View Full Version : The Ultimate Nosferatu

2009-06-15, 09:25 PM
The Ultimate Nosferatu

One of the most pervasive and unforgettable monster throughout history has been the Vampire. Almost every culture or society has had at least one myth regarding 'men who are no longer men', and ways to ward against their attempts to feed on those they once walked among. From the elegant and hypnotic Count Dracula of the western world, to the frog-like ambushers the Austrailian Aborigines speak of, creatures waiting to feed on wayward travelers are spoken of in hushed tones.
The Vampire is arguably one of mankinds greatest boogimen. It's no surprise that traces of them have shown up in almost every form of media known. Novels, movies, and games have all featured vampires in a variety of roles, from villains (the most common and easily identifiable role) to neutral and supportive forces, to heroic creatures fighting against their own nature. Their presence in modern roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Shadowrun is to be expected, and encouraged.

But with so many different myths and legends regarding them, and with so many varying outlooks on the things that make them what they are, attempts at creating basic rules for their inclusion are often found to be wanting. Rigidly defined, overpowered in some ways, underpowered in others, Vampiric characters and creatures can range from a harmless distraction to a devestating and unstoppable force. Efforts at allowing vampires as player characters can be even more unpredictable, even with close scrutiny from the Dungeon Master.
The purpose of these texts will be twofold. Our initial aim is first to identify what, exactly, makes a vampire what they are. In doing so, we hope to give greater insight into the vampires mind, motivations, and goals. Proper understanding will also include accounting for the widely varying legends of our favorite predator, and (hopefully), a reconciliation of the differences that define one vampire from another.
Our second goal will be to present a balanced and approachable set of rules for incorporation of the vampire into D&D 3.5 edition. These rules will be for DMs and players alike, wether the aim is to create fantastic villains for the players to face, or to allow the players to explore the dark and urging hunger of the nosferatu.

So press on, good reader, and prepare to contemplate the nature of mans own darker side as we explore this, the Ultimate Nosferatu

(Editors Note: This whole thing is a project between me and two of the other players in my gaming group. One of them wants to play a vampire in our next game, but not just a vampire template. He wants his entire CHARACTER to revolve around being a vampire as a matter of superiority.
Rather than just making it up as we go, we've elected to get our DMs approval on a whole PROJECT, that we're calling the Ultimate Nosferatu. This is an effort at making a balanced and varied way to add vampiric characters of every make and model, from bat-swarming feral tear-off-your-face vampires, to elegant aristrocratic vampires with Strange and Mysterious Powers(tm). It's also a work in progress, so thank you for your patience :smallsmile:)

2009-06-15, 09:27 PM
What IS a Vampire?

Many answers spring to mind when asking yourself what a vampire really is. Fangs and Claws, Piercing Eyes, Capes and Coffins... all of these answers can be true, but none of them is truly satisfactory. For all of a vampires imagery and style, for all of their attempts as passing themselves off as human (or more than human), for all of the romanticized and idealized presence, these things still tell us nothing of what a vampire truly is.

A Vampire is Hunger.

They are not the hunger of an empty belly though, they are something far deeper. A maddening, all consuming hunger. A hideous and hateful urge to CONSUME that which lies in their path, leaving nothing but withered and broken husks in their wake. The kind of dark drive and desire that pushes their minds, and their very souls, to the teetering brink of ferocious insanity, until all that is left is the feeding.
Vampirism is called a curse for a reason. Because for all a vampire gains, there is so much more for them to lose. A vampire can never be perfectly content the way a mortal man can be. For no matter how powerful they become, for no matter how unstoppable the force they bring to bear, and no matter with what skill they satisfy their craving, a vampire cannot escape the hunger. It lurks in the very bottom of their mind, always scratching at its surroundings, always finding any foothold with which to claw its way back out.

There are no two ways to put the undeniable truth. A vampire must feed. What they feed on matters very little. While most vampires must feed on blood, some vampires of various origins and breeds feed on psychic energy, on lust, or even on the lifeforce of the victim itself. But regardless of how a vampire tries to slake their ever unquenchable thirst, the fact that they feed is what makes them who they are.
A vampire takes. It does not give. There is no cycle of death and rebirth for the vampire. Even a vampire who somehow retains their humanity and attempts to aid the world around them cannot ignore the fact that they are a voracious and bottomless maw into which the energies of the universe flow. They are a black hole. They are living entropy. They feed, and feed, and when they are finally destroyed they leave nothing but a small pile of inhospitable dust. They are a blight. They are a virus. They are a curse.

