Disciplines are vampiric powers and capabilities that have often given rise to old wives' tales of superhuman speed, strength, and endurance possessed by the Damned, along with their piercing gaze, their hypnotic and seductive voices and the unholy power to vanish into shadows and shapeshift into bats, wolves and mist. (, p 114)
Kindred (the word vampires use for themselves) can use a variety of supernatural powers called Disciplines. These are special abilities associated with their curse which, like their undead bodies, are "fed" in a way by the living blood they take from mortals. Many of the Disciplines provide Kindred with preternatural means of ensuring their continued existence, or of easing the process of hunting and stealing blood from mortals.
Disciplines are generally recognized as common (commonplace among the Kindred and more than one clan has an innate knack for them), unique (the proprietary abilities of each of the five clans), covenant (possessed only by a specific covenant and never shared with outsiders), and bloodline (known only to the members of a particular bloodline within a clan). However, each Kindred has the capability to, given a tutor and the proper amount of time (sometimes years for powerful disciplines), learn a discipline that is not natural to their clan or covenant. In game mechanics, the experience point cost for such disciplines is higher than that of a clan discipline innate to a specific Kindred, and given the amount of time in a given storyline necessary to successfully master an other-clan discipline, many players never get the chance to fully master such things. However, many storytellers (the orchestrater and judge of the game) will allow certain concessions, or "house rules", that enable players to learn other-clan disciplines much easier than is standard in the official rulebook. However a Kindred (except Kindred from the En bloodline, and even then they have to have a Blood Potency 10, and they don't actually learn the Discipline, but can steal a dot by diablerizing a vampire who does know the Discipline) cannot learn Disciplines (apart from a few exceptions) from bloodlines they are not a member off. Storytellers allowing "house rules" are the only way Kindred can learn Disciplines that belong to bloodlines.
Shadows of Mexico brought in an optional rule of the strength of faith, where a vampire could pay tribute to the god or spirit related to that Discipline, granting an extra dice for rolls related to the Disciplines use, but if the tribute isn't paid, a dice is lost. It also brought several alternative powers.
Powers that combine aspects of two or more Disciplines are called Devotions.
These Powers of the Blood are common place among the Kindred and more than one clan has an innate knack for them. The physical Disciplines in particular (Celerity, Resilience, & Vigor) can even be learned without a teacher by those with an in-born blood affinity for them.
- Celerity: The ability to move at incredibly high speeds with uncanny precision.
- Resilience: The ability to withstand crippling injury without submitting.
- Vigor: The ability to manifest supernatural strength beyond a vampire's normally superhuman capabilities.
- Animalism: The power to commune with and command animals; related to a vampire's inner Beast.
- Obfuscate: The power of hiding oneself by clouding the minds of the weak; related to a vampire's natural cunning and guile.
These Disciplines are the proprietary abilities of each of the five clans. Their instruction tends to be used as bargaining chips with other Kindred who don't possess them as natural talents.
- Auspex: Preternatural sensitivity and awareness and the ability to foresee and know things seemingly unknowable. (practiced by the Mekhet)
- Bereschligost: The rigid control of ones beast and vitae, irrespective of where it may be found, to conserve power. (practiced by the Mikhaili)
- Dominate: The piercing stare that commands minds and the ability to break the will of others with vampiric mental control. (practiced by the Ventrue)
- Majesty: Seductive or commanding sway of emotions and the predatory manipulation of the weak in this way. (practiced by the Daeva)
- Nightmare: The ability to evoke sheer terror by manipulating fear and revealing one's primal nature. (practiced by the Nosferatu)
- Praestantia: The reflex control and foresight abilities intrinsic to the minor Akhud clan.
- Protean: The ability to change one's body and assume a variety of forms such as a wolf, bat, or mist, or sprout bestial claws. (practiced by the Gangrel)
The Ordo Dracul, the Circle of the Crone and the Lancea Sanctum each possess knowledge of blood magic and rituals which they only teach to their loyal and proven members. These magics are never shared with outsiders and defectors with extensive knowledge of these Disciplines are often hunted.
