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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default 4e vampire lord question

    I'm looking at the Vampire Lord template in DMG1. It says to add the characteristics to an existing NPC. Ok call me a dull boy for asking, but let us say I had an NPC wizard of some considerable power who was transformed into a Vampire Lord. He would then keep all his wizardly powers, spells, etc and add them to his new-found vampiric ones?

    (And, for that matter, now that I am thinking about it, would a cleric of a good diety keep getting spells once transformed?)

    But back to thew wizard in question... Assuming he or she keeps the spells and powers, would you rather have a vampire lord like that or a lich?
    "Remember that foul evening, when you heard the banshees howl, and lazy, drunken bastards singing 'Penny in the Bowl.' They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch, so you put a button in the plate and spewed up in the church."
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by slyfox99 View Post
    I'm looking at the Vampire Lord template in DMG1. It says to add the characteristics to an existing NPC. Ok call me a dull boy for asking, but let us say I had an NPC wizard of some considerable power who was transformed into a Vampire Lord. He would then keep all his wizardly powers, spells, etc and add them to his new-found vampiric ones?
    Yes. However, note that NPC wizards get substantially less spells than PC wizards.

    (And, for that matter, now that I am thinking about it, would a cleric of a good diety keep getting spells once transformed?)
    Yes, he would. Clerics can't "fall" in 4E.
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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post

    Yes, he would. Clerics can't "fall" in 4E.
    Though if his actions displease his God, there is the very real chance of the God marshalling his forces against the now Evil Wizard.

    This could mean vengeful angels. Or an Adventuring Party.

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by slyfox99 View Post
    I'm looking at the Vampire Lord template in DMG1. It says to add the characteristics to an existing NPC. Ok call me a dull boy for asking, but let us say I had an NPC wizard of some considerable power who was transformed into a Vampire Lord. He would then keep all his wizardly powers, spells, etc and add them to his new-found vampiric ones?

    (And, for that matter, now that I am thinking about it, would a cleric of a good diety keep getting spells once transformed?)

    But back to thew wizard in question... Assuming he or she keeps the spells and powers, would you rather have a vampire lord like that or a lich?
    They can just use the lich ritual after becoming a vampire lord. I mean why wouldn't they?
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lamech View Post
    They can just use the lich ritual after becoming a vampire lord. I mean why wouldn't they?
    Don't you need to still be alive in order to become a Lich?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Don't you need to still be alive in order to become a Lich?
    No. Why would you think that? You need to be level 11+ with 13+ int.
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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    I don't know precisely what you're doing, so I'm just going to kinda babble off anything that I think could remotely be potentially useful for you to know:

    Templates increase an NPC or monster from Standard to Elite or from Elite to Solo. So they keep their existing stuff, but are worth more XP. You're not supposed to apply templates to Minions, Solos or PCs. NPCs are supposed to be made with monster rules, so becoming an NPC wizard usually involves either a template (from the DMG) applied to an existing NPC or monster or this thing that's similar to a template in the DMG that's for making a Standard NPC of a PC class.

    So if you made a Solo NPC Wizard by taking the Wizard NPC thing from the DMG and adding the Wizard template from the DMG to it twice, and wanted to add a template to it, you would then need to remove one of the Wizard templates. Also, remember that the HP and save changes listed on a template are for going from a Standard to an Elite. The difference for going from Elite to Solo is detailed in the DMG. By my memory, I believe it was double the HP of the Elite, and set the saves bonus to +5.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Ok here is what I am precisely doing. The character in question is ultimately going to be the BBEG for the entire campaign. He is a supreme necromancer, ruling a country in my campaign world that is not dissimilar to Mordor in that it is far to the east, surrounded by mountains, and the main geographic feature is a huge volcano. (My NPC conquered this land by imprisoning its former ruler, a fire titan, in said huge volcano. Freeing the titan may be the kay to defeating the necromancer, I am not sure yet).

    This man has killed every hero who has challenged him and turned the most worthy into death knights in his service. He commands a vast army poised for conquest of the Northern Kingdom, the main human empire on the continent. This army is composed of undead and gnolls for the most part, though representatives of every sort of the scum of the earth tag along to do their bit in hopes of reward. He has sent out lesser necromancers to create plagues of undead in advance of the army (which is what my PCs are dealing with at the moment) and has plans in motion to take the empire's easternmost great city by treachery. He has already broken the Northern Kingdom's army in the field and made the King into a death knight already. (These events took place before the game and it was how the characters met. They were soldiers fleeing the defeat).

    The arch-duke of this city will accept a deal to become a vampire lord in the BBEG's service in order to maintain his hold on the city. (How's that for treachery?)

    Tjis necromancer serves Orcus, although he may have ambitions of godhood for himself eventually.

    So I guess the ultimate question for this thread is should my necromancer be a wizard turned lich or a wizard turned vampire lord or some other creature entirely? (I suppose my default answer will be "Lich using Szass Tam's stats from the Forgotten Realms book.")

