The coinage of the term Discipline is credited to the Cainite scholar known as Trimeggian through his Encyclopaedia Haemovoria - and although not every vampire will necessarily use it, this denomination has become quite popular among kindred society.
The origin of the vampiric powers modernly known as Disciplines is unknown, however, but many believe they are gifts from Caine or Lilith, and a few Antediluvians are thought to have invented unique Disciplines that have been passed down through their childer. Others believe them to be inborn powers inherent to the undead body.
Aside from their inherent immortal condition and the ability to use vitae to regenerate wounds and improve their strength, dexterity and stamina, proficiency in a Discipline gives the vampire additional supernatural abilities of great strategic value.
There are seventeen "main" Disciplines that are well known and relatively common, but there are also a variety of much rarer Disciplines which are unique to particular clans or are practiced by bloodlines and Thin-Blooded vampires.
Training in each of the Disciplines provides the Cainite with several related powers such as superhuman speed, strength, resilience, command over animals, shapeshifting abilities, sensory powers, the ability to dominate the minds of other creatures, and many more.
Every clan has three inherent Disciplines which they pick up more readily and do not require training to learn. Many clans also have signature Disciplines that are not widely known outside of their clan and are sometimes carefully guarded, though this varies from clan to clan.
Unique Disciplines are not common in the Camarilla, which is largely a revisionist history issue; Camarilla vampires are the default characters for VTM and most of their Disciplines are classic vampiric powers. Conversely, the Sabbat and independent clans have powers which are not part of traditional vampire literature and were introduced later.
The traditional disciplines of each clan are listed below:
- Assamite - Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
- Brujah - Celerity, Potence, Presence
- Gangrel - Animalism, Fortitude, Protean
- Followers of Set - Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis
- Giovanni - Dominate, Necromancy, Potence
- Lasombra - Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
- Malkavian - Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate (in First and Second Editions, Dominate replaces Dementation)
- Nosferatu - Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence
- Ravnos - Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude
- Toreador - Auspex, Celerity, Presence
- Tremere - Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
- Tzimisce - Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude
- Ventrue - Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
Individual bloodlines (including the antitribu) have their own "in-clan" Disciplines, but those are too numerous to list here; additionally, many bloodlines' Disciplines have changed over the course of the game's various editions.
Combination Disciplines break from the typical chains of separate powers and combine two or three Disciplines of various levels to create one specialized power. They are fairly rare and typically must be taught by someone who already knows the power, but are popular because they often add versatility to Disciplines a character possesses or address unique situations. In order to develop a Combination Discipline a character must have the prerequisite rank listed for each Discipline used; thus, to buy a combo of Celerity 4/Potence 3, a character must already have Celerity 4 and Potence 3.
In increasing levels of granularity:
In Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, Disciplines are separated into two levels: the Basic level (denoted with a square symbol) and the Superior level (denoted with a diamond, or technically, a square rotated 45 degrees). The individual powers are the same, but with two different levels of ability.
In Mind's Eye Theatre, the LARP rules, Disciplines are separated into three levels: the Basic level (equivalent to levels 1 and 2 of the Storyteller System), the Intermediate level (equivalent to levels 3 and 4 of Storyteller), and the Advanced level (equivalent to level 5 in Storyteller).
seems to be using a combination of the VTES and MET systems, where Disciplines provide either two or three powers.
In the tabletop Storyteller System, Disciplines are separated into five dots. also adopts this one-to-five system. An optional system provides Elder Discipline Powers of 6 to 10 dots for more ancient vampires.
Finally, Protean which may have five powers in the Storyteller system, in Redemption, each of those five powers may themselves be rated from one to five, providing a potential 25 dots to assign into Protean.uses a system where you can assign up to five dots in skill into any of the individual powers. So, assuming a Discipline like
This Wiki will default to the Storyteller System presentation as the most common middle-of-the-road approach.
The majority of Disciplines consist of a sequence of powers which begin at a one-dot power and rise to a five-dot power. Discipline progression is fixed: every character who learns Auspex 2 learns the same power, cannot obtain it until they possess Auspex 1, and must learn it before gaining Auspex 3. The exceptions to this sequence are the various forms of blood sorcery, such as Thaumaturgy and Necromancy. These Disciplines consist of a main track that governs the maximum level of paths and rituals. However, each path is individually learned in the same manner as any other five-dot Discipline: one cannot learn the second level of the Path of Blood without first learning the first level.
Three Disciplines — Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence — are commonly called the Physical Disciplines because they directly enhance a vampire's physical abilities. Dots up to five in these Disciplines do not provide new powers like the other disciplines do. Instead, every new level is a steady increase in one specific capacity: Celerity increases the number of extra actions a character can take per round by spending blood (and, in 20th Anniversary, increases dexterity); Fortitude adds dice to resist damage; and Potence grants automatic successes to feats of strength. At the Storyteller's discretion the Physical Disciplines may be learned by all Cainites without training.
Cainites of seventh or lower generation may learn Elder Discipline Powers of six to ten dots, with the maximum rating of a Discipline restricted to 13 minus their generation. At such levels the potency of Discipline powers increase greatly, and characters no longer must follow a uniform progression but can choose from a variety of powers available at any one level or even invent their own powers that suit their tactics. Advanced Disciplines provide elders a great advantage over higher generation Cainites, but also lure younger vampires to commit diablerie.
|Vampire: The Masquerade Disciplines pre-V5:|
|Abombwe · Animalism · Auspex · Bardo · Celerity · Chimerstry · Daimonion · Dementation · Dominate · Flight · Fortitude · Melpominee · Mytherceria · Obeah · Obfuscate · Obtenebration · Potence · Presence · Protean · Quietus · Sanguinus · Serpentis · Spiritus · Temporis · Thanatosis · Valeren · Vicissitude · Visceratika|
|Blood Sorcery pre-V5:||Abyss Mysticism · Akhu · Thaumaturgical Countermagic · Dur-An-Ki · Mortis · Nahuallotl · Voudoun Necromancy · Western Necromancy · Ogham · Sadhana · Sihr · Thaumaturgy · Dark Thaumaturgy · Sielanic Thaumaturgy · Assamite Sorcery · Anarch Sorcery · Koldunic Sorcery · Setite Sorcery · Wanga|
|V5||Animalism · Auspex · Blood Sorcery · Celerity · Dominate · Fortitude · Obfuscate · Oblivion · Potence · Presence · Protean · Thin-Blood Alchemy|
|V5 Amalgams:||Chimerstry · Dementation · Obeah · Serpentis · Valeren · Vicissitude|
|Defunct:||Deimos · Kai · Kineticism · Maleficia · Nihilistics · Rift · Striga|
- Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 82, 85, 127, etc..