Vampire: The Masquerade

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Vampire: The Masquerade (Revised Edition) cover.
Vampire: The Masquerade (Revised Edition) cover.

Created by Mark Rein-Hagen, Vampire: The Masquerade was the first of White Wolf Game Studio's "World of Darkness" role playing games, centered around vampires in a modern Gothic-Punk world. The Revised Edition, sometimes mistakenly called Third Edition by fans, was released in 1998 and explains, "[t]he setting of Vampire is a composite of its populace and their despair." The title of the series comes from "The Masquerade", referring to the Camarilla's attempts to hide vampirism from humans and their governments and media.

In 1992, Vampire: The Masquerade won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1991. The game line was discontinued in 2004, and followed by revised rules and a new setting in Vampire: The Requiem.

In general, vampiric societies consist of two levels: sects and clans. Characters within the Vampire setting are members of one of the clans or minor bloodlines offered, and usually belong to factions associated with these or that reflect a general ideological stance the characters happen to share. For example, a Brujah may belong to the Camarilla, the Sabbat, or the Anarchs, but very few Tremere would be found among the Sabbat and even more rarely among the Anarchs.

Some clans and most of minor bloodlines declare themselves independent from any sects. In addition, the Laibon, known as Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom by Western Kindred, are not so much a sect as a cultural group bound together loosely by a powerful spiritual bond to the land and the people of Africa. The Kindred of the East, while sharing some superficial similarity to the western Kindred, are actually an entirely different variety of supernatural being.


Clans and bloodlines


The thirteen main clans in Vampire: The Masquerade.
ClanProgenitorSect allegiance
AssamiteHaqimMostly independent, antitribu in the Sabbat, Schismatics in the Camarilla
BrujahBrujah/TroileMostly Camarilla, antitribu in the Sabbat; vampires of the True Brujah clan are practically extinct
Followers of SetSet or TyphonMostly independent, antitribu in the Sabbat (as the Serpents of Light)
GangrelEnnoiaMostly independent since they abandoned the Camarilla en masse, antitribu in the Sabbat
GiovanniAugustus GiovanniIndependent
Lasombra[Lasombra]Mostly Sabbat, a few antitribu in the Camarilla
MalkavianMalkavMostly Camarilla, antitribu in the Sabbat
NosferatuAbsimilliardMostly Camarilla, antitribu in the Sabbat
RavnosRavannaMostly independent, antitribu in the Sabbat
ToreadorArikel or IshtarMostly Camarilla, antitribu in the Sabbat
TremereTremere [1]Camarilla, very few Sabbat members, but the real antitribu-bloodline was completely destroyed by a ritual
Tzimisce[Tzimisce]Sabbat, Tzimisce outside the sect are extremely rare; members of the so-called Old Clan Tzimisce claim independence from the Sabbat
VentrueVeddharthaMostly Camarilla, antitribu in the Sabbat

[1] Tremere was a powerful mage who stole the power of the sleeping Saulot.

Names in brackets are placeholders for the real names of the progenitors who are unknown.

Minor bloodlines

These clans vary in their origins. Some were among the original major clans, but have declined or become extinct. Others are dominant in regions not central to the events of Vampire: The Masquerade.

BloodlineProgenitorParent bloodlineSect allegiance
AndaDobrul the BraveGangrelProbably extinct before the formation of sects
BaaliShaitan, Moloch and SekerSalubriIndependent
Blood BrothersArtificialTzimisceSabbat
CappadociansAshur/CappadociusNoneOnce a major clan, they were considered extinct before the formation of sects; the Giovanni are their successor bloodline; a small group led by Lazarus survived in Egypt and resurfaced in 1998
Children of OsirisOsirisFollowers of SetIndependent
Daughters of CacophonyLilithToreadorIndependent
GargoylesArtificialGangrel, Nosferatu and TzimisceGargoyles usually adhere to the sect of their creators; a large group of Gargoyles, freed by Ferox, is independent
GuruhiUnknownUnknown (possibly Nosferatu)Laibon
Harbingers of SkullsThe CapuchinCappadociansSabbat
KiasydMarconiusLasombraMostly Sabbat
LaibonFakir Al SidiGangrelUnknown
LamiaLamiaCappadociansConsidered extinct before the formation of sects
LhiannanUnknownGangrelConsidered extinct before the formation of sects
Mariner GangrelUnknownGangrelUnknown
Mla WatuUnknownCappadociansLaibon
NagarajaUnknownUnknown, possibly Cappadocians or SalubriIndependent
Nkulu ZaoSaulotSalubriLaibon
Salubri SaulotNoneA major clan driven to the brink of extinction by the Tremere; the few survivors joined the Sabbat or are independents
SamediBaron SamediCappadociansCamarilla
ShangoUnknownUnknown, possibly AssimiteLaibon
Sons of DiscordLilithToreadorDestroyed by their sisters, the Daughters of Cacophony
TlaciqueUnknownFollowers of SetIndependent
Xi DunduUnknownLasombraLaibon


In the World of Darkness, there is an increasing number of "clanless"—vampires who are ignorant of, or have chosen to disregard, their ancestry. They are called Caitiff by the Camarilla, and regarded as a sign of the Masquerade spiralling out of control, therefore gaining little respect from their elders. The Sabbat, on the other hand, gladly embraces the clanless (which they call Panders) into the sect.

Tie-ins and adaptations

Kindred: the Embraced, a television series based on Vampire, was produced by Aaron Spelling. A video game based upon the Vampire milieu is Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, released in 2000. Another game followed in 2004: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Developed by Troika Games and published by Activision, it uses Half-Life 2's Source Engine.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Wraith: The Oblivion, Changeling: The Dreaming, Hunter: The Reckoning, Mummy: The Resurrection, Kindred of the East and Demon: The Fallen are other RPG titles set in the so-called World of Darkness.


External Links

fr:Vampire : la Mascarade it:Vampire/the Masquerade pl:Wampir: Maskarada sv:Vampire: The Masquerade zh:吸血鬼之避世


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