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    Default (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    So, I'm just going to go out on a hunch here and say that at least one person here has seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer. If you have, you'll know that Whedon's vampires are not your typical vampires: no, they don't sparkle, he was in before that. No, I mean, the ones that fit the Bruiser profile as opposed to the Dominator. Looking at the SRD entry, Vampires already get a +6 to Str, and all their HD are d12s. That already kind of lends itself to bruising, but the D&D vampire is still more of the dominator, or even caster: that huge cha bonus + SLAs kinda makes people want to cast spells.

    So what's the dealio, yo?
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    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Are you asking how to make them more brutal? In that case, I'd recommend swapping the +4 Cha for another +2 to Dex and Str. Then just choose the right qualities and abilities, and make most of them bruisers.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Just put the vampire on six levels of fighter or whatever.
    Or do you need the template to make commoners more fearsome when they get bit?

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Pretty much every series that has Vampires in it uses a different version of them.

    If it helps, most Whedon Vampires are closer to Vampire Spawn.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Are you asking how to make them more brutal? In that case, I'd recommend swapping the +4 Cha for another +2 to Dex and Str. Then just choose the right qualities and abilities, and make most of them bruisers.
    Well, I guess that makes sense too. But I'm just kinda wondering why there's just never been any switch from the doms to the brutes. I mean, they did it with every other kind of monster: gobbos got the Blue Goblin for Psionics, illithids got the Mind Flayers of Thoon to make them different, but Vampires are pretty much...just vampires.

    Unless they're not, and I just missed it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    *Drools* Charisma Carpenter *drools*

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    Well, I guess that makes sense too. But I'm just kinda wondering why there's just never been any switch from the doms to the brutes. I mean, they did it with every other kind of monster: gobbos got the Blue Goblin for Psionics, illithids got the Mind Flayers of Thoon to make them different, but Vampires are pretty much...just vampires.

    Unless they're not, and I just missed it.
    There's a vampire lord template that makes them BRUTAL DOMINATORS.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffles View Post
    *Drools* Charisma Carpenter *drools*
    None of that.

    So anyway. Vampire Lord? Where's that?

    EDIT: I'm betting LM, yeah?
    Last edited by Deth Muncher; 2009-10-28 at 08:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon


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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    The Revised Vampire template might fit what you're looking for. It's a mix-and-match template, so you can just leave out the social abilities and focus on the ass-whoopin'.
    I no longer actively read the forums, and probably won't respond to any PMs. I'm fine with people using my homebrew in anything, including fan-compilations and wikis, as long as you credit me.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    Just put the vampire on six levels of fighter or whatever.
    This.
    The way you customize a vampire is to choose the class levels he has. Remember that an individual must have a minimum of 5 HD before it can acquire the vampire template. And, being intelligent, the vampire can continue to progress in that class.

    The reason there isn't an explicit switch is because it's a template, not a monster.

    D&D vampires are closer to Stoker's vampires than anything you see in recent pop culture. You'll notice that D&D vampires can turn into gas clouds, shapeshift into a wolf, and are hampered by running water. Not things that you see in the Blade movies (for example). Although unlike Dracula D&D vampires can't walk around in daylight, so it's not exact.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    None of that.
    Vampire Willow?

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    Vampire Willow?
    SPOILERS. :P

    Actually, I've only gotten through Season 1. But I do know of later-season spoilers for her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffles View Post
    *Drools* Charisma Carpenter *drools*
    Vampire Willow?
    None Plenty of that.
    Fixed it for you.

    On topic, I agree with the people talking about fighter classes. That's all you really need to do to make DnD vamps into Buffy vamps.
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    The Cha isn't even a problem; they obviously have something very attractive going for them...
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    D&D vampires are so different from Buffyverse vampires, you're probably best off creating what you want from scratch. D&D vamps have all sorts of special powers and a corresponding host of weaknesses. Buffyverse vamps, as a rule, are strong and fast, can't enter homes uninvited, and the usual blood n' sunlight thing. "Strong and fast" is about stats and HD, the home defense is easy to homebrew, and the rest is simple fluff. (D&D bloodsuckers cause permanent Con damage when they feed. Buffyverse vamps are much better statted out as just dealing regular HP damage, that either kills normally or can be recovered from normally.)

    The other thing to be mindful of is that Buffy vampires are, by and large, mooks. Vampire spawn are a better starting point than the vampire template, as anybody with a few levels under their belt should have no problem taking one down. (Consider: Who in the story couldn't be given some basic training and a pointy stick and expect to take down newly mades? Older, more established vampires are another matter, but they're best off statted individually.)

