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The childe of a vampire who belongs to a bloodline will always belong to the same bloodline as her sire, and there's no traditional method to change one's lineage. Therefore, bloodlines are generally the product of unique supernatural events, and are functionally just smaller clans. Bloodlines aren't necessarily tied to specific clans, however, and they are created in a variety of ways:
- Mystical methods - Some bloodlines are created through mystic rituals that transform their founders, such as with the Gargoyles and Kiasyd, albeit not necessarily deliberately.
- Flawed Embrace - Sometimes, for whatever reason, a childe doesn't inherit their sire's clan, instead becoming something different, as seen with the Maeghar, the Caitiff, and even potentially with the Baali founders.
- Divergent evolution - A bloodline splits off from the clan when they are geographically isolated from the parent clan and develop their own customs, such as with the Anda.
- Diablerie of Antediluvian - All clans have their own Antediluvians; on more than one occasion, that Antediluvian has been replaced, resulting in the original clan being "demoted" to bloodline status. The Harbingers of Skulls, Salubri, and True Brujah bloodlines can all claim this distinction. Note that it's not simply sufficient for an Antediluvian to die; many Antediluvian founders have been slain by the modern nights (notably Ravana, [Tzimisce], and [Lasombra]), but are still considered clans.
- Independent origin - Some bloodlines claim no connection with the clans, having arisen independently through encounters with gods, spirits, and eldritch entities, such as the Bonsam, Impundulu, and Ramanga.
Additionally, some variants of the blood don't necessarily qualify for full bloodline status, and are referred to as "Clan variants" or the like. They are generally considered to still be members of the same clan — Salubri antitribu are still Salubri, and the Assamite Vizier caste are still Assamites. Some still adress them as bloodlines or minor bloodlines for the sake of convenience. Clan variants have the following causes:
- Caste system - some clans are separated into caste systems, with certain castes possessing different disciplines and weaknesses from the parent clan. Certain clans (the Assamites, Ravnos, Salubri, Setites, and Tzimisce in particular) have internal variants with different attributes and embraces, but which are still socially part of the parent clan.
- Differing beliefs - In some cases, Clan Variants arise in the case of cultural and /or geographical splits from the main Clan without diverging into a full fledged bloodline. Examples are the Old Clan Tzimisce, the Telyavelic Tremere and the Daitya.
- Antitribu - also known as anti-clan, are groups that have diverged from their parent clan in order to join a different sect. Largely a social division, the antitribu frequently begin to demonstrate slightly different weaknesses, and then different disciplines altogether. This is largely an early example of divergent evolution as described above.
Finally there is the case of the Laibon. These African vampires may be examples of divergent evolution, or they may actually be members of the standard clans, but simply known under a different name. As with many variations of the blood, the truth can be uncertain. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is the wildly different social structure of the African Kindred.
For ease of reference, Laibon will be assumed to be bloodlines for the purposes of the list bellow.
Known clan variants Edit
The following is a list of all known clan variants, sorted by their parent clan.
Known bloodlines Edit
The following is a list of all known bloodlines, sorted by their parent clan (if applicable).
- Cappadocians (the clan is extinct, but the survivors would be considered a bloodline)
- Daughters of Cacophony (Arguably)
V20 introduced the notion of "Clan Variants", which are not actual bloodlines, but merely slight variations of their main Clan, where previous editions used the more general term "bloodlines" to describe any deviation from the thirteen main clans. Thus, all pre-V20 editions use the term "bloodline" with much more impunity.
- , p. 393, 428