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Re-Vamping Vampire - The Families (Overview)

This is part of my struggle to awaken Vampire from it's long torpor, specifically in the form of a new version of the card game V:TES. I plan on elaborating more on this in the future.

Each vampire, or 'minion', ideally, should have three subtypes: Family. Faith. Faction. in that order. Of course, many cards would reference these subtypes with their effects.

This page is concerning the Families - vampires who share certain physical characteristics and behaviours with each other - most often how they 'feed' (that is, how they kill). These are modified versions of the 'clans' found in previous editions of the WoD. Due to the sheer number of 'clans' and 'bloodlines' in the various WoD editions, I've simplified and combined what I could into recognizable 'monster archetypes'.

Basically, I'm being very loose with the word 'vampire' as I think the classic 'sucks blood from the neck' vampire is a bit outdated, and that the real gem with the series and the idea of Vampire is 'immortal evil'. It's very interesting to me that virtually all cultures throughout the world had a 'blood drinker' / 'man eater' / 'youth stealer' monster that appeared (mostly) human. So I wanted to capitalize on this, and have each family really look and feel different from the others.


Most, but not all, are women, and they frequently form cults, cliques, and covens, being the most numerous of all vampires. In these nights they're particularly prominent in Central America, with a moderate presence in the Western and Southern United States and throughout Europe, with others of their kind in other corners of the world.

They are known by the method through which they derive their immortality - through human sacrifice and cannibalism in all its myriad forms. Some are said to rip the still-beating hearts out of their victims while others might cook and eat children. They can be heard shrieking and cackling in the still corners of the night, as they dance and chant in fevered frenzy.

Their powers allow them control over animals, famine, plague, and even the weather. Their powers are increased by proximity and number. The Brujah are inspired by the Tremere from CWOD but also all sorts of evil witches and wizards throughout popular culture.


The most human of all vampires in appearance (maybe even too human), these creatures are beautiful to behold, being as close to creatures of the light as vampires can be. They inspire loyalty and infatuation in others, having a personal magnetism about them that defies comprehension. They can blend seamlessly into human society, and some are said be so powerful they have even witnessed sunset or sunrise.

A daeva will often seduce individuals only to kill them during coitus. Another might induce a victim to kill his or her lover, or lure a person to engage in self-destructive orgies and perversions. They enthrall their victims, ravage their bodies, and destroy the mind through lust and wanton pleasure. Some can even find nourishment just from the presence of their devotees, especially when those individuals are willing to - and do - die for them.

The powers they commonly share are seduction, domination, lamentation, celerity, and presence. The daeva are modelled off of angels, the fae, succubi, and people such as Jim Jones and David Koresh.


Humanoid in form, but many will have bestial features and urges that belie their true nature. The gangrel are among the most savage, bloodthirsty killers, often leaving behind a trail of carnage, mangled bodies, and ransacked homes. They are renewed by the thrill of the hunt and the subsequent kill, which often results in these kindred devouring their prey, in whole or in part.

The gangrel tend to be rather nomadic, frequently moving to a new area, settling in for a while, before attacking a rural homestead and moving again. Some gangrel have a particular fondness for water, often residing in lakes and swamps, among the other parts of the wildnerness. Due to the extent with which their animalistic features present themselves, the gangrel may have difficulty with the kine.

Their powers are that of ferocity, tenacity, celerity, protean, the latter in particular manifesting itself in such a way that the more powerful gangrel can appear wholly animal to human senses, so as to lure in prey. The gangrel are clearly inspired by werewolves, but also creatures like kelpies, the yeti, the strix, and even Krampus.


The malkavians are a relatively unassuming class of vampires. Like the Daeva, the Malkavians can mix with the kine without much difficulty, often letting them assume normal professions. A malkavian may seem normal, many do, in fact, but they almost always have a tale-tell sign, some quirk or habit, that may clue keen observers in.

Rarely are any two malkavians alike, but they all suffer from some severe mental disease of one form or another. One malkavian may be hellbent on collecting a specific body part of his target in a desire to add it to his grisly collection, another my feel compelled to arson, perhaps another hears whispers that prompt him to kill his family and neighbors before disappearing, adopting a new identity, and repeating it over and over again.

They are some of the weakest vampires, generally lacking many of the supernatural powers of the other kindred, yet two important abilities manifest themselves strongest in the malkavian bloodline: the power of auspex, which lets malkavian's glimpse the future, and the power of dementation, which inflicts on others part of the malkavian's madness. The malkavians are inspired by real-world 'crazies' like Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert Fish, Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and even the fictional Sweeney Todd and Dexter Morgan.


Hideously disfigured and diseased, these wretched creatures exist on the fringes of vampire and human society, often dwelling in slums and sewers and anywhere else where a missing person once a month won't draw too much attention. They are among the most reclusive of kindred, and very inclusive of their afflicted brothers and sisters.

Their saving grace is that they are relatively stealthy predators, eager to avoid conflict unless they are sure to win, and capable of existing amongst humans, while being ignored by them. They traffic in secrets and espionage, having eyes and ears on the kine in ways the other kindred lack. However, due to their affliction, they cannot interact with the kine without exceptional effort on their part, and are often at odds with other kindred, who mistrust them purely out of principle.

In addition to possessing the power of obfuscation, letting them fade from the minds of weak-willed mortals, their powers include ferocity, tenacity, putrefaction, and the ability to horrify even other kindred. Interestingly some are even said to hold sway over swarms of rats and roaches. The Nosferatu are modeled off of lepers, gargoyles, mutants of the The Hills Have Eyes variety, and, of course, Count Orlock.


Spectral and wraith-like, these vampires often reside in crypts, tombs, and dungeons. They're almost always tied to a particular location, but their reach is effectively limitless under the cover of darkness. The ventrue are not many, but are so powerful as to have infiltrated the highest institutions in the lands, possessing and manipulating the kine over decades and centuries in order to engineer wars. This is due to their particular form of feeding - the need for large scale slaughter.

They occupy all industrialized, modern nations, often residing in the capitals, and the financial and business districts, of the countries within their domain. Collectively, the ventrue have more wealth and assets than all other kindred combined. The ventrue family is divided, however, with most being aligned with the Camarilla, while others support the Mossad.

They have power over shadows, mortifying the flesh, dominating the wills of others, and reanimating others to do their bidding. The ventrue are inspired by shades, ghosts, liches, and other assorted 'dark lords'.


These creatures are the most alien of all kindred, the most overtly demonic, as their forms are a nightmarish visage of bone, sinew, and flesh, ichor, and bile. Fortunately, they're the smallest family of vampires, and often make their abode in remote parts of the world. Unfortunately, they're some of the most powerful individually, and a few have even been known to have lairs in the heart of metropolitan areas.

They feed, not by killing their victims outright, but by assimilating them into their own form, or that of their dwelling (which is often an extension of themselves). They delight in torturing their victims, flaying them, or rearranging their organs and limbs, rendering a once human frame into a twisted abomination.

They possess the powers of vicissitude and protean, among others, and the ability to terrify other kindred rivaled only by the most powerful nosferatu and ventrue. The Xzimisci are inspired by Tzneetch, The Thing, the Hellraiser Cenobites, and the Phyrexians and Eldrazi from Magic: The Gathering. The new game Scorn also has an amazing aesthetic that evokes the Xzimisci.

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