Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 37
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Question Help to design vampires that don't suck?

    Vampires are important for the setting I am working on. They have to be right and there are so many ways to get them wrong. Any help/critique or ideas would be appreciated.

    Basic concepts/guidelines I am working to:

    #1 They have to be able to be believable as people and not just "Arghh, kill it, its eating my face off" monsters

    #2 They have to be capable of becoming "Arghh, kill it, its eating my face off" monsters

    #3 They have to represent a credible threat. Vampires that spontaneously immolate for the price of opening a curtain do not represent a credible threat.

    #4 No powers at will/ magic overload just for being a vampire. It has to be credible that ordinary people could kill them (in the same way that it is credible that an angry mob or an extremely lucky thug with a pistol could kill batman but it is simply not credible to do the same to superman or wolverine).

    #5 They are negative energy living dead beings. Neither wholly alive nor truly dead.

    #6 They don't all have to have the exactly same took kit of powers but their must be a shared core of abilities

    #7No sparkling!

    Some basic concepts I have got are:

    They have to eat actual food. If they don't eat their hair falls out, their flesh wastes away, they stink and their bloodlust gets much worse. Seriously a healthy balanced diet consists of more than just blood.

    The human mouth is full of bacteria and vampires are even worse. If they are not absolutely rigorous in oral hygiene they act as carriers of disease.

    They contain a font of negative energy. This reacts with the positive energy in blood to give off "vital energy". They can see and are drawn to the positive energy in living beings.

    Daylight is chock full of positive energy, too much. Daylight overwhelms their system; it:

    Makes their bodies and magic far stronger at the cost of draining their reserves of strength. This can cause collapse from exhaustion or even death.

    Blinds them and dulls their mystic senses.

    Burns their skin very painfully very quickly.

    It effects their minds. Its like being drunk and hungover at the same time.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-15 at 03:28 AM.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    First, ignore everything you ever saw in Buffy or Twilight or any other "monster hunter" pop culture film where it is presented as heroic rather than desperate.

    Next, get a copy of Module I6: Ravenloft.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    First, ignore everything you ever saw in Buffy or Twilight or any other "monster hunter" pop culture film where it is presented as heroic rather than desperate.

    Next, get a copy of Module I6: Ravenloft.
    I'd suggest getting a copy of White Wolf's Vampire: The Whatever, but they do combust in sunlight. So just remember its main point: vampires are junkies, and you've got their drug in your veins.

    And getting between a junkie and their drug is a VERY bad idea.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Ive read the masquerade though I had forgotten. Its humanity/beast mechanic is useful but I don't see why the concept of blood sucking fiend is mutually exclusive with being a person.

    I will play with the addiction idea but I like the concept of treating the thirst as a need, just one that most vampires are happy with and actually enjoy.

    Less teen angst more dead and loving it!
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    In my setting, vampires are heavily inspired by abomintations from Dragon Age and the... well, Inspired from Eberron, no pun intended.

    Demons are not able to exist in the physical world because they are pure spirit and have no shape. They can only learn of the physical world through telepathic contact with mortals, in particular sorcerers who explore the special magical energies of the demon realm, which makes it incredibly fascinating for them. Simply posessing a mortal quickly destroys the body and being a horrible monstrocity doesn't provide a very accurate picture of what mortal life is like. So the more self-controlled and courious ones seek to merge their demonic spirit with a mortal soul. That way, the demon gains all the memories and emotions of the mortal and can live in the physical world for a few centuries to see what it's like and try it out for themselves at what is pretty much a vampire. When the creature is destroyed, the demonic spirit returns to the demon realm keeping all the experiences and also all the memories it got from the mortal soul. Since the memories and emotions of the mortal are not destroyed but added to the demon, this is rather attractive to some people. They gain a much longer life, incredible knowledge, new powers, and essentially become immortal in the demon realm.
    A new vampire looks pretty much the same as the mortal used to and has all the knowledge of the place where the mortal had been living so far, and all the languages, customs, and so on. But with the demon added to it, they have drastically different priorities and oppinions, even if they merged with the demon voluntarily.
    The details of the mortal having to die before the soul and demon can merge and revive the body, drinking blood, and being vulnerable to sunlight can all be added to that concept or be excluded, it doesn't really affect the main concept of a mortal person becoming incredibly powerful and drastically changing personalty because of dark magic.