- Ahranite Sorcery: Dark arts practiced by the Princes of the Fallen City version of VII
- Coils of the Dragon: The metamorphic stages followed by members of the Ordo Dracul.
- Crúac: The blood magic practiced by the Acolytes of the Circle of the Crone.
- Thanatology: The power over the Necrosis (death energy) of vampires, wielded by the Harbingers.
- Theban Sorcery: The dark miracles performed by the Sanctified within the Lancea Sanctum.
The various unique Disciplines are numerous and wildly diverse, although they are generally quite specific to their respective bloodlines and of limited utility outside of a highly specialized purpose.
Members of bloodlines gain a fourth Discipline to which they have an affinity in addition to the powers of their parent clan. In many cases the fourth Discipline is one of the more common ones and some Bloodlines even gain access to normally Clan proprietary ones as innate predispositions. However some broods have developed specialized powers that go beyond the scope of the rank and file of the five Clans all of which are closely guarded secrects and usually have not even been heard of by the at large population of vampires. Some of them are as follows:
- Abjurism: Discipline that provides protection from the supernatural practiced by the Septemi bloodline.
- Amphivena: Discipline that allows the vampire to have power over serpents practiced by the Gorgon bloodline.
- Asphyx: Discipline that spreads chemical poisons practiced by the Brothers of Ypres bloodline.
- Bhumisparsa: Discipline of defense practiced by the Mayarap bloodline.
- Bloodworking: Combat discipline of the Norvegi bloodline transforming a vampire into a deadly weapon.
- Blut Alchemie: Alchemical discipline that analyzes and reworks the base properties of Vitae, practiced by the Geheim bloodline.
- Cachexy: Discipline that enables the detection, control and spread of disease, practiced by the Morbus bloodline.
- Carrefour: Necromantic discipline of the Apollinaire bloodline allowing one to see and enter the world of the dead.
- Cattiveria: Necromantic discipline practiced by the Sangiovanni bloodline.
- Choronzon: Discipline practiced by the Therion bloodline.
- Constance: Discipline that enhances ambition and confidence practiced by the Icarian bloodline.
- Courtoisie: Discipline that enhances fighting preparation while still courting practiced by the Spina bloodline.
- Crochan: Discipline that enhances the ability to harness and manipulate Vitae to regenerate flesh practiced by the Bron bloodline.
- Despond: Discipline that gives others the feeling of despair practiced by the Children of Judas bloodline.
- Domus: Discipline the connection to ones haven practiced by the Malocusian bloodline.
- Embrocation: Discipline for the restoration and healing of Kindred, practiced by the Qedeshah bloodline.
- Essentiaphagia: Discipline that allows one to gather vitae from a ghost practiced by the Dragolescu bloodline.
- Eupraxia: Discipline of the Tismanu, Ordo Dracul Priests.
- Getsumei: Necromantic discipline of the Burakumin bloodline.
- Gifts of the Alu: The powers an Alu grants the members of the En bloodline.
- Gilded Cage: Discipline of the Architects of the Monolith allowing absolute control over a city.
- Gustus: Discipline that allows one to eat flesh practiced by the Macellarius bloodline.
- Hypnagogia: Discipline that manipulates the thoughts of the sleeping practiced by the Usiri bloodline.
- Impurity: Discipline that shows a member of one clan the weakness of the other clans practiced by the Deucalion bloodline.
- Insomnium: Discipline that controls and distorts dreams practiced by the Alucinor bloodline.
- Institutionalize: Discipline that produces social conventions and confinements of the Morotrophian bloodline.
- Kamen: Discipline that masks the inner state of vampire practiced by Sotoha bloodline.
- Kingjan: Discipline that preys upon the emotions of others practiced by the Californian Xiao bloodline.
- Licencieux: Discipline that warps the victim's senses practiced by the Duchagne bloodline.
- Linagem: Discipline granting telepathic insights into the nature of the blood practiced by the Corajoso bloodline.
- Lithopedia: Blood rituals that exploit the bond between Kindred and their land practiced by the Család bloodline.
- Memento Mori: Death reading discipline meaning "Remember the dead," practiced by the Osites bloodline.
