View Full Version : 3.5 Elven Vampire vs Bard, help!

2011-02-17, 11:21 AM
I have a conundrum and since everyone here seems to be so helpful I thought I'd ask for advice.

I have a campaign with many Elven Vampires in it. It isn't taking place in Ravenloft but I've been using the Ravenloft 3.5 manual Denizens of Dread for their template. One of the major weaknesses of the elven vampires is hearing music. It states:

"If an elven vampire hears music being played or sung, it must make a will save (DC = performer's Perform Check) or stop whatever it is doing and listen, enraptured. The vampire can attempt a new save once per minute to break free of the rapture, and the effect ends immediately if the vampire is attacked."

In earlier encounters with Elven Vampires I have already okayed this description of how the effect works (so it's too late to just change it without being inconsistent), but it's starting to become a major hindrance to me. What my PCs are doing is having their high level bard perform a song which freezes all Elven Vampires (the bard's perform check being maxed out, and with skill focus, makes it almost impossible to make the will save) in the battle and then their high level sorcerer is casting Flesh to Stone Polymorph any Object (they have no natural SR) on the vampires which they have no real save against due to low fortitude saves on undead.

I've had two thoughts on how to get around this but I'm not sure if there are any better ideas. I could put some mindless undead other than elven vampires in the battle that would be unaffected by the song and could walk up and attack the vampires, thus breaking their enrapture. My other thought is to have a enemy (non-elven vampire) bard or make up a continuously playing magical instrument that uses countersong and thus give the vampires a better chance at saving.

Anyone else have any ideas on either the song aspect or how to have undead avoid all being turned to stone polymorphed all the time?

The White Knight
2011-02-17, 11:33 AM
From the SRD entry on the Undead type:

Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).

Flesh to Stone does not have an (object) denoted in the Saving Throw entry, so it does not affect objects. It therefore does not affect undead.

2011-02-17, 11:44 AM
Weird, I know we looked that up. Must have gotten it confused with Stone to Flesh which does work on objects.

Anyway, I'll just revise my question slightly because I know what they'll do. They'll just use Polymorph any Object instead. Any way around that one?

2011-02-17, 11:47 AM
Ear plugs may work :smalltongue:.

You can also add slaves under the command of the elves, make the undead perform a trap or give them one level of a core class with high Will or give them Iron Will as a feat.

To break the bard's instrument may be a bit harsh but realistic. The bard has spare instruments?

2011-02-17, 11:50 AM
Unfortunately, he's primarily a singer so instrument tampering won't help.

I suppose ear plugs might just be simple enough to work though lol

2011-02-17, 11:50 AM
The silence spell.

2011-02-17, 11:53 AM
Problem with both the silence spell and ear plugs is that I have mages on my team that would then become useless.

2011-02-17, 11:55 AM
Put a non-elven vampire in there with at least four Beguiler levels so he can cast Silence. Edit: Cast silence on a point in space amid the PCs, they get no save and it doesn't disrupt the enemies' ability to cast spells.

Put a dozen vampire spawn in the encounter, all of which appear the same as the other vampires, so they'll be less likely to use a high level spell slot on every one of them. Or have the real vampires send their vampire spawn minions in first to see what the PCs do, then after they've used up a lot of their spells the real vampires can put in earplugs and move in to attack.

2011-02-17, 11:57 AM
Problem with both the silence spell and ear plugs is that I have mages on my team that would then become useless.

Not nessicarilly, Silence only has a 20ft radius, a spellcaster could cast a spell from outside to within the area.

2011-02-17, 11:58 AM
Give the bard a flu? So when he sings he coughs and sneezes. Penalties for singing? A nasty storm, thunders, snow? Make enemies and allies roll for Listen.

Silent Spell feat? Throw a deaf vampire? A deaf creature who has been deaf for a while can overcome the penalties.

2011-02-17, 12:00 PM
Not nessicarilly, Silence only has a 20ft radius, a spellcaster could cast a spell from outside to within the area.

Couldn't the bard just move out of the area too? That seems like a 1 round solution.


