes the vampire archetype of "the vampire as a predator".
- Absurdly Sharp Claws: Protean can grant them the ability to grow claws in both editions. In the original version, they were so sharp, in fact, they could cut through a vampire, inflicting Aggravated damages. The Blood and Smoke variant is slightly less powerful, inflicting merely lethal instead, but is accessible sooner and can be upgraded to Aggravated with the proper merit (this lethal damage is also not downgraded to bashing, as vampires normally do).
- Animorphism: Another part of Protean. They can take the form of almost any animal, but wolves and bats are the most common.
- Beastess: Female Gangrel.
- The Beastmaster: Animalism, one of their core disciplines.
- Beast Man: Gangrel are by far the most bestial of the Clans, and Protean allows them to assume both the shape of an animal and a half beast half human form.
- Book Dumb: They are closer to the Beast than any other Clan and this proximity clouds their intellect and makes them more feral. However they compensate this with wisdom and insight.
- Averted as of Blood and Smoke — their new weakness is a Hair-Trigger Temper that doesn't actually affect their reasoning abilities, and it's mentioned in the book they can actually be intellectual as much as the others (one of the sample Gangrel of the book is a businessman).
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red and brown, according to the Florentine Kindred dress code. Probably a nod to their beastly streak and earthy personalities. To the Mexican Kindred it's yellow.
- Demonic Possession: Animalism allows them to possess animals.
- Dumb Muscle: Played with; they are stereotyped as this in vampire society due to being the most animalistic and feral of the vampires, as well as being the best-fitted for fighting, making them ideal thugs. While this had some basis in 1E, where they were indeed Book Dumb, even then there were plenty of Gangrel who were smart and cunning. Completely subverted in 2E, where they no longer even have the Book Dumb aspect, and it's actually quite possible to see them in high positions.
- Evil Feels Good: The Red Surrender, when they lose their grip on Humanity and give in to the whims of the Beast, feels really good.
- Being Good Sucks: For vampires, anyway. The Defiance, a rumored process that allows Savages to shackle the beast such that they can never touch the Red Surrender again, also allows them to be intellectual and empathetic and in general more humane. And it feels awful, like denying part of who you are.
- Genius Bruiser: Quite possible with the Blood and Smoke revisions. And not regarded as strange at all, there are predators and survivors who work with their wits.
- Lack of Empathy: They have little interest in human needs or morality, and almost no compassion, when they are under Red Surrender.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Protean's entire hat is that it allows them to let the Beast warp their body in a variety of ways. In particular, they can use it to grow wings and turn their hands into hooks.
- Proud Warrior Race: The clan as a whole but specially the Mexican Gangrel.
- Seven Deadly Sins: Symbolically, their clan is particularly associated with Wrath, to the point that Blood & Smoke replaced their former Dumb Muscle schtick with a vulnerability to frenzying instead.
- Shapeshifting: Their signature Discipline, Protean, grants them the ability to shapeshift into animals, assume a Beast Man form and turn into mist.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: They can speak to animals thanks to Animalism.
- Stone Wall: Theoretically speaking, thanks to Resilience. Less so than Ventrue, though, as Protean gives them plenty of ways to tear their opponents apart with their bare hands, so they hardly are low on attack.
- Super Smoke: Another part of Protean is the Gaseous Form power.
- Super Toughness: They have an affinity for Resilience, so they tend to be particularly tough to kill.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Once again the Red Surrender.
- Totally Not a Werewolf: Despite having beast-like features and the ability to shapeshift into various animals, including wolves, Gangrel are a separate species from Werewolves and other shapeshifters.
- Wild Vampires: They are typically the vampires who stay the most in touch with their Beast, and because of this the most animalistic ones.
- Zen Survivors
Notable Gangrel Bloodlines:
- Bohagande: Gamblers with the power to manipulate chance. The members of this bloodline style themselves as Magnificent Bastards or as lucky simple souls, while Kindred society treat them all as Jerk Sues who are dependant on their supernatural power of cheating to achieve success. A possible Spiritual Successor to the Ravnos.
- Bruja: Vampire Bikers. A darker re-imaging of the Brujah Clan from Masquerade.
- Dead Wolves: Wolf men mostly located in Northern Mexico, these were mortals who had potential to become Werewolves but were embraced before they could undergo their first Change. Have access to subtle powers that are affected by the moon. The bloodline is intended to serve as a bridge between the Vampire and Werewolf gamelines.
- Hounds of Actaeon: The Evil Poacher of the Vampire world.
- Les Gens Libres: A group of Vampiric freedom Fighters who seek to free others from oppression whether they want to be free or not.
- Vampire Bikers, that use traps. Mabry:
- Mystikoi: An unusually intellectual group of Gangrel who seek enlightenment through spiritual communion with their inner Beast.
- Oberlochs: Monstrous, degenerate, inbred rednecks that lurk around rural towns, will only embrace their close family members and do not hesitate to kill city dwellers.
- Shepherds: Altruistic vampires that protect mortals from the excess of less disciplined vampires.
- Taifa: Moorish vampires who see themselves as the defenders of Islamic culture. They have an ongoing blood feud with the Toreador bloodline over who is more artistic and cultured.
The Mekhet, as their nickname implies, are silent vampires that gather forbidden secrets while lurking in the darkness which, by the way, are so entangled into their being that they can be considered one. If there something nobody should know you can be sure that sooner or later (most likely sooner) the Mekhet will discover and make use of it. Unlike the other clans they have nothing in particular that distinguishes their existence so to make up for this they can assume a variety of roles, from deadly spies to the enlightened scholars. They also have a tendency to pass themselves as wizards.
Their clanbook introduces the Shadow Cults, which serves to emphasize the mage thing, but they're Not That Kind Of Mage. It also introduces the possibility of Mekhet being able to embrace mortals after a few days of their actual death, but these individuals, have a higher chance of being raised as Hollow Mekhet, the clan's original form when they arose in Ancient Egypt. Instead of extra flammability, a Hollow lacks a Ka, meaning he doesn't cast a reflection... of any sort, meaning his voice lacks an echo, he doesn't cast a shadow, and recording devices (cameras, bugs, phones...) can't actually pick him up. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword.
By the way, the Ka? It wasn't destroyed. In fact, that's the reason why they don't have a reflection-because the Reflection is usually somewhere else. And it never likes the vampire.
This clan invokes the vampire archetype of "the vampire as shadowy watcher".
- Anatomy of the Soul: The Egyptian variety, of course.
- Ancient Egypt: All over the clan, starting with its name and the fact they trace their origin to Ancient Egypt.
- A Wizard Did It: The clan was allegedly created by a magic spell involving a woman and her witch-pharaoh husband, Akhenaten.
- Back from the Dead: Vampires in general are all back from the dead, but Mekhets can embrace corpses even if they have been dead for days. This process, called Post-Mortem Embrace, creates the Hollow Mekhet.
- Badass Bookworms: Although some of them are not necessarily bookworms, Mekhet do have an affinity for knowledge thanks to Auspex.
- Beneath Notice: The Occultation Merit designed especially for Shadows (and Mages). It makes them very difficult to notice. It is so powerful that some start forgetting who themselves are.
- The Norvegi bloodline actively cultivates this image. They are so socially ostracized that nobody ever stops up and examines them too closely, which leads to most kindred grossly underestimating them.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Indigo and silver, according to the Florentine Kindred dress code. Black to the Mexican Kindred.
- Composite Character: Mekhet are the only vampire clan in Requiem that lacks a clear counterpart in Masquerade, instead incorporating aspects from various old clans. These include the Settites' Ancient Egypt roots, the Tremere's "scheming mystics mage" edge, and the Lasombra's connection to shadows and darkness. They also inherit the Knowledge Broker aspect that was associated with Masquerade's Nosferatus, and to a lesser extent, the Mad Oracle archetype of some Malkavians.
- Dark Is Not Evil: No more evil than the average, though. The Mekhet, along with the Nosferatu, are tenebrous vampires, but they are also less prone to the whims of the Beast.
- You can take this even further with the Khabit bloodline and the Cult of Set. The first are monster hunters par-excellant, specializing in spirits and ghosts. The cult tries to promote chaos to throw off the plans of vampiric elders and other monsters and prevent social stagnation in mortal society. So you can be a Darkness manipulating monster hunter who needs to drink blood... who devotes their requiem to putting down WORSE monsters.
- Evil Twin: The Reflections of Hollow Mekhet. They universally resent their respective vampires for getting what they see as a lesser version of the curse, and thus enjoy making their counterparts miserable.
- Fragile Speedsters: At least compared to other vampires; they have easy access to Super Speed and Invisibility, making them great at being fast and unnoticed, but they lack affinity for both Super Strength and Super Toughness, and burn faster than their peers when exposed to fire. Note that much like with Daeva, this only applies compared to other vampires; they are still way tougher than humanly possible, and do possess a degree of enhanced strength.
- Glamour Failure: The Hollow Mekhet don't have Ka, the Soul of Sustenance, which, by the way, became the Reflection. Because of this they have no reflection nor shadow and their voices and images cannot be recorded by any mortal technology.
- Invisibility: Obfuscate, one of the core Disciplines.
- Invisible Jerkass: And they know just how to use it to make your life hell.
- Kill It with Fire: All vampires are weak to fire and sun light, but the Mekhet are even worse off due their affinity with darkness. In Blood & Smoke, they also get an extra Bane, to reflect how they are closer to the grave than other vampires.
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: How Reflections interact with the world without Materializing.
- Master of Illusion: Downplayed with the Blood and Smoke version of Obsfucate-all it can do is play with invisibility... for everything. If a Mekhet does not want you to know, say, a table is there, you will not know.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The pinnacle of the art, Oubliette, causes the vampire's surroundings, no matter how out of sight they are, to come under the influence of Obsfucate. A clever Mekhet (and there likely isn't any other kind) can quickly become Paranoia Fuel without any trace of the actual Nightmare Discipline (and if the activating vampire is a Nosferatu... well...)
- Ninjas: They have the abilities to be great Ninjas, so much the "Mekhet ninja" became a cliched concept in the VTR community.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The key to creating a Hollow Mekhet is Embracing someone who was going to leave a ghost in the normal course of events (ie, traumatic death, connection to life, all that jazz). For their parts, Reflections are similar to ghosts who have been sent to the Underworld (perfectly aware they're dead, able to grow and change in small ways), are mostly stuck inside mirrors or as living echoes or shadows, and eat carrion and stagnant water to regain their Essence.
- Paranoia Fuel: In-universe, they are regarded as this by other Kindred; there are no reliable ways for a vampire to notice when a Mekhet is using Auspex on him, meaning they are capable of discovering everybody's dirty secrets; which you won't know it until they actually start using them. And given how corrupt vampire society is, it's really easy for them to get dirt on everyone.
- Psychic Powers: Auspex, their signature Discipline. It includes...
- Aura Vision: The first two levels allow them to see the aura of people and get informations from it.
