With the announcement of BLOODLINES 2, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the intricate lore of the franchise. The series is famous for its deep gameplay, branching paths, and the various factions you can join. Today we’re focusing on the vampire clans: unique bloodlines that influence a player’s powers, skills, and personality.
In the first game, each clan radically changes your experience. They determine what powers you have, how you interact with the world, and how you progress through the story.
But which clan should you join in BLOODLINES 2? What sets them apart? How will they affect the gameplay? Well, let’s take a look!
The following clans are confirmed for BLOODLINES 2, complete with their own powers and backstories:
Thinbloods: The Scrappy Underdogs
Less a clan and more a curse, Thinbloods form the lowest rung of vampire society. For whatever reason, they lack the strength and powers of their full-blooded sires. Thinbloods have trouble creating more vampires, and those they do create are Thinbloods as well. With each generation of vampires, the number of Thinbloods increase.
This probably goes without saying, but vampires are terrified of Thinbloods. Many see them as the end of vampirism, a sign of the apocalypse. Vampires live in fear of siring a Thinblood, bringing their race one step closer to extinction.
As you can imagine, Thinbloods are rejected by vampire society. Many are outright abandoned by their sires. Some don’t even know they’re vampires. They’re often ignorant of vampiric laws and the importance of the Masquerade. In their confusion, Thinbloods may attack people on the street, desperately rob blood banks, or otherwise expose the existence of vampires to the world. Of course, this just makes the other clans hate them more.
But the life of a Thinblood isn’t all bad. They’re less susceptible to sunlight than other vampires and many develop unique powers without training or effort. They can stay awake during the daytime and more easily blend in with humans. Some can even eat normal food. Nevertheless, Thinbloods are among the weakest of their kind.
Because of this, I’m curious to see how Thinbloods work in BLOODLINES 2. According to PCGamer, the player starts out as a Thinblood and somehow gains the powers of a clan of their choosing. How this happens is anybody’s guess, but I have my suspicions…
The Artists of Clan Toreador
The Toreador are your classic “sexy” vampires. They’re artists, socialites, and extroverts, obsessed with beauty and perfection. So much so that it tends to drive them a little crazy. Compared to other clans, they spend the most time around mortals. They hide in plain site, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, producers, and pop stars. While most vampires struggle to understand an ever-changing world, the Toreador quickly adapt to new trends and social norms.
They specialize in persuasion, seduction, and mind control, favoring honeyed words over brute strength. But don’t mistake them for weak-willed pushovers. The sheer charisma of a Toreador can be overwhelming. Their presence is enrapturing and they can control your mind with a mere glance.
The Mages of Clan Tremere
Tremere is an odd clan, if you can call them a “clan” at all. One of the youngest bloodlines, they began as a house of powerful mages led by the eponymous Tremere. Seeking immortality, they developed a ritual that would give them all the benefits of vampirism without any of the drawbacks. As you can probably guess, things didn’t go as planned.
Tremere and his followers became full-on vampires, achieving immortality at the cost of their own souls. But there was a bigger problem: vampires can’t use magic. Not the “real” stuff anyway. In short, their plan blew up in their faces. Weakened and persecuted by their former allies, they sought to master their affliction.
In order to compete with the other clans, Tremere drained the blood of an ancient vampire, consuming his soul in the process. This is called diablerie, and in vampire society it’s pretty much the worst thing you can do. Imagine a cannibal that also eats souls. To a vampire, this is about ten times worse than that. The rest of Tremere’s house followed suit, driving a clan to near extinction in order to increase their power.
Today, House Tremere has become Clan Tremere: an entire bloodline of vampiric mages. Through centuries of study, they’ve developed their own form of magic that may one day rival that of their living counterparts. These skills have made them useful to the other clans and over time the Tremere have settled comfortably into vampiric society.
Still, Clan Tremere is controversial to say the least. To many, they’re not even “real” vampires. Many see them as abominations and usurpers, an unholy union of mage and cainite.
Regardless, their magic has proven indispensable to the Camarilla and they’re arguably the most powerful clan in the world.