Put a non-elven vampire in there with at least four Beguiler levels so he can cast Silence. Edit: Cast silence on a point in space amid the PCs, they get no save and it doesn't disrupt the enemies' ability to cast spells.

Also, what book is the Beguiler class from?

2011-02-17, 12:03 PM
It can be centered on a creature or object.

2011-02-17, 12:20 PM
Also, what book is the Beguiler class from?

Player's Handbook 2, it's like a combination Rogue/Wizard with a heavy focus on enchantments and illusions.

He could get Obtain Familiar (CA) and Improved Familiar (DMG) for an Imp or Quasit, cast Silence on his familiar, and have it go fly near the bard invisibly. Though if they have PAO then they're probably high enough level to have Permanencied See Invisibility.

Have them attack during a heavy thunderstorm or hailstorm, and say that the noise outside is enough to drown out his song unless they're directly adjacent to him. Either the song doesn't work unless he runs up to them (hailstorm), or he starts singing but every roar of thunder breaks the effect for a round and they're able to act. Just mundane noise is more than enough to stop it from working, it's not a special ability of the character other than a basic skill check, the effect is a built-in weakness of the monster. Countersong isn't necessary, just enough of any kind of noise that they can't hear his music is enough.

Edit: There's also Whisper Gnomes in Races of Stone, which get Silence as a spell-like ability. There are some race-specific feats in there called Extra Silence and Silencing Strike. With Silencing Strike if he makes a sneak attack he can affect his target as though by a Silence spell, but it's considered a supernatural effect (no SR, can't be dispelled) that affects only that creature with no saving throw. A Whisper Gnome Vampire Swordsage/Assassin would work, and he can use his Children of the Night to summon a bunch of wolves to flank with him. He should have Assassin's Stance on usually, but switch to Island of Blades if he otherwise can't get an easy flank. He should make using Silencing Strike on the bard a top priority, possibly leaping out of the shadows after the battle has already started (and he's been studying him for three rounds). He could just be an assassin the vampires have hired to assist them, and he silences the bard once and leaves. He could show up every encounter to do just that if it's all they've hired him for, which could get extremely annoying for the PCs to the point that they may abandon the current storyline just to go track him down.

Keld Denar
2011-02-17, 12:31 PM
Beguiler is from PHBII.

If a group of PCs is sweeping through this vampire enclave and wiping them out en masse, have the elder vampires wisen up. Metamagic Rods of Silent Spell allow the vamps to spontaneously add Silent Spell to any spells prepped at no level increase, and aren't really that expensive. Maybe the vamp enclave equips their casters with 1-2 of these and then have them cast Silence on themselves.

If your problem is with the mez effect, change it slightly. A balanced approach would be to have it so that if the mez breaks on one vamp due to being attacked, it breaks on all vamps. Its still a powerful mez and would allow the PCs to get into an advantageous position with advantageous buffs.

Another thing that might help is to establish diminishing returns on the mez. Lots of creatures have the "you can only be affected by this ability once in 24 hours" clause...tack that onto your PC Bard. Alternatively, each time within a given cooldown period (say...one hour), the vampires get a cumulative +5 bonus on their save. So, the first mez hits, and everyone saves. They polymorph one guy into a bunny, which breaks the mez on all of them. The bard re-mezes, and all the vamps get a +5 save. The party polymorphs the second into a squirrel, and the mez breaks. The bard remezes, but the vamps now get a +10 save. Then a +15 save. Then a +20 save. Eventually, even with checks in the low 40s, the bard won't be able to get the mez up, and get it to stick. He'll still get to use it, and it'll still be pretty effective, but it won't be a guarunteed screwage lightswitch to flip on and off at will.

2011-02-17, 03:00 PM
They are elves. Give them arrows of silence; like the spell but they just apply to their target.

2011-02-17, 03:55 PM
I would just say that it doesn't work in combat.

Think about it. The effect is broken if vampires are attacked, right? Well you could say that means it won't work at all if they've already been attacked. You can also say that it applies to them as a group, so if you attack any one of them, all the rest who are there become immune until they're out of combat again.

Thus, music becomes a defense for the PCs rather than an offense.