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If you learn an in-clan Discipline, you don't need a mentor. However, you do need one if the Discipline is out-of-clan, and in V20 you also need to drink one blood point, automatically succumbing to level one Blood Bond. Plus, the cost is increased.

But for Caitiff I know that the cost does not change (they don't basically have a clan) and they can take anything at character creation.

The question: If they want to learn a new Discipline or advance in an existing one, do they need someone who can teach it?

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Yes, they do.

Neither the description of how one learns disciplines on page 128 of V20 nor the full write-up on Caitiff in the V20 Storyteller's Companion offers them an exemption from the requirement to have a teacher and drink a point of blood from them before learning a new discipline. Advancing in a discipline requires a mentor, but not another drink.

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It is different for both learning new and improving old disciplines: Learning new ones:

Learning a new out-of-clan Discipline requires that the teacher feeds the student a point of their blood before instruction begins, to start the mystical tie to the Discipline being taught.

Improving old ones:

Improving knowledge of a Discipline already known does not require such a transfer (although some unscrupulous teachers may claim that it’s still necessary).

It all is in Advancing Disciplines sidebox at page 128 (or 137) in the VTM V20 pdf.

A further method also exists btw in the form of diablery. It depends on the point of view if you see that as having a mentor or not though.

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