- Vampire: The Masquerade is a popular RPG franchise with unique vampire clans and powers.
- Each clan has its own strengths and weaknesses, offering different playstyles for players.
- The Ravnos, Malkavian, and Toreador clans are highlighted in this article, showcasing their abilities and bane challenges.
World of Darkness sired the legendary vampire IP Vampire: The Masquerade, bringing a new and unique take on the mythos of the nocturnal fanged beasts. Here, they pull the strings of the mortal worlds from the shadows, striving to keep their existence a secret lest vampire hunters sever their heads.
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Instead of all vampires being more or less one and the same, vampires exist in clans, each boasting unique powers known as disciplines as well as having a weakness or ‘clan bane’ that will challenge them. While each clan is home to some truly powerful entities, some clans are more powerful than others.
Updated January 3, 2024, by Mara Cowley: While Vampire: The Masquerade was a TTRPG overshadowed by more popular games such as Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder, it has grown in popularity over the years, bringing in new fans and calls for later editions. While the original VTM 5E saw the exclusion of some clans as playable, supplementary books reintroduced them to old and new fans alike, such as the presumed extinct Ravnos and the clan of death, Hecata. While this article originally included a healthy roster of powerful Vampire: The Masquerade clans, an update has been made to include another clan that is deserving of a spot.
The Amalgam Discipline Allows Ravnos To Craft Hallucinations
In Vampire: The Masquerade lore, Clan Ravnos was thought to be erased during the Week of Nightmares, a time when signs of vampire doomsday began appearing. As one of these portents, the descendants of Ravnos all fell to madness and began slaughtering each order. The rest of the kindred thought the entire clan had ended, but a few plucky Ravnos have survived, which alone is a testament to the hardiness of the Ravnos clan.
Along with surviving their clan’s apocalypse, the Ravnos also have interesting powers at their fingertips, such as Presence to sway the minds of others, Obfuscate to hide from sight, and Animalism, which can allow them to communicate or even control animals. But, the Ravnos clan bane can be difficult to deal with, as they must sleep somewhere a mile away from where they had their last day’s rest, meaning they can never set down roots, and should they be captured, they could be in for a world of pain.
Their Blend Of Powers Can Be Weaponized To Induce Madness In Others
Members of Clan Malkavian are the descendants of the Antediluvian Malkav and consequently gain his powers while suffering from his clan bane. All those embraced into the clan of Seers suffer from some form of mental illness, be it psychosis, DID, paranoia, depression, anxiety, or any psychological ailment a mortal could potentially have.
Malkavians are also blessed with some truly unique powers that make them stand out in the World of Darkness. They can make themselves unseen with Obfuscate, gain the sight to see beyond the veil with Auspex, and bend the wills of mortals or even other supernaturals with Dominate. Their unique blend of disciplines means they can inflict madness on another, so other kindreds should beware they do not get on the wrong side of a Malkavian.
The Clan of Roses Comes With A Few Thorns
Beautiful mortals and artistic souls sooner or later draw the eye of a seductive Toreador, dark sirens of the night that are drawn and fixate on things they find beautiful, which differ from person to person. Classical paintings, musical performances, or even the bloody unleashing of death can catch their obsessive nature, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Toreadors are strong in the way they can puppeteer mortals and other kindred alike, wielding their beauty and their mastery over clan disciplines Dominate or Presence to enforce their will on another. Who needs brute strength to protect themselves when one can simply command another to protect them with simple words and eye contact?
None Have Perfected The Art Of Invisibility Like The Nosferatu
Clan Nosferatu is the exact inverse of the Toreadors, as these vampires suffer the clan bane of extreme disfigurements and physical scarring that leave them looking not only ugly but akin to hideous monsters from a horror B-Movie. A human that spies a Nosferatu who is not employing any powers to look like an ordinary person could be counted as a masquerade breach, as their appearance is inhuman.
While this clan bane is a big hindrance, it does mean the Nosferatu have perfected the arts of going unseen and using alternative means of traversing a city rather than the streets like other kindred. Instead, they claim the underbellies of cities as their territory and use Obfuscate when they ascend to the upper levels. Their mastery of stealth and technology places them as the biggest information brokers in the World of Darkness. If someone needs information, they speak to a Nosferatu.