2009-06-15, 09:29 PM
The Curse of Vampirism

The following template will transform a once living creature into the monstrous entity known as the Vampire.
A vampire resembles the creature it was in life, and true enough, in many ways it still is what it once was. It retains its memories, its urges, its loves and hates and fears and pleasures. It even retains its soul. What becomes of that soul is a matter best discussed later, for the new life awaiting a vampiric creature is one of unremitting regret and horror.

"Vampire" is an acquired template that can be applied to any Animal, Dragon, Fey, Giant, Humanoid, Magical Beast, or Monstrous Humanoid. In addition (at DM discretion), many Aberrations, Outsiders, Plants, and Vermin can also become Vampiric creatures.
A Vampire uses all the base creature's statistics and abilities except as noted here. Very little about a Vampiric creature changes initially. Their bodies, speed, minds, and abilities are all completely identical to the base creature.

Size and Type: A Vampires type changes to Undead, and it gains the augmented subtype of whatever creature it originally was.
Hit Dice: A Vampire uses a D12 Hit Die in place of any other Hit Die it would normally gain, including those from classes, racial Hit Die, or other Templates.
Speed: A Vampiric creatures speed does not change. It retains all movement types it had before becoming a vampire. If the base creature had a swim speed, it retains the ability to swim and cross running water (unlike other vampires).
Abilities: A Vampires has no constitution score. All other abilities remain the same.

Attacks: Vampiric Creatures gain a bite attack if they did not posess one before. This bite attack deals damage based on the base creatures size:
- Fine: 1d2
- Diminutive: 1d3
- Tiny: 1d4
- Small: 1d6
- Medium: 1d8
- Large: 2d6
- Huge: 2d8
- Gargantuan: 4d6
- Colossal: 6d6
If the base creature allready had a bite attack, its bite attack now deals damage as if it were one category larger. A vampire that makes a successful bite attack can automatically attempt a grapple against the bitten creature. They make their grapple check as if they were one size category larger than they actually are.

Special Qualities: Vampiric Creatures all receive a number of special qualities, some beneficial and some weaknesses.

- Blood Drain: A Vampiric creature who makes a successful bite attack against an opponent can automatically drain 1 pint of blood as a result. A Vampire can automatically drain 1 pint of blood per round from an unconcious or helpless opponent, or from a fresh corpse.
A living creature can function normally after losing some portion of their blood. A Medium sized creature (human) can lose two pints of blood with no ill effect. A Small creature can lose one pint, while a Large creature can lose four pints and still suffer no ill effect.
If a creature loses up to twice their safe amount, they must make a Fortitude save (DC 20) or fall unconcious from blood loss. If they lose three times their safe amount, they must make an additional fortitude save (DC 25) or die outright.

- Blood Dependancy: A Vampiric creature MUST feed on large amounts of blood. They receive no physical nourishment from this blood, but are compelled to consume and absorb it nevertheless.
By default, a medium sized vampire (such as a human) "Digests" 10 pints of fresh blood each day, which is the number contained by the average human body. A Small sized vampire consumes half that number, while a Large vampire consumes twice as much (but a small sized creature contains half that number, and a large sized creatures contains double that number, as well).
The blood must be fresh, which means within one day old. Spells like "Gentle Repose" can be cast on jars of blood (or fresh corpses) to keep it fresh for longer, but once blood has gone 'bad', nothing can make it fresh again.
A Vampire who does not consume their daily amount of blood must make a Will saving throw each day to retain control over its actions. The save DC is 12 on the first day, but increases by 4 each day the vampire goes without feeding. A Vampire who fails this saving throw enters a frenzy and MUST begin to search for and attack any compatible living creatures it finds until it has consumed its daily requirement. They attack members of their own species over all other nearby creatures, but will attack anything living and containing blood if no members of their own species are nearby.
A Vampire who is in this frenzied state is permited a second saving throw before attacking a creature they consider an ally (such as a fellow party member), but receive no such saving throw for strangers or enemies. If this second saving throw fails, they will attack an ally without remorse (until the feeding is done, that is).
A Vampire who feeds on the appropriate amount of blood resets the save DC to resist this frenzy back to 12, but the process begins anew.
Vampires can store additional blood in their body indefinately, either for emergencies when they cannot find suitable feeding, or for the use of blood in their vampiric powers. A Medium sized vampire can store 10 pints in this way, while Small vampires can store half as much, and Large vampires can store twice as much
Avergage Blood Capacity of creature size (and similarily, blood requirement for a vampire of that size) are listed below (in pints).
Fine - 0.1
Diminutive - 0.5
Tiny - 1
Small - 5
Medium - 10
Large - 20
Huge - 50
Gargantuan - 200
Collasal - 500