    Strangely, the best example is probably Darla from Buffy, but she is quite different from all the other vampires. She is evil and enjoys killing and some degree of mayhem just as any other vampire, but she's smart and practical. Unlike her violently insane spawn, she is just intimidating without even revealing her nature or powers and she's discrete with her killings so she can keep a nice life in the better parts of society instead of hiding in crypts or basements.
    The Bruxa vampires from The Witcher are also not bad. They also know how to maintain appearances and have the power to dominate other peoples minds and fight dirty by sneaking up on their enemies from behind rather than risk a head on battle.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-10-15 at 07:39 AM.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    I've had mixed results on figuring out just what the nutritional content of human blood might be, so I like to think that the vampire is not just drinking blood, but is in fact absorbing some sort of energy from the victims. It could be something as simple as D&D style "positive energy" or something less well defined.

    I like the idea that as an undead creature powered by negative energy, a vampire might not need blood to live, but maybe it needs blood in order to keep it's hold on humanity. If a vampire doesn't drink blood, it's mind (rather than it's body) starts to erode, and after a while, it will become nothing more than an animal, desperate for it's next meal.
    Essentially, by feeding on sentient creatures they keep the negative energy in check.

    Any time a vampire feeds on a creature, you can have a chance for one of several effects: the creature might die (either from the attack, or just from going into shock of blood loss) and either stay dead, or absorb enough negative energy from the vampire to rise as zombie. They might become "infected" by the negative energy and become a vampire themselves. There can even be a "nothing happens" option that they just need to recover for a few days.

    This way you can still set up vampires as something undesirable for anyone not wholey evil, and even in some cases not even then, because you have become, essentially, dependent upon others for your continued existence. If you are looking for a chance to inject some angst into your campaign, this gives you the chance to have characters who are survivors of vampire attacks, and need to weigh the option of risking your friends lives against your own mortality, and the risk you pose if you don't feed.

    Also, I support the "not bursting into dust" thing, but I still feel sunlight should be undesirable for most vampires, because it's so classic. Maybe have vampires make Fortitude saves against nonlethal damage when in sunlight the same way normal characters need to make checks in extreme heat. 'Nother suggestion: give them light blindness or light sensitivity to go with the darkvision.

    I think the roleplaying options are a lot better for a good campaign, because the players need to make a decision. For evil characters (particularly the chaotic-evil-destroy everything variatey D&D seems to attract) people would just be a slightly-unusual food source.

    I think mechanic-wise for PC's, you need to have both advantages and disadvantages, because otherwise you end up with something that's OP except when blood-deprived, and absolutely terrible to try and play when you are.
    If you want to scale down the power level somewhat, make them like normal humanoids most of the time, but able to gain a power boost by drinking blood, sort of like a regular humanoid would do with a potion.


    Give us some more feedback on what sort of suggestions you like, and I'll try to tailor my assistance appropriately.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-15 at 12:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    For a vampire, drinking blood is a symbolic act of draining lifeforce from an intelligent entity, which serves to keep their connection with the negative energy plane open, which is, in fact, what sustains them.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Terra Ephemera

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Could you give me a hint of magic level, technology level, and so forth involved? This has a big impact on what is or isn't a pushover monster. (What, vulnerable to garlic? Um, either I import some from the lowland farms and hope it takes less than the normal 2 weeks to get here by cart, or I buy some garlic spray from the supermarket.)

    Also, what system are you using? You've currently got my brain-juices going and I'm whipping up something in 3.x, but...
    Alstroemeria and Shozin in Thrair's War of the Final Whisper.

    I'm not an evil GM! Honest!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    I like the idea that as an undead creature powered by negative energy, a vampire might not need blood to live, but maybe it needs blood in order to keep it's hold on humanity. If a vampire doesn't drink blood, it's mind (rather than it's body) starts to erode, and after a while, it will become nothing more than an animal, desperate for it's next meal.
    Essentially, by feeding on sentient creatures they keep the negative energy in check.
    They have an internal source of negative energy. It reacts with positive energy in people blood to release the "vital energy". The positive energy in blood is like matter to their own internal font of antimatter.

    I like the idea that if they don't feed the negative energy will overwhelm them.

