Now, that you are familiar with the dark history of the Kindred, or the lies they choose to tell each other about it, let's take a look at how their all-night society actually works.

The Ivory Tower

The Clans

There are seven great clans who claim the legacy of the Dark Father. They have had many names throughout the ages, changing according to language, cultural context and social standing. 

While they would insist, that they have always been the way they are tonight, while retaining their core powers and weaknesses, their expressions of identity have changed considerably from their beginnings to the modern nights.

The Brujah have always pursued their ideals with a burning passion for words and actions, questioning the dogma of others and proclaiming their own. Where once they had been Sages, the last few centuries saw them turn to Firebrands, always at the forefront of revolutions

The Gangrel where once travellers, driven to explore and to hunt, pushing the boundaries of the unknown. Once they were considered Outlanders, but being pressed into increasingly urban environments like caged beasts has seen them labeled Ferals

The Malkavians continue to walk the fine line between divine inspiration and a blinding confusion of voices and visions received by minds too open to the unknown. In ages past they were honoured Oracles but in modern times they are cast as Doomsayers

The Nosferatu are twisted into terrifying shapes betraying a monstrosity other Kindred manage to hide. Once called Worms as they delved into the earth for shelter, the modern Pariahs have learned to delved into the secrets of their persecutors to ensure their survival. 

The Toreador inflame and feed on human passion and expression to fill the emptiness within. At one time praised as Muses, fostering the genius of mankind, they are now considered Sirens, seducing their prey to give in to darker impulses.

The Tremere have long been accepted as a true clan, despite their dread beginnings, commanding respect and proving useful due to their sorcery. No longer called Usurpers, they are the Warlocks who provide their services for a price.

The Ventrue have ever been natural leaders, whose ambition and strength of vision always prevailed. But greed and overreach have lessened their qualities as the noble Patricians of yore, with their sobriquet of Kings pointing to their feudal, authoritarian nature.

Although the phenomenon is not really talked about in polite society, much as the arrival of the Tremere once upended the social order, there is a new variation of the blood that might give rise to another clan in the future.

Recent nights have given rise to the Caitiff, variously called Thin-Bloods or Duskborn. These orphans of dead or neglectful sires do not manifest the traits or gifts of any known blood. They often flock together for purposes of survival, sharing an eerie capacity to be indistinguishable from humans to Kindred eyes and even be able to withstand daylight for a time.

They are almost universally feared and loathed, subject to prejudice and mistreatment. 

The Traditions

All Kindred know the Six Traditions, which were around in some form or other since the nights of the Dream and which were enshrined in the Treaty of Thorns. They are the laws that governed all domains under the umbrella of the Camarilla for the last 500 years. 

The First Tradition is that of the Masquerade, which forbids all Kindred to reveal their true nature to any mortals except their Ghoul servants which they have bound in blood to them or those victims they have ensorcelled for feeding. The mortals must never know.

The Second Tradition is that of the Domain, which commands the respect and obedience of all Kindred who have entered the land which a powerful vampire ruler has claimed. It also means that the host of a gathering is master of the evening, and any vampire the ruler of their haven. All have a responsibility to their guests in exchange for submission to their rules.

The Third Tradition is that of Progeny, which forbids the Kindred living in a domain to create more of their kind by draining a mortal and feeding them their blood without the express allowance of the Prince, so as not to create an overpopulation that would draw mortal attention.

The Fourth Tradition is that of the Accounting, which holds a Kindred sire responsible for the education and deeds of their childe until the Prince decides that they can join Kindred society as free members. This is supposed to ensure an unbroken chain of indoctrination into the ways of unlife without uneducated fledglings threatening the safety of all.

The Fifth Tradition is that of Hospitality, which instructs all Kindred to introduce themselves to the Prince of a domain upon entering it, making any squatting and poaching illegal and keeping a ruler always aware of the vampire population. 

The Sixth Tradition is that of Destruction, which forbids Kindred from destroying another vampire without the express permission of the Prince. They are the only master of unlife and death in a domain.

All Kindred are expected to keep these laws sacred. Even so, the shady dealings of society usually only see the underprivileged and scape goats punished as those in power know how to game the system using their intel and connections.

When a culprit is sentenced, the Prince issues a Blood Hunt, which means any Kindred may kill them and take their blood without repercussions. This cannibalistic consumption is the only way to truly ensure the Final Death of a Kindred aside from sunlight, overcoming even the strongest regenerative powers.


At the top of a domain's pyramid of power is the Prince, an Elder vampire of great personal power who through political brinkmanship, in-depth knowledge of everyone's dirty secrets, the support of their allies, the fear of their enemies, and public acclaim reached by stick or carrot, is master of the Traditions, arbiter in all conflicts and ruler of all.  

Bolstering the power of the Prince, as well as being a sort of loyal opposition, the Primogen are the eldest or most influential members of their clans, recognized as counselors by the ruler of the domain. While they have no direct individual authority, when they speak as one (which they rarely do) they can oppose or even unseat a ruler. A Prince's best option is to divide and rule, keeping them individually happy and preventing them from uniting.