- Undead Traits: Vampiric creatures are undead versions of themselves, which means they have the following undead traits.
- Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
- Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
- Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.
- Cannot heal damage on its own, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works on the undead.
- Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
- Uses its Charisma modifier for Concentration checks.
- Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities.
- Proficient with its bite attack.
- Does not need to eat, breath, or sleep, excluding the blood dependancy.
- Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it immediately falls still and unconcious until acted on by an outside force. A vampire in this state is utterly helpless, and can take no physical or mental action, nor is it aware of its surroundings. If a vampire in this state has consumed enough blood over the course of the day it remains utterly motionless for one hour before waking with 1 hitpoint, otherwise it remains in this state indefinately (either until staked, exposed to sunlight, beheaded, or is revived by its lips coming into contact with fresh blood).

- Blood Healing: A vampire does not recover hitpoint damage thru rest, as normal creatures do. Instead, they heal by consuming additional quantities of blood over their daily minimum. A Vampire who has consumed their daily minimum in blood may consume an additional pint to heal 5 additional hitpoints. There is no limit to the amount of blood a vampire can consume in this way, but they cannot gain hitpoints over their maximum.

- Vampiric Weaknesses:
Garlic: Vampires are repelled by the odor of fresh garlic, and must make a Will save (DC 25) to enter a 10 foot area containing a fresh bulb. A character who chews fresh garlic can use a swift action to similarily keep a vampire from entering adjacent squares for 10 minutes, but can only target one vampire at a time, and must use their swift action each turn to keep said vampire at bay.
Mirrors: Vampires do not cast reflections. Mirrors do not keep them at bay or cause them any concern, but a clever vampire attempting to pass unnoticed will avoid an area containing an obvious reflective surface to avoid giving away their true nature.
Holy Symbols: Holy Symbols of Good deities do not immediately hurt or repel vampires, but are often warnings of an impending pulse of positive injury. A touch attack may be made with the holy symbol of a good deity, which will cause the vampire 1d4 points of positive energy damage, and force them to make a Will save (DC 25) to avoid instinctively taking a five-foot step away from the character weilding such a symbol.
Vampires who are remorseful over their current state will likely be saddened by the appearance of their own deities holy symbol, but suffer no mechanical penalties.
Private Property: A Vampire cannot enter a private home or building uninvited (except for those considered public spaces) without making a Will save (DC 35). Even if they pass the Will save and enter uninvited, they cannot use any of their blood fueled powers while inside.
Running Water: A vampire who is over a source of running water they are rendered immobile and helpless, but are still aware of their surroundings. (Rivers, oceans, creeks, and most lakes count as running water). A Vampire who is immersed in running water suffers 1d6 points of damage per round. This damage has no type, and cannot be negated or reduced by any normal or magical means.
Silver: Silvered weapons deal double damage to a vampire, and ignore any normal damage reduction (such as a Barbarians class feature).
Coffin Dependency: A Vampire must sleep in a coffin (or container of similar volume) containing at least 10 pounds of soil from the land they were in when they were transformed. A vampire who cannot sleep in such conditions for more than three nights immediately shrivels into a dried out husk of themselves, immobile but aware. The only way they can be returned to normalcy is to be soaked in one pint of blood while resting in such a container.
Many vampires will not leave their homeland under any circumstances as a result. Those who do usually bring multiple coffins or containers full of soil with them anywhere they travel. Vampires in their homeland may simply bury themselves in shallow graves, rather than having an actual container.
Sunlight: A vampire who is exposed to sunlight for one round takes 1d6 points of damage. If they cannot take cover by the end of their second round of sunlight exposure, they are immolated entirely until nothing remains but a small pile of ashes.
A Vampire who is currently storing their bodies maximum capacity in pints of blood may purge themselves entirely to allow themselves to survive one additional round of sunlight exposure (though they still take 1d6 damage).
Instant Destruction: A Vampire who is staked or beheaded instantly crumbles into a small pile of dust and ash.
Infectious: A vampire who fully drains another creature of blood causes that creature to acquire the base vampire template. Not only have they taken a life, they have put that life in a situation where it must take further lives to continue.
Vampires do not retain any control over other vampires created in this way. They all act as independants. This means a vampires victim may very well return with a grudge. (Higher level vampires may learn how to control the vampires they create, but it is certainly not a skill any infected vampire understands).

