What Are Alternate Powers?
Alternate Powers are a house rule, so ask your Storytellers before you take any of these. Alternate Powers are basically a low-level way of expanding the functionality of your Disciplines. Even once a Vampire learns all five levels of a discipline, after all, he can still expand his mastery of that discipline, by delving into alternate ways of using that power and discovering secret methods known by all.
In general, compared to Devotions, Alternate Discipline Powers tend to be more straight-forward and not nearly as powerful in general. They are most commonly found in levels 1-3, though higher level alternate powers are also possible. Most of the higher level powers, however, are the secrets of specific clans or even of a single Vampire. While most Vampires can experiment with their powers and learn low-level alternate powers, it requires potent blood or a teacher to learn the higher level powers.
Alternate Powers CAN replace the normal progression. This is easiest to do at the lowest levels, generally only requiring a little extra time. It's even possible at the highest levels, with a teacher who can assist you in expressing the power of a discipline in a non-standard way.
The Secrets of the Gangrel
How You Learn Powers
Any Vampire can learn the most simple powers of a Discipline, and thus there are no special requirements for learning or inventing an Alternate Power of level 1 or 2. It might take one of the Kindred an extra day or two to master the strange power, in general, but no tutor nor particularly potent blood is required. Some Vampires even manifest alternate powers upon their Embrace, for unexplainable reasons.
The higher level Alternate Powers are more complex and difficult to master, and generally can only be forged by those of particularly potent blood. Once created, however, these powers can be taught to other Vampires through a process of instruction. This allows the secrets of the highest level powers to be kept within clans or specific lineages. In order to invent a new Alternate Power of level 4 or 5, a Vampire must have a Blood Potency of at least 4. Vampires learning such powers must have a tutor.
Mid-level powers of Level 3 are either hard to learn or very easy, depending on your Clan. In general, you can master the mid-level Alternate Powers of your Clan Disciplines quite easily but need tutors or potent blood in order to learn such powers from disciplines that do not come so easily to you.
Experience Point cost
Alternate Power in a Clan Discipline: Level of Power X 5xp
Aletrnate Power in a Non-Clan Discipline: Level of Power X 7xp