- Mind Manipulation: A more subtle version than Dominate or Majesty, but the fourth level of Auspex can be used to influence a person's state of mind and emotional reactions by resurfacing the right memories or projecting the right thought.
- Postcognition: Using the right Aura Vision from the first three levels, it's possible to anticipate people's actions and reactions or to acquire informations from objects.
- Telepathy: The fourth level allows them to read thought and projects theirs. This can be used for telepathic communication, mind reading and subtle Mind Manipulation.
- Astral Projection: the fifth level allows them to leave their body and travel in astral form.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: The Shadow Cults. They seem to be drawn to create conspiracies and make secret cults around them. Lacking a sense of meaning in themselves, they impose meaning on the world around them.
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Envy: Even more so in the case of Hollow Mekhet: Their Reflections envy them, and everything they do afterwards is motivated by spite.
- Super Speed: Celerity is one of their core Disciplines.
- Tranquil Fury: When they frenzy.
Notable Mekhet Bloodlines:
- Agonistes: Scholarly vampires that are driven to find the history behind the Kindred.
- Alucinor: Dream Manipulating vampires. Tend to be plagued by bad dreams which drive them mad.
- Bak-Ra: An ancient Egyptian sect of vampires with heightened resistance to sunlight damage and the apparent ability to daywalk.
- Brothers of Ypres: WW1 veterans that have powers based on the chemical weapons used in the war.
- Itani: A group of assassins who use their own hate as a weapon.
- Khaibit: Assassins and bodyguards most often associated with the Circle of the Crone. Claim heritage with the Egyptian god Set, who, although not Mr. Bright and Shiny himself, commanded his children to go forth and kill even worse things that lurked in the darkness. A common favorite for both the plug-and-play backstory for honorable warrior types and the Obtenebration Discipline.
- Kuufukuji: A group of Vampiric monks who use training and discipline to resist the urge to feed.
- Mnemosyne: Nearly a true Hive Mind with memory based powers.
- Morbus: Disease carriers that spread disease in order to survive.
- Norvegi: A secretive Bloodline of mercenaries and assassins, capable of projecting spikes from their body, with which they can syphon blood from their victims. The catch? They have no fangs, so that's the ONLY way they can feed.
- The Players: The designated Butt-Monkey in Kindred society, vampires who wanted to be what the media saw vampires to be so badly they developed Majesty. Their powers are extremely fickle, however, and if they fail to work, there's a good chance the intended target will see them as a "poseur" and never fall for the allure again. Some Kindred fear them, because anything that weak has to have a nasty surprise...
- Qedeshah: A line of Mama Bear nurses, thoroughly the opposite of Hospital Hottie. Attempting to induct men into the bloodline ends with a failed Squick.
- Sangiovanni: A Spiritual Successor of the last edition's Giovanni clan, only they're now inbred mafia necromancers with a tendency to date less animate dead, often with family approved partners.
The Nosferatu embody the nightmares of the Damned. There's always something unsettling about them. It can be their voices, their smell or even their very souls - regardless, the Nosferatu are really hard to like, and it's not really their fault; the Haunts' blood is conducive of Primal Fear, and they make people afraid by simply existing near them. The Haunts are always shunned or at least tolerated by the other vampires, the price for being aliens among their own kind. They counterbalance this with considerable strength, espionage mastery (rivaled only by the Mekhet) and sheer horror. As much as the other clans would like, they won't and CANNOT be ignored (unless they want to, of course).
Similar to Mexican Daeva, they are considered bastards, but for a different reason: the original Mexican Nosferatu, called Xolotli, caused themselves to become extinct and it's implied that most modern day Mexican Nosferatu are of Spanish Embrace.
In India, the Nosferatu that are not associated with any bloodline are part of the sudra varna. If you're a Rakshasha, you're a kshatriya.
This clan invokes the vampire archetype of "the vampire as the lurking horror".
- Abhorrent Admirer: If they fall in love, but that doesn't happen very often (or so we hope).
- Averted in Blood and Smoke-a person they'd actually love would be a Touchstone, and thus immune to their Clan Weakness. Which, given how everyone else not a vampire is still vulnerable, leads to another trope.
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The "Alien Grace" flaw describes "a neck that turns too far, joints that bend both ways".
- Beast and Beauty: They're the "Beast" in any romantic Touchstone relationships by default.
- Beneath the Earth: The Nosferatu Necropoli.
- Brown Note: The final level of the Nightmare discipline allows them to scare someone so much they literally inflict him damage through sheer terror.
- Came Back Wrong: Vampires in general are humans who came back wrong, but the Haunts came back wronger.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Black and green, according to the Florentine Kindred dress code. White to the Mexican Kindred.
- Dark Is Not Evil: No more evil than the average, though. The Nosferatu, along with the Mekhet, are tenebrous vampires, but they are also less prone to the whims of the Beast.
- The Dreaded: The Clan as a whole, on the basis of embodying the very concept of Primal Fear.
- Emotion Control: Nightmare, their signature Discipline, is a very limited form of fear manipulation.
- Evil Smells Bad: It's quite possible for Haunts to have no physical anomalies, but to have a peculiar and unsettling smell. This would be the "Potent Perfume" manifestation.
- Gonk: Nosferatu compared to the other clans. Animal-headed Nossies to regular Nossies, as well.
- The Grotesque: Not every Nosferatu is necessarily grotesque, but this trope is quite common among them.
- Emphasized in Blood and Smoke; the clan writeup bitterly remarks that while they have become Fear, Fear drives people away despite what it often wants.
- Hellish Pupils: One possible manifestation of the curse. It's called "Hungry Eyes" in The Beast that Haunts the Blood and other creepy Eye Tropes may apply as well.
- I Know What You Fear: Nightmare can be used to learn what a person fears.
- Invisibility: Obfuscate, one of their core Disciplines, can do this at its highest level, which makes them even more frightening. Now you can't tell if a Nosferatu is or isn't in the same room as you, just waiting for you to let your guard down.
- Master of Illusion: The lower levels of Obfuscate work this way, clouding people's minds so that they see what the Nosferatu wants to see.
- The Blood and Smoke version of Nightmare includes this ability. They can even manufacture hallucinatory people to talk for them, although the fear it is meant to engender always creeps in.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The Unyielding Mask merit. Some Nosferatu wear masks that may hide their deformities (if they have any), but it also may intensify their creepiness. Oh yeah, the mask must be carved onto their faces.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: In their clanbook there's a flaw called Ruined Mouth that can be this, or something worse.
- My Brain Is Big: The "Swollen Skull" flaw plays this trope dreadfully straight.
- Necessary Drawback: More like Necessary Advantage. An optional system found in The Beast that Haunts the Blood allows Haunts to have a specific curse manifestation that penalizes one Attribute/Skill while boosting another.
- Necromancer: In the classical sense. The Nosferatu are more touched by death than most; they have Merits that make it easier for ghosts to manifest around them, make it easier for them to strike the dead, and even allow them to serve as a ghost's Anchor.
- Nightmare Face: No matter how fetching it is - Nosferatu are nightmares given flesh, and they can't escape that. Also weaponized with their Nightmare Discipline, which allows them to control and amplify it, creating effects that range from merely making yourself too terrifying for your opponents to strike at full power, to scaring someone so much it injures them.
- Red Right Hand: All of them have some form of uglyness, though it's sometimes more subtle than others.
- Seven Deadly Sins: The clan as a whole is often symbolically associated with Sloth, since they can use Obfuscate to just sit in one spot and wait for a mortal to get close, as well as using Nightmare to scare them in the proper direction.
- Super Strength: Like Daeva, Vigor is one of their core Disciplines.
- True Beauty Is on the Inside: It can be played straight or simply averted. The Nosferatu are known to adapt to the curse better than most vampires and if you compare with Dark Is Not Evil above...
- Uncanny Valley: invoked They can be fugly bat-faced monsters out of your worst nightmares or they can be beautiful... perfectly beautiful... disturbingly beautiful.
- Some of their bloodlines lack any flaws in their appearance, but are so taken by their Blue-and-Orange Morality that it's the same issue.
- Voice of the Legion: One of the manifestations called "Disqueting Tongue". It is not limited to this trope, though.
- Was Once a Man: Or woman for that matter!
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Oh yeah, they know what's your worst fear is and they won't hesitate to use it against you.
Notable Nosferatu Bloodlines:
- Adroanzi: Scary Black Vampires with Green Thumb powers. While being literally Black people who are Vampires, the bloodline is rooted primarily in African tribal cultures and tend to be the type of monster that goes out of their way to eat Blaxploitation stereotypes.
- Baddacelli: Blind vampires that have excellent hearing, and can perfectly imitate sounds and utilize echolocation to find or kill their prey.
- Burakumin: Japanese Necromancers from the social class of the same name.
- Calacas: An erudite Mexican bloodline that specializes in dealing with ghosts.
- Caporetti: Tunneling Haunts that look like frozen corpses and give off a supernatural chill. They are also terrifyingly fast.
- The Cockscomb Society: The girls and guys of this bloodline maintain an upbeat demeanor and try to be socially active in spite of their clan's condition.
- Galloi: Androgynous adherents of Cybele who bathe in blood to become beautiful. It works way too well.
- Gethsemani: A bloodline that can only recruit from mortal stigmatics, heavily associated with the Lancea Sanctum. Suffer from intense masochistic urges and their power of Stigmatica lets them make mortals spontaneously bleed blood with special magical powers.
- Noctuku: Savage cannibals. While a normal vampire's drive to feed on blood is stronger then a heroin addiction, this bloodline experiences an even stronger urge to eat the meat of other vampires.
- Lygos: A Nosferatu line with the Mekhet clan power of Auspex. They worship the darkness itself as a sort of primordial deity, and seek to stay in the dark at all times because even a lightbulb can make their senses overload.
- Mayarap: Buddhist Vampire Monks with a snake-motif from Thailand's First Kingdom. They're often skilled in Muay Thai, have been violent criminals when mortal and have their clan's invisibility powers. Follow a Blue-and-Orange Morality that is bizarre by Kindred standards.
- Morotrophians: Shut-ins with agoraphobia who can control almost every aspect of the institutions they inhabit and who typically favor monasteries, nursing homes, insane asylums and hospitals as dwelling places.
- Order Of St Martin: Originally a Crusading Order Of Knightly Lepers; now a loose network of, rightfully, distrusted hired thugs, with leprosy.
- Rakshasha: Truly monstrous Indian Kindred who believe themselves descended from the same named demons.
- House Telamones: Sinister architects of elaborate underground bases, they take the job of James Bond Supervillain Goon and run with it as far as inhumanly possible, going so far as to build identical clones of the bloodline's leaders in case of assassination.
- Usiri: Egyptian vampires who act as spirit guides to those Kindred in Torpor, which they often use to their own advantages.
- Yagnatia: Vampires of Russian nobility. Most are actually very attractive; their Nosferatu curse manifests as an aura of horrible dread surrounding them. They are exclusively allied with the Circle of the Crone, and though they present a patriarchal front to outsiders, the truth is that they're The Matriarchy: only the female members of the bloodline can learn and perform the Cruac ritual that temporarily alleviates a Yagnatia's sterility and allows him or her to Embrace.
