Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines - Disciplines
This final article in the series details the vampiric Disciplines - powers you get based upon the clan you choose. The Disciplines are where this dark and fun game shines, and they get better the longer you play.
Now that you're a vampire, you aren't just stronger and immortal. You get to play with power, affect those around you and destroy your enemies. The Disciplines are based upon the clan you choose (although some disciplines are available to multiple clans), so you should choose wisely. Of course, this aspect of the game is another reason for its replayability. Its a shame if you only play it through once, because most of these Disciplines are fun to use. So without further ado, the Disciplines are:
- Animalism - A targeted type (meaning you target an animal to affect) of Discipline available to the Gangrel and Nosferatu clans, this Discipline allows you to use animals for your bidding.
- Auspex - The passive (non-targeted) Discipline of auras, this allows you to see the aura of those around you. Auras tell whether the person is neutral towards you, hostile or even another vampire. Malkavian, Toreador and Tremere get this Discipline.
- Celerity - Relegated to Brujah and Toreador, this passive Discipline allows you to move faster than normal, similar to bullet time in other games.
- Dementation - Exclusively Malkavian, this targeted Discipline allows you to cause people around you to go crazy - so you won't feel like you're the only one.
- Dominate - The power of the Tremere and Ventrue, this targeted Discipline bends others to your will - even other vampires.
- Fortitude - The Gangrel and Ventrue get this passive Discipline, which allows them to withstand damage better than others.
- Obfuscate - Malkavians and Nosferatu have the passive power to disappear - literally - and this is where they get it. As long as they stand still, they can be undetectable even under a direct spotlight - though of course not the sun.
- Potence - A passive Discipline of the Brujah and Nosferatu, this allows for incredible strength. Damage caused by this Discipline cannot be defended against.
- Presence - Fear is a tool of the Brujah, Toreador and Ventrue, which this passive Discipline provides. The dread it causes can even paralyze a potential victim.
- Protean - Gangrel alone hold this Discipline, which allows them to change their physical attributes to great effect. This can be as subtle as fearful glowing eyes or as extreme as dangerous claws for devastating combat.
- Thaumaturgy - Known as Blood Magic, the Tremere have perfected this targeted Discipline into an art form. Although disdained by other clans, the Tremere use this Discipline very effectively.
One thing to note is that these Disciplines are powered by blood. In other words, you must use blood - that you get from drained victims or the local blood bank - to "cast" these powers. The higher levels of each Discipline use up more blood points, and if you get too low in blood points...well I'm sure you can imagine the impact of a thirsty vampire. As you can see however, the varied aspect of the Disciplines demands that you replay the game (at least partially) to explore all of them. They are all just too cool to ignore, so have fun with it over and over again.
So There You Go
This game is truly one of a kind, both in content and genre. There are very few well-done horror games, but this one is worthy enough to be counted among the greats. There are a few bugs, and the graphics are a little dated but not excessively so. There are still fans of the game out there though, so finding official (and unofficial) patches to improve your experience is not difficult. Best of all, you can most likely pick up a copy of this game cheaply in a bargain bin or on Ebay. Go out and pick this game up, because its well worth the time you'll spend playing it.