The Prince's officers or lieutenants are not in themselves powerful people, but when they act, they do so with the authority of their master, and they can grant others access to the Prince's ear. The Seneschal is responsible for the smooth running of the nightly affairs of the domain and the Sheriff investigates and punishes breaches of the Prince's edicts. Lieutenants walk a fine line between furthering their own ambitions and not becoming too independently powerful for their own good.

A domain is populated by vampires of all ages. Since one's forebearers almost never perish and make room at the top, age and strength of blood are primary indicators of social status, no matter one's personal accomplishments. 

Inexperienced vampires who have not yet completed their first century of unlife are called Neonates. While they are most numerous, they are also way down the ladder. Though they are usually disregarded this also gives them some leeway to pursue their own interests. 

Above them are the Ancillae, those vampires who have been around for a few centuries and have made their mark in society. Considered servants of the Prince and the other Elders, they are supposed to be influencers and handlers in Kindred society, paying for their higher standing by their obedience.

At the top of the foodchain are the Elders, Kindred who have seen five centuries of unlife or more. They are legendary predators and their pretense of humanity is wearing rather thin. While they prime players in the Kindred's dirty dealings, they also share responsibility for the upkeep of the Ivory Tower at the highest level, and when they fall, they fall hard. 

Some very old, legendary vampires, who have seen a thousand years of unlife or more, are sometimes called Methuselahs and accorded the greatest respect. Nothing is known about them.

Outside the Kindred who play ball are the Anarchs of modern times. They are not a unified movement, let alone a sect. Rather it is a pejorative for those who flaunt the rules and show no proper respect. While to the elders most neonates are Anarchs per se, the actual hard-line radicals are few and far between. Anarchs have no chance of rising in the hierarchy but they are also overlooked as long as they don't cause too much trouble.

A Gilded Cage

The Mask of Mortality

However much the Kindred way of life may be a prison, for all its pressures and dangers, it is not without its comforts. 

Rare is the Kindred who doesn’t have a carefully kept mortal alias, who doesn’t spend most of their time among the Kine. In fact, the Damned are so deeply entrenched in mortal society that they often become the Mask that they wear for most of their unlives. 

It's so tempting to have friends and loved ones, to have a regular life, or a job even. To pretend to be normal and still live the power fantasy of unassailable immortality. And some of the more humane Kindred actually need to believe this, they buy in to the illusion so as not to go insane with grief or anger over what they have become.

And for the rest, wearing the mask provides an abundance of intellectual and aesthetic stimulation. The lowliest vampire fledgling has powers to bring the mightiest mortals to heel. As long as they remain discreet, they have a whole world to play with and no one can tell them no.

As creatures of urban areas, vampires can rely on a steady supply of the choicest vitae. It is very easy to attain and keep wealth and all manner of luxuries. 

Machiavellian politics provide ample opportunities to exert influence and seek power without having to directly come head to head with rivals that are as deadly as oneself.

Masters of the Masquerade that they are, adept at couching messages in intricate systems of cyphers, whole salons, even courtly affairs of the Kindred happen in the midst of mortal gatherings with none of the uninitiated ever being the wiser.

It is a rare and unique opportunity, when Kindred gather just among themselves. It is as enticing as it is dangerous. It is the only time to truly be yourself. And it is the only time one is ever truly in danger. 

The Social Scene

Kindred organise themselves into Coteries, groups ranging from family-like relationships to like-minded individuals pursuing a common cause, or short term alliances of convenience. These ties transcend clans and often status and get really personal over time, for better or worse. 

Most night-to-night contact that vampires have is strictly with members of their own coteries. They rarely leave their hunting grounds to seek out others, except when the occasion requires it.

Vampires are inherently distrustful and loathe to meet strangers in person. And yet, they are also profoundly social creatures, dependent on the few who are like them for the company that keeps them sane and allows them to do business. 

When Kindred gather, they declare the place of their meeting Elysium, which means a sanctum free of all violence and coercive use of supernatural powers. In theory, this allows the Kindred to congregate freely and negotiate their conflicts. In practice, it means that the truly succesful individuals find ways to get away with their crimes without being noticed.

A meeting of vampires is best characterised by the phrase "talk softly, carry a big stick". The Camarilla teaches its devotees that proper respect of Status, respectful forms of address and the art of polite conversation, are important to keep one's Beast in check. Only civil discourse prevents the instinct for violence which will eventually threaten the Masquerade. 

In actual fact, this means that Kindred conversation is full of fawning displays of submission to one's betters, veiled threats and insults to one's rivals, and callous, denigrating disregard for those of lesser station than oneself. Greasing your way to the best position, while keeping everyone else down, especially if one can goad them into unwise action, is an art form.