    In this setting negative does not mean death and positive doese not mean live. Negative energy equates to the force of entropy. Positive energy equates to energy. The material world is caught between the positive and negative planes, between the oblivion and the annihilator.

    For a vampire, drinking blood is a symbolic act of draining lifeforce from an intelligent entity, which serves to keep their connection with the negative energy plane open, which is, in fact, what sustains them.
    This could be that they draw on ambient positive energy for most of their reaction mass and the bloodsucking either regulates, sustains or contains the dark void within them.

    Also, I support the "not bursting into dust" thing, but I still feel sunlight should be undesirable for most vampires, because it's so classic. Maybe have vampires make Fortitude saves against nonlethal damage when in sunlight the same way normal characters need to make checks in extreme heat. 'Nother suggestion: give them light blindness or light sensitivity to go with the darkvision.
    I'd suggest getting a copy of White Wolf's Vampire: The Whatever, but they do combust in sunlight. So just remember its main point: vampires are junkies, and you've got their drug in your veins.
    What about making sunlight a addictive narcotic with long term health implications. The can handle it and even enjoy it to a certain extend but it all about moderation. "Daywalkers" are self destructive junkies. Temperance isn't about refraining from people veins but refraining from daylight. "Kin don't let kin do days"

    I like the idea of dhampires instead of being the spawn of the living and the dead being vampires who have become daylight resistant as their systems built up greater and greater levels of tolerance from overexposure, the process of "burning out" costing them their immortality (either that or they where deliberately made that way).

    Blinds them and dulls their mystic senses.
    Three steps ahead of you on that one.

    Strangely, the best example is probably Darla from Buffy, but she is quite different from all the other vampires. She is evil and enjoys killing and some degree of mayhem just as any other vampire, but she's smart and practical. Unlike her violently insane spawn, she is just intimidating without even revealing her nature or powers and she's discrete with her killings so she can keep a nice life in the better parts of society instead of hiding in crypts or basements.
    Like...just like.

    Any time a vampire feeds on a creature, you can have a chance for one of several effects: the creature might die (either from the attack, or just from going into shock of blood loss) and either stay dead, or absorb enough negative energy from the vampire to rise as zombie. They might become "infected" by the negative energy and become a vampire themselves. There can even be a "nothing happens" option that they just need to recover for a few days.

    This way you can still set up vampires as something undesirable for anyone not wholey evil, and even in some cases not even then, because you have become, essentially, dependent upon others for your continued existence. If you are looking for a chance to inject some angst into your campaign, this gives you the chance to have characters who are survivors of vampire attacks, and need to weigh the option of risking your friends lives against your own mortality, and the risk you pose if you don't feed.
    The human mouth is full of bacteria and vampires are even worse. If they are not absolutely rigorous in oral hygiene they act as carriers of disease.
    Whilst their is the whole malarial bloodsucker (nothing quite so clean as "they just drop dead") thing I have going I do think that the negative energy aspect needs to be explored. Perhaps when they bite you suffer negative feedback like a bad acid trip. The whole thing can have a prolonged and damaging impact on the human psyche, apart from the traumatic experience of the bite itself it can cause depression, paranoia, delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations, migraine, insomnia, violent mood swings, memory lapse, light sensitivity, suicidal tendencies and a predilection for daemonic or ethereal possession.

    I think mechanic-wise for PC's, you need to have both advantages and disadvantages, because otherwise you end up with something that's OP except when blood-deprived, and absolutely terrible to try and play when you are.
    If you want to scale down the power level somewhat, make them like normal humanoids most of the time, but able to gain a power boost by drinking blood, sort of like a regular humanoid would do with a potion.
    The white wolf system handled that well. You had "Blood points" which you accumulate by feeding, (Blood surge). You then spend those blood to use your abilities. Though KISS does have its merits

    Vampire view themselves as a kind of aristocracy in this setting, the self styled "lords of the dead". For most reality is a lot less glamorous and a lot more grubby and dangerous (in most lands vampires are either con artist, gangsters, bandits or murder hobos). Even those who are actual landed nobility spend far more time mired in the day to day minutia of land management, financial trivia and local politics than in wielding unholy power and drinking blood.


