Where are the Vampires?

With two pieces of gear calling out the existence of vampires, I thought someone would have at least posted a homebrew creature of the night.

My first inclination is to split it into the classic “Vampire Spawn” and “Master Vampire” varieties.

But before I delve too deep, has anyone got an existing version for me to work from?

This calls for boldness and imagination.

Make your own, man! What’s the worst that can happen? TPK?!

(I’ll love to see it since my group is having a low presence of undeads).

Stay cool :cool:

Perhaps this is cruel, but I think a Nature drain might be in order for attacks. Guess what hitting 0 Nature while you have the “Vampire’s Bite” trait on you means?

You see, that’s exactly the kind of inspiration I was after!

Quick and dirty vampire rules…

Minor Vampires (Nature 1-3) have these weapons:
Claws (+1D to attack)
Blood drain (+1s attack, -1D defend, -1s manever)

A blood drain attack also reduces the victim’s Nature by 1. At Nature 0, a character gains the Dead condition and rises during the next phase, becoming a Minor Vampire with Nature 1 (Hunting, Beguiling, Hiding) and the trait: Vampire.

Vampires (Nature 4-5) gain:
Superhuman speed (+2D to Maneuver)
Strength of the damned (+1D, +1s to Defend)

Elder Vampires (Nature 6+) gain:
Serpent’s gaze (+1s to feint)

Minor vampires rise with the hungry and thirsty conditions.
Vampire characters may only remove the hungry and thirsty condition by drinking blood (animal or human).
Vampire characters are able to remove the exhausted condition by becoming hungry and thirsty.
Vampires slain by normal methods may recover from the dead condition (ob 3 Nature test)
Vampires that are burned by fire or by the sun’s rays become injured. A vampire slain by fire or the sun’s rays gains the destroyed condition and may not rise again.
A vampire without any conditions that consumes the blood of an intelligent creature gains the fresh condition.
Vampires cannot become sick; the exception is if the vampire touches/ingests garlic or holy water.
A vampire approached with a holy symbol may become afraid (Will test vs. the wielder’s Theologian).
A vampire that gains the angry condition still use the vampire trait to gain a bonus.

If Nature advances to 7, the elder vampire’s nature decreases to 6 but its Might increases by +1.

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Excellent stuff, Jared, I will be stealing heavily from you. I especially love your command of conditions in the rules (Thirsty! How did I not think of that?!)

In the mean time, here’s a parallel development for a blood drain mechanic. It’s a little less scary than direct nature drain, but it does have echoes of vampiric touch in it:

Blood drain: If the vampire spawn rolls enough successes to knock a character out of the fight with an attack or feint, the vampire may add the remaining successes to his own hit points, up to a total of its starting disposition. When this choice is made, permanently reduce the victim’s Nature by one.

It seems that vampires’ Nature scores should be variable, based on how recently they’ve fed. A vampire might rise with its Nature at its lowest rank for its type (minor: 1, vampire: 4, elder: 6), but once it has fed upon the blood of a living creature, its Nature increases by 1 (up to its max rating for its type).

First, the basics of the B/X D&D Vampire, which I would take as a starting point:
1, 7-9 HD. This thing was a beast.
2. Immune to sleep, charm and hold spells.
3. Could only be hit with magic weapons.
4. In human form, a vampire’s touch will drain 2 levels from the victim (this apparently substituted for drinking blood).
5. A character slain by a vampire returns from death as a vampire in 3 days.
6. A vampire regenerates 3 hit points per round as soon as it is damaged. If reduced to 0 hit points, it does not regenerate; instead it becomes gaseous and flees to its coffin.
7. In human form, a vampire can summon 10-100 rats (5-20 giant rats), 10-100 bats (3-18 giant bats) or 3-18 wolves (2-8 dire wolves), if any of them are in the area.
8. A vampire may take the form of a human, dire wolf, giant bat or gaseous cloud at will. The transformation requires 1 round. In gaseous form, the vampire can fly, is immune to all weapon attacks and cannot attack.
9. A vampire may attempt to Charm any person who gazes into its eyes. Victims must save vs. Spells to avoid the Charm, with a -2 penalty on the roll. Charmed victims are totally under the vampire’s control but can’t use spells or magic.

Vampire weaknesses:

  1. They will not come within 10’ of a strongly presented holy symbol, but may move to attack the person holding the symbol from another direction.
  2. A strong odor of garlic repels them (save vs. Poison or cannot attack that round).
  3. Vampires cast no reflection and avoid mirrors.
  4. Vampires cannot cross running water, either on foot or flying, except at bridges or while in their coffins.
  5. During the day, vampires usually rest in their coffins and lose 2-12 hit points per day if they fail to do so; these hit points will not be regenerated until the vampire rests in its coffin for a full day.

Destroying a vampire:

  1. Driving a stake through its heart
  2. immersion in running water for 1 turn (that’s 10 minutes folks!)
  3. If exposed to direct sunlight, it must make a save vs. Death Ray each round or disintegrate; a continual light spell won’t disintegrate a vampire but will partially blind it.
  4. If all of a vampire’s coffins are blessed or destroyed, it will weaken, losing hit points each day it fails to rest in its coffin, as described above; it will die when it’s hit points reach zero.

There’s a lot going on with vampires!

A few thoughts:

  1. I really like the idea of a vampire draining current Nature.
  2. What if drained Nature points formed a pool of some sort – a blood pool if you will (probably limited by Might) – that allows vampires to do some crazy stuff monsters can’t normally do? Like open-end 6s for instance. Maybe they’re also used to fuel all of its crazy powers…transforming, summoning, charming, regenerating.
  3. I’m not a huge fan of vampires draining blood in the midst of a conflict. Stylistically, it doesn’t evoke the way vampires feed. They peel off, seduce and feed. Maybe they have a special Feeding conflict similar to the Creeping Ooze’s Trapped conflict.

2¢: What makes vampires special is their combination of seduction and death. They’re the embodiment of the death wish. They’re going to kill you, and they make you want them to do it. Take the seduction away from vampires, and you’ve got 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Great monsters, but they’re basically smart zombies that avoid the sun.

I would use “Seduction” as one of the three nature descriptors. So a classic vamp would be (Seduction, Bloodthirst, Stalking).

To be honest, I’d rather keep it simpler. What I like about the book is that I am at most learning one big new rule per monster. In this case, it’s gonna be Nature Drain of some kind. But too many point-based powers on a monster just means the GM is doing mathsterbation behind the screen, and the players seen none of it. Far better to lump as many powers into the vampire’s nature as possible.

Anything beyond that should be visibly cool from the player’s seat. Like the Hungry/Thirsty and Fresh condition stuff upthread. That’s something you call out to players when rolling disposition and making the first attack after a nature drain.

I contest that. I think the B/X approach of level drain might have been over the top, but it’s the nostalgic high-water mark. Now my players expect that to be a thing that can happen. I personally like the idea of using attack successes past knockout to drain the player’s nature. That puts the fear into the guy who’s trying to take all the hits.

Now, even if it’s a conflict option for vampires, the group conflict still makes “peel off, seduce and feed” an ideal thing for the vampire to do. It will work better to take out a solo victim, and the GM should be encouraged by the presence of Nature descriptors to make that happen. But there’s something old school and awesome about losing an ally in the middle of the fight and watching the vampire grow stronger.

And thanks for the discussion!