All Kindred dealings are based on the premise that when a vampire receives an important gift or favour, a Boon, they are beholden to its bestower and honour-bound to return it at their behest. The greater the deed, the greater the debt. Until they pay back the obligation in kind, they are beholden to the bestower. A clever Kindred can leverage a Boon for far more than the original favour was worth, before finally calling it in. 

This sort of prestation is  what keeps the Kindred together and gives them tools to interact, creating a complex and multi-layered society full of shady deals and obscure dependencies. A vampire is no more bound by prestation ties than by any other promises she makes, but refusing to honour a Boon upsets all vampires and ruins one's social standing for years to come.

The Sects

The Camarilla is not a monolithic stronghold and has little to offer in terms of a world view. It tells you, how you should behave but it doesn't help you with a sense of belonging or belief. Underneath its great umbrella, there exist many who would change things for a more singular vision of how Kindred should live and why.

The Bahari are a radical sect of Lilith worshippers who venerate the Dark Mother as the true progenitor of the Kindred. They believe Cain stole her gifts and denied his descendants her wisdom for a good, a true way of unlife. Seeking to punish and purge and punish those who emulate the Dark Father in their corrupt actions, they seek to instruct those who would learn to change their ways through intense experiences that awaken empathy and understanding.

The Inconnu are a very small sect of monks and scholars, last remnants of the fallen domain of the Dream, most of them very old and far removed from everyday Kindred society, who strive to absent themselves from the conflicts of their kind, devoting all their energy to transcending the Curse of Cain and become semi-divine beings, entering a mystical state that is variously called Rebirth or Golconda. They are said to brainwash their students and push them to self denial even unto Final Death.

The Sabbat is a millenialist cult of monstrous Cain-worshippers who exult in their vampire condition, would seek to subdue the mortals rather than hide from them, and believe they fight against the tyranny of the Antedeluvians, who have forsaken the ways of the Dark Father and supposedly control the clans to this day, using the Camarilla leaders as puppets. It’s a small but aggressive sect, organized around violent religious rituals and communal blood bonds. 

The elders are all too aware of the decline of the Camarilla that began with the coming of the sects during the Age of Enlightenment. They also know that forbidden fruit always taste sweetest, and that they must be careful lest their young be seduced by such taboo teachings. And while no Kindred would openly admit to membership, chances are, there's a heretic with you at any social gathering.

Any Prince will relentlessly question and then destroy anyone suspected of belonging to any of these radical sects. 


The Kindred may run the Ivory Tower but it is their ghoul servants that actually keep it running.

Almost all vampires desire to have these bonded companions, immune to age and decay as long as they stay hooked on the vitae that slowly drives them insane, because they need someone they can trust absolutely, something made possible through the power of the blood. 

Ghouls, can be their daylight watchers, ensuring a safe sleep, and be their eyes, ears and facilitators in the human world during the daylight hours. 

They can provide emotional comfort because they are literally unable to disclose their master's secrets: The Kindred can vent and share their feelings and secrets, something they can't ever do with other vampires. 

They will never say no, they will never judge, and, unlike mere humans, they will never fade away due to the ravages of mortality.

Relationships between ghouls and vampires are by their very nature sick and twisted. They have an innate power-imbalance, one party is literally incapable of giving their informed consent, transactions are always exploitative, and many interactions turn quickly abusive. But  there's nothing that says that vampires always need to come out on top. 

As a vampire, imagine you have a friend you trust more than anyone else in the world and you are completely dependent on them for many things which would be completely natural for most mortals. 

You may be the one with awesome super-powers and built-in immortality, but your friend has all the things you secretely pine for and you may never have. You hate them for that as much as you need them, and you pray that the Blood Bond will never break because then your un-life will be over in an instant.

As a ghoul, imagine you have a friend you love more than anyone else in the world and their continued good-will for you, which you have to earn on a nightly basis, is literally the only thing that keeps you from dying under the fangs of the monster that sleeps inside of them. 

You maybe the one they need for everything, but they are beautiful, perfect, powerful and immortal and they dangle the carrot of perhaps one day finally becoming a vampire yourself over your head. You hate them for that as much as you need them and you know that part of your unconditional love is being compelled by the Blood Bond, fantasizing what freedom would be like.

Ghouls will always be second class citizens in the courts of the Kindred. 

They have no rights of their own and Kindred apart from their domitor will probably only care for their continued existence if they are still human enough to be capable of feeling such a mortal emotion. 

But they are completely ubiquitous and a necessity of survival. 

It is accepted fact that a ghoul can negotiate or carry messages for their master. Ghouls are often well-connected in the mortal world, some are skilled administrators, managing the lives of the Kindred and some very accomplished ones even have official functions, such as seneschal to a prince, overseeing the daily affairs of a domain.

Harming another's ghoul can lead to serious repercussions. No one can be completely sure who exactly they will make angry by touching some human, what price they will have to pay for such a transgression.

Then again, the Kindred always covet what they cannot have. The sweet, sweet blood calls out to them constantly. They'll fight over prized mortals, they'll haggle over them or just steal them, they'll seduce them, they'll hurt them to get back at one another.