    Could you give me a hint of magic level, technology level, and so forth involved? This has a big impact on what is or isn't a pushover monster. (What, vulnerable to garlic? Um, either I import some from the lowland farms and hope it takes less than the normal 2 weeks to get here by cart, or I buy some garlic spray from the supermarket.)
    This is for necrotheism. Tec level is somewhere between classical/dark ages (RE:Iron age) The philosophy require the full integration of magic into society, magic is abundant but also difficult, unpredictable and of limited power. Its not a tippyverse but it aspires to be.

    Also, what system are you using? You've currently got my brain-juices going and I'm whipping up something in 3.x, but...
    3.5 is the system I am most familiar with, but at this point its still more fluff than a cotton wool factory.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-15 at 02:28 PM.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    For a vampire, drinking blood is a symbolic act of draining lifeforce from an intelligent entity, which serves to keep their connection with the negative energy plane open, which is, in fact, what sustains them.
    To quote Dr. Van Helsing, who was quoting Leviticus, "The life of an animal is in the blood."

    Actually, Dracula is a great source of vampire lore. Dracs himself doesn't burn in the sun, but is magically weak in daylight, so still has a reason to hang around in the shadows. He's manipulative, evil, and predatory. Read the book.
    Ludicrus Gaming: on games and story | My Steam Account
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    I have and it is a source for this. I am also thinking about going back and using actual details from the live of the real Vladimir Tapes.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    I have and it is a source for this. I am also thinking about going back and using actual details from the live of the real Vladimir Tapes.
    The real guy is probably scarier than most fictional versions of Dracula.

    If only because he REALLY EXISTED.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    My suggestion? Ignore everything D&D says about vampires and use the fluff from Warhammer Fantasy. A vampire is, with all pretense stripped away, a predator. The blood of animals is worthless to them, only that of humans will do. And what's more, what does the predator care what his prey thinks of him?

    Vampires are stronger, faster, and undying. They have greater senses, both mundane and supernatural, greater capacity for magic and, so long as the wound is untainted by silver or sunlight, will recover from anything short of a stake through the heart, mouthful of garlic or immersion in a river with simple feeding. Vampires are, quite simply, superior to the mortal races, who thus have good reason to fear the night.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    My suggestion?...
    Vampires are stronger, faster, and undying. They have greater senses, both mundane and supernatural, greater capacity for magic and, so long as the wound is untainted by silver or sunlight, will recover from anything short of a stake through the heart, mouthful of garlic or immersion in a river with simple feeding. Vampires are, quite simply, superior to the mortal races, who thus have good reason to fear the night.
    The problem with this is that it's really hard to make a balanced PC version, or find reasons why your PC's don't all want to just become vampires. Short of the "there's so many vampires we're running out of humans" scenario, what is the drawback to this?

    It's EASY to make something more powerful, and you don't need to be undead to do it. The more difficult task is designing a creature (or template) that is interesting because of both it's strength's and weaknesses.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-15 at 03:41 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Out of curiousity, can anyone explain to me what's wrong with D&D vampires? I've never really used them, and at a cursory glance as a template it seems fine.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    The problem with this is that it's really hard to make a balanced PC version, or find reasons why your PC's don't all want to just become vampires. Short of the "there's so many vampires we're running out of humans" scenario, what is the drawback to this?

    It's EASY to make something more powerful, and you don't need to be undead to do it. The more difficult task is designing a creature (or template) that is interesting because of both it's strength's and weaknesses.
    Nobody said anything about PC-able versions.

    Also, fun fact? I never said anything about changing mechanics. Practically everything the OP brought up is a fluff concern; they have dietary things in Libris Mortis he can use to adjust how they eat. Everything else is fluff, and all it requires is to ignore Wootsie's crappy writing.

    @AuraTwilight: Template's fine, as long as you're not a PC (LA is BS to begin with, half of your maximum expected level is more so). It's the fluff that's an issue.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Nobody said anything about PC-able versions.
    I think the main point was this: if vampires are really powerful, why shouldn't dungeoncrawling PCs seek out a vampire to sire them? As a treasure hunter, it's the perfect way to get extra powers.