    Any ideas?
    "Remember that foul evening, when you heard the banshees howl, and lazy, drunken bastards singing 'Penny in the Bowl.' They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch, so you put a button in the plate and spewed up in the church."
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lamech View Post
    No. Why would you think that? You need to be level 11+ with 13+ int.
    According to the Lich Transformation ritual (and every prior edition of D&D), dying is one of the final steps needed to become a Lich. Ergo, you cannot already be dead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    According to the Lich Transformation ritual (and every prior edition of D&D), dying is one of the final steps needed to become a Lich. Ergo, you cannot already be dead.
    Vampire slayers? Vampires can totally be killed. (I am aware this kind of hurts common sense.)
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Vampires are undead, the living dead. They are dead. They have already died once. But if you think the idea of vampire liches is totally awesome, go for it! It's your game.
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2010-03-01 at 01:19 AM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    If you really want both, do the same as a particular hated NPC wizard did in a game I played in did. Become a lich by dying as he was turned into a vampire. Odds of success are slim, but....
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by slyfox99 View Post
    So I guess the ultimate question for this thread is should my necromancer be a wizard turned lich or a wizard turned vampire lord or some other creature entirely?
    Some other creature entirely. Use the DMG/DMGII for guidelines, and give him cool powers inspired by the vampire, lich, necromancer, and other undead-themed templates.

    Also, give him a fire-based hold-out power in case the PCs bring lots of necrotic resistance to the fight. Make it less lethal than his other powers (reward them for being smart, but don't let them eliminate all challenge). It represents his command over the elemental forces of the volcano in his backyard or something.

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    The templates in the 4e DMG are not sufficiently robust. Use them as inspiration, but don't rely on a templated monster being sufficiently interesting "by the book".

    In the default 4e cosmology, when you are invested with divine power as a cleric, paladin, avenger or invoker, you actually have control over that divine spark. In order to get it back, the god in question has to arrange for you to die (or something equally difficult) and stay dead. This means that gods in 4e have to be careful about who they hand out divine power to (it isn't a moral freebie). Note that 4e gods are not presumed to be anywhere close to omniscient on the middle kingdom/prime material/etc.

    So a cleric of a good god who falls and embraces darkness would keep the divine spark of the god in them, and probably corrupt it. Ie, the character will still have the powers -- fluff wise, you should think about having some of the powers slip towards an alternative flavour (as the vampire lord might want to avoid firing off radiant beams, in order to avoid sun burns...)

    ...

    What your dark lord is is a good question. Lich is an interesting choice, as it gives you both a weak spot and a strength -- you can slay a lich and it doesn't do much good, as the lich just comes back. The key to the Lich's immortality, and the Lich itself, should (tactically) be separated by the Lich. A smart Lich would probably avoid using "raw fortifications and power" to defend both its body and it's soul... Because in order to die, it must both lose its own body (which is usually defended by power and fortification), and the soul (which, if defended by the same kind of things, will probably be overrun by whatever overran the body!)

    ...

    My favourite villain is, however, based off of the Soul Gem spell. The villain is an immortal being whose soul is stored in a gem. He possesses the bodies of beings, possibly including powerful undead. When his body is killed, it returns to the gem, and then possesses another being.

    Destruction of the gem simply traps him in his current body, and forces him to build a new soul gem.

    New possession of a body requires that body be brought to where the soul gem is housed.

    The villain needs allies to protect the soul gem, while he himself can wander the world.

    ...

    Another way of looking at this problem is "why doesn't the BBEG just stomp everything flat"? You want the BBEG to be both powerful, and restrained somehow.

    So find some excuse for the BBEG to be restrained.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    The BBEG is in the process of trying to stomp everything flat, using his minions to do so. Fortunately, being the thorough sort, he is taking his time and doing it right, which gives the good guys a chance to regroup.

    I like the idea of an alternate sort of monster, however. A rogue Aspect of Orcus perhaps? Or maybe a fallen Deva? I am enjoying thinking about this, and my Manual of the Planes ought to come by mail this week, hopefully containing even more inspiration... (Amazon is shipping it from a dealer in England by means of the Royal Mail, however... How reliable is the Royal Mail? They don't use actual royals to deliver it, do they?)
    "Remember that foul evening, when you heard the banshees howl, and lazy, drunken bastards singing 'Penny in the Bowl.' They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch, so you put a button in the plate and spewed up in the church."
    -The Pogues, "Sickbed of Cuchulainn"

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    Default Re: 4e vampire lord question

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk
    Another way of looking at this problem is "why doesn't the BBEG just stomp everything flat"? You want the BBEG to be both powerful, and restrained somehow.

    So find some excuse for the BBEG to be restrained.
    Quote Originally Posted by slyfox99
    The BBEG is in the process of trying to stomp everything flat, using his minions to do so. Fortunately, being the thorough sort, he is taking his time and doing it right, which gives the good guys a chance to regroup.
    I think he meant the BBEG himself stomping everything flat as opposed to just sitting on his ass while the minions do the work. I found that whenever I use a powerful NPC (friend or foe) I always have to give a good reason why they don't do things themselves cause my players lose a bit of immersion over it.

    For this villain, maybe the reason he is sitting in his volcano fortress waiting for the PC's to kill him is because he needs to expend a great deal of his power almost constantly to keep the fire titan imprisoned? Or maybe he is leaching power out of the titan to power some doomsday device or something. Just make sure he has some reason to not be on the front lines killing everyone and everything in sight himself other than he just doesn't feel like it/it is beneath him.
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