The Rebels of Clan Brujah
Depending on who you ask, the Brujah are either social activists or blood-crazed anarchists. But one thing everyone can agree on is that the Brujah are rebels. They’re agitators and malcontents looking for any opportunity to upset the status quo. Brujah run the gamut from motorcycle gangsters, to punk-rockers, to full-on terrorists.
The clan is far from united. Some are hardcore libertarians, while others are communists. Some fight for social justice, others may have been Confederates in the Civil War. No matter their beliefs (or lack thereof), the Brujah are driven by their fight against the establishment.
This behavior puts them at odds with the Ventrue, who in many ways are their polar opposites.
The following clans are staples of the franchise and playable in the original BLOODLINES. While unconfirmed, they’ll almost certainly appear in the sequel. Even if they don’t make it into the game at launch, Paradox has confirmed that they’ll be adding more clans after launch. Don’t worry, they’ll be free.
The Venerable Ventrue
The Ventrue are the politicians, nobles, and businessmen of the Camarilla. Some were Ivy League frat boys in life, others were Wall Street executives. The oldest among them are nobles and warriors from ages past. No matter the era, they represent the top echelons of society. The Ventrue see themselves as guardians of their fellow vampires. The other clans see them as stuck up pricks.
No matter your opinion, the Ventrue are more than corrupt politicians or shady businessmen. On the whole, they value law, tradition, and vampiric culture above all else. While other clans concern themselves with selfish schemes, the Ventrue look out for the interests of all vampires.
Unsurprisingly, the Ventrue are the strongest supporters of the Camarilla and the Masquerade. They believe vampires can only thrive so long as they work together and remain hidden from mortal eyes. Other clans may hate them, but when they need a dispute settled or a law enforced or someone to blame for their misfortunes, they always turn to the Ventrue.
Malkavians are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re renowned seers, widely sought after for their prophetic visions. Their powers make them indispensable to the Camarilla and they often act as advisors to people in power.
On the other hand, they’re completely insane.
Some hide it better than others, but every Malkavian is dangerously disturbed. Others see their condition as a curse, but Malkavians see it as a blessing. Their “gifts” let them see the world with new eyes and deeper knowledge. The other clans are just too boring to appreciate their powers.
In the original BLOODLINES, playing as a Malk completely changes the way you interact with others. In place of “normal” dialogue, your player will spout prophetic, often comical, nonsense. It isn’t a complete game-changer but could make it difficult to interact with others.
Thankfully, Malkavians have a few tricks up their sleeves to balance them out. They share a psychic link with each other, making them far more organized than they seem. At times, their “unique” method of speech can come in handy, allowing them to confuse or even threaten others with ease. If all else fails, they can always just drive you insane.
If Malkavians appear in BLOODLINES 2, I hope they take these traits even further. A Malkavian playthrough should always be unique, unpredictable, and enjoyable in its absurdity.
Clan Gangrel: Totally Not Werewolves
Unlike most vampires, who stick to densely populated cities, the Gangrel are nomadic, sticking to rural areas and never staying in one place for long.
The Gangrel are the most bestial bloodline in the Camarilla. They have a close connection to predatory animals. Some can even shapeshift into wolves, causing young vampires to confuse them for werewolves.
All vampires have an inner beast: a predator that drives them to commit great acts of cruelty. For the Gangrel, the call of the beast is even stronger. They’re constantly at war with the beast within, battling their baser instincts.
The Gangrel may be a bit “feral” but they’re no less intelligent than the other clans. Some even become renowned scholars, studying vampiric culture as they travel the world.
Clan Nosferatu: The Original Internet Trolls
Because of this, the Nosferatu have learned to act behind the scenes. They skulk in the sewers, spying on the surface world, gathering intelligence for the other clans. They’re also skilled hackers, hiding their grotesque forms behind a computer screen. No one likes the Nosferatu, but their skills are essential to the Camarilla.
Like Malkavians, playing as a Nosferatu drastically changed the gameplay. Because these guys are so monstrous, their mere presence can break the Masquerade. In short, if you play as a Nosferatu, you’re essentially playing a stealth game, avoiding human contact as you prowl through back alleys and dank warehouses.
Which Clan Will You Join?
So which clan will you join in BLOODLINES 2? Did we leave any important clans out? Let us know in the comments!