    Of course, this is easily fixable--make "vampire" a specialized level of power, who exerts control over the creatures they sire. They limit their offspring's power, and maybe they even retain some ability to psychically withhold life-force from their offspring.
    Ludicrus Gaming: on games and story | My Steam Account
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Simple. Make it a base class. Or a 10+ level PrC.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2012-10-15 at 03:53 PM.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    I think the main point was this: if vampires are really powerful, why shouldn't dungeoncrawling PCs seek out a vampire to sire them? As a treasure hunter, it's the perfect way to get extra powers.
    Only really breaks in the face of diehard munchkins. PCs shouldn't want to become vampires because they're indoctrinated to hate their blackened undead guts. PC's should be made to assume that in the event they become vampires, their fellow PC's will end them immediately and with extreme prejudice. No one should want anything to do with vampires except at the opposite end of a silvered sword.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morph Bark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Freljord

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Only really breaks in the face of diehard munchkins. PCs shouldn't want to become vampires because they're indoctrinated to hate their blackened undead guts. PC's should be made to assume that in the event they become vampires, their fellow PC's will end them immediately and with extreme prejudice. No one should want anything to do with vampires except at the opposite end of a silvered sword.
    If becoming an X granted power and that was known, then people Y who hate X would be severely tempted to become one of X.


    See also: any "deal with the devil" kind of stories.
    YouTube channel:

    The Asobimashow thread |Homebrewer's Signature | Avatar by Strawberries

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Only really breaks in the face of diehard munchkins. PCs shouldn't want to become vampires because they're indoctrinated to hate their blackened undead guts. PC's should be made to assume that in the event they become vampires, their fellow PC's will end them immediately and with extreme prejudice. No one should want anything to do with vampires except at the opposite end of a silvered sword.
    Playing as undead? Pry the auto-resetting negative energy trap off the doorframe and bam! Yesterday's death-ray becomes tomorrow's infinite healing gizmo. That was hard. /sarcasm

    The majority of things that are broken in D&D got that way by being deisgned for use against PC's with no thought on how it would work out if the player's get ahold of yesterday's superweapon and turn it on the next BBEG.

    Your scenario works out alright if your entire party wants to play shining vituous beacons of the light, but I can tell you from experience that isn't always the case. For some groups, it's actually the thing people avoid, and there are plenty of threads complaining about when the DM starts telling the players what their character's motivations are.

    Also, the OP already said his vampires are not fully undead, they are a combination of living creature mixed with negative energy, and he doesn't want them to be Superman. If you are trying to build a well-thought out character and not just a one-shot loot piniata, then you need to have something with depth.

    WHY is it that most people don't want anything to do with vampires? Things being evil just for evil's sake is the problem lots of people have with the alignment system in the first place. For groups of adventurers, who regularly plunge headlong into extreme danger, why shouldn't they consider picking up a nice little template that grants them all sorts of bonuses? If the vampires are strong enough that the helpless townspeople need the big tough heros to come and save them, why shouldn't the heroes level the playing field as much as they can?

    Maybe instead of charging in gold for clearing out the nearby rampaging dragon, we just suck a few pints of blood instead. Heck, most little villages probably can't afford to hire adventurers of our caliber, but they regenerate those bodily fluids in just a few days! It's like we're giving them a huge discount!


    Edit: There's nothing inherently wrong with making the vampire template strong, or fluffing vampires as badass rulers of the night, you just need to think a little bit about the ramifications of what happens if the PC's decide to become the enemy instead of fighting them, and how you are going to deal with it when/if this happens. Basically, you need to do that do what to many WotC designers didn't, and think logically just one or two steps past the "these are monsters, slay them for treasure" phase of an adventure.

    Edit Edit: It's not all one direction; there are plenty of ways the DM can screw with his players as well, such as giving monsters PC class levels instead of just more HD, or stacking templates and dire half-whatever else you feel like throwing in the mix. Again, it's the issue of when you make a system as flexible as D&D, you need to consider what people might do with all that flexibility.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-15 at 08:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    WHY is that most people don't want anything to do with vampires? Things being evil just for evil's sake is the problem lot's of people have with the alignment system in the first place. For groups of adventurers, who regularly plunge headlong into extreme danger, why shouldn't they consider picking up a nice little template that grants them all sorts of bonuses? If the vampires are strong enough that the helpless townspeople need the big tough heros to come and save them, why shouldn't the hero's level the playing field as much as they can?

    Maybe instead of charging in gold for clearing out the nearby rampaging dragon, we just suck a few pints of blood instead. Heck, most little villages probably can't afford to hire adventurers of our caliber, but they regenerate those bodily fluids in just a few days! It's like we're giving them a huge discount!
    Permision to use this?

