Understanding the Generations
Although Generation conceptually has only a finite number of gradations, the significance of the Generations is more important than a mere ordinal number. Certain Generations correspond to certain social distinctions of the Damned, and a Kindred’s Generation may mark her for a vast and terrible destiny or as the harbinger of a dread fate.
The most widely acknowledged version of the Book of Nod claims the number of second Generation Kindred is three. In its chronicles, Caine Embraced these unknowable Ancients to dwell with him in his great city of Enoch and give him succor. Given to the “Antediluvian” moniker of the Third Generation, those Kindred who delve into such mysteries assume that the Second Generation was slain either during the Deluge or in the kinslayer times following the Flood. As one might expect, all those of age are reluctant to speak of their sires and the great strife that overcame them all.
Undoubtedly, some know more than they are revealing. Were any of the Second Generation still in existence today, they would be impossibly powerful beings. Some Clans claim that their progenitors are in fact members of the Second Generation rather than the Third Generation, as is commonly assumed of Clan founders.
These claims are viewed as everything from prideful boasts to foulest heresy by those who place great stock in matters regarding Kindred origin.
Numerous terrifying tales of the Third Generation exist, though the names of only two, Lucian and Mekhet, are widely known. Tonight, they are referred to as the Antediluvians, and they are the founders of the 13 great Clans. If any survive, they remain hidden, intentionally obscured by the depredations of the Jyhad.
They may still exist, collectively or in some fraction of their original number, but now instead of openly warring as the Book of Nod recounts, they move in a deeper struggle. Indeed, Jyhad seems to be their primary engagement, as they jealously thwart whatever moves their opponents make.
The actions of the Antediluvians range from something as petty as the acquisition of a piece of artwork to grand schemes involving nations, and almost none are classifiable as the movements of Ancients while they’re happening, so subtle are these inhuman master vampires. Those of the Third Generation must by this point be wholly other, split between those who would share the world with mortals and those who would remake the world so that it quivers beneath their gaze.
Alternatively, some among the Third Generation may have reached Golconda or seek to help others of their kind attain this state. Of course, they, too, must play at Jyhad with the other ancients who do not wish this to come to pass.
Those of the Third Generation are terrible beings, with abilities and powers only guessed at by their lessers, having been Kindred for eons longer than they held mortal perspectives. Some say they can die the Final Death only if they choose or are slain by one of equal power. Is this, perhaps, the Jyhad — a maneuvering to see who shall be the last of their kind?
Fourth and Fifth Generations
These vampires are known as the Methuselahs, and they are nearly as powerful and secretive as the Antediluvians.
Those of the Fourth and Fifth Generations are most often the most powerful allies, agents, or pawns in the Jyhad, as their power perhaps nears the prestige of the Third Generation. As a result, their numbers have dwindled throughout millennia of conflict with each other and greater, darker entities. Few of this Generation remain active. Some may seek refuge among the Inconnu or Tal’Mahe’Ra to avoid the Jyhad and diablerie. The Inner Circle of the Camarilla is said to consist of multiple Methuselahs. Some critics believe that the true purpose of the Sects is to blunt the efforts of the Third Generation to manipulate the younger Generations. Although the power of blood of Caine falls off greatly this many Generations removed, those of the Fourth Generation are still extremely powerful, godlike in the eyes of a mortal or fledgling vampire.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Generations
Vampires of these Generations are the ones most commonly described as elders, and they remain deeply involved in Kindred society. Their movements dominate the actions of the most populous Sects (at least to hear them tell it), and their numbers comprise the majority of local authorities. Those who remain in positions of visibility tend to be important figures: leaders of Clans or bloodlines, Princes, Primogen, Bishops, Archbishops, Anarch Barons, and the most notable Autarkis. Many of the Princes of European cities tend to be of the Sixth Generation. Princes of American cities tend to be of the Seventh or Eighth Generations.
Colloquially, the members of the Eighth Generation seem to be the last Kindred described as elders by those even older than they. Perhaps it is because the majority of them were created before the modern age, and that is evident in their manner and bearing. Then again, perhaps it is very dry sarcasm directed toward everyone below the rank of an irascible Methuselah.
Ninth and Tenth Generations
Although they are occasionally called elders, these Kindred just as often move with members of the younger Generations, especially in the New World.
Members of these Generations are frequently called ancillae, though this is often based on age and accomplishment more than Generation. Most were created in the modern era, and thus are somewhat alien in temperament to the older Kindred. In more ways than one, they bridge the gap between the neonates and the true elders.
Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Generations
The most recent Generations of Kindred are often called neonates. Most of the Kindred in the modern nights belong to these Generations — they may outnumber the elder Generations by four-to-one or more.
Born within recent memory, the Kindred of these Generations are products of societies that have received the benefits of, and been victims of, rapid change. Most tellingly, these are the young Kindred who are most adept with modern technology. They are not only unfazed by but actually accustomed to information traveling at the speed of digital data, and would find a handwritten message dispatched on horseback to a superstitious peasant village 500 miles away unspeakably quaint and inefficient. These are the Kindred of the information generation, the ones using social media and computers and changing what it means to be a vampire.
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Generations
There are exceedingly few Kindred of these Generations, and none beyond. Indeed, those of the 15th Generation have failed to sire any progeny. Their blood is far too thin, and they are too removed from Caine, to be able to pass on the curse. Rumors persist about vampires siring not childer but children and other things never before wondered at in the Book of Nod.
But the Book of Nod is definitely clear about one thing: The rise of the Thin-Blooded is one of the signs of the End Times, and Gehenna is nigh.
Generation and Max. Traits
Max. Trait Rating
Blood Pool Max.
Max Trait Rating: This indicates the highest permanent Trait rating (excluding Humanity/Path ratings and Willpower ratings) a vampire of the given Generation can have. This is especially important with regard to Disciplines and Attributes.
Blood Pool Max: The maximum number of blood points a vampire may keep in her system. Remember that elder vampires concentrate their blood — while the volume of blood in their bodies is no greater than any other vampire’s, each pint of blood is worth more than one point.
Blood Points/Turn: This indicates how many blood points a vampire can spend in a single turn.