- Meminisse: Discipline used to share memories as a bloodline-wide collective, practiced by the Mnemosyne bloodline.
- Mimetismo: Discipline of augmented hearing and sound mimicry practiced by the Baddacelli bloodline.
- Mortualia: Discipline that enhances torpor and sleep practiced by the Libitinarius bloodline.
- Nahdad: Discipline that allows a vampire to survive hostile environments practiced by the Nepheshim bloodline.
- Nburu: Discipline manipulating plants and the land, practiced by the Adroanzi bloodline.
- Nepenthe: Discipline spreading drugs and causing addictions, practiced by the Anvari bloodline.
- Obtenebration: The Discipline of shadow-manipulation and control of darkness, or perhaps more accurately some kind of 'anti-light'. Practiced by the Khaibit bloodline.
- Ortam: Discipline that through the use of perfumes creates irresistible scents and powers practiced by the Gulikan bloodline.
- Perfidy: Discipline that enhances the ability to destroy a social network practiced by the Kallisti bloodline.
- Phagia: Cannibalistic discipline practiced by the Noctuku bloodline.
- Ralab: Discipline that allows the vampire to seem like a god and draw upon a mortal worshippers strengths practiced by the Asnâm bloodline.
- Sakti Pata: Blood manipulation discipline practiced by the Amara Havana bloodline.
- Scourge: Pain-causing discipline practiced by the Mortifiers of the Flesh bloodline.
- Serendipity: Discipline that allows the vampire to act and say what is best at the time practiced by the Zelani bloodline.
- Shihai: Discipline that works to control the Beast practiced by the Kuufukuji bloodline.
- Spiritus Sancti: Discipline to communicate with spirits and the Beast practiced by the Mystikoi bloodline.
- Stigmatica: Discipline that derives power by mimicking the tribulations of the Christ practiced by the Gethsemani bloodline.
- Sublunario: Discipline that gives the power from the moon practiced by the Dead Wolves bloodline.
- Suikast: Discipline that was designed to destroy Dracula practiced by the Azerkatil bloodline.
- Sunnikuse: Discipline that steals and manipulates luck practiced by the Bohagande bloodline.
- Taurobolium: Discipline that makes the subjects appear younger and more vibrant practiced by the Galloi bloodline.
- Tenure: Demesne-controlling discipline of the Annunaku.
- Tezcatl: "Mirror" discipline conciliating Man and Beast practiced by the Nahualli bloodline.
- The Show: Discipline that enhances the ability to deform one's body practiced by the Carnival bloodline.
- Web: Discipline that enhances the ability to create a human network practiced by the Lynx bloodline.
- Xinyao: Discipline that projects the Kindred's emotions on others practiced by the Tianpàn Xiao bloodline.
- Zagovny: Sanguine witchcraft practiced by the Vedma bloodline.
These disciplines are not connected to clan, covenant, or bloodline; they are either available to all Kindred as out-of-clan disciplines or are only available under special circumstances.
- Ars Speculorum: Mirror-control Discipline with unexpected consequences.
- Blood Tenebrous: Discipline that allows Kindred to interact with the realm of spirits.
- Breath-Drinking: The mythological art of gaining Vitae through stealing a mortal's breath and soul.
- Chary: A Revenant discipline concerned with conserving Vitae and overcoming the conditions of their half-damned state.
- Continence: Discipline granting the ability to hold extra Vitae known to the vampire-like Formosa.
- Dementation: Maddening discipline instilled by the eternal insanity of Malkavia.
- Detournement: Information-gathering discipline practiced by the Moulding Room shadow cult.
- Hamartiaphage: Discipline to perfect the art of eating the sins of others.
- Mengilai: Discipline of screaming and vocal control exclusive to the penanggal.
- Mérges Sorcery: Poison creation discipline that flourished among the Kindred of ancient Babylon.
- Psychogenics: The brain-altering principles of the VII Sleepers.
- Spoiling: A type of alchemy to transform blood into poison, practiced among the Ordo Dracul.
- Vodoun: Dark blood magic that is shared by the Haitian Kindred and those of modern New Orleans.