Gangrel And Their Affinity With Animals Is Unparalleled
The Gangrel are the clan known for their strong affinity to animals, which is where their strength comes into play. After all, who doesn’t want the power to shift into a wolf to forget about people’s problems for a while?
There is more to this clan than their shapeshifting ability. Like the Ravnos, the Gangrel clan has access to the Animalism discipline, which means they can communicate and befriend other animals, but they also have Fortitude, which allows them to better soak physical damage and shield their minds from control. Protean is the discipline that allows them to shift their form and even specific parts of their bodies, such as eyes to see in the dark or their nails to give them dangerously sharp claws.
The Hardest Hitters Of All
Brujah is the clan for those who don’t want any fancy magical powers and simply want to punch things. The VTM equivalent of Barbarians in D&D, Brujah are the antithesis of Ventrue. They are all about chaos, freedom, and sticking it to the man. They are a bread-and-butter Anarch clan, but there are some in the Camarilla as well, lending their brute strength to the Tower and their relentless pursuit of extending their territories and influence.
Members of clan Brujah gain access to Presence, allowing them to bolster their strength with intimidation tactics, Celerity to move faster than their opponent’s eyes can see, and Potence to ensure they can hit their opponent with the force of a freight train.
The Masters Of Death And The Dead
Once, there were multiple bloodlines that prided themselves as the most knowledgeable scholars of death and how to use it to serve their means. Distilled into just one, they are now known as the Hecata. They remain one of the very few clans that still largely consider themselves independent of each Sect, though some defectors find their studies may lead them to the Anarchs, the Tower, or even the Sabbat.
They have access to Disciplines such as Auspex to see what mortal eyes might see, Fortitude to soak damage, and Oblivion. It is through certain Oblivion rituals that they can commune with the deceased and manipulate them for their own personal use.
Magic Flows Through Their Vitae
What could make being a vampire even cooler? Being a vampire with magic running through their veins, which is exactly what the Tremere are, the warlocks of the VTM world. They are largely seen as untrustworthy by the majority of other clans, but given how bloody vampire politics can get, vampires of the same clan are hesitant to trust.
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Tremere share some disciplines with other clans, with Auspex to see or sense what might be hidden from mortal view, Dominate to sway the minds of others, and Blood Sorcery, a Discipline that allows them to use their vitae to cast powerful spells.
The Shadows Serve Them
This clan of ambitious and ruthless kindred have a particular affinity for the darkness, able to tap into the abyss to wield powers of shadows. They were the puppeteers of the Sabbat, a faction that holds the ideals that vampires are the apex predators, and there is no need to hide their true nature from mere mortals. But on modern nights, many Lasombra fled to the Camarilla, terrified of the threat of the Second Inquisition.
Members of the Lasombra clan can manipulate the minds of others through the use of Dominate while also having access to Potence to wield their strength against others and Oblivion, which allows the vampire to call forward and control supernatural darkness. The Lasombra are darkness incarnate and can inhabit and move through shadows, making them a clan to be feared.
Artists Who Treat Flesh Like A Canvas
Another key clan to the Sabbat, the Tzimisce are feared in large part due to their powers over anatomy. Kindred can often identify them because of their startling appearances, as they shape themselves into their view of perfection.
Tzimisce are definitely contenders for the strongest clan of all due to their clan Discipline. With their knowledge of Animalism and Protean, these Sabbat Lords can shape skin, flesh, and bone like a sculptor with clay. They can change the form of another, with or without their consent, and can create horrifying monsters known as Vozhd that they can use as soldiers in the war against the Camarilla.
The Kings And Queens Of The Night
Compared to other clans, Members of the Ventrue are much more selective about embracing their childe, guaranteeing every single Ventrue is worth their salt.
As the leaders of the night, the Ventrue are equipped with the means to back up their words, with Fortitude allowing them to shrug off mental or physical damage, Dominate to turn their words into an edict that must be followed, and Presence to make others fear or be in awe of them. What they lack in brute strength, they make up for in the sheer authority that they exert over others.