According to Vampire lore, Caine just liked certain clans better. These are called the High Clans. They are there by the Divine Right of the Dark Father, either because of their stronger blood or because their clan weaknesses are less debilitating. Or, perhaps, just because they can maintain their iron grip on Court that way. It depends on who you ask. High Clans are Ventrue, Lasombra, Brujah, Tzimisce, Toreador and Cappadocian.
If you're anything else, you're generally considered Low Clan. Salubri used to be High Clan, but since they lost Saulot, they are technically not a Clan at all. Caitiffs are the clanless, and are considered the lowest of all. They don't know what clan they belong to or no clan will claim them. If you are one of the Caitiff, expect to have to fight for any scraps of respect.
The High Clans rules supreme over the medieval night. They are the Cainite nobility composed of Princes and Barons who rule over vast domains. Referred to as the First Cursed, they claim their progenitors were Embraced during the early nights of Enoch, before the Fallen. The First Cursed blame the Low Clans for the strife and downfall of Enoch.
Brujah (Zealots) - Proud and angry crusaders.
Disciplines: Presence, Potence, Celerity
Weakness – You can’t resist Frenzy and your maximum Willpower rating is 5.
Cappadocian (Graverobbers) - Scholars of death
Weakness – You have a deathly pallor represented by pale make-up on your entire face as a minimum.
Advantage – You know the basics per the Player's Guide of Wraith Society. Those with Mortis can learn blood rites.
Lasombra (Magisters) - Decadent manipulators
Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
Weakness – Each time you see a mirror on a wall,table, or held in front of you, you must stare at it doing nothing else for 10 seconds unless attacked.
Advantage – knowledge of the Kiasyd Bloodline.
Toreador (Artisans) - Social predators.
Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity and Presence.
Weakness - Each time you see something you deem beautiful, you must stare at it doing nothing else for 10 seconds unless attacked.
Tzimisce (Fiends) - Tyrants of forest and mountain. (Restricted)
Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude
Weakness – Carry a bag filled with 2 handfuls of soil on your person to keep your Disciplines active. Attach a Fetter Tag to the soil bag and you can ask for 1 new Tag from Check-In per event to represent building ties to the earth of your new home. There is no limit to the number of Fetters you may have.
Ventrue (Warlords or Patricians) - Conquerors and kings.
Disciplines: Dominate, Fortitude and Presence
Weakness – Your Blood Pool is refilled from only one type of prey. Choose one: male or female Human. Additional traits (i.e. social class or physical attributes) are optional. You can’t Drain Health from any but your chosen prey. Feeding on vampires are excluded from this weakness.
After those who are exalted by Caine are the Low Clans. They are considered by some to be of weaker blood or too cursed to be allowed any real power. Many of the Low Clans are, in fact, foreign to Europe and its Christian Cainites. Others are simply so alien that their very presence perturbs the ‘civilized’ Cainites. While the High Clans hold the reign of power, the Low Clans are gaining ground after years of neglect and abuse.
Assamites (Saracens or Assassins) Restricted.
Disciplines - Quietus, Obfuscate, Celerity
Weakness – You become Blood Oathed if you drink 3 or more Health from a vampire at once.
Followers of Set (Serpents, Setites) - Descendants of a dark god
Disciplines - Serpentis, Obfuscate, Presence
Weakness - Daylight exposure time is halved including Daylight exposure time with Fortitude.
Gangrel (Animals) - Wild outsiders
Disciplines - Protean, Fortitude, Animalism
Weakness – Each Blood Frenzy adds a permanent animal feature (fixed fangs, fixed claws, fur, etc) that you must represent at all times.
Advantage – You know of the Lupines. You might have even heard them called Garou before.
Malkavians (Madmen) - Insane visionaries and oracles
Disciplines - Dementation, Obfuscate, Auspex
Weakness – Choose at least 1 Derangement that must be constantly role-played as part of your character’s personality.
Nosferatu (Lepers) - Twisted lurkers and penitents
Disciplines - Obfuscate, Potence, Animalism
Weakness – you have mottled skin (can include sores, warts, blisters, or any sort of hideous skin disorder) that you must represent at all times.
Ravnos (Charlatans) - Wanderers and corrupters
Disciplines - Chimerstry, Fortitude, Animalism
Weakness – Addicted to/obsessed by one: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, or Pride. This can be roleplayed in various ways: as an unavoidable compulsion against the vampire's will, a vice encouraged in others, or an undeniably strong personality trait. Or all three.
Salubri (Cyclops or Unicorn)- Warriors and healers of a broken clan. Restricted.
Disciplines – (Valeren Healing or Valeren Warrior) Auspex, Fortitude
Weakness - You can feed on willing victims only. Unwilling victims cause one Damage per Health drained.
Appearance - A painted or prosthetic open eye must be in the middle of your forehead. The eye can be covered when not using Valeren, and its color is determined by your chosen Valeren path.
Tremere (Usurpers) - Ruthless blood mages
Disciplines - Thaumaturgy, Dominate, Auspex
Weakness – You are Blood Oathed to any Tremere from whom you drink 2 or more Health at once.
Advantage – Knowledge of gargoyles. Those with Thaumaturgy can learn blood rituals.