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Like most non-D&D vampires, Jossverse vampires can be poisoned (one even took pills for a medical problem!) and be staked through the heart (i.e. critically hit). As a result, I'd ignore the D&D tradition of giving undead a Con score of zero, and give them some specific undead immunities, but a higher-than-average Con score. Str +6, Dex +4, Con +6, fast healing probably shouldn't exceed Con modifier per hour, as Jossverse vampires can take awhile to heal. Damage Reduction of 3/-- (perhaps ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 being the upper tier 'master vampires' like Kakistos and The Master) fits how normal human generally can't seem to inflict any appreciable damage to a vampire by punching it, but still manage to inflict some damage with swords or fire axes to the back of the head. Vampires also have keen senses, and I'd give them low-light vision, scent and a +4 bonus to Listen and Spot checks. Blood appears to help them heal and a lack of blood make them weak, so allowing for some sort of Sickened condition if blood is lacking, and for some sort of limited healing for blood consumed (1 hp / Con point of blood drain, for example) could mimic these traits.

    Advanced vampires have been shown to hypnotise people, grow claws and even turn to mist or animals, but that sort of thing is left to non-mooks with a couple of centuries under their belts. These things could come with racial levels or race-specific Feats or whatever. Level drains would never be appropriate, and I don't recall animal control being mentioned either, although it's certainly not inappropriate for some old vampire to have animal minions or something, just because the show never dealt with that specific detail.

    The plethora of vampire weaknesses don't necessarily apply. Jossverse vampires can function perfectly well during the day, and can run around in sunlight so long as they wear a blanket over their head. Sunlight does damage, but takes more than a round or two to kill one. Holy water does damage. Crosses repel them, but they can bat them away (presumably after making a Will save). Stakes through the heart don't just immobilize them, they kill them forever. (Barring some rare Incantation to resurrect them.) They don't reflect in mirrors, but are in no way afraid of them or compelled to avoid them. They need invitations to private residences, but once given, can come and go freely, and can go into any public place without an invitation. Garlic doesn't bother them. They can cross running water and aren't damaged by it, as far as we know. They have no need to return to their coffin or grave, and can cross continents and oceans without discomfort, and, assuming they bother to sleep at all, can do so anywhere. Vampire are shown eating and (especially) drinking non-blood fluids (booze, in particular), and while they don't have to breathe, they apparently can inhale sufficiently to smoke cigarettes or track someone by scent. (While a first season vampires claims to be unable to give CPR because he 'has no breath,' it's generally assumed that the 200 year old former mass-murderer just never had much reason to learn Advanced Red Cross Lifesaving techniques, and was too embarassed to mention that fact now that he suddenly had a need to administer them, falling back on the 'I'm a mysterious creature of the night' card rather than admit to lacking in any socially useful skills to a teenaged human rival).

    Jossverse vamps do seem to have an above-average vulnerability to fire damage, with one occasionally being immolated by being bonked with a torch, so I'd consider having them burst into flames taking 1d6 / round from any fire attack, or even a round of exposure to sunlight, and not just from attacks that specifically ignite something (like a Fire Elemental's Burn property). Against the aforementioned attacks that normally can set someone on fire, the vampire would have +5 to the DC to try and put the fire out. Fire Elementals would not be among a Vampire's preferred foes...

    While there is much talk in the beginning about the individual dying and being replaced by a demon-spirit during the transition to vampire, this is spottily-enforced at best, and almost every vampire depicted lacks an pre-existing demonic self-identity, and continues on as a nastier version of the person they were in life. Most, indeed, *loathe* the person they were in life, and work to become very different. Drunken wastrel Liam becomes stylish philosophy-reading eurotrash Angelus, while meek momma's boy poet William becomes two-fisted foul-mouthed fight-loving Spike. Exceptions do exist, such as Harmony, who appears to lack self-awareness to such a stunning and profound degree that she doesn't change *at all* in becoming a vampire, remaining petty, self-absorbed and vacuous, while seeming to gain nothing in the way of predatory cunning or fiendish insight from the transformation.

    Generally, 'though, the 'best vampires' are going to come from people who have a strong reason to hate themselves (or to have at least been very disappointed with their lives) as humans. Early Willow, meek, unassertive, unsure of herself, worried endlessly that everyone thinks that she's a nerd and that nobody really sees her for anything other than what she can do for them, turns into a butt-kicking uber-confident dominatrix vampire who takes what she wants and imposes her will over others without hesitation.

