Bloodlines

“I have heard it said that the Embrace is like the original sin, that it passes from sire to childe, and from that childe to his own progeny, the taint of undeath remains the same throughout. What such defeated and pious doggerel fails to take into account is the power of the Blood itself. We are not bound by the sins of the father. We can change each individual sin, make it one of our own choice.”
—Dr. Miranda Estes, Malkavian Ordo Dracul scientist, _Beyond Post-Mortem

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While every vampire belongs at least ancestrally to one of the thirteen great clans, some Kindred diverge from those lineages into their own unique bloodlines. Also, Disciplines favored by those thirteen clans hardly exhaust the possibilities of Kindred power. Some bloodlines exist as purely social divisions. Certain Kindred prefer to identify themselves as descendants of some esteemed vampire from centuries past, instead of being just an ordinary Malkavian, Nosferatu, Gangrel or whatever. Other bloodlines come about because of shame. A Kindred suffers some disgrace in the eyes of clanmates, and that disgrace passes to his childer and their childer in turn. An elder who joins a covenant that is not usual for his clan, and draws his childer in likewise, might also cause other Kindred to call his descendants a bloodline. Such “bloodlines” have no consequence in terms of game mechanics.

When most Kindred talk about bloodlines, they mean a lineage whose nature or inclination genuinely differs from that of its parent clan. True bloodlines stand out because their members favor at least one different Discipline than their parent clans, they suffer a different blood-borne weakness, or both. Most remarkably of all, some bloodlines practice Disciplines known to few other Kindred. Some bloodlines actually introduce new Disciplines that have never been seen before.

Joining a Bloodline

Kindred may join bloodlines as allowed by their Blood Potency dots. A character may join her sire’s bloodline (if any) at Blood Potency 1. At Blood Potency 2, a vampire with which she shares a blood tie may act as Avus. At Blood Potency 3, any vampire of her clan may act as an Avus. At Blood Potency 4, a vampire not of her clan may act as an Avus. An Avus is a sort of mentor. Acting as an Avus into a bloodline requires feeding the prospect at least one point of Vitae. This carries all normal risk of addiction and blood bonds. At Blood Potency 6, vampires may create their own, unique bloodlines. This is to say, all bloodlines were founded by Kindred of Blood Potency 6 or greater. A character may only be part of one bloodline, and cannot leave a bloodline once joined.

Powers

Many bloodlines possess unique Disciplines, exclusive Devotions, or strange sorceries. All bloodlines have three Disciplines that are inherent to their Blood: Kindred who join a bloodline can pick a single one of these Disciplines to treat as in-clan (which is to say, all Kindred who join a bloodline have four in-clan Disciplines). A given bloodline may only have one unique Discipline; and nobody outside the bloodline can learn their gift, even through diablerie.

Weaknesses

All bloodlines impose an additional bane on their members. Often, these banes are more pronounced and restrictive than their clan counterparts. For example, one ancient Malkavian bloodline takes aggravated damage from sunlight regardless of the member’s Humanity, and one group of Gangrel can only feed from Kindred, from the moment its members adopt the lineage.

Scions and Orphans

Kindred who belong to bloodlines are subdivided into two further categories.

Scions are Kindred who belong to a bloodline and an identifiable parent clan. They have four in-clan Disciplines: three from their parent clan and one chosen from their bloodline. Scions have a bane from their bloodline and a bane from their parent clan.

Orphans are Kindred who belong to a bloodline but have no discernible parent clan. Orphans have three in-clan Disciplines determined by their bloodline. They have only a single bane, again from their bloodline. Some particularly insular bloodlines only accept orphans into their ranks.