The Ventrue are the true Lords of the vampire race and they rule it with an iron fist. Since their embrace they are powered by the desire to dominate the weaker ones (which from their point of view is basically everyone). They are also the driving force behind every political activity among the vampires. You can find them anywhere and they're usually high-placed because of their innate ability for rulership, manipulation and, of course, a good dose of their will-crushing stare.
No matter what context they're in, they're usually depicted as evil, domineering capitalists who wipe-out or enslave indigenous peoples. They are specifically singled-out as the ones who led the conquests of Mexico, Egypt (as the leaders of the Romans!), Russia, and really, everywhere.
This clan invokes the vampire archetype of "the vampire as the dark overlord".
- Aristocrats Are Evil: It's the basic principle of vampiredom that this clan is built on. More relevantly, it's the archetype of the old Ventrue, although downplayed with the increasing lack of importance actual aristocracy has on the modern world. Downplayed further in 2E, where while the stereotypical Ventrue still is an aristocrat, politician or businessman, it's entirely possible for them to also, for example, live outside and rule on the homeless; what really matters to them is that they have people to control.
- The Baroness: Female Ventrue.
- The Beastmaster: Animalism, one of their core disciplines. The reasoning behind this is that they are kings and queens of mortals, vampires and beasts alike.
- Bondage Is Bad: The clan has no ties to bondage itself, but since Dominate correlates to... you know, Domination, it's been mixed into some official artwork, and there's a character in their clanbook bluntly called The Dominatrix. You get the idea.
- The Caligula: It's quite easy for them to become one to the point that every Clan Bloodline is a variation of this trope.
- Charm Person: Their clan specialty discipline, Dominate, allows them to seize absolute control over a person's mind. Unlike Majesty, however, there's no subtlety about it- they just give an order, and the person obeys regardless of if she wants or not.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Purple and gold, according to the Florentine Kindred dress code. Interestingly, purple is usually associated with royalty and pride. The Mexican Kindred consider red their color.
- Corrupt Corporate Executives: What they've generally become associated with since "rich businessman" replaced "feudal lord" as the relevant tyrannical master figure in society as a whole.
- Demonic Possession: Both Animalism and Dominate allow them to possess animals and humans, respectively.
- Diabolical Masterminds: Ventrue are best-defined as being overlords, people who command and rule above others, making them fit for the role of mastermind scheming from behind the scene.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Well, if you have a female Ventrue as a Prince (especially if she belongs to the Invictus), she'll most likely be this.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Dominate, their signature Discipline.
- Ineffectual Loner: Their new Curse limits their number of Touchstones due to this. They're simply too proud for attachment.
- Iron Ladies: Female Ventrue can be epic political bitches that would give Margaret Thatcher a run for her money.
- Magnificent Bastards: They tend to see themselves as this, and about half of them actually are.
- Manipulative Bastards: Just as much as the Daeva, but they seem to be less subtle.
- Mind Rape: The higher tier effects of Dominate can do this to a person.
- Monster Lords: They're literally built on this archetype, with two of the three disciplines that relate to controlling minds. It's honestly a surprise that they don't have Majesty instead of Resilience.
- Rich Bitches: Yes, they're filthy rich and yes, they're better than you.
- Seven Deadly Sins: They are unquestionably associated with Pride.
- Smug Snakes: The other half who can't pull off the Magnificent Bastard ideal.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Animalism grants them the ability to talk to animals.
- Stone Wall: Their only "physical" Discipline is Resilience, which gives them Super Toughness; they have no affinity for Super Strength nor Super Speed, nor can they usually grow claws like Gangrel. That said, not being able to injure your enemy in a significant way isn't that much of a problem when you can just mind control people and animals to do it for you.
- Super Toughness: Resilience, one of their core Disciplines, makes them really hard to kill.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil/With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Their weakness in 1E. Every Ventrue will go insane sooner or later.
- Vampires Are Rich: Main source of Embraces are rich people, and due to Dominate, the ones that aren't soon become so — if they want.
- Wicked Cultured: Most of them.
Notable Ventrue Bloodlines:
- Architects of the Monolith: Vampires with powers related to cities. Able to play with traffic lights or imprison a victim inside the city limits.
- Bron: Arthurian themed Vampires cursed by the Holy Grail to become literal Fisher Kings in their own realms. Divided between Christian and Pagan branches (those who associate themselves with King Arthur and the Holy Grail and those who associate themselves with Pagan mythology such as Bran the Blessed).
- They lost much of their status and influence when they cast their lot with the Nazis in WWII. Geheim: Vampires chosen from the ranks of Austrian nobility, they can use their own blood to power a strange form of alchemy.
- Macellarius: Affably Evil obese gourmet vampires, who are compelled to draw Vitae from meat; their unique Discipline actually lets them eat raw flesh, and even gain power from eating the living. Their enormous feasts are famed for the disgusting aftermath...
- Malkovians: Spiritual Successors to the Masquerade's Malkavian clan. Both bloodlines are incurably insane and will cause insanity in others. Can have a bizarre effect on reality, or at least appear to.
- Malocusian: Reclusive Ventrue who use weaponize their own homes.
- Melissidae: Bee-themed Vampires. Their bodies are used as hives for swarms of bees and they produce a honey-like Vitae that will enslave any mortal or Kindred to the bloodline's Hive Mind. In the distant past the rest of Kindred society held a universal truce that was honored by all factions in order to hunt the bloodline to extinction before it could enslave the whole world. The holocaust was not as successful as the Kindred believed and a few members of this bloodline are still at large.
- Nahuali: Aztec themed Vampires who try and find a balance between their human and bestial sides. Unique in that their clan's unique discipline only has four dots, as their founder was killed before he could finish it.
- Rotgrafen: Vampiric viking pirates who revere Loki and Hel, and fear fire.
They're expies of the Ventrue (or is it the other way around?). Created by the Strix, servants of the god Mars, in return for sweet, bloody glory. The clan was wiped out when the Julii started to humanize as a whole. There's a few ideas about how both the Ventrue and Gangrel may have descended from them, among other theories. As revealed in Thousand Years of Night, the Strix were not as thorough as they would have liked-a few Founders managed to escape the final purge and now insist very stringently they are Ventrue and Daeva, only revealing their true relations to their future childe, and the people they have thoroughly blackmailed.
- The Beastmaster: Animalism, one of their core Disciplines.
- Beneath the Earth: They hung around Roman villas and streets, but they did their sleeping in the Necropolis.
- Blue Blood: They were aristocrats in Roman undead society and in the beginning of the clan's existence they only embraced people of their mortal families i.e. descendents of the Caesars. This tradition dwindled over the years, but they still embraced only Roman citizens. Naturally, modern ones have dropped this out of necessity, though they at least try to only Embrace people with some conceptual link to Rome.
- Cultural Posturing: They were pretty bad about this. The Julii regarded themselves as superior to all other clans, in the exact same manner Romans considered themselves superior to 'barbaric' cultures, and there was plenty of overlap. Disciplines like Dominate were regarded as merely evidence of the Julii's inherit nobility and righteousness, while the use of Disciplines by foreigners was regarded to be evidence of witchcraft or conspiracies with the Strix. Even if those Disciplines were Resilience or Animalism, which the Julii themselves possessed.
- Dances and Balls: The Julii were known to party as if they were alive.
- Deal with the Devil: Remus made a pact with the Strix in exchange for the title of Lord of the Night. When the Julii tried to rein on the deal, the Strix became obsessed with eradicating them all.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Dominate, their signature Discipline. Notably, they didn't even realize it was a unique power until they encountered other vampires who lacked it - The Julii initially assumed people obeyed them due to their obvious superiority, rather than any unnatural compulsions.
- Hypocrites: The clan was marked by their displays of glory, power, decorum and tradition, but in reality they were growing deranged and depraved. As the Requiem for Rome sidebox puts it."They are brutes who preach civility. They are decadents who decry perversion. They hold court in glory, yet crumble into madness with time. And though they speak of freedom, they cannot find it for themselves."
- Made of Iron: Resilience, one of their core Disciplines.
- Masquerade: They invented it. As Thousand Years of Night points out, this should be indication that they're Not Quite Dead.
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Weak-Willed: Downplayed; modern Julii are normally as strong-willed as any other Kindred, but their ability to resist the powers of ephemeral beings (such as the Strix) is capped by their humanity.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Their original weakness is that they lose their minds more quickly and more violently than other vampires. The difference between them and the Ventrue is that they suffer a penalty on Humanity Degeneration rolls, not mental Derangement ones. The few survivors have since lost this, and now have Weak-Willed above.
Notable Julii Bloodlines:
- Licinii: A bloodline formed from a mixing of Julii and Nosferatu blood, resulting in a noble family that bore the Nosferatu Curse. They all bear crippled or twisted limbs as a result, and other pure-blooded Julii mock them for their weakness.
- The Beastmaster: They had an affinity for the Animalism Discipline.
- Bilingual Bonus: Their name means "Leech" in several Slavic languages.
- Blessed with Suck: Thanks to their Clan Bane, they start their Requiem as a Blob Monster unable to feed otherwise than by drinking blood dripping on the ground, take until Blood Potency 4 to actually be capable of assuming a human form, and should it rise above that, they will start turning back into a mass of blood, physically weakening them. This is widely believed to be the reason they went extinct.
- Blob Monster: Their form at birth is a sentient mass of blood, and they have to stick to Blood Potency 4 to even maintain a human form.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Their entire growth cycle was nothing but Body Horror, and they had an affinity for Protean.
- Super Toughness: They had an affinity for Resilience.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Fittingly given how shapeless they were, Protean was one of their core Disciplines.
The Winter Kings
Introduced in Half-Damned, the Mikhaili originated from Siberia, where they were the undisputed rulers of the night, preying on humans from the shadow. That was, until the Gangrel arrived from the South and East and entered into a war with them. Overwhelmed by their opponents' number, the Winter Kings started Embracing en masse to strike back, but this only resulted in them spreading their blood thin and wide, weakening their powers in the process to the point they could only create Revenants. They attempted to Diablerize their progeny to regain their power, only to gain nothing from it, and the Clan was mostly wiped out by the Gangrel.
- Ambiguous Situation: The story of their demise, which describes them spreading their blood thin until their power decreased, was a myth made at a time where Kindred still had an imperfect knowledge of how the Embrace worked. Since then, it has been discovered in-universe Embracing doesn't actually diluate the Blood, leaving the reason the Mikhaili lost a bit less clear.
- Arch-Enemy: The Gangrel were this to them, as they were responsible for wiping them out.
- The Beastmaster: Like the Gangrel, they had an affinity for the Animalism Discipline, granting them power over animals.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Their main theme; they lived in Siberia (one of the coldest parts of Eurasia), were nicknamed Winter Kings, and their Clan Bane causes them to fall in Torpor during the spring equinox.