    This could become a story hook, as the vampires never select the most popular and successful people to transform, choosing only less visible people, whose 'demons' will be most filled with anger and bitterness and hatred and self-loathing, seeking to perform ever more extravagant acts of carnage to prove that they are no longer the 'losers' they were in life (and, not coincidentally, taking revenge on every perceived insult they've ever suffered, such as Angelus' first act of butchering the family that disowned him).
    Last edited by Set; 2009-10-29 at 03:35 AM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Set View Post
    Like most non-D&D vampires, Jossverse vampires can be poisoned (one even took pills for a medical problem!) and be staked through the heart (i.e. critically hit). As a result, I'd ignore the D&D tradition of giving undead a Con score of zero, and give them some specific undead immunities, but a higher-than-average Con score. Str +6, Dex +4, Con +6, fast healing probably shouldn't exceed Con modifier per hour, as Jossverse vampires can take awhile to heal. Damage Reduction of 3/-- (perhaps ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 being the upper tier 'master vampires' like Kakistos and The Master) fits how normal human generally can't seem to inflict any appreciable damage to a vampire by punching it, but still manage to inflict some damage with swords or fire axes to the back of the head. Vampires also have keen senses, and I'd give them low-light vision, scent and a +4 bonus to Listen and Spot checks. Blood appears to help them heal and a lack of blood make them weak, so allowing for some sort of Sickened condition if blood is lacking, and for some sort of limited healing for blood consumed (1 hp / Con point of blood drain, for example) could mimic these traits.

    Advanced vampires have been shown to hypnotise people, grow claws and even turn to mist or animals, but that sort of thing is left to non-mooks with a couple of centuries under their belts. These things could come with racial levels or race-specific Feats or whatever. Level drains would never be appropriate, and I don't recall animal control being mentioned either, although it's certainly not inappropriate for some old vampire to have animal minions or something, just because the show never dealt with that specific detail.

    The plethora of vampire weaknesses don't necessarily apply. Jossverse vampires can function perfectly well during the day, and can run around in sunlight so long as they wear a blanket over their head. Sunlight does damage, but takes more than a round or two to kill one. Holy water does damage. Crosses repel them, but they can bat them away (presumably after making a Will save). Stakes through the heart don't just immobilize them, they kill them forever. (Barring some rare Incantation to resurrect them.) They don't reflect in mirrors, but are in no way afraid of them or compelled to avoid them. They need invitations to private residences, but once given, can come and go freely, and can go into any public place without an invitation. Garlic doesn't bother them. They can cross running water and aren't damaged by it, as far as we know. They have no need to return to their coffin or grave, and can cross continents and oceans without discomfort, and, assuming they bother to sleep at all, can do so anywhere. Vampire are shown eating and (especially) drinking non-blood fluids (booze, in particular), and while they don't have to breathe, they apparently can inhale sufficiently to smoke cigarettes or track someone by scent. (While a first season vampires claims to be unable to give CPR because he 'has no breath,' it's generally assumed that the 200 year old former mass-murderer just never had much reason to learn Advanced Red Cross Lifesaving techniques, and was too embarassed to mention that fact now that he suddenly had a need to administer them, falling back on the 'I'm a mysterious creature of the night' card rather than admit to lacking in any socially useful skills to a teenaged human rival).

    Jossverse vamps do seem to have an above-average vulnerability to fire damage, with one occasionally being immolated by being bonked with a torch, so I'd consider having them burst into flames taking 1d6 / round from any fire attack, or even a round of exposure to sunlight, and not just from attacks that specifically ignite something (like a Fire Elemental's Burn property). Against the aforementioned attacks that normally can set someone on fire, the vampire would have +5 to the DC to try and put the fire out. Fire Elementals would not be among a Vampire's preferred foes...

    While there is much talk in the beginning about the individual dying and being replaced by a demon-spirit during the transition to vampire, this is spottily-enforced at best, and almost every vampire depicted lacks an pre-existing demonic self-identity, and continues on as a nastier version of the person they were in life. Most, indeed, *loathe* the person they were in life, and work to become very different. Drunken wastrel Liam becomes stylish philosophy-reading eurotrash Angelus, while meek momma's boy poet William becomes two-fisted foul-mouthed fight-loving Spike. Exceptions do exist, such as Harmony, who appears to lack self-awareness to such a stunning and profound degree that she doesn't change *at all* in becoming a vampire, remaining petty, self-absorbed and vacuous, while seeming to gain nothing in the way of predatory cunning or fiendish insight from the transformation.

    Generally, 'though, the 'best vampires' are going to come from people who have a strong reason to hate themselves (or to have at least been very disappointed with their lives) as humans. Early Willow, meek, unassertive, unsure of herself, worried endlessly that everyone thinks that she's a nerd and that nobody really sees her for anything other than what she can do for them, turns into a butt-kicking uber-confident dominatrix vampire who takes what she wants and imposes her will over others without hesitation.