    @Blightedmarsh: Now, looking at what you've decided to take so far, I think you should make a summury of what you have so we can take a second crack. Also, a big thing you need to decide is how much clothing/other protects you from the sun, say, can a robe with a hood protect you as long as you don't stare it in the face, or is anything short of a proper house useless as light protection, also, do magical darkness help, and (like twilight vampires) do poor sunlight conditions like high fog/strong overcast reduce the effects of sun to not noticeable (In reality it wouldn't do much, but it is still something to think of).
    Also, how do undead react to various holy symbols?
    And, as the thing I've quoted, a good way to make Vampires both yes monsters and no monsters would be to have a few NPC Vampire Adventurers, maybe some are assasins, and some are paladins/just shy of paladins.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?


  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Vale View Post
    Permision to use this?
    I consider anything I post to be open content; use it for whatever you want and there's no need to ask permission.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-15 at 09:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    How much clobber do they wear? I can well imagine that they can get away with the hood/robes outfit but they wont be particularly comfortable under the mid day sun.

    Magic darkness and bad weather will help considerably but they would still have to be careful.

    How to prevent PC from becoming vampires?
    1) Dial it down. Reduce the power level of vampires
    2) Dial up the risk factors. Make becoming a vampire a crap shoot of horrible risks and instant death.

    My suggestion? Ignore everything D&D says about vampires and use the fluff from Warhammer Fantasy. A vampire is, with all pretense stripped away, a predator. The blood of animals is worthless to them, only that of humans will do. And what's more, what does the predator care what his prey thinks of him?
    Thats a good place to start. Now a way to understand a preditor is to understand the prey. The human animal is:

    1) Weak for its size
    2) Vision reliant with poor night vision
    3) Clever
    4) Social

    Now assuming that vampires are nocturnal ambush predators that live amongst us. To make a living they would have to:

    1) Pas unnoticed amongst human society
    2) Track likely prey (isolated humans at night)
    3) Bring down the prey
    4) Secure the kill
    5) Escape trouble.

    The kill: As said humans are smart but weak. Being stronger is an advantage but they don't have to be that much stronger. 10-20% with the benefit of ambush and careful target selection is all that it would take. The mind is the biggest thing to factor in, they don't have to be smarter than us; just the ability to could our minds would be more than enough.

    Secure the kill: by this I mean disguising their activities, this is important because humans are social creatures who have a fine and long history of exterminating predators who threaten them. The could achieve this by;
    • using scavengers to destroy the body
    • clouding the victims memories
    • picking socially acceptable targets
    • dumping or destroying the body


    The escape: Not only do they require the ability to flee the scene but the also require the ability to flee the mob. They could do this by turning into animals, turning into mist, summoning magical darkness, summoning animals to cover the escape or my favorite ...levitating.

    In summation being strong is good but it is not as important as being able to pass unnoticed. They also have to be able to out think us and I think the ability to could our minds would be more advantageous then just being smarter than us.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Help to design vampires that don't suck?

    @AuraTwilight: Template's fine, as long as you're not a PC (LA is BS to begin with, half of your maximum expected level is more so). It's the fluff that's an issue.
    Explain the fluff issue. From what I read, it seems to just be the classic vampire monster in D&D terms?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    I think the main point was this: if vampires are really powerful, why shouldn't dungeoncrawling PCs seek out a vampire to sire them? As a treasure hunter, it's the perfect way to get extra powers.

    Of course, this is easily fixable--make "vampire" a specialized level of power, who exerts control over the creatures they sire. They limit their offspring's power, and maybe they even retain some ability to psychically withhold life-force from their offspring.

    You can simply tell your players that you don't want any PC vampires in this campaign. If they insist on trying to find one to sire them, and you've warned them against it, then he'll drain them dry and laugh at the gullible mortal.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Help to desin vapmires that don't suck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Narren View Post
    You can simply tell your players that you don't want any PC vampires in this campaign. If they insist on trying to find one to sire them, and you've warned them against it, then he'll drain them dry and laugh at the gullible mortal.
    No, no, they need a fate worse than undeath: Becoming NPCs.

    And the next group of PCs will have to hunt down this bunch of vampires who think like PCs, and kill them permanently.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NotScaryBats's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Washington State
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Help to design vampires that don't suck?