- Not Quite Dead: Half-Damned offers some basic plot hooks to have them come back and suggests not all of them might have been wiped out.
- Super Toughness: They had an affinity for the Resilience Discipline.
- Zerg Rush: They tried to use this as a way to fight back against the Gangrel by Embrassing in mass. Alledgedly, this was what caused them to weaken.
A separate Clan from the core five, introduced in the 2E and unrelated to the Jiang Shi from Wicked Dead (see Other Vampires for those). Wraith-like vampires, while they should technically be a sixth great clan, the Jiangshi are considerably rarer than their peers because of two major reasons. For starter, their Embrace requires two deaths, as it requires transfusing to the would-be vampire the blood of someone extraordinarily pure. Second, the Kiss of the Vampire is denied to them (it feels more like a particularly painless frostbite when they chow down), so they have to be really clever and subtle about feeding. Still, there's cities where they've thrived, even joined with the other Kindred - it's not like the whole two deaths thing is anywhere near the worst thing Kindred in general have to do to keep living...
- Awesome, but Impractical: The primary reason they aren't as common as the five core Clans. Jiangshi have useful Disciplines and a quite unique teleportation ability compared to other Kindred, but the complex requirements to produce them makes it incredibly hard to increase their number, and their Clan Bane further limit their chance of survival by forcing them to be clever in order to survive.
- The Beastmaster: Animalism is one of their core Disciplines.
- Chinese Vampire: While not required to be asian or chinese, they are named and themed after the trope, with many of their features matching.
- Game Face: When they are low on Vitae, their appearance becomes distinctly more monstrous, with claw-like fingers and a strange green mold covering their skin.
- Invisibility: Obfuscate is one of their core Disciplines.
- Kiss of the Vampire: Averted; their Clan Bane is that their lack the ability to make their bite pleasing.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The primary restriction preventing their number from increasing too much is that their Embrace requires the blood of someone incredibly pure (the blood doesn't have to be fresh, but walking in a blood bank and asking for the blood of someone pure isn't exactly an option).
- Super Speed: They have an affinity for Celerity.
- Warp Whistle: A limited form; Jiang Shi are capable of instantly teleport to their "grave" if needed (read: the point they chose to mark as their grave).
The Covenants are nations, political parties and/or religions. They are the cornerstone of the vampire society and have been part of it for hundreds of years. While a vampire can't change their Clan, they can change their Covenant and, of course, enjoy the benefits and suffer the drawbacks of doing so.
Note: While bloodlines are a function of Clan, not Covenant, some Bloodlines descend directly from a prominent and specific member of a Covenant. Combined with the often-small size of a bloodline, the majority of members will belong to their founder's covenant.
The youngest of the main five Covenants, the Movement believes that vampires need to adapt to meet mortal systems. Sometimes this means instituting secret allegiances with mortal power sources, other times it means completely rebuilding the vampiric system of government to reflect a new political model. Often viewed as the rabble of vampiric society and considered at direct odds with the Invictus. Oddly, while the Carthians may have their hearts in the right places, there's a history of Carthian experiments going to pieces in a radical fashion.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Thoroughly Averted. The Carthians are the youngest of the Covenants. Mind you, they still are fairly old by human standards.
- Appeal to Novelty: This is basically how their Covenant took off. The ideas they proposed were so radical that a bunch of elder vampires became intrigued and threw their weight behind it, giving the Carthians the legitimacy to survive into the modern era.
- Anti-Magic: The system of Carthian Law in a Carthian-run domain is so powerful, it can actually stop others from using Disciplines if such would violate the law.
- Expy: They incorporate some aspects of the Anarch, such as being made of idealists and revolutionaries who reject the old system.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Of the five Covenants, the Carthians have the strongest tendency to be this — the Invictus are too hidebound, the Circle of the Crone and the Lancea Sanctum are alternatively freaky and dogmatic, and the Ordo Dracul sometimes don't respect medical ethics.
- Hive Mind: Some Carthian coteries undertake the full blood bond and dress identically to simulate the experience of a hive mind. There's even a Carthian Devotion that allows them to create a true hive mind.
- Of course, given that the last time something similar was tried with the Melissidae, it turned out to be a case of Gone Horribly Wrong...
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Oh god, no. They want to create a new order, and they aren't afraid to slaughter anyone who gets in their way.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Carthians want a system of government that reflects mortal systems. Understandable. Unfortunately, some of their experiments start to go the way of all revolutions...
- If that's not enough, the Movement has it's own well-intentioned extremists, the Anti-Obstructionist Army. They're basically vampiric terrorists who believe that the influence of Kindred (either through the Embrace or ghouling) stultifies mortal creativity, and take radical action against those who interfere too much with mortal society.
Notable Carthian Bloodlines:
- Barjot: A Gangrel bloodline of wanderers and vagabonds. Their blood is so tightly bound by mystic ties that members need to be around each other. For this reason, their numbers are minuscule, less than 20 all told. Considered revolutionaries and firebrands even by other Carthians, they are nonetheless seen as Carthians "by default", as the founder of their line believes in the cause, and they are too organized to be considered unaligned.
- Deucalion: Deucalion, a descendant of Prometheus (or so the story goes), asked the Oracle of Themis how to repopulate the Earth after Zeus flooded the world. He was told to throw stones over his shoulder, and behind him, they became people, unlike the previous race of humans, who had been sculpted from clay and were too weak. Despite being named after a figure from Greek myth, this bloodline of Ventrue is relatively new, and composed of members who believe they alone are "flawless" vampires—that is, the known weaknesses of the blood do not affect them. They are, more or less, supremacists (and indeed are nicknamed Skinheads by others, though racial and sexual prejudice is quickly schooled out of a neonate), believing that they are supreme, that the Ventrue (also without flaw—or so they think—but possible to corrupt) stand just beneath them, the Nosferatu, Daeva, and Gangrel beneath the Ventrue, and the Mekhet at the very bottom. They are also scholars of bloodlines, as they wish to study the myraids flaws of the blood to better know how to alleviate them. Most Deucaliones are Carthians, as they are attempting to spread a revolutionary idea, though some have joined the Invictus and Ordo Dracul.
- Zelani: Another tiny bloodline, currently limited to a single coterie. Founded by a woman who was, more or less, the victim of a vampiric home invasion, the Daeva offshoot has a psychological flaw of being unable to enter others' homes—rather like the old legends, much to their (initially uneducated) founders' surprise. They threw their hat in with the Carthians, or so their founder says when the movement was young, and she went into torpor after they assumed meritocratic control of the city she was in. She rose again only recently and was immediately elected Prime Minister of the Kindred society there. She—and her childer—seem to have a knack for knowing things they shouldn't, being in the right place at the right time, and predicting future.
Pagans with fangs. The Acolytes believe that vampires are perfectly natural creatures, derived from a maternal figure known as "the Crone." This Crone has faces in all polytheistic faiths, and the Circle revere her in a series of guises. Needless to say, as their beliefs say that all parts of being a vampire are natural, this can lead to some bloody rituals... though the Acolytes make sure never to fall too close to the Beast. One of the two users of Blood Magic amongst the Covenants, they practice the art of Crúac.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Crúac has been passed down by Acolyte to Acolyte for millenia, however they are so divided that the covenant barely counts as one.
- Blood Magic: Crúac, their signature Blood Sorcery, consists primarily in rituals they fuel with Vitae.
- The Hecate Sisters: The Acolytes take on a number of ritualistic archetypes, and among them are the Virgin (a woman who's never killed and serves as a reminder of Humanity), the Mother (a figure of comfort and manipulation), and the Crone.
- Hot Witch: The core rule book states that the Daeva are not inclined to join the Circle, but the number of Daeva found in the covenant in New World of Darkness fiction is quite staggering. They do avert the Beauty Equals Goodness part, though.
- Human Sacrifice: There's... quite a bit of it.
- Monster Progenitor: The Crone is also known as the Mother of All Monsters.
- Straw Feminist: The Daughters of the Goddess faction has some... interesting ideas on whether or not men can truly revere the Crone.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Crúac actually stifles a Kindred's Humanity. There are five levels of it, and with each one you learn, your maximum Humanity goes down one. So, an Acolyte skilled in three levels of Crúac can never raise their Humanity about seven.
- Wicked Witch: All of its members can be considered Wicked Witches, but the title fits much better if you are a Nosferatu.
- The Acolyte with the role of the Crone is one, for sure.
Notable Circle Bloodlines:
- Asnâm: Daeva mystics who attempt to unlock the power of the god they believe resides within them, using mortal followers to gain this power. They believe that their power comes from Palden Lhamo, a figure from Tibetan history and myth. There are at least three versions of exactly how their power is related to her: their founder performed diablerie upon her; he submitted to her and she turned from Buddhism into becoming a monster once again, granting him power in exchange for becoming her first servant; and that she beat him like a government mule and sent him running. The first story was espoused by the founder, until he fell into Torper in the early 20th century; the second is favored by a splinter sect (yes, a sort of bloodline within a bloodline). The last, despite not having an explanation for how the founder then created the bloodline, does have some interesting evidence—very few Asnâm who go into Tibet come out again, and the two who have won't talk about what happened... except that what they found worshipped the Buddhist Palden Lhamo, knew all about the Asnâm, and was mad as hell.
- Carnon: The Carnon, a Gangrel line that emerged relatively recently, were an accident. The founder, a new-made member of the Circle, confused Wicca, cultural anthropology, and Circle beliefs with fact, fashioned himself and his blood in the image of an "ancient god", and went on a thrill-kill-fuck spree that ended in his final death (and several confused childer). To those he sired, though, it didn't matter if he was right or wrong—what matters is that when his excesses eventually drew attention, he survived for three days with hunters hot on his heels. Modern members are more measured, but they are still given to excess and hedonism. The Carnon become more bestial in body, not just mind, when they lose Humanity, eventually becoming a walking Masquerade breach.
- Childer of the Morrigan: Once the generals and war-chiefs of the Crone, now the Morrigans are more templars, advisors, and guardians, and there is debate within the Circle as to whether they are needed even for that. The Childer know, however, that the day will come when they are truly needed once more. These Gangrel are almost universally Acolytes; those few who are not are ostracized or seen as traitors. The Stormcrows follow a specific ancient war-goddess, though, and when local Circle activity breaks with what they believe the Morrigan wants, they will often go their own way. Though confident warriors, the bloodline succumbs to depression easily.
- Gorgons: So called because they claim descent directly from the mythical monsters, this bloodline of Ventrue actually makes use of serpentine imagery to the point where it has a totemic importance to them; if they are not in contact with a snake, they are badly weakened, and if they are, they can use a unique discipline to empower themselves. Over time, they begin to take on serpentine features. The Gorgons had once held great power in the known world, but had begun to wane by the time the majority of their number drifted to the Circle of the Crone, and in time vanished, before apparently reappearing in the modern nights.
- The Mara: Dwelling in the lightless or murky waters, the Mara are a frightening Gangrel bloodline of devout and ascetic believers in an esoteric faith system. Their religion is most similar to one of the goddesses of the Circle of the Crone, and they probably consider themselves as being, more or less, Acolytes. It's not known if their inability to gain sustenance from blood consumed while they are not completely submerged predates the line's tendency to spend their unlives underwater, or if it was caused by it.
Not to be confused with the Henley poem or the "Nelson Mandela and rugby" movie of the same name. The First Estate is considered one of the oldest covenants, with records of their territories stretching back to the days of Rome. They are vampiric feudalists and aristocrats, believing in the value of meritocracy and the great chain of being. Their houses and lineages are institutions that are powerful, but seen by others as being calcified and unmoving (at least, until someone dies). Responsible for the current system of praxis used by most domains.
- Ancient Conspiracy: They're called the Conspiracy of Silence in Blood and Smoke for obvious reasons, and are an overall Reconstruction of the trope. Corruption is expected and common, but the actual goal of their puppeteering is actually something that doesn't require a lot of sway- keeping the safety of vampires intact. Because of how flexible and relatively easy that goal is, they have a lot of failsafes against overall breakdown that makes them extremely competent at their jobs.
- Appeal to Tradition: In contrast with Carthians, the Invictus defends traditions and the old system. They are capable of changing to adapt, and have done so multiple times in the past, but in the end any adaptation they make is to ensure the hierarchy and the basic rules stay the same.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: And how. Admittedly, that can happen when your entire aristocracy is made up of blood-drinking immortals.
- Blood Oath: A system of binding contracts used between members of the Invictus that has rather harsh consequences if broken. One of them sets your blood on fire if you break it.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Quite common, especially if want to climb the Covenant ladder.
- Decadent Court: They pioneered it. The entire Covenant consists mostly in either elder vampires who are in powers and trying to stay so, or younger one who are trying to make their way to the top, frequently through backstabbing.
- Democracy Is Bad: To them, Democracy is easily twisted by vampiric powers therefore unreliable.
- Fantastic Racism: They're the only Covenant that doesn't allow dhampir members.
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: The First Estate is a system where age and accomplishment equal power, and the first sometimes outweighs the second. Cue backstabbing.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The Masquerade always comes first. They're even willing to give Carthians the time of day if they use their Laws to assist it.
- The Social Expert: Gameplay-wise, membership to the Invictus grants you extra social merits in both editions of the game (by reducing the cost for some of them in 1E, and by giving access to merits that grants bonus social merits directly in 2E), to reflect their status as rich aristocrats.
- Vampires Are Rich: Being the aristocratic vampires who try to control society, they tend to be particularly rich. Both editions of the game grant them means to get more resources than other Kindred.
- Wicked Cultured: Most Invictus tend towards high fashion and antiquity.
Notable Invictus Bloodlines:
- Annunaku: Truly ancient, this breed of Gangrel gain strength in their favorite haven, which they call their Demesne. They believe strongly in hospitality, the sanctity of one's domain, and so on, making them an excellent fit for the Invictus. In turn, they are weaker when away from home, though in a place where they know they are accepted or in the company of friends, this can be alleviated.
- Kallisti: Narcissistic beyond even the stereotype of Daeva, cold, and manipultive, the Ravagers delight in fomenting social chaos and discord among the Kindred they know. It's not done out of any sort of grand plan or devotion. They are, more or less, full-blown sociopaths, and most were before their Embrace. They do it because unlife is boring, and it's fun. This would seem to make them antithetical to the careful social order of the Invictus... but for their blood's complete inability to form a Vinculum on vampires, making them the perfect prey for a peckish elder...
- Lynx: The youngest bloodline in the Invictus—only officially becoming a bloodline a mere three months in the game world at the time the covenant splatbook was released—these Mekhet are not even structured like a traditional bloodline, instead describing themselves as a blood web. The Lynx are fascinated by connections and networks, and not just of the digital sort—they are psychologically reliant on being connected to their preferred network.
- Malocusians: Similar in ways to the Annukanu, the Malocusians are descended from the Ventrue, and this seems to have made all the difference. Rather than being physically weakened outside of their chosen domain, they have a psychological aversion to even leaving their home, and find it a test to do so for any period of time. Their bloodline power allows them to transform their Haven into an extension of their bodies.
- Sotoha: Japanese in origin, but settled mainly in the New World—in fact, they are descended from one who may be the first Japanese man to be Embraced by a European vampire, but most of the modern clan is not ethnically Japanese—the Sotoha have adopted a code similar to bushido and adhere to it fervently, believing in submission to their lord (i.e., the vampire who Embraced them) and total control of their emotions. However, their devotion to calm and control means the Beast becomes more opportunistic. Sotoha frenzies do not just end—it takes a prolonged effort.
- Spina: The Spina take Passive-Aggressive Kombat to extremes only an immortal creature with access to blood magic and a tendency towards obsession can—and they do it so masterfully it can become You Fight Like a Cow. Unlike many who claim adherence to the Invictus, as most Spina do, these Daeva do not seek to rule; they instead see themselves as those who judge the rulers, providing necessary (and always polite) criticism.
They kick ass for the Lord. The Lancea et Sanctum (sometimes missing the "et", though that isn't grammatically correct) believe that Longinus, the centurion who stabbed Christ's side, was damned to unlife when the Messiah's blood fell on his lips. After wandering in the desert, an angel revealed to Longinus that vampires were damned to serve as a warning to mankind and to harrow them into righteousness. The Sanctified adopt Christian trappings, but they're a generally Abrahamic covenant, with creeds covering Judaism and Islam. They aren't knowledge-adverse, though-as a group (and occasionally individually), they remember the Dark Ages, the days when monks were scholars and scientists in a feudal world, on the basis of often being those monks. Mostly scholars.
- Blood Magic: They famously have access to a form of Blood Sorcery known as Theban Sorcery, which was allegedly taught to them by an angel. Said magic relies on sacrifices as well as one's own will, allowing them to summon what they call "Dark miracles".
- Canis Latinicus: In 1E, they were just known as the Lancea Sanctum. It doesn't matter what explanation you use, that title just won't decline.
- Actually, Requiem For Rome gives us an explanation. Originally, they were called the "Lancea Et Sanctum," the Lance and Sanctuary. For some reason, people started to forget to add the "Et," so it just became "Lance Sanctuary." It's not just grammatically incorrect, they don't even use the same gender tense! The second edition just flat-out retconned them as above.
- Church Militant: Many Sanctified have elements of this, but the Exorcists (who hunt other supernaturals) and the Godslayers (who believe that "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" bit means there are other deities, and it's their duty to kill them) are definitely up there.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Complete with Vampire Jesus. They worship Longinus as a messiah to all vampires, who taught them to use their damnation to the benefit of mankind.
- Dark Messiah: The Sanctified even call Longinus such, and believe it's their duty to serve as such to mankind.
- Dark Shepherd: And lead us not into temptation... with barbed wire, if necessary.
- Knight Templar: In all fairness, they know that trope is not a good thing (hence why the occasional nickname of Judge is a pejorative), but it's hard not to fall into the mindset.
- Laser-Guided Karma: They generally Embrace people as a form of this, especially religious hypocrites. It's about the only time they do and remain in standing with their tenets.
- Pet the Dog: They're as ambivalent about revenants as anyone else, but they're also the only Covenant that developed a way to Uplift them-and not only that, but raise their Humanity back to healthy levels in the process. In addition, for all the cruel tests they inflict to Christian mortals, they will usually go out of their way to preserve Christianism wherever it's being persecuted.
- Religion of Evil: Downplayed; they are definitely much darker and less healthy than your average religion, but their intentions aren't exactly evil, in that they believe they are channeling their damnation toward a good end by testing faith and encouraging people to be believers. Moreover, they are actually very protective of mortal Christianity, and will try to preserve Christians wherever they are being persecuted. Really, when contrasted with the Brood, they are pretty reasonable. This becomes even more clear in 2E, where Theban Sorcery now requires a high Humanity in order to properly work, meaning their members (or at least the ones who practice Theban Sorcery) are required to stay in touch with their human side.
- Religious Vampire: Obviously their hat; despite acknowledging themselves as damned, the Lancea Et Sanctum believe they have a place in God's plan, and still worship him through the Testament of Longinus.
- Scare 'Em Straight: Their guiding ethos. They believe vampire's role in God's plan is to act as predators to humans and scare them so they will prove good christians.
- Sinister Minister: They are a church made of vampires, so this is given.
Notable Sanctum Bloodlines:
- Icarians: Believers in the idea of the church-ruled state, the Icarians plan to rule the Lancaea Sanctum and then ensure the Lancaea Sanctum rules every domain it can. Their desire to do so, and surprising impatience to achieve this goal, leads to dissatisfaction with any smaller achievements or even wasted time (despite the near-agelessness of vampires).
- Mortifiers of the Flesh: The Sanctum's take on Opus Dei, the Mortifiers believe that the body and soul are separable, that flesh is sinful, and that the soul is immaculate. By causing pain, they not only drive out the Devil, but find the limits of the flesh... and so may one day find where it ends and the soul begins. Though originally Daeva, any vampire of sufficient Blood Potency can become a Mortifier with a tutor.
- Osites: Ecumenical as far as the Lancaea Sanctum goes, these Mekhet study the secrets of death, and so are quite happy to work with the "pagan" researchers of the Circle or the Ordo Dracul. They believe that within the bodies of the dead there remains a fragment of the self left from when the soul broke free. By studying these remnants over long periods of time, they hope to see and understand the mechanisms of the universe God created.
Yes, that Dracul. The Dragons are vampiric transcendentalists, who believe that Vlad Tepes was Embraced and managed to become something more than a vampire. Inducting his three "brides" as his first students, Dracula went on to found a secret society dedicated to studying and enhancing the Kindred condition. By pragmatically analyzing what makes vampires the way they are, they can gain control over such nagging inconveniences as the necessity for blood, the panicked reaction to sunlight and fire, and the inclinations of the Beast. Mind you, they tend to have strange ideas of medical ethics...
- Above Good and Evil: They are expected to set such notions aside in pursuit of their goals.Rites of the Dragon: [The Student's] sole and ultimate duty is to seek the perfection of himself through the Coils, regardless of what his perfected nature is revealed to be.
- Badass Bookworm: The Sworn of the Axe are the knights of the Ordo Dracul, but still expected to hold to the same intellectual standards as the rest of the Dragons.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: They are capable of overcoming many of their vampiric weaknesses through careful study.
- Evil Evolves: Invoked by the Order. They believe that vampires are unchanging creatures by nature, and that it is their duty to defy that nature.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Of things that aren't technically alive any more, but their modus operandi of finding enhancements to the necrology of vampires fits.
- Expy: It's subtle, but the Ordo Dracul's philosophies are apparently inspired by those of the Tzimisce vampire clan from the Old World of Darkness, particularly the Path of Metamorphosis; it helps that Dracula was a Tzimisce in that universe. The only thing that's missing is the fleshcrafting.
- In addition, they invoke Clan Tremere's aspect as a fraternal order of occultists seeking to perfect blood magic.
- For Science!: They're in it just as much for the knowledge as the material benefits.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Chthonian faction believes vampires are Lovecraftian beings in training. They tend to be a bit... off.
- Mad Doctor/Mad Scientist: They borrow liberally from scientific theories both current and discredited for clues to advance their studies. One traditional exercise in the nature of change is "Kill this mortal, and see how the world adapts to his death."
- Our Vampires Are Different: As said above, they want to be something more.
- Place of Power: They regularly seek out "Wyrm's Nests", places where there's high weirdness afoot. Mind you, this often leads them to Loci, Hallows, and Haunts...
- Rage Against the Heavens: As a natural byproduct of blaming God for the Blessed with Suck aspects-they cheerfully admit to wanting to spit in His face and run away laughing because they've earned the right.
- Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The Dragons gain more control over their bodies by figuring out what makes vampires tick.
- A Kindred only Buddhist Sect from Thailand has the same views as the Ordo but use an entirely opposite method to pursue the same goal, it even uses the rules for the Coils as the basis of their own Treasures. The sourcebook provides a possible storyhook for these two groups meeting and attempting to integrate.
- And there's a minor covenant, the Society of the Accord, who seek to reach an understanding with their Beast through negotiation. Their Treaties are oddly similar to the Coils... and utterly incompatible with them.
Notable Ordo Dracul bloodlines:
- Azerkatil: Though mostly aligned with the Ordo Dracul, these Nosferatu were bred to hunt down and destroy Dracula. What seems strange on the surface becomes reasonable (sort of) upon examination: from their perspective, they were able to use the Order to expand their influence west from Turkey, allowing them to search farther for Dracula. From the perspective of the Ordo Dracul, the so-called Dragonslayers are model Dragons. They are the embodiment of change and experimentation, and were a direct result of Dracula's journey to Adrianople.
- Dragolescu: Fascinated by death, these vampires, originally Ventrue, were once honored and powerful within the Ordo Dracul, respected for their ability to communicate with the dead and responsible for much of what the covenant knew about Wyrm's Nests. The founder, however, descended into insanity. He became a Nazi sympathizer, believing that Hitler was Dracula reborn. His madness led him, at the end of the war, to an act that the Ordo Dracul could not forgive: subjugating himself to spirits. The powers the bloodline used meant that the Dragolescu would never be trusted again... but they were too valuable to destroy.
- Libitinarius: The Morticians, Mekhet who have refined their blood, are academics, scholars, and researchers who study vampiric sleep and torpor. They are, if not trusted, then at least allowed to maintain other vampires' safety in their torpor and help to make the practice less traumatic. They are not, however, as unique as they like to pretend — any vampire, if they are willing to put forth an effort, may learn their "special" discipline. This is, as might be imagined, a well-kept secret.
- Moroi: Despite their relatively small numbers, these vampires are mostly unknown, and the Ordo Dracul intend to keep it that way. Reputedly developing on their own from both Gangrel and Nosferatu in a remote area of rural Romania, they were visited by Dracula, who shared his knowledge and spoke with them on many topics. The Hunters, as they would one day be known, promised to serve him if he ever had need and called for them. Some time after he vanished, they reappeared, having hunted down and slain many of those who attempted persecution of the Dragons in the covenant's early, vulnerable years. Those who joined the covenant have since been used as hunters and assassins. Those who did not were either hunted down... or escaped. Brutal and malicious, the mingled blood of Savages and Haunts has produced a perfect killing machine—but the machine is decidedly imperfect at doing anything else.
- Tismanu: The spiritual voices of the Ordo Dracul, these vampires originate within Wallachia's Christian monasteries. They are heavily linked to the Eastern Orthodox religion, much like the Lancea Sanctum is linked to Catholicism. The first members of the line were visited by Dracula himself in their early days, and found his goals of transcendence noble, which is the reason they are aligned with the Ordo and not the Lancea Sanctum. Many Tismanu work as confessors for the Ordo, which means that they agree to abandon their own progress on the Coils in order to focus on acting as councilors or therapists to other members, which keeps them sane in the face of the more brutal things the Ordo Dracul requires. The Tismanu have a unique Discipline called Eupraxia, which gives them a variety of special abilities to better serve in their roles as priests.
- Vedma: Vampires who live at the edges of society and personify the Baba Yaga myths. Most are women, but some are men, and all grow feral-looking and gnarled at the time of their Embrace. The Vedma serve as brutal tutors for the Ordo, and will only teach those whom they deem worthy. They must drink animal blood to fuel their unique Discipline, Zagovny, which allows them to recreate some traditional powers of witches and warlocks.
According to the core rulebook the Belial's Brood is a sect of depraved vampire satanists hellbent on causing as much havoc and suffering as possible wherever they go. The Forsworn believe that vampires originated from Hell itself and that they should give into the cravings of the Beast. They should be the Beast incarnate. However their splatbook adds six factions (called the Hexad) each representing a belief and perspective on Belial; some of them are not mindless brutes as one would think. It also elaborates Investments (demonic powers) with the Unfortunate Implications that they're the covenant closest to what vampires are truly supposed to be.
- Apocalypse Cult: The Nameless (one of the six factions) believe that Belial will come back at an "end of the days" (of some sort) and go about trying to make it happen.
- Benevolent Boss: Their big and possibly only redeeming quality in general, they and their ghouls really get along pretty well. In fact, to most of the Brood, ghouls are actually (un)holy beings (the Mercy Seat even gets its name from a ritual in which a ghoul subdues and briefly enslaves a vampire's Beast).
- Card-Carrying Villain: Frequently stereotyped as this, due to their openly satanic beliefs, willingness to indulge the Beast's savage appetite, and often not giving the most remote damn about preserving The Masquerade. The truth is only slightly more complicated.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: It's obviously up to the Storyteller if he wants to include them in the lore or not, but they are notably completely absent from 2E so far, with Blood and Smoke not even bothering to mention them.
- Fully-Embraced Fiend: They love being vampires, and especially love ruining the day of anyone who isn't them.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: They're a philosophical bunch, Forsworn. Most of it is "there is no great moral purpose for us, our point is to burn down the world."
- Satan: Called the Adversary and openly worshipped by most Forsworn, specially by the members of The Pandaemonium.
- Smarter Than You Look: The reason Belial's Brood has survived so long - in a world where serial Masquerade violators (like the stereotypical Brood member) tend to be terminated by the rest of vampire-kind with extreme prejudice, anyone above the most neonate of neonates is going to be smart about being evil and anarchic.
- Too Dumb to Live: Some Forsworn are overconfident in their abilities. To quote Shadows of the UK:
The Ur-Covenant, the earliest known (successful) attempt at unifying and governing vampire-kind, dating back to the time of The Roman Republic. Created and led by the Julii, the Camarilla was a sprawling, secret empire that ruled from beneath Rome itself, and absorbed vampire clans from across the world into its fold, including Gangrel from Gaul and Mehket from Egypt.
The Camarilla's fall is mirrored by the fall of the Roman Empire - corruption, decadence, human rioting, the depredations of the Strix and the rise of Christianity all eroded the Camarilla's grip. When the Strix finally eradicated the Julii, the surviving kindred of Dark Age Europe fell into the dis-unified, feudal culture that has colored the Dance Macabre ever since.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Like the rest of Christianity during the age of Rome, the Lancea Et Sanctum were regarded as heretics and rabble-rousers by most of the Camarilla, and their status as an unofficial fifth Wing was a hotly contested topic. They were particularly despised by the pagan Cult of the Augurs; a bitter rivalry that lives on in the modern Circle of the Crone.
- Ancient Conspiracy: And a fairly successful one - The Camarilla began close to Rome's founding, and ruled from the shadows for nearly a thousand years; only falling when the Empire itself was breaking down around them.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: The Peregrine Collegia was essentially the dumping ground of the Camarilla - foreign vampires and embraced immigrants/criminals/slaves all fell under this loosely-defined Wing, which collectively represented the impoverished lower classes of ancient kindred society.
- Badass Army: Rome's historical armies were already fairly badass, but the Camarilla's military and enforcement arm was the Legio Mortuum (The Legion of the Dead), a Roman legion that consisted entirely of vampires.
- Cultural Posturing: Much like the Romans in real life, the vampires of Rome - and the Julii in particular - held to a manifest-destiny that placed themselves and their way of life as superior to all others; frequently to hypocritical extents. A Roman vampire using a physical discipline like Vigor was demonstrating his righteous power compared to lesser beings. A 'barbarian' doing the same is accused of drawing the power from vile sorcery or pacts with the Strix.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The vast Necropolis beneath Rome was the seat of the Camarilla's empire, and a sanctuary for Rome's vampires. In the covenant's later years, the kindred increasingly began to view life inside the Necropolis as "unfashionable", opting instead to live on the surface among humanity. Modern Nosferatu necropoli take their common name from this ancient undercity.
- Posthumous Character: The Camarilla is long, long gone, though some of its traditions survive, and a few modern Covenants are derived from the Camarilla (mainly the Invictus, and to a lesser extent the Lancea Et Sanctum). The Requiem for Rome and Fall of the Camarilla sourcebooks allow storytellers to run chronicles set during the Camarilla's twilight years.
- Predecessor Villain: The Invictus originated as an inner circle of powerful and influential elders within the Camarilla's senate, and still incorporates an altered form of the Ala Senecta Wing emblem in their own iconography.
Also known as Seven, Se7en or Clan Akhud. A covenant and sometimes a clan or some other group that are alien and monstrous even by Kindred standards. They don't provoke the Beast when meeting Kindred, they're known mostly by graffiti left at crime scenes and are a total enigma to the rest of Kindred society. When the origin being used defines them as a clan they're Clan Akhud, and have a literal demon trapped inside them instead of the Beast that afflicts other vampires. Another "canonical" (such as it is) origins are that they're a completely different variety of vampire with Russian origins. Or they're vampires captured and brainwashed by the US Military and set loose to hunt vampires. Or they're a failed creation of the Sanctum turned brainwashed moralists.
- Anti-Villain: What the Akhud and the Betrayed versions see themselves as.
- Bloody And Random Morality: At the most non-xenophobic, non-Ancient Conspiracy interpretations, this trope applies in its more disturbing form(s).
- ... From the outside. If you're using the sourcebook, it's a little more complicated.
- Explosive Leash: In the backstory given in Dogs of War, the US military uses these, alongside various conditioning and brainwashing techniques, to keep the vampires of Zero Company (known to the Kindred as VII) under control.
- Hunter of Their Own Kind: In the Zero Company backstory, they are brainwashed vampires used by the US military to hunt vampires.
- Instant Expert & Instant Marksman: Just Squeeze Trigger!: The Akhud's primary unique discipline Praestantia instantly gives them skills in a number of areas, all of them violence related. It also allows them to cancel actions that would fail and improves their defence a bit.
- Mind Rape: An alternate Discipline for use with one of their origins not only grants them this, but it becomes key to their modus operandi.