    This could become a story hook, as the vampires never select the most popular and successful people to transform, choosing only less visible people, whose 'demons' will be most filled with anger and bitterness and hatred and self-loathing, seeking to perform ever more extravagant acts of carnage to prove that they are no longer the 'losers' they were in life (and, not coincidentally, taking revenge on every perceived insult they've ever suffered, such as Angelus' first act of butchering the family that disowned him).
    Damn you and your sneaking in spoilers. :P

    But okay. So the point is, D&D vampires =/= Buffy Vampires. Obviously, I just need to codify what people have said (mostly from what Set said) and shove this in homebrew. I'll do that later today and post a link.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Set View Post
    While there is much talk in the beginning about the individual dying and being replaced by a demon-spirit during the transition to vampire, this is spottily-enforced at best, and almost every vampire depicted lacks an pre-existing demonic self-identity, and continues on as a nastier version of the person they were in life.
    This is explained in the series by stating that the demonic presence keeps all the memories of the former person. It is as if, in that world's metaphysics, soul and memory are seperate 'things'. The person's soul dies with the body and is replaced with a demonic essence/soul, which then animates the body and retains the memories of the human.

    ...I guess such a note is relevant to the OP if he is using Buffy-verse stuff to shape his fluff. In D&D, would perhaps allow interesting resurrection effects of a vampire. The person is revived, but without memories?

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    You could take a look at Crystal Keep's Template PDF. It has a pair of (non-undead) half-vampire templates and some vampire-specific templates; the savage vampire might be close to what you seek.

    You might also consider giving the vamps Unholy Toughness, since they're otherwise faily squishy with their 6 hp/level.
    Although buffy-verse vampires were kinda squishy too i guess.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    d20 Munchkin had its own rules for Staking through the heart.

    Basically, if you hit the monster with a wooden-shafted piercing weapon where the shaft will enter the target (this includes arrows, spears, etc) check the monster's AC.

    If the hit would still hit even if the monster is three sizes smaller (size modifier to AC, for the heart) it counts as staked.

    (It also warned that if you do it this way, vampires can quickly become a laughing stock.)

    d20 Modern has similar, but not identical, rules.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Set View Post
    This could become a story hook, as the vampires never select the most popular and successful people to transform, choosing only less visible people, whose 'demons' will be most filled with anger and bitterness and hatred and self-loathing, seeking to perform ever more extravagant acts of carnage to prove that they are no longer the 'losers' they were in life (and, not coincidentally, taking revenge on every perceived insult they've ever suffered, such as Angelus' first act of butchering the family that disowned him).
    This is such a good idea, and fits so well with all of the many and varied types of vampires (excepting only the 'heroic' vampire) that I think I'm going to enforce it as a limitation in games from now on; only people who have a certain amount of self-loathing can become vampires. Dracula certainly had it in his character, Strahd von Zarovich did, Stephen King's vampires and even Ann Rice's vampires did: I think it's a strong enough part of the theme to make a supernatural requirement.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    If you're going to homebrew a "buffy style" vampire there are a few things you can't forget.

    1) The ribcage has disappeared, making it trivially easy for a normal person with a broken broomstick to reach their heart.

    2) The heart has expanded and now fills the entire chest cavity, meaning that poking them anywhere in the chest will count as "staking their heart".

    You could just combine these two and give them a severe allergy to wood. Any wooden piercing weapon can break through skin and bone without difficulty. Something like DR10/piercing and wood

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Vampire

    Vampire Willow is from an alternate universe, it's not much of a spoiler.
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    Evil Willow, on the other hand...
    Last edited by UglyPanda; 2009-10-29 at 12:10 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Question...why not just give a vampire a Gish build? >_>


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    DM: "Sunder the wall?! WT**** kind of tactics are these!?"
    Me: The kind that armies have been using for millennia.
    DM: They didn't do it with swords!
    Me: Which makes us so much cooler.

    Player: Where are the babau in relation to everyone else?
    Me: They're right behind you. Vesil is covered in Loki's blood. That is their location in relation to you.
    Player: I was just wondering about a fireball.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Vampires, a la Joss Whedon

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    ...I guess such a note is relevant to the OP if he is using Buffy-verse stuff to shape his fluff. In D&D, would perhaps allow interesting resurrection effects of a vampire. The person is revived, but without memories?
    The Buffyverse already has rules for "resurrecting" a vampire--that is, restoring its human soul. The person retains all memories of what he did while a vampire while reverting to his human personality (that is, no longer being a remorseless, sadistic killer). It is always a horrifically traumatic experience that is considered one of the most torturous actions one can do to a person. It also requires extremely powerful magics in the Buffyverse, but of course resurrection is similarly difficult (requires rare artifacts, creepy and physically arduous rituals, and only works on those slain by magic... unless, of course, you're cool with a horrible, twisted facsimile of your beloved), so it might be easier to pull off.

    Angel also had a slain vampire resurrected in human form, who oddly enough retained a less extreme version of the vampire's personality (still evil, just not as bloodthirsty) for some time until suffering a nervous breakdown. That might be due to the resurrectee having been a vampire for a very long time (around five centuries, as opposed to Angel's two) or being looked after by an evil organization following the "rebirth." Of course, if we throw in the metaphysics from Angel, things get a lot more... ah, complicated...
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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