GM’s Notes: For those players who aren’t aware, bloodlines are pretty different beasts in VtM and VtR.
In Vampire: The Masquerade, bloodlines are effectively mini-clans. Players choose one for their PC to belong to during character creation, in lieu of a regular clan, and that’s what they play for the rest of the game.
In Vampire: The Requiem, bloodlines are akin to D&D’s prestige classes. PCs begin the game as one of the base clans, and can later join a bloodline. They still remain Kindred of their parent clans.
I greatly Requiem’s approach, as it makes membership in bloodlines a character choice rather than an out-of-game player choice. It also gives starting players fewer options they need to immediately pick from. That’s always good. Requiem’s approach also enables PCs to remain members of the core clans (with all the history, plot hooks, and extended family of Kindred relatives that entails) while still getting to enjoy the “cool factor” of belonging to a bloodline.


Bloodlines List


Most Kindred can join most bloodlines: the below list notes the typical clans that a bloodline attracts, but there is no reason a Malkavian can’t join the Ahrimanes or a Ravnos can’t join the Nephilim.

A few exceptions, noted with an “only”, can only be joined by Kindred of the specifically mentioned clans (or only accept orphans).

Masquerade Bloodlines

Ahrimanes: Brujah, Gangrel, Ravnos, Setites typically
Anda: Brujah, Lasombra, Gangrel typically
Baali: Any clan
Blood Brothers: Brujah, Tremere, Tzimisce typically
Children of Osiris: Any clan
Daughters of Cacophony: Malkavian, Toreador, Ventrue typically
Gargoyles: Orphans only
Jocastians: Malkavians only
Kiasyd: Any clan
Lamia: Orphans only
Lhiannan: Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian typically
Mithridati: Ventrue only
Mnemosyne: Malkavians only
Nagaraja: Orphans only
Nephilim: Toreador typically
Nictuku: Nosferatu only
Noiad: Gangrel only
Salubri: Orphans only
Samedi: Orphans and Nosferatu only
Telyavs: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Tremere typically
Tlacique: Gangrel, Lasombra, Setites typically
True Brujah: Orphans only

Requiem Bloodlines

(List unfinished)

Agonistes: Assamite, Lasombra, Malkavian, Salubri, Sangiovanni typically
Anvari: Setites, Toreador, Ventrue typically
Allucinor: Malkavian, Tremere, Salubri, Sangiovanni typically
Architects of the Monolith: Malkavian, Ventrue, Tzimisce typically
Baddacelli: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Tzimisce typically
Bohagande: Gangrel, Setites, Tremere typically
Bron: Lasombra, Salubri, Ventrue typically
California Xiao: Brujah, Malkavian, Ravnos, Toreador typically
The Carnival: Malkavian, Ravnos, Toreador, Tzimisce typically
Children of Judas: Malkavian, Ravnos, Setites, Toreador typically
Duchagne: Brujah, Ravnos, Toreador, Ventrue typically
Galloi: Nosferatu, Tzimisce typically
Gethsemani: Lasombra, Nosferatu, Ravnos typically
Gullikans: Setites, Toreador, Tzimisce typically
Kallisti: Malkavian, Setites, Toreador, Ventrue typically
Khabit: Assamite, Lasombra, Setites typically
Kuufukuj: Malkavian, Nosferatu, Salubri, Tzimisce typically
Macellarius: Malkavian, Nosferatu, Sangiovanni, Ventrue typically
Melissadae: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Tzimisce typically
Morotrophian: Malkavian, Nosferatu, Ventrue typically
Mortifiers of the Flesh: Any clan
Nahualli: Lasombra, Malkavian, Ventrue, Ravnos typically
Nelapsi: Brujah, Toreador, Tzimisce typically
Oberlochs: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Tzimisce typically
Players: Gangrel, Malkavian, Tremere, Ravnos typically
Qedeshah: Brujah, Malkavian, Toreador, Salubri typically
Raskshasa: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Tzimisce typically
Rötgrafen: Brujah, Gangrel, Lasombra, Ventrue typically
Sta-Au: Any clan
Taifa: Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu typically
Therion: Any clan
Yagnatia: Gangrel, Nosferatu, Tzimisce, Ventrue typically

Bloodlines

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