    There are some Asian myths about vampires that l always thought were cool. Some don't even drink blood. So, instead, they drain your breath, or chi or spinal fluid. So, rather than eventually getting to aristocrats drinking cold blood out of red wine glasses, your vampires are actually draining a persons life force by feeding upon them.

    Can people survive a vampire attack? It depends, some fiction they will die, become a zombie, get sick and weak, become a vampire, or something else.

    There are hundreds of potential vampire things in myths and history, so just pick a few to focus on. Stephanie Meyer did away with Sunlight death, and made them invincible awesomeness. You don't have to do the same thing, but the idea of re-examination of even base ideas like 'drinks blood' could be helpful.
    Thanks Gigi Digi for the avatar.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Help to design vampires that don't suck?

    Thread made me think of a very different concept: the solar vampire.

    (What are you jibbering about, Incom?)
    Spoiler
    Show


    Solar vampires have a magical connection to the sun (unlike regular vampires who have some sort of negative energy connection) that gives them all the energy they need by converting the sun's energy into positive energy. Unfortunately for them, it happens to also work with regular sunlight. Being around light causes them to accumulate excess energy, known as overcharge. Getting hit with negative energy can sometimes be beneficial because it dispels their overcharge; positive energy causes an overcharge surge. The challenge of a solar vampire is keeping positive energy levels controlled. The extra energy can prove useful in combat, but too much causes more harm than good. (Think caffeine. )

    Mechanically, in addition to a regular hit point pool, solar vampires have an overcharge pool, which damages them every round (maybe they take damage equal to overcharge, reduced by feats or CON or something like that). Being hit with negative energy spells reduces the overcharge; overflow becomes normal damage. Being hit with positive energy still heals wounds like normal, but also adds the roll to the overcharge pool (meaning the healing will be quickly undone if nothing is done), overflow included. Standing in light adds a certain amount of overcharge per round depending on the light levels.

    Solar vampires can use the overcharge pool as a resource for certain abilities. They can convert a small amount of overcharge into healing (since it's positive energy), but cannot use it on themselves. Overcharge points may also be converted into fire-based or holy-based spells (SLA's?) such as Fireball.

    As a last resort, solar vampires can gather all their overcharge and combust. A small amount of overcharge may only burn someone in grappling range; a large amount may cause a massive explosion. The solar vampire makes a fort save (DC dependent on overcharge levels). Fail, and the solar vampire burns into ash, and can only be revived with the appropriate resurrection spell. Succeed, and the solar vampire is knocked to zero hit points.

    Solar vampires have some very small natural regeneration, maybe one or two points (but overcharge burn will usually be doing too much for it to keep up with in combat).

    As a solar vampire gets used to what he has become, he can control the connection to the sun, opening it to overcharge himself as a free action up to a certain limit per round. High-level solar vampires can even learn to tune the strength of the connection to the light levels nearby, making overcharge from light exposure optional up to broad-daylight levels. (I'm envisioning this as a class)

    Drinking blood is optional. Some solar vampires may not do it at all; others may do it because it is intimidating. However, draining is the only method a solar vampire has of creating new ones. The solar vampire consumes the blood of the victim and replaces it with the solar connection. The victim may embrace the effect to replace any number of existing levels with any number of solar vampire levels, up to the level of the one who drained them; alternatively, the victim may choose to resist the effect. It will eventually overcome them, forcing them to take their next level in solar vampire (or maybe there's a Will save), but they will not feel immediate effects. Completing the draining takes time, though, so it's not really viable in combat; most, though not all, solar vampires consented to their draining. Obviously, it doesn't work on constructs, undead, etc. and most animals cannot survive the process. (How were the first solar vampires created? See, there was this mad wizard who lived on the coast...)

    Mirrors are annoying because they reflect light, causing overcharge.

    Most other vampire-related myths are irrelevant.


    Then again, looks like you have something similar in the OP. Did I just waste that much time? :(

    Maybe not. The OP said that sunlight is a problem because it contains positive energy and vampires run on negative energy (they clash). The tl;dr of mine is that vampires have to be careful around light because it contains positive energy and they run on positive energy (they stack).

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Incom; 2012-10-16 at 07:48 PM.
    SSBitP
    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "Creativity is the art of knowing how to hide one's sources." - Original quote, DO NOT STEAL.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •