The more-or-less amalgam "truth" across the editions is that those who existed before the flood/shift of metaphysics in the world had almost identical potential (Caine, as the ultimate source, stood above them, with the "2nd and 3rd" generations having only marginal differences between them). The real dilution of power didn't occur until after the flood/shift -- even were one of the 2nd generation to embrace/make a new vampire, that childe would be "4th generation", as no new gods can be birthed in the changed world. The near-deific power is nestled among the before...