- Multiple-Choice Past: In their sourcebook 3 are given, but Word of God says they're neither true nor false and encourages Storytellers to create their own twisted backgrounds. Another is given in the Dogs of War sourcebook.
- Ominous Owl: The one thing anyone is sure about them - the appearance of the Strix always precede their operations... when the Strix aren't there for other reasons. But hey, it's something.
- The Plan: Pick one thing from the list. Odds are it's here.
- Psychic Powers: The Psychogenic discipline that is Canon when using the Sleepers origin.
- Public Secret Message: In the Dogs of War backstory, VII's actual name is Zero Company, and the VII they write at the site of their kills isn't meant to be the number 7 in Roman numerals, but is actually an acronym: V.I.I., which means "Vampiric Infestation Inoculated", telling their controllers in the US military that they've been there and are responsible for killing a vampire.
- Retcon: Averted; White Wolf allegedly intends to keep them mysterious and will not confirm any specifics. Allegedly...
- Serial Killer: The Kindred consider them this, it may even be true...
- Shrug of God: White Wolf has emphasized that VII could be anything, even if it contradicts established canon; see Retcon above.
Half-Damned"Half-Damned" is a term commonly employed by Kindred to design all the creatures living at the edge of vampire society, who are not exactly vampire, but not exactly human either. This covers creatures such as Ghouls, Revenants and Dhampirs.
The most common type of servants used by vampires, ghouls are humans who, rather than being Embraced, are fed Vitae without draining them of their blood. This allows them to stay mostly humans (meaning they are still clinically alive and don't suffer any weakness to sunlight, among others), while still gaining a portion of Kindred powers, including the ability to use Disciplines, limited physical enhancements and eternal youth. On the downside, they become addictive to Vitae, which they have to keep in order to maintain their powers, and are unable to drink blood from mortals to create their own Vitae, meaning they are entrely reliant on an actual vampire being willing to feed them. This, plus the fact they develop a supernatural bound with the vampire who feed them, mean they usually end up helplessly servile minions who will do anything to get their fix.
- Battle Butler: A well-trained ghoul can effectively become a skilled fighter and devoted servant to a vampire.
- Blessed with Suck: Sure, having most of a vampire's abilities with none of the weaknesses sounds awesome... until you realize it will make you entirely dependant of whoever gave you these abilities. And they give them to you by having you drink their very addictive blood, making you more and more compelled to serve them in the process.
- The Dog Bites Back: 2E puts an emphasis on the fact abusing your Ghoul too much can actually backfire violently if you aren't careful; even with the Vinculum, they can develop grudge and try to strike back after you kicked them one time too many.
- No Immortal Inertia: If a ghoul stays without Vitae long enough, she will lose her powers and revert back to a human, causing her to revert back to her actual age. Obviously, this means ghouls who have survived beyond a human's natural lifespan will die if they are unable to keep their fix.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: The vampire servant variant- they are humans who were fed vampire blood, granting them a weaker version of a vampire's powers while still keeping them mostly humans, but causing them to become addict to Vitae, thus making them an excellent Servant Race. They still have human appearances, and, aside from being The Ageless as long as they keep drinking Vitae, having a small amount of Super Strength and being capable to learn Disciplines, they still function like human beings as well.
- Pet the Dog: In 2E, it's mentioned most vampires feel guilty about what they make their ghouls go through, and will frequently try to not mistreat them too much. Any vampire who actively mistreats his ghoul and let it know is very likely to be seen as scum by his peers. Even Kindred who do not feel bad about it usually are encouraged to mitigate their abuse out of Pragmatic Villainy- even with the Vinculum, a Ghoul can break and become dangerous to their master.
- The Renfield: They are mortals who agree to work for vampire masters in exchange for part of their power, so this is a given.
- Totally Not a Werewolf: Mortals unfamiliar with Kindred society, in particular the Cainite Heresy, sometimes mistake Ghouls for Dhampyrs.
- Servant Race: Their function in Kindred society; they are humans infected with Vitae at the cost of an addiction that makes them dependant on vampires, allowing the later to use them as servants.
- Underestimating Badassery: Both Kindred and their enemies will frequently look down on Ghouls, seeing them at worst as Vampire Wannabes, at best like minions nowhere near as powerful as real vampires. While many of them indeed fit this stereotype, a ghoul with proper training, experience and skill can be a force to be reckoned with, and even sometimes be a better fighter than her master if he relies on her to do the fighting. Moreover, they can go out during daylight hours, making them capable to act during times where can vampires cannot.
- Rogue ghouls, those few who have figured out how to get vampire blood without the Viniculum, are even more prone to being this - most vampires think rogues are desperate one-use mercenaries, while neglecting that said mercenaries have to be very smart about blood intake and wasting as little vitae as possible. See: Inoue, the effective Invictus Prince of Tokyo - and rogue ghoul who is running most of Tokyo's supernatural underbelly, and is the leader of a hunter conspiracy he founded during the Meiji Era.
Less of a clan and more of a mistake, Revenants are "spontaneous vampires", occasionally created when someone with vitae in their system dies or is exasanguinated by a low Humanity Kindred. They are a miserable lot, constantly bleeding out their vitae during daysleep and frequently suffering Hunger Frenzy because of it. They have all the weaknesses of vampirism and very little of the strength, and they are often forced to become walking Masquerade breaches out of necessity.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Revenants are either given full Embraces or Mercy Kills in the normal course of vampiric events, and it's not uncommon for a vampire to deliver fatal blows to their feeding corpses to prevent them from rising. Abandoning one utterly is both illegal and a good way to mark yourself out as reckless scum to Elysium, to the point where revenants are used as part of the blood hunt for their sires.
- Fate Worse than Death: Being a vampire frequently sucks. Being a forever-hungry side effect of vampiric callousness sucks worse. Far worse.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: For obvious reasons, Revenants typically loathe the vampires who turned them into what they are, especially when they find out the whole reason they are in this state was because some Kindred got careless. The most ambitious will actively work to Diablerize them as payback.
- Power Incontinence: The primary reason they are Blessed with Suck; Revenants can only contain a very small amount of Vitae inside their body (equal to their Stamina plus five Gameplay-wise), cannot use Disciplines unless they are taught to, and bleed all of it during daytime, meaning they fall into Frenzy even more easily than vampire do.
- Your Vampires Suck: See above.
Notable Revenant Bloodline:
- Neglatu: While revenants don't have bloodlines, there is a strangely universal (as in, all of them have a branch of it) bloodline among the five Clans that style themselves parent-kings of revenants, and if you believe them, are in fact the progenitors of all full Kindred, the first revenants to stabilize their powers and ascend to something capable of enjoying their unlives. The Neglatu (who generally think of themselves as Neglatu first and Kindred second) have the ability (not Discipline) known as the Agah, which allows revenants who sleep next to their keeper to retain more blood from night to night, the Neglatu to bestow potent buffs on their families, and even to Embrace one without losing Humanity, so long as they induct the revenant into the bloodline in the process. For all the Masquerade breaches such a group often causes as Neglatu gather more revenants than they can reasonably support and hide, their caring attitude is actually genuine. It has to be - Neglatu blood can't form Viniculum, meaning that said revenants are quite capable of objecting to a master worse than existence as an orphan revenant.
An alternative type of playable Dhampir exist in the Mirrors supplement, where they originate from Woundgate, an alternate Fantasy-like alternate world accessible from some gates in the main setting, and where they are the offspring of vampires, as Kindred lose the ability to Embrace but recover the ability to procreate while in Woundgate. These dhampirs have expanded as an entire species in this world, where they make a business out of cultivating "Suicide Trees", strange trees producing a blood-like substance that can be used as a substitute for actual blood for vampires, albeit nowhere as good. Interestingly, they can gain new templates, and many of them in fact tend to become Sin-Eaters.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tend to be the case for most of them; Vampires rarely make for good parents, and even when they do, that still means spending your childhood with a blood-sucking animated corpse as your father or mother. And that's not even getting into the treatment some of the Covenant can have for them.
- Dhampir: Obviously. The exact details of how they are born vary - a few rare cases are born from a natural union, many are created through Blood Sorcery rituals, and some are made like Blade through Embracing a pregnant woman- but they always are, in some way, the child of a vampire with a living being.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Following the archetype, dhampirs have an infamous reputation of becoming Vampire Hunters, which can lead to difficulties for them to integrate in Kindred society; in truth, only a minority among them chose that path, but those who do leave such a fearsome and memorable impression that the reputation stands out.
- Made of Iron: Woundgate Dhampirs only take half bashing damages.
- Red Right Hand: Woundgate Dhampirs all have a part of their body deformed in some way that betrays their nature.
- Slave Race: Disturbingly a common role for them in Kindred society; since givin birth to a dhampir always is a controlled act, many vampires conceive them for the sole purpose of creating a servant or a bodyguard to fulfill a role that cannot be accomplished by a Childe or a Ghoul. Even worse are the Ordo Dracul, who sometimes produce them for the sole purpose of serving as lab rats.
- Supernatural Sensitivity: Woundgate Dhampirs have the ability to sense anything related to ghosts or undead; Half-Damned Dhampirs have a bigger supernatural sense, allowing them to sense anything supernatural, vampires in particular- and unlike vampires, they cannot be sensed themselves.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: The primary abilities of Half-Damned Dhampirs; they do not exactly have actual Disciplines, but instead possess a subtle ability to manipulate fate and luck to their own advantage. Such abilities are known as "Twists".
Reoccuring villains, the Striges are shadowy, birdlike specters that have haunted the Kindred since Ancient Rome. They claim to be the embodiment of the vampiric Beast, and seek to make Kindred less human. Initially, they exterminated the Julii clan in Ancient Rome for breaking a deal with them, but recently, have been released into the world bereft of any purpose. Well, apart from the fact that they're heralds of disaster-if many of them gather in a single place, something really bad is going to happen there.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The only Anchor they have is literally their Vice.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: They loathe Kindred for trying to behave more or less human and forming a society; to them, vampires should give in to the Beast and throw away every form of rules, leaving nothing but chaos and disorder. Their machinations can easily result in the destruction of an entire city.
- Animalistic Abomination: Demonic bird creatures made of shadow that possess a knack for sadism and murder, the Strix are seemingly native to a place called the Lower Depths, a plane of existence so dangerous and alien that anyone who knows of it avoids even thinking of it if they wish to stay safe from its influence.
- Antagonist Abilities: While this varies according to their Shadow Potency, Strix typically have intangibility and are capable of Demonic Possession on corpses for the weakest, or Kindred for the strongest. Aside from the fact Kindred usually are ill-prepared for fighting spirit-like creatures due to having very little powers to handle Ephemeral beings compared to the other splats, the Strix can basically possess any of them to infiltrate their society and destroy it from the inside.
- Ax-Crazy: They are completely insane, and, with their powers, they can send vampires into insane frenzies.
- Big Bad: Blood and Smoke upgrades them to this, playing them up as the worst threat Kindred can be led to fight.