- Turn Resistance: A vampire has +4 turn resistance. In addition, any character Controlling a vampire through turning must expend another Turn undead use each day, and re-roll to see wether they maintain control over the vampire.

- Level Adjustment: The goal here was to create a template that toes the line between LA 0 and LA +1. The benefits of being an undead character are weighed heavily against the multiple (and readily exploited) weaknesses. Any Pros must be considered along with a list of very real Cons, especially at lower levels.
A first level wizard may be excited to acquire the vampire template at a glance, thinking that a D12 HD is much preferable to a D4. But they are trading away the saftey net of negative hitpoints to acquire it. They've gone from 4 hipoints and 10 negative hitpoints, to 12 hitpoints total. In essence, they've traded being in the fight longer for the risk of total and ultimate destruction.
As levels progress, the hitpoint discrepency stands out less, but the body count certainly does not. Unless an adventuring vampire finds PLENTY of acceptable targets (and properly disposes of the bodies), they are going to draw undue attention to themselves and their allies.

And vampires who draw undue attention to themselves are waken up in the middle of the day to find their coffin is being pried open in direct sunlight.

2009-06-15, 09:31 PM
Let's examine the blood dependancy of a vampiric creature. We'll use a human, for arguments sake (and we'll be using averages, and medically safe numbers. Exceptionally robust or sturdy individuals exist, but we're here to discuss the rules and fluff, not medical anomalies).

The average human body contains 10 pints of blood. It needs 8 of those to function normally, minimum (and even this will be accompanied by a period of fatigue and weakness). At 6 pints, all but the sturdiest of individuals will have passed out and require serious medical attention. At 4 pints, death is all but a guarantee, even with serious medical attention.
But the Vampire must consume its own capacity in blood each day to survive. Anything less will risk invoking a frenzy of unthinking and indiscriminate murder. This means that under normal circumstances, a vampire must KILL OUTRIGHT one member of its own species every day. Even a large bustling metropolis will notice a weeks worth of identical murders. A vampire can only hope to go unnoticed for so long.

But what about goth teenagers, evil cultists, the hedonistic wealthy... What if a vampire were enough of a charmer that he had blood donors?
Even if a vampire has a high number of willing donors (unlikely in any world, let alone the superstitious and violent world of commoners and aristocrats), the average human body can be safely counted on to produce one pint of blood every two months. This means that, to be absolutely sure of its own safe survival, a vampire would need SIX HUNDERED members of its own species to serve as regular donors. Should any of these donors perish (or become angry at the vampire), then they risk the chance of entertaing into an unstoppable killing frenzy, or being forced to hunt for unsuspecting "volunteers".

What about Animal Blood?
Animal blood cannot be used to fuel vampiric blood powers in any capacity, including blood healing.
But animal blood can be used to keep the hunger at bay, certainly. It tastes horrible, but it's not necessarily any more evil than eating that creatures meat. You have to cut off its head and dispose of the remains to avoid suspicion, but it can be done.
A cow or similar cattle is a large animal, and costs 10 gp each for a suitably healthy specimen. Even with access to the gentle repose spell to make each cow last for two days worth of feeding, being a vampire costs 150 gp a month. An average worker makes 10 gp a week or less. If you're going to leverage your currency to prevent slaughtering your fellow men, you had better be an aristocrat, or a particularily talented thief.
A pig costs 3 gp, and is a small animal. You don't need access to the gentle repose spell, but it costs 180 GP per month. And even if you can pull it off, you'll be "That guy". The one buying 60 pigs a month.
"What are you doing with these pigs anyway Sir? Why so many? The local farmers can't keep up with your demand..."

Being a vampire is hard work to pull off, numerically. No wonder so many of them turn to wandering from city to city and eating strangers.
No wonder so many of them exhaust their resources to the point of becoming evil.

2009-06-15, 09:32 PM
So You've Decided To Be A Vampire
a.k.a. Vampires are often considered "classy" for a reason.

"But Silverclaw!?" you ask. "What about all those neat powers vampires have in the teevee and moviefilms and whatnot!? They can do some fancy stuff, I tell you what!"

Vampires in media vary wildly in their power levels.
Why should vampires in a game that's essentially DEFINED by varying power levels have such a static representation of vampiric powers?
Not only are there an incredible number of types of vampires, they range in strength from "newborn" vampires who get gunned down en masse by vampire hunters (the basic vampire template), to the Count of Counts himself, that unkillable Grad Daddy, the big D, Dracula himself.
Or Alucard, as he goes by from time to time... :smallwink:
As time goes on, Vampires become more powerful just as any other class. But in a Vampires case, their growth in power is always directly related to their status AS vampires.

A Vampire must elect between staying as the most simple, basic, and obvious type of Bloodsucker there is while persuing other avenues of education and power, OR wether they'd prefer to embrace their vampiric nature, and use it as their primary -or only- talent.

Presented here, for your enjoyment, is the True Vampire base class. This is the class that allows vampires to learn to control groups of their lesser kin. This is the class where they learn to transform into clouds of bats and swarm the heroes. This is the class where they learn to walk through holy ground unflinching.

ANNNNNNNNNNND ...sorry. This as far as we've gotten to date. The class itself is incomplete, but it's going to be a Full BAB class (vampires are predators after all) which grants vampires access to all those nifty tricks, like turning into mist or laughing at holy symbols (or walking clean through sunlight, like dracula has been known to from time to time).

There will also be a line of feats for Vampire characters only, of various classes. The most noteworthy of which will be the Vamprie Mage feats which allow a vampiric spellcaster to use blood to fuel and augment their normal spellcasting.

2009-06-15, 09:34 PM
Reserved. Go to town.

2009-06-15, 09:53 PM
This is going to be awesome. I personally love to play vampires and when I saw them in the Monster Manual I was horrified. This will be something I'll probably use. Also you might be interested in my Doringerey (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114975) which are pretty much huge vampire bunnies.

2009-06-15, 10:12 PM
The vampire class isn't out, but all in all I think the template should grant a few ability bonuses and maybe even -2 Wis or something like that. The reduced to zero effect doesn't seem as bad as not having the option to go into negative hit points. It's kind of like a possible revival if you've got the minions to keep you from getting finished off (or the luck that the people who happened to kill you didn't quite realize what was a matter with you) which might have happened anyway if you ran down your clock on the negative side of the hit point scale.

No special abilities, especially with all the drawbacks... Various aspects of what you have presented have shown up or been absent from various accounts and retellings of vampire lore (stories, superstition, etc). There's as many "it makes them stronger" variants as there are "it makes them weaker" propositions.

I thought that the propagation and fame of vampires was better derived from the less physical and more mental inklings of vampirism in stories. I personally thought that in like Victorian times and such, Dracula was a manifest somewhat of Freudian desires. And I guess, that all gets summed up quite horribly magnificently (need a better phrase...) with Twilight, and especially how Meyers has treated them in her adaptation as opposed to those of Rice. Your treatment, as it stands, has their main focus as being superficially blood drinkers - which can be obtained by the living in DnD via any method of suitable compulsion.

Of course, by the looks of it, your True Vampire class will attempt to make a blessing out of a curse?

If this is intended for PCs in any freak mishap with a vampire, then they'd probably be better offing themself than carrying on such an existence. If I were a god of darkness, I'd at least make the offer to go about my bidding come with some kind of warped benefit other than just simple undeath (the market is very competitive these days). I hear Doresain's got a sweet sign-in deal...

If this is to flesh out NPCs, then it's working.

Where does vampirism come from? That would ultimately put aside much of what I've said. Was it created on purpose or did it just boil up from a combination of darkness and primal nature? And if so, how has it been effective enough to have lasted this long without anyone starving out? (To put it into a Darwinian light.)

I'd be less critical, and can be more so, but the Ultimate nature of this vampire treatment calls up the opportunity to at least wrestle with it somewhat.



I would like to see what you can make of fleshing out ghouls and other 'acquired' tastes once this is over. :smalltongue:

2009-06-15, 10:17 PM
If this is intended for PCs in any freak mishap with a vampire, then they'd probably be better offing themself than carrying on such an existence.

That's the idea.

Being a vampire is, at its core, a bad thing. It's not something inherently romantic or desireable, nor should it be. It's a weight on the soul of the person afflicted, so much so that anyone should look at existing vampires with a strong sensation of pity.

Killing a vampire is a mercy. You're freeing them so they don't have to make that decision themselves.

