Bloodlines 2’s clans are central to the World of Darkness and will form a big part of your experience in Hardsuit Labs’ cult sequel. These major Kindred lineages dominate vampiric society and will go a long way in defining the kind of bloodsucker you want to be in this nightmarish reimagining of Seattle.
Much more influential than mere bloodlines, clans are higher in the vampire hierarchy thanks to the numerousness of their brood and their power in the mysterious machinations that control society. Not only that, but being part of a clan allows its members to gain familiarity with different Bloodlines 2 Disciplines, weaknesses, and common characteristics. Then there are the Thinbloods – a much-persecuted group of which you start Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 – who are a different kettle of blood-drained fish altogether.
Once you’ve got to grips with Camarilla-controlled west coast as a Thinblood, you’ll eventually have the choice between the five ancient Bloodlines 2 clans that have Seattle under their pallid white thumbs. So far it sounds a little like Fallout: New Vegas’ factions system, and we’re betting our heavily-guarded stocks of AB+ that choosing which group to join will affect your narrative heavily in what promises to be one of the best vampire games around. So, here are all the Bloodlines 2 clans and their backgrounds.
The Bloodlines 2 Clans we know about so far are:
Thinbloods are not a Bloodlines 2 clan, per se, but they are a troubled sect of vampires united in their ceaseless persecution by Kindred Elders. Despite being seen as weaker in relation to their ancient clan comrades, they are still seen as a threat to the status quo. You do not belong to an established family or bloodline, so other vampires don’t know or trust you. Some even see Thinbloods as the harbinger of the end times for vampires worldwide. This is not only because they have been allowed a rare freedom to rise through the higher echelons of Seattleite vampire society: they can blend in with humans, too.
You start this vampire game as a member of this problematic race, but the twist is that you can do actual people things, to an extent. You can last in the sunlight about as long as a human can last on fire, give birth, and even keep normal food down. Of course, you’re still a monster: you need to drink blood to survive and you’re still much more powerful than your typical meat-based mortal.
There are three clan-specific Bloodlines 2 Thinblood abilities you can choose from, and they are:
- Chiropteran: Lets you glide through the air and summon bats
- Mentalism: Use telekinesis to levitate enemies and relieve them of their weapons
- Nebulation: Turn into mist to choke enemies and move through vents
The first rule of Brujah Fight Club is, well, y’know. The Brujah are a beefy Bloodlines 2 Clan that rely on brute force to survive in Kindred Seattle. Members of this group love nothing better than proving their raw power in so-called ‘bashes’, and are often hired out by the weak as protection. We understand that business is booming at the moment.
The Brujah’s affinity for a good scrap is shown by the Disciplines they can learn. For powerful pugilists only, this Clan will help you to smash your foes up close with unrivalled power without sacrificing agility and speed. Bloodlines 2’s Brujah abilities are:
- Potence: Escalating the Brujah’s powerful strength, deliver a devastating punch that turns enemies to bits with Fist of Caine, and cause an earth-shattering quake with Earthshock.
- Celerity: They might be bulky, but don’t underestimate the speed of the Brujah. Unseen Storm allows you to dash and disappear from view, and slow down time to unleash further blows with Accelerate.
The Tremere are on the of the most persecuted Bloodlines 2 Clans this side of the Thinblood, and most of the Kindred distrust them instinctively. In the search for forbidden knowledge and everlasting life, this mysterious family cursed themselves and were forced to do dodgy deals to inveigle themselves into Seattle.
The Tremere are essentially the mage class in Bloodlines 2, and you’ll certainly be given a hard time by your fellow vampires if you choose them. You are hated, but remain useful enough to the Camarilla that you may stick around, for now. Here are your Bloodlines 2 Tremere powers:
- Thaumaturgy: Blood magic is the signature power of the Tremere, and it lets you place targets on razor sharp spikes and harvest their blood, make them vomit up the red stuff, and then boil it inside their veins. Lovely.
- Auspex: This is all about elevating your vampiric abilities to perfection. With Aura Sense you can see NPCs through walls and mark them and, with Psychic Projection, you can do that from their by untethering yourself from your body to astral form.
The Toreador are the artists of the vampire world, worshipping beauty above all other things, and purely for its own sake. Historically they have nestled themselves within the highest echelons and power structures of Camarilla-controlled society but, it’s hard to escape the feeling that their days are numbered.
The Toreador are the Bloodlines 2 Clan to choose if you just love to show off. In the short-lived bliss of their prime, joining them will give you the power to distract, enthral, and inspire a crowd with merely the drop of a superbly-designed hat. Some Toreador use their abilities to massage their ego, but others are smarter than that. These are the powers innate to the Toreador:
- Presence: Render crowds frozen and oblivious to your actions with Awe and distract an ever-growing throng with Entrance.
- Celerity: Improves your agility and dodge abilities. Unseen Storm is a quick dash and Accelerate increases your speed so much that everything else slows down.
The Ventrue are the new money in this nightmarish vision of Seattle. In fact most of them nowadays are something much worse than even vampires: bankers. Before the industrial booms that defined modern human society, this Bloodlines 2 Clan embedded themselves in the influential roles of high priests and emperors. Now, in this new world, they are the investment bankers, and the chairmen of the boards that control America.
The Ventrue are natural leaders who are canny enough to assume as much money and power for the betterment of their family. Not all Kindred fear their penchant for power, so here are the abilities you can benefit from to remind them who’s boss:
- Dominate: Ensure obedience with Mesmerise, which places NPCs in a trance. Command forces hypnotised targets to move obstacles and even attack others.
- Fortitude: This ability strand makes you tougher, for those who don’t obey. Deflect and heal wounds with Absorb, and Personal Armour hardens your Kindred skin.
The Malkavian Bloodlines 2 Clan will also be a pretty good fit for a Thinblood: they must endure being ostracised from the other Kindred and prejudice, just like your starting character. Many of the Malkavians struggle with mental illness, psychosis, and depression, but they still have their place in Kindred society.
Malkavians do things differently and blaze their own trail, and this applies to the powers they can offer you, too. They may see things differently, but they also see more. Here are the skills they have innate to their familial bond:
- Dementation: Make NPCs flee in panic with Haunt, but Berserk imbues them with an uncontrollable rage that provokes them to lash out at others.
- Auspex: Aura Sense allows Malkavians to see through walls, mark targets, and perceive their weaknesses, whereas Psychic Projection allows you to use Aura Sense as an astral force divorced from your physical form.
Those are all the Bloodlines 2 clans we know about so far, but Paradox and Hardsuit Labs have promised us more information about the five we can join later in the game in the coming weeks – so we’ll keep this guide updated as soon as we know more.
Immersive grim: Here’s our take on Bloodlines 2’s gameplay
In the meantime, take a look at the other best RPGs on PC – hint: the original Bloodlines is one of them – to while away the hours until the sequel arrives. Until then, keep those fangs clean: humans might not harm you, but gum disease almost certainly will.