- Blood Magic: They can learn Cruac in Blood and Smoke, on the basis that strain of magic draws from the Beast, and well, they are the Beast.
- Body Surf: And they keep disciplines from each body. Yikes.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Proudly proclaim themselves kin of the Beast, and are disgusted that most vampires aren't this trope.
- Creepy Crows: The other forms they can take.
- Dark Is Evil: They appear to literally be made of smoke and shadows, and they are indeed very, very evil.
- Deal with the Devil: How the Kindred initially got their attention, and a few of them still know how to perform the trick.
- Demonic Possession: In their natural state, Strix are basically just intangible creatures of mist, but they can possess corpses in order to access a real body. Unfortunately for Kindred, that includes them.
- Evil Is Petty: They have no grand scheme, and simply prefer to ruin vampire unlives for the lulz.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Most Strix reproduce through mitosis, which has the unfortunate (for them) side effect of splicing off their own hard-to-get Shadow Potency. Most Strix do not have the power Contagious Genesis, which allows them to splice off a vampire's power to create more Owls.
- Fantastic Racism: They despise humans, and any vampire who tries to hold on their humanity. This probably has more to do with the fact that humans have the sensations in their natural form that are craved by the Strix than any higher ideal.
- Feathered Fiend: Strix are distinctly owl-themed, and usually assume the shapes of either owl or crows. They also happen to be Always Chaotic Evil insane spirits who revel in chaos and see themselves as the Embodiment of the vampiric Beast.
- For the Evulz: They have no motivation at the moment, beyond pure, selfish hedonism. Even the whole "herald of disaster" bit is something they do subconsciously.
- Changed in Blood and Smoke—the race has lost its purpose, but individual Strix have free will to chose their own goals, and usually do. This is For the Evulz as often as not, but a few have saner motivations.
- Glamour Failure: When possessing someone, their eyes glow like an animal's caught in light. However, they are clever enough to exploit this, and can make non-possessed people display this as well.
- The Hedonist: They possess corpses, humans and vampires in order to enjoy all the experiences the mortal world provides. They prefer vampires as hosts because vampires don't dissolve under the metaphysical strain of hosting a shadowy owl-demon inside.
- Horrifying the Horror: Kindred are utterly terrified by these guys, and for good reasons.
- Intangible Man: In their true forms, anything not a blessed weapon simply passes through them, not harming them in the slightest. This has a downside, though-their forms are held together through their mental will, and if you knock their Willpower down to zero, they dissolve. Permanently.
- As of Blood and Smoke, they have normal Corpus (spirit health) instead. It's also impossible for them to heal over time if you figure out their banes and hurt them, they have to spend precious Willpower to do so.
- It Amused Me: Why they do anything. It's their sole reason for clinging to the mortal world.
- Jerkass: To say Strix are not pleasant creatures would be an understatement.
- Living Shadow: They're made of this, and can manipulate their forms to get through small cracks.
- Monster Progenitor: Some believe they are responsible for spawning vampire clans, and many of them collaborate with these claims. Of course, given their explanations contradict each other and they will gladly lie about anything just to screw with Kindred, it's hard to say how much truth there is to their claim.
- Motive Decay: They supposedly caused the fall of vampire society in Rome. Now they're back, and no-one knows why - including the Strix themselves. Averted completely in Blood and Smoke— they have individual agendas now.
- Ominous Owl: Their natural form typically look like owl-like birds made of smoke.
- Our Demons Are Different: It's unclear exactly what they are, but they do fit a lot of elements from archetypal demons as far as Kindred are concerned, including Demonic Possession, being Always Chaotic Evil spirit-like beings and trying to make you embrace your darker urges. Also, a common theory in-universe is that Kindred actually have Strix inside them as the source of their Beast and powers, similar to how vampires in real life myths are sometimes described as corpses possessed by demons.
- Possession Burnout: While sufficiently powerful Strix can possess regular corpses and humans, Kindred remain a more reliable choice, as possessing an ordinary corpse will cause it to decay faster than normal, making it temporary at best, while possessing a human is very likely to kill the host (and even if he does survive, he might die later because the Strix forgets feeding it), leading to a similar burnout.
- Pragmatic Villainy: In Tokyo, the Strix protect Loci and make deals with Uratha, even joining their packs to learn, teach and share knowledge about the Spirit World. Since Tokyo, at least in 2nd Edition, is full of magath, has a cult that breaks the Gauntlet all the time and is infested with five strains of Host, it's in interest of the Strix to guide them to the competition so they can have more living bodies to use. For the part of the Uratha they think the Tengu are some kind of Host but as long as they only Claim corpses they would accept any help, even from the Pure, to contain the spirits.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The cold, amoral Blue Oni to the Beast's (and Belial's Brood, for that matter) savage, instinctual Red Oni. They're aware of it, too: see Card-Carrying Villain.
- The Sociopath: Almost the incarnation of this trope. They have no other motivation than simply hurting people for the sake of hurting people.
- Spell My Name with an "S": There are literally multiple, grammatically correct ways to spell "Strige". "Strix" is simply the modern way, with plural being the same word as singular in that case.
- To Create a Playground for Evil: More or less what they plan to do while playing The Corrupter: they think vampires are far too human for what they became.
- Troll: On a societal level, in fact! There is literally nothing the Strix view as a more fun game than screw with vampires and disrupt their society.
- The Unfettered: They don't have any kind of qualms, and most of them don't even have any purpose other than hedonism.
- Youkai: They are known as Tengu by Werewolf, Hunter and Beast natives of Tokyo and, likely, the rest of Japan.
- Ghûls: Arabian mages who have gained immortality, as well as alchemy and a few other powers, at the expense of cannibalism. They're also... not undead, and are remarkably difficult to put down permanantly. In fact, they probably have it better than Kindred.
- Jiang Shi: Chinese hopping corpses, formerly human mages as well. They only have access to Celerity, Resilience, and Vigor, but in return they're not destroyed by anything other than fire (upon "death," they teleport to their graves, torpid, at full health). They are like ghosts in that they cannot stray too far from their anchors, otherwise they'd teleport back. Of course, they can use living beings as anchors...
- There's actually two varieties of them, one from Wicked Dead (above), and one from Blood & Smoke/2e, described above
- Fomorsae: Emotion eaters who feed on self-loathing and body issues. Getting fed on by them causes a person to look more and more beautiful... at the cost of their life force, leading as many times as not to a beautifully preserved corpse. Ironically, the Vitae so gained is stored in fatty deposits, meaning that the Fomorsae are, to the last vamp, horrendously obese and ugly themselves. They're also the exception that proves the rule of Blood Potency 0, since they do have one or higher points in it... and they know Dominate.
- Aswang: Actually several kinds of blood-drinking shapechanging supernatural beastie from the Phillipines, with one variety from World of Darkness: Antagonists and three from Night Horrors: The Wicked Dead. All share the common trait of being Technically Living Vampires, and thus suffering no effect from sunlight other than reverting to their human form during the day. The "vanilla" Aswang is a One-Gender Race of Always Female blood-suckers who never smile with their teeth because they have four pairs of canine teeth instead of the human two pairs. At night, they revert to the forms of ugly, haggish versions of themselves with Femme Fatalons and elongated, fang-like teeth, who use their hypnotically beautiful voices to lure prey into their reach, as they must feed regularly or be trapped in their monstrous form even during the day. The Halimaw assumes the form of a demonic Winged Humanoid at night and feeds with its mawful of jagged fangs and ripping claws, as well as being prone to suffering from a split personality that makes it actually delude itself about being human during the day. The Tik-Tik becomes a monstrous blood-sucking bat/mosquito hybrid. The Sigbin becomes a fang-mouthed hornless goat that lulls people into a trance by clapping its oversized ears together. All forms of Aswang are hated by the Kindred, as they don't make any attempt to uphold The Masquerade and so "real" vampires have to work harder to cover up for them.
- Baykosh: A (mercifully) unique ghost who hunts down and murders people who have survived conflict in order to feed on their cut-short lifespan.
- Bhuta: Ghosts so desperate to experience life once more that they possess human beings, even knowing that this will A: damn them to an incessant craving for human blood and flesh whilst they are so incarnated, and B: result in the inevitable destruction of their host body.
- Penanggalan: A Malaysian variety of vampire that can exist as a relatively normal human during the day. At night, its head lifts up from its body, dragging along its internal organs and leaving its hollowed-out body behind as it goes hunting. To keep the body from rotting whilst the head and guts are away, it has to pickle it, and so even in human form it tends to stink of vinegar (or sometimes booze). It loves the blood of pregnant women and children, and so it prefers to go after these prey. It can be killed by burning it, exposing its head-and-guts form to sunlight, or stuffing its hollowed torso full of blades, broken glass, thorns, etc. so that it tears its entrails apart when it squeezes inside at dawn. A sadistic end, perhaps, but unfortunately perhaps the best; the bite of the Penanggalan contains a vicious wasting illness that often kills people the vampire would much rather leave alive (and in particularly bad cases, even Embraces them spontaneously as new Penanggalan). The only known cure is the initial vector's liver-something they are understandably reluctant to part with, even given the Healing Factor.
- Chihuateteo: An ancient cult composed of witch-priestesses of Tezcatlipoca in his aspect as a god of malice and mischief. Each one is a woman who has suffered a stillbirth (which, ironically, makes them the opposite of the honored-if-dangerous ghosts they take their name from) and was found by the other Chihuateteo and offered a way to give the tragedy meaning and never have to face the spectre of death personally again. Should she accept (and destroy something dear to her to show her willingness), they initiate her into the order and she becomes a claw-fingered spectre that looks like the unholy lovechild of a human and the world's largest owl. With her new vocation, she gains the ability to turn into one or gain an owl's talons as well, the secret Rites of the Crossroads they use to cause their god's holy chaos, Age Without Youth..and the Disciplines of Majesty and Obsfucate, as well as a Beast of her own. She can't generate Vitae herself despite being fully alive (she has to steal breath instead), and her Beast is a tame one (it only risks frenzy in response to anger and is easy to bring to heel before it gets that far), but Kindred wise in the ways of Strix look at the Chihuateteo and wonder. Also, they're Mexican ultranationalists.
- Rizzetti Apparatus: This thing isn't undead, on the basis it was never alive-or even mobile. The Rizzetti Apparatus is an old clockwork device from the heyday of Victorian Science, one of the first blood transfusion devices ever created (if not the first). It never went into full production, though-besides its titular inventor being murdered by his first patient, there's a very rare vital component of coral (and the bacteria that live in it) that only grows in one very specific lagoon-and that the impurity filtering process invariably pits said impurities in the donor, killing them. As for the patient, not so much-in fact, the bacteria-filtered and infused blood is not only never rejected, but supernaturally potent. The patient ceases to age, and for a while, is effectively in the prime of youth. Then the bacteria invariably reproduce faster than the body keep up, becoming an impurity themselves, one that consumes the patient's blood. To survive, they need another transfusion. And another. And another...
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