But yes, the True Vampire class is how a vampiric character can attempt to turn being a vampire into something more desireable. There's a great difference between a freshly turned and inexperienced vampire, and a vampire who's survived a thousand years of their own personal hell through nothing but their own cunning and ruthlessness.
The True Vampire class is where the difference starts showing up :smallsmile:

2009-06-15, 10:20 PM
This is going to be awesome. I personally love to play vampires and when I saw them in the Monster Manual I was horrified. This will be something I'll probably use. Also you might be interested in my Doringerey (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114975) which are pretty much huge vampire bunnies.


I love D&D :smallsmile:

2009-06-21, 12:10 PM
I can't wait for you to post the class, I've been looking for something like this for a while.

(Also BUMP)

2009-06-21, 01:41 PM
Interesting proyect. I canīt wait to see the base class. I very much like the idea that being a vampire sucks unless one actually embraces vampirism fully.

Blood Drain: A Vampiric creature who makes a successful bite attack against an opponent can automatically drain 1 pint of blood as a result. A Vampire can automatically drain 1 pint of blood per round from an unconcious or helpless opponent, or from a fresh corpse.

This is the only thing that bothers me a bit. Shouldnīt blood drinking require at least succeeding on the free grapple check against unwilling victims? And just maybe a swift action? As is, it strikes me as a little too easy to drain a pint of an enemiesī blood in the middle of a swordfight.

The automatic drain on willing/helpless targets makes perfect sense, and Iīd add a clause that biting a sleeping victim does not wake them. Unless you are planning to put that in as an ability for the base class.

2009-06-21, 02:31 PM
Yeah, we knew we would have to come back and further flesh out the details about draining blood mid-combat. It needs to be a lot harder (but not so hard it can't be done, obviously).

Still working on it :smallsmile:

Southern Cross
2009-06-30, 06:11 AM
I'd suggest that draining someone's blood in combat gives everyone but the victim attacks of opportunity against the vampire doing the draining.

2009-06-30, 08:52 AM
i think that this is a good idea.
however the amount of blood a vampire needs every day seems excessive, as i stops allot of plots, no vampire count that has ruled over a region for hundreds of years, no hidden vampire court secretly controlling a city, the reason is simple, a community can't really survive 365 deaths a year PR vampire, nor can such a thing be kept secret.
i also don't like the pint of blood thing, a 7 foot tall bulking half-orc barbarian should be able to lose more blood than the 5 foot tall frail elven wizard, all in all the con drain of a common vampire works well here, with some kind of rule saying how much they have to drink to continue existing
my to cp

2009-06-30, 09:54 AM
Cooooooooooooooooooooooooool. (Haha, sorry I'm not more constructive)

I'm definitely keeping an eye on this thread. :smallwink:

2009-06-30, 02:46 PM
however the amount of blood a vampire needs every day seems excessive

That's the idea, really. A lot of modern literature, movies, games and the like make being a vampire excessively EASY. "Haha, need to feed, whatever, I'm sexy".

That said, the True Vampire base class is going to address the issue of longer lived vampires blending in better and better. The class is going to be reflective of gaining control over your vampiric strengths, and a large part of that (possibly as much as every other level or more) is going to be the reduction of vampiric weaknesses.

Some vampires laugh at holy symbols and crack mirros as they walk through the room. Some vampires can cross running water (or even swim). Some vampires do not knock. Heck, the Grand Daddy himself, Dracula, has been known to walk (powerlessly) through the sunlight in some adaptions.

One of the ways a vampire can gain control over themselves is reducing the amount of blood they need, and the amount of times they go between feedings. A 500 year old count might only need to feed monthly.
Another way vampires can grow in power is going to be by gaining control over a number of the 'children' they create. Draculas brides are a good example here. For balance and logistics, a vampire will never control EVERY spawn they create, but as they get more powerful, they may be able to maintain a larger and larger number of servant vampires.
Having control over them means they don't really NEED to feed that often, because as long as their master can keep them in check, it doesn't matter if they're hungry or not.

i also don't like the pint of blood thing, a 7 foot tall bulking half-orc barbarian should be able to lose more blood than the 5 foot tall frail elven wizard

Maybe. I don't think the difference in blood is as large as you're thinking, but there is certainly going to be A difference.
What if you can survive additional blood loss by having a positive CON modifier? (or survive less blood loss by having a CON penalty for that matter). Up to a reasonable point, that would allow for a difference in potential blood loss without deviating too far from the fact that we all still need a certain amount of blood to function.

And I thought we would have more to post by now, sorry about the delays.

2009-07-01, 07:03 AM
I agree about the feeding requirements being a little high, though if a leveled True Vampire feeds less often and can make his controlled spawn feed less often, that should make most vampire gang plots work. With the added bonus that almost all lone vampires will be feral murderers that you can slay with impunity.

Since you're implementing another method of killing people (blood loss, alongside hp, ability damage, and save or die), you're going to need to provide defences and ways to recover faster, otherwise adventurers won't be able to keep fighting them. Having to take a month off the slaying cause one lucky vamp got a bite in is rather anticlimactic, especially if being Raised would have been faster.

I am a bit concerned with the base template providing no powers beyond undeath whatsoever. While going from 2hp commoner to 6hp undead will make them a bit more durable in a fight, no town is really going to be in any danger from a run of the mill vampire, and they'll know about it almost immediately from the speed at which the bodies pile up. They do get the blood loss attack vector, but that only evens the odds on people who have more power elsewhere. Come to think of it, the 1d8 natural weapon is pretty nifty against someone with only a club or dagger, but a spear still matches it. Maybe if they came one at a time so the vamp could bite+drain (and drop through damage), blow the blood to heal, and then take the next one. I'd suggest adding some stealth bonuses and a bit of natural armor or DR, just enough to make a commoner scared, but not someone with a real weapon.

I also just wanted to chime in that the real loss for a spellcaster isn't the -10 buffer, it's not being able to get a con bonus to hp. A +6 item will bring that d4 up to a d10 if you started with a +0, and if you were smart and bulked up, you'll have tons more hp than that (as well as a higher fort save to resist Disintigrate).

All in all, a great direction to take them in. These are not your primetime vampires.

2009-07-01, 04:19 PM
Maybe. I don't think the difference in blood is as large as you're thinking, but there is certainly going to be A difference.
What if you can survive additional blood loss by having a positive CON modifier? (or survive less blood loss by having a CON penalty for that matter). Up to a reasonable point, that would allow for a difference in potential blood loss without deviating too far from the fact that we all still need a certain amount of blood to function.

Maybe make the victim suffer an increasing amount of Con damage per pint of blood lost? The first pint deals 1 point of Con damage, the second deals 2 more, the third deals 3 more, etcetera? Or even 2, 4, 6. No matter how sturdy someone is, by the time they've lost six pints of blood (21 points of constitution), they're probably toast. Your average commoner is dead after four. And if they have more than 21 constitution, they've probably crossed the border between the semi-realistic and the fantastic, so you can't really expect them to adhere to the normal limits of the human body.

Southern Cross
2009-07-02, 04:35 AM
I also agree that having to kill one human a day is too much,especially in a medieval setting. In CHILL Vampires,only the powerful Chinese Vampire was that voracious, and they had to mainly live in China in order to procure enough victims. Most vampires in that tome only fed once a week.
As for the reduced hit points problem, I've been working on a feat that enables the character to substitute Strength for Constitution when determining bonus hit points. Is anybody else interested in this feat?

2009-07-02, 05:02 AM
- Does not need to eat, breath, or sleep

Coffin Dependency: A Vampire must sleep in a coffin (or container of similar volume) containing at least 10 pounds of soil from the land they were in when they were transformed. A vampire who cannot sleep in such conditions for more than three nights immediately shrivels into a dried out husk of themselves


Also, since vampires sleep during the day, I'd write "for more than three days" instead of "for more than three nights" in the second quote.

2010-04-09, 01:21 AM
With the blood drain, I think it would make a bit more sense if the amount that you could drain per turn scaled based on size. The idea of a pixie being able to suck as much blood as a Titan is kinda baffling. Perhaps each creature can drain 1/10 of its daily needs per turn?
Fine - 0.01
Diminutive - 0.05
Tiny - .1
Small - .5
Medium - 1
Large - 2
Huge - 5
Gargantuan - 20
Collasal - 50

2015-07-14, 05:46 PM
This thread may be quite old but idk ill give it a shot.

In the universe my friends and I use vampires do not feed off the blood of victims. They do however feed off the trace amounts of magic within the bloodstream and can also absorb ambient mana within the air.

If you deem it neccesary you could use that, but i have no stats as i play a modified version